View Full Version : After the Change
Oct 23rd, 2009, 3:15 AM
The entire world changed, and it started as a normal day, just like September
11th was without a cloud in the sky...until the big birds in the sky brought the hell that began the beginning of the end of the world as it was. That world had moved on, and the new one was cursed by the old from it's very infancy.
Ray knew that things were wrong when the basketball game was interrupted by a man standing up reading from some papers, and his hands were shaking. He was telling of areas that had been attack by a some kind of chemical/biological weapon. He was giving areas affected, how people in borderline areas needed to go any direction but downwind.
If one was directly in the zone of danger, then the safest thing to do was to seal the house shut as much as possible, using whatever materiels were in the huse and within immediate grasp. Time was of the essence, and if the house was too drafty, death was the end result. But not before the symptoms would appear.
The painful triangular welts that appeared on those that were affected were scary enough, but then when they swelled and burst, there was the malodorous odor that wafted in the air after that was utterly sickening and caused many to vomit from the stench. It wasn't long after that that many would get a 'second wind' that would last for a day or so and many things were done in those inchoherent delirimems that left many with no choice but to give 'mercy executions'.
After 72hrs, the all clear was given on the radio and sounded in the sirens. At that point, Squads in MOPP gear were coming in to load the bodies into the trucks and to give whatever treatment they could to those who were still alive. Many were surprised that nearly half of those who had been affected survived with the treatment of the military units that were sent to as many large gatherings of those affected as they were able to.
There was much controversy and speculation as to what exactly what the cause of this pestilience. People even argued over what to call it. Was it a nerve agent? A blister agent? A biological attack? Since it wasn't known whether to call it a nerve attack or if it was a sickness, the language reflected the same. Someone with the agonzings blisters wasn't sick, they were affected, and that was just the way it was referred to.
Some people said that it has been set up by Russians, some by the Chines, and some that it was an inside job. No one ever found out for sure. China and Russia did not try and invade, and since the UN had had their offer of help spurned, they were at some locations on the coastal regions giving out aid, but advised not to go too far from the ports, as some were all too willing to use them as scapegoats.
Thing is, there weren't nearly as many military able to help us as we needed; many of the troop were overseas, and communication was spotty. Plus, they had to wait until enough time had passed by before they could return themselves, and when they did return, it was clean up time, more to gather the bodies and toss them in the pits and then set them afire.
The bodies piled up, and there were fewer and fewer healthy people to gather them up and bring them to the pits out of down where they were dumped. Sometimes people would wander the streets, a few laughing hysterically, some preaching the Christian word of God, and a lot just stumbling about with a glazed look in their eyes.
Things were crazy in the days when Capt Trips was finally announced as real, because many knew, or thought they knew, that they would be the next struck down, so some ran around going bungeecording and parachuting and extreme sports. Many believed the shot would get you sick,stlll more stood in line for hours to get their shot.
All schools were closed, sporting evens and shows were closed down, offices were half full, and in an unpecednted move, Obama declared an emergency and a state civil disorder. Riot Police were called in, but demostrations simply fiizzled out.
Those words were written down...and then am the only on that believed? Who knows, i just can't explain it. In the south, many found ways to blame their 'foreign born' president, and the Birthers were more popular than the KKK, because they would say out loud that it wasn't his race, it was where he was born and where his allegiances lied that made him not 'our' president. So the KKK and the Neos dwindled in numbers, because they were to blatant, but the Birthers flourished and even in this time when every organization from Rotarians to Masons to even the Shriners losed members, the Birthers gained members.
It was at that time that they came up with a candidate, Ron Paul, who refused to run and called the Birthers "a bunch on godamn idiots" was drafted for the candidacy for the president in a Birther sponsored recall anyways. Biden and Pelosi had died, so Obama did the only thing he could think of, something that would hopefully bring the country together, he asked Ron Paul to be his veep. Paul attended many staff meetings with the joint chiefs of staff, and although many speculated that Hilary was very upset at the choice, he became the vice president, and the Birther movemenet died down.
