Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Broken Tomorrow Chapter Four- Part 1

Chapter Four

Feeling the sun beating down on his head, Jeb rubbed the back of his neck. He stood in the yard outside the gatehouse, his boots covered in dirt and his back aching as he leaned on the shovel watching the horizon wearily. Last night he’d debriefed Grit on what happened on the road, and today they were dealing with the aftermath of that cluster fuck. Jeb wished he’d been able to end the insanity by putting that cult leaders head on a spike, but that wasn’t what had happened and he had to deal with that. He needed to let his decision of taking out the deadhead that was going after Davie instead of killing the cult leader go. Jeb tried to distract his attention to the supplies and the team they’d saved, because at least that had been a small win.
Losing four men, not to mention the boy who would soon turn—dying long before his ticket should have been punched—had been worth something. It was a harsh reality of their world that success was measured by the lives that were or were not lost on any given day. Scratches crew had brought back about six-month’s worth of supplies—making it worth some sacrifice on the club’s part. Not that Jeb or Grit liked losing their people, it was just a sad fact of their existence now.
 Scratches and his group had found a gun warehouse and raided all the empty casings and gunpowder supplies they could find. They’d also found a large stock pile of weapons that had been secured in an underground bunker that had somehow escaped the notice of the people who’d already raided the place. It was a good find and one that hadn’t happened in a while, because as the months wore on supplies were becoming scarce. They’d realized a year ago that they needed people with different skill sets if they were going to survive. Hell, half the club hadn’t gone to college and more than sixty percent of the original club had died in the first year.
Randy, a chemist from Rapid City, South Dakota was one of the first few guys they’d took in. Grit hadn’t been the president then and he’d still been an enforcer, but Toke had convinced the club to let the man stay. It turned out the guy was dead useful, he’d somehow figured out how to make gun powder as well as a few medications and antibiotics in the lab they’d set up for him. Jeb was glad that they’d found him and three of his sisters holed up in a little motel starving to death and had taken them in. Randy had quickly gotten on board with helping them create a way to replenish their dwindling supplies. It didn’t take him long to figure out how to make chemical compounds for both protection and medical needs.
Taking in people who were willing to work was the way the club had learned to survive long before the apocalypse showed up. Even when they’d been a ragtag band of brothers back when the world was normal, they’d had a code. You could stay, but you had to help keep the club afloat, so really nothing had changed. Whether it be by serving meals, tending the hydroponics farm, making bullets, or tending to some other small day to day need, if you wanted to stay with the MC, then you worked. Jeb and every other man in the club knew it was the only way they were going to survive. Kids were the only ones who got a free pass, at least until they hit puberty. Grit’s plan was to teach them basics and when they were about eleven or twelve they’d start training them in whatever field they chose to learn. The system seemed to work and they’d already done it with the four teens who had been part of the original club.

Jeb sighed, shaking off those thoughts as he turned to glance at the freshly dug graves, feeling a cold dark part of himself mourning the fact that he’d taken that shot to protect Davie rather than taking out the leader of that cult. The kid hadn’t started into the fever yet, but it had only been about ten hours since he was bit. He’d need to get past the fifteen-hour mark before he was in the clear, but Jeb didn’t hold out any hope that Davie would live. He’d learned a long-damned-time ago that this disease was going to end up killing them all. His hands fiercely gripped the shovel that he’d been using, as he felt the anger over his men’s deaths pour over him. Davie was just a kid and the others they’d lost had been damned good men. He knew shooting that deadhead had been the right thing to do, but he couldn’t be happy about it because it hadn’t saved anyone. Killing the cult leader would have cleared his plate of one more problem. His choice to save Davie was going to come back to bite him in the ass. Hell, it already had, Jeb had known it was a mistake from the moment Davie had shown him the bite on his arm.

