August 23, 2015

Race for Safe Haven - Suicide Prep

[Posted by Ted H]

Obviously, my updates are gonna get longer. The whole 1st act is written for this story and I want it all up before NaNoWriMo...


[Race for Safe Haven - Suicide Prep]

            Williams prepared the shots while Mike, Rhett, Matt, Steve and Tara stood before him. "You'll feel lightheaded and a little nauseous, all perfectly expected," he said as he inserted the first needle into Mike's arm "In about an hour you should be good to go." He pushed the liquid into Mike, who tensed up and hissed at the feeling.
            "This didn't exist beforehand?" Mike asked "So how did you come up with it so quickly?" Williams avoided eye contact as he withdrew the needle and moved on. "You should rest for now," he said as he grabbed another vial. Mike shook his head as he walked away. Williams finished injecting everyone and set himself up to look out a window, alone.
            Rhett and Tara made their way over to him later. "You worked in those labs, right?" Rhett asked. Williams nodded. "Looking for a cure," he said "Any way we could."
            "Did you know all the scientists there?" Rhett asked.
            "We became...familiar with each other, yes."
            "Was there a guy there named Luke Harris?"
            Williams stopped and looked at Rhett quizzically "Not on the team, but there was a Harris there. Why? Did you know him?"
            "Did?" Rhett asked "You mean he's dead?"
            "I'm afraid everyone from there is dead, save for myself and Brandon."
            "Did his family make it?"
            "I don't know. I was a little preoccupied. I didn't care much for the living at the time. Maybe Brandon would know."
            "Where is he?"
            "Downstairs, preparing for the trip."
            "He's coming with us?"
            "I'm not making the trip, and you sure as shit won't make it without one of us helping."
            Rhett nodded as Tara sat down next to Williams. "So it's obvious you were bit," she said "How long ago?"
            "Last night," Williams said "We thought we were in a safe place for the night, but those things still got in."
            "You look good for about 12 hours infected," Rhett said.
            "The inoculation," Williams said "It's how I truly know it won't stop infection spreading through bites."
            "Slows it down?" Tara asked.
            "Something like that," Williams said "Makes it work harder to kill you. Waterhouse-Friderichsen is manageable, but this's something else. It's different. Something else in there is making it unstoppable and more powerful. I wish I had the time left to find out what."
            "How long do you have?"
            "That's the beauty of my situation. I have no idea. The only test to run for my interest at this point is to see how much time the inoculation can buy someone bitten afterwards."
            "At least you're looking at the bright side," Tara said.
            "There is no bright side," Williams said "Your friend will be dead within a day. Before the world fell, she would've had more time. With an inoculation, she would have had more time."
            "Then why didn't we give her a shot?" Tara said "You just said we could find more! We could have afforded one of these five shot to her. It would have bought her time."
            "Time to what? Die?" Williams said with a condescending look "To struggle around for a few more days as a burden? There might be a hundred more shots waiting at the lab and I still wouldn't have bothered wasting one on a dying girl. There are people out there who need it. There will always be people out there who need it more than someone who is pretty much already dead."
            "You're an ass," Tara said "A heartless, evil ass."
            "You have no idea the things done that ensured the creation of the inoculants," Williams said "Of what we did to ensure that humanity might survive this plague. And the last thing we want is for any of our effort to be wasted on the dying, not while there are living people out there who could benefit from this. If it were up to me, only four of the injections I had with me would have been used."
            "Had plans for that last vial?" Rhett asked.
            "You two, Mike and Steve all seem like strong people. The scrawny guys and the fat girl, I guarantee you they won't make it to Safe Haven. I believe we should only vaccinate the strong with our limited supplies. But since my opinion will no longer be relevant after about a week or two, then it doesn't matter who gets saved for the short term."
            "Brandon disagree with you?" Rhett asked.
            "He thinks our supplies are infinite," Williams responded "That making more is as simple as finding water at a lake. He's a smart kid, he just thinks he knows better than everyone else. It'll get him killed. Hopefully, it'll be just him who dies for it."