It was perhaps for the best that Paul was veep. While Hilary didn't get sick, both her husband and her daughter died from Captain Trips, and she was never quite the same aftrewards. She had the look in her eye that many in the States had these days.
Mexico was hugely affected as well, and it spread to Central and South America, only beginning to be affected as the numbers of those affected in the US and Canada died down. The Euro nations claimed to have none affected, but many thought that was just a reason to seal their borders tight and shoot anyone who tried to cross. There was the case of the cruise ships that traveled from port to port, with none allowed to depart, but rafts of food would come to them, and when they got close to the ship, the men who had brought them there in diving gear would simply jump off the raft and swim underwater to the boats waiting for them at a distance. So Europe and the Middle East and Asia weren't affected. No one knew really about Russia and North Korea though.
Oct 23rd, 2009, 2:08 PM
Ray never knew exactly why he thought I would survive, even though the welts were oozing their putrid pus, and for some reason, I never wanted to ask him why. I did get better, and we did become lovers, and maybe there was a part of me that just thought he only wanted to have a female who he felt owed him something so he could have sex. Maybe it was that way at first, but as I got to know him more as time went by, it was more than sex to me, or if it just was, at least it was something I enjoyed as much as he did.
My family had died of in the early days, and quickly, and from what I had seen of those who got their few days of the 'second wind', I began to realize that it was a blessing. Many of those who got better briefly did things that were totally unlike themselves. Maybe that was where the rumors spread up that they were zombies, because they were not just affected by Captain Trips, they seemed to be impervious to any kind of injury. Ray said it was more like people on LSD with their almost superhuman strength and ability to continue to move even though there were some who had ran around and done crazy things like jumped from buildings at least three or four stories high, and then walked or crawled away from where they landed, and would grab anyone who came close to them and clutch them in vicelike grips causing their would be helpers injury, and there were even a few of them who would bite others, which of course only caused to spread the rumors of zombies.
Only these were not zombies. Once they were dead and there was no more pulse, they stayed dead. The only way those affected could kill after death was to continue to spread the pestilence to those unprotected who touched them.
For many weeks, there were scenes of utter chaos, and it was only when there were more dead than alive that things began to calm down...somewhat, anyways, and order, such as it was, began to be restored. Ron Paul had an idea that seemed almost nuts, but Obama decided it would be the way the pestilence would be handled. Rather than quarantines and such things as internment camps for those affected and contagious, since there was no longer any way of keeping this in check, it was decided that to prevent crime and attacks on defenseless civilians from what came to be known as MZB's, short for Mutant Zombie Bikers, who were really none of the above, but merely thugs and criminals who roamed the roads looking for the weak and helpless, the roads, in particular the interstates, were to be heavily guarded and protected by all branches of the service. Some wore MOPP gear, particularly in the parts of the interstates near the cities, but most didn't bother. With the roads open, people traveled from what they thought were deathtrap cities, and in most cases, they had made the right decisions by doing so. Nations that were not as severely affected or not affected at all would fly by and airdrop supplies. Unites States planes, both military and civilian, would even land and set up aid stations, with tents filled with cots, and mre's to the hungry, and clean water for the thirsty.
So in the end, while it was true for a little while in the beginning, once things got under control, there was not the 'every man for himself and the govt is the enemy' type of event that many survivor types thought would happen. There was, however, a very rapid and crude sense of justice. Trials were very short, and the time between the verdict and the sentence carried out was short at well. Murderers, rapists, and looters were all hung near the makeshift courthouse that had found them guilty, and their bodies left to hang for a week before they were brought down and burned.
