This is Issue # 6 of Dead Frontier, titled Corrupt.
Issue 6 - CorruptEdit
Cole pulls into the empty parking lot and shuts off the car engine. "You ready?" he says, glancing at Hannah. She doesn't reply; she just grabs her pistol from the dashboard and exits the car, slamming the door. Cole sighs and follows her out. They walk up to the Walmart's automatic doors. They don't work, but Cole cups his hands over his eyes and looks into the store. A few infected roam around, but the shelves are mostly full. "See anything?" Hannah asks.
"Yeah. A few infected. But there's a lot of stuff in there. Come on," says Cole. Hannah pulls out a hatchet from her bag and hands it to him; then, he pushes open the automatic door. Hannah suddenly grabs him by his arm.
"Could you...kill them?" she asks.
"Yeah, don't worry about it," Cole replies. "Just stay behind me with your gun in case anything goes bad." She gives him a small, grateful smile.
They walk in and survey the store. There are three infected in plain sight: one on the right and two on the left. Cole takes a deep breath and smashes in the head of the infected on the right. The two on the left smell flesh and approach them, but Cole takes care of them with his hatchet. He stops for a moment and leans against a shelf, wiping the blood of the dead off of his face. He even gags a little from the smell.
"You okay?" Hannah asks him, placing a hand on his shoulder. He shrugs her hand off, and she looks a little hurt.
"I'm fine. Look for anything we can bring back to the house. Water, canned foods, batteries. Stuff like that," Cole says. She nods and pulls a kitchen knife from her bag.
They are scouring the shelves when Cole hears a noise, sort of like footsteps. He turns, startled, but sees nothing.
"What?" Hannah asks.
"Nothing. Thought I heard something." He returns to the shelves and stays alert in case he hears another sound. "There it is again." He turns and sees a figure duck behind a shelf. "Hey, you!" He pulls out his bloody hatchet and approaches where he thinks he saw a figure. An infected emerges from behind a shelf, but Cole takes it out.
They reach the shelf where he saw movement. "Who's there?" There's silence for a moment; Cole is gripping his hatchet with white knuckles and Hannah's hands shake as she clutches her pistol. Eventually, a person emerges from behind a shelf a few aisles back. It's a young blonde woman; she holds a shotgun and aims it at Hannah and Cole.
"Put your gun down," the woman orders firmly.
The woman's size and figure are extremely similar to the person he saw running from the church when the bell was ringing. "You were the one ringing the bell?" Cole asks.
"Yeah. So what?" the woman replies.
"So what? We almost died, that's what!"
"I didn't intentionally want to hurt you. It was to clear the path to the store. Now, can you put your weapons away?"
Cole reluctantly puts his hatchet on the floor, and so does Hannah. The blonde woman even stops pointing her shotgun at them. "I'm Billie." She walks forward and extends her hand to them to shake, and they introduce themselves.
"Are you alone?" Hannah asks.
"Not really. Dwight." A muscular man emerges from behind the same shelf.
"They're friendly?" he asks.
"Cool. I'm Dwight Miller."
"Holy shit," Cole says. "You look familiar. You're the Dwight Miller? Like MMA champion Dwight Miller?"
Dwight grins. "That's me. But it's no big deal. I'm just fighting infected like you are."
"We have a bigger group," Billie reveals. "Most of them we just met, but they're nice enough."
"And where are you staying?" Hannah asks.
"There's this big motel a few blocks away," says Dwight. "It's fucking awesome." Just then, they hear the sound of various vehicle engines. When they turn toward the front door, they see three camouflaged trucks; out of each one, two men in military uniforms step out.
"Thank God," Cole says. "The military."
"Just search around, boys," they hear a large man in uniform say. "And shoot anybody on sight. We're not taking any chances."
"Fuck," Dwight mutters when he sees two soldiers walking toward the Walmart. "Come on." Dwight ushers everyone farther into the store, behind a wall of cardboard boxes. He puts a finger to his lips.
The sound of the soldiers' footsteps echo throughout the otherwise silent store. Cole's breathing is ragged, but he tries to keep it under control. Hannah can feel herself sweating. Suddenly, one of the soldiers speaks. "Reyes, come look at this!" The soldier looks down at three infected corpses as Reyes jogs over. "There was someone in here." Reyes and the soldier lift their guns and slowly maneuver through the store.
"Come out, come out wherever you are," says Reyes. "I need some target practice!" This makes the other soldier laugh. "Hey, Owens, maybe it's a chick. Then we could have some fun, eh?"
"Stay here," Dwight whispers. He emerges from behind the cardboard boxes and raises his hands in defeat to the soldiers. Reyes and Owens tense up and aim their guns at Dwight.
"Who the fuck are you?" Owens asks.
Dwight steps forward. "Dwight Miller."
"Don't take another step towards us, man," Reyes warns.
"You're here to help me, right? I mean, you are the fucking military."
"You could be infected. We can't risk it."
"I assure you, I ain't infected." Dwight grabs Reyes by the wrist and twists it, making him wince and drop his gun. Owens fires, but Dwight ducks and kicks Owens in the ankles, making him fall and making bullets go everywhere. Dwight kicks Reyes in the face and then grabs Owens by the arm. He twists the soldier's arm, breaking the bone and making him scream out in pain.
Dwight pulls his combat knife from his weapons belt. He slices Owens' throat, creating a bloody smile on his neck. Reyes stands and lunges at Dwight, but he sticks the knife into Reyes' abdomen. He pushes the knife upwards inside Reyes, creating a slice from his stomach to his chest. Reyes' insides spill out and plop onto the floor.
Dwight is wiping his knife on his jeans when the two other soldiers from outside burst into the Walmart. "Reyes, Owens!" a deep voiced soldier shouts. "We heard gunshots." Dwight reaches down and picks up Owens' gun. He aims at one of the soldiers and hits him right in the temple; as the other soldier is panicking, a bullet hits him in the neck.
"Fuckers," Dwight mutters.
Hannah, Cole, and Billie emerge from behind the boxes. When Hannah sees Reyes' guts on the floor she turns and gags, eventually vomiting all over the tile. "Damn, Dwight. Bad. Ass," Billie says.
"You killed them," Hannah says, wiping her mouth.
"Yeah," says Dwight. "That's kind of what happened."
"How could you just kill them?!"
Dwight raises his eyebrows at her. "You're serious? Well, sweetheart, I believe I just saved us from being target practice. Oh, and it sounded like they would've had their way with you if I didn't fucking step in!"
"Dwight, stop," Billie demands. "Listen, if you guys want, we can take you guys back to the motel."
Cole glances at Hannah. "We're actually staying with her parents right now. But thanks for the offer," Cole says.
"And you two are good shots?" Billie scoffs. "If you want to take your chances hiding out out there, fine, but I'm telling you we've got some skilled people back at the motel. You saw Dwight take care of these soldiers just now."
"We'll go," says Hannah. "But we'll have to let my parents know first. And Micah."
"Micah?" Dwight's asks. Cole explains that Micah is his friend. "Can he shoot?"
"No. He hasn't even killed an infected yet," says Cole. Dwight and Billie chuckle.
"We'll check out the motel, see if we like it," Hannah says. "If we do, I guess we could stay. It'll definitely be safer than at my parents'."
Billie slaps her hands together. "Okay, then. Let's get moving."
- Big thanks to Headaches for suggesting the character of Billie Starr!
- Big thanks to NAGILLUM for suggesting the character of Dwight Miller!