My team and I, including the courier, are currently stuck on a train. The car we're in? Yeah. Full of dead cattle. Really, really dead for an unbelievably long time. When you're running from a hundred or so zombies, you take any port in a storm.
We met up with the courier on time, and took the first day to plan our route and discuss the location we decided on to hide the Ark. For security reasons, the courier wasn't told anything about it until he got here. He's pretty happy with our choice, and I'm pretty glad that's the case.
This guy, the courier, takes his job pretty seriously. I can't blame him--he's carrying items that equate to multiple copies of tens of millions (or more) of pages of documents, videos and the machinery to view them. A trove of knowledge to help those of us who survived the end of the world begin again. He's almost religious about protecting it, and I get why. He might literally be carrying the fate of the human race on his back.
It's in a really nice backpack.
His name is Mason. He's fucking terrifying.
He's not an engineer from Google. He's one of the people that Google took in early on, when chaos was still rampant across the entire country. Mason is a big guy, six three or so, and about two sixty. Think about that for a minute. Two hundred and sixty pounds and virtually no fat. I can't imagine what he must have looked like before food became something you had to hunt rather than buy.
Mason used to be a Navy Seal. He didn't go into a ton of detail, but from what I've heard him say, he's had a lot of experience getting into enemy territory, doing very bad things, and getting out alive.
He's why all of us are still alive right now. We were traveling along in the modified school bus he was driving, one of the short ones. It's got armor all over it, but not metal. Some kind of ceramic plates wrapped up in kevlar. The back of it is stocked with supplies and giant extra fuel tanks. We had to ride with him to conserve fuel, since we had no ready supply for our own vehicles.
We stopped close to this train yard last night to look into topping off the bus's tanks, since there were diesel train engines parked here. We went together, guarding each other's backs, and ran smack into a swarm. We ran for it, and got cut off by another group of zombies as we were heading for this cattle car.
Mason pulled out a heavy black machete and a pistol with the longest magazine I've ever seen. He started firing shots, fast but measured, into the crowd that blocked our way into the cattle car. He looked like one of those competition shooters you used to see on the history channel, not even seeming to aim as he fired. It only took him about ten seconds to take down most of the second group, and then he was running between them, cutting into heads. His machete got stuck in the last one, and he let go of it and grabbed a grenade from somewhere inside his coat.
The zombies still following us got that as a nasty little surprise. The explosion didn't kill more than a couple of them, but it disoriented them long enough to let us get to safety.
They've been beating on the sides of this thing for a long, long time now. We're getting hungry and thirsty, and so far there hasn't been a break in which we could even crack the door to see what we're up against. We get little glimpses through the vents at the top, but all I can see when I look is the faces of the dead.
I will admit that I'm sort of shocked at how swiftly Mason reacted to our situation. I'm used to dealing with insane dead people trying to eat me, but I froze right along with the rest of the group when our flight from the large group ended with another pack of undead. It wasn't that we wouldn't have reacted, pulled weapons and fought. It was that Mason simply seemed to go instantly from running to fighting with no in-between. His mind didn't take the time to freak out or dwell on what he was facing. It simply acted, and his body followed.
I consider myself an able survivor. But this guy could teach us so much. I am going to do whatever I can to get him to stay with us for as long as possible.
If we can get out of this metal coffin, that is.