Chapter 13: Ramp

As the bus rolled through the desert plain, David and Eve tried to speak to each other in a low tone, so the others couldn’t hear.

“Are you sure that girl is a User?”

“She hasn’t displayed her power, so I’m not sure, but I recognize her name as User Number 14.”

“Then why didn’t she show any reaction to you?”

“She might not be familiar with my name.”

David glanced at Tanpopo, who was giggling in delight as the bus bounced up once in a while, and then looked back at Eve.

“Is her power dangerous?”

“She’s an earth manipulator, so it can be dangerous.”

“So if she really is the User from your facility then we better be on our guard.”

Eve nodded. David planned to tell the others about Tanpopo when the bus reached its destination, but he instantly grew pale when Chronos suddenly exclaimed, “Is Tanpopo a User?”

Adler, Kohaku, Ivan, and Kale were visibly shocked, but David looked ready to strangle Chronos for his outburst. Eve on the other hand managed to hold Chronos’s arm and whisper, “Chronos, you really shouldn’t ask questions like that, especially when people don’t know about Users.”

Chronos realized his mistake and whispered an apology, but to their surprise, Keiji chuckled and asked, “So you guys are familiar with Users?”

David perked up with caution in his eyes and asked, “So you know?” Keiji nodded and patted Tanpopo’s head making her giggle.

“Tanpopo explained everything when she appeared in my town,” stated Keiji and then added, “We actually all thought she was a Goddess sent to protect us.”

Tanpopo stood up proudly saying, “I might not be a Goddess, but I will protect our people.” Eve smiled at the young girl speaking before her, but she suddenly felt a chill and held her arm nervously. She didn’t know what she was feeling, but she knew something bad was going to happen.

Eve snapped out of her thoughts when she heard the horn of the bus honking. She perked up and felt her eyes widen when she saw what looked like the great wall. As the bus got closer, she also noticed zombies clawing at this wall scraping off flesh and nails.

“Are we going there?” asked Eve. Keiji nodded and then glanced at Tanpopo.

“She’ll make up a path,” stated Keiji earning a nod from Tanpopo and then glanced at Eve adding, “I expect you guys to explain how you know about Users when we reach base.” Eve nodded taking her seat again as the moans of the zombies grew closer.

Eve tugged on the sleeve of David’s shirt making him glance at her.

“When we reach their base, don’t reveal my power…I don’t trust them yet.”

David nodded and then managed to grab Chronos making Chronos slightly gasp and told Eve’s words to him. Chronos nodded, but he felt that David would strangle him if he accidentally blurted it out, so he decided at the moment that he would remain silent and keep his eyes closed like he was blind. It was for the best in his opinion.

They suddenly heard a rumbling and then looked through their windows. The sand before the bus began to harden and then rise in the form of a ramp with railing on the side. Keiji drove up this rank running over a few zombies that dared to block his path.

As Keiji drove, Eve noticed that Tanpopo’s hands were raised and her form was slightly shaking. It was obvious to Eve that Tanpopo was the one creating the ramp, but Eve also expected that it must be hard, since she is so young.

Eve felt her stomach slightly drop as the bus drove up the rank, but she also noticed that the zombies that tried to grab the bus were slipping from the ramp and falling to the ground sending blood exploding from exposed wounds. The sight made Eve slightly gag, but she suddenly noticed that one of the zombies was wearing a hospital gown.

This zombie was obviously female with the rotting breasts poking from her gown. Her long brown hair was a tangled mess and had traces of blood and dried flesh. Her nails were missing, but what made Eve uneasy was that this zombie’s eyes were glowing red.

“Is that zombie a User?” asked Eve. Keiji nodded and stated, “But we don’t call those type of zombies Users. We call them Jogus meaning beyond death.”

“Jogus…do you know her name?”

“No, she was already a zombie when Tanpopo joined my town and Tanpopo seems to know her, but won’t say anything, but I can tell you that the Jogus there can shoot lasers from her eyes.”

Keiji clenched the wheel of the bus and muttered, “I can’t even count how many she had killed before Tanpopo created this wall.”

The Jogus suddenly glared toward the bus and lasers did indeed explode from her eyes, but the solid earth of the railing of the ramp blocked the attack, but the attack was enough to make them flinch in discomfort.

“I will kill you! I will kill YOU!”

The roaring voice of the Jogus made Eve slightly shake.

That power…I have no doubt that she is Ray, User number 5, the power to shoot fire from the eyes.

Eve turned away and then noticed that Tanpopo’s cheerful look before had turned to a blank stare.

“Tanpopo?”

Tanpopo smiled at Eve with sweat on her brow and stated, “We are almost there, so no problem.” Eve nodded, but she sensed that there was indeed something wrong with Tanpopo, but chose not to probe…for now.

The bus entered another ramp pass the wall as the other ramp they were on collapsed back into the sandy ground. As they rolled down, Eve could still hear the cries of the Jogus…the cries of Ray.

I’ll try to release you soon.

Area 40 Facility

Staff: 90 (Dead) 0 (Alive)

Users: 4 (Alive) 8 (Dead) 33 (Unknown)

Genome Detention Center

Staff: 90 (Dead?) 0 (Alive)

Prisoners: 5 (Alive) 50 (Dead?)

School

Staff: 50 (Dead) 0 (Alive)

Students: 2 (Alive) 140 (Dead)

World

About 50,000,000,000 (dead) others (Unknown)

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