Posts Tagged ‘Brian’

Brian and Billy found a military truck in the motor pool. The garage door was still open and a front tire lay next to the truck.  It explained why the vehicle was still in the motor pool. With Brian standing guard, Billy checked the tire’s pressure then bolted the tire on the front of the truck as fast and quietly as he could. Once they climbed in the big truck, they felt semi-safe for the first time since the attack.

They point the light truck away from the Army base and headed out of town only to be t-boned by an out of control panel truck. The panel truck sheared the front wheel and pinned the Army vehicle against a barricade. A horde of infected noticed the commotion and turned toward the sound of the accident. One and all started stumbling toward the trucks. Billy grabbed his rifle and ran around the front of the vehicle. Brian retrieved his own weapons and collected the duffle with extra ammo and a pack filled with water and food.

Brian led Billy past to the van where a quick glance verified the driver was beyond help. They escaped the slow moving horde only to be driven into hiding by another mob of infected. They hid long enough to catch their breath then ran again. They spent that first afternoon making their way west. Near dusk they broke into a small office building where they found the first three survivors.

Brian glanced over his shoulder at the trio gathered together watching him expectantly. The two women, Paula Mendoza and Margo Dixon, were both exhausted, but were in pretty good shape to be locked in the building for days with only bottled water, soda and snack machine fare to survive on. The fifty-plus year old insurance salesman, Dale Witman, was overweight and had the wheeze of a long-time smoker. Dale patted at his pockets every few minutes looking for that illusive pack of cigarettes he had long since smoked.

Brian was waiting for the return of the latest addition to his group of survivors. The two surviving members from a construction crew, they had encountered, were doing a little recon mission. The two men, Leon Jones, a short black guy with mad skills with a hammer and Juan Campo, who claimed to be one hundred percent American to anyone who dared to call him Mexican were tough men that Brian was glad to have around.

Billy sat on an office chair, a handgun lying on the desk in front of him, his eyes constantly drifting toward the door of the office as if expecting a monster to stumble in at any moment. He was a good kid, but a little overwhelmed at the moment.

When Brian wasn’t running, scavenging, or planning their next move, he worried about his family. He prayed when he got to his father-in-law’s place. He imagined when he got there he would see Liz and the girls standing on the wooden porch of the lodge. He had to believe they were waiting for him so he could keep going….

“Please, God, protect them.” Brian whispered as he turned to face the sound of Leon and Juan opening the office door.

Leon stuck his head into the office. “We’re good, bro.”

Juan nodded. “Sure thing, man. We took out a window on the second floor. We could click the locks on both vehicles. We saw the lights blink so batteries are good.”

Brian crossed the room and followed the two men into the hall. “Well?”

Juan announced. “One of the vehicles is at the back of the lot and looks like it’s a ten year old piece of shit. The other is a big GMC all decked out with roll bar and big tires. It’s parked three rows back and just left of the main drive, maybe ten yards from the door. Most of the people must have left early so there’re less than half a dozen vehicles scattered around the lot.

Leon nodded. “We can get to it, easy enough. The ladies should be alright but good old Dale is gimpy since he fell, coming up the stairs yesterday. Add that smoker’s wheeze, well, who knows?”

“Does the big truck have an extended cab?” Brian asked.

“Not so lucky. But it’s a big fuckin’ ride,” Leon answered. “Three people in the cab, rest of us can ride in bed. It has huge tires and a lift kit. Once we’re in the bed, nothing will be able to reach us as long as we stay away from the sides.”

Juan looked excited. “When I was looking for the keys on the big security guard, I found a gas receipt. It looks like he filled up the gas tank that morning, both the main and reserve tank.”

“Show me the truck.” Brian grinned with real optimism for the first time in days.

They walked across the hall to a window in another office and the two men pointed out the big blue truck with a confederate flag stencil on the back window.

Leon chuckled. “I always wanted to ride in a big-ass redneck truck like that.”

“Well, you get your wish, Leon. Let’s get our people and get the hell outta town.”

He led the two men back into the office. “Okay folks,” He looked at the anxious faces of the two women and Dale looking at him. “We’re ready to move.”

Billy jumped to his feet. “Yes sir. I have all the rations stowed in the four backpacks we found. The extra magazines are good-to-go. Extra firearms loaded and ammo stowed in the duffle. I pulled off the metal legs from a couple tables for weapons.”

Brian looked at the handguns on the table and nodded toward Juan and Leon. “Pick up your weapons and extra magazines, gentlemen. Billy’s got everything ready to go.” He turned back to Dale and the women. “Pick up the table legs, folks. We do this nice and quiet.”

