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EP10: Charted Unfortune II | Humans and Zombies

< intercomm dialogue >

> Username: Online Chatting <

|| system ||

|| 'AI speaking' ||

' thoughts '

[ Location ]



[Human Region – Zone 5, Search Party Division main office]

"Yes, her name is Hilde Stillwater. I told you, she's been missing for two days now!" Reese explains to the receptionist.

He heard the keyboard clack as she typed.

"We pulled up your missing person's report, and our SP team has labeled it as [Processing]."

"It's been that way since yesterday!"

"There has been an influx of missing people this month, sir. Even with dozens of our Search Party units spread across zones, your girlfriend is not the only missing person they should look for."

Killian stared at Reese wide-eyed and Reese groaned at the mistake.

"She's not my girlfriend, she's a member of my team." he corrects.

The receptionist subtly glanced back at the missing person's report.

"My apologies sir, we really have been processing a lot of these for weeks now."

"And how many have you found?" Reese pressed.

"Sir we would really appreciate your patience—"

Reese slammed his fists on the counter.

"Then just give me a bloody-danged license, I'll search for her myself!"

The receptionist frowned.

"Sir, please calm down or I will call the guards." She threatened.

Reese is furious because Hilde and Killian are his new family.

He's lost so much that he doesn't want to keep losing what he has left.

He takes a deep breath and walks out of the office, still boiling in anger.

Killian follows after him, ignoring the stares of the people in the office.

Because of the rising number of humans in the world, there has been strict laws on jurisdiction.

As a Guisarme, Reese's jurisdiction differs from the Search Party division's jurisdiction.

His task of defending and protect is just the general idea of what he does.

But it does not count on focusing on finding the lost.

That responsibility is given to the Search Party Division and they are doing a poor job at it as far as I know.

I've written articles about them and they surely didn't like me for the truth bombs I've released about their little division.

"Can you believe they even received medals of recognition for their so-called hard work?" Reese hissed.

"Reese, come on. Forget it. They can't help us." Killian tries to calm him down.

To be honest, Killian rarely puts an effort into caring for another person. Let alone side with Reese.

"Let's try your friend again? The guy in the Cyber Department, right?" he tries again.

Reese lifted his head up. "Yeah, the Cyber Department is also in Zone 5."

"Great. Let's go then."

[Human Region – Zone 5, Cyber Department main office]

The Cyber Department is basically a haven for all geeks and nerds together.

Imagine big computers, super processors, multi-monitors, glowing equipment, LED lights are probably the only source of light there.


Of course, the Cyber Department is in charge of everything related to the security protocols and systems of majority of the Zones' structural network.

They are divided into many sub-branches that range from petty hacking crimes to tracking cellphones to big heists.

I won't be able to help myself and hum the Mission Impossible theme song if ever I am invited into their hive.

"Hey Kurt!" Reese greets.

His old pal Kurt Cairus used to be in the Army Salvation with Reese.

After surviving his first mini war experience, Kurt transferred to the Cyber Department, where he can unleash his full potential.

"Reese, what's up, man?"

Kurt stood from his gaming chair and caught Reese's fist.

The two clapped each other's backs and Killian stood behind them, pretending not to see, his eyes lost elsewhere.

"I saw your call the other day. Sorry we were out on this 2-day special training course, full-day, no phones until the end of all sessions."

"Wow, feels like you guys are still studying at the Academy again."

"It's more of an expansion of skills, really." Kurt wanted to brag. "You know how in games you just click that 'level up' button when you have the resources?"

"Yeah?" Reese just acknowledged, but he has no idea what Kurt is talking about.

"It's more hassle in real life. We get the tickets for the training course, we 'level up' by attending."

"What kind of new skill did you just learn?"

"Tracking and Tracing. It was the best class ever." Kurt can still feel the hype from the training course.

Reese and Killian exchanged looks, mentally taking note of how convenient the timing of the training course is.

"Actually, we were wondering if you could help us with that."


Kurt is now seated back to his throne. Behind him stood Reese and Killian with tensed stares.

Kurt could feel their stares like daggers on his back.

He has four monitors in front of him.

One vertical screen on his right, two small screens were above his main monitor.

All screens were flashing different ongoing systems running.

"What's this?" Killian pointed at one of the screens.

"It's the status report of this program I am tasked with surveying for possible loopholes. You know, so hackers won't find any—" Kurt stopped.

He contemplated on his reply. They wouldn't understand his jargon for sure.

"Basically, so hackers can't hack our security systems." He answered simply.

"What about this?" Reese paid attention to a different screen.

"That's a new software I'm developing. That's confidential." Kurt minimizes the program.

"Oh, you're developing a software?" Killian took interest.

"Yes, it's part of our graduation missions before we get the big blue Cyber Dept Badge." Kurt replies. "Like thesis before graduation."

"Oooh, that's harsh."

"And this one?" Reese pointed at the other screen.

Kurt felt like they invaded his privacy.

He minimized all ongoing projects and programs on his screens, so they will stop asking questions.

But Killian found something else to pay attention to.

"Is this a Noctis figurine? It's so glossy. Do you shine them?"

"Guys, stop invading my privacy! Please!" he exclaimed.

Both Killian and Reese raised their hands in surrender before Kurt kicks them out of his hive.

"Can you track this number, then?"

Reese handed over a piece of paper with Hilde's number written on it.

Kurt tried to read the handwriting. "Is that a 9 or an 8?"

"It's a 6."



"Just send me the number instead."

With one click, the text message appeared on Kurt's screen.

His fingers were fast on the keyboard, a program or two opened at once.

Maximizing on one screen and the other taking full reign on his main screen.

