Dex crept along the hallways and found a bottle in the front room and smashed it so that he had a weapon. And the fire that he was planning to set had a bit of ammunition.
He searched his belt for the lighter that he kept tucked in there. He had stopped smoking after his divorce ironically enough but he always kept a lighter because out of that and duct tape; there was more chances that he needed to use the lighter. He didn't take notes but he did spend a week on the job carrying both in his pocket and during a job he had only pulled the duct tape out once and the lighter 89 times.
Of course he was trapped in a cave in so maybe that didn't count.
He grabbed the lighter and prepared to light it.
"Um…what are you doing?"
He turned to see a kid standing there.
Oh yeah, there was a possibility of reproducing, he never considered that it would actually happen.
He put his hands up in a surrender position, she was old enough to know what her friends and family were doing, she would really hate it for the people that had to take in this little tyke.
"I'm not going to hurt you," He said, "I'm just trying to find my friends and find a phone and leave."
"We don't have one."
Wonderful. Did she really think that he was anywhere near stupid enough to fall for that? He had common sense; he grew up in the country for heaven's sake. He knew how to use his brain.
"Seriously kiddo?" he asked and walked towards her with a tilted head, "Then what are the phone lines outside all about?"
The child's face darkened and there was a blade in her hand before he could blink. He dodged out of the way, grabbed the little tyke's wrist and swung her so that she fell in the closet and he barricaded her in.
He looked at the cut on his hand and wiped his hand on his pants, "Seriously, how many people are living here?"
She slammed her fists against the door on the other side of the closet.
"And what's with the psychotic tendencies!" he muttered, "Is it something in the water?"
The nature vs. nurture philosophers in the offices were going to have a field day when they read the weekly reports about this one.
He looked down on the floor to see that the girl had dropped the knife. Oh good, that meant that he had a weapon that he felt more equipped to hold. He hated using broken bottles when dealing with a backside kicking. The first time that he did, the bottle crumbled under his grip and had given him so many lacerations that his hand was still covered in scars. He hadn't been able to bend it for weeks. They were even worried that he'd never been able to use his hand properly again.
And now here he was, fighting off little children with the same thing just waiting to happen.
Oh how he loved knives better.
Wait that sounded wrong. They were better at stabbing people and not hurting him.
Oh wonderful, that just made him sound even more like a sadistic monster. He needed a vacation and after today, he had better get it.
Eventually. He knew they were still going to insist that he watch over Dani and put it off.
He better get a vacation in the next five years that was a goal he could hold them to couldn't he?
He doubted they would. If there was anything councils and boards and superiors were good at it wasn't giving the people that knew what they were doing any leniency. They were far better than understanding the poor unfortunate souls of the mooks that they strived to bleed dry and milk for all they were worth.
Oh they weren't that bad. They gave him a lot of leniency when it came to dealing with his team and the day to day operations that they usually didn't care about unless something went wrong.
He was just tired. It was hard running from vicious possible cannibals who probably wanted to kill him for no good reason other than trespassing.
That vacation was really sounding better and better the more that he thought of it.
Anyway, he walked to where he dropped the lighter and picked it up. He'd have to start his fire away from the closet. He may not like little psychotic children but killing them wasn't something that he was going to let himself do. Not all his morals were gone.
He pocketed the small flame holder and started towards the outside. He knew, he'd start the forest on fire. At least a little. Maybe give the indication that the forest was on fire while keeping it all controlled until help arrived.
If he couldn't find a phone then he was going to need a better signal anyway.
0000000000000000000000000000 0000000000000000000000000000 00000000000
"So I think that it's time we talk about that whole zombie thing," Sco said as they walked through the halls.
"Oh, this again," she muttered, her dark hair bouncing off her neck as she strutted.
"Yes this again, I take offense that you thought I could take on fifty zombies in one room. And we're not talking about the class D kind that are dimwits, I'm talking about the class A kind that race at you with nearly inhuman speed and have a pack like mentality and try to separate the weakest part of the group from the pain part of the group and it's hard when the only member of the back in the area!"
"Well you survived, didn't you?" she asked.
"Barely! And no one believed I got out of that in one piece. I spent a week in a tank to sense deprivation that made sure that I wasn't infected."
"Well, how on earth is it my fault that your team can't look at your skin and decide if you're infected or not?!"
"I had a lot of lacerations."
"There's a difference between laceration and bite marks."
"How would you know?"
