Zero Horizon

This is something the world isn't prepared for. Survival of the fittest, last man standing, free for all, dog eat dog world. Who will survive? Who will die?

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1. Keller

  Prologue

           "It's too fast!.. I don't think we can outrun him.." ~ "Fight him!.. I'm not going to get him alone, help me!"

I can feel adrenaline rushing through my veins, this moment doesn't exactly feel real. There's no doubt in my mind this is a nightmare, but in reality or just a very bad dream?

 

Chapter one

      Christmas is approaching fast. I don't know if I can get enough shifts in with the Local 505 to make it a good one. There's been a lot of ships in lately, more than usual and from unusual places. The foreman have been acting strange as well. They all seem.. On edge. I wonder what's got everyone so wound up around here lately.I imagine smuggling might have a bit to do with it, but whatever brings the city revenue, right? I would ask around, if it were that easy. It's not hard to get on the wrong persons bad side around here.

      Anyway, it's not my job to speculate. I'm paid from the neck down, at a good price I might add. Aside from Longshore life, there's not a lot new in my life. Every day seems to be the same, between my work life and personal life. I'm just the average alcoholic car enthusiast video game addict, trying to make a decent living where I can while maintaining and supporting somewhat expensive habits. Longshore life can be tough, but manageable. 

      Since I'm not scheduled to work today I thought it would be a good day to go for a drive, since the sun is out and all. Wrong. The city is busy today, mostly emergency services zooming through the streets at light speed. I didn't know it could get this busy here, with the population lower than the average city. Police cars and fire trucks litter nearly every block, answering to domestic disputes and ambulance's on every other avenue. I thought the local radio might help, this is what I got.

Car Radio: *static* *static* *static* "-with local residence in a panic, as this totally new illness taking the city completely by surprise. No one knows where it came from, or exactly how to treat it. The only treatment available at this time is high strength antibiotics. The effectiveness of this treatment is unknown at this time. The first case of this new illness was reported only days ago. The current state of the individual is also unknown. Experts and doctors are working quickly to try and find effective treatment for the illness.Symptoms may include -" *static* *static* *static*. 

      Interesting to say the least. With all the public events held recently and Christmas shoppers out and about, it's not that surprising that this new illness has quickly become a threat. I don't suppose there are any vaccines available. I should check on Felix. I haven't seen him all week. SMS: "Hey, Felix. It's Keller. I'm on my way over"

      On my way to see Felix, I noticed something strange. An alarming number of pedestrians, and even some motorists seemed almost as if they were on some kind of drug. Some seemed completely spaced out, while others were more anxious. I don't know how anyone can go about their day like is, it's quite frightening to see. A woman on the sidewalk appeared so anxious, she was startled every time she seen a new face. Whatever she was on, I definitely wanted no part of it. If I could get to Felix now, it wouldn't be soon enough. 

     As I pulled into the driveway at Felix's house, he was already stepping out the door. It's always nice when there's no waiting involved. 

"Hey, Felix. How ya been?" ~ " Hey, Keller. The usual." ~ " Drunk tank?" ~ "I don't get that drunk man" ~ "Mhm. Drunk tank." ~ "Hey! Don't be jealous because I know how to have a good time. Just because I wake up in the drunk tank from time to time does not make me an alcoholic." ~ "We're both drunken alkys. There's no denying that" ~ "Eh.. Yeah, I guess you're right." ~ "There's too much blood in my alcohol system. I need a drink." ~ "You can say that again." ~ "There's too much-" ~ "I agree, but I was kidding man. Shuddup..." ~ "Hey, have you heard anything about the illness going around lately?" ~ "What illness" ~ "Felix man, you're so clueless." ~ "That's the way I like it, and I never get bored." ~ " I don't know what they're calling it, but it seems pretty bad. There isn't even a known treatment yet." ~ "How do you know that?" ~ "We don't all live under a rock, Felix. " ~ "I get out more than you Keller." ~ "Let me rephrase. We don't all live a life of constant intoxication" ~ "That's better. So what about this new illness?" ~ "I dunno man. Just look around, no one seems right." ~ "When has anyone ever seemed, right?" ~ "This is different. Everyone seems more... Out of their minds" ~ " Sounds like the usual to me." *THUD!* "No, no.. This isn't the time to break down.." ~ "C'mon Keller. A little walking won't kill you" ~ "No.. But this new virus might." ~ "Ha. Wouldn't that be somethin'." ~ "Shuddup Felix."

      Perfect.. This is the last thing I needed. My car breaking down, with all this.. this illness spreading around... I pulled off to the side while I still can. Hesitant to get out of my car, I popped the hood to see what's wrong. The top post crimp eroded off the battery terminals and bounced around the engine bay. An easy fix, I just need a new top post crimp. Not an option I'm in favor of, but it looks like we've got to walk to find a parts store, fast.

