B.O.S.S. — Game of Life, Part 6

Zombie month continues.    Look forward to a Two Hunters update on Wednesday: and other good news.

zombies

All we are saying: Give braaaains a chance.

A sprinter tore towards the Humvee, leapt, and splattered against the windshield.  It gnashed its teeth and pawed its shattered arms against the bullet proof glass.  The biters grew bolder, and arguably stupider.

“Ever seen Thelma and Louise?” Harriet said, leaning over the steering wheel.   She turned on the windshield wipers, much to the annoyance of their hitchhiker.  The heavy plastic blades smacked against it, drawing hisses like a cat being prodded with a stick.

“Yeah.   Why?” Jeff struggled against nodding off, turning a lethargic gaze at her.

“Maybe that’s how we should go out,” Harriet said.

“I think that’s a terrible idea,” Chae said, stirring from her nap.   “You two are getting suicidal now?”

“I wouldn’t call it suicide.” Jeff looked back at her, frowning.  “Call it a doomsday plan.”

“Suicide is suicide.   If you’re going to just off yourself, can you just leave me alone?”

“Feeling brave because you’re biter proof huh? “ Harriet slammed on the brakes, flinging the sprinter’s broken body forward.   Chae let out a squeal where Jeff took it completely in stride.

“How about Dr. Strangelove?” Jeff snapped his fingers in realization.  “As a twist, we could wear nothing but cowboy hats.”

“Oh, nice one.” A wry smile came to Harriet’s face.  “Want to drive for a bit?”

“You two are insane.” Chae pushed out of the Humvee.  Harriet and Jeff exchanged a shrug, paused to check their guns, and followed her out.

“Hey, Chae.” Jeff settled behind her.  “If you’re serious about leaving, we can give you guns.”

“What…?   You’d let me go?” Chae eyed them with suspicion.

“Yeah.” Harriet tightened her hand around the strap of her rifle.  “But you should know the brain might be after you specifically.”

“Impossible.   You saw it.  The biters avoided me.” Chae shook her head.

“If it makes you feel better to tell yourself that, go for it.” Jeff perked, spotting a sprinter in the distance.

“I got it.” Harriet raised her rifle, aimed and fired.  A clean shot through the head sent it to a screeching halt, and left it a twitching heap.  She shouldered her rifle.   “You even know how to fire a gun?”

“I won’t need it,” Chae said.

“I’m not gonna argue with you.” Harriet narrowed her eyes.  “You for helped us test that shit, so I— we wanted to make sure you didn’t feel like a damned hostage.   You can stay with us, and we won’t make drastic moves without your approval.”

“What’s with the 180?” Jeff raised a brow.

“Intuition.” Harriet pointed to the side of the road.  “Chae, mind standing over there?”

“Fine.” Chae crossed her arms and complied.   “What am I doing?”

“Jeff, get your pistol ready.   One shot.   Don’t miss.” Harriet walked over to the Humvee, waiting.

“Wait, you’re not going to kill me are you?” Chae paled.

“No.  I think I see what she’s getting at.”  Jeff checked the chamber of his revolver and clapped it back shut.   “She’s proving you have something to worry about.”

It took five minutes for another sprinter to show.   Harriet made no move.   The sprinter tore towards them at full tilt, and curiously made its way straight for Chae.   She realized it late, but Jeff raised his revolver and waited with a calm stare.

Chae screamed, doubling back and fully convinced they had abandoned her.   But as the sprinter drew close it slowed to a trot, a look of confusion on its rotted features.  It roared and turned towards Jeff as if seeing him for the first time.   It made two long steps before a gunshot silenced it.

“Knew it.” Harriet stepped away from the Humvee.   “You’re not invisible.   You just stink.   Strong enough to draw them in, but when they get there… they are afraid to get close.  You think all of them won’t be brave?   You think that smell might wear off?  You think that smell may make certain ones angry?”

Chae swallowed hard.

“And you want to take her with us?” Jeff raised a brow.  “She’s a damned beacon.”

“We can use this.” Harriet said, shrugging.   “You saw it.   They ignored us, until it was too late.”

***

The three of them settled into a nearby city, a shopping center with a large parking lot.  They parked the Humvee with quick escape in mind.   The Marquee sign still worked, so they shot out letters to spell out Free Brains.  The power grid must have been from an intact settlement nearby.

Chae didn’t find it funny; then again she had been the bait of their clever little trap.

Harriet hacked into the Gun shop’s security with ease, thanks to equipment in the Humvee.   The grocery store had an old fashioned bell alarm that drew a dozen or so standard biters.   They put them down with little effort.

They set up a small apartment in the gun shop after clearing it out.  The nearby stores provided furniture and a mattress.   Jeff even dragged in a treadmill and duct-taped a water bottle to the wall.  Harriet found that a nice touch.

Chae wrapped her fingers around the security bars of the gun shop, watching Jeff and Harriet set up the surprises for the biters.  Their ‘captive’ seemed thankful to be behind bars for once.

“At least if this doesn’t work.  I’m safe,” Chae said.  “Where are you going to be waiting?”

“On the roof,” Jeff said, wiping his forehead.   “Harriet and I are going to see if we can spot the state of the settlement.   It’s a crap shoot, but they may be cooperative.   We might be able to sell them one of the cures.”

“Yeah, at the least if settlements have someone to be bait, this might come to an end.”  Harriet grinned, running a hand through her shock of red hair.  “Who’s ready to celebrate?”

“Already have the mattress set up top.” Jeff said coyly.

“No couches?”

“I’m not about to lug a couch up the stairs.”

“We’re facing the apocalypse and you’re thinking about fooling around?” Chae frowned.  “Have you ever watched a horror movie?”

“Oh ho, little miss prissy is genre savvy.” Harriet said, smirking.  “Don’t’ worry.   We’ll look for some desperate fella for you.”

“That’s not my concern.” Chae said, stepping back.  “If you’re off making whoopee, who’s going to shoot the biters?”

“Making Whoopee?   What is this, the nineteenth century?” Jeff pointed at the traps.  “We set up bells.   If we hear it trigger we’ll take care of it.”

“I also hotwired the intercom,” Harriet said, “You press that if you see something funny.”

“Well, in that case.   I suppose you two have earned some rest.”  Chae let out a sigh.  “Thanks, for everything then.”

Jeff gave Harriet a playful slap on the behind.   “Race ya.”

A groan interrupted their revelry.   A biter turned the corner and pushed to a hurried approach.  Harriet wrapped her arms around Jeff and let out a mocking shriek.   “Oh, save me from the scary Zombies.”

The two laughed, stepping back from the cage.   Where the biter approached, Chae could only hear it.

“What are you doing?   Shoot it.” Chae said, curling her fingers around her arms.

“We’re testing the traps.” Jeff said, biting playfully on Harriet’s neck.   “Rawr, zombie want nookie.”

The biter tore into a full sprint.  Twenty paces from the cage, a javelin with a bowie knife taped on the end, erupted from the ground.   It tore through the biter’s jaw and silenced it.

Jeff and Harriet untangled themselves from each other and hurried check it out.   It had been a lucky shot, but even if it only impaled their stomach, they could always be finished off.

“Nice.” Jeff pulled the improvised spear free and reset the trap.   “It looks like we’ll be able to sleep tonight.”

“Or lose some sleep at least,” Harriet said.  She broke into a run towards the department store.  “Loser has to shoot.”

“Hey, no fair.” Jeff glanced back just in time to see Harriet’s blood stained shirt smack him in the face.  “Distraction tactics: clever girl.”

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