DAY 42-43

While Bert was setting up the radio gear yesterday, I went through the six apartments on the fourth floor we were going to use for Beth’s isolation ward. I basically gutted them, setting aside anything that might be of use in the future and dumping the rest into another apartment. Though there wasn’t any danger of a zombie using anything as a weapon, we didn’t want to leave any places to hide, or anything to hide behind. I’m still not entirely comfortable keeping zombies in the building on purpose, but I understand why Beth needs them. And I have made it clear that if even a minor loss of containment occurs, I will kill the zombies and there will be no more live studies in the building; Bert backed me up on this.

When Bert was ready to setup the antenna for the radio, I went up on the roof with him to keep an eye out for the assholes. The roof of the building isn’t just one flat surface; some sections are higher than others, there are some low walls that separate the roof of one apartment from the next, and there are structures that house elevator and A/C equipment. So while Bert didn’t have to stand out in the open to mount the antenna, he did need to run wires, and that left him briefly exposed. It also made us both more comfortable knowing I was watching his back.

Along with the short wave radio, Bert also hooked up a CB radio so that we could communicate with Beth when went out scavenging. We also planned to use the CB to contact the assholes. Once Bert finished connecting the antenna, we placed a sign on the roof where the assholes couldn’t help but see it saying that they should call us on CB channel 13. Part of the idea of the sign was to hopefully spook them a bit by letting them know that we knew that they were watching us. Beth asked us why we didn’t just sneak out the back, circle around to building where they were watching us from, and then kill them. Bert pointed out that neither he nor I were Navy SEALs, and that kind of action was much more likely to get us killed.

Bert and I sat staring at the CB all morning, and he explained everything he knew about using the short wave radio as we waited. Both of us jumped when a voice came over the CB at around noon. I’ll recount the conversation as best I can:

“What the hell are you people doing over there? And how is that peckerwood we shot still alive?”

We hadn’t really discussed what to say, so I had to wing it. “What we’re doing is trying to survive, same as everyone else that’s left. Why are you going out of your way to keep us from doing that?”

“It’s survival of the fittest, and we didn’t think you looked very fit. Neither did the two old farts you’re running around with.”

“Surviving isn’t just about strength you dumbass. One of those ‘old farts’ is a doctor. Possibly the only one left in the world. You really think it’s a good idea to kill her just because she’s a little older. You assholes don’t seem very fit to me.”

“So you’re still alive because the doctor patched you up. Maybe we should just take you out and take the doctor for ourselves.”

I probably shouldn’t have mentioned Beth was a doctor, but it was out there now and I couldn’t take it back. “Look, you saw us bring in all that stuff from the hospital, right?”

“Yeah. You setting up your own private clinic or something?”

“Not exactly. The doctor is studying the virus. She’s trying to figure out if there’s a cure for it.”

I heard laughter in the background as he responded; “You really think there’s a cure for the zombies? Maybe your doctor ain’t that smart after all. Did you check her diploma?”

“We’re not doing anything to hurt you, and there’s more than enough to scavenge in this city for all of us. There’s no reason for you to keep bothering us. If anything, you should be trying to work with us. But if that’s not possible, then just leave us the hell alone.”

“I don’t know if you’ve noticed this or not, but there’s not a lot left to do besides scavenging and killing zombies. We’re bored. You three losers are providing us some much-needed entertainment. And we don’t give a good Goddamn if the old broad is a doctor, the president of the United States, or the Queen of the fucking zombies. We’re going to keep ‘bothering you’ because it amuses us to do so. Pile up all the cars you want in front of that building, keep as many zombies as you want around the building, but we’ll be watching. And once we’re done fucking with you, we will kill you. And there’s not a single fucking thing you can do to stop us. Over and fucking out.”

As I set the microphone down Bert said to me, “That didn’t go very well.”

“No shit.”

“At least we now know exactly where we stand.”

“Yep.”

“Any ideas what to do about it?”

I shook my head; “I’ve got nothing at the moment.”

“Guess we need to prepare for a fight.”

“I suppose we do.”

We spent the rest of the day working on Beth’s isolation rooms, figuring out how to generate more electricity, and wondering how to deal with the assholes.

BJ

(To see how the pandemic began, and to meet more survivors, check out my novel, The Immortal And The Dead, on Amazon.com. The story continues in my new novel, Dance Of The Immortals.)

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About scottamehlman

Scott A. Mehlman was born and (mostly) raised in Cleveland, Ohio. Having earned both a BS and an MBA, Scott has tried his hand at a variety of jobs without finding one that truly satisfied or engaged his creative impulses the way writing does. He has published his first novel, The Immortal and The Dead, which is the first book in The Immortal Virus trilogy and continues to work on the JAEGER e-book series.

Posted on November 12, 2014, in Fiction and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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