UPDATED ON 3-4-2016: This is the replacement chapter for the original. I have reworked the ending to help further along this story into Chapter 8.

Author's Note: Well it's been a long time, but I'm back after being sidetracked by other projects. I saw quite a few people had added this story to their favorites since then and that motivated me to finally get this up and running, so once again it's time for some zombie bashing good times!

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Chapter 7: The Doctor is Out

"Sir, if you would just kindly come with us, we can wrap this whole thing up," Brad spoke in his most professional tone possible, only to be met with angry resistance.

"No, I'm not leaving until you can guarantee me safe passage through these..." the old man protested until he was again cut off by Brad.

"Just open the gate. It's for your own protection," Brad replied, his tone remaining concrete.

"I am not opening any gate, thank you very much! I'm going to stay right here where it's safe! Thank you and goodbye!" the old man shouted before walking away.

"Dr...Dr. Barnaby, sir! Dr. Barnaby?" Brad called out.

"Goodbye!" Dr. Barnaby snapped one last time before walking further into the store and out of sight.

Brad sighed heavily and returned his attention to his companions, both of whom waited patiently nearby.

"Well, what happened? You can't just arrest him?" Chuck asked taking his hands off his hips while Rebecca sat on a nearby bench.

"He turned down my offer to protect him! Said he isn't going anywhere until I can guarantee a secure route out of here. Jessie has a direct line to HQ. The first thing we need to do is call for backup," Brad said walking over to them only for Rebecca to suddenly stand up.

"Well, I'm not gonna sit around and wait for answers from some uncooperative old coot. The clock is ticking. One thing you learn from big scoops like this is that there's always a secondary source," she said checking to see how many bullets were left in her gun. "I saw a security substation over in Redfield Plaza. Maybe there is something there that can tell me more," she said running off.

Brad raised a hand to protest, but was cut off by Chuck.

"I'll go with her," he said chasing after the woman. "Just get back and get in touch with HQ!"

Chuck rounded the corner towards the Al Fresca entrance just in time to see Rebecca engaging several zombies, one of whom had been pushing a dolly with a gas canister chained to it. He looked down to find a discarded handgun lying near an overturned metal trashcan and scooped it up to find there were still a few bullets left in the clip.

"Rebecca, look out!" he shouted taking aim at the canister.

The reporter took note of his intentions and ran away from the horde, just as the biker took aim and fired a round that struck the canister head on, resulting in a detonation that sent most of the zombies flying backwards, some splattering against the nearby walls.

"Thanks. Now come on!" Rebecca said making her way around the charred carcasses and managing to avoid a few stragglers to reach the doors.

It would be evening soon and it seemed as if the zombies were becoming more aggressive as dusk approached, their senses sharpening and their speed increasing as the reporter drew nearer, prompting Chuck to scoop up a nearby parasol.

"Get behind me," he ordered, the opened umbrella protecting most of his body as he charged full speed through the throng of zombies, leaving a trail of broken bodies in his wake. He continued until the wooden support beam finally cracked under pressure and he discarded the bloodied sunshade as they reached the fountain at the end.

"Quick, climb in," he ordered.

"Are you serious?" Rebecca asked.

"It'll leave a barrier between us and them," he said pulling out his Defiler, only to stop himself as he noticed another 'gift' lying in the fountain's center.

"Score!" he triumphantly called out scooping up a newly-acquired submachine gun, yet deciding he would conserve the ammo for an emergency. Rebecca was next to him firing away at the approaching monsters, her shots drawing in more of those freaks. He doubted she would listen if he told her to stop so he ran up and swung away at the encroaching rotting bags of bones, knocking several backwards at once with each swing, "Quick! Run!"

The assertive reporter surprisingly did as she was told, pulling herself out of the fountain and rushing towards the food court entrance with the ex-motocross champ in tow, a few more zombies falling down with their skulls split in half before his massive Defiler finally broke in half.

"God dammit," he grunted pulling himself through one of the doors, "I'll have to get me another one of those. It served me well."

There were zombies still loitering about in the food court, yet they were mercifully far enough away for Chuck and Rebecca to pass through unmolested. Wonderland Plaza would be a different story.

"Back to where all this shit started," Chuck swallowed hard.

