The sun streamed through the narrow blinds of Bella’s tiny room. It was still weak and cast pink and golden rays around the room. The sunrise, however, did not find Johnny and his companions sleeping. Johnny was pacing nervously around the small room, whilst Bela was curled up in a corner, chewing thoughtfully on her lip. Tobias was carefully cleaning a gun, despite its lack of ammunition. Taks was in the process of meticulously examining a set of lock picks they found in the cabinet and Ngala was gathering as many makeshift medical supplies as she could. Johnny had received a more or less accurate description of what the area around the building looked like, and as soon as they were ready, it was go-time.
“Okay, so let’s go over this once more,” Taks said, as everyone around groaned.
“Johnny, you will run out and check the area, once it’s safe you will shout -?”
“Safe,” Johnny said, lazily.
“Right. Toby, when you hear Johnny shout you will run out and clear the area- ‘’
“With a bomb. If safe, two warning shots,” he said calmly.
“Good. And ladies, you will run out after me. The closest safe point is the lab right next to this building. From there, we send out the distress signal to some of the friends we mobilized. I managed to hack into their network before we came here, they’ve been working on several bombs, situated around academia. From the time the signal is sent out, we will have literally three hours to get the hell out of here, as far out into the desert,” Taks explained. A strangled silence settled over the group.
“Will we get weapons?” Bella said suddenly.
“Hopefully it won’t come to that,” Johnny barked out.
“She’s right,” Ngala affirmed, sounding stricken. “There’s a zombie ‘centre,’ and they are really strong, they might survive the explosion.”
Taks sat down on the bed, “Well that raises the stakes. We’ll sort that out.”
Everyone was quiet, waiting expectantly for whatever would come next. Taks looked at his watch and nodded at Johnny. Johnny strode over to Bella and pulled her into a tight hug.
“We’re getting out of this, Bells,” he said gently. She gave him a reassuring squeeze.
Johnny held his gun at the ready and walked stealthily out of the door. An eerie silence settled over the dust filled corridor. The blast from the previous night had left a gaping hole in the wall and had blasted the door right off its hinges. Johnny peered round the edge of the damaged wall and saw several guards patrolling the area, but each deliberately avoiding the blasted wall. He had a smoke bomb that Toby and his friends had assembled earlier. He threw it with great trajectory and yelled “Unsafe” loud enough for the rest of the team to hear. In a flash, Taks and toby ran out and threw two small bombs outside. The blast threw them backward and they stumbled a few steps back into the hallway. The smoke outside was thick, enough for them to run safely. Johnny ran back to the room to grab the girls and they ran swiftly, forgetting danger for a moment to the next safe haven.
The building they took refuge in was somehow already deserted. Johnny and Bella finally had a full view of all damage that Taks and toby had caused. Smoldering fires and thick clouds of smoke filled the air. What Johnny could only assume were civilians were wondering about aimlessly, some trying to escape, others carrying guns and looking for safety.
It seemed that Taks had already scouted out the building, as almost immediately Taks was typing furiously at a computer that he had produced from…somewhere. Toby didn’t settle down either, he was pacing up and down, holding his gun at the ready, with a few bombs tucked into his utility belt. Ngala did a quick check up on Madge, making sure her heart rate and breathing were stable. Johnny decided to take a walk around the building, trying to find possible escape routes. The building wasn’t large, it was a three story and didn’t have as many complexities as the building where Bella was held. It must have been a housing unit before. Most of the east wing had been damaged in an explosion, there was a thick film of dust and plaster. It had really lost its structural integrity. As the rumble crunched under Johnny’s feet, some of it would crumble and even fall away. Johnny reached the last safe part of the building and sat down, craving the solitude. It was the first time he could properly think about Madge’s betrayal. He wasn’t inclined to cry or to scream or to even emote at all. All he wanted was to be alone, and just mull over the sudden turn his life had taken. As he sat there thinking, he heard raspy breathing in the background. A putrid smell filtered into the air, followed by shuffling footsteps. He cocked the gun and turned around slowly to face the zombie.
Except, it wasn’t only one. It was a whole army of zombies, being led by Daniel, chief of police.
“Haven’t you had enough of taunting me, Dan?” He asked wearily, throwing his hands up in the air.
“I want my revenge, Johnny boy. And I’ll get it somehow,” he grinned wickedly.
“What did I do wrong, Dan? Even before I threw you out the window, I apologized, by the way, you hated me. What did I do?” Johnny sighed.
“I’ll consider telling you, if you survive this,” he leered. Daniel ran fast at Johnny and forced him backward, very close to the gaping edge of the building.