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Z-Burbia (Book 7): Sisters of the Apocalypse
 

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Z-Burbia (Book 7): Sisters of the Apocalypse


  Z-Burbia 7

  Sisters of the Apocalypse

  Jake Bible

  Copyright 2016 by Jake Bible

  www.severedpress.com

  Chapter One

  Damn, if there ain't nothing to make you feel more alive than wading through the undead and lopping heads off left and right. Up and down too. Not just left and right. Those heads go everywhere. I love that. Nothing like it.

  Yeah, sure, there's sex. I got me a nice piece of Special Forces ass back at the Stronghold. His name is John. That's not his real name. A nickname. I forget what his real name is. Who cares? He's a fine piece of ass. I am so going to get me some of that when I get back to the Stronghold.

  First, I gotta lop off more Z heads.

  "Elsbeth! Pay attention, dammit!"

  Sorry. Got in my head. Easy to do. Knew a guy that was always in his head. He wrote all that stuff down. I'll do the same. Makes for good stories for the kiddies. They love to hear about lopping off Z heads and whose ass is mine.

  Kids like Z-lopping, ass-owning stories.

  "Right flank! Clear that path," Steph shouts at me as I duck a pair of nearly stripped hands, all sinewy and gross, that reach for my face. I take the Z out at the knees with one of my long blades and let it fall over my back. Straighten up and bam, that Z goes a flying.

  "Got it!" I shout back at Steph and cover the right flank of our little group as the horde of Zs moves in tighter on us.

  Steph isn't in charge or anything. None of us are in charge. We're sisters. Sort of. Long story. I could tell it all to you, but my long dead friend, Long Pork, wrote it all down. I already said that.

  "Who's on overwatch?" I yell at Antoinette as she pushes past Steph and stabs a Z right through the eyehole. I try to count all of us, but there is too much craziness. Chaos and shit. Lots of it. Chaos, chaos, chaos and shit, shit, shit.

  "Audrey!" Antoinette yells back. She slices a Z's head right off and it falls to her feet. A quick kick and it hits another Z in the head, knocking that undead shitfucker to the ground. She stomps on that one's head, making sure the piece of crap doesn't get back up.

  I'm glad Audrey is on overwatch. Chick is good with a sniper rifle. I wonder what one she's using today. I can't remember what firearms we brought. I like my blades, one in each hand. Two feet long and sharp as shit. Curved blades, thick at the ends. Strong stuff that I had a guy make when I lost my other ones.

  I've lost a lot of blades in the zombie apocalypse. They're like disposable razors. The ones you use for your legs. Not that I shave my fucking legs. Who's got time to do that? Fuck that shit. I live to kill Zs and cannies and crazies and shit. I don't live to keep my calves smooth for John. The boy can deal with some hairy calves if he wants any of what I got going on.

  Two cracks and two Zs that are about to tackle me lose their heads. Black and gross brains splatter all over me. I glance up at the closest building and make out the reflection from Audrey's scope. Oh, right, she has the Barrett today. Nice. Fifty calibers of heavy death raining down on these undead assholes. Bam, bam, bammity bam!

  Heads go sploosh.

  I'm bumped from behind and turn about, but it's only Marcie. She wasn't supposed to come along on this trip. She and Charlie have been having some issues. Mostly the shouting at each other kind because he doesn't want her to go out of the Stronghold anymore and she tells him to go fuck himself because she ain't his kept bitch so fuck you Charlie.

  My house is right next door. I hear all the fights. And all the making up. Kinda gross because I think of Charlie like the little brother I never had. I think I never had one. Hard to remember sometimes. Maybe I did and my brainpan has wiped that clean. Brainpan do-over and shit.

  "We have a break there!" Steph yells, pointing at a weak spot in the horde. Zs ain't too bright. They really don't know how to keep prey contained. Stupid Zs.

  I know I grew up Carly Michelle Thornberg, but that was a long, long time ago pre-Z. What? Keep up. I stream my consciousness. Get used to it. So, grew up Carly, but that shit all changed when my bitch ass mom sent me off to be experimented on with some other rich girls so we could be turned into sleeper agents and ultimate killing machines and sexbots and whatever that Dr. Kramer asshole was going to do to us.

