Neil Alden

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  1. Carver

    Carver Active Member

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    Neil Alden

    F.E.M.A.
    PERSONAL IDENTIFICATION PHOTOGRAPH

    [​IMG]
    "Neil is a native to Kentucky, and speaks with a low, but noticeable Southern accent. Although not opulent prior to the outbreak— Neil now faces the harsh, bitter reality of not only attempting to survive a global cataclysm the likes of which the world has never seen, but also struggling to be a father for his one and only child. A father's love knows no bounds, and the collapse of society will test both his resolve and determination: as it will all those who were either lucky enough— or ruthless enough— to survive the outbreak. The true question will arise as time wanes on of just how far a father as well as all survivors in this post-pandemic America— will go to in order to protect those he cares about,"
    — Official Description


    ________________________


    FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY
    PERSONAL IDENTIFICATION PAPER
    DESIGNATED QUARANTINE-ZONE: SHEPHERDSVILLE, KY



    NAME: NEIL ALDEN
    AGE: 34

    SEX: MALE
    HEIGHT: 6'2
    WEIGHT: 210 LBS
    HAIR COLOR: DIRTY BLONDE
    EYE COLOR: BLUE
    ETHNICITY: CAUCASIAN-AMERICAN


    ________________________


    HOMETOWN: LINDOW, KY
    RESIDENCE: LOUISVILLE, KY
    OCCUPATION: CARPENTER
    COMPANION PRESENT UPON ENTRY: [YES] / NO

    NAME: HANNA ALDEN / N/A
    RELATION: DAUGHTER / N/A


    ________________________
     
    #1 Carver, Apr 7, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2019
  2. Carver

    Carver Active Member

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    Relationships
    Key

    Love
    Best Friends
    Very Friendly
    Friendly
    Neutral
    Ambivalent
    Cool
    Pity
    Dislike
    Extreme Dislike
    Hate


    -------------------------
    Family

    Hanna Alden
    (Alive)

    Daughter
    "I love you so damn much baby. We'll get through this, no matter what. I'll get us through this, I promise. I love you more than life itself Hanna, and by God I'll get us through this,"

    Lonnie Alden
    (Unknown)

    Little Brother
    "Hundreds of miles away and I don't even know if my God-damned brother is alive or dead. I just hope things are better up in Boston, baby brother. Hope to see you again soon,"

    Ian Alden
    (Dead)

    Little Brother
    "You deserved better, Ian. I can't believe they just fucking killed you. All those years, all those memories'n life— gone cause' some fucking grunts don't know how to tell who's sick'n who's not. Love you baby brother, and hope things are better, wherever you're at,"

    Delilah Alden
    (Dead)

    Little Sister
    "My baby sister. My poor, innocent, baby sister— dead. All they had to do was ask— do a test— I don't know— do anything and they would've found you weren't infected. You were one of the kindest people out there sis'. I'm going to miss you,"

    Norman Alden
    (Dead)

    Father
    "I couldn't even say goodbye. I just hope it was quick, and you didn't have to turn into one of the sick, Dad. I know Lonnie must've done all he can— and you did all you could do too I'm sure. Rest easy Dad,"

    Laura Alden
    (Dead)

    Mother
    "Hundreds of miles away and I don't even know if my God-damned brother is alive or dead. I just hope things are better up in Boston, baby brother. Hope to see you again soon,"

    Lauren Andrews
    (Unknown)
    Ex-Wife
    "You left me to go raise a baby when I was barely even an adult myself. But you know what? If I had to go back and do it all over again, I wouldn't change a thing— to see the person Hanna has become. I just we can still make it, with all that's been happening. But I know we will. We're a strong family. Stronger than you ever were,"

    -------------------------
    Post-Apoc


    Tom Spencer
    (Alive)


    "Bartender over in Valley Station. We weren't the best of friends, but me Ian'n Lonnie would always use to come in once we got off a job over there. We were close enough though, and honestly in this whole fucked up situation where more people you know are likely running around eating people, than up and alive, you got to appreciate the friends you have left,"

    "Thanks for letting me and my daughter in too. You're a good guy Tom, just hope it doesn't come to bite you down the road, case the choppers don't show up anytime soon,"

    Logan Spencer
    (Alive)

    "Tom's wife. Not gonna' lie, I don't know you immensely, but, you're with Tom and took us in, so I can get behind that,"

    Chelsea Barnes
    (Alive)

