The Documentation of a Dead World

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 8 (v.1) - The Journey

Submitted: October 12, 2016

Reads: 139

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Submitted: October 12, 2016

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The next morning, Jessie awoke with a blanket over her. She looked up and squinted when the light shined in her eyes. She sat up and rubbed her eyes. She looked to the side of her and saw blood stains on the floor. She closes her eyes for a moment then looks forward. Landon was sweeping up the broken glass. 
“I cleaned up the bodies.” Said Landon continuing to clean. “I threw the guy in the street for the yao guai… I wrapped Kayla in some sheets. I figured you’d want to be there to bury her.” Jessie stood up. “Where is she?” “Near the exit.” Jessie looked to the exit and saw Kayla’s body, neatly wrapped in sheets, completely covering her body. “I already dug the grave.”
The two carried their deceased friend to the grave and gently placed her inside. “I’ve never really had a proper burial for anyone, do you have anything to say?” Said Landon. Jessie looked down at the grave. Her eyes were steady like she had become numb to her grief, however, this was not the case. Her sadness was a mixture of crippling loss and exhaustion. 
“When I was young, I would read stories of war told from a soldier's perspective. When they began to describe the cost of war and the loss of friends, family, I always thought there was something missing. A key component in description that could make me understand what they felt. I now understand that feeling. When you’re fighting a battle with almost no purpose to you, all that keeps you going are the unfortunate souls doomed to fight alongside you. No matter how long you’ve been in the same trench as the person next to you, whether it be a few hours or a few years, there is a trust you have between you and your fellow soldiers that you will stand together, and ultimately fall together. Me, you and Kayla, We had that trust. I vow to keep fighting until justice is achieved and the war is won because without that trust, we have no hope and if we give up our hope, we’ve already lost.” 
Landon remained silent, not knowing how to respond. They began to fill the grave.
About an hour had passed, the two were inside. Landon was cleaning the weapons and determining how much ammunition they had collectively. Jessie was searching the bodies in the parking lot for clues as to where the “Revs” currently reside. Jessie found a key card on each of the bodies. All to the same place, “Fairbanks Memorial Hospital”, about two miles away from the veterinarian office. 
“Landon!” yelled Jessie. Landon put the rifle he was cleaning down and stood up. His bandages on his arm needed replacing but this was the last thing on their minds. “What is it?” Said Landon as Jessie showed it to him. “I think it’s like a key card thing. You know like the ones they have in old hotels and stuff?” “Oh yeah… “Fairbanks Memorial Hospital”? That’s just a couple miles away. It’s a dangerous walk though.” Said Landon with a concerned tone. “I really don’t care at this point, I just want to get down there and see what the hell is going on.” “What is your plan when you get there? I don’t know if you’ve noticed but we’re a little outmanned here.” Said Landon. Jessie stood up, put the key in her pocket and looked at Landon. “We’ll just to find some troops of our own.”
The two packed up all the supplies they could carry without being weighed down and left. Jessie went back to her bunker and grabbed the journal to continue reading. They left during the day for maximum visibility. “We should stick to the back roads and wooded areas for cover.” Said Landon. They walked for about twenty minutes and they got to a small neighborhood. The two walked through the cracked streets, looking at the decaying ruins of society. “You ever wonder who won the war?” Said Landon. “Considering that the war basically ended modern life, I’d say no one really won.” “Damn, that’s deep.” Said Landon with a smile. 
They stopped and sat for a bit on a bench on an old sidewalk. They put their rifles down and relaxed. As Jessie took a drink of her water, Landon spoke: “So. What’s your story?” Jessie stopped drinking and looked at him, puzzled. “Um, wow okay that was random.” Said Jessie as she put the cap on the bottle. “Sorry.” Landon said with a laugh. “It’s just we haven’t talked about it yet.” “Oh, well I grew up with my Dad, I had two siblings, both brothers, both older. I had a pretty good childhood. Aside from all the lessons my Dad gave me. I guess they were put to good use. I never knew my mom, Dad told me she committed suicide when I was two, said she couldn’t live in a world like this.” “Christ.” Said Landon “So did you just go off on your own?” Jessie thought for a moment and shook her head. “No. I um. My Dad…” Landon was confused. He was going to say something but he heard talking coming from down the street. Landon looked at Jessie. She had heard it too. 
The two sprang up from the bench, rifles ready. The people Jessie saw through the sight of her weapon did not seem malicious in intent. She lowered her rifle slightly and put her hand on Landon’s, signaling him to lower his as well. There were three men walking down the street. The one in the middle was limping and leaning on the one on the left. His leg had a shirt tied around it with blood seeping through in a pattern that looked like bites from a dog.
“Stay here.” Jessie told Landon, keeping her voice down. The man in the middle started to lose strength and fell. The other two were trying to help him up when Jessie approached. With her rifle raised enough to be intimidating. “Hold it!” Jessie shouted. The three men looked up, the one on the right put the injured one on his shoulder and they began sprinting. “Wait!” Jessie strapped the rifle around her back and ran after them. The men ran off the road to the side and pushed through a house. Landon saw the commotion and ran around the back of the house. Jessie entered with her pistol drawn. “I’m not looking to hurt you or steal from you…” Jessie turned the corner leading to the living room where a collapsed TV stand lied in the corner. “...I just saw that you were hurt and wanted to help.” There was silence. “Maybe we can help each other? I’ll give you first aid and supplies, you tell me all you know about the Fairbanks Memorial Hospital and the Revs.”
One of the men slowly stood up with his hands out in front of him to show no hostility. Jessie nodded her head slowly while looking him in the eye and holstered her pistol. The man put his hands down and walked out from behind the furniture. 
“It’s okay guys. She’s friendly.” He said, raising his voice. The other two came out from a coat closet, the injured man still limping. “What do you know about the Revs?” The man said with curiosity threaded into his voice.  

 


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