Chapter 4 - ZombiesAU!
Warning for some curse words. (Hey, you would swear too if it was the zombie apocalypse)
“A defense team is going to meet you at the gates to make sure you get in safely.”
You were close enough to see people walking along the top of the wall, gesturing between you and the gate as you approached. The smell of rotting flesh washed over you with each gust of wind at your back, letting you know exactly how close your undead pursuers were behind you but you didn’t dare look back. Instead you stared intently at the gates in front of you as they groaned open a sliver, beckoning you in.
“You’re almost back, keep running!” Daichi kept cheering you on as each breath tore from your throat and your feet kept pounding. Four people slipped out of the opened gates and took up positions to watch your final stretch.
When a loud groan sounded over your shoulder a crack split the air as wind whistled past you, cutting off the groan.
They’re shooting.They’re shooting at me. Panic gripped you as irrational thoughts seemed to flood your brain. You knew they weren’t shooting you, they were shooting to protect you, but something felt horrifyingly familiar.
The men were backlit by the gate floodlights, and the shadowy figures and gunfire tugged at a memory until it pulled loose and crashed into you.
Suddenly you can’t escape the dark room with a single light bulb and the shadowy man standing over you. The memory seemed to swallow you up, leaving no awareness of anything else. You drop to the ground in a protective fetal position closing your eyes against the shadowy figure and the perilously dim light.
A voice sounds in the distance of your awareness. Daichi, yelling in your ear to keep running, that they aren’t shooting at you, to get up and keep going. But the part of your brain that registers the logic of his words has been overpowered by the panic flooding your system.
“What the fuck is she doing?” a voice nearby roared. “Someone cover me, I’m going to get her. Bokuto, get the box!”
The shadow man stepped closer and suddenly his arms wrapped around you, lifting you from the ground. You screamed and tried to wriggle free but his grip was too tight as he carried you.
“I’m so sorry, don’t do it!” You begged, sobbing as he grappled with your flailing limbs. “Don’t hurt Keiji, please no more!”
You words startled him enough to glance down at your face, his golden eyes meeting your terrified gaze, before he once again focused on fending off the zoms and getting you inside the gate. As the gunfire fades behind you the shadows begin to melt away.
“Kuroo get her into the med bay, I’m getting the emergency supplies.” A grey-haired man rushed past and the man carrying you changed direction to head deeper into the compound.
“Get the defense team in here and shut those gates!” A familiar voice ordered from next to you. Daichi. The man carrying you, Kuroo, tossed his weapon to Daichi and readjusted his grip on you as he jogged to the med bay.
“Just take some deep slow breaths and you’ll start feeling better, kitten.” His voice rumbled through you and you suddenly sucked in a huge breath without realizing you had been holding it. “There you go, just like that.”
You shut your eyes and focused on your breathing to try and calm down, your whole body shaking like a leaf in a storm. You didn’t open your eyes until you were placed gently on a med bay bed.
Sugawara’s examination passed in a blur. Kuroo and Daichi turned away to give you privacy but didn’t leave, instead they stood together and talked quietly. Suga would occasionally murmur small apologies for the intrusions but you were too tired and in too much pain to care. He tried asking you questions about yourself but quickly gave up when he realized you had as much information about yourself as he did, which was none. He noticed your wrist and was impressed at how you managed to set it by yourself somewhat but carrying the box has strained it and as he readjusted your bones you blacked out from the pain.
When you came to your examination was complete and your scratches and cuts had all been tended to. The three men stood off to the side talking in low voices as Suga explained the injuries you sustained to them.
“She has obvious bruising and lacerations from the crash as well as her escape from the clinic, not to mention the bruised rib and dislocated wrist, but that’s not what concerns me the most. She’s severely dehydrated and has bruises that are days old at least. She also has low iron that I was worried at first indicated she was bleeding internally but that isn’t the case. And she has puncture wounds all across her body that needed treatment.” Suga’s voice held quiet worry as he spoke.
“You mean they sent us an addict?” Kuroo’s voice raised in concern.
“That is one possible explanation, but she has no drugs in her system and isn’t suffering from withdrawal, which doesn’t match how recent the wounds are.”
“And old bruising and dehydration. That doesn’t make sense.” Daichi interjected thoughtfully. “She would have been dehydrated before she got on the chopper then.”
“When I picked her up she started freaking out and begging me not to hurt her. I thought it was just because we were shooting but then she started pleading for me to not hurt ‘Keiji’ anymore, and when I looked at her she seemed completely lost. Like she couldn’t even see where she was anymore.”
The other two stared at Kuroo for a moment, digesting what he said before Suga spoke.
“It could be part of PTSD or some trauma, having flashbacks of what occurred and losing grip on reality temporarily.”
“Do we know anyone from her base named Keiji?”
