May 10, 2015

Race for Safe Haven - Another Gas Station?

[Posted by Ted H]

Yes....2 different bars and 2 different gas stations before Act 1 is even over.....for the record though, I don't plan on there being another bar in the near future....but I always envision gas stations as being prime looting points in an apocalypse. End of the world happening? 1st place I'm hitting up is a gas station...followed by a drug store...


[Race for Safe Haven - Another Gas Station?]

            "Another fucking gas station?" Laura asked as she tried to adjust herself squeezed in the backseat next to Steve. It wasn't comfortable, but it seemed better than the back where Rhett, Tara and Jenny had to situate themselves  with all the bags of supplies and equipment. "This one has a garage we can hide out it," Mike said as he folded up his map. They were out of the city and in to the more sparsely populated rural area.
            Jason stopped just short of the garage portion. "We need a way to open this," Mike said as Matt volunteered to look. Jason stayed in the car while everyone piled out and Matt went to get into the station. "What happened?" Mike asked Steve. "What more do you need to know?" Steve asked. "Eric obviously made it out of there," Mike said "How did he get swarmed?"
            "I killed him," Rhett said plainly as he walked by.
            "What?" Mike yelled as he reached for his weapon.
            "Eric shot Sarah first," Steve said, stepping between the two "Then he shot Rhett. Eric went fucking crazy, I was about to put a bullet in him myself."
            "I don't understand," Mike said as he dropped his hand from his gun.
            "Sarah was bit. Got infected."
            Mike closed his eyes and sighed. "Eric wasn't gonna let her live long like that," Steve continued "Killed her. Rhett stood up to him inside the club, so I guess he figured Rhett needed killing too, I dunno. Like I said, he went fucking crazy."
            "It's true," Tara added as she walked over "The last day was tough on all of us, but I bet Eric just couldn't deal with it. Did a lot of stupid things, some things we stupidly went along with..." Mike looked passed Steve to see Rhett, who looked back at him with a calm look. "What do you have to say about it?" he asked. Rhett shrugged "I did what I had to," he said "I'm just trying to survive this, like everyone else."
            Mike shook his head as he walked away. Matt had gotten into the garage and was now raising the door. "Inside!" he called as everyone followed Jason as he drove the car into the garage. Rhett looked about before the door lowered closed; nothing was around or approaching. "This is where we're spending the night?" Jenny asked Mike, who said nothing.
            In the back of the garage was a desk with a rolling chair behind it. Rhett made his way over to it and sat down. He pulled his shirt over his head and took it off to reveal the bulletproof vest. He held up the shirt to examine the hole in the chest. "Damn," he said as he ran his finger through it. "Too bad about your shirt," Tara said as she walked over and sat on the desk in front of Rhett. "You kidding me?" he asked "It's lucky. If he shot me anywhere else, I'd be dead."
            "That' way to look at it," Tara said as Rhett dropped the shirt and opened the vest to take off. "You make it a habit to wear clothes over things like that?" Rhett shrugged. "Fooled Eric," he said as he dropped the vest. All he had left was a white t-shirt that he pulled up to reveal a large, dark black and blue bruise on his chest.
            "Owe," Tara commented as Rhett dropped the shirt back down, covering the mark "That looks painful."
            Rhett smiled. "That bullet hit me so hard, my back hurts. I swear I thought it went through me at first."
            "Where's the bullet?"
            "In the vest I think. I've never been shot by a bullet before, but I didn't expect it to be that painful."
            "Eric did always go on about how awesome his gun was," Tara said as she held up the magnum.
            "Yeah, .357 is defiantly up there with the worst things I've been hit by."
            "You've been shot by something else?"
            "Paintballs," Rhett said with a grin "My buddy Jake and I knew this kid growing up. Every week during the summer, he'd drag us to this paintball park and we'd spend hours just running around and shooting each other."
            "Must have been good preparation."
            "Something like that. Though getting hit by a paintball is nothing like a bullet. But you know what's worse? Steel ball bearings."
            "What's that?"
            "What the name implies. Sometimes they come the size of a paintball. Some kid with psychological issues snuck a bunch into his  batch of regular paintballs one day. Went after me and Jake. Nailed Jake right in the mask, couple inches from hitting his head. Shattered the corner of his mask, cut him too."
            "That must've hurt."
            "Maybe. I wasn't too concerned since he nailed me in the knee with one of them. Fractured it and everything. Don't remember too much after."
            "I bet you were walking funny after that."
            "Nah, but I don't think I healed all the way neither. Every so often it'll hurt for a while. And if I take a nasty fall on it, it hurts so bad I can barely walk."
            "What happened to the kid who shot you?"
            "Banned for life. Never saw him again. Jake did run into him one time after that. Took a rock and hurled it at his crotch. Then he jumped on his knee and spit on his head to remind him who he fucked with."
            "Oh my God."
            "Yeah...good times."
            "Well, good to hear your friend had your back."
            "Speaking of which..." Rhett dug into his pocket to retrieve his phone. On it was an unread text. "Rochester is fucked. Any luck back home?" he read from the message. "Shit," he said as he texted "nope."
