“Merciful God, you welcome a new soul into eternity, light, and joy, as stated in the heaven’s spiritual union; When Lord Jesus descends upon us for the second time, those who had died in the name of Christ, will first be resurrected from their graves, and have their everlasting lives.”
The priest kissed the silver cross. Faint sunlight pierced through the high stained glass windows of the cathedral, and laid its shadows on the pine coffin painted in black. A caucasian lady in a black veil kneeled down, covering her mouth with a cold hand. She forced her sobs back, while hugging a little boy next to her.”
“Does God love everyone?”
“God…” The lady took a trembling breath, saying hoarsely, “God loves all living creatures, and so bestowed his only son to us, so that none of his believers would perish, and instead gain an everlasting life…”
“Then why did we lose our freedom instead, and suffer from pillaging and imprisonment?”
“Does that mean that we were born unequal?”
The doors behind the lady burst open, and countless figures rushed into the cathedral, and hooting and yelling sounded through the hall. The lady only had time to pull the pendant off her neck and shoved it into the little boy’s hands, before getting caught by a few soldiers dressed in full military gear and dragged backwards forcibly.
“Run, run away quickly!” The struggling lady’s shouts pierced through the chaos. “Quick! Run! Leave this place!”
“Don’t turn back, don’t give up!”
“Mama loves you! …”
The cathedral collapsed in a loud bang, and flames blazed up, shooting dark grey smoke into the sky. Screams and cries faded away, and the wind scattered the ashes across the vast and desolate land.
On the field, the little boy was running as fast as he could, and behind him were soldiers and hounds chasing tightly after him. A sea of light gradually appeared in front of him, and an enormous city came into view below the cliff. With the soldiers shouting furiously behind him, the boy leapt!
Wild winds whistled past his ears, and lifted up the pendant on his chest.
Rapidly falling, the little boy closed his eyes. The last thing reflected in those black eyes was a lonely, cold, and endless night.
“The dead would be resurrected, and have their everlasting life —”
In his heart, he recited.
Year 2019, City T.
A young man sat up in the dark. The next moment, a sharp pain shot through his every nerves like a current, and the dizziness from the pain caused him to retch instantly.
However, having not eaten anything for a day, there was nothing in his stomach for him to vomit out. Other than the intense contractions of his organs, nothing else happened. After awhile, he finally calmed down as he panted. Focusing his vision with some effort, he discovered that he was in a cramp and dark cell, and a dim light shone from beyond the metal bars.
… What is this place, a prison?
Why am I here?
He tried to search through his muddled mind for any useful information, but he could not even recall his own name, and just by thinking, his head pounded unbearably. When he was about to try pushing himself off the low bed, footsteps and voices suddenly sounded from outside the cell.
“… Searching through the entire city for 3 days but we didn’t find any live ones. Is it because Omega scents are especially attractive to zombies…”
“Apparently, Alphas are the same. Only the useless Betas are safe.”
“Forget it, these few Omegas should be considered enough for the completion of our mission…”
The lock clanged, followed by the grinding shriek of the cell door opening. Two soldiers walked into the room, and within the dim light of the corridor, they could vaguely see a thin body lying on the bed. He looked lifeless, and his chest did not seem to even move.
“Don’t tell me he’s dead.”
A finger from a hand in fingerless glove reached under the man’s nose, then, according to their training, he searched for a pulse on his neck.
“He’s unconscious.” That soldier said, “He’s been like this since we found him. Surprisingly, he’s pretty good looking.”
His partner laughed, “As if. Covered in mud and ashes, you can still see his features clearly?”
“Even through 18 more layers of mud, I’ll still be able to see them clearly.”
“You’re just too thirsty!”
“And you’re not?”
“There’s no point being thirsty, it’s not like we’ll be able to gain anything from it…”
The young man’s eyes shut tightly. Pretending to be a corpse, he felt himself being lifted out of the cell.
During the bumpy journey, he lifted his eyelids slightly. Because of his narrow vision, he could only see that the person in front carrying him was dressed in kevlar gear, and their arms were muscular and firm; his partner behind him was dressed in the same way too, his figure tall and broad, his feet in work boots, and a black gun harness was strapped around his thigh.
