36 Chapter 35: Explanations and Preparations
The room was quiet as everyone was stuck in their own thoughts about what they had just witnessed. People using weird abilities, mass zombies roaming away from cities, and worse of all giant monsters eating humans like snacks. It was all a bit much to take in and many people in the room weren't taking it so well. Some people were frozen in place paralyzed with fear, others looked as though they had lost all hope as they seemed to be on the verge of tears. One thing for certain was that everyone outside of Joshua's main group were giving up.
It was in that moment that Thomas turned to look towards Natalie and the other two girls in the room. For a moment he looked a bit hurt at the fact that someone he had known for a while and had helped gain a standing in her job would not tell him something so important. That's when he walked over to Natalie before asking one simple question. "Why didn't you tell me?"
Natalie looked up towards the approaching Thomas with a nervous expression. Even now she couldn't tell him about her abilities sense that would still go against the rules, but she wasn't sure how well he would handle that response. "I…well we aren't allowed to tell others about it. Otherwise we will be taken away to who knows where and that's all we can say." Natalie said before looking away from him.
"Are you serious? People are dying and we've been struggling to fight these freaks of nature and all you have to say is that!" Thomas started to shout out in rage. He got right up in Natalie's face and grabbed her shoulder rather harshly before continuing. "You've got all these powers right? From the start you could have helped people back in town. You could have protected the people of the town that were stuck in that mess! Hell you probably could have saved David, but I guess he wasn't important enough for you huh?"
At that comment Thomas found a dagger at his neck. Two cold eyes were staring at him as Madalyn pulled his hand off of the now crying Natalie. She then kicked him in the chest sending him stumbling backwards at the surprisingly powerful impact, he was barely able to stay on his feet. When he got his bearing he was met with a fist to the face that sent him to the floor in pain. He grabbed his now broken nose and grunted in pain as he writhed on the floor for a moment. When he finally settled down he noticed everyone staring at him, but the one who was directly in front of him was Joshua. The leader of the group was looking down on him in a way that he had never felt before. The shame started to eat away at Thomas until he looked away and pulled his self-off the floor. His nose was still dripping blood, but nobody seemed to be in a rush to help him but were instead focused on Joshua who had now turned away from the mess of a man in front of him.
"This…this is exactly why I didn't want you guys to know about this. The first reaction of finding out someone you've known for so long, someone who has fought alongside you, and someone who had put her trust in you time and time again can't tell you something important was this." Joshua said as he turned back to stare down Thomas. "Natalie…a woman who cried her heart out after trying everything she could to help someone important to her gets this type of treatment right away huh? If you hadn't noticed even the woman on the broadcast didn't say anything about why people were able to use special abilities. The reason for that is just as Natalie explained, they are not allowed to say why they have the abilities otherwise they will be forced to leave and probably end up wherever everyone else who disappeared is or maybe a worse scenario."
The room was quiet for a moment before Thomas spoke through gritted teeth with a nasally voice. "If that's the case then how did you find out about it? Why are we all in the dark while you seem to know so much if they can't tell anyone?" He asked while looking towards Joshua in confusion. The punch had clearly cleared his mind, but he was still hurt at the fact his own subordinate would let someone else know something so important and not him.
"Easy, Nathan and I simply figured it out." Joshua replied causing several people to look at him in confusion. "While fighting alongside them back in town when everything started I was able to see them use their powers in dangerous situations. Hell it should have been obvious to you Thomas, if you had took a second to notice how the blond girl from back then was able to knock the creatures heads off like she was teeing off on them. We confronted them later on and were able to guess the situation after putting all the clues together. So they never told us in the first place, we just figured it out ourselves."
"Then why didn't you tell us?" Thomas continued to argue.
"Tell me Thomas how do you feel after seeing what happened on the broadcast? How do any of you feel?" Joshua asked.
"Hopeless, like everything I've been trying to do was pointless." Thomas said as he clinched his hands in frustration and anger.
"Exactly, what do you think would have happened if I had told you guys this when we first arrived at the mansion?" Joshua continued to question. The room went quiet as everyone tried to figure out what he was getting at. It was then that Madalyn answered him instead.
"If you had told them back then they would have all acted like they are now, pathetic and afraid to do anything." Madalyn said as she glared at all the men in the room. "You pathetic people wouldn't even stand up to one stupid arrogant fool back when I needed help, what makes you think any of us would think you would stand up to creatures like that if you had the knowledge of what they were capable of."
"Exactly. If I had told you guys about a boss monster being around when we first met or the fact that the girls were given special abilities there would only be two ways I could see you all reacting." Joshua said as he held his hand up as though he were counting. "One you would have all demanded to move further away and keep on the move so as to be as far away from the giant monsters as possible. If that were to happen then this base would have never been built and half of you would have been killed by this point do to roaming zombie hoards attacking us without a proper place to defend from. Two, you would have put all the responsibilities on the girls and not put any effort in protecting yourselves. My friends stuck in japan have seen the exact same situation up close so I wouldn't be surprised if that were the case."
