Chapter 29-5: War of the Gods

Posted: June 8, 2016 in Apocalypse, books, creative writing, drama, Free Online Novel, free zombie books, Horror, horror fiction, killing zombies, living dead, monsters, mystery, novels, serial novels, Survival, suspense, thriller, Uncategorized, walking dead, zombie books, Zombies
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~~~

Gina continued to fade in and out of consciousness. She remembered Micom and the little man with the sword standing before her as Micom was about to inject her with the blood of the infected. She remembered Charlie arriving with a horde and laughing half out of her mind at the cosmic joke of it all… and then she’d closed her eyes…

…and opened them to the laughter of several soldiers standing guard around her.

“How long are we supposed to watch this dying bitch?” one of the soldiers had asked another, stealing glances at her barely clothed flesh with disgust. “She looks and smells like shit!”

“They’re saving her for the freak outside the fence,” another soldier had responded. “He probably wants to feed her to the dogs he brought with him… how many did they say there was again?”

“Five hundred… at least,” another soldier had said nervously. “But that can’t be right… can it?”

Gina had closed her eyes again…

…and opened them to the sound of the little man, named Copperfield, yelling at the soldiers to get their heads out of their asses… or something like that. He had told them to bring her down and clean her up for a… sacrifice?

To Gina, the man had looked on edge. And then she’d heard the gunfire… lots of gunfire, coming from the south.

Copperfield commanded the soldiers to stand fast and watch her as he had quickly retrieved his sword and bolted off in another direction… Damn, he was fast! And then she’d closed her eyes once more…

…and opened them as someone was helping her down from the tree. Gina could barely feel her own numb limbs as she was laid on the ground. She could still hear gunfire. She could also hear the moans of the dead. They sounded so close. Gina could also hear the screams of their victims.

I’m in hell, she thought. I’m in hell and now they will feed me… to the dogs.

A blurry face blocked her view. “Gina, can you hear me?” It was a familiar voice.

She tried to focus. It was a soldier… no… it was Marcus.

“What are you doing in my hell?” she asked weakly, trying her best to smile.

Marcus smiled in return and placed a hand on her forehead. “You’re feverish… but I believe you’ll make it, Gina. Assuming I can figure out how to get us out of here.”

“The soldiers!” she blurted out. “Watch out… for the soldiers… who were guarding me!”

“Relax. They won’t be bothering us.” Marcus looked around at the scattered bodies of the seven dead soldiers and then told her, “We haven’t much time. The camp is overrun with the dead. Our old friend, Charlie, brought them and it looks like he’s set on having you.”

“What can I say… I’m a popular girl right about now,” she said, and started to black out again.

Marcus slapped her across the face.

Gina felt the sting and opened her eyes. “Shit! I’m … I’m not much help to you right now… you should leave me and… and get out of here.”

Marcus smiled and said, “We’re leaving together, Gina. Just give me a minute to figure out-”

Gina watched Marcus’s face change just before he quickly got up and turned around.

She could hear the sound of steel striking steel as a shadow dashed across her field of vision.

Marcus was already on the move.

She slowly turned her head to follow the shadow and saw the back of a man in a trench coat. It was Copperfield and he had his sword drawn.

The little man turned around, looked right at her with a wicked smile, and then he looked beyond her and said, “I suspected that if I presented an opportunity… someone might crawl out of hiding and foolishly expose himself.”

She heard Marcus respond, “I have no quarrel with you or anyone else here. I’ve just come for my friend. I strongly suggest you return to wherever you came from or things will become… unpleasant.”

Copperfield smiled, pointed his sword at him, and said, “I’ve been dying to kill something all morning. You will do. And after, I’m going to cut this troublesome woman’s head off and give it to the man who has destroyed our camp.”

Marcus did not respond.

Fuck me! Gina thought, as she desperately tried to move. She was too weak to even lift herself up off the ground, too broken to do anything but cry out in pain as she moved her sluggish limbs. She felt worse than helpless as Copperfield charged at Marcus.

She heard more steel striking steel. She heard the dead getting closer. She heard the sound of her own heartbeat finally returning to life.

Get up, you useless bitch! Get up and help your friend! Dig deeper than you’ve ever done before and find some fucking way to… GET UP!

~~~

Chris, the young hunter, had lost sight of Tony in the general assembly area, but he had continued to strategically place shots into the dead along the north side just in case Tony needed a way back out.

After the dead had stormed the assembly area, killing off the remaining soldiers left to guard Micolad, Chris focused his attention on searching for Tony and hoped for his sake that he was not anywhere near the assembly area.

He was horrified by the efficiency of the collective dead as they moved as one across his field of fire and he wondered how this reanimated horde was able to work so well together. They reminded him of the yellow-eyed monsters which acted in this manner, but the reanimated never attacked with such organization.

And that’s when he spotted the strange looking man with the bullhorn. Chris had almost mistaken him for another zombie as the man walked right in the middle of the pack. When Chris saw the man put the bullhorn to his mouth and bark off orders, he knew he’d found the leader of this mob of maniacs.

That guy is the only reason the reanimated are keeping it together rather than scattering in any direction as long as there is a living meal before them. Chris lifted his rifle and put his crosshairs on the head of the man. If I take that fucker out, maybe the dead will lose focus and wander off. He put his finger on the trigger, seconds away from taking Charlie out of the equation.

Right before he fired, Chris felt the cold barrel of a handgun pushed right into his temple.

“Leave that man be and place your rifle down on the roof… now!”

Chris laid the rifle down, feeling foolish for letting this stranger sneak up on him. “Look,” he said. “I’m only trying to help. That man down there is-”

The sound of the handgun from up on the roof seemed much louder to Micom. After putting a bullet through the young man’s brain, Micom pushed his body off the barrack roof. He then picked up Chris’s rifle and began scanning the same area until he found Charlie.

“There you are, my mysterious friend,” he whispered. Micom waited patiently while following Charlie’s progress through the scope. “So much devastation and destruction caused by such an unremarkable looking thing.”

