« on: October 24, 2012, 09:48:36 AM »
Sanctuary Results â€“ Season Two â€“ Without A Bang
Episode Three â€“ Safety in Numbers
The Journal of Jack Cromwell:
â€œWe picked him up yesterday. Technically, he makes number eleven to our group. I say technically because he isnâ€™t actually contributing much. We had been moving down East Olympic when we came across a veterinary clinic. I stopped in there to see what supplies I could get. In my profession, medicine can make the difference between life and death. Thatâ€™s when we found him. Unconscious and missing a lot of blood, but otherwise alive. Looked like some sort of blunt force trauma to his ribs. He had a broken tibia in his left leg, possibly crushed. From his pupil dilation, looked like he had a concussion. It took some convincing, but I talked the rest of the gang into taking him with us.â€
â€œThe rest of the gang, wellâ€¦ thereâ€™s now eleven of us. The mystery man dubbed The Sleeper by Izzal. Izzal was a real joker. Always pulling a prank or two on somebody, but mostly on Jin. Those two had made themselves into lighthearted enemies, always pulling the leg of the other. Youâ€™d think that with all thatâ€™s happen theyâ€™d lose their sense of humor. But not them two. Each is fond of automatic weapons, so thatâ€™s what they carry. Then thereâ€™s Riggs and Gavin. Dumber than shit, those two and lousy with a gun. But they get things done. Give them a hole to dig and theyâ€™ll dig it. Right now, theyâ€™re hauling the sleeper on a homemade stretcher. Donnovan is a little project of mine. The guy hasnâ€™t said a word since we found him, back to the wall in an alley fighting off the undead. I know heâ€™s got a story in there, but he ainâ€™t telling. Almost as quiet is Cindy, the only girl in the group. Sheâ€™s nineteen, shy as can but sheâ€™s got a sense about herâ€¦ like she could take care of herself, but chooses to get help anyway. Sean is the man in charge, and heâ€™ll be sure to make sure we all know it. If you ask me, I think itâ€™s a bit of Napoleon syndrome. Nice guy when things are calm and relaxed, tough as nails when in a crisis. Tanner was a videogame designer. Says he worked on the last Simcity game. I played that game and it sucked. Arthur, or Art as he likes to be called (nobody ever calls him that) is an old pervert. Pushing 60 if heâ€™s 30, and constantly watching Cindyâ€™s ass when she isnâ€™t looking. Lastly, thereâ€™s AJ. A fourteen year old boy, who I get the impression looks at all this like a real life video game. Poor kid. My nameâ€™s Jack Cromwell. Iâ€™m an ER doctor. Or, I wasâ€¦ before all this. I guess you could say Iâ€™m more prepared for disasters than the average joe, but it sure as hell been a shock to the senses. Some people, when they reach the pinnacle of their profession can do their job in a blind trance-like state. They close out everything else around them and focus specifically on what they have to do. Well, not in my field. In my work, they teach you to constantly be alert of your surroundings and what youâ€™re doing. You canâ€™t blank out and think about how you havenâ€™t slept in two days and decide what youâ€™re going to eat at the end of your 20 hour shift. You have to have your mind set clearly on what youâ€™re doing and what youâ€™re going to do if it turns out the gunshot victim happens to be a rare bloodtype. So now, I look around at all thatâ€™s happenedâ€¦ all thatâ€™s happening, and I take in every damn moment of it. I see it all and it depresses the shit out of me.â€
â€œThe only ones that really complained about taking on The Sleeper were Riggs and Gavin, since Sean told them to do the carrying. Everybody else either agreed or was so indifferent that I could have offered to take on Charles Manson and they probably wouldnâ€™t have noticed. Where are we headed? Well, North. We started off at the border with Mexico, each of us getting the idea that it would be better down there. Weâ€™d seen how the government was handling things here, and franklyâ€¦ figured we stood a better chance of survival in a place where the police and military didnâ€™t give a damn than in a place where theyâ€™d shoot anything that moved. The thing is, the smoke billowing out over the horizon to the south of us was so ominous I knew it was a lost cause. Thatâ€™s when I met up with the rest of the gang. One of them got a wild hair, (I think it was Izzal) that Canada may be better off. Something about the cold that would hurt them. So, ever since thenâ€¦ weâ€™ve been moving north. We found The Sleeper in Los Angeles. We hadnâ€™t come across anybody else living since then.â€
â€œHonestly, I donâ€™t really know why I felt so compelled to bring him. He was dead weight, didnâ€™t even know his real name. He had a military radio on him and lots of weapons but that doesnâ€™t mean anything to us. Maybe itâ€™s the ER doctor in me, always wanting to put all my energy into saving an unknown man that was probably beyond saving. I donâ€™t know why. They always turn out to be the bottom of the barrel, people that most would consider not worth living. But itâ€™s just something in me. Something that tells me, that itâ€™s the right thing. And in this worldâ€¦ when people are killing and eating each other, and when the ones that arenâ€™t are just killing out of fearâ€¦ well, this is all I have left.â€
David stepped into the gas station shop, gun armed. In front of him was Brennan who had his gun aimed at something in the dark. David didnâ€™t see anything. He fumbled for a light switch, not thinking that duhâ€¦ the powerâ€™s out.