Ray had nearly been found guilty of a rape, but at the last moment, he was let go because the evidence was not enough to hang him..the feeling was to err on the side of caution where sentencing was concerned, as there had been enough death. According the the rules of Martial Law, any sentencing done had to be by a jury of one's peers, and that meant that civilians were jury members, and if they refused, they didn't get fed until the trial was over. It was deemed by the powers that be too dangerous to allow military members to carry out what was really a latter day form of frontier justice.
Maybe it was his gratitude of being given a second chance of life that caused him to save me? I asked him a few times what made him pick me out, but he would never give a straight answer. Maybe he didn't even know himself. I had a 'second wind', and even scratched his face, but he continued to care for me until I got better, and thank God the scratch didn't get him sick.
The planes had flown over dispensing their death, and so for a while after that, many were afraid of planes, including the pallets the left on the highways...until people got so hungry they opened the pallets up and wolfed down the food within them. Once word got out that the food wasn't lethal, the pallets were emptied out immediately wherever they were found.
People traveling on the highways, the vast majority of them on food, because gas had run out for all except military personnel, were safer than those who lived in the cities. Perhaps the main reason for that was because when the bodies began to decompose there would be the threat of diseases from that, and also, small groups of people traveling on the highways had a better chance of having food pallets shared and military helping, but the military didn't go to the cities. Obama and Paul agreed that for the time being, the roads would be heavily enforced and when things had settled down somewhat, then the time would come to enter the cities and clean them out. For now, the most important part was making sure that those who had not been affected or who had survived being affected lived, not that roaming gangs or MZB's were put down before they stole everything they could get their hands on. It was decided that personnel were better spend on rescue and healthcare rather than quelling disturbances, for the large part. Of course a few cities had to be contained and maintained, like DC, New York, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Houston, Atlanta, and Brownsville, Texas, of all places.
Oct 24th, 2009, 6:59 PM
The main reason that Brownsville was considered such a necessary city was because it had in the early days of the pestilence been taken over by Drug Cartels, particularly MS13 and La Familia. Since it was a border town, it had become almost impossible to chase the criminals back across the border when they fled because Mexico as a whole was in a total state of Anarchy. Because of that, some of the first units returning to the US weere sent to the Brownsville and the immediate surrounding area, and for a while, there was constant shootouts in the streets. Those in the service that had come directly from Iraq and Afghanistan found the fighting similiar in many ways, and different in others. There were no IED's, and no suicide bombers. These were not religious zealots, they were criminals, and out for their own skin. When it was patently obvious that they would not win, many surrended. They were tried as well, and many were hung up on utility poles in the areas around Brownsville, and in the end, Obama and Paul decided that the only thing to do in order to hold Brownsville was to expand their southern border, and fight there. If Mexico had not had so many of its own problems, there might have been a war, but as it was, the ruler of Mexico decided to call the area taken by the US a 'freedom zone' that was officially neither Mexican nor part of the US, but that was just on paper..officially and by number of soldiers there, it was US territory.
The people that wandered the interstates once in a while would be approached by farmers who had asked the US for help, since many of their large farm machinery would not run without gas, and there still wasn't enough in the national reserve for more than military use. So with the help and protection of the soldiers, people who had left the cities to wander the safter interstates were asked to help plant and reap crops, for food and a small salary.
The dollar had become worthless, so there had been no choice but to create chits that the soldiers used for purchasing items and that began to be used by the civilian population as well, although mostly barter was used, either exchanged of objects or services. There was no checks, including travelers checks, worth anything either, but an signed IOU witnesses by notary publics did hold their value in post change courts.
