Inside the hospital there was a carnage and terror unlike anyone could imagine. The building was the perfect killing zone for the Zekes. A hospital is filled with immobilized and infirm people, unarmed administrators and medical staff whose first reaction to a Zeke would be to try and help them. That single instant when they should run, doctors and nurses paused to consider their “condition”, that would be their death sentence.
As the Zekes spread out, from ward to ward, the attack became a frenzy and the screams rose up and out of the building, through the very walls. Metro cops were going from hallway to hallway, up the stairs and even room to room. They were encountering the recently bitten, the convulsing and the awakened Zekes all over the place. In the ER, the first ward hit, no humans were left. The Cardiac-Thoracic unit, the best in the city, was overrun and smoke was pouring out of a utility closet – the first fire had started. The fires would prove to be the catalyst which would force the outside world to come to the aid of the building. The Fire Department would respond, open up the building, and attempt to extinguish the fire. It would allow the Zekes a conduit to the street. Such tactics would accelerate the Great Panic and make it impossible for containment.
When the first Metro cop was taken off his feet by a Zeke, he was shocked at the sheer force of the leap. The physiology, or Zombiology would not be understood till days later, but those first responders were getting a crash course right now. Zekes were able to use adrenaline at a much higher rate than humans and it gave them hyper aggressive capabilities for short bursts of attacking energy. It could turn a elderly lady with terminal cancer into a juggernaut in just 4 minutes.
Cops always considered themselves part of the ultimate team. No matter how dangerous the criminal adversary, the cops had one thing on their side, numbers. In this case though, when an officer went down, he joined the ranks of the enemy. It was tragic how the good guys’ numbers dwindled. Then the shooting started, certainly too late. It was 10:04 PM on Doomsday, the Great Panic was 25 minutes old and the hospital was now a battle zone.
Metro Cops in the hospital fought bravely, but in vain. Their tactics were incorrect to start. They fanned out, trying to help the living escape. The helped push gurneys into elevators, they took direction from administrators, they ran to the aid of the bitten. They had no idea that the bitten victim they were carting off to the street would wake up and bite them before they got out. Cops fell with their guns never drawn out of their holsters. They awoke as Zekes and confused the officers still living. They couldn’t consider firing on them or the seemingly helpless hospital patients.
After 10 minutes of this hopeless melee, the gunfire began. Cops finally took their own survival as a primary course of action. They starting shooting anything that moved toward them. First they tried immobilizing shots as they shouted orders to “Freeze now!” and “On the ground or I will be forced to fire!” These things they were taught to say when confronting an adversary with deadly force. Too bad Zekes had no understanding of language. Too bad they had no fear and no consideration for the consequences of their actions. A Zeke’s mind is erased by the infection and the turn. Leaving only basic instinctual programming.
The officers began firing, but it did not really help them. Only a head shot would down a Zeke and most officers were not trained to shoot that way. It was too hard to hit the head with a handgun in most situations. Aim for the torso was what the Academy instructed. This principle caused further widespread panic in Metro cops. They started firing and Zeke just kept coming. Officers emptied entire clips into the torso and limbs of their enemies. The bullets shredded the Zekes useless internal organs, tearing off arms, blowing off legs, spraying the same black ochre Harrison coated Triage #3′s back wall with. They kept coming, crawling on the floor, bouncing off walls and leaping right into the path of fire to get that bite in.
The cops had no chance. They were surrounded, outnumbered and truly terrified. Harrison could only imagine what it must have been like to be faced with an unbeatable enemy. As he reached his cruiser, an unmarked navy blue Crown Vic, he opened the driver door and reached for the radio transceiver. He pressed the ‘talk’ button and had no words.
From his vantage point, across the Emergency room parking lot, then the street and then into the diner’s lot we was 150 yards away. Red and blue lights filled the night sky, five cruisers? ten? Ambulances were returning to roost and offer medical support for the injured who never came. The Zeke Virus is 100% successful to change every bite victim, there is no one to patch up or care for. There was no way that anyone who was not already out was getting out.
A window on the third floor exploded and 2 bodies came flying out, one firmly affixed to the other in a death plunge. Harrison watched the fall and the landing. Remarkably, one of the figures jumped right up in the parking lot and ran right for the nearest person. Flying Zeke got a hold of a random person and bit down on his shoulder. The rest of the bystanders ran for their lives. One – the fallen victim, two, the Flying Zeke and three the parking lot victim – 3 outdoor Zekes now. That was all Harrison needed to see. He quickly sat down into his cruiser and started it up.
Captain Mercer’s cruiser reached the hospital and his heart sank. People were running everywhere, a lone Metro Cop was waving his hands to direct people in a single direction, no one was paying attention. That cop saw Mercer’s cruiser and ran over. Mercer rolled down the window. “It is total fucking insanity in there!” He gasped and spit right in Mercer’s face with the ‘t’ in insanity.
“Calm down officer…” Mercer read the name off the nameplate on his uniform, “…Goldman. Tell me what is going on.”
“Some virus is infecting people inside the hospital, this is the report from SITCOM inside. He said that people were attacking each other, biting them! Fucking crazy!” Officer Goldman huffed and puffed. “Cops are getting attacked, bitten also. SITCOM gave the order to use deadly force to protect selves and others! Something just happened in the parking lot, one of the infected came out a window- third floor- and started attacking people down here!”
“What the fuck!?” Mercer thought of Harrison’s warning and decided to listen now. “OK, evacuate from this area now, get everyone back…3 blocks and create a perimeter. Start trying to identify who is infected and who is not. Set up barricades, use cruisers, get SWAT here, call the National fucking Guard, NOW!” Mercer looked to his left, at the unnamed driver, “Turn us around.” Mercer grabbed the transceiver and broadcast everything he just said to Goldman. The living were now running past the cruiser with deathly panic etched on their faces.
Back in the hospital the fire had spread and now the O2 lines were exploding all over the ward. BOOM! Windows were blew out and the fire was now visible outside the building. Independently Harrison and Mercer stared at the glowing orange now added to the red and blue lights. The situation had gone critical. The distant sirens of the Fire Department got nearer. How could they fight a fire and Zekes at the same time? It was 10:11 PM and the number of Zekes were re-doubling quickly, could it be 100 already? Had anyone else figured out how to put them down? Harrison wanted to stay and fight, stay as he had in Sadr City 10 years ago. Stay, pinned down, with no hope of survival as Sunnis peppered his position with AK fire. He had gotten out of that hellhole alive, but he didn’t have a wife and son to think of then. This was different. Harrison put his cruiser into drive and sped off down Reservoir Road. All he could think about was Jen and Samuel and that Cessna.