Robin, Sekani and I spent weeks carefully assessing our options. Robin figured since Natch and the others seemed to trust him the most, he could claim he’d seen some zombies outside, which would solve our weapons issue. We’d lose the element of surprise with that plan, though, even if it was only a little. After all, if they were all tensed up and expecting a zombie attack, our own attack wouldn’t be that much of a surprise. It was the best shot we had, though, and the numbers worked in our favour. All we had to do was inform the others.
We’d let everyone know what Sekani had told me, and what our plan of attack was, in pairs. Any more than four of us in a room together at one time might get the others suspicious. Sekani was still wary of getting Maria involved, but I was adamant we could trust her. She proved her point when we called her up by informing us that Grovesnor wasn’t anything significant to her.
“He’s good looking, but he’s not my type” she’d said with a shrug. “If I can’t have a little fun now, when can I? It’s just sex, that’s all”
We’d been about to track down Scott and Kat, when word reached us that Kat had shacked up with Rainer. Forgive me for making assumptions, but I instantly didn’t trust her. Kat, more or less since the beginning, had looked out for herself an only herself. Once Pet turned up, she had the kid in her best interests. I didn’t trust her not to rat us out to Natch and the others in the hopes they’d treat her and Pet nicely, or the diversion would at the very least give her and Pet time to escape. So we left Kat out. She knew nothing of our plan, nothing of what Natch and the others had done to the other survivors. I felt a little bad putting Pet at risk, but I just wasn’t willing to risk Kat fucking everything up.
Eventually, the day we were launching our attack came. We waited til night, so the darkness outside would be on our side with Robin’s zombie cover story. I’d been sat in the guard room with him, and I held my breath as Natch watched the screen, looking for signs of movement. Something did move, though whether it was a zombie or a stray cat, I couldn’t tell, but it was enough to convince Natch.
“You and LT can handle one of them, right?” he’d asked, and we’d both nodded, getting to our feet an heading to the makeshift armoury once he’d handed us the key.
Once we were in, the others appeared, taking the guns they were most comfortable using. I did a quick headcount, and we were missing a couple people. There was no sign or Maria or Joe, but I didn’t think too much of it at the time. Maybe I should have. Maybe things would’ve gone differently. The armoury was on the third floor, and from what we hoped, Natch and the others were still on the ground floor, which meant we’d have higher ground on our side if we were forced to retreat. Once everyone had their weapons, we made our way down, warning the few survivors that weren’t on our side to stay in their apartments regardless of what they heard and that we’d sound the all clear when it was safe to come out again. We tested Kat’s apartment, which was locked, as per usual, but didn’t think much of it.
I’d ordered Rae to stay behind with Riley, who had set up a makeshift clinic in case anyone got injured. I guess you could call it favouritism, but I didn’t want her getting hurt. I didn’t want to put her at risk. So, with Sekani at my side, and Robin and Scott behind us, we made our way down to the lobby. Panic flared through me when we only came across Natch.
“Well, well, it took you boys long enough” Natch chuckled.
He had something in his hand, though I couldn’t see what.
“Don’t think I didn’t know Spitfire’d go running to you first chance he got. But y’see, I like it here, and I’m not willing to give it up so easily”
“You’re outnumbered and outgunned, Natch. We can do this the easy way or the hard way” I said, aiming my rifle at him, while the others followed suit.
“I guess it’s gonna have to be the hard way, LT. If I can’t have this place, no one can” Natch said, and I finally saw what he had in his hand.
“Grenade!” I yelled, and the four of us ran to the stairwell.
We barely made it before the explosion, but instead of the walls buckling like we’d expected, all we heard instead was a wet squelch. We made our way cautiously back into the lobby, and I heard Scott throwing up behind us. Natch was… Natch was splattered across the walls, blood and pieces of mangled flesh sliding down towards the floor. Through the blood, the walls seemed in good enough shape, but the explosion had shattered the windows, and left a dark burn mark on the floor where Natch had been standing.
“Where the fuck are the other two?” Sekani asked, storming into the communal kitchen.
“More importantly, how the fuck did he know?” Robin demanded.
“I knew we couldn’t trust that bitch” Sekani spat.
“What makes you think it was Maria?” I asked defensively.
“Do you see her here?”
“Exactly! You were so adamant we could trust her, and look how it fucking turned out”
“We don’t know it was her, now calm the fuck down before I punch your lights out” Robin threatened.
