"I've planned the easiest route and ya'll are gonna hit three stores." Kaveeta said while pointing out the marked map. "Green means good, red is different ways out."
"Good work Kaveeta." Iris said as she studied the map. "This shouldn't take too long. Do we have a car that we can take?"
"All out of gas." B stated.
"Damn. Alright, there should be a gas station not to far from the second store that we are hitting. We will make a pit stop. Mark the route Kaveeta."
"Who's going with you boss?" Tryston asked.
Iris took a deep breath. "I'm gonna need you and B for this one." Tryston and B nodded. "Sam." She said facing the younger girl. "You've been out there the most and know the area better than anyone. Are you okay with coming with us?"
"I'd follow you anywhere." Sam said with a dorky smile.
B laughed at how cheesy that sounded before her shin was kicked by Iris. "Ow! Sorry." She smiled, still trying to hide her amusement.
"I need everyone to get armed and meet me in the front in five minutes."
They all nodded before heading to the armory. Iris holstered her M9 that she always carried with her, along with her combat knife that she kept at her hip. It got her out of a lot of sticky situations. She saw everyone ready to go with a variety of weapons. Only two a piece. Each person always have a side arm and a primary when they leave the walls. One person she didn't expect to see with a gun. "What the hell are you doing Kaveeta?"
"I'm going with you guys."
"The hell you are."
"I feel like you forget who's older sometimes."
"And I feel that you forget who is in charge of this place sometimes. Go put the weapon away sis."
"You heard me. I feel like a fucking caged animal in here. I'm a fucking one handed freak that can't do anything."
"Don't do this. Don't guilt trip me."
"Why won't you let me leave!" She shouted, getting the attention of others.
"Because I can't lose you!" She shouted back. She looked around and motioned for people to give her privacy, which they did. "You are the only family that I have left and I can't fucking lose you."
"That goes both ways. Every time you go outside the walls, I never know if you will come back or not. We can protect each other. Just give me a chance."
Iris brought the palms of her hands to her face before dragging them down until they were at her side again. "Fine. Just watch your back alright?"
"Same goes for you lil bitch." She laughed before kissing Iris' cheek.
Even Iris smiled at her old nickname. "Jean! Watch the camp."
"Why are you taking so many people?" Veda asked.
"People are itching to get out. We won't be long. Promise." The raider said.
"Are you gonna do stupid shit like your brother?"
"I'm not him now am I?"
"Just come back with supplies."
"Don't call me that. It's weird."
The man nodded before walking out. Veda was sitting behind a desk that she made a couple years back when they started building this place from the ground. Sometimes it would shock her at how fast it really became home. "Veda?" A man's voice said through the walkie.
"What is it Finn?"
"We have someone at the gates."
"I'll be there in a few. Keep the guns pointed at them."
"It's a kid Veda."
"Fine, just check her for weapons, there are sick people out there." She clipped her walkie and walked out to a warehouse that was buzzing. There were slot machines that ran from a generator, a gun store as well as a few markets run by shady people. The inside was lite up like it was Vegas. The place she loved the most. Even if she lost her mom there, it was still something she couldn't budge from. And this was just the beginning of her camp. She smiled before walking out into the heavy machines garage and the large metal door opened. She saw a couple guys holding the little girl at gun point while Finn tried to comfort her.
"Can you tell them to cut it out? She's clean and they are scaring her."
"Lower your weapons. Now." They did as they were told and went to the garage to slam back a couple beers. Veda walked up to the kid. She didn't look like she was starving or even injured. "What's your name kid?"
The girl just looked down. "It's alright, you can trust us. We won't hurt you." Finn said as he placed a hand on her shoulder.
"My name is Anya."
"That's a pretty name Anya. How'd you get here?" Finn asked. Obviously more comfortable around kids than Veda.
Finn laughed. "Well, where did you come from?"
"A camp with really nice people."
"Than why did you leave?"
"I just wanted to explore."
"It's not safe out there. Do you know how to get back? I could take you."
"That's not going to happen." Veda said. "It could be a trap."