    "I wonder how many other little girls don't got a parent in this fucked up scenario. I hope it works out for you. I need to take of my own kid first though, but, hell. Just hope it all works out, kiddo,"


    Isaac Castillo
    (Alive)

    "You were with the military. Whole lot of good that turned out in the end, huh? Just fucking amazes me, biggest fighting force on the planet, all those billions and billions of dollars— couldn't handle this shit. Suppose it isn't your fault, or your fault about the shit that has gone on with them either. Anyway, you seem alright. Just hope your buddies will show up and clean this shit up sooner rather than later,"

    Noah Young
    (Alive)

    "Jumpy, aren't ya? Can't blame you I suppose. This is all pretty fucked, not gonna' lie— and you're still just a kid. Hope you get through this bud,"

    Nathan Sanderson

    (Alive)


    "Took us in when Shepherdsville was a nightmare. But the Mall wasn't that much better. I mean, wasn't really expecting the Ritz Carlton or anything— hell, I don't know what should be good and what isn't in this fucked up outbreak-whatever. Anyway. Hope you can keep things together there, man, till the cavalry arrives,"
     
    #2 Carver, Apr 7, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2019 at 6:57 AM
  3. Carver

    Carver Active Member

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    Chapter 1
    February 8, 2015, 11:04 PM

    It was another long day at the office for Neil Alden. Being a master carpenter— hoofing it with your union card for the United Brotherhood of Carpenters— was never particularly an easy job. There was always some client that had demands that were unable to be met; a contractor without knowledge; or deadlines, deadlines, deadlines. Normally Neil would suffer from only at least one of those toils— seldom none. Sometimes two, but rarely all three. This project however saw all those met— and more— and it was pure hell for the single father.

    As he drove down the rural road to his home— home, where he hadn’t bothered to bring up to Hanna yet that they were soon to be behind on the mortgage payment, but she didn’t have to know. She’d quit soccer and get a job if she thought it’d help. But he passed no one on the drive, but two Kentucky State Troopers blazing past him. An odd site, for this part of the country. He shrugged it off though, he just wanted to go home— kick off the boots, rest his feet up on the bed, see his daughter, and not worry about the stresses of life for a time. Most people came to local union meeting for nothing else than the free pizza that was present, and yet this time it was as if it was populated by ghosts. Lonnie was away visiting relatives with their parents, so that was to be expected, but what normally would be a turnout in the dozens was now limited to maybe a handful at best. There was a lot on the bulletin board to discuss and yet it would’ve been fruitless to do so.

    For apprentice carpenters, to simply not show up to a job would mean you best be coughing up your black lung back at home— and yet over two-thirds of Neil’s entire crew was absent from the recent project, and the developer, needless to say, was not happy in the slightest. One would think the contractor himself wouldn’t be too pleased with this turn of events but he too was MIA, leaving the crew twindiling their fingers with their bills mounting and the union at an utter loss.

    Neil flicked his turn signal to turn left as his bluetooth to the pickup came on.

    “Yeah, yeah— what is it?” he asked, answering the call. It was Ian.

    “Uh-huh, yeah, well, I know it’s late’n all but just got off the phone with Todd, and he’s also got this thing that’s been going around, so—…”

    Neil scoffed.

    “So he’s out too, huh?”

    “Yeah. He’s out too,”

    “Well fuck me then— what about the contractor, man, has he said anything yet or is he still hacking up a lung?”

    “Nothing yet man,” Ian’s voice cracked through the speakers.

    “Jesus, alright alright, look I’m almost home and I don’t wanna’ think about no damn contractor or Todd and the good ol’ boys or any of that, alright? We’ll make some calls and see what we can do first thing tomorrow,”

    “Yeah, yeah, for sure. See you then, brother,”

    “Yeah. You too, take care,”

    As he hung up, Neil pulled up to his house, which he bought just a little over a decade before; he barely managed to convince the bank to give him that loan. This twenty-something year old with a daughter about to enter school, and working as some lowly carpenter. It had to have been one of the best pitches he ever made in his life— those mortgage payments are still hard to make— but Hanna doesn’t need to know that. She probably already did though, the smart girl that she was. Smarter than he ever was, that was for sure.

    As he pulled into the driveway the car was put lethargically in park, and Neil leaned back in his seat for a few moments, rubbing his eyes. He was home, and he smiled at that, and unbuckled himself and let himself inside. Of course Hanna was still up— half asleep to some errant program, but awake enough to greet her weary father.

