Let's try something new today which I already have in my mind for quite a while now. Maybe some of you can even remember the banner I've made for it ages ago.
So, Reboot. Some notes first. This will not be one story with who-knows-how-much chapters but a universe I want to write about. One chapter stories, maybe longer ones, maybe drabbles, who knows where the mood goes to. You don't need to read every single story if you don't want to, but it might be helpful to read at least the first one, because here I will tell you a lot about the world these stories are taking place into.
There will be a central theme running trough all the stories. Of course it will be about our boys ... but it will also include some elements from another TV series I love: Jeremiah. You don't need to know anything about Jeremiah to read these stories, but if you do some elements will be quite familiar for you.
So let's start now. I hope you like.
Title: Reboot - Nightmares
Fandom: The Faculty / Casey & Zeke & a touch of Jeremiah
Summery:about the downfall from the old world and the start of a new one
Disclaimer: Neither The Faculty nor Jeremiah are mine, of course ;)
Nooooo! Casey clutched the pen even harder. The pen full of Scat which should be able to save them all. Zombies! Everyone who was living in Herrington. Zombies! Possessed by aliens. He was the only one who could save them. She did hide under the bleachers but he would find her. Stuck the pen right into her eye. When Stokely was right ... and she had to be right or they all would be lost ... everyone would be okay after he had killed the alien queen ...
Casey opened the eyes. Blinked into the dim light. Was he still alive? Was he still the same as before? He lifted an arm, felt the slimy mass covering it. Mary Beth. This was all what was left behind from her. He shuddered, didn't dare to move. Listened alerted, his nerves stretched to the breaking point. It was quiet. All too quiet.
Where were all the others? They should be alive, running around, crying with horror, laughing with relief. But there was nothing to hear. He was alone. Panic started to rise up, he gasped for air. He wanted to wake up out of this nightmare ... wake up ... wake up ...
They were all dead. He knew, he should feel something, fear, panic, grief, but he was too paralyzed. Not able to feel anything at all. He had killed her ... and everyone had been dying with her. His parents, their neighbors, his friends ... Zeke ... Zeke ... all of them dead. But he was alive. Why him? Why him?
"Casey! Wake up!"
He struggled against strong hands on his shoulder.
"You are dead! Go away! You are dead!"
"I'm not. Open your eyes. Look at me. Look at me!"
The voice. Zeke's voice. He was afraid to wake up. He didn't want to look in Zeke's eyes. His dead eyes ... Then he felt it. Warm breath on his skin.
"Case, it's okay. I'm here!"
Casey groaned. Dead people couldn't breathe. Couldn't speak. Reluctantly he opened his eyes, blinked. It was almost dark around him. Only a candle on a small table. But Zeke was there. Still alive. Sitting at the edge of the bed, the hands on his shoulders, holding him. Even if Casey couldn't see his face in the dim light, he knew he was smiling reassuring.
"Good, you are with me again," Zeke growled.
Casey wanted to say something but his throat felt parched. He tried to clear it, licked his dry lips.
"You are not real," he finally whispered.
"They are all dead."
"Not everyone," said Zeke.
"Some of us did survive."
Slowly the reality gained control over the nightmares. Casey started to calm down and he was able to think clearer again, remember what had happened. After Mary Beth. After his hopeless try to save the world. It had been a cruel awakening. To recognize that Stokely had been wrong. He had killed Mary Beth but most others died with her.
First all he wanted was to collapse and to follow them. It was unthinkable that he was the only one who had survived, that he was all alone now. In a world, still so familiar but so strange in the same moment. No laughing, no talking people, doing their grocery shopping. No cars on the streets, but the traffic lights still working. The wind in the trees, the sun was shining. A dog was barking. And then he saw her, on the other side of the street, she was just standing there, staring at him.
He turned round and ran away. Home. The house which had been a home for him until today. He crept under the porch. Not able to go in. He knew what he would find. He had seen it at school, on the streets, everywhere.
How often he had thought about it how great it would be to have loving, caring parents. Oh yes, they did what they thought was best for him. But they couldn't understand his dreams, his wishes. And now they were gone ... forever ... and he felt too empty to morn about them.
Maybe it lasted for hours, days, weeks, an eternity. When he got thirsty he dragged himself into the house. Into the kitchen. Luckily it was empty. He took two bottles of water out of the fridge which was still buzzing and a few Cookies, then he went back to his last sanctuary. Finally he fall asleep.
Voices did wake up him.
"His mom ... I guess it was his mom ... she's in her utility room. Casey? Did you ... find him?"
"No. No, he's nowhere in the house. Maybe he didn't come back here."
"But where can he go? We need to find him. After all he did ..."
Casey squeezed his eyes shut. It was just an illusion but what a great feeling. He was not alone in the world. All he wanted was to drift away again, with these voices in his ears.
"Hey, I got him!"
