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    templar514's Avatar
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    Angel Heller: a We're Alive novel [title subject to change for we're alive canon]

    [SPOILERS] [very minor universe spoilers] [don't really effect the plot of we're alive]

    Hey there We're Alive fans if you could please read this whole intro (yes noone does that but hopefully this will explain some things)! This is a little taste of my upcoming We're Alive novel that I am working on! It is set in the We're Alive universe however some things like the location and minor events may be changed to ensure that it stays within the We're Alive universe! It will be a bi-weekly series where I will post one chapter! My story follows Will and his group of young survivors as they try to make it in ravaged and bombed Heller, Colorado! This story will be written parallel to my co-writer's story as two separate "novels" but one big story. His story is in the exact same town and follows a father in search of his daughter throughout Heller. Be sure to check it out as many events will intertwine making for a cool and hopefully unique way of storytelling! This is just a taste of the novel and includes the prologue and first chapter. My co-writer will have his account set up and story posted hopefully soon! I will update with his username and such! (PS i know the spacing is weird but it did not format right. I will fix it for future chapters) ENJOY





    TWO HOURS AFTER INFECTION. HELLER, COLORADO.
    Smoke*
    There was a lot of smoke.
    They were just kid’s hours ago.*
    They were infected. They were going to kill him. He had no choice.
    They were just kids.*
    He pulled the trigger because he didn’t want to die.
    Just.*
    There was a lot of smoke.
    Kids.*
    He coughed his guts out. The mission turned into a shit show before it started. The soldier was only 22 and he was in hell. That is what it looked like anyways. The city looked and smelled like burning sulfur.
    Fire and brimstone.*
    The soldier had been knocked out. An entire bus of schoolchildren blown to bits. The soldier pulled himself off the ground using his rifle as a crutch.
    This is my rifle. *
    He looked at the wreckage. He had done that. Minutes ago the bus was full of children and infected. He had fired into the crowd as they scrambled for escape or scrambled for his blood.
    This is my gun.*
    He couldn’t tell clean from dirty. That was what they coined uninfected and infected. There were three other soldiers before the explosion. One of the soldiers had been pulled into the bus through a window. He had dropped a primed grenade. The Corporal had quickly grabbed the grenade and lobbed it through one of the windows. He had dived for cover.
    The Corporal shook his head. His helmet was still on. It had saved his life. He scanned the flames and burnt corpses. He called out for anyone.
    You killed them.*
    There was no answer. A sound grabbed his attention behind him. It was a gurgling sound. The corporal ran to the sound quickly. It was his Commanding Officer. When he got closer however he was horrified. The half crippled body of his CO lurched out of the shadow of a small Sedan and into the light of the fire. The CO’s eyes were dark black and he was spewing blood as he crawled closer.
    The Corporal cursed bringing up his rifle. A terrible pain went through his shoulder. The Corporal yelped and pulled the trigger. The bullet hit the CO in the shoulder. The CO kept coming.
    The Corporal was crying. He fell on his ass still crying.
    The CO kept crawling.
    The Corporal brought his rifle up again propping his M4a1 on his knee. He screamed profanity at the CO and pulled the trigger.
    The CO’s head snapped back.
    The Corporal covered his face as blood spewed.
    What the fuck is this.*
    The Corporal sobbed. He sobbed for a good while before he heard the screeches of the infected.
    Fear*
    For the first time in his life he actually felt true fear. This killing machine. This kid was a killing machine, and he was scared. He was a kid and he was shitting himself. He wasn’t a killing machine anymore.
    He quickly picked himself up and ran through the downtown district. Snow was beginning to fall around him. The entire downtown area of Heller, Colorado was lit up like a fucking Christmas tree.
    Are we really losing?*
    The Corporal ran from the sounds. The sounds got closer. He heard the sounds on his barely functioning radio telling everyone to pull out and contain the outskirts of the city.
    We can’t win.*
    The Corporal finally turned on Fifth Street and brought his rifle up. His adrenaline masked the pain now.
    Empty*
    Fires were burning many of the buildings. The bombs that were dropped had done their job. They didn’t leave many places for the infected to hide.
    A helicopter flew overhead with its spotlight. It went right over the Corporal. He screamed. The helicopter kept going.
    All around him fires continued to burn. He slumped and stared at the ground. Death wasn’t supposed to go like this. No hope for the afterlife. He was already in hell after all.
    Another sound caught his attention. A small group of teens were two streets away running from something.
    Just kids.*
    He had to save them.
    The Corporal quickly ran to the kid’s. When he got closer he noticed what they were running from.
    There were four of them. They screeched to each other like animals as they tried to corral the kids into a corner.
    Won’t let the kids die*
    The Corporal screamed as loud as he could. He pointed down the street to his right. There had been less infected. They had a much better shot at finding the soldiers on the outskirts. The kids were still panicking but followed his instructions.
    The Corporal pushed the last kid behind him and fired at the small group of infected. He killed one. The other three screeched and backed away.
    Since when did they think?*
    He fired a few more rounds and ran into the alleyway to his left. To his satisfaction all three infected followed him. The children ran safely to the right and into an abandoned pub. It looked safe.
    It was better than nothing.
    The Corporal quickly turned slightly and fired a few rounds down the alleyway to keep them guessing. He heard the sound of bullet meeting flesh.
    This alley ends soon.*
    The Corporal quickly turned again and was face to face with one of the infected. The middle aged man screamed and knocked the rifle from the Corporal’s hands. Training took over and the Corporal quickly unsheathed his pistol and fired point blank into the man’s face. The Corporal quickly turned as quick as he could to cover his face from the blood.
    As he did this the last infected quickly jumped on his back.
    The Corporal lurched the infected over his head and onto the ground. He had lost his gun.
    The infected recovered quickly and lurched on the soldier again.
    I wasn’t fast enough.*
    The infected woman bit into his fore arm as he brought it up to cover his face. She held on like a German Shepard. He quickly unsheathed his combat knife and shoved it through her temple.
    So much blood.
    The head spewed blood like a science project volcano. Her grip on his fore arm loosened. The bite had not been deep but he knew what would happen next.
    I knew I was fucked when this all happened.
    He waited.
    He felt normal.
    Slow turner. I have time.*
    He glanced down at his combat knife and then up at the building he was next to. It was a veterinary clinic.
    I’m not a soldier or a scared kid.
    The Corporal quickly burst through the front door, closing and locking it behind him. He grabbed a rag and some other chemicals.
    What am I?*
    He fashioned a tourniquet and grabbed his knife.
    The military will think I’m dead even if I show my face after this.*
    Corporal Amon Garter grabbed the knife…
    I’m a survivor.*
    And began cutting.



