Struggle

Trying to eat vegetables out here and feeling like this (#theStruggleIsReal):

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Zombie Apocalypse Unfolds from Within The Cubicled Confines of Corporate America

A creepy habit of mine:  I save almost everything ever sent to me (emails, notes, IMs, texts, etc).  I like to revisit the past sometimes, when the present isn’t all that engaging.

So when I was working back in Corporate America, at some point, to help pass the time, a few of us in the office had a running story thread.  It was fun and I really enjoyed what we got out of it, even though we ended up not continuing it…  

Given my creepy habit, I, of course, saved the thread.  So I share it with you…  Be prepared for the Zombie Apocalypse!

It might feel a little disjointed, but a bunch of writers contributed to it (including yours truly –> in the black text!).

It’s probably got a ton of errors, written between emails and the actual work we were supposed to be doing.  But I’m not enough of a loser to correct them (shocking!).  I’m sure you’ll survive the mistakes well enough to get the gist:

 

As the sun broke over the frozen horizon, he struggled to sit up, groaning as his back popped. Flummoxed by his surroundings, he scanned the horizon, suddenly spotting…

 

A samurai, clad in all black, blood of enemy still staining his sword.  The lost stranger trembled as the daunting figure approached him, as silent as the breeze that barely stirred grass.  He could not read the intent written on the warrior’s face and hoped that his visage was similarly absent of emotion as fear rose in his gullet (intense).

 

The dark warrior raised his blade with deadly and furious purpose, a gleaming bolt of crimson and silver against the brilliant blue sky. The stranger winced, life flashing before his eyes, reluctantly accepting his impending doom when…. SLASH!! The samurai struck down the impending threat behind him. The stranger opened his eyes and gazed upon the dead corpse of……

 

His colleague, who’s body was cleanly severed at the torso. the stranger gasped in horror as suddenly, flashes of events from their scientific expedition appeared in front of his eyes.  Again fear began to stir as he recalled his laboratory being invaded by zombies  and an explosion.  In that instant the stranger realized what his colleague had become.  He turned to the samurai and….

 

He turned to the Samurai and extended his arm out realizing if either were going to make it through the apocalypse they were going to have to work together. So here they were a Samurai and a Scientist fighting for survival in a world overcome by zombies. As they start they’re agonizing trek through the jungle the Samurai is startled by…….

 

the roaring fire that was barreling towards them.  Reluctant to retreat to frozen tundra that lay behind them, the Samurai lifted the scientist onto his back and started to run.  He could hear the inferno crackling behind them, the flames licking the back of his cloak.  It seemed that the Samurai had run out of options until…

 

The ice creaked ominously beneath the feet of the fleeing Samurai. Undaunted, and with few other options, he continued on. Under normal circumstances his lightness of foot would have safely carried him over the rapidly melting ice flow, but the added weight of the scientist made this a less than certain proposition. Fewer than 20 steps later, the ominous creak became the shotgun blast of a crack exploding around them. The ice broke free and the unexpected companions were suddenly falling, falling, down into a deep, black void. They landed suddenly, their fall broken by something soft and pillowy, with the faint scent of morning dew. The scientist, with his one helpful contribution thus far, produced a lighter. Hesitantly he ran his thumb over the wheel, the spark of the flint igniting the fluid contained within. As the soft glow of the flame began to fill the void they were amazed to see…

 

They had fallen onto a pile of leathers, skins and furs.   As their eyes adjusted to the blackness of the cavern, they realized that they were in the middle of what appeared to be a primitive settlement:  there were many small, leather huts erected by roughly tied stripped wood and scorch marks of fires marring the naked earth around them like black pock scars.  The pungent smell of zombie flesh was absent, but in the distance, glinting in the weak flame of the lighter, were eyes…  Dozens of eyes… All peering at them.  In curiosity or anger, neither scientist nor samurai could say.  Suddenly, from behind them they heard…

 

A burly looking man of vast stature with a thick black grizzled beard. He carried a large, brutal looking axe and was clad in ragged clothes and furs. He looked like a homeless, warrior version of Paul Bunyan. “Who are you? Why have you come here?” asked the man, readying his weapon for an assault. The samurai drew his blade in reply. The scientist observed the eyes shrouded it darkness. He saw a group of people – men, women and children. They seemed frightened, dirty, and broken. It looked like they had been surviving here for months on their own, hidden from the reach of the ravenous undead creatures above. And it seemed apparent that the intimidating axe wielder was their leader, the way they sought refuge behind his presence. The scientist began to think back to that day in the laboratory, and what exactly transpired. How long had he been unconscious for? And more importantly, was he somehow responsible for this disaster? What had caused the current predicament he found himself in. He strained to conjure his memories, grasping at them like puffs of cloud that dissipated with each attempt. The last thing he could recall before waking up and meeting his anachronistic samurai savior was…..

 

sterile tile walls….steel tables….bunson burners….flashes of out of sequence memories darted across the surface of his mind. the harder he concentrated on putting them in order the more it felt like they were slipping away…broken glass…screaming…angry yelling…panic began to wash over him every time clarity seemed close and just as suddenly it left. it was as though his mind didn’t want to remember what had happened. Just as he was beginning to give up all hope of getting anything useful from his suddenly antagonistic brain, one scene popped in and stayed there. It was the warrior in ragged clothes and furs. In this image he was wearing a lab coat, the name tag read…Schaffer, MD, he had no beard, this memory must have been from some time ago. Schaffer was yelling, angry, something about unsafe containment procedures, corners being cut. As realization began to sweep over him, the scientist rose, holding his hands out to signal surrender. “You tried to warn us didn’t you?” he asked hesitantly…

 

Schaeffer’s eyes were unfocused for a moment as recognition fogged his mind.  He blinked once, twice and in his dark eyes the scientist saw a spark.  And like the ignition catching fire in a hesitant engine, the two men seemed to recall almost in the same moment who was standing before him.  Colleague, collaborator and friend.  Schaeffer was just an apparition of his former self, and the scientist imagined that he must look the same to his old workmate.  “Yes, friend,” he said lowering his axe, but only slightly as he eyed the samurai in his peripheral vision while the samurai did the same…  We thought we were Gods amongst mortals.  But we were playing with fire.  Called it a miracle, the Fountain of Youth,” he said bitterly.  “By the time I realized what was happening it was too late…  But now that you’re here there’s hope, yet.”  He said.  “You were brilliant and I sure hope you didn’t lose that.  They’re not so unwise, the undead ones that walk above,” he continue, seizing something from around his neck his neck and pulling hard to break the cord that held in place.  “You would do well to not lose this or alert them that you have it.  They’ve been looking for me,” he said quietly.  He walked quickly up to the scientist and pressed something cold and hard into his hand, never breaking his gaze with the scientist.  Then Schaeffer was very silent and very still for several seconds…  He said two words so quietly that the scientist almost didn’t hear them…  “They’re coming…” he heard, followed by the nearly audible chill down his spine and the most blood curdling scream that would haunt his nightmares for years to come…