“Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieve it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”
Spring had finally arrived and with it came the storms that old timers would have said were worse than any they remembered in these mountains. Towering black and sullen gray clouds that swept across the mountains at a moments notice bringing lashing, blinding rain and high winds.
Dark clouds piled up on the horizon, slithering across ridges and down into valleys as if to cut off any retreat from its embrace. Jared stood outside, watching a wall of rain sweep towards the camp on legs of lightening. Under the icy lash of wind that swept down the mountain trees rippled like waves rolling to shore.
Jared stood there feeling the steadily rising wind, remembering a time when he had enjoyed storms. Now a storm offered a chance for the undead to catch up to a man with out his knowing it. He frowned slightly as he considered that then realized it was a two way street.
Hearing a door, caught by the wind, slam closed behind him. He glanced back to See Ori, who came to stand beside him.
“So I take it the raid is called off for today.” Ori said watching the storm approach.
“No, it might actually help us out” Jared replied thoughtfully.
“ Exactly how would it help us out” Ori asked, as he pulled out a pocket knife. Flipping the blade open he began to clean under his fingernails. Glancing up to look into the distance as thunder rumbled.
“ Zombies seem to only use sight and sound to locate us. The storm should mask both. I think we can hit the RV Lot first like we planned, take what we need, and get it back here by noon no later than two. Might even be able to take longer if this storm holds.” Jared replied, not mentioning he was considering hitting the distribution center as well, hoping the storm would even their odds.
“ Makes sense, but it would kill our ability to see them and smell them to.” Ori pointed out. Using his knife blade Ori pointed towards the RV camp where three very naked six year olds were fleeing at top speed from Beth, who chased along behind them carrying towels and Lye soap.
“ Bath time is not popular.” Ori said, as the kids ran across the airstrip straight into the arms of Steve and Jason who were laughing heavily and snatched them off the ground. Little feet pumping air for a moment then stilled as the kids realized they were trapped.
Jared watched silently as Steve passed one of the kids to Beth and the three of them carried the squirming children away to be bathed. “ aren’t those the same three that made an escape last night” Jared asked a slight grin flashing across his face.
“ Yeah, she warned them they were going to get a bath first thing in the morning.” Ori said smiling.
“ You really love her and those kids don’t you” Jared asked, completely out of the blue taking Ori by surprise.
“ hell yes, best thing that ever happened to me” Ori replied, then glanced at Jared who looked thoughtful but didn’t reply.
“Your wanting kids aren’t you?” Ori asked, thinking he had figured out Jared’s thoughts.
“not now, maybe not ever.” Jared answered, “ but got to say Jill would look great pregnant.”
“as Innocent as I am, I still don’t understand how I ended up with low life pervs as Friends” Ori said with a smile. He folded the knife closed and placed it back in his pocket.
“ Your just lucky. Besides who was it that dated nothing but strippers and brain dead bimbos before the zombies showed up.” Jared asked.
“ I was led astray by my friends, and couldn’t see the low caliber of women I was dating.” Ori said archly, and then grinned. Jared grinned back shaking off whatever mood he had been in.
“ Well its almost time, lets get geared up” Jared said as he headed for his RV. Ori stood there watching his friend walk away sure that something important was on Jareds mind but for the life of him self he couldn’t figure out what it might be.
The storm rolled over Hendersonville as they hit the highway. Rain pounded on the canvas covering of the cargo bed of the Deuce and half where Team one sat.
Jared felt odd, uncomfortable really at not being behind the wheel, and not being able to see what was coming up. Not that Jeff who was driving Beast one could see much himself.
The two Deuces and the Package truck they had scrounged from a Delivery service wove thru the streets, occasionally running down the undead that appeared out of the rain. Traffic lights swung wildly at the intersections, causing the drivers to wince in anticipation of falling lights as they drove under them.
Shelley sat stiffly in the passenger seat holding her rifle and looking out into the rain. Today was the first time in a long time she had been involved in a run. Her nerves were wound tight as she saw dark shapes behind the curtain of rain, dark shapes that moved slowly around the street. She knew the undead were trying to locate the sound of motors they could barely hear over the thunder and pounding rain.
Jeff started humming but after a moment he began to sing softly.
“In the velvet darkness of the blackest night
Burning bright, there’s a guiding star
No matter what or who you are.
There’s a light over at the Frankenstein Place
There’s a light burning in the fireplace
There’s a light, light in the darkness of everybody’s life.”
Shelley turned and stared at him. She had never expected, could not have expected a Self-proclaimed Hick like Jeff to even knowing that song.
Jeff glanced over as Shelley started singing with him, and grinned. Fighting the urge to pull out a lighter and hold it up.
Ori looked towards the cab of the Deuce puzzled, then shook his head and checked his rifle again. Seeing the questioning look Jared tossed him Ori shrugged. “ I thought I heard Jeff and shelly singing one of the songs from Rocky Horror.”
As a peel of thunder faded away they all heard distinctly
“The darkness must go down the river of nights dreaming
Flow morphia slow, let the sun and light come streaming
Into my life, into my life.”
Jared started laughing, Steve was grinning and Ronny just shook his head.
“ if he starts singing Im just a sweet transvestite, I will not let him live it down” Ronny vowed.
Zombies blinded by the storms stopped and looked around the driving rain in confusion as the sounds of loud laughter came to them before being lost in the fury of the storm once more.
Jeff spotted the sign for the RV yard thru the rain and slowed, turning into the driveway he braked and grabbed the Key for the padlock off the dash. “be right back “ he said throwing open the door and leaping into the storm.
Shelley watched closely, determined not to let a single zombie sneak up on Jeff as he unlocked the padlock and pulled the gate open.
A moment later he was back in the deuce, dripping wet and grinning. The Package truck the last thru the gate stopped and Ryan, more scared now than when he was in the plane, leaped out and ran back through the rain and slid the gate shut and relocked it.
Ryan turned and darted back to the truck only to slip and land on his ass skidding across the wet ground till he hit the truck. He struggled to his feet, shaking off the helping hand. Suddenly realization struck, Ryan threw himself towards the front of the truck drawing the pistol that Jared had insisted he carry along with the rifle. Helping hand his ass, he was the only one outside the truck.
The zombie had emerged from behind an Rv and staggered thru the rain while Ryan was occupied with the gate.
He couldn’t tell what had killed it, and it didn’t fucking matter his mind insisted. The realization that he had been inches away from being bitten caused him to piss his pants.
He pulled the trigger once, twice, then a third time the pistol bucking in his hands. The zombie rocked, and reeled as the first two shots slammed into it, one hitting it in the lung, another blew out its heart. The third how ever took off the top of its head. It toppled over silently to lay unmoving in the mud.
