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View Full Version : Colour-Coded [Apocalypse!Writing]



Lifeson
2010-02-12, 08:35 AM
Author's Preface: So, the original idea is not mine, but the person who DID create the idea basically made an RP based out of combining Resident Evil/I am Legend with Final Fantasy. The RP died due to inactivity, and I actually liked the idea, and then this kind of...spawned. This was also going to be my piece for NaNoWriMo, but I started halfway through the month, and lost the momentum. So here goes, and feel free to Comment and Critique. Specifically on narration, because it's quite the challenge to write the opposite gender.

Oh yeah, it's kind of a long-ish runner. :P


Chapter One: Scene Setting

It's a really odd way of life when you define it by paradoxes. Us, a couple of under-grads of university held the most power in the city. The virus that killed off most of the city gave us that power. We were the light in the dark, the life amongst the dead.

Whether from luck, fate, or from something else entirely, when the virus hit...it gave us these powers. We have a few talents that help us get by as well. Funny, we prepared for this kind of thing, as a joke or a hobby. We never thought it'd become serious. Turns out that's what helped save us. Instead of trying to make a panicked escape, we bunkered down. Instead of getting lost, trampled, or otherwise incapacitated in the mess of those left behind, we were readied ourselves for the what was coming.

When others lost their lives due through death or infection, we defended ours.

And so here we are. Alright, so “here” is a relative term. For m, it's with my buddy Virgil, trying to find a way out of this accursed city. Doesn't help that the city's been walled off from outside access, stopping anything from getting inside or out. On the bright side, if the infected are sterile, we could technically bash through them all. Yeah, all twenty thousand of them...yeah right.

A more specific “here” would be our 'hideout': a '60s style diner that we're always renovating. Most of the windows have been replaced with thick metal sheets, except in the back corner where we put the shatter-proof and Plexiglas combo we scored a month ago, which let in sunlight to my garden. The counter that wrapped around counted as a second line of defense, in case anything actually gained access in here. On the inside of the counter were armaments, first-aid kits, and the like. Behind the double doors, which are behind the counter, is a kitchen that's unremarkable except for the four doors which lead to mine and Virgil's rooms, as well as a bathroom and a fully-stocked pantry.

Yeah, I think we're ready for just about anything.

If Virgil were narrating, he'd probably complain how that was all 'scene-setting', and no 'actiony-bits'...you know, something exciting to catch the eyes of whomever's gonna read this. Right now, he's currently tuning his ancient blue Fender Stratocaster. As for me, I'm tending to the previously mentioned garden. My current project in the dirt was to grow something to provide food. It's just a couple shrubs for berries, and a few vines for grapes. At least, while daylight's out anyways. It's not like there's anything big out there, but as we all know from movies and video games: the undead don't like sunlight.

“Hey, Juno,” Virgil asks while he's habitually going through chords and warm-ups, “You didn't happen to have anything planned today, did you?”

“No, I didn't. I think we have everything we need for a while. I think it'd be nice to sit back and relax for a day. You know, sit back in relative peace.” I explained, finishing up with watering the plants, “I thought it might be good to get some R&R after what happened in the past couple of days.”

Virgil thought about it to himself, and nodded, and probably reminisced about what those past couple of days were. For those not in the know, they were pretty ridiculous, to say the least. One in particular was rather...disturbing, in an oddly enlightening kind of way. The way you wish you never found out, but you know you had to eventually anyways. It was just one of those days where, at the end of it, you just wanted to sit down, totally drained from the events, and just wash away the worries.

After a bit, he put on his trademark smile, and stopped his guitar playing. He set the instrument behind the counter, and said, “Hey, on the bright side, we learned there's more out there than just hordes of the Infected out there. That means we it won't just be us in a bit if we keep a lookout for people.”

As much as I thought about it before, the truth of that didn't hit me until someone else said it. It was as if, earlier, that I was just kidding myself. If you ever had the feeling that you think you're only believing something because you needed something to hold onto...but never actually believed it? It was one of those things. I smiled back at him, and it was kind of infectious. I took off my gardening gloves, and set them on the dirt near the plants, and stretched myself up from crouching all that time. Since he was the one who asked if we had anything to do, I asked him: “Do you have anything you want to do. We still have a bit of time before the sun goes down.”

He looks outside, gauging the setting sun, and said, “Well, I think that if there's anyone out there, they'd probably join up with us...which kind of means we need a bigger place to stay than this little diner. I think we should try and find something a bit more useful for a group...how long do you think we have?”

