Vincent carefully watched his robbers as he asked, "How did you find us?"
The man was being just as careful, watching Vincent's movement as he looked at his gear, "We saw you getting over one of fences, which reminds me; get that woman downstairs.".
"Kimiko, come out." Vincent reluctantly told her. "Look, you don't have to do this.".
As Kimiko walked out with her hands up, the man said "Like hell. Now, all of you take off your bags and put them on the ground.". Once the bags were on the floor, the teenager checked, starting with Karl's.
"They got a lot of food Dad, this can is huge." The young teen commented.
The father's tone lightened up slightly as he asked "Same in yours and hers?".
Vincent replied honestly, "Yes."
The man continued, "Okay, my boy will check to be sure. We'll just take two of the bags but, we're going have to take your guns, all of them."
Vincent tried to convince him to reconsider, "Wait, we hav...".
But the man wasn't hearing it, “Shut up and just do it please. I’m sorry, but I’m not risking getting shot in the back.”
Vincent persisted though, “We have a community north, we’re here because we needed to…”.
“I said shut up!” the father yelled as he put the barrel against Vincent’s head, “I don’t want to hear it.”
The woman explained, “We’ve been tricked before, so forget it.”
Kimiko thought she could try persuade them, “Just hear us out, we’re hold up at a lodge theres only…”
Again the man refused to listen, and aimed at Kimiko “Last warning, I don’t want to kill any of you. We’ve been through enough shit.” he then took a brief look and nod at Karl and said “Just be quiet like him.”
Vincent slowly started to shake as he watched and noted the man had a M1911 pistol at his side, “Please...".
The man hit Vincent with his rifle and told him, "Just shut up."
Kimiko bit her lips, resisting urge to rush in and begged, “Just take the food and let us go, we’ll put our weapons down and then you can just leave.”.
The man just shook his head and calmly stated “No, no risks. We’re not killers, but we’re not stupid.”
“No hard feelings, we’re just getting by.” The woman added while the teen, went to Kimiko.
As Vincent was on the floor, a voice once again echoed in his head, but louder, it spoke in a very snide tone “You’re really going to take that like a bitch bro? Fuck them, kill them and take their shit, you wimp. They’re not listening and they’re gonna leave ya nearly defenceless, what they have a kid? You have friends to look out for or….” the tone then went from snide to sinister “..or don’t you really care about your girlfriend?”.
Those last words caused Vincent to quickly bolt, grab the man’s side arm and fire it at his lower lower leg while he forced the rifle into his face. The woman screamed, "John!" as the man screamed while Vincent pressed the gun against his gut and fire 3 more times, 2 of the shots piercing him and hitting her in chest. He then instinctively fired two more shots at the teenager hitting his right shoulder once. Karl and Kimiko went into shock and shaked while Vincent started breathing quickly as he took in what he just did, staring at John as he struggled to breath.
The woman had enough strength to pick up her rifle, "You bas....!" she was however shot above her left eye by Kimiko before she could enact her vengeance.
She then stared at her body in sorrow, "It didn't need to..."
Vincent then looked at the teen whose back was against the barricade and his face was wet with tears "Mom, Dad...Dad...no, no, no, you killed...".
Vincent saw his hand was reaching for his gun, so he readied his own, he could see Karl shaking his head, his eyes begging Vincent to not shoot the now parentless teen, "Please, don't make me, just let us go, you can't kill us we've...." Vincent couldn't bring himself to finish his sentence, "Just let us go.".
The son wasn't listening, "You killed them, you killed my...." he swiftly grabbed his gun "YOU KIL..!" and was shot in the head by Vincent. Vincent dropped the gun and just looked at the bodies unsurprised, but still upset.
Silence filled the room for moments. but it wasn’t long till screams could be heard, closing in. Vincent abandoned his bag and quickly started grabbing the guns along with the parents' bags "Get your bag and get to the Pharmacy!".
Kimiko in shock, barely heard Vincent and looked at him confused, "What?".
"Bags, Pharmacy, now!" Vincent ordered. Kimiko obeyed and ran, once Vincent had what he wanted, he saw Karl was still in shock "Karl!", seeing he wasn't listening, he yanked him as he rush outside "Come on!" he snapped back and followed.
