Chapter 2: Guts
"Hey, you two alive in there?"
Rick and Rosalyn, who had been looking at the radio in shock, suddenly snapped out of it. Rick finally shot up to his feet, banging his head on the tank ceiling in the process. He grunted in pain. Rosalyn seemed to be half amused and half worried.
"Are you alright?" she asked, holding back her smile. He nodded in reply and continued to rush towards the radio. Quickly, he snatched the receiver and spoke into it while Rosalyn knelt next to him. "Hello? Hello?" Rick said hurriedly.
"There you are." the young man sighed in relief, "You had me wondering." he paused "Where's the blonde?"
Rosalyn leaned closer to Rick and he brought the receiver closer to her "I'm still here." she greeted.
Rick pulled the receiver back to say something, "Where are you? Outside? Can you see us right now?" he asked.
"Yeah, I can see you. You're surrounded by walkers. That's the bad news"
"And the good news is?" Rosalyn asked, peeking over Rick's shoulder.
"Nothing." he stated bluntly causing Rosalyn to raise her eyebrows in confusion.
"Listen, whoever you are, I don't mind tellin' you, I'm a little concerned in here." Rick almost snapped at the voice as he slightly gripped on the receiver.
"Oh man." The radio man sighed, he seemed stressed out. "You should see it from over here. You'd be having a major freak out."
Rick gritted his teeth. Reluctantly, Rosalyn placed her hand on his shoulder to calm him down. "Got any advice for us?" Rick asked then.
The voice over the receiver responded instantly, "Yeah. I'd say make a run for it." Rick raised his eyebrows at Rosalyn in question, who replied him with a shrug as he turned back to the radio.
"That's it? Make a run for it?" Rick snapped.
"My ways not as dumb as it sounds." he defended, "You've got eyes on the outside here. There's one geek still on the tank, but the others have climbed down and joined the...feeding frenzy...where the horse went down. You with me so far?"
"Okay. The street on the other side of the tank is less crowded. If you move now, while they're distracted, you stand a chance. You've got ammo?"
"In that duffle bag we dropped it out there, guns. Can we get to it?"
"Forget the bag, okay? That's not an option" the man on the radio replied hastily, "What do you have on you?"
"Hang on" Rick said. He turned towards Rosalyn who was quickly shuffling through her bags. Finally she said, "I've about ten boxes of bullets," She paused while counting her guns "And I can count five handguns and five knives" She exclaimed. Rick looked shocked.
"Are you a doctor or a terrorist?" he asked, distraught. She laughed. "There was a gun shop I stopped by before I met up with you, it's a miracle it wasn't raided." she grinned.
"How do you manage to carry that with you?" He asked, a bit skeptical.
"I have a strong muscle" she grinned again. Rick shook his head in amusement and turned to the radio.
"I've got a Beretta with one clip, fifteen rounds" he paused "My companion has five handguns, a machine gun, and knives" Rick said.
"A machine gun? Are you serious? Is she a serial killer? Mafia maybe?" the man on the other side of the radio asked suddenly, sounding concerned.
"Come on, she's a doctor." Rick rolled his eyes before Rosalyn poked him. He turned to her looking on with question.
"Here" she whispered as she handed him a grenade. "Where did you find this?" He asked, inspecting the grenade. "There." She pointed at the shelf.
Rick thought for a moment. "Yea, yea okay." He put the grenade in his pants pocket before going back towards the radio's receiver.
"Fine, okay, make your ammo count." the radio man suddenly said. "Jump off of the right side of the tank. Keep going in that direction. There's an alley up the street, maybe fifty yards. Be there, and go quickly. We've already wasted enough time."
"Hey, what's your name" Rick tried.
"Have you been listening? You're running out of time!" the voice whispered-yelled.
"Right." Rick muttered before grabbing a shovel from the tank. He turned towards Rosalyn, "Ready?"
"As I'll ever be" she nodded, Rick noticed her grabbing her knife.
"Why a knife?" he asked. To him, it seemed like a gun would be the most practical.
"Less sound, less attention" she quickly explained, "As the guy said, we're running out of time, let's go."
"Right...stick close to me" he ordered. When he climbed out from the top hatch of the tank he noticed a walker looking at him and growling. He quickly swing his shovel at the walker's head and, knocking it down to the ground. He get out and extended his hand to Rosalyn and quickly pulled her out from the tank before he jump off and fall wrongly to the ground. Rosalyn shakes her head and quickly jump down before helping Rick to get on his feet.
