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EP3: Duty Calls I | Humans and Zombies

< intercomm dialogue >

' thoughts '

[ Location ]


[Human Region – Zone 3, Commanding Office]

Reese is in his cubicle desk doing the dreaded paperwork no one liked doing. Brows furrowed, eyes focused on double checking his report.

Let's be honest, no one likes doing reports after we finish any sort of event.

"Team lead," Hilde calls from behind him.

"Hm?" eyes still glued to rereading his report.

"Reese." Hilde called again in a more serious tone.

"What?" he turns finally.

Hilde steps aside to give way to Reese's commanding officer, Ana Cieveros.

She's almost as tall as him but probably that's the black boots she always wore.

Black leather is her signature outfit.

With smooth long black hair and dark-tinted shades, you can bet she rides the big bike kind!

…but no, you bet wrong.

"Captain Cieveros." Reese was startled, standing up to salute her but she pushes him back down.

"The survivors you rescued. Did you notice what one of them was?"

Reese glanced over at Hilde whose eyes widened, whistling low-key and walks away innocently, pretending she had somewhere to be.

The first thing in mind was the last runner. "One of them is a zombie." He answers.

"He's dead." Ana stated, no feelings, no compassion.

The Guisarme sat straight, alarmed at her words. "Dead? I mean… they are technically really dead." He reminds her.

"He's dead-dead. No heartbeat."

"They really don't have a heartbeat." Reese tells her.

"No oxygen, no brain activity, no blood flowing—you know—DEAD." Ana sputtered.

Sometimes it's frustrating to describe them because they are relatively close to the description of a dead person.

Reese raised his brow. "How?"

'The salvage-and-rescue mission was just two days ago, how could that zombie have died?' Reese thought to himself.

"He tackled one of the survivors, doing his zombie thing." Ana said vaguely.

Reese crosses his arms, waiting for more information.

"You know, chomping down the organs—" Ana scoffs, shaking her head, "—I'll save you the gory details, Kaddius."

She placed both hands on the opposite armrests of Reese's office chair, leaning close to see him eye to eye.

"The General thinks the 'Zombie Evolution' phase is expiring. That they are reverting back to being mindless."

"Just because of this one incident?" Reese questioned.

"Do you have any idea how big their population is on the other side of that wall?" she countered.

Reese understood her point. Two regions.

Half of the world population are zombies and if they are reverting to being mindless... that would be catastrophic.

Creases form in his forehead at the thought of it. "How many did he hurt?"

Ana pulls away now, leaning on the cubicle divider. "Just the man next to him that he tackled."

She watched his expression closely.

As his C.O., she is familiar with his three common facial expressions. Anger. Fear. Arrogance.

This one falls under anger with a mix of guilt.

"I'm telling you this because the General wants to expand the team working the case." Ana says

She hoped her voice would snap him out of playing the self-blame game.

"We kept this under wraps for 6 months now and we haven't made much progress. We're recruiting three more teams into this operation. Your team included." She added.

Reese looks up at her. "When do we start?"

Ana smirked, she felt victorious to see him withdraw of the guilt game he's losing in.

"Briefing starts tonight. Z3, Sub-Zone 66. We have a hideout in the area."

She walks out of his mini office to get back to work.

After a couple of seconds, Hilde pops her head up from the divider, checking if Ana was out of earshot.

Hilde watched until Ana was out the door before she turns back to her team leader.

"Was that a memo? She's not in the human resource department."

"Zombie issue." Reese neatly places his report in a folder. "We're tasked to investigate a case."

"Finally! We get to do more than scouting and patrolling."

Reese chuckled at her enthusiasm.

He understands that because they haven't exactly done much field work with the number of employees that wants to do something too.

Patrol shifts were shorter, scouting teams wave at each other at every hour with how many they are.

He writes on a sticky note and stands up, his report in his hand.

He gives the sticky note to Hilde.

"Bring Killian there tonight. I have a report and an evaluation coming so I might forget."

Hilde snatches the yellow note. "You got it, team lead!"


[Human Region – Zone 4, Militia Housing, F4R11 – Killian's apartment]

"My name is Killian Rivers, my home zone is Zone 46, Sub-Zone 101, I am—"

"Geez brother! That is so tense!" Killian's twin brother exclaimed.

Bel was sitting on the couch, feet on the table and a newspaper covering his face while Killian stood in front of a mirror dressed formally.

Despite being a year apart, the two looked very similar.

Even I would mistake Bel being Killian sometimes. So Bel changed his style to not confuse people.

He has a more rugged, bad boy look, an opposite of how Killian would present himself.

"It's a get-together party, not a job interview. Lighten up." Bel tells his brother, his grin wide, an attempt to hold his laughter.

"I don't want to go." Killian says, staring at himself in the mirror.

His tux was neatly ironed. His tie done properly.

"You promised mom."

"I can tell her something came up." Killian loosened his tie. "I… I can't do this."

It was one of the things he's had an issue with. He's not a social person.

Most of the time I do the talking to cover up for him.

Or Hilde covers for him at work.

Or Bel does with their family.

Like he always needed a spokesperson to socialize.

"Hey come on, mom is super proud of you."

Bel puts the newspaper down so he can see his brother.

"Being part of the Militia and doing chivalrous things… it's more than what I achieved, little bro."

"I know that."

"So, what's the problem?"

Killian sits down on the longer couch facing his brother. "There's no—there's no problem. I'm just not a people-person."

"You just said the problem."

"It's not—"

"But you—"

"BELLAMY!" Killian raised his voice, Bel shut his mouth and silence was heavy in the air.

No one spoke or dared break the silence that thickened between them.

Except Killian's slashing ringtone with matching grunting and blood spatter sounds.

It is a disturbing ringtone to be honest.

"You still haven't changed your ringtone of death?" Bel wanted to restart the conversation.

"It's a text, it's a shorter version."

Killian checked his phone, and he grinned at Hilde's message. Bel noticed his mischievous grin was stuck there.

"Uh-huh, I know that grin. What, someone died?"

"I have the excuse not to be in tonight's party!"

He happily goes back to his room to get changed. Bel shakes his head, chuckling.

It was a challenge for him and I to drag Killian to a crowded place for social purposes after all.

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