Outside the research facility, freed zombies wandered, shambling into the dusty area outside the facility’s heavy glass and steel doors. A couple of research assistants in lab coats ran aimlessly toward the beach, horrified and screaming with zombies chasing them, absentmindedly leaving the door slightly ajar in their panic.
Inside and down the corridor, a research assistant exited a lab, looking back toward a colleague who was perched behind a microscope. She did not see the zombie approaching her.
“I’ll just crosscheck the specs against…,” she started.
The zombie in the corridor lunged, chomping into the assistant’s throat. Blood spurted and filled the young woman’s eyes as she flailed her arms in terror.
“AAAAAAAAIIIII!!!” she screamed.
Down the hall, the scientists and journalists that were finishing their lunch heard the scream and looked towards the open door with sudden interest. A panicked research scientist, a middle-aged black woman in a lab coat, her hair in long, braided cornrows, ran in from the hallway and screamed into the open doorway of the cafeteria.
“Dr. Schmidt! Something’s happened! The subjects have gotten free of their collars and are attacking!” she hollered.
The woman was tackled from the doorway by a hungry zombie. She screamed as she went down, scrambling helplessly for something to hold as the zombie dragged her away from the entrance and down the hallway, out of sight.
“GAAHH!!” growled the zombie
“IIIEEEE!!!” The woman released her final scream.
Dr. Schmidt’s usual suave composure melted away. His face was the definition of worry and panic.
Marija angrily rose from her seat, knocking her tray to the floor and pointing a finger at Schmidt, enraged.
“I thought you said that this couldn’t happen!” she said accusatorily.
Romero stood and tried to calm everyone, attempting to keep a level head in a very serious situation. The elder doctor held his hands out, trying to bring some order to a situation on the verge of eruption.
“Okay! Do not panic! We’ve planned for this! All staff are to keep survival packs with inflatable rafts in them. There are spares located in the main lab,” Romero explained. “We sound the alarm and everyone will know to evacuate and run for the shore to escape.”
Marija turned and looked at Romero, a glimmer of hope diluting her panic.
“So we run to the lab, get the packs, and run to the shore?” Marija asked hopefully.
“YES!” Romero replied enthusiastically.
A motley crew of scientists, doctors and journalists were soon peeking their heads out of the cafeteria door, cautiously, almost comically, looking to see if it was safe. There was blood and thick, black bodily tissues smeared across the white walls all the way down the corridor, but no zombies in sight.
The whole gang sprang into action sprinting down the hallway toward the nearest exit.
“GO! GO!” Zeb encouraged at full speed.
An angry zombie popped out of a doorway from one of the labs, into the middle of the running pack, scaring them. Marija was at the front, well ahead of the rest. She looked back over her shoulder, but didn’t slow down to make sure her friends were okay.
“RRRRAAHHH!!” the zombie growled.
“EEE!!!!!” Jeremy screamed in fright.
Zeb’s hands wrapped around a fire extinguisher mounted on the corridor wall.
Zeb cracked the zombie across the head with the fire extinguisher, knocking its head clean off, sending an eyeball rolling across the floor tiles and saving everyone.
The zombie’s head sailed through the air and bounced off the floor as the gang continued to run.
When the group made it to the lab, Romero quickly completed the handprint and retinal access and they all poured into the door. As they caught their breath, Romero was already flipping a switch to set off the warning alarm. A blaring pulse attacked the eardrums of every living person on the island. The stout little doctor didn't miss a beat and was already grabbing the survival packs from under a stainless steel work station with Marija following closely behind.
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