Most of the floor was still littered with the chewed up corpses from the massacre earlier in the day, all of them in various states of cannibalization, some of whom were still being feasted upon. He had been exposed to a horrendous amount of gore all day long, yet it was this particular sight which caused the racer's stomach to do a triple somersault and he ran over to the nearest trashcan to empty his lunch.

"Chuck, are you alright?" Rebecca asked running up behind him, watching his back with her gun at the ready as some nearby zombies were alerted by the sounds of his vomiting.

He was unable to reply for several seconds until he was positive he was done and let out one last bitter gag.

"No," he replied darkly.

He looked at the approaching zombies and recognized some of their faces. Most of the victims had now reanimated into those 'things.' They were once people with jobs, families, hopes, dreams, emotions...some of them had even been the same carefree children Katey had mingled with, boys and girls who will never get to grow up...

Now they were just empty shells driven by pure instinct. It was both a heartbreaking and disgusting sight.

"What if I end up becoming like them?" the voice inside his head asked.

"No," he whispered shaking his head violently to get those negative thoughts out of his head, "I won't become like them."

"Chuck? Are you alright?" Rebecca asked looking over her shoulder towards him.

"Never better," he hissed back.

It was pure bullshit at its finest but he would say so if it got her off his case. He was soon cut off by the beeping of his transceiver.

"Hello?" he spoke into it.

"Chuck, you're in Wonderland Plaza. The most popular attraction there is the 'Space Rider' roller coaster. Be careful around that, okay? It's not a toy!" Otis sternly lectured him.

"Gee thanks Grandpa," he sarcastically thought to himself before speaking, "Alright, thanks for that tidbit," he said before hanging up. "He called me for that? That little tidbit of all things? Next time it had better be damn important when he's gonna call me like that!"

"Ready to go?" Rebecca asked.

"Right," Chuck said lifting up the metal trashcan and throwing it at a nearby zombie. The loud metallic clatter had drawn the attention of a few nearby zombies and he pulled on his knife gloves, "Alright, let's go!"

Rebecca took point managing to drop three zombies with carefully placed shots to their rotting craniums while Chuck hacked off the arm of an undead construction worker before burying his blades into the man's neck. He then encountered a zombified police officer and brought the blades down onto the crown of his skull before swinging his other gloved fist into the face of an overweight woman.

"Just barely scratching the surface," he deadpanned when noticing the large amount of zombies still present in the plaza. Furthermore, he noticed the child in the backwards baseball cap sneaking up on Rebecca, just inches away from grabbing her and sinking its rotting yellow teeth into her.

With a deep breath Chuck rushed the zombie child and slammed its claw glove right through its face in a sickly display that left him asking himself what he had just done.

"Thanks, I owe you one!" she shouted back as she passed the large inflatable pink rabbit and rushed towards the flight of stairs that would take them to the aforementioned Redfield Plaza.

Chuck remained silent, conflicted over what he had just been forced to do.

"Keep your head in the game, Chuck. It's not a kid anymore. It's one of 'them,'" the voice in his head reminded him, "He would have attacked anybody like that."

"Hey Greene, you still with me?" Rebecca called out.

Chuck shook the cobwebs out of his head and found himself lagging quite a ways behind. Making his way around the Beautification kiosk he scooped up a large potted plant nearby and tossed it into the face of another zombie cop before shoulder butting him to the ground and running over to catch up with Rebecca, who had just fired a point blank shot into the face of a backpack-wearing woman.

"Done having your fun yet?" she asked narrowing her dark eyes at him.

"Sure," he sarcastically replied as they climbed the stairs to their next destination.

The ran down a large corridor before they were entering Redfield Plaza and it was then Chuck's transceiver rang again.

"What now?" he grunted pulling it out of his pocket and speaking, "What's up Otis?"

"You are now entering the Redfield Plaza. It's our largest plaza here. There's a few restaurants if you get hungry, some clothing stores for fresh duds, an automotive shop, and a furniture store, plenty for you to check out there," the janitor spoke.

"Something actually useful for once," Chuck thought to himself before speaking, "Alright, thanks."

"He must really like talking to you," Rebecca spoke.

"You don't know the half of it," Chuck replied while walking past a cardboard cutout that caught his attention, one of current motocross champion Leon Bell, advertising a meet and greet session over at Auto-Worx. Needless to say that was now likely canceled given the current circumstances.

