The runway was all she could concentrate on as they ran toward the speck in the distance. Ferrah cursed.
I hope that’s the bloody helicopter!
Joe was leaning hard against Ferrah using her as support. He didn’t know what hurt more the bite on his leg or the tourniquet they put on to stop the blood getting around his body.
“Joe… I …can’t…carry…you … all… the…way!” She panted between strides. Joe nodded and half pushed her away, quickly falling to his knees. He stayed there panting on all fours. He dared a glimpse behind him and instantly wished he hadn’t.
“I can’t, my legs aren’t working properly and I can hardly breathe!” To force the point home he wretched bile onto the floor and his hands.
“Jesus Joe get up man! They are gaining on us!” Ferrah shook him hard looking directly in his eyes, then grabbed his chin and pushed it so he was looking at the mob of rotting flesh quickly making their way towards them. “See?”
He nodded trying hard to focus on her pretty face.
“Move it you dick!”
Ferrah’s cursing brought him out of his stupor. He held his hand out she dragged him to his feet.
“You were quite fond of my dick not too long ago,” Joseph chuckled.
Ferrah gave him a smile, but it was pained as she looked down at the damning bite, “It’s not the time, we have to go.”
They ran on.
“I see them! Rory they are coming, look down the runway!” Tina was pointing and jumping up and down excited at seeing the pair again. Rory looked down the runway, he put his hands over his brow to block out the sun.
The heat was distorting the picture in front of him, almost creating a mirror image on the heated runway tarmac.
“Mother F..” he looked down at Tina “Damn! It looks like they have gathered some friends along the way!”
He grabbed his pistols Denise looked on all color draining out of her face. Her arms sagged to the side and her jaw slackened for a moment Rory thought she was going to faint. He shook her shoulder.
“Jesus!” She mumbled still pointing. “I have never seen so many!”
Tina looked over at Denise. “Well you have now!”
Rory looked again there must have been hundreds they all merged into one wall of grey from this distance. Out in front he could clearly see Ferrah and Joe leaning against each other as they ran. He ran his fingers through his dirty blond hair all the while looking around. “Shit, Shit! Bastard shit!” then his eyes rested on a baggage carrier about two hundred meters away.
“Stay here I’ll be back,” he sprinted off desperately hoping he could get the vehicle moving. Both girls looking on stunned.
“He isn’t leaving us is he?” Tears welled up in Tina’s normally hard eyes.
Denise put her arm around her, “No sweetheart.”
She sounded unconvincing as he kept going further away from them. Denise turned to the deck of the helicopter and picked up two pistols and a shotgun, then stashed some shells and pistol rounds in her pockets.
She cocked the shotgun and waited. She watched the horror show unfold before her eyes. Ferrah and Joe were a long way away and it looked like the horde was gaining.
She cocked a pistol and passed it to Tina. “Just in case honey pie!”
Tina grabbed it with both hands, her arms were out straight as if trying to push the gun as far away from her face as possible.
Rory got to the baggage car and jumped in, quickly jumping out as the diseased driver lunged at him. Rory back pedaled hard falling over in the process. The zombie driver jumped fast smashing its head off the door post, sprawling it out on the tarmac.
Rory was first to his feet pulling a pistol out, the driver was getting up. He pulled the trigger. Nothing happened. Rory looked at the gun stunned “Shit! Safety catch!”
He quickly flicked the lever as the driver sprinted towards him. He pulled the trigger again. The round caught the driver in the chest stopping its forward momentum, it jerkily looked down at its chest then back at Rory and came forward again.
Rory put his left hand over his right and aimed properly this time. He pulled the trigger again. A small spray of blood came out from the back of its head. The driver staggered for a second then fell forward. The wet smack as it hit the floor made him feel sick.
Man up Rory, get in the car! His dads’ voice.
Rory did as he was told.
“I’m gonna have to losen the tourniquet, I can’t feel my leg!” Ferrah stopped running.
“You do that and you’re as good as dead Joe, you know that!”
He looked straight into her eyes. “Look at the sweat on me Ferrah; I can already feel it in me. I’m dead already let’s not kid ourselves eh!”
