“Are there any side passages in this tunnel,” Trojan asked.
“No”, Rocket answered. “It’s a straight shot for about another half-mile.”
“All right. Let’s get moving. We don’t want that witch to catch up to us.”
The four of them walked, for what seemed to Trojan to be hours, until they came into view of the tunnel entrance. By this time, his back was hurting because every twenty feet in the tunnel, the ceiling got so low they had to duck. Rocket exited first, followed by the two women. As soon as Trojan took a step out, he felt the cold barrel of a gun being pressed against the back of his head.
“Turn around now,” the voice behind the gun commanded, “Or I’ll pull the trigger.”
Wildcat knew that Bulldog and Spartan couldn’t make it in time. They were too far away for their weapons to be effective and they might do more harm than good from this distance. He couldn’t see the zombie’s head through his scope, so he aimed at its spine, in between the shoulder blades. His finger squeezed the trigger and a shot rang out. Through the scope, he saw that he had hit right where he was aiming, but the zombie didn’t die. Two more shots rang out in rapid succession. This time, the charger fell.
Irish hadn’t moved since it crashed him into the car. Bulldog reached him first, dropping to her knees beside him with Spartan following a couple seconds later. She put her fingers to his neck to check for a pulse. Her eyes lit up, she began screaming his name, and shook him. After she had done this a couple of times, Spartan put his hand over her mouth.
When she looked to him for an explanation, she saw that his eyes were searching from side to side. That’s when she heard it. It was a hunter. She started looking around, as well. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw a flash. When she turned, Spartan was no longer next to her.
“Look,” Trojan began, “if you want me to leave, that’s fine, but I’m not going back through that tunnel. There’s a witch down there.”
“A what,” the man holding the pistol asked.
“One of the crying ones,” Rebel answered for him. “What are you doing, Bobby? Why are you pointing that at him?”
“I looked through the binoculars. His crew is still in the area. They’re going to try to take our stuff. I bet this guy’s job is to lead them to us.”
“Come on, man,” Rocket sighed. “They’re probably just trying to find him.”
“Well, if that’s all they want, let’s give it to them. Get your ass back into that tunnel and get out of here.”
Trojan put his hands up in surrender. He took two steps, but not back towards the tunnel. He was walking towards the highway in the other direction. Before he could go any farther, he felt the gun against his head again.
“I said back through the tunnel. I don’t care if one of those crying zombies is in there or not. I’m not going to let you scope out our place before you go back to the rest of your thieves.”
Trojan turned to look into Bobby’s eyes. He could tell that the man didn’t want to pull the trigger, but he could also tell that he would if he had to. Off in the distance, a gunshot echoed. It was going to happen; all he had to do was wait for it now. There it was.
Two more shots went off and Bobby’s eyes looked away from him, in the direction of where the shots came from, for just a second. That was all the time that Trojan needed. He swung at the gun, hoping to knock it out of the man’s hand. It stayed in his hand, but it was no longer pointed at him. Trojan cocked his arm back to throw a punch, but stopped when he heard the other three pleading with them to stop.
Even though Trojan thought Bobby was an asshole, he knew that Rebel, and the others, needed that asshole in their group; just as Wildcat and the others needed him. His job now was to get back to the only family he had left. Reluctantly, he put his hands back up.
“I’m sorry,” Trojan apologized. “My survival instincts kicked in. I mean no harm to you or anyone else here. All I want to do is get back to my group, but I can’t do that if you make me go back down that tunnel. If I go back in there, I’m dead.”
“I don’t care,” Bobby growled. “Get back in there.”
“Baby, just let him stay until the crying one leaves,” Rebel begged.
Trojan, who was slowly backing up towards the tunnel entrance, watched as Bobby backhanded Rebel with his free hand. She fell back into her sister’s arms. By this time, Trojan had reached the entrance. Rocket aimed his shotgun at Bobby, who was yelling at the others that he was in charge and they should all be following his orders. The girls stared at him with open mouths, clearly not believing what they were seeing.
Now that Bobby’s attention was split, Trojan thought he knew how the gunman would react if he made a sudden move. It was a risk, but it was one he had to take. He took a step backwards, hit the lip of the tunnel, and started falling onto his back. Bobby, thinking Trojan was making a move, fired a shot at him. It missed. Trojan started to smile as he heard an ear-piercing shriek from the tunnel behind him. Then, his head hit the floor and pain emptied his thoughts.
Wildcat had knocked Spartan down just as the hunter pounced at him. It flew over their heads as they hit the pavement. Unfortunately, it was much more agile than they were, and it recovered quicker than they could. The hunter was flying straight at them when a shotgun blast erupted from the side. While the shot was not enough to kill it, it was enough to knock the hunter off course.
The hunter looked back at the one who attacked it after it landed next to the pair. Bulldog held her shotgun out at it while still kneeling where she had been. It leapt at her, but instead of landing on her, it landed on the car behind her. Beside her, Irish had awakened and was aiming his shotgun at the hunter.
Wildcat saw the danger. From where he was laying, Irish couldn’t. Before he could yell out a warning, Irish pulled the trigger. The hunter jumped out of the way, revealing the boomer behind it.