    “He’s back,”

    “Yeah— and it’s late too— don’t you got school tomorrow?”

    “Didn’t you get the email? It’s been cancelled,”

    Neil was frankly too tired to even bother on checking. He plopped himself down on the sofa, and kicked his feet up: just as he envisioned.

    “You still got your game tomorrow?”

    “I don’t know, some of the other girls on the team— y’know, Izzie and Jessica and a few others are all out sick too, so we may not do as good without em’,”

    Neil grinned and looked over at hisddaughters fifteen years he’d raised her. His ex-wife, Lauren, well, she was there for a bit but not long enough for her to remember— they were young, stupid, and idealistic and for Neil there was no sense dwelling on the past. Hanna was there, and as soppy as it sounded to himself as the thought ran through his mind: Hanna was the moon that kept the tides ebbing— in spite of all the hardships of life, for her, it is all worth it, and he wouldn’t redo a single thing in life if it meant changing his baby.

    He grinned nefariously, “Yeah, well— leaving all the good players and just ol’ you to go cover— Coach Grey best be scared,”

    “Hah,” she said, deadpan with the look of daggers, though of the playful kind. It was the typical banter between the two, and she shoved him.



    The night waned on and Neil decompressed, and buried the troubles of the day down into the depths of his mind. Nothing good was on TV, per usual, but being able to kick his feet up and not have to climb ladders and hammer in nails in the hot Southern sun was a vast, vast improvement. Eventually Hanna found her way upstairs and into her bed, as did Neil. As much as he didn’t want to go back on the hunt tomorrow, it was late, and he knew he had to get rest of some kind.

    Not even bothering to undress he landed himself on his bed— he rarely ever checks the news as it is never anything good. Always some stabbing or shooting in a bad side of town, a kidnapping— murder— it is constant viewing of fear mongering like that which drives a man insane, he figured. However it was hard to avoid the recent news, now that Hanna was in her own room. Every station had something to say about the recent spread of what folks were calling Red Eye, though few people even really knew what it was. The news had a habit of exaggerating and by God did they make it seem as if the apocalypse was about to happen— but in spite of this it was difficult not to be concerned. Todd, who Neil had seen work through influenza in order to get one project done— union members who would’ve shown up to the meeting for pizza alone— and Hanna’s school whose district had a notorious reputation for rarely ever cancelling school.

    Nevertheless, he shut his eyes and flicked off the television.

    He could deal with it all in the morning.
     
    #3 Carver, Apr 7, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2019 at 7:01 AM
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  4. Carver

    Carver Active Member

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    Chapter 2
    February 9, 2015, 2:32 AM

    Hanna was having a good dream.

    She had just scored the winning goal for the regional game— they were going to state! The cheers were deafening and her father ran out onto the field to embrace her.

    These wholesome, escapist thoughts were shattered however, as Hanna was jostled awake by the loud booms of a door slamming shut downstairs, and thumps of footsteps. Her heart beat fast, was someone breaking into the house?

    Suddenly she was alert, and she jumped out of bed. She momentarily checked her charging phone next to her: fourteen missed messages, and calls uncounted.

    Dad, 2:20 AM
    “Baby, I had to pick up your aunt from the hospital. Something bad’s going on, don’t let anyone in. Pick up,”

    Dad, 2:24 AM
    “I’m coming home now, your Uncle Ian should be there,”

    She briefly scanned her social media and all her feed was filled with stuff that made her think the world was ending. Katie just posted a photo of them loading their car up, “Wtf is going on!?” was the caption. Hanna’s heart shuddered, and it wasn’t assuaged by the call of her Uncle’s voice echoing up the stairs.

    “Hanna, honey! You up there!?”

    “Ye— yeah, yeah! What’s going on, Uncle Ian!?” she cried, opening the door to her room— and she froze dead in her tracks at the sight of her uncle. He was sweaty, and blood was splattered on his face. Tucked into his jeans was a firearm, and his expression: it was one that she had never before seen on her uncle.

    Ian rushed towards her before she had time to back away. He knelt down and hugged her, before looking at her dead in the eyes. “Hanna, thank God— are you okay— nobody has come in here, right? Right!?”

