WHO Charlie Harper and Aaron Kent. WHAT Charlie gets in over her head and brings home another stray. WHEN Backdated to mid morning 2/27. WHERE Fabric store in Ossining and Sing Sing. STATUS Complete.
It was dangerous to even think about leaving the safety of the prison walls. It wasn’t as if people thought little fairies were going to bring in supplies but they just couldn’t think of themselves going out to get what everyone needed. There weren’t that many people that were willing to venture out more than once in a blue moon. Even less with family to care if they returned or not. Although there would always be friends that did. It was the family that made it harder each time those fences opened.
Unfortunately it wasn’t enough for Charlie to put her days of looting behind her. It didn’t matter if she found herself helping in the infirmary or even if she was given a more time consuming job. It was more than just looking for items. It was looking for a bit of the world left behind by this Outbreak.
She stepped out of the prison with two other men. They were mostly going along to help her bring things back if they were to find anything useful as well as be back up with the infected dogs around.
Sneaking carefully through the city she didn’t look back to see if the two men were far behind. If she had taken up the rear she would be making sure to keep up. She expected nothing less from the two people the volunteered to go along with her this time. She was just about to turn a corner when she heard an all too familiar sound and quite a few of them. She didn’t have time to check the store they were at, she just had to get off the streets. She motioned for the guys to hide as well as she went in through a broke store window. They were too separated for them all to end up in the same spot. She found herself hoping that the two of them stuck together at least. It would be easier for them to get their asses back to the prison.
She quietly and carefully started to move away from the window. Her heart was pounding so loud that she thought that it would attract the walkers passing in front of the store. She kept moving her gaze back to the window. She could only see a handful of them slowly moving across the window to the other side of the street. It wasn’t as many as she thought there would be. It would be make it easy for her to get around them they were far enough.
Staying as quiet as she could she started looking around the store. She spotted some denim sheets of fabric at the end of one of the aisles. She took another careful look around before walking down the the store aisle. She was about half way down when she heard the front door bell jiggle. Then the loud groaning of the undead as they came running towards her.
She ran down the aisle, grabbing the rolled up sheet of denim and into the small closet it was in front of. She didn’t have time to get the door completely shut before the group of undead started pushing against.
The door, broken off it’s hinges was stuck in a slanted position. She was curled up in a ball under the door as the zombie hands tried to get to her. She didn’t even think about dying. She thought of Zach, Maddie, DJ, and Remy never knowing what happened to her.
Aaron had lost count of the days he had spent on the road since leaving Quantico and Virginia behind. And even though he had left his friends and fellow Marines behind, he couldn’t just sit there and keep taking orders from a corrupt government that was enslaving those who couldn’t be infected by this zombie virus. It wasn’t right and he had made an oath to defend the people of the nation against all threats. Even the domestic ones. So leaving the base had been an easy decision. Figuring out where to go after? Not so much. But when rumors of a resistance based near New York reached him, he had changed his course and headed north.
He flicked the butt of the cigarette he had been smoking out of the window and frowned when he noticed a group of the walking dead surrounding some sort of store. He eased the humvee to a stop and frowned. The only times he had seen them act like that was around live people. Instinct to help kicked in and the mechanic pulled himself into the back of the humvee and stood out of the gun turret. Taking aim, he depressed the trigger and began mowing the zombies down in short spurts, making sure they stayed down. When most of the numbers were manageable, he slid back into the driver’s seat and drove up to the door of the store. He got out of the vehicle and shut the door, taking the keys with him so no other poaching humans could take his car. He had put a lot of work into after all, welding bars onto the windows and making sure the armor plating was holding.
Bringing his M4 up from the webbing, he slowly but quickly made his way through the store, doing his best to not make a sound. Hearing more grunts and groans, he moved towards the source and caught sight of a group of dead trying to get through a broken door. He gave a sharp whistle to draw their attention and began firing shots at their heads. While he was no sniper he was a good marksman, especially at this range. Once the zombies were down he made his way forward slowly, drawing his Beretta and putting a bullet into the heads just for safe measure.
At the door, he stopped and stood on the other side, his back to the wall next to the door. “Anyone alive in there?” he called out. “I’m a friendly.”
When Charlie had been running towards it she thought that maybe it was a back room or a bathroom. She didn't expect the teeniest of closet but she should be thankful. If it were any bigger the zombies would be crawling to the space on the side of the door. There was barely enough room for their dead hands to bend.
Her likely ending? Starving to death. Unless one of the big, ass zombies decided to show their face and crush her. It would probably be a more painless ending for her.
She didn't want to risk a scratch so she pulled her limbs in close. Almost in a little ball in the center of the broken down door. She closed her eyes and pressed her head against her knees as her hands covered her ears. The sounds of the dead trying to get at her wasn't exactly what she wanted to hear.
Don’t think about here. Don’t think about here.
She squeezed her eyes tightly.
Even if she was going to die in a closet she didn’t want to die there. She thought about being with Marcus. She thought about his arms around her as they sat on their front porch. She was there. She was safe and happy and none of this was happening. Zachary was saving lives, Maddie decided on a rainbow color this time, and DJ was thinking about how he was going to introduce his new girlfriend to their parents. Sasha and Gordy weren’t dead and everything was how it should be.
