Katie slumped over and fell backwards to the floor, a second later Randy was at her side, “Shit, shit, Katie how bad is it? Katie?”
He frantically undid her camo suit and started pulling apart her flak jacket, his brain was ticking furiously, trying to plan what to do, how to help her. He was just getting to her shirt buttons when he realized something, there was no blood. Pulling back he had an epiphany; looking at her undone clothing he saw that she had been wearing her flak jacket, which was standard equipment. Pulling it over to the front, he saw clearly where the bullet had impacted the protective plate at the front. The handgun round was embedded in the Kevlar cloth that held the plate in place. The jackets could not stop military rounds from rifles or machine guns, but they were pretty damn effective at stopping pistol bullets and ricochets.
Sighing with relief he gently slapped her on the cheeks, “Katie! Katie! You are all right! Your vest stopped the bullet, the blood is from the zombie, wake up, we gotta move out of here.”
She came around slowly and coughed, “What the hell? You shot me Randy!”
“The bullet burrowed out of the zombie, you got hit by it as a secondary target, it didn't even pierce your vest. C'mon, get up, we gotta get moving.”
“I need evacced. Call for a copter.” she mumbled as Randy pulled her vest back into place and refastened the Velcro holding the camo suit together.
“Normally you would too, probably you'll have a bad bruise, but I doubt you have internal injuries, the bullet had already passed through someone before hitting you. That was like a 'wake up call,' nothing to be too worried about, but kind of annoying.”
“Jesus, that is all the sympathy I get for you shooting me?”
“Fine.” He leaned over, ruffled her hair and planted a kiss on her forehead. “Better now?”
She looked at him and shook her head, but started to get to her feet. “Fucking ankle, I hope we won't be going far.”
“Just down.” Randy bent and took a set of what looked like building keys out of Kaleb's pocket. “Let's look around for stairs going down.”
“Wait. You saw Kent? Outside before we came in?”
“Yeah. I saw him, look Katie we know a lot of the teams didn't make it. I've been losing contact with them all day.”
“I wonder which building they were on?”
Randy shrugged, “It could have been this one. Does it matter much?”
“We could use their equipment.”
“I guess. We pretty much are carrying all we can now.” Randy turned and limped off down the corridor.
Katie limped after him, then asked, “Why are you limping?”
“I must have pulled something in the fight.” Randy said, continuing on.
“Look at us, a couple of cripples wandering around a war zone.”
It took them a few minutes to find the building's elevators and next to them was a door marked 'Service Personal Only' which was not locked. Going inside, they found a service elevator and two doors leading to two unconnected stairwells. One had stairwells going both up and down and the other only had a stairwell leading down. In the dim light, Katie could not see the blood trail Randy was leaving behind them.
Downstairs they had their choice of rooms to hold up in. There were a set of offices and an employee lounge with the usual vending machines, refrigerators and microwaves. Finally, they came to a locked door at the end of a shady hallway, one of the keys eventually turned in the lock and Randy let them in. The office was sparsely furnished but had two comfortable looking chairs in addition to the desk chair, the floor was waxed and reasonably clean and there was a small flat television screen mounted on the wall next to the door.
“I like this office.” Randy said.
“I like the door.” It was solid metal with no windows or even shaded glass. There was a coat rack behind it, upon which were several coats of various sizes. “Look! Bedding!”
“Yeah, we'll toss one on the floor at the door to cut off the light. No sense advertising our presence. First I am gonna go visit the little boys room. You gotta go?”
“No. I am good, but I will watch from the hall.”
They backtracked to the bathrooms near the employee lounge after dropping off their rucksacks. Randy went into the bathroom while Katie leaned against the wall and watched the stairs and elevator. Her mind and eyes wandered around a bit and after a moment she bent down to look more closely at the floor. Sticking her finger down she touched a semi-coagulated blood drop. “Shit,” she said softly to herself, rising she went into the men's restroom.
“Randy?” she called softly.
“Here. Is something coming?” His voice carried down past the stalls from behind a shower curtain that was hanging in a doorway.
Katie approached it and stopped. “No. It isn't that. I saw the blood. Did you get bit.”
“You got bit.”