    She was confused. “Huh? What— no, no, nobody has come in here— but, where’s my Dad— why do you have a gun and, you have blood on you…”

    Her heart beat faster as the gravity of the situation began wrap itself like snake around her. Ian was a gentle man and seldom would want to hurt even a fly. The kind of guy who would put a spider in a jar and bring it outside, rather than stomp it. The echo of a distant explosion made the hallway vibrate, and a low, orange and red illumination filled the dark halls of the home; car alarms screeched repeatedly and dogs barked loudly; her heart pounded only faster and faster and her head began to hurt.

    “I’m alright, I’m alright— but look, Hanna, honey, somethin’ real bad’s goin’ on— your Dad had to go get your Aunt Delilah but we’re gonna’ need to get outta’ here soon, okay? I need you to go get changed and get your phone or whatever else you need, can you do that?” Ian exclaimed, speaking fast.

    Hanna released his grip and took a few steps back, frightened.

    “Uncle Ian— you’re scaring me— why? What… what’s going?” she asked, looking behind her and at the Louisville skyline in the distance. She could swear she saw the silhouette of a helicopter of sorts some ways a way, and the low thud-thud-thud breaking up what should’ve been just another, cool, Kentucky night. A distant glow of fire shone bright past the light pollution of the city.

    Ian took a deep breath, and calmed himself down. “The people who are uh, sick, they’ve been actin’ real bad, honey. It aint’ safe to stay here,” Truth be told, Ian did not even know what was really going on. Hardly anyone did.

    “What do you mean, bad…?” Hanna asked, her blood running cold.

    “Look, sweetie I don’t know but they’re actin’ real crazy and— look your Dad’ll be here any minute just go get changed, alright?” he asked, once more, dodging the subject.

    Hanna conceded and quietly this time went back into her room. She checked her phone once more, and raced through the news headlines.

    “LARGE-SCALE RIOTS SPREAD TO LOUISVILLE; OFFICIALS LINK CONNECTION WITH RED-EYE,”

    “CANNIBAL HUSBAND MASSACRES FAMILY AND EATS THEM ALIVE,”

    “ARMY ROADBLOCKS MAJOR INTERSTATE HIGHWAYS,”

    Hanna threw the phone back on her bed. She didn’t want to read anymore, it felt like she was in a nightmare. Yes, yes— a nightmare! She tried pinching herself, but the thunderous crack of a gunshot from just next door shattered that possibility. She wanted to scream, but she didn’t, and managed to keep her breathing under control as she hastily took off her pajamas and cared not for the style of whatever nearby clothes she could scrounge up around her room.

    A million thoughts still raced through her mind as she darted downstairs with a sorry excuse for an apocalyptic bug-out bag: just her phone, school ID, and the clothes on her back. Her uncle was checking the window, peering past the blinds. She wandered over to him and inched past his shoulder to get a better look at their street. One car— the Davidsons, she recognized, their son went to school with her— sped down the road, their brake lights illuminating the black of night. She wondered why her father would leave her in the night if it was this bad, did he know what even was going on? She was fifteen now, and was no longer a child, but all she wanted was her father. He would somehow make this cataclysm go away.

    The sight of Neil’s truck did little to ease her worries however. Ian urged her to follow him back down the stairs. They went past the television which was still playing from earlier— except this time it was the Emergency Alert System. Ian hurried to open the door just as Neil and Aunt Delilah stumbled inside— she was still in her nurse's hospital scrubs, and both had splatters of blood on their clothes.

    “Oh my God, Dad!” Hanna cried, and sprinted immediately toward the sight of her bloodied father.

    “Hanna, baby, it’s alright— it aint’ mine— are you okay? Jesus, I’m so sorry I left you, I didn’t know it was this bad out, God I don’t think anyone damn well knew,” he cried, and hugged her tightly. Hanna’s relief faded however as she saw his face. Her father, the man she’d seen push through nearly chopping off his finger— the man who had never, ever shown fear in the face of anyone before, was now swimming in it. She sought for reassurance of some kind, to prevent her from completely falling apart.

    “It’s— it’s okay, Uncle Ian was here, and…” her words stumbled together as she tried to form a sentence. Her head hurt.

    Neil kissed her on the forehead and then got up and marched over to his desk, calling back, “You hear what the newspeople been sayin’?”

