Chapter 4: Japan isn't fucked… The world is fucked…
Author's Note Part 1: Alright guys, here we are in chapter four! And with it, the scenes that occur in the teacher's lounge! So in this chapter, I'm honestly unsure of just how far into the third episode I'm gonna get, seeing as I'll be using the "after credits scene" from the second episode at the beginning, as well as added descriptions that I'll be putting in. So, taking that into account, it's possible that a good half of this chapter, or even the whole thing, could focus entirely on the group while they're in the teacher's lounge trying to find out their next move. But, seeing as I'm writing this before the actual chapter, don't hold me to that.
Anyways, I think that's about all I have to say. So, I'll let you guys get to reading the actual chapter!
(Addition: Alright guys, even though this was finished with the other chapters, I haven't had much time over the past few days to look it over because of work. But, I've got some time now, so I'm gonna proofread it, and then post it. So, here's the fourth chapter!)
3rd Person POV:
It took a few minutes for Takagi to calm down, and during that time Chris, Takashi and Kohta had taken up points at both hallway entrances that led to the area where the rest were, taking care of the any Zombies that approached them, unfortunately drawn to the group from the pinkette's cries. However, when the crying changed to sobs, and eventually steady breathing, the three teens were able to take out the remaining Zombies in the area, before joining back with the rest of the group as Saeko helped the pinkette to her feet.
The group shares a look, before they all head towards the door, Takashi opening it slowly, and peeking his head in to look around for any Zombies that might have been wandering inside while they waited outside. However, he's forced to squint due to the fact that the lights are out, and the blinds in the room are closed. "Fuck… Can't see a damn thing." He tells the group, before leaning to the right a bit, and moving his hand along the wall, eventually finding the light switch, which he flicks upwards, only for the light fixtures to emit sparks instead of turning on, meaning that there was no chance of any artificial light making the room brighter. "Damn. Lights are out." Takashi says, making Chris move so that he can look into the room as well.
He'd felt a bit uneasy when he'd seen that the room was pitch black, but seeing that the lights were apparently blown only made the small trace of fear that he felt rise a bit as the situation started to feel similar to one that he'd experienced dozens of times in the past. "Takashi…" He starts, making the teen lean away from the door and turn to face his friend. "How about you let me go in there and check around." He says as he slides his bag off his shoulder, opening it as he does this, before looking through it for a specific item.
"What? Are you crazy? You'd have to get over to the blinds to let light into the room to actually be able to check, and if you run into something before you get to them, you'll have to try and take out a walking corpse in complete darkness." Takashi argues, only for Chris to smile at him in response.
"Not exactly." He says, confusing his friend and the other teens around him as he continues to search through his bag. A few seconds later, he pulls out the item he was looking for with a smile, before slipping it onto his face, surprising the other teens even more. "With this, I'll have no problem seeing in the dark. Thermal Vision, very handy." He says with a smile beneath the silver mask present over his face, before walking over to the door, and peeking inside, he doesn't see anything, and slowly inches into the room, the other teens watching him enter. However, everyone freezes when they hear the same sound that came from the intercom around an hour ago.
And it came from inside the room that Chris was walking into.
The reaction from Chris is instantaneous. He quickly twists around, kicking the door closed behind him to keep the other teens out of the room as his hand grabs onto a chair and shoves it under the doorknob, before he leaps behind a desk, hiding himself from the direction that the shriek came from. As he does this, he attempts to calm his ragged breathing, knowing that now was definitely not the time to start panicking. Fuck! Of course there has to be a fucking Bug in here! He thinks to himself as he finally manages to calm down, and attempt to listen to the room around him.
He can hear the doorknob twisting as someone, probably Takashi, attempts to get inside the room, making Chris frown. While it wasn't a surprise that his friend would want to probably help him against the Bug, Takashi didn't know about them, and by extension, what they were capable of. In the end, it would only end in his death. And thinking about the fact that with every second that passed, his friend had a greater chance of entering the room and facing his immediate death, causes Chris to give a scowl underneath his mask, before he growls as he stands up, and unsheathes his Wrist Blades, glaring at the figure that stood out in his Thermal Vision.
When he stands up into the figure's sight, it lets off another screech, and in response, Chris lets off a yell as he vaults over the desk he'd been previously hiding behind, and sprints towards the figure as it does the same, shrieking the whole time.
