Prologue: The Last of Shadow Templars
Date: December 31, 2012
Location: Kerning City
Sergeant Spade squeezed the trigger of is Spas-12 shot gun, releasing a burst of lead pellets towards the incoming horde of zombies. The shell clanged to the floor as he reloaded the weapon; its barrel was still smoking when it made another statement, bringing another one of the undead down. Their disgusting moans stabbed at Spade’s heart, making him re-live his worst nightmares over and over again.
“Spade hold ‘em off!” his communicator screeched demandingly, “We need more time!” Spade screamed an acknowledgement, barely audible over the gunfire, and then pulled the trigger again. They were running out of time.
Spade remembered how this all happened. The virus had meant to be beneficial, stimulating the human senses to react faster, the muscles to grow stronger, and the mind become more potent. They had named it the S-Virus, or the Shadow Virus, for it effectively turned the recipients into deadly assassins newly assigned as Shadows.
But the injections, and training, both mentally and physically, had taken its toll, and countless subjects were dying in the laboratories. They were the lucky ones. The bodies of the ones that survived mutated the virus into a strain seemingly completely independent of the host. It drove the Shadow mad, eventually erasing all human instincts, tuning down all motor skills and logical reasoning, degrading them into zombie-like entities.
Wondering if the scientists were ever going to perfect the drug, or destroy the entire goddam test in one fell sweep, Spade decapitated another zombie. The hordes were endless, and in the back of his mind, Spade had a dreadful feeling that he would not get out of this alive.
“Spade, we’re almost done!” the communicator crackled again. The voice behind the earpiece shook with exhaustion, “Retreat to the extraction point! We’re gonna blow this joint!”
Spade plugged his last zombie with a head-full of lead and whipped around, taking off down the street in full speed. His dusty gray combat boots reverberated off of the close Kerning City buildings. The city had become a ghost town. As the Shadows mutated, they infected everyone around with a single bite or contact with bodily liquids. The entire city was overrun with the undead, and Spade was the only one left with a brain still functioning at normal capacity.
“Jes! I’m coming,” Spade panted as he reloaded his shotgun, “ETA, five minutes.”
“Where’s everyone else?” Jes replied through the communicator, his voice sounding eerily chilled.
“They’re all dead,” Spade gasped as he rounded the corner towards the outskirts of the city, “We got ambushed in Sector 4 near the Fusion Bar. Fleo was dragged away while we were retreating towards the subway, and Darkwar got hit with a face-full of acid. We had to kill him before he turned just like them.” Spade saw the end of the row of buildings and broke into the homestretch; his legs churned faster and faster as he brought more distance between him and the zombies.
Suddenly, something collided with his side, sending Spade sprawling to the ground. Whipping around, he found himself face to face with the demented countenance of a zombie. Hastily, he brought the butt-end of his shotgun across, breaking the zombie’s cheekbone. Scrambling up, he quickly blew the things head off, sending a spray of crimson and green into the air, staining the concrete ground a putrid hue.
The moans echoed closer and closer, beckoning Spade to join their undead league. He turned; the convoy was there already, preparing to evacuate him with open arms. Suppressing the urge to shout out in joy, Spade made a break for it.
Cool wind blew across his face, licking at the sweat pouring down his neck. The stench of the undead made him want to puke, but Spade persisted, ignoring all mortal instincts. He had one objective left, and that was to get the hell out of here. He could almost taste the hot shower that awaited him when their convoy reached New Leaf City. The hot meal and a nice comfortable bunk to sleep on. Nostalgia crept over him, and it was perhaps this feeling that made him ignorant to all else that moved until it was too late.
They were on top of him, jumping down from the second story windows, sending shards of glass down to the ground. Giving a scream of terror, Spade tried to keep the zombies off, but they kept raining down on him like Cellions and Hectors. He felt a searing pain tear through his leg, and knew he was a goner. Tilting his head up, he could see the zombies overtake the convoy as they so mistakenly waited for him. Spade saw an explosion rock the air, and then a foot stepped in front of him, blocking his view of the massacre.
His heart raced as images of his life flashed before his eyes. The pain was gone now, and the world seemed to become increasingly brighter by the moment. Then, the foot rose up and smashed down on his head. He heard a terrible crunch, then felt nothing more.
Date: January 13, 2013
Location: Kerning City
The communicator crackled, and a strident voice pierced his eardrums, “Are you there? Did you reach the drop zone?”
Dee, a Shadow, replied in a hushed voice, “I’m on site. I’m going in.” He shut the communicator off and proceeded forwards, his mind scoping out any and all life forms in his general vicinity.
The zombies had almost overrun the entirety of Victoria Island, but just days ago, Orbisian scientists were able to perfect their antidote to the rogue virus. They quickly injected all of the remaining Shadows left with this inoculation. The effectiveness proved to be the savior of mankind. The last of these new Shadows, the Shadow Templars, were set to kill all of the remaining zombies, to rid the world from devastation.
Now, Dee strode forwards casually, the neurostim treatment he had just injected into himself coursing through his bloodstream, expanding his mind’s potency. One of the newly determined MP-11’s, he was able to kill, though with some strain to his brain, with his mind. But his mental shock did not worry him, for the zombies’ brainwaves functioned at such a low frequency that they were no more intelligent than an Orange Mushroom or an Axe Stump.
Then, he felt them, cowering in the shadows, waiting for the sun to set so they could commence their nocturnal activities. Dee was determined for all of that to end tonight. Concentrating with all of his might, he unleashed a mental shockwave through the city. Instantly, he could feel thousands of the undeads’ brain activities plummet down to nothingness.
He continued on, the quiet road taunting him with a false sense of security. A gust of wind blew through the street, carrying dead maple leaves with it in swirls of orange and red. It seemed like something out of a horror movie, the deep breath before the plunge.
Then, without warning, he felt a blast of energy force its way into his skull. Collapsing to the ground, he clawed at his head, trying to rid his mind of the sudden cerebral attack.
All Clear. Dee, you alright? A voice echoed within the depths of Dee’s mind. He felt foolish; Dee had walked right into the mind range one of his fellow shadows, and had gotten the residuals of his own blast.
Yea, I’m fine, sorry, Dee thought back. The city was finally clear of zombies. It was ready, at last, for the families to come back and repopulate. But as he looked around, he noticed there was barely anything left of the city left for humans to live in. The infrastructure had crumbled within the month of infestation. Most, if not all of the buildings were crumbling to the ground due to the violence of the zombies. It seemed like the middle of a warzone.
Yet, the world was relieved of the zombie takeover. Dee felt a rush of pride in his heart as the other Shadow came out of the shadows. They greeted each other with a congratulatory handshake.
“It’s finally over huh?” The Shadow remarked as he too scanned the city skyline.
“Yea, we’ve only regressed a couple of decades,” Dee scoffed as he kicked a pebble away into the distance.
“Actually, I’m not so sure,” the Shadow replied in an unusual tone. Dee frowned in confusion and turned towards his comrade. Suddenly, his eyes dilated in horror. In the back of his mind, he cursed those brainless scientist who had claimed the antidote was foolproof. A pang of fear and trepidation coursed through his already-stimulated veins.
The Shadow’s pupils were star-shaped and fully dilated. He wore a wicked grin on his face; his teeth were already elongating into fangs. Without hesitation, he lunged forwards; Dee felt the Shadow’s teeth sink deep into his neck.