Aunt Jody roused the next day, almost like her normal self. Meaner though. Real mean. She wanted to go back and kill that evil man who had beheaded Bobby, but Ben knew Dean had stayed to take care of that guy. Dean would only leave them for revenge, and he would definitely find them again after. Ben tried to talk her out of going back, which she finally agreed to in favor of waking Sam first.
Sam was not inclined to wake. Aunt Jody tried all the tricks Ben had used on her and a few more besides. Some of them were mean too, like poking Sam and trying to burn his hand with a lighter. Sam only screamed and cursed about Lucifer, and Ben and Jody spent nearly an hour trying to quiet him and kill all the croats that were drawn in by his screams. Aunt Jody didn't try to hurt Sam anymore after that.
Jody hid the Impala a little better and declared that she was going to walk the perimeter. Ben wanted to go with her, terrified at the thought of taking care of Sam all by himself, but Jody promised him that she just needed to clear her head and verify that everything was safe. She promised she'd leave a sign for Dean, though Ben wasn't sure what that was. He didn't argue, just snuck a nice, long look at Bobby's journal while Aunt Jody was gone. She hadn't let him touch Bobby's bag, so he could only sneak it once Jody was gone. He learned a lot of good things about his adopted uncle's illustrious career, but very little about the man himself. Except that he loved the word 'BALLS!', but Ben already knew that. He was surprised to learn that Bobby and Jody had worked several cases together before the apocalypse, and Jody had saved Bobby more often than the other way around.
Jody hadn't returned when Ben heard an engine roar past the farm house, then turn around and come back to definitely park outside. Ben grabbed his gun and peeked out the window to find two people on a motorcycle, and whoever was on back was slumped over and tied to the driver. The driver placed the kickstand down and took off her helmet, and Ben recognized Lisha, and so the guy was probably Garth. He holstered his piece as he ran out to help. “What happened?”
“I don't know.” Lisha hung her helmet on the handlebar and struggled to untie what looked like strips of bedsheet twisted together and tied around them. Garth's head lolled, and Ben hurried to hold him steady as Lisha freed him. “He didn't show at the prison folks' warehouse, so I told them to go on to the next spot and I'd come back to find Garth and hopefully you guys.” She turned to grab Garth, unable to dismount while he was still behind her. “Where's everybody else?”
Together they carefully lowered Garth to the ground, and Ben saw that his shirt, jacket and jeans were torn. He was bleeding, but it looked more like claw or knife wounds than bullet holes. “Sam's unconscious inside and Jody's walking a perimeter. She said she was going to leave some signs for Dean.”
Lisha nodded and hauled Garth back up, swinging one arm around her shoulders and letting Ben take the other. “I caught one of those. She's got angel and demon wards on the backs of street signs. Lucky I caught one in the rearview. You guys got any first aid kits?” She made a grimace when they pulled the door open and she saw Sam lying on the floor. “Not enough to do any good, I take it?”
“Well, we have a decent score, actually. We're not sure what's wrong with Sam, but I think he had some kind of head wound recently.” Ben cursed after he helped sling Garth across Sam and onto the sofa. “That's not true. That's what Dean's been telling everybody, but I know that's not true.”
She gave him an indecipherable look. “What is true, then?”
“I'm not sure. Dean thinks he can keep me innocent, but, I mean, come on.” He gestured out the windows. “I'm not letting shit take me unaware ever again. I listen when I can, learn what I can. Sam came back from Hell somehow, and I don't know what happened to him there – or, actually, I think it's when he got back. I didn't know him well before, but he seemed fine for a while. Bit of a dick, but otherwise fine. Then something happened at the prison, and he's been a wreck ever since.”
Lisha raised her eyebrows appreciatively. “Well, I'll give it to you straight, too. Those could be machete wounds from our fight with the vamps. But somehow even though it was broad daylight – and I'm pretty sure a waxing crescent moon besides – somehow I think I saw a werewolf in that fight. And, my friend, if that is true and what these slashes are from, my cousin here may have a mighty bad problem.”
Ben bit his lip. “Dean wants to kill any monster, but he was working with a witch at the prison. I saw it in Bobby's journal.” He slammed a hand over his mouth. “Christ, don't tell Aunt Jody.”
