Fall of the Risen – Week 3 – Clark
When survivors started building Sisco, they began with an overpass. The walls were expanded to surround a lot of area, including a small suburb with houses in good condition, but that overpass remained the one way in and out of Sisco.
Both ends were gated, giving an extra seal between the our settlement and the outside world.
Jack and I were focused on pushing the truck as we approached, though I couldn’t help but to spare a glance up at the small platform built on top of the wall, just beside the outer gate. It was slightly larger than the seat of a chair. I held back a shudder.
On our approach, the outer gate split in half and each side swung open, shoving zombies away from us and the entrance.
We pushed harder, picking up speed. And not just to get through the gate faster; it was going to take a hell of an effort to get to the top of the overpass.
The truck threatened to stop near the crest, but we gritted our teeth and pushed with every muscle in our body.
“Incoming behind you,” a voice called out.
With guttural cries, we strained until the truck stopped pushing back at us.
I looked up at the guard’s booth where one of our security guards sat on his ass, watching. Ferguson. Security guard was a kind term. More like ‘gate opener.’
I called out to him in between deep panting breaths.
“It’s okay. Don’t help us or anything. It’s not heavy.”
“You should try driving it. Much easier,” Ferguson said. “Anyway. Like I said before: Incoming.”
Ferguson nodded his head toward the gate behind us. It was closed now, but two zombies had squeezed in.
This was the main reason for the double gate. Zombies sometimes got onto the overpass, but never into the town. Sisco rules stated that the second gate was not to be opened until we had put the zombies down.
Ferguson could have done it with his rifle, but he’d make some excuse about the cost of ammunition or the sound bringing more dead. That was fine. I still had fire in my veins.
Two machete swings later Jack and were loading the bodies into the back of the truck.
Ferguson still looked down on us like a school teacher looking at the ‘smelly’ kids of the class, but he hit the button for the inner gate.
“Make sure you take those bodies to be burned,” he said.
“Yeah, Ferguson. This isn’t my first time killing zombies.” I turned to Jack and lowered my voice. “Asshole.”
“What was that?” Ferguson called out.
“Nothing. Just calling you an asshole.”
“Right,” Ferguson said. “Get moving. I’ll let Dave know you’re here.”
“Damn it,” I said opening the passenger door.
“You kind of asked for that,” Jack said.
We pushed the truck forward until it began to roll down the incline. We hopped in and coasted through the second gate. Momentum brought us around the corner, but had to push again to make it to Dawn’s shop.
She saw us coming and walked away from her current job to stand and stare with her arms crossed.
“What the hell did you do to my truck?” she said.
“Sorry, Dawn,” Jack said, then turned to me. “And sorry pal, but you’re on your own.”
He turned and went. It wasn’t a run, but it wasn’t a walk either.
“I know you aren’t calling me Darling. No one would bring me a truck looking like this and call me Darling.”
I laughed. It was forced, but I hoped it would turn into something genuine, or at least melt that stare that was freezing me to the core.
Dawn popped the truck’s hood and pushed it open. The hard look on her face turned to steel and she nearly killed me with a look.
“What the f—”
“I know, I know,” I said. “I’m sorry. I’ll make it up to you. You just tell me what needs doing and I’ll do it.”
She pointed at the engine.
“Clean all of this out of my engine. Only then will I start breaking it down, and I can promise there will be more guts for you the deeper I get.”
“No problem. I’ll do it.”
“And I want preferred treatment on your next run.”
“You just had preferred treatment two runs ago.”
“Are those dead bodies in the back of my truck?” she demanded.
“I’m going to take care of that, too. But you know the rules on preferentials. I give you another one this soon and Marshall won’t like it.”
“You know he hates when you call him that,” a new voice said.
I turned to see Jansen, head of security, leaning against the doorway, cleaning his fingernails with a knife. He must have thought it looked tough. Behind him were four more of Sisco’s finest.
Security was a pretty good job in Sisco. People didn’t question them and they got all kinds of perks. I would have liked to have been one, but they didn’t choose people based on experience or ability. They were chosen based on how malleable they were to the will of the self-appointed leaders.
They wore police uniforms stolen from a nearby station, not a single one of them earned. They each wore a gun on their hip. There was no such thing as standard issue, so they all had something different. And they all rested a hand on their provided sidearm as the eyed me.
“What do you think he would do if he heard you call him that?” Jansen asked.
I shrugged. I wasn’t scared of these guys, but I found that the less I messed with them, the faster they’d leave me the hell alone.
“Need you to come with me, Clark,” Jansen said. “Dave needs to have a word with you.”