~~~

Copperfield swung the katana so fast and with such deadly accuracy that Marcus had just enough time to deflect each fatal blow with his machete before the little man was already coming at him again.

Marcus was pushed back toward the approaching mob of the dead. He tried to shut out the savage moans of the monsters, understanding that this swordsman was using them as distraction to allow for an easy kill. Marcus’s arms were getting tired fast. Not only was this man fast, but his attacks were strong and focused. He felt his own teeth vibrate as the sword came down again and again against the inferior blade of the machete.

And just as it looked like the little man had him, Marcus caught a break as Copperfield suddenly stopped his assault and started circling him like a predator who was curious about his unusual prey.

It was clear that he was overmatched. Marcus would not be lured in by the man’s obvious attempt to provide him a chance to take the offensive. There was no offensive. Copperfield was simply toying with him now.

The little man was twirling his katana around, smiling playfully at the exhausted man who barely managed to keep his machete up. “Judging by the two who were sent into our camp, I found it hard to believe that any of you could get the upper hand on Donovan. But now I see… clearly it was you.”

Marcus would not be baited. He remained silent, trying to regain whatever strength he could to fend off the next attack and somehow gain an advantage.

Both men remained oblivious to the advancing horde which continued to advance toward them. If Marcus had to guess, they had maybe five minutes before the dead found their way to the tree. There was less gunfire now. It sounded like the last of the soldiers were making their stand somewhere near the barracks. If he couldn’t kill this man quickly, they were dead already.

“Donovan was a good fighter… perhaps one of the best of the elite Shadow Dead, but he was an arrogant man,” Copperfield said. “I imagine you and your group somehow capitalized on this weakness, exploiting his blind spot, which allowed you a chance to corner him in some less-than-honorable fashion.”

Marcus could not calculate a way to bring this to a quick end, not without throwing himself on the man’s sword. Copperfield clearly was not interested in the death of his soldiers, his missing leader, or the loss of the camp—he was the lion closing in on the kill. Marcus suspected that the only reason he was not dead yet was because the man was curious… curious to know why he could not smell the customary fear on his prey before closing in. This made Copperfield hesitant. But Marcus could not find a way to use it to his advantage. He was running out of time.

“Was it just you?” Copperfield asked. “Or did you simply come in like the snake, after your friends caught him and distracted him, sneaking up behind for your one chance to nip at his ankle? You must have had an advantage… I could’ve killed you several minutes ago… easily. I find it hard to believe that Donovan fell to the likes of you.”

Out of the corner of his eye, Marcus caught a quick glimpse of his one and only chance to end this. But he had to time it just right or he and Gina were dead. He would need the lion to charge… now.

“Your friend died alone in the dark,” Marcus said defiantly, refusing to provide the fear which Copperfield required. “He died in a pool of blood and worthless words… it was rather pathetic.” And then he added with a sinister smile, “He did not die honorably… I took my time… made him squeal like a pig in the darkness. And then I left him there to rot without a name. I even sliced his face off so no one could ever identify the piggy’s corpse.”

Copperfield’s face changed… yes, he’d struck a nerve.

That did it. Be ready. Marcus raised his machete and waved it at the little man. “Stop boring me with your worthless words and get on with it. You are the one betrayed by your own fear. And that’s how I’m going to kill you, too… pig!”

Copperfield moved in for the quick kill just as Marcus’s gamble paid off: Gina managed to reach one of the slain soldiers, grab his sidearm, and lift it just enough to shoot wildly behind the little man.

Copperfield’s sword came down on Marcus’s machete as he looked toward Gina, distracted for only a split second. It was enough for Marcus to reach up under the machete with his knife as he dug the blade deep into the predator’s abdomen.

Copperfield looked at his prey in complete surprise.

Marcus glared into the dead man’s orbs and smiled viciously, twisting the knife until it was over.

Copperfield fell forward, dropping his sword, as Marcus pushed his body to the side.

He got up, wobbling to his feet and gave Gina a grateful look.

She held the handgun in two shaking hands, lying on her side, and breathing heavily for the effort. “I couldn’t… I couldn’t let you… save me again,” she said with a smile. “You were… you were starting to make me… look bad.”

Marcus walked over to her, dragging the machete behind him, and said, “It’s time to go, Gina.” He moved his free arm around her waist as Gina wrapped her arms around his neck until she was on her feet.

They turned just in time to see the first of the reanimated dead entering the area.

And they saw them.

Twenty-five monsters were already shambling toward them with their arms raised.

“Shit,” Gina said. “We aren’t going to make it… are we?”

Marcus needed no time to calculate their chances. He could not carry her and hope to fend off the frenzied horde. “No, Gina… we are not.”

~~~

Next Episode 29-6

Previous Episode

~~~

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__________________________________________
“Chapter 29-5: War of the Gods” Copyright © 2014, 2016 Scott Scherr. From the Novel “Don’t Feed The Dark, Book Three: Recruits”.

No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission by the author.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

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