As Vincent exited through the back door, he saw Kimiko by the fence opposite, “I can see the pharmacy, straight ahead” she climbed over and Karl followed, not going as fast as he could have due to shock, Vincent forced him over, as he did he then heard fences break a distance behind and saw what looked akin to a bunch of screaming lunatics. He ran to the southeast end of the fence so the house blocked their few and then climbed over.
Again seeing Karl being slow, he pulled him along “Damnit Karl!”, he then notice Kimiko was busy killing a bunch of shambling corpses, the sound of one falling onto fence got the neighbours attention. Once the way was clear they made their way straight for pharmacy, once they got inside they went straight for backroom. With the dead preoccupied, they finally had time to take in what happened. While Kimiko had her hands on a side, looking down in shook, Karl sat down and breathed, looking at Vincent in distress. Vincent took a single breath and quietly said, “I didn’t want to Karl, but he was going to shoot me, I did what I had to.”. He then checked on Kimiko as she was in a similar state “Sweetheart.” he waved his hand in front of her to get her attention, he looked into her eyes as he softly asked her “You alright?”.
Kimiko couldn’t answer and instead asked, “How could you get straight to taking their….?”
Vincent’s answer was blunt, “I’ve been through enough to not let it get to me too hard, that kid wasn’t the first living child I’ve seen die…. feels hardly any different from killing the dead ones...it’s unfortunate, but it’s how the world is.”
Kimiko, in her 5 years of knowing him, had never seen Vincent so cold “Vince…”.
Vincent hugged her to calm her down and softly said, “I didn’t want to, but I don’t care who they are, I’m not letting anyone threaten you. Seeing him point his gun at you was... I wasn’t having it.”
Kimiko then sadly said “I’ve never killed someone before, I spent my life saving life, never taking it. I feel awful, I don’t want to do it again.”.
Vincent looked to ground as he said “All I can say is, hope you don’t have to make such a choice again. Let’s wait here till things have calmed down out there.” Kimiko held his shoulder and nodded in agreement. Seeing Kimiko had calmed down somewhat, Vincent’s mind wondered about the voice that convinced him to claim two lives.
The next 15 minutes were eerie, as the three sat with their backs to wall, hearing the savage screams from outside as thoughts of what was no doubt happening to the family’s corpses filled their minds. Kimiko rested on Vincent’s shoulder trying to ignore the screaming, while Vincent looked at Karl who only gave glances back, even if he could speak, no words would be spoke. Vincent eventually checked his watch and remarked “20 minutes?” in disbelief.
For Kimiko time was going dreadfully slow, “Feels like an hour.”
As it was for Vincent, “Sure does.” Vincent again thought about the light he saw 2 days ago and about how quickly they could have been killed had the family not given them a chance, “Kim…”
Kimiko quietly asked “What?”
“Nevermind, its nothing.” Vincent then had a change of heart and thought that giving Kimiko more to worry about would only make matters worse, she already had a lot to take in. As time slowly moved on, with every single minute feeling like 5 and the fanatic screams slowly faded to mindless mourns, Vincent picked himself up and lent a hand to Kimiko, “Its quiet now, we should go.”
Kimiko took his hand and he lifted her up, “Okay, let me get my bearings.” She looked around the Pharmacy and saw it had only been moderately looted, the cabinets still had plenty of medicine that she could use, she slowly looked through them, checking the labels so she would take the ones she would most likely need.
Vincent calmly told her “Take your time.” He then looked to Karl, who just laid out his palm and went immediately to counter to stand watch, not even looking Vincent in the eyes. Vincent just sighed and watched over Kimiko. After a while he asked her “You really think there’s a threat watching us?”
Kimiko’s voice was uneasy, “I don’t know, I may be being paranoid….to be honest, after.... I don’t think we stand a chance if they are. Victor sometimes hesitates, Jake would be useless, Michelle… I don’t really know what's behind that jokester, nevermind he can barely hit a thing, Karl would have died without you helping him, you and Kimberly are only ones I think could hold your own. Me? I still feel awful about……”. Kimiko took a depth breath and held in her tears.
