Sorry for the long delay.
Pat followed the other vehicles into the hospital parking lot. When got where he could see the entrance, he knew they’d have to walk, due to the incredible jumble of vehicles parked there. Apparently Inez had come to the same conclusion, as she parked several yards away from the nearest vehicle. Pat saw Hue Liu jump out the passenger door of the truck, and begin waving people to where she wanted them to stop. “Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know how to park a car, Chickie,” he muttered to himself, but stopped where she’d indicated. As he was getting out of the Jeep, he told Bubba and Emily to stay put for a minute. When he saw the subdued look on their faces, he was pretty sure they’d actually do as he’d asked.
Inez saw him limping as he approached, “How ya’ doing, kid? Gonna be able to keep going for a little while?” When she saw him nod she added, with a smile, “Good, because you don’t really have a choice anyhow.” Inez looked around briefly, “Hue Liu, why don’t you stay with the little ones? Just stay in the Jeep, with the windows up. We’ll let you know if it’s safe to bring them inside.” Not pausing, assuming correctly she’d be obeyed, she turned to Pat, “Pat, hobble your ass up to the E.R. door and see what we’re facing. Can do?”
“Sure thing, I think my ass has a hobble or two left in it.” He went back over to the Jeep for a minute retrieving his rifle, and the silenced Glock. As he approached the hospital he slung the rifle, and brought the pistol up in a two handed grip. Examining the vehicles interiors as he passed, he noticed very few of them held bodies, mobile or not, which made sense, since most of the vehicles had at least one door open. Passing an ambulance, parked on the grass, he heard moans coming from the inside. Finding that all its doors were closed, he decided that he could afford to turn his back on it. When he was almost to the entrance, he put his back to the wall, and started edging toward the door. Reaching the door, he stopped to take a deep breath, afraid of what he would find. Deciding he was as ready as he’d ever be, he stepped away from the wall, and turned toward the door…..and nothing happened. “Well, duh,” he told himself, “no power, no automatic door.” He stepped forward and peered through the glass. Nothing moved in the waiting room of the little E.R.. He noticed dark stains on the linoleum floors, which had at one point been stepped in and tracked around, before the tracks faded out. All of the doors leading out of the waiting area were closed. One set of double doors, on the left, had dark stains smeared on it. He decided it must be blood. Probably from a zombie trying to get in. Taking one last look around, he started back to report in. He was halfway back when he realized he’d passed an empty gurney, laying on it’s side. Not long afterwards, he was pushing his find up to where Inez was waiting, at the front of the pickup.
When Inez saw the gurney she nodded, “Good thinking.” Then she motioned him over to where Larry and Jacob were waiting with Ruth, and Pat told them what he’d seen. Taking one last look around, Inez told them she figured it was Ruth’s best bet.
Leaving Jacob to watch over Ruth, Inez took Pat and Larry back to the entrance of the hospital. When they got there they determined the doors were closed but not locked, so Pat and Larry got as good a hold as they could on the door, and pulled it open. Once it was open, it stayed open, and would until either the power came back on, or it was manually closed. Inez went through the doors when there was barely room for her to fit. She had both Brownings up and ready. First she went around behind the reception desk, but didn’t find anything there. Then she went over to a single door, which was located to the side, and behind, the desk. Holstering one of her pistols, she tried the door. Unfortunately this one was locked. She checked all of the doors leading out of the room, and found they were all locked. Having saved the double doors for last, she dragged a chair over in front of them, and stepped up on it to see into the room. What she saw didn’t make her happy. Hopping down off the chair, she told Larry to try and push the door open.
Larry took one look at the door and walked over to a box on the wall, pulling a pair of nitrile gloves out. After donning the gloves he tried to door. First he pushed on it, then he pulled on it, finally he kicked it, “Open. Up. You. Son of a. Bitch!” He said, punctuating each word with a kick. Finally admitting defeat, he limped over and hitched himself up to sit on the admissions desk. “Inez, we’re gonna have to find some other way in. That lock ain’t gonna break. At least not until after my foot does.”
Inez looked over at Larry, “You didn’t look inside, did you?” Knowing he must not have she went on, “There are some bodies laying on the floor in there. One of them looks to be law enforcement.” She paused to rub her eyes, “From what I saw, it looks like several people were trapped in there. They barricaded themselves in, while zombies beat on the door. That’s where all the blood on the door came from. Then - now some of this part’s speculation - someone inside was infected, maybe more than one, and bit the others. What I’m sure of is that the officer shot everyone else in the head, and then ate his gun.”
Pat looked over at Larry, who raised an eyebrow in a silent ’I dunno’, then asked, “What makes you so sure that’s how it happened? You can tell all of that from one little glimpse through a narrow little window?”