It wasn’t death. It wasn’t like this.
Suddenly the sound of gunfire snapped Charlie out of her mental reality. The growling of the undead had stopped and a male voice was like an angel chorus to her ears.
“I’m here,” she cried out from the closet. “I’m over here. Please, is there really someone out there?”
Hearing a voice from behind the door, Aaron let a slow breath out. She sounded okay. He just hoped she really was okay and hadn’t been injured by the undead fuckers. Keeping a hold on his assault rifle, he did his best to make his voice non-threatening but still a bit commanding. Just because these zombies were dead didn’t mean there weren’t more on the way.
“Yeah, there is. Name’s Aaron. And as much fun as it is talking through a door to you, I’d rather get the hell back to my ride with you and get the fuck outta dodge. What d’you say?” he called over to her. And unless she forced him away he wasn’t going to abandon her in the room she had barred herself in.
Ejecting the empty magazine from his rifle, he pocketed the empty clip and slammed a new one home and undid the safety. “C’mon. We can find a safe place for the night if we have to that isn’t a half crushed door.”
As he waited for her to enter, he glanced down at his clothing. He had several pairs of camouflage uniforms ranging from black, to desert, to snow, to green as well as a few combat boots and socks. The only thing he had kept on his uniform had been his rank of sergeant (he had received the stripe for it a few months before he had gone AWOL) and the strip of his last name, Kent. Other than that he had done his best to remove traces of it being a Marine uniform. It was a hard thing to do as he had come to love being a Marine, but with the way the government was, not everyone liked people associated with them.
There was a little bit a fear even though the undead that wanted to eat her were all killed. It wasn't believe the gunfire was more than likely to bring more of the undead.
This man was a stranger, he had saved her but he was still a stranger. She was thankful that he was there to save her but that didn't change the fact that he was a stranger. Sing Sing track record with new, strange people hadn't been doing too well.
She was quiet for a second as she thought of what to do. He already knew that she was there. If he wanted she could be easily overpowered but she didn't want to think about that. She took a breath as she kicked the door out of the way. Crawling out of the closet she looked up at Charlie. "I'm Charlie," she said as she reached up to touch a sore spot on her head. The door must have hit her as the zombies broke it down. There was a little bit of blood on the tip of her fingers.
Shit, Zach was going to kill her.
"I'm not alone," she said quickly. Almost as if it was a way of tell him not to try anything. She looked over to the window. She hoped that they were alright. They were probably hiding from the gunfire. It was better for them to wait to spot something than to come running in. She didn't blame them, she wouldn't come running in either.
She slowly walked over to the door and to him.
He watched carefully as she crawled out and his eyes swept her exposed skin for any bites. Not seeing any, he lowered the rifle some and nodded. “We shouldn’t linger here though. More might be on the way and my humvee’s right outside and well armored. They can’t get in it.”
Seeing the red on her fingers, he tugged a single packet of gauze out from one of his vest pockets and held it out to her. “I know my word means jack shit given you know know me, but I ain’t gonna hurt you Charlie.” He glanced around the store and looked back at her. “So. Coming with me to the humvee or staying in a wide open space?”
He arched a brow, waiting to see her reaction of what she would do. Whatever she decided on he’d respect.
Charlie took the gauze from him and pressed it hard against her head. "Thanks," she said quietly.
At least he was right about that. She had no way of trusting him but she didn't have much of a choice after all that gunfire.
"Is there room in there for three?" she asked before deciding if she was coming. She would risk walking or, in this case, running back if there wasn't. Just as she was asking about the humvee the two young men that were with her came running in. They were ready to beat the crap out of whatever they found in the shop.
They stopped dead when they saw the pile of zombies Aaron had killed. Shocked they stood there trying to figure out what was going on.
She smiled lightly as she looked at them, "Because I'm not leaving without them." In a word she was definitely willing to go with him in the humvee. She just didn't know how welcome he would be at Sing Sing. Everyone was still recovering from the last group of strangers. She wasn't sure they wanted more.
She mentally cringed as she knew what she had to do.
“We have a place,” she said rolling her eyes at herself, “and it’s not too far from here. Sing Sing.”
Before he could answer that there was he heard movement and he whipped around, his rifle coming to bear as he focused on the two men that had charged in. When they didn’t seem to be too much of a threat, he lowered the M4 a little before he glanced over at Charlie and her words of not leaving without them. “There’s enough room,” he returned. He started for the door when he stopped at her next words. Sing Sing. Of course. What better place to hole up during all this? Thick walls, thick doors, barbed wire fences... It was probably better than a military base.
“Next stop Sing Sing then,” he returned. In a bit of a display of trust, Aaron slipped by the two men who had charged in and headed cautiously out to the humvee. Glancing around once at the store door, he moved forward to the doors and unlocked the driver’s door before he quickly did the same to the rest of the doors.
“All aboard who’s coming aboard,” he said. He stayed out of the humvee, his gun scanning the area so that the three were covered when they headed for the humvee. Once they were all in he headed to Sing Sing.