After Chris had slammed the door behind him, the other teens outside the room had been shocked at his actions, before what he did finally registered with them, and Takashi immediately grasped the doorknob, and attempted to turn it to open the door and help his friend. However, even after turning the doorknob and pushing against the door to try and open it, he wasn't able to. "Damn it! Why the fuck did he do that?!" Takashi exclaims in anger as he steps back, and then hits the door with his shoulder in an attempt to open it. Unfortunately, even though the chair shifts a bit on the other side, the door still isn't able to open.
"I don't know… But didn't you see him freeze for a second there when he heard that sound?" Rei asks, turning to the others, and making them think about it as Takashi stops trying to open the door for a second to ponder that information as well.
"You know, you're right… I've never seen Chris just… Freeze like that before." Kohta admits, having always seen the strong side of Chris. The side that wouldn't take shit from anyone, and would gladly defend the few friends that he had if they were ever being targeted. Kohta had been saved by his fellow raven haired teen many times in the past whenever some of the other students had tried to target him, so he could attest to that.
"It seemed to me that he recognized the sound." Saeko states with a frown. The shriek hadn't sounded even remotely close to any of the sounds the dead would give, so it only made sense that it was something else entirely. Her frown deepens at the thought that Chris had purposefully done something to keep them from entering the room. That told her that not only did he know what it was that was in the room, but if he kept the entire group outside, then it was likely that it was more dangerous when compared to the dead.
A few seconds later, most of the people in the group stiffen when they hear the same shriek through the door for a second time, along with an enraged yell from Chris, making Takashi try to force the door open once again. This time around, Kohta joins in with ramming into the door. However, when they pull back and get ready to ram into it again, they're shocked when something black and skinny suddenly pierces the wood, before going back through the newly made hole before anyone could see what it was, everyone there standing in shock at what just happened, before a third shriek is let off, this time much clearer thanks to the hole in the door.
A few seconds later, the group stands there with bated breath, afraid of what might have just happened to Chris, before they hear movement on the other side. They brace themselves in case whatever just created the hole decided to exit the room, and face them. However, they all let out sighs of relief when the door is opened, and Chris steps out with the mask still on his face as he simply stares at them. "…Next time I keep you guys out of a room, you should understand that I have a good fucking reason for it." He tells them after a few seconds, making them all frown in response as he removes the mask, and turns around while gesturing them into the room.
The other teens share glances, before they enter the room behind the raven haired teen, Saeko being the last to enter as she closes the door. Once she does this, Chris stays silent as he tips a table onto its side, and moves it over in front of the door as he starts to make a barricade while the other teens look around the room, taking note of a few things. The first was that Chris had opened the blinds before they entered, which allowed them to actually see the room. The next thing that gathered their attention was the hole that was present in the floor, which showed the space beneath the floor, but above the ceiling of the room below.
However, this hole wasn't man-made, since it was too uneven, and appeared to be letting off steam at the edges. "In case you're wondering, that was caused by the creature that I just had to take care of in here." Chris says without looking at them as he moves another table into position behind the first. "Nasty things, the Bugs. Acidic blood that dissolves their bodies after they die, and destroys most of the surface that they died on as well." He says, making the others look at him in shock. "I'll explain more about them later. For now, could I get some help making a barricade to keep the Meatbags out?" He asks, getting nods from the others, even as Kohta and Takashi grimace slightly.
While Takashi understood Chris' words from earlier about not labeling the Zombies as 'Them' since it was just a way to deny what was happening, he didn't know if labeling them as 'Meatbags' was very considerate to the ones who had been turned. Shaking that thought off, Takashi helps everyone set up the barricade, before they finally finish a few minutes later. "I think that's enough right now, let's take a quick break." Saeko suggests, getting nods of agreement in response from the other teens.
While most of the group had been building the barricade, Takagi had chosen to go to the small kitchen to wash off the blood from her uniform. When the group had stopped building, Kohta decided to go and check with her. When he did, he was shocked to find out that Takagi wore glasses, which elicited a chuckle from Chris a few yards away as he watched the scene play out as he sits down in one of the chairs in the room. He raises an eyebrow when Saeko sits beside him, getting a small smirk in response. He simply shrugs, before turning to face Takashi as he starts talking.
