The group had no problem fleeing the area in the bowels of their new truck, and, with Jimmy behind the wheel,it seemed as though they were unstoppable. Sandy sat in the passenger seat, and the others in the back.
"So, where'd you learn to drive like this?" Sandy inquired as he swerved a few cars. She had barely noticed them, as she had been staring at Jimmy the whole time. There was just something about the man.
"This van is similiar to the one that my SWAT team uses--or used. But if your asking about the way I'm driving, well, Iraq, I suppose. A lotta' driving there." He swerved a shambler, attempting to keep some stability in the truck by not hitting everything that got in his way. "Defensive driving, offensive driving--you name it, I did it."
"Did you ever get a Humvee up on two wheels?" Sandy inquired with a smirk.
Jimmy smiled likewise, turning down another road. "Did one better, I got a Humvee up on one wheel."
Sandy looked at him as though she didn't believe him. "How in God's name did you manage that?" she asked, knowing now that the barrier the man put up against most people was gone--at least to her.
He blinked. "Improvised Explosive Device, or, I.E.D. The Humvee I was in drove over one and it was kind of nasty. The front right portion of the Humvee sort of disappeared before my eyes, and then parts pelted the windshield--threatening to break it." He shook his head. "The point was that I had one up on the rear-left tire." He gave her a warm smile.
She was silent for a few moments, not knowing if she had hashed up some memory that he wanted to forget. She recognized him as one of those soldiers from Iraq that have demons, but they don't get bothered by them that much. It's like their demons are just fine sitting in the back of his brain.
He interrupted her thoughts. "What did you do before all this?" He waved at the desolate road full of vehicles.
"I worked at a diner," she answered, sighing. "And I hated it."
Jimmy had to chuckle at that. "Well, nobody likes their jobs, you know."
Sandy nodded. "I'll agree with that." She grew silent once more.
Jimmy decided not to go on. He pulled into a construction area where, apparently, the road was being redone. He stopped and looked around, then decided just to go for it--there was a narrow stretch of road that could permit his passing. He pulled up to it and seemed to hit every pothole and rut in the narrow pass. The truck teetered and tottered, almost flipping on its side sometimes. But finally he made it through and cruised at a normal sped.
He heard Terry in the back, "Jesus Christ, watch where you're goin', huh?"
Jimmy swerved and hit a pothole. He grinned as the sounds of Terry in pain flowed to his ears.
"Shut the fuck up, Ter." Mike stated.
Terry must have realized he was acting foolish, as he clammed up.
Jimmy nodded, he knew he was close. He could hear gunshots ringing out. Both sporadic and single-fire shots. This was both equally a good sign, as well as a bad sign. The good sign was that there were still people alive, the bad sign was that they were firing at something--and Jimmy was pretty sure he knew what it was.
"We're going to have company, people. Get your weapons at the ready." He looked to the rear of the van, finding Terry playing with his bow and arrow, attempting to notch it. He sighed. "Take the wheel." He told Sandy. He then reached down to his ankle and pulled free a Kel-Tec PF-9, as well as a few magazines from his pocket and handed them all to Terry.
Terry looked at him, and all Jimmy felt to say was, "you're no good with that thing." Jimmy looked at Mike, giving him a look that said "keep an eye on him." Mike acknowledged and Jimmy faced forward--
--To see the truck careering toward a moving vehicle.
"What the FU--" was all Jimmy could say before there was no time and the truck caught up with the car. The last thing he remembered was Mike's body exiting through the windshield and onto the car in front of them.
Moments later he awoke, not really remembering what had happened--or who he was. He had a slight panic as he thought he had amnesia, but some of it quickly came back to him. He was Jimmy, twenty-something years old (he hadn't been keeping trck since his 21st birthday), and he was in the Knoxville SWAT. And he was currently on his side, as the whole truck seemed to be.
