The snow that began to fall from the sky in Flake City once more did slow some of the newly freed “Med Zed’s”, the wind helping slow them more than the snow, but, some Zeds simply sought out shelter, destroying anyone in their path.
More Zeds fought the winds, and simply moved slowly, seeking out hiding humans, and learning the rules of their new survival, like everyone else in Flake City.
It was in this survival that some of the Med Zeds learned how well they could communicate with the regular zombies, and learned they could use these zombies to help them get to more survivors.
In one case, the Zed, who was once an EMT named James, found a house by the smoke coming from the chimney, and led a horde of zombies to the house. Plenty of zombies were slowed with the snow, but once James was able to tear down the wood on the outside of the windows, the zombies were able to crawl in, and James eventually dined on the delicate flesh that was the mechanic’s wife that lived in the house, while zombies feasted on the mechanic himself. The child had ran from the home, in snow boots and pj’s with a pack slipped hastily on it’s small back. James didn’t pursue the child, knowing one of his fellow Med Zed’s would get the child, if the weather didn’t.
The child ran, as fast as they could, and ended up taking refuge in a tree house, climbing up the ladder, and pulling the ladder up with them.
The child was lucky, luckier than they would know for a good long while. The house nearest the tree house had survivors in it, good, hardy survivors with guns, loads of ammunition, and scores of extra food and survival gear. The child watched, silently, as twenty or so Med Zeds, while instructing slow moving zombies, surrounded the house, and gained entry. The Med Zeds got the windows and doors open, and used the regular zombies as slow moving shields against any defenses the humans made.
The child watched, horrified, learning that the Med Zeds knew all too well that they were a special form of zombie, and they had no problem using regular zombies to ensure their own survival. The zombies were moving slow, the dropping temperatures and gusting wind, not to mention the downpour of snow, slowed these zombies and their limited reasoning ability, but the Med Zeds simply moved with more consideration. Some zed had found boots or skis already to adapt to the physical limitations the snow provided, but from what the child could tell, as far as anyone could tell, it seemed, the Med Zeds were not bothered by the cold.
The child in the tree house didn’t move, staying very still for fear of alerting any of the zombies that were all around the house, but after an hour, the Zeds left, any zombies that hadn’t frozen or wandered off either joined them or seemed to just fall inactive, just standing around, while snow piled up on them.
The child watched this carefully, having moved only to grab an emergency blanket from the backpack, to wrap up in and stay warm.
The zombies slowed until they froze, but the Med Zeds continued, in various stages of pilfered dress, as half of them or more had been naked or nearly naked when they reanimated.
In another home, a sturdy, brick home with good thick doors, and a happy finally safe and warm inside. The family had food, wood, everything they could need for surviving a long hard winter. The Luvern family had a father who dabbled in many businesses, finding work in middle management freelance type position that if you looked at too long, you would realize weren’t actually needed at all.
The Luvern mother was a big fan of a full pantry, and the children were home from school, their doting parents not wanting to make them go to school when so many of their friends had either called in or been pulled out by their parents.
The Zeds made short work of the back yard, hopping a fence and opening the gate, and it was a moment of horror for the family when a light switched revealed a long row of zombies, and four zeds with hammers, on and the long row of glass windows and door that led to the backyard, which that had thought would be safe with the back yard being so securely fenced. The Zeds broke the glass quickly, and the family scattered, all racing from the room. The father fell first, followed by the eldest daughter, the son, and the mother, who went out swinging.
The youngest Luverne daughter was actually at a friends house, and that house was also being overtaken by zombies, these ones only assisted by one zed.
Unless survivors had provided many physical barriers, ones that would keep out hordes of humans, they were overtaken, swiftly.
The high-rise apartments that had taken the time to really fortify their building, like Chloe’s, were given enough warning on the situation to really prevent more damage.
At Chloe’s apartment, they had observed zombies who had elevated reasoning skills, so the Med Zed’s hadn’t been as shocking to them, but this had only been due to their own careful investigations of the zombies.
As it turned out, many of the Flake City survivors had, instead of carefully watching the zombies, investigating how they worked and why, had chosen to ignore them, hoping the whole thing would blow over in a matter of days, weeks at the most.
These were the people that died fastest, when the Med Zeds started hunting down survivors.
Survivors who had been watching the zombies, weren’t as surprised by this evolution of zombie, and it was this lack of surprise that made their fortifications better.
In the case of Chloe’s building, Charlie and Damian had not only locked down the building, but they had diverted all power to the top floor, reserving the draw of power on the grid, but also reducing how visible the building was to other zombies. The building was by other high-rises, right by the mountains, so it got a good full blast of the storm, making the weather colder, the snow thicker, and the zombies, more slowed, and more deterred, from bothering with the tall building. The stairwells had been locked and barricaded, and could only be opened with a key regardless, due to the buildings security. The elevator had been brought to the top and put into key mode, so only the group could use it. The bottom floor had gotten pretty full of zombies, admittedly, with the windows, not to mention other floors with residents who had turned into zombies, not knowing they were infected, but, for the most part, the top part of the building was actually fairly empty of zombies, all things considered, with entire floors lacking the infected humans. Chloe and the group, on the top most residential floor, had cleared out each apartment, and Damian and Chev had also begun clearing the floor below, not for occupation, but to reclaim back the top couple of floors, and secure them against any oncoming threats.
