Rise of the Walking Dead

In the wake of the apocalypse, John Walker struggles to survive the new & perilous world. As he struggles, he eventually adapts to the new world. But what he doesn't know, is that due to his families bloodline, an unusual secret will emerge from the shadows & change the very meaning of survival.

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1. The New World

“Hey… you okay?” a girl’s voice said off in the distance.

 

I opened my eyes to the illuminated forest below. I was sitting with my back to a rock resting on the edge of a cliffside overlooking the seeming endless forest reaching in all directions. I turned to look behind the rock to see her approaching. Christie. Her brown hair reached down past her shoulders. She was wearing a black tank top, jeans and black boots. Strapped to her belt was a hunting knife on her right side and a handgun in a holster strapped to her thigh underneath it. She came up and sat next to me to enjoy the view.

 

“Ya, I guess you could say that,”

 

“What do you mean?” she asked looking over at me.

 

“It’s been rough. Living this life,” I said staring off into the distance thinking of the horrid day this nightmare began, “Ever since I lost what was left of my family.”

 

She looked at me with sorrow in her eyes.

 

“I’m so sorry,” she said with the words paining her to say it, “But we’ve all lost someone these days. You don’t have to face it alone. You… don’t have to be alone.” She said putting her hand on my shoulder.

 

For a moment there was silence as I hesitated before I put my hand on top of hers, “Thanks,”

 

She removed her hand to replace it with her head as we watched the moonlight forest below. As we sat there, the memories I had of the apocalypse when it began only a couple months ago returned to haunt me.

 

* * * July 7th, 2007, three months ago* * *

 

I woke up in my bed with the window open next to me. The alarm clock to my right on the nightstand read 3:27 am. The moonlight shone through the window and illuminating a section of my bed. I stood up slowly and swung on my black leather jacket onto my bare back with my jeans and boots. I went outside of my two story house and used the ladder in the backyard to climb the roof. I sat on the top of the roof with my eyes closed to embrace and enjoy the cool breeze of the night. I opened my eyes to the distant sounds of multiple overlapping sirens and explosions to see burning buildings in the distance. As I watched carefully, more and more buildings in other parts of the city erupted in a burst of flames covering the stars and moon with thick black smoke.

 

Just then the phone in my pocket began ringing. I pulled it out to see that the number was the police station calling me in for an emergency. I opened the small phone and answered, “Walker here.”

 

“John! It’s chaos over here! We need you out here NOW!! We’re in downtown central, there’s multiple wounded from rioting civilians! We need you down here with the rest of riot control now!” it was my step sister Kara Maddox, even though it was obvious with the yelling, she sounded stressed out again like usual. She was my partner in the 42nd precinct of the Atlanta Police Department.

 

I hung up immediately and made my way down from the roof, into the house and into my garage grabbing a clean solid black t-shirt from on top of the dryer. I pressed the button next to the door to open the garage and allow me to exit. As I began driving out, I pressed the portable remote in the car to close the garage behind me as I pulled out into the street. As I made my way towards downtown of New York City, lights flashing and sirens blaring, I struggled to put the shirt on under my leather jacket and drive with one hand.

 

After getting through the suburban area of traffic where I lived outside of the main city, my shirt was on and I took a left onto main street to head towards the police department and gear up. But as I made the sharp turn onto main street, I was forced to slam the brakes in the middle of the intersection. The streets were completely blocked with burning cars and a large crowd consisting of riot control trying to hold off a large group of people who attacking the riot squad in an unusual manner of walking up to them and trying to break the wall. Every now and then a guy from the wall of riot men would be pulled in by the riot and they would pile onto him. Buildings everywhere were burning with thick black smoke exiting through broken windows. I began to back up when I looked off to my right to see a bright light from a semi truck with the passenger biting the driver’s neck coming towards me at full speed. I tried to get out but as the driver saw where he was headed he tried to correct himself and hit the trunk of my car which sent me flying down the street. The last thing I remembered before passing out was the sounds of people screaming and cars crashing, and even with all the chaos I could hear Kara’s voice in the distance, but my body was too weak at the time to do anything.

 

* * * * *

 

When I woke up, the mixed scent of rotten flesh and smoke filled the air and my whole back and left leg felt like they were on fire. I was underneath a car that had crashed into a pole in the sidewalk slightly elevating the front. I looked around to try and squeeze myself out from underneath the car. When I stood up, the burning pain in my leg made me lose my balance and fall onto the warm cement. I looked down at my leg to see a bite mark on the side of my shin. Luckily, a silver handgun had landed a few feet away from the crashed car I was under. I slowly stood up and limped over to pick it up. After checking the chamber for ammunition, I looked around at the city in ruins. The buildings were burnt and collapsing with the below streets littered with rotting corpses and burning cars. I looked around to find anyone who I might know to tell me what happened while I was unconscious, or maybe even my car.

