Chapter 7: Know thy Enemy

And See That He is You

2 Hours Outside of Wichita, Kansas

The skies over Wichita were still a dark shade of red with five Blackhawk Helicopters chopping through the skies as the only thing that could catch flight in these skies since many of the birds that would fly over the Midwest were either dead, eaten, dying, or just refused to fly under the red skies.

Within the leading Blackhawk Major Hardy found himself loading a fresh magazine into his M4A1 Assault Rifle and then slapping the side of the weapon before looking out of the side of the Blackhawk and eyeing the sea of Zombies below him. Then in a show of disgust he immediately spits outside of the helicopter and watched from the flying aircraft as the glob of spit collided with the top of a female's Zombie's head and flowed across her face. This drew a smile from the Marine who couldn't help but chuckle at his actions.

Hardy hated the Zombies just like any other person would, but he didn't hate them for being what they were and he didn't hate them for being responsible for so many deaths. He hated them just because he'd convinced himself that they were worth hating. Like the American Troops saw the Viet Cong or the Nazi's, he hated them and saw them as nothing more but things to be killed.

"Easy there Major it's bad luck to fuck with the dead other than killing them." Replied an African American man carrying a M240 Light Machine Gun.

"Fuck your superstitious bullshit Andre, I'll treat these disgusting fucks how the hell I want them." Hardy shot back earning chuckles from his troops. The group was well aware of Hardy's hatred for the man's hatred to the Zombies and many of them couldn't blame him. Some of them had lost friends, family, and loved ones to the Zombies and bore a strong hatred out of them.

They hated them, but many of them hated themselves for what they were about to do now as a means of keeping the number of infected down and keeping the knowledge of what was going on in the Midwest a secret.

As the group entered the city of Wichita they soon found themselves flying in the direction of a large two four story hotel in Old Town Wichita before hovering over it.

"Alright boys let's do this and remember-." Started Hardy as he got the attention of the group before ending with "No Survivors."

Kansas City

Things back at the movie theater seemed to have somewhat calmed down for the group all of them, with the exception of David, found themselves sitting in one of the theaters standing before the two soldiers who found themselves with their hands handcuffed behind their backs sitting in the front row seats while Pop's, Murphy, and Malcolm stood before them with their arms crossed.

The duo still had broken legs but thanks to Brooke's medical training she was able to reset them and fix up much of the duo's injuries but they still couldn't walk much, not that they were allowed to do that, and they were being treated with antibiotics for infections but they still weren't up to one hundred percent and that seemed to be what the group wanted them to be.

"Well you both seem to be looking good enough to talk to us." Stated Murphy as he approached the two soldiers. "So are you gonna talk to us?" he asked before watching as George looked up and quickly spit in his face forcing the detective to recoil in disgust while rubbing his face.

"I guess we have introductions out of the way." Replied Malcolm before the group watched in shock and surprise as Pop's sent a nod to Julio who quickly kicked the man in his already injured leg before stomping down on it with enough force to watch George give a loud pain-filled shriek.

"You two can be hard asses all you want, but we're the good cops and if you don't want our friend with the Machete to come back in and play bad cop I suggest you start talking." Pop's threatened.

"He already doesn't like you so I'm pretty sure he'd be happy to see you when he's done sharpening his Machete." Added Julio with a slight chuckle. The group knew first hand they were referring to David who wasn't present with the other survivors nor was he sharpening his blade or even in the theater. The Mercenary had left earlier without telling the group he was leaving, but neither of the soldiers knew that.

"Alright we'll cooperate." Stated Jessica earned a shocked look from George.

"No we won't-." he started to yell out before being struck in the head courtesy of Pop's who successfully caused the man to see stars with the force of the hit.

"If you won't cooperate you can shut up." He stated before turning to Jessica. "Tell us who you both are?" he added with venom in his tone.

"My name is Lieutenant Jessica Reynolds and I'm a pilot. He's Sergeant George Gathers and he's a Marine." She stated earning nods from the group. "Are you gonna introduce yourselves." She asked.

"Nope!" Pop's shot out with a slight smile. "Tell us what your mission is." He asked causing the woman to go silent before speaking out.

"Eliminating the infected and securing Quadrant 3 or the Midwest." She replied to the groups confusion.

"Quadrant 3?" asked Brooke.

