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?

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Haven Chapter 19

Chapter 19

We were waiting a long time at the station, I had thought to try and get to know our captors, or maybe I should call them our new friends, but neither Greg or Pete were particularly chatty. Lindsey however seem quite content to talk, only not about where she came from. She was a bit odd I’ll admit, the first thing she tried to talk about was where Monica got her clothes from, to which Monica was confused and slightly concerned. Which even I must admit was more emotion than Monica usually shows. Brooke saw an opportunity though, “Where did you get your clothes from Lindsey?” she asked with as much feigned interest as she could muster
“Oh,” Lindsey smiled looking down at her dress, “I was moving to a friends when-when all this happened, and had a bag full of my stuff at the time”
“Oh lucky you,” Connor added, knowing what Brooke was doing
“The boots of course aren’t mine, but heels aren’t quite practical for the apocalypse are they?” Lindsey snorted with laughter a little. She was very odd.
“Did the give you those back at home?” Brooke asked, prying for information
“Yes,” Lindsey answered abruptly, her face suddenly serious
“They must have a lot of stuff stockpiled wouldn’t they?” Connor tried to get some more info too
“We have enough,” once again Lindsey answered without her previous levity. The conversation stopped after that, it was clear she wasn’t as dumb as we assumed. I looked over at Greg and saw him smiling proudly at Lindsey, and smugly at us.

            After a while I went and stood on my own, impatiently scanning the horizon for any sign of this resistance leader, until Connor walked up to me. The sun had begun to set when he spoke, “What do you think about all this?” he asked, not actually looking at me
            “What do you mean?” I answered with the same stoic face
            “A resistance as large as 156 people? Do you really think that’s possible?”
            “And the alternative,” I turned to look up at him, “these guys carry around flares so they can make people wait several hours before mugging them?”
            Connor laughed at that, “True,” he paused, but after the sun just went beyond the horizon he spoke again, “I guess it’s just hard for me to believe, I know it’s true but still… I mean, how haven’t they been killed? A group that size with no military strength?”
            “We don’t know that, we have no idea what they have at their camp, that’s why we’re having this meeting”
            “What are we looking for here Todd?” he turned to look at me finally, “after these negotiations are over are we going to move in with these guys? Or just trade?”
            “I don’t know yet Connor,” I turned away from him, “besides I can’t make a decision like that on my own, whatever happens we’re going back to the warehouse before we do anything.”
            “I understand that,” he replied in a more serious tone, “but you may not have a choice, we don’t know if they’ll let us leave with any information we gather, and we still don’t know if we’re just being led into a trap, they may just want to follow us home”
            “I don’t get that vibe from them, but I get what you’re saying, I’ll be careful.”

            “Hey, sorry to interrupt,” It was Greg, walking over, “it looks like they won’t make it today, and we’re under orders not to travel at night so I’m gonna assume they have the same, they’ll camp somewhere tonight, and I guess we’ll be staying here tonight.” I nodded, with all the abandoned cars and broken buildings it can take a while to get anywhere these days, we got lucky on the way here. I suddenly realised the tense situation we were in, they couldn’t trust us completely, and we couldn’t trust them either. I could let them take watch, that would make them trust us more, but they could still kill us in our sleep. If we offered to take watch they’d probably refuse, and we’d lose brownie points. So there was only one option, “we both have one person on watch at all times, and they stay together,” I said firmly, and Greg nodded his approval, making me breathe a sigh of relief, I got the feeling from Greg that he was an experienced leader, and his approval meant I was doing alright too.

            A few hours into the night I woke up, it was colder than at the warehouse, we hadn’t brought blankets or anything, and I was alone. I thought of Jade not for the first time tonight, I knew she would be freaking out that we hadn’t come back, and I wish I could comfort, I wish she was here. But I knew I had done the right thing, the others needing her and Chris more, and there was no one I trusted more than her to take care of them while I’m away. I shook my head and tried to get those thoughts of her out of my head, I had to remain focused if I’m going to prove our worth to this resistance. But they wouldn’t go away, I had to do… something, anything to let her know I’m alive.

            As quietly as I could I threw off my jacket and wrapped it around me, I knew where our stuff was, I just had to get to it. I left the station, but quickly had to duck back inside as Connor and Lindsey appeared from behind a car, it was their turn on watch that hour, and from the looks of it Lindsey was talking his ear off. Having long given up on trying to get information out of her Connor looked far more relaxed than he usually is, albeit more bored too. As they turned around I made my move, darting around the numerous vehicles and abandoned objects on the road, until I made it to our van.

