Xavier told me that I would be staying in the clinic for a while, something to do with not enough tents. I'm not sure why I agreed to it, it only meant that there would be someone around to hear me when I tried to sneak out. There is no way I am staying here, not while Echo is back at home dying. I could play the innocent, harmless girl all they like, as long as it meant they wouldn't think to lock the doors at night.
I followed Xavier to one of the rooms on the second floor, taking in every sight and sound my brain could manage. I'm not even sure why he was showing me to my room, I had woken up half an hour ago from a who-knows-how-long sleep, courtesy of Sal. I complied though, like the good little defenceless girl I was making out to be, I said nothing.
"I'll try and find a spare tent somewhere, but until then this will be your room. Maya might come and check on you every now and then, make sure your alive" He let out an awkward laugh, I smiled and pretended I was actually listening.
"What is this place anyway? From what I've seen, it looks too zombie-proof to be made before the spread" I asked, it had been racking at the back of my mine since I got here. The whole place was surrounded by one big fence with guard posts, that is not something that would normally surround some holiday homes with a cattle ring in between them
"This was my uncles house, he built it from scratch. He was ex military and pretty much the dictionary definition of insane. Started building this wall around his house and the one across the street, no one lived there so no one stopped him. I came out here to talk some sense into him one day, he made me prove to him that I was 'clean', had no idea what he meant at the time. He was going on about the impending apocalypse, that he couldn't stop it no matter how hard he tried." Xavier sat down next to me, looking down at the floor the whole time.
"I asked him where he got all the wood and concrete from to build the wall, turns out one of his buddies from the military had been helping him out, i thought he was crazy too. I tried to leave, get back home to tell my parents they had to send someone to get him but he wouldn't let me leave"
"What, did he chain you to the wall or something?" I blurted out, as soon as I did I wished I could have taken them right back, the pained look Xavier shot at me sent splinters to my heart.
"He begged me not to leave, I saw tears coming out of his eyes. This is the man who I looked up to, my second father, begging me not to leave him. I couldn't say no to him, no matter how much I wanted to. I was only 14 at the time for Christ sake, my mother left me out here because she thought he wouldn't listen to anyone else. I think she didn't want to deal with him more than anything and sending me out here was her way of showing she cared just not enough to do anything herself. " I peered over at Xavier's face, the light radiating from the hallway and onto him. His eyes glistened, more from the tears that were forming in his eye than anything.
I felt a pang of regret for asking, but my curiosity had gotten the better of me and I couldn't help but want more.
"So he knew about this? That's why he went insane?"
"Some scientist got it into his head that he could cure cancer or something like that, it all went wrong and the guy killed the person he was testing it on. I remember him telling me that he could hear something banging against the door he was guarding, scare the hell out of him because there was only supposed to be a dead body in there with one way out. Opened the door and found the guy had decided he didn't want to die just yet. That's what made my uncle snap, he knew it was coming and had to protect himself." Xavier looked back down at the wooden floorboards, obviously very interested in their texture.
"Where is he now?" Xavier clenched his hands together and I heard him take a deep breath, I shifted my position on the bed, still clutching my legs to my chest, anxiously waiting for an answer.
"No one knows, even after everyone started to believe him he never recovered. He was hiding in a car because he thought we were being attacked, got taken out on a hunting trip one day and was never seen again. This was a few months back, everyone thinks he's either dead or undead, either way, we're never seeing him again." This was apparently enough for one night. Before he had even finished his sentence, Xavier was on his feet and heading towards the door.
He didn't come back, Xavier left me to ponder through my thoughts, more likely to ponder through his own. I felt bad for asking about it but at the same time I am glad I did, Xavier was basically the first person to know about the infection before anyone else, other than the ones who were there in the lab. He is surviving because his uncle warned him, as crazy as he may have seemed he knew it was inevitable that it would get out, that humanity would suffer at the hands of one man who thought he could change the world.
It only proves to me more and more that society was corrupt before the infection broke out and that the man who caused this whole thing felt no remorse for causing such infliction onto those who it affected, I could only hope that he had the same fate and is now walking around aimlessly about the world with no purpose, no meaning, just a sense of death forever looming above him, forever reminding him of the torture he inflicted upon the world.
I laid in the small, hard bed I had been given and thought over and over again about how I was going to get back to Echo and Holli, having no idea about where I washed up did not help me at all. For all I know, I am a million miles away, or worse, Echo was already dead. I pushed that thought to the back of my mind, knowing that the more I tried to ignore it the more it would plague my thoughts. If I tried to escape I would be met with guns and spears, it was a strange mixture but obviously good enough to keep the walkers out.
I shuffled around, trying to find some point of comfort on this rock hard thing, the light from the moon beamed in from the small window placed directly between the dresser and bed on the other side of the room. I gladly welcomed the cold, presumably winter air that was creeping in through the now opened window. It reminded me of the cold interior of the Compound, making me miss it more than anything.
I peered around the barely visible room, taking in every inch of details that I could manage, Not that there was much to look at, the dresser most likely held meds and there was only one other bed. I sat up in the bed and peered out the window, I could see what looked like a wooden circle, filled with dirt, sand and targets.
A training ring.
Exactly what I need, if I showed that I wasn't defenceless then maybe, just maybe, I would be allowed to go on hunts, run away, find a way back to the Compound. I don't even know if they are hostile, I mean, sure Sal is a bit edgy but it's not like I could blame her. From what I have seen, Xavier seems lovely and would most likely trust me enough to hold a spear, maybe not a gun though... If I could just take one step out of the gates, that is all I would need to escape.
All I could ever hope for was a moment of weakness on their behalf, just long enough for me to get out and find my way home. To find my way back to Echo and Holli, the only people I had ever been able ot call my family since this disaster was struck upon us, all because of some lunatic scientist who became too big for his own ego and decided that he would try to do the impossible. I was still dumbfounded at the amount of stupidity one man could show. I understand that everyone makes mistakes, I do, but not everyone dooms the rest of humanity into a world of darkness for all of eternity.
Because of this man, my family is dead, there is no going around it, they never would have died if this stupid infection wasn't created in the first place! And now, Echo is going to die because of another man's absolute stupidity, and I wasn't even going to be there for her last moments on this god forsaken earth.