Black Tide Rising - eARC

Black Tide Rising - eARC by John Ringo, Gary Poole Read Free Book Online

Book: Black Tide Rising - eARC by John Ringo, Gary Poole Read Free Book Online
Authors: John Ringo, Gary Poole
Tom raised the bench with one hand while he kept the rifle high in the other. Within three seconds, he was back in position.
    He didn’t spend more than another three seconds aiming, and then—
    “She’s down, too!” Sam exclaimed. “Boy, you shoot good, Tom.”
    Andy’s husband didn’t say anything in response to the praise, but she knew what that expression on his face meant. She’d spent most of her life with the old fart and knew him better than she knew anyone, including maybe even herself.
    After ten years of depression—no, more than eleven years now, since the accident—Tom Kaminski had found his life again.
    A guardian angel in a wheelchair. Well, why not? Andy wasn’t as familiar with the Bible as either Rochelle Lewis or Latoya Haywood, but she knew this apocalypse was a bastard version of the one in the Book of Revelations. You couldn’t hardly expect archangels with flaming swords to show up for this sort of low-class brawl, after all.
    3
    Andy had been a little worried that Tom’s shooting of the three zombies on the perimeter of the tank farm might have drawn attention to them. But the next morning, when she studied the scene of the killing through the binoculars, she saw that her fears had been groundless.
    “I told you,” said her husband. He nodded toward the knot of zombies in the distance who were still feeding on the corpses of the three zombies he’d shot the evening before. “That’s somewhere between two hundred and fifty and three hundred yards from here. Even if they were still real people with brains, they wouldn’t have been able to tell where the shots came from.”
    With the free hand that wasn’t holding the rifle on his lap, he made a little circling motion. “We’re in flat land, up high, with nothing to focus the sound. At that distance, the sound of the shot would have seemed to be coming from everywhere or nowhere, however you want to look at it.”
    He lowered the hand and shrugged. “Zombies? They wouldn’t have even thought about it. A mysterious noise coming from somewhere—anywhere—in the distance? Could have been anything, if they had enough brains to think about it. But they don’t.”
    “Okay,” she said. “But I think you ought to avoid shooting any zombies except ones trying to climb over the fence.”
    “I haven’t seen a single one try to do that,” he said. “Why would they, unless they thought there was something on the other side they wanted? The chain link fence that surrounds the tank farm is at least six feet high and it’s got three strands of barbed wire on top of that. Any naked-ass zombie tries to climb over it’s going to get pretty badly cut—and the minute they start bleeding, you know other zombies are going to go after them.”
    “Yeah, but that’s my biggest worry, Tom. From what I’ve seen on the TV, once zombies go into a feeding frenzy it gets out of control. Their own noise and the mayhem they’re causing attracts other zombies and before you know it they’re starting to swarm all over.” She pointed at the distant fence. “Enough zombies pile against up against that and it’ll go down, barbed wire or no barbed wire. And then we’ve got zombies swarming into the tank farm. Maybe we can hold them off, as high up as we are on these steel tanks. But then we’ll be surrounded by rotting bodies—dozens of ’em, maybe hundreds. D’you really want that?”
    Her husband had a mulish expression on his face. Tom really wanted to shoot zombies. From long experience, Andy knew the best thing to do was not argue any further about but just let Tom think it through himself.
    After a while, he sighed and said, “I guess you’re right. But that still leaves the problem of the gate we broke into. We could weld it shut again, I suppose—but we’ll probably want to be able to get out ourselves at some point.”
    “Fine. You see any zombies heading toward the gate, go ahead and shoot ’em. Just try not to draw any

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