DISCLAIMER: The Facts of Life and its characters are the property of Columbia Pictures Television and Sony Pictures Television, no infringement intended.
CHALLENGE: Part of the 'Ground Zero' series and Vampires, Ghosts and Zombies challenge.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Ground Zero - Peekskill, 6.19am
By Ann


Jo sat up in bed and stared slack jawed at the television as she rapidly flipped through the channels. Her fears were confirmed when both CNN and Fox News reported the widespread zombie attacks. It seemed the creatures had appeared out of nowhere and were wreaking havoc all over the globe.

"Blair, wake up!" Jo poked her lover on the shoulder, hoping to pull her from her sleep.

"Ow, stop it, Jo. What time is it anyway?"

Jo squinted at the clock on the nightstand. "6:19."

"In the morning?"

"Of course, in the morning."

"Jooo," Blair whined as only Blair could, "school's not in session. Even as headmistress, I get to sleep in."

"Blair, we've got a real problem."

The blonde huffed and pushed the covers back. "Okay, what won't wait until a decent hour, like maybe noon?"

Jo pointed towards the big screen located on the far wall. Blair sat up and leaned against the headboard, focusing on the images.

"A horror movie? You woke me up to show me a horror movie?"

"It's not a movie; it's real, Blair."

"Yeah right, Jo." Blair slid back down under the covers.

"It is! One of those things ate the news guy from Channel 5. His cameraman stood his ground and kept rolling the entire time."

"Which news guy?"

"The dark headed one."

"Good. His toupee was awful, and his complexion was always so pasty looking."

"Well, he's really pasty looking now. C'mon, we need to get up. I need to check the security cameras, and you need to pack a bag." Blair groaned when her lover jumped from the bed.

Walking towards the doorway, Jo called back, "I mean it, Blair. If you don't get up, I'm carrying you out of here over my shoulder. You'll have to wear your nightgown for days on end. There aren't any department stores in the mountains."

"Mountains?" Blair's question fell on deaf ears as Jo strode down the hallway. The blonde lay in bed and pouted briefly, replaying Jo's words over and over again. Lifting her head, she watched in horror as a group of zombies surrounded a defenseless blonde woman. Blair quickly threw back the covers and leapt from the bed, heading straight for the closet.

In the media room, Jo sat in front of ten different monitors, watching for any movement. A few seconds later, the back area was breeched, and a small group of creatures slid through the gate. Quickly glancing at the other monitors, Jo ran from the room.


"What?" The blonde pulled her third suitcase from the closet, figuring she'd still have to leave some of her favorite clothes behind.

"We've got to go. The creatures have found a way in. It won't be long before the place is swarming with them. Grab your bag." Jo emptied her backpack and moved to the dresser, stuffing the bag with underwear, jeans, and t-shirts. Turning around, she found Blair staring at her, hands on hips.

"I haven't had time to pack yet. I've just found my suitcases."

"Suitcases? Blair, I said pack a bag as in singular. Your carryon would probably be best; it has a strap on it so you'd be able to run more easily."

"My carryon won't even hold my makeup, Jo."

"Blair, remember what I said about carrying you out of here? Well, get ready 'cause I'm about to flip you over my shoulder."

Blair noted the look in Jo's eyes and knew she meant business. Hurrying into the closet, she grabbed her carryon and ran to the dresser next to Jo's, filling the bag with items similar to her lover's.

Pleased with Blair's change of attitude, Jo moved into the walk-in closet and fingered a hidden switch. A small section of the floor opened, revealing several rifles and pistols. Jo grabbed a semi-automatic rifle and two revolvers. Throwing extra ammunition into her bag, she flipped the switch to close the hidden space and headed back into the bedroom where she found her lover sliding into a pair of jeans.

"Here, put this in the waistband of your pants." Jo handed over a small caliber revolver.


"Put . . . this . . . in . . . your . . . waistband . . . NOW!"

"Alright; alright, you don't have to yell, but if I shoot myself in the foot, it'll be your fault."

Blair grudgingly took the revolver and eased her jeans away from her as she placed the gun into the side of her pants. "Satisfied?"

Jo nodded and slid the second revolver in the holster situated at the small of her back. She held out her hand for her lover to take.

"Let's go."

Both women shouldered their bags and started towards the doorway, Jo's assault rifle leading the way. They made it to the garage without incident; however, the pounding on the garage door definitely got Jo's attention. Moving to her motorcycle, she pulled on her helmet and waited for Blair to join her.

"Jo, what are you doing?"

"I'm trying to get us out of here."

"On a motorcycle? Those creatures will be able to grab us. How come we can't go in your Hummer?"

"Because we need maneuverability to get to the helicopter, Blair."

"Helicopter? Jo, you know I don't like to fly in that thing. You promised me I'd never have to fly in that metal contraption with you again."

Jo pulled off her helmet and went with the only strategy she could think of.

"Please, Princess, just this once. We don't have any idea what state the highways are in. The chopper is our best bet."

Blair hated it when Jo turned those puppy dog eyes on her and called her Princess. "Oh, fine; give me my helmet."