BRENNAN: â€œI see you, asshole.â€
The response is not what they expected. A woman began wailing, another sound like a child crying. They must have been keeping as quiet as possible.
WOMAN: â€œOh, please donâ€™t kill her. Iâ€™ll do anything.â€
Brennan glanced at David, uneasily.
DAVID: â€œCome over here where we can see you.â€
The woman and her child came out of the shadows, unarmed. She looked to be in her late twenties, a six year old girl clinging to her leg. Her hands were raised and tears fell from her eyes.
WOMAN: â€œPleaseâ€¦ just let my daughter go.â€
BRENNAN: â€œWeâ€™re not going to kill you, are you alright? Is there anyone else?â€
The woman just let out another sob. The child seemed to have let out all the tears she had, and now just had a sour look on her face.
DAVID: â€œAre there more of them? Did they hurt you?â€
The woman looked at them, shocked. She looked back and forth between the two of them.
WOMAN: â€œWhy are you doing this to us? Why canâ€™t you people just leave us alone?â€
DAVID: â€œWeâ€™re trying to help. Do you need anything?â€
The child looked outside, noticing the dead man that Brennan had killed.
CHILD: â€œMommy, whatâ€™s wrong with Daddy?â€
Their hearts sank to the pit of their stomachs. Brennanâ€™s shoulders sagged and all the life seemed to drain from his eyes. David, on the other hand, seemed to be enraged. He turned his confusion into anger.
DAVID: â€œYouâ€™re with them? Why were you shooting at us?â€
WOMAN: â€œPlease, you donâ€™t understand. After what weâ€™ve been throughâ€¦ after what those men tried to do last time, Hankâ€¦ he was afraid. He just wanted to protect us.â€
DAVID: â€œYou gotta be fucking kidding me? You donâ€™t fucking shoot into a vehicle without as much as a warning. You donâ€™t fucking try to kill two innocent people for no god damn reason!â€
BRENNAN: â€œDavid, come onâ€¦ letâ€™s go.â€
DAVID: â€œGo where? Look at the car! Itâ€™s fucking wrecked.â€
The girl began crying again.
BRENNAN: â€œDavid, come on. Now.â€
He grabbed David by the arm and led him away from the scene. There was nothing more they could do there.
Devin woke, startled by a nightmare. The sun had just risen. Sitting across from the small campfire was his father, Vlad. If he could get used to saying that he could get used to anything. He sat up, noticing a rock that had been under his back all night. He grabbed the rock and tossed it. Vlad looked up, staring with his disapproving eyes.
DEVIN: â€œSo, what does today hold?â€
VLAD: â€œToday, I teach you to be a man.â€
Devin didnâ€™t like the sound of that, but he didnâ€™t know enough of what that meant to give any real protest. He admired Vlad, and hated him at the same time. The man was arrogant and condescending. He had abused his mother, had abandoned them both before he was born and had no interest in the fact that he even existed until he nearly ran him over on the highway.
DEVIN: â€œWhatâ€™s for breakfast?â€
Vlad was sharpening a knife, and did not reply. After a few moments, Vlad stood.
VLAD: â€œGet your stuff. Letâ€™s go.â€
His father evidently didnâ€™t intend on showing any empathy today. Devin gathered his stuff into his backpack and hoisted it onto his shoulders. After twenty minutes of walking, Devinâ€™s shoulders ached. The small of his back felt raw from something poking through his pack and his knees were protesting loudly. He wasnâ€™t much into sports and this sort of outdoors shit was going to kill him before it made him any stronger.
Soon, Vlad halted with a raised fist. He hunkered down, so Devin did the same. Devin looked ahead, seeing a small gathering of three infected feasting on something near the riverbank. Vlad had eyes like a hawk and knew exactly what was happening, but to Devinâ€™s untrained eyesâ€¦ it just looked like a mess. Finally, Vlad whispered to Devin.
VLAD: â€œTake this gun. Itâ€™s silenced.â€
Devin took the gun, feeling the dead weight of it and cradling it in his palms like it might accidentally go off if you looked at it funny.
VLAD: â€œI want you to practice shooting.â€
DEVIN: â€œShouldnâ€™t I do target practice or something? Shoot wine bottles or aluminum cans?â€
VLAD: â€œWine bottles will not chase you down and kill you if you miss. This weapon is silenced, they wonâ€™t hear the shots and if you stay hidden they wonâ€™t know where itâ€™s coming from.â€
VLAD: â€œKill them, son.â€
Devinâ€™s eyebrows lowered. He aimed the gun, squinted his eyes. Pulled the trigger. Didnâ€™t even hit the water. The bullet skidded off in the dirt about fifteen feet shy of the feast.
VLAD: â€œLike thisâ€¦â€
Vlad took Devinâ€™s other hand and placed it on the pistol.
VLAD: â€œUse both hands. Now, donâ€™t close your eyes. Keep the gun directly in front of you and aim.â€
Devin tried one more time, this time doing as he said. He fired, hitting one of them in the leg. Devin nearly jumped for joy, but thought better of it at the last minute. The wounded creature looked around, unharmed but now alert.
