"Alright, we're gonna head out," Doc's voice called out over the helicopter's megaphone. Jamie, Alan, Zoey, Nick, Ellis, and Maria all stood on the roof of a towering hotel complex while their ride hovered above them. "If there are any other survivors we'll radio you guys, got it?"
Jamie raised his thumb in acknowledgment. The helicopter soon pulled away from the building, heading further into the city. Nick, putting his hand on his hip, turned towards Jamie, his nephew.
"Explain to me why the buttercup scout is with us," Nick asked, pointing to Maria.
"To whup some butt," Maria replied back snappishly. The little girl walked towards the door and shoved it open violently. Jamie and Nick looked to each other, the former smirking a bit as he raised his pistol.
"You heard the buttercup scout. Let's kick some butt." The survivors moved towards the door, following after Maria, who was already down the stairs.
Zoey took a small breath through her nose, growing slightly uneasy. This was almost exactly like the time when she and the others began their journey to Mercy Hospital. Things were a lot simpler back then.
The group moved through the first, darkened room cautiously. It was the first time Zoey could remember that they were actually being smart instead of just running in, guns blazing and mouths running. She couldn't blame them: this was the city where they followed the Director's signal. The thing was that there were no signs of any stable buildings. The entire city looked like something straight out of the apocalypse: buildings were slowly turning into ruins, as if left unattended for years, and everything seemed to be rotting or falling apart.
The team wasn't sure what to expect in this city.
The building was empty. From the roof down to the bottom floor, it was completely vacant of survivors or zombies. The team walked out into the streets, Alan turning around to look back up at the skyscraper, "Well what the fuck!" On the side of the building there was a giant tarp that read 'survivors inside.' Alan rested his shotgun on his shoulders, turning to Jamie who simply looked around the city, "That's false advertisement isn't it? 'Oh survivors in here, come help us.' We went down every last floor in that building and there was NO one!"
"I noticed Alan," Jamie replied absentmindedly. He looked around the city, as if expecting an ambush. After noting the caution in his eyes, Zoey started to scan the streets as well.
"Where the hell are all the zombies," Nick shouted. The conman's voice echoed loudly throughout the streets, bouncing off the buildings and through what seemed to be the entire city.
"Man, this is creepier than the time me and my buddy Keith went out in the woods on Halloween to find ghosts," Ellis murmured, clutching his gun tightly. "We didn't find any ghosts, but Keith did find a pack of werewolves that took his candy. I think it was just a bunch of high school seniors who dressed up as werewolves who took our candy, but Keith to this day swears that they were REAL werewolves. Not those type of werewolves in Twilight, cause they were just shape shifters and-," Five heads whirled around in unison, giving Ellis a confused, perplexed look. "Uh…I—I read it somewhere on the internet."
"You know what the internet is," Nick asked mockingly with a cocky smirk.
Zoey rolled her eyes before looking down the street, "I think we should go and try to rejoin with Doc and the others. They went down this way right?" The brunette turned her head to the others who looked to one another.
"She's right," Jamie agreed. "There weren't any survivors, so let's go rejoin with the others and kick the Director's ass!"
"AGAIN," Maria shouted as she raised her arm, looking between the survivors. Everyone except Nick smiled before they walked down the street.
Moving down nearly ten city blocks, and the survivors had yet to encounter a zombie, a survivor, not even a tumbleweed. It got to the point where Alan was walking around without a weapon in hand.
"Sheesh, this can't even qualify as a ghost town can it," Alan asked aloud. "I mean there aren't even ghosts in the city."
Ellis snorted, followed by his hillbilly laughter, "Good one Alan."
"He thinks I'm funny," Alan said, directing his comment towards Jamie and Zoey.
"Statistically, I suppose someone had to," Zoey replied, giving Alan a taunting smirk. The bulky survivor rolled his eyes and laughed softly in response.
Nick and Jamie both had their eyes narrowed skeptically, both wondering where anything was. The two leaders of the group eventually stopped, causing the rest to freeze in place as well.
"I don't like this," Jamie murmured.
"Me neither," Nick agreed. "I mean…there aren't even any corpses in the area. It's like nobody lived here at any point in time."
"The fact the Director decided to stop in this city means he has something to do with it," Alan seethed. "I say we find him, beat the living crap out of him, and make him tell us!"
"How was that different from the original plan," the conman of the group asked.
The sound of crunching glass caused all of the survivors to whirl around and aim their weapons. Two small figures cringed behind cover with a light yelp of fear. The survivors slowly lowered their weapons, exchanging confused glanced between one another. Two small heads poked out in the open before stepping out onto the street.
It took a moment for Alan and Jamie to recognize the two younger survivors, but once they did, their faces fell immediately. "Oh you've gotta be kidding me…"
"Is that Andrew," Ellis asked, turning to Nick. Zoey and Maria snapped their heads to the mechanic and his conman partner before looking back to Jamie and Alan. One glance told the two females of the group that Jamie and his partner in crime were just as confused as they were.
