Project: Feral

The U.S.A. been devastated by a virus that has been in movies, books and stories for centuries. some say it came in a flash, some say it was slowly crawling towards them as if they saw it coming. The world has sealed and quarantined the entire US continent, but for how long will the virus stay there? Whenever someone thinks of the U.S.A. they think of the horrifying creatures that now tread on its streets and roads... These creatures are, as some say, the minions of the Devil himself, and some blame the world and its people for their own mistake. One man stands in the way of this virus, only one. The virus wants to spread and grow like fungus, but this man will end the virus, or will he? Does he have what it takes to save his beloved home? Or will it all be too much for him to handle? This is a plague...This is a war. (first story)

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2. The Rise

I awoke in what looks like an operating room, but this one was bitter, gloomy. I was so weak I couldn’t lift my head and every part of my body felt like it was under the Titanic. I was so dazed I almost blacked out a second time. I felt straps around my arms, legs and chest. I was lying on a hard, metallic table.

The table started to move and I finally had strength to lift my agonizing head up. I got a glimpse of a man in a white lab coat. He took my head in his hand and turned and twisted it like he was inspecting something. My vision was restored, I could see the man was a scientist and off in the distance I can see military soldiers. “He is awake.” The scientist spoke. Another soldier came up to me, though he had medals which meant he was the general, and looked into my pail eyes. “How is your stay here so far?” he asked amused. I tried to reply but all that came out was a grunt. The general laughed and said, “Good to hear, because you are now going to spend the rest of your life here.” He walked away and I can feel the straps on my body loosened. My legs were still limp so I knelt as I fell towards the ground. The general spoke again, “Let me introduce myself, I am General James H. Steele, best military general in the entire northern hemisphere and you, my friend, are my new weapon to use.” My blood boiled and I let out another roar. This roar was stronger than the accidental one, but I didn’t feel weaker, I felt like I was on a sugar rush times ten. I looked around and can see the power of my verbal assault. Every scientist and soldier, including the general, has either passed out or became deaf, I’m thinking both. I ran out of the room as fast as my legs can allow me, passing through more hallways and corridors than a labyrinth. I can see a bright light in the distance and could feel that I was picking up speed. A huge blast/bunker door started to close off my possible escape, but that encouraged me more. I slid under the door as the metal door softly grazed over my hair. It took a while for my eyes to set, but when it did, I was met with the beautiful scenery around me. Lush, green trees surrounding me are what I can describe as foreign, where I come from it is only buildings, smoke and grease. I could hear the blast doors slowly opening. I ran before the soldiers could reach or attack me. I ran, in hope of finding some sort of civilization. I walked exhaust through the forest. I stumbled upon a small town and looked around. Blood was stained on the walls and guts were scattered across the crimson road. I saw a woman, but it wasn’t a woman either. The ‘woman’ was on her knees, eating another dead body. I couldn’t believe my eyes as I watched her finishing off the dead man’s internal organs. I took a second look at her and saw that her skin was pale and stained with blood, her face obscured that I can call disfigured. I got my voice back and asked, “Hello? Can you help me?

The woman looked at me with a blank look and hissed. She leaped from the ground and rushed towards me like a rugby player gone mad. I could feel my finger nails elongate into something. I looked at my arm and saw it was covered with orange tiger fur and my hand was paw like with long claws on each of my non-existing fingers. The woman jumped on me and tried to eat me, my left arm holding her at bay. I took a huge risk. I swung my tiger like arm and actually landed a direct hit to her skull. She fell next to me, twitching until she fell silent on the ground. By the looks of it my tiger arm must have crushed the inside of her head. “Awesome.” I breathed out. I don’t know what the army did to me while I was blacked out, but it is like they unlocked or heightened my abilities. I saw blood spewing from the woman next to me. I heard a howl or something, but not from a wolf or any animal, more human like. Then I heard another howl, then a third, a forth, a fifth and a final sixth.

This is going to be scary. I decided to get to higher ground. If I can make a tiger claw/arm, I wonder… I focused hard and was met with a pain in my back as though a dagger was pushing into my spine. The pain subsided and I walked over to a broken mirror. I can see dark, brown wings. I twisted a bit and saw they were spawning out of my back shoulder blades. I tried to get a feel of my new body part. I flapped it a few times and I got used to it. I flapped it hard twice and I was about ten feet from the ground. I continued flapping until I was on top of a small structure. As I walked further to the middle of the building, my arm got caught on a nail. I groaned as I felt my arm got a tear. The howls were back, but this time it’s close, very close. I heard a footstep from the ground. I looked over the edge. I was baffled. Hundreds of people, shuffling and moving around the building I was on. They looked as if they were dead. Dead... That word keeps running through my mind until it clicked.

