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56 Operation Early New Year

 8:48 PM - Emilio Aguinaldo Highway, Bacoor City

A large convoy of military vehicles was speeding southbound of the highway. The convoy consisted of three M35 Multi-Purpose Medium-Class Military Trucks, four Humvees, and a V150 Cadillac Gage Commando Armor Car. The convoy moved with V150 leading it while the three trucks in the center and the four Humvees in a rectangular formation protecting the trucks. Inside two of the trucks, the anxious survivors who were rescued were restless as the occasional firing of guns was heard around them.

Inside the every vehicle, the unceasing sound of radio static could be heard as the soldiers on the other vehicles report their situation every now and then.

1st Lieutenant Rafael Perez was sitting on top of V150 along with two more soldiers that were positioned on the two mounted machine guns on the vehicle. He was staring on the road in front of the convoy with happiness and excitement in his face.

"Captain really looked happy isn't he?"

One soldier on the front seat of the Military Truck following the V150 said as he watched their captain sitting on top of the vehicle in front of them.

"Why won't he? We're all ready to give up on finding his sister but he then received a call from the general about her location."

The driver of the truck replied.

Rafael's face then lit up as he saw the overpass less than a kilometer away which leads directly on the covered area of the mall outside the east wing.

BOOM! Prrsssht! BOOM! Prrsssht!

All the people in the convoy were startled when they started to hear loud explosion like sounds along with glimpse of flashes of light on their destination.

"Fireworks? What are they doing?"

Rafael murmured in surprise.

***

On the roofing that covered the rooftop of the mall, several people were scattered. It was Mark's group which were ready to start luring the zombies away.

Mark positioned himself at the roof above the northern entrance of the mall, Ange and Mei on the northern-east corner of the east wing, Calvin and James on the north-eastern part of the west wing while James and Bernard on the north-west corner of the west wing. With the two girls who were in charge of spotting the incoming convoy exception, the men had crates of different fireworks on behind them, a shaped wire firework launcher and were holding a USB lighter Mark handed them.

Prsssht!

The radio on Mark's belt started to emit static sounds followed by Ange's voice.

[East Wing to Command! East Wing to Command! I had visuals on incoming vehicles! The targets are approaching, ETA 5 minutes!]

Mark took the radio out, held one of the buttons and replied.

"Command to East Wing. Copy! Everyone Commence operation! West Wing 1! West Wing 2! Prepare to launch the fireworks on my command"

Mark's voice could be heard following a static sound on the two pairs of men on the west wing.

The four men on the west wing heard his and Ange's voices through the radio James distributed to Calvin and Bernard who was acting as leaders among the employees. Aside from James who looked amazed, the other three felt exasperated.

During their meeting, aside from telling them what they needed to do, Ange and Mark decided to add a little "play" and started acting like military soldiers while talking on the radio. The two even named the plan that they were going to do.

The name was "Operation Early New Year".

After Mark declared the start of the operation, he lit up the fuse of the rocket firework that was already placed on the wire launcher and aimed it at the road below.

SWOOOSH! BOOM! Prssssth!

The firework flew towards the front of the mall and blew up with a loud explosion sound and a chrysanthemum of colorful lights. Numerous loud growls and moaning were heard below followed by a large number of zombies coming from all directions towards the spot where the firework exploded.

SWOOOSH! BOOM! Prssssth!

Mark release firework by firework leading to a plethora of lights and shapes luring almost all the zombies within the vicinity. There were even times that a zombie would get parts of their body explode as a firework hit them before exploding. When most of the zombies were gathered at the spot Mark was shooting the fireworks at...

Mark shouted at the radio.

"West Wing 1! Release the fireworks!"

James and Calvin who were the West Wing 1 pair launched their fireworks towards the road in front of them luring away the zombies Mark gathered.

Though they released their fireworks at the same timing and rhythm Mark did, the difference on their task was they needed to aim further to the west luring the zombies towards the northwest corner of the mall.

It did not take them long before they finished their task and Mark shouted for the last team, West Wing 2, to launch their fireworks.

Bernard and Fernan who were the pair Mark and Ange called West Wing 2 were tasked to lure the gathered zombies from that corner of the mall towards the back of the west wing of the mall and they did it the same way as James and Calvin did.

When the two finally lured the most of the zombies towards that direction, Mark who already ran towards the end of the south wing prepared for the last phase.

He was standing beside a cylinder firework launcher that was placed horizontally on the roof on the eastern side of the rooftop. The mouth of the cannon was facing towards the western side of the south wing.

Mark then braced for the sound and launched the firework. A large ball of light speedily skid several times on the flat roof before it flew off and started falling on an arch towards the parking lot behind the mall.

BOOOM!!!

A loud quaking explosion echoed behind the mall followed by a large circular display of scattering light as the ball of light exploded above the parking lot.

WEEE! WEE! WOO! WOOO! WOOOT! WOOOT!

Before the sound of explosion faded, numerous sounds of car alarms started to echo across the area. That was Mark's goal on aiming the cylinder firework that direction, to use the explosion of the firework to activate the car alarms of the cars parked in the parking lot.

WEEE! WEE! WOO! WOOO! WOOOT! WOOOT!

The continuous sounds of car alarms started to draw the attention of not only the zombies outside lured by the fireworks but also the zombies inside the mall that was nearby the exits that facing the parking lot.

Mark watched the large number horde of zombies flocking towards the parking lot with his scalp tingling. Just how many zombies were below? Hundreds? The quantity might not have reached a thousand but probably close to that number.

Though he could not clearly see the appearance of the zombies below due to the lack of lighting in the parking lot, he could make out several odd looking silhouettes like a seven foot tall muscular zombie and several fat mutants.

Seeing that the plan was a success, Mark turned towards the west wing where he could see the four men watching the scene below on the parking lot.

Prsssht!

[West Wing to Command! West Wing to Command! We have a situation!]

Ange's anxious voice suddenly came out of the radio on his waist.

[Command here, what happened they haven't arrived yet?]

Mark replied.

[No, Lieutena- Ahem... Let's do this later! They already arrived! My brother is on the phone and said that the basement parking is closed and the metal parking shutters are locked down.]

"What?!"

Mark was surprised.

"What about the employee entrance? It should be just by the right of the parking entrance."

Bernard's voice echoed in the radio.

[Wait, I'll ask!]

A few seconds passed before Ange spoke again.

[He said that they can't open the door by force! It's barricaded inside!]

"What the hell!"

Mark felt that heaven was sh*tting on them. He then shouted on the radio.

"Angeline! Return to the TechZone and prepare! We're going down! Mei! Follow her and stay with Gale and Paula. The rest, stay here and relay the situation to us and use the fireworks to keep the zombies away from the people below!"

Mark then jumped off the roof towards the heliport and rushed towards the west wing.