The noise was getting worse. It couldn't be shut out anymore and it was driving her crazy. Slowly she made her way through the building. ‘How did I get here?’ she wondered, ahead she saw a zombie shamble into view, not a smart one, a slow moving, half demolished piece of a man that had suffered as she had when the building came down around her. ‘Katie, my name is Katie.’ She held onto that thought as she ducked into yet another office inside the crumpled building. The ringing in her ears had subsided to a low whine. Looking around the office she thought, ‘Good, this one isn't open to the air at least.’
The last office she had taken shelter in was missing the back wall, she had been forced to stay in it for almost a day, waiting for the zombies wandering the building to go away. This particular office was very large, but still had the look of being for one person, there was another door out of it too. Katie pushed a well-designed leather chair over in front of the door she had come through and then hastily moved to the other door to leave.
‘A fucking bathroom?’ she stared in dismay at the shower, toilet and sink that the door revealed. The windows of the office allowed in enough light that she could see her reflection in the mirror. She approached it slowly, warily, like a wild animal approaches food held out for them in a human's hand. ‘I am a mess.’
Her reflection was not kind to her; she was coated in grime and blood. The cuts on her head had bled down upon the rest of her body and then become a sticky residue to which the dust of the exploding buildings had adhered to willingly. It looked, and felt, like parts of her body were coated in a quarter inch of the bloody grime. She was naked. That disturbed her.
She didn't remember anything after being picked up by the zombie on the top of the building, just the sound of the first explosion hitting and then....nothing. Katie woke up inside an office, the door was locked and barricaded from the inside and she regained consciousness lying on the thin office building carpet under a desk. Stark naked, no water, no food, no weapons. Even her army boots were missing, whatever had blown those off of her had to have gone off quite close, yet for the most part her injuries were superficial. Something was missing though. Some sort of gap in her memory, she seemed to recall bits and pieces of it when she slept. Firing at the zombies that had come out of the Art Institute, she remembered killing them, then the bombs fell and....’What?’ Just fragments, little puzzle pieces of seemingly different images all mixed up and thrown into one box.
Shaking her head Katie stepped forward and closed the valve on the sink, then turned the water on. Water drained from the pipe and pooled in the sink basin. There were actual towels here, hand towels, not paper towels and she dipped one into the water and used it to started cleaning off her face. The taste of blood in her mouth was strong and when she stuck out her tongue she saw deep gashes from where she had bitten it. ‘Lucky I didn't gnaw it off in the confusion.’
The water cut off when the sink was about halfway full, but she thought that would be more than enough to get the outer layer of grime off. Katie worked for about half an hour, until the water was too much like mud to do any more cleaning, then stared in the mirror at what she saw.
‘Skinny little bitch. No broken bones, no major cuts, just a few bruises and my half bitten off tongue. Pretty goddamned good for having a building drop on top of you.’ Of course there was all the dust she was breathing in, that couldn't be good for her lungs. The cuts on her head appeared superficial as well, they were not bleeding anymore. The blood had coagulated enough with the dust to form a kind of cement that stopped the bleeding. Rummaging around beneath the sink she came up with an unexpected surprise, there was a man's duffel bag there, with shorts, a t-shirt and running shoes. ‘It's always a dude. The corner office never belongs to a woman.’
The shorts were too loose, the shirt hung down to her knees and the shoes reminded her of the circus she and Randy had gone to on one of their unofficial dates. Randy. Katie leaned backwards, her bare ass pressing the thin material of the cotton t-shirt against the porcelain sink. ‘Randy is dead.’
She couldn't cry. She had no tears left in her. It was the zombies that did this, the stupid, evil zombies that were the reason their lives had all come crashing down in only three weeks’ time. ‘I'll kill them all.’
It was a foolish notion, but for some reason it gave her great satisfaction thinking about it. ‘Every fucking zombie that gets in my way. I need a gun.’
First things first, she set about tying the clown shoes to her feet, too big or not they would protect her from the broken glass and the sharp pieces of concrete and metal that littered the broken building.
Moving back into the main office Katie looked at her options for weapons, the desk drawers provided nothing useful at all, just pencils, computer software books and reams of drawings. This was supposed to be an Architecture firm so the drawing supplies were probably normal, even if they did most design on computers these days. She finally settled on breaking apart a small table near one of the massive windows. Broken down the table yielded four hefty clubs, which Katie harvested. She knew if she had to take on the hordes of zombies with only clubs for weapons she would not get very far, but hopefully these would allow her to escape the building and find better weapons. Moving the leather chair away from the door she opened it and was not surprise to find a slow zombie standing there stupidly gawking at her.
Poking it backwards with her club she clown-stepped out into the reception area and gave it an overhand swing to the head. The blow dropped it to its knees, but didn't finish it off. The zombie looked like he had been dressed for a night on the town, his white silk shirt was bloody, torn and almost as coated with grime as Katie had been a half hour before. His mustached mouth made an 'o' shape as Katie's club slammed into his head against his left ear. Her follow up blow on the other side finally finished him off and Katie stood there for a moment to relish her first victory over the zombies since she had regained consciousness. Running and hiding had their place and she was going to make sure to keep a low profile, but fighting felt too damned good and right now she was angry enough to defeat a zombie or two in close combat.
‘I will kill them all, as many as I can. I will find them, hunt down their leaders and kill them.’