The Omega Event

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Chapter 20 (v.1) - The Farmhouse

Submitted: May 25, 2017

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Submitted: May 25, 2017

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Depression had taken over.

The nine of us stumbled out of the warehouse, somehow still alive. I limped with help from Space while Andrew and Coty walked out. Julian carried the body of his sister, wrapped up in a black plastic bag we found inside. Spencer and Maddie stumbled out and Ryan stood with the kids, closing the door to the warehouse afterwards.

The night was dark and dreary, the sounds of the city echoing throughout the warehouse district. The RV had sustained minimal damage, and was sitting outside the warehouse waiting for us. Julia was still inside, having not followed Axel into the fight.

One by one we piled into the RV, tossing our weapons aside and taking our spots. Before I walked in I looked back at Ryan, who was helping Axel carry the heavy rifle he had taken.

I looked at him and asked, "are you coming?"

"C-Coming? With you guys?" he asked as he followed us out fo the building.

"We just lost one of our own because of your idiot friends, so get in here before I crush your arm," Andrew threatened him angrily before walking inside.

"Ignore him. If you want to come with us, you can. If you don't, you're kinda screwed," I told him.

He frowned and crossed his arms, "I can take care of myself. The police around here are pushovers."

"The police are the least of your worries. Get in and we'll explain," Madeline told Ryan. He took a few seconds to think before following us into the RV, setting down his shotgun by the door. I closed it behind him and Andrew started the vehicle, driving away from the warehouses.

We were all here. Alive, but just barely. I had a bullet wound to the leg, Space had a stab wound to the shoulder, and Spencer had his arm burned by a grenade explosion. My wound was only a graze, but it still hurt. It was like a burning sensation, but instead of a burn it was a bloody mess.

I laid back in my seat, holding Space's hand as I stared out the window. Lights and colors flashed past me as we drove through the city, heading south. I dind't know where we'd stop next, but hopefully it'd be somewhere safe.

 

A few hours later, and we were doing considerably better. As soon as we got into the RV, Julian had locked himself in the bathroom and left the body of his sister lying in the corner of the RV. Nobody wanted to disrespectful and move it, but we needed to bury it at some point.

Since he was locked away, Ryan took the courtesy to bandage up our wounds. He was pretty good at it too, and told us some of his stories to try and lighten the mood. 

"Where'd you learn to do this?" Space asked as she rubbed her bandaged shoulder. Ryan was working on my leg, and was carefully cleaning it with a cloth.

"I live the gang life. It's not rare for a few buddies to show up in the evening with a gunshot wound or two. Usually it was my friend James who took care of that stuff, that is until he was the one with the bullet wound. I picked up a few things over the years, and cleaning bullet wounds was one of them," he told us.

"That's... r-really cool," I said through clenched teeth, the alcohol he was using stinging my leg.

He chuckled, "don't worry, it won't be too much longer."

"So why did your group attack us? You guys are kind of a local group in Detroit right? Why'd you show up in the middle of Indiana?" Madeline asked.

"Yeah that's a messy situation. So a few buddies of ours drove a few states to the west to visit one of their families back home. They moved away a few years ago for a job and joined the gang soon after, but they always make time to go home. But on the way back, some people killed them, and only one of them made it out of their alive. Called us up, and we went after them. Those people were you," Ryan explained.

The people at Silver Lake. Those were the people Ryan was most likely talking about. They wore the same colors and signs, so they must be the same.

"We... we didn't kill them purposely. They showed up at our campsite and demanded our money and weapons, and they threatened Axel," I told him, trying to clear up any bad air.

"Nah nah it's fine. I never liked Ramirez anyways," he said, continuing to work on my wound.

"Why are you even in their gang?" I asked him.

He sighed, "when I was fourteen, my parents died. Huge fire, but I ran out of the house and escaped. I lived on the streets until I came back and saw the place just a pile of ash. A few days later, I was approached by a man. He said he had a few friends in Michigan, and he was just visiting when he saw me. He offered me a place in his group, and I took it. It was sort of a life debt, and now that he's dead I'm finally free."

