They stayed in the middle of the road to better see anything trying to come at them. A few zombies saw them, but they moved too quickly for any of them to catch up. Mike led them to a predetermined set of connected buildings and led them to the roof of the first one. They walked over to the building on the end of the block and made their way down. If anything had been following them, there was no way they'd be able to catch up.
"How do you know to come this way?" Rhett asked up the line. "Meticulous planning," Mike responded "You said Spencer Street was where you found the gas station?" Rhett nodded and Mike checked his map. "We're making good time," he said "If all goes smoothly, we should be out of here before sundown."
"What happens after sundown?" Laura asked, suddenly afraid the dead possessed a nocturnal power she wasn't aware of. "After sundown, it gets too dark to see," Mike said sarcastically, earning a few chuckles from the group and a sour look from Laura. "Let's go," Mike said and the group fell silent once more. They left the final building and made their way forward.
Back on Spencer Street, Rhett looked about at familiar landmarks. The dead blindly made their way through the street, still walking in the direction they heard the gunshots hours ago. "Up ahead is the station," Rhett whispered. "Alright," Mike said "Jason, get in the front seat and start the car. Laura, pump the gas. The rest of us will surround the car and fight off anything close."
"Anyone got a credit card?" Rhett asked, remembering the obstacles from his previous visit. "Where's yours?" Steve asked.
"I, uh, left it at home?" Mike sighed heavily as Steve dug out his wallet and handed Laura his credit card. "I'll pay you back," Rhett said "I'm good for it."
"Are we really storming for the car armed with four guns and hardly any ammo?" Matt asked. "There's a shotgun in the car. We'll be fine," Rhett said. "Dibs," Laura said at the mention of the shotgun. "You don't get to call that on an owned weapon," Rhett said sternly "Go rob your own dead cop if you want one so bad."
"We ready?" Mike asked. "Maybe?" Steve said as everyone broke for the gas station. Jordan was out in front with Mike not far behind. Rhett and Steve trailed while Laura was falling behind fast. "Whose idea was it to leave the means to our escape in the hands of the fat girl?" Rhett shouted. "Go fuck yourself!" Laura yelled as Rhett and Steve slowed down and flanked Laura as she ran.
Jordan reached the car and went to enter when he realized the door wouldn't open. "Who locks their door in the apocalypse?" he asked aloud as Mike reached him and stood in front of the car with his gun aimed. "You can't trust anyone!" Rhett said as he aimed his car remote and unlocked the doors before tossing the keys to Jason.
The rest reach the car as Laura hunched over and put her hands on her knees and tried to catch her breath. "C'mon!" Rhett yelled as Laura made no effort to pump gas. "Gimme a minute," she said between breaths. Rhett grabbed the card from her hand and initiated the transaction at the pump. "Steve, what's your zip code?" he asked as he sped through the process. "13214," Steve said "Hurry up!"
A crowd of the dead had begun to gather around the gas station. Everyone armed held back and refused to fire. They didn't have much ammo to mess with. Rhett readied the pump and let Laura take over, then moved around to the passenger side and went to retrieve the shotgun. Stragglers from before inside the station were now making their way out.
"So who is gonna be dumb enough to take the first shot at a gas station?" Steve asked as Laura nervously danced as she pumped gas. "How much do we even need?" she asked. "Just keep pumping!" Mike shouted. "We can't wait forever," Steve said "They keep closing in like this, they'll be too dense to drive through."
Rhett looked to the hoard closing in. Steve was right, so he walked towards where the hoard looked thinner away from the gas station and leveled his shotgun. He pulled the trigger as the gun kicked into him, the barrel flashed and the group in front of him suddenly blew backwards, limbs and blood suddenly flying away from them. "Nice!" Rhett said as he pumped the gun and readied another shot. "Get forty bucks in the tank and drive this way!" Rhett called back "I'll keep this way open!"
Rhett took aim and blew away another gathering of zombies. "We don't even need half a tank, let's just go!" Mike yelled as he broke for the car and got in. Laura threw the pump down and jumped in the back while Matt got in on the other side. Steve opened the trunk and crawled into the back as Jason fired up the engine and drove to where Rhett was. He slowed down passing Rhett as he ran to the open trunk and jumped in, ushered by Steve.
Jason drove them out of the area and to a quiet spot. Afterwards, everyone got out and Mike unfolded a map on the hood of the car. "That wasn't so hard, was it?" he asked with a forced smile. When no one responded, he looked back to his map and pointed to a spot on it. "This is the building where the rest of the group is. We need to figure a way to get there and get everyone out."
Rhett went back to the trunk to retrieve a bag while Mike continued. "Now it's a lot of those things out there, but if we can distract them enough like at the bar, then we can give ourselves some room to work." Most of the group nervously nodded. "How many of them are we talking?" Rhett asked. "At least twice as many," Jason said. "Doesn't matter how many there are," Mike said "So long as we stay out of sight and the only noise we make is the bottles and whatnot we throw, it'll be okay."
"That's a dumb plan," Rhett said as he dropped his duffel bag in front of Mike and opened it. "You have a better idea?" Mike asked with an arched eyebrow. Rhett pulled out a flare and presented it. "These will work a lot better than a bottle. Not only will it draw their attention, but it'll do a better job at keeping their attention. Keep them distracted longer."
"How many flares do you have?" Jason asked. "Plenty," Rhett said with a grin "That cop car had just about everything I'd want."
"That cop is gonna be pissed when he realizes all his shit was stolen," Laura said.
"He won't..." Rhett said as he pulled out every flare and handed them to Mike and Matt.
Mike nodded as he looked over the flares. "These will be our exit distraction."
"Wait, then what's the entrance distraction?" Rhett asked.