Gener@tion Z - Day 2 - 7:35am
Phillip opened his eyes and gripped tightly to the gun that had been laying in his hand over his chest when he fell asleep. He sat up from the bed he'd dozed off on and peered around the empty store. Phillip had decided to take refuge in an abandoned furniture and mattress shop. He'd boarded the entrances with some of the furniture before falling asleep, but even that was difficult. In the end, he'd sat there awake until the 12 O'Clock mark hit and immediately woke up back in the classroom. Now he was back in the same position he'd sat in overnight for his second session inside the Scenario. He'd found the gun that he was now in possession of in the back room of the store when he cleared the place out the previous night, making sure he was completely alone.
Phillip leaned over to the side of the bed and stared at the pistol in his grip curiously. He could always do it. He'd always wanted to know what it would feel like. And knowing that he'd just be on the surface after he pulled the trigger would make things all the better. Just to test himself, he brought the pistol to the bottom of his chin, resting his finger on the loop of the trigger. One simple movement and he could be back to worrying about his failing grades and the possibility of not graduating. He could go back to being pissed at Woodrow from afar and being alone for the rest of his senior year. Anything was better than being here. Anything. At this point, Phillip knew, without a doubt, that if something like this were to actually happen in real life, this zombie apocalypse/invasion/outbreak/whatever the hell the politically correct term was for it, he'd be the first to grab a weapon and do the deed. The only reason why he was hesitant now was because he did have a life after this and he did need the grade. He had to at least give it a try. In an honest-to-God post-apocalypse, there'd be no guarantee that they'd come out alive. So why fight the inevitable?
Phillip swallowed hard, feeling the barrel vibrate under his throat. He pulled the gun from his neck and instead, tucked it down into the bag that lay on the side of the bed as he stood up and headed for the bathroom. He actually chuckled lightly at the twisted irony of the fact that he wanted to survive more in this Scenario than he would in the event of an actual outbreak.
After washing himself off, he knew that it would be a scortching hot day, so he walked out of the bathroom with only a T-Shirt. When he emerged from the back of the store, he could see a figure standing over his bag, by the entrance of the door.
"Hey!" he shouted, as the figure, who he could see was female against the dark sillouette caused by the rising sun outside. The girl's ponytail swung about as she sprinted for the exit at the side of the store, which had had the least amount of furniture there to block it, making it accessible to enter. How could I have missed that, he thought to himself. Phillip sprinted after her, hopping over the sofas and chairs that blocked his path with expert precision. His parkour techniques would certainly come in handy in a situation like this. The door to the entrance sprang open and Phillip could spot who it was that had infiltrated his domain from the outside light. Tammy Camacho.
"Stop!" he shouted as she disappeared outside. Phillip reached the door before it closed and pried it open, emerging onto a back alley that ran adjacent to the furniture store. As soon as he was hit by the light of the dimly lit city grounds, he watched Tammy step rapidly up the fire escape along the apartment beside the furniture store. A glimmer of light flashed as she made her way up to the level above and Phillip spotted it. It was his gun. He swore under his breath and sprinted after her, hopping up onto the ladder that led to the fire escape. His steps echoed against hers as he followed her until she was on the roof of the building. When he reached it, she was already hopping across to the surface of another structure.
Phillip followed Tammy from rooftop to rooftop, tailing closely behind and slowly realizing that he'd left the rest of his things back at the furniture store and there would probably be no going back. Why was she stealing from him anyway? Why didn't she choose to ally herself with him and actually work together? He had no quarrel with her. But he needed his weapon back or else he'd be defenseless in a viciously dangerous environment.
Eventually Tammy stepped off the side one of the roofs onto a drainpipe and slid down to the level below into another alleyway. Phillip followed closely behind and watched as she hopped over the fence that closed off the section at the end of the alley. It took her a a bit of effort to get over it but she made it and continued to sprint across the street to a Square with a row of steps and a long-dried out and rapidly rusting fountain in the center. Phillip headed towards the fence himself but instead of climbing over it, he hopped onto the side of the wall and propelled himself across it with relative ease. Without losing momentum, he landed on the other side and sprinted after Tammy, gradually growing closer to her position.