Vincent really didn’t like seeing her like this, but even when she was close to tears he couldn’t lie to her, “You’re not going to forget it, and you’re not going to feel better about it, you’ll just get use to it.”
Kimiko’s tears started to show, “I know. I remember seeing some patients die back in Japan, and I sometimes have to try my best to not think about what we should have done to save them…. if we could have.”
Vincent calmly told her “Then you know what thinking about it will do. Just keep reminding yourself, you weren’t given much choice, you did the best you could.” Kimiko nodded. Karl easily heard the whole conversation and thought about it hard.
Meanwhile their stalkers again were commenting on their progress, observing them from near the store opposite the rundown house. The ‘Stalker’ spoke in a surprised tone, “Well, I’m impressed, not only have they killed the 3 of them unharmed and got away rather easily, they’re still doing what they came for, that’s the kind of determination Daniel wants. Very nice find Tim.”.
Tim, the ‘hunter’ of the two was keeping an eye out for danger, being so close to town, he grew nervous, “Thank you, errr do we have to be this close to the town?”.
The Stalker briefly chuckled before answering “Yes, trust me, you have no idea how easy you hunters have it compared to us.”.
Tim replied “I know, but this is risky.”.
The Stalker told him “This is practice, compared to places I’ve been.”.
Tim looked at the Stalker concerned, “I’ve heard.”.
The Stalker then looked at Tim and said with a smile “Hey, don’t worry too much, we wouldn’t have considered you for a promotion if we didn’t think you had it in ya.”. Tim smirked in response as the Stalker continued “Anyway, we should go, I have a good idea of where they’ll go.” The pair then set off.
Back at the pharmacy, once Kimiko had enough medicine, Vincent asked Karl “How are things outside?” Karl just pointed right, looking through the partly dirty window, Vincent could see, the horde had began to disperse, it wouldn’t be long till the Pharmacy would become their grave if they stayed. “We have to go, now.” he declared. He then looked at Karl and told him, “For what its worth, I forgive ya for that accident.” Karl shrugged, then nudged his head to right, as Vincent quietly sighed and turn Karl poked his shoulder, “Huh?” Karl then point to house then picked up a piece of paper and gave him it, it read, ‘I understand why, but that doesn’t mean I like what you did.’ Vincent told, “You don’t have to, so long as you understand, thats what matters. Thanks.”. Karl shook his head, with a serious expression. Vincent closed his eyes and noded. He went to Kimiko and asked, “You ready?”
Kimiko’s expression was again uneasy, “As ready as I can be.”.
Vincent knew that wasn’t much but he also knew that was best he was gonna get, “Okay.”
The three got ready and left through the back door. Immediately they saw a small crowd of corpses at the road. that headed towards them on sight, not risking alerting a crowd, they waited till they got close enough and dispatched them one at a time, Vincent noted that Kimiko, wasn’t using all her strength, as she stabbed one in head, unable to remove the knife as it fell on top of her. “Ki..” Vincent stopped himself out of fear, and just kicked the body off her while killing one that got close.
As Karl finished off the last ones, Vincent pull out the knife and handed it to his distressed girlfriend as he lifted her up, “Sorry.” she apologised.
Vincent told her “Its okay. Lets just get out of here.” They made their way across the road and then they heard the worse possible thing, a scream that filled their souls with fear, runner’s were the most feared of the undead, not just for being faster and stronger but also because their screams always guaranteed a mob of flesh craving monsters would be coming, a single loud scream drawing attention, with the constant shrieking and screams guiding the rest. “Run!” Vincent yelled, Karl and Kimiko sprinted north while Vincent just ran, they made their way through the outside of a string of back garden fences. As they ran the screaming loon soon caught up with Vincent, once it was close enough he swung his bat up into its chin, sending it flying backwards to ground, then once more in face, not enough to kill it but at least incapacitate it as others were no doubt closing in.