"You fucking people have been out of the world so long you don't know things are." Stated George earning the attention of the group. "Everything under the Red Skies on the outside world is referred to as the Badlands, but to us soldiers it's called the Deadlands and I think you know why." He added with an angry look.

"Self-Explanatory." Stated Tina.

"Why are you killing all the living and building walls to keep us in?" asked Maria causing a loud scoff from Jessica.

"If you want to know that you're gonna need a little history of lesson of things." Stated Jessica to the groups confusion. "Nobody in the rest of the world knows what's going on here. The Red Skies block satellites from getting an image of what's here, radio communication is useless, hell trying to get any signal here is pointless. You can thank the Invisible Republic for that." He replied to the groups confusion.

"Invisible Republic?" asked Murphy with a raised brow.

"You know the terrorist that setoff those nukes that created the Red Skies." Stated George to the groups confusion.

"What are you talking about the US Government dropped a nuke on Chicago." Retorted Julip to the duo's surprise.

"Bullshit the US would never nuke it's own." Shot back George.

"Well you're talking to the people that saw the missile." Mariah shot back.

"Please you people are probably lying to protect the Invisible Republic." George shot back.

"Son tell us exactly what the hell is happening out and there and what all you know." Ordered Pop's as he eyed the man confusingly.

Elsewhere

While the group of survivors in the theater were interrogating the soldiers David found himself sitting at the window sill of an old apartment complex that was overlooking the crash site of the Blackhawk where the group had rescued the two soldiers.

David was still pissed about bringing them back and actually wanted to be the one interrogating the group. So what if he was gonna torture them until they told him everything they knew in his eyes they deserved worse for the things they did. He himself was a Mercenary and was no stranger to killing people but he never slaughtered women or children just for an order or for the money.

As he looked through his binoculars at the crashed Blackhawk he noticed that the number of Zombies around it had decreased just enough for him to be comfortable with going back in and raiding the chopper. He had gotten a lot of stuff when the group first went to it, but he was hoping to find something more, hell even another box of ammunition would do the group well after Pop's and Murphy handed over so much of it to the guys at the pharmacy.

David still had his personal stash but he'd feel more comfortable if the dead ever overran the theater if everyone had at least thirty bullets between them all while he himself had most of the rest.

Even if there wasn't any more bullets he could still strip those dead soldiers of their tactical vest, first aid kits, any explosives, portable radios that he could turn them into bombs, and lasers off rifles can be very useful for him. What he was really hoping to find though was a set of Night Vision Goggles. Those can make seeing in the almost blackened night under the Red Skies easier for him.

After a few more seconds of looking at the crash site the Mercenary quickly stepped off the Windowsill and made his way out of building.

Wichita, Kansas

The smell of something boiling water seemed to fill the noise of Maia Janes as she found herself walking into the hotel room she called her new home. She was a rather skinny Caucasian woman in her mid-twenties who stood about five foot seven with long red hair with bright green eyes and wearing a green jacket and khaki pants. In a past life she was a simple farmhand on a dairy farm in rural Kansas, but now she was a soon to be mother living under the Red Skies.

She was only a few weeks along so her belly was only slightly starting to show and she wasn't looking forward to the baby weight, but despite her situation she was looking forward to having a baby with Christopher.

"Hello there." He greeted with a smile that soon brought one to her face. Christopher was a rather tall somewhat muscular Caucasian man with short brown hair, blue eyes, and a slightly rugged face that showed off his months of being unable to shave. He was also wearing a brown jacket over a white t-shirt, blue jean pants, and brown boots.

Christopher Montgomery, the father of their soon to be child. She and Christopher had been together prior to the Zombies all the way back to their years in high school. Well her years in high school, Christopher had dropped out to work on his father's ranch. He was still an intelligent man who seemed to be her entire world.

"Hey!" she said before walking up to the man who was standing over the gas stove and quickly gave him a kiss on the cheek.

"How is everyone out there?" he asked.

"They're…a little antsy the food shortage is starting to get to everyone." She replied earning a nod from Christopher. The duo wasn't the only group of people living in the hotel there may have been all together fifty or sixty of them in all in the hotel living like a small community that drew them all together because of the lack of food.

"Yeah I had to look into our little stash just to find you something because what they're rationing isn't enough." He said while looking down at the small pot of pork and beans he was making.

"I'll be alright we don't need to be digging too much into that supply, since that scout team hasn't returned we haven't been able to do much supply runs." Maia shot back.

