Monday, February 11, 2013

The Walking Dead S.o.S.: Chapter Four: Los ancianos de los muertos

                                    Chapter Four: Los ancianos de los muertos

  Rick and Shane drove in the lead car with Carl, Lori, and T-Dog. Shane drove with Rick sitting in the passengers seat. Rick held the radio in his right hand. They were looking for somewhere to stay for the day, an abandoned building, a group of cars, a camp site; somewhere they could get a good nights sleep. A week had passed since The Greene Family Farm had been taken over by the dead, and everyone wondered if they would ever find a place to call home again.
  They rarely spoke since the night Rick and Shane told them everything. Shane avoided the glaring eyes of Maggie and Beth, the fearful ones of Carol. They all tried to think of a place to go, but nothing came to mind.
  "There's a path," Shane said, pointing to a beaten path, his hands still on the wheel. The path looked like it hadn't seen any use in weeks. "We can try there."
  "Take the turn," Rick told him. He brought the radio to his mouth. "We're turning here," he spoke into the radio. "May have found a place to stay. Stay alert."
  Shane took the turn, followed by the others. He drove for a few minutes until he saw an abandoned house in front of them. He stopped about twenty feet away from the house. This had become a caution they would take whenever they found a new place; stop a few meters away and go in as a team to take out any Walkers they found.
  Rick and Shane got out of their car. "T-Dog," Rick said, looking at him through the back wondow. "Stay here with Lori. We'll check the place out."
  Rick and Shane looked behind them to see Daryll, his crossbow at the ready. "We ready?" he asked.
  "One sec." Rick looked at the Carl, sitting next to his mother. "Carl; you're gonna come with us."
 "What?" Lori said. "You can't be serious." She opened her door and got out of the car. Carl followed suit, as did T-Dog.
  "He's gotta learn to fight the Walkers," Rick told her. "Better sooner than later." Rick looked at Carl. "You think you can do this?"
  "Yeah," Carl told him, his voice full of confidence; ever since he had killed those Walkers at the farm he had become much more confident in his abilites. "I can do this!"
  "Good." Rick looked at Lori. "He'll be fine. I promise."
  "We promise," Shane added. "I won't let anything happen to him."
  Lori looked scared and uncertain, but relented. She wanted her son to be strong, someone who could survive on their own. "Alright. You have to stay with him though."
  "I will," Rick told her. "Come on." Rick lead Shane, Daryll, and Carl to the house.
  Line Break
  The four of them walked in the house after checking their guns. "I'll go with Daryll to the top floor," Rick told them. "Shane, Carl; you clear out the first level."
  "Got it, Dad," Carl said.
  "Remember," Daryll told them, "use your knives to kill silently. We don't need to attract any more than there probably are." Rick and Daryll headed upstairs, leaving Shane and Carl to clear the bottom level.
  Shane walked in front of Carl, to make sure nothing would happen to him. "Keep your guard up at all times," Shane whispered to Carl. "Don't use your gun unless you have to."
  Carl nodded. He had his gun ready at his side, holding a wooden baseball bat with a firm grip. He was actually hoping to find some Walkers, so he could practice his swing. They walked cautiously, opening every door quickly and quietly. Shane heard movement from upstairs, and heard something drop. He disregarded it, concentrating on the matter at hand. They soon checked the whole first floor and found no Walkers whatsoever.
  "Huh." Shane was surprised they didn't find any Walkers. "Nothing. Must be our lucky day."
  "Yeah," Carl laughed, smiling. "Let's go check on Dad and Daryll."
  "Good idea." Shane walked up the steps, followed by Carl. Halfway up, they saw Rick and Daryll standing over a dead body.
  "Hey," Shane said, getting them to turn their heads to him. "What happened?"
  "Nothin'," Daryll told him. "This poor bastard was in that room." Daryll jerked his thumb at the open door beside them. "Looks like he's been dead a few weeks."
  "How'd he die?" Carl asked.
  "Blew his brains all over the wall." Carl walked to check the room, and indeed saw blood and chunks on the wall. "Cool."
  "Get the others," Rick told Shane. "Tell them it's safe to come in."
  "On it." Shane hurried down the stair and out the door. He saw everyone standing by the lead car. "Hey!" he yelled. "It's safe to come in!"
  The others hurried to the house, and went in one by one.
  Line Break
  Everyone had gathered in the living room while Rick, Shane, and Carl looked around for food and supplies. Daryll had gone off hunting, hoping to catch some squirrel, or maybe even a deer.
