"I'll do it." Lu said determinedly.
"No!" Jesse said, wincing as it came out louder then he intended.
"What? I can get there and back within a minute. I'm small enough to fit through the vent shaft." Lu added, glancing at the vent.
"How are you gonna get back up?"
"If there's one thing I can do, it's defy physics." Lu said sarcastically. She was a good climber, she had been climbing trees and buildings since she could walk, and the vent shaft was just small enough for her to shimmy up.
"I think she'll be okay." Mitch said, placing a hand on Jesse's shoulder. "Me and Ardi'll head down and watch from a bit away incase she needs help." Nodding to Ardar, they headed for where they would wait. As they passed Lu, Mitch paused for a moment. "Don't die." he whispered, giving her a small smile.
"I'm invincible." Lu said with a slight smile. She did always land on her feet, but that would be little help if a zombie bit her. Jesse looked like he was about to stop her for a moment, but he only handed her his hunting knife. Lu tucked it into her belt, then she switched guns with her brother, giving him her new .45 in exchange for his Colt Mustang Pocketlite, which was a better fit for her belt and the vent shaft. Doc had already taken the grate off the wall and Lu beamed at everyone before she ducked inside. A dull thump could be heard as she hit the bottom, and then she was off, sneaking to the basement door where persistent moans could be heard through the crack under the door. The zombies were piling up by the door now, and she had to wait until the men came closer. It happened quite fast. One of the men turned the corner, saw her, and raised his gun. Lu yanked the door open, and a horde of undead rushed through, ambling hungrily towards the intruders. Lu leapt back into the vent shaft, sweaty hands scrabbling against the smooth metal. One of the zombies reached for her and she shot him with Jesse's pistol. The gun shot echoed painfully in the tight space. Lu wasted no more time and started her ascent back to the second floor. She could hear rapid gunfire in the hall, but she didn't look back.
Mitch crouched near a hole in the second floor's floor, the first floor's ceiling. Hearing a commotion, he knew Lu had finished her job. Make it back here okay. he thought. Seeing the men rush through the hall, he aimed his gun, picking off some stray zombies. "Lu's fine." he told Ardi and stood up. "Let's head back, quickly."
Jesse locked the door to the second floor after Mitch and Ardi came back. He could hear gun fire downstairs, it seemed that their plan had worked. He made it back to the vent shaft in time to help Lu haul herself back into the room. "I think we're safe for now." She said. "But I wouldn't bet on it. We should find a way to barricade the door or something, once those guys leave, if they ever get the chance to, the zombies are gonna pile up the stairs."
"Good job, Lu." Mitch told her. "And I'll go mess up the stairs so they'll have a hard time getting up." He sighed, looking around. "It would be easier with a sledgehammer or an axe, but I can use something." Evan motioned to a gas cooker in the kitchen. "Wait, what?" Mitch stammered. "You want me to use that to blow up the stairs?" Evan nodded, and Mitch finally shrugged, walking over to get the propane bottle. Grabbing a book of matches from a cupboard, he jogged out of the cafeteria. "If I'm not back soon, barricade the doors." he said over his shoulder.
((what happened to Ardi?))
((I dunno! I haven't seen DestroyedHeart in a while.))
Jesse slipped past before Doc could close the door and grabbed Mitch's arm. "I get it now, you're insane." Jesse said. "You're even crazier then my sister. What if it catches on fire? Think! This isn't some video game, some god dam.n action movie! My sister, and your friends are in there, we're all living on borrowed time. I refuse to let your actions kill us all."
Mitch peered coldly into Jesse's eyes. "Maybe I am insane." he said firmly, but also in a relaxed tone. "But that insanity's let me get this far in life and this far in all this sh.it." Turning, he shrugged off Jesse's hand. "I was never good for much in school. You can ask Lu or Ardi. I was either asleep or daydreaming all the time." he started to walk away. "If I can't do this, I'll only hold you back." Mitch jogged to the stairs, where there was only a single zombie. He dispatched it and set to work. Ok, here's the plan. he thought. I'll let the gas go under the stairs so it's muffled, but it'll take 'em out. Setting to work, he released the gas. I'll light a match and get out. It doesn't need to be a massive explosion, only enough to destroy a number of stairs. Mitch went around the stairwell and lit a match. He set it propped up with a fork and went to go up the stairs, only to see a group of zombies down the hall a little ways from him. "Cr.ap..." he muttered, running up the steps. he drew his gun and began firing, hitting and missing until the gas lit. It exploded in an orange fireball that just licked out of the six-stair hole it made. Mitch felt blood trickle down his cheek an felt the burn where the explosion had seared through his left jean leg. "Ouch." he mumbled, getting up and stumbling to the cafeteria. "I guess Jesse was sort of right..." he grumbled, knocking on the door.
