Tiger had a close call today. We hit the warehouse that the guys calling them selves "The Wolves" had set them selves up in to try to take out their threat. I guess now is a good time for a little bit of back ground, in case anyone finds this some day.
We made it to Cleveland last week, on our way to Idaho. There are eight of us. "Tiger" is our commo expert, "Irish" runs our demolitions, "Bubbles" the breaching specialist(and general heavy), "Hellcat" is our designated marksman (or, markswoman, in her case), "Fury" and "Amish" are assault team members, and "Ace" and myself are team leaders. Outside of the core eight we picked up a few folks along the way; "Cowgirl" who takes care of our horses and is sweet as honey, "Valkyrie" our resident cook, "Twin" a former accountant turned pain in my ass, and "Kid" who is just that.
When we got here my team, consisting of Myself, Tiger, Irish, and Amish, went scouting into the outskirts to see if there was anything of use in the area while the others set up camp inside of what had been a movie theatre once. We didn't see much in the way of zeds. In fact, only twice did we see any, and there were only three in each group. We ran into the "Wolves" however, and things got considerably more hairy.
Looking at them, I would guess they'd started out as a biker gang before Z Day and probably absorbed remnants of street gangs and any survivors that didn't resist along the way. Mean as they come, but lucky for us they weren't good shots. Still, with all they lead they slung that first meeting, we decided to break contact. We ran into them on two other patrols, and Ace's team finally managed to track them to the warehouse. We decided to hit them the next night.
Hellcat set up at a third story window southeast of the target, and Ace and I split our teams off. He, Bubbles, and Fury secured the loading dock doors with little resistance to keep our exit open, Tiger, Irish, Amish and I infiltrated through the south door and made our way quickly through the small offices situated there. There were twelve of the enemy in those, all sleeping at the time, all dead now. When we got into the warehouse though, we found ourselves in a maze. We went row by row as best we could, until they turned into a single hallway of shelves pushed into position and barricaded every now and then by makeshift doors of aluminum siding. We got noticed pretty quick after that.
The fighting reminded me of the firefights in Baghdad. Close quarters, bullets everywhere, never any adequate cover or time enough to rest. It took us an hour, and more ammo than we had to spare, but we eventually dropped most of them. Four tried to make a break for it, but only one made it past Hellcat.
We found two more rooms on the far side of the warehouse, side by side. Amish breached the left door, and what we found......
There were thirty or so women crammed into that room. Stripped naked, tied to the walls, chairs, tables, or each other. We didn't need to ask what those "Wolves" had been doing to them, it was obvious. It hit Tiger hard, and I knew why. She turned and made for the other door while we started cutting bindings. We heard the crash of the door, a few seconds of silence, then swearing and shooting. Amish was closest to the door, and as soon as he made it through his M4 was at his shoulder and he was firing. I made it out next and saw why. Apparently one of the women in the other room had been infected. Now there were around 40 zeds streaming out, seperating Tiger from us.
She was already backed against a row of shelves with no escape route. We started trying to clear a path, but everyone was running low on ammo. I made the call for Ace and his team to assist. By the time they got there, Tiger was scaling the shelves and we were backing away from the ones that noticed us with our sidearms out. The second team finished the zeds off pretty quickly, and a quick check of Tiger showed us she hadn't been touched. It served to remind me, however, that we have to keep control at all times, or I could lose one of these guys.
We got the place cleaned out as best we could, and are working on feeding and clothing all the released women. No idea what we'll be doing next, but we can't let our selves get tied down here, and we can't take them all with us or it's going to be a long trip.