This part is short, but I think it wraps things up nicely. Thanks to everyone who cheered me on during the writing of this story! It's been a blast.
Not of Your World
The hunter was waiting on top of the bridge, just inside the raised bridge. He had taken refuge behind two cars that were parked side by side. A corpse leaning on one cars horns had had made the car honk until the infected had ripped it literally to pieces.
The thought came in passing, like a thought that is, or was once, common place. One he didn't even acknowledge until quite a few seconds later; Cole. Cole… his name was Cole.
"Cole," he said, letting it roll on his tongue. It felt right, it felt familiar, and he knew it was true. His name was Cole… His name was Cole! He had remembered it!
He smiled despite himself.
"Boy, we are immune as shit!" Coach's irritated voice yelled, pulling the hunter, Cole, from his thoughts. This was it. He had seen the other humans on the other side of the bridge loading the plane, preparing for takeoff. Cole had known the moment he saw it that this was the only way his humans, as he had come to think of them, would escape. Ellis was the only one who knew about him, but it didn't matter. He had been protecting all of them. He'd be damned if they died after coming this far.
They were making their way down the bridge slower than any of them would have liked. They shot at the infected as they came from both sides of the bridge, growling, snarling, doing what a normal infected does. They were thirsty for blood.
"Reloading!" Ellis shouted over the chaos.
"Me too!" followed Rochelle.
He felt it around his leg, but he was ready this time. Ellis grabbed the katana from his back and swiped at the Smoker's tongue before it could even pull. "Fuck you," he snarled, shooting at it with his reloaded pistol, followed by a large puff of black toxic smoke.
"Ellis!" a different voice shouted. Hunter, Ellis identified in a hurry.
He swirled around and almost bumped right in to his hunter friend, "You need to pay more attention," he said, "Your friends have already left."
Ellis blinked, then scoffed, "I need to pay attention!? They need to pay attention!" He shouted, trying to push past the hunter.
"One more thing," the Hunter said as Ellis started to walk away, "My name is Cole."
The mechanic stopped in his track, "You remembered?"
Cole smiled to Ellis' back, "No time to chat, Ellis. You need to get a move on."
"Grrraahhh!" The tank roared one last time, falling to its knees in a pool of blood.
"Almost out of ammo," Ellis panted, his legs feeling like jelly. He took the adrenaline shot out of his pocket and tossed it over to Nick, who was about to keel over.
"Me too," Rochelle gasped, falling to her knees. "I don't know if I can make it."
"Hey now," Ellis started, "There'll be none of that talk, not when we're close." At that moment, a duffle bag landed at Ellis' feet, "Son of a bitch!" he yelled, surprised. "Who did that?"
Coach blinked. "Not me."
Nick shook his head, "Me neither."
Which left only one possibility, "Show off…" Ellis murmured.
Inside the duffle bag was ammo for each of their weapons.
They were running now, running as fast as they could, which wasn't terribly fast after all they had been through.
"A little further, just a little further," He kept panting over and over. He fired at the infected as they rushed them. Gunfire, grenades, Molotov's, that was what they were; a wrecking ball of infected destruction, mowing them down to reach their goal.
A hunter pounced on him, tearing at his back, "Fucking-!"
Cole pounced back, pushing the other hunter from Ellis' body.
"Go!" Cole shouted.
"Thanks!" Ellis shouted, coaxing the other survivors to continue.
Ellis stopped at the base of the planes ramp, turning when he felt a presence. Cole stood just behind him, looking very content. He had a long, seeping wound on his left cheek. It had to be painful.
"Come with us!" Ellis shouted over the roar of the engines.
Cole smiled, shaking his head, "There is no place for me where you're going."
"This is my world now. The only thing I can do is help others escape it."
They stared at each other for a long moment, the three unsure of how to react. Cole couldn't blame them. A talking infected? He still had trouble with the thought.
Ellis stepped down the ramp, and wrapped his arms around Cole, "Thank you."
Cole returned the embrace quickly, and pushed Ellis away, "Go."
Ellis hesitantly made his way back inside the carrier, looking over his shoulder as the storage closed, "Don't die on me!" he yelled as it closed. Cole smiled again.
The hunter, once human, turned around to face the world he was now a part of.
They never saw each other again, after that.