Title: Three Floors Down, Then Out
Challenge: Short Challenge
Rating & Warnings: I’d rate it a solid PG-13. There is a bit of gore but if you’re into the fandom, it’s nothing.
Summary: Shane tries to get out of the hospital and runs into some resistance along the way.
Word Count: 1426 (Sorry! I got a bit out of control on this one!)
Author’s/Artist’s Note: Based on The Walking Dead. This scene was actually shot – it goes with episode 1x06, TS-19 – but was cut from the final product. To my knowledge, this scene has never seen the light of day, which is a shame because it explains a lot. There was a soldier, there were red tags, and the bit with Shane and the soldier shooting the walker did happen. The rest, I just sorta filled in the blanks. Hope you like it. He was trying to be quiet at first – it just didn’t last long *grin* Hope this will satisfy the prompt anyway. Oh, one more thing: This is unbeta’d - any and all errors are mine.
Prompt used: someone is trying to be quiet
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Shane opened the hospital door and looked in, one last time, at his friend. Shane's eyes scanned Rick carefully, looking for any sign of life that he might missed before. The machines remained deathly silent, Rick's chest still and motionless. Shane closed his eyes and pulled the door shut again, resting his hand for just a moment on the handle. "How am I going to tell Lori that he's gone? And Carl? How do I tell him his father is dead?" Shane thought.
His attention was brought back to the present by the sounds of walkers moaning and gasping as they shambled around the corner down the hall. In the distance, he could hear the pop-pop-pop of machine gun fire. Just minutes earlier, he'd watched as soldiers gunned people down in the hallway not far from Rick's room. Afraid for his own life, he'd hidden behind Rick's bed when a soldier had opened the door to check the room. Shane knew he had to get out of the hospital and get back to Lori and Carl. He had to get them out of town, get them to the Refugee Center in Atlanta. He had to take care of them, protect them. For Rick.
Shane grabbed a gurney and pulled it in front of Rick's door, hoping that the walkers wouldn't be able to get past it and into Rick's room. He knew the walkers were flesh-eaters. That much he'd seen for himself. It was bad enough he had to leave Rick behind; the thought of those things getting in, maybe eating Rick's body, was more than Shane could handle. He looked up and saw a group of walkers coming his way. He pulled a handkerchief out of his pocket and put it over his nose. His eyes were stinging from the gun smoke in the air and from the dust that continued to rain down from the ceiling after the explosion earlier. He grabbed his pistol and, with a last look back at the door, started down the hallway toward the exit.
"Three floors down, then out. Three floors down, then out." Shane repeated the mantra to himself, trying to move as quietly as possible. He kept his gun aimed out, sweeping it from side to side as he looked for possible threats. He knew the walkers were attracted to sound and he could still hear sporadic gunfire so he knew that the soldiers were still nearby. Stealthily, he made his way down the hallway, dodging gurneys, random bits of shrapnel from the explosion, and the bodies that littered the floor in places. He passed a small group of people that had been executed by the soldiers and was sickened as he realized that some of the people were just kids, barely out of middle school. "What the fu-?" he muttered to himself as he forced himself to look away, to keep going.
He finally made it to the stairwell and flew down the flights of stairs as fast as he dared to move. His own footsteps sounded horribly loud, echoing against the walls in the dark stairwell. He reached the bottom floor and pressed his ear against the door, straining to listen for any sounds on the other side of the door. Hearing nothing, he pulled the door open and went through, weapon first. As he scanned the room, he noted that the sound of gunfire was much closer and that the smoke was thicker here. He knew that there had to be soldiers somewhere on this floor. He gauged the distance to the main doors, debating the wisdom of sacrificing stealth for speed. He closed his eyes and leaned back against the wall, mentally gearing up to sprint down the hallway and out the doors as fast as possible.
He heard a sound, a scuff of boots against the tile floor, and opened his eyes to find the barrel of a machine gun in his face, the soldier behind the gun wide-eyed and looking desperate.
"Whoa!" Shane yelled as he raised his pistol, holding it tightly with both hands and aiming at the young soldier's head. "Hold up, soldier! I'm Officer Shane Walsh, with the King County Sheriff's Department. Put your gun down!"
"Where's your tag, officer? You have to have a red tag!" the soldier yelled back, his hands shaking as he held this weapon.
"What tag? I don't know anything about any tags! Dammit, put your gun down NOW!" Shane and the soldier stared each other down, neither one willing to back down. Shane lowered his voice and said, "Listen to me, please. My name is Officer Shane Walsh. I'm with the King County Sheriff's Department. I don't know about these tags. I just came to try to save my friend. He's upstairs, was in a coma. He was shot. He... The machines shut down and he stopped breathing. I have to get back to his wife, his boy. Please, stand down."
The soldier opened his mouth to speak but screamed instead; in all the noise of Shane and the soldier yelling at each other, a walker had gotten close enough to make a grab for the soldier and nearly managed to take a bite out of his arm. The soldier scrambled back and swung the barrel of his gun at the walker, getting a shot off that hit the walker in the stomach. Shane raised his gun and shot the walker in the head. The back of the walker's head seemed to just explode; bits of brain and bone splattered onto the wall and dribbled onto the floor as the walker fell.
The soldier stumbled back, nearly falling onto the floor with the weight of the walker suddenly gone. Shane grabbed his hand and held him on his feet. They looked at each other for a moment, both breathing hard from the terror of the moment.
"Th-thanks for that. He almost had me." The soldier's voice broke as he stuttered his thanks, his face pale and his eyes never leaving the walker's body. "That was the first one I've ever been that close to." Shane nodded and said, "I get that. They're scary as hell, sneaky sometimes. Gotta watch every move you make, every sound. And always shoot them in the head. That's the only thing we've found that works."
The soldier looked around and spotted the body of what used to be one of the hospital administrators lying nearby. He walked over and grabbed the tag, putting a bullet into the head of the administrator just to be sure. He turned and handed the tag to Shane. "Here, put this on your shirt. That'll get you out of here, past the guards, safely. Anyone who hasn't been infected was issued a red tag. I don't know how you missed that; the tent was set up right out front. Anyway, I owe you. Take it and go."
Shane clipped the tag to his shirt as he said, "I came in the back way, straight up to Rick's room. I didn't stop at the front at all. I wanted to hurry but I was too late anyway." He looked up at the ceiling, remembering the people in the hallways. "So, those people that you guys... They were infected? I thought maybe y'all were executing everyone in the hospital."
The soldier looked at Shane, aghast. "We're the military, not monsters. Those people were a danger, whether they knew it or not. Look, I don't like it but I follow orders." Shane held his hands up and said, "Hey, I'm sorry. I didn't mean anything by it. I just... That's how it looked. That's all." He held his hand out to the soldier to shake.
The soldier nodded and shook Shane's hand. "The name's McKenzie. I'm sorry about your friend but look... maybe he's better off where he is now. This place, it's done. Get out of here, get back to his family, and keep them safe. That's all you can do for him now, Officer."
Shane nodded and shook McKenzie's hand. "Maybe you're right. Stay safe, soldier. Remember, aim for the head."
McKenzie nodded and shouldered his weapon, heading in the opposite direction across the hospital lobby. Shane watched him go for a moment, then muttered to himself, "Come on, Walsh. Three floors down, done. Then out." He huffed out a breath and sprinted across the lobby to the front doors, staying low and making sure that the red tag on his chest was visible as he moved.