This is Issue #37 of Dead Frontier by Walkerbait22, titled Practice Makes Perfect. This is the first issue of Volume 7.
Issue 37 - Practice Makes PerfectEdit
“You know how to use that?” Devon asks the next morning. She sees Billie cleaning her shotgun and stares at the weapon with wide eyes.
“Yep,” Billie says. “Where’s your gun?”
“I kind of don’t have one,” Devon admits as she sits down next to her.”My brother, either. My dad’s kind of paranoid. Thinks we’re not ready.”
“He does know there are dead people roaming around outside, right?”
“That’s what I said! But he doesn’t listen to me. Ever.”
“I mean...I could teach you,” Billie offers.
“No. No thanks. You just got here, I wouldn’t want my dad to be mad at you. I’m Devon, by the way.”
“That guy,” Devon starts. She points to Finn, who’s throwing a baseball with Peter. “He your boyfriend?”
“Nice guy, but no.” She raises her eyebrows at Devon. “Why are you looking at me like that?”
“Because...nevermind. I’ll stop prying.” She stands. “Come on, I’ll show you around.”
As Devon is showing her new friend around the library, her father enters. “Billie? You’re going to be leaving soon.”
She thanks Devon and leaves to get ready. When Billie is gone, Abe says to his daughter, “Are you making a friend?”
“She’s cool, Dad.” He smiles and places a hand on her shoulder, though it is somewhat awkward. Devon forces a smile and scurries out of the library.
Cole gives Billie a hug before she leaves. “Stay safe,” he says.
“Billie. Billie!” She turns and sees Adam jogging toward her, calling her name. “Thought you might like some familiar company.”
Outside, on the runway, Billie fires her shotgun at a few infected near the helicopter. She hits one, and its face explodes into a mess of blood and brains. She looks at Adam, impressed, as he takes a deep breath and hits one in the neck then the forehead with his pistol. They pile into the helicopter with two airmen, Mulligan and Lt. Thomas. Thomas operates the helicopter while Mulligan sits next to him; Adam and Billie are in the back.
“When was the last time you saw these guys?” Thomas asks through a headset, which they have all been supplied with.
“Maybe 2 weeks ago? I don’t know. They sent me and Cole off and we haven’t seen them since then,” Billie replies.
“You. Adam. You ever met them?”
“I’ve been told great things, but no. I’ve never met them.” He stares down at the streets below and grimaces at all of the infected. Not one living soul.
“You’ve gotta put more force into your throw, Pete. Like this.” Finn is teaching Peter how to properly throw a baseball, but the kid is a lost cause.
Peter makes an attempt to throw, but the ball is almost ten feet to Finn’s left. Finn sighs. “Sorry,” Peter says.
“You’ll get the hang of it. Practice makes perfect, right?” He removes his baseball glove. “I’m gonna get some breakfast. Keep practicing.”
Finn makes his way to the cafeteria and grabs a bowl of cereal from Harry. He nods thanks and sees Hannah and Cole holding hands across a table on the far end of the cafeteria. He says “Hi” to some of the other people in the cafeteria as he walks over.
“Hey, guys,” he says as he sets his tray down and sits.
“Hi, Finn,” Hannah says, and she smiles at him.
“You guys liking it here?”
“We’ve got food, showers, tents, water,” Cole says. “There’s not much to not like. And you? How are you?”
“I’m great. But I can’t help but think about how he would’ve loved it here,” Finn says. Hannah is confused, but Cole nods. Finn turns to Hannah. “I’m sorry about your parents, too. It’s a shame I never got to meet your dad."
"Thanks," Hannah says.
"Think he would've liked me?"
"He wasn't much of a people person, but...I don't know." They both listen as Hannah smiles and goes into a story about her father's first time taking her hunting. Cole can't help but smile as she reminisces, the happiness on her face apparent.