  Fuck that guy. He's why we're in this stupid Z-horde. Out hunting his ass down so we can bring him to justice. Or that's what Greta says we have to do. Bring him to justice for being a lying liar pants liar shitfucker. I'd rather string him up by his half-inch dick and let the Zs pick him apart. That's motherfucking justice, motherfuckers.

  Where was I?

  Right. Don't really remember if I had a brother or not. Or if I had a sister. A real one. I have lots of "sisters" now, but they have quotation marks around the name because we ain't related by blood. Okay, maybe we are related by blood since we're spilling a shit ton of it from these Z heads. Bam! That's a Long Pork joke right there!

  Yeah, yeah, so we're with Kramer and he's mindfucking us and shooting us up with serums and drugs and training us to kill, kill, kill. Then some parents regret what they did and send in Ms. Foster and her crack team of shooters to rescue us. Kramer escapes, people get killed. Then they come back to life.

  Z-Day!

  "We wedge through here and make it to the alley over there!" Steph shouts. "Get up the fire escape and regroup on that roof! Do not slow! Keep your asses moving, ladies! You hear me?"

  We all shout that we hear her. Hard not to, even over the groans and moans of the Z-horde. Steph has some lungs on her when she wants. She takes her machete to three Zs and they fall as she clears the point of our wedge for us. Then she's off and we're following fast behind, keeping it tight so the Zs can't separate us and pick us off one by one. Not that I'd let some undead pussies pick me off. That is not how I intend to go down.

  So, Ms. Foster comes along and rescues us from Kramer, but Z-Day hits and we're trapped in that mad scientist bunker for weeks. Until the company that Foster works for sends in some troops to rescue the rescuers. We're all super trained by that point, what with Kramer's conditioning and then weeks with Foster and her people. Making a break for the rendezvous point ain't too hard.

  Except it's the fucking zombie apocalypse, so, yeah, shit gets hard.

  We get ambushed by scraggly survies and I end up in a river, my head getting clonked by rock after rock. I'm separated from my sisters, from Foster, from the rescue team. Just floating down the river like a dead log, ten seconds from being a drowned rat.

  Except I don't drown. I get washed up a ways away and wake up with a zombie boy trying to pick at my brains. I'm a total badass, even back then, so I should have taken him out. But my head was all swirly swirl and I couldn't think and shit hurt and I thought I was dead.

  Then Pa came along and killed the zombie boy.

  Pa.

  Goddamn cannibal, rapey fucktard piece of shit.

  After that, I was Elsbeth. No Carly no more. I didn't even know Carly had existed. My brain was a blank slate of blankness. I was mentally shitfucked. Pa took advantage and turned me into his special girl.

  We killed people. A lot of people. People that just wanted to survive and thought we could help. We did help. We helped ourselves to their tasty, tasty flesh.

  NOT TASTY!

  Not tasty to me anymore. Been a lot of years since I ate me some people thigh meat. A lot of years. Never going back to those canny ways. I kill cannies now. Kill them fucking dead.

  "Up! Up! Up!" Steph shouts when we reach the bottom of the fire escape.

  There's a dumpster already pushed over to it, so it's easy as pie to hop up, grab the bottom rungs of the ladder, and climb our asses to
the roof. A few shots ring out when we reach the top and the few Zs that had been making camp up on the roof go splattery splat all over the old tarpaper or whatever roofs are covered with. I don't know. I'm a lean, mean, killing machine, not a roof-making person. Fuck off.

  Quick check behind the hut shack thing that leads to the stairs to make sure no Zs be hiding there and the roof is clear. We all lean over the edge and look down at the couple hundred Zs that have filled the alley. A lot of Zs. Not even close to the most we've faced. Shit, man, I've faced this many by myself before and lived. But a lot of these guys are strong ones. Faster than your normal Zs.

  I see a few of the strong ones start to eye the dumpster like they want to climb up and get to us. I bet they do. Hungry little bitches.

  "Frag out!" I yell as I drop a grenade down onto the dumpster. "Two frags out!"

  I drop a second one and turn around, covering my ears as the grenades go off, one after the other. A quick looky loo and I see the dumpster is now in a thousand pieces. A lot of those pieces are sticking out of Zs. Some of the Zs are moving, some aren't, but don't matter. The strong ones aren't climbing up after us any time soon.

