December 28, 2014

Race for Safe Haven - Gas Station Adventure

[Posted by Ted H]

Christmas season has finally passed, meaning I'm allowed to have a life that isn't entirely work! Lucky me! Maybe I'll get some writing done if it isn't too much trouble...

*ring! ring!*
Hello?......uh, sure, I guess I can totally come in to work on my day off because other people don't want to show up and no one else wants to come in...

What was I saying?


[Race for Safe Haven - Gas Station Adventure]

           Rhett drove through town to scenes of abandoned cars and building and the dead roaming everywhere. The radio played nothing but static as Rhett scoured the airwaves in search of the broadcast Jake had told him about. He scolded himself for not getting the station from his friend while he could. This whole mission he and Jake were on would weigh a lot less on him if he knew that the major shelter in California was still standing. He badly wanted to dismiss the notion in his head that there was no safe place anywhere, and he and Jake were looking in vain.
            The easiest way into the city was via the highway, but every entrance was gridlocked with abandoned vehicles and even more of the dead. Some even had road blocks set up in an apparent effort to keep the dead away. Eventually, Rhett grew tired of having to back out of onramps and settled for taking the back roads to get into Syracuse.
            The neighborhood scenes on the way to the city were appalling. Fires had been burning unchecked in some houses, bodies were littered all over lawns, mostly devoured, in some cases only a pile of bones. Dismembered corpses were crawling and dragging themselves into the street at the sight of Rhett's approaching red SUV.
            At the outskirts of the city was a shopping mall, once billed as the Mecca of Upstate New York shopping, now a hollow shell, part of it blown down from an unknown explosion, the rest sinking into the unstable ground beneath. Rhett wondered as he passed if the zombie apocalypse was the only thing going on, or if only a few weeks abandonment really could spell the doom for some modern amenities. He altered his way into the city various times because of the police barricades near the mall.
            Rhett's dashboard indicated that he was running low on gas. He had enough to get to the shelter location, but not much after that, and Rhett had a feeling he might need to drive beyond the dome. He detoured his route in search of a gas station. "I don't know this fucking part of town," he mumbled to himself as he searched, going slow enough to get a good look down each intersection but fast enough to not let any wandering dead reach his car.
            "Finally," he said as he stopped short at a crossing and turned left down a street. He felt lucky that everything near the station was quiet. "Too quiet," he said with a smirk as he stopped by a pump and got out, tossing his hat next to the shotgun. He took a deep breath and threw the gas mask over his face. His vision was slightly distorted, but everything was otherwise fine. The lights on the pump were active, meaning the station was working off an independent generator. He grabbed a hose and tried to pump gas, but nothing came out.
            "Credit or pre pay inside" flashed on the screen as Rhett swore and reached for his wallet, instinct being the only reason he had it on him anyway. "Where the hell..." he trailed off as he searched for his credit card before he stopped and slapped himself in the head. "Fucking bar," he said as he pushed his wallet back into his pants.
            He looked into the gas station and looked for movement inside. Merchandise and sale advertising posters covered most of the view. He shrugged and reached into his belt and retrieved his handgun. If there was anything inside, ten bullets were more than enough to handle things. He wanted his hands free, so he left the shotgun behind. He wasn't planning to take long anyway. The entrance was automated, the doors opened before him as he approached to reveal nothing inside waiting for him, at least not in the open.
            As he entered, a bell rung above the door and Rhett readied himself. He checked around quickly and saw nothing move; the place was empty. He jumped behind the register and stopped at the sight of the cigarettes and lighters. Rhett had quit a few years ago, but now decided that cancer was a preferable demise to whatever the apocalypse had in store. He grabbed a couple packs and a disposable lighter. He had packed his old lighter, but more fire was never a bad idea.
            "Now then," Rhett said as he turned his attention to the cash register. Usually when he paid for gas in cash, the clerk would type something into the register and magically, to Rhett, gas would become pumpable. "Maybe there's a code or something...Shit, what pump number was I?...Fuck it," Rhett said as he wandered back outside in search of a zombie. People usually die with their wallets, and his plan now was to use someone else's credit card.
            To Rhett's dismay when he stepped out, a fairly large hoard had followed him on his trip for gas and had now caught up. His initial instinct was to get to his car and drive off, but the gas issue was still unresolved. This might be his last good chance for gas. He made a break for the car; he needed his shotgun. In the rush for the car though, and because of his limited vision from the gas mask, he failed to see a zombie step out from behind the car. Just as he was about to enter the car, it reached out and grabbed his mask, causing Rhett to recoil back.
            The mask pulled off of Rhett as he frantically raised his gun and shot the zombie right in the middle of its forehead. The shot echoed through the area. anything that wasn't aware of his presence would now give him their full attention. He turned back to see more zombies had closed the gap to him and he knew he didn't have any time to get into his car for the shotgun. He had to lead them away first. He took off back for the station. There was no room to go elsewhere and Rhett hoped he could lose them through the back and circle around for the shotgun.

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