Read Anno Zombus Year 1 (Book 4): April Online

Authors: Dave Rowlands

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Anno Zombus Year 1 (Book 4): April

BOOK: Anno Zombus Year 1 (Book 4): April
2.59Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub






Anno Zombus

Year 1



Dave Rowlands








For Alex and Rhiannon,

and everybody that I've ever discussed potential apocalyptic scenarios with.

April 1
Year 1 A.Z.


Pregnant.  The very word stunned me, still stuns me.  The fact that it was coming from Apocalypse Girl's mouth only served to make it that much more potent.  She had only told me she
be, but I know her...she wouldn't have mentioned it if she weren't at least 75% certain.  I still haven't spoken to her about it since last night, when she revealed her suspicion, but we had been fairly thorough about it.  She told me that before the world ended she hadn't been with too many boys, and since there had been only me...this much I had already gathered.


She had never experienced a pregnancy scare before, and now it was compounded somewhat by the fact that millions of Dead were wandering the planet wanting fresh Living human flesh to eat, and compounded further by the fact that, since
three fucking months
of planning and travelling, we make it to Canberra to find it run by the military.  That part we expected, at least halfway.  What we didn't know was that General Fuckwit was running the show.  This complete loony was planning on invading Melbourne by force, attacking people that
had befriended, The Mech-Techs, and wanting to make peace with a bunch of murdering rapist thugs called The Followers.  Oh, yes, I forgot the part where we were conscripted.  On the spot.  At gunpoint.


The Colonel was absolutely pissed by the way our debriefing had been handled, or rather the way that the invaluable intelligence we had given them had been summarily ignored because the group we had gone to for help, and had made fast friends with, had
us to
a tank for them.  One thing we had managed to keep from General Fuckwit was that we had The Mech-Techs radio frequency.  That and the contraband homebrew booze that Viking, their leader, had given us.  Some of that The Colonel and Redbeard had already shared around with a couple of men in tents nearest us, those that seemed trustworthy to them.


Apocalypse Girl was spending the morning talking with Firecracker and Sister in hushed tones over in the corner of our tent.  Today is our first patrol, starting around noon.  Not looking forward to it, as we are going to be dropped off in a truck with orders to keep the Dead from overrunning a small part of the barbed wire covered barricade protecting us from them.  I know The Colonel tried to get them to let us take The Nightmare out, the semi-trailer/VW combi van bastard cross-breed from Hell that The Mech-Techs had traded us for the tank, but General Fuckwit wouldn't allow it.


  Patrol time least the six of us are together.



The truck ride was uncomfortable, that was the best that could be said for it, I think.  Apocalypse Girl sat next to me in silence, Firecracker and Sister sitting opposite us, the first glaring at me, the second staring at Apocalypse Girl in wonder.  She had clearly told the two of them already.  Redbeard and The Colonel sat towards the rear of the truck, staring out at the world behind us covered in grey snow speaking together quietly.


When it came time for them to let us out, we were simply told to get out right next to a fairly small group of Dead that seemed to be almost waiting for us.  Several of them wore uniforms identical to ours.  As the truck sped off into the distance, the driver shouting at us that he'd be back for any survivors around sunset, we had already begun to smash, bash, dash, dice and slice their heads apart.


After we had dispatched a second, smaller group that had wandered around a corner to investigate the commotion, The Colonel pulled out a map and sheet of paper with out orders.  It was depressingly vague.  We had to make sure five hundred metres of wall was Dead free and try to stay alive.  They were the two objectives that General Fuckwit had written down for us.  He had even suggested that we take extra ammunition, as there were supposed to be loads of Dead in this area, apparently.


We heard gunfire down the road a way, and moved to investigate.  By the time we arrived, the horde was feasting on the innards of the squad of six that had been assigned to guard
backs.  That had been an idea from the other general, General Practical I called him.  Unfortunately General Fuckwit had seniority.  Also senility, I was beginning to think.  Maybe the world ending in the manner it had, well, maybe it just plain fucking broke his brain.


We waded into the Dead, swinging away with our weapons, not bothering with firearms at all, because the noise attracted them more than anything other than the odour of freshly spilled human blood, and we didn't want to draw any more down upon us.  After this we continued down the path specified for us on the map, finding several more groups of Dead that we obliterated with ease.  The Cold was slowing us down somewhat, but the Dead were practically standing still.  The Living had the bonus of being able to get warmed up, in this instance.


When the truck returned, the expression of sheer admiration and respect on the face of the driver told volumes.  We hadn't been expected to survive this little jaunt outside, not a single one of us.  The driver had orders to pick up our backup squad, as well, and seemed more than a little relieved when we told him they were all very dead by now.



General Fuckwit actually seemed somewhat impressed for about half a second by our ability to look after ourselves in the field before dismissing us without a further thought.  General Practical, on the other hand, saluted us proudly, hailing us as ideal warriors.  He arranged for an escort to our tent, where he accompanied us, and after dismissing the escort the general began to speak frankly.


He told us that he believed that his superior, General Fuckwit, was insane, that he had tried to have us killed today on our patrol, and that General Practical fully expected him to try to do so again, maybe to keep on doing it until it works.  I pointed out to the general that he clearly wasn't insane, so why doesn't he
something about it.  After withering me with his gaze momentarily, he told us that many, perhaps the majority, of the men would follow Fuckwit over Practical, at least without proof of Fuckwit's insanity.