    HELLER, COLORADO: 2 WEEKS AFTER BOMBING. 2 WEEKS AFTER INFECTION.
    “Is it dead?"
    “Of course it’s dead. You shot it.”
    “Thomas, you know I’m not a great shot.”
    Thomas looked over at Will after hearing that. Will shrugged.
    Thomas let out a large sigh. “We need to check if there’s anything on him.”
    Will was still aiming down the iron sights of his old M1a1 carbine at the corpse. He had learned that things are never as they seem in this new world. He slowly moved his way over to the bleeding corpse in the blinding white snow.
    Thomas was right behind him carrying a fairly good sized combat knife. He had a holstered snub nosed .38 revolver with only two rounds. He had it literally for the worst emergency possible. Both carried large camping backpacks and were covered from head to toe in layers of clothing and patched cloth.
    Will’s mid length, sandy blonde hair could be seen barely peeking out from under his beanie. He was sure there was a look of fear coming from his barely visible blue eyes. He wished he would’ve brought snow goggles. The bandana covering his mouth was barely enough to help shield his face.
    From a distance it would be impossible to tell that both were only nineteen years old.
    The walk to the corpse that was only five meters away seemed to be a century. Both slowly crunched in the snow trying to be as quiet as possible. The pair constantly scanned the houses of the suburban neighborhood. They were positioned in the middle of the street. That screamed ambush.
    Will wasn’t sure why he hadn’t traded his leather cowboy boots for snow boots. They were a part of his past he supposed.
    They finally were close enough to the corpse to see the clear exit wound through the dead man’s back. The M1a1 didn’t fire huge rounds but it got the job done. The wound was barely dripping blood still. Thomas readied his combat knife as Will nodded to him. Will kicked the corpse over still aiming his weapon at it. He instinctively backed up as the once thought dead corpse reached its hand out. The thing was still breathing, barely, but breathing. The shot had gone through the man’s stomach. Will supposed since the rounds were small, they didn’t quite hit enough to kill on the spot. It let out a low growl as blood and saliva poured out of its mouth. It had a blood crusted beard and the hair on its head had apparently been balding. Its eyes had a slight black tint to them that everyone infected with the disease seemed to have.
    The poor creature did not have much time left.
    Will liked to think of the man as a creature now anyways. He was infected with something. The news stations had called it a strain of rabies, but before the news stopped reporting, they had mentioned a type of fungus. That is about all Will knew on the subject. The infected were practically animals. They were ruthless and attacked just about anything that wasn’t part of their club.
    Will pointed his gun at the creature before him, not sure what to do. Thomas pushed the rifle down in Will’s hand and knelt down closer to the corpse. Thomas raised up his Snow goggles and pulled down the bandana covering his mouth. He pulled back his hood as well. A scruffy beard was slowly forming. Both had facial hair but Will had always, for some reason, envied Thomas’s ability to grow it perfectly. It looked like on a generic detective in a crime drama or something.
    “I’m truly sorry this happened to you Henry.” Thomas said.
    “Henry? Thomas, what the hell are you talking about?” Will asked in disgust.
    Thomas shrugged, “Well he has a name doesn’t he?” Thomas pointed the knife at henry. “He looks like a Henry.”
    Will let out a sigh.
    Thomas looked back down at the corpse in the eyes. The corpse was still trying to move. Will guessed there was so much blood loss the corpse simply couldn’t move.
    Now like I was saying before I was interrupted by my solemn friend over there.” Thomas pointed at Will while saying this. “I was apologizing that this happened to you. You didn’t ask for this man, but we need your shit, and your dead anyways. So, goodnight man. Say hi to my Grandma Sally for me.”
    In one swift motion Thomas brought the blade down hard into the man’s skull. He yanked out the blade.
    “You done?” Will asked
    “If you’re done being a spoilsport” Thomas replied
    Will didn’t even acknowledge the comment, “Check him for stuff. I’ll watch our back.”
    “Wait wasn’t it you that said you’re not a great shot?”
    “I wouldn’t miss if I shot you from here.” Will remarked
    “Ok point taken.”
    Thomas pulled up two protein bars from the man’s jacket pocket. He tossed one to Will.
    “Well that worked out perfectly.” Thomas said as he opened up the wrapper and put the protein bar in his mouth.
    “Anything else? Will asked. He was beginning to get a little nervous. He glanced around at all of the snow covered houses in the suburban area. The fact that there was only one infected here was troubling.
    “You out past curfew son?” Thomas asked as he wiped his hands on his gloved hands on his jeans and stood up.
    “No but I’m pretty sure I heard a dinner bell the second I shot that guy.” Will paused, “wow you just said son, just… why.” Will said
    Thomas ignored the second comment and nodded. “It is weird that we haven’t seen anyone or thing aside from this guy.” He glanced around at the houses. “There wasn’t anything on this dude. I like the plan that you had where we leave.”
    Will nodded, “Thanks for the agreement. Let’s head back.” Will looked at the slowly setting sun. “It’s getting dark. Map this and we’ll start here tomorrow.”
    Thomas saluted mockingly. “Yes sir captain killjoy sir!”
    Will looked in the road behind the man that caught his attention. It was about twenty meters away.
    “Second thought, wait a second.” Will said.
    “Dude you just said we should leave, let’s go.” Thomas moved his had in a waving motion toward the road.
    Will ignored him and briskly jogged closer to find that the object was a snow covered teddy bear. Will picked it up and dusted it off.
    “Found something for Jessica over here!” Will called to Thomas
    Thomas had finished looking through the wallet and tossed it. “Nice! God knows she needs something to play with aside from those crappy wooden toys you widdled for her.”
    Will put his hands up. “Hey she’s only seven! I don’t thin-“
    Will stopped immediately. In the road, one hundred yards away, a figure was watching.
    The figure did not have his weapon drawn. In fact, it seemed the figure was just as shocked to see them.
    “Thomas. Don’t move too fast but look.”
    Thomas glanced up at the figure. “Um, what the hell?”
    Will lowered his rifle and waved at the figure. “Hey! We don’t want any trouble!”
    Will knew not to trust anyone out here. A small part of him still gave people the benefit of the doubt. This guy wasn’t even armed.
    The figure waved back but before he could say hi he tensed up at the sight of something in the road behind Thomas and Will.
    The figured pointed behind them and screamed, “Run!”
    Will quickly turned around and heard the motor of an old gas guzzling truck. Will turned back around again and the figure was running away.
    “What the hell are you-” Will managed to let out.
    He made eye contact with Thomas. Both had the same look of fear. They knew the sound of that truck.
    “Thomas, in the house, now!” Will pointed at the two story modest looking house that was closest to the pair.
    “Already on it captain obvious!” Thomas was at the window first. He used his slung crowbar to break one of the windows. He dived in quickly.
    Will sprinted as fast as he could as he was five meters from the window he saw the long military troop carrier pull around the corner. The truck had an extra-large bed that could carry at least twenty troops on a good day. The tarp that usually covered the troops however was gone.
    As soon Will dove through the window bullets began pounding the walls of the old house. If Will counted his bullets right he still had about seven left in his clip.
    “Hold your fire! Hold your fire!” a distinct voice yelled over the firing. “Trigger happy animals. You know the General said not to kill on sight!”
    The men immediately stopped.
    Will knew exactly who these guys were. They were military. Well they were once military before defecting for who knows what reason. Will and Thomas knew what they were for however and that’s all that mattered. They weren’t friendly. Will and Thomas had seen their fair share of people killed by these lunatics.
    “Look, you guys know how this goes! Our boss isn’t messing around anymore!” the voice yelled. “Give us what you have and we promise we might not kill you!”
    There was a brief pause of silence.
    The voice let out a sigh. “Look I was enjoying a glass of some very expensive scotch before I got sent on this milk run so hurry your response up befor-“
    Will propped the rifle over the edge of the window. He held the rifle over his head and squeezed the trigger three times.
    Eight left.
    Seven left.
    Six left.
    The soldiers ran for cover. Will nodded to Thomas. Both bolted through the house as the soldiers gained back their bearings and began to fire again. The pair quickly ran for the back of the house where a door led out into the back yard. As they both bolted through the kitchen a figure lurched from the corner and pushed Thomas against the wall.
    “Will! Bitch alert!” Thomas yelped
    Will quickly kicked the infected woman off of Thomas. He fired a round straight through her head with one arm holding the rifle, and the other arm holding the teddy bear.
    Five left.
    Thomas was gawking at the corpse that almost killed him. Will quickly kicked open the wooden door and shoved the teddy bear in Thomas’s hands. He grabbed Thomas’s shoulder and shoved him out the door.
    Both bolted through the backyard. Thomas quickly ran for the hole in the fence at the back of the yard. There was a swing set and snow filled sand box that the pair had to traverse to get to the other side. Thomas had always been faster than Will and made it to the hole in the gate first. Will turned with his carbine raised to cover him. Thomas was crouching through the small hole in the gate at the front of the yard burst open.
    A man in winter clothing mixed with military fatigues and a gas mask rushed into the yard. He did not immediately see the two teens and was surprised by the two sudden rounds that were fired at him.
    Four left
    Three left
    The first shot was a clean miss but the second round caught the man in the throat. The soldier let out a gargling grunt as he grasped at the blood spewing wound quickly and was caught by another soldier behind him as he fell back. Will was about to fire at the man that caught his dying comrade as the gun jammed.
    “The one time I don’t clean you, you son of a-” Will mumbled
    A burst of rounds hit a few inches to the right of Will’s head. His eyes went wide. Right… inner monologue later, he thought
    He quickly followed Thomas through the hole as a burst hit the fence behind him. Both Will and Thomas glanced at each other and without a word ran into the woods behind the house as fast as they could. They would not stop running until at least a mile from that spot.
    When they both stopped Will glanced at Thomas, “I thought I was captain killjoy.”
    “I usually would have something witty to say to that but…”, Thomas fell back in the snow, “I think I can make an exception.”

