Apocalypse: Chapter 9

Sounds filtered into his ear as consciousness beckoned unto him. At first he thought he was in heaven because of the absolute peace he felt, then a head splitting headache tore through his peace and thrust him awake. Osas woke up with a start. He looked left and right, trying to get his bearings before spotting Ife in the front seat, staring at him with a gentle smile on her face. He figured that meant good news; Ife’s smile could only mean good news.
“How are you feeling?” She asked.
“Alright, I guess. A little sweaty though,” He replied, uncomfortably aware of the leather seats that stuck to his back and the salty smell of sweat emanating from him “I need a bath.”
Osas stretched and noticed Ife averting her eyes. Then he realised he was shirtless.
“Why in God’s name am I shirtless? And where is everyone?”
“You suddenly started sweating heavily when you were asleep so we removed your shirt. You didn’t even wake up as we tugged it off you.” She replied shyly as a smile tugged at the corners of her lips.
“That had to be embarrassing.” Osas replied flatly, making Ife supress a laugh.
“Well, I guess your body was fighting the infection and the side effect was sweating. This is only a theory but seeing as you’re not a zombie and four hours have passed since you fell asleep, I may not be wrong.”
“Four hours?” Osas inquired, unable to believe he had been asleep in a car for four hours.
“Yes, four hours. We went past some villages that had been overrun while you were asleep. It was terrible. Everywhere we turned, there was a zombie on the road, or beside the road, or somewhere sha. Shalom ran over quite a number of them.”
“And where is he now?”
The question put another smile on Ife’s face.
“He went to use the restroom.”
“Oh, I see, how about Paul and Bolu?”
“That’s the thing; we met some soldiers on the road. They told us the cause of the infection.”
“How did they know the cause?”
“Apparently, there was a US military broadcast to all their allies explaining the situation. It was a terrorist attack. A coordinated terrorist attack aimed at strategic nations; USA, France, England, Nigeria, South Africa, Egypt, Serbia, Russia, China, Australia and the likes. They used biological weapons and spread the virus into the air.”
“Wait, why is Nigeria included in the list? We have nothing to offer.”
“With a population of over 160 million people and a significant Christian and western influenced population? We have a lot to offer. The terrorists targeted specific nations where they knew the virus would spread easily. I’m guessing they also took wind patterns and population density into account.”
“I see.” He didn’t.
“Yeah, well the soldiers also said the terrorists were a unified organization consisting of ISIS, Boko Haram, Red Moon and those guys in Russia, what do they call them again?”
“So you’re telling me that the biggest Islamic extremists in the world united to plunge us into a zombie apocalypse?” Osas asked, unwilling to believe what he was hearing.
“Well, zombie apocalypse was not entirely the plan. The virus was supposed to kill us all but it turned out that about half of the world’s population was immune to the air borne strain. The people who were not immune turned into these things. There are also a handful of people entirely immune to the virus. You’re one of them.”
“Me?”
“Yes you. You should have turned by now. A scratch is more than enough to infect a person. Biting, scratching, blood and saliva getting into your blood stream, all these are ways you get infected.”
“But I can’t get infected because I’m immune?”
“Yes. The soldiers also said that work has begun on a vaccine but they don’t know if it’ll be done in time to stop the spread. It’s already on a global scale.”
“This is ridiculous,” Osas said, getting out of the car “Not you Ife, I mean what the soldiers told you.” He added after noticing the hurt look on her face.
“It’s not.” Shalom said, stepping out of the bush with a roll of tissue paper and a rifle in his hands.
“Please, tell him.” Ife added, seeking support.
“It makes perfect sense to me. The virus should not have spread the way it did with how the Nigerian society is. Have you seen houses in Lagos? 12 feet walls and solid steel gates, coupled with slow moving zombies; the infection should not have taken down Lagos as quickly as it did.”
“I’m sorry if I seem sceptical but I just almost died. And then I heard that I may be immune to the virus and that Islamic extremists have ended the world. It’s a little too much to swallow at once.”
“Take your time,” Shalom said dryly, walking past him “And oh, all the military rescue zones have fallen. I just thought you should know.”
“What do you mean?” Osas asked, unwilling to acknowledge the implication of Shalom’s statement.
“Everyone who got rescued by the military might be dead.” Ife said tenderly.
