DISCLAIMER: Law & Order: Trial By Jury and all characters are property of NBC and Dick Wolf.
CHALLENGE: Part of the 'Ground Zero' series and Vampires, Ghosts and Zombies challenge.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Ground Zero - San Francisco, 3.19am
By Ann


The nightclub was filled to the rafters; the beat of the music played steadily on, and the strobe lights flashed its many colors across the dance floor; however, the screams of the live patrons attempting to escape the multitude of zombies dominated the social setting.

Tracey Kibre hit one of the creatures over the head with a chair, a second with a beer bottle, and a third with her elbow. Grabbing hold of her lover, she ushered Kelly through the back door of the establishment and into the alley.

"I knew this city was culturally diversified, but this is ridiculous." Tracey muttered, smoothing out the sleeves of her jacket.

At the end of the alleyway, a group of the undead stood in the street and turned at the sound of the slamming door. Moaning and groaning, they started towards their new prey.

"Uh oh." Kelly scanned the alley, looking for any means of escape. Their new predicament didn't seem to be any better than the one they'd just left.

Tracey stared at the creatures shuffling towards them and then glanced across the alley at the door which led to a different nightclub. Reading the warning sign above the doorway, 'men only', Tracey turned her attention back to the approaching undead, suddenly noting a possible trend.

"C'mon, this way." Tracey grabbed Kelly's hand and headed for the other door, deciding now was the perfect time to test her new theory. The pair quickly slid through the opening and locked the door behind them. Kelly closed her eyes and leaned against the wall.

"Now what?"

Tracey grinned and tugged her lover further inside. "Now, we see if I'm right."

The two women slipped into the nightclub, making sure to stay close to the wall. The scene was eerily similar to the one they'd witnessed earlier; the music, the lights, and the ever present screams. The one significant difference was that the creatures totally ignored them, concentrating on the other patrons instead.


The older woman smiled smugly. "I hadn't noticed in the KitCat club that the zombies were all women. In the alley, I didn't either until I saw the 'men only' sign. It seems the creatures can't help themselves; their sexual preference is still leading them."

Kelly watched as two male zombies grabbed a screaming queen and pulled him to the dance floor. They sandwiched their victim between their dead bodies as they swayed clumsily to the music, taking bites out of the defenseless man every few beats of the song.

"So, we stay here then?" Kelly grimaced and turned her head away from the all-you-can-eat buffet.

Tracey shook her head and led her partner towards the front entrance. "No, we can't be certain the current pattern will hold. We need to get to the rental car and try to find someplace safe."

Before Kelly could offer any comment, Tracey had pulled her through the door and into the street. The zombies from the alley immediately spotted the pair and once again headed their way; their moans and groans much louder than before.

Spying their car parked across the street, Kelly released her lover's hand. "There's our car. Let's run for it, Tracey; I'll drive."

The brunette didn't hesitate. She trailed behind Kelly and veered to the passenger side, kicking and shoving her way through another group of female zombies in order to reach the door.

Kelly easily slid into the driver's seat and turned to check her lover's progress just in time to see Tracey dive headfirst into the midsize SUV. Her sleeve had been completely ripped from her tailored suit jacket, and the zombies cried out in disappointment at their missed meal, but gamely moved forward in a second attempt to grab their prey.

"Go, go, go!" Tracey shouted, checking her bare arm for any sign of injury.

At her lover's plea, Kelly peeled away from the curb, knocking down two more undead while a third stubbornly held onto the car's luggage rack. The creature moved its bony hand to gain better purchase on the side of the vehicle just as Tracey managed to slam the door shut. The grayish, emaciated body part fell directly into Tracey's lap as the zombie slid from the roof of the car, landing on the sidewalk and howling pitifully at the loss of its limb.

Tracey grimaced and rolled down the window, tossing the piece of the creature out into the street. "This was not exactly how I'd planned to spend our free time from the conference."

The SUV went airborne as Kelly sped over the steep rise, landing with a hard bump on the other side. Sparks flew from the undercarriage of the car as the blonde pushed down on the accelerator, readying the vehicle for the trip up the next hill while Tracey rubbed the sore spot on her head which had come in contact with the top of the car.

Quickly fastening her seatbelt, Tracey grabbed tightly onto the dashboard. "I feel like I'm stuck in the intro to that stupid 'Streets of San Francisco' show."

"Well, we've got to keep moving," Kelly explained, reaching into her pocket and removing her cell phone.

Tracey stared at her lover. "Who you gonna call? Ghostbusters?"

"No, my aunts, and what's with you and the TV and movie references?"

"Sorry, but right now, they're my only frame of reference. I've not actually seen what we've seen today outside of the big and small screens, and . . . Kelly, look out!"

The blonde swerved to the right, narrowly missing the trolley car full of zombies as it made its way along the street. A voice on the other end of the line brought Kelly's attention back to the living.


The frazzled blonde juggled the phone, finally able to bring it to her ear. "Oh, thank God. It's me, Kelly."

"Very funny. You can't fool me; Kelly's right here with me."

"No, it's me, your niece Kelly. I'm in San Francisco for a lawyers' convention."

A chuckle made its way into Kelly's ear. "I hope the creatures ate them all; well, except for you anyway. Where are you?"

A set of directions later, the two had successfully navigated through the streets and streets of the undead and were on the highway, headed away from the city.

"I didn't know you had relatives in the area."

Kelly smiled. "Well, they're not my blood relatives. Kelly's an old friend of my mother's. I'm actually named for her."

