This is the final sub chapter of Part 1 of A Survivor’s Apocalypse Story. I will be moving onto new projects for a while after this and pick up with this story again later in the year. Thank you to all who have kept up and please spread the word if you have enjoyed it. Catch up with all previous chapters by clicking this link.
Jay believed Ryan. It turned out that Jay had been suspicious of Mel’s motives all along, but had been reluctant to speak out in case it came back on him. In Jay, Ryan had found not only the perfect confidant, but the perfect cohort too.
“Pretty cool that you’re getting sex out of the whole thing, but I thought you were keen on Georgina? Isn’t that the reason for you doing all of this?”
“I’m doing what I’ve gotta do to make it look like I’m playing the game while I work out what to do. If Mel wants me to bang his smoking hot woman in order to keep me sweet then I’d be a fool to turn that down. It doesn’t affect anything where Georgina’s concerned,” Ryan defended himself.
“Speaking of what to do, have you thought of anything yet,” Jay asked.
“A couple of ideas floating around, but I keep coming back to the same one as it gives us the better chance of coming through all of this unscathed. The main problem is that there’ll be collateral damage and a shitload of it”.
“We sabotage this mission to take over the Safe Zone. In a nutshell, it’s as simple as that”.
“Sabotage how,” Jay asked with a raised eyebrow.
“There are many ways we can do it. We could inform the military beforehand, accidentally give away our position, you name it. As long as we beat a hasty retreat before the army swoop in, we’re home and dry. We head back here, take care of Mel and bring an end to his tyranny before it can begin,” Ryan said as though it were as simple as a stroll in the park.
“Wouldn’t we lead the military back here in doing that?”
“That’s where the collateral damage comes in. We’d have to leave New Haven. Gather together a few of the more useful residents and get the fuck out of here before the army arrives and rounds up the rest of them”.
Jay blew a long sigh and shook his head with uncertainty. Ryan shrugged his shoulders.
“I never said it’d be pretty, Jay”.
“I can’t help but feel that negates the whole purpose of taking Mel out. We’re supposed to be freeing the people of tyranny, aren’t we? Not dumping them straight into the middle of it”.
“We can’t take out Mel and not expect repercussions. The guys here are brainwashed by his bullshit. If we simply kill him then it’ll have been for nothing because we’ll soon end up meeting the same fate as him. Sorry, Jay, but I’m not ready to be a fucking martyr. We’re doing this for us. We can start again. Get out on the road and survive. If we keep our operation modest then there never need be a reason for us to give ourselves away the way Mel surely will here if we allow his crap to continue. He’s too power hungry not to expand his empire and he’ll eventually compromise us all”.
“I don’t know, Ry. I’m not sure my conscience could handle selling all of these people down the river. They haven’t done anything wrong. Following Mel doesn’t mean they should be implicated too”.
“You’ll have to help me think of a better idea then because I’m fresh out, bud,” Ryan said; spreading his hands.
Jay looked defeated. He didn’t like Ryan’s idea. He didn’t want whatever became of the New Haven residents on his conscience if they went with it, but a better idea simply wasn’t coming to mind. Despatching of Mel out and about and making it look like an accident wasn’t possible because Mel wouldn’t be going with the teams to the Safe Zone. He never left New Haven and Ryan was right. If they killed him, the residents and soldiers would turn on them and either incarcerate or kill them. Sabotaging the Safe Zone mission and returning to New Haven before the army arrived would present them the opportunity to kill Mel and there not be enough time for anybody to realise until it was too late. New Haven would fall, but they’d be free to start again and they were resourceful enough between them to lead a new rebel crew.
“The key element of this whole ordeal is survival”, Ryan continued. “We’re not here to babysit people or wipe arses, Jay. We’re here to survive and we do that by surrounding ourselves with strong, self-sufficient people. Surround yourselves with weak people who depend on you and you’re just asking for trouble. Maybe we need to let go of the idea of a fully functioning society because the world doesn’t run that way anymore. These weak people might not deserve what’s coming their way if we go with my idea, but we don’t deserve to put our lives constantly on the line so that they survive. We’re doing ourselves a disservice that way”.
“Tough to argue with that,” Jay uttered after a few seconds pause to consider Ryan’s words. “All we’re doing here is feathering the nests of the weak people”.
“Don’t forget Mel. That twat’s nest is made of feathers, never mind lined with them. A corrupt old army sergeant who manipulates young soldiers. He knows he’s full of shit. It just needed somebody not blinded by his military rank to see that he is”.
