setting: episode 4 "Killer Within"


Damnation

Chapter 20 - Invasion


When they opened the door to the stairs that led them back outside they could see how the others were moving all the cars around. T-Dog was busy parking Rick's van, and when they looked over to the other side of the fences they could see that Rick, Daryl and Glenn were getting firewood. Connor had let go of Herschel, now that he saw that the old man was pretty steady on his feet. Beth and Lori were still trying to help him, and when the Irishman noticed how Lori was trying to walk down the stairs backwards he approached her.

"Hey, no walking backwards. Especially not down the stairs. What if ye trip and fall down. Yer fucking pregnant" he admonished her and Herschel nodded.

"It's fine. I can walk by myself."

Lori stepped back and let the Irishman go first.

"I got you here if you need it" Rick's wife reassured Herschel and waited for him and Connor to pass her so she could walk down the stairs after them.

"Just take your time on these steps" Beth said and placed her hand on her father's back.

The old man almost lost his balance and Connor held him in place with a grunt. He grabbed Herschel by his shoulder and arm and tried to help him down the stairs.

"Nah, women, eh? We got this. Don't worry. Just hop down. I had a sprained ankle once, ye know? After I jumped off a roof. And I remember how fuckin hard it was t'get up some stairs. Needed my brother t'help me as well. So I can feel yer pain, Herschel. But you are one tough fucker, I give ye that."

Herschel looked at him with an angry frown.

"Watch your tongue, boy. There's kids around us."

Connor smirked and looked at Lori and Carl who were right behind them. Herschel wasn't the first to complain about his choice of words, Rick's wife had given him more than one lecture on the whole topic. She pointed at him and placed a hand on her belly.

"She can hear you as well. You better stop or we won't let you anywhere near her. Don't spoil my children."

The Irishman chuckled.

"Don't worry, Lori. I already had a talk with yer boy. I told him not t'swear like me or else I'm gonna tell ye his secrets. I got everything under control with the kids."

"I told you not to tell her!" Carl protested and Connor chuckled, remembering the talk they'd had back at the warehouse just a couple of days before the prison. He ruffled Carl's hair and then grinned even more when he saw how much the boy hated that.

"You cleared all those bodies out?" Herschel interrupted them when they reached the ground.

"It's starting to look like a place we could really live in" he noticed and Connor let go of him to light a cigarette.

He put it in his mouth with a smile on his face, but when he noticed the look Lori was giving him and how she was rubbing her belly he let go of the cigarette and growled.

"Yes, mother.." he murmured and approached the gate in front of them when he saw Daryl on the other side of the property. His friend, Rick and Glenn were carrying even more firewood inside. There still hadn't been a chance to talk ever since their fight this morning, and right now he regretted that he had decided to stay with Herschel and the girls for a bit. The whole searching for firewood thing would have been the perfect opportunity to talk, but now it looked like they would have to wait until they were actually burning the bodies.

"Hey, watch your step. Last thing we need is you falling" he heard Lori say and turned around again to look how Herschel was doing.

The old man was making his way across the yard easily.

"You're doing great, Daddy" Beth complimented her father and Herschel smiled at her.

"He's a natural that one!" Connor agreed and Lori placed a hand on the old man's arm with a smile.

Herschel looked at the Irishman then and nodded.

"Thank you for this. I was going crazy in there" he said and nodded at the crutches.

The blonde shrugged with a smirk on his face.

"Well, that's what we do here, aye? Help each other. You helped me when I was sick, 'n now 'm helping ye. Goes without saying, old man."

Herschel frowned.

"I already told you, I'm not that old, boy" he said and chuckled. The Irishman raised an eyebrow.

"I'm in my late thirties, doesn't exactly make me a boy either, don't ye think?"

"Have you been so cheeky when your father was around?"

Connor grinned even more.

"Of course!"

Everyone was approaching the others now. Maggie, Carol and T-Dog had parked their cars in front of the fence and were now entering the yard with grins on their faces. Carl looked at Beth's father with a smirk on his face.

"Ready to race, Herschel?" he asked and the old man turned his head to look at the boy.

"Give me another day. I'll take you on."