“Damnit. Not badly, through my pants. I don't know if I am contaminated or not. The fatigues are pretty thick. I might be okay.”
“Let me take a look.”
“I got it.”
“Let me see it.”
“It is in a bad area.”
Katie laughed, then regretted it, “Sorry. I've seen you naked. Your willy didn't get bit did it?” The two of them were closer than most sniper teams, a secret they guarded fiercely.
“No, my dick is still hanging long, I got bit about six inches down on the inside of my left leg."
“Long? You mean it grew? Either way I can clean it up and bandage it better than you. I am coming in.”
“Funny. I thought you said it was the motion in the ocean and not the size of the ship?”
“Oh, it is, it is. Really. I mean that.” Kate said with mock seriousness, “You're fine in that department, the ship size and ocean motion work for me just the way they are.”
"Regardless this hurts like a bitch and is bleeding way too much for my taste.” Randy regarded any blood that came out of his body as 'too much.'
The Army had fought against the orders to train female snipers, a battle they had only recently lost, they had consigned them, like the Air Force to security positions, but had not been able to designate them as sharpshooters as the Air Force had done. At the very least, the Army was attempting to keep women shooters with women spotters to prevent the partners from becoming romantically involved. Of course, Katie and Randy had already been teamed up, so what was policy now would not affect their team.
Pushing through the shower curtain, Katie emerged into a small washing area with benches up against the walls that had hooks above them on one side and two-shower heads on the other. Old towels were hanging from some of the hooks and the place smelled like most locker rooms: of dirt, mildew and soap. Randy was on one bench and his pants were down. He had a small flashlight that he was playing over his leg. He had a piece of gauze from his medical kit on his leg, but it was soaked through already.
“Shit. C'mon, let's get your pants off, we can't bind it up like this.” Katie moved forward and unlaced his boots before pulling them off, then tugged the bottoms of his pants, removing them. Despite the many adrenaline rushes and injuries from the fighting Randy's arousal was noticeable through his briefs.
Katie giggled, “If I'd have known undressing you would do that I would have done it before.”
“Yeah, well I am only human. I think with all the death and trauma there is still something in me that wants to live and make babies. It must be human instinct or maybe the fact that we've been so busy that we have been able to get together lately. I am bleeding and bruised and still horny.” he said with some embarrassment.
“I wish the lights were on so I could see your blush. Can you stand up?”
Randy nodded and got to his feet. Katie took out her own medical kit. It was fairly small but held a few field dressings, some antiseptic and a single one-shot syringe of pain medication. She lifted the gauze Randy had put on his leg and examined the wound while Randy held the light so she could see. There was a small bite sized chunk of flesh missing from his leg and the wound was trickling blood at a steady rate.
“'Not bad' my sweet ass. That little shit bit into you good. I am going to put the antiseptic on you. Do you need the pain medicine?” the single shot was designed to inject a variable amount of drug into a wounded soldier's system, it was fairly simple to use, just set the dosage according to wound severity and stick it in.
“No, not yet, maybe when we get back to the office.” Both of them knew that they had to account for the pain medicine if they used it, it was a narcotic and controlled by Army regulations.
Spreading the packet of antiseptic on the wound took only a couple of seconds, then Katie took the second largest bandage out of her kit to apply to the bloody hole in Randy's leg. She wrapped the long ends around his leg a couple of times, not tightly enough to constrict the blood flow to his leg, but snug enough to hold the dressing in place.
Katie rose to her feet and leaned into Randy, he stood there for a moment looking at her, then slowly leaned down to kiss her. She returned the kiss passionately and they fumbled to undress frantically in the dim light. Neither of them thought about the security of the situation, they were too absorbed in getting the release they needed as quickly as possible. Katie's shirt followed her camo suit to the floor followed by the rest of her clothing in short order, she helped Randy sit down on the bench behind him, but both laughed in frustration when it became evident that the bench was too low and narrow to allow them to get into the position they were trying. Finally, Katie gave up and helped Randy to his knees in front of the bench, she moved in front of him and he latched onto her from behind. The sex was short, brutal and satisfying for both of them, with Katie finishing the moment Randy entered her. A few pushes later and he finished as well, then he pulled back and looked around the locker room.
