Disclaimer: I don't own anything. XD
Author's note: It's been a while since I wrote a fic so bear with me, okay? XP The story is set in the 3rd installment, Extinction, assuming that Alice wasn't tracked to the motel and that everybody survived the stint in Vegas.
Thanks to all those who bothered to R&R. I hope you do so again. XD
Oh, and single-quotes are thoughts, double-quotes are spoken. Just in case anyone gets confused. :P
This is an edited version of chapter 2. I just added a few things near the end. :)
Those two words echoed in her head. It was as if she were in a cave. But this wasn't a cave, she could tell as much after she opened her eyes.
There was a ceiling and a couple of pillars. Wires swayed and produced sparks each time they touched. There were light bulbs flickering above her. The walls were covered with peeling wallpaper. There were curtains partially covering shattered windows. And there was the sun peeking through broken glass.
It was then that she realized she was lying on the floor.
She was on her side, surrounded by chips of shattered wood and concrete. She tried to move but her body ached and her head throbbed making her see stars. She tried again but only succeeded in giving herself a migraine. It hurt so bad she could barely keep her eyes open. She clutched the back of her head only to find something warm and sticky. She looked at her hand and saw blood.
It was a few seconds later that she found herself slowly losing consciousness. She could hear blood rushing through veins, a chorus of low moans, and a voice.
The voice was so familiar she tried to hold on a while longer. She tried to make out what it was saying. It seemed like it was calling out. It was calling out a name. She realized that she knew that name as her eyelids became heavy. That was her name. She willed herself to stay awake but her body wouldn't comply. The voice got louder, so she tried to answer back but no sound came out. Darkness frayed at the edges of her vision as the silhouette of a person came running towards her. She tried to make out who it was but everything was hazy, then, everything went black. But still the voice was there, still calling out, calling out her name.
Blue eyes shot open.
Claire had been lying across the front of the Hummer before fighter's instincts had her sitting upright with a gun in hand, aiming at the open window where a frightened girl stepped back from the door with her hands up. "Claire, wait! Don't shoot. It's me, K-Mart."
Claire felt her entire body trembling, for what reason, she wasn't sure. It must have something to do with her dream. With a heavy sigh, she lowered her gun. "Sorry, K-Mart. What is it?"
"You asked me to tell you when the perimeter's set up."
"Oh, right." Claire could still hear blood rushing through her veins. She righted herself, sitting properly in the driver's seat. "Thanks."
K-Mart looked at Claire with concern. "Are you okay? Did you have a bad dream?"
Claire leaned back and closed her eyes. "You could say that."
When K-Mart didn't move from her spot, Claire looked at her and smiled. "I'm fine, K-Mart. You can go, and sorry about the–", Claire waved her gun.
"It's okay. At least, you didn't shoot me, right?" K-Mart gave Claire a sheepish smile, who answered back with a laugh, "Right."
Soon after, Claire was left alone with her thoughts. She tried her best to remember what it was she was dreaming about, but all she could make out were columns and flickering lights, and the pain.
A little while later, Claire had had enough of picking her own brain and decided to take a walk. She eased herself out of her truck, clutching the door as she felt a bout of vertigo coming on. "Damn it." She breathed in and out slowly and pretty soon her lightheadedness started to fade. But it was quickly replaced by an unsettling feeling that was promptly dismissed and blamed on her dream. Claire purposefully walked towards one of the campfires only to be greeted by a sense of déjà vu as she took in the scene before her.
She found Alice sitting by the campfire, staring intently at the dying flames. She couldn't help but think that this had happened before and it made her a little anxious. But Claire wasn't really one to believe in things like déjà vu, so she just toughened it out and hoped that this was just a coincidence. "You know, if you stare at it a while longer, you just might make the flames big again."
Claire's words stole Alice from her reverie. Alice was somewhat startled. Claire realized that she must have been in really deep thought. Alice blinked a few times, getting rid of any trace of fear? Or doubt? Claire couldn't put her finger on it, so instead she just finished her first statement, "but knowing you, that might not be too far off."
Alice laughed. It sounded forced. "True," then silence. "Can't sleep?"
Claire took a seat beside Alice, "Yeah, you?"
"Yeah, me neither."
"Hey Claire", the latter turned to the source of the voice. "Thanks for not running me out of here."
It was now Claire's turn to laugh. Alice stared at her, surprised. "What? What did I say?"
"Sorry, it's just that you, of all people, can obviously force me to let you stay here, you know."
Alice looked pensive. "I know. But staying here and being wanted to stay here are two very different things. I mean, after the motel and Vegas, I figured…" a shrug.
