Chapter 1, Apocalypse 2016

***Note: Not everything may be accurate, not everything may seem plausible, and it may seem a bit rushed. I’m doing this for fun, yo. The well-researched, thought out, re-written, agonized-over piece is still under wraps. I just wanted a project with a little less blood, sweat, and tears. My apologies to anyone who actually knows what they’re talking about in this kind of situation. I AM WINGING IT SO HARD.

Chapter 1

I trained for 9 months. In that time, the zombies rose up. But we didn’t call them zombies. Wayyyy too on the nose. I was opposed to walkers because, duh, copyright infringement. They were just known as the Infected. Which was highly accurate. They did want to eat flesh, any living flesh, and they roamed. They weren’t very fast, but they could be dangerous in hordes. Luckily, no one in our fragile city had the virus. I mentioned before, there were heavy quarantines prior. But thanks to a few HAM radios, we could get some news in and out of what was going on. They were already covering the Southwest, so it was only a matter of time before they reached us.

Meanwhile, nuclear winter is the pits. I don’t knowwww if anyone has told you that, but it is. Like…seriously sucky, dude. It’s cold, dark, everything feels gross and a little dusty, and food becomes a major concern. Also, our water was intensely irradiated so while we did the best we could to attempt to purify it, I did notice my already very pale skin had a certain..glow to it. And no, I wasn’t pregnant.

Anyone who had been close to the larger cities that were decimated suffered worse from the radiation. Most people were vaporized, but those that didn’t tended to have scars like burn victims. THEY looked like the zombies we thought were coming. But they were all fine. Delightfully normal—as normal as one can be after a traumatic event.

As for myself, I lived at the Central Barracks. Cushy situation to be honest. The downtown of my city had been walled off as best as possible with scraps of metal, wood, and concrete, and the Central Barracks used to be a sweet hotel. My parents lived in one of the little shotgun houses by the mayor’s house. We still had a mayor. He just really answered to our commander, Commander Stokes. I saw my family and the mayor about once a week. Luckily for me, the mayor—unlike Sgt. Tibbs, the man who whipped me into shape—found me charming, if quirky. Definitely irreverent.

I’ll be frank: I hated military life. I found the structure to be chafing, and I’m sure my superiors found my presence to be chafing. We were all just chapped at that point. But I had gotten to be a decent shot (shout out to all of those Pre-War video games), and I could pack a wallop unarmed. I wasn’t outstanding, but it sufficed. Plus, I could talk my way out of a lot of things if need be. My mouth was my greatest weapon. If this had been normal times, if this was Pre-War military, I would have been gone so fast. But times had changed and as long as you fell in line when it was crucial, you were tolerated.

Pre-War. Everything was Pre-War. I think it was one of the shortest wars in history, with everything ending in hours. Who knew, we could have still been in the war and not known it. There was hardly a way to find out what was going on in the rest of the world. HAM radios only did so much.

We didn’t even have uniforms. The desert camouflage of the wars in the Middle East was useless in the grey and white landscape. So we scavenged and made do in our grey, blue, and white parkas—hard to find in a Gulf Coast Alabama town. But we did it. Most of us also had gas masks on standby. We looked like creatures from one of Dante’s circles of hell. But we didn’t look as bad as the things that attacked the scrap walls we had built around our city. The people who wanted to slaughter us and take our supplies. The creatures were bad, but bloodthirsty people…they were vicious.

The day before my life changed, I picked up some Kool-Aid packets from the commissary. I really, really hated how life was going. I know, in times like this, you’re supposed to suck it up buttercup and just survive. Common good. Fall in line. Blah blah blah. I just couldn’t do it. So with a final urge of stick-it-to-the-man-ness I had left in me, I dyed my hair hot pink. Or to be more precise, I flavored it “Pink Swimingo.” And it smelled amazing. I went to bed that night with a towel on my head, my fellow privates shaking their heads, and I fell asleep with a smirk on my face.

The next morning, as I was scrambling to get to my post, sliding over the icy cobblestones and pavement, someone ran clear into me (for once, it wasn’t my fault) and papers scattered everywhere. I stopped and began apologizing profusely as I helped him pick the papers up.

“No, no, don’t worry, it was my fault,” rumbled a deep voice, “I was in a hurry and—Private Frasier, what on earth have you done to your hair?”

I froze and looked up into the steely blue eyes of the Commander. I gulped and sort of saluted. It looked sloppy, I’m sure. “Kool-Aid spill?”

“And that isn’t your natural lip color, is it?” he asked slowly.

“No, sir. But there’s no reason you can’t look your best, even in a nuclear winter,” I said without thinking. I gave him an awkward “Oops” smile and began playing with the zipper on my parka. I was turning into Fran Drescher in The Beautician and the Beast. Not a good look currently.

His eyes narrowed. “Indeed. Sgt. Tibbs will have a fit you know.” I gave him a lopsided grin and what I hoped were convincing puppy eyes. Not that they seemed to work on anyone around here. “I was going to come find you anyways. Where were you off to?”