Firecracker pointed out that the fact that he is even entertaining an idea like negotiating with The Followers should be more than enough evidence, but he shook his head.  Apparently many of the men felt as that particular group did, to some extent or another.  Women were for protecting and breeding.


Apocalypse Girl asked the general then what the current procedure was if one of the female troops falls pregnant.  He shook his head, saying that had better not happen.  I asked him why not, he looked me in the eye and told me that General Fuckwit had some 'special interest' in how foetus's react and interact with the Dead virus.  Specifically, he wanted to know at what point does the 'return', as General Fuckwit terms it, occur in an embryo?  Of course, this requires the mother to be Dead as well.


General Practical took one look at the expression on Apocalypse Girl's face, nodded briefly to himself, and told us that we needed to get out of there soon.  He'll keep his mouth shut on the subject and try to arrange a long range recon posting for us, so we can slip away more easily, and with a bigger lead.  He shook all of our hands, then left us alone to stare at one another with many varied mixed emotions.


Later on, Apocalypse Girl and I finally began speaking once more.  She was terrified of being pregnant in this world, mortified at the prospects that awaited her if General Fuckwit found out about it, and told me in no uncertain terms that we needed to get out of this place once more.  I held her in the dark, promising that I would find a way out, for all six of us if I could, for just the two of us if need be.  For just her alone if necessary.

April 2
Year 1 A.Z.


The Cold wind blew inside the tent, waking me from a deep sleep.  Apocalypse Girl still snored away peacefully beside me, Sister and Firecracker adding their own soft exhalations to the mixture.  Redbeard's snores, on the other hand, could quite possibly have been what rose the Dead in the first place.


The Colonel stood in the doorway looking out onto the grey wastes of the world we had once known.  Making sure Apocalypse Girl was relatively warm and comfortable, I moved to join her.


“Is this what we came all this way for?”  She asked me quietly, not bothering to turn around.  “To find the army under the control of that...
...”  She turned slightly this time, just enough to look at Apocalypse Girl as she stirred slightly under her blankets.


Facing me directly she asked me whether I knew just how many patrols came back with a full complement of soldiers.  I just shrugged, having other things on my mind this morning, not exactly caring about these particular troops much anyway after having been conscripted by them.  She put a hand on my shoulder, then glanced around at the remainder of our slumbering group.  “Just us six.  Nobody else.  Ever.  Anybody going out they just load up with ammo and weapons, send them out and hope that some of them make it back.”


Redbeard had awoken by that time, yawning mightily as he told us that not one of the patrol leaders he had spoken with last night had known exactly how the Dead hunt.  They were all more or less on the right track, but having been told nothing about it by their superiors...


He then went on to say that several of the closer groups wanted to know all of our secrets.  He had told them that the best way to deal with the Dead was quietly, but being a fresh conscript Redbeard was not exactly held up as the ideal example of shining soldier-hood.  Having heard this, The Colonel strode out into the Cold, calling all of the nearby patrol leaders to a meeting.



It basically turned out being a short seminar starring the six of us telling all of our individual stories of surviving the Dead.  We made certain to emphasise that getting in close and personal was a far better idea than firing thousands of bullets at them, attracting all their Dead buddies, basically ringing a gunpowder-scented dinner bell.  We also made sure they knew that the scent of fresh blood drove the Dead berserk.


When we were done, Generals Practical and Fuckwit wanted to see The Colonel to give her our patrol orders for the afternoon.  They turned out to be much the same as yesterdays, cleaning off the outer barricade of Dead, again.  We were just finishing up preparing when the truck, same driver as yesterday, arrived to take us out.



The driver dropped us off at almost exactly the same location as before, though this time there were far less Dead evident.  There were a few signs that a reasonably large group had come through this way overnight, great gouges in the snow where the Dead had shambled on through.


A couple wandered out to greet and attempt to eat us, these were easily dealt with.  Sister found a drainpipe that she felt comfortable climbing, and went up onto a rooftop to get a better view of our situation.  As she clambered up, Firecracker motioned me over to her.


“You have to get her out of here you know, as soon as you can.”  She told me looking at Apocalypse Girl, who watched Sister's ascent with trepidation.  “Get out and make a run for Melbourne.”  I nodded, telling her that I was well aware of the need for escape.  I also told her that we would stand a much greater chance of making it back alive with the whole group, and a greater chance again if we could get The Nightmare back again.


Barely a minute after Sister clambered her way up the pipe to the roof and she was down once more, reporting a fairly large number of Dead wandering around aimlessly to the west of our current position, when barely a second later a single gunshot rang out from that very direction.  When we arrived we saw another patrol, one of those who had sent a couple of representatives to The Colonel's seminar, busily and messily finishing off the last of the group of Dead that Sister had spotted.  When they were done, their patrol leader wanted to know if anyone was injured, but the entire patrol was clean and bite-free.


They saluted us as we drew near, quietly thanking The Colonel with a brief handshake, their patrol leader even going so far as to say that if their leaders had her brains they might not have lost as many troops over the last couple of months.

BOOK: Anno Zombus Year 1 (Book 4): April
2.59Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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