Good start. He looked around and found Sandy buckled into her seat, hanging loosely like a ragdoll. She had a gash in her forehead, but it looked superficial. He checked himself, and found nothing bad, just a few scratches and such. He looked behind him and saw Terry lying on his side, rubbing his head. He couldn't find Mike, only the shotgun lying next to Terry. And then he remembered.
Facing forward, he nearly threw up. Mike was a pulpy mess. He face was only partly evident, scratched to the bone in some places. His clothes were shredded, and his flesh beneath was in rags the same as his shirt and shorts. Jimmy saw a man approach Mike, pacing slowly. He thought maybe it was the driver of the other vehicle until the man got down and started to feast on the former friend of Jimmy's.
Jimmy stood inside the truck, kicked the windshield loose, and his hand flashed to the collapsible baton on his vest. He flicked it out, and swung it defensively at the shambler, then charged him.
The shambler was too busy eating the man to realize he was about to die again. Jimmy flashed the baton down on the base of the shambler's skull, and again until he heard a loud crack and the shambler pitched forward on his face.
Jimmy got back to the van and found his MP5. It lay behind the seat. He grabbed a hold of Sandy and cut her restraints loose. Smart girl--she had been the only one to where a seat belt. He got her out onto the roadway and laid her down, giving her a once over. She looked okay, but she had a nice knot under the gash on her forehead. She probably had a concussion.
He looked up and into the back of the van. He saw Terry moving around, but only gave half a rat's ass about it. He turned around and went to the car ahead of them, then tried the door. It was locked, but he could see the driver slumped over his steering wheel. Jimmy used the but of his weapon to break the window behind the driver, and then he unlocked the door and grabbed the driver.
He shook the man for a few seconds, then asked him what he was doing in the worst way he could imagine. He got little response from the driver, so he shook him some more and repeated his query.
"Jimmy," Sandy said behind him, sounding weak. "Look." She pointed a finger.
He looked in the direction and found a Deuce-and-a-half coming their way. It was about two blocks off, and several blocks behind it was a large roadblock with men scurrying to and fro. Jimmy had to smile at that sight, knowing that he was almost done. They had made it, at least some of them had.
"Jimmy," Terry said from behind them. Jimmy looked. Terry had the shotgun and pistol, and during the wreck Terry's sleeve had been ripped off, showing a few nasty scratches that looked to be becoming infected all ready.
Jimmy thought for a moment Terry would shoot him, and wondered how fast he could get the MP5 strapped over his shoulder.
Terry shook his head. "I got tagged at the apartment." He indicated his arm.
Jimmy stood there, not saying a word.
"Mind if I take these?" he asked, hefting the shotgun and nodding toward the pistol tucked in his waistband. He didn't look like the Terry that Jimmy had seen all that day, he looked different, apologetic. He didn't look like the asshole he had set himself to be--even though Jimmy knew he probably was still somewhat of an asshole.
"All right." Jimmy gave the man a nod. "Go on."
Terry turned and began to walk away. "Hang loose." He said over his shoulder, then sped off toward the alleyway. Jimmy watched after him for a while, then looked back down at the driver of the automobile. His eyes were open and he was staring at Jimmy.
"So, you two were one of those couples, huh?" the man asked.
Jimmy smiled. "No, he was just an asshole." He laid his weapon on the trunk of the car and grabbed his identification to show the incoming Deuce. He had made it, and Sandy, too. he looked over his shoulder at her as she stood and walked over to stand beside him. She was still a little shaky, but managed to keep herself upright.
"So, what do you want to do next?" Sandy asked.
He had something on his mind, but decided to push it off until she was treated. "I don't know." He looked around as the Deuce pulled up to them and the passenger dismounted, a large fellow with full combat gear and a M4.
"Come on, we're getting all non-army personnel out of this town." He spoke with authority. "The last chopper's leaving in ten."
Jimmy smiled as he helped Sandy get in the back of the Deuce.
They were survivors.
THE DEFINITE END