Daryl held the fence open so Glenn and Rick could step inside. They had been getting firewood from the forest right next to the prison, and now that he had spent some time on his own he wasn't so angry anymore either. He tried his hardest not to think about the previous night, and with all the things they had to do it actually seemed to work. He was checking their environment when he noticed the rest of the group by the cell block. He saw how Connor and Lori were trying to help limping Herschel. The old man was using the crutches they had found, and although the sight of them still made Daryl furious and angry he couldn't help but smile. At least they're doing someone some good he thought and snorted. "Looky here" he murmured and nodded at the small group opposite them. Glenn stepped through the hole and looked up. He dropped the wood and laughed happily.

"Now he's one tough son of a bitch" Glenn remarked and Daryl snorted once more.

"Yeah, well looks like this stupid leprechaun was right about it after all."

Rick dropped the wood as well and stepped closer with a smile on his face. Daryl and Glenn followed him.

"All right, Herschel!" Glenn suddenly yelled and Daryl hushed him.

"Keep your cheers down" he reminded him and nodded at the walkers that had been following them ever since their trip to the woods.

"Oh, man. Can't we just have one good day?" Glenn murmured and Daryl snorted.

"Day sure's a hell lotta better than yesterday" he growled and grabbed his wrists absently.

He still hadn't told anyone any details on what had happened the night before. He and Connor had agreed that they would keep it to themselves so they wouldn't scare the others. For a second they just watched the others on the other side of the property, and once Herschel was steady enough Connor turned around as well. Daryl stepped closer to the fence and looked at his friend, and after a couple of seconds the Irishman seemed to notice him, too. The hunter believed to see a smile on his friend's face, then Connor pointed at Herschel, presenting him like they were walking down some red carpet.

See this? This was my idea and it worked. It's doing its job. It's doing us good.

Daryl snorted and shook his head. He didn't even need to hear him talk, he could read his friend's body language and facial expressions all too well now.

Fucker. Still doesn't change a thing.

He tried to be angry with his friend, but somehow he just couldn't right now. Because everyone was so happy, because Herschel had survived a bite and was getting better. Because they were back home. Because they were with people, friends. Because there were fences all around them and the place was starting to look cleaner and better. Maybe everything was going to be better now. Last night outside had been horrible, but he had survived. Connor had survived. Now they had fences that were protecting them, and maybe they didn't need to be out there in this terrible world anymore. Maybe not too often at least. Daryl sighed and chuckled when Connor kissed his palm and blew the kiss at him. He knew that his friend was just fucking with him again, and he took it as peace offering.

Come on, stop brooding now. We're good again, aren't we?

This was the good thing about their friendship. Once they were done brooding everything was all right again.
The hunter lifted his hand up in the air and flashed his friend his middle finger.

Fuck you.

He didn't even need to hear it, he knew that Connor was laughing at him again.

For just a second they enjoyed this moment, then they could hear Carl screaming.

"Walkers!" the little boy yelled, a second later they could see about 20 staggering figures to their group's right.

"No!" Rick yelled and all hell broke loose. They could hear how the others started shooting the walkers, and whereas Glenn tried to close up the hole in the fence in a hurry both Daryl and Rick started running towards the gate to help the others. "Get out of there!" Rick yelled and they both watched the others in panic. Daryl could make out that Connor had placed himself in front of Lori, both his guns drawn. He and Carl were shooting all the walkers that were getting close, and once again it was obvious that they didn't ignore the Irishman anymore.


As soon as Daryl flashed him his finger he knew that they were okay again. Connor chuckled and shook his head with a smirk. "Fucker" he murmured and eyed Herschel when he saw how the old man started wavering again. He was sure that as soon as Daryl was done they could go on like before the old people's home. They had talked about not telling the others any details, and now he decided that it would best for them to forget about all the details as well. He startled when Carl suddenly yelled "Walkers! Look out!" Everyone turned around in surprise and then they could see them. About 20 walkers, prisoners and civilians, were staggering in their direction, exiting one of the yards they had locked days before. Now the gate was open and nothing stopped the undead from getting in. Connor grabbed his guns and placed himself in front of Herschel and Lori.

"Everyone stay close to people with guns! Lori, Herschel, you stay behind me! Carl, aim fer the head!" he yelled when he saw how the boy drew his gun as well.