A shadow from around the corner fell upon the young man’s eyes. Silently, he closed them again. Soon, the two soldiers entered a lift, ascended, stopped, and the lift door opened to light and chaos.
Someone was running and shouting, “Prepare the supplied! Get ready to retreat! The base’s helicopter is on the roof awaiting orders!”
“The city has already fallen, there’s no time left!”
“Hurry hurry hurry let’s go!”
The partner, behind the soldier, whose hands were empty, gave an acknowledgement and left. The young man squinted, now was the time.
“Bring the Omegas up onto the helicopter, don’t let them escape. Send them back to the base…”
The soldier was about to respond, but suddenly felt the young Omega in his arms lean sideways, and slide down from his arms to the ground —
His first reaction was to bend down to catch him, but right at that moment, the young man who had been corpse-like reached out to his gun holster at his back, pulling out the gun, and landed on the floor with one knee on the ground!
This whole process was too sudden. Before the soldier could yell out in fury, at that very second, with a lightning swing of the young man’s leg, his feet were swept out from under him!
Alarmed shouts surrounded them, and they watched the young man pull the Alpha soldier’s hair and slammed his head into the ground. Then, pulling up the soldier whose face was covered in blood, he pointed the gun at his temple, and used him as a shield. “… Back off…”
He wanted to say “back off, don’t move”, but having been unconscious for such a long time, his throat was hoarse. Only after a few seconds he then harshly grated out, “Stand there! Put down your weapons!”
The faces of all the approaching soldiers in the hall changed. They stopped simultaneously, forming a semi-circle around them, and the scene was set for a showdown.
“Lieutenant Colonel, there’s an emergency —”
Tang Hao hung up the phone and raised his head. “What?”
“An Omega has revolted,” The adjutant officer pointed at the nearby hall, the outrage on his face yet to fade away. “He’s abducted our man, and even wants to escape!”
The young man’s heavy pants mingled with the Alpha soldier’s shuddering breaths. The soldier felt the icy cold muzzle of the gun against his temple, and unconsciously swallowed a few times, each time tasting the blood in his mouth. He said hoarsely, “Let… let go of me, you won’t be able to escape… Ah!”
The young man’s hand, like an iron band, gripped his throat tightly. “— Shut up.”
This was the public area of the prison, with a circular layout. At that moment, it was flooded with soldiers in full military gear, and with a glance, the young man estimated that there were at least a hundred of them. Beyond the crowd of soldiers were first aid supplies and stretchers covered with white cloths. He was unable to count the number of corpses there, and the air was thick with the indescribable smell of gunpowder, ashes, blood, and rotting flesh.
What is this, an uprising?
Who am I? Why exactly am I here?
The entrance, a distance away from the hall, had been locked with a solid iron door. By the side of the door was a small office, and an extremely tall and somewhat tanned man, dressed in camouflage, was striding out of there.
The young man retreated step by step, his eyes staring vigilantly at his face. The man walked through the crowd and stood a few steps away, retrieving his gun from his back holster, and his lieutenant colonel emblem on his coat was revealed.
“Let go of my people.” Tang Hao looked at the nearby young Omega who had already retreated into a corner. Being from the Special Forces, although his body was built and muscular, but when speaking, he adjusted his voice so as not to make the other person feel even more oppressed. “— We’re the ones who saved you. The city has already fallen, there’s nowhere for you to escape to.”
Under his focus, the young man closed his eyes, then wrenched them open again. “Who are you guys?”
Tang Hao did not answer his question directly. “Our mission is to search for and protect the precious and critically important Omegas, and deliver you all safely to our base. You will not face any danger, and the base is also prepared to take charge over all of you, and will soon transfer you all to a safe zone…”
There’s no longer a safe zone, a voice from his subconscious told him.
Not only this city, the entire country, even the entire world, had fallen already.
The young man fell into a slight daze, he himself too did not know where that sorrowful information came from.
