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"Zombie Frenzy"

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On December 12, 2059, at noon, a sudden meteor shower erupted, countless fireballs streaking across the sky, leaving long tails of flame in their wake. Countless ashes rained down from the heavens, casting the entire world in shades of gray. The world erupted in uproar as people accused observatories of failing to provide warnings despite their substantial funding. Media outlets collaborated to turn this meteor shower event into a human feast. Doomsayers flooded the streets, celebrating as if it were the end of the world. Mayan calendars, the Twelve Yellow Palaces, and prophecies from various eras were brought into the spotlight. Objects related to the meteor shower became sacred relics for some and were dismissed as mere trivialities by others, treated as nothing more than toilet paper. Candles, gasoline, firearms, food, medicine—everything became exorbitantly expensive as prices skyrocketed. Numerous scientists became engrossed in their research, occasionally announcing discoveries of unprecedented extraterrestrial substances. Some questioned whether the meteor shower would bring disasters to Earth, fearing extraterrestrial microorganisms in the ashes. However, despite scientists' efforts, no microorganisms or viruses were found. Days passed. No one knew that, within the ashes, a virus that humanity was yet to fathom was silently spreading with people's movement and the diffusion of air, gradually covering the globe. Life continued as usual. The fervor brought by the meteor shower gradually subsided, but the apocalypse had quietly arrived.

Chapter 1 :zombie out of the oven

Clang clang.

The aged subway hummed a lullaby, racing beneath the streets of New York.

Guo Fei sat by the door, his fingers gracefully dancing on the phone, perusing today's news.

Adorned with black-rimmed glasses, a large leather notebook bag, and a suit, holding a cup of steaming coffee, such attire was exceedingly ordinary in New York.

After diligent resume submissions, armed with an Ivy League diploma and outstanding achievements, Guo Fei had finally secured a decent job on Wall Street. However, he lived quite far away, requiring an early morning commute on the subway. The fortunate aspect was that both his home and the office were conveniently close to the subway station, sparing him additional transportation expenses beyond the subway fare.

For a newcomer in the corporate world, every penny saved counted, especially for someone from a modest background like Guo Fei, driven to work hard to repay the debts incurred during his overseas studies.

Ahem ahem.

The blonde lady next to him covered her mouth, coughing softly. Catching his gaze, she offered an apologetic look.

Guo Fei raised his head, adjusting his glasses.

Is there a flu outbreak today?

Guo Fei wondered, shifting in his seat and using his collar to cover his nose and mouth. He casually disposed of his coffee cup in the trash.

As if everyone heard his thoughts, a series of coughs echoed in the subway car.

The crowded morning carriage left no space to escape. Passengers turned their heads, covering their mouths, displaying expressions of disdain.

"Sorry, sorry."

The coughing passenger hastily apologized, explaining it wasn't the flu but merely catching a chill the night before, assuring it wasn't contagious.

With the swaying of the subway, Guo Fei finally reached his destination.

The doors opened, and he hurriedly stepped out of the carriage. Just as he was about to leave, a sudden scream came from behind.

The blonde lady who had sat beside him swayed along as she prepared to disembark. However, she miscalculated and ended up stumbling at the door, collapsing with froth coming out of her mouth, convulsing uncontrollably.

"Ah, what's happening?"

"Call for help!"

"Hey, someone needs assistance here!"

On the platform, several subway staff rushed over.

Guo Fei stared for a moment, then quickly picked up his bag, striding out.

If he lingered, he might be late for work, and he didn't want to incur the manager's scolding for no reason.

Outside the station, people hurriedly walked by, but today was different from usual. The streets were filled with people coughing, creating an uneasy atmosphere.

Not far ahead was the towering building that housed his office.

There weren't many people waiting for the elevator, but among the five or six individuals, surprisingly, four were coughing. Apart from Guo Fei, only a chubby man seemed unaffected.

Carefully avoiding some of them, the two squeezed into a corner of the elevator, enduring the discomfort, holding their breaths, and anxiously watching the elevator indicator ticking upward.

"Whew, finally here."

As the elevator doors opened, he rushed out as if escaping.

Too terrifying.

Sitting on his office chair, Guo Fei took a few aspirins from a small white bottle, swallowing them without water.

Regardless of whether it was the flu, prevention came first. He didn't want to end up bedridden later.

Taking out his laptop from his bag, he glanced around.

The office today was unusually quiet. Katherine, usually chatty, had her head down, occasionally covering her mouth while coughing. Ali, who liked to stroll around, was slouched on the desk as if not having had enough sleep.

"Hey, Ali, what's wrong?"

Guo Fei leaned over, quietly inquiring.

"I'm fine; my throat just feels a bit uncomfortable."

Ali raised his head, gesturing for him not to get too close. "It should get better in a while. You better keep some distance."

Guo Fei nodded, walking to the pantry to make a cup of coffee for him.

"Here, have a cup of coffee; it might make you feel better."

"Thanks, oh, Guo, you're such a good person."

