Time: 10:27 am
Location: New Mexico Emergency Management Bureau, I-25
With the grip end of his golf club, Vasquez traces a city map projected on the wall of the lobby for the Multi-Agency Coordinating Group, otherwise known as MAC.
The black rubber grip runs down the length of St. Francis, swerves briefly onto Cerrillos, then all the way down the train tracks and Guadalupe Street until the pointer stops at Santa Fe National Cemetery.
“Fenced, remote, unpopulated,” Vasquez says. “Where else would you contain the dead?”
“Right,” Tim Manning, who assumed control once Coss signed the emergency declaration, says. “We don’t have much time. Twelve hours to be exact.”
“What happens in 12 hours?” the mayor asks.
“According to LANL and private projections given to our Infectious Disease Epidemiology Bureau,” Manning says, “there won’t be anyone left to infect.”
He clicks a button on the remote control; a small red circle over St. Vincent expands to engulf the entire county.
“I don’t know if your plan’s viable,” Manning says. “But it’s better than handing it off to the Office of the Medical Investigator—managing mass fatalities is officially his responsibility.”
“Well,” Solano says. “We do need someone to lure them.”
Coss interrupts: “I’m the bait in this jurisdiction, Sheriff.”
Time: 10:34 am
Location: Santa Fe Southern Railway Depot
At Cerrillos and St. Francis, Solano swerves the Explorer off the road and speeds down the side of the train tracks. Their dust trail catches up with them as they slide to a stop outside the railway depot. Santa Fe Southern Railway President Carol Raymond emerges from the cloud.
“I hear y’all have a zombie problem,” she says.
Raymond leads the pair inside to a portable television, which she says has been playing the same clip over and over for a half hour.
KOAT Spot News Reporter Matt Grubs is standing in the intersection at San Mateo and St. Francis, explaining to the camera, with open-handed gestures and a pretty-boy smirk, that a unique case of mass hysteria is spreading in the north side of Santa Fe.
“Look, there’s the city’s spokeswoman, Laura Banish,” Grubs says. “Laura! Laura, can you explain the situation to us?”
On the small screen, the camera zooms in on Banish as she turns around, slowly. Then, like a viper, she lunges at Grubs. The picture turns on its side after the camera falls to the ground. For 15 long seconds, Solano, Vasquez and Raymond watch as Banish tears open Grubs’ belly. The zombie woman looks up, bits of entrails stuck in her braces, and that’s where the footage ends.
Solano dials his undersheriff.
“Garcia, addendum to the attack plan,” Solano says. “No officer is to defend any members of the press who choose to approach the zombies. They fend for themselves.”
Vasquez explains the plan to Raymond: They need to get trains on the tracks as quickly as possible to create a barrier between the zombie path and the Westside. If the plan doesn’t work, at least they’ll have a shot at saving half the city. They will set up their guns and hoses in the windows of the train cars. DOT Secretary Rhonda Faught is sending Rail Runner cars to the Southside. Raymond inventories what she has on hand: a dozen or so cars and engines—enough to cover the route at least as far as the St. Francis and Cerrillos intersection on the other side.
“It’ll take a few hours, but it’s doable,” she says. “By the way, what’s with the putter?”
“I thought I had an axe in the truck,” Vasquez says. “But when I looked, this was it.”
“You need to get yourself a pneumatic spike driver,” she says, hoisting up a jackhammer-like gun from behind the counter. “Let’s get to it. St. Francis help us.”