Kiz was suspicious. It was in her nature to be so; and with the way that the newcomer to their group had disposed of the shambler. The knowing where exactly to place the bullet, the lack of hesitation for firing. There was something about him that had caught her and John off guard. Isabelle had been to busy screaming and panicking to notice that something was amiss between her colleagues.
She chastised herself, she should have known better than to trust a stranger. Especially one so evasive about himself as he was. The silence that befell the car was stifling and she would be glad when they came to the next small population centre so that they could ditch this car for one that had a window still intact.
"You were saying?" Kiz finally broke the silence.
Rambo finally lowered the gun from the window, the serious mood to his emotions was etched in his features. His expression didn't lighten as he looked away from the broken window. "Prison." He announced to them all his last remembered abode, but as usual further elaboration wasn't given. His knack for giving single word answers wasn't lost on Kiz. She was already trying to make up her mind about the man, trying to piece together his past. She had thought she'd gotten the right end of the stick until he'd come out with that one.
"You're a con?" Isabelle asked, she'd finally sat back down in her seat and managed to calm down a bit. She gave a glance to Kiz, who tried to give her a reassuring smile. It didn't mean much coming from her.
"Can I have my gun back please?" Kiz asked, once again taking her eyes off the straight road to look into the passenger seat. Holding her hand out for the weapon. Terrible timing for the two questions to come out. The gun was put into her outstretched hand and she settled it on her lap.
"Your clip's spent." The stoic voice of the newcomer informed her.
Picking up the gun again Kiz ejected the clip onto her knee and passed the handgun to Isabelle who put a new one in for her and then returned the handgun to the glove box. The empty clip was thrown out of the smashed window in the back. No point keeping it with them.
"What were you in for?" John asked Rambo, giving the stranger all his attention. This was something that they needed to hear if they were to entrust him with their lives.
"I don't want to talk about it." Rambo replied. The events that had landed him doing hard labour were not something that he talked about openly with many and this rag-tag bunch of strangers had done little for him to divulge such private information.
"Does it matter?" Kiz asked, giving some support to the stranger, of for no other reason than being able to related to having something of a secretive past. She was never one to speak on her past; she'd not done anything that would have her ending up doing time. Not in modern society, but there were things about her that she was not proud of. They could all feel the rising tension between them and she had to diffuse it somehow. Giving a look in the rear and side mirrors she started to bring the car down to a halt.
"I need to stretch my legs." She announced, she then opened the car door and got out of the car. She looked over the vehicle, it looked in a rather sorry state now that the window had been broken and she sighed. She then opened the passenger seat so that she and John could switch places. She'd been driving for about an hour too long now, and while they didn't entirely know where they were going they had somewhere in mind. What they would find when they got there they didn't know.
"The last broadcast we heard that there was a safe route out of the US in Florida. One of the smaller airports took over exporting people after the larger ones got taken out." Kiz explained, trying to keep the man filled in on what their aims and objectives of the trip were. "We started off in Seattle." she added with a small shrug.
"Taken you a long time to get this far." Rambo told them. A fact of which they were all painfully aware. John got out of the back seat and moved to the open door of the front. Switching places with Kiz so that he could take over the drive.
"We've ran into complications along the way." Kiz explained as she sat down next to him. Moving the back that had been on the floor of the car between the two of them, serving as a barrier. "We didn't have a car at first, not one big enough for us all anyway. Our minibus became compromised as we had one of the infected with it. We have had to stop constantly for supplies. Food, water and sleep. I figured a slow and steady pace would keep us alive longer than rushing." She explained further. "You also slowed us down." She stated coldly without intending the tone to her voice. She closed the door finally and as soon as John had done the same they were on their way again.
"We need a new car." John stated, a silence had fallen and it was a common theme among the group to break silences by speaking about what needed to be done, even if it was stating the obvious. "That broken window won't be any protection if we're attacked." He elaborated his reasoning. It was his way of telling the group that they needed to keep an eye out for anything that might be useful.
Kiz nodded silently. "We all need some sleep." she added to the statement. They'd all been awake for over a day now and she knew that she was getting tired therefore the same must have been said for the other members of the group. She wasn't so certain about Rambo, but the ordeal was overwhelming for the most sane of people who'd witnessed it from the beginning she couldn't begin to understand how he was dealing with the information. "If you find one, a roadside motel should provide both." She offered the suggestion. They'd slept in a motel before now and the arrangement had worked out just fine, it was something that she was more than willing to risk again, as long as it was beneficial to their group. Rest was always a benefit.
