"It took you long enough, you schmuck.", Rob grinned and tossed the duffle bag at Lloyd.
"Well, you see that ugly guy right there?", he pointed behind Rob.
Rob turned around and gasped and backed away from the lifeless creatures laying on the floor and on the table.
Lloyd chuckled, "That one on the table was dead when I got here. The one on the floor was trying to get down there.", he tilted his head and unzipped the duffle bag, "Daaaamn, those are some nice guns."
Hope stood near the open door, rubbing her wounded shoulder softly, watching nervously for something to come out. Max put his hand over hers, she jumped in surprise, then smiled.
"You've got to stop doing that."
"Sorry, here.", he handed her the magnum and her jacket.
She put the jacket on, "So, what now?
"I've got a safe room in the basement of my apartment building. It was always off limits to people because it used to be used by Clauden's scientists. It's been out of use for about five years now, so I've brought supplies, food, and heaters down there.", Lloyd took a rifle out of the duffle bag and offered it to Max.
"You knew this was going to happen, didn't you?", Hope walked toward him slowly.
"No. I just expected it."
"You can't do that sort of thing and expect to have complete and total control over it."
"Look, lady, there's no time for this. Either you shut up and go or you don't go at all, got it?", he walked past her quickly, brushing his shoulder against hers.
Rob shrugged and put the duffle bag over his shoulder as he followed Lloyd out of the room.
"He knew about this."
Max looked at her, "What do you mean?"
"He knew this would happen, after all, this outbreak wasn't an accident."
Max sighed heavily, "Maybe we can get some answers when we're in a safer place? Let's go."
Hope nodded and followed Max to where Lloyd and Rob were.
"I'll scout ahead and make sure it's clear, then you'll move ahead at my signal. Sound good?"
"Yeah, but we should go one at a time.", Rob suggested, "That way, if anything happens, someone will have our back and the whole group won't be taken down."
Lloyd nodded, then readied his gun, he ran out of the door quickly, then crouched behind a black turned over car.
"So, who's next?", Rob asked nervously.
"I'll go.", Hope stepped toward the doorway of the clinic.
"Yeah,", she crouched down and waited for Lloyd's signal, "you forget I've had more training than you guys.", she said shakingly.
Rob knelt down beside her, "We've got your back, but be careful."
Lloyd raised his hand and made a "come here" motion. Hope breathed in deeply and ran forward.
The sun was setting, giving everything a warm glow from the fading sun. The wind blew harder than before, tossing Hope's hair as she ran, along with papers and leaves. She slowed her pace and stopped, crouching next to Lloyd.
"See that pole? About two hundred yards down?", he whispered.
Hope followed his gaze and nodded.
"I saw movement down there, I don't know what it was. It could be a survivor or something else, I don't know.", he paused, "Keep your eye on it while I get them two over here."
"If it's something else, don't fire until you can get a clear shot at its chest.", he started to run toward a truck, "Wait for my signal.", he whispered.
Hope raised her hand, signaling to Rob, then focused her gaze on the pole Lloyd pointed out. Rob crouched next to her, "What are you looking at?"
"Lloyd said he saw something moving down there."
Rob sighed nervously, gripping the duffle bag's strap tightly.
"Go when Lloyd gives the signal."
Rob nodded and looked at Lloyd, then patted Hope on the shoulder as he started to run.
Hope raised her hand again, signaling to Max. A few seconds later, he was crouched down by her side.
"Lloyd should signal you s--"
She turned her head toward him, a questioning look laced her face. His pale eyes scanned over the city, searching for something. His eyes dropped down to the gun that Hope tightly gripped in her hands, he took out his own.
"What the hell's going on?", Lloyd muttered, shivering in the cool air.
"There's something down there." Hope whispered to Max.
"I know. The sun's setting, the Nocturnals are going to start coming out soon. We better go."
They quickly ran over to Lloyd and Rob.