"Ms. Marikawa, where's the car keys?" He asks, reminding the blonde of why she'd originally been heading to this room. Apparently, her car keys were in her purse, which she'd left in this room during the school day. So, she'd planned to come back here, grab them, and then drive away with anyone that was with her. In this case, the students currently in the room with her. In response to Takashi's question, the blonde nurse starts to search through her bag.
"Oh, well, they're in my purse somewhere…" She says as she continues searching, only for Chris to raise an eyebrow a few yards away.
"Um, not to sound rude, but originally you were only planning on taking yourself and Saeko out of here… Now there's more. Do you really have a car that can fit seven people?" He asks Shizuka, making the blonde nurse pause, before slouching over slightly.
"Well, now that you mention it…" She says, before trailing off as she thinks about her small, yellow car, which might have fit five people at the best…
"What about the Microbus we use for the clubs' away games? Looks like the keys are on the wall." Saeko suggests, getting a nod of agreement from Chris at the idea while Kohta moves the blinds in front of the window to look out in the courtyard, before looking back at the group.
"Hey guys, I see the bus." He tells them, getting a nod from Chris in response.
"Good. That means that at the moment, no one's hotwired it and taken off." Chris says, before Shizuka turns to face the group.
"That's fine, but where are we going?" She asks, wondering just what the group was going to do once they left the school behind. When she asks this, everyone either turns to, or takes glances at, Takashi. After a few seconds of thought, he pushes lifts his head to look at the group.
"We're going to make sure that our families are okay." He tells them, before leaning his head back against the copier he's leaning against as he thinks about the plan a bit more. "We'll start with whose family is the closest to here. If you're worried about your family, we'll bring them with us. After that, we'll look for a safe place, and…" He trails off, making everyone glance at him, only to see him staring at something. Everyone turns in the direction he was facing to see Rei standing in front of a desk, staring up at a TV that she'd turned on.
"What is this…?" Rei whispers in horror, making Saeko stand up and use the remote to raise the volume, while Chris stands up from his seat and stands beside the purplette. At the same time, Takashi pushes himself to his feet, and walks over to the frozen auburn haired teen.
"What's the matter Rei?" He asks as the sound from the TV is raised enough that the group can hear it clearly.
"The government has begun to consider the emergency measures against the outbreaks that have been occurring in locations around the city." The anchorwoman says, making Takashi look up at the screen in confusion and annoyance.
"Outbreaks? What do they mean outbreaks?" He asks no one in particular, the rest of the group equally confused, with the exception of Chris as he simply frowns at the news. After all, it was similar to what happened eight years back, so he wasn't surprised that this was what they were doing… However, he focuses back on the screen when Saeko changes the channel to a different news station, which showed an anchorwoman standing in front of police tape, talking to the camera as a gurney is pushed across the screen behind her.
"It has been feared that over ten thousand have been victimized in the Saitama area so far. The governor has already declared the-" However, her next few words are completely covered by the gunshot that echoes through the air, making the woman flinch back from where it came from, turning to look at what happened as she attempts to continue. "Already declared the state of emergency, and requested the emergency disaster relief… It's a gunshot." She says, no longer able to continue with her script as more gunshots echo through the air.
The reason could be seen clearly on screen, as the body bags that were once lying on gurneys rise up on their own, before the bullets that had been shot enter, and then exit, their heads, leaving the bodies to go limp once again. "It seems the police are finally using fire arms! From what I can see, they're… No…No!" The woman exclaims as shuffling can be heard onscreen, before the camera is dropped to the ground as the woman's screams of fear can be heard clearly. The camera continues to record for a few seconds, showing a bloodied leg limp into the frame, before it cuts to static, the woman's screams being cut off as well. In response to this, most of the group can only stare in horror as they finally start to realize the gravity of the situation.
At the same time, Chris' frown deepens, since he'd already been expecting this to be the outcome. Soon enough, Japan would be closed off from the rest of the world in an attempt to keep the disease from spreading. He only looks up when the screen cuts back to the main news room, and another anchorwoman starts speaking as she looks into the camera. "There appears to be a problem with our remotes… From now on, we'll bring you the story from inside the studio. The condition outside seems extremely chaotic, so stay home unless it's absolutely necessary to go outside. We'll bring you more stories as soon as it's safe to cover the current situation from the site." She states.
