The entire group began to run as fast as they could, with Morrison shouting encouragement and counting down the blocks to the gates of Sanctuary. Mike’s shot, and some well-placed Molotovs seemed to slow the pursuing things for a moment, so everyone gained some distance between themselves and these new monstrosities.
The group, some carrying children, was running flat out toward the gates of Sanctuary, but the distance just seemed too much with those things giving chase. They were huge, strong, and incredibly fast. Soon, way too soon, they started gaining ground on the fleeing, panicked group. Trip tossed Morrison’s M-16 back to him and kept running. He and Waylon fell back to the rear of the group. Soon, Bryvce joined them at the rear of the main group, and handed his daughter off to his wife, Fabiana. Bryce encouraged the main group to run faster, and he and Morrison kept them moving as Trip and Waylon searched for some way to hold them off and buy the group the time they needed to make it to the gates.
Trip used what Molotovs he had left, along with a grenade, to slow the things down, but he and Waylon fell too far behind, let the things get too close. They started running again, each nearly pushing the other forward, running almost as one, shouting a mixture of insults and encouragement at each other. Trip seemed adept at sliding out of the way at the last moment, but Waylon wasn’t that slippery. One of the things finally caught up to him and raked him with razor sharp claws, bigger than most knives Waylon had seen in his myriad bar fights. The thing shredded Waylon’s abdomen, blood spraying out into the night, soaking Trip. Trip slid down into the gutter and wriggled into a storm drain as the things ran past. Finally, the rest of the group reached the gates and got clear of the tanks and machine guns, which then began to fire on the things. Huge searchlights were aimed at the beasts, sending them running off into the night.
One of the tanks fired up its engine and several of the group joined Morrison on the deck of the tank as it sped the few blocks to where Waylon lay bleeding. Morrison, Mike, and Fabiana pulled Waylon onto the deck of the tank and, using a med kit onboard, began to stabilize him, trying to stop the bleeding while he still had some blood left. Trip crawled out of the storm drain and onto the tank, as it reversed course quickly back to the safety of Sanctuary.
Back behind the walls and fences of Sanctuary, the group was rushed into a medical center. Inside, the group saw the bank of metal detectors and security devices with racks for confiscated weapons, and immediately stripped naked, tossed all of his clothing into a nearby plastic bin and begged them to get Waylon and Fabiana into a room as quickly as possible. Everyone was thoroughly searched, and all weapons were collected into the nearby racks for logging. Then, the rest of the group was separated for medical screening. Bryce refused to allow himself and his daughter, Kimmy, to be separated. Guns were drawn. Bryce was being held down by several soldiers as he struggled against them. The scene was about to turn ugly, when Trip re-emerged, still naked, and pleaded for calmer heads to prevail. Morrison took the initiative and told his men to stand down and allow parents to remain with their children. Mike nonchalantly slid in next to Caitlin and acted like he belonged with her and Barbara. She didn’t spoil his ruse, and the three of them stayed together.
Everyone in the group received a complete physical examination. The girls, Kimmy, Cathy, and Barbara had all been bitten. Kimmy and Samantha were fighting off the infection due to their immunity. Barbara and Cathy were fighting a losing battle, prolonged only by Fabiana’s injections of Brooke’s blood into their systems. Brooke was exhausted from having given so much blood in such a short time. After her physical, Alison went to Brooke’s side and stayed with her. Michael was also in bad shape. The blood he had received was from Kimmy, who was already fighting the virus when it was drawn. The doctors quickly decided to remove his arm to try to save him.
Fabiana met Dr. Alicia Stone, who was going to be doing emergency surgery on Waylon to repair the damage that had been done by the thing out in the street. She commented on the excellent emergency care Fabiana had given him while on a moving tank and invited Fabiana to scrub in and assist with the surgery as soon as her physical exam was complete.
The part of the group that was taken in separately – Thomas, Sean, Tim and Samantha, Heidi, David Norris, Sarah, and several others from Snyder Farms, were finshing with their processing and medical exams as the rest of their group entered. Thomas joined Brooke and Alison in the medical center. Samantha, who was also fighting off the effects of the virus, was still in the medical center recovering. Her father, Tim, was now at her side.
TO BE CONTINUED…