TO SERVE AND PROTECT
All was quiet in the squad car. Officer Rick Daniels and James Karlson sat eating their burgers while watching traffic
pass through the windshield. It was a nice day, the sun was shining for the first time in a week, people walked the streets
without taking notice to anything that didn't concern their own lives. Low crunches emitted into the squad car as each officer
took a bite of their own lunch. James sighed after swallowing a large section of his burger, "What time is it?"
he said lazily, his gaze still was glued on the Corner store across the street. Rick looked up in surprise at the sudden interuption
of his eating, "Uhm," he started as he dropped his burger and pulled back his sleeve and examined the moving hands
of his Golden watch, "It's One thirty-six, why?" James looked down at his food and remained quiet for a moment before
responding, "We've gotta get back on patrol, hurry it up." Rick frowned and tossed the remainder of his burger and
fries out of the window and started the vehichle, "You gonna toss that?" Rick said looking at the food it James'
lap. "Yeah, gimme a minute." James replied then rolled down his window and threw the chicken burger and onion rings
onto the ground. Rick nearly started backing out of the office building parking lot when the radio echoed into the car, "All
units we have a domestic disturbace on Cynthia Drive, please respond." James smirked and nodded to Rick, "Go on,
Richard." Rick chuckled softly before picking up the radio and responding to the call, "This is unit 419, we're
inbound, code three." Rick backed out of the lot and turned on the car lights, "Just a walk in the park." James
said just before Rick peeled out into the street and sped toward Interstate twenty-four.
As the car pulled up to the street, the two officers knew something was wrong. Two police cars sat in the middle of the
street, both abandoned and drenched with blood. "Holy shit," Rick said staring at the street, "Whatever happened
here ended quick." James opened his door and stepped out of the car, "Call for backup." Were the words that
ended the good mood they'd both had going before hand. Rick lifted the radio and began the call, "Unit 419 to dispatch.."
James walked to the patrol cars and looked inside, nothing. He turned from the car and looked at the surrounding houses, "Rick!
Get an ambulance down here, now!" Rick's head shot up to see James running over to an officer lying face down on a porch,
"Shit! Unit 419 to dispatch, we need additional units and medical assistance! Officer down!" Rick dropped the radio
and opened his car door then began sprinting over to the wounded Officers' side. "He's got an injury to the jugular vein."
James said softly as he examined the wound on the Officer's neck. Rick lifted his hat from his head, "Knife?" James
shook his head, "Bite. Someone bit him." Rick removed his pistol and flashlight then stepped inside the home, "Police!
Come out, now!" He shouted, but no one responded. Rick slowly entered the home.
Blood was smeared everywhere. Rick lifted the light and moved slowly into the nearest doorway. He was nervous, the sweat
on his forehead proved it. As he entered the room he glanced around and made the assumption this was the living room. The
dark rooms were only illuminated by the flashlight and the open front door, all the windows had their shades drawn. Rick shone
the light around the small room, a couch, television, and a piano. The muscular officer's veins in his arms and neck were
huge as he prepared to look over the couch. Stepping quickly from the side, he gasped at the horrid sight. A mutilated body
lie on the ground motionless, it's face torn by force and sections of it's skull shone in the dim light. "James, we got
a body in here!" There was no reply. Rick backed slowly away from the corpse and back outside to where his partner and
the wounded officer was, but both were gone. "James?!" Rick shouted into the empty neighborhood, still no reply.
Rick turned back around in the doorway and was left stunned by the sight of the former corpse now moving to him. Rick lifted
his pistol and directed it's barrel at the leg of the corpse, "Stop!" His words echoed into the home but seemed
to have no effect on the person. His aim diverted to the kneecap of the approaching enemy.
A gunshot rang out into the open as James looked up from the scattered ammunition casings spread across the street. He
removes his own Beretta and rushed back to the home, "Rick!" James shouted as he reached the front porch, but was
soon halted by the sight of his partner sitting over a corpse. "Jesus christ, what happened to-" James started but
was interupted by Rick's sobbing. James was amazed, in four years of working with Rick he'd never seen him cry. "Jimmy,
it was dead! It was dead! I saw it!" Rick moaned over his sobs. James bit his lower lip and walked to Rick's side, "What
happened?". Rick looked up to James with tears flooding his eyes, "It was dead, it's face was practically torn off!
