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This is #19 of Endangered and is part two of The Riots are the Worst. It is also part 7 of Volume 2.

With the city of Philadelphia tearing itself apart, many people begin to run and seek shelter. However, this terrible incident begins to bring groups together and one step toward their common goal. Meanwhile, after the death of a beloved one, someone begins to unravel; and meanwhile, a group away from the ruined city find themselves arriving at this safe zone.

Author's Note: The Nershanimy Mall Safe-Zone has been renamed/moved to the Franklin Mills Mall geographic reasons. I will go back this and change the name in previous issues.

The Riots are the Worst, Part TwoEdit

“Clear?”

“Clear.” Joel calls back to Reyes, while lowering his pistol down to his side. Reyes, who was standing at the exit, keeping a watch, makes his way toward Joel. Currently, the two were standing in the middle of a WaWa, which appeared to be abandoned. Just to make sure, Joel had searched the store, and in the end, they were clear.

With no one there to bother them, the two criminals collapse back against the wall. Both were used to running, but with all the shit out there, they may have just reached their limit. From being almost killed, than almost captured, than almost shot, the two just wanted a little bit of rest. Taking a small breath, Reyes lifts his arm and uses his sleeve to wipe the sweat off his forehead.

It’s been about thirty minutes since the two’s student over at City Hall, and in that thirty minutes, the city has descended into full out chaos. The chains that were somehow holding this city together have completely broke and the gates of hell began to welcome the city of Philadelphia. With all the chaos out there right now, it’s safe to assume that after this riot, the city is going to fall completely in only a matter of hours.

Joel, while taking a side glance, notices how tired Reyes seems to be. Holstering his pistol in his pants, Joel goes into his bag and rips out some water. Joel seems like the man who would just drink the water, not caring about anyone else, but instead, Joel hands the water bottle in Reyes’s direction. “Take it.” Joel says to him.

Reyes looks it, and shakes his head. “I don’t need it.”

“Yo, Taco, take the damn water bottle.”

“I told you, I don’t need it, alright?” Reyes denied it once more, although he knew he could use it. He just felt so dry on the inside, but, Joel needed it and deserved it more than him. Joel, however, refuses to take it away at first and just holds it out; but once seeing Reyes wasn’t going to take it, only scoffs and puts the bottle back in his bag.

“You did alright back there, by the way. I mean, you were making that dude pissed.”

“Haha, I know. It all went as planned.”

“What plan?”

“Well figured if I’d start enough trouble, that soldier would snap, and the people would go bezerk, like riot or something. Then auge, it all went as planned.”

“Nice idea, but how’d ya know the people would start something?”

“You americans love to riot over anything. I mean, you morons would riot about some popular redneck dying on a TV show.” Reyes jokes, putting a small smirk on his face. “No offense, americano.”

“It’s fine, taco. I can’t deny the truth.” Joel scoffs, as well, before folding his arms and sighing. He knew they couldn’t rest long, yet he just wanted to lay down.

“And, um, good job on the, ya know, killing shit.” From the way he said it, Joel knew that Reyes wasn’t the kind of man who was okay; which was odd in Joel’s eyes, considering he was a major drug dealer, which he presumed Reyes had some blood on his hands.

“Look, I don’t know what the hell you’re problem with killing people is, but you gotta drop it. As daddy always said ‘it doesn’t matter how you feel, just put on a damn smile’.” Joel informs him.

“I don’t like blood on my hands.”

“This ain’t about what you want, buddy, it’s about survival.”

“Well, unlike you apparently, I got morales.”

“Really, morales?” Joel stands to his feet and directs Reyes’s eyes toward the window, and out into the streets. “See all those people? They had morales too.” Reyes just mutters something, annoyed that Joel just won’t let him keep his morales. “Look, no offense, but you’re not some saint, so stop acting like I’m the goddamn false preacher.”

“I ain’t no fucking saint, alright? I got plenty of blood on these hands, and every goddamn time, I hated it; and no matter how much I tried, I could never just put my hands in the sink and rub it off. Now, I know Saint Peter won’t be calling my name, and I know I may be some drug dealing prick, but if I wanna at least try to keep some sense of morales, then I’m gonna keep them. Got it, chica?”

“I get it just fine, but dammit man, just listen.” Joel lifts his hands up, showing them off to Reyes. “See these hands? Do you wanna know how many people I killed with them, how much ounces of blood I got sitting on them? Well, guess what, I don’t even fucking know anymore. Wanna know why?”

“I don’t--”

“Because there is no going back. Once you do something, you’re gonna end up doing it again, and there is nothing you can do to stop it because it’s in history now, so it’s there forever. So yeah, you’re not gonna be able to just go home and wash your hands after a hard day’s work, but you can man-up and at least accept it.” Joel says, not trying to be mean, but truthful. “I don’t like killing either, but unlike you, I learn to deal with it.”

Joel and Reyes just stare at each other, none of them daring to say a word. They were silent, and just had a silent stare off; both of their pride like egos weren’t gonna let them step down. After a few moments, however, Reyes takes a look back to the streets; they were still hell on earth.

“Look, this ain’t the time to do...to do whatever the hell we’re even doing right now, alright?” Reyes mutters at him, before cranking his head back once more. “We gotta get out of here.”

Joel takes a look outside. Reyes was definitely right, but instead of saying anything, he just reluctantly nods, and takes out his gun again. Reyes just makes his way toward the back exit, Joel close behind. “Oh, and taco, one more thing.” Reyes turns. “I just...ya know, wanted to say, um..thanks for having my back. Back at City Hall, I mean.”

“You don’t need to thank me.”

“Yeah, I do. You could’ve just let those guards kill my ass, while you got to be safe. But, you went out there, got me out, and caused citywide chaos.” Joel smirks about the last fact. “Look, I never really do this kind of thing--”

“Saying thanks?”

“Yeah, that. So, yeah, just take it.”

“Look, you don’t gotta thank me. I wasn’t just gonna let those pricks do God knows what. I just…”

“Just what, huh?”

“I just hope you would do the same thing for me.” Reyes shrugs, to which Joel only looks down for a moment, not wanting to make eye contact. “And the name’s Reyes, not taco.” With that said, Reyes begins to walk out, leaving Joel for there a moment, before looking back up and following his footsteps.


Everything around him is disoriented, with his eyesight dazed and the world spinning in circles around him. His major headache, as well, slows him down, as even the noise of someone talking bothers him; but what hurts most is his heart, which at the moment, has been cut open and is bleeding out slowly. He can’t go on like this.

Tate, rubbing his bloodshot eyes, reluctantly looks up to observe where he is. He’s in some rundown apartment building, he thinks, and he himself sits in an old couch. Besides his bloodshot eyes, Tate’s hair looks wild, his skin is paler, he doesn’t look fun and nice anymore, and his hands are shaking constantly.