“Just…uh, watching the wall. You know, the usual…sir,” I wobbled, mentally wondering why I get myself into things.

Commander Stokes reached out to a new recruit who was jogging by. “Tell Sgt. Tibbs to have someone fill in Private Fraser’s post. Now. Get to it.” I watched the wide-eyed recruit stammer and salute and scurry away.

“Well, Frasier, walk with me,” he said, heading towards our government building. “You know, you’re a noticeable person, even without the, um, tragic Kool-Aid spill. I’ve seen you at a few parties at the mayor’s and heard you talking in several situations. You know quite a bit about Pre-War foreign politics, nuclear deterrence, and general diplomacy.”

“Um…Thank you, sir?” It was my undergrad so…

“And people, well, people who aren’t giving you orders on a daily basis, seem to like you…And those that don’t you can tolerate it seems. You’re diplomatic is the point I’m making. I’m sending out ten teams to do some recon. I had you in mind for a simple mission out to Louisiana, but now I’m thinking something different.” He looked at my hair and smiled. “I think you might be the person I send up to DC. I’m sending my best soldier, my best sniper up. It’s important that whomever goes up with him can work with him and listen to him when it counts.”

“Well, sir, I don’t have the most obedient reputation,” I began slowly.

“No, you really don’t,” he chuckled. “But, I think out of everyone, he’ll like you the most…or, at least work with you the most. Besides, I think that if there’s anyone left up around DC, you’re the one best suited to getting them to help us.” He sighed and fixed his steely blue eyes on me. “You’ve got spirit, kid. You’re going to need it.”

“Well, sir, I’ll do my best…” I began, not arguing. This mission would be dangerous and there were high chances I’d die, but golly, I had to get out.

“I’ll be honest, kid, I don’t think you’re a great soldier,” he blurted. Gee, thanks. “But, you would have been a decent politician back before all of this. Lucky for you, that’s what I need right now.”

We walked inside the grey, over crowded government building, sandbags and troops all over the place, and he began briefing me on what I needed to know and look for. Military, resources, weapons, other cities or settlements. Any group of people we could possibly work with—or watch out for. We climbed the stairs and got to his office. Inside stood a hulking man with his back to us, looking out the window. He had a .300 Win Mag slung across his back. I’m not a small girl, 5’7” and broad-shouldered, but I felt like a teacup Yorkie looking up at that man. I probably had the shakes too.

“Private Fraser, this is Master Chief Petty Officer Moustafa. He’s been working down at the docks.”  We had the basis for building a sort of tiny navy for the city, and our engineers were working overtime to make it happen. While our military was cobbled of all the former branches and then newbies, most of the former Navy and Coast Guard were at the outpost there. I nodded. “Master Chief Moustafa, this is Private Fraser.”

He turned around and looked at me and made a noise at the back of his throat that sounded like a growl. Which I have to say, sounded way better than my yelp of surprise. I make great first impressions.

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Apocalypse 2016, Intro

So, I’m still writing my scifi. I took a break, but I am still doing it, you guys. Even if I haven’t kept up with this blog like I should either.

That said, I need a fun project that isn’t serious to play around with, so I’m doing something that’s supposed to be fun and cheeky but still in the sort of apocalyptic/scifi/disaster genre. I also want to put myself in it and make it a weird alternate reality that’s also cobbled with different things in this sort of genre that I love. And then be aware of that? If that makes sense? Ah, you’ll see.

Hope you like the start.

Apocalypse 2016

Introduction

It happened on my 26th birthday. September 17th, 2016. Things were already tense. The Rio Olympics had gone sour as a cocktail of viruses got together and bread something else. They were calling it simply the Rio Virus. It attacked your immune system, your gastrointestinal system, before finally making it’s way to your brain. But it didn’t kill you—not exactly. Yes, ladies and gentleman. That’s how our nightmare of zombies were realized. They looked just like everyone else. Only their eyes were all white. And sometimes they were missing chunks of skin or a limb. Because they had been bitten. But on September 17th, 2016, that wasn’t a North American problem. We were in heavy quarantine mode. The virus hadn’t turned people yet. Their immune systems were just slowly dying and people thought it was a sort of flu. Coughing. Fevers. The usual. The virus would peak later. In the after. In November.

The US election had everyone tense and 2 members of the Trump campaign had committed suicide. The Clinton campaign was reeling from the latest leaks from Assange, but most people were confident she would recover—even though everything was still unsettling. Debates were approaching on the 23d and everyone waited with bated breaths.

But on September 17th, 2016, North Korea did it. They actually had a nuke that could reach Hawaii. And they took it out. Within an hour, the US retaliated. And then came Russia. And China. And we bombed back.

Most of our major cities were gone and the fallout was terrible. Europe was ravaged—Eastern Europe suffered from airstrikes from Russia. China and Russia turned on each other in the middle of it all.

