Max struggled to a sitting position he felt so weak, so weak that all he could do was point his revolver at the open door and whisper to Steve, “Don’t move the car, Stewart is under the car, don’t move the car Steve!”
“Fuck, Max! Help her! Help her! Tom watch out, they are coming!”
Tom was busy pulling Stewart from under the car, Max risked one shot with the revolver, hitting the zombie in the leg, it barely seemed to phase it. Tom let go of Stewart with one hand and swung the shotgun around with the other firing into the zombies that were approaching the car. Steve pulled out the automatic pistol he had and scrambled over the seat to the open door, he fired into the zombies, bringing one down and momentarily sending the rest dodging sideways to avoid his wild fire. Tom bent back over to pull at Stewart, who was firing under the car with her gun hand and hanging on to Tom’s arm with the other.
Steve ran out of ammunition the gun clicked empty and he froze. Evidently the training he had been given was momentarily wiped from his mind and he sat there pulling the trigger to no effect. Max said in an almost normal voice, “Reload Steve. Reload Steve. Steve reload.”
Steve scrambled to reload and while the zombies pressed their advantage, Tom’s shotgun roared once more before he said, “I am out Stewart. I can’t reload with one hand.”
“Let me go Tom!” she said.
“Let me go!”
“No!” he screamed, froth spraying out of his mouth.
A zombie loomed up behind him and Max struggled to raise the revolver, his hand was shaking so bad he could not get a clear shot and the edges of his vision started to fade into black, the fatigue and blood loss were hitting him and he started to pass out. The last thing he saw was the zombie pitching forward, the last thing he heard was the sound of Steve’s voice coming from somewhere well above him as if he, Max, had fallen into a deep mine shaft, “An a.r.r.o.w M.a.x! A.n. a.r.r.o” then he passed out.
Tom was pulling with both hands as the zombie loomed up behind him, he yelled, “Fire Max! I don’t care if you hit me! Fire Steve!” his voice raised several octaves to an almost comical pitch.
The zombie fell forward onto the side of his body, Tom thought he was done and waited for the biting, briefly wondering how badly it was going to hurt, before he realized the thing was not moving. Looking down he saw it had an arrow sticking out of the back of its head, in fact another one was down and several more had arrows sticking out of their necks and shoulders, following the flight of the arrows backward he saw a young man and a woman standing at the edge of the parking lot amongst the heavy vegetation firing arrows into the zombies, he made himself smaller and grabbed Stewart with both hands gaining a few inches on the zombie that was trying to pull her under the car. Steve finally reloaded and fired into the remaining zombies. He saw, better than Steve, the other young men and a woman wading into the parking lot with swords, a baseball bat and even an ax! They were cutting the zombies down and they were moving to guard the front door to the clinic. As he watched one of the ‘good’ guys was mobbed by three zombies, the largest one, and he shrugged them off and hacked at them with his sword, then had to drop it when it become wrapped up in one of the zombies insides, he reached back to his belt and pulled out a large dagger and continued to slash and hack as he was once again bowled over, his friends were busy fighting their own battles, but were quick to come to his aid as soon as they could, getting him to his feet and putting his sword back into his hand, then pushing him towards the zombies between them and the clinic. Steve could swear they were laughing.
Once Steve had the gun reloaded he pointed it carefully at the lead zombie coming towards them, it already had an arrow sticking out of its back, but had not slowed down much, he hit it just about the left eye and it dropped quickly. Steve then rolled forward, his legs still in the car, his gun hand pointing under the car and using his other hand he supported himself and tried to get a line on the zombie that had Stewart trapped under the car. The position was awkward and he could only see the mangled thing past Stewart, it was not worth taking a shot, he might hit Stewart. Steve scrambled out of the car, paused to put another bullet into an oncoming zombie and then said, “Tom! Take the pistol! Gimme the shotgun!”
Tom let go of the gun and Steve pressed the pistol into his hand, “You have seven shots left.” Steve fumbled in the pockets of Tom’s coat and came out with the shotgun shells he knew were there. He reloaded the shotgun with five shells and ducked around the back of the squad car, looking for a better angle on the zombie that had a hold on Stewart. Tom fired the pistol at more approaching zombies, the rest ran back towards the cars parked on the side of the road. Steve could not see anything at the back of the car and continued around to the driver’s side. He noticed Max was slumped unconscious in the back seat and saw the zombie’s leg sticking out from under the tire of the car on this side. Ducking down he spotted the thing’s torso, on arm was on this side of the body and was holding onto the undercarriage of the car, the other had Stewart, the zombie was trying to drag her lower leg to its mouth, but between Stewart and Tom’s efforts the leg was not getting any closer. Steve angled the gun away from the Stewart and Tom and fired one round into the back of the things head. The car gave a sudden jerk too.
“Aw shit!” he yelled, his shot, while angled away from his friends, had been angled towards the front passenger side tire, which had been shot out when he finished off the zombie.
Stewart was up, trying to walk and reload her gun at the same time, she was limping badly and had to lean on Tom for support, he transferred her to leaning against the car and took the shotgun back from Steve after he came around the car. Taking his original gun back Steve put in the last loaded clip he had.
“Tom you and Steve go help them out, they are just kids for christsake! Leave me the empty clips Steve I will reload them. I will stay and keep an eye on Max. Go!”
Tom and Steve moved forward towards the group of four people fighting in the parking lot, the people with the bows were not firing into the mob, probably to keep from hitting their friends. They were also not moving around to get a better angle either, but staying in place. Tom and Steve had no reservations; they moved around behind several of the zombies and finished several off before they even knew what hit them.
