Book: The First - Part: Two - Chapter: 2 - Installment: ii

CLICK HERE for an explanation of the non-linearity of chapter numbers.
        Scott found an elevator and took Carly to the ground floor. The further from the chaos, the safer she was. He knew that CDC officials would not be happy that either of them had left the sterile ward, but Scott felt confident that he was clean.
        “Are you hungry Carly?”
        “Are you cold?”
        Carly was fine too. He felt certain that as Shale had gone feral so quickly that if either of them was sick too that they’d be feeling some kind of symptom by now. Feeling that his responsibility to the safety of others had been met, once again his mind turned to how to best safeguard the child and himself.
        Through a crash-door he saw that the morning twilight was breaking. The sun would soon be up. The light of the stairwell hadn’t been enough to deter Shale, but surely the intensity of daylight would. At the very least the difference in time that he would have to endure the brilliance would hamper Shale should he actually get out into the street.
        Stepping out into the rising day Scott heard the sound of approaching sirens. He set Carly down on the pavement. The November pavement was cold on his bare feet, but he’d been carrying the young girl long enough that his arm was cramping, she would have to endure for a while.
        The nearly ubiquitous winter cloud-cover had broken over-night. The dampness had held in some warmth, so it wasn’t actually frosty. They wouldn’t be out for too long he hoped. The rare burst of sunlight would keep them warm once the sun actually rose over the horizon.
        He took her hand and crossed the street and walked up to twelfth and crossed the street again before turning west and walking up towards the main entrance of the hospital. As they approached, three police cars turned onto twelfth ahead of them and pulled in front of the hospital. Clearly someone inside had got a 9-1-1 out. Other police cars followed, taking up positions at semi-regular intervals. Scott recognized the procedure. They were treating the circumstances as a hostage situation. If they knew what he did they would waste no time in storming the building. As it was, the longer they waited, the more people would get killed or hurt and possibly infected.
        “Come on, Carly.”
        He scooped her up again into his arms and ran for the trio of cars outside the Vancouver General main entrance.
        As he approached the cars he called out to the nearest policeman.
        “Sir, I’m afraid this is…” The officer trailed off as he turned around and looked at Edmond.
        “I’m sorry Lieutenant.” Being infamous had some advantages. Edmond didn’t know this officer from Adam, but clearly it was not reciprocal ignorance.
        “I’m currently a patient. As is this young lady.” He hefted Carly, emphasizing the point as if the officer wouldn’t have figured out who he was talking about from the immediate context. “We just got out of there.”
        “Yes, Sir.”
        “Who is in charge?”
        Captain Holloman. It’s an ERT call.”
        “I need to talk to him immediately.”