  Rick searched upstairs while Shane and Carl searched the first level. Shane looked around the kitchen, looking for anything edible. Aside from maggots, flies, and a moldy sandwich, there wasn't much to find. They needed to stock up on food for the coming winter, and anything would've been good now. "Not a goddamn thing!" Shane said, frustrated. "Hope Carl and Rick have better luck than I do."
  Shane went to the living room and sat beside Lori. "Coudn't find anything," he told the group. "Unless y'all like maggots."
  "No thanks," Lori said. "I don't think I could stomach that."
  "Me either," Carol said.
  Shane heard Rick coming down the stairs, and looked to see that he had returned empty handed as well. "Nothing," Rick said. "Absolutely nothing."
  "Maybe Carl found something," Shane said.
  "I did!" Everyone turned to see a smiling Carl, holding a sealed bag of large marshmallows. "All we need now is chocolate and some graham crackers!"
  "Nice." Shane stood and took the bag from Carl. He wasn't a big fan of marshmallows, but it was better than most of the stuff they had eaten recently. He tossed the bag to Rick.
  "It's hardly a meal." Rick looked at the bag. A door opened, and Daryll walked in.
  "Couldn't find a damn thing." Daryll sat down between T-Dog and Carol, clearly frustrated. "All I found were some Walkers."
  "Don't worry about it," Rick told him. "We got enough food for the next month. Besides, what we need is canned goods, things that are preserved."
  "We can make maggot soup for today," Shane joked. "Found a whole bunch in the kitchen."
  "I'm not that desperate," Rick laughed. "At least not yet."
  They sat in silence, each passing the bag of marshmallows to the next. They weren't eating them, just passing them around; they didn't know how to equally divide them, and no one wanted to be greedy.
  Glenn had the bag when he got sick of the silence. "So what're you hoping the the baby'll be?" he asked.
  Lori looked at him and smiled. "I don't know. Either would be nice."
  "I hope it's a girl," Shane said. "I always ... I always liked baby girls better." Shane spoke with a sad undertone. Shane had patched things up with Rick, but he was afraid that if he brought it up, then everything would be undone. He believed that Lori's baby was his, and wanted to be the one the child called 'Daddy'.
  Rick looked at him with a glare; he knew what he was thinking, and he didn't like it. He didn't hate him for it, he just didn't like it. "Whatever it is, it'll be perfect. Boy or girl."
  "I just wish we had another physician with us," Hershel said. "I could use a someone who has medical training."
  "Not gonna find many doctors out there," T-Dog said. "God knows if there's any left."
  "Nurses either," Shane added.
  "A nurse," Glenn said. He remembered something. "Rick, we know a nurse!!"
  "We do?" Shane asked. "Where exactly is she?"
  "Glenn," Rick said, "what are you talking about?"
  "Back in Atlanta! Remember? That group in the nursing home!"
  "That's right," Daryll added. "The one I shot in the ass, right?"
  "Whoa, whoa," Shane said. "What are you talking about? What group? What nursing home?"
  "The day we went to get Merle, we encountered another group. They were good people, looking after the sick and the old. They were lead by a man named Guillermo. One of them was a nurse."
  "How come you never told us this?" Lori asked. "That there was another group?"
  "Honestly?" Rick said, rubbing the back of his head in embarrassment. "It completely skipped my mind."
  "The Walkers attacking the camp kinda made me forget too," Daryll told him. "We all forgot."
  The group discussed The Vatos Gang, and what they should do.
  "You said they had sick and old people, right?" Shane asked. "Chances are those people are dead."
  "And if they died, then they became Walkers," T-Dog finished. "Chances are the place was overtaken. Like the farm."
  They sat in silence, contemplating what to do. "They have some of our guns," Glenn said. "Remember? We gave them some."
  "Wait," Shane interrupted, "you gave them some of our guns?"
  "They were good people," Rick said. "They needed protection, so I gave them some."
  "Alright." Shane looked at the group. "Doesn't matter either way. I say we go."
  Rick looked at Shane with disbelief. "Did you just say let's go?"
  "Yeah. Why not? If their alive, then they can join us. If not, then we can take back the guns."
  "It's a win-win situation," Daryll said. "We get something out of it either way. We can also pick up some food and other supplies while we're there."
  "I'll go with you," Hershel told them. "I can get the proper medical supplies for when Lori goes into labor."
