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“Help me out!” The man ran out from the sewer tunnel. When Meng Feng stepped to the side to let him pass, the man jumped into the middle of the drainage vault, and started firing his gun!
Meng Feng, “What are you doing?!”
The man, “Cover me! I have to connect the wire, and blow up all the zombies here!”
Meng Feng followed the man and jumped down into the drainage vault. These motions alerted all the zombies. Meng Feng fell roughly from the three-metre high jump. He panted hard a few times and stood up with difficulty. A zombie lunged forward.
With a series of gunshots and firing of bullets, Meng Feng let loose with a pull of the automatic trigger. He turned around and fired a sweeping spray of bullets, his back towards the water pump as he moved backwards.
The man immediately jumped up onto the water pump, leaping over the wire and connecting the cables together, then shouting, “Go go, hurry and go!”
Meng Feng held his gun up and continued to fire, the gunshots deafening. He didn’t even turn his head. “What?!”
“I have no more bullets! Give me a gun!” That man shouted. “Follow me!”
Meng Feng pulled out the shotgun strapped to the back of his waist and tossed it to the ground. The man picked it up and with a bang, at the bottom of the drainage vault, a zombie’s head blew up. The pellets blew off more than ten zombies’ heads nearby.
“This has been modified?!” The man said. “Who are you? Which unit are you from? Report your service number!”
Meng Feng roared, “I’m not in active service! Stop talking! Move! Which way?!”
There was a beeping, and an electronic box somewhere sent out a signal. There was an explosion in the distance. A plume of fire spouted from the sewer opening that connected to the vault with the water pump. The entire drainage vault started to tremble, and began to collapse. Cement and rubble fell with booming sounds. A large water pipe – wide enough that three people could hug around it – broke off and collapsed. Dark industrial sewage poured down on top of them.
“What are you doing here?!” Meng Feng stuck to the tunnel and followed it, bringing that man along to run for their lives. Meng Feng kept firing to clear the way, and the man brought up the rear with the shotgun.
“Damn, who designed this shotgun?! It’s too powerful!” The man roared. “I’m Lai Jie! What’s your name?!”
“Meng Feng!” Meng Feng shouted, pulling out a hand grenade and then tossing it. The other man pressed a hand to the ground and performed a beautiful front flip, the heel of his foot kicking the grenade in mid-air, giving it an extra push, causing it to fly straight out of the tunnel like a cannon.
The grenade exploded mid-air. With a boom, the sewer tunnel seemed to have flipped over. There was a splitting pain in their eardrums from the sound of the blast. The two of them were propelled forward by the impact of the blast, and they flew a metre before falling heavily to the ground.
“Meng Feng!” Liu Yan called. “Are you okay?!”
“I’m fine…” Meng Feng struggled to stand up. “I got that guy out. Liu Yan, look at the area around us, the place has collapsed…”
“Look out!” Lai Jie moved to the side, moving Meng Feng out of the way. A large block of stone was falling from above.
“Meng Feng!” Liu Yan’s voice sounded from the earpiece, anxious. “Run to the east!”
There was a roaring noise from the earpiece, immediately followed by Zhang Min’s shouts. “Liu Yan, Jue Ming! Hold on… I’m rushing there…”
“Is that your partner?” The man asked.
Meng Feng, “He’s ground dispatch. We have to find a way out…”
Lai Jie, “Tell them to get out of the business district now! That place is about to completely blow!”
Meng Feng paled. “Liu Yan! Get out of there right now! There are bombs there!”
Meng Feng and Lai Jie started to run, following the sewer tunnel. All around them were cracks in the stone and bricks. As they avoided the falling rocks, there was also the wail of zombies, rushing out from the corner.
At the same time, the electronic detonator was off its cooldown. Another set of explosions went off beneath the ground. An army of zombies that had been hiding underground from the winter was crushed by the falling rubble. “The two of you, hold on!” Zhang Min roared.
Liu Yan’s head had been bounced around until he was seeing stars. The car violently flipped onto its side. The entire street connected to the central square let out a loud noise as the explosions under the ground went off one after another. The roads in a five to six mile radius collapsed.
Liu Yan struggled to hold onto the car grip and shouted, “Meng Feng!” Get down! I’m going to detonate ‘The Elf’!”
The car flew. Jue Ming was nearly sent up into the air. Liu Yan grabbed him by the collar, and pushed him towards the button.
Jue Ming let out a shout, and his butt sat on a button.
Inside the sewer, Meng Feng roared. “Get down–!” Followed by a lurch forward.
