Chapter Eleven: The Effingham incident
Robert clutches the Axe tightly throwing a glance back to Val, he winks. She tosses him the 9mm with its precious nine remaining bullets "use'em well!" With that Val sealed the door just a Robert had shown her. The only light in the bus filtered through the foot long six inch wide slot the driver used to navigate. From the oddly angled slot Val was privy to from her perch she could see to the west the direction the bus was pointed which was their way out and for now at least it was clear. Trevor paced nervously in the rear hesitant to come up to the front out of fear from the scorching shaft of sunlight dancing across the front entry way. Li Lee continued to lie where she'd been left her breathing slow, shallow and catatonic. Robert was swiftly undoing the pump handle when the first uninvited corpse appeared "Stan" was the name etched on the blue coveralls. Robert made to shoot the advancing dead man, but rethought his plan the less attention the better. "Here!" He gave Jim the gas pump handle bringing up his axe the husky man primed the tool back and forth in his callouse hands. Robert took time to figure his angle of attack. Stan lunged and Robert swung the Axe with a “crunch” it embedded itself in his head inches above his left eyebrow. Jim stabbed the fuel pump home and clicked nothing happened. "Fuck Robert no go juice!" scanning the area Robert knelt down next to a truly dead Stan plucking a set of blood crusted keys from his belt. "I'll be right back!" The brown skinned man told Jim as the sun finally opened up bathing the ravaged landscape in daylight. The ground was littered with entrails and body parts tissue, and blood smeared everywhere. There'd been a slaughter here a human genocide of epic proportions. Jim tried desperately to steel himself with a tedious hold on his dignity and manhood, but he couldn't. From his gut came a dry heave starting to wretch deeply he pitched forward to vomit. This was fortunate for him as a long dead grandmother minus the front of her neck had quietly come meandering up behind the thin fly boy. The living dead senior citizen missed with her initial attempt falling on Jim's back clawing at him. "Ahhhh!" he fought crying out even if she wasn't an unfeeling zombie Jim Rivers still was sure he could take this eighty year old woman thing. Flipping the creature off proved easy enough but as Jim stood hearing the gas pump click to life he fell into the arms of a teenage boy in full football attire a gold Mustangs helmet adorned his head. The rancid boy tried its best to get a taste of his hostage, but it didn’t have the intelligence to remove the helmet that blocked its face.
"Robert!!!!!!!!" a gunshot echos whizzing past Jim's temple by inches pounding into the skull the football player. Its head whipping back hard as brain matter explodes out the rear of the gore and gold colored helmet in a chunky spray. Jim was perplexed because the shot had come from in front of him and Rob was behind him in the station and secondly the gun sounded louder than a 9mm's familiar little pop. Granny was standing now another report and she was propelled backwards her grey matter all over his once clean blue uniform. Jim stepped around the coaches’ rear to see a man sprinting ahead of a pack of frenzied zombies. The man wore a black deputy’s uniform and bore a child on his back that viciously sunk her tiny teeth into his neck pulling away flesh. The man stopped to scream in agony catapulting the dead child to the concrete while calling into his shoulder mic and running for the bus. "Get back on the bus Jim!" Rob startled the wiry man as he shoved a bag of scavenged food stuff into his birdcage of a chest. Jim didn't require a second or third prompt he took to pounding on the white filthy door "it's me Jim!" Robert took aim as the lawman dispatched two pursuers using hallow point rounds from his .357 including the little dead girl who was all but headless now. Robert being no expert marksman began to fire taking down all would be attackers in the area at but what cost to him as his 9mm was empty and useless. The man came to Robert with a gaping exposed neck wound along with a ragged bite now visible on his forearm. He bleed profusely coming to Rob he leaned heavily on upon the solidly built black man. "I.....I........aMMM…” retching and gasping for air "......Deee…puty Tim Somerset!" While he spoke Robert eyes the two 9mm magazines on his duty belt plotting how he would relieve the poor deputy of his ammo. He was sympathetic towards the injured man but he also knew in reality Deputy Tim Somerset was already dead. Deputy Somerset was getting his wind back when Rob heard a familiar sound at his rear. "Rob...Robert what’s going on are you ok?" Val called from the coaches door "GET BACK IN THERE AND DO WHAT I TOLD YOU!" Robert screamed. He had no desire to place Valerie in any sort of jeopardy she disappeared and the door closed once more. Robert gazed to and fro for any unwanted visitors. The man was leaning more weight on Rob as he regained himself. "T.....there...are fifteen ….people..." fumbling over words as Deputy Tim Somerset went "at the Deli Shop up the block they’re barricaded in!" He coughed jagged white spittle "we saw you..... folks coming...... in and were hoping to hitch a ride out of here!"
