Welcome back to this wonderful world.
This is a sequel story to This Is Why We Fight, so if you haven't read that yet, I most highly recommend it. Otherwise you you could get very confused.
This Is Why We Fight: The Revival
Where It Starts Over
One of the many strange things about waking up with no memory is not knowing if this is how you imagined it before. I didn't know if I'd thought my brain would turn to complete mush, where I would have to learn to walk and talk all over again. I didn't know if I thought my brain would have flashes of memories, something to cling to, something to piece back together. I didn't know if I thought it would be like it was, with me waking up in an unknown place, not having any idea how I got there or why I'm still there. Able to recite the alphabet backwards but unable to say to my own name.
It took me a while to sit up, leaning back on the flat pillows, my eyeballs swaying in their sockets as I tried to scan the area. I was alone in a bedroom with minimal furniture surrounding me. The closet doors were wide open, the contents scattered around the floor; the window was DIY-barred; the only exit door was cracked open, awkwardly sitting on it's hinges. The bed around me was made up, making me wonder how long I'd actually been lying there if I hadn't tossed and turned all night.
There were voices coming from outside the door. As I pressed my feet to the floor one of them raised higher, startling me back onto the bed. A neat cloud of dust raised around my bare arms and I sneezed before covering my lower face guiltily. The voices didn't stop.
I tried to creep closer but the feeling in my stomach pushed me back. I didn't know how friendly these people would be. I didn't know if I was supposed to know them, or if they knew me. They could have easily have been people anyone; just some kids breaking into a possibly abandoned house, maybe even the owners of the house.
Instead of pressing my luck, I silently moved myself over the bed, rolling onto the floor the other side, closer to the window. I held one hand on a misshapen plank of wood that had been haphazardly nailed to the walls either side of the pane. I gave a tug and it didn't budge. Whoever had put this up hadn't wanted this window in use at all. I managed to squeeze my hand through two of the planks, pulling the stained curtains to one side. I was on the ground floor, looking out onto an empty street. The one-story houses that I could see directly across from me were not in great shape. Windows put through, no doors just holes in the wall. In the distance I could faintly hear a car alarm going off and to my left I could see the distant glow of flashing yellow lights to match it. There was no people in sight, and it didn't look like there had been anyone round for some time.
The sun was rising, casting the area in a sweet glow. I wanted to pry the planks off and escape through the window, but I figured that would cause too much noise. As I stood and contemplated the plan, the voices from within the house raised again.
"This was a very stupid plan!" The male voice rose first. "You could have gotten us all killed!"
"I had to do it!" The female injected. "I couldn't come all the way out here to middle-of-nowhere Texas and not find out what had happened with her!" There was silence for a moment and I was sure they were glaring at each other from cross whatever room they were in, before the same girl spoke up again. "I should have told you the plan, I'm sorry." She was speaking softer now, I struggled to hear. "I just...I couldn't lose her again."
"Where are you going?" The guy called out off-topic.
"To check she's okay," was the reply, louder this time. By the moment I realized it was because she was outside the door, the door was already being slid aside, and I had no time to prepare myself to meet her.
She was young. I'd liked to have guessed around my age but I didn't know how I old I was. Her hair was dark, cropped to her ears and didn't look as if she knew what a hairbrush was. I was surprised to find out I knew what a hairbrush was. She was pale, tired, wearing all black, tight clothing. There was something familiar about her face but it was like a dream; the more I tried to remember, the more I seemed to forget. I knew I knew her face, the more she stared at me as I pushed my back against the planks, the more trusting I became. Betrayed by my own instinct, I opened my mouth to ask her a range of questions, but they all fell out of my mouth at once, in one big heap of unintelligible sounds.
"You're awake," was all she replied with. "I didn't think you'd be up for a few more hours."
