Too bright, too sunny, and I could use a Pepsi. Sometimes the worth of getting myself out the door in the morning can be questionable. That being said it means another day at Crusader HQ and that’s never a bad thing. Last night was weird, though. What little sleep I got was filled with strange dreams. I never sleep well when I dream and this was no exception.
“I could really use an I.V. drip of caffeine.” Not really sure who I was talking to since I was the only one up but then again I’m just that tired. Luckily I left a king sized RockStar energy drink in my office yesterday.
The drive to the shop was like any other day. Filled with Utah drivers being their usual narcissistic selves and causing near misses at every intersection. Birds were flipped and road rage abound. The front of the shop was an inviting sight and stayed with me as I pulled around back and jumped out. I unlocked the back door and entered Crusader Weaponry’s Headquarters. It’s not a huge shop with hundreds of workers, in fact most days it’s just me, but it’s my home away from home. The familiar smell of Hoppes #9 and gun oil filled my senses. That smell is better than perfume to a gunsmith.
I knew right where I was going, even in the dark. Across the workshop to my office, light switch is on the north side by the front entrance. The front looked like a reception area but had no door out into the shop. In the office I cracked open the giant RockStar energy and drank until the carbonation made my throat burn. I opened my laptop and put on the local talk station 105.7fm. Glenn Beck was going on about the usual political battle and the crap surrounding it. The hippies in D.C. were pulling the usual stunts to destroy the fabric of our country and blaming the results on the Republicans. As usual, the Republicans were caving to avoid looking like douches. “When are they going to figure out that we’re tired of that crap? Nothing ever changes but the faces in office. Very few of them actually do their job. The rest are too busy being elitist dirt bags! They want real change, they want a good economy…then get the hell out of the way and we‘ll do it ourselves!” Okay, I knew yelling at the radio wouldn’t do any good but it made me feel better for a moment. Looking around I was glad no one else was here. The last thing I needed, with no caffeine on board, was to listen to the guys making fun of me for talking to myself.
I was mentally going through what I needed to accomplish for the day while turning on the lights surrounding my work benches. I had four customers bring in Glock 22′s for the Crusader’s Edge upgrade package. That was next on my list so I might as well start them this morning. The Ghost trigger connectors have to be fitted into each one and properly tensioned. Good thing I’ve done it enough times to know right about where the sweet spot is. Just enough trigger reset length to keep a customer from bump firing the pistol while “working” the trigger reset and maintain only needed over travel. No need to fit a little and check it…a few more file strokes and check it. The trigger bars needed work and, of course, they needed a Slipstream treatment. If I can get that much done on this batch I can refinish them tomorrow. That meant a full day at the workbench.
I was working on the second trigger connector for the day when the news broke for an emergency message. There was a situation at the Salt Lake International Airport. Some lady went nuts and started biting people on a flight from California. “Where’s George to say something about the Zombie Apocalypse when you need him?” ,I was thinking out loud and, once again, ended up glad there was no one to make a crack about it. All the same, there was something about this that didn’t seem right. Something about my weird dreams last night but I didn’t remember anything from them. I just had an uneasy feeling about it. They said on the radio that they would keep us posted. “Sure ya will…” ,I said shaking my head. I kept it in the back of my mind that I would let it go for now but one more report like that and I was locking up and heading home.
I kept working but it was only a half hour until another emergency message and right in the middle of Glenn Beck getting pissed about something and yelling into his microphone. Everyone on the plane that was bitten died. Normally that would be weird enough but the report wasn’t over. They all started twitching their limbs. They had a doctor from a local hospital on saying something about residual nerve responses making phantom twitches and that it wasn’t something to be worried about. That is until they started to get up from the first aid station a little later and shuffled into the crowd. Their eyes had turned milky white. The reporter came back on to tell us a doctor had come to check on them and the people. The dead people charged at him with amazing speed. They started eating the poor guy. Everyone that ran by was leashed out at by gnashing blood stained teeth. All in all I thought they could have done a better job of describing it.
My cell rang. I knew who it was by the ring tone. “Hey, Chuck. Looks like you guys have your hands full today.” Chuck was a friend of mine that stopped into the shop a few times a week. Usually to pry me out of the shop for some range time. He just happened to also be a Sargent with the Salt Lake Police.
“Doc, brother, you have no idea. You need to pack up the shop and get the hell out of here. I could loose my job for this but screw it, what job? People in a mile radius of the airport have started looting and destroying everything in their path. Some are even banding together in trucks and breaking into houses and stores and taking everything they can get their hands on, shooting store clerks or home owners, and some burning places down. More and more people are moaning and shuffling around, and biting people. Some got a hold of the looters. That wasn’t so bad. Served them right but that just meant more milky eyed freaks roaming the streets.”
“None of this is on the news, bro.”
“Screw the news. They’re just trying to keep even more people from panicking. This started early this morning, like 0200 early and it’s been ‘all hands on deck’ ever since. People are leaving the airport and biting everything in sight. They don’t even know if any bitten people made it home just to start biting somewhere else or not. This is some seriously bad juju. You get the clan and get out.”
“Dude I should be kitting up and coming to help.”
“Don’t even try it. You can’t help if your family isn’t safe. Besides, anyone armed in the streets we are to shoot on site. They just can’t tell who’s a looter and who the good guys are. It’s only the uniform keeping us from getting shot.”
“Then get me a uniform.”
“Get your family out. You know I live in the effected area. They already got to my family because I was on the job. Don’t let them get yours.”
“Chuck, I’m so sorry.”
“Looters, man. Promise me you’ll get your clan out of here.”
“You have my word”, I said as the line went dead.“That’s it, it’s time to go.”
I looked around. If this was a Zombie outbreak then I’d need a few things from the shop. I packed up my toolboxs and some other things and loaded them in my suburban. I also had a few guns that were finished except needing to be Cerakoted. They got loaded as well. I then counted them to make sure it would do. Two 12ga tactical shotguns (a Remington 870, and a Mossberg 930), one each of our Templar (18“ polygonal rifled barrel good for dealing punishment from near or far), a Paladin (24“ polygonal rifled bull barrel for ultimate accuracy), and a Guardian rifle (16” polygonal rifled bad to the bone carbine) all in 5.56. Then for rifles with more punch I grabbed my 7.62 Broadsword rifle (18” polygonal rifled barrel and an Eotech) and a 7.62mm Longbow rifle (24” polygonal rifled barrel and a 10 power Leupold Mil-dot scope). I had my G23 Reaper on my hip so I snagged a couple of the finished G22′s and a G19 for my wife. She wasn’t much of a shooter but she would get that way in a hurry. As long as I could find ammo these weapons would be everything I needed to keep my family alive. Sure there were more than I could shoot but they would arm additions to our group down the road somewhere. After grabbing all the ammo I had on hand to test fire all the new builds with it was time to leave.