"Come on!" she called as they started to run. Forgetting what Rosalyn had said, Rick started to fire his gun to any walkers that he spotted.
"Don't draw any attention Rick" she warned, giving him a harsh side glance. They turned to an alley. Suddenly they saw movement and Rick quickly pointed his gun at whatever it was.
"Whoa! Not dead!" the man yelled fearfully, throwing his hands up in surrender.
Rick lowered his gun and briefly inspected the rather young looking Asian guy in front of them. "Come on, come on!" their saviour cried out as he turned around and ran back to the alley. Rosalyn helped Rick to walk behind the man "Faster! Come on!"
They stopped as they reached a ladder that goes up to the building. The new man climbed up first while Rick and Rosalyn shoot the walkers "Rick! You climb first!" Rosalyn insisted as she shot a walker square in the head, forgetting her own silence rule as the dead closed in on them. Rick nodded and climbed up the ladder next.
"Rosalyn!" he yelled, looking down at her "Come on!"
"Yea, okay" she called back, before putting her guns back to her pocket and climbing up after him. They race up and stop to catch their breath on a platform halfway to the top. The new man turned towards Rick, "Nice moves there, Clint Eastwood." he said breathlessly "Are you the new sheriff? Come riding in to clean up the town?" he added in jest.
"It wasn't my intention or hers." Rick replied.
"Yeah, whatever. Heehaw. You two are still dumbasses."
Rick sighed and extended his hand. "Rick. Thanks."
He stares at Rick's hand for a second before shaking it. "Glenn. You're welcome." he turned his head towards the blonde "And what about you, Natalia Romanova?" he joked while extending his hand to her. She laughed lightly and says "I'm Rosalyn." she smiled while shaking the man's hand. Rick sighed and pulled out his gun before putting it inside of Glenn's bag.
"Oh no." Glenn said while looking down at the walkers.
"Can they actually climb a ladder?" Rosalyn questioned while looking at the walkers who seemed to be trying to figure it out themselves.
"Only god knows." Rick breathed. Rosalyn moved away from the second ladder and Glenn turned to look up towards the top of it. The blonde squinted her eyes and sighed when she saw how far up it was. Even if she had climbed a much higher ladder than this one, she can't help but worry about the safety, because, if they fall, there would be a herd of walkers ready to tear them up into pieces. Glenn pulled a look and glanced back at Rosalyn and Rick.
"At Least, It'll be the falls that kills us," Glenn noted and when he got a few condescending looks he shrugged. "I'm a glass half full kind of guy."
Glenn climbs up, followed by Rick and then Rosalyn. After they reached the top, Rosalyn followed Rick and Glenn from behind as they crossed to the other building over ventilation vent.
"You the one that barricaded the alley?" Rick questioned, suddenly.
"Somebody did. I guess when the city got overrun." he replied as they jumped up across the short wall and ran towards the roof's hatch "Whoever did it, was thinking. Not many geeks get through."
"Back in the tank, why did you stick your neck out for us?" Rick asked as Glenn opened the hatch.
"Call it foolish naive hope that if I'm ever that far up shit creek, somebody would do the same for me. Guess that makes me an even bigger dumbass than you two." Glenn replied as he proceeded down to the building on yet another ladder. Rosalyn smiled lightly at his answer before making her way down to the ladder also. Rick followed, closing the hatch behind them. When her feet finally touched down, she and Rick followed Glenn to an 'exit' door that led to yet another flight of stairs.
Glenn took out his radio from his pocket and spoke "I'm back. Got two guests, plus four geeks in the alley."
They stopped when they reached street level, seeing two walkers limply walking towards them. Rosalyn took out her knife and about to throw it at the walker, but Glenn raised his hand, stopping her from doing so. The blonde lowered her knife as two men wearing riot gear and brandishing baseball bats emerged from the building across from them. They beat down the walkers as fast as they could. Rick and Rosalyn exchanged a glance before rushing into the building after Glenn.
"Morales! Let's go!" the two of them quickly rush into the building before closing the door shut. Inside, an upset blonde pointed her gun in Rick's face. "You sons of a bitches! I'm gonna kill you both!" she yelled furiously. As in reflex, Rosalyn pulled her gun out and pointed it at the other blonde's head.
