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Character Profile: Joe Allegretta
The subject lost his father at the age of 15 when father was stung to death by bee in field of purple flowers. Ever since then, the subject has had an odd obsession with purple flowers, collecting and destroying them. The subject is also deathly afraid of bees and Is fond of muttering while thinking to himself and will often get distracted in the middle of a conversation and walk off, still muttering. Because his apiphobia has resulted in his incarceration in this facility when he killed a beekeeper in an effort to save her life, It is the opinion of this analyst that the subject be released and kept under surveillance until the time when he might prove useful.
I tightly held my rapidly dampening papers in my hands, waiting nervously for Jonathan Evans, my boss, to walk past where I stood. As he walked past me, I called out.
“Mr. Evans? A moment of your time, please.” The words came out much too forcefully. I tried again. “I’m sorry sir, but could I speak to you a moment?”
“Mr. Allegretta, is it? Do go ahead.” He said, walking briskly towards his office.
“It’s about Quicksilver sir.”
He stopped and looked hard at me. “And what do you know about Quicksilver?”
“Well sir, I know I’m just a secretary, but while I was writing the minutes, I took a look at what we know about, you know, It and I made some calculations which brought me to some conclusions that I thought you would be interested in.”
“Really? Do tell.”
“According to my c-calculations, there’s going to be a drug pick-up at The Graveyard tonight. I’m almost 100% sure about this. Black Fox and Vladimir Koslov are sure to show up. The deal’s too big for them to send any hirelings to do the job. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity- we can kill two birds with one stone, so to speak....” I trailed off, thinking hard. “Of course, there’s a chance that they could do it somewhere else, but The Graveyard is the most convenient spot for the pick-up to occur. No- no. It’s definitely going to be there...I checked it. And-“
“That’s quite enough, Mr. Allegretta.” Mr. Evans cut in. “Do you have proof?”
“Proof, sir?” I stared at him, not quite understanding. “My calculations are-”
“Do you have something more than your calculations? Or is that all you’re basing your postulations on?” He asked impatiently.
“Uh . . . no. Sir. I had imagined that you would send a team to verify the . . .calculations.”
“Oh no.” He chuckled. “Mr. Allegretta, you can’t possibly believe that we’ll send in a team based only on the calculations of a secretary. What you need is evidence. Cold, hard, evidence. Tell you what. Fly over to Manchester and go to The Graveyard tonight. Take pictures. I’ll have a team ready. If you can get me pictures of Black Fox or Koslov, I’ll send the team in. If not . . .”
“I understand, sir.”
I wound through the noisy crowd, trying to make my way towards the bar, from where I hoped I would be able to take pictures of the two men I was looking for. The sounds and music coming from the stage caught my notice and I stopped, distracted for a moment.
The ground I was standing on shifted, and then erupted, hurling me into the air. I fell and twisted my ankle. Breathing hard, I gritted my teeth against the pain and tore a strip out of my shirt to dress the ankle. Screams rung out around me as all over the club, stones flew out from the ceilings and the walls, and a snarling, growling, bestial cacophony began to fill the air. From the new holes began to clamber a timeless and ancient evil...
I saw a young lady on the ground a few feet away from me and stopped to help her. She started yelling at me and I quickly backed off. Hearing ghastly screams from the crowd, I turned around to see the undead fall with hideous speed and ferocity upon the panicking crowd. New sounds made their way into my consciousness: cracking, tearing, slavering. I looked on in horror until one of the things turned, and fixed its eyeless sockets upon me.
I looked wildly about and saw a nearby door, 50 yards away. The zombie charged towards me. I panicked. What to do? I lifted a slab of stone, and threw it towards the zombie, knocking off its head. It stopped to pick up its head, and I swiftly ran out the door and into the night.
The parking lot was populated sparsely with the few people who had managed to escape the zombies. I heard a screech of brakes and turned, only to see my car being driven off by a stranger. I was stranded.
I took out my phone and made a phone call to Mr. Sylvaine, the man I was instructed to call if anything came up. Obviously, he was waiting for the call- he picked it up on the first ring.
“Did you get the pictures?” he asked as soon as he picked up the phone.
“The pictures, sir? No-no! This has nothing to do with the pictures! There’s...zombies in the club; they-they’re EATING people sir!” I screamed out as I saw a spurt of blood spray the widow I was facing.
There was an interminable silence at the other end.
“Zombies, Mr. Allegretta?” he finally spoke. “So you have no pictures of either Koslov or Black Fox?”
“That really doesn’t matter right now. See – someone just took my car. I need another vehicle ASAP. Please! I need to get out of here.”
There was another seemingly endless silence at the other end of the line.
“All right, Mr. Allegretta. Here’s what we’re going to do. Find your way to Deansgate Station. We’ll arrange to have some sort of transportation sent to you but for now, just...stay there. Get what you need to last through the night and possibly through tomorrow. We’ll talk when you get back.”
