A NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR
This chapter will be incredibly dark and evil. In all seriousness this chapter is not for children. It will be very descriptively graphic. The chapter will be broken into five sections, one for each of the main characters. Please let me know how this chapter makes you feel!
July 28, 2012 1030
I’m recovering. Not well but I’m getting there. I don’t know how long it will take for me to be one hundred percent. I don’t know how long for any of us. Hopefully sooner or later. I don’t know anything anymore. I’ve asked the other three to write in here about our experience. I’m going to do it also but…
Lt. James Bryson
I’ve had the best training in the world. I’ve seen combat all over the globe. Fuck, I was on the team that caught bin Laden in 2010. Got that son of a bitch back to Andrews alive and he falls down the ramp out of the plane and breaks his neck. What a load of crap.
I can say that what we saw in Terre Haute was something that I could never be prepared for. Not really sure writing it down will work very well. I’m only doing this because Grey and the Doc felt it might have a cathartic effect.
As much as I care about Michelle, even the joy I feel when around her is dampened by memories of Terre Haute. I guess I had better begin. Grey will probably kick my ass if I waste space in his journal.
There was nothing. At least nothing over one story tall. The cloud of smoke amazed us all. You couldn’t see very well once you were in it. Fires burned all over the place. Small fires, but a lot of them. Ever read Dante’s Inferno? Sky blotted out. So much dust in the air it honestly reminded me of someone dumping a vacuum cleaner bag in the sky. The sun provided almost no light looking like a dim gold disk in the sky. I could see maybe 15-20 feet in that mess. You kept having to wipe of the windows on the CBR masks to see. The smell of death and sulphur came through the suits. It would take days of scrubbing to get it off.
Bodies were everywhere. Or at least body parts. Children, adults, pets…I wasn’t kidding when I said I’d never seen anything like it. Unbelievable. Thank God my training kicked in. Kept me from barfing in my suit. We made it just north of Locust St. before we had to stop. The Geiger Counter just going nuts. The radiation levels were incredibly high and visibility was poor.
Bodies draped through windows. Bodies tossed in the streets. Bodies in cars. Cars flipped and tossed into buildings and on the roadways. I actually saw a car impaled on a street light. Like it had been picked up and slammed down on the pole, piercing it through the middle.
We began walking down 3rd past Locust and I heard Grey give a “What the fuck?” over the wireless mic. Moved up next to him and saw something very disturbing. Three people crucified on make shift crosses. They weren’t decayed to badly and didn’t appear to have the advanced cases of radiation poisoning you would expect of a city survivor. As we approached you could see the railroad spikes that had nailed these people to the crosses. One through each leg and wrist. And one through the mouth. The worst part is that they had been crucified in the nude and upside down.
I could feel someone near that wasn’t one of us, but couldn’t quite tell where. As we turned away from the crosses, we could see the ‘people’, if you want to use that term loosely. Lack of flesh like a raw steak. No hair, no eyes. Bones protruded at different spots. The sound. Oh God the sound. The mewling sound. There had to be about fifty walking corpses coming at us. The bad part was that they were coming at us. They could feel us. Or sense us. Or smell us despite a lack of noses. I think we all just about passed out or puked at the same time. Christ, they didn’t even pass as zombies. At least zombies look human. Just thinking of it makes me want to puke.
Of all people it was Tyler who took action. He opened up with an MP-5 and started knocking them down. As soon as he started firing, we picked up also and pretty quickly the walking dead were all truly dead. I believe without a doubt we did them a favor. One problem. There’s no way they could have crucified those people. That means with the walking dead, we have some other group here.
The whole thing looked like someone picked up Terre Haute off the Earth, set it on fire, and threw it right back onto the Earth. Debris everywhere. We knew it had to be an airburst because of the range of damage and the minimal size of the crater. Terre Haute looked shattered.
Once we caught our breath and quit shaking we moved around the bodies, trying to keep our distance, eventually reaching 3rd and Chestnut. Right by Indiana States Track and Field facility. More devastation and death. More bodies. The further we go the worse it gets. I think the nuke went off during rush hour. There are too many people and vehicles around for anything else.
About halfway between Cherry and Wabash we began to hear some sort of weird moaning noise. I thought it was human but it also sounded like a ceiling fan running in the middle of summer. I got real nervous at that point. I asked Grey about bringing the vehicles up and he agreed asking Tyler and Michelle to bring them up to where we located.
While they did that, Grey and I continued to move towards the humming/moaning noise. We hunkered down in the doorway of a building trying to pinpoint the noise but couldn’t. Our vehicles showed up and those two joined us in the doorway.
I spotted it this time. Had to be two hundred of them. All standing in a group in front of what looked like a capitol building. Then the screams came. Loud enough to make my arm hair try and pop through my suit.
Two hundred dying things, standing there trying to burn five people alive on crosses. Upside down crosses. This is them. We couldn’t take them on. Pure suicide. Couldn’t leave those people to die like that on the flaming crosses either. Even being faster than the ‘undead’ or whatever we should call them, we couldn’t escape them.
A loud crack shook my head. Whipped around saw Grey sighting in again with the Barrett, smoke roiling from its barrel like a genie escaping a bottle. As he puts another victim out of their misery, the crowd begins to shift towards us. I yelled for Michelle and Tyler to get the vehicles started and begin laying down some cover fire for Grey. He finished the mercy kills and I see that everyone in that crowd isn’t as bad as the group before. Some of them didn’t even appear to have signs of radiation sickness. I grabbed Grey by the arm and dragged him to the Hummer and throw him in the passenger seat. Michelle and I take off in the FAV with Grey and Tyler right behind us.
Heading south the last things I remember are screaming that more of ‘them’ were pouring out of the rubble and then a roller coaster. Now I sit here trying to write this with my left hand and waves of nausea crashing through my body.