“ Hell yeah. Take that you asshat.” he shouted leaping to his feet, and saw two more undead coming at him thru the rain. Ryan didn’t hesitate he turned ran for the passenger door, throwing it open, only to see a gun barrel right in his face. the Hole looked like the size of his fist, a hand grabbed his head and forced it down as a rifle fired on top of his head setting his ears to ringing.
“Get in “ Henry shouted, as he grabbed Ryan’s collar trying to haul the boy inside. Ryan scrambled to get in and between his rapidly pumping legs and Henry pulling, he found himself on the floor board his face between Henrys legs.
“ Oh hell!” Ryan said as a hand clamp down on his ankle. Rob seeing what was going on threw the truck into gear and slammed the petal down even as Henry fired again.
Ryan screamed as fired flowed up his leg, “ I got bit, I got Bit” he screamed as he felt a hand on his leg dragging it inside the Truck. He was crying now, waiting for death.
“Calm down, I shot you. Bright side I shot the zombie too before he could bite you.” Henry said calmly.
Ryan looked up from Henrys crotch disbelief written on his face. “ you fucking shot me. I cant believe you shot me” he said, and then repeated it. Rob started laughing.
“ You might want to get out from between His legs before we stop and every one sees you down there” Rob suggested.
“ great, Shot and look gay” Ryan said struggling to get up from the floorboard.
“ to look gay, you need to be wearing color coordinated clothing, have highlights in your hair, and wear a lot of hair gel” Rob said. “ or have your face between..”
“ don’t even say it” Ryan warned as Henry helped him into the seat. “ this was humiliating enough” he added.
“ Figures the I’m the only gay man in the truck and the straight guys get all the action” Rob said with a grin.
“ Don’t worry Rob I can shoot you in leg too” Ryan offered.
Jeff swung thru the RV lot twice, running over the few zombies he saw.
Angling to catch one with the knee cappers, and winced as the spinning blades ripped the zombies lower legs off. “ That’s got to hurt” he muttered.
Finally satisfied he had run down all that he was going to get, he sent two clicks over the radio and the other deuce met him at the Large Metal Building where RV’s had been repaired and customized in. Each truck parked parallel to the building, one truck to each side of the doors, with a Ten feet space between the trucks and the building.
Team one Leaped out, taking positions between the trucks and the building while Jared and Logan checked the door to see if it was locked.
Team Two piled out and assumed guard positions to cover the trucks and the building entrance.
Jared tugged on the door handle and felt it move; with a heave, he pulled the door open and flashed a light inside. There were two garage bays, one bay still held a RV. In the back right corner was a two story cinderblock office area.
Jared stepped back and waited for a moment giving any undead that might be inside a chance to show them selves.
After a moment he flashed the go signal, the team entered hard and fast. Jared and Logan going right, Steve and Ronny to the left. Ori and Chris hitting the center and kneeling. Jason and Jill being the most inexperienced on Team One remained at the doors covering their exit.
Lights flashed spearing into the gloom seeking threats, “ contact right twenty feet” Logan called out, then fired a single shot. Ori peered forward looking under the parked RV and saw a pair of feet moving slowly on the far side of the vehicle.
“ Contact, and Got him” Ori said laying his sights on the target, his breathing slowed as he centered and then stroked the trigger like it was Beths nipple.
The zombie, its ankle suddenly destroyed fell to the floor. And then its head blew apart with Ori’s second shot. “ cleared” he called out.
“ I think I got wood from that first shot” Steve said grinning, his eyes never stopped scanning his zone. Jared pushed back the soaked Boonie hat he wore and looked slowly around. “lets move, do it like we drilled” Jared said as the team began its sweep of the building.
Five minutes later, they had cleared the place of all threats and had the package truck pull inside so that they could begin loading.
“ what the hell happened to Him?” Jared asked Rob as he saw Ryan hobble around to the back of the truck carrying a box of parts, his leg heavily bandaged. “ he didn’t get bit did he?”
Rob shook his head . “close thing actually. There were three of the pus bags by the gate that we didn’t see. Ryan there, slipped and fell down and almost got his butt bit off by the first one. He had to shoot it three times before he killed it. Then two more came at him so he ran for the cab…” Rob told him the rest of the story and Jared had to fight not to laugh.
“ at least he is alive” Rob said finishing up the story.
“ Damn straight” Jared said then “ Ryan go rest in the Truck, you aren’t going to be much good out here with a busted up leg.” There were some curious looks but no one asked what had happened. But once back at Camp the kid would get grilled though, Jared thought with a smile, and then the whole story would come out.
“ Jason, you help them load this shit, and I’ll have Chad send some one from Team two in here to help. And while you folks are working your asses off, we are going to sweep the yard.” Jared said leading his team to the doors. Jason looked about to argue but slung his weapon and moved to the shelves to start collecting parts.
Jared stopped just long enough to pass the word to Chad, then led team one out into the yard. They trudged through the rain and gloom, as alert as they could be, to often a place might seem to be cleared only to find that one of the Undead had some how been missed in a sweep.
About half way thru the back half of the yard Steve signaled a stop and looked up at the RV parked in front of him. Some one had taken a Peterbilt with a Extended sleeper, extended the frame and added a full RV. 52 feet, with three slide outs.
“We could use this “ Steve said as Jared walked up, the rest of the team spread out around them in a circle keeping watch while they talked.
“ For what” Jared asked eyeing the monster vehicle.
“ Well for starters it runs off Diesel, which means we can use Biofuel in it too. Secondly imagine a cattle catcher on the front of it. and if we have Rob weld on an extension we could even pull a fifth wheel camper or trailer with it. Not to mention I could pull my truck behind it.” Steve said excited by the prospect as he studied the massive yet sleek looking RV. “ And it would be nice to have a place where it’s just me, Bridget, Sharon and the babies.” He added.
Jared shook his head slowly not sure that he wanted this behemoth, but then he saw the look on Steves face and relented. “ All right lets check it out, if there’s fuel, and it starts we will take it with us.”
They walked to the door Steve went up first, the knob turned so he threw it open and shined a light into the dark interior. The flashlights revealed gleaming sections of stained and waxed Oak hard wood floors, and deep carpeting.
A couch that folded down into a bed and the two captains chairs with a table between them were placed where the extended sleeper had been. Just past that was a large living room section, with am attached modern kitchen then a Narrow hallway that ran into the back of the massive RV
They moved through the front and down the hall into the back and looked into the large master bedroom with its private bath then checked the bathroom just off the living room section before heading back to the front.
The doorway into the driver’s section was covered by a curtain, hiding the full sized cab from any one that might be relaxing in the back.
Steve yanked back the curtain and then sighed in relief to see nothing in the Cab then noticed there were no keys in the ignition.
“ We are not going to look for keys in the office. “ Jared said flatly seeing the empty ignition switch.
“ No problem” Steve said pulling out his multi tool, three minutes later he had wires exposed, traced out and was stripping the appropriate leads.
“ Here goes” he said touching them together. The motor growled as it cranked, on the fourth try it roared to life. “ I’ll just install a push button for an ignition” Steve said as lights flickered on in the camper.
