Author's Notes: To everyone who reviewed this story so far, I love ya guys like a fat kid likes cake, like Charlie Sheen likes banging seven gram rocks. Ya guys are the best!
Review shout-outs: Buckismith, wolfgal97, insomniac, and Nik's stubble.
So, here is the next chapter.
Chapter 4: Eyepatch
Flames danced around the burning town, orange, red, and black ash rained down from above, a fiery wreckage of mental stood in place where a once reliable truck had been, spare parts from the vehicle were scattered and left all over the center of Arkham hill, some were on rooftops, others had been propelled into nearby windows, and the rest had just landed all over the ground, like the sharp, heavy, jagged piece of steel that had landed on Karen herself.
The weight of the mental was pinning Karen to the ground firmly, the jagged edges of it were digging slowly into her cloths, threatening to pierce her skin, both of her arms were stuck under the metal, and she was left trying to force the piece off of her using her body weight alone.
Struggling to lift the weight off of her, she felt the jagged edges of the mental start to dig deeper into her flesh, blood started to drip from the newly formed wounds. By just trying to free herself, she was hurting herself even more.
Karen grunted in pain as she continued to push pass the pain and try to force herself free, but the sound of gargling moaning and groaning caught her attention. She immediately froze, eyes going wide and blood running cold.
The color drained from Karen's face as she looked ahead of her; Walkers, or at least what she thought had to be walkers. They were different looking though, more...deformed. The fact that they had once been average looking humans, seemed almost impossible to believe.
These walkers also didn't move like the ones she had been accustomed to seeing. The walkers she had seen shambled, limped, or in some cases, crawled, but that wasn't the case for what she was seeing now.
The way Arkham hill looked, the way the town felt, that's the way these creatires she was seeing moved like. Their bodies contorted with every step, limbs snapping out and back into place, necks twisting and spinning in ways you'd think their necks would snap or even their heads fall off, some of them were missing body parts; like legs, arms, or jaws, then there were the ones that had too many limbs; extra arms, eyes, legs...heads.
Panic rose in Karen as the creatures made their way towards her, she was slowly losing strength fast, the metal pushing down on her body was making it harder to breathe, her head was still spinning from being thrown by the truck's explosion and fatigue was slowly started to take over her body.
As the creatures crept closer, Karen's vision started to blur, and her body finally gave out on her. She stopped struggling and let the giant piece of metal become dead weight on her body, blinking back tears, she watched as the monstrous looking creatures made their way towards her.
Just as she felt herself losing the battle to stay awake, she heard one of the walkers let out an ear-piercing howl, it then made a leap for her, but before it could make contact with her flesh, an arrow had shot seemingly out of nowhere and invaded itself in the walkers head.
With no strength left to stay awake anymore, Karen finally lost the battle to stay consensus and passed out.
With a strangled gasp, Karen's eyes shot open.
Her vision was blurred, but when it cleared, a familiar pair of blue eyes were staring back at her.
"I thought I was dead." she said in a horse, raspy voice.
Daryl looked away. "Surprised ya ain't." He hadn't said he really was surprised she hadn't died, she had stopped breathing a little bit ago, and after she hadn't responded to him using CPR on her, he was about to shot a arrow through her head, it was only when she had started to breathe again that he had lowered his crossbow.
Karen choked out a bitter laugh, her throat was burning, her head was still spinning, and all she wanted was a drink, maybe some water spiked with rum "Nice to see you too, Dixon."
Picking up her head a little from the floor, she noticed that most of her shirt was torn up and that dried blood had stained it, she also noticed that she had bandages wrapped around parts of her torso, stomach, and her shoulder. Running her fingers against her bandages, she looked at Daryl, silently questioning him.
Daryl shrugged, looking away from her, "The metal cut ya up bad, bandaged ya up the best I could when I managed to get us away from the wreck back to the trading post." He said still not looking at her.
Karen slowly started to pick herself off the cold wooden floor, wincing in pain with every movement. Daryl had noticed her struggling to get on her feet went over her and offered his hand to help her up. Taking his hand, she noticed that they were bandaged heavily, blood had stained the white cloth of the bandages completely and they were now a dark shade of red.
