Chapter 3: School

Eve, David, Adler, Kohaku, Kale, and Ivan walked through the empty town wearing casual clothes looking for anything that could be salvaged. As they searched, all the boys looked at Eve with nervous looks. Eve gave out a sigh and looked back at them.

“What do you want to know?” asked Eve to break the tension. David adjusted his fully loaded machine gun on his back and asked, “Where did you come from and how did you materialize those weapons?” Eve held the side of her arm nervously.

“I come from Area 40 Facility of Genome Country. I can materialize weapons because I am a User.”

“What is a User?” asked Ivan gripping the handle of his gun nervously.

“A User is a person born with the Agni Gene. The Agni Gene creates power into an individual. Each of the powers are different and no living man or woman can have the same power.”

“So that fire girl was a User like you?” asked Kohaku. Eve nodded and added, “She’s from the same facility as me.”

David rubbed the bridge of his nose and asked, “How many facilities are there that contain people like you?” Eve clenched her hand.

“I don’t know. I only knew about the Users in Area 40 Facility.”

“Then how many Users are there in your facility and are they still alive?” asked David in a serious tone.

“There are forty-five Users in my facility. As of now, I know that two of them are dead. I don’t know what happened to the rest.”

“Were the zombies you fought to escape Users?”

Eve shook her head and said, “Only one of them was a User and I killed him. The rest were the Staff.” David cursed under his breath.

“If any of those Users became a zombie like that girl then we are in deep shit,” stated David. The others nodded in agreement.

Eve looked at them with determined eyes and placed a hand to her chest.

“If we run into any of the Users and they are zombies then I will protect you all,” announced Eve. The boys were silent and then smiled.

“If that’s the case then we better make sure that you don’t become a zombie,” stated David. Eve smiled in relief.

“Thank you, I was so afraid that you would get rid of me after knowing that I am a User,” stated Eve. Kale chuckled and said, “Well you still stayed with us after I told you that we came from a detention center.” Eve giggled and continued to walk forward.

As they walked, Eve looked at Kale and asked, “What is a Detention Center anyway?” Kale’s eyes widened as he looked at Eve.

“You don’t know?” asked Kale in disbelief. Eve shook her head. Kale scratched the back of his head and looked at the others hoping for them to help, but they refused to look at him with amused smirks on their faces. Kale groaned and then looked back at Eve.

“A Detention Center is a place where people who are not children or adults go to when they have been really bad.”

“Bad?”

Kale nodded and added, “The Detention Center is meant to correct their attitude for a number of years, so they can be good when they get out.”

“How do they correct their attitude?”

“They provide good food…not trash, classes with good teachers that…uh…understand you and won’t hit you (hard), and provide entertainment with no brawls what so ever.”

Eve smiled and said, “That place sounds wonderful.” Kale laughed uneasily wondering why he sugar coated his explanation. Kohaku chuckled and looked back at Eve and Kale.

“Maybe you should add the wonderful fights once a week in the cafeteria.”

Kale cringed, while Eve looked at Kohaku in amazement.

“Is that fun?” asked Eve. Kohaku burst out laughing finding Eve’s innocence entertaining. Kale sighed and looked back at Eve.

“The place really isn’t that great,” stated Kale. Eve smiled at Kale warmly and said, “Well compared to the Facility the Detention Center sounds wonderful.” The boys looked at Eve with questionable looks.

Adler suddenly broke into a car and yanked out a magazine with a naked woman in the front. Adler whistled and began to flip through the pages with an amused smirk.

“Haven’t read this type of magazine in ages,” stated Adler stopping at a page with a woman wearing only an apron. Eve stared at the magazine from afar and asked, “What is that?” Adler flinched and began to stutter. He looked at the others, but they refused to look at him with amused smirks. Adler groaned cursing under his breath.

“It’s a magazine telling you how to become a woman,” lied Adler.

“So you want to be a woman?” asked Eve making Adler flinch and the others burst out laughing. Adler shook his head his face red.

“I just like looking at the pictures,” exclaimed Adler stuffing the magazine into his bag. Eve’s face was filled with confusion. She remembered the woman on the cover and placed her hands against her chest making the boys’ eyes widened.

“I wonder if my breasts will grow to be that big,” muttered Eve. Kale patted her head and said, “Don’t worry about it.” Eve nodded lowering her hands.

Ivan rubbed his chin and asked, “We told you our names and ages when we first met you, but you only said your name, so what is your age out of curiosity?” Eve cocked her head to the side and said, “I’m twelve-years-old.” The boys’ eyes widened.

“WHAT?”

Eve did look young, but they thought she was at least the same age as Kale.

“So you’re not even a teenager yet?” asked Kale in disbelief.

“I will be in May seventh.”

The boys didn’t know why, but they felt that they definitely had to protect Eve.

