Monday Left Me Broken
Location: Abandoned House, Eastern Quadrant
Timeline: Early Afternoon, Monday
The sun was almost directly overhead when Harika said they should stop. The two women would take cover in one of the multitudes of abandoned homes. So far the day had been a bust, abandoned buildings stood empty, not even a clicker to break up the scenery.
"So, nothing," Harika said taking a swig from her canteen and offering it to Lizzie.
Lizzie nodded accepting the canteen and taking a swig herself. "It's quiet, almost too quiet around here," she commented.
"I'll take quiet," Harika said as she pulled her pistol out and checked it. "I'll take quiet over loud any day."
"I am not sure how far we're meant to go, but Herr Grumpy seemed adamant that we go as far as we can and return within a day," Lizzie told Harika.
"He just doesn't want to keep the boss lady waiting to hear back," Harika said reholstering her weapon and crossing her arms. "We won't find shit."
Lizzie nodded "Well we've only been gone 4 hours, which gives us ample time to go a bit further and allay their fears," she commented.
"Hell with it, lets take a minute here and head back," Harika replied leaning back. "No one will give a shit. Boss Lady won't even..."
Without warning the hairs on the back of Lizzie's neck began to stand up, it was one of those moments where every fiber of her battle-scarred body told her something wasn't right "Something's wrong," she told Harika as she jumped to her feet and grabbed her assault rifle.
"Spidey sense?" Harika asked sardonically. But she could feel it too. Something was off.
"When you work it out let me know, it's something that I've had as long as I can recall, and I never ignore that feeling," Lizzie told Harika
Harika didn't say anything. She just listened. She did her best to silence her body and simply listen.
"Clicker," Lizzie said in a whisper at the sudden sound of something trying to triangulate their location and she took cover behind a solid object, grabbing a glass bottle lying on the ground as she did so.
In a swift motion, Harika dove under the table and curled her body as small as she could manage. She readied her pistol and listened. Instinctively she counted the shots in her gun that she remembered loading. She prayed her memory was accurate.
Lizzie kept hidden from the Clicker, crouched behind what turned out to be a counter, it was unwise to make a noise right now.
More fungus than man the clicker entered the room and stopped. It let out a gasping clicking sound and spun its deformed head around.
Lizzie peaked out from behind the counter, the Clicker was on the opposite side of her hiding spot, but facing in the opposite direction.
From her hiding spot, Harika could see the clicker's legs. She watched it take stumbling, staggering steps, directionlessly wandering through the room.
Lizzie emerged from behind the counter and hurled the bottle at the opposite wall, and took cover,
The clicker reacted to the noise which took it back from whence it had come, Lizzie did not give it a chance to search for them, she drew the most silent weapon she had in her arsenal, a bow and arrow and put two arrows into the Clickers head.
Climbing from her hiding place Harika shuddered when she looked down at the deformed corpse.
"We need to relocate, where there is one, there is bound to be more," Lizzie whispered to Harika unwilling to risk speaking out loud on the off chance there was more than one Clicker.
"Nice trick," Harika said gesturing to the broken bottle.
"It works on humans too, distracting them long enough to sneak past them, or get up close and end them," Lizzie told Harika "One can make molotov cocktails with bottles or alcohol if you find them, any object can make a noise if it hits something," she added.
"I'll have to keep that in mind," Harika said quickly shoving her canteen back into her pack and throwing the pack on her back. "Okay, lets move."
Lizzie didn't need any further encouragement, she exited the ruined building relieved to have gotten out of the Clicker encounter without major difficulties.
Outside Harika began to lead them down the road when she suddenly stopped and held up her hand. "Do you hear that?"
Lizzie stopped dead in her tracks "Sounds like someone crying," Lizzie told Harika "Like kids, surely that can't be right," she added.
"I don't know, what else makes that kind of sound?" Harika asked quickly checking her gun and looking around.
