This is Page 10 of Walking Dead: Requiem.
Page Ten: Bastion[edit | edit source]
After putting a drunken Autumn in bed, Aaron came back out and attempted assuring the Giles' that he was sure the kid would be fine. Then, out of nowhere, the explosion happened. It shook the entire building before Aaron could begin to even speak. Everyone trembled, Mrs Giles even falling to the ground. Brandi ran into the room, shocked by these new events that were unfolding and they could not foresee. "Is the military BOMBING us now? Are we all going to DIE here?!?!" she asked as Aaron hurried outside.
Back outside in the breezeway, the group watched over the ledge as the smoke settled, looking down at the crater which was once the courtyard. Aaron could not see Jaxin anywhere and could tell Mr Giles was not happy with him at all. "God help you if that child is dead." he stated aloud, though obviously directed at Aaron, the words lost in the ringing bells drumming away inside of his head. All they could see as the dust and smoke cleared was three figures crossing over into courtyard's remains and that two of them were soldiers. Everyone became silent as they tried listening to whatever it was they may be saying. As his hearing returned to him, Aaron could make out that the soldiers were yelling at the third, a woman in a tank top and what looked like sweatpants or bright denims. She lead the soldiers like she was the baddest ass in the world and was on a mission straight into Hell.
As the scene became clearer and clearer, Gary began to panic through his already unstable fear of what was going to happen next, "What now? Huh?! What do we do now?!?!" They all looked to Aaron who was silent, his gaze attracted on something that obviously horrified him. "Aaron?" asked Brandi, trying to gain his attention from the sudden shock that was obviously beyond the carnage four stories below.
Aaron could not answer now, for now he could see through the smoke and what he saw horrified him more than anything else he'd seen all day. He darted back inside, grabbing the remaining liquor bottle on his way to locking himself in the master bedroom with Autumn before the others even had a chance to notice he'd left their side.
"What the FUCK just happened?!" demanded Gary, his tone even more horrified than before. Through the smoke and debris, Aaron was slowly making out what appeared to be three survivors making their way inside. After his hearing returned, Aaron could make out that they were having an argument about something and that two were in fact soldiers while the other was a woman in a tank top and pasty looking jeans, or possibly sweat pants. He couldn't see faces, but it was obviously the soldiers who were yelling at the woman who was making a straight line into the complex... as if she had a purpose.
"Dear God, what about Jaxin?!" asked Mr Giles, his voice full of fear and dread. "Fuck the kid, what the hell are we gonna do now?! The fucking front GATE is GONE!! Fucking GONE!" Gary replied. Aaron could not respond.
"You FUCKING CUNT!! WHAT THE FUCK WERE YOU THINKING?!?!" demanded Craft as she followed Moreene and Wheeler across the street to the apartments. She had used the soldier's last grenade to not only incinerate a massive horde of undead swarming the otherside of apartments front gate, but demolish the entire front end of the ritzy villa apartment complex. "It'll be OK." Moreene replied in a short, ignorant tone as she stormed through the smoke and debris into the gaping crater that once kept the undead from escaping the complex. She knew that the two soldiers accompanying her did not like their leaders orders to aide Moreene in her search for Aaron, but Moreene did not care. All that mattered was that Aaron was safe here and if he wasn't, then at least she would know now.
"Those THINGS man, those fucking THINGS are gonna come down on us fucking QUICK man!!!" stuttered Wheeler, terrified from what he has been experiencing all day. Ever since Corporal Vic Wheeler witnessed the Sarge get bitten a few blocks back and then hear him turn over on an order he had made, he knew today was going straight to hell in a hurry. Sarge had sent Wheeler and Craft on this escort rescue mission in an attempt to get this woman on their good side, Wheeler was positive of it after seeing her save his ass a few blocks back. After regrouping and securing an abandoned craft services van a few blocks back, Sarge sent them on the suicide mission and remained with Layne, who had traded his rifle for Craft's draganov. And now here they were, ground zero to a location that would soon be overwhelmed by the entire undead population of Los Angeles.
The courtyard of the once illustrious complex had been swarming with the undead as Craft worked to adjust her hearing back into place before continuing to yell at the insane woman. Before she could open her mouth however, the woman took aim on two undead in the distance who had obviously been away from the blast of the grenade. "You fucking BITCH! Just STOP!" she aimed Layne's M-16 at the woman's back, who in return swirled around to face her. "Craft, is it? Look... do you wanna waste time killing ME, or do you want to get this over with and get the hell out of here before THEY arrive?!" A tense beat followed as Craft could hear the undead moans in the distance, attracted to the sounds of the human-made action.
"Who the FUCK are you?!" called a raspy, coughing voice in the nearby breezeway. Moreene lowered her gun and turned to see the source of the voice was a scrawny young man... no, a child, no older than 16, aiming a shotgun right at them. Craft and Wheeler aimed right back at him, another tense standoff beginning.
"Oh, shit..." muttered Jaxin, aiming his dad's 12-gauge remington at the new arrivals. After the blast, he'd had little time to think as he finished collecting his things, strapped his new board to his backpack and grabbed his dad's guns from the safe. He heard the three survivors, two soldiers and a MILF with a sawed-off double barrel, and attempted to intervene though this proved retarded on his behalf. In one, swift motion he dropped the shotgun onto the pavement and threw his hands into the air.
Moreene stepped between the boy and the soldiers, glaring at the two adults who should know better, "He's a baby. Lower those fucking things." They complied and watched in confusion as she approached the young man and proceeded to hug him, his arms remaining erect into the air as he himself began trembling. "It's OK baby... we won't hurt you..." she said. "Okay..." he replied, his hands remaining straight up. As she released him, she reached down for his weapon and handed back to him, his hands finally coming down from the sky as he grabbed back onto it. Through his already beatup appearance which he seemed accustomed too, Moreene could see this child had began a new life away from whatever normality it was he'd known, obvious from the dried blood crisped to his clothing. It was even in his long shaggy hair, stuffed beneath an oversized cap on his head.