Indeed Redfield Plaza had been the largest plaza he visited thus far, standing three stories tall and octagonal in shape with what looked to be some sort of miniature botanical garden as its centerpiece complete with palm trees, a miniature waterfall, and more flamingo statues than he would have liked. Aside from the faux tropical oasis, the plaza was the typical assortment of clothing boutiques, bookstores and restaurants in addition to a video arcade that made the teenager inside of him take notice.

"Alright, it's over there!" Rebecca called pointing westward towards a red door nestled between the Wave of Beauty beauty salon and Cindy's Dry Cleaning.

"Ladies first," Chuck said pulling one of the plastic flamingos out of the fake grass and driving it into the eye socket of an armless woman, ending her suffering once and for all as the duo made their way across a narrow walkway towards the office.

"See if it's unlocked," she instructed.

Chuck nodded and reached for the doorknob, giving it a few twists to no ado.

"Here...let me try," the reporter spoke nonchalantly.

"Don't bother – it's locked," the former champ spoke.

Rebecca reached into her pocket and pulled out a lock pick, working with practiced precision even as the moans of the zombies called out from a distance.

"You've got some interesting...skills, for a reporter," Chuck remarked as the view gave him a glimpse of her perfectly rounded buttocks.

"No one ever got an award playing by the rules, Chuck," she replied, the door clicking open a second later and her stepping aside to let him enter first.

The duo entered the security substation to find it ransacked.

Computer consoles had been smashed, most of the monitors were shot out and those still active displayed only static, and worse, three guards lay motionless before them with all of their bodies riddled with bullets.

"What the hell?" Chuck asked taking in the massacre before him.

"Wow, looks like somebody doesn't want us finding something out," Rebecca said walking further into the room.

Chuck walked over to a nearby desk and picked up the splintered remnants of a computer's motherboard. "Dammit! There's nothing here that we can use. Everything's been destroyed," he said tossing it aside.

"Chuck – check this out," Rebecca called to him and he looked over to find her with her camera switched on and hovering over one of the dead guards, a sight that unnerved Chuck, making him think of that psychotic photojournalist from Paradise Plaza.

The former racer quickly shook those thoughts out of his head and walked up alongside the woman to observe the guard slouched in his swivel chair, a lone bullet having pierced his skull. "No zombie did that," he remarked and then knelt down to scoop up a handful of spent bullet casings, "I think I might have an idea. These look like the same kind of rounds that creep from the food court was using. He must be responsible for all of this. He's trying to cover up something, but what?"

Rebecca snapped her fingers, "I remember Dr. Barnaby saying something about someone sending for him. Do you think those two could be related somehow?"

"I don't know and I honestly doubt either one of them is gonna be willing to sit down and offer you an exclusive interview," Chuck bitterly spat letting the metal casings fall to the floor. "So much for your 'secondary source.' Everything's been destroyed and we don't have a reason to hang around here any longer. Come on, we might as well get back to Jessie and Brad."

"Are you always so quick to jump to conclusions?" Rebecca asked cocking an eyebrow.

"What are you talking about?" he demanded.

The reporter stood tall over a body sprawled on the floor and after some initial hesitation nudged the dead guard onto his side and with hastily reached into his pocket to pull out a folded up piece of paper. She opened it up and carefully looked it over before remarking "Well, we could be onto something after all."

Chuck walked up and looked over her shoulder to see a photocopied map labeled 'Maintenance Tunnels' with six spots that had been circled.

"Think it's supposed to mean something? It looks like an ordinary map to me, like you'd expect any security guard to have," he remarked.

"Do you not watch enough spy movies? Why else do you think there would be six spots circled at random points around? Something's gotta be going down!" Rebecca said in excitement. "This just keeps getting better and better."

"Well whatever it is, we'd better tell Brad about this. Maybe there's something he can do about it," Chuck said, but was cut off by a harsh laughter as the reporter shoved the map into her pocket.

"Are you serious? Do you really think G-Man is going to let the public know the truth if he gets his hands on this? This is the kind of information they would kill you in your sleep over because they 'don't warm to alarm the populace.' The truth must be reported and that is my responsibility," Rebecca spoke crossing her arms.

Chuck growled in annoyance and was about to speak, only to be cut off by the transceiver ringing. With a strained effort he picked it up, "What's up Otis?"

"Hey Chuck, you're still over in Redfield Plaza, right? There's a woman lying on the floor of the Beach Body Swim House shop. She looks like she is barely alive. You better hurry and get her! Not only that, there's a couple fellas holed up in the Wild West Grill House. You might wanna give 'em a hand when you get the chance," the janitor spoke.

