Chapter 1- Noah (last Hope)

“Wake up, wake up, wake up,” The voice rang in my sleep. Don yanked my covers off me. “Code red they’re at the gates! Get the kids, head to the basement, and wait for further instructions!” He slapped his shotgun to my chest. “Move!” 

I could hear the panic in the halls and gunshots echoing in the air.
    I jumped out of bed, feeling the cool wood against my feet from the gym floor. I threw on my armor and my boots. “How many?” I looked towards my best friend’s face who seemed to be looking everywhere, trying to decide his next move.
    “A whole pack of those damn things, they have a beast with them. They’re not trying to find any weak spots, they’re trying to take out the whole damn operation.” He looked at his watch. “It’s four twenty a.m, by four thirty you should be in the basement.” 

The infected were here, and they’re known for leaving no survivors.
    I ran out the gym where multiple portable beds lie, empty from the people who normally occupied them. Running out of the gym, I turned on my electronic gear attached to my armor, proceeding up the stairs as I placed my Bluetooth to my ears. The blue light sparked, signaling its power and the sound of Don’s voice began to speak through.
    “Do you hear me? Am I Loud and-”
    “Ye-ye-yes” I responded Immediately. 

I continued to run up to the top floor, looking past the sign ‘Heaven’s Safe Haven of Texas’. I couldn’t help but think that this was the most protected safe haven in the state and now we were on the verge of being taken over by the infected.

I reached the top floor where everything was empty and uncomfortably quiet. Turning a corner, I ran to a classroom to find kids huddled in circle. The only one standing was the oldest out of the group, who was twelve.

They were all holding hands, evidently holding back their tears. Even though I was only a few years older than the kid, reaching seventeen, I was the one responsible for all of their lives.

I wiped the sweat off the strains of brown hair lying flat on my forehead. “How ya holding up champ? Everything is going to be fine,” I encouraged the young man. I turned, looking to the rest of the kids. “Alright I need everybody to get up and follow me, we’re going to the safe room. No one talks or drags their feet, just like we practiced.”
    Everyone got up in unison. Jamal, who was the oldest of them all looked into my eyes. “Macy used the bathroom on herself. She can’t move.”
    I looked down at the dried stain that was still noticeable on Macy’s pants. She hid behind her older sister, covering her blue eyes with her sandy beach hair.
    “It’s okay to be scared,” I reassured. “I peed myself earlier today, nothing to be ashamed of. But we have to go.”
    The young girl slowly rose to her feet, still attached to her sister’s arm. Everyone ran to the door, ready for my next order. Turning back to Jamal, who had remained calm throughout the situation, I stopped him. He was rescued by us and put here once his parents who were medical doctors from India were killed by the infected. I reached into one of my thigh pockets and handed him a grenade. 

“I need you to be in the middle. If I die pull this silver ring and throw it at your foot. You don’t want to be alive when you they catch you. Do you understand?”   

“Yeah…” Jamal shook his head obediently.
    “Okay, good.”
    I looked down at the watch on my wrist, noticing the time signaled that it was still dark out. The infected played it smart. With their ability to see clearly when the moon hit was something they had used to their advantage. They flooded the front main entrance, gunshots ringing through the campus. Fear crept up inside me as hysterical screams became the only sound we could hear.
    We ran down the dark hallway, where the only thing noticeable was the glowing red exit sign.

I gripped the shotgun, aiming at the darkness. “Okay everyone, stay on my heel.”

We headed down the stairs and entered the basement.

My Bluetooth lit up and the sound of Don’s voice came back to life. “Noah, you have to leave the kids behind. The infected has entered the campus, this safe haven has officially been compromised.”

“I can’t leave innocent kids to-”

“Those are your orders from lead commander.”

“I don’t-”

“They’re already-” 

I could hear gunshots through the bluetooth. “Don… Don talk to me.”

I dug my hands into my pocket, throwing glow sticks down the hallway.

The door at our opposite end flew open to an infected. It’s wide, piercing yellow eyes looking directly at us.

I locked my sight on what was considered a normal infected. “Go to the bathroom next to you now! I’ll buy you time.”

The infected roared into the air, signaling the others, just before they charged for us.

 “Move!” I pushed the kids to the direction of the bathroom then towards the group. Getting close to the infected, it’s face became clear; Not only were his deep, yellow eyes moving rapidly, but his aluminum hair had been drenched in blood. The infected proceeded to push me aside, sending my body crashing to the wall. Quickly recovering, I touched the padded gear on my forearm that sent electric bolts to the infected. Having a clear shot, I picked up my shotgun and pulled the trigger, taking its head off.

The swarm of infecteds came running down the hall. 

The door to the bathroom opened, exposing Jamal’s face that had a sense of urgency. “Come on!” he exclaimed.

I ran to the bathroom and locked the door. Listening to the screams of the infecteds, it was clear that they had to be great in number. Judging from how loud their screams were, it was also clear that they had already been on the opposite side of the door. A single punch to the door caused a dent.

I backed up, watching as one punch became two, then five, then ten, and before I could begin to think of a way out a barrage of punches were slowly causing the steel door to fall.

Looking around, I found a hand scanner and ran over to it and placed my right hand on the screen. Recognizing my hand, the scanner gave me full access. “Give me an update on Don Castillon’s life line.”

The hand scanner responded to my voice. “Unauthorized permission. You may ask another request.”

“Override. Number 156651. Show me Don Castillon’s life line now!” Looking back over at the door, watching as screws began to fall off.

“Don Castillon’s life line is dead. Is there another request you would like to know?”

I could feel my stomach sink a little. Saving my thoughts for later, I turned back to the scanner.

“Show me live footage of the front gate.”

The hand scanner projected a hologram view of the front gate. Our military trucks were on fire and people being eaten alive could be seen.

Macy pulled my hand back, breaking my attention, and I could see the fear across her face. “What do we do?”

“Uh um…” I looked around and nothing came to mind. There were no windows or vents to sneak out. There was only one option. I turned to Jamal.

“Jamal you remember what I told you.” My eyes piercing into his.

“I’m ready,” he responded, his grip tight on the grenade.

I cocked my shotgun and aimed at the door when the doorknob fell off. An infected looked through the hole and began to laugh.

“This is it,” I whispered to myself. I turned back to Jamal and nodded my head.

Suddenly, my Bluetooth lit up from an unknown signal. “Noah, it’s Don are you alive?!”

My heart skipped a beat. “Don, whatever you do don’t look for me it’s too late.”

“I’m heading to the basement with a lot of firepower, I’m coming your way now! Stay tight.” 

I turned back to Jamal, who had already pulled the silver ring to the grenade. 

“Jamal, no, wait!” I yelled.

In an instant, the last punch sent the steel door straight to me, sending me on my back. I couldn’t move as the steel door pinned me to the floor. Unaware of my presence, the infected swarmed in, running over the steel door, pressing on my chest even more. My heart began to feel tight as I fought for breath. Trying not to black out, I took short breaths. I could hear the children beginning to scream as the infected barged their way inside. It was through the midst of the commotion and the infecteds running over me, that I heard the single drop of metal touch the floor, just before the explosion erupted through the bathroom.

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