“Zombies!” I mentally screamed to myself. I ducked so that they won’t see me. How can they be zombies? Can it happen? Is there such virus? My mind felt like it was running a marathon. A newspaper flew into my face. I shoved it out of my sweaty face. The building’s roof-hatch opened and I saw a hand. A ‘zombie’ came out and lunged itself at me. If there’s one thing I learned from zombie movies is that don’t let them bite you. My wings contracted into my back again and I grew my tiger claw again. I kicked the ‘zombie’ off me. I got up and punched it in the face. It fell to the ground as my hand caved his skull in. I looked behind me. Two more ‘zombies’ was on the rooftop. The two hurdled towards me. I felt my left arm pain as I punched the first ‘zombie’ square in the jaw. I held my arms up and both were tiger claw-like. I ducked as the second ‘zombie’ tried to tackle me. I punched the ‘zombie’ in the back of the head. I looked over to the first ‘zombie’ and it was pushing itself up. I slowly walked up to it and twisted his neck. Hearing his spinal cord crack, I smiled devilishly. More ‘zombies’ came from the hatch and I was soon outnumbered. I fought until most of them were gone. I breathed heavily as they keep coming, endless waves of the undead. I delivered my last punch, falling on my knees. The ‘zombies’ surrounded me. I was sure to be infected or dead, but…

BLAM! I heard the building shake. I opened my eyes and saw soldiers instead of zombies around me. For the first time the military did something useful. I tried to get up, my knees buckling under my weight. I could kneel at least. The same general as before walked up to me with a grin on his face. I got annoyed by that grin and spoke up, “keep grinning like that and I’ll wipe it off with my claws.” I said lifting my clawed hand as a gesture. He grinned even more and then turned around. “Don’t worry son, we won’t hurt you, on the contrary I would like to thank you for fending of those zombies for me.” He spoke, amusement playing in his voice. “I wondered what those things were. How did this happen?” I asked, fully recovered. I walked up to him as he turned around, his grin gone. “Son, I think it’s better for you to come with me, so we can explain everything.” I walked with him down the small building to a waiting Black Hawk. Man I love those things, huge soldier-carrying behemoths with twin mini-guns on each side. “Nice toy you have there, General.” I said sarcastically. He grinned once again, though this time it wasn’t as annoying. “Thank you, we are trying to upgrade them to an air-born, water-borne and all terrain vehicle, we are getting close.” He said proudly. I too grinned, thinking of how it will look. That picture sent chills up my spine. We walked into the ‘Black Hawk’ and it took off. The whole ride was quiet.

We landed near the same base I broke out of. I felt only a little ounce of guilt as I saw how I smacked everything down as I was running earlier, “Sorry for ruining part of you base.” I spoke softly to the general, clearly seeing he’s a bit mad. “It’s ok, you were scared, that’s all, and I can understand that.” He spoke with an optimistic voice. I followed as he took me into a room that looks like a crew’s quarters. His deep voice spoke again, “This is your quarters…” he said, but then a knife flew passed my head, millimeters away from my ear. I yelped in surprise. A shadowy figure came into the light and I saw a teen, a bit younger than me, but a teenager nonetheless. “… Oh, and you’ll be roommates with another special soldier, meet Sharpshooter.” I looked at him, he had black eyes, and I mean an unimaginable pitch black eyes. He wore a type of armor on. He also had black hair, a bit lighter than his eyes. His armor was painted a night-black color. In the middle of his chest armor was a cross-hair with a white color. Just by looking at him I knew he meant business when it is needed. I put my backpack, that I didn’t know I still had on, and some new clothes on the top bunk of the bed and followed the general again to continue the tour, feeling pitch black eyes follow my movements until I walked out of sight.

