Sunday, February 24, 2013

Ravens Pt. Four

“I’m fine, I’m fine!” Heinrich growled through grit teeth, pushing himself up. “My arm is broken is all.”
“And covered in that black gunk,” Michael observed, eyeing the drenched arm with distaste.
“All the more reason to help get it off me.” Heinrich ordered, nodding out into the store. “Go grab a couple bottles of alcohol so we can douse my arm before we bind it.”
“On it.” Michael agreed, shouldering his blade as he marched through the batwing doors and off into the darkened store. Heinrich reached over to the one sickle within reach and began gingerly scraping what slime he could off his injured arm, listening as David and Steven struggled to down the skewered Crawler.

Reaching into his satchel, he pulled out a bottle of painkillers, looking at the label. “Oxymorphone… sounds potent enough.” He grumbled, struggling with the child proof cap. He popped the lid off just as Michael returned with three clear plastic jugs of rubbing alcohol, as well as a beach towel and a package of gauze.
“Good, help me with this.” Heinrich ordered, passing the bottle to Michael as he traded it for the rubbing alcohol, easily twisting off the cap and puncturing the silvery top with his thumb. “God I bet this is gonna sting.”
Upending the jug over his arm, Heinrich hissed as the alcohol began washing away the viscous fluid, revealing a bare limb that appeared burned. The sting of the alcohol reached new heights once it reached his raw skin, running in thin rivulets down over his elbow as his crooked arm slowly became clean. He snagged another bottle and finished the job off, ridding his broken limb of the possibly toxic substance as best he could.
Meanwhile, Michael was reading the bottle of painkillers slowly. “Hein, this is some pretty heavy duty stuff. You sure you want this?”
“About as sure as I am that I’m useless as is.” Heinrich grunted, wiping away at his arm tenderly with the towel, wincing whenever he moved his arm. Passing the damp blanket to Michael, he gave him a sour look. “Tear that into something we can use as a sling, and pass me two of those pills.”
“Aye aye.” Michael obeyed, shaking two small red pills from the medicine bottle before resealing it, tucking into his own leather satchel. Passing the pills to Heinrich, who merely tossed them back into his throat swallowing them dry, Michael began tearing the blanket into long strips.
David and Steven, both breathing heavily from their struggle with the beast, both came up to the counter, their arms loaded down with antibacterial gels. “Here. We figure we can lather you up with this gunk before wrapping the arm. Might help prevent an infection, you know?”
“Good idea,” Heinrich nodded, not at all enjoying the thought of either of them “lathering” his shattered limb in any way. Not that he had a choice. “Go ahead and do that David. Steven, I know you have some first aid training so I’ll want you to set my arm. Fetch a suitable splint, if you would.”
Steven nodded, disappearing from Heinrich’s view as he moved back into the darkness of the store, while David pushed through the double doors with a large tube of antibacterial gel in one hand, squeezing the semi-clear goo into the other. David knelt next to his commander and, with extreme care, began rubbing the cream up and down the savaged limb.
Over the next few minutes, between the four of them, they’d cleaned the arm (which was as red as a tomato and covered in small cuts), set it, and wrapped it in gauze before hanging it in a modified sling. Grumbling as he stood up, one sickle in hand while the other hung from his belt, Heinrich had to admit that while he didn’t feel good, he felt well enough to fight.
“Come on then,” He grunted, twirling his sickle errantly. “Let’s go find Samuel and our mystery host. I have a few words to share with him.”
The other three chuckled darkly as David, spear in hand, took the lead. Together, they filed slowly along the wall until they reached the door that led to the employee’s only area, where they’d sent Samuel.
And where the Necromancer must be.
Michael, claymore low to the ground, kicked in the door without a word. A rancid smell assaulted the men’s combined senses, causing Steven to gag, holding his arm up over his face. Heinrich breathed deep the slightly sweet scent, sighing.
“Oh yes,” He grinned, the painkillers slowly taking effect in his system. “Definitely a Necro’s lair. They like to decorate with failed experiments. You’ve all grown used to the few we have back in the village. This one will be a right bastard I imagine.”
Moving into the darkened stockroom, Heinrich motioned for all of them to spread out, crouching low as he walked up to, and then along, a steel shelf stocked high with dusty cardboard boxes, many of which had candles sitting atop them, casting a soft glow over the room with their dim light. Smiling at the sounds of shuffling feet and low groans, Heinrich nodded to the rest of his team once, mouthing the word “Go!”
And go they did.
Rounding the corner and moving swiftly in the lead, Michael came face to face with the moldering corpse of an old man, lower jaw and throat torn out completely. The walking dead gurgled as it surged forward on unsteady legs, hands held high as they sought to find purchase on Michael’s leather covered body, but a swift kick to the chest sent him stumbling backwards, far enough for David to thrust his spear over Michaels shoulder and into the zombies skull, spattering the ground with rancid grey matter.
Michael, recovering from the kick, didn’t have time to react as two smaller zombies, children, charged at him from the shadows behind the shelf, both missing their hands, gleaming bits of sharpened steel wedged and sewn into their forearms. Blocking one with the broadside of his claymore, an eyeless young boy with leathery skin and an emaciated frame, Michael hissed in pain as the other tore into his side with the sharpened extensions, slicing through his boiled leather armor, leaving a deep gash along his left flank.
Pushing with his blade, he bull rushed the cadaver he’d blocked backwards, allowing David to let go of his spear and, with a quick flick of the wrist, pull out a narrow switchblade. Flipped open, he moved forward, punching the four inches of steel into the zombies skull once, twice, three times before it fell over.
Michael, adrenaline pumping from the pain in his side, was able to push back the small boy until he had him pinned against the wall, his broad blade cutting into the sides of the boys fragile arms as he vainly wrestled against the finely crafted iron. Letting go of the weapon, he used his free hand to reach over and punch the small child in the top of the head, his fist sinking through the zombie’s soft skull with a sickening sucking sound.
“Damn things are like roaches!” Michael spat, pulling his hand free, shaking it to rid his fingers of the ruined pieces of loose skull and brain. “I swear, they crawl into every little crevice and cranny and just wait for you to walk by.”
“Looks like two of ‘em had their nails done.” Heinrich observed, toeing the one with the punctured skull idly. “It seems our dear Necro likes to tinker.”
“Oh you have no idea…” Came a reply from deeper in the store room, a deep chuckle coming from the darkness amongst a chorus of moans and groans.

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