I looked at the sun, and cast a look at my watch, and gave him an answer of, “We've got about an hour...which means that even if we found anything, we wouldn't have the time to go in and clean it out before getting back here before nightfall and the rush of the Infected.”

He nodded, and walked behind the counter, and pulled out a map of the city, focusing on our immediate area. I followed, and looked over the map with our markings of what we had cleared out of all the useful stuff. Most of the stuff nearby were small residential houses previously, and they were either falling apart, or just filled with nasty vermin and Infected and the like. Except for a rather large building ten blocks up from us that I had to ask, “What is that, again? Is that the small mall that closed down when we got here for University?”

“Yeah”, he replied, poking at it with a pencil. “You know, the people on the internet that researched this stuff kept saying not to go to malls ever, seeing as people like to flee there.”

I looked at him, just to add that little bit of punch to what I was saying, “Yeah, but we'll have the people-power to clear it out. Besides, it'll be fine when we clear it out, and it'll be much better than this little place. I mean, it has a small food court and a bunch of boutique shops. It's not that big, and it won't be that big of an issue to clear it out.”

“I guess,” he says as if he's trying to put on the show of being convinced. It's rather flat, I'm not going to lie.

“Look, I'm well aware it's not a good idea to be actively seeking out a death trap, but we can't fit many more people living here. Something tells me it's not a good idea to cram a whole bunch of survivors into tiny little compartments.” I explained to him. It's not like I particularly liked looking for such a place, but it had to be done sometime...may as well be now. “We'll go in the morning, we'll scope out the place before we actually go in, and we'll see. In the meantime, we can go looking for other survivors, okay?”

“Yeah...I'll go get the electric farm down for the night, then.” He said, then moved to the back of the diner. By the electric farm, he means our jury-rigged farm of solar panels and windmills we use as a generator. We usually take it down for the night since it's almost useless then, and we're kind of afraid of something crushing it in the night, or something coming by and stealing it. We were probably a little paranoid about it, but we had to be careful with it; otherwise, if we lost it, we weren't getting it back.

~ C-C ~

I sat in my bed, and flipped the pages in my journal, focusing on the pages that were referenced today. I had to read it again, and again, because it had this kind of dream-like, intangible feeling in my head that I could feel that I didn't want to accept. So I figured that if I kept going back to it, visiting it again and again, my subconscious would actually stop fighting it. My handwriting came out at me, reiterating the day's ago events: The day began simply enough, with routine being routine enough...


Chapter Two: Month 3, Day 14


Journal Entry #42, Month Three, Day Fourteen

The day began simply enough, with routine being routine enough. Cherry-red, chin-length hair to be tamed, weekly measurement to make sure the coffee wasn't stunting my growth (5'0”, and a little less than a hundred pounds. Maybe I should stop.) and breakfast handed out by Virgil. He hands me a plate of readily made French Toast, and comments on how he “Thinks it's cute how my feet dangle two feet off the ground.” I just looked into his bespectacled eyes into those blue and green mis-matched irises of his, and just glared at him. He rectifies the situation by handing me my cup of coffee with a smile on his face, and he specifically picked the one with the smiley face on it in a tiny little reminder of what to do. Starting breakfast, I began to talk about the plans for the day:

“So, what do we need to do today? Anything we're missing?”

He takes his own breakfast, same as mine, off the stove, and sits over beside me. “Well, we're stocked fully on food for the first time this month, thanks to that grocery store's freezer actually having something in it this time. I think we're fine on the little things like toothpaste and toilet paper and the like. Unless you've got some girly stuff to get, and I don't want to know about that,” he explained, and took a bite of his own cooking...which was as great as always in my opinion: tasty. He then realized what we were missing. He face whitened a bit when he did, and I got worried, and rightfully so when he explains why: “We're out of everything in the first aid. There's no painkillers, since I used the last few last week. When you fell down three days ago, you ended up using the last bit of the gauze, and band-aids aren't quite big enough for anything major. We have a bit of cough medicine, but that's it, and if we manage to get any other sort of sick, we're out for days at the very least. And if all that's missing, you know what that means...”

I did. Hospital run. Lovely.

