At Friday it had started snowing. By Monday morning the town had found itself in the midst of a white chaos.
It had been like this last year too, about the same time, a lot of snow fell and then melted all over one single week. The roads were impossible to use since it was not until 7.00 AM the plows had started running.
It had caught the whole town unprepared, schools had been closed and people could not get to work. Karen however had been unable to get from work.
She looked at the snow that still fell outside the window and silently cursed that she had to take that night shift. The phone rang, it was an emergency call, and this was simply not her morning.
Tired she put on her gear, as usual the command center had left out all the details of whatever mission they were supposed to undertake. The words “additional information will be provided at the location”
in a cold robotic voice was not exactly reassuring when you dealt with things like this.
By the protocol they could not ignore an emergency call, but as she had tried to explain to that voice, all the roads were blocked by snow. It in turn had told her that “the roads outside your agency are about to be cleared. Please stand by for additional information”.
Of course, in this case “stand by” meant to wake up the whole station, put on all your gear and then wait to see if the robotic voice told you the truth or not.
She took it like a professional, one cup of coffee at the time. As she had managed to gather the rest of the poor souls that had been forced to stay here over the night she waited for whatever confirmation the command center would come with.
Most agents would have been home by not if not for the storm and wasn’t particularly enthusiastic on working. But when the phone rang again some hours later they all knew they had a job to do.
How the command center had managed to convince the plows to clear this road first was not something she thought about, this job quickly taught you to never ask questions.
At least it was easy to see where they were going. Right outside a man was waiting for them.
“About time you came.”
He didn’t sounds very happy. “We have been waiting for hours.”
“Don’t worry; we want to get this over as fast as you do.”
She entered the apartment wanted to get this over with as fast as possible, inside were more civilians, looked like most of them had just woke up.
She heard the door open behind her and some more agents entered the room along with the man with a bewildered look. “Who are you guys? I’m quite certain I called the police.”
“We are the police, sort of. Now can you please explain the situation?”
“Right… I’m David by the way, David Garner.”
“I’m Karen Wade, and I’m sort of the commanding officer here.”
She didn’t want to look even more impatient then he was and waited while he was trying to calm down some old woman.
“So… officer, in the middle of the night we woke up of a bizarre scream, it sounded almost human; and it didn’t stop either.”
“It was creepy as hell, sounded like the soundtrack of a horror movie you know. So I got to see what it was all about.”
“And what did you see?”
“Well nothing except these people”
, he pointed at the other civilians. “But the screams kept coming from room 7, I thought someone was dying there or something you know. It got silent a few hours ago thought.”
“I’m guessing you didn’t investigate this?”
“Well the door was locked and nobody really liked the idea of breaking up a door so…”
“I understand, now let’s open that door then.”
The room looked like any other inside the apartment building; one agent broke down the door with an axe. A loud breaking sound and they were in. It was pitch black inside. Karen didn’t really understand why they had to do this, seemed more like a firefighter or a police officer’s job.
“No signs of anything we have been trained to fight at least.”
“Quiet, I think I heard something.”
They went to the source of the sound coming from another room. The light coming from a TV inside the room revealed a young girl sitting in an armchair, there was a strange smell inside the room.
“Have you come for me? I feel so strange…”
“She is in poor condition, she didn’t even have the strength to go an open the door when the civilians wanted in.”
Karen came closer to the girl, she did look a bit sick. Her skin was almost grey. “What’s your name darling?”
She asked carefully, not wanting to frighten the poor girl.
“I’m… Sam, can you tell what happened to me?”
“Sam I need to know what happened here."
Sam suddenly smiled and said "I feel better now, I think I want to leave."
She heard someone else enter the room. Karen turned around and saw David again, he tried to squeeze pass the other agents. “I’m sorry sir but this is a restricted area you-
Suddenly it looked like David had seen a ghost; he pointed in the direction of Karen and screamed.
She turned around, what she saw almost made her lose balance but she managed to back away from what had been Sam last time she saw it.
But whatever it was now she had no idea, she drew her gun and opened fire. The thing didn’t even seem to notice it. The other agents had done the same but the thing continued to move toward them.
David turned and ran, she felt compelled to do the same.
In a haze she heard someone shout “Fire in the hole!”
and suddenly a wave of flame came against her, it barely missed her from the inhuman screamed she heard behind her she assumed it had hit whatever that had been following them.
They came outside the room, downstairs everyone else were waiting for them.
She dared to look back inside the room and saw that thing covered in flames, its dying screams echoed down the staircase and made everyone panic.
The thing fell down on the floor, it stopped moving. Dear god
she thought it was a horror
. Now she didn’t have a moment to lose, she could not let anyone go outside.
“No one is going in. This is from now on an infected zone. We are all staying inside, do you understand?!”
She almost screamed.
The others didn’t seem to understand what she was talking about; she ignored them and went downstairs. She went pass the confused crowd and saw that the agents still outside already barring the exit “WARNING: INFECTION
” Karen could read on the band rolls.
“We just received some information from the headquarters, sorry but we can’t let anyone outside."
An agent stood just outside watching her. “Tell them that they can’t get to close to the windows, we have order to kill anyone that tries to exit this building”
, he paused “including other agents”.
“Why the hell didn’t they tell us anything?”
“Beats me, I think they didn’t want to inform us until we got here, but you rushed in so…”
“Ugh… don’t tell me this is my fault.”
“I’m not claiming anything. But don’t worry too much now; we will get you out of there. Just tell everyone to prepare themselves to be tested. We will take out one person every hour and test them one by one. When we have made sure no one is infected everyone is free to go.”
“I guess I should try to keep the civilians calm then?”
“Yes, that sounds like a good job now, it looks like they are already panicking.”
Karen sighted and turned back to the crowd that looked as confused and afraid as before.
“What the hell is going on out there? Why are you not letting us outside?!”
Karen ignored the crowd’s shouts, “We are going to make sure you’re not infected, one person at the time is going to be tested and then we let you out. Are we clear?”
“Yes, anyone here could have been transformed into a monster like that one last night, even when we entered the house…”
Day 1 Starts, nominate the first person you want the S.E.U. to test.