    ***
    The walk back to their home was long and grueling. They were not able to take their usual route because of the increased marauder presence, and had to hoof it through the wood. Usually the pair would stay right at the wood line, close to the road, but after the firepower they saw on that troop carrier, they didn’t want to get blown to pieces needless to say. They carefully worked their way through the woods, checking every step. As time progressed, many of the infected froze over, and many were buried under the snow. The only issue was the infected didn’t always die from freezing over. One week ago Thomas almost was grabbed by half of a man protruding from a large frozen chunk of ice in the ground. These infected were slow but still just as deadly with the element of surprise. Will had noticed an increased amount of them as well in the past few days. He could have sworn he saw one that looked like it covered itself in snow. The only thing that gave it away was the huge pool of blood covering the ice patch and large chunks of human remains in front of it. Thomas and Will labeled these infected, campers. They were both avid gamers before everything fell.
    They finally emerged from the woods to the downtown area. The downtown area of Heller, Colorado was a beacon in the middle of the wilderness that surrounded it. It was about 3x3 miles of city. It wasn’t huge but it was big enough to harbor a good amount of infected. Denver was about thirty miles to the east but there wasn’t much in between there. The biggest thing Heller had was an airport about two miles to the north of the downtown district. Will and Thomas had noted that as a possible way out of Heller, but chances were things weren’t much better anywhere else. Nothing had been heard on the radio in about two weeks from anyone.
    The buildings on the outskirts were in much better shape than the buildings closer to the center of the district. Will and Thomas walked down one of the roads that led straight to their home. 4th street was crudely scraped into a sign that had been blown over. At the very beginning the military lost control quick. In fact it was amazing how fast they lost control. Will and Thomas had lived in the middle class suburban area that was connected to the downtown district. Both had seen the chaos unfold as the military dropped their bombs on the city. Buildings that Will and his mother used to shop at for their “back to school sells” reduced to nothing but rubble.
    Mom…
    Will shook his head and focused. It wasn’t the time to grieve yet.
    About ¾ of the buildings remained intact but only about half of them were still safe to live in. Heavy snow fall was weighing down on some of the broken frames of the buildings and occasionally one could be heard collapsing.
    Will and Thomas cautiously eyed all of the buildings on their left and right as they walked down the middle of the street. Both always felt that feeling that they were being watched.
    They finally made it to their home. Willie’s pub stood right in front of them, completely intact. Both buildings on either side were caved in and collapsed. Thomas had remarked that it had to be good luck. The building itself was dug into the ground, almost New York style, so that the roof was really only at about Will, and Thomas’s waste.
    In the beginning when they had found this place, they went to work quickly. Jack was about 21 years old and had been wielder in his past job. They had managed to use the scrap metal from the surrounding buildings to make an effective array of metal bars that covered the top of the entire pit surrounding the building. The bars were pretty stable but they were constantly improving them as time went on. Thomas pulled out a key from his jacket pocket and unlocked the hatch that led down to the stairs.
    The pair descended the stairs and Thomas stopped to lock the hatch behind him. The windows had already been barred but to be extra safe, Jack had wielded more scrap into effective metal plates that covered the windows completely, blocking out the light from the inside. Smoke could be seen coming from the small chimney on the side.
    “I specifically told them not to light the damn fireplace.” Thomas said, “Lights our place up like a fucking candle in a prison cell.”
    Will shrugged, “c’mon man it’s probably freezing.” Will glanced over at Thomas, “you know those electric heaters only do so much.”
    Thomas shook his head. “Well let’s get in there. I’m gonna at least enjoy it a bit before we dowse it.”
    Thomas walked to the door and knocked a five beat tune on the wooden frame.
    A two, two response was heard.
    Thomas whistled and hit the door twice.
    The door creaked open. A shotgun peeked through the crack right at Thomas’ face.
    “Jesus Liam!” Thomas pulled the shotgun out of Malcolm’s grasp quickly. “Gun safety 101 jack ass! I’m the only one who knows the code, so point the damn gun down!”
    A frail 16 year old boy with light brown hair and deep black frame glasses quickly backed up from the door. Thomas and Will both emerged inside and Will closed the door behind them quickly.
    He stuttered, “I- I’m sorry Thomas! I just wanted to be careful!”
    The second Thomas noticed how scared Liam looked he softened up. His stance eased up and he lowered the shotgun to a grounded Liam.
    “Uh, its ok.” Thomas knelt down and pulled Liam up. “You did good champ. It’s just been an eventful day.”
    Thomas dusted off Liam’s shoulders and patted him on the back.
    “I’ll take your post buddy, you get some rest” Thomas said gently.
    “Oh, thanks!” Liam seemed happy but was definitely confused. “Mind if I dip into the jerky rations we have?”
    “Fine by me” Thomas said, “May want to ask Malcolm first. He’s the one that killed the deer for it. Use the radio behind the bar counter but be careful. He may not want to be heard.”
    Malcolm was the groups designated hunter. That was the best way to describe him. He had grown up in a cabin with his family about 10 miles into the wilderness. His long auburn hair was usually under a hat or beanie with “buck hunter” on it. He wasn’t the most talkative of the group but he seemed to be really grow a friendship with Liam. Malcolm was only a year older than him but he seemed to have the big brother mentality down. He had even taken Liam out a couple of times on scouting missions. Needless to say they didn’t last long because Liam simply wasn’t made for the wilderness. Malcolm was currently on a hunting run until the next morning. He always managed to come back safe so no one questioned him.
    What Liam was good at, however, was planning. His job most of the time was to check rations, plan what was needed, and many times he could estimate the best places to hit for supplies. Most of the time his predictions were spot on. He was still a viable member of the group and was still needed.
    “Where are the others?” Will asked.
    He was referring to the other three members of the small group. It was only about eight o’clock and most were usually up at this hour.
    “Samantha, Victoria, and Jessica are all asleep in the ex-owner’s rooms.”
    “Will?” A small girl’s voice was heard from down one of the hallways in the pub.
    “Or she Jessica was awake the whole time.” Liam remarked.
    “Hey there Jessie girl.” Will said with a smile.
    Jessica ran to Will and gave him a big hug. She was very small even for her age and was practically absorbed by all the gear and clothing Will had on. She was clothed in some very old power puff girl pajamas that Malcolm had found out in the woods when hunting. That was the story anyways. Will had decided to not question it and simply washed the clothes thoroughly.
    “Close your eyes and hold out your hands.” Will asked nicely
    Jessica obeyed quickly and held her hands out. Will put the teddy bear in her hands.
    Her first reaction was to quickly throw it down because of the snow and ice still on the fur.
    Thomas was laughing his ass off at the sight.
    “Oh gosh I’m so sorry!” Will quickly picked up the teddy bear.
    Jessica laughed at Thomas laughing and remarked, “Its ok Will! She’s cute! What’s her name?”
    “You get to name her silly! Let me put her by the fire for a bit and then you can take her back to bed.”
    ***
    When Jessica had finally gone to bed with her teddy bear Will fell back into one of the ripped up couches that had been salvaged. They had already dowsed the fire and Will was simply sitting in the chair out of exhaustion. He had a lamp on and was just watching the light, thinking for some time. It was about 4 AM at this point and Jack seemed to always wake up early for some reason. Habits didn’t change Will had supposed. Jack had made a pot of coffee on the small stove in the kitchen. Jack sat down on the couch to the side of the dowsed fireplace. He took a sip from his cup and smiled at Will.
    “Willie I know you kind of coordinate stuff around here.” He took another sip. “But what in the hell are you still doing up?”
    “I just put Jessica to sleep finally.” Will scratched his chin. “She kept talking about her mother.”
    Jack put his coffee on the table in the middle of the living area.
    “I’m guessing that was pretty rough.”
    “Ya that’s the understatement of the century.”
    Jack gave him a sympathetic look, “You’re doing the best you can man. I mean she is alive because of you.”
    “Jack, I killed her mother.”
    “She told you to.”
    “What does that change?”
    Jack stood up and put his hand on Will’s shoulder. “Will, I know you feel like what you did was wrong but…” Jack squeezed his shoulder a bit. “These are much different times. The difference between right and wrong is kind of blurred now. You know what would have happened if you didn’t shoot.”
    “She would have turned.”
    “Exactly. You saved her from that.” Jack pointed to Jessica’s room. “And you saved her from that.”
    “I guess.”
    Jack eased up on Will’s shoulder. “I’m going to go check all of the defenses for the day.” He paused. “How about you sit this out and you get some rest. I’ll get Thomas to do it.”
    “Jack.”
    “Nope. You sit here.” Jack picked up his coffee and walked to the entrance of the pub. “God knows being awake for 32 hours isn’t going to help anything.”
    Jack kicked the wooden chair that Thomas had fallen asleep on while keeping watch. Thomas was startled and fell back with a loud crash. He let out a groan.
    “Time to get up and work for your safety Jackass.”
    Thomas looked up and mock saluted.
    “That’s more like it.”
    Will smiled and laid his head back. He was asleep the second his eyes were closed.

  2. #2
    CommyBat's Avatar
    "Lurker"

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    Here is a story I am beginning to work on. Templar's and my stories will intertwine.


