The Last Of Us: Human Mind
The Last Of Us is a video game available on the Playstation 3 and a new version for the Playstation 4. The two main characters Joel and Ellie are in search of a group of people known as the Fireflies who have their base inside a hospital in an attempt to find a cure for a fungal disease that's turning people into zombies. Joel is a grown man who has lost loved ones in the past and has a lot of emotional problems caused by what life has thrown at him. Ellie on the other hand is a 14 year old girl and has known no other way of life but she too has lost loved ones.
There are three main types of zombies. Clickers are blind and make high pitched clicking sounds using their mouths in order to locate victims using their internal radar rather like bats. They are easy to hide from so long as their potential victim remains quiet. Screamers are a type of zombie that has only partially turned and they will remain still and scream loudly. If they spot a victim however they will not hesitate to attack. They are easy to kill so long as the potential victim is armed. The final zombies known as Stalkers are more cunning. Just like Screamers they can see, but rather than attack they will hide for cover and sneak up upon their victims. There is also a type of zombie known as a Bloater but is more monster than human.
One part of the game is set in the sewers which has been used as a makeshift home by others who have since become infected turning into zombies. It's quite a shocking thought that a small community of people living somewhere they thought was safe were totally succumbed by a disease that destroyed their humanity. Their possessions such as beds, clothing, personal items, written notes, still remain including an area designated as a school for children.
This fan fiction story sees Ellie separated from Joel having to make her way past the zombies to safety, told from the point of view of a Stalker zombie.
It was quiet, very tranquil in fact, as I stood leaning against my bunk thinking about nothing in particular. A beam of sunlight shone through the broken roof of our underground hideaway gently warming the tinder skin of my deformed face. I kept my eyes closed in a half slumber at peace with the world. Even the occasional high pitched sounds from a nearby Clicker weren't enough to disturb my blank thoughts as I continued to enjoy the warmth of the sun and the pleasure of not having a care in the world.
I knew full well what I was, what we all had become, there was no use fighting it anymore for it was a losing battle. Things were far easier once I accepted my situation and allowed the infection to absorb me. There were about thirty of us, all hidden away in a makeshift community within an old warehouse, that ajoined of all things a smelly sewer. Things had been going well at first but one by one we succumbed to the infection whilst taking every precaution to prevent it. Many took their own lives, while others sealed themselves within the sewers, but I and the others stayed behind trying to cling onto life for as long as possible.
I was a zombie or at least half a zombie I couldn't tell. I knew I wasn't a Clicker or Screamer for I was silent, I must have been the other kind people referred to as Stalkers. They were the sort of zombies who would sneak up upon unsuspecting people then bite deeply into the neck causing blood to gush from the poor victim's eyes and nose causing them to die in an extreme state of agony. Stalkers were only interested in feeding their bloodlust. They were evil creatures that attacked with no warning. I hoped with all my will I could control that urge to attack if any unfortunate human being were to stumble upon our home. The entrance was barricaded and had a warning sign while the only other way in was the sewer itself so thankfully it was unlikely we'd ever be discovered.
There must have been a lifespan for zombies but I had no idea how long that would be. There was also no way to keep track of time whilst enjoying the bliss of a blank mind so I couldn't tell whether I had been in my current predicament for a mere number of days or many years.
It wasn't a bad life and I had all my friends with me who must have had the same calming blank thoughts as myself. In many ways I was happy. The thought of the entire human race succumbing to the disease was no longer an upsetting scenario.
Eventually all my fears came into fruition when I heard voices coming from the far side of the warehouse. The door adjoing the sewer had been opened letting in a gust of cold air along with a ghastly stench that even a zombie such as myself found foul.
"Oh, man," I heard a female voice, "I think I've just stepped in something."
"We'll rest up for a bit, take a look around, before moving on," a male voice responded.
"Urgh," the female let out a sigh.
It then dawned on my that they were whispering to one another and it was only because I my acute zombie hearing that I could hear them from such a distance. As I bagan to concentrate I could hear the rough breathing coming from the male's exhausted lungs, and while the female's breathing was relatively quiet her heart was pounding. If my fellow zombies also had such acute hearing I was sure they would soon make their attack so I had to act immedietly.
I quickly placed my hand across my face shielding my eyes from the sun as I blinked them open. My vision was pinpoint sharp at the mid focal point of my view, yet blurry around the edges, like an enhanced tunnel vision. Within moments I silently dashed from my bedside, down a series of steps, and over to a pile of boxes where upon I hid myself waiting. My breathing was silent, or perhaps nonexistant, I wasn't sure.