Jo grinned, handing the pink helmet to her lover. Each woman fitted the earpiece and mouthpiece in place before Jo started the engine.

"Hold on tight and don't let go. If they grab your bag, don't wrestle them for it; let them have it. I'll use the rifle to clear any of them from in front of us. Use your legs if you have to, just don't let them pull you from the motorcycle. Okay?"

"Okay, Jo."

Jo revved the engine and hit the switch to raise the garage door. She knew the creatures were groaning and moaning, but the sound of the motorcycle drowned them out. The moment the door had lifted enough for the bike to pass under, Jo took off. Two of the undead fell backwards when the brunette kicked out both feet, and Jo looked back and grinned when she saw the creatures holding their privates. It seemed even as a member of the undead society, males still had a weak spot.

At the end of the driveway, Jo took out two more zombies with a short burst from her gun while Blair tightened her grip, occasionally peeking out from between her scrunched up eyelids; however, both eyes popped open wide when she saw the figure standing by the curb, turning its head from side to side.

"Jo! That was Muffy Barrington. She was wearing that designer outfit I've been wanting so badly."

"How'd it look on her?"

"Better than it would have had she still been alive."

Jo laughed and gunned the engine, heading towards her helicopter and unfortunately a small group of the undead as well. The zombies were standing around the chopper, apparently trying to decide if it was another creature.

"Blair, we're not going to have much time to board. I'm going to circle around the pad and try to get them away from the chopper. Hold on tight."

No verbal answer was forthcoming, but a squeeze to Jo's middle let her know that Blair had heard her. Jo shifted to a higher gear, and the motorcycle lurched forward, heading directly for the crowd of zombies.

The high pitch of the cycle grabbed the creatures' attention, and they turned as one towards the speeding pair. Jo pointed the weapon at the two zombies closest to the chopper, and the resulting explosion of gunfire nearly decapitated the creatures.

Turning tight circles around the chopper seemed to totally confuse the undead as they continued to try to follow the sound; however, all they managed to do was to bounce back and forth against each other. None of them realized when Jo shut off the engine and coasted to the other side of the helicopter.

"Quick, Blair. Let's get inside before they figure out what's going on."

Jo jumped directly from the bike onto the chopper's railing. Opening the door, she threw her backpack and rifle inside.

"Blair, throw me your bag, and then I'll pull you inside."

The blonde didn't hesitate to comply as the zombies had refocused on the pair and were walking slowly around the helicopter. Jo caught the bag and tossed it inside, turning to grab Blair's hand.

"Give me your hand, Blair."

Blair reached upwards, and Jo tugged; however, two zombies had made their way directly under the blonde and grabbed hold of both Blair's legs. Jo quickly adjusted her grip and reached under her lover's arms, turning Blair into a tug-o-war object between her and the creatures.

"Blair, pull out your gun and shoot the sons of bitches!"

"I can't; shoot them with your gun!"

"Blair, I can't let go. If I do, they'll pull you down to them. You've got to do this."

"I can't, Jo. I'm scared."

"Blair, do you want to spend eternity going to flesh eating socials with Muffy Barrington?"

The blonde looked up at her lover and frowned. Reaching for the revolver, she pulled it from her jeans and fired down at the zombies. The creatures howled and immediately released their captive as Jo pulled her lover up and into the chopper, sealing the door as soon as Blair was safely inside.

"Jo, I never thought I'd say this, but . . . please, fly me out of here."

Jo chuckled and moved towards the pilot's seat. Climbing in, she buckled up and began an abbreviated pre-flight checklist.

"C'mon, Blair. You need to get buckled in."

The creatures had begun to climb up on the helicopter, beating on the sides in apparent frustration at being kept from their next meal. Jo flipped a switch and the rotor blades began to turn, quickly picking up speed. The two zombies that had ventured to the top of the chopper were cut into hundreds of pieces, and the ones holding onto the sides were knocked loose by the force from the blades.

Jo made certain the throttle was fully opened and then pulled up slowly on the collective. The remaining zombies held on as the chopper lifted off the pad, and Jo grinned evilly as she made an abrupt maneuver, casting the creatures onto the ground.

Blair glanced at the downed zombies and laughed. "Great flying, Jo."

"Thanks, Blair. I knew you'd learn to appreciate my skills one day."

"Oh, I always appreciate your skills, just not necessarily your flying ones."

Jo chuckled and turned towards the highway, wanting to get a birds-eye view of the chaos. After a few passes, she shook her head and turned towards their destination.

"Where are we headed, Jo?"

"I've got a friend in the marshal's office who has a cabin in the Smoky Mountains. It'll be the perfect location to regroup and figure out what to do next. I'll check in with FBI headquarters once we're safe."

"Jo? What about our friends?"

Jo sighed. "Princess, we can't worry about them now; we just have to hope for the best. We have to look out for each other; we're completely on our own."

"I know, Jo. I'm just glad we're together, but it sure would be nice if we knew for certain there was someone else out there to fight this battle with us." Blair smiled sadly and turned her gaze to the ground below.

Neither woman had any idea there was an armored truck speeding to their exact destination.

The End

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