Lyric fiddled with some dials on the radio in front of her, then looked down at the manual on the desk. Flopping back in the chair she shook her head, and picked up her coffee cup. Taking a sip, she made a face and choked down the cold liquid. “Yuck.” She muttered to herself, sitting it back down. No one else was even up yet, other than Ira and Earl who were keeping watch. Unable to sleep, she had slipped off the couch once Marcus had fallen unconscious, made a pot of coffee and came down her to monkey with the radios. The military channels were nothing but static. She'd found one weak civilian broadcast but after listening she'd realized it was just a recording. Jotting down the frequency she planned to go back later and see if anything new came up.
Rubbing her eyes she started when a static voice filled the speaker. “Is anyone out there? If you can hear me, please reply.”
Lyric snatched up the mic then paused, what if it was a trick. Maybe the Moose River Crazies had figured out they were listening. This was just a ploy to get them... to what? False confidence, a trap. Her mind raced over various possibilities, until the voice broke into her thoughts.
“Is anyone still alive out there? I just want to know that we're not alone.” The voice was female, Lyric could tell that through the static and sounded a little lost.
Lyric found herself pressing the button on the side of the mic. “You're not alone.”
For a long moment there was just static and Lyric began to wonder if she'd lost the signal, then the voice came back more excited. “Thank the Goddess. My names Piper I'm with a few friend just North of Adams Center. You?”
“Name's Lyric. We're located up by Eagle Bay.”
“That's way up there, past Old Forged, right?”
“Yeah.” Playing it safe, Lyric decided to offer as little information as possible. She didn't know who this was, or if they were for real. Not to mention who might be listening. Sticking to what she knew others already knew and irrelevant things was probably the best coarse.
“Have you seen anyone else?”
Lyric grinned. “Just some religious nuts, they tried to attack us last night.”
“Really? So we don't just have to worry about zombies trying to eat us.”
“Yeah, the zombies I can deal with. The nut jobs with guns, I'm not crazy about. Of course it's easy when they don't fight back.”
A laugh tumbled through the speaker. “True. We've been hit hard down here. The zombies are moving out of the city, Watertown that is, they've been hitting us in waves. Big waves.”
“Sorry to hear that, will you be ok?”
“Not sure. Supplies are dwindling and we've been talking of heading to one of those fancy islands out by Alex Bay. Know where that is?”
“Yeah, I know where your talking about. Won't most those places be shut up? I mean it wasn't exactly warm when this thing went down, and most those places are summer houses.”
“That's what we're hoping. We'll have to find a marina to get a boat, but at least out in the water no zombies.”
“Until the river freezes and they can walk over.”
“I'm hoping they're all goop before that happens.”
Lyric wasn't so sure about that, given what Indie and Marcus had been discussing last night. Maybe Piper had some insight they didn't. “Do you know what's going on with those things?”
“Only what the news and internet said, before they went down. It was a terrorist attack that back fired going global. They infiltrated meat packing plants and infected the meat with a mutated strain of the Ebola virus. Just before the internet went down we caught some talk of the virus mutating again, but I'm not a scientist.”
“Same here.” Lyric decided to offer up a little piece of her own information. “We think that the newer zombies might have mutated to be more hostile and last longer than the original ones.”
Piper was silent for a moment. “Ok, are you studying them or something?”
“No, just an observation.” Lyric heard movement upstairs. “I'm going to get off now, but if you want to talk later or tomorrow I'll try to catch you.”
“Sure, how about around the same time tomorrow?”
“Ok. Talk to you then.” Reaching up she turned the radios off, grabbed up her coffee cup and headed upstairs.
Author's Note: Unedited Version