When he awoke, Yuri looked outside, it was early morning, but there was some kind of commotion at the front gates, I gotta check this out, Yuri thought. He walked into the main bedroom and pulled out a safe from under the bed. He unlocked it using the key he wore on a chain around his neck. Inside was a compact assault rifle and a collapsible sniper. Yuri smiled, he used to live in this neighbourhood, so he had just moved all his stuff from his old house to the new house, including his father’s guns that he had smuggled from his time in the Soviet army. He had stolen the key from his father’s room when the crisis had struck and locked all the illegal ammunition in the garden shed. Now the ammunition crates and a wider selection of simpler guns decorated the attic of the mansion. He used some metal shelves had stolen from the corner store to hold it all. Yuri had this house set up like a fortress before Michael and his group of die-hard’s had arrived. Yuri still had a dwindling supply of canned food that he ate instead of what was scavenged or grown by the town’s farmers. Yuri pulled the guns out and stuffed them into his back pack, then he went up to the attic and grabbed a stack of ammunition boxes and his silenced Five Seven pistol. He then locked the attic and the front door and set out to find out what was going on.
At the gate a bus was making slow progress through the western gate. It had metal plating all over it and the windows were barred, it was built like a tank. Yuri got a glance through the window and saw a group of kids looking very solemn.
“Everybody get back from the bus!” Yuri yelled, to his surprise everybody listened and lined the pavement.
The driver of the bus opened the door for Yuri, “Thanks man, we need medical help, would you help us?”
The driver was a dark haired boy, about his age. “Yeah we got some meds; bring your bus to the medical centre. Follow me on my bike, I’ll show you the way.”
Yuri stepped out of the bus and mounted his BMX. He sped down the streets with the bus following close behind. Finally they reached the medical centre; the driver went down the back and came back to the front door with a badly bruised guy that had two of his limbs bent at grotesque angles.
“Alright, bring him in.” Yuri said, “I don’t even want to know what happened to him.”
He led them past the reception desks and out to the surgical ward where two surprised-looking teenage nurses turned to face them.
“Get Hawker immediately, please.” Yuri said in a commanding tone.
The dark haired boy turned to face him, “I’m Jack by the way, I really appreciate the help, no other place in town is this organised.”
Yuri’s chest swelled with pride, “We just want to make try and live a normal life. I’m Yuri, commander of our attack and defence forces. I have to go and get our leader, Michael. Tell Doctor Hawker what happened to him and sit tight, ok?”
Jack nodded and Yuri left to find Michael.
Jack placed Rick on one of the operating beds and took a seat off to the side. Jack looked up as the back door of the room opened and a boy, who looked about seventeen, walked into the theatre, flanked by his two nurses. The boy’s hair was completely white, and he was wearing a white lab coat with several dark stains on it.
He stuck out his hand, “I’m George Hawker, it’s unfortunate that we had to meet under these circumstances but I’m sure all will work out fine.”
Jack struggled to make sense of George’s heavy British accent but understood most of it.
“I’m Jack, Jack Vane. This is my friend Rick, he was badly injured when we went to check out strange noises coming from a fish and chips shop.”
George nodded, “Tell me about your story as I check out this poor fellow.” Jack nodded and told him their story.
By the time Jack had finished, George had placed all the limbs in their sockets and had splinted Rick’s arms.
“So you and your people have the mall set up?” he asked. Jack nodded vigorously. George’s eyes lit up, “And there are nerdy guys like me there? With lab equipment?” Jack nodded again, “Yeah we got heaps of that stuff and some big medical books and stuff like that. Wait, why are you asking?” George paused before answering, “I need more books and some equipment for around here; we send out scavengers and maulers to clean out the surrounding buildings and there are a lot of injuries; people have died here because I haven’t had the equipment to look after them and treat their wounds.” Jack nodded, “Well we don’t use all of our stuff so maybe I can bring you some books and equipment when Rick’s better.” George shrugged, “There would be a payment of course, I have canned food and weapons that you may like, and also a motorbike that might be of use.” Jack thought for a moment, “Alright, so I’ll get you the books and equipment and in return I get the canned food, weapons and the motorbike?” George nodded, “I don’t need any of that stuff, and I would give it to Michael but I thought it would come in handy in case of something like this.” Jack nodded, “Ok, so we have a deal?” George stuck out his hand, and Jack shook it firmly, “Yeah we got a deal man, but don’t even think about crossing me.” George looked offended, “I would never dream of it.” Jack nodded, “Can’t be too careful these days. How long is it until Rick is better?” George thought for a moment, “The anesthetic should wear off in about an hour.” Jack sighed, “Well if you don’t mind, I’m going to take a nap.” George gestured towards an empty check-up room, “By all means, go for it.”