Date: July 4, 2015. Time: 1436. Location: Aguilar, CO.
"Wh-wh-what do you mean you're pregnant?"
That was seven months ago.
Shaggy remembers the conversation as if it were yesterday. He had known Velma since high school, she had never had interest in boys.
He thought about the conversation in the coffee shop. The Mystery Incorporated Gang had decided to go to college together but when that didn't work out they chose the next best thing, the Western Massachusetts Five College System. They each attended different schools but were always within a short bus ride of each other. In fact they were all able to take classes together, usually on the paranormal. Fred went to Amherst College, Daphne to Mount Holyoke, Shaggy to Hampshire, and Velma to Smith. Shaggy even found the pup he named Scooby Doo at a UMass Amherst frat party. When not studying they met up in downtown North Hampton at Woodstar Cafe, a quaint local coffee house specializing in fair trade coffee and fresh baked goodies. They had been sitting around talking about their next adventure, a trip to the Northampton State Hospital, a long abandoned insane asylum with decades of reported ghostly activity.
Velma, who was normally very chatty, had been acting distant all night, "Hey guys… I have something I need to tell you…" She took her glasses off rubbing her temples before replacing them on her thin nose, "I don't know how else to say it other than to just say it, I'm a lesbian." She wasn't sure what to expect.
"We all know. C'mon V we know you better than anyone." Daphne said while putting her arm around her best friend.
"Yeah, like we always knew." Shaggy said tucking the bill into his wallet.
“What's with the money?" Velma asked confused.
"Oh. That. Well Shaggy and I had a bet as to when you'd come out. I said after Graduation…"
"And I said before." Shaggy interrupted with a smile.
"Look Velma you're our friend…" Fred started.
"My best friend." Daphne said with a smile.
"You can't do it alone Shaggy."
He squirms under her intense stare. "I won't really be alone, right Scooby." The big dog's usual huff came in response. “And besides like, I don't see another choice. You can barely walk. You'd be more of a hinderance then helpful."
Velma scrunches her brow, hand on her stomach. She knows that it's coming soon. "Okay." Her voice defeated eye intense, "You take Scooby. I'll stay here and wait for you. If you need to get out quick I'll drive up and we'll scram."
The place had been packed. When it all went down people had flocked to hospitals, clinics, police stations, and places of worship, anywhere they thought they could find help or be protected. Shaggy, Scooby, and Velma had spent the last several years avoiding them. Now Shaggy finds himself walking up to the doors. He gave the handles a quick jiggle, "Locked Scooby." He knelt down and got to work. One of the many skills he had excelled at over was lock picking. In under a minute he had the cylinder turned and the door unlocked. "Okay Scoob. This is probably gonna be bad. You ready?" The Great Dane lowered his nose to the bottom of the door and let out a low whimper. "I know. I feel the same way. But… It's for Velma." He raised to his full height, cracked his back, and stretched. First putting in the big dog's ear protection, then his own he shouldered his rifle and reached for the knob, "Here we go." Before he could fully open the door the weight of one of THEM slams into it. Jaws snap at the open space between the door and its frame. Shaggy, caught off guard, stumbles back the door flying open. The thing locks its dead grey eyes on Shaggy. With its jaw dropped open it stretches blackened and broken hands as viscous ooze stains the finger tips where nails once grew. It would have been the last of Shaggy if not for the bravery of his loyal companion throwing his himself against the creature's legs knocking it back. He wasted no time in regaining his composure and putting a 5.56 between its eyes.
And it was on.
The dinner bell had been rung.
All the starving abominations fought to sink their teeth into Shaggy and his four legged pal moving towards the duo en masse, "Scoob this is bad. It's too open." To his right he saw a short hallway, "This way." He backtracks his way into the hallway. Doors stand shut on either side, he glanced at them, "No time to check 'em." The narrow hall acts as a choke point allowing THEM to come at him in near single file. Scooby stood defiantly in front of Shaggy his deep barking mingling with the echoing rifle fire. One by one they went down, though not all were truly dead when they fell.
Movies and TV shows pre-TEOTWAWKI* had people believing that anyone could make a headshot every time. That just wasn't reality. In reality the swarm in front of him, had once been the sick, ill, and injured, now they stumbled and shambled some dragging IV stands and other medical equipment in tow. This meant their heads bobbed this way and that. Add to the situation the varying sizes of the people some tall and some short and Shaggy found himself constantly readjusting his aim. Most shots rang true, others didn't.