Zeke! Casey smiled. But the smile faded away when he felt a hand onto his shoulder, grabbing him with a hard clutch. Panicked he tried to shake it off. All in vain. He couldn't escape. He was trapped. Someone pulled him out of his hiding place. Suddenly he could feel the warm sun on his skin.
"Case! It's okay. You are safe! We are here!"
Stokes. And Zeke. We are here. Not alone. Not ... And he passed out.
When he opened his eyes again he was laying in a bed. Not his own one. Not his room. Someone was sitting in the chair beside him, reading. Not his mom, a girl, much younger then she was. He stared at her and tried to remember. He knew her. Marie!? Marie from his art course at school. They had worked together at a project last year. But what was she doing here? And why did she look so pale, so tired?
He moved carefully, feeling weak and stiff, but he needed to find out what was going on here. Marie looked up, her eyes went wide and suddenly she smiled.
"Hey. You did wake up," she said.
"What has happened," he asked with a croaky voice.
"What am I doing here?"
Marie bit her lower lip, haltingly, as if she didn't know what to say.
"You can't remember?"
Casey sank back onto the bed and closed his eyes again. Pictures were crossing his mind. Nightmare like. Blurred. Unreal.
"Mary Beth," he murmured.
"Stokely said to kill her is the only way to save everyone. It didn't work, huh?"
Marie blinked and kept quiet. But deep inside he knew the truth anyway.
"It was not ... just a dream," he said.
"No one did survive!"
"I am here," Marie whispered.
"Stokely is here, Stan ... a few others. Because you saved us."
Saved them? They were still alive? Stan. Stokes. Zeke??? Casey felt still dizzy, unable to say what was real and what not. He looked around in the room, plain white walls, a green carpet, modern art. Great windows, the curtains, green ones, fitting to the carpet, closed.
"Where are we?"
"It's the Marriott Hotel. We did bring you here two weeks ago. You didn't want to wake up. And there was no one we could ask for help. All we could do was ..."
She stopped and sniffed slightly.
Casey needed all his willpower to sit up again and put a hand onto her arm.
"I'm fine, okay!"
The biggest lie ever. But at least it made Marie smile again, a faint smile only, but a smile.
"I guess I should go and tell the others."
Two months had passed since Mary Beth. And life was going on ... at least for some for them. First there had been hope others might come to help them. But soon enough they needed to accept that whatever had killed most of the population of Herrington had raged at other places too. And not only in Ohio. People died almost everywhere ... and their bodies dissolved into a slimy mass within some hours ... as if they had never existed. But whatever the reason was, some children, teenager were able to survive ... in a world which would never be the same like before.
Slowly they started to realize that everything what life had meant for them before was gone forever. Their parents who gave them a home, who loved them, cared for them. Their teachers who had taught them a lot of stuff which should have helped them through life later. Stupid TV shows, mindless video-games, parties, whatever had been so important for them before ... out and over. It would never come back. They were left behind completely on their own.
Some of them had looked for shelter in the Marriott Hotel and they got more and more with every day. After the first shock no one wanted to be alone and the hotel offered room for all of them. The hotel stores were well stocked, they didn't need to leave the building, didn't need to deal with the empty world around them.
It was Gabe who finally got to the point everyone tried to avoid to think about. The resources wouldn't been everlasting. It was only a matter of time, the power would come to an end, no frozen food anymore, no microwaves, no light in the night. No running water. There were still a lot of tin food and bottled water, yes, but it wouldn't last forever. If they wanted to survive they needed to be more careful with what they had and it was most important to find other ways to go on without all these comfort.
At lot of them didn't wanted to hear this, but some of them took Gabe's side. And they started to organize their new life ...
* * *
Miles and miles away from Herrington, somewhere in an another town, another country.
The young man was lying near the fire. It was almost burned down to the embers but it was all what could give him at least a bit warmth during the cold night. He felt sick, so worn out, ready to die.
Only some weeks ago his life had been like the life of most other teenagers. School, friends, his chess-club. He had parents ... and a little brother. Sometimes he could get so clingy like limpets, followed him wherever he wanted to go. He had gotten angry, yelled at him. His brother did run back into the house, crying desperately.
It had been the last time he had seen him. It happened out of the blue, no one could say what was going on. People started to die, only a few of them at first but with every hour it got more and more. Until finally, some days later, most of the adults were dead. Like his mom, like his father. He couldn't find his brother anymore.
Some weeks he was looking for him ... at the neighborhood, at the mall, at the town. Desperate, confused children, teenager everywhere ... not his brother. Slowly he started to realize that he had lost his complete family. And he was ready to give up. To lie down and follow them.
But in this night the voice in his head got louder.
"You will not die today!"
He opened his eyes and looked around. He was alone.
"There is still a lot to do!"
"Where are you? What do you want?"
"I am where you want me to be. And you know what I want."
"Leave me alone!"
"I can't. I need your help. You need to get up and find him."
There was no way to turn him down. He got dressed, grabbed for his old backpack and off he was. On his way to Ohio, Herrington. He had never heard about this town before ... but he knew, god would show him his way.