Tammy made her way across the Square, up the steps, and hopped over a waste-high wall, heading down a closed-off walkway between two large abandoned corporate buildings. When Phillip reached the wall, he spotted Tammy sprinting off ahead of him, but knew he wouldn't be able to catch her if he continued down the same route. He needed to head her off in another direction. He looked ahead at the walkway and saw that there was a one-way turn leading to the side of the building, which continued on in that direction. Phillip looked up and spotted a ledge that led to several small windows. He could tell by the crevice of them that he would be able to use them to climb to the highest level of the building he'd be able to reach. Formulating a plot in seconds, Phillip ran for the ledge and pushed himself off the opposite wall with one foot to reach it. He climbed to the top of it and pulled himself up by each window crevice until he was a few feet above one of the rooftops, approximately ten or so feet from the ground. He shimmied across until he reached the windows around the corner of the building, stepping lightly but efficiently until he was directly above the rooftop he needed to be on. Without further hesitation, he hopped off of the window and landed on the gravel-covered rooftop expertly.
Phillip turned and scaled the side of the roof, watching eagerly as Tammy took the turn and continued along the walkway, which was surrounded by two rails on either side and accompanied with flowers and shrubberies planted to provide a decorative appearance to the corporation they were now occupying the grounds of. Phillip sprinted along the rooftop inconspicuously until the walkway began to diverge a bit closer to the building he was running along. He looked ahead and saw a space in between the rooftop he was on and the one a few feet ahead of him. With a running start, he hopped to the other side, landing lightly and rolling to keep his momentum in place. When he realized that the walkway was within jumping distance of the rooftop, he readied himself as he waited for Tammy to continue along its path. Tammy looked back one last time and smiled to herself confidently, believing that she had lost him in the thick of the chase, since she hadn't looked back to see him since she'd climbed to the roof of the first apartment. As she began to slow her stride, Phillip backed up, preparing with a running start and took off to the edge of the roof, propelling himself through the air wildly. He'd measured his distance and momentum wisely, landing directly on the path of the walkway with just a bit of extra force that was stopped by the rail he used to steady himself against when he landed. Tammy jumped in surprise at the sight of him.
Phillip smiled and walked toward her slowly as she lifted the gun to his face with obvious hesitation.
"You can't kill me, Tammy," he muttered softly as he knocked the gun into the air with his elbow and watched as it landed behind her. Tammy countered with a vicious strike to the face, sending Phillip tripping over his feet and tumbling against the rail left of him. He hadn't expected her to deliver a blow with that much clout. As soon as his awareness began to return, his vision repaired itself revealing Tammy, who swung her leg in the direction of his head. He leaned back carefully, dodging her foot, which slipped right through the opening in the rail. As she pulled it back, Phillip grabbed hold of it with both hands and held it tightly while Tammy hopped on her right foot, her balance jolted by the sudden apprehension. Phillip tossed her leg up freely and watched as she lost her balance and fell onto the concrete walkway with full force. While she lay there incapacitated, Phillip pulled himself up with the rail and sprinted towards the gun that lay just out of Tammy's reach. Just as Phillip stepped over her, she brought her fist up and hammered it onto Phillip's groin. Phillip doubled over in pain, but his head was now exposed, leading Tammy to grab hold of his cranium and jam her fist right into his nose.
Phillip leaned back and grabbed his face while Tammy scrambled to her feet and chased after the pistol. She leaned down and scooped it into her grip, then turned back in Phillip's direction, firing two shots toward the sky. Phillip watched as she hopped over the rail to the right of him and stepped down the hill that led to the street beside the corporate building and towards a four-story parking deck. Phillip hopped over the rail after her, confused at her intentions behind firing the gun into the air randomly.
As soon as Phillip and Tammy plowed into the empty parking deck area, the reason became apparent. Several low growls echoed throughout the structure and were accompanied by many more. Neither of them slowed their stride, although it had become evident that Tammy had set the mark on the both of them for the horde to follow. Tammy spotted an elevator at one end of the parking deck and pressed the button quickly. As soon as she did, the doors slid open and she stepped through, hitting one of the floors on the inside. Just as Phillip emerged into her view, the doors began to close. Phillip launched forward but met the hard silver steel of the elevator doors as it lifted her to the top floor of the parking deck. How did she know the elevator would work? he thought.