“Thank you, sir!”
The screams were lessening- obviously the zombies had almost gone through their food supply. I shuddered in revulsion, and then ran away from the club.
As I traversed the streets of Manchester, I noticed that the streets were full of honking cars and frenzied screaming as people, panicking, tried to escape the incoming zombies. I shivered as the chilly wind cut through my thin shirt – the cold went straight into my bones. A lot of stores were deserted. Looking about, I saw that nobody was watching me so I slipped inside a deserted store to pick out some things that I could use that would last until help arrived. I picked a thick coat to protect me from the cold and a rucksack so I could put in whatever I got at the station inside.
I set off for the station, knowing that whatever awaited me would be an improvement on what I’d left behind.
After a few minutes of walking, I saw an empty car and warily walked towards it and tried the handle. It opened. Elated, I jumped in and drove off to the station.
The station was filled with people, many of them wearing masks of terror on their faces. They all milled about aimlessly. The traffic and trams were in a shambles, and people streamed into the station. In the distance, I could see a great horde of zombies moving with startling speed towards the station. The sight so startled me that I took a step back.
Getting away from all entrances instantly became my first priority. I fought my way through the crowd, trying my best to get to the centre of the station.
“Can’t you see that you just ran into a lady and you don’t have the decency to apologize?”
Stunned I turned around. I’d had no idea that I’d done so.
“So sorry miss.” I muttered to the lady standing next to her, chagrined. I really wasn’t used to talking to women. I ducked my head awkwardly and turned once again to go.
“How dare you!” She shouted even louder this time. I turned again, shocked and a bit frightened. What had I done now?
“So disrespectful! Men have it set in their minds that they are so much more important than women, therefore having the mindset that they can push them around, not thinking anything of it. This is an outrage! You’re a disgusting, spineless creep!”
Upon closer observation, I realized that was the young lady with the hurt leg I’d tried to help back in the noisy club. Obviously, she held some issues concerning men.
“It was an accident; I had no intention of…” She cut me off again.
“Oh hush! Now you’re just making excuses! Enough! Leave, before I slap you across the face and call the cops!”
Over her shoulder, I could see the zombies drawing nearer. Terrified, I ran off once more, into the crowd. Perhaps if I were to guard the G-MEX, I could hold them back. It was a futile effort.
The zombies broke through the G-MEX gate. Black spots appeared in my eyes and I had to choke down a tinge of nausea. Petrified, I froze; my feet wouldn’t work. From the corner of my eye, I detected an odd movement. Someone was rushing towards the zombies instead of away from them. My mind was so boggled by this that I was shaken from my trance and was free to move once again.
What on earth would she be doing with a javelin? It was the crazy lady, of course. She was attacking the zombies around her. I was torn between going to rescue her – she couldn’t possibly kill all of them – and leaving her to the zombies.
Unfortunately for me, chivalry won and I began to make my way towards her. I didn’t take three steps her way before I was struck down.
When I came to, it was to find the lady I’d bumped hovering over me. Once my eyes opened fully, she handed a first-aid kit to me and told me to fix myself. She also had a cut on her leg; I helped her fix it too.
As I was cleaning up my cuts, I realized that there was no way that help would be able to come to the station before it would be destroyed by zombies. I would need to leave to somewhere safer; this place wasn’t a good place to stay if I wished to see the next day. Looking at the lady next to me, I could see that her bandage wouldn’t stay on for long; she needed me around to help make sure that nothing further harmed her.
“Don’t leave me here.” My voice failed me again. I cleared my throat and gave it another try. “I need to come along with you to help.” I motioned to her wounded leg.
“What is your name?”
“Joe. Joe Allegretta.”
She smiled at me. “Nice to meet you. I’m Lucile Garenger.” We shook hands.
She glanced over my shoulder and shuddered. “We can’t talk now – we have no time. We have to run from the station and hope for the best, there’s no other way to escape these zombies. Cassandra is the only one strong enough to fight off the zombies and I can’t sever the circuit line.”
Wait, who’s – ah, yes. The crazy blonde. I smiled to myself at my little joke, and stood up quickly. The smile was immediately wiped off my face as pain ripped through my body.
“Make your way to the gate and wait there; we’re going to close the gate to keep the zombies from coming in for a while. That will give us enough time to escape.”
I shrugged and began my jog towards the gate once again. Strangely, none of the zombies seemed to notice my movement and I was able to reach the gate unhampered.
“Aaaah!” I groaned as I pushed the gate. The combined weight of all three of us would not be enough to hold the gate closed against the zombies for much longer. Thankfully, the locks engaged and we were free to move.
“Run to the bridge!” Lucille screamed. We didn’t have long before the zombies would break through the gate once again.