It didn't take the group long to find another garage, with the one behind them a long time in the distance they brought the car to a stop once again. It was John who stayed behind this time, and kept the cars engine ticking over. Although their objective was to replace the old car, they could still use it if they needed to make that hasty get away again.
Kiz picked the gun out of the glove box as Isabelle got out of the car, chambering the round from the clip that had been inserted.
"You only have one gun?" Rambo questioned.
"Yes." Kiz replied seeing where the conversation was going already, she held the gun out towards him. It was better to avoid an argument and raised voices while they were vulnerable outside.
John didn't see the same view of the situation as Kiz did. "Kiz you can't trust him?" he questioned her actions, watching the well built man taking the gun from her outstretched hand. The look on John's face was one of sheer disbelief for the womans action. She looked back to the car and the man in the driving seat.
"Can't I?" She returned the question her hand once again moving to the tags at her chest. She felt a strange kinship with the estranged man despite her mind telling her she should feel otherwise. She moved away from the car finally, leading the way to the garage. Isabelle to one side of her, Rambo to the other. She took off on a jog towards the entrance of the garage. She made a motion with her hand towards a car off to the side of the garage. A little ways off from where the mechanics worked on the tasks they'd been set. Rambo nodded to her, and went to check out the car. Kiz headed in the other direction after leaning in to Isabelle, whispering to her. "Check the shop, I'll find the keys."
She looked to Rambo as he inspected the car, he painted a fine portrait. Well muscled, clearly strong and she was certain that he could hold his own without them. She found herself frowning to her own thoughts on him though still trying to remain guarded towards him. Even though he was military, he had been a convict. She'd given him their only gun as well. Her attention turned back to the mechanics garage and stalked closer to the open shutters cautiously. Across the other side of the open shutters Rambo joined her.
"Ford, in working order." He informed her. Giving her the barest detail that she needed to find the keys for the car. She could hot-wire the auto-mobile but it was an unreliable solution, if a car was needed in a hurry it was best to have the keys for it. They both dipped underneath the shutter in time with one another. His weapon raised for anything that could be moving inside the garage. It was quiet aside the low buzzing of flies, there was a corpse somewhere in the building. Kiz picked up a wrench that had been thrown away from the car, rather having something heavy in her hand to cave a soft skull in with than nothing at all.
Rambo stalked ahead of her, looking about the place quickly. Silently he pointed towards where the office was up some metal stairs. Using military training he signalled her to follow. Instantly she fell back into the role of what felt like a previous life and took the rear guard. Side stepping so that she could keep an eye on any future signals from him as well as the rest of the garage. Their feet sounded loud on the metal steps and she wasn't surprised when she was given the order to freeze. Her feet stopped abruptly and she looked to Rambo with slight confusion, the signal from him to lower herself and watch from where she stood clarified instantly in her mind. It was her turn to play look out on the balcony while he went for the keys in the office.
The office was messy, like there had been a struggle. Papers were strewn all over the place and a half eaten rotting sandwich was on the desk. Rambo moved round the desk, pulling some of the draws open, looking for anything that might aid their survival. He picked out another handgun from the draw, ejecting the clip and slamming it back in. There was only a few shots left in the weapon, but it was put in the back of his trousers. Already in the frame of mind for the fight, the killer than he'd been programmed to be. He resented the fact that even in this twisted mess he felt most at home.
He felt lied to, there was more to the woman than she was letting on. It was more than obvious that she had military training. The signals he'd used were not general knowledge when it came to civilians.
He picked up some of the papers from the desk, looking for the keys that they needed and found them and another set of Ford keys together. Picking them both up he left the office once more to the low groaning of a shambler.
Kiz signalled to him, two fingers raised. She motioned to her eyes then pointed across the garage, alerting him to where the enemies were. They were slow moving, shuffling along towards them. He looked across the garage the handgun raised once again. Aim carefully taken as the two shots that fired found their marks expertly. Another two heads exploding outwards in a fan of gore. The fluid movement of the two shots hinting at Rambos expert ability to handle the weapon. She made another hand motion towards him. Her fist clenched as she stood from where she had been crouching, bringing her fist towards her body telling him to hurry after her as she powered herself down the stairs in a run, her feet slamming on the metal; her fist tight around the wrench as if the metal lump would save her life.
