Chapter Seven Part Five - Rotten Egg

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Battered and bruised, Jack hobbled as best he could around to the cab, having locked the bull in the rear trailer. It had taken some time but eventually, he and Sarah had managed to catch the animal and get it to where it needed to be.

Unlike Jack, Sarah was injury free. Quicker on her feet than the man, she had been able to dodge the bull's frenzied kicks.

"At least getting it out the other end will be easier," said Jack with a pained chuckle. "Back it up and open the door. Simple."

"Well I think it'd be best if you make sure you're well out of the way when we do," said Sarah, smiling. "That bull really doesn't like you!"

"Aye, must be a testosterone thing, or something."

"Yeah, you keep telling yourself that," she replied as Jack started the engine.

Turning the transport in the farmyard was an arduous process due to the two attached trailers. Jack persevered though and soon enough they were out on the open road.

Taking it easy so as not to lose one or both of the trailers, the drive back to the hotel took some time and as such, it was almost dark by the time Jack turned the wheel right to take the lorry into the drive.

To his surprise, two armed soldiers were blocking the road.

"What the hell?" he asked, whilst Sarah muttered something similar. He pulled to a halt and left the engine running as he hopped down from the cab, cursing under his breath as he had forgotten all about the injuries sustained during his bull-related antics. "Who the hell are you guys?"

"We'll ask the questions," one of them replied as the other levelled his rifle at Jack. "What's your business here?"

"I bloody well live here," Jack replied, harshly. "Just back off a run, now get out my damn way."

The more vocal of the two turned away and spoke into a radio.

"Got a bloke claims he lives here, Sir, driving a damn livestock lorry."

"That'll be Jack, Private," the reply came back clearly after a slight delay. "One of our hosts."

Upon hearing that, the gun was lowered and when the speaker turned back to face Jack, he did so with an incredibly apologetic look upon his face.

"Sorry about that," he said. "Jack, is it? We're new here."

"We've only been gone for twelve hours at the most!" Jack said, angrily, although said anger was quickly fading. "I have to admit though, it's rather nice to have an armed guard on the gate."

"Go on through though be warned, it's pretty hectic down there. One of the outbuildings had to be torched due to a rat infestation and because of that, a couple of the connected water pipes burst in the main building."

"Bit of a leak?"

"You could say that. Both of the top levels on the west side were under about three inches of stagnant water a half hour ago and trust me, that's not something you can un-smell..."

"Thanks for the head's up," he replied as he clambered back into the cab. "Oh, you might find that one or two Zeds decided to follow us back here. This lorry ain't exactly quiet."

"No worries," the other soldier replied, the first thing he had said thus far. "You'll never catch us complaining about having to kill zombies!"

The timing could not have been much better for at that very moment several Zeds crashed through the undergrowth that lined the north of the drive. Instinct took over and Jack grabbed one of the rifles that he had stashed behind his seat. As the two guards began firing their own weapons he leapt from the cab once again and joined them. Head shots only, of course. It would not do to waste ammunition with anything else.

"There's more coming along the road!"

"More to kill."

"Sarah," Jack yelled, the rifle nestled in his shoulder. He fired, his broad form easily absorbing the kick back and the result being a bullet directly through the centre of his target's head. "Take the lorry with the boys. I figure this noise won't have gone unnoticed down there but do us a favour and let them know a couple of extra guns might come in handy."

As Jack and the two Privates continued taking out Zeds, Sarah slid into the driver's seat and with no small amount of juddering, she took the lorry down the drive. Having never driven anything larger than her old VW Golf GTi, she was not used to the incredible weight, width and length that the lorry had, especially with the two horse boxes hooked up to the rear.

She turned left at the end of the drive, intending to take the lorry around in a wide arc, however she had not been expecting to meet several armed, running people. She slammed her foot to the brake and seconds later, there was an almighty creak and a crash as the horse box containing the bull toppled over.

"Zeds!" she yelled, spotting Annalise amongst the six or seven people. "Jack's up there taking care of business with the guards."

"Get the boys inside," said Annalise as she sprinted past. "We'll worry about your cargo when we've dealt with the Zeds."

Then she was gone, and Sarah did not need telling twice.

"Come on, boys," she said, turning to the back seat where Richard and Fawaz were both in the process of removing their seat belts. "It's a two hundred yard dash to the fence. Last one inside the compound is a rotten egg!"

It seemed that neither boy wanted to be referred to as a rotten egg, which meant that the dubious honour of such a title fell to Sarah. The boys were quick and nimble on their feet which was most definitely a good thing, and she pulled the gate closed behind her.

"Everything all right down here?" she asked, turning to Joan whose eyes had not moved from the end of the drive.

"Yeah," she replied. "Other than the flood, of course. The water's pretty much all gone, soaked into the carpet and floorboards."

"Guess we'll be ripping up carpet tomorrow then," Sarah replied with a chuckle.

At that point additional gunfire could be heard from the top of the drive, meaning it was quite likely that Annalise and those others with her had arrived to help out Jack and the Privates.

"More important things to worry about for now though, I'd say," she replied. "Anyway, I've got this. Our military friends brought some tinned veggies with them; peas and carrots. There should be a couple or three rabbits on the spit, too."

"Sounds good. It feels like ages since I had veggies."

"Well, eat up. It's going to be a long night and tomorrow's gonna' be even longer."

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