"Why didn't you leave earlier?" Space asked.

"You try to leave the gang life, you get killed. Simple as that," he said, tying the bandage he was holding around my ankle.

A few minutes later, we came to a stop. Ryan finished bandaging my wound and stood up, all of us watching as Andrew marched out of the drivers seat. We were parked on the side of a dirt road, somewhere out in the middle of the country. He looked at us all and asked, "so what now?"

"What do you mean what now?" Madeline asked.

"Well we have no route, no ideas, and a rotting corpse up front. What's the plan?" he asked us.

I stood up and told him, "get to Florida as fast as possible. That's all."

"Well it's getting late, and if Julian won't swap in for me then we can't go much further. Coty drove all the way to Detroit so he's too tired to get up and do anything else. We're gonna have to stop for the night," he told us.

"Where though?" Space questioned.

"There's a farm right around the corner. We can stay the night there hopefully," he told us.

We all agreed, nodding mutually before watching Andrew march out of the RV. Space helped me out of the RV, and we all followed, with the exception of Julian. 

Andrew pointed towards the body, "take that thing with us. We need to bury it."

"Don't call her an it. She's Julian's sister," Space said, shooting him a glare.

"She's a rotting corpse that's stinking up the place. Pick it up and drag it behind you if you want," he told her coldly.

"Seriously you are so god damn insensitive! Carry it yourself asshole!" she shouted at him, stomping up the path and leaving us behind. I sighed, gesturing for Maddie to help me walk. But she was talking with Coty, the two of them already walking ahead with Spencer trailing behind. Ryan luckily gave me a hand, letting me walk alongside him. Axel and Julia followed beside me, the two kids whispering quietly.

Andrew scoffed and grabbed the body, dragging it out of the RV and struggling to follow behind us. I'd go back and help him, but I couldn't in my condition.

As we turned the corner to see the farm, we found an illuminated farmhouse and barn waiting for us. The others had stopped as well, and were staring at it from afar. It was pretty nice, a white two story house with a barn not too far away, and a set of stables next to that. The only issue was, the lights in the house were on.

"There are already people liivng here, and I don't think they'd take kindly to us breaking into their house," Coty said to Andrew as he caught up.

He scoffed, "then we kill them."

"Kill them?! What is wrong with you!?" Spencer exclaimed.

"We need a place to stay for the night, and outside is no longer safe. Look what happened in that forest! If we're gonna survive the night, we need to get inside," Andrew shouted at us.

"That doesn't mean we need to straight up murder somebody!" Madeline shouted at him.

"That's how it is now! We killed policemen, we killed gangbangers, what's the difference! Even these mutants are still people, it's not like they're dead!" he shouted at us.

I shouted back, "Andrew! You are out of control! We are not killing anybody, and that's that!"

He glared at me with a deep hatred, before scoffing and walking ahead, "you do what you want. I'm burying her beside the barn."

I glared at him and looked to the others, "let's take the barn. If we're lucky, we can stay the night there for a few hours and get some well needed rest. In the morning, we can head out."

The others agreed and we all trudged through the tall grass, heading to the old rickety barn up ahead. However, halfway across the field, a thought came to mind. I stopped and whispered to Ryan, "you go ahead, I gotta take care of something."

He nodded before kneeling down, picking up a wooden stick lying in the grass. He handed it to me to use as a walking stick before running ahead to catch up with the others. I smiled before reaching down into my pocket, pulling out my cell phone.

Just for a split second, I turned my data on. I know it could risk them tracking us, but I needed to see something. I scrolled through my contacts, finding a specific one towards the bottom. I clicked on it, the photo of a girl with short pink hair appearing. Lydia Rose.

I had thought about her several times before, but never got a chance to really think deeply about it since this all began. I knew I had feelings for Space, but there was just something about Lydia I couldn't drop. I was over her, I knew I'd never be able to hold that much of a long distance relationship. But I couldn't help but continue thinking about her, and whether or not she was okay.