As she breached the shutter doors she felt a sigh of relief escape her, she'd been certain that the sound of the weapon would've alerted the faster variants to their position. Her head abruptly turned as she heard a scream from the gas-station shop. Isabelle! She broke into a run again heading towards the shop, panic overtaking her usual level head.
"Kiz!" Rambo shouted towards her, taking the second gun from his trousers and throwing it her way. "Seven shots, make them count." he told her heading towards the parked Ford.
Kiz caught the gun in her hands and nodded to his back before heading towards where the scream had shouted. She raised her hand towards the parked red car that John was in, looking alarmed and as though he was going to get out of the car. "Stay there." Kiz shouted loudly to him. As she approached the door to the shop, it burst open and Isabelle ran out. Kiz quickly put her arm around the womans shoulder steering her towards her position by the door. "How many?" She asked the spooked woman.
"Just the one, it came out of no where." Isabelle answered, panting, tears falling down her face.
Kiz nodded and looked through the open door. "Are you bit?" She asked Isabelle, giving her a brief look back to her. The intensity of her look piercing.
"No, No." Isabelle assured her and once again Kiz felt the relief, their conversation was interrupted as the sound of a second car engine sputtered to life. Rambo had gotten the Ford going, the second thing called a halt to the talking was the door to the shop opening. Large bodied man walked from the store, half of his face and body was missing and rotten. The smell of the man made Kiz feel sick, the bile in her stomach turning. She'd never get used to them. Her weapon raised and she fired, hitting the man in the stomach, Isabelle puling on her other arm towards the new car. John had left the old one and was running full sprint towards the Ford. The handgun fired again, slowing the undead monster down a fraction, the third bullet exploded the head of the shuffler.
Kiz's eyes widened in horror. "Run!" She screamed to Isabelle, pushing the woman off her arm. The field behind the garage was strewn with the shamblers, their fast ace heading towards the group. Kiz turned on her heels and ran her own full sprint towards the car, the door of which was open and waiting for them.
John made it first into the back seat. "Come on!" he shouted to Isabelle as she flagged behind, burdened with the pack of goodies she'd pilfered. Kiz slowed in her sprint so that the other woman could catch up with her. The handgun held out behind her and she fired over her shoulder. The bullet landing in one of the legs of the shamblers, stopping it from being able to chase them. With the renewed space gave them time to get up to the car. Kiz turned and fired again, the shot missing the mark, allowing Isabelle to get into the car first.
"Drive!" Kiz yelled as she got one foot into the cars passenger seat, Rambo didn't need telling twice and the car did a loud squealing wheel spin. The car slipped as Kiz slammed the door shut. "Drive!" she screamed at Rambo, looking to him panicked. The Ford suddenly lurched to the side as the gear changed, speeding them off once again away from the shambling hordes that were chasing them.
Kiz let out a sign of relief as she relaxed a moment on the seat of the new car. "That was too close." She whispered to herself. In the back seat John put his arm around Isabelles shoulder and she lent against him sobbing in fear and relief. "Everyone all right?" She asked.
"Yeah." John replied comforting Isabelle between her sobs.
"Is?" Kiz pressed the girl to answer.
Isabelle nodded and answered. "I'm fine." Her break was raspy and the was shocked after the ordeal, but she would be all right.
"How about you?" Kiz turned to the silent man at the wheel of their new car.
Rambo nodded, not taking his eyes off the road. Although their ordeal had been something they'd all gotten through together, it had raised more questions about one another than it had answered. The feeling of trust still not complete. He didn't look to Kiz as she asked her question because he didn't want to face her. Didn't want to let his ire rise to much with her, he had to keep his anger in check even though he was frustrated to high hell with her lack of answers, yet despite it all he found that they had worked well together. Their minds had worked like a unit without even trying or speaking about it. He'd not worked that well with anyone for years. His mixed thoughts on the woman confused him so he avoided eye contact with her for it.
Kiz moved her gaze from him and looked ahead, watching the country side without interest. Her mind thinking of what awaited them, they still needed to get that sleep but with her nerves shot like they were she wasn't certain they should risk another stop.
"What about you?" Rambo returned the question to her, and she gave him another glance and just smiled.