“I won't,” Lisha promised. “Say, show me the med kit you have. Let's get Garth cleaned up and we'll see what we can do for the both of them. And maybe you just don't say anything to Dean about Garth. I won't take him back to the prison folk. We have an island that we live on, locked safe rooms. We'll wait and see. If he changes, well, that can be managed.” She nodded her head vigorously. “This can be managed.”
Ben rushed to get the first aid box, eager now that he had a fellow hunter treating him as an equal. It was a good thing he helped and let Lisha dispose of Garth's ripped shirt and jacket, because Jody came running back in a hurry, ready for a fight, once she saw the motorcycle. Ben explained what happened as Lisha came back ready to help with Sam, so together they moved him to an actual bedroom.
Lisha dusted off the old bed before plopping Sam onto it, feeling his head, then she stared down at him, lost in thought. “So he thought that guy at the prison was Lucifer?”
“I don't remember much at the prison,” Jody admitted. “I remember the guy with the tank killing Bobby. I see it again and again. That's all I remember.”
“Yeah, he thought it was Lucifer,” Ben said. “Bobby yelled out that it wasn't him.”
Jody turned a blank stare on him, then it seemed to register. “Yes, that's right.”
“And if I remember correctly, Sam here is Lucifer's true vessel, is that correct?”
Jody stared at Lisha, then she gave a clipped nod in Ben's direction. Ben gasped and threw his hands in the air. “See what I mean? Yes, Sam is Lucifer's vessel and Dean is Michael's. Every-damn-body knows this, I mean come on.”
Jody gaped and looked ready to argue, but Lisha cut in. “Look, some dude looking like Lucifer obviously triggered some very real trauma. This isn't a demon virus or anything...” her voice caught a slight bit, “I think. He's battling some shit. We all do sometimes. Sam's gonna need like an actual trained PTSD therapist or something. As it happens, the one thing I'm good at is connecting refugees to proper communities. I've been learning and doing recon as I came back east. Now, I haven't been there, but I hear there's a real good hospital being run in Asheville, North Carolina. It's quite a drive, and I don't know how clear the interstate is from the south, but that's probably his best bet. If you hook up with the prison folk, you'll have better protection heading north.”
“Asheville?” Jody asked, wincing. “Is there nothing closer? That seems dangerous with Sam still needing to be carried. And how did you even get Garth on your bike, anyway?”
“It took some doing. Look, there's a closer hospital in Atlanta, but I've been steering people far from there. That's...where I lost my sister. Didn't exactly part on good terms." She patted her sidearm. "Garth and I were trying to rally more hunters to go finish the evil bastards, but the nearest place we knew was blasted in a wildfire and we got distracted hunting survivors. Lost several of our hunter connections to the blaze or the vamps. We were considering asking the prison council for help when we heard about them living so close to Atlanta, but we never got to that point before strangers started showing up with stories of cannibals and then some madman with a tank blew it all up.” Lisha shrugged. “One thing at a time, right? But we've already been gone close to a week, and Garth has a lot of dogs he's responsible for. I'm going to need to take him back to the island. He was...cut up pretty bad in that battle. He needs to recuperate, but I'm happy to take you guys on to Asheville after that if you want. Or I can just give you my connection if you want to try to make it on your own.”
Jody thought a minute. “As long as we're all here, I could watch all the boys while you see if you can find Dean and Cas. You seem good at finding people. How'd you find Garth?”
“Saw his bloody footprints and a trail of zombie bodies leading off into the woods. He'd found an embankment to set up his last stand.” She smiled sadly. “He was still conscious when I found him, barely, but he passed out on the ride. It was a good thing I thought to tie him to me just in case, but it made steering damned hard.” Lisha glanced back toward the parlor, then at Ben. “But yeah, if you guys stay safe here and watch him for me, I'll head out in the morning to find Dean. He's probably at their rendezvous point by now. I'm sure I just missed him when I turned west, but I was taking us back to the island.”
“Did anybody think to grab any of those long-range radios Sam and Dean had found?” Jody asked anxiously.