Before this, I had wanted to tell Andrew to head to New York. It was only a few hours from Indiana, and if we had drove all night we could have gotten there, gotten her, and probably be here at the same time. But no. Instead, the Sakara Gang kidnapped Space and we spent the entire night driving to Detroit, getting shot up, and then driving back here. 

Slowly I moved my finger to the call button, and pressed down on the green circle below her name. The phone began to ring, and I moved it up to the side of my ear. Ring after ring, I prayed for her to pick up. I just wanted her to answer, to tell me she was okay. Maybe I could warn her to leave, or maybe she could come after us. Just maybe...

I waited, and I waited. Ring after ring. I kept my fingers crossed, and just hoped she would pick up. But alas, the phone stopped. My lip began to quiver as I heard the answering machine, and her cutesy voice played from the phone's speakers. I missed talking to her, and we hadn't actually called in a month.

"Hi this is Lydia! My phone is off or dead right now, so please leave a message and I'll get back to you as soon as possible! Thank you!" she said in her cutesy voice.

"Lydia I-"

The call stopped. Slowly I moved the phone down, staring at what seemed to be a black screen. It had died. Finally, after all these days, the battery had died. We had no charger, nor would I risk draining the RV's gas to charge the phone, so now it was just useless.

I took a few deep breaths before shoving the phone back in my pocket, staring down at the ground in frustration. All I wanted to do was talk to her, and that was the one thing I couldn't...

 

Spencer's POV

The fire crackled brightly, illuminating the otherwise darkened barn. We had all gathered around the small fire Coty had built, going through our bags. Anikan was looking over all the weapons, and pointing out destinations on a map with help from Ryan. We had explained the situation to him a few hours earlier, and he was now helping us plot a course.

"Alright so we need to go south, but I checked the news and these highways are out for construction. Getting through there will be a pain with the traffic, so we gotta take this road and go through the backroads until we get to Bloomington. It's just south of Indianapolis, and from there we can head south into Kentucky," he explained.

"Where would we stop? Louisville?" I asked him, pointing out one of the bigger cities.

He shook his head, "no that's too out of the way, and too much of a police presence. We need somewhere smaller. Maybe Evansville," he said, poking at a town on the border of Kentucky."

"How about Owensboro?" I said, pointing at another town.

"Right over the border... maybe. Less driving, and maybe we can fuel up at one of the stations nearby," he said.

While the two of them kept planning, I kept to myself on my GameBuddy. Andrew was outside the barn digging up a grave, and Coty was keeping watch for anyone at the house. The others were simply huddled around the fire, keeping warm and watching Anikan and Ryan.

On my small blue device, a small avatar ran across the screen, swinging his sword back and forth. He cut through two bullets before throwing his sword forward, beheading four demons. He summoned it back and fired a blast of magic to his left, taking out a large demonic eyeball monster.

I groaned and whispered to myself, "great, another cutscene. If only these were skippable."

"Spencer put the game down and help us," Space said suddenly.

It surprised me and I threw the game down into the hay, having zoned out of what was going on. Anikan and Ryan had put the map away, and were now digging through the gun bag. He seemed to be passing out weapons, so I quickly paid attention.

"I'll start over then. Everyone in this group has a handgun and a knife, but we should all have some kind of secondary weapon if we need to. Coty has his shotgun, and now we got this M4-A1, the hunting rifle, and a plain black revolver we got from Detroit. Who wants what?" Anikan read as he looked over the weapons.

I held my hand out instantly, "I'll take the revolver."

The others looked at me weirdly and Space asked, "why do you want that gun?"

"I dunno, but it looks cool," I said, taking it and looking it over. The barrel was a little shorter, and it looked kinda dull compared to Anikan's shiny silver one, but it was a nice revolver nonetheless. I smiled and stuffed it into my belt as Anikan handed the hunting rifle to Maddie.

"Alright Ryan has his remington 870, so who wants the M4?" Anikan asked them.

Axel raised his hand from the other side of the campfire, "me me! Please!"

"Axel you're too young for that," Space told him.

"Hey I'm already twelve, and it's not like I haven't fired a gun! If it wasn't for me, you guys would be dead in that warehouse!" he said to us.