  I'd love to say that I got away from Pa on my own, but that ain't the truth. Truth is, I captured a hunk of people meat named Jace Stanford. Me and Pa was gonna carve him up and eat him, but that Jace just made me laugh. I called him Long Pork, because that's what human meat is: long pork. But the name fit that guy. So he's always been Long Pork to me.

  Then his friends, Jon and Stuart, came to get him. They killed Pa and I got away. Followed them for a while until they got themselves into a little rotten pickle of a situation. Jon took off. Stuart took off. Long Pork was left alone in a dump truck. He was wearing pink and purple yoga clothes. It was funny. Long Pork was always making me laugh.

  I saved his ass, he took me back to Whispering Pines, I became family because that's how the Stanfords roll, and the rest is history. A lot more happened, but that ain't my story. That's Long Pork's story and he's already written that shit down. Go bug Greta. She'll read you his journals. I ain't got time for moron review. I got Zs to kill, remember?

  "Killin' Zs, killin' Zs, huntin' cannies, killin' Zs," I hum to myself as we all walk the perimeter of the roof and figure out our next move.

  "The Humvees are ten blocks that way," Steph says, pointing to the east.

  "Nope," Marcie says. "They are ten blocks that way."

  She points to the south. Steph glares. Marcie keeps pointing. Steph pulls a radio from her pocket.

  "Audrey? Which way are the Humvees?" Steph asks into the radio.

  "Ten blocks south of your position," Audrey replies, her voice crackling and popping over the radio. "Why? We making a break for it?"

  "Not yet," Steph says, rolling her eyes at Marcie. "We should rest up and eat first. Maybe make a run when the sun sets."

  When she says that, we all slip our kits off and toss the packs to the ground. Or roof. Or whatever the fuck. We set our packs down and start rummaging for the rations we brought. Time for a post-fight picnic!

  I fucking love post-fight picnics. Fucking love them.

  "I've got apples and some of that really brown bread that one chick makes," Marcie says.

  There's just me, Marcie, Steph, Antoinette, and Audrey a couple roofs over. Belinda and Brittany stayed back at the Stronghold to help Charlie with getting that big, huge wall of his built. The two Bs know a thing or two about how to fortify a place. Don't know how. Probably some of that conditioning Kramer gave us. We all have our specialties. Mine is being the baddest bitch on the fucking planet. Fuck with me and you get shitfucked back. I will shitfuck you into next month then schedule a follow-up shitfucking for the month after that.

  "I have the salami," I say as I pull a long roll of meat out of my bag. "Deer. Spicy too."

  "Did anyone bring that goat cheese?" Antoinette asks. "The blueberry kind?"

  "All out," Steph says as she pulls out her own hunk of brown bread and a jug of apple juice. "I looked."

  It's early September, I think, so plenty of apples to be had even up in dry Colorado.

  "It's September, right?" I ask.

  "Yes, El, it's September," Steph replies. "Try to keep up, will ya?"

  They don't call me Carly. Carly Thornberg is long dead. I'm Elsbeth. It may have been a name that Pa gave me when he made me his ick slave, but I kept it because that's what the Stanfords call me. Even though Long Pork and Stella are gone. Don't matter. I'm Elsbeth Stanford. That's my name.

  My sisters never had their heads smacked around by river rocks, so they know who they are and who they've always been. Must be nice for them to not have the fuzzies in your brain. I wouldn't know. Shit gets jumbled. Jumbled, jumbled, jumbled.

  "You good, El?" Marcie asks.

  "I'm good," I reply. "Just telling a story in my head."

  "You gonna write it down when we get back to the Stronghold?" she asks.

  "Probably," I say. "Greta wants a record of what we do out here. She says that future generations need to know who we are and how we fought to rebuild the world."

  "We aren't rebuilding the world," Steph says. "Not unless you consider Boulder, Colorado to be the world."

  "It is for now," I say.

  "Gotta start somewhere," Antoinette says and hands me a hunk of thick zucchini bread. "Might as well start with the Stronghold."

  The Stronghold used to be Boulder. It used to be the campus of the big school there. University of Colorado or some shit. Now it's an almost walled-off area where people are learning to live and grow in the apocalypse. We seen some babies being born already. Pretty cool to see. Kinda sad though. None of us sisters can have babies.