“Let go of your hostage, and we’ll treat it as though nothing has happened. If my soldiers had been impolite to you, I will apologise on their behalf…”
“No… No.” The young man interrupted Tang Hao. He retreated even closer against the wall, and gasped as he shook his head. “Put down your guns and let me go, I must… now…”
Tang Hao was about to say something, but the expression on his face changed suddenly.
A loud wail sounded from within the prison, and it did not sound very far away. Shuffling sounds of countless feet drew nearer, and a continuous banging could even be heard coming from the iron door!
Showers of dust and grit came from the walls, and the faces of everyone changed drastically. The adjutant officer yelled, “Lieutenant Colonel! The gate downstairs has fallen, the zombies are rushing in!”
The young man called out, “Put down your guns!”
“Let me go—!”
Tang Hao turned around, he raised his hand and fired his gun a few times!
Flickering with blue light, the dart-like electrodes had hit the Alpha soldier and the young man. The sharp pain from the electrodes caused the young man to fall kneeling to the ground, then his body planted down, and even lost consciousness for a few seconds.
His chest suddenly felt a heavy pressure, as though a heavy rock was pressing on it. It was Tang Hao who had a knee against his chest. The young man coughed out a spray of blood, then raised his hand in the next second. However, his wrist was easily caught and held against the ground by Tang Hao, and the current running through him did not allow his twitching muscles to contract.
“…” Tang Hao cursed silently, and his expression was a little discomposed — not because of the fight, but because of the blood the Omega underneath him had coughed out.
The mud and dust covering the young man’s face could not hide his clear and delicate features. He did not look as gentle as the usual Omegas, but had more defined features, with sharp eyebrows, bright eyes and a straight nose, from his chin to his neck, it was a perfect line of muscles.
The pheromone-rich blood had sprayed onto the sleeve of Tang Hao’s combat uniform. It was like a fierce whip across the Alpha’s blazing nerves, a wordless stimulation welling up from his instincts.
“The apocalypse has made the lives of Omega a living hell. If you leave this place now, the survivors outside will be even scarier than the zombies. Especially for one like you,” Tang Hao’s thumb dragged along the young man’s face, the skin under the dirt was startling white.
“You won’t even be able to survive the night. Maybe, getting eaten alive by zombies would be the most merciful death for you.”
“Someone take him away! We’ll withdraw at full speed!” As though to hide his body’s instinctual reaction, Tang Hao rapidly stood up and headed out.
It was at this moment when he saw the expressions of the soldiers across him changed. Before he could react, he felt a force around his ankle, and in the next second he was pulled down to the ground —
Tang Hao nearly brained himself on the ground, and that swear that he had suppressed for so long finally expressed itself.
He could not believe that the electrodes had lost their effectiveness on this Omega in less than a minute. However, he then saw the young man pick up his gun, lean into him, and his husky voice speaking almost right into his ear, “I prefer dying of old age.”
The young man pulled out a magazine clip from Tang Hao’s pocket. He stood up rapidly, and pointed the gun at the surrounding soldiers as he retreated quickly towards the window.
Tang Hao seemed to have realised something, and he yelled, “No—”
But it was already too late.
Under the eyes of everyone, the young man threw himself against the glass window, and leapt down amidst the shards of glass.
— This was the third storey!
Tang Hao shot to the window, and the soldiers swarmed after him. Time seemed to slow down and freeze, and the young man twisted his body in midair, arching himself like a bow that was stretched to its limit, his black hair streaming behind him.
It was clearly such a long distance, but the dull thud of the fall seemed as though it was right next to Tang Hao’s ear.
Bowing himself, the young man landed. He tumbled across the ground, just like a textbook performance, and stood up with two guns in his hands!
Could this person really have some sort of background?!
An unconcealable incomprehension finally appeared in Tang Hao’s eyes. He heard his subordinate asked urgently, “Lieutenant Colonel, should we chase after him?”
Tang Hao raised his hand to stop them — it was too late.
Following his line of sight, there was only an empty car park downstairs. Ten-odd zombies who had not entered the prison turned themselves around, putting down the bloody remains in their hands, and lurched their way towards the young man.
The young man did not seem to have expected such a situation, and was stunned for a short while when faced with the living dead. At the same time, Tang Hao snatched a gun from a soldier, without looking, he pressed the trigger, and a zombie near the young man took a bullet right in between his eyes.