She nodded and pulled the knot out releasing blood into his leg.
Joe bit his knuckle. “Son of a bitch that hurts!”
Ferrah looked behind them the fast ones had gained some distance on them. She stood mesmerized for a few seconds watching their crazy running, sprinting up the runway hands out grasping, pushing the slower ones to the floor.
She looked at the helicopter, then down at Joe. “We aren’t going to make it Joe!” she sniffled a little. He looked up. “Yeah we are, come on we can get to the chopper before the crazies do, I know we can!”
They ran on. Joe’s leg was not hindering him as much now blood was getting through. He winced at the shocking pins and needles made his leg feel like it was going to vibrate off. The pack closed ever nearer.
Rory looked at the controls. The ignition key was in, he closed his eyes as it turned.
The engine roared to life. “Yes! Yes! “ Rory hit the dash with both hands, the engine went dead, “Eh?”
He turned the key again, nothing happened. He lifted both hands off the dash as if he was surrendering to a gunman.
“What did I do?” he shouted looking at the switches.
Calm down Rory. He heard his dad’s voice again.
He took a deep breath and looked at the switches, his eyes fell on a big red one. Underneath it was the word MASTER. He flicked it up and turned the key again. The engine roared to life. He carefully put his hands on the steering wheel, keeping them well away from the dash. He realized the baggage car was an automatic. He knocked it into forward and put his foot down on the accelerator.
The car moved painfully slow at first. He steered it towards the two girls who had moved away from the helicopter. He pulled over.
“Get in, come on. Let’s get our bloody friends back!”
The two girls jumped and he put his foot down. “This thing would have been quicker if you had dumped the carriages full of luggage,” Denise shouted looking behind at the five carriages being hauled.
“I’ve got an idea so we’re gonna need them!” Rory shouted back grinning like a fool.
“Don’t do anything crazy please!” Denise shouted in his ear.
Rory shook his head. “Shout and tell Ferrah and Joe to keep running as we pass them; tell them to head towards the helicopter!”
Denise opened the door and leaned out. They were close to the two others now and Denise shouted waving her arm. “To the chopper! To the chopper! Go! Go!”
Rory swung the baggage car to the left, missing the diseased crazies. He then swung it back around coming up fast behind the mob. Tina grabbed Denise who was still hanging out of the door. Her face was white.
“Wow almost bought it there, thanks sweetie!” Tina almost smiled until she saw that Rory was about to smash into the mob from behind. Denise grabbed his arm.
“What the hell are you doing?”
He looked over at her. “I’m gonna take as many of these sons of bitches out as I can. Hold tight!”
They hit the mob hard, the car was doing about forty mph when it hit the first ones, some went under the car, they hardly noticed the bumps, and others were smacked to the sides. Rory steered left, then right in big zigzags. Denise looked behind; the carriages were causing carnage smashing the zombies to the floor. The last carriage was doing the most damage swinging wildly hitting the diseased people so hard they were actually flying up in the air.
Suddenly they were free of the mob. Ferrah and Joe were gaining distance from the pack of zombies, who were now focused on the vehicle. Rory took his foot off the accelerator a smidge letting it coast. Denise looked back.
“Damn we have guests!” At least three crazies had managed to grab onto a carriage and were crawling up towards the car. She put the shotgun on the seat. She leaned over to Rory’s left.
“Keep going straight, I don’t want to fall off this rollercoaster!” She climbed out onto the roof and jumped onto the first carriage smacking her mouth on a suitcase corner. She spat the blood out and pulled the pistols out of her belt.
“Come on bastards! Come to momma!”
Rory pulled alongside Ferrah and Joe. Tina opened the door
“Get in, quick!”
Ferrah pushed at Joe moving him towards the door, he grabbed a hand rail and hopped in. Ferrah moved to do the same; she missed the handle and went sprawling on the hard tarmac. She looked up to see the car was pulling away. She quickly jumped up and ran forwards, unsure at how much more her body could take.
