[Short Story] The Living Word, Part 3 (the finale!)

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“What are you doing? Shoot!” the tech shouted at me. I returned to my senses just as one of the infected threw itself at me. It wore that demented, vacant grin I remembered from the decoy safe house.

“Carbon dating is not reliable beyond a few thousand years!” it shrieked. “The contents of Genesis are really an elaborate metaphor for what science has only now discovered about our origins! Not the creation stories of other religions though, those are simply wrong!”

The shotgun was pinned down under the weight of the babbling drone on top of me. Contrary to what I’d been told, I tried to deliver the antivirus.

“You’re in a cult!” I shouted at it. “A very old, successful doomsday cult that outlived the death of its founder and the timeframe of its alleged doomsday event!

It just kept expanding from there, generation after generation! It works exactly like a chain letter, multi-level marketing or a virus! Isn’t this obvious to you? People were pulling this same routine well before Jesus and still do it today!

David Koresh? Jim Jones? Harold Camping? I’m sure you recognize this is how Mormonism, Scientology and Islam got started. Yours isn’t any different!”

A sudden placid look of recognition came over it. It then scowled at me. “You’re implying I’m in a cult? Impossible! Cults are whatever diverges from scripture. That’s very offensive, you know.” I struggled to shift his weight so I could topple him, but continued the distraction.

“Doesn’t that seem like a bit of a self-serving definition to you?” I asked. Furious, he began pummeling me. I grabbed one of his forearms and flipped him to one side. With the shotgun free, I scrambled to my feet and discharged it into him over and over until he stopped moving.

My breathing was erratic and my heart felt like it would explode from my chest. The room was now eerily silent. As I looked around, I realized we’d won. But not without major losses. Only three of us were still standing.

The girl I’d hoped to speak with after the inoculation lay dead in a pool of blood. I found out one of the infected pinned her down and completed implantation near the end. She’d begun babbling about nephilim, prophecies and sola scriptura. I grieved, but also was glad I wasn’t the one who had to put her down.

“I don’t get it” one of the other survivors muttered as he helped me pile up the last of the bodies and set them ablaze.”Multiple concentric rings of sensors, yet no alarms went off. And how did they get roof access?”

I shrugged. We made small talk and I found out he’d also survived a close call with a decoy safe house. “They really get every last detail right, it’s uncanny. Imagine if they were to fake an entire safe zone! Lure us all to one place, then-…”

We both stopped in our tracks, and my blood ran cold. I looked up, searching the room for the inoculation tech. I spotted her in a corner reloading her shotgun, then bringing it to bear on us. The last thing I saw was the small silver star and crescent pendant dangling from her neck.

The End. Follow me for more like this!

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