What has felt like five years has only been thirty minutes in reality; a half-hour since Destinee died. The image is locked up like a prisoner in his head, and won’t escape anytime soon. His fiancee died, hell, she died slowly. His last image of Destinee was her, laying on the ground, with bullet wounds in her stomach, pale skin, and lost the ability to even move. In only the flash of a second both Destinee and his daughter were taken away from him.

Across the room is Michael, who holds the bloody bat in his hands, while looking around the complex. Unlike most others, including Tate, Michael had a clear mindset of what he was going to do, and how he was going to do it. He had adapted fairly well and fast to this so-called apocalypse, mostly because of two reasons; his life of being a piece of shit, that he is, hasn’t changed and he hasn’t lost anyone he cared for, yet.

“Alright, alright...we need a way out.” Michael says to himself, while rushing around the bottom floor. He’s seen enough Walking Dead to know what to do, or at least try to do, in situations like this. They need to find a way out, stick in the alleys to avoid detection, and get to their destination. Shouldn’t be too hard.

Making his way to behind the counter, Michael looks for the drawers for anything that can be helpful. Maps, weapons, food...anything. But, just his luck, he discovers nothing, and curses to himself. Maybe it was harder than he thought.

Standing straight up once more, Michael looks over to Tate, whom he sat on the couch a few minutes a go. The man’s a complete and utter wreck right now, and honestly, Michael can’t blame him. Tate just lost everything in only a flash, and sadly, Michael knew what the feeling was like. To one moment have the love of your life in your arms, smiling and just so in love….then the next to be cradling her dead body, hoping it was all some nightmare.

He sighs, before dropping that pain of thought right now; he has more important things to do then grieve. “Tate,” He suddenly calls to the broken man, “we gotta go.” Tate, however, doesn’t respond, and instead surrounds himself in his own little bubble of grieving. “Tate.”

“She--she said it was dangerous.” Tate suddenly says, much to the confusion of Michael, before he unraveled what Tate meant. “She said we were better off just staying at the house, where we were safe, but--but I fuckin’ said no.” He suddenly digs his face into his hands, trying not to mope.

“Tate, this isn’t the time--”

“I thought this mall place was better. If I hadn’t been so….so selfish, she would be here right now.” Tate looks up from his bubble and into Michael’s eyes. Both of their eyes were the same; broken. So the two broken men just stared at each other. “I should just go back there and die right next to her.”

Much to Tate’s surprise and shock, Michael grabs him by the arm and yanks him onto his feet. Once on his feet, he grabs Tate tightly by the shoulder, not wanting to let the young man fall. “Listen to me. I’m not gonna try and stop you from grieving, but there are more important things to do right now.”

“Like what?”

“Like getting out of this mess and--”

“And getting to that fucking mall? You think that’s the most important thing right now?”

“It’s safe there. It’s a place where we can settle down, for once.”

“And do what? Let’s say we actually get there and we ‘settle down’ like you said. But what am I supposed to do after that, huh? Am I supposed to just forgot my whole life, forgot about my family, and just walking around like damn Mr. Rogers with a creepy smile on my face? Or do I be like you and go around banging young women, while moping about my existence?”

Upon saying those words, Michael just stares at Tate, not knowing what to say or feel. Sure, he feels sad about his friend, but he knew Tate would end up getting killed if he kept acting like this. But Tate, now having lost the person that held him together, is no longer abound to being nice, and he had some stuff to say. “No, I’m not expecting you to--”

“You actually have a life to live once you get there! You keep acting like you got no life and that you should die, but you have a purpose! That daughter of yours is there, and once you walk in, you’re gonna be with her, and she will be your purpose. But for me, my purpose died back on those streets, so I got no reason to go on!” Tate wants to keep yelling, but stops to breathe. This definitely was a new Tate Levine.

Michael looks down in shame, then back at Tate. He looks at him right in the eyes; Tate was already becoming like him, like a piece of shit. “You’re right, she’s dead, and you can’t bring her back. You want a purpose? Go on, not for you. Not for me. Go on for her.”

The words don’t help Tate at all, but at least, they calm him down for the time being. Michael was always a strong willed person, so even after his life came tumbling down, he kept going, even though he had no reason; like a rebel without a cause.

Michael proceeds to turn toward the staircase. There was no backdoor, and the streets outfront were to chaotic, so they had to use a fire escape to get into an alley, or take the roofs. With no words being said, Michael makes his way to the staircase, while a reluctant Tate follows.


Having finally gotten off the streets, Ethan just collapses down onto a single bed that sits in the middle of the apartment room. It’s been a long day for him, hell, it’s been a long day for everyone. Dropping his melee weapon onto the floor, while keeping his pistol tucked in his pants, Ethan digs his face into the dirty, tough hands of his, and rubs his eyes. All he wants to do is collapse back and rest, but that wasn’t going to happen with all the shit going on outside.

After grieving in his house for a while, Ethan heard the broadcast about the military at City Hall. Being former military, Ethan should've known better about their slimy intentions. The back of his head had told him not to go, instead telling him to grieve in his house, but Ethan went. Traveled all the way to the city, only to find this place in a hell-hole.

Upon arriving, Ethan was pushed into a crowd of chaos makers, and he instantly retreated to this apartment. On his way there he saw cops, some of his fellow cops, trying to serve their duty to humanity and save citizens. They were heroes; but then, there was Ethan. He should be out there with his comrades, playing the ‘hero’ and fighting to save others, but instead he chose to save himself and hide out in this apartment. Some hero he was.

While sitting on that bedside, Ethan couldn’t help but think about himself. Ever since Lynn’s death, the monster inside of him came out. He always had anger problems, so after her death, all his anger came out, and he became more closed off then he was before. He was different now, although he didn’t know if it was for the better or worse.

He was a man with no purpose now, only a man with anger. Still, a small part of him wanted to be that cop again; the man who helped people. It’s like he could hear Lynn telling him that, but, his anger was stronger. So here he was, just sitting there, unsure of what to do with his life. Hell, he doesn’t even think he spoke a word in the past day. It’s like his cop self, and his survival self were having a wrestling match inside him. He only grunts.

It was in that moment that he heard noises outside, but not those of infected. Sounds of real people; he thought he heard shouting coming from the lobby, guess he was right. He doesn’t try to do anything s the sounds get closer, and soon enough they’re right outside the door.

In only a matter of seconds the door flies open to two figures. Ethan gives them a side glance at first, but doesn’t look at them in the eye, instead looking forward at the wall. The men are none other than Michael and Tate.

While Tate just stands in the hallway, Michael walks forward into the apartment, and immediately sees Ethan sitting on the bed. Michael grips his bat, hoping this dude was alright; since everyone except for Tate and Destinee had either try to kill him, or were insane. Michael gives a stare, but not a nervous one; one that said ‘hi, I’m Michael, what’s your name. Oh, and if you try anything, I will fight back’.

Ethan chuckled under his breath. “Hey kid, if you’re gonna kill me, just do it already.”

Michael walks forward, holding the weapon just in case. “I’m not here to kill you.” He spoke with his Scottish accent.

