Manifesto Z Archives

April 2, 2007

Jeff R. Preamble

We later learned that they were fragments from an alien hive-ship the size of Manhattan, nuked well above orbit by a German Satellite weapon. At the time, if just seemed like another meteor shower, if a little green-er and flashier than most.

We learned better soon enough, though. Far more than expected survived atmosphere and impact, and the unfortunates who found the meteorites where they landed became the alpha patients in the first Zed epidemic.

Lucky enough these were the slow-moving type. It wasn't until the military-industrial complex got a hold of the slime that the fast ones were born.

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April 25, 2007

Jeff R.: Fore!

I can't think of anyone I'd have wanted by my side less than Gina Arroz, and yet there we were, back to back and encircled by a ravening horde of Zeds after our brains, armed only with a bag full of golf clubs.

Gina was my ex. She was a lot of people's exes, including at least half of the Zeds, back when they were still people. I handed her a 3-wood. She swung with bad form but plenty of follow-through, and it's not like either one of us cared when the heads sliced into the water or the woods.

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May 4, 2007

Jeff R.: The Word

Nobody could actually bring themselves to use the Z-word, not after it started happening. Somehow saying it made them seem less real, which was an insult to the people dying around us.

We wound up using 'Zeds' mostly because of Tony Macross. He was a Canadian but a damned fine man. A former UN Peacekeeping force officer, He took charge in the first few hours, kept us moving and armed. He saved my life at least three times that day, and the best I could do for him was to put a bullet in his eye after he got bit.

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May 21, 2007

Jeff R.:Blue Zone

When we saw the federal troops, we thought we were saved, that the end of the crisis was at hand. But luckily for us, there was another group of survivors ahead of us, and they made contact first.

We could hear them. They were speaking, clearly and articulately, thanking God that they G-men were here. There's no damn way they were mistaken for zeds, or that what happened was any kind of a mistake.

Someone inside the Guard leaked the orders to the press, months later. Chicago and environs were designated as Blue Zones: shoot to kill, leave no witnesses.

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June 11, 2007

Jeff R.: The Underground

Out of all of the stenches we learned to endure, raw sewage turned out to be much more pleasant than you'd think. Zeds hunt by smell, and the sewers were full of just enough filth to mask the smell of brains.

Problem was, we weren't nearly the first to find out about it, and the people who were were well-armed and dug in and vicious.

"Fast Zeds". In the first infestation, it was a dark joke. What it meant was 'living people you had to kill to survive.' It wasn't until the second infestation that that joke turned to ash.

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July 12, 2007

Jeff R.: The Food is Great, but the Service is Terrible

I met Alicia while in the Chez Vasquez, a posh eatery downtown. She was hiding in the pantry, and I was rebounding hard after Gina decided she'd take her chances with the Zeds rather than stay with me. There was still food inside, but the dining area was full of Zeds, fat Zeds that used to be the waitstaff.

We learned about the fat ones together. Zeds think with infected dead brain tissue, and these had more in their stomachs than their skulls. Enough to wield a knife, even. Decapitation hardly even slowed them down. It did blind them, though.

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March 27, 2009

Jeff R.: Surrounds You

Of course, the second infestation was actually the third infestation. The government tried to cover up the actual second infestation, claiming they were chemical weapons, terrorist attacks. They even bombed the hell out of two countries to keep up the lie. It might have worked, if a few veterans hadn't happened to be in the parts of the malls that they were able to evacuate in time.

They didn't see anything, but they didn't have to. The smell, of blood and exposed brain, and worst of all, the unmistakable acrid cloying odor of the zeds isn't something anyone ever forgets.

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