    Ian nodded. “Uh-huh, yeah, the uh, EAS has been sounding like a broken record but the radio on the way here was saying the Army's closin’ off Jeff County,”

    Hanna arms sprouted goosebumps as she saw her father retrieve a case from the desk; Neil’s hands shook too as he flicked the digits to the lock, retrieving the pistol. He looked as though he had seen a ghost. He put a clip in and shoved the gun in his pants, before declaring, “Then we best get going,”


    Hanna looked at her father as he grasped her hand and led her out the door. Truthfully, Neil didn’t know much on what was going on, what to do, what the plan was, or what any of any of this all meant. He was just as lost as Hanna was. But he saw what was out there. And it made his skin shiver.


    Nonetheless, he knew that he had to at least act as if he had some resemblance of a plan-of-action, even if in reality they were all just making it up as they went along. To give her some sort of comfort— but it was easy for Hanna to see through that guise. All three of the adults were scared, and none of them truly knew what they were doing.


    “Wait— shouldn’t we pack or bring some stuff?” she asked as the four made it out into the cool, Kentucky night, and toward Ian’s SUV. It was a clear night, perfect really, if it weren't for the chaos that was ensuing around them.

    “We aint’ got time baby, we’ll co—” was Neil’s reply, before the sound of glass shattering, from a house next door, broke his train of thought. He looked over and the trees that blocked their houses made it hard to see, but he spotted the silhouette of a sickly man, it was Jack, and he rose right back and spotted the group. Hanna saw this too and took a step back, the blood emitting from his mouth, the reckless want for death engulfing in his eyes— it was like she was viewing a monster. Jack shambled fast over to the group, letting out a feral cry— Neil opened the back seat for Hanna to get into, and he slammed the door shut behind her. The sick man moved fast now, glass shards protruding out of his body but he seemed to pay them no mind.

    The front door to Jack’s house burst open and out came his wife, crying, sobbing, “Please, Jack, stop— stop this!” as she gripped a bleeding arm. Neil and Ian ignored the man and only wanted to get into the safety of the vehicle— but just as Ian had the driver’s door open Jack grasped him from behind. He shouted and struggled to get him off, Neil pulled out his firearm and screamed at Jack.

    “Jack, fuck, Jesus get the hell off of him!” he cried but the man was blinded with rage— Ian cried for Neil to get him off— Neil gave one last warning before pulling the trigger. The gunshot deafened the group, and blood and brains splattered itself on the window. Hanna didn’t scream but she felt as though she was on the verge of hyperventilating— her hands shook mad. Neil stared down at his kill for a moment, the two brothers shocked, Delilah in the back listless and wide eyed, before Neil nodded to Ian.

    “C’mon— let’s go,” he uttered, as they entered the vehicle.

    Jack’s wife fell to her knees and sobbed, as the Alden family sped off down the road and towards a snake-oil salesman's promise of safety.
     
    #4 Carver, Apr 7, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2019 at 7:01 AM
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  5. Carver

    Carver Active Member

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    Chapter 3
    February 9, 2015, 2:43 AM

    It was impossible for Hanna to think, as the SUV fled the scene. The only solace she got was that they weren't the only ones on the road: kindred evacuees all had the brake lights of their vehicles on in their driveways, some were still packing, and others were just pulling out. In front of them two more vehicles sped down the road, breaking a law book worth of traffic violations. The thuds of a helicopter echoed somewhere above them, as they continued along with their exodus.

    “You killed him…” she uttered, her voice shaking.

    Neil cuffed his hands on his forehead— pistol resting on the dash in front.

    “I know baby, I know,” was his only answer.

    “What the fuck was that!?” cried Ian, slamming his fist into the wheel as they drove. He made a sharp turn— they passed by more first responders, comforting that they weren't heading in their direction— but something told them they weren't responding to those gunshots either. Something much worse.

    Neil rubbed his forehead as he rolled down the window to get some air, before uttering, “I don’t know man. Just uh, go take the 150. Hopefully that won’t be as clogged up as the interstate,”

    Ian nodded. “Yeah, yeah, sure— but they were sayin’ on the radio that the military’s got checkpoints’n all that set up— wanna uh, stop the spread of the thing, or somethin’ like that,”

    “Best get on it then,” Neil said.

    “What happened?” Hanna asked, looking over at her typically cheerful, but now frightened, young and bloodied aunt next to her.