A few seconds after, Takashi pounds his fist onto the top of the desk he was standing beside, an angered scowl on his face. "Is that all? Why wouldn't they tell us anything else?" He says, the anger clear in his voice as he glares at nothing.
"They're afraid of causing a panic." Takagi says, making the group turn to look at her in response.
"A panic?" Rei asks in confusion, and before Takagi can say anything, Chris speaks up.
"Why would you never yell on an airplane that there's a bomb, especially if it's true?" He asks, making everyone turn to him in confusion, except for Takagi.
"Well, I guess that if everyone knew, they'd be in a rush to get out of the plane, and then…" Kohta trails off, and Chris nods.
"It would end up pretty similar to how the students here reacted when they learned they were in danger. They all rushed to escape. They didn't worry about anyone but themselves, and in the process, people were trampled, or outright sacrificed so that people could get away… And not only that, but on an airplane, the exits would get blocked, and when the bomb does go off, less people survive than if everything was done in a calm manner." He says, before looking around. "Now, apply that rule to the entire city. What do you think people would do if they learned that Zombies were showing up all around the city?" He asks, watching as everyone seemed to understand what he was saying, except for Takagi, since she'd already realized this. Meanwhile, the TV continues in the background.
"This unusual and unprecedented biological phenomenon that spread throughout North America has yet to be put under control." The current anchorwoman says, making Chris freeze, before he grabs the remote from Saeko's hands, causing her eyes to widen as he raises the volume, making everyone pay attention. "Government authorities have evacuated the white house, and will relocate to a command center on board the aircraft carrier, George Washington. There are reports that the transfer of power is in preparation for the use of tactical warheads, to combat the infestation." The newswoman states, and Chris can only stare in horror when he hears that apparently, America was having similar problems. But, it got worse…
"We've currently lost contact with Moscow and London, Beijing has been set ablaze, while in Paris and Rome, there are reports of looting. The government officials have declared a state of martial law." The newswoman says, before the screen starts to glitch out… And then turn to static completely. Meanwhile, everyone on the room can only stare at the static filled screen in horror.
"So… It's happening all over?" Takashi mutters in disbelief, Kohta shaking his head a few feet away.
"That's crazy. Everything was normal when I checked the internet this morning…" He says, and Chris nods along with him, before thinking about it, making him freeze.
"But what if it wasn't a single event…?" He asks, making everyone turn to look at him. "Think about it. Zombie outbreaks all over the world in the course of maybe an hour? And seeing how slow those fuckers are, and the fast rate that a person turns after being bitten, do you really think that they'd be able to cross into the other countries from here before they turned? No… This wasn't centralized to Japan. For it to spread over the world like this… It had to happen in pretty much every major city in the world…" He continues, making everyone stare at him with wide eyes as they realize that he's right.
"But… But they'll stop it, right? I mean… They have to stop it, from spreading… Everything is going back to normal soon." Rei says, clutching onto Takashi's sleeve as says this with false hope in her voice, making the raven haired teen give a sympathetic frown.
"Rei… If it's already happening around the world, then it's impossible to stop it anymore. The best they can do is hope to wait this whole thing out in small settlements, making sure that no one who's infected can get in." He says, before giving a humorless chuckle. "Think of the Black Death from the fourteenth century. You know, the one that killed one third of the European population? Well, apply that to the entire world now…" He tells them, making most stare at him in horror, while Takagi nods in agreement.
"Alright, then how did the outbreak stop?" Takashi asks Chris, however, Shizuka answers instead, being the present nurse.
"Well, it usually stops when too many humans die. There wouldn't be enough people to spread the disease." The blonde states, before Kohta speaks up from his place by the window.
"But now… All the dead people still move and start attacking you." He says, looking through the blinds at the walking corpses in the schoolyard below.
"Are you saying that there's no reason for this outbreak to stop?" Saeko asks in slight disbelief, making Shizuka and Chris think about the question, the blonde speaking up after a few seconds.
"Oh! The weather's gonna be hot! They might not be able to move if their flesh decomposes and they become skeletons!" She exclaims with a smile, making Saeko turn to look at her.
