Okay. Thing's are a lot clearer now. Painfully clear.
They moved me at light out. Two guys who wouldn't look out of place on a thundering, stormy harbor lugging around 200 pound crates with one hand while boxing each other with the other entered my room.
And god did they stink. Which is saying something coming from the guy who spent the last hours of his life surrounded by rotting corpses.
With the tactless gentleness of a weight lifter, one of the great brutes lifted me deftly over his shoulder and took me out of the classroom. We were on the second floor of the central building.
The grade school is separated into three specific structures. The southern building, for Pre-school, kindergartners, and first grade classrooms. The central building, for 2-3 grade classrooms, as well as the computer lab and library. And the northern building, for 4-5 grade classrooms. The cafeteria, main office, and infirmary is located in close proximity to each other, adjacent to the central building. Two large playground yards are located on either side of the central building.
The bastards lugged me down a stairwell and dumped me out unto the pavement of the northern yard. Here, they unbound me and pushed me among others, people who looked a lot like me, from their shell-shocked expressions to the rope burn along their skin.
I imagined these were other people who had been captured, much like me.
Along the central building wall, three guards stood in attention, next to the water fountain. Large and ugly just like their predecessors, they each wielded large automatic weapons and leered at us with daring contempt. Daring us to try and make it to the fence. Or come and get a drink of water.
A couple of minutes passed and eventually an elderly man separated from the group, and approached me. He had a grim expression on his face, but he surveyed me with something like compassion. Not caring compassion, just the compassion fellow survivors can acknowledge and convey. He was too busy keeping his own ass alive to spare me more than a few words of explanation.
This wasn't a "survivor's camp", he explained. This was more akin to a "slave camp". The people in charge (call em' what you will: Bandits, Raiders, Slavers) are armed thugs. They joined together and are trying to amass the means to survive in the aftermath of the end. Primarily, that means slaves to work labor.
He explained that over the course of a few days, the Bandits had amassed the small group before me. The elderly man being the first of their victims. Myself being one of the latest.
There was one fellow in out little group who was really bruised up. Even more so than me. He had the whole black-eye, swollen left face, probably broken fingers-thing going. His clothes were ripped and torn, and I'm pretty sure he was bleeding from his rectum. A sure sign of some rough loving.
The elderly man saw my gaze rest on him and he explained that the dude, who probably wasn't much older than me, had been captured last night. He was a newcomer like me. Rough welcome. Unfortunately, he had had a companion. His fiancee or something.
She'd been the first female captured by the Bandits. So imagine if you will, the first thing a bunch of stressed, testosterone filled, adrenaline driven men might want with the first live, uninfected woman they see since the end?
Yeah, apparently, they made their intentions pretty damn clear from the start. And the guy hadn't been too happy with the idea. So he fought back. And the Bandits didn't exactly like that.
And here we are, practically penned up in the playground while his fiancee is having the time of her life. Er, I mean, giving a bunch of nasty, sweaty, idiots the time of their lives.
On a side-note, I imagine the reason I wasn't violated last night was because the Bandits found someone much more appetizing to release their frustration and stress on.
Anyway, just as the elderly man was explaining this to me, the beat-up fellow rose from his slumped position, took a deep breathe, and started walking steadily towards the guards, disguising a heavy limp.
The guards had been chatting amongst themselves, smoking, and only surveying us half-heartedly. But at the sight of this fellow, they straightened up and aimed their weapons at his chest. They told him to halt. He didn't. They told him again. He didn't. They fired.
A slug hit his belly and he doubled over in pain, but then he lunged. I think he was beyond reason by then. His mental state was too fragile. Too much shit had gone down, too much to bear alone.
So he snapped. So he lunged. He was close enough by then. He tackled one of the guards and toppled the fellow over. In the approximately six seconds of stunned confusion that followed (and it probably helped that the guards had not really slept in days), the dude smashed a guard's nose. Got shot again. Managed to wrestle the weapon from his opponent, and fired an automatic burst into the guard's temple. Splattering his brain.
Then the guard's opened complete fire on the fellow, annihilating him on the spot.
But that was a mistake, some slugs ricocheted, and quite a few struck one of the guard's legs, crippling him, and causing him to drop his weapon.
We, the prisoners, had been watching this with numb apprehension, but when the second guard dropped from the pain, we saw the opportunity, and we took off. We scattered in countless directions. A few for the school yard gate. Some to climb, others to flee through the open gate.
I took off for the central building. I don't know why. I just did. A few more came with me. But not many.
Behind us, the single surviving and unharmed guard screamed at us. He fired short bursts of fire, and I think I heard someone drop. But I'm not sure. I was gone by then.
I followed the central building west, along the corridor, but hooked a left at the passage turn that would lead me to southern school yard. There was a back gate the school used, I remembered, but I found it chained and locked. I would not find freedom through here, so instead, I continued along the corridor, and entered the first classroom I found. The computer lab.
There were sporadic bursts of gunfire for a while. Yelling, a lot of that. Arguing most likely.
I hid in the north eastern corner, under a desk and waited. And the day passed. Running steps, gun shots, voices arguing, screaming, pleading.
It's almost dusk, and I'm conflicted. It's never a good idea to travel by night anymore, meeting a Freak is practically assured. But I'm not getting out of here during the day either. I'll get recaptured or shot.
I suppose I could make a bee-line for one of the houses outside the school at night, spend the night within the relative safety, and move out back home tomorrow.
Still I do