“Right again,” Jay agreed. “Alright, Ry. We’ll go with your idea. Start getting your stuff together so that we can leave with immediate effect as soon as we’ve got the wheels in motion. We’ll discuss the fine details soon. The other guys are gonna arrive shortly”.
“One thing for sure though,” Ryan said holding up a finger.
“We rescue Georgina and bring along a couple of those medics. If they have discovered some kind of antidote then we’re not letting that disappear into the ether”.
“No problem,” Jay said with a nod.
The day of the Safe Zone takeover a few days later came around quickly. In that time, nobody saw or heard anything of Georgina which confirmed every suspicion Ryan had about what they were doing with her.
Mel gave the rallying pep talk before the teams headed out to perform their task. Ryan smirked at Mel’s premature look of victorious pride as they all scurried off like his personal performing monkeys, but blissfully unaware that today would spell the end of everything he’d built.
The rest of Jay’s team hadn’t been filled in about what was happening besides Kas who’d needed a little talking around, but was sold when they made him aware of what had been happening with Georgina and Anna’s blatant tomfoolery to try and pull the wool over Ryan’s eyes. Kas was concerned about the rest of the team, but Jay knew they’d ultimately go along with him such was their level of respect.
The teams conjoined into three larger ones and climbed into the commandeered military vehicles. Each man was adorned in the disruptive pattern material clobber of the British Army. The nearest Safe Zone sat some twenty miles away from New Haven. As the truck rolled along, Ryan, Jay and Kas shot one another frequent and uncertain glances. They didn’t need to speak of it. They all knew exactly what they had to do. The discussions had taken place so there was no need for any more. It would have been difficult anyway for the fact that they were surrounded by several other men.
The convoy was due to stop half a mile outside the Safe Zone so that they could reconnoitre the checkpoint and decide how to go about infiltrating it. This was where the plan would be executed.
The chatter was idle between the men in the back of the truck. Ryan despised the way military types spoke to one another. It was as though they couldn’t switch off from the army life. He didn’t like their ego; naturally failing to see the irony in his own judgement. It delighted him that Jay and Kas didn’t speak in that manner. Clearly they’d taken the decision to shake off the influence of the military once they’d given it the elbow to join the rebel cause.
After almost an hour of travel along the desolate country roads dotted occasionally by abandoned cars and pockets of lurchers, the convoy arrived at the recon point. The vehicles were left in a spot under cover of trees so that any potential lookouts wouldn’t have been able to spot them while a high magnification sniper rifle scope was used to scan the entrance by one of the rebel soldiers who lay flush to the grassy ground.
Nobody noticed as Kas went and sabotaged the radios of two of the trucks while Jay severed the fuel linkage pipes. Nobody noticed when Ryan skulked over to the rebel looking through the scope and slit his throat with his bowie knife. All the other rebels were too busy talking or smoking away from the scene. Quietly, Jay went around his men and urged them to head back to the vehicle which they all did without question. In the meantime, Ryan took the sniper rifle and checked the silencer was definitely attached. Satisfied that it was, he took aim at one of the soldiers on the Safe Zone gate. It really didn’t matter which one. He lightly squeezed the trigger and sent a bullet through the brain of one of the soldiers standing above the checkpoint and he toppled from the walkway to the ground below just outside the gate.
None of the rebels heard a thing as the soldiers went into an immediate frenzy. Ryan quietly put the sniper rifle back in the possession of the dead rebel with a tinge of regret. He’d enjoyed wielding the powerful weapon. Looking as nonchalant as he could, Ryan then walked with a cheerful whistle back to the truck and climbed inside where Jay and Kas sat waiting. Jay, behind the drivers wheel, nodded at Ryan.
Jay pulled a tight-lipped smile. He was concerned about everything, but they were too deep in it now to back out.
Then the sound of an alarm could be heard in the distance. That was the cue they were waiting for. Jay fired up the engine and released the handbrake before gunning the throttle. There were shouts of protest at Jay from the rebels who were confused by what was going on. Jay didn’t hesitate. This was no time for his conscience to kick in and he swallowed it down. Ryan smiled a wolfish grin as they went by the group of rebels before pulling the pin on a grenade and throwing it out of the window at them. He looked through the wing mirror at the scattering men as the grenade exploded; sending some of them flying.
