2018 Bertie Winning Entry 10/11 category


by Keegan Wolf

“Nuclear war between Mexico and Paraguay ends with a bang. All human life in danger. Extinction on the horizon? ” the last ever U.S. Post wrote.

Hi, I’m John Astros and there is basically no more human race.

It is the year 3051 and the human race and robot race had to join to survive. In the early 2000s they called it the cyborg idea – TCI. Now we just call it survival. That news you read, that was from year 3003. I was born in year 2953 which makes me 98 although you wouldn’t know it by looking at me. I look like I’m about in my 20’s because of the nanobots that are swimming around in my bloodstream. I also have an implant in my brain that they put in because of a injury that that happened at the beginning of the new age. The same day the war ended. The same day my family died. We are now half exo-suit half human. There are only a few people that have survived since the nuclear launch. The only people left are immune people to the plague from the radioactivity. There are monsters that were called zombies but since the accident, they have been called ghouls. So the lucky few of us left can’t be infected. Just eaten.

We have camps that are for repairing broken parts every ten miles. They are located every ten miles in the United States for one reason – making sure that they are a safe distance from ghoul hideouts.

“Astros, Yoma, and Wellson,” commander screamed. “You are looking for abandoned buildings and searching them for supplies. Take the Rhino with the turret mount.

“Let’s go for the military camp. They always have good stuff,” I suggest. So we get our SMG’s and go. “Wellson, you riding shotgun again?” commander asks seeing us off. Michael says he is and suggests that I drive and Yoma mans the gun.

“Wango is the gunner again?” I complain. We hop in the Rhino and man our positions. Like every other time we’ve left the camp, the commander says this is a probably goodbye forever. The man has a twisted sense of humor. Half an hour later we hear a thunk and decide to stop. Michael and I hop out and Wango stays on the gun. We check under the Rhino and a ghoul crawls out and scratches my mag. We jump in the Rhino and a dozen ghouls come from abandoned vehicles and chase us. Wango knows that head shots kill ghouls faster and she takes most of them. A ghoul in a car gets shot by Wango and it’s foot stays on the pedal and it kills all but a few ghouls that were left and Wango neatly finishes off the rest.

“That was close,” Michael says with a sigh. We pull up to the camp and after ten minutes of searching, we find a keycard. It is covered in dust. Michael blows it puts it in the scanner, but it doesn’t work. I look around and see a metal support beam along the way. I grab it and rip it out, taking a swing at the door, and it flies off its hinges. Immediately a bunch of ghouls start running at us though so we take cover. They run into the camp. I don’t know how many ghouls there were but I didn’t really want to take the time to count. We decide to split up, activating the night vision in our visual implants. I go straight, Wango goes left, and Michael goes right. I turn right to a room and hear something break. Something moves and it is a human without gear. I hand her my pistol and she opens a drawer and takes out a sawed off shotgun.

“Who are you?” I ask. “Jernie Chastian,” she replies.

“Nice outfit” I say, noticing her odd choice of clothing.

“They are the last items from my family” she says starting to cry.

“Let’s go to a different room and find some ammunition or some technology parts.”

She looks tiny compared to me because of the suit. We walk into a few rooms with no luck and there is a room with window. We hear a gunshot and hear Michael through our implanted communication system saying there is a c4 in every 5 rooms and that we need to evacuate.

“Who is that?” Michael asks.

“Jernie Chastain, and don’t mess with her. I just ran into her and she’s armed,” I reply.

“Doesn’t matter. We gotta find Wango and get out of here,” Michael replies.

A ghoul decides that it would be a good idea now to eat lunch. It comes out of a closet and Jernie shoots it with her shotgun.

“I’m almost out of ammo,” Jernie says after taking a deep breath after the surprise.

I forget that we are running away from multiple things and I shoot a practice dummy.

“That implant treating you well?” Wango asks after coming out looking like a ghoul tried to give her a kiss.

My mind is flooded with images from the day my life was changed forever. My family. The hospital. Surgical instruments being waved over me. Waking up with strange devices all over my body. I’ve never really learned to deal with my emotions, so I grab my pistol and shoot the ground by her foot.

A ghoul jumps out from the hallway at Jernie and we take it out and run for the Rhino. I jump into the driver’s seat and slam on the pedal. We head back to camp with 5 gallons of gasoline.

When we arrive at camp, there is nothing but the remains of bodies and destroyed items.

“This is the camp for the only survivors in the world?” Jernie questions.

“Well, it was,” Wango responds quietly.

“For once, the commander was finally right about it being goodbye for the last time,” I say in tears.

“We can still use it because we are the only ones left,” Wango says unsure.

We look to see what is left and we realize that Michael never got in the Rhino.

“And then there were three,” I said coldly realizing my best friend was gone.

We make a memorial using one bullet shell we found for each loved one who died.

Days pass and we ran out of resources so we get in the Rhino with a little bit of gas. We decide only two people can go without running out of gas. Jernie volunteers and so do I but Wango insists on going so I let her go. Twelve hours pass and no sight of them. I decide to go out and search. I don’t even walk a mile before I see the Rhino approaching. It doesn’t stop and when it speeds by I realize nobody is in the vehicle. I chase the truck and it stops at camp. I look in and see what is probably twenty years worth of supplies for one person and a note.

Dear John, This is the last time you will hear from us. There were security doors that closed us in with very little ammo and 35 ghouls. We had a grenade so we decided to program the Rhino one last time to go to camp. We have given you enough supplies to last you a while. So long, Jernie and Wango

I read this every morning when I wake up to keep from losing my sanity. I also wear Michael’s dog tag all day long. I never got to learn much about any of my friends. I am the last non-microscopic organism alive. I am lonely and pretty sure I am going to go crazy soon. The ghouls are closing in around the camp. I am probably close to 120 years old and I know I don’t have long. I am, the Bio Mechanical Survivor.