This is the final chapter of this story. Please give some reviews. It would be very helpful to me when I write my next fanfiction. Enjoy the story!

Chapter 17: Keeping Your Head Above The Water.

30 minutes later, the Patriot was cruising down the expressway in Charge Island. The back of the SUV was riddled with bullet holes while the front was stained with a lot of blood. White smoke was emerging from the engine as a result of the vehicle being exposed to sustained gunfire. Luis had run over the zombies with the SUV while the rest managed to stop the three pursuing SUVs. One exploded as Johnny managed to get pellets from his shotgun into the engine. One crashed into a nearby building after the driver got a bullet in his head from Huang's gun while the last one stalled after Niko showered it with high velocity rounds from his weapon. It's unknown what happened to the surviving Russians, but Luis and the rest had last saw a horde of zombies headed for the stopped vehicles.

"How's your kid?" Johnny asked as he looked on from the front passenger seat.

"Not too good," Niko replied wistfully.

Petar's blood soon stained the rearmost leather seats of the car and was now semi-conscious. Under Niko's advice, Mallorie applied pressure to the bandaged wound with her hands, which Niko washed with antiseptic agents to sterilise it, to stop the bleeding. She was in tears as she watched her son moan and groan about the great pain from the wound.

"This might sting a little," Niko said as he dipped a cotton bud into a bottle of antiseptic solution. Every time Niko's cotton bud touched the wounded area, even with the slightest touch, Petar would cry loudly in pain.

"At least this keeps him awake," Mallorie said trying to sound optimistic while holding her son close to her. Niko smiled a little as he continue to clean the wound. She sounded just like Roman.

As soon as Niko was satisfied that infection around the wound was no longer an issue. He dressed the wound up with more bandages.

"How is he?" Huang asked as he watched Niko treat the child.

"He'll be fine. But we need to get him to a hospital quickly," Niko said calmly. He wasn't very confident of his work, but he was sure he had done his best. Mallorie was very concerned as her son's fate looked gloomy, but trusted Niko's abilities.

Luis assured them that they will soon arrive at the airport. After zipping past the toll booths on the expressway to avoid another scary incident like before, he told everyone now that the only thing that stood between them and the safety of the airport was the zombie-infested Dukes borough. It was the final run for all of them.

"Get ready," Luis warned as the car entered Dukes. As Niko and the others prepared their weapons, Mallorie and her son observed the surroundings.

The area was in an extremely bad shape. Corpses of zombies and were everywhere and so was the blood stains. Many buildings were either destroyed or badly damaged. Fires were rampant and the area was very desolate. It looked worse than a war zone. Niko wondered if the military dropped bombs in the area. So far, there wasn't a single live zombie in sight, but things were about to change soon.

"Here they come!" Huang said upon noticing a group of zombies coming in from a nearby alley. It wasn't long before the zombies were gunned down. However, the shooting had attracted more zombies in the vicinity as they heard vicious roars and growls as they drove.

"Don't motherfuckers ever give up?" Luis asked as another horde of the zombies suddenly appeared in front of his Patriot.

"I guess not," Johnny replied as the Patriot ran over the zombies. Blood stained the windshield and the sounds of bones crushing were heard as the wheels of the Patriot ran over them.

After a few minutes of zombie killing, the vehicle reached Cerveza Heights, which was halfway between the airport and Charge Island. Here, the zombies seemed non-existent and a few NOOSE APCs with heavily armed soldiers patrolled the area and ignored them as they scouted the area. At this point, no more zombies appeared as the military controlled the area. All of a sudden, the Patriot stopped moving forward and stalled right in the middle of the road.

"Come on," Luis said as he tried the ignition again and again. "Start up already, you piece of shit." Despite his efforts, the engine refused to start.

"Looks like we're on foot now," Johnny said as he got out of the Patriot. There were no cars nearby the stalled SUV.

Luis proceeded to open the bonnet of the car. Hot steam billowed from the engine with a loud hissing sound. When the air was clear again, it was obvious what had happened.

"The radiator's finished," Luis said as he looked at the engine. He had also noticed some oil dripping from the engine.

