I didn’t really get the chance to revise the end, maybe I will later.
The subway odor was overpoweringly nauseating. The hazmat suit did little to filter out the sulfurous fumes mixed with human waste from homeless people taking shelter in the tunnels.
The sound of my rubber boots on the dirty tiles reverberated off the walls, a sharp reminder of my assignment.
I continued along the gradually darkening tunnel, unease gnawing at my gut. I cast a nervous glance downwards at the tracks. The drop off to my right turned to a gravel filled pit where the tracks were rusted and worn from years of use.
I looked down and could see my reflection in a pool of water that had collected in the groove at the edge of the walkway. Regardless of the amount of times I would probably see one, hazmat suits never failed to give me chills.
A hand clasped my shoulder and I stifled a yelp. I whipped my head back, slapping the arm away and nearly colliding with the masked face that stood uncomfortably close.
“What is wrong with you?” I half screamed, half whispered.
“Well hello to you, too”, replied to stranger, pulling off the helmet and shaking her wild mane of curly blonde hair.
I breathed a sigh of relief, removing my own helmet. It was cold and stale in this part of the tunnel, yet anything was better than the stuffy air that smelled of old sweat in the mask.
Sorry, didn’t mean to scare you. I can’t see a damn thing in this”, Agent Cavalier finally spoke after several heartbeats of silence. She gestured to her suit which clung to her body like a sickly yellow second skin. I gave her a half smile. I couldn’t do anything more with the task at hand looming like a hungry beast. I hated it. I hated this job, but it had to be done.
I absentmindedly worried at the small tear in my glove, finally speaking when the silence became suffocating. It seemed as if even the roaring trains had quieted down in a somber realization.
“Any luck?” I asked, readjusting my grip on my helmet. Agent Cavalier shook her head.
“We shut down all of the subway terminals, so there’s only one metro coming our way. Agent Rasday confirmed that it is indeed harboring our targets”, she added. I shuddered at her last word.
Lights flashed in the distance punctuating the medical agent’s grim reply. My heart leapt into my throat. I couldn’t think of any response other than “sounds good.” Everything was quickly becoming more and more real.
“Careful with these ones. They’re carrying the newest strain so extreme aggression is a given,” Cavalier added, casting me a wary glance.
Fear made my mind run like the oncoming metro with excuses. I wanted to flee these tunnels. I was desperate to be anywhere else than here in this horrid subway station.
The dusty white and yellow train came to screeching halt, quite literally. I could see the conductor through the tinted windows. His expression reflected exactly how I was feeling.
He shakily pressed a button on the control panel, causing one of the car doors to open with a hiss.
Immediately I could tell that this was going to be a nasty one. People inside the car were silently weeping, and most were balled up and squished to the wall in a desperate attempt to distance themselves from the next car down.
Agent Cavalier gave me a sharp jab in the ribs, pointing to her mask. I hastily through mine on, zipping it closed and connecting it to the rest of the suit.
I felt bad, not being able to comfort any of these poor passengers. But was there anything that needed to be explained? The pounding and inhuman screams on the other side of the wall was explanation enough.
My hand instinctively reached down to my belt, my right hand resting on the bolt gun nestled safely inside. I gripped it intensely as Agent Cavalier rapped on the door with her fist, peering inside through the small plastic window.
She turned to me, and I could just make out the look in her eyes that said “It’s just as bad as it sounds.”
I tried breathing deeply. My therapist would be pleased to see how I was using these exercises in practice.
All the other passengers seemed to hold their breath, crying out when the door opened. They scrambled towards the front of the car, shaking the whole train and causing it to tilt dangerously for a few moments.
The sight inside was more grizzly than any other case I had seen before. There were three or four chairs that had been ripped from the floor and smashed against the wall. A foul odor emanated from the car, and as I reluctantly followed behind the agent in front of me, I just about filled my mask with vomit.
There was a body of a girl laying splayed out on the blood - at least I think it was blood - stained floor. The blood wasn’t from her, and she was still breathing much to my relief, but the.. thing that stood over her made Agent Cavalier stagger backwards, pushing me with her.
This person was at the last stage of this new strain. Their body was oozing black and scarlet liquid from open sores, and vomit covered their shirt and hands.
I couldn’t discern if this person was male or female, and we briefly made eye contact before it lunged for me.
No, not it. This was still a human, even if the disease had ravaged their body beyond the point of recognition.
The person grasped my wrist, yanking me onto my back and tearing the hole in my glove even further. I cringed as Agent Cavalier pulled the trigger, her gun firing with a loud pop!
The target slumped over on the chair to my left, and I turned away, focusing on the unconscious girl on the floor.
I knew what had to be done. She had been exposed to the pathogen, and she was a liability. So was everyone else on this metro.
“They all have to be.. exterminated”, Agent Cavalier said quietly, as if she could see my thoughts. I fought back the urge to hurl once more, and stood up on shaky legs.
“You alright, newbie? The target got you good”, she said, trying to lighten the mood. I nodded slowly, but covered my wrist. She couldn’t see the mark where the person had broken the skin through my glove.
Is this an excerpt from a storygame you're writing? I hope it is because I want to know more about it. I thought I'd had enough of zombie survivals, but apparently a well-written one can still hook me. You said that you didn't revise the end but it seems alright to me, and the writing is solid (grammar included). I spotted just two minor typos: a missing opening quotation mark before 'Sorry, didn't mean to scare you' and 'through mine on' instead of threw.
Sure, this isn't the most original subject, but you can still put your own spin on it. In fact, you've already done it by choosing this "military rookie who has to mass murder terrified civilians" POV.
If you intended this to be a short story well, it's still a good one but I really want the extended version.
I think he wrote this so he could get out of Furry Hell in the Discord.
Oh I didn't even realize you would find this half decent, I'm honored c:
and thanks for pointing out the typos and such, I might make this a storygame, depends on my motivation level lmao.
This was great, I would read it if it was a storygame.
Ah thank you!