“Ray.” Sansia choked as the word left her lips. They had reached Highway 3 and below them were pieces of bodies scattered all about the road, the highway looked as if someone had painted it red. The challenges they had faced trying to get back to the helicopter from the she wolf on the building seemed to dim in significance.
“We’ll set down over there and take a closer look,” Raydon said and his voice was low and steely as if he was trying to prepare himself for having to deal with some very bad news.
“There must have been hundreds of people out here to witness the event,” Sansia said fighting to hold back tears that threatened.
“They would have been completely exposed to the particles. On the outside like this they wouldn’t have stood much of a chance.”
Sansia sobbed and Raydon grunted.
“I’m sorry. We might still find Anara alive.”
“But in what state?” Sansia asked.
Raydon didn’t answer but seemed to apply himself to landing the helicopter.
“Whatever we find it will be better than wondering if Anara is out here somewhere hoping that someone will come and save her and no one does.”
Sansia nodded. Raydon was right, Anara deserved to have a friend that was willing to come to her rescue if rescue was still an option.
“I’m sorry too sir,” Sansia said.
“Sorry? What do you have to be sorry about?”
“I called you Ray; I didn’t mean to be forward or anything.”
“I liked it.” He glanced away momentarily. Was that a look of embarrassment on his face? “I liked it very much,” he said before strolling away from the helicopter in the direction of the highway. He liked it. Sansia was amazed to find the feeling of joy that washed over her at the simple stilted statement.
Raydon stopped as they reached the redness on the highway and stretched his hand back, Sansia took it automatically.
“They must all have been so scared,” Sansia whispered not sure if Raydon would have heard her.
“I imagine they were,” Raydon said stepping over what seemed to be part of a leg on the road.
“Maybe…we….we won’t recognize her.” That horrible lump in her throat threatened to stop her from speaking properly.
“Just stay close to me,” Raydon said his voice sounding quite firm.
Sansia didn’t argue; she had no desire to do anything else.
“Hello!” Raydon shouted not really sure who could respond from among this highway graveyard.
“Wolves…” Sansia pointed at the head of a wolf on the ground. “They must have been fighting each other.”
“Neither man nor animal survived this battle,” Raydon said.
“Especially not man.”
“Hello!” Raydon shouted again.
“Look,” Sansia said.
“An…an anklet.” Sansia dropped to the ground beside a foot with an anklet hanging off the edge of a protruding bone. It had little golden animal charms all around it. Sansia took it up slowly and rubbed the blood from it against her blouse. “This belonged to Anara. She loved animals.”
“Maybe it popped…” Raydon started to say.
“No. It’s not popped, it’s still clasped.” Sansia stared down at the foot in front of her. “This must be her foot.”
Raydon bent down beside her and slipped his arm around her shoulder urging her to her feet.
“It’s getting late Sansia, we need to find the body and make sure Anara’s…Anara’s dead.”
He was trying to be gentle but this was one of those situations that there was no way you could be gentle.
“Those things aren’t wolves, they’re monsters,” Sansia muttered.
“They’re just confused,” Raydon said.
“No,” Sansia pulled away jumping to her feet and walking through the body parts. “No they’re monsters.”
“Look,” Raydon said and Sansia hurried over to where he was standing.
They both stared down for a moment in silence.
“We can go back to the offices now,” Sansia said and turning on her heel started to hustle away. “But before we go we need to make one more stop.”
“Rick’s friend?” Raydon asked perplexed.
“No, a gun store; we need weapons and we need a lot of them.” Sansia had never felt so furious in her life.
“We have to go back first. That will have to be a second run,” Raydon said. “Getting into a gun store won’t be easy and weapons will be heavy to carry.”
She wasn’t listening to him, she was angry and she had every right to be, her only friend had been torn to pieces for what appeared to be no good reason.
There was the sound of a howl in the distance. It was getting dark and this was definitely not the time to be out on the streets. Perhaps Raydon was right, people always said revenge was a dish best served cold. Right now that saying was truer than ever, if she didn’t obey it she might end up being the dish being served.
“Fine,” she said but pulled away when Raydon tried to hold her hand. “We’ll go back to the office, for now, but we need to make a plan.”