PHILADELPHIA – Five years after the nightmarish and seemingly certain apocalyptic pandemic which caused the death and subsequent reanimation into blood-thirsty zombies of millions of people in the central Pennsylvania region, it was confirmed today that Left 4 Dead survivor trio Zoey, Louis, and Francis no longer stay in regular contact.
The members of the group, who had once depended on one other for survival as society crumbled around them, struggled for conversation during their annual lunchtime reunion in remembrance of Bill, the man who had bravely sacrificed himself to save them.
"Well, thank god that's all over," said Zoey, area college student. "It was really bad for a while, you know. I didn't think I was gonna make it!"
"I know, right? What was that all about – green flu?" remarked Louis, local IT analyst. "That came out of nowhere. I'd never even heard of that before."
"I'm glad I didn't get sick!"
The epidemic, caused by a rabies-like virus, reportedly infected several million people in the state. Fortunately, thanks to the efficient eradication and immunization plan executed by the government, the outbreak was contained and ended within 120 days.
"You've really gotta hand it to the State of Pennsylvania," he added. "They got all over that. Were they spraying vaccines in the air? Whatever the case, they did a great job handling that zombie situation."
Although years have passed, the origins of the short-lived epidemic remain a subject of ongoing controversy, with many people dissatisfied with the government's investigation and official report.
"That whole thing went down really fast – too fast," Francis told his fellow survivors, who recognized that he was preparing to repeat a point that they had often heard him make over the years. "It went from, like, eating dinner and watching TV to everywhere horrible crying women with glowing red eyes tearing people apart."
"But the government seemed to have their shit together to it stop though. When does that ever happen?" he asked.
Zoey and Louis nodded, looking somewhat bored, although they too had often wondered at how quickly and totally the outbreak was contained and how life had seemingly returned to normal.
"You know what I think?" continued the outlaw biker, uninterrupted. "I think the government infected a bunch of people, let them loose, watched the disease spread, and then decided to stop it once they got whatever it was they were looking for."
"They created those goddamn monsters too, like those things that killed Bill at the lift bridge. No disease to people could cause that. They were something else entirely."
Zoey and Francis nodded again, silently, staring down blankly at their respective plates of tasteless food.
The three survivors reportedly spent another thirty minutes half-heartedly reminiscing about Bill and their numerous brushes with death – all memories that none of them had forgotten, nor were eager to recount.
At the end of their lunch, Zoey, Louis, and Francis paid for their own meals and wished each other well as they said goodbye, individually considering whether this tradition was worth keeping up any more.
"It's hard to believe that it's over. I mean, the world is different now," said Zoey, walking to her car. "People still talk about it. It's not like any of us have forgotten or anything. But there just aren't zombies running around everywhere like there used to be."
"So, we just kind of… fell out of touch."
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