“ Look at that “ Jared said as they walked back into the living room area and pointed to the alcove desk and entertainment center. Below the flat screen tv, a PS3 sat on a shelf next to a Compact computer case, no bigger than a loaf of bread. The keyboard for the computer was in a flip down drawer front on a roller shelf.
“ I am in High tech Heaven” Steve said grinning happily. Not that there was much use or need for computers these days, what with the net down and the power off.
“ I don’t know I’m in charge here, and what kind of image would it be if I let you stay in here.” Jared said then grinned. “ Don’t worry about it Brother, Ill come visit a lot. Now lets finish up” Jared added as he headed for the door.
They finished sweeping the lot making sure there were no more undead then approached the Business office. Jared cupped hand and peered through a plate glass window then stepped back quickly happy that they didn’t need to go inside. the place was crawling with undead.
The storm was starting to slack off, visibility increasing by the minute. Jared checked his watch and frowned slightly. It was close to noon already there was no way they could hit the distribution center today. the undead were going to be stirred up and thicker than fleas here in town.
Heading back to the Repair barn they found the package van pretty much full, with Rob working in the last of the parts. Wedging the last box into place, Rob slammed the door shut and leaned against it. “ As long as we don’t open it before we get back its good to go” he told Jared who nodded slightly.
“Lets mount up people” Jared called out.
They loaded back up into the deuce and half’s, Beast one making a detour to Drop off Steve at his new ride. He would dump the RV he already had, which was essentially like his new one only smaller and used unleaded fuel.
They formed up at the gate, with Beast one in the lead, and Steve at the rear. Undead had already started to gather, hearing the sound of motors clearly now that the storm had dropped in intensity. There were already fifty or so at the gate and more were spreading along the fence line.
“ I take it we are not going to lock this place back up when we leave” Jeff asked over the radio.
“ No real reason to, unless we need to replace an RV” Jared replied. Then said “ Don’t risk getting out just take the gate down with the truck.”
“ No problem” Jeff replied, grinning at Shelley. “ feel like the time warp” He said and then started to sing as he put the deuce into gear and rolled forward. Shelley laughed and joined him in the second verse, half dancing in the seat as the Deuce tore the gate loose and swept zombies to either side or under the truck.
Zombies rushed the trucks, those that hit Beast one were smashed to the ground by the cattle catcher or fell heavily missing legs as the Knee cappers tore into them.
The rest of the undead managed a few swipes at the other vehicles before the Group got clear of the crowd and left the stumbling growing crowd of zombies behind.
The gray clouds seemed low enough to actually reach up and touch, as they hovered over the camp. People emerged from buildings and RV’s as the Deuces, entered the camp followed by a package truck, and Huge Semi Truck RV. The package truck headed straight for the Equestrian center where Rob had set up his Shop. Tomorrow he would start an inventory of the new parts before loading it all back up in the package van again since Jared had suddenly developed rush to hit the Wally World Distribution center and get the hell out dodge.
The large Semi truck based RV came a stop and the engine shut down. A moment later Steve hopped out with a smile as he headed over to Bridget and hugged her tightly then hooked Sharon into the embrace. Jared watched them for a moment, as he stood by Beast one.
“ That’s just not fair.” Ronny said suddenly watching the three way hug.
“ It may not be what it looks like.” Jared said, as he slung his rifle. “ and if it is, More power to them.” He said then headed towards Jill, who was actually wearing jeans and a t-shirt that showed her midriff. Instead of the neck to ankle leathers she normally wore.
She still wore her motorcycle boots, sword and pistols, like most ever one else she wasn’t going to be caught unarmed for more than a couple of minutes these days.
It was close to dinner time, when Jared finaly got to sit down in front of the RV he called home. Hoping that they could find another RV like Steve’s, this time he would snatch it up. He was just opening one of the Rare beers. When Seth walked up, grease and Dirt striped his bare chest. “ Been helping Rob?” Jared asked.
“ Yes, I used to to do a lot of engine work, so I thought Id help you folks out, especially since your Buddy Steve gave me and my family his old RV. The only vehicle we had that ran was Keith’s Honda Civic.” Seth said sitting on a log. “ Feels odd being outside like this”
Seth rubbed a hand over his ripped abs and suddenly grinned. “ just hit me that it took the end of the world to get into the best shape of my life” he said.
Jared laughed with him.
“ I’ve heard a few of the women call it the apocalypse diet plan, where you either lose weight or die” Jared said after a moment.
“ well the wife likes the change, says I no longer look like a hairless ewok” Seth said with a chuckle. “ I just wanted to ask you, if it would be okay if we went with you when you leave. Me and Keith and our family’s” he looked embarrassed at asking.
Jared looked at him for a long moment. Long enough that Seth began to worry he was going to say no. Finally Jared nodded “ your more than welcome to ride with us.” He said “ but what about the others”
Seth shrugged, “ Donald and the others are pretty convinced that they should strike out on their own. They think that such a large groups is dangerous.” He said.
“ I can see how they would think that” Jared replied, then rose and for a moment felt like a giant as he looked down on the really short, muscled man. “ its about Dinner time” he said waving at Seth to follow him to the Lodge.
it was 0115 hours Jared noted as he sat up and slipped out of bed hearing the steady knocking on the door. He grabbed his pistol and moved confidently thru the darkness with out flipping on a light. “ Jared you got to hurry up” it sounded like Gary. Jared decided as he opened the door. “ there had better be a zombie army in camp” He snapped.
“ No but your going to love it, now come on before you miss it” Gary said totally oblivious to the pistol in Jared’s hand or his state of undress.
“ Catch” Logan called out sleepily from the fold out bed, tossing Jared a towel. “ go, so I can go back to sleep.” Jared caught the towel as he leveled a glare at Gary that should have blasted him to small cinders. But so far the world hadn’t changed that much.
“ let me get on some pants” Jared said. “ forget that no time, Jared its the radio” Gary said excitedly. Knotting the towel around his waist, Jared stepped out of the RV. “ Lead on, if this isn’t worth my getting out of bed, I’m letting Jill deal with you” Jared said as he followed Gary to His RV, called the com shack by everyone in the group.
Following Gary inside, Jared noted Roger sitting in front of the Ham unit. “ well” Jared asked ready to walk back to his RV. “ Remember those intermittent Military transmissions we picked up last fall” Gary said. “ well we picked up…” he was cut off as static suddenly erupted from the speaker.
“ This is BlackKnight one zero, we have visual confirmation..” static drowned out the rest of the transmission. Then it came thru strong again. “ … another survivor, looks like she needs fuel. But there’s people……” Jared cursed as static swallowed the transmission once more.
“ It’s a flight out looking for people, the base has answered a couple of times, and it’s patchy due to static but sounds navy to me. But I can only go by what I’ve heard on movies and stuff.” Gary said excitedly.