"Whoa! Just chill out Andrea, back off!" One of the men urged. Rosalyn remembered that his name was Morales.
"Come on, ease up" another woman added.
"Ease up?" she turned to the dark skinned woman who had just spoke, her gun remains in front of Rick's face. "You're kidding me, right? We're dead because of these stupid assholes!"
Morales stepped to Andrea's side and whispered harshly, "Andrea! I said back the hell off! If you pull the trigger, this girl will shoot you too. Is that what you want?" Morales asked. After Andrea reluctantly lowered her gun, Rosalyn pocketed her own weapon.
"We're dead, all of us" Andrea held back her tears. "Because of you!" she pointed at Rick accusingly, "And you!" She pointed at Rosalyn, glowering.
"I don't understand...?" Rick muttered breathlessly. he glanced at Rosalyn and she shrugged.
"Look." Morales grabbed Rick's hand. "We came into the city to scavenge supplies. You know what the key to scavenging is? Surviving! You know the key to surviving? Sneaking in and out, tiptoeing. Not shooting up the streets like it's the ok corral" Morales shoves him as he sees the walkers surrounding the front entrance.
"Every geeks from miles around heard you two poppin' off." The dark skinned man added. Rosalyn looked up to Glenn and whispered "I didn't fire any guns, did I?" Glenn shrugged at her question as they continued to look worriedly at the herd of walkers populating at the entrance's door.
"You two just rang the dinner bell!" Andrea seethes, as the group's attention turns to a crowd of zombies outside that are slamming themselves against the outer set of glass-pane doors, furiously trying to gain entry. One of the zombies has a rock and bangs it heavily against the doors; a pane of glass begins to crack.
"Get the picture now?" Morales stated dryly.
The group took a step back as Andrea gave Rick a cold stare. "What the hell were you two doing out there anyway?"
"Trying to flag the helicopter." Rick responded as if it were common knowledge.
"Helicopter?" The dark skinned man asked incredulously, "Man, that's crap. There ain't no damn helicopter!"
"You were just chasing a hallucination, imagining things. It happens" the dark skinned woman added.
"I saw it too." Rosalyn countered and everybody fell silent.
Morales finally spoke, breaking the tension. "Hey T-Dog, try that CB. Can you contact the others?"
"Others?" Rick asked, confused. "The refugee center?"
"Yeah, the refugee center. They've got biscuits waiting in the oven for us" One of the woman quipped sarcastically.
"I got no signal." T-Dog said finally, changing the station dials. "Maybe the roof?" Muffled gunshots rang out throughout the building, startling the group.
"Oh no." Andrea groaned "Is that Dixon?"
"What is that maniac doing?" the dark skinned woman muttered under her breath.
"Come on, let's go!" Glenn called to the others as he dragged Rosalyn to the stairs that lead them to the roof, followed by Rick.
When they reach the roof, Rosalyn notices a man shooting the walkers like a sniper. They ran towards the him as Morales yelled, "Hey Dixon! Are you crazy?!"
The man shoot another walkers while laughing lightly before turned around "Hey! You gotta be more polite to a man with a gun! Huh?!" He jumped off from the edge of the building and onto the platform with the rest of them. "Only common sense."
"Man, you're wastin' bullets that we ain't even got, man!" T-Dog criticized. "And you're bringing more of 'em down on our ass! Man, just chill!"
"Hey!" The man the referred to as Dixon snapped. "It's bad enough that I've got this Taco Vender on my ass all day. Now I've got to take order from you? I don't think so, bro" He snarled, walking closer towards T-Dog "That'll be the day!"
"That'll be the day?" T-Dog repeated, glowering at him."You've got somethin' you wanna tell me?"
"Hey T-Dog, just leave it, man. Alright? It ain't worth it." Morales said before turning towards the Dixon. "Now, Merle. Just relax, okay? We've got enough trouble."
"You wanna know the day?" Merle asked, ignoring Morales. "I'll tell ya the day, Mr. Yo. It's the day I take orders from a nigger!"
"Mother-" T-Dog yelled while swinging his fist at Merle. He easily dodged it and the fight started. Merle hit T-Dog with the end of his gun before putting it to the side, preferring to use his fist instead. Rick jumped down from where he was standing, "Hey! Come on, Merle! That's enough!"