Chuck looked over to Rebecca, who was now reclining on one of the consoles reviewing her gathered footage, "Go ahead and play your hero game. I'm a grown woman and I can handle myself. I'll meet you back at the security office."

With a shrug Chuck turned towards the door and was about to reenter the plaza before stopping to speak, "Believe me. You and I are going to have a nice long chat about that after all is said and done."

The snarls of the ravenous horde had reached a near deafening pitch, but thankfully the zombies were far enough away and thus giving Chuck the time to make his way to a nearby store directory and find out that the aforementioned restaurant was on the third floor and that the other location was within walking distance, looking over to find the wood paneled exterior with a bunch of surfboards propped up in the display windows. Pulling on his knife gloves the ex-champ readied himself for a fight and made his way towards the swimwear shop, stopping to cut down the few ghouls that had stepped into his path in typical gory fashion before he was pulling himself through the front entrance.

The swimwear shop looked out of place in a small mountainous Colorado community with its skimpy clothes and beach theme, yet it remained strangely untouched by the chaos outside. Still, he couldn't get too complacent and Chuck equipped his submachine gun as he crept towards the back room, stopping as he came across a mannequin displaying a banana hammock.

"Not in this lifetime," he whispered with a shudder, utterly grossed out at the thought of a string riding up his ass crack.

He heard a weak groan coming from the back and slowed his pace, waiting alongside the opened shutters before entering the small space where the tanning beds lay and found a bikini-clad woman slumped against the opened one in the middle, every inch of her exposed skin badly sunburned from overexposure to the tanning lamps.

"Lady, are you alright?" he asked kneeling down beside the woman, not wanting to touch her and further aggravate a massive burn.

"Please, please help me," she pleaded looking up to him, "I was stuck in that tanning bed. The staff ran away or something...oh god, I'm so parched. I can barely move," she whimpered.

"I'll say. You're baked," Chuck said looking her over, "Literally."

"This can't be good for my tan lines," she muttered, annoying the former champ who thought she should be more thankful she was even alive period, "What's going on out there?" she asked hearing the noises.

Chuck looked at the woman hard before returning his attention towards the front of the store, "You're not going to believe me if I tell you, but there's been a zombie outbreak."

Her dark eyes widened in horror and she opened her mouth to reply only to be cut off by Chuck. "Listen, I can take you somewhere safe. You just have to trust me."

"Oh, I'm so thirsty. I can barely move. Please, do you have anything to drink?" she asked.

Chuck was about to shake his head, when he suddenly snapped his fingers, remembering some water bottles on the front counter. "Hold on one second. Just stay here and don't make too much noise."

The ex-racer made his way back to the front to find one of the zombies had made its way inside. Finding an ornamental tiki torch nearby he scooped it up and impaled the rotting man through the skull, hoping none of his buddies would be quick to follow. Finding a water bottle on the counter he grabbed it and ran back to the sunburned woman.

"Oh, thank you so much! I was feeling like a raisin there for a moment," she said eagerly accepting the bottle and guzzling down its contents.

"Alright, well I'm gonna get you out of here, but first there are some other people I have to help out so I'm gonna have to bring you along. My name is Chuck by the way," he said lifting the woman into his arms and taking her out of the swimwear store.

"I'm Linette," she replied looking around and wincing when she saw all the zombies staggering about, "and I thought the bad service was the most of my worries."

"Looks like you were wrong," Chuck said dodging another horde and making his way over to the escalator that took him to the second floor and immediately to the one that would take him to the third floor.

It wasn't long before the duo was coming to the Wild West Grill House, which almost looked like an Old Western-style saloon from the outside. He could hear the feral snarls of zombies from within, followed by a volley of gunshots that made Linette cry out in surprise.

"Get the fuck away you rotting freaks!" he heard a man's voice calling out.

"Be quiet," Chuck whispered to the woman, who only latched onto him tighter upon hearing more small explosions coming from within.

The restaurant's carpeted floor was littered with zombie corpses, most of whom had fallen thanks to either gunshots or having their skulls bashed in. There were still more undead moans and shots coming from the back. It gave Chuck a bad feeling and he let go of Linette and sat her down in one of the gaudy cow-patterned booths.

