This is Issue #38 of Dead Frontier by Walkerbait22, titled Expectations.
Issue 38 - ExpectationsEdit
Billie storms into the airport with her shotgun slung over her shoulder. She hadn’t said a word the rest of the ride back. Adam jogs after her, concerned. “Billie. Billie, come on.” He grabs her by the shoulder and she turns. Her eyes pierce into his, making him shudder slightly. “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. I know you wanted to bring them here but...Jesus. I’m sorry.”
“This isn’t fucking fair!” she explodes.
“Nothing’s fair anymore, and you know that.”
“But this isn’t right. They took us in. They saved Cole’s life and fed us and let us sleep there and they asked for nothing in return. Nothing. Not even a gun, or--or gas. I just gave them a lousy fucking ‘thank you’ and now they’re dead. It shouldn’t be like this.”
“But it is.”
She turns away from him and stomps to Terminal 1. “Whew,” Thomas says. “She’s a feisty one.”
“Fuck off, man” Adam says. “She’s kind of had a bad day.” Scott scowls at Thomas and whacks him across the back of the head as Adam walks off to the Terminal.
“Look,” Hannah says. “They’re back.” She sits into the waiting area next to Cole. She points to Billie. His stomach drops when he sees that Luke, Randy, and Rita aren’t with her.
He jogs towards her. “Billie? Where are they?”
She pushes past him towards the cafeteria. She doesn’t even look him in the face when she says, “They’re dead.”
Airman Lucas is on guard in front of the cafeteria. Orders from Amy declare no one goes in. He puts a hand out in front of Billie when she tries to enter.
“Infected have breached that side of the airport,” Lucas says mechanically. “I can’t let you in.”
“I’m hungry,” Billie says.
“I don’t care. Colonel’s orders.”
“Asshole.” She turns away, not really angry at him but she feels the need to let her emotions out on someone.
Cole returns to his chair in the waiting area, a look of astonishment on his face. He thought he could one day repay the Evans with more than a ‘thanks.’ “They’re dead,” he tells Hannah.
“She didn’t tell me.”
“I’m sorry. I know...I know you wanted to see them again.”
“Is this what we should expect now?” Hannah raises her eyebrows, confused. “Should we just expect the worst? Then maybe it won’t be so bad when everything fucking goes wrong.” He stands and kicks over one of the chairs, causing people sitting around to stare at him and mumble. He storms off and hides in his tent. Hannah sighs and lets him go.
“Did you do any experiments on them?” Jennifer asks Chloe. Jennifer’s looking down at a clipboard while Chloe is looking through a shelf of medicine on the other side of the medical room.
“Didn’t Cole tell you? Me and Tyler--” she starts, but Jennifer cuts her off.
“Yes, you and the private helped them escape, but the question still stands. Did you break them out because of guilt or something?”
Chloe looks offended. “No! I helped them escape because it was the right thing to do. I wasn’t going to compromise my integrity as a scientist by sitting back and watching innocent people be...inhumane, involuntary test subjects.”
“So you never--”
“No. I only helped them get out.”
“Okay. Okay, I believe you. You can put your defenses down, now.” Chloe realizes she’s tensed up, and she takes a few deep breaths to calm down. “...Did they even find out anything worthwhile with these experiments?”
“You could say so,” Chloe says.
Jennifer puts down her clipboard. “Elaborate?”
“You guys don’t know? About...about everyone being infected?”
“Oh. We know that,” Jennifer says.
“Really? How’d you find out?”
Jennifer suddenly looks uncomfortable, and she clears her throat. “I saw it happen to my husband. He was under a lot of stress--even before the outbreak--and the infected were just the last straw, I guess. He hung himself and turned a little while later. Almost bit my fucking face off.”
“I was confused at first, but I’m not stupid. I figured it out eventually. He had no bites, no scratches.” She fiddles with the wedding ring on her finger, staring at it with a lost look in his eyes. “He was a great guy.”
“I’m sure he was.” Chloe smiles, and they go back to their respective work.
“Don’t be a bratty teenager, Billie,” Dwight calls out. He’s banging his fist against the bathroom door a few hours after Billie's return, which she has locked herself in.
“You’re one to talk,” she calls back. “You’re the one sitting in corners by yourself, not talking to anyone like a fucking recluse because you made one mistake.”
“Open. The door.”
She sighs and opens the door. “There. It’s unlocked.” Every second she gets more annoyed with Dwight.
“What’s wrong with you?”
Billie scoffs at him. “Are you serious? The Evans are dead.”
“Get over it.” If it was anyone but Dwight that said that, she’s sure she would’ve rewarded them with a punch to the nose. But she keeps her cool. “Most of these people here, they don’t know what it’s like out there. But you do. I do. You knew going back to that house there was a chance they’d be dead. And you were right. This isn’t the last time you’re going to be disappointed, or devastated. This isn’t the last time you’re going to want to give God the finger. So suck it up, because I know you’re not some bitchy little girl.” She’s speechless. “Am I wrong?”
“No,” she says. “No, you’re right.” She gives him a hug, and he pats her on the back awkwardly.
“Now you went sappy on me,” he says. “Great.”
“Jesus, Dwight. Take the hug and be happy.” She grins at him. “Thanks.”
Later in that night,Cole is talking to Hannah, but she's not paying attention. She can't help but notice Harry glaring at her from across the terminal. She puts a finger up. "Babe, hold that thought."
"What? Where are you going?" Cole says. He's buzzed, and he slurs his words slightly.
