(Please feel free to use the following links to catch up on past chapters!
Sam’s voice continued the broadcast, alerting everyone in Flake City who was listening of the newest developments in the zombie outbreak.
“If you are preparing to take shelter at one of the churches, make other plans.” Sam said into the microphone, her voice tired from the broadcasting, yet still trying to be animated. “I have received calls from three of the area churches, all of which are being overwhelmed, and are no longer safe. I have not heard from the remaining churches we had been in contact with, so it is safe to assume they may also be at capacity or being overtaken by these zombies.” Sam took a breath, the horror of her last call still replaying in her ears.
“Flake City, it is scary out there. If you are safe, stay there. No shelter seems to be safe and if they are the safe seems to turn in a moment. The only remaining places I have heard from are ones that stopped taking people and barricaded themselves in. I have no idea how anyone will fare for supplies. We have bad weather coming, and frankly, I would wait until the storm hits, it may slow them down a bit. The temperatures could be below freezing for days, which can leave any human exposed to the elements, frozen. The zombies are moving, quickly, right now, all around us, so I would suggest everyone stay safe and seeing how far you can stretch your supplies. Even if you only have a couple of cans of chili you don’t love and some rice, stay safe. If there was ever a time for a ramen type diet, it is now. Save and store water and make sure you have a way to stay heated. I have used every form of communication I have, between every break, and I have yet to receive any word back from the government, other than they are aware of our situation, and we are in quarantine. They won’t even answer questions and if pressed, hang up.”
Sam was mad, still was, about her many unanswered phone calls, which had made the ones that were answered, that much more heart breaking and anger inducing.
“All the shelters are overran or closed, the hospital is overran, the TV station is overran, the clinics are overran, the churches are overran, the campus is mostly overran, except for a few spots that are still holding out, shout out to my Zed Head House.” Sam hit a sound FX button that cued cheering crowd sounds and forced herself forward. “If anyone out there has any zombie information or information that others may find helpful, from lore or life, give me a call,” Sam gave the number, before putting the music back on.
Kaya was exhausted, so after she ate, she smoked a joint, grateful she could at least roll a joint, and drank another soda before passing out. Kaya knew sleeping with a bladder that would wake her in an hour would be the best way to keep herself from sleeping too deeply while the zombies were active, until she could sit more alertly and sort out her next plan.
Kaya fell asleep and dozed while across the city, the zombies took control. Until now, some parts of the city, like where Chloe lives, (who Kaya doesn’t know but you, the reader, and me, Roxy, the Narrator, do) had been able to ignore the destruction, but by now, it seemed nearly everyone knew the zombies had begun to wage their war on the living.
Back across town, Sam pushed away from her broadcasting desk, with a disgusted grunt, and made her way to the kitchen. Not only had the government not sent the city back up, the military had shot at people who had tried to escape. Sam didn’t know how to tell people that.
Well, Sam had an idea, but it probably wasn’t the best.
On top of all this, the TV station, the one that blasted the radio stations ratings and kept stealing the attention of the gullible public, had fallen incredibly quickly, and all the cameras inside, in whatever condition they were in, were in that building, far from any human to use…All of this meaning the damn TV station had once again gotten in the way of actual reporting by not doing their job. Sam was irate, choosing to be mad at something she was always mad at versus all the unfamiliar stuff that made her shake with fear and anger.
People had called in, wanting to see video footage, but so far, she hadn’t had access to anything.
Other than rude government workers who finally hung up on her.
“You are being reclassified. F Class.” And a disconnected line.
The outrage. The Audacity. “Typical Government.” Sam muttered.
Sam made a fresh pot of coffee, anger fueling her as she tried to think of what to do next.
When Sam’s coffee finished she filled a mug with the strong coffee that had fueled her to this point. It was early morning, not yet noon, and she was exhausted. Being the only DJ was normally easier, because you normally had more time to sleep and sometimes had extra people there to at least handle other parts of the radio station like the broadcasting and mixing equipment, the weather station,or at least field phone calls.
