Apocalypse origins, p.24
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       Apocalypse Origins, p.24

           R.A. Neely
 

  ***

  Greg ducked under the man's swing and countered with one of his own. The man leaned back just enough so the blade passed harmlessly in front of him. Greg followed up with another swing but that was parried harmlessly. Simmons swung with his free hand and Greg ducked underneath and countered with a punch to his gut. Simmons stumbled back a few steps but was otherwise unaffected. Greg continued his offensive, throwing swing after swing in attempt to break through Simmon's defense. On his third swing, Greg scored a solid hit that cut Simmons from his eye to his ear. Greg quickly followed up with another thrust as Simmons roared in pain.

  Greg ripped his machete free and Simmon's body hit the ground. He knelt and quickly wiped his machete clean before putting it away. He glanced around for his gun but realized that would have to wait until the morning, there was no way he would be able to find it right now. He was about to go check the camp when he heard a scream. A scream that sounded exactly like Carol. He sprinted for his tent and saw a figure throwing Carol's unresponsive body over his shoulder. Was she dead? No, she must be unconscious. There'd be no need to carry her otherwise. The man turned at the sound of Greg's running footsteps and drew a pistol with his free hand. Greg was forced to dive to the ground as the man sent several shots in his direction. The man took off running and Greg surged to his feet and quickly covered the rest of the distance to his tent. He saw Carol's gun lying on the ground and grabbed it to replace his own. He took after Carol, pushing himself as fast as he could go. 

  He was grateful for all the training he had gone through. He knew he'd have no chance of saving her if he had been in any less than peak physical condition. He reached the edge of the camp and saw the man running in the distance towards a waiting vehicle. He quickly glanced around and was relieved when he saw his suv nearby. 

  "Greg!" Jackson called from behind him.

  Greg turned to see Jackson running towards him. "They took Shirley! I have to find her!"

  "Come with me, they got Carol too!" Greg led the way as they sprinted towards his suv. They jumped inside and a moment later left a cloud of dust in their wake. "You have your walkie?" Greg asked.

  "Yeah."

  "Tell them to grab some men and follow. Have the rest lock down the camp. The fight might draw in some infected."

  Greg focused on pursuing the headlights in front of him as Jackson relayed his instructions. They were off-road, parallel to the highway as it was still littered with abandoned vehicles. Greg did the best he could to find level ground and hoped they wouldn't hit anything that would end their pursuit. They eventually reached a clear stretch of road and the driving was much smoother after that.

  The suv in front took an exit and Greg followed. "Denton," Greg said aloud. "Let them know where we are." Jackson nodded and began speaking into the walkie. Greg went over his gear in his head. He had his machete, Carol's gun, and a clip of spare ammunition. The rest of his gear was sitting back in his tent. It was unfortunate, but it would have to do. It's not like there had been time to grab anything. Several gunshots rang out in quick succession and Greg swerved, thinking they were being fired upon.

  "There's no sign of anyone," Jackson said. "What are they doing?"

  A chorus of howls sounded out n response and Greg realized what they were doing. "They're trying to draw in the infected for backup."

  "They'll be trapped inside," Jackson replied.

  Greg shrugged, "Maybe they're desperate." He turned a corner and saw two suvs parked in front of a three story office building. Greg quickly brought the vehicle to a stop. "It doesn't matter why they're doing it," he said as he exited the vehicle. "We're going in regardless," he finished drawing his weapons.

  Jackson nodded. "I'm with you but should we wait? They've got two suvs, so there might be quite a few in there."

  Greg hesitated. He wanted to go in now but that could be suicide if they were outnumbered. He glanced at the two suvs. They looked as if they could each seat about five people. That meant they could be dealing with at least ten people. Jackson was right as much as he hated to admit it. "We wait. I don't want to but that's the best course."

  Jackson nodded. He wanted to head inside right away too but they wouldn't be helping anyone by getting themselves killed. Two vehicles screeched into the parking lot and the men quickly took cover behind their suv.

  "Keep an eye out," came James' voice. "I swear I saw some infected heading this way."

  Greg sighed in relief as he stood. "James, you're here."

  Greg smiled in satisfaction as he saw the men James had brought with him. They now totaled eight including Jackson and himself, those were much better odds. 

  James nodded in response, "What are we dealing with?"

  "Two vehicles," Jackson said, "so maybe around ten or so."

  James nodded. "I'll take point. Stay in cover and don't run off on your own. It's too easy to get ambushed in a set up like this."

  Greg nodded. James had the expertise here given his time on the force. He still wanted nothing more than to run in guns blazing but he would defer to James here. He glanced at Jackson and saw the same desire reflected in his eyes. "We'll get them back."

  Jackson nodded, "I know we will."
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