It was this hyper vigilance that kept the group safe this long, and it is what kept them safe in this first night of the Med Zeds raiding the City.
The survivors who had been taken by surprise had been taken by surprise, because thus far, the zombies become largely inactive in the evening, and this rule, this policy of the zombies being almost docile unless you were near them, at night, become something of a joke. The Med Zed’s could get the zombies to attack, to walk, to do whatever, regardless of the time of day, and the Med Zeds also seemed to not care about time, at all.
Still, some Med Zeds, and even more zombies, were killed that night. No survivor went down easily, with most survivors taking out a few zombies before their own demise.
Some people were able to run, but other Med Zeds who were out and about quickly dispensed with most of them. The child in the tree-house made sure to stay quiet, and a couple other people were able to make it to other places of relative safety, but the Med Zeds were out, and if you made noise, or did anything to draw any attention to yourself, a Med Zed was quickly upon you.
Lissa and George had told everyone that of the zombies they saw, it was a large crowd, hard to count, but, they didn’t think it could be more than 100.
The real number was closer to 200, and did not take into account those same enhanced Med Zeds finding Komahtsu, who was, as it would later be revealed, a much bigger threat.
One guy, a gentleman named Paul, had been careful. Incredibly careful. As soon as everything started, he had gathered his supplies. He had managed to get a trip to the store, and got smart supplies. He had a small fireplace, well stocked with wood, and a small generator that, while it couldn’t power much, could power enough to keep Paul warm and fed.
Paul had gathered water, in case the water lines stopped flowing, and already had a large five gallon jug attached to a dispenser that was fairly full. Paul had locked and barricaded all of his home, already living on the second floor of the town-home he lived in, he had barricaded the stairway, locked the door, barricaded the door, and all windows.
When the power went out, Paul was fine. When the water went out, he was grateful for the tubs, sinks, and buckets full of water he had, plus his drinking water supply. Paul stayed very quiet, having a gun, but knowing noise would draw them, he kept the gun on safety, and carried a baseball bat around with him. Silently, Paul had worked hard to stay safe.
None of this mattered, however. Paul had kept a fire lit, a few times in the days of the outbreak after the power went out.
Komatsu knew he was in there…so when the Med Zeds showed up, she was glad to work with them to destroy the relative safety of Paul.
She had watched him, and he had been on her list of people who had pissed her off, by being smart and careful, not allowing her access in. Komatsu pointed the Zeds in his direction, and watched as they worked, guiding the regular zombies to surround his house. Zeds pushed things to the guys second floor windows, giving them the height needed to break windows and move or destroy the barricades. Several Zeds worked at the barricade on the stairwell, and then the door, and while Paul had been able to kill several zombies, several Med Zeds even, the rage of other Med Zeds, angry that one of their own had died, fueled them, and before long, not only was Paul completely destroyed, bits and pieces of his body unrecognizable in between their teeth, and scattered across the snow. The zombies and the Zeds destroyed much of his home, leaving it in shambles, before seeking out more prey.
It wasn’t long, of course, until they stumbled upon the high-rises in the north, but some things kept parts of town, like the high-rises by the mountains and the radio station and campus area, safe momentarily from the Zeds, and the biggest factor in the human survival of the Med Zeds descent into Flake City was the storm.
When day light came, and more zombies became more active, it was only the storms that delayed them making it to the north. Instead, Med Zeds led the zombies inside, getting them to take shelter in stores and gas stations, forced to take cover by late afternoon. People who had tried to hide out in various stores were quickly over ran by Med Zeds seeking them out or simply letting zombies in to keep them from freezing.
The Med Zeds didn’t have a great sense of survival for the regular zombies but didn’t want them to die from the elements when they could easily be used to gain access to more survivors.
A couple survivors were able to call the radio station, before being killed, and Paul, before dying, called in to tell them that the Zeds were hunting…
So Sam reported the bleak news, and waited to hear how many people would survive the night.
The reports of violence did finally taper off, when the storm picked up again, in the late afternoon, early evening of the day. The storm was blowing once more, now in the thick of one of the waves, and this wave brought with it angry lightening and thunder, down pours, flurries of snow, and low temperatures. Some people dared to use their fire places, others, terrified from Med Zeds, or without a way to have a fire, huddled with others or by themselves with whatever blankets and shelter they could find.
Thank you for reading! Feel free to use these links to catch up on past chapters of Flake City, the letter from the narrator, or the short story prologue, #Don’tForgetFlakeCity.
“#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 Chapter Twenty, Chapter Twenty- One, Chapter Twenty-Two, Chapter Twenty-Three