|01/20/2013, 07:27 am||#101|
Join Date: Jun 2012
Chapter 12: The Horde
In such a long time, Clementine actually dared to let herself feel happy and safe. When she was on the road with Lee, after escaping Savannah, they could only spend a few days at one place before they had to move on, whether it was because of walkers, lack of food or other people. Clementine learned long ago that other survivors could be far more dangerous than any walker but not all of them were bad. A few actually tried to help but Lee was always leery of them, never staying long.
Surviving through winter was hard but by working together they scraped enough food to make it. They even located a working car with enough gas in it to get them mobile again. They were a team and for a while, she believed they could get through anything. Then the car broke down but Lee fixed it and he just needed to get some water for the radiator. Clementine remembered hearing the stream nearby and they both went into the woods to get some water. They always stayed together.
They came to a snow covered slope and the stream was right there. Lee tried to walk down the hill but he slipped and she helplessly watched him take a hard fall and he stopped moving. She tried to wake him, almost screaming before remembering not to make any noise. Walkers were attracted to loud noises.
Clementine then tried to drag him back to the car but he was too heavy so she stayed by his side, waiting and hoping for him to wake up. Night came and it got colder so she ran to the car and grabbed some blankets. There she huddled against him under the blankets for two days, unable to sleep and jumping to every sound in the dark. She tried to be brave and to be quiet. No sound. They like noises.
On the morning of the second day, several walkers approached. Clementine remained still under the blankets hoping they would walk by but one stopped and turned towards them. It made a sound, a low grunting sound that one gives when it smells new prey. With little choice and using Lee’s gun she stood up from under the blankets and shot it.
The gunshot attracted the other walkers but Clementine didn’t leave Lee’s side. She was determined to protect him like he did many times for her. By then, she saw how many walkers she was facing as they drew closer, far more than the few bullets she had remaining in the gun. She was scared, hands trembling but she held her ground and fired again, careful to make each shot count. Clementine didn’t know what else to do, she had to protect Lee and she couldn’t leave him. She couldn’t because she knew he would never abandon her.
She fired again and again until her gun emptied. There were so many walkers coming towards her that Clementine froze in fear. She didn’t know what to do. Clementine couldn’t leave Lee. She couldn’t and she wouldn’t. They came closer and she started to cry when she heard someone shouting from behind.
“Clementine! Get down!”
Carley rushed by her, pushing her down next to Lee. Clementine was startled to see her, she remembered Lilly shooting Carley and seeing her lying in a small pool of blood. Now she was back like she remembered except for a patch over her left eye, like a pirate and carrying a large rifle.
Carley placed herself between them and the walkers and started shooting. Clementine wanted desperately for Carley to make the monsters go away but there were so many that they would easily overwhelm her. Suddenly, three others appeared joining Carley with their weapons ready, two men and a woman. Two of the men were dressed like soldiers and together they stopped the walkers in a massive display of gunfire. Before Clementine could even think of it, Carley and her three friends rescued them, taking them somewhere else. Somewhere hopefully safe.
That was nearly a month ago. It was hard for Clementine not to look back at that day, like a distant nightmare she finally woke up from. She liked this place, it had lots of people and many of them were nice. She really liked Lizzy and Saul who immediately befriended her when Lee was still hurt.
Right now, she was out back in the Nest’s compound helping Pegs preparing to plant her new garden. Pegs was smart and knew a lot about plants. She was even teaching her and several others what she knew about taking care and planting crops in case something should happen to her. Clementine didn’t like hearing that, Pegs was her friend too and wanted nothing to happen to her. She even liked their leader Michael, who protected Lee from Chad. However, Clementine didn’t like Chad very much and she felt Chad didn’t really like anyone here.
One of the best things that Clementine saw was that Lee seemed a lot happier being here as well. Clementine could see a great weight had been lifted off his shoulders because there were others shouldering more of the burden too. She really liked seeing Lee and Carley together because it made them both happier. Now, Clementine wasn’t so worried about something happening to Lee being here with Carley and the others now. They were all stronger being together.
Lee was out front in the garage area helping Saul getting the Ford Escape ready for another food and fuel run when he looked up seeing a familiar figure approaching. He smiled warmly, calling out.
“Rooster! Coming to see us off?”
Carley had on her carrying vest and her assault rifle sling across her back as she stopped just a few feet in front of Lee. Carley still disliked her nickname but in the end it was far better than being called something like Cyclops or even Scratch, but still, she could have some fun too.
“In a way, Condor.” Carley grinned, using Lee’s new bird nickname.
“Hey, I have no problem with my nickname,” Lee joked. “Condors are a big and proud bird.”
“You forgot ugly.”
“Didn’t say they were perfect.” Lee winked.
Carley smiled again, enjoying the back and forth teasing between them. “I talked to Paul and he has agreed to let me take his place on this patrol.”
Lee looked surprised. “You’re coming with us?”
“Yes,” Carley noted his reaction with a frown. “Is that a problem?”
“No,” Lee replied as she gave him a disapproving look. “I would love to have you come with us but I would prefer one of us staying behind for Clementine’s sake.”
“Why? Besides that asshole Chad, she has nothing to fear from anyone here.”
“I believe that too but what if something were to happen and both of us didn’t came back?”
Carley knew where he was going with this and had to agree. “Okay but maybe you should wait another week and get back to full strength before going out there. There‘s plenty of stuff to do around here.”
“Maybe, but Saul said they were doing a run to the east, giving us a chance to swing around to our car along the way which still had a little food and fuel left in it with a few personal items,” Lee explained. “If no one has found it and broken into it yet.”
Carley stepped closer, poking her finger into his chest. “Just been careful and I mean it.”
“Yes, ma’am,” Lee smiled when his nose inhaled a wonderful scent. He leaned in closer and sniffed again. “You washed your hair?”
Carley give a sly feline grin. “What about it? Can’t a girl use some of her water rations to keep clean?”
“I appreciate it.”
Carley glanced at him with a growing smirk. “I didn’t do it just for you.”
“You can do whatever you like,” Lee moved closer till their bodies were almost touching, his voice soft. “I hope you don’t mind me saying it out loud, I appreciate it when you merely walk into view.”
“Glad to hear that,” Carley almost purred. “Flatter.”
Lee smiled. “Just being truthful.”
Carley stared up at him and she had a million flirty responses racing through her mind. For a while, she had briefly thought Lee’s interest in her was just the guilt he felt about leaving her accidentally behind but the love and desire she saw in his eyes could not be faked. He didn’t care about the injuries to her face which only made him even more attractive to Carley.
She stood up on her toes because of the height difference between them. Carley then placed both of her hands on his shoulders, saying. “Maybe I should reward you.”
“No rewards are needed. I just need you.”
Lee gave her a playful look and Carley felt his arms wrapping around her waist. “Well, you are in luck.” She said.
Lee leaned down to kiss her as Carley’s lips parted slightly in anticipation.
“Hey, Lee? Where are…” Saul walked around the Escape carrying his med kit and stopped when he saw them in mid kiss. “Oh, sorry.”
Lee glanced at him, slightly disappointed at the interruption but they had work to get done. “It’s okay Saul, I should be helping you…”
Lee then felt Carley’s hands gripping both sides of his face before being pulled down to her waiting lips. Upon feeling her mouth against his, all thoughts and resistance faded. Oblivious to everything except her, Lee hungrily return the kiss, his right hand moving up from Carley’s waist to the back of her head, burying his fingers through her hair.
Saul just stared in disbelief at the unrestrained show of intimacy before tossing the med-kit in the back of the Escape and jabbed his thumb back to the garage. “I’ll be back in a couple minutes,” Seeing the intensity of their kissing, Saul added quietly. “Probably with some lumber to build a room around you two.”
He took two steps back to the garage when he heard a distant rumble, like thunder. It was loud enough to get even Lee and Carley’s attention.
Out back, everyone that was outside heard it and came to a stop. Carrying a large bag of seeds, Pegs carefully put it down and listened. It did sound like a distant thunderclap but the sky was clear of any dark clouds. She glanced behind to Clementine who stood nervously nearby.
“What was that?” The little girl asked the grown woman.
“I don’t know but stay here.” Pegs said before moving to one of the several wooden platforms built all around the inside walls of the mansion grounds. They each were four feet high, three feet wide and eight feet long. She climbed the steps and looked over the top of the wall. All she saw was the distant rolling hills, trees and the few nearby abandoned houses.
Pegs then looked up to the top of the mansion to the bird house, basically a small watch tower built on the peek of the roof. It had a clear 360 view of everything around them with enough space for two people to man it, as long as you don’t have a fear of heights climbing the ladder to reach it.
Kelly was taking her shift up in the bird house when she also heard the thunderous sound off in the distance. Lifting her binoculars to her eyes, she scanned the horizon but even from her high perch couldn’t see anything out of the ordinary besides a few lone walkers.
By now Michael, Burt and Angel along with several others exited the mansion also drawn by the noise that they heard even inside the building.
“What going on?” Michael called up to Kelly in the bird house.
“Don’t know,” Kelly shouted down. “It sounded like thunder.”
“Thunder my ass,” Burt muttered under his breath to Michael. “That was an explosion.”
Michael was in complete agreement. From his tours in Iraq and those damned IEDs made him an expert in explosions. He turned to Angel. “Grab your rifle and get up there with Kelly.”
“I’m on it.” Angel said before hurrying off as more people showed up to see what was happening.
Walking around the mansion from the garage area came Saul, Lee and Carley.
“Clementine?” Lee called, looking left and right.
Through the crowd, Clementine waved to him from across the backyard next to Pegs. “I’m here, Lee.”
Seeing her safe, Lee followed Saul and Carley as they approached Michael and Burt. Upon reaching them, Saul whispered to the two men. “That was TNT going off.”
“We’re way ahead of you.” The ex-marine said.
“What is the plan?” Carley asked.
“I sent Angel up to the bird house to be an extra pair of eyes for Kelly.” Michael replied.
“Should we go to lock down?” Burt suggested.
Before Michael could decide, they all heard a second thunderous blast in the distance, but this sounded closer. By now, people were muttering nervously and the army sergeant shouted up to Kelly.
“Do you see anything?”
“Nothing!” Kelly yelled back down as she continued to scan the horizon.
Michael looked to Burt. “Yes, we’re locking this place down.” Then he shouted to everyone around him. “Listen up everyone. Fighters take your assigned positions on the wall. Everyone else, head back inside.”
“I’ll get ready to breakout the rest of the weapons if we need them.” Burt said and Michael only nodded his reply as the ex-marine hurried off.
People started moving, many hurrying inside while everyone armed moved onto wooden platforms lining the inside walls and stood guard looking over it. Lee saw Pegs ushering Clementine back into the building. He walked next to her, saying to the woman. “Keep her safe.”
From behind, he heard Michael‘s voice. “You have to go inside too Lee.”
Surprised, he turned to face him but the sergeant looked serious.
“I’ve fought before and I’m a good shot,” Lee countered. He saw Carley approaching, the smaller woman cradling her rifle in her hands. Anyone allowed to carry a weapon was a fighter. “Tell him, Carley.”
The former reporter looked between their leader who she had much respect for and the man she loved dearly. She didn’t like being put on the spot but she answered honestly. “We could use him on the walls, Michael.”
“No doubt but I could use you inside.” Michael said to lee.
“What good will I be inside?” Lee questioned.
Michael leaned in closer, keeping his voice low. “I need you to help Burt inside the mansion and be his second in command. I need people I can trust to look out for the rest of us.”
With emphasize, Michael gestured to Clementine and Pegs and Lee understood. “I’ll keep them safe.” He promised.
“Be careful, Michael.” Pegs said urgently to the army sergeant, touching his hand.
“Hopefully this is nothing but a false alarm.” Michael replied, giving her hand a gentle squeeze. “Now, help get everyone inside.”
Lee quickly took his possible last opportunity to say his good bye to Carley. “Be safe. I can’t lose you again.”
Carley gave a small smile and her hand gently caressed the side of his face. “I could say the same to you.”
Within three minutes, the entire compound was secured and sections of the wall were manned and guarded. Up in the bird house, Angel and Kelly watched the horizon with their binoculars. Down on the ground, Michael, Saul, Carley, Riley and four other fighters rounded out their outer defence.
