This is Issue #45 of Dead Frontier by Walkerbait22, titled Get The Job Done. This is the third issue in Volume 8.
Issue 45 - Get The Job DoneEdit
“Hey, Charlie-horse, how’s it going?” Dylan says, too cheerfully for Charlie’s taste. He takes seat across from Charlie in an old leather chair in his living room. Gauze is still wrapped around his ear.
“I said don’t call me that. And shouldn’t you be on watch with the rest of the guys?” Charlie asks. He takes a sip of his beer and hands one to Dylan.
“That is true. But I thought I’d just come up here to check on you.”
“I’m not a six year old, Ackerman. I don’t need ‘checking up on.’”
“Anyone would need checking up on after what happened to you,” Dylan says. He knows he’s walking a thin tightrope, so he’s trying to pick his words carefully. “You’re not a machine, Charlie. You’ve turned into a recluse, and that’s not what this place needs right now. So if you need to talk about anything...I’m here for you, man.”
Charlie stares at him for a little while, and Dylan gets increasingly uncomfortable. Then, Charlie’s face contorts into an expression of terrible anguish, and he covers his face in his hands. “I shouldn’t have let him go,” he sobs. “He wasn’t ready for it. He wasn’t ready. I should have listened to him.”
Dylan just watches, surprised and slightly heartbroken.
Hannah falls to the floor, unconscious, as soon as Dex hits her with the gun. She hits her head a second time on the tile, adding insult to injury. He grabs her legs and drags her limp body across the floor, toward the back door. He opens it and drags her outside, and, with ease, he’s able to lift her over his shoulder. Finally. It took weeks, but finally. He’s got her, and he rushes to bring her back to Charlie, leaving Dwight, Quinn, and Darcy behind. But Quinn knows what he has to do. Dwight, Quinn, and Darcy finish up scouring the large store. “Find anything good?” Dwight asks as they carry a few bags back to the truck.
“Just a few cans,” Darcy says.
“Hannah! Dex! Let’s go!” There’s no response, no sign that they’ve heard him. “Yo!” He sighs when he sees an infected lumber out of a store a little ways away, realizing his yelling probably aggravated it. “Darcy.”
“On it.” She runs over and stabs it in the head easily, as Dwight walks over to the tiny clothing store, and Quinn follows closely behind, his crowbar clutched tightly in both hands.
Dwight enters the store and knocks on the wall. “Hello? We’re ready out here...”
Quinn takes a few deep breaths as he follows Dwight, knowing this is the perfect moment, but not having the guts to do it. He has the crowbar raised above his head, ready to strike, when, from behind him, Darcy yells a warning to Dwight. Dwight turns and sees the raised weapon; he rushes at Quinn and tackles him to the ground, and the crowbar scatters across the floor. Dwight turns him on his stomach and digs his knee into Quinn’s upper back. He lets out a painful cry.
Dwight begins to put the pieces together; he looks behind him and sees a few small specks of blood on the floor below the mirror, and realizes Hannah and Dex are nowhere in sight. “Where are they?” Dwight demands.
“Ah, bro, you’re hurting me!” Quinn shouts.
Dwight removes his knee and grabs Quinn by the shoulders, lifting him to his feet roughly. “Come on. Move!” Darcy and Dwight lead him to the truck, stuffing him in the backseat. “Watch him.” Darcy complies, and slides into the seat next to Quinn. She shoves the barrel of her gun into his abdomen, daring him to make a move. He’s petrified. More so because he fucked up, instead of the fact that he has a gun pointed at him.
Tyler opens the gates for Dwight and Darcy, and Dwight runs over a few infected that block the entrance. He leaps from the front seat and grabs Tyler by the shirt. “Get Abe. Right now.”
“What happened?” Tyler asks.
“Just get Abe, man!” Dwight says as he flings open the back door of the truck and retrieves Quinn. Tyler stands there for a few seconds, confused, but rushes back into the airport to Abe’s office.
Abe sees the three enter the terminal as soon as he exits the office. Something’s went wrong--again--and he isn’t sure if he wants to hear it. “What’s wrong?” he asks.
“Hannah and Dex. They’re gone,” Darcy says.
Abe stares at her with wide eyes. “What? What the fuck does that mean?”
“What the hell does it sound like, Abe? They’re gone, and I caught Quinn trying to bash Dwight's brains in."
Abe's glare turns on Quinn, and it makes Quinn’s legs go weak. "Bring him to my office. Please."
Dwight obliges, and he drags a struggling Quinn across the terminal as people gather to watch. Cole unzips his tent and peaks out; he furrows his eyebrows together at the crowd of people. He leaves his tent and taps a woman on the shoulder. "Hey, what's going on?" he asks. The woman just shrugs.
He sees Darcy being swarmed by people and makes his way toward her. Her heart drops when she sees Cole. She's not good with these kinds of things. "Christ, people, would you calm down!" she shouts, her thoughts muffled by the arsenal of questions.
"Darcy, what's--" Cole starts, but Darcy interrupts him.
"Come here." She leads him to a far corner of the terminal as the crowd starts to disperse. "Something happened. I don't know how, but Hannah's gone. And so is Dex."
"Wh...what? Gone? What's that mean?" He realizes he has her arm gripped tight and lets go.