"Wait here. I'll be back for you," he said pulling out his submachine gun and creeping towards the back where the full bar was located.

Taking cover behind a wooden partition he was drawing closer to the scene of the battle, jumping backwards as a zombie fell before him with its face obliterated.

"Don't just stand there! I'm getting low on ammo. Help me kill these things goddammit!" the same man shouted.

"But there's too many of them!" a panicked voice called back.

Chuck poked his head around the corner to see two men barricaded behind the bar, one a pudgy man in a Denver Gold basketball jersey armed with a baseball bat and the other a heavily-tattooed fellow wearing a black tank top advertising the British Gothic rock group Angel Lust, the one carrying the pistol. There was a mass of corpses blanketing the floor in front of them, the last zombie falling compliments of a round between the eyes.

"Is that all of them?" the pudgy man whimpered.

"No! We've got one more!" the pistol-toting man shouted taking notice of Chuck and firing a round his way, forcing the former champ back into hiding.

"Don't shoot! I'm not one of them!" Chuck shouted back.

"Well if you're not one of those brain eating zombies, you're one of those green-masked bastards looking to drag us off to God knows where!" the gunman called back. "Why don't you come on out and we can end this!"

"I'm not here to hurt you. I know of a safe place and I can take you there," Chuck called.

"Yeah right, and how do we know you're not gonna stab us in the back when we get to this 'safe place' of yours, pal?" the shooter retorted.

"Look, I'm dropping my guns now. I'm gonna step out into the open and we're going to chat man to man," Chuck replied.

It was a risky move, but he needed to show these men he wasn't a hostile and he tossed both his submachine gun and pistol to the floor in plain view. "I'm stepping out now. Don't shoot!"

Placing his hands above his head the former champ walked into the open and came to a halt, making sure he was near the partition in case he needed to dive for cover.

"Alright, here I am. My name is Chuck Greene and I'm here to take you guys to safety," he repeated.

"Holy shit! Wade, that's Chuck Greene, the motocross champ!" the pudgy man blurted out.

In spite of the tense standoff the former champ couldn't help but chuckle, "Glad to see one of my fans is still alive. Listen to me, I'm here to help. There is a security office in the Paradise Plaza I can take you to if you're willing to cooperate."

The gunman called Wade still regarded him with great suspicion, whereas his friend lowered his bat and stared eagerly towards him, "C'mon Wade, he seems legit. We should follow him. It's better than being constantly on the run."

Wade kept his eyes locked on Chuck before taking a deep breath and carefully lowering his gun, "Alright, we'll follow you. You try anything funny, don't think for one second I won't do to you what I did to those zombies."

"You have my word," Chuck replied and he waited for both men to step out from behind the bar before reaching down to reclaim his guns.

"Um, Mr. Greene, when we get some free time do you think maybe I could get an autograph? Make it out to Skylar," the pudgy man spoke.

"I'll definitely hold you to that," Chuck smiled leading the men back into the main dining area where Linette still waited for them. "Alright, let's get moving," he said scooping the bikini-clad woman into his arms.

The quartet made their way back into the open, Wade gunning down any zombies who shambled into his sights and Skylar striking down a few that had gotten close to him, albeit with great hesitation. They had descended the escalator to the second floor and were about to make their way down to the lower level when they heard another man calling out.

"Somebody there! Help! Help please!"

"That came from over there," Wade said pointing over to another store called In the Closet.

Chuck nodded and motioned for his companions to follow after him into the skater-themed men's clothing store. He made his way behind the counter and set Linette down before turning to the two armed men, "Stand guard. I'm going to see what's up," he said making his way into the storage room to find an overweight bespectacled man in a dark red striped shirt and green baseball cap trapped behind a large stack of cardboard boxes.

"Hold on just a second, sir," Chuck said and with a mighty heave proceeded to clear the stack of heavy boxes and thus liberating the portly man.

"Whoo! Whatta relief to finally get out! I owe you one! I was just trying to get the place arranged when the whole pile came down on me. I've been trapped in here all day. The mall's open today right? It's not a holiday. I wonder why no one passed by until now..." he said looking around, the employee's name tag identifying him as 'Bill.'

"You were stuck in here all day? You haven't had contact with anyone?" Chuck asked while listening for any sounds from outside.