VLAD: â€œGet on one knee. Aim again.â€
Devin did this, fired again. BULLSEYE! Right above the ear. The infected dropped to the ground. Now, the other two infected stood up looking around, snarling.
VLAD: â€œNow, kill the others.â€
After saying this, Vlad took his knife and stabbed it into the dirt before slinked away behind Devin.
DEVIN: â€œWhere are you going?â€
Vlad was now twenty feet behind him, walking away with his back turned. He yelled at the top of his lungs.
VLAD: â€œIâ€™M MAKING YOU INTO A MAN!â€
Devinâ€™s heart skipped a beat. He turned back to the infected who had heard him yell. They both began charging right at Devin. He fired without thinking, the bullet sailing through the sky unseen. He caught himself, steadied his breathing, took aim. Fired. The closest one went down. He took aim again. Click. No bullets? The gun wasnâ€™t fully loaded. The zombie closed in. Devin grabbed the knife out of the dirt, rose just in time and planted it just under the jaw of the thing. Now dead, the full weight of it collapsed onto Devin. Devin fell back, rolled down the levee and into the shallow section of the river.
He stopped midsentence, seeing the dead woman that the infected had feasted on. It was Aimee. Her legs were gone, her stomach devoured and her throat torn out. She still stared up at the sky in feeble shock. Devin stared at her for a while before Devin came behind him. He put a hand on his shoulder, though only briefly.
VLAD: â€œThis is what happens if you donâ€™t think. If you make mistakes. If you become weak. Her death was unnecessary, but it proves a point to you now. If youâ€™re going to survive, you have to be ruthless. You have to be strong. Most of all, you have to think and have a backup plan should the unexpected occur.â€
DEVIN: â€œThe gun wasnâ€™t fully loaded.â€
VLAD: â€œYou can never count on it being that way. Always plan for the worst. Never let fear overcome your sense of reason.â€
DEVIN: â€œYou turned your back on me.â€
The Journal of Jack Cromwell:
â€œToday was rough. If you can call the death of two of your companions a rough day. We were about five miles north of where we picked up The Sleeper. Tanner was in the lead, carrying a machete. Tanner, I never did find out his first name. Anyway, I didnâ€™t even get a scream out of him. One minute, we were walking along like everything was normal. Izzal and Jin were fucking around, insulting each otherâ€™s mothers. Donnovan was silent as always. I was trying to talk to him, trying to figure out his story.â€
â€œâ€™That tattoo, USMC. Guess that means you were in the Marines, right?â€™ I asked him. He just looked at me. His typical response. Then, he just tensed up. Like he saw something but didnâ€™t know what it was. Next thing I know, bullets are flying. Tanner was hit in the neck. Damn near took his head off. We all ducked down. Izzal and Jin started spraying bullets in the general direction as the opposing fire. Me, being the hero that I am, started looking for cover. I ducked behind a dumpster, with Cindy joining me next.
â€œâ€™Theyâ€™re up on the roof, third building form the left.â€™ That was Sean. Donâ€™t know how he saw them from his vertically challenged state. I squinted and vaguely saw movement up there. Then I saw something flying. Poor Arthur, Art, whatever his name isâ€¦ caught the grenade like it was a fucking tennis ball. Boom. Iâ€™m still wearing pieces of him. Donâ€™t know what the hell he was thinking. Izzal and Jin kept firing. When one had to change a clip, the other covered him. Soon, there was no more return fire coming our way. â€˜After them.â€™ Sean yelling again.â€
â€œâ€™No fucking way,â€™ AJ yelled out. He was huddled beside me and I didnâ€™t even realize it. â€˜Theyâ€™re gone, I say we get the hell out of here.â€™ I tended to agree. Sean reluctantly agreed and we grabbed our shit and took off. Still feel sorry for Riggs and Gavin, carrying The Sleeper at a run as we ducked down an alley. After twenty or so minutes, we felt like we had lost them and took a break. None of us said anything about Tanner or Arthur. Nobody had to. We were beginning to grow accustomed to loss.â€
Somewhere along Highway 80, federal agents Sonya Wilkins and Frederick Solo, along with non-federal non-agent Daniel Cayman, bounce along in the back of a thoroughly wrecked pickup truck. Solo and Cayman keep their hands on their heads, as requested by the owners of the vehicle, two of whom stand in the back, leaning against the cab, each keeping a Steyr TMP submachine gun directed at their prisoners. Sonya doesn't comply with the request, as she still hasn't recovered from being struck across the head, and now lays flat between guards and prisoners, rocking back and forth as the truck rolls onwards.
SOLO: You know, you guys really need to fix the suspension on this thing - it's bad enough back here, I'd hate to be driving when we go over a railway crossing or something.
GUARD: I thought I told ya to shut up!
CAYMAN: You did, he's ignoring you.
GUARD: And you too!
The ride continues to pass in silence, aside from the occasional backfire from the engine.
Eventually, a sign flits past the truck - and then they have crossed over the threshold of a small town, as double-storey buildings rise into view, along with streetlights and sidewalks, but no people, no movement, no life.
SOLO: Nice place. Remind me to come back over the summer sometime.
GUARD: I told you - !
Solo puts two fingers to his mouth and makes a zipping motion.
