Read Those Who Remain (Book 2) Online

Authors: Priscila Santa Rosa

Tags: #zombies, #Thriller, #Family, #humor, #action, #adventure, #friendship, #Zombie Apocalypse, #paranormal thriller, #geeky humor, #new adult horror, #young adult action, #science fiction adventure

Those Who Remain (Book 2)

BOOK: Those Who Remain (Book 2)
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Contents

THOSE WHO REMAIN: BOOK TWO

ACT II

The Doctor VI

The Geek VII

The Last One Out V

The Girl in the Forest V

The Hunter's Daughter V

The Geek VIII

The Hunter's Daughter VI

The Doctor VII

The Hunter's Daughter VII

The Geek IX

The Girl in the Forest VI

The Last One Out VI

The Doctor VIII

The Hunter's Daughter VIII

The Girl in the Wrong Place VII

The Geek X

The Doctor IX

The Hunter's Daughter IX

The Geek XI

The Geek XII

The Doctor X

The Hunter's Daughter X

INTERLUDES

Daniel Terrence

Alexander Spencer

Lauren Tanaka

PREVIEW FOR ACT III

The Doctor XI

The Rotting Zombie I

OTHER BOOKS BY PRISCILA SANTA ROSA

THANK YOU FOR READING

THOSE WHO REMAIN: BOOK TWO

By Priscila Santa Rosa

 

Copyright © 2014 by Priscila Santa Rosa.

All rights reserved.

Written by: Priscila Santa Rosa

Cover Art by:
Tatiana (Alteya) Medvedeva

Edited by: Elizabeth Sultzer

 

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of the publisher. The only exception is by a reviewer, who may quote short excerpts in a review.

 

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.

 

www.priscilarosa.com

 

Kindle Edition

 

 

 

 

 

ACT II

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Doctor VI

December 24th, Thursday, 3 pm

 

 

Each time the needle goes in, I wince and clutch the bedsheet. Tigh works in silence, closing my wound with careful, calculated movements. I don’t know why he tries to shelter me from pain. I deserve it.

I deserve to suffer. I’m a failure of the highest order. Careless, stupid and responsible for six deaths. Seven, if I dare to count little Victoria. I did not bite her; I did not shoot her, but I couldn’t save her. She was my responsibility, and I failed on every possible level.

That and my vaccine…
Tom
. I close my eyes. I won’t cry in front of Tigh. I won’t look for pity.

The Sergeant closes the stitches, biting off the end of the thread. We don’t talk. There’s nothing left to argue about. Despite my injury, I help them carry the bodies out. We burn them on the grass field around the bunker. Charlie takes off in the helicopter during the following night. Tigh and I run at the sound of the engine powering up, but do nothing to stop him. Instead, we get back inside and pretend nothing happened.

Days pass. I’m not sure how many. It’s hard to know without Tom’s knocks on my door, calling me to eat stale bread early in the morning; without his smile at my lack of enthusiasm over getting up at four o’clock in the morning.

Empty beds match empty chairs in the mess hall. One of Tom’s mousetraps lies in a corner. The metal corridors aren’t only empty; they are suffocating. I need air.

Snow covers the grass for the first time this year. The scenery around the bunker entrance is deceitfully quiet. I can only imagine what horrors are happening right now, somewhere. The sky is gray and the air I needed so much is cold and dry. I like the way it stings my cheeks.

“Cold enough for you?”

Tigh’s voice jolts me from head to toe. He stands right next to me, arms crossed, hair and shoulders wet and white with snow. How long has he been outside?

“How’s the wound?” He indicates it with a nod.

I stare at the field, blinking sluggishly. Why is he talking to me?

“You should eat something.”

My head shifts sharply to him. “Please leave me alone.”

“We need to talk, Doc.”

I laugh, feeling bitterness swell inside my chest. “There’s nothing else to talk about. You were right from the start. I failed. I can't…”

“You lost your will to live, is that it? Is it that easy?”

If I had some strength left I would punch him. It would hurt a lot, because, honestly, his chin might be made of solid rock, but I would still do it. Nothing about this is easy. “Is this some kind of demented pep talk out of the Army’s instruction manual on acting like a human being?”

Tigh does something I could never expect. He laughs. Not a short, crude laugh, but a long, pleasant one. “Something like that.”

“You hate me. Why bother?”

“You’re the only left to talk to.”

The sad thing is that his joke isn't really a joke. We stare off the distance, watching snow falling on the now white grass. The cold finally finds its way to my core, and I shiver.

“I’m sorry,” I blurt out. My hand goes to my eyes, just in time to stop the tears from coming out. “I really am. I’m so sorry. They are dead because of me, and I have no idea how… How to fix this. How to pay for it.”

“Pay for what? People die. People always died, always will die.”

“You talk as if you don’t blame me.”

