DISCLAIMER: Law & Order 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 - Texas, 5.19am
By Ann


The silver Lexus RX-350 sputtered to a stop blocks from the well lit gas station, the driver continuing to turn the key despite the SUV's lack of cooperation as it stubbornly refused to start. The two occupants stared at the group of undead that'd turned towards them.

"Why'd we have to come visit your parents this week? We could be safely tucked away surrounded by our friends, our friends who just happen to carry weapons. And why'd we have to travel during the wee hours of the morning?"

"Can we talk about this later?" Abbie reached under her seat and pulled out a 9-mm automatic, ejecting the clip to be certain it was fully loaded.

Serena frowned. "A gun? You own a gun?"

Abbie shoved the clip back into place and watched as the zombies began to move towards them, picking up strays along the way.

"Can we talk about this later?"

Serena stood her ground, seemingly oblivious to the crowd of creatures heading in their direction.

"You brought a gun to your parents? Were you expecting to have to hold them at gunpoint so that they'd like me?"

"Serena, we really don't have time for this discussion." A hand beating on the hood of the car gained the blonde's attention, not to mention the dozens of its friends that were making their way down the street.

"Oh my God! Quick, shoot'em, Abbie!"

"So now you like my gun, huh?"

"No, er, yes, um . . . just blow the damn things away, would you?"

Abbie nodded and shot through the glass as zombies began to fall left and right. Seconds later, her clip was empty, but the undead just kept coming. Serena immediately noticed her lover had stopped firing.

"Don't stop now. There're still more of them."

"I'm out of bullets."

"What?" Serena counted the number of zombies still standing.

"We've got to get out of here and take our chances on foot. If they surround us, we'll never escape." Abbie reached for her door handle. "Okay, Serena; on three, open your door and run. Let's head down that side street."

Serena turned towards her lover in disbelief. "What? You want us to get out of the car?"

"Damn it, Serena. You've got to trust me. We can outrun them. We're not safe here."

"And we'll be safe out there with them?"

Abbie stared hard at the blonde, and Serena finally acquiesced to her lover's wishes.

"Okay, but if they get us, I'm never speaking to you again."

Chuckling, Abbie leaned over and kissed the nearby lips. "Deal. Now, get ready. One, two, three!"

On three, both women forcefully opened their door, knocking several of the undead off their feet and clearing a small path of escape. Serena hit the sidewalk running, but slowed when she realized Abbie wasn't at her side. Turning back, she found her lover surrounded by the creatures, and she didn't hesitate to race to her partner's side.

"Abbie, look out behind you!" Serena swung her purse at a zombie, the force knocking it temporarily off balance.

"I see'em; c'mon Southerlyn, move your ass." Abbie kicked the undead in the face and reached back to grab her lover's hand.

Serena took hold but continued to voice her displeasure at their situation.

"I was moving my ass; you were the one standing around."

Abbie spotted a truck parked just down the street and grinned. Pulling Serena behind, she angled towards the vehicle, putting extra distance between them and the zombies. The former ADA released her lover's hand and kicked the passenger side window, breaking the glass and emitting a high pitch squeal from the vehicle. The trailing undead held their hands over the holes in their heads where their ears used to be and moaned pitifully.

"Smart thinking, Abbie. Those things don't like shrill sounds."

Abbie ripped the door open and pulled the seat back, smiling at the shotgun nestled snuggly on the floorboard, a box of ammunition lying beside the gun. Serena's shout moved the brunette to action as she tugged the shotgun from its resting place, turned and fired, blowing the head from the creature that'd almost had Serena in its grasp.

"Yuck. Did you have to shoot the damn thing when it was so close?" Serena tried desperately to knock off the bits and pieces of zombie from her clothing.

Abbie threw the shells into Serena's purse and gripped the shotgun tightly. "We've got to get out of this area. They're multiplying exponentially."

"Ya think?" Serena picked up her pace, trying to keep up with her long-legged lover. "Um, Abbie, how did you know there'd be a weapon in that truck?"

Abbie started down the sidewalk, looking for any means of escape. Serena had learned her lesson after nearly being separated from her lover earlier and now stayed so close she was practically in Abbie's back pocket. Another volley of shotgun blasts cleared a small path for the women to pass through.

