Two weeks after the incident with the restoration movement and almost everyone in the camp had settled into a comfortable routine. Everyone that is, except me, Kurt, Tiffany, Dom, Jacob and the new kid, Nickolai. Tiffany had apparently been talked out of her idea of heading west due to her "condition," but she had confided in me that the first chance she got, she was out of here. It came as a surprise to me to find out that both Tiffany and Amanda were pregnant and it only added to my sense of unease. I couldn't put a finger on why I was so nervous, until I did an inventory of our supplies. I did some quick maths, and then asked Dom to check my figures. We both came to the same conclusion and unless we made a supply run... Well, let's say we would be faced with making a decision on some questionable survival techniques.
There were other reasons, of course.
When I finished my patrol of the fence that evening, I went in search of Major Noose and her parents, the unquestioned leaders of our little enclave. Before I went inside, I scouted out the bug out bus we had brought from my old shelter and found it was still fully stocked with food, but stripped of guns and ammo. I didn't turn in my Colt Python at the end of the shift, a mandatory requirement for guard duty, and went straight for the house to continue the hunt for the Major and her parents. I had to stop several times to rest—I didn't want my breath to be too laborious when I spoke to the Major.
I found them sitting at a table in the kitchen, talking about a section of fence that needed repairing. That was another thing that made me uncomfortable. I could understand the whole "my house, my rules" mentality, but there was just something so secretive about it all. Sure, Major Noose kept me in the loop, but every decision that affected the camp was made by three people behind closed doors and I felt that the Major wasn't been fully truthful with me. I got the impression that she had used me to get back to her kids. Add to that the fact that our weapons were taken off us at the end of every "shift" of patrolling the fence and that no one was allowed outside the perimeter unless they were accompanied by one of these three people. They claimed it was for security- to prevent any new members calling up others that were hidden in the woods and bringing them back to overwhelm the camp.
A sensible move, I'd admit, if it were not for the fact that everyone had been inside the wire for two or more weeks and not one person had made any attempt to get in contact with anyone outside the fence. Also, Major Noose knew that Kurt and I were not travelling with anyone except for Dom and Jacob. She had made sure of that by scouting us out for the last three miles we travelled to Harrisburg.
Then there was Aaron Rothchild- a total roid maniac who looked big enough and crazy enough to give a beat down to a charging bull and walk away with no injuries. Tiffany had told me she had seen him before when we had bugged out of our shelter. He was the soldier who had thrown the grenade that had sent me flying into the wall and knocked me out, forcing Uncle Jeb to drive me to the medical clinic in Jesmond.
If I am honest, the whole thing made me uneasy. I was standing at the door to the kitchen, about to enter, when I realised that the conversation had changed from the fence to something a bit more interesting.
"... then there is the food issue," Major Noose's mother said.
"What about it?" Major Noose asked.
"Someone was in the store room last night."
"And you are scared they will realise that we are running low on food?" Major Noose asked.
There was a prolonged silence until Major Noose chuckled darkly.
"Your little plan to build up an army to use as a defence against the zombies and restoration movement is now falling apart because you miscalculated the food and water you needed. Jesus. What did I say? Stock up. Be prepared for a long hard winter."
"We need a plan- a proper plan," the Major's mother said, ignoring her daughter's outburst.
"Let me guess, you are going to suggest we follow your raiding plan?" the Major's father said.
"Yes. We need to thin out our numbers. If some were to die while out of scavenging missions, let's say, having to be put down due to infection, I don't think anyone would dig too much?"
I didn't stick around to hear any more.
"You be sure about what you heard?" Dom asked through a haze of herb smoke.
"Positive," I replied.
Tiffany swore violently and started to pace the floor. I could understand why she was annoyed. She had just about escaped with her life from the last bunch of survivors who wanted to kill her for being a "rebel," now she was with another bunch that wanted to kill her for being another mouth to feed- and would probably end up eating her.
"How much?" Nickolai asked.
"How much food in store?" he clarified.
