The group ventured deeper into the decaying city. The stench of decay hung heavy in the air, a constant reminder of the horrors lurking nearby. Alex couldn't shake the uneasy feeling in her stomach as they approached a makeshift barricade of abandoned cars and debris blocking their path.
Carlos, the former marine, began dismantling the blockage, trying to clear a path through the rubble. His large hands and strong arms quickly moved the rocks. Alex scanned the area for any signs of movement but saw nothing. She knew this area would be crawling with zombies, the desperate monsters who preyed on anyone venturing through this path. She gripped her rifle tighter, ready to shoot at the slightest provocation.
She turned to Jack, their leader, and whispered, "Do we have to go through this? Can't we find another way around?"
Jack shook his head grimly. "This is the shortest route to the rendezvous point. We don't have much time. We don’t know how long the others will wait for us, and it’s almost dark. We have to push through, no matter what." He looked at Mia and Max, “Alex and I will go through first. You two stay here and cover us as we cross through the barricade. Then we'll switch. Keep your eyes and ears open, and don't hesitate to shoot if you see anything move. Got it?" The others nodded, grim and determined. Alex felt a surge of adrenaline as she and Jack approached the barricade. Jack cautiously approached the barricade, following Carlos as he cleared the path through.
A loud explosion erupted behind them as they reached the other side. Alex whipped around and saw a fireball engulfing their vehicle. She realised too late that they were being ambushed. Alex turned towards Jack only to find that he was pointing a gun at her. Jack had betrayed them and planted a bomb in their car. He smiled wickedly and said, "Sorry, Alex. But I work for the scavengers now. They offered me a better deal than the Resurgence ever did. They have food, water, weapons, and a safe haven in the city. They also have something you don't: a cure for the plague killing us all. I couldn't pass up this opportunity, even if it meant sacrificing you and the others. You understand, right?" Alex felt anger and disbelief as she listened to Jack's words. She couldn't believe he would do such a thing after all they had been through together.
She looked at him contemptuously. "You're a traitor, Jack. And a liar." She spat at him. "There is no cure for the plague. The scavengers used you as a pawn in their war against the Resurgence. They don't care about you or anyone else. They'll kill you as soon as they get what they want from you." She raised her rifle and aimed at his chest. "You won't get away with this, Jack. I won't let you." She pulled the trigger, hoping to end his life before he could do more damage.
But a shot rang out from behind her before her bullet could hit him. She felt a sharp pain in her back and fell to the ground, dropping her rifle. She looked up and saw one of the scavengers standing over her, holding a smoking gun. He had been hiding behind the barricade, waiting for the right moment to ambush them. He grinned maliciously and said, "Nice try, Alex. But you're too late. Jack here is our hero. He helped us eliminate your friends and get your precious supplies. Thank you, by the way. This will be a lot of help." He held up the small metal device. He kicked her rifle away and said, "Now it's time for you to join them." He aimed his gun at her head and pulled the trigger.
Alex jolted awake. Her sharp movements caused her back to twinge in pain, and she dropped back onto the bed with a groan. Squeezing her eyes shut to the harsh light. Her mind was foggy, and her body ached in places she didn’t know could ache.
She slowly opened her eyes again, letting them adjust to the dimly lit room. It took her a moment to realise she was not in the decaying city or facing an ambush. Instead. She found herself in a makeshift infirmary, the faint hum of generators providing the only source of light and power.
As her vision cleared, she noticed Dr Zhang tending to her wounds. He wore a weary but relieved expression on his face.
“You’re awake,” he said, his voice laced with concern. “You took quite a hit back there. We weren’t sure if you’d make it.”
Alex’s memories of the ambush flooded back, and she up abruptly, wincing at the pain in her back. “Jack…he betrayed us,” she whispered, her voice filled with anger and betrayal.
Dr. Zhang nodded solemnly. “Yes, we know. The others are gone. He took most of our supplies, too.”
Tears welled up in Alex’s eyes as she thought about her friends and her comrades. They had fought together and survived together, and now they were gone, betrayed by one of their own.
Mia and Max, who had been waiting anxiously nearby, approached her cautiously. Mia spoke softly, her voice trembling with grief and anger. “We’ll get through this, Alex. We’ll find a way to stop the scavengers and their lies and avenge our friends.”
Alex nodded, determination burning in her eyes. She knew they couldn't give up despite the pain, the betrayal, and the loss. The world was still in the grip of the zombie apocalypse, and they were the last hope for humanity.
As Dr Zhang continued to treat her wounds, Alex knew that her past experiences, both the mistakes and moments of bravery, shaped her into the person she was now – a survivor, a fighter, and a damn good scientist. Now more than ever, she was determined with her friends to uncover the truth about the virus and find a cure to stop the apocalypse.