"How long does it take for that to happen?" She asks, and when she does, Chris' eyes widen, and a wide smile breaks out on his face.
"Yes!" He exclaims, making everyone turn to face him, and causing him to blush in slight embarrassment. "Sorry, but I just realized we might not actually have to worry about this for too long." He says, making Takashi look at him in confusion.
"What are you talking about?" He asks his friend, making Chris turn to him.
"I only know this cause of a video I watched, but to be honest, I'm really glad that I did at the moment." He continues, before he starts to pace a bit. "Alright, no doubt Ms. Shizuka and Takagi already know these facts, but for the rest of you, here's a bit of a breakdown." He says as he continues to pace. "A body has five different stages of decay. Initial Decay, Putrefaction, Black Putrefaction, Butyric Fermentation, and Dry Decay. You follow so far?" He asks, getting nods in response, Takagi seeing where he's going with this is honestly a bit surprised he's thought of it when she didn't.
"Alright, at the moment, we're currently seeing those corpses walk around during the Initial Decay stage. I'm sure we've all seen the pale skin and sunken eyes, right?" He asks, getting nods from the rest of the group in response. "Alright. This stage can last up to three days. So, we should only have to worry about the "classic" zombies being around for a few days. Then, they're gonna enter the Putrefaction stage." He continues, turning to face the group. "Takashi, Kohta, you guys would probably have an easy time of imagining this stage as the Zombies turning into Bloaters from Left 4 Dead. Only a lot less bloated." He says, getting wide eyes from the two as he turns to face the rest of the group.
"For the rest of you, the best way I can explain it is that all those gasses that we, as humans, let out through normal means… Well, the walking corpses can't exactly do that. As a result, all those gasses build up in the body, causing their bodies to "bloat up". And contrary to the first stage, the tongue and eyes are actually going to start to protrude out of the face, and bloat up with the rest of the body. Now, since the zombies can't really release these gasses, the body's gonna need to find a different way. So, the skins is gonna start to gain cracks. At the same time, the skin's gonna start to look marbled, and we'll be able to see the actual blood vessels beneath it. At most, this'll take around six days. " He continues, before sighing as he runs a hand through his hair.
"Black Putrefaction… That's the big one here, and also the nastiest. See, after those first two stages are done, the skin is gonna start to turn black, like the name implies. However, at the same time, all those gasses that didn't get out through the cracks in the skin? Basically, you can expect for them to exit the body in any way they can, even creating more cracks if they're needed. Because of this, the body's gonna flatten out, and all of the internal organs are gonna liquefy." He tells them, getting grimaces of disgust from everyone but Saeko and Shizuka. Saeko for obvious reasons, since she could easily school her emotions, while Shizuka already knew this, being a nurse and all.
"With that in mind, I'd say that's the point that we can expect all these Zombies to "die out"… Granted, people are going to be turned every day starting now, but all the people who turned today? Well, Black Putrefaction can take up to ten days, so add all of those three stages up, and we can expect all those corpses that started walking today, to be nothing but piles of goop twenty days from now… That is, if they were all buried." He says with a grin, making everyone but Takagi and Shizuka raise an eyebrow in confusion. "See, we can all thank Casper's Law of Decomposition for the fact that we're going to have to deal with them for an even shorter amount of time. Since they're still moving about, completely at the mercy of the weather, they're gonna decompose about eight times faster… We only have to deal with them for a few days." He says, surprising everyone, and making them smile… Until Takagi sighs.
"While that would be the case, there's no telling if it will actually work in this situation." She says, getting a frown from Chris in response. "Medical knowledge doesn't apply to those dead corpses that move around and attack humans. Worst case scenario, they might never decompose." She says, getting a grunt from Chris in response.
"While that's possible, at least the fact that they're already showing signs of Initial Decay is a good sign." He says, getting a nod of acceptance from Takagi in response. "And besides that, even if they don't decompose, the Bugs aren't exactly gonna discriminate between the living and dead walking around, they're just gonna kill pretty much any human they see." He states, before sighing. "But, I'll explain more about them later. Right now, we have more important concerns." He says, getting a nod from Saeko in agreement.