“Then why are you here?” Ethan asked, finally deciding to look at Michael. He wasn't at all hesitant to speak with a stranger, mostly because he spoke with all types of people during his detective work.

“Me and my mate, over there, are just trying to find a way out of here.”

“Front door not good enough for you?”

“Considering there are hundreds of dumbarses out there, we’d rather not take the subtle approach.”

“So what? You guys gonna go roof jumping?” Ethan chuckles, before noticing Michael is still holding the weapon. Michael may not be scared, but he is cautious. “And you can drop the damn bat, I don’t bite.”

“I walk into a room where a tough looking dude has a bat next to him, and a gun tucked in his pants. I may not be the brightest young lad, but I ain’t naive.”

“Fair enough. So, you gonna tell me your name, kid, or just stand there?” Michael smirked lightly. Seems both Ethan and Michael enjoyed being smartasses, when not moping about.

“The name’s Michael, and that dude over there is Tate.”

“Ethan. Well, with tea time over, how about you telling me what your guys’ plan was?”


“I really hate walking.” Sarah cracks to James, who walks right by her side. The Benjamins walk side by side down the 95 highway, each of them just longing to reach their destination. Sarah, hands in pockets and headphones in but low enough to hear James, feels comfortable with talking right now, as the newcomers are not in a foot margin; it’s just James and her.

James walks confidently down the highway, pistol in hand. At first he was stressed, but after talking to the new company and Sarah, he feels relaxed. Just walking through with Sarah..he hasn’t relaxed in a long time, due to work, and now he can semi-relax. Sure, the world around them is falling apart, but this moment with Sarah makes him feel good.

“Deal with it, sweetheart.” James mocks her, with a smile on his face.

“Jerk.”

“I’ve been called worse.”

“Really? May I ask what my daddy has been called?”

“I can’t say those words in front of you.”

“I’m not five, daddy.”

“Eh, maybe not five. Six, though.” James snickers, to which Sarah responds by shoving James away, smirking slightly. Since Sarah wasn’t strong at all, James only moved a little bit, before responding by pushing Sarah back, sending her flying back. At least she kept her footing and didn’t fall. “Rule number one, sweetheart, don’t mess with James Benjamin, or you’ll get smashed.”

“And who made that rule?”

“Me.”

“I don’t like that rule.”

“Well, wanna know what a wise man once said?”

“What’s that?”

“Suck it up, cupcake.”

“Dang, you really are a jerk.”

“Why, thank you kindly.” Upon saying this, James turns around to get a look at Sandra and Haruka, who walk close but not to close. Sure, the four of them have been talking, but now, they’re back talking to their respective partner. Now for the most part, James trusted them and thought they were okay people; but he still had no idea what Sarah thought about them, hell, about the whole situation really. “So how you holding up?”

Sarah knew what he meant right away, and just sighed. She was tempted to lie and just say Oh yeah Dad, everything’s great. Just people going around and, well, eating other people. Just the usual, right? But James always pressured her to tell the truth, and he would obviously know she was lying if she said that. “To be honest, Dad, I really don’t know.”

“So you don’t know what to think?”

“I mean, yeah I find those--infected things horrifying, but I don’t really think it’s all that bad."

“And why’s that?”

“I...I don’t really know how to explain it. Past all the violence and all, it’s just us traveling from place to place, meeting some new people. It’s sorta cool, I mean, I feel like one of those Clint Eastwood’s badass cowboys, just going on with life. Oh, and there’s no school, so that’s a major plus.”

“Well, that’s one way to look at it; and, speaking of meeting new people, how do you feel about the girls?”

“I haven’t really talked to them, we both know how shy I am, but they seem alright. Didn’t you already ask me that?”

“Yeah, I just wanna make sure my baby girl’s okay. Is that a crime?”

“Not yet anyways.”

“Good, then I can do it all I want.” James says, while putting his arm around Sarah and pulling her close to him, giving a one armed hug. She embraces it and doesn’t pull away, leaving the Benjamins to walk down the highway with Sarah in James’s arms. He couldn’t be more happy of having his baby doll with him.

From behind them, Sandra and Haruka walk side-by-side, neither of them talking. It was strange. Sure, they were used to being in a nice silence once and a while, when Haruka would suddenly break it with her...her personality in general. But instead Haruka remained silent as ever, which was so unlike her. Something was up in her mind alright. “You okay?” Sandra asks her, to which Haruka puts on a smile for her and nods her head.

“Of course, I’m better than a kid in a karate home. Why you ask?”

“You’ve just been..quite.”

“Like you?” Sandra chuckles softly. “I’m good though, don’t worry. Just thinkin’ about some stuff and all. But, anyways, how you doing?”

“Fine, just watching them.” She refers to the Benjamins, and due to her nature, she has already judged them from a glance. “Oh, and it’s candy shop.”

“What is?”

“It’s ‘a kid in a candy shop’, not ‘a kid in a karate home’.”

“Candy shops? Who has candy shops?”

“America.” Sandra says, and Haruka just chuckles lightly to herself and shakes her head.

“You people are weird.” After Haruka says this, she notices James turn around to face them. He appears to be smiling like he’s an angel with good news.

“Well, girls, I got good news.” He says.

“Did scientist find a cure and everything is pitch perfect?”

“Not even close, but good guess.” James lifts up his sleeve and looks down at his watch. “We should get there sooner than I thought, probably in the next half hour or something like that.”


There he was, just staring out into the city. Like usual, he wore a suit that consisted of a white collared shirt, tan suit jacket, tan suit pants, some dark shoes, and finally, the broken watch on his wrist. Ryker, looking like a leader from the way he was dressed, looks out into the chaotic city, with a blank expression. He shows no emotion as he watches the crimes unfold down on the streets, which ranged from muggings to full out slaughter; and even better, there were no law enforcement in the city. It was a anarchy, and after a few moments, simply smiled at the thought of that.

Ever since the death of Daniel, Ryker has sinced moved on from his goal of getting vengeance. After ten fucking years Isabella Ryker was avenged, and Ryker couldn’t be more happier. Ever since the beginning of his rage against them, he always knew he couldn’t just attack the Browns up front. That would spell war, and war would lead to the collapse of the mob circle, as they would divide on whose side to join. So he had to be patient and slowly have his men infiltrate it, make allies on the inside, and pick at the lower thugs connected to the mob family. Then just as the time was right, in Daniel’s true moment of weakness, Ryker had Daniel’s own men turn against him and kill him; in turn, those men were killed and Ryker’s connection to the crime was gone with the wind.

But with that done, he had to get a new goal, which was pretty simple. He has another kid, a eight year old son, and he had to protect him; Kyle Desmond Ryker would not end up like Isabella, and Ryker was going to make sure of that. He already lost one daughter and his loving wife, and Ryker knew that if he lost Kyle then he would have nothing left. Family was always the most important thing in his life, even before the mob duties.