“I did,” Ben said, heading back out toward the bags.
“Good boy.” Aunt Jody followed him and rubbed his back, finally seeming like herself again.
“It's about time you guys started giving me some credit.”
The sound of dozens of walkers made its way into his head for many long moments before Glenn consciously realized what he was hearing, then he jerked awake with a shock, hurting bruised (broken?) ribs in the process. He looked around, eventually realizing that he was nearly hanging off a collapsed prison walkway. Smoke still smoldered in the air, and the only movement he could see was a small herd of walkers gathering beneath him. Luckily he had a gun slung across his chest. He stood unsteadily, trying to see as much of the prison as he could. Something must be on fire on the other side of the building, for thick black smoke was spiraling upward at one specific point. However, the smoke choking Glenn was coming from a nearby watch tower, which was presumably taken out by the Governor's tank.
Glenn didn't see the prison bus anywhere.
He remembered hurrying off it after he'd gotten the children aboard. Maggie had run off to find Beth, and when she hadn't returned by the time the shooting got bad, he hopped off and told the bus to go without them. Thoughts of Maggie started clearing his head, and he headed for the only door available to him.
Oh-so-carefully, he creaked it open and braced himself. Nothing came reaching out for him, so he leaned his head forward and listened. Hearing nothing within, he pulled the door wide and looked around as much as possible while the sunlight filtered in. Dust floated from the recent impacts, but everything looked clear, so he ducked inside and waited for his vision to adjust as the door shut behind him.
Making his way to Cell Block C, Glenn noted the damage done to the prison. There was a huge breach in the south wall just before the cells, and he had to kill a few walkers coming in through that hole. The cell block itself was clear, and he was able to just lie a moment in his own bed, trying to think. Maggie was gone if she wasn't here, and she'd left without grabbing their things. He sat up and grabbed his go-bag, then knelt down and pulled his riot gear out from under the bed. A thorough look showed that Maggie's was gone, so he hoped that she at least had that protection. He grabbed some of her clothes, Hershel's pocket watch, and the polaroid of Maggie that he'd taken during happier times, though he pushed back the "In case you never see her again” that bubbled up inside.
After donning his gear and checking his ammo, Glenn left in search of his wife. He fought valiantly against the gathering walkers outside, but they started getting too thick. He caught a glimpse of dark hair behind chainlink, and he grabbed up a lolling bottle of brandy and slipped inside a small fenced area where another survivor, dirty and banged up, sat staring dejectedly into her lap. “What the hell are you doing?” he asked her.
“I don't have a weapon.” She held up a small pistol and haphazardly swung it around. “Found this one, but I'm all out of ammo. I can't brain that many.” She smiled wryly at him. “We don't all have riot gear, you know. Anyway, I got knocked out and buried during the explosion, so I'm not top shape by any means. By the time I made it out, everyone was gone except zombies. I don't think I can outrun them, and I know my life depends on it. I tried to get back inside, but they cut me off."
Glenn nodded . “We'll have to help each other then. .22? Here.” He dug in his go bag and tossed her a box of ammo, then rummaged around for an extra knife. “I'm Glenn, by the way. You're one of the new people, right?”
The young woman snorted. “Visitors,” she clarified. “Nearly thought 'prisoner' if some of you'd had your way. I'm Emily.”
Glenn ripped a sleeve off one of the t-shirts in his bag, then tucked the scrap of cloth into the end of the brandy and shook it around to get the wick wet. “We're going to have to run for it. Try to use the knife as much as you can. Gunshots draw them in.”
“I've only ever rocked melee in D&D,” Emily admitted.
Glenn smiled. “You've got this. I'll toss this at that car, then we need to run around the building. The bus already left, so we need to head north to the first rendezvous point.”
“I don't know where that is.”
“Stick with me.”
He lit the molotov cocktail and threw it towards the car. The plan went off swimmingly, allowing them to escape their cage, but they were still swarmed as they tried to round the side of the prison. It was even thicker there. Walkers were simply everywhere after the Governor took the fence down, and the explosions and fires had only called more in. Glenn didn't know how long he'd been knocked unconscious, but it must have been a while. Everyone was gone. Or dead, he thought morbidly as he saw the Governor's body lying face-down out in the yard, a satisfying hole blasted through his skull.