    Ian glanced back at her. “I don’t know, first they were saying this thing was just in Texas’n Pennsylvnia, now they’re sayin’ it’s the whole God-damned South—”

    There was silence for a few moments, before Neil started up again. “It was bad at the hospital,”

    “Guessin’ you don’t wanna’ talk about it,”

    Neil glanced back briefly at his daughter, and shook his head. “Not really,”

    The hospital was nothing but a pure nightmare; had he known how bad the sickness had got, he never would’ve left Hanna alone at home. But when he got the call from Delilah, he went to go check on his daughter and she was fast asleep and safe in her room. He figured there was no point in waking her— he’d be back in less than half an hour. But sweet God in heaven, not even the authorities knew how things would take a turn for the worse that night.

    Delilah asked after a long time of silence. “Can you guys turn on the radio? Maybe they’re sayin’ something new,”

    Neil nodded. “Yeah, sure sis’,” and turned it on. A seemingly confused, masculine voice spoke.

    “—rmy is urging residents of the Louisville metropolitan area, if possible, to evacuate in an orderly fashion along routes... I-64, I-65, I-71, or along 31W, 150, or the 60. Uh, if you come into contact with the sick, or are known to be sick yourself or have a family member who is sick, you will be detained at the numerous checkpoints stationed along the evacuation area. Avoid sick at all possible, they are known to show extreme aggression without prejudice. Um, going on— if you’re unable to evacuate, the Army is urging you to stay in your home and await further instruction…” and the anchor went on with some of the same or similar instruction until Neil flipped it off.

    “They don’t even know what this whole thing’s about,” Neil uttered, looking back out the window at more people packing to leave. One small convenience store was even in the process of being looted.

    Ian made a few more turns before they eventually made it onto the 150. But they didn’t get very far until they saw their worst-case-scenario.

    Neil gazed at the sea of tail lights going on for near as far as the eye could see— and the traffic wasn’t even moving. Everyone had the same idea.

    The adults were no stranger to commuting. Rush-hour traffic was a fact of life in the modern era really, but this was nothing short of a parking lot, traffic the likes of which they have never even seen before.

    “Fuck, turn around, take us thru town, see if you can get us onto the 44,” Neil exclaimed. He knew well enough that this line of cars wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon, and that Jack and his buddies at the hospital would be there before the choppers to carry them off to safety.

    “Yeah, alright,”

    The SUV turned around. The sight was surreal; only hours early things seemed to be fine, and now they passed corpses in the street, and running and fleeing pedestrians who did not have the fortune of evacuating via their vehicles. They passed a burning McDonalds; gas pumps were on fire, pedestrians crying, pleading for them to stop and take their children or carry them off to a safety they didn’t even know where it might be. They passed a lot of those people, and Hanna held back tears but both Ian and Neil knew that they had to take care of their own family.

    There would always be someone else.

    Then, a man, terrified, jumped in front of the vehicle, and waved his hands for the car to stop. And Ian did. Before Neil had time to tell him to go around, the sound of glass shattering vibrated throughout the car, cutting Ian’s face: a baseball bat, the door was unlocked, he was being dragged out. They were being hijacked. Hanna’s heart beat so fast she thought it might just pop, that this was going to be the end. Delilah was soon dragged out too— Neil glanced back, told Hanna to stay inside no matter what, and jumped out to help his brother, taking the firearm with him.

    It was all over in a matter of seconds, before the sick came and took a chunk out of Ian’s assailant. Neil opened fire— he shot the sickly man, and there was screaming, screaming all around, gunfire, sirens, pedestrians yelling— the roaring of flames. And then he heard Hanna scream, he couldn’t mistake that voice for anyone. He looked back, a man was dragging her out at knife point.

    “C’mon— just, get out you little bitch!” he cried. He was in survival mode. This guy who only a day or two before would’ve said hi to you at the grocery store was focused on nothing more than his most primal instincts of living. Hanna screamed and kicked the man and he punched her and slammed her onto the hard concrete below— before Neil came and pistol whipped him from behind. The man fell onto the ground next to her and writhed in pain; Hanna’s heart raced not a million, but perhaps a billion miles an hour. Her mind was fuzzy, and all around her were the orange and yellow peripheral colors of fire and flame. But he felt her father’s hand help her up.

    “C’mon baby— we need to go— we need to—…” and their car drove off without them. In the scuffle, one opportunist took their chance to put the car in reverse, and speed down the avenue— only to crash to their deaths mere seconds later.

    The adrenaline flowed in their blood to much for them to worry about this loss however. Neil grasped his daughter by the hand, Ian in the process had shot the assailant, a human, who beat Delilah. She seemed to have the worse of all the wounds, her eye bloodied, with numerous cuts— but they all had cuts and scrapes now. Ian helped her up and amidst the chaos around them Neil shouted, “We need to get the fuck out of here, let’s go God damnit!”

