It was my seventh mission.
Well, scratch that…it was my sixth mission gone wrong, which kinda morphed into a seventh unexpected mission. The goal of this mission was simple: get back to Abel Township before they close the gates. Oh yeah, and don’t get eaten by zombies. But that goes without saying these days.
Let me back up. (First of all, Spoiler Alert for Zombies, Run!)
I’m the new Runner 5 for Abel Township, and I’m pretty lucky to be alive. I was flown in from another camp because Abel was losing runners to the hoards of zoms moving through the area and they needed more. Fresh meat, so to speak. …too soon?
So I get the lovely task of running outside the lovely, thick, safe gates of Abel Township about once a week to do…whatever it is the people in charge need done, really. Usually it’s some sort of supply run, or warning our neighboring camps that a hoard is headed their way. Once, I ran out to bring an abandoned child back to Abel before the zoms got to her. Most likely, her parent was bitten or killed while fighting off one or more zombies and then had to abandon the child before he/she turned. Gruesome to think about, but it’s reality now. And people are counting on me.
So, back to yesterday. It was my seventh mission: get home! I’m still not sure what went wrong on Mission 6. Maybe I should confront Janine about that. Buuut, if Janine actually did send me straight into an ambush, I’d better take it up with Sam. Sam (or Mr. Yao if we’re following protocol) is usually my lookout while I’m out on missions. He’s my eyes out there – warning me when the zoms are close, and if I’m still headed in the right direction. And, well, yesterday…Sam was mysteriously out. Janine took over. She had me running over to New Canton, said they were letting us have some badly needed electrical equipment.
Now this was odd, because the people of New Canton have a history of…not sharing, shall we say. They don’t play nice. But Janine assured me she knew some good eggs on the inside. So off I ran with her in my ear.
Well…let’s just say things didn’t go according to plan. Once I approached my destination, I found myself surrounded by angry humans with guns…and zoms weren’t too far off either. I didn’t think – I just RAN.
And then…everything went dark. Meaning, the sun went down, but I also could no longer hear Abel (Janine or otherwise) in my ear. Just static. Shit. This wasn’t looking good, and I was getting tired.
There’s nothing more motivating me to run than the undead, I always say! They never get tired. I had to circle way around to steer clear of New Canton and then find my way back to Abel before they closed the gates for the night. Buuuut, considering that it was already dark out, I figured I was screwed.
And then, I could hear him. Faintly. It was SAM! He was still in his office, calling out to me! I hissed as loud as I dared into my mic that I’m still alive, Mr. Yao! And I can hear you! GET ME HOME! No response. But bless him, he kept talking anyway. The best part was that he told me, or my zombie self as far as he was concerned, that he’d convinced the higher ups to keep the gate open for another hour or so just in case I made it back!! I had a chance, I just had to KEEP RUNNING!
There was only one time I came close to buying the undead farm as I blindly found my way back to Abel that night. It’s hard for me to run entire missions without stopping to walk, and that’s okay since zombie hoards tend to move at a slow shuffle. As long as I complete the mission and get back alive, right? At this particular moment, I was close to Abel, I could smell it, and I was already running…when I smelled something else. You guessed it. To outrun them, I typically have to speed up by 10%. But I was already running. And I was damn tired. I gave it all I had. The air was cold and it started to make my heaving lungs burn, but I kept on. The voice in my ear told me the zoms were 50 meters away…and then only 20. By that time, I could hear their moans, and I swear I could feel their ragged breath on the back of my neck. I didn’t turn around to look, I just ran.
Finally, to keep from getting caught, I was forced to drop what few supplies I had collected along the way. It distracted them juuust enough, and then, when I had nothing left in me: Runner 5!! OH MY GOD, RUNNER 5! YOU’RE ALIVE! I CAN SEE YOU! OPEN THE GATE!! OPEN IT NOW!
Never had I heard such sweet yelling into my ear. Thanks, Sam, for keeping me company. And for letting me back in. I’ll live to run another day.
Mission 7: Completed.
NaBloPoMo Day 19