She made a desperate lunge at one of the carriages grabbing at the top. Her fingers curled around solid metal and she hung on for dear life. She heard shooting from above and heaved herself up, coming face to face with a blood covered crazy. It reached forward to grab her head licking its mangy lips, she shrieked and tried to duck. Then its head fell forward Ferrah noticed a big hole in its temple, she looked to the left, Denise was grinning and blowing at the barrel of the gun like it was an old western. The other two zombies were at the second to last carriage, Denise figured she had enough time to grab Ferrah.
She moved forward and grabbed her hands and heaved, pulling Ferrah over the top. Ferrah rolled onto her back.
“Thanks!” was all she could manage to say; she was breathing too hard for anything else.
Denise moved to the end of the second carriage and emptied the rest of the clips into both of the remaining zombies. They both stopped moving.
Joe was looking at his leg. “We need to get the fuel for the Chopper! Steer toward those garages; I think it was in there. Drop myself and Ferrah off. We will hide as you draw them off. Give us a few minutes then come back, you got that?”
Rory was gripping the steering wheel tight.
“Got it, drop you off, draw them to us then pick you up!” Rory had put his foot down again, he looked at the speedo it hovered at forty. “How far away are they?”
Joe looked out, “About half a click.”
Rory took his foot off the accelerator again. “Ok I aint stopping so you will have to jump, I will go as slow as I dare!” Joe nodded and went to move to the door.
Tina pulled him back, “Here.”
She passed him the shotgun and he ruffled her hair, “Thanks kid”.
Then he jumped out, “Ferrah you’re with me. We need to get the fuel for the chopper!” Denise passed her a pistol.
“I’ll go, you look like you are about to have a heart attack!” Ferrah nodded, she took the gun and Denise jumped down.
The car moved slowly towards the mob of zombies gathering speed every second.
Denise looked around. “Ok, where do we look?”
Joe pointed to an open garage, “Shit, they all look the same! Let’s try in there.”
He started to limp away.
Denise looked down at his leg, “You’ve been bitten!”
“You can’t get on that chopper like that!”
Joe stopped and put his head down, sweat pouring off his nose. “I know!”
Then he continued to run on towards the garage. They peered into the darkness, nothing seemed to be moving. Denise spoke first.
“I think it’s clear Joe,” She gave one more look before moving in, holding her pistol out in front of her.
Joe limped behind her, shotgun in hand. He scanned around the garage.
“Damn, this isn’t the one! There might be fuel in cans, or a big container. If it is we will have to syphon it into smaller cans.”
Denise nodded. “Yep got it, you check left, I’ll go right.”
The pair split up.
“Strap yourself in Tina we don’t want you falling out!” Rory circled around the horde of running rotting flesh beeping the horn to get their attention. Ferrah was leaning out of the window aiming the pistol at the mob. Rory looked back.
“Don’t fire at them from this range, head shots only Ok!”
Ferrah wiped the sweat off her face, “Yeah got it.”
Rory shouted over his shoulder again, “You might want to buckle up too, it’s gonna get a bit hairy!”
Ferrah got under the seatbelt with Tina. She gave the little girl a hug, “It’s going to be ok, I promise.”
Tina stared out of the window in sheer terror, they were going for the zombies again, this time head on.
“I can’t find anything over here!” Joe shouted. He looked over to Denise who was moving backwards with her hands up. A man in a flight suit was holding her gun and pointing it straight at her.
Joe panicked, “Put the fucking gun down man!”
The stranger looked towards Joe, still pointing at Denise.
“Put yours down or I will blow her head off, then yours will follow.” He stated with a steady voice.
Sweat was running into Joes eyes, he licked his lips. Denise was like a statue not daring to move. Very slowly he placed the shotgun down.
“Good man, now kick it over to me.”
Joe put the side of his foot on the weapon and swiped it towards the stranger. It rolled across the concrete floor. The stranger stopped it with his foot, still not taking his aim of Denise. He picked the shotgun up and quickly put the pistol in his pocket.
“Now, move over to the girl and tell me what the hell you are doing in my garage.”
Denise blurted it out. “We need fuel for our chopper, we thought there may be some in here!” Joe rolled his eyes and shook his head.
