New breed zombies are a bitch to kill. They're stronger, faster, tougher, smarter, and work in groups. In every conceivable way they're better than their less evolved counterparts.
Fortunately, they have not yet developed an immunity to trucks hitting them at thirty miles an hour. Especially ones that have armored spikes mounted on the front.
The rest area where Bill locked himself up wasn't quite swarming with the things, but there were enough that hand-to-hand wasn't an option. We had no desire to call every one of the damn things in the area with gunshots, so our options were limited. I couldn't help sharing the thought with the rest of the group that Mason, were he still with us, would have probably gone all action-hero on them and killed the lot single-handedly.
He probably wouldn't have approved of us using the truck to mow down so many of them, but we didn't have a lot of options. Yeah, damage beyond our ability to repair would likely have been a death sentence for us, but the risk of that was pretty small. The old girl was modified to be light but tough as hell, and once we dropped the trailer off a few miles down the road she became a lot more agile.
Rachel, as it turns out, is really good at combative driving. I think she might have some deep, unresolved rage issues.
While she drove and Becky rode in the cab, Will, Steve, and I locked our legs into the supports for the extended walls of the bed. From there had a great view of the surrounding area. We shouted locations of zombies to the girls, making it much easier to kill them. It was great teamwork.
When we'd drawn the majority of them from inside the rest area and thinned them out, we took the fight to them. About fifteen of them were left when Becky shut the back window, pulled the aluminum cover over the inside of it, and hit the release for the back gate.
Will, Steve, and I have spent a lot of time working as a unit. We've trained to fight together, cover each other. Will and I Were using short spears, modified to use on zombies. Steve was our center man, and he had a slim, lightweight pick as his primary weapon. All of us were armored. All of us carried shields. The new breed zombies are tough, like I said, but most of the ones still moving had broken limbs or other severe damage. Only a handful were uninjured and fully mobile.
It took us about ten minutes to kill them. Pretty simple tactics--block with shield, bash zombies in the face, piston weapon arm up toward the soft underside of the zombie's jaw as it reels back, stunned. The crossguard on our spears kept them from getting hung up. The points are just the right length the scramble brains, not long enough to go all the way through. Steve did his part, his smaller shield making him the obvious target, drawing the attention of the zombies. We worked together well, bodies close, shields locked.
The armor kept us safe, and the girls kept the last of the zombies from mobbing us. There were three left beating on the door inside the rest area, but we boxed them into the hallway. Easy kills.
Bill is with us now, and suddenly we're six again. He can't walk very well, and Becky is seeing to his broken ankle. Looks like he's going to be with us a while. He's enough of a realist to know we aren't dropping him off at the Bunker and don't have time to take him anywhere else. So he's coming with us to our next stop. If he wants to recuperate there, and they'll have him, then we'll part ways then. If he wants to come with us from there, I have no objection. Bill seems like a nice guy, and he's refreshing.
Not to mention he's helped bring us out of a funk we didn't even know we were in. Mason's death has hit all of us harder than we imagined. Bill is filling that void a little.