"You've gotta help us," the young boy, Andrew, spoke.
"Where's Amy," Alan asked. "Where's Nelson? And why the hell are you two on your own?"
"That's why I said we need your help genius!" Andrew turned around as Alan scowled at him.
"Still a big pain in the ass," Alan muttered angrily.
"Are you kidding? I love this kid!" Everyone, excluding Ellis, stared at Nick with confused, baffled expressions. The two southern survivors followed after Andrew and the other little girl, Kelsey. The confused survivors gave each other one last confused look before following Nick and Ellis.
The two youngest of the survivors, Andrew and Kelsey, moved through the alleys, slipping through cracks and holes in the sides of buildings instead of moving through the streets and out in the open. For everyone except Maria, slipping through a few of the crawl spaces and holes could be difficult at times.
After a few minutes of silence, Zoey turned to Ellis, "So how do you guys know Andrew?" The mechanic whirled his head around, face flushed with embarrassment as he looked at Zoey.
"Uh…we…uh kinda met them and uh…"
"The military was going to take us to their base to try and kill us," Andrew snapped bitterly. Zoey, Jamie, Alan, and Maria all turned their heads to the young boy. "The vehicle they were carrying us in crashed into a bus that Nick and the others were on. We managed to slip away from the military after a horde came and attacked us. We told them about you guys, and Nick jumped at the chance to try and find his nephew again." Jamie looked over at his uncle, who turned to him as well. The two gave each other the same look before turning back to Andrew. "We parted ways after that and headed to Tennessee where there was supposed to be an evac point. We came through this city…we were ambushed by armed men. Not military, but something…else. They took my sister and Nelson…Kelsey and I managed to slip away…"
"We found out where they're holding Amy and Nelson," Kelsey added, looking back over her shoulder. "We can take you guys there, but it's gonna be dangerous. A big helicopter just landed on the rooftop not too long ago, probably bringing in more of those soldiers."
Alan and Jamie exchanged glances, knowing for a fact that the helicopter Kelsey spoke of carried the Director. They were definitely in the right area city. Jamie turned his head, wondering in the back of his mind what Alan was thinking. He knew that his best friend and Amy had a thing for each other to say the least. Now that she was kidnapped by the Director, who Alan already had an unhealthy hatred for, Jamie hoped that Alan wouldn't do anything stupid. Stupider than usual for Alan that is.
Andrew and Kelsey stopped at a broken window and slowly peaked through it. Andrew stepped to the side and motioned for the other survivors to move closer. Jamie, Nick, Zoey, and Maria all moved forward first, looking through the window. In front of them was a giant clearing, filled with rubble, wreckage, broken glass, and all manner of vehicles. Past all junk was a towering skyscraper which, considering the state of the rest of the city, was in fair condition. Without a doubt in their mind, the survivors concluded that was for certain where the Director would be.
"We need to regroup with the others," Jamie said, turning to Nick. The others leaned away from the window, looking between one another. "Can you get Doc or Coach on the radio?" Nick pulled out a hand radio from his inner pocket and turned the device on.
Before the conman could speak, Doc tossed his hand radio across the room. As soon as it hit the ground, everyone looked up to see the rest of their group behind them. Jamie smiled before putting a hand on his hip, "How'd you guys find us?"
"It's not that hard to smell Alan out," Doc teased, looking at his beefy companion. The former cage fighter rolled his eyes at the joke before looking back out of the window. "We saw the building. Judging from the fact that it's the nicest thing in this god-forsaken place, I'd venture that's where the Director is hiding out."
"We thought the same thing," Jamie said.
"The what now," Andrew asked.
"Conspiracy theories kid," Nick answered, sighing heavily. "Lots and lots of stupid conspiracy theories…"
"I don't think we can just come through the front door," Alan muttered. "If what Andrew said is true, and the Director still has soldiers out here then they might have snipers."
"Having soldiers would make sense, seeing as how there aren't any zombies," Doc added. The blonde looked back at Nicole who nodded in agreement. "In the last city there was a smaller number of zombies for how large the city was. My guess is that the Director's men probably rounded up the zombies or killed them all."
"But how come we haven't seen any soldiers either," Maria asked, jumping into the conversation. The little girl turned around, looking at the older blonde with her arms crossed.
The survivors looked up at one another. Now that it had been brought up, the thought crossed their mind as well. All eyes moved to Andrew and Kelsey. The two young survivors looked back at their seniors.
"We noticed the past few days actually that there haven't been any patrols recently," Kelsey said. She pointed to Doc, "He was right though: the soldiers kept the zombie population down drastically. Even when we first got here there weren't a lot of zombies to speak of."
"But we do see this one person running around the city," Andrew added quickly. "We've never gotten close to him, but there's another survivor in the city! We've tried to find him to get him to help us, but every time he sees us he just runs away and we lose him! He's like a freaking scared deer."
