He then raced out of the room, turning left and charging up the incline. Outside, the fog was much thicker and now surrounding him. Gunshots and bombshells could still be heard, but they now sounded distant or, perhaps, less numerous. As he charged through the whiteness, he suddenly lost direction.
“Straight, keep going straight. You’re doing fine.” she soothed.
He obeyed, even as shapes began to shift within the liquid fog. Because of his impaired vision with the mask, he suddenly tripped on a dip in the dirt path. He hit the floor with a thud, his rifle scattering away from him.
“Get up, c’mon, we need to move!” came her voice again.
He was confused about why she was so scared, confused about why he had to get his own gasmask and why she couldn’t give him one. This was not like her, this was not normal. He pushed himself up, swiping up his rifle again and turning to look ahead of him. A shape shambled forward, seemingly injured.
“Shoot.” came her voice, quiet and fearful.
“Are you okay?” the boy asked, the shape seemingly one of the soldiers.
There was no response, the shape only crept closer, its leg seemingly twisted and arms held limply.
“Do you need help?” the boy asked again.
It got closer, and he could hear its gasping breath. It must’ve been the fog, he thought, it was probably hard to breathe; something meant to fatigue the soldiers.
“Shoot.” she said again.
The shape now came so close, the boy felt as if it were coming to embrace him with a hug. He nearly chuckled at that thought. Then he aimed his gun, fear overwhelming every other sense.
“Shoot! Shoot, now!” she cried.
Just then, whomever it was growled like a rabid animal and leapt at him. He fired, his rifle sending a bullet straight through the person’s head. It dropped, twitching slightly, as he pulled back the bolt and locked in another bullet.
“Run.” she whispered, seemingly out of breath.
He looked around him, other shapes beginning to take form within the mist. The boy ran, sprinting as fast as he could. The machine guns within the bunker no longer fired, and the battlefield felt eerily quiet. Once at the entrance to the bunker, the boy was met with a steel door. He grasped it, pulling with all his strength.
“C’mon, open the door!” she screamed, her voice more urgent than ever.
“Can’t you? You’re stronger!” the boy protested, heaving with the effort of pulling the door.
It slowly screeched as it moved, the sound of shambling footsteps approaching behind him.
“I can’t! I can’t help you!” she sounded in tears.
“Why not? You’re the only reason I survived before!” he gave another heave
“Because… because..." she paused as if she didn't want to say it. "We’re disconnected!”
“We’re disconnected! They have me in the bunker! Don’t you remember?”
The boy searched his memories as the door slid ever further open. He couldn’t recall that ever happening. Come to think of it, he didn’t even know how he had gotten where he was. This realization scared him more than the wound-walkers did behind him. Why couldn’t he remember? There was a big gap in his memory, now that he paid attention. He remembered the attack, he remembered how he survived, he remembered how he escaped. And he remembered… the soldiers. The soldiers had found him, and after that a gap in his memories.
“You don’t remember?? No… no, no, no! Open the door, come get me, and we’ll get the hell out of here!” she shouted.