Around the world, things were rapidly disintigrating in what had been old hotspots. Even though North Korea had been starving it's citizens off and on for many years, when the dear leader and all his sons died, the generals began to argue about who was in charge, and usually whoever held the most soldiers under his control at the time was it. But there was no more severe guards at the borders because the soldiers were too busy grabbing what food there was and fighting each other. As a result, there were many that were able to flee to South Korea and China. China finally cracked down after a few weeks of the flood of refugees began to fill their border areas, and sealed the border between them and North Korea shut. South Korea left their borders open, and welcomed them with open arms. When a batshit general was in charge during the sealing of the Borders between China and North Korea, he bombed Beijieng with a nuke, and China retaliatated by nuking Pyongyang. Russia decided to send massive troops to their border with North Korea, but at that point, another general of North Korea officially surrendered to the President of South Korea, making the two nations again one, albeit one struck with the pestilence, beginning to starve, and with floods of refugees sufferering from radiation sickness.
There was no word at all from Europe and Russia as well at this time on the state of their nations, and they continued to keep things sealed tight, and the media was state controlled in both cases.
Russia did mediate between talks with China and Korea and it was agreed that no more nuclear weapons would be used between the two nations. However, they were unsuccessful in starting the war between Pakistan and India, who exchanged nuclear weapons, over a dozen on each side.
The middle east adhered to the same policy as that of Europe and Russia and did not allow any ships in or out without lengthy and careful inspections that had been set up at the strait of hormuz, along with hefty tolls that went along with the privilege of being inspected. Three months after the planes that has spread the pestilence that had affected millions either directly or how the state of the world changed, the first oil tanker was allowed to travel to the United States, and there was a promise of at least one a week. Since winter was coming on in the US at this point, it was determined that many would be encouraged by being allowed homes or a small amount of acreage if they wish to leave the northern part of the US, and that there would still be a small amount of people that had official permission to stay that would be allowed a ration of heating oil. Mainly, those with occupations deemed necessary like industry and farming were allowed to stay, and in many cases, those who worked in the lower rungs of the ladder of occupations were to stay in makeshift dormitories created from schools and churches and community centers, with only a few allowed to stay in their homes.
There was still freedom in the US (of a sort), the consititution was still adhered to (most of the time), and one could still 'write their own path', so to speak. Ray laughed when I told him that I planned on writing about what had happened, from a personal and international perspective, to the best of my ability. But he stopped laughing when I was given what was considered a large amount of supplies and chits, and told by a General to write everything I knew and found out about, and was given information about world events that most didn't know about. I was found out there would be no censorship of this, but that my reports would be handed over to printers to hand out papers, and read by reporters by the official govt channel that had many watching tv again...at least the six or seven hours a day the govt channel was on. There was also a 'vintage' channel that showed old movies, and that was on all the time...except the hours the govt channel was on.
Once Ray saw that things would be able to be reported, and that it wasn't a trick (he always did have a suspicious mind, not that I can blame him), he was given a video camera, and told to have at it. That was when I was suprised to find out that he already knew how to operate a camera. He shrugged and grinned and just said "everyone in LA was really in show business, no matter what their day job was, and I was no exception".
He didn't show the bodies being gathered up into pits and buried, he interviewed survivors to hear their stories, and he thought of questions to ask that I didn't even think of that would get to the heart of the matter, and sometimes when I was going to ask a question when I thought a survivor had stopped long enough, he would just look at me with 'that' look and I knew to keep quiet, and sure enough, the person would just catch their breath, oftentimes a tear or two would slip out, but they would continue and what they had to say would be riveting.
After having no family and no friends left that I knew alive, it was good to have a purpose in life again, especially one that gave me access to information of what was going on not just in the US, but around the world. That wasn't always a good thing, since it would depress me to know about nukes being used and people starving to death, but when I would hear that Australia had decided to accept the passengers of 18 cruise ships into a sparsely populated part of their nation, it would cheer me up and do my heart some good. Ray would laugh, as when the stories were emotional, and they were always emotional, I couldn't help but get a bit weepy myself, for both the good stories and the bad, but I couldn't think of anything else I would rather do.
Nov 9th, 2009, 6:47 AM
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El SPAMO? Is that you Ray of Shit?