But there was only way to protect Kyle, especially in a city of anarchy like this. It was with power, loads of power. Sure, Ryker already has power but he needs more; he needs to eliminate some of the people in his way. With all the chaos city going around there was an opportunity to do that, and Ryker was an opportunist.

“Daddy.” A small, frail voice exits Ryker from his trance and he turns around, to see Kyle standing there. Kyle simply wore child clothing including a Spider-Man sweatshirt, and was looking up at his Dad with fear. Ryker put on a warm smile and lowered himself to Kyle’s level, where he let the boy come close.

“What is it, Kyle.” Kyle enters Ryker’s arms, where Ryker gives him a quick hug, before pulling out and looking his son in the eyes, while putting his hands on his shoulders. For the past five days, or how many days this has been going on, he’s lost count, Ryker has tried keeping the chaos a secret from Kyle. But Kyle wasn’t an idiot and was a very curious boy, so he knew the city wasn’t right.

“What’s wrong Daddy?”

“Nothing’s wrong, son, I’m perfectly fine.”

“I mean outside.” Kyle points out the nearby window and toward the city. “It--it looks scary out there.”

“No, no. don’t be scared. It’s nothing really.”

“But Dad there’s fires, and--bodies and--”

“I promise you, it’s nothing to be scared about. Yes, there’s a few minor problems but I’m gonna fix them.” Ryker pats his son on the back. “Don’t worry about it.”

“But--”

“I said, don’t worry.” Ryker stands up now, but still keeps his smile. “Have some faith in me, will ya.”

Kyle appears to accept the answers and just smiles back at his Dad, not knowing what his Dad would do to keep him safe.


“Crazy, huh?” McCoy asks from the front seat of the car, with his head turned toward the girls in the back, trying to make some conversation; while Dre just keeps driving. Normally, Dre would be more outgoing but the thought of his parents still reigns in his head. So McCoy, who was normally more quiet than Dre, is the one trying to make conversation. The outbreak sure changed their roles around.

In the back seat, Vicky and Lara sit, both leaning back against the leather seats, with their legs crossed over the other. Both of them look completely tired and wild, with their hair everywhere and them just trying to get some rest. After outrunning both infected and rioters in the city, they could use some rest in the car. “What is?” Vicky soon asks back, while wiping some blood of her shirt.

“All of this, ya know. The riots, those infected people, and all of that. Pretty damn crazy if you ask me.”

“Eh, more weird to me but crazy works too.” Vicky shrugs, while Lara smirks.

“I don’t know about you two, but I think it’s pretty cool.” McCoy gives her a “are you serious” look, to which she shrugs. “I guess it’s crazy too, but yep, cool.”

“Then you have a strange mind set.”

“Thank you very much.” She replies, something that even makes McCoy chuckles under his breath. After that the ride turns into silence once more, as the four college students are all stuck in their own respective thoughts. “Alright, so this is getting pretty boring, so let’s talk.”

“About what?” Dre finally asks from the front seat, surprising the others.

“Oh yeah, I forgot you were there, Dre.” Vicky jokingly mocks from her seat, causing Lara to snicker slightly. Dre just gives a sarcastic laugh back as a response.

“Okay, for real though. Don’t really know what to talk about, since music and sports don’t exactly fit well anymore.”

“Well, let’s start about what y’all were doing when it happened.” Lara suggests, curious to how the two young men survived. She assumed their experience couldn’t be that bad, and was similar to what Vicky and her went through.

“Eh, nothing really--” McCoy tries to say, but Vicky intervenes.

“Oh, come on. We want a story.” Vicky cuts him in between, laughing a little. “Give us, your guest, a nice treat.”

“Guest? Who said we were hosts?”

“Well, this is your car and you took us in.” Vicky alludes, to which Dre only shakes his head, smiling.

“This ain’t even our car.” Dre says, to which McCoy nods in agreement.

“Well god-be-damned, looks like we’re traveling with a bunch of criminals.” Vicky chuckles. “Lemme guess, did you learn how to hijack cars from GTA?”

“Of fucking course.” Dre says, putting on a fake smile and laughing. “It also taught McCoy over there how to shoot motherfuckas.”

“Yeah,” McCoy takes out the pistol and flashes it to the girls real quick, before pretending to aim it. “I’m like a black James Bond.”

“Really now? So where’s all your bitches?” Vicky asks.

“I’m looking at them.” McCoy jokes, while looking at Lara and Vicky. They soon catch on.

“Not even in your dreams.” Lara blunts at him, laughing along with Vicky, finding it funny that McCoy thought they were his bitches.

“I gotta back them up, MC.” Dre says to McCoy, with Dre now donning him the new nickname of MC. McCoy just shrugs and puts the pistol away. “Even I gotta say though, it’s pretty ironic how us two end up with two hot girls at the end of the world.”

“Yeah, we’re so honored.” Lara sarcastically says, before looking back up at McCoy. “So, here’s a story, how’d ya get that gun?”

“Oh, well,” McCoy glances at Dre, not wanting to reveal the death of Dre’s parents for him, “well--”

“When it all happened, we bumped into each other at some city WaWa.” Dre cuts in for him. “We headed to my folk’s house next morning, and….they weren’t there. Then MC found that in one of the rooms.”

“Wow, that was boring.” Says Lara, to which the men only shake their heads, smirking a little.

“Alright, your turn. Please inform us how two scrawny white girls survived.” McCoy responds, to which Dre backs him up.

“Well, I was at PENN when it went down. People running everywhere, and all that; happily, I can say that school was trashed. But, anyways, I bumped into her soon after and we went to this mall place, then boom, bumped into y’all.”

“Wow,” McCoy starts, “and you said we were boring.”

“Oh, just shut up.” Lara mocks him, before once again, a small silence enters the car. They don’t know why it fell silence, it just did; but it was a nice silent, not the awkward kind. But that’s one Vicky had one last question.

“Hey, Dre.”

“Yo.”

“I was just wondering, you don’t gotta answer or anything, but did you find your folks?” The question turns the nice silence into an awkward one, and Dre just blankly stares forward for a few seconds, before giving her a answer.

“They’re dead.”

“Oh. I’m sorry, really.” Dre gives no reply to her sorry, and instead just stares out the window and focuses on his driving. Just like that the car went from entertaining to awkward silence.


“Stay down.” Anahi says while taking out her pistol, gripping it firmly and placing her finger right on the trigger. Although she won’t admit it, Daniel was right about not going to the army, because apparently they’re the reason for all this chaos. She can’t even imagine what it would be like if they did follow the military….

She doesn’t wanna think about that, because obviously, she has more significant things to think about right now. Currently, Anahi is ducked behind a local, trashed dumpster, ready for battle. Behind her kneels Lisette, who although isn’t much of a fighter, holds a dagger in her hand for combat. Just like Anahi, Lisette’s eyes spell focus while watching the infected in front of the dumpster.