They walked around until they reached a large area with a large school building. The school yard was completely empty making them believe that maybe Adena burned them all before they got into town. They walked forward cautiously, but David, suddenly, stopped in his tracks and pushed his hand back against Eve’s arm making her step back.

“Is something wrong?” asked Eve. David hushed her pulling out his gun to the front. The others did the same. It was faint, but David heard a whistle through the air and out of reflex, pushed Eve down just moments before a bullet impaled the ground where Eve and him were standing before.

In a matter of minutes a storm of bullets was coming their way. David forced Eve to her feet and began to run yelling, “Take cover!” Adler, Ivan, Kale, and Kohaku ran as fast as they could, trying their best to avoid the array of bullets. Adler, Ivan, Kale, and Kohaku managed to take cover behind a shack, while David and Eve took cover under the roof of the front entrance of the school. The sounds of bullets faded as they hid. David looked toward the shack, Eve still in his grasp.

“Are you guys still alive or do I need to shot you?” called David.

“We still have a heartbeat, so don’t you dare shot us!” called back Ivan. David sighed in relief and looked back at Eve, who was gripping the front of his shirt.

“Are you OK, Eve?” asked David. Eve nodded.

“Where did those bullets come from?” asked Eve her form beginning to shake. David glanced toward the front entrance glass doors that were chained from the inside.

“Zombies can’t shoot, so maybe there is someone alive inside, another survivor like you.”

David approached the doors with Eve’s slim wrist in his grasp. He shook the door and cursed under his breath.

“Whoever is inside was smart enough to keep the inside of the doors chained.”

Eve managed to pull her hand from David’s grasp as she pressed her hand against the glass doors.

“I’m surprised that these doors are not damaged, I mean those zombies are strong and even broke down a metal door when they were all together at the facility,” stated Eve. David nodded in agreement and added, “It was the same at the detention center. It’s either they are very lucky or this school is very strong.” Eve nodded.

David attempted to open the door and even kicked the glass repeatedly, but it refused to even create a crack. David cursed trying to use the butt of his gun to break the glass. Eve placed her hand on his shoulder making him stop in his attempts.

“I’ll open it,” stated Eve. Eve held out her hand and began to create a weapon she saw in fictional book made for children. As the weapon formed, David watched with wide eyes. The light in Eve’s hand expanded and when she grasped it, a metal tube was in her hand. David stared at it with a puzzled look.

“What is that?” asked David not recognizing the weapon from anywhere. Eve remained silent as she pressed a red button on the metal tube. A bright red light about the size of a fifteen inch ruler emerged from the tube. Using that very light, Eve shoved the light into the door and sliced the chains on the opposite end giving out smoke. Eve pressed the red button again making the light disappear. Eve opened the door and said, “It’s open.” She glanced back at David, who seemed to be in shock.

“David?”

David burst into a smile and exclaimed, “That was a light saber. I thought that only existed in the movies!” David’s voice was filled with excitement. Eve had a look of confusion and looked at the light saber within her grasp.

“So this weapon existed in movies too?” asked Eve. David nodded. He then came to a realization and asked, “So you can create weapons that don’t really exist too?” Eve held the side of her arm as the light saber vanished and stated, “I can, only if I know what the function is and what it looks like.” David chuckled, grabbing hold of Eve’s hand.

“You really are full of surprises,” stated David. Eve smiled gripping David’s hand slightly.

“Hey, are you guys still alive or do we have to shoot you?” called Ivan from the other side. David groaned and looked back toward the shack.

“Eve and I are alive, so you guys wait there while we try to find the shooters inside the school,” called back David.

“Make it quick. We don’t know when those zombies will come back,” called back Adler.

“We’ll try,” called back David. David began to lead Eve into the school. Before Eve took another step in, she looked back at the shack and said, “Please stay alive.”

There was no reply, but Eve was sure that they heard her words.

David and Eve walked through the empty halls of the school. On the doors leading to classrooms, there was dried blood and pieces of rotting flesh. What made David frown was that he saw that some of the doors had pictures that young children had drawn making it clear to him that the school housed elementary schoolers.

Eve looked around and asked, “Is a school really this sad?” David shook his head.

“I don’t think so,” replied David in a solemn voice.

Eve and David reached a stairway and began to climb it one step at a time. Before they reached the top, David and Eve heard a click of a gun. David and Eve backed up and looked to the top of the stairs only to see what looked like middle and high schoolers holding homemade guns at them with worn out looks. With a head count there were a total of ten of them.

“Don’t move another step!” ordered a boy, who looked like a high schooler. The boy pointed his gun right at David’s forehead his finger on the trigger. David frowned pushing Eve behind him and holding up both his hands in the air with his gun hanging from his back.

“Don’t shoot, my companions and I are just trying to find shelter for the night.”