Jesse pulled open the door and yanked Mitch inside by his shirt, slamming the door after them. He swore angrily under his breath and stalked away to look out the window. Lu looked on with a thoughtful expression, her gaze following her brother across the room, then snapping back to Mitch. "You look like road kill." She said, going over to their supplies to get the first aid kit. "Come here." She said, pointing to a chair.
Mitch nodded and looked sideways, then sat down in the chair. "Sorry." he mumbled. Teachers and adults had always told him not to mumble, but he always ignored them. But he sort of saw Jesse as an older cousin, or just a good friend. And in that way he kind of looked up to Jesse. But he saw Jesse just a bit differently now. He bit his lip as Jesse pressed an peroxide-soaked rag against his wound. "Thanks." he whispered. "That was a stupid idea."
"Well, you're alive, and the stairs aren't. So I'd call this one a win." Lu said with a shrug, pulling out some bandages. She wrapped up his leg and looked at the wound on his cheek. "I don't think it's deep. Head wounds just bleed a lot." Jesse said, taking a seat next to Doc, who seemed pretty confused.
"Thanks." Mitch said with a sheepish grin. He didn't hear any moans, so that was a plus. "So should we sleep or what?" he asked, looking around. It was probably really early in the morning, something like 2:00 a.m. The time had gone by really quickly. He stood up and put a little more weight on his good leg. "I dunno, just asking." he said and shrugged.
"That's a good idea." Lu said, going over to their supplies. She pulled out the tarps and bedding and set up a sleeping area for the group. "I'll take the first watch." Jesse said, heading over to the window. Lu curled up under a blanket, hair covering her face.
Mitch exhaled and slumped to the ground, thouroughly exhausted. This day had been extreme. Almost everyone he had known in town were probably dead except for their group. He closed his eyes. He couldn't think about it too much or he wouldn't sleep. Peering through half-closed eyes, he saw Lu across the room from him, Ardi nearby, the Doc the same, and everyone else. "How did we end up together like this?" he whispered, ghosting some of the words. With that, he fell asleep. Evan walked over to where Jesse was standing. "Mind if I keep watch with you?" he asked, leaning against the wall. He gazed out the open window, a strand of his hair hanging down in his face. "So what do you think?" he asked quietly. "What's going to happen to us?" His eyes moved and settled on Jesse. "Why did this happen to us?"
Jess didn't answer Evan at first. He seemed very focused on something in the distance. "I'm not gonna pretend I know what the he.ll is going on." He said quietly, so as not to disturb the others. "I don't know if things are ever going back to normal, but I wouldn't count on it. This place seems safe enough for now, but we gotta plan for the future. We're not gonna have enough food here forever. We're gonna run out eventually." He said, glancing over at his sister. He owed his mother to keep her alive at all costs. "Maybe they're working on a cure somewhere, but I still wouldn't count on it. You never truly know a man until his life is on the line, and the only thing I can guarantee at this point, is that most people aren't all that dependable."
Lu rolled over again, attempting to sleep, but she was too riled up from the day's "activities". SHe couldn't even imagine what Jesse was thinking, after what he had to do to their mom. She didn't blame him, she had killed her friends today as well. She wondered if there was a cure somewhere, and if she had waited just a little longer, maybe she could've saved them, rather then kill them. But thinking too much is painful. Lee pulled her blanket over shoulders and got up. She walked over to where Mitch was sleeping and lay beside him silently.
Mitch stirred a little and opened one eye slightly. He now saw Lu beside him, looking sort of peaceful as she slept. Evan and Jesse were standing by the window, and he could only imagine the conversation those two might be having. He smiled and was glad that they could at least get a little rest. Although that probably wouldn't last long. He closed his eyes and tried to go back to sleep.
Evan nodded at Jesse. "Thanks for being honest with me. I feel the same way." he murmured. "Also, I'm not sure if there will be a cure for this. We might just have to retake the world with help from all the survivors." he added. "But I doubt that's likely."