...bullets rattled against the Hummer. Harry gunned the engine, the vehicle leapt forward. Old ladies and soldiers alike scrambled for safety. The Hummer screeched out of the motor pool, tore through the spaces between the buildings and careened around corners. They crashed through the gallows, splintering wood and sending at least three penitent workers flying over the wall. Gunfire erupted from all sides. Alec, Ken and Mark tried to duck down but Tony was curled into a ball across their laps.
Mark yelled, “Just use the rocket! Get us out of here!”
“Ah-ah-ah.” Pete shook his head and kept his head down.
“What are you talking about?”
“I’m all out of hope!” Ken shouted, “One more bad dream could bring a fall!”
Harry shouted, “Firing a LAW rocket is not like playing Nintendo boy! If he misses we’ve lost our one try, and if he fires it while we’re driving it might send the shot wide or knock the back blast right into us!”
The Humvee sped around another turn; they were heading back towards the ruined gallows. Tony looked up, “We just went in a circle! Do you know what you’re doing? Was this trip really necessary?”
“Somebody shut him up.” Harry made another turn and now they were heading back towards the motor pool. The soldiers were helping Miss Blackwood and the other blue hairs back up. They had to dive for cover again but one of the crones was too slow and she bounced over the hood of the vehicle with a sickening crunch.
Mark winced. A pair of yellowed false teeth flew through the shattered passenger side window and landed on Tony. Everyone in the back of the Humvee screamed at once.
The moment they were back in the motor pool Harry hit the brakes but left the vehicle’s engine running.
Harry and Pete dove out of the Hummer and slammed the motor pool’s garage door and other entrances closed before any of their dazed pursuers could react. The two men started trying to barricade the room with anything they could find. “You guys better get out here and help!” Harry shouted.
They all scrambled out, grabbing hold of desks, cabinets and heavy machinery. Tony brought over a wooden stool and an auto parts manual. Alec gave him a glare but Tony just shrugged, “I said I have a bad back.”
“Lord love a duck.” Alec said.
Mark asked, “What about the back door?”
Pete gave him a confused glance, “Hm?”
“There is no back door.” Harry said, they could already hear, pounding, gunshots and angry voices. “Just steel and concrete.”
The garage door began to shudder with the impact of their attackers’ fists and impromptu battering rams. “What happens when they get in here?” Mark asked.
Alec shook his head, “I’d rather not think about that if it is all the same thank you very much.”
“Sheesh.” Pete said.
“Well…” Harry said, “…there is always the option of not being taken alive.”
“We’re living in a powder keg and giving off sparks!” Ken turned his attention back to the Humvee.
Mark shook his head with disbelief, “Are you saying we should kill ourselves?”
Harry shrugged, “It’s an option.”
“This is our escape plan?” Tony dropped the roll of paper towels he was carrying to barricade the door, “Drive around in circles and then shoot ourselves?”
“Well, that would be an escape wouldn’t it?” Alec said, “In a permanent sense of the word.”
Harry shouted, “What the Hell do you want me to say? It’s not my fault!”
“We’re doomed!” Tony was stumbling in circles like he might faint, no one made a move to catch him, “Doomed!”
There was a deafening explosion. Shards of brick and steel pelted them. Smoke filled the air. Blinking and coughing Mark looked up expecting to see his executioners standing before him, but the barricades were still holding. Groggily he turned to see Ken holding the smoldering LAW rocket and the back wall of the motor pool blasted open. Through the haze he could see the abandoned streets and zombies, some blown to pieces and others just staring emptily at them.
Pete nodded approvingly, “Ha!”
“Genius!” Harry laughed, “Pure genius.”
“Yes I am the warrior!” Ken dropped the spent LAW and pumped his fist, “Victory is mine.”
The surviving zombies were already starting to close in. “Back inside!” Alec clambered into the passenger seat, the rest crammed into the back. Harry got behind the wheel and hit the gas.
As the Humvee sped out into the night Mark glanced back at the zombies wandering in through the hole in the wall. He didn’t want to think about what would happen when Miss Blackwood’s enraged followers forced their way into the motor pool. Would they be able to contain the invasion or would they be overrun?
The thought he was abandoning his parents made him feel a little sick. Without them he wouldn’t have ever been born, he wouldn’t have clothes on his back and he would never have seen his first Star Wars movie.
They might have seen the movies, Mark thought as he hugged his duffel bag close, but they never learned from them did they?
They had never learned that fear led to anger and anger led to hate and hate led to suffering. He could only hope that what he and his friends were doing now would lead to something better, that they might make a heroic stand against a world gone mad.
Or at the very least that they might find another codpiece for his stormtrooper outfit.