 

My car was nowhere in sight, but neither was anyone else. I walked over to where the riot was before the accident. Surprisingly there was a decently open area, minus the dozens of dead bodies with their bodies covered in bites and puddles of blood everywhere. Some of the men in riot gear were killed as well. The strange thing however was that one man had his head ripped clean off from the torso but was nowhere in sight.

 

“Ugh,”

 

I knelt to start taking off the riot gear as my own and grabbed the ammunition I found on his duty belt. The man was young looking, possibly one of the rookies I had heard about. After strapping on the body armor and grabbing the shield and baton, I began working my way down the street to where a S.W.A.T. truck was left wide open. One of the men had suffered a horrible death of tripping on something and breaking his neck in his collision with the truck.

 

“Damn. Poor bastard,” I whispered to myself.

 

I looked into the truck to find a standard black M4A1 assault rifle with an acog scope with foregrip beneath the barrel resting on one of the seats next to a fully equipped duty belt. Sitting next to the rifle, I found a sheathed combat knife hanging from the door.

 

“Ha! Bingo!” I called out quietly.

 

I pulled down the knife and strapped it onto my undamaged shin. I strapped the riot shield to my left arm and placed my baton in my belt, leaving my handgun on my thigh in a holster and the rifle in my hands.

 

After stepping out into the light of midday, a strange sound came from around the corner. I cocked the rifle and cautiously made my way around the truck. Nothing. But when I turned around, a male citizen was standing unusually with his shoulders hunched forward and back to me. His brown t-shirt and jeans were ripped revealing multiple bite marks on his legs, arms and even neck. His hair was long, brown and filthy like a rats nest, with grey skin that seemed to be rotting.

 

“Hey! You okay?” I called out lowering my rifle.

 

The man turned back towards me which revealed I had made a mistake of calling her a man. It was Kara without her gear, she must have been caught off guard too in the riot. The sight of her was horrid with her mouth dripping with blood and flesh slowly beginning to rot. But the strangest thing was her eyes. Instead of being their standard light green, they were gray like a blind man.

 

“Kara, it’s me. John! What the hell happened here?” I said approaching her.

 

Strangely, Kara snarled with a raspy voice as she slowly limped towards me.

 

“Kara, what are you doing?” I began to worry as she approached me, “Kara, if you don’t answer me then you’re giving me no choice,” I said in a warning tone.

 

She had approached within six feet from me before she stopped and began looking at me curiously. I placed my hand on my baton as a precaution.

 

“Kara, talk to me. We can get out of this. Whatever this is,” I said as she strangely sniffed the air like an animal searching for it’s prey. After a moment, she walked past me with raspy breathing.

 

“Kara, where are you going?” she ignored me and continued walking, “Kara! Kara?” I said as she limped off down the street.

 

“What the hell is going on here?” I whispered to myself.

 

I jogged up to beside Kara even though she just ignored me. I didn’t know what to do besides simply walk beside my ill step sister. It felt strange having someone to talk to even though they wouldn’t respond to me no matter what. I continued to follow my unusual step sister down the long road until she led me to a road off to the side that was filled with citizens crowding around what seemed to be a light brown tank. I made my way through the crown to climb onto the tank and get a better view. But before I could, I stepped in something that made a disgusting squish when I stepped on it. I looked down and saw that these people were feeding off a horse. The poor thing’s stomach was ripped open and the people were just eating it raw with their hands. But what was more disturbing was that even though their faces showed nothing but a dead expression, they seemed to enjoy it.

 

“Oh god,” I said just before puking from the smell, “What are you people plagued with?” I said shoving through the horde of people and climbing onto the tank only a few feet away.

 

“If you people are plagued, why am I perfectly fine?” I questioned myself.

 

I looked down the road over the crowd of people to seem the other half of them slowly roaming around a gate with two men that looked completely normal. I couldn’t get a good look at them but if I was correct, they seemed a little afraid. I jumped off the tank and began to make my way through the crowd. But as I did, the clouds above lit up along with the sound of thunder. And moments later it had began to rain with a heavy downpour. Just then I could hear the men in the distance shouting and running with half the crowd strangely growling and walking towards them with a slow haste. I ran towards them, shoving through the plagued men and women.

 

“Wait! WAIT!” I called out to the two men. But they couldn’t hear me over the snarling of the plagued.

 

“Wait!” I yelled as I approached the gate.

 

But it was already too late. They had already driven off into the distance. However, since the alarm had gone off from the red Charger, I could literally hear them from a mile away. But they weren’t going that far. The plagued had decided to walk away from the fence in the direction that the car with the alarm had gone. The plagued had thankfully moved away giving me space to shoot the lock that closed the gates. After the shot was fired the plagued looked at me suspiciously with a horrid look of hunger. But instead of being angry at me for firing shot next to all of them, they just stood there awkwardly, staring. Then they were reminded of the alarm and had continued their slow hasty walk. I walked through the gate and began jogging in the direction of the car alarm. As I had approached the alarm moments later, the car and ambulance sped past me ahead at the intersection.