"Can you get it up and running again?" Mallorie asked as she carried the injured Petar in her arms.

"I can't. I'm sorry," Luis replied regretfully. "There's no water nearby to refill the radiator and a bullet has damaged the engine. We're walking from here."

"Let's get going then," Niko urged. "The sooner we get there the better."

The group began the slow journey to the airport on foot. Moving slowly and cautiously through the Heights, the group came across a tent with a red cross on the roof.

"Army medics, dead ahead!" Johnny said upon noticing a small, dark green tent about 50 metres in front of them.

The tent was set up on an empty parking lot. Niko and Mallorie couldn't believe their luck.

"Wait out here while I check with the guys in there," Niko told the others. Without hesitating, Niko and Mallorie quickly rushed into the tent.

There wasn't much in the tent. As they entered, there were only a couple of doctors, dressed in green army suits and a cap with a Red Cross badge on it, and a few empty beds and a desktop computer near the entrance. The few medical staff in the tent were too busy idling with the computer that they didn't notice Niko and Mallorie come in with the injured Petar.

"Excuse me," Niko asked the one of the medical staff at the computer politely. "We need some help, please."

"Go away. We're busy," one of them replied rudely with his eyes still glued to the monitor.

"Maybe I didn't fucking make myself clear," Niko said as he aimed his carbine at the staff members.

"Ok, ok. What the fuck do you want?" one of the staff members said in fear as he raised his hands in the air.

"I need you to take a look at him," Niko said with the gun still pointed at the medics.

After Niko managed to persuade the medics and had explained everything to them, they instructed Mallorie to put Petar, who was feeling very sleepy, down on one of the nearby empty beds. With gloved hands, they began inspecting Petar's condition. After a few agonizing minutes, the medic told Niko and Mallorie everything.

"Your son is very lucky," he told Mallorie. "The bullet had missed all vital organs in his body as well as major arteries. We've given him a little morphine to ease the pain, but he'll need emergency surgery right away to remove the bullet if he is going to recover."

"Well, what are you waiting for?" Mallorie said. "Do it now!"

"It'll take some time, maybe an hour or more. I recommend doing this at the airport where the security is tighter and you don't have to worry about these zombies here. Besides, we don't really have the right equipment now."

"How do we get there?" Niko asked.

The medic led them to the back of the tent, where a large, blood stained ambulance was. The ambulance had the MS Paramedics livery.

"We've found this near the airport. Thought maybe we could use it to ferry patients since its 'previous owners' have joined the 'other side'."

Niko and Mallorie thought about the situation for a while. Should they perform the surgery now since time is of the essence, but risk a zombie attack? Or should they wait a little longer until they can get him in a more secure area? Niko was getting headaches just by trying to think as he knew that Petar's life was dependant on his choices. Soon, they've made up their mind.

"Take him to the airport now," Niko told the medic.

"Right away," he replied.

It wasn't long before the medics packed up some supplies and loaded Petar on the ambulance before beginning its journey to the airport. Everyone except the two medics rode in the back.

"I must warn you about something," the medic told Niko from the front of the ambulance. "Although the military managed to control the area, they didn't really clean the place up too well. Some of my patients or what used to be my patients still lurk in these areas. Maybe your 'persuading skills' can help keep them off."

"We'll do what we can," Niko replied. "Just focus on getting us to the airport in one piece quickly."

With the blaring sirens, the ambulance left Cerveza Heights and entered the Willis neighbourhood. Willis was the only neighbourhood that the ambulance must cross in order to reach the airport. Although the military controlled Cerveza Heights, Willis was still zombie-infested. The ambulance picked up speed once it entered the area. Unfortunately, the driver forgot to switch off the loud sirens and the noise have attracted groups of zombies to the ambulance. When the ferocious growls and roars of the zombies were heard, they knew it was too late.

"You fucking idiot!" the medic seated at the passenger seat said. "The sirens! You forgot again!"

"I'm sorry," he said nervously as he switched it off. "I don't normally drive patients without the sirens."

From the side mirrors, the driver could see a horde of zombies charging towards the ambulance.