With a screech from the tires, the truck turns and drives off the road onto a dirt path, before coming to a stop before a tall wooden fence with a gate in it, topped with barbed wire. At an unseen signal, the gate is unlatched and pulled open by two more men wearing typical farmers' clothes, each with a bolt-action rifle hung over their shoulder. The truck rolls on through the gate and straight into an open barn, before the engine is finally shut off. One of the guards on the back of the vehicle gestures 'out' with the barrel of his gun, and both Solo and Cayman oblige, stepping out over the back end and hopping to the ground, then reaching back in to pull out Wilkins. Daniel carried her in his arms, knowing how pissed it would make her if she were to wake up in this state. She had a good smell, though. Completely contrary to the rough exterior she always portrayed.
The Reverend, as it would appear, approached them.
REVEREND: â€œWhatâ€™s going on here?â€
GUARD: â€œFederal Agents.â€
The Reverend stared daggers at him.
REVEREND: â€œWe donâ€™t have enough supplies for more people? Maybe one, since Jim leftâ€¦ butâ€¦â€
He looked at the three of them, Wilkins unconscious.
REVEREND: â€œWhatâ€™s wrong with her? Is she infected?â€
SOLO: â€œOne of your men did a number on her, hit her in the head. Sheâ€™s not infected.â€
The Reverend turned to the men.
REVEREND: â€œIs this true?â€
They answered by simply looking downcast and bowing their heads.
REVEREND: â€œForgive me, Iâ€™m trying to teach these boys some manners. Listen, we can let you stay for one night. I sent them out to gather supplies, not people. And to look for Jim. Jim went out looking for supplies three days ago, and he hasnâ€™t been back. I fear the worst.â€
CAYMAN: â€œWe had no intention of coming at all. Your men were insistent.â€
REVEREND: â€œMy men are lazy. Theyâ€™ve entertained the notion that if they can get more people here, the work to be done will be much less and then they can sit around drinking beer all day. I keep telling them thatâ€™s not the case. The more mouths to feed, the more work there is to be done. Now, here are the rules. Iâ€™ll only say them once.â€
He spoke as he led them to a series of cabins, apparently once used for vacationing campers.
REVEREND: â€œYouâ€™ll each be given chores. You complete the work assigned to you, then the rest of the day is yours. This is a community where everybody pitches in, even me. Youâ€™ll see me out working on the garden every morning. I have been for the last fifteen years, and the zombie apocalypse is not going to change that. There is no fighting. No deserting. No stealing. The early hours of the day are for foraging in the surrounding areas. Colfax, particularly. We are short on fuel, ammunition and brains.â€
He said this last part while glaring at the men who had brought them in.
CAYMAN: â€œListen, Reverendâ€¦ I donâ€™t mean to be rude. But if itâ€™s all the same to you, weâ€™re simply passing through.â€
REVEREND: â€œPassing through where and to where?â€
Daniel and Frederick looked at each other, then back to the Reverend.
CAYMAN: â€œWell, we donâ€™t really have a place in mind yet. Mostly weâ€™re just seeing what we can do to help on the broader scope. Solo and the unconscious Wilkins are federal agents. Theyâ€™re researching the disease.â€
REVEREND: â€œI never had much understanding for things scientific. But what exactly do you intend to discover? That the dead are walking? That theyâ€™re killing anything currently living in search of food? I can tell you that. Thereâ€™s nothing you can discover that will be of any help to you, I guarantee it. But if you donâ€™t have a destination, and are merely looking for a place to get byâ€¦ well, this could be it. I urge you to consider staying.â€
Once out of earshot, Daniel whispered to Frederick.
DANIEL: â€œI donâ€™t like it. Thereâ€™s more going on than he admits.â€
FREDERICK: â€œI feel it too. Letâ€™s stick around and see what their angle is. Wait for Sonya to come to and get her opinion.â€
DANIEL: â€œHow is she?â€
FREDERICK: â€œSheâ€™ll be fine. Concussion probably. I hope they have aspirin.â€
Then, in a whisper. As if Sonya would hear him.
FREDERICK: â€œShe can get a bit bitchy at timesâ€¦â€
Daniel smiled, shyly.
Jim pulled up to the boarded up church. Susan and Julia were both asleep, Susan in the front and Julia laying down in the back. He decides to let them be while he stretches his legs. He gets out of the car, letting it cool some. They were in Redding and in front of Four Square Community Church. After a moment, Julia peeked out the rear window, evidently awake.
JULIA: â€œHave you ever shot somebody?â€
Jim turned, surprised.
JIM: â€œMe? Yeahâ€¦ yeah, I have.â€
She thought about it a moment.
JULIA: â€œBut only bad guys, right? And the monsters.â€
This made her smile. From inside the church, a man screaming sent a chill up his spine. Susan woke, flailing her arms before realizing she had been dreaming. She got out of the car, looked at Jim who was staring at the church.
