ZM Chapter 1: The beginning

The day of the apocalypse came without warning.

It was a clear day and the rainy season has just passed. Outside, the sun is located high above our head facing north.

Hiro Takumi was idly watching the television. At twenty-four years old he was lazily spending his time in his room. His work in the retail industry gives him irregular days off. Because of that he always sleeps until noon on those days. To battle the fatigue he usually just watches television, surfs the web and plays games all day long.

However, today something unusual happened before noon.

Sirens of multiple emergency vehicles have been heard for about an hour now. The sound keeps echoing in his ears. It really ruined Takumi’s day off. He was originally planning to sleep until noon, but now that plan is flushed down the drain

“It’s not a fire…”

Takumi is looking at the direction where the sounds of the sirens are coming from through his windows of his apartment located on the fifth floor. But he doesn’t see any black smoke. He narrowed his eyes for a while in the hope of picking something up to no avail. Losing interest, he turns his face to the television.

Some experts were talking about the state of the world, but there was no mention of a fire.


He has nothing to do. Today should be his precious day off, but just like any other holiday he has nothing productive to do and the time just ticks away, this makes him feel a little melancholic and regretful. And tomorrow he has to work again…

He can only complain of how shitty the world is, while he knows that the world isn’t so much the problem, but he is. ‘Will my life continue like this forever…?’

“We interrupt this program to bring you an urgent message! The stabbing that happened earlier in Shibuya, Tokyo that we reported about seems to be happening in multiple locations across Japan!”

The news anchor looked excited after he was handed a paper by a colleague. After reporting what happened the scene switched to a reporter that was on site.

Takumi is drawn to the screen of the live broadcasting to alleviate his boredom.

“We just got a report that multiple police officers have surrounded the suspect! The suspect seems to be a man between his thirties and forties. According to eyewitness testimonies the suspect was bleeding and when a worried citizen approached him the suspect bit him and after that, the suspect escaped the scene. The victim is on his way to the hospital. I am not sure what the condition is of the victim, but according to the witnesses the man was bleeding intensely from the neck.”

Just as the man finished speaking, multiple gunshots were heard and you could hear a woman screaming.

“It looks like police officers have opened fire and we could hear, three, no, four gunshots! It looks like the suspect is resisting which caused the officers to open fire. One could only wonder what is going on after hearing those gunshots and that woman screaming.”

The reporter seems extremely lively and excited when suddenly a shadow appears in the background. It appears to be a police officer wearing the iconic light blue uniform and hat. The cameraman turns to the officer and zooms in on him.

After the camera completely zoomed in and has the police officer centered, you hear a voice saying “wow!” Not sure if this came from the cameraman or from the studio.

It’s caused by the police officer’s strange appearance. His right hand only has a thumb and index finger. He stretches it out front as if asking for help. From the place where his other fingers should be, blood is flowing and gushing out. The bones where his fingers used to be are also exposed.

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It didn’t look like that big of an injury, however, the police officer’s light blue shirt is completely dyed in red from the neck down to his stomach. He had another injury, a huge scratch on his neck, it looks like he’s missing half of his neck.

“It looks like the police officers… are heavily injured… ambulances are on their way…”

The reporter tried to keep up his professional look, but his voice is clearly trembling. The officer’s head suddenly bends backward in an impossible angle and he then started running towards the reporter.

The screen was suddenly cut off and returned to the studio.

You could hear several confused voices of the studio’s staff and the news anchor cleared his throat a couple of time to return to a neutral expression before talking again.

“Er…, we apologize for showing you these inappropriate images.” The news anchor gave an apologetic bow. It looks like the people at the studio are pretty shaken.

Takumi started to have a weird sensation while watching the entire situation play out. What was happening at the end there? That police officer was definitely seriously injured. Shouldn’t the officer be dead from such a wound? I’m no doctor, so I can’t say so for sure. But I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t survive such a wound. The officer also seemed to be running at the end of the video.

Without even time to process it all, a scream was heard all of a sudden followed by one of the station operators yelling “What’s going on?!”. The news camera’s point to where the scream was heard.

What was reflected was a figure of a young man that was throwing up a considerable amount of blood, to the point of making a puddle on the ground. Someone approached him asking if he was okay while shouting to call an ambulance. The thirty-year-old man was attacked out of nowhere.

The screen suddenly cuts out and a message and their logo are displayed, which reads “Please stay with us.”

“What’s going on…?”

Takumi unconsciously exclaimed at the television. He then grabbed the remote control with his trembling hands and switches channels.

Multiple stations seem to have the same “Please stay with us.” message. While others have switched to emergency news programs. However, TV Tokyo was still airing the usual travel program. It’s clear that something terrible is going on.

Takumi shakes off the temptation to keep watching the television. Grabbing his backpack that he uses all the time in a hurry, he throws the content on the floor and almost completely empties it.

After confirming that there are three 10,000 yen bills in his wallet, he heads out to a convenience store in a hurry.

‘Gotta hurry up!’

All kind of absurd ideas are floating around in his head, but he shakes it off since he can’t help it for now.

‘I’m not sure what’s going on, but I do know that there are some things I need right now.’

Most people probably already realized that something bad is happening. He would rather watch the television right now to grasp the situation. However, there are more pressing issues right now. Such as securing food and water. This has the highest priority right now!

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Since earthquakes are a common thing in Japan, Takumi has stocked a certain amount of food and water in case of emergency. Many families do this. However, everyone only has the minimum amount, things do have an expiration date after all. Most people that have these emergency supplies usually have enough for about three days at most.

This is clearly not enough, especially in the case of water.

