“Do you know these people, boss man?” Sweeper asked. Yohan shook his head. They kept their weapons pointed at the five strangers, threatening to turn them into swiss cheese if they moved even an inch.
Choi So Hee had just joined the recon team and was just following along, but all the other recon team members were exuding a murderous aura. The fact that a stranger knew Yohan’s name was enough to put them on high alert. Somehow, information about them had leaked out. Was there a spy, or had they been watching them?
Despite the dangerous situation, the nun looked calm. The people around her, however, looked nervous. The young man, the one that they had spotted initially, slowly moved his hand to his waist.
“Don’t move. If you keep moving, we’ll turn you into a honeycomb.” Yohan’s threat made the young man flinch. The stranger made an unpleasant expression.
“Please do as he says, Pio.”
“Trust me,” The nun said, soothingly. Pio relaxed his hand, but he still looked unsatisfied with the situation. Yohan approached the nun slowly. She looked so calm that it made him feel uncomfortable.
“I’m going to ask you a question and you’re going to answer me honestly. Keep in mind that I’m not a patient person.”
“How do you know my name?”
“I have been waiting for you.”
Yohan pulled out a knife from the sheath on his hip and pressed it against her cheek. The people around the nun flinched simultaneously, looking ready to attack Yohan at a moment’s notice.
“If you’re going to be like that, I won’t bother asking again,” Yohan growled. “I’m serious. How do you know my name?”
“I have been having precognitive dreams for a while now. In my dreams, I’ve seen the dead come back to life and attack people. I’ve seen people looting and killing each other. And, recently, I saw you and your comrades fighting on the island next door.”
“…” There was a tense silence. The answer given was complete nonsense. Yohan had left no room for doubt that he wouldn’t be so forgiving if she didn’t give a straight answer. However, he didn’t know what to make of this response.
‘What should I do?’
The nun seemed to be hinting at something more meaningful. Yohan decided to continue talking for now.
“Fighting? With who?”
“Zombies. And a mutant zombie.”
“You’re telling me that a mutant zombie appeared on our island?”
“How did they get there?”
“I don’t know. I could only see a glimpse of a scene. The only thing I know for certain is that you will get attacked by zombies and you will all die. Not even one person will survive.”
“Bullshit,” Yohan spat.
It was difficult enough to believe that zombies could get to their island, but it was inconceivable that his camp would be wiped to the last person. Still, there was something in the nun’s expression that made Yohan hesitate. Even though she was in a situation where one smartass remark could end her life, she spoke her words as if they were fact. Her serious expression and conviction led Yohan to believe her.
It was their first time meeting and she knew his name. Normally, it was foolish to believe that someone had prophetic visions, but, then again, stranger things had happened.
13. The Revived
‘Considering that I managed to revive in this timeline, it’s not that crazy to think that a follower of God could see the future.’
Yohan knew that his very existence was proof that truth was stranger than fiction. The five strangers being able to survive this long lent some credibility to her story.
“Next question. You said you’ve been waiting for us. Why?”
“I had a dream that I was with all of you.”
“Yes. The ‘us’ in the future were fighting by your side.”
“Isn’t that a contradiction? You said we all got killed, but now you’re saying we’ll be fighting together?”
“I’m able to see many different possible futures. There is one future where you didn’t meet us, but I guess that could also be a future that occurs if you met me and killed me because you didn’t believe me. The other future I saw was one where you did believe me and we helped you prepare.”
“Do you have any proof?”
“We’re the proof, Mr. Yohan. I knew of this future even before the monsters appeared. That’s how we were able to survive. They didn’t believe me at first either…”
Yohan had guessed at least this much. The best proof she had was that she knew about the apocalypse and prepared for it. Even though it didn’t really mean anything, she seemed to know more than the average person.
“Do you know anything else about the apocalypse?”
“Such as? Your question is too broad, Mr. Yohan.”
“Where did the zombies come from? Who created them?”
The nun shook her head regretfully. She didn’t know either.
“One last question. Who are you guys?”
“We’re followers of the Cathedral of Maria. I’m a nun, Cha Jin Hee. My catholic name is Paulina. You can call me Lina. These people are those that I chose to accompany me based on the dreams I had before the apocalypse. Pio, Verda, Luca, and Ramos. Those are their catholic names, by the way. It may be awkward, but I would appreciate it if you referred to us by our catholic names.”
Yohan raised his hand and gave the signal for the recon team members to stand down. Everyone lowered their guns.
“Do you have any weapons?”
“Not on us. We left them all inside the building.”
This meant that they had purposefully come out unarmed. It was a wise decision. Even if Yohan wasn’t intending on attacking them, it would have been harder to start a conversation if they were armed. Yohan looked at the people accompanying Paulina. They stood by her as if they were guarding her. She had picked them based on her dreams, meaning she didn’t have any criteria or system in choosing her comrades. They were probably people that she saw fighting alongside of her or protecting her. No doubt, she had been dreaming about the zombie apocalypse for a long time.