A girl next to the boy, who looked to be in middle school, lifted her gun higher her form shaking.

“You lie, I bet you guys wanted to take what little food we have left and feed us to the zombies!” yelled the girl. Eve shook her head peeking from behind David.

“We already have food. We just want a safe place to stay in for now,” stated Eve in a meek voice.  The middle schoolers and high schoolers were silent and then began to lower their guns to David’s and Eve’s relief. The high school boy that first spoke urged them to climb up with the others behind him.

David and Eve walked up still being cautious. The high school boy glanced at Eve and then at David.

“Tell your companions to get inside before more of the zombies come,” said the high school boy. David nodded and was about to drag Eve along, but the boy grabbed David’s wrist that was holding Eve’s hand and added, “The girl will need to see our leader first.” David glared at the boy. He released Eve’s hand and grabbed the boy by the front of his shirt screaming, “I am not leaving Eve alone with you guys!” David heard the clicking of guns rising and looked around only to see the nine others pointing their guns at him. The high school boy smirked and said, “We promise not to do anything to her, so just get your companions inside before we change our minds.” David was shaking in anger.

Eve placed a tender hand on David’s shoulder and said, “I’ll be fine, so please get the others.” David closed his eyes taking in a deep breath and released the high school boy. David looked back at Eve and whispered, “If they try anything don’t hesitate to blow their brains out.” Eve gulped and nodded nervously.

David headed down the stairs and out of sight.

Eve felt a hand on her shoulder and looked toward the high school boy.

“Let’s go see the leader,” stated the boy. Eve nodded following the boy with the nine others close behind her. As they walked the halls, Eve came to realize that the school building was a combination of all the grades, except for college, which she read about in a book before.

Eve looked at the students with a more observant eye. The high school boy that first spoke had blue eyes the same as the color of the ocean in children’s books and raven black hair short enough to show his ears. His black uniform had wrinkles and stains making it seem like he had never changed out of that very uniform in ages. His skin tone and body build showed that he hardly went out, but still had a skinny figure. His eyes, yet beautiful, looked worn out like he hadn’t slept in days. The middle school girl that thought that Eve and David came for their food was shorter than the others by an inch. Her long brown hair was tied into two pigtails, but the tips of the hair had noticeable split ends. Her lips were cracked and her brown eyes looked worn out just like the others. It seemed that the girl would break, if you just gave her a tiny shove. Eve examined the others that didn’t speak before, but the one that caught her eye was a boy, who looked to be a middle schooler. She only thought he was a middle schooler because he was shorter than the boys, but still taller than the middle school girl. He only caught her eye because she saw that his right ear was missing with traces of dry blood around it. His eyes were a dark brown making them seem almost jet black. His lips were cracked and bags under his eyes. A scar in the shape of a curve rested on his bare neck that was almost hidden by his shoulder length black hair. He looked worn out like the others, but his eyes seemed ready to start a fight.

“We’re here.”

Eve looked forward and saw that they were standing before a door with a name plate nailed to the front that said, “PRINCIPAL.” The blue eyed high schooler opened the door saying, “Leader, we’re back.” With the door wide open, Eve saw a boy, who looked like a student, but wasn’t wearing a uniform like the others. He had long black hair let loose covering half of his face, but his left blue eye was still visible.  He had a strong build like a football players. He wore a black leather jacket with a white shirt that had a skull imprint on it and blue jeans with tears at the knee. The boots he wore were brown and seemed fit for hunting. Unlike the others, he seemed totally refreshed with five girls kneeling at his feet. He sat on the principal’s desk with his hands pressed against the desk top.

The unknown boy smiled as he looked at the blue eyed boy.

“Did you take care of the intruders?” asked the unknown boy in a somewhat sly voice. The blue eyed boy clenched his fist and said, “We decided to let them go.” The unknown boy’s smile suddenly turned to a frown. He shot up from the desk over the girls and punched the blue eyed boy in his right cheek sending him to the ground. Eve gasped placing her hands over her mouth. The unknown boy grabbed the blue eyed boy by the hair forcing him to look at him.

“Listen now Joseph, I gave you an order to kill the intruders or do you want to join the others that defied me,” hissed the unknown boy. The blue eyed boy, Joseph, gritted his teeth with tears struggling to get out of his eyes.

Eve looked at the others, but they just watched refusing to move or help the poor boy Joseph. Eve clenched her fist and ran toward the unknown boy and Joseph. She shoved the unknown boy forcing him away from Joseph and stood in front of Joseph with her arms out wide and her eyes filled with defiance.

“Don’t hurt him!” demanded Eve. The unknown boy stared at Eve and noticed that even though her eyes were filled with defiance, her form was shaking. The unknown boy burst out laughing and stood in front of Eve. He held Eve by her chin making her flinch.

“You have a pretty face. I can see why Joseph decided to spare your life.”

