Chapter 9: The Broadcast
Lee leaned against the wall as Anna ate some peanut butter and crackers with a cold glass of powdered milk. She knew it wasn't the best for breakfast, but Anna had to get whatever vitamins Officer Guntzen's food selection would allow. She munched with a numb feel to her. The officer held a gun leveled on them, as if a four year old and a wounded woman could do anything... Thinking of wounds, Lee rubbed her shoulder gently. It was bruised and stiff and she wondered how much longer she would be able to move it. Her knee was already stiff and hard to walk on, so she had no objections to him making her stay against the wall, took the pressure off her knee though a chair would have been much better.
"Alright, you're done." Officer Guntzen grumbled.
"But I'm still--" Anna started.
"You're. Done." He said as he started towards her. Lee knelt down and Anna ran into her arms. In the middle of the night, the bastard had come in and taken the stuffed animal from her. Who knows where that bunny was now...
"You prick... she's four! Her belly isn't all that big, so let her eat until she's full! Are you going to deprive a child and possibly kill them just because you can?"
"You don't even know why I'm doing this."
"Then tell me! If you haven't noticed," Lee started as she stood up, Anna clinging to her leg. She didn't have the strength to pick her up, "the world has gone to hell outside and trust issues are going to kill you!" She thought back to Sarah. She didn't believe Lee and had gone back and alerted the horde. He stared at her. She ran a hand through her hair as she took a deep breath. "I just want to find a way to contact my husband, get him to bring a hummer, and roll over those mother fuckers so we can get out of here." She waited for the officer to say something.
"Can you even pick her up?" He motioned to Anna. Lee looked at Anna and sank to the ground.
"I've... been through a good beating..." She rubbed her face as Anna hugged her around the neck.
"... Come on." He turned around and started to the door. Lee pulled herself up slowly, using the wall for support as she lifted Anna into the air. She winced as Anna's foot hit her knee but she ignored it the best she could. She followed him and noticed he didn't go down to the cells. She furrowed her brow and followed him. He turned the light on in another room and Lee noticed it was a medical bay. She looked around, blinking. "Let me see your shoulder. It might be dislocated and if you don't relocate it, you could cause permanent damage."
Lee set Anna down and the little girl ran to a chair in the corner of the room. She unbuttoned the jumper and pulled her arm up, holding the fabric over her chest for modesty. It had been a pain, but she did it. "Are you medically trained? Military or otherwise?"
"I was a doctor for the Army before I... retired."
"Don't give me a G.I. Cocktail..."
"What does your husband do for the military?" He said as he tested her shoulder's mobility, feeling and poking.
Lee spoke through the pain, "A navy doctor. He got called out here last minute and had to get the next flight in. They said he would be here for about a week."
"That so? Why are you here?"
"I had flown up to see him on your wedding anniversary but all this stuff came crashing down and I couldn't leave..."
"I see... Now, this is going to hurt, a lot." He put his hand on her back while the other was on her bad shoulder and with a sharp push and a sicking pop, pain flooded into Lee's shoulders. She screamed, her body jerking in pain as she tried to double over. He held her up. "Keep it together... I will get you some pain medication." He said as she turned to the cabinet. Pain had made her see double and Anna was by her side, her hands clutching to the jumper's pants leg. She was silent but worried.
"Definitely... Army..." Lee muttered, holding her shoulder. At least it didn't hurt like before... Officer Guntzen returned with a cup with different pills in it. "I said I don't--"
"You either take the G.I. Cocktail and get over the pain, or deal with the pain while you work."
"Work? What the hell--"
"Medical will have standard issue radios that should be on the same channel. They are dispatched with fighting personal to broadcasts from shelter locations. This was one of them." He went to the door and opened it. "If your husband is really a doctor for the military, he'll hear your broadcast."
"Why are you suddenly not being a dick?" Lee asked as she started to pick Anna up.
"I want you all out of here as soon as humanly possible..."
"Why not just kick us out then?"
"... I can't do that to a kid."
"So if we didn't have Anna we'd be back out there?"
"... I would have let you keep your weapons and food." He said with a shrug.
"You said this is a shelter location. Why would you kick us out? You make no sense."
"I didn't ask to come here, and I didn't want any part of it. After it all started, people trickled in, but they were all infected. I lost hope and decided to just stay here until the helicopters came to get me."
"Why can't we stay with you? And help you?"
"Cause there isn't enough food..." He said as he opened another door. Radio static poured into the hallway. "This is the broadcast radio. You can use it and try to get your husband... maybe they will send rescue sooner." He said as Lee walked in. Without warning, the door slammed behind them and locked.
Lee grabbed the handle and jerked it. It had a key hole on the inside so one could lock the door from either side. "No! Please don't leave us in here!" She called and was only answered with a booming echo. She covered her ears and closed here eyes. She was only slightly claustrophobic. She turned to the radio where a note for how to report was placed. She slowly sat down as she looked over the controls. She took a deep breath and pushed the button. "Chris... if you can hear this... it's Lee... you know... your wife... I... I never got the plane... Andrea and James is with me... and this adorable angel named Anna... We're at the prison... We need help..." She released the button and listened to the static. She felt tears come to her eyes and her voice got shaky as she pushed the button again. "Chris... please... come help us... I..." She sniffled and gave a small sob. "I'm scared..."
When Officer Guntzen returned to Andrea and James in the cells and didn't have Lee with them, she jumped up and grabbed the bars. "You sick pig, what did you do to them!"
"I put them to work."
"Sending out broadcasts to get rescue here. If her husband is in town, he'll hear her—assuming he isn't dead already." He said as he went to unlock the door. With the dead comment, Andrea's hand shot out and grabbed him by the collar. With a jerk, she brought his head crashing into the bars. When his hands let to of the key and he stumbled back, Andrea threw the lock and slid the door open. James kicked part of the door and the magnetic lock popped open, the door sliding open slightly. He threw the door back and grabbed the officer around the neck in a chock hold. He struggled, his hands flailing.
"Put him in one of the cells." Andrea said and James did as he was asked. When the door closed, Officer Guntzen got to his feet, a protest bubbling in his throat as she started to get his breathing back. "Shut up. This is what you deserve for firing a gun at a kid!" She said as she started down the hall again.