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Aberrant: Dead Rising - Dreams and Wishes [complete]

Dan Hawkins

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2 months after Z-day

It had been a fair day. He had a full tank of gas, had had a good meal to start and raided a walmart hard for lots of supplies. He lft that run down town in Northern Alabama and traveled West across Mississippi. He came to a stop at one of the gas stations in a small town called Coral. He found the pumps turned off but with a little power he was able to make it work long enough to refill his tank.

He was about to leave when his stomach growled. He went into the store, which looked like a warzone. He took his time as he picked up a few things to eat and a lukewarm bottle of water. He went back and ate in his Humvee, and nearly pulled his gun on the staring face in his driver's side window when A young man knocked on the window. He wasn't a zombie and Dan opened the door, letting the youth see the gun in his hand.

"Mister, I hate to ask, but some of my friends are feeling bad, and you're the only adult here in Coral. Is there anything at all you can do for them?" He seemed utterly nonplussed at the gun.

Struck by the kids determination, Dan nodded. "I'll take a look at the very least."

He told the youth to climb in and together they made it to a small Methodist church on the other side of town. It overlooked a ridge looking north across a plain and Had one lone tree near the edge.

The humvee's arrival was met by five young people from the ages of five to twelve by his estimates. He an the Young man who had hailed him got out and the other kids gathered around him Shouts of "Zack you did it" and a general wave of relief washed over them all.

One little girl, The one the others called Hannah, a precious little blonde of five years came up and took his hand"Mister you're going to make them better won't you?"

Dan looked down to her, and he found himself speechless. In the end he finally managed. "I'll try my best."

He was led to a room with five others who looked nearly dead, indeed the room stank of death. Helooked at the five kids on the sleeping bags laid out in the room. Some were covered in bite and scratches, and one boy was missing an ear. Only Zack accompanied him.

He looked to Zack. "You were all attacked?"

Zack nodded. "I hotwired a van and We got away from a town called Ames about sixty miles south of here. The Van died on the road and this was the only building we found intact. Last night all these guys got real sick. Today the rest of us started getting sick. What's wrong with them Mister?"

Dan frowned. "They've been infected by the plague. It kills you slowly and painfully before turning you into a zombie. There's no hope son, I'm sorry."

"How do people get infected Mister?"

"Getting Bitten mostly, though I heard of scratches doing it too. It was then that he noticed the

bandage on Zack's hand. "You've been bitten too haven't you Zack?"

The boy just nodded. "Everyone but Hannah."

Dan's heart sank, life wasn't fair, and this was especially cruel, but at least he could save one.

"These five will turn soon Zack. I need whoever's healthy to go gather some wood, we have to burn them."


Dan looked him.

"We have to bury them They're still human." A moan escaped one of the boys, and the dead began to rise. Zack watched in mute horror at the spectacle. Dan sprung into action, quickly snapping the zombies neck with his bare hands, and doing the same as each one turned. Zack looked at him in horror.

"What are you?"

"A Marine."

His demeanor softened. "We still have some time yet Zack."

Zack just looked at him.

"If there was something you could do, what would it be?"

"What do you mean?"

"I can't stop the infection Zack, but I can try to make however long you have left happy, Ill do what i can for all of you."

"I have to ask the others Mister..."

"Dan works Zack."


He left and Dan cleaned up. He then exited the room and was met by Zack and the others. He had a sheet of paper with a list. "First off, none of us have had a good cooked meal since yesterday morning. Here's what we'd like." He rattled off a list of dishes.

Dan nodded. "I can manage that easy enough."

"We all decided we wanted to see a movie together too."

Dan looked at him.

"We've got a tv and stuff here but no way to power them. Truth be told We voted and we just want to see Happy Feet again. The girls all think the penguins are cute."

"Dan smiled. "I can do that too. What else?"

"I don't suppose you'd let me shoot that gun on the Humvee a few times..."

Dan nodded. "I'll spare a few rounds for you."

Hannah nodded. "I want a story!"

Dan smiled. "Alright."

They all smiled and he stood up. "It may take some time but I'll cook the food and then we can watch the movie. While I cook there's medicine with instructions in my kit. You can take it if you start feeling worse."

He left and headed back to the grocery store he'd passed on the way in and gathered the unspoiled food he could. He returned to find the kids playing, not moving as fast as healthy kids but still trying. He gave the meal his best effort, setting the table for them. They all looked on in awe at the spread. "Eat up, it's all for you."

