“…Didn’t think anyone else would be up.”

“Always been a morning person.”

“How’re you doing?”

“I’m alright. Teddy says things can always get worse but…we can’t dwell on it. How’re you doing Flo?”

“Good. A little antsy. Curious”


“The town, what we might find. The fact some of the zombies can see us now…knowing how it all spreads, but still not sure what caused it. Just, a lot.”



“Morning ladies.”

“Hey Teddy. How are you doing?”

“Good. Refreshed. Thanks to you. Connor and I are prepping for town. You two ready to go soon?”


Back on the road. I should feel relieved but somehow, knowing more about the zombies makes me feel more and more anxious.

It’s quiet outside. All of us are ready with our respective weapons: Vic has a wooden bat, Connor has one of Teddy’s hand guns, Teddy has a Rifle, CJ a frying pan, Izzy has a machete, Leanne a broken table leg and Vic handed me his Kodachi a slightly smaller Japanese sword similar to a Katana.


The towns quiet. “I was expecting, survivors.”

“There are, with a smaller group we figured we didn’t need the whole town.”


“Should be a few guards by now, at least.”


“Just a walk in the park, right Frankie?”

“Woods, but I like it better this way. Tre romantic.”

“It’s work.”

“No need to play games, I’m onto you. You said you wanted me all to yourself, just didn’t expect it to be this.”

“Gear up.”

“True, it’s not the most creative, but, ‘A’ for effort.”

“Are you done?”

“Hehe, maybe.”

“Besides, I said dinner tonight. So let’s make this quick so we can get back to us.”

“Yes sir.”


“Fence is just up there. Young ones first.”

“What do you we do once we get in?”

“Check in supplies, check in with my commanding guard…find some way to outsmart the Seekers.”



“Yeah. Zombies that can see.”

“Maybe all we need’s a Golden Snitch.”


“Couldn’t resist could you C?”

“Hehe, come on, it was right there.”

“It was good, I’ll give you that.”


“You know, that’s not a bad idea though. Some kind of…distraction for ’em…”


“I dunno. I’ll run it by the superiors. You guys go ahead and get comfy.”


“You guys notice anything odd?”

“Yeah…there aren’t very many adults here.”

“Flo, try none.”

“Maybe, it’s for the best?”

“I’m curious about the research team.”




“You and Frankie be quick. Commander’s pushing the lab hard for progress.”


“Talking about being ready for human trials soon.”

“That close to a cure?”

“All he’d say is, it’ll change everything for us in this new world.”


“Hey, sorry that took so long.”

“It’s fine.”

“What’s wrong?”

“I dunno, something about this place, feels off.”

“Think maybe it’s because you don’t have to be on guard all the time now?”

“…Maybe…how long have you been here?”


“Guys, come on, relax. This is great. We can finally relax and be kids for a little while.”

“Leanne might be right.”

“I know I am. Izzy knows I’m pretty with it.”

“She’s got a point. But stay close, yeah?”


“C, wanna see if we can find some food?”

“Don’t have to ask me twice.”


“Flo, what do you wanna do?”

“Look around a bit. We’ll meet up with you two when we’re done Connor.”

“I’ll come too.”


“Sounds good.”


“Leanne, you up for a bit of a VIP tour?”


“Come on, I’ll show you where I work.”



“How’s the prisoner?”

“Quiet, Sir.”

“Dr. Clemens, it doesn’t have to be like this. Help us, that’s all you have to do, and you’re free. To live here, with us. Like a normal citizen.

“We hired you originally for a reason, help us, help you.

“We want the same thing. To put an end to the zombies and suffering and death. Think of the children.

“After all, you’re the reason all this happened.”


It’s a quiet place. Nobody’s running or preparing to run and hide or fight off a horde of zombies every five minutes. It seems like, a good place to be and settle down for a while.

Vic, Izzy and I try to find out more about this “Town”. The kids call it “Stump Town”. None of them seem to be worried or freaked out by any of what’s happening.

“You two get the feeling we’re being watched?”

“You feel that too?”


CJ runs up to us, his mouth full of something. “Guys! *Gulp* We get to see the lab.”


“Leanne said Teddy’s boss wants to see us for something, show us the lab. They’re working on a cure here.”


“Good morning young ones, I’m the Commander. I wanna thank you for taking care of Teddy.

“We retrieved Frankie earlier this morning.”

“Sir, I need to talk to you when you have a moment. It’s about the zombies.”

“Isn’t it always? Undead bastards are always the talk of the town.”

“This is, it’s information that cost Frankie her life.”

“We’ll discuss it shortly, first…”

The Commander walks us down stairs into what looks like a green room, but every one is wearing protective suits. “This is the whole reason we’re here. It’s an exact replica of the original source of the outbreak.”


