Tonight, We Will Win!

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-Pony's POV-

It had been about a week since we last visited the Outpost. We were all preparing for the final stretch, our plan to the finish line. All the injured were being treated, plans formulated, but there was still one problem. We needed Torcher for this mission, and yet he was in no condition to go. Ms. Beaver told us about his growing depression, how he was all alone, now.
When Zizzy was comforting him so often before he got professional help, I felt jealous for her attention, but now I feel all sorts of guilty. Over the past week, we've all grown to be much closer, and since we're somewhat friends now, the least I could do was to sit with him.
Torcher was sitting in the corner, misty eyed and holding a knife. It had varying shades of grey but it seemed to radiate a faded blue. It was the essence of sadness.
"Mind if I sit here with you?" I said.
He shook his head and I sat down next to him. From here, you could see all the hustle and bustle, all the excitement in people's eyes, and yet this corner never carried those same feelings.
"How are you holding up?" I asked, trying to start a conversation.
Torcher mumbled in response and looked away sadly.
"Hey, it's alright to feel sad every now and then. We're so close to finding the cure, so once you let it all out, let's go find Soldier together!"
At this, he perked up and smiled at me. Tears started to fall from the corners of his eyes and he rested his head on my shoulder. I couldn't help but smile myself as I put my arm around him.
"Yeah, that's it."
We sat there for a while in what became a comfortable silence, all until Zizzy yelled, "Group meeting!" and everybody started to asemble.
"Come on, it's time we get this show underway." I said as I held my hand out to him.
He looked slightly surprised at my gesture for a moment before he grinned and took it, wiping his tears away. We walked towards the growing crowd, hand in hand, and we took our places next to Zizzy. This was going to get interesting.

———
-Third Person POV-

The room was ecstatic, all except for the scientists. Instead of joining the group, they sat huddled together near another counter, watching everyone else with hostile expressions.
"Thank you all for joining me here." Zizzy began.
"I've gathered you now to discuss our final plans, but don't get too excited as this won't be easy. Tonight, we will win against this virus and everything can go back to normal!"
Everyone cheered so loudly it was as if you could feel the whole building shake.
"When it does, though, I just wanted to say that it's been a pleasure working with all of you before we have to go our separate ways."
The sisters started to sniffle and tear up as the room quieted to a dull silence.
"However, that won't stop us from finishing the mission! We'll all go out in groups as going alone is too dangerous, and putting forth our best efforts is a must. At midnight, we're going back to the labs..."

———
-Torcher's POV-

"The labs..." Zizzy said.

I felt like I wanted to pass out. As soon as the meeting was over, I rushed to the roof to get some fresh air. The others were there shortly after me.
"Are you okay?" Pony asked.
Really?
"Am I okay!?" I repeated. "After I set the building ablaze, not only did I endanger the lives of countless scientists but Soldier was also left for dead! He could've been saved if I hadn't left..."
They seemed a bit taken aback by my outburst and exchanged nervous glances.
"S-Sorry..."
"No, no, it's alright." Zizzy said.
"The important part is that no one got seriously hurt. You never meant for this to happen, and most of it was out of your control." Pony said, trying to comfort me.
"We're so close to the end and I made a promise to you, don't forget."
For the next half an hour, we sat there, watching the stars. My mind kept flashing back to me and Soldier fighting off the infected hordes, escaping together, spending time together, sleeping together. Ever since I'd had to leave him behind in the Research Facility, he was all I could think about.
His touch, his warmth, his charming smile, I wanted nothing more than to be with him again. Surprisingly, no tears held me back since they'd all been dried from an entire week of mourning. Maybe it's the mindset that continues to hold me down, brings me back to my sad corner to think. If so, this was no time to keep reflecting on past mistakes, nor could I stop to smell the roses just yet. Soldier was still out there, waiting for me, and nothing could fuel my fire more.

———

"Hey, Torcher!"
I opened my eyes to see Pony crouched down in front of me.
"You're still a part of this team, too! Come on, we're finalising our plan."
Apparently I had fallen asleep amidst my thinking.
"Coming, just give me a minute..." I said, rubbing my eyes sleepily.
"Okay... just don't fall sleep again!"
Then, I was alone once more. Standing up to stretch, I noticed a heart shaped cloud floating peacefully across the sky.
"If only it were that easy..."

———
-Third Person POV-

The second meeting of that night didn't carry the same energy as the first. Everyone was much more focused and serious compared to the previous rally. Zizzy and Pony sat together, hunched over a roughly detailed map. Torcher came back downstairs after a couple of short minutes.
"Did I miss anything?" he asked.
Zizzy shook her head and motioned for him to sit beside her. After Torcher took his seat, they began.

———

The rain grew louder as a large storm approached. Everything was strangely quiet as they all anticipated certain struggles and pain. The only noise that could be heard were the sisters begging George and Zizzy not to leave them again.

...

It all happened so quickly that no one had time to process what was happening. The revving of a chainsaw and the sound of wood splitting rang throughout the building, turning the atmosphere into a stunned silence. Ammo was loaded into guns, knives sharpened, humanity abandoned, and everyone prepared for the worst.
Zizzy slowly reached for her sword and crept towards one of the windows. Nothing could be seen but the dark abyss of black outside, all until lighting flashed and the faint glow of a single green eye shown through. She jumped back in surprise, only to me met by aggressive banging on the heavily blocked-off door.
"Alright, people! Remember what we went over! Under no circumstances are the infected to get inside, understand?"
"Yes, captain!" they all shouted in response
She seemed satisfied with that title, even taking a short-lived moment to embrace it. Suddenly, a white, polka-dotted mallet came crashing through the window and slowly retracted.
"Are you all ready? Let's go!" Pony declared, trying to work up his courage.
Torcher stood in front, followed by George, the player, Zizzy, and Pony. Together, they pushed back the barricade of infected and opened the doors. The rain immediately came pouring down on them as the team rushed out the door. Infected were getting taken down left and right when a few others came on either side to protect the small group.
"Go forward my comrades, we can't and will not lose!"

———
-Zizzy's POV-

How long has it been? How much pain have we had to endure to reach this moment? No, I have to focus. This is our only shot at winning, so we must make this count. Don't worry, Zee, Zuzy. We're going home soon enough...

———
Up Next: Turning the Tides
This was another transition chapter, so sorry that I made y'all wait so long despite its shortness. Rest assured, the next few chapters will be getting much better as we get into the finale. Be sure to leave any suggestions for what you want to see in future chapters or book ideas!

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