The Irishman started shooting the walkers together with Rick's son, a second later Carol, T-Dog and Maggie joined them as well. He could hear how Beth was starting to panic. "Everyone keep calm!" he spat and turned around, only to see that Beth and Herschel had ignored his orders and were now heading for the cell block. He startled when he could hear a gunshot very close to him, and when he looked where the shot had come from he could see Lori standing right beside him, with a gun in her hand.

"Nice shot!" he exclaimed when a walker dropped to the ground, then he wanted to mentally slap himself.

"I said stay behind me! Yer.."

"Don't say pregnant. I know that!" Lori shouted back and shot another walker.

No matter how many of them they shot, they wouldn't stop coming.

"That gate is open!" T-Dog shouted when he and the others finally reached them, and as soon as Connor had shot another walker he looked at him.

"Aye! I know! We gotta close it or else they won't stop coming!" the Irishman answered and was on his way to help T-Dog when he heard how Maggie shouted for Lori. Herschel's daughter was standing by the door to the other cell block and Lori was on her way to her, together with Carl. Connor could see how two walkers were right behind Rick's pregnant wife. His mind was racing. He knew that T-Dog needed help with the gate, but he also knew that it was his job to protect the women and children. He cursed and ran after them, and before the walkers got the chance to attack Lori he shot them in the head and placed a hand on her back.

"We gotta get you and Carl outta here"he said and turned around to shoot another walker.

Carl tried to stay and shoot another couple of walkers, but the Irishman grabbed him by his jacket and pulled him up the stairs so they wouldn't lose Maggie and Lori.

"Let yer Da and the others deal with this! Yer Ma's more important right now!" he shouted and shoved the boy inside.

He closed the gate right behind them and watched the others outside for a second, trying to make out Rick and Daryl. He could see them by the gate and how they were fumbling with the keys. T-Dog and Carol were still outside and trying to shut the gate on the other side. When he looked up he could see Beth and Herschel, who were hiding behind the fences that surrounded the entrance to the cell block on the other side of the yard. He nodded and the old man nodded back, then Connor made his way inside the other cell block. Walkers were piling up the fences to his left, and when he saw how they were trying to attack him he felt even more uncomfortable again. Why the fuck were they interested in him all of a sudden? Why couldn't he just go out there anymore and kill them without them attacking him?

He closed the door shut behind him and it was dead quiet again. Lori, Maggie and Carl were looking around the dark hall of the cell block.
They had never been inside it before. Connor cursed and put one gun away to grab his knife instead, then he ran down the stairs.

"We gotta find some place t'lock you in until this shit gets sorted out. Maggie, you take the rear. Lori, you stay right behind me. Stay close. Carl, you watch both sides."

They headed for the door that lead them to the cells. They good part was that this cell block looked just like their own, so Connor counted on a number of cells he could use to lock them in. The bad part was that the block was filled with walkers. They were just about to enter the next room when a large number of prison walkers came out and tried to attack them.

"Get back! Get back!" Connor yelled and stabbed a walker who was trying to grab him.

"I thought they didn't attack you!" he could hear Carl yell and shoved the walker away with a grunt.

"I thought the same!" he spat and started running when the whole herd of walkers got closer.

"Run!" he yelled and ran after them as well. The reached the other end of the hall and Maggie turned around in horror to look at him.
The Irishman turned around to shoot another walker, then he started yelling again.

"Get in there!" he ordered and pointed at the dark corridor in front of Maggie. Herschel's daughter did as she was told and placed a hand on Lori's back to urge her to follow her. Connor tried to kill another couple of walkers on his way to the corridor, but once again it became pretty clear that there were too many of them. It would be impossible for him to kill them, now that they were attacking him again. When he finally reached the dark hallway he could see that the other three were still waiting for him. He sprinted inside and grabbed the grille door to close it behind him. A couple of seconds later the walkers were piling up on it, blocking their way out. Connor tried to catch breath for a second, then he started walking again.

"We need to move" he murmured and pointed his gun at whatever could be coming at them.

"Maggie, stay behind Lori. Carl, come here and help me cover the hallway, make sure you check every corner."