The unknown boy released Eve’s chin and made his way back to the desk. He sat back down on the desk crossing his right leg over his left.

“How about you tell me who you are and how you got into this town?”

Eve gulped as Joseph got to his feet.

“My name is Eve.”

“Your age too young lady.”

“Twelve-years-old.”

The unknown boy chuckled and said, “I thought you were older with your body form.” Eve flinched, but refused to look away.

“As for your second question, I was running from those, what you call zombies and found myself in this town.”

“What about your companions, the ones we were shooting at and sadly missed?”

“I met them in the store when they saved me from the zombies.”

The unknown boy’s eyes narrowed.

“You were in the store?”

Eve nodded. The unknown boy slammed his fist on the table making Eve flinch.

“How did you get in? I made sure that Adena burned the inside of that lock.”

Eve gasped and asked, “So you know Adena?” The unknown boy nodded and suddenly smiled.

“I knew her, but it was unfortunate that a zombie bit her before she could return to the school.”

“She was bitten?”

The unknown boy nodded and added, “When one is bitten, there is no way to save them from turning into a zombie.” Eve clenched her fist now knowing how the zombification of others happened.

“Now tell me how you got in,” ordered the unknown boy. Eve glared at the unknown boy.

“Before I continue to speak, tell me who you are.”

The unknown boy chuckled in amusement.

“Alright, my name is Ganbold, nineteen, the leader of this sorry lot.”

Eve’s eyes widened recognizing the name. In the list of Users there was a user named Ganbold in room nineteen. His power was the strength enhancer, a power that made the weakest of objects stronger than even steel itself with just a touch.

“A User?” muttered Eve. Ganbold raised an eyebrow.

“Did you say something?”

Eve shook her head, feeling that she shouldn’t say anything more about the Users, especially since she wasn’t sure that Ganbold was the same as the Ganbold User.

“Well you know my name now, so tell me how you got in the store,” ordered Ganbold in a stricter voice. Eve nodded and replied, “I…picked the lock using a…wrench I found in the street.” Ganbold scoffed.

“You must be an expert pick locker to open a melted lock,” stated Ganbold. Ganbold looked toward Joseph, whose right cheek was slowly starting to bruise.

“You picked up an interesting person in the lot for me to meet,” stated Ganbold. Joseph nodded his eyes never leaving Ganbold’s sight.  Ganbold looked back at Eve and asked, “Can your companions do anything worthwhile like you?” Eve stared into Ganbold’s eyes and she knew that if she said “no” it would be the same as shooting her companions in the head.

“They are sharp shooters,” answered Eve. Ganbold scoffed.

“That’s not very interesting.”

Ganbold held his hand toward the middle school girl and the boy with the missing ear.

“Juliet there can shoot anything within her range and Artemis can fire with two guns always hitting the zombies in the head.”

Ganbold, suddenly frowned, and added, “It is a shame that they missed you and your companions when you first entered the school yard though.” Eve clenched her fist.

“I don’t understand why you would fire at us in the first place. It should have been obvious that we weren’t zombies,” exclaimed Eve. Ganbold chuckled and pointed at the side of his head.

“It was self-defense and we didn’t know if you guys were bitten or not,” stated Ganbold making Eve flinch. Ganbold looked back at Joseph.

“This girl, Eve, is the only one you showed me, so where are the others that came with her.”

Joseph looked at Eve with an apologetic look and then back at Ganbold.

“The others at the bottom floor locked them out.”

Eve’s eyes widened as she looked at Joseph.

“Is that true?” asked Eve in a shocked voice. Joseph nodded and added, “I knew that leader would not approve of others joining us in the school, our safe hold, but he would most likely let you in because you are a girl.” Eve was pale as a ghost, while Ganbold smiled in amusement.

“You sure know me best, Joseph.”

Joseph nodded. Ganbold stood up from the desk and approached Eve. He held Eve on her shoulders and said, “You’re still a kid, but I can make you a woman in just one night and also keep you safe in this safe hold.” Ganbold leaned toward Eve’s lips, but Eve immediately slapped his cheek forcing him away. The others in the room stared at Eve in disbelief.

Juliet pointed her gun at Eve with anger clearly in her eyes.

“How dare you strike Ganbold when he offered to keep you safe?” yelled Juliet. The others began to point their guns at Eve except for Joseph and Artemis, who still seemed to be confused.

Ganbold lifted his right hand saying, “Lower your weapons.” They did as told with confusion in their faces. Ganbold looked at Eve with a handprint on his cheek.

“You’re pretty strong for a kid too,” stated Ganbold. Eve glared at him backing away.

“Let my friends in or you will be sorry,” stated Eve in a roaring voice. Ganbold stared at Eve and then burst out laughing.

“Leader?” asked Joseph in a confused voice. Ganbold smirked at Eve and said, “We’ll let them in only if you kiss me at least once, OK?” Eve frowned.