“ a flight looking for people in the dark.” Jared said doubtfully. But he told himself, there is thermal optics, there were enough military aircraft fitted with the stuff that they could be out looking at night. “ all right, record it and Ill listen to it in the morning”
“ but its happening now” Gary protested pointing at the Com gear.
“ and I have a hot naked woman waiting in bed for me. Unless of course this aircraft is circling over head or you can get a position fix for me, it can wait till the suns up.” Jared said, as Gary seemed to register that Jared wore only a towel and had a pistol in his hand. “ Um, sure Ill play it for you in the morning” Gary replied as Roger smothered a laugh. as Jared left the RV he heard Roger say. “ God you are a nerd.” And laughed again.
The sun rose behind a wall of clouds, beams of light spilling out thru the rents in the cloud cover that slowly swallowed the bright light. The teams ate breakfast talking quietly each man and woman alone with their thoughts of the impending raid.
There were a few changes in the line up today, Ori was moving over to Team four, with Jason as his guard. Jeff, and Eric were put in Team one in their place.
Team three had a dual purpose, in the initial assault they would support teams one and two, but their primary mission was after they secured the first warehouse.
They would be the ones securing and loading the Semi trucks. Priority was on food and water, after that any sporting goods they could find, then hardware, rope, chains and tools.
At 0800 hrs, they assembled and loaded up in the deuces. By 0805 they were rolling out of the campground. Jared sat back on the bench his feet propped on the duffel bag and actually drifted off to sleep.
Eric could only stare at him for a moment wishing he could do the same thing. Steve laughed and pulled his own Boony hat down over his eyes and appeared to go to sleep too.
They rolled past the wrecks and the wandering knots of undead, on the highway, then turned down a side road in a wooded area. the road was wider than normal to support the semi trucks that had routinely used it to reach the Center. The distribution center had no sign on the main road, maybe it had been an attempt to keep thieves that drove by from realizing it was even there.
They turned down the short wooded entrance road and came to a stop at the gate. “ got a problem” Jeff said over the radio.
“What is it?” Jared asked and sounded suspiciously like he had just woken up.
“Zombies are at the gate, if I open it, they are going to swarm me before I get it open more than a few feet.” Jeff said.
Jared sat up on the bench “ time to earn the pay we aren’t getting.” He said as he checked his rifle one last time then led team one out the back.
It only took a minute to clear the zombies off the fence, and cover Jeff as he opened the gate. As soon as the last truck entered, Jared led his team thru the gate and shut it behind them. Zombies were already heading their way across the Centers parking lot.
Team one trotted back to the waiting Deuce and climbed back on board. With a lurch, the trucks took off heading for the first warehouse.
The deuce’s roared up to the building running down any zombies in its path, then turned and backed up to the loading dock. Beast one was next to a semi on its passenger side, with two spaces between it and Beast two. The package truck pulled up, blocking off the steps to the loading dock with its cab.
The teams spilled out of the deuces and cleared the few zombies on the loading dock quickly. Logan pulled a twenty five foot chain out of the back of Beast one, he ran across the dock and passed the free end of the chain, through a gap in the side of the canvas that covered the Bed of the Second Duece. Steve pulled the chain inside the bed and clipped it to the lead line that was tied off on the cleat welded to the body. With that done each deuce was now connected by the slightly sagging chain and ready to roll.
Ori and Jason leaped out of the Package van using the passenger door. Jason knelt and let Ori step up onto his shoulders then stood allowing Ori to scramble onto the top of the Truck, he reached down and helped Jason climb up.
“ in position” Ori said as he flipped down the bipod and readied himself.
Jared looked to make sure Team two had secured the loading doors and that none of the doors stood open then unzipped the duffle bag and pulled out a boom box. “ Ready or not” jarred said and pushed play. As the music started, Jared tossed a glare at the boom box as Muse’s, victorious boomed out. Every zombie on the property was now totally aware of the presence of the living and headed towards the warehouse where the offending music blared.
“ Never let Rob burn another music CD” Jared said making a mental note, then saw Chris tapping his foot in time to the song and shook his head sadly at his friends taste.
Muse faded into nine inch nails which was fine by Jared. “Sniper free” he said watching the large crowd of zombies pour across the yard straight at them. There were a lot more than he had originally thought.
“ Hold your fire until they are right at the edge of the dock, make it easy.” Jared said. Finally the zombies poured between the Deuces and between Beast two and the package truck. The smell of the undead was almost overwhelming in such a confined space and it seemed like thousands of hands were trying to reach across the dock and snatch the humans off. many of the undead were pawing at the idling Deuce’s. “ Lite em up” Jared said began to fire slow single shots into the crowd. He started smiling as the music segued into Turbo lover by Judas priest.
As soon as they ran low and had to change mags, Team one stepped back and team two stepped forward into their place and began to fire into the mass of undead. the moment Team two ran dry, team three stepped up to the line while Two fell back to reload. Ori was firing steadily, his rifle punching out round after round. “ The crowds a bit bigger than we thought” Steve said. “ Shelley, Henry. Your turn” Jared said over the Radio.
The Deuces revved, and pulled forward dragging the chain. Zombies stumbled and fell but the real damage came as they left the ramp and spread out enough to keep the chain from dragging the ground.
The trucks drove forward pulling the chain, the nails shoved in every other chain link punctured flesh and dragged undead in many cases bones snapped and splintered creating crawlers that would be easier to put down. The Deuces advanced almost to the loading ramp of the warehouse across from the one the teams were at and then backed up slowly. Closing ranks and then backing back into position at the docks.
Between the cattle catcher, the knee cappers, and the chain, the Deuces left a trail of bloody wreckage. The undead and dead carpeted the ground, some struggled to get back to their feet. Others simply crawled forward. Jared looked out at the scene and almost lost his breakfast. By then Team three ran dry and stepped back off the line. Jared led team one back into position and the firing continued.
Then suddenly it was over, nothing moved out on the lot, at least where they could see it. 280 zombies, at a guesstimate, were scattered unmoving around the dock. Jared turned off Rush’s Veteran of a Psychic war and silence fell, well almost silence. More than one thing was pushing against three of the roll up loading bay doors from the inside. Quickly they reloaded spent magazines while they had the chance.
Jared took point, Logan beside him. Chad plastered himself to the left of door Four, where nothing was hitting the door. Hooking the handle with a pole he pulled up, the door slid up two feet and stopped, he couldn’t open it any further using the pole the angle was all wrong. He looked under the door and saw no legs, and made a quick decision to rush forward grasp the handle and heave the door open. As it rattled upwards he leaped out of the way so as not to block team ones fire.
Some one hit the play button the cd player and thanks to Random play, Hells bells was first up.