She shrugged, "Hurting people is my job, I have to pay attention to what kinds of weapons cause different kinds of wounds. Sometimes my employers are specific to what they want and sometimes I Have to tell them that their weapons of choice won't work with their goals because the weapons they want me to use leave specific wounds that would give them away. Possibly."
"Do you get a bonus with that advice?"
"Sometimes," she said proudly, "And other times I get told to go do other things. And when that happens I get up and leave and tell their enemies what they hired me to do and offer their services to them."
"I have a reputation that specifically says that I don't align myself to anyone."
"There's a first chance for everything," she shrugged, "And I don't see why you're complaining, you survived the zombies, didn't you?"
She didn't wait for an answer before she continued, "Yes, you did! So stop complaining, you don't see me holding your crimes above your head. Trying to assault me, trying to murder me, putting me on death row...and I really don't know why we're having this conversation again."
"Maybe we'll stop having it when you apologize to me for trying to kill me because your boss said to and apologize to Anna for the bomb and the elevator shaft."
"Well maybe it's a good thing that I'm here because I'll teach her how to protect herself and not have to rely on you lot and save her a bundle on the therapy bills that she'll no doubt have."
"The last thing anyone in this world needs is having you as a mentor."
"To be honest, I'm surprised that you're still complaining about things that happened years and or months ago. I mean you haven't even figured out what I've done recently."
"What do you mean recently?"
"OH I might've found a way out of my cell, moved your things around in your room and in your office"
He stopped, "That was YOU?!"
"I don't know what you're talking about."
"You just said-."
"Still don't know what you're talking about," she said quickly, "Oh hey, you're bellowing looks like you attracted company."
Three more stood at the other end of the hall.
"Harps and haloes," Sco muttered, "How many of these people are there?"
He wanted to make a crack about the country again but realized that it was probably going to be in bad taste.
Sco looked at Dani, "Are you with me on this?"
"I might as well be," she said, "The exit is that way."
"Alright," Sco muttered and cracked his knuckles, "Let's go get this done."
The first one charged and Dani started forward and slammed her foot in his chest. Taking him down with one blow. The other one started forward and Sco ran forward, leapt in the air and drove his fist down against the man's face. The man recovered, grabbed Sco by his neck and slammed him against the wall.
The third one came at Dani swung his fist and Dani ducked, rolled, and moved so that she was standing behind him and kicked him in the kidney before he had a chance to turn around. Dani barely had time to move as someone opened the door in front of her and nearly hit her with the door. She stood on one foot and slammed her other foot in the door and connected with someone, "OW!"
That 'ow' sounded horribly familiar.
Dani pulled the door open and looked at Dex, "Hey Dex, sorry about that."
He muttered under his breath and rubbed his face, "Thank you very much for that Danielle."
She grabbed him by his neck and yanked him forward just in time to avoid his head getting opened with an axe and she grabbed the axe from his hands, flipped it around and buried it in the attacker's hip.
They both looked over to Sco who held the man in a full nelson.
"Sco," Dex said and nodded, "You can let him go now."
"Right," he said and released his opponent.
"Well," Dani said, "Let's burn this place down."
"We can't," Dex said.
"Oh, is this something that's gonna come back on me because I am just gonna let you know that it was all Sco's idea."
Sco shrugged, "I was desperate, we hadn't seen you."
"No," Dex said and put his hands in his pocket, "We're going to go find Anna and then we're going to set the car on fire and use that as a distraction to take off."
"Yeah, if Anna hasn't fixed the car and driven off already."
Sco frowned, "Do you think that could really happen?"
"She grew up as a grease monkey," Dani said.
"Yeah right," Sco muttered.
Dani shrugged, "She did."
"How would you know that and I wouldn't?"
"Because I study my enemies and I know more about you than you could ever hope to know about yourself," Dani said, "What do you know about me, sunshine? Other than what you've reminded me about constantly since we've been in each other's company?"
"I-you…" he muttered, "Shut up, we gotta get to Anna."
"Right," Dani reached down and grabbed the axe, "Well you can get machetes and scythes and rope and shotguns but you can't hack the classics."
"Do I want to know the next sentence that's gonna come out of your mouth?" Dex asked.
"Probably not, but I'm going to say it anyway," she smirked, "My first weapon of choice was an axe."
"Is that even the truth?" Dex asked, "Once you told me that your first weapon of choice was a ping pong ball and a paperclip."