You really had to trust someone to believe in something as ridiculous as a zombie apocalypse and then work to prepare for it. Yohan knew that, if someone told him that they had revived in a different timeline and they needed to prepare for the future, he would have just told them that they were crazy. Or that it was a lame joke. Somehow, before the apocalypse started, Paulina was able to convince people to join her. Now that her visions had come true, it was obvious that their level of trust was on a whole different level. They may only be five, but they were tight knit.
“Does this mean that you’ll be joining us?”
“Yes. If you’ll have us, Mr. Yohan.”
“I’ll decide after I check on a few things. But please, let’s introduce ourselves first,” Yohan requested. Lina pointed to each of her companions and told him their names, personality, and other trivia such as their flamboyant expressions or how religious they were. Yohan largely disregarded the latter bit of info.
“If you have ill intentions toward Lina, I’ll kill you all.” Pio was a snobby kid. He was Lina’s main bodyguard and the core combat member of Camp Maria. His specialty was fighting. When Yohan’s group was encircling their building, Pio intuitively sensed their presence. Yohan had a good impression of the young man, but he still needed to see his fighting skills a bit before making a final assessment.
“Please take good care of Miss Lina.” The woman wearing the ill-suited maid outfit was named Verda. She had oversized horn-rimmed glasses that covered half of her face. She was a former nanny and, interestingly enough, she was also a member of their combat group.
Ramos was their medical professional. He gave off the same sort of vibe that Doctor Park Jae Bum had. Luca was a former coast guard helicopter pilot. He looked like a sly middle-aged man. It was a unique, but surprisingly balanced group.
As he listened to Lina’s introductions, Yohan picked up the fact that, despite being a nun, Lina came from a rich family. Her father was a foreigner of mixed ethnicity and he had his own bodyguards. Just from that, Yohan could get a sense of how rich she was. He didn’t know why she chose to become a nun, but there was no denying her upbringing.
“Sorry, I have one more question. If your family was well off, couldn’t you have saved more people? Why did you only choose to help these people survive? I’m not criticizing you. I’m just curious,” Yohan asked. Lina’s expression became solemn.
“That’s because not everyone believed in what I had to say. Also…if I go against my visions, I don’t know what might happen. One should follow and prepare based on their visions, not subvert them.”
This was important.
“Out of everyone, God chose these people and I can’t disobey.”
The reason why Paulina chose these people to accompany her was because of her faith. To her, it was the will of God that gave her the visions. Yohan didn’t necessarily agree with her, but it was beyond his control.
‘God…’ Yohan felt a headache coming. He shook his head and turned to Sweeper and Ha Jin.
“Sweeper and Ha Jin, let’s go inside. Everybody else, wait here for now,” Yohan ordered. The trio moved to search the inside of the chapel.
“Bro, do you believe them?” Sweeper asked, as they looked around the entrance.
“If reviving in different timelines is possible, why not visions? I’m keeping the possibility open in my mind. Besides, I don’t necessarily need to decide if they’re telling the truth about this or not.”
“It seems like people with superpowers will appear at any moment. However, based on your actions just now, it seems like you kind of believe them?”
“I don’t want to believe them. But sometimes truth is stranger than fiction. The fact that she knew my name and, despite surviving just fine, they sent out a signal to us…” Yohan opened a door into a room that looked like a supply storage. There was a large amount of food and water stored inside.
“The fact that they prepared ahead of time for this apocalypse. That’s good enough for me.”
There was enough here to last over a year. There was no way someone would prepare so much ahead of time unless they had predicted the apocalypse.
‘Should I believe in her powers?’ The problem wasn’t believing in Paulina’s ability to see the future. The issue was that she didn’t know when things would happen.
“I just can’t believe that we’re all going to die, especially you, boss man. Even if you died, I feel like you would just climb back out from hell.”
Yohan wasn’t as confident. It had only been a month since they’d been enjoying the downtime and he could already tell that some people were losing their edge. After a few more months, they might be dulled by the peace and quiet. If zombies were to suddenly appear with a mutant in tow, it was quite possible that they would get wiped out. Putting the nonsense of visions and dreams aside, could zombies get to their island? The entire concept of a zombie defied common sense after all…
If the island wasn’t safe, then they would just have to be prepared. Whether the visions were true or if they would join up with Paulina and her companions was a separate issue. The most important right now is to break the image that their island was safe. Thinking that they were safe was what had ultimately gotten Yohan backed into a corner in the previous timeline.
Ha Jin could see Yohan agonizing over everything by himself. It was a frustrating sight, so he asked him, a bit impatiently.
“So, what’s your decision?”
— Ω —