"Open the damn door!" Daryl shouted after throwing a wine bottle. Dr. Jenner seemed remotely calm with the situation as he just glanced at Shane and Daryl who were now banging on the doors with axes, which probably weren't gonna do any good anyways. I could hear Carol, Carl, and Sophia sobbing next to me but I refused to look over towards them as it would just make me cry.
"You should've just left well enough alone. It would've been so much easier." Jenner said, referring to the distraught children and whoever else would be affected by this.
"Easier for who?" Lori retorted.
"All of you. You know what's out there. A short, brutal life and an agonizing death." By this time, Rick and Jeremy had come back from trying to open the metal doors and I went to go stand next to them; feeling the comfort of my brother.
"Your - your sister - what was her name?" Jenner asked Andrea.
"Amy. You know what this does. You've seen it." Jenner then turned to Rick. "Is that really what you want for your wife and son?"
"I don't want this." Rick answered emphatically.
"What about you two? Is that what you really want for your sister?" Jenner asked Jeremy.
Jeremy's eyes narrowed. "Hey look man, stop filling our heads with shit. I made a promise to keep my sister alive as long as possible and I'm keeping to it."
"Can't make a dent." Shane chimed in as he leaned over one of the tables, heavily breathing from all the straining he had done trying to open the doors.
"Those doors are designed to withstand a rocket launcher."
"Well your head ain't!" Daryl shouted as he ran up to Jenner with an axe. Fortunately for Jenner, Rick and the others held Daryl back from doing something that could effect all of our lives.
"You do want this." Jenner said, looking towards Rick. "Last night, you said, you knew it was just a matter of time before everybody you loved was dead."
Shane shook his head. "What? You really said that? After all your big talk?"
"I had to keep hope alive, didn't I?" Rick retorted.
"There is no hope. There never was." Jenner scoffed.
"There's always hope. Maybe it won't be you, maybe not here, but somebody somewhere-"
"What part of 'everything's gone' do you not understand?" Andrea snapped.
"Listen to your friend. She gets it. This is what takes us down. This is our extinction event." Jenner said calmly before sitting back down in his chair.
"This isn't right. You can't just keep us here. My daughter doesn't deserve to die like this." Carol sobbed.
"One tiny moment - a millisecond. No pain. Besides, wouldn't it be kinder and more compassionate to just hold your loved ones and wait for the clock to run down?" The sound of a gun cocking erupted in the room and I turned around to see Shane holding his riffle.
"Shane!" Rick yelled, trying to get in Shane's way but Shane just shoved Rick out of the way and pointed the riffle at Dr. Jenner's head.
"Open that door or I'm gonna blow your head off. Do you hear me?!" Shane threatened.
"We will never get out of here if you do this." Rick reminded Shane sternly.
"Shane, you listen to him." Lori agreed, backing up Rick's statement.
"If he dies - we all die Shane!" Rick shouted over Shane's frustrated yell. He took it out on the computers instead, firing round after round. Jeremy and I both ducked, being closest to the computers, to avoid getting hit with any glass or even worse - a bullet. Rick yelled out Shane's name as he struggled to break Shane's grip from his riffle. He shot one of the lights one last time before Rick ripped the riffle out of his grip and elbowed him in the face. "Are you done now? Are you done?"
"Yeah, I guess we all are." Shane replied sarcastically as he lay on the ground. Rick handed T-Dog the riffle and silence prevailed through the room, our heaving breathing was the only sound.
"I think you're lying." Rick spoke after a few seconds of silence.
Jenner turned to look at Rick. "What?"
"You're lying about no hope. If that were true, you'd have bolted with the rest or taken the easy way out. You didn't. You choose the hard path. Why?"
"It doesn't matter." Jenner answered.
Rick shook his head. "It does matter. It always matters. You stayed when others ran. Why?"
"Not because I wanted to. I made a promise...to her. My wife." Jenner said as he pointed at the screen we were looking at earlier today.
"Test subject 19 was your wife?" Lori asked in disbelief.
"She begged me to keep going as long as I could." Jenner shrugged. "How could I say no? She was dying." Daryl began pounding on the door with an axe again but no one payed attention as we were enthralled with what Jenner was saying.
"It should've been me on that table. I wouldn't have mattered to anybody. She was a loss to the world. Hell, she ran this place; I just worked here. In our field, she was an Einstein. Me? I'm just...Edwin Jenner. She could've done something about this. Not me." Jenner finished solemnly.
Rick sighed. "Your wife didn't have a choice. You do. That's - that's all we want - a choice, a chance."
"Let us keep trying as long as we can." Lori begged meekly.