      I light up a cigarette as Felix and I start to walk down the street. A homeless man asked if I had a spare, his eyes were bloodshot red, he was shaking, somewhat twitchy and for what ever reason was very anxious. Obviously he knows I've got a pack of cigarettes on me, he just watched me light one. Better not to throw caution to the wind in times like this. I didn't want to risk him touching me, so I took my pack of cigarettes out and left it on a railing as Felix and I kept walking. He's on his own for a lighter... He must not have one, seeing as how it's been a few blocks now, and he's still following us. Why couldn't there be other pedestrians around for the homeless man to bother? Why do the streets have to be empty now..

      After about 20 minutes or so of walking, Felix and I finally found a half decent parts store. The homeless man was still nearby, he's followed us right to the store. Felix and I entered the seemingly dead store. There was only one employee working, must not have been a very popular shop. Not that it mattered, I need that post crimp to get my car running again. I spent a bit of time picking a part that I would feel comfortable with in my car, meanwhile Felix is goofing around with every part in his reach. The lone employee was in a near lifeless state that was becoming familiar for me to see. Wait a minute. that state..

(Flashback) Car radio: "-Experts and doctors are working quickly to try and find effective treatment for the illness.Symptoms may include -" *static* *static* *static*. 

      They're in a similar state. The homeless man and the employee. I don't know that I want to buy this part from that employee now.. I took the part over to the counter, the employee just looked at me, with a lifeless stare before changing to an anxious state. He jumped and startled me. He obviously wanted nothing to do with me. He told me to just take the part and go, so I did.

      Felix and I started our trek back to my car. When we exited the store, we noticed something. The homeless man was no where to be seen. a bit concerning. but we decided not to question it and keep moving.

"Do you see, Felix? Do you understand what I've been talking about now?" ~ "See what Keller?" ~ "The store employee and the homeless man. They were sort of the same" ~ "What do you mean. The store employee and the homeless man looked nothing alike. I mean obviously the homeless man is homeless and the employee was not." ~ "No, you smart ass. I mean their mental states. They were acting the same way." ~ "But the shop keep didn't ask you for any cigarettes." "ugh.. Useless." ~ "I know you are" ~ "Shuddup Felix. Just keep walking. I want to get out of here."

     Just as I said that, we spotted the homeless man. Only, he was not alone anymore. It seems he's made a friend. Only this friend seemed to be enjoying a meal out of the homeless mans tummy.

Felix:"What the fuck is that?!" ~ "I don't know, RUN!"

We ran as fast as we could down an ally leading towards my car, with this cannibalistic man in pursuit and gaining ground fast.

Keller: "It's too fast!.. I don't think we can outrun him.." ~ "Fight him!.. I'm not going to get him alone, help me!"

I can feel adrenaline rushing through my veins, this moment doesn't exactly feel real. There's no doubt in my mind this is a nightmare, but in reality or just a very bad dream?

      This is bad.. Real bad.. Felix decided we should fight this guy. As much as I don't like it, I don't see any other options. Felix and I both turn to face the man at the same time, I was a bit hesitant on what to do, after all I've never faced a threat like this before. I felt that my best bet was to keep my distance, so I start kicking at the mad man, trying to knock him over so we could fight him more effectively. The man was focused on me since I'd retaliated first, so Felix went around him and pulled him by his collar, bringing him to the ground. Before we could capitalize on the situation, the man quickly rolled over, turning his attention to Felix. Now worried for Felix, I jumped in as quick as I can, putting my trainer to the side of the mans head before he could get up. This barely even phased the man, he just turned towards me seeming even angrier than before. That stare and growl.. The intensity of this mans anger had me frozen in shock. What is this I'm witnessing? Thankfully, Felix stepped in while I hesitantly regrouped. Felix put his foot on the mans back and pushed him back to the ground, pinning him. While the man was pinned I started kicking him anywhere I could to hurt him, but no matter what we did, he just seemed un-phased.

      We've been fighting this guy for so long now, fatigue is starting to set in. Both Felix and I are near breathless, this insane man is still roaring and growling like a wild animal, he's got the stamina of one too. Tired of kicking and punching this guy, I start getting sloppy and mid punch, the man manages to grab me. He's got me in his grip, bringing me to the ground, effortlessly keeping me down. I wrestle and try to fight him off me, to no avail. The mans mouth starts to foam, his eyes dark red, as if a blood vessel has popped or maybe even all of them. He growls as he shows his teeth, leaning into me as if he wanted to bite me. Thankfully, before he could do that, Felix picked up some wood from a part of a broken fence in the ally-way we're in and smacked the man off of me. Now that the mans down again, Felix starts whaling on the man with all he's got. After some time pummeling the crazed man, Felix drives the plank right through the mans skull. This shocked us both as we stare at a now lifeless body, blood slowly trickling out into the ally-way. It felt like ages while we watched the man bleed-out before either of us said anything. We both had to catch our breath, but for the most part, I know it was shock keeping us both from speaking.

 

 

 

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