It's been 10 years since my brother died.

Five years ago, we had the worst outbreak, nearly a third of the world, dead, undead, dead again (hopefully for good). I study them now. I dissect their bodies and tissue and cells like aliens. Try to find cures, treatments, weapons...
By the time they get to me they've died twice, and their tissue is almost goo. I had an undead sample once, and I still have nightmares about the night I had to re-kill her. But she gave me some ground breaking info. Some my supervisor told me to forget.
Their DNA isn't quite human by about 24 hours after becoming undead. And it continues to change as the human  part of them decays.
Also, they get smarter, and I've all but verified it by reports and stories every where from the books of the police to hospital reports to civilian accounts on-line. They don't learn quickly, but it's enough to notice. My subject learned to walk on all fours within 48 hours, two feet by the fourth day. One of the strangest things I noticed was that her eyes were unresponsive, she had no life signs except for on the cellular level, and she didn't need to eat or drink for over a week. Then, all of a sudden, it was like she wasn't looking through me or toward me anymore, but she was looking at me. So, I checked her reflexes again, and, amazingly enough, she was using her eyes, seeing through them.
The next day, she had a pulse, and two days after that she began eating. She tried to eat the coverings on the bunk in her isolation chamber, but her teeth were pulling out. So I tried feeding her different vital human foods, and she would take a bite or two, but wasn't able to digest anything. I tried every food available that humans could eat: fruit, veggies, breads, rice, noodles, cooked meats, everything. I didn't want to accept the possibility that she was going to be like the undead zombies in old movies and eat human flesh, but she was getting weak and I didn't want to lose my only almost live subject, so I started giving her raw meats. She was able to digest fowl, but didn't seem to like it, quit eating it after a while. I tried pork and beef, and finally settled on a rotating diet of the three, so that she wouldn't get tired of them and starve herself.

I studied her for twelve hours a day for nearly two months. I watched her skin deteriorate, I watched her cells change and it is my belief that finally she, no, it, became self-aware. It wasn't a woman anymore, its features were distorted and its hair was rotting off. One day I came into the lab, turned on the lights, and it was just standing at the window of the isolation chamber. There was half a bloody chicken lying by its feet.
It looked at me, slack-jawed, the whole time I was taking off my jacket and putting on my protective gear. Every time I changed task, it would tilt its head to the other side.
Finally, I walked up to the glass, tried to figure out what was happening to it. It raised a nail-less finger to the plexiglass and tapped....
It tapped slowly at first, with a definite rhythm, gradually speeding up, then suddenly, it stopped. finger in mid air, and it opened its mouth, only two teeth left now, and it made a face that looked almost like a smile.
That was the day I had to kill it.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! So interesting that she has a live zombie there and she's able to do all these test!