"I know, but I gotta make sure my girls are fed." Christopher shot back with a smile before turning around and rubbing the woman's stomach and earning a smile from Maia.

"What makes you think it's a girl?" she asked.

"A gut feeling." He replied before sharing a quick laugh from the woman before a banging sound filled the air and caused the duo to look to the door with stunned looks on their faces then moving to answer it.

The group then watched as a man of Mexican American descent with short black hair, bright brown eyes, and dark bronze skin rushed into the room carrying a PWS Diablo Assault Rifle barged into the room with sweat coming down his face. This man's name was Francisco and he and his wife Gloria were close friend of both Christopher and Maia who would often watch over the man's three kids.

"Francisco what's going on?" Christopher asked while eyeing the man closely.

"Choppers, five of them coming in fast and Dennis wants us all to ready up for anything." He shot out with a hint of fear in his voice while Christopher and Maia both went wide eyed.

"Alright I'm on my way, where's your family?" Christopher asked.

"Getting ready to leave and I suggest you get Maia downstairs." He called out before making his way down the hall where Christopher and Maia noticed several other men armed with guns making their way down the halls.

"Maia I need to go, gather our things and head downstairs and I'll come for you after the shooting ends." Christopher stated while making his way to the closet and pulling out a Remington 870 Shotgun.

"But what if you don't make it?" Maia asked with tears in her eyes just as the sound of helicopter blades chopping through the air filled their ears and caused the duo to look out the window and notice five helicopters hovering above them.

"I will I promise." He said before pulling out a Smith and Wesson Model 38 Snub Nosed Revolver and handing it to the woman. "I promise." He added before giving her a quick kiss then running out of the room just as the first chopper dropped a rope and Hardy found himself roping down on the roof with six other soldiers.

"CONTACT!" one of the soldiers yelled as they noticed a Caucasian man carrying a Mossberg 500 Shotgun rush out the rooftop exit unloading his weapon and striking one soldier in the chest arm before being shot several times in the chest and head by Hardy.

"Armed hostiles be on your guard." Hardy yelled out before making his way to the door of the rooftop just as a Blackhawk moved to the right side of the hotel and unloaded on the first floor with a barrage of bullets from one of the Minigun armed on the chopper.

The rattling sound of the Minigun seemed to startle Maia as she looked out her window and noticed the Blackhawk shooting up the top floor lucky for her she stayed on the third floor of the four story building and all she seemed to be able to do was speed up her work.

"SHIT!" yelled Francisco as he, Christopher, and four other men ducked down as and watched as three other men were shredded to pieces by the powerful 20mm rounds of the Minigun as they pierced the walls and went through the men like their bodies weren't even there.

The group then watched in horror as two more men were shot down courtesy of Assault Rifle fire as Major Hardy blasted his way through the door leading onto the fourth floor with the other soldiers and being immediately met with gunfire from Christopher and the other survivors.

"Clear them out." Yelled Christopher as he fired his Assault Rifle and managed to hit a Soldier with a M16A2 Assault Rifle five times in the vest before watching him fall with Christopher finishing him off with a blast to the face from his Shotgun.

"FRAG OUT!" yelled Hardy as he tossed a Hand Grenade in the direction of Christopher and the others who gave a shocked look before moving to run just as the device exploded and created a violent shockwave that shook the entire hotel.

Kansas City

"The Zombies…we don't know where they came from." Stated Jessica as the group continued to eye her closely. "Nobody knows exactly where they came from or what started them other than some kind of virus." She added.

"We believe it has something to do with the red skies though, that it's causing something in the air that's giving you all this virus." George replied earning chuckles from the group.

"Well we can tell you that's a lie, the Zombies here before the Red Skies." Corrected Murphy.

"The sky turned red after the nuke was dropped, but we were dealing with the dead long before that." Added Brooke to the duo's surprise.

"Well we don't know we just follow Madam Presidents orders." Stated George to the groups confusion.

"Madam President?" asked Pop's with a raised brow.

"I forgot to mention that, but with the knowledge of what happened to everyone in the Midwest President Franklin Waller committed Suicide just minutes after the nuke went off in Chicago." George stated to the groups shock.

"President Waller's dead." Repeated Joni.

"Yes and now former Vice President Malory Stevens is the new president of the United States." Added Jessica. "It's about time a woman we had a woman in charge." She added.