The walkers they had inadvertently ran toward all turned and moved as if one, quickly overtaking them. Emily screamed as they were separated. Suddenly there was a gap in the throng and from the corner of his eye, Glenn caught walkers literally flying through the air. He could only focus on not getting his own face eaten, but once the throng cleared completely, he saw that one of Emily's companions, Aidan, had single-handedly saved them, though he now barely stood hunched, not even gasping, as if a dead man himself. “Thanks.” Glenn did gasp, doubling over. “Impressive.”
“That's because he's a freaking vampire,” Dean Winchester said behind him, and Glenn turned to find the hunter with arms crossed, glaring at Aidan, the angel Castiel ever-present behind his shoulder. He hadn't noticed them, but as he realized the whole side yard had been cleared, Glenn had to admit that they were all impressive. “Vampires within and vampires without,” Dean continued.
Aidan glared back at him. “I told you that we were not with them. I knew Bishop in Boston, but I had no clue he was here.” He turned back to Emily. “Are you okay? Are you hurt?”
“I'm okay. Glenn saved me.”
“We saved each other.”
Dean groaned. “Save the rom-com; we've got business to see to. I don't know where the hell my son and brother are. I'm hoping they're at that rendezvous point Maggie said you guys set up after hunter training, and I assume you want to find your people too. We can't stay here, but it's getting late. Let's move.” He waved to the angel, Castiel, and they turned to head north.
“Hey, our people didn't know anything about any of you guys' plans,” Emily said. “My brother and sister-in-law are somewhere out there.”
“Let's go to the warehouse,” Glenn urged. “If we don't see sign of them along the way, Maggie and I will help you find them. But I need to find Maggie, and he needs to find Ben, and they're likely both north. It's not too far, maybe fifteen miles.”
Emily and Aidan exchanged a glance. "We need to stick together at the moment,” Aidan admitted. “I took too many hits. I'm standing only because I fed on Dean –” Dean grumbled at the mention, but Aidan continued, “I am sorry about that, but reflexes took over. I stopped as soon as I came to, which was not near enough for full healing. Like I said, it'll probably kill me. And you're not well yet,” he insisted to Emily. “I'll probably get sick off his blood soon enough. We should stick together for safety. You'll need someone to watch out for you after I'm gone, at least until you find Josh and Nora and regain your strength somewhere.”
Emily reluctantly nodded, and they started their slow plod northward. There were no cars with gas left, and it soon became obvious that they'd never make it before sundown. Aidan needed the most help, followed by Emily, who was beat to hell on top of being weak and malnourished in general. Glenn wasn't okay either, he quickly began to realize as it became apparent that at least one rib was definitely cracked and not bruised. His head swam as well. Even Dean was lagging and breathing hard after walking maybe forty minutes, barely making headway between the exhaustion and continuously killing walkers as they traveled. They ducked down a side road that headed into a residential district, everyone on high alert as they looked for a secure house.
Aidan, who had the best eyes, spotted a house down the street with its door still closed and intact. The prison residents had long since raided the area surrounding the prison, but a house where the door wasn't kicked or broken in was definitely preferable. Dean and Cas cleared it anyway, looking unsuccessfully for walkers or human refugees. They had Glenn's bag, and Cas carried a bag Aidan had salvaged from the prison. He'd done a more thorough check for survivors after learning that he'd overlooked Emily lying unconscious beneath a pile of rubble. He'd found no survivors but had grabbed food, water, and a few blankets.
They bedded down as comfortably as they could, which wasn't very well as the throng of walkers continued to grow in the streets. Cas and Dean attempted to clear them out a couple of times the next day, but even with angelic help, they just kept piling in from all directions. That freaking tank blast had really screwed everyone in the vicinity, Glenn thought as he watched Dean angrily and futilely attempt to clean himself of walker juice with half-dry baby wipes. It was two full days before the herd thinned out enough and Aidan felt well enough to help, though he didn't appear to be getting sicker after feeding on Dean.
