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Zombie Me: Patchwork and Pieces

Chapter 1: Part 1, Litany of Rot

Chapter 1: Part 2, Shattered

Chapter 1: Part 3, Growling with Hunger

Chapter 1: Part 4, Vion Rising

Chapter 1: Part 5, Stand Off

Chapter 1: Part 6, The Call

Chapter 1: Part 7, Free Association

Chapter 1: Part 8, First Taste

Chapter 1: Part 9, Bert and Ernie

Chapter 1: Part 10, Starting to Rain

Chapter 2: Part 1, "Me!"

Chapter 2: Part 2, C.A.B.L.E.T.V.

Chapter 2: Part 3, Raining

Chapter 2: Part 4, Sheltered Hunger

Chapter 2: Part 5, Clouded Eye Open

New short story "The Awakening"

Chapter 2: Part 6, Everything Yet Nothing

Chapter 2: Part 7, The Cheshire Smile

Chapter 2: Part 8, Cacophony of Fists

Chapter 2: Part 9, Still Born

Chapter 2: Part 10, Empty Nest

Chapter 3: Part 1, False Rescue, Hidden Hope

Chapter 3: Part 2, The Process

Review of Brainchild... A collection of Artifacts

Chapter 3: Part 3, Psuedo Life

Chapter 3: Part 4, Wayward Derelicts

Chapter 3: Part 5, The Cleaners

Chapter 3: Part 6 The Corridor

Chapter 3: Part 7, Echoes of Death

Chapter 3: Part 8, The Road Kill Machine

Chapter 3: Part 9, Fixed Lividity

New short story "Alone in the Woods"

Chapter 3: Part 10, Fire Within

Chapter 4: Part 1, Eye of the Beholder

Chapter 4: Part 2, Home

New - Character Sketches

Chapter 4: Part 3, Dead Inside

Chapter 4: Part 4, Dead Soldiers

Chapter 4: Part 5, Kill Switch

Chapter 4: Part 6, The Call Part 2

Chapter 4: Part 7, The Key

Chapter 4: Part 8, Reunion

Chapter 4: Part 9, Unleashed


2005/07/15

Chapter 2: Part 2, C.A.B.L.E.T.V.

The dark skyline of Boston passed by as Jen stared out the passenger window of the Altima. The sedan's engine purred as Corina roared down Mass Ave. The streets were paved in an orange yellow glow from the sodium arc lighting of old street lights. Jen's stare never left the reflection in the rear view mirror. The Vion facility seemed to dominate the image of the Cambridge landscape. A cold shiver racked her body as she realized that it followed her everywhere, even in her dreams.

Turning the radio down Corina turned to Jen. "So what the Hell's going on?" Noting Jen's tense posture she tried to lighten up the mood in the car. "You know not to bother me when I am searching for porn online!" Jen didn't even flinch at the joke. "Yo Jen! Earth to Jen!"

"Sorry. Did you say something?" Jen's distracted reply sounded like it had come from miles away. Slowly Jen peeled her eyes from the mirror and turned to Corina. "I.... I'm sorry, I just haven't been sleeping well the last few days."

Corina looked at Jen and saw the dark circles under her deep blue eyes. Her long blonde hair had roughly been tied into a knot behind her head and held in place with a pair of chopsticks. Jens normally well coordinated attire was now a mismatch of styles and color. A powder blue sweater covered a yellow halter top and her long legs were barely covered in a pair of dark blue capris. It wasn't the best choice for a late October night.


"Is it Eric? I told you girl, that boy ain't no good." Jen nodded in disagreement. Sensing that she wasn't getting anywhere with this line of questioning she tried a new direction. "So what's this all about Jen? You get me out on this godforsaken night, ask me to bring my medical bag and then you go all catatonic on me." There was a long pause and not knowing if she was getting through she continued. "You said that Jackson needed some help. Is he hurt?"