"We can handle it," Jamie said, turning to Coach. The heavyset man sighed before leaning forward to look out of the window across the room. "We need to see if there's definitely a sniper though. We need someone who's fast…" The original members of the Z-Team turned their heads to Zoey. The brunette looked at every last one of them before making the connection.
"I can do it," Ellis offered. The Z-Team turned their heads back around to the mechanic. "I use to chase hogs all the time. You gotta be fast to chase hogs." Zoey smirked a bit, a small feeling of gratitude that Ellis would offer to take her place.
"I got no problem with it," Nick exclaimed. "Either we prove there's no snipers or Ellis gets shot. Win-win right?" Rochelle reached up and smacked Nick in the back of the head, causing him to flinch in pain.
Jamie shrugged before motioning for Ellis to follow him. The two followed Kelsey into the other room. There was an open doorway, which Jamie walked towards first. He leaned out a bit, poking his head out in the open. He carefully scanned the windows, looking for any obvious sign of snipers. Jamie turned as someone tapped his shoulder, seeing Nicole standing behind him. She pointed to her sniper rifle with a look of 'duh' on her face. Jamie smacked his forehead before moving back, allowing Nicole to take his place.
She looked through the scope of her rifle and slowly swept the gun across the windows. A faint gasp escaped her lips before she saw something horrifying. On the bottom floor, she saw conflict, some type of struggle going on inside of the building. A mysterious figure, dressed in ragged, torn up clothes moved through groups of soldiers, killing them rather efficiently.
"We need to go NOW!" Nicole quickly lowered her rifle and sprinted out into the open. Jamie, Ellis, and Kelsey all gasped in confusion before following after the black haired doctor.
The other survivors saw from outside of the window, Jamie, Ellis, Nicole, and Kelsey all running towards the skyscraper. Zoey instantly hopped through the window and gave chase, followed closely behind by Alan and then the rest of the survivors.
As they approached the building, Jamie noticed a figure bashing their way through several armed guards with quick, rapid succession. Getting closer to the building, and a better view of the target, Jamie stopped in his tracks and started firing at the floor the mysterious person and the guards were on.
The windows shattered, tiny shards of glass raining down on the ground. This caused the fighter and one armed soldier to stop briefly, covering their heads in shock. The mysterious figure swung their arm across the soldier's neck, causing blood to jet out like a fountain.
Nicole got behind an overturned car and aimed her rifle at the figure, Ellis next to her. Jamie stood in the open, aiming his SMG at the only living person, Zoey and Alan standing on either side of him. The other survivors spread out and got behind cover, all aiming their weapons on a singular target.
"There's only one crazy woman I know who could kill that smooth," Alan exclaimed, a fierce grin on his face. "Come on and step out ninja girl!"
"Preferably with your hands up and the knife on the ground," Doc quickly added.
There was a pause, causing the survivors to grow tense. Everyone was spread out, and had their guns aimed at the figure, who was a woman. Even if she could close the distance quickly enough, there was no way she could take out all of them at once.
Surprisingly enough, the figure dropped a combat knife, causing the blade to clatter to the ground. Raising her arms up, she walked slowly towards the doors. Once stepping into the light, the survivors all gasped and lowered their weapons.
"That's not Diana," Jamie stated with a slack-jawed expression.
"No she's not," Alan agreed, also gapping in awe.
The young woman wore a black hoodie, which was torn a bit around the abdomen, black, fingerless leather gloves, dark red pants, and sneakers. She had shoulder length, crimson red hair, which was a bit greasy. The darkness of her hair was in sharp contrast to her soft, pale skin tone, and the light, icy blue eyes that seemed to bore through the survivors.
Zoey stared at the young woman for a moment before looking over to Jamie and Alan. An annoyed huff flew past her lips when she noted the awe-struck expression on their faces. Elbowing Jamie out of his trance, she motioned her head over to the girl.
"Uh…who the hell are you?"
"I should be asking that question," the woman snapped back angrily, "And why the hell you shot at me!"
"We thought you were someone else," Nicole called out, being the only survivor who didn'tremove the strange woman from her sights.
"Obviously not a friend," the woman murmured. "Are any of you working for CEDA?"
"No," everyone replied simultaneously.
"Good. Saves me some trouble." Jamie stepped forward, lowering his weapon to his side.
"I take it you're not on friendly terms with CEDA?" The woman huffed, narrowing her eyes at the brunette. "Alright, understatement much. Look, I'm sorry I shot at you, but we're not on the best of terms with CEDA either. Some of our friends have been taken by them and are inside this building."
"I don't give a crap about your friends." The sharp statement caused Andrew to rise out of cover and glare at the woman. Her icy blue eyes moved up as she turned around, staring up to the top of the CEDA skyscraper. "A helicopter came by and landed on this building's roof. Which means the Director is back."
"Wait, how do you know about the Director," Alan asked. "I mean does he just frequently chat with survivors or something?"