Then there was Daniel, who instead of getting ready to fight…..was sitting down behind them, and leaned back against the brick wall. Like usual the “all powerful, mighty Daniel Brown” was chickening out of a fight; even if he wasn’t injured, he wouldn’t help. That was just whom Daniel was, a coward behind the face of power. He was even prepared to ditch the girls if they couldn’t hold off the infected.

Anahi and Lisette make eye contact, both trying to think of a way how to handle this. There are about eight fresh infected in front of the dumpster and in that street, and they had to take them out. After a moment of silent talking, Anahi decides to make the first move.

Gripping the pistol a little bit more, Anahi slowly gets up more; however unknown to her, Daniel watches her hand, which is shaking. It was shaking so visibly, yet by the face she had put on, she didn’t seem bothered by anything; he didn’t say anything.

Taking her first step from out of the dumpster, Anahi aims her pistol at the nearest infected and pulls the trigger. She easily takes out the infected, and does the same to the next. Having been trained to shoot by cops, Anahi was a natural at this. The infected quickly hear the gunshots and turn in her direction and let out a blood wrenching scream, to which Anahi only backs up and takes aim again; this time hitting a infected right in the head. She doesn’t have time to admire her work as she aims at the next, but she gets a different result once she pulls the trigger. She gets a clicking sound….

“No, no, no.” she repeatedly mutters no while taking out the clip, and soon enough, finds she ran out of ammo. “Shit!” She digs into her pocket for more bullets while the infected sprint at her, but luckily, Lisette steps in.

Standing to her feet Lisette is quick to stab an infected in the head, before confronting the four others. Using her acrobatic like skills and quick movements to her advantage, Lisette kicks and stabs the ones that attack her first. In only six seconds she killed two of them, but while the third one remained focused on her, the fourth ran to behind the dumpster.

The fourth infected spots Daniel right away, who was crouched up in the corner. Immediately, Daniel sees the infected staring at him and he freezes up slightly. He’s seen a lot in his life but those things were still horrifying. “Anahi! Lisette!” He yells while trying to pull himself up, but the infected was already on him. The infected grabbed him and hulk tossed him onto the ground, before diving on top of him. He put his arms up in defense and tried knocking off the infected, but it was just to damn strong….

The next thing Daniel knows, he heard a loud ringing noise, followed by blood going all over him, then followed by the infected falling over dead, a bullet right in it’s head. Letting out a sigh of relief, Daniel looks up to see Anahi there, pistol in hand. Despite Daniel being the biggest ass to her, Anahi wasn’t gonna let him get eaten; she even extended her hand to help him up. “Second time I saved your life in one day.” She says.

Daniel just accepts her hand and she helps pull him up, and once on his feet, wiped the dirt off him. “Maybe if you checked how much was in the clip before, then you wouldn’t have too.” He mutters back to her, although she heard it perfectly well. She just laughs in disbelief, while putting her pistol away.

“Wow,” she says while laughing, “just wow.”

“What?”

“You do know I could of just let you died, right? In fact, I didn’t have to protect you from those infected. But nope, I wasted my bullets and risked my life for you.”

“Yeah, you did. I mean, it’d be pretty damn cold letting a injured person get eaten.” He shrugs, mocking her once more.

“You know, I think you may just be the biggest dick I’ve ever meet, and I mean ever.”

“Thanks, you’re really making my day.” Daniel knows that if he continues like this, Anahi will probably just snap and shoot him, but it’s fun seeing her like this. Sadly, before the ‘fun’ games can continue, Lisette breaks it up.

“Easy.” She grabs Anahi by the shoulders, while speaking with such a calm, soothing voice. Anahi listens, but not before mumbling one last comment about Daniel. He smirks, while Lisette faces him.

“And you….just stop being--you, we’re trying to help you here.” Lisette says to him.

“Mommy always told me to speak what’s on my mind.”

“Did mommy ever say to you ‘if you got nothing nice to say, then don’t speak’?”

“I don’t know, never really listened to her much.” Lisette shakes and rubs her head, trying not to lose her temper with Daniel; and it was a rarity if Lisette lost her temper. She just had a naturally nice soul. So, she decided to just follow the ‘if you have nothing nice to say, don’t speak’ rule. “Let’s just get off the streets before more of them arrive.”

-----

“Over here.” Lisette motions over the two, while she herself is on her knees and expecting the door lock. While it’s just a basic double door that leads into some middle school, a lock hangs on the front of it, blocking their passage. Normally they wouldn’t bother trying to break in, but due to the increased activity of infected, they had no choice but to cut through the pretty big school.

“Do any of you have something small? Like a bobby pin.” Lisette looks at Anahi in particular.

“I don’t have one.”

“C’mon, you worked in fashion. Your bond to have one somewhere in that bag.”

“Fine, I’ll check.” Anahi takes off her bag, sets it on the ground, and begins to dig through it. After moving aside lots of basic items like clothes, accessories, food, and finding nothing, she digs through the smaller pockets; and luckily, she finds one little bobby pin just sitting under some hair accessories. “Would you look at that,” Anahi pulls it out, “just one left. Pretty lucky, on our part.”

Taking the pin from Anahi, Lisette goes back to focusing on the lock, before putting the pin inside, planning to pick the lock. “Couldn’t blonde over there just use that gun of hers to shoot the lock.” Lisette looks back at him, giving him a ‘yeah, no’ look. “Hey, I’m just saying, it would be faster.”

“I’m not gonna risk putting a group of them on us, just so I can shoot one lock.” Anahi says.

“Alright, fine. Wait, do you even know how to pick locks?” He asks Lisette, and for once, not in a mocking way. She doesn’t respond with words, because after a few seconds, she picks the basic lock and tosses it to the ground. That was all the reply Daniel needed.

Opening the doors, the trio soon enter the deserted middle school, and once all in, Lisette shuts the door behind them. It was a basic public school with trashy lockers, pictures hanging up, and just that school smell. “Middle school,” Anahi starts, “sure brings back memories, don’t it?”

“Homeschooled.” Lisette says, and not surprising, Daniel was homeschooled too.

“Oh, then, it brings some memories back for me.” Anahi shrugs, while making her way down the hall with the two. “So what’s the plan?”

“We cut through here, should lead us to the football field outback, we cut through that, and just cut through other places; or alleys, either one. Best to stay off the streets.”

“Yeah, it’s a damn riot out there.” Daniel says, but Anahi reacts to the sentence. Not in a mean way, but that shaking on her hand from earlier grows, forcing her to grab and hold onto her hand. That, and she bites her lip a little bit. The word riot sure did something to her.

In that moment they pass the front office, with a boys and girls bathroom on each respective side. “I gotta take a piss.” Daniel says, nodding toward the boys bathroom.

“Can’t you hold it?” Lisette asks, to which Daniel shrugs, but Anahi intervenes.

“I gotta go too.” She says, holding her hand.

“Two against one.” Daniel adds.

“Alright, go. I’ll just wait here.” Lisette says, leaning against the trophy case, while Daniel and Anahi head off.