The rest of the zombies were either hacked or batted to death by the four medieval fighters or ran off around the corner of the building, leaving the parking lot empty of all undead in a few short seconds. Tom and Steve fired after the zombies and ran to the corner to make sure they were still fleeing, not regrouping. When they returned a few moments later the squad car was sitting in front of the clinic doors. The archers were helping a younger man along between them; his legs were coated in blood. Behind them came a younger boy and girl, carrying backpacks and baseball bats.
They all formed a little group at the front of the clinic where Stewart, naturally, took charge of the situation, ordering Steve and Tom to man handle Max into the clinic and directing the kids, teenagers really, to bring their wounded friend in as well. The rest would stay in the parking lot to keep the zombies away from the broken front door, except the smaller children, who Stewart directed to stand in the entry way to bring messages back and forth if shouting would not work.
Once Max and the wounded boy were inside Stewart turned to the youths and said, “Can any of you fire a gun?”
The oldest looking one said, “No.” then thought about it and added, “Not yet.” and smiled at her.
Stewart took the revolver that had been Max’s out of the back seat and showed him how it worked. She sent one of the kids in to snag the black belt off of Max for the extra ammo and showed him how to reload it once the bullets ran out.
“So who are you and what are you dressed up in those outfits for?” Stewart asked
“I am Michael, that’s John, Craig and Whitney, the little kids are my brother Matt and Whitney’s sister Lauren, the girl with the bow is Aggie, for Agnus. The guy is Ron and the wounded one is my friend and Ron’s older brother Jacob.”
Stewart passed along the names of the people traveling with her and prompted, “Where are you parents? And you still haven’t said where you got those swords and other weapons?”
“Oh, sorry, no, the weapons are from our houses, we are really into the SCAA, fantasy stuff, like Lord of the Rings and the medieval period, you know. Our parents never came home from work, the zombies, you know, they were breaking into the houses dragging people out into the street. I figured we had better band together and last night I got almost everyone to come over to my house. Today we went and got Whitney and Lauren. No parents, they were all at work, they called at first, then nobody called and nobody answered when we called them. We decided to get out of here. We were thinking of holing up in the mall or maybe a ‘club’ store somewhere.”
“So you didn’t even really know how to use the swords or anything? You just busted out with em and started hacking?” Shaking her head Stewart saw some measure of almost anger in the youth’s eyes before she continued, “That takes guts man, look at all of the ones you killed, that was amazing. How far have you come from home?”
“Well we live over on south Kilmore, about four miles east of here.”
“Four miles! That is freaking insane! Four miles with seven of you, plus two little kids? Good job Michael. We came from the Mac Co. building in the Denver Tech Center, not too much further than you have walked. What happened to your friend?”
“Jacob? He got caught and pulled under a car like you, only the zombie bit him all up. We tried to pull him out, but it was too late. Ron is sick with worry, I mean we all are, you know?”
“Yeah kid, I know, sorry!” Stewart saw Michael’s eyes flash with anger at the word, ‘kid’ and she hastily back tracked, “I mean I am old enough to be your…aunt at least, I didn’t mean anything bad by it.”
Michael’s face softened into a slight scowl, “Yeah I know, but lady if you had seen or been through half the stuff we have, well even Matt and Lauren have had to adapt and we tried to shield them. You know, we can’t though, if we do they won’t stay alive, they gotta see and hear and…smell, all this stuff! There are no little kids anymore, just alive people and dead people. And undead people.”
A woman in a a typical nurse’s uniform came to the front of the office and asked, “Is there anyone else who needs to be looked at? The doctor wants me to do the triage and get you in there in worst case order first.”
Stewart looked around and said, “No I think we are all okay, other than a few bruises and scraps.”
The nurse gave Stewart a look like she was humoring a little kid, Stewart thought, 'Now I know how Michael felt just a few seconds ago.' then the nurse said, “And I suppose you normally bleed from your leg? C’mon officer don’t play the tough dike routine with me, you know wounds can get infected and at the very least that will need to be cleaned up,” Pulling up Stewart’s pants leg she revealed an ugly mass of bruised and torn flesh where the zombie had Stewart pinned beneath the car. “Probably this is going to need a stitch or two as well, it looks ugly lady. You'll have a scar, but not like your friend in there.”
Stewart looked at her leg, amazed that it had not hurt before the nurse pointed it out. 'Adrenaline, it will keep you going until someone rubs your face in the fact that you should not keep going.'
“Fuck.” said Stewart, “I didn’t even realize I was wounded. Okay put me on the list and don’t let Tom in there off easy either he strained his shoulder and I know our little stunt in the parking lot probably hurt him more than he would like to admit, he feels bad because he thinks he got Max shot. Any word on our friends condition yet?”
“Darling” the nurse replied, “You ain’t been here but five minutes and you want a diagnoses? My best hip shot is that everyone is going to make it, usually if they get here breathing, they leave breathing too. Things have changed though, so don’t hold me to that.” While she said the last bit she was looking at Michael intently. He got the message and just nodded.
The nurse proceeded to examine everyone else, made sure the younger children were going to be inside the doors, not in the parking lot with the ‘adults’ and then started back inside the clinic. She took about two steps before turning and saying, “And thanks. Thank you for not letting them get us, it was just a matter of time, you know?”
Everyone mumbled embarrassed, “Sure, no problem” or “You are welcome” and the nurse turned and proceeded inside.