Zombie Apocalypse Ch. 03byindianfire©
Dear Readers: I'm glad most of you like the second chapter better than the first. Hopefully this one doesn't disappoint. For those of you that haven't read the other chapters: this isn't a quickie. It's a story that will gradually get juicier ;). Please vote and/or comment!! Thank you
I awoke to loud knocking in the middle of the night. I looked over to Jessie and I was surprised she wasn't awake. I shouldn't have been surprised; she always slept like the dead. Hah, the dead. Bad joke. But someone was still knocking. I got out of bed in my rumpled clothing and looked through the peephole.
There wasn't much light in the hallways, but they soon adjusted to the darkness. When they did, I realized it was Finn in the hallway. I opened the door quietly and let him in. Not wanting to speak while Jess slept, I indicated the balcony and let the way onto it.
Once the sliding door was shut behind us, I whispered softly. "Hey Finn."
"Hey yourself." A lopsided smile curved the corner of his lips. My first instinct was to hug him; he looked like he could use it. Would he mind if I hugged him? Would it seem weird coming from someone he hardly knew? What the Hell, the world was coming to an end. Some of our classmates and a lot of the world were turning into some sort of monster and we couldn't save them. I needed a hug just as bad as he likely did.
I half glided, half flew into his arms. I slid my hands around his neck and held on tightly. His own strong arms encircled my waist and held me close. Being that way felt so right. I could hear the steady beat of his heart under my cheek.
"How are you?" I mumbled against his chest. He stiffened.
"Finn?" I looked up into his face and the hurt there was barely discernible through his stern veneer. The silence stretched.
"I don't think my mom made it."
Those words hung in the air before I finally spoke. "I'm sorry."
I knew it wasn't enough, that it didn't make anything better. It hadn't made anything easier for me when my own mother had passed away 10 years ago. I barely remember her now, sadly enough. But Finn's wound was still fresh, and it must have hurt him so much more. I hugged him tighter and rubbed my cheek over his thumping heart.
I'm not sure how long we stayed like that, just holding each other during that trying time. Eventually I felt a finger go under my chin, lifting my face to his. Those blue eyes were no longer filled with grief; there was a fire burning in them now. My pulse sped in reaction. When he leaned his lips down and pressed them to mine, I didn't back away.
Our mouths met and my desire flared. He had fuller lips than most men, but they were still firm and masculine in his oral assault. His tongue darted out to lick my lips like a starving man before white teeth tugged at my lower lip. Heat and wetness pooled between my thighs. My gasp opened my mouth to him and he took advantage of the opportunity. Our tongues met and clashed. I was ravenous for a taste of him. Kissing him like this made me feel alive. It made it hard to forget about the world coming down around us.
My fingers clutched at his shirt as he backed me into the patio doors. I could feel his arousal against my soft belly and it made me even hungrier. Finn definitely had above average equipment. I moaned into his mouth and my hips rolled into his. Mmmmm, he tasted so good.
A loud sound from a balcony not far from mine startled us apart. We were both breathing heavily. Realizing how easily I had given into his kiss, a blush started creeping up into my cheeks. It was the end of the world and everything, but I had almost thrown myself at him. A minute ago I might have agreed to have sex with him. What was wrong with me?
Probably the sex drought, the naughty part of my brain answered. Despite my sudden reality check, my body still wanted him. I felt a little bad for leaving him hanging. I smiled sheepishly, feeling a bit shy now. He returned the same smile, though a quick glance south confirmed my suspicions that he was still aroused.
"Thank you," he said, out of nowhere.
"For what?" I was puzzled, what could he be thanking me for?
"I needed to talk to someone, even if I didn't say much. And for the hug..." What he left unspoken was that he was also thanking me for the kiss. He seemed almost as shy as I did now. Another small smile tugged at my lips.
"You're welcome Finn, I'm glad you wanted to talk to me. You can always knock." I hugged him once more. "C'mon, we both need to get some sleep before breakfast in the morning. I'll see you then."
We walked back through the room quietly. Out in the hall he hugged me for a final goodnight.
"Sweet dreams Logan."
"Same to you Finn."
