Images flashed before her eyes.
The day it all started. How could she not have noticed? She tried remembering the morning. Oversleeping first. About sure the radio was on. There had to be news reports, right? If only she'd heard them, then none of this… No, she told herself, I'm not beating myself up over this.
She didn't need if-scenarios.
Next thing she knew, she was driving. There'd been an accident on the road. Why hadn't that seemed suspicious? She'd driven right past it.
Going to work. Well, not exactly work, she wasn't paid. Yet.
Like that's important now. The place had been overrun.
She was so angry at herself, even now. She hadn't even bothered to check on her colleagues? Her friends? Who knows how many people she could've saved.
Don't think about it, don't think about it, don't think about it…
Focus on now. Right now.
Driving, again. She'd left without a second thought, up until now. She panicked, took her car and just… drove. She didn't know where she'd end up.
Hell, she wasn't too sure she wanted to know.
If she could still count on her perception of time, she'd say it'd been a while since she'd left Atlanta. Taken the interstate for some reason. Though the road was straight, large parts of it were taken up by car wrecks.
Before she realized it, she was further than she thought, passing by everything without a clear purpose. Until…
"No, no no no no, ah, come on!", she started yelling, resisting the urge to slam her head against the dashboard. "This cannot be happening…", she muttered, staring wide-eyed at the gas meter. Empty.
She turned off the motor, grabbing the keys. Taking a deep breath, she glanced next to her, looking for some kind of weapon, anything she could use to defend herself. No such luck. Unless… She twisted herself around, facing the backseat. Crawling halfway behind the front seat, finally, a bit of luck greeted her. Her roommates' baseball bat was stuck underneath the drivers' seat, and after a bit of pulling, she was able to force it loose.
Returning to a normal position, she mentally counted to three, clutching on to the wood for dear life. Then, she carefully opened the door, as if one of those… Things would suddenly be there. Paranoid as she might have seemed, she didn't care.
She had to get out of there. Get somewhere safe, or at least relatively safe.
And so, she started wandering, spinning around at every leaf dropping down from the trees, every branch breaking underneath her own feet, every sound that might indicate any form of a threat.
A snap. Flinging herself around again, she was suddenly faced with something she should have expected. Void eyes, half rotten flesh, and stumbling towards her.
She flinched. By the time she was able to pull the bat up, the monster facing her had grabbed it, and she stood, pushing the bat positioned in between them away with all her might, keeping the walker of her in a desperate fight for her life. A short suppressed scream escaped her lips, before she lost her balance and stumbled backwards.
The walker fell over her, about to take a bite out of her shoulder, but with the speed of some kind of adrenaline rush, she was able to bring the wood in between them again. The wood remained pressed to the walkers throat, but it did not give up. Her eyes started tearing as she started to see no way out, and felt her arms weakening. This thing was way stronger than she was, she was just postponing the inevitable…
Or so she thought, until a shot rang out. The undead fell limp, and without hesitation, she shoved the thing off of her, breathing heavily as she sat up, glancing up at her savior.
A woman, at the end of her fifties if she had to guess, stood, gun in hand. Pointing at her.
Fearfully, her eyes widened. She barely noticed the two others next to her.
"We should shoot her. She might turn into one of those things for all we know!", one of them argued, but the woman's unreadable expression did not change. She would make that decision for herself.
The other man piped in, "Hang on, you don't know th-"
"Well, you don't she's not gonna turn either, Mark!", the first interrupted again.
"Yeah, because you always make the right calls! There's a reason we don't give you that gun anymore!", the one named Mark argued, pointing at the woman's upper arm. There was a cut in the sleeve of her hoodie, and she thought she saw some kind of white fabric underneath it. "We should at least figure out who she is first."
"Are you wounded?", the woman finally spoke, her expression somewhat more compassionate.
She took that as her cue to defend herself. "No, I'm not,", she said, "o-or… at least I don't think I am…", she added, her voice softer and slightly trembling as she slowly clambered to her feet, not wanting to alert the woman holding a gun.
"M-my name's Sophie, I-I'm a medical student up in Atlanta's Midtown Hospital.", she explained.
"See, she can be helpful, Alex", Mark spoke again. The other man just scoffed as the woman lowered her gun.