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Thursday, October 5, 2017

Broken Tomorrow

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Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Broken Tomorrow - Chapter Three parts 1-3

Copyright © 2017 Michelle Woods

Chapter Three

Jeb wiped the sweat from his brow, his eyes flowing over the men who were crouched down behind the trailer with their guns ready, glancing around to be sure everyone was in position. When they’d built the blockage on the road, they’d also cut holes into the welded panels that were under the trailers for situations just like this one. He and Grit had wanted to be able to defend the compound from anyone they’d led down this highway.
Jeb looked up, Tim was perched on top of one of the trailers with the missile launcher resting on the lip of the metal shield, waiting. Jeb knew that he was chomping at the bit to shoot the heavy military trucks barreling towards them. Jeb had stationed men along both sides of the road waiting on these sons-of-bitches to get close enough to bring the fires of hell raining down on them. Satisfied everyone was ready, Jeb headed over to the ladder and climbed up to grab the other launcher, feeling a bit of glee himself. He was ready for these cult bastard’s to be taken care of. The last time they’d come across them, they’d lost four good men and he was damned tired of losing people. He moved across the top of the trailer, halting next to Tim. Jeb didn’t waste any time and took his place before lifting the second launcher to rest it on the ledge in front of him.
His gaze scanned the horizon, noting that Scratches’ group was closer. They were almost to the white line that they’d sprayed across the road so they had an idea when to launch the missiles. Once their people were over that line he knew it wouldn’t be long before the cult crossed it too and that was when they launched. The club obtained the missiles from several military bases that first year when shit hit the fan. Tim glanced at him grinning. Jeb’s eyes crinkled and despite the situation he smiled a little, because he knew using these missiles made the man giddy. Tim loved his heavy artillery and the club rarely used them because they knew that once the forty they had were gone, they weren’t going to be finding more. They knew the chances of them discovering a military mother-load that hadn’t already been raided was about as likely as finding the cure—zero percent.
Jeb focused on the task at hand, his eyes trained on the road where their people were just starting to pass over the line. The bikes crossed the white line first, closely followed by two Dodge Rams and the semi, with a couple more men on bikes pulling up the rear of the little caravan. He waited with Tim beside him ready to shoot the missiles at the assholes who were insane enough to join that stupid cult. He wasn’t concerned about killing anyone who joined the Grinder’s, because if they were in that cult they were already dead inside. He’d met men like those bastards before the fall of the world and he knew that the only good fanatic, was a dead fanatic. Jeb felt sweat trickle down the back of his neck as his finger hovered over the trigger.
“Get ready.” Jeb called out to the men who had their weapons trained on the cars, ready to take out anyone who survived the two missiles they were about to launch. He watched as the bikes zoomed around the back of the semi trying to get ahead of the group, they knew they didn’t need to protect the rear of the caravan anymore.
“Now,” Tim hissed, and shot his missile at the two heavy trucks in the front.
The hissing cry of the missile was piercing as it slid out of the cannon and zoomed toward the cars. The missile exploded in a shower of red fire, as one of the trucks went airborne flying forward, almost clipping the back of the semi they were trying to protect. Fuck that had been close, good thing the riders in the back had moved to the sides of the truck, otherwise they would have been hit. The second truck flipped on its side and was skidding to a halt in the middle of the road, forcing the other trucks to slow down. One of them tried to plow through the truck, apparently not caring about their comrades possibly being alive inside the vehicle. Not that this surprised Jeb, he knew the idiots had no respect for life, but it was always fucked up when they proved time and again, how stupid they were. Jeb hit the trigger on the launcher he held, aiming for the truck on its side, hoping to explode the oncoming trucks with the gas propellant from the one on its side.
 His eyes tracked the missile as it barreled into the truck on its side, watching it explode with fire erupting again, engulfing the truck and the two it slung backwards. One slammed into the barrier so hard that the trailer they were on shook a little. Damn, that was going to be a bitch to fix once they were done killing these assholes. Jeb watched as one of the last three trucks came bursting past the military trucks despite the fire that lit the front of their vehicle. He realized that it wasn’t a military truck, but instead was some kind of moving truck. He felt a pit in his stomach because he had a really bad feeling about that truck.
