Dusk had fallen as the storm raged on. Putting everyone on high alert, including the unarmed members of my group. I had strong doubts they would be willing to give us our weapons back. Despite how this night was perfect hunting weather for those things. With plenty of people currently sheltering here, I assumed they would be drawn here by instinct. Hopefully, if a few of those things approached, some would realize arming was practical if everyone wanted to survive.
With stiff movements, I moved out of the bed I was resting on. Looking at how they spread my group out around the resting area. Given how we were practically strangers, it made sense. They had enough humanity to shelter us, but enough intelligence to keep out group separated in case our intentions turned hostile. I would have done the same thing if I were them.
Lightly jabbing Max who was barely asleep in the bed beside mine. Barely flinching he leaned up looking at me bewildered. With a roll of his shoulders, he asked: ” What is it, Jack?”
I asked “Have you seen the older gentlemen who led us inside here,” realizing I had yet to learn his name. Along with any of the names of his group, outside of Jet and Jillian’s aunt.
Max said “Last time I saw him he was with the kid’s aunt. Not sure what they were talking about, but I wouldn’t be surprised if she comes with us when we leave,” swinging his feet over the bed. “We should find him, Jack. See if we can do some work or something. Earn our stay, and possibly their trust if this storm lasts.”
It wasn’t a surprise Max and I had a similar thought about our stay. Sliding my worn shoes on, I forced myself to wake up. Waiting for Max to finish tying up his boots. Slinging my pack onto my back out habit. Feeling oddly empty without either one of my weapons.
Without being told Max did the same, before getting up. Helping me search for Jet and Jillian’s whose aunt I doubted would leave their side without a reason. I assumed I would find the old man with her, or she would know where he was.
The more we looked around, I realized this old man’s group was larger than I expected. It was my guess they broke the group into twelve-hour shifts. Which was practical if my estimate of somewhere between forty to fifty people was accurate.
After about twenty minutes of searching, we found all four people together. In what I assumed was once part of the pediatric ward. Judging from the numerous faded coloring book pages that acted as wallpaper. Jet looked up first as we approached. With a tooth filled smile, I had never seen. There was something slightly unsettling about it. He tapped the others on their left shoulder to alert them they had some company. Within seconds of each other, they all looked up.
The old gentlemen asked, “Is there something on your mind gentlemen, or are you here to socialize?”
I responded “We are here for two reasons. The first being is there anything we can do here to earn the shelter you are generously supplying. Secondly, since we were never properly introduced. My name is Jack, and the man beside me Max.”
The old gentlemen chuckled some before speaking, “That was impolite of me. My name is Martin, or it was. I have heard some of my group calling me something more religious in meaning. More because I have kept us alive for so long in this world. Yet that is a story for another time. I imagine we can find ways members of your group can do. There are a few things that come to mind but I will have to discuss some of them with my council first. It was nothing personal but few decisions are made by me alone. Keeps things as democratic and civil for the most part. If you don’t mind doing some digging, there is supposed to be more medical supplies around this area. I sent two members of my group almost three days ago to find it. They have yet to return. I want you to find them and the supplies. Bring them back alive if you can. Their lives are important, the supplies are of secondary importance. Given what is going around us all lives are. Just be careful, there are parts of this hospital that were sealed off before this. I know not why but I imagine it is not pleasant. If you would wait here, I will have someone fetch your melee weapons. They will be taken back once you return,” standing up with a slight grunt. Giving us no time to respond as he sprinted off.
Something about him giving us no time to respond was suspicious. It made me wonder if he knew more then he was telling us. Even him sharing details that parts of this hospital were blocked off was strange. Why would a hospital seal parts of itself off in an epidemic that turned the world into its current state? What would be waiting for us if we entered past the safe areas? Would we find the truth about this strange virus’ origins, or something much more sinister waiting for us?