Kimiko saw one of the fences was broken and pointed at it as she ran through it “This way.” and passed the green and dry red garden, Karl followed and shortly Vincent. Kimiko tried to open the back door but to her dismay it was shut,”Tawagoto.”. As Vincent looked at Kimiko, Karl shook his head as he pointed to door. Vincent grinded his teeth and said “Fuck.” under his breath. They soon could heard the shrieking coming from the runners, but they weren’t as aggressive, hinting they didn’t know where they were and were investigating, runners hardly ever stay in one place however, they wonder like lost wolves, constantly looking for prey compared to their older and more docile kin. Vincent looked around and saw the only hiding place would be behind another garden, but being so close it was a guarantee they would be seen, Vincent quickly began to think of a plan.
Karl noticed Kimiko was getting close to panicking and went to her, he looked at her questioningly and pointed at her then gave a brief thumbs up. Kimiko shook her head and said quietly “No, things have gone to hell fast, we shouldn’t have…” Karl quickly put out his palms, formed a bridge with them and lowered it then pointed at himself with a worried expression, Karl seeing Kimiko in her current state wasn’t helping his own. “Sorry. If I make it out of this alive, I’m just going to sleep the whole day, this is too much.” Kimiko saw Karl had an awkward expression on his face and his hands were fidgeting, “What?” Kimiko soon realized he was thinking of what she would do if the roles were reversed making her quietly and nervously laugh a little, “You don’t have to Karl.” she told him with a small smile, Karl looked at her confused with his hands spaced apart unintentionally amusing her, “Just do it if you’re gonna.” Karl in a nervously reluctant manner hugged Kimiko, his body shaked in pure discomfort, Kimiko’s smile grew a little, she soon pushed him away saying, “You’ve put yourself through enough now.” Karl shuddered and nodded, nonetheless he was happy he cheered Kimiko up just enough, even though both their nerves were shaken. As Vincent was struggling to come up with a plan, Karl pointed at him and then his heart and shuddered. Kimiko shook her head “No, I never would have thought he was capable of doing what he did.” Karl then stuck 5 fingers up and looked at her in wonder, Kimiko answered “Technically, we’ve only known each other one year.” Karl was confused, “We actually met…”
“Hey.” Vincent interrupted, his voice had little confidence, “I’m afraid we’re gonna have to run for it.”
“What?” Kimiko said in shock looking at Vincent like he was crazy as did Karl.
Vincent admitted “I can’t think of anything better, fences will take too long to get over.” the shirking was slowly getting louder, Vincent took hold of one of the M4s, the left side still fresh with blood, and said “I’ll try to take a few of them out then I’ll make a break for it.”. “Vince you…” “Have a better idea?” he coldly asked, Kimiko was silent. Vincent went toward the broken fence as he told them “Once the shooting starts, run.”. Knowing Vincent’s mind was set, they reluctantly followed him, “Three.” Vincent stuck his back to fence, listening out to try guess how close they were, “Two.” Kimiko and Karl looked at eachother nervous as they readied to sprint. “One.” Vincent quickly turned to other side and open fired, Kimiko and Karl dashed out and ran as fast as they could, Vincent emptied the entire magazine and ran, he managed to only kill 2. The rest were either unharmed or forced to the ground, quickly getting up to follow suit.
As they Vincent got past the back yards and close to leaving the city, the rabid corpses eventually caught up, he pulled out his sidearm, and fired his entire clip only killing the closest. Kimiko hearing the shots turned and shouted “Vince!” as she got out her rifle. Vincent resumed running, but he was running low on breath.
“Get down!” Kimiko and Karl, suddenly heard from behind, they both dropped to floor “Fire!” Rifle shots were soon heard as Vincent saw holes suddenly appear in the undead before him, he fell down from sudden shock and panicky tried to reload his pistol. Kimiko took advantage and helped the unknown assistants. The bullets pierced their decaying bodies making them drop to the ground, Vincent managed to reload and put down those that weren’t hit in the head. At least just over a dozen were on the pavement. Vincent, Kimiko and Karl looked out into the forest up ahead to see two black clothed figures come out from the trees up ahead. As one of them pulled down their bandana he happily said, “Welcome aboard.”
- Unnamed wife
- Unnamed son
- Last appearance of John
- Last appearance of unnamed wife
- Last appearance of unnamed son
- It is reviled that runners are more recently turned undead.