OtE Chapter 5: Survival of the Fittest

Sorry about leaving you hanging there, but my hand cramped up and I had shit to do… What was I talking about again?

Oh yeah! Killing stuff!

There aren’t many ‘people’ left, but I did have to deal with quite a few of them at the beginning. Seriously, you would be amazed at how many assholes thought I was some kinda murder-bot or just a zombie LARPer. The undead that I’ve seen so far tend to lack the dexterity and intelligence required to use tools or weapons. Maybe there are some who aren’t so pathetic, but I can only tell you what I’ve personally experienced.

After dealing with those first three, I had two generic nine-millimeter pistols and a crappy .38 caliber snub-nosed revolver. I would use my glaive if I was fighting zombies, since they weren’t much of a threat. However, when it came to people, I took a “Shoot first and… That’s the end.” stance. I’m not saying that I straight-up killed everyone I met, but I didn’t take any chances if they had a gun and decided to point towards my direction.

Sometimes I would yell “If you aim at me, you’ll die!” Which usually just gave away my position and I kind of stopped caring anymore. My life is more important than some sense of arbitrary morality, right? Besides that, it’s not like I went out of my way to murder or steal from anybody.

I’m a short dude in a hundred pounds of armor, slowly skulking around a city filled with zombies. If I see someone who looks like they might attack me, I shoot at them. If they run away, they live, if they return fire, they die. It’s that simple really.

Anyway, back to what I was going to talk about earlier. Although there is a momentary enjoyment to be had from killing things, it’s just not nearly as fun as I expected it to be. I guess this is why I always liked RPGs. You feel a sense of accomplishment, because you gain experience and power from defeating your enemies. There’s a greater purpose…

Maybe I need to like, eat their brains or something? Could there be a power core? Maybe a magical cube of awesomeness? In stories, there are usually mana-crystals in the brains or hearts of monsters.

No, I haven’t cut open some zombie corpses to play around with their innards! It’s bad enough that I get their nasty black blood on me every now and then! Oh, they have black veins, did I mention that before? Seems kind of important for the visualization. It’s also one of the reasons that I think it’s nanites rather than a virus or parasite.

Not all of them have black blood and veins though, sometimes it’s silver. The ones that just recently reanimated don’t look much different from normal people though, assuming that they don’t have big chunks missing or are otherwise corpsy.

It’s probably been less than a month and I’m already bored of the apocalypse… I’m not complaining about the difficulty. I never said it was too easy. But it is kinda lame overall. I’m telling you that I want RPG elements! That way the grind actually has a purpose, other than just wearing me out.

I am definitely getting stronger. It’s just that my strength and endurance aren’t magical ‘Stats’ that I can watch as they rise. There is a limit to the human body and I simply haven’t reached it yet. Every day I walk around in that armor or swing melee weapons around, it’s like a really hardcore weight-training exercise. The more I do it, the more comfortable it becomes. If there ever comes a time when I can jog or run while wearing all that shit, then I’ll be able to say “Yay, I have super-strength!”

You know, sometimes I wonder “Do I really need ‘steel’ armor?” Like, I refuse to go outside unprotected, but zombies aren’t really that strong. They also don’t use swords or spears and this shit isn’t bulletproof. At most, it’s bullet-resistant. I guess I’ve just gotten attached to it over the past few weeks. I’ll probably have to switch out pieces eventually, since nothing lasts forever.

***

Zombies don’t really like the rain. They’ll try to break into houses or hide under whatever they can find during a storm. I’m pretty sure it’s the thunder and lightning that they hate though. They’re kind of like lightning rods. I think it has to do with the electromagnetic fields they produce or some such bullshit.

The point is that these are the only times when you can cook food out in the open and not have to worry about getting swarmed. The fire also creates enough light for me to write. Three houses across the alleyway are also burning right now, so there’s no way they’ll smell my ‘food’ over that mess.

What amazing meal am I cooking tonight? I call it “Spaghetti in Tuna Sauce”. It’s literally just spaghetti noodles, a jar of generic tomato sauce with basil and stuff included… Then I put a few cans of tuna into the mix.

Until now, I was trying to ration my food, but I’m all outta fucks to give. If I have to leave most of these supplies behind anyway, I might as well get the most out of them. I’m really hungry lately too. It’s like I’m never satisfied, even after my stomach is totally full. I probably have a parasite or something. Either that, or it could just be related to all the exercise I’ve been doing.

For the past ten years, I spent most of my time sitting at a computer, only occasionally working out to keep from getting fat. It never took much effort for me to bulk up really fast, but without a girlfriend or any interest in dating, I never really found it necessary to ‘get in shape’. Besides that, I always break out really badly every time I try. Why should I go through the effort of having sexy muscles if it’ll just be ruined by acne?

Ironically, since the world ended and there’s no one left to notice, I finally stopped breaking out. I’m twenty-seven years old and I just now stopped having acne. Although it does make me happy that I don’t have to deal with all the pain and suffering anymore… It also kind of pisses me off. My parents would have been really happy to see me finally getting past that phase of my life.

I think I’ll leave some notes in the house. Even though I know that they’ll probably never see them, I want them to know that I’m still alive. That I didn’t give up and I’m planning to live a long, relatively happy life. Maybe I’ll be lucky enough to find a girl who isn’t a lesbian and doesn’t try to kill me on site. Assuming humanity hasn’t been sterilized, we might be able to have kids together. That’d be kinda nice…

My goal is to head south. Doesn’t matter where really. Maybe on the ocean, so I can catch plenty of that delicious poisonous fish. There’s plenty of tasty critters in the rivers too though. Well, I don’t need to settle down right away. I can move back and forth. Set up some ‘homes’ for myself. By the time I make it there, I might be the last person on Earth. Even the zombies might all wither down to nothing.

Thankfully my father had a bunch of maps laying around. I know, right? Who the hell uses physical paper maps now days? Well, he always told me “When that Solar Flare knocks out all the electronics, I’m gonna be the one getting the last laugh!”

He also used to say “I hate zombies. I don’t believe in zombies. Zombies aren’t real. I have no interest in zombies.” Whenever I used to talk about popular TV shows and movies. So I guess the jokes on him too, if he’s still out there somewhere.

Let’s see… Interstate 95 can take me all the way down to Miami, then I could keep going and find a mansion in the Key Islands. Without anyone to deal with the aftermath and preparations though, after the first bad hurricane, most of southern Florida will be wrecked. Aside from that, it might be a little too hot and too far to walk in this armor.

I have a cousin who lives or lived in Palm Bay. Might have been Palm Beach, there’s also a Palm Coast. They’re each over a hundred miles apart so yeah, I doubt I’d even be able to find her, assuming that she’s alive. There are some other friends and family who live all over the world, but even if they survived, they’d probably be moving around a lot.

There are some people I know who started heading north once they heard news of zombies. Going towards Canada and other frosty regions, where the undead would be slower. Only to find out that these zombies are actually more comfortable in cold temperatures, because they don’t rot as quickly. Supposedly, they are a bit more sluggish, so they might be better off anyway.

Maybe I should go to JJ World in Orlando? There are loads of huge buildings, I could easily turn into fortresses. Not that it would mean much though, since I’d be the only one there to see it. Fuck, I’m starting to get kinda depressed now. I’ll just eat my spaghetti and stop writing so much.

I’m still alive and I don’t plan on dying any time soon.

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