It started to walk towards me.. I shot it in the knee-" Rick stopped and regained his breath, "It kept coming! It
tried to gnaw my fucking face off, so I shot it in the face, I didn't want to, but I had no choice!" Rick leaned forward
and clasped his hands over his eyes. James stared at the body, "Come on, Rick." He said pulling his partner from
the body and to the car.
Rick stopped and James was jerked back, "What is it, Daniels?". Richard was staring at where the wounded cop
had been. "Where is he?" Rick looked at James. "I-," James was just as shocked, "I don't know.. I
left to go check the rest of the street, but no one else is here.. and I nearly slipped on a load of nine-milimeter rounds.
I forgot about him.." James turned back to the front yard and stared at the advancing crowd of people. Each of them had
missing sections of flesh, torn clothes, and their arms stretched out as if trying to grab the two men. "Jesus.."
James said before looking back at Rick. "They're.. not human." Rick said as he escaped from James's grip and ran
back inside for his pistol. James stood on the porch unable to move, "Get back!" He managed to say as he lifted
his Beretta. Rick ran out the door beside James and watched as each of the people shuffled slowly toward them, "It can't
be.." James said staring. Rick lifted his Glock and fired crazily into the crowd, "Die you bastards!" He shouted
while firing. Three, four, five, all rounds hit the advancing hoarde but had no effect. They kept coming.Rick dropped the
empty magazine and reached for another, "I told you they aren't human!" James broke his trance and looked back into
the house, "Rick, we've gotta get out of here. Get in the house!" Rick nodded as he cocked back the chamber of his
Glock and ran inside the home. James followed without further hesitation. Slamming the door behind them, James ran to the
first window he saw and drew the drapes away. He stared for a moment as two additional squad cars rushed over and slid to
a screeching halt. Two men exited each car, James noticed each of them. Anthony Thompson, Carl Anderson, Michael Barns, and
Gary Timber. Each had their firearms already drawn and firing into the crowd, "Do they know already?" Rick said
watching quietly beside James. "I don't know, but they can't hold all of them." James looked to Rick, his face was
cleared up and he was already wearing that smirk that indicated he was in the mood for some action, "Let's do this."
He said calmly. The crowd of cannibals was now walking to the four officers, so they could easily run out and support them.
Rick drew his leg back then sent it flying into the door. It flew open, and they took off running outside of the house. James
spun around as they hopped the fence and reached the open street and fired at the nearest man.
Bullets tore into a fat gut but again had no effect, James cursed the failure and turned continue his run. Rick was already
not more than five feet from the two squad cars while James was atleast ten due to his attempt to slow the enemy down. James
stared forward as Rick reached the cars and removed the Benelli shotgun from inside and mounted it on the door. He directed
it's barrel right on James, "Get down!" Echoed into the street. James threw himself forward and forced himself to
lie still on the ground. Rick pulled back on the trigger with ease, the kick not doing much to his muscular figure. The zombified
man fell, James took the time to glance back at it before he stood; it was the wounded officer from the porch. Scrambling
to his feet, James sprinted as fast as he could to the cars and finally reached them. "What's going on?!" James
was shouting over the constant gunfire that rang into the once peaceful neighborhood. Gary slid a fresh magazine into his
Beretta and turned to James, "Jimmy, the whole city is in chaos! People are just eating eachother, it's a damn warzone!"
Rick fired again, the shotgun pellets piercing the head of a zombie attempting to crawl to them. "Let's get out of here!"
