Authors: Douglas Wayne
The Demontouched Saga
THE DEMONTOUCHED SAGA
Copyright © 2015 by Douglas Wayne. All rights reserved. This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, businesses, events or locales is purely coincidental. Reproduction in whole or part of this publication without express written consent is strictly prohibited.
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- 1 -
One of these days I’ll get to take a day off.
The sound of gunfire fills the air as I make my way to the north gate. Unless they are being quiet behind me, the attackers seem to be focused up here. I figured someone would again eventually, the last set of attackers hit this gate hard too.
That is the downside to having a gated community in these times. Sure, they help you defend your supplies and your people, but you are also announcing to the world that you have something worth protecting. With the hotel in shambles and my house surely being watched, this is the only place I have left. And I’ll be damned if I’m giving this place up without a fight.
Up ahead, I notice a group of people huddled behind a group of cars, probably the final remnants of the convoy we brought with us from the mall. It doesn’t surprise me to see a bunch of them grouped up here like this. Having them clog the streets isn’t such a great idea as we may need to move equipment or troops around inside. I’d guess that they plan on siphoning the gas from the vehicles before taking them outside of the gates somewhere. Probably to block some of the access roads to the compound.
“You guys OK?” I ask the five people huddled behind the cars for cover. Three guys and two girls, none of which would pass for being much older than twenty-one.
“They shot my mom!” one girl asks, hands grabbing onto whatever hair she has left. Something tells me she won’t be sporting a pixie cut after it grows out.
“Where is she at?” I ask, glancing over the cars. “I might be able to save her.”
“She was up closer to the gate,” one guy says. He is short by any standard of the word though that doesn’t stand out as much as his broken nose. If it is bothering him, he isn’t letting it show, though it is plain to see the blood soaking into his once white tee-shirt. “They wanted to take our names and information down before assigning us a house.”
“Don’t take it personally, kid. It’s a smart call,” I say, pointing towards the gunfire to the north. “There are some bad people out there.”
He nods, wiping his nose with his arm but only manages to smear the blood across his face.
I peek into the cars looking for something I can use to at least stop the flow of blood, but come up empty. Thankfully, with a knife you are never without an option.
I open a rear door on an old Grand Marquis station wagon and use my knife to cut a piece of the cloth seat free. I know this was the primary vehicle for some family in the past, but there is no reason to worry about that today. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to hold onto a car this old now. Especially one this big.
“Hold this tight,” I say, placing the cloth on his nose. “And don’t lean your head back.” I peek over the cars again, hoping to get a clear view of the gate. It is just out of my sight, but close enough for me to see two soldiers drop to the ground after taking bullets to the chest.
At least it doesn’t look like we are facing demons this time. Not that it will do them any good.
“Here’s what you need to do. Stay low to the ground, crawl if you can manage it. This place is huge,” I say. “Cut through the yards for a few streets and look for a two story white house with a black Ford Expedition out front. That is Uriel’s house, she will keep you safe.”
“Is that the little girl that met us here earlier?”
“Sure is,” I say, smiling. Guess I’m not the only one who sees her that way.
The gunfire grows louder, forcing the kids to the ground. “You need to go,” I say. “Now!”
The group takes off as fast as they can, all but the kid with the broken nose on their hands and knees. He, on the other hand, is running at a squat. I guess it is practical even if it looks funny.
With the kids safe I turn my attention to the front gate. Up front I see a pair of soldiers huddled behind an old truck, exchanging fire through the gate. To their right is another solider, a woman, on the ground lifeless. With my body low to the ground, I rush forward to the group.
“Behind you, solider,” I say, tapping one of the men on the back. “She dead?”
“Don’t know,” he says. “But she doesn’t look well.”
I nod. “Keep me covered,” I say. “I’m gonna bring her close.”
“Hooah! Sir,” he says, bringing his gun to bear above the hood of the truck. The female soldier follows his movements shortly after.
I peek my head around the rear of the truck, just to make sure nobody is keeping a gun trained on her. Not seeing anything, I take a deep breath and rush out to grab her. I kneel close, grabbing her by her vest. Before pulling her back to safety I notice her weapon laying on the ground at her feet. I pull the gun to my hands, unloading a spray of bullets towards the gate as I pull her back to the truck.
“That was amazing, sir.” The man says, ducking back behind the cover of the truck.
I nod. As much as I love to brag about my powers, now is not the time. I lean the gun against the side of the truck and get down to work.
Placing my hand on her neck, I look for a pulse. I must look silly because the female soldier laughs before sitting down next to me.
“Let me get that,” she says, placing her hand on the woman’s neck. “She has a pulse, but it’s weak.”
Below her right rib cage I notice blood caked around a small bullet hole. Not the best place to get shot, but she might have a chance.
“Any medical supplies close?” I ask.
