Chapter 07: Undead Rising

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"What happened?"

Greg snapped his gaze over. He'd been hearing things out in the corridor, but they seemed uninterested in the infirmary, so he let them pass. They didn't sound pleasant, undoubtedly Undead. Billings shifted on the examination table, trying to prop himself up. He was still very pale, but his color was coming back.

Kyra hopped off the table she'd been sitting on. "You cut your wrist, remember?"

"Yeah...damn, that hurts...I remember that part. What happened after? I remember running...I think some Undead..."

"We got you to an infirmary. You've only been out around half an hour. You're going to be fine," Greg replied.

Billings shook his head, rubbed at his wrist. "Damn...hurts like fuck. What's the plan? What's happening?"

"Relax, for now. You need to-"

Billings cut Kyra off, pushing her hands away, standing up.

"No," he said bluntly. "We're not waiting around for that. What's the plan?"

"We were thinking that some of the prisoners might not have had that chip in them," Greg replied diplomatically. "Could we at least bandage your wrist first?"

Billings sighed. "Fine, but be quick about it."

Kyra moved over to one of the medical cabinets and rummaged around in it for a moment. She came back with a small hypo and a bandage. She took his wrist, injected it with the hypo and then applied the bandage.

"Antiseptic and local painkiller," she said, tossing the hypo away.

"Thanks," Billings murmured, rubbing his wrist.

She gave them each a medical kit and then hooked her own to her belt. Greg mimicked her action. With nothing left to do, the trio left the infirmary, moving back out into the main corridor. Whatever had been skulking around was gone now, as far as Greg could tell. They moved back toward the detention center.

"I'm sorry about being a jerk," Billings murmured as they entered the center.

"It's fine," Kyra replied quietly.

"No, it's not. I just..." He hesitated as they ascended the stairwell. Greg took a seat in front of the terminal, trying to discern if anyone was still alive. "When I was younger, a teenager, you know, I was one of those do-nothing losers. I didn't give a shit about my grades, my parents, anything really. All I wanted to do was hang out with my friends and play games. When I graduated, barely, I still didn't have a license, a job, a girlfriend, anything real. No skills. I was a total fucking drain on society. I was that guy who could never hold a job, who was always getting kicked out, who kept borrowing money and never giving a fuck about anything."

Billings fell silent. Greg and Kyra stared at him now. Billings stared at the floor, or into the cold silence of memory.

"So, what happened?" Kyra asked quietly.

"I finally ran out of options when I was twenty five. Everyone turned me out, all of my friends, all of my family. All I had left was my dad and he...well, he made me join the Marines. He told me if I could get through Basic and do it for a year, and I absolutely hated it, he'd let me move back in with him and he'd try to work with me, help me get a job, all that shit. I almost walked out, went homeless, but there was something in his voice, something so pleading...I was really at the hard end right then, so I said 'Fuck it, why not?' And I did it."

"How'd it go?" Greg asked.

"How about we see if anyone's left alive first, then I'll tell you all about it," Billings replied, staring out over the detention complex.

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