There was the sound of a rattling metal chain the very chain we used to force the sewer door closed.
"I see an open vent, we should make our way up there," the male said.
One of my fellow zombies let out a routine clicking sound while navigating their way round the landing above.
"It's a fucking Clicker!" The female spat out whilst forcing herself whisper repressing her urge to shout.
"We'll leave the way we came, come on," the male responded.
There was then silence for a few moments followed by a huge crash as the metal sewer gate fell down. The Clicker zombies started chirping loudly in an attempt to locate the source of the sound as it echoed around the confined space of the warehouse. The sound was throbbing my sensitive ears while I felt relief that the humans had made it out but once again my hopes were dashed as I could make out their frantic conversation.
"The chain's stuck!" The female said in a loud whisper.
"Wait right there, I'll get something to lever it open," the male voice responded in an equally panicked tone.
The male appeared to be safe behind the sewer door but the female was still within the confines of the warehouse. The Clickers had honed in on their target and ran at speed toward her.
"There's no time!" The female shouted loudly.
"Hide, while I distract them!" The male voice yelled as he started pounding the secure metal door in the hope the Clickers would turn their attention toward him.
However it was too late and even though the female was keeping quiet and sliding herself slowly away across the smooth concrete floor the Clickers had already located her. Lurching forward from my hiding place I focused my eyes directly upon the female. She was a teenage girl. I ran at full pelt, while my thighs throbbed, in the hope I could reach her before the others. The look on her face was total fear as she say my approach. She jumped to her feet and glanced her eyes in a panic trying to find a place to hide then screamed as I grabbed hold of her slamming her against the wall.
"I'm infected, I'm already infected!" She screamed in the hope it would prevent me biting her.
Holding her tightly and remaining stationary I intended to fool the Clickers into thinking they had detected me instead of the girl. Zombies didn't attack other zombies after all and they had no reason to suspect I was deceaving them. My plan worked and after just a few moments they turned their attention to the male who was still pounding from the other side of the metal door.
The girl hadn't lied about already being infected, for I could smell it upon her breath, she was soon to turn into one of us. I just needed to keep her alive long enough for the others to not see her as a meal.
"Are you still alive?!" The male shouted his stupid question through the metal door exciting the Clickers once more.
There was no way the girl could reply without attracting attention so I let out a high pitched squeak of my own in the hope the male would understand. I was sure he didn't for there was no way to distinguish me from the sounds of the Clickers and the Screamers who had just joined the ruckus.
"I've found a vent," the male shouted through the door, "I'll make my way up and see if it joins the one in there."
I now knew of their plan and just needed to figure out a way of getting the girl up to the landing, then the vent, without attracting attention. The most important thing was to remain silent in order for the zombies to be distracted by their blank thoughts again.
My face was pressed up against the girl's neck while her sweat of fear teased my open mouth ever urging me to bite. She smelled nice, and I was certain her blood would make a delicious meal but I was still in control. Despite my outer appearance and the globules of fungus growing out of every pore and orifice I was still human on the inside. I only wished I could communicate that with the girl while she waited in fear expecting me to feast upon her at any moment.
Leaning back but still holding her shoulders I looked at her face and attempted a smile. I could feel it wasn't working and could only muster a fixed stare which frightened her even more. She trembled while darting her eyes from side to side hoping to make her escape.
There was then a sensation with my stomach. For a moment I thought it may be hunger, teased by the strong urge to bite, but I soon realised what it was once I looked down at the white puss and blood oozing from my abdomen. The girl was holding a short blade and had plunged it deep within my belly twisting it from side to side. The sounds of my flesh tearing and my insides being sliced open was unnerving to say the least, a feeling of which intensified as the blood ran down the blade coating the girl's hand. The shock upon her face was extreme as she realised she wasn't able to kill me. I didn't even flinch with pain. Eventually she was forced to let go as the blade slipped from her bloody hand leaving it still protruding from my belly.
She closed her eyes and cocked her head to one side awaiting to be bitten as she gave up hope. I let out a squeak in the hope she would understand I was intending her no harm but all that did was to distress her even further.
It was some time before the other zombies had calmed themselves, believing their intended meal had gotten away, before they made their way back to their usual positions within the warehouse. Other than the occasional click as the Clickers navigated themselves around all was relatively quiet. I too had the urge to relax and drift into slumber so had to remind myself to concentrate on the task at hand.
