The big soldier sat down beside me. He was tall and muscular, with a grim face to make him seem all the more menacing. However, it was his eyes that showed just how tired he was. The other soldiers passed time talking about the mess that the world was. The broken building we were in was great evidence of that.
If they weren’t talking about the apocalypse, they were talking about me. A small girl trapped in all this mess and now they’ve taken me in as their responsibility. I suppose it is only right for them to choose their own mission now their commander is dead. Or commanders, I should say. Not everyone was in the same team.
I must have grown bored or the soldier was speaking so loud, but I soon began listening in on one of the conversations.
“It caught us by surprise, that’s for sure,” he muttered, scratching his moustache. “I was working at the back of the plane with some other guys, doing nothing really important. That is when the alert came in. Red lights and an alarm is more than enough for any of us to get out asses in gear. I was the one nearest to the crate of parachutes, so I had one on just as the missile hit.”
“Didn’t you have any flares?” another soldier asked.
“No flares for a friendly missile,” the moustache murmured. “It was from our side of the dead-zone. It blew off the back of the ship, I was lucky to have not been killed by the explosion or my parachute damaged...but the other guys…”
“No one else make it?”
“Nobody but me and a crate of supplies which had an automatic parachute I set up. I was getting to attaching the others, but bad timing I suppose.”
“What kind of supplies?” the muscular soldier asked, suddenly interested.
“Don’t get excited, big guy,” moustache replied. “I watched that crate drift far away, but I still had tracking on it. When I touched down I only had my side arm, small-calibre, nothing special. I disabled my tracker in my descent so it looked like my heart stopped. If that missile came from friendlies, I didn’t want friendlies finding me. However, those supplies were my first objective. In that crate were weapons, high-calibre rifles, a measure of explosive, a grenade belt or two, MREs, water, you name it.”
There was a whistle from the group, everyone listening now with the talk of such supplies in such dire times.
“I followed the tracker all the way to its landing sight and you know what I found?” moustached asked. “Scavengers and murderers fighting over that crate. Dead-zone lunatics, killing, stabbing, shooting and strangling each other. Every single one of them had their eyes on that crate and they didn’t know if it contained such useful supplies or simply just army uniforms.”
“What did you do?”
“I turned tail, not much I could do against so many and if I hung around too long it would raise my chances of being spotted. What could a small calibre gun at over a hundred metres do against lunatics with rifles?”
There was a murmuring of ‘not much’ amongst the soldiers. I don’t think they were disappointed in the situation, but they were more disappointed in the ending. After so much time in the dead-zone you would think they would grow harder, tougher. However, it seemed it was the soldiers who held onto humanity longer than average people.
I knew the kind of lunatics they spoke of. The people who were killing each other for the last sip of water. Clinging onto life became fighting for your life so quickly when this side of the wall turned to hell. People forgot everything in their heart and mind, instincts took over. The rest can be seen everywhere you walk. Skeletons, bodies, looted stores and suspicious eyes.
However, when I stumbled upon a group so big I didn’t grow scared. If anyone can stay together through all this there must be some comradery, some team-work. I could not have been more right when I met this group.
“Girl?” the big man murmured, turning to me. It was as if he read my mind. “What brought you to the dead-zone? I thought nobody was having kids ever since the cataclysm happened.”
“I’m not from the dead-zone,” I replied. “I’m from beyond the wall as well.”
At this everyone looked at each other. The other side of the wall was a perfectly normal world. People going to work, to school, living their lives happy although there is a land of monsters and killers just beyond the concrete wall.
Although, I was never a part of that life. I wasn’t a part of any family.
“I was made in a research lab,” I told them. “The government you know created this apocalypse, I’m sure you’ve guessed that. The monsters are not results of radiation, but experiments like me they released into the dead-zone. However, I’m not a monster, but a guinea pig they hoped to test a new mutagen on. One that would change man into something greater, although all it has done is disfigure them horribly, turning them into monsters before super-humans.”
The more my story went on the more terrified they became.
“I escaped it...the lab, running through those cold halls and avoiding those gloved hands,” I continued. “They can’t track me, they can’t capture me out here. On the other side, they could, but not here. At least, I hope they’re too scared to try.”
“And how do we know this story isn’t just a lie?” one soldier asked, rolling his eyes.
I reached into my pocket, pulling out two syringes and then into my backpack pulling out some documents.
“This is the information on what they are doing,” I replied, showing off the papers which one soldier immediately snatched. “And these are what they were going to inject into me, hoping it would turn me into their super-soldier and not another one of those creatures.”
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