25th August, 2012
Meng Feng and Zhang Min returned safely. We obtained the first batch of firepower. Lin Musen is an ambitious person. His ambitions are reserved yet brash, taciturn yet dangerous. While everyone is fighting to survive, he is not willing to just survive. If my guess is correct, he wants to fight to gain something after this wave of zombies.
A country? A regime? But that’s still a long way away, he doesn’t have many people. Including the new civilians who joined, right now there are barely fifty men who are able to fight.
He let Meng Feng and Zhang Min train these fifty people, including himself.
They set up targets by the riverside, following Zhang Min to train their aim in the morning, and in the afternoon Meng Feng will take them along, tying 10kg sandbags to their legs, trekking over mountains and wading in waters to undergo physical training.
Fang Xiaolei brought up a terrifying thought, but Lin Musen did not care about it.
Only we know what it meant – The zombies are slowly evolving and gaining independent thought. The reason that humans are able to protect themselves during the zombie outbreak is all because the zombies do not possess the ability to think and their movements are entirely based on survival: feeding, attacking and so on. They fight individually because they don’t know how to work together and strike. This makes a group of zombies become like scattered sand. As long as you don’t run into an overwhelming number of zombies, it is possible for a small group of humans armed with appropriate weapons to escape.
However, if this evolution theory proves to be true, I can’t imagine how strong zombies will be if they are able to flank and sneak, and even organise and discipline themselves. If they no longer attack humans, and turn to hunting live creatures, the aftermath is too horrible to think about.
My diary is getting longer and longer as I write. I hope things don’t develop for the worse...
“Liu Yan.” Someone knocked on the door. “Go out and train.”
Liu Yan closed his notebook, shoved it under the bed, and replied, “I’m an engineer.”
That person said, “Brother Sen’s instructions. Everyone must go through training. In the courtyard.”
Liu Yan had no choice but to leave the room. The corridor was filled with people mousing around, trying to see what was happening below. On Lin Musen’s left shoulder, he wore a piece of white iron armour. In his right hand, he held a dagger, his body crouched down slightly.
In front of him was a zombie!
Liu Yan couldn’t help but be shocked. He saw the zombie lunge towards Lin Musen, the latter sidestepping roughly to dodge the zombie’s arm. With a howl, the zombie bit down tightly on his shoulder guard. Lin Musen raised the dagger. Meng Feng shouted, “Stop!”
Lin Musen then rolled onto the ground to move away. The surrounding members who were watching all cheered.
With a swift raise of his leg, Meng Feng kicked the zombie back into its cage. People from either side of it immediately ran up to close the cage, the iron bolt closing with a clang.
“You were stabbing the dagger into the wrong place,” Meng Feng said. “The strength in your hand is still lacking. You have to pierce upwards from the lower jaw and penetrate into the back of its head, then you can achieve the killing effect.”
As he spoke, he gestured with his fist, pressing it against Lin Musen’s throat. With a strong push, he sent Lin Musen backwards until he was against the wall.
Lin Musen nodded. “Got it.”
Meng Feng stood to the side.
Lin Musen, “Next person.”
The next person came over. Lin Musen said, “You, pull the dagger out, then cut off its head.”
That person wore a very thick coat and shoulder guards. Their face was hidden by a hat, as if he were a robber.
The ones in charge of the cage let the zombie out. That person charged forward, drawing the dagger back. Meng Feng shouted, “Be careful to avoid head-on attacks!”
That person dodged behind the zombie and used the dagger to stab the back of the zombie’s head. Immediately they jumped away. The zombie fell backwards, spasmed for a moment, and then was still.
The cleaners, wearing gloves, moved the training zombie onto a wheelbarrow and transported it away. The trainee took off their hat and glanced at Liu Yan. It just so happened to be Wen Qiege, the one who had declared to get revenge on Liu Yan a few days ago.
“Liu Yan.” Lin Musen noticed him out of the corner of his eyes. He turned around and said, “What do you think?”
Liu Yan, “Where did it come from?”
Lin Musen, “Recently there have been two or three small zombies wandering around outside. The monitoring systems picked them up. We put one in a sack and took it back.”
The cage was pushed away by some members.
Liu Yan scanned the area above and said softly, “This is very dangerous. It’s easy to get infected.”
Lin Musen replied, “We have to face it eventually. We’re starting with one now, then there will be more in the future. Bullets can’t solve everything.”
Liu Yan, “What if you someone is accidentally scratched during the training?”