The small golden ball following behind Meng Feng received the remote command, and with a hum, immediately started to spin at a high speed and flew into the air. There was a soft sound, then thousands and thousands of thin, sharp iron sheets started to burst forth like fireworks, whistling out of the walls and embedding inside the zombies’ heads.
On the surface, Zhang Min stepped down hard on the pedal, bringing the car up to the highest possible speed. The entire car soared across the broken, rubble-strewn ground, hurtling through the air across five metres, passing over a huge gully that connected North and South Xi’an, and landing with a booming crash on the flat ground.
Immediately after, the tires spun extremely fast, and carried along shards of gravel as it rushed towards the end of the road. The area of the collapse was getting wider and wider. The earth was basically split into two. A large building let out a deafening noise as it came tumbling down.
It became quiet.
Liu Yan had escaped from death’s door. He pushed away the toolbox that was pressing him down and grabbed his earpiece. “Meng Feng… Meng Feng…”
“I’m still alive,” Meng Feng said.
Liu Yan let out a sigh of relief. The car had stopped by the roadside. The place they had parked in earlier had already become a huge, deep pit that spanned over ten thousand square metres. The entire city’s government buildings and skyscrapers had fallen inside the pit.
Lai Jie pulled Meng Feng out of the rubble and shouted, “The nuclear bomb hasn’t gone off! There’s five minutes left! Run!”
The first wave of explosions had buried tens of thousands of zombies underground. However, there were even more of them climbing out of the pits, searching for prey.
At first, it was just a few of them, but they were gradually growing in number. Zhang Min got out of the car and started shooting all around them. Meng Feng and Lai Jie ran towards the car. “Get in the car! Are you two all right?” Liu Yan asked.
Lai Jie looked at Liu Yan. Meng Feng spoke up. “There are all my comrades. Our base is three hundred kilometres northwest from here. Get in the car.”
Zhang Min noticed his injury, and gestured for Jue Ming to sit in the front. He did not say much else.
“Hello, friend,” Zhang Min said.
Lai Jie glanced at Zhang Min. He did not respond, nor did he shake his hand.
The bunch of them got in the car. Meng Feng shut the door. Liu Yan turned on the lights in the back seat. The presence of another person in the messy car made it very cramped.
Zhang Min started the engine and drove off. The zombies were encroaching from all directions. Another explosion sounded from the other side of the city.
“Get out of here now,” Meng Feng said.
Liu Yan turned on the camera that was installed on top of the car, which transmitted visual data from within five thousand metres. Zombies were all around, turning into a mighty force that was coming forward.
“What’s your name?” The corner of Lai Jie’s lips hinted at a smile. “Are all of these your inventions?”
Liu Yan did not respond to him. “Head west. All of the defenses are online. Meng Feng, drive. Zhang Min, go and check up on him.”
Meng Feng took over the steering wheel. Liu Yan opened the Tesla coil on the roof of the car. The electricity pumped away, and the batteries buzzed. The bars that indicated the amount of electricity immediately went down by two bars, destroying all the zombies nearby with a zap.
With a chain of pops and bangs, Liu Yan started up the flamethrower at the front of the car. The car slowly started to turn around and incinerated the zombies. They sped up, and charged off towards the main road, going up to the maximum speed and rushing out of Xi’an.
A minute later, the nuclear bomb detonated. There was a white light in the massive explosion.
Everyone held their heads and bent over, bracing for the impact. A mushroom cloud rose into the sky. The noise of the explosion shook the earth. The glass walls of the business buildings immediately shattered, the hurricane of thousands of glass shards blew off into the distance.
“It’s fine,” Lai Jie said. “The radiation of these new nuclear bombs aren’t that strong… Go.”
“You’re injured.” Zhang Min pulled out a flashlight and beckoned him. “Friend, let me check up on you.”
“You’re a doctor?” Lai Jie asked. “Nice to meet you, I’m Lai Jie.”
Zhang Min nodded. Liu Yan looked at Lai Jie with suspicion.
Lai Jie’s upper body was bare, and he was very dirty. He accepted the tissue that Jue Ming passed to him, and wiped his injuries as well as the mud from the sewer. His well-proportioned muscles were very strong.
Lai Jie’s lower body was only covered by a tattered pair of knee-length military trousers. His military boots were covered with rotting flesh and blood, and they left a black footprint when he stepped.
Zhang Min examined his pupils, measured his pulse, then let him turn to the side so he could inspect his wounds.
“He isn’t infected.” Zhang Min pressed a piece of gauze on the wound in his lower abdomen.
How is that possible? Liu Yan couldn’t help but think. It was obvious that his wounds came from a zombie.
Lai Jie laughed and said, “Of course I’m not infected, because I’ve been injected with the vaccine.”