Robert feigned care and concern but he truly had none for these people nor their plight or their safety. He did however know how to capitalize on an opportunity just like back in Chicago in that train station. A gurgling moan the Deputy with the brown crew cut whirled placing a slug in their foes neck leaving it motionless on the sun drenched ground. "I told them to make a run for it!" he told the former garbage man "My ...wife and daughter....are there…too!" Robert Beery steeles his nerves locking eyes with the stricken law enforcement officer. "Alright Tim was...it?" he asked "my weapon is empty can I have those magazines you have there?" Tim Somerset unsnapped the clips pushing them to Robert who was sweating profusely "sure.....man...I left my Glock somewhere take'em." Unlike most people Rob has no problems taking the rounds. "I'll get my guys ready to go and get you survivors…” Rob swallowed as if he were trying to eat flour with a dry mouth “…and get …your family!” Robert gave the man a hearty slap on the back and with clips in hand and deceit in his heart spoke once more. "Tim wait here make sure the bus gets topped off then we ride. Slap the side if you see trouble and I'll be right out!" Deputy Somerset leaned on the pump handle as the pump itself dinged away the gallons. Rob pounded the coach door and when Val opened it far enough for him to enter he raced up the stairs removing Val from her perch in the drivers seat. "What’s going on Robert?" she asked nervous and agitated as they had been immobile for far to long. "NOTHING!" shouting her down with a minimal amount of hostility. Jim's turn "Why is that cop out there pumping our gas and who were those people I heard him mention?" Robert fixed the skinny man in his sights revving the bus engine. Trevor quietly slid up just behind the coachman's seat to listen he was safe as long as he stayed out of the light. "I don't know and I don't give a crap!" Rob told his new union mate. "bbbut... those people they are alive. And....." Jim looked to the others for support "we can't just leave them here!" Sighing his chest heaving waiting on the signal "it's either us or them and if any of you desire to help them well your welcomed to get off and offer your assistance, but the coach and me won't be here when you’re done!" His words were icy picks stabbing each of them with the exception of Trevor Clevantes who was born and bred to be a ruthless unfeeling killer.
"Oh....oh Robert." was all Val could muster before she ran unconsciously into Trevor's arms. "Sit down Jim or you won't like what happens when I take off!" Robert’s jaw clinched as he stared out of the slot in the shutter. There were zombies gathering along the road out of town he planned to plow over a few just for kicks. "Robert my friend." came a silky smooth voice belonging to the vampire who cradled what Robert Berry considered to be his woman. With a hint of sarcasm and a pinch of pearly white fangs showing Trevor proceeded. "I have been called many things in my life indeed I am not human. Nor however my friend am I inhuman we are more alike than you care to admit we two you and I, but bare this in mind." Trevor leaned dangerously close to the sunlight but he had to be sure Robert Berry heard him clearly "even I would not do this to my own kind." Words slithering off his tongue burrowing deep into Roberts’s core as the deputy banged the side of the coach. With no regret Robert’s size thirteen boot mashes down the accelerator the bus pounces to life moving out of the fueling depot. "What the hell!" Deputy Somerset shouted drowned out by the bus roaring to life snatching the fuel pumps handle free as it went. The enraged Deputy had signaled the dead approach as he was asked and he'd been double crossed for his brave actions. He was caught by a gleeful rancid corpse his entire cheek seized in the abominations mouth. Drawing his .357 to deal with as many as he could before death took hold. The furious man resigned himself to his fate "so be it!” he mused as crowd of a dozen or more putrid zombies pulled him down to a horrible death. Two shots left and neither took anything for an expert marksman and military trained sniper. "One shot one kill" was their motto in the corps. The first slug fired through a mass of dead limbs blew the left rear tire on the fleeing coach in a cloud of rubber and sparks. Falling under the weight and pain the last thing Tim Somerset did was place a hallow point into the gas pump abject to the diesel pump. He and his dinner guest including some en route and half of the block were vaporized instantly cremated in a spectacular fire ball momentarily brighter than Trevor's dreaded sun.