    How long they fled they knew not. The night seemed to be a blur of blood, fire, and carnage. Hanna closed her eyes as her father led her, she saw people engulfed in flame, being devoured— her father and Uncle were forced to shoot a few more coming on them. A bad dream. A terrible, awful nightmare, the worst one she’s ever had.

    They followed the fleeing survivors as they figured there’d be safety in numbers, and there was to a degree. The slower ones were caught by the sick, but the Alden family pushed on ahead, and time passed and maybe only a few dozen of those made it out of the urban area and into the country. They ran, and ran, and how long they ran they knew not but it felt as though it could’ve been an eternity.

    They ran until they came up on the military roadblock on the 150, stopping at the river just near Mt. Washington. They were in the brush and above they could see the illuminating glow of the seemingly infinite long line of vehicles in the gridlock, but also the eerily comforting sight of humvees and dome lights. The Army was there though, in the bush with them, ready, with firearms drawn.

    “Halt!” they shouted, flashlights pointed at the end of their barrels.

    Before they had time to explain they saw the red eye of Delilah. They panicked. They were already having trouble containing the spread of this thing— there was no time for questions— they lifted their barrels and opened fire, and the civilians were mowed down as just one more victim of Operation Sapphire. Delilah took bullet after bullet— Ian rushed to shield Neil and his daughter, he pulled out his pistol and fired back as families were shot behind them, but Ian was shot in the neck and Hanna screamed and hyperventilated and cried as she saw her uncle bleed out in front of her, and her aunt lay dead in a pool of her own blood.

    She couldn’t move. She couldn’t say anything. And the bullets continued to fly and were softened by hitting the flesh of their marks— Neil picked her up and held back tears of his own as he fled into the woods, and away from the men who were supposed to lead them to safety.
     
    #5 Carver, Apr 7, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2019 at 7:01 AM
  6. Carver

    Carver Active Member

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    Chapter 4
    February 11, 2015, 9:04 AM

    It had been two days since the outbreak found its way to Louisville. Neil and Hanna were allotted, or rather found, two lawn chairs that sat outside the medical triage tent of the Shepherdsville Safe-Zone. Although they despised the radio, it was a reminder that the world had not ended. Yet, anyway.

    “The Governor has declared a state of emergency and has authorized full search-and-rescue operations to help retrieve stranded residents from their homes. The Death toll is said to have surpas—…”

    The sounds of the recorded broadcast however were only supplanted by the screams of the triage, and of the people begging for their loved ones not to die, or to die themselves. Children cried for their parents and parents for their children, and it was then that Neil realized how lucky the two of them were to get away with only a few scratches and cuts. But it did not matter their story. They were only one family out of the infinite at the camp who had lost their loved ones. Some had no one at all.

    Neil was able to get one last call in to his brother in Boston before cell service went down. He informed him of the deaths of Ian and Delilah, and Lonnie of the deaths of their parents. They were both in safe-zones, hundreds of miles apart, but it seemed as though they were both living the same nightmare, as was the rest of the nation.

    The recorded message from days before went on, one survivor shook his head and scoffed.

    “Either they’re planning some big operation to clean up this mess once’n for all— or they don’t got the manpower for it anymore,” he said.

    Neil looked over at him, and then at the rest of the people in the overcrowded camp. More survivors came in everyday, those who were finally able to escape from their homes, or skate past the infected on the outside. The safe-zone was a pure living nightmare of a different breed than the insanity that went on outside. Every moment of every hour there’d be someone crying for help and yet nobody would be able to give it. It made Neil’s stomach crawl: he wanted to help, it was in his nature to, yet he looked at his daughter and knew that he couldn’t let her die like Ian and Delilah did.

    He had to focus on her first.

    As the crowd dispersed around the radio, growing bored at the same repeated messages, he found himself alone with his daughter, and spoke lowly to her.

    “Hanna, baby, look. I know it’s been rough, I know, but, I think we’re gonna’ have to leave for a bit. Find some place a bit more settled,”

    She looked up. The safe-zone, in spite of its own horrors, had allowed for her to bury the memory of that night only two days before. The the deaths of Uncle Ian and Aunt Delilah— all the death— the fire.

    “But, but, why? Isn’t it safe here?” she asked.