As soon as he said that, even Meng Feng could not help but turn to stare at him.
The car was quiet. After a moment, Lai Jie spoke. “Let me introduce myself first. I’m Lai Jie, member of the 16th Division Chinese Search and Rescue Team of the International Rescue Organisation. Captain and Lieutenant of the Hurricane squad. I’m in charge of all the signal towers in the northwestern districts, searching for survivors, replenishing troops, and sending signals to the third refuge in the high seas.”
“Thank god, you’re finally here,” Zhang Min said. “We’ve been waiting for four whole months.”
“That’s considered pretty quick. We’ve saved 10,700 people in these four months, and killed 1,500,000 zombies…”
“Where’s your squad?” Liu Yan suddenly asked.
“Probably all dead. I’m not sure,” Lai Jie said.
Liu Yan, “...”
Meng Feng, “...”
Lai Jie, “In the process of our search and rescue operation in Xi’an, we confirmed that in most of the city area, in Weiyang district, in Beilin district, there were no survivors. But there was a sign from the signal tower in east Xi’an’s signal tower, that there were survivors in the city… There were too many zombies underground. We have to clear them out gradually. Three days ago, I was tasked with leading away a large horde of zombies…”
Liu Yan, “And you were captured in the end.”
Lai Jie raised a brow, and nodded.
Jue Ming, “Were you abandoned, you poor thing.”
Liu Yan, “You don’t have to say it out loud. He’ll be upset.”
Lai Jie laughed. “I can’t blame them. Even I wasn’t sure where I was. How could they come and save me?”
Liu Yan, “In that case, isn’t there something you should say?”
Lai Jie thought about it, then said politely, “Thank you for saving me, but the vaccine is very precious. I can’t give it to you. We only brought three doses, and it’s for…”
Liu Yan,” Lieutenant, you’re thinking too much. Literally no one cares about that thing.”
Lai Jie nodded. “Then that’s good. I was definitely scared that because there were four of you, for the sake of getting the three doses of the vaccine, that you would kill someone among you. In the course of my rescue operations, I’ve seen that happen many times.”
“Okay, Liu Yan, no matter how you look at it, this is a good thing. Lieutenant Lai, we’ll bring you back to our base now, and think of a way to help you find your missing squad,” Meng Feng said.
Lai Jie nodded, and took the gauze that Zhang Min passed to him. “What’s this?” he asked.
“A type of medicinal powder,” Zhang Min said. “It will help stop the bleeding.”
Lai Jie looked at Zhang Min suspiciously. The gauze bandage was soaked with medicine, mixed with a Chinese medicine that smelled alcoholic. In the end, he held the bandage to the wound on his chest, and lay down on his side to sleep.
No one spoke during the journey. They were all thinking about the rescue. Jue Ming gave Lai Jie a blanket. Lai Jie immediately opened his eyes with a hostile look, then smiled at Jue Ming. That expression seemed to be expressing some sort of cunning friendship.
The next afternoon, they returned to Hope Town.
As soon as they returned home, Liu Yan sensed that something had happened. There was a group of people gathered outside the farm. There were three large cars parked, with Hu Jue in the lead. Hundreds of people were standing outside the steel fence, and there was a woman in military uniform arguing about something with him.
Meng Feng stopped the car without a word and picked up his gun, but was held back by a press of Liu Yan’s hand.
The female officer, “According to the country’s emergency orders…”
Hu Jue, “Miss, there aren’t any more laws or policies in this era.”
The female officer was unmoved. “Who told you there are no more laws? This is the law, sir.” She pulled out a document.
Hu Jue did not even look at it. “Then, citing the 2012 draft of International Human Rights, under no circumstances are the allied forces allowed to forcibly remove civilians from their land, nor are they allowed to sacrifice the lives of vulnerable groups to…”
“Boss!” Someone in the car had noticed Lai Jie, and got out.
“Liu Yan!” Hu Jue shouted.
A number of people got out of their cars. Hu Jue saw that they had returned and shouted angrily. “Meng Feng!”
“What’s going on?” Meng Feng called from afar.
“They say they’re the search and rescue team, and want to claim all the resources here!” Hu Jue said. “They want us to move out and wait for the military!”
Lai Jie’s appearance immediately garnered the attention of everyone in the squad. He was still bare-chested, with tattered knee-length military pants. He walked towards the woman, calling, “Hey! I’m back! Everyone alive?”
“Lai Xiao Jie! You aren’t dead yet? The people here are even worse to deal with than the previous ones! Come over here and deal with this!” That woman shouted.
This chapter is migrated and/or formatted by our fellow chicken enthusiast(s), Cael.