Walking into the girl’s bathroom, now finally alone, Anahi quickly locks the door and lets go of her hand. Letting it shake, Anahi walks over to the sinks, and for some reason, begins to breathe heavily; like she was holding it in. She breathes, and breathes, and even begins to clench her fist together repeatedly. Then her panic attack grows as she begins to cry, silently as she doesn’t want the others to find out, and just leans over the sink, looking at herself. Crying, breathing, trying not to punch something, she was having a major panic attack.

Then, unexpectedly, she lifts her fist, and in an attempt to blow some steam out, punches her reflection. Instantly the mirror shatters and she watches as her one big reflection turns into tens of tiny reflections, as it cracks and pieces shatter off the mirror.

Then, just as the last shattered piece hits the ground, it was over. That sudden panic she just had has left her body, and the shaking of her hand stopped. Anahi, still however, just stands there and looks at her many reflections, proceeding turning on the sink and washing her face off. Once it looked like she never cried, Anahi exits the bathroom, acting like nothing happened.


“So Franklin Mills is safe?” Ethan asks Michael, while both are sitting at some table in the apartment. Since they found each other, Michael explained their situation, although he left Destinee’s death out of it for Tate, who was still moping. He explained the search for Michael’s loved one, didn’t say it was his daughter, their journey there and how they just wanna get there.

“It should be, I mean, that’s what I heard.”

“You read it on a note.”

“And heard it on a radio.” Michael counters, while Ethan just scratches his head. He’d like to think people would take others in for free, but he didn’t know in a shit hole like this. “Look, you’re spetical, I get it. But me and my friend there are going there, so if you wanna come, be our guest.”

“And what happens when you get up there, and lets say, it’s gone. Infected, rioters, or whatever else is out there, just took it down. Then what?”

Michael doesn’t speak for a moment, instead opting to think. Sitting there, playing with this thumbs a little bit, he wonders what happens if that happens. What would happen if he got there and Sarah wasn’t there? He knew that couldn’t happen, but dark thoughts always seemed to wander into his head and make him think of things he doesn’t want too. “If that happens, and when we get there, that place is gone, then I don’t know. But that’s not gonna happen.”

“And you know that how, huh? Hell, how are you so optimistic about that crappy mall and that your loved one, or whatever, is there? Where did all that hope come from?”

“Because I have to be.” Michael digs into his pocket and pulls out his wallet, which contains a picture of Sarah, which he shows Ethan. In the picture she is all dressed up for some dance. “See that? That’s my daughter. You have a daughter?”

Ethan pauses. “No.” He lies.

“Well, Sarah here, is the only thing I got left. The hope that one day her and me can live happily, and that maybe she’ll actually like me for once, is all I got. If I just dropped all of that, then there would be nothing for me. I would just curl up in some ball, give up, and probably off myself right then and there. I don’t want to do that.” Michael leans back in his chair and puts the photo away, tucking it safely back into his pocket. “So I have to believe she’s out there, wanting to see me.”

Ethan nods, understanding now; there were no words needed to be said. For the depressing, piece of shit Michael is, he’s got strong will and lots of hope, that’s for sure. Ethan then looks at Michael, then Tate, who was sitting on the bed across for them. He looked like a lover with no one to love right now. “What happened to him?” Ethan asked quite, not wanting Tate to overhear them.

“He had a fiancee, she was pregnant.” The words had and was were all Ethan needed to here, so he told Michael to not explain further. He didn’t need to know how she died, and he didn’t want to know. Taking one more look at them, he knew these two weren’t fighters; with one too depressed and the other too hopeful, not good characteristics for trying to get through the city. If there was any chance of being a “police hero” for him, then now was the time.

He takes out his pistol, checks how much ammo he has, then cocks it. “I’ll come, but listen to me. If anything happens, you and your friend run.” Michael is about to say something, but Ethan doesn’t allow him too. “If I’m gonna die, and since I’m probably gonna die tomorrow, I’d rather go out doing something good, I guess.” Michael nods. “Alright then, let’s get going.”


“People are out there robbing fuckin’ Rita’s, but no one thought of coming here.” Joel says to Reyes, as the two walk around a car garage. While it was locked, Joel simply just shot the lock off, easier than picking it. There were decent cars in here too. “The people here are so fucking dumb.”

“Woah, damn.” Reyes exclaims while looking around the six different cars there, coming to one he liked; a SUV. Freshly red paint, not to dark and not to light, dark windows, and shiny wheels. “Look at this badboy.”

“That’s a Ford.” Joel says. “Looks alright, but look at this baby.” He points to the car in the back. White paint with a gold stripe and dark windows, it looked nice. Better yet, it was a Lamborghini. “Do you know how fast this nigga can go?”

“As fast as Usain Bolt, maybe.”

“Hell yeah. Now do we have anything to jack it with, without breaking these windows.”

“I was actually thinking, we take the Ford.”

“Why? Do you how fast we can go with this baby?” Joel scoffs his suggestion. “There’s a non-military place at Franklin Mills, right? We can get there by the end of the night with this baby.” Normally the trip to Franklin Mills only was a half-hour to hour, but with all the chaos, who knew how long it would took on a normal car.

“Remember that conversation earlier about blood on my hands?”

“Oh God, not this again, Reyes.”

“Listen. I’ve been thinking, and, we started all of this.” Reyes refers to the riot outside.

“Yeah, we did. So?”

“We are the reason this city is crumbling right now. Do you know how many people died today, or even dying right now?”

“Nope.” Joel said, but judging from the chaos out there, probably hundreds, or more. “A lot, I guess.”

“Yeah, a lot. And all of their deaths is on me!”

“Oh my God, dude, did you not listen to anything I said earlier? You just gotta deal with it.”

“Get it in your thick head, dumbass, I’m not you! I can’t just ‘deal with it’ and move on! What if some kid got shot, or eaten? Better yet, a baby.”

“C’mon man, don’t bring up dying babies. You’re just going to hard on yourself.”

“The truth hurts.” Reyes bluntly says. “Look, if we started this, then I at least wanna try and help the ones stuck out there. So I’m gonna use that SUV and go around, taking anyone that wants a ride to Franklin Mills.”

Joel sighs, and just scratches his head. “How far are you gonna take this? Your ‘I must be a good man and help others’ morale stance, I mean.”

“As far as it needs to go.”

“Reyes, this is not us. Those people, that you wanna help, are the ones that looked down on us and called us the ‘scum of the earth’, just because we didn’t meet their standards for society. They’re goddamn hypocrites, that is what people are!”

“What do you know about us?” Reyes stands defensively now, annoyed with Joel now. “What do you know about me?”

“I know that you are smarter than this.”

“Really? Guess what, we’re shitty people, Joel. It’s been that way for a long time.”

“No, we are the victims to that--fucked up society, that for whatever reason, we call home!"

“I ruined lives back in Mexico; I would hand out drugs to fucking pregnant girls--”

“That was their choice!”

“And it was mine too, because I gave it! I wanna make up for that shit!”

