Terra Mortis II: The Gathering

Chapter 24

By Dwayne MacInnes

"Look here," began the stranger. "There is way out of the Labyrinth. I helped build it in the old storm sewers. There was a small army of us working on it, so I doubt they even knew they put you in a cell with someone with my knowledge."

"Why should we trust you?" Brady asked.

"You don't have to, but I do have information that could help you whether you believe me or not. I'm Jesse by the way," the prisoner said as he offered his hand.

Brady hesitantly reached out and shook it. He still didn't know if he could trust this man or not. "My name is Brady West."

"Good, good. Man, I've never seen Khan at a loss for words like that. You really burned him good there," chuckled Jesse.

Coop and Lisa then introduced themselves. Neither was in very high spirits but both wanted to know the secret to escaping the Labyrinth, as they would shortly be running it.

"Now as I was saying there is a way out. Many of the side passages are boarded off. We couldn't have zombies and victims just bumbling around passing each other in the dark. So Khan decided to make a game out of it. Lights and cameras were installed and as I said, many side passages were boarded up. But every once in a while a bulb will burn out, or a camera will need adjusting so we builders have to sneak in without the undead making a meal of us. We also need a way back out.

"So that we can easily find our way in and out, we have secret doors set up. Khan and the Horde don't even know about them. No one watches the repairmen doing their work, so the secret is still sound as far as I know."

"How do we find the secret door?" Coop asked anxiously.

"That's the beauty of it. It's so simple. As I said, we boarded up many side passages. Some of these are boxed in so that we can enter from a manhole above and sneak in and out. But in order to find which boarded up wall is in fact a door, all you have to do is look for a white wall. The lighting is terrible and the cameras all tend to be black and white. So it doesn't show up too well on television, but you can see it easily enough in the sewers."

"Couldn't we just climb up through another manhole in the main passages?" Lisa enquired now starting to regain some of her former self.

"Oh, no. They've been either welded or cemented shut from up above. No, the only way out is through the maintenance doors and then out the manhole. Then you better run like hell."

"Say Jesse, what are you in for?" Brady asked.

"I picked a fight with one of the Horde, and I beat him up pretty good too. But Khan decided that instead of feeding me to the zombies he'd let me sit it out for a few days here."

* * * * *

The next morning Brady, Lisa and Coop were all rounded up and escorted out of the jail. A slight rain was falling on them, the roads were damp with the collecting water, and small streams flowed down into the storm sewers. As they entered the street, Lisa and Coop were led away and Brady was taken to a casino. The guards pushed Brady past the many gamblers who rarely looked up from their card games or slot machines as Brady went by. He was then shoved through a door into a large studio editing room with a wall of monitors against the wall. None of them were on at the moment.

"You know it took me all night," Khan said as he turned to face Brady in his swivel chair. "But I remember you now Mr. West. You always did so well on your tests, however you could never bring yourself to hand in your homework. I came so close to failing you. In any event, I remember you used to have glasses. But no need to fear, you won't miss a thing. You can sit up close to that 26 inch television in the next room."

Brady was then manhandled into a side room that only housed the single 26 inch television and a single metal chair bolted to the floor. The two bikers then strapped Brady into the chair in such a way that he had to watch the TV. After strapping in their prisoner, the bikers left the dark room leaving Brady to himself.

The huge TV screen then came to life and Brady saw clear enough to recognize Vanders's face on the tube.

"Lady's and gentlemen we have a special treat today. We have two convicts found guilty of sedition that will try their luck in running the gauntlet we call the Labyrinth," Khan was smiling as the guards on a monitor in the background led the young boy and pregnant woman to a manhole cover.

"Will these be the lucky ones to escape the Labyrinth like Theseus and thus to freedom or will they join the rank and file of our undead friends."

On the screen, an image of a horde of undead milling about in the sewer system all in different states of decomposition appeared. Some were once women, some men, some children, and some old. But all were now beyond life and death.

The TV picture returned to the bikers over the manhole. The cover was now off and they started to push Lisa and Coop into the opening.

"Now let the games begin!" Khan's voice shouted with glee.

Inside the sewer, Lisa and Cooper fell into a small puddle inside the sewer. The only sound on the TV was some eerie background music. There were no undead in the immediate area. Lisa and Coop both looked around, but they were in a tunnel with concrete walls. Lisa pointed in a direction and both of them hurried down the corridor.

"Please, God," Brady prayed. His head was bound so that he couldn't turn away from the TV. He could close his eyes, but needed to see if they made it. He just hoped that they could find one of those maintenance doors.

The image now jumped to the crowd of undead. They started sniffing the air. They could smell food and they started shambling off toward the source of the scent.

The image returned to the two unfortunate prisoners. By now, Lisa had found a sturdy branch that she hefted as a weapon. Coop followed closely behind turning his head one way and then the other.

They came upon a boarded up corridor. Lisa pushed against the boards but they wouldn't budge. Coop pointed to them and said something to Lisa who nodded her head and began down the dank tunnel again.

The view changed again to the undead. The zombies silently moaned and slowly trekked their way down the tunnel. They were following the smell to the source of their game.

Again, the view changed back to Lisa and Thomas Cooper. They both looked terribly unnerved as they cocked their heads in a direction that they apparently heard moans coming from. Lisa started to gag; the smell must have been unbearable. Lisa grabbed Coop's arm and pulled him down another passage that led to another boarded up area.

This time Lisa and Coop broke into a smile. They began pushing on the boards when they suddenly turned around. A body entered into the frame shuffling toward the two. Lisa pushed Coop behind her as she started to swing the branch at the zombie.

As Lisa knocked the first zombie down with a well-aimed swing to the head, another entered the frame and another. Coop still pushed on the boards. It looked like the boards started to budge a little.

"They made it, they made it," Brady started to say over and over.

Lisa continued to swing her club as more and more undead crowded around them. She was becoming visibly tired. A zombie in a nurse's outfit grabbed Lisa's arm and sunk its teeth into her. From Brady's view, Lisa silently screamed in pain as another zombie bit into her neck. The tree branch tumbled from her open hands as more zombies began to descend upon her.

Coop was starting to slip around the barricade when a zombie grabbed his denim jacket. The young boy was sliding his arms out of the jacket when the zombie of an old man chomped into Coops exposed arm.

"NO!" Brady screamed as he watched his two companions fall underneath the crowd of walking dead.

The zombies started to feast upon the remains. Brady couldn't see much except the undead tearing clothing and bloody gobbets of flesh from their victims as they crowded and milled around the unseen bodies. Brady closed his eyes and cried, tears flowing freely from his eyes.

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1 Comment

We've got zombies!

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This page contains a single entry by Douglas Gogerty published on February 28, 2006 7:02 PM.

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