Chapter 1-4

Hearts were beating, shells were dropping, and sweats were dripping. Jody didn’t want to resolve to shooting, but he had to. The man was coming closer and he wasn’t afraid to kill them. Edward tugged Jody’s sleeves, pointing at the crumpled building.

“We can take cover with that and get out of here.”

“I don’t think we’ll be quick enough.” He looked at Edward’s readied gun. “But I don’t want to kill him either.”

“He’s a nut job, and we don’t have to kill him. Just shoot his arm.”

“Fine. I’ll make a distraction.”

“What’re you two whispering about back there? Come here and face me like a man, cowards!” the man shouted.

Jody paced to the side of the truck, his gun pulled out, replying, “It’s very funny you said that.”

He revealed his cover, aiming for the man’s hands, and hid. It missed, and the man stepped closer to Jody. In a second, another gunfire was heard, and down the man went. His hand was bloody, dropping the shotgun. Jody made use of the time and darted out from behind the truck. With the man at gunpoint, he said, “Don’t move.”

Kicking the shotgun away from his reach, Jody said, “Edward, get his gun.”

He entered the play, picking up the shotgun and smashing the car window. Opening the door from inside, he mentioned, “It’ll only take a minute.”

A long minute it was. Jody was careless, averting the man, and he had taken that chance. He rushed Jody, bringing him down. Then it was a battle to see who could fire the gun first. Jody heard the engines turned on as he struggled for the gun. Edward dashed out of the car, swinging the shotgun directly at the man’s face, knocking him out for good. Edward helped his friend up. Jody thanked him, and they hurried to the car. Jody pulled out his communicator, calling, “Amelia, come in.”

“Yes?”

“We got the car, where are you?”

“They drove out of the street as they listened in to Amelia. “I’m at the supermarket, come pick me up at the liquor store, quickly. I have a plan for getting the fuel.”

It was a two minute drive, and Amelia was waiting right outside of the market with her bag on her shoulder. She opened the door and entered. “How’s the tank?”

“It has enough gas to take us around town.”

“That’s good. Let’s go back to the gas station.”

That was a ten minute drive, which Jody noticed that Amelia probably ran to the market. When they got to the gas station, they noticed the guards patrolling around. Shotguns and rifles were held by them, and Jody said, “What’s the plan, Amelia?”

“Park on the other side, we’ll get through from the alleyways.”

They did as she said. Amelia walked out of the truck, signaling the two to follow her. Slithering through the alleyways, they met with the gas station. She showed them the inside of her purse. It was filled with unopened cigarette packs. Edward frowned, questioning, “What are you going to do with these?”

“They told me that they’re willing to exchange gas for some cigarettes.”

“You made a deal with them?”

She nodded as they came closer. The men noticed her, and smirked. “Did you come back with the cigarettes? Or are you planning on taking it with your boys here?”

Amelia stopped the two, telling them to stay here. She mouthed out her words, “Just run back into the alleyway when things get a bit rough. I’ll meet you at the car.”

She walked to the guards, showing them the goods as they nodded to each other. There were about five of them. Two were equipped with rifles and the others pistols. They were well off and they were earning profit from this gas station. Somehow, they managed to drain all of the gas from this station and stocked them all in the convenience store.

“Come with us,” they said.

With that, she followed two of the men in the building. The other three watched Jody and Edward for any suspicious movement.

Edward nudged his friend, whispering, “I have a bad feeling about this.”

“We better be ready,” Jody muttered.

They watched the guards who pointed their guns at them. It wasn’t going to be a successful deal if Amelia told them to be ready to run away. Though they were automatics and just running wasn’t an option. There was a silence and a few words were exchanged from inside the building. The men released Edward and Jody from their grip when they noticed that the people inside stopped talking. Jody gulped, gradually stepping backward along with Edward. The air felt heavy as if a heat wave had hit, but the only reason for that was the plane passing by. Jody stared at it, mumbling, “What is a supply plane doing here?”

The guards noticed it too, whispering to each other and coming to a decision. It would be only for a bit, but they were going after the supplies. One of them walked to the building, knocked on the door, and notified the people inside of the situation. Jody couldn’t exactly hear what they said, though he assumed it went without a hitch and the guards left their post.

“Wow, ain’t this convenient?” Edward chuckled.

“It is. Think we should go check on Amelia?”

“I’m a bit more curious about that plane.”

He glared at Edward, who in turn replied, “What? She can handle herself.”

With a sigh, he ordered, “Just get back to the car, we’ll check it out when I get her.”

“Aight. You want the shotgun just in case?”

“No, a pistol is fine with me.”