The teams waited for maybe three minutes then six zombies wandered into the door way and were blown back into the warehouse. Then two more zombies appeared and were dropped instantly. Jared was just about to start into the door, when a lone zombie appeared moving at a slow jog into the doorway, it only made it two steps before its head vaporized as every single member of team one fired. There was silence for a moment then Ronny said. “ Imagine that we all aimed for the same guy.” There was a ripple of nervous laughter from those on the dock.
Jared led them into the warehouse, trying not to stare at the row open row of shelves that ran back into the darkness, and went almost to the ceiling. Box upon box, case after case, of goods just waiting to be taken. Nothing moved in their area. so Jared led them further down the main aisle that ran in front of the Loading bay doors. Team two entered and went to the right, where the warehouse offices, breakroom and bathrooms lay.
It took them almost an hour to search the building before Jared was satisfied that the warehouse was clear. During their search they also made sure any exterior doors they found were fixed so they remained closed.
Outside, Ori’s rifle cracked as he spotted a target. But nothing came over the radio so the threat must be a small one Jared decided. They went down the rows with flashlights, checking labels, or cutting open boxes where the label wasn’t clear about the contents.
When they found items they needed, they hauled the boxes or pallets, to the loading bay doors and stacked for transport. Team three was busy opening the trailers of the four semis parked at the docks, sorting thru anything still on the trailers.
Once they removed what wasn’t needed from the trailers, team three began to load up the pile of supplies already place by the bay door.
“ I cant help but think of how much stuff is in the other warehouses” Jared said looking across to the warehouse across the way.
“ We couldn’t take it all even if we wanted to” Steve said moving out of the way so a pallet of Canned Roast beef could be loaded.
“ True, it’s the greedy part of me speaking “ Jared said his eyes still locked on the other building.
It took two hours to load all the pasta, sauces, Cans of vegetables, canned meats, Tuna, beans, soups, condiments, bags of rice, and a ton of other items.
Towards the back of the warehouse, They had discovered back packs, sleeping bags, magnesium fire starters, lanterns, dehydrated foods, and every other outdoors item sold at Sams or wally world.
Steve sorted thru the boxes of DVDs, computer games and programs, and then added another Gaming system, and games for it and the PS3 in his RV, he loaded them personally on the Deuce
Jared checked the time and they were four hours into the mission, and the number of undead outside the fence were growing steadily. There might be a hundred out there now, but in another hour, it might double, two hours it might triple. But that wasn’t what had his nerves singing. It was an ill defined sense that something was about to happen. He glanced at the supplies still being stacked by the door. and made his decision. “ lets wrap it up people, thirty minutes and we are out of here”
“ Are you sure?” Steve asked looking at the number of shelves that were still full.
“ We need to get the hell out of here. Don’t ask, just a gut feeling” Jared replied. “ this should be enough, and if we need more we can hit another distribution center along the way.”
Steve looked at him then went over and lifted a case of Toilet paper and carried it to the waiting trailer.
Candlelight flickered, bathing the bedroom in golden light. A dozen roses sat in a glittering crystal vase. Sharon levered herself up on the bed and saw Mark standing in the doorway, smiling softly at her. he was wearing his favorite pair of boxers, the ones with Marvin the Martian on them. One hand went automatically to her swollen belly as if to show him their baby. “ you look so beautiful” he said walking in and sitting down on the bed and placing a hand on her stomach. She could feel the callus’s, the heat of his touch. His smell filled her nose.
“ I miss you so much baby” he said running his hand over her belly. “ wish I could be there when he is born”
She felt tears coursing down her cheeks, from joy and loss. “ I’m sorry Mark, I wish… “ she stopped talking as he placed a finger to her lips.
“ no need to feel sorry, no need to worry about how I feel about your life now. I only want you happy. ” Mark said softly, smiling at her.
The candles flickered suddenly, and the room cooled slightly. Mark looked towards the dark doorway, and then turned back to her. “ Listen Sharon, there’s people coming, bad people, total shit heads. So you need to wake up and get people ready. I wish we had a bit more time. But we don’t. So wake up honey.”
Sharon felt as her head was spinning, but she reached out and took marks hand.
“ I love you” she said. “I…”
“ I know, but its okay to love them too.” Mark said softly. Behind him, she saw something in the doorway, a man, a shadow of man really. he stood there dark as pitch, legs bowed out, shoulders hunched forward an odd hat on his head.
She couldn’t make out details but she felt the room grow cold as something touched her mind and laughed. Mark was on his feet, dressed now in his Army ACU’s.
“ Wake up Sharon, wake the fuck up right now” Mark said as he rounded on the door way. “ you don’t get to play with her you prick “ he bellowed at the shape in the doorway. Sharon snapped awake, the fear flowing off her like water. She knew that it hadn’t been a dream, not in the way people normally dreamed.
“ Bridget” she called out starting to panic. “ Bridget” she said louder.
“ up from your nap?” Bridget said stepping from the bathroom.
“ People coming, danger. Get them ready” She said knowing she wasn’t making any sense. She levered herself up and swung her legs over the side of the bed.
“ whoa hunny, you shouldn’t be getting up. not right now.” Bridget said striding over to Sharon, ready to help her if needed.
“Listen to me, Mark came to me in a dream. And warned me that we are about to be attacked and then something else was there and mark made me wake up, said we have to be ready.” Sharon explained anxiously, needing to get up and get things moving.
Bridget looked at her steadily for a moment, considering all she had heard lately about weird dreams, and her conversation with Jill about the Dreams Jill had experienced. “ you stay here.” she said rising. “ Ill get them moving okay”
“ Promise me” Sharon said. Bridget kissed her on the cheek
“ I promise.” Bridget said as she slipped on her shoulder holster, and pulled the Sig before she left the RV. She found Rob in his make shift workshop welding. Once she got his attention she told him quickly about Sharons dream. Rob didn’t argue, didn’t ask a lot of questions he just picked up his rifle, “get Beth and the Kids ready to move” He said then headed straight for the Com Rv. where he got Gary and Roger up and moving. “ shouldn’t we tell Jared” Gary asked, glancing at the Radio.
“ not till we are sure.” Rob said. “ so get this thing moved, and park it by the center. Then get back with me”
Gary nodded and head for the drivers seat. Rob stepped outside and headed to Seths Cabin.
Bubba Jones smiled and rubbed his hands together as they approached the final bend in the road that would take them to the Camp. He was about as excited as he could get. First a couple of his men had seen some old Military plane in the area. then military vehicles had been spotted heading into and out of town. The last time around he had Snake Rogers follow them. And what snake had reported was enough to give any man in the gang wood. Lots of vehicles, food, and women.
Bubba had gotten a few of his guys, hidden near the entrance to the state forest and when they saw the two large military vehicles pull out, they had gotten on the CB and said the single code word that launched their attack.
He smiled darkly in anticipation, gonna get me some when this is over. If it wasn’t female and over the age of 16 it wasn’t going to live when his gang got done. The only thing better than shooting the dumb ass dead was shooting the living he thought, His smile of anticipation was hungry and dark.