“Is that all?”

Ganbold nodded.

“You’ll keep your promise?”

Ganbold nodded. Eve suddenly grabbed the front of his shirt and kissed him on the cheek that she slapped before. Ganbold’s eyes widened as did the others. Eve pulled away and looked at Ganbold with determined eyes still holding the front of his shirt.

“Now let them in!” ordered Eve. Ganbold smirked and said, “Fine.” Ganbold managed to pull away from Eve and ordered Joseph to let David and the others into the building. Joseph nodded his face filled with puzzlement. Joseph and the others left the room filled with confusion. Ganbold looked back at the five girls on the ground near the desk and ordered them to go with Joseph and the others. The girls nodded taking handguns into their grasp and leaving the room.

The only ones who didn’t leave the room were Ganbold, Eve, and surprisingly Artemis. Ganbold looked at Artemis with narrow eyes.

“Why didn’t you go with the others?” demanded Ganbold. Artemis glanced at Eve and then back at Ganbold.

“I don’t mean to be rude, but I believe that I should keep an eye on this girl Eve until the others come back.”

“And why should you do that?” demanded Ganbold with annoyance behind his voice. Artemis clenched his fist and answered, “Because the last time we all left the room leaving you with one person, that person ended up dead.” Eve gasped, while Ganbold chuckled.

“I see your point, but make sure not to make a habit of disobeying me, Artemis,” stated Ganbold. Artemis nodded and went to Eve’s side. He leaned toward Eve’s ear and whispered, “Never be alone with Ganbold or you will die.” Eve nodded her form shaking.

Ganbold sat back down on the desk with crossed arms and glanced at Eve.

“These companions of yours: are they really your friends?” asked Ganbold. Eve nodded her hand clenched. Ganbold smirked and then asked, “You said they saved you when you were in the store, but where exactly are they from?”

Eve smiled this time saying, “A detention center.” Ganbold’s and Artemis’s eyes grew wide staring at Eve.

“Detention center?” repeated Ganbold. Eve nodded and added, “Kale says that the detention center isn’t that great, but the way he described it made it sound so wonderful: food that isn’t trash, teachers that don’t hit hard, and the brawls in the cafeteria.” Ganbold burst out laughing, while Artemis, who looked serious before, was looking away shaking trying to contain his laughter.

Eve cocked her head at Ganbold and asked, “Is something wrong?” Ganbold shook his head and smirked at Eve.

“I just find you entertaining.”

Eve raised an eyebrow wondering what Ganbold meant.

The doors to the principal’s office suddenly opened revealing some students pointing guns at David, Kale, Ivan, Kohaku, and Adler, who had their guns at their side.

“Guys,” cheered Eve. David, who had a frown on his face, suddenly smiled in relief when he saw Eve in his line of sight.

“You’re OK,” heaved out David. Ivan, Kohaku, Adler, and Kale had similar looks of relief at the sight of Eve.

Eve was about to run to them, but Ganbold blocked her path with his left arm. Eve glanced up at him with a puzzled look. Ganbold glanced at Eve once and then at David and the others.

“I only allowed you to enter this safe hold because of your friend Eve, but as long as you stay here, you are not to get near Eve.”

Eve’s eyes widened and grabbed Ganbold’s arm demanding, “What are you talking about? Why can’t they get near me?”

“That’s what we want to know!” yelled David in a roaring voice. Ganbold smirked at the boys.

“You boys aren’t honest with her, so keep away from her or I will have to kill you.”

David clenched his fist ready to pull out his gun, but he heard a click of a gun and frowned seeing Artemis holding a gun at the side of his head.  Ganbold looked at the students making sure to push Eve behind his back and stated, in a loud voice, “Lock them up in a classroom until morning and make sure to take any supplies they have.” David cursed under his breath as the students took his gun and bag. The others were just as angry as they were relieved of their items. Ganbold also removed Eve’s bag and tossed it to one of the students.

Afterwards, Eve shook her head and grabbed Ganbold’s arm tighter.

“Please don’t lock them up, Ganbold.”

Ganbold glanced at Eve and said, “It’s for your own good.” Ganbold suddenly pulled out a piece of paper from the principal’s desk and wrapped it around Eve’s wrists. Ganbold tapped the paper and the next thing Eve knew, the paper had become as hard as steel. Eve gasped trying to remove the paper, but her hands were wrapped tight by the unusually strong paper. That’s when Eve knew that Ganbold was definitely the User from Area 40 Facility.

Ganbold chuckled saying, “Sorry dear Eve, but that binding isn’t leaving your wrists until morning.” Eve frowned. Ganbold shoved Eve into a chair taking more paper from the principal’s desk and began to create steel like paper around David, Kale, Kohaku, Adler, and Ivan’s wrists as well. David’s eyes widened and stated, “So this bastard is a User?” Ganbold frowned glaring at David.