"If everyone eats the bare minimum, enough for two months. Enough water for ten weeks."
"So, vhat is plan?"
It took a week to fully implement. There were four groups of seven and they had a two week on, two week off rotation for watch duty- the elderly members of the group were exempt. Slowly, we began to return our weapons later and later. By the end of the week, we had managed to get up to half an hour before anyone came looking for us.
We had also managed to gather some information. We confirmed that Aaron Rothchild was indeed one of the soldiers who had been with Major Noose when she had attacked us several weeks previous and that he had come to this location on her orders. We had also learned that attacks on the perimeter fence were becoming more frequent. Whenever I, or any other member of what I was starting to call my team, were on guard duty, there was someone else further out between the first and second fences so the breaching zombies never got as far as us. Whenever one of the other teams were on duty, they used silenced weapons so we never heard the gunshot.
Finally, thanks to Kurt, we managed to gain entry to the armoury. They used a combination lock on the door, and while they were locking it one day, Kurt glimpsed the combination. They never considered the fact that he was spying. I mean, who thinks that a fourteen year old boy swinging from a tree branch is trying to see the combination to a locked door leading to a load of guns?
When I woke up the morning our plan was about to be put into effect, I woke up to find Kurt nuzzling into me. When I opened my eyes and smiled at him, he kissed me.
"What was that for?" I laughed as he moved onto kissing my neck.
"I'm feeling adventurous," he murmured into my collar bone as he straddled me.
I smiled, and pulled him into a hug. I kissed the top of his head.
"Ha ha. Do you think now is the right time?" I asked.
"Now is the perfect time," he grinned, and resumed his kissing.
"He is right. It is the perfect time," David murmured.
I froze. Kurt didn't seem to notice as he traced kisses down my chest.
"What the hell are you doing here?" I hissed mentally.
"You are very, very nervous. You know, Dom was right. You need to loosen up. Don't deny that you are enjoying what Kurt is doing. Let it progress to its natural conclusion. It always helped you relax before."
I growled in anger at David. Kurt seemed to take it that I liked the fact he was kissing my chest.
"He is a kid, David."
"True, but come on, it's just kissing at the moment. You don't have to go any further, but you know you want too. And you lost your virginity when you were thirteen, or had you forgotten?"
By now, Kurt was kissing my navel, and his hands were descending dangerously low. David started imagining all sorts of situations, and all sorts of things that I could do to Kurt. I pulled Kurt's hands away from where they were heading.
"I won't go there, so don't even bother trying to tempt me," I snarled at David.
Kurt pouted up at me and slid up to kiss me on the lips.
"It was just getting to the fun part," he whispered into my ear.
"Let's leave the fun until later," I whispered back. Like three or four years later, I thought.
Kurt nuzzled into me again as I wrapped my arms around him. We just lay there for a few minutes, Kurt absently drawing shapes on my chest. I focused on every movement of his finger. Kurt is real. Kurt is solid. David is not real. I kept up this mantra until Kurt spoke.
"I'm scared," he said in a small voice.
"I know so am I," I replied.
"Then why do we have to leave?" Kurt whispered.
"Because we have to. Pretty soon, we will have to go scouting for supplies. Major Noose and her parents plan to kill some people to thin out the population. Even if we survive, but run out of supplies again, well, we may have to resort to the same food source as the zombies."
This made Kurt shiver. I pulled him tighter and caught his lips in a kiss. David was right about one thing- I didn't have to go further than kissing with Kurt. He was also wrong about something else- a Kurt kiss helped me relax a lot quicker than going the whole way with Richard ever did.
The nods I got would have been imperceptible to anyone not looking for them, or would have been viewed as friendly greetings by anyone who saw them. We were sitting in the large living area with about ten other people, including Amanda and Major Noose. Of course, Major Noose's trained eye picked up on the bulge of guns beneath clothing. She stood up.
"What is going on?" she demanded quietly, catching everyone's attention. I stood to face her, and my 'team' presented arms. I had a whole speech prepared.