The clearing that the camp sat in was 3000 feet long and ninety feet wide, with the airstrip running down the middle. At the far north end Bubba could see a Plane, probably the same one that his people has spotted a week or so ago.
RV’s were parked in a line behind two large open aired pavilions on the east side of the Field, across from the equestrian center, and lodge. Four Cabins sat in a row south of the lodge.
Bunk houses, and a single story cinderblock bathroom and shower building place north of the center. One RV with antennas jutting up was parked half concealed along the side the Center. A Deer stand taller than normal had been placed in front of the center. He noted the eight cords of stacked firewood that ran from the edge of the air strip to the pavilion closest to the entrance.
As they pulled into the clearing, the first four vehicles turned and formed a line slowly creeping forward. Bubba stood in the back of Dillons jacked up Chevy, hanging on to the roll bar with his left hand clutching his rifle with his right.
They couldn’t have left the camp empty could they? No, the number of RVs and vehicles parked there indicated more people than could have fit into those two army trucks that had pulled out of here earlier. No they were hiding, and waiting. Maybe they had called the guys in the trucks on a radio. That’s what had to be in that Rv with all the antenna’s, radios. Hell he might even decide to keep that shit. .
Rob watched from upper window of the Center as the mass of vehicles moved towards the camp. Here and there groups of men leaped from the backs of trucks and followed on foot. He lifted the fifty with a grunt and placed it on the tripod. It was time he thought and pulled the trigger.
Bubba gaped as he heard the distinctive boom of a .50 caliber machine gun. Jeremy Cooks truck was reduced to so much scrap metal as the heavy rounds punched easily thru the motor, cab and bed. The truck coasted to a stop but the gunner had already switched targets, blowing apart Oscars Station wagon as it sped up and turned towards the Rv’s.
Bubba could only think that Oscar was trying to get behind the Rvs for protection. Fist sized holes appeared in the sides of the wagon, and blood splashed the windows on the inside. The station wagon never slowed as it plowed into the back of a Parked RV.
Kevin Barns Truck was the next target, bullets punched thru the motor, steam billowed up, tires popped, glass shattered. men flew like rag dolls from the bed spilling to the ground as blood and flesh rained down around them.
Ryan held the M16 to his shoulder, right hand gripping the magazine, his index finger safely placed along the weapon away from the trigger. He flipped the ladder sight up with his left hand and tried to believe that Steve had not been yanking his chain when, after three practice shots, he had told Ryan he was a natural with the M203.
He pulled the trigger and the weapon coughed as it sent the HE grenade spiraling towards its target. Across the strip Bridget fired the other Grenade launcher. Three seconds later, Ryans grenade landed almost between the legs of a filthy bearded raider. The raider had no time to gawk or scream before fire and shrapnel ripped him and the five men closest to him, apart. Six other men with in ten meters either died or were badly wounded.
Bridget’s grenade dropped into the bed of a pickup truck where a raider was just getting a machine gun set up to fire over the cab. The weapon flew into the air as he and five more men were killed, and the truck veered out of control till it crashed into a tree.
“ Get out of the vehicles” Bubba shouted as he leaped to the ground and ducked low. he was down to sixty five men already. Who the hell were these people? He asked himself.
Morgan Black his second in charge and personal pain in the ass, was leading his cohorts forward by low crawling. Bubba flinched as another grenade went off, killing only two men this time.
Finally Bubba’s cousin got the other M249 into action, laying on the ground he fired it from the bi pod shooting the shit out of the first cabin. Idiot, either the National Guard were stupider than shit or His cousin hadn’t learned a thing when he was in. no one was firing from that cabin.
More of his men rose to their feet and rushed forward. While the .50 caliber was shooting up the Chevy Bubba had just bailed out of.
Ryan felt his bladder let go as cabin one, next door to the one he was in, was chewed apart by a machine gun. The smell of hot pee filled the room. he didn’t have time to feel ashamed he as slipped another grenade in to the breech of the grenade launcher and slammed it closed. He popped up and saw the rapid muzzle flash of the machine gun. Sighted and popped a round at the gunner before dropping to the floor again.
There are good shots, incredible shots, and lucky shots in combat. Training usually provides the good and sometimes incredible shots. Ryan lacked that training, but Murphy seemed to be working with the other side today. Ryans shot was both incredible and lucky. The grenade arched and dropped on the target two hundred yards away. Luck lent a hand and guided the grenade straight down on the M249 SAW. There would be no recovering that machine gun. And the gunner wouldn’t be rising from the grave like some of his friends.
By then the remaining vehicles were hurtling forward shedding men, most hit the ground running, others hit and tumbled. while those on foot in the back of the group rushed forward some headed for the Rvs others were intent on attacking the buildings.
Thomas was shooting steadily from the deer stand, until he began to receive return fire. He leaped for the ladder and slid down to the ground where he dashed for the cover of the wood pile but only managed to make four steps before he was shot down.
Seth ran behind the buildings, carrying the AR and the .45 glock that Rob had given him out of their armory. At least his and Keiths family were hidden in the woods a hundred yards out from the end of the runway. Rob had decided moving everyone not able to fight, back there and hopefully out of harms way.
He hit the ground and crawled into the brush behind the cabins and waited. Knowing that some of the raiders would attempt to get in behind the cabins and out of the sight. Now that their machine gun was out action. A couple of minutes later he saw three men running around the corner of what was left of Cabin one, about forty yards away.
one carried an AR like his, another carried a shotgun, and the last carried a 30 30. He wasn’t the greatest shot in the world, but since the zombies he had gotten a lot better. He sighted and pulled the trigger, the AR bucked against his shoulder. He gritted his teeth and tried not to hurl as he saw bloody holes appear in the man’s chest. He shifted his aim telling himself they were only paper targets.
The shotgun boomed, and Seth fired again, the man with the shotgun stumbled and then fell face first. The third man turned tail and took off running. Seth let him go. he got to his feet and suddenly threw up, and couldn’t stop for a moment. It wasn’t until the first man he shot sat back up turning milky dead eyes towards him, that Seth was able to throttle back the nausea, and fired two more shots striking it in the head with the last shot. he did the same for the other body. Then leaped to his feet started running for the space between the cabins two and three.
As he ran in behind Keith, he suddenly got dizzy, staggering and hit the wall with a thud. He leaned there for half a second then slid to the ground. Keiths faced was pale as he stared at seth, fear in his eyes. “ Damn Seth you got shot.” Keith said. Seth looked at Keith puzzled, then his world went black.
There were shouts from the other side Rob noted as the raiders dead buddies sat back up. then screams here and here, that told him some people had just gotten bit. a flurry of gunfire and then nothing. Thomas picked that time to run from the Lodge and across the strip heading for the wood line. He didn’t make it more than twenty feet before he was shot down. Rob didn’t know if he was still alive or not.