Osas stood silently, thinking about his parents and siblings. In three days, everything he knew had been radically altered. Blood and death seemed to be lurking round every corner. He sighed and accepted the thoughts that had been at the back of his mind for a while.
“I’ve grieved my loss. I’ve mourned. I owe it to my family to stay alive. You do too.” Shalom said out of the blue.
Osas turned around and marched into the car with a steely resolve; he was ready to outlast the apocalypse. He knew he couldn’t afford to break down at the moment so he tried his best to supress his hurt.
“Where is Paul?” He asked finally.
“He and Bolu went with the soldiers to get medical supplies. It was meant for people but seeing as there are only a few people left, the soldiers are giving us some.” Ife replied.
“Where are we?”
“Okene, Kogi state.” Shalom replied
“After four hours from Abuja?”
“Hey, we had to take detours and we’re very lucky we’re on the right track. We could have been lost you know. And it’s also not slow by the way, in fact that’s kind of quick.”
“It’s all good. What next?”
“We wait.”
They waited for two more hours before Bolu and Paul showed up bearing extra arms and different types of drugs in a bag.
“Hey! You’re awake, and better!” Bolu spoke excitedly.
“Yeah, we thank God.” Osas replied.
“It was the least he could do considering this mess,” Paul said “Good to have you back, man.”
For once Osas didn’t know whether he wanted to punch the guy or not.
“Thanks.” He managed to say finally.
“What took you guys so long?” Shalom asked.
“They made us walk. They gave us these and they said they had to get to Abuja to get the President.” Bolu replied, displaying the drugs.
“Or what’s left of him.” Paul added. He handed new rifles to Osas and Shalom.
“These are…impressive.” Osas said.
“When did the Nigerian military start handling guns like this?” Shalom asked.
“I’m guessing from this year. The portion of the national budget for the army was increased, thanks to Boko Haram.” Paul replied.
“You mean the same guys that had a hand in this madness?” Ife inquired sarcastically.
Osas grinned.
“Either way, these are better weapons with larger clips but with more recoil so you have to be careful with them.”
“Just look at us, gallivanting around with guns without proper training. This is a crazy time to be alive.” Shalom groaned.
“Let’s be on our way please,” Osas said, wearing his now-dry shirt “Look at those ones coming from behind us.”
The group turned back to see hundreds of zombies lumbering towards them. They were too far behind to pose any real threat but they all got into the car quickly; none of them ready to take any chances.
“I can’t get over how they look.” Ife said quietly as the car picked up speed.
“I can’t believe how many guns and ammunitions we have.” Paul replied, loading a rifle and looking it over.
Osas ran his hand down the length of the rifle. The term “cold steel” came to his mind as he studied the weapon.
They travelled in relative quietness for about 45 minutes before Shalom slowed to a halt at a T-junction.
“So, where do we go from here?” He asked.
“I thought you knew the route.” Bolu said.
“No, Aishat knew the route.” Osas replied.
“This is ridiculous.” Shalom muttered.
“So none of us knows where to go next?” Ife inquired.
“Apparently, that seems to be the case,” Osas replied “Although, I’d say we go right.”
“Left.” Paul countered.
“Right, I think it’s right. I’ve travelled by road from Lokoja to Lagos before.”
“The soldiers told me left.” Paul countered again.
“They told you to turn right at this particular junction?” Osas asked, irritation starting to build.
“I’m not sure if it’s this one, but they described the road to me.”
Shalom suddenly accelerated and turned right.
“What happens if Osas is wrong?” Bolu asked. Osas frowned.
“Then we’ll turn back.” Shalom replied evenly.
Osas was grateful for his friend’s support. He entertained the thought of shoving Paul out of the car but then he shook his head to clear out the negative thoughts.
“I think Osas is right.” Ife said quietly. She looked at him and smiled.
Osas found himself reaching out to touch her hand when Shalom swerved sharply.
“Sxxt!”
A single zombie wandered onto the road and Shalom had tried to avoid it only to cross into the path of a large ditch on the road. He swerved back to avoid the ditch and the car’s tires skidded, sending the car flying straight into the bush. Air bags were deployed as the car finally came to a stop, crashing into a tree. More zombies joined the lone one on the road and began heading for the wreckage.
Osas opened his eyes slowly and felt a weight on his legs. Ife lay there, unmoving. He stared out the window and saw the approaching zombie horde. He groped around for a gun and found one just as the zombies arrived and began reaching into the vehicle.

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Categories Fiction, Series

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