            I was ready to make the call when I heard their voices get closer. I ducked down in one of the seats, hoping Lindsey wasn’t tall enough to get a look inside if she turned. “So what did you do before the end of the world?” Lindsey asked in her oddly chipper way
            “I was a policeman, you knew that,” Connor replied confused
            “I don’t mean your career silly, your hobbies!” Lindsey laughed in response
            “Oh, um… to be honest I didn’t really have any, my job was my dream, and I put all my energy into that, I guess the only thing I did besides work was catch up with my friends,” Connor sounded sad, but whether it was because he regretted not experiencing more, or out of grief for what he lost I didn’t know
            “That’s annoying,” Lindsey replied upset, and I could most feel Connor’s brow crease “I was trying to start a conversation, I can’t talk about police business,” Lindsey continued, and this time I could literally see Connor’s eyes roll as he took a step backwards, a slight turn of his head would give me away, but it may already be too late. “Hey was this door always open?” Lindsey asked heading to the van door
            “No it”- Connor quickly stopped as he turned and saw me lying in the car, my finger to my lips “actually yeah I think it was, come one let’s check behind the building,” Connor quickly recovered, even if it was a tad unbelievable.

            Once they were out of sight I continued rummaging through our things until I finally found it, the radio, I turned it on, set it to the right setting, but was stopped from pressing the talk button as the door slid open, and Connor stepped in, the barrel of Lindsey’s gun right in his back. “Stop right there,” she said firmly, I still had no idea how her personality could change like that in an instant, “drop the radio.” I did what she said quickly, and threw my hands up in the air “I was only trying to contact my girlfriend,” I tried to reassure her, “they thought we’d be back by now, they think we’re dead”
            “You will be if you try this stunt again,” she pushed Connor over to where I was standing and aimed her gun between us, “now I am going to get Greg, and then we’re going to decide what to do with you”
            “Wait!” I stopped her, tears in my eyes, “I left her behind, I know what it’s like to worry about someone like she’s worried now, I-I can’t bear the thought of her grieving me,” I fell to my knees, only now did I really feel everything I had bottled up inside me.

            I felt tired more than anything else, all this planning, worrying, thinking ahead. Jade was my one escape from that, the one person I could lean on and confide in, and although I knew she was safe, a part of me felt the same grief I knew she was feeling now. Strangely I wasn’t afraid, for the first time since Will turned up at my door I wasn’t scared, just tired, sad, and strangely, homesick, but not for my old home, for the new one I had built with Jade and the others.

            “I know how you feel,” Lindsey said softly, still facing the door but with her head turned slightly in my direction, somehow this seemed the first time I saw who she truly is, “Every time I leave there are 156 people missing me, relying on me, they’ve all become my family and without them I feel empty.” I closed my eyes, surrendering to the feeling inside, until I felt her hand on my shoulder, “go ahead,” she smiled, but her voice still had the same tone as before, “but only for a moment.” I smiled wider than I think I ever have, I turned to Connor and he smiled, but sadly, evidently he missed someone at home too.

            I pressed the button, and made the call, “hello? This is Sheepdog calling Basecamp hello?” I’ll admit the call signs could use more work, but eventually a crackle came through
“Hello Sheepdog are you there? This is Amazon,” It was Andria on the other line, she hadn’t gotten to choose her call sign either, “is that you Todd”
“Amazon yes it’s me, we’re alive, we’re with”- my message was cut short as I turned to see Greg’s gun pointed directly at my face, his hand held out for my gun.
As I handed it over I also noted that the sun had begun to rise, and the entire van had become orange, but instead of comforting and warm it was cold, and insidious. “Sheepdog are you there? Its Wild child she’s”- Andria’s last message was cut off, something to do with Emma. Greg shoved the radio into his pocket, “the only reason you don’t have a bullet in your brain right now is because of Lindsey,” he said through clenched teeth, I could see Lindsey on the other side of the truck, she was disarmed and look ashamed
“I’m sorry, I had to let them know we’re alive,” I tried to explain
“I don’t care what you were trying to do,” he replied, choosing his words carefully, “this is a bad way to start negotiations boy.” I knew he was right, I just jeopardised the raiding party’s future, but was I right to do it? God knows what the others would have done if they thought we died. My heart says what I did was right, but my mind disagreed.

Greg opened his mouth to continue, but was interrupted by a yell from outside, and Pete came running into the van, “Greg! Greg! They’re here,” he panted
“So early?” Greg looked surprised but he didn’t take his eyes off of mine, “you sure”

“They must have got a head start before dawn,” Monica said stoically, barely even acknowledging the situation in front of her. The sound of engines in the distance proved them right, and one got louder and louder as we left the van, Greg and Pete’s guns pointed at us the whole time. Finally a motorbike came around the corner, the scout I thought, considering it was far ahead the other vehicle, judging by their noise. “Todd, Connor, Monica, meet our fearless leader,” Greg said sarcastically, as the woman on the motorbike took off her helmet, she was far different than what I expected.

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