  Motherfucking Kramer and his mad scientist conditioning. I swear I'm going to slice his scrote open and make him suck on his balls like jawbreakers when I find his ass.

  "How long do we stay on this trail?" Steph turns and asks me, her mouth jammed with apple and salami. "Those blind kids gave us the slip yesterday. This town is either a trap or a dead end."

  "We check it out," I say.

  No one in charge, but I am the driving motherfucker when it comes to hunting Kramer. That old cocksucker is why Stella died. He fried one of our sister's brains. Cassie. Fried her up good and she killed Stella.

  I found her. Don't you worry about that. Brought her back for the Stanfords to go all stabby stabby on. Fucking killed her dead in a shower. Bitch deserved it. No argument.

  But Kramer is still out here somewhere. I got a life goal. A five-year, ten-year, however-long-it-takes-year plan. Hunt Kramer, kill Kramer. That's the plan.

  "We search the town for the son of a bitching shitfucker," I say. "If he ain't here then maybe there's some clues."

  "Clues?" Marcie laughs. "This isn't Scooby-Doo, El. Any clues those blind kids may have left aren't going to lead us anywhere. They never do."

  "You quitting on me?" I ask, giving her the stink eye. I have a good stink eye. Makes people squirm.

  But she's a sister and shrugs it off. Sisters don't give a shit about no stink eye.

  "You know I'll follow you to the ends of the Earth, El," Marcie says. "I'll never quit."

  "Thanks," I say. I drop my stink eye and give her a smile. She deserves a smile. Smiles are good for sisters.

  "Three days," Steph says. "That's how long our rations will hold out. It's a five-day drive back to the Stronghold since we have to go cross country to avoid the canny traps and crazies. We have three days of food for here then we try to scavenge what we can and head home. Agreed?"

  "Agreed," Antoinette says. She takes a bite of zucchini bread and says something else, but I can't make it out.

  "Agreed," Marcie says. "El?"

  "Yep," I say. "Can't hunt if we're starving. Agreed."

  Steph relays the plan to Audrey. She agrees as well.

  "We bunk down on this roof tonight," Steph says. "Audrey is going to stay where she is so she can provide cover for us tomorrow. We'll rendez
vous with her and then get to the Humvees. After that, we continue our sweep of this town and try not to get swarmed by Zs."

  "Sure are a lot of them for a small town," Antoinette says, zucchini bread falling from her mouth.

  "Jesus," Marcie says. "Close your mouth."

  "Whatever," Antoinette says and swallows. "I still don't look as bad as El when she eats."

  They all turn to me and grin. Fuckers.

  "Ha ha," I say. "You should have seen how I ate when I was munching on people meat."

  "You had to go there, didn't you?" Steph says and rolls her eyes. She's an eye roller.

  "I lived there," I replied. "Don't worry. I ain't going back. You bitches look yummy, but I think you all are a little spoiled."

  "Fuck and you," Marcie laughs as she gives me the finger.

  I love my sisters.

  Chapter Two

  The town we're in was called North Valley. That's what it was called when people lived here. Ain't called that now. Now? It's Z-Town. Z-Ville. The Z-Burg. Z-Valley. Yeah, Z-Valley. Should have said that first. I miss Long Pork. He always knew all the good puns and jokes and funny stuffs.

  Whatever the fuck it's called, it's someplace north of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Which means we ain't even in Colorado anymore. And it's hot as fuck because it's September and shit is still hot down here in the Southwest in September. Or that's what Charlie says. He's all Mr. Big Thinks, so he knows his weather facts. Not that I need weather facts to know it's hot because it's fucking hot.

  Might be hot during the day, but it gets butt-ass cold at night, so we sisters all huddle up together to stay warm as the stars sparkle in the perfectly clear night sky. Audrey calls on the radio a couple of times to tell us we suck since she has no one to huddle with. We tell her we're sorry, but none of us are because we're warm and would rather stay warm. But we tell her we are sorry because that's what sisters do. Lie to make each other feel better.

  I'm not as good at the lying as others.

  "Oh, God, who farted?" Marcie groans.

  "Me," I say. "It's the salami."

 
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