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The motorcycle’s still in the same place, on the plank the prey use to cross the trench. The four others pulling it are stuck, two above, two below. Even after Big Other created a path out of the trench, the two below couldn’t get out. The rope attached to the motorcycle stopped them. I untied the ropes attached to the others. The key to the motorcycle was in the bag I kept on my waist with my arrows. It wasn’t difficult to start up. The motorcycle made a loud sound. But the others were distracted by the prey, the prey distracted by the others.

I’m going to retreat. There has to be a range on the black box. All the prey in the area will flock to the garrison. It’ll get stronger over time, making it harder to attack again. And there’ll be no food around since every prey will come here. But even if all the prey in the area go to the garrison, there’s prey outside the area that don’t know about the cure. There’ll be food if I go far enough. With the motorcycle, I think I can leave the area before I run out of food. I’m not sure if I’m right. If I’m wrong, I’ll lose my brain to my hunger. These prey might be the only prey left in existence.

But the unknown is better than this. The others are going to lose. As a single individual, there isn’t anything else I can do. I did the best I could, even putting myself at risk to split off and set buildings on fire. It’s disappointing to give up. But it makes the most sense. The prey are easier to kill than others. I know that. They know that. But because they know, they come up with different methods to protect themselves. A wall of shields and spears, working together to overcome larger numbers. It only works because the others are dumb. If all the others were like me, this simple design wouldn’t work. Simply giving all the others bows and arrows would solve the problem. But if all the others were like me, I’d lose my monopoly over the food.

The others that were tied to the motorcycle had bags on them. I took those off, put them on the back of the motorcycle. Since the others won’t follow me, I’ll take whatever I can before I leave. The prey seemed to have noticed me, shouting in my direction. But the crowd of others were in the way. They couldn’t stop me. But if I don’t leave soon, they will. I got on the motorcycle, switched it to reverse, drove it off the plank. With a simple maneuver, I had the motorcycle facing the right way, pointed away from the garrison. It’s time to go.

But for some reason, the motorcycle was really loud, way louder than when I practiced with the last one. Is it broken? It’s working just fine. It’s almost as if the sound is coming from all around me. Like there’s more motorcycles approaching. It couldn’t be, right? I stopped my motorcycle, took the key out of the ignition. The sound was low, rumbling, definitely getting louder. It really was. Motorcycles were coming up the road. That’s right, the prey announced the south side to the garrison was open. This is the south side. More prey are going to come up this way. But if there’s a large group of prey, I might not be able to get passed them. I can’t drive in the woods. The motorcycle doesn’t work as well. But if I go on foot, my chances of leaving the range of the black box before I run out of food greatly decreases.

This is a dead end too. My options have changed. I can try to help the others, drive the motorcycle into a group of prey to scatter their formation. Or I can try to escape, drive the motorcycle into a group of prey coming up the road. They’re the same. But one choice has others. If I fail, the others might help me survive. Failing to cross on the road, there’s only death. Then the choice is simple. Luckily, one of the bags I took from the others had the metal spikes, perfect for puncturing motorcycle wheels. I turned my motorcycle back around, pointing it to the garrison. Then I untied the bag, loosely holding the bottom. I drove forward, scattering the metal spikes along the road. That should stop the prey on motorcycles for a bit.

I drove back across the plank, drove over the most crushed portion of the fence that wasn’t blocked by a tree. I didn’t want to put myself at a lot of risk. But there’s no riskless path to survival. Wasn’t that always the case? This time, it’s just a little bit more extreme. I drove around the others. There has to be a path to the prey that’s less littered with dead bodies than the rest. Near the back of the group. One or two bodies shouldn’t stop the motorcycle as long as I avoid the spikes I tied to their arms. The goal is to break the prey’s setup. The motorcycle might kill one or two prey if I run into the group at full speed. But it won’t kill them all, pushing them out of the way at most.

Do I drive into the prey with the spears, or the prey with the shields? One kills the others, the other stops the others. It’s a touch choice. I’ll drive into the prey with the spears. There’s a path near the back. The prey had moved back to avoid the burning wood I threw earlier. Maybe they needed to close up their ranks again. Whatever the reason, there’s less corpses back here. Since I found a way, there’s no need to hesitate. The longer I wait, the more others the prey will kill. And the prey from the burning buildings will return. There’s also the prey on the road. I unleashed the motorcycle’s maximum output. And drove straight at the group of prey.

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Virlyce

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