The first signs of other humans were ambiguous. It was Rachel who first noticed signs of life beyond themselves and the animals. During her watch she saw something dart behind a tree. Too upright to be an animal, and The Risen didn't sneak. There was never anything subtle about them. If they caught onto the fact that you were there, they came growling and moaning and never hid.
Someone was out there.
They kept a lookout for a long time afterward but never seemed to catch a solid view at whoever was out there...watching them. They weren't a rescue team, if they were why would they be hiding?
It set the whole group on edge. They'd already lost too many of their own since this all began. They weren't even sure if the outside world still existed or if that was just a pipe dream to keep them going.
But it'd been a long time. No one was sure how much time had really passed since the beginning of all this, but the weather was starting to change so that had to mean something. Sometimes it felt like forever since things had been even remotely normal.
Ben sat on a makeshift seat (aka: a log) feeding wood into the fire carefully to keep warm. Others sat around watching or just staring off into space. Conversation had turned into a rare commodity for them. After a certain amount of time there didn't seem to be a whole lot to say. Life had come to an anxious stand still.
The Bandits attacked at night, when it was least expected. As was there plan, most likely. Their group's watchman was cleanly shot through the back of the head. It hardly made any noise when he thumped to the ground, lifeless just outside their circle of vehicles. Regardless, someone did hear and when they found the body and let out a startled yelp, they were the next to be taken down.
Everything after that was chaos as people woke up, startled and were shot down almost in the same breath. It was not a fight or a battle but rather a slaughtering, as the cars that they'd circled around their camp to provide protection and to store supplies shifted from a safety precaution to a target range.
As soon as the noise and disaster had begun, Ben awoke with a start and made a grab for his bat only to find it had been kicked across camp in all the confusion. He frantically looked around to see men in masks invading their camp, killing the boys and taking the girls. Instinct drove Ben to roll under the nearest Vehicle while he hadn't been noticed yet in the cover of the night and noise.
"Damn looks like we hit the mother load" One yelled to the other bandits, he got a few whoops and cheers as the others started going through the supplies as well. The group that was being attacked had done a lot of runs into town and come back with a good amount of needed supplies, but truth be told they'd been slowly running out. Everything was rationed, so what looked like a lot to the bandits would probably go quicker than they realized.
Ben's breathing came in short quiet gulps and he listened and winced at the sounds of the people yelling and gunshots. He wanted to run, he wanted to help somehow but just as he was thinking it, someone else (he couldn't tell who) from his group had the same idea. He struggled trying to grab the gun out of the Bandit's hand before he was shot. Any ideas Ben was nursing about trying to be a hero were discarded.
Underneath all the noise there was a dreadfully familiar sound.
The Risen were coming.
Desperation spurred Ben into action and he made his way out from under the car on the other side, picked a direction and started sprinting before anyone could see or react to him.
You have to keep moving.
After what felt like hours but was probably no more than one, Ben stopped completely. Putting his hands down on his knees he panted desperately for air but he was shaking and he felt tears on his face and lifted up one hand to wipe it away quickly.
He heard something nearby and his head snapped up in the direction he'd heard it from as he willed his breathing to quiet. His eyes scanned the ground looking for something, anything to use as a weapon, but there was none.
He turned to start running again when...
That made him pause, and he let out a relieved breath that turned into a borderline sob. His voice shook as he called back.
The boy in question stepped into view looking as shaken and defeated as Ben felt.
"Thank God, at least someone else got away, I was afraid we were the only ones..." Travis trailed off, realizing what he'd just said and looked a bit pained.
Ben sighed and looked behind the other boy, trying to see who else had made it. Mr. Parker came into view, giving a short nod to say hello, but the questioning look he gave both of them was simply reflected back told him enough. Ben's shoulders slumped with defeat. This was it, then. This was who'd survived
No one spoke for a long time and the silence fell over them as their thoughts turned dark. The supplies and weapons were gone, their group was dead or taken. What were they going to do?
Mr. Parker took the lead and started walking in a direction without a word.
Travis looked at Ben before shifting his shoulders a bit and following. Ben spared a glance behind at the forest, back in the direction he'd come, the sun was starting to rise. It was a start of a new, and entirely fucked up, day. He could hardly wait.
They kept moving for hours and the sun moved slowly to the middle of the sky. Ben's mouth was dry and he felt slightly dizzy, they needed water, they needed food. All three of them started to lose focus as time went on and as their adrenaline ran out they started to get tired.
That's how they missed it. The hidden trap that was buried under a bunch of leaves.
Mr. Parker took a step forward and suddenly there was a sickening crunch as a bear trap clamped over his leg and he fell to the ground. He let out a pained shout that echoed through the forest that made Ben and Travis both jump and rush forward.
Travis knelt down and tried to find a way to make it let go but there didn't seem to be one, he grabbed one side of the trap and Ben pulled on the other but to no avail. It was stuck. It wasn't going to release.
Mr. Parker let out pained sounds and Ben cringed as he heard it and stood up, whispering to himself, "Oh shit oh shit oh shit oh shit." the he bent forward again to try and do something, but he just got in the way.
In the back of his horror stricken mind he heard someone approach and heard one of them muttered, "Oh Jesus Christ."
He turned he saw two men, the larger of the two was carrying an ax the shorter one held a sniper rifle, Ben raised his hands palms outwards, shaking and wondering how this day could get any worse. His movement alerted Travis who leapt up and started talking for the both of them in a frantic tone, his words coming out at lightening speed.