Lori approached him as they made their way down the dark tunnels.

"Why did they attack you?"'

Connor shrugged and tried to concentrate.

"I don't know. Daryl always said shit wouldn't last. Ever since that fucker hit me with that axe they started attacking me, there was walker blood on it, maybe this changed shit inside me, I don't know. Stay behind me. Be quiet."

He saw how Carl started walking faster and was now in front of them, checking each corner on their way further down the labyrinth of corridors.

"Carl, I said stay close t'me. Yer Da'll kill me if something happens t'ye" Connor growled and grabbed the boy by his collar to pull him back.

They all startled when loud sirens came to life and the emergency lights started blinking.

"What te fuck?!" Connor exclaimed and turned around to eye their surroundings.

"I thought there was no power?" Maggie asked and they all stopped walking for a second. Connor looked at her and nodded.

"Aye. All the generators were dead when I checked them out."

"Then who turned them back on?" Lori asked and they all looked up at the ceiling. The Irishman frowned.

"Hell, I don't know. Maybe those two prisoners. Maybe some other survivors inside this prison we don't know about yet" he concluded and looked at the two women and the boy. "One more reason t'keep an eye out and stay close. Come on now. We gotta get outta here."

A couple of minutes later they could hear how Lori started groaning in pain. Connor turned around in surprise and saw Rick's wife standing right behind him, leaning against the wall and pressing her forehead against it. Maggie approached her and placed a hand on her back.

"Can you keep up?" she asked and Connor came closer.

"What's wrong with her?" he asked and Lori gasped.

"Something's not right."

Carl approached them as well with wide eyes.

"Are you bit?!"

Lori shook her head and groaned again.

"No, no, no" she gasped and shook her head. She turned around and leaned against the wall.

Rick's wife squeezed her eyes shut for a second, then she looked at Maggie, who was placing both her hands on her belly.

"I think the baby's coming" Lori explained and Connor widened his eyes in horror.

"What?!"

"Mom?!" Carl shouted at the same time and the Irishman got even more horrified.

This was way out of his league, and frankly way more terrifying than the ongoing walker invasion.

"Can't ye...like...keep it in? I don't know, squeeze in the other direction or something?!"

Both Maggie and Lori glared at him, then Rick's wife started groaning again. Maggie felt her belly with shaky hands.

"We need to find a place where she can give birth."

Connor widened his eyes even more.

"What?! Now?! No!"

They all turned their heads when they heard loud groans and moans behind them echoing through the corridor they had come from.

"Carl!" Connor shouted and they both drew their guns to cover Lori and Maggie.

"Everybody move! Maggie, you gotta help her!"

"I'm on it!"

They started running down the corridor again, now with Connor right behind them so he could keep an eye on the walkers that were following them. The never ending beeping of the sirens drove him nuts, and Lori's groans and gasps weren't exactly making it any better. Connor was absolutely terrified. Not because of the walkers, but because of the idea of having to be there when Lori was actually giving freaking birth. He had seen it on television a couple of times, and he remembered all the horrible stories his mother had told them about his and his brother's birth. The fact that they had been twins and his mother had given birth to them on the same day had made the whole story even more horrible, especially since their mother had always been very good at telling stories. He had heard about fathers passing out during the whole thing, so how was he supposed to make it through this if he didn't even have anything to do with Lori, Rick and their child?! Even worse, what if Maggie needed his help?

The Irishman swallowed hard and tried not to think about it. Maybe this was just some weird woman thing that could happen during a pregnancy, he thought.
Maybe it was just a phase, maybe it would pass. "In here?" Carl suddenly yelled in front of them and pointed at a heavy steel door to their left. Connor turned around to look at it, then he made his way past Lori and Maggie to check it out himself. He grabbed the door handle and checked the door, then he opened it. Once he had made sure that there was no walker inside the room he nodded and looked back at the rest of the small group. Maggie was still holding Lori, who was obviously in real pain and could hardly stand anymore. "In here" he demanded and stepped aside so they could enter the room. He shoved Carl inside and threw a final look behind them. He could hear the walkers all around them, but none of them were to be seen yet. Connor cursed and grabbed the door handle to close the door behind them, praying to god that the walkers wouldn't notice them inside.