Page 137

Drip… Drip… Drip…

The chaos, the noise, it’s all gone now. The demons have left the building. The death and destruction left to settle behind them.

That wasn’t actually true. There were two left: Jackson was here, Jackson and the demon he’d created in her.

She didn’t need to be bitten to feel the wound fester. This bite was deeper and colder than any zombie could ever reach. Shavian could feel as the cold creped in and her soul died, her faith questioned at the core.

She wanted to believe Jackson’s death would restore her faith, but somewhere inside her, she knew better. This was revenge, simple, wicked and sweet. Never would a dessert taste as good as this.

The pistol was warm against the small of her back, tucked in the waistband of her pants. She wanted to believe it was Higgins’ warmth. She knew it wasn’t, she just didn’t want to think about it. The girl wanted it to be his hand pushing her along and willing her to this final deadly confrontation. Then it would be over she didn’t care about anything after that.

It was slow going. She couldn’t walk the halls without drawing attention from the demons that hadn’t followed the rest. Most of them had run into the garage. She’d watched as Fipps smashed through the security gates and pushed out into the grounds beyond and the undead had followed after. It was the noise and distraction she needed to avoid being caught. She climbed into the rafters atop large cooling pipes that ran from room to room. Once needed to keep nuclear warheads in check, they’d become as dead as the rest of this facility when the U.S. down-sized its nuclear program.

She was thankful for her slender stature. Without it this would have been impossible.

Jackson had used the commotion as well, staying out of sight till there was only the small trickle. He’d worked his way back through the building. It was hard to follow him from up in the pipes, but she didn’t needed to keep him in sight to know where he was going. There was only one place a man like him would go right now: the armory.

Shavian moved slowly towards the secured room. She’d heard him pushing his way through already upset bins of gear, muttering to himself and she could only make out a few words. They meant nothing to her; they were the last words of a dead man. He could make his peace in the next life, if there was one.

No longer able to crawl along the pipes because none of them led into the armory, she swung down and, cat-like, she dropped onto the officer’s table by the door. The room was a bloody mess. Whoever was on duty at the time of the breach didn’t last long: their blood splattered the walls and streaked the floor leading back out. They must have been dragged along, a meal on the go.

Shavian slid to the edge of the desk, her feet perched on either side of the corner, as if spending so much time in the air made her uncomfortable to walk on the floor like a normal person. She could see him moving along the back of the room. Pulling the gun from the waistband of her medical scrubs she kissed the top of the barrel. Then slowly, one boot at a time she slipped down onto the blood stained ground.

Moving through the broken security doors she walked heel to toe for the back of the locker room. There he waited for her to finish this. She’s careful to step over fallen rifles and lose grenades left in a mad scramble to arm the doomed living.

Stepping around the corner, Jackson turned wide-eyed as the redhead walked towards him, her pistol raised, centered on his forehead. She has him dead to rights, and she liked the sound of that. Still she didn’t pull the trigger. Falling backwards, Jackson raised his newly acquired rifle and pulled the trigger. It was pointed right at her chest.

The click was loud, but not as loud as the gunshot that didn’t come. Jackson looked at the rifle in disbelief trying to understand what had just happened. What could have possibly gone wrong?

Shavian smiled. “Thank you,” she said. Lowering her gun she pulled the trigger. Unlike his rifle, Higgins’ gun fired, the bullet seeking true, searching to end the bastard that killed its owner. It would have killed him too, if the Baron didn’t stepped between them. The undead Brit took the bullet right in the chest, through the velvet jacket. “This is becoming a bloody habit,” he muttered darkly.

Jackson didn’t need a second miracle to know what to do. He ran, diving through the door before Shavian knew what was happening.

“No!” she shrieked, “Why!” She tried to chase after him, but the Baron took her by the shoulder and pushed her roughly into a shelf.

“No, no, no, it was mine, I had him,” she muttered, not even caring about anything else. She laid against the shelf, limp, only held up by the undead man’s grip on her. “Why?” she whispered.

“Much like your lord,” he smiled with his gray teeth, “I work in mysterious ways.”


Book 1

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