SUSAN: â€œWhat is it?â€
JIM: â€œCame from inside. Iâ€™m going to take a look. The keyâ€™s in the ignition, if Iâ€™m not back here by ten minutes just go.â€
SUSAN: â€œDonâ€™t go.â€
JIM: â€œI have toâ€¦ I canâ€™t leave somebody helpless.â€
Julia rolled her window up as Jim walked off towards the church. Susan climbed back in the car, watching him go. Jim took out his gun as he neared. He paused by the door, checked the handle and realized it was unlocked. The windows on the right side were boarded up, but that was all. He hazarded a peek inside and what he saw chilled him to the bone. Several dozen infected, all having a feast of flesh. Many of them were now pressed towards the back of the church, pounding on a door at the back of the sanctuary.
Jim silently closed the door, stepped away. He circled around to wear the windows were boarded up. He peeked through, and saw the man who had screamed. Inside, the man had his back to an office door and was pressing against it with all his strength. The door was unlatched and hands were reaching through the cracked doorway.
Thinking fast, Jim yelled into the office.
JIM: â€œDonâ€™t panic. Let me get these boards off the window and Iâ€™ll get you out of there.â€
The man nearly did panic when he heard the voice. But the hope gave him a bit more strength and he was able to force the door shut, though he knew it wouldnâ€™t hold for long. Jim pulled away at the boards, finally removing the bottom two.
JIM: â€œCome this way.â€
The man made a run for the window, squeezing through and falling to the grass unglamorously. The man got back up.
MAN: â€œThankyou. My nameâ€™s Samuel. This is my church. Was my church.â€
JIM: â€œNot a problem. Listen, thereâ€™s probably fifty of them in there. Weâ€™re going to need to burn it.â€
A look of horror came across him. He shook his head violently.
SAMUEL: â€œNo, no, no! This is Godâ€™s house. These are his children. My congregation.â€
JIM: â€œTheyâ€™re already dead.â€
SAMUEL: â€œYou donâ€™t know that. Theyâ€™re just sick, thatâ€™s all.â€
Jim turned around, walking away from him. The man was not listening to reason. Jim approached the car, seeing the relieved look on Susan and Juliaâ€™s face for returning unharmed. He opened the driverâ€™s side door and popped open the trunk. He went around back, all the while Samuel is babbling away.
SAMUEL: â€œTheyâ€™re still people. They need help. Itâ€™s a disease, we just have to give it time. God will come through with this. We just need to have a bit of faith, officer.â€
Samuel picked up a bottle of vodka he had been saving. Took a greasy rag out from under the spare tire and opened the bottle, completely ignoring the man.
SAMUEL: â€œListen to me, I cannot let you do this. Itâ€™s murder.â€
JIM: â€œIâ€™ve had about enough listening to you. Now, step aside. Thatâ€™s an order.â€
Samuel bit his lip, didnâ€™t say another word. Jim finished making his Molotov cocktail and lit it with his lighter. The flame danced over the bottle. He approached the church slowly, holding his finger up for the rest to be quiet. Samuel clenched his fists in protest, but did not say a word. Jim opened the door, tossed the bottle inside and closed the door again. He moved an iron bench in front of the door, and ran back to the car. Already infected were pushing at the door, trying to get at them.
JIM: â€œGet in the car, now!â€
Samuel stared for a few moments more, before Jim ran overâ€¦ opened the rear door and practically threw the man inside. Jim got in himself just as a couple infected broke free from the church. As they pulled away, flames were billowing through the office windows and licking the roof. With hope, at least two thirds would perish in the fire. Samuel was silent for a long time afterwards.
Randy looked at Meggan, as if to get confirmation. She gave no such confirmation, but he knew she couldnâ€™t. It was now or never. Their target had stepped outside for a piss and had his back turned to them. Randy crept over as silently as he could, the chloroform soaked rag in his hand. Four feet away, he stepped on a twig, breaking it. The man whirled and Randy gaped.
MAN: â€œHEY! OUT HERE!â€
Randy stumbled backwards, running. Meggan didnâ€™t have to see what was happening to know. Doors opened. Men piled out of the building, armed and angry. They grabbed Randy first, who up until that point had hoped heâ€™d be able to somehow outrun them back to the van and get away with Meggan. No such luck. They tackled him to the ground and bound his hands in rope. Meggan sighed, not bothering to try and escape.
She had feared this would happen, and had planned accordingly. The men would not kill her. They had no reason to. But they would be so confident that sheâ€™d get her answers anyway. The problem was the cost. She had been ready to sacrifice ethics for the truth, kidnapping the guy to get more evidence. She wondered how sheâ€™d feel about sacrificing more for it. She would find out.
The men approached the van slowly. She opened the door, hands raised.
VOICE: â€œWell, holy shitâ€¦ is that Meggan Evans? That bitch just donâ€™t learn, does she?â€
She recognized the voice. It had haunted her nightmares for years.
ELIMINATED â€“ Meggan Evans â€“ Detained
Eddie saw Earl turn to the driver of the truck. He heard the screaming and the cries of the creatures. He reacted the best way he knew how, without thinking. He grabbed Earlâ€™s gun, snatched it away. At the same time, Richie rose with his own gun. Earl turned stunned to his two would-be victims. From behind, one of the creatures grabbed him and sank its teeth into the neck of Earl.
Eddie got a real good look at the thing this time, really took in what it was. Slowly, he raised the gun and fired. The creature fell over, a bullet in his head. Early lay on the ground, bleeding to death and taking in his last breaths. Richie went to the cab of the truck, saw another infected feasting on the driver. Richie raised the gun, couldnâ€™t shoot. Eddie came along side him, aimed his own and emptied the second chamber.