    ________________________________


    It was like I couldn’t keep silent. As I crouched under the counter I tried to steady and quiet my breath but it seemed to just get louder and louder. My heart was pounding so hard in my chest it felt that my whole body jerked every time it beat. They began to wander closer to me and my mind began to create hundreds of scenarios of how this could play out, most of them ending in my demise. I thought to myself how I could have been so foolish for only one can of corn and two cans of beans; then again rations were getting lower by the day at the camp. I had the three cans in a bag that I had made by sowing multiple pieces of cloth together. I quickly decided I had to throw one of the cans at the nearest shelf inside of the grocery store in order to buy me some crucial seconds in running out of this hell whole.
    "Dammit! These fucking Zombies couldn't have shown up after I raided the comic book store"
    I was looking forward to raiding Capes and Collectables a comic store just down the street in order to give me something to distract myself from the world I now live in. The only reason I didn’t see these zombies wander into the store sooner was because it was the fourth day of a horrible snow storm and with no goggles, it’s hard to see anything that's not within biting range. I guess this sudden change in weather was due to all the nuclear fallout that happened when the outbreak first started. I gripped the can of corn in my hand.
    “Ill miss you”
    I kissed the can then tossed it over the counter making it hit one of the shelves, somehow causing multiple expired goods to fall to the floor making a louder noise than I thought.
    “Jackpot”
    All the zombies rushed to the sound and I was off. I ran as hard I could for fear of them following me. It was also hard to hear with all this wind, my legs felt sore from being crouched in fear for so long and now going in full adrenaline sprint mode. I retraced my steps to the camp. When I turned the corner I saw it.
    “There’s the camp, thank the lord” in a half exhausted voice.
    Our base was the second floor of an accounting firm building; we had bolted all the door shut so the only way in was a hole we had put in the side being covered by a wooden palate. I jumped up on the dumpster about to get onto the fence to get inside when suddenly I felt a pull on my leg.
    “SHIT” “Someone help me”
    Luckily I was able to grab the fence to keep the zombie from pulling me down to the ground or as I like to call it the kill zone. I held on tight and kick the ugly bastards face at least eight times but he wouldn't let go. Finally, Bruce came to my call pulled out his 38 magnum and gunned down the zombie from behind, then we both crawled inside. I feel to the floor once inside panting, confused if I was high on adrenaline or fear right now. I had never been more afraid, well that’s not actually true the first time I encountered these things was the scariest moment of my life.
    TWO WEEKS AGO…
    *Screaming and banging are heard from down stairs*
    I turned towards my wife screaming at her to help me push the wardrobe against the door, but she remained still frozen with fear as she clinched our daughter crouching in the corner of the bedroom. I yelled again to hopefully dispel her from her fear, yelling
    “Samantha! Samantha! Help me move this! Get up and help!”
    Then I heard what I most feared the door broke down. I rushed to the master bedroom door and threw my body up against it.
    “Shit! Shit! Shit! Samantha open that back window and use the fire ladder now!”
    That seemed to work, she got up and opened the bedroom window and threw the ladder out of it and with Jessica in her arms she began to climb out the window. I could feel the footsteps of them rushing up the stairs then BANG one of them slammed up against the door making me stumble but I quickly went back to the door to keep them out
    “I knew I should have put a fucking lock on this door”
    I turned and Samantha and Jessica were gone but so was the ladder…When I saw the ladder had fallen I instinctively yelled to see if Samantha and Jessica were ok.
    “Samantha are you and Jessica ok?”
    “Yes, but the ladder slipped off the window frame”
    “Fuck…I will be fine just try and get to a car”
    Just as I said that I heard an ambulance that seemed to be driving through the neighborhood. I slowly felt the resistance from the door leave. The zombies must have been interested in the new sound. After a while, I went to the window where Samantha had climbed out of and looked down. I saw some footsteps leading to the street and the fallen fire escapes ladder I had to get down there; but I sure as hell wasn't going to the house, one of those things could have stayed behind. I saw my target a large pile of snow that I had made the day before was relatively close. If I could jump onto that I could be fine. I balanced on the edge of the balcony then I proceeded to jump, but I slipped fell and was knocked unconscious. That’s when Bruce and his group found me and took me in. I still haven’t found Samantha or Jessica.
    “You know if you keep getting in trouble like this all the time I may be tempted to let those zombies eat you one of these days”
    Bruce stood above me chuckling as I looked up to the glass ceiling thinking about Samantha and Jessica. I laughed back half distracted by the thought of my family being out there for so long without me. Bruce could tell I wasn't all there he sat down beside me and told me to get up. Bruce wasn't much of an intimate guy but for some reason, he was able to connect with me more than anyone else in the group.
    “We will find them Heath, we will find your wife and daughter”
    “It been two weeks Bruce! Two fucking weeks!
    I paused and saw Bruce begin to look upset.
    “I am sorry Bruce I know you have been doing as much as you can to help me”
    Bruce nodded in thanks. Then Pierce came over and faced Bruce.
    Pierce was Bruce’s unspoken second in command, he was always looking for ways to improve our situation, and was scared of very little. Let's just say if Pierce was cautious then you might as well turn tail and run. He is 6 feet 4 inches tall, I think, African American and as he liked to say over and over again ‘didn’t have any time to lollygag'. He was part of every scouting expedition and I even heard he lit up some marauders in a firefight not too long ago. A real apocalypse man.
    “now is as good time as any to relocate, the blizzard is beginning to die down”
    Bruce replied to Pierce’s comment
    “go check on our ammunition situation and tell Shelton to keep and extra eye out for marauders, since the storm is going down they will be easier to spot and so will we”
    Bruce turned back to me but before he could say anything my curiosity got the best of me.
    “You never told me why we have to just get up and move. We have a good set up here”
    Bruce said one word that over feed my curiosity “Marauders”
    "What? Are they back? I thought we left them behind when we moved last time?"
    Bruce shook his head
    “Nope, they must have followed us which gives us all the more incentive to keep moving”
    I hadn’t actually run into any marauders yet but from what I have heard they consist of ex-military soldiers that had enough of taking orders, all geared up and ready to kill for a few canned good or sometimes just for sport.
    “Where did you see them?” Hoping it was far enough away so that I could actually sleep tonight.
    Bruce looked at me with serious eyes and said “Last night when I was walking around I saw two people on 32nd street at first they seemed friendly”
    I interrupted saying “How did you know that”
    “One of the guys picked up an old teddy bear on the street, but before I could say anything to them I saw one of the Marauders trucks driving up on the two men so I quickly pointed towards the truck and yelled ‘Run’ than I and ran back down the ally's backtracking and covering my footsteps. I heard shooting and I hope they made it out but knowing the Marauders they probably didn't poor sons of bitches, it doesn’t pay to be nice in this world anymore.”
    Bruce had some sort of tie to the Marauders but he hadn’t shared how with the group yet. It made me sorta uneasy but I still trusted him”
    Bruce looked at me grabbed my shoulder and said: "Heath I will do everything that I can with keeping the group in mind to find your wife and daughter, and when we do find them ill finally have a good reason to open that last bottle of 1847 old Forester Whisky.”
    "What the apocalypse isn't a good enough reason," I said jokingly.
    Bruce began to get up and replied “you don’t know how many I started with”
    As Bruce walked away I said "Hey Bruce thanks…for everything, you have done for me and this group. You are a great guy and I’m glad it was you that found my dumbass knockout out cold in the snow”
    Bruce laughed and replied “And don’t make me regret it Heath” as he walked towards the gate to talk to Shelton who was on watch. I laid back down and faced the walls where I had made sketches of Samantha and Jessica’s face. I lightly brushed the paper that was now the only way to feel close to my family then I drifted off to sleep.
    Last edited by CommyBat; Jul 17th, 2016 at 03:01 PM. Reason: Fixed spelling and punctuation errors

  3. #3
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    HERE IT IS HELLER FANS! I apologize for the delay but now I have much more free time and I will honor my original promise of every other week updates!