Nodding to each other, they separated. Jody quietly stepped forward the gas station, moving toward the convenience store. He blew out a breath, his gun in his hand. There was a complete silence in the building. What in the heck were they doing inside? The windows were boarded up so he couldn’t look inside. The door was the only way in. He pressed his back against the wall, knocking on the door. “Hello?” Nobody was answering.

Frowning, he unhurriedly twisted the doorknob and pushed it in. This was an incredibly stupid move. He might as well bust inside all nervously, saying, “Oh, sorry, I got the wrong place.” But the scene he saw was terrifying. The two men were dead. One was stabbed twice in his lungs and the other had his neck slit. Jody’s breath got heavy, noting that Amelia was nowhere to be found.

“Aw! My clothes are all dirty! How am I supposed to wash the stain off of this?” Amelia was complaining in the back. “Ugh!”

Poking his head in, Jody noticed where was a back door. He slipped his head out and walked to the back. Catching her in his sight, his mouth dropped in shock. Amelia’s hand was soaked in blood and the little stain on her skirt that Jody had seen last time had spread. She froze when she noticed his presence. She awkwardly smiled, nervously laughing. “Eh… heh heh…. Hi Jody.”

“What happened in there?”

She glanced at the back door, answering, “They just got a bit rough, that’s all. Ended up killing each other. It was kind of scary.”

“I don’t get what you mean. Why were they fighting? Wouldn’t that make a ruckus?” he fired all of his questions at her.

She sighed. “It’s quite a story to tell. I’ll tell you it later, but before that, can you help me clean the blood off of me? I’m pretty sure there’s a restroom inside the store.”

“Sure.”

It was a bit late, but she asked, “Where’s Edward?”

“Waiting for us at the car.”

Going inside the store, completely ignoring the fresh corpses, they went to the restroom. The place was old and there was shower for some reason. Jody saw at the knob, looking for the one that started hot water, and turned it. Amazingly, water flowed out of the shower head. He tested the water and it was chilling to the bone. Though it was better than nothing. Amelia was currently using the sink, her face showing an utter disgust of this place. This was clearly not the restroom, but a bathroom and a very dirty one indeed. It looked like it was abused and hadn’t been cleaned for ages. Jody didn’t even want to smell the air in this room, breathing through his mouth.

“I’ll leave you here for the moment,” he said.

“Sure. I’ll be done in a few.”

He sighed, walking out of the room. Staring at the bodies, he stepped closer to examine them. No matter what she said, these weren’t bullet wounds. To make sure, he checked their pockets and wherever else there would be a knife. If he remembered correctly, Amelia had a knife on her which she explained, “It’s for self-defense.”

Jody shouldn’t be surprised by this due to the fact that he had killed many people since the March 31st. As long as she wasn’t a harm to him or Edward, it was okay. Though it was hard for him to think that this was her doing. Amelia didn’t appear to be the type. Either way, it wasn’t good to let these weapons go to waste. He picked up the pistols, stuffing them in his back pockets. They weren’t the same ammo as his current gun, unfortunately.

“Whew, seems like I used up all the water.”

Amelia stepped outside the bathroom, her skirt wet but the stain disappeared. She grumbled, “It can’t be seen unless you look closely. I really have to wash this when I have the time. It’s my favorite skirt.” She ambled behind the counter, picking up two fully filled gas tanks. “If you can, pick another two up. We might need them if we decide to go on a detour.”

He nodded, grabbing another two. They made their way out of the gas station and slipped into the alleyways. When they got to the truck, Edward was ready with the car. They threw the gas tanks onto the back and entered the car.

“Geez, you two took a while,” Edward nagged.

“Sorry about that,” she apologized.

“The supplies are probably gone by now. Although I supposed we shouldn’t even go there anyway.”

Jody scratched his head, joining in on the conversation, “We don’t even need the supplies in the first place. Just take us to the hideout, we’ll get our stuff and let’s get out of here.”

“Roger that.”

Edward switched the gear to drive and they headed off to the gas station they were holding up. On the road there, barely anybody was walking the street. They were too busy searching for the supplies. This was the first time the trio saw the plane and even though they were curious what was inside, rather than food and water, this was a good opportunity to leave unwatched. Setting all of what was left of their own supplies and covering it with a blanket, they got back into the car.

“Are we ready to leave?” Edward asked.

Jody nodded, looking back at Amelia. “Did you forget anything?”

“Nope! Let’s go!”

Edward smiled, starting up the car and drove. Their first destination was to take the State Route 198 and head onto the Golden State Highway. After that, the ride was only an hour away if there wasn’t any hindrance.

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