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The idea to send the three drug addicts to kill the smart infected wasn’t a bad one. I just didn’t account for the fact that they’d be completely useless without their drugs. The first one died because he didn’t believe it was an infected and tried to communicate with it. The second one convinced the third one to help him, and they both tried attacking at the same time. One of them held a shield, the other held a spear. I couldn’t see what happened from my vantage point, but judging from the shouts of “my foot”, I’m guessing the smart infected stabbed the shield bearer’s foot and took advantage of what happened next to kill them both.

So, now we’re in a dilemma. No one wants to be the one to fight the smart infected. There’s no hospital. Even when hospitals were still a thing, it was highly recommended not to fight a mugger with a knife because even if you win, you’ll probably bleed out a few minutes later and die. Adding on the fact that it effortlessly killed two people without getting hurt, everyone’s confidence in themselves have plummeted—not like they were willing to volunteer in the first place, but even more so now.

“How about we burn the building down? You know, people joked all the time about having to burn the house down because of a spider, but I think burning a building down over a smart infected is pretty worth it.”

“That’s no good,” the chief said.

“Why not? We have to burn a crapload of bodies today anyway. Why don’t we pile them all up inside the cabin and burn it all down together?”

“Yeah, that sounds like a great idea. We won’t have to gather as much wood for the fires that way. And since there’s so few of us left, it’s not like missing one cabin will be such a huge loss. Once the smart infected’s dead, there shouldn’t be an issue in rebuilding it.”

“Let’s do it chief.”

“C’mon, chief.”

Honestly, it doesn’t sound like such a bad idea. Sure, we’ll lose a building, but we’ll kill the smart infected, burn a bunch of bodies, and save a lot of effort. Most importantly, no one gets hurt—except the smart infected. Is it moral to kill something that’s as intelligent as a person? It doesn’t matter because most morals have been thrown away a long time ago.

“You guys…,” the chief said. “It’s just one infected. You know what, I’ll do it myself. Where’s my spear?”

“You can’t!”

“Someone stop him!”

“Chief, if you die, how the hell are we going to survive?”

“You developed the cure, how can you throw your life away? Think of everything else you can accomplish!”

I didn’t think the chief would still be so well-liked after leading so many people to their deaths. There should’ve been a lot of discontent, a lot of anger and hopelessness after so many people died to the herd. I think the junkies attacking us at the end played a major role; all the anger at dying to the infected that was directed at the chief became redirected to the junkies that attacked us while we were at our lowest.

“Alright, alright! Let go of me! We’ll do it your way this time,” the chief said and sighed. “I still think we should kill it here and now, but you’ve brought up good points, and more importantly, you guys aren’t willing to listen to me or let me do it myself.”

“It’s not that we aren’t willing to listen, it’s that we just think you’re wrong in this case. You’re normally right, but sometimes even the smartest people make mistakes.”

The chief sighed again. “Alright, let’s see. Chris, pick five of the injured and stay here to watch over the room in case the smart infected decides to leave. The rest of us will gather the bodies and bring them inside. Originally, I was going to have the injured gather firewood, but since we’re burning the building instead, we don’t need as much.”

“Okay.” Seems like I get to pick who works and who doesn’t. I’ll point at the ones who’re asking me most desperately with their eyes. “You, you, you, you, and … Jen.”

“Jen’s injured?” the chief asked. Even Jen was examining herself.

“Yep. Brain damage. It’s best if she stays here with me.”

“Hey! What the fuck!”

“It was a joke. I mean, Chief, what if the infected does come out? I don’t want to fight it with a bunch of cripples. Jen and I work really well together.”

“That’s a fair point,” the chief said. “Alright, that’s what we’ll do then. Let’s head out; there’s a ton of work to do.”

I’m lucky I’m injured. I don’t have to drag dead bodies around. They’ve been festering for a day and night. We did go through the garrison, stabbing every corpse in the head to make sure none became infected, but it’s still an unpleasant job even if it isn’t dangerous. As for dealing with the smart infected, all we have to do is pile up the first few bodies in front of the closet door. If the druggie was right and infected had superhuman strength, it still wouldn’t matter. However, if the infected decides to burst out right now, then I’d be afraid, but we kept our voices relatively low. I don’t think it could’ve heard us through the door.

Thankfully, the infected didn’t come out, and the people outside had already brought three bodies in. Our injured crew—and Jen—dragged them in front of the closet door. “We’ll barricade it in, so there’s definitely no chance in hell for it to escape.”

Another group of bodies were brought in, and we piled them up as well. We couldn’t quite get them up to the ceiling, but we did get them high enough to block the door from view. With the next bodies, we pushed them against the base of the miniature tower, stabilizing its foundation. I wonder if the infected noticed. There were some scratching sounds coming from inside. Maybe it was eating. It shouldn’t have noticed anything, right?

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Virlyce

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