"Yeah, unbelievable isn't it?" Bill replied, "I've lost a lot of weight, but it was no picnic. Well, I guess I'll just head home then. I mean the company owes me one right? They won't care if I knock it off a bit early. Thanks a lot man! See you around!"

Before Chuck could raise a hand in protest the big man was running out of the closet and letting out a blood-curdling shriek a second later.

"What the hell's goin' on out there!?" he shouted upon seeing the zombies for the very first time, who were drawn in by the fresh meat and approaching the store's entrance.

"Wow, you have been hiding under a rock," Wade commented raising his gun to put down another undead pest.

"I'm afraid we've got a zombie problem," Chuck replied raising his submachine gun and riddling another approaching monster with a flurry of lead.

"So much for goin' home," Bill sighed.

"Come back to the security room with us. It is a good place to relax for a while," Chuck replied blasting another zombie to back to the grave before reaching down to pick up Linette.

"Whatever you say, kind sir," Bill replied.

"Thank me later," Chuck spoke leading the quartet back into the plaza and making his way for the nearest exit.

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The cheery electronic 'ding' filled the air and with it the quintet emerged from the elevator, all of them stopping to catch their breath following an arduous journey back to the Paradise Plaza plagued by several close calls.

"Damn, this is all just too damn unreal," Wade said slinking against a nearby wall and letting his nearly emptied pistol clatter from his hand.

"I can't believe this. How could there be such a thing as zombies?" Bill gasped, getting more exercise than he had anticipated on the run back.

"We'll have to worry about that later. For now just come on," Chuck said scooping Linette back up and leading them over to the vent.

Following yet another cramped commute the survivors emerged and were overjoyed to find other human beings still alive.

"You're so sweet," Linette said throwing her arms around Chuck before stepping back a second later as a fresh wave of pain washed over her burnt skin. "I don't suppose you have any aloe?"

"I'm afraid not, ma'am. Just worry about staying alive for now," Chuck said reaching over and grabbing a pen and piece of paper to give Skylar Ali his promised autograph.

"Thanks a million, dude! I can't believe I got to meet THE Chuck Greene!" Skylar said pumping his fist triumphantly in the air.

"It was my pleasure," Chuck said giving the man one last handshake before he disappeared into the back.

"Hey Chuck, you'd better get your butt in there. I think they're discussin' somethin' important," Otis said motioning towards the office and with a nod he made his way in to find Brad, Jessie and Rebecca call congregated.

"Hmmm. So that's what Dr. Barnaby said, huh?" Jessie asked leaning back in her swivel chair.

"The old coot's not dumb. He wants us to call for help first. We got a line out, or what?" Brad asked uncrossing his arms and walking up behind his partner.

Jessie turned to check her laptop and typed in a few commands before grunting in frustration.

"Ugh! The signal's being blocked...I can't even contact HQ on the emergency line," she sighed rubbing her aching temples.

"I'm not getting any reception either," Rebecca said checking her cell phone, "No way I can get in touch with my station. There goes my option. They'd come get me – hell, they'd come get everyone," she said looking over to Chuck, remembering what he had said earlier in the day, but wondering whether or not he was still blowing smoke.

"So, if we want to get our hands on Dr. Barnaby, we're gonna have to secure a way out of here ourselves," Brad said scratching the back of his neck, "Alright, we've gotta deal with the situation we've been handed. The boneheads back at HQ might be workin' on something too," he said walking towards the door.

"There's a helicopter coming. Three days from now...at noon. It's my ride," Chuck spoke up, inviting suspicious stares from Brad and Jessie, while Rebecca still seemed to regard him with skepticism.

"Is your ride reliable?" Brad asked.

"Absolutely. That's how I plan on getting outta here," Chuck replied as Rebecca crossed her arms.

"Like some middle of nowhere charter pilot is going to be that dependable, especially if he's making you wait for three freaking days," the reporter said rolling her eyes.

"Hey, Ed's a good guy! We watch each others' backs. I know he'll pull through for me," Chuck shot back.

Brad ignored the spat and stayed focus on Chuck, "Alright then. I'll see to it that the DHS picks up the charter fee. Can we take Dr. Barnaby as well?"

"Sure...as long as you tell us what's going on," Chuck said looking over to Rebecca.

"Okay. I'll tell you what you want to know...later. We have more pressing business right now. If we have to wait here for 3 days, we'll need supplies. Uh food, water, blankets and the like. We'll get Dr. Barnaby here tomorrow morning," Brad explained before looking over to Jessie just as Otis appeared in the doorway.

