We set from out hiding place at dawn. I waited until the last of us had left our bunker counting each dirtied face as they left. There were 53 of us in total, each one with the same look of shock, awe and horror. The widespread outbreak had left us all with a feeling of desperate loneliness.
As I moved through the group I picked up a few snippets of conversation by desperate voices.
“I heard the Sargent talking. He said all the major cities were hit.”
“My parents were in D.C. Do you think they survived?”
“I wonder how quickly the mutation has spread through the hoard.”
“Do you think we’ll survive the crossing?”
Each one of us were lost children. As I moved up through the throng, I passed by unnoticed. My small frame and light pack allowed me to slip through the spaces between parties. Soon I found myself at the head of the group just a few steps behind my Fearless Leader and Sargent Scarface. I followed silently.
“When was the last communication with Central Command?” Fearless Leader asked.
“Seventy-two hours ago,” Scarface said.
“I’m sure they’ve moved by now,” Scarface seemed unconcerned. “It’s the apocalypse out there. If they didn’t move out by now they’re dead.”
“How do we get a message out if we need to?”
“We don’t,” Scarface answered flatly. “We’re on our own now.”
They went silent and stopped suddenly. In the dark tunnel the sudden stop raised a silent alarm. The tension made its way through the group.
“Why did we stop?” someone whispered. Their question went unanswered.
Scarface turned and we made eye contact. There was understanding in his eyes.
“Miles,” he nodded. “I hear you’re the best sniper in your platoon.”
“Yes sir,” I nodded.
“Good,” he answered. “Do you hear that?”
We listened, and the faintest echo of moans came wafting down the tunnel.
“About a hundred yards away, sir,” I answered. “Sounds like a massive hoard. We must be close to Detroit.
“The best sniper and a deft ear,” he seemed impressed. “Well done, young lady. Get up there and get me a visual.”
I worked my way forward until a small square of light appeared before me. As I came closer the noise of shuffling feet and moaning grew. I peered out the window and was appalled by the crawling undead that swarmed out for miles. I felt a lurch in my stomach as the stench of rotting flesh smacked me in the face. This was no mere hoard, this was an entire city of undead. Detroit had fallen. Not a single person could have survived.
Scarface joined me at the door and peered out.
“We can’t go this way, sir,” I said. “There’s no way through. I’m good, but I can’t cut down this hoard alone. We’ll need everything we got and then some. We could depleat our supply on this hoard alone.”
“Agreed,” he nodded looking over the hoard.
“Is there a way around?” I asked.
“Perhaps,” he answered. “My understanding of these tunnels is limited. I know they were used for mining in the 1920s, but after that it was closed.”
“Do we have a map of this system?”
“Navigation should,” he nodded looking out over the hoard again. He whistled over his shoulder a very distinct tone and within moments a young man with thick rimmed glasses was at his side.
“Nelson, we need the layout of this tunnel system,” he ordered. “Work with Miles and find us a way around this mess.” With that he vanished back into the dark tunnel. We were left with nothing but the white light from the window and our wits, at least what was left of them.