"Yeah well if she wasn't leaving us here to die and killing us I'd probably support her." Retorted Rachel with anger in her tone.

"Please we can't save you people, because your infected." George shot out to the groups surprise. "When you die whether it be from cancer, a heart attack, or blood loss you come back as one of them and you act like them." He added.

"You mean the rest of the world doesn't have this problem?" asked Maria.

"No, only you we believe it has something to do with long exposure of living under these skies. That's why with us were only allowed a certain amount of time under these skies for an operation. We don't want to get what you have." Replied Jessica.

"The risk of any of you just flat out dying and coming back is a threat not only to national security but the worlds health and that's one of the reasons for the quarantine." George added.

"Well why all killing?" asked Rachel.

"The Zombies bite you and you become one of them. Killing them is easy the only real difficulty is the number of them-." Started George.

"You save bullets if you kill off their food supply." Finished Pop's earning nods from the two soldiers.

"You people are sick." Replied Julio as he started to walk away from them while Pop's continued to stand over them.

Elsewhere

"Alright assholes come at me." Said David as he walked out of the alleyway and came face to face with a Zombie that he figured once was probably a beautiful woman because of somewhat pretty face that was only slightly deformed from the hole on the side of her neck.

David then swung his Machete and in one slice managed to sending the top half the woman's skull flying while her long black hair fell to the ground. As David watched her hit the ground he noticed that he now had the attention of the other eight Zombies who quickly started to scramble towards him.

"Come on!" he said before charging at an African American Zombie and swinging his blade with enough force to leave a slice wound across the creatures face at the nose. He then watched as it staggered backwards before giving it a hard kick in the gut that was strong enough to force the creature off its feet and falling backwards on top of another Zombie.

David followed up his attack by jumping up and coming down with both feet on top of the head of the downed Zombie with enough force to crush the top of its skull and watch as its blood pooled from its ears and mouth. He then looked up to notice that a shirtless Zombie with bite wounds covering his entire torso was approaching him and with a blinding swing he was able to lop off the side of the creature's head before moving to do the same to a once blonde haired woman that was missing part of her face. As another Zombie moved on him from the side he responded by jumping back and hitting the Zombie with a palm strike to the throat.

He knew punches and kicks were somewhat useless in killing the Zombies but they did have some use in creating separation between him and the dead and one thing you wanted to have when in a close proximity to Zombies was space to move around.

The former Mercenary then jumped up and hit the creature in the mouth with a knee strike breaking a few of its decayed teeth and causing it to step back more before finishing it off with a strike to the head from his Machete.

As David looked around and noticed he only had three Zombies left and as one approached him with its armed outstretched David quickly ducked below his arms and coming behind the creature. He then struck with amazing speed spinning around with his Machete outstretched and slicing the back of the Zombie's knee with enough force to cut through the flesh and watch the creature fall forward before hitting the ground with a loud thud.

The other two Zombies quickly moved on him and David responded by giving a straight kick and hitting the first one to reach him in the center of the chest with enough force to send it backwards into the second Zombie. The Mercenary then kicked it again and watched it fall backwards and on top of the other Zombie.

"See ya!" he said before stomping his right foot down repeatedly and crushing the skull of the second Zombie before doing the same with the first and to his surprise which the creatures neck snap backwards in a sickening sound.

"Well that was awesome." He said with a slight chuckle before making his way over to the crashed Blackhawk and noticing the dead men resting inside. He figured the soldier must have put his friends down before they turned but they were still food for the dead as David noticed various bite wounds covering their bodies.

The Mercenary then started to strip them of as much equipment as he could before more of the undead arrived on the scene and cut his scavenging mission short.

Wichita, Kansas

Things for finally starting to return to Christopher as he slowly lifted his blood stained forward off the floor of the battle worn hotel room where he quickly noticed Francisco and the remaining men of the hotel fired their weapons at the soldiers.

Everything was inaudible to him and he was somewhat grateful for that as he looked to his left and noticed one of the survivors by the name of Daniel lying on the ground next to him. Daniel was a handsome young man who was only nineteen with short blonde hair and noticeable pale skin. His once pale skin now though seemed to be covered in the maroon of his own blood.