Nov 11th, 2009, 7:04 AM
You never did get used to the smell....or at least, I never did. I would willingly put on a gas mask if it was offered when Ray and I were travelling near a pit. Otherwise, odds were at least 50/50 that I would end up gagging and losing the last thing I had eaten. Luckily enough, there was usually at least one soldier who had become acclimitized to it and while escorting me past the pit and the dump trucks rolling their piles of bodies out I'd be able to wear the as mask. Ray tried to put off that he was so tough, and he never got sick, but I did see him more than once getting a little green around th gills. Bastard had a lot more control than me, I will give him that, even though a small and nasty part of me couldn't help that he would lose it at least once and spew.
Right now we weren't allowed to tape certain things, and deliveries to and pictures of the acual pit itself were one of them. Ironically enough, though, I was allowed to write about them and the articles were published, and I did see more than one time someone filming, and when I asked how they had gotten permission, one guy said he had been specially commissioned to tape it for posterity's sake. I couldn't help but snort at that and wonder what posterior of a donkey would be the one to make that decision, maybe a hundred years from now.
Not that I could blame them in a way. Rays filming and my broadcasting was shown on govt run tv, and even in Theaters that were playing whatever they could get ahold of, and using broadcasts like mine and others as a sort of newsreel before the main show. That was mostly for the refugees who traveled and had no home to watch tv in, although anyone was welcome. Instead of popcorn, sack lunches and recycled bottles of water were given out to all who didn't already have on, which was getting less and less.
And then sometimes before the lights were even dimmed in the theater, or sometimes from a courthouse lawn or a town park gazebo, or even a school auditoreum, someone would stand up and give what was considered vital information, local or otherwise, but mostly local. A few questions would be asked and written down, and then an announcement to the next meeting would usually be found at that time. Since they usually weren't filmed, I made every effort to see that at least when I was passing through that they would be.
And then there was the walls...usually a bunch of chalkboards placed outside but under shelter and out of direct exposure of the elements, and there were tiny little post it notes, so many they filled the blackboards and went over some other of the notes, but not completely over, so one could see there were still room to see the one under. There was nothing larger than the small postit note size allowed, and each and ever note would contain a statement as to the name and date the person was alive and the names of all that the person could confirm were dead. There were some towns that had old ladies that would copy all the info down in a large ledger, but others didn't.
Nov 15th, 2009, 1:04 AM
I saw the cattle drive the othe day, and it was something else. The were going alongside but not on the interstate, and they were being herded to Dallas, and from there, after being cut and cured,would go into govtfood boxes (and mre's too I assumed). There were literally thousands of cattle, and they were bein herded by everything from horses to border collies to an atv. Where on earth the gas had come from to use hat I had no idea, but since it had to do with food (albeit on the hoof), there was at least a small chance the driver had come across it by legal mans.
Ray and I were travelling with a civvie crowd of about three hundred, with a platoon marching ahead f us, only God knows where. There were so many 'hotspots' that needed to be put down. Since hell had gone to hell in the proverbial handbasket, everyone was in survivor mode..or MZB mode. The latter had managed to captue and terrorize the remaining suriviving residents of populated areas, looting and raping and killing. Those in the Army were doing everything they could to restore law and order and bring about some sense of normalcy again, but it was like taking two steps forwad and one step back where that was concerned. Perhaps the main reason was that it still felt as though everything familiar about the world that had been had changed.
I was just lucky that I had found my niche, and was in no immediate danger of bein harmed, doing someting I found interesting, and most importantly, getting three squares a day, and even had an egg crate under my sleeping bag when I laid it out so I wouldn't be laying square on concrete. Oh of course on could sleep off the freeways, but not many, including myself, choose to so. The roads were guarded,, thus, the roads were safe, at least as safe as things could be these days.
The weaher hadn' even gotten cold yet, and that was a concern. Also of major conern was whether whe the weather got colder and began staying closer together for warmth, there was a fear that Captain Trips would com back with a vengeance. Whatever it was that had killed off so many, be it a biological attack or a disease, there was no gaurantee that it wouldn't come back and finish the job it had eaten.