But this time was so different from last time, when the emergency had only been bad weather. No, now they had zombies and also a massive winter storm brewing and Sam wanted so badly to close her eyes for longer than twenty minutes. Sam had to do her own research, a fresh notebook page sat open, ready for the next round of it.
“If only the damn TV station had stayed up.” Sam irritably said. She may hate them, but Sam knew the TV station would provide her with another resource, and the survivors in the city would have more resources too.
Sam was always the first one to rail against the evils of TV, insisting the world would be better off if more people listened to their news.
“Beyond the subtleties of nuance, it is a matter of productivity. You can read a book while you listen to the news, but watching the news, and its dependency on visuals, keeps the people dumb. Why else do they go out of their way to keep radio stations out of here?”
Sam, as well as Kaya, knew something many other people in the city did not know. All radio stations that served the city of over 100,000 people were located outside of the city limits. M.E.T.A. Radio was the only radio station inside the city that served the city, and the news station was the only broadcasting station they had, other than the mostly defunct campus tv station.
The campus TV station had mostly been absorbed by the main TV station, working with the college students on an intern basis, the television broadcasting students rarely got airtime or experience, with “the day to day operations of a professional news station” taking up all the resources that should have been given to the students. The company in charge who worked “with” the university, claimed it would allow for more comprehensive education, but in reality it led to the same professionals always being on air, and the students only ever learning a handful of, nearly exclusively off camera, skills needed to run a station. Tech skills, sure, that would help them get jobs in similar industries, but never grow other skills, and no one wishing to be in front of the camera, had a chance to.
All of this compounded to the current issue at hand. They needed to get footage of the zombies, so maybe, just maybe, they could get footage out, to the world outside, because obviously, Flake City had been left to be quarantined and likely forgotten, instead of helped. They needed proof of what was happening, but the few students who had taken up residency in the shell of the broadcast studio on campus, were mostly holed up in a small room inside the building, but the building itself was not secure, they had no weapons, and all recording gear was in the film studio news station, crawling with zombies and in questionable condition.
So, as far as news collection went, Sam was depending on anything she could see from her smoker’s perch, or other windows around the studio, and on called in reports from listeners. With a heavy sigh, Sam blew out her smoke, and looked up towards to sky as her thoughts wondered.
And not everyone listened to radio, it seemed. In fact, it appeared much of the city, including emergency personnel, did not, as they kept making tons of noise and drawing the attention of the ravenous zombies that were once their neighbors, despite Sam having reported this being a terrible idea by three AM.
Sam returned to the broadcasting room, fearful of migrating too far from it for too long, a weird, only slightly illogical, fear that came from being the sole person responsible for all the equipment.
Sam needed help, an extra set of hands and eyes, hell, just another voice, if she was going to keep this up, and with the anticipated storm, she would be locked there for a while, without help, unless a listener somehow made it through a throng of zombies that surrounded the radio station, after making it past the hordes of infected that had gathered everywhere, taking to the streets, searching for their human food source.
Sam mused this, while queuing up some more music. Sam had been able to download some fun snippets from zombie movies that either had iconic quotes like “Then we go to the Winchester and wait for this whole thing to die down” or contained survival tips from popular zombie culture, including “The Double- Tap” and “Cardio”. Sam mixed some of these sound bites in-between each song she had selected, and her prerecorded emergency in Flake City message, and then grabbed her coffee and made her way outside for, yet another pick-me-up hand rolled spliff.
Outside, the wind had picked up, and Sam regretted not packing more warm weather clothing, not that she had pulled much winter clothing out from storage, and not that she had much winter clothing stored away to begin with, other than some gloves, scarf and a thick jacket. Sam was notorious for not trading out her hoody and summer jacket until Christmas, so she hadn’t even thought of pulling her winter gear out so shortly after Thanksgiving. Putting her back to the wind, Sam lit a spliff, grateful Damian had been able to deliver yesterday evening, and already wishing she had ordered more, based on how things were going.
Sam had a small bag of weed and, mercifully, with two large bags of tobacco stashed away, which joined her small stash of food, but Sam was already worried about riding out the storm without more supplies, more so with zombies crawling everywhere, making a quick supply run impossible.