They both stood in silence for a while. Silence was something rarely shared between the two of them.
RICHIE: â€œYou killed them.â€
EDDIE: â€œHad to.â€
Richie looked at his brother in a different light, his brother the screw upâ€¦ had done something that Richie couldnâ€™t. And he had blood on his hands because of it. Eddie turned back to the Gran Torino, whose tires were shot.
EDDIE: â€œNow what?â€
Richie answered him by grabbing the dead driver and hoisting him out of the truck. Eddie watched in shock as Richie climbed went around the front, this time grabbing the infectedâ€™s foot and dragging him back through the windshield and off the hood. The windshield itself was useless, and the cab was covered in blood and other.
RICHIE: â€œItâ€™s not much. But itâ€™ll get us moving. At least until we can find a new car.â€
EDDIE: â€œIâ€™m gonna be sick if I get in that thing.â€
RICHIE: â€œI gotta get home, Eddie. Come on, help me out.â€
Eddie sighed and took his brotherâ€™s hand, shaking it. They each climbed into the truck, this time Richie driving.
Cassandra knelt down behind the abandoned car. A hundred yards ahead, the soldiers were shooting the shit and gabbing. It was time. Alessandra better fulfill her part of the plan. After a few more agonizing moments, she finally saw it. Three hundred yards away on the other side of the soldiers, a car exploded. The soldiers turned their attention to it. Cassandra smiled. She looked down at Lidia, took her hand.
CASSANDRA: â€œRemember, stay right behind me. And be very quiet. Donâ€™t make a sound.â€
Cassandra got up, holding the hand of the little girl as they crept up on the soldiers. She held the gun tightly in her hand. Another car exploded, this time fifty feet to the left of the first one. Now the soldiers began to move, making their way to the explosions to investigate. As they moved, Cassandra went to the truck. Unlatched it, and flung it open to let out the survivors.
Unfortunately, they werenâ€™t survivors.
She barely let out a whimper as the things dove off the truck at her. Twenty of them, at least. She stumbled back, the things tackling her to the ground. Lidia ran away, escaping behind a car. But not for long, for they had seen her too. At the last minute, gunshots filled the air. They took out several of the infected that had escaped. This got the attention of the rest, who changed direction and diverted their attention to the soldiers. Cassandra shot the one that was ontop of her, and rolled it off. Lidia was running around and around the car in circles, as an infected gave chase. Cassandra ended the girlâ€™s misery by putting a bullet through the zombieâ€™s head.
Lidia charged for Cassandra and wrapped her arms around her leg. Cassandra turned her attention to the other infected. They had overtaken the soldiers, killing all of them. Cassandra aimed coolly and mowed down the last four remaining infected.
Cassandra sat down, hugged her knees. That was way too close of a call. She was sure she had seen living non-infected get into the truck. That means they had turned while inside. How could she have known? It sounded like a good diversion in her head, but it was just way too close.
Her thoughts were interrupted when Alessandra returned from setting up the diversions. The sister looked at the piles of bodies, then at the guns. She picked one up, before Cassandra could even realize what was happening.
When she did, it was too late. The gun was aimed at her.
ALESSANDRA: â€œNow, give me your gun.â€
ALESSANDRA: â€œGive me the fucking gun.â€
Lidia whined. Cassandra sighed, tossed the gun to the ground. Alessandra reached down and picked it up, stuffing it into her jeans. She kept the assault rifle aimed at the two, then cracked a smile.
ALESSANDRA: â€œI guess Iâ€™m in charge now.â€
Gordon Fisher and his group stopped to rest at a turnout just off of 80. The sun was setting and Gordon had been driving all day it seemed, but hadnâ€™t found much in the way of supplies. He knew he should be heading west to the citiesâ€¦ but instead, he just sort of ambled along. Jim pointed this out.
JIM: â€œAre we actually going to try and get anywhere tomorrow?â€
Gordon didnâ€™t respond.
JIM: â€œI donâ€™t like this area. I thought maybe you were getting out of here. If I had known you were just going to drive around in circles-â€œ
GORDON: â€œIâ€™m looking for food and supplies. You wonâ€™t find much in the cities that hasnâ€™t already been looted.â€
JIM: â€œWe canâ€™t stay here forever.â€
GORDON: â€œAnd why not? Youâ€™re not captive here. Why donâ€™t you find your own way?â€
JIM: â€œIt occurred to me that I might. Butâ€¦â€
GORDON: â€œBut what?â€
Sam was asleep. Cody gave him a look as if to say, â€˜I told you so.â€™ He didnâ€™t tell him nothing though. Content to leave the argument as it was, Gordon settled himself in his seat and shut his eyes. He got the feeling that Jim was only pretending to sleep, though. Gordon would have to do the same.
Morning came for Daniel Cayman and his federal agent friends. Wilkins even woke up, looked at the sun glaring through the window then stood to full attention.