"Keep on driving," Johnny ordered the driver as he kicked opened the two rear doors of the ambulance. "We'll handle this."

Any zombies that attempted to climb into the ambulance from the back were shot in the head. Some managed to get close and even held on to the fleeing ambulance, but Huang's sword made their heads roll.

While the shooting raged on, the ambulance turned to enter an expressway that leads straight to the airport. When the ambulance drove near a Pay 'n' Spray garage, a group of zombies suddenly appeared from the garage and charged at the driver side of the ambulance.

"Look out!" the medic seated on the passenger side alerted, but it was too late. By the time the driver looked at his side window, a zombie had smashed it into pieces with its body and tried to yank the driver out. While struggling, he accidently opened the door. The medic in the passenger seat looked on in horror as his colleague was dragged out of the vehicle by very some very ugly creatures.

"AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!" the driver screamed in terror seconds before he was bitten.

Before the zombies could turn their attention to the passenger, Huang quickly emerged from the back of the ambulance and beheaded all of the zombies, including the corpse that was once the driver.

"Can you drive?" Huang asked the surviving medic. He only shook his head.

"I've never driven anything this big before," he replied meekly.

"Shit! Then, I'm taking the wheel," Huang said as he jumped in. "At least I drove one of these things before."

Huang immediately stepped on the accelerator. The ambulance jerked a little before accelerating forward. As he drove, he locked all the doors to ensure what just happened to the driver doesn't happen to him.

More zombies appeared as they approach the airport, but they were all gunned down before they could pose a serious threat.

"I see the airport!" the surviving medic said upon noticing the terminal building. At this point, no more zombies appeared to assault the ambulance, which was a major relief to everyone, especially Mallorie who had been trying to protect her son as the ambulance drove to the airport.

The once civilian airport now resembled a fortress for the army. The airport was bordered with towering barbed wire fences while heavily armed solders guarded the entry points of the airport. Several Rhino tanks were seen patrolling the airport. Large refugee tents had been set up opposite of the terminal building which was a multi-storey car park. Within the refugee tents, there were medic tents with the Red Cross symbol on the roof.

"Who are you?" one of the soldiers who was guarding one of the south entry points in the gate asked Huang.

"That doesn't matter," Huang replied. "We have an injured man on and he needs medical attention fast." The guard seemed unsatisfied with his answer upon seeing guns in the ambulance.

"We're full. Just go back to where you came from." the guard answered rudely.

Huang tried to explain everything to the guard and the surviving medic also joined in, but the guard would have none of it. He now raised his rifle and aimed it at the ambulance.

"Turn back now before I put some fucking bullets in your brains," he warned. Huang looked at Niko and the rest at the back of the ambulance through a small glass window and soon looked at the medic seated next to him. He had contemplated on leaving. Suddenly, the medic's cell phone had received a text message. After reading it, he smirked before whispering something into Huang's ear.

"Well," the guard said while getting more and more impatient. "Are you gonna do it? Or am I gonna have to turn you into Swiss cheese?"

"I'm going. I'm going," Huang said with a smirk. "But I'm going INSIDE!" He suddenly rushed into the airport.

"Get them!" the guard said. These were his last words as Niko and Johnny immediately opened the back door and fired upon the all guards at the entry point.

"Head into the airport's southern sector quickly!" the medic said urgently. "My air ambulance and crew are waiting over there now."

"What crew?" Niko asked from the back.

"My medical unit from Vice City," he answered.

It seemed that just before the ambulance left. The medic had planned to operate on Petar while in a chopper and airlift him out of Liberty City due to the extremely dangerous situation in Liberty City. He called them before they left. Now, the crew told him that they were ready to leave via a text message.

"Let's get going then," Huang said as he picked up speed. "Southern sector, right?"

The shooting had attracted the attention of various soldiers around the area. A blaring siren soon sounded around the airport. Niko and the rest readied their guns as Huang drove. Some of the soldiers scrambled to get into their tanks. But by the time they were ready to move, the ambulance was already headed for the southernmost gate.

"There's the vehicle!" the soldiers who were guarding the southernmost gate said as the ambulance approached them.