"She's a damn kid Veda."
"I don't know how to get back."
"Alright Anya, Why don't you come inside. I'll show you around my room and maybe we can eat? Sound good?"
"Finn. My name's Finn."
"That sounds familiar."
"Oh yeah?" The girl just nodded while being led to the inside.
"Oh my wizards." Sam said as she picked up a box of tampons. "I just hit the jackpot."
"Wizards?" B asked before being shoved playfully by Iris who was smiling. "Who says Oh my wizards?" She whispered.
"Let her have her fun."
"Fine fine." She put her hands up in defeat. "Hey. I've been wanting to talk about, us."
"Seriously? Right now?"
"Yeah, I mean, you never know."
"Just wait until we get back and fill up your bag. We still have one more store to loot."
"Fine. But we are talking it over with wine."
"That bad then." Iris said to herself. She loved B, she really did, but just thinking about anything serious made her heart hurt. She still thought about Veda, what she would be like now. How she matured. If their relationship would've lasted. She would dream about her all the time in the beginning. Now, it was just becoming a distant memory, one that was fading and that scared her.
She was brought out of her thoughts when she heard a gun shot and saw B go down. "Everybody down!" She shouted as gun fire echoed through the air. She crawled over to B to see what the damage was. "Where were you shot?"
"The leg. Fuck! This hurts."
"You've had worse. You'll be okay. Tryston! Give us covering fire!"
She checked around and saw that no one else was injured. She needed a plan, and fast. She peeked over behind them and noticed a horde of the undead were attracted to the sound and were headed their way. They were stuck. "B listen to me. I am going to get these zombies to flank the raiders. If I'm not back in five minutes. You four get the hell out of there."
"Iris, you can't."
"I love you."
They never spoke those words before. The last time she ever told someone that was Veda. "I know." She smiled, but saw the hurt on B's face, before the soldier part came out. Kaveeta, make sure you get everyone back to camp. I'll see you later."
Iris took out her combat knife and crawled towards the back exit. When she got out unnoticed by the raiders, she saw the horde that was close by and through a rock at one of them. What she didn't expect was for every single one to be runners. "Shit." She said before running and being chased by the undead. After a few minutes, she was able to get behind the attackers and started running at them with the horde behind her. Most of the zombies went after the men who were caught off guard and suffered a long, painful death. Iris got tackled by one of them and fell to the ground, hitting her back against the concrete. She tried stabbing it, but another one fell on top of her, followed by one more, very large man. "Fuck!" She screamed out.
"They might have reinforcements." Kaveeta started. "I'm going to wait here for her with Sam. You two get a head start."
"We'll keep you in our sights. Be careful." Tryston said while taking advantage of the distraction and helping B up and out of the store.
Iris pulled the knife out of the final zombies skull and tried for air, but found know. It was too much weight. She slowly started wiggled her way out. She heard gun shots and noticed that the horde was slowly being shot down by more raiders. When she was free, she got up, being careful not to alert the men. She was about to make a break for it when she heard a familiar voice. "Please don't shoot!"
"Kaveeta." Her eyes widened as she went behind a truck that was between the man holding a gun at Sam and her sister.
"Give us your shit!" The man spat.
"First you kill my men, then you insult me? Wrong move sweet lips. Which one of you is the leader?" They both stayed silent. "I'm gonna give ya to the count of three."
"One. Two. Bye bye sweet lips."
"Wait!" Iris ran out. "I am. I'm the leader and I'm the reason your men are dead."
"Iris." Kaveeta said under her breath.
The man thought for a moment. "Good. Kill those two, I want the little blond one."
Iris bolted it toward her sister and as soon as the gun fired, she lunged in front of her. It went straight through her shoulder and caused her to spin to the ground, hitting the ground hard. Her vision was blurry, but she turned to look at Kaveeta and saw a hole in her chest. She wasn't breathing. Iris couldn't scream, couldn't move. "The leaders still breathin. Burn the bodies, but I want this one alive. Boss will wanna see this."
Iris blacked out. A stray tear escaping down her cheek.