Lin Musen, “I’ve made them prepare defensive measures ahead of time. Look over there.”
Liu Yan followed Lin Musen’s gaze, upwards. On the third floor was Zhang Min, with a sniper propped up with him, watching every single move of the training in the courtyard.
“If they still get scratched,” Lin Musen said slowly. “Then they’re just unlucky. If we let them go, they’ll die sooner or later.”
“You come and give it a try!” Lin Musen said loudly.
Meng Feng, “He’s an engineer. There’s no need.”
“It’s fine,” Liu Yan said. “I can do it.”
Up above, Zhang Min held onto the gun with one hand, a finger on his other hand on the trigger. His voice came down from above, “Meng Feng, trust me. It’s all right.”
Liu Yan took the short knife that Meng Feng handed to him, and crouched slightly. Another two members pushed in a locked steel cage on wheels. From inside it, came banging sounds, as though the zombie was extremely irritated.
“Open the door!” Lin Musen ordered.
The ropes were taken away and the cage opened with a slam. A zombie wearing a suit crashed out. At that moment, Liu Yan fell silent.
He took a step back, until that zombie raised its hand and stood up shakily, lunging for him. Liu Yan backed up sharply, unable to believe what he was seeing in that zombie’s yellowed and rotten face.
On its chest it wore a tie clip. On it was Liu Yan’s school crest.
“Teacher?” Liu Yan mumbled. The zombie and he were facing each other. Liu Yan could only feel a buzzing in his head and that the world around him was spinning.
The zombie was indeed the head of his department. After a brief pause between the two of them, the zombie lunged towards Liu Yan with a great roar.
Meng Feng shouted, “Focus!”
Liu Yan was already moving before the words were said. He crouched and dodged his mentor’s flailing arms. With a hand pressed to the ground, he kicked his leg out and hooked it around the zombie’s knees. He pulled his leg back, the zombie’s knees wobbled until it lost balance and crashed to the ground.
The surrounding spectators burst into a cheer. Liu Yan slowly circled the perimeter of the courtyard, knife in hand and his eyes fixed on the middle-aged zombie wearing a suit.
Both its eyes were white. It struggled to stand again, letting out wails as its arms thrashed around aimlessly.
Liu Yan kept his knife, narrowing his eyes in suspicion. The zombie turned around, and disregarding Liu Yan, went for Lin Musen!
There was an outcry of shock from the surrounding people. Liu Yan shouted, “Wait!”
But his shout came too late. Upstairs, Zhang Min opened fire, blowing out the zombie’s head.
“You know how to fight?” Lin Musen asked.
Liu Yan, “Meng Feng taught me a little. Every year when he came back on vacation from the military, he would teach me.” He looked at Meng Feng as he said this.
Lin Musen, “Very good, you can protect yourself. I’m relieved. In the future, you engineers will come here every day to practice shooting. Your physical requirements can be adjusted accordingly.”
Liu Yan replied, “All right.”
Someone came forward to clean up the corpse. Liu Yan threw a look at Meng Feng. Meng Feng nodded his head slightly. Liu Yan turned around and walked away.
In the evening, Meng Feng sat atop a large rock by the river, gun in hand. Liu Yan had left the factory. He asked, “Where was that zombie found? Did Lin Musen roughly say the location?”
Meng Feng, “He didn’t. You recognised it?”
Liu Yan, “He’s my mentor.”
Meng Feng sighed. Liu Yan stood there for a moment, discarding the helpless sense of bitterness in his heart. He frowned and said, “He went with Xiao Yu and the others during the first phase.”
Meng Feng, “Xiao Yu is already dead, I told you before.”
Liu Yan, “Then why would they… appear outside?”
Meng Feng:, “I don’t know. If you ask me, who would I ask? Maybe Lin Musen brought some men and went inside.”
Liu Yan, “He’s so gutsy, to dare to go into the barracks to catch zombies?”
Meng Feng, “Or maybe those one or two zombies escaped out the sewers, or maybe your teacher never went in in the first place, or maybe he survived on the day of the outbreak and came out, then got infected outside and has wandered around since.”
Liu Yan took in a deep breath. Meng Feng said, “The walls around the barracks are very sturdy, they shouldn’t be able to come out. Did it recognise you?”
Liu Yan didn’t say anything, only shook his head. Meng Feng said, “The military is going to bomb that place very soon.” After speaking, he pulled out a piece of paper. It was the document he had taken from the administration building that day.
