The group, medical exams complete, were recovering from their wounds, exhaustion, and exertion. Morrison sought out Trip and asked him to serve as a liason between him and the group. He assigned Trip the task of bringing food to the group, which he assured them contained no human meat, and actually contained no meat at all, since most of the meat Sanctuary had been receiving was from the outlying survivor communities like Snyder Farms, in exchange for other supplies. After everyone ate, they slept a deep, restful sleep.
Waylon was recovering from his surgery, with Trip, and Maggie, Waylon’s faithful canine companion, at his side. Kimmy and Samantha were recovering from their wounds and trauma, and Brooke was also gaining strength, though she showed little cooperation with Fabiana and Dr. Stone.
Unfortunately, Barbara and Cathy both spiraled downhill, eventually succumbing to the virus. Mike stayed by Caitlin’s side through the entire ordeal, seeing her both at her hardest and softest. Michael also began to lose his battle. His arm was just amputated too late to do any real good in stopping the spread of the virus. He did give Fabiana permission, through Trip, to study his death and the effects of the virus, but asked Trip to put him down before he became “one of those things.” Trip and Fabiana respected his wishes and still learned much about the spread of the virus and its progression to mortality. Fabiana also traded some information with Dr. Stone about the virus. She had apparently done much research on the virus in her role with UNIMED.
On a foray outside the medical center and away from Waylon’s bed side, Trip noticed a heavily armored RV arrive at Sanctuary and saw four of the children from the sewers unloaded and escorted into the medical center. He warned the soldiers and Morrison that keeping the children in Sanctuary was a bad idea, but his arguments were to no avail. The team from the RV seemed to be some kind of misfit strike force led by a man named Alejandro Cortes.
After the survivors were released from the medical center, they met with Amanda Waller and were processed into Sanctuary, receiving the standard UNIMED sales pitch, food and clothing vouchers, and temporary housing in a converted pharmacy.
On their fourth day in Sanctuary, a UNIMED representative came to their quarters with several soldiers and demanded that Brooke, Kimmy, and Samantha be turned over to him immediately. Morrison came to the pharmacy at a run, knowing that Parker’s Hummer pulling up out front meant nothing but trouble. Guns were again drawn, and Morrison and several of his men seemed to be ready to throw their lot in with the group when the alarms began going off and voices cut through the air from Morrison’s radio that the East Gate was under attack.
The group quickly ran to join the defenses, with Bryce, Tim, David, Heidi, and Maggie remaining behind to guard the kids. Outside, they found that dozens of the huge brutes were charging the gate. Objects were being thrown through the fencing atop the concrete walls, and the things were paying no heed to the razor wire as they scaled the barricades.
Soldiers were rushing to defend the perimeter. Tanks and Humvees were deploying their heavy weapons against the things. Many of them were being cut down, but for every one that fell, several more took its place.
The group contributed to the defense of Sanctuary, taking out their share of the things. Trip used his Molotovs and a few grenades Morrison had given him from his vantage point on the roof of an old restaurant. Brooke and Thomas commandeered a Humvee and entered the fray. Alison and Caitlin ran to the medical center only to find the things surging up out of the basement and overrunning the building.
Fabiana, Trip, and Waylon were alerted to a number of the things pouring out of a manhole near the pharmacy where the kids were being guarded. Maggie, Bryce, Tim, and the others were holding them off. Trip began launching his explosives at the manhole and those things emerging from it. Maggie was running around barking her fool head off, snapping at the things, and seemingly directing Trip’s “air support” to its targets.
As suddenly as the attack began, the things began to pull back and disappear into the night. The group’s children were safe, but Alison and Caitlin learned that the four children from the sewers were taken from the medical center. It seemed the entire objective of the attack was to secure those children, and abduct the other kids as well. Breckenridge was apparently in control of these things as much as he was the other walking dead. Now, he had an entire army of foul creatures at his disposal.
As Sanctuary began to repair its defenses, count its losses, and treat the wounded, Waylon heard the sound of women screaming and crying a few blocks away. He and Maggie rushed over to find out what happened, joined by Morrison, Alejandro, and several others. The women, survivors who had been in Sanctuary for over a month now, were wailing that the things… those beasts, had stolen their children. They were housed in a converted business a few blocks away and the things had come in and taken their kids before running off into the night when the things retreated. They didn’t escape into the sewers, instead scaling the wall with three kids and running off down a side street outside the fence.
TO BE CONTINUED…