Michael scanned the landscape from his spot behind the wall before speaking into his radio. “This is Broke Wing, all fighters report.”
“Toucan here. North and west sectors clear.”
“Vulture here. South and East sectors clear.”
“Penguin here. Wall section one clear.”
“Rooster here. Wall section two clear.”
“l'oiseau here. Wall section three clear.”
After everyone reported in, Michael looked to the setting sun and within an hour, darkness would settle in and protecting this place from possible bandit incursion would get harder. They still had two night vision goggles but the batteries to them were old and only one could hold a decent charge.
Suddenly he heard Angel’s voice urgently calling over the radio. “Toucan here. I got movement to the north, two miles out. Walkers.”
Walkers were no surprise to Michael. There always a bunch crossing through this area weekly. “How many?”
“Hard to tell,” Angel answered. “They’re just exiting the tree line to the north. Even with no leaves on the branches yet, the thick brush still made it hard to…”
There was a long pause that immediately worried Michael. “Toucan. Report.”
After a moment, Michael heard Angel cursing under his breath. “Oh, shit. We have a problem.”
“What is it Toucan?” Michael demanded in the radio before glancing up to the bird house. “What do you see?”
“Lots of walkers.” Angel uttered, his voice filled with disbelief.
“Do we have a herd coming our way?” Michael asked.
“No,” Angel replied in dread. “It’s looks more like a horde and they‘re definitely heading our way.”
Like a slow moving tsunami, crushing or devouring everything before it, thousands of walkers poured out of the woods to the north. With no real thought or direction and nearly a mile wide, they were all moving south with the Nest squarely in their path.
The Nest was a scene of what could only be described as controlled chaos. Michael left Angel and Kelly in the bird nest to maintain a lookout while leaving Carley, Riley and two other fighters to guard the walls. Everyone else was put to work to get their defences ready for the oncoming mass of walkers.
When they first moved into the mansion months before, Burt immediately turned the mansion’s panic room into their armoury. It was built like a vault, with a combination lock, perfect for keeping their weapons secured and safe. With the walkers approaching, he broke it open and started to handout weapons and ammunition to everyone, for all the good it would do. If Angel was right about the size of the horde that was heading for them, everyone might as well save the very last bullet for themselves.
Burt was in the middle of handing out a pump action shotgun to the next person in line when he locked eyes with Chad. He was looking perfectly smug that he was finally getting a weapon. For Burt, Chad was the last person he would trust to guard his back in a fight. Shit, he would rather have Clementine covering his back in a dark alley armed only with a Nerf baseball bat than have Chad even armed with a gun.
With no words said, Burt gave him the shotgun and a box of ammo for it.
Outside, several people were busy trying to reinforce the walls surrounding the mansion. Lee was with Datu, helping him lay eight foot long two by fours to shore it up. About every ten feet along the wall and roughly six feet from it, Lee would use the shovel he was carrying to dig a small hole and Datu would place one end of the two by four into it before propping the other end against the brick wall.
Datu would prefer to use stakes to secure the boards to the ground but they didn’t have time and using a hammer and the noise it would make was not a good idea with the walkers closing in.
Hurrying along, Lee had no idea if this would help. Just getting a few hundred walkers just pressing against any section of the brick wall would be enough to bring it down. Placing a bunch of two by fours against the wall won’t make much of a difference but still, they had to do something.
Behind them, Lee heard an engine starting and he briefly turned to see Saul driving the humvee out of the garage and wheeling it up to the gate entrance until its front bumper was up against the metal bars. Saul turned the army vehicle as one giant doorstop.
Inside, Michael was helping and directing people on the first floor, having them boarding up windows, securing doors and moving supplies up to the second floor. Nearby the stairway leading up to the second floor was several chainsaws and axes. If the worse should happen, the stairs would be destroyed keeping the walkers from reaching the second level. Hopefully it wouldn‘t come to that.
Glancing to his left, Michael spotted Pegs carrying a box up to the second floor and right behind her was Clementine helping out by carrying several MREs in her arms.
Michael pressed the speak button to his radio. “Toucan, report.”
“Toucan here. Still no change, walkers are on course and one mile out now. I have better view of the entire group and estimate the walker numbers to be at 10,000 plus.”
“Keep me posted.” Michael replied, astonished at the city’s worth of undead aimed straight at them. The walkers could just pass them without any problem but if that oversize herd should focus its attention on this place for any reason, it would be the end of them.
Michael wasn’t sure what to do. Maybe if he had two hundred trained sharpshooters and crates of ammunition he could hold them off. Michael realized abandoning the Nest was not an option either. They don’t have the vehicles nor the fuel to make any meaningful escape possible. Even if they did, where would they go?
The army sergeant turned to see Burt approaching.
“I finished arming everyone and moving the remaining guns and ammo upstairs.” The ex-marine said.
“Good work. I have people reinforcing the walls, boarding up the windows and moving everyone and everything we need upstairs as well.”
“You realize this is no accident,” Burt said. “Someone set off those explosions to draw those walkers here.”
“Why can’t we do the same?” Burt suggested. “We got grenades, claymores and we even have some fireworks that we hadn’t pulled apart yet for the gunpowder.”
“You realize the ones who did this will probably be watching us and who wants to go outside with 10,000 walkers coming?”
“You’re looking at him,” Burt pointed his thumb at himself. “I’ll go.”
Michael was surprised. “That’s not like you Burt.” He said.
“Hey, I just don’t like volunteering for stupid plans.”
“What’s the difference now?”
“It’s my stupid plan.”
Chad was watching from the second floor window and to the north he could now clearly make out the army of walkers coming towards them and below he watched everyone’s feeble efforts to reinforce the mansion walls with boards propped up against them.
He and his group were alone for the moment in this corner of the mansion as Chad turned to them saying.
“We need to get out of here while we can.”
“Can’t we just take the place, we have weapons now.” A man said “That has been the plan.”
“No,” Chad shook his head. “There are only nine of us and gunfire will only bring the walkers down on us all. They’re moving the food upstairs, I say we go and continue to help but instead we’ll carry out as much as we can to the garage and steal two or three vehicles there. We might succeed in the confusion.”
“But the gate is now blocked by the hummer.” A nervous woman said.
“The humvee is military, it doesn’t require keys. It just uses an on/off switch to get it started,” Chad explained. “It won’t be a problem.”
“I know where they keep the keys to the other vehicles and they were loading up the Escape for today’s patrol so it’ll be gased up.” Another man added.
“Good,” Chad pointed to him. “Go to the garage and get another vehicle ready, the rest of us will grab as much as we can and meet you there.”
“What if we’re discovered?” Another asked.
Chad thought about it and instantly had the perfect solution. “Don’t worry, I’ll get some insurance.”
In the dimming light of the setting sun, Carley continued to stand guard at the north wall watching as the walkers continued their steady march. They were under a mile out now and she could honestly start to hear their constant moans from here. There were so many of them, like ants except human size.
She turned and saw Lee approaching before giving him a weak smile. “Hey Lee.”
He stopped short of her, glancing up as Carley looked back down from the raised platform she stood on. “Are they still coming?”
Carley lifted her hand for silence, telling him. “Listen.”
Lee paused when he heard them, the faint eerie echoes of thousands hollow grunts and bone chilling mourns being carried over the winds. The last time he heard anything like that was on the train to Savannah with thousands of walkers on their heels.
“I take it the view up there is no better?
“Scary and depressing is more like it,” Carley answered. “Are you and Datu done?”
“Everyone just finished reinforcing the walls. Datu and the others headed back inside.”
“Maybe you should head inside too.” Carley suggested.
Lee shook his head. “I’d rather stay and keep you company.”
Her heart raced slightly. He was worried about her. “What about Clem?” Carley had to say. “You should be with her.”
“She’s inside with Pegs and safe for the time being.” Lee said feeling conflicted, in unable to be at both places at once. “I’ll go inside soon once I know you’re okay.”
“Do you have a weapon?” Carley asked.
Lee pulled out a small glock from his coat pocket.
“A Burt special.” Lee smirked before stepping up onto the platform with Carley and looked over the wall getting a good view of the oncoming walkers. His eyes widen at the sheer numbers facing them and getting closer with every step.
Yeah, just like on that train to Savannah. Lee thought.
“Unsettling, isn’t it.” Carley asked as Lee stood close next to her.
“Yeah,” He muttered in reply. “Quite.”
They stood there for a moment longer until Lee asked. “Carley, whatever happens, stay close to me and Clementine.”
Carley glanced at him, giving him a thin smile. “Still want to be my knight in shinning armor to the end?”
Lee paused before laughing to himself. “Hell no, I was hoping you might save us.”
Lee was rewarded with a laugh from Carley before she delivered a playful punch to his arm. He enjoyed making her laugh, seeing her smile. Lee then wrapped his arms around her and the two embraced. Lee kissed the top of her head, inhaling her scent.
“We’ll get through this because I’m not going to lose you again.” He whispered to her and Carley wanted to believe it.
“Thank you for lending a hand ,” Pegs said to the little girl walking beside her on the first floor of the mansion. “You are a great help, Clem.”
“You’re welcome.” Clementine replied politely but Pegs saw that she looked distracted and worried.
“You’re concerned about Lee and Carley?” Pegs asked.
“Well, considering we don’t hear any gunfire means they’re safe.” Pegs told her but that didn’t really comfort her. “Tell you what, after this we’ll go and find them.”
That offer quickly brightened Clementine’s mood. “Promise?”
“I promise.” Pegs answered before pointed to a storage room. “Let’s check in here.”
Entering the room, Pegs sighed at the sight shelves still full of useful items. “Figures,” Pegs muttered. “Everyone is so worried about food, guns and medicine that no one thinks about the more basic things to survival like staying warm.”
Pegs started grabbing piles of blankets before directing her little helper. “Clem, could you check over there and see if they’re any more hand crank lanterns?”
“Where?” Clementine said, looking behind some boxes before spotting them on a bottom shelf along the wall. “I see them.”
“Good,” Pegs said. “Just…”
When Clementine bent down to grab them, suddenly she heard Chad’s voice as he entered the room. It sounded like he was in a hurry. “Pegs, did you hear? Burt had a heart attack!”
Pegs sounded in shock. “What?”
Clementine was instantly worried too. Burt was kind and nice to her and Lee. She started to stand up and across the room she saw Chad standing close to Pegs. Chad didn’t even know Clementine was there. She was just out of view, situated behind some boxes.
“Doctor Cottle is looking at him right now but it doesn’t look good,” Chad explained. “This has shaken Michael up, I think he needs you.”
Pegs was still stunned. “I don’t believe this…” She turned to put the blankets down on a nearby box and presenting her back to him, showing the pistol Pegs was carrying in her back waistband.
Chad had his shotgun slung over his shoulder and in one quick motion he pulled Peg’s gun before spinning her around to face him.
“Shut up!” He jammed Pegs own pistol into her face. “I’m glad you overcame you revulsion to guns. This makes everything easier than using my shotgun.”
Clementine covered her mouth to avoid making any sound as she ducked down out of sight.
“What do you want?” Pegs whispered nervously.
“Just keep calm. I just need you for a few minutes,” Chad said. “After that you’re free to go.”
“I don’t understand.” Pegs muttered.
“You’re my insurance against Michael from stopping us. We’re leaving this sinking ship. Now, move!”
Clementine listened as Chad shoved Pegs out of the room. She waited a few more seconds to make sure they were gone before she even dared to move. She looked over the boxes and saw that she was indeed alone in the storage room now. Clementine then walked to the door and checked careful out into the emptied hallway. She knew she would find help on the second floor and Clementine ran with all due haste to save Pegs.
“Walkers are 2000 feet out and still closing,” Angel reported to Michael over the radio. “I can really hear them now. God, they’re making a lot of noise. I think they’re hungry.”
“Thanks, Toucan,” Michael said before speaking into the radio again ordering. “Everyone, this is Broken Wing. All fighters clear the walls and maintain silence.”
Burt was still standing next to Michael debating their next move if any. “If we’re going to do anything, it has to be now.”
“You’re going to be on your own and cut off until those walkers move on even if everything goes to plan.” Michael told him.
“I don’t mind being on my own. I’m the lone wolf type, remember?” Burt chuckled. “I’ll bring a good book to pass the time.”