They suddenly hear a scream, and they all snap their heads to the left. It's Harry. He's behind the counter, preparing breakfast, and an infected is limping towards him. He throws a frying pan at it, but it just ricochets off the corpse. Hannah pulls out her handgun and leaps from her seat.
Cole goes after her, afraid she might do something to get herself killed, but sits back down when he feels a sharp pain in his head.
Hannah fires off two shots, but they only hit the infected in the back. People in the cafeteria scream, paralyzed with fear.
The infected has Harry pinned against the fridge in the kitchen; it snaps its jaws but Harry pushes it away. The small space doesn't allow for much movement and Harry slips, hitting his head on the corner of the counter. His vision is blurry but he recuperates and kicks the infected in the stomach. His foot goes straight through its midsection, and when he removes his foot, his shoe is tangled in intestines.
Standing, Harry yells and pushes the infected back towards the stove, which is still on. Another of Hannah's gunshots hits the corpse; this time in the neck.
Harry grabs it by the hair and shoves its face into the fire on the stove. The infected fights back and uses its strength to get out of Harry's grasp. It's face is a burnt, smelly mess of dead skin and blood. An eye hangs out of its socket and lies on the blackened cheek.
Harry stares at it, petrified with fear. A bullet suddenly flies through the back of the infected's head. It falls forward and lands on Harry. He throws it off, disgusted, and takes a deep breath. Relief.
Hannah stands on the other side of the counter with her gun lowered. "How did that get in here?" she demands. She thought this place was safe, but apparently not.
"If I knew, I wouldn't have let it fucking attack me," Harry says. He grabs a paper towel and wipes a few specks of blood from his face.
Abe, Amy, Jennifer, Tyler, and two other airmen rush into the cafeteria, guns drawn. "What the fuck?" Abram shouts. "Who's shooting?"
"How the hell did infected get in here?" Hannah demands.
Abe looks shocked. "...Infected? They got in?"
"Only one. It almost killed Harry."
"We've got more than one," Dwight says. He leaves his table and unsheathes his knife, approaching three infected entering from the back of the cafeteria. He takes them out quickly; three stabs to the head and they're all dead.
"That side could be overrun," Amy says. "Lucas, Jane, new guy." The two airmen and Tyler stand at attention. "Check that area out. Clear out any infected and one of you report back to me or Abe. We'll be adding extra patrols to that area."
"Yes, ma'am," they say in unison and rush off to find the source of the infected.
There's a lot of muttering in the cafeteria. Whispers doubting the safety of this place fill the room.
"Hey," Harry says. He steps over the infected and clumsily hops over the counter. "Thanks for not hitting it the first time."
"Excuse me?" Hannah says. "You should be glad I hit it all."
"Maybe practice with that gun a little more before you decide to be the hero, okay?" He rubs the side of his head and sees that it's bleeding. He shakes his head disapprovingly at Hannah, and Jennifer ushers him off to the medical room.
"Asshole..." she mutters.
"Is...is that it?" Lt. Thomas asks. He points to a large house surrounded with infected. They pour out of the house and roam around the land.
Billie doesn't believe it at first but then she remembers Luke mentioning the area suddenly receiving an unusual amount of infected. She sees Randy's car, and her fears are confirmed. "Yeah. Yeah, that's it."
"Good God..." Adam mutters. "I've never seen that many at one time. There's got to be over 300..."
Scott looks over his shoulder and sees Billie's devastated face. "I...I'm sorry," he says. Thomas turns the helicopter back in the direction of the airport.
"Maybe they're okay," Adam says.
"They're not fucking okay. The car's still there. They're probably ripped to shreds right now."
“C’mon. You don’t know that. They could’ve escaped before all the infected got there...”
“Do you want to do down there and check then?” She emphasizes her point by gesturing to the overrun house. “Didn’t think so.”
Adam opens his mouth to say something, but snaps it shut quickly. He notices Billie’s moist eyes and flaring nostrils, but doesn’t dare to say a word.