In episode 1, readers voted for Captain Arnold to flame him, he’s infected.
Captain Arnold rushed toward the flamethrower that Sergeant Miller had dropped. With one hand, the captain reached down, snagged the weapon, and ran past the fallen sergeant as he hurried to face the new threat coming down the hallway—Joseph Malone.
Joseph though, dropped his pistol, raised his hands into the air and pleaded, “Wait, Captain! Sergeant Miller was infected! That’s why I shot—” but Joseph didn’t finish his explanation. The captain had already pulled the trigger and flames shot out toward Joseph.
Joseph tried to dive through an open door in the hallway to avoid the incoming flames, but not all of him was concealed as the flames roared down the hallway. Joseph yelled in pain as flames engulfed his legs.
As the captain watched his old friend writhe in pain, he numbly realized Joseph had spoken in clear English. All the other infected were blabbering maniacs. With regret, the Captain understood now that Joseph wasn’t infected.
He ran toward his friend. “Joseph! Joseph! I’m sorry.”
“Captain,” Joseph said in a weak voice. “I found out … how to tell … who’s infected.”
The doctor joined the captain at Joseph’s side and the captain looked up at the Doctor. “Doc, what can we do for Joseph?”
The ship’s doctor just shook his head. “He doesn’t have much time, he’s going into shock, but I can’t treat him here.”
Joseph spoke again, “Captain, … the infected all have hot infrared signatures … use the assisted vision.” Joseph pulled off the goggles he was wearing and handed them to the Captain.
The captain put on the goggles. Readouts immediately filled his vision, a red pulsating light hovered over the body of the sergeant who lay motionless on the floor. The infection was at work in the fallen sergeant; soon the sergeant would be a threat.
“Let’s move out! Doc and Cor … where is … Corporal, GET OVER HERE!” The captain angrily shouted at Corporal Jackson. The corporal was still huddled in the corner trying to get as far away from the mayhem as possible. “The two of you, help prop Joseph up. I’ll cover us with the flamer.”
Corporal Jackson protested. “Captain, if we take Joseph, we’ll never make it to the launch bay, he’ll just slow us down.”
The doctor added, “Captain, we have to make it to the nukes. We can’t let this infectious scourge escape the ship. Think of the rest of humanity!”
But the final decision was the captain’s. Over three hundred crew were already dead, infected or unaccounted for. The captain wondered how many of the last few remaining crew members could be saved. He also wondered if he had a chance to even save himself.
“Captain, the longer we stand here the … Wait! I hear more infected coming down the hall! And look …” The corporal pointed at Sergeant Miller’s once lifeless body. “The Sergeant is starting to twitch!”
“Shhh … Don’t make any more noise. Keep quiet and follow me,” the Captain whispered as he made his decision on where to go next.