In every life, there comes a moment where a man comes face to face with fear. He will feel alone on this insignificant planet and wonder if the world is against him. He will worry about the past, and look back at moments he wishes to change. But they are now unchangeable.
“Screw that,” I said to myself. Pondering mistakes of the past wasn’t gonna help us now. My fear was loss of family. The world was against me, but it was against every human. At least I had my brothers and sisters in arms. And a brother in armor.
We faced the things that had given us our abilities with hatred as they looked back at us with lust. Apparently there is nothing better tasting for the infected then human flesh. Emily smiled her near Cheshire grin
“Now Sean, is this anyway to treat your first? We gave you your powers and you use them against us. You have so much potential but you limit yourself to your human abilities,” She said. “And hello James, haven’t you come a long way since we last met?”
James gave her the international sign of ‘fuck you’ . His armor shone pure green around his erect finger, giving it an effect not to be mistaken. “Fuck you and the horse you rode on.” I was proud to see him using local colloquialisms. “How’s those hands of yours Richard.”
Richard puffed out his chest and glared at James, “We have come for two infected children. We don’t have time for games.”
Nori looked confused, “There be no infected kids ‘ere kadaitchi. You wasted your time and energy. I can feel you are all weak from controlling those zombies. How did you know where we were?”
“Dazza tracked you to a farm after he scouted a corroboree when an American kid connected the minds with two boys nearby while they slept to their father. We found his father was in company with one of our major priorities. Dazza lost himself in the bush teleporting until he found a gang led by one of our own. Dazza knew a rough location of the farm and they were to take it to find your destination. You just happened by on the road travelling in the opposite direction. When you both stopped Sven and Dazza communicated how they were to secure the children. We lost track of you until we searched nearby towns,” Richard said.
“But there are no friggin’ infected children,” replied Nori.
“Fool. What human and E’Clai deem what is infection are different.”
“The kids are immune.” Nori answered out aloud, enlightening the rest of us that my nephews were their targets.
“They don’t know of my niece or sister-in-law” I thought to myself.
I contemplated so many actions and options as my eyes darted scanning my surroundings until I realized I was using the wrong sense. I could smell some sort of gas, propane most likely. I looked to a hole cover on the ground and read ‘ElGas’. I etched a rough sketch in my mind
“Good knowing ya’s,” I said as I twisted my rifle to aim at the cap and fired, missing my target completely, instead hitting a zombie in his foot. Apparently super zombies did feel pain; or this one did at least.
His leg buckled and he toppled to the ground, holding his foot tightly; he said “Why the fuck would you shoot someone in the foot?”
Sarah followed my gaze “That’s because he can’t shoot for shit.” Sarah lined up the cap, fired and blew off the top. The gas escaped into the air unaffected by the gunshot and our group turned and ran, everyone except James and I.
“Fools.” Emily stated.
“Yeah, not often you get the opportunity to blow shit up,” I said lighting a pair of Zippos and threw them towards the turret of gas and time altered to zombie speed again, I tried to move but the only thing that kept up with the zombies was my vision.
Two zombies made for the first Zippo and clashed into each other and they both seemed to be hit by a bus. Richard made for the same lighter and snatched it from its course. Emily teleported in front of the seconds lighters flight path and intercepted it. She turned to me when I managed to take my first step and time resumed to normal. “You didn’t think hard about that, did you Sean?”
“You didn’t either, ya promiscuous bitch.”
The two zombies didn’t close the lids to extinguish the flames. The burning lighter in Emily’s hand sparked the cloud of gas. A ball of fire exploded as James grabbed me and swung me around. He pulled me close, and dipped me, like we were dancing the tango. I thought he was going to kiss me in our final moments and nearly pushed myself away. Luckily I didn’t, he had put his armor around both of us as the flames swept over. The ground erupted below us, throwing rocks and gravel into the air, the main underground propane tank must have blown.
