Authors: Dave Rowlands
Then, as suddenly as they had appeared, the onslaught of Dead ceased. Thousands of rotting carcasses littered the streets, but the Living of New Brisbane were all survivors. Some had been killed and were beginning to stir in Death now, a few more had suffered bites and were either killing themselves as we watched or being put down by their friends.
Viking and Redbeard, covered in the blood of their foes, triumphantly strode over. The Twin, too, joined us. Disciple, smiling slightly to himself, shook his head in amazement at the pile of Dead that lay before us, testament to the work that Doctor, Tiny and I had done. Wiping the blade clean, Tiny handed the machete back.
Tiny told me that the Dead would periodically attack like that, finding Old Brisbane mostly devoid of anybody Living. There were still a few small groups that had chosen independence over joining The Empire, though any of the fresher Dead that wander in were likely from such groups. There was safety in numbers, that much was certain, and the greater the numbers the greater the safety, it seemed.
Viking, Jarhead and Redbeard were gathering up teeth in front of the pub, then hurling the useless carcasses off to one side, where others were fossicking through their rags for anything valuable, or better yet, useful. I examined the wood of my sword, noticing that during the battle it had suffered a large crack, straight down the middle. It would not likely last long against Doctor in our next session.
Year 1 A.Z.
I was awoken by the jangling of Apocalypse Girl's phone. Apparently a large group of mutated Dingoes had attacked the perimeter of the Alice Facility, though they had been driven off and a large number killed, they had also slaughtered about a hundred of The Colonel's men. She, Sister and Machete were all perfectly safe though. She also asked if I could tell her anything.
I sent a message back saying that I would likely still be here a while, yet. Things were far more complicated here than I had first thought, that was for sure. It seemed like there were a lot of people that could use our help here. The Puller had taken up the duties and responsibility that had been Biker Boss's before him, doing an admirable job other than the Dead incursion yesterday afternoon. Tiny told us that the Dead were allowed in occasionally, for several reasons. First; so that anyone who needed teeth would have an opportunity to gather a large number of them. Second; to prevent complacency. If you are attacked at random by a large number of Dead, you're always on the lookout for them. Third; to cull any Living unable to defend themselves or protect others. Lastly; for the simple reason that if you let some in every now and again they don't build up in vast enough numbers to completely overrun everything. It had, evidently, been the sole idea that The Enigmatic Man had suggested in the first meeting between him, Yakuza Lady and Biker Boss. He had, in fact, insisted on it. The general consensus was that it was a brilliant idea, even if some Living were lost each time.
Waitress was waiting for me at the café, where she threw her arms around me, saying that I was her hero. The way I had stood against the Dead yesterday had been something to behold, she told me. She poured my coffee with her usual smile, asking if either I or Tiny wanted anything else, on the house for us, of course. Tiny declined all service, and I did likewise. I was here to meet Disciple, if I could, and carefully make some plans. This would all be much easier without Tiny listening in, of course...
The horrifically scarred man limped in after Waitress had poured my second cup. He sat down across from me, saying that yesterday had been fun. He hadn't had so much fun killing Dead in months, he told me with an ugly grin. “You have a strange idea of fun, sir.” Tiny told him. He raised his cup in salute, winking with his good eye before taking a sip.
He told me, in a roundabout way, that Jarhead had discussed the plan with him. Since he was unlikely to have been spoken to in a civil fashion by either Viking or Redbeard he was the only logical choice, really. It was, he thought, the best way. It would be better, however, if we could get the entire group in. I nodded, he left. Tiny appeared deep in thought, nearly not even noticing when I stood to leave.
Jarhead fought again tonight, he and Viking having decided to trade off, one fighting on one night, the other on the next, so that neither of them were too badly injured. As Tiny and I watched him pummeling the bejabbers out of his first opponent, she told me that she was not entirely sure what she was going to do.
Jarhead's opponent dragged his sorry carcass out of the ring, my companion making some kind of bollocks victory speech before his next foe came up for his beating. I asked Tiny what she meant. “I mean you. I know you are the Melbourne Swordsman.” She said it so quietly that even I was not quite sure I had heard her. “Are you the assassin that we seek as well?” My hesitation in answering was all the confirmation she needed. She said something in Chinese, I expect some kind of expletive.
“I should report you to my mistress,” Tiny continued. I told her that she probably should, but that if she were going to she wouldn't have confronted me about it first. She nodded once, slightly, sharply. Jarhead's opponent fell to his knees in submission after more of a beating than he had expected. “I owe her everything. But I owe you my life, too.” I could see she was conflicted. She was holding it in check well, but inside she must have been tearing herself in two. “She demands service and obedience. I must do as she says or I will be punished.” Turning to me, looking into my eyes, she continued. “You do not. You demand nothing, ask for nothing. With you I can do as I please, as long as I don't anybody harm. Am I right?” I nodded.
“Okay,” Tiny stood, faced me. Still staring directly into my eyes, she said; “You can count me in. That vile snake of a woman needs to die!”
Our chances of success seem to have improved slightly.