An ER unit is dispatched to the scene and returns to the emergency room with two victims, one seriously injured, the other dead on arrival. Or so they think.
The prequel to the best-selling Zombie D.O.A. series follows the events leading up to the zombie epidemic, as a seemingly routine ER call quickly spirals out of control - with deadly results.
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Shinji Nakamura stood at the crossroads created by Broadway and West 47th Street and looked out across Times Square. He was unimpressed by what he saw. The famous New York landmark couldn’t hold a candle to the lights on display at Koshu Kaido, for example. Still, it was his last night in New York and he’d promised Aiko dinner and a show. And if Aiko wanted her picture taken in Times Square he was only too happy to oblige. He was happy to oblige Aiko in most things.
He lined her up now, with the famous Coca Cola sign to her right in the picture and ran off a volley of shots with the Nikon, while his wife beamed under a sun hat that was no longer necessary in the early evening half-light.
“Why don’t I take some shots of you in front of the Nasdaq ticker?” Aiko said.
Shinji shrugged. He was somewhat camera shy, but why not. After all, a successful year on the markets had more than paid for this trip. And they had to walk down to 43rd Street anyway for dinner and ‘Waiting for Godot’ at the Belasco Theater – at least so his map told him. He took his wife’s hand and strolled through the crowd that was slowly thickening up on the pleasant, early-fall evening.
There was some kind of commotion up ahead. He could hear people shouting and a ripple of movement through the crowd. Now a scream came, a high-pitched, terrified scream that stopped him in his tracks.
“Let’s cross,” he said to Aiko and pulled her towards the road. A metal barrier blocked their access to the tarmac and beyond it the traffic, consisting mostly of yellow cabs, was heavy. He suddenly realized that they were now trapped between the barrier and the crowd pushing from the fore. Panic welled up in him, and flared as there were more screams. He looked right and left for an escape route and realized there was none.
“What is it?” Aiko whispered, her voice fearful.
“I don’t know,” Shinji said, trying to remain calm, or at least sound so. What could it be? A terrorist attack? A hold-up? Some kind of gang fight? He heard sirens now, lots of sirens, and he was sure that it was the former. Then the man standing in front of him, a burly fellow with a shaven head and goatee beard, turned towards him, an expression of pure terror on his face.
“Run,” the man shouted. But before Shinji could react the man was bustling past them, sending Aiko tumbling to the sidewalk. The whole crowd seemed to be in motion now, stampeding like a herd of antelope spooked by a large predator. Shinji dropped to his knees and wrapped his arms around his wife, protecting her from the flying feet of crowd. He took a couple of hefty blows himself, felt his camera knocked away, saw it crushed underfoot. And then the crowd was past and he and Aiko were alone on the sidewalk. He helped her to her feet, noticing with anger her skinned knee and torn dress.