Primordial Soup

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Chapter 13

An assortment of heavily protected vehicles were parked on the parade ground. Major Barnes and Sergeant Gallagher were standing waiting.

‘Right you lot. Fall in,’ Sergeant Malloy ordered.

The soldiers lined up, standing to attention. Bill, Mike, Luke and Shaun stood in a group.

‘You’ll be divided into five groups,’ Malloy said. ‘Each group will take a map and systematically search the streets on it. When you find enough survivors to fill your vehicles you will return to base. Group five will be on supplies detail. The cash and carry stores will be the best bet, they’re all marked on your maps. Load up and don’t take unnecessary risks, any of you.’

The soldiers broke line and split up into five groups and headed for the vehicles. Bill, Mike, Luke and Shaun, stood waiting, unsure what to do.

Malloy came over to them. ‘You four go with the supplies detail.’

‘Me and Shaun want to go with the search parties,’ Luke said. ‘We’ve both got families out there.’

‘If they’re still alive son we’ll find them. You go with the supplies detail,’ Malloy said, turning away.

Luke stood, defiantly. ‘Then I’ll go on my own and find them.’

Malloy turned around. ‘I’m not asking you. I’m telling you,’ he barked into Luke’s face.

‘Fuck you,’ Luke shouted back. ‘I didn’t sign up for the army. I’m going to find my parents.’ He turned to walk away.

Major Barnes came over. ‘Luke, wait a moment.’

Luke stopped.

‘It’s not going to be pretty out there. If you think you can handle it...’

‘We’ve already seen what the creatures can do, close up. Me and Shaun just want to find our parents, if they’re still alive.’

Barnes turned to Malloy. ‘Put these two with a search detail.’

‘Yes sir.’ He turned to Bill and Mike. ‘You two join the supplies detail. You two with me.’

‘Keep in radio contact at the times on your schedule,’ Barnes said.

‘Yes sir.’ Malloy saluted.

Barnes and Gallagher walked back to the compound.

Sergeant Malloy turned to Luke. ‘I understand how you feel. I have family out there too. But if you disrespect me again...’

‘I didn’t sign up for this Sergeant,’ Luke cut in, ‘none of us did. We’re not trained soldiers like you. I just want to find my parents and so does Shaun. If that means following your orders, then that’s what we’ll do.’

‘Fair enough. Let’s go then. But remember one thing. It’s a big city and there’s no guarantee we’ll even find your parents. Just keep that in mind.’

‘I will.’

They climbed into the vehicles and the convoy drove out of the compound.

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