    Neil looked around at his surroundings for a few moments, before shaking his head.


    “Maybe for now, but not forever. This place isn’t sustainable, Hanna. We’ll head out into the country, see if we can’t stay somewhere a bit nicer. Be there till the military gets a better grip on things,”

    Hanna looked up at her father, and her heart pounded at the thought of heading back out there. The world had been given two more days to fall apart since they last left it. What new horrors could lurk out there? As terrible as the safe-zone was, at least they had men with machine guns and body armor and flying the Red, White, and Blue to protect them. Even if they’re the ones who killed Uncle Ian and Aunt Delilah and all those other people. But it was still safety. But she felt her father knew best, and nodded slowly.

    “Okay,” she uttered.


    Neil took her hand, saying, “We’re going to leave tonight. I’m gonna’ see if I can’t get us some stuff to help us out, then we’ll hit it, alright baby?”

    “Okay,”

    What Neil meant was he was going to steal from the Army. It probably wasn’t one of his best ideas, but staying here did not seem much better. At least being a thief would stop giving him night terrors of the screams of this place.
    _____________________________________________________________________________________________________
    February 11, 2015, 8:24 PM

    The safe-zone was illuminated by the bright, burning lights of the military, yet for all intents and purposes it was still night. Some electricity still remained on, and some aspects of the skyline stayed lit, a reminder of what once was. Nevertheless, the Army truck was parked on the sidewalk, and an innumerable amount of survivors waited for their rations. The Army was busy— and none of them thought the civilians would have any reason to leave this place to begin with.

    In the black of night he slipped across the street and toward the truck, the military busy distributing the rations. Quietly opening the door to the truck he went inside, and peeped around: documents, orders— he didn’t have time to view it. Instead he looked in the glovebox and found a pistol, and checking the magazine saw that it was loaded. With his prize in hand, he closed the compartment, and slipped back out; nobody ever saw him.

    As he made his way to Hanna near the triage— shots ran out. And screams. Not the usual screams and cries for loved ones, but the feral kind of fear. Neil sprinted, and cried for her name. Soldiers gathered around and when he arrived at the scene, an infected lay dead.

    “How was she infected?”
    “Did nobody check her for bites!?”
    “Where’s her family!?!”

    “Who the hell let her in!?”

    The Army shout about themselves— until he found Hanna huddled in the corner of the triage nearby. She was volunteering as a nurse to help around; she had some basic first aid classes at school, but for this situation that made you valuable.

    He crouched down and held her, “Were you bit? Are you okay? Jesus— what happened?” he cried, speaking fast.


    “I— I— she just turned, and then she ran and bit Mrs. Peterson, and the blood, and…”

    Neil turned around and look at the group of soldiers with flashlights, inspecting the large group of civilians that had gathered in the tent now that the situation appeared under control. But he knew that this was their token to leave. He rapidly turned back to Hanna.


    “We need to leave, now. They’re going to be scanning this whole tent and anyone who had contact with that guy— if they put you in quarantine with the rest of the sick it’s over, do you understand? We need to leave now,”

    Hanna looked up at her father. He never spoke this serious before to her, but she knew this new tone meant truth. She uttered a meek okay in agreeance, and Neil grasped her hand and led her away from the scene and to the back of the tent, where they slipped through and back outside. They fled the tent and the murmurs of panic from the area only grew louder as more understood that there was an infected inside the “safe-zone.” The last sounds of industrial generators and cries left them as Neil climbed up the fence in one of the distant corners of the safe-zone, and out into the ruin of the outside. He caught Hanna as she jumped, and set her on her feet.

    “Are you ready?” he asked her.

    She took a look around at the street; a few burnt out cars, street lights illuminating the ominous, and deserted road. It was something out of a movie, but it wasn’t. It was real life.

    “Yeah…” she nodded, and looked up at her father, and saw someone who’d do anything to make sure she didn’t end up like the man back in the tent. Or Jack from next door. Or Izzie and Jessica, or Uncle Ian and Aunt Delilah.

    He took her hand, and smiled as best he could, to give her the comfort that she needed.

    “Then let’s go then,”
     
    #6 Carver, Apr 7, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2019 at 7:05 AM
  7. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    He kind of looks like he's made of clay.
     
    AmongTheCold likes this.
  8. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Chapter Added!
     
  9. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Chapter Added!
     
  10. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Chapter added and relationship update!