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Day 18: Friend or Foe?
We're almost there, we've reached the lake shore after a long and winding trip. We've been able to keep a decent stock of non-perishable supplies in the SUV from houses we've searched along the way. We've been taking turns driving. Our fuel is running low, we're going to have to stop and re-fuel, which can be dangerous for us as the nearest gas station is near the heart of downtown.
But this is a necessary danger. Our food supplies won't last much longer.
As we drive along the lake shore, we see that the city is much different from the suburbs. The dead walk the streets freely. Where there is one, many others seem to be around. As Dean drives us along the road we hear the ever too frequent thump of the dead hitting our car. We'll need to avoid this as much as possible as it may damage our vehicle.
As we approach the beginning of what is down town, the gas station can be seen in the distance. Its amazing how something so close can feel so far.
When we reach the station, the dead pile the streets. This area resembles a warzone, the dead riddled with gunshot wounds. Maybe there are other survivors here, maybe the army.
As we drive into the gas station, there isn't a single zombie around. We should use this oppertunity to re-stock our supplies. As Dean and Mike fill up the gas with gas and fills up our spare gas canister, Andrew and I head into the gas station, weapons ready. With our mirrors we sweep the entire interior of the gas station, only to find a single zombie in the bathroom. What a way to go. Poor guy died taking a shit.
As we walk up and down the aisles we fill shopping bags with anything we can find.
Andrew and I leave the gas station with quite the supply:
a box of 30 power bars, this'll keep us going for a while
a handfull of those power gells, they look kind of gross
2 containers of Asperin
4 packs of beef jerky, this won't go bad on us as it's dried
a case of 500 mL water bottles (24 bottles)
a pair of zippo lighters and 2 cans of fluid. These babies won't go out easily in the wind, if we ever need to set a fire, we'll be ready until we find a longer lasting method of starting fires. Flint and steel perhaps?
some scent free anti-perspirant. From what we've seen so far, the dead have an enhanced olfactory and visual senses. Maybe they're attracted to our sweat?
As we start to load the car, we hear the distant roar of a car engine. Survivors! As the vehicle approaches, we see that its an H2 Hummer caked in blood. These people must've been aiming for the dead on the streets. Four individuals step out of the car, all clad in tactical vests and police duty belts. Two of them seem to be carrying shotguns, while the others had pistols in leg holsters.
Mike asks them if they're police officers. The biggest of the group responds
" There ain't no cops around here no more. They're all dead."
One of them steps forward, a woman brandishing a shotgun.
"Where'd you get this car? Steal it? Or are you guys cops?"
Do I fucking look like a cop? I think to myself as we all fall silent.
These guys must be people who stuck around after the dead took over the city. They must've stolen their gear from dead police officers. If we don't get out of here we might be in a bit of trouble.
Andrew breaks the silence. "look if it's money you guys want, we don't have any..."
Before he can finish his sentence the woman dashed forward in one quick movement and jabbed him in the stomach with the butt of her shotgun. Andrew crumples to the floor in pain.
The rest of us reach to our weapons. Before we can do anything I feel a sharp blow to the back of my head and then....
My world goes black.
Day 19: Fight or Flight
I'm awoken by a loud bang followed by an blood curdling scream.
As I come to my senses and my vision begins to clear. I see that I'm in a dark room, the windows have been boarded and the only source of light is the single fluorescent light hanging from the ceiling.
I hear a scream again as my vision returns to me and my eyes adjust to the low light of the room. Mike is lying on a stainless steel table; writhing in pain as one of our captors smashes a baseball bat on his leg.
"Where are the rest of you!? You guys couldn't have been alone! Look at all of these supplies you have!"
Crack goes Mike's shin as he brings his bat down to strike.
Weapons adorn the walls, this must be their safehouse. My head still hurts from earlier, but this is much more important. Our minor wounds mean nothing if we're dead. We have to escape.
The thugs begin to file out of the room to retrieve something. This is our chance. We have to escape. It's now or never.
I look for Dean and Andrew, they're right next to me. Almost simultaneously we reach for our pocket knives and begin to cut at the ropes that bind our wrists and ankles.
I manage to free my arms as the thugs emerge from the once locked door.
All of a sudden, everything is a blur and I feel blood stain my hands.
When I come to my senses, I find myself lying in a pile of bodies. My companions and I still conscious. Beneath me is one of the thugs, my pocket knife protruding from his carotid artery.
His blood's on my hands.
Day 19/ Part 2: Emergency
I'm lying on the floor, my hands soaked in another man's blood. I've killed the dead before, but this felt different. He was a living breathing human being. I suddenly feel nauseous as I vomit, bile dripping from my mouth.