“Oh come on, stop with the bullshit. What is this really about? Do you wanna prove something to daddy? Or, is this about good ol’ mommy?” Reyes freezes. “Yeah, Reyes, I’ve read your file, I know about her. Is this about mommy, huh? Did mamá beat you, Reyes? How did it feel to--” Joel was going to far, and he didn’t even know what point he was making now, but before he could finish, Reyes had enough.

Reyes quickly gave a firm, hard punch at Joel’s face, knocking the man backwards. Already suffering a bloody nose, the pissed off Joel quickly tries to swing back, but Reyes was fast. Due to close calls back in Mexico, Reyes’s reflects were amazing, so he saw the punch coming before Joel did. Upon deflecting the punch, Reyes gave a firm punch to Joel’s stomach, grabbed the man by his hair and tossed him to the ground.

Smashing onto the ground like a rock, Joel didn’t give up and instead kicked up, hitting Reyes right in the knee. Pouncing back up, Joel grabbed Reyes and tackled him onto a car’s hood, where he began to punch him. Punching Reyes right in the groin, Reyes cursed under his breath, before grabbing Joel by the neck and bashing his face into the car’s window. The damage done by that, and the alarm going off, stunned Joel enough for Reyes to grab him and pin him against the wall. “Got anything else to say?! Go on, say something, I fucking dare you!”

“Did mommy touch you too?” Joel mocked, and the mock made Reyes so angry that he froze for a minute, allowing Joel to headbutt him in the forehead. Reyes fell back, screaming curse words in spanish, while Joel came forward to attack once more. But Reyes was quick to grab a shard of glass on the ground and stab Joel right in the shoulder, causing him to scream.

Backing up in pain he ripped the now red glass shard out, and tried to hit Reyes with it, but Reyes simply kicked him in the stomach, sending him down on the ground. As Joel moaned in pain, Reyes simply ripped the pistol that was tucked inside his pants, which Joel didn’t want to use for some reason; probably didn’t want to kill Reyes. However Reyes showed no remorse as he cocked it and lowered himself down to Joel’s level, where he put the gun right in his face.

Joel, admitting defeat, raised his hands and stared right into Reyes’s eyes. “Go on, Reyes, do it! Get my blood all over your dirty, grimy little hands!”

Reyes, in pure fury, just stares down at Joel, still holding the gun firm and his finger on the trigger. He hesitates. “C’mon, I want you to do it! Prove to me who you are! How we’re not different at all, how we’re just the same.” Joel continues to mock, and reaching up toward the gun, slowly lowers the gun into his mouth.

Reyes’s fury doesn’t give in and he still kneels there, ready to pull the trigger.


Haruka stands silently in the middle of the empty highway, hands in her pockets with her jacket zipped up. She tends to keep looking around the area, seeing if there are any infected to observe, but there are none, so she just sighs. Something was very visibly bothering her, because well, she wasn’t being Haruka. She wasn’t talking or being goofy, she was just standing there, maybe kick the dirt that’s beneath her sometimes.

Sandra noticed this time after time, yet Haruka kept denying there was anything wrong. Sandra may be silent but she knew when her friends were bothered. Figuring she should find out what’s wrong now, as James and Sarah are digging through an abandoned car, Sandra makes her way over to Haruka and takes a place next to her. “Waddup, S.” Haruka puts on a smile once more, but Sandra saw through it.

“What’s up with you?”

“Nothing.”

“Something is obviously bothering you, I’m not blind.” Sandra says nicely, trying to reach out her friend. “I only wanna help you.”

“It’s nothing.” Haruka says once again, but Sandra isn’t gonna give up on her, so she sighs. “Alright, fine. You caught me, Detective Dufraine.” Haruka chuckles. “My birthday is tomorrow.”

“Isn’t that something you should be--I don’t know, not sad about.”

“You don’t get it. I’m turning….forty.”

“Forty?”

“Forty.”

“Well, I’d be happy about that. I mean you look mid-thirties at latest.”

“Aw, thanks. But, it’s just that I’m getting old, and I haven’t really done anything with my life yet.”

“You kidding me? Didn’t you expose a corrupt pharmaceutical place in Japan?”

“Yeah, but--look, one day when I’m dead, no one is gonna remember any of the stuff I did. I just wanna go down in the history books or something, you know?”

“Ah, don’t be like that. You’re a good looking woman, who still has plenty of time left.” Sandra nudges her a little bit. “When we find out the secret to this infection, you’ll be in the history books alright.”

“Think so?”

“Yeah, I know so.” Haruka smiles.

“But, I also heard when you’re forty, that you’re face gets all wrinkly. And, um, you begin to lose your eyesight.”

“Someone’s superstitious.” Sandra chuckles under her breath. “You’ll be fine, don’t worry.”


It was getting darker out, around five p.m. now maybe, as the trio walk down the empty road. Shockingly, this street is empty, unlike most others. Just means less trouble for Ethan, who leads the way down the streets, with his pistol in hand, and eyes scanning the streets. Next to him is Michael and Tate, with Michael holding his bat tight while Tate walks carelessly. He still can’t get Destinee out of his head, and all he wanted to do was go back and cradle her dead body, but Michael had him on a close leash. It was understandable, considering Tate openly admitted that he wouldn’t mind dying.

“We need to pick up the pace, if we wanna make it there before dark.” Ethan says to Michael, who was now at his side.

“Why not just get a car?”

“Because the owners either drove away with them, or they’ve been jacked.”

“Maybe we can find someone to give us a ride?” Michael asks, to which Ethan only scoffs.

“Yeah, right. We’d have better luck finding Santa Claus with some kid on his lap.” Ethan mocks, to which Michael only shrugs, before silence falls back upon them.

The three continued to walk for a little bit longer, with no other human being in sight, until about six minutes later. As the three were walking down the street, they could hear the sound of a car behind them. The three turn to see a red SUV driving down the street, and it looks like the driver, or drives, see them. In instinct, Ethan grips his gun, but Michael took the more nice approach, instead waving for it to stop. Luckily, the SUV begins to slow down until it comes to a complete stop.

“I don’t see Santa anywhere.” Michael jokes to Ethan, who only keeps his pistol close, while they approach the drivers window. At first they couldn’t see in the window, due to it being dark, and had no idea how many people were inside. But soon enough the driver rolled down his window to reveal he’s the only person inside. The person was young with bruised and bloody face, and bloody clothing, along with many other bruises. The dude has been to hell and back. It was Reyes, and only Reyes. No one else was in the car.

“Thanks for stopping.” Michael takes charge by talking to him, a little weary due to his banged up appearance.

“Sure, man. Don’t worry about it.” It seems a little painful for him to talk, but he does anyways. “You guys need a ride?”

“Yeah, man. We really do.”

“Where to?”

“Franklin Mills Mall. Mind if we hitch a ride?” Reyes motions his hand to the back seats.

“Hop in.” Reyes says, to which the tree follow the orders. While Michael goes around the car and takes the front seat, Ethan and Tate go take a seat in the back. Once all three were in the car, and once the doors were shut, Reyes drove off in the SUV again.

