Hello! And welcome back to another edition of Undead Thursdays, a special blog event I`m having every Thursday in January to celebrate the release of the anthology He Loves Me For My Brainssss from Torquere Press that includes my novella Two Guys Walk Into An Apocalypse.
Every Thursday we`ll have guest bloggers that have written zombie tales or articles. We`ll also have a new book review of a zombie book that I really enjoyed amid all the undead love from my fellow scribes! All in all it should be a great time getting to meet new authors and zombie aficionados.
Today our journey into the realm of the undead will take us into space. My good friend, and fellow Marvel geek, Georg Veramme, has penned a gripping and unique story that he has agreed to share with us. Georg is a Belgian fellow who studied in England for his bachelors, then returned home for his masters. He also studied history and literature and is a huge zombie fan. You can find some of Georg`s work here-
Author notes: This story has taken some liberties with the workings of the ISS and the Tiangong station which is at this moment of writing not even build yet. Keep that in mind while reading the story, other than that, have fun.
30 November 2012
My name is unimportant, my occupation is unimportant. Why I got here will be unimportant to. If you really want to know, I am a rich business man who had a fascination to go to space. Not because I want to, but because I can. A status symbol of sorts to my peers. I have a fiancée, Rachel. We were expecting a child when I left for the ISS a few days ago. I promised her I would come back before the baby would be born. But that was before the outbreak happened, before the dead started walking again. We followed the news feeds from all over the world. It began in Asia as most other diseases do, then it swept over to Europe, Africa…the US. Thousands died and came back in hours. It was panic and chaos, the end of the world came 22 days to early. NASA promised they would send a shuttle to pick us up, but in the final transmission I heard Houston screaming, I heard Rachel screaming….then nothing. Silence. All we could do was watch the newsfeeds, and hope…
1 December 2012
I still had hope of us being rescued during the first few days. I actually felt safe up here between 330 and 410 kilometers above ground near the vast nothingness of space, trapped in a manmade construct where no man had a chance to survive on his own outside let alone have a right to be there and spit in the eye of god. Is that why it’s happening, is this retribution? It’s been three days since Houston contacted us before they shut off communications. I remember the shouts and screams in the background. They came and took over Cape Canaveral, and we are stranded here.
2 December 2012
It was a disease when we left Earth a week ago: some wanna-be bird flu virus some DJ on the radio said, trying to be funny. She’s probably one of them now, or dead if she’s lucky. I’m not even an astronaut; I just wanted to see our planet once, brag about it. Something to tell my baby boy when Rachel is due. She has to be alive, right? My friends said three hundred million was thrown away to be a mere tourist. My companions are working still, doing their best to keep this station in altitude. My God, Rachel, please be safe.
3 December 2012
We kept watching the TV broadcasts until they fell silent. We kept listening to any radio waves or anything resembling human activity until it stopped. We kept in touch with the men at the Tiangong station and ask them if they heard anything from China on their instruments. They have one broadcast still running on all official channels. “Keep heart in the party and the proud people of our Republic. Like Lenin before us, we will return stronger, harder and faster in the face of the dark night caused by the American West.” They asked us if we were indeed responsible for this, we asked them the same question. They haven’t responded for three hours now, I don’t think any of us know, or will ever know.
I saw many satellites swinging by; most of them weren’t even operated anymore. We used them to provide us with information on how to get somewhere, to see what our enemy was doing, to watch some athlete kick a ball in a goal and earn millions doing it while thousands starved.
Is this our legacy? If another species becomes the next dominant race on the Earth, what will they inherit? A planet full of empty buildings and empty metal eyes in orbit? Out here, in the cold dark of space you finally realize how fragile life is, how arrogant we were of our culture and our ignorance. We are animals, smart enough to use tools and dumb enough to believe in things that may or may not exist. I cannot believe in any loving god who allows this, even if mankind was responsible. I glance down on this dead earth and wonder how many people are still left down there. Are they moving from town to town looking for food? Did they run for the oceans in the hopes the dead do not swim and fish can sustain them? Is my Rachel one of these survivors? So many people are fighting for their lives down below and all I can do is watch….