Rick shouted and the gunfire ceased. Each of the officers got into one of the two cars and backed out of the neighborhood
As they were driving, Rick pressed his head against the window and closed his eyes. James on the other hand was staring
out at the flames or burning buildings in the distance and various blockades they passed by. Michael was driving the car that
Rick and James were in, and the other two officers in the other car were following close behind them. "Like I said,"
Gary started, "A fucking warzone. The military's even been called in. We have tanks driving up and down streets, choppers
everywhere, and military barricades left and right. Us police officers are to report to the station and set up a base of operations
for the Marine Corp." Rick slid his Glock into his holster and pushed the Benelli off his lap, "And after we've
done that?" He questioned. "We are going to get a resistance of surviving civillians set up." James moaned
in frustration then spoke in an annoyed tone, "What the hell happened? Everything was fine not two hours ago." Michael
spoke this time, "They came from the woods, all from the woods. The other six guys I was with at the diner when the called
us down on a, quote me here.. Domestic Disturbance. That bullshit got them all killed." Michael wasn't too emotional,
but he was pissed off and you could tell.
The two cars exited the Freeway and sped to the Police Department, they arrived to a battlefield. Officers and civillians
were being dragged into the sandbag barricades. It was the beginning of Hell on Earth.Ryan Hebner sat in the department briefing
room. "This can't be happening," he thought to himself over and over. His SigPro handgun seemed to taunt him, he
was on the verge of becoming insane. Dropping the bottle of whisky to the ground, he closed his eyes as if trying to wake
up from a bad dream. Rick and James walked in and Ryan quickly opened his eyes and stood. Rick quirked an eyebrow at the officer
and stared at the weapon he'd pointed in their direction. "Get the hell away!" Ryan shouted into the deserted conference
room. James stepped forward, "Look Ryan, we're not here to-" He was cut off by the booming voice of Rick. "Look
you pathetic fuck, put the damn gun down before I have to do it for you!" James flinched at the sudden outburst and looked
to Ryan. He lowered the weapon and fell back into the chair, "They killed my wife.." the drunken officer said in
a slurred voice. Rick sighed and fell onto the bench next to the door. James went to a window and stared out, it would soon
"Jesus, Rick, come look at this." Rick moved over to James and looked out the window. "The military,"
James said with a hint of excitment in his voice. Rows of twenty men with chemical masks marched through the streets, they
were armed with automatic rifles; M4A1's. Two tanks ripped the pavement away from the road, four transport trucks followed
close behind them. James sighed with relief, "We'll be okay.." James looked away from the window and to Ryan to
check on him, he'd passed out. Moving away from the window and over to Ryan's side James was examining him for wounds of any
kind. "Holy shit." The voice of Rick shot into the room and startled James. "God damnit, Rick! What is it?"
James shouted at his partner. Rick pushed from the window and frowned, "Look for yourself." James lifted himself
from Ryan's side and walked to the window. "Oh my god.."The military was fighting and losing. James stared out the
window, his hope ripped to shreads by the massacre of the soldier. Gunfire rattled into the streets; Automatic rifles chattered
while the men ran back to the barricade set up on the Overpass leading Downtown. "No, that can't be happening.."
James muttered while watching the convoy soon speed out infront of the soldiers and hit zombies against their hoods and windshield.
The tank had already began to fire it's fifty caliber machinegun above the turret and was mowing down most of the crumpled
corpses, but they kept coming. "Give it up, Jim. The military are just as screwed as us. We aren't going no where."
Rick spat out with a hint of sarcasm. James ignored the attempt to lighten the mood and groaned, "No.." A loud sound
of a cannon rung into the hot air and the ground shook. The tank fired a round directly into the center of twenty zombies.
Limbs flew from the living corpses and carnage filled the street. James could not bear to look anymore so he turned to Rick
who was slouched beside Ryan. Rick rubbed his eyes and spoke calmly, "He's out. Won't be up for awhile." James nodded
and opened the conference room door. It would be night soon, and the city would be visible from a thousand miles away.
Captain Rico Mendez walked into the armory where the S.W.A.T. officers were mounting equipment on their vests. "You
fellas almost ready?" Rico managed to say with a low tone of voice followed by the calming sound of the Generators powering
the station. S.W.A.T. commander Dylan Williams nodded, "Oh yeah, we're ready.. These bastards won't know what hit them."