Lizzie looked around "Over there, I thought I saw a reflection, as if someone was trying to get our attention," Lizzie said to Harika I just hope that the kids are ok she said to herself.
"Lead the way," Harika said gesturing.
Lizzie led the way towards the source of the light flashing, double checking her path for any booby traps and or signs of life.
The noise less to a shed in the back of one of the houses. There was a bolted lock on the door. It looked like it had been put there recently.
"What the fuck?" Harika asked eyeing the lock.
Inside she could hear the kids crying.
Lizzie looked at the door "Someone didn't want these kids getting out, or anyone or anything getting in," she commented.
"Well, which seems more likely?" Harika asked shaking her head. "I don't think we can just leave them here."
"I say we try and open it, those kids sound terrified," Lizzie told Harika "We need to be careful, no telling who or what is around," she added.
"I think I got something," Harika said dropping to a knee and pulling her pack off her back. A second later and she pulled a small crowbar out. "Cover me."
"I'll keep an eye out for trouble," Lizzie assured Harika and with that she drew one of her guns and stood guard.
Harika jammed the crowbar on the hinge and grunted against the rusted metal. A few pushes and she began to wedge the whole hinge off the old wood.
Lizzie kept an eye out for any sign of trouble, the noise Harika was making was enough to awaken god knows what horrors.
With a final grunt, the hinge came loose and clattered to the ground. Harika pulled the door open and clicked her flashlight on.
A pair of dirty children were caught in the beam of the flashlight. They looked no more than 10 a piece. Both were emaciated and covered in grime.
"What the fuck..." Harika breathed.
Lizzie returned to Harika's side and stared in shock and horror a the kids "How the ruddy hell did they end up in there?" she asked Harika "Do you two have names?" she asked the grimy emaciated kids.
"Who... who are you?" one of the kids said pushing the other behind them.
"I'm Harika, we're from the Woodrose Colony," Harika said getting down on one knee to be at eye level with the kids. "This is Lizzie. We're not going to hurt you."
Lizzie smiled at the kids "We're here to help you," she told the pair smiling at them as she tried to assure them they meant them no harm.
"I'm Piper," the one in front said. "This is my sister Melody." The other child poked her head out.
"How did you two end up in there?" Lizzie asked curious to find out what was going on here.
"Dad said we had to wait here," Piper said looking between the two women confused. "Only he didn't come back."
Lizzie swore under her breath "Can you describe your father?" Lizzie asked trying to find out who they might have to keep an eye out for.
"He's tall... I'm... He's got hair... It's brown!" Piper stammered, clearly she stressed and confused. "It's been days! What if one of those... They aren't people... At least that's what dad said... Not anymore."
Lizzie understood the girls worries "We haven't seen him," Lizzie told Piper not that it'd reassure or allay her worries, but no news was better than bad news surely
Piper sniffled. "What are you going to do with us?" she asked, sounding more afraid by the second.
"We need to get moving, we'll take you back to our home, and we'll keep an eye out for your dad," Lizzie told the girls "You'll be safe there, and well cared for," she added.
Piper turned to her sister and then back to the women. She nodded, not sure what else to do.
Harika in the meantime had been patrolling the area, looking for anything out of place, she returned just as the two young girls stepped out of the tiny shed and into the light. "We should get going. We already saw one clicker in the area and who knows if there are more."
Lizzie nodded, as she scanned the area with some binoculars she had grabbed so long ago she'd almost forgotten she had them "No sign of Infected, but they cannot be too far off," she said to Harika and the girls.
"We need to get going, now!' Harika said, anxiety building in her voice. Something just wasn't right, she could feel it in her bones.
"You lead the way Harika, you two next, and I'll watch our six," Lizzie said Harika knew the way back to HQ better than she did let's hope we don't find any Infected let alone a Clicker
With that Harika led the way through the dilapidated streets. She kept an eye out, but the rest of the trip back was uneventful. It would be barely past noon when they arrived back.