Chapter 6: New World Order
Tatsuya sat in the cafeteria his new metal leg propped on the bench. He stuffed a ton of noodles in his mouth. His mask was on his forehead as he swallowed. Bexley came and sat next to him with a salad and fruit.
“Hey, how ya feeling?” she asked pouring ranch on her salad. Tatsuya remained silent. He grabbed his cup and stood up walking away from her. His leg tapped on the ground. Bexley looked down at her bowl sad. Tatsuya came back with two glasses of juice. He handed one to Bexley.
“I’m fine. Just pissed it had to come to this,” he grumbled. The glass in his new hand shattered from him gripping so hard. Bexley screamed a little jumping up to grab paper towels. A few rebels looked at him suspiciously. “I’m sick of this damn hand!” Tatsuya yelled. Bexley came and started wiping the juice off the table. Tatsuya’s white shirt was stained orange. He stood up shoving the plate of pasta to the center of the table. He stormed out of the room flicking the juice off his hands. Colton came out to help clean up.
“He’s still mad huh?” Colton asked as Bexley nodded. She hated to see him upset but there was nothing she could do. He’d just have to get over it.
“I’m gonna talk with Geo, he might be able to help better than I can.” Bexley said as Colton nodded.
“You go. I can clean this up,” Colton offered as Bexley nodded. She stood up and walked out of the cafeteria. Bexley walked down the sterile hall to the lab. She knocked on the door before going in. Geo was sitting on the desk with his shirt off. He had a circular tattoo on his left pectoral that continued down his arm in a sleeve. There was no exact tattoo or design, it was more or less a diamond argyle pattern that went to his wrist. He held a bandage in his mouth while wrapping the other part around his hand which was bleeding badly.
“What happened to you?” Bexley asked as Geo tightened the bandage.
“Went out to get medical supplies and got my hand caught in an animal trap,” he said wrapping another bandage around it. “Now is definitely not the time to be getting flesh wounds. It doesn’t take much for the virus to spread through an open wound,” he added. Bexley stared at him while he wrapped. He didn’t even have to look at her to know she was in distress.
“He’s pissed isn’t he?” Geo interrupts. Bexley nods sadly.
“I don’t know what to do. I just want him to be happy again, but I know he’s really upset with Keenan’s betrayal. They won’t even talk to each other,” she says as Geo looks at her.
“But what about you? How are you doing?” he asked friendly. Bexley simply smiles back not wanting to be the main focus. “I envy him sometimes,” Geo continues. He looks down at his bandaged hand. “I wish I had someone who cared enough about me to seek help from someone else you know? But that’s just a wish in this disease ridden world,” Geo says. He does his best to maintain his happiness but Bexley can sense he is hurting. She puts a hand on his shoulder and squeezes gently.
“She’s out there, Geo. I promise you’ll find her,” Bexley reassures putting a smile on his face. “But right now, I need to fix this Keenan and Tatsuya disaster,” she says trying to get back on topic. Geo hopped off the desk and grabbed his black tank top from the chair. He pulled it over his head and straightened it out.
“Well let’s go see them. Bring the two together and settle this. We can’t have our two strongest guys at each others throats. It’ll put the community in an uneasy bind,” Geo states. He grabs his pistol and sticks it in his back pocket. Bexley leads him down the hall to where Keenan’s room is. Tatsuya is banging on the door.
“Open this damn door, Keenan! You and I need to talk face to face!” Tatsuya yells. Bexley runs up to him grabbing him by the arm pulling him back. Tatsuya throws her to the ground. Before Geo can react, Bexley is up with a fist in the air knocking Tatsuya to the ground. He looked at her surprised since Bexley is not one to resort to violence.
“Keenan, it’s OK! We just want to talk.” Bexley says putting the key in the lock. “I’m coming in alright?” she continues pushing the door open. Keenan sits on the bed with a surgical mask over his face. His skin is clammy and sweaty. He had small cysts on his arms and legs. He remained still as they entered. His teeth quietly chattering. Geo grabbed a blanket and put it on him rubbing his shoulders.
