Friday, October 30, 2015

The End Began in the Middle-05

"So much killing went on in the months before the end, Jeremy." I said, "Lots of it was simple and crude, much of it done incompetently and opportunistically. I didn't care for that stuff. It was all amateur hour antics, and yet even so they got far more done than generations of bullshitting ever did. The best part was that the Internet covered all of it pretty much as it happened, sometimes with the killers streaming the killing as they did it."

"Dad says that it seemed like a madhouse."

"At first, sure, but that's because most people had lived so long in that illusion of permanent peace that they couldn't deal with the real world when it shattered those illusions and proved to them just how wrong they were. The stronger ones adapted quickly and did one of the smart things: ran or fought back. Most of them knew enough about themselves to know that they couldn't really fight back, so they ran like hell and got out of wherever they were in favor of someplace else. Those small groups that got rolled by roving gangs, or zeds, or anyone else with the good sense to not be pussies? Born of those thinking that they could always run and hide."

"What about the police?"

"They didn't like dying anymore than anyone else did."

"Really? It's that simple?"

"After just enough people lost their fear of the cops, due to seeing just how incompetent all but the best of them were, the slaughter of anyone in a cop uniform was catastrophic. The ghettos, where the street gangs had their presence, turned into killing fields overnight once that happened and it happened after I'd already swamped them with my own work. City cops, then deputies, then state patrol, then Feds- and man, the cascading effect once the people saw that the Feds were just dudes with suits and guns and so on turned already bad scenes into total collapse. Governments big and small dropped all pretense of being 'for the people', and just took care of their own openly- like that made it better."

"So the end began in the middle of the country?"

"Yeah." I said, showing some pride, "I guess you could say that it did. Long overdue, by the way. Too many folks forgot the way this shit really works; too big a claim of turf, and too little real power to make it stick. Collapse like this had to come sooner or later, and it was on its way even if I didn't start clearing out the crap."

"How so?"

"The world's economy was about to fall through the floor, and World War 3 was already shaping up."

Friday, October 23, 2015

The End Began in the Middle-04

"The freakouts were fantastic to witness. All the screaming about people being gunned down in places where guns were already banned, knifed where knives were banned, and so on only to scream that the bans need to be made worse- as if that would solve the problem! Morons. Fucking retards, the lot of them!" I said, "In their desperate, yet futile, attempt to make their feelings the law of all they abandoned all reality and embraced their collective insanity- as if they were nothing more than overgrown children. Reaping them like wheat before a thresher was more than punishment- it was judgement."

"But there had to be more than that?"

I smiled again. "True, there were plenty more, and after I executed that first gang at that convention more took up my path on their own- I never met them, never knew who they were, and never heard from them. They just picked up the gun and began executing the enemies in their neighborhoods as I did to those trespassing in mine. Most of them would get caught by the police state, and gunned down themselves in time, but those who--like me--showed their quality by staying inside the enemy's minds and thus avoided the traps set for us, quickly came to clear out their neighborhoods."

"A purge, then?"

"The likes of which no one then alive in this land had ever seen."

"The ones buried deep into the power structure proved hardest to take out, as they expected people to try killing them, so they took some work to handle. I resorted to using them as secondary targets when I went after more available targets, like the dumb twats trying to ban everything. I'd also picked off some opportunity targets, and settled some long-standing scores, as I went about the bigger business."

I looked again at the boy. I looked deep into his eyes, as I did when I gave the watered-down version to his father years ago. I saw there what I expected out my own son, that he got it, that he comprehended what all of this killing meant- why it was needed, and better than the alternative.

"Is that how you became king?" he said.

"Not directly." I said, "But it was the start of how I became king. I killed all of the invaders, the liars, the whores, the crooks, everyone who dared step foot into my land and mess with what is mine- I killed them all, and I am damn proud of all that butchery. When the apocalypse came, I knew that I would not be one of the weak pussies that got eaten by the horde. I knew--well before the event--that I would become one of the masters of that world, and when it came I became one of the happiest men in the world."

"Ken would be the other?"

"Yep. We got along fine for that reason."

Friday, October 16, 2015

The End Began in the Middle-03

"The entire community where I worked could not believe that someone not only exposed them, but delivered judgement. The government promised to 'find the killer', but never did. In part because I knew how to ensure that none of their investigations would amount to anything, and in part due to me knowing how limited their resources were. I buried them in corpses, so to speak."

"Dad said that once something got you mad enough, you couldn't be stopped."

"Your father doesn't know the half of it." I said, satisfied with myself, "It's something I figured out when I was a young man: the secret to killing your way to victory is to outpace the other side. That's very hard to do when the other side is a bunch of dead shamblers, but next to them is an omni-present police state. Same skills needed, however."

He gave me that look.

"If I overwhelmed the ability of the cops to keep up and investigate, then I could proceed with impunity. So I did just that; I kept stacking the corpses like cordwood, executing one or more of the enemy every day and ensuring that the continuity continued. Five in a game studio's offices, three at a movie party while the party went on, a dozen at long range with a rifle when they wandered off in a big park, several home invasions, and so on. I got a weekly count of 100 once during this period."

