“Is this the… Gloom… shroom?” Jue Ming asked.
Liu Yan, “You could say that. Personally, I like the Doom-shroom more…”
Outside the police station, the jeep sped forward. In an instant, Meng Feng sharply turned the steering wheel and sent the jeep into a beautiful drift as he shouted, “Everyone inside, get down!”
Liu Yan launched the makeshift nail bomb, and it was lodged onto the door of the police station with a clink. Meng Feng threw the vehicle into reverse, the wheels spinning and running over a zombie that had jumped towards them.
With a boom, the bomb exploded, sending hundreds of nails shooting out into the surroundings. The nails followed the angle made by the iron petals carved into the can. Reddened by the heat of the explosion, they shot through the heads of zombies within ten square metres.
At that moment, a large number of the zombies outside the station collapsed.
As soon as that happened, Meng Feng stepped on the pedal, and with a bang, shot through the iron gates. Dozens of zombies that had been hanging on the gates were sent flying metres into the air, and landed heavily on the ground with a resounding thump.
The jeep doors were pushed open, knocking away a zombie that was hanging onto the door. Meng Feng and Zhang Min jumped out of the car simultaneously, dropping into a roll and opening fire with their guns, sweeping the area with bullets.
Liu Yan got into the driver’s seat and stepped on the gas. The jeep crashed into the police station with a bang, and the front doors collapsed. Liu Yan rolled down the window and shouted, “Go, quickly!”
As soon as he said it, he froze.
In the lobby, there were over a hundred people gathered.
There were so many people. It would be impossible to bring them out. Liu Yan took just one look at them before asking, “Who’s in charge?”
Meng Feng and Zhang Min slowly moved backwards while shooting. Zhang Min threw out a hand grenade along the way, then turned around at the same time as Meng Feng to make a dash for the station’s lobby. Liu Yan immediately covered his head and dove to the ground.
Another explosion sounded, the heatwave entering the lobby. The hundreds of people shouted in panic, scattering all over to find cover behind chairs and tables.
Meng Feng, “So many people?!”
Liu Yan tossed out yet another nail bomb. Meng Feng single-handedly lifted up the fallen front doors with a shout as the nails outside flew everywhere. With sharp clangs, the pointed ends of the hot nails shot through the doors, so hot that Meng Feng couldn’t help but yell.
It was quiet outside.
The civilians hiding inside the lobby slowly stood up, looking at this group of people in surprise.
“Who’s the leader?” Liu Yan repeated.
“Where did you come from?” A young man in a police uniform got up from behind the counter, letting go of the little girl in his arms. The girl cried loudly as she ran across the lobby to find her parents..
“From the south. We just crossed the Interstate Highway. I’m Meng Feng, nice to meet you,” Meng Feng said.
“Zhang Min.” Zhang Min shook hands with the young man.
“Deng Changhe,” the policeman replied. “You’re the only survivors? Where did you get all those weapons?”
Meng Feng explained their story briefly, and then said, “Liu Yan, gather the rest of the people. We have to leave this place immediately.”
Deng Changhe looked to be about only twenty years old, younger than even Meng Feng, Liu Yan and the rest. When he heard that, he said, “No, we can’t leave. We already contacted the army. They’ll send rescue in a few days.”
Meng Feng frowned. “The army will come here?”
Liu Yan examined the lobby. This police station only had two floors, one for administration, and the second for offices.
The refugees were both old and young, male and female. The rubbish scattered all over the floor, the desks that had been pushed together, the beddings placed in the corners of the room, the messy travel bags; this all showed that they had been here for quite some time.
Deng Changhe brought Meng Feng and Zhang Min upstairs. On the second floor, there was an injured, old policeman, and two corpses.
Zhang Min moved forward to examine that policeman’s wounds, and checked his pupils with a flashlight. He checked his pulse, then lifted his finger off, and shook his head as he got up.
“They won’t come,” Meng Feng stated. “The outbreak has lasted for nearly a month. There hasn’t even been a trace of the military. There’s no time. Pack your things quickly and we’ll leave.”
Deng Changhe breathed out slowly, as though he was very conflicted.
“Friend,” Zhang Min said.
Deng Changhe lifted his gaze. Zhang Min continued, “Our group will only wait for us on the highway for no more than ten hours. When it’s dark, they will have left already. If you wish to stay here, then we can’t help you.”
Deng Changhe was silent for a moment before he asked, “Everyone gets to come along?”
