The Incident at the Fence

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Dozens of cadavers threw themselves against the sagging fence, which still had just enough enough bounce to flung them backwards back onto their feet. But it was clear to Rowan that this section of the fence was moments away from giving in, collapsing forward toward the school and taking much of the adjacent fence with it. That wouldn't be good.

"Jonas Brothers," cried Rowan through his cupped hands, addressing the three boys who stood further along the fence in an expectant huddle. "Now!"

The plan was to use the Jonas Brothers as decoys and the Beliebers as diggers. Once the holes were deep enough, Rehearsal and Sands would fly in with long, firm PVC pipes and slide the pipes down into the new holes, which had been dug adjacent to the interior of the sagging fence. What the PVC pipes were supposed to do was to reinforce the forward-sagging fence. The act as supports against the sag. The idea was to throw up six such braces along the floppiest stretch of the fence. 

The small team of Beliebers, each member chosen for his or her physicality, dug aggressively with the shovels procured in the Home Economics classroom. A group of six Jonas Brothers, these chosen for their litheness and speed, were supposed to lure the horde of cadavers away from the saggy stretch of fence by shaking the fence like monkeys. The Jonas Brothers had been instructed to keep jiggling their section of the fence until the bulk of the cadavers had started to migrate in their direction, and then the Jonas Brothers were supposed to move on and start jiggling a section of the fence even further away, leading the migrant cadavers still further away from the site of the dig.

But none of that was happening. Rowan suddenly understood that it had been a great mistake to force the two rival gangs to work on a joint venture so soon after the "armistice" when he could have easily played it safe and given the whole job to the Beliebers. None of this inter-gang cooperation crap. A stupid risk. A costly one.

"What the hell are you doing?" Rowan shouted at the five Jonas Brothers who stood 15 yards away. "Are you mad?"

What was happening was the Jonas Brothers were just standing there pointing fingers at their mortally endangered Belieber counterparts and giggling. They weren't jiggling the fence at all. Not even pretending to. They had never actually planned to, apparently. They saw this whole venture as an opportunity to get some of their rivals killed by cadavers without even having to do anything. They didn't seem too concerned with the longterm ramifications of such behavior, ei: the cadavers would surely breach the fence and flood the schoolyard, greatly increasing the chances that the actual building will eventually be overrun by the horde.

"It's a trap," cried Citro as she launched herself toward the betraying Jonas Brothers, likely meaning to jiggle that section of the fence herself. She never got close. The Jonas Brothers whipped out their slingshots and started firing, forcing Citro to fling herself to the ground and cover her head.

"We must abort!" howled Rehearsal, who was balancing a 10-foot-long stretch of firm PVC under his armpit and seemed poised to drop it to the ground. "Retreat from the area. Get out of the cadaver's line-of-sight. Maybe they'll cease their assault!"

Rowan took a quick moment to study the situation. The fence was sagging forward at such an angle as to press down onto the Beliebers' heads as they continued to dig like dogs. The fence was losing whatever resilience remained and would crash forward momentarily. Rowan instinctively ran forward and started using all of his strength to lift the sagging fence back to a vertical position.

"No choice," he barked. "That's deep enough, Beliebers! Bob! Install the first support!"

"It won't hold all by itself," Rehearsal protested. "We talked about this! Has to be two at a time or else—!"

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