  "Then it's settled." Rick took out his gun and checked the barrel. "Some of us'll go in a few days. Hopefully they're okay."

  Two days later, Shane and Rick were discussing an important decision. They stood outside of the house they had taken refuge in before; amazingly, it had been a comfortable two days. "We should take him!" Rick argued. "He's gotta learn." They were debating over whether or not Carl should come with them to Atlanta; Rick believed he needed to learn how to better deal with Walkers, while Shane believed that taking him to Atlanta was too dangerous.
  "I know he does," Shane told him. "But Atlanta's too heavily infested with Walkers; he takes every shot he can, doesn't conserve ammo!"
  "We gotta take him." Rick looked around for Lori; he didn't want Lori around to side with Shane, and they both knew she would. "He's gotta learn how to deal with Walkers."
  Shane stood there, silent. Carl didn't conserve ammo, he didn't use it sparingly; he ran out of ammo back on the farm, and it nearly cost him his father's life. Though he wanted to protect Carl, he knew that Rick was right; he would have to deal with Walkers in the future, and it would be better if he learned sooner rather than later.
  But in the end, Shane relented. Carl needed to learn how to conserve his ammo, only kill Walkers when necessary. "All right," Shane said. "We gotta teach him how to conserve his ammo, how to deal with Walkers properly, and I guess taking him to Atlanta might help with that."
  "Good." Rick walked into the house, leaving Shane outside. He walked to his car and stood there, waiting. They had discussed who would be going and who would be staying; Rick and Shane were to go, as were Daryll, Hershel, Glenn, and Carl. Daryll would be useful with his silent bow, Hershel would know what kind of medications to take, and Glenn knew his way around the ruined city.
  "I am not looking foward to this," Shane said to himself.
  "You and me both!" Shane turned to Daryll, his crossbow in hand.
  "Don't you ever put that thing down?" Shane asked jokingly.
  "Never." Daryll went to the trunk and opened it. "We takin' Carl or not?"
  "Yeah, we are." Shane looked at Daryll; he sided with Rick on Carl's attendance, but he expected nothing less. "He's gotta learn how to conserve ammo."
  "Yeah, that is a problem," Daryll said. "Not like you can take the bullets out, not like my beauty here." He kissed his crossbow. "Silent, quick, and I can take the bolts back. And I can make new ones."
  "You don't have to brag." Shane opened the front door and got in the drivers seat. He wanted to get this thing over with.
  Rick, Hershel, and Carl came walking out of the house; Carl looked as though he would pop a gasket he was so excited. "Rick! Let's get a move on!" They piled into the two cars and drove off.

  The six of them arrived at Atlanta in a matter of hours. "So where is this place?" Shane asked. "I wanna get out of this place as soon as we can."
  "It's about twenty minutes away," Glenn said. "Maybe thirty."
  "I hope they're okay," Rick said. "Their place was pretty well fortified, and they had a lot of strong men. But they were looking after the old and the sick."
  "So those people may have died of natural causes." Hershel hoped the group were okay; a group of people looking after the old and sick were saintly in his book. "Let's just hope that nurse of their's took good care of them."
  They walked in silence as they neared the nursing home. They would avoid killing Walkers whenever they could, though Carl would ask if he could shoot just one. "Does anyone remember their names?" Daryll asked. "It'd be kind of awkward if we showed up without knowing their names."
  "Yeah," Glenn told him. "There was Guillermo."
  "The leader," Rick added.
  "Miguel." Glenn closed his eyes, trying to remember the names of the gang.
  "The one we had captured."
  "And the one I shot in the ass with an arrow," Daryll added. "Felipe."
  "You shot someone in the ass?" Shane asked, laughing. "That's funny."
  "That is funny," Carl agreed.
  The six of them arrived at the entrance of the nursing home, finding it open. "That's not good," Rick said. They headed inside, getting their weapons ready.
  As they walked, they saw the bodies of both elderly and young people. They all had head wounds, either from a gun, a knife, or a blunt object. "They haven't been dead too long," Daryll said, alertness in his voice. "This must've only been a few days ago. A week at most."
  "Let's see if we can find anyone alive," Rick told them. "Stick together. Carl." He looked at his son. "Don't fire your weapon unless we tell you otherwise. “Got it?”
  “Got it Dad!” Carl said.
  They walked cautiously, taking deliberate steps. They looked for fresh bodies, listened for voices, steps, gun shots, anything that could mean life. Or death.
