Hours later, when Kaya woke, she traded places with Sam, who rarely slept more than three hours, and riding on all the sleep she had received the night before, was bouncing up and awake after a short three hour power nap.
“Takes time, but I think we can figure out how to make sure we all get six hours of sleep a day, maybe more.” Kaya said as the three joined together to plan their time together. Outside, storm continued to rage, with no sun insight, and no ability to track what time it was without clocks. They couldn’t even see if the zombies were active, because the storm was raging so hard.
And rage, the storm did.
Sam and Kaya made some coffee and some breakfast, while Wes worked on digging another path to the weather room on the balcony, so Sam could supply more weather information to the radio.
It was slow work, what Wes was doing, but he had been waiting for the two of them to start talking, smoking, and doing their thing, so he could try and use some of his energy manipulation magic to move the snow and clear a path for them, but he wasn’t feeling comfortable doing it in front of them, for fear of if it worked, but also if it didn’t.
Sam and Kaya sorted food and coffee, talking about going through more of the research Moria was willing to send over, in addition to what they had received. Technically, the information was classified and only Moria had high enough credentials, but with everything going on in Flake City, credentials seemed like a silly thing to get hung up on.
“It may get pretty boring around here, if we don’t find a way to pass time.” Kaya said as they made their plans for the day.
“We can get some books, iuno, maybe some playing cards or something, may help keep us entertained.” Sam suggested.
“I have a pack of cards in my bag.” Kaya offered. “Some books, hell, even a board game would be fun. We found enough alcohol to make about any game a little fun.”
Sam laughed. “Yeah, I think I saw a game of Risk down there or something.”
“And I have that compound bow from the apartments, we can set up targets and play with that, just gather our own arrows after each round.” Kaya suggested, spotting the bow in its place by the couch.
Sam agreed this was a good idea, in case they were attacked, and in a suspiciously short period of time, Wes reported back that the snow was cleared from the balcony. He was shivering, so Sam wordlessly handed him some coffee, and the three soon saw the entire balcony had been swept clean of snow.
“I’ll go up to the roof later, sweep off the panels.” Wes told them, sipping the coffee while they surveyed the suspiciously clean balcony.
“Wow. Major improvement from yesterday.” Sam said, holding her jacket around her tightly as she looked over the edge. Snow was piled up, high all over the place. The buildings are hard to even identify in the mounds of snow. “But holy fuck this is a lot of snow.” Sam said.
Kaya approached, eyeing the sky, with its angry dark clouds that were moving in, with it, more thunder, lightening, and, presumably, snow. “This is insane.” The clouds were rolling in, more snow and ice coming, to dump more onto the giant piles. Already, they couldn’t distinguish some buildings, from all the snow that had piled up, on top of buildings. When Kaya leaned over the edge, she could see a fire that was slowly dwindling down. Around the city, the group could see some small fire, from their spot.
The balcony was pretty long, curving along much of the building, and surprisingly, Wes had been able to mysteriously clear all the snow from it, so they could walk. Small trails of smoke rose from what looked like piles of snow.
Some of the fires looked to be coming from power outages whereas some seemed to be from fireplaces, so it was safe to assume that Flake City still had survivors.
“Some people survived the first wave of it.” Sam said, pointing to a few of the fires.
“Yeah. Looks like more will be here soon. Wind’s already gusting up, trying to bring more storm to us.” Wes replied sipping his hot coffee.
“Yeah, and you know how these storms are.” Kaya said, searching the angry dark clouds. “It will rage for a while.”
Sam heard the phone ringing, and raced inside, while Kaya eyed Wes carefully, wondering how he could have possibly gotten all the snow swept away, but shrugged and looked inside. Sam clutched the phone in her hand, and looked worried.
“Uh oh.” Kaya said, looking into the window.
“That doesn’t look good.” Wes said, following Kaya inside.
“Okay, uh, wow. Okay. So, how smart are we talking here?”
