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3 The Third Floor

 Mark reached the third floor after weaving off his way up the escalator because despite the fact that the escalator is actually goes up many people traversed the escalator to go down to the lower floors.

As he looked around, there's barely anyone left that wanted to go down in panic. Still, there are people who are standing here and there watching the panicked people with a confused expression on their faces. Most of these people wore uniforms bearing logos of shops located here at the third floor.

Being the only person going up the escalator, the confused people on the third floor immediately saw him as he arrived. The ones close to Mark immediately approached him.

"Excuse me. Do you know what is going on?"

The one that asked was a man wearing a polo-shirt with a logo of a phone brand. Actually, they tried asking those people who ran down as they heard the commotion outside their shops but no one bothered answering their questions and just ignored them.

Looking at the people asking him, Mark just answered one word which bewildered them.

"Zombies."

"Hey! You are joking right?"

Of course, no one will believe an answer like that which is said in a calm and expressionless way. The other people that just arrived also heard the exchange between Mark and the man and surely, they did not believe him.

With an annoyed expression in his face, Mark answered with discontentment.

"Everyone else is already running away, do you think I have the time to joke with you?"

Mark just finished talking when he immediately turned his head behind as screams, louder and closer, entered his ears.

"Tsk!"

Mark immediately turned around and ran past the people who also moved to look over the terrace of the third floor. During the short moment that he was held up to answer the man's questions, the situation below turned grave. The people who were previously scrambling in panic to go down and escape out of the mall are now running up the stairs and escalators with the zombies on their tail!

Furthermore, not all the zombies chasing their prey are your everyday zombies that was slow moving and walks sluggishly, some of the zombies are like rabid beasts, moving fast and pounces toward their prey at any given chance! The people who lagged behind as they flee easily fallen victim to these fast moving zombies! Blood splashed as the bodies of the victims are disgustingly mangled behind their screams of help.

The ones on the third floor revealed looks of horror and their faces were drained of their color. Many felt nauseated as some vomited after looking away at the gruesome scene below. They soon remembered the person who just climbed up earlier and what he answered to their questions.

They looked around to find Mark just to see him a little far away twisting off the metal part of a mop and taking its wooden handle and waving it like a staff. Seeing what Mark is doing, the thought popped up on their blanked and panicked minds.

"Weapons! Find weapons!"

A man in the crowd shouted. Everyone snapped from their stupors and many scrambled away looking for anything they can use as weapons.

Only those who was weaker especially women and children were left with their legs shaking. They don't know what to do. Are they really going to fight? The scene of carnage replayed on their minds as their bodies shook. The children started crying as they heard the chilling screams from below.

Mark saw these people who were frozen in their place. Shaking his head, he approached them with a cold demeanor. They can only stare at him as he approached. He then looked at a woman on the verge of tears who was wearing a uniform with a logo of a PC Brand.

Seeing Mark looking at the woman, a man with a short build immediately returned and blocked him by standing in front of the woman.

"What do you want to do?!"

The man spoke warily. Mark looked at the man and saw that he was also wearing a uniform with the same logo. Seeing the logo, Mark did not bother with the woman anymore.

Pointing at the entrance of the mall's TechZone behind him with his thumb over his shoulder, Mark spoke.

"Those steel shutters there. You know how to close them?"

The man saw Mark looking at the logo on his uniform and sighed in relief that Mark didn't have any ill intentions. Being in this type of work for a long time, he had gone sharp at observing people and he knew that Mark approached his co-employee because their shop is located at the very corner of the TechZone's entrance.

And in response to Mark's question, he nodded.

"Then bring these people and children and close the shutters at the other entrance. Hmm, just pull that one halfway down for now. We can use the TechZone as refuge ones the zombies reach the third floor."

Hearing what Mark said the eyes of the man and those weaker people behind him along with the children lit up. Without further ado, they hurried towards the TechZone and followed Mark's instructions.

The ones who scattered around to find weapons also saw what happened as they looked at Mark with respect. Though this person looked cold and exudes an aura that deterred people away from him, he showed a calm demeanor and looked for options that they, who panicked, won't be able to immediately think of.

When they went and looked around for weapons in a hurry, they can only think of fighting to fend themselves despite the fact that they also felt too scared to do so. They saw what happened below, once the monsters below reach this floor, if they can't fight, they will also get eaten. Now, Mark opened another option that they don't need to fight to survive.

Many of them immediately hurried to follow the ones that entered the TechZone only to hear Mark shouting at them.

"You people, where do you think you are going?"

Hearing the shout, they can't help but stop, confused.

"What do you mean? We also want to get in there and hide! Why are you stopping us?"

A man voiced his discontent.

"These idiots."

Mark murmured, then, he looked above the terrace once more before replying.

"We still have time, go to the other shops and carry anything you guys think we can use before going there. Especially food and water, we need those unless you want to starve to death in there."

Mark voiced his concerns with a commanding tone which made these men feel annoyed but they can't refute as what he said is rational. Abandoning the thought of running away for now, they entered the shops juts to get out carrying boxes containing an assortment of things.

Unfortunately though, as the third floor mostly has shops for tech stuff and sports gear, shops that sells food are almost none existent except for several small food stalls.

A clever employee of the mall took a few of his co-workers and ran towards the southern wing of the mall as fast as possible. In a few minutes, they came back with several boxes of junk food and cases of cold drinks with a few more people in tow. Mark who ran into a sports gear store saw them and his eyes lit up. It seemed that these guys went to raid the snack bar at the cinema area.

Mark who entered the sports store a few minute when and had gone out carrying a large sports bag strapped on his shoulder and a metal baseball bat on his right hand. The handle of the mop is nowhere to be found though, he left it in the store as the metal bat is more convenient to use at this situation.

But as he went out of the store, his eye caught a movement by his right side and turned by reflex. What he saw made him broke into cold sweat.