"Y'all ready?"  Jim cocked a rifle. 

Charlie grumbled and nodded.  Dre followed suit, and Terst just glared at Jim as if to say 'just let me kill some shit.'

They examined the entire deck in under ten minutes.  No life was found there.  During the preliminary search, Jim had managed to locate a floor plan of the vessel.  It was three floors:  Cargo area, crew area (galley, quarters, and such), and the deck.  It was going to take a while to clear out the whole ship, and the group agreed that they needed to leave port ASAP. 

"So who's driving this thing?"  Charlie asked.

"Well, I'm not exactly a nautical person..."  Jim scratched his head with the barrel of his rifle.  "But the boys are only in high school.  And I'm not looking forward to having you drive again."

Terst raised his hand.  "Seconded."

Dre chuckled.  "I agree.  Sorry, Charlie."

She grumbled submissively.  "Dre.  Come help me check the control room." 

Terst looked at Jim.  "We'll check out the middle floor.  Meet up here in twenty, kay?" 

They all agreed and dispersed.

Dre ran after Charlie and managed to catch up with her as she approached the control room door. 

"Hey."  He said, catching his breath.

"What is it?  I'm busy trying to survive the zombie apocalypse, here."  Charlie fumbled around with the handle.  It was locked.

Dre stuck the climbing pick inbetween the lock mechanism and the doorway and pried it apart.  The door swung inwards, as if by magic.  "You need to cool it with Terst."  His voice trembled slightly, as he had never done this before.  "You're both pretty bold-headed..."

Her eyebrows furrowed.  "Well maybe he should cool it."

"Maybe you should be the bigger man."  Dre walked through the doors.  Stopped.  Turned around, blushing.  "Woman.  Sorry."

Charlie smiled.  "You're such a dork."  She ruffled his hair, playfully.

They found themselves in a pretty techy room.  Charlie walked over to the dasboard and started to make sense of the controls.  For a moment, he thought of helping her.  He should have.

Instead, he caught sight of a newspaper.

"Hey, found a paper!"  Dre said, excitedly.  "First one I've ever read."

Charlie smiled at him sadly.  "Let's hope it's not the last."

Dre returned the gesture and got comfortable in the chair.  It was dated two days ago.  Maybe he could learn some stuff about today's world!  He looked at the front page, and froze.  His jaw dropped, and tears welled up in his eyes.  "No."  He said, almost inaudibly.

"What?"  Charlie turned.

"No.  Just...  fucking no."  Dre was shaking now.  He dropped the newspaper to the ground and backed up, as if it was the plague.  "This isn't me."

Charlie approached, glanced at the newspaper, and had a similar reaction.  She looked at Dre in disbelief.  "You..."

"Don't."  Dre was crying, looking straight at Charlie.  "Don't tell them.  Please."

Charlie hesitated for a moment, and nodded mechanically.

Dre picked up the newspaper, burst out the control room door, crumpled it up, and threw it overboard.

As it hit the water and began to sink, the ink began to fade from view...

It was a picture of Dre.  Above it, the eleven word headline started to disappear:

Teen slaughters his family, wounds two police officers.  Still at large.

The End

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