Nothing but a good time…
I escort Rachael and Lisa back over to the med center. I expected that Rachael would be happy to see Marisol and Arjan, but the way she greeted Arjan was not what I expected. A hug, yes, a peck on the cheek, yes, but a full on lip lock and hugging they way they did, definitely no.
Shocked, yeah, jealous, Pissed off!
Marisol’s voice breaks thru the red haze flashing before my eyes by saying, De quien es la bebe?
La madre del bebe fue Lisa.
Oh, la pobre bebe!
Marisol takes the baby and holds her tight against her chest cooing with her. Someone owes me an explanation and cooing me ain’t going to cut it!
I look at Simon, with murderous intent. He starts babbling immediately.
Hey man, look I never wanted to do this. I was just trying to survive. You would have done the same thing.
That was the wrong thing to say to me just then. I grab him by the collar and drag him backwards towards the door.
He’s yelling but I’m not listening, Rachael and Arjan are shouting at me as well, I don’t care.
I notice that there’s a few of the infected gathering in the quad, damn. I turn his chair around so Simon can see them.
I tell Tommy to check the door on the other end of the building where we got the vehicle from and make sure it’s locked and nothing can get in. With an okay “Uncle Red” he races down the hall. At least I can trust Tommy.
Ok Simon, now I want you to tell me everything you know about you group. Don’t lie to me or try to down play anything because if I find out later that you did and I don’t care if it’s 5 minutes from now or 5 years from now I will feed you to those things out there. Do you understand?
He says yes and nods his head furiously as if he’s trying to shake something off of his head.
How did you find us?
We capture some people who left your group. It wasn’t me though I don’t do stuff like that.
Where are they now?
The guys and one of the nurses are dead but, we have one at the Wal-Mart, she working with our hospital people.
Is that where your group is located?
Yes there and in some of the buildings around there.
How many people do you have?
About 200 to 250 mostly.
How many fighters or soldiers in your group?
About 100 probably less now we came here with about 75 because this was supposed to be our new base.
Why were you going to do that?
There are too many zombies there. It gets hard and harder to keep them out or find food and supplies. Every day we lose people at the gates or on supply runs.
What kind of weapons or vehicles do you have?
Well we did have some machine guns and mortars but we brought then with, I don’t know if they escaped the horde. I wasn’t with those groups, I’m not like that.
Any tanks or armored vehicles?
He close his eyes for a moment, I reach up and grab the door handle and start to open the door pushing his chair closer towards it. He starts to panic saying “No, no, we have a couple of those bank trucks but no army stuff!” This wasn’t supposed to be that hard we have people on the inside that where going to let us in and we could take over.
Who did you have in here?
Some guy named George came in and you guys put him in the radio room, there were two others but I don’t know their names. I wasn’t in on that part of the plan.
George was supposed to “work” on your radio, because when we interrogated you people they said it was busted. George was supposed to fix it and send us more info or your place, how many people and such.
And the other two?
They were supposed to get the gates opened when we attacked also they were supposed to take out some of your leadership.
Yeah they were supposed to kill what you guys called the “Tier 1” people except for the doctors.
So what went wrong?
I don’t know man.
I tilt his chair towards the door again.
Ok, ok! I guess that mortar guy wasn’t as good as he said he was because he blew the shit out of the big dining facility, we didn’t want that to happen, we wanted to take out your command center.
Well you guys managed to do both.
I know, I know, I was with the group that was supposed to secure the dining facility. When we saw it burning it was too late to do anything so we grabbed the doc and that girl.
Well we knew we had to keep him safe even though he was trying to fight us. I just wanted to leave at that point.
And what about the girl?
She was just there he says, with his eyes he looks down and to the right.
Well by then the zombies were pouring into the compound we just wanted to keep her safe.
How did you get here?
We drove most of the way but then one of the cars, I mean trucks got struck on the road and we had to get a round it but the ground was too soft so we had to walk.
Where did the truck get stuck?
A ways back up on that gravel road coming down from the highway.
I think back to the road, whatever type of vehicle it was that got stuck had to be pretty heavy.
Ok, I say now what about the horde?
The zombies? He asks.
Yes, the zombies, they followed you or were they already in the area?
A little of both I guess they always follow you, but in a car you can out run them, there’s always some around. That highway was lousy with broken down cars and we saw some camp areas coming here.
So they follow you or caught up to you once you had to walk?
Yeah, they don’t stop moving, plus all the equipment we were carrying, damn base plates are heavy.
I want to pause right then and ask him why he was carrying a base plate if he wasn’t with the mortars, but I keep going.
So how did you get in the gates weren’t open when the dining facility blew.
I know right? They were supposed to wait. Maybe they figured if they could distract you guys we could rush the gates. Hell, the zombies were already chewing on our asses. We needed to get in.
There were cut places cut on the fence line on the eastern side, what was that for?
We infiltrated the ki.. Umm security teams in through those.
I know what he meant to say, kill teams, not very nice. I let it go.
Ok, Simon, I’m going to park you right here by the door and have a talk with Ricky. Then I’ll be back.
Ricky? He says that kid don’t know shit.
Even so I’m going to talk to him. I turn to see my group standing in the hall behind me.
Isn’t anyone watching the other guy?
You told me to lock that door Uncle Red; I locked it, that’s what you told me.
You’re a good man Tommy.
Both Arjan and Rachael look embarrassed, saying they were caught up in the moment. I just stare hard at both of them. I’m more pissed at Rachael then Arjan, but he never said anything to me about her.
Screw it; it’s their business, actually now I feel relived. No more, guilty conscious for me.
Marisol is still holding the baby, but she’s changed her bloodied shirt to a scrub top. I get a better look at her face and she that she has cleaned up a bit just a swollen, soon to be black eye, and some abrasions on her cheeks. I guess Simon’s idea of protecting her was to beat her up. Nice guy that Simon.
I walk into the room with Ricky.
He’s choking down an MRE like a starving dog.
He looks up and says.
At least I won’t die starving, cracking a wicked little smile.
I pull up the stool beside the bed and stare at him.
“What?” he says setting down the MRE package.
Question time I reply.
Figured as much, so what’s going to happen now?
You’re going to tell me what I want to know and then we’ll see.
What did Simon say? That’s my story too.
Really? You want Simon’s story to be your story as well?
Ricky hesitates, and then says yes.
Ok fine I say getting up from the stool. I guess what he said was right, I’ll let you get right with yourself and god for a couple of minutes, you can even right a letter of your confession like he’s doing then I’ll take you outside.
I know it’s not physically possible for someone’s jaw to actually hit the floor but Ricky’s damn near did.
Before I even reach the door three feet away, he tells me everything I would ever need to know about the Republic.
If ignorant both of your enemy and yourself, you are certain to be in peril.