Kuroo frowned. “I knew someone from that area but haven’t heard of them since the outbreak. And he didn’t have a sister.”
“A girlfriend?” Suga asked hopefully.
Kuroo shook his head. “Definitely not. Trust me.”
Suga sighed. “Maybe we should ask-“
“No!” Kuroo’s yell made you jump but you remained silent. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to shout but Bokuto was very close to him, and if he thinks Keiji is alive and in some kind of trouble he’d be gone to fight the entire base unprovoked. Can we keep that between us until we know more?”
Daichi nodded solemnly. “I agree, there are too many unknowns right now, we don’t want to cause a panic. I’ll update the general with the most important parts.”
“We’ll need to watch her, especially if she’s been traumatized. We don’t want her to be a danger to others. Or herself.” The all nodded solemnly at Suga’s statement.
“We’ll all three keep an eye on her.”
“Keep an eye on whom?” The new voice made you shrink into the bed a bit and shut your eyes to pretend sleep.
Daichi straightened to give a small salute to the newcomer. “On her sir, to monitor her condition. Suga has had a few late nights so we don’t want to keep him up all night.”
You tensed as you felt his calculating gaze sweep over you. It’s not cold precisely, but it felt more like he was crunching numbers than looking at a human. “Is she stable? We can’t afford to take on any extreme cases.”
“She’s stable sir, and no bites on her anywhere.” Suga spoke soothingly. With that you decided to join the conversation, groaning a bit as you struggled to sit up. Suga was by your side in a moment as the other stepped closer to the bed.
“How are you feeling?” He asked gently, taking your vitals with practiced ease.
“Alive.” You croaked, wincing as he touched a particularly tender bruise.
Suga smiled at your response. “We’ll thats certainly important.”
“Is she able to work?” The general interrupted.
Suga frowned. “Not for a while, she’ll need time to rest and heal.” You watched the general’s face slip into a deeper frown and panic seemed to claw back to the surface. You couldn’t get thrown out. You wouldn’t survive.
“I can work! I’m fine!” The desperation must have been obvious in your voice for Suga patted your hand comfortingly and sent a glare at the general.
“Yes, you will be able to but not until you are healed.” He held up a hand to stop your interrupting protest. “I won’t hear it, you are a strong, healthy individual and will heal quickly but you need to heal and that comes first.”
The general stepped closer. “What can you do? We don’t accept burdens, and you weren’t supposed to stay as a resident.”
Your mouth opened and closed as you searched for something to say. “I have some general medical knowledge I think, I really can’t remember what I do, or even why I was in the helicopter.”
“We already have a medical staff, highly talented.”
“What’s one more helper?” Suga asked.
“One more mouth eating food more quickly than before without providing a helpful service.” The general shot back. His brutal honestly stung and dread was settling in your stomach. How could you prove your worth when you couldn’t even remember?
“Sir, you can’t expect her to prove her worth if she can’t remember who she is.” Daichi said, echoing your thoughts.
The general just frowned. “We can’t waste resources.”
Daichi looked like he was going to argue but Suga spoke up instead “Sir, we know she is in top physical condition other than her current injuries. And we have a runner opening. Her injuries will heal rather quickly now that I’ve looked at them. She would definitely be useful there.” He glanced back at you before continuing. “And we know she can run.”
He considered it for a moment and you tried to sit up straighter to make yourself seem healthier. Finally he nodded. “She may become a runner as long as her training begins immediately and she runs as soon as she is healed.”
Daichi nodded crisply. “Yes sir.”
And without another word the general walked out. You collapsed back against the bed, suddenly exhausted. Suga gave you a small smile before puttering around to make you more comfortable. “You should get some rest. We’ll be right here if you need anything.”
You snuggled into the bed and shut your eyes as they left the med bay, but your exhaustion didn’t prevent you from overhearing Daichi and Suga speaking by the door.
“Something is not right Daichi. Those old bruises, the injuries. And she’s underfed. We need to find out what happened to her.”
“I agree the bruises are strange, but everyone is underfed. Crops were down a bit last year so winter was tight.”
Suga shook his head. “Underfed isn’t the word for it. More like bordering on starving. I’m actually surprised she was able to make it as far as she did.”
“I thought their base was rather well stocked. I mean, they supply us so how could she be starving?”
Suga didn’t offer an answer, staring through the darkened room at your silhouette on the bed. “I don’t know, but it makes me wonder what’s really happening at the base over there.” He sighed and rubbed a hand over his face. “We won’t get any answers until her memory returns.”
Daichi clapped a hand on Suga’s shoulder. “No use worrying right now then. You get some sleep. Kuroo and I will check on her tonight.”
As you listened to their footsteps receding in the corridor you tried to recall what kind of life you must have led before this morning and slipped into an uneasy sleep.