What else could I say? Intestines, liver, and some bulbous green thing, are not a pretty sight at the best of times.
I got up after giving my lukewarm opponent’s body the heave-ho. There wasn’t a wet-nap large enough to clean me off , so I didn’t bother fretting. Another thought took up my mind: where were the rest of them?
Minutes before, there were other biker zombies across the street with the reanimated nerd… or there had been prior to my unromantic hair-pulling experience. From where I was standing, there wasn’t a soul across the street to be seen.
I suppose they might have pulled back to relative safety, but they had the advantage in numbers. When you’ve got the advantage, and there’s only one opponent, you ought to attack. It didn’t make any sense… neither did racking my brain about it. I decided to put my efforts into frisking my playmates’ corpses.
In a trade/barter-based economy, you don’t let anything go to waste. At the very least, I got to claim a decent shotgun as my coup for this encounter. There’s no telling what a good weapon could net me on the open market, but I bet it would put food on the table for a while.
I did a quick whip-around of the bodies, and came up with the gun, twelve shells, four fixed-blade knives, a cheap folder, and three pairs of boots. Not a bad haul! It would have been even better if the recent kill hadn’t grabbed my hand when I was going through his pockets.
“Oh!” He moaned, bubbling thickened blood from the rent in his lung. “Oh.”
Why did I forget to decapitate him? Why?
Oh, yeah. I wanted to loot. Silly zombie executioner!
I pulled out of his grip and took a step backward. It was the first time I’d ever seen a zombie start healing, or be remotely functional, after taking that much damage. It was morbidly fascinating, and just a bit terrifying. When you cleave someone, you expect them to stop moving so they can pay proper attention to dying.
Children, this is why you always decapitate your kills, and put a big hole in their heads afterwards. It isn’t safe to leave stuff behind… when the mess will heal up and come and get you later.
There was no way I was going to whip out my sword for the job. A little too much “English” on the swing, and I’d bury the edge in concrete. That would be irresponsible sword-ownership on my part, and my swordmaker would beat the crap out of me for being so stupid.
I unholstered my .45—the one I’d retrieved from the zombie I didn’t kill—and double-tapped the critter at my feet. Whatever you could say about the lack of elegance in fighting with guns, they came in very handy for moments like those.
No head. No brains. No problem.
With my conscience clear of uncomfortable issues, I stowed my pistol, and packed away my new acquisitions in the saddlebags on my motorcycle. I had a decent grasp of the tactical situation, and I knew something more than little old me was needed to guarantee my success. Explosives.
The rest of my supplies were back at the bar, under lock and key. It made all the sense in the world to go by that terribly useful fountain again, and then back to Marvin’s place. I wanted to shave my damned head, drop off the goods, and pack a new bag for later… one that included a few of my precious hand grenades.
While there were people in the wider trading community who made various kinds of explosive material for self-defense purposes, I was hesitant to trade with them. Rumors of poorly mixed products, resulting in the users exploding prematurely or not at all, had a certain way of reducing my willingness to experiment. When in doubt, go with a time-tested military tool, if you had the opportunity to get your hands on them.
This is how I know my services are appreciated: people give me great stuff. The grenades were a particularly wonderful gesture from an older Veteran who had me clear the house next door or zombie squatters.
“I’d do it myself,” he told me, “but I’m out of fuckin’ ammo for my M-16… and I really don’t want to shoot the house full of holes. You’re young enough to get in there and make the wet work personal.”
I got as much out of former-Captain Hatcher, talking about tactical situations, as I did out of the dozen grenades he gave me when I was done. I was grateful he didn’t ask me to dispose of the bodies myself.
“Nope. I’m happy to take care of that.” He’d said, grinning from ear to ear.
My kind of guy.