"I'm Michelle. These are Mark and Alex.", she introduced herself. "We're holding up in the Air Force Base." She holstered her gun, looking around nervously as Mark took over the conversation.
"You should come with us, we could use someone with medical training.", he told her.
Sophie gave a half-nod, but she still barely moved from her spot. "Well, we should get a move on. Before more of them get here.", Michelle piped in, urging them to move.
She nodded again, picked the bat off the ground where she'd dropped it and followed them. Mark went along with her, when she'd passed Michelle, who was still keeping an eye on the surroundings. A small group of walkers was on approach, but didn't seem to notice them thus far. Alex nudged her, pointing at her gun silently. "Take 'em out, c'mon, we can't risk having those on the loose."
The woman shook her head and pushed him forward. "They haven't noticed us yet. Might as well keep it that way."
As the two of them caught up, Sophie let herself be led to the base. She wished she knew where it was. She'd heard about it before, but for the time she'd been in the United States, she hadn't wandered off far from Atlanta, except for the occasional party her friends took her to.
"Do any of you know what's going on?", she asked an obvious question, but the answer wasn't clear to anyone.
"Well, the dead are walking, in case you haven't noticed.", Alex said, rolling his eyes.
"I think she's asking why.", Michelle piped in, glaring at the other. "To which the answer would be, we don't know."
"We have a radio back in the base. Maybe there's some kind of news report?", Mark suggested, to which Michelle nodded. "We could try."
Sophie nodded. At least she wasn't the only one who didn't know.
She felt a lot safer with more people around, and even though she knew she shouldn't, she found herself letting guard down a bit. As soon as she noticed, she tried to snap out of her thoughts, and tried to keep her focus. Fortunately, nothing bad happened to them before they reached the base. She was lucky that time.
She looked up at the building they arrived at. It looked rather large, which could be a bit tricky to defend properly. "Is there anyone else here?", she questioned, eying the other few buildings. There could be stray walkers in any of them for all they knew.
Mark shook his head. "No – or not that we know of anyway.", he replied, not seeming to notice that the answer didn't make her feel at ease at all.
They led her to an office type building, something that seemed somewhat like a reception area. Following along as they moved towards a couch and a couple of one seaters, she took place in one of them when they did too.
"So anyway, Sophie…", Michelle was first to speak. Sophie looked up as she heard her hesitantly say her name, as if she wasn't sure she got it right. "You said you're a medical student?", she asked. Sophie nodded in reply. "First year, though."
Michelle nodded, stood up and took of her hoodie. Pointing at her upper arm, at some sloppily wrapped bandages, she faced her again. "Think you could help me out?", she asked.
Sophie stood up as well. "What happened?", she questioned, surprised at the sudden ask of her help. Usually her teachers, the higher-ups in the hospital were around to help her, no matter what the case. Yet she tried to maintain her composure.
"Well, someone got nervous and by chance had a gun with them.", she remarked coldly, her gaze not shifting from Sophie's eyes. In the couch, Alex shifted uneasily.
"So, shot wound then?" Sophie got a nod in return. She barely noticed, looking over the bandages, slowly unwrapping them. She winced at the sight of the wound that had yet to be cleaned. By the looks of it, the bullet could still lodged in there. Oh that's just wonderful…
She soon caught herself on the mistake of starting without any kind of equipment at hand. "Ehh… I'm going to need some kind of first aid kit…", she looked around at the three of them. "I don't suppose-?"
"We do have one, actually. We tried wrapping up the wound, to stop the bleeding. We got the bandages from one…", Mark spoke as he got up, walking over to the other side of the room. For a second, he disappeared behind a wall next to a desk.
"I think we put it – Got it!", he told them from the far side of the room, reappearing with a red first aid pack in his hand.
With a small smile, she took it as he offered it to her. "Thanks, this should help." She turned to Michelle as she set the box down on the small table standing in between the seats. "You can sit back down for a second, I need to see what I got to work with here, okay?" The woman nodded, and they both sat back down.
It was silent in the room, except for the noise Sophie was making, looking through the equipment that was available to her. She felt watched though, eyes boring into her back, but she tried to ignore it. She was a stranger here after all.