Sharon waddled thru the woods, with her rifle. Knowing she should stay with the others. protect Marks baby, that rested inside her. but she couldn’t. she could hear the gunfire from the camp and it sounded bad.
The Deuces rolled thru the outskirts of town followed by the two tractor trailer rigs. Over head thunder rumbled, but so far the weather had held. As they turned into the Park, and started up the road that would take them to the camp, the sound of distant gunfire could be heard. “ speed it up.” Jared said over the radio. He had left the camp with almost no Protection, and what it did have were mostly untrained men and women with no concept of how to fight other people, another fucking mistake he was going to pay for.
Linda looked up in surprise as the door to her RV opened and two men entered, they started grinning as they saw her. One was sharp featured, like his face had been carved with a hatchet and a thick dark beard who pointed a large rifle at her while the other, a skinny shaved headed man, who looked malnourished moved towards the back.
Linda knew she couldn’t get her pistol up fast enough to shoot either of them. “don’t go back there, I have a patient” she barked at the skinny bastard with the patchy beard.
“Always wanted to fuck me a doctor” the man with the rifle pointed at her said as his grin grew wider in anticipation. “ you just be a nice slut and drop the pistol, your gonna get some pipe whether I have to shoot you or not” he said as his partner pulled back the curtains to peer into the back seeing Pappy the man turned back a sneer curling his lips. “Aint nothing back here but some old fart, hooked up to shit” and then his head vanished in a spray of blood. Pappy lowered the smoking pistol and grinned with the working side of his face.
The Man who held her at gun point gawked as his buddy toppled to the floor. His anticipation of the rape to come vanished and then Linda shot him dead feeling sick to her stomach. From the back of the RV she heard Pappy’s voice, slurred but understandable. “ Fucking, stupid, short dicked, no brained, syphilis infected Dick head.” she wasn’t sure that his being able to talk now was a blessing or not. But thank god he could still shoot.
Bubba, snarled as he sprayed one of the cabins, where some one had been shooting at him. Six more of his men were down, they had been stupid enough to try to charge the cabin and had been cut in half by what ever the hell that big gun was. A few more of those damn grenades had gone off too killing two more of his men.
There were sounds of gunfire from the RVs. Were three of his men had low crawled over to them and had obviously entered one or more of the vehicles. He lay there watching the upper window of the arena where he had seen the muzzle flashes of the big gun and saw it move. He fired and saw the barrel flip up towards the sky.
“Move, move “ Bubba shouted leaping to his feet. His men followed his lead and charged down the airstrip, shooting their dead companions as they went. They covered the distance rapidly only to come under fire once more from the school bus.
Ben fired the heavy weapon as fast as he could and then as bullets began slamming into the school bus, he scrambled out from underneath the bus and ran into the brush line beyond. This was nothing like he had ever imagined from the movies.
Keith dragged Seth into the brush behind the cabins, the incoming fire was to damn heavy to stay where they had been, he crouched over Seth his weapon up hoping the brush had them concealed.
Keith heard shouting and more gunfire then a weapon fired close by his position and something fell to the ground behind him. He whirled and saw a slim man in overalls laying two feet behind him a bullet hole in his forehead.
“You owe me” Jerry said running past. “ and people said Wii’s were a waste of time. Bastard was sneaking up on you” Jerry added and flashed a grin at keith Before he wriggled thru a window into the cabin where Ryan was sheltering.
Sharon reached the edge of the woods and knelt leaning against a tree. Men were running forward firing at the buildings. She couldn’t just sit back while others were fighting for her and the others.
she noted at least ten were peeling off to check the RVs. “ cant let that happen” she said lifting her rifle. “ god don’t let our baby get hurt” she prayed aloud as she pulled back on the trigger.
Bubba shook his head, not sure he was actually seeing what he thought he was seeing, three women, and a boy, armed to the teeth explode from the brush line near the RVs and shoot down four of his men and vanish back into the woods.
He sprayed the woods where they had been, and then threw himself to the ground as someone in the cabins to the west of the air strip opened fire. “ Son of a whore” He cursed as all hell broke loose behind them.
Smoke spiraled into sky from the ruined vehicles; a fire had started in one Rv, when a bullet had punctured a Propane line. Rob had, had the foresight to move the fuel trucks and the supply trucks to the side of runway clearing at the north end. But they hadn’t had much more time than that. a grenade had detonated near the log pile and had somehow ignited the grass, and now the fire was spreading into the stacked logs.
Team one had ghosted thru the woods the last hundred yards utterly silent. The veterans in the team spread out in a loose skirmish line, keeping to cover. They could hear steady gun fire from the other side of the buildings. Team two, had reached their position at the entrance to the camp, and were blasting the hell out of anything that moved. And Jared was sure some things that didn’t
Ori spotting Keith kneeling behind some bushes, slid up quietly with out being seen. “Keith, get down and let us deal with this.” Keith almost flew to his feet but stopped himself at the last second recognizing the voice. He lay down draping himself over Seth and waited.
Jared watched a Raider creep around the corner of Cabin one, and slip up to the window of the second cabin, where one or more people were shooting from. Jared was no more than twenty feet from the man. Already crouching in the shadows of thick brush and trees, Jared carefully slung his Weapon across his back and drew the combat knife strapped to his boot. Then moved forward silently.
He slipped up behind the man as he peered over the sill into the cabin and raised his rifle to fire inside. Jared’s knife slipped into the raiders kidneys, as he slapped a hand over the man’s mouth and held him tightly. The raider in to much pain to scream arched his back as if trying to escape the knife blade. With out a thought Jared slit the man’s throat then eased the body down before he drove his knife into the eye socket and up into the brain to make sure the dead man didn’t get back up.
He sheathed the knife as Jason was boosting Ori onto the roof of the bathhouse.
Jared nodded to himself and slipped along the wall of the cabin and went prone before he peered around the corner. Seeing no one in his line of sight he rose and moved between the two buildings till he could see out onto the airstrip.
He waited for a moment, listening to the bursts of gunfire and ignoring the fear he felt for his people. How many of them were dead or dying right now, I should have left earlier, He thought as he consulted his mental clock and realized the rest of Team one should be in position by now. He sent a single click over the radio. A moment later each team member responded with two clicks in return.
They were in position, His smile was predatory as he lifted his rifle.
The raiders reeled as coordinated fire tore into them. Bubba gagged as blood flew into his mouth and splattered his face, when Jamie, laying next to him, got his damn fool head blown off.
Bubba could see his men reeling as they fired blindly back, not even sure where the new attackers were at. Morgan Black, who had been vying for control of the gang was shouting orders trying to get the men rallied and under cover. They were still adjusting when Team one stormed into their flank, firing steadily.
Bubba rolled across the field and into the brush, where he had seen six of his men run a moment ago. He didn’t know how many of the enemy there were out there. But they had to have just shown up. The fire was to precise, to controlled to be the people he had been shooting at. These were the guys who had rolled out of camp this morning. They must have just came up the road and heard the firefight.
