A zombie with a lengthy body that walked on all fours during a fight. It looked like a creature from a fantasy novel, which was how Yohan came up with the nickname.
Although this mutant could have been the one causing the zombie wave that had destroyed the military base nearby, there was a high chance that a different mutant had attacked the base. If not, then it would have meant that the firepower at the military base was extremely low. As long as people knew what to do against this type of mutant, it was possible to deal with them.
If he was to give this mutant a danger rating from one to ten, it would be around a five. At least an eight or nine would be required to destroy an army base. The Korean ground forces had more fighting power than the navy or air force. They had high morale and were armed with heavy weapons. It was a faction that wouldn’t go down easily.
Of all the mutant variants that Yohan remembered, the one that he was most afraid of was ‘David’. He could remember fighting a battle on two fronts as fellow soldiers turned in the middle of the battle while the zombie wave battered against the barbed wire barricade. Many army bases crumbled like this.
If mutants didn’t exist, then the Korean army would have never fallen. No, they could have survived if only they knew how to deal with the mutants. The appearance of these unexpected variants was what led to the end of the world.
“That thing is creepy,” said Ha Jin. Yohan took a step back and switched his rifle to fully automatic.
“I have one piece of bad news, one piece of good news, and one piece of extremely good news. Which one do you want to hear first?”
“The extremely good news.”
The two answered almost at the same time. Yohan nodded his head.
“The bad news first. This zombie is ten times stronger and trickier than a regular zombie.”
“Wait, why did you even bother asking what we wanted to hear first?” Sweeper complained.
“What’s the good news?” Ha Jin pressed Yohan. They were joking around, but the atmosphere was tense. The mutant zombie was exuding an extremely threatening aura.
“If we kill it, the zombie wave will end and the horde will disperse.”
“Oh, and the extremely good news?”
“I know how to deal with it.” Yohan replied, raising his rifle to take aim at the mutant’s head.
“Oh? How?” Sweeper asked.
“It’s too long to explain it step by step, but I can tell you that this mutant variation isn’t that dangerous. It always uses the same attack pattern. Watch carefully.” Despite Yohan’s words, the two still felt uneasy. Even while they were talking, the mutant was staring at them with its red eyes. However, it did not move.
“Why isn’t it moving?” Ha Jin asked, tilting his head.
“It’s because we’re not in aggro range.” Yohan replied, tossing the flashlight back to Ha Jin. “You two, back up a bit, like ten steps. Ha Jin, cover our backs. Sweeper, train your light at the mutant. It’s fast, so try to keep up.”
The pair nodded at Yohan’s instructions and backed up. They had no choice but to rely on him. As soon as they stepped back, Yohan pulled the trigger. Gun fire echoed throughout the subway tunnel.
With a roar, the first bullet hit the mutant zombie square in the head. However, the follow up shots only grazed it due to the rifle’s recoil. The zombie shrieked. The sound made them feel like their ears were being ripped off. Another bullet struck the monster in the mouth. Its face originally looked human, but now became doughy as blood flowed freely from the gunshot wounds. If it had been an ordinary zombie, it would have already died. The monster stumbled, but did not fall. In that instant, the zombie’s body disappeared into the darkness.
“Wh—what the hell!” Sweeper panicked and started waving the flashlight around, trying to find the zombie again. The faint light was all over the place, making it difficult to see.
“Don’t shake the flashlight! Left ceiling! Corner! It’s circling counterclockwise!” Yohan snapped at him and Sweeper was able to lock the light on the monster. The mutant was crawling along the ceiling of the underground tunnel and was circling above Yohan. It’s sharp claws dug into the cement walls every time it moved its limbs. With his target illuminated once more, Yohan began firing again.
The mutant prowled around Yohan, crawling along the ceiling. It jumped down to the ground for a few seconds before jumping up to the ceiling on the opposite side. It was like a hunter, stalking its prey.
The sound of gunfire continued to fill the area. Yohan tracked the zombie relentlessly, but it wasn’t easy to hit due to its sprinter-like speed. Yohan’s rifle clicked empty and he immediately stopped shooting in order to change the magazine. His movements were smooth, minimizing the pause in shooting.
‘Three… four…’ Yohan followed the zombie with gun while counting the number of times it circled him. Sweeper lost track of the zombie, but Yohan heard it landing behind him. ‘…Five.’
Yohan lowered his gun, placing the hand guard and gunstock close to his body to avoid touching the hot barrel, and rolled to the side. As soon as he rolled, he heard a loud crash as the mutant pounced at Yohan’s previous position with a lightning quick attack. When its attack missed, the zombie jumped back to the ceiling and started repeating the pattern.
Yohan stood up quickly and got into a firing stance once more. He couldn’t aim for a fatal shot, but he was getting used to the mutant’s speed. Yohan predicted the zombie’s speed and movement and led his shots, using a predictive shooting technique. As shots landed on the mutant, he could see and hear its flesh being ripped apart.
The battle was going smoothly, but ammo was an issue. He had two magazines left. He had to neutralize the zombie before he ran out completely. He could engage in close-quarter combat, but the danger would increase tremendously. Yohan was starting to feel a bit antsy.