Before he could draw a conclusion, however, he felt a hand on his shoulder and reacted swiftly. He brought the back of his elbow onto the face of the zombie behind him and shattered its nose, sending it to the ground. There were more following it and he needed to keep moving. He spotted a door that led to a stairwell right by the elevator and burst through it, taking it three steps at a time as he climbed closer and closer to the roof of the parking deck....
When he reached the top, he plowed through the roof door, sweating profusely and panting so heavily that it could have been mistaken for dry heaving. In his fatigued state, Phillip spotted Tammy, leaning over the edge of the roof as she looked down onto the streets below. Phillip walked towards her quickly but tried his best not to make much noise in order to increase his chances of getting the jump on her. When he was within five feet of her, she turned toward him slowly with a look of determination and pressence that informed him that she had known he was there the entire time. Phillip stopped in his tracks. In one swift move, she lifted the gun into the air and fired one last shot, which he knew would only draw more attention. In the same movement, she hopped onto the top of the parking deck's border and tossed herself off the side. Phillip's eyes grew wide as he watched her plummet to her death. He sprinted toward the location she'd dropped from and peered over the side, only to find that she had disappeared and there was no sign of her pressence in the area whatsoever. Where the hell could she have gone?
A bang echoed behind him. Phillip turned to see dozens of zombies staggering out of the stairwell he'd just entered from and headed in his direction. He was now trapped on the top of an abandoned parking deck with no means of protection. Now he was approximately 89% fucked.
He needed to come up with something and fast. He peered over the side of the roof once again and measured the length in between each level of the parking deck. I may just make it out of this, he thought to himself. This would be a risky move, but anything was better than being mauled and eaten by a pack of rabid humans. Without looking back, Phillip tossed himself over the side, keeping hold of the ledge tightly as he measured the distance once again. On second thought, maybe this is a bad idea, he thought. No more thinking. Phillip let go of the ledge and allowed himself fall. As soon as the parking deck floor below him came into view, he reached out and grabbed the ledge right by it. The force of the sudden stop jolted him violently, causing him to wince in pain. His fingers stung as they dug into the concrete border that surrounded the third level of the parking deck. He readied himself once again. Two more to go. He let go of the ledge again and allowed himself to fall until the next ledge was within reach. However, his calculations were slightly off. Instead of equalizing his weight by grabbing the ledge with both hands, he caught it with the strength of his right arm. As a result, his left arm swung to his side and he could feel his right shoulder pop out of place.
Phillip screamed in anguish and gravity clawed its talons into his arm more and more, sending violent surges of pain through it until he could no longer keep hold of the ledge. Phillip let go and descended two stories below, plummeting onto a collection of shrubberies that were luckily growing along the bottom floor of the parking deck. Phillip rolled off of them and manuevered himself to his feet, sprinting from the scene as his eyes darted back to the vigilant zombies that stared down at him from the top of the parking deck. Surveying the rest of the deck, Phillip could see that he wasn't in the clear yet; There were more spilling out of the bottom floor and across the shrubberies that he'd landed on. Phillip turned and dashed into the road holding his injured arm aimlessly and searching for a safe haven but with the gunshot drawing in even more zombies from around the block, Phillip soon found that he was slowly being closed off in all directions and surrounded by the crowd of infected.
Out of the distance, a car's screeching tires echoed throughout the cityscape. Phillip's ears perked at the sound. Anyone that knew how to operate a car had to be uninfected. As soon as he realized this, a grey van spun across the road down the block and into Phillip's view, turning widely as it raced in his direction. Phillip waved his non-dislocated arm through the air wildly and jumped up and down to differentiate himself from the rest of the zombies and prove that he was human. At the sight of the figure in the road, the van spun to its side and skidded to a stop narrowly colliding with him. Phillip jumped in when van door slid open and he was greeted by Siobhan's unkempt but smiling face as she pulled him inside the van. He returned it and closed the door behind him.
"Holy shit, am I happy to see you guys," he said collapsing onto the floor of the van right in front of Sid, who sat with his leg out of the way, applying pressure to his thigh to ease the pain. He turned to Phillip with a weak but valid smile.
"Bro," he said warmly, giving him a high five, which Phillip returned. Bea floored the pedal once again and turned the van back onto the road with several zombified figures standing right in the path to be plowed out of the way like bowling pins. Phillip turned and spotted her, his smile slowly disappearing.
