Author: Bill Cox
Blood. Blood. Blood. Blood everywhere!
It’s okay, it’s not mine. Breathe. Just breathe.
Slow it all down. Don’t look at Jones, or the others. Don’t look.
The explosion, I’ll bet it was that problem with the gas supply that we reported. Those useless idiots in Maintenance, always too busy stuffing their faces to do anything helpful!
Never mind. Work the problem. The virus is in the air now. The laboratory is sealed, so I can’t get out. Help will be coming, but I don’t know when.
I count six dead bodies around me. Jones, the two lab techs, the intern whose name I can’t remember, Jo, Daisy. Oh, Daisy, I just had coffee in the cafeteria with you an hour ago. You were busy bitching about how selfish your boyfriend was, how he never showed you any affection. I just wanted to slap some sense into you and now…no, work the damn problem Jean, you can do this. Think! The virus only works on necrotic tissue. Thirty minutes from mortality till reanimation.
How long was I unconscious? It can’t have been long. I think it was just a minute or two, let’s say five minutes. So, twenty-five minutes until those six corpses get up again and start looking for protein to sustain the viral reaction going on inside their bodies. I won’t last a minute!
Did Jones’ hand just move? No, no, no, too soon. Relax. Work the problem.
So, the lab will have sealed automatically. The doors and windows are bio-level four secure, so it would take a rocket-launcher to even scratch them. There’s rubble over there where the blast came from, but there’s no way I could shift that without a JCB. So, I can’t get out of the lab myself. If someone from security finally deigns to show their face then they can open the doors, but otherwise I’m stuck. Bugger!
So, the virus. Developed to reanimate dead soldiers on the battlefield, so that they can continue to attack the enemy after death. There was going to be a method that would allow them to distinguish friend from foe, but that was stage three, which we haven’t got around to yet. So, at the moment they will just attack anybody and everybody. Brilliant!
But, the bodies. If I dismember them, they can’t move and won’t be able to get me. Yes! That’s it! All I’ve to do is chop off the arms and legs of my co-workers and everything will be fine! Ha! Wonder how that’ll look on my next performance review!
What can I use, what can I use? Six people, four limbs each, that’s twenty-four limbs. I have less than twenty-five minutes till reanimation, so that’s a limb per minute. I’ll need something heavy-duty to cut through bone. Come on, there must be something here!
The tannoy! Are they trying to give me a heart attack?
“Due to a containment breach, Pompeii protocol will be enacted in sixty seconds.”
No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no! Pompeii protocol! They can’t be serious. Napalm the whole level! Don’t they know I’m still down here? They can’t! They can’t!
Ah bugger. Daisy’s moving! I thought I was only unconscious for five minutes, but it must have been more. So, in the next sixty seconds I’m either going to be torn apart by ravenous zombies (Oh, they’re all moving now) or I’m going to be burned alive in a napalm firestorm.
Heh, my horoscope was right.
Work is going to be challenging this week!
Compelling, tense scenario. Engrossing flash!
Hah! Great story, I like the open ending.