Resurrection – Part 2

Posted: January 8, 2016 in Book I Terror in Texas
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Brian looked up. “How far?”

“Eight miles, maybe.”  Juan answered.

“Like I said, in the morning.”

Another twelve hours, Brian figured the construction workers would be recovered enough to make the trip after their drinking binge and resulting hangovers.  The food prepared by the women did a lot to aid in their recovery.  Brian decided the trio was decent men, just overwhelmed by the situation.

As the sun set and the bar darkened, everyone migrated to booths and tried to get comfortable enough to sleep.  Soon the women were out and Dale curled up on the floor on a pile of cardboard.

For Brian, it was a losing proposition with all the noise from the dead in the street.  He and Billy repacked backpacks and readied supplies before Billy settled on a vinyl bench near the door.  At one, he changed places with Brian when spent the early part of the evening watching the street.

Eugene and Juan were the first to stir.  Juan put on coffee and threw dozens of sausage links on the grill.  He made flour tortilla and as folks got to moving arund, passed out the impromptu breakfast.

They were out the door by full light.  The group spent the day of slipping from doorway to doorway, dodging infected and stumbling past horrible scene of mayhem.  By the time they got to the office building, Brian was ready to shoot at least two of the party.

Getting inside was easy, since Eugene had a key to the back door.  He explained, the crew working on the rehab of the third floor offices were only allowed to work at night.  The night security didn’t want to be bothered every time they needed to open the back door or loading dock to bring supplies in the building.

Brian and his group slipped inside the building without a problem.  Eugene ushered everyone into the back hall, then pulled the door closed.  They stood in the dark listening and sniffing at the stagnant air.

Billy turned to Brian.  “What do you think?”

“We check it out.” Brian answered. “Billy, stay here.  Eugene and I will check out the lobby and security.”

Brian left Billy and the others at the back door then followed Eugene to the lobby.  The reception desk was empty and windowed front of the building was intact.  The reflective glass hid any movement inside. They rounded the reception desk and opened a door to a back hallway.  They walked past the security office.  They found no sign of infected or victims alike.

“Good sign.”  Eugene grinned.  They made their way back to the others and led the group down a hall to a security office.  When he called out a name, everyone shushed him.

“We do this quiet.”  Brian ordered.

Eugene nodded sheepishly.

The place was clean and quiet.  Despite no obvious signs of danger, Brian pointed to the office.

“Dale, you, Juan and the women stay here.  We’ll come back for you.”

“But?” Juan started to protest.

“We’re clearing each floor before we settle down.”  Brian ordered.  He pointed to Eugene and Leon, “You two take the second floor, Billy and I will clear the rest of this floor then move on to the third floor.  When you’re done, head up to the fourth floor.  Don’t take chances.”

Eugene grinned.  “Got it.”  He turned to Leon and slapped him on the shoulder good naturedly. “Come on, buddy.”

Brian and Billy cleared the rest of the first floor while the construction workers cleared the second floor where they had been working.

Brian and Billy, working as a team, made quick work of the open floor with a dozen offices. They began clearing the third floor when the construction workers appear at the exit door.

“Second floor is good, boss.”  Eugene announced.  “We’re going to the top floor.”

“Be careful.” Brian ordered as Eugene disappeared back through the stair door.

It all would have worked out just fine if one of the security guards hadn’t come to work sick or bit.  Somehow both guards ended up trapped in an office at the end of the hall on the top floor.

Working together, Eugene and Leon cleared each office. Eugene jerked open each door, moving to the right while making room for Leon to follow close behind him.  Together, they cleared the office then Eugene moved to the next door leaving Leon to close the door behind them.  Until they got to the executive suite at the end of the hall.

Eugene was sure it was more of the same so he jerked open the mahogany door and charged into the well-appointed office.  Leon was still admiring the sun dancing off the crystal canisters on the glass shelves behind the bar when he heard a loud curse.  Leon turned just in time to see Eugene disappear into the office.

Inside the office, the steel-toe of Eugene’s boot caught on the fleshless leg of the mutilated body of one of the guards.  Eugene tumbled across the body ending up face to face with a torn and shredded face.  Horrified, he jerked away from the gnashing teeth and picked up his hammer to stove in the man’s head.  Blood, bones and brains splatter across the expensive carpet with the first crack of the skull.  Still angered at the sudden terror of the gnashing teeth so close to his face.

“Fucker!”  Eugene yelled as he drove the weapon into the skull again and again.

So intent in destroying the monster, Eugene failed to notice a shadow step from behind the opened door until he felt a stab of pain on his shoulder. He yelped as he dropped the hammer. He rolled over to kick at the monster as he tried to crab-crawl away.

Leon burst into the room and swung his hammer into the head of the second guard that had bitten Eugene.  When the body lay still on the floor Leon looked up to see Eugene getting to his feet.

Eugene stumbled across the room to the massive ornate desk and collapsed onto the executive chair.  Leon stood over the monster he had killed with his hammer still dripping blood and brains when Brian and Billy walked in a few minutes later.

Brian sent Billy for the rest of the party and gave orders to put them in the office across the hall.  He put the women and Dale inside and closed the door.

