Please note this is a one shot set in the To Ride A Pale Horse universe, however no knowledge of that story is needed. Could be considered dark - fic, it is zombies after all....
Written for the the_jossverse
Disclaimer: The character of Kate Lockely belongs to Joss. Whatever Happened to Kate Lockley?
Sometimes someone at the force would stop to wonder - whatever happened to Kate Lockley? Most of the time it was spoken with derision; every time a case came in that looked a little off, every time someone died by blood loss. If it looked like an X-Files moment, then Kate was mentioned.
Kate knew all of this, of course. She still had a few friends, knew a few officers who were aware of the truth, who kept her appraised, even though they were unwilling to risk their own careers by speaking out.
So when the police were called out to stop a few hospital riots, she knew. When they didn’t come back, she was aware of that as well.
A few things were unknown. What exactly was going on? Was it Vampires? Demons? Werewolves?
So she watched and waited. She saw humans in disarray and knew it couldn’t be vampires. Vampires dusted when staked through the heart. They didn’t try to bite your arm or walk around with half their body parts missing. Zombies.
Head shots it would be. Guns and machetes. She might be hot tempered at times, but she wasn’t stupid. The undead were roaming the streets and now the military was rolling into town as well. Quarantine.
The word sounded ominous. She wondered what the military could really do to stop the tide. If they would be able to take the appropriate measures or if they would just be cannon fodder. She prayed it wouldn’t be the latter.
Kate had already raided the empty police station for weapons, the grocery stores for food, and the pharmacy for medication. She had checked in at Angel’s hotel and found no one there. The next logical choice for her had been to create a barricade at the Galleria and prepare to wait out whatever siege took place. Unfortunately, it seemed that every other person who had ever seen a zombie movie had the same idea. When she first got to the mall there had been twenty or thirty people there. When she left on her usual patrol a day later there had been at least two hundred. They had set up freaking communities in different areas of the mall. It was insane! Didn’t these people have homes?
Granted, she couldn’t throw many stones. As much as she distrusted the supernatural, she had more faith in Angel then she did in the military, or the throngs of people congregating at the mall, for that matter. Although she couldn’t blame them. Listening to the military voices on the radio filled her with a feeling of dread. She had, apparently, watched the same movies that everyone else in the mall had watched and she had been on duty during the Rodney King riots. Both the military and large mobs of people made her nervous. She didn’t trust anyone anymore – living, dead, or otherwise.
The recordings were started over, telling the masses a list of medical stations for those who are sick or infected and civil service stations for those who needed a safe harbor. Kate knew it was a bad idea. They were dealing with zombies, for crying out loud! What kind of treatment would you give an injured person? It would be more humane to just shoot them.
Of course, she was already starting to think this whole mall thing was a bad idea. Two hundred plus people in a confined space during a city wide quarantine? What were her chances that everyone here was healthy? That no one had been bitten, or would let someone in who had
been bitten?Stupid movies.
Adding to her list of problems was the nagging feeling that she should be doing something, anything to help out. To save lives. Despite her lack of a badge, she was still an officer, sworn to serve and protect. She felt the need to do something other than patrol for survivors and shoot zombies, and she had to do it before the zombies lining the walls outside got too dense for her to be able to get out. The mall was already becoming too crowded with people for her to be able to breathe.
Every instinct she had was crying out for her to hide, yet she loaded up as many supplies as she could carry safely. She couldn’t let the military lead people to their deaths. What exactly did they think happened to the police force? It was the whole concept of ‘secure location’ to begin with.
The only thing her conscience would allow her to do would be to find the military commanders and tell them what was really going on. If they were already dead, she could at least turn off that stupid recording, then get on the radio herself and tell the people the truth. What to do - to stay indoors, to hide themselves away. If they had to fight, she could at least tell them to shoot the infected in the head.
She headed out towards her escape route, idly wondering if the community that had squatted in Fuddruckers would trade medicine for a burger. She really had a craving for some red meat.
Finally, one two-thirds jalapeño bacon cheeseburger later, she headed out to the closest military safe harbor.
She just knew she was going to regret this.
A day later, Kate was bruised, bloody, and pissed off beyond belief. There wasn’t an inch of her that wasn’t sore, but, amazingly enough, she hadn’t been bitten yet. This was the third ‘secure location’ she had gone to.
The first was a Red Cross shelter which had been set up after the riots had destroyed the main hospitals. She had known that was a bad idea before she got close. However, it had been the nearest location mentioned on the radio, and was on the way to a more promising location. She shouldn’t even have bothered to slow down. There wasn’t anyone alive, there weren’t any weapons she could find – loaded, at least – and she wasted a lot of ammo in the whole adventure.
Kate’s next stop had been a road block about twenty miles past one of the temporary shelters. The shelter had been the last emergency management spot before the militarys quarantine blockade. Many people who actually had made it to the road block had been turned back. She didn’t bother to stop at the shelter since it already looked wrecked. She had held out hope that the military would be far enough away and well armed enough to have held out against the eventual onslaught of living dead.
No such luck.
The barricade was overrun with zombies. She managed to drive her recently acquired vehicle right through a few dozen of the undead, parking it sideways next to the entrance of what looked to be a hastily erected one level. It looked like some barracks married a 50’s office complex and had little building children.
That adventure netted her about half the ammo she expended, three military grunts who had taken refuge in a freezer and a replacement vehicle since theirs, frankly, was bigger.
Kate and the military trio headed to what she had hoped would be their salvation. What the grunts had assured her would be the one remaining safe destination.
Edwards Air Force Base.
Everyone, apparently, knew that Southern California would have to be a total loss for Edwards to fall. With something so secure, so fortified, and containing such a diversity of armaments and supplies that they could make an indefinite stand against almost any odds, the Air Force base seemed the only location guaranteed to be secure in all the surrounding counties.
Safe from anything, including legions of the undead.
If there was hope, it was at Edwards.
If there was anyone alive who could help stem this crisis, they would be at Edwards.
And if there was any hope of turning off that stupid canned recording, it was at Edwards.
Perhaps she should have stayed at the mall. For some strange reason, the security wasn’t very tight when all the military officers were dead.
So here she was, trying desperately not to mock herself by repeating the question that everyone asked at the station. Whatever happened to Kate Lockley?
Kate Lockley was locked in Edwards Air Force Base with one military grunt and two more zombies then there were previously out there. She was out of ammo. There were more zombies then she could fight. She had no clue where the armory was, and she couldn’t figure out how the hell to turn off that stupid recording.
The room she was trapped in didn’t even have a computer, and the phones weren’t working.
She was so screwed.