            Tara huffed and stood up, finally sick of Williams' attitude. Rhett walked with her. "Where are you going now?" he asked. "I dunno," she said "Help Brandon I guess. I know Mike went down to help earlier." Rhett looked off in the direction of the room Jenny was in. "Ya know," he said "Williams said Jenny probably won't last the night, and I don't know how long this trip we're planning is going to take..."
            "Get to the point," Tara demanded.
            "You don't want to say goodbye?"
            Tara stared at Rhett a moment. "...No," she finally said "It won't change anything."
            "Why? After all that stuff you said last night about not being able to say goodbye to Danielle-"
            "And she isn't Danielle!"
            "You're right, she's Jenny. And at one point, all Jenny had was you and vice versa."
            "It would mean something to her."
            "Look, I know this won't make you get over missing your wife's death, ultimately I don't think that's something anyone could get over. But intentionally tuning out the people you care about in similar moments isn't the answer. You're not protecting yourself from more hurt, you're just inviting another ghost to feel guilty about and follow you. I've seen what the guilt over your wife is doing to you, and I don't want to see you get any worse."
            "What do you care for?" Tara asked.
            "Asshole or not, some of us want you around," Rhett said as he walked away, leaving Tara alone to walk to Jenny. Rhett watched her disappear into Jenny's room and shut the door before he turned on his flashlight and went down the dark staircase. By time he reached the bottom step, he could hear Mike calling out orders.
            As Rhett walked over, he saw Mike, Steve and Matt emptying out the station wagon. "We taking that car?" Rhett asked. "It's more narrow than your car," Mike said "And Brandon said there's a gap in the fence we can squeeze through with this car. It's the best way in."
            "Okay," Rhett said slowly "And where is Brandon?" Mike pointed with his flashlight to the front. Rhett walked over to where they came in and heard a noise. Following it, he saw daylight and found Brandon peeking through a door to the outside. "What are you doing?" Rhett asked. Brandon checked behind himself and saw it was only Rhett. "Just checking out there," Brandon said "Mike having you check up on me?"
            "," Rhett said "Problem?"
            "Guy's an asshole."
            "Not gonna argue with you on that."
            "You know he wanted me to help in whatever the hell those guys are doing out there? He tried ordering me around."
            "And...I give up. Why is he an asshole for that?"
            "This whole operation hinges on my being able to correctly lead you to the lab. I'm in charge. Just do what I say and we all make it back on one piece."
            "...Right. Mike is in charge of the car though."
            "So he can pick the radio station. I call the shots here."
            "Whatever," Rhett found himself saying "I dunno why I'm even defending him. Once this thing is over, he's sending me away."
            "For what?"
            "I apparently don't mesh well with the entire group."
            "Fuck that. I saw you shooting the deadheads while rescuing us. If Mike wants to dump you from the group, he's a fucking idiot."
            "No argument here."
            "Does everyone hate you?"
            "Nah. Tara's been cool so far. That's the only person who seems to have my back all the time."
            "You're not doing her, are you?"
            Rhett paused a moment. "No," he said "Why?"
            "Just asking," Brandon said in defense "Just saying. I wouldn't get too attached to any pussy out here. Once we get to Safe Haven, there'll be hotter selection."
            "So it's just her? Everyone else hates your guts?"
            "A bunch of the others are touch and go. Laura's a cunt."
            "Oh my Gooooood," Brandon said with a smile "I wanna slap the fat off her face!"
            As both men laughed, Mike approached and shined his flashlight at them. "Are we ready?" he asked, annoyed at having to track them down. "Yeah, we're ready," Rhett said as he and Brandon followed Mike back to the cars. Steve and Matt were waiting as Tara and Jason emerged from the stairwell.
            "So how are we doing this?" Rhett asked. "Brandon and I up front," Mike said "The rest of you situate yourselves in the back. "The back seat could only fit three," Steve said "Someone's going to have to lay in the trunk space. He, Rhett and Tara quickly said "Not it!" in unison, leaving Matt to give a shocked expression before he dropped his shoulders and resigned to his fate in the back of the car.

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