Another clueless, airhead model

Monday, May 27, 2013

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Zombies of Dungpileton

   Chapter 14

 This is a fictional web novel
All characters, living or dead, and locations or events
in this novel are entirely fictitious or merely coincidental

The Dungeon of Most Holy Trinity Church of Dungpileton

His back was fileting skin from repeated lashes of the Cat o’nines whip and yet the rogue botanist remained silent as he hung shackled to chains that were bolted to the ceiling.  He refuse to divulge any information including the identity of his accomplices.  One of them, Race, stood outside the dungeon’s locked door.  The botanist understood why Race knock him out cold in the church with the butt of his desert eagle pistol.  This was not the first time one of them had to take the hit to allow the other time to devise a plan for escape but it was still clever thinking for Race to convince Pastor Zhou to use a zombie hooker as the giver of pain, knowing the botanist would enjoy it.  The only flaw in the plan was Race was not allowed to be present.   Time was running out and he had no acknowledgement the refuge crew had received his location coordinates from cell phone texts.  

Zhou was growing impatient. 

He should have broken by now!  I think we will have to come up with other persuasive measures.

The pastor approached the botanist, peeling off a ribbon of skin from his back and consumed it.

Mmmm!  I don't often find such a fit individual for my stew.  I’m growing tired of the bland residents of this town.  Let’s give this another thirty minutes and then decide what other tactics to use.  We need to take care of this matter and find out the status of that other biologist. 

That other biologist was Jessica Walters.  After her release from the hospital she sought the isolation of her field work which took her to the coastal boundary beaches of the San Bertram refuge.  However, her field work placed her at the exact location where a clandestine pipe from Dungpileton was spewing sewage into the Gulf of Mexico.  Fearing the discovery of his pipe the mayor of Dungpileton ordered a squad of zombie rednecks to find and kill her. 

Ten minutes later the whipping solicited the first response from the botanist but it was not a cry for mercy rather, it was a moan.   A moan one would not expect from someone whose back resembled bloody, tenderized steak.  This was a moan of ecstasy.  The jig was up.  Smiling, the botanist spun his body around to look lustfully with redolent eyes at the hooker.  

After I get out of here how’s about I put you on retainer as my number one dominatrix?

Incensed, Zhou picked up a pistol.  

Enough!  I don’t care why the mayor wants this freak alive.  He dies now!

Almost simultaneously with the pastor’s decree came the sound of loud explosions and gunfire from automatic weapons outside the dungeon.  Race burst through the dungeon door, immediately firing a round into the head of the zombie hooker.  Turning around he faced a zombie pointing an automatic rifle at him.  A split-second later the zombie’s torso disintegrated under a fusillade of .223 mm rounds from a Gatling gun.  Realizing his disadvantage Zhou pressed a button on his wristwatch to trigger a sensor which opened a closet door.  He entered it, running down a passageway exiting out the church.  The door swung closed and automatically locked.  The gunfire abated a minute later.  Race retrieved a key from the mutilated guard to unshackle the botanist.  He slumped to the floor, gazing with forlorn face at the dead hooker.

Why it is every time I fall in love with a woman, she dies?  I just can’t win.

The Victoria refuge crew – Vince, Bryce and Damian stood in the chamber’s doorway, unperturbed  by the sight of the naked botanist.  Behind them Stickler Bach put down his Gatling gun.  He was called Stickler for his pedantic attention to detail and love of Johan Sebastian Bach.  It was this characteristic which allowed him to rebuild the Gatling gun from discarded metal at the refuge.  To power the gun he used his contacts to procure defective lithium batteries the Boeing Corporation had buried in a landfill outside Seattle.  It took a collective deception from the crew to get him to the church.  He was told there would be a gun fair at the church and was anxious to show off his weapon when all hell broke loose as he and the crew confronted dozens of zombie rednecks.  They were easily dispatched by Stickler’s gun.

What’s the ammo count?  Race called out. 

The count averaged 30 rounds and two grenades per man with 500 rounds in the Gatling gun.  Race realized this was not enough fire power to take out the hundreds of new zombies in the church. He told Stickler to fire into the closet door.  It splintered into hundreds of pieces after a three second barrage.   After putting on the guard’s trousers the botanist followed the group through the passageway and away from main congregation.  Only one zombie stood guard in the parking lot.  His distractive glances towards the church allowed Vince to quietly approach from behind.  His Bowie knife punctured the zombie’s midsection, perforating his kidneys but instead of falling to his knees he turned around to face his assailant.  Remembering the zombie’s kill point Vince swung his knife upward through the lower mandible and into the brain to finish protruding out the top of the skull.  Vince held the knife in place, relishing the sight of the blood geyser.

How does this knife taste, bitch!