"Well, I hope we'll be safe there. Not all of the zombies are going to be as choosy as to whom they try to eat."

"Hey! No one else gets to eat you, Tracey Kibre." Kelly answered, tongue in cheek, adding, "But don't worry about not being safe."

Tracey grinned widely; she never heard the part about being safe.

Kelly turned down the long driveway, leading to her aunts' residence. It had been almost a half an hour since they'd seen their last zombie.

"I'd imagine the creatures stick to areas that are more heavily populated." Tracey remarked, taking in the scenery and wondering what the hell Kelly's aunts did for a living.

Approaching the front gate, Kelly frowned at the lone creature sitting on the curb. The female zombie glanced up at the new arrivals, and Kelly immediately reached for her phone.

"Um, there's a zombie outside your gates. What do you want me to do?"

The voice on the other end paused briefly. "Put your hands over your ears."


"Just do it, Kelly."

Kelly shrugged and complied, gesturing for Tracey to do the same. The other woman frowned, but followed her lover's lead as a muffled high pitched squeal was heard. The surprised pair watched as the zombie grabbed her head and doubled over in pain. At the same moment, the gates slowly began to open, and Kelly sped up to the opening, sliding through just as the gates closed behind her. Tracey glanced in the rearview mirror to see the creature stare at the house and then sit back on the curb. She briefly wondered why the zombie hadn't tried to scale the fence.

A woman with more salt than pepper hair stepped out the front door and smiled as she walked to the vehicle. Kelly leapt from the car and enveloped the woman in a tight hug.

"Oh, Aunt Kelly. I've missed you."

Tracey smiled at the pair, not noticing the woman standing outside her door until a knock sounded on her window. The unexpected move scared her more than the initial appearance of the zombies. Holding her hand over her heart, she opened the door and stepped from the car as the other woman extended her hand.

"Hello. You must be Tracey. I'm Sabrina, Kelly's partner."

Sabrina laughed at Tracey's frown and gestured to the hugging women. "No, the other Kelly."

"Ah, sorry. I'm still a bit frazzled."

Sabrina chuckled and placed her arm over Tracey's shoulder, leading her towards the house. "No problem. I'd imagine being on the run from zombies would have a tendency to put one on edge. C'mon in, and I'll get you something to settle your nerves."

The other woman's wink and smile instantly put Tracey at ease, and she readily allowed Sabrina to lead her into the house. She sure hoped Kelly's aunt was referring to a stiff drink.

The four women sat in the great room, sipping from their snifter of brandy. Tracey listened quietly while the other women caught up on both old and recent times. As the conversation came to a lull, Tracey asked one of the many questions she'd been wondering about.

"Um, that woman, er, creature out front. Why is she here and not with the others?"

Sabrina stood and moved to get a refill. "Because she's always been so damned hardheaded; even in the form of the undead, she still thinks she can steal Kelly away from me."

Kelly, the blonde, spoke up. "You don't mean?"

"Yep, Jill. The damn woman keeps showing up, not as often as in the beginning mind you, but every once in awhile, there she is."

Kelly, the brunette, chimed in. "Don't be so mean, Bree. She's our friend."

"Used to be, you mean. No friend goes after another's partner."

Tracey quickly changed the subject. "Why hasn't she tried to climb over the fence?"

Sabrina laughed. "It's got an electric current running through it. She's already been shocked at least a dozen times. She was blonde before she became a zombie, you know. Um, sorry Kelly, no offense to you, but you'd think she'd have learned her lesson the first couple of times."

"None taken, Aunt Sabrina, but, I'm with Tracey, why hasn't she joined the others?"

"Probably has no idea she's not alive anymore. She'd flip if she saw her reflection." Sabrina muttered, taking a sip from her glass.

"Okay, enough about Jill. Sabrina and I are just so happy you're here."

Tracey asked her third question. "What exactly is going on?"

Sabrina took a seat next to her lover. "Zombies are attacking everywhere. No one knows where they came from or why they're here."

"Everywhere?" Kelly asked, taking Tracey's hand.

"Yes, it's global. I've made a few calls to various government agencies, trying to find out more, but so far, no one's returned my calls. I'm holding out on one particular friend though. If anyone can survive this attack, it'd be her. She's young and strong, a true survivor, if you know what I mean."

Kelly squeezed her lover's thigh. "She reminds me of Bree when she was young."

"Stop it, I was never that young."

"Oh yes, you were."

"Well, it's been too many years. We're old enough to be great grandmothers."

"You two will never be old." Kelly smiled at her two aunts, believing every word she said.

Finally, Tracey asked her most important question. "So, what should we do?"

Sabrina sighed and leaned against the couch. "Nothing. We're safe here; we're behind fortified walls, have plenty of weapons and food, and various means of transportation at our disposal should we need to leave."

A crackling sound came from a nearby monitor causing Tracey and Kelly, the blonde, to jump. Kelly, the brunette, shook her head sadly, and Sabrina laughed.

"It's okay; it's just Jill. She's tried the fence again."

Standing, Sabrina motioned to the other room. "Let's go to the kitchen. I think there's some leftover lasagna in the refrigerator. We can catch up on old times while we wait for Jo to call."

Tracey and Kelly shrugged as they followed the two older women into the kitchen. Another popping sound had both Tracey and Sabrina laughing aloud while the two Kellys just shook their heads. They definitely had their work cut out for them now that Tracey and Sabrina had already started to bond.

The End

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