The two of them squared up to each other, and I pushed in between them. “We can fight about this later, right now we need to find the other two. I hate to say it, but our best leads are Kat and Maria”
The four of us raced up to the third floor, finding Kat and Rainer outside Rae’s shop, with a scared looking Pet.
“What the hell is going on?” Kat yelled.
“Did something get in, or did Robin try to cook?” Rainer chuckled.
I ignored Kat, my fist colliding with Rainer’s jaw.
“What the hell?” I heard Kat yell.
“Did you rat us out?” I asked.
“What?” Kat questioned, frowning. “Rat what out?”
“I told you it was her” Sekani said, meaning Maria.
“And I told you to shut it” Robin said threateningly.
“Have I missed something?” Rainer asked and I punched him again.
“Your little games over, you sick fuck” I spat.
“Games?” I heard Kat question, confusion thick in her voice.
Rainer chuckled. “How long did it take him to tell you?” he asked, glancing at Sekani.
“Too long. Now, you have two options; go quietly, or go filled with lead”
“How about neither?” he said smugly and I glared at him.
“Will someone tell me what the hell is going?” Kat yelled.
“Your boyfriend here killed everyone I knew” Sekani said bitterly, not looking away from Rainer, who simply rolled his eyes.
“What…?” Kat said.
“Back in Washington. They rolled in, three trucks loaded up with supplies, just like they did this time, took charge and killed everyone when they got bored”
“Everyone…” she said, holding Pet tighter.
"They killed the men first, had their fill of the women, and killed the children for sport. I watched them shoot my daughter at point blank range in the back of the head for losing a game of Chinese whispers"
I glanced at Sekani. He hadn’t said he had a daughter. In fact he’d been completely the opposite; he’d said he barely remembered any of the kids’ names.
“You shot… children?” Kat asked, looking at Rainer, her hand resting on her stomach for some reason.
“That was Natch’s area of expertise, but yeah. And I enjoyed it, too” Rainer said smugly.
“Were you going to do that to Pet? I’m gonna cut you into pieces, you monster!”
“Cut me to pieces and there won’t be anyone to call off my guard dog” Rainer smirked.
Kat pushed her way past me, leaning back to kick Rainer’s face, but he caught her ankle in a tight grip. Kat tugged out her gun, aiming it at him, but her hand was shaking.
"Kat, stand down" I ordered.
"You told me all those things... Were they lies?" Kat asked Rainer, ignoring me.
"No" Rainer said, and Kat lowered her gun.
"You can't say you enjoy killing kids, and then say your words weren't lies"
"They were brats. Annoying, little brats," Rainer said, turning to Sekani, "Especially your kid. It was her own fault Natch shot her, she wouldn't stop crying"
"I'm going to tear you limb from limb" Sekani roared, and Robin held him back.
"They're children! How could you hold this from me knowing I'm-" Kat said, stopping short. She was what?
"With ease" Rainer said simply.
Pet tugged on my sleeve, and I looked away from Rainer briefly, not wanting to give him an opportunity to get away without telling us where Grovesnor was. I vaguely heard Kat hurl an insult at Rainer, and Pet tugged me down to her level.
“She’s pregnant and it’s not Rainer’s” Pet whispered in my ear and I froze.
"Do whatever you want with him" Kat said, taking Pet’s hand and walking off.
I wanted to stop her, and ask her about what Pet had said, but now wasn’t the time. I turned back to Rainer, getting to my feet as he smirked at me.
“Where’s Grovesnor?” I asked.
“He’s hidden away somewhere with his lady”
I repeated my question after punching him again, splitting his lip, a dark purple mark starting to show on his jaw. It took another half hour before we finally got the information out of him. Kat had given Rainer a spare key for the apartment, though where she’d found it I had no idea, and he’d slipped it to Grovesnor when Natch had gotten wind of our plan. Rainer had been left in charge of distracting Kat long enough for Grovesnor to lock himself in her apartment with Maria, but Rainer wouldn’t say why.
“Robin, don’t let him out of your sight. If he tries anything, shoot him” I said and Robin nodded.
Sekani and Scotto followed me as we tried to find Kat, eventually finding her sat with Rae in Riley’s clinic. The both of them looked up as we walked in, but we’d wasted enough time as it was. Pleasantries would have to wait til later.