"I'm not a survivor. I'm a pissed off bitch who's going to kill the Director."
"Then we've got an enemy in common," Jamie stated. The crimson haired woman turned around, her sharp blue eyes glaring at Jamie. "We'll help you get to the Director if you help us get to our friends. Deal?"
"Wait a second," Zoey snapped quickly. "Am I the onlyone who noticed her eyes are EXACTLY like Diana's? How can we be sure that she's not just her replacement or something?"
The woman's eyes moved over to Zoey, whose green eyes met hers in a fierce stare. "I useto work for CEDA before the infection. I had nothing to do with the Green Flu, or any of the mutations caused by it. My only connection to the Director, besides him being a former employer, is that he crossed me, and injected me with a performance booster that he's going to wish he never made."
A loud crashing noise caused the survivors to whirl around. Several doors were broken down by dozens of infected. The survivors all aimed their weapons at the building while the crimson haired woman ducked and rushed behind the lines of fire. As soon as the first zombie rushed towards the survivors, they opened fire into the horde.
Several zombies went down in a hail of bullets, but something caught the survivors by surprise. An explosion went off in the middle of the horde, much to everyone's confusion. Alan fired a few pistol rounds into one zombie, causing it to hit the floor. Behind that zombie was another infected with a strange looking vest strapped to its chest. Jamie fired a short burst into the zombie. The bullets ripped through the vest, causing the entire zombie to be engulfed in an explosion.
"SUICIDE BOMBER ZOMBIES?" Jamie cringed at the shrillness of Alan's voice, but he shared his friend's shock.
The survivors started backing away, once they realized the suicide bombing zombies were amongst the horde. More zombies collapsed and others were engulfed in explosions upon the survivors' continued gunfire. The bomber zombies actually made clearing out the horde a bit easier, as the explosions would take out a handful of other zombies in one go. After a couple of minutes, all the zombies were either dead on the ground, or in tiny bits blown apart throughout the entire courtyard.
Jamie turned around, gasping softly when he realized that the crimson haired woman was gone. "Oh you've gotta be kidding me…"
The rest of the survivors turned around, also noticing what Jamie had only a moment ago. Zoey quickly snapped her head to the side, scanning the area for wherever the woman could have disappeared to.
"She was heading for the Director," Doc stated. The other survivors turned around, looking at the blonde as he continued. "It only makes sense that she's heading for the inside of the CEDA building. Besides, we had the same goal in mind."
Jamie nodded once then led the way to the CEDA building.
The Director sighed as he looked at his monitor. That experiment turned out to be a failure. Maybe if the bomber infected were in a smaller number it would have been more effective?
The man rose from his chair, closing his laptop and turning off the monitor in his desk. He grabbed a suitcase with a variety of different viruses and headed to his front door. The Director walked up to an elevator which had a guard on either side of it. He stopped, reached into his suit and pulled out a pistol. He fired one round through the guard on the right's head, before turning and putting a hole between the other guard's eyes. The Director put his firearm away and stepped inside the elevator. As the doors slid to a close, he looked at the pool of blood spilling out from under the guards' corpses.
He was too close to his goals to leave anyloose ends.
Something that surprised him though was the crimson haired woman that met the survivors. There was a huge loose end the Director was sure would've been taken care of. As always: he'd have to deal with it himself.
The Director rolled up his sleeve and looked at his watch. He lowered his arm, "Plenty of time…" The elevator's light went to the ground level and flickered off. Despite the fact the light went out, didn't mean the elevator stopped going down.
Several floors underground, the elevator doors opened, revealing a large, boxed in hanger. There were nearly a dozen vehicles. Armored transports, military issue jeeps, and many more on-road vehicles were being loaded up and tended to by the Director's soldiers.
The man in charge walked up to one shining black vehicle, opening the back seat and gently placing the suitcase in the floorboard. He'd deal with the survivors, and Shana all together at once.
The survivors reached a four direction hallway. They looked around, knowing they had more than enough people to cover each direction. Jamie looked down the three halls curiously, wondering which one would be the right way to go.
"This is stupid," Andrew shouted. "We're wasting time! I need to find Amy!"
"Pump your breaks kid," Coach said, putting his hand in front of the boy. "We need to split up Jamie."
"No you don't." The survivors all turned around, looking down the hall they came from. The crimson haired woman, looking angrier than before, walked out of a room and into the hall. "Everything in the building itself concerning anything involving CEDA's actions have been picked clean."
Doc turned completely to the woman and put a hand on his hip, "Alright, you know way more than any average survivor should know about CEDA. Care to explain?"
"WHO CARES?" Jamie, Alan, and Doc all rolled their eyes at Andrew's outburst. "We need to find my sister! Who knows what the hell these crazy people might be doing to her?"