At 9:45 the next morning Jess and I were waiting in the dining room for the breakfast announcements. Not as many people were crying and chatting this morning. Most of the children in the room stayed by their mothers and fathers, but there weren't too many of them. There was no sign of my father or Rick yet, but Jessica's parents were with us. I kept looking around, trying to spot Finn but I didn't think he and his brother were here yet. Thinking about last night, I began chewing my fingernails nervously.
Would he feel different about me this morning? Would he talk to me? Or was he one of those guys that only wanted to be close when we were alone? Why did my heart insist on beating twice as fast anytime I thought about him?
At last he entered the room with his brother, and thankfully there was no Bimbo to be seen. Relief flooded me. His eyes scanned the room, and when they stopped on me, I knew I was what he had been looking for. Jessie must have notice too, because she leaned over and whispered into my ear.
"I see you're starting to forget all of your objections about him huh?" I gave her a sharp look. They were walking over to our table.
"Good morning Finn, how are you?" Jessie asked him.
"I'm good, much better after a good night's rest." He answered her question, but his eyes were on me the whole time. I coughed gently.
"I'm not sure if I introduced you yesterday or not, but this is Finn and his brother Tristan. And Finn, these are Jessie's parents: Mr. and Mrs. Swain. " I indicated the couple in their late 40s.
"Make that Kathy and Jim," her mom said with a smile.
"Nice to meet you," the brothers responded. "I hope you don't mind if we join you," Finn added.
"No, not at all," I returned.
They sat, and though Finn was quiet, his brother wasn't. Tristan's charm had everyone at ease as he chatted with Jess and her parents. Finn and I shared a smile before he slid his hand down to mine and held it under the table. I squeezed his fingers for reassurance. The news about his mother still had to be hurting him.
Jess looked over at Finn, "so how did you manage to get rid of Carina?"
Just the mention of her name made me see red, yet I found I was curious too.
Finn just shrugged. "I got lucky. I think she found some other guy she'd rather stalk. I'm not going to question it; I'm just going to be thankful."
Good, I thought. Now I won't have to kick that Bimbo's ass.
When my father and the other men I had mentally dubbed 'chiefs' came in a hush fell over the crowd. They took up their positions in front of the room and the chiefs let my father step forward to speak. His deep voice filled the room.
"Good morning Ladies and Gentleman. In case you don't remember, my name is Rick Hartley. If you have any questions or problems on this ship, you can come to me. I'll also reintroduce my fellow leaders here and give you their new titles."
He walked over to Rick. "This is Rick Mackey, head of security aboard this ship," he moved along to the next man. "Joe Schaefer is the Captain of the ship, with Brian Cowan as his second in command. Marc Cuevas is in charge of ship operations. Will Covington will be in charge of supplies.
I will repeat my statement from yesterday: If these men tell you to do something, do it. I trust these men to be reasonable and to keep the best interests of our group in mind. However, should a problem arise, I would prefer you come to me and I will listen to your complaint. If I feel there is an issue, I will resolve it. We do not take these positions as leaders seeking out power. We only strive to keep everyone on this ship alive and well, and to do whatever necessary to aid in that goal.
Starting now we will ask that you do your best to conserve energy and all other resources on this ship. The longer we stretch the supplies we have, the more time we have before we have to dock and venture back onto land.
Turn the lights on only when necessary, shut them off when you leave a room. Take quick showers, and try not to take them too often. We will not ration food unless dire circumstances should arise, but we will not prepare excess for group meals. A group meal will be held here three times a day. Breakfast will be at 9:00am from now on. Lunch will be at 1:00pm and dinner will be served at 5:00 pm. If you do not make it to a group meal, you will have to go to the kitchen.
As I said, we will do our best not to ration food. However, we suggest that you try not to take advantage of that. By the same token, we all need our strength, so don't starve yourselves either. We do have the items required for growing fruits and vegetables on this ship, so we will be able to grow some of our own food. To keep us in shape, Rick will hold an optional group exercise in the gym each morning at 7:30am. It will run for an hour. It isn't mandatory, but we recommend that you go.
Starting tomorrow, we are going to need you all to start helping around the ship. If you would like, you may join Rick's security team. Know that in doing so, the team may be sent to scout if we dock at a port. We will also need people to work in the kitchens, people to clean, volunteers to help with ship maintenance, and we will need help with inventory. You will start training and working tomorrow.
If you know what job you'd like, you can contact me or whichever of us corresponds to the job. If you do not select your own, we will assign one to you. As you leave the room today, I'll be by the door to take down your names and room numbers, even if you haven't selected a job yet. For the remainder of the day you are free to use decks ten through fifteen. If you need a map, some are available by the door. You can swim, find something to do in the day spa, or even climb the rock wall.
Is there anything else you want to know before we start breakfast?"
Questions started popping up from all over the crowd. My father shook his head and held up his hands for silence. "We're going to try this a different way. Ma'am," he pointed to a woman, "what was your question?"
The woman he indicated stood, "How do we know what's happening back home? Are there any televisions working? What about the internet?"
"We've lost satellite reception for television, and only occasionally do we pick up internet. Most cell phones are no longer working. We have a radio that picks up the odd frequency every so often, but nothing of much value yet. We will keep trying."
The woman sat back down, looking defeated. She pulled her child close to her and watched the rest of the meeting silently.
A man stood up this time. "How DO we know what's happening back there? What were those things and maybe the government killed them all already. When can we go back?"
Rick answered this one. "Do we know for sure what's happening back home for sure right now? No, but we do know some people were turning into inhuman monsters while the rest were drying gruesome deaths at their hands. We know that it was only getting worse, and that it was spreading.
I know it sounds farfetched, but yes, we believe them to be zombies, or at least very similar. Many people we used to know are no longer with us, not really. They have turned into those creatures. I know it sounds harsh, but we have to be realistic about our situation.
They were most likely infected by a virus from any of the numerous companies researching biochemical warfare. I'm sure most of you have seen 28 Days Later, Dawn of the Dead, or Resident Evil. If you have, I'm sure you're thinking the same thing. Let's hope it isn't as bad as Resident Evil.
We will go back when we need supplies. We will choose a port carefully, and only the security team will venture out onto land to look for new supplies."
"When will we run out of supplies?" another man asked.
Will Covington stepped forward. "Right now we have enough supplies to last us roughly a few months. We are carrying enough food and supplies to support the needs of an entire ship, while there are less than 200 of us here. Our most precious resource is fuel, which is why power conservation is critical."
"What if we find survivors?"
Rick grabbed this one too. "First, we will check them for signs of infection. If they appear healthy without bite wounds, we will do our best to bring them safely back to the ship."
"What if zombies make their way onto the ship?"
This time my father replied. "We chose this ship because it seemed to be the safest place under the circumstances. Anytime we dock, the security team will first leave in lifeboats to scout the area. Only if it appears safe and free of the infected will we dock. Once we've laid anchor we'll keep the ramp up until Rick gives the heads up that the team is coming back. We do have long range walkie-talkies that still seem to function.
Once the team comes back we'll let down the ramp. Should Rick and I decide it necessary, we will keep the ramp up and his team will take the lifeboats and row them back into open water to wait for us. The ship is nearly impenetrable from ground level. The hull is made of steel and has no openings. The windows are all tightly sealed and will offer no entry. The only vulnerability would be the ramp, which is why we will only put it out if we are certain that it's safe.
Should one of those creatures manage to get on board, we will have security members posted at possible entry points. They will be armed and given permission to shoot the infected in the head. If it is a survivor that shows no sign of infection, we will let them aboard. The intercom on the ship is still functional, we will warn you if there's a breech in security. That's worst case scenario. If you hear that announcement, you're to go immediately to your stateroom or the stateroom of someone else. The door will only open with a key card. They are thick wood, and the creatures won't get through. We will search the ship until we're sure they've all been exterminated."
"What if it's someone we know?" someone asked. This gave us pause.
"If they are infected, they will be eliminated. Hopefully we won't encounter that situation, but we have to do what's best for the group. Those people aren't who we knew once they've changed."