When the zombie dropped to the ground the botanist removed his shirt and donned it.  It was immediately stained red from his lacerated back.    Stickler remained hidden until the rest of the group, walking casually with concealed weapons, were able to reach their vehicles.  One vehicle stopped to collect him and his weapon as they all rendezvous back at the botanist’s house. 

Dungpileton - Sector 6
The Botanist’s house

Fuck me! The rogue botanist’s chest shot forward as Vince Santiago peeled off his bloody shirt.
Any other time cannabis was the medication of choice for the botanist but the treatment to heal his back required external medication.  Fortunately Vince had his EMT triage bag.  He had seen much worse. 

Stop bitching you pussy and hold still.  This is going to use up all my bandages and anti-bacterial salves.  Do you have any?

The botanist still squirmed.  He asked Race to go outside to collect several stalks of Jewelweed (Impatiens capensis) and Aloe (Aloe vera).

With plants in hand Vince crush them to produce a viscous, sticky goo which he applied to the botanist wounds.  The subsidence of pain was immediate, allowing him to break out his Roor bong and a few grams of a strain of Chiesel cannabis for a group discussion of what to do next.  After passing the bong around the men stared into space, each thinking intently for what seemed to them several minutes although only seconds had passed.  Finally, Stickler broke the silence.

What just happened?  One minute I’m installing a new carburetor on an airboat and the next I’m killing zombies.  How am I going to explain this to my supervisor?  This is great weed by the way.  Do you have anything to eat?

There’s hamburger in the fridge replied Damian.  Best I’ve ever eaten. 

Stickler Bach was a tinker but not the tinker of watches and toasters.  He lived to build heavy weaponry from scape metal; a skill he acquired as an armament specialist in the Navy. After leaving the Navy he disappeared into the mercenary underground.  With knowledge and tacit approval from the U.S. Government he traveled incognito from Russia to Southeast Asia where he plied his skills for rebel groups from Chechnya to Burma.  For a time he and the Chechen rebels fought the Russian forces to a standstill but the outcome of the war was a foregone conclusion in favor of the Russians.  Stickler found himself pursued day and night by agents of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service but evaded capture in the North Caucasus by crossing into Georgia.  There he took on the disguise of his great, great grand uncle – General George Custer.  Making his way back through Europe he used his contacts to return to the United States where he decided to lead a quiet, peaceful life as a mechanic for the Victoria National Wildlife Refuge.  Ever paranoid, he kept his George Custer appearance. 

From experience Race knew most men would be outnumbered and out-gunned by the zombies but these men were the kind which had numerous weapons caches they wanted to keep away from a future gun confiscation efforts by President Obama.   He made a note to himself to buy stock in weapon and ammunition manufactures after this ordeal was over.  There was always a profit to be made from conspiracy fantasies like gun confiscation.  Time now though to come up with a plan.

Alright, we may have thousands of rounds of ammunition and dozens of heavy weapons but this town has nearly 20,000 residents and we number only 6 people.  Who else can we trust from the refuges in this area?

Damian spoke first.

There’s Sam Fiskar at San Bertram.  He has an underground armory.  Also Jared Fitzgerald but he’s new and I can’t vouch for him other than he’s a hard worker.  

He’s more than that, retorted the botanist.  Much more and he is exactly what we need stop the zombies.

The group looked at the botanist with puzzlement.  He explained.

You know him as Jared but he was also known by a more sinister name, the Reaper of Hippies.

The Cedar Lakes
San Bertram National Wildlife Refuge

The Cedar Lakes are formed from water discharged by Cedar Lake Creek.  The lakes fluctuate in salinity depending on how much tidal action brings in water from the Gulf of Mexico.    Jessica was excited to have the last of her sutures removed.  It allowed her full mobility to continue her surveys of migratory shorebirds on the small sliver of beach which separated the lakes from the Gulf, particularly the piping plover (Charadrius melodus).  This small, federally listed endangered bird is seen on the coast during early spring then migrates to the mid and eastern U.S. to breed before returning to the coast in the summer.   Many are banded on their legs with colored plastic sleeves, allowing surveyors like Jessica to keep a record of their migratory patterns.   Each band color represented where they were banded.  Her favorite plover, Split Band, had several bands. One of those bands was split by black and white coloration.  It had returned to the refuge for the last three years and Jessica looked forward to seeing her old friend as she set a camera in position by her government vehicle.  A noticeable scent of sewage gave her pause but she discounted it, knowing the locals use this area as their private dump.  She was unaware the city of Dungpileton had conspired with local refineries to install a pipeline which illegally spewed a toxic stew of sewage, heavy metals, and waste petroleum into the Gulf not more than 100 meters from her position.  The city also collaborated with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to allow illegal discharge from laboratories that needed to dispose of radioactive isotopes.  The buildup of toxins and radioactive waste was insidious; impregnating the minute crustaceans which were the primary food of the plovers.  Over time the bio-accumulation of radiation mutated their DNA structure, altering brains to give them self-awareness and strenghtening beaks and skeletons as hard as steel.  

