Chapter 08: Terminus

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Their peaceful ride towards the mines lasted approximately five minutes before bad luck caught back up with them yet again.

Mike was driving, Dallas riding shotgun. Laura had the back to herself, not that she particularly enjoyed that. She stared out the window beside her, trying not to see her reflection. God, she looked like shit right now. Bloodshot, baggy eyes, pale skin. She looked ill from exhaustion. She could tell Mike wasn't too happy about his own appearance either, as he'd been glancing in the mirror every now and then. They all looked like garbage right now, and wasn't it appropriate? The situation was pure garbage, nothing but a nonstop nightmare.

The vehicle began rolling to a halt about the same time Mike cursed miserably. Laura looked to the front, cold fear seeping into her, and she saw the problem right away. The land fell away to either side of them, going down into a steep ditch, and the small bridge that had been built across it was jam-packed with derelict vehicles.

"Sergeant?" Mike asked, glancing over at Dallas, the vehicle idling.

"We'll hoof it," Dallas replied, opening his door and stepping back out into the rainfall. Mike sighed and killed the engine. Laura unbuckled and got out, closing the door behind her. Dallas moved forward, getting up onto the back of one of the vehicles, and set off. She joined Mike and the pair of them followed after him, climbing onto the nearest vehicles. She tried to ignore being wet and cold as she attempted to find her footing.

"What do you think the chances of this thing being at the mines are?" she asked.

"It's hard to say," Mike replied. "It really depends on a few things. Mainly what kind of vehicles they have down there. If it's a bigger mine, there's a better chance. There's a big driller that actually uses the same part. They might have it in storage, too. If I can get to a workstation and look at an inventory, I should be able to figure it out fast. I know exactly what I'm looking for," he replied, pausing as he leaped between cars.

"And if it isn't?" she asked, following.

"Then...we leave the island, I guess. Go back to Jackson, maybe." He growled in miserable frustration. "If that is the case, I'm calling it a day. I need a fucking full nights' sleep. Like real, actual sleep," he replied.

"We both do," she agreed.

They finally reached the other end of the rows of vehicles and got back down onto solid ground. She could see where the road curved slightly to the right and terminated in a parking lot that sat in the shadow of the hill the mine was dug into. Seeing it filled her with a few different emotions: dread, hope, wonder.

Wonder at the idea that this could be the end.

They could go in there, find the part, get back, install it and fucking just leave.

Laura couldn't really fully believe it, though. In almost all aspects of her life, she'd learned not to believe something until it was actually happening. Until she was seeing it with her own eyes. Even then, she was skeptical. She sure as hell didn't want to be. She wanted to believe that things would work out, that she could trust people, trust the universe, that it was going to be okay. But no. The universe was a cold, unforgiving place. It would be foolish and dangerous to let yourself have that kind of faith.

They at least managed to make it to the parking lot without trouble.

There were obvious signs of conflict spread out across the area. A few corpses. Some wrecked vehicles. A handful of zombies, stumbling mindlessly around in the rain. Dallas put them down wordlessly with quick headshots.

"Let's get this over with," he said, walking forward, towards the vast, dark maw that was the entryway to the mining installation.

The trio of battle-stricken survivors stood before the ingress point, which came in the form of a twenty foot tall tunnel that burrowed down into the earth. She could see uncertain shapes lurking within, and groans echoed out to them.

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