The Grenade blast had torn the young man's stomach wide open and parts of his intestines were spilled onto the floor while blood leaked from his mouth. The sight disgusted and horrified Christopher almost to the point where he wanted to vomit after seeing the young man. As his hearing started to return to him he could make the boys words out through the gunfire.

"MAMA MAMA AHHHH!" he shrieked at the top of his lungs while looking down at his spilled guts with tears in his eyes while his hands desperately tried to keep his organs in place.

"Push them back." Yelled Hardy as Christopher lifted his head and noticed that the soldiers were beginning to make their way down the hall.

Before Christopher could think more on the matter though he was taken aback as someone grabbed both of his arms and started to pull him down the hall. As he looked up he quickly spotted Francisco holding onto his arms and desperately trying to pull him back.

"Come on we gotta-." The Mexican American man started before being cut off as three bullets impacted against his lower back and caused him to let out a yell before turning around and starting to fire his gun at the soldiers. "Get to Maia and my wife mano and get them out of here." He yelled while pushing Christopher down the hall just as another survivor was shot three times in the back before being hit again in the head.

Deciding to follow the order of his friend Christopher quickly made his way down the hall while Francisco continued to fire down the hall at Hardy and the other soldiers who took cover inside the rooms.

While Christopher headed for Maia, the redheaded woman made her way downstairs where she quickly noticed a bunch of the other survivors on the first floor gathering their things and trying to hide. Amongst them was a Mexican American woman and her three kids, two boys and a girl, both in their early years trying to head for the door.

"GLORIA!" Maia yelled out earning the attention of the woman just as a barrage of gunfire came through the front door that startled and cut down four people while those remaining tried to run for the front door.

As Maia stood on the stairway she watched as eight soldiers wearing military fatigue and gas mask kicked down the front door and rushed into the motel firing their weapons indiscriminately into the crowd of people.

The woman then watched in horror as Gloria grabbed her children and tried to run into a room with several other people, but just as they tried to close the door one of the soldiers had pulled the pin of a Grenade and managed to toss it into the room.

The explosion was deafing and the blast was strong enough to blow the door off its hinges and across the hall while a cloud of smoke came out of the room. The silence seemed to be the worst thing to Maia, there was no screaming or shouts coming from the room or even a whimper. Despite that she still watched a group of three soldier break off from the main group and make their way inside of the room and begin to shoot the bodies of those inside.

"There's another!" pointed out a soldier as he raised his MP5 and fired off several shots at Maia that the pregnant woman quickly ran up the stairs to avoid while two men ran after her. "Don't let her get away." One of them yelled out before firing again at Maia who continued to run with her hands covering the back of her head.

As four more shots whizzed over her head Maia found herself acting on instinct and rushing shoulder first into a locked room knocking the door and injuring herself in the process. After taking a quick glance of her bloody shoulder the woman looked back to the two soldiers as they started to approach before remembering the Revolver Christopher had given her.

"FREEZE!" one of the soldiers yelled out just as the woman pulled out the weapon and looked up to notice the man training their guns on her.

"I'm gonna die! I'm gonna die! I'm gonna die!" This phrase seemed to be the only thing going through the head of Maia as she looked at the two men with tears in her eyes before hearing a loud yell and watching as one of the soldiers was forced forward by a Shotgun blast to the back.

Maia then watched in shock as Christopher rammed into the second man with his shoulder and tried to struggle against the man for control of his gun. As Christopher threw two punches to the soldiers face the man quickly caught him off-guard with a knee strike to the gut that brought the former farmer down on both of his knees.

"Now you die." The soldier yelled out before a loud crashing sound was heard through the room that caused Christopher to look up and notice that Maia had slammed a metal pot over the man's head with enough force to knock his helmet off. The young woman then responded by jumping on top of him and beginning a sick process of beating him over the head with the pot until his face was unrecognizable.

"That's enough Maia." Christopher yelled out grabbing the sobbing woman and pulling her away from the corpse. "It's okay he's dead now." He said while pulling the woman into his arms for a hug.

"Why is this happening?" she asked with a tear filled eyes as she looked to Christopher who could only sit in silence.

"There's another one." Yelled out a soldier breaking Christopher from his trance and forcing him to run to the door and quickly lock it before looking to Maia and yelling for her to hide.

Taking his advice, the woman decided to follow his order and quickly went to hide in the backroom just as three gunshots went off that caused her to look back and notice Christopher still holding the door with his body while blood leaked into his shirt from three holes that had put into his body.