Jen opened her mouth as if to say something and then paused as if searching for the right words. "He's at the house, he called me right before I grabbed you and said he'd been bitten."

Corina could see the worry in Jen's eyes, this was something more than just a bite. She refocused her attention on the winding road that lead up to the Longwood medical district. A dense fog was starting to build up along the roadside limiting Corina's vision. The North Eastern campus wasn't much further. "Why doesn't he go to the hospital? He's going to need antibiotics and a rabies shot. That's just stuff I don't have in my little black bag."

A quite look of desperation crossed Jen's face as she spoke deliberately. "He can't go to the hospital. At least not until you check him out and I speak with Eric." Jen was about to say more but Corina cut her off.

"Jen! I've had enough of this shit! What does Eric have to do with any of this and why does Jackson need to get his permission to be treated at a hospital?" Jen started to tear up and her bottom lip started to quiver. Corina saw how traumatized Jen was so she lowered her tone "Just tell me what's going on." Reassuringly she put her hand on Jen's trembling arm. "Whatever's going on... I'll do my best to help Jackson."

Jen started with a timid question. "Have you ever heard of the activist group C.A.B.L.E.T.V.?" Corina had seen leaflets in Jen's apartment with the logo printed in bold letters on them. She had also seen them posted all over the bus stops and train stations in and around Boston. They espoused the numerous dangers of viral testing on animals and the immorality of its practice. "It stands for Citizens Against Biological Engineering and Testing of Virus's. We are a small activist offshoot loosely based on P.E.T.A. and the Modern Luddites."

Jen continued, finding strength in the confession. "Both groups outwardly practice passive resistance but secretly fund smaller subgroups like C.A.B.L.E.T.V. to do their dirty work." Corina had known that Jen was involved with P.E.T.A. and on numerous occasions witnessed her vocally calling for a more aggressive stance against animal testing. She never would have imagined Jen's deeper involvement in a shadow group. "Most of our efforts had been focused on hacking into local biotech databases and spamming their websites with our literature but, recently we have been getting into more aggressive tactics."

"Aggressive tactics, what the hell is that supposed to mean? Jen what did you Get yourself mixed up in?" Anger and concern flashed within Corina's questions.

Jen's strength faltered slightly as she began again. "C.A.B.L.E.T.V. broke into the Vion Labs two nights ago. It was just going to be a simple evidence gathering but we... we found something." Corina's jaw lay agape as Jen continued. "The labs were filled with nightmares." Jens stare became distant and removed as she became lost in memories. A single tear traced its way down the ghostly landscape of Jens pale cheek only to be swallowed by the soft cotton sweater. "They weren't meant to exist on this earth. Half creatures somehow living. Eric said they weren't in pain, but the sounds they made and they way they moved..." Jen's voice trailed off into a whisper.

"Stop it Jen! You're scaring me!" Corina's plead landed on deaf ears.

Jen's lips started to tremble as she resumed speaking. At first her lips mouthed the words and then a soft whisper became audible. "We made our way deeper into the darkness. They don't use lights there you know! Eric says it's because the creature's eyes are so sensitive. I think it's because they don't want to look at what they've created." Every word was punctuated by a distant emotionless silence. "Beyond the blue hallway is where we found the dog. I thought it was dead at first, it was so cold, but then it moved when I touched it." Jen was wringing her hands as she continued. "The poor animal appeared to have been drugged and tortured. By the looks of all the scars it must have undergone countless surgeries. So many that we couldn't even tell what kind of dog it was, but it was big. It was Jackson who suggested we take it as evidence and inform the M.S.P.C.A., so we did. We took it and the dead body we found in the Isothermal lab."

Corina slammed on the brakes and the car skidded to a halt. The two sat silent in the car for a minute before she said anything. "You're not making any sense Jen. You mean to tell me that not only did you break into a high level bio-research facility but you also stole property, namely a corpse and a test animal, and this animal has bitten Jackson...." She was answered by silence. "Yo this is messed up!"