Gazing my eyes, blinking them repeatedly on order to keep focus, I noticed the girl's backpack was unzipped. Among the items inside was a plastic toy robot. My heart warmed at the thought of someone her age wishing to play with toys in such dire circumstances so near to humanity's extinction. It wasn't fair on her, or anyone for that matter, to have to face such a situation. I guessed playing with toys was her way of avoiding reality.
The girl had her eyes firmly closed hoping a miracle would save her under the impression I was about to bite. I still needed to convince her of my true intention. An idea came to mind. Very slowly I lowered my arms so I wasn't holding her then took a step back. This movement caused her to open her eyes. I then pointed to the badge upon my chest. I had totally forgotten my name but knew full well it was written on my badge. I tapped the badge repeatedly with my finger getting the girl's attention until finally she understood. Zombie or not I was a nurse and I intended to save her life.
The relief on her face was priceless as she gasped silently. Holding out my hand she hesitated momentarily before taking it, then very quietly I led her across the floor of the warehouse making sure I was always between her at the inquisitive eyes of the other zombies. Walking slowly along the concrete floor was an easy task, it was just a matter of taking very light footsteps, but as we approached the wooden steps we both knew all too well we could easily be overheard. Our eyes darted upward as a Clicker slowly made its way across the landing above letting out a number of quiet clicks. I hadn't detected the girl it was just taking a wander. There was then the sound of a Screamer further ahead as though crying in emotional pain which was the norm for such creatures.
I turned as the girl tugged my hand. I could see she wanted to speak but dared not. Her eyes twinkled as they twitched in an attempt to point at something to her left while slightly tilting her head. She was revealing to me the male who was waiting for her in the open vent having somehow found another way through. He appeared dirty with a scruffy beard while waving his arm in our direction. I couldn't tell how long he had been there but he didn't appear to believe that I was a danger to the girl so I guessed he must have been watching for a number of minutes.
The girl prised of her sneakers one by one leaving them behind as we slowly made our way up the series of wooden steps. Every moment we made, each footfall upon each step, was as methodical and as silent as possible. However the wooden stairway had been cobbled together in a hurry when we first claimed the warehouse as our home as each plank holding them together flexed under our weight. It wasn't too long before we were overheard.
A Clicker jolted its head towards us, followed by another, and another as they honed in on our location. I had to act quickly before they detected the girl with their sonar vision. I grabbed her, physically picking her up from the ground with my increased zombie strength, then ran up the remaining steps heading across the landing. The man waiting in the safety of the high up vent realised what was going on so he yelled and tapped the side of the vent in order to distract the Clickers. It worked and the Clickers scattered in confusion.
I ran with the girl towards the rainwater collector and into one of the shower cubicles pulling the curtain to shield us. Instinctively the girl let out a short scream as we realised there was a naked dead body within the shower which I had inadvertently stood upon. The sound of more Clickers could be heard along with Screamers. Within moments the shower curtain was flung open and a Clicker stood before us. I faced it while the girl stood behind me. I was in no danger, for zombies didn't harm other zombies, but I needed to block the girl from the Clicker's sonar view. Surprisingly even though the Clicker could not see the girl it knew I was up to something and attempted to enter the cubicle with us. I had no choice, there was no other way I could stop it, I just felt bad knowing that the Clicker was once a friend when we had been human. I grabbed the blade still protruding from my belly and pulled it out then stabbed the Clicker within the head killing it instantly.
Grabbing the girl I ran out of the cubicle towards the vent lifting her as high as possible in the hope the man could grab her form his position. A Screamer saw us and ran directly at me while the remaining Clickers sensed our presence. The girl slipped form my hands and it was clear we weren't going to make it causing the man to jump from the safety of the vent and lift her himself. I was busy fighting the other zombies while they tried to grab the man.
The warehouse echoed as I let out a high pitched scream far greater then any sounds emitted from the Clickers causing them to grab their ears with confusion. There was then silence as I glared at each zombie in turn, grinding my teeth, with fury upon my expressionless face. The sensation of heat warmed my fungus filled pores while what remained of my heart pumped ever more blood around my veins. The Screamers remained still wondering why I was acting in such a manner.
Turning around I assisted the man back into the safety of the vent. He nodded his head while the girl mimed a thank you with her lips. They both knew I couldn't join them and it was time to go return to my usual blank state of thought while my human mind ever faded.
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