"Take this, you fucks!" Huang said as he did a drive-by at the soldiers with his Uzi SMG to discourage them from shooting.

Once the ambulance zipped past the guards, Luis, Niko and Johnny opened fire on them with their guns.

"So long, pigs!" Johnny taunted as he took down a few soldiers.

Before long, the air ambulance and the medical crew were in sight. The red Maverick helicopter with Red Cross symbols on both sides of the chopper was situated between two white Swift helicopters, which were similar to the ones Yusuf had. Huang quickly parked up next to the red helicopter with the back facing the medics.

"Load him up quickly!" the medic ordered his crew as he carried Petar on a stretcher.

"What did you do? And where is John?" one of the crew members asked.

"Act now. Talk later. John won't be joining us. Let's get moving!" he answered urgently. The crew of four did not ask any more questions after that.

As they loaded, Luis approached Niko.

"Niko," he began. "Where are you heading?"

"To Vice City, why?" he replied.

"This is where we say goodbye," he said solemnly. "I need to go to Los Santos to look after my friends. I'm taking one of these choppers."

"Me too," Johnny said. "I need to see my brothers. We brothers must stick together."

"I'm coming with you," Huang said to Luis. "I still want that money."

"I...I don't know what to say," Niko said while having the same feelings when Kate left. "Thank you so much for helping me."

As they talked, a few jeeps full of soldiers approached the group.

"Get in fast!" the air ambulance pilot said to Niko and Mallorie as he started up his helicopter.

"Go on, we'll cover you," Luis told Niko as he opened fire. Johnny and Huang soon followed.

"I cannot thank you guys enough," Niko said as he boarded the helicopter with Mallorie. "I hope we will meet again."

"I hope I've fulfilled that promise I made to you," Johnny said. "Now get going!"

As the shootout raged on, the air ambulance began gaining altitude. From where he was, Niko also took down a few of the armed guards while the medics tended to his nephew. The team of medics began discussing among themselves on the surgical procedures.

"Hook him up with the life support now!" Niko heard one of the medics say.

Soon, the air ambulance was far away from the airport along with the dangers of gunfire and the surgery was underway. Niko looked around for further threats while Mallorie looked on anxiously at the operation.

"Keep the chopper steady," one of the surgeons said to the helicopter pilot. "We don't need the fucking bullet to be going everywhere as we try to find it."

As the air ambulance flew away from Francis International Airport, Niko spotted a white Swift helicopter heading in the opposite direction of where he was going. He smiled as the helicopter disappeared into the horizon.

"Goodbye, my friends," Niko thought to himself. "I hope we can meet again soon." He took one last look at Liberty City, the city that his cousin had brought him to in order to live the American dream. Memories of Roman flashed in his mind and tears rolled down his cheeks.

"I will look after Mallorie and Petar like they were my own," Niko thought to himself. "Don't worry about it, Roman."

Niko and Mallorie now watched anxiously as the surgery took place. Some complications arose when they found out that the wound looked infected, which worried the two of them further.

"Where's that antiseptic?" the lead surgeon asked.

After an hour into the flight, the surgery finally was complete. Despite some minor complications, the surgery was successful and the medics breathed a sigh of relief. There was no infection and Petar was safe. When Niko was shown the dented bullet that caused the damage, he threw it out of the helicopter.

"My life of crime had hurt so many who are close to me," he said. "I'm giving this life up."

Petar was asleep after the surgery while Mallorie sat close to him. The medics had given him a bit of morphine to ease some of the pain after surgery.

"He'll be alright," the surgeon told Niko and Mallorie while feeling relieved. "He'll need a couple of weeks of rest, but he'll recover."

Soon, Escobar International Airport, Vice City's International Airport, appeared over the horizon.

"Vice City coming up," the pilot said as he slowed down and prepared to land.

Niko and Mallorie looked at the city as the sun set. Petar was starting to regain consciousness and was calling for his mother.

As the helicopter began to land on the airport, Niko saw Kate waiting anxiously with Bernie. Little Jacob was also standing next to them

"A new beginning," Niko thought to himself as the helicopter landed. "I hope."