The Captain nodded giving the S.W.A.T. Commander's words some trust, "Good. We don't want the military to know about
this, so keep it quiet." And with those final words, he turned on the ball of his foot and walked out of the large room.
James pushed the oak door out of his path and moved into the evidence room. Slowly walking to one of the small lockers
on the east side of the wall James shredded all his pride and began to sob quietly as he fell against it. James buried his
head into his knees, "Why God.." He spoke softly into the emptiness of the dark room. He took a few minutes to peice
together his nerves and recovered from the break down. Wiping tears for his eyes, he lifted his small figure from the ground
and groaned; Rico Mendez walked into the room, his cold stare focusing on the direction of the groans. Rico hesitated, "Who's
there?!" The sound of his Revolver being removed from his holster threw a hostile demand to know who was in the room
to James. Rico pressed his thumb on the hammer; the revolvers chamber rotated and placed a bullet in front of the chrome hammer.
James knew the sound and immediatley spoke, "I'm a cop, relax!" His voice sounded off without respect, and Rico
The Captain placed the hammer back against the weapon slowly and holstered the revolver, "Who are you?" His
usual firm tone and voice gave James an idea of who he was speaking to. "Sergeant James, I'm guessing you're the famous
Captain Rico Mendez? Commander of the S.W.A.T. Team?" Rico chuckled softly and replied in a humored voice, "You've
done your homework, Sergeant. You might just be too smart for your own good." Rico moved around the corner and focused
his grey eyes on James, "And since you know my reputation, you must have one, Sergeant." James locked his green
eyes on the gray craters of pure terror as they came around the corner of the lockers; He sighed and nodded, "Do I really
need to tell you my reputation? Or do you already know?" Rico smirked and replied without hesitation, "Isn't it
obvious I already know who you are and what you did two years ago in May?" James was frightened and astonished at the
complex look over the Captains face; He replied in a slow studder, "W- Who are you?" The Captain grinned and seemed
to be quite pleased with himself, "As you so accuratley put, do I have to tell you? Or do you already know?"Lewis
sat on the inside of the large UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter checking over the mission data on his small laptop. He was the silent
type of person; he always seemed to be more concentrated on his duties as a national guardsmen other than his own life. Perhaps
it was his life, muscular structure and patients with everything made it seem so. After all, he did act like his brother,
Joseph. Lifting his fingers from the keys on his small computer, he placed his fingers between each gap in his knuckle area.
Pushing forward a loud crack rang out from his joints and soon after the fingers returned to the keyboard. His glare fixed
itself precisely onto the screen. He scanned over the layout of the city and various entry points he'd marked previously in
the day. The faint sound of footsteps clicked into the chopper interior. His head shot up from the computer screen and to
Standing at the entrance of the sliding door to the transport area was the pilot of the aircraft. Lewis nodded to him
and shrugged, "What's up?" He simply said in his slightly childish tone. The pilot smirked and entered the chopper,
"All systems are checked and ready to go. I loaded the ropes on, should be easy to slide into the field now. Also, I
prepared her with an extra load of fuel incase you boy need pick-up." Lewis nodded in approval and turned back to the
computer, "Great, we'll leave shortly." The pilot slipped himself into the cockpit of the craft, flicking various
switches and going over a last minute check of his aircraft he gave a grunt of approval, "You're going in with everyone?"
The pilot asked in curiosity. Lewis lifted his head once more and nodded, "Yes. I'm heading in with the squad and providing
intelligence and my marksmanship."
The pilot curled his lips into a small smile, "The boy I used to watch for Joseph back when you were young is growing
up. What weapon are you using?" Ryan laughed at the comment and then lifted a large, camo plated rifle from his back.
Carassing its heavy weight in his palms he stared down upon it and spoke, "M16, This and my Colt Nineteen-eleven pistol."
The pilot lifted his hand to his chin and scratched it gently, "Wow. Packing quite a good weapon there, Lewis."
He nodded with a sigh to follow, "Yeah... Enough to keep our men safe." The pilot bit his bottom lip, "Good
luck out there, man." Lewis's optics perked from their place on the rifle and to the pilots’ serious face,
"Thanks," He simply said, "I'll need it."