  Carl walked in the middle, between everyone else. He was told by his father to stay in the center, so he wouldn’t be the first to get grabbed if a Walker attacked. “You know where they kept their guns?” Shane asked Rick. “Or are we just going around aimlessly?”
  “They probably kept them in a storage closet,” Daryll guessed. “Where else would they keep ‘em?”
  “No idea,” Rick said.
  They continued their trek, looking for any signs of life. Glenn tripped over something, and they looked down to see a mutilated body. “Oh God.” Glenn choked back vomitting.
  “This was recent.” Shane bent down to get a closer look. “Blood’s not dry yet.”
  “We gotta hurry.” Rick quickly went ahead. “If there’s anyone left alive, they won’t be for long.”
  They followed Rick, fearing that there trip was in vain.
  Rick stopped the group when he heard a loud rustling noise. “You guy’s hear that?” Rick asked.
  “Yeah.” Carl spoke a little to loud for Rick’s liking. “What is that Dad?”
  “Trouble,”Daryll answered. He walked ahead of the others. “I’ll check it out.” Daryll walked quickly toward the source of the noise. He turned at a corner and stopped. He looked amused. He turned to the others, and walked back, silently and slowly. “You won’t believe what’s over there!” he whispered, failing to hold back a laugh. “There’s an assload of Walkers clawing at the door at the end of the hall!” He went back to the wall, keeping an eye on the Walkers.
  “You’ve gotta be kidding me,” Shane said.
  “We can sneak past them,” Carl said. “It’ll be easy.”
  “It’s not that simple,” Hershel told him. “What are they trying to get at?”
  “People,” Rick answered. “Considering the Walkers are still clawing at the door, it’s safe to say that someone is alive in there.”
  “How do help them?”Glenn asked. “There’s too many for us to kill. And we can’t lead them away, not without one of us dying.”
  They stood there, trying to think of what they could do. Shane spoke first. “We should leave them.” The others looked at him. “We can’t save them, it’d be suicide to even try.”
  “He maybe right,” Hershel said sadly. “Unless you have any idea’s Rick, we have to leave them.”
  Rick’s eyes swayed left and right, trying to think of a way to get in that room. He looked up, trying to think, when he saw an air duct. “There.” He pointed at the air duct. “One of us can go in and get into that room.”
  “I’ll go,” Carl volunteered. “I can fit in there.”
  “So can I,” Glenn said. “We’ll get to the room then lead whoever’s in there back here.”
  “You sure you can do this Carl?” Rick asked his son.
  “Yeah.” Carl took off his hat, the one his father had given him, and handed it to him. “Hold on to this. I don’t wanna lose it.” Carl and Glenn went to the air duct. Glenn unscrewed the duct and took off the grate.
  "I'll boost you up." Glenn cupped his hands together, and boosted Carl into the vent.        
  "Okay, I'm coming up." Glenn hopped up and got in the vent as well. "We'll be back soon."
  The others waited for Glenn and Carl, killing any Walker that decided to venture away from the door. When a loud noise sounded from the vents, they jumped. "What was that?" Shane asked, though he already knew what it was.
  "A gun shot," Rick said. "We-"
  He was cut off by Daryll, who yelled, "They're comin'!!" He aimed his crossbow at the hall of Walkers, and fired a bolt. "RUN!!"
  "The vents!" Rick ordered, pointing at the vents. "Get in!"
  Rick hopped in as fast as he could, followed by Daryll. "Come on!" Daryll told the others. "Hurry!"
  Shane went to the vent, but stopped when he saw a Walker behind Hershel. He shot the Walker with his pistol, killing it. Realizing they wouldn't be able to get in the vents, Shane ran away. "Come on!" he yelled to Hershel. They ran as fast as the could.

  Shane and Hershel ran as fast as they could. Shane noticed Hershel was running out of breath, and immediately looked for a room to take Hershel into. He shut the door. Seeing a plank of wood, obviously used as a barricade, he placed it on the door. "We should be good for a few minutes." Shane went to check on Hershel, seeing that he was breathing heavily. "You okay?" Shane didn't realize that he was breathing heavily as well.
  "I'm fine." Hershel sat down. "But how do we get out of here?" He looked over the room; an elderly woman lay there, dead, a bullet hole in her forehead.
  "The vents," Shane replied. He went to find a vent, but saw none. "Where's the god damn vent?!?"