 

“WAIT!” I yelled increasing my speed to a fast sprint.

 

I ran towards the intersection and down the road in their direction. Even though I had lost them, I followed the sound of the alarm. Eventually the alarm had led me to the edge of the city and into the forests on the opposite side of the city from where I lived. I looked back at the massive city and stood there for a moment gazing into the distance remembering the long and happy childhood I was about to leave behind. My focus was broken when I realized that the car alarm had been shut off.

 

“Shit,” I whispered running into the forest following the two sets of car tracks.

 

* * * * *

 

After about half an hour of a steady jog, I eventually came to an open clearing on a cliffside to see the red charger parked next to a small campsite with multiple other vehicles including a motorhome and couple of other different cars and SUVs. I could vaguely see one of the men from Atlanta running up to a woman with brown hair and hugging her like he hadn’t seen her in years. The rest of the group had seemed kind and innocent, but I didn’t want to take chances. I slipped back behind the cover of the tree line. I wanted to run up to them to find out what was happening but I didn’t want to approach them making them think I wanted trouble. I hiked a small ways around the hill until I reached the top. By then the sun was setting and it was almost dark. Thankfully as I started making my way down, the group of people had made a small fire which I used as my guide. As I approached, a few of the plagued from the city had came up behind me and began walking towards the group as well. After walking with them for a few meters I had noticed that they were attacking the group as soon as we had reached the campsite.

 

“Walkers!” one of the people shouted.

 

When one of the plagued got close to the people, they started biting them. They even acted like rabid, yet slow, emotionless beasts that had no care in killing. The plagued citizens had began pouring into the camp, but what made me curious was why they weren’t attacking me. I ran up and opened fire on one of the plagued about to bite a member from the group, but even with a clean shot he still approached the man.

 

“Aim for the head!” a man on the right called out.

 

Too late. The plagued had reached the man and had started to rip out his throat with his teeth. I aimed at the plagued man’s head and fired. The shot when clean through leaving him lying on the dead man with his throat ripped out. I continued to fire upon the plagued with slow, dead-like movement and rotting flesh. When the attack was done and no more were approaching, a man with recently shaved facial hair and brown sheriff hat on his head approached me pointing a .44 revolver straight at me holding it with just his right hand. He was around his mid 30’s and was wearing a light brown officer shirt with brown uniform pants and black shoes.

 

“Who the hell are you?” the man asked.

 

“Walker. John Walker,” I replied with my rifle pointed back at him.

 

“What are you doing here?” he asked stiffly.

 

“I was following your car from Atlanta. Just woke up from a car accident around noon. Didn’t want to make an approach you wouldn’t like the looks of,” I explained with my rifle still aimed at him.

 

“Like arriving with a group of walkers? Bullshit. Were you trying to take us out?” he asked slowly stepping forward with hatred in his voice.

 

“Walkers? Why do you call them walkers?” I asked curiously.

 

“Because of how slow they walk, being dead and all,” he replied like I was an idiot.

 

“Wait…” I said walking towards one of the dead bodies with rotting flesh, “You mean to say that anyone that looks like this… is dead?”

 

“How could you not know this?” he asked looking confused, still pointing the gun at me but slowly lowering it inch by inch.

 

“I told you, I just woke up this morning. I was in a car accident last night, during the riots,” I explained.

 

“Riots?” an old man said from the background. He was elderly, around his late 60’s, slightly overweight and wearing a fishing hat, white tank top, brown pants and black shoes with a hunting rifle hanging on his back and had supposedly decided to let his facial hair grow out a little bit.

 

“You mean the ones where every building burned?”

 

“Ya…” I replied uneasily.

 

“Son, either you have some serious memory problems or were somehow in a coma like Rick here. Only without life support, assuming. Because it’s been months since that horrid night. Two at least,” he explained surprised from my response.

 

In the horrid moment of realization, I had instantly begun to feel dizzy and fell onto the ground, holding my head which was dripping with tears knowing that the only family I had left was dead. But worse, one of those things flooding the city.

 

“What the hell, is going on?” I asked looking up at the group of people who had begun to circle me. The man with the revolver, Rick, had reluctantly stopped aiming the weapon at me.

 

“The world, son, is at its end. And now every day, is a struggle to survive,” the old man said walking closer to me.

 

I was simply trying to wrap my head around everything I was told, until the old man made a weird look on his face.

 

“What the hell is that?” he asked in a frightened tone pointing at my leg.

 

I turned my left shin inward to get a better look. When the old man saw what it was, he jumped back. The others looked frightened as well when they saw the slowly healing wound on my shin.

