Chloe stared at her phone, and looked up and Damien. “I think we got a lot of information.”
“Yeah.” Damian said. “If they do let us know when they scan, we may be able to survive it.”
“We know the next few days will involve problems though.” Chloe said, quickly sending out text messages. Charlie was calling the radio station, having lit. cigarette in the door way of the balcony door.
“Every day has problems.” Damian said, eying the tv, which kept replaying much of the same reports on the news channels.
“The radio station has more information than Mark.” Chloe said, “But the resources with Mark at least are trying to help us.”
“What do you mean?” Asked Damian.
“Just that. Sure, Sam, the D.J., has been able to get more information, because of that telescope or whatever, but not that much more information, it was incidental. It is clear the people Sam is in contact with don’t care about us, not much. Sure, they may keep the radio safe, because of that telescope or whatever, but they won’t keep us all safe. Mark, and the group he’s with, the three of them, or whatever, are at least trying to help us, and keep us alive.”
“The path to hell is paved with good intentions, isn’t that the expression?” Asked Damian.
Chloe frowned, not liking his negative tone. “Aren’t we already IN hell? A little? Maybe good intentions are something worth looking at.”
Damien shrugged, and then nodded.”Sure. I suppose so. I don’t think Mark is great, but, I will give you that the couple of people there seem to not want us dead. The rest of the military operation that is clearly in charge of this, however, is suspect.”
“Oh yeah, for sure.” Chloe agreed. “and those zombies outside definitely don’t want us alive.”
“And they are getting smarter, or at least, enough of them are.”
Chloe sent text messages to Moria and Sam, having gotten Sam’s number by calling in.
While the guys worked on reinforcing their protections, Damian and Charlie going down a floor or two to kill off a few zombies in the stair wells and secure more of the paths upstairs by putting obstacles in the way to prevent the zombies from reaching them up top, or at least slow them down.
Chloe, Sam and Moria all agreed to do a three way call.
There was in fact, another storm on the way, as Sam confirmed. “Well, it’s hard to say if it’s a new storm or the same storm, but it will be a doozy, but it could also stall out over the mountains again, just like the last one. Weather patterns are always erratic.”
“That last storm slowed them down, it was nearly peaceful.” Moria said. “And if another one can hit, on top of the snow from the last, it may slow them down enough…” Moria trailed off, reading Lissa’s note she had written to her. “Assuming we have that long.”
“Exactly. I don’t know if we have that long. My balcony is right by the mountains, it would be snowing more if the storm were ready to hit. The wind is gusting, sure, but the storm, if it’s a new one, isn’t hitting that hard.” Chloe reported.
“it’s probably more like another wave, so it could be sooner, the next wave building intensity would just be a day, max.” Sam said. “We will know more in a few hours. The system is there though, the instruments can see it.” Sam told them.
“Okay so where are the Zed’s now, and where do we think they will attack?” Asked Moria.
“They know there are survivors at the hospital.” Sam speculated.
“Then we need them to go elsewhere.” Said Chloe, “Our only doctor, and two nurses? We can’t spare those people, nor can we risk them. They don’t have a gun, and the weapons they have won’t take a whole horde of zombies, or these special ones they are talking about, either.”
“The Zeds. Yeah.” Moria shuddered. “They are scary. Their ability to reason, to think, to listen?”
“To listen…They can communicate with us right? Moria, you mentioned Lissa in the morgue had communicated with them, right?”
Moria put the phone on speaker, “Yeah, Lissa and George were in the morgue. I don’t know the details, but yeah, they could communicate with them.”
“Not just with us. They could talk to each other. Not just in English, but they could growl to each other and to the regular zombies, make them do things.” Lissa said.
“I can work with that, and buy us time.” Sam said.
“Okay, how much time?”
“Depends…but at least a little time. Give me a second.” Sam put the phone on speaker and checked her map.
“In the meantime, we should stay very quiet here.” Moria said. “And you guys should too, Chloe.”
“Yeah. We are. But they can always see the smoke from the fireplace.”
“That may be a good thing.” Said Sam. “We want to keep them confused, and sure, they may see you having smoke, but that building may not be worth one or two people, which is all that could be inside.”
Sam was looking over the map, careful to keep in mind places she knew people were, and began to put together a quick broadcast.
Kaya held the phone, to fill in for Sam while she recorded a message, and messed with the board.
“Okay, welcome Kaya.” Chloe said when Kaya explained Sam’s absence.
“We won’t have a fire here at the hospital, and we will keep the lights off, stay away from the windows, all that.” Moria continued. “Chloe, you guys may want to consider keeping the fire out, just in case. They know people are there but there is no reason to taunt the zombies.”
Sam sent out messages to each of her people, grateful she had recorded their numbers and methods of contact. “Ignore recorded message ConPlan BB-BB” Sam told them, before inserting the transmission she had recorded and named ConPlan BB-BB into the broadcast.
“Have you guys met the the smart zombie? The…The one who talks?” Kaya asked.
“Yeah, all the Zeds talk.” Moria said.