"I'll be back. Don't worry." She stands and makes her way to Harry. Cole just shrugs.
Harry is laughing with a few other guys, but their conversation goes dead silent when Hannah walks over. "What the fuck? Why do you keep glaring at me like a psychopath?" she asks.
Some of the guys giggle. Harry's face goes red in embarrassment. "Because you're the reason I have this." He points to the bandage wrapped around his head.
"Once again, I will repeat, I tried to help you, Harry. I'd say I even saved your life. So just give me one thank you, and I promise I'll never talk to you again." She waits for an answer, but Harry stands and tugs her by the arm. He leads deeper into the terminal, into a bookstore. "What are you doing?"
"You're beautiful," he says, out of nowhere.
"What? That's not...what?" She wants to leave as she gets more creeped out the longer he stares at her, but she's just so confused her feet are planted on the ground. "You were just insulting--"
Harry grabs her by her face and pulls her into a hard kiss. She kicks and flails but he doesn't let go. She finally gives him a hard kick to the balls and he yelps in pain. "Don't...tell," he pleads. "I just need my pills. I didn't mean--"
She slaps him across the face and runs away, wiping at her mouth in disgust. "Don't come near me again, you fucking weirdo!"
Harry looks sad and pathetic as he rubs the red spot on his cheek. "Please, don't," he calls out one last time.
Harry spots Jennifer chatting with Chloe and Tyler and makes his way over to them. "Jen, I need to talk to you," he says urgently.
"What's the matter?" Jennifer asks. His eyes are in a frenzy. She thought he was feeling better, but his anxious demeanor says otherwise.
"I need. To talk. To you." He grabs her harshly by the arm and leads her to the medical room. "Pills. I need my pills."
"I thought you were doing okay. Harry. What did you do?" She waits for an answer with growing concern.
"Nothing, nothing! I just need my fucking pills or I'm going to...I don't know!" He pulls at his hair.
"Calm down. It'll be okay," Jennifer says, trying her best to soothe him. She hands him a bottle of water and he chugs it down. "What did I say to do when you had these outbursts?"
"Water. Breathe. Simmer down. Water. Breathe. Simmer down," he mutters under his breath. "I don't want to hurt people, Jen." He sits down on the hospital bed. "I was feeling better. I was! Then sometimes I just...God. I want to be in control. And whenever I feel like I can I just..." He trials off.
"I'll put you back on your pills. We'll gradually wean you off them, okay?" She smiles warmly at him, although she's nervous. "This isn't your fault, Harry."
"Yeah it is. I'm crazy."
"You're not crazy. You're ill, and it's not your fault. You can't blame your bipolarity on yourself." She inspects bottles of pills on a shelf and hands him the right ones. "Did you hurt anyone just now, Harry?"
"No. No. I don't think. I wasn't trying to, at least..." He trails off. He knows she wants more based on her silence. "It was the new girl. The brunette. I just...wanted her. As soon as I saw her I did. So I tried my best to be an asshole so she'd stay away from me, but it didn't work." Jen stares at him warily, and he notices. "I didn't rape her Jen! Jesus. I just kissed her, and she slapped me." He points to his reddened cheek.
Jennifer lets out a small sigh of relief, but she can't help but think that maybe he could've done more. "You come to me the next time you feel weird. You feel like you're going to hurt yourself, or hurt someone else, you come straight to me. Understand?" Harry nods.
"How's it looking on that side, Lucas?" Mulligan asks through his walkie. He's in the empty Terminal 3, scouring the airport for any infected that could have gotten in.
"Terminal 5. All clear," Thomas's voice crackles through the speaker. "Fuck, man. I want to get drunk like everybody else. Partying. Not doing this shit."
"Don't be such a whiney bitch, Amir," Mulligan says. "Hey, ho! I see one." He lowers his rifle and pulls out a out a combat knife. He sees an infected on the other side of the terminal and walks over to it; he stabs it in the head with ease. "All cle--oh, shit. Fuck me..." He presses a button on his walkie. "I need backup in Terminal 3. I think I found the source." Mulligan stares down the large corridor with shops and restaurants on either side. At the end, there are infected crowded around a Burger King.
Mulligan hears footsteps and turns. He sees Abe and Lt. Thomas tiptoeing into the terminal. Mulligan points to the restaurant, and Abe pulls him aside, glaring at the infected. "How did this happen?" Abe asks in a harsh whisper. "This terminal was secure!"
"I don't know," Mulligan whispers back. "Do we take them out?"
"Make it quick." Abe lets him go, and Mulligan nods to Thomas. They crouch and fire into the Burger King. They watch the infected fall one by one, and when they're finished they make their way over. Abe follows closely behind.
"What the fuck?" Thomas whispers as he steps over infected. The three men stare down at a dead body. Not infected, but a person. A woman. Only half of her face remains, and her insides have been ripped out and eaten, exposing her ribcage. She's barely recognizable, but Abe realizes she was one of the first people they brought to the airport. Emma. There's a wound in the middle of her forehead. Nothing an infected could have inflicted.
"Did she...did she wander up here?" Mulligan asks. He wants to hurl, but he holds it down.
"Why would she wander up here?! How do you just wander from one terminal to the next, Scott?"
"So...somebody killed her?" Thomas says. "Look at her head. What the fuck...?"
"I don't...I don't know. You two keep quiet about this. Emma killed herself, do you understand? There was no foul play, no breach of infected. She shot herself. Understood?"
"Yes, sir," Thomas says immediately.
"Scott. I said, 'Understood?'"
"Yes, sir," Mulligan says.