“Guess you're special too,” Aidan said as they finally began packing. He and Dean had almost made up over sharing different vampire lore while stranded. Aidan's vampire kindred sounded like a newer breed, born of a Mother vampire rather than the Father that Daryl had told them about. Aidan also claimed that the virus had created yet a new breed.
“Not much special about me. Just pig-headed.” Dean gave a disgruntled look. The vampire had healed considerably during their stay, but Dean wouldn't let Aidan feed on him again and Aidan deemed Emily not strong enough yet. Fighting the walkers had tired their vampiric ally back out, but Aidan insisted that they go ahead and move anyway. Not that Dean would have considered otherwise with fewer walkers in the streets.
Glenn struggled to keep up, but he could soon tell that he was actually the weakest link. Their two glorious days of rest wore off for him quickly, though he said nothing. Just kept dropping farther and farther behind, though luckily Emily kept watching out for him. She made the men hold back, anxiously watching as Glenn clutched his side and shuffled far too slowly down the street. “We need to find a car,” she declared.
“Probably,” Glenn reluctantly agreed, stopping just a moment to breathe when they'd almost caught up to the others. “I'm just holding you guys back. I can find another house to hole up in. You guys will make way better time.” He had a ringing in his head that didn't want to quit. He knew he wasn't even remotely well enough to continue at any pace. He heard Aidan say something about examining him, but he sounded so far away...
That was his last thought before darkness took him. When he came to, he heard the loud rumbling of a very large truck and sighed in relief, finally allowing himself to relax. They must have found a vehicle. A big one, from the sound of it. Glenn eventually opened his eyes and tried to sit up. He saw that Emily and Aidan sat nearby amongst a few bags and trunks, and they were in the back of a huge military truck. He peered through the back glass, surprised to see three strangers inside. Dean and Castiel were nowhere to be seen. “What the hell happened?”
Dean heard a guttural noise and whirled to see Glenn crumple to the ground. Aidan had already been heading toward him, and he quickly pulled the helmet off the kid. Glenn groaned but didn't wake. Aidan stayed kneeling and gave him a quick look over, during which Glenn moaned quite a bit more. He looked up at Dean and shook his head.
Dean's hands balled in impotent rage. “Dammit, I need my car.”
He turned back to machete the croats that began to once again stream from the treeline. Cas ran toward them with no prompting, but Aidan basically leaned against Emily and they both stayed hovered over Glenn as his last line of defense. Dean shook his head in disgust and ran farther into the fray without them.
More and more croats just kept coming from the treeline, and Dean and Cas each stalked up and down opposite sides of the road, swinging for what had to be a good ten or fifteen minutes. After fighting at the prison, constantly clearing the croats while they gathered firewood and built a pyre, killing all the ones further drawn in by the giant Bobbycue, then –- even during supposed rest -- he and Cas being the only ones attempting to free them from their suburban prison, Dean was fucking exhausted. He was cursing up a frothing rage by the time the damned things slowed down, and he whirled on Aidan. “Or maybe I need a competent fucking vampire! If I've got to be stuck with a disgusting leech who has the nerve – the nerve! – to feed on me, then at least BALLS up and have my back when I tolerate you, man!” Dean spun away and gestured at Cas. “And you! Why didn't you just mass-zap them like you did the shitload of vamps at the warehouse?”
Cas frowned and cocked his head. “The divine light didn't seem to affect croats quite the same way, and a celestial display powerful enough to fry them could alert Kali while we're too weak to flee.”
“Cas, man, that's bullshit! We haven't seen hide nor hair of Kali or her circle-jerk council this whole damned time, and it's increasingly looking like she doesn't give a single fuck about you. Not a single, solitary fuck! Her fuck farm is barren, and it's time you –” Dean stopped short as he heard a car door slam.
“You've got a damned mouth on you, you know that?” came a gruff voice from behind him. “What else you got?”