Dean and Andrew are also in shock. Sitting there looking at their hands.
We would have never thought that we'd have to kill a human being. This really has become survival of the fittest. It hasn't even been a month yet and our world has been turned upside down.
Mike writhes in agony on the table, his leg likely broken, at best fractured. He needs medical attention.
The ominous sound of the approaching dead snaps us back into action. With shaking hands we strip the people we killed of anything that may aid us. Using a hockey bag that was left in the room, we fill it with whatever we can find.
It is evident now that these people were holed up in the reinforced convienience store across the street form where the captured us. They must've seen us on their way back from something.
As we search they place we find several items:
2 Remington 870 12 guage shotguns each loaded with 8 shells
a box of 12 shotgun shells
2 Glock 17 9mm pistols with an additional magazine
Duty holsters for the pistols (these can go on the belts we've been wearing from the university police station)
several cans of soup and beans
FRESH FRUIT (we're going to have to eat these fast before they go bad)
The people here must've raided a police station to get that kind of firepower.
Luckily for us, Dean and I have firearms experience. Dean hunts with his father, and I recently completed training and got a handgun, shotgun and rifle license. Mike and Andrew have never touched a gun in their lives. We'll have to teach them.
We have to start moving, the dead with surround us soon. As we make our way out of the store, we see our car parked convieniently outside. Dean and I, pistols drawn, use our mirrors to quickly sweep underneath the car as Andrew helps Mike into the back seat.
We'll have to go off of our planned route to get to a hospital. But this is a necassary risk.
Day 20: Moving Day
We're in trouble. We're in deep shit right now.
Mike's hurt. It looks like a simple transverse fracture. We can fashion a make shift splint from one of our police batons, but it won't heal properly. But it's the best we can do at the moment. We need to find shelter soon; get some rest.
We can't go on like this.
We're driving. With no plan we're going to end up lost soon. I know Toronto pretty well, but with the walking dead everywhere, places we once thought safe could now be death traps.
As we drive down what was once Bloor street, the dead seem less numerous. It's possible that they are still subconsciously human, and flock to down town where most of their once human lives were centered around.
Mike's getting worse. His temperature is quickly rising. He needs medical attention.
We're in a residential area now. This seems to be the best place to stop. The condominium at the intersection seems like a decent place to rest. There we can barricade ourselves in until we can move again.
We move our supplies from the car into the building, pistols at hand. I really don't want to use it as it causes far to much noise. We don't need the extra attention.
We've climbed the stairs with no interference. There doesn't seem to be a living soul in here. Not even the dead. Using the crow bar, Dean breaks into one of the third floor units, pistol in hand. I follow his lead carrying the supplies. Andrew helps Mike limp into the room. Mike is dripping with perspiration.
We barricade the door and tie one end of our rope tot he balcony. If we need to escape we can climb down to the street. We had to leave the car. We'll have to find a new one if we can't get back to it.
We can survive in this unit for at least a couple of weeks. There is enough food in here for us to eat before we have to use our emergency supplies.
We've suppressed Mike's fever with wet towels and medication. We'll ahve to see how he is in the morning. In the mean time, we need sleep. Dean's going to take first watch.
Above and below us the dead could be walking in search of prey.
Day 21: Lockdown
We've been able to keep Mike's fever down. The unit we've locked ourselves in had a decent selection of pain killers. Using our basic first aid knowledge we were able to fashion a splint for his fractured leg.
So much for our plans to get to Sudbury.
The weather is getting warmer. As the snow melts the dead seem to be more active. They must've been slowed down by the cold.
We're all on edge now. We've only been here a day and I'm beginning to grow impatient. The tape recorder that we found earlier's run out of batteries. I don't want to use any of our spare batteries. It'll just have to wait till we get to Sudbury.
Mike has just woken up from his pain killer induced sleep. If he gets too noisy, the dead may come banging on our door.
I cross the room to peer through the peep hole in the door. A small group of zombies roam the hallway.
As I leave the door, I hear a tapping on one of the doors across the hall.
Three short taps, followed by three longer taps and another threee short taps (· · · — — — · · · )
Day 21/ Part 2: Duck and Cover
I'm focusing now. Focusing on the loud tapping sound coming from across the hall in one of the units we thought to be vacant.
My room mates are now at the door, minus Mike, who at this point was as comfortable as a man with a broken leg can be on the couch.
"This isn't good, the noise they're making's going to attract more of the dead" whispers Dean as we contemplate our next course of action.
