You Need a Lift?
I watched as the flames in the zoo began to die down a bit as the hours went on. The rest of our group and the few survivors we saved from the zoo were resting, getting bandaged up, or were just lying around sharpening their weapons. Leo had managed to find us as he walked into the abandoned building about an hour after we had set up camp. He almost scared a girl named Gisselle half to death as he walked through the door and instantly tried to hit on her. I couldn't tell if she was scared because she thought he was a zombie or because he was hitting on her.
The flames themselves had drawn the attention of a lot of zombies from the city, who acted like moths to a flame. However, these zombies weren’t under the control of anyone like how Krios had managed to control a group of zombies within the zoo. These zombies were nothing more than animals as they bumped into each other and a few I saw fall into a few animal enclosures. It would have been funny if it weren’t so sad to watch, see how downhill the world had gone.
“We should leave soon,” Luke said as he took another look out the window.
“I don’t think now is the best time. I mean have you taken a look outside recently? The streets are flooded with zombies,” Dean said as he motioned toward the window.
“Yes I have, and more zombies are on their way. If we don’t leave now, we will be trapped here or worse, we’ll be discovered and turned into one of them. More warriors for the legions of the dead,” Luke protested, but obviously trying to keep his voice down so he wouldn’t draw…unwanted attention.
“Alright, everyone calm down for a second. Just calm down and we’ll think of something,” Malcolm said as he placed a hand on Dean and Luke’s shoulder to calm them down. He then looked over to me for a second, and a few other people in the room did the same. “All we need right now is a really good plan.”
I then realized that he was expecting me to come up with an escape route, as my mother was the goddess of wisdom after all. I took another look outside and then looked at everyone else. Leo was shifting between the different functions of his mechanical arm while Gisselle was eating from a bag of potato chips she got from breaking open a vending machine.
“Alright, we can’t just walk right out of here and simply running away will draw the attention of even more zombies. We need some kind of distraction and we need to know where to go from here. Rachel, check that office over there and see if you can find some kind of map of the city. Leo, head downstairs and see if there is anything we can use for some kind of distraction. Counter, go with him. Maybe you can find something we may need later. The rest of you, prepare to make a run for it,” I explained, pointing the others in all directions for the next half hour or so. Leo had found several forklifts in the basement that he had rigged to be drivable by remote control. He said he had done something like it years ago against a giant or something. Sometimes it was hard to tell when he was bragging and when he was just making stuff up.
After another hour of preparations, I felt like we were ready to move. Leo pulled a remote control from his bag, and it must have had over twenty different buttons on it. The forklifts themselves were equipped with a special present for the monsters on the other side of the garage doors and Counter was busy planning out the timing for the three forklifts to leave the building.
Meanwhile, I looked at the map again and examined the path we were planning on taking. Counter picked a path that he said would most likely have the least amount of enemies. He had said that most of the zombies flooding into the zoo were coming from the opposite direction of where we were planning to go. He also said something about how most zombies would be going down larger roads and we would be better off taking side streets. I didn’t really argue with him because while I could think of a good strategy, he was good at measuring the odds. Together we could hopefully come up with a fool proof plan of safety.
“Alright guys, now or never,” Luke said and we all got into our positions…hiding behind old boxes. Counter climbed up a few stairs and took a quick glance out the window while holding his hand up to motion to Leo. Dean was standing by the garage door, ready to press the button that would lift the door into a mob of the undead. Counter motioned his hand once and the first forklift started moving forward. Leo pressed a button on the controller and I could hear our voices coming from inside the box.
“When did he have time to set that up?” I asked Luke, but he just shrugged his shoulders as it rolled forward. Dean seemed to be counting down as he lips moved, but no sound come out. He then pressed the button and the door opened. I saw several zombies turn their head toward the lifting door from my spot behind the box and I watched as the forklift ran them over. It continued on through the swarm of zombies and it got a lot of attention. Counter motioned again and the second one followed shortly after the first.
The first one was eventually turned on its side by a swarm of zombies, but the second one continued on, running over zombies and pushing through them, this one also with a large box in front telling the zombies we were there. This one was also fell over a few yards from the first, and our final lift kept going and ran over even more zombies. By now the lifts were being swarmed as the zombies pounded at the heavy wooden crates. I watched as the first crate was ripped open and one of the zombies pulled at the speaker inside the box, clearly confused by what he had. He even tried to take a bite out of it before the other zombies started fighting him for the speaker and whatever else was in the box.
“Surprise,” Leo said as he flipped a switch on his universal remote control. All three crates exploded at once, causing the building we were in to shake and I worried that the roof would fall down on us. Fortunately, it held together as the shaking stopped.
“Alright everyone, move now or else we miss our opening,” Counter said as he ran down the stairs. We all ran out the door and I took a quick look around as we ran. Every zombie within about a quarter mile was either in a million pieces on the street or blasted backward. The three forklifts, each a certain distance from each other made a path that we could easily run threw.
“Make a left up ahead,” I yelled and we all ran into a back alley that lead to a small street that headed toward our destination. We crossed a few more streets, stopping every once in awhile to allow the occasional zombie to pass us by before moving on.
“There it is,” Jared said as we approached a large metal fence that circled around an old brick building. Leo used his good hand to heat up one of the bars and silently bend it so we could sneak inside, instead of opening the main gate. If the gate was loud or stuck, we would be out in the open for all zombies to hear. Leo on the other hand managed to silently get us in so we wouldn’t be noticed. We walked across a dead field that could have been green and beautiful at one point, but now it just crumbled under our footsteps as not even the weeds had managed to survive.
“Come on, there should be a staff entrance over here,” Luke said as we walked around the back of the building. Sure enough there was and Leo used one of his arm attachments to pick the lock. As much as his mechanical arm kind of freaked me out, it was an amazing feet of mechanics. I wondered if another Athena camper had come up with the idea for it or if he managed to do it all on his own.
I didn’t think about it for long before I rushed inside with everyone else. Luke told us to split up, with three groups of two searching each room for zombies, while Counter and I searched the teacher’s lounge for any kind of food or supplies. This was definitely an upscale school, the kind that Rachel’s dad would send her to in order to turn her into a proper lady. In my experience, a proper lady was one that knew how to use a sword and think on her feet.
After about an hour, we all regrouped in the lounge to rest and relax. The school for now was clear and we decided to plan out our next move.