This is Page 4 of Walking Dead: Requiem.
Page Four: Derelict
The gaping streets were filled shoulder to shoulder behind the high-rise parking deck in Central LA, some of the people being terrified citizens while the rest were quite different. Leon steps next Aaron to check on his friend as he leans over the cement wall blocking cars from falling nearly five-hundred feet below. He hocks a loogie into the street, the thick bulb of spittle landing flat in the bald-spot of one of the cannibals. "Damn," Leon started, "fuckwad doesn't even realize he has a loogie on his head..."
In the long and intense three hours it took the ambulance to reach somewhere plausibly safe, the streets having been plagued with chaos every mile of the way. Men and women, children and senior citizens, an indiscriminate flood of panic, violence and horror. In the twenty-five years of his school-to-college-to-work experience, Aaron Hindle has never seen a more evident sign of the apocalypse.
Of the small group who made it into the EMT, Sherry was by far the most painful. The bite she suffered only a few hours ago has already began forming what appears to be some sort of gangreen, or possibly epideral rot... whatever it was, Aaron had never seen such a progressive thing in his entire career. While Leon tended to their coworker and friend, her savior, a girl named Brandi, tried making use of her cell phone.
Commissioner Holland approached Aaron and began popping what appeared to be nitroglycerin pills. He leaned over the wall next to Aaron and began telling his story, "Shit hit the fan in the office this morning... woman comes in with her face missing and just started chomping down on a deputy... a god-damn DEPUTY! I just got the hell out of there and in my car..." His voice flustered under the realization he may have very well killed some people.
"AARON! COME HERE!" Leon yelled out, prompting a very shaken Aaron to slowly make his way over his colleagues. As he stood over Leon and Sherry, he could already tell what was going on as the tears began welling in his eyes. Leon proceeded to grab a blanket from the truck behind him and lay it over Sherry's limp body was slowly cover, tucking it in gently with a soft core of emotion only seen by someone who is truly hurt. Aaron, Holland and Brandi could only watch, the attention of all three settled on Sherry. Only one thought came to Aaron's mind... "I've got to find my wife..."
"Dude, that ain't happening man! You SEE what's going on down there, DON'T YOU?!" Leon's tone became enraged, the stress of the situation cracking into his mind like an eggshell against stone.
"I don't care man, I-- I've gotta go get her."
"Son," Holland interjected, "I've got a family too... wife, kids... all around the place, but getting myself KILLED isn't going to help at all!!"
"He's right Aaron, we need to get out of town and who knows?!!? She may have had the same idea! At least WE have the truck! At least WE have a chance to help people trying to escape this---"
"No, Leon, I can't NOT go. I'm going. That's that."
A moment of silence passed among them as Aaron's words sank into the others thoughts, even Brandi thinking it over to herself.
"I can't go with you buddy, I'm sorry." the sincerity in Leon's next words were almost chilling, "And the truck isn't going either" Here was the badass kid in highschool, the dangerous rebel, who was slowly crumbling under the fear of his own mortality. Aaron was fearful as well, but he felt like he had to do something rather than run like he had for his entire life. Sure, his marriage was failing and he was pretty sure that Autumn had cheated on him... but he took an oath, that for better or worse until death do they part... and this seemed just as good of a time as any to make good on that oath.
Aaron looked around the empty void that was the parking deck, five times the size of any house that he had ever seen in his life. Not seeing anything but the exit to the stairwell, Aaron made his decision and started walking for it.
"I'll wait for two days, Aaron..." Leon called out, hopeful in his words as they entered Aaron's ears. "There's a food shop on the other side where we can get food and supplies, but when we're packed and ready... I'm out."
"I'm going with you..." Brandi stated out of nowhere, getting up and running over to Aaron who had not yet stopped.
As his friend proceeded to exit through a door into the unknown, it became clear to Leon that the next two days were definitely going to be the longest ones in his life.
As Brandi followed the selfless young man who had just seen a city official crack, one of his coworkers die and the other turn his back on him due to the obvious risks, she began to see hope out of a seemingly endless void of despair that she herself had inside. They made it two floors down before hearing the groans from all around begin to echo.
Aaron stopped in his tracks, shushing Brandi as he carefully peered down through the stairs to find only emptiness. The distinctly unnerving sound of feet dragging became just as obvious as he backed up to the nearest door. Brandi covered her mouth in desperate terror, not knowing what would happen next while Aaron peeked through the window of the door behind them. What he saw made him feel just as hopeful as the young woman was slowly losing...
- End Of Page Four. To Be Continued...
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