“I can’t figure you out sometimes,” Michael said before looking around and spotted Saul helping several people carrying the last of the supplies up from the first floor. “Saul! Do you know where the remaining fireworks have been stored?”
The black soldier approached them, thinking. “The last box was stored in the garage area, why?”
“Burt here is going to lure the walkers away with them.” Michael said.
“You’re going out there with 10,000 walkers?” Saul exclaimed in surprise. “That might be a one way trip.”
“Well, I was hoping to have the humvee to increase my chances in coming back.” Burt replied.
“That’s no problem and we can just use another vehicle to help block the gate,” Saul said. “Got a driver?”
Now it was Burt’s turn to look surprised. “You’re volunteering?”
“Yeah, I’ll be pissed if my humvee doesn’t come back.” Saul joked.
Before anyone could say another word, Clementine came running up the stairs and towards them yelling. “Michael! Michael!”
The little girl looked close to panicking and that worried Michael and where was Pegs? She was supposed to be watching her. He took a few steps to meet her before kneeling down but she was moving so fast that he raised his hands out of pure reflex to make she didn’t accidentally run into him.
When Michael caught her by the shoulders with his hands, Clementine immediately blurted out. “Chad took Pegs!”
For a moment, Michael refused to believe what he just heard. “What?”
“He took her,” Clementine said again, a little calmer this time. “He said they were leaving.”
“That slimmy fucker!” Burt grumbled angrily while reaching for his radio. “I’ll alert Angel and our fighters.”
“No radios!” Michael said, his voice carrying a hard edge to it.
Clementine remembered looking into Michael’s eyes and briefly saw anger, a rage like she also saw in Lee’s eyes when one of the brothers at St. John’s farm grabbed her. Then, just as quickly, it disappeared behind a wall of control.
Michael hands gently dropped from Clementine’s shoulders as he stood up. “If Chad has half a brain, he’ll have someone monitoring the radio channels.”
“There is only one way out and with thousands of walkers coming at us, they won’t be leaving on foot.” Saul said.
“Then we better hurry if we’re going to stop them.” Burt urged, already moving to the stairs.
“Sweet-heart,” Michael looked down at Clementine, saying softly. “Go with Saul.”
“Wait, you will need me.” The black soldier protested.
“Just look after her,” The army sergeant ordered pointing to the little girl. “If this goes to hell, I would rather see her sticking by you.”
Michael didn’t wait for a reply as he and Burt hurried down the stairs to make their way outside to the garage area. The ex-marine had Shirley drawn and ready while Michael had his finger on the safety to his M4 rifle, prepared to switch it off as soon as they stepped outside through the main doors to the mansion. Once outside, the garage area would be less than two hundred feet away and there they would find Chad’s group who were no doubt using Pegs as a hostage.
Michael had many scenarios running through his mind and nearly all of them personally involved him shooting Chad. One bullet through his heart and another to his head, only after he finishes turning into a walker. However, his main concern was to save Pegs and letting nothing happen to her.
Next Chapter: Desperate Measures
Last edited by ZombieGoBoom; 01/20/2013 at 07:39 pm.
|01/20/2013, 08:18 am||#103|
Motor Inn Survivor
Join Date: Nov 2012
Awesome job on this chapter, and with Lee and Carley kissing.
I knew Chad couldn't be trusted. Micheal better give him whats coming to him. I really hope Lee and his friends make it through this.
How far are you willing to go to survive?
|01/20/2013, 08:03 pm||#106|
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Somewhere safe
In my opinion you are wasting your talent.
I am surrounded by Idiots
The fucking game has nothing to do with the fucking TV-Series. When do people get that finally, huh?
|02/03/2013, 06:53 am||#107|
Join Date: Jun 2012
Chapter 13: Desperate Measures
Lizzy was helping Doctor Cottle get situated in his (hopefully) temporary new medical facility on the second floor. No telling how soon someone here might require medical attention and it’ll be no good if the doctor can’t find what he needs.
Suddenly, Saul rushed into the room carrying Clementine. He quickly plopped the little girl right down next to Lizzy.
“I need you to watch her.” He said hurriedly.
Lizzy was more than a little surprised. “Saul?”
“No time to explain,” The young soldier told her before suddenly asking. “Do you have a gun?”
“Yes, Burt armed all of us,” Lizzy reply becoming more worried. “You’re scaring me, Saul. What is happening?”
“Chad finally went and did something stupid. He took Pegs as a hostage and is trying to escape and I have to get out there and help Michael.”
Up in the bird’s house, Kelly was surveying the surrounding countryside as Angel focused on the mass of oncoming walkers. Someone detonated explosives to draw those walkers here and they must be watching.
The noise made by thousands of approaching walkers was also becoming louder. Plenty soon it might be hard to hear themselves think. It was then Kelly finally glanced down at the garage the area and saw some unusual activity.
“Angel,” Kelly asked. “Has Michael authorized anyone to leave the Nest?”
Angel was still observing the walkers with his binoculars, wishing he could call in an artillery strike. “No. Why?”
“Because we have people at the garage and they’re loading up two of our SUV’s.”
“What?” Angel moved next to Kelly and stared down at the sight of people moving quickly, placing boxes of what looked like MREs and canned goods in the back. “No, that doesn’t look suspicious at all.” He said sarcastically.
He started to reach for his radio when Kelly pointed to two figures exiting the mansion and heading towards the garage. “There’s Chad and Pegs.”
Pegs walked nervously alongside Chad, worried of what he might do to her. Regardless of her fears, she was thankful that he didn’t spot Clementine or he would have had two hostages instead of one.
Chad was holding her pistol in his coat pocket and threatened to use it if she didn’t remain cooperative.
Moving causally from the mansion doors and towards the garage area, Chad ordered softly.
“Look over your shoulder and see if the lookouts have seen us.”
Pegs peered over her shoulder and much to her relief, Kelly and Angel were looking right at her but how can she signal them?
“Yes.” She whispered.
“Then wave at them and be your ridiculous bubbly self.” Chad ordered. They just needed a few more minutes to make their escape and he hoped having Pegs along would reduce any suspicion.
Pegs waved to them and gave a low but friendly. “Hi!”
“Why is Pegs with him?” Angel asked. They two were far from being friends.
“Beats me but the people loading the vehicles are all from Chad’s camp.” Kelly observed. “Something is up.”
“I’ll radio Michael and see what is going on.”
“Wait, Angel!” Kelly grabbed his hand away from his radio. “Look at Peg’s right hand.”
Angel could see Pegs holding her right hand behind her back as they walked away from them. Lifting his binoculars to his eyes, Angel could clearly see Peg’s right hand against her back. She held it in a closed fist, with only her index finger extended and thumb raised to from a classic gesture of a gun. It can’t be mistaken for anything else, Pegs was indicating that she was in trouble.
“Shit,” Angel cursed and with an undead army coming right at them. Leave it to Chad to make matters worse.
“It’s too risky to radio Michael if Chad or someone in his group is listening.” Kelly warned.
She was right and it would take too long to climb down from the tower and alert Michael in person. He desperately looked around before spotting Carley and Lee who were slowly walking from her station at the wall. Grabbing the cocking bolt to his rifle, he ejected a single round into the palm of his hand before throwing it down to them to get their attention.
They were walking back to the mansion when Carley turned to him and asked.
“Lee, I need to know something, was Lilly right? Was there a traitor in our group?”
Lee knew this question would arrive sooner or later and he thought about it. However, he still wasn’t sure how he would answer her. Ben was indeed the one who was secretly giving their medical supplies to the bandits and Carley defended Ben against Lilly’s accusations and was shot and almost killed for her trouble.
What will he say to her? Carley may not appreciate knowing that she almost died protecting the man who was the actual traitor. Ben might have been a fuckup but he was also a scared young man and Lee didn’t like speaking ill of the dead. He remembered Ben’s final dying moments in that alleyway with walkers closing in, while Kenny defended him to the last. Ben was always terrified of the walkers getting him.
And all he could do was helplessly watch.
Suddenly, something small, cylindrical in shape and metallic looking landed right in front of them. It was a bullet. Immediately they both cranked their necks upwards the bird house to find Angel looking down at them gesturing towards the east, to the front of the Nest’s grounds and the garage area.
Lee wondered why Angel wasn’t using the radio when he raised his hand to his chin, almost cupping it. Lee didn’t understand the meaning of Angel’s gesture but Carley did.
“We have a hostage situation.” She said, readying her rifle. .
“How do you know?”
“They taught me hand basic hand signals to communicate to each other to help maintain silence out in the field. Coming?”
Lee drew his pistol. “I’m right beside you.”
As they moved forward, Carley quietly made sure that she had Lee on her left because of her lack of peripheral vision on that side. Rounding the corner of the building, they saw people at the garage area readying two vehicles.
“I don’t like this.” A puzzled Lee said.
Carley glanced up to the bird house and saw both Angel and Kelly were monitoring them. Angel made eye contact with her and quickly held his hand up to form the letter C. Not sure what he was trying to tell her, Carley continued to advance when from the south side of the house, Riley appeared. Apparently Angel managed to alert her too.
This made Carley feel better. She wasn’t crazy about confronting a large group of people but five on ten wasn’t completely one sided especially with Angel and Kelly holding the high ground from the bird house.
Finally, she started recognizing some of the faces at the garage area and soon knew what Angel meant by the letter C when she finally spotted Pegs.
Chad was helping to load the first vehicle when he looked over his shoulder and realized that Michael’s people were onto them. He glared over at Pegs. “Stall them.”
“How?” Pegs was still nervous even though she succeeded in signalling for help.
“Just talk or I will order everyone to start shooting.” He hissed at her.
“We have nothing left to loose.” Chad warned.
Pegs saw he wasn’t bluffing and she didn’t what anyone getting killed. Forcing a smile, she turned to Carley and Lee who were approaching with Riley not far behind.
“Hi. Is something wrong?”
Carley and Lee stopped about thirty feet away, suspiciously eyeing the activity before them. “What is going Pegs?” Carley asked.
“Nothing,” Pegs said quickly. “Michael thought we should have a backup plan in case the worse should happen.”
Lee saw that Chad wasn’t even looking at them and Pegs appeared to be afraid to leave his side. Then his worries shifted to Clementine because Pegs was supposed to be watching her.
“Where’s Clementine?” He demanded worriedly. If Chad did something to her…
“She’s not here, she might be inside.”
Lee’s concern for Clementine and Pegs grew. He had to try and get Pegs away from Chad. “It’s kind of hard to hear you, Pegs.” He lied. “Why don’t you come over here and talk to us.”
“No,” Pegs answered. “I’m going to help them load up. Just… go inside, please.”
Carley didn’t like this either and Pegs looked even more nervous. She repeated Lee’s words to her as she tightened her grip on her rifle. “Pegs, please walk over here.”
They were onto them, Chad realized. He knew this might happen but he was going to see this through. In one quick move, he grabbed Pegs, pulling her in front of him while holding his gun to her head.
“Just stay back!” Chad shouted.
Instantly, Lee, Carley and Riley lifted their weapons, while up in the bird house, Angel and Kelly took aim with their rifles. Just as quickly, Chad people pointed their weapons back at them.
It was at that moment, Michael and Burt exited the mansion main doors with their own weapons held at the ready.
“Chad!” Michael yelled. “Tell your people to lower their weapons before this gets out of hand.”
“It’s already out of hand,” Chad said, still holding Pegs at gun point, keeping her in front of him like a human shield. “Can’t you hear them? The walkers are almost here and we have to get out of here.”
Michael and Burt continued to advance until they were standing between Riley, Lee and Carley.
“Is that what you want, to leave and run away? Abandon ship at the first sign of trouble. Well, it’s not going to be that easy.” Michael said in disgust while glancing at Pegs who looked terrified. He had to suppress his concern for her.
“And not with my guns you are not.” Burt grumbled, determined to get them back even it meant prying them from their cold dead hands.
“Are you prepared to shot me?” Chad challenged them. “Go ahead and shoot and see what happens when those walkers hear the gunfire.”
Michael eyes kept going back to Pegs and the gun pointed to her head. He kept hearing the moans and grunts of the walkers at they drew closer. Everyone he was responsible for was in danger and he needed them to be focused on their current problem and this distraction against Chad was going to get them all killed.
Worse, Chad was spot on about the risk of gunfire drawing the walkers to them. Chad knew this and would use it to his full advantage. Damn him!
