April watched with her heart in her mouth, as the heavily armed strike team approached the idling ambulance. Every nerve in her body screamed at her to shout a warning to the unsuspecting medic behind the wheel, but she bit her lip and resisted the urge. She knew how it would look to the beleaguered woman, the army back in control, protecting the citizens. It was inevitable that Anna would trust them, the good ' British army, superbly trained and almost universally loved by the people. She could practically plot out the next few minutes - the friendly approach, the polite but competent demeanour, followed by the frantic abduction.
The journalist had heard the ambulance approaching, as she combed the area around the local supermarket, for the paramedic. Her colleague Bobby, had been unusually perceptive about what was going on across the Isle and the value of the young woman and the mysterious package that she carried. April could practically smell the journalist awards, even over the stench of death that perfused the atmosphere. Government agencies snatching private citizens off the streets of Britain, carrying them off to secret bases for god knew what, this was what she had been working toward all her life and all it took was the total destruction of an entire district…
April saw the NCO reach into the emergency vehicle, no not reach – point! Shit! It was going down, the strike team sergeant had deployed a taser and April flinched as she heard a cry of pain, before seeing the paramedic crumple in the seat. The journalist took an inadvertent step toward the unfolding scene before she realised how exposed she was, standing in the car park of a Morrisons. She remembered what Bobby had told her – no witnesses! Looking around frantically, she spotted an abandoned car and flung herself prone behind its bulk. Around her, D-Subs were being drawn into the area by the continued gunfire of the soldiers and the deep rumbling of the big Diesel engine of the ambulance. Flattening herself on the tarmac, she wriggled under the car and out of sight as the squaddies piled into the truck and floored the accelerator.
With a squeal of tires, the 5.5 tonne vehicle shot forward crushing several of the infected under its bulk. April could see the squad leader wrestling with the wheel as the ambulance took out four D-Subs, the sickening thuds causing her to wince, despite the fact that it was the infected taking the hits. She could just about make out the slumped form of the paramedic in the passenger seat, stirring as the effect of the taser wore off. From her position under the car, she tracked the ambulance as it sped by only to come to a crashing halt to avoid hitting a previous accident. Oily smoke billowed from under the bonnet of a black SUV, that had been T-boned by a police response car and incidentally blocking the junction.
Mere yards away, April saw the squad leader pull the groggy paramedic from the cab of the emergency vehicle, spilling her to the floor before dragging her up and pushing her into the grasp of one of his subordinates as they disembarked. The soldiers moved efficiently into a protective pocket around their hostage, with the at the point and a flank and rear guard. Rifles up, they tracked the movements of the D- Subs that began to gather and shamble toward them.
A sudden gust of wind parted the black smoke that had obscured the immediate area around the collision. April could see more movement further up the street, a second glance revealed the more normal natural movements of uninfected humans, albeit with some pretence at caution. The oldest, a male was dressed in uniform similar to the abducted paramedic but instead of a primary response bag he cradled a single barrelled shotgun. April, almost laughed out loud at the incongruous sight of a lifesaver carrying an instrument of death but she was relieved to see that he looked fairly competent carrying the weapon - make that instruments plural, as she spotted a large bladed weapon strapped to his ample waist. He was accompanied by a shorter female, clearly a relative with the familial look between the two, most likely daughter given the obvious age difference. She looked as fearsome as the man, armed as she was with a wicked looking crossbow and a brutal looking hatchet? axe? hanging from a loop at her wrist.
Again, April had to bite back a warning to the paramedic and his daughter, as she could see them heading toward the crash site and consequently, the strike team. However, as she had made up her mind to shout out anyway she could see it was unnecessary. The male paramedic had spotted the team and their "guest", his cry of the girl's name proof that he recognised Anna! That was when all hell broke loose
conclusion next week
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