The twenty-five troops gathered around the large chopper. Each wearing a black tactical vest and beneath a dark green
jacket, most of the squad has rolled the sleeves up to the shoulder blades for comfort in the warm, Summer air. A pair of
urban camoflauge pants resided at the legs of the squad members followed by kneepads strapped over kneecaps. Each sat quietly
on their right knee keeping weapons slung tightly to their backs. Joseph and Lewis then walked before the squad, "This
is it boys," Joseph spoke firmly, "This is not a drill. We are roping in an actual combat area. Mount up!"
Joseph finished his speech quickly; the group of soldiers all piled into the helicopter and strapped themselves into the seats
along the helicopter walls. Lewis and Joseph climbed in after the men and took their positions at the front of the chopper;
each of the two fitted a headset over their ears and placed the microphone a strand away from their lips. The helicopter's
rotors began to spin slowly, picking up speed with every slash into the thick, humid air.
The chopper’s rotors were soon whirling quickly; the pilots gave thumbs up and pulled the aircraft into the
air with an arch. Hovering above its previous landing area the pilot pushed forward onto his control stick and pushed the
helicopter forward and on its way to the city. Joseph stared down into the small journal at his lap; Lewis on the other hand
was staring at the communications specialist across the small loaded area. He knew the man, Lewis pondered over the name.
It suddenly came to him, it was Nick Gordon. Nick had been one of those ex-special forces types and he'd given most of the
people here the reason not to mess with him. First person whom tried joking with him in the lunch line placed themselves a
step in front of him. Of course, Nick did not take much humor to this and the private was soon sent to the infirmary for fractured
ribs and a broken wrist. Nick was fixing his Sig Commando rifle to almost perfect firing precision. Lewis watched over Nick
with ease that the squad had shaped into a band of respectable soldiers and not street punks, His gaze moved over to a soldier
to his left. A woman, she was the medical specialist. Her name was adrift in a haze of twenty-four others jolting around in
his mind. So few members yet he'd never quite found the time to place most of their names to faces. Leaning inward the pilots
spoke loudly into their headset, “Commander Stukov, we are closing in on drop zone alpha. We will release all cargo
and troops to the military outpost, sector C. You’re on your own from there, sir.” Joseph spoke back in
reference to the information, “Roger that, rendezvous at the hospital landing zone when given radio confirmation
that we have secured the civilians.” Joseph slipped the small journal into his vest and removed the rifle from his
back. Scanning over each of the men, Joseph was almost looking to make sure they’d not screwed up with one piece
of their equipment. Lewis felt sweat trickle from his forehead, it seemed almost impossible for him to not be nervous. He
was only twenty, a kid in most of the men’s eyes. The only reason he’d gotten the position of Squad Co-Commander,
if that indeed make any sense to anyone of the men in the squad, was because of his brother.
Nick began speaking with others sitting next to him, “Can’t believe this… First time out
is a baby-sitting job.” Others around him laughed at the joke then dismissed it with ease. Nick continued on, keeping
the morale of the team high with his humor, “I thought I’d never see the day when I’d have to
save a civilian and not shoot something. Maybe I’ll score in a few innocent kills just for the hell of it.”
Those around him again laughed. Nick left it at that, his jokes caused him to lose interest in fun quickly. His head turned
to the right and stared out the window of the closed door on the helicopter. Joseph reached his hand down upon his holster
and unbuttoned the clip that kept the sidearm buckled tightly in. Lifting the Beretta Elite to his left hand, Joseph pulled
back on the weapons chamber; a hollow point round entered into the weapon. Joseph released on the slide and closed the casing
in securely. Thrusting the pistol into the holster once more, Joseph buttoned it easily and returned to his staring at his
rifle. It was complete silence, all except for the thick lashing of the rudders into the air. Joseph's chin rested on his
shoulder now as he peered into the cockpit and to the pilots, "ETA?" he asked calmly. The co-pilot shot his hand
upward with three fingers, three minutes until drop off.