The people next door must've heard Mike earlier. We can't let them go on like this much longer. Who ever's in that unit must have some sort of survival knowledge. Well, enough to know SOS in morse code.
I can see two options now, going across the hall to investigate or ignoring them. If we ignore them the dead may soon be so numerous that they'll break our door down, regardless of how quiet we are.
Our best bet would be to investigate. With any luck the people we find will be able to help us out. If we run into the same people like at the gas station, well....
I don't want to think about that.
Day 22: Choices
We're going in. We can't afford to have that tapping across the hall attract for the the dead to us. In the event that they are able to pin point our location, it'll be had to escape with Mike still injured.
We're going to travel lightly. Travel, I can't believe I used that to describe going across the hall. But these days, moving from one place to another has become a painstaking and risky task.
I'm taking one of the pistols with an extra magazine as well as my crow bar. Dean is taking the shotgun and his police baton. We're only going to use our guns if we're desperate.
Peering out into the hallway to check for the living dead, we use our mirrors to chcek both ways. Towards the source oft he tapping, two zombies lie in our path. Behind us, a lone zombie walks in the opposite direction.
As we advance, I raise my crow bar above my head and bring it down on the approaching zombie's head, the sharp corner of the titanium tool caving his skull in. It takes a couple of strikes for Dean to finish his off.
So far so good, the other zombie at this point has turned and changed direction to us.
I knock on the door, telling the inhabitants that i'm not one of the infected.
We begin to hear the unlatching of the dead bolt.
The door begins to open slowly. My hand falls to my holstered pistol at my waist.
Day 22/ Part 2: New Folks in Town
As the door opens, my hand falls to my pistol.
The door opens to reveal an aging man, heavy stubble covers his face. His greying hair is noticeably unkept. He gives us a releaved look as he opens the door further.
Dean and I enter the apartment carefully, observing our surroundings.
We hear the door bolt behind us as the man leads us into the den. A woman is sitting there, she must be in her mid 40's. The ring on her finger tells me that she's his wife.
"Hey man am I releaved to see a living person. It's been so long. I'm Marv"
As we introduce ourselves my eyes fall to the metal badge around his neck.
"Oh yes i'm a detective. I've got my service pistol, but I'm not packing as much firepower as your friend over there"
He points to the remington shotgun in Deans hands.
"By the way, this is my wife Mary."
Mary gives us a shy wave, she must've been through a lot. Adorning the walls are pictures of a family of four. They must've lost their children.
"Those are our kids, Peter and Ben. We lost them when it all started. It shouldn't be like this. A parent should never have to bury their children."
It should never be that way.
The shambling in the hallway seems to lesson. But the awkward silence that looms over our heads seems to grow.
Day 22/ Part 2: Out of Sight
I'm standing in a room with the first human beings we've seen in a month. Well. That's a lie, they're the second group of living people we've seen this month.
They're the first that haven't tried to kill us yet.
We can't just sit here and stare at each other. Andrew and Mike are in the condo across the hall. And Mike's still injured.
I holster my pistol, keeping an eye on Marv and focusing my peripherals on his loaded Glock 17 on the table.
"We're really glad to see some new faces around here. Its been days since we've seen any people" said Mary from the couch.
"You folks aren't here for supplies are you?"
I blunty respond; informing them that the morse code they were doing on the door was attracting the dead.
Silence engulfs the room.
Dean finally speaks after the couple of seconds that felt like minutes, "We have enough supplies if you folks want to join up with us. If we pool our resources we'll have a better chance of survival. We're heading to Sudbury."
"We're heading to Brampton. We may as well tag along, its on the way. Didn't you mention earlier that one of your friends has a broken leg? Mary's a nurse, she might be able to help."
Thank god. This day is definatly turning around.
While Marv and Mary pack what supplies we can carry, Dean and I check the hallway for any roaming zombies. Its clear. Well except for the one from before, it won't be a problem.
We exit the apartment, making sure that nothing followed us. A quick blow to the head with my crowbar easily dispatches the zombie.
We're greeted by Andrew and he opens the door. Our second pistol in hand. Safety on. I forgot to teach him how to use it. That could've been bad if it was anyone else.
We enter the unit, which we now realize is bigger than the one Marv and Mary occupied. Mary moves to attend Mike, who seems to be in less pain than before.
"It isn't broken. Its just some muscle damage. He'll have to rest."
That's as perfect as this situation could ever be. With the extra supplies, we will be able to stay here for an extra couple of days. Just enough time for Mike to heal and the rest of us to plan an escape.
We're going to need one hell of a plan if we're going to get out of here.