"I don't know. We split up and searched a few stores, then when we went to look for them, they weren't there. And Quinn tried to kill Dwight."
"...Are you fucking kidding me? Darcy..." He runs his hands through his hair and feels the anxiety rapidly building in his chest.
Dwight stands in the middle of the terminal, causing everyone to turn to him as he claps his hands. "Has anyone seen Miles?!" There's murmurs and the shaking of heads. A few miles away, Miles has already made his escape and is running back to Charlie's camp.
Hours later, and the sky is getting darker and Dex is exhausted. He's carried Hannah over his shoulder the entire time, when finally, he sees a car with a decent amount of gas and jogs toward it. Just then, Hannah starts to come to. She's confused, not sure where she is and why she's being carried, but the memories from today rush back to her. She thrashes in a panic, trying to get Dex to let her loose.
"Chill the fuck out!" Dex says. But she punches at his back even harder and her knee collides with his face. He drops her to the ground and touches his lip; he looks at his fingers, and they are bloody. Hannah lets out a yelp when she hits the ground. There's a sharp pain in her back. "Jesus Christ! My Goddamn face..."
"What the hell is this?!" Hannah shouts, and Dex shushes her.
"Are you stupid? Why are you yelling?"
"Why am I---what's wrong with you? What the hell am I doing out here?" She tries to stand, but Dex puts a foot on her shoulder and pushes her flat on the ground. He kneels down and presses his knee into her neck so hard she can't speak.
"Be quiet. Stop yelling. Stop asking questions. It makes things harder than they need to be. Okay?" Hannah manages to barely nod her head with stinging eyes. Dex smiles at her. "Good." He goes to stand, but before he can, she rakes her fingernails across his face. She's able to scratch his eye and he falls backwards with a high pitched scream. "You fucking bitch--"
Hannah scrambles to her feet, the pain in her back making it almost impossible. The adrenaline rushes through her as she tries to make her getaway, but Dex reaches out and grabs her ankle. She falls forward and hits her chin on the asphalt. She can feel the blood rapidly filling her mouth. Dex stands, squinting his left eye, and a little blood drips from it. He kicks Hannah in her side, then uses his foot to turn her over. She's dazed from the fall, and he bends down to lift her up by the neck. He opens the car door and throws her in the back. Just to make sure she's quiet the entire ride, he gives her a hard punch to the face.
Later in the day, Abe returns to his office, once again trying to get Quinn to talk after several unsuccessful attempts. He jumps when the door opens and Abe enters.
Abe takes a seat across from Quinn and sighs. “Please, just tell me what’s going on.” Quinn keeps his mouth shut. “We gave you food and a place to sleep. For two weeks. I think the least you could do is tell us who the fuck you are and why one of our people was kidnapped. Sound fair?”
“Nope, sorry,” Quinn says.
“Okay. I’m just going to go out a limb here and guess that everything you told me was a lie? About being out on the road and what not?”
“If that was all bullshit, what’s your purpose for being here?” More silence from Quinn, and Abe gets more and more frustrated. “Okay, look. I’ll negotiate with you.”
“Let’s hear it.”
“You explain to me everything, we’ll stock you with supplies. Food, medicine, water. Whatever you need. We just want that girl back.”
Quinn seems to be considering it. He sits up in his chair. “For real?” Abe nods his head. “I...fuck. I can’t.”
“What else will it take?”
“I...I just...I can’t. You don’t understand.”
“You can’t?” Quinn shakes his head in response.
“Okay then. Come with me.” Abe has dragged Quinn out to fence with help from Cole and Mulligan. A few infected are accumulated at the gate. Just what he needs. “Still don’t want to say anything?” Abe asks. He his Quinn grabbed by his collar, his face mere inches from the hungry infected.
“I told you! I can’t!” he shouts. He starts to cry, and feels like he’s going to vomit from the smell, being in such close proximity to the infected's face. But then he thinks about what Charlie will do to him and keeps his mouth shut.
Cole grabs Quinn by the back of the neck, pushing his face farther towards the holes in the fence, where two infected are pushing their faces through, trying to get a bite of his face. He wishes he could just throw the piece of shit out there, let him get mauled, but Quinn living is the only way he’ll ever find out where Hannah is.
“P-please! Stop!” Quinn pleads once again. He looks the infected the eyes, then at its tongue sticking through the hole in the fence, starved. He can’t take it: “Okay!”
Cole pulls on Quinn’s collar, bringing him to the ground. Breathing heavily, he scurries away from the fence on his back. He cries, blocking his face with his forearms as Mulligan stands over him. “You gonna get your shit together and talk?” Mulligan asks.
Quinn wipes the tears, snot, and infected spit from his face with disgust. “Back at the forest, she killed this guy’s son. His name’s Charlie. We...we heard your broadcasts on the radio and put two and two together when we saw that dead soldier lady with the Air Force shit on. I didn’t even fucking want to come here; Charlie made us!”
“And he ordered you to kidnap Hannah?” Abe asks, and Quinn nods. It’s this exact moment where Abe wants to kick himself for not standing his ground and letting them in. And at the same time, Mulligan thinks, maybe Abe was right. There is no one to trust anymore.
“Come with me. You’re going to tell me everything.”