    HELLER, COLORADO
    2 WEEKS AFTER INFECTION
    MALCOLM-
    The snow was finally beginning to die down, and Malcolm could finally see the structure he had been scoping out since the sounds of canned goods hit the floor. It had been about three hours since he had set up his trusty M40 sniper rifle. He had “borrowed” it from a dead SWAT team member during the initial outbreak. He had instantly went to work repainting it to fit the current environment. The silencer he had looted from the gun store was a nice touch as well.
    He was positioned right at the ridge line of the woods, where it opened up into town. The small mini market was positioned about thirty meters from the ridge line. Malcolm had his rifle set up on a root protruding from the ground next to a huge oak tree. The bipod on the rifle was helping him keep it steady. He hadn’t moved anything but maybe his hands gripping the cold white painted metal of his rifle. Even through his gloves he felt it.
    He wasn’t as decked out in winter gear as his fellow survivors at the pub. He preferred to wear a lightweight under armor thermal and a white jacket over it. The same went for his legs, with only two layers, a pair of old wrangler jeans and white camo winter pants. He had a white ski mast that was covered by the hood of his jacket. He had ski goggles as well, but only used them in snow storms. All these variables made him much less conspicuous, but did not usually allow him to stay out as long as Will and Thomas. Not for comfort purposes, just for survival purposes. He also had shoulder and knee pads strapped on inside of his jacket and white camo winter pants.
    `He carried a heavy thermal blanket in his bag at all times that he would cover himself with when he was hunkered down in sniping positions like this. He almost always had to sleep in buildings to survive the nights. That was one reason for scoping out the mini market. Night was fast approaching, he needed food, and something was in there. In other words, he was going to kill every living thing in there and sleep with a full belly tonight.
    He had learned however that it was best to hunker down in the cold “super storms”, as Thomas had called them then to try to navigate to any structures.
    Malcolm had been on a routine hunting expedition and hadn’t come across anything for the past two days. He knew he couldn’t come back empty handed or they would be in a bit of a predicament. In fact, the fact that he had come back with food the past two weeks was a miracle. He had found countless frozen carcasses of rabbits and other small game. Sadly a good amount of them had already been gnawed on by infected that were passing through the woods.
    If they ate those, it was a death wish.
    Over the past two weeks he had been able to get away with grabbing a couple frozen squirrels every few days, along with canned goods. He knew soon enough they would have to relocate. The biggest thing he had killed in these past two weeks was a huge buck that he nicknamed “bubba” before shooting. It had been only about half a mile from the small pub that the group called home. That was luck and he knew they would run out. The deer had been enough to keep them going for the past week. They had kept the meat fresh in one of the freezers in the pub. They were constantly having to put ice and snow inside and clean out the water. It was hard to keep meat good.
    The fact that wildlife was beginning to wonder into the city was a strange sign that things were about to be very different for the world itself. It was almost as if mother nature had said, “you guys had your chance” and completely screwed the human race. It wasn’t unheard of in science fiction movies and novels, Malcolm just never expected those to be prophecies of the future.
    Malcolm let out a deep sigh. It was time to go to work.
    He sighted in is scope to the back door of the mini market. That was the door that had been opened when the noises were made. He hoped that whatever survivor that had been in there had left. He didn’t trust anyone in Heller but Will had given the group a long lecture about, “saving whoever they could” or some bullshit. Malcolm was just recently getting his trust for the group he was with. He still remembered the things he saw during the opening panic. Baby strollers left alone with screaming toddlers inside, men holding up the elderly for food that was going to rot in a day… Malcolm shook his head.
    The door was left wide open and the only thing he could see was a shadow in the window right next to it on the left. Malcolm marked the figure as infected. They all had that same disturbing stance when they were dormant. The shoulders hunched, the head sort of tilted on their left or right shoulder. Malcolm always wondered if that was them sleeping. He slowly moved his scope to the comic shop that was right next door. He knew if he wanted a safe night he would have to clear that building as well.
    Something to read I guess
    He moved his scope back to the figure in the window.
    Still there*
    Malcolm glanced at his suppressor. It was about to be his savior.
    He checked for any gusts of wind. They usually hit every minute or two. They were usually pretty loud. That was his window of opportunity. He did one last check around the two buildings with his scope. Just as he was moving the scope back to the window something sprinted around the corner of the comic store. Then three more figures behind him.
    Shit*
    Malcolm put his scope on the four figures. He let out a long sigh. He knew these guys. They had been thugs before all of this started. That was the best way to describe them. Malcolm hated to admit it but he had run with them before all this. Malcolm wasn’t exactly proud of some of the things they had done.
    About five months ago Malcolm had decided the group was going too far when they were going to burn down old man Stephen’s house. Stephen had called the police on them and caused a drug deal to go sour. That was a whole other story. Malcolm always remembered Mr. Stephen from when he was a young boy. Stephen was the kind of guy who was always trying to make the neighborhood better. He had always been good to Malcolm when he was young. The group fought, and it ended with Malcolm beaten to a bloody pulp and Stephen being burned alive in a horrible “accident”. Malcolm managed to make his way home to his grandfather after that. He shook his head and stowed the memory for another time. He was about to get payback.
    They always traveled in a pack. All four were hillbilly, white trash. The lead was Stiffy, then the two behind him were Butch, and Slate. The last one, who was always in the back, was smaller than the other three. He was Itch. He had a heroine addiction as far as Malcolm could remember and was always scratching his skin. The way he talked just made Malcolm want to shove his face in a wall. Malcolm decided he would be last.
    The four slowly worked their way around the comic shop and peeked through the windows. Malcolm felt a slow gust of wind begin to come from the north. This was his shot to cause a little chaos.
    Butch had always had an itchy trigger finger, and Malcolm was about to exploit that. Butch carried what looked like an AR-15. If Malcolm’s memory was solid, he knew that gun wouldn’t be semi-auto like it was supposed to be. They had always had a guy they went to for gun’s.
    Malcolm moved his scope back to the figure in the window. It had perked up slightly. It seemed to be looking around the store, unsure where the sound was. Malcolm moved the scope back to the gun that Butch carried. His finger was on the AR-15’s trigger, and the safety was probably off.
    "Guess you never took gun safety, Butch. That’s gonna cost ya." Malcolm mumbled.
    The wind picked up suddenly, and Malcolm let his breath out slow.
    He pulled the trigger.
    A silent thump wasn’t heard through the loud gust of wind. The sniper kicked back against Malcolm’s shoulder. He watched with satisfaction as the round hit Butch right in the left shoulder causing him to scream in agony just as the wind was dying down. The whole scene was basically silent however. Butch let out a small burst of his rifle. It sounded like hail hitting a tin roof from Malcolm’s distance along with the wind.
    Suddenly Malcolm heard the screech that the infected made when they sensed prey. Suddenly the glass where the shadow had been burst open as the infected flew through it shoulder first. It rolled back onto it’s feet into almost a sumo stance with it’s arms down and ready to grab. It let out a blood curdling roar unlike the other infected. Stitch was forced to cover his ears and fell to one knee from the sound.
    From Malcolm’s perspective it was sickening to watch. He could barely make out what the four were screaming to each other. Stitch picked his rifle up and tried to sight in as the new creature ran full force at him. It wasn’t bigger than a usual man, but it was easy to tell by the huge muscles protruding from it’s leg’s and huge arm’s that it was different from the others. It almost had the primal look of a human sized ape. Stitch fired a round into the beast’s chest as it was right in front of him. The bullet’s hit but didn’t seem to effect it. The beast simply shoulder bashed Stitch through the air into the wall. Stitch hit the wall with a sickening snap and fell limp onto the ground. The other three looked so terrified they didn’t move. Slate tried to fire his military issue shotgun at it, but was subsequently picked up from his neck and fired the shell harmlessly into the ground. Malcolm watched through is scope in horror as the beast roared in Slate’s face and shoved it’s arm right through his stomach and out the back. Slate tried to let out a gurgling grunt and the beast yanked it’s arm out. The still conscious Slate still tried to squirm but was grabbed by his head and ankles and pulled in half. His entrails flew out across the snow with the beast roaring the whole time. It dropped the carcass and looked at Itch trying to drag Butch away from the scene. Itch made eye contact and froze. He dropped Butch and ran. Butch yelled profanity at Itch as the beast looked down at him lying on the ground. It didn’t charge at him however.
    It slowly walked to the bleeding man as he tried to squirm back and stand only to fall because of the horrible wound in his shoulder. The whole time Butch screamed out pleas and begged the beast not to kill him. Malcolm pulled the bolt on his sniper back and slammed it back home, loading in a new round. He sighted in on the two. Malcolm put the scope on Butch’s head.
    He hesitated.
    He had no idea about these new creatures, and this could give him some data. He kind of guessed what was about to happen however.
    Butch kept pleading as the huge beast put it’s foot down on Butch’s neck. It cocked it’s head as Butch continued to plea with his throat closed off. He let out gasps.
    The beast pressed down.
    The pleas stopped as Butch’s neck snapped like a pencil. Malcolm felt he should at least have a little remorse for the poor souls. It scared him that he felt nothing.
    The beast fell on its knees, and began to feed.
    ***
    Through the scope, it felt like Malcolm was watching a gory war movie. Entrails across the ground, a body up against the wall unmoving. The only thing that threw it off was a giant hulking beast feeding on a disfigured carcass of someone Malcolm used to know.
    Malcolm sited on the beast’s head, then eased off. THE beast was just done feeding and stood up, sniffing the air. It turned towards the west, out away from the ridgeline and the comic shops. The hulking beast ran almost like an ape, with its arms hanging down, almost touching the ground, and it’s left side turned toward its target. It was terrifying just to watch. Malcolm was almost reminded of all the demonic possession movies he had seen back in the good days. There was something eerie about how silent it was as it shuffled across the snow. There was no grunting, and Malcolm didn’t see but very few clouds leaving the beasts mouth when it breathed.
    What the hell did I kill these poor guys with?
    Malcolm sat back from his scope and took a sip from his canteen.
    I’ll kill ya next tie big guy.
    Secretly, Malcolm hoped there wasn’t a next time.
    ***
    The walk to the canned goods store shouldn’t have taken so long, but Malcolm couldn’t help but be extra cautious. His rifle was slung on his back and his pistol was drawn as he came upon the scattered remains of Slate and Butch. When Malcolm saw the remains of Slate, however, he almost couldn’t stomach it. He looked away and gagged, then wiped his mouth.
    Malcolm grabbed some old body spray he used to mask his smell and sprayed his bandanna that was wrapped around his neck. After covering his mouth with it, it made it a million times better. Although, it did bring back horrible memories of the middle school gym locker room after PE.
    Slate’s entrails were scattered off in so many directions through the snow that it almost looked like some screwed up puzzle that was never being put back together. Malcolm kicked over the top half of Slate so that his face was looking at the sky. What Malcolm found interesting was the fact that Slate had been wearing full Kevlar underneath all of his winter clothing. After inspecting Slate’s legs, Malcolm found that there was an immense amount of ammo strapped around the thighs.
    Malcolm pulled one of the shotgun shells from the ammo slots.
    12 gauge. Nothing special... buuuut…
    He rolled the lower torso over and discovered a single barrel grenade launcher underneath the mess. IT had a blood covered strap attached to it, meaning that Malcolm hadn’t seen it strapped to Slate somehow.
    “Guess I had to slip up at some point, Slate.” He remarked.
    He paused and knelt over to inspect the grenade launcher.
    “First off, why the hell didn’t you use this on the big guy?” He looked it over for any tags. “And more importantly where the hell did find one of these?”
    Malcolm found what he was looking for.
    US ARMY
    “Well Slate, I know no one says this anymore, but bingo.”
    He popped open the one barrel slot and found the grenade loaded and ready to fire.
    As bad as he wanted it the walk back was 2 miles, and it was still pretty heavy. He decided he’d stow it in the comic shop and mark it as a pick up for another day.
    Malcolm set the grenade launcher down and walked to the mauled remains of Butch. He had been dreading this one because he knew how risky it was to be this close to a half-eaten body like this. The infection still wasn’t completely understood. He knelt over and picked through the ammo that Butch had been carrying. None of it fit his weapon choices at the moment. He found a couple of candy bars in the backpack and a full bottle of Ener-G.
    Gotta refill those electrolytes I guess. Where are they finding all of this?
    He stowed the contents in his bag and began to stand up.
    At that moment a coughing and gurgling sound was heard against the wall of the canned good store.
    “You”. Stitch coughed. “You sonofabitch.” He let out a slow gurgled chuckle. It was cut short by an immense amount of coughing.
    Malcolm didn’t say a word. He turned and made his way to the crippled body of Stitch.
    Malcolm prayed Stitch didn’t recognize him with the mask covering his face. He tried to lower his voice like the super heroes always did on television. Malcolm knelt down in front of Stitch.
    “Your guys seemed pretty loaded. Wanna tell me where you all got that stuff?” He asked in his deeper voice.
    Stitch spit blood into the white snow. “I’m fucked anyways. Why would I help you out in my final moments?”
    Malcolm looked him over. “That’s a good point.” He shrugged. “But I’m sure I could find a way to add some time to your ticking clock. And trust me… Your final moments with me are gonna be pretty damn close to the place your going when you finally die.”
    Malcolm unsheathed his knife and lighter from his jacket pockets. “Do you really want to take that chance buddy?”
    Stitch let out another gargling laugh that was, again, cut off by coughing and spitting in the snow.
    “What?” Malcolm asked. He honestly was clueless on what his next move was. They both knew any more would probably wind up killing Stitch anyways. Shock was a bitch when trying to keep a prisoner alive, and Malcolm didn’t have the supplies.
    “You’re getting sloppy Malcolm”. Stitch remarked with a smile. “And stop with the damn voice dude. This isn’t the shit I want to die to.”
    Malcolm was taken aback by that.
    Stitch wiped his blood dripping mouth. “Only you could’ve made a shot like that. Hell, I knew it was you the second the round was fired.”
    Malcolm just knelt there feeling like an idiot.
    “Guess I knew it would come to something like this after all the shit I did.” Stitch remarked.
    “You killed Stephen.”
    “Oh cmon the old guy had it coming. None of that matters Malcolm. You got me… You fucking killed me ok? The point is, there’s something bigger then both of us. Something’s coming, and I don’t think even you are prepared for it.”
    Stitch looked down at the blood soaked snow.
    “I really don’t care any more to be perfectly honest with you.”
    “Stitch, what the hell are you talking about?”
    “The military.” Stitch spit some more blood into the puddle. “Their still here, and their planning something.”
    “Let me get you inside and you can tell me more alright? It’s not safe out here.”
    “Seriously? You kill my men, then help me?”
    Malcolm shrugged. “Complicated situation I guess.”
    Stitch smiled. “Must be.” He grunted as Malcolm picked Stitch up over his shoulder. “Hell, maybe this’ll give me a second chance.”
    Malcolm heaved Stitch up on his shoulder and began helping him limp to the store entrance.
    “If only the boys could’ve seen this shi-“
    At that moment, Stitch’s head exploded like a watermelon.
    Hunter McKinney

  4. #4
    templar514's Avatar
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    CH. 3 Almost here!

