PRESENT DAY: WALTON, KY
“No, Wildcat,” Bulldog heard someone scream. “No!”
She tried to make sense of what was going on as she laid flat on her back, staring at the sky. The tank was in front of her, but she had been thrown to the side. It also hurts a hell of a lot more when thrown concrete hits you, she knew from experience. Someone screamed Wildcat’s name again, so she turned her head towards the sound. Spartan sat a few feet away from her. He was trying to revive a bloody Wildcat.
Wildcat had saved her life. He had shoved her and Spartan out of the way and taken the hit himself. Quickly, she scrambled to him and grabbed his hand. “Go,” she ordered Spartan. “I’ve got him. Go kill that fuckin’ tank.”
After Spartan had run off screaming, she took Wildcat’s face in her hands. Softly, she spoke his name over and over again. A minute later, his eyelids flickered. Seconds after that, his eyes opened. When he saw her, he smiled, revealing a mouthful of blood. “Are you ok,” he asked weakly.
Bulldog did her best to hide the tears that were starting to form. “Spartan and I are both ok, thanks to you.”
“Damn,” he laughed up more blood. “I was hoping that I missed him. “
“You shouldn’t have…”
Wildcat looked deep into her eyes. “I love you, you know,” he said.
Before Bulldog could respond, she realized it was too late. Wildcat was already gone. She gently laid his head down on the ground. Picking up his rifle, she vowed that the tank that took him from her would die very soon.
Spartan was enraged when he left Wildcat and Bulldog. While Trojan was the group’s leader, Wildcat was the one that Spartan looked up to. It was Wildcat who had turned him from a spoiled, rich kid into a man who could take care of himself in a zombie invasion. Though he was no doctor, he knew that Wildcat was not going to make it, so Wildcat also gave up his life to save him. He refused to have his savior’s sacrifice be in vain.
Two shots erupted from his shotgun. On his next trigger pull, there was only a click. Thinking that it would take too long to reload, he dropped his shotgun and grabbed a pistol with each hand. He unloaded the clips in both guns as quickly as he could. The tank was still coming at him. When the tank was ten feet away from him, Spartan dropped his pistols and pulled out the axe that he kept strapped to his back.
With a cry, he charged at the tank and swung the axe over-handed as hard as he could. The axe missed the tank’s head by inches, striking the massive zombie’s shoulder. Just as Spartan had connected with his swing, the tank connected on Spartan with its fist. Spartan went flying away, leaving his axe buried in the tank’s shoulder.
Irish cursed Spartan. Because of the man’s tactics, he was forced to switch from his shotgun to pistols, in order to ensure that he didn’t hit the man by accident. To kill the tank quickly, they needed firepower, and pistols didn’t pack as much punch as his shotgun. He fired until he needed to reload. As Irish was changing out magazines, Spartan ran right at the tank. A second later, he was gone.
He knew he couldn’t dwell on what happened to Spartan because the tank was now coming at him. Wanting to pick up his shotgun, he knew he couldn’t stop shooting his pistols long enough to grab it. Behind him, he heard the sound of a rifle firing. His heart was overjoyed. Only Wildcat used a rifle. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw it was actually Bulldog, who had picked up Wildcat’s weapon that had fired the shot. Why was she using Wildcat’s weapon, he asked himself, unless….
Once again, he had to push thoughts to the back of his mind. Both of his magazines were empty. He hoped that Bulldog’s shooting would distract the tank enough for him to grab his shotgun. With a breath to steady himself, Irish leapt forward with his arm outstretched.
Trojan, thinking that Rocket, Rebel, and Panther could handle the rest of the normal zombies, turned around and tried to get to the tank. There were still zombies in his way, as they were attracted to the boomer bile that covered the three he was leaving behind. He had just gotten through the last of them when he saw Spartan go flying away.
Running over to where it looked like he landed, Trojan still couldn’t find him. The hill at the front of the complex was only a few feet away, so with momentum, Spartan was probably laying at the bottom of it now. Trojan turned his head when he heard the rifle shot. Like Irish, he first thought it was Wildcat firing, only to be disappointed when he saw that it was Bulldog. Determined to help his friends, Trojan ran towards the tank, pulling the shotgun off his back as he ran.
When he was halfway to the tank, he saw Irish drop his pistols and reach for his shotgun. It didn’t look like he was going to make it to the weapon in time. Trojan raised his shotgun, aimed high, so he didn’t hit Irish, and pulled the trigger. Buckshot ripped into the shoulder that didn’t have Spartan’s axe buried in it, but it didn’t slow the tank down. Cursing himself for not grabbing and deer slugs before leaving the last safe house, Trojan pumped and fired again.
Irish had his hand on his shotgun. The tank stood only a few feet away, poised to strike him. Trojan, still running, pumped his shotgun again and leapt over the kneeling Irish. The tank’s arm began to swing in a backhanded attempt to swat Trojan away. When the barrel of his gun was lined up with the tank’s face, Trojan pulled the trigger.
By the time Rocket and Panther killed the last of the zombies that had been surrounding them, Trojan had just begun his dash towards the tank. Rocket went to join him, but stopped when he heard his wife ask, “Where’s my sister?”
Rocket looked around, but didn’t see her. She wasn’t with the others. Suddenly, Panther screamed. Turning, he saw his wife running towards the shadows of the building, where only Rebel’s legs were visible. He ran after his wife. A deep roar sounded off to his side. Stopping, he watched as a charger ran past, right where he would’ve been if he had kept running. It slammed into the building close to where Rebel was.
“Get your sister,” Rocket yelled to Panther as he shot at the charger. He was too far away to do any real damage, but he was just trying to get its attention with that shot. It worked. In the time it took for him to pump the shotgun, the charger was upon him. As he raised his weapon, the charger lashed out with its one big arm. The force of the blow knocked him back a few feet and took his breath away.
Without waiting to get it properly aimed, Rocket pointed his shotgun in the charger’s general direction and fired. His blast caught it in the midsection, but it kept coming. Rocket pumped and fired two more times, quicker than he ever had in his life, before the charger finally fell. He took a couple of deep breaths to fully refill his lungs, reminding himself to never let a charger punch him again. It hurt a lot more than he thought it would.
The sound of his wife coughing off to the side told him what had gotten his sister-in-law. When he looked, the whole area was covered in smoke. Wanting to give his lungs a break, Rocket decided to wait for the smoke to dissipate before joining his wife. Her scream changed his mind. Felling his way to her through the smoke, he knelt down beside her. Panther threw her arms around him and squeezed as tightly as she could.
“She’s dead,” she cried. “My sister is dead.”