Hollow

it’s quite an experience, to hold the hand of someone, as they move from livingto dead

They surround us. The dead, that is. Sometimes they approach in hordes, other times alone, always with the same struggle of limbs, always gripped by the same hunger.

It’s a childhood dream given reality. And it’s dull.

We’ve all had that dream, though. Even HH. He couldn’t hide the spark in his eyes when the first bugger appeared beside us, gaping like an MP at Bloodstock, a tell-tale expression of mindless horror etched into its frame by the rot that seems to infest this place. It’s Rapture all over again. With less chutzpah.

Heck, it even stinks as bad. I have yet to hear exactly why Alice brought us here, but I doubt I’m going to like it- it probably won’t involve twinkies. I imagine it’s family related. There’s no other reason why a child would venture back to a wasteland like this, given the option of literally anywhere else.

That or she’s trying to get us killed.

It’s unlikely, but not totally implausible. HH gave her an M15, from somewhere inside the blue box, on the basis that “shooting zombies is something we should all have a go at”. If she manages a hit, it could be fatal- provided she hits us in the head. And there’s plenty of target practice stumbling around.

HH currently stands several meters away, picking apart a mess of rusting chains holding a pair of steel gates shut- I presume he knows where to go. And I wonder what else he’s kept hidden, besides that weapons cache of his.

I guess he needs some kind of trump card, doing what he does. You can’t just expect a warm smile and a cup of tea whenever you land on a stranger’s doorstep. Being the guy he is, I’m not surprised he doesn’t mention it that often. It’d ruin the point of living if you expected everything new to bite you.

He gave Alice a woolen jacket, presumably to keep her warm. When I asked where he’d got it from, he revealed a walk-in wardrobe big enough to swallow the moon; every item of clothing imaginable in every available size. Apparently, being a Time Lord, you need to be “prepared”- although not, as I swiftly found out, for children/weight-loss/being-fat/having-a-tall-partner/having-a-short-partner/the-sudden-desire-to-cross-dress*.

It certainly explains where my own clothes came from, though, after wrecking most of what I had during our time in Rapture. I’d kinda assumed they’d just appeared, as they do in manga…

“…what is it?”

This is to Alice, who’s giving me another Look**.

“Why don’t you help?”

She looks at HH. I look at HH. HH, oblivious to the sudden interlude of awkward, continues to be part of what now appears to be a terrible display of man-management. Not that I’m going to admit it, of course. How could she know about that, after all…?

“…I’m busy.”

A frown.

“Doing what?”

A clang. HH has done it. Followed by a roar, as something comes tearing through the gates, screeching towards us like good doctor Frankenstein’s monster after a night of snorting crack.

I put a bolt between its eyes, as Alice moves into cover, but that only seems to piss it off further. Not far from us, I can hear the crack of a SPAS 12-gauge opening fire. The ground shudders. Sounds like there’s more of them. I would spare a glance to see how he’s doing, honestly, if it weren’t for the lunkhead currently attempting to rip my head off. I sort of admire it’s persistence.

“Womble!”

That’s HH. I guess he’s doing alright, then.

“What?”

More gunfire. Closer, this time. Much closer.

“Are you going to kill your friend or not?”

Ah, right. I grip the crossbow and ram it hard into the beast’s face. It staggers back, howling, and before it can recover I fire a kick hard into it’s midriff. This time, it’s down for good.

“Interesting. Tell me, when did you learn to do that?”

Funny…I didn’t think it’d work with my legs. But there’s no way a normal kick would’ve done that. And he can probably see the scales, too. As can Alice. Damnit. It’s kind of useful, actually, but damnit. That’s one way to give a kid some new nightmares.

 

“…we’ll talk later, when there’s less company. Where to now?”

“We’re going inside,” HH’s voice responds, referring I assume to whatever’s behind that gate, “so keep it up. Whatever it is you’re doing.”

I nod, and pull my hood up. I think he’ll understand, what with having two hearts, a flying blue box and a wardrobe that could repopulate the earth. I’m keeping the crossbow, though.

Not for protection, per say…I’d rather be Daryl Dixon than a goddamn lizard-man any day of the week, zombie apocalypse or not.

 

W

*Courtesy of a very cold Look.

**The Look that says: I don’t want to talk to you if at all possible but I need to communicate something that can’t be communicated any other way, so for now I’ll just stare at you rather awkwardly because we both know that this is YOUR FAULT.

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