‘Calmly. A little more calmly.’ Yohan reminded himself, as he normally did every time he got nervous and his body started to get stiff. Every time the flashlight illuminated the zombie, Yohan could feel goosebumps all over his body. Even though Sweeper was doing his best, the monster kept appearing in and out of the light, disappearing like a magician on stage. Yohan was aiming at the zombie’s center mass and a lucky shot struck its arm, ripping off the limb completely. The mutant gave a loud, painful shriek.
“Ha Jin! The zombie is coming!” Yohan yelled as soon as the mutant screamed, reminding Ha Jin to guard the rear. Ha Jin, who was captivated by the fight, snapped to attention and looked behind them. The zombie wasn’t there, but there was an uneasy atmosphere in the subway tunnel.
After about three minutes, Ha Jin could see zombies approaching from the end of the dark tunnel. It was too dark to tell exactly how many there were. Ha Jin gulped.
Sweeper had to help Yohan by keeping the flashlight trained on the mutant zombie. This meant that he had to fight the zombies in the dark by himself. If a zombie got past him, the duo would be in danger.
Ha Jin collected his thoughts and gripped his knife tightly as the zombies arrived. He started moving to intercept the horde. It was better to engage them further away in order to prevent them from attacking the others. Ha Jin yelled out a battlecry. He was determined to not let any zombies pass.
Yohan changed his magazine again. He was down to the last one. He did have another gun on his back, but he didn’t have a lot of ammo. The mutant got hit a few times, but none of the shots were fatal. Yohan stretched his sore arm and switched the rifle back to semi-automatic fire.
He had used automatic fire earlier in order to have a better chance of hitting a fast moving target. However, he now had no choice but to land precise shots.
“Bro! There’s something coming from the front!”
Things were going from bad to worse, as zombies were now approaching from the front as well. Sweeper shined his flashlight to the front for a brief moment before moving it to follow the mutant again. In that moment, Yohan could see how far the horde was. They were about three to five minutes away. Yohan silently praised Sweeper’s decision to light the front for the moment, as it helped him figure out the threat level. Sweeper had a pretty good head for combat.
After the mutant circled him five times again, Yohan rolled once more. However, this time he started the motion a bit late. He had rolled after the mutant pounced and didn’t clear the area in time. Dust kicked up and covered his face. The suffocating feeling caused him to cough and some of the dust got in his eyes, blinding him. If he got attacked now, it would be the end of him.
He could feel the hairs on his body standing on ends. Fortunately, the mutant must have thought that it missed again, as it jumped back to the wall again. Yohan stumbled as he stood up and assumed his firing stance. His eyes were still stinging. He rubbed them a few times and tried to follow the zombie.
“Hey bro! It’s soon! Fifth lap!” Sweeper’s voice was loud and clear. He must have figured out the attack pattern after two cycles. With his help, Yohan knew that the attack was coming, but it was too late to dodge.
Yohan whispered a quiet thanks and gripped the hand guard and gun stock tightly as he raised the rifle in front of him. He could hear the sound of the mutant’s body cutting through the wind like an arrow. Yohan blocked its pounce with his gun. The weight of the attack caused him to stumble back a bit, but he had braced himself and endured it.
The mutant tried to push away Yohan’s gun with its remaining arm and snapped its teeth at him. It was a terrifying sight to behold. Every time the zombie opened it mouth, Yohan could see thick, thread-like saliva and smell its terrible breath.
“Sweeper! Throw the axe to my feet!”
Sweeper kept one hand on the flashlight illuminating the mutant and bent down to toss the axe. It sailed low to the ground, practically sliding along the floor. The spinning hand axe landed exactly next to Yohan’s feet. Yohan lowered his body to grab the axe. As soon as he let go of one hand from the rifle, the balance of power shifted. Yohan grabbed the hand axe as he fell backwards and the mutant’s teeth snapped right next to his ear. Yohan moved as fast as lightning. The axe separated the zombie’s head from its neck. Dark red blood flowed out like a fountain.
Even though its head was removed, the zombie continued attacking. Yohan rolled to dodge its claws and then cut one of its legs off.
“Raaauuughhh!” A regular zombie reached out and grabbed Yohan’s shoulder while he was busy dealing with the mutant. Yohan was caught off guard, but he still instinctively punched the zombie across the chin. With a loud crack, the strike caused the zombie to stumble back, giving Yohan the opportunity to chop off the mutant’s other leg. The monster collapsed to the ground.
The mutant wriggled around with its remaining arm and upper torso. Yohan quickly turned around and fired his gun. He couldn’t see the regular zombies in the darkness, so he swept his gun across in a wide burst. The nearby zombies either fell down or had their approached slowed by the bullets. Immediately after he shot his gun, Sweeper’s flashlight lit up the zombies.
“I was waiting for you to say that!”
Yohan flipped the axe so that he was holding the handle out. As Sweeper ran by, he switched the flashlight to his off hand, grabbed the axe with his dominant hand, and took care of the remaining zombies.
While Sweeper was taking care of the zombies, Yohan was exhausted. He had used all of his energy to fight the mutant zombie. He switched guns as he caught his breath. Yohan checked on his remaining ammo.
It was enough. Yohan emptied the remaining bullets into the mutant’s head and body. He didn’t stop shooting until it stopped moving entirely.
— Ω —
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