The Last Town (Book 3): Waiting For The Dead

The Last Town (Book 3): Waiting For The Dead by Stephen Knight Read Free Book Online

Book: The Last Town (Book 3): Waiting For The Dead by Stephen Knight Read Free Book Online
Authors: Stephen Knight
Tags: Zombie Apocalypse
    She looked up at him with bloodshot eyes. “Things have been blowing up all over the place, Reese. I’ve got maybe a general awareness of the big picture, but I’m a little light on the specifics right now. So what happened at the hospital? Make it quick, I know you need to get some sleep.”
    Reese gave her the short version of what went down. “Narvaez and his troops are still there, and a new platoon of unis showed up. The Guard’s turning the place into a fortress. Not so sure that’s what we want.”
    Pallata shrugged. “Not much we can do about it. The hospital has to stay open.”
    Reese nodded and looked around the command center. Phones were ringing, but there weren’t enough hands to answer them. “What’s the deal here?”
    “We’re down about a hundred cops, Reese.”
    That surprised him. Hollywood Station wasn’t huge, and a hundred cops accounted for almost half the stationhouse strength. “What?”
    “Some were killed. More have been injured. And even more just got up and drove away, like your partner.” Pallata looked up at him, her gaze flat, expressionless.
    Reese shuffled his feet. “Ah yeah, I was going to talk to you about that. Listen, we don’t know if Jerry’s—”
    “Don’t sweat it, Reese. He’s in good company. Captain Marshall is unaccounted for, as well. I’m the new area commanding officer.” She smiled thinly. “ Acting area commanding officer, I mean.”
    Reese wasn’t so exhausted not to be astounded by the revelation. “Are you kidding me? Marshall walked off the job?”
    Pallata shrugged again. “We don’t know. He was out in the field. Some of the guys were attacked, and he got involved. No one knows if he was bitten or not, but he was on his way back to the station and never showed up. They found his radio car out on Sunset, parked near one of the barricades, but none of the unis there saw him. He’s off the air, won’t respond to either radio or cell.”
    A helicopter thundered overhead, its pounding passage audible even inside the stationhouse. Guy must be flying low, Reese thought.
    “Well … congratulations, Miriam,” he said stupidly.
    “The city’s falling apart, Reese. The LAPD’s already hollowing out. Less than three or four days into this, and the department’s coming unglued. Hollywood’s still got it easy compared to some of the other areas—Rampart, Hollenbeck, Seventy-Seventh Street—all dropping off the network. Metro’s blowing up big time, and there’s a big fire over by the civic center. It’s the Times Building that’s burning, not headquarters. At least, the last I heard. The fire department is having as tough of a time as we are.”
    Reese pushed away from the desk and stood up straight. “Yeah, you’re not telling me anything I don’t know. From what I’ve seen … well, things kind of look inevitable at this point, you know?”
    Pallata looked up at him for a long moment. “You going to step into the wind, Reese?”
    “No. Never say never, but that’s not me. I’m in for the long haul.”
    She nodded slowly. “You were always one of the really great cops. That’s why I liked you. You always walked the walk.”
    Reese didn’t know how to handle the sudden intimacy of the conversation, so he just nodded and slid his hands into his pockets. Apparently, Pallata didn’t know how to handle it either, for she suddenly looked at one of the big displays on the wall.
    “Get some sleep, Reese. Things aren’t going to settle down overnight, so get ready for it. Tomorrow’s going to be a shit duty day.”
    Reese nodded again and stumbled off to the bridal suite.
    If the town had slept during the night, Corbett couldn’t tell. The diner was open at six thirty in the morning, as usual, but the lot was already half-full by the time he arrived. He backed his big truck into a space and watched as his detail hunted around in their Expedition, trying and failing to find a spot close

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