'He must of slashed up his hands trying to save me' She thought to herself, remembering how bad she had been cut up just by trying to lift it off of herself.
Daryl noticed her looking at his hands, "Ain't nothing," He said with a shrug. "Been through worse."
Biting her bottom lip, Karen looked away from Daryl as he helped her to her feet. "So, we gonna talk about what happened out there."
Daryl didn't reply to that, he helped her up, then he thrusted a bottle of water in her hands, he then pointed to a stack of cloths on the counter, "Found of em here, they should fit ya well enough."
Saying a quick thanks, Karen started gulp down the bottle of water, there were millions of questions swimming around her head that she was just dying to ask; Were those things outside even walkers? And if not, than what in god's name were they? What are we going to do now that are only way out is in a giant fireball of destruction? Why didn't you tell me you were from here? Don't you...don't you even trust me?
She sighed, she knew learning the answers to those questions was urgent, but she also knew from experience, when working with a Dixon, it was easier to coax the information out calmly, than attacking with multiple questions at the same time.
The first thing she had to take care of though was getting out of her torn and bloody cloths, last thing she wanted to do was get sick from her own blood or the shreds from her cloths get stuck on something. Turning around, Karen started to unbutton her shirt, barley caring for modesty at the moment.
Daryl raised an eyebrow in confusion when Karen turned around, but after she started to strip off her ruined cloths, he quickly caught on. "The hell you doing, woman?" he asked turning his attention to a dusty window, sounding slightly uncomfortable. "Ya can't change in another room?"
Karen stifled a laugh as she threw off her shirt and started to unclasp her bra, "Sure, Dixon, nothing sounds safer than searching an abounded trading post alone for a room to change in, because ya know, splinting up always works out well in unknown territory."
Scowling at her sarcasm, Daryl turned his head back to her to reply, but shut his mouth just as quickly as he opened. For a split second he couldn't help but notice Karen's bare back, he didn't going to admit it, but she didn't look too bad, from her bronze tanned skin, her soft curves, to the light muscle definition. Realizing he was staring, he looked back out the murky window, trying to get his head focused back to the horrible situation they were now in, gawking at some smartass woman wouldn't do shit to help him. If this was a year ago, than his mind would be imagining Merle saying all kinds of annoying shit in his head, but even his brain knew how things were now, Merle was dead, there wasn't no reason to even make him imagine his brother anymore.
The cloths Karen was changing into weren't anything fancy, but they'd be good enough for now; a sports bra, a long sleeve shirt made of tougher material than her last one, and a new jacket. She was pretty sure that he had gotten all the cloths from the trading post, since they all looked faded and old.
Noticing there some more cloths left, Karen looked through the small pile and saw that at least one of the shirts would fit Daryl. "Hey, Dixon," She through a new shirt at him, he caught it with a baffled look. "Don't give me that look, you're shirt's more ripped up than mine was, and you have twice as much blood on it."
"I'm fine." Daryl said gruffly throwing the shirt back at her.
Karen caught the shirt and through it back at him double the force. "Just change your damn shirt, Dixon. Its covered in blood, and last time I checked, walkers love that shit. You can even cut the sleeves off the damn thing later."
"Aright fine, if it gets ya to shut yer mouth for once." grumbled Daryl as he accepted the shirt. He then glared at Karen and said "Ya can turn away now, some of us got modesty."
"Modesty for what?" Karen asked with tired, small grin on her face.
"Just do it." He replied harshly.
Rolling her eyes, Karen turned around so that she was facing a glass gun cabinet. "There, I'm not looking. Your secret tramp stamps are safe."
Looking down, Karen saw where she had laid just before, their was dried blood, and ripped up bandages all over the floor, she also saw that there was a ballad up leather jacket where her head had laying. She smiled a small, warm smile, knowing that it had to have been Daryl's since he wasn't wearing his anymore 'Guess he isn't that bad...for an asshole.'
She looked back up at the glass cabinet, she saw the reflection of Daryl changing, and when she watched him take off his torn, bloodied shirt, she had to bite her tongue hard so she wouldn't gasp in horror.