"Oh shit! No! No please don't kill us. We just want to help our teacher we'll leave I swear!"
"Lee! You guys okay?"
Another man came running out of the woods in a cap carrying a gun and the two boys watched him apprehensively as he took a look at their teacher who was still screaming in pain.
"Get if off! Get it off! God Dammit get it off me!" Ben winced when he heard that but kept his eyes forward to the men with the weapons when he got an idea. He turned towards Travis.
"Travis! Maybe they can help!"
He barely got the sentence out before the other was shaking his head violently, already dismissing the suggestion, "These might be the same guys who raided our camp and we barely got away from that!"
"Why the fuck is there a bear trap out here?"
" I dunno, man!" Ben's voice was high with stress and he felt a bit of offhanded irritation at the question. If they'd known there was a bear trap here would their teacher have stepped into it?
The one with the ax (...Lee?) responded, "It's okay. We're not going to hurt you."
Ben was about to answer when Travis jumped in first "Don't listen to them, Ben!" Ben looked down and shut up for the moment. "Please, let us go we're not a threat to you!"
Travis was panicking nearly as much as he was and where as Ben became quiet when his nerves got the best of him, Travis talked too much. This was a mess and Ben wasn't sure what to do.
"Kid chill out!" The one with the mustache snapped sounding irritated, and for good reason, "We'll try to help you but you got to shut the fuck up!"
The one with the glasses said something to Lee but it was too quiet or Ben was too shaken to hear properly. He glanced at Mr. Parker and saw the blood the was slowly starting to stain the ground and before he could think through what he was about to say, he let out a pitiful,
Travis turned to glare at him, looking angrier than Ben had ever seen him and he took an involuntary half step back from his friend. "Ben shut up! My dad was Special Forces I know what I'm doing!"
This wasn't going to help Mr. Parker, no matter what Travis believed, Ben kept talking, "Just see if you can get him out of there! After that you can leave us or whatever I don't care! Please!"
The three men looked at each other before Lee questioned, "Was he bitten?"
"Bitten? No! I swear!" But what does that matter if he dies anyway? That was the question that Ben never asked. He probably should have.
"Hurry please hurry!"
The one with the glasses knelt down and fiddled with the trap before he looked up at Lee, "Lee this trap's been altered, there's no release latch." Ben felt his heart drop and his fists clenched, nails digging into his palms. There wasn't any way to get him out, was there?
Then the moaning started. They'd been too loud in their panic, and that coupled with Mr. Parker's screaming had attracted the undead.
"Shit! Walkers! It's now or never Lee!"
Walkers? Oh...that must be their name for the Risen.
"Please...get it off me!"
"Mark get the boys back. Kenny, keep those walkers off of me!"
The one in the glasses (Mark) pulled Travis out of the way as Lee stood over their teacher with the ax in hand, Ben watched with eyes wide, realizing what he was thinking, and not a moment too soon. Ben quickly got out of the way, not wanting to wait for axes to start swinging.
"Lee do something!"
Ben didn't hear what the man said next but he figured Lee must of told Mr. Parker what he was planning because his teacher started shaking his head and protesting loudly.
"No no no! Try the trap again! Anything please! Try the chain"
But Lee didn't take the time to respond to the useless plea. He lifted the axe above his head, hesitated for a moment, and then brought it down. Mr. Parker screamed and Ben had to look away as he started to feel sick. This wasn't happening, this wasn't happening, this wasn't happening.
He heard the sound of the ax falling again and loud wordless yelling followed. Ben twitched, covering his ears by instinct but it did little to drown out the screams, gunshots or moaning.
When he came back to his senses Travis was running away from the group to throw up and Ben walked up to Lee's side to see his teacher laying there, with a stub replacing his newly chopped off limb.
Oh God...was he...
"Shit is he-" Mark voiced Ben's thoughts for him.
"He passed out." Lee reassured them. Ben wasn't so sure...he looked so pale and...there was so much blood.
"If he's alive, grab him and let's go!" Kenny urged them. Mark took the hint and lifted Mr. Parker off the ground and across his shoulders, carrying him in the opposite direction of the Risen...Walkers, Ben started to follow the rest when he realized that Travis wasn't with him.
"Travis!" The undead had surrounded his friend while he was busy being sick and now they were coming for him. Ben lurched forward to try and help but Lee held him back. Why was he doing that?! There was still time to get to him, these things moved slowly, didn't they?
"Come on come on we gotta move!" Lee told him, Ben wasn't sure if he was saying that to him or Travis.
Travis finally took notice of his surroundings but by then it was far too late. With a yell he backed away from the oncoming Risen and tripped, falling to the ground and backing into a large rock, effectively trapping himself. The dead started to eat him alive as he cried out for help that never came.
A/N: Hey everyone. Sorry again for the wait. After I saw the last episode I kind of had some doubts on whether or not I should follow through with this story. But then my mind wouldn't shut up about how to word Ben's final moments and I figured I had to go through with it.
So seeing as how I can't really play the game and study the moments I need to in detail with the option of rewinding. I will be using a Let's Play as my reference. I have chosen Cry because he's a very good LPer and I enjoy his probably the best. And he chose to save Doug over Carley. I love Carley as much as the next person but Doug's character serves my story better. I'm sorry if that's disappointing for anyone.
Anyway! Let me know what you think.