“Rationing my food will only get me so far.” Sam moaned, annoyed once more at the lack of consideration the government had given them. Sam had sent out word, to the help line they had finally given her to report emergencies, about her lack of food supplies, before finally adding that she couldn’t maintain the telescope if she starved to death, in hopes that someone would at least try and arrange supply drops for them.
Sam had seen a show in which they had quarantined a city due to an infection, and they had dropped supplies in…as far as Sam could tell there would be less than 1,000 people in the over 100,000 population, still alive, so a few healthy cargo trunks full of supplies could go a long way.
Sam also knew that some people had been successful, able to get in and loot food and supplies, but also knew that other survivors were starting to hold up inside of those stores, as their own homes were overtaken by zombies. Survivors taking over store fronts to guarantee their own survival, would of course limit the survivalbility of others, so Sam was planning on doing a segment about the ins and outs of looting, including segments about ethics and courtesy when looting.
Sam’s take was “Don’t stop others from getting supplies they need.” But knew that people in town who had guns, and believed themselves to be more entitled to supplies they didn’t own because they had gotten the idea to steal it and secure it first, would likely not agree with her. Still, Sam had an entire radio station of content to create on her own now, and survival was likely the only topic anyone would care about, so, Sam was taking notes for the segment, while trying to figure out how to get her own supplies, when she needed to single handedly (wo)man the radio station.
Sam was grateful for the supplies she did have, including the work fridge with had a healthy assortment of leftovers that Sam had opted to eat through before getting to the canned and dried goods in the pantry.
Sam was luckier than most, she knew, having talked to some listeners.
While two of the houses of Greek row were holding strong, and were actually working together to survive, the other two had already started to fall, or had fallen, starting first with the Alpha Sig’s and now, their sister sorority was desperately trying to board up their broken into house, having been breached by zombies twice already, the house was only really surviving at all due to Sarah, a former member, who had already disclosed to Sam that she planned on making a break for one of the other two houses, having a few friends there willing to let her in. It was a sinking ship to stay there, and Sarah didn’t want to die in the sorority house known for housing the richest and most annoying of the Greek system of the university of Flake City.
The downfall of both houses had been a lack of food and defense. The ladies had some food, but nothing to defend themselves, with tons of beautiful windows. Zombies broke in easily, vigilance was a must, and the food they had on hand was mostly fresh fruits and vegetables.
All of this didn’t matter, some “bad guys” had apparently broken in, in an attempt to loot their house. The guys had been eaten, along with a few girls, before a few of the sisters and people taking refuge in their house, had been able to secure the house, a little, once more.
Everyone was hiding upstairs with the few supplies they could get, and the stairs were blocked off, the upstairs windows being too high to be easily broken by the hungry zombies on the ground.
The frat didn’t have any food, and was low on beer, so several guys took off on a supplies run. Very few came back, and all came back bitten or injured. One, however, didn’t turn, didn’t even get sick, which opened the conversation up to some people being immune.
“Some people being immune to the bite will mean better odds of survival.” Sam had discussed last night, with plans to continue the discussion today, including hearing from those same survivors, assuming some had survived the night.
Sam had thought keeping people company at night would be important, because things were always scarier at night, but these zombies seemed to be much more active during the day.
Sam, having returned outside, looked down as she inhaled some more of her smoke. Below, zombies ran around, chasing anything they saw or thought they heard, while others banged on any surface they could, trying to find food.
The day time, it would seem, was scarier, at least that seemed to be the news of the day, with Sam getting more and more reports of problems starting as soon as the sun started to rise.
Homes, apartments, just about anything on the bottom floor was now completely forfeit to the zombies. Sam hoped there were still a few houses that hadn’t fallen to the zombies. Sam knew, for example, that the richer, nicer houses closest to the country club and yacht club by the water, all have nice, beautiful fences, and lived in a gated community, so while some homes had fallen, Sam hoped a few others had been smart enough to lock up their homes and hunker down.
