John - chapter 17Mature

The group was lost, led deep into the shopping complex, the light penetrating only a few meters into the perfect darkness beyond. 
My would be assailants had only followed me for a minute, long enough by far to wind me completely. Gasping for air, i turned the last corner, somehow managing to make a good lead on the two following me. Pulling my knife, i leaned on the wall just around the corner, eyeing a young tree that stood in defiance of the dead world that surrounded it.
Listening for footsteps around the corner, i waited ready to kill. 

After a few seconds of silence, i peeked around the corner, hoping not to be seen. 
Two bloody holes stared at me, seeming to pierce to my very soul. Stepping back in surprise, i noticed a hand gripping the man by the neck so hard his neck was squished half the normal size, a knife held prone over his shoulder, ready to strike.

Stepping into an instinctive stance, I prepared for the fight, but the body dropped. Harry stood behind blowing out a breath. Looking into his eyes, i wasn't sure if i could see relief or disappointment.

All in a single second, harry sucked in his breath again, waving me to follow. Looking over my shoulder, i saw a few corpses, not many, but too man to take by ourselves safely. Still winded by my previous flight, i yanked harry's hand and turned us into the window, long since shattered, that stood beside us. 

As the corpses flailed about the window, we crept out a side window into an alleyway. Seeing the way was clear, harry stopped, leaning close and whispering in my ear. "I have a way to get them out." he said. Incredulous i looked at him, staring in awe that he would have a way to free the group let alone actually put this plan in motion. "I have some explosives in my bag from the farm." Remembering his talk at school of testing homemade incendiaries and a few explosives, i took his word for it.

The plan was short but concise, hard to fuck up, Harry being a person of few words, I expected that of him, I also expected the plan to be utter madness, but this ... this topped everything i knew of him. 
We had retrieved his discretely dropped bag from underneath an overturned post box and then made our way in to the shopping complex. 

The going was easy for the first few minutes, our only real obstacle the darkness, having no torches we had to wait for our eyes to adjust. I noticed that Harry's eyes adjusted quicker than mine as i wondered what Harry would have done in life if this apocalypse had never happened.
Moving further in once we had our night eyes, we noticed low piles of bodies, cleared from what looked to be well-walked pathways. a sense of urgency drove us on, we could be seen any second and we still had to free the group. 

Climbing down the stairways, we came across a person walking the opposite way. As surprise was still painting itself on her face, i smashed her in the side of the head with the hilt of my dagger, looking to harry. All i found there was a stern look and an unspoken urge forward.

On the second underground floor, we saw two guards outside a door. Before we could be seen, we clambered silently back to the floor above. As my mind was reeling with ways to deal with this and i thought of throwing something down to distract the guards and maybe then blow the door off it's hinges, Harry eased a door open.

Following him through, we found a toilet with yet another enemy, this time not expecting assailants. Whistling merrily, the boy, only fifteen by my count, didn't even bother to turn as he continued to urinate in the hole in the ground that led outside.

Before the body hit the floor, Harry had his bag on the floor, pulling out his arsenal.
Expecting to see a few soft drink cans filled with some styrofoam napalm, i was shocked when i saw full on c4 come out of the bag. 
Walking over to harry, i shook him and asked in a harsh whisper where he had found that. "my dad was in the military john." he said flatly before returning to his work.

A full minute passed before he signaled he was ready.
Stepping quietly through the door again, we shut it firmly and stood past the inside walls of the bathroom. Silently counting down with fingers, harry flipped the switch.
A deafening roar cut through the air and every bone in my body felt as if it had been drilled into but The pain lasted almost less than physically noticeable. 

Unsheathing my dagger again, i ran through the doorway, now missing the door, leaping into the gaping hole in the building. The guarded door was at the other end of the room from the group, so most of them had been unharmed by the explosion, but two wailing guards lay clutching ears and faces respectively. Another was only recognizable as human by the pair of legs looking as if sitting on a chair beneath a large pillar that had fallen already. 

Yet there still stood a host of enemies. Running in as bullets hissed past, i brought back the blade, swinging an overhanded blow, slicing deep into the skull, blade hilt deep in the person's skull, as Harry performed a similar attack just beside me. Abandoning the weapon as stuck, i pulled out the body's pistol, aiming at the nearest man rushing towards me, pulling the trigger, i hit him in the shoulder, kicking him in the face and turning to the next assailant. 

Harry turned straight for the group, cutting free hands and feet as I held off two men, as a machete whistled it's way to my face, i knocked the blade to the side with my wrist, not missing a beat as i followed through with a punch to the other. A moment later, the fight was cut short as Harry appeared at my side, wrenching the machete from the man's grip and slicing through the other's hand.

A scream pierced the air as corpses toppled into the room, the dawn light showing a massive horde following. Looking down, i watched as Lewis was bitten in the shoulder and Jayden went to catch his fall. "HARRY!" i screamed pointing at the pair as corpses began to mass. Harry ran over, grabbing Jayden by the waist as i flipped Lewis onto my back.

Running for the door, i saw the rest of the group arguing with their captors as to whether to close the last door yet, obviously we maintained a heady price as protection to our group as the door remained open to us. 

Able to run, without limps or only mindless instinct carrying us on, we made far better time than the corpses, though there was only a few seconds between the door closing and the hungry screeching scraping on the metal door as corpses bayed for blood. "Up." was the only thing i could manage to say, the breath catching in my breath every time i needed it. 
Adrenaline had brought me this far, and without it i felt more than a little vulnerable.

Reaching the street once more, we found our group had gained five new people. New people who could not be trusted, even though they seemed to know the area like locals. Letting them lead the way, we followed at a good distance, fearing another trap. 

After a good hour of walking.limping and me carrying lewis, we came across a nice little empty building, although the windows were boarded and strong, high fences had been erected recently, there was not a soul to be found. "safe house if something were to go wrong back there." the new leader of the other group said when questioned. 

The End

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