“Bexley, can you grab my medical kit?” he asks. Bexley rushes out of the room. Tatsuya walks in hostilely. Geo stands pointing a gun at him. “Stay where you are,” Geo demands. Bexley returns with a small kit.
“What are you gonna do?” Bexley questions as Geo pulls out a syringe. There is no liquid inside.
“I’ve been running some tests on a few scavengers and lately it’s been working,” Geo explains. He puts the needle into one of the cysts. He pulls out the puss from each one.
“Have you figured something out?” Bexley asks excitement in her voice.
“If we can get rid of the cysts, the virus can’t form in the pockets. Keeping the skin clean and what not,” Geo says tearing open a package of wipes with his teeth. Keenan’s teeth continue to chatter, his eyes blink rapidly. Tatsuya shifts and Keenan’s teeth chatter more.
“Why is he doing that? We aren’t threatening him,” Bexley asks. Geo continues wiping Keenan’s face.
“Take Tatsuya out of here. He’s making Keenan nervous,” Geo orders as Bexley pulls Tatsuya’s arm. He willingly walks out of the room. “Oh man what did you get yourself into?” Geo sighs. He stares at Keenan who continues to blink.
“I don’t know. But I can’t take any chances of getting these innocent people sick,” Keenan says cover his mouth to cough. Geo grabs a mask out of the kit putting it over his face. “There’s another base, not to far from here. You need to take the people there,” Keenan orders. He wobbles to his feet. He shuffles over to the desk in the corner. He pulls open the CD drawer on the tower and pulls out a slip of paper.
“Keenan we can’t move that many people at once. There are small children we have to put into account,” Geo protests. Keenan ignores him and stares over the paper. The building is about the same size as their current if not a little smaller. There were tons of hidden passages that ran under the building and out into the countryside. “Are you listening to me? We can’t do this,” Geo continues. Keenan finally looks up at him.
“What other option is there?” Keenan asks. Geo pinches his eyes.
“You could leave--”
“I’m not going anywhere. You aren’t going to make me either.” Keenan interrupts.
“Would you listen to yourself? You’d rather send 200 men, women, and children out there? We have extremely young and old people here Keenan! You’ve got to stop trying to do what’s best for you and do what’s best for the group!” Geo shouts. The outburst causes Keenan’s teeth to chatter defensively. “We don’t even know if that place is safe or not,” Geo continues calmly. Keenan grabs his hair gritting his teeth to make them stop chattering.
“Take a small team out with you. Scope the place out. I’m not doing this for myself, I am thinking about the group. That building is closer to the hospital. You can get more supplies. We are too far away from everything and we are running low on everything,” Keenan says. There is a sense of pleading in his voice that Geo picks up on. “Geoff, please. If they don’t figure out a cure, these people will die here. It’s only a matter of time before the scavengers get in here, and they will, and they won’t show any mercy,” Keenan begs. His pride is gone. Geo stares into Keenan’s rapidly blinking eyes.
“Fine. I’ll take Bexley and Tatsuya. We’ll scope out the place and come back to round people up. We cannot go in a large group that is far too noticeable and with other survivors out there... we don’t know what we’ll be up against,” Geo offers. Keenan nods.
“I won’t tell anyone anything until we are sure we can go to the new place. When you get there, call me and I’ll have the women, children, and elderly start packing their things,” Keenan says. Geo nods closing the kit. Keenan grabs his knife and puts it to his chest. Geo grabs it from him.
“Stop doing that. That’s probably how you got sick,” Geo advises as Keenan stares at him. His teeth chatter loudly. Geo hands the knife back and Keenan adds another mark to his already scar filled chest. “We will beat this thing. They will find a cure and everything will go back to the way it is supposed to be.
“Yeah... If we live to even see the new world,” Keenan says negatively. Geo walks out of the room. He runs into Tatsuya and Bexley in the hall.
“We need to talk. Something’s come up.” Geo says as they stare at him anxious.