“Burt,” Michael said in a calm voice. “Move the humvee and open the gate.”
“Are you nuts!” Burt shouted. “On top of taking my guns, do you realize how much of our supplies they may have packed away in those vehicles?”
“I have an idea what they took and it’s worth it to be rid of them.” Michael replied under his voice. He did a quickly calculation in his head as to how much those vehicles interior space could carry with passengers. Honestly, they might come out ahead if they would just let them leave. “And Chad is right on one point, we can’t risk a gunfire fight, not with walkers this close, can we Burt?”
The ex-marine was red with rage but Michael was right. A single gunshot might doomed them all. “I can’t believe we’re letting that fucker get away with this.”
“I know but we need to keep our eyes on the bigger picture and for this place to remain safe,” Michael lowered his rifle. “Okay, Chad you and your followers want to leave then you’re free to go but know this, there will be no coming back once your clear those gates. I will issue orders to have you shot on sight if we see you again.”
Chad was a little stunned, expecting more resistance but he won. “Don’t worry, you won’t see us again.”
“Now, let her go.” Michael ordered, pointing to Pegs.
Chad shook his head. “Not until we’re out of the gates.”
“You said a gunshot would draw in the walkers,” Michael reminded him. “We won’t try to stop you. Let her go and we’ll open the gates.”
Chad hesitated and Michael said calmly, knowing he had the advantage this time if Chad wanted out. “You’re running out of time.”
With a dark frown, Chad pushed Pegs towards them. “Then open the damn gates.”
“I’m sorry Michael.” Pegs whispered as she approached him. “He took me by surprise.”
“I know,” He replied softly, gently guiding her behind him. “It’s not your fault. Just stand behind us. Burt, open the gate.”
Lee was watching the events quietly. He definitely didn’t care much about Chad but he was concern about some of the people that were following him. He finally decided to speak up.
“You can’t be serious in letting them all go.” Lee said to Michael.
“I can’t stop them.” Michael replied. In fact he was a little relieved.
“It’s a death sentence.” Lee said before addressing Chad and the others as they finished readying their two vehicles. “You can’t go out there.”
“What do you know,” Chad scoffed. “Unlike you, we won’t have some child being a burden to us.”
“What do I know?” Lee spoke angrily, lowering his gun. “I have been out there surviving day after day and through the damn winter! And that ‘little girl’ pulled her own weight more times than I can count. Do you even have a plan?!!”
“We’re going to head west and leave this state.” Chad replied.
“You’re going to flee to Alabama?” Lee said in disbelief. “What makes you think its any better? Are you expecting everything to magically improve as soon as you cross the state line?”
“Anything is better than here.” Chad dismissed his concerns.
“There is nothing out there!!!” Lee shouted. “Living on the road will kill you all! We need to stick together!”
By then, Burt was in the humvee starting it up before putting it in reverse clearing the gate.
“Everyone, get in.” Chad ordered.
“The sun is setting,” Lee pointed out. “How are you going to get through the night?”
Suddenly, that got a few of Chad’s people to pause and perhaps to reconsider their escape plan. Chad realized it was a good argument and he had to nip any self-doubt in the bud. He turned to Lee and replied back confidently. “How are you going to get through the night with 10,000 walkers swarming this place?” Then he addressed his people. “If you what to live, then get into the vehicles.”
Lee watched helplessly as Chad led his group, eight people possibly to their deaths as they climbed into the two vehicles. Then he felt a gentle hand slipping into his and Lee looked and saw Carley by his side. Her caring gaze focused on him as she said in sympathy.
Leaving the humvee, Burt now checked the gate. They had the bars covered with a tarp so no walker can look inside and be drawn by the sight of people moving within the compound grounds. After peering outside and seeing the coast was clear for the moment, he opened the gate.
The vehicles started up just as Saul stepped outside the building with several others in tow.
“What happened?” Saul demanded as he watched the two vehicles driving through the gate with Burt quickly closing it behind them but not before giving Chad’s group a parting middle finger.
“We let them go.” Michael said.
“You let those fuckers go?” Saul exclaimed.
“Yes and weren’t you supposed to be watching Clementine?” Michael replied firmly.
“She’s safe with Lizzy and Dr. Cottle,” Saul answered angrily as the sound of the approaching walkers grew louder. “Seriously, what the fuck are we going to do now?”
“We’re going with Burt’s plan.” Michael said. “It’s all we have left.”
From the driver’s seat in the lead vehicle, Chad glanced into the rear view mirror as they left the Nest farther behind them. It was almost dark as they headed south away from the horde, it was the only road that was available to them now.
He couldn’t believe they got away with it as easily they did. He always considered Michael to be a fool and Burt an idiot. Always trying to save or give aid to anyone who came along. They definitely couldn’t make the hard choices but he could. He would have left Carley, Lee and that kid to rot if he had found them. They’re just extra mouths to feed and having a nine year old girl was next to useless in contributing to their survival.
He’d keep driving south to the next turn off before heading west. It can’t be like this everywhere. There has to be a safe area and he’d lead his people to it.
Chad considered the state of Georgia to be dead in every sense of the word. They’d had no radio communication with anyone in months, so they had to leave and get out of the area and find another place to restart.
Fuck Michael, fuck Burt and fuck the rest of them who had decided to stay in that death trap of a mansion. One thing is for sure, he’d out last those fools and that would be his revenge.
Instantly, the windshield to his vehicle cracked, shattered by a single bullet that went straight into his chest, striking his heart.
Michael never liked this section of road to the south and ordered everyone to avoid it whenever possible. It was too hilly and closed in with too many trees and hiding spots for ambushes, which was happening now.
From both sides of the road, weapons fire erupted, ripping into the two lone vehicles. The leading vehicle with the driver now dead, drifted into the ditch while the second one came to a stop and tried to go into reverse which made it an easier target for those few seconds. More bullets exploded out the side windows as the driver tried to escape by backing up but only succeeding in driving off the road and into the ditch just a hundred feet away.
More bullets peppered the vehicles before someone up in the hills shouted. “Cease fire!”
All was silent before a dozen figures emerged onto the road to inspect their latest capture. They first checked the bodies of the bullet ridden passengers in both vehicles before putting a bullet to their heads. Still alive or dead, it didn’t matter.
Only then did they begin inspecting the vehicles to see what they were carrying. While this was happening, about half of them formed a protective ring against any approaching walkers.
“Jackpot!” The bandit leader said as they started plundering the two vehicles cargo. “Guns, ammo and food. Get the trucks and let’s load it up while we have some daylight left.”
“I told you this would work and it did,” Another bandit said. “Just a little bit of dynamite to get the walkers pointed in the right direction and we just need to sit back and watch.”
A second bandit checked over the dead passengers pockets. “There are only nine,“ He commented. “That building down the road had at least thirty people, where’s the rest of them?”
“They’re probably going to try and hold the place,” The bandit leader stated. “But we did succeed in getting some of their food and weapons. We’re in a better position now”
“They have machineguns, including a big 50 cal with army guys that know how to use them. A couple more hunting rifles, shotguns and pistols on our side won’t change much.”
The bandit leader wasn’t bothered. “Relax. In the morning, the rest of them will probably be dead and everything in that mansion will be ours. You know the best thing about walkers? They’re not interested in guns or canned goods, just the people we want out of our way.”
Next Chapter: Shadows
Last edited by ZombieGoBoom; 03/18/2013 at 06:56 am.
|02/03/2013, 07:40 am||#108|
Motor Inn Survivor
Join Date: Nov 2012
I gotta say, I did not expect to see the bandits again, but at least it does explain the explosions that brought all those walkers to the mansion and Chad got what he deserved. You know what they say; Karma's a bitch. I also liked the part where Lee went on his rant at him.
I'm now curious to know how Carley will react when Lee tells her that Ben was the traitor.
How far are you willing to go to survive?
|02/04/2013, 04:46 pm||#109|
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: North Carolina
Let's go..stay close to me..
"You found out that Omid is interested in southern history"
"Duck thinks your incredibly awesome!"
|03/14/2013, 03:49 am||#111|
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: New Jersey
Good writing. Well made chapters bro.
"That little girl is in my care. We've been through more together than you can imagine. Anyone who tries to get between me and her-ANYONE- is gonna wind up dead! You hear me!?"
|03/14/2013, 03:41 pm||#112|
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: New Jersey
Btw, are you still writing the chapters? I've read your earlier chapters, and I have to say, you are an impressive writer! Better than me by far, and I write on writing.com xD. Your story is awesome, and I'd say inspired to me to try to write more of TWD and to enhance my capabilities. I hope you continue to write this spin-off, sor it is really interesting, and I'd have to say incredible as I've never even thought of the small posibility Carley could survive the shot! Your chapters are just getting better and better, and I've longed for a relationship between Carley and Lee, that never really happened :/. But please continue! Your writing is an excellent source of inspiration and motivation for other writers like me to aspire to new heights! Just reading them have filled me with creative ideas, some that I'm incredibly excited to propose. I hope you won't end them soon, for they are brilliant. Maybe submit these, you could just find someone out there looking for your talents. Anyway, excellent job on that!
Also, if you could continue, if the mansion gets overrun, unless you live in Georgia and are familiar to the area, maybe you could have them move somewhere else? I can't see them living off where they are much longer, and somewhere farther north where new survivors could be lurking, new enemies, new plot twists, and other crazy situations could be introduced. For example, a group war going on and Carley/Lee's group is caught in the middle, forced to take sides. Maybe they'd choose rightly or wrong, and maybe meet an old friend along the way. Maybe aquire new members. Or maybe like a clan of people, those who live like the ancient ancestors of the East; heavily armored(chain-mail), using melee weapons and bows, on horseback or not, living off the land, and surviving old-fashioned. Sort of like your Amish, but more badass I'd think. I'd love to see some medieval fighting. Idk, just some suggestions unseen so far(as far as I know!)
Hope everything goes well, good luck!
"That little girl is in my care. We've been through more together than you can imagine. Anyone who tries to get between me and her-ANYONE- is gonna wind up dead! You hear me!?"
|03/18/2013, 07:06 am||#113|
Join Date: Jun 2012
I'm still around and writing... Alot.
Chapter 14: Shadows
“Allen, the sun is just about to go down. We should head back to the truck and get the hell out of here.” Paul said nervously, knowing how far of a walk it is to reach their vehicle.
His companion however, looked more annoyed than worried. This was the tenth time in as many minutes that Paul suggested in leaving.
“We were told to watch the place and radio in anything that happens,” he said. “Two vehicles already tried to leave and more might try again soon. Our roadblock will be toast if they send out that armored humvee of theirs and we don’t alert them that it’s coming. Who do you think will get the blame if that happens?”
After weeks of carefully planning, everything was working out surprisingly well. For a long time the walled up mansion was basically an impenetrable fortress with its well armed occupants protecting it. Months had gone by and all the bandits like Allen and Paul could do was to monitor the Nest’s radio traffic and their ridiculous bird nicknames they gave to each other.
They came up with several plans but always, taking the place seemed impossible without it being a one sided slaughter. Then someone hit on the idea of trying to draw a large herd of walkers towards it by using explosives and let them do all the dirty work. At the very least, it’ll weaken their defenses and waste their ammo in fighting the thousands of dead off.
The two bandits on lookout were safe and secure in the attic of an abandoned home about 500 yards away with its own long private driveway, tucked away far off the main road. It was one of the few places that they could get close enough driving across country without being seen by their watch tower. Once inside, they carefully punched a small hole in the roof so they could spy on them. They had a clear view of the mansion and its gate. What was happening inside those walls was another mystery.
The thousands of walkers were almost on them and with some luck the dead could wipe them all out. Then all they had to do was set off another explosion or two to draw them off and the place and its supplies would be theirs.
“Allen, I just don’t like the idea of possibility being trapped up here, Allen.” a frighten Paul admitted.
“And you think I do?” Allen replied in frustration before calming himself. “This attic is accessible only by using a step ladder which we can easily kick away, we’ll be safe. The people in that mansion are the ones that should be afraid. So relax.”
“Walkers have made contact with the north wall,” Angel reported over the radio. “The main body is just a few minutes behind.”
Down at the garage area, Saul came running out of the vehicle building carrying a large box. “I got the fireworks.”
Michael was with Burt at the humvee.