WILKINS: â€œWhere are we?â€
SOLO: â€œTake it easy, itâ€™s still early.â€
WILKINS: â€œTake it easy? Weâ€™ve been kidnapped. Whereâ€™s my gun?â€
SOLO: â€œItâ€™s on the nightstand. Donâ€™t worry, weâ€™re not captive here.â€
WILKINS: â€œWhat the hell are you talking about?â€
CAYMAN: â€œLet me explainâ€¦â€
And so, Daniel went through all the events that happened. He downplayed his suspicion that something unseen was happening, but Sonya picked up on it anyway.
WILKINS: â€œSomething else is going on that theyâ€™re not telling us.â€
They didnâ€™t say a word.
WILKINS: â€œWeâ€™re leaving. Now.â€
As if on command, the door opened. The Reverend walked in with a few of his boys.
REVEREND: â€œRise and shine, time to start the day.â€
Sonya glared at them. Frederick spoke first before she could put her foot in her mouth.
SOLO: â€œWe wanted to thank you for letting us stay here, and weâ€™ll be off on our own now.â€
REVEREND: â€œOh, thatâ€™s a shame. Well of course, youâ€™d be helping us out by doing your fair share of the work. I mean, being as how we took you in. You would return the favor, yes?â€
WILKINS: â€œYou took us here against our will.â€
REVEREND: â€œThat was a misunderstanding.â€
WILKINS: â€œWeâ€™re leaving.â€
REVEREND: â€œYes, you are. But youâ€™ll be going with Rick here. Heading back up Highway 80 in search of more supplies. When youâ€™re finished, you can bring supplies back here. And when youâ€™re done with that, you can leave.â€
Wilkins nodded, grudgingly. The three of them gathered there things. Daniel felt the bulge from his gun as he put on his backpack. He sincerely hoped heâ€™d never have to use it.
Josh didnâ€™t sleep well. Did anybody ever sleep well these days? His nightmares were full of grotesquely large zombies charging in from all directions. Sometimes they looked like strangers, but often they were people he knew. His friends, his cousins, Crystal. That was the worst. He woke up covered in sweat. He looked over and found that he was alone. Crystal had already gotten up.
He got up himself, got dressed and looked out the window. Yep, still fucked.
He went downstairs, his head still feeling funny. Mostly his neck was killing on him from sleeping on the floor. He had an idea to grab some beds from someplace nearby if they were going to actually make this place into something.
Crystal was sitting on the floor, loading and unloading a gun.
JOSH: â€œHi Crystal. Whatcha doing?â€
CRYSTAL: â€œPracticing loading the weapons. The faster I become, the more it may make a difference when it really matters.â€
JOSH: â€œI see.â€
Inside, he recalled a time when they had thought of nothing more serious than whether or not The Mars Volta was overrated.
CRYSTAL: â€œMore importantly, we need more ammo. And more guns. With Tiffany here, weâ€™re going to need a few extras for her. And weâ€™ll need more for the other refugees.â€
CRYSTAL: â€œThatâ€™s the point, isnâ€™t it? Weâ€™re going to make this into a fortress.â€
JOSH: â€œAre you okay?â€
CRYSTAL: â€œIâ€™m great, why do you ask?â€
She continued loading and unloading the gun. She was insanely quick at it now. But still she went on.
Tiffany was standing near a window, looking at the street. Now she called to them. Josh came over, with Crystal following close behind. She raised the run, took off the safety and crouched near the window. She was taking this serious.
A group of four were strolling down the street. Looked like a family. They were headed straight for the building. The male of the group carried a hunting rifle. The woman and the two young boys were unarmed.
JOSH: â€œTheyâ€™re headed straight here.â€
CRYSTAL: â€œOf course they are.â€
Crystal stepped outside, the gun lowered. She waved at them. Josh made futile attempts to call her back, worried that the man with the gun could be hostile.
CRYSTAL: â€œHi, Iâ€™m Crystal. Welcome.â€
MAN: â€œDo you have food? We need food.â€
CRYSTAL: â€œNot yet. But weâ€™re working on it. Weâ€™ve got plenty of water though. You can either stay here or if youâ€™re just passing through, you can simply load up on water if you like.â€
Josh noticed Tiffany watching him. He met her gaze, shrugged his shoulders. She did not stop looking at him. Strange.
The family reloaded on water and went off on their own. After a while Josh wandered outside, finding a department store nearby. He turned around to let Crystal know, when he saw it. The reason the family had headed straight for their building. A large banner hung over the building, hung from the roof.
â€œSafety and Suppliesâ€
He hung his head, getting a bad feeling for it all.
Sonya, Frederick and Daniel were sitting in the back of a truck with a guy named One Eye, a thick hairy man with an eye patch. After a while, they pulled up to a stop. Sonya looked around, seeing only a station wagon pulled to the side of the road.
SONYA: â€œWhy are we stopped?â€
They all piled out of the truck, drawing their weapons just in case. As they approached the vehicle, a gunshot caused them all to drop and take cover.
FREDERICK: â€œWhatâ€™s happening?â€
One Eye went down like a sack of potatoes, blood pooling from his gut.
ONE-EYE: â€œIâ€™m hit.â€
He returned the kindness by spraying a stream of bullets at the station wagon before collapsing onto his face. Frederick took the uzi from the dying man, checked its clip and waited.