“That was foolish.”
“Yeah, we shoulda used a condom.” Katie said.
“No, not that, just doing this here and now.”
“Well, sorry I wanted to get laid!” she said with mock anger.
Confused Randy said, “No, I didn't mean...It was good. Jeezus! You're winding me up?”
Katie smiled in the dim light, “Yeah, sorry. I know it was stupid. People do stupid things all the time. Keep watch, I am going to shower off.” She stepped into the shower and rinsed the sweat and sex off of herself in less than a minute. “I feel a hundred percent better, even my morale has gone up. You want to shower?”
Randy cringed visibly when Katie took an old towel off one of the hooks and started drying off with it. “Ew. You don't know how long that has been there!”
She dried off and hung the towel back up, then looked over at him, “Sissy, go shower, try not to get your leg too wet, then you can use my towel to dry off, you know where it has been, even if it is damp.”
Randy complied with Katie's request, complaining the whole while, she stepped to his side to shield his bandage from the water with another towel as he showered. When he was done he dried off while Katie dressed then she sat him down and took another quick look at his leg.
After a quick adjustment to the bandage, Randy got dressed and they headed back to the office where they pushed the heavy metal desk against the door. Randy pulled out his radio and tried to raise his superiors, but could not get a signal.
“We are probably too far below ground and being inside all of these buildings doesn't help.”
Katie looked at the television on the wall, fishing around in the desk she found the remote and turned it on. The picture came up perfectly clear, unfortunately, it was just a giant number nine on the screen with a steady low tone indicating the station was on the emergency broadcasting network. “The tv gets a signal.”
“Yeah, it looks like they got cable here,” said Randy, getting up on the desk to examine the connections to the television. He pulled the set off of the wall and looked at the coaxial cable connected to the television. “Maybe I can jury rig it as an antenna?” He unscrewed the cable from the television and then took out his radio unit. Unplugging his headset he tried to press it up against the cable. A voice came through on the headphone, but only for an instant.
“Yeah, I can get this to work, I'll have a signal in a minute.” He pulled a rubber plug out of his radio and slowly brought it towards the short metal end sticking out from the television cable. The headphones came to life and he quickly put one earphone back in and adjusted his mic so he could talk.
Katie watched wearily from the chair she was sitting in. Randy was talking with their commanding officer and he didn't look too happy about what he was hearing. She heard him ask about the transport helicopters and his reply of 'All of them?' seemed to confirm what Kaleb had told them earlier. Unbidden tears came to her eyes. She wiped them away before Randy noticed and angrily told herself to show no emotion. Her entire career she had been subjected to comments, never official that a woman should not be on a sniper team, especially not as a shooter. She'd had to work twice as hard and twice as long as her male counterparts to get to where she was and she knew, deep inside, that the only reason she was in the field was because of the domestic crisis. She could have gone overseas as a support person, but it was unlikely she would have been sent over as a sniper. The double standards irritated Katie to no end, she knew the reason the military wanted to keep women out of combat; rape. Pure and simple the military didn't want soldiers to be raped as a form of torture or abuse. However, Katie knew the risks and was willing to fight for her country and if Israel and some of the nations of the European Union allowed female combat soldiers, so should the most progressive country on the face of the earth.
Eventually, Randy finished his conversation and turned to look down on her from on top of the desk. “We're fucked,” he said, sitting down and hanging his feet over the edge. Lowering his head into his hands, he put his face down and sat quietly for a few minutes. It took Katie several seconds to realize he was crying.
“That bad?” she asked, they had never seen each other display any emotion other than passion, anger or exuberance, this was a new step in their relationship.
He looked up, eyes watery and wiped one sleeve across his face, holding it there for a moment as he fought to regain his composure. “We are staying overnight. They are sending a group by fucking train in tomorrow morning. We are supposed to assist them in any way we can and then bug out when they do.”
He shook his head, “Oh baby...no it isn't. They are here to kill the smartest zombie in the bunch. And they won't leave until he is dead.”
“So? I can do that from half a klick away, we don't even have to get close.” Katie stopped for a moment looking at Randy, who stared back at her. “Uh, Randy?”
“How will we know who the smartest one is?”
“They got a guy...”