"I mean that is true. I wouldn't hurt to give him something to defend himself with," Ryan commented.

"Please Anikan! I know it's not a toy or anything!" he said to him.

Anikan sighed and began tapping his finger on the edge of the rifle while thinking. In my experience, giving a kid a heavy machine gun was a horrible idea. But if anime logic was on our side, maybe he'd stand a chance. Anikan sighed and reached into the gun bag, pulling out a small handgun tucked to the side.

"Axel... not yet," he said, showing him the gun, "you need proper training, and until we take care of that I can't let you carry a gun. In the morning, if you wake up early, I can teach you a bit. If you can prove to me you're responsible enough to handle a gun, then you can take this."

Axel sighed and frowned, "fiiiiine. Just wake me up whenever you're ready."

He stood up and walked away, leaving the barn and heading outside. Julia frowned, going back to playing with the necklace she was fiddling with. She was untying the string and tying it back, putting the beads in different orders.

"Are you really gonna give the kid a gun?" Maddeline asked him.

He shrugged, "I mean if we knows how to use it, why not? Kids younger than him have learned how to shoot, and we need all the help we can get. It's not like I'm putting him in the line of fire or anything. He shouldn't use it unless he has too."

She sighed and got up, walking off, "sometimes you're really irresponsible."

"Where are you going?" he asked.

"Gonna go check on Coty and the kid," she said, walking out of the barn to find them. Anikan shook his head afterwards, going back to talking with Ryan about the map. I frowned and looked over at Space, but she had gone to helping Julia with her bracelet. 

"Um... I'm just gonna go help Andrew," I said, standing up and stuffing my GameBuddy in my hoodie pocket.

I walked out of the barn, eyeing the bright moon in the night sky. I sometimes missed Astronomy class, but it was a pretty sight being able to see it here and everything. That was the one thing I liked about the countryside.

I walked around the barn, spotting Andrew attempting to dig a grave. He was holding a heavy shovel, piling dirt beside him as he tried to dig it deep enough to cover her in. I approached him awkwardly, intimidated by his angered expression.

"Um... hey do you need any-"

"Fuck off."

"Okay then... well I just wanted to know if you needed help digging or anything."

"Please, you couldn't dig into a molehill without hurting your back," he said sarcastically.

I crossed my arms, "can so!"

I then kicked a nearby molehill, knocking several ants over. However, I almost tripped, just barely managing to catch my balance before I fell into the mud. He scoffed and went back to shoveling.

"Just hand me a shovel," I told him, getting a bit fed up with his pissy attitude.

"Suit yourself," he said, grabbing a second shovel laying in the grass and tossing it to me. I caught it and walked past the body, begining to dig into the grave. It was hard at first, but after a few scoops I was able to get the hang of it.

 

Madeline's POV

The moonlight shined down on the barn, illuminating the field in it's bright blue light. I walked through the tall grass, basking in the moonlight as I approached Coty. He was sitting against a small shed, seemingly smoking a cigarette.

I approached him and frowned, glaring at the small paper stick in his mouth. He puffed out a bit of smoke before taking it out, looking up at me carelessly, "you got a problem?"

"Is that weed?" I asked, crossing my arms.

"Nope. Just plain old lung killer," he said, rubbing it against the dirt and tossing it away. He knew I didn't like them much, and at least was respectful enough to put it away.

I sat down next to him and asked, "so what's going on? Anyone in the house?"

"Dunno. If there were, they would've seen or heard something by now. Seems like whoever lives there either forgot to turn the light off, or their blind," he answered, "or maybe they're just as blunt as old Spencer over there."

We both glanced to the side, spotting Spencer and Andrew outside the barn. The two were digging the grave together, though Spencer was clearly struggling. However he was doing it, and wasn't doing as bad as I would expect.

"Nice to see the two of them working together for once rather than bickering like an old married couple," I said with a smile.

"Yep. Maybe when we find a new place the two of them will move in and seal the deal," Coty joked.

I snickered and shook my head, "oh god no! They'd last five minutes before Andrew'd beat him and I'd see Spencer run out of the house screaming abuse!"

