Chapter 7: The Tunnel of Terror
The group had waited a short time to finish recuperating. Eventually Ditzy’s wound stopped bleeding altogether and Zoey was able to replace the bloodied bandages with fresh ones. However, Ditzy’s eyes had not yet returned to their normal, cockeyed position. Meanwhile, Louis had found half a roll of duct tape and decided to repair the sliced strap of the Katana sheath.
Francis, however, was fighting the increasing urge to scratch his swollen arm. He scowled as another wave of itchiness washed over the wound. ‘Stupid pony, biting my arm. I probably got some kind of disease from the damn thing! Would be just my luck if I really did turn into a damn pony.’ He thought to himself angrily. ‘I fucking HATE ponies…’
“Francis…” He looked up to see who was addressing him as Bill continued. “You about ready to go?”
“Are you kidding? I’ve been waiting here for you sissies to quit your bawlin’.”
Bill rolled his eyes. “Good to see you’re feeling better,” he replied sarcastically.
“Yea, all I really needed was a few cc’s of ‘shut the hell up.’”
“Come on guys, can we just go already?” Louis interjected.
Francis slung the M60 on his back and pulled out his shotgun. “Alright then, let’s do it,” he said as he cocked his weapon and began towards the door.
Zoey finished strapping the freshly repaired sheath on Ditzy’s back, taking care not to agitate her wound. “There you go; good as new.” Ditzy looked up to her with a smile, but Zoey had a hard time getting past those unnerving eyes to notice it.
Francis kicked the metal door open before hopping out of the subway car. The others followed him into the tunnel, with Bill taking the lead. “Turn your flashlights on,” he whispered as he clicked the light attached to his rifle on. Everyone followed suite and began following the veteran down the pitch black tunnel.
It wasn’t long before they came across the remains of the Witch that Francis had mutilated with the M60. A sharp pain shot through Ditzy’s wound as she passed the deceased zombie. Her stomach knotted up as she remembered the feeling of its claws slicing through her. Realizing that she was beginning to fall behind, she overcame the feeling and hurried to catch back up with Zoey.
The Hunter watched as the group passed beneath him. He snarled angrily as he eyes the massive gun strapped to the gruff survivor’s back. That weapon had dispatched the Witch like she was nothing.
At least she had managed to deal some damage before she was massacred.
All in all, the hunter’s plan with the witch was less than what he had hoped it would be. This of course left him stuck in the tunnel, alone, with five armed survivors. There was no point in making any plans, considering there were no other zombies in the subways. That and he was still not aware of their destination. His only logical option was to follow the group until they reached a location where he could form another one of his devious schemes.
Being as quiet as possible, the Hunter began skulking along the ceiling of the subway behind the survivors. Hopefully none of them would get any sudden inclination to look up and spot him…
The group cautiously made their way through the tunnel. Aside from the sound of each and every footstep on the gravel surrounding the tracks, everything was dead silent. If there were any zombies down here, they would hear them coming from blocks away. Everybody knows zombies don’t have any sense of stealth.
As they continued, a neon light steadily began to grow brighter from behind where the tunnel made a sharp turn in the distance. When they rounded the bend, they spotted the subway station producing the light. As they approached, they could hear several moans and gurgles from the platform’s inhabitants.
Bill shot a hand up, signaling the group to stop. “Hold up, let me check the map. Could someone hold a light,” he asked as he pulled the map out of his jacket pocket. Zoey clicked on one of the spare flashlights and held it over his shoulder, illuminating the map so everyone could see. Ditzy, however, was able to read the map from where she stood. The light caused the depictions to bleed through the paper.
After finding their location on the map, Bill pointed to the icon representing the station before them. “Alright, it says the ‘generator maintenance station’ is about a block or two past the station.” Everyone looked up from the map as a random infected lost its balance and fell off the platform. A loud crunch echoed through the tunnel as its cranium was split open on one of the train rails.
Everyone looked back to the map as Bill continued. “From there, it’s only a quick walk to the safe house. Everyone clear?” Ditzy and the other nodded in agreement. “Right then, let’s get a move on,” Bill concluded as he placed the map back in his jacket pocket.
As they got closer to the station, they found it to be rather crowded with infected. Bill silently ordered the others to turn their lights off as they snuck past. They didn’t need to startle a horde down at the moment. Still, everyone made sure to keep their guns shouldered and ready to open fire at the first sign of attack. …Except for Ditzy, because she obviously didn’t have a gun.
As the group reached the end of the station they had begun to walk in reverse, still focusing on the platform zombies. Finally they reached the darkness of the next segment of tunnels. Before any of them could turn their flashlights back on, Francis bumped into somebody. He stopped as he recovered his balance from nearly being knocked over.
“Hey, watch it!”
“Huh? What are you talking about?” Zoey whispered to him.
“One of you bozos stopped in front of me and nearly knocked me over!”
“Um, Francis… How could you have bumped into one of us if we stopped? You’re in front, remember?”
“Oh…” he paused as the concept sunk in. “Well if I didn’t bump into one of you, then who did I-”
Francis turned around slowly, facing the pitch black tunnel. “Francis…” Bill whispered.
He ignored the veteran as he began to raise his shotgun. “Don’t do it Francis…” Bill continued.
He cocked his shotgun. “Francis, don’t you-” Bill began, but Francis cut him off by clicking on the light attached to his gun. The sudden beam of light lit up the swollen, bulbous, and quite ugly face of a Boomer. The horrifyingly disgusting sight of the special infected suddenly popping out of nowhere when Francis clicked the light on made him jump. …And accidentally pull the trigger of the shotgun, thereby sending a cluster of buckshot ripping through the hideous zombie’s face.
