By:Walter G. Esselman
Liberty burst out onto the roof and into the cool night air.
Sergeant Wu pointed. "Over there."
Swiftly, Liberty reached the edge of the Old Armory and knelt down. She braced her arms on the lip of the roof.
"Three blocks down. Not sure who," explained Wu. The rotund man spoke calmly, but she could hear the concern in his voice.
Daylight was fading quickly.
Liberty lifted her Steyr rifle. Through her scope, she saw the whole tableau.
"What've we got?" asked the Sergeant.
Liberty began to speak, but then stopped to take the toothbrush out of her mouth. Shoving it into a pocket, she was faced with another immediate issue. With chagrin, she spit over the side of the roof, which her Mother would have not approved of. But it was only zombies down there.
Still, she felt a little bad, as she looked through her scope again.
"Little girl in passenger seat," reported Liberty. "She's putting on her seatbelt." In her head, she added. 'Good girl'.
The little girl jumped suddenly as several shards of tempered glass shot across the cab and almost reached her.
"Driver's seat looks empty," she said thoughtfully.
More glass came from the driver's side window.
Liberty whistled. "That is the biggest Goddam I mean, darn zombie that " She noticed something on its hands. "What the heck!"
"What?" asked Wu.
"It's got metal tied to its fists," said Liberty.
"Maybe they did it before they turned?" suggested Wu.
"I don't know, but what do they say in movies ," said Liberty, who had been a librarian before this. "'Permission to take the shot?'"
Wu chuckled. "Yes. You have the order."
The massive zom slid to the ground, almost gracefully, and did not get back up.
In the driver's seat, a big Mexican man popped his head up, gave a little wave, and then ducked back down again. There was an excruciatingly long minute. Other zoms were closing in on them.
The truck started and immediately headed straight for the Old Armory.
Wu smiled. "Well, let's get ready to greet our new guests."
"I can rope down," offered Liberty.
"It's called 'repelling'," teased Wu, like a big brother.
"Like you are 'repellant'?" asked Liberty with mock seriousness.
Sergeant Wu chuckled.
As they got ready, the librarian-turned-sniper tried to join in on the laughter, but she had a hard time laughing lately.
Find out how Liberty gets her smile back in Liberty's Run Book 1, out September 9/7/2021:
Librarian-turned-sniper, Liberty, finds that some darn aliens created the zombie apocalypse. And they kidnapped an 11-year-old boy, who might be the key to a vaccine.
Spiriting the boy away, Liberty is soon assisted by the badass Uncle Danny who is no relation to them. To make matters worse, the aliens drop off 5-foot tall, predatory birds that may actually be intelligent.
Despite the zombies and aliens, Liberty's Run strives to take a realistic approach to how one could survive in an environment like this.