"Thanks for that back there," Phillip said to the group, but made sure most of his attention was directed to Bea.
She turned back quickly and answered him. "Yeah, no problem," she said kindly but just as quickly turned her eyes back to the road.
"You totally owe us now, you know that, right?" Siobhan asked playfully, rubbing her fingers in through her hair as she relaxed from the sudden comotion.
"I know, I totally do. That would not have ended well if you guys hadn't have shown up. What happened to your leg, man?"
"I have absolutely no clue," Sid shrugged, staring at the wound, which was soaking Siobhan's t-shirt and warping it from light blue to dark purple. "I was stepping into the van and next thing I know, my leg is halfway sliced off."
"Maybe you cut it on a loose pipe or something from the van."
"That wouldn't make sense, I would have seen it. I fucking hope I'm not infected."
"I'm sure its nothing, Sid, you shouldn't worry about it," Bea assured him from the driver's seat.
"Just...just get me to a store or something so I can cauterize this thing. Maybe that'll stop whatever infection might be spreading."
"Cauterize?" Siobhan repeated with surprise.
"Yeah, Cauterize. Its when you burn the flesh to stop bacteria from"-
"I know what it is, but why would you want to do that?"
"Because I don't see a valid hospital anywhere around here and I don't want it to get infected, with the Flu or otherwise. You've seen the tattoos on my back; I can take the pain. It can't be much different."
Siobhan sighed and exchanged looks of uncertainty with Phillip. "Sure, whatever you say. I just don't think its going to be the most comfortable thing in the world is all."
"Why would you be concerned about me being comfortable?" Sid asked with a smirk. "You're not starting to care about me, are you?"
Siobhan gave him a look of confusion. "What are you talking about? I've always cared about you."
The smile slid from Sid's face awkwardly. "Y-you did?"
"Yeah, of course. I mean, you're my friend, why wouldn't I care about you?"
Sid quickly nodded and rubbed the back of his head oafishly. "Friend, yeah. I mean, yeah, that makes sense, I guess. I mean I....I care about you too and stuff...."
Siobhan squinted with confusion as she looked at Sid, who smiled awkwardly. Phillip had the same confused look but smirked as he looked back and forth between the two of them.
"Okay, well," he said softly, setting himself onto his knees. "I'm going to move up to the front if you guys don't mind since there's more room up there."
"No, go ahead," Siobhan said, as he got up and sat in the seat directly beside Bea, grasping hold of his dislocated shoulder tightly as the bounce onto the seat sent a surge of pain through it. Bea noticed the sudden shock and gave him a strange look.
"You okay?" she asked sincerely.
"Yeah, yeah, I'm fine," he reassured her. She shrugged and looked back at the road. Phillip looked over at her and gazed her up and down before looking back in front of him again. Without even realizing it, he repeated himself and sized her up several times over with the same routine, looking back and forth between her and the road. Eventually, she realized what he was doing and turned to him curiously, catching his eye. He smiled weakly and quickly looked back at the road, not wanting to even imagine what kind of pathetic look she'd given him when he turned away from her.
Sid's screams echoed throughout the back kitchen through the massive rag that had been tied around his mouth and behind his head. He bit down on it with all his might and shut his eyes tightly, gritting through the massive pain that the steel rod brought to his leg wound. Siobhan applied the seering hot slab of metal to it, having heated it with a rotary oven located in the back of the Italian Pizzeria that they had now chosen to hold themselves up in. Sid's shirt was off and he laid on his stomach on a long metal table with wheels on the bottom, being systematically but willingly tortured into healing his leg. Sid's screams could be heard from the eating area outside where the food would normally be brought out to the patrons and paying customers. The restaurant itself wasn't one of the fancy business string restaurants that were owned by the corporate moguls of the town. It was a general Ma and Pa store, which was a rare sight in such a regular town like Ocean Valley. Family-owned stores were an endangered business avenue. It was a shame that the place was abandoned, but the screams that could be heard from Sid assured Phillip and Beatrice that they would most likely not be visiting this place on the surface for a meal any time soon without reliving these disconcerting memories.
"Come on, take it like a man, you pussy!" Siobhan shouted with encouraging intentions, holding Sid's leg down with one bloody hand and applying the hot metal rod with the other. Sid pulled and teared at his shirt, which was balled up in his hands and his fingers were noticeably paler from the amount of blood flow he was cutting off from his constant grasping.