Afterwards he fished out the dvd copy he'd gotten from a blockbuster in town and they all gathered around the tv in the fellowship hall. he turned the lights down and held both wires in his hands discreetly. he nodded to zack to turn them on and began pouring his own power into them to make them work.

They all sat and enjoyed the movie untill the afternoon and Dan led Zack to the Humvee. One of the Girls, Misty was starting to get worse. He let each of them have a turn with the big gun burning a quarter box of shells in the process.

Finally he looked at them. "I've got something cool to show you all."

They gathered around and he took to the sky, flying overhead. They ooh'ed and ahh'ed and then he came back down and made the irresistable offer. "I can take each of you if you'd like." He did, though he was very low on power when it came to Hannah's turn.

"Please Hannah if we can wait till tomorrow I'll take you higher than the others. I'm tired right now."

Unquestioningly, the little five year old nodded. They all slept together in the same room, only Hannah seemed to be less affected by the virus, as the others worsened badly. Dan awoke in the morning first, and checked their necks. the five older ones were all dead, Hannah was sleeping peacefully next to him. He carried her from the room without waking her and returned. It was a repeat of the previous day as the dead rose and Dan snapped their necks. He exited the room to Find a sleepy Hannah waiting for him.

On her right hand was a bitemark only one or two teeth. Dan's soul threatened to break in that instant, but the little girl looked up at him and smiled. "Where's Zack and Faith and Misty and Bobby and James?"

Dan looked at her , did his best. "They're sleeping Hannah, they need more rest, much more."

She nodded. "I don't feel so good." He led her to his first aid kit and gave her some medicine which he knew wouldn't help, but the soul crushing weight of the unfairness around him and the alternative forced him to try everything.

He cooked her breakfast and they watched the movie again, and Alladdin, and Finding Nemo. That afternoon as she grew weaker he carried her about in his arms, eventually carrying her aloft. He carried her aloft above the clouds so she could see and feel the warmth of the sun's rays, even as it began to set. "You owe me a story."

"So I do."

"There once was a princess who was more beautiful than all others. She was kind and gentle, good and pure. She had many friends, and everyone loved her. But there were bad things in the darkness that wanted her to become dark and evil like them. To that end they tested her repeatedly, but she always came through passing each test with perfection.

The bad things knew they couldn't beat her fairly, so they began to work on her friends. Through the passage of time, misfortune befell her friends and everntually they became bad things too.

One day a powerful Wizard stopped at the castle and was beseeched to help. The Wizard's powers were mighty, but even his magic could not defeat the evil the bad things had wrought. In the end, It was all he could do to place the badthings who had once been the princess's friends into a deep sleep from which there was no waking, but at least there would be no suffering either.

The princess all alone with the wizard, looked to him with but one final wish. "The bad things will only continue this as long as I am around, I'll never have any more friends. Put me into the same sleep as them so at least I can be with them."

The wizard was heartbroken at this request, but knew the truth of it. With a heay heart, he wove his magic over the princess, sending her off to a world where dreams come true and where she could be one with her friends again, all the while making sure that the Bad Things never got there way and turned her. He sealed the castle behind him as he left, but he never forgot the kind princess, and her complete and total devotion to her friends. She was good and pure, and would always remain so, if only because she dreamed forever."

Hannah looked up into Dan's eyes as the Sun sank low, almost gone. "Thank you mister Dan. That story made me sleepy. Think I can go into a sleep like what my friends did? like that princess in the story? I don't want to be apart from them either."

Dan looked down, the sorrow in his eyes was impossible to hide. "If that is what you want Hannah, I will do it. I will cast a spell that lets you dream with them eternally." His voice was cracking, he was losing it quickly.

"Thank You Wizard Dan" She yawned one last tiny yawn and her eyes began to close as her heart slowed. "Goodnight."

His big hand took hold of the back of her neck as he whispered softly. "Goodnight." as the sun set beyond the horizon.

The next morning Dan left Coral, Mississippi. Beneath the tree on the bluff overlooking the plain, Six wooden crosses were planted in the earth in a line. On the last one, The word Princess was crudely inscribed, a small locket hung on the cross, that showed Hannah and her mother and father.

He never went back to Coral, but it never left his mind. More than any other thing that had happened, those two days drive him forward. He says alot about revenge for his comrades, for the soldiers he fought with and later killed being the reason he wants to find who started this. But it isn't that. It's the one little girl who asked to join her friends in an eternal dream. It's the deep regret of knowing that the blood of an innocent child is on his hands, the shame of truth, That he couldn't even save her.

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