Chapter 47: Svetlana
I shook my head slightly in mock disappointment at the sight of the chaos going around outside City Hall. I stood on the second floor of the Hall right in front of a large glass window that looked onto the city outside. A sudden blast of fire quickly followed by a familiar scream made its way into the building and I heard Walker snicker from my left, “Poor Skip,” he commented without a trace of real sympathy in his voice. I nodded in agreement. While the hearts of most citizens were pounding in their chests, about to explode, mine was perfectly calm. A small smile crept onto my face as more and more bodies began to pile up around the arena of death the outside parking lot had become. The sound of a phone buzzing made me turn away from the show projected outside. Behind me, Walker hurried over to where his phone lay on a nearby table. He picked it up and accepted the call.
“Mhm,” he said, “Yes, of course, why wouldn’t they be?” a flicker of panic flashed through Walker’s eyes as he said this, but he kept his tone of voice perfectly normal. “I look forward to your arrival.” He hung up and put the phone in his pocket. “Are you wondering how I’m getting reception here while all the other phones seem to be dead?” He asked with a sly smile once he noticed my stare.
“No,” I replied, an idea forming in my mind. I knew not of what Walker’s plan was exactly, but I was smart enough to deduce that it didn’t involve me. The person Walker had just been talking to would either pick him up out of this waste land of a city, leaving the rest of us to die, or take him and just destroy the city right then and there. “I was just thinking,” I began, hoping he wouldn’t see through my ruse, “What if-”
“Hold on,” Walker interrupted, holding up one hand, “Who’s guarding Saper’s right now?”
I giggled inwardly, silently thanking Walker for taking my plan one step further, “That’s just it,” I began again, “Let us be honest here, with everything that is going on, I don’t think Saper’s will be necessary anymore.” I watched with satisfaction as that same flash of panic that had entered Walker’s eyes when he’d been talking on the phone appeared again.
“What are you talking about?” He asked, trying to maintain his collected posture.
“Most of us will be dead within the hour,” I explained, “And where you’re going, you certainly don’t need the food, no?” Walker furrowed his brow for a moment and nodded. I could tell just by the subtle body language he’d been giving off unintentionally that the certainty of his departure wasn’t as clear as he let on. Of course there was no way I was really letting go of Saper’s- if by chance the city wasn’t completely destroyed by the time Walker’s friends got here I still wanted control over whoever I could find. Suddenly, the earth shook and I was tossed to the side. My body smacked against the window, creating a rather large spider web that stretched across its entire surface. Through the cracks I could see an explosion in the near distance, followed by multitudes of cheers. Then it occurred to me- no one was guarding Saper’s.
Without a glance at Walker I grabbed the machine gun I’d left at the door and bolted down the stairs and out into the parking lot. When I came out people were already running about, holding loafs of bread and heads of lettuce triumphantly up in the air. I cocked my gun, put my finger on the trigger, leaned back slightly and began to unleash rapid fire onto the crowd. Screams erupted from every which direction as food was dropped on the ground, now splattered with blood. I continued to shoot until I got within view of Saper’s. The entire front of the building looked like it had been smashed and a huge gaping hole displayed rows of nearly empty shelves of food. I stood shocked for a few seconds before I open fired onto the few scavengers that were left. Out of the corner of my eye I saw that blond haired boy, Preston, stuffing something under his shirt and running off in another direction. I shot after him but the bullets stopped inches away from his body and fell to the ground. One life spared didn’t matter and I didn’t care to pursue the mystery of his survival so I began to run back to City Hall, gun still loaded.
???, Washington air space
Drones whizzed by us as the tallest standing buildings began to come into view. If I looked close enough I could make out part of backwards facing “y” crudely spray painted on one of the wings. I groaned inwardly as I put two and to together and realized that the mysterious planes were ours- not that I was surprised. But why were they here? And why were there so many? “What is all this?” I asked the man closest to me, hoping Dr. -------- hadn’t heard me.
“Security,” The man muttered, not meeting my eyes.
“In part,” Dr. -------- spoke up, making the hair on the nape of my neck stand on end. “They’re here not just to keep the Americans in, but to keep the rest of the world out. And I’d say they’ve done a pretty good job in the past two months.”
Why are we doing all of this? I asked myself for the millionth time. Why not just nuke America again and get it all over with? Why make innocent people suffer even more?
“Here’s another one, Kyra,” Someone said as they dragged another wounded body in front of me. That was the sixth one since the riot started. Once injured most people either dropped dead right there or lay down in an isolated corner and waited to bleed out, but some had the will (or at least their friends had the will) to keep themselves alive- and somehow, they had found me and I was in charge of healing everyone in ten seconds or less.
Number 6 was a young man whose face was completely distorted and covered in blood. In fact, his body was covered in so much blood that I couldn’t tell where the original wound was coming from. The only sign of life in him was his occasionally twitching finger. A wave of frustration suddenly washed over me and I stood up, clenching my fists, “I can’t do this!” I yelled. My voice was scratchy from the lack of water I’d gotten and as I reached my hand up to wipe the sweat from my forehead left behind a trail of someone else’s blood.
Bodies lay strewn around me, some of them groaning for me to help them, some already dead. I looked up at the cloudy purple sky and screamed. “What is going on?” I yelled, “How is this happening? Vincent, where are you?” Tears began streaming down my face and I fell back to my knees. If I can’t help myself, a voice said from within me, I might as well help others. I agreed with my conscience and felt a heavy feeling of defeat fall upon me. Cringing, I carefully placed my hands on the wounded man’s body and felt around until I detected the spot that emitted the most pain. As I sat with my dirty, bloodied knees pressed against the concrete of the sidewalk I looked up and tried to keep from looking at my morbid looking patient. Why had I ever come here from Fallfield? Why had I let Vincent talk me into coming here? Could I even get to Fallfield now? I already knew the answer to that last question and a new wave of defeat fell upon me.
“Kyra!” Someone called, running toward me. I was surprised to see Goth Boy standing above me, slightly bloody, but okay.
“Yeah?” I asked, my body getting tense, knowing who I was dealing with.
“We need your help,” he said, slightly breathless.
“We?” I asked.
“Yes, me and my cousin Jane. Walker’s got her cornered and it doesn’t look good. You’ve got to come help us!” My conscience scolded me viciously as I stood up and ran after Goth Boy, abandoning the man who really needed my help. “Hurry!” Goth Boy called, looking over his shoulder at me. My heart thudded uncontrollably in my ears as I hoped no one savage in the riots would notice us while we ran around the outskirts.
“Where are they?” I called out to him above the commotion.
“Behind City Hall, come on!” He replied, picking up his pace. Despite my overall fatigue, I tried to match his pace as well as I could. When we finally rounded the corner of the building and faced the back of it my heart caught in my chest; there was no one there.
“What is this?” I demanded, suddenly scared.
“They’re inside!” Goth Boy exclaimed, frustrated. He began to run again and I had no choice but to follow him. What if someone really was in trouble? Suddenly, a female scream coming from inside City Hall shattered my eardrums. “Come on!” Goth Boy yelled in frustration as he yanked at the doorknob of the back door.
“Here, let me try!” I pushed him away from the door, knowing no matter what I couldn’t let Walker do any more damage. The door opened surprisingly easily and the second I stepped in a cloth bag was forced over my head and tied tightly around my neck. Surprised, I panicked and lost my balance. The ground rushed up to meet my head and as hands began to grab at me I completely lost consciousness.