            "I don't think many of the shelters made it long," Tara said "At least around here." Before Rhett could respond, his phone started ringing. "What the fuck, Jake?" he asked as he looked to Tara. "What?" Jake said on the other line. Tara gave a quizzical look and Rhett put the phone on speaker mode and placed it on the desk.
            "I thought we agreed to text only?" Rhett said.
            "That's a stupid rule," Jake responded.
            "What if I was trying to hide from zombies?"
            "You texted. That meant you were safe, right?"
            "Maybe I just texted to check in, but was still vulnerable."
            "Then your phone would be off or something."
            "You know I never do that," Rhett said "Though, probably would have been smart to do that before." Tara tried to stifle a laugh.
            "Oooo, you ain't alone, are you," Jake said.
            "Nah," Rhett responded "Found some people."
            "What, no introductions?"
            "Don't matter. They're heading to Albany. We're meeting up somewhere between here and Rochester."
            "Ah, point taken. How come they're going to Albany?"
            "Good question," Rhett said as he looked to Tara "Hey Tara, why Albany?"
            "Hi Tara! I'm Jake!" Jake yelled through the phone.
            Tara laughed before answering "Fastest way to Safe Haven."
            "What the fuck is Safe Haven?" Rhett asked before stopping himself "Wait, you mean that place in California?"
            "Yeah," Tara said "Mike has all the details. I'm just along for the ride, you know?"
            "Jake, you idiot," Rhett said to his phone "It's not a safe haven, it's called Safe Haven."
            "Same fucking difference," Jake said.
            "Well if you guys are trying to get there too, just come with us," Tara offered.
            "Why Albany?" Rhett asked.
            "State capital," Tara said "Apparently it's the last evacuation location that'll be operational in the state."
            "Well shit," Rhett said "Jake, let's meet up and head for Albany."
            "Sounds like a plan!"
            "So you're coming with us?" Tara asked.
            "No," Rhett said "Not without Jake. We'll meet up and catch up to you guys."
            "Well," Tara said "We're not actually sure if Albany's still operational."
            "You just said..." Rhett started.
            "I know," Tara said "But I haven't been with this group as long as Mike has. He came from Harrisburg and it was gone. Albany isn't his first attempt at getting to Safe Haven."
            "New plan?" Jake asked.
            "I have no idea," Rhett responded.
            "Then we recon some more!" Jake announced.
            "No," Rhett protested "I still have my car. I'll come pick you up and we'll hit up Albany together. Regroup with the rest of these guys then."
            "And what if Albany's lost too?"
            "You got a better idea?"
            "I read a lot of wall scribbles about Buffalo still being viable."
            "Man, fuck Buffalo."
            "Hah," Jake laughed "But seriously, I'll check that out, you look at Albany. We'll figure our next move from there."
            "I'll be in Albany long before you even get to Buffalo," Rhett said "Hell, I can go from Albany to Buffalo in my car faster than you can get there on foot. And is splitting apart more really the best course of action?"
            "Probably not, but I had a mob of zombies chase me far west anyway. And I bet I can find a working car before long anyway," Jake said "If Albany's legit, I'll come right over. If not, meet me in Buffalo. Easy shit."
            Rhett groaned "Fine," he said.
            "Great!" Jake said "I'm gonna pack it in now, head out tomorrow. By the way, what's your kill count?"
            "I have no idea," Rhett said "Haven't been really keeping count."
            "Well start!"
            Rhett rolled his eyes "Fine whatever," he said "Try not to die."
            "Stay frosty!"
            "I like your friend," Tara said as Rhett put the phone away. "Yeah, he's a riot," he said as he sat back in the chair. "So you coming with us?" Tara asked. "Maybe, I dunno," Rhett said "Half your people aren't exactly crazy about me."
            "Oh, don't worry," Tara said waving her hand in the air to dismiss the thought "They'll get over it." Rhett shrugged. "You don't want me around," he said "I'm an asshole. I also killed one of your own."
            "Eric was an asshole," Tara responded "And Mike's butthurt about it now cuz they were becoming buds like he and Matt are now, but he was borderline psychotic and Jenny and I were scarred shitless around him half the time. You could only imagine how fun it was being all cooped up with him in the strip club. You're not an asshole though."
            "I have it on good authority that I am," Rhett said.
            "Whose authority?" Tara asked.
            "Some guy who was infected early on, commenting on how shitty of a person I was before he asked me to help him kill himself."
            "Did you?"
            "...No. Took him home to his family instead."
            "See? You're a good guy. There's that, you care about your friend, you even cared about perfect strangers in a strip club."
            "Yeah, well..." Rhett shrugged as he looked away.
            "I never did thank you for that," Tara said as she leaned over and kissed Rhett on the cheek. "Uh," Rhett said, caught off guard "You're welcome?" Tara smiled. "Stick around," she said as she got up and walked away "Asshole or not, some of us want you around." Rhett waited a moment after to pick up the vest and examine the hole in it while feeling the bruise on his chest. "Worth it," he said as he dropped the vest onto the desk and grabbed his shirt.

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