Chapter 18: The Fall

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Greg pulled the part out of his protected pocket and passed it to Kyra's hand.

"Take it and go back to camp. No arguing this time. One of us needs to get that part back. Setting this bomb off is just gravy, honestly. The EMP bomb is what really matters," he said firmly. Kyra stared at him for a long moment.

Finally, she nodded. "Okay...I love you, Greg. Please come back to me safe."

Greg managed a small smile. "I always have so far. And I love you, too."

They kissed, taking off their helmets, and then she turned and left him standing alone in a bloody, smoke-filled, flickering corridor. Greg relished the taste of her while it lasted, then cleared his head. He'd taken a look over the map of the area and knew where Campbell, Mike, and anyone else who might be left alive and on his side were massing.

It shouldn't be far. Despite the adrenaline, Greg felt a wave of exhaustion shudder through him. It felt like he'd been fighting a million year war. Rest was a memory, sleep was a myth. A good meal was something he'd had in another life time. He reattached his helmet and started out with one step, then another, putting his feet in front of each other.

The exhaustion lifted, but left him feeling hollow. His head throbbed dully. Everything seemed to ache. Greg pushed himself further, down the corridor, around a corner. A pair of zombies entered his field of vision. He raised his rifle and put them down without even stopping. He didn't really have time for zombies anymore.

Up ahead, the sounds of conflict came to him. Greg came around another corner and spied a handful of security personnel and miners battling a squad of Drones. He hurried down the hallway and joined them, adding his own bullets to the fray. Several moments and many dozen bullets later, the last of the Augmented fell.

"Greg, you finally made it," Campbell said as he spied Greg.

"Yeah. Come on, let's get this over with," Greg replied.

They kept going, pushing through the corridors, through Augmented and Undead. The place was packed. For this, Greg was vaguely grateful. It meant that when they activated the bomb, at least a hell of a lot of bad guys would go down with it. His motions became automatic, his body a machine designed solely for killing.

He emptied magazine after magazine, salvaging spare ammo from the fallen. His gun heated up and eventually he swapped for another one, not putting much thought into the process. He and the others painted the walls with black and red blood and littered the floors with corpses and spent shell casings.

Before he knew it, they had arrived at the location where Campbell and Mike had set up the bomb. It was a mess hall, awash in a sea of pale flesh and black blood. Greg finished reloading. He was down to his last two magazines and he'd already gone through nearly a dozen. Besides himself, Campbell and Mike, there were about a dozen security personnel and miners left. Once more, it astounded Greg how many had died in this conflict.

He cleared his head. They were gathered outside a pair of large, open doors. Greg peered into the mess hall and considered the situation. There were a great deal of Undead and Augmented battling it out. It seemed like the Augmented were trying to get to the bomb, but the Undead were keeping them from it through sheer numbers.

"All right, everyone cover me, shoot anything that gets too close but pay special attention to any Drones. We can't let them reach the bomb. How do I activate it?" Greg asked.

"We'd just finished setting it up. All you have to do is press the big red button on the control panel. It'll activate a three minute countdown, and then this place will go up in smoke," Mike replied.

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