Two good hands ain’t enough – episode 4 of an epic, end of the world story

A science fiction novel about the end of the world, love, money, leadership, MMORPGs, zombies, alien technology and everything else.

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Episode One: The heart of a hero
Episode Two: Love hurts
Episode Three: God speed your love

Episodes and/or related writing are published on this blog – most Mondays and Wednesdays. Please subscribe to this blog to get a reminder when the next episode is published. Subscriptions are free.

Iron Maiden, The Trooper

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The Book of Carrot

Book One: Principal Virtues

Chapter One: Love is a battlefield

Episode Four: Two good hands ain’t enough

Audience: Adult

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Norocul este din sticla, cand incepe sa straluceasca, se sparge.

Luck is like glass. When it starts to shine, it breaks.

A Romanian Proverb

“RUN-Motherfuckerrr-RUN!”

John heard George shouting – he turned around to see George running toward him. 100 meters behind George, hundreds of zombies limped, lurched and stumbled forward. They looked… desperately hungry.

WTF! John thought to himself.

George didn’t recognize him because John was wearing his tournament prize from the other day- the alien infiltrator uniform. John looked like a superhero in form fitting, silver liquid alloy covering him from head to toe.

“It looks like you took a wrong turn and popped in the wrong game, buddy,” George said as he passed John.

“If your not the Silver Surfer… BETTER RUN!”

John wanted to run, but he had a camp of 300 sleepers nearby – they had gathered there for a wedding. The wedding party, however, would begin in 30 minutes or so – if their game bodies were still intact.

At the moment, John was the only one standing between all those zombies and the 300 sleepers.

“I need an Apache and a war party on Elizabeta Regina and the Law School – Stat.”

“We have a herd of white buffalo sitting down at the Christmas table.”

“Roger – 30 minutes.”

John picked through his gear for flares. Next, he laid out 20 smoking flares across the street. He threw flares down in a straight line – one about every other meter.

Zombies didn’t like flares – especially the white silver-chloride smoke. They seemed to steer away from these things – no one knew why.

The line of flares would stop or slow most of them down for the 10 minutes of flare time.

10 minutes wasn’t much.

Three zombies came through the smoke. Big, angry, bad boys. They must have been mercenaries before they turned. Or professional wrestlers.

John picked up his fire axe from his pile of gear. But something was off – in a good way. The zombies weren’t coming for him. It was like they didn’t even see him. Or know that he was there.

Hell yeah – alien technology rocks! John thought to himself.

“RAHHH…”

John yelled his war cry and buried the axe in their heads – one by one. None offered resistance or fight.

The silver suit was washed in black zombie blood as he did his killing.

More zombies came through the smoke. None paid any attention to John and he was steady in bringing them down – one by one. And that was strange too – he didn’t fatigue.

John cleared 20 zombies – single handedly.

“You have a lot more coming from both sides,” the Apache pilot radioed him as they did a fly by and opened fire just down the road in the opposite direction.

“WHERE’S MY WAR PARTY?!” John shouted over the radio.

“This will be one for the history books, boss,” radioed the guild’s tactician.

“Someone is going to PK you for that uniform – if you survive this.”

“Must be a bug,” John replied. “I can’t imagine the company intended this uniform to be so over-powered. I’ll file a bug report…”

“Are you serious,” George shouted-asked from the living room. “That’s you in the silver surfer costume?!”

“And you took down 20 zombies all by yourself?!”

“No one’s coming, bro. Word on the street is… F-U-B-A-R. Everyone is laying low,” George shouted again from the living room.

“A spotter just did a headcount. Saying it’s a thousand or MORE – that’s what he’s saying.

RUN, FUCKER, RUN!”

The flares burned out. Zombies crossed John’s line and stumbled toward the lawn of the Law School where the sleepers lay. Some of the sleepers got SMSes and phone calls – they logged on and took off running.

John launched upon the herd with the axe. 21. 22. 23.

“Come help me!” John shouted from his office. There was no answer.

24-25-26-27-28-29. A spotter counted John’s kills, but the herd was moving forward and beyond him. Some were already sitting down to Christmas dinner.

“Give it up, bro! You don’t owe it Alpha Guild,” said George – he was now standing next to John’s desk.

“It’s not even your Guild! And if you die, you know someone from Alpha is going to loot that uniform from your corpse”

“I got to try to make this right,” answered John. “You fucked it up and someone has to try to make it right.”