“Where are we going?” Dale asked as he rubbed at the stubble on his chin.

“We’re not taking a chance on the car lot. Juan and Leon located a truck that belonged to one of the guards. Only problem is the truck is in the middle of the back parking lot and a few infected people are wandering around back there.”

Paula took a deep breath, squared her shoulders and picked up a table leg. “I’m good. We’ve changed into the running shoes you found.”

Billy glanced at Dale as he got to his feet and laughed. “Yeah, the pink looks good on you, man.”

“Fuck you, kid.” Dale groused.

“You can’t expect me to hit someone on the head with a table leg.” Margo glared at the others.

Brian took three steps toward Margo. “Look, lady. I’m trying to keep us all alive. That means we all work together.”

“They’re people.” Margot argued.

Billy stepped up and handed the woman the metal cylinder. “They’re dead. They will tear you apart if you don’t bash ‘em in the head. The LT has done everything he can to keep us all alive and being quiet is part of the deal. You can’t do it, fine. Stay here. We’re leaving.”

“Fine.” Margo mumbled as she accepted the weapon.

Brian nodded at Dale and he picked up a metal table leg with a scowl. “I’ll drive.” Juan tossed him the keys ring. “We’re taking one vehicle and it’s the big blue truck in the parking lot. We found receipts and we’re pretty sure it has a full tank of diesel. It will be a bitch getting everyone in, but with the big tires and lift kit, everyone will be safer in the long run. All we have to do is keep moving. Billy and Paula will ride in the cab with me. I want the rest of you getting in the back as quickly as you can. Any infected get close, swing at the head as hard as you can and put ‘em down.”

Billy nodded at Paula. “You’d better be quick crawling in the cab.”

Paula whispered. “agujero del culo.”

“I think she likes you.” Juan winked at Billy.

“I can tell. She called me an asshole.” He grinned.

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.

Lieutenant Brian Jameson looked through the blood smeared fourth-floor window of the office building to the streets below.  A lot of the infected had followed the last of the army vehicles as they thundered from the base the day before.  He and PFC Walker watched the vehicles pull out unable to do a thing about it.

He had known there were more soldiers on the base, but when he had lost his radio he had no way of contacting them without drawing attention to their hiding place.  Land lines were down and cell service was overloaded and none of the calls connected.  The one time he had gotten his wife’s cell phone to ring, it went to voicemail.  She hadn’t answered. Were Liz and his daughters still alive?

He forced his thoughts from his family.  He could do nothing to help them.  He had people to help here and now. The four story office building was the third structure Brian and the PFC had used to hide from the infected since leaving the Army base.

The day the surviving military left the base had been bad and nearly sent PFC Billy Walker into a panic.

“Son of a bitch!”  Billy gasped.  “We’re so fucked!”

Brian reached out and shoved the kid behind a vehicle then fired a silenced round into the head of an infected woman who had taken notice of his outburst.  “Quiet.”

“If we cut across the base we can head northwest.  Maybe we can catch up.”

They spent the next few hours working their way past the enlisted men’s barracks and office buildings and around groups of infected.  By late in the afternoon they realized most traffic was at a standstill and any vehicles that were still moving were being quickly brought to a stop and surrounded by the infected.  No noise was the key so they were traveling on foot, at least, until the edge of the city.

Even if they found the surviving soldiers, they would be surrounded by the dead.  The loud military vehicles were rolling dinner bells.

As the afternoon sun began to fade they were left at the edge of a strip center.  Only one door seemed intact so Brian used a crowbar to pop the door from the frame and slipped into a building.  He sniffed and signaled Billy inside.

They wedged the door closed and moved through the darkened building.  When they got to the back of a long hall to a small breakroom they found three people huddled in the corner too afraid to even turn on a light.  They had had few supplies to start with and nothing but water since the day before.

The two women and an overweight insurance salesman were so terrified they could barely speak.  Brian and Billy calmed the hysteria caused by their arrival and got enough information to know they needed food.  They shared a few supplies then left the trio to scavenge supplies from other offices in the building.

“What are we going to do with them?”  Billy asked.

Brian used the toe of his boot to ease the door open as he held the silenced handgun in front of him.  The room was a call center filled with thirty-plus waist-high cubicles, arranged in four rows of cubes extending the length of the room. One row was positioned against the wall on either side and the two middle rows were separated by a five-foot soft wall.

