Isaac and I jog back up the stairs, ducking under the windows. This time, we don't stop, not even to breathe. The stairs are clear, but when we round the last flight, we run into two of Hartley's guards. They look shocked, staring down at us.
"Don't think of them as people," Isaac whispers, coming to stand beside me. He cocks his gun, the sound echoing around us.
"You can shoot someone without killing them," I mutter, taking aim for one man's foot. I fire, the recoil sending me backwards. I must have hit my target, because the man falls, roaring in pain. The other guard looks shocked, taking aim for us.
Isaac jumps to the left, and I press myself up against the wall to our right. Keeping my body low, I crawl up the stairs, tackling him around the knees. He hits the door hard. The impact knocks the gun out of his hand. His hands wrap around my middle, pushing me hard away from him. I slide across the floor on my knees.
His gun is beside me, and we see it at the same time. In one swift motion, I push it down the stairs, and he dives at me. He lands a blow to my stomach, another to my chin. I stumble for a second, feeling the steps slip out from under me.
Like I'm stuck in the spin cycle, I roll down the stairs, coming to a stop only when I run into the wall.
That's when I hear Isaac running past me, throwing himself, shoulder first into the guard. Isaac yells as he carries the grown man back up the stairs and slams him into the door. Pinning him up by the neck, Isaac delivers one blow to the nose, knocking the man out cold.
"You alright?" Isaac asks, jogging back down and offering me a hand. I take it, trying to catch my breath.
"All good," I say, hands on my rib cages. It hurts to breathe, and I can feel my face swelling. "Does it look bad?"
Isaac touches my face, wincing.
"Absolutely hideous," he says, smiling. Rolling my eyes, I push past him, climbing the steps again. There's no more guards out here, but I can see several inside.
"How are we going to get through all these guards?" I ask, more to myself.
"Fire at will?" Isaac says, appearing behind me.
"There has to be a better way," I mutter, watching them pace the hall. I look down at the two unconscious guards, radios hanging from their belts. "What if we lure them out?"
Isaac follows my line of sight, picking up the radio.
"It might work."
Together, we drag the two bodies down to the third floor door, opening the door and shoving them in. I snatch a card key and a set of building keys before I shut the door on them, listening to the lock click. Isaac has the radio in his hand, inspecting the buttons.
"Here's the plan. I'm going to radio in and say there's been a security breach in the basement. I'll say to send as much help as possible, because they're fighting back. With any luck, most of them will leave," Isaac says, "That'll give us a few minutes at least to barricade the door or something."
I nod, pressing myself up against the wall behind the door. I give him a thumbs up as he joins me, radio pressed against his mouth. He grips it, pushing the button with his thumb.
"Attention all guards, there has been a security breach in the basement. Two of the detained have broken out and are fighting against us. Please send us all available units for assistance," Isaac says, making his voice deep and unrecognizable. I have to hold back my laughter. The radio crackles, and I hear swearing behind the door.
"We are sending help, officer."
I grit my teeth as the door swings open and guards pour out. At least five come stomping out the door, running down the steps with their guns raised. I hold my breath as they jog down the steps, their voices echoing intelligibly in the hallway. The door swings shut, masking the sound of Isaac walking to the other side of the door.
YOU ARE READING
"I live in a place called Compound 4. We are one of ten different compounds placed at strategic locations around the US. It's been thirteen years since the virus overtook humanity, turning about ninety percent of us into zombies. I'm not sure how it...