"I wouldn't hold your breath for your sister," the woman replied in a whisper. Andrew glared at the crimson haired woman. "CEDA likes its underground levels. Follow me and I'll help you find them." The woman turned her back to the survivors and stopped. Looking back over her shoulder, her eyes seemed to glow in the dimly lit hallway. "You can call me Fenra." The survivors looked to each other in confusion before following Fenra down the halls.
The group was entirely silent, all eyes cautiously watching the crimson haired woman. The Z-Team leaned towards each other, "What do we do about the crazy chick," Doc asked.
"She obviously knows something," Zoey said. "I don't trust her as far as I could throw her. Maybe she knows more about the Director than the rest of us do?"
"I'm not sure if she knows more about the Director himself," Doc replied. "Maybe about CEDA, but the Director himself seems like the kind of guy to be a mystery, even to his own daughter, Diana."
"I don't think we have any reason not to trust her to be honest," Jamie added, looking over to Fenra. The brunette looked back to Zoey, Doc, Maria, and Nicole, all of whom were giving Jamie skeptical stares. "What? She hasn't tried to kill us yet has she?"
"Cause we outnumber her," Zoey snapped softly. "Sheesh, any girl pretty enough and you'll trust her immediately won't you Jamie?"
"What's that got to do with anything," Jamie replied defensively. "Just because I think she's okaylooking doesn't mean squat! Besides; our numbers never stopped Diana from trying to kill us!"
"Diana never really fought allof us together like this," Nicole stated, a taunting smirk aimed at Jamie. The brunette glared at the black haired doctor before looking over at Zoey. His fellow brunette was glaring right back at Jamie, causing the brash leader to look confused.
"Nothing," Zoey snapped. She looked over to Doc and Nicole. "We need to find out more about her. Who wants to volunteer?"
"I will," Jamie offered. Zoey turned to him, glaring angrily at the brash young man again.
"Uh…guys…" All eyes turned to Maria, who was staring forward with a look of dread. The Z-Team looked forward, the same look of dread on Maria's face now copied onto theirs.
"Oh no," Zoey, Jamie, and Doc all murmured simultaneously while Nicole and Maria face-palmed.
Alan was already walking next to Fenra, trying to strike up conversation with her. Jamie snapped his head to Nick and smacked his uncle on the arm, "Why didn't you stop him?"
"I'm not his babysitter," Nick hissed back below his breath.
Fenra noticed Alan by her side, but chose to ignore him. The bulky survivor leaned forward, trying to capture her attention. Alan tilted his head before standing up straight. "So…Fenra is a bit of a weird name isn't it?"
"It's not my birth name," the woman replied softly.
"What is your birth name, if you don't mind my asking?" Fenra remained silent, her eyes focused on the hall ahead. "Okay…all personal questions out I take it?" The crimson haired woman nodded, a quick, overly dramatic roll of her eyes added in for good measure. "So can I ask what your connection to the Director and CEDA is?"
"We just said personal questions are out."
Alan scowled, putting his hands on his hips, "So then what the hell can I ask you?"
"How about we play the quiet game? That's a sure fire way to get on my good side and staythere!" Alan scowled bitterly and turned his head to the side. The woman he was dealing with was less than reasonable.
"Look…" Fenra's eyes hardened a bit more. Alan paused, then sighed, and continued, "I'm not being confrontational about this. I just think if we're going to trust you we need to know more about you."
"You don't need to trust me at all. All you need to know," Fenra snapped her head to Alan, glaring intensely at him. "Is to stay out of my way once we find the Director." Alan groaned as Fenra picked up the pace, putting distance between her and him.
"Sheesh," Alan whined as Jamie and Maria stepped alongside next to him. "You try to make idle conversation and get your head ripped off. What a world." Jamie rolled his eyes while Maria giggled at the poor joke. Alan nudged Jamie then nodded towards Fenra, "What're we gonna do about her anyway?"
"I guess just stick to her until she leads us to the Director. There's not much we can do until then right?"
"Zoey's not gonna like this plan," Maria chimed in a sing-song voice.
"I'm not entirely sure if I trust this dame much either Jamie."
"Are you both forgetting that Zoey was the exact same way when we first found her," Jamie pondered sarcastically. He looked to both Alan and then Maria, "Just give this girl some time. I'm sure she'll open up in time…right?" Maria and Alan exchanged not so assured glances to one another.
Zoey rubbed the back of her neck. She didn't have a good feeling about Fenra. Jealousy had next to nothing to do with it. The woman reminded her too much of Diana. Speed, strength, personality, they even have the same ice blue eyes for crying out loud. And the fact that the redhead didn't want to share her past made her all the more suspicious. She wished Jamie would at least act a little more cautious with Fenra.
"Uh…h-hey there." Zoey was pulled out of her thoughts by a southern drawl. She looked to the left, seeing Ellis with his hat off walking next to her. "I'm Ellis."
Zoey couldn't help but crack a smile, "I know that."
"I-I know it's just we uh…haven't had a chance to really talk ta each other so I figured I'd properly um…introduce myself."
