Fiction – Ruth’s Story #48 – On the road again, driving at night along Lake City Way in convoy after SHTF & a zombie apocalypse
Nikola says over the radio, “The transmission does repeat every two hours on even whole number freqs.”
“Hmm, I wonder who turned the transmission on, where it is coming from, and how it is powered,” I say to no one in particular on the radio.
I see Nikola shrug at me in my side rear view mirror, and replies, “Pskov, Russia where I am from has many old Soviet installations, but here, I would not know. D.C. perhaps.”
We make decent progress through the night, stopping every so often to blast an anti-vehicle pillar out of the way. The noise from the convoy and its sheer size does attract plenty of zombie attention. The bright flashes of the explosions, although I imagine the boys are using the least amount of explosive necessary, does attract quite a few zombies.
Occasionally I hear sporadic gun fire from the front of the convoy. I wish I could see more but in my position, my visibility is pretty poor.
Early in the morning, during another stop, as we come to the end of the beautiful trail along the side of the road, an Asian male dressed in current-issue PLA combat fatigues comes walking up passing my driver’s door.
By the star on his beret, I assume that the soldier is Chinese. I cannot see his shoulder insignia, but the bullpup QBZ-95 rifle hanging on his back confirms for me that he is most likely Chinese. The beret and the leather boots bloused in his fatigues indicate to me that the soldier is likely PLA Special Forces.
I notice as the soldier walks past me that he is wiping a gory, dripping, dark hair-matted folding shovel. By the wooden handle and general shape of the shovel I bet it is one of the Chinese Army’s newer folding shovels. I have never used one of the PLA’s folding shovels but I understand they are a good military shovel.
I watch the Chinese soldier pass my little car and stop at Carol and Nikola’s truck. The Chinese soldier walks to the passenger side and talks to Nikola for a few moments. Their conversation has many hand gestures and almost looks like they are playing charades back there.
After the brief animated conversation, Nikola transmits on the radio again.
“Sam, Chen informs me there is group of survivors living in v-shaped billboard on steel posts about a quarter of a mile away. He not get good look at the billboard but could see boards laid over the space between the two billboards. There is large crowd of zombies around base of billboards. They are standing still for now because it is dark, but we will drive through them if we stay on this road.”
A few minutes pass as everyone ponders the fate of the poor bastards stuck on top of the metal post between the two huge billboards. The billboards might seem like a good place to take refuge, but stocking it would be a real pain as everything has to come up the ladder. Once the zombies figure out you are there, and form a mass of undead underneath, you are trapped inside.
The radio suddenly crackles to life startling both Shack and I. Sam’s voice comes over the radio.
“Alright everyone take 15 while we send the scouts out and decide a plan of action. Everyone stretch and do your necessities, but remember to stick with your battle buddy at all times and never go anywhere unarmed and that includes the latrine. Remember it is WROL (without rule of law) out here.”
Shack and I get out of my idling little car, and stretch. In the pale green glow of the NVGs I watch several soldiers walk to the bushes on the side of the road. Males have it easy, as us ladies have to drop trou to use the bush.
Looking across the car, I see Shack is watering the bushes beside the road as well. I dig around in the car for my purse. Finding it, I grab my loose roll of TP that I purloined from SeaTac Airport.
I see that Shack is done so I whisper to him that I am going to do the same. Despite the desire to go behind the bush for modesty’s sake, I decide not becoming zombie chow sounds better than modesty and just squat in the bushes.
Shack, the gentleman that he is, turned his back for me to do my business. After finishing and straightening my gear, I touch Shack lightly on the right shoulder and thank him quietly. Then I tell him that while I appreciate his gentlemanly gesture, turning his back could get me killed. I cannot resist the temptation to tease Shack a little and whisper that besides he gets to see my bare ass. I swear to God that even in my NVGs I can see Shack blush. Shack nods at me and we go back to our respective sides of the little car.
After a while while I am completating a smoke, Sam accompanied by Nguen, comes walking up carrying two rifles. As Sam gets closer I see he is carrying a SKS carbine with a red dot sight mounted over the gas piston. The other weapon Sam carries is a very distinct Saiga 12 ga shotgun with an AK-style pistol grip and folding stock with a ginormous drum magazine. Nguen carries his Vietnam-era M16 with pencil thin barrel and triangular foregrips.
Sam stops and talks to me briefly.
“Ruth you might want to come and join this conversation. Shen is a good soldier but we have a real language barrier with him as he only speaks a little Russian and Nguen here speaks a little Mandarin. Unfortunately, people that are multilingual are in severe short supply.”
“I speak neither Chinese nor Mandarin,” I reply.
“No, but you do speak several other languages, maybe Shen knows one of them.”
I shrug at him, and followed by Shack, we walk back to Carol and Nikola’s idling Chevy pickup where Shen is still standing beside the passenger door. I wonder what the hell is so important and how did we acquire a PLA soldier?