“That’s what I’m saying. If they were hiding in a big place like this, it would be difficult to search everywhere. So what are you talking about? How can you guarantee that they haven’t ran away?”
“Honey, it’s only been two hours. Do you think all the people here could pack their things and run away in two hours? They just ran. Their immediate response was unexpected, however,” Genie pointed at the border wall, “look at the shape of the barrier. It’s a rectangle, right? If you make something like this, it’s easy to see in all directions from the corners. Honestly, building a wall in a city like this is a bold and stupid idea, but they did it in a way where they just needed to block off some gaps. They built it very efficiently and deliberately. The leader here must be very smart.”
“So, what are you saying?”
“These corners. If we set up camp there, then we can distribute supplies while watching the border line. We just need to camp the corners.”
Gae Baek Jung had a surprised look on his face. It was a novel idea. Only someone as clever as Genie could have come up with such a way of dealing with an unexpected development.
“Great. Let’s split up into four groups.”
“Wait, honey. If you look at the buildings here, all the entrances have been destroyed.”
“Only a locked safe has money. These guys destroyed all the doors. They probably did this before creating the barrier. It doesn’t make sense to do it after setting up the barrier, otherwise zombies will come out of the buildings within the safezone. Search the places where the doors are in good condition.”
Despite coming up with a solid strategy, Genie still felt anxious. The quality of this group was different from the others they had encountered. Too many unexpected things were happening. Their scouting group had been killed, Kim Seol Hwa had been captured, and the two detachments hadn’t been reporting in. That was almost half of their force.
On top of that, after losing the scouting group and acknowledging the enemy as dangerous, they had created the detachment as a sort of insurance, ensuring that they could strike from two sides at the same time. They had even chosen an inconvenient route. Did it even make sense that there would be an ambush set up in case they had travelled all the way around?
What bothered him the most was the fact that it hadn’t even been two hours since Gae Baek Jung spoke with their leader, but he had already evacuated the survivors. Such an extraordinary response was unfamiliar to him. Did their leader assume that they would attack as soon as they finished talking? No, the way he acted, it seemed like he was certain of it.
‘Who are these guys?’
Genie paced about as he thought. Out of the corner of his eye, he noticed a villa. It had a normal looking gate and there was a solar panel on the roof. The location and condition of the building gave Genie the feeling of a perfect refuge. Since the leader of this group liked using his head, this would be the ideal hideout.
Genie pointed out the villa and Gae Baek Jung gestured at Dwarf with his chin. Dwarf loaded the underslung grenade launcher attached to his gun. There was a heavy recoil as a projectile was launched through a window. The window broke and, a split second later, they could hear an explosion followed by screams. The eerie screams sounded like 20 people howling out in unison.
Dwarf squeezed the trigger and launched another grenade. They could sense the chaos ensuing inside the building. Dwarf fired repeatedly, emptying his clip into different floors of the building. Gae Baek Jung quietly watched the scene unfold and then gestured with his chin again. A smoke grenade was tossed through a broken window and grey smoke started rising out of the building. With that as the go signal, Gae Baek Jung’s underlings entered the villa at the same time.
Gunshots could be heard. The camp survivors did their best to fight back, but there was a huge difference in their aim and rate of fire. Even if they were a combat team, they only had experience protecting the camp from zombies. Since they had never killed a human before, they lacked the right mindset for this battle. There was a heavy weight associated with shooting a human. This pressure caused them to hesitate for a few seconds and this resulted in a different outcome from their previous battles.
“Everyone get down on the ground if you want to live!” Dwarf shouted threateningly, as he fired everything he had.
As he said that, Lieutenant Ahn fired his pistol and hit a Union member in the chest. It was the first time the Union had met such resistance. The Union member collapsed to the ground and the surviving camp members rallied behind Lieutenant Ahn and started firing as well. The majority of their shots hit nothing but air, but the few camp members that had gone through firing training managed to hit some of the Union members as they forced their way in.
One by one, the intruders started to fall. However, there was a big difference in their equipment. Some of the intruders that fell were wearing bulletproof armor and stood back up, rubbing their sore abdomens. The intruders that they thought were dead retrieved their weapons and started overpowering the camp members. They fought back courageously. Lieutenant Ahn’s performance was especially noteworthy as he lined up headshots on the armored enemies before they could get back up.
“Ack!” One of Dwarf’s underlings cried out as he died. Seeing this, Dwarf immediately noticed Lieutenant Ahn and fired at him, landing bullets through each of his arms. The Lieutenant moaned in pain as he fell to the ground.
“Lieutenant Ahn!” The sergeant charged at Dwarf, aiming to strike him in the back of the head with the butt of his gun. Dwarf tripped up his legs and slammed him down to the ground with the butt of his gun instead. He aimed his gun at the sergeant and started dragging him across the floor.
The building was filled with groans of the injured and screams of the dying, but their fierce battle had reached a conclusion. All the injured camp members were rounded up. Most of them had serious injuries caused by the intense gunfight. Three camp members were already dead and the rest had abandoned their comrades and fled to the underground once they saw a few die.
