Shift End is the fifth episode of Roots of Decay the prequel series of Walking Dead the Survival.
The end of a working day is the start of a nightmare for one father and its set to end in blood and tears..
We open on the New York skyline and pass through several buildings and on to the city proper. Despite the apparent normalcy of the day there are several subtle clues things are not what they seem. Several boared up shops, people walking in the streets avoid those who seem obviously sick. A news paper blowing in the breeze snags on a fence and we can just make out some of the hedling; a warning of riots and attacks.
Cage v.o: Ok, and ill see outside the main gate....
We see Cage; dressed in full gear for work on a building sight with a hammer in one hand, phone in the other. He is in a break room and talking with his daughter Jean.
Cage: Yes you should be there for six on the dot.... I love you and stay safe hun.
He hangs up and lowers his head to take in a hard breath.
Burt: She's handling the divorce better than you are.
Cage turns to look at his coworker and laughs bitterly.
Cage: Hey at least Emma isn't bleeding me dry or anything like that.
Burt: Yeh, I guess ypur right there... seriously what happened between you two?
Cage just shakes his head.
Cage: Hey if I wondered that I wouldn't get any work done.
Burt: Speaking of work (looks at his watch) break just ended.
The two nod and leave the break room which is revealed to be a portable cabin on the inside of a building sight; the framework for a warehouse or a mall has been put up. While it should normally be bustling with activity only a few people are at work. Cage notes one guy seems close to either falling asleep or passing out.
Cage: A lot of guys calling in sick lately.
Burt: I know, but its no excuse for working the rest of us half to death.
Cage: Hey a paycheck is a paycheck at the end of the day.
Burt: Paycheck nothing Anthony had a nasty looking wound on the back of arm the other night and they still got him working.
Cage: Yeh I saw that looked like something took a chunk out of his arm.
Burt: With all the weird shit going on lately you would think they would cut the guy some slack.
Cage just shrugs and enters a lift to work on another floor.
Cage: Se you later; beers at your place?.
Burt: Nah man you go pick up your kid; God knows she's better company than me.
The two men just laugh has the lift closes and Cage heads up to his assigned floor to work.
Tamera V.O: The more terryfing the reality the tighter we cling to the dream; in crisis we all try to hold onto an image of normalicy.
We see Cage at work riverting some metal work, he pauses briefly to admire the view of the city sky line before continuing to work.
A few hours later. Cage has just finished up and it putting his tools away in a locker room. The only thing he keeps on hand is a hammer; his own personal tool.
Burt: Don't see why you keep that thing on you all the time.
Cage: My old man always used to say if you can trust one thing in life it should be your tools and a good tradesman always takes care of his tools.
Burt (chuckles): Well at least your hammer cant run off and try to take you daughter with it.
Cage does not laugh at his friend's attempt at humor; instead looking at his watch.
Cage: Shit, I better get moving or i'll be late to pick Jean up.
Cage hurries out, he is so ingrosed in his own thought he does not even here a far off scream in the distance or the sound of a car crash. We follow him out a few minutes later to a make shift car park for the workers and to his viechle a faded blue jeep.
Cage: Ok where are they?
He looks through his pockets for his keys off the corner of him we see someone stumbling forward as if drunk. Its the guy Cage noted earlier.
Cage: Here we go.
He pulls the keys from his pocket and puts them in the door. He is about to unlock the viechle when the sound of the approaching figure grabs his attention has the figure stumbles a bit.
Cage: Burt... that you?
He quickly see's its not his friend but he does note specks of blood on the man.
Cage: Hey buddy you ok?
He approaches but jumps back quickly has the man lunges savegly at him with an inhuman snarl of hunger.
Cage: What the fuck?
Now clearly see we see the man in a freshly turned walker; eyes a cloudy blue green and flecked with blood specles. Its face is smeared with blood and we see a few scratches and cuts along its frame indicating it did attack someone but they managed to either get away or at the very least injure it.
Cage:... Mike is... are you on something?
He tries to approach the young man again.
Burt: Cage!... don't let him get close to...
Cage is momentarily distracted by his friends voice and the walker lunges again. It almost manages to get a hold of him; jaws wide and intending to bite the man only for Cage's hammer to smack into the side of its head. The walker goes down stunned for a moment but has it rises again Cage strikes again. This time the blow it fatal and it goes down for good.
Burt: Cage get away from him now!
Cage is to stunned to move looking at his hammer like it was a live snake, drops it suddenly has he realizes what he just did.
Cage: Burt... I he.... god I didn't mean it he...
Burt: Cage.... he came at you man you were just defending yourself, besides everyone saw him take a bite out of the forman just now.
Burt: Yeh after you left Mike came in looking all spaced out, the guy seemed sick all day and then he just dropped there.
Cage: Then what.
Burt: Well Drake tried to give him cpr... then Mike was up and clinging onto the guy's throat like a piece of prime rib.
Had he not just scene the walker with his own eyes Cage would think this were a sick joke but the walker and the state of his friend tells him otherwise. The sounds of ambulance sirens ring in the air.
Burt: That will be for Drake (notices Cage looking at the body)
Burt: Look get out of here man.... you daughter's waiting we will talk to the paramedics.
Cage finaly nods and head off