The New Plague

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Chapter 11

Matt ran to Rick’s room, where Rick was laying on his bunk, probably formulating some kind of plan in his head.

“Hey, man, you gotta see what I’ve cooked up in the old workshop.” Matt gestured for Rick to follow him.

Rick looked up at him, it was creepy, Rick looked a lot older than fifteen, as if being a leader made him age faster or something,

“Sure thing, right after I check out the nerds in the science labs, walk with me if you want.”

Matt nodded, and soon they were on their way. When they got to the makeshift laboratory, Matt saw that some brawlers had captured some infected and cut their arms off so that they couldn’t attack properly. They were standing in cages around the room, standing still as if they’d given up trying to attack. There were about thirty nerds in total sitting around a series of benches taken from nearby parks and offices. They had all sorts of equipment laid out before them, some that Matt had made himself. Rick walked over to a small kid with big round glasses called Percy.

“What have you guys found out?” he asked.

Percy cleared his throat, “We determined by looking at the cells that the disease is only contagious by bite. It effects your brain as well as slowly destroying your body, that’s all we know at the moment. If you’ll excuse me, I have urgent work to attend to.”

Percy went and sat at a bench that overlooked the whole room, where he had four other kids with him, and started flicking through his notes.

“Can we get to the workshop now, please?” Matt urged.

Rick nodded and they set off quickly. When they got to the workshop Matt had put his project on the main bench in the centre of the room while all the others were full of kids working on various things.

Matt strode over to his bench and bowed, “Behold, the future of weaponry.”

And he swept the blanket off his project. Rick gaped when he saw it, it was a Nerf gun that had been modified, the bullets were little and jagged with scrap metal poking all through it.

“Wow, this could do some serious damage, where’d you find it?”

Matt laughed. “Some scavengers found a whole warehouse full of Nerf guns and bullets, all we had to do was tinker with the mechanics and put scrap metal through the foam bullets, I’ve had my boys working on them ever since you got back and we have more than enough for everyone here. And there are millions of bullets too.”

Rick nodded, “Keep your boys making them, and they’ll come in handy if we need to protect ourselves against Ethan and his army.”

Matt nodded and went back to work on trying to design a proper scope for the high range guns.

Ben and his Hunters had gone to West High to check the cafeteria for food or anything useful, they also had five brawlers, including Butch, with them. But as they approached the school gates, they saw that it had weak fortifications as if a group had just arrived there. “Alright boys, we’re gonna go in silent and unseen, ya hear me?” The group nodded, Ben directed them to head through an overgrown garden that ran the length of the school, that way they would be out of sight for anyone in the building or around the grounds. Ben picked out a group to send off to the far end of the school while the main group would continue down the overgrown garden. He made Butch the leader of the second group and they headed off, sticking close to the buildings to remain unseen. Ben didn’t like this one bit; the school was way too quiet, almost as if it was holding its breath waiting for something. “C’mon guys, quicker we get this done the better.” He had to reassure the group that they’d be fine because this place was way creepy with all the dead children’s bodies everywhere and the occasional dead adult. There had been a huge fight here at one point, near rows of bike racks. Ben had to keep checking with one of the brawlers that he was going the right way, because he and all the Hunters had went to school of the other side of town. They were near the cafeteria now, they just had to go around two blocks of classrooms and they’d find themselves in the senior lunch area where the cafeteria was right next to. They rounded the corner, bracing themselves for a fight, but still nobody. Ben smashed the cafeteria window, and let the others in, but after quick observation they were not the first ones to come here since the start of all this chaos. There was rubbish littering the floor, and the tables had been overturned, Daniel and a couple of others were keeping guard on the door, when they called Ben. “We heard a shout.” Daniel explained. Ben grunted and sent everyone back outside, the shout had come from the school gym, one of the worst spots for a fight because it was in the corner of the schoolyard, where the fence ran up two sides and there was only one way out, the way they came. Ben and his group approached the gym very cautiously; He signalled them to be quiet. He could hear raspy breathing and groaning, he’d been a Hunter long enough to know that this was the tell-tale sign of grown-ups. Ben moved closer to the battered door, raising his new and improved club. Suddenly a grown-up jumped out from the darkness and ran straight past Ben and the Hunters and right out of sight. “What the…” Ben said to himself. The group looked back but the grown-up wasn’t anywhere to be found, so they cautiously approached the gym door again. This time Ben shined his precious torch for a few seconds but all that he saw was the gym room, but it had blood splattered all over the walls and along the floor. They followed a trail of blood where something had been dragged while it bled badly, into a large room with trophies littering the walls. It was dark, but Ben could make out a huge dark shape in the middle of the room. Just to be on the safe side he shined his torch on the dark mass and yelped in horror. Standing in the middle of the room was a, gargantuan grown up, with bulging fat and a distorted face, that had boils and blisters covering it. It held a battered post in its hand and was feasting on the remains of some children in school uniform. No wonder why the other grown-up had run away, this thing was huge. Ben quietly ordered his boys to slowly back out of the gym, but the hulking creature must have sensed them because it turned its head and gave a slightly strangled snarl then started to charge at the boys. “RUN FOR IT!” Ben yelled. He and the other boys spilled out of the doorway. There was a huge crash as the massive grown-up smashed through the brickwork to the boy’s left. “Move it, everyone!” Ben yelled again. His boys had no chance of outrunning that thing so they’d have to outmanoeuvre it. Ben picked five boys to come with him while the rest met up with the other group outside the front gates. Ben and his small team ran towards the parking lot and found what he was hoping for, the school bus. He quickly checked the fuel tank; luckily it was half-full. The giant grown-up had chosen to follow the larger group of kids as he’d expected; his plan was to get the bus running and drive it around the front to pick everyone up. Then he’d have to take the long route back to the mall because the massive grown-up would destroy the whole area if he didn’t lose him along the way. They had no hope of killing it unless they got their hands on some serious weaponry. He shook the thought from his head, no way was he going to lose good kids just to kill that thing. He fired up the bus, and got it rolling down the alleyway that ran the length of the school. Thankfully, everyone was there waiting and the gargantuan was nowhere to be seen. The kids jumped on the bus, he counted heads and they hadn’t lost anyone, then they heard an enraged bellow and the monster rounded the corner. “Step on it, Ben!” Butch yelled. Ben floored the accelerator, tyres screeching they roared up the road, with the monster following a hundred meters behind. Ben yelped as he caught sight of it in the mirror, sweat and puss was flowing freely from its pores, fresh sores breaking out on its skin. In a way, Ben felt sorry for the person this had once been, but the feeling was quickly replaced by a need to survive and the responsibility of looking after his team. They drove into a small business area; the monster had veered off the road and into the buildings, smashing through plasterboard and brickwork. It slowed down, Ben guessed it was getting tired, and it turned around, bellowed into the sky, and left back towards the school. The boys let out a cheer, happy that the danger was gone. “Look!” Butch said, pointing out his window. Ben and the others rushed to see what Butch was talking about, “No way…” Ben stared at a four story office building made completely out of glass. The sun reflected so that the boys could see inside, where the building was packed full of grown-ups. But they didn’t look like the normal ones, or like the giant. These were on all fours, like dogs, snarling and yapping at one another. Ben shuddered and drove the bus back toward the mall.
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