Liu Yan hurriedly opened it and looked it over. “Why didn’t you say so earlier?”
Meng Feng, “Would there be any use in showing it to Lin Musen? Look at who the captain was sending the message to?! Lin Musen will definitely ask who this Meng Jianguo is.”
Liu Yan, “You could say you two only share the same surname.”
Meng Feng, “Save it. The father is a general, the son is special forces. Do you think other people are fools?”
Liu Yan had to agree, and passed the emergency report back to Meng Feng. “But this is a handwritten document. Are you sure it’s already been sent out?”
Meng Feng, “The fax has definitely been sent out. The sender committed suicide. Why would he kill himself if he didn’t send the message? My guess is the military didn’t have time to withdraw to solve the concentration of infections in this camp, but they’ll be here sooner or later.”
Liu Yan looked into the distance. Beautiful, fire-red clouds were spread out under the purple-blue sky.
“35 kilometeres,” said Liu Yan. “If it’s bombed, will it affect us here?”
Meng Feng replied, “Unless it’s a nuclear bomb. But it’s such a small place, it’s not realistic to use one. It might be a GBU-28 laser-guided bomb which can wipe out about 80% of the area. The aftermath is that after blowing up most of the barracks, it’s possible that zombies might slip out and run around.”
Liu Yan nodded his head. “We have to notify Lin Musen, and strengthen our defenses.”
That night, it was silent. The air was hot and stuffy, dark clouds filled the sky, and the land was dark.
The dormitory windows were wide open. Meng Feng was sleeping naked, hugging Liu Yan and pressing against him.
Liu Yan fidgeted uncomfortably in his dreams, his whole body covered in sweat. His sweat mixed together with Meng Feng’s. The blanket lay spread out on the bed. There was a glass on the bed’s headboard, half-filled with water, for when someone woke up in the night and was thirsty.
The glass of water trembled slightly, the water rippling. As though it received some kind of shock, in the centre of the ripples, a drop of water jumped up, and dropped back into the glass.
Three seconds later, the water rippled again.
Meng Feng opened his eyes.
In the opposite room, Jue Ming said, “Dad?”
Zhang Min’s eyes flew open. It was quiet in the small room. Puzzled, Jue Ming pressed his ear to the wall.
Liu Yan was awake too, and was sitting in the bed. Meng Feng seemed to have sensed something, and gestured for him to be quiet. He quickly dressed himself, and pushed open the door to go outside, just in time to bump into Zhang Min who had just run out into the corridor.
“You heard it too?” Meng Feng said.
Zhang Min, “What is it? An earthquake? Should we wake them?”
Meng Feng, “First, figure out what it is…”
The two of them simultaneously held their breaths. A soft, muffled noise came from afar, and the whole building shuddered so slightly it was almost unnoticeable.
Meng Feng, “Liu Yan! Where are you going?!”
Liu Yan grabbed his binoculars and dashed through the whole corridor to make for the rooftop. Zhang Min pulled Jue Ming along, and ran up to the rooftop together with Meng Feng. That shout in the middle of the quiet night woke up quite a few people. One after another, lights in rooms came on. Liu Yan stood on the most western side of the top of the roof, and raised his binoculars.
In the thick fog of the night, a huge, dark shadow as large as the mountains was slowly making its way east.
Everyone’s eyes were wide, staring in disbelief into the distance.
With a muffled bang, like a crack of thunder bursting through the layer of clouds, the ground sank slightly and then bounced back up. Liu Yan took half a step back.
“What is that?” Meng Feng asked. “What… What kind of monster is that?”
Liu Yan, “Look.”
He handed the binoculars to Meng Feng.
In the darkness, Meng Feng saw a behemoth that was well around 30 metres tall. Its entire body was covered in dead bodies. It didn’t have a head. Zombies that had died their second death were densely packed together to form a towering flesh giant.
It didn’t have a head, it didn’t have arms, as though it had mixed thousands upon thousands of dead bodies and broken limbs together to produce a massive, humanoid-looking corpse giant. Its steps dragged heavily on two legs. One step spanned ten metres, stepping over the road and barbed wires, heading right for the factory.
“Estimate… Estimate the speed…” Liu Yan stammered. “Meng Feng, inspect it, quickly!”
Zhang Min lifted the binoculars. It took only one look to leave him dumbfounded.