“I don’t. I blame myself. I could’ve stopped you. Locked you up and ignored your blasted arguments. Instead…” He stops, and lets out a sigh. “There’s no point in wallowing in self-pity, Doc. What’s done is done. The past won’t change for nobody. So we move on and do better next time.”

“Next time.” I snort. “I don’t think there’ll be a next time. I hope there won’t.”

He says nothing. The silence bothers me, so I ask him, “Why didn’t you go with Charlie? Why stay here?”

When he offers no answer, I sigh. “You have no obligation to keep me safe, Sergeant. If this is some kind of misguided sense of duty, because I'm a doctor, then stop it. You've already done your duty and beyond. Besides, I'm not a doctor anymore. There’s no point of being one anymore. There is nothing else left to do.”

“Maybe there is.”

I raise an eyebrow. “You killed Victoria. I don’t have another way of harvesting a sample in good enough condition to make a vaccine. Even if we’re crazy enough to go find another infected, finding a child again—”

“I have something to tell you. About the Army.”

I frown at his interruption. “Do you still think they’ll send in orders? Tigh….” I sigh. “They are gone. They left. They bombed cities. They lost.”

“Retreating is not losing.”

Here they go again, just like Tom. Does he knows something more or is he just plain delusional? “Did they contact you at all? And it has been how long? One month now?”

“They had a contingent plan for a situation like this.”

“Really?” My sarcasm is hard to hide.

“Yes. If you stop arguing with it me, I can explain it to you.”

I suppose my curiosity is greater than my bad mood, so I stay silent and let him continue.

“After the disease started spreading and the CDC headquarters got blown up by nobody knows what, our orders were to secure the medical staff at St. Jude Hospital. Bring as many doctors as possible to our base. It was vital they stayed alive. Next, we were supposed to wait for retrieval and further orders.”

“But they never came.”

He nods. “No. But like I said, there was a contingent plan. A list of directives to follow, in case of the loss of communication. Called Code Z.”

“Code Z?” I open a smile, a bit incredulous, a bit intrigued.

“That's the Code for Zombies,” he clarifies, dead serious.

“Zombies? These people are not—”

“Doesn't matter. Same pattern. Same tactics can apply to this situation.”

I don’t think my eyebrows can be more raised. “You are telling me our government prepared for a zombie invasion?”

“Yes. Of course.
Semper paratus
. I'm sure they planned for aliens. Perhaps even werewolves.”

I let out a small short laugh, then another when he doesn’t reveal the news as a joke. “Tigh, this is grasping at straws. This doesn't prove they are still active.”

“The instructions are clear: limit the spread of the disease with quarantine zones, then if not sufficient, bomb high density areas and retreat to a safe location. Then gather and protect the best scientific minds to work on a cure. There’s a high security CDC facility in Canada, and I'm sure what's left of high command is there.”

“Best scientific minds? That's me? Or, at least, that supposed to mean me?”

“Desperate times.”

Oh, he can be cheeky too when he wants. I'm learning a great deal about this man.

He continues, “With the CDC gone… Well, our options were limited.”

“So everything you did… It was all about your orders. You kept me in here, tolerated my presence and listened to my requests because there was slightly higher chance of someone grabbing us if you had a doctor with you. Without me, they wouldn’t take your men to safety. Is that it?”

He crosses his arms, and gives me a shrug. “I admit there were times I wanted to throw you out and lock the door, but didn’t because of my orders.”

I clear my throat. “Thanks, I guess.”

“But you are missing the point. They are still out there, and since we both have nothing else to lose, I say we stop waiting and go to them.”

I stare back at him, unsure if he’s crazy or really serious.

“I should’ve done this a month ago. I admit it I… I hoped for the easy way. I expected the Army to be better prepared. My hesitation led us to this clusterfuck. My fault, my responsibility.” His eyes flee from mine for a brief second. “But if you still want to try to fix this disease, I promise you: I’ll take you there at all costs. I swear to you on my life, we’ll get there. You only need to promise one thing: you’ll follow my every order, without question.”

We face each other for a while. A cold wind blows in, and I hug myself. His voice holds so much conviction; I almost give into him. But there’s too much confusion in my heart. So many doubts lingering in the soup of what became of my mind. He lost good people because of me. Friends, people he knew probably most of his adult life. How can I let him risk his life for me after all I’ve done? I can't ask him to go into a suicide mission over desperate guilt and one thin line of hope.

A hope I wish to feel again.

Yes, I will probably die in this attempt at grasping remote chances, yet after my failures, after the people that died here, I feel like I deserve whatever fate awaits me out there. If I’m supposed to die anyway, wouldn’t it be better to die trying to do some good? And if I survive, if we do reach Canada and this Utopian facility, then I’ll have some way of paying for my mistakes not with my death, but with actual work.

I would be a doctor again.

I offer him a hand. “Okay, Tigh. I believe you and I promise to do my part.” I open a smile. “But if you wanted to do this, you shouldn’t have let Charlie take our helicopter.”

BOOK: Those Who Remain (Book 2)
12.66Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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