“In order to truly understand and learn from the mistakes we made initially.”

“And, find a cure?”

“Yes of course, to find a cure…”


“What are they doing?”


“They’re harvesting infected ants and over there, they take harvested beans and blend them with the ants.

“Not the original process but this way we can better understand how, to control the mutation.”

“Control it? I thought you were looking for a cure.”

“Well, of course my boy. But in order to find the cure, we first need to understand the most basic of its properties so we can manipulate it to make sure the cure works on all possible levels.”

The Commander continues to walk and talk. “Vic, what’s with the look?”

“It just, doesn’t make sense. When looking for a cure you’re not looking to mutate the virus, you’re looking to neutralize it.

“There’s more to this than the commander’s letting on.”


“Commander,” Connor rushes ahead of us, “who do you…did you work for?”

“Gnia Corp.”

Connor stops, and Cj looks up at him with a look of both surprise and fear.

“Connor, what is it?”

“…My…our dad worked for them.

“Never knew what he did exactly but he was one of the leading researchers for most of their projects…Before all this, C and I hadn’t…he hadn’t been home for a few weeks…”

“Connor, you don’t think dad had anything to do with this…?”

“Dunno C…honestly don’t know.”


We pass the labs and head into the mess haul. The Commander offers us free full meals, “Usually you need to work to earn your meals but it’s your first day and you did bring us Teddy back.”

Connor and CJ are visibly shaken, “Commander…Commander, may I ask you something?”

“Go ahead son.”

“Our dad, he was a researcher at one of the Gnia facilities. Is there any way to check and tell us…what happened to him?”

“I might, but the odds that he…”

“I know. I just, it’d be nice to have some piece of mind.”

“Give me his name and I’ll see what I can find in the records.”

“Clemens, Andrew Clemens.”

“The Commander stops eating, he clenches his jaw, calmly puts down his knife and fork, “Yeah…I know the name. Why don’t you all finish up…I’ll be back in a little bit.”


“Clemens, I’ve got some good news for you.”

“Why don’t I believe you?”

“Oh no, trust me. This, this could be just the motivation you need.

“It’s been brought to my attention that, you might’ve had kids who could still be alive. Am I right?”

“…For their sake, I hope they didn’t have to suffer long.”

“Dear Clemens, what makes you think they suffered at all?”


“What if, they were alive? What then?”

“…I, I don’t believe you…”

“If you’re two…boys, are in fact alive? Would you help us finish our work here?”

“You’re lying…”

“Think about it. Think about reuniting with them.”

“…You’d never let us go.”

“I’d consider it. I’m not one to tare families apart. All you have to do is finish up, what you started.”

“I’m not…I won’t improve the strength of the virus. There shouldn’t even be a virus.”

“Shhh, you’re getting excited. Think about it. I’ll be back later to get an answer.”


“You really think dad might be alive Connor?”

“I dunno little brother, I dunno. But if The Commander could have a definitive answer, I’d be happy with that.”


“Teddy, you okay?”

“What? Yeah…just, thinking about the next patrol…”

The Commander walks back up to the table. He’s smiling, and I don’t know why but It’s more than a happy smile. It’s, somewhat troubling to see on his stern face. “Everyone done?

“Connor, CJ, Right?”


“You’re gonna like what comes next. Follow me.”


“How was the food?”

“Eh, not as good as candy for dinner.”

“Ha, CJ, well, what if I promised to deliver an even better treat?”

“I dunno…it’d have to be pretty good.”

“Follow me, all of you. This’ll be the final stop of the tour.”


The Commander leads us down a hallway, to a large metal door. “Now, I know this might seem intimidating but I just want to make sure you know we here in town, always have your best interests at heart.”

He opens the door. “Holy…”


It’s a large room full of dissected zombies, twelve tables, six on each side, all hold zombies strapped down. “Are they…”

“Dead? Of course, we find that live subjects like these are far more difficult to work on.”

“What is this place?”

“This…Vic? This is where the real work happens.”

“This, where you take em to try and get a cure?”

“To gather an in-depth knowledge at what exactly it is we need to do, yes. Do you, wanna meet the man behind it all?”


“…I guess so?”

“Come right here, we have to keep him kind of locked away, he’s caused some trouble for recently.”


The Commander flicks on a light and the back room at the lab lights up. “I don’t see anyone…”

“Oh, he’s just shy.  Doc, hey doc. I have some guests here to see the man who started it all.”


We can hear slight groans. A figure stands up and makes his way over to the glass.

“Dr. Clemens, meet the latest additions to our town.”


CJ and Connor freeze then simultaneously scream, “DAD!”


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