The room was quiet again as many of the people realized that his claims were probably true. If they had all felt hopeless from the start they wouldn't have done all the things that allowed them to safely scout the area and defend themselves against the hoards they had encountered so far. Before anyone could respond Joshua continued his rant.
"Besides you act as if these girls have done nothing to help you this entire time when that is far from the truth." Joshua said once again turning towards a now embarrassed Thomas. "If it weren't for them you would probably have been forced to fight a hoard of five hundred zombies the first time zombies attacked this base without any warning. If Natalie hadn't used her ability to tell us ahead of time then we never would have been able to respond in time before Jacob had lead all those zombies straight to your doorstep."
"Hell that's not even mentioning the fact that we killed that monster back at the factory. If that thing had made its way here then these fences wouldn't have been able to stop it." Madalyn said getting a nod from Joshua and a look of surprise from the town's folk.
"You guys killed one of those monsters?" One of the men in the group asked with an incredulous look.
"Yes we did. Thanks to their abilities we were able to put one down for good. It was much smaller and clearly not of the same class as the one in the broadcast, but it was still over ten feet tall and strong enough to break through the heavy metal doors at the factory building." Joshua sad causing everyone to grow tense and more chatter to break out. Joshua held his hand up to get everyone to go back to being quiet. "Here's the deal. If we want to survive and get to meet our families again, then we're going to have to kill that monster in town."
"Are you serious? Even you said that the one in town is on a different scale than the one at the factory." Thomas nearly shouted in surprise. "Wouldn't that just be suicide?"
"We don't have the time to just wait and see if someone else can get the job done. Those monsters in the city are unbeatable at this point. They treat us like nothing more than toys to play with and more people in cities will die due to their arrival. When more people die more zombies will be made and when more zombies are made more of them will start to roam towards rural places like this. Eventually that haze will cover the whole world and at that point there will be nowhere left to hide, nowhere left to defend." Joshua went silent for a moment as he let that thought sink in for a while. That was when Thomas responded so meekly and low that Joshua could barely make out his words.
"Why does it have to be you that does it? Why can't it be someone else, someone with more people with powers to fight together? Here there's only us, three super powered girls, one professional fighter, and a bunch of people from a small town. What makes you think we can be the ones to kill one of those abominations?" Thomas voice grew louder the more he spoke.
Joshua smiled back causing people in the room to pay attention to him. "Simple, because why not? We've fought hordes of zombies, we've killed a giant of a monster, and we've worked together enough to know how to rely on each other at this point. I'm not asking you guys to fight with me, which would do nothing but get you killed. All I ask for you to do is continue what we've been doing so far and not give up hope. The moment you give up is the moment you're starting to wait for death. Nothing more and nothing less."
"If you don't want us to fight with you, then how do you plan to kill it?" The mayor asked as he was the first person to start to realize how far they had nearly fallen after Joshua's words.
"That's for us to figure out, while you all defend the base and live on. That's all. Now that you guys are aware of the girls powers we can even improve the bases defenses to give us a better chance if a boss monster somehow made its way here. Leave the rest to us." Joshua replied getting nods from everyone else in the room. "Now we better get started we don't know how long we have before more zombies' head this way or the boss from town awakens. Until then everyone will help Madalyn with traps seeing as her abilities are best for that while Natalie helps you guys get better at archery. We're going to stop scouting for supplies for now sense I get the feeling we have more than enough at this point to last for however long this thing takes to end."
With that Joshua headed out of the room preparing to get ready for the next few days. He wasn't sure when but he knew the boss nearby would awaken soon. The people left behind in the room quickly followed suit and moved out to begin to work on the defenses with Madalyn as quickly as possible. The only person left in the room was Thomas who stood there by his self, alone to his thoughts. Natalie didn't even look towards him when she left and that had hit him extremely hard.
Over the next couple of days the defenses around the base were improved significantly with the help of Madalyn and surprisingly Laura. Madalyn had used poison gas traps in the forest to help slow down any incoming threats while also filling the ditches with acid so that the bodies would melt down quickly instead of pile up and eventually be overcome. She also made several containers of poison gas for people to use in emergencies. Most were kept by the main group to use in their future assault on the big boss, but some were left for people to use to defend the base.
Laura on the other hand had used her power over fire to help melt down and reform extra metal into useful defenses around the fence. There was metal plating put up against parts of the fence to prevent zombies from clawing their way through. There was also deployable rolled up metal spikes that could be placed wherever necessary in a bid to injure approaching enemies. All this time Natalie was busy helping people improve in their archery, but she hadn't spoken a word to Thomas ever since their confrontation.
It was on one of these days of busy activity that a loud roaring sound came from the direction of town. A wave of killing intent reached all the way to the farm and passed it causing several people to freeze up in fear. Joshua looked towards the direction of town and thought it was high time he got a good look at what he was going to be up against.