Terra Mortis II: The Gathering

Chapter 3

By Dwayne MacInnes

Ronald started to splint the unconscious gunner's leg with some branches as he began his story.

"I was here with the initial deployment of troops to contain the spread of the zombies..."

"What! Zombies? Are you kidding me?" interrupted Jones. "I think you've been watching too many horror movies."

"It is exactly as I am telling you...zombies. It appears that they are still feeding the line about the disease back home," continued Ronald. "Anyway, the dead are coming back to life and eating other people. Once a person is bitten, they too will die and come back to life."

Ronald could see the disbelief in the Lieutenant's eyes.

"Look here. I've been fighting these things since early June. I believe I have a little more experience in this than you do," the sergeant shouted.

"OK, OK, I believe you. But why didn't you pull back with the other units?"

"I became separated from my unit before it was overrun by fleeing civilians who in turn were followed by our undead friends. It was a mess. So I've been out here with some companions surviving in the mountains. Which is fortunate for you, otherwise you'd still be lost here in the woods."

"I'm still lost in the woods. However, I'd be happy to find some reasonable lodging and get out of this cold. So Sergeant, I guess we're stuck with each other seeing as how we are now stuck here as well."

Ronald didn't like the way Jones put the emphasis on sergeant as if to remind him that the lieutenant outranked him. Nevertheless, this was not the time nor place to remind him that they were not in the military anymore.

Jones and Ronald had a stretcher assembled in a few minutes and began carrying the gunner to the cabin. The trip back would not take as long as it took Ronald to get out this far into the woods. Before, Ronald was just wandering slowly through the woods to be alone. Now he had a wounded man to get back to the cabin.

"So what's the news on the flip side? We've been in a total blackout since June," Ronald asked just to make conversation.

"Blackout, huh. I guess they are still jamming communications here. I never did understand why. Anyway, things are a mess at home as well. The economy is in shambles with the loss of Western Washington, Vancouver Island, and Northwest Oregon. Man, you thought what happened to the Gulf States with Katrina was bad."

Ronald stopped and looked over his shoulder towards Jones. "I thought they had the area contained before it spread to Canada and Oregon."

"Your checkpoint wasn't the only one overrun. Many fleeing civvies made it to Portland with the disease...uh, zombies so a new line of defense had to be drawn. Some drifting ferries and ships had floated to Vancouver Island across the Sound with their deadly cargo. But as I was saying, the economy is in bad shape. Plus, the president is pretty close to going to war with Iran for poisoning the water supply in Seattle."

Ronald almost dropped the stretcher when he heard that. "Iran had nothing to do with this. It was ColTech and our own military with the president's approval that started this," the sergeant's voice started to rise.

"Whoa, there. Sergeant, maybe you didn't vote for the man, but you don't have to blame him for this. The CIA has irrefutable evidence that Al Qaeda terrorists with Iran's backing poisoned the water supply," the lieutenant responded with more authority in his voice.

Ronald stopped walking again and slowly put down the stretcher. Then he turned towards the lieutenant.

Ronald started talking slowly and in a low but firm voice as he faced the pilot. "Listen here, son. You may have outranked me on the other side; however, that doesn't mean crap here. Secondly, this isn't the first time evidence has been made up to validate war. Remember the Iraqi thing a few years ago? Never did find those WMD's did we. Thirdly, I have evidence from ColTech itself pointing the finger squarely at themselves, the military and the president and his administration."

William just stood there dumbfounded staring at the sergeant. Finally, the pilot looked away and mumbled an apology. Then they both stooped down and picked up the stretcher and began walking again.

It was near midnight by the time they reached the palisade surrounding the cabin. Nori was on watch and recognized the sergeant carrying the stretcher into the clearing. She ran downstairs and woke up both Brady and Cooper to help her with Ronald. Light filtered out into the night from the upper story windows as the trio ran out of the cabin to open the palisade gate.

Ronald and Jones had set the gunner down when the gate opened up. Brady went over to the unconscious gunner while Coop and Nori went over to Greene.

"What's going on Sarge?" asked the Coop.

"I found some friends in the woods," replied Greene as he looked down at the young boy. "Looks like we'll be having guests."

"You guys better get inside it is cold out here. I'm amazed you haven't frozen to death already," Nori said.

Nori's female voice brought Jones out of his internal brooding. He looked at the young woman and smiled.

"I can see why you stayed after all, sergeant," the pilot said cheerfully.

Ronald was too exhausted to notice that Jones was leering at Nori as he said this.



I told you I would get this one out on Wednesday!!!

Good thing I was up past my bedtime to see it! ;)

It was Weston's fault it was so late. He called, and prevented me from getting to it earlier...

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This page contains a single entry by Douglas Gogerty published on October 5, 2005 9:26 PM.

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