The sun began to set over the horizon. Our small water haven was in the center of a vast lake and there was no visual of land in any direction. I found myself wishing we could stay on the boat forever. It would be safe, for a time being. There’s no visual contact of land, and fishing would be decent. We could move from one body of water to the other and out into the ocean. It could be a good life. I could fashion a sail out of bed sheet, or raid a near-by dock for supplies.
But that was not the plan of our organization, unfortunately. Our plan was not just mere survival; it was of a greater more terrible purpose. Our leader came out of the house and stood on the deck. His eyes were shaded by dark sunglasses, but we knew he was scanning the horizon deep in thought. It was his duty to deliver us safely to the rendezvous point. We had all been chosen for our particular talents and when we met with the rest, we would form a group of highly trained, highly deadly assassins of the undead.
“It is time,” said our leader without turning and to no one in particular. We went to work and our small home was soon on its way toward land. We did not fire the engine, but rather allowed the wind to carry us.
As the last of the sun rays dropped below the horizon, the purple land came into view. We switched on our night vision and I took my perch atop the boat scanning for any trouble ahead. I signaled the all clear and we came in as quietly as possible. We were suited up by the time we touched land and were out of our boat and heading North shortly thereafter. The night was thick and without the night vision goggles, we would surely become separated.
Our leader and I walked side by side scanning the road ahead, while Jones watched the West, Day the East and Day the South. Dean was medical and was protected in the center of our group by Miller. It was unlikely that any Zombies had come to this area yet. With the lake separating the land from the breakout, it was more likely that this area would be uninhabited, but better safe than sorry.
The second rendezvous point was only a few miles from where we were and we turned Eastward through the trees to cut down on travel time. Our leader had plotted a direct course that would give us plenty of cover. I found myself wondering how he knew the lay of the land.
A scuffle in the brush just ahead brought us to a dead stop.
A whistle. It was a greeting. Our leader responded.
A small group came out of the brush, three men and three women, just like us.
“Sargent Andrews,” a man said.
“Sir,” our leader responded. They were speaking in hushed whispers.
“You must follow us; the rendezvous point has been compromised.”
“More of them?”
“You have no idea the scale. Quickly.”
Our group, now 12 strong, fell into formation. We jogged through the woods eastward for what felt like hours until a single amber light could be seen through the trees. As it came closer we saw a compound begin to take shape.
“We have U.S. Team 387, open the gates,” their leader ordered into a radio.
The gates opened quickly, just in time for us to dash in.
As the gates slammed shut we heard them. Howls from all directions rang out into the night.
“They are close,” their leader said. “They will find us before the sun rises. There are sniper towers at the four corners and a cat walk around the perimeter. The grand tour will have to wait until the morning. I will debrief you then. Andrews, follow me, we have much to discuss. The rest of you: fall in!”
We took positions. There appeared to be at least four different teams here. In a matter of a few hours, we went from six, to twelve to approximately 30. Safety is in numbers. The complex was not too huge, but not too small, either. I estimated it at 300 square feet. It was in a diamond shape with corners pointed at each direction.
As I knelt on the Northern tower I was greeted by a nod from another sniper. I shook his hand.
“Miles,” I whispered.
“Hodge,” he answered.
The howls were intermittent by now with a simple call and response.
“Got a first name?” Hodge asked.
“Stephanie,” I answered.
“Matt,” he answered.
“How long have you been here, Matt?”
“Almost two days now,” he answered. He had a slight Canadian accent. “No visual contact of the zombies yet, but they are close.”
“We didn’t think they would be this far North,” I answered.
“I’m not sure how they got up here so fast,” he explained. “You are from 387, eh?”
“Sarge was given strict orders to wait for your arrival,” he said. “We were tracking your progress on the GPS. When we saw you moving in to land Team 679 left for the pier. I’m not sure what they saw there, but it couldn’t have been good. You should not have come here.”
A warning whistle rang out from the eastern tower. A shot was heard, then another.
“Visual contact due East,” a voice came over Hodge’s radio.
“Here they come,” he said.