This is Issue #20 of Dead Frontier, titled Defense. This is the second issue of Volume 4.
Issue 20 - DefenseEdit
"...Dad?" Hannah sobs into her dead father's chest. Micah approaches her and grabs her shoulders, trying to pull her away. She shrugs him off. "Fuck off, Micah!"
Dwight and Gord each take one end of Roger's body and lead him out of the parking lot to the empty area behind the motel. Billie still stands frozen in the same spot, the pistol pointed where Roger's head was just a few moments ago. She's on the verge of tears, this being the second living person she's killed in just a matter of days. She finally puts the gun down and stumbles away to her motel room.
"Billie..." Cole says, but he doesn't go after her. She'd probably want to be left alone, and his leg would prevent him from moving efficiently, anyway.
Cole trudges over to Hannah and winces as he gets on his knees to face her. "Hannah, come on. Don't look." He places a hand on her shoulder and she buries her face in his chest. Cole can feel his shirt dampening as she sobs. He lifts her up and guides her to his motel room.
Dwight and Gord return from getting rid of Roger's body and attempt to do the same to Mick's corpse, but Wanda latches onto her husband.
"Sorry, but we gotta get his body out of here," Gord says. Wanda finally lets go and collapses on the ground; Melody and John rush to her side as Dwight and Gord move Mick's body out of sight.
Cole wraps his arms around Hannah as she sits and cries on the bed. He lets her finish, then reaches into his backpack on the floor and grabs a box of tissues. She grabs one and wipes her face; her eyes are a pale red from crying.
"One of the last things I told him," she says through sobs, "was that he was an asshole." She buries her head in her hands, overcome with guilt. "And now I can't even say sorry because of that crazy fuck."
"I...God, Hannah, I'm so sorry," Cole says. By no means did he like Mick Fleetwood, but he can't help but feel terrible for Hannah and Wanda. He runs his hand through his hair and stands, taking one last look at Hannah as she buries her face into the pillow before he limps out of the room. He closes the door behind him and slumps against the wall. He can't take his eyes off of the blood stain on the parking lot asphalt.
Billie lies in the stiff bed of her motel room with a blanket wrapped around her. She shivers, and continues to replay the vision of the bullet flying through Roger's head. A knock on the door startles her, and she groans, "Go away." The knob turns and Dwight peeks his head in. "I said go away."
Dwight sighs and closes the door behind him. He takes a seat on the bed, but Billie turns away from him. He can't help but feel bad for her. An 18 year old girl shouldn't have to go through what she has. She's tough, but Dwight knows even Billie has a limit to what she can take.
"Talk to me, Starr," he says.
"No," she says, her voice muffled because her face is buried into the pillow. "There's nothing to talk about."
"Don't pull that shit with me. This is the first living person you've killed. You--"
"No it's not."
Dwight is caught off guard. "What?"
Billie turns toward him, her cheeks stained with tears. She sighs and explains the situation with Ivan and the man's failed attempt to violate her. "Then I shot him in the head," she says lastly.
There is a long silence between them. Dwight finally says, "It gets easier. Eventually, you don't really think about it."
"And that's what I'm scared of."
He looks at her sympathetically, and places a firm hand on her shoulder. "Roger was a threat. You did what you needed to, and no one blames you for that." Dwight stands, but stops in his tracks when he hears yelling outside the door of the motel room.
"Infected!" John shouts with his raspy voice.
"Are you fucking kidding me?" Dwight mutters. He pulls his pistol out of its holster and swings the door open. Billie quickly composes herself and leaps from her bed, grabbing her shotgun that leans against the wall and follows Dwight out the door.
Gord, John, Mercer, Cole, and Micah are already picking off the oncoming infected. "It must've been the shot!" John says.
There's tons of them. The collective groaning of them all is loud enough to be heard from the motel even though the infected are a good distance away. Here and there, infected fall to the ground after receiving a bullet to the head.
"What do we do?" Micah shouts.
"Shoot!" Dwight orders after firing off a shot.
"We'll run out of ammo; there's too many!"
"Then shoot until you run out!"
"Mel, get Grammy into one of the rooms!" Mercer orders, and Melody complies, guiding Mary to a nearby room and locking the door shut. "Adam, get the fuck over here!"
Adam swallows and aims his gun at the wall of infected. He pulls the trigger but misses completely because of his shaking hands. Eventually, he hits one and feels a pang in his stomach as the infected falls to the ground.
Billie attempts to fire her shotgun, but nothing happens. "I'm out!" she calls out. She scrambles backwards, the sea of intimidating infected too close for her comfort. "We can't stay out here! Everyone, hide in one of the rooms and lock the doors."
"We can't just give this place up!" Gord says, firing a shot from his rifle immediately afterwards.
"He's right!" says John.
Everyone hurries to take refuge in one of the rooms, except for Gord and John, who continue to protect the motel. Dwight, Billie, and Mercer hide in a room to their left, and Wanda hides into the nearest room with Adam. Cole and Hannah rush back into Cole's room and quickly shut the door. He locks it, and he and Hannah grab the lone wooden dresser in the room and barricade the door with it.
Cole grabs his backpack from the floor, and they both scramble into the small bathroom and lock the door. He unzips his pack and grabs his hatchet. They back against the bathroom's far wall, and Cole grips his hatchet with his left hand and Hannah holds his right. Gunshots are still firing outside, and then the dreadful banging on the door starts.
"Cole, they're going to get in," Hannah says, her voice shaking. She clutches Cole's hand harder. She flinches with each bang on the front door, and notices that the gunshots have stopped. John's screams now mix in with the sounds of hungry groaning and banging.
"No, they're not," Cole says unconvincingly, perspiration popping up on his forehead. His claim is refuted, however, when he hears the splintering of the door and the footsteps of the infected right outside the bathroom door.
Hannah screams when the infected begin to pound on the bathroom door. Cole hurries and pushes his back against it. He uses all of his strength to keep the door up, but the strength of the infected is too much, and he sees the lock break on the door. A rotting arm slips through and Cole slams his back into the door. The grey arm breaks off with a disgusting crunch and hits the bathroom floor.
Hannah overcomes her shock and assists Cole in protecting the door. She slides next to him and presses her back against it.
This is it. This is the end. Cole wasn't expecting to perish so early, but this is what it's come to.
He suddenly hears gunshots from the motel room. "Come on you fuckers!" Dwight yells with an array of gunshots soon after. Cole and Hannah hear the thud of infected hitting the floor, and the banging stops. They both hit the floor, not wanting to be hit with any stray bullets.
Dwight swings the bathroom door open. He has a rifle over his shoulder with a thin trail of smoke coming out of the end. He offers his hand to Cole and assists him in standing. He does the same for Hannah and she reluctantly takes it. Dwight hasn't made the best impression on her, but she can't hate the man for saving her life. Cole embraces Hannah in a hug. "Are you okay?" he asks.
"How about everyone else?" he asks Dwight. "Are they fine?"
Dwight looks at the ground solemnly. "Your friend Micah. He's bit."