Martinez showed up looking no worse for wear despite the fact that we could hear gunfire and explosions off in the distance. He gave us all a good look over before he went out of his way to remind us that we looked like shit. The Drunk shoved the iPad into his greasy mitts before any of us could say anything else. I could tell from the look on her face that was she was getting just as sick of all this back and forth as I was. Martinez got a smile on his face that looked it was carved by a ten-year old and went to work on it. Nobody mentioned that Crawley’s guys had managed to copy everything off of it before we got our hands on it and to be frank; none of us was in the mood to illuminate Martinez on this little turn of events. Martinez’ machine made some beeps and whirrs and in the span of five minutes or so, he was already trying to shove us out of the door.

“Where’s our way out of the city, Martinez?” I asked. My hand was already closing in on my gun, just in case he needed some persuading.

“Oh right, I nearly forgot about that,” he said. His grin was making me mighty angry at this point. “It’s down by the old Marquette building; some Phils are going to lead an armed convoy out of the city to get some supplies from Madison.”

“Are you kidding? That’s the middle of all of the fighting; we’d need a goddamn tank to get through there!”

“Not my problem. You asked for a way out of town and there’s your best shot.”

There’d never been a time where I wanted to shoot someone in the back so badly, but I needed all the ammo I had in case we had to fight our way through downtown. The Doc and the Nerd looked at us like they were going to say something important. They wanted to head North, try to make their way out of the city that way. They took the iPad and went up the road with Billy and Rachel. There wasn’t nothing good going to come out of heading that way; they’d just end up fighting off pirates and bandits along with Crawleys. The Drunk looked at me with a face I’d seen too many times before. We were going to be hitting the road just the two of us.

The hike towards the campus was like something out of the books I’d read as a kid. Everything was on fire, the smoke rising in twisting towers that went up to block out the sun. People were screaming as bullets ripped through them. It was enough to make a grown man lie down and give up, but I sure as hell wasn’t going to die in this city, especially not since I’d only gotten a gun out of the whole damn mess.

That’s when we saw them, a group of guys all dressed up in cloaks. I tried to ignore them at first, after all, it was probably just a bunch of holy men preaching about Jeff in a totally inappropriate environment again. Of course, when they started pointing and shouting as us, it was totally obvious that these were not the good kind of cloakies. We ducked into a nearby shop to try and lose them, but I kept my gun trained on the door just in case any of them tried to make their bones on us. Sure enough, some bastard tried to push his luck and I put a shot into his neck. I didn’t stick around to make sure he was dead, so we took off through the back door and into the alleys.

That’s when I felt it. A bullet went whizzing past my leg. Well, more like through my leg. Took a little chunk out of my calf and sent me into a tumble. Before the Drunk could get me back to my feet, the cloakies were on us. They took our guns and dragged us into a nearby building. After yelling at us for twenty minutes, they finally started to ask us stuff. They wanted to know where the Nerd went with the iPad. We told them in the simplest words possible. We didn’t know.

Turns out these fuckers were Lore Keepers trying to do the same thing the Nerd was up to. They untied us and left us all alone in the building. It was a mighty fine how-dee-doo.

A half-hour’s walk to the Southeast and we arrived at the old campus. It was a washout. Everything was on fire, everyone was dead and there was no sign of any caravan making its way out of the city. We headed back towards the highway, figuring that hoofing it was probably our only way out of the city at this point. That’s when the Drunk got tagged.

There was a sharp crack of the gunpowder, but the bullet had hit her square in the chest before that. She went down, and hard. I lost my footing and hit the ground right next to her. Bullets kept whizzing all around us, chips of concrete hitting me in the sides where they hit the pavement. The bullets were getting too close for comfort and I tried to make a break for it.

I paid the hard way for trying this. A bullet went deep into my thigh, thankfully missing my groin. I kept on my feet though, wasn’t going to die here. There was some more shooting, this time coming from behind us. It was some Brothers; they scared off the guys shooting as us. One of them gave me his shoulder, told me everything was gonna be okay. Another took a look at the drunk and gave me a look I’d see too many times before. She was gone.

I’d made it though.

In the end, that’s all that matters.