"Owing to the current supply of food running low, and knowing that removing certain people from the equation is being planned by our leadership, I, and several others, have decided to remove ourselves from this base before the fatal measures being planned by the big three are put into play."
"What are you talking about?" Major Noose demanded in a calm voice, but her mask slipped for a second.
"Oh, you know Major. A little chat around the kitchen table ring any bells? Starting with a fence you were supposed to fix and then progressing onto talking about killing people?" I asked.
"W- what's going on?" Amanda asked.
"It appears that Major Noose has being playing us. Take Aaron over here," I said, indicating a well muscled roid-monkey whose biceps excluded shirts from his wardrobe.
"He would have us believe that he staggered here from Baton Rouge. Thanks to Tiffany, I now know that he is the soldier who lobbed a grenade at me that landed me in a hospital in Jesmond. Add to that the fact 'his' hunting rifle is inscribed 'Joseph Woodward,' it is in fact my grandfathers. You see, the Major and her parents have being stocking this location for some time. The Major convinced her troops that it would be a secure location, so they raided several farms and doomsday prepares bug out locations, transported the supplies here and were planning to use the civilians as human shields."
The room was silent.
"What? Not even going to deny it?" I asked Major Noose.
"You are far too clever. I should have shot you when we ran into that crazed priest. I had the chance," she spat.
"Then why didn't you?" I asked. I know we should have gone before reinforcements arrived, but I was curious. She smiled.
"You are far too proficient with a gun to waste, even if at times you are a mincing queen."
"Honey, I never mince. I may occasionally swish, but I never mince," I said in my best camp voice.
Thats when the guns started firing from outside.
Fuck! Fuck! FUCK! I thought as I shot at another armed guard. The bullet lodged in his shin, sending him sprawling. I grabbed Kurt, and we darted through the opening the fallen guard had left, Kurt ducking to pick up the gun he had dropped. One of the Majors sons shot at us with a twelve gage, but he was far enough away for it to be ineffective. I shot back at him wildly, and he ducked behind a tree. I heard him fire at something, but I didn't really care what.
Tiffany and Nickolai not too far behind. Amanda was not too far behind them, but I had always planned on bringing her with us. I had sure as hell dropped enough hints as to what we were planning during the week.
I knew we should have just got the hell out, but my God damn curiosity at Major Noose's reaction and the fact that we needed time to load Dom onto the bus had given the guards time to react to the silent alarm Major Noose had triggered. Thankfully, Jacob had driven the bus around to the front of the house so the guards were pinned between two fields of fire. We had injured enough of them by the time I made a dash for the bus that only Major Noose was firing at us from out a window, and Dom was keeping enough fire coming from his carbine that she was of no real threat.
Once everyone was on board, Jacob hit the gas and we were flying through the first gate. No doubt it would screw up the axels, but right then and there I didn't care. As I looked out the back window, I realised that the Major and her parents must not have fixed the broken fence, because the place was swarming with z-heads. The guard that I had shot in the shin tried to crawl away as three zombies descended on him.
"Stop the bus," I called, and Jacob slammed on the breaks.
"Who we forget?" Dom demanded.
I popped the back door just in time to hear the crippled guard squeal in terror as the three zombies landed on top of him. The squeal turned into a full blown scream of pain as one z-head ripped off his chin and lower lip, another gorged on his stomach and the third started savaging his leg. There was frantic firing on all sides as the group we were leaving fell apart, totally ignoring us. I couldn't see Major Noose, nor her parents, nor Aaron the roid monkey anywhere. One of the Majors sons, Matthew, the youngest, appeared out of nowhere. He had no gun and he had a frantic look in his eyes. I grabbed him, hauled him on board and told Jacob to hit it. We weren't going to save anyone else here.
Authors Note: A big thank you to the following people—Prefers Fiction, little let, Kitty and Kat, z-headfan, et al for your reviews and character / song suggestions. Zombie Killing Song: The Walking Dead by Spinnerette.