As for the US—DC, LA, New York, Dallas, Houston, San Francisco, Boston, Atlanta, Miami. Gone. Craters of radiation no one dared venture to. Everything was fragmented.

Now here’s the thing. In an apocalypse, people like me aren’t meant to survive. I hate running, it’s from the devil. I had no military training, couldn’t even fire a gun. No survival skills really. But I had a quick tongue, some book learning, and some raw strength paired with some under-developed boxing skills. Not a lot to go on, especially when my greatest skill was building amazing settlements in Fallout 4, but when the left-overs from the military in the area decided to park itself in my port city, I enlisted.

Most cities devolved into mass chaos from what I heard—not like I had access to 24-hour news anymore, but you got word. Looting, gangs, killings, weird mafias and tribes emerging. But because my city had a lot of leftover military, we were on lockdown. My family was moved to camps outside of the base, which made me feel better while I got my butt handed to me by a drill sergeant who I vowed to never let know my loathing of running. He would use it for fun to torment me. I had a smart mouth and sassy comebacks and he was not a fan.

This was not how I wanted to spend my 26th year. Happy fricken birthday to me. At least I didn’t have to worry over elections anymore.

Galactic Inspirations #1

So I decided, along with my weekly posts, to also try to post a bit on what’s inspiring me now, what is really melding with me and what I’m writing. We’ll see how this goes.  It will probably be mostly pictures and minimal commentary.

Oh wait! I finally reached 5k words! Only 25k more before December!

Alright, now to the main event:

1980s Punk

1980s punk fashion, including punk’s daughter goth, is having a huge impact on me right now. It’s just so hot right now.

hansel gif

Yes, I just said that so I could use this gif.

I think I can attribute that to all of the amazing SciFi films released at the time. Naturally Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, but also my favorite, Blade Runner, which shall get its own much-deserved post soon.  Also, the fashion in Back to the Future 2′s 2015 is oddly inspirational.

blade runner gif

Something about 1980s punk and goth is so futuristic that I can’t help but gravitate towards it. At the same time, it’s the past, so it has a nice recycled-world universe. On top of that, the 80s was decadence. It was an era of decadence and a time where you could believe anything was possible. The Commies were the unquestioned bad guy, and the US was the unquestioned good guy, and the fight between the titans happened somewhere else, over there, not here. Perhaps I’m drawn to this because the 80s wasn’t a giant time of questioning the man, with the main exception being punk. It fits these sort of principles and big concepts I’m wrangling with and condenses it nicely for me into forms of fashion and hair.

These photos are obviously not mine, just ones I found all over the place.

Until later,

Xoxo Vicky Stardust

Procrastination Dead Ahead

Sweet mother of pearl, procrastination is already setting in here. I don’t even feel like writing another blog. How sad is that? But I told myself, once a week, so here we are…though I probably need to go every 3 days, judging by my stats page.

Spongebob: That show understands me on a very deep level...and I'm pretty sure Squidward is the millennial poster-child.

Spongebob: That show understands me on a very deep level…and I’m pretty sure Squidward is the millennial poster-child.

I keep telling myself I’ll have 5k words by Friday… “Suuuureeeee…” I seem to be responding.

My problem is two-fold. Not only am I just an awful procrastinator who works best against tight deadlines, but I am incredibly detailed when I write. I feel like instead of books, film should be my medium. Except I know nothing about film-making, and they’d all have to be big-budget films.

This is kind of heinous and brilliant all at once.

This is kind of heinous and brilliant all at once.

No, instead of writing, I’m over here trying to get my, to use tumblr’s word of the hour, aesthetic right. Bright side, I almost have my own feel which is starting to meld…that’s a plus, right? I also get obsessed with certain songs when I write if they remind me of the story, so I have a playlist now. Before you ask, yes, “Space Oddity” made it. How could I not? Ground control to Major Tom.

I'll never be this cool tbh

I’ll never be this cool tbh

I keep renaming people too. Like, I feel the name has to be perfect and have 4 different meanings that are relatable. My psychotic perfectionism is setting in. I understand now why the stereotype of anyone artistically inclined is temperamental. Artists are being driven insane by themselves and this inability to perfectly communicate what’s going on in their brain. They can’t perfectly replicate this particular firing of synapses in their skull so they’re bound to get a little fussy. And heaven forbid no one gets it.

Ugh, side note, my least favorite thing is people misunderstanding a joke. The worst. Especially if it’s something non-controversial and mild and they still find some what to be offended about. To a person who tries to stick to neutral ground and avoid stepping on toes or being disrespectful, if you still find something to be offended about, it takes them to a special level of rage. I think the internet has provided an unfortunate outlet for people lacking in a sense of humor. I truly do. Weird, random rant over.

Look what you did...making me resort to Gandhi.

Look what you did…making me resort to Gandhi.

Back on track, this is going slow, and my Netflix habit isn’t helping.

But this playlist I made is pretty bomb.

bog 2.4