Kaya listened, carefully, wondering if they were talking about the zombie they had seen outside.
“They just…got out? If they could do that how are you safe?” Sam asked, then listened intently to the person speaking. “uh huh…wow… Yeah.” Sam was jotting notes now on her notepad, her messy handwriting flying across the page in a shorthand she had developed over the years in school and in radio reporting. “Okay. Yeah. How many? Jeeeezus.” Sam listened for another moment. “Yeah I think a phone tree is good. I am going to put up a message. You need to stay safe. Can you guys get anywhere?”
Kaya tried to read over Sam’s shoulder, but couldn’t make out much. “Med Zeds” Kaya read.
Sam nodded and mouthed “Oh my fucking god!” before turning back to the phone. “Yeah. I think you should. They know you are there. They may come back. You should run. More so if we do this. I know they may be on the prowl…maybe they can meet you? Well…think about it. Just…I don’t know. I would get somewhere safe, soon.”
Sam finished her conversation, and then hung up the phone.
“We have an issue.” Sam said, racing to her radio equipment.
“What is a Med Zed?” Asked Kaya.
Sam smiled. “I think it’s clever. There are zombies out there, kind of like that one that you described, the smart one? I don’t know if it’s as smart or not…but…so all the zombies locked inside the drawers in the morgue? And the deep freeze? They all…uh…Got out.”
“What?” Wes asked.
“Yeah.” Sam said flicking some switches. “They apparently decided to spare the two hiding in the morgue, I don’t get all that, and the person I was talking to didn’t either…but a whole herd of these smarter zombies, zombies who can work together and think to solve problems like getting out of locked morgue drawers, are loose in Flake City.”
Kaya immediately went into the room they had been living out of, and grabbed her container of wax, her dab tool, and dab rig, before scooping up her torch and returning to the broadcasting room. “Continue.” Kaya said, the idea of zombies able to think and reason was scary. The zombie they had dealt with had been scary, and she simply seemed able to think a little, and speak… They really didn’t know HOW scary she could be…but a whole horde of zombies smart enough to work together to get out of a locked drawer and locked deep freezer…
“I thought you said you thought they would freeze?” Asked Kaya, as she loaded what most would consider to be an obscene amount of wax onto her dab tool and heated the banger.
“I’m sure they will, if they haven’t already, why do you say that?”
“They have been “chilled” for days and were still able to work together to get out…What if they are impervious to the cold? What if all the zombies are, and they are just needing to climb through the snow to get to us?”
Sam stopped dead. “That snow would lead them up here.”
“I’ll take this dab, and I guess we will need to start boarding things up… no way to move all that snow that they could climb up…maybe they can’t get through the snow, I mean, they would have to be like worms, the ones buried at the bottom, right?”
Sam shuddered, and braced herself for the broadcast by rolling one of her spliffs, knowing perfectly could and well she would need it after delivering the news.
“Hello again, survivors of Flake City, this is Sam, your DJ though the apocalypse, and I have an update that pertains to our immediate survival, so put down the beer and perk up your ears.” Sam took a breath. “We have word of zombies, zombies that seem smarter than other zombies. We have heard of one zombie talking, using words, but these zombies, these zombies are able to not only speak, but some, we don’t know how many in total, but at least 50 or more, were able to break themselves out of the locked storage at the morgue. These zombies, these medical center zombies, Med Zeds,if you will, are fast, can think and reason, can break down barricades, get through doors, and basically…I don’t know what else.” Sam fell silent. Kaya wanted to help her, but Sam recovered quickly enough. “So…this is all new information for me, but I highly urge everyone stay quiet, don’t draw any attention to yourself, barricade yourself in the best way possible, and stay armed. If they can think…if they can reason…there is no telling what they could do.” Sam paused. “I have to make sure the station stays secure, and listeners, I advise you do the same.” With that, Sam put on some more music, interspersed with the safety messages she had recorded, and slipped off her headphones
“I’m going to go take some readings, this all happened twenty minutes or so. On foot, they shouldn’t be able to get here fast, but we need to move. Need to secure everything, fast as we can, and take the readings before we can’t go out there again.” Sam left, with Kaya following, carrying a baseball bat, and the two made it outside to take the readings.