 Jessica was always in constant motion to keep up with the plovers as they scoured the beach for food but now they remained static for her observations.  She watched as plovers arrived to line up in rows facing her direction.  Each row of plovers extended their banded legs for recording then moved away to allow the next row to display theirs.  Wide-eyed, Jessica continued to photograph the bands until the last bird presented itself – Split Band.  It stood atop a large, dead blue crab (Callinectes sapidus).   To her astonishment the bird, eyes glowing red, grabbed the crab with its beak and lifted it over its head.  It walked towards her and, three feet from her position laid it at her feet.  Jumping on the carapace Split Band cracked it open with one peck.  It withdrew a small piece of crab meat and placed on Jessica’s shoe.  She picked up the meat, bit into it and voiced her gratitude to the little bird.  It hopped around gleefully then skittered away abruptly with the other plovers.   Confused, Jessica called out to her friends, pleading with them to return.   It was seconds later that she understood why they left as a faint cacophony of diesel truck engines and the music of Lynyrd Skynyrd grew louder.  As two trucks drove towards her, Jessica could make out the confederate flag on a pole secured to the exhaust pipes that were positioned upright on each side of the cab.  Each redneck was adorned with a wife beater t-shirt and ripped blue jeans.  In their wake was a trail of discarded Pabst Blue Ribbon beer cans. 
She was unsure of her next move.  Part of her wanted to run but another tried to convince herself the red necks would drive past her.  Surely they weren’t stupid enough to harm someone who is working for the federal government?  As a precaution she retrieved her Beretta 92 A1 single action pistol from the cab.  She slid the barrel back to load a single tungsten-iron alloy tipped round from a 15 round magazine.  She held it behind her back as the trucks approached, stopping twenty feet from her.   For a moment there was no activity then both trucks turned off their engines and music.  One of the pot-bellied drivers disembarked as the stench of his unwashed body permeated the air.  He walked towards Jessica then turned around towards his brethren.  Noticing a bulge at the base of his skull Jessica positioned her index finger on the trigger of her pistol but still kept it behind her back.   With unspoken acknowledgement from the group the zombie looked at her then screamed and charged.  In one fluid, spilt-second motion Jessica brought her pistol in front to double-tap two bullets into the heart of the zombie.  The two rounds quickly exited out his back, hardly disrupting his pace.  He continued his charge.  This time a single round to his head dropped him to the ground – dead.  11 bullets, 15 red neck zombies left.

The other zombies looked at the body in mute confusion then piled out of the trucks.  Five instantly fell to the ground from head shots, their bodies causing the rest to tumble over themselves.  6 bullets, 10 red neck zombies left.   This gave Jessica precious seconds to put distance between her and the zombies as she ran down the beach but her petite frame lacked the ability to outrun the larger zombies.  Despite their girth the zombies did not feel the pain of physical exertion for the first time in years and soon made up the distance.  Realizing that running was fruitless Jessica turned around to put three zombies down.  4 bullets, 7 red neck zombies left.   

The zombies surrounded their prey.  Seeing one zombie in front of another Jessica dropped both as a bullet exited out one head and into another.  The Gulf was at her back and the firing of three more bullets left her with two zombies and no bullets left.  Turning to run into the surf she tripped and hit her forehead on driftwood as she fell to the ground.  A zombie grabbed her leg, opening his gapping mouth to bite into it but was met with a kick which dislocated his jaw.  It hardly stunned him.  Now groggy, Jessica crawled quickly backwards as she looked for any debris to use as a weapon but only seeing thousands of empty Pabst beer cans coming in with the tide.  She crawled towards the surf but the zombies were already standing over her.  Readying herself for a horrific demise, Jessica saw one zombie frantically trying to grab at something on its back when a projectile shot out from it chest and landed by her side.  It was Split Band and now hundreds of his fellow plovers were swarming the zombies.  Their beaks and claws ripped skin from bone as if it was tissue paper.  The sand ran red with flesh and blood as the zombies spun around grabbing at the birds but each one easily broke from the zombie’s grip and renewed the attack.  It appeared the plovers were keeping the zombies upright as they rendered the bodies.  A moment later the plover-covered zombies stopped moving then the birds flew away, leaving disassembling skeletons to fall on the sand.  

It has been a traumatic month for Jessica.  First the still unexplained attempt to kill her in her home and now a horde of rednecks nearly ate her.   Thanking Split Band and his friends she returned to the vehicle to nurse the bloody knot on her forehead.