The sound of the grenade would have given away the position of the rebels to the military at the Safe Zone and they’d soon flood the area along with any nearby lurchers. They all headed immediately for the trucks to both get away from the scene and radio New Haven about what had happened, but quickly realised neither thing was going to happen thanks to the sabotage of the two vehicles. Some of the rebels fled in all directions, while others stood their ground only to be quickly overwhelmed when the army arrived at the scene.
All the while, Kas anonymously radioed the coordinates of New Haven to the military while they were in transit. That left only two more things for them to do to complete the job.
Few people really took notice as the truck made its way into New Haven. The mission was being conducted in the strictest secrecy so there was really no reason for anybody to bat an eyelid. As they pulled up, Jay told his men to gather up as many supplies as they could as well as any citizens who they knew to be of any particular use. With the rear cabin of the truck lacking windows, they hadn’t seen what Ryan did and were still unaware of the operation’s sabotage. All Jay told them was that New Haven had been compromised and they had to gather up as much as they could before leaving. They jumped to it diligently while Jay, Ryan and Kas discussed their parts to play.
“I think the best way to work this is that you two head to the medical facility, rescue Georgina and a few of the doctors while I go and take care of Mel,” Jay said.
“No, Jay. It has to be me to take down Mel. He needs to know it was I that discovered his plans and ruined it all for him. I need to see his face when I tell him it’s all over. Don’t deny me that”.
Jay wasn’t sure he wanted it to be that way. While he knew Mel was a corrupt man, he felt he perhaps deserved to die with a little more dignity, but he grudgingly nodded in agreement and told Ryan to make it quick and clean. Ryan took off in the direction of Mel’s residence and let himself in. Anna wasn’t behind her desk as customary, so Ryan made his way up the stairs as soundlessly as he could and hesitated outside the door.
After a moment to collect his thoughts and take a deep breath, Ryan kicked open the door and stepped inside with his pistol levelled. Both Mel and Anna let out shocked exclamations. Anna was bent over the desk in a compromising position while Mel quickly stooped to pull up his pants.
“What the fuck is this,” Mel said angrily as he zipped up his fly.
“What the fuck is this? This is the end, Mel”.
“Ryan; what are you doing,” Anna asked; having regained some of her dignity.
“Get out of here, Anna! This is between me and this Welsh twat!”
Anna didn’t hang around. She quickly made her way to the door of the office and let herself out before closing the door. Ryan stepped towards Mel, but didn’t get too close as he knew that the older man was quicker and stronger than his advancing years suggested.
“I get it, Ryan. You’re here to take over,” Mel said with a condescending chuckle.
“Not exactly, Mel. I regret to inform you that your little Safe Zone takeover bid has failed. Your men are either dead or lost in the countryside and the military are on their way here to bring an end to your empire”.
“I see,” Mel said; not entirely sure if to take Ryan seriously. “And I suppose you’re the one who made all of this happen?”
“I set the wheels in motion, but I’ve had help. Turns out Jay and Kas don’t trust you either”.
“Any particular reason you don’t trust me?”
“Several. The fact that you’re holding Georgina as a prisoner in the medical facility in the hopes of discovering some antidote and then sending Anna around to keep me occupied in the hope I’d forget all about it. Pimping out your woman. Classy!”
“A prisoner? Miss Stewart was a willing volunteer. I admit Anna was acting out my wishes to distract you, but that was only because I knew you wouldn’t leave well alone if I didn’t. The work going on in the medical facility is top secret and I don’t trust you. Turns out I was right not to”.
“Bollocks! I don’t believe Georgina volunteered herself. Just like I don’t believe your wanting to take over a Safe Zone was for any honourable cause. I’ve seen right through you. You want to find an antidote for yourself so you can become immune. There’s no way you’d have shared it around. You’re a power hungry and corrupt old bastard!”
“And you are a stupid and narcissistic man who only sees what he wants to see. I assure you my intentions were entirely honourable. Do you think I could have led New Haven and the Safe Zone alone? I was fully intending to share the power around. I’m an old man. How much longer could I possibly have left?”
Ryan couldn’t respond. He didn’t know whether to believe Mel or not, but nothing about the man’s body language suggested that he was doing anything less than telling the truth. Mel reached into his desk drawer and retrieved a file that he threw on the desk before Ryan. His eyes went to it momentarily before looking back up at Mel.
“All the details about my plan are in there. Take a look when you get five minutes. It’ll back everything up that I’ve said. All your actions have done, Mr Lloyd, is bring havoc to the innocent people here in New Haven. They’re now at the mercy of the military and I have no idea what they’ll do with them. That’s on your conscience and I hope it keeps you from sleeping. If I were you, I’d turn that gun on myself because when the people find out what you’ve done, they’ll kill you anyway”.
