Thursday, August 25, 2011

THE LOCAL HEROES: Apocalypse Jones And The Race Against Time - Chapter One

Apocalypse Jones
And The Race Against Time
Al Bruno III

Chapter One
The Planet Of The 70’s

It had been December thirty first 11:59:59 PM for months.

That first, last New Years Eve the moon had gone red and any living person caught in its crimson light was transformed into a thing that was not quite a jackal and not quite human. Cemeteries shuddered and gave up their dead, shambling nightmares spilled out of every morgue and funeral home.

What began in River City spread across the world until every clock had stopped at one second from midnight and there had never been another sunrise. There were no stars either, there was only a darkness marked by the few hours the bloated, red moon crawled across the sky. That moon had become unchanging, it no longer had any phases and anyone caught out in its light would be changed into one of the jackal-things.

The only safe way to travel was in those hours that the moon had dropped below the horizon but the traveler still had to deal with a nearly impenetrable darkness as well as monsters both living and dead.

Policewoman Annabelle Jones steered her motorcycle carefully through the streets of Megalopolis. She was tall and black with regal features and a halo of kinky dark hair.

The motorcycle slalomed around the burnt out vehicles, sometimes riding along the glass strewn sidewalk, other times in the road. Up ahead a toppled power wire was sparking and snapping. Seeing that surprised Annabelle and she slowed to a stop. Why was there still electricity here? Were there refugees nearby?

Perhaps so but Annabelle didn’t allow herself to hope, not after she’d been on her own for so long.

Still though, she had to wonder where they might be.

A small group of shambling forms startled her from her thoughts. She hit the brakes and went into a controlled skid.

There were zombies up ahead of her and by the look of it they were freshly turned.

“So much for refugees.” Annabelle grumbled. She wore two belts of ammunition bandolier style. She kept a high-powered revolver holstered on each hip, they had been her only companions since the jackal-things had taken her family. She drew them and took aim, “Well girls, looks like its still just the three of us. What say we have a little fun?”

The first revolver crashed and one of the zombies crumpled. She fired the second and sent another one spinning backwards. A sound escaped her, it might have been laughter, it might have been a sob but what did it matter when there was no one left to hear?

She could have just gone around the slow moving things but she wanted to destroy something, she wanted to smell cordite. It made her remember those early days at the police academy. She had been proud to be accepted and determined to show her instructors that a black woman was more than a match for any other recruit.

Proving that hadn’t been easy, the instructors had made sure of it but she had endured and won their respect. They had found her marksmanship skills especially amazing. Fast on the draw and sure-eyed she could shoot the gun out of a man’s hand at fifty paces.

After graduation she made a name for herself as she patrolled the rough streets she had grown up on. Criminals called her ‘the sexy cop that wouldn’t stop’. They had given her a nickname too but it was a nickname nobody dared use to her face.

Even the superheroes of River City had shown her deference and respect. ShadoMask had been there when the mayor had awarded her the medal of valor. A week later she had been made an honorary member of Guardian Force.

Not that any of it mattered now. There no longer was a River City police department or a Guardian Force.

Once the zombies had been returned to death Annabelle dropped the spent cartridges from her revolvers and started reloading.

But she never got the chance to finish.

Something came at her from her right, moving fast and growling.

There was no time for Annabelle to react and the jackal-thing took her and her motorcycle down. There was a hiss as the header pipe scalded her skin through her jeans. One empty revolver clattered from her grip, the other she held on to.

The jackal-thing straddled her, it’s yellow eyes feverish with madness and hunger. It slashed at her with its claws. Annabelle blocked the blow with her revolver. The creature’s nails sparked against the metal. She curled her empty hand into a fist and hit it alongside the head. It’s eyes rolled back and it toppled off of her.

Annabelle fought to catch her breath. She could hear growls moving towards her. More of the creatures were nearby. She fumbled to reload her remaining gun but she was still pinned under the motorcycle.

Would these last bullets be for those things or for her?

Before she could decide a man dropped out of the sky beside her. He was wearing what looked like a homemade deep sea diving suit but there were sleek wings attached to the back that looked like they had miniature jet engines attached to them.

The jackal-things were baying and barking. There were yellow eyes coming at them from the darkness, coming from everywhere.

The man in the rocket suit lifted her up, holding her in his arms like she was some damsel in distress. The wing engines roared to life and they shot into the air at a crazy angle.

Annabelle shouted with surprise and held on tight to her rescuer. She was close enough now to make out his features through the clear glass faceplate of his helmet. He was black with hair that was going gray and a thin smile. “I’m Sidney Tibbs,” he said, “and you are?”

“I’m...” Annabelle choked, her stomach heaving, “...airsick.”


  1. That was fun! (hope it was meant to be). Felt like there was a touch of 'I am Legend' in there if you swap the zombies for vampires :)

    Minor typo:
    "There was no time for Annabelle to react and the jackal-thing took **and** her and her motorcycle down. There was a hiss as the header pipe scalded her skin through her jeans. One empty revolver clattered from her grip, the other she held on to."

  2. Thank you for catching that error.

    And OMEGA MAN was exactly the vibe I wanted.