"No!" Maia whispered out before rushing back into the backroom and hiding under the bed just as the door was finally kicked open.

The outside world was unseen for Maia but in her mind she called that a blessing as she looked out past the hanging bedsheets she could see Christopher taking a few steps back while another man in military fatigue stood before him. Instead of being met with a bullet though he was met with a punch to his already bullet ridden torso that brought him to his knees.

The soldier then responded by grabbing Christopher and tossing him back first into the wall. The sound of Christopher pained filled yells seemed to cause Maia to cringe in fear and sadness as she kept a hand over her mouth while the soldier drew his knife and stabbed Christopher in the center of his stomach causing him to scream out in vivid pain.

The sound of the knife ripping into his flesh made Maia's mind flash back to the most brutally gory scenes in horror movies she had seen. The woman had often covered her eyes over those scenes but she tried her hardest to relieve these moments in an effort to cushion herself for the inevitable.

Christopher continued to scream as the blade was mercilessly ripped out of him and without skipping a beat the soldier then grabbed the man's head with both his hands. Maia may have guessed this was his way of getting revenge for the survivors putting up a fight because all she could think about now was Christopher being beaten to death before…

SMASH!

The sound made Maia jump at the force of the sound that seemed to shake the room and earn shocked gasp from the other soldiers.

The sound came again, but this time there was a somewhat squishy sound along with it that confused Maia until she realized what was happening…that was Christopher's head being rammed against the wall.

"Holy shit!" one soldier yelled out with a hint of amusement in his tone as they watched Christopher's head be slammed against the wall again.

"Make it stop! Make it stop! Make it stop! MAKE IT STOP!" seemed to be the only thing screaming through head of Maia with the loudness of a locomotive as she covered ears, closed her eyes, while burying her mouth against the carpet covered floor to keep from making a sound as tightly as she could while the soldier continued to pulverize Christopher into the wall yet again. If she couldn't see or hear it, hopefully she could take her mind off it.

Ignorance was Bliss in this Situation!

Despite already having his head rammed twice into the wall already Christopher screams confirmed that he was still alive.

SMASH!

The Soldier slammed the man's skull against the same spot on the wall yet again! The cracks protruding from the center of the impact point had spidered out and compress under the force of the impact before forcing a large hole in the center.

As the pieces of dry wall fell onto the floor before it was soon followed by the twitching body of Christopher who was finally starting to go into shock at the amount of head trauma he'd just been through.

Despite her eyes being closed and her eyes covered the sound of the gunshot still rang out clear to Maia and caused her to open her eyes in shock and fear at the realization that everything was finally over, his pain had ceased, Christopher's life…had ceased.

The sound of chuckling from the soldiers seemed to leave her completely unnerved as she watched the man make his way over to the other soldiers in the room.

"Damn Hardy that was sick." One of the them called out with a wide smile.

"Whatever, drag him outside with all the others and make sure they have bullets in their heads." Hardy replied while walking out of the room while Maia look continued to lay in place. She was frozen without the knowledge that if it was either fear, sadness, or the urge to survive that kept her unmoving. They all seemed to coincide with each other as of this point.

Kansas City

With the news of what George and Jessica telling them finally starting to sink in the Kansas City survivors they all seemed to be taking the news rather differently. Pop's and Julio seemed to be the most contempt but Tina, Mariah, Joni, Jeannette, and Kate seemed to still be reeling from the news.

The group never expected the outside world to have changed so much since they've been living under the Red Skies. They also never expected that there was basically one big cover up about their death and everything that took place in the Midwest. This news shocked them, quite a few of them didn't seem to know how to handle the news.

Amongst them was Murphy who found himself sitting in the VIP area of the theater processing everything he was just told. Not only was the world convinced he was dead, but everyone in government even the President wanted to see them dead. He once believed in his country and the government…but those views were changed now.

Before he could think more on the matter he was taken off-guard along with the other survivors as they heard the top floor door of the theater open before looking back and watching as David made his way into the theater carrying a large duffel bag with him.

"The fuck y'all looking at?" he asked with a hint of anger in his voice while making his way over to the lounge area of the theater with Pop's and Julio moving to meet him.

"Where have you been?" Pop's asked while looking down at the man closely.