Dean whirled to see a buff military guy, dog tags and all, hopping off a huge military truck a short distance away, nonchalantly chewing a cigar stub. He had an M16 slung over one shoulder, but the dude was packing guns in more ways than one. Dean's eyes flicked back to the huge truck, even more pissed that he was so into yelling at Cas that he hadn't heard it coming. But his anger quickly fluttered away as he noticed a smoking hot pig-tailed lady with short shorts and long legs rounding the truck. He enjoyed that sight a moment before appraising the mullet-headed weirdo behind her, then Dean's attention finally fell back to GI Joe. “And you've got some felt-tipped ginger nonsense on you.”
The dude's eyes narrowed for a long moment, then he threw back his bright orange head and laughed. “I like you. Impressive work,” he said, surveying the carnage in the road and giving Dean a slow clap.
“I'm fresh out of hats, but Cas'll take your tips.”
The guy focused instead on Glenn, still pooled in a pile in the middle of the road. Emily had apparently held Aidan up while he'd killed at least two incoming croats that were lying over Glenn's legs. Felt-tip looked back at Dean. “You look like you could use some help, and we could sure as shit use yours. I'm Sergeant Abraham Ford, and these are my compatriots, Rosita Espinosa and Doctor Eugene Porter. We're on a mission to get Eugene to Washington, DC, and we could use a couple good men like you.” He glanced back at Aidan. “You've got potential, I guess.”
“Okay, I'll bite,” Dean said with a sigh. “Why does Eugene need to get to DC?”
“Because Eugene is a scientist, and he knows exactly what caused this mess.”
Dean's anger was forgotten as he laughed aloud, a full-on guffaw. He looked the mullet guy up and down and guffawed some more. “No. I don't think so.”
“Now listen here, Chuckles,” Eugene stepped forward and said in a surprisingly monotone voice for the insult, “my benign exterior may belie my staggering intellect, but you would do well to heed my words.”
“Eugene's been talking to the muckety-mucks up in Washington on his satellite phone. The past couple weeks, nobody's been picking up on the other end. We saw how you handled those corpses, and we could use your help. The fate of the world depends on it.”
“I hate to break your achy breaky hearts,” Dean said, not particularly hating it at all, “but I can one hundred percent guarantee you that man does not know what started this. And I can ninety-nine point nine percent guarantee that he's not been talking to any muckety-mucks up in Washington. Now, we know where our people are, and that's just a hop up Highway 16. It'd be awesome if you'd give us a lift.”
The sergeant narrowed his eyes again, then glanced back at Eugene. “Sorry, no can do. The interstate's a congested mess, so we're following 29 northeast toward Washington. This is a time-sensitive mission, and we don't do detours.”
“Well, good luck then.” Dean dismissed them and turned back to the others, not sure what to do about the wounded and weary for whom he now somehow felt responsible.
“You're not gonna get far like that.”
“It's just a few miles. You can't drop this guy off with his people, lots of capable people, and see if they want to join your fool's errand?”
The guy shoved his cigar stub back in a pocket and jerked a thumb toward his truck, and the other two turned back. “Have you not seen the incoming undead situation? 16 is northwest, and we are heading northeast. Now I know there ain't no GPS or nothing, so I would have to backtrack through land that is getting thicker with dead by the minute. Now, you want a lift? Last call!”
“Look, we can't carry poor Glenn here, and Aidan can barely stay on his feet,” Emily said. Aidan tried to argue, but she cut him off with a “Let's be serious. I owe Glenn a life saving, it's true. Let's load him up on the truck, because the poor man needs a ride. Aidan and I will stay with him, and if you find his wife, you tell her he's heading northeast on 29. Aidan and I can keep an eye out for signs of Josh and Nora. We'll be fine after another day or two of rest," she dropped her voice to a whisper, "when I can feed Aidan again. We'll leave some sign and come back if we don't find them by tomorrow or the next day, probably with Glenn all rested up.”
Dean looked between Aidan and Cas, who each shrugged. “Load up then. Cas and I'll see who we find. We'll give Maggie the message if we see her, grab Baby and my missing family if we see them, and then –” He stopped abruptly. “Actually, I have no clue what then.”
“Then we save Heaven,” Cas said.
“Sam. Something's wrong with Sammy. Let's move.” Dean called Abe back, and together they lifted Glenn into the back of the truck. They had to basically do the same for Aidan. Dean cursed a few more good times, making sure it was out loud and straight to Abraham's face. “Ten miles, douchebag. Twelve miles, max!”