The stranger smiled, “You have a chopper eh? Where is it?”
“Out on the runway, the top end. Can you help us?”
Joe shook his head again, “Jesus Denise, why don’t you just hand him the frigging keys!”
The stranger spoke again. “Look to your left idiot, does it look like I need your helicopter?”
They both looked over. A black military helicopter stood ominously quiet, a huge machine gun hanging out of each side. Cannons were mounted on the front. Denise spoke again.
“Do you work here?”
He nodded, “I was a Captain on the base, I am trying to get my family to the garage. They are about a mile away at the moment. They are coming anytime soon.”
She held her hand out, “Denise.”
He lowered the shotgun and walked forward, “Captain Sparrow, my friends call me Jack.”
Joe laughed “Captain Jack Sparrow! Like that poncey pirate of the films?”
Jack looked him up and down.
“No. Captain Sparrow the highly trained soldier who has a shotgun pointing at your nuts!” Joe gulped and went quiet.
Jack smiled and turned to Denise, “There are reserves of fuel here, come on I’ll help you get it. How are you getting it to the Chopper?”
Denise looked at the garage door. “Hopefully we will have transport!”
Rory swerved towards the Zombie pack steering away at the last safe second. The carriages hit them hard, breaking their bodies and smashing them into the ground.
“Again Rory hit them again, as many as we can!” Ferrah shouted.
He swerved again all but the last carriage hitting them with the force of a charging rhino. They sped down the runway taking the horde with them.
“That’s it, ten cans it’s all I have,” Denise threw her arms around Jack and kissed his cheek. “You are a god send Captain Sparrow!”
He moved her off him, “Yeah! So where’s your transport?”
Joe looked out of the door, “It’s coming now! Get ready!”
Jack saw his leg, “You’ve been bitten?”
“Yes!” Joe kept looking out to the car.
“You’ll turn, you know that right?”
“You’re very calm about it.”
Joe turned spit flying from his mouth. “Don’t you fucking think I know? I’m scared shitless man, scared fucking shi…” He broke down in tears. Jack passed him the shotgun.
“Here man, use it when the time comes!”
Joe took the weapon looking at it much differently now. The baggage car pulled up. The horde was quite a way away. Jack grabbed the first couple of cans.
“Load up quickly!”
The other two started loading up, and then got in the car.
Jack shut the car door, “Good luck guys!”
As an afterthought he passed the pistol back to Denise.
“You can come with us you know!” She said with hope in her voice.
He shook his head, “Thanks, but no. My family is due soon. Good luck guys. Gods speed!”
Jack ran back into the garage and shut the door.
Rory looked on, “Who was that?”
Joe shook his head, “Just drive man. Get us to the chopper.”
Joe and Denise were dropped off along with the fuel. Joe opened the baggage car door.
“Buy us some time buddy, we will need about five to seven minutes to get the fuel in and get the turbines running.”
“Will do Joe, no problem,” Joe nodded and started fuelling up. Denise passed Ferrah four clips full and another gun.
“See you in a few minutes you three! Be careful!”
Rory moved the car away towards the zombie pack once again. He ploughed straight into the pack head on this time. Bodies flew everywhere but Rory has misjudged the pack and the vehicle started slowing down.
“Christ we’re slowing down! Start shooting Ferrah!” Ferrah started shooting wildly through the window. Rory pulled a hard left “Stop! Stop! Jesus Ferrah don’t shoot from within the cab!”
“I’m not sticking my arms out there, no way!” They broke free of the crowd again. The windscreen was all smashed up and covered in gore. Rory put his foot down and they pulled away from the horde.
“That’s it, all the fuel is in. We’re up to just over three quarters full!” Joe said almost proudly.
He promptly fell to his knees and puke blood. His guts felt like there were fish hooks pulling them out.
“Oh Christ!” He almost started crying again.
Denise was keeping watch. Four Crazies had split off and were running towards them at great speed.
“Shit we’ve got company!”
“Keep them away till I get this bird started,” He jumped in the pilot’s seat and started the pre-flight checks.