The living dead fell to the ground. The body that had long gone through rigor mortis stiffened, and dark, sticky, purple blood slowly flowed down to the dirty ground, making its way to the nearby drains that had long been choked and filled with stagnant water.
As for the other living dead, they did not notice anything. They continued howling and making their way closer.
“You’ll be infected if you’re bitten!” Tang Hao’s yell came from above. “You must target their heads!”
Before his voice faded away, the young man seemed to jerk awake from some confused dream, and suddenly moved —
Tang Hao could not clearly see how his legs moved. In the blink of an eye, the young man rushed forward like a whirlwind. When he brushed past the second zombie, it did not even have the time to raise its hand. A shadow swept past, and flew upwards.
The young man stepped on the shoulder of the third zombie with a foot — that was a convict who had escaped from the prison during the zombie uprising, his face had already been torn apart, and within the black and red rotting flesh, broken teeth could be seen — He immediately fired a few shots, in the pack of living dead, the heads of those that were reaching out towards him exploded.
Still, even more living dead came rushing up. From the third storey window, Tang Hao could see everything clearly. Even the zombies that were lingering on the streets had all gathered and started heading in this direction!
——He doesn’t have enough bullets!
The young man did not show a trace of hesitance or fear, straight away dodging through them. He basically made his way through by stepping on the heads and shoulders of the zombies, and every step was fast as lightning and unbelievably risky. In a few seconds, he had made his way through the zombie crowd, and landed on the ground with a knee, ending up at the roadway that was outside the gates of the prison.
In a split second, Tang Hao understood what he was about to do, and he raised his brow.
As expected, the young man did not pause, and shot like a bullet to the nearest car.
That was an ordinary Toyota Camry. All the doors were open, and the driver had already turned into a bloody male zombie. Trapped within the safety belt, he kept moaning, and his livid purple fingers were clawing the air in front of him.
The pack of zombies were all chasing after him, and their heavy footsteps drew nearer. The young man did not turn back to look. He shattered the head of the driver with the gun, then lifted the body out and tossed it outside the car. Deftly sliding into the driver’s seat, he slammed the door close.
The male zombie fell onto the pack, and the zombies in front tripped over him. From a distance, Tang Hao put down his binoculars, his face slightly sombre.
“Lieutenant Colonel, we must immediately withdraw. The iron door has already…”
Under the tireless attack of the zombies, the iron door of the hall was on the verge of collapse. Large chunks of concrete were falling down, and finally, with a bone-chilling shriek, the door was torn apart.
Mutilated zombies in tattered clothing flocked in. The first row of soldiers fired their guns, and with the exploding bits of flesh and blood, the prison hall instantly turned into a scene of bloody slaughter.
Tang Hao strode forward, with a twist of his shoulder, he swung the automatic MP5 to his front. A rain of bullets made their way continuously through the pack of zombies, and rows of the living dead flew backwards under the enormous impact of the 9mm Ruger bullets.
Tang Hao retreated as he continued shooting. He did not turn his head, and he swung his left hand from top to bottom swiftly, “Let’s go!”
The soldiers rapidly withdrew through the building, and at the last moment when he stepped past the door, Tang Hao’s eyes shifted from the terrifying faces of the countless zombies to land outside the window.
On a street full of zombies, debris, and abandoned cars, a silver Toyota Camry split through like a sharp arrow, cutting through them and quickly disappearing through the burning flames at the end of the road.
Tang Hao pulled his eyes away and kicked the door close, trapping all the zombies within the hall. The soldiers started running up to the roof. When he turned, he keenly caught a faint scent, and his Adam’s apple bobbed harshly.
— That was the alluring, musky scent of an Omega’s pheromone coming from his sleeve.
“Lieutenant Colonel?” A soldier asked.
Tang Hao took the stairs two at a time, and pointed his gun at the blood stain on his sleeve.
“When we’re back at the base, retrieve the DNA from this. Compare it against the population registry of City T. I want to know the identity and background of this Omega.”
The subordinate nodded his head.