Falling debris landed all around us, smashing into James’s armor. The giant boulders bouncing off of James aura felt like being pummeled by medicine balls. My ears were ringing from the shock-wave, and I was disoriented.
The dust barely settled when all three vehicle drove to us. We were battered and bruised like a tenderized bit of steak. At that point, we would have been an easy feast for the zombies. Kiwi picked James up, and dragged him into the back of the pub. Jason and Frank followed, dragging me inside by the arms. There back of the pub were primarily motel rooms kept there for those that had too much to drink and shouldn’t drive home without some time to sleep it off.
Frank grabbed a set of keys, and opened up one of the rooms. They laid in the tub and it was filled with water from the bore pump tanks. It was cool and helped with the pain of my scorched body. I tried to focus, concentrating on the english voices over the globe. Several hours later, I was snapped out of my trance by James picking me up. “Come on Chief, it is time to move,” he said.
I got dressed, and found the rest outside sitting on some wrought iron furniture kept under a lean-to. “Sean, we were just discussing why the zombies didn’t come back.” Jason informed me.
“That’s because I blew them up. Where are Smithy and Kid buried? I need to do one last thing for Smithy.” I made a promise and I meant to keep it.
“It’s been handled Sean.” Jo was beside me, her eyes were red and slightly swollen from crying earlier, I had to take her word for it.
Jason pointed to an empty seat opposite of where he was sitting and motioned for me to sit down. “What happened to your planning speach Sean?” He asked. “Don’t get me wrong, we were screwed either end from the other, but that was a reactive approach.”
“Chef, I can tell you what every police officers badge number was that camew off that chopper the day you landed on the farm. I can tell you that Anita currently has her safety off on her side arm, James has a new chip in his tooth, Jason brushed his hair to the opposite side of what he did yesterday and I can now tell that you were bitten before this day.”
Jason’s pupils narrowed, then widened leaving no color in his eyes.
“He’s assessing your movements, to see if your lying, he can predict human nature. Well he thought he could. He is human.” Nori whispered into my ear, she couldn’t be seen by anyone else.
“Jason, when did you learn you could predict movements? Does it just happened naturally when cornered?”
“They won’t shoot me, it’s precautionary,” Jason said. I looked around to see guns drawn and aimed. A quick nod from me to Frank and he gave a silent order to ‘drop arms’.
“I was bitten with Anita by that Richard barstard. He nearly killed us when we didn’t turn into one of them,” he continued.
Jason told the story of how he convinced Richard to use them as a bargaining chip in hopes to face a force that was ready to battle the small group that had invaded the barracks. He continued by telling us how he ‘predicted’ where the de-aging zombie was going to be and where to place his blade.
Our eyes turned to Anita. “What abilities did you gain? Everyone gains something,” I said.
“I don’t feel any different from the infection, but I promise to let you know of any new developments,” she replied plainly.
“Has anyone else been bitten?” Asked Frank, “Anyone at all?” he asked, and after a short pause “No? Good. Sean, that was a risky stunt, a last minute ditch that needed to be taken. Obviously you have a good relationship with your friends that understand what you plan to do, but you said it yourself, communication has to be better.”
“Frank, I promise next time I will make a point to say ‘Okay everyone, I plan to use the zombies lack of common sense and have them blow themselves up.’ Our plan was to go in and kill whatever was there and re-assess, if anyone else to control before I did, I would’ve followed suit.” I said.
“As it was Sarah blew the cap, James shielded me, Jason ran first and everyone followed him.” I breathed deep “Now, we have a problem, I just learnt that my brothers family, my family, is a target. Which means anyone travelling with us is in danger; more than usual post zombie apocalypse danger.”
“Last night,” I said, “A child spoke to me while I sat in the bath, he was on a farm at his grandmothers house somewhere in America. They are battling zombies over there too, and the child reckons his father is the one who yelled that taunt at the zombies earlier.”
