Mi-Kyeong hefted the gun in her right hand. The weight was less than she thought, on first glance, but still oddly reassuring. She took care to heed Dancer's instructions regarding the gap in the slide, and holding it two-handed.
She took aim, and closed her left eye, lined up the shot, and a flash came to her mind of the dream from which she had just awoken. She saw Ji-Soo with the bastard biting her carotid, and Mi-Kyeong's blood ran cold. She aimed as carefully as she could and squeezed off a shot at its forehead, but with her left eye closed, the shot instead buried in the wall to the left of its head.
Wondering what she did wrong, she tried with both eyes open, took aim once more, this time at its chest, trying for a bigger target, a higher margin of error. She hit it in the ribcage about three inches from the heart. Not a kill shot, but improvement over hitting the wall.
She popped the clip out to check it. It still had a fair amount of ammo, with one in the chamber. She decided inwardly that she would exhaust the clip, then quit once she ran out. No need to waste more on one that was clearly not getting up any time soon.
She aimed again for the forehead, noting that she shot better with both eyes open. This time the thing's head exploded, and sprayed the wall with brain matter and bone fragments, giving her an almost sadistic feeling of glee. She proceeded to empty the rest of her clip into vital points she had been shown while learning Taekwondo. She hit the sternum several times, as well as the shoulders and knees before the clip ran out.
After her little practice session, Mi-Kyeong's arms throbbed, and she decided it would be best to hit the head all the time. Otherwise, this would take its toll on her arms, and she couldn't afford to be caught out of ammo and exhausted again.
Mi-Kyeong decided to try sleeping again, this time conjuring to her mind images of home, and the good times, hoping to avoid reliving Ji-Soo's death. She had seen it twice, which was twice too many, as far as she was concerned. She already had to explain this to Ji-Soo's family, and didn't think they would even believe her.
"I'm sorry, but zombies ate your daughter, and she might be one now?" It sounded like something out of a bad horror movie. Anyway, images of home came flooding back, and Mi-Kyeong drifted off again. This time, no nightmares.
After Mi-Kyeong fell asleep, Seth Dancer picked up the gun and took it apart. She was a novice shooter, so she needed a clean gun. He did what little cleaning he could do without all his oils, mainly just wiping down moving parts, making sure gunpowder didn't settle on the slide, that sort of thing. He also slid two last clips into her bag, along with returning the freshly cleaned gun.
Jackson watched all the goings-on with interest after he woke up from his short nap. He began to take apart, clean, and put his gun back together himself. Helped him focus. Suddenly, his cell phone began to ring.
He paused and turned white.
"Wait, what are you...? How... Ok, where are you?...alright."
He hung up the phone and tucked his firearms away and did a quick check of everything else.
"Alright, guys, we've got a problem. Ivan's stuck in a grocery store down the street from here. Turns out there's a mess of zombies and some government-types who shoot first and figure out whether you're friendly or not later. We've got to get down there."
He started for the door, and then he thought of something, "Guys...the dossier said the doctor's contact in Moscow...his code name was Ivan the Terrible. Ivan's last name is Terovovich. There might just be a connection."
Colton nodded. He hadn't said much since they got here, and he already felt as if they knew more about the girl than they did him. Oh well, it was supposed to be that way.
He rolled over to the door at the rooms far end, holding his M-16 against his cheek with his right hand as he opened the door slowly with his left. A classic military sweep. The room was clear, but disgsuting.
He stumbled backward into the previous room, almost running over Dancer in the process. Entrails were strewn across the the entire room, with blood smeared across all of the surfaces. Nude and mutilated corpses covered the floor, pools of murky blood with a light green froth over them collecting around them.
"Colton, watch Mi-kyeong for a minute. You two get a sweep of that side, me and jackson will go here. See if there's anything like a key laying around."
Jackson and Dancer strode over to theside closest to two large metal double doors, similar to those you'd see in a lab or crematory. Jackson rigged up a small breaching charge on the doors, while Dancer searched the ground for anything they could use. He came up with a key ring, and he liberated a makarov 9mm handgun off a dead security guard. Who says dead bodies were never helpful?
"Good work finding that key, that'll save me some C4," Jackson said, noticing Dancer jingling the key ring. He took the charge apart and carefully separated the pieces, organizing them by jacket pocket. The phone call he'd gotten from Ivan had him worried, but they should get to him soon enough. Ivan was an old friend, and he sure as hell wasn't going to leave him hanging. Friends were hard to come by in this line of work.