Kaya, upon seeing Wes, handed him the bat, and returned inside to go through the bits of wood and furniture Wes had been bringing up in his spare time. Kaya nearly felt bad, upon seeing how much Wes had been bringing up, but she had a hunch Wes was working through his own shit, so she didn’t want to make too big a deal out of it. There were also several desks and tables that could be repurposed and used for barricades, although they had to be careful with how they did it, as they didn’t have tons of nails to anything to secure boards to walls. Kaya moved quickly, making sure whatever she could secure, without locking Sam and Wes outside, was done, and when the two returned inside, Kaya barricaded the door as well. Wes went downstairs to double check all the fortifications they had made there, the only access point was firmly barricaded, with each door barricaded, as well. The group knew they were fairly safe, simply because the elevator couldn’t be accessed with out the code and keys and, when the three of them were up there, they had taken to turning the elevator to what was essentially off, keeping it locked in place.
Wes check every place he had explored thus far, and a few he had only been to once to barricade, when he, Sam and Kaya had come down to gather supplies and barricade it all up. Wes then went up to the roof, and with a few pushes of energy, cleared off the top of the building. Wes wished he knew how to protect the building with magic, or to help them stay safe, but he was glad for the work he had been able to do.
The snow clearing of the balcony had been a good warm up, after all, for what he had done after, once they learned of the Med Zeds. Wes, while Sam did the announcement, and Kaya took her very large dab, had cleared the snow around the building, so while it did pile up, far below, the snow wasn’t drifting up and gathering all the way up to the balcony, basically offering someone in snow shoes the ability to get to the top of the station.
The snow hadn’t piled that high, but, it had pilled all around it, and the winds had helped, so snow was able to gather up in a way that someone, like a zombie with reasoning ability, would be able to use the snow to gain access.
And more snow was coming. Wes wasn’t able to stand outside long, for another wave of storm was coming in, the wind already picking back up.
Wes returned down to the level they were on, hoping that Sam hadn’t mentioned to Kaya how the snow outside from all around the tower had been removed, since she had made a weird comment about it, but he shrugged it off, knowing he didn’t have much choice, and after last night, they were at least a little okay with what he could do.
The snow and the zombies were keeping people locked into situations, weird or not, so if they both discovered his magic, and were weird about it, so be it.
At least he was putting it to use, so no one would think he was weird enough to get rid off, which, if his life had been any indication, his magic was normally too weird for anyone to want to bother with.
But, then again, Wes had never dealt with zombies before, something he felt would be a key difference this time around.
Plus…Wes told himself, as he returned to the two ladies who both genuinely smiled when they saw him, ‘maybe they really do just not mind if I am weird?’.
As it turns out, it was the later.
Before Wes had returned, Kaya looked outside. “Is Wes using magic to move snow?”
“Sure seems that way doesn’t it.” Sam said dryly as she lit her spliff, inside, but by the window she could crack open.
“I think he’s still trying to hide it from us.”
“Sure. He isn’t very good at that, mind you.” Sam laughed.
“No he is not.” Kaya laughed.
Thanks so much for reading! I hope you enjoyed this chapter! Feel free to use these links to read past chapters, the letter from the narrator, and the prequel short story.
“#DontforgetFlakeCity” Short Story, Letter from the narrator, Roxy, Chapter One, Chapter Two, Chapter Three, Chapter Four, Chapter Five, Chapter Six, Chapter Seven, Chapter Eight, Chapter Nine, Chapter Ten, Chapter Eleven, Chapter Twelve, Chapter Thirteen, Chapter Fourteen, Chapter Fifteen, Chapter Sixteen, Chapter Seventeen, Chapter Eighteen, Chapter Nineteen