“Thanks for the ride.” Michael once again takes charge in speaking. “I’m Michael. The blonde haired due is Tate, and the other is Ethan.”

“Reyes.”

“What happened to you?” Ethan suddenly asks from the back. “Your bruised up and all.”

Reyes is reluctant to answer, instead opting to drive. Ethan keeps staring though, waiting for an answer, and Michael seems interested too. “Just a little accident.” He soon answers.

“Person or infected?”

“Person.” Reyes once again reluctantly says, to which Ethan nods and doesn’t ask anymore questions, for now anyways. Michael, taking a glance at Reyes, soon notices his hands, which are dosed in blood; blood all over his hands.

“You got blood on your hands.” Michael tells him, to which Reyes only nods sadly.

“I know.” Was all Reyes replied with.


“Look at it out there.” Mrs. Vernon said, while looking out her office window. Being in her late forties, or early fifties, her short blonde hair just sat there as she looked out. She wore a basic outfit of a suit jacket, dress skirt, and a white collared shirt.Her eyes, however, just stared out nto the city. “It’s a fucking mess, ain’t it?”

Behind her was Ryker, still in his suit. After his talk with his son, Ryker had come to see his mob ally, Mrs. Vernon, who was in charge of her own little mob. It was a small mob but damn powerful, that’s for sure. She turns toward Ryker, whose hands are behind his back, and he nods. “It’s definitely out of the ordinary.”

“You got that right.” Mrs. Vernon finally goes back to her desk and takes a seat, and Ryker takes his seat right across from her. The meeting between them was last minute, but had to be important, because Ryker said it was important. “So what is this little meeting about? I mean to meet is one thing, but to meet in chaos like this? It must be important.”

“Ah yes, it’s very important. To me, anyways.”

“Well, what’s on your mind.”

“Well, where do I begin?” Ryker pauses. “For years now, the mob has been staying under the radar, planning every move carefully, because those damn lawmakers had control over the city. But slowly, we began taking back the power they took from us, am I right?” Vernon nods.

“Well, all the mob leaders have been hiding out in their penthouses, thinking they could be protected there. Chao, Vercetti, they’re all hiding away. And well, all of them have been safe, for the most part. Of course there was Mr. Brown--”

“Ah, yes. It really is a shame what happened to Danny Brown. Kid went through a lot, and he wasn’t ready for this life.” Vernon sighs. “I just hope the young lad went out quick.”

“Me and you both, Mrs. Vernon.” Ryker lies. “Anyways, look around you, Mrs. Vernon. This city is in anarchy, all those law pigs are gone. I think this can be the chance for us to take back our city.”

“Well, Mr. Ryker, that is a very interesting proposal. Please, explain.”

“Well, it is times like these that there needs to be power held, because our world needs rules. So, someone needs to rise above these city’s ashes, and rebuild the city, maybe even more.” Ryker sits forward a little bit. “Power is the only way to return order.”

“So you’re suggesting that we all ban together and take over the city?” Ryker smirks, like he finds something funny.

“Something like that.” Standing onto his feet, Ryker then reaches into his suit jacket and pulls something out. He pulled out a pistol. He cocks it before aiming it at Vernon. “I was suggesting that I take over the city.”

Mrs. Vernon, shocked by the presence of a gun, stands to her feet, but before she can do anything, Ryker makes walks toward her. “What is this, Jake?” She asks angry. “You dare come into my home and betray me? If you wanted to kill me, you should of just hired a hitman because there is no way you’re leaving here alive.”

“Betray you? Oh no, no, no. You see, I have the highest respect for you, Isabella, and that’s why I came to do the deed myself. I got assassins for the others, though, so feel honored.”

“So what is this out of? Revenge? Greed? Pride? What made you think you could come in here and--”

“It is none of the above, ma’am. This is just a great opportunity, you see. To take out the other power officials, and leaving only me, that would practically be naming me the mayor of this place.” Vernon still glares at him, so he goes on.

“There are two types of people in this world. There are the followers. They are the people who just go along with whatever life gives them, and never dare take risks, because that’s not in their nature.” Ryker explains, while walking around with his men. “Then there are the opportunist. They are the ones who take the extra step and take risks for opportunities that are presented before them. And, you see, Mrs. Vernon, I’m an opportunist.”

“So please, don’t take this personal in anyway. This is only pure business, I hope you understand.” Ryker finishes his little speech, while Vernon still gives him a stare of hatred.

“You’re a slimy bastard, you know that? I should have my men come in here and shoot you half to death, then let me finish the job.”

“I see that you don’t understand, then.”

“Even if you pull that trigger, someone else will just take my place.”

“Oh, I took that into account. For those willing to join my new empire, then I shall allow it. Those, however, who wish to see me pay, then they’ll just dig their own graves.” Ryker smiles.

“Well Isabella, I’m afraid our time has run out. May God have mercy on you.” Ryker finishes, and he then pulls the trigger multiple times, letting out five bullets. Each bullet digs right into Vernon, who collapses onto her knees, as the bullets penetrate her lungs and blood pours out of her stomach, chest and mouth. She wasn’t dead yet, however, and she just stared at Ryker. She was tough old bastard.

But Ryker simply aimed at her head and pulled the trigger one more time, and her body slumps to the ground, a fresh bullet in her head.


Finally off the highway, and onto a normal street, James leads the three girls, pistol grasped in his hand. After another few minutes the four then stop at a sign, and each of them smile. The sign simply read “Franklin Mills Mall”.

And behind that sign, was their safe haven, the Franklin Mills Mall. It was still functional and standing perfectly, not fallen like others believed. James let out a laugh full of relief and smiled.

They made it.

Issues of Endangered
Arc 1
Volume 1

1 - Ruined 2 - Father of the Year 3 - Party Girl 4 - It's Been Over 5 - One Wrong Move 6 - Lost 7 - Reporter 8 - Lost and Found 9 - Talk 10 - Brown 11 - Confront 12 - Calm Before the Storm

Arc 2
Volume 2

13 - Chaos 14 - Old Friends, New Enemies 15 - State of Emergency 16 - Just Watch the Sunset 17 - Trust is Weakness 18 - The Riots are the Worst 19 - The Riots are the Worst, Part 2 20 - Not Even the Apocalypse Can Stop Us from Shopping 21 - The Sixth Sense 22 - A Game of What If? 23 - Pain is the Alpha and Omega for Addiction 24 - You Can Never Change

Volume 3

25 - It Not a Small World After-All 26 - Ghosts From the Past and the Demons That Follow 27 - The Coward, The Opportunist, and the New World 28 - Surrounded by the Unseen Foe 29 - Lost Souls 30 - City of Brotherly Love 31 - The Truth Will Set You Free 32 - A Sacrifice of Blood 33 - This Isn't a Video Game 34 - P.T.S.D 35 - A Helping Hand 36 - No Mercy

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