I suppose the best way to start is at the beginning. That's usually the way it goes, anyway.
After my post a few days ago we'd stopped for another swarm of zombies. For the most part Jess and K fight off and kill the smaller herds of them. Less than a dozen and it's easy enough for the two of them to clear them out and use the resulting bodies to protect our vehicle. That's an idea we've used often enough; covering things in zombie gore to keep them away from us. With people it sometimes serves to trick old school zombies into thinking we're one of them. Doesn't work as well with New Breed, but even on a vehicle it confuses them long enough they don't congregate around us quickly, letting us pass through groups we run into down the road.
This wasn't one of those times. Bad luck had us run into an unusually dense swarm on the road, one packed with New Breed. We hunkered down and were preparing to drop ammonia bombs to clear the swarm when a bullet pinged against the bed of our truck. Lucky it's reinforced or it might have hit our spare fuel reserves.
Jess sighted through her rifle scope even as K forced the engine to life and plowed recklessly through the horde. It was a dangerous move, one that could have left our truck and trailer damaged beyond usability, but also a necessary one. We lucked out and got away, Jess shouting her observations. She didn't bother shooting since she would have had to fire not only inside the cab but through a window. From everything she saw in her brief look at the enemy, they must be rogue UAS. They had the equipment, the armor, and the weapons.
Chances are they've been watching and following since we left Haven. They can't be totally without skills since they managed to follow us unobserved for any length of time. Jess reckons that gunshot was an accident--looking through her scope, she saw a man running and yelling at the rifleman fleeing his position. Maybe his finger slipped, maybe he thought he'd be a big man and take a shot. Who knows? I'd have to guess they were going to follow us all the way to our new place. That single bullet ruined that chance.
K and Jess have been slowly picking them off. Oh, we'll get a distance away and hide so we can rest. But each morning we start again, placing ourselves in a spot just visible enough they catch a glimpse. Jess positions herself with her rifle and kills one or two of them. Next time, K sneaks into their camp--impressive given he's six and a half feet tall and built fairly heavy--and kills or captures one of them. Our estimate put their original number around twenty. Now they're at half that.
We think they're losing their nerve. We know they don't have any way to read this or to communicate with the outside world. K did a nice recon of their camp last night. They're cut off.
It won't be long before we're able to head back home. It's a close call as far as fuel goes, though we're still within our margin for surprises like this. So far I've been as useful as any other piece of luggage, but neither of my companions have said a bad word about it. Jess seems more worried than annoyed. K is...well, the guy is kind of scary out here. Scary in a way totally beneficial to us, but frightening all the same. Seeing him back in Haven was different. Sure, he fought, and did it very well. Probably better than most people, but there are no shortage of good fighters. That doesn't make him stand out much. Out here he's a different man. More reserved, if that's even possible. More controlled in his every movement and action.
More deadly by a wide margin. He doesn't flinch or show remorse, and only the glint of anger in his eyes gives away what's going on behind them at all. He never hesitates even if he never seems exactly eager to go out into the night. It's unnerving to hear the giant man calmly and quietly explain precisely how he's going to murder people. Like he's talking about the weather or the best way to cook a steak.
For the moment we're all here and not moving. The local swarm surrounds us, zombies wandering the area in large packs. We're tucked away, invisible from farther than a dozen yards, and ironically protected by the undead around us. The morning will see that change and hopefully bring an end to this cat-and-mouse. As much as I miss Haven and all the people I left behind, I hope to see our new home soon.
Post a Comment