“No, not like this…She was…She was evil.” Kaya explained, grasping for words. “She was careful, methodical, fast…she could control the zombies, she…I don’t want to say she had magic but it felt like she did, and none of the scans seemed to help.”
“What?” Lissa asked, worriedly.
“She had these crazy blue and red eyes, she was able to talk, taunt…she was impervious to all the scans…I saw her stalk the streets during the first scan wave thing.” Kaya explained.
“What?” Lissa said, more alarmed. “The zeds were formed from all the medicine we pumped, and the brain scans, we think…but if someone was walking around like that…if someone was already created before then, they would be different, wouldn’t they?”
“What if the zeds were slowed down because of the cooler?”
“Do you think the scans really did turn the zombies?” Asked Chloe.
“Well, it’s one theory, I am working through it right now,” Answered Moria, looking through her notes. “But Lissa isn’t wrong…If Kaya saw this zombie walking during the first scan, then we may well be in trouble.”
“Kahmatsu.” Chev said, having been listening to their conversation, since Chloe had it on speaker phone to have her hands free.
“That’s nonsense.” Said Chloe, at the same time Lissa did.
“You’ve heard this legend too?” Asked Chloe with a chuckle.
“Yeah. All my life. But I don’t know if what Kaya saw is that. I think what she saw may be something even more scary, and we need to be worried about her, the Zeds, and the rest of the zombies too.” Lissa said.
“Reinforce your barricades, have weapons ready, and stay very quiet.” Moria said. “We need to be vigilant and avoid this at all cost.”
“And we need action.” Said Sam, who had rejoined the conversation, after setting the playlist.
“I set up a radio broadcast for Flake City. I don’t know if they are going to hear it, but I made sure my listeners knew to not listen to it.”
The broadcast soon played, informing the listeners that the government had enacted ConPlan BB-BB which allocated a few areas that were already heavily populated with people, something they could verify with their scans, as shelter areas, and urged people to make their way to those areas when next able. Call the Station for more information.”
“Smart.” Chloe said, as the places the people should gather in, where many people were, per this bogus message, were far away from each of them, and also far away from other places with larger concentrations of people. Sam had instructed everyone, in her private communications, to shelter in place and not leave, no matter any message she sent out, and to on top of that, make sure no one could tell they were there. She had told them some zombies were elevated thinkers and able to hunt, on an earlier broadcast, so she had reiterated this information in her mass texts and prerecorded message that she set to auto dial people. Sam had set up the call back soft ware they used to tell people when to call the station for interviews, contest wins, etc, to record messages for people, and this came in handy now, as did her ability to type and send mass messages on her phone and laptop.
The message she had recorded was essentially only for the zombies who would be listening in, and, a copy of the message was quickly sent to Mark, advising him of what they had done, in case he decided he wanted to contribute to the misinformation campaign assuming he had ways of informing survivors it was all bogus.
“Its a risky plan, no doubt.” Moria said, “but it keeps us safe.”
“The areas will likely distract them for a short while.” Sam said. “After that we will figure out how to handle them.”
With that, the ladies hung up, and the various groups began to double down their efforts on hiding. Chloe put out the fire and turned off the lights, blocking off the windows and glass door only did so much, and they would need to peek out to monitor everything, so it was best to keep the lights off. Chloe had a candle lit, and the bathroom light, which would only spill into the hallway, not anywhere with access to windows, so they had dim light to see in, that wouldn’t let much be soon through the barricaded and covered windows and balcony door.
When Damian and Charlie returned, Chloe told them what had happened, and they agreed it was best to kill the fire to stop any smoke, and it was best to pretend no one was here, to keep any zombies on the hunt from finding them.
Charlie went to the top, after an hour or so, with Chloe and Damian, and were able to watch from the roof, hidden in the shadows, as zombies did begin to drift away, as time went on and proof of people disappeared.
The zombies moved slowly, only moving faster when one of the smarter zombies, the Zeds, growled instructions, making the zombies move towards some other part of town.
Charlie was amazed at what he was seeing, and wondered if the radio stations broadcast had been working, or if it was the fact that they had finally been cautious enough to make it look like no one was there.
The zombies moved, rambling in the streets unless guided by someone else, but the zeds that had been hunting and destroying the pockets of survivors, continued to move, hunting out any humans who hadn’t been cautious enough to hide any evidence of zombies. Sam had broadcast, several times, for people to conceal their whereabouts, including if possible even putting fires out, to keep them from being discovered, so some people had been able to not been attacked by the hordes of roaming zombies led by smarter Zeds.
At the Hospital, Lissa wondered about this smart, possibly magic, zombie, and hoped that the girl, Kaya, had been mistaken. Still, Lissa and Moria had reasoned, the zombie being out and about like that when the rest of the zombies had gone inactive, was reason enough to fear her.
Moria turned to the files, hoping to crack any case she could on the zombies, now looking over any of the medical records they had grabbed of the patients that were to become the very zombies that hunted them now. Lissa and George, with a web cam laptop and George’s small vlogging camera set up to record, acted as Moria’s research assistants, in going through all the material.
And outside, the Zeds hunted.