Preparing myself for their disbelief, I continued, “They have a couple of Aussie that way, I am not certain, but think one may be my brother.” I looked around at their stunned faces.
“Max, the child I was talking to, says he can shoot very well, says naughty words way too often and talks of his kids and wife “back ‘ome” all the time. Max said it wasn’t safe yet, but hew will talk to his dad when he isn’t “busy killing the bad friends.” And I believe this kid Max. His description of John was spot on.”
“We can’t just go on a hunch.” James pulled my head out of the clouds for a moment. “Says naughty words and talks of his kids and wife back home could describe half the population of Oz.”
“No we aren’t going yet. We gotta at least find your family, James. My point is, there are many people out there fighting back, not just hiding. Problem being though, we are targets. Even if we killed those zombies we…” I was cut short…
“Sean, they aren’t all dead brudda” Nori interjected “Some teleported away in the midst of flames. Three of them survived, Emily, Richard and another. The rest were incinerated leaving skulls, but the those three are weak, you did a lot of damage to them and it’ll take a while for them to heal. I give it a week or before they are back to full strength.”
We were being picked off and our odds against us weren’t evening out. Twenty-two million people in Australia, fifty-nine times bigger than the ‘UK’, Texas fits into Australia eleven times. Ninety-nine percent of the population lived within fifty kilometers of the coast, we didn’t have two hundred thousand bullets, even if I gave up shooting. The ‘rider’ couple went back to Barcaldine to join up with the farms, the impossibilities we had found ourselves against was beyond what many could imagine. I couldn’t blame them, if it weren’t for family, I would of stayed there, but family always comes first. I didn’t know what drove the rest of them to keep moving, but it made sense in all of our heads too keep heading towards the horizons.
A small battle in Longreach wasn’t much to brag about, no super zombies, just over a hundred zombies. We got to the township, took them out under the instructions of Frank and cleared the buildings in a way that I hadn’t seen in the movies.
I’m not sure exactly what was happening inside, but I opened the door and prepared for any zombies to rush outside. After they were taken down, James entered the building in his flowing buffalo armor. A team followed him in, a few gunshots were heard, they walked out dragging bodies, walked back in shot a few more rounds off, dragged out bodies, and continued to do so to each individual room. The less skilled shooters like me ensured their heads definately had a hole.
Jason come up beside me, and we made some noise to attract any loose zombies running free before we camped up on the second floor of the fire deparment for the night. “Why the hell would James pick a buffalo?”
“That’s ’cause it’s his totem mate, he wears it proudly too so don’t say anything stupid to him. Notice Kiwi’s nose?”
We used the firemen’s gas stoves to heat up some cans and boil enough water to refill all our bottles. We picked up afew extra bottles around the firehouse. We checked over the rural firetruck and found it to be in perfect order, the last pre-start check on it was only a a week ago. The other trucks were not in their bays. We checked the records and there was no call outs, we figured it may have been a last minute ditch. We filled the reservoir of the truck and double checked the pump was working. Frank had a plan, and it didn’t seem we were leaving Longreach for quite some time.
A month passed as we met survivors bunked in and travelling through. None stayed, they all went to Barcaldine to wait under The Tree of Knowledge. Few infected passed by, and we stopped using our powers a few days after clearing out the township. Houses were cleaned out, locked down and marked clearly with “Cleaned out” followed by a love heart with a buffalo inside.
I hadfinished checking over the planes, this was my field, I had to replace a few light bulbs on the Mirage. The Piper Mirage 360º was a beautiful six seater plane. I was unsure why it was out here, but I had no complaints. I read the manual and schematics twice before knwoing how to fix the thing and run maintenance checks. This was our way out, all I needed to do was convinve our resident chef to fly it for me. It wasn’t long till we saw familiar faces arrive on motorcycles, the male of the riding couple we met earlier and two of my cousins.
They lifted their helmets off and switched off their dirt bikes. When they looked to me, it was a look of despair, “We got a problem.”