Something exploded down the line were he had seen vehicles parked earlier and grinned as he spotted Billy Kay he opened his mouth to order key to follow him when Billys head exploded from a high caliber round. Bubba pissed himself and dropped to the ground wiggling deeper into the woods.
Jared saw Carol and Bridget leap from the woods shooting at three men who were running to escape behind the RVs. Hoping to put the bulk of the RVs between them and Team one’s fire hoping that Jared and his people wouldn’t just shoot through the RV’s to get them.
One man staggered and fell, a second man stumble but limped on, but the third raider fired at the two women. Carol doubled over and collapsed to the ground. Jared felt his stomach twist as he peered calmly through the scope on his weapon laying his cross hairs carefully then stroked the trigger. The Man who had shot Carol went to the ground half his skull gone transformed into fine red tinged mist. Jared felt nothing but satisfaction seeing the man go down then he saw the bullet riddled School bus. “Oh God no” he moaned.
“ Thomas, Lee, and Dawn were Killed. Ryan, Jerry, Rob, Seth, Carol and Mai Linn are wounded.” Steve said as he dropped to the ground and sat next to Jared who was leaning against the wall of Bullet Riddled Cabin two. Jared had a through and through shot to the calf from a ricochet. Which he had bandaged himself, Linda being pretty busy with the other wounded.
“ Still cant believe Pappy shot one of the bastards and then cussed him to high heaven” Jared said with smile that barely moved his lips.
Steven could only agree, next thing would be the old fart rising and walking again.
“ the Bus is toast, and two RVs are shot to shit. Not to mention one of them burned up” Steve said continuing his report. “ Jasons Subaru got blown up when Ryan lost his balance and pulled the trigger on the 203, his HEAP round landed in the back. Henrys Jeep was shot to shit too. A few of the other Rvs were shot, but nothing we cant repair.” He paused for a moment “Sharons the one that gave them warning” he said suddenly.
“ how? Did she see them approaching or what?” Jared asked.
“Believe it or not, she says she was taking a nap and Mark came to her in a dream and told her the camp was about to be attacked and she needed to wake up.” Steve said. “ its because of that, Beth and Mattie were able to get the kids to safety and Rob arraigned a little ambush. Guess it’s a good thing we left the .50 behind.”
Jared got to his feet wincing with pain. “ lets find out how soon we can haul ass, we need to get out of here soon, like tomorrow if we can. This will bring the undead down on us like nothing else.” Jared said as he glanced toward the sky. If not for Rob’s quick thinking and Sharons warning.the kids and all the others would have been hurt badly or mostly likely killed. “ they did good didn’t they” Jared said suddenly.
. “Damn good considering the only real training they’ve had was a bare minimal. Should have thought to train them to fight people too, after the Attack on the farm” Steve said, nodding in agreement.
“ Get things organized would you Steve, we need to leave tomorrow morning, first light . I think we can still head for that camp outside Spartan. I might change that though. But first let’s get our dead buried and then we can pack up. After that you can spend some quality time with your women. And tell Sharon the next time she decides to wobble into combat, Ill duct tape her ass to a chair” Jared said as he limped towards his RV, with Logan and Jill on each side in case he needed help.
Steve only stared at Jared for a moment as he realized what Jared had said, then thought most everyone probably had figured out by now what was going on with the three of them anyway. God I hope they don’t think I’ve been lusting after Sharon all this time, or had a fling with her while Mark was alive.
Mikhail parked the truck on the airstrip and looked around. Taking in the damage, The still smoldering wreckage of a Pavilion that had burned to the ground was close by two Rvs, one burnt out the other riddled with holes. nearby a school bus that looked like Swiss cheese sat leaking fluids onto the ground. A bullet riddled jeep and the blackened wreckage of a small truck like vehicle sat to the north.
He walked across and peered into the half collapsed cabin that was more holes than wood. In the next cabin he saw blood, but not a lot.
He searched the rest of the buildings carefully and found some spent brass, but little else. at the north end of the strip, were Three fresh graves. He knelt and sifted a bit of the earth thru his fingers wondering if the dead in those graves felt cheated.
He rose and dusted his hand off on his pants and walked slowly back to the Truck he had picked up in Asheville, a nice Ford f250, Customized off road package for the police department in Ashville. He found it amusing to be driving a vehicle with a badge on the side.
“ not far behind them at all” he said aloud. Knowing that what ever that thing was that followed him around sometimes could hear him. “Guess Ill have to keep scouting around for them but they cant get to far ahead of me. Should be able to find them in a week. Nine days tops, Id imagine.”
The survivors of the explosion and fire that had taken out so much of the asylum, were huddled in Dorm B, most were ready to give up. at least half his contracting crew, guys he had know for a couple of years had made it thru, including Frank and his Trophy wife. Oliver, had gotten badly burned trying to save a teen-aged girl from the burning admin building, and probably wouldn’t last the night, Cole had made sure that there was an armed Guard sitting with Oliver, so when the man died, he could be put down before his corpse got back up.
Cole had to admit he had been lucky; he had been outside when it went up. Somehow, that bastard had done a number on them. Hearing the main door open in the lobby, Cole hefted his Rifle. The zombies must have gotten in, well it had to end sometimes.
“ Cole, anyone” Reba’s voice called out.
“ In here” he called out. Standing as she entered the room.
“ Came back to check on you, we got a tour bus, we can bring to the tunnel entrance and load every one if you want to go” she said then stopped as Cole wrapped his arms around her and held her tightly.
“I’m sorry, you were right, damn you were right” he whispered into her hair.
He rose to his full height and looked at Frank then pointedly looked at Oliver. Frank nodded in understanding, and drew his pistol ready to do what needed to be done if Oliver passed on.
“ Lets talk outside “ he said. They walked across the large lobby, their footsteps echoing in the silence. Neither speaking as they stepped outside. The sun was just starting to break thru the clouds and blue sky could be seen. “ I want you to be with Me.” he said looking at her.
“ Odd way to say I love you” Reba commented, Cole looked flustered for a moment then shook his head.
“ That didn’t come out right, I need you with me, Reba. I do love you.” He said as he smiled and put his arm around her then started to draw her to him for a kiss then paused looking around.
He could hear some kind of motor off in the distance at first it was almost a vibration more felt than heard. Soon it was a loud, loud enough to draw the others outside to look. The sound become a rumbling thunder that sounded oddly familiar to Cole then memories of going to the air show with his father came to him and he looked up, wild hope surging.
Then every one else was pointing and shouting as an Old bi wing configured World War 2 airplane with sea floats and military markings Roared low overhead, smoke eddied up and around it, the sound making the buildings vibrate. Suddenly the plane waggled its wings then pulled up and banked to the west. Soon it was out of sight then even the sound faded and was gone. A single gunshot from inside broke the moment