“They’re getting closer. We need to leave now or we might not make it back.”
“I can’t just leave without them!”
“No one would blame you, we tried. It’s the Goddamned Apocalypse outside and if we don’t leave now we’re going to be eaten, or worse, become one of them.” Ricky gestured to his right where the coming hoard was shambling closer and closer.
“Just leave Rick, I’m not leaving them here. They’re fuckin kids, they weren’t thinking when they snuck out.”
“They’re not Kids, no one is just a kid anymore, Ev...”
“You’re wasting time arguing with me. Get the rest of the team and get back to the compound.” Reaching out she squeezed Ricky’s arm giving him a wry smile. ” I’ll be right behind y-”
Somewhere off in the distance a horn sounded, one long note echoing ominously back.
“Shit!” Ricky spat. “Ev. I can’t leave you now, not with those assholes coming.”
Damn. Damn those two. Why couldn’t they wait? One day, that’s all they needed to wait. One. Day. The old Amazon Factory, the holy grail of loot, and maybe even a new safe house. At least that’s what they all thought. But Evanthe knew, nothing in this new world is perfect. That’s why she decided, a recon team would be sent to the factory and things would be decided after they had more information. But Greg, Fucking Greg, couldn’t wait. He snuck out with his friend Elias and followed the recon team. Or at least, tried to follow them. Getting lost on the way they were captured. She might not have found out about them until it was too late, but the recon team knew someone was following them and took precautionary measures to elude them. It wasn’t until they heard the boys screaming that they realized it was one of our people and radioed back to base. By the time Ricky and Evanthe met up with the team and tracked them to the Amazon factory, the boys had been held captive for over an hour. In that time a hoard of zombies began making their way here as well as another seriously bad group of people, The Hellborne, at least that’s what they call themselves. Reborn from the hell that is this new world, these people have no problem killing to get what they want, and it looks like they want what’s in here.
“Ev!” Ricky grabbed hold of her wrist, forcing her attention back on him. “Let’s go.”
“No.” Pulling herself out of his hold she patted his arm. “You need to get the others and get out now. I can handle them.”
“Oh yeah, you can take on the hoard of flesh-eating monsters AND those psychotic band of murderers. Did you turn into Captain Marvel with all that radiation instead of a Zombie?” he scoffed. Not waiting for a response he moved past her. “It’ll be easier to get those stupid kids if we do this together. I’ll radio Toby and tell him to get the others back to base.” Ignoring any complaints she might make he continued down the corridor, pulling out his radio. The sound of his radio filled the eerie silence of the space as he relayed instructions to his right-hand man, Toby.
“We’re getting Elias and Greg. Get everyone back to base and make sure Johnathan saves me some dinner!” Ricky’s eyes met Evanthe’s and he nodded, switching the radio off he joined her against the wall. The cool metal of the wall seeped into her bones, they were getting close. The sound of people crying and their moans of pain could be heard through the hall and the musty scent of stale water and blood-filled their nostrils.
A scream echoed through the facility sending a chill down Evanthe’s spine. She’d seen, heard, smelled, and done things she never thought would even be possible in her life. But she had people she needed to protect, they looked up to her, they were her people, her family. She was so lost in thought she didn’t hear her second in command until he nudged her shoulder, bringing her slamming back to reality.
“I asked. What’s the plan? Can we take them all with just us? How many of them are there?”
Letting out an exasperated breath Evanthe leaned her head against the wall. “Ricky, you’ve been here as long as I have; you have the same information I have. Why do you think I magically now know all?”
“I just figured you had some sort of plan since you were planning on a solo rescue mission for those yahoos.”
Smiling brightly up at him she let out a small giggle. “I was just going to wing it. Plus. One person is easier to look after when “winging it”, so really, you ruined my whole plan.”
“Why do we follow you?”
“Because I’m cute?”
“I’ve seen cuter.”
Placing her hand over her heart in feigning hurt she gaped up at him. Merely rolling his eyes he gestured to the opening to the factory floor where shadows could be seen walking around the floor. Nodding her head she crept up along the wall towards the opening. Squatting down she pulled out her phone opening the camera app. “They just had to be captured by Crypts,” she mumbled setting her phone to record she slowly maneuvered it to the corner of the door, facing it out onto the factory.
“Looks like there’s only four of them. Here at least,” she whispered.
“Does it look like a nest?”
“Hard to tell, they’re just gathered around something and I only see four.”
“Do you see the boys?”
“No. Not from here.” dragging herself back up the wall they huddled together to review the footage. “There. We should make a run for this area here. We can see further onto the floor and looks like we can stay hidden.” With a clipped nod in agreement, they got ready to make a run for it. Inching towards the threshold Evanthe took in a deep calming breath. Leaning in she peeked around the corner. They were still where they were in the video, gathered around something Pushing off the edge she made a break for the stack of opened boxes along the west corner of the factory, Ricky was keeping up close behind her.
Peeping around the boxes she assessed the area, her eyes scanning the large factory floor, searching for her people. “There!” she whispered, pointing to the Southeast side of the floor to a conveyor belt. There Elias and Greg were tied to the machine and they didn’t look like they were in good shape. It was then that she noticed a whole row of people tied to the belt, in varying stages of amputation. Shivering she forced herself to look away and continue to assess her surroundings, looking for an exit, and a plan. She hated Crypts. Probably more than she hated the Hellbourne gang and Zombies. Crypts were the worst of the worst. They look human, they can talk and write and for all intents and purposes, normal. It’s their brain, something happened to them. They go crazy like a berserker like something in them just snaps, and they eat people. Unlike Zombies, they keep you alive and harvest your parts as they need them. That’s the scariest thing, they’re like zombies, but they still seem human, and being human-like still, they inflict major damage.
“There’s two more up on the catwalk. It looks like they’re paying attention to whatever the group is doing as well. This may be our only shot, while they’re dis-” A loud sound came crashing through loading dock doors. A small group came thundering into the factory from the dock, brandishing weapons, and a battle cry; they ran in. The Crypts jumping into action, snarling they ran towards the group.
Evanthe’s eyes were drawn to the male figure emerging into the crowd wielding an ax, and in one swift move, he slammed that ax into a crypt. It’s blood-curdling scream turned into a snarl as it lunged at the male, and in another smooth motion he lifted his ax and it descended upon the Crypt, taking Its head clear off.
“This is perfect!” Ricky whispered in excited awe. “We can grab them and run while those assholes distract the Crypts!”
All she could do was nod, her eyes were transfixed on the ax-wielding male. Her hands began to hurt, she didn’t realize she had grabbed her dagger and was squeezing it tightly in her grip. Murder, that was one thing she knew she didn’t have the constitution to perform. At least, not outright cold-blooded murder. But for him, she would make an exception. Her body cried out and ached to sink her dagger into his body, to bathe in the blood of her enemy, Aiden.
Ricky’s hand gently wrapped around her hand and her death grip on the dagger.
“It’s now or it’ll be too late, Ev.”