Jeb glanced up demanding, “We got anymore missiles, because that truck is trouble.”
“No, we didn’t bring any more than the two. Fuck you’re right, because they’re slowing down. What the hell are they doing? Those other two have stopped completely.” Harry roared his face stern.
“Yeah, this isn’t going to go well. You think it’s a bomb of some sort?” Tim asked, his face grim.
“Don’t know.” He muttered, grabbing his radio from his belt as he barked out an order. “Bow, you guys need to pull back from the barrier.” Jeb watched as the truck stopped completely and the driver jumped out, the man head to toe in body armor.
“Shoot him. Fuck, get him down.” Jeb cried, his guts in knots because whatever that little fucker was doing wasn’t going to be good. He watched as the man ran towards the back of the truck despite the hail of bullets that were pelting his armor with little pings. Jeb jerked up a sniper, aiming at the guy’s head just as he grabbed the rope attached to the back of the truck jerking. Jeb’s bullet penetrated the visor of his helmet hitting the man in his left eye, but it was too late. The door opened as the guys body fell. For a moment nothing happened, making Jeb think that maybe the guy had needed to get inside the truck to set off whatever trap they’d had inside, but that was when the first deadhead rushed out of the truck.
“Damn, kill the deadheads and don’t worry about the other trucks until they’re dead.” Jeb barked out the order as more deadheads began to pour out of the truck. Deadheads weren’t like zombies in the movies who ran at barriers and tried to get past them. Nope, some part of the deadheads stayed awake and allowed them to open doors and climb over things, thus making them much more dangerous. After all, they weren’t the living dead. Deadheads were just animalistic and ravenous for flesh of any kind.
His men started shooting the deadheads trying to kill them all before they could scramble over the cars to attack them. Gunfire rang out as the deadheads rushed them on both sides. Jeb couldn’t believe how many of the damned things had poured out of the truck. There had to be at least two hundred of them running at them. This was a damned cluster fuck because he’d only brought about fifteen men with him. Thankfully, the riders had kept going towards the compound. He knew that some of the riders would circle back while the trucks headed home, but it wouldn’t be quick enough for them to help. Jeb started shooting with his automatic rifle, taking out large groups of them watching them fall.
“Get on the trucks.” Jeb ordered, trying to save as many of his men as he could, because this wasn’t going to be pretty. They’d taken out about thirty of them when they hit the cars scrambling over them with the men, trying desperately to control the flow and kill them before they could get close enough to bite. Jeb moved to the other end of the trailer and began shooting the ones he could see from where he was at. Harry and Tim were doing the same as his men tried to scramble up the ladders to safety. There was only one way up the trailers and that meant that they’d be able to control the flow of deadheads if they could just get all their men up here. Jeb watched as Bean ran toward the truck, climbing up the ladder. Len was on the other side of the road on that trailer, trying to help some of the guys on that side get up onto the trailers. Jeb watched as Garry, a relatively new member of their group, went down with two deadheads attacking him. He did the only humane thing he could and shot the screaming man between his eyes before he took out the deadheads feeding on him. More men clambered onto the trailer, helping to shoot the deadheads below them in an attempt to allow their friends to survive the ones chasing them. Two more of his men jumped up on an SUV on the other side trying to get away from the rabid creatures following them. They were shooting down at the ones beneath them, trying like hell to survive.
Jeb saw another man go down and several deadheads were on him, ripping into his flesh with teeth, red spraying the ground around him. He didn’t have a shot on the screaming man who abruptly stopped screaming when another deadhead dropped on his head, likely smothering the dying man’s screams. Fuck this was turning out to be a disaster, he thought as he continued to shoot the deadheads closest to his guys on the ground. Only about half of them had made it to the trailers because he’d had them spread out to give them better coverage. Even though he couldn’t have predicted the insane actions of the cult, he felt responsible for the cluster fuck they were currently in.
