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Zombie Apocalypse [MAD]

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posted on May, 8 2012 @ 01:23 PM
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Part I: The Set-Up

“I’m mad as hell,” he shouted, “and I’m not going to take it anymore!” He was up and moving, heading towards the doors. She motioned the cameraman to follow closely and keep rolling. This was prime stuff; a spontaneous, heartfelt, genuine call to action. And it was broadcasting live to multiple cities….and all on her watch! She wanted to hug herself with glee.

When the show finished, she called a quick meeting to discuss the event and the results. Everyone was riding an emotional high, buoyed up on adrenaline and excitement. It wasn’t until almost an hour had passed that she noticed the empty chair; Beale was missing.

Concerned, she concluded the meeting with assignments for everyone. Rogers would be following up with local residents; Camden would interview state politicians; Mitchell had a flight leaving for Washington in two hours.

She hurried through the now-dark studio, acknowledging the brief hellos with a distracted wave of her hand. Where had Beale gone? Had he left? Why?

Ten minutes later she returned to her office and slumped in her chair. Beale was, as far as she could tell, gone. His car remained in the parking lot, and security was sweeping the building for him, but officially Beale was MIA.

She lowered her head into her hands, thinking. Beale had seemed fine before the broadcast; joking with everyone, kidding her about the ratings, flirting with one of the makeup girls. Then he had excused himself to use the restroom….and returned just in time for his absolutely brilliant editorial. She’d never heard Beale speak quite so forcefully before; normally he was the calm, complacent type. Why the sudden change?

So what was the problem? The ratings were incredible, the network would ride this high for quite some time….so why did she have that sick feeling in the pit of her stomach? It was a feeling that she knew well as a journalist; a hunch, a sixth sense, something not to be ignored….

The pounding on her office door caused her to leap out of her chair with a mini-scream. It was Denny, the night janitor. He pushed his head cautiously inside the door.

“Sorry to frighten you, ma’am, but I found this in the bathroom.” He held out a small white object; it took her a moment to recognize the item as an inhaler. She stared at it, nonplussed, and then saw the name BEALE written across the top in black letters.

“Have you found him?” she asked, stepping forward and taking the offered inhaler.

“No’m.” the janitor replied. “Just found it in the bathroom, on the sink, like. Thought you might want it.” With that, he pulled the door closed and resumed his duties.

She stared at the inhaler, curious. Beale had asthma, she knew; she’d seen him with the inhaler many times. She turned the inhaler over in her hands, and then popped the small canister out of the casing. She’d expected to see Albuterol or Nasacort or some similar medication, but the item in her hand had no markings of any sort. Strange. Weren’t pharmaceutical companies required to label all their medications?

She returned to her desk, thumbed through her rolodex, and then dialed a number. A couple of rings later, a voice answered. “Walgreens,” the man said.

Quickly, she explained what she’d found and asked if the man might know what medication was in the canister. He confirmed her suspicions. Medication had to be marked; the fact that this inhaler was void of markings was highly dubious, to say the least.

She thanked the man, and then hung up. Tapping her fingers on her desk, she tried to make sense of what she knew. Beale had asthma, but whatever he’d inhaled wasn’t typical asthma medicine. He’d then gone on to practically call to arms the entire population. And now, he was missing. Coincidence?

She thought not. Sifting through her rolodex again, she found a new number and dialed.

“’Ello?” the voice on the other end answered.

“Hey, Corcoran,” she said. “It’s Diana. Look, I need a favor.”

“A favor?” Corcoran asked doubtfully. “You still owe me from the last favor I did for you.”

She sighed heavily. “It’s really important, or I wouldn’t ask.”

A moment of silence passed, and then he exhaled noisily. “What is it?” he asked.

Quickly, she explained about Beale and the unnamed medication canister. What she wanted was simple; an analysis of the canister’s contents.

“I can’t promise anything,” Corcoran said. “You know how busy the lab is. And I’ll have to charge you or my boss is liable to blow an aneurysm or something.”

“Just get it as soon as you can,” she said, sealing the canister in a manila envelope and writing Corcoran’s name and address across the top. “I’m sending it by special carrier.”

Ten minutes later, the package sent, she locked her office and left for home.

*******************************************************************************
Continued....




posted on May, 8 2012 @ 01:26 PM
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Part II: The Discovery

The phone woke her up. Groggily, she reached for it, managing to knock the bedside lamp off onto the floor. She winced at the sound, and then pressed the phone to her ear.

“Diana,” she managed, eyes still closed.

“Hey, Corcoran here. I don’t know what the hell this stuff is.”

She sat up, more alert. “You’ve run the analysis that fast?”

“Yeah,” came the tired reply. “That speech he gave was pretty impressive. You got my curiosity up. Anyway, there’s no way in hell this stuff is medicine. In fact, it’s probably lethal in even small doses.”

She was fully awake now. “Explain,” she said, grabbing the paper and pen she kept next to the phone and hastily scribbling as he talked.

“It’s a live virus,” he began. “The virus itself is basically benign; it’s just a delivery vehicle. But remember your high school biology? Viruses attack cells and insert their own code, which is replicated when the cells divide. And there’s some nasty little stuff this virus delivers.”

“Such as?” she asked, writing furiously.

