The New Plague

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Chapter 16

Yuri Pentarov ran down the hallway of another skyscraper. He was being chased by strange grown-ups that looked like dogs. He and his group had been on a scavenging party sent to pick clean the building on the edge of the restricted area. The restricted area was completely office blocks except for the dozens of apartment building in the centre of it. Because of these apartments, the whole area was overrun by infected. Michael, the leader of their settlement never let anyone go in there unless they had guns and a twenty man squad, and the modified armoured truck they had stumbled upon, parked outside a bank, ready to transport money. Yuri had special permission to enter the buildings on the edge of the zone because the crops were starting to fail and they were digging into their reserve supply. Yuri had taken five of the best fighters with him: Nigel, who used to practise swordplay before the apocalypse, Trey, who was one of the best sharpshooters in the whole settlement, Ian, who had biceps the size of Yuri’s head, Katy, who had good eyes for picking out things and spotting infected, and John, a quiet guy who studied a lot and was the only one with some common sense. They six of them ran down the steps, occasionally stopping to take down a grown up, they were heading back to the truck that was parked out in the back service area because the streets were too crowded at night. They were almost there, two more floors to go, when Katy screamed and fell down. Yuri spun around to find a doglike grown-up clawing at her.

“Leave her alone!” he shouted and drew his mace from his backpack.

He swung it around and pounded it into the grown-up’s face until it was just an unrecognizable pile of bone and rotten brains. He helped Katy up to her feet she smiled at him, and Yuri suddenly felt uncomfortable.

“C’mon,” he said, “let’s get out-”

Nigel suddenly screamed, “Look out, Yuri!”

He spun around to find a grown-up, ready to pounce on him. It leaped into the air, and Yuri shut his eyes, and kept them shut. Nothing. Then a body fell on top of him. He shrieked and jumped away. It had a crossbow bolt sticking out of its decaying scalp, with bits of flesh hanging off the tip of it.

“Thanks Trey, I owe you one.” Trey laughed, “You owe me a hundred. If it wasn’t for me watching your back you’d be dead a hundred times over.”

Yuri smiled, “C’mon, let’s get back to base.

The group had a welcome party waiting outside the walls and barricades that surrounded a small suburban area that was their new home. Katey counted twenty walkers and five doglike ground-ups. They were wandering around one of the four gates that they had constructed along each wall. There was supposed to be perimeter guards but Yuri guessed it was shift change time. Yuri glanced back, the other followed close behind with Trey in the rear, he was adjusting the drawstring bag on his back that held precious nail bombs that one of the weapons kid’s had rugged up before they had set out. Yuri knew that Trey was nervous ever since they saw the gate with no guards.

“Do you want me to take out the walkers?” Trey asked, readying his crossbow. Ian flexed his muscles and Nigel pulled out his sword.

“Not yet,” Yuri said, “Let’s get a bit closer and see if we can find out what’s going on.”

The other grumbled but listened to him, Yuri knew they were getting bored, and that was not a good thing. Yuri’s good friend, Leon died because he got restless and attacked a mob of infected. Yuri’s group headed over towards a group of cars. Yuri couldn’t see any guards coming to the gate so he decided to deal with the infected quickly and find out what was going on.

“Shoot them quick and clean, Trey.” Yuri ordered.

The boy happily pulled out his crossbow and fired seven shots into the mob of grown-ups. Then Yuri, Nigel and Ian ran forwards, weapons ready and smashed into the mob. A fiery rage exploded inside Yuri’s head as he swung his mace, knocking two infected to the ground and delivering a final blow to finish them off. Ian bashed the head off another grown-up somewhere beside Yuri. The grown-up was middle aged and had a missing arm and bite marks on its finger as if it had tried to eat them at some point. Ian’s pipe collided with the rotten head and the road splattered with chunks of brains and other gore. Nigel had downed three infected in the time it had taken Ian to kill one. He was silent and lethal as his sword arced across the infected, slicing heads clean off their shoulders. Finally the group finished off the mob and Yuri led them towards the gate. The gate was constructed out of corrugated iron sheets and thick wooden boards, it was then attached to a pulley system so that it could be lifted easily. The only problem the group now faced was getting inside. The gate had been constructed in such a way that it was unable to be opened from the outside. Yuri turned to his team,

“Does anyone know a way we can get inside?” he asked.

Everyone shook their heads except John, “There is an emergency door just around the corner, it’s kind of a maze to get through though. It’s like that so that the infected can wander in.”

Everyone looked at John in amazement, it was the first anyone had heard him speak the whole time they’d been together. Then as quickly as it had happened, John was back to his quiet self, avoiding everyone’s gaze.

Yuri nodded, “Thanks for that, John, let’s go find out what’s wrong.”

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