“Hey, man,” Abraham clapped him on the back, which Dean shrugged off. “I'm truly sorry we can't help you, but we've got to save the world. I know it's hard for someone like you to understand that perspective.” Dean raised a brow, and Abraham shook his head a bit. “I mean no offense. You're a family man. You've got other priorities. I get it; they're the world in your eyes. But Eugene here can save the whole world. All of it. That's everybody's kids. It's bigger than just us.”
Dean straightened up and tried to decide if it was worth another fight to punch this dude in the face. He was built though, military, and from the looks of it, he hadn't fought vampires, madmen, and unceasing waves of croats all week. Dean reluctantly settled on derision. “As it happens, I know a thing or two about saving the world. He's not your guy, Felt. That man can't even save himself, let alone the whole world.” Dean raised his voice and directed the next bit toward Emily and Aidan, who were sitting in the back. “I also happen to know what caused this, and there's no way to fix it, guys. We had one shot to stop this, and we missed it, and there's no undoing it. Certainly not by that...let me guess, sixth-grade-science-teacher-turned-grifter?”
Abraham snorted. “Sure, he's not the guy but you are? You know jack and shit, and jack left town.”
“I know more than budget MacGyver, that's for sure.”
Eugene poked his head out of the passenger window and called out, “It was the swine flu vaccine.”
Dean popped his head around the corner of the truck, and Eugene held his eyes. Dean pursed his mouth and pointed angrily. “They happened at the exact same time! Anyone could guess that. Doesn't take 'staggering intellect'.”
“Correlation does not imply causation.”
“Any sixth grader knows that!” Dean spat. “It's not a normal virus. It's a demonic virus, put out by Pestilence himself, and there's no way to cure it.”
Eugene frowned at him. “Sure, Chuckles, I'm the whacko.” The truck started up, and Dean realized Abraham had climbed back in.
“You can't go to the cities! The cities are death-traps. There are no scientists in Washington, none! You're leading them to certain death.”
Eugene, having already dismissed Dean as a madman now, stuck one arm out the window and flipped a bird as they drove off.
Cas waved, and Dean shook his head, picking his machete back up from where he laid it before putting Glenn in the truck. He glanced at the sky and sighed. “We'll hustle faster without them anyway. It looks later than I thought it was.”
“It's almost seven,” Cas informed him. “Sunset in Georgia is at eight-seventeen, so we might not make it before dark. I could zap us there."
Dean groaned. "Honestly, I don't think my stomach can handle that right now. Can you just take lead on croat killing until it gets dark? I'll watch for usable vehicles or houses to sleep in, and we'll get an early start."
As they walked, Dean started to think that maybe the first rendezvous point shouldn't have been so close to the prison. For as long as it took him to get there, it was close enough that croats or straggling vamps could easily find them all. Not that it would have mattered for most of those poor saps anyway. They found the prison bus a bit farther down the highway, shot full of bullets and chock full of croats. “Don't know that I have the juice to mercy kill or carry what supplies they might have in there.”
Cas shook his head. “It's getting late and we have no vehicle. I will ease their suffering and see if Maggie's there.”
“Thanks, man. I hope some living humans made it to the spot. I hope Sam, Ben, and Jody are there.”
“With your car. You can go ahead and say you want to see the car.”
“She's more than a car,” Dean mumbled.
Shortly after sunrise, refreshed and moving at a jog, they reached the designated meeting spot, an old warehouse down a wide side road. Sadly, the Impala was nowhere to be found. Dean and Cas exchanged a look, and Dean readied his blade and headed for the door. He was surprised to find it unlocked, and he worried that absolutely no one had made it alive. To his happier surprise, however, he found a note chalked to the wall directly opposite the door: Survivors headed site 2. ALL hunters heading back home. L&G
Lisha and Garth, he surmised. That big, shiny 'all' led him to believe that Sam, Jody, and Ben were all alive. Sam must still be out of it if he hadn't prayed for Cas yet. But they were alive. He clung to that. “Let's find us a car.”