Meng Feng examined their surroundings, and looked out the window to the ground floor. It was covered in zombie corpses. The explosion from the hand grenade and from Liu Yan’s handmade nail bomb had eliminated 90% of the zombies. The remaining ones tried to climb over the fence to get in, and Meng Feng took out his gun to shoot them dead. Without even turning around, he said, “Yes.”
Deng Changhe said again, “Everyone. None are left behind.”
Zhang Min, “Everyone who hasn’t been infected.”
“Let’s go.” The old policeman, who had been sitting on a chair, closed his eyes peacefully. He said slowly, “Xiao Deng, take them and go. It’s better to ask for help.”
Deng Changhe, “Uncle Wang!”
The old policeman’s eyes were sunken, his face dark. Purple, blackish blood oozed from his shoulder and soaked the bandages. His voice trembled, “Protect those still living.”
Zhang Min hurriedly went downstairs. Liu Yan asked, “Is there a doctor here?”
No one answered him, only looked to him with unfamiliar gazes filled with hope.
Someone dressed in a dirty shirt and trousers stepped forward. “What can I help you with?”
Liu Yan, “You’re a doctor?”
That person replied, “No, but I know a bit of medicine.”
Liu Yan and Zhang Min discussed quietly between themselves, then said, “Everyone get in a line, and come to the entrance.”
Zhang Min had a tall build, and he was spinning a small flashlight between his fingers. His eyes were slightly red.
Liu Yan, “One by one, come on, in an orderly fashion. Meng Feng?”
Meng Feng and the policeman Deng Changhe came downstairs. Deng Changhe wore his officer’s cap, his eyes reddened as if he had just been crying.
Liu Yan, “Meng Feng, you guard the door in case any zombies come in. All the people who have been checked, go to the lobby.”
Zhang Min’s eyes were rimmed with tears as he examined the pupils of the refugees one by one, then measuring their pulse with his finger.
“You, go over there,” Zhang Min said. “You, go to the door.”
Liu Yan sent Meng Feng a look, and he understood. He was silent for a couple of seconds, then said, “All of you, come stand behind me.”
Those who were infected went to stand behind Meng Feng. Liu Yan didn’t say what was going to be done next, and no one else asked.
Jue Ming was crouched down at one side of the administration office, helping a little girl tidy her skirt and blouse.
The little girl asked, “Big brother, are you here to save us?”
Jue Ming replied softly, “That’s right. That man is my father. He’ll get you out of here.”
The little girl nodded her head, and passed the doll in her hand to Jue Ming. Jue Ming accepted it, flipping it over to get a good look at it.
“Is this a brown bear from Amazon?” Jue Ming asked.
The little girl blinked hard, and Jue Ming continued, “Maybe it’s an ancient fossilized creature.”
“Is there such a thing, darling?” Zhang Min was used to Jue Ming’s weird sayings. “You, go to the door. Darling, come here.”
Jue Ming, “I’ll return this to you. My dad won’t let me accept gifts from others just like that. Where’s your father?”
The little girl pointed at the group of people behind her.
Her parents were in that group, watching her and Jue Ming.
Zhang Min glanced at the little girl’s neck, which had grey spots on it, and said again, “Jue Ming, come here.”
The little girl shoved that doll into Jue Ming’s outer coat pocket. Jue Ming pulled it out, but the girl said, “For you.”
Jue Ming, “Oh. Thank you.”
His military outer coat pocket was stuffed with that bear doll, its head sticking out and bouncing around.
“Who is this person… to you?” Zhang Min asked.
A man came over, half-hugging an unconscious old woman. Zhang Min didn’t even have to look to know that she had been bitten. The wound was on her wrist.
“Can it be cured?” The forty-something year old man asked. “She’s my mother. Last night, the zombies… They crawled in through the window… Because she tried to save me, she was bitten…”
“Go behind that big guy over there, and we’ll figure something out. What about you?” Zhang Min said.
The little girl’s parents were hugging her, and said to Zhang Min, “She’s called Rou Rou.”
Zhang Min, “How did this happen?”
He shone the light into the girl’s eyes to examine the pupils. They dilated slightly, but there was no trace of injury on her body.
“Last night…” Her mother started to say.
The father immediately gave her a look.
Zhang Min felt down her legs, and discovered that at the bottom of her foot, there was a small gash from where some glass had cut her. It was already starting to rot. The mother couldn’t watch any longer, and could only say, “When she went to the bathroom to pee, she stepped on some glass. It’s better already.”
Zhang Min, “Go over there.” He didn’t need to say anything else.