Inez, irritated, answered him, “Boy, I was creating scenes like that one before you were born. There were several times I found myself making a hit look like a murder suicide. Remind me sometime to tell you about a Mafioso in Newark who shot his compatriots, before turning the gun on himself.”
“Seems like I heard something about that. I was just a kid at the time, but it was all over the news, a big deal because they found out he’d been spying for the Soviets.” Larry said.
Inez grinned at him, “That’d be the one. Sometime remind me to tell you what happened to Jimmy Hoffa.” She stood up, “But not now, right now we need some medical supplies.”
Pat looked around, “Inez, I’m sure there’s stuff like that all over this hospital, but I’m pretty sure the surgery suites and supply closets are going to be darker than dark without electricity.”
“We’re not after a surgery suite, just tape, bandages, antibiotics, and painkillers. Stuff like that.” Inez told him. “Now let’s figure out how we’re going to get this fucking door open.”
Pat stood up, “If that’s all you need, screw the damn door. Follow me,” and walked back out onto the sidewalk. When he cleared the doors he slowed down, briefly looking around. Spying what he was after, he went over to the nearest ambulance. Inez was right behind him when he rounded the rear corner of the ambulance, and found the doors were opened, and the interior had been ransacked.
“Well, shit. Someone beat us to it. Nice thought though.” Inez told him, with a pat on the shoulder.
Pat didn’t say anything, he just looked over at the other ambulance, and started towards it. “Pat, it’s not going to be any better than this one. Let’s get back inside and start working on that door.”
Pat stopped and turned, “I’m pretty sure the other one’s intact. It‘s got a guardian.”
“What makes you say that? What kind of a guardian?”
“When I checked it out earlier, I noticed that the back end was closed, and I heard moaning coming from inside. That means either someone’s getting laid, or there’s a zombie in there. I’m betting on zombie, myself. Although it wouldn‘t hurt my feelings if somebody around here got laid.” He turned back and resumed walking.
Larry let out a chuckle, and passed by Inez, following Pat. Inez stood there for a minute before following, trying to decide who he meant by ‘somebody.’ Deciding she really didn’t care, she caught up to them at the rear of the other ambulance, where they were listening to the door.
After listening for a minute they stepped back, “I hear at least two,” Pat said, “maybe more, but at least two.”
“That’s sort of what I figure too.” Larry told him. “How do you want to do this?”
Pat thought for a second, glanced at the doors, and at Inez, before answering, “Here’s what we do, you get that side and I’ll get this side. We’ll both open our door, and Inez can shoot anything inside. How’s that sound?” Pat asked, looking at Inez, then Larry.
Inez looked back at him, “I’m impressed, Pat. On one condition though, I want the silenced Glock. No sense in advertising to the whole zombie world where we are.”
They quickly assumed their positions, and after Inez checked the Glock, they pulled the doors open. Inez, who had positioned herself about six feet from the door, had a zombie land right at her feet. Taking two steps back, she placed a round right in the top of its head. When it had collapsed, like a puppet with its strings cut, she proceeded to shoot the other zombies, who were just then falling/climbing out of the ambulance. After the shooting was over they counted six zombies. Looking them over, they decided it was the two person ambulance crew plus what must have been a family of four. Pat wouldn’t have thought that a whole family would have been allowed to ride in the ambulance. Of course, when dealing with a zombie apocalypse, some rules get overlooked.
Seeing that the supplies were relatively unscathed, they gathered what they needed and went to work on Ruth. Inez, among her many other skills, had some first aid training. “We’re not talking surgery or nothing. Just needed to be able to deal with some injuries in the field.” Careful examination of Ruth’s wound showed that the bullet had stopped against one of her ribs. Inez told them it really had gone through Bill first, and that’s why Ruth was still alive. She felt pretty sure the rib was broken, but that nothing serious was hit. Finishing up, she told Larry to make her comfortable, while she sat down for a minute.
Pat walked up and sat down beside her. “Inez, Bubba saw something as we came through town. He thinks there are survivors at the high school.”
Inez, chin on her knees, spoke without opening her eyes. “Forget it Pat. Anybody inside the high school has been dragged out of their hidey hole kicking and screaming by now, and have switched sides to the enemy. Going into the high school is nothing but suicide.”
“Well, that makes sense, but they’re not in the high school. They’re in the stadium. You know, tall chain-link fences, water, toilets, bleachers, and locker rooms. From what Bubba said, it sounds like most of the town is outside the stadium trying to get in. But he swears he saw people waving from the top of the bleachers.”
Inez lay down on the sidewalk, on her back, eyes closed, “Damn I’m tired. Tell you what, let’s find somewhere to spend the night, and we’ll talk about it later. Ok?”
“Sounds like a plan.” Pat said, and lay down beside her.