    Not to worry my friends! The next chapter is on the way! Finals took a beating on my writing so I was not able to continue for a short time. I intend to slow down for the next chapter however, and it will be a good chunk to read. Expect it to pop up this Friday or Saturday! So excited to share it with you guys! Oh and thank you so much for the five star rating! It motivates me to continue! Thank you for the patience!
    Hunter McKinney

  5. #5
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    Alright I apologize. To be perfectly honest I am at a bit of writers block here. I originally pictured the chapter being done last week, but sadly it felt like a rushed story. I have been through about 3 different drafts, but I am finally about half way done with the draft I feel comfortable releasing to you guys! I will post What I have so far in the next few minutes! As I have stated numerous times, thank you for your patience!
    Hunter McKinney

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    It was dark. There was only the red light from the inside of the ambulance. The lights were flickering. She looked at him. He knew what he had to do.
    She waited.
    He couldn’t do it.
    She knew he couldn’t.
    His hand was trembling.
    With a one hand she covered his on the pistol.
    She pressed her head to the barrel.
    “What is your name again?”
    He stuttered, “W-Will.”
    “Will. It’s ok.”
    “What?”
    “Will can you make me a promise please?”
    “Y-yes.”
    “Please take care of her.”
    “I-I”
    “Promise me.”
    “I promise.”
    She smiled.
    “Thank you.”
    She helped his finger pull the trigger.
    ***
    Will gasped and found himself sweat covered in the Pub’s ex-owner’s bed. It was a big king size with new sheets that Will and Thomas had scavenged a week prior.
    He shook his head, and ran his fingers through his hair pulling it back out of his face. His watch beeped, making him jump. He checked the time, to be immediately astonished at what it said. It was two o’clock, the day after the next. He had managed to sleep over 24 hours. Surprisingly, he wasn’t completely pissed at himself. He actually needed this. The past two shit shows of days had taken their tolls, and if Will hadn’t slept, he might literally have passed out on the road. Obviously waking up in cool white sheets was way better then not waking up in white hellish snow.
    Why am I even thinking that?
    Will yawned and fell back into his pillow, trying to pretend that none of this had happened. He liked to pretend he was home again, having a lazy morning after long nights of playing video games, or late night talks on the phone with his now ex-girlfriend. He smiled and looked at the little streaks of mid-day light peeked through the tiny holes in the scrap metal on the windows. His mother and father would have made breakfast already.
    He could almost smell the rich cinnamon bread and recently cooked eggs. He would have to microwave them both since he slept right through breakfast. He would walk in, without a single responsibility in the world, eat both, and go lay back down in bed to watch online videos all day.
    He smiled. Lazy Saturdays were the best.
    Will rolled over and onto his feet. He sat on the edge of his bed for about five minutes staring ahead at nothing. Reality always seemed to hit like a train. He slipped on his fading jeans and dark brown flannel button up. He rubbed his face as the light hit it when he walked out of his room. Everyone was up but not everyone was accounted for. Thomas and Malcolm were gone, and Jack was keeping watch at the door. Samantha and Victoria were helping Liam go over rations and mark spots on the map. Jessica was playing with a couple of toy’s by one of the heaters.
    “Hey sleeping beauties awake!” Victoria said with a smile.
    Will chuckled, “Dude that joke was stale before the outbreak.” He glanced at the map they were working on. “Thomas and Jack?”
    “Out on a run for ammo.” Victoria replied. “We’re keeping comms with them at the moment.”
    She pushed a lock of wavy dark brown hair out of her face and looked back down at the map to point out a location for Will. “We figure this discount mart will still be safe from looters since it got hit pretty hard in the bombings. We just want to have an idea on how bad it was hit.”
    “Do you think we could dig some stuff up?”
    She shrugged, “Who knows. The chances of us finding construction equipment in Heller isn’t exactly slim, but that’s a huge risk going to those populated areas.” She glanced over at Liam. “I don’t suppose you know how to use any construction equipment right?”
    Liam chuckled, “I ran people over with a forklift in a GTA a couple times.”
    That made Samantha giggle a little bit. Liam glanced over with a surprised look at that. The kid probably wouldn’t have had a chance of anything with her before the outbreak. The two had grown pretty close over the past couple weeks. In fact, Liam had been the one to bring her to the group in the first place. They were together when Will found them. What happened before that was anyone’s guess.
    Will patted Victoria on the shoulder, “You guy’s keep it up. I’ll be checking on Malcolm. Has he checked in today?”
    “He said he was onto something a few hours ago. After that, I’ve heard nothing.”
    Will nodded and strode to the police walkie that was hooked up to a charging station on the bar.
    “Buck, this is Shepard, what do you see? Over.” Will let his hand off of the button.
    A few seconds later the response was heard. “Shepard, this is Buck, I see a lot of white. I’m about 5 clicks out from Den right now. Trying to maintain radio silence. I think I’ll be out for a while.” There was a pause. “Over.”
    His voice was pretty course and strained, as if he hadn’t talked in hours. Will wasn’t very surprised. He had only been on one run with him, and he probably talked more to himself, then he actually did with Malcolm.
    Will pressed the button on the walkie. “Copy that. Try and get back before dusk tomorrow. We have some things to go over. Thomas and I ran into those marauders on our last trip. I’d rather not lose our best hunter.”
    There was a pause.
    “Copy that. That’s actually kind of heartwarming, over.”
    “That’s why we do it… Out.”
    Hunter McKinney

  7. #7
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    Alright here is the finished chapter 3! As always thank you for your patience and enjoy!