The general started another conversation, “Well, I guess I should start from the beginning. On the Mayan Calendar it stated that the world would end on 21 December 2012, but here we are nine days later. A science lab in Russia unleashed a virus called the LQP-79 virus. It was the 79th attempt to bond a Lysergic Quinine Protein and a small blood cell robot to gain control over a person’s mind. The Russians probably wanted to start world war 3, but it didn’t go as planned. An explosion took place in the lab and spread the newly made virus on the 21 December as the calendar might have warned us about. Now we are stuck with blood hungry zombies on our doorstep. On a different note something happened to my daughter, Jennifer Richards, I haven’t heard from her in days.” He spoke, sadness clearly audible. The thought of Jennifer being the general’s daughter was heart-breaking. I was especially taken aback by that bit of new-learnt information. “When you sent your men to capture me, the helicopter accidently shot her dead while I tried to get her to a safe spot. We were running from the copter when I felt her hand slip from mine.” I spoke with the same level of grief. The general’s footsteps came to a halt. I can feel the general’s eyes on me. “You are telling me that my own men shot my daughter dead while you tried to protect her.” He spoke with a bit of rage. I looked up at him and replied, “Yes, sir, she was my new girlfriend the same day she died. When I saw she was dead, I almost roared the copter into a few pieces and I blacked out. We both clearly loved her.” He nodded at me with sympathy in his eyes. “Why is everyone so relaxed when a zombie horde can show up or further destroy the human civilizations?” I had to ask. He spoke once again, “Because there is nothing we can do except fight for another day and slowly take the zombies out. We can’t just rush into a horde with guns blazing, that’s why I am assembling an elite team for that.” He continued the tour. That would explain why ‘Sharpshooter’ was wearing body armor and almost kill me.

The general took me into another room that was called the control room. I couldn’t find my voice. The room was large. It was a cave with supports holding the granite ceiling up. Everywhere I looked I saw super computers and scientists. “Cat got your tongue?” the general asked with amusement. I recovered from my trance and walked with the general to a huge screen in the middle of the room. Everything in the control centre, including the soldier’s armor, was a beautiful grey color. The general turned to me and held out his hand, a plastic package resting on his palm. I took it, maintaining eye-contact the whole time. He nodded at me and I looked at the package. It was my own armor. I removed the plastic and admired the suit. It was dark brown like my hair, with green lines on the sides and on the sleeves and legs. In the middle of the chest section an emerald green dinosaur foot-print.  The general threw a head-visor at me and I caught it. I looked at him and he spoke, “Well, aren’t you going to try it on? Restroom is next door.” I grinned and walked out of the control centre, anxious.

I came back 20 minutes later and looked at myself in a reflective glass. The outfit was comfortable. It wasn’t tight or loose, just perfect. I attached my head visor and looked at my suit in more detail. It had two gun holsters on my hips and a sword-like sheathe on my back. The visor was like a helmet, but wasn’t thick nor does feel like it. The visor had shark teeth running down from the sides of my head to my forehead, the eyes sitting a little higher. The glass of my visor closed and it showed my armor specs and a targeting system, like Iron Man’s suit of armor.

“Well? How does it feel?” The general asked. “Awesome, but what’s with the visor? I have my own natural night-vision and the visor can be a hinder.” I spoke with my voice proudly. “The Visor is there to assist you in battle. It has communication, heat-vision, it increases your aim if you ever use a gun and it allows you to see any damage to your armor.” He replied. I nodded and walked right up to the general. “One last thing, I would like you to meet someone.” He said, escorting me to somebody working at a computer. “Jake, this is Natasha Richards, Jennifer’s sister, and my other daughter.” He spoke as the chair turned around. The woman is stunning. She was a redhead with blue eyes and not a freckle on her skin. She extended her hand and I shook it. “Pleasure to make your acquaintance, Mr. Anderson.” Her soft voice spoke. I regained my composure and answered her, “You too, but tell me, if you and the general are related, wouldn’t your surname also be Steele?” I asked out of curiosity. The general spoke first, “Yes, but my wife’s surname was Richards and when I married her, she kept her maiden name, as did our daughters.” He explained. “On to your evaluation…” He continued “First, we must train you so you can use your powers correctly, along with basic training, then you will prove yourself in the final exam” I saluted him and almost exclaimed with joy, “Yes, sir.” He dismissed me and I went back to my room.

When I walked in, another dagger flew at me, but before it crashed into my skull, I caught it. “Can you please stop doing that?” I asked irritated, throwing the knife to the side of the room. This roommate is crazy. “Sorry, I usually live alone; I’m not used to roommates.” He apologized. I gave him a nod and jumped onto the top bunk. I looked at him and asked him, “Are you ok with this or should I take bottom bunk?” “It’s ok, I’ll take bottom.” He replied, settling in under me. “You know, for a person that never had a roommate, you really know how to be friendly.’’ I said to him. He replied shortly after, “Thanks, good night.” I wished him good night as well and drifted off to sleep, dreaming about my training and evaluation.

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