 

“He’s bit!” the old man said pointing at me with great fear in his eyes.

 

The man with the sheriff hat began pointing his revolver at me with a look of disgust in his eyes. He slowly walked forward and looked at my leg which I still had outstretched and facing upward. When he saw the bite mark on my leg, he looked up at me, revolver aimed right at my skull.

 

“How long have you been bit?” he said asking me with a hushed tone.

 

“How would I know? I just woke up today,” I replied.

 

“Let me look,” a blonde said walking up to me and the man with the gun.

 

She knelt down next to my leg and slowly reached for it.

 

“Let me look,” she said reaching for my leg.

 

I relaxed and allowed her to place her soft hands under my shin. She was a blonde in her possible early thirties or late twenties wearing a white t-shirt with a light blue unbuttoned shirt on top with tan shorts and brown boots and a knife sheathed on her side. She lifted my lower leg to get a better look at it. After she examined it for a few minutes with another guy holding a flashlight over my leg so she can see. He was Asian in his mid twenties wearing white T-shirt, jeans, shoes and long black hair that was held neat around the sides of his face.

 

“That can’t be possible,” she said after looking closely at it.

 

“What?” Rick said looking at her with curiosity.

 

“It can’t be. This bite… it’s old. By a month at least,” she explained showing Rick the bite mark on my leg.

 

“Are you sure it was a walker that bit him?” he asked.

 

“Positive. Because why would someone that’s desperate to survive take a bit off his leg and just leave him,” the girl said explaining to Rick as they backed away from me.

 

“Then even if it was a Walker, why would it just leave him with one bite instead of finishing him off?” he asked her in a whispered voice, looking back at me.

 

“The thing probably took one bite and got distracted by something else,” she responded.

 

The man named Rick walked over, keeping his distance from me for precaution. He looked at me trying to figure out if I could be trusted or not. He squatted down so his eyes were level with mine.

 

“How many walkers have you killed?” he asked.

 

“Those things?” I said looking at one of the rotting corpses on the ground.

 

“Yes,”

 

“A few,” I replied after thinking about it for a minute.

 

“How many people have you killed?” he asked looking deep into my eyes.

 

After listening to the strange question, I realized what was happening.

 

“A few,” I said remembering all the dangerous days I had lived as an officer and S.W.A.T. officer.

 

“Why?” he asked after thinking from my response.

 

“It was my job. If I hadn’t done it then they would have killed me,” I replied truthfully.

 

“Your job?” Rick asked giving me a weird look.

 

“Yes. Before… this,” I said throwing my hand up in a gesture to acknowledge the apocalypse,” I was a S.W.A.T. officer. I’ve had a lot of dangerous work back in the days.”

 

Rick stepped back to talk with Dale and a few of the others. After a moment of them speaking with each other just out of earshot they finally turned back and looked at me.

 

“We’ve come to a conclusion,” Rick began as I listened attentively, “You may be infected, but we’ll let you stay with us as long as you agree to work with us. You help us gather supplies and help keep us alive and we’ll let you live until you turn. But when you do… we’ll have to kill you. Just standard protocol, nothing personal.”

 

“I understand,” I said standing up with Dale pulling me up with his hand.

 

“Come, let’s get you introduced to the group,” Dale said patting me on the shoulder.

 

As the other settlers began removing the rotting corpses, or “Walkers” as they called them, and putting them in a pile to burn in the morning, Dale walked me around and pointed out everyone that was part of the group.

 

“You’ve already met Rick, ”he said pointing towards the man with white t-shirt and revolver, “he may have just joined our group today, but I sure am glad he did. He’s a big help and does everything he can to keep us alive. That’s his wife Lori, his son Carl and his old deputy friend, Shane.”

 

”What happened with her?” I asked looking at the blonde who helped me who was weeping over another dead blonde that looked a little like her next to the entrance of the automobile.

 

“That’s Andrea. I wouldn’t mess with her today though because she just lost her sister. But after she turns and we deal with it, she should be stable a some time after,” he said explaining as we stopped in front of the automobile.

 

“Ok… what about everybody else?” I asked looking over the group of people off doing their own thing.

 

“Well… we got Glenn over there, real friendly,” he said pointing at the Asian man. Then he just started naming people as he pointed at them, “We got the Morales family, the abusive husband to Carol, Ed, and their daughter Sophia. Then we got Jim and T-Dog. We lost Merle today, complete asshole he was, but his brother Daryl is out hunting somewhere, for a while now that I think of it. So either he’s dead too or he’ll be back tomorrow. Well for the last possible hours of your life, you can either help us ready these bodies for burning tomorrow or get some good rest.”

 

“I just got here. I may be new like Rick, but I’m not just gonna sit on my ass,” I replied placing down my rifle moving towards a corpse lying on the ground and hauled it over my shoulder and moved it over to the pile of rotting corpses.

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