Back in the eating area, Phillip sat on one of the tables directly in front of Bea, listening to the show Sid was giving them from the back of the kitchen.
"He's really got some windpipes on him, doesn't he?" Phillip said with a smirk, listening to Sid's shrieks of pain.
"Yeah," Bea laughed, leaning back in her chair. "I keep telling him he'd do great in a Screamo band if he really tried."
Phillip chuckled. "Hey, you sing for a band, don't you?"
"Yeah, I'm the lead singer of this local band called the Unorthadocks. Siobhan plays drums for us."
"What kind of music do you guys do?"
"Some weird fusion of Jazz and Metal, I don't know. We suck anyway."
"I'm sure its not that bad."
Bea nodded with wide eyes and a grin. "You should hear us. I don't write the music, I just sing. I wish I could write music. Then we wouldn't sound like shit and get booed at every show."
"Well, I mean," Phillip started awkwardly. "I kind of write music sometimes. I just can't sing it. Maybe I could write a song or two to help you guys out."
Bea cringed. "I don't think Tyler would like that very much. He's our guitarist and the guy who founded the band. He gets pretty anal when outside sources try to get in on our stuff, but he's really just a stubborn asshole who doesn't want to admit the fact that this whole venture is a failure. Seriously, I really could be investing my time into better things....like finding a job."
"I hear you," Phillip nodded. "I mean, I have a job, but I know its difficult just trying to find anything these days."
"What do you do?"
"I'm a Pizza Delivery Boy," he said, shrugging with his good side and pointing upward. "Coincidentally. I don't work here, but I deliver pizzas from the Domino's on Erikson Boulevard."
"Oh so you have some experience with pizzas," Bea said with a smile. "Maybe you can help us whip something up in the back while we camp through this zombie thing."
"Well I do have a little bit of experience, so I think I can get something out of it, maybe," He replied, chuckling. This was the first time the two had been able to have a real conversation in....ever. The two barely knew each other, despite the massive amount of rumors and largely fabricated mess of a "relationship history" the students slapped together for them following the "Woodrow Incident."
The two sat in silence for a brief moment before Phillip reached up and grabbed his arm again, cringing in pain.
"Something wrong?" Bea asked worriedly.
"I'm fine I just....dislocated my shoulder a few minutes before you came. I've been massaging it but its not working."
"Yeah, you've got to pop it back into place," she said, standing up. "You want me to help you?"
"Please," he said, standing up from the table as well and turning his arm toward her.
"This isn't going to feel good"-
"I already know. I've done Parkour for four years. I've dislocated my joints more times than an old action figure."
Bea laughed as she placed her arm on the source of the bone's dislodging. "That's funny. My brother is into Parkour too, so I'm pretty much an expert at this from helping him out. Are you ready?"
"Yeah," Phillip said, bracing himself for it.
"One....two...." as soon as she reached two, she brought all of her force onto his shoulder bone and popped the top of his arm back into place. Phillip jolted at the sound of the loud crack and the pain that followed, gritting his teeth through it. When it was over, he put one hand on his shoulder and rotated his arm in a circular motion until he felt that everything was back in place again.
"Thanks a lot for that," he said warmly.
"No problem," Bea nodded. She then turned and headed for the door that led back into the kitchen. "I'm going to go check up on the others."
"Okay," he said, as he watched her turn to exit the room. Before she went through, she turned back around to him with curious eyes.
"Um," she started awkwardly, avoiding eye contact at first. "Hey, I was just wondering....have I, um....offended you in some way or something?"
"What?" Phillip said with confusion. "No, why would you think that?"
"I don't know, I just felt that....you know things were awkward between us....a little while back."
Phillip shrugged with a bit of awkward tention as well, realizing what she was referring to. "Its sort of always been awkward, since we don't really know each other like that."
"Yeah well....I mean, there was that whole thing....I've heard stuff....you know what, nevermind." Bea stopped herself and shook her head. "I'm just making it ten times more awkward, I'm sorry."
"Its okay," Phillip said, smiling. "No harm done."
"I'm just....going to go," she said, turning and heading uncouthly into the kitchen, leaving Phillip with a thousand tiny thoughts swimming in his head as he sat back onto the table and sighed deeply.