"I think I might have a solution too," she spoke up typing in a few more commands to bring up the image of a food truck with its back doors opened as several zombies staggered about drunkenly.

"That's from the West Docks. They have a shipment like that coming in over at the grocery store at the middle of every week," the old janitor spoke walking over to view the feed for himself.

"Very well," Brad nodded and was about to speak to Jessie just as there was a sudden flash of movement and he nearly knocked his colleague from her seat as he threw himself in front of the monitor.

Chuck, Rebecca and Otis all walked up behind him to see what the commotion was all about and they looked to see several of the zombies falling after being riddled with gunfire, followed by two hooded figures stepping into view and then three more going after the truck.

"What the hell?" Rebecca asked.

Brad narrowed his eyes at the looters before replying, "I don't know who those clowns think they are, but we need those supplies."

He then turned his attention to Chuck, "You've been doing pretty well thus far. Think you'd be up for cracking a few heads?"

Chuck's thoughts shifted back to that psycho photojournalist from Paradise Plaza and he thought to himself that if he was able to take down one madman, then he should be capable of taking out a few piss ant hoodlums. He slowly nodded his head before replying, "You got it," just as Rebecca cleared her throat.

Brad then turned his attention to her and narrowed his dark eyes, "And I want you to stay out of trouble. I don't want you going around losing your head over some story."

"He is going to need help getting those supplies you know," she said standing akimbo.

"Which is why I will be going along with him," Brad said pointing to himself with his thumb.

"Whatever," Rebecca spat taking out her camera and reviewing her gathered footage.

Brad brushed off the woman's protest before looking back to Jessie and pointing, "I want you to keep an eye on the monitors. The second something anything comes up, you let us know."

The veteran agent then looked over to Chuck and checked to make sure his pistol was loaded, "Are you ready?"

"There's one thing I need to do quick," Chuck replied before making his way through the nearby door.

Chuck stepped into a corridor with entrances leading to five different colored doors (green, blue, purple, yellow and red respectively), a unisex restroom and a stairwell leading to the heliport. He could hear the gathered survivors chatting among themselves in the rooms, all seeming to do whatever they could to keep their heads through this ordeal. Eventually he turned a corner to find a green couch where Katey was sitting with her eyes locked on her Joy-Boy 3000's screen. The young girl looked up to see her father approaching and immediately paused her game to run over and give him a big hug.

"Daddy, you came back!"

"Hi sweetie, how are you doing?" he asked holding his daughter close, never wanting to let her go.

"Doing great Daddy. I know you've told me not to take candy from strangers, but Mrs. Meyer really wanted me to have it," the 8-year old said reaching into her pocket and pulling out a few gumballs. "She is very nice and so is Mr. Meyer."

Chuck smiled and sat down on the couch next to her, "I'm glad to hear you are doing alright. I know this has been a difficult time, but please know that I am doing everything I can for your own safety."

"I don't like you going out there and being around all those bad people, but I know you're doing it for all of us. I have the best daddy in the world," Katey replied, her blue eyes beaming brightly.

The words warmed his heart and for a few seconds the troubles all around him melted away. It relieved him he was still capable of feeling such emotion after being surrounded by so much death and destruction within the span of the past few hours. There was still beauty left in the world and he was holding it in his arms.

"You're right and Daddy is going to make sure that you and everybody else makes it out of this alive," Chuck said pulling away.

"Pinkie promise?" she asked extending her pinkie finger to him.

"Pinkie promise," he said returning the gesture.

XXXXXX

Author's Note: Well it took me a while to get through this, but I finally managed to get this chapter up albeit with a few minor changes.

The Redfield Plaza is an original touch that I wanted to put in and is named after Chris Redfield from the "Resident Evil" series. Most of the shops would be inspired by locations from DR2 with the In The Closet here being inspired by the skater-themed design used in DR2 as opposed to the more generic design used in the first game. I purposely moved the store over to the Redfield Plaza as a means of modifying the rescue sequence with Bill Brenton.

For survivors rescued in this chapter:

Linette Watkins, 24

Skylar Ali, 26

Wade Coopwood, 32

Bill Brenton, 39

Well I think that's everything so until then read and review! This is Metal Harbinger saying SPREAD THE SICKNESS, ONE MIND AT A TIME! \m/