I couldn’t tell how long I was out for or what exactly happened after. A ringing sound was the only thing encompassing my senses. The steel door was lifted off my chest, allowing my lungs to expand. My vision was blurry and I felt like the ringing only got louder. I was pulled to my feet, opening my eyes I realized I was inches from an infected face. It’s mouth already open, ready to devour me. All that was left to do was scream. I screamed but my ears only heard ringing. Trying to move had seemed impossible from its inhumane strength. 

Inches from its foul, hot mouth, my lungs expanded, taking in what was believed to be my last breath of air. Just before closing my eyes to accept my fate, I watched the head of the infected suddenly pop off and roll onto the floor at my feet. Now covered in all of its blood, I could not see who it was when another hand grabbed me by my collar, dragging me out of the bathroom. My eyes reverted back to the scene, only to see the wall covered in blood and limbs of different bodies scattered across the floor. The hallway sprinklers coated my face, clearing up my vision, but I was still deaf. Still being dragged, I looked up to see a bald head. I couldn’t tell who it was, but he had human protective gear on.

I was thrown into a truck and the sound of a slamming door was the first thing I could pick up. Don entered the driver’s seat and drove full speed past the gates.

“I just witnessed the death of Octavian. Thee Octavian. It isn’t a coincidence that vampires and the infected are attacking this safe haven on the same day.” Don quickly glanced at me then kept his eyes ahead. “Their after you. But how could they have known? Something big is about to go down. Someone didn’t hold up their end. Noah are you hearing me?”

I look down at my hands and the rest of my body, trying to fathom what had just happened.

“How am I still alive?” my voice croaked.

Don kept his eyes on the road. “You’ll learn soon enough, but right now isn’t the time.”

“I killed them all,” I muttered.

“Who?”

“The kids…”

“Don’t worry it’s not your fault. They were children, bound to die in this world.”

“How could you say that?” I spat back.

“The war between the infected, vampires, and us has been going on for years. Whatever idiot thought it was okay to bring kids into this world…” his voice trailed off.

Don kept his eyes on the road and shook his head. “Listen, whatever guilt you have, take it out of your head. Your life is more in danger now that you’re exposed. Those kids were the bait, the whole purpose of having them with you in hopes that the infected get to them before they get to you. It’s why we didn’t have you join the fight,” he explained.

“What the hell are you saying?” I couldn’t wrap my mind around it.

“I don’t need you to act stupid! You know who you are. Who your brother is! Sacrifices will be made to make sure you’re safe! That’s it! No matter if it’s kids, women, the elderly, I don’t care. Your life is valuable.”

“I’m not my brother, so why me?  Why’d you save me?!” I yelled back.

“I don’t have time for this! Get in the back and shoot whatever is coming our way,” he shrugged me off.

“I need to know now!”

“Listen, I don’t have time for this sentimental bullshit.” His voice began to crack. “I done lost everyone back there, everyone! Now I won’t have their lives be in vain. We can be killed here any second.” Don pulled me close to him, “Now get in the damn back.”

I looked into the rear view mirror to see a pair of red eyes floating into the dark. “We’re being followed by a vampire,” I announced.

“We’re still in the south, it must be a scavenger.” Don turned on a switch that made the truck glow like a star at this time of night.

I went to the back and searched around for more possible enemies. “But, you’ll attract the infected,” I informed him.

“I know, they’ll get to the vampire before they get to us. In their way of thinking we’re easy prey. But we’re going to continue to use what we’ve always relied on to stay on top of the food chain.” Don began tapping his temple. “And that’s using our brain.”

It had been quiet for the past half hour.

Don looked back to catch my attention. “Now, when you get to the port. Your name will be Noah.”

“I won’t change who I am,” I replied calmly.

“Your name will be Noah. A survivor of an infected attack. You’ll surrender to be a human slave,” he responded back, encouraging that it was not an option.

“I’ll never submit to those damn vampires. Not after they did to my family, never!” I spat back.

