Julie cried out in surprise when the music roared. He thought he might’ve heard both Jack and Joe shout over the radio, but the radio’s light dimmed by the time he noticed it. Neither one responded to his calls.
The wild rock music had a huge effect on the zombies. They had been fairly quiet, but now the noise and thudding drums and bass made them enraged. Julie clung to Mike, terrified.
He had to use a few bullets to get a few of the fuckers out of the way to get to the top edge of the stairs leading down to the field.
He was surprised by what he saw: Carla on top of the SUV, as bait. Jack and Brice were running toward her from left field, and Joe and Jared from the right. All of them were fighting their way through the incited undead.
They were out of time. Previous plans down the drain.
Julie wailed and hid behind him.
Mike turned around and snapped, “Get a hold of yourself, bitch. Now! Or die! Those are the only choices!”
She looked stunned by his harshness. “What are we going to do?” she whimpered.
“We? You’re going to prove yourself to all of us. We saved your ass, and now it’s payback time.”
He handed her the keys to the Escalade. “Go back. Get all the rifles you can carry. Fill your backpack with guns. You’ll need this.” He gave her a pistol. “Can you shoot?”
“A little, but I can’t....”
Mike shook her hard. “Yes, you can. And you will, by God, or those assholes out there will eat you alive. You got that?”
Julie looked around her, eyes wild with fear.
Mike gave her one last look while checking the guns he carried, taking in the chaos below. “Choice is yours,” he shouted back at her, as he began his descent. “I’m going into the fray! Get moving, Julie—Help us!”
He didn’t say anything else to her. If she didn’t act, she’d soon be dead, or one of them.
Mike dashed down the stairs toward the field. He heard her scream behind him, and smiled when he heard a gun shot and Julie cussing up a storm behind him. There was still hope.
* * *
Cole was a bastard for sure.
He had blindfolded Carla, cuffed her hands, and forced her back into the SUV. Where they were going, she hadn’t a clue, and Cole wasn’t talking. Apparently, the smug chitchat was over.
When he stopped the vehicle, he removed the cuffs and brought her hands around to her waist and cuffed them again. Then he told her where to find a weapon. The driver door opened, shut, and she assumed he took off. Meanwhile, murmurs from the undead resounded from someplace nearby. She ripped off the blindfold and tumbled through the vehicle, heading straight to the glove box and removed a knife.
That’s when the lights turned on, and she found herself in centerfield of Dodger Stadium.
Surrounded by the restless undead.
She thought about staying put inside the cab. But then if Jack and the others came to rescue her and Anna, they might not see her. A better option presented itself, and while holding the knife in her mouth, she fumbled for the doorknob with her cuffed hands, got the door open, and scrambled onto the SUV’s roof.
Debating on whether to get down and run, or stand her ground and fight, she was surprised and felt her heart rise when Jack burst onto the field followed by Brice. Jack fired his way through the wretched things on his way to her. Meanwhile, out of the corner of her eye, she glimpsed Joe and Jared advancing from the other side. Carla uttered a cry of relief and jumped down onto the hood where she could use her knife.
When the zombies noticed her, she was forced to defend herself with the knife, praying that her rescuers would get there soon....
* * *
Cole returned, panting slightly.
Anna listened as he walked to what seemed like a desk. Something clicked, and intense light filled the room, hurting her eyes through the pillowcase.
She dared not look up. That is, until the rock song started. An oldie Anna was familiar with, she now understood that she was in the stadium’s control room. She carefully lifted her head up toward the light’s source and stood.
In turn, the agent in black reacted. She heard Cole jerk around, and her heightened senses picked up his fear. Because of the light, she saw his shadowed form tiptoe away from her.
He’s afraid of me? Good.
Anna smiled. She wasn’t afraid, and a menacing snarl escaped her throat. She wasn’t faking it now. The guttural response came readily. Her head hung down, but it allowed her to make out a little of the room’s layout.
If Cole had realized she was picking information, she assumed he would’ve bolted for the door. But he didn’t, and that was a mistake. He receded into a corner, perhaps thinking he’d have the advantage. She heard his gun click. But Anna knew Cole was reluctant to kill her yet because he needed her for a hostage. He pushed open the closet door to his left a little... perhaps to confine her again.
“Come on, little girl. This way... that’s it. You can do it.”
Anna could feel her face flush with anger. Her growl this time was deeper, and she moved stealthily toward him. With predatory intent.
The hunter was about to become the prey. She let him steer her toward the closet door, coaxing her with his stupid words. Anna’s heart raced from the surge of adrenaline. He gave her a slight shove to move inside his trap.
That was it.
In one smooth motion, Anna broke through the last of the cords binding her and ripped off the pillowcase from her head. She turned and faced the startled agent.
But Cole didn’t miss a beat. He took a swing that would have knocked her across the room hours ago. Not now. The new Anna was stronger and faster, ducking under his arm and fist in a fluid movement. She swooped behind him, crawling like a demon child, and stabbed the pen into the soft flesh at the back of his knee. He cried out in pain as she thrust it through to his kneecap and twisted hard. She gave one more twist and half the pen broke off, leaving the other half embedded inside.
He fell to his other knee, wild with pain and gasping. She spun around and kicked the gun out of his hand. A wild shot blasted into a wall. Anna viciously kicked him in the nuts, and then flung him into the closet. Slamming the door closed, she grabbed a chair and shoved it under the door handle.
Wasting no time, she gathered his gun and most of the others, stuffing handguns into her pockets and carrying an armload of rifles.
The blasting music brought waves of energy that flowed through her, as she realized it was also doing the same thing to the mass of undead gathered in the stadium. She left the outer door open, hoping they would come for him, the man screaming in the closet. Then Anna Carter raced through the hall and down the stairs, to join the biggest battle of her life.