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then | rule #31
laiqualaurelote wrote in plague_project

"Incoming," says McAvoy.  "Johnny and Bill.  Plus a whole lot of company."

Davenport replaces him at the 'scope.  They have visuals of the entire street above their hideout: he can see two small figures running hell for leather down the street, followed by an indistinct crowd.

"Shit," says Davenport.  "Get ready to open up."

Dom is already operating the forest of locks between their mates and safety.  The doors click apart a fraction just as Johnny falls through, rolling the backpack of fuel cells down the safety corridor and reaching back for Boyd's.  Boyd tosses his after Johnny's and pauses to draw breath.  "That was a fucking close - "

Rule #31: Don't stay near the door.

They must be getting faster, thinks Davenport in a daze.  Boyd is suddenly dragged back, his arm disappearing through the crack in the doors as the zombies gibber in a frenzy on the other side.  Everyone is staring in horror, even Dom with his finger on the button, as the doors close on Boyd's arm while flesh rips and bone snaps and Boyd screams, long and high and drawn-out, and it is the worst sound Davenport has ever heard in his life. 

Only McAvoy moves.  All Davenport knows is that he's pushed aside by a blur, and the next moment he's on the floor, eye-level with Boyd's blood-spattered face a corridor away.  McAvoy is standing over him with the axe, the blade dripping.  Behind him, the rest of the arm is slowly pulled through the doors until they seal and lock fully. 

The seconds go by in a haze of blood and shouting.  Dom is leaning over Boyd and crying for bandages, cloths, something - he and Johnny are dragging Boyd's body down the corridor and Davenport is sweeping plans and mugs of tea off the table to make space, McAvoy follows behind them saying: "The arm was gone.  I had to save the rest of him, you see - " and Davenport wants to punch him for being so fucking composed except the man just saved Bill's life, so.  "He's going into shock!" shouts Dom, and Davenport finds himself trying to lift Boyd's legs so he can get a pillow under them while Johnny tightens the makeshift tourniquet and keeps tightening it and Dom just gets down and talks to Boyd, tells him he's fine, he's not infected, he'll live through all this and he's going to be just fine even though Boyd is screaming, screaming it all back in Dom's face.  McAvoy puts the axe away in a corner and comes over quietly to help Johnny with the tourniquet.  There's blood soaking his entire sleeve.  Davenport feels sick.

They take turns watching Boyd, the person on duty always keeping the revolver at hand.  Nobody needs to have it explained to them, not even Dom.

Thirty-six hours and seventeen minutes later, Boyd finally comes around.  This occurs on Davenport's shift.  Davenport stares at Boyd and wishes it hadn't, because he has no idea what to say to a one-armed man who has just undergone massive trauma.

Boyd blinks at the ceiling, angles his head to look at Davenport and lets his breath out through clenched teeth in a long, pained hiss.

"I should be dead," he breathes.

"Don't say that," mutters Davenport uncomfortably.

"It fucking hurts," hisses Boyd.  "How long will it be like this?  How long?"

Davenport doesn't know.  Even if he knew, he doubts Boyd is really looking for an answer.

"We need you, Bill," he says quietly.  "Whatever's left.  We need all the help we can get."

Boyd starts to laugh.  It's a low, terrible laugh, and he spends the rest of the night laughing till the basement echoes with it while Davenport huddles on the deckchair next to him and wishes it would all stop.


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