"I went back to that crash site to see if I could find something useful." The Mercenary replied before reaching into his bag and pulling out three bulletproof vest he pulled off some dead soldiers. The sight of the vest made some of the women in the group cringe in sickness as they noticed the dried blood on the vest.

David then pulled out two M9A1 Pistols and four boxes of Pistol Ammo, four boxes of ammo Rifle ammo, twelve Shotgun shells, three full magazines that were taken out of broken Rifles, a set of Night Vision Goggles, a laser for a rifle, three Smoke Grenades, one Fragmentation Grenade, and five Combat Knives.

"Jesus did you pull all these off dead soldiers?" asked Tina as she sent a look to the smiling Mercenary.

"I don't think they'll be needing them." He said while reaching into the bag and pulling out five handheld radios. "Plus I like these boots." He replied before looking down at the boots he'd taken off a dead soldier to the shock of the group.

"You know it's not wise to wear a Deadman's shoes?" asked Pop's earning a chuckle from David.

"It's also unwise to fuck in church, but that was the only reason I went." He shot back to the shock and surprise of the group as they watched him look over one of the radios.

"Those work?" Murphy asked.

"I can make them work, but I have better use for these things." David retorted before looking over the device.

"Radio bomb?" Julio asked earning a nod from David.

"Radio bomb!" Mariah repeated with a raised brow.

"If you cross a wires on a radio or a phone you get it to explode, depending on how big the device is varies the size of the explosion and with a handheld radio like that you can get an explosion that's just a little smaller than a Hand Grenade." Julio stated while David continued to look over the device.

"That teach you that when you were a Mercenary?" Tina asked.

"Yeah, I used them more in New York then I did overseas though." The Mercenary replied earning a few shocked looks from the group before they noticed Malcolm walking into the room with George and Jessica in tow.

"Well have you decided to let me have some fun with our guest?" David asked while eyeing the soldiers closely.

"No, they told us everything that's going on in the world." Murphy shot back while noticing the slight smile on David's face.

"Still no reason why I can't crack a few skulls." David shot out before George noticed what he was wearing before giving a low growl and rushing or rather quickly limping towards the Mercenary who only gave a sick smile as the soldier broke free from his cuffs and threw a punch aimed for the head of David.

The Mercenary only responded by taking a step back before responding with a kick to the man's already injured leg and causing him to fall forward while letting out a loud scream of pain. He then gave another sick scream as David slammed his foot down on the man's leg with enough force to earning a sickening sound.

"You just made my day friend." he said with a sick smile before pressing down harder on the man's wound only for Murphy to push him aside.

"That's enough David." The former Detective yelled out while David looked down at George who kept the look of anger in his eyes.

"You, you don't deserve to wear those boots. Those are the boots of my friends, real American heroes who died for their country." George yelled earning a sick chuckle from David.

"Reality check bub, your friends weren't heroes they were sick murderers who got payed to kill people. It takes one Mercenary to know another and that's all you are." David replied before spitting on George's face. "Besides as of this point there are no such things as American Heroes and there never were." He added before watching as Malcolm and Pop's scooped up George fell atop the table and knocked over the boxes of ammo and other supplies David had gathered before taking him back to the theater.

"You really believe that about American heroes David?" Julio asked while watching the man chuckle.

"You of all people should be the one that believes me the most with what happened to the Taino Indians." The Mercenary shot out to his fellow mercenary before walking away while everyone watched him leave.

"He's one sick individual." Stated Tina.

"He's always been like that, feel lucky he actually let George keep his leg." Julio shot out to the group's shock. "I've actually seen David do some pretty fucked up shit to people…with a smile on his face. He's one of the main reasons why Mercenaries like us have such a bad rep…and he likes that knowledge." He added as David walked into his makeshift room and quickly spotted Rachel sitting on his table with an unreadable expression on her face.

"If he's that dangerous why do we let him stay then?" asked Mariah.

"Especially if he could one day slit all our throats and leave more than likely with a smile." Added Joni.

"Because he saved both me and my daughter's life." Retorted Kate as she approached the group with a serious look on her face. "David saved our lives from the military and for that he has my respect." She added.

"Yes David maybe…abrasive but he is our wild card for if he things get to hard for us." Murphy stated as Malcolm and Pop's tossed George into the room with Jessica and watching as he hit the floor with a loud thud.

"You two may need more of a timeout." Pop's shot out.

