I've never been very good at anything really. being smallest and being a runt never really bode well for me. My friends, whom I loved and will always cherish, and whom, some still live, called me Chirp. Everyone else just called me everything else.
There was Danny the Dweeb, Danny the fanny, Danny the Dumb-as-shit-for brains, Dweeb, Dork the Dweeb, Danny the what-the-hell-are-you-alive-for-anyway-you-stupid-fucking-asshole-loser, Danny get-outta-here, Dweeb the Feeb, Faggot, Danny douche bag, Danny-why-don't-you-get-out-of-here-before-I-get-my-little-sister-to-kick-your-stupid-fucking-ass. I am sure there are more, but I can't really care about that now.
I guess that last one was something rather embarrassing in my life, that needs not detail to go into. I'm not very big, I'm fluttery, and add some nervous ticks. I have decent vision, as long as I have my glasses on. Skinny like a ten foot pole wearing a 20 foot flag. Shaggy dirty brown hair, and all this wrapped in five foot 6 inches of 100 pounds. Sounds pretty tempting, I know. I swear, or some people did at least, I was born to make up for all the missing losers in the world.
I guess my real friends knew something about my future when they named me Chirp. Daniel O'Dweb is a good enough name, but Chirp kinda fits better in the current present. I am the envoy for the group of people currently residing in the posh, but severely past, residences in the tall buildings in New York City.
Ever since the big snuff film come to life, plague came to the city, our cadre of folk live in the heights. It makes for safe living, and we always have our vantage points to take out scums. Our hierarchy is solid, I tell you! We rule the city heights like god damned bolts of Zeus!
I know your curious, "What kind of world is this?!" Well, I'll get to it as we go. But I must tell you more of us. We are the Hawks, and I am the special envoy. The Hawks are rules of all upper Manhattan. Not like the upper west side or east side, no. The new Upper Manhattan is any building with more than 10 stories. More than 20 just to be safe. And we are safe. All the old financial district is under our control, as well as, Midtown, and most places around Central Park.
We have over 30,000 strong members willing to fight to the death for their holds. Our leader set. His designation is The Flamingo, but he prefers Wally. But for the sake of teaching you proper designations I will keep with the right titles. So the Flamingo is the head honcho up here, and after him goes his Generals, or Ospreys. They like to play war with the enemy below. Each Osprey is at the head of a building, or group of buildings. Depending on how vast a particular building is.
Most of the time we send out our Condors to survey what might be accessible and what's not. They are daredevils. believe you me, these are men strapped to hang gliders and jump from buildings. And LAND on buildings too! They also might try to keep tracks on the Scums. But they reconvene later to debrief the Ospreys, and he in turn might send out the Pigeon brigades and Coo coo engineer corps.
Pigeons are designated scavengers. They comb through hospitals and tall residences for supplies and goods that are deemed useful. Of course they manage the black market pretty well. Anything can be found in a Pigeon coup. New glasses, jewelry, if you needed it, but gods know what fool needs such baubles. Also they at least hand out free clothes to those in need. So you can't really be so cross with them.
But I mentioned the Coo Coo engineer corps, yes? Well these men and women are just about as batty as the Condor patrollers. I was asked this when I first asked about them, "Ask yourself, how does one get from one building to the next with out touching the street?" The answer are the Coo Coos, they developed a rather easy task of firing a collapsable grappling hook into a window across a street, and pulling the line taught between it. Two Coo Coos hook into the line and pull themselves across ahead of King Coo Coo. Upon reaching the other side they check for the enemy first. taking down any vagrant Scums in the aforementioned room, and play guard till the King comes, trailing his mighty cape. Which is actually a suspended bridge, fixed from where he left, and pulling the free end to the new building. They call them Kings because of their size. They have to be in top shape to pull 400 pounds of material while going hand over hand for 30 or 50 feet. But they most always make it...or slide back to safety in shame. Ha! But they cross and the two previous Coo Coos who crossed take the free end of the bridge from the King and secure it to the new building making passage available, where once it was not. Making it easy access for the Pigeons, but leaving the lasting impression that New York City is now home to Robinson Carusoe.
The Vultures usually accompany the Coo Coo corps around with a few men. Vultures are much like their name sake. They feast on the dead. Heavily armed and cold cold COLD! At least when they are on the lower levels. Most are nice people with weird personal vendettas. But some are just the right type of crazy. A crazy mash of ex-law men, and ex-law breakers. "Bad circumstances make for strange bed mates," I remember one saying. Their motto is, "Knock 'em Deader!" they usually patrol on the 5th or 6th floor of a secure building, and are the ones to clear out new take overs. They will shoot indiscriminately. Good thing the Scums can't give a shit for bright colors, Vultures tend to dress in all bright red. They say it is so they don't end up just shooting each other in blood lust. But bright red motorcycle helmets and Bright red reinforced motorcycle suits, heavily armed and loaded to the teeth with just about the most god awful weaponry ever seen makes them in a class of their own as far as scary is concerned. The first time I had seen a Vulture kettle go by ready to storm a building, I shit my pants and had to go to a Pigeon coup to get new underwear. They make Satan, himself, look like a kind lover in comparison.
