Two days after the group had arrived, Yuri had slipped back into his normal routine of border patrol with Trey, who had been on edge the ever since Jack and his people had arrived.
“Don’t you wonder if they were being chased by something?” Trey asked, as they walked along the wooden walkway that spanned the entire length of the walled town.
“Yes, Trey, sometimes I do, but sometimes you have to trust that the other kids know who the real enemy is and see the sense to work together with one another, you know what I mean?”
Trey paused a moment before nodding, “Yeah, I can see what you mean, but I also know from my time at other settlements that you shouldn’t trust everyone you meet because sometimes people can be selfish and forget about helping other.”
Yuri looked at his friend, Trey wouldn’t meet his gaze and thought he saw a tear sliding down his cheek, “Man, I know what you mean-”
Trey cut him off, “No Yuri, you have no idea what I mean. My group before this was made of six people, we were out scavenging one night and a guy called Kane had the shotgun, he was supposed to be watching our backs, but I guess he saw something he liked and got distracted. When he turned around he saw me and the others fighting a hoard of infected, but we were hopelessly outnumbered. He just turned and left us to die, I watched my girlfriend be ripped to shreds and eaten. I watched a five-year-old kid be mutilated because someone who I thought I could trust let me down, he let the group down.”
Trey sat down on edge of the walkway, Yuri joined him and put an arm around his friend. “So that explains why Katey and you…”
Trey shrugged Yuri’s arm off, “Katey and I aren’t together because I-I’m scared that something like that might happen again. Do you want to know what I did after that night?”
Yuri nodded, “I went back to camp where I found Kane packing supplies and you know what I did? I-I cut off his legs…… then I tore his arms off. And you want to know the worst part?”
Yuri wasn’t sure he wanted Trey to continue but nodded anyway, “I laughed the whole time it happened, I enjoyed the fact that this kid was sobbing and in agonising pain, I enjoyed every minute of it.”
Yuri glanced at his friend who was crying in shame. “Man, forget about the past, you’re different now, in a good way. I don’t want to lose my best soldier and friend thinking that he has something to prove, cause man, we’ve all done bad things and I’ve learnt that sometimes you gotta hide the past and live in the present, ya know what I mean?”
Trey was about to answer when a piercing shriek sounded from outside the walls. Instantly Trey and Yuri snapped into survival mode.
“What was that?” Yuri asked.
Trey raised his binoculars, “Infected,” he replied. His voice wavered slightly, “and there’s lots of them, sound the alarm.”
The alarm was a bell that teams had taken from the church; it was rung three times in emergencies. Yuri looked back over to where the infected were making their way towards the town. There were four main packs, and to Yuri’s horror, it looked as if each group was heading towards a gate.
Trey must have been thinking the same thing. “There’s no way we can fight these guys if we’re all spread out like that, is there?”
Yuri scratched his head and looked around the town; all of the soldiers were gearing up, “I don’t know, tell the engineers to rig up as many nail bombs as they can, actually get them to rig up anything explosive then get your archers in position.”
Trey nodded and turned to leave but Yuri called him, “Trey? Take this, I got a feeling you might need it.”
Trey looked puzzled as Yuri took his backpack off; but his eyes glinted with excitement as Yuri handed him the collapsible Druganov sniper rifle.
“Thanks man, this is so awesome, my dad used to take me shooting all the time.” Trey walked off moving his hand over the gun.
Yuri turned back to the massive expanse of asphalt and concrete. The infected army was slowly advancing in the distance, they looked like ants that he could squash. Yuri smiled as his plan formed; he turned and sprinted to the rev head’s shed.
When Rick regained consciousness, he awoke to complete chaos. He gasped and bolted upright in his bed.
“Hey, hey, calm down bro; everything’s fine.” Said a familiar voice.
Rick looked over and saw Jack getting up from his chair.
“How long have I been out?” Rick asked.
Jack made a comical face, “Ever since our run-in with the wacko at his house of horrors.”
Rick shuddered, “Where are we now? Or are we in some adult hold-out? Or are all the zombies gone?”
Jack smiled and shook his head, “We found a huge walled town near the fish and chip shop, they let us in and some Russian dude took us here; everyone else has been camping out in the bus and wandering the town. You’re gonna have to thank Doctor Hawker for fixing you up as well.”
Jack gestured to an older guy with completely white hair.
“You let him fix me up?” Rick said, outraged, “He looks like some kind of mad scientist out of horror movie.”
Jack frowned, “He’s a great guy, Rick. Treat him with some respect, after all you would have bled out if he hadn’t agreed to help you”
Rick stared at his friend, he could tell that Jack trusted this Doctor Hawker guy.
“Alright, I’m sorry. What’s going on outside?”
Worry flashed across Jack’s face, “Apparently there’s a big incoming attack, but I didn’t want to leave here until you woke up.”
The colour drained from Rick’s face, “How good are their defences?”
Jack's voice shook as he explauined, “They have a wall but it’s been breached twice while I’ve been here, they don’t have enough manpower or the skills to hold off this huge attack.
Rick leapt out of the hospital bed, “Then we better get prepared, I’m not just gonna sit around and let these guys get slaughtered. If they need training then get the hunters to give them a crash course. I’m gonna talk to this Michael guy and see what we can do to help.”
Jack hurried out of the medical center, leaving Rick to get changed into his leather combat gear.
Ben ordered his hunters to break into groups so that it would be easier to teach the town’s soldiers some real combat moves. There was an archer class which Jack and Lewis were leading, a blades class that he was supposed to be leading but his second-in- command, Natasha, was leading it. Then there was a melee group that consisted of everyone that didn’t have a bladed weapon or a ranged one, it was being led by Butch, the brute of a boy was demonstrating the easiest way to break the infected bones. He looked around and saw the more experienced fighters were growing bored so he ordered them all to report their commander, Yuri. Ben sighed; this was going to be a hard battle.
Trey walked out of the engineer’s workshop carrying a box full of explosive tipped arrows. Yuri was gonna love what he had in store for the grown-ups. Trey hurried towards the meeting point at the north wall where he had ordered his archers and gunmen, the ones that weren’t taking the crash course classes. When he arrived he saw that the whole archer and gunmen force was waiting.
“Did you guys finish your classes already?” he asked.
Toby, a small boy with keen eyesight spoke up, “We were sent back here because the infected are travelling faster than what the science kids predicted. They said that we should focus on suppressing the attack as best we can but not to use all our ammunition straight away.”
Trey shook his head, so Yuri wanted a long battle? That was gonna be a big burden for his group but Yuri’s the commander so what he says goes.
“Alright guys, I had the engineers rig up some explosive arrows for the archers. The gunmen will focus on picking off as many of the hounds while the archers try to destroy the large groups. Yuri’s strategy has us as a critical component of the plan, but using the troops will primarily be a last-resort. Our main aim is to stop the infected from breaching the walls, but if worse comes to worse, we must push all four groups to town square. Once they are there then we will have a much better chance of taking them out because we will have regrouped our forces and room to move around. The engineers have rigged traps all through the town and around the gates, because our goal is to eliminate as many infected as we can. Does everyone understand?”
He looked at the large group, everyone was nodding vigorously. “Well then grab your ammunition and take your positions, if anyone needs me, I’ll be up in the lookout tower with Jack.”