“Do you think anyone saw me?”

30-31-32.

“I SAW YOU!”

The ice sculptures – cherubim with their trumphets raised to heaven – were splattered with blood as the zombies ripped and tore apart the bodies of the sleepers.

33-34-35. John chopped his way  toward the front of the herd in a last ditch effort to save the bride and groom. As he swung the axe and pushed through the crowd of zombies, he felt something pulling from his shoulder blades – his shoulders were red zoned on his Player Character (PC) image map.

Fuck! he thought to himself.

A silver tenacle swayed in the periphery of his left side. Another moved quickly to his right and penetrated a zombie’s skull like a spear. The zombie dropped.

“Fuck – alien – I’m dead,” John said out loud!

John ducked and spun around, but there were only zombies there. The two silver tentacles swayed over his head as if they were deciding the next dozen targets. They shot out, withdrew, shot out again and again – cracking through skulls and de-animating zombies.

36-37-38-39-40-41-42-43-44-45-46-47.

Just ahead, John saw zombies falling upon the bride in her white wedding dress – he was too late. Her blood sprayed across his uniform as he reached her torn body.

Love is gone, John thought to himself.

Some of it fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some, on rocky places. And others, among the thorns….

Outraged, John took his axe to the zombies feasting upon the bride. Meanwhile, her splattered blood on his uniform must have made John interesting to the zombies – they were now coming for him. The steely spears killed faster and faster and, seemingly, by their own volition and violenct will.

63-85-100.

“You got tentacles?” George asked him from the other room. “That’s what Liam just told me. You’re a fucking alien!

EPIC!”

“What?” John shouted back?

“Liam says you got six tentacles coming out of your back and you’re popping zombies like some kind of Doc Ock killing machine.”

John didn’t really understand what was going on in the game – the interface had changed since he had equipped the uniform. He was still trying to figure it out. 118-135-144.

Overlaying the ordinary visual of zombies that were falling all around him, he saw a blue blip surrounded by fading yellow blips and blinking orange blips. Maybe, he was the blue blip. Maybe, the yellow blips were zombies.

Maybe, the blinking orange blips were sleepers. They were fading out too – faster than the yellow blips.

John didn’t know and he didn’t really care. 162-171-188. He just wanted to log out.

John headed for the nearest hide away.

20 Million players heard about what John had done within 24 hours. Half a Million of those players subscribed to Hachi’s blog in 48 hours – hoping to find out more about what had happened. The spotter, Liam, posted video of the tentacled killing spree – accompanied by Iron Maiden’s song, The Trooper.

The clip ran three times on national television in South Korea. Six times in Japan. 12 times in China.

108 Million Youtube views in 72 hours. Lucky for John, Liam was cool enough to have a link to Hachi’s blog in the video details. Liam, a former commercial insurance salesman from Atlanta, Georgia, unemployed for five years, and a widower, made a killing off the ad inventory.

John, himself, received invites from radio and tv talk show hosts. Hachi’s blog hit six million paid subscribers in a week.

The additional bandwidth and server farm fees mounted by the millions per hour. John, however, was able to offset most of those costs by giving the networks some page real estate on Hachi’s blog – unlimited inventory for their own video ads. It was good times.

But not really.

John woke up abruptly in a sweat. He swung his legs off the bed, sat upright and buried his face in his hands. Cristina was dressing for work.

“Bad dream again?”

“Yeah…”

“What did you dream?”

“I don’t know,” John whispered…

“A barefoot man in a white suit – motorcycles – the end of the world – crossroads – a shotgun – blood.”

“Hey, look at me,” Cristina said – standing there in a shimmering, dark silver-gray bra and boy brief panties.

John lifted his face from his hands and he looked up at her.

“I love you,” she said.

John’s eyes filled with tears – they tears ran down his cheeks.

He held onto the image of him clutching Cristina’s dead body in his arms. At a cross roads.

He held onto the words of the man in the white suit.

Love is gone. Some of it fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up.

“You’re supposed to say it back now.”

“I love you,” he finally said.

“Forever?” Cristina asked.

And Always,” John answered.

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Next Episode: Rape of the Sabine Women

All Rights Reserved by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna
26 September 2012
Bucharest, Romania

Stan Faryna

Speak from your heart!

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