Meng Feng, “We have about five minutes… It’s approaching us soon! Raise the alarm immediately! Hurry!” Meng Feng was almost roaring as he dashed down to the courtyard and sounded the alarm.
The trembling of the earth became more and more obvious. The remaining people were shocked awake from their dreams, and it was chaos. Lin Musen shouted, “Where are the zombies?!”
“Get out of here!” Meng Feng yelled. “Everyone get out of here! Zhang Min! Ready the rocket launcher!”
Everyone in the factory was panicking and running to the courtyard. Some people had evacuated onto the road, and when they saw the flesh giant, built like a small mountain, they stood there on the roadside, dumbfounded, forgetting to run, only able to look up.
“Quickly!” Liu Yan roared. “Stop looking! Find cover!”
With a deafening boom, the flesh giant drew close to the chemical factory. Its leg that could shake the earth and sky kicked over the factory’s outer garage, causing a chain of huge explosions.
Meng Feng grabbed his gun as he ran, shouting, “Has everyone evacuated?! Where’s the rocket launcher?!”
Lin Musen yelled, panicked. “I don’t know! Don’t mind that anymore! Hurry and open fire!”
On the opposite side of the factory road, most of the people had escaped into the forest. The sound of gunshots rang out one after another between the loud shots from the AK and the deafening rounds of the minigun. Zhang Min put on his gun sight as he jumped onto the road.
A rain of bullets flew toward the giant made of flesh, turning the tens of thousands of zombie corpses on it into a mess of decaying flesh. However, as though there was some strong magnetic force, all the pieces of rotted flesh, blood and bone that dropped off were firmly absorbed back, and could not be disintegrated at all.
“Cease fire!” Lin Musen called. “Don’t shoot yet!”
Meng Feng’s finger was on the trigger of the rocket launcher. The surroundings went quiet. Occasionally there were one or two sparse gunshots.
The flesh giant took one large step, stepping on the road 10 metres away from them with a loud boom. Everyone finally saw its outer husk – countless zombie corpses sticking to each other to form an enormous foot.
The appearance of the already dead zombies were horrifying, like statues on a pagoda, or with their back facing outwards, or their chest, hands, legs, each one deformed and clinging very tightly to one another.
The foot lifted up, disappearing from their line of sight. Many people lifted their heads up at the same time. The flesh giant’s foot stepped into the chemical factory building, letting out an explosion so loud it could collapse the sky.
Amidst the women’s despairing screams, fire shot up into the sky, which was quickly stamped out by another of the flesh giant’s foot.
“We’re not its target,” Lin Musen said.
Meng Feng lowered the rocket launcher. The giant had stepped onto the chemical plant, causing the west dormitory to collapse. Immediately after, it passed through the courtyard, one leg slamming into the eastern part of the factory with a booming crash. Then it stepped out of the home they had depended on for survival, and slowly continued on its way east.
Everyone was staring at this numbly. The garage was destroyed, the remaining two dormitory buildings in the south wing were largely damaged. On the crumbling wreckage, there was no small amount of blood and flesh that had been scraped off from the giant hanging from the rebars.
The ground trembled slightly. The flesh giant had left.
“Shit…” Lin Musen was exhausted. “What was that?”
No one could answer his question. Muffled thunder rolled in the sky and lightning flashed. A heavy rain started to fall, extinguishing the fires that were burning fiercely in the garage.
In the dark night, Meng Feng walked onto the road, shirtless, getting soaked to the bone, his wet camouflage pants sticking to his thighs. His face, his body, his slippered feet were entirely covered in mud.
Liu Yan’s wet bangs clung to his forehead as he looked in the direction the flesh giant had left in.
“It came from the west,” Liu Yan said in the midst of the pouring rain.
“What–?!” Meng Feng shouted. It was impossible to make conversation in the middle of the rain.
Liu Yan, “The barracks! It came from the direction of the barracks! Something must have happened there!”
Meng Feng nodded his head in a daze.
Liu Yan, “Do you get it?! What this means?!
Three seconds later, a bloodcurdling scream rose from the forest. Everyone noticed a very serious problem at once.
35 kilometres away, because the military barracks broke open, the zombies that were still alive and could move had been released. Over the past three days, they followed the flesh giant’s footsteps, and found the place they had been hiding in.
Zhang Min took a deep breath, and shouted at the top of his lungs. “Everyone evacuate to the east! Don’t go back into the factory! The horde is coming!”
This chapter is migrated and/or formatted by our fellow chicken enthusiast(s), Cael.