"Oh," Zoey exclaimed, still smiling. "Well I'm Zoey, it's nice to 'properly' meet you." The brunette extended her hand out to the mechanic.
"Oh, um…" Ellis took Zoey's hand and shook, looking like a frightened animal as he did. "I uh…I use to work on cars before the infection."
Zoey tilted her head to the side with a puzzled expression. The southerner's awkwardness was almost cute. "So…you were a mechanic?"
"Oh, duh, yeah I was," Ellis stammered. The southerner smacked his forehead, groaning at his stupidity. Zoey simply giggled, finding the increasing level of awkwardness almost refreshing compared to her air of jealousy.
"Hold up," Jamie whispered sharply. The survivors all stopped in their tracks as the brunette and Fenra slowly inched towards the corner. Zoey and the others then heard the sobbing of a nearby Witch.
"So what's the plan," Alan asked, his tone eager with anticipation, "Have everyone run up on it, guns blazing and turn that Witch into Swiss cheese?"
"Subtlety is our best bet here," Jamie replied. "We're in a CEDA facility, the last thing we need to do is charge in guns blazing so the Director can send a goon squad to slow us down while he slips out."
"So sneaking around it is," Maria spoke up.
"I think it'd be easier to hose the bitch," Alan whispered, arching his neck to try and look around the corner, "Than to just sneak nearly a dozen people around her." In reply, Alan raised up his hand, revealing a flash-bang grenade in his gloved palm. Jamie and Doc both stared at the grenade with the same vacant stare.
"I don't even want to know how or where you got that thing," Jamie said. "We use that only if she notices us, got it?"
"Uh…guys." All eyes went to Maria who pointed down the hall. Everyone looked around the corner, seeing Fenra standing with a fistful of the Witch's hair in one hand, and a pistol with a barrel dripping blood in the other.
"You know, she's easy to kill if you don't pussy-foot around." Fenra dropped the Witch's limp body to the ground and continued on. Alan, who was now slack jawed looked from the zombie's corpse to Fenra and back again.
"I couldn't do that!" Alan turned to Jamie, who followed Fenra forward. "I shot a Witch in the eyeand it didn't work! Where's she shoot this thing at?" Alan turned to Doc as Jamie continued walking. The blonde doctor paid no attention to his partner and followed Jamie.
As the group kept moving, Andrew approached Fenra. Jamie, Alan, and Doc both wondered the same thing: how long the brat would last.
"Hey, are we heading the right way to find my sister," Andrew asked. The redhead only stared ahead, ignoring the short young boy walking next to her. "Hey, I asked you a question! I'm wanting to know if we're going to find my sister! She was taken by these CEDA goons!"
"Then she's probably gone," Fenra finally said. Andrew scowled and then moved out in front of the redhead's path, causing her to stop.
"That's bullshit! I know she's alive, and you're going to help me find her!" Fenra slowly lowered her icy blue eyes on the boy in front of her. Before anything happened, Alan stepped between them and quickly pulled Andrew out of Fenra's way.
"Hey, come on now people. We'll find Amy, trust me."
Andrew wrenched his arm out of Alan's grip, "Fuck that! Trusting you idiots, letting you on Father Jackson's boat, taking us to that small town, sending us away to the military to be killed anyway, and now thismess! This is all because we trusted EVERYONE here! Including you shit-for-brains!"
"It's not particularly wise to smart off to a man who's three times your size," Fenra stated. The redhead moved her eyes to Alan, scanning him carefully for another moment before looking back down at Andrew. "Who also happens to be carrying a gun."
"Screw you," Andrew shouted, veering around to point a finger at the mysterious redhead. "This is all just FUCKED up! I'm sick and tired of everyone here! All I want is to find my sister and get the fuck out of-,"
"Heads up," Nicole shouted. All heads turned around just as a Smoker's tongue shot past Fenra and Alan, wrapping around Andrew's arms and torso. With a violent tug, Andrew was lifted off his feet and smacked hard into a wooden desk as the Smoker attempted to flee with its prey.
The survivors all moved to help Andrew, but Fenra stopped them. "What the hell are you doing," Zoey demanded. On cue, a Tank smashed through the walls between the survivors and the Smoker. "Damn it!"
"Just our damn luck," Coach screamed as he readied his shotgun.
"Split up," Fenra ordered before darting off to the side.
"Wait—what," Alan questioned in confusion. The bulky survivor thoughtlessly ran off after Fenra with Jamie right behind him.
"Damn it, move people, move move move!" Coach moved Maria and Kelsey behind him before they backtracked. Doc fired into the Tank, grabbing its attention before darting off to the right with Nicole and Rochelle. The Tank threw a desk at the three of them before turning to Nick, Ellis, and Zoey.