We finished eating breakfast in silence, since we were a little scared, and more than a little worried. After we were done, we went back to our rooms, and changed for the occasion. For today's outfit, I picked a pink Under-Armor-style shirt under my favourite jean-jacket that's tough and been with me through quite a lot, and a pair of skinny-jean cargo-pants. I ran a brush through my hair just habitually, grabbed my Worry Hat, and left the room with Virgil dressed much the same way as me, except with black instead of pink, hatless...and less skinny. It's just the order of the day, since it was a durable outfit that didn't hinder you in anyways. I'll be back later with the rest of the day when we get back.

~J.S.

We're back, and we're scared out of our minds. We found out a bunch of stuff in that Hospital that we didn't even know existed, and we're definitely scared out of our minds because of that. It wasn't just spooky that scared us, but...it'd just be easier to explain from the beginning.

When we left, we left as we normally did. Arming ourselves like we usually did, Virgil with his automatic shotgun, and me with my 9mm pistols we both nabbed from a few cop cars left behind, we left for the hospital with an attempt at a smile. Virgil did it better than I did, and actually succeeded, but I wasn't to fond of going into what seemed like a veritable death trap. As we grabbed our bikes, I had to ask about the smile, “What are you so glad about?”

“Well,” he said, “Think about what else we could find. Sure there's probably a good chance we won't, but what if we do? Could be other people, we could find somebody's leftover stash of this or that, we could find some sort of little trinket or instrument or this or that. So much we could find.”

I had to wonder, and not for the first time, as we were pedaling down towards the local hospital, what gave him the ability to look on the bright side and run with it like that? What gave him that kind of hope? And where can I get some? “I hope we find more good things today than just a bunch of pills and bandages.” I said off-handedly. When we reached the dilapidated hospital, the hope he had given me had shrunken a lot. Boarded up windows, a few bricks falling out of the building here and there, the sign hanging in front of the door on its last bolts.

Scary, spooky place, this was.

Pulling out our armaments, we cautiously stepped inside the hospital, and peered around inside. We didn't find any infected, much to our relief, but we found the inside in much the same state as the outside. The only light was what peeked through the boards on the windows, casting bright rays to the ground, illuminating all manner of bloodstains on the ground, crude barricades from the debris and leftover pieces of furniture. Believe it or not, we're actually used to this kind of thing. It's everywhere inside, with or without the shambling infected trying to eat you. After a couple of break-ins into a couple houses for food and supplies, you end up getting used to seeing the blood and the futile attempts at stopping the frenzied attacks.

“Hmmm...” Virgil said as he looked around, and fumbled in his pockets for a flashlight. Taping it onto the end of his shot gun, he motioned further inside with it, and finished his thought, “This place has probably already been ransacked at one point or another. There'll probably be stuff further in though.”

“Yeah, I was thinking of that myself.” I responded, and pulled out my own flashlight. We moved cautiously in past the main lobby of the place, and began to search the corridors, looking for something that wasn't ransacked, and hopefully not with infected in it. There wasn't much, since most rooms were picked clean of everything; the beds were gone, the cupboards were bare, and the place had only dust to offer here, showing that not even the infected had anything here. Which was good, but we definitely did not relax, even as we descended the stairs to the lower floor storage. We figured that most people would probably avoid this place, seeing as people tend to congregate near such places, and thus infected would show up as well. The door was locked, but Virgil knocked the handle clean off, not willing to risk a shot yet. The noise would probably have waken up every infected in the building, which would've been a bad thing indeed.

After forcing the door open, and shining our flashlights cautiously around, we moved in very slowly into the floor corridor. Now that there no sunlight, apart from what little trickled in the holes in the ceiling, we were very, very careful around everything, and checking a few rooms for our supplies. After finding a few empty offices, we found one that actually had been barricaded up to my chest, but had a few supplies strewn about. The barricades had the look that someone had been dragged over it, but the room itself was mostly clean. A few bloodstains, but the room was fine. The computer screen even had a glow coming from the screen. I attributed it to stored power from a generator of some other source of power, after all, we ourselves at the diner had more than a few ways to generate electricity.

But, as I looked at the screen as we climbed in to grab the medikits, I read something on it, like somebody had left a note behind.

Day 42 : 17:42

The infected seem to be increasing their numbers...however, what I have come to see more of is nothing even close to resembling a human. These new horrors are more gruesome, bigger, and more terrifying than even I could've imagined. Can the infected evolve into these things? Or are they the result of mutation of some other poor animal?

It has been two weeks now, since I've seen another uninfected human being. Mind you, I've only been able to travel several blocks through the city since then. Never before had I realized how huge this place was...is this happening outside the city? There was no way to know...before the infection was even really known about, all of the power was cut out throughout the city--no radio, television...nothing.

I made my way to what was once a highly-guarded government building. The security took a long time to breach, but I managed. Down in the basement, I made an extremely unsettling find: the whole pandemic (or epidemic, for all I know) was planned. I hacked into what seemed to be the central computer and also found that they had made predictions that some of us, such as myself, would display alternative mutations. They included a wide variety of supernatural powers...they were labeled as such:

"BLUE: the ability mimic others' physical strength, agility, etc.
RED: the ability to summon the entities
YELLOW: the ability to change physical shape
GREEN: the ability to send out a variety of mental signals
PURPLE: the ability to produce non-elemental explosions
BLACK: the ability to control the elements
WHITE: the ability to heal"

As disturbed and betrayed as this all makes me feel, it gives me hope...is there anyone else out there who survived?"

~ D'ara Iden


I was stunned. As I was quickly copying this word-for-word onto my notepad, my mind was racing very, very fast. First of all, planned? Second of all, I had supernatural powers? And thirdly? The infected were mutating. I knew very well what the third had meant, and that was bad, very bad. But the other two? Well, it was interesting to say the least. Well, I hadn't noticed my “supernatural power” yet, so I couldn't make any distinction on that one way or the other...but planned? That was an atrocity in and of itself and...

“Well, what have we got here?” Virgil said over my shoulder, breaking my reverie. Handing me two of the apparently many medkits and bags of medications, he scanned over the note I had taken, and then the actual note, and then his mind looked like it quickly reached what I had reached. “You got this, right?” he asked incredulously. I just nodded as I finished, and I put the note into a breast pocket, and hefted my medkits and flashed the flashlight around once cautiously, just in case any of the infected had decided to poke out since we had been sitting here. Seeing when we were clear, we left the room as slowly and carefully as we had entered. I looked at him with a look that said “We're done here.” He nodded his agreement, and we headed back up the stairs we came. Everything felt fine, and we were going to make it out okay.

Right up until I sneezed.

That was great. Both me and Virgil were mortified. It was a loud sneeze too. We pointed our weapons in both up and down directions, hoping that no one else had heard the sneeze. I put my Worry Hat on, and mumbled it's code phrase: “Worry Hat engage...Worry Hat engage....”, hoping to stave off the fear and worry gaining a lot of ground...and then I sneezed again, except louder. This time, we bolted the hell out of that staircase. As we rounded up the final bend back to the first floor, I peered down, and saw the rapidly shambling infected bolt out of the floor we were just on, and I fired a couple of rounds down there out of sheer panic. As we entered the first floor, proper, we were charged by more of the shambling infected. Virgil pushed me towards the exit as he opened fire at chest height to try and get as many heads as possible. It's one of his favourite tactics. I regained my footing, and headed out the way Virgil pushed me, and watched a bit over my shoulder to make sure he was alright. He had closed the stairwell door, and started backing up as his weapon shot out against the shells of the infected.

But over his weapon shots, I heard some sort of galloping. A soft-ish sound, but a very, very hard bass to it, like a hip-hop backbeat. The only thing I could think of for a second then was D'ara's words: These new horrors are more gruesome, bigger, and more terrifying than even I could've imagined.

“We have to get out of here, now” I said to Virgil, as I pulled him back a bit to get his attention. He stopped firing for a second, and a we ran, the bounding sound I mentioned earlier got louder and louder. As we exited the hospital, the bounding had stopped. We didn't turn around until we got a good distance away from the hospital doors. We saw this...being. It looked like it was a woman...or used to be, except one of those body-builder types, and covered in a wolfish hair or something. The thing screamed at us, an ear-shattering how that freaked us out...but she didn't follow us. We took a look at the she-wolf beast and realized that it was blinded by the now mid-day sun, with it's yelps getting a bit softer and pained, and it retreated back inside to hide from the light. Myself and Virgil were breathing heavily, both from running the hell out, and getting the **** scared out of us with the infected and that...thing that just screamed at us.

“What the hell was that thing?” Virgil asked, when he'd regained his wits. He did it faster than I did, and I just looked at him, and shook my head, “I have no idea. D'ara said something about the infection mutating from the general shambles that we've been seeing...that's probably one of them.”

We picked up our bikes and headed off with our merchandise in silence, mulling over the events and the info of the day.

This changed everything.

~ J.S.