Fiction Friday, is actually Sci-Fi Friday this week. Nothing came to me for the prompts this week for The Red Dress Club. I mulled, sulked and sighed but I am looking forward to seeing what other people did. This picks up directly after yesterdays posts, if you want to catch up on the story as a whole just click on the Sci-Fi Land tap above and all the entries will drop down.

This time is chaos. People are pouring from hidden spots, some theirs, and some ours. I’m hoping that someone shoots Marcus before he gets to me, I’m not sure I can take this beast one on one. I see one of Marcus’ guys leap at Chryse, she’s already fighting someone else so he gets a grip and takes her down. He’s on top of her and I see his knife plunge into her shoulder, she screams, “God Dammit!” Already moving her way, I kick the guy as hard as I can in the ribs to get him off of her and bring the end of my staff down as hard as I can on his face. I hear crunching and see teeth breaking.

“Hold still,” I tell her and before we can even talk about it, I pull the knife from her shoulder.

“Son of a bitch!” She screams as I drag her over to the side.

“Keep pressure on it.”

“Fuck you.”

I spin and try to focus on Billy, he’s on his feet trying to get his hands free, I get to him cut him loose. He grabs the knife from me and gets to work. I can’t tell who’s winning. I’m looking for Marcus, knowing that son of a bitch is really here for me, when my left calf catches fire with pain. Looking down I see an actual arrow sticking through my leg. Well, there you go, won’t Ulysses be happy. Reaching down I try to snap the arrow so that I can pull it through, but that’s not going to happen and I finally see Marcus. He’s moving deliberately, shoving people out of his way, focused only on me. I feel like I’m staring down a very angry bull at the rodeo. At least I’ll go down fighting.

I stand back up trying to ignore the muscles tearing in my leg when I hear Ulysses’ voice, “Down!” And the hours of training, the hours spent dropping to one knee pay off. We all hit the ground. I throw myself as far as I can from Marcus’ path, knowing I can’t roll with this stupid arrow in my leg when I see his head explode decorating the pavement in a Pollack of gray, white and red. He continues to walk a few steps, as the last of his life leaves his body, then he crumbles. I see Tyler slashing his way through the last of the crowd fighting to get to me. I watch the muscles in his thighs strain against his pants and see the sweat coating his neck, only in this moment can I admit to myself how much I love him and how impossible I find that in this world in which we find ourselves.

He reaches me, “Sci,” he says like a breath.

“I’m ok. Chryse’s hurt, check on her.”

“What you can’t hear her? She’s fine, Marc’s got her.” And he’s right, I can hear her cursing and muttering and I can hear Marc’s voice trying to calm her.

“Help me up.”

“You shouldn’t stand on that leg.”

“I know. Where’s my staff?” I need it as a crutch.

The rest of Tyler’s group is gathering up the survivors and tying them with rope.

“Good thinking with the rope,” I tell him. He just looks at me. “I’m sorry, I feel a little high right now. How’s Billy?”

“Mad. Embarrassed. Jessica’s looking at him now.”

“Eventually, you and I are going to have a little chat about what it was that he was doing when he got taken. Did Ulysses and Toby head back to check on the compound?” I ask.

“I assume so, they aren’t here with us and we know that they are still alive.”

We finally get me to my feet. I limp over to where the prisoners are tied up. Billy is standing behind Jessica clenching his fists.

“Billy,” I say. He looks at me. “Something you want to tell me?”

He points at a blond girl whose hair is tightly braided against her head, “She dies. I don’t care what you do with the rest, but that bitch cut off my ear and liked doing it.”

“You ready for that?” I ask him. Her head snaps up and I wince. One side of her face is badly burn scarred, melted looking. When people realized there wasn’t enough food to go around they started burning entire buildings and houses with their inhabitants in a population control panic. That happened more on the west coast then here and part of me is curious about how she got to the city. She peels her lips back from her teeth and hisses at me. She has gone feral. Now, taking a closer look at this group I see that many of them have more weight on them than they should and I wonder how many of them have been eating human flesh and for how long.