I took off as fast as I could towards the bridge, hobbling awkwardly until I reached my destination. Turning around, I saw Cra – I mean Cassandra. Her face was badly beaten and she had some cuts and gashes on her body. My irritation at her quickly dissipated and I took the first-aid kit and helped her to clean up. While she was out, Lucille and I looked over the bridge and decided to scale down the bridge to get to the ground.
Obviously, Cassandra was okay now. After getting up from her faint, she moved rapidly across the narrow part of the bridge. Although she was slightly unsteady on her feet, she made it across without mishap.
Lucille went next. She took her time, doing her best to keep from falling.
When it was my turn, I shakily began to make my way across the bridge. Midway through, I slipped and fell – I was too distracted by the doings of Cassandra, who seemed to wish to keep going by herself.
Luckily for me, I was able to grab the pavement. I hung there for a few protracted seconds. Then I fell.
The pain was excruciating, but it was not un-endurable. With an ace bandage on, and with the help of Lucille, I was able to make my way under the bridge.
At the bottom of the bridge, I was increasingly struggling to keep my temper down to a low simmer. My ankle was killing me and that tall blonde devil was doing her best to torture me as much as possible without actually having to get her prissy white hands dirty. With her nasty threats and equally obnoxious attitude, I was about ready to consign the whole lot of them to hell and good riddance. Lucille didn’t seem to be feeling any ill-effects from the fight with the zombies. A flood of relief washed through me as I finally realized that I was finally free to go.
I considered running for about a milli-second, until my left foot hit the ground again. The pain from the fall hadn’t abated at all yet. I needed another way out. Scanning the lot we were in, I detected a row of parked cars. I hobbled over to them as fast as I could.
The car that caught my eye was a sleek red Mercedes. It was fairly new, and it seemed to shout, “Pick me!” with its silver spinners and its lustrous chrome.
I approached the car with something akin to reverence. I had never been so happy that I’d worked in a mechanic’s in my teens. I was able to pick the lock of the car and start it. As the car roared to life, I cackled and rubbed my hands in glee. It was simply magnificent.
I zipped out of the parking lot with unholy delight at leaving the blonde in my dust. I was so immersed in the thrill of escaping that I did not notice what was in the backseat.
Oh no. My heart pounded against my ribcage. It couldn’t be.
I looked wildly about for the source of the noise, hoping vainly that it was something innocuous like a fly. Or even a mosquito.
I dared shift my eyes off the road and onto the mirror. A horrific sight met my eyes. In a miniature greenhouse full of flowers resided a prodigious amount of bees. I was in a car with a dollhouse for bees.
Slow down. Calm down. They’re in there, and you’re out here. Chill. I fought with my panic with all the brain power I had that wasn’t engaged in driving the car. Gritting my teeth, I kept on driving. Those bees weren’t doing me any harm over there.
In an effort to distract myself, I looked out at the road ahead. There was a crowd of people standing still, as if waiting for someone to pass their way. As I drove closer, they all shifted as one body and turned towards the car. It was chilling in its absoluteness and I shivered because I knew that those weren’t people. Not at all.
They exploded into action, hurtling towards me. I clamped down on the brakes and lost control of the car. The car spinned out of the road and crashed into a tree.
It was then that I knew I was dead.
The crash had upset the bees in the backseat and had broken the glass container they were in and they were humming furiously. My seatbelt refused to cooperate as I frantically struggled to get out.
Pop. It ejected and I was free to go. I opened the car door and began to step out, but the pain in my left foot brought me to the ground again.
Buzzz. A bee landed on my nose and I began to fight my way out of the car once more, this time ignoring the pain in my foot. I finally got out, and then wanted to get back in again. The zombies were all around me once more.
I knew I couldn’t fight them all by myself. I was hurt and wounded and could barely stand up to face them. As they drew closer, I ducked back into the car and, swallowing my terror, picked up the large shards of broken glass, careful not to disturb the bees over much. Squeezing my eyes shut, I flung the glass as hard as I possibly could at the zombies and began to run.
I didn’t get far. As I reached the road, the zombies, moving with inhuman speed, surrounded me once more. I was so tightly squashed; I could see the decaying bits of flesh clinging to the skeletons of the creatures.
I gulped, and then quickly sent up a prayer of forgiveness to God. My end was nigh.
The car exploded; everything flew, myself included. The mass of zombies that were so tightly clustered around me helped to provide a squishy, smelly cushion against my fall. Their bodies broke apart from the force of the blast and pulp rained down on me. Some flesh entered into my mouth and I spat it out promptly.
I lay there, too spent to get up. I knew I would have to, of course. I needed a minute to catch my breath and rest from all that adrenaline.
Finally rested, I breathed a deep sigh and got up. A hand darted out and grabbed my leg. Not all the zombies were as dead as I’d thought. My weak efforts to pull away were no match for its superhuman strength. It took a bite out of my left foot before I was able to smash my right foot into its face and free myself.
I crawled off, as best as I could towards the stadium. It was my only hope now.