“Perfect.  Pay attention, Billy.  It doesn’t look like anyone is here, but stay alert.  We need shoes for the women. Go through drawers and cabinets.  Look for anything we might be able to use, shoes for the women, food, pants, or t-shirts. Even jackets if you can find a couple.”

“Yes sir.” Billy grinned.

Brian moved to the pathway to the right while Billy approached the corridor on the left.  Brian moved past the first cube with an assortment of posted notes bottom of the computer screen and a photo of a dark haired little girl.  Brian laid the picture flat and opened each of the drawers.  He scored two Slim Jims and a Candy bar. He dropped them in a plastic bag and turned to the cubical to the right.

Brian could hear Billy moved down the opposite corridor opening drawers, rattling bags and checking out every cubical.  It took nearly five minutes to search all the cubicles.  At the end, Billy looked around the corner and grinned.  Over his shoulder hung two pair of jogging shoes tied together by the strings, He held a jacket and a sweater and some kind of a shawl.

“Only scored a couple Ramen noodle cups, but not much in the way of food. They had a butt load of rotten salads.”   Billy grinned.  “But I got shoes.”

Brian nodded. “I got food, and a pair of shoes, small though.  Most of my side was used by men. They worried more about food then clothes.”

They cleared the manager’s office and found a bowl of candy but little else of value.  They got back to the trio and settled down for the night.

The two women, Paula and Margo, worked in an office across the street.  When the office was attacked, then ran to the next office door and slipped inside and locked the door.  Dale Witman was a three pack a day smoker and showed it.  He had watched the mayhem from his office and the three of them had decided to hunker down and wait for help.  Help that never came.

Brian tossed the three pairs of shoes on the floor in front of the two women and Dale.  The women tried on shoes and settled on the two smaller pair leaving Dale wear the pink jogging shoes. When he started to protest Brian turned and glared at him.

“Wear ‘em or not.  I don’t care. But I’m telling you right now, you keep up or I will leave you behind.”

Dale slid his feet out of the expensive loafers and jammed his feet into the pink running shoes

They spent the night and moved on at dawn.  They moved down alleys, around building and through parking garaging until they got caught between two drifting herds of infected  in the middle of the afternoon.

“Do something.”  Dale clutched at Brian’s arm.  “We’re going to die!”

Brian jerked his arm away.  “Shut up!”

He glanced up and down the block then turned to a scared door at his side.  He jammed the crowbar between the door and wood facing.  With a crack of wood the door swung open. Billy stepped inside, fanning the light from side to side and sniffing at the stagnant air.

He stopped at the sight of three bodies slumped in a corner booth.  The table was littered with dozens of beer bottles.  The stench of stale beer made him take a step back but Brian pushed him further into the room.   Brian led the others into the bar and eased the door closed then jammed a chair under the doorknob. The three men snorted and groaned then returned to slumbering.

Brian gave them a quick onceover and realized the three bodies were live men, just dead drunk.  They each wore tool belts of construction workers and had obviously been drinking for quite a few days.

Paula with Margo in tow went behind the bar.  She used a rubber band to pull back her long dark hair and dug around behind the polished bar until she found coffee and filters.  Once the smell of coffee filled the air, she began searching for food.  At the smell of food cooking and coffee the drunks began to stir.

Two hours later, most of the group sat together at a large table discussing how they ended up at the bar.  After one last look outside, Brian settled down to eat.  Billy took his place watching through the small peephole in the door.

After brief introductions, Brian asked.  “So Eugene, Juan and Leon, what’s your story?”  He slathered mustard on his burger and stale bun and took a big bite of sandwich.

Eugene, the foreman on the construction project the trio had been working on announced. “We were working on this building on the outskirts of town before the attack.  We took outta there together.  I got hit by a sedan a few blocks from here.  We barely escaped a bunch of those crazy people. Got this far, and couldn’t decide to what to do next.”  He chuckled.  “Besides, I was outta beer at home.

Juan interrupted.  “I knew the bartender that worked here.  We got to the back door it was open.  No one was here when we come in.”

Eugene laughed.  “Been here ever since.”  He belched. “Couldn’t decide what to do and we could lock the place up, so we just had a drink or two to think about what to do next.”

Leon, a muscular black man with a big smile, chuckled. “We weren’t thinking on it too hard.”

“We’re leaving in the morning.  You can come or not.  Up to you.”  Brian answered.

Juan leaned closer.  “Where are you going?”

“Southwest until we can find a place to get a ride then head out of town.”

“We know a place.  It should be empty and we can find a vehicle since there’s a used car lot nearby.”