“Blue house behind us, sir,” the man says. “They keep all the field medics there too.”
“Good,” I say. “It will make this much easier.” I look over at the female soldier tending to the woman. “Can you handle that?”
“I got through this part of basic before…”
Before the Rising. She didn’t have to finish the sentence for me to know what she meant.
“You’ll be fine,” I say, placing my hand on her shoulder. “Here goes nothing.”
I take off at a full sprint towards the blue house, ducking behind a compact car just in time to avoid a spray of bullets.
“Just can’t get a break,” I say, taking in a deep breath.
I peer around the side of the car, seeing if I can get a better view of the asshole shooting at me. Up ahead I notice him poking out from behind a tree to send another round of bullets flying my way, forcing me to take cover behind the car.
“Let’s do this the hard way, then,” I say, standing up behind the car. I watch carefully as the man pokes his head around the side of the tree to take another shot. A smile reaches my lips when I see the flashes from the barrel of his gun. Sure, I could have pushed the weapon out of his hands, but what would be the fun in that. If he wants to play with bullets, then I do too.
I put my hands in front of me to stop the shots, just to see them stop about two feet away from the gun.
I’ve never been that good before.
I don’t let it bother me though, when I flick my hand forward, sending the bullets into his chest. It’s a shame I don’t have time to celebrate because I can get used to doing that.
With the attacker down I take off at a full sprint once again, reaching the front shortly after.
The door opens as I approach. “Come in,” they say as I blast by.
“Thanks,” I say after nearly crashing into a large porcelain vase.
The woman who opened the door nods. “He had been firing on the house since the start,” she says.
“Someone’s done their research,” I say. “They know we keep the doctors in here.”
“Doctor,” she says. “The rest of us were EMTs or firefighters.”
“All the same. I need someone to come back with me who can treat a bullet wound.”
“Back behind the red Ford truck about twenty yards away,” I say.
“That’s not what I mean,” she says. “Where was the bullet wound? So I know what I need to bring.”
“Below her ribcage,” I say, pointing to the spot on my body.
“I better bring a syringe and a breathing tube,” she says, rushing in the house.
I open the door slightly to watch the activity out front. From here I can see the action on the other side of the gate more clearly. I see two large SUVs parked side by side in a V blocking the road as it veers slightly to the west. Through the windows I make out what looks like three guys talking behind the cars. If I was a betting man I’d put the house on the leader being one of those three, meaning I need to hop the wall and pay them a little visit.
“Ready to roll,” the nurse says with gloved hand on my shoulder.
“I like it when people come prepared,” I say, kicking open the door.
Moving back to the injured woman, I keep my body between the gunfire and the medic. The last thing I need is for her to go down. Finding people who can do this line of work under the pressure of a combat situation are precious, I don’t want to take a chance that the others in the house are as brave.
We stop off for a moment behind the two vehicles in our path to catch our breath. The run isn’t far, but I don’t want to take a chance that someone decides to take out the easy target.
Bullets spray the surrounding cars as we slide in behind the truck.
“I got it from here, soldier,” the medic says examining the injured woman. She cuts off the woman’s vest and unbuttons her shirt to get a better look at the wound. “She may be lucky. It looks like it came out clean.” She pulls her hand from the woman’s back revealing blood on her latex gloves. “Her lung is definitely punctured though. How long has she been out?”
“About fifteen minutes,” the man says, watching intently.
“Hopefully we aren’t too late.”
“Anything I can do?” I say, kneeling close.
“Yes. Hold this,” she says, handing me a plastic ventilator she’ll to use to keep her alive. She pulls out a large syringe, removing the plunger to allow it to open to the air. “If you are squeamish, I’s look away now.”
I stifle a laugh when I notice the two soldiers turn away. It’s always funny to see people in the business of death to look away at the sight of blood. Especially now when you seem to see everywhere.
At least everywhere I go, anyways.
“Can you hold her down,” she says. “I don’t want to risk her waking up when I’m about to jab the needle in.”
I nod, placing my hand on her chest right above her exposed bra. “Ready when you are,” I say.
She places the needle between two of the ribs, right below the woman’s right breast. I notice her take a deep breath when she pushes the syringe into her chest. In the syringe I notice blood oozing out of the top, a sign that something was at least leaving her lungs.
“Now the fun part.” She pulls out a long plastic tube, stretching it out before slowly inserting it into the woman’s throat. Like a pro, she has the tub in place in a matter of seconds. I don’t think I could have done the same if I had half a day to practice. She reaches forward, taking the bag from my hand and attaching it to the tube.
“Is it safe to move her?” I ask. I know it normally is a bad idea to move a wounded person, but there must be a rule saying you should in a combat situation.
“Not yet,” she says. “These two can keep us safe now, right?”
“Yes, ma’am!” they say in unison.
“Thanks for the help,” I say to the medic, turning away.