  "There is none." Hershel looked around from his seat. He saw no vents, no way to escape. "We're trapped."
  "No." Shane punched the wall. "We are not going to die here!"
  "Shane." Hershel stood and walked to Shane. "We're trapped."
  The two of them sat in silence, Hershel thinking of how he could comfort Shane, and Shane thinking of a way to escape. Hershel decided to speak up. "Shane." He stood. He walked next to him. "There's something I have to tell you."
  "What is that?" Shane asked sardonically. "The Birds and the Bees?"
  "No." Hershel knelt down, looking him in the eyes. "I knew."
  "Knew what?"
  "About Otis. I knew you killed him." Shane looked at him, shock on his face.
  "I could see the guilt on your face when you came back. I knew you had done something that made you sick, that made you want to die."
  "You knew?" Shane was dumbfounded. Why did Hershel not confront him? Why did he allow him to stay on his farm? "Why didn't you say anything?"
  "Because I knew you were a good person," he replied. "That you still are a good person."
  Shane, feeling renewed vigor, shot up out of his seat. "We are not dying here," he said. "We're getting out."
  "NO!" Shane said forcefully. "I'll find us a way out of here. I promise." Shane went around the room, opening every door, checking every wall; maybe one of the walls was weak enough for them to break through it. "There's gotta be something-" Shane stopped talking when he opened a closet door. He saw an army bag, and he went to open it. "I think we found the armory!" he said. "I can't believe we didn't look in the closets!"
  "How many guns are there?" Hershel asked. Shane opened the bag, and was depressed to see only a handgun and a few shotgun shells.
  "None we can use," Shane said. He rifled through the bag some more, looking for anything he could use. He stopped when he saw a small green object. He smiled. "But we can use this!" Shane picked up the object, turned around, and showed it to Hershel.
  "Is that a grenade?" Hershel asked, surprised.
  "Yeah." Shane hurried to the door; he could here the Walkers clawing at the door. "We just throw this outside and BOOM!! No more Walkers." Shane pulled the pin and held the release lever down. "Get in the closet; I'll get in after I toss the grenade."
  Hershel went to the closet, and Shane turned to face the door. He took off the barricade and opened the door as fast as he could, dropping the grenade just outside of it. He ran for the closet, and got in a second before the grenade went off. He inspected the door, seeing it was blown completely off. He saw dead Walkers strewn all about the floor.
  "Let's go," Shane told Hershel. They left the room that was once a death trap, Shane holding his pistol and Hershel holding the army bag.

  Shane and Hershel hurried through the halls of the ruined nursing home. They were backtracking to the room where they saw the Walkers, hoping the others were in there. They reached the hallway, seeing a lone Walker walking around. Shane approached the Walker and stabbed it in the head. Hershel cautiously opened the door, only to find a gun pointed at his face.
  "Hershel?" Shane looked to see Rick. "You're alive."
  "Yeah." Hershel put his hands on the gun, lowering it.
  "Why're you still here?" Shane asked him. He pushed Hershel into the room and closed the door.
  "We were waiting for you." Shane looked to see Daryll. "We figured you'd come to this room, so we stayed here."
  "We were gonna leave in an hour." Shane then saw a Mexican man with facial hair tending to an old black man. He turned his head toward the old man. "Keep breathing. My name's Felipe."
  Shane also a young man, clean shaven, maybe nineteen, twenty, wearing a white tank top next to another man. The man next to him seemed to exude an aura of confidence. The confident man looked at Shane. "I'm Guillermo." He pointed to the teen. "This is Miguel, Felipe's cousin."
  "Nice to meet you." Shane turned to face Rick. "What was that gun shot from earlier?" Shane asked. "What-"
  "We can't talk about that now," Rick interrupted him. "We have to get out of here. It's only these four left. Everyone else is dead."
  "What about the supplies?" Glenn asked. "Should we get them?"
  "We can't!" Felipe yelled. "We need to get Mr. Gilbert out of here! He's suffering another asthma attack!"
  "Don't worry," Rick told him. "We'll get him out of here." Rick looked at a pile of guns. "We'll have to leave some here."
  "No, we won't," Hershel told him. He handed Rick the army bag. "We found this in one of the rooms; we can pack them in here."
  "That great!!" Carl said. "Let's go!!"
  Rick and Guillermo packed the guns into the bag as quickly as they could. Once they were packed, the group of ten left the room.

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