Book 2: Page 15

Crawling on your hands and knees through an air vent was a hell of a lot harder than it looked like on TV, Shavian thought. She decided air conditioning systems you could crawl through only existed in movies. Much to her chagrin it still wasn’t that big. She was pressed in on from all sides by aluminum ducting and it made natural movement impossible.

If that wasn’t enough, echoing about her were the sounds of screaming, gunfire, human flesh being torn apart. The human body has a very unique sound when it’s being pulled apart.

The disturbing thing was she was getting used to it. It had become part of the world she knew now.

Reaching the end of the ducting, she looked through the last vent she could reach. The room was some kind of lab, large with stark white walls and long tall tables that divided the space. There was also growling and screaming below where she couldn’t see it.

Rolling onto her back, Shavian placed her boots against the vents. Kicking out once, she was sure it was going to shoot away and clatter to the floor below. Instead she yelped as pain shot up her leg. She rolled back and forth holding her knee to her chest as the metal rumpled and pinged under her. “This isn’t TV, Shavian get your damn head on straight,” she told herself.

She looked down. The vent was well dented but was still held in place, giving her an impressive respect for five-cent sheet metal screws. Rearing back again, this time she kicked out with both feet and the frame of the vent shot way as her legs pushed through.

All the noise was gone, a perfect moment of silence Shavian could take a breath in. Then the vent rang out as it hit a zombie beneath her. It growled out in protest but she didn’t have time to think about it. Instead she pulled herself free of the confining vent and fell.

Cats land their feet. She tried to imagine herself as a cat, a large lynx jumping from tree to tree. As she realized she was going to land on her back settled for a simple tabby of starting small. Her fall was broken when she hit the zombie, knocking the two them off the counter and onto the floor below. It was trying to climb after two people that had pulled themselves up on top of the cabinets. They were dressed like techs that worked in the lab.

Gasping for air, she rolled off the zombie as it tried to grab her. Coming up to her knees she swung her long hair back out of her face and tried to find where her gun had landed. She couldn’t find it, and she would have been dead if it wasn’t for the fact the zombie knew better that to eat her.

He…it. had started towards her… and then stopped. It didn’t tear her face off with its teeth. Instead it sat there looking confused as to why he wasn’t making the best of his air-dropped meal.

Shavian didn’t hesitate, but kept trying to spot her gun and found it lying under the zombie. “Oh god,” she whined. “Get off of it, you idiot!” She pushed the zombie with both hands directly in the chest. The zombie, still confused, fell back. She reached down, jerking the pistol free. Getting to her feet the zombie growled in protest but it didn’t come closer or even raise a pale arm.

She couldn’t believe it: the stupid thing wasn’t going to kill her. The most it could do was complain about the free meal it couldn’t eat. Shavian didn’t want to admit it but The (Pompous) Baron was right. They could be trained.

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