"You're right, sorry." A sigh, "You're welcome." The two smiled at each other.
The night was so peaceful, that the girls soon found themselves talking about random stuff like clothes ("I think I've had on the same outfit since this all started."), food ("I don't really talk about it, but sometimes I crave cake, like I imagine cake dancing in front of my eyes. Creepy, I know."), and boys ("Who? Carlos? Yeah, right." "Oh, come on. It's not like there are a lot of them left to choose from."). The light-hearted chatting had Claire ignoring that bad feeling nagging her ever since Alice thanked her about staying with the convoy.
That was until Carlos approached the campfire to tell them about what Mikey saw on the monitors.
Claire could hear Carlos' words in her head even before he said them. It made her nauseous. As Alice stood up to go see the feed for herself, she noticed Claire go pale. "Claire, are you okay?"
"We have to pack up, now."
"What are you talking about?" Carlos looked confused.
Claire stood up and put out the campfire. Visions of hundreds of the infected running towards them, Alice on the Hummer's roof throwing dynamite, and both her and Alice standing on an apartment building roof with no ammo flooded Claire's head. It shook her to the core. "I'll explain later, just get everyone into their vehicles as soon as possible. We have to leave before they get any closer."
Alice became as confused as Carlos, "Before who gets any closer?"
The question was answered by hair-raising screams followed by the thunderous sound of hundreds of feet running.
"No, it's too soon." Alice and Carlos couldn't help but to look incredulously at Claire. "Let's go! Tell everyone to head south when they're ready to leave."
The three dashed to different directions, putting out campfires and helping the others get their things and themselves into the trucks. One after the other, the vehicles sped away from the site, heading south, as Claire had instructed. Claire's truck was the last to leave.
Claire was deep in thought as she drove, trying to remember any other important detail from her visions that might help them. She didn't want to rely on visions, but she didn't really have anything else to work with. The situations aren't identical, but they were close enough. Claire then remembered the dynamite.
Claire looked over to the girl riding with her. "K-Mart, there's dynamite in the back. Light some up and throw it behind us." K-Mart's eyes widened. "You want me to do what?" "Well, yeah, unless you want to drive." K-Mart paused for a second, and then rummaged through the things in the backseat and found the dynamite. Claire tossed her a lighter. But before K-Mart could light any of the explosives, something happened that never did in Claire's vision.
The earth shook violently. In the middle of being hunted down by a huge pack of flesh-eating monsters, Claire's convoy experienced an earthquake so strong that it managed to tear the ground apart. Little by little, land opened up to reveal a dark void that almost seemed to swallow you just from looking at it.
And it did just that to the vehicles ahead of Claire's.
One by one, the trucks fell into what looked like a bottomless pit. Claire watched helplessly as she heard K-Mart screaming. Their truck soon followed suite and they plunged into the darkness.
At that time, Claire submitted to the inevitable, closing her eyes. Of all the things she could die from, she never imagined it to be anywhere near what was currently happening. She always thought she would go out swinging, guns a blazing, and guts splattering. But this: this was going down slow, literally. Claire felt her body falling and her consciousness fading.
It wasn't long until Claire got stirred awake by sudden movement. It was clearly unexpected, judging by the fact that just minutes ago she fell into a pit, while in her truck, in the middle of a desert. She didn't seem to have the strength to open her eyes though, so she just paid attention to what her other senses offered. She could hear quick footstep while swaying slowly, left and right. She guessed that she was being carried fireman-style, since her midsection was a bit sore. Then there was the cocking of a gun and bullets went flying. Her carrier picked up pace and soon, she was set down on something that felt cold, like…
Claire could still hear gunshots and her company had walked away from her. And then she noticed that something smelled like it was burning. It was getting closer and closer. She could hear a voice, that voice from her dream, calling her.
Finally, blue eyes shot open.
The first thing they saw was a handgun near her head. She grabbed it, rolled on her back and then aimed at the burning zombie that was lurking behind her. Because of panic, pain, and confusion, Claire emptied the magazine into the cannibal's head.
Claire's breathing was labored. She struggled to sit up. She could feel blood flow from her head, down her back. She looked around and saw that she seemed to be in some kind of storage room with a huge hole in one of the walls. Through the hole, she saw fire. And then there was Alice by the door, handling an M16.
When things seemed to settle down, Alice shut the heavy metal door and walked towards Claire. She noticed Claire eyeing the rifle. "I'll explain later. First we need to patch you up."
Claire was still a bit groggy, but managed to form one coherent question:
"What the hell happened?"
R&R please. :)