Bullet casing littered the floor, he found himself reloading more then expected. As the bodies piled up those not truly dead continued scratching and clawing their way towards the two survivors. On his last magazine he began picking off heads as they came over the wall of dead. Choking smoke and the acrid smell of gunpowder mixed with the putrid odor of the fetid undead. Carefully placing each shot Shaggy fought off the urge to vomit. Behind him the doors had started to buckle. He had noticed them moving as soon as he stepped in the hall. Always aware to keep them in his peripheral he knew it wouldn't be long before what was behind them got out. The way in front of him was completely choked by bodies, stopping his fire to check his magazine, "Well Scoob, looks like we've got about 5 rounds. We're gonna have to go into one of these rooms and hope that we don't miss and we have more bullets then they do brains." Scooby cocks his head to the side in response. Shaggy had noticed that none of the windows had bars over them, being a small town it made sense. Now he was glad. He turned to the door through which the room on the other side would bring him closer to the Mystery Machine and more ammo. The door shook, "Okay one more time." Rather than turn the knob he kicked in the door, his foot nearly going through the cheap hollow veneer. The thing on the other side was knocked off its feet. Shaggy went in rifle ready saw the downed thing and ended it. A quick scan showed him it was the only one in the room. He slung his rifle, "Looks like that's it. Now I wish I hadn't kicked in the door. Closing it behind him he pushed a large metal exam table in front of it. He knew the things wouldn't get through the pile of dead but, "It's better to be safe then sorry eh Scoob." The dog seemed to nod in agreement.
Shaggy went to the window and saw the Mystery Machine two buildings down. Velma was still safe inside. From his vantage point he could see a few walkers roaming the street, "Okay Scooby Doo we gotta get outta here, back to the van, grab ammo, and finish clearing this place out. All without getting bit. Think we can do it." The big dog wagged its tail. Reaching down Shaggy scratched behind the dog's ears.
They've spent the last month holed up in the abandoned clinic.
"They're getting closer Shaggy." The man says without looking up.
"Okay Velma, you're gonna have to push." the now familiar voice says, tone even. Looking down at the man and woman helping his long time friend Shaggy is terrified something might go wrong. He had met them while scavenging for supplies in the small burg of Aguilar, Colorado. They had nearly shot each other. Now the newcomers were delivering a baby that shouldn't be, that couldn't be, but was. Velma had never been with a man. The closest she had ever come had been back in Maybury when she was tied on top of Shaggy.
She had tried to figure out how it was possible. How she had become pregnant. Velma wouldn't tell Shaggy her worst fears. They had both seen the truth of the church of Crystal Ball, a.k.a. ‘Father Flagg’, the ritualistic orgy. She was worried that they had participated the day prior. The thought terrified her.
Another contraction, "Push!"
Velma does as Brian asks, she pushes with all her might. All dignity having left her. She knew that childbirth wasn't the beautiful natural thing that movies and television tried to sell it as. She knew she was going to defecate, bleed, sweat, scream, and cry. She was okay with all of that. What she had a hard time accepting was not knowing who the father was. Flagg had said Shaggy would be the seed, she the vessel, did that mean it was Shaggy's? She cries out.
"It's crowning. Keep going." Brian stays cool and level headed. As does Emily his wife acting as nurse. For years he had travelled the globe under the guise of being a Medic for Hire. Working for companies that supplied personnel to regions in need. The reality being that he was a Cobra Medi-Viper attached to Cobra Special Operation Forces. He travelled the globe treating wounded Range Vipers, Swamp Rats, Snow Serpents, and their ilk. Since the SHTF he and Emily had stayed in the Rockies trying to stay one step ahead of THEM. He was hoping to meet up with a Cobra Unit and get Emily to safety but instead found himself in this run down medical clinic. He was surprised to see how well stocked it was. Yeah it was trashed by the things that had been trapped inside but it had never been the victim of looters. He was putting all his training and the gathered supplies to good use now. "Just a few more and it's out." There's a moment when Brian, Hawkeye to his comrades in Cobra, almost lost his composure, "Emily hon' get me a blanket. One more push Velma. C'mon you're almost there." Her scream reverberates throughout the room as the child clears her birth canal. Quickly Brian wraps it up. A regular doctor would have had the child removed from the room, perhaps he would have suggested early termination, but Hawkeye had trained under Dr. Mindbender. He had been involved in numerous grotesque experiments and abominations to the world. This barely phased him.
"Is everything okay doc?" Shaggy says worry plain in his voice.
"Shaggy come here please." Hawkeye rubs the newborn's chest unsure of what to do.
"What's wrong with my baby?! Give me my baby!" Velma tries to sit up only to be met by the caring hands of Emily.
"Please you've been through a lot. Your baby will be…" Just then the small creature cries. A sound heard in every nursery the world over.
Without a word Hawkeye hands the bundle to Shaggy, "Let's see…" His voice trails off. The thing in his hands is no human baby. He has no words to describe it.
"Shaggy give me my baby." The pleading tone in Velma's voice turns him towards her. He hesitates, the bundle in his hand squirming. Slowly he hands the small thing to Velma. With open arms and fear on her face she takes the child quickly pulling it to her breast before looking. "He's mine."
"V-v-velma look at it."
Slowly she begins to look down. The bundle still held close. She let's down the blanket. Her eyes light up, “Isn’t he beautiful?” She looks up beaming, “He has your eyes Shag.”
* TEOTWAWKI - The End Of The World As We Know It