"Well, it seems to me that something is FUBAR somewhere or another. You don't really see whole cities turned into the living dead very often without a damned good reason."
He pulled his gun out and prepared to cover the door.
"Ok, Dancer, try that key out and see if it works. If it does, we're going in quick, just in case there's more of those nasties on the other side. I'll cover left, you take right. Ready..."
Dancer tried the key and it worked. On the other side of the door was an alley, but it was vacant, as a quick search turned out. According to the GPS on Jackson's phone, Ivan should be two buildings over. There wasn't a door on the adjacent building, so it looked like they'd be going into the open.
"Alright, Colton, Mi-Keyong, let's get going before those nasties find out we're not in there anymore. We've got someone who needs help, and he just might know something. Dancer, check the end of the alley, see if there's anything in the street we should know about."
Dancer held his shotgun at the ready, and quickly ran down to the end of the alley way. It looked deserted, eerie as hell. he motioned them the go ahead, and the other three came to him.
"Alright guys, we have to stay together. Jackson, take care of Mi-Kyeong. But remember, in a fist fight she could probably beat all of us down without a problem." He tossed her his bowie knife, just in case. They'd seen what she could do in melee.
"Colton, cover the rear and make sure nothing that follows us lives to tell about it. I'll take point."
With that, the four moved out into the open. Dancer didn't like this a bit, but it had to be done.
They reached the building without any hitches. As they kicked the door down, he found a grisly scene.
The army had already been here. They were dismemebered all around them. The four took this chance to gather ammo from the bodies, and Dancer was able to grab another pistol, barette m92fs. It felt familiar from his own army days. They gave Mi-kyeong a disk he found on the captain. "Jackson, stay with her while she uploads any files for information. Colton, follow me. I'm sorry Luke, but you have a personal stake in this. We don't need emotions that strong driving us right now. We need rational thought."
Mi-Kyeong saw the bowie knife coming in on a predictable trajectory, and caught it by the sheath, so as to avoid it coming unsheathed and making noise. The grisly scene in the next room had to have been caused by something, and alerting it just seemed like a very bad idea.
Accepting the disk from Dancer, Mi-Kyeong spoke in a hushed tone "I can't work on this until we get to a safe place. I need sophisticated programs to compensate for the degradation on this. It's scratched to hell, but the label side is fine, so I won't need anything on the hardware end, but I need a fairly safe workplace, because it will take a while. I could use a trip to your safehouse, assuming it's still safe, once we find this person."
Mi-Kyeong hoped they would accept that, as she retrieved her pipe, cleaned it off, and relocated the gun to a more accessible position. She hooked the knife sheath and handgun holster to her belt on opposite sides, and hefted her pipe. She was better ad melee than ranged combat, anyway. Upon closer examination, Mi-Kyeong noticed three full clips in her bag, as well as one in the gun, which she chambered before she re-holstered it. She then proceeded to move the clips to more accessible locations as well, on the opposite hip from the handgun.
Walking into the next room behind Colton and Dancer, Mi-Kyeong turned to Jackson.
"Maybe you should take rear guard. Make sure nothing sneaks up behind us."
She paused for a split second before remembering the reason she had made that second call, then turned ahead and continued while she walked, addressing no one in particular.
"I could also use a backpack for my computer, as well as some padding if we can find either. It's no good to me broken, but more importantly, I work faster in Korean, and you don't have six hours to waste waiting for me to reconfigure another one, and load my programs onto it."
Mi-Kyeong was snapped back to the moment. She saw several of the bodies start to try to move. The limbless thrashed about like fish, their heads turning to try to gain purchase on the concrete floor, seeking unwary legs. The eviscerated crawled with their arms, seeking more adeptly the same. Those with no legs struggled almost comically to their knees, using their faces as a sort of third leg, and evoking images of some colorful jokes Mi-Kyeong had heard, which she finally understood at this very inopportune moment. Mi-Kyeong started laughing, but realized what was happening quickly enough to stifle it to a mere chuckle.