“Got enough gas in that thing?” he asked the ex-marine.
Burt was behind the wheel of the vehicle with the driver side door open as he checked the fuel gauge.
“We’ve got a quarter of a tank.” he answered.
Saul quickly walked around the humvee before opening the passenger side door to hop in. Burt was about to start the vehicle when he heard Michael opening the rear passenger door behind him.
“What are you doing?”
“Going with you,” Michael responded. “It’s nearly nightfall and I’m not letting you two go out there without an extra gun.”
Burt shook his head at the offer. “Bad idea, right now this place needs you more. Hold down the fort.”
“This isn’t up to you Burt…”
Standing close by, Carley could see Burt and Michael were about to argue again which they don’t have the time to afford. “I’ll go.” she volunteered.
Lee was next to her and immediately he blurted out a shocked. “What?”
“We don’t have time to fight about this,” Carley said to both Michael and Lee as she stepped towards the humvee. “The walkers will be blocking the gate any minute. I’ll go and make sure Burt and Saul come back.” Carley then pointed a finger directly at Michael. “Just make sure that this place is intact when we return.”
“Yes, ma’am.” Michael uttered with an almost amused look.
“Then I’m going with you.” Lee replied and when Carley looked ready to protest, he interrupted her using her own words. “We don’t have time to argue. I’m coming to make sure you come back too.”
“This is all very touching,” Burt said. “But I’m leaving in ten seconds so get in!”
As Carley and Lee jumped in the back of the humvee, Michael handed Burt his night vision goggles. “The batteries are still good in this one but try and save it for the return trip.”
“We’re probably going to be stuck out there at least until morning or whenever most of the walkers moves on,” Burt said as he took the goggles placing them on the floorboard by his feet. “Hopefully we won’t need to use it much.”
Burt shut the driver’s side door as Michael approached the gate with several of his fighters ready.
“There’s a bunch of walkers in front of the gate now,” Riley whispered to Michael as she peeked outside through the tarp covering it. “I can count six with several more off in the distance.”
The army sergeant fixed his bayonet to his rifle. “Riley, stand back and have your bow ready.”
Riley backed away as another fighter took her place at the gate as Michael said to him and the others. “We’ll open the gate on three. And remember everyone, no gunfire. Knives and clubs only, understand? Now get ready, one, two THREE!”
The gate swung open to reveal several walkers on the other side. The dead turned just in time to see the humvee speeding towards them with Burt’s foot pressing the accelerator right to the floor. The reinforced bumper struck four of them, sending three walkers flying and crushing the fourth under its wheels.
“Close the gate!” Michael commanded as he joined the others pushing it shut.
As the gate closed, two walkers that the humvee missed lunged forward but one was stopped cold by an arrow striking through its right eye by Riley. The second managed to find itself instantly pinned inside the closing gate, keeping it from locking shut.
“Hold the gate!” Michael shouted.
Riley was loading another arrow when Michael moved from the gate and approached the walker as it struggled like an animal in a trap. The undead reached out with its decaying hands and snapping its rotting teeth at him. In one swift motion, Michael rammed the bayonet on his rifle under its jaw and up into its brain, finally putting it to rest.
Michael then quickly grabbed the motionless walker and shouted. “Open the gate slightly!” and pulled it inside, clearing the entrance. “Close it!” He ordered.
The fighters pushed the gate shut just as a dozen more walkers reached it, clawing at the tarp covered bars. Many of the dead were drawn in by the sudden activity at the gate entrance but thankful a majority of the walker’s attention was focused on the racing humvee as it headed off road eastward.
In the vehicle, Lee looked back at the Nest, worried about the people back there and especially Clementine as the undead horde slowly began to encircle it. He didn’t even have time to say good-bye to her. He just had to make sure that they succeed and get through the night alive.
“What’s the plan?” Lee asked.
Burt was concentrating on driving, resisting from switching on their headlights which would only draw in even more walkers on them. The sun was almost settled out of sight on the horizon making it difficult to see in the disappearing daylight.
“Put some distance between us and the Nest and set off the fireworks that Saul has.” Burt finally said.
Carley looked surprised. “That’s it?”
“Yeah,” Burt replied, steering the humvee around some trees and the odd walker. “Is that a problem?”
“No,” Carley answered, sharing a look at Lee. The two of them didn’t have time to ask what Burt and the rest of them were planning other than it was a risky attempt to save the Nest before volunteering to help. “I thought it would be more difficult.”
“We still have to stop, get out and light the fireworks and escape before being overwhelmed by walkers,” Saul said before chucking sarcastically. “I’m just glad this isn’t a Hollywood horror movie.”
“What, this situation isn’t hairy enough for you?” Lee commented as the vehicle rocked back and forth over a rough patch of terrain.
“Oh come on, Lee,” Saul replied with a half laugh. “Two black men in the middle of the apocalypse, what could possibly go wrong if this was a movie?”
“Hey, horror movies haven’t been very kind to women either,” Carley replied defensively. “They usually scream hysterically at the monster or axe murderer and run off cluelessly in the wrong direction. God, I hate that.”
“To be fair, the few horror movies I’ve seen usually had the woman being the last one still standing.” Lee admitted.
“Yeah, a lot better than the poor token black guy.” Saul agreed.
“Versus the dumb blonde in the tight outfit and huge boobs who’s only purpose is to die screaming in those slasher films?” Carley mockingly declared.
“For the love of God,” Burt shouted. “Enough with horror movie debates! Let’s focus on the real one we’re living in!”
“We’ve got activity,” Allen said as he carefully observed the Nest from their vantage point. “Their humvee has left the gate and is… Oh, shit!”
“What?” an increasingly worried Paul asked.
“They’re heading this way.”
Burt was a little frustrated with the numbers of walkers covering the countryside but finally he reached a nice clearing where there were none around for hundreds of feet. Most of all, it was still in sight of the Nest so the walkers surrounding it will see their little early 4th of July show.
“This is a good a spot as any.” he said putting the vehicle in park before reaching down and grabbing a couple of road flares.
Lee opened his right side rear passenger side door and stepped out with his gun ready, commenting with concern. “I can barely see.”
“We can’t risk any lights.” Burt replied as they all got out of the humvee. “Let’s do this quick and get out of here.”
Carley could barely make out anything too. The sun had gone down completely and everything was nearly cloaked in shadows. She could just see the moving shapes of walkers off in the distance and a nearby house just three hundred feet off to their left.
Burt and Saul moved to the front of the humvee to prepare to set off the fireworks.
“Lee,” Carley called out. “Cover your side of the humvee.”
“Don’t have to tell me twice.” came his dry response.
Carley took a few steps towards Burt and Saul to keep them covered. Saul put the box down and used his combat knife to slice the top and opened the lid.
Burt quickly checked its contents before Carley heard him muttering. “Perfect.”
The box contained cone fountains, ground spinners, aerial rockets and even the classic handheld sparklers. This will put on a good light show for miles.
Burt reached for one of the road flares and lit it. It burst into an eerie red glow and was prepared to drop it in the box when they suddenly all heard the gunshot.
Allen lost sight of the humvee but it stopped somewhere nearby. He bravely climbed down the ladder from the attic down to the second floor of the home they were hiding in. They blocked the stairway leading up to the second floor with some old furniture, so they were safe for a moment if any walker did enter the building. However, Paul was too cowardly to dare and follow him, so Allen left him there. He had to find out what the people in that humvee were up to.
Cautiously with his rifle ready, he entered the remains of someone’s bedroom from another time and world. Everything in this house was ransacked. He approached the window and peered out and spotted them, just a little off in the distance. It was too dark to see much but he could make out the shape of the humvee and some figures moving about. It looked like they were placing something on the ground in front of the vehicle.
Then as he watched one of them popped a road flare. That’s when he spotted the large box on the ground between them and instantly had an idea what they were planning. Without thinking, he aimed at the figures now being illuminated by the flare and fired his rifle to try and stop them.
Lee was trying his best to keep track of the walkers slowly shifting towards them in the constantly dimming light. Then Burt lit the road flare and he was instantly relieved. They soon could get back in the vehicle and get out of here.
Suddenly a gunshot rang out. It came from the direction of the house.
Lee’s first action was to turn to check on the others. He instantly heard Saul cursing.
“Fuck! Everyone, get down.” the soldier yelled before he aimed and unloaded his assault rifle back at the house.
Lee spotted Burt still holding the flare but where’s Carley? Then he saw her crouched on the ground before she lifted her own rifle and added her firepower to Saul’s. To his relief, she looked okay.
Burt dropped the burning flare into the box of fireworks and shouted. “Get your asses back into the vehicle! NOW!”
Burt drew his pistol and fired twice at the house as he started his way back to the vehicle. Burt saw Lee and Saul were already getting inside the humvee but Carley was struggling to get back to her feet. He gently grabbed her by the arm to help her up.
“Are you alright?” he asked.
Carley answered but her usually strong voice was almost a whisper now. “I’m shot.”
Burt immediately holstered his gun before using both hands to pull her to her feet. Carley kept a weak hold on her rifle as the large ex-marine helped her back to the humvee.
When Burt first lit the flare and the gunshot erupted, Carley felt an impact like someone punched her hard in the left side, just below her rib cage. The force almost spun her around, knocking her down to her knees.
Carley was in denial at first, she couldn’t believe it (was she hit?) when she heard Saul shouting and firing his rifle at the house. Carley still felt okay and able to move her body without difficulty. She even brought up her own weapon and returned fire as well. By then, she started to feel a burning sensation coming from her left side. This forced her to realize she was indeed hit.
“Get your asses back into the vehicle! NOW!” she heard Burt hollering.
Carley tried to stand but she grimaced in pain. She couldn’t get up. Before she could try again, Burt was by her side and placing a hand around her left arm.
“Are you alright?”
She could really feel the pain radiating from her left side now and she grew scared on how bad it could be. She spoke to him in a faint voice. “I’m shot.”
Without warning, Burt simply grabbed Carley lifting to her feet and helped her towards the humvee but Carley couldn’t recall her feet touching the ground even once.
As they approached the left rear passenger door, Carley remembered seeing Lee’s concerned face as Burt handed her off to him. Together they put her inside and Burt shut the door before getting back behind the wheel again as the first of the fireworks started going off.
They exploded in loud pops and showered the area in a sparkling radiance, lighting the entire area up, a few at first but quickly grew in sound and brilliant intensity. Several rockets shot up in the air before exploding but many bounced across the ground. One even harmlessly struck the windshield of the humvee as Burt backed the vehicle away.
In the back of the humvee, Carley felt the pain growing worse as she let herself collapse in Lee’s arms as he held her tightly, as he tried to console her. Touching her left side, blood was already soaking through her cloths. Saul climbed over the seats to reach them and to help check and tend to her wounds.
Carley tried to tell Lee that everything would be alright but she didn’t really believe it herself. She needed a doctor and the best one they had was now blocked off by thousands of walkers.
Chapter 15: Blood
“What’s happening?” Kelly asked Angel in a low voice as they sat quietly in the Bird House, unable to see the humvee when it drove out of sight into the darkness minutes ago. “They’re taking too long just to set off a box of fireworks.”
The moaning noise of the dead now encircling their home was drowning everything else out. Any second, Kelly expected the simple brick walls surrounding their home to collapse and the walkers to start pouring in to devour them.
“Your guess is as good as mine,” Angel replied. “Just give them another minute.”
Then they heard a sharp popping sound that broke over the collective noise of the walkers. It was then immediately followed by several more in quick sessions.
“They did it!” Kelly softly cheered.
However, Angel was not as happy. “That was not fireworks,” he said. “It sounded more like gunshots. Walkers might be giving them some problems.”
Before Kelly could reply, off in the distance a brilliant yellow glow formed followed by several detonations. They watched as the sky suddenly now exploded as fireworks erupted, lighting the entire area.
Kelly looked down and to her relief the walkers started to head eastward, drawn to the flashing dazzling lights and noise of the fireworks.
“They’re leaving.” she said in relief.
Immediately, Angel was on the radio to Michael. “They did it, Broken Wing! Burt and the team did it! The walkers have changed course.”
Everything went off without a hitch. Angel thought.
“Hold on Carley,” Lee whispered to the wounded woman sitting next to him, cradling her upper body in his arms. “Saul is here, he’ll fix you up.”
