"Anybody infected?" A man asked, his cocked gun pointed directly at us. We all held up our weapons in defense just in case he changed his mind and decided to fire on us.
"One of our group was. He didn't make it." Rick answered.
"Why are you here? What do you want?" The man asked.
"That's asking an awful lot these days." The man replied, walking towards slightly.
"I know." Rick answered. I looked at Rick and could see the worried look on his face as did the rest of the group. Everyone was panicking to know whether or not this random stranger would actually take us in. He looked to all of us and could see the grim expressions on our faces; I hoped this would convince him to take us in.
"You all submit to a blood test. That's the price of admission."
Rick nodded. "We can do that."
"You got stuff to bring in, you do it now. Once this door closes, it stays closed."
Shane, Glenn, Daryl, and Rick were the ones who went to go get, what's leftover, from the RV before returning quickly. "Vi, seal the main entrance. Kill the power up here." The man said into a device plastered on the wall. The rattles and clangs of the metal shutters were loud as they shut once more, keeping us safe from anything getting in.
"Rick Grimes." Rick introduced.
"Dr. Edwin Jenner."
"Vi, bring up the lights in the big room." Dr. Jenner commanded. We all walked through the doors and into the huge room; the lights hummed as they turned on, their bulbs shining bright light. "Welcome to zone five." The room looked quite empty and very spacious, the middle taking up the most room.
"Where is everybody?" Rick asked, noticing Jenner was the only person in the room who wasn't in our group. "The other doctors, the staff?"
"I'm it. It's just me here." He replied grimly.
"What about the person you were speaking with? Vi?" Lori asked curiously.
"Vi, say hello to our guests. Tell them...welcome."
"Hello, guests. Welcome." A robotic voice repeated.
I sighed, realizing that Jenner was really the only doctor left here. "I'm all that's left." Jenner confirmed our thoughts. "I'm sorry." He apologized, noticing the disappointed expressions on our faces. There really was no hope anymore. The world would just stay like this...forever.
"Okay, you're the last one." Dr. Jenner smiled at me. Everyone had left the room by now except for my brother and I gulped, nervously walking to the table where he sat with the supplies. It was an insignificant fear - needles - with everything going in this world but I had developed it before hand at the age of 3.
"Don't worry. You'll be fine." Jeremy reassured me, having knowledge of extensive fear.
"Scared of needles?" Dr. Jenner guessed as he swabbed my arm with an alcohol pad. I nodded numbly. "Don't worry, It'll be over before you know it." I closed my eyes and held my breath as I felt the needle seep into my skin. I held in my fear and instead just slightly winced. "See. All done." He smiled, setting the blood filled needle down.
"Thanks." I mumbled, rolling my 3/4 inch leather sleeves down. I got up a bit too fast and felt a little bit of vertigo, nausea and dizziness running through my body. Jeremy helped steady me as I closed my eyes, taking in a deep breath.
"You okay?" Dr. Jenner asked, sensing something wrong.
"She hasn't eaten in days. None of us have." Jeremy answered for me.
Jenner paused for a moment and had a thoughtful look on his face before speaking.
"I can help with that."
"You know in Italy, children have a little bit of wine with dinner and in France." Dale said as he handed Lori another glass of the burgundy colored wine. We all sat around the table, eating the food Jenner had sent down for us. I sat next to Glenn on the counter as the table laughed on. It seemed as though the world hadn't gone to shit and we were all just a bunch of friends, eating dinner together.
"Well, when Carl is in Italy or France, he can have some then." Lori stated, taking a sip of the wine.
"What's it gonna hurt? C'mon." Rick urged, seeing no trouble in giving Carl a little sip. Lori looked at him and hesitated a moment before laughing herself. Dale handed Carl a plastic glass filled with a little amount of wine. He took a quick sip and the rest of the table sat quietly, waiting for his reaction.
He made a sour face. "Eww."
The adults laughed at his reaction since I'm pretty sure 99.9% of kids all that same reaction when tasting alcohol for the first time. "That's my boy." Lori said, patting his head.
"Well, just stick to soda pop there, bud." Shane laughed.
"Not you, Glenn." Daryl warned, witnessing Glenn examining a wine bottle.
"What?" Glenn smiled, looking up from the glass bottle.
"Keep drinking, little man. I wanna see how red your face can get." Daryl said.
I laughed as did the rest of the men; it had to do with the fact that he was Asian. I punched Glenn's shoulder playfully as I took another swig of the bottle of wine in my hands.
Rick got up from his seat, holding his glass in the air. "It seems to me we haven't thanked our host properly."
"He is than just our host." T-Dog added. We all held up our glasses, or in my case my bottle, up in agreement.
"So when you gonna tell us what the hell happened here, doc?" Shane asked after the whole group had quieted down. "All the other doctors that were supposed to be figuring what happened, where are they?"
"We're celebrating, Shane. Don't need to do this now." Rick chimed.
"Whoa, wait a second. This is why we're here, right? This was your move; supposed to find all the answers. Instead we found him. Found one man. Why?"
"Well, when things got bad, a lot of people just left - went off to be with their families. And when things got worse, when the military cordon got overrun, the rest bolted." Jenner explained.
"Every last one?"
"No, many couldn't face walking out the door. They...opted out. There was a rash of suicides. That was a bad time."
"You didn't leave. Why?" Andrea asked.
"I just kept working, hoping to do some good." Jenner said. The whole table was silent now, the mood turning to it's opposite again. The moment's beforehand would just be a figment of our imagination in a couple days and reality would finally start to kick in. The fact was, the world was gone and it wouldn't go back to the way it was; people had died and they would never return, like Jim.
"Dude, your such a buzzkill, man." Glenn complained to Shane.
"Most of the facility is powered down including housing, so you'll have to make do here." Jenner said as we walked down the long corridor. "The couches are comfortable but there are cots in storage if you like. There's a rec room down the hall that you kids might enjoy. Just don't plug in the video games, okay? Or anything that requires power. The same applies - if you shower, go easy on the hot water." He walked down the corridor, probably to his own room and left us alone.
"Hot water?" Glenn smiled in shock.
"That's what the man said." T-Dog chuckled
Everyone ran excitedly to their rooms, happy they didn't have to feel scared anymore.