Fall of the Risen – Week 29 – Clark
We weren’t five minutes down the road before we ran into a small herd of the undead. Jack and I grabbed our preferred hand to hand weapons and got out of the van. A few steps later I looked back and saw three sets of eyes staring at me. The fear in those eyes ranged from moderate unease to complete terror.
“How long before we can train this lot?” I said, nodding toward the van.
Jack looked over his shoulder and snickered. “Might be a bit. When you threw me into this zombie frying pan I had already faced them countless times on our runs. They haven’t done anything of the kind.”
“You’re right,” I said, looking at the enemy in front of us. They were already aware of us and heading our way like some kind of slow motion Braveheart army.
The first to reach me went down with a baseball swing of my machete. Jack made the same swing, with his bat, taking down the second.
“Maybe we should have stayed,” I said.
“That doesn’t sound like you,” Jack said with a grunt as he caved in another skull.
“As much as I hate those walls, it’s safer behind them.” I stuck my machete through an undead face and forced the entire corpse backward until we ran into a second corpse. They went down in a tangle of arms and legs, some still thrashing, others completely still. A heavy chop with my blade and they were all still.
“You still think that’s true after what we just went through? Maybe it’s not the walls that make it safe, maybe it’s the people.”
“Meaning maybe they’re safe with us—with you—no matter where they are.”
Jack put the last zombie down, though it took him a few swings before the corpse stopped moving and moaning. He looked at the head of the bat and winced.
“I’m not sure this is what I should be using,” Jack said.
“What?” I asked. “You always use that.”
“That’s not a good enough reason on its own to keep using it. Maybe I should get a machete, or a sword. What about a chainsaw?”
“Getting a little ridiculous, aren’t you? That’s usually my job.”
Jack smiled and started for the van. “I’ll give it some more thought.”
We started down the highway again, taking a route Jack had worked out. Our destination was the nearest army outpost. We all agreed it was our best bet to find other live people. If we found it empty, odds were good we’d find some decent supplies. If that didn’t work out, the entire trip would be a waste. At least we’d have enough gas to get back to Sisco with our Johnsons tucked between our legs.
“Incoming,” Jack said.
“I see ‘em.”
Three zombies were in the middle of the road eating something made of meat. Could have been a human or a large animal. Zombies didn’t have the most discerning taste.
I pulled up close and brought the van to a stop, putting it into park. Jack made a move the open the van door, but I stopped him with a hand on his arm. He looked at me and I gave him the slightest shake of my head. He didn’t respond but didn’t argue.
I laid on the horn, which caused my passengers to swear at me and question my sanity.
The zombies took notice and tore themselves away from their meal.
“You guys think they enjoy the hunt?” I asked.
“Who cares? Run them down!” Dawn said, punching me in the shoulder.
“They must enjoy it a little,” I continued. “Take these ones here. They’re walking away from a guaranteed meal. Well, except that guy.” I pointed to one of the zombies that fell due to a broken tibia and was dragging itself toward us.
“What the hell is this?” Ferguson demanded. “Are you a zombie killer or a damn scientist?”
“It’s just interesting. Don’t you think it’s interesting, Jack?”
“Now that you mention it, that is really quite interesting.”
“Yes. It is.”
“Okay, fine. You both find it interesting, now do something!” Dawn said.
“Those panels work back there? The ones that let you kill zombies from the safety of the van?”
I turned and smiled at her, offering my machete.
“I hate you so much right now,” she said, snatching the machete out of my hands.
Two of the zombies reached the van and started to paw at the glass and lean against it on unsteady feet.
When the first one made it around to the side where Dawn was sitting, it stared at her through the window, snapping its teeth. It actually tried to bite the glass! Dawn didn’t think it was funny, but I had a hard time holding in my laughter.
She grabbed the handle to the kill port and let out a long breath. It one motion she pulled the kill port open, stabbed, and closed it back up.
The zombie staggered back a step but came right back.
“You got him in the chest,” Jack said. “Gotta get the head.”
“I knew we built those things too damned low,” Murray said from the back of the van.
I had almost forgotten he was there. He looked whiter than usual and was hugging himself and rocking slightly.
“Then it’s a good thing I put this in.”
Dawn turned a lever on the van ceiling and pushed. A port the size of a sunroof swung open and she stood with head and shoulders above the roof.
Stepping up on the seat, she was able to pull herself up onto the roof. From there, she easily stabbed down through the zombie’s skull and climbed back into the van.
“Not so bad, eh?” I asked.
“What are you talking about? That was horrible. My heart feels like it’s going to explode.”
“That goes away eventually,” Jack said.
“You need something, Fergie?” I asked.
Ferguson looked at the zombie that had approached his side of the van. He said nothing, but didn’t look much better than Murray.
He stood up through the roof, pulled a handgun he had in the waist of his pants, and put a bullet through the corpse’s eye.
Ferguson sat back down in the van and looked at the rest of us. We were all staring at him with a mix of surprise and awe.
“What?” He asked. “Did I lose points for style?”
That left one, who was still a distance away, scratching clawing to inch closer. I looked in the rearview mirror and saw Murray lie down across the back seat.
“I’ll get this one,” I said. I put the van into drive and ran over the last zombie’s head as we continued down the highway.
It was a good start, though none of us expected the road block we were heading toward.