This is Issue #30 of Dead Frontier by Walkerbait22, titled Never Too Late. This is the sixth and final issue of Volume 5.
Issue 30 - Never Too LateEdit
Dwight moves past Chloe and offers Hannah his hand. She takes it, and he lifts her up. He sees the confusion on her face and says, “We’re busting you out of here girl. Come on.”
“But she...” Hannah says, pointing to Chloe.
Chloe takes a moment to respond; she's staring at Choi's corpse. “Yes, I work here,” Chloe says finally. “Look, I don’t have time to explain, alright? We need go, like, right now if we want to get everyone else.”
“My mom. Where is she? She has a bad heart. She...she could’ve had a heart attack or something from the shock.”
Chloe forgot about this part, and she feels a sinking feeling in her gut. She takes a deep breath and says, “She’s dead.”
Dwight grabs Hannah and leads her out of the room before she can collapse into a hysterical mess. They proceed down the corridor, to Cole’s room, and Chloe slides the key card in. Dwight just yells “Come on!” to Cole as they continue further down the hall. Cole furrows his brow in confusion, but then follows Chloe, Dwight, Hannah, and Finn.
They can see the red double doors they entered the first day the soldiers brought them here about fifty feet down the white corridor. They run, until they are halted by Dr. Stowe and two large soldiers turning the corner. Stowe stops dead in her tracks when she sees Chloe, then sighs as if this were to be expected. Dwight raises his handgun, but the soldiers do the same, and their rifles a lot more intimidating. “Hi, Chloe.”
Chloe has since retrieved her pistol, but her hands shake uncontrollably. “Hello.”
“Why would you do something like this? You’re ruining everything, any chance we had at conducting valuable research.”
“You still can. Just don’t do it like this. It’s just not right! Everything out there is dead, Dr. Stowe. But we’re still human.”
One of the soldiers speaks up. “Just tell us when to fire, ma’am.” Dr. Stowe puts her finger up to silence him.
“Where do you even plan on going?” Stowe asks.
Chloe keeps her mouth shut about the possibility of a safe haven at O’Hare. “I don’t know. Somewhere safer than here.”
“It was safe for you here. Maybe not for the subjects, but for you it was. You had food, a bed, water...And now what? You’re going to go out there, on the road, with infected around every corner?”
“We’ll figure something out.”
“You say that as if I’m going to let you go.” Dr. Stowe glares at Dwight. “You. Put the gun on the floor.”
Dwight reluctantly bends down, never taking his eyes off of Stowe, and places his gun on the ground. Stowe nods her head forward, and the two soldiers approach Dwight, Hannah, Cole, Finn, and Chloe. They are being ushered back down the hallway when two shots ring out. The soldiers fall with bullets lodged in the back of their heads.
Everyone turns and sees Gord at the end of the corridor, behind Dr. Stowe, with his gun held firmly in his hands. Pvt. Munoz, Billie, Adam, and Mercer stand behind him. "Come on, y'all," Gord says. "Let's go."
Dwight, Hannah, Cole, Finn, and Chloe warily move past Dr. Stowe, who just stares at them as tears brim in her eyes. "Okay," Stowe says, defeated. "Okay."
Gord holds the double doors open for everyone to enter the parking lot. They begin to file into the trucks when Gord hears the pounding of boots proceeding down the corridor. Dr. Stowe waves over the trio of soldiers. "Fuck..." Gord mutters. He yells to everyone else in the parking lot. "We got three assholes over here. Just go! I'll take care of them."
"No way, Gord," Adam says.
"I'm not gonna do this begging shit. Go now, or you can die, too." For the first time, Adam can see Gord getting emotional. "Go."
Adam jumps into the back of one of the trucks and watches as the soldiers unload bullets into Gord. He fires off a shot and kills one of the soilders, but soon, his white shirt is a mess of red bullet holes as he falls to the ground.
Tyler starts the truck and speeds away up the ramp leading to above ground. The soldiers' bullets ricochet off the back of the truck.
Cole, Hannah, Dwight, Mercer, Adam, Billie, and Chloe are all piled into the back of the truck, breathing heavily, as Tyler drives.
"Gord. He didn't make it," Adam reveals.
"What about Wanda?" Billie asks. "And Mel?"
They all look towards Chloe, except for Hannah, who cries into Cole's chest. "They're dead. I'm sorry," Chloe says.
Mercer gives her a long, cold stare, and suddenly grabs her by the shoulders. "You let them take Mel? Let them kill her?"
Chloe looks afraid for her life, his stare making her blood run cold. "I didn't let them do anything. I...I didn't want them to. I was against it, I-I swear. That's why I'm here, helping you get out."
Mercer doesn't loosen his grip. "How do we even know you're not taking us to some...some lab or some shit?"
"Mercer, let her go," Dwight orders. Mercer looks at him, and his eyes are no longer in a frenzy. He looks at Chloe apologetically and lets go of her shoulders. His face suddenly contorts into a look of extreme sadness and he turns away, sobbing in a corner of the truck.
"I'm not taking you to a lab or anything like that," Chloe says. "I needed to get you out of there, or else...you don't want to know what they were planning to do. Some of the other scientists. I couldn't sit back and watch knowing there were actual people in there being used like fucking animals."
"What's your name?" Adam asks.
"Chloe Connors. The guy driving, he's Tyler. He worked here as well, but was in the military. Not a scientist."
"Well, thanks Chloe. Just...thank you."
"I just have one question," Dwight says. "Where the fuck are we going?"
"In all honesty, I'm not too sure about that. Tyler told me about a possible refuge center set up by the air force at O'Hare. I was thinking of heading there first."
"Is it a sure thing?" Billie says.
"I have no idea. I guess we'll find out when we get there."
The truck comes to a stop about an hour later. Tyler exits the driver's seat and opens the back doors to let everyone out. It's dark, and they are in a mysterious neighborhood where ominous houses line the streets. A few abandoned cars litter the road.
"Kind of cramped back there, huh?" Tyler asks.
"No, Tyler, it's a fucking five star hotel back here," Chloe says as she climbs out of the truck behind everyone else. Tyler hands her a flashlight.
"I thought we could check out a few of these houses. Maybe stay in one for the night and head to O'Hare in the morning."
"Me and Tyler will do the dirty work. I know you guys have been through a lot."
"Thanks," Billie says. Chloe and Tyler head to the nearest house with their flashlights bouncing around in the darkness.
Hannah sits on the edge of the back of the truck, her feet dangling. She's exhausted, but realizes that sleep will be near impossible. She wants to cry some more but finds that she's all out of tears.
Surprisingly, Dwight takes a seat next to her. He scratches his head a bit awkwardly. "I'm sorry about everything that happened. It's terrible, but I kind of feel like that's an understatement." He clears his throat. "I know we kind of...got off on the wrong foot, but I wanna apologize. For calling you a bitch that one time, and being an ass. I didn't mean it. Dommy was just scratched and I was freakin' out a little so...yeah."
Hannah looks up at him, grateful and surprised by his concern. "Thank you."
"I guess it's never too late for a fresh start, huh?"