In the rear passenger seats, Carley was situated between Lee who was on her right and Saul who was seated on her left. Saul was examining her bullet wound with a small flashlight. The humvee rocked slightly as Burt drove them to safety, now wearing the night vision goggles. Every few seconds, the blackened night was lit up by another bunch of fireworks going off.
Breaking out the humvee’s medical kit, Saul could see that the bullet had gone right through Carley’s left side, close to her rib cage, just striking her lower most rib, possibly breaking it.
“Lee, I need you to take the light,” Saul said, holding the flashlight out to him. “I need to have both hands free.”
Keeping his right arm around to support Carley, Lee used his left hand to take the flashlight. Saul then helped him to point the light to the right spot. “Now, hold it right there.”
Now ready, Saul looked to Carley and said in an apologetic tone. “I have to get the bleeding under control. The bullet has broken a rib and I’m afraid this is going to hurt.”
“Just do what you need to,” Carley whispered, clutching Lee‘s right forearm with both hands. “I’m not dying out here.”
“Here we go.” Saul said.
Suddenly, Carley jumped in Lee’s arms as she let out a short scream. To see her in such agony nearly tore Lee’s heart out, making him feel helpless. He wanted some way to take her pain away.
“Lee you have to hold the light steady,” Saul ordered. “Carley, I’m sorry but you have to hold still.”
“You’re hurting her.” Lee protested.
“I’m trying to save her life!” Saul exclaimed.
“Can’t you give her anything?” Burt said as he drove on.
“I just have the regular med-kit we store in the humvee,” a frustrated Saul explained. “The drugs we need was in my personal med kit that I tossed in the back of the Ford Escape that dick Chad drove off with.”
“Just forget the drugs and get this over with,” Carley grimaced. “I’ll be okay.”
Suddenly Burt stopped the humvee, putting the vehicle in park before reaching down to grab the remaining three road flares.
“What the hell are you doing?” Saul shouted just as Burt opened his driver side door to jump out.
“I’m going to smoke some bastards out.” the ex-marine angrily replied.
Burt pulled the humvee right out front of the abandoned house where the gunshots came from. He parked as close as possible and his night vision goggles showed no walkers were nearby for the moment. It was a good sized brick home with a large wooden porch out in front. As he left the humvee and approached the steps to the home, he noticed it also had a nice wooden porch swing with very flammable looking seat cushions.
Igniting all three of the road flares, Burt tossed them onto the porch swing before hurrying back to the humvee. Burt was smiling when he got back behind the wheel and drove away as the porch swing went up like a pile of newspapers.
Michael ordered everyone inside the mansion with all the doors and windows now boarded up. Thankfully, Burt and the others came through with setting off the fireworks and Angel confirmed that the horde was now moving east away from them.
All they had to do was remain quiet until the walkers leave the area.
The sergeant turned to see Lizzy and Clementine approaching. The two looked worried and Michael knew why. It had been barely ten minutes when Burt and the rest of them left and Michael had to give them the bad news.
“We were told that Saul, Burt, Lee and Carley went outside the walls. Are they okay?” the blonde woman demanded.
“They’re in the humvee and it looks like they succeeded in drawing the walkers away from us. They should be radioing in any time,” Michael tried to calm their concerns. “They didn’t have the time to let you two know that were leaving. Everything happened quick.”
“What about the walkers,” Clementine suddenly asked in a shaky voice. “They’re out there with them.”
“The humvee is armored and built to withstand a roadside bomb,” Michael explained to the little girl to ease her fears. “The walkers won’t be able to even put a scratch on it.”
“Excuse me while I don’t feel as confident,” Lizzy started to say. “We seen what walkers can do if enough get together…”
“Lizzy!” Michael firmly interrupted her before signalling Lizzy with a slight nod towards Clementine. The last thing he wanted to see was the little girl getting even more upset.
“Sorry,” Lizzy whispered apologetically before looking down at Clementine putting on her best fake smile. “They’ll be fine. I… I keep forgetting Burt is with them. He’ll keep them safe.”
“Yeah and Lee is smart and Carley is good with a gun,” Clementine added hopefully. “And Saul is a little of both. Together they’ll make it.”
“Good,” Michael commented. “Keep remembering that. I need to check something and once I get some news, I’ll immediately let you two know.”
“Thanks Michael.” Lizzy finally said.
With a nod, Michael left them and walked down the hallway into the next room. Alone for a moment, he checked his radio and pressed the transmit button.
“This is Broken Wing to Raven. Please respond. Over.”
He was greeted by silence.
“This is Broken Wing to Raven. Is anyone there? Over.”
“Penguin, Rooster, Condor, can anyone hear me? Over.”
Nothing. Michael stared sadly at the radio for a moment when Burt’s voice finally answered him.
“We’re a little busy here Broken Wing. Driving a humvee cross-country, wearing night vision goggles, swerving around trees and the odd walker while trying not to get stuck in a ditch can be very taxing.”
Michael permitted himself to smile. “The fireworks did the trick and the walkers are moving eastward. Good work.”
“Yeah, thanks but we have a problem. Rooster was shot.”
“We parked close to that old house to the east and someone was in it and they took a shot at us. Probably the same people who set those walkers after us.”
“What’s her condition?”
“Penguin is looking after her but all of us here agree that we would rather have the Owl tending to Rooster.”
“I’ll notify the Owl so he can be prepared but we can’t do anything until those walkers move on. Can she hold on until then?”
There was a long pause. “Penguin said she’s currently stable and he’s got the bleeding under control.”
“Good,” Michael said. “Just hold on until the walkers are gone. Stay in contact and we’ll let you now when it’s safe to return.”
“Understood. Oh, by the way, if you see a raging fire off in the distance, don’t worry, I set that one.”
“Uh? What did you do Raven?”
Smoke was everything as Paul and Allen fled from the upstairs to the downstairs kitchen.
“The bastards are burning us out!” Allen yelled as he shut the door behind him.
“If you hadn’t taken that shot at them we’d still be okay,” Paul retorted angrily. “They wouldn’t have known we were here!”
“Fuck you!” Allen shouted before choking on the growing smoke that was seeping under the closed kitchen door. “We need to get out of here and get to the truck.”
Paul hated the idea of going outside considering how far they had to run to reach their vehicle. But it was either face the walkers or remain here and be smothered to death from the smoke. Somehow, the choking smoke was a better death than being eaten alive but Paul wanted to live.
“What’s the plan?”
“We run and stay on the pathway going through the woods no matter want and use our flashlights,” Allen said. “We’ve got only one chance and we can’t afford to get lost in the dark.”
Paul readied his 38 revolver and flashlight, holding both nervously. “Let’s get this over with.”
“I’ll go first.” Allen went to the back door and opened it and found dozens of walkers milling around outside. The opening door drew their attention almost immediately and several snarled before moving towards them.
“Run!” Allen said charging towards an opening in the ranks of the dead.
Paul was right behind him as they darted between the walkers. For a moment he thought they could make it when Allen sudden tripped. Over what, Paul wasn’t sure but he kept on running, ignoring Allen’s plight.
“HELP ME!” Allen shouted from behind.
Paul dared to look back for a second and saw several walkers were now on top of him. He was struggling to get up to escape but one bite down into his shoulder and Allen cried out. They were eating him! After all this time, Paul never witnessed walkers doing this before and it was happening right before him. He was going to throw up.
“KILL ME!” Allen begged as the weight of the walkers pushed him down. Several were ripping at his coat, trying to bite into his back.
Paul was in the clear as the walkers were now focusing on Allen. For a moment he stopped and aimed his gun to put Allen out of his misery. Then he realized he only had six shots in his gun and he might need every bullet to reach the truck.
“I’m sorry…” he muttered before running to the woods.
“YOU BASTARD!!!” Allen screamed as the walkers slowly started to devour him.
Paul raced through the woods, staying to the path. He still could hear Allen screams and he ran even harder. It was just a couple hundred more feet and he’d be in the clear. He saw no walkers but his flashlight must have been drawing them towards his location. He kept running, panting for breath when he finally reached the clearing and soon the truck.
As he broke out of the trees, Paul stopped. Between him and the vehicle must have been a near solid wall of walkers which were taking notice of him now.
“Oh shit.” Paul cried weakly.
He thought of running back but he heard movement in the trees behind him.
“Oh shit!” Paul cried again as walkers had him surrounded.
He had no place to run. The gun he held in his hand started trembling again. He remembered what happened to Allen. He didn’t want to go out like that.
He lifted the gun to the side of head and cocked the trigger as his worse nightmare closed in from all sides. Whimpering, Paul closed his eyes and felt his finger pulling the trigger and nothing else after that.
They sat quietly in the dark humvee. The fireworks were now long burnt out and the flaming house was just a small beacon off in the distance. Carley was asleep in Lee’s arms, while Saul monitored her condition every few minutes. Burt remained behind the wheel, ready to go whenever Michael gave the all clear to return home.
“What’s happening out there?” Lee asked.
“About the same when I looked the last time,” Burt muttered. “Walkers everywhere.”
Just then, something thumped against the humvee and the sound of a low moan penetrated the metal skin of the vehicle.
Lee found himself thankful of the dark because he couldn’t see what horrors might be lurking around them through the vehicle’s windows.
“It has been fifteen minutes. Maybe you should check with Michael and see if the situation around the Nest had changed?” Saul whispered softly, afraid of being heard from whatever might be outside of the humvee.
The situation was getting to Burt too. He nodded, wishing nothing than to get out of there. “I’ll check.”
He reached for the radio.
Lee felt Carley stirring in his arms and he heard a soft sigh coming from her.
“Carley,” he whispered to her as she moved slightly. “Carley?”
Saul lifted his flashlight and switched it on, just for a second to check on her. What both men saw in the light was a sickly grey face frame in brown hair and a milky white eye glaring hungrily back at them.
“FUCK!” Saul shouted. “She turned!”
Now a walker, Carley made a horrifying hissing sound like a snake as she clawed at Lee to bring her opened mouth close to tear at the flesh of his neck.
“NO!” Lee shouted as he struggled to push her away. “Get off!”
In the front seat, Burt dropped the radio and tried to reach back to pull Carley off of him. Saul went for his pistol, pulling it from its holster and placing the barrel against the side of Carley’s head. He pulled the trigger but not before Carley took a large bite out of Lee’s neck.
Lee’s blood and Carley’s brain matter sprayed everywhere at the same time.
Carley opened her eye and was greeted by darkness. She grasped for air, feeling cold and clammy, her heart racing a mile a minute. She tried to move but her left side and belly were hurting. Where was she? What happened? Please let this be nothing but a bad dream!
She heard Lee’s voice in the dark and felt his arms holding her, a gentle hand brushed through her hair.
“Lee…” She whispered back.
A light shown in the darkness what felt like mere inches from Carley’s face, nearly blinding her good eye.
She then heard Saul concerned voice cursing. “Shit!”
A hand pressed against her stomach but she immediately felt a sharp pain. This forced Carley to cry out.
“She’s bleeding internally,” Saul said, checking her belly and seeing what looked like a bad bruised forming, a sign of blood collecting under the skin. “She’s going into shock. Fuck!”
“Keep calm,” Lee said, holding Carley close. “What can we do?”
“We need to get her to our doctor.” Saul said, looking at his dying patient.
“We can’t,” Burt said. “The Nest is still surrounded by walkers. Think of something else.”
Saul thought for a second. “A blood transfusion will buy her time.”
“Then take mine,” Burt offered. “We share the same blood type.”
“What about me, I’m O Negative. Doesn’t that make me a universal donor?” Lee offered, remembering from the times he donated blood over the years.
“She’s B Negative and yes, your blood will be compatible.” Saul agreed.
For Saul, he had the wrong blood type but with Burt and Lee, maybe they could keep her alive long enough.
“No.” Carley suddenly protested.
“Carley,” Lee said softly to her. “We have to try and save you.”
“I won’t let you…” Carley struggled for words, stubbornly clinging to consciousness. “What if something goes wrong and you two are too weak to defend yourselves.”
“I can’t loose you. Not again,” Lee pleaded, holding her tightly. “Don’t leave me.”
“You have Clementine…”
“And I want you to be there as well,” Lee countered, sounding very determined. “I’m going to be a selfish bastard for once and tell you that I need you. We’re not going to watch you die… I’m not going to watch you die.”