He knew how fucking nuts these dillholes were. Why hadn’t he thought of them doing something stupid like this? That trick with the truck was basically a version of their pits, albeit a mobile one. Jeb continued to shoot the deadheads, trying like hell to save as many of his men as he could. Several more of them had managed to scramble up the ladders to get on top of the trailers, while others hadn’t made it. By his count they’d lost four men and the two on the SUV were desperately trying to climb from one SUV to the next so that they could get to a trailer and climb on. Jeb and the other men were trying to help by shooting as many as they could to help them while still watching the ladders.
  The two men finally made it to the trailer and Colt boosted Trippy up so that he could climb onto the trailer from the roof of the SUV, which was butted up against the trailer. Trippy caught the top of the trailer as he hoisted himself up onto it before gripping the barrier and reaching back down for Colt who grabbed his hand. Jeb and the boys tried like hell to shoot any deadheads near the man, but somehow one of them got a hold of Colt’s leg and almost drug both men off the trailer. Len shot the bastard and the thing let go, falling to the ground while Trippy yanked Colt up far enough to get a grip on the trailer, with Colt scrambling to get up on the trailer beside him. The two men were panting as they lay back on the hot metal roof, likely thankful to have survived this cluster fuck. Jeb realized that everyone alive was as safe as they could be until they killed all the deadheads.
“Let’s get this done so we can deal with those two trucks hanging back.” Jeb called out, seeing Len nod as he started ordering the men on his side to take up position and finish killing the deadheads. Tim started barking orders on their side while Jeb lifted the binoculars looking towards the trucks that had pulled back. He saw that crazy son-of-a-bitch standing just outside the truck with his own pair of binoculars raised. Jeb dropped the binoculars and moved to the sniper he’d discarded when the deadheads had started pouring from the trucks. Lifting it he took aim on the Grinder leader’s head, readying his shot. He was about to pull the trigger when someone yelled out.
“Shit is that Davie?”
“Fuck he’s still alive and he’s almost to the trailer, kill those deadheads around him quick.” Len yelled.
“Fuck, I can’t get a shot on the one to his left. Does anyone have a shot?” Len yelled, sounding panicked. Davie and Len were good friends and Jeb knew he should take the shot, but he swung the gun around to find Davie. When he was in his line of sight, Jeb saw the deadhead on Davie’s left. Somehow it had gotten between the two vehicles and nobody from the other side could get a shot off on him. Jeb took the shot, taking down the deadhead as Davie ran towards the trailer on Len’s side of the road. When he turned back to the cult leader he realized that the man had fled as he watched the trucks zooming away. Fuck that was really how his day was going he supposed.
He lowered the sniper and glanced around at his men who were killing the last of the deadheads around the trucks. The sound of gun fire trailed off as all the bodies hit the ground and Jeb looked at the piles of deadheads, feeling rage pool in his stomach. How was it that this cult always managed to fuck up their lives and then escape before they could kill them all? They were the Crimson Blades MC and these assholes weren’t even organized, nor were they particularly tough to kill, but they somehow never managed to wipe them out completely. It was getting damned old.
“Did you get him?” Harry asked. Jeb shook his head hearing the other man let out a harsh curse that he felt right down to his bones.
“You okay?” Tim grunted to Davie, who hadn’t really moved since he’d made it to up the ladder. Davie looked up from where he was sitting and his eyes were tearing up as he pulled the sleeve up to reveal a crescent shaped bite mark on his arm.
“One of them got me before Jeb shot him.” He replied, his arm shaking as he held it out for them to see. Tim’s face fell and his eyes darkened as he took in the bite. Nobody spoke, but the mood went from weary to defeated just like that because all of them knew that Davie was already dead. Jeb wanted to scream in frustrated denial. He’d hesitated for a little too long before he’d swung the rifle and it had cost Davie his life. Fuck, this day had been a serious shit storm.
“Maybe because he didn’t bite all the way through you will be fine.” Harry said, but his voice cracked a little on the word fine and they were all thinking the same damned thing, the kid, who was only nineteen, was done for because nobody survived a bite.
“Find our people and get this cleaned up. We need to get home before the noise attracts more of the deadheads.” Jeb finally said trying to get their minds off the tragic mess that this day had turned into. He just wanted to go to his cabin, take a shot of whiskey, and forget that he’d messed up, again.

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