The alarm went off around four in the morning, and by that time the third sun over CRX-Beta52 had just begun to rise upon the distant horizon. Crumbling, decayed buildings stood like giant monoliths casting shadows that moved with each passing second. Dr Weiss quickly muted the continuous beeping that echoed all around, before returning with haste to that which he’d been doing.
Dragging the lifeless corpse half a mile across undulating waste land had been the easy part, the tarpaulin that had been wrapped around the body helped. Now that it was lying on the floor of his makeshift laboratory, the hard work could really begin. The questions he kept asking himself, was had he taken down just another hapless victim of the plague? Or had the nightmares truly become a reality? Had the dead really begun rising to walk once more?
Slowly, with his respirator still fitted around his mouth and nose as a precaution, Dr Weiss began to breath heavily as he pulled back the sheeting covering the body. Sweat began to exude from seemingly every pore, as his normally steady hands began to shake uncontrollably. He looked down upon a deceased female. There was no doubting she been beautiful once, but now she was no more than a bloodied rotting shell of the person she once was. Much of her body was covered in red violently swollen sores, an instant give away that the plague had begun its fatal hold upon her, and he took comfort from believing his bullet had saved her from any further agony.
There was also a touch of relief in the doctor’s demeanour as he made his way to his surgical tools, in that the nightmares were still at this stage, no more than myth and rumour. Taking a selection of blades and swabs from his amassed collection, he returned to the body so as to further his research into the deadly plague virus.
One by one they clattered upon the tiled floor as horror wracked through him. The body was gone! Frantically he scanned the room, fear accelerating his breathing. Reaching down, he instinctively grabbed a small surgical blade believing he would at some point need to defend himself from either her, or whatever it was that took her. The sweat poured from his brow once more as he turned, then turned again trying to make sure he wasn’t caught off guard.
Suddenly an unseen hand ripped his breathing mask clean away from his face. With a reluctant sense of inevitability, Dr Weiss turned to face his attacker. Already he could feel the burning within his throat and the tightening of his blood vessel as his body began to involuntarily twitch. It would only be a matter of time before he’d succumb to the sickness; his breathing already laboured and begining the itch and erupt in swollen red blotches.
Dr Weiss slumped to his knees as his attacker took her first bite.