One after another, people left the administration office. Zhang Min held Jue Ming’s hand and got into the car, put it in reverse, and drove the vehicle out of the front courtyard. Liu Yan stood by the entrance and said, “Now, all those who know how to drive, step forward.”
Most of the men stood forward. Liu Yan continued, “Deng Chenghe, take the lead. Everyone else, keep up and follow us, stay in an orderly manner.”
Zhang Min drove the car out onto the road, got out and got onto the roof to stand guard.
The group of nearly a hundred people were divided into two, with Meng Feng bringing up the infected people in the back. He turned around and stood outside the iron gates, stepping over the bodies of the zombies, turning his gun seemingly accidentally towards them, and said, “Wait here.”
Liu yan brought the people to drive the cars. He chose eight vintage cars, and checked each one of their fuel and water tanks. Those that could just barely function were immediately forced open and taken apart.
There were some refugees who had actually driven their car over to escape, and still had their keys on them. Liu Yan got all the cars and told them to stop by the roadside.
Liu Yan, “All of you get into your cars first.”
“Those behind Meng Feng are the ones who have been infected. That middle-aged man and that couple weren’t infected, but their family… I don’t dare to separate them. What do yout think? Can we discuss it now?” Zhang Min said.
Liu Yan stood there for a moment, and took in a deep breath.
“After I die, I’ll definitely be sent into the eighteenth layer of hell.” Liu Yan said slowly, and closed his eyes.
He walked over to Meng Feng and looked at the group of infected people. All of their faces were unfamiliar to him.
“All of you have been infected, and could possibly turn into zombies.”
As soon as he said it, the crowd was abuzz. Meng Feng stepped back, guarding Liu Yan behind him, the muzzle of his gun aimed towards the crowd to control the situation. Suddenly, someone shouted, and more people ran into the station to escape.
“No, no!” Liu Yan shouted. “He doesn’t have any intention to shoot. Don’t be scared.”
The group settled down slightly, and someone shouted, “Then what are we supposed to do?!”
“I’m powerless to stop it. We cannot take you along. Sorry.”
In that instant, the cries and begging pervaded the air. Meng Feng still held onto his gun and guarded Liu Yan as they slowly backed away. That aforementioned couple jumped out, crying, “We aren’t infected! Don’t abandon us!”
“They can go, but she… can’t,” Zhang Min said.
Liu Yan gulped hard, and said, “The two of you, get into the car. But your daughter cannot come.”
Zhang Min pointed his gun at a middle-aged man. “You can go too.”
That middle-aged man hugged his mother, and said, “No. I’ll stay with my mother.”
At that moment, Liu Yan’s tears started to fall. Meng Feng hugged him by his shoulders, comforting him quietly, and turned to head to the car.
“Don’t let them leave!” Someone shouted in a frenzy. “We can’t let them leave!”
It was as if that shout was a stone that stirred up thousands of waves. After a very short moment, in the doorway of the police station, the sound of a single gunshot rose into the air.
The old policeman was leaning against the doorframe. “Leave the chance of survival to those who are still living. I’ll stay here and take care of all of you,” he said tiredly.
The crowd of people quietened. Meng Feng’s gun was still pointed towards them, and he covered Liu Yan as they got into the car.
The old policeman continued to speak. "Qian Huairen, you haven’t been infected, right? I heard from Xiao Deng.”
The middle-aged man who was holding his mother gave a tearful nod. The old policeman gestured with his gun. “Go with them. I’ll take care of her.”
He walked down the steps, and took the old woman from Qian Huairen’s arms. “Go on. Your mother would wish for you to keep on living. Don’t let her down.”
“Let’s go,” Meng Feng said.
The middle-aged men walked towards the car. He glanced back. Meng Feng pushed him into the car.
“What’s your name?” Meng Feng asked.
The old policeman laughed. “I’m just a policeman. Go on, kid. I wish you a safe journey.”
Meng Feng brought two fingers to his forehead in a salute of farewell, and got in the car.
Rou Rou’s parents were with their daughter by the roadside. The mother was crying herself to death, and was shoved into the car.
“Mom…” Rou Rou stood by the road, opening her mouth to shout, confused.
“Rou Rou…” The old policeman called, standing in the entrance of the police station. “Your parents are just leaving for a little while. Come here, uncle will hug you.”
“Rou Rou, you’re a good child. Listen to the policeman uncle’s words.”
The group of cars drove out onto the road, Jue Ming was holding onto the bear doll. He looked behind, out of the car. The lonely little girl stood in the middle of the road, crying loudly.
This chapter is migrated and/or formatted by our fellow chicken enthusiast(s), Cael.