“Okay, Sarah. How do you feel?” Malcolm asked her.
“Feel? I feel…numb. Where am I? Was there an accident.”
It was going to be one of those days. Malcolm grimaced. Patients as old as Sarah often came back with memory impairment. She had been stuck inside an attic since almost the start of the outbreak and zombies in isolation for that period of time were usually write off – put down without any effort to revive them to full cognizant. At the very least their memories were impaired, at the most no matter how much revitalizing biologicals they were given they would not improve. Except for <##NAME##>, he had a way with bringing long isolated dead back fully. But <##NAME##> had disappeared. Officially he was up north, in Washington or Canada, still working for the United States to counteract the threat from Asia. But that story lost its legitimacy long ago. Where the fuck are you <##NAME##>?
“There was an incident, Sarah. Something tragic happened, however you are okay now. You’re in a safe place and all your family is alive and well. You can probably figure out where they are, if you think about it.”
“Yes. Good, they are at home, resting and hoping you recover. Can you remember their names?” She hadn’t before.
“Max, my husband. Nick. Jessica. My mom and my dad…they have that place up in the mountains. My dad is always complaining about the taxes there, says the casinos ruined everything.” Sarah laughed, “He is a land millionaire, if he ever wanted to sell. I think he will in a year or two. He’ll probably move to North Park, as to Wyoming if my mom lets him.”
Malcolm didn’t know if any of this was valid, patients tended to forget things, especially any traumatic events, like the death of a loved one or how they had died. Worse their memories of what was and what wasn’t changed all the time. Scientifically Malcolm couldn’t explain it. Then again, I died years ago and if there is any science behind me becoming a zombie I have yet to see it. His own situation was almost enough to drive Malcolm to faith. Lord knows the Church of Jesus Christ, Zombie had been trying to convince me long enough. Every age had its cults and the outbreak had spawned tens of thousands of them.
“It is so much more difficult for people your parents age to roll with the punches. What about Max? Is he getting inflexible as you grow older?”
“Max? No, I mean he likes what he likes, but he doesn’t give much thought to… To. Where am I?”
“You’re in a recovery facility and we are talking about your husband Max. I wanted to know how you and he are getting along.”
“Why?” Sarah looked at Malcolm, her eyes very focused. It was slightly unnerving.
“I am your doctor, Sarah. Please don’t be upset, I am trying to assess your situation and help you recover. Part of this involves talking to you, seeing how you feel about things that have happened in the past and things that are going on now.”
“I think you want Max.”
Malcolm felt a chill run down his back. He immediately started to shut Sarah down, trying to put her back into a state of unconsciousness. He felt a resistance, a struggle against his efforts. This wasn’t unusual, Sarah wasn’t from his bloodline, even though she was far weaker than he, she could and did resist him every time he did this.
“Sarah, I think it’s best if you rest for a while. I didn’t mean to antagonize you and I don’t feel this is conducive to your recovery.”
“No. I don’t want to go back to sleep. And I think you are using me. I remember you. How long have I been here?”
“You only just arrived.”
“How long?” Sarah demanded.
Malcolm felt a weight behind her voice; an unnatural compulsion, like when one of his ‘makers’ ordered him to do something he didn’t want to do. “No. I am not doing this. I can answer your questions, but I will not be forced by you to tell you things that you are not ready to know.”
Sarah’s eyes went blank, returning to the near opaque haze of a freshly made zombie, which she no longer was.
What is going on? Malcolm only hesitated for a moment before surging into Sarah’s mind and putting her under, shutting off what he thought of as outside influence. I need to contact Parker, we need to find <##NAME##>.