The two stared amazed as Kurt number was pasted on a search bar within his green-themed program and a 'Loading' icon appears.

"Whose number is this?" Kurt asked.

"Hilde. She's my team member."

"Second to me." Killian interjects.

"There are no ranks in my team. It's just the two of you." Reese corrected.

"I mean, there could be seniority in a team of two." Killian mumbles.

|| Verifying… ||

|| Identity verified ||

|| Registered number to Hilde Stillwater ||

A pop-up screen with Hilde's basic details appeared on the small screen. "That her?" Kurt asked.

"Yeah, that's her. Where is she?"

With another set of a typing marathon, a series of text and codes started to flash across the screen.

Different programs started to overlap with his previous screens.

All focused on locating Hilde's phone.

Her phone's location was pinpointed in a matter of seconds.

The beauty of technology!

"Her phone is labeled 'Lost' in a Lost and Found station in Zone 7 two days ago." Kurt read from the results.

"Then we start there. Come on." Reese pats Killian in the shoulder.

"Yep, getting the car."

"Thanks Kurt!"

The two were walking towards the exit when there was a static on their intercomms.

<All units in the nearby area, please proceed to Zone 1 immediately.>

<All units under Militia Division gear up. Please proceed to Zone 1 immediately!>

"That's the Cap." Killian recognized.

"Why is it so urgent to go there?" Reese wondered.

"Guys!" Kurt called out.

|| Red Alert! Red Alert! ||

|| 'Code Red on Zone 1. Please summon all nearby units for assistance.' ||

"Why are you getting that notif?" Killian asked.

"Because I'm the guy sending out the PSAs to the Militia, duh!"

Kurt typed again with increased speed, transferring and writing different Code Red messages to distinct divisions.

He connected to the intercomm channel of the units within Zone 1 and he activated the speakers to hear the current discussion exchange.

<We need backup! Fast!>

<Where's the backup?!>

<When will reinforcements come?!>

The sound of desperation in their voices was alarming.

They sounded scared and angry at the same time, like they were backed into a corner.

"Let's go!"


As soon as Reese and Killian arrived at the scene.

It surprised them to see actual zombies caught eating brains and organs red-handed.

Men in Militia uniform were covered in their own blood, lying on the ground lifeless.

Reese could feel his trauma arising, but it's not because of the fire.

It will be because of the bodies that reminded him of his lost friends in the past.

The nearest zombie snarled at them. Killian and Reese backs away.

The zombie was fast on its feet, charging at them and swinging its arm to reach them.

Reese kicks it in the gut, raising his gun as if a warning that he'd shoot.

But the zombie is mindless.

It wouldn't understand it was a warning or that it should fear the gun.

"Shoot it!" Killian shouts when he saw the zombie coming recovering back to its feet.

"Kaddius kill it!"

Reese pulls the trigger a second too late. The zombie reaches for his arm and his aim missed.

He can feel its stiff hands, sticky of blood belonging to his fellow Militia.

Without hesitation, someone else pulls the trigger, shooting a bullseye.

The zombie drops down, its body and limbs still twitching as it fell.

If Ana was paying attention, she'd see that it was gasping for air.

"Ana, wait!"

She didn't wait.

She shot the zombie again and now the body no longer moved, just laid there as lifeless as the bodies it devoured.

"He could be under the Zombie Region's jurisdiction if we hand him over to them."

Reese tried to explain why it was unnecessary to kill it.

"It killed more of ours than a properly-conscious zombie would have done. This one is gone."

Ana reminds him of the case they are both working on.

Not everyone is aware of the lapsing Zombie Evolution phase. But now looks like it might be all over the news.

I mean I would love to cover this juicy news, I'd appear front page if I cover this.

But if it endangers the thin thread of peace between both regions, I wouldn't.

She then locked her gaze on Killian.

"Let's talk about your anonymous friend. I think they're all unaware of what's happening to themselves." She gave him a heads-up.

Reese got worried now that incidents have been piling up, all leading to the possibility of war.

"Whoa Cap! Are you telling me after calling a lot of backup that there is only one zombie in the area?" Killian sounded surprised.

He didn't expect how much of a threat one zombie could be.

He didn't understand why they needed to contact all divisions to get rid of it. Now he knows.

"No, you guys arrived a little late. The action is over." Ana informs them. "We had to deal with a dozen of them."

"A dozen?!"

It was just like what Roxy said. It dawned on him what she meant now.

There couldn't have been a dozen zombies in one location by will.

Not when they have this clean system of splitting up for their own survival.

Someone else is pulling the strings. Could be another zombie with bad intentions or...

"How did they get all the way to Zone 1?" Reese asked.

Like Hilde showed us earlier, it is the most highly guarded and secured Zone among all Zones.

Their security couldn't have missed a dozen of zombies walking around.

Ana leads them to the starting point of the 'attack'.

An abandoned ice cream truck crashed to one of the printing buildings in the Zone.

At the back is where all twelve zombies were kept until the crash.

Belts and ropes that used to bound them were purposely cut.

"Someone left us a trojan horse."


A man is sitting on his chair in the dark, playing a quiz game online on his laptop.

> ZombieVibesZ: I know the answer now! <

> ZombieVibesZ: It's Cyberpunk 2077! <

> Thaddeus_Thomas_6264: I couldn't have known. <

> ShadowLurker69: Congratulations! <

> ZombieVibesZ: I could get featured now! <

> ZombieVibesZ: This is like everyone's drem! <

> ZombieVibesZ: *dream! <

> Thaddeus_Thomas_6264: I will get the next one for sure. <

> ShadowLurker69: See you guys on the next quiz tournament. <

> ShadowLurker69 logged out <

The man closes his laptop and chuckled.

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