How are we going to get out of this? We have an army of undead all around and god knows where we are! I know that there is little to no chance of us surviving, even if we make it through this challenge, there will just be another waiting for us. And while the enemy grows with each fallen survivor our numbers only grow smaller, and our resources dwindle more and more. What’s the point in fighting, if there’s no hope of victory?

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Haven Chapter 13

            Chapter 13

            ‘What’s your name?’ I asked
            The girl turned her head away
            ‘How long have you been here?’
            Still she gave me no response
            ‘Are there any others here, or anyone who will be returning?’ I didn’t expect a response and I didn’t get one, but this time she looked straight at me with an icy glare. She couldn’t be older than 16, 15 maybe, and she was thin, most likely this place was the first source of food she had found for a few weeks. Part of me sympathised with her, but I knew I could let my guard down regardless of her age or condition. And after some arguing Nicole reluctantly bound her to the bed.

            I left the make shift room we had constructed and found Will, Nicole, Brooke, Daniel, and Connor waiting for me. ‘Did she say anything?’ Connor asked quietly, as if worried she was here
            ‘No,’ I answered trying to think
            ‘That’s not surprising considering she doesn’t have any reason to trust us,’ Nicole sighed, she’d obviously tried before
            ‘No it’s not like we took care of her and fed her even after she harmed one of our own,’ Brooke pitched in sarcastically
            I ignored her and turned to Nicole, ‘how is she doing?’
            ‘She had a pretty bad cut from some broken metal and, I think, a concussion. She’s lucky she didn’t lose too much blood there’s no way to replace it.’

            Brooke walked off shaking her head as the rest of us stood thinking, after a while I suddenly had an idea. ‘Connor, you should talk to her,’ I suggested a little too enthusiastically
‘Me?’ Connor pointed to himself confused, ‘why? I mean I’m happy to give it a try but interrogation isn’t my forte, neither are teenage girls for that matter’
‘Weren’t you a police officer?’ Will joked
‘Yeah, an officer not a detective’
‘No that’s what I mean,’ I interrupted, ‘as Nic said she has no reason to trust us, but you were a police officer, she’ll trust you’
            ‘I think you’re over estimating people’s trust in the police,’ Daniel pitched in, but after Connor shot him an annoyed look he raised his hands and walked off. ‘Alright,’ Connor conceded eventually, ‘I’ll show her my badge and do my best but don’t expect miracles.’

Connor went through to her room and Nicole left to check on Malcolm. When we were alone Will walked over, ‘Todd I want to apologise’-
‘No its me that should apologise,’ I stopped him, ‘I over-reacted and shouldn’t have flown off the handle like that’
‘But still,’ he put up a hand to stop me interrupting again, ‘I want you to know that if we’re ever in that position again, your gone and we’re left behind, you can trust me to take care of things here.’

I nodded, unsure of what to say as he walked off. In the beginning Will had been more grounded than me, I had refused a leadership role out of fear and Will had stepped up. So what had changed? Why was it that he was so fragile?

I knew the answer as soon as I had asked the question. We still didn’t know the full story of what happened at the hospital, with Caleb, with his mother. And I doubt we’ll ever know, I just have to help him find his stable ground again, or hope that he finds it himself.

            I had wondered over to the larger area of the warehouse were we had set up the food and was sitting with Jade when Connor came up to me. I raised my eyebrows in an unspoken question and he shook his head back. ‘She seemed to relax a bit more, but she still wouldn’t talk,’ he explained disappointed
            ‘It’s all right, it’s a step in the right direction at least,’ I tried to boost his spirits, no doubt his friend’s condition worried him and he would rather be helping him than questioning a prisoner.

            I noticed Lauren with a large amount of food a few metres away. ‘Hungry are you?’ I asked sarcastically
            She laughed back oddly, ‘no its for Chris, and our… guest too.’ I had forgotten she was helping out Nicole with taking care of the medical stuff. An idea began to form in my mind, ‘hey Lauren, wait.’