4 December 2012
We calculated our food supplies and found out we have around one more month worth of food. Two if we ration it more along the six of us. They stare at me now, one useless mouth to feed. I’m no astronaut, just a filthy tourist stuck with them until the food runs out, or the oxygen…or both.
It’s been six days since Houston ceased all contact. We pick up the same repeating recorded message from China the Tiangong station told us about yesterday. One of us keeps hoping NASA will send a shuttle to pick us up, or even Russia. I know they won’t. The Earth belongs to the dead, where my beautiful Rachel is one of them now. Humanity is gone, and we are all what’s left.
5 December 2012
Karl killed himself last night, knife to the throat. At eleven pm we picked up a radio transmission from what is left of the EU which authorized the US for nuclear arms to be used on the cities of Berlin, Antwerp and Calais. We saw the three missiles, mere bright specks to our eyes, fly past us and went down toward the European continent. For five minutes three dots on the planet shined so brightly I almost thought they were stars. We believe Karl’s family must’ve been in Berlin, or he just gave up hope. We send his body out of the airlock and stared as it floated off into the cold, dark of space. For a moment I swore I saw him move….
6 December 2012
I don’t know if I have gone insane. Shortly after Karl’s funeral we received a message from the Russian Federal Space Agency that they will attempt to send out two shuttles to pick us up and the Chinese of Tiangong. They claim Russia has had an easier time repelling the living dead then other nations due to it’s colder climate and they have the resources to mount one attempt to get us out. Everyone was ecstatic; I even caught Chalmers and Richards having sex in the Leonardo Cargo bay. They both hated each other before the launch, before this started. But why am I not feeling anything? I don’t feel hope I might see Rachel again, no fear that the attempt might fail, and no suspicion why the RFSA would help us. Am I still human?
7 December 2012
Its official, they will pick us up in a week. The Russians secured a launch site and fortified it against the undead. It’s in the middle of nowhere so no horde of them would come running when the shuttle lifts off.
We found a couple of bags of champagne which we drank as a celebration. Chalmers contacted the Chinese who also seemed to be celebrating on their end. Tomorrow we'll prepare the final calculations. O'Neil and the Chinese commander, Hu Zhin I think his name was, are both suspicious though. I found O'Neil spending a lot of time in the Kibō lab despite the fact all experiments are put on hold....
8 December 2012
The Russians are sending us what Intel they can. The US has nearly gone completely dark save for some major cities on the West Coast and the North where the government is hiding in Alaska. My hope is that Rachel left Canaveral and went north though the chances are she and our unborn child are wandering those corridors along with the other dead now. Canada is in contact with us now and then and like Russia they seem to have used the cold against the hordes. Europe is a warzone still; nobody knows what's going on there except for flashes of radio messages in English, French and German. What is left of the English people has fled to the seas or the smaller islands around the larger island as predicted but only the future can tell how long they will last.
The Northern European nations are fighting off the horde still, but Iceland offered Keflavík International Airport as our landing strip back home. My suspicion grows every day. Russia, Europe and what’s left of the US are spending all their energy to get twel…no eleven people home, five of them Chinese. Why? I believe the Kibō lab is the answer…
9 December 2012
There is no god holy enough to grant us mercy for what we have done to ourselves. I snuck into the lab after O'Neil left for the bathroom; I had at least a 30 minute window because of the way the lack of gravity would make his visit longer. I looked all over, but it looked like any other lab except for one folder and a series of green tubes. They were labeled XR-5, a new sort of military drug. Guessing of the notes I found with them...the thing that created the dead down below. They couldn’t destroy it down on Earth. It was to contagious, airborne, clothing...it had to be kept here in space. But it got out. Jesus Christ, we opened Pandora's box.
10 December 2012
I'm being held at gunpoint by O'Neil. He says I wasn’t supposed to find the XR-5. It was a routine. Go to the ISS and keep the virus there so it can’t fall into enemy hands. Take the tourist with you so the media doesn’t draw attention to the secret package. He knew out of all of 'em if the virus wasn’t contained soon...it would be a one way ticket. It’s all the same he says, starving here in the cold vacuum of space or gnawed on by the dead below. I see Chalmers come in, O'Neil panics and fires....and all hell breaks loose.