However, some of the Union members spotted the fleeing camp members. The steel door to the underground chamber was supposed to be locked up tight, but thanks to the foolhardy actions of a few camp members, one of the intruders managed to stop them from closing the door with his axe. The union member imposed his will upon the camp member trying to close the door and pointed his gun at his head.
There were almost 100 people underground. The majority of them were non-combatants. They all cried out when they saw their injured comrades get dragged down the stairs by the intruders.
“Wow!” Gae Baek Jung sounded like a Spanish explorer discovering an Aztec gold mine.
‘Who knew there were so many people here!?’
The scale was astounding. He never dreamt that the camp was big enough to have over 100 people. Additionally, there was a sizable amount of supplies stored here as well. Enough to feed 100 people for a week.
The intruders leered at the non-combatants with bloodthirsty eyes, making them feel like prey. Meanwhile, the comrades that had gone out to fight them were now all groaning in pain. The camp member’s eyes filled with fear. Who were these people? Where were their protectors? Their expressions gave Gae Baek Jung a deep sense of satisfaction. This could be his Union’s greatest achievement. Gae Baek Jung held his rifle by the barrel and tapped the butt of his gun against the floor to draw the attention of the trembling survivors.
“Nice to meet you, friends. Let’s start off with a proper greeting. Since we already killed three people, I’ll only kill two more from this point forward. That’s pretty merciful, don’t you think?” Gae Baek Jung lifted up his gun and pointed it at random survivors. He then turned around and looked at the soldier that Dwarf was holding. The soldier started coughing up blood.
“An amazing soldier that protects our country! You’re a pretty high-ranked, soldier buddy. Lieutenant Ahn Joon Min, I presume?” Gae Baek Jung said mockingly, leaning in so that he was right in front of the soldier’s face. Lieutenant Ahn spat on his face and then grimaced in pain as he exerted himself.
“Let’s not be so cliched, okay?” Gae Baek Jung wiped off the spit with one hand and gave the Lieutenant a terrifying smile. He twirled his rifle around, so that he was holding the barrel once more, and then swung the butt of the rifle through the air, striking Lieutenant Ahn on the side of the head like a bolt of lightning.
Lieutenant Ahn collapsed to the floor as his bulletproof helmet flew off and rolled across the ground. Gae Baek Jung smashed the butt of his rifle against Lieutenant Ahn’s head repeatedly, looking as if he was determined to end his life.
“Lieutenant Ahn!” The other soldiers forgot about their pain for a moment and cried out. Their Lieutenant’s limp body laid motionless on the ground. It was impossible to tell if he had fainted or had died. Gae Baek Jung made the distinction moot as he flipped his rifle back around and fired several bullets into the lieutenant’s head. Lieutenant Ahn’s skull caved in and then exploded. Bone fragments and brain matter flew out, soaking the floor with blood and spinal fluid.
“Ahhh!” The camp members screamed out again. The sound of weeping filled the room.
“Whew, that was a workout. Now, one more person left. I’ll take volunteers. Give me your support.”
The camp members just trembled in fear. No one raised their hands. No one wanted to be murdered in such a violent fashion.
“What, no one? How unfortunate. Who’s the leader after this guy? You guys must have some sort of hierarchy.”
Again, no one spoke up. The only thought running through the camp member’s minds was fear and an earnest desire to live.
“Then, should I just use a machine gun and kill a bunch of you?” Gae Baek Jung aimed his gun at the crowd.
“H—how dare you!”
“Jeez mister. Do you think a leader should hide like that?” Soo Hee, who was hiding in the corner, pointed a trembling finger at Seo Jun. Seo Jun’s eyes widened.
Gae Baek Jung grabbed Seo Jun and pulled him up by his hair. Seo Jun struggled, but couldn’t escape the rough treatment. Gae Baek Jung smiled as Seo Jun glared at him.
“I like your eyes, mister.” Gae Baek Jung lifted Seo Jun’s chin and moved his face closer to look directly into his eyes. “Now, I’ll give you one last chance to talk. I’ve found a lot of things today, so I’m in a good mood. Tell me something, anything funny. Who knows, I might let you live if it’s funny.”
“If you dare touch us…Yohan will kill you.” Seo Jun said, through gritted teeth.
He was painfully aware that they should’ve just stayed in the underground chamber like Jung Hwan had instructed. He couldn’t help but resent the other camp leaders that questioned Yohan’s orders and insisted that they try to fight back. If they wanted to be cool and fight that badly, then they should’ve just died fighting. Why did they have to run here and put all these innocent people in danger?
It was deplorable. In the end, the bickering between the camp leaders, the thing that Yohan had warned them about, had created this mess. It was too late to regret it now. This all happened because they didn’t follow Yohan’s order exactly as Jung Hwan described. However, Seo Jun still believed. Yohan would come and save them from this—
Gae Baek Jung scoffed and hit Seo Jun in the head with the butt of his rifle. Seo Jun’s body sprawled out on the ground.
“Stop talking nonsense. Who the hell is going to kill me? From now on, all of you are dogs. If I tell you to bark, then you bark. If I tell you to sit, then you sit. I’m the butcher that butchers the dogs.”
— Ω —