Wednesday, April 3, 2013

2.5.5 Necessary Means

Next to it all, Samuel would never regret their decision. A long time from now he might even be thankful. But for now his fate seemed imminent. The walls were coming down all around him, and Doctor Samuel Gordon Chase couldn't care any less.

The undead were relentless, barely effective until time wore on, and the horde eroded the outside of the house with their rotten hands and broken limbs. The window and door barricades were giving in, as the rest of the house fell apart. Samuel was in the eye of an endless storm.

His favorite recliner throned him between his lost girls' grave, holding a fire ax and his gun in the dark. The last of the wood planks keeping the window together gave way and were quickly devoured by the hungry hands. Next the soulless heads poured through the window. As the first three walkers came at Samuel he heard the front door break behind him.

 He needed to weigh the odds and apply the rules of nature to their current predicament. One article remains above all else, survive by any and all necessary means. Through every one of Atticus' calculations the constant was always Samuel. His words echoed in Atticus' head. Find out which way the Fallout Winds blew and go the opposite. North, East, West, South, it did not matter. The winds could travel hundreds of miles over a day, track them down, get under their skin, and rot their flesh. Atticus only had one feeling left. So he said it with the up-most conviction…

“We’re going the Lincoln Tunnel," he finally decided, “It’s our safest bet.”

He drove the car down the tight city streets, and there was central park. The woods seemed safe, still clean from all the destruction and bloodshed. Rebecca was pulled towards it when she saw someone walking through the trees. He had long hair and what looked like a camouflage jacket on. The important thing to realize was she saw a man. It wasn’t a zombie. 

“Over there!” Rebecca pointed.

With Atticus distracted a flaming car came barreling down his blindside of the street crashing right into their SUV. The fortune of chaos riding as a passenger of the flaming car was flung into their car. She was on fire, screaming passionately as she scraped at them. She was one of the undead. Still awake, still squirming with the flesh burning off her skin. Everyone in the SUV was stuck as it remained pinned on its side. Corey and Jackson were gone... flung from the back, out the window. There was no sign of them.
The cut on Ed’s arm reopened as he pulled Nora out of the flaming zombie girl’s way when he slipped and twisted his ankle. He crawled and slid her out of the car along with Atticus getting Rebecca safely out as well. Frank helped himself out. “What about Wheeler?”
Dumbass never wore his seatbelt…” Frank shook his head.
Atticus checked the car; Wheeler was stuck in the windowsill, the glass of the window imbedded through his torso, cutting him in half. Nora could not look at the mess, while Rebecca had no problem examining the corpse. 
"What are you looking for?"

"Signs of re-animation..." She admitted reluctantly.

"But he wasn't bit," Ed gave his two-cents. 

"I know." Rebecca then tried to catch everyone up in a single sentence, "If Wheeler rises from the dead that means its beyond airborne or even infection, it would be something undiagnosable."

Everyone stared at Wheeler waiting for him to turn, even Nora, who had been stirred from her naive fears after Rebecca's rousing words. When nothing happened the group  walked to the circle over by Samuel’s townhouse. Atticus made sure to check his door, or what remained of it. 

"No" Atticus heard Rebecca cry out as he already was pursuing the imminent remains of Samuel Gordon Chase's estate. The zombies were still knocking and scraping at it. They caught the whiff of the survivors and started to stumble down the stoop and onto the circle.
“GO! GO! GO!”
“Into the park! Go!” Atticus yelled for the rest of them, "but try not to fire your guns unless it is absolutely necessary! The sound of the gunshot would just attract more!" 

Nora helped Ed with his twisted ankle and Frank wielded Wheeler’s bat, which was now broken and sharp at the tip like a giant wooden stake. They ran into the woods, moving out of sight from the small pack of zombies.
Meanwhile Atticus put his army knife through another unsuspecting zombie, breaking a hole in the townhouse breach. The living room looked like a battle ground. Atticus could barely make out where the remains of Samuel's family were in the mounds. He climbed through and prayed nothing reached for his arms or bite his ankles. Once through he called out for Samuel. 


 From the kitchen dark Samuel attacked Atticus with his ax. Atticus blocked the strike and pushed him away, into the light. Samuel was not dead, he was covered in blood, and delirious, but not dead. Atticus approached him passively and quickly, but more importantly calmly, disarmed him. 

"It's okay, Doctor, we're here, we're back..." Atticus holstered both their weapons and carried the ax with his arm holding Samuel up by his shoulders. 

“WE'RE HERE!” Atticus yelled, not far behind the group. 

"...." Samuel rubbed the back of his neck, now on his feet and walking by himself.

Rebecca could not be more relieved, "You're alive!"

She tried hugging him again before hearing Samuel say, "You should have left me."

 Rebecca stopped in her tracks. "What?"

"It doesn't matter anymore..." Atticus looked around.

But Rebecca had to talk some sense into him, "Samuel...if you would have stayed there, you would have died, it's overrun, your son will never go back inside. Your best chance to find him might not be looking for him, but it damn well is staying alive!"

Rebecca had finally gotten Samuel's attention, along with his eye-contact, "Now c'mon, we need you like before..."

Samuel looked around as he waited for Atticus to report back from his sweep, "It's clear for now..."

"Where are Corey and Jackson?"

"We lost them when a car crashed into us."

"We also totaled your SUV," Atticus laughed uncontrollably at the audacity of this wretched world.

Samuel wanted to laugh but knew it would be of disrespect to his lost neighbor. A man who did everything he could for Samuel's family, and was there when Samuel wasn't to do what had to be done. So he caught his breath along with everyone else while he tried accessing the same part of his brain that was keeping them alive before, "....We can go to The Central Park Zoo, it isn't far from here...There will be houses and cages" he suggested to Atticus.

"That'll do for now, let's move."

 Samuel felt better, he didn't want to, but it was true. Everything from now on would be bitter and wrong at the expense of his family. Samuel's heart aged in purity, conjuring up a cynical side never shown before. Atticus and Samuel led everyone through the treeline to a small clearing.

"We should hide in here!”  The first thing they all noticed were the animals' cages.
“Why are they all open?”
“Open and empty…”

The zombies came through the woods in force, now twice as many as there were on the stoop. The horde must have picked up more in the park. Atticus brought them through to the other side of the Zoo but there were zombies covering that entrance too. They were surrounded. He looked back. 

Samuel jumped up and over into one, Ed lifted Rebecca up and over so Samuel would catch her. Next was Nora. She got over safely as Frank locked himself alone in a separate cage. It was surrounded by zombies but he was safe and it gave Ed and Atticus a couple more seconds. Atticus tried to give Ed a foot up but his ankle gave out and finally broke completely.

 Ed screamed and the zombies heard his colorful agony, turning their sights on him and Atticus. Atticus jumped up himself and climbed up the metal cage. Ed looked back as he tried not to fall over, the pain was searing. Nora was screaming for him. The zombies were only paces away.
Samuel and Atticus leaned over the top of the cage and grabbed Ed by the shoulders, lifting him swiftly up to safety. The zombies surrounded them but could not climb the cage. So Samuel and Atticus stayed sitting on top guarding the opened door. Frank’s cage on the other hand was clear of zombies but he had closed the door, locking without a key. He could not escape unless someone let him out. Hopefully, someone would know how…

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