Infected. Katie was infected. That was what the doctor woman said. Her friend was infected. Her Katie. No. No no no.
Lindsay spent days trying to see her, trying to get out of bed and find her, to help somehow. Maybe if they did a blood transfusion? Maybe if… maybe…
In the end she couldn’t get out of the room. Even though she felt stronger and her wound barely pained her anymore, the metal door remained locked from the outside. The doctor woman, Major Richards, came to check on her every four hours. She brought her books and an old tablet to watch some movies on. None of it helped alleviate the urgency to get out and find Katie. She partially marveled at her own recovery speed, how the pain in her shoulder went away after just 48 hours. She figured maybe it was painkillers. Continue reading
“You want me to do what?” Bubbles said.
She sat up in the bed, still naked from their lovemaking. The sheets pooled around her waist and legs and she didn’t bother holding them up to cover herself. James tried not to stare too much. He cleared his throat.
“I uh, want you to chat with your ex-boyfriend and find out where they took someone.”
“And just why would I do that?” she said, running a hand through her dark hair. There was a fresh scar across her ribs, white and angry in the dim light from a lone window. Continue reading
Lindsay’s life became flashes of light, rough hands, explosions, and ringing ears. The hood made her blind and the zip-ties on her wrists kept her stumbling and helpless. Someone was guiding her, a strong hand on her shoulder. They shoved her, then stopped her, then shoved again. Sometimes they would drag her to the ground.
She was outside now and felt the cold on her exposed skin. Someone wrapped a jacket around her and zipped it up, trapping her arms inside. The wind was so cold that it ripped the breath from her, even inside the hood.
Gunfire. She was pulled to the ground again, held there by unseen hands. Something exploded. She could feel the pressure change, like a giant sucking out all the air. Then her ears hurt, a blazing pain in her head. They popped and she coughed. Smoke and something like burned meat filled her nostrils. She heard someone screaming and it took several seconds to realize she was doing it, calling for Katie. The only answer was gunfire, close, making her ears ring louder and louder. Each bullet a tiny nova inside her skull. Continue reading
It turned out that you couldn’t get lost in a crowd of kitted-out soldiers. When James tried to retrieve a full kit from the armory, he had to sign for it. He couldn’t believe it. At the end of the damn world, he had to sign out gear. As a pilot, all of his gear was cared for by the squadron’s logistical officer. That it hadn’t occurred to him that regular firearms and armor would be locked up and guarded, he took for a sign of his distress.
For a brief moment, he considered putting down someone else’s name but gave up on it. The man looking at him through the plexiglass window knew him. Just about everybody did. There was no hiding for James Fitzpatrick. Not here anyway.
“I don’t suppose you’d forget you saw me, would ya?” James said, trying to look as pathetic as he felt. The guard on the other side of the plexiglass, Michael Treynor, only smirked. Continue reading
Outside of her small prison, Lindsay heard a man cry out. There was a heavy, thick thud and another cry. Still male.
Lindsay slipped to the door, nearly silent in her bare feet. Behind her, laying a pool of vomit and blood, was a dead man. A man she had killed. Murdered. No! Defended herself!
Murdered. Continue reading
James woke with a start. The clock read 0520, still an hour before he’d normally bother getting up. He was about to close his eyes again when he realized the base was buzzing with activity. He heard the wap-wap-wap of several helicopters, the whine of jet engines and groans of trucks. There were people calling out to one another, not in alarm but with the hurriedness of preparing for action.
Then the shooting began. Sitting up, he rubbed the sleep from his eyes and strained to listen. The voices were still no-nonsense and orderly. No sense of panic or desperation. They were not being attacked.
Must be zombies at the wall, attracted by all the damn noise, he thought. Even if they weren’t being attacked, something was happening and he wanted to find out what. That no one had woken him for a briefing told him his dad was still pissed. Continue reading
The silence was the worst part.
Lindsay lay in the dark, straining to hear Katie’s voice. She wanted to know she was alive. For a time, there had been shouting but then, suddenly, nothing. She’d been terrified she would hear screaming but the silence was so much worse. Nothing indicated Katie still lived.
Unsure how long she lay in the quiet darkness of her cell, Lindsay slipped in and out of a disturbed sleep. Sometimes she dreamed of sunny days at school. She’d be in study hall, talking to Sidney Meyers about the Senior Prom plans. Danny Phillips asked if she’d go, but Lindsay hadn’t given him an answer. Continue reading