Takumi predicts that people who are watching the television will also start securing food and water in about 30 minutes to an hour. No, they might even have the same idea as me and started right away. In that case, everything will be sold out quickly. Before that happens, he has to secure as much as he can. The nearest convenience store is right in front of his apartment. It is very convenient and useful, but he has never been as grateful for it as today.

‘Good, looks like I’m the only one trying to secure food and water.’

Because it’s still before noon on a weekday the convenience store only has a few customers. It would be crowded with office worked around lunchtime, but fortunately, it’s not past noon yet. Apparently, the customers and clerks in the convenience store are not aware of the situation yet.

Takumi grabbed five bottles of purified water and places them in the basket. He would rather secure all the water in the store, but he’s already carrying 10 kilos now. Next up is food, he picks up rice balls and bread that have a long expiration date. In addition, he also grabs multiple lunch boxes that don’t require you to warm them up. Altogether he has two full baskets.

When he arrived at the cash register, he got a strange look from the clerk. But Takumi didn’t care and even added 5 more water bottles. He then rushes to put all his supplies into two plastic bags and his backpack. His backpack became considerably heavy and it made it a little hard to move, nonetheless, he still hurried back to his room. ‘I think I’m pretty fortunate to be living so close to a convenience store.’

‘I still need more water, batteries, a gas bottle and other stuff. I can get batteries at the nearby electronic store… No, wait, since the electronic stores are equipped with televisions, it’s unlikely that the guy will sell them. My best bet would be buying them at a convenience store after all.’

‘From here on out I have to make choices, every minute and every second counts.’

Takumi takes all the water bottles quickly and arranges it in an orderly fashion on the ground. He then decided to head back to the convenience store to secure even more water, batteries and gas bottles.

‘I’ll have to hurry up before it floods with people and I’m no longer able to buy anything!’

He’s agitated and feels like closing his apartment door is taking forever.


He hears a loud bang, followed by a dull sound and multiple screams. Takumi is standing in the corridor of the fifth floor, which you can see from the outside.

Takumi looked at the direction where the screams came from while having a bad feeling, a black sedan was standing on the sidewalk and blood covered the road. I saw a person lying in a pool of blood. The face can’t be seen, but it’s likely a man based on the suit he’s wearing.

“That guy suddenly jumped out of nowhere!”

A man was shouting with a loud voice, probably the driver. “Call an ambulance!” The man shouted. ‘I wonder if it’s just a normal accident…’

Takumi kept gazing at the man lying in the pool of blood. He should be heading to the convenience store, but he couldn’t take his eyes of the man, the whole thing gave him a weird feeling.

Then, something happened.

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The man lying the pool of blood stood up. People around start murmuring. Even when looking at it from above, the whole thing looks weird. The man’s right arm and leg are bent in strange directions. It seems to hinder the man’s movement and it looked kinda awkward.

A man that was standing close by tries to stop the bloodied man in a hurry, but the bloodied man suddenly attacked the kind man who tried to stop him. A loud scream followed.

Right after this a van driving really fast came hurtling towards the crowd. Those who were distracted by the abnormal situation didn’t notice the van in time and they were run over or bounced out of the way. The van came to a halt after hitting a store. A woman that had blood coming from her mouth sprung out of the van.

“This is crazy…”

The whole ordeal just took 3 minutes.

The entire scene that is reflected into his eyes is like a picture of hell. Another person was leaning over those that were hit by the van. Why is he leaning over them like that?

The road is stained in the red color of blood and a lot of people covered in blood are walking around.

Voices calling for help and screams are overlapping and those that try to get away are caught up in the abnormal situation.

“W-What is this… this..” a situation beyond my understanding is happening in front of me.

Takumi who totally forgot about the convenience store, just stood there, stunned. The confusion starts spreading all around. Before he realizes it, the sound of breaking glass, stuff getting crushed, screams, cries, laughter, and sirens seems to come from all directions.

Not being able to bear the events that are happening below, Takumi’s legs lose their strength. At that time a huge bang could be heard, but Takumi was so out of it that he didn’t pay any attention to it. Just before he completely falls backward, he’s supported by something soft…

Takumi who was scared out of his wits sees Yumi Takahashi who lives next door. She’s a college student who started living here about a year ago, but the longest I’ve ever spoken to her was when I greeted her when she just started living here. Other than that we just exchanged some casual greetings when we passed each other in the corridor, nothing else.

Her long beautiful black hair extends to the middle of her back and she looked like a refined young lady. However, she had one characteristic that couldn’t be overlooked, a huge chest which was on par with gravure idols. When she wore thin summer clothes, you had to be careful not to stare at them too long.

The soft thing that’s supporting him is that huge chest of Yumi, but Takumi couldn’t enjoy this moment right now.

If Takumi could afford the time to look around, he would have noticed that Yumi’s apartment door was broken in half. It looks like it was forcibly opened with a large force, it was completely bent.

“Ah… Ah…”

Takumi can only mutter those sounds seeing the spectacle in front of him.

It looks like Yumi just came from the shower, her whole body was wet and she was naked. Even though this whole situation was weird, this was only trivial compared to the fact that Yumi’s mouth, hands, stomach and more parts of her body had a lot of blood on them.

And that wasn’t the only strange thing, instead of her facial expression being panicked, distorted or shaky, she just has a blank expression.

What’s more…  her eyes were red and shining with a gleam.

‘I have to get away…!’

Takumi had the urge to run away, but Yumi grabbed him from the side. And although he was confident in his strength not losing out to any other guy, Yumi’s strength can’t even be compared. He can’t get away. “Let go!”

Yumi opened her mouth wide.

Takumi who saw it all happening tried to desperately get away with tears in his eyes, but his efforts are in vain. He gets bitten in the shoulder. Takumi slowly loses his consciousness knowing his shoulder got bitten.