Mi-Kyeong decided to steer clear of the less able corpses, and watched carefully for those crawling with their arms. Some of them had apparently been working out shortly before dying, as they seemed to be alarmingly fast, bounding forward with the practiced muscles of a weightlifter. Sticking her pipe in her belt, Mi-Kyeong drew the pistol given to her by Dancer, and remembered her practice session.
The current situation seemed to be like a macabre graduation of sorts to the next stage of Mi-Kyeong's learning to shoot. She took aim at the closest one to her. It couldn't have been more than one or two meters. She squeezed off a round, which hit just enough of its head to drop it, but not the square-on result for which she had hoped. She aimed at the next closest, which she realized had gotten about a meter from Colton's leg. She had to fire quickly, as its arm was reaching, about to gain purchase on his trousers, distracting him from his current objective.
Mi-Kyeong loosed another round, this time into the thing's arm, deflecting it away, and giving her a few seconds to concentrate on its head. She squeezed another round into it, hitting it this time just below the crown of its head, and the cap of its skull came off, along with a substantial portion of its brain. Its head looked almost like a grisly ice cream bowl.
"S*#$!" Mi-Kyeong shouted. While she was trying to save Colton's leg, her own had been grabbed, and she had to move quickly before the thing's teeth hit a major artery. Mi-Kyeong timed the pull of her leg to coincide with the bastard's mouth, and it caught only pants.
Mi-Kyeong took the opportunity to drop to one knee, and crushed the bastard's head. Now, she realized, she was in trouble. One without arms had gotten to her while she was distracted with the previous two. It fell on top of her, and she had to get it off quickly. She had, however, no time to holster the gun, and switch weapons, as two more which seemed more or less intact were also headed for her.
Mi-Kyeong took a mental note of where she put the gun down, and took a firm grip on the bastard's crown and chin before spinning its head around to lean its chin on its spine.
Throwing off the body, Mi-Kyeong kipped to a crouch and drew the bowie knife, the pipe having slid out of her belt during her fall to the ground. She intercepted the first of the intact corpses, hitting it squarely in the chin with a powerful round kick, snapping its neck, but opened herself to the one behind it with her recovery.
The one still coming for her lunged for her throat. Mi-Kyeong stepped back on one foot and allowed one hand to find purchase on her arm. She proceeded to pull that arm toward her, until she was within reach of the head, and drove the bowie knife through the soft flesh at the base of its jaw. The corpse dropped like a sack, but Mi-Kyeong felt a searing pain in her arm as the bastard went down; it had dug three of its nails into her arm as the knife entered its brain, causing every muscle in its body to clench, which served to bring the reaction about.
Mi-Kyeong had never been in that kind of agony before, and let loose a scream of pain. Looking at her forearm, she noticed that two of the nails had embedded deeply, and were ripped from the corpse's fingers at the nail bed, and stuck out less than a centimeter. She would need disinfectant and a bandage before long, or it would fester badly.
This had not been Mi-Kyeong's best day.
Posted on 2009-05-04 at 06:46:08.
Edited on 2009-05-14 at 03:31:02 by Miko_Ayune-sama
Jackson pulled the corpse off the hacker, and took one look at her leg and realized she'd need some medicine.
"Alright. I'll go poke around nearby and see if I find anything that we can use. First of all, I'm going to try to find some disinfectant and bandages. I think I saw a pharmacy near here, so I should be back soon."
He picked up a handgun that was lying near a decapitated security guard and checked the clip. Full, that was good. Dancer had shown her how to handle a gun, so she'd be fine until he got back. He gave her the gun and told her to be careful while he was gone.
Jackson pulled his own revolver out and began making his way back across the shopping center to the pharmacy he'd seen. On his way, he grabbed a canvas shoulder bag for the supplies, and a backpack for Mi-Kyeong's laptop. He had almost made it when he heard an inhuman growling sound. Sh&t.
The creature was different from the zombies. It stood three feet tall and crawled on four legs, tipped by razor sharp claws. It opened its mouth to growl at him, and he saw row upon row of equally sharp teeth. This was not looking to be a good day. Suddently, he remembered something. He felt around slowly in his jacket pocket and found what he was looking for...
The eased the pin out of the grenade and rolled it toward the creature...whatever it was...and hoped it would distract it long enough for him to escape the blast. Luck was with him, as he completely lost the creature's interest in favor of the grenade, and he made a break for the pharmacy counter. He jumped the counter just as the grenade exploded, sending pieces of stinking, fresh meat flying through the air. At least that was one thing they didn't have to deal with.