Now the realization came over the boy as he saw his aged, elderly grandfather as the experienced and remorseless manslayer that I really am.

"How long did you keep it up?"

"I started on the first weekend of July that year. I won by the end of August. Eight solid weeks of daily killing, the latter part including me taking the fight to them across the country. Generations of social infiltration and degeneration wiped out in two months. Two months, my boy! All my life I'd been lied to about the power of killing, and I proved them all wrong--permanently, eternally wrong--in just two months! Had the world not come to an end when it did, my part of it would have been able to stage a counter-revolution that would've cleansed the country by the end of the following year. A flood of blood so great it would have sated the thirst of the worst of vampires."

The boy looked at me with a mix of awe and fear. Good. You respect your elders for a reason: they've spent a lifetime mastering skills that you barely know exist.

"Do you know how-"

"One thousand, four-hundred, fifty-six." I said, "The last one I did live on global television, and I still walked away as if no one saw me- and that's because no one did. I shot one of the leading mind-fuckers, a high priestess of this cult, as she gave an interview to one of the major media networks' prime-time news anchors. Her head exploded like a popped balloon and got brain, blood, and bone all over the newscaster."

I chuckled. I had a livestream of that interview going, muted, to ensure that I dialed in the target properly without taking any shots so I saw that I got it right when the chick's headless corpse flopped to the floor like a sack of cement and the chatroom's collective freakout got me rolling with laughter. Right then, I knew beyond any doubt that victory in this culture war was mine.

Friday, October 9, 2015

The End Began in the Middle-02

"You killed two guys-"

"No, lying whores. A pair of lying, thieving, gold-digging whores playing the men like fiddles and laughing about it all the way to the bank."

"Bad girls?"

"As far too many were at the end. My execution of those two is my contribution to the catalysts that would set off the end."


I could not contain my glee. Finally, I get to tell it all: "No one ever expected an outright execution to happen to two popular whores in a St. Paul hotel near the airport, so when their corpses got found a few minutes later--remember, zeds didn't exist yet--the reaction was a total freak out. Yet, by then I found the hotel room this gang shared. I had a key, so I let myself in and executed the rest of the gang in their room. In and out in moments."

I paused a moment. "Let that sink in, boy. To start fixing a problem caused by liars, thieves, and predators corrupting good people into being more of the same a good man had to get mad and start popping those bad folks right in the brain. Sound familiar?"

Jeremy chuckled. "I thought you said zeds didn't exist?"

Good boy! You got the point! "Not literally so, but when the apocalypse hit I found those habits and practices worked just as well with the dead as the living."

He laughed, and that made this easier.

"You remember that we had newspapers, TV and radio places that told the news, and all that?"


"Well, my assassinations so shocked everyone that they led the news for a week- and shut that convention down for good, along with all of the others run by the same group."

He gasped.

"So, as I continued to track down and execute the rest of the leading crooks in the area, never getting caught and leaving the same signs behind to show continuity, I had everyone of them freaking out- and me, hiding in plain sight, planning which of them to take out next."

"Like when Ken the Stalker is around the smarter zeds?"


Friday, October 2, 2015

The End Began in the Middle-01

"Grandfather, how did the Old World end?"

My son's son, a boy by the name of Jeremy, was a curious boy. Curiosity in a land where flesh-eating zombies have been a reality since I sired his father upon his mother is not a good thing, and I'd told my boy so many times- but to no avail.

I sighed. "There aren't many of us left that remember the Old World. If you managed to ask all of us that question, you would get as many answers as you would people. That's because what brought about the end is not just one thing, but instead a lot of little things coming together and having a big effect when together."

"Like when streams and creeks flow into rivers?"

"Like that, but bigger. Flood-like, really, if it really gets going."

The light of the fire in the hearth briefly reminded me of being that boy's age, when my own grandfather--who grew up without electricity--told me about how everything could change like a flood overnight.

"So, what did you do?"

This was now, again, a harsh world like my grandfather's was in his youth. No need to keep him from the truth; the sooner he knew what he'd need to do, the better he'd get at doing it.

"My part began in an elevator, at a convention, in the summer just before everything went wrong. This was long before I met your grandmother. I'd been pulled into the center of a long-running conflict, one I'd had to deal with all my life, and over the winter before I received proof that the people I'd been fighting had committed all sorts of crimes against me and my people for longer than I'd lived through lies and other bad things."

"So, what did you do in that lift thing?"

"This convention had a small gang, part of the larger group of crooks, do a very big get-together every year. They stayed in the hotel where the convention took place. I followed the two leaders into an elevator and waited for everyone else to get off. As soon as the doors closed, I drew my gun and shot them both--one shot, each, to the head--and got off on the next floor. They never saw it coming, as they both assumed that no one had a real gun due to the gun bans in place. Both died instantly."

"No zeds?"

"No zeds yet. Just living targets, all deserving." I said as I patted the old CZ-82 sidearm in my lap. "Yes, my boy, with this very one." I smiled. Well over 60 years later, and I still feel the greatest satisfaction from those first two kills.