There was a silence, but only a short one before Ryan broke into quiet laughter that steadily grew in raucousness. Mel’s grin vanished to be replaced by an expression of fearful confusion.
“Dumb cunt! Nobody will find out what your plans were. You won’t be alive to tell anybody and I’ll be sure to shut your bitch up on the way out too. No; everybody I choose to make the escape with before the army arrives will believe exactly what I say. They’ll all believe you were out for nothing but power. Who the fuck is going to disprove it? You think I’m stupid enough to tell everyone I was wrong all along?”
“You truly are a disgusting piece of shit,” Mel said with malice. “I knew you were trouble, but decided I’d give you the benefit of the doubt. What a fool I was!”
“Yes indeed. What a fool! Perhaps if you’d just levelled with me from the start about Georgina I wouldn’t have taken this course of action”.
“Perhaps if you learned not to be so untrusting of people and less full of yourself you wouldn’t have taken this course of action either,” Mel yelled.
“Time’s up, old man. For what it’s worth, I’m sorry”.
“No you aren’t, Lloyd”.
“No. No, you’re right. I’m not,” Ryan said; smiling callously and pointing the gun at Mel’s head.
“Ryan. Ryan, wait…”
A single shot rang out that cut Mel off midsentence. His right eye exploded in a spray of crimson before he fell and slumped dead over his desk. Ryan looked down upon the old man without remorse for several seconds before picking up the file on the desk and a nearby lighter Mel used for his cigarettes. He took the lighter to the file without reading it before throwing it back on the desk. He then set a few more things ablaze and waited to see that the fire was catching all around. Satisfied, Ryan made for the door; turning one last time to look at the corpse of Mel before heading out.
As he reached the bottom of the stairs, Anna stood behind her desk with a pistol pointed out before her held in a very shaky hand. Ryan feigned a fearful expression.
“P…p…please Anna. D…don’t shoot me. I thought we had something s…s…special going on”.
Anna relented and let out a tearful sigh. She lowered her gun only slightly, but it was all the opportunity Ryan needed to raise his and put a bullet in her right shoulder. She reeled back against the wall with a shrill cry. Ryan smiled again menacingly at her before pulling the trigger three more times. She slipped down the wall leaving a bloody trail as the life quickly drained from her.
“Shame. You were a damned good fuck!”
He chuckled to himself before leaving the building. The sun shone down on him as he stepped out onto the street. It was as though nothing had happened. The residents got about their business; blissfully unaware that their world was about to come crashing down around them. Ryan didn’t feel bad.
“Get them before they can get you,” Ryan said quietly to himself.
At that moment, the truck appeared a little further down the road with a honk of the horn. Ryan held up his hand in comprehension and walked towards it; climbing into the front seat next to Kas while Jay occupied the driver’s seat again. Jay looked across at him.
“Are we good?”
“Yup,” Ryan said indifferently. “Did you get Georgina?”
“And a few of the doctors as requested. They put up some resistance so they might not be massively conscious at the moment,” Jay joked.
“Hey; you gotta do what you gotta do”.
“Did you make it quick,” Jay asked.
Ryan hesitated. He did all he could to suppress a smirk that was fighting with all its might to appear on his lips.
“As quick as I could. I got him to admit everything too. I was right all along. It was all about growing an empire and taking over”.
“That fucker,” Jay said with frustration.
“Died like the snivelling coward he was too; grovelling for his life,” Ryan lied. “Well it’s over now, Jay. We can get out of here and start again”.
“Yeah,” Jay uttered; putting the truck in gear and pressing down on the accelerator. “Yeah, we can”.
New Haven passed by the window as Ryan looked out. They were quickly out of the doomed rebel stronghold and into the countryside. They’d be well away before the military arrived. By that point, the main building would be nothing but cinders and ash along with the evidence that he’d lied about Mel.
Ryan thought about what he’d done and the pain his meddling was about to cause. There was guilt in there somewhere, but not a lot. This was an apocalypse. This was about survival of the fittest. He was a survivor and he’d continue to survive no matter what it cost other people.
END OF PART 1 – TO BE CONTINUED
Please be sure to keep up with the awesome story that gave birth to this one; Just Another Apocalypse Diary by fellow blogger Kira Scribbled. Catch up now by clicking the appropriate link. Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6, Day 7, Day 8, Day 9, Day 10.