"Run for it," the brunette ordered, firing a sniper shot right in the Tank's eye. The beast roared in pain, stumbling backwards. The last three survivors went off in the same direction the Smoker dragged Andrew off. The Tank looked back at the now empty room with a giant hole in the side of its blood covered face in a blind rage.
Fenra ran through the offices without missing a beat, clearing turned over chairs, desks, and whatever else got in her way. Finally, she stopped to allow Jamie and Alan to catch up to her. The two panted softly, trying to catch their breath.
"Is it following us," the redhead questioned.
"How the hell should I know," Alan asked, a bit angry. "I can't tell when Tanks are going to attack us like you can."
"I think that warrants a bit of an explanation," Jamie added.
"Screw that. A bit? She owes us a WHOLE explanation!" Fenra glared at the two survivors across from her. Before she could fire back her well worded 'no' several deafening bangs accompanied by blinding flashes of light went off.
Jamie and Alan cried out, shielding their eyes with their arms. Fenra scowled, blinded by the light which caused her to close her eyes.
As the blinding light started to fade into multi-colored spots in their vision, Alan and Jamie noticed that they were surrounded by armed soldiers. The two survivors groaned in defeat, slowly raising their hands up. In the back of his mind, Jamie wondered if they would even be taken as prisoners or killed on the spot.
His question was answered as a few of the soldiers moved forward and restrained all three of them with their hands behind their backs. The soldiers forced the three survivors to start walking.
"Just our fucking luck," Alan murmured in discontent. Jamie rolled his eyes in agreement.
"Stuck by myself with two little girls," Coach murmured softly. "If this isn't just a kick in ma teeth."
"Yes, because whining is going to help us," Maria snapped as she grabbed a nearby fire extinguisher.
"What're you doing? We need to find Andrew and help him!" Maria looked around carefully for a moment before rushing towards a nearby pillar. She picked up a roll of duct tape that was lying on the ground.
"Coach, can you hold this against that?" The heavyset man was confused, but took the fire extinguisher from Maria and held it against the pillar. The small black haired girl unraveled the duct tape then started running around the pillar, taping the extinguisher to the pillar.
Kelsey murmured something quietly as she slowly fell back against a wall, holding the sides of her head. Her whole world seemed to be crashing around her since she first met Jamie and his group in that small town which seemed to be a lifetime ago. Losing her grandmother, brother, three of her only remaining friends was too much for her.
Something broke out of the wall not far from Kelsey, causing her head to snap to the side instinctively. Kelsey screamed briefly and was silenced as a pair of claws sliced her into pieces.
Coach and Maria spun around as a lanky creature broke through the thin wall. The infected was hunched over, with nothing but a thin layer of skin wrapped around its extended bones. On its hands were bloody claws that curved inward with pieces of Kelsey's clothing and hair draped over it. Its feet were also grotesque, toenails lengthened and hardened from the Green Flu virus.
"What the shit," Coach shouted.
"Shoot it," Maria shrieked. Coach aimed his shotgun and fired a second after the creature had already sprung off to the side. Its claws dug into the ceiling above its head as it swung forward and dove behind cover before Coach could land a successful shot. "Oh god," Maria whispered, her voice trembling. Despite herself, her eyes wandered over to the bloody, gory remains of Kelsey.
Immediately, the young girl turned her head and vomited.
Coach tried his best to ignore the puking child and aimed his shotgun where the zombie took cover, his flashlight beaming in its direction. A low, feral growling was heard. The creature knew it was being watched, and that it was pinned.
With a bestial cry, the zombie sprung out from cover, faster than Coach's reflexes could pull the trigger. The heavyset survivor quickly whipped his shotgun in the direction the creature jumped to. The zombie bounced off of the wall and shot towards Coach. The survivor quickly ducked down, pushing Maria to the floor as he did. The zombie's curved claws tore through the stone pillar that Maria taped the fire extinguisher to.
Coach rolled onto his back as the zombie rebounded off of the floor and back at the survivor. Coach aimed his shotgun and fired. The zombie hit the ground with a heavy thud in front of Coach and Maria.
The armed survivor aimed his gun at the infected monster, in case it decided to jump up and attack. Maria bravely walked up to the creature and examined the body carefully for a moment.
"What the hell is this thing," Coach asked.
"A new infected obviously," Maria answered in a whisper. "It's like a Witch…that can jump like a Hunter."
"So first it's that Lasher thing, which has a Tank's strength, and a Smoker's reach. Now we got this thing which can jump like a Hunter and has the claws of a damn Witch? What's next, a Boomer that can…fuck I dunno, charge you and slam you into the ground?"
"Don't give the bad guys any ideas…" Maria silently looked over in the directions of Kelsey's remains. "We better find some of the others fast…before one of these Rippers finds them first." Maria took point, wanting to get out of the room as quickly as she could and away from the remains of Kelsey.
That girl wasn't much older than Maria. The black haired girl knew that in the back of her mind that she could be the one lying in a pile of bloody meat instead of Kelsey.
