“Jenna? Jenna? Where are you?” I heard from among the rubble. Using my sight, I glanced over to where the sound was coming from. Pulling up the fallen stone and brick, I find them. Three small children and her. The one I knew forever. Sarah. My best friend. As we carried the kids to the “Herc”, we did medical checks on them. “Slight bruises, but no sign of deadly wounds.” she said.
“No… not her…” I trembled.
“Yeah.” She was dead in my arms. As strong as I was, something felt different. I’d seen much death, but not like this. She was infected.
Into The Shadows
November 18, 0600 hours, 2138. Toxogahdidres Tetracyde, the first of a new order of infection, called Neurax, is the leading cause of death now. It has eradicated all other illness. At first, we thought it was good, and even flocked to areas with high concentrations of it. However, when tests were run in long term, we found that it was not just killing diseases, but it slowly turned you into a horrid mutation of a human. They were, in essence, zombifying us.
We were the last we knew who weren’t afraid. That and not dead. We had few in the beginning, and we knew it. It was as you saw it in the movies as a kid: fire, destroyed buildings, and ghost towns. We called ourselves the Shadows, for no reason whatsoever. The ones that were left were, Sarah, Technical division; Joel, ranged defense and cook; Heren, scouting and trap detection; Ace, scientific genius; and myself, Torin. I was team leader, hand-to-hand combat expert, and not a bad strategist if I do say so myself. Heren and I were from Texas, Ace from Kentucky, and Joel and Sarah from Oregon. We were,at the moment,in the center of Kansas.
Anyways, Ace, when he first learned of the outbreak, created plans for enhanced weaponry, tools, and armor to protect ourselves. Batteries, Solar panel chips, and alloys that could withstand intense strength. He needed materials though. We found some, but not nearly enough. So we headed out with what we had. There were others out there, but they would be cautious about strangers, and we wanted to live to grow up. Yeah, I should’ve mentioned this but…we’re teens. Sarah is 13, Joel 15, Heren 12(we still call her a teen), Ace is 14, and I’m 13. So, yeah.
Ace made us a mobile base out of an old RV he hotwired. I know we aren’t allowed to legally drive, but the police are mostly dead so we figured they wouldn’t mind. Also, Joel looked like he was 17, so there’s that. We found food, beds, and even a radio. When we got to the highway, we found pencils, paper, and a sharpener. We decided that making a map was a good idea. Heren, young as she was, was an amazing tracker and mapmaker. We got her to keep track of our location, and map when she could. Then we saw it. Senso City.
An Unexpected Ally
“Finally, we’re here!” Joel exclaimed. “Shush, we don’t want to be noticed.” “Fine… but you’re acting like a mother, Sar. Hey, where’s Heren?” “Not again…” Heren was around the corner, scouting out our local area. “Guys, we got company.” “Crikey…” I muttered. Pulling out my axe, I say, ”Get ready…standard plan!”
In an instant, we were all ready. We were doing an ambush type thing where we use stealth rather than strength, and we would be able to take out small groups more easily. Small being up to about 30 weaker or 5 stronger enemies. Sarah stood beside me, brass knuckles armed. Joel crouched behind an old car, arrow knocked. Ace and Heren lay side by side, ready to make a deadly distraction with a rock, knife and a brass flashlight. I whistled. They heard us, and combat ensued.
Within seconds, we were swarmed with them. My fire axe splitting skulls and decapitating heads and limbs, Sarah’s brass knuckles ringing against teeth. The “Schick!” sound of arrows was omnipresent, and they were dropping like flies. In 2 minutes, it was over.
“24 in 2 minutes. Not bad.” Ace said. “Now, let’s find a place to set up.” “What’s that? Is it a gun shop?” Sarah asked, cracking her knuckles. “Indeed. Shall we?” They all looked at me. “Yeah. Besides, we need more equipment anyways. Also, it’s shelter, and it’s in a good spot.” “There goes our strategist again.” Heren muttered. So, we headed over.
“Creak!” the old door at the shop squeaked as we entered. “It’s dark and quiet. Ace?” “On it.” He set off a Nanoflare, one of his inventions. Half as large, and just as much light. All of a sudden, the door slams shut. A mattress, conveniently hanging from ceiling, crashed down on Ace. A figure darted through the remaining darkness and shadows. Then Heren got hit by a dart and fell on the wall, sliding to the ground. As I turned around to give aid, the figure attacked, leaping on to my back, slamming me on the ground, and held a knife right to my throat. “¿Quién es usted? ¿Por qué has venido aquí?” He said. “Mi nombre es Torin. No quiero hacer daño.” I replied. “Thank God.” The person said.
“Who are you?” “Matt. Survivalist, tactician, medic, and gun shop owners kid.” “What’s happened to my friends?” “Simple flip/slide trap. You open door, rope goes up, mattress comes down. Hang on just a minute… done.” Ace crawled out from below the mattress. “Are you insane!? Dropping objects on people and ambushing them without cause!?” He yelled in Matt’s face. “Of course, I am a rational man. I did that to keep you from stealing stuff. Do you know how many people I had to kill to keep from taking my food and weapons? They were going to kill me, and I would have killed you too if y’all tried to kill me for my stuff.” Matt replied, in a stern voice. “That’s a Texan’s speech, attitude, and language, especially the spanish.” Heren interjected. “Hey, Ya gonna apologize? That’s no way to treat a lady! My pa always taught me to be polite, but you’re pushing’ it, mister!” She was getting back to her roots. She grew up on a farm in Texas, when the plague reached her cows and family. I found her curled up in a hay bale in autumn. ”I’m so sorry. I completely forgot.” He lifted Heren up and dusted her off. “Anyways, what do ya need?” Torin quickly replied to Matt with, “Food, water, guns, a place to stay and a way out of the infected zone.” Matt thought for a moment. “Food and water at the Walmart, guns and shelter here, but what would be a way out? Let me think…” “Wait, what do you mean you have to think? Can’t you just tell us which road to use?” “Roads close daily, with the army everywhere…” “Army?”