        They had fallen back to a car behind the front line. Carly sat in the back seat, warm. Edmond had filled in the Emergency Response Captain on the situation as he knew it. A strike team was assembling at the front entrance, preparing to sweep the hospital as fast as possible. They would have preferred to wait for more men, and secure the building in stages, but Edmond had convinced Holloman that immediate action was prudent. Each exit remained covered by a group of GLE uniformed officers.
        Edmond had left out one important detail. He hadn’t told Holloman that it was Shale who was running rampant in the hospital. He knew that they couldn’t afford any sort of hesitation, conscious or otherwise, when it came to finally taking Shale down. Any police officer who knew that it was one of their own they may be forced to use dire force upon would be at risk of looking for another option. Edmond had seen Tanya Meyers feeding on her youngest child. He knew how extreme the wild drive of an infected victim was. He knew that their only safe option was to kill Shale. Even so, the suspicion of contamination would mean quarantining most or all of the building.
        “Do we have to go back?”
        “We haven’t been released, Carly. We have to. We’re not sick though. They’ll let us go soon.”
        “I don’t want to go back, Scott.” He smiled. She had never called him by name. He was amused she remembered it. She’d only been told it once, back when he first came to the Meyer’s home. 
        “Where am I going then?”
        “I don’t really know. I guess Social Services, or the Child Advocacy Ministry.”
        God. That’s a shitty place for any child to land, no matter how well meaning the institutions are.
        “Oh.” She said, as if his answer had satisfied her curiosity. He knew that it couldn’t have meant anything to her. But it would. The next ten or twelve years of her life were more than likely going to be terrible. If she made it through growing up without getting into some manner of trouble or other, only then could she begin to really start repairing her life, if at all. It was a rare exception when a child her age was adopted into a family that could provide the attention she was going to need to get over the trauma of the last few days. And children who went through the foster-care system rarely went on to great things.
        Poor kid.
        As they sat waiting, one of the west doors to the hospital suddenly burst open. A big man in blood soaked hospital scrubs stepped back onto the concrete steps. Edmond recognized him immediately as Bishop the orderly that he’d met in the hall. In one hand Bishop had a long length of tensor bandage that led back through the door. In the other hand was a length of chrome pipe with a pronged stand at the far end, which he brandished back towards the open frame. 
        From a distance he looks rather like a gladiator with a net and trident. Mused Edmond.
        Taking another step backwards and heaving back on the tensor, the orderly hauled another ferocious looking figure through the door. It was Shale. Using the stand to keep Shale at a distance, he flung the crazed man into the access lane with the tensor. As Shale went down the stairs he gained momentum and pulled the tensor from Bishop’s hand and tumbled into a heap on the blacktop, squirming in the sunlight.
        Hopefully the orderly had got to Shale soon enough that few people had been injured. It had been nearly a half-hour since Edmond and Carly had left the building. It had clearly been an extended struggle to get Shale outside.
        Edmond heard the amplified bark of a megaphone, but over the distance with multiple echoes off surrounding buildings, the words were unintelligible. Edmond could tell that the detachment of uniforms covering the West doors had commanded the orderly to drop his remaining weapon. Adding to the audible clamor, the radio in the car crackled.
        “Southwest firedoor. Southwest firedoor. He’s got a hostage. We’ve got him.”
        Simultaneously, half the ERT team in front of the hospital began to sprint to the West end of the building, and Bishop dropped the chrome stand and raised his arms above his head.
        Edmond looked at the huge man, covered in blood.
        They think it’s him!
        Edmond fumbled for the door-handle as the chrome stand clattered down the stairs in front of the orderly. He pushed open the car door and heaved himself to his feet screaming at the officers.
        “That’s not him! The one on the ground!”
        But the megaphone was jabbering again, there was no chance they could hear him and he could only watch as Shale rose from the pavement and hurled himself at the helpless orderly, his hands by now inter-locked behind his head, leaving his front open as Shale’s fingers found the soft ingress of the Bishop’s eye-sockets.
        The big man’s body gave way and the pair crumpled to the concrete platform at the top of those three stairs to the fire exit.
        Limbs flailed on the landing. It was nearly impossible to tell which arms belonged to whom. The uniform officers, at a safe distance of about twenty yards looked on in helpless confusion.
        In moments the ERT officers cleared the corner of the building.
        The report of the automatic rifle fire reflected off the hospital’s stone walls and off of apartment buildings nearly a block away at the end of the adjacent park to the hospital.
        Edmond felt sick.
        He looked back in the car. Carly had watched the entire thing. In his haste he hadn’t been able to stop her. She stared and stared at the heap of the two dead men on the stairs as officers rushed in to where they lay.
        She didn’t answer.
        “Carly. Look at me.” He told her firmly.
        She slowly averted her gaze from the dimming chaos against the hospital’s West side. She turned and looked Scott in the eye. He could see the confused terror in her eyes, but she refused to let it show any closer to the surface. He couldn’t imagine the maelstrom of emotions inside what ought to be a fragile little girl. She didn’t seem at all fragile on the outside as she spoke back to him just as commandingly.
        “I don’t want to go back.”
        The CDC was undoubtedly about to turn the hospital into a defacto prison for god knows how long. He was certain in his mind that he and Carly were uninfected. God knew how many people inside now were, and if Shale was any indication, they were safer out here than in there by any measure. If they stayed here, they would be expected to join the quarantine, but if they were to just walk away who knew how long it would be before they even realized they were gone? Certainly long enough that anyone else’s fears of the possibility of he and Carly being infected would be significantly allayed.
        “Okay. Come on.”
        He pulled the trunk release and found them a pair of police issue rain-jackets and they walked off hand in hand into the sunny day.

     Chapter 5  CLICK HERE for an explanation of the non-linearity of chapter numbers.

No comments:

Creative Commons License
Necropolis by Kennedy Goodkey is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada License.
Based on a work at necropolisnovels.blogspot.com.