    CH. 3

    It was dark. There was only the red light from the inside of the ambulance. The lights were flickering. She looked at him. He knew what he had to do.
    She waited.
    He couldn’t do it.
    She knew he couldn’t.
    His hand was trembling.
    With a one hand she covered his on the pistol.
    She pressed her head to the barrel.
    “What is your name again?”
    He stuttered, “W-Will.”
    “Will. It’s ok.”
    “What?”
    “Will can you make me a promise please?”
    “Y-yes.”
    “Please take care of her.”
    “I-I”
    “Promise me.”
    “I promise.”
    She smiled.
    “Thank you.”
    She helped his finger pull the trigger.
    ***
    Will gasped and found himself sweat covered in the Pub’s ex-owner’s bed. It was a big king size with new sheets that Will and Thomas had scavenged a week prior.
    He shook his head, and ran his fingers through his hair pulling it back out of his face. His watch beeped, making him jump. He checked the time, to be immediately astonished at what it said. It was two o’clock, the day after the next. He had managed to sleep over 24 hours. Surprisingly, he wasn’t completely pissed at himself. He actually needed this. The past two shit shows of days had taken their tolls, and if Will hadn’t slept, he might literally have passed out on the road. Obviously waking up in cool white sheets was way better then not waking up in white hellish snow.
    Why am I even thinking that?
    Will yawned and fell back into his pillow, trying to pretend that none of this had happened. He liked to pretend he was home again, having a lazy morning after long nights of playing video games, or late night talks on the phone with his now ex-girlfriend. He smiled and looked at the little streaks of mid-day light peeked through the tiny holes in the scrap metal on the windows. His mother and father would have made breakfast already.
    He could almost smell the rich cinnamon bread and recently cooked eggs. He would have to microwave them both since he slept right through breakfast. He would walk in, without a single responsibility in the world, eat both, and go lay back down in bed to watch online videos all day.
    He smiled. Lazy Saturdays were the best.
    Will rolled over and onto his feet. He sat on the edge of his bed for about five minutes staring ahead at nothing. Reality always seemed to hit like a train. He slipped on his fading jeans and dark brown flannel button up. He rubbed his face as the light hit it when he walked out of his room. Everyone was up but not everyone was accounted for. Thomas and Malcolm were gone, and Jack was keeping watch at the door. Samantha and Victoria were helping Liam go over rations and mark spots on the map. Jessica was playing with a couple of toy’s by one of the heaters.
    “Hey sleeping beauties awake!” Victoria said with a smile.
    Will chuckled, “Dude that joke was stale before the outbreak.” He glanced at the map they were working on. “Thomas and Jack?”
    “Out on a run for ammo.” Victoria replied. “We’re keeping comms with them at the moment.”
    She pushed a lock of wavy dark brown hair out of her face and looked back down at the map to point out a location for Will. “We figure this discount mart will still be safe from looters since it got hit pretty hard in the bombings. We just want to have an idea on how bad it was hit.”
    “Do you think we could dig some stuff up?”
    She shrugged, “Who knows. The chances of us finding construction equipment in Heller isn’t exactly slim, but that’s a huge risk going to those populated areas.” She glanced over at Liam. “I don’t suppose you know how to use any construction equipment right?”
    Liam chuckled, “I ran people over with a forklift in a GTA a couple times.”
    That made Samantha giggle a little bit. Liam glanced over with a surprised look at that. The kid probably wouldn’t have had a chance of anything with her before the outbreak. The two had grown pretty close over the past couple weeks. In fact, Liam had been the one to bring her to the group in the first place. They were together when Will found them. What happened before that was anyone’s guess.
    Will patted Victoria on the shoulder, “You guy’s keep it up. I’ll be checking on Malcolm. Has he checked in today?”
    “He said he was onto something a few hours ago. After that, I’ve heard nothing.”
    Will nodded and strode to the police walkie that was hooked up to a charging station on the bar.
    “Buck, this is Shepard, what do you see? Over.” Will let his hand off of the button.
    A few seconds later the response was heard. “Shepard, this is Buck, I see a lot of white. I’m about 5 clicks out from Den right now. Trying to maintain radio silence. I think I’ll be out for a while.” There was a pause. “Over.”
    His voice was pretty course and strained, as if he hadn’t talked in hours. Will wasn’t very surprised. He had only been on one run with him, and he probably talked more to himself, then he actually did with Malcolm.
    Will pressed the button on the walkie. “Copy that. Try and get back before dusk tomorrow. We have some things to go over. Thomas and I ran into those marauders on our last trip. I’d rather not lose our best hunter.”
    There was a pause.
    “Copy that. That’s actually kind of heartwarming, over.”
    “That’s why we do it… Out.”
    Will set the radio down and glanced back over at the group still looking at the map. He honestly couldn’t have asked for a better group of survivors to live with. Victoria never ceased to amaze him. That girl had probably fought harder than any of them did in the beginning. She had been going through ROTC beforehand and showed it. She was the best shot, better fighter (Thomas had once drank a little too much and tried to spar with her. He blamed it on the alcohol later but it was obvious she hadn’t just kicked the asses of drunk guys in her time.) Her strong frame was almost intimidating to Will. She was up every morning at seven doing some kind of workout, that at the end would leave Will completely winded, and her sweating with a smile. You wouldn’t know all this about her because of her somewhat slender frame. Will shook his head.
    Not the Time Will… Not the time.
    He wouldn’t be opposed though.
    Will sat down after eating some cold canned sweet corn while he went over his notes on the infected thus far. Liam had the idea of writing everything seen outside. Most of these notes were taken by Liam on his first hunting trip with Malcolm. Will was starting to love the little guy.
    He had run into three so far. There were the normies. They were the basic infected. They didn’t always pose much of a threat. Headshot’s put them down fast, body shots usually worked if they were fairly close. They seemed to have the same properties of the basic living human. Spinal shots would instantly paralyze like normal for instance.
    The second type they had discovered was the campers. Those things seemed to be smarter then the normies. After some investigation, it seemed the bodies always seemed to be those of the higher class in life. The four that Will had killed were anything from doctors, to possible scientists. They always had an injury that kept them from walking as well. Will hated the idea of those things being able to adapt, but he was learning to adapt to that idea.
    The last, and most mysterious, didn’t even have a name yet. Will noticed a question mark by Liam’s notes. They had only been seen from a distance. They had never attacked, and any time they were spotted, they would bolt like a coyote. Will was almost certain he had seen one with a weapon. The lack of sleep could’ve been playing with his mind though, so wrote that part in parentheses.
    Will paused.
    Cannibals? , Will wrote.
    He rested his chin on his hand and mulled it over.
    He marked through it and simply wrote, AVOID.
    Will closed the journal and put it back in its original place on the shelf.
    He wasn’t entirely sure what his next move was honestly. Everything felt like it was in the right place. Moments like this scared Will. Things were never right if they were going perfectly fine.
    That kind of thinking will get you killed. Just enjoy what you have..
    Looking back on the whole thing, Will was still surprised at what they had made. This group of teens, these grossly unprepared kids, had somehow managed to survive longer than most adults. The thing that made no sense was, they honestly hadn’t done things any different. They were literally living on luck, and as cheesy as it sounded to say, they would eventually run out. They couldn’t keep finding deer dead right outside their HQ, or weapons on dead soldiers, or hell even dodging bullets like the day before. It would eventually come to a close, and William somehow felt like he was going to be the one to see it. He glanced over at Jessica playing with her toys by the fire.
    No. That’s why I’m still alive. That girl is literally the last beacon of hope in this hell, and I’ll be damned if she doesn’t have a safe bed to sleep in a year from now.
    ***
    About three hours later, Thomas and Jack returned. The only things they had managed to bring back were a few extra coats and some canned fruits that had the “Discount brand” logo on them. They were better than nothing the first thing that Thomas did when he got back was go to the back of the pub in the storage room where most of the beers were kept. It would’ve been the walk in fridge, but now was basically the same temperature as the rest of the pub. Thomas closed the squeaky door with a clank, and walked to his lazy boy chair he had taken from the owners’ room. This was essentially his bed. He pulled the pack of cigarettes he had taken from the store out and patted the bottom a couple times with a smile. This brand had been labeled “Cowboy killers”. He had only smoked socially before the outbreak, but lately he was beginning to smoke one every three or four days simply from stress.
    He slipped one from the pack and tossed the pack onto the small coffee table next to the recliner. Thomas flipped open his old zippo lighter and lit the cigarette. He felt his head buzz has he took his first puff. The nicotine going through is body, as he let out the puff of smoke. His body relaxed a bit and he smiled.
    These things will kill me. Grandpa always used to say that.
    He watched the smoke twirl around in the air, with the bits of light coming from the metal scraps. It illuminated the room like an old noir movie from the sixties. He took in another puff and let it out. He reached deep into the pocket of the recliner and pulled out an old cassette player he had collected way before the outbreak. It still had some good classic rock toons that he and his dad used to listen to. He pushed the play button and pulled the lever on the chair. The foot rest kicked up and he leaned back, looking at the ceiling.
    When the group had made sure the place was secure, everyone had instantly started claiming areas of the pub for themselves. Thomas knew was going to need a place to himself. As cute as the kid, Jessica was, he couldn’t stand kids. That wasn’t to say that he wouldn’t give his life for that kid. It was universally accepted that she was the one thing everyone really cared about anymore. Thomas had been there when they found the kid. In fact it was he and Thomas who found her in the first place. He thought back to the day, and took another puff from his cigarette.
    He reached into the left pocket of the chair to find his hidden flask of various hard liquor. It tasted like shit, but one swig was enough for him to sit back and think. He took a good sip, coughed a couple times to hold it down, and shook his head. He twisted the cap back on and slipped it deep into the pocket. The warm liquid hit his belly and he was able to remember again. He hadn’t in all his time had time to think about what had happened.
    He took another puff.
    How did we get here?
    Thomas pulled the pistol from his holster and checked it over to make sure it was in decent shape, cigarette still in his mouth. Calmly and collectively he pulled one bullet from the chamber, and spun the revolving chamber twice. He put the gun to his head and pulled the trigger.
    The gun clicked, and Thomas shrugged. He put the second bullet back into the chamber and set the revolver on the table next to him.
    Seriously, how did we get here?
    Hunter McKinney

  8. #8
    templar514's Avatar
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    Just wanted to let you guys know that the project is continuing! I hit a bit of writers block there for a bit, but I have some new content to post, and I am super excited! Stay tuned! Thank you to my readers!
    Hunter McKinney

  9. #9
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    *** Three weeks earlier
    “Thomas! Its 7:30!” Thomas’s mother screamed from downstairs.
    Thomas woke up with a growl.
    “Hold up mom!” He paused. “Sleeping.” He yawned
    He began to doze off again, only to be woken by the two knives of light in his eyes.
    He groaned
    “Get your ass up and go get your education!” His mom began to trail off.
    Thomas usually zoned out for these streaks. He was safe in the confines of his teen mind. His mother’s voice was nothing but a mumble. This was the routine most mornings. Thomas loved his mom, but he definitely didn’t always agree with her. She wanted Thomas to have an education. Thomas, on the other hand never wanted a degree, he just wanted to work. His plan originally, was going to be to
    sign up for the Rangers, and never have to hear anything about an education again. His dad had been a ranger, and subsequently had been killed four years prior. This made his mom his mom hate the idea of signing up, and forced him into trying out at least two years of college. He knew she cared for him, but he also knew he wasn’t built for education, he was built to kill things.
    He shook his head, and his mom’s voice came into focus.
    “… you know that I love you but I need you to take this seriously!”
    Thomas smiled. “I know ma. I get you.”
    Thomas’s mom smiled back. “Thank you Thomas.” She stood up, brushing her dark hair behind her shoulder. “I have to get to the hospital. My shift started five minutes ago.”
    “Is Deborah giving you shit again?” Thomas smirked
    “Deborah is always giving me shit. Just because her husband left her for that younger slut doesn’t mean she can treat the nurses under her like shit.” She walked out of Thomas’s messy room. “Good luck today on your presentation by the way.”
    Thomas smiled until she closed the door.
    “oh sh-“
    ***
    “… Shows why the Cherokee Indians truly were some of the fiercest fighters many of the settlers had ever seen.” Thomas smiled, and was rewarded with awkward applause.
    He sat down next to his buddy Will, who had pretty much been holding in laughter the entire presentation. He brushed a bit of his blonde hair to the right and rubbed his face. He was as red as a strawberry.
    “You got that whole thing from Wikipedia didn’t you?” He smirked
    “I got the whole thing from Wikipedia…” Thomas grunted.

    “And the pictures. It looks like you took pictures of your textbook with your phone.
    Thomas was silent.
    “Oh god. You did?” Will lost it.
    “At least I don’t kiss the teacher’s ass for free points.”
    “At least my presentation was historically accurate.”
    Thomas paused. “It wasn’t accurate?”
    Will just looked at him. “Dude I don’t think I even have the time to fix your history.”
    Thomas mumbled something, “What was that?”
    “I was just admiring your knowledge of our American history.” Thomas said mockingly.