Rochelle looked through the crack in the door carefully for a moment. She looked back to Doc and Nicole, "I think we're clear."
The two doctors were wrapped up, staring at files about CEDA's various experiments concerning the Green Flu. Rochelle honestly thought it was a waste, seeing as how they should be focused on surviving rather than studying the virus.
"This is crazy," Nicole murmured. "The Green Flu was a natural born virus that was altered?"
"Hard to believe that something so horrible can be natural," Doc said as he eyed one file in hand. "There aren't any reports on what the hell they added to the virus though to make it…well the way it turned out."
"The Director said it was some type of enzyme right?" Doc thought about it for a moment. He remembered back to the museum, after Zoey had caught both he and Nicole up to speed about what the Director had said. "What the hell type of enzyme could change a virus so drastically?"
"Uh, hello," Rochelle called out. The two doctors looked at the reporter who waved to them. "Does it matter? I'm sure the natural Green Flu was probably some lethal toxin right?"
"Actually no." Nicole held up one folder full of papers, "This says that the Green Flu was actually a mild healing drug used for a primitive tribe in South America." Nicole looked at the cover of the file for a moment, "I remember hearing about them. A few missionaries were sent to reach out to them. After a few of their villagers started to die, the people retaliated and blamed the missionaries, killing all of them."
"I think I know what you're talking about," Rochelle said softly, cupping her chin as she thought back. "I remember I was signed up to go to South America, but they canceled it at the last minute. There was some giant forest fire or something right? It took out a huge section of one of the rain forests and wiped that tribe out didn't it?"
"According to these official records," Nicole said, rereading one of the documents.
"You don't…you don't think CEDA was behind it do you?" Nicole and Rochelle exchanged worried looks.
"I don't think so," Doc replied. "Even CEDA wouldn't cross that line. They need the natural born Green Flu, which they can't get if they destroy the ecosystem." The blonde relaxed his arm by his side, still holding a few documents as he looked to Rochelle and Nicole, "What I want to know is if it comes from a plant, or some type of animal, or a mixture of herbs and different poisons."
"I would guess some type of plant," Nicole said with a shrug. "No type of animal could bring out a natural virus this deadly, no matter how much extra crap you add to it."
"I'm kind of curious now," Rochelle began, "if maybe those missionaries and CEDA are somehow connected?" The reporter walked towards the two doctors and started sorting through the massive pile of folders.
"I don't remember CEDA bothering with missionary work before," Doc murmured, reading his file. "This has nothing on the origins of the Green Flu, or what they added to make people mindless zombies! It's like the Director left this evidence out for us to just screw with us!"
"Almost like he's telling us the truth, but keeping the whole truth from us," Nicole added. "But…didn't Fenra say that anything concerning CEDA activity had been wiped clean in this building?" Doc paused for a moment, looking up from his reading to look gravely at Nicole. "We just found these files lying out in the open."
"You don't think…someone left these out in the open do you?"
Nicole shrugged, looking down at the documents in hand, "Maybe someone is expecting us to live through this mess…and wants us to report CEDA in case the outside world doesn't know the truth."
"But who would want us to do that? And how could they have these types of files without being some high ranking CEDA official? We've killed Elliot, that guy at Dead End outpost was killed by Diana, Williams was taken out, we took out Diana's right hand goon Jeff, Diana was killed at the base by the Director…who else could there be?"
"Uh…guys…" The doctors turned to Rochelle, whose face was painted with shock. "I don't mean to interrupt, but…you might wanna see this." Nicole and Doc walked over towards Rochelle, standing on either side of the reporter and looking at the file in her hands.
Nicole's eyes widened as she gasped softly while Doc's eyes hardened before he reread the file.
Rochelle held the file of one of the missionaries sent to South America, accompanied by a picture that hung at the top of the profile by a paperclip. The picture was of a young woman, mid twenties at the very oldest, with smooth black hair pulled back into a high ponytail with her bangs held to the side by a hairpin, with deep, dark blue eyes.
The top of the profile read, 'Diana Robertson, newest volunteer. Status: MIA.'
Doc, Rochelle, and Nicole all looked at each other with the same astonished faces before staring back at the file with solemn looks.
Agh! Holy crap an actual update? What's going on here? To answer your question as quickly and simply as I can: one of my best friends was going through a very VERY rough patch in her life, and I was doing my best to help her through it. The patch also concerned another best friend of mine, but he had nothing to do with the patch being rough whatsoever. But the situation seems to have resolved itself for now (hopefully for good), so I'm back to writing like a mother junker!
So, I'm hoping that this update is worth the wait. Hell, over two months? No update is worth that. I'm very sorry to all of my fans! The ones who stuck around that is lol. I hope you all at least like this chapter! I'll work on the next one ASAP!
Oh, also the idea of Fenra's character is credited to Lunar Wolf Fenrir. Before the business with my friend he got my creativity flowing with the character's background and history and what have you. Again: ENJOY!