“Of course, this is all assuming the military that is patrolling didn’t shoot them dead.” Sam muttered angrily. Sam had also received a couple calls last night from a couple who had managed to get to their home near the water, and when they got to their boat, were told they would be shot if they left the marina.
“They have mounted guns, mounted guns on their fucking military transport boats. Said if we so much as look like we may leave the marina they would blow us all sky high. We are going to regroup at home and see if we should stay there or the boat. Zombies don’t swim, but we don’t want to be around the military in case they do start shooting…” The female’s voice had drifted off before adding “The Bridge was covered in bodies.” She had whispered, horrified from the memories of the bodies.
“They have no plans of letting people leave then, it would seem.”
“We have no way of detecting and stopping infection and therefore cannot risk the world.” Flake City had been told by the authorities.
Meanwhile, Flake City had no authorities left to try and keep them safe, because it seemed that none of them listened to radio and the news station had fallen and none of the stations outside of Flake could even know about this isolated event. If a reporter did, they had a security clearance that guaranteed they wouldn’t tell anyone else about Flake City for fear of losing it.
Communications were heavily throttled, and other than the little snippets Sam had gotten and the snippets she got from the couple who dealt with the military, she knew very little.
Sam shook her head, watching the zombies below as they fought, searching for food and shuddered. Nursing what was left of her spliff, Sam pulled open the weather closet door and checked some of the read outs, noticing that despite the rising run, the temperature was going down, fast, a sure sign that the cold front was coming.
Sam flicked the remnants of her spliff, stretched her limbs, and waved to the zombies before heading inside once more to check on the broadcast.
At the chalk board Sam used for ideas and notes, Sam made notes of possible discussions and tips for the next talking segment of the radio show and began to collect the notes she had taken on a yellow legal pad she had scavenged from a desk.
-Don’t be a dick and keep others from things they need
-Can anyone bring supplies to the radio station.
-Get warm clothing out of storage now in case you have to ru
-Have some supplies ready to grab in case you have relocate.
-Water and food. Remember we will have snow for gathering, melting, and purifying, soon. Wood will be a premium item when weather gets cold.
-We are very alone
-Government will kill anyone who tries to escape- DO NOT ATTEMPT TO ESCAPE.
-Help is unlikely- So don’t depend on it (don’t even hope for it).
-Communications are throttled- But feel free to keep trying to get the word out
-Seem to move faster during the day- Not very nocturnal.
-React strongly to sound and will follow sounds- So stay quiet
-Only seem interested in eating (and yes, they eat humans no reports of animals)
-Definitely are not your friends/family anymore- no matter how much they loved you.
Note To Self- Future broadcasts
– “How to break the fucked-up news”- Work in progress
-“Zombie Observations”- Taking submissions
Sam looked over these notes while sipping her coffee, wondering when the storm was going to hit, hoping her theory of freezing temperatures freezing zombies was accurate.
“Because now would be a bad time for your zombie theories to be wrong.” Sam muttered as she flicked her pen around her thumb and continued her notes. Sam hadn’t heard from Kaya since the night before…and Sam knew Kaya’s apartment was now a smoldering pile of rubble. Sam shook this concern from her head, but the worry sat in her gut, and she took a deep breath before speaking into her microphone.
“This concludes our power hour of rock, I hope it gave you the motivation you needed, and helped you power through this long morning of zombie hell. We are now approaching the noon-o-clock hour, and the zombie activity around me is noticeable. It seems they are much more active during the day, something we will continue to monitor and discuss later tonight. Please remember we have time for everyone to be a part of the radio show tonight, and every night this goes on. For anyone asking for more information, the only information I have is what I have said out loud, and the weather. Normally we receive breaking news updates about politics, issues around the world, etc, but I have not received any updates since this began. Apologies for any listeners who wanted other news. It’s just zombies, and cold weather warnings, also we do music. So, let’s get back to the music!”
Sam had a prerecorded message she was playing between each song, assuring people that the radio station was still broadcasting, and offering helpful tips to avoid infection, so she placed this between each song she was queuing up, and returned to her laptop, now researching zombie survival tips for her listeners, and trying to reach out to anyone who would be able to respond.
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