Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Part 108

Something had fallen across the trap door and I almost couldn't lift it off to get out.  For a moment I even considered tunneling out from under the cabin itself.  However, after a few good heaves I slid what turned out to be the remains of the bunk off of just enough of the trap door that I could wiggle out.

I had once again become accustomed to the smell of puss brain waste but when I was out of my bunker and took a really good look at the destruction and their waste that they had smeared all over everything I lost it and nearly puked on my boots.

I had to get out.  Even with the shutters and windows ripped out and a cold breeze blowing through it was too much.  There were more wood shingles missing as well, a sheet of plywood too, and terrified thoughts of where would I live tried to race around in my head.  It almost didn't matter if I stepped outside to face a horde with just my baseball bat.  But when I stumbled through the gap where the door used to be - it wasn't just barely hanging it was completely missing - it was to a lot of destruction, but no infecteds wandering around.

Sign of them were everywhere though.  They'd been like this in the city ... so hungry and angry about it that they tore into everything.  From the look of things they'd even started eating the shrubs and trees.  I suppose you get this many together in one place and they'll strip the area like locusts.  I was looking at the girdled and broken trees and knew things would only be worse in the near future.  There was so much destruction.

I was making a list of damage in my head and wondering how long the list was going to get - trying not to think about if I was the only uninfected person to survive - when I heard a motor vehicle.  It was one of those military canvas trucks and I was for sure that it was Cochran come to check on me.  I started running to meet it when the small sapling I had been next to practically blew apart.

I skidded to a stop and ducked and screamed at them, "Hey!  What's the big idea?!"

I heard from the truck, "Oh @#$%, it's a kid."

"I'm not a kid you jerk!  Do you idiots have puss in your brains or what?!"  Maybe not my finest moments but I'd just been through a lot.

That shut them up for about ten seconds.  "Are you infected?" they called.

"Any why would anyone with any commonsense expect to get an honest answer from someone who is?  No I'm not infected but you should be smart enough not to take my word!"

Then a man got out of the truck and said, "I know you.  Didn't think you'd still be here."

I squinted into the bright sun and realized I knew him too.  "You're Sgt. Bryer.  We worked together one day."

I saw him nod and he said, "Come ahead but do it slow and steady."

He finally let me get face to face and I took my jacket off momentarily to show to the best of my ability that I hadn't been bitten.  The men were looking at me like I shouldn't be here.  "Where's Cochran and Major Watson?" I asked as I zipped back up.

He spoke quickly, obviously in a hurry over something.  "They headed south to try and stop the private contractors from sending any more infecteds this way and enforce the new federal law that only authorized federal troops could handle the migrations.  Right after they left the main front of the horde that we'd expected arrived.  We had it handled but then we got slammed from out of the east the next day with a horde coming in from Michigan from a different private contracting firm.  Too many people tried to butt to the head of the line to have their infecteds carted off out west.  All of the other collections points are experiencing the same thing."  He swallowed.  "Look girl, the camps around the lake were mostly overrun.  We've been able to evacuate out most of those that are left but there were a few hold outs.  You've got one last chance to get out and then all of the troops in this area are bugging out."

I was trying to process everything he said and afraid to ask any questions except, "When and where?"

"Fifteen hundred hours at that place you signed up for the work detail."

"That's five hours away."

"And some will still get left behind.  We don't know where all of the camps are on this side of the lake to warn them."

"I know where they are.  I'll tell them.  I know all the short cuts across the forestry roads.  How bad are the puss brains?"

"We've got them temporarily boxed in but as soon as we bug out they are going to be released.  Are you sure about your offer?  We've still got to warn the other side of the lake?"

As crazy as it sounded I was positive.  Something told me if I didn't do it I'd regret it.  I'd always wonder if people had to die or become infected because I was a coward or didn't care enough.

"What about the Singing Water camp?"

"The ones down the road?  They've bugged out already.  They lost a few people but when they got overrun thems were smart.  They took some boats and got their people towards the center of the lake.  Even when the infecteds tried to follow them they fell through the ice."

Emotionlessly I said, "So the lake is contaminated."

"Yeah, and you be sure and tell them people.  Ain't gonna be no way to live around here for a while.  Now get and be sure and get yourself back in time."

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