Ali sipped the coffee in small sips and, after a while, smiled, "I feel much better now."

Guo Fei smiled back, focusing on his work.

Here, it was akin to drinking hot water when feeling unwell, only replacing hot water with coffee, serving a psychological purpose.

Time ticked away.

The colleagues' symptoms not only didn't improve but worsened. The sound of coughing grew louder.

"Hey, Ali, you should see a doctor."

Guo Fei couldn't help but advise, and Ali nodded, "Alright, buddy, once I finish these tasks, I'll head over in the afternoon."

Probably, the hospital was crowded today.

Thinking about it, with so many people coughing, Ali might not make it this afternoon.

Noontime approached. Some colleagues started ordering takeout, while others browsed their phones, using apps to order meals.

Tidying up his desk, when the clock struck the appointed time, Guo Fei stood up, ready to go downstairs for lunch. As a newcomer, his workload wasn't too heavy, coupled with his quick and efficient work style. He could finish his tasks in half a day, leaving the rest of the time for self-study to integrate into the new environment.

At that moment, the manager opened the office door, sticking his head out. "Guo, come over."

"Sure."

Guo Fei pretended to fiddle with something on his desk before walking over, feeling a bit uneasy.

Did he mess up his work?

"Don't worry, Guo."

Suppressing a cough, Ali smiled and said to him.

Guo Fei didn't say anything, nervously approaching the office door.

"Come in and close the door."

The manager sat in a large chair, flipping through documents on the desk.

"Don't be nervous, Guo."

The manager smiled, "I've reviewed your work over the past month, and for a newcomer, you've done exceptionally well."

"Thank you."

Guo Fei felt a sense of relief as the manager's smile made him less tense than before.

"There's a project for you next month; you're assigned to it."

"Really?"

Guo Fei was overjoyed, standing up immediately, "Manager, I promise to do my best."

To be able to work independently within just over a month of joining was the best affirmation for him.

"Cough, cough, cough."

The manager coughed violently, bending over with a flushed face.

"Manager."

The manager waved his hand, "It's fine, I'm fine."

As soon as the words were spoken, he coughed again, this time falling from the chair.

Guo Fei hurriedly went forward, only to see the manager, like the blonde lady on the morning subway, frothing at the mouth and convulsing.

"Manager, manager!"

Guo Fei squatted down, turning him over.

The manager couldn't speak anymore, gasping heavily, limbs curling up and trembling. His eyes, tightly shut moments ago, suddenly snapped open.

No longer showing any distinction between whites and pupils, only

bloodshot eyes remained, glowing a blood-red color. The once fair skin now had a layer of grayish tint. Veins protruded from various parts of his body, and his clenched hands grew strange, with nails extending a couple of centimeters.

The manager, with a slow and stiff body, after taking a few steps, began moving rapidly, as if adapting to the current form. Bloodshot eyes glinted with an eerie light. Approaching, he suddenly pounced.

"What's that sound?"

Guo Fei turned in confusion, and his pupils contracted to pinpoints.

A horrifying creature, mouth wide open, claws nearly touching his neck.

"Ah..."

With a piercing scream, Guo Fei's body softened, leaning backward onto the large desk just in time to avoid the swiping claws.

The manager lunged forward, strange sounds emanating from his mouth. Clasping Guo Fei's neck with both hands, he opened his large mouth and bit down.

"No, manager, it's me, Guo, I'm Guo!"

Pushing the manager's chin with all his might, his upper body pressed against the desk, Guo Fei struggled haphazardly. The foul odor from the manager's mouth made tears stream down his face.

The manager completely lost control, just making strange sounds. The hands squeezing Guo Fei's neck tightened, and Guo Fei struggled to breathe. Watching the large mouth approaching, he frantically loosened one hand, groping on the table. A stiff object touched his fingertips.

"Ah..., go away, go away!"

Guo Fei grabbed the object, wildly striking the manager's head. In his hysteria, he repeatedly shouted, "Come on, bite me, come on!"

After a few breaths, looking at the collapsed manager with half his head smashed, Guo Fei's legs gave way, and he sat down, exhausted.

"I killed someone. I killed someone."

Chapter 2:viral

Guo Fei slumped beneath the grand desk, his body coiled into a shivering ball.

Gazing blankly at the motionless manager before him, his eyes gradually shifted until they fell upon the object tightly clenched in his right hand. A startled cry escaped him, and in a panic, he tossed it away.

The object in his hand was now smeared with crimson blood and white brain matter—an immense glass ashtray, heavy and robust, explaining why the manager's hardened skull couldn't withstand the impact.

"I've committed murder; I've killed someone," Guo Fei muttered to himself, his mind in disarray, lost and bewildered.

The ashtray rolled on the ground, brushing against the manager's body and coming to a stop after a few rotations.

Lifting his head, Guo Fei followed the ashtray's movement. He observed the once fair-skinned manager, now rapidly transforming from a layer of ashen gray into a deep brow

Heroes

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