She shrugged, "Well one of them is the truth at the end of the day, isn't it?"
"And either one of them could be lies."
"Well, you know what they say!" she said, "A little unpredictability is good for a person."
She threw the axe at the wall and watched it embed, "Good! It works!"
She pried it from the wall and twirled it, "Let's go. I imagine that if they haven't found Anna yet, they're about to."
Anna did not have nightmares. In fact, she barely even dreamed if she went to sleep willingly. She had started her work for the team when she was fifteen years old and her first night in the tech room, she'd gotten kidnapped. It was a spy that was pretending to flirt with her in order to get information and when she got the call, he'd tried to make off with her. But not before he kicked her in the abdomen and she hit her head and knocked herself out. She was immediately saved by an eighteen year told Sco and that was how they started their friendship that had lasted for years.
Only friendship though. Like someone like him could ever hope to fall for someone as distressed and geeky as she usually was. What kind of woman would he like? Oh, probably a mix of Dani without the psychosis and a female version of Dex without the older age and relationship problems.
But anyway, long story short, when she hit her head she'd gotten a concussion that affected her brain…
…and the injection that the villain gave her probably didn't help matters….
…but she couldn't dream now. At least not when she fell asleep willingly. It was usually a dreamless sleep and while she felt rested, she knew she was missing out. And she used to have such fascinating dreams. One of her favorites was watching Brad Pitt and Johnny Depp fighting for her on a ship before they all somehow transferred into a grocery store and raced around with her in the cart.
And then they all turned into beans. It was such a bizarre thing but at least someone was going to fight for her. Even if she was dreaming when it happened, but now that was gone and so she was stuck without even those to comfort her.
But this was different. Whenever she was attacked and whenever someone hurt her or knocked her out then she'd dream. And those dreams that she had were always humiliating. She never told Sco that she dreamed about getting married to him. That was something that would probably put a crimp in their relationship so fast that they'd never be able to look at each other the same way again.
And that would be unfortunate because they'd faced everything from tax returns to bombs together. However the wrong sentence about love could break them apart forever.
Now how ironic was that? '
But this dream she had wasn't about marriage, it was just them…just them talking. Like they would in the office. And then Anna started gaining consciousness again, she wasn't sure if what she had was a dream or not. Did she dream that or did it actually happen and in her unconscious state…she was just remembering it and it felt like a dream.
He was a lot taller in the dream too. Maybe it was a dream. Now that was unfortunate, she looked forward to talking to him almost as much as she looked forward to talking to the hunky messenger boy that delivered their stuff and sort of flirted with her. Sco said that the was bad news and the way he got all flustered and frustrated almost made Anna think that Sco was jealous but she doubted that was even remotely possible.
It'd be nice though. She was just saying…
Anna opened her eyes to find herself lying on the street. Her back and body and she knew from the pain in her hips that he dragged her by her ankles and she'd gotten scratched up on the way there.
And she was right by the car.
"No, I don't know where the others are!" She heard the cop say, "And I certainly don't know how many there are, I just found this one running by herself."
Anna turned her head, oh she'd rather just go back to sleep and forget what was happening but she knew that she couldn't.
She watched the sheriff walking on the edge of the forest, she noticed that he was pacing and he was talking so someone else that Anna couldn't see.
She turned her head and looked at the car.
Dex always kept a gun in the glove compartment when they were all driving together. She didn't remember him pulling it out but she wasn't sure that she was too worried about the car stalling in the middle of nowhere to worry about that.
And he would've been taking it out in front of Dani. Not that it made any difference because they all realized that Dani was packing as well but she doubted Dex wanted to give away all his secrets about where he hid his weapons to her that quickly.
Which meant that it could still be in there!
Anna moved slowly, she didn't want to give away her position, there were two people here at least and she had just been shot.
It was a good thing she took that Kevlar dress that they'd been working on at the labs for tonight. No one trusted Dani as far as they could throw her and Anna was certain that she couldn't throw her very far. So she'd used her connections to try and find a way to protect herself in case this was a trick and the dress wrapped in Kevlar had proven to be very handy.
Ironically, she had to say that it wasn't Dani that provided the danger now was it?
She turned on her stomach and put one leg under her. She really needed those self-defense classes now but she was certain that she could reach the car.
"Well well well," the sheriff said, "Looks like the lovely lady is awake."
That was all Anna needed. She launched herself at the car, ran on the hood and slid in. The glass cut her feet and she really regretted the fact that she hadn't brought her flats but it was one of those things that she was just going to have to deal with.