Denise held out the shotgun ready. She watched the four run towards her. No war cries. No screaming, no sound at all, just Joe starting up the turbines. The first two were almost to her, she lowered the shotgun, gripping it hard and pulled the trigger. The result startled her.
A hole as big as a melon appeared in the first ones chest and it fell at her feet. She quickly pumped the gun and fired again, taking the side of the head off the next one jolting it to one side. The next two were close together she cocked it again and fired blowing the leg off the one to the left. It smashed into the tarmac hard. The last one dived for her taking her to the floor. It opened its mouth wide and bit down. Denise shoved the stock of the shotgun in its mouth and pushed hard.
“I want to go back to the helicopter Rory, I want to get away from this place!” He had almost forgotten about Tina being strapped in, sitting all quiet.
“Yeah ok, they should have had the fuel in by now. Let’s head back,” He steered the car to the outside of the pack of wild sub humans.
“One more time for good luck!” Rory steered the car towards them and quickly pulled away making the carriages smash into the zombies one more time, once again they were sent flying.
“Ha ha! Take that you rotting bastards!”
Rory put his foot down, he looked at the speedo. It read thirty five…thirty….twenty five. “What the hell is happening?” Ferrah looked behind them,“You’ve tipped the last carriage over you moron!”
Rory put all his weight on the pedal. Twenty…..eighteen…..sixteen mph. The helicopter was around four hundred meters away. Ferrah and Tina screamed at him, “Faster Rory they are gaining!” She started shooting at the closest zombies, chest shots were hardly slowing them at all.
Fourteen…Twelve…Ten mph. Three hundred meters.
Joe dragged the zombie off Denise and shot it twice in the head. He helped her to her feet. The one legged Crazy crawled towards them Joe took the shotgun and fired. The blast took its head clean away.
They both looked towards the car. They could see the carriage had toppled over.
Joe started running towards them, and then turned to Denise.
“Everything is ready, tell Ferrah to just take off, everything else is done. Bye Denise, nice knowing you.”
She didn’t know what to say as he ran off towards the baggage car.
“Out now, run for it!” They were around one hundred meters from the Chopper.
The zombies were very close. Rory grabbed Tina’s hand and started sprinting. They looked up and saw Joe running towards them, limping the entire time.
“Keep running to the Chopper, I’ll try to hold them off. Go!” They sprinted past each other. Rory had picked Tina up now and was running hard Ferrah just behind him.
Joe stopped and loaded the shotgun. He dropped a shell, his hands were shaking like mad.
Well this sure seems like a bad idea.
He wished he had more time. He shook his head.
Time to step up Joe. Your moment of glory. You failed everyone on the news team. You even abandoned Chuck. Your entire life has been a testament to screwing up. Now it was time to go out doing the right thing. This was not a mistake.
He pulled the trigger as a zombie fell, he pumped it and shot again, and again more fell before him. Suddenly, the crazies started exploding in front of him arms and legs went spinning in the air as bodies were violently turned into clouds of blood. He felt the wind from above and saw empty cartridges falling all around him. Jack.
The helicopter hovered sideways as the captain pummeled the zombies with the .50 caliber machine gun mounted on its side. Dozens fell with each burst. Joe shook his head.
If only I hadn’t been bitten.
He threw the shotgun to the floor and held his hands out. The soldier stopped firing. Jack brought His chopper around to face Joe. Joe could see other people in the helicopter. There was a wife and kids. It looked like he had managed to get them to safety. Joe nodded and saluted. Jack pressed the trigger.
Denise watched in disbelief as Joe turned into a red haze. Tears welled up in her eyes. She wiped her eyes and ran to the chopper.
Jack hovered sideways again, the machinegun obliterating the advancing mob of zombies.
As soon as Denise jumped in Ferrah pulled back on the yolk and the chopper lifted off, true to his word Joe had made sure it was ready.
She pushed forward, raising the chopper off the ground and away from the hordes of zombies. Jack nodded to them from his helicopter, turning and raising away. Denise thought that maybe they should follow the experienced veteran, but for some reason she felt that it wasn’t the right choice. Jack had his own family now; she still needed to find hers. They moved off in the opposite direction.