Shifting through the materials, she tried remembering everything she knew about gunshot wounds. Those didn't regularly visit the hospital, and if they did, it was down in the pit, and not the kind of thing they'd let her handle on her own…
When she'd put some things aside, she looked up. "I think I got everything I need now.", she announced, looking over to Michelle, who shuffled closer. "Well, go ahead."
She first reexamined the wound, looking over it again. She turned her arm over, getting a wince from Michelle, even though she was being as careful as she could. "Sorry…", she mumbled. Michelle shook her head, brushing of the pain the wound really caused.
Sophie's first assumptions had been correct, she still needed to extract the bullet, since there was no exit wound. Or at least, she hoped she remembered that part correctly. At this point, she was reaching for a pair of tweezers. But, again, she felt watched. She let out a small sigh and sat up straight again.
"Well, umm... No offense, but - eh, Michelle, could we go sit over there?", she asked, pointing over to the desk on the other side of the room. "I don't work very well being watched.", she added, smiling sheepishly at the others. As Michelle agreed and got up, Mark nodded understandingly while Alex just rolled his eyes. "Right… Sorry about that."
She shook her head dismissively.
"In the meantime, we can try and get a signal on that radio.", Mark suggested, and started looking for it.
Sophie asked Michelle to sit on the desk while she handled the wound, being careful all the way. In the end, it had to be pretty much like any other wound, right? From the far side of the room, she could hear parts of Alex and Mark talking, over the static noises of the radio.
"… Shouldn't have brought her…", was the only thing she could clearly hear before Mark shut him up. Subconsciously, she looked away sadly away from Michelle, her shoulders slumping down a bit, just enough for her to notice.
"Don't mind him. He'll warm up to you, you'll see.", Michelle told her, giving her a small, yet encouraging smile. She returned it and nodded slightly. Returning to the wound, she finally grabbed the pliers. "Okay, I'll just warn you now, okay?", she started slightly nervously, remembering something she knew. "Bullet wounds usually bleed pretty badly. Now, I think the bullet it stuck in there somewhere…", she spoke carefully, but Michelle seemed to be able to handle it. "I think it might cause a bleeding when I pull it out." Michelle, even though she was kind of unsure about Sophie's skill, nodded, and let her work.
Michelle winced as she managed to pull it out, and Sophie apologized again, but was busy trying to control the bleeding. It wasn't as bad as she'd thought it would've been. The static noise started diminishing slowly, as she started cleaning the wound.
"I think we got a signal.", Alex declared from across the room. The noise cleared out entirely as Sophie wrapped the wound up in new, clean bandages which almost immediately got tainted red.
A voice took over. "WABE urges you to… contact with… exposed…", it crackled through, still pretty unclear. Sophie stuck the end underneath the other bandages and reinforced it by sticking a band aid on it. "That should do it.", she told Michelle, as the voice kept talking. Both of them walked over to the sound, as Mark fiddled with the buttons some more, getting a clearer sound.
"… Get off the air now…", the reporter still sounded somewhat calm, but more unsettling noises, glass breaking, someone screaming, started coming through as well.
Then, the radio's signal started to go haywire entirely. "Mark, what are you doing?", Michelle asked, giving him a soft push, urging him to stop. "It's not me, the signal's just…", he trailed off as the voice managed to break through for a moment again.
"WABE wishes you and your loved one-"
Immediately, it broke off again, a high pitched tone coming through. Only to have a much more panicked voice speak his last, unsettling words a moment later.
"…God bless you all, God-"
The voice broke off, and the tone stopped when the radio broke down entirely. For a moment, they all stayed quiet. Sophie let out a breath she hadn't realized she'd been holding.
"That does not sound good…"
Author's note: Hi there! I hope you liked reading the first chapter of my story...
I don't know how all of you feel about OC's though, but I've been wanting to do this for a while, so I thought I'd post it anyway :)
Please do leave me a review! Tell me anything, what you liked, what you disliked, any mistakes you might have seen, anything! It always helps :)
Also, quick disclaimer. I don't own anything from the The Walking Dead franchise. Any characters from the game belong to Telltale Games. I guess my own characters are mine, right? (wow, I actually own something c: )
Anyway, I'll try to upload regularly, so see you next time! :)