posted on Mar, 21 2004 @ 11:57 PM
Chapter 22: Midnight Driving
DE grabbed whoever he could find as quick as possible. Intrepid and Baked had been down in the trenches with him, and had suffered only a few bumps
and bruises. They had been hanging around the infirmary, so he yelled at them to come with him. Two more grunts were assigned by TDH before Deus could
object. The five collected outside the infirmary before trying to muscle their way past the crowds of bystanders clogging the stairs down to the
armory. Over all the mumbling and shuffling of feet, Deus heard the slap of boot on cement. He turned, cradling his injured arm. His expression turned
from rage to concern at the sight of Gothique -her face bruising and a large wad of gauze over one cheek- running to catch up to the group.
“What’re you doing?”
“Chris, I’m coming. No, shut up. Listen to me- I care about Saucerat. He needs my help, so I’m coming along.”
Deus sighed, and reluctantly agreed. They shoved their way through the mob, forcing their way to the armory. JB followed at a distance, and unlocked
the cage. Everyone either had or borrowed only a pistol, since this was a raid, not a ‘combat’ mission. John handed out two magazines or a handful of
ammo to each person, nodding. Deus nodded back, and looked at the older man. He had a family, and he had kids. So did Intrepid. And yet, they were
just as stuck as Deus. It saddened him slightly as he shoved his way back upstairs.
The six jogged out to the moved carpool, and quickly broke off into three-man teams. Deus, Intrepid and Gothique split for a Ford pickup, with Baked
and his team immediately selecting the Hummer. Deus headed for the driver’s side right off the bat. Intrepid grabbed him by the elbow of his wounded
arm, causing DE to wince.
“Remember this, fearless leader? Yeah, I’m driving. Anyways, you prolly drive like a pussy.”
Rudely shoved aside, he tried to circle around to the passenger side. Gothique was already there, and laughed a little as she bent the seat to allow
him into the back. Deus grumbled, and crammed in, his knees up to his face. Intrepid peeled out the instant DE’s seatbelt clicked, and soon they were
on the road.
“Ya know DE, at first I thought you were just some punk promoted ahead of me by that basket case Demonhunter. Now, I realize that I was never really
meant for it- command, I mean.”
DE’s eyes were glued to the twisting, pitch-black roads that were barely lit by the powerful highbeams. Intrepid continued driving one handed,
gesturing vaguely at DE as his soliloquy continued.
“You’re a good leader. Everyone’s afraid of you, though. Doesn’t matter, it’s only the people who hide underground. #ing civvies, can’t be bothered to
pick up a gun and defend themselves.”
“TREE!TREE!” screeched his passengers, pointing out into the darkness.
“Oh, whoops,” Intrepid commented as he swerved around it and continued talking.
“You’ve been shot as many times as anyone else has...”
Intrepid’s commentary and non-stop insults to other bunker members finally slowed a half hour later, when the convoy reached the nearest town. The
streetlights were still on, and garbage clogged the streets. Not a soul was seen. Shutters and doors banged in the slight breeze. The two trucks
slowed to a crawl, looking along the rows of abandoned houses and stores for a doctor’s office or HMO. The feeling of urgency had been replaced with
one of sheer dread. All around them, there was nothing but the rustle of garbage in the wind. Even Intrepid shut up. The sight of the emptied town
boggled their minds. It was as if everyone had simply vanished in mid-step. Abandoned cars lined the sides of the road, some with doors still open.
Yet, no signs of violence could be seen. No blood, no casings, no body parts, no struggle. It chilled them to the bone.
Silence wrapped around them. Not even a dog’s bark could be heard. Suddenly, Gothique shouted as she spotted a doctor’s office and pharmacy. The
engine growled and the truck sped up to it, disgorging the passengers. Before they even hit the ground, the three of them had already drawn their
weapons. The glass door was open, and as they stepped inside, they found everything coated in a fine layer of dust.
“Intrepid, get into the doctor’s office, and see if you can wrangle some stuff up. Gothique, let’s hit the pharmacy.”
Within moments, armloads of drugs, medical implements, food and ammunition was being carried into the backs of the idling trucks by the nervous men
and women. They swept the area quickly, trying to grab as much as they could as fast as they could. Firearms lying around the fishing and hunting
store were largely ignored (the bunker already had more than it needed) but most other supplies were taken without question. In the doctor’s office, a
nervous Intrepid swept from room to room, grabbing what he could carry. However, once he reached he final examining room in the row, he was shocked.
They had found their first survivor.
The older man, only about forty five, was carefully dragged back to the Hummer and placed inside. Backed and his crew grabbed whatever they could,
dumped it in the back, and took off for the bunker. Only moments behind them, DE and the others climbed aboard. Gothique opted for the flatbed this
time, trying to stabilize the medical equipment they now carried- several IV bags, sacks of pills, and some blood. It meant the world to her that they
made it back to the bunker.
They drove off, Intrepid scratching at his five-day salt and pepper stubble. His eyes were wide open, and he kept glancing in the rear-view mirror. He
was still deadly quiet thought. Deus was spooked by the silence of his comrades in turn, and held his pistol at the ready. Halfway back to the bunker,
Gothique tapped on the window.
“I think I can hear another car!” she yelled over the wind.
Soon enough, her words proved true. The bright lights of another Humvee soon appeared behind them. A man leaned out the window, M16 in his hands.
Another sat up top, manning the .50. Bullets began to pelt the back of the truck, shattering both rear lights. A line of holes appeared in Deus’s
door, but most went wide. A large number of bullet holes appeared around Gothique and she shielded the supplies with her body. She screamed for help
before opening up on her own. Deus leaned out the passenger side window, listening to the wind whistle through the trees not five feet from his head.
He emptied what remained in his clip from the previous battle before sending the empty clip bouncing into the interior of the car. Intrepid remained
tight lipped, trying to maintain a balance of outrunning the enemy and letting Deus and Goth snap off shots at them.
The firefight continued as both vehicles sped through the darkness. Gothique emptied her first clip rapidly before she realized that aiming would
benefit her much more. Three shots into her last clip, the .50 gunner’s head exploded in gore as one of her rounds found its mark. Deus had already
stolen Intrepid’s revolver after his pistol jammed. He too took to aiming, starring the Hummer’s windshield repeatedly. Eventually, several rounds
from both shooters hit the engine block. Steam rose from the radiator as the hummer crawled to a halt. Deus and Gothique panted, pressing their hands
up against one another’s and resting their heads on the glass that separated them. Intrepid sped them off into the darkness, hoping their delivery got
there in time.
Yeah, i know it's an hour late, so sue me. I hope it's plenty good. Keep sending in title suggestions and responses...the mroe I get, the more
likely I am to write additional chapters durign the week!