The room was once against quiet. We'd just been given a lot to think about. It amazed me how much planning my father and the chiefs had put into this. Especially since they probably hadn't had much time. The plan was nearly foolproof expect for the scouting missions. But even then, our chances were better than the survivors in your average zombie flick.
I felt Finn's hand hold mine tighter and it quieted my mind a little. Now all I had to do was pick a job to do. I didn't like to clean, who does? I did like to cook, and I would be good at taking inventory. I thought back to the Beretta locked in my room vault. Maybe I could join the security team. It was a dangerous job, but I trusted Rick, and it needed done.
"Alright everyone," I think it was the captain speaking, "thank you for your cooperation. Breakfast will be in shortly."
Conversation slowly started back up. In ten minutes a breakfast buffet was set up. Our table waited a bit before we went up. Jessie and I were urged in front of her parents, with Finn and Tristan following them. I took only two slices of bacon and a few pancakes. I felt a little guilty putting the blueberries on top, but I figured that our stock of them would go bad if it wasn't eaten soon. When a hand settled on my shoulder I jumped.
"Hey Kiddo, didn't mean to scare you."
I knew that voice; it belonged to Rick. I took a deep breath to calm my racing heart. I shot a small smile his way.
"Your dad and I were wondering if you'd like to sit with us again."
I thought about it, but I really wanted to stay with Finn and Jess. Finn. It was as if at the thought of him, my brain knew he was watching me. I got goosebumps, and then I felt my stomach flip again.
"Thanks Rick, but I think I'll stay at our table. Maybe for lunch," I added. His smile dimmed a little.
"Sure Kiddo, if you want to sit with us at lunch, just come on over."
"Thanks Rick. If not I'm sure I'll talk to you and dad later."
He walked away, and I had to admit he did look pretty good. I probably should have, but sitting with all of the chiefs seemed way too intimidating. I scanned the room for my dad and sent him a wave.
"You must really like Finn," Jessie whispered. The look I gave her clearly said 'shut up'.
"Rick is really hot, and the way he looks at you..." she shook her head.
"Like I really want to sit with all the Chiefs?"
"Yeah, all of the men in charge. I'd feel like a deer in the headlights. I'll see my dad and Rick later."
Back at our table Finn gave me an inquiring look but he didn't press. I liked that he knew when not to ask. We ate breakfast quickly. Now it was time to figure out how to spend the day.
"Well, what are you kids going to do today?" Jessie's parents asked.
I wanted to explore the top decks and see what was around and I told them so.
"That sounds like a good idea," Jess said. "Are you in?"
"I think we're going to go relax in the pool darling, but we'll see you for lunch," Mr. Swain, Jim, spoke up.
"We're in," Tristan said. My body warmed at the thought of being with Finn all day. Maybe he would try to steal another kiss.
On our way out we gave my dad our names and room numbers. Well, everyone but Jess and I, ours was already there. I stepped over to my father and hugged him quickly.
"Missed you at breakfast. What are you up to today princess?"
"We're going to find our way around the ship, explore a little."
"Alright, but be careful. You too Jess."
Since the dining room was on the top deck, we worked our way down. Finn was near my side the whole time, and it felt good having him there. We would smile and laugh together, or when the weight of everything came crashing down, he'd grab my hand. I blushed the first time he did that, knowing that Jess and Tristan surely noticed. But nobody said anything about it. In fact, Jess and Tristan were pretty caught up in each other too. Both of the social butterflies hitting it off, imagine that. It was a good thing they got along though, because I was hoping to spend more time with Finn.
Finn was amazed at how easily he and Logan got along. His brother was even getting along really well with her friend. It was hard staying positive when you thought about the zombies back home, but Logan helped distract him from that. And from his mother. Finn was still hoping that somehow, she'd survived. His phone wasn't working anymore, so it was impossible to know.
A squeeze on his hand let him know Logan was there. Right now they were exploring the spa. The girls were delighted to find all sorts of lotions and sprays. They even found nail polish. It was nice to see Logan smile. They spent half an hour in there before heading back into the hall.
"I think I'm going to go back to the pool and relax with my parents, does anyone else want to go with me?" Jess asked.
Logan shook her head. "I want to look around a little bit more, but I'll see you at lunch."