Merle punched Rick square in the jaw, knocking him back over the pipes.
Rosalyn rushed to Rick side and knelt beside him. She helped him up before taking out a tissue from her bag and pressed it to his bleeding nose. "Are you alright, Rick?" She asked concerned.
"Yeah, yeah. I'm okay" Rick muttered as Rosalyn stood up and held her hand out to Rick who took it and pulled himself up with her help. He threw the tissue away and looked at Rosalyn
"He's nuts" He said as Rosalyn nodded in agreement and they started to watch Merle brandishing a gun and holding T-Dog hostage.
"We're gonna have ourselves a little pow wow, huh?! Talk about who's in charge!" Merle said as he got off from T-Dog and he quickly crawled off from between Merle's legs as Glenn, Andrea and Morales dragged him back.
"I vote me" Merle exclaimed "Anybody else? Huh? Democracy time, y'all. Show your hands! Huh?!" He raised his hand "All in favor? Huh? Come on let me see 'em!"
Morales hesitantly raised his hand as Andrea turned to him. "Oh come on" She whined.
"All in favor?" He asked while waving his gun at each of them in turn. They raised their hands slowly, "That's good. Now, that's mean I'm the boss, right? Yeah! Anybody else? Hm? Anybody?"
"Yeah" Rick said from behind him. Merle quickly turned, only to get hit in the face with his own gun. Once he was on the ground, Rick pinned him down and Rosalyn swiftly handcuffed him to one of the pipes. Rick got off of Merle and pulled on his shirt, dragging him into a sitting position against the pipe.
"Who the hell are you, man?!" Merle snapped.
"Officer friendly." Rick glared before turning around and taking Merle's handgun and emptying the bullets. "Look here, Merle. Things are different now, there's no nigger anymore, no dumb ass shit, inbred, white trash fools either. Only dark meat and white meat, there's us and the dead. We survive this by pulling together, not apart."
"Screw you, man."
Rick sighed, "I can see you make a habit of missin' the point"
"Yeah? Well, screw you twice."
Rick glared before pressing the barrel of his hand gun into Merle's head. "You gotta be more polite to a man with a gun." he mocked "Only common sense."
"You wouldn't. You're a cop."
"She'd do it" Rick pointed up to Rosalyn who had been standing beside him.
"Me?" Rosalyn asked incredulously. Rosalyn gave him a look but hesitantly pulled out her gun and pointed it towards him.
"What you gonna do with that gun, sweet pea?" Merle scoffed.
"I'm going to shoot you... I guess?" Rosalyn shrugged.
Rick sighed and motioned for Rosalyn to lower her gun, she did. "Look, Merle. All I am anymore is a man looking for his wife and son. Anyone who gets in the way of that is gonna lose. I'll give you a moment to think about that." Rick said before checking on Merle's pocket. He finds a stash of cocaine and grabs it. He lifted Merle's head and looked at his nose. "Got some on your nose there" Rick said before flicking him.
"What're you gonna do? Arrest me?" He mocked with laughs. His smile fell when he sees Rick handing Rosalyn the canister, "Throw it." Rick said as he walked away from her. Rosalyn looked at the drugs, shrugged, and threw it off the roof.
"Hey! The hell?! What are you doin'? That's my stuff!" Merle struggles against the cuff. "If I get loose, you better pray! You hear me, pig? You hear me?" Merle yelled at Rick. "You too, bitch!" He yelled at Rosalyn who slowly walked towards Rick.
"Yea, your voice carries." Rick said. Rosalyn noticed that he was gripping his right hand, which was shaking badly, "You alright, Rick?" she asked worriedly "Do you want to check on your hand?"
"I'm alright and no." Rick said as he loosened his grip and re-grasp it.
"But-" Rosalyn stopped when she saw Morales approaching them while clutching onto his ribs.
"Are you alright?" she asked him, "Want me to check on your ribs?"
"No, no. I'm okay" he replied. "You're a nurse?"
"Doctor" she corrected.
"Right...you're not Atlanta PD and you don't look like you're from here either." Morales said "Where are you two from?"
"Up the road away" Rick said.
"Morales chuckled lightly "Well, Officer Friendly and Doctor Rosalyn, from up the road away, Welcome to the big city."