We both burst into laughter, the sight of Spencer in a dress running away from Andrew holding up a broom in anger. As we calmed down, Coty commented, "nah nah, in all seriousness I think Andrew has his eye on some online chick Anikan's been talking to."

"Lilitha? Oh she's really nice. She wanted to come visit us in Tazader City one day, but maybe we'll see her soon," I told him.

"And why's that?" he asked.

"Well she lives in Florida, so maybe we can pick her up before we leave," I said with a smile.

He smiled back, "maybe..."

The silence returned, and we both simply stared up at the stars. It was a bit breezy, but the cold didn't bother me that much. I crossed my arms, trying to conserve heat as I stared into the distance.

"You cold?" he asked, noticing me trying to resist shivering.

I shrugged, and he immmediately stood up and took off his jean jacket. He gave it to me use as a blanket, and I blushed slightly and looked at him as he sat back down. 

"Why?" I asked, a bit confused.

He shrugged back, "I don't really get cold often, and you need it more than I do. Besides, it kinda suits you."

We both laughed, and I followed up with another question, "hey um... before when we were talking about a new home... where do you think you'd want to live?"

"Well I know Julian has interest in Figi, but personally I'd just like a nice house in the countryside. A place with no annoying neighbors, no angry pidgeons, no subways or giant buildings. Just an old house with a bedroom, bathroom, a record player, and some pretty decent wifi because face it, without memes I wouldn't last more than an hour or two," he explained with a chuckle.

I giggled before replying, "well you've lasted this long without them."

"Yeah but that's only because I've been way too occupied. Between swapping driving duties with Andrew, saving y'alls asses and beating up these infected motherfuckers, I haven't had much time to just sit back and relax. At least not until now," he said as he placed his arms between his bed, relaxing on his blanket.

I frowned and began to stand up, "oh did I interrupt you earlier? I'm sorry if you want me to-"

"No no stay. It's nice having company that isn't totally annoying," he said, shooting me a relaxed smile.

"Oh... well I'm proud to be not be totally annoying," I joked. He chuckled lightly before sitting up, beginning to fidget with his hunting knife. It was then that I noticed a bandage wrapped around his left arm I hadn't seen before. It wasn't on when we left Detroit, and I know Ryan didn't do it.

"Hey did you hurt yourself?" I asked, taking concern in his wound.

He quickly pulled away from me, "no no it's fine. Just a little cut I got from this old rusty shack. Nothing antibiotics and a nice little bandage won't take care of."

"Just let me look at it and maybe I can-"

"Maddie please it's okay just don't-" 

I reached for it and he grabbed my arm, trying to push me away. I grabbed onto the bandage and pulled it away to examine the wound, but he shoved me away before I could try. I looked up in surprise, watching as he looked at me with a faint blush.

"Are you okay? Sorry for pushing you I just didn't-"

"C-Coty..."

He looked at his arm, where the wound was semi-exposed. I had managed to graze it with my fingertips, and my nails pulled them down. It wasn't too clear, but I could make out three bloody claw marks, and several purple veins running across his skin from the wound.

We both made eye contact, staring into each others eyes with a look of fear. I got up and prepared to take off to the others, but he grabbed my arm before I could and yanked me back onto the blanket. 

"Maddie you-"

"We have to tell the others! Maybe we can-"

"No no you cannot tell anyone. Look... I'm dead already. It won't be long till I'm one of those things, but if you tell the others they'll leave me behind or just put me down or something. I don't wanna go down just because I screwed up, got scratched, and got shot in the head by my emo friend," he explained to me.

"But-"

"No. Maddie, I want you to promise to me you won't tell them. Not unless I tell you to, or if I'm already dead. You cannot tell them. Just... keep this secret for me," he said to me.

"I... I promise," I said to him, shaking his hand.

He smiled, pulling me into a strong hug. And as I rested my head on his shoulder, I thought about any other possibilities. But I couldn't deny it. As much as I wanted to, I couldn't deny the truth. Coty was infected, and there was nothing we could do about it.


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