“How do you know they’re giving the Zombies antibiotics?” Pete asked with disbelief.

“Because I told them to.”

“Wha?!? But..ehk…you…what?”

“Pete, here is the thing: I work for the District Department of Undead…it’s kind of a long story man. Basically, I got into a huge argument with a zombie scientist, went over his head and told the Mayor that we could cure the zombies if we just pumped them full of drugs. That about sums it up.”

“Um. Ok. You’re serious with this? You can cure zombies? You know the Mayor and some pissed off mad scientist? Who the fuck are you man?”

“I’m just a slightly above average government employee Pete. This has all just kind of happened recently, I don’t know what else to tell you. And yes. You can cure zombies.”

“With antibiotics? I thought it was some sort of wacked out H1N1 virus or something. How does it…”

“It’s better for me to just show you…that’s where we’re headed. I just hope the good Dr. will let us in.”

*****************

There is something strange about parking your stolen car on the sidewalk in front of a government office building that’s next door to police headquarters. It feels liberating and harrowing at the same time. On the one hand, it’d be embarrassing to get arrested for a stolen car that I used to get to my government job. On the other hand, I would kill to see a cop right about now.

The building was empty and quiet. Just a shell of glass and concrete.

Fortunately my ID badge still worked, so getting inside was easy – I hadn’t come up with a plan B. The motion sensors clicked as we walked to the elevators, turning on the lights in our path. As far as I could tell, we were the only ones in the building.

“Where the fuck is the Government when you need them!” Pete shouted around.

“SSSHHHHhhhhhhhhhhh! Don’t draw attention to us, there could be Z’s lurking around.”

We took the elevator up to the seventh floor, passed my office and continued down the hall to the white, unmarked door of Cadore’s secret lab.

I tried my ID badge, but nothing happened. I tried again, as if that would make a difference. Nothing. I knocked on the door. Nothing. I banged on the door. It opened.

No one was on the other side.

We walked down the corridor, lights flicking on ahead of us, and slid open the second door. Cadore’s lab looked exactly as it had before, except that it was completely empty.

I flicked on the lights, illuminating the long lab benches and high-tech equipment.

“What is this place?”

“It’s Dr. Cadore’s lab where he was working on the cure. Over there in the back is where they kept the test subjects,” I said in a vaguely tour guide-esq voice as I pointed towards the back.

I had only taken ten steps toward the back when I heard a loud SNAP! followed immediately by Pete screaming out in pain. I swung around, and there was Dr. Cadore in his white lab coat, swatting at Pete with a retractable metal pointing wand. He had large darkened bags under his eyes, and he was pale.

“I thought I told you never to come back here!” scowled Cadore, waving the wand in the air as he coughed.

“Hey, cut that out!” I demanded, “and you told me I should leave, you never said I couldn’t come back.”

“This is not amusing Mr. Dingle. You do not listen to me. You are foolish and you do not listen.” He swallowed hard.

“Well, I’m listening now. Where is everyone? Where are all the other scientists and the test subjects?”

“The tests are over. All the others went home.”

“What do you mean the tests are over? Is she cured? The baby?”

“No, she has not been cured. She is… she did not make it through the birth, but the child did.”

“Um, does anyone want to tell me what the hell is going on?” Pete chimed in.

Cadore didn’t respond. “I am caring for the child here, myself. The hospital would not take her for fear of infection. They are imbeciles. The child is healthy. And I continue my research here, alone. After you left, Mayor Diggs ended all funding for my program. That is why no one else remains. They’ve all gone home.”

“Holy shit, doc. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to cause you all this trouble, I just wanted to…”

“Enough! You just did what you wanted to do. You wanted to be the hero. You wanted to be in the good eye of the Mayor. You were selfish. And now you and your little friend must go.”

“Can I at least see the baby?”

“No. You must leave. And not come back. Leave me to my work!”

“But we can’t just go back out there!” I snapped back, “they’re still rounding up all the zombies for treatment. It’s not safe…”

“What did you say? They are administering the drugs?” he perked.

“Well, yes. The ZCA is hoarding them back into the containment site and they are pumping in antibiotic treated blood – I think – to feed them all.”

“How long has this been going on for? Nevermind. Forget about that. Robert, listen to me: I don’t respect you. But you need to listen to me now. Leave D.C. There is nothing that you can do to fix this problem. It’s too big, and you cannot make a difference. Leave while you still can. Now.”

Dr. Cadore turned around and walked off without saying more. Pete and I were left standing in the middle of the lab, speechless.

In the distance I could hear the sound of a baby crying.

“Sssshhhhh, my little one. The stupid men are leaving. I will protect you my child. For as long as I live.”

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