The New Plague

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Chapter 20

Rick ran towards the town square where Ben and his hunters had conducted the training classes. He was following one of the routes that the head engineer, Bernard, had instructed him to travel. Michael had been thrilled to meet Rick and appointed him second-in-command of the town’s army. He was supposed to assist Yuri in every was he could.

“That basically means keeping him alive.” Michael had whispered.

Rick had laughed and then left Michael’s fancy house. Now he was regretting putting on his armour before the battle had even started, it was heavy and slightly awkward to run in. Rick had never noticed it until now.

When the adrenaline is pumping through in the heat of battle you don’t even notice things like that Rick thought.

Rick ran to the north gate, where he found his team assembled and geared up for the battle.

Ben looked up as Rick approached, “Hey Ben, thanks for keeping things sorted while I’ve been gone.”

Ben laughed, “Nah, all good mate, where’s Jack?”

Rick frowned, “He said he was asked to help out the archer’s commander, a guy called Trey.”

He wasn’t too happy that some of his group had split up, they worked best when they were together.

“So training is finished now?”

Ben nodded, “They’re gonna have some serious losses even if we survive this, most of those kids have never fought a day of their life. I showed ‘em the basics but they’re gonna have to use more than that when the crazies get here."

Rick nodded, “Thanks Ben, even though you guys are mercenaries, I still think of you and your group as part of the team.”

Ben laughed, “Don’t go gettin all mushy on me R-dog.”

Rick laughed, “Wouldn’t dream of it, Big Ben.”

Trey peered through his binoculars at the approaching horde; they had picked up speed. At this rate they’d be at the town within minutes. Trey ordered some of the archers to tell the foot troops to get in position while he readied the rest of the boys for the first round of fire.

This better work, Trey thought, otherwise I’ll kill you, Yuri.

Yuri stood on the steps of town hall, his voice echoed off the brickwork as he delivered his speech to the small army. “-and all of us might not make it through today, but remember, we founded this place, it is our home and we will fight to keep it!”

And with that the crowd roared, clanged their weapons and set out for the gates. Yuri climbed down the steps, and was met by Michael.

“Thank you Yuri, I knew that you were the only one the kids actually listen to.”

Yuri held up a hand to silence him, “Thank me if we get through this alive, if you want to fight, I have a gun for you, if you don’t, then I am ordering you to bunker down and once this is finished I’ll be the one running this place, do you understand me?”

Michael’s jaw dropped, “Yuri, you know I’m not a fighter-”

He cut him off, “Neither are half of the kids out there, if you’re really their leader, then you will fight for them, so choose now before I choose for you.”

Michael’s shoulders sank, “I’m not gonna fight, but this is blackmail Yuri, the townspeople won’t stand for it. They love me.”

Yuri snorted, “In case you haven’t noticed, they follow my orders, they listen to me, and they regard you as a lazy, incompetent-”

The sound of an explosion cut him off, “They’re close to the walls.” Yuri said, he turned and sprinted in the direction of the explosion, leaving Michael standing there with a guilty look on his face.

Rick, Butch, Ben and the hunters fought on the front line of the attack. The first round of fire had done little to slow down the advancing army. The only thing that did any damage was the makeshift mines and the nail grenades. They’d kill one only to have another in its place.
Rick looked around, “We’re gonna have to retreat!” he yelled, “Get the builders to finish up on barricading the houses in case they breach the walls.” Yuri nodded and sprinted back to the messengers. Rick slashed and stabbed, while Butch clubbed heads and the hunters executed countless undead. Rick slashed another zombie, only to have three in its place. “OK guys,” He yelled above the chaos, “Fall back!” The kids sprinted back and the gate shut behind them. “That’ll only keep them out for a few hours.” The gate watcher said to Rick. “Yeah that should be long enough to keep them out while we finish the barricades.” Rick turned and jogged toward Yuri. “Do you think we’ll make it?” Rick asked. He shrugged, “Depends on how much of a fight we put up. All the younger kids and anyone that can’t fight have been put on the buses for evacuation.” Rick scratched his head, “And where will they be evacuated to?” Yuri coughed, “A while ago, I went scouting with some of our real good fighters, we found a college with dorm and it already had a small farm set up as part of an agricultural project. We secured the area and volunteers were sent there to keep the farm running and we also have some guards there to stop any unwanted guests trying to take over the place. The college could easily hold the population of the town ‘cause we also secured a few big apartment buildings around the outskirts. It was always going to be our fall back plan.” Rick nodded, “Alright let’s go,” They both went to turn around, “Oh and Yuri?” Rick said, Yuri turned around, “I’ll make sure your on that bus, ok?” Yuri smiled, “Same to you, Rick, good luck.
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