11 December 2012
It's all gone to hell. Chalmers was hit in the neck and died choking in blood. Richard's shot a shocked O'Neil in turn before he went to hold a dying Chalmers in his arms...who then proceeded to bite him in the neck. O'Neil came back as well and tried to go for me. If it wasn’t for Lee who pulled me and locked the door to the lab, I would’ve been one of them. Lee asks me what happened in there and I replied. He is on the phone with Moscow right now....
12 December 2012
The cat is out of the bag. The Russians told us why they are sending a shuttle up to us. The virus needs to be brought back to Earth in the hopes an antidote might be found. Several American scientists are on site right now and made some progress…but they need the XR-5. This thing, this horrible….thing we made, spread all over the world. When somebody dies, they come back as one of them. Our only chance is to make the antidote airborne and wait until the last of those monsters are dead. We got two days to get that virus. Lee is sharpening whatever he can find to put O’Neil, Chalmers and Richard to rest. I’m looking forward to it. Down below millions are dying, hiding or surviving. It’s time I joined in their horrors and nightmares, it’s time I go home and see Rachel...one way or another.
13 December 2012
We drank the last bag of Dutch courage we had in our supplies before the final attack. It was us two against the three of them. Last night Lee told me he had two kids and an ex-wife at home. It was his fault he claimed, he spend too much time up here then down there where it mattered the most. I told him he would see them again and he appreciated my words, but deep down he knew i was lying. Even IF we made it of this station, who knew if they were still alive? Who knew how long WE would last? As he put his hand on the door he told a joke he used to tell his mates. A Customer in a restaurant goes Waiter, waiter! There is a frog in my soup!!! The Waiter replies Sorry, sir. The fly is on vacation. I gave a small smile as he snickered, I forgot how to laugh. We looked at each other one last time before we opened the door and leaped into the jaws of death.
14 December 2012
These are my last thoughts. First things first, I got the virus and I made sure when the Russians arrive, they will have it with them. I strapped myself to the chair, so when I come back I won’t go after them. The bite-mark on my arm is getting worse; it feels like it's on fire. We managed to kill Richards, but Chalmers and O'Neil got Lee. He did the honorable thing and threw himself with the two others in an escape pod and shot themself into Earth's orbit, burning as bright as star. I hope Lee was dead by then. Still, he didn’t know Chalmers bite me. I make no illusions; I’m on the way out.
The sun is rising and I see the Russian shuttle in the distance going for the Chinese first. I'll be dead by the time they get here. But its okay, I’m going to see Rachel now, and our baby boy. But for now, for these last few moments I am the eye in the sky on a dead Earth.
15 December 2012
The Chinese astronauts are secured and are on their way home now. HQ wanted us to save them and make sure the Chinese send their men to aid ours into driving the walking dead back from our cities. I don’t see why, our people fought off the French, the German and endured the harsh winters. I am not a man of politics, but I love my country and its people.
The Virus is now being worked on by every scientist humanity has left. Time will tell if they succeed.
We found only one American in the station where we found the XR-5. He turned but he strapped himself so we could end his suffering. He knew he was going to die and left a note in English. I could not read it but Dmitri claims it was addressed to us to tell what happened here. Mission said he was a rich man from Florida, paid big money for this trip so he could take a picture for his wife and son. We took the body with us and buried it in a place of honor in case the Canadians manage to find his wife in the refugees from America, he earned at least that much. Who knew one hundred years ago that the survival of humanity was to thank to the very embodiment of Capitalism? Lenin and Stalin must be spinning in their graves, poor choice of words. As I looked down from that window to our planet, I could not help but marvel at her beauty and think however foolishly...that there is hope for us.
Thank you so very much for sharing your work with us, Georg. It was a hell of a story!
I`d like to thank all of my guest bloggers for joining in on the fun of Undead Thursdays. Next week we`ll be returning to my regular rambling Thursday posts, so I hope to see you then!
I`m an author of romantic comedies, a lover of Greek mythos, warm laughs, and coffee. I share my life with my husband and daughter, two dogs, two cats, a herd of dairy goats, and various flocks of poultry.