“How do you know that term?” demanded Ganbold. David gulped and glanced at Eve. He saw Eve shaking in the chair and looked back at Ganbold.

“Why should I tell you?” stated David with defiance in his voice. Ganbold smirked grabbing David by the front of his shirt.

“You’ll talk,” whispered Ganbold. Ganbold looked at the students and ordered them to bring the others to a classroom and added that David would remain with him. The students nodded and began to lead Kale, Adler, Ivan, and Kohaku out of the room. Artemis once again didn’t leave with the others, his line of sight never leaving Eve’s trembling form. Ganbold shoved David onto the floor and pressed his foot against David’s manhood making him scream out in pain.

“Now tell me how you know about the Users!” yelled Ganbold. David smirked, one of his eyes closed, and said, “Go to Hell.” Ganbold kicked David in the face in retaliation. Eve gasped and leapt from the chair landing on top of David’s injured form.

“Please stop,” begged Eve. Ganbold pushed Eve aside making her shoulder slam into the corner of the desk. Eve yelped making David gasp.

“Eve,” exclaimed David trying to get to Eve, but Ganbold punched him in the face sending him back to the ground.

Eve sat up cringing from the pain in her shoulder. She felt a hand on her shoulder and looked to her side only to see Artemis looking at her with concern in his eyes.

“Are you OK?” asked Artemis. Eve nodded and then heard David scream out in pain. Eve looked toward David and saw that Ganbold was on top of him punching his face endlessly. Eve tried to run forward, but Artemis held her back. Eve first attempted to get free from Artemis, but when that failed, she shook her head and screamed, “Please stop!”

Eve’s voice seemed to have an effect for Ganbold stopped his vicious attacks and glanced back at Eve with David bloody and bruised under him. Ganbold could see the tears forming in Eve’s eyes. Ganbold gave David one more punch and then stood up. He looked at Artemis and said, “Lock him up with the others.”

“But…”

“That’s an order, Artemis!” yelled Ganbold. Artemis glanced at Eve and then back at Ganbold.

“As you wish, but promise me that Eve will remain unharmed.”

Ganbold scoffed and said, “I won’t hurt her, now take this bastard away.” Artemis nodded as he stood up. He forced David to his feet and began to drag him out. David looked back at Eve’s tear streaked face and mouthed, “We will save you.” Eve nodded wiping her tears away.

When Artemis and David were gone, Eve remained sitting on the floor holding her shoulder with her wrists bound and Ganbold towering over her. Ganbold reached toward Eve, but Eve flinched away shaking. Ganbold clenched his fist not tearing his eyes away from Eve.

“Sorry you had to see that, but I needed to know how he knew about Users.”

Eve glanced at him and asked, “Would you have beaten me too, if I also knew about the Users?”

“Do you?”

Eve nodded.

“Who told you?”

Before Eve could say another word, she heard heart curdling screams. Ganbold cursed forcing Eve to her feet. He pressed his right hand against the walls of the office. The walls creaked and seemed to glow at Ganbold’s touch. Ganbold was sweating as he tightened his hold on Eve’s arm. Eve cringed trying to withstand the pain in her arm.

The screams faded soon after. Ganbold released the wall and crouched down still refusing to let go of Eve’s arm. Eve knelt down as well.

“Ganbold, are you all right?” asked Eve, now concerned. Ganbold nodded and said, “I just needed to reinforce the walls.” Ganbold noticed his hold on Eve’s arm and loosened his grip. He saw the bruise on her arm and gasped.

“I held you that tight?” gasped out Ganbold. Eve nodded.

“Why didn’t you say anything?” demanded Ganbold his voice rising. Eve held her hands to her chin and said, “You looked like you were in pain, so I remained silent.” Ganbold’s eyes widened and then he smirked.

“You really are interesting.”

Ganbold stood up dusting off his pants. Eve then clenched her fist and asked, “Before you touched the wall, what were those screams?”

“People dying in the building.”

“What?”

“It might not be your friends, but someone did die.”

“Why? Are there zombies in here?”

“Yes and no.”

“What does that mean?”

Ganbold glanced at Eve and said, “You know about Users right?” Eve nodded.

“Well my group had three Users: Adena, myself, and Tonraq. You met Adena from what I heard in our conversation and you saw what I can do when I bound your wrists. Tonraq had the ability to go through walls like a ghost. He was actually the one in charge of getting the supplies from the store when Adena melted the lock. Three days ago, he went to get more supplies with Adena and some students, but the zombies were too much. Adena and Tonraq were bitten and only one student managed to escape, while the others were eaten. Ever since then, the zombies would suddenly burn and some students in the school would be found dead.”

Eve clenched her fists and asked, “So Tonraq, the walker through walls, is the one most likely getting into the school to kill the students?” Ganbold nodded and added, “If it is him, he leaves after I make the walls stronger.” Eve looked down remembering that Tonraq, User number eighteen, was from Area 40 facility as well. Eve’s eyes suddenly widened and asked, “How long have you been in this town?”

Ganbold smirked and said, “For nearly three weeks.”

“But the outbreak in this area started today right?”

Ganbold shook his head and said, “It started a long time ago in this area. Adena, Tonraq, and I were only part of this town’s problem because we escaped from the facility.”

“You escaped?”

Ganbold nodded and stated, “By the sound of your voice, you know about the facilities.” Eve nodded. Ganbold knelt down in front of Eve and forced her to look him in the eyes.

“You thought this outbreak in this area started today, so the only thing I could think of is that you were in a protected area before today like Area 40 facility by chance?”

Eve bit her lip and then said, “You’re right. I’m just like you, a User.” Ganbold began to laugh releasing Eve’s chin.

“If you’re from the facility then that means that the zombies finally got in. That facility is finally gone.”

Ganbold was laughing non-stop making Eve’s uneasiness grow.

Ganbold suddenly stopped laughing and looked back at Eve.

“You’re a User and from Area 40 Facility, but I have never seen you even once.”

Eve looked down and said, “Of course not. I never left my room.”

“What’s your User number then?” asked Ganbold.

“Number forty-five.”

Ganbold’s eyes widened.

“Forty-five, the User we were forbidden to see?”

Eve nodded. Ganbold forced Eve to look at him again, but his eyes were filled with distress.

“You were the only one us Users were forbidden to see. What kind of power do you have that makes you so dangerous?”

Eve clenched her fist refusing to speak. Ganbold released her chin looking away from her.

“Until you tell me about your power, your friends and you can’t leave.”

Eve glanced at Ganbold and said, “I’ll tell you as long as I can see my friends.” Ganbold shook his head.

“I can’t allow it.”

Eve began to tear up. Ganbold could hear Eve begin to sob, but all he did was sit on the desk refusing to look at her with uneasiness in his eyes.

Meanwhile, Kale, Adler, Kohaku, and Ivan sat in a locked classroom with frowns on their faces. Adler looked toward the locked door and said, “I really hope David and Eve are OK.” Ivan sighed.

“I’m worried about them too, but I’m more worried about that scream we heard and the cracking of the walls afterwards,” stated Ivan. Kale and Kohaku nodded in agreement.

“Do you think there are zombies in this building too?” asked Kohaku.

“I hope not.”

They suddenly heard two shots making them flinch. After the shots, the classroom door flung open revealing a beat up David in Artemis’s hold.

“David!” exclaimed Kohaku as he stood up. Artemis shoved David in and then shut the door behind them, Artemis remaining in the room. David was cringing in pain as Kohaku knelt next to him. David looked toward Artemis with a glare.

“What are you planning to do with us?” demanded David, believing that they wouldn’t be released from the room in the morning. Artemis remained silent as he pulled a chair to him. Artemis sat in the chair not tearing his eyes away from them.

“I need to ask you guys something first.”

“What?” spat out David still cringing from the pain.

“How bad is it out there?”

David frowned and said, “Besides Eve and you guys, we haven’t seen any survivors and we have been running into zombies every day since the outbreak reached the detention center.” Artemis frowned.

“That bad huh?”

Artemis’s look became serious as he looked at them.

“In the morning, I can let you guys out, but please let Eve remain here.”

Kale shot to his feet this time glaring at Artemis and yelled, “Why should we?”

“If Eve stays with you all…out there…she could die, but if she’s here, in the safe hold, she has a chance to live.”

David clenched his fist forcing himself to sit up right with Kohaku by his side.

“That’s bull shit! I saw you guys shooting at two dead students that were obviously eaten alive. This building is no safe hold. It’s a death trap!” yelled David. Artemis clenched his fist.

“The killings in the building will stop eventually with Ganbold’s power.”

Kohaku adjusted his green cap and asked, “Is that a guarantee?” Artemis remained silent. Kohaku frowned and said, “The world has changed and as far as we know, nowhere is completely safe.” Artemis gritted his teeth and bowed his head.

“I know that, but please let Eve stay here,” begged Artemis. Ivan narrowed his eyes and asked, “Why are you so determined for Eve to stay here when you just met her today?” Artemis sighed, his eyes downcast.

“I had a sister that looked like Eve. She…she died the last time we attempted to get supplies.”

“She was killed by the zombies?” asked Adler. Artemis nodded placing a hand on his forehead.

“I can still hear her screaming my name as she was eaten alive. I couldn’t do anything, but run back to the school, where I knew it was safe.”

Ivan narrowed his eyes and asked, “So you think that keeping Eve safe will get rid of your guilt of your sister’s death?” Artemis was silent and then nodded.

Ivan looked at David and then David nodded. David looked at Artemis and said, “We have to protect Eve, so when we leave, she’s coming with us.” Artemis frowned clenching his fist. He shot up from the chair and headed to the door. He glared back at them and stated, “I won’t let you guys take her.”  Artemis left the room slamming the door behind him.

David sighed and leaned against a desk.

“I feel sorry for the guy, but Eve can’t stay here,” stated David. The others nodded in agreement. Kale looked out the only window in the room. Roaming the school yard were countless zombies. Kale frowned and said, “They sure gathered fast.” Adler looked out the window and nodded in agreement. Ivan looked out the window as well holding his hands to his chin.

“If we want to escape we have to get our guns and supplies back…and Eve.”

Back in the principal’s office, Eve was sitting on the floor silently with Ganbold sitting at the desk. Ganbold glanced toward Eve seeing dry tears on her cheeks. Ganbold guessed that she tired herself out by crying too much. Ganbold heard the door open and saw Artemis enter the room.

“I see that you’re back, Artemis,” stated Ganbold. Artemis nodded and looked toward Eve. He noticed the dry tears on her cheeks and the bruise on her arm. Artemis gasped and knelt next to Eve. He held her bruised arm, but Eve didn’t even flinch. Artemis glared at Ganbold and yelled, “You promised not to hurt her!”

“It was an accident. She just happened to be in my grip when I tried to reinforce the walls from the attack.”

Artemis clenched his teeth and pulled Eve into a hug.

“Allow me to take her into another room.”

Ganbold nodded and added, “Just fetch any of the girls for me, while you’re at it.” Artemis nodded and began to lead a silent Eve out the room.

When Artemis and Eve were out of the room, Ganbold punched the wall cursing under his breath.

“Why do I feel like I need to protect her? What is her power?” muttered Ganbold.

Artemis led Eve into an empty classroom with a gym mat laid out like a bed. He sat Eve on the mat and said, “You’ll be safe here.” Eve looked at Artemis and said, “Thank you, but I really want to see my friends.” Artemis frowned.

“You just met them today right? How can you call them friends?” demanded Artemis. Eve smiled placing her hands to her chest.

“They were the first people I met that were alive and they accepted me for who I am. They treat me kindly. Wouldn’t you call them friends too?”

Artemis groaned standing up. He headed toward the door and said, “I’ll watch over the room from outside, so you get some sleep.” Eve nodded as she watched Artemis leave the room.

When the door was closed, Eve looked at her bond hands. She managed to hold out her palm and began to form the same weapon she used to break the chains in the school building. She gripped the light forming the weapon and pressed the red button. The laser light emerged from the weapon slicing the strong paper wrapped around her wrists. The paper fell to the ground. Eve rubbed her wrists and placed the weapon on the ground. She looked at her bruised arm and held out her hand once again. A light formed in her hand as she thought of a device she once saw in a science fiction book. She gripped the light forming what looked like a scanner with green stripes and silver platting. She pressed a button on the side making the bottom of the device begin to glow a bright green. She ran the green light over her bruise a few times. In a matter of minutes the bruise vanished. Eve sighed in relief thankful that she could create a healing device. Chances are that with her limited knowledge the device could only heal minor wounds. Eve placed the healing device down as the other weapon she created first vanished.

Eve stood on her feet fixing the jeans she was wearing. She looked around the room trying to find another way out in order to find her friends. When she saw that there was no way out, she fell back to her knees downhearted. As she sat down, the exhaustion of the day finally caught up to her. When she closed her eyes, it was no surprise that she passed out sitting up as her healing device vanished.

In another part of the school, Juliet and Joseph were in an empty classroom. Juliet was sitting on a vacant desk as she spoke to Joseph.

“Do you think leader is going to keep that girl here with us?” asked Juliet. Joseph nodded pulling his legs to his chest.

“She may be a kid, but she’s close to being a teenager, so Leader shouldn’t have any complaints,” stated Joseph. When Joseph spoke of Eve, Juliet noticed that he had a look of relief. Juliet frowned getting off the desk. She placed both her hands on Joseph’s cheeks making him face her and pressed her lips against his into a passionate kiss. With saliva around her lips, Juliet pulled away and whispered, “Remember Joseph, we promised to stay together forever.” Joseph nodded as Juliet leaned toward his lips again and led him to his back.

Area 40 Facility

Staff: 90 (Dead) 0 (Alive)

Users: 2 (Alive) 3 (Dead) 40 (Unknown)

Genome Detention Center

Staff: 90 (Dead?) 0 (Alive)

Prisoners: 5 (Alive) 50 (Dead?)

School

Staff: 50 (Dead) 0 (Alive)

Students: 120 (Alive) 130 (Dead)

World

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

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