He put bandages and rubbing alcohol in the bag, as well as a couple of first aid kits, in case they'd need them. He also found, in a spectacular stroke of luck, some padding for the laptop. He jumped back over the counter, crouching as he fell to the ground, revolver drawn. Still nothing coming to investigate the blast. That was good. Near the pharmacy was a computer section, and he put whatever spare parts he could find in the backpack for the group's hacker.
All in all, a good shopping trip. He began to make his way back just as one of the lesser zombies rushed him from his right side. It startled him, and he ducked down, sending the zombie rolling across his back, right over him. Quickly, he took the revolver and promptly put a bullet in the zombie's head. Then another, just to make sure. You never knew with zombies...
He made it back to the hacker without further incident, and as she looked up, surprised to see him, he asked with a grin, "Did I miss anything?"
Mi-Kyeong was nearly deafened from all the gunfire, but once the proverbial smoke had cleared, she noticed that there were no more moving bodies, save for herself, Jackson, Colton and Dancer, the latter three of which showed no new injuries. They had made short work of their targets, while Mi-Kyeong had struggled with a mere six.
Undaunted, Mi-Kyeong plucked the bowie knife given to her from the head of it's victim, retrieved her handgun, and relocated her pipe. She spared a moment to glance up from her tasks and saw Jackson with a backpack, and was instantly relieved.
Hearing his question as he arrived, Mi-Kyeong quipped
"Only about five seconds of gunfire. Everything left is dead. Or, perhaps I should say, not moving."
Mi-Kyeong accepted the backpack from Jackson and stowed more efficiently her computer, along with all its bells and whistles, slung it over her back, and used the bowie knife to cut off the front flap, as well as the zipper. Now, she had a perfectly usable, quick-access bag she could keep extras in, and the backpack was almost as if it was made for her and held her computer perfectly, with built in padding. Short of a concussive explosion or something clawing the bag open and spilling its contents, her computer was safe.
Mi-Kyeong proceeded to sheath the knife and holster the gun, then tucked the pipe into an un-intrusive spot in her belt.
Mi-Kyeong glanced down at her leg, having felt something sticking her pants to her calf, and saw blood. Pulling her pant leg up, she was relieved to see she had only toothmarks that failed to break skin. The blood was not hers. There was still, however, the matter of the fingernails embedded in her arm.
She approached Dancer and asked, "I don't suppose we have a doctor in this group?" She showed Dancer her arm, and pointed out the protruding fingernails.
Posted on 2009-05-05 at 03:23:08.
Edited on 2009-05-05 at 03:25:42 by Miko_Ayune-sama
Jackson handed him the first aid materials, and he went to work quickly, removing the fingernails. They wouldn't pull out, so he had to make a small cut to widen the wound and make access easier. He knew it her Mi-kyeong, but it was better than letting it get infected. He had her bandaged soon after.
He turned to Colton and walked back towards a door.
"You two, make sure nothing follows me and Colton in here. Let's go, man." He kicked open the door and walked in, Colton filing in behind him.
The scene was much less grisly, as there was only one body. But that body was Ivan.
Mi-Kyeong saw the knife Dancer was going to use. Sharp, so the cut would be clean, and she guessed that was the bright side. It would, however, hurt, but at least it would get the damned things out of her arm. She braced for the coming pain, and winced as the knife did its intended job. She felt intense relief as the fingernails came out, and she figured she would be fine while the wound healed.
Hearing Dancer's instructions, Mi-Kyeong took up a position complementary to Colton's and watched the area. Nothing was happening, as far as she could see.
Jackson fell to his knees and vomited at the sight of his old friend lying mutilated on the floor. This was not a good day. Not a good day at all.
He noticed, while he was down there on the floor, however, that Ivan's hand seemed to be clutching something. He pried a CD-ROM from Ivan's hand. It was labeled "Project Beta - Staff List and Locations."
"Well, old friend, I hate to see you like this, but you may end up helping us yet," he turned to Mi-Kyeong, "Do you mind taking a look at this? I think this might tell us something about where the good doctor is located. And I tell you one thing, when we find him..." he trailed off. He couldn't think of anything bad enough to do to a man who'd caused the death of one of his best friends.