The Lies I Tell Myself (Acceptance)

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       The shot rang loud in my ears, but the loud thud of Eli's body hitting the asphalt rung louder in my ears.  Free had won and had killed Eli.  There was nothing left to be fought over, and we had managed to get Eli to the facility.  We slowly made our way to Eli's slumped-over body and began to carry him into the courtyard of the facility.  During our entire battle with the beast, and Free's battle with Eli, we neglected to notice the true magnitude of the facility.  The entire complex was enormous but remained unguarded from the outside.  We made our way up to the main entrance and saw how the doors were guarded by iron bars.  We heard a raspy voice coming from a speaker box that that was set aside a large screen that was placed just outside of the entrance.  We saw two cameras angled at us that both stared at us from above our heads.  "I can see you!"  It took both Free and me by surprise.  Free was first to speak up.

       "We're here to drop off a package.  He was vital to the survival of mankind."

        The raspy voice just beyond the walls was not convinced.  "Is that a dead body?  What proof do you have that this dead boy is worth anything? Go away!"

         It was then that I decided to speak up. "Wait!  This guy was bitten by a zombie and he survived!  Even dead, his blood has to be valuable to you all somehow."  I moved the collar of Eli's shirt to reveal the zombie bite and made sure the cameras could see it.  The person with a raspy voice moved the cameras and adjusted them so he could clearly see it.

         He pressed a button that moved the iron gates.  "Very well, hurry on in before we have more unwanted company."  It was then that we noticed the horde of zombies that were slowly making their way towards us through the rubble and carnage that had ensued just moments before.  We hurried inside the facility and the raspy voiced man shut the door behind him.

          The hallways of the facility were dark and many of the light bulbs were shattered.  We passed by room after empty room, most filled with decaying bodies or debilitated zombies.  We made our way down the dimly lit hallways until we came to a room that had lights emitting from it.  The room had golden text on the outside that told us the room was the research lab of someone named Dr. Sennerd.  We heard the raspy man from inside calling us in.  "Hurry in and bring in the body.  We may be able to get enough blood out of him to make a cure."  We hurried in with Eli's crumpled body and placed him down on a large metallic desk.  It was after we let down Eli's body with a loud thump on the table that a small man in a large computer chair turned to face us.  His face was disfigured and showed some concern across it.  His body was small and appeared to be frail.  "Please move out of the way.  I need to examine the body closely for the best place to insert in the tubes."  He went to a cabinet and received four blood bags and wheeled around a small blood drawing machine.  He quickly inserted two tubes, one into each of Eli's arms and turned the machine on so it would begin draining the blood from Eli's body.

          "There has been too much bloodshed this past year.  Too many people have died thanks to my mistakes, and this is the least I can do."

          Free wanted to be the first to reach for Sennerd but I brushed away his hand and rested mine on Sennerd's shoulder.  "What do you mean your mistakes, doctor?"

          "My mistake was not keeping a closer eye on my apprentice, and watching how he changed."

            Free spoke up, "What happened to him?"

            The doctor moved away and crossed his arms behind his back and hung his head down in a depressed sigh.  "The young man was obsessed with diseases.  He wanted to create the strongest ones ever and cure them, all in hopes of being able to cure every disease in the world."  The doctor began to pace as he continued on in telling the story of his apprentice.  "His obsession turned sour however after his beloved fiancé passed away and many of the jealous scientists who were jealous of his amazing work were cruel to him.  They tortured him for days on end, saying that he likely killed her by messing with diseases.  They called him 'God's mistake' and told him he should just end himself like he ended all of the diseases he created.  He grew very angry  and grew a seething hatred for all humans.  I tried to stop him from doing it....but I was too late.  He was too intelligent for all of us to be able to stop him, and he snuck into an army based and launched eight nuclear warheads, all carrying a vial of a disease he referred to as Volvox:  destroyer of humanity.  Volvox is the disease he created to wipe out the human race, and he ended his own life by protecting the console that launched the nukes with his own body.  He died preventing people from stopping his evil plan.  He succeeded in his plan in his final moments.  Each of the nuclear warheads hit a major location on each of the major continents.  The location that he struck down in the United States was in Houston, Texas.  A large metropolitan area that would only spread his disease and destruction.  Since then, I've been focusing on trying to save the last of humanity from Volvox, and I was fortunate enough to have the cure be brought to my doorstep."

             Both Free and I were simply taken away by this story.  This entire time, we had been heading west trying to escape the destruction of our ending world, when in reality, we were the ones who may have saved the world from the plans of a madman.  It was harder for me to accept anything that had happened to me thus far, but after hearing this news, I had finally accepted my circumstances and new what I wanted to do.  "We want to help you in saving the last of humanity."

             Dr. Sennerd gave us a depressed sigh and told us his thoughts.  "I would love any more help you may want to offer, but I'm afraid the responsibility lies with me and the remaining governments of the world to decide who receives this antidote.  I need time to make an antidote out of this blood, but if you stay long enough, I can inject a small sample of his blood into you if you would like to have some hopes of immunity to Volvox."  Free and I both nodded to each other in agreement.  We sat down in the other two remaining chairs in the room and he gave us each a raw shot of Eli's blood.  And with that, we said our farewells to Dr. Sennerd.

             I wanted to help him disperse the cure, but I knew that Free and I would be little help to him.  So we left in our SUV and went out to the beach.  Eli wanted to visit this place before we died, and we finally made it, just not with him accompanying us.  I wanted to die there, jump off of the cliffs and end my life.  There was nothing left for me to do, and no way I could fix what had already been done, but something Free told me as he went out to the open tide and waded through the water.  "Life may be hit or miss sometimes in the paths we choose, so when life blocks our path, we take a detour and find another way to keep going."  As dumb as Free's words sounded, they made sense to me.  My life as it was had officially ended a long time ago, and I had just barely made it through the grief of my experiences to realize that my old life was gone, and it was time for me to start anew.  So, through the old tears of recalling this tale, I end it on a note looking forward.

             Free and I are going to head up north to Alaska and try our best to survive up there.  There was a signal from Alaska, and a fortress with people and a small government have been searching for new survivors to join them.  Free and I decided that we would head north and that we will do our best to live our lives to the fullest from here on out.  As much as I wanted to go back to the way things were, I've finally come to terms with my reality and no longer need to listen to the lies I tell myself.  From here on out, I'm going to focus on not only surviving, but thriving in my new life as a member of the world that survived absolute destruction, and will do my best to help it start anew.

End of Acceptance


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