“Call me Ki Moon, Yohan. I know how to hotwire a car in theory, but I’ve never done it before… modern cars have security systems that prevent it, but I might be able to do it on an older car. Like, a car from the early 2000s.”
“Hmm…” It was the first time Yohan met someone that majored in automotive engineering and he had high expectations. Instead, he couldn’t stop the disappointment from showing on his face.
“It’s something you only see in the movies.” Ki Moon added, embarrassed.
“At least you know how to charge or change a car battery, right?”
“Of course I do. However, in order to charge it, we would need another car or a power supply… what do you want to do with a car?”
“We need to move a 2.5 ton truck and park it across the car entrance to block it. We’ll fill in any remaining gaps with other trucks and SUVs. We should be able to do it with just a 2.5 ton truck and a midsize vehicle.” As Yohan explained his plan, the group started looking worried.
“Don’t you think that’s too dangerous?”
“Now that the world is upside down, everything is dangerous. Anyways, the amount of danger we face will depend on how you guys perform. So, Mr. Diploma.”
“My name is Ki Moon, Yohan.”
“Sorry, I keep forgetting your name for some reason. Okay, Ki Moon. For this plan, your role is the most important.”
“Okay…” After fighting for three hours straight, the volunteers realized that they would be fighting again and started feeling anxious.
“Don’t worry, this plan will let us release some of that built-up stress. Ki Moon, head back down to the camp and see if there is a car battery charging kit in the automotive supplies section.”
Unfortunately, Ki Moon returned empty-handed. Yohan revised his plan in his head and began explaining it to the group.
* * *
Eight people ran through the parking lot. Jung Hwan was in the front, pushing zombies away to open a path. The team headed towards the nearest truck. Jung Hwan grabbed the edge of the cargo container and pulled himself on top of the vehicle. The others followed suit. After everyone was safely onboard, they started swearing at the zombies.
“Over here, you fucking zombies. Over here!”
“You bastards! Look over here, you dumbasses!”
The collective cursing of seven people attracted many zombies. The undead immediately reached out their arms and sauntered towards them. The team flinched once they realized exactly how many zombies they had pulled.
‘First, everyone, minus me, Ki Moon, and Sung Bae, will be bait. Once you enter the parking lot, there will be a truck around 30 meters away. Run there and lure the zombies.’
‘Just shout. Swear at them if you want.’
Jung Hwan’s bait team didn’t attack the zombies. All they did was scream and draw their attention.
‘The zombies won’t be able to get on top of the truck. They’ll just wave their hands at you. Don’t attack them until I give the signal. Otherwise, the dead bodies will pile up and they’ll be able to reach you.’
Yohan watched from the other side of the door. The bait was successful. While the zombies were focused on the people on top of the truck, he nodded at the pair next to him.
“Great. Our turn to go.” Yohan stalked around the truck with its crowd of zombies and moved towards where the big semis were parked.
‘The car team’s goal will be to acquire a car and use it to block the road. We’ll look for a truck that has a key in it and use it to block the parking lot’s entrance.’
“Raaauuugggh!” A zombie sitting in the driver’s seat greeted Yohan as soon as he opened the door of the first truck. Yohan instinctively stepped back and the zombie fell to the floor, flailing. Yohan stomped down on the zombie’s head with his combat boots and was rewarded with a satisfying crack. Still, he stabbed it through the temple with a knife and, after confirming that it was dead, he began looting the corpse.
No keys. Yohan clicked his tongue dejectedly and looked into the truck to check its ignition and saw keys dangling there.
“Sung Bae, get in. Once we find another good vehicle, I’ll honk two or three times. That’s the signal for you to start driving. Once you’ve parked across the entrance, I’ll park next to you. Don’t open the door. We’ll open it for you once the coast is clear. Also, don’t worry about scratching the truck. Drive right up to the wall so that there are no gaps.”
“Ki Moon, how is it?”
“There’s enough juice in the battery to start the truck.”
“Great. So far so good.” Things were working out far better than Yohan had anticipated. He didn’t expect to find a usable truck on the first try.
Originally, he had thought the camp was fortunate to still be alive, but maybe lady luck was favoring this camp? Sung Bae boarded the truck and Yohan began looking at the other vehicles. Unfortunately, the next two that they checked didn’t have keys. It was as if lady luck was taunting them, getting their hopes up with the first success and then leaving them high and dry afterwards.
“Are there any here that we can hotwire?”
“I don’t see any cars that are old enough…” The pair checked all the trucks in the area but could not find one that came with a key.
“Let’s check out the SUVs, they’re about the same size.” Yohan pointed at another section of the parking lot that was around 100 meters away. The pair ventured forward. There were plenty of cars parked here, but none had keys and every car door was closed and locked anyways.
They were getting further away from the bait team. Yohan tried to quash the uneasy feeling that was building up inside him. Just then, he noticed an SUV with four zombies inside. Yohan tried the driver side door and it opened. He quickly stabbed the zombie in the driver’s seat, closed the door, and then moved over to the passenger side to repeat the action. He dragged the passenger zombie out and reached in to grab the car keys from the driver zombie.
Yohan then moved towards the back doors and opened the door, ready to stab. However, he froze for a moment. The zombies in the back seats were little kids. They looked like they were kindergarteners.
“Raaauuugggh!” A zombie let out a high-pitched groan as it pounced Yohan. Its tiny fingers grabbed at Yohan’s protective gear and it tried to bite him, but to no avail. After a moment of hesitation, Yohan stabbed the zombie through the eye and watched as its body stopped trembling.
“How’s the battery?”
