Beware of Z, part II
Holodeck One, USS Portland
Authors: Nikki Barclay (NPC Alenis), Sera Williams, Zirra Kajat (NPC Beauvoir), Ronald Roberts, Tyrlai Zade
Hiding inside an abandoned industrial building, Nikki was busy toying with a busted car radio and a battery, trying to pick up the emergency broadcasts. Next to her was her gun; in spite of the fact that she had run out of ammunition in the first ten minutes of this program, she had still held onto it because it gave her a certain peace of mind. As she crossed a couple of wires, the radio sparked to life.
..."repeat, a highly infectious and unknown disease has afflicted large swaths of the population. Green zones have been established in sanitized areas, and the national guard has been deployed to maintain the perimeter of these zones. Those in yellow zones are instructed to make their way to the nearest green zone; if that is impossible, to stay put and avoid contact with those who may be infected. Red zones are completely quarantined. Repeat, a highly infections and unknown..."
Nikki turned towards Sera as she shut off the radio, frustrated at what she heard. "So, any idea how far to the nearest green zone?"
Sera shrugged, "I don't know much about early 21st Century geography. If I remember, I think the nearest Green Zone would be Langley, Virginia or Bethesda, Maryland." She'd given up trying to remember everyone's story name, so had resorted to having the computer replace the story names with their real names.
Zirra Kajat knew she was late for the invited holodeck session, but her staff meeting had run long and the corridors weren't exactly designed with Gorn in mind. Entering the holodeck she found herself in small town on Earth. Looking around she saw a crashed vehicle a nearby building and some humanoids that appeared to be sick and howling in pain. One charged at her and she pushed it away with her powerful arm, sending it crashing into others that were milling about.
"Hmmmmm, I think if we start heading towards Langley--" started Nikki before being interrupted by a crash outside. "What was that!"
The tumbling and the clanking sounded random at first and then went quiet. Then, after a few solid seconds of silence there came a loud rapping nose as one of the steel doors was banged on loudly by... something. Certainly nothing out of the ordinary given the circumstances, but then something strange happened. Music started playing.
Pitter patter of those fee-ee-ee-ee-eet
Movin' and a-groovin' with that be-eat
Jumpin' and stompin on the flo-o-o-o-oor
(Lemme in) Let me in!
(Open up) Open up!
Why don't you open up that door? (let me in)
Nikki instinctively grabbed her gun, even though she was out of ammo and didn't expect to find any .455 Webley lying around. "How do we know you're not a zombie?" she called out in response.
The music continued uninterrupted.
I-uh (open up) hear music let me in (music)
I wanna come in again
Let me in (let me in), a-well I heard it just then
I thought you were my friend.
Then, a stop.
The last word of the last line played was repeated three times.
Nikki froze. "Sera, what should we do?" she asked, conscious of the fact that she was out of ammo and that for all she knew, whoever or whatever was responsible for the music could be a zombie.
Sera scrambled to pick up the nearest pointy object in range. In this case, it was a lead pipe that seemed to have fallen from somewhere near the roof. She pointed at the door and said, "It has a small window about head height, maybe we can open that to see?"
Sera reached toward the tiny slot window with her left hand and held the pointy pipe with her right, ready to jab whoever was out there. "You look, I'll stab," she whispered to Nikki. Sera then held up her hand with three fingers up, then counted down from three. "Go!" she whisper yelled.
The slot slid open to reveal a man with arms held out in a plea for peace, but there came no words from his mouth. Wrapped around his neck was a bloodied bandage which seemed to indicate the reason for his inability to speak. But where he could not speak, he could write. Held within one of his hands was a piece of note paper. When no stabs came he slowly stepped forward and passed the note through the window.
It said "Thank you for shopping at Bull Moose Music." It was a blank hand-fillable recipt from some sort of music store obviously, but below that there was more. "Please don't hurt me."
- - - Separation for later use - - - -
There was a distant 'shing' of metal and a hushed growl and then the scream of something wild and only barely human. The sound of splattering gore was followed by another humanoid growl and a new 'shing' and splatter quickly followed by a third. Finally a shuffling noise was greeted by a loud thump and a zed landed on its back just outside the window. Tyrlai strode into view slicing its head off with a long slash of her sword, zombie gore splattering to the ground. Novia followed with a pair of monkeys huddled on her shoulders looking mortified at all of the guts
"This is not age appropriate, mother would not approve."
"Well yeah." Tyrlai replied having expected Novia to have understood that point.
"I wanted to see where you grew up?"
"This is far more age appropriate." Tyrlai stepped to the window and waved before looking back at Novia. "Trust me." She turned back to Sera's window. "You look different, did you color your hair?"
Before Sera could answer, the entire holodeck went dark for a moment then the yellow and black grid pattern appeared. "Urgh!" exclaimed Nikki, angrily. "Sorry everyone, this is the third time I've replace this EPS conduit!"