Carley reached up and touched the side of Lee’s face as he spoke passionately to her. He didn’t want to let go of her and Carley didn’t want to die either but she refused to let someone place themselves in jeopardy just to save her. Then she remembered the nightmare, biting into Lee’s neck. Fear gripped her.
“Just don’t let me turn…” Carley breathed weakly. “Don’t… I’m a danger to all of you…”
“We won’t let that happen,” Lee said in relief. He gently kissed her. “Saul?”
Suddenly, something started to pound on the sides of the humvee. Burt switched on the night vision goggles and saw several walkers encircling the humvee.
“Shit,” the ex-marine cursed. “They must have seen the flashlight. Hold on!”
Burt started up the vehicle and drove off. “I’ll try to find another spot,” he said. “Just get your gear ready when we stop. No telling how much time we’ll have before we’ll have to move again.”
“I’ll need just a couple of minutes,” Saul said as he readied the blood transfusion kit when the humvee hit a big bump. “If your driving doesn’t kill all of us first.” He muttered.
“Whine, whine, whine.” Burt replied with a smirk as drove off into the night while walkers tried to track the sound of the moving humvee.
Three hours and Michael still counted at least a hundred of walkers still roaming aimlessly around the Nest through his night vision goggles as he looked over the wall. At least close to fifty were still blocking the road to the east gate.
Their home was now safe. The main horde had long since moved on and they could handle the remaining walkers. The trick was getting the humvee back inside the gate without dozens of walkers trying to follow it in. From his last communication with Saul a few minutes ago things were getting desperate in that vehicle. They couldn’t wait anymore.
Michael turned and looked into the faces of Lizzy, Clementine and Dr. Cottle standing anxiously just a few feet from him, waiting for him to decide. However, Michael had already made up his mind.
“Listen up,” Michael addressed everyone in the parking area. “There are still close to a hundred walkers out there but I know we can take care of that many. What I need is for everyone to start making noise to draw the walkers away from the east side of the wall so our people can get back in through the gate. Don’t let them bunch up all together along the walls and try to take out as many as you can but no guns. Let’s move like we have a purpose.”
With great efficiency, everyone there climbed onto the walls and started shouting and clapping their hands, drawing the walkers away from the eastside to the north and south walls. Once the dead got within reach, clubs, axes, makeshift spears were used to thin many of them out.
It took less than twenty minutes to clear an opening and Michael was proud of everyone.
“The gate is clear.” Angel yelled to Michael.
“Penguin, the gate is clear! Come on in!” Michael spoke into the radio.
A minute later, the humvee could be heard in the distance as they opened the gates. Like a batman out of hell, the humvee roared inside the compound and the gate was quickly shut behind it.
It barely came to a stop before Saul jumped out from the driver side door, shouting to everyone. “Hurry!”
Doctor Cottle and the others were there instantly as Saul opened the back passenger side door just as a very relieved Lizzy raced up to hug him. The doctor looked inside and at the sight before him. Carley was unconscious and sickly pale looking and next to her were Burt and Lee who looked no better but at least they were still awake.
“How much of your own blood did you two give her?” Dr. Cottle demanded as he reached in and pulled the IV line from Lee’s arm. Both men looked horrible.
“Just help her.” Lee whispered.
The doctor checked Carley and found she still had a pulse. Quickly, both he, Saul and Lizzy helped pull her from the humvee and carried the injured woman back to the main building.
Clementine looked briefly torn who to be with, either Carley or Lee. She moved closer to the humvee and spotted Lee who was still conscious and she immediately climbed inside and hugged him.
“We’re all okay Sweet Pea.” Lee said back, returning her hug. “We’re just feeling tired.”
At the rear passenger door, Michael ordered some food and water to be brought for the two weakened men. The army sergeant then leaned inside the vehicle door and looked at them sternly.
“That was a risky dumbass thing you two did!”
Clementine glared back disapprovingly. “Swear.”
Michael’s anger faded briefly. “Sorry but I could have lost three good people instead of just one tonight.”
“I wasn’t going to watch her die.” Lee said firmly.
“Me neither,” Burt agreed. “Could you watch Pegs die if it had been her?”
Michael looked at the two men who risked everything to save one of their own and it took him two second to finally admit.
Next Chapter: One Bad Day
Last edited by ZombieGoBoom; 04/04/2013 at 02:19 pm.
|03/18/2013, 08:00 am||#114|
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: New Jersey
Awesome chapter, but no Carley :/ she just got back, she can't go now! Lol
"That little girl is in my care. We've been through more together than you can imagine. Anyone who tries to get between me and her-ANYONE- is gonna wind up dead! You hear me!?"
|03/18/2013, 10:31 am||#115|
Motor Inn Survivor
Join Date: Nov 2012
Two chapters in one post. Nice. I was really worried about Carley for a minute there, and that nightmare was intense. Reminds me of the one Lee had in that RV about Clementine.
Looking forward to seeing more soon.
How far are you willing to go to survive?
|03/18/2013, 11:04 am||#116|
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: New Jersey
"That little girl is in my care. We've been through more together than you can imagine. Anyone who tries to get between me and her-ANYONE- is gonna wind up dead! You hear me!?"
|04/04/2013, 02:26 pm||#119|
Join Date: Jun 2012
Chapter 16: One Bad Day
Michael looked over the Nest’s wall, across the grassy field as the sun broke above the horizon, bringing with it a new day and illuminating the carnage surrounding their home. The bodies of walkers piled along the walls would have to be cleaned up and thrown onto a burning pile to be incinerated.
There were still some walkers milling about but their total numbers were about thirty. Riley could probably use them for target practice with her bow.
To the east, he could just see the smoke rising from the burned out remains of the house that Burt lit on fire the previous night. Whether the fire got the people who shot Carley was unknown.
Dr. Cottle reported that Carley would recover from her wound and so would Lee and Burt. For that, Michael was thankful. After Chad and his stunt yesterday, there were only twenty-five of them left and they couldn’t afford to lose anyone else.
At first light, Angel and Saul approached him about doing some recon in the humvee. Whoever set those walkers after them and the people who ambushed them at that burnt down house still might be around. Michael agreed it was worth the effort to find them and gave his permission.
Two hours later, Michael was relieved when he spotted the humvee finally returning. He went to the garage area just as the vehicle drove through the gate and Angel and Saul hopped out to meet him. From the looks on their faces, Michael realized they had some bad news.
“We found Chad and his group just a few miles south down the road, all shot,” Saul reported grimly. “It looked like they drove into an ambush. It was nothing but a slaughter. Everything they had was taken, including one of the vehicles. They drained the gas tank and removed the battery from the other vehicle.”
Angel couldn’t shake the bloody imagines from his mind. “That could have been all of us if we had decided to abandon this place.”
Michael rubbed his tired eyes. It was bad enough for Chad to run off with some of their food and weapons but for all of it to fall into the hands of bandits now. “Do you have any clues on their numbers and weapons?”
Saul and Angel now smiled.
“We went and looked at the house that Burt torched,” the black soldier said. “There’s a trail in the woods behind it and so we checked it out and followed an abandoned truck just sitting there.”
“Any clues where they came from?” Michael asked with keen interest.
“The ground was still soft from the melting snow and rain and the truck left noticeable deep tire tracks in the ground,” Angel said. “We followed it and it led us to a house ten miles to the southeast from here. We were careful not to get too close but we did see the Ford Escape that Chad drove off in, filled with bullet holes along with three other vehicles parked behind it.”
“You found them?” Michael asked unable to believe their lucky break.
Saul gave a satisfied smile. “We got them boss.”
Angel looked determined. “I say we gear up and go after them with everything we have. If they have any more explosives, they’ll just try to bring another pack of walkers on us.”
Michael agreed. “We’re not going to give them that chance. You two break out the grenades and mount the 50 cal on the humvee. We’re going to war.”
He was supposed to be retired and ready to enjoy his golden years after years of commitment and hard work in the medical profession. It’s amazing how the apocalypse can change things.
The dead returning back to life! It was still hard to believe months later but he witnessed people reanimate right before his very eyes, some of them without any bites. That told him everyone had to be infected and it had to be an airborne disease that was doing this but how does the brain restart after the person has died? Also why the need for the dead to attack the living?
There were so many unanswered questions and the answers themselves could be even more terrifying than the walkers. How did all of this started? More importantly, how to stop it?
He was a doctor and not really a God fearing man but he couldn’t rule anything out. Not even some higher power above. Shaking his head, he put those thoughts aside for now and got back to work.
Dr. Cottle was in his infirmary, trying to put everything back in order after having everything moved upstairs because of the threat of the walkers the night before. At the same time he tended to his three patients. Only two needed rest but the last one required two hours of surgery and additional blood transfusions to fix her.
It was then he heard a faint whisper behind him. “Doctor…”
He turned and saw Carley was awake. In the two beds next to her were Burt and Lee who were still fast asleep. He moved to her saying softly.
“You’re okay. The operation was a success. How do you feel?”
Carley looked at him and groaned. “I feel like a wreck. Are we safe?”
“The walkers are gone. You have nothing to worry about. Just go back to sleep.”
Carley looked over and spotted Lee and Burt. “Are they okay?” she asked worriedly.
“They’re just recovering from the amount of blood they gave to you.” Dr. Cottle told her. “They kept you alive and they’ll be on their feet in no time. What do you remember from last night?”
“I remember being shot, the pain and fading away,” Carley recalled with a chill. “And having a nightmare…”
Just then Michael entered the infirmary dressed in full battle gear. “Doc, I need a word with you.”
It was then he noticed Carley was awake. The army sergeant gave her a polite nod.
“How are you feeling?” he asked.
“Like crap,” the former reporter replied in playful sarcasm. “And you?”
“About the same and all thanks to the lack of sleep.”
Carley chuckled but she eyed him with concern. Michael didn’t put on his ballistic vest and helmet unless he was expecting trouble from the human variety, because walkers don’t use guns.
Dr. Cottle was concerned too. “What’s going on Michael?”
“We just located the bandits who have been giving us trouble and we have to act fast before they try something else,” Michael told him. “I want you to take charge of the Nest until we return or when Burt recovers.”
“You can’t be serious.”
“I’ll only be gone for a short while and we’re leaving most of our fighters behind to guard the Nest. If you need help, just approach Datu, Pegs or Lizzy.”
“Because everyone here respects you, regardless of your grumpy bedside manner sometimes.”
Dr. Cottle gave Michael a disapproving frown when Burt suddenly stirred.
“What is going on?” then the ex-marine spotted Michael in full battle dress. “You’ve got your warpaint on. What’s the occasion?”
“We found the bandits and we’re going after them.” Michael explained.
“Who’s coming with you?” Burt asked lifting his head off the pillow.
“Just me, Angel, Saul and Riley. Everyone else is staying to guard the Nest.”
“Then I’m coming with you.” Burt said, slowly rising out of the bed.
“Now wait one moment!” Dr. Cottle said to Burt.
Carley looked at Burt with concern. “Maybe you should rest more.”
“I just gave some blood, I’m fine!” the older man insisted loudly, removing the leather strap from his leg, freeing him from the bed.
“No, you’re not…” Dr. Cottle started to say.
“Let him come if he wants to,” Michael said. “We have room for one more and even in his weakened state, he’s still worth the strength of two extra guns.”
“Never thought you would admit to that.” Burt said in surprise.
“Yeah,” Michael said. “Still, I would rather have Carley but you will do.”
“You do have a sense of humor,” Carley gave a small laugh. “Thanks for the compliment but I’ll stay right here and heal. Bullet wound, remember?”
All the activity now caused Lee to stir, his eyes slowly blink opened. “Wh… What?”
“Hey, Lee,” Carley waved to him. “Good morning.”
“Carley!” Lee was now fully awake and he tried to sit up, glad to see her okay.
“Will you all just stay in bed for your own good!” Dr. Cottle grumbled.
“Gunshot remember?” Carley said innocently. “Not moving.”
“What’s going on?” Lee asked.
“Michael found the bandits and he’s going after them and I’m helping and you two stay put,” Burt said firmly as he slowly stood up from bed. “What’s the plan of attack?”
“Even with you we still only have five people to do this,” Michael said. “But we have firepower on our side and I say we use it. I’m not going to put anyone on our side at risk with half measures. We hit them and we hit them hard.”