“Is there a car here that has the same kind of battery?”
“All cars of the same type use the same battery…”
“Never mind, tell me later. Just pick a car.” Yohan walked over to the car that Ki Moon was pointing at and wedged his knife between the hood and radiator. With a great deal of effort, the hood pried open with a loud snap.
“How’s this one?”
“Try to find a new car.”
“That black car.” Ki Moon pointed and Yohan pried open another hood. Ki Moon rejoiced as soon as he checked the battery.
“Yohan, this will do. It’s working.”
“Take it out and let’s go back.” The pair walked back to the SUV that they had the keys for. Yohan got into the driver’s seat to pop the hood while Ki Moon prepared his tools.
“Yohan, zombies! Zombies!”
Yohan cursed as he scrambled out of the vehicle. Things were going so well too. He took a look at the zombies approaching them.
“There’s quite a lot. It’ll be hard for me to handle them alone. How much time do you need?”
“That’s too long dumbass!”
“Th—three minutes then!”
Yohan stepped in front of Ki Moon and intercepted the first zombie with a kick. As he did this, more zombies approached with a growl. He had to watch all sides. On top of that, he had to protect Ki Moon.
‘I’ll use the gun if I have to.’
The zombies kept on coming. Yohan furiously stabbed and killed them whenever he could, but he was more focused on pushing them away. Ki Moon’s hands were shaking as he worked to replace the battery. Although it was something that he had done many, many times, his hands were shaking so much that he couldn’t hold onto his hex wrench.
“Done!” Ki Moon got into the driver’s seat and started the SUV. The roar of the engine igniting was like a sound of salvation. Yohan zigzagged through the zombies, bowling them over with his shoulders, and reached the driver side door.
“Move over. I’ll drive.” As soon as Yohan could sit down, he honked the horn twice. Zombies started to surround the vehicle on all sides.
Sung Bae’s truck had been waiting for them from afar. It immediately began to roll, moving quickly up the ramp and, without slowly down, stopping at the perfect spot. It was a smooth drift.
“Whoa, Sung Bae’s really good at driving.”
“You’re right. He’s the best at driving. Now hold on tight. I’ll show you my awesome Tetris skills.”
“Not your driving skills?”
“That’s right. Put on your seat belt.”
Ki Moon looked confused when Yohan told him to wear his seatbelt, but quickly understood why. As soon as he started the engine, Yohan began running over zombies with the SUV. They could see dents forming all over the vehicle as zombies bounced off the SUV with loud crunches. Yohan drove towards the car entrance, but suddenly did a 180 turn and started driving in reverse. The SUV scraped along the wall as they moved in reverse and the sound filled the parking lot. The parking assist signals inside the car beeped loudly.
“Yohan, you’re going to crash! You’re going to crash!”
“Yeah, I know! Hold on! The airbags probably won’t go off!”
Loud screeches echoed throughout the parking lot, followed by a thunderous crash. Everyone in the area could feel the shock of the impact. They weren’t moving that fast, but it was enough that the rear bumper was completely bent into the shape of an L-block. The back of Sung Bae’s truck was also destroyed but, together, the two vehicles formed a perfect blockade.
Ki Moon opened the door and practically oozed out. Yohan stumbled out afterwards, clutching his neck and moaning.
“Yohan, that was too rough…”
“Sorry, I got a bit excited.”
More zombies appeared, attracted by the sound of the crash. Thankfully, most of the zombies were still by the bait team, far away. Yohan shook his head and opened the door for Sung Bae, who greeted him with a thumbs up.
“Yohan, you’re seriously a beast…it’s the first time my heart fluttered for a man.”
“Um… okay. I hope it’s the last time too.” Yohan turned to wave his hands Jung Hwan, signalling that the preparations were complete and that they could begin killing the zombies.
Yohan, Sung Bae, and Ki Moon moved to support from behind the zombie crowd and they all fought together. Countless hours passed. Finally, zombies stopped appearing and the group collapsed to the ground, relieved. Saeri laid down flat on top of the bait truck.
“Ah! I can’t even lift a finger.”
“Whew. How many zombies did we kill?”
“I’m not sure. Too tired to count.”
“I didn’t know there would be this many.”
The bait team was extremely talkative. The car team walked up to their truck and, one by one, the group got down by stepping on the pile of zombies. Byung Jin stumbled as he came down, but Yohan caught him and held him up.
“Thanks. You were pretty cool earlier,” Byung Jin remarked.
“He’s right. You don’t… seem human, Yohan,” Saeri agreed. Jung Hwan also chimed in.
“It’s true, Yohan. What did you do before the outbreak? Were you in the special forces or something?”
“I was just a normal salaryman, “ Yohan replied. He could tell from Jung Hwan’s expression that they didn’t believe him, but he ignored them and helped the rest of the group descend from the truck.
“When are we going to clear out the zombies from the upper floors?”
“There probably aren’t a lot upstairs. We made quite a ruckus, so I’m sure most of them already came down.”
“Then we’re really done.”
“Yeah. We just have to tie up a few loose ends. You guys did well.” Yohan praised them, the group felt as if his words swept away all their tiredness and nervousness. They looked inspired, motivated by the fact that they had achieved something that previously seemed impossible.
“It would’ve been nice if everyone from the camp participated.” Ki Moon mumbled. He was no longer as timid as before and voiced his thoughts clearly. Yohan nodded his head regretfully. If everyone had participated, they would have all grown a bit from the experience. However, it was best to let people grow at their own pace. There would be more opportunities in the future.
“Gather everyone. Time to clean up.”
“Okay,” replied Jung Hwan.
— Ω —
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