Clown World: Book One, Chapter Five…new writing, unedited…

They clicked back on in time for us to see the first rank rush the wall. I swung the machine gun around and fired, rounds ripped through the bodies. More bodies climbed over their fallen and continued to charge.
Rae fired her weapon with one hand, while holding the handheld and issued orders to her team.
“Get out there and distract them. We’re getting swarmed here!”
Rifle fire came from near the main gate, as her team spread out and picked their shots. Some of the squad laid down a volume of fire, the rest threw grenades into the middle of the horde. The explosions ripped through the animated flesh of the swarm and flung them in every direction. Screams replaced the groans, and the swarm pivoted toward the ground team.
I burnt through three boxes of ammo trying to keep the horde’s attention.
“Get out of there,” Rae shouted. “Move!”
The swarm fell upon the team and tore them asunder. Teeth flashed, blood squirted from jugulars and soaked the ground. I kept firing. Arms and legs got ripped off in the frenzy of the lifeless corpses, their hunger unending. Rae sobbed and fired from the tower, her screams filling the night air, almost as guttural as the moans of these damned souls.
In the swarm’s frenzied state, they paid no attention to us burning through ammo. We stacked bodies three or four high, and still the Lurkers came. Rae was filled with fury as she shouted “get some” as she unloaded on the creatures that killed her team. I picked up the handheld and spoke into it.
“X-ray this is Tower 3. Send back up, now. We can’t hold it any longer.”
I dropped the handheld and put the last of the ammo into the machine gun. The swarm turned to face us, the blood of the patrol members fell from their mouths.
Now, it was our turn.
As the horde of Lurkers prepared to charge, the main gate opened and the throaty rumble of high-performance engines roared. Two jacked up trucks, outfitted with heavy brush guards and machine guns attached to pedestals in the beds, tore into the swarm. The drivers slammed into them and sent the undead flying.
The swarm roared its defiance at the this new intrusion.
Machine gunners riddled the animated bodies with bullets. I checked my fire as the vehicles gunners destroyed what was left of the swarm. At the base of the hill, two silhouettes watched as the swarm got massacred. One of the gunners let out a war whoop, and traversed the weapon prior to unloading on the remainder of the swarm.
“He reminds me of Ted,” Emily said in a sad voice. I’d focused so intently on what was happening outside, that I had plumb forgotten about Emily. Tears wet her cheeks.
“Are you okay, Emily?”
The gunners cycled down, and the drivers drove back through the gates. Our fight with the Lurkers was ended, we had vanquished them. Emily walked to the edge of the tower and looked down at the carnage.
“I’m sorry I didn’t help you, Jake.”
“It’s okay, Emily. Sit down here and take a break, kiddo. It’s going to be okay.”
She sobbed as she sat on the three-high stack of sandbags. Rae was on the handheld getting the damage report. Emily stared at me for a minute and then looked at the floor.
“I’m not cut out for this new world, Jake. I’m not a killer. All I’ve ever done-from age three- is entertained people by dancing and pretending to be something I’m not. I am the type of person you mentioned earlier.”
“We’ll never make it to Colorado, Jake. I can’t do this, and I’m hindering you from making it.”
Rae put her hand on my shoulder and lifted her chin toward the base of the stairs. I looked up at Rae and nodded.
“Let me talk to her for a minute, Jake. You should go downstairs and check on something.”
“Will do.”
I walked down to the bottom of the stairs and sat down. My hands trembled from the adrenaline that rushed through my body. Rae knelt down beside Emily and held her hands.
“Look at me, Emily. You’re much stronger than you know. Jake needs you. He’s all alone out here, just like you are, and you are his salvation.”
“I don’t understand what you mean, Rae.”
“Jake’s a soldier, sweetie. He needs something to fight for, all soldiers do, and you’re his something.”

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