Lee frowned for a moment. “You’re going to wipe them out?”
Michael looked at him. “You disapprove?”
Lee paused and shook his head. “Your call but just be careful. Nothing usually goes as planned.”
It took twenty minutes for them to reach the house, driving cross country in the humvee. They were shielded from view by trees and heavy brush as Michael viewed the house with his binoculars. He could see the bandits parked their vehicles behind the house, keeping them from view from the road in front of the house. Vehicles disappearing and reappearing would draw attention to anyone driving by.
The house itself was a simple two story wooden structure with all the windows boarded up. Because of this he couldn’t see any activity from within the house. However with the number of vehicles outback, someone had to be home.
Still using his binoculars, he looked closely at the bullet ridden Ford Escape that Chad had droved away in. According to Saul and Angel, everyone in Chad’s group was killed outright with no mercy shown and that’s all he needed to know about the type of people they were dealing with.
Michael turned to Angel, Saul, Riley and Burt who gathered close to him.
“Here’s what we’re going to do,” He said to them. “Me, Angel and Saul will approach from the rear while Riley and Burt will drive the humvee around back onto the main the road and attack the building from the front with the 50 cal. That will drive them to the rear of the building and hopefully to escape outback for their vehicles. Once that happens, the three of us will ambush them. Any questions?”
“What if they try to surrender?” Riley asked.
“No surrenders,” Michael said abruptly. “They know where we live and they killed nine of us last night. No one comes out of that building alive. If anyone has a problem with that, speak up now.”
No one said a word but Riley still looked uncomfortable. Burt saw this and simply told her. “Just drive the humvee and I’ll handle the 50 cal. Alright?”
“Okay.” the French woman nodded in relief.
Michael looked at Riley and Burt. “Give us five minutes to get into position, then hit that house with everything you have. Drive them to us.”
“Don’t worry about that.” Burt replied as he and Riley walked back to the humvee.
Minutes later, after crawling across the ground on their bellies Michael, Angel and Saul were fanned out and positioned behind the bandit’s home at the range of three hundred feet. The main thing that Michael was concerned about was walkers coming along to mess things up but thankfully none were nearby beyond seeing a few slow moving dots in the distance.
Michael was position in the center with his M4 rifle sighted on the rear doorway to the bandit’s home. To his right, Saul had his SAW ready and to Michael’s left, Angel was prepared with his own M4. The few cars parked close to the house could be a problem giving the bandits cover but Michael’s team still had surprise and grenades to blast them out if needed.
The backyard of the house had a few trees and the ground had a slight incline, giving the three soldiers some additional cover.
Michael checked his watch just as he heard the humvee approaching, right on time. The military vehicle peeled right up to the house and the thunderous hammering sound of the 50 cal erupted, ripping the building’s wooden walls into shreds.
A few heartbeats later, the back door opened and Michael readied himself. A man raced out, shouting behind him. In his hand he had a shotgun and he was followed by several more people, some of them were women but all of them had pistols or rifles.
A gun doesn’t care about the gender of the person pulling the trigger. Michael thought to himself using Carley as the perfect example. If she should ever decide to go gunning after him one day for whatever reason, Michael wouldn’t hesitate to shoot her first because she rarely misses her target.
Michael counted ten bandits and more were still coming out. His finger was tight on the trigger but he hesitated as he stared at the man holding the shotgun in his sights.
He thought about Chad and the others being gunned down on the road by these people but in his mind he replaced them with the bodies of Pegs and Clementine. He was doing this to protect them and everyone else at the Nest. Michael held his breath before stroking the trigger.
With a loud crack from the M4, the side of the man’s head exploded like a melon. Immediately, Angel and Saul opened up and in seconds half the bandits fell in the hail of bullets.
The survivors ducked behind the cars, blindly returning fire. This wasn’t a fight, it was a massacre as Michael and the others picked them off one at a time as the bandits tried to peek from behind their cover to shoot back.
The humvee finally wheeled around the building, flanking the remaining bandits as Burt brought the mighty 50 cal to bear. Nothing could withstand the penetrating power of a 50 caliber round, not even an engine block. The bandits couldn’t hide from something like that.
There was one bandit left and he was screaming something at them but no one could make it out. He suddenly tried to run back to the house. Michael levelled his rifle at him as he reached the door and drove to the left. Saul, Angel and Burt were all targeting him too and they all fired on the wall of the house where the bandit ducked behind. They all peppered it with gunfire that looked like swiss cheese in seconds.
“CEASE FIRE!” Michael shouted. “CEASE FIRE!”
Everyone stopped shooting and all was perfectly still and silent. Michael advanced on the building with Angel and Saul close behind, their weapons ready and reloaded with fresh ammo clips. Burt remained behind at the 50 cal, covering them and watching the windows, while Riley was ready to move the humvee upon command.
Michael counted at least fourteen bodies outside. Knowing how fast someone could turn upon death, Michael personally double tapped the bodies with a single bullet to the head as his team covered him.
Now with the path to the building cleared of any possible undead attacks from the rear, Michael and his team finally reached the back door. Staying in cover, he used a hand mirror to peer inside and saw the room beyond was clear. He signalled to Saul and Angel that he was going in and to be prepared to follow him. Burt and Riley would stay with the humvee.
Inside, Michael swept the room but stopped when he looked to the left. When they blasted the wall with gunfire, they struck and killed the retreating bandit but they also got a few others in the barrage too.
Saul entered the building right behind Michael and he almost dropped his weapon at the sight before him.
“Oh no, no, no,” the black soldier whispered.
Along the wall was the body of the bandit who threw himself over top a woman and below them was two small children. They both were trying to shield the children from their gunfire for all the good it did. Each of them was riddled with bullet wounds.
Was this a family?
Saul immediately went over to check them. All the while, he kept repeating. “No, no, no, no.”
Angel entered the building and froze at the bloody sight.
The man and the woman were dead and Saul moved them quickly aside and checked the two kids, a boy and a girl about seven and eight. Being a field medical, Saul immediately saw he could do nothing for them.
“What the hell did we do?” Saul shouted to both of them. “They had kids with them!”
Angel looked increasingly pale. “We just didn’t know. They were bandits.”
“Bandits with families!” Saul yelled. “Good or bad they were survivors just like us! We just gunned down children!!!”
Michael kept his attention forward with both hands gripping his M4 tightly. He wanted to scream and yell over what just happened. The idea of the bandits having children with them didn’t enter his mind once. Why? Was it exhaustion, fatigue or the tunnel vision of looking for some payback? It didn’t matter because the damage had been done. Nothing could fix this.
Looking over his shoulder, the two children were younger than Clementine… No, he can’t afford to think that now. Slowly, he buried all his emotions and feelings the way he learned to do so easily, as he retreated inside his mental shell.
“What’s done is done,” Michael said to them calmly. “There is nothing we can do now.”
“How can you say that?!” Saul demanded. “We’re not machines!”
Michael marched right over to Saul fixing him with a steady glare but not once did Michael raised his voice to him. His tone was firm, even and controlled.
“We don’t have time to stand here and argue because the bodies here could be turning any minute. Not to mention our gun battle has the attention of every walker within earshot. We messed up but we have to get out of here ASAP. Get back our stolen supplies for our people who are counting on us including your girlfriend.”
Saul just stared back but Michael’s words had the desired effect to get him moving again. “Yes… sir.”
Michael nodded. “You and Angel sweep the rest of this house, I’ll clean up here.”
The army sergeant stepped towards the bodies readying his rifle to double tap the four bodies inside the house but Saul stopped him.
“I’ll do it, sir.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes. You and Angel sweep the rest of the building and gather up our supplies,” There was a long pause before Saul asked. “What are we going to say when we get back or are we going to bury all of this?”
Michael remembered his tours on the other side of the world and of all the lies and cover ups of missions gone badly. Those in command tried to cover them up which made the situation worse when the truth finally leaked out. Lies can do more harm than good. The truth is better even if it hurts.
“No secrets,” Michael looked at the bodies of the family just a few feet from him. “For better or worse, we’ll tell the truth as to what happened. We own them that much.”
The rest of the building was cleared and they found no one else inside. They located their stolen supplies in a small cellar along with the rest of the bandit’s stash. They gathered everything up quickly, including the bandit’s weapons, ammo and Burt’s stolen guns.
Loading up the humvee, Burt asked what Saul was yelling about inside the house. Michael told him about the two children and the ex-marine looked shocked before letting out a small curse. He didn’t say another word after that. So did Riley. The French woman looked sick after hearing what had happened. She didn’t want to know anything more about it. It was a very quiet drive back home.
Back at the Nest, Michael felt he was done for the day and didn’t want to deal with another problem. He couldn’t face Pegs, even when she learned what happened with the bandits from Riley. When she approached him, Michael simply told her that he just wanted to be left alone. Pegs knew him well enough to respect it and just give him some space.
That was ten hours ago. Michael found himself back staring over the wall again. Leaning against it, he watched as the sun slowly settled on the horizon. There were several walkers still sauntering in the distance but they were no threat. Having a few around actually helped add to their security. Who’s going to try and sneak into the Nest at night with walkers lurking out there in the dark with them?
“There you are.”
Michael turned and saw Lee slowly approaching.
“Mind if I join you?”
The sergeant just stared at him. “Did Pegs send you?”
Lee shrugged his shoulders. “Does it matter?”
“No,” Michael said before turning away to look over the wall again. “Fair warning though, I’m not up to holding a conversation right now.”
Lee stepped up on the platform next to him. “That’s alright, I’m a teacher. I’m used to doing all the talking.”
The two men leaned against the wall and watched the sun slowly start to disappear on the horizon.
“How’s Carley?” Michael finally asked breaking the awkward silence between them.
“Better,” Lee said in relief. “Clementine is with her and the Doc said she’ll be up and about by tomorrow.”
“Good,” Michael said and after a long pause he added sombrely. “It has been a shitty twenty-four hours.”
“Yeah but there will be more of them.”
“Got that right.”
“Still, it could have ended worse. A lot worse.”
“I have been telling myself that too,” Michael replied before looking at Lee with a sideways glance. “You want to say something then get it off your chest.”
“Right to the point.”
“Like I said, I’m not in a mood for a conversation.”
“Fair enough and I’ll get to it then. People here are worried about you and the others,” Lee started to say. “Most of them understand what happened but they are afraid. They look to you, Saul, Angel and Burt for leadership and protection.”
“If they think we’re going to just hop in the humvee and drive off, that won’t happen.”
“They would like to hear that from you because I sure don’t want your job.” Lee said in a half serious tone.
Michael actually smiled. “We’ll have a meeting tomorrow and air everything out. We don’t need concerns like this festering. Anything else?”
“Yeah, about eight months ago our old group from the motel found a station wagon seemingly abandoned along this dirt road with the back loaded with food,” Lee said slowly. “The gas tank was dry, the keys in the ignition and the doors left wide open. By then we were all starving and I made a choice.”
“You took the food.” Michael said evenly. This was one of the thousands of concerns he faced, worried about and ultimately tried to prepare for. How far he would go to keep everyone and the people he cared for here safe.
“Yes,” Lee answered. “Only later did I learn that I helped to destroy a family who owned the vehicle.” Lee finished sadly.
“Sorry to hear that. That‘s a situation I would hate to be in.”
“But if you are trying to tell me that in this new world the only choices we have are between bad and worse, I already figured that.”
“You made a mistake and fucked up,” Lee responded. “Just like I did. You didn’t go out there aiming to kill those kids and I was hoping that vehicle was truly abandoned but it wasn‘t.”
“Wrong,” Michael shook his head as he stood up away from the wall. “I should have considered things more carefully before attacking that building.”
“We’re still human,” Lee said. “If we were all perfect, I wouldn’t have been on my way to prison.”
Whew! I had every intention of this being only a short story, just a couple chapters but here we are 16 chapters later. Anyway, the end is near… One last chapter and epilogue.
|04/04/2013, 02:41 pm||#120|
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: New Jersey
Bum bum bum... the end is coming :/ And that was strange, I remembered there being A LOT more bandits than just a small fort. Good chapter though, lil disappointed to know it's one of the last.
"That little girl is in my care. We've been through more together than you can imagine. Anyone who tries to get between me and her-ANYONE- is gonna wind up dead! You hear me!?"
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