||[Jan. 27th, 2006|07:40 pm]
Woke up at the normal time this morning to find two of our newcomers sitting in the radio room with Matt, listening to the radio. They both jumped up as I entered.|
Matt smiled. "This is Nikki," he said, pointing to the one closest to him. Fairly close-shaved head, not too tall, built like a brick shithouse. I nodded at him. "And this is Andrew." Shorter than Nikki, and with longer hair. He nodded at me first.
"Thank you for taking us in," Nikki said. "We would have been dead for sure without you."
"That's probably true," Matt said. "But now it's time for breakfast, then you can tell us your story." He jumped up and walked out of the room. Nikki nodded at Andrew, almost as if letting him go.
As they left, Nikki grabbed my arm.
"I don't know what your deal is, but thanks for saving us. I mean it. We would have been gone if it weren't for you."
I told him to hold onto his story until we were having breakfast. He nodded, loosed his grip and walked out.
I headed down stairs to the kitchen and found Tom there, already getting food ready. He'd obviously been listening in.
Not long after, Nikki came down with his female companion, followed by Matt and Andrew.
Sitting at the table, we all opened our rations. The cardboard the military passes off as meals. Great.
"This is Ana," Nikki said between mouthfuls.
"Thanks," she said, smiling weakly.
It's amazing that even in this world, where it seems nothing will make you feel good again, the simple smile from an attractive girl is a godsend.
"So I guess you wanna know what happened... Well it's a long story, but I guess it has to be said." Nikki said after he finished his meal.
"Andrew and myself come from Sydney. We were down here for work when it started happening. When the first reports came in we decided to head back to Sydney, but all flights coming in and out had been stopped, the borders closed. I'm sure there would have been a way in, but honestly, it had been quarantined for a reason. All phone calls to there were cut off as well."
"We decided to stick it out in our hotel room, but soon we were kicked out. Important officials were coming in, and where we were staying was being turned into a command centre. As we were leaving, we ran into Ana, who was in the same place as us, but unlike us, she knew some people she could stay with. She was nice enough to offer us a place to stay."
At the sound of her name piqued Ana's interest. Up until then, she seemed to be out of it. Although I don't blame her. Without a doubt many people just gave up when it started.
"So we went to her friends' place and everything went to hell, which you know about. We were pretty safe, but every now and then we'd get a tide of these things coming into our area. They'd be gone in a couple of days though." It was what we called the tide. Good to know that we weren't the only ones who'd noticed it. Although it was a bit worrying.
Ana spoke next, continuing from where Nikki stopped. She spoke softly, and was almost hard to hear on several occasions.
"It didn't matter though, they never took any interest in us. But one morning, early before dawn, there was a banging on the door. Nic, whose house it was, went to the roof to see who it was. She yelled at us to open the door, and a man stumbled in. We were amazed; someone else was still alive. Listening to the radio, seeing them running in the streets, people seem so far away, but to have one so close... It was amazing."
"He told us he'd been on the run for days and needed help, which we gave him. We fed him, cleaned him, gave him a place to sleep. He was there for about two weeks before it happened... One morning, before dawn again, we came awake from his screaming. He was on the roof screaming his head off."
She stopped for a moment. A thousand thoughts went through my head, but the only one I could think of was that the numbers didn't match up. They'd obviously lost someone - we all have - but someone so close... She pushed on.
"We tried to stop him, but he wouldn't shut up. He'd scream to the point he had to stop and cough. He'd done this several times, but suddenly when he stopped, we could hear a faint noise from the distance. They had heard him."
Tom gasped, and Matt turned pale. Despite everything we'd been through, this was worse.
Ana looked at Andrew and nodded. It was his time to talk.
"When we heard the noise... Nikki'd had enough, he grabbed a bat..." He paused to gulp. "... And hit him with it. Knocked him out. Don't blame him for it, I would have done the same. Anyway, we barricaded the doors with everything we had."
Tom inturrepted. "Why didn't you leave?"
"Dawn was still hours away, and running around in the dark, we were just as good as dead. We had to hope that they wouldn't arrive before dawn. We were wrong though. Just as the light was rising, they attacked. It was only a handful at first, pounding on the door, but that handful turned into tens, then twenties, then hundreds. The entire place was surrounded by them. Nothing could stop them, and before we knew it, they were inside. Nic told us to get to the roof, but she..." He stopped again. Ana started sobbing quietly, and Nikki didn't say a thing.
"It's okay, we know..." I said. I wanted to hear about it as much as they wanted to say it. Andrew seemed relieved, but Nikki stepped in.
"We went up to the roof and saw a final glimps of that bastard as he jumped off."
"We were on that roof for two weeks before enough of them left so we could get down. From there, we sprinted until our legs gave out. Fortunately we found a place to stay for a while. After that night we kept moving, never staying in one place for more than 3 days or so, and never taking anyone in. We made it to the station just as we were attacked again. We were low on food. We hadn't eaten properly for weeks before hand, which is why we tried to raise someone. And well, you know the rest."
We sat there for a long while in almost complete silence, except for Ana's quiet sobbing. Everyone spent the rest of the day doing various things. Andrew spent it with Matt in the radio room listening to broadcasts, the others just wandered around.
I spent most of it on the roof, thinking. Ana came up as the sun was setting, but didn't say anything.
The number of those things that Nikki was talking about didn't seem to make sense. Surely there couldn't be that many of them. If there were, we would be able to see them... Right? And that survivor...