Corina looked out the window to pull back into the street when she saw looming in front of her the gothic architecture of the brownstone apartment that housed the Omega Psi Phi brothers. Long ago the original structure was used to provide affordable housing for low income families and had fallen into disrepair, but since then it had been bought up by the local chapter of the national black fraternity. The refurbishing of the building had been haphazard as each year new students decided to take up various projects and left others unfinished. The windows were all mismatched but the exterior was in good condition considering the neighborhood. Most of the outside work had been done by Jackson and a tall lanky brother named Andre.

The interior was an entirely different story. Before the brotherhood bought the building it had been looted by squatters who had torn out all the copper plumbing and wiring and sold it to the local scrap yards. Thanks to the national fraternities connection at the Boston housing authority they were able to get a certificate of occupancy well before the apartment building would have been habitable.

A dark shadow graced the front archway of the building. It was Andre who met them at the exterior door. "Sup ladies? Hell of a night to be out, right?" Andre's voice was extremely deep for a man of his lean build, it reminded Jen of Isaac Hayes. He held the door open for Jen and winked to Corina as she entered to building. "Damn girl you been working out?"

"Just point us to where Jackson is." Corina kept her smile hidden as she walked into the darkened hallway.

"Yo Jen! Your boy's in some rough shape. You mind telling me what's going on, cause he ain't saying shit!" Again Jen didn't even acknowledge the request. He turned to Corina and said under his breath "His leg is really messed up, and she don't look to good either." Corina coolly looked at Andre and gestured for him to lead.

Unfinished walls flanked them as they walk towards the back stairwell. Exposed wiring cried out warnings to Corina's safety conscious mentality as lights flickered on and off briefly. "You should have some real men come in and fix this place up." Corina had just finished thinking that it couldn't get any worse when they entered the back stairwell and she realized she was wrong. A dim exit sign buzzed noisily overhead as they entered, it's red and white glow provided the only light as they entered. Rounding the corner its luminescence only aided in casting dark shadows.

"Only two floors to go!" Andre's glib tone contrasted sharply with the claustrophobia brought on by the dark. A flickering light appeared in the darkness ahead of them. Andre's Zippo provided a beacon for them to follow as they descended into the sub-basement. "Pardon our appearances while we're under construction. Been meaning to fix up some of the lighting down here. Sure could use a women's touch though, what do you say Corina?"

"Your lucky you've got me this far! What was all this before you guys got your hands on it?" Corina's familiarity with the house only extended to the large function room on the first floor during the brothers social nights. She had been invited countless times by Andre to check out his pad on the third floor but had never accepted.

"Like most of the construction built in Boston around the 40's our house has its very own bomb shelter. It goes down fifty feet below street level." Corina could tell she was far below ground as the air was heavy with subterranean dampness. She could feel a growing vibration beneath her feet. She grabbed onto Andre for support as the quaking reached its crescendo. "Don't worry my queen it's just the subway."

Corina pushed Andre away as the noise passed. "Let me guess... the Orange line right?" Andre nodded. "Great, now I have to deal with plaster falling from the ceiling every time a train passes." Regaining her composure she continued to the sub-basement door. "Where'd Jen go?" As Corina opened the door to the hallway faint light trickled in from the hallway's battery operated tap-lights. Andre and Corina entered the long hallway just in time to see Jen opening a door at the far end. "Whose door is that?"

"Jackson's..." Andre stated flatly just before he was cut off by Jen's high pitched scream...



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2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wanted to read all of your chapters before I made any comment. Keep up the good work, because you are writing one hell of a story and I hope that you see it through to the end, because I'm definitely hooked!

1:08 PM  
Anonymous William Zedalis said...

Thanks alot for you kind words! They really mean a great deal to me. I intend to honor your request and finish this (hopefully in a timely manner, but with my family who knows). Thanks again - William Zedalis A.K.A. Divided Soul, A.K.A Wesker!

10:29 PM  

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