Warlord – Chapter 5
The sound of rusty gears moving echoed as steam puffed out from around the side of the gates. God knows when the last time was the gates of the base were opened. An alloy door which was half a meter thick was the first to shrink. Another jagged gate was exposed. The wheels on bottoms rubbed the ground as that gate opened. Dust fell like rain because of the friction.
An old fashioned off-road car came out of the gate. It was a modified vehicle. At the trunk, there was a powerful machine gun. Its range was up to a thousand meters, and it could shoot up to 300 bullets per minute. Because of its excellent destructive power the vehicle was the most powerful weapon of the Z7 base.
The vehicle was moving towards Silver Tree City that was three hundred kilometres away from the base. The task was to bring back enough medicine for the base to keep its sustenance.
The sky was clear.
However, it didn’t mean that the weather was good. On the contrary, without clouds acting as a barrier, strong ultraviolet lights baked the surface of the earth. Although the amount of the radiation wasn’t as high as the day of the Catastrophe, no one was willing to be exposed to the sunlight. The off-road vehicle was well equipped with weapons, but it didn’t have protection system from the radiation. Major corporations and conglomerates used fully armoured vehicles in comparison to the vehicle they were using. The newly developed vehicles had radiation-proof decks.
Naturally, the Z7 base couldn’t afford even the oldest model of the armoured vehicles let alone the latest models.
The nighttime was more suitable to perform tasks. However, that idea was put aside as zombies were wandering within the Silver Tree City.
Zombies were known as the living dead. They were the humans who had been infected by the virus. They were different from the zombies that appeared in novels and movies in the old era. The zombies were sensitive to the smell of fresh blood. Moreover, their muscle strength was much more powerful than ordinary humans. Zombies are flexible and agile. They could climb over the windows and ceilings and could tear up an adult with bare hands.
Zombies lived in colonies. They would eat all the living things within the ruins then move to other areas.
Silver Tree City didn’t have any living beings left. However, there were still a small number of zombies in the city. Although most of them have aged, they were still dangerous rivals.
The zombies acted during the nights. They are afraid of the sun and the bright things. That’s why during the daytime they sleep in the shadows of the ruins. This was the main reason for the base to choose daytime for the task. The risk of the task would be doubled if they moved out at night.
Zero was sitting in the rear compartment. There were four more soldiers with him.
These soldiers were totally different from the ones he saw in Old Jack’s study room. The equipment they had was much better than the previous ones. At least they were using automatic machine guns instead of rifles. The destructive power of this machine guns wasn’t the best, but because of the continuous launch of the bullets, it couldn’t be underestimated.
Holt was driving the car as he cussed at the Old Jack for forcing him to participate in this dangerous task. He had made up his mind to pretend to be sick, but old Jack had made him join the task team.
“We don’t like sick and useless people in the base. If you can’t complete the task because of the illness, then I have no choice but to throw you out.” Old Jack had given a simple reply after listening to Holt’s excuse.
Excommunication from the base meant that he had to face the endless dangers of the wilderness on his own. It was no different from suicide.
Holt never doubted Old Jack’s words, so he made a wise choice.
“Holt stop complaining! If you come back alive, then you will get compensation enough to pay the most beautiful woman to sleep with you for ten nights!” A middle-aged soldier with a scar over his right eye laughed.
“George, shut up! I’m not a soldier like you guys. I’m just Miss Leah’s bodyguard. Why should I join you guys in such a dangerous task?” Holt controlled the steering wheel.
All four soldiers laughed.
George glanced at the silent Zero: “We have an a in here! Hey, yellow one! I have heard that you are a survivor. Are you planning to introduce yourself?”
Zero was silent.
The young soldier sitting opposite to him said: “I heard that you have a wonderful eye. Don’t hide it like a woman, show it to us.”
Zero ignored him, but the other two soldiers endorsed the young soldier’s words.
Zero was wearing brownish goggles. Originally, he wanted dark sunglasses, but Holt only had these. In addition to the goggles, he had received a dagger and two cartridges.
The soldier was impatient as he moved his hand to remove the goggles from Zero’s face.
The next moment, the dagger in Zero’s hand moved. In an instant, the tip of the dagger was pointed at the throat of the young soldier. The sharp dagger would open a hole in his neck if he moved a bit.
The young soldier stopped.
The two other soldiers cussed in fury as they directed their machine guns at Zero.
“What the hell?!”Holt stopped the car. He didn’t expect such a small thing to trigger such an unnecessary situation.
Zero didn’t look at the other two soldiers. His eyes were focused on the sweating young soldier: “I don’t like causing trouble. But when the trouble knocks my door, I don’t mind solving it.”
“Quickly put down the dagger, or I will shoot!”
The other two soldiers shouted.
“Stop!” George intervened: “Carl, Tony…Put the guns away!”
George looked at Zero: “Yellow Kid, you should point the dagger at the monsters or the enemy… Not on your companions!”
Zero slowly pulled back the dagger: “I’m just completing a task with you. We shouldn’t talk about brotherhood. At least, I don’t see any tacit understanding between us.”
The other two soldiers put down the machine guns when they saw Zero putting away the dagger. The young soldier which Zero had pointed the dagger at almost collapsed.
George shook his head: “I know that you don’t trust us… Neither do we trust you. But a person can’t survive on his own in this dangerous world. You have to trust your back to someone else to survive.”
“I … will try.” Zero slowly replied.
The vehicle continued to move.
George took the initiative to introduce the team. He was a veteran and the commander responsible for this task. The guys who held the AMGs at Zero were Carl and Tony. They were responsible for suppressing the enemy. The young soldier who was ignored by Zero was called Alan. He was the sniper. The last one was Holt. He was Leah’s bodyguard. He was good with pistols and hand-to-hand combat.
“Zero. I’m good at close combat, but I can also help with long-range firing. I can get involved with tracking, traps and reconnaissance.” Zero introduced himself.
George nodded as he listened to Zero. The kid hadn’t gone through an evolution and was an ordinary person. But George was aware that the kid was a skilled warrior because the way he handled Alan. George believed in his judgements. However, after that, he understood why old Jack had let a rookie participate in the task.
It was a test for the Zero. Old Jack was trying to see if Zero had the qualifications to stay in the base. Old Jack didn’t like people who stood idle doing nothing!
They didn’t have a conversation along the way.
There was a group of people on the left side of the road when they were close to Silver Tree City.
Zero issued a subconscious command, and his line of sight changed. He clearly saw a dozen men in ragged clothes who were taking turns while humiliating a woman. The exciting roars of men and the mournful cry of the woman were echoing in the silent road.
Such behavior was below the moral bottom line of Zero. His hand subconsciously clutched the miniature machine gun.
“Leave them alone. It’s not something that you can control.” George saw the subtle movements of Zero’s hand: “This world is totally different to the one that you remember. There is no law and order in the wilderness. The strong are the law. These kinds of things occur regularly in the wilderness. There are more heinous things that you haven’t seen. You won’t be able to change anything unless you are the God!”
His fingers let go of the machine gun. Zero was feeling at a loss. Adapting to this chaotic new world was difficult.
“It’s the era of the ‘jungle’.” Zero sighed.
The vehicle passed around the mob. A man who just got off the woman looked at the vehicle. He shouted as he picked up an old pistol and shot towards the vehicle.