Gordon woke up. Woke up, damnitâ€¦ he had dozed off. He heard the sound again, car doors closing. He turned around, saw Jim waking up. Saw Sam fast asleep. Cody was licking his Gordonâ€™s knuckles. Jim turned around suddenly, just as five men and a woman got out of a pickup truck, all of them armed.
Suddenly, Jim raised a gun. HIS gun. Gordon felt at his belt, feebly. Realized Jim must have taken the gun when he fell asleep. That son of a bitch.
Jim shot out the back window, shattering it. The bullet hit one of them, a guy with an eye patch. They all dropped down for cover. A few moments passed then machine gun fire sprayed the car. Sam plugged his ears. Cody whimpered. Gordon pulled Cody down and got himself as low as he could. Sam was already as low as he could be, crouching on the floor of the back seat.
That Jim was going to get them killed. The gunfire stopped though.
GORDON: â€œGive me that god damn thing.â€
Jim glared at him, refusing without words. Then he opened the car door, got out of it. Bang. Bang. He fired at the two on his side. He hit the woman in the stomach, hit the driver right in the center of his chest.
Gordon saw the ignition without keys. The bastard must have took them too. He had slept through all that? How?
Behind him, Jim got hit in the leg by awkward looking man carrying the uzi. He wondered if he bore some sort of affection for the woman, because he seemed to liven up after she got hit. Still, everything happened so fast. Jim, though hit, kept firing. He hit the awkward man in the forehead, killing him instantly.
He hazarded a glance to Sam. The boy still covered his ears, but he didnâ€™t appear as shaken up as youâ€™d expect a kid to be. This kid had seen far too much violence. He had grown numb to it.
From this vantage, Gordon saw his only chance. The tire iron lay on the floor of the backseat. He grabbed it, clenched it in his fist for when the time was right.
Sonya was shot. Frederick was dead. One of the guys they came with was ducked down beside Daniel. The man started yelling.
MAN: â€œJim, come on manâ€¦ why would you do this to us?â€
JIM: â€œIâ€™m not going back there. You hear me?â€
He fired again, this one hitting the man in the knee. He doubled over in pain. Daniel took out the gun, the heavy bulge he had carried this long. The one he was supposed to use to take out Frederick and Sonya if they were about to make the wrong call. It still felt heavy.
He raised the gun, doing as he was trained. He hit the guy, Jim, but only in the shoulder. The man spun around, shooting wildly. By some miracle it hit the man behind the truck, dead center in his chest. Bet he couldnâ€™t do that again if he tried. Daniel fired again, hitting the guy right between the eyes. He fell down, dead. The shooting stopped.
Daniel got up, went to Sonya. She was coughing up blood.
DANIEL: â€œWhat do I do?â€
She reached into her pocket, took out a phone. Placed it in his hands.
SONYA: â€œMake the call. Please. Thereâ€™s only one number in there.â€
He looked at the phone, it was a government satellite phone. It would work so long as there was a satellite still in the sky. He shook his head.
DANIEL: â€œI canâ€™t do that. Itâ€™s wrong. We still have a chance.â€
Sonya tried to fight through the words.
SONYA: â€œIf they donâ€™t hear from meâ€¦ theyâ€™ll do it. Make the callâ€¦ tell them I failedâ€¦ stop them from making a mistake.â€
She gurgled out the last few words. Then he understood. Had he carried out his mission as Major Bene intended, he would have doomed them all. She spoke just once more.
SONYA: â€œKill me. Quickly.â€
He didnâ€™t understand at first, then realizedâ€¦ gunshot wound to the stomach. It was a long and painful death. He shook his head, but tears fell from her eyes. She looked over to Frederick who lied dead on the other side of the truck. He sighed, the gun still heavy in his hand. He closed his eyes and pulled the trigger.
Would he ever live with himself after that?
Gordon stepped out of the car carefully, silently. There was only one of them left. Only one man, but he wouldnâ€™t let anything happen to the boy. Couldnâ€™t let anything happen to him. His heart beating nearly out of his chestâ€¦ he wasnâ€™t sure how much more of this he could takeâ€¦ he raised the tire iron. The man stood up, pointed the gun at the woman on the ground. Executed her right then and there.
The cold hearted son of a bitch.
Gordon swung with all his might, hitting the man right on his temple. The man went down. Gordon kept swinging. Tears flew from his eyes. This was different. This wasnâ€™t like killing the infected. This was a human being. But it was necessary. He swung and swung and swung, caving the manâ€™s head in. Exhausted, he dropped the tire iron and sobbed into the dirt. The man was a bloody mess on the side of the road. Collecting himself, he reached into his pocketâ€¦ took the manâ€™s wallet and removed his ID. â€œDaniel Cayman.â€ He stuffed the ID into his pocket and then went to Jim. He took his keys, took the gun then made his way back to the vehicle.
His hands shook as he got behind the wheel. He looked back at Sam, still huddled down on the floor. He hoped the boy hadnâ€™t turned around to look. He didnâ€™t think he did. But Cody saw. Damn if Cody didnâ€™t know just what he had done.
But they were safe. Thatâ€™s what mattered. He started the engine and drove off, leaving Colfax and its surrounding area behind them.
ELIMINATED â€“ Daniel Cayman, Frederick Solo, Sonya Wilkins â€“ Dead