"He's right. The first thing we should do is make sure that our families are okay. Then, we'll need to find someplace safe to hold up for a while. But no matter where we go, we're going to need a plan…" She trails off in thought, before looking up at everyone in the group. "Teams! We need to team up." She states, getting nods of agreement from everyone present. Kohta immediately reloads his nail gun, with Takagi standing a few feet away, a bag slung over her shoulder that holds an extra tank of gas, some extra nails, along with a few more items she'd found around the teacher's lounge while the others were building the barricade.
At the same time, Takashi grips his bat, while Rei readies her spear, and Shizuka grabs her medical bag and purse, the three of them ready to leave. As for Saeko, she readies her Bokken, while Chris stands a few feet away, his Wrist Blades extended a bit, while his Sports Bag is slung over his other shoulder. "Let's try to pick up survivors whenever we can." Saeko suggests, getting nods of agreement from the rest of the group.
"What's the best way out of here?" She asks the group, making Takagi frown.
"Sorry to break it to you stupid, but we're gonna have to just go out the front." She says, though there's no real heat behind her words. In response to what she says, Takashi, Chris and Kohta start to remove the barricade in front of the door, before opening them for the group. "Let's go." Takashi says, getting nods in response. Kohta is the first out the door, taking down two of the Zombies with clean shots to the head, putting them down for good. Takashi is the next out, and he swings his bat into the side of another Zombie, sending the corpse into a wall, where the side of the thing's head caves in from the impact.
By this point, the group was ready to take out anything that got in their way as they head for the Microbus, and their only escape from school. Except that in reality, only one of them was ready for everything that they would encounter…
Author's Note Part 2: Alright guys, so this is chapter 4… Which originally, was the ending of chapter 2, and the beginning of chapter 3 in my previous version… In case you couldn't already tell from the story, and what I've already told you guys, this version is gonna be quite a bit longer, with a lot more detail! As you can see, I kept Chris facing off against a Bug in the teacher's lounge, but put less description into the fight, since I have plans for future chapters when he encounters the Xenomorphs.
Now, as for the info that I got from Film Theorists, well, in case you couldn't tell from what Chris said, it was the body decay information that he had. I watched that video on Film Theorists a few days ago, learned that, and realized that "Holy Shit. Even though it's probably gonna take longer since medical knowledge no longer applies to the Zombies, that doesn't mean that it's completely thrown out the window." Especially when you take into account Casper's Law of Decomposition. Needless to say, even though the world is fucked up to all hell, it's still gonna be able to return to normal, just… Not very fast.
Oh yeah, and the unnatural spread of the zombies was explained thanks to a "Game Theorists" video a while back, since he'd found out that if a zombie outbreak happened in America, and they were running zombies… Well, a good portion of the middle of America would still be zombie free even two weeks after the first infected showed up. So, the outbreak starting in every major city all around the world pretty much at once was the only way I was able to think of a solution to how fast it happened in HOTD.
(Addition: Responses to reviews in the last chapter:
Yeah, more on that later, but needless to say that he didn't come away from that unscarred…As for the brutal kill, yet again, It'll be explained in a later chapter, but it'll become easy to understand once it is. As for Saeko's reaction… You can't tell me that it's unexpected, with how she acts RIGHT after her and Takashi exit the Shrine later in Canon… For Chris ignoring it, I just kinda figured it wouldn't be the right time for him to acknowledge it.
I'm glad you like his brutal way of killing, since you can look forwards to it more in the future chapters, and with a bit more backstory explained this chapter, possibly a bit difficult to find, I'm also glad that I'm doing a good job at teasing you guys with minute bits of information about it. XD
Thanks! I was hoping that I gave a good reason for her to stay focused on Takashi, since in all honesty, with how I had Chris acting during that scene, it would've been a bit difficult to write out a "confrontation" between the him and Rei… And thanks for the compliment on my abilities as a writer! I hope you enjoyed this chapter just as much as the last!
Thanks! And even though it took me a few days to get this chapter out, I hope you can understand my reasoning… Having a full time job is NOT fun… Even if it is at a pizza place. As for "it" making a real appearance, well, I showed a bit of a confrontation in this chapter, but you can expect more situations like that with more detail in the future!)
Anyways, that's about it for this chapter. I'm gonna get started on the next one. So, thanks for taking the time out of your day to read this, and I hope to see you all in the next chapter!