The War Series: A Dead War Short DOCTOR
By George L. Cook III
The lights constantly blinked on and off in the arena. Even deep inside the arena known as The Rock Dr. Ariza could hear the sounds of laser fire and explosions outside.
General Holloway had told her to get use to that noise because the day you no loner hear it may be our last.
Dr. Ariza lay on the bunk in her room unable to sleep as formulas and genetic codes swarmed through her mind.
She couldn’t sleep. No matter how she altered the formula or upped the dosage they couldn’t get the nerve agent she had created to work on a permanent basis.
The nerve agent could actually shut down the limited neurological stimulus the brains of the dead received thus shutting them down. The problem was the effect lasted for no more than three hours.
It had taken two month to get the effects to last that long and she had made the leap from two hours to three in a weeks time. She knew she could make it last longer but what was she missing.
She rolled onto her side and punched at her pillow. She was not going to sleep until she figured it out. She sat up on the bed and made the decision to return to the lab and continue working.
Dr. Mitchell would not be happy as he thought that she was working too hard. That was easy for him to say since the entire planet didn’t blame him for the zombie apocalypse. Although they both had a hand in the creation of the Berserker Virus Ariza had done most of the work and the media had made sure the entire world knew it.
Ariza stood up and grabbed her lab cot which lay across her bed. She slipped it on and ran her hands quickly through her hair on a useless attempt at grooming. She knew it was a waste of time. No one here liked her much less cared how she looked and the dead didn’t care about looks just feeding their hunger.
“Hunger?’, Ariza asked stopping in mid motion.
Her face lit up as she ran out the door and down the corridor.
“Whoa” said a familiar voice.
She had been running so fast and so focused on getting to the lab that she didn’t even see Sergeant Reed.
She stopped in front of him. “ Yes Sergeant Reed.”
Reed looked around the area. “ Are you running from something?”
Ariza smiled. “ No I’m running to the lab. I think I just came up with an idea to stop the grays.”
Reed looked Ariza up and down. “ Well slow down. When I see people running I expect the dead to be behind them.”
Reed brushed by Ariza knocking her up against the wall.
Ariza stayed there until he left the corridor. She had gotten used to that treatment while at The Rock. They hated her and she knew the only reason they didn’t kill her is because General Holloway had forbidden it.
She wasn’t naive. The general hated her too but he and his higher ups believed that she could undo what she had done. Although Holloway would never come out and say it he believed in her.
Ariza walked on until she reached the lab. She did the retina scan, typed in her code, and entered the room.
She looked at the mess of paper work on her desk and at the computer on her desk. She sat down to look over her notes. The sound of the zombies moaning strapped to tables at the far end of the room no longer bothered her. She no longer even looked over at them to acknowledge their presence.
She looked began shuffling papers looking for the notes she had taken just two hours ago. Some papers hit the floor. She reached to get them and then by accident glanced over at the gurneys where the dead lay. There were two laying there.
There should have been three.
Ariza sprung to her feet and threw herself up against the wall as she looked at the blood covered third gurney which just hours ago held one of the dead.
The gurney crashed to the floor as the dead creature rose from underneath it. It’s black orbs focused solely on Ariza. Blood and black bile poured from it’s mouth as it lumbered toward Ariza.
Ariza screamed and then threw a book at the dead woman. The book bounced of her head causing her to stumble back but causing no harm.
Ariza ran for the door and tripped over a cluster of wires on the floor. The creature lunged at her.
The door exploded off it’s hinges and Reed stormed in . Reed fired his rifle catching the gray full in the chest and knocking it back against the far wall. Reed continued fired until the dead woman’s brains were splattered all over the wall.
General Holloway and now Captain Levine came running down the hall followed by four other soldiers.
Reed pulled Ariza out of the lab and into the corridor.
“ One of those things got loose!” Reed shouted.
Levine and the four soldiers entered he lab pistols raised. Once Levine was sure the others were strapped in he walked over to the now empty gurney. He reached down and looked at the straps. They had been partially cut.
Levine walked out of the room and directly to Holloway. “ Someone wants Ariza dead.”
Ariza looked up still in a panicked state. “Only two people have access to that lab. Ariza and myself.”
Holloway frowned, “ Actually that’s not true. Myself , Levine and three army scientist have access also.
Ariza made a confused look. “ But why?”
Holloway glared at her. “ Do you think that we were going to just trust what you bastards were doing and not check up on you?”
Reed walked toward Holloway and Levine. “ How the hell do we investigate this then?”
Holloway placed his hand on Reed’s shoulder. “ We don’t. You do.”
Reed looked back at Ariza. “ We can’t leave her alone.”
Holloway looked down at Ariza. “ No we can’t. You watch her for now. I will have a Scout come in to protect her.”
“A Scout?” Levine said.
“Yes a Scout.” began Holloway, “ They follow orders and out of the six suspects we have none of us are beating a Scout.”
Levine nodded. “ Sergeant Liu is still in the area I will get word to him to return.”
Holloway helped Ariza to her feet and held her hand. “ Stay with Reed for now and then when Liu gets here he goes everywhere you go.”
Ariza nodded. “ Thank you General.”
Holloway let go of her hand. “ If you really want to thank me find a damn cure or a permanent way to stop these things.”
Ariza nodded. “Yes sir.”
Levine and Holloway started down the corridor as the other three soldiers began to clean up the lab.
“You want to go back to your room” Reed asked.
“No.” replied Ariza looking back into the lab, “I’ve got work to do.”
Coming October 31st: The Dead War Series Book Three: War!
Please check out these other books by George Cook
The Dead War Series Book One: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B006YEKJXO
The Dead War Series:
: The Short Stories: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0080S7PGQ
Alone With the Dead: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008IELZ9U
Contact George Cook at firstname.lastname@example.org
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