I may hurt tomorrow but right now I was juiced and flying. I hit the grass and weeds outside the building and came up looking for targets. It was not a problem finding them as I had almost landed on a guy who thought looking through the window was a good idea. It wasn't for him. I jacked the lever action on the Marlin and looped wide around the corner. There were three of them forming up in a stack to go through the door. I shot the guy who was watching the other two backs. He was quick. I was lucky that he shot high. I dropped the Marlin and drew the Ruger. That was good for one of the two and Loco took the other one by shooting through the wall. "Kind of sloppy" I thought.
I yelled "Clear!" Then I spun around to make sure it really was. Loco came out the door fast, saw me, cut to the left, and then fell awkwardly to the ground. I had forgotten the roof guy. I looked up, saw him back lit from the sun, a black silhouette, and shot him. "That was too freaking close you idiot" I thought as I ran towards Loco who was struggling to get back on his feet while holding his arm. "Inside!" I yelled, my voice croaking from dryness and we headed back in.
I dropped him with Carol who looked pretty calm considering everything that was going around her. Then I want to see what was up with Ricky. Nothing was. He was dead. I counted two bodies in the door and one outside. He had died with his weapon in his hands so he was guaranteed a seat in Freya Heaven. At least that was what she said. Myself, I wasn't in any hurry to find out. I took a second to put a compress on my arm where I had cut myself and started checking the perimeter.
The first thing I did was find the ladder the look out used to get up to the roof and climbed up it to take a look around. Off to the east, about two blocks away I saw two pickup trucks pull out onto the county road and haul ass away from town. "Good" I thought. "Good fucking riddance." It also meant that we needed to get moving. Like soon. I went back down the ladder and realized I was hearing noise. People noise. I walked around the building puzzled and a bit pissed at myself. I was thinking "I forgot rooftop guy. What else did I miss?" It was a storm cellar. Big weathered wooden doors almost flat to the surface of the ground. They were secured with a long bolt with a nut at the end that kept it from slipping through the twin handles.
I looked at door handles and listened to voices crying. All I heard was female ones. Visions of basements past went through my head and took with it any sense of invincibility I still harbored. Instead cold dread and a immense sadness washed over and through me. A little voice said "You don't have to do this. You know that don't you?" I thought "Fuck you little voice", unscrewed the nut, and flung open one of the doors as I stepped to the side.
Their heads appeared like gophers blinking in the light. All three were female and the oldest looked to be 26 years old an a 100 too many ugly things seen. Their clothes were dirty, and like Carol, they had gone through skinny to emaciated. I stood there looking down on them, my gun drawn, and I almost felt foolish. The 26 year old said "Hey."
I replied "Hey. That all of you?"
"Thank you Jeebus!" shot through my head. I was going to have to check, but I wasn't going to do it right away.
The little blond, a real one at that, asked me in a whisper "Are you one of the Blessed?"
I kind of laughed and replied "Probably not the way you mean it. If you mean a local peckerhead, then nope, I'm not."
She replied "Good. They started climbing out and I backed up to give them some room. I didn't holster the Ruger either. The 26 year old one almost grinned when she saw that and said "Not the trusting sort are you?" I replied "You know anyone who is alive that is?" She didn't have answer which was answer enough.
I herded them into the building and when they saw Carol they squealed, yelled her name, and ran stiff legged to her. I followed along behind and saw she had patched Loco up. The girl she had knocked upside the head was still out. Not a good sign. Carol looked up, smiled, and looked past me and I saw the smile fade. I squatted down next to her and Loco and asked him "How you doing?" He grinned "Not bad. It missed the bone." He looked around "Ricky?" I nodded and his grin disappeared "Aw shit."
I told him "Yeah well, he took three with him."
Loco nodded and said "Yeah. That was some crazy shit G." I shrugged. There wasn't that much to say about it. It was what it was. Carol said "Let me look at your arm G." While she did she casually asked "So where is Max?" She kept her head down when she asked so I couldn't see her eyes. It was just as well. She couldn't see mine either because in asking that enough had already been said.