Brian took in the blood and gore of the room and crossed the blood soaked carpet to the desk.

“Well this sucks.” Eugene announced with a crooked grin.

Brian nodded. “Sorry, man.”

Eugene reached in his pocket and laid a keyring on the table.  “Only works the back door where we came in.” He sighed. “I’d appreciate you not letting me turn.”

Brian nodded.  “No problem. I can do that for you.”

When Billy, Leon and Juan returned, they covered the bodies of the guards. Leon went back to the second floor to retrieve a large roll of construction plastic.  They rolled the two guards in plastic then moved each of the bodies to the second floor and left them behind a pile of construction debris.

The next morning when Eugene died, Brian picked up a letter opener from the desk and ensured he wouldn’t become one of the walking dead. They wrapped his body and moved to the second floor as well.

When Leon protested, Brian answered. “It’s not up for discussion. We’re going to be here until tomorrow or the next day and I, for one, do not want to smell dead bodies and shit the entire time.”

After getting everyone fed, Brian announced he and Billy would be looking through the building for supplies.  When they returned mid-afternoon, everyone had managed to clean up and Leo and Juan volunteered to stand first and second watch so Brian and Billy could rest.

Brian took the early morning watch.  He stood in the dark facing the street below from the darkened office window and thought about the last few days.

He had been dealing with a domestic squabble when the attack happened.  By the time he got his prisoner into the holding cell at the office and to the parade grounds the bio teams were in place and directing emergency services.  He was given gloves and a mask and put to assist transporting the sick and dying to a hospital half way across town.

Without anyone noticing the colorless mist had drifted away to a nearby residential area.  Of course, no one knew or understood the implications at the time, they were too busy trying to save the lives.

Brian warned Liz when he saw the number of people writhing on the grass.  He saw the situation was worse than anything ever imagined so he broke protocol and warned his wife to leave.  As the day wore on he prayed his family had escaped San Antonio and were safely tucked away at her father’s hunting lodge. The image of his wife and girls safe kept him moving.

Brian still hated to close his eyes. Images of the mid-town hospital still haunted his slumber.  That was where he saw the first of the infected attack the living.

Dozens of bodies lying on gurneys had been pushed into a side hall not far from the emergency room.  Without anyone noticing the dead stumbled to their feet and walked the halls attacking anyone they stumbled across.  After half a dozen staff members went missing, the infected managed to escape the hall and enter the emergency room where Brian waited with two paramedics.

It was chaos.  The dead appeared, covered in the blood of those they attacked.  They pounced on doctors and nurses alike.  Brian was unsure of what to do like everyone else. No one wanted to shoot infected soldiers or civilians.  Orderlies, medics and emergency staff raced into the mayhem to pull the infected from the doctors and nurses only to be attacked themselves.  Each and every one fell attempting to save staff.  Brian pulled his handgun but hesitated.

Then a shot rang out.  After the first blast there was an explosion of gunfire echoing throughout the building.  A female voice screamed “head-shots”.

Brian fired at one infected, then another.  With head shots, they dropped.  An officer with three enlisted men ran past him toward the door.  Brian fired again and again putting down more infected dressed in scrubs.

The last man, leaving the building, grabbed his arm.  “Gotta go, sir!”

The last man grabbed Brian’s arm and pulled him back through the opening.

“Close the fuckin’ doors.  Get ‘em secured!”  A commanding voice called out as the soldiers ran back toward Brian.

“Help us get this door sealed or we’re dead!”  One of the soldiers called out.

Stunned Brian helped slam the two sliders closed then secured them.  The officer stood at the side of the building with a hand covering his bleeding arm.

The soldiers who pulled him from the hospital had saved Brian’s life, but all he could think about was the people left trapped in the emergency room with the infected screaming as they were being torn apart.  With another barked order, the men ran to a nearby ambulance, hopped in and drove away.  Brian decided he could do nothing by staying so he jumped in the ambulance as well.

After a brief discussion, Brian directed the young PFC driving the vehicle to the MP office.  He figured it was the closest place to get more ammo and guns.

When they got to the single story green building, they walked in to the sounds of a man screaming to be released.

Brian walked back to the cell. “Shut the fuck up!” He ordered in a voice that left no room for argument.

“What’s going on? Everyone ran outta here and no one’s been back.” The soldier asked.

“I’m letting you out of here. Get your ass home and protect his family.” Brian threw him the keys to a military sedan parked at the side of the building.  “Don’t stop for anyone. Infected people are attacking anyone they get their hands on. Don’t get bit.”

The soldier ran out of the office.  A moment later and engine cranked and the sound slowly disappeared moments later.  Brian locked up the building and went back to the briefing room where he had left the injured soldiers.  He bandaged each of the injuries on three of the four men then watched as they sickened. One by one they succumbed to illness.

Six hours later, Brian put a bullet in Major Winston’s head then two of his men an hour after that.  The only soldier to survive was the kid that had pulled Brian from the hospital.  PFC Billy Walker was still with Brian, expecting him to tell him what to do next.  Brian laughed.  The kid was green as grass, but he knew how to take orders.  That was a good thing.

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