Five - Safe Among Allies

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Cullen

Although I want to head back to the Treehouse Resort, I decide to trust Ike. It's nothing new to take orders from him, and he's never done me wrong in the past. He decides that what we need to do is head for the nearest prison to see if there are any survivors, food, and shelter like the reports previously stated.

Ike switches on the radio as we drive. "What are you doing?" I ask.

He glances at me and then back at the radio. "I'm trying to see how much of the world has been affected by the outbreak."

I sigh. "Isn't it obvious?" My eyes look out the windshield at our desolate surroundings.

He ignores me, instead turning the dials, attempting to find anything other than static. He stops abruptly, staring back at me. "There."

"Day 71, the virus has now traveled throughout the majority of the United States. Hawaii is still considered to be pure. Europe, South America, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East have reported cases of the virus. No word on Australia or Antarctica yet. Casualties in upwards of hundreds of millions are being reported."

Ike and I glance at one another, uneasy. I swallow, digesting the information. The world will never be the same again.

"The government is still MIA, and I fear the worst for the remaining survivors. The world is in complete chaos. People are turning on one another, killing each other over food, shelter, and personal items. Electricity and running water are still accessible, but no one knows how long that will last. The gas stations are running out of fuel, and someday, the world will be plunged into never-ending darkness. So, this is my question for you Mr. President: where are you now? I'll tell you where you are, you're hiding like a coward while the rest of the world pays for your mistakes."

Ike turns the dial, killing the radio. Neither one of us had any idea how bad it had all gotten. Everything is doom and despair, and unfortunately, the reporter was right, it's only going to get worse. At this point, we're all doomed.

A couple of blocks outside of the hospital, we come across a gold Honda Civic LX with a forth a tank of gas. Because we're not familiar with Tennessee, we have no clue where to go. Luckily, I find a state map in the glove compartment and it directs us right to it. As we drive through the desolate cities, on our way to the prison, it is becoming more apparent what the world is coming to. Everything is lifeless, hopeless.

It takes more than an hour to locate Whiteville Correctional Facility. The streets are unusually quiet when we pull up to the gates. There are biters outside the fences, but they can't get in. We both exit the car with knives in hand, and take down a handful of biters. As soon as we aren't surrounded, I try opening the gate, but it will not budge. I hear a chorus of footsteps from inside the gates, and then I spot the military fatigues headed straight for us. There looks to be more than thirty of them, and they are all carrying rifles. None of them look even semi-friendly as they close in with straight faces.

"Who are you?" The leader of the pack asks sharply. He has salt-and-pepper hair and dark eyes.

"This is Cullen, and my name's Ike. We don't want any trouble. We heard on the news that the prisons were safe, and we were finally in a position to check it out." Ike holds up his arms in surrender, glancing at me, motioning for me to follow suit.

"How do we know you aren't infected?" a random soldier asks.

"I guess you're just going to have to trust us," I reply with a smirk. When it's obvious they have no intention of letting us in, Ike begins pulling up his sleeves and pant legs.

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