She rolled into the passenger and driver's seat, and ignored the pain coursing down her lower back as she slammed into the arm rest that separated the two. She grabbed the compartment handle and ripped it open.
There the gun was. The handle was sticking out and her hands closed around it. The first man grabbed her and she fired into his knee. The second one reached through the window of the passenger side that Dani had insisted on leaving it open for the air and pulled her out of it.
She slammed hard into the asphalt and felt the wind being driven out of her. She rolled over and started coughing.
He grabbed her and pulled her up. Anna cringed as her ankles brushed up against the glass even more and cried out again when he threw her down.
"Well," he said, "It seems you and your friends are a lot more trouble than we originally gave you credit for."
"Wait!" Anna said and put her hands up. She'd dropped the gun behind her. Of course she did, that was always her luck, "Wait don't…don't hurt me."
"You just shot my friend," he hissed and pulled out his gun, "Sorry sweetheart, you don't get any mercy after that one."
"Um…he was going to kill me," Anna said like it was the most obvious thing in the world, "What, I'm somehow not allowed to defend myself?"
He looked annoyed and aimed the gun at her. Anna braced herself, this was it. She was going to die, she was going to die and no one was going to remember her because as far as anyone knew, she was dead. The only thing that she was going to change from here on out was the dirt they would move to bury her in.
Oh and all those people that she helped save but she knew that was hardly the point.
An axe buried in his chest.
Well that was convenient; he was about to pulled the trigger.
The man fell and hit the ground face first, burying the knife even deeper in his chest. He twitched a few times and then the body stopped moving. Blood pulled out from under him and Anna was pretty sure that she was going to be sick.
Dani ran out of the woods and smiled to herself as if she were proud of what she'd done, "Oh wonderful, I was worrying that weeks of hitting nonmoving targets might've made me a bit rusty. But happy for me to know that it hasn't, so I still have that."
"Anna," Sco helped her up, "Anna, are you alright?"
"Been better," she muttered winced as the pinpricks in her feet and legs that were still buried in her skin caused her pain. How on earth was she going to get all those slivers out when she got home?
How was she even going to get home?
"So…" she stared as Dex came up, "I don't mean to say I told you all so but considering I was nearly killed and all of you are armed, I'm guessing that I was right?"
"If you don't want to say you told us so, then why did you just celebrate the fact that you were right?" Dani asked.
Anna looked at Sco as he checked her over, "Are you sure you're alright? Are you hurt? You have blood on you…there's a bullet mark on your dress an….oh my heavens please tell me that that's not the Kevlar dress that they were testing on the laboratory."
Dex looked up, "You wore the Kevlar dress?"
"They asked me to test it," Anna said but everyone looked at her like they knew that she was lying and now she just felt embarrassed and awkward, "Well it benefitted me, didn't it? IF they shot me then you all know that I probably would've died."
"Why didn't I get a Kevlar dress?" Dani asked.
"You know what, we have bodies surrounding us," Anna said quickly, "I would hate for someone to come up on us and we have to explain this. Our team's already gotten reprimands for leaving a mess, the last thing we need is another day of orientation."
"Agreed," Dani muttered, "I just got done having to hear something that looked like it was made in the 1980's drone on and on."
"The 1970's actually," Dex said and pulled out a lighter, "Alright, let's burn the car and take off walking. We can't exactly go to town because God knows who is in on this and I hate small towns with big secrets and we can't let our technology and information get out if they find the abandoned car. The last thing we want to do is compromise."
"So then what do we do now?" Anna asked.
"Oh you ask a silly question, you get a silly answer," Dani asked, "We do what we always do when we risk getting burned."
"We burn first," Dex said and pulled out his lighter, "I'll take care of the car; you all start out and head down the road. Anyone know where the nearest bus station is?"
"Not close enough," Anna said, "We're going to have to light a beacon."
"We'll do it at the second to next town," Dex said, "Maybe the third because I want to be as far away from this place as possible. I refuse to believe a town down the street doesn't have any idea on what's going on."
Sco nodded and looked back at Anna, "Want me to carry you?"
Anna rolled her eyes, "I can walk, I'll be alright."
He smiled at her and then frowned when she limped forward. He knew that he shouldn't be so…touchy feely with her, because if he was then she would know about the weird feelings that he had for her and it would screw up their relationship.
And someone that was smart like her would never be interested in someone like him.