Vultures do the defense when things get tight. Eagles are the snipers who clean up a lot of the further away messes. Say if some of our boys lower down barrels of anything flammable in it from the lower floors, and let it roll a good distance away, Eagles will get it with one shot from 60 or 70 stories up. They can thin out a large nest of Scums from 5 or 6 blocks away before they know what hit them. They never do. Each building gets at least 10 Eagles, and each one is always well supplied by whatever Chick is assigned. A chick is a civilian, people that do cooking and cleaning. Domestic workers that make the whole operation go, and they know it, and pride themselves on it. If there was a god, they would be blessed by it. Chicks work hard to earn the Eagles respect, because if an Eagle builds up a good following in a Chick. That Chick is gonna travel, and not be stuck in some stupid job, cleaning shitty underwear from a scared loser.
There are the Stork Medical Teams. They travel around the buildings sectors and take care of the illnesses and births and all that innocent gore that comes with living in such strange conditions. They also have some of the hardest jobs. When a member makes contact with a Scum, the Stork is the one to assess it. Sometimes it is a simple matter of friendly fire, or cuts from frantic entry, climbing up the skeleton lower levels to safe haven, but sometimes their is contact, and the Storks have to chain you up for the Vultures to take care of. Hearing the man or woman infected turn is never easy. Pleading that they are alright and fine, and shivering, and feinting, and screaming until they scream with blood coming from their mouth. Depending on a specimen, a Stork might choose to experiment on it, or it might get a Vulture to take care of it. Storks are both compassion and cruelty.
That about rounds it all out. Oh! My class, my classification is Black Sparrow, and I am the only one of my kind. We have other Sparrows, but I am called for the sneakier missions. We Sparrows go down to the tunnels and secure lines of communication to the Lower Manhattan cadres. The Moles. They keep us supplied and barter with Pigeons for goods and items. Now, there is only so much ammunition and food you can obtain from only the tops of buildings. Moles are the ones who supply most of our ammunition and food. We get a lot of food for ourselves on roof top gardens and chicken coups, but moles can garden and burrow into anything. They garden in central park, which was turned into a giant farm, with electrified fences, and dedicated Eagles, and Condors. They set up the ground work as Moles tend to do, some nasty mechanical fences which turn the Scum in to fried chunks. Moles have their own society underground, but I won't get into all that yet, just enough to know that they need us and we need them, and everyone needs a envoy to send to them to give and receive messages. I am one, and I can walk anywhere, and time, with out a notice.
Remember how people only noticed me when they had something to call me. Well on the ground now, no one notices me at all. I don't have a super power or anything. Or if I did it would be insignificance. Scums walk by me with out notice. I get sent to longer reaches to survey the lands, and to Mole outposts to relay Scum movements from above. I can't walk through a whole pack with out getting murdered, but I can get around a loose group of them. But I always breath a sigh of relief when I get back to my perch after a mission.
Some people call us the Upper Manhattan Nation, some the sky folk, I prefer to be called the Hawks. We live above in the air, and everything on the ground is scum.
Except the Moles, that would have been rude to associate them with zombies. Don't you think?
Where did the zombies come from? That is as good a question as any, I suppose. Truth is, no one knows for certain. We have the Phoenix group investigating. They are not actually a member of the Hawks, but they do accept our protection. The Phoenix Research and Development Group. LTD. was, and still is, the top operating business in terms of genetic engineering. First to clone sheep in America, and dogs, cats, humans, mice, pigeons, monkeys, and anything else they might be able to get their hands on. Most of it is above my head, but somethings do tend to make sense if you look at it the right way, and for long enough, while standing on your head, with a toe in the electrical socket. Some theories say that it was the Phoenix Group who made a genetic specific virus for war time end game scenarios. And some people supposed it was more human evolution. Meaning, the more humans spread out across this once great world, they were bound to dig up or expose something that wasn't ever meant to be. I tend to think it is the digging that did us in.
Strip mining and massive deforestation was kinda a big thing before the big kibosh took hold on humanity. I, and a number of others, think that while excavating somewhere, humans popped the mother of all boils hidden for millions of years under the flabby ass of old mother earth. It spread out and like a hot air balloon, just traveled on the trade winds and settled all over the world. Making Hiroshima and Chernobyl look like a couple of baby farts. The only good thing about such a pandemic is that all other nations are in the same boat as us. Borders between long held hostile countries have been dropped.
You could say we are finally a utopian society, a global village. Except we ended up settling next to the sewer treatment facility in the swamps of Florida, where every day is up wind and high noon. Island nations fared better than continental countries. Yes, zombies can walk under water to these places. But people forget about being water logged and decayed. When most of the Scums reach a new shore, they are barely whole anymore. mostly just ragged torsos with one appendage to push/drag them forwards. Easy pickings if you ask me. And the defenders of the shores would mostly agree. We receive reports from most foreign countries from our nest in the United Nations building. Just because the men and women who ran our infrastructure are mostly dead and gone, doesn't mean we are with out basic living conditions. Human ingenuity is our greatest asset against the Scums. They just don't know it.
The zombies themselves are pretty advanced. They have a loose hierarchy as well. But not nearly as complex as us or the Moles. Scums are the dead risen. Mindless killing for human meat, they do have some leadership in them though. A few of them take charge when a raid is mounted against a stronghold. No one knows if it is a remnant skill lingering in their rotten minds, but they do take some assemblage of control. Eagles go for these ones immediately upon acquiring them as more serious threats. Some say that as the Scums age they move down in the ranks. Rotting while risen tends to make them less and less mindful of motor skills, and so newer zombies are put into the ranks of leaders. Nobody knows if this is true, but it kind of makes sense to me.