Chapter 08: Exodus

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Marshall thought the idea was a bit dubious, that they shouldn't be that fucked that they'd have to be carrying their own food and water supplies. But the situation was just unknown enough that he supposed it might be prudent.

"All right," he said, "let's get to the cafeteria. But hold on one second."

He disappeared back into his quarters for a moment, opening the bottom drawer of his dresser and pulling out a black duffel-bag he'd carried some of his clothes in when they'd all first moved in. It would serve well to carry some food and water. He went back out into the corridor and the pair of them moved through the base to the cafeteria.

Marshall stood guard, watching over Andrea while she collected a handful of canteens of water and some of the well-packed meals kept in the cabinets that were similar to military rations. They were for emergencies, or people who were particularly lazy. While Andrea was finishing up, Laura reappeared in the cafeteria.

"Got it," she said.

"Good, we can arm..." Marshall hesitated. Who? The two unconscious people? Or the medic who seemed at least a little unstable. "Well, maybe you can just keep it."

"Ha, yeah. Unless you'd feel better with it, Andrea," Laura said, looking at the botanist, who had just stepped from the kitchen area, holding the black duffel-bag.

She shook her head. "I've never shot a gun. I'd rather not start now if I don't absolutely have to."

"Fair enough. Come on, we should get back and figure out how we're going to-"

Her sentence was cut neatly short by a gunshot that sounded from somewhere deeper in the base. Almost immediately it was followed by a second one. Marshall and Laura took off without a word. Andrea hurried after them, terrified of being left alone in the dark. They rushed through the base and came back to the infirmary.

Viktor was standing in the center of the infirmary, looking confused and afraid. Turner had a smoking pistol in hand, pointed towards the examination tables. Marshall stared in horror at Alice's body, which was on the floor now, her arms outstretched, as though reaching for her murderer. Paul still resided on the examination table he had been laid out on, but his head was at an awkward angle now and there was a nasty hole in the side of his skull, steadily leaking blood. Marshall took a step towards Turner, murder on his mind.

"Wait," Turner said, turning at the sound of movement and pointing the pistol at him. "She was turning."

"Viktor?" Marshall asked. He had his own pistol out now, pointed not quite at Turner but in his general direction. Laura stood beside him and she made no mistake about where she was pointing her shotgun. "Is this true?"

"Da...yes," Viktor managed. "She came back. Eyes like deep space..." he whispered. "He took the pistol from me. I...hesitated."

"And you shot Paul, too," Marshall finished.

"Yes, I did what had to be done. You get bit, that's it, you're gone," Turner replied harshly.

Marshall wanted to argue with him. Hell, part of him wanted to just shoot him and be done with it. But another part of him, the rational part, knew he was right. Even if there was a cure...he doubted they'd have any access to it in time.

"Fine," he said, lowering his pistol. "Viktor, did you finish with the medical kits?" he asked.

"Da."

"Good. How many?"

"Four."

"Take one for yourself. Laura, you take one. You too, Turner," Marshall said, crossing the infirmary, holstering his pistol and taking one of the portable medical kits. He clipped it to his belt and watched the others do the same.

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