The silence wasn't awkward, but it was tense. She was staring at me and I didn't have anywhere to hide. It was clear she didn't know what to do next either, as if me waking up hadn't been part of her plans at all. I was starting to wonder if she was holding me hostage with the barred windows and holding herself in front of the only exit. Maybe she'd intended to kill me, knock me over the head with a blunt object but instead I got knocked out and it induced my memory loss. Maybe that was how I knew her face: it was the last thing I saw before I went unconscious. But she could have easily put a bullet in my head, or sliced open my throat, based off just the two weapons I could see hanging in her low belt. It also didn't explain why I was feeling so trusting about her- unless my judgment got knocked severely off from the head trauma.
So I did the best thing I could in this situation, "Who...Who are you?" I asked, taken back by how raw my voice sounded. Did I always sound this way?
"Gwen!" The male voice picked up again, drawing nearer as well. "Would you stop staring at her face? It's kind of cre- Oh." He appeared in the doorway behind the girl- Gwen- his hair wind swept and his face more shocked than hers. "She's awake..."
"I did notice," Gwen replied bitterly, but her voice wasn't strong. Her eyes were still locked on me. I watched as the guy squeezed his way passed Gwen, coming into the room. I pushed myself further back but the wooden planks dug into my back.
"It's okay," he said, holding up his hands. "We're not going to hurt you. My name's Mike, we're...friends."
"She doesn't remember anything, Mike," Gwen told him. "We're strangers to her." Her voice broke and she left the room before I could query anything.
Mike bit his lip, watching her go. I studied his face while his attention was off me, wondering why he looked so out-of-breath. His face was tired, dark circles lining his blank eyes, as if there was nothing going on inside his head at all. He wore all black clothes, similar to Gwen's, with a matching tool-belt across his waist. There was a gun holstered to his right leg and a knife secured to his left. His arms were folded against his chest instead of on his weapons, so I didn't think he found me to be a threat. Maybe we were friends.
"You'll have to excuse Gwen," he said at last, turning back to look at me. He seemed to be studying my face as I had his, his eyes sweeping up and down. "She's...this was her mission- which I was not told about beforehand, for the record- and I think it went better than she expected. You weren't what she expected."
I stared blankly at him. Not what she expected? Were they waiting on someone else and I had shown up instead? As hard as I tried I couldn't remember anything before waking up, my mind was drawing white noise in my eyes, filling my senses with static.
Mike spoke to me as if I would know what was going on. Gwen seemed more aware of my memory loss which only made me all the more curious.
I took a glance around the room again, wondering if this was where they found me, or if they had been the ones to bring me here. A brief conversation later and I had a whole new set of questions to ask, but I didn't know who to ask them to. There was no way of knowing if either of these people would tell me the truth. There was no way of knowing if I could trust either of them, despite what my gut told me.
"Are you hungry?" Mike asked after a brief pause, nodding his head towards the door. "Come on, meet the rest of the team."
He was already in the hallway before I decided it was best to follow him. Maybe if I was cooperative they wouldn't try to kill me (possibly try to kill me again). I moved as quietly as I could, following Mike without taking my eyes off him. The hallway was small, cramped, short. It led immediately to an open room where three more new people were sat around a kitchen table, and Gwen leaned against the opposite wall.
"What...What's my name?" I whispered, hoping Mike would only hear me.
But it was Gwen who answered, looking up at her through dark eyes, showing no emotion on her face.
"Courtney," she said. "Your name is Courtney."
A/N: I never planned to write a sequel for this story...but Goddamn am I so glad I am! This Is Why We Fight is one of my all time favourite stories I have ever had the pleasure of writing, so getting to relive in this world is amazing. I've been working on a sequel for this since Christmas 2014, a little over a year, but I just couldn't find the exact plot points to hit. Let's hope I found it this time.
I'm not a huge fan of First POV, but I felt the story had to be told from Courtney's POV, as someone completely new to this world, having to learn it all (again!).
But alas, the last time we did see Courtney, she was dead, mauled by zombies. So what is going on here? tee he he. Oh how happy I am with my brain. I also have to give a brief mention to my brother, AJ, who gave me a wonderful plot-twist to play out in much later chapters. I won't spoil anything just yet ;)
Thanks for reading, please review (: