The city streets were slightly calmer than what we had just experienced, but not by much. In fact, there seemed to be a heavy concentration of infected individuals here that was NOTHING like what I had seen before! Their eyes had turned light grey, their mouths covered with blood, clothes ripped and dirty...soaked in the gore of their victims. My mind simply couldn't process the entirety of what it was seeing. Had it not been for my determined mission to reach my son, I might have completely lost my sensibilities in terms of what I was seeing.
Police cars were piled up in the intersections, sirens and flashing lights still spinning, many of them had been run into buildings or light poles...officers lying dead outside of their vehicles, their weapons stolen by the people who needed to protect themselves from the massive outbreak. Sanchez, Frye, and I, tried to keep up with our speed as best as we could. The hospital was just on the other side of the city...if only we could get through THIS mess before it crashed and burned and turned into something that we simply couldn't handle...we might be alright.
Heavy emphasis on might.
I could see ambulances racing by so fast that they were colliding into one another. Soldiers in HAZMAT suits using flamethrowers to burn piles of the dead and infected on the side of the street. Gunshots could be heard from all angles. Civilians, cops, soldiers...it was surreal, trying to navigate around it all without catching a stray bullet myself.
You never think that you would be here to witness the actual apocalypse and the downfall of society in such a short amount of time...but here it is! Right in front of me! It's still hard to contemplate the severity of it all, but...it was a paradise when compared to the madness we had experienced on Lake Shore Drive.
Sanchez and Frye did their best to keep other vehicles from shifting over into my lane while also trying not to hit the frantic crowd of innocent people running out into the street. We managed to avoid hitting them, but other drivers were not so considerate. Their only goal was getting out of the city in one piece...collateral damage and all.
"What's the plan, Logan! Give me the play!" Frye shouted.
"Keep straight!" I told them, but the congestion of cars was quickly getting to be too much for us to weave around. Especially at this speed. "Dammit!!! LEFT!!! LEFT!!! We'll hit up State Street!"
It was a last minute decision, and my quick turn caused the back of my car to slide out to the side, slamming into the side of a delivery truck before getting me straight again! I saw Frye and Sanchez make the turn right behind me, but just past the Chicago theater...the street was FILLED with more people! People fighting off these....these...'things'! They were getting bitten. No...eaten! My heart nearly stopped as I saw splashes of blood being sprayed against my car windows! What the fuck was going on??? How is this REAL???
The cars were so dense in the street that I had to drive over the curb and speed down the sidewalk until I could find a way back onto the street. Broken glass, panicked civilians, blood and carnage...FOCUS! Stay FOCUSED!
Just as the three of us were getting a bit of a break in the chaos, the roar of helicopters suddenly screamed out of the sky behind us, and without warning...MISSLES were fired at the horde of people in front of us! The explosions rocked the entire street, giant holes appearing in the asphalt as the military attempted to slash and burn every enemy in sight!
"JESUS!!!" Frye screamed!
"Turn RIGHT!!! Hit Wabash and head South!!!" I said, and we all hopped up over the curb, crashing through a few newspaper bins and a mailbox to get on the right path and avoid the massive damage caused by the choppers above.
We raced down Wabash at top speed, with the thunder of a runaway train passing on the tracks over our heads! This was a much tighter street, not much room to maneuver on! Taxis mostly, all hurrying out of the city like everybody else. I could still hear the careless bombardment of the city from the helicopters just a block or two over. I had to push harder! We had to be faster!
The engine was wailing as I pushed it to the limit, and we all swerved back and forth to make our way through the cars and random people around us. But as another elevated train passed over us...I heard the sounds of people screaming out loud! I saw bodies raining down on either side of the street as they were pushed or began 'jumping' from the crowded train station platforms above! Five, ten, fifteen, people at a time! All trying to avoid being cannibalized by the creatures in their mist. Followed by the heavy gunfire approaching from the North! Helicopters were laying waste to the whole city without remorse...and we were stuck in the MIDDLE of it!
There was nothing we could do. Not for the masses. I can't remember a time when I felt this helpless.
How we were able to get through the streets with all of this destruction and panic going on was a complete mystery to me...but somehow...we made it. We found our way and had to stop a few city blocks away, due to the bodies and smoldering rubble in the street. It was close enough. We'd have to go the rest of the way on foot.
"Lock and load, gentlemen!" I called out as I saw Sanchez and Frye approaching from the side. I opened up the back and they both stared at my stash of weapons with wide eyes.
"Holy FUCK, Logan! How much shit did you STEAL?" Sanchez gasped.
"I'm just borrowing it." I said, strapping a few guns and extra ammo to my back. "Besides...it's the end of the world, right? Might as well be prepared." I gave Frye a wink and tossed him something to arm himself with. Sanchez shook his head for a moment, but as we heard some heavy gunfire blasting through the city streets not far away from us...followed by the scream of two attack choppers flying overhead, he was quick to dive in and grab a few guns of his own.
"Everything's going to shit around here!" Sanchez shouted. "You know how much MONEY it's going to take to repair all this destruction???"
I said, "I don't think they're going to worry about that."
"Not WORRY about it???"
I handed him a few extra clips and said, "Those are military grade, fully stocked, army choppers flying overhead. They're letting off full rounds in a highly populated area, which means civilian casualties aren't their main concern any more." I saw his face go white. "I've been given those orders before. I know what they mean. The city of Chicago's been lost. It's all about containment now. You, me, and anyone else walking these streets is collateral damage from here on out! I suggest you pack as much ammo as you can carry. We won't be going back the way we came."
"You set?" Frye asked him.
His hand trembling slightly from the realization that things just went from bad to worse, he said, "I'm about as set as I can be in all this mess..."
"Alright then, fellas..." I said, "...Safeties off. Stay against the walls of the buildings and low to the ground. Let's go find my boy!"
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