Chapter 22: Peace

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"There's an isolated storage complex, built into the bottom of a valley, up ahead. That's where we're going."

It was the first thing anyone had said in what must have been an hour. Greg was barely awake in the backseat. Kyra lay against him, and eventually she'd disengaged the seatbelt, stretched out and rested her head in his lap. She was still asleep. Greg had drifted between the borders of fitful slumber and stark reality, but now he was awake. Cage must have sensed it. Greg shifted, and looked down at Kyra.

"What will we do there?" He brushed some of Kyra's brunette hair back, and tucked it behind her ear. She looked so...peaceful as she slept.

"Hope it's empty, hole up for a little while. We need a plan. We might get lucky and they'll have their hands full with the Undead, but they'll be coming for you. You're too important to them."

Greg sighed. "I don't see why."

"They might already have their cure, but having patient zero on standby is a safer bet than having him dead or missing."

There wasn't much to say to that. Greg knew it was true, so he opted to turn and stare out the window. A twin jeep rode silently alongside them. Billings and the others. Beyond it, miles and miles of bleak wasteland. Darkness approached, the sun headed for the far horizon, and the rain had finally let up.

"How long have we been driving?"

"Almost an hour and a half," Cage replied.

Greg realized the man was smoking a cigarette. He suddenly ached for a cig, but didn't want to wake Kyra. He wondered how she looked at smoking, and then remembered she talked about toking up every now and then. Though there was a bit of a difference between cigarettes and weed. The jeep descended, heading down into a canyon.

Kyra shifted and sat up. "What's happening?"

"We're almost there," Cage replied.

She relaxed and settled back against Greg. Resting her head on his shoulder, she let out a long, contented sounding sigh.

"Thanks for being a pillow," she murmured.

"Happy to do it."

Kyra laughed and nudged him. "Yeah, I bet you were."

Cage sighed. Greg put an arm around Kyra, still uncertain if this might be too far, but she settled further against him. As they made their final approach to the outpost, Greg thought about his relationship with Kyra. It was obvious that there was something there. They'd kissed several times at this point...but it seemed that each kiss had been in a moment of heated passion or near-death experiences.

What did that mean? They hadn't really had a moment alone, although when they had, they'd nearly gone all the way. Did that mean anything? Or was it just another extended moment of passion? Kyra seemed like the kind of lady who could shrug off a one-night stand. Greg wondered if he could do it as well.

The ground started to even out. They came to the bottom of the canyon. Ahead of them, it seemed to stretch on into infinity, branching off into no doubt a broad network of valleys and trenches cut into the earth.

Ahead, he spied a single vehicle. For a moment, Greg felt panic rise in his chest, but he relaxed as he realized it was long abandoned. As they drew even closer, he spied structures, windows and doors built into the canyon walls.

There didn't seem to be any activity.

"I don't see any Banshees out here," Kyra murmured.

"I don't think they've come this far. They only seem to hang around larger outposts or cities," Cage replied.

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