We rode down the state highway for a piece and didn't say anything , not one word. Everyone just stared holes in me with evil looks on their faces, like I was the cause of these "things". I just pressed on , knowing if I were bitten they would have thrown me out the back in a heartbeat. The man who was side by side with me in the firefight , looked around and then said to me "don't sweat them man, you did what you had to we both have". And I started to wonder what he must have done to think I was righteous in my actions, but in this mad world we were in the line for moral turpitude was very blurry, right and wrong had never seemed so close to each other to me in my entire life. This must be what they say when they talk of the world after an Apocalypse becoming survival by any means, that wrong and right are not a matter of concern so much as your own hide. Maybe this was how religion came around to make people think there was a reason to follow a moral code.
I know deep talk for a tow monkey huh? But it was in there swirling around in my thoughts as the eyes burned through me. My stomach felt hollow and my mouth was dry but I didn't dare clear mt throat I was like a scalded dog in the corner of the back of that truck, just trying to keep off every ones radar as much as possible.
We drove for quite a while and never really slowed much. Randomly it would feel and sound like we hit something, sometimes it was one thud sometimes it was many and we all knew what it was. Those "things" don't slow down at all they just go towards us like moths to a light it is one of the most unnerving things about this whole predicament. How do you feel like there is any hope when everywhere you turn something is there unrelenting and trying to eat you, or bite your , or both.
The truck came to a stop and nobody moved , eyes fixed on me like the bad guy who was holding them hostage and finally the tables were turned. The back canvas flipped up and then the hatch was lowered and one by one the people were helped out and one by one they all gave an evil gaze back at me. I was even starting to wonder if I was right for saying something . When you start to doubt yourself its easy to get the moral lines blurred again, and I thought maybe just maybe I was an evil man in some way. Or hoped I wasn't , guess that's the glass half full half empty in a weird sort of situation.
I was the last person to exit the truck and one of the soldiers had the other man waiting to the side who was in the gun line with me.Half of me was thinking we were about to be put in detention like trouble making school kids for shooting with the soldiers, you never expect you did the right thing when it involved throwing grenades and shooting clip after clip into a crowd of people. The soldiers took us both with them to a side room and away from the people staring holes in me. As I walked with the soldiers and looked around it dawned on me we were actually at the armory in my home town which is almost back to square one, and that didn't make me none to happy.
We went inside the room with the soldiers and they had us sit down and none too soon a man who judging by his medals and the people walking with him was high ranking walked in with a purpose had us stand and salute him and then took off his hat put it under his arm and said"at ease". Me not being a soldier was getting confused but I had seen enough movies to know how to play along and not insert my sarcasm into my butt. The man told us of how they had been fighting these "things" from the beginning and that no amount of firepower seemed to matter to them , they just kept coming. He also told us of how they had lost connection with Boston , New York , and also Washington. My stomach dropped even further than before and for a moment I thought I was going to either faint or pass out. It hits hard when you hear that the world as you know it is officially screwed and your hopes of it being just the area your in are dashed.
The man then told us he had heard about us helping in the fight and helping them with even supplies and then looked at me and said "and for not getting soft for the boy in the truck". He told me that one person infected was responsible for an entire infantry being taken and that no matter what if someone is bitten or has a fresh bite wound take them out with extreme prejudice.I felt better by the second now at least my mind was going to a more at ease state.
He then asked us if we wanted to stick around as they were about to deploy into the city and look for anyone needing assistance. I asked if this was some sort of deputation of some sort making us temporary soldiers and he said he was going to level with me. The military was taking heavy casualties everywhere and basically a few people with the ability and nerve to stay in line and fire at these "things" were fine in his book he asked only two things . He asked that we follow orders from any soldier because we would be lower than all of them and that no matter what if we or any soldier were bitten turn a gun on them and go for the head. I asked if the head was like a zombie movie thing and all he could say was that he wasn't sure what the infection originated from or how it all got started and he wasn't labeling it a zombie epidemic but he could say was that the head was a sure way to end all movement and that if you shot them anywhere else they just continued to come.
After the "meeting" he had us ushered to another room where uniforms were waiting for us and then informed us that he was going to stick us in the infantry coming in a bit and send us all back out that way no one knew we were just regular guys, he said if the men around you can't trust you they will just keep you at bay like rescued people, and he wanted us fighting, he also said that if anyone on our trip had any abilities to let the soldiers around us know.
As we were left to get changed up the man who was with me in the firing line and now a fake soldier like me said his name was Manuel Fisher but everyone called em Fish. He told me that he was working in a construction site and was in the ditch when all of a sudden his friend up top disappeared . When he went to climb out he saw the "things " eating his friend and he fell into the corner of the pit and just sat there for about an hour scared for his life. When he peeked back out he saw nothing but what was left of his friend and climbed out and ever since has not stopped fighting in fear he let his friend die. I tried to assure him if he was even bitten once he was already done but I knew what he was upset about and it is hard to get your head straight.
We got changed up and headed out the door and to the back of the armory. A gigantic truck with soldiers hanging from everywhere pulled up and we climbed in , and no sooner we were on our way down the road. As I headed out I knew that my chance to head to my brothers was slipping away but without a truck to get there I was going to have to make due with going with the flow I had just lost any forward momentum I had being brought back to the armory and if I was going to make it to my brothers I was going to have to start over. I figured I would see where this assignment took me if it was in the general direction as my brothers I had a shot and making some time safely , and if not I would have to reprimand another vehicle. But to turn down the Militaries offer to go out would be a slap in the face of everything that was right in a wrong world and it could turn out to benefit me.