"Miss Hindle," began Wheeler, exchanging a glance with a still irritated Craft, "You've found your son, right? Well it's time to go---" before he could finish, Moreene turned back to them and stated, "No... this isn't MY baby... he's just another mother's child, lost to this, nightmare. This place was lost with all those, things in here... not blowing the gate wouldn't have changed a damn thing. I've seen enough though so we can go..." She lowered her head as she passed between Wheeler and Craft, both now seeing the extent of her pain. This took Wheeler back, as this was not the woman who'd just lead them through the streets with a vengeance and despite his obligations with her method of entering the apartment, he didn't like the change in her emotion.
Jaxin felt bad for her. He'd pegged her as a mother already before confronting them... only now could he hear the pain of loss in her voice, something he knew all too well. "I-I'm Jax---Jaxin. Call me Jaxin... I'm with others." he began, catching the attention of all three. "Bunch of us... upstairs. Wanna see?"
"Aaron! Come out, PLEASE!" pleaded Brandi from outside of the master bedroom door. Aaron sat against the door, draining the remains of the liquor into his empty gullet. He hadn't eaten much of the dinner before the chaos outside began and after seeing what he saw outside... what had most likely caused the chaos... he had lost any appetite for good. "Aaron! They're coming upstairs with Jaxin!"
Moreene Hindle was Aaron's mother, locked away for years after being found insane when she murdered his dad's mistress. She didn't even hold back that night, coming straight over when she knew he was home with her and she was supposed to be at yoga until nine. Dad was in the bedroom and his lover, Denise, was in the kitchen fixing Chardonnay when Moreene approached her from behind and picked up the butchers knife... dad had heard the noises and screams before calling 9-1-1 and locked himself in the bedroom. Aaron arrived shortly after recieving a call from the Sheriffs Department, asking for his help. At the time, Aaron and Autumn had just moved into the Villas and he was on his way into work when Leon handed him the phone---
"AARON?!?!" shouted an insanely desparate voice from outside. Aaron froze in shock, questioning the reality of the entire day all at once, Is this real?! Is this... happening?! God... why did you let HER out??!?!?!
"Aaron..." started a lazily lulling voice from across the room. "Oh, oh! Autumn!" Aaron leapt to his feet and jumped across the room onto the bed where his wife was slowly coming too. "Are you Okay baby?!" he asked in his usual concerning tone, unsure whether or not she even wanted to see him. "Yeah... just, is the world still ending?" she asked as she began coming around faster, most likely due to her strong tolerance for alcohol.
"Yes... yes it is." Aaron replied. "Damn... had a weird dream, or a nightmare rather... I heard your mom's voice." Aaron wished how it was a dream. He wished alot of things that day but this one took the cake above all else, a totally unexpected twist in the already twisted day. "Uh, honey?" began Aaron, unsure of how to continue as Autumn's eyes met his suddenly with fear embedded beyond their sockets, "That part wasn't a dream either"
Moreene Hindle stared at the master bedroom door with anger and fear, trying to resist the urge to blast it open and possibly kill whoever was inside. She knew this had to be Aaron's apartment, it's cleanliness almost anal-retentive to every single detail... the high-class plates and utensils... this was most certainly her boy's apartment. All the emotions in her soul drained as it became obvious that he was alive and that he almost certainly did not want to see her.
Jaxin was being embraced by the Giles', overly happy that he had made it back alive. "Thanks Mr and Mrs Giles, I'm Okay, I promise..." he said to them, now fighting his way from their grip. "Please Jaxin, forgive us..." began Ms Giles, "we were just concerned is all---" Byron interrupeted, "Yes son, it's been ages since we saw our Jeannie go off to college... she was such a sweet child, smart and sweet... just like you!"
"Oh shut the fuck up already and lets get the hell out of here!" spat Gary, angrily leering at the retarded scene displaying before him. Here were two soldiers carrying their hardware and some crazy woman, but whose to care?! Gary continued facing the red-headed male soldier, "So this is it huh? Wheres the rest of you grunts?"
Wheeler looked to Craft, neither of them having had the time to think anything through since following the Jaxin kid up to this room filled with the most random assortment of survivors. The bastard yelling at him was making his nerves twitch so bad he wanted to deck him, but he held back and replied, "This is it. We're going to leave for the coast where we'll be extracted." The blonde little man pouted in his face and stormed backward, swinging his arms in a wild fit like a child who had just been told he couldn't go to the fair.
"Well, thats something, I suppose..." said Brandi. She reentered the room, having given up on getting Aaron back outside. She passed by the strange woman in a tank top and confronted the group. The blonde soldier then said, "We need to go as soon as possible... they'll swarm the entrance anytime now." The angry young man finished his spasm and replied, "Yeah they will... thanks to YOU assholes for---"
Moreene had whipped around so fast and aimed the end of her double-barrel right into the young man's face. He calmed right down and she said, "That's enough. Now shut the hell up before I---"
The master bedroom door slowly opened and Moreene dropped her aim on the man before turning back to witness Aaron slowly clamber into the front room carrying a wobbly Autumn in one arm.
Everyone in the room fell deathly silent as only the continuous sounds of hungry moans began refilling the destroyed courtyard outside. Autumn looked forward at the woman, her mother in law, armed with a gun and staring directly at her and Aaron.
"Hey mom..." spoke Aaron at long last.
- End Of Page Ten. To Be Continued.