"What are you gonna do with us?" Jessica asked while Pop's looked away from her before walking out of the room with Malcolm in tow. "It wasn't smart of you to try and fight that guy." She added while looking down at George.

"From what I can gather he's got some kinda training." She added.

"He's a mercenary." Replied George earning the attention of the woman. "I can tell from the way they were talking about him." He added.

"Don't worry none of them will be a problem for much longer." The man replied while Jessica looked to him and noticed that in his pants was one of the radios David had taken from the crash.

"I snatched it when I fell on the table." He added.

"Not like it'll be of much use here, you know we can't radio command from this far out." She replied while watching George force open the back of the radio and begin to cross a few wires.

"We can't get a shortwave radio signal out, but that guys not the only one that can work a radio." He said while continuing to cross wires.

Wichita, Kansas

The smell of burning flesh seemed to fill the nostrils of Major Hardy as he found himself standing on the rooftop of the battle worn hotel with the other soldiers drinking and celebrating their successful attack on the survivors with each men having smiles on their faces.

Just as Hardy was about to light up a celebratory cigarette though he was stopped by one of the Blackhawk Pilots who quickly ran to him with a distressed look on his face.

"Major Hardy I've got some news." The pilot shouted while Hardy slowly turned to the man.

"What is it?" he asked.

"We're picking up a long range radio signal coming just a few miles from our location in Kansas City." The pilot shot back.

"Long range aye, that means either a survivor or a soldier could hook that up." He said while pocketing his cigarette. "Either way they're all dead." He finished with a smile before rounding up his troops and making his way towards the Blackhawks as they started to take off.

"Time for another hunt boys." He said with an evil smile.

As the sound of chopper blades seem to fade in the distance reality soon started to return to Maia as she found herself still lying under the bed in the motel in a frozen state. She knew the soldiers were gone but she still felt the urge to stay under the bed, not out of fear of the soldiers but the fear of what she'll see when she steps out.

She knew the soldiers had dragged the body of Christopher out of the room and burned him on the rooftop along with the others, but she was not ready to see the spot where he breathed his last breath before being basically pulverized to death by the soldier known as Major Hardy.

As minutes turned to hours the sun finally started to set and the darkness soon engulfed the room the woman was hiding in. Still even with the loss of her sight, she decided to crawl from under the bed with her bones cracking in the process from so many hours of just lying on the floor.

After slowly rising to her feet she slowly made her way out of the room where she sent a look to the corner of the room and looked in the direction of the wall where Christopher had lost his life. Thanks to the darkness she was unable to see the blood nor the hole in the wall that was obviously left by his skull impacting it so in a move that shocked herself she thanked it.

She thanked the Red Skies from blocking out the sun and glow of the moon and shielding her from the pain of happening to see the death place of her love.

After a few minutes of staring into the darkness the pregnant woman found herself making her way out into the dark halls of the motel. She knew it wasn't safe to travel in the dark, but she felt she had to.

She had to get out of the hotel before the sun came up and revealed to her the carnage that was left there.

Authors Note: And that's a good cliffhanger to end this chapter with mostly so I can build up the hype for the next arc that will take place after next chapter.

This chapter was especially bloody mostly because I wanted to show exactly the level of danger that Major Hardy will be to the Kansas City Survivors. I didn't want him to just be another unknown character despite that fact that he wasn't mentioned much of the story and is mostly just a filer villain.

I introduced another main character in my opinion to this story in Maia who is visually based off actress Isla Fisher. With my Kansas City Survivors they've basically been together since day one of the outbreak and they routinely go on supply run that reminds them what the outside world is like but generally speaking they're not actually surviving merely squatting and there is a big difference between the two.

If you're hold up in a nice shelter and the only threat you have is starvation and each other you're not surviving you're essentially just doing with normal people do now. Maia on the other hand will be the exact opposite of that. She's pregnant, she's alone, and these are all things she's never gone through exactly and with her she'll be pushed to the brink.

She'll being doing that surviving you don't see on The Walking Dead, Z-Nation, and many of the other Zombie shows because some of it will be very very graphic.

I also revealed just what exactly the outside world believes what happened to the Midwest and what they believe is going on there now. As we know that's a load of bullshit but it's of great relevance to this story and will play a central focus later on.

Stick around for next chapter as a showdown erupts between the Kansas City survivors and Hardy and his Marines in a battle that I can promise will have causalities on both sides.

Thank you all for reading have a good night.