Chapter 2: Blood Guts and Death
Blood. Guts. And Death.
How did it happen? That’s what everybody wanted to know after the Resurrection virus consumed over half of the planet. Where did it come from. Who was responsible?
The truth is that it was a combination of events that daisy-chained into an explosive situation, and once the fuse was lit it was just a matter of time before it all went to hell in a handbasket--goodbye world and hello death and destruction.
Having been one of the lucky few to read Alyssa Brigg’s diary, I have pieced together the things I learned about the Omega gene with what I was able to find out on my own. It goes something like this…
At the beginning of the 21st century, in order to feed the world’s booming population, meat production was increased tenfold. Subsequently this put a huge strain on the environment, and as virologists dumped more and more antibiotics into the animals, the more viruses became immune to them. Now as I understood it, 70% of all antibiotics produced were used on farmed animals, not humans, and these antibiotics were practically pumped into the animals which were to be slaughtered for meat production. The exact sort of meat you would buy at our local supermarket. A steak. Some minced hamburger. You name it. If it was a meat product, it had been saturated with antibiotics.
Needless to say it was only a matter of time before the antibiotics failed. After all, the viruses simply were quicker than the scientists at adapting. Once they realized antibiotics were a lost cause, scientists started messing with gene therapy. After all, instead of doing the sensible thing and using the millions of acres of land to grow produce for human consumption instead of corn for animal feed, scientists just started manipulating the genes of the animals themselves. The created super-animals with super-immune systems. And everything was good. At least for a time.
Meanwhile, in China, the unthinkable happened. The Chinese government was tinkering with two of the most deadly strains of viruses ever discovered by man. The bird flu and swine flu. They successfully combined the two, just to show that creating a super-virus in the lab was possible.
Never mind how it happened. But it happened. The super-virus got out. Then, as you can imagine, eventually this super-virus found its way to the aforementioned super-animals. And well, then the rest, as they say, is history.
By the time they had the Omega gene ready to inoculate against the viral epidemic, things took a sudden turn for the worst. The super-virus had hybridized with common rabies, and had grown into an uncontrollable chimera. One which could be spread from animal to animal as well as animal to human.
Soon enough the animal clinics were overflowing. Hospitals were unable to keep up with the number of cases coming in. Then… well… then it was already too late.
The animals had all gone mad. Everyone was biting everything in sight. People. Other animals. Even the birds turned on each other, like hungry piranhas, they devoured each other and ate each other alive.
At first the news called it a new strain of rabies. But the truth is that it was much, much worse. It was a super-virus that could infect every single living thing on the planet.
Flash forward to ten months later and meat farms were incinerating all of their livestock. Pillars of black smoke raised high into the sky all across the U.S., China, Australia, and much of Europe. But burning the poor animals didn’t help. The virus was already unleashed.
Jump ahead six months, and then people started getting sick. But unlike the genocide of animals, governments weren’t willing to start sending entire populations of humans into the furnaces. So back to the gene-therapy. The final attempt to give humans super-immune systems to fend off the super-viruses.
Goddamn them. They succeeded. But it was already too late.
People had already begun to eat each other. Ironic, considering the whole things started to satiate the carnivorous appetite of the human race.
But the horror of people tearing each other to shreds was just the beginning. After a couple of bloody weeks which seemed to endlessly drag on, as the virus decimated entire populations, as cities crumbled and it was every man, woman, and child for themselves… something unprecedented occurred. Those who had died began to resurrect.
Nobody knows exactly how the virus functions. But once the person, regardless of their physical condition, the virus has a way of calling a person back from the dead—which is why we call them the living dead. Once the infected person reawakens they are little more than a mindless monster with one simple desire—to eat meat.
Governments sent their militaries in to cleanse entire cities in the hopes of cutting off the viral contagion before it had a chance to spread. Quarantine zones were set up to try and get as many of the uninfected out before “The Cleansing” was initiated.
As cities burned to the ground, bands of hardy survivors grouped together to better survive the surrounding chaos, and they did the only thing they could do—try not to get bit.
I was a high school girl student in Japan when the initial outbreak occurred. I remember it well, because it was the day I was almost raped. If it wasn’t for a nice American boy named Kevin Benjamin Russell who helped me escape, I would have surely been another statistic, another victim of man’s unbridled, unthinking cruelty.
But Benjamin put up a fight. At least he tried to.
As it happened, he got the shit kicked out of him, and was knocked unconscious trying to fend off my attackers.
While Kevin lay unconscious on the pavement at my feet, I was tied up, sucker-punched in the gut, gagged, and stripped of all my clothes. I was humiliated in front of my attackers who could only view me as a piece of meat. But then … there he was. The most unlikeliest of saviors.
A dark figure silhouetted by the setting sun atop the hill at the end of the street. His moan penetrated the jeers of my attackers and distracted them enough that they turned to confront this rude intruder. That’s when the first zombie I had ever seen stepped forth and proceeded to eat my attackers alive.
Luckily Kevin regained consciousness just in time to untie me and we got the hell out of there. Looking back, we saw the tattered salary man perched atop of his prey, tearing my attacker’s eye out of his socket as he screamed for us to save him.
What a joke. The dickwad tries to rape me and then asks for my help? Let’s just say he got what he deserved.
The next day the news was reporting that Tokyo was in full lock-down. No one in or out. Every airport in Japan had been frozen, and the shipyards were jammed packed with freighter vessels double parked. At first we thought it might be terrorists. North Korea perhaps. But then we soon realized what was really happening, and it was far worse than we expected.
People turned on each other. I remember Kevin and I running past a preschool only to see a swarm of children tear down one of the female teachers like a swarm of damned locusts descending upon their next meal. She reached her hand out toward us as she tried to tear herself from their meat claws. It was as if she was beckoning for us to save her, as if I would only take a chance and reach my hand out and clasp hers. But she was overpowered by the mass which just pulled her back. As she fell backward into the swarm I will never forget the horrible sense of fear which came over me as I watched those petrified eyes of hers slowly disappear. All I could do was watch. And then she was gone.
I felt horrible just leaving her like that. But I was too scared to do anything. Besides, if I had tried to save her one of two things would have happened. Either I would have wound up exactly like her, overpowered by the hungry swarm, or else, I would have succeeded. Saved her, and then hours later, she would have unexpectedly turned on me and killed me anyway.
Tears streaming out of my eyes, Kevin and I did the only thing we could, and fled. We ran and ran, and we didn’t dare look back.
And that’s how it all began.
This is Saeko Sakaguchi. My nickname is Princess Gangster, Warlord of the island nation of Japan—an inherited title I can assure you. You may call me Sae. Most of my friends do. You may have heard about me, but if not, I lead the resistance here in Tokyo. And I am writing to warn you: Avoid Tokyo at all costs. It’s a lost cause. The city is fallen. Nothing remains here but twelve million hungry souls. None of them friendly. I repeat, do not come to Tokyo. It’s a deathtrap.
If you hear from me again, then count yourself among the lucky. Until then, stay vigilant, stay safe, and whatever you do—don’t get bit.
August 15, 2019 (Z.E.)
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Tristan Vick is the author of the Bitten Resurrection virus saga as well as the quirky pulp novel The Scarecrow & Lady Kingston: Rough Justice. Princess Gangster is his Resurrection virus spin-off webserial based on the lead character from Bitten 2: Land of the Rising Dead.