“Lots of neurotransmitters; you’ve got dopamine, huge levels of adrenaline, and nor epinephrine. There’s a serotonin suppression agent…serotonin is your “feel good” neurotransmitter. Then there are the neurotoxins. We’ve identified ethanol, conotoxin, botulinum toxin, bungarotoxin, and even tetrodotoxin. Those are time-released, though, from what I can tell. Of course all this is preliminary as hell, we’ve got to run a lot more tests and check more sources before we can certify our results. But I thought you might want a heads up.”
“I appreciate it,” she agreed. “Can you tell me what you think this stuff does? What affect it has on the brain?”

“Nasty things, nasty things,” came the reply. “The neurotoxins work on different parts of the neuro system. Most inhibit either synaptic relays or reuptake of vital neurotransmitters. Then, of course, you have the tetrodotoxin.”

“Wait,” she interrupted, laying her pen down and rubbing her temple. “I’ve heard of tetrodotoxin before, haven’t I?”

“Probably,” he agreed. “It’s supposedly the stuff used in voodoo to make zombies.”

She felt her heart skip a beat. “Zombies?” she repeated. “Seriously?”

“Yep. ‘Course, there’s a lot of debate over whether tetrodotoxin is even a part of the so-called “zombie powder” the voodoo practitioners use. But between you and me, the mix of toxins in this….whatever it is…..well, you won’t be a zombie for long. I’d estimate death in approximately 20-24 hours or so. Of course, that’s after the initial burst of anger, fueled by the nor epinephrine and adrenaline. Once that’s passed, the neurotoxins go to work. They break down different parts of the brain, inhibiting one’s ability to walk, speak, even understand simple questions or commands. Death would take about an hour after these bad boys are released. If the person’s lucky, that is. It could take longer. The really disturbing part of this….the victim remains aware of what’s happening. Completely aware.”

She was silent, her mind racing as she tried to grasp what he was saying. Zombies? Death? Did this mean Beale was dead? If so…was this murder?

He was saying something. “I’m sorry,” she interrupted. “What were you saying?”

“Any idea how Beale got this….stuff? And are you sure he used it?”

“No. No idea, and I don’t have proof he used it. Except it’s his asthma meds…or it looked like his asthma meds and it was found in the restroom. All I know for sure is he left the restroom and went straight to the set for his spiel.” She paused, hesitating. “Should I call the cops, do you think?”

Corcoran sighed. “I don’t know, Diana. Maybe wait until the final reports. There’s something you need to consider first, and waiting could buy you some time.”

“What is it?” she asked nervously.

“Whoever made this stuff….well, its sophisticated. Level 5 Biolab all the way. We’re talking serious money here, you understand?”

Her head was beginning to hurt. “And….”

He hesitated. “This stuff is meant to control and kill, Diana. Like all those stupid zombie apocalypse shows I used to watch as a kid. Whoever made this…had access to a lot of resources. And I mean a LOT. That takes money.”





Continued (told you it was long)....
edit on 8-5-2012 by smyleegrl because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 8 2012 @ 01:28 PM
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“So we’re looking at a millionaire,” she replied, rummaging in the nightstand drawer for a bottle of aspirin. Her headache was really starting to hum.

“No,” he replied. “Not just a millionaire. A multi-millionaire. Maybe even billionaire. Which means it’s not an individual making this stuff, but a corporation. In other words, this is big. Real big.”

She understood now. The implications…..”Then the next step is to find out if there are more of these inhalers out there,” she said, standing up and hurrying to her closet. She pulled a sweater and pair of jeans out and tossed them on the bed. “This is going to make headlines, Corcoran. Big time headlines. Hell, Pulitzer headlines!”

“Yeah,” he murmured. “Look…just be careful, okay? Call me in five hours. I’ll have more info for you by then. And Diana, if you don’t call me…I’m reporting you missing.”

“Don’t worry,” she said, grabbing a pair of shoes and socks. “I’ll be careful. I promise.”

She hung up the phone and hurriedly dressed, unaware that she would never speak to Corcoran again.

*******************************************************************************
Part III: The Invasion

coming soon if there’s interest!



posted on May, 8 2012 @ 01:32 PM
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YOU WIN.



posted on May, 8 2012 @ 01:32 PM
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You had me at "Zombie".


S&F

Fun read. Please continue.



posted on May, 8 2012 @ 01:36 PM
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reply to post by beezzer
 


Working on it....might take a couple of days. This thing could easily turn into a mini-novel.

I'm wayyyyy to wordy. But thanks for the nice replies!



posted on May, 8 2012 @ 01:39 PM
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reply to post by smyleegrl
 


Very nicely done, waiting for more



posted on May, 8 2012 @ 01:56 PM
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reply to post by smyleegrl
 
I'm bookmarking this one.

We might just have ourselves a winner!



posted on May, 8 2012 @ 02:45 PM
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Come onnnnnn!!! You HAVE to finish this. Soon! Love it so far.



posted on May, 9 2012 @ 03:05 PM
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YES, YES, YES!!!!!! MORE! MORE! MORE!
You have a GREAT imagination!! Very talented, indeed!!!



posted on May, 10 2012 @ 07:18 AM
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Your work just keeps getting better and better, seriously.


Please do keep posting, this is very well written and very engrossing.


S&F.



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