    ***
    When the class finally ended, both Thomas and Will were done for the day luckily. The pair decided to head over to the coffee shop that was inside the student center on campus. The tiled floors and shiny interior of the hallways on campus always threw Thomas off. It was a fantasy land, created by television series where everything is completely up do date. He came from a home built in 1971. It still had the same creaky floors, un-updated kitchen, and that smell that only an old home can have. He always felt different when he went to places like this. How many thousands of dollars had been pumped in to making this place, “clean” and “comfortable”?
    Thomas was snapped out of his daze when the pretty barista asked him for his order. His eyes snapped up and his jaw opened quickly.
    With a quick deep breath he responded, “oh, uh, Just a black coffee.”
    She knew what he got every time, in fact she had a two classes with Thomas. She laughed, “I know what you Thomas.” She paused and perked up .”
    Ya, because it never goes any- “Yep! Just deep in thought. May have just failed history 1304. Will was loving every bit of that presentation I improvised today.”
    She chuckled, “Wikipedia?”
    Thomas gave her a blank stare.
    She lost it, “At least it wasn’t you’re analysis paper on why Sudwieser isn’t much worse for you than sud light.”
    “Hey, I think the most listeners.” He said with a chuckle.
    She smiled and shook her head.
    Thomas turned around and checked for Will.
    He was talking to one of his friends in ROTC. Thomas could see Will’s nervous face from the coffee shop. He turned back around and put his wallet back in his pocket. Stacie had put the coffee on the bar for him.
    “I’ll see you Stacie. Gotta do some damage control.” Thomas smiled as he grabbed the coffee and began walking towards Will.
    “Hey! Wait.” Her voice trailed a little. “There’s this party tomorrow night at Mark’s place. I didn’t know if you were busy or…”
    “I’ll be there.” Thomas winked.
    “Ok! Well cool! Don’t dress up too much.” She said mockingly.
    Thomas had literally been hitting on Stacie every day for the past month. The fact he was able to keep his cool at the moment, was beyond insane. He kept his cool however, and managed to not drop his coffee.
    He chuckled, “You know me. I probably won’t drink though. I’m a light weight… And hangovers suck.”









    **** Present
    Thomas was hungover. He groaned and checked his watch. It had been six hours. He paused and looked at the bucket next to the door.
    He gagged. “Hey, we don’t know each othe1r but…” He gagged again. “We’re about to get acquainted.”
    He stumbled over to the bucket. The next ten minutes were straight hell, just like the party.
    He hurled and hurled, hoping no one would wake up. His wallet had fallen out of his pocket, opening up and revealing the selfie Stacie and Thomas took during the party on that night. It was completely cliché, but someone had an old camera that instantly gave out a printed picture.
    He hurled some more.
    The party.
    “No.” Thomas shook his head. “Not thinking about it.”
    Thomas was dry heaving at this point.
    When he was done, he rolled onto his back and scooted up against the wall, now dazed. Sweat trickled down his face. The cool air in the room helped calm him down a bit, but he kept thinking back to the day, glancing at the picture.
    “That’s why I don’t drink.” He chuckled. He passed out again shortly after.
    Hunter McKinney

  10. #10
    templar514's Avatar
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    And now here is an excerpt from the next chapter. I know I take forever to write, but I figure quality over quantity! Thank you to my readers for waiting!


    “Ready rifles!” the Specialist yelled.
    The firing squad clicked off their safeties and shouldered their rifles.
    “Fire on my command!” The specialist yelled again with more intensity.
    The five men lined up against the wall twitched out of fear. They had bags over their heads. It was looked at as a courtesy for the soldiers. This wasn’t personal.
    “Would the guilty like to say any last words?” The specialist asked to the men waiting for execution.
    There was silence. The only sound was the gentle breeze as snow was pushed around the ground. The soft short breaths of the men tied up pierced through the silence. Clouds of vapor appeared out of the bags.
    After a few moments, the specialist shrugged. “Very well.” He raised his hand, “Ready!”
    As he was about to scream fire a mumble was heard from one of the prisoners.
    “Hold!” The specialist yelled. “Would the guilty like to speak up?”
    The voice was still a mumble, but clearer. He said, “You won’t win.”
    The specialist looked at his watch. He had a little time.
    “Lower rifles!” He glanced over at one of the men guarding the execution. “Private Stetsen! Would you please remove the bag from the man’s head?”
    The private nodded and jogged over to the man in the middle of the five against the wall. He removed the bag to reveal a bloodied pulp of a face. It was still bleeding from the beating each man had received as part of the demonstration.
    The man spit blood into the ground and looked up at the specialist. Just like the other men, he was in what looked like cheap prison garbs. His arms were tied behind his back by thick rope.
    The specialist approached the man and kneeled down about two meters from him.
    “I’m sorry. It sounded like you said we will not win? Correct?” He asked.
    The man glared at him. “Freedom always finds a way.”
    The specialist had to chuckle at that. “I hate to tell you this buddy, but you were free about two days ago.”
    The man spit into the ground again. “You think what we had was freedom? You systematically kill and intimidate everyone who opposes the military, then demand tribute. You’re nothing more than war mongering pieces of shi-“
    His words were cut short as the specialist slung out his Beretta sidearm with lightning speed and put a round right through the man’s kneecap. The man screamed in agony and collapsed under the pressure of his own weight. He lay on his stomach screaming into the dirt.
    The specialist walked closer and kneeled right next to the man. “Oh cut the melodrama. It makes for shitty TV just as much as in real life.” He paused and stood up to look at the crowd of 40 off duty soldiers that had gathered for the execution. “Did yall hear that guys? He thinks we’re pieces of shit!”
    One man in the crowd screamed, “Got a nice ring to it!”
    There were some chuckles in the crowd.
    The specialist looked back down at the man in the dirt. He knelt and pulled his head up by the hair so he could see the soldiers. He pointed at the man with his pistol in the other hand.
    “This little piece of ungrateful human garbage, thinks we’re the shit in the world. The soldiers. The poor suckers who got sent to hell holes in the middle of bum fuck nowhere to get shot at.” The specialist glanced down at the man. “Hell I bet this dude can’t even name the first four ranks in the army infantry, and he’s telling me what I’m doing is wrong.”
    There was silence.
    “You know how many of my buddies died for you?” The specialist asked.
    The man was still in pain, but silent.
    “Estimates say about 84 guys in green bit it during the evacuation effort.” The specialist said with a cold murmur. “Fun fact, we were told to evacuate three hours earlier. But the CO thought saving a few extra civvies may help with the bad press after this blew over.” He looked to his left and pointed to one of the corners of the huge eight foot wall built around the complex, “He’s actually hanging just over that wall!”
    The man still knelt silently.
    “Really? You got nothing?” The specialist asked.
    “Y- You wont wi-“ was all that was hear before his head snapped back and hit the ground in a pool of blood. The Specialists sidearm gave off some heat in the cold weather and seemed to have the gun smoke like in old westerns he watched as a kid.
    “Some guys can’t be taught with logic I guess.” The specialist spun his sidearm in his hand twice and slid it into his holster with ease. He spit on the body and spun his finger in a twirling motion to the sky as he walked behind the firing line.
    “Alrighty then boys and girls!” He said, “Let’s pop some heads eh?”
    He raised his hand, “Ready!”
    The sound of five men clicking the safeties seemed to echo through the courtyard.
    “When I say fire!” He paused and looked at the prisoners. “At least it’s pretty toasty down under if you get my drift.”
    The Specialist pulled a cigar and lit it in his mouth before saying, “My names Marcus.” He dropped his hand, “Fire!”
    After that, he pulled the cigar out of his mouth and let out the drag. It felt nice. He loved his job. He was a simple man. Where most men searched for meaning in things like their job and how they could change the world, Marcus found meaning in existing. He did his job. He was just a soldier. A man who worked for other men, and he enjoyed every second of it. He wasn’t a killer, unless you told him to be.
    Marcus took another puff from his cigar. “Get me the cleanup crew! Santa ain’t gonna show if these guys are by the fire place.”
    There was awkward laughter. Sometimes he didn’t even know what he was saying. It just kind of flowed.
    A moment later the cleanup crew, who was dressed head to toe in hazmat suits, picked up the bodies of the executed men. They took them up the stairs to the top of the wall and tossed them over. The next morning the bodies would be gone. The infected were smarter than people realized. They never showed up by the gate during the day. They acted like raccoons, taking away the bodies at night and out of sight. As sickening as it was, at least it kept them from getting desperate. Regardless of how strong the walls were, the higher ups knew that the base was still pretty rickety. It wouldn’t take more than about seventy to show up and ruin their day.

    He took another long drag from his cigar and exhaled, watching the smoke dance around in the cold winter air. It was beautiful.
    As he was about to take another drag, a beep on his satellite phone alerted him. He quickly pulled it from its holster and pressed the button to connect the calls.
    A second later an older voice came on the line. “Marcus, this is Wilhelm. Do you read?”
    “I read you Wilhelm. Need the report?”
    “As soon as you can. My office in ten.”
    “Copy that Cournel. En route.”
    Marcus slapped the antenna down and slid the phone back into his holster.
    He started his long haul to the HQ after putting the cigar in his mouth. He put both of his hands into his jacket pockets. It was his, “at ease” stance. When he walked through the complex the other soldiers knew he was calm. There wouldn’t be any awkward salutes, or standing at attention, but he would still get the standard head nod. He liked it this way. There was no need for formalities in times like these.
    One soldier yelled from his perch on the wall, “Morning Sir! Good morning aint it?”
    Marcus chuckled, “What are you, a fucking weatherman?”
    The soldier laughed and went back to his post.
    Marcus took another drag from his cigar and puffed it out.
    The past two weeks had been straight hell.
    ***
    Hunter McKinney


 

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