I was riding piggy back on 10K as we neared the coordinates of the CDC, where we would finish our mission to deliver Murphy.

I would actually miss the guy if that made any sense. I could tell he was scared about his future the further we got. It was written all over his face. He caught me staring at him and rolled his eyes at me, matching my stare. I ignored his attempt at throwing me attitude and instead, I gave him a genuine smile. It took him a moment to process but eventually, he returned the gesture and it was just as genuine.

I planted a few small kisses on 10K's neck as he trotted along. He smiled back at me.

"Do you guys ever stop?" Addy laughed, smacking my ass as she walked by.

I hopped off 10K and ran a few paces to catch up with her. "So, the mission is almost complete. Any big plans?"

"Oh you know, go to Vegas, win big and blow it all on Cocaine and women." She replied with a smile.

"That sounds like an adventure! Don't count me out." I replied.

Her face fell for a moment as realization fell in. "If Mack was still here, I'd make him dress up as Elvis, I would tease my hair out and we would get married in a cheesy chapel."

"I wouldn't miss it for the world." I wrapped my arm around her shoulders.

"This is supposed to be the place." Warren's voice held shock when we came upon an old wooden shop.

"Clearly, there's no military here. It looks like we missed them, time to go." Murphy tried to walk away but Vasquez stepped in his way.

We came this far and we all decided it was worth a shot. Our guns were ready as we stepped up to the door of the shop. Vasquez swung it open and we expected to see a room full of undead. Instead, we found ourselves faced with a stout little women who was standing behind the counter.

"Welcome, would you like some tea?" She asked in a polite voice.

Certainly, this was more than weird and all of us were being cautious. This just didn't feel right. The place was definitely old and run down but stocked in the ways of farming tools and there was food.

We all sat down with our tea and were filled in on this little operation. Apparently, this was the place that was looking for The Murphy. The women went by Auntie and she was pretty badass. Hopelessly, many people have been through here passing off sick and weird people as The Murphy and Auntie had to fight them off.

10K's fingers were laced with mine as we shared a cup of tea. His hands were warm and rough and I didn't mind one bit. When I was with 10K I felt better than I had in a long time but still, there was always a feeling of emptiness. I'm sure we all felt it.


"WE GOT YOUR MURPHY AND WE ARE HERE TO COLLECT." A voice shouted from the other side of the door.

Auntie explained to us that they were bounty hunters trying to fake her out. With a pull of a lever, she revealed her impressive gun collection.

Before we were all prepared, gun fire began. We were all ducking low and using old furniture as shields. We were half successful at finding good shots through the cracks in the boarded up windows.

"Be smart!" Vasquez ordered as we moved about, finding new targets.

I was reloading my gun when I felt my body fill with pressure. I could feel the burst of energy in my hands and feet. The only way I could explain the episode was to say all my pent up emotions were trying to escape my physical body. This was all triggered by the sound of gun fire, which caused giant frustration. I loathed being involved in yet another shoot out with living people. My gun was loaded and I looked up at 10K who was standing a few inches away from me, trying to get a good shot with his sniper rifle. I turned to face the window, my gun resting on the lower piece of wood in a crack. As I was trying to get a good shot, I saw a man aiming his large gun into the small wooden shack. I turned noticing exactly where the bullet was about to head. I left my gun on the floor as I jumped up from my sitting position and stood in the path of 10K's rifle.

"Cora, get down! I was about to shoot." That was the last thing I heard in full volume. 10K's voice.

The man had fired his gun and as I saw beforehand, his bullet was headed straight for Tommy. I blocked its path with my own body. As I laid there, in a puddle of blood, I knew I would never have it play out any differently. Life became blurry, shapes were meshing with other shapes and before long all I could see were shades of different colors. There were no solids left. The buzzing that took over was deafening. Although, I couldn't really tell if I was hearing a buzzing noise or if the silence was just that loud.

I felt someone grab my hand and grip it tight. That's all I could feel as I closed my eyes. I wasn't fighting hard, to be honest I wasn't fighting at all. The bullet had made it through my chest and there was no way to reverse the hard lead piercing my heart.

My actions were for 10K but I would be lying if I said I didn't do this for myself also. Some people were cut out for this kind of world but I would never be one of them. I didn't want to fight other people for my survival. I didn't value my survival enough to make that effort. These people were meant to be here, surviving, helping people and completing missions I couldn't care much less about. I loved 10K and I hoped he understood that but I couldn't fully love him, not now, not ever because I didn't fully love myself. The emptiness inside of me was mean and raw, it was something that could engulf my whole being some days without a warning.

I'd be lying again if I said I didn't want it to be this way, because I did. Eventually, it would have been either way. So, dying in place of someone that I love, someone who cares and who is capable of making a change in a world that has gone to hell. Yes. That death is a death I would take any day.

Now, let's just hope someone gives me mercy.

A/N: Thank you to everyone who have and will review, read and favorite this story. It means a lot that I could write something that even one other person enjoyed.