“You can’t survive out here, not on your own! The infected will find you. When you see the vampires you get on your knees and submit to them. They’re running low on humans. You’re no longer Noah and your brother isn’t the leader of the human resistance. Your Noah, just Noah. Keep your head low and don’t speak of your past or what happened today. The vampires find out who you are, they’ll torture you to find the location of your-” 

“Watch out!” I screamed, covering my head as a beast collided against the front of the truck, causing an abrupt stop.

Smoke began to seep from the hood of the truck. It was clear damage had been done, but the car still worked.

Don got out the car, yelling “Test the engine, make sure it’s still running! I’ll take it from here.” He pulled out an automatic from his seat and began shooting at the beast who had to be at least thirteen feet tall with abnormal strength.

The beast charged for Don, ignoring the bullets piercing it’s body as if it had been droplets of water and latched its jaw around Don’s neck.

I watched the moment unfold as Don’s eyes turned from silk brown to an ominous yellow. He slowly looked back towards my direction. “Run,” was the only word he could fix his mouth to say just before the beast dropped him and headed straight for me. I quickly circled the car, hopped in and locked the doors, sitting in the driver’s seat.

The window popped as the beast threw his body to the side of the car. From the rear view mirror, I could see Don slowly getting up, only to run to the beast and wraps his arms around it’s waist. In each of Don’s hands, held a grenade. Squeezing the beast’s waist tightly, he released the trigger for the bombs.

I could see Don’s brown eyes had now been fully converted to yellow just before the blast sent both of them flying to the ground. The beast survived, rising to roar fiercely into the air. Ignoring it’s roar, I started the engine and drove into the dark night to find the port, now out of options.

As I sped through the darkness, the only thing I could see was the road ahead of me and wheat fields spanning on my sides. My thoughts engulfed me, as I was once again, by myself. The children and Don ran through my head and I began to cry the more I thought of Don. He was eighteen, only a year older than me, but we grew up together – and although we never talked on a personal level because of our circumstances, we enjoyed each other’s company. Tears streamed down my face, as I held tight to the wheel.

Out of all other options, only to face one, I could not help but sulk in silence to myself.

“God I know I haven’t prayed to you since the Vampires and Infected took over, but I need you. I ask you one favor in the midst of all this. Save me, some way, somehow.” I wiped the tears coming down my eyes repeatedly. “But if I do die, I ask that I find peace next to you.”

I turned my attention back to the road only to be faced with death itself once more.

Ahead, I could see a line of infecteds blocking the road. I pressed hard on the gas and decided to drive straight through would be best when an infected in the middle simply placed his foot on the front bumper, slamming the truck to a halt.

Looking around, I decided to turn off the ignition when I realized I was surrounded. There was no point in continuing to press forward. I was in the dark, with a completely damaged truck and the infecteds were oddly being nice not ripping the car in half by now.

Intense yellows eyes were watching me closely. My hands began to shake and I couldn’t tell if it was adrenaline or pure fear. I reached for the door and before I had the chance to get out, red eyes lit up from the night. The infecteds themselves, looked around to realize that they had been outnumbered and surrounded. They continued to look amongst themselves as more red eyes appeared from every corner, shortly before running off. The vampires carefully watched the infected disperse and began walking towards me.

I proceeded to get out of the truck and do exactly what Don instructed me. I got on my knees and looked down. Keeping my head down, I knelt in front of the large group.

“Looks like we’ve only caught one human,” A vampire hovering over me announced. “There was one more, but it died fighting an infected.” The vampire began to laugh and the rest followed, laughing along with him.

Rage flowed through me, but I quickly suppressed any impulsive actions. “I submit.”

“Of course you’ll submit or you’ll end up as a late night snack for us,” the vampire responded in a conniving tone. “You’re vampire property now. State your name slave.”

I paused. Taking a moment to recall the thought about what took place earlier and why the lead commander’s last orders were to save me. Why Don risked his life for me. It all made sense. I looked up, connecting with all of their eyes. “I’m… I’m Noah. I’m the brother of Michael, leader of the human resistance and humanity’s Last Hope.”