Almost immediately after the Boomer’s massive, bloated gut exploded like an overfilled water balloon. The zombie’s rancid stomach acids, bile, and bloody guts splattered over the five survivors. Ditzy’s stomach heaved as the juices sloshed over her, soaking into her fur and bandages. The liquids alone she might have been able to handle; but when combined with the pain of them seeping into her open wound, she couldn’t hold back. She rushed over to the side of the tunnel as her stomach heaved again. Zoey grimaced as Ditzy hurled her stomach’s contents.
Bill held his arms out to his sides as the various liquids dripped from his drenched jacket. “FOR FUCK’S SAKE FRANCIS! I’ve told you time and time again not to shoot the damn boomers when they’re too close!”
“Son-of-a-bitch made me jump! My finger slipped,” Francis responded as he tried to wipe the burning slime out of his eyes. Ditzy vomited again by the wall. Louis slung a stretch of lower intestine off his shoulder and turned to look back down the tunnel. Zombies were beginning to jump and fall off the platform as they began rushing into the tunnel behind them.
“Um, Zoey? Please tell me you still have a Molotov, or at least a pipe bomb.”
Zoey coughed up some more bile that had found its way down her throat. “Blarg! Ugh, I don’t think so,” she said as she gave herself a quick once-over.
“It’s a good thing I always keep a spare,” Francis chimed in as he pulled a whiskey bottle and a rag of his vest’s inner pocket. He quickly wrapped the rag around the bottle’s top and whipped out his lighter. In a flash of fire, the rag caught fire. Francis pushed past the others to get a clear shot at the mass of zombies. “FIRE IN THE HOLE,” he shouted as he threw the bottle, “LITERALLY!”
The flaming bottle smashed into the ground just a few feet short of the horde. A wave of flames splashed across the ground, catching every zombie that neared it on fire. But there were too many zombies for the Molotov to burn to a crisp. The survivors knew they only had a moment before the flames would be trampled out.
Louis rushed over to where Ditzy was. She had her fore-hooves against the wall and her head lowered. “Come on kid, we gotta’ go!”
“I… I don’t think I-urg-I can,” she said weakly.
“Dang-it, we’re running out of time! We gotta move, now!” Ditzy threw up again, though it was a lot less than before. “Damn...” Louis thought for a split second as he tried to figure out what to do. Before he had a chance to think of anything, Francis pushed past him.
“Move! We don’t have time for this sentimental shit.” Francis picked up Ditzy quickly, and turned her around. She wrapped her forelegs around him and hung her head over his shoulder. Francis wrapped his right arm under her flanks to help support her weight while he wrapped his other arm around her back, making sure to avoid her wound. Francis could feel her shaking uncontrollably. “If you even THINK about puking on my vest, I’m droppin’ your ass A.S.A.P,” he whispered gruffly in her hear.
“Right,” Ditzy whispered back weakly.
“Alright, let’s get to those generators,” Bill shouted to the others as they began hurrying down the tunnel. “Move like there’s a pissed of tank on your asses!”
As if on cue, a thunderous roar shook the tunnel. Ditzy steadied her head due to the bouncy ride and opened her eyes to see what the noise was. The glow from the dying Molotov fire lit a massive figure pushing its way through the common infected. Any zombies in its way were crushed or swatted out of the way by the huge zombie.
Ditzy would have gulped in fright had her system not been trying to do the opposite of swallowing. “B-Bill…”
The veteran stopped and looked back at the outlined monstrosity. “Shit… People we need to MOVE,” Bill shouted as he took off faster than before. Ditzy continued to watch the Tank from over Francis’s shoulder as it slammed its huge fists into the fire, snuffing it out entirely. The group, except for Francis, clicked their lights on immediately after the tunnel was plunged into darkness again.
Bill was shining his light frantically from one side of the tunnel to the other as he desperately looked for the generator maintenance station. Soon his light passed over a dark, abandoned platform a short ways in the distance. He focused the beam of light and held it as steady as he could while running. “There’s the station! Come on, move like you’ve got a purpose!”
“I’m moving as fast as I can damnit! This pony isn’t exactly light as a feather, even after lightening her load, you know.” Ditzy held a hoof over her mouth to hold back the wave of nausea brought on by his reminder. “Hey,” Francis warned, “What did I tell you?!”
Bill scrambled up onto the platform as fast as possible, followed by Zoey and Louis. Francis handed Ditzy up to Zoey before he too climbed up. Bill kicked the door open and ushered everyone through before going through it himself. Inside, there was a short, narrow hallway with a flight of stairs at the other end.
Louis stopped at the bottom of the stairs, allowing Zoey and Francis to pass him as Bill stopped in front of him. “What are you doing?! We gotta go!”
“You all go on ahead, I’ll catch up!”
“You got a plan or a suicide run?!”
“See-four yourself,” Louis replied as he pulled a pair of plastic explosives and a trigger out. “I found them back in the safehouse. I figure if I cave this hallway in, they won’t be able to follow. Now go! I’ll catch up!”
Bill shot him a concerned glance before rushing up the stairs after the others. Louis ran back down the hallway and planted each explosive on adjacent walls of the hallway before running back to the stairs. It wasn’t until he heard the horde slamming on the door before he began running up the stairs. He was half way up the second flight when he heard the door break off its hinges and fall to the ground. Louis paused as he clicked the trigger.