"Because we're in Texas, Serena. Quick; hand me some more shells."

Abbie was in her element, taking the ammunition from her lover and reloading her weapon within seconds. Spotting another truck across the street, she took off at a jog, certain that Serena would follow.

"Abbie! We don't need another gun! I don't know how to shoot!"

The brunette ignored her lover and stopped to stand underneath the tall truck, focusing intently on the underside. Reaching for the right front bumper, she smiled widely as she pulled an object free. Sliding back the magnetic hide-a-key, she flipped the hidden key into her hand, and after taking a moment to blow away a few more zombies, she jumped on the side rail and reached up to unlock the door. Stepping even higher, she pulled herself into the driver's seat. Serena stood on the sidewalk with her mouth agape.

"How'd you know there'd be a key? Oh, never mind . . . we're in Texas, right? And, what kind of vehicle is this anyway? I can't even reach the running board."

A group of undead turned towards their new prey, slowly moving forwards, their arms outstretched in front of them.

"Just grab hold of the bottom of the door and pull yourself up."

Serena glared at her lover. "I can't reach the goddamned door. How am I supposed to pull myself up? These damn tires are taller than I am. This vehicle shouldn't be legal."

Abbie caught sight of the growing mob and easily aimed over her lover's head, firing at will, but she was only able to put a dent in the group. Reaching to reload, she quickly realized the shells were in Serena's purse.

"Throw me some shells!"


"I'm out of ammo." Serena turned to see the group within a few feet of her. Scrambling forwards, she threw her purse to her lover and began to jump up and down, trying to grab hold of the running board. A hand gripped her shoulder, and she screamed.

Abbie cursed the zombie that'd managed to grab her lover. It'd positioned itself in such a way that there was no way she could shoot it with Serena's head in the way. A glint of metal from underneath the dashboard caught the brunette's eye, and she pulled the weapon free from its Velcro grip. Tossing it downward, she yelled to her lover.

"Serena! Catch!"

Reflexively, the blonde extended her hand and caught the weapon, and without hesitation, she lifted the barrel over her shoulder and fired. More zombie bits flew onto her clothing.

"If we get out of this, Abbie Carmichael; you're buying me a new wardrobe!"

Abbie chuckled and stepped down on the running board, stretching her hand towards her lover. Serena jumped to grab hold, and Abbie lifted her upwards, just as two zombie reached out for her. Abbie pulled her lover safely into the cab of the truck and slammed the door closed, the zombie's moans of disappointment cut off in mid-cry.

Serena looked out from her high perch at the mass of inhumanity. "Christ, look at all of them."

Abbie took just a moment to survey the area before starting the monster truck. Putting the vehicle in gear, she started down the road, running over the tops of the zombies as she sped down the street. Serena looked back over her shoulder only to see the zombies still moving down the center of the street.

"Um, Abbie?"


"Look in your rearview mirror, please."

Abbie glanced in the mirror and cursed. "Shit, the truck's too tall."

Grinning, the brunette changed tactics. Serena looked around just in time to see her lover move slightly to the left, the tires now becoming her weapon as the monster truck mowed over the creatures. The occupants felt just a slight bump as the zombies were left behind on the pavement as road kill.

"Now what?" Serena asked, watching the remaining creatures slowly continue their forward march.

"We head to the ranch and hunker down."

"Hunker down?"

"Yeah, you know. Take shelter; keep out of sight."

"Oh, well that does sound like a good idea."

The interior of the truck jerked slightly as another group of zombies were flattened under the tires, and Serena found herself looking forward to not seeing the creatures for awhile even if it meant having to be holed up with Abbie's parents for a probable lengthy stay.

"I'm actually looking forward to meeting your parents now, Abbie."

The brunette smiled slightly, worrying at her lip with her perfect teeth. Serena zoomed in on her lover's nervous habit.


"Um, Serena? I, um, didn't actually tell my parents that you were visiting, too. I thought we'd surprise them."

Serena glanced back at the numerous creatures, carefully weighing her options.

The End

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