Logically, I knew the pits had to be there, but when I was near one,I could't help but get choced up. That was when Ray would make his truly horrible filthy tasteless...and yet somehow funny comments, and get me to not just smother the smell wih the mask, but to smother my panic with laughter.Gallows humor, indeed. But then I thought of gallows and winced...I had heard rumors of what had been happening in the south.....and how many trying to flee inner cities were stopped by armed citizens who had bee 'deputized', and probably knew less about what that entailed than Barney Fife.
Ray and I followed along behind the platoon, talked to the commanding officer, and he agreed to let up be embeds...at east this mission, and maybe more, we would have to see. In the meantime, we didn' have to draw into our ever twindling supplies of food in our backpacs, plus, the mre's wre much tastier.
Jan 13th, 2010, 12:41 AM
It was when the rumors began about what was actually contained in some of the MRE's that I realized that they had to be proven true or false, one way or another, and it was by doing that that I accidentally found out what had caused the pestilence, and that almost caused the loss of my life. I had heard the 'soylent green are people' rumors about some of the MRE's, and wanted to go to a large building where I heard some food would go in and create the MRE's. There was no people, but there was something that would have made some conspiracy theorists flip out..foreign troops, in the large building, armed for bear, and making sure that those working in the factory were not trying to slip food out on the sly on their own. There were no hangings for this, but there were brandings on the back of the hands, and whenever those were seen, any 'official' aid was refused. It was groups of these that because the first 'official' cannibals, and formed their own bizarre cult with religious overtones, and claimed that it was Jesus who wanted other people eaten and that was why he had said to eat of his body and drink of his blood.
People were looking for excuses to commit evil deeds, and sometimes just to survive, and they found them of course. The worst part of it was when it was found out that it was a group of mideastern Islamic zealots who had created Capt Trips that the first pogrom against Muslims began, and once they started, the waves of slaughter didn't seem to stop, not even when Obama exhorted people to stop in his radio speeches and the few that made it to the movie theaters. By this time, there was someone else who wanted to be in charge, and it was Mitt Romney, who claimed that this was all part of God's plan, and that it was only the Latter Day Saints who were the true followers of God. That was when the Mormon inquisitions began, and when parts of Utah became unsafe for anyone not a Mormon to enter. It was also when men formed militia's in Utah and began raids on nearby towns and groups of people on the roads, killing men and most children, and taking the women for their 'extra wives'.
It was at that point that the second civil war began.
Jul 13th, 2011, 10:46 AM
It wasn't really one civil war, but a set of smaller ones, each with different sides fighting one another..the Mormons in Utah just were the first ones..then there was border skirmishes along Canada, and huge border wars along the Mexican border...and then in some backwards areas in the Mississippi delta region that tried to bring back the worst aspects of the days of sharecropping. It seemed that when one area stopped fighting another area began and it kept the Army troops pretty busy. I was attached to a roving unit meant originally to keep the freeways unobstructed and not allowing militia groups to close them up. It was sad when there was actual bloodshed over this..these were desperate people and afraid, but they had to be stopped. Then came the typhoid epidemic, and still more bodies began to pile up.
All that still wasn't the worst of it..the weather kept on getting wilder and wilder, and many coastal areas were hit with huge floods..the seas were rising, and nothing could be done to stop it since it was too late. This only added to the multitudes living in a state of perpetual motion..people on the roads continually looking for a better life..and for a place to call home..and not finding it..but being shunted from one place to the next..after a while the talk ceased being about rebuilding the entire nation and just certain regions were under official govt control, while others pockets of the country were just given up on. Las Vegas had long ago become a ghost town, but I have to admit I was excited when I was asked if I wanted to tag along for a recon of Vegas to have contracters see what was salvagable to be taken apart and carted out and to other cities that could use the materiel from buildings.
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