            I hid in Malcolm’s room, only a thin sheet of cloth separating this one and our guest’s. I heard Lauren enter, and set a tray down on a bench near the bed. ‘I know its not very nice,’ she said a bit loudly and I cringed, worried she would give us away, ‘but if you have any preference just speak up.’ I remembered high school drama class and reconsidered putting Lauren up to this task. But as Lauren prepared the food my doubts disappeared. ‘Anything’s fine,’ the girl spoke quickly.

            I moved to a gap between to sheets, and I could see the girl eyeing the food hungrily. I grinned, I thought that maybe if we didn’t just interrogate her she might actually open up, and it seems I was right. Lauren jumped slightly when the girl spoke, but quickly recomposed herself, ‘do you have any allergies?’ she recited one of the questions I gave her, the more we got her talking the more likely it was that she would keep talking. ‘Gluten, or’-
            ‘No its fine,’ she interrupted Lauren clearly eager to eat a proper meal, well, as proper as things get in these situations. ‘I’m Lauren by the way,’ Lauren spoke pleasantly, clearly happy she was succeeding, but she was only met with silence and an odd stare from the girl.

            She pulled at her bonds to draw attention to them, ‘I can’t eat with these on,’ she said carefully. But as Lauren picked up a spoon and prepared to spoon-feed her porridge she groaned and pulled away. Lauren gave her an odd motherly look and eventually the girl sighed and let Lauren feed her.

            Things were going quite well in my opinion, they were clearly building a rapport, sparse as it might be. What I didn’t count on was my cover being blown by the one person we didn’t inform of the plan. ‘Todd? What are you doing here?’ Malcolm groaned as he rolled over in bed. I saw the girl spin her head around at the sound, and as we made eye contact and knew our plan had failed, and the girl spat a mouthful of porridge at Lauren you quickly left the room.

            Nicole rushed into the room after hearing Malcolm wake up, smiling wide. I was pleased, probably more than I felt at the time, that Malcolm was okay, but it couldn’t have happened at a more inopportune moment, we her finally getting somewhere. I ran into Lauren and everyone else outside, ‘I’m sorry,’ she said shakily
            ‘You have nothing to be sorry for, you were doing great,’ I reassured her, ‘we were just unlucky is all. And lucky at the same time I guess, Malcolm’s awake’ everyone breathed a sigh of relief. Apart from Brooke and Monica who were keeping watch everyone had gathered around to see how things went.
            Nicole eventually came out of the room, still smiling thankfully. ‘Everything looks fine, as far as I can tell anyway,’ she explained, ‘but things could still go badly, just like last time’
            ‘But he’s got a better chance now right?’ Connor asked concerned
            ‘Oh yes,’ Nicole said almost laughing with relief.

            But our celebration was cut short as we had the clatter of metal hitting concrete from inside the girl’s room, then ripping fabric. We rushed in, somehow she had got a hold of a knife Lauren had taken in with her and gotten free. We followed her through the hole into the meal area. ‘Stay away from me!’ She yelled, waving the knife around wildly, but as Chris and Connor raised their guns she let out a sound like a sob and dropped the knife. I could see her desperation, and then somehow I knew, I knew she was not a threat to us.

            I made a gesture with my hand and the others lowered their weapons, but I didn’t stop Daniel and Jade from edging behind her and blocking any escape. ‘We don’t want to hurt you,’ I spoke softly and tried to reason with her
            ‘Is that why you tied me up?’ she asked, obviously afraid but still defiant, ‘interrogated me?’
            ‘We couldn’t trust you as much as you couldn’t trust us,’ as I spoke I realised what I had to do. I pulled my gun from my holster and she flinched, but slowly I put it on the floor, sliding it over with my foot. ‘Todd!’ Jade protested, but I silenced her with a nod
            ‘I’m giving you a choice, you can take this gun, some supplies, and leave. We won’t stop you,’ I knew I was taking a risk, but I wouldn’t forgive myself if I didn’t try and help her. She picked up the gun, but didn’t point it anywhere, I took that as a sign to continue, ‘or, you can tell me your name, and you can stay here, with us.’

            There were several long minutes when everyone was tense. And we all jump when we heard the gun fall to the floor, as she softly spoke, ‘Emma, my name is Emma.’

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