Through the reflection of the glass, she saw scars upon scars on Daryl's chest, some long enough to stretch across his whole torso to his back, and others that looked like burns or old gashes. She knew he had scars, hell they all had scars, but not like that. For a second she wondered if he had gotten them in Woodbury, during his capture, but she threw out the thought, those scars looked too old, too healed to be anything given to him recently.
Karen felt sick, she had to look down at the floor, all she wanted to do was ask even more questions now, questions like where, why, and how he had gotten those terrible scars, but instead just said. "So, you gonna tell me whats going on now, Dixon?" She tried to keep her voice even, but she knew she probably failed.
Thinking that Karen had some how gotten a look at his scars, Daryl self-consciously and quickly buttoned up his shirt, stopping only at the last button of the collar "Ain't got much choice now, do I?"
"No, you don't" Karen said firmly, turning back around to look at Daryl, she crossed her arms, and buried the questions about Daryl's scars for later. "You're gonna have to tell me what's going on."
Daryl chewed the inside of his mouth, silently contemplating. He knew he couldn't keep too much a secret anymore, they were up shit's creek without a paddle, and his knowledge of Arkham hill would be the only thing keeping them both from drowning.
Sighing, Daryl said. "Alright, what do ya want to know."
She wanted to ask, 'Where did you get those scars?' Instead she asked "The Siren, what's the deal with that?"
"It's a warning." He said grimly.
The color drained from Karen's face for the second time today. "A warning for what?"
"Nothing good, lets leave it at that."
"And what about those..." Karen was having trouble even trying to name the creatures she had seen before. "We're those things even walkers?"
"I'm not sure." He said, rubbing his tired eyes "They looked like walkers, but they...they didn't act like em."
"What do you mean act like them?" She questioned stepping forward.
"They didn't try to eat you when they had a chance, they actually tried to attack me, not eat, attack. They almost seemed like they knew what they were doing."
Karen was starting to second guess if she even wanted to get answers about what was going on anymore. One of the few advantages they had over walkers, was that they were smarter than they were. Walkers were mindless, feral, flesh eaters, but if you were smart, you could survive an encounter with them, but if these...ghouls didn't have that set back, if they were actually self-aware, than surviving would be harder than it had ever been.
She was about to ask about the diary she had read in Daryl's old house, when something struck a chord in her brain, something Daryl had just said was sitting right with her.
"Hold on, Dixon, "Karen stepped closer to him, till they were only a foot apart. "Was that siren ever on a timer?"
Daryl shook his head, confused about what she was trying to get at.
"If the siren is a warning, and the siren isn't on timer, that means..." Her eyes widened in realization
Daryl suddenly caught on to what Karen was hinting at, his face darkened and his scowl returned. "That means someone else is alive here, and the warning's for us."
A towering, old building stood at the edge of Arkham hill, the shadow it cast over the surrounding land was unnaturally dark, the broken windows, portals to the inky blackness leaked out a darkness through the shattered remains, the surrounding area was barren, marked by jagged, rocky terrain and steep cliffs on all opposing sides but the entrance. The building had one way in, and one way out, no other escape, no other entrace.
Deep inside the building, past the old blood stained walls, past the decaying corpses, that littered almost every floor, there was a man, standing near a window, looking out at the town of Arkham hill. A cold, sinister smile had found its way to his face.
It had taken some time, so much waiting, so much planning, but finally, it was time for the game to start.
The man walked over to an old-looking console, there were numerous switches, levers and buttons, but, he only needed to use one at the moment. He lightly pushed a faded red button, then a loud and blaring siren horn started to echo through out the town.
Howls and screeches could faintly be heard over the siren, and the man's demented smile only grew larger.
Walking away from the console, the man started whistling to himself, as made his way back over to the window to enjoy the view of Arkham hill, he made sure to pick up a discarded eyepatch off of the floor.
Author's Notes: Now the story really begins. Bloody hell it took forever to get to this part. I wrote up so many different ways I wanted this story to go, but I'm happy now it has a one way path now. Updates will now be twice a week, since I want to get this story finished before I end up getting writer's block!
Well thanks again for reading, please send me ya feedback, good or bad, I love it all.
Till next time,