"I told you topside's locked down. I can't open those." Jenner walked back over to his desk and punched in some numbers on a remote before the doors opened again.
"Let's go! C'mon let's go!" Glenn shouted as he ran to the doors, the rest of us following behind.
"C'mon Cheyenne!" Jeremy said as he grabbed my arm and ran with me to the doors.
"Hey, we got four more minutes! C'mon!" Glenn shouted after everyone everyone waited for Rick to get back.
"Cheyenne, there's no time to talk right now."
I shook my head and broke the grip he had on my arm. "I'm staying, Jer."
Jeremy's eyes grew wide. "What?"
"Cheyenne, that is crazy talk. Now you come with us right now." Shane ordered as he appeared in front of me. "Now I made a promise to keep you alive and Jeremy did too and were gonna keep that promise."
I sighed. "Shane, Jer, think about dad for a moment. He's in a better place right now."
"Is that why you asked about dad last night?" Jeremy asked grimly and Shane had a confused look on his face.
"You asked about John last night?"
I rolled my eyes. "That's not the point. He's in a better place now. He doesn't have to feel scared anymore and he won't have to feel pain ever again. Now if you guys wanna stay, be my guest, but if you wanna go...don't let me stop you."
Jeremy had an incredulous look on his face and Shane groaned as he ran a hand over his face.
"I'm staying." Jacqui said as she pulled away from T-Dog. He tried to convince her to go with the group but she refused and said her goodbyes before walking over to where Jenner stood.
"I'm staying too." Andrea added.
"Andrea, no." Dale disagreed. He began walking towards her, I presume to try and convince her to go with the group.
"There's no point in arguing so just go." I said as I took a step back. "Both of you." My voice was starting to crack and I could feel the tears stinging my eyes so I turned my back to them to hide my tears.
"I'll handle this." I heard Daryl say his footsteps coming closer. "Just go! Go!" He shouted towards the rest of the group that still remained.
"No you don't need to-" Jeremy started before Shane interrupted him.
"C'mon man. Daryl will handle this." I had turned around in the nick of time to see Shane dragging Jeremy by the arm and running after the rest of the group who were already ahead.
"What are you still doing here Daryl?" A tear had already fallen from my eyes although my voice had recovered a bit.
"Look, if your own damn family can't get into your stubborn ass head then I will cause I ain't gonna sugar coat it." Daryl grabbed a hold of my arm and looked into my eyes. His piercing blue eyes started back at my dull brown ones and I felt a bit intimidated by them and felt the urge to look away but I couldn't. It's like they had me under some spell. "You're thinkin' really stupid right now. What your doin' is being a quitter and selfish and I know you ain't none of those things. So ya to suck up your fears and get over it cause ain't no one here to hold your hand anymore. If ya stay here and pretty much commit suicide, yeah, it'll be over for ya but think about your brother and that cop with a stick up his ass you call Uncle. Sure, the pain and sorrow might end for you but not for them, especially ya brother. I should know." His eyes suddenly got sad and he finally broke the stare he had with me, probably thinking about his own brother who he would most likely never see again. "So what are ya gonna do? Stay er' and be a quitter or leave and live like a fighter and go down fightin'?"
I looked to the ground. His words had a really big impact on me. I guess I had finally learned the definition of 'tough love'. I ran a hand through my hair and sighed before answering. "You're right. I'm being extremely selfish right now and I'm leaving my brother in his time of need."
"So you're not stayin'?"
I nodded my head, making my decision final. "I guess not."
"C'mon then. We gotta run." He grabbed my hand and we both sprinted down the hallway until we reached a set of metal steps. I heard footsteps behind me and as I turned, I could see Dale and Andrea running behind us as well. We ran up the steps and down into the lobby where a broken window was. Everyone was already in the their cars as we all exited out the small window and ran across the lawn; around all the dead bodies that lay there. We had almost reached the RV before Rick started honking the horn.
"Cheyenne, Dale, get down! Get down!" Lori shouted as she stuck her head out of the window.
"Get down!" Daryl shouted as we all four lay down behind a stacked pile of sacks. Daryl covered my head with his arms before a huge explosion erupted and the building that used to be the CDC was gone, thrown into piles of debris. Everything was gone now, even Dr. Jenner and Jacqui.
"C'mon." Daryl stook out his hand to me and helped me up after the explosion had died down. Andrea and Dale went into the RV as Daryl and I loaded into his truck. Shane and Jeremy were in the Jeep behind us but I didn't have time to talk to them as we had to get out of here as soon as possible. All that was shared was a small smile before we all rode off to a new destination in hopes to find something better than this.