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The Human Race
(© Rich Restucci)

Page 2

I own a broadcasting system. Not a television station, of course I owned a few of those too. This is a Network. BBS. Bennet Broadcast System. Billion a month enterprise before, and that was just BBS. There were subsidiaries and affiliates as well.

When the Resurrection began, and the first few families showed up at our front doors looking for sanctuary, we didnít answer, and they moved on. When the L.A. gang bangers showed up we did the same thing, but they fired their pea-shooters at my building before they left. When the military showed up, with the dead on their heels, and realized that we would not be opening our vault doors, they threatened and impended doom upon us. They set explosives, and fired their significantly larger weapons at us. All that did was draw the dead to them, and we were able to watch the show on the high definition security feeds instead of over the airwaves. Honestly it wasnít as good, they didnít last long.

That was four years ago.

Humans are still hopelessly outnumbered, but weíve been able to fortify certain areas, and have restored power, social services, and in some cases order. Itís a constant fight, but humanity has endured as I have. Four years in, and extermination squads are still mowing the dead down with whatever weapons they use. They get mowed themselves too, but for the most part, weíre winning. Still canít walk down to the corner bodega and buy a Cuban sandwich, more likely it will be you on the menu, but there are places that are significantly safer than even six months ago.

A thirty foot wall of metal and concrete encircles Downtown L.A. now. A monumental task that cost thousands of lives, but it was well worth it. The wall runs under the freeway following the 110 northeast to the 101, where it turns east and meets the Los Angeles River. Turning south, it parallels the river until it hits the 10, where it hooks west and eventually reconnects with the 110. Most of the zombies are still concentrated in the center of the city, and we are waiting them out. Or, at least thatís what we tell ourselves to feel better.

When humanity fought back, and we were able to push the dead to a standstill, thatís when things became interesting. Thatís when I stepped in and made my presence known. †I still had functioning satellites and the uplinks and staff to control them. My network was still broadcasting troop movements, undead concentrations, and safe locations via radio and television, and everyone in a powered neighborhood had a huge TV. They were just there for the taking.

These reports, while important, were only captivating for a while though, and soon people in the re-developed safe areas began to get bored. Why did people on the inside care about a horde of two thousand dead approaching a small walled community in Seattle? Poor them, wish we could help, too far away.

So I started showing re-runs of old TV shows, and the interest in television exploded.† Sit-coms received the highest ratings, as people could laugh again. Granted most of the people they were laughing at were dead or undead, but that didnít matter. Unfortunately, in this new world, where survival is a persistent fight, people soon started to do other things, and ratings dropped. I racked my brain for something people would flock to see.

Before the plague, the three things viewers enjoyed most were religious shows, sporting events, and reality television. I tried a televangelist first. He preached about how the Resurrection was just that: both biblical predictions in one.†† Armageddon and the Resurrection, just not the way people had envisioned those two prophesies would play out. People loved it. Folks were once more watching TV, and I raked in the profits, because everybody knew that advertising on the best media available was the most advantageous way to get paid. Of course payments now were items and sundries instead of numbers in an account. We advertised for everything: soldiers, foragers, undertakers, farmers, obtainers of rare items, you name it and we had somebody paying us to tell others about them. Business was good too.

The televangelist got quite powerful, and one day demanded a meeting with me. I had hand- picked this guy from a bunch of street people, he hadnít even been wearing shoes. Now he was demanding meetings with the most powerful man in the kingdom as it were. I entertained this would be Messiah, and he pointed his finger at me and blabbed on about a God he didnít believe in a month prior. My gun-toting security force escorted him to his home, and the next day he was found by the local constable with a teenage girl tied up in his basement The young lady was quite specific on the proclivities of the preacher, and all it cost me was a rifle, and a backpack of canned food.

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Genre:Living Dead
Type:Medium length story
Rating:8.14 / 10
Rated By:47 users
Comments: 8 users
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