re_mybrains: (Angsty!Tom)
"Smoking's terrible for your health, you know. And if you get lung cancer, the company health plan won't cover it."


"And it'll probably make you taste terrible, too."

"Lung cancer isn't really top on my list of worries right now, Bob." Tom sighs, stubs out the cigarrette, and tosses it away. "And the company health plan doesn't exist anymore."

". . . It'll still make you taste terrible."

"Shut up." He closes his eyes and tilts his head back against the wall, hands hanging down between his knees. "I'm not letting you in."

There's a long pause, broken only by the soft, repetitive sound of zombies shuffling mindlessly against the glass doors.

"You know, Tom, I wish it hadn't come to this."

"Gee, really? Me too."

"I just feel I have to say this."

No response.

"I always thought your code was inelegant."

Tom twists to glare up at Bob, and then wishes he hadn't. The former manager's face hasn't gotten any better over the last couple days; teeth are starting to poke through the cheek that's pressed against the door, and the eye on that side of his face is looking more and more deformed. Also, it's leaking.

"And barely functional."

"Shut up."

"I was going to bring it up at your next performance review."

"For God's sake, shut up, Bob!" He scrambles up to his knees. "What the fuck difference does it make now?"

"Tom, I know you're under a lot of stress, but that's no excuse for insubordination--"

"Insubordination? You're dead, Bob! I'm pretty sure I can't insubordinate a goddamn dead man!"

After a moment, Tom shakes his head and sits back on his heels, casting a look at the gun on the floor next to him. "Jesus."

Another long silence.

"The company also has a policy against dating among coworkers, you know, but I guess that doesn't make much difference any more, either."

And just like that, Tom's on his feet, the gun pressed against the glass and aimed at the zombie's forehead. If it weren't, it would be shaking.

"Shut up. Shut the fuck up."

"Now, now, Tom." The zombie sounds concerned. "Shooting through that glass is going to weaken its structural integrity an awful lot, don't you think? Besides, it's not like I'm saying anything untrue."

Tom stands there for a long moment as the shaking gets worse and his face twists. Finally he snatches the gun away, flicks the safety back on.

"Fuck off, Bob. Your people skills are lacking."

He stalks off into the mall, followed by the deceptively soft sounds of the shamble outside.
re_mybrains: (Super!Office!Tom)
Pity poor Tom.

Tom has lived in Detroit, MI, most of his life, with four years out in Iowa at Grinnell College studying comp sci. He moved back to Detroit after college and got a job at a broadcasting company. Which, you know, sounds pretty cool -- except that Tom was just a lowly code monkey, working on software for the company's financial database. Which is pretty lame.

Still, not such a bad life. The job paid okay, Tom had an okay relationship with his co-workers, and he even had a beautiful girlfriend -- Jordan. Tom is never going to understand how he got so lucky as to get Jordan. They met at some touchy-feely empowerment seminar or something -- he doesn't even remember anymore -- she was a receptionist, he was a coder, they agreed that this was pretty stupid and went to get coffee, and, well . . .


So Tom had an okay life for a guy stuck in a dead-end office job.

And then everything went to hell.

See, there was all this global tension, and finally some bright guy in a military think tank came up with a new idea for biological weapons -- actually more like half a dozen bright guys in half a dozen military think tanks all over the world apparently came up with the idea at the same time -- and the world got the shit bombed out of it and long story short, there were zombies.

All over.

Including all over the apartment building where Tom and Jordan lived, where Jordan was staying home from work with a cold while Tom went to work. Which ended up being the apartment building where Jordan got eaten by their zombified next-door neighbor, a sweet old lady with three cats that she'd eaten before moving on down the hallway.

Now, Tom, for all that he was stuck in a dead-end code monkey job, can be a pretty charismatic guy when he has to be, and he sort of assumed leadership when half the company's workforce got turned into zombies. He lead the other survivors to the mall nearby, figuring they had a good chance of barricading themselves in there and having food and supplies for a while. Okay, so he didn't figure that -- he just figured it was nearby and big and could hold a lot of people. Tom's never been real good at thinking more than a couple moves ahead, which is probably why he was still a code monkey when it all went down.

The survivors stopped by Tom's apartment building on the way, which was where he found Jordan. They also raided a gun shop. When they got to the mall, they barricaded themselves in, cleared out the zombified customers and staff -- and waited.

Eventually the shamble of zombies that had been their coworkers caught up with them (it took a while; zombies are pretty slow) and began to patiently try to get into the mall. The zombie at the forefront was Bob, who had the corner office down the hall from Tom, he was Tom's supervisor's manager or something, someone relatively high up.

Tom is utterly convinced that Bob tried to talk him into opening up the doors and letting all the zombies in. Not that he told anyone this, because that just sounds crazy. And vaguely suicidal, you know? You don't want the guy who's assumed leadership to start babbling about zombie choruses. And, okay, maybe it was crazy, but Tom doesn't think so. Not at all. Bob was talking to him.


It all ended up being kind of futile. Bob was right -- eventually they started to run out of supplies, especially ammo, and they'd all gotten cornered on the higher levels after the shamble broke through the glass doors. Then it turned out that one guy had gotten bitten by a zombie during that attack, and the thing is, if you get bitten by a zombie . . .

Tom really doesn't like remembering what happened next, because it involved a lot of screaming and shooting and eventually a blind, panicked run out of the mall with the three other survivors, beating away zombies with baseball bats as they went.

And Tom hasn't stopped running since then. He's not nearly as well-groomed as the icons suggest, and at this point he's just generally not very hygienic; not only are showers hard to come by in this post-apocolyptic world, but Tom doesn't like to stay still long enough to take them. Survival is a lot more important, and survival means running.

Of course, he's in pretty damn good shape at this point.

Except for the beginnings of malnourishment.

Poor Tom.

At least no one's eaten his eyes.


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April 2011

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