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75 Found Her

 Day 3 - 6:35 AM - Niog Road, Mambog IV, Bacoor City, Cavite

While Mark was observing the perimeters of the target location, Odelina and the others also went out of the vehicle.

They were looking at the huge tree in the distance with amazement. Odelina though thought the same as Mark.

"That looked dangerous is it not?"

She stood beside him and asked Mark. It was not just the tree that she was talking about but also the number of infected in the area. As the City Hall, there were many people in this place before the apocalypse. Among all those people, everyone knew that the Majority of these people already turned into Z-types. They could even see some of the infected wandering aimlessly at the entrance of the compound.

"Just get back in the car first. I have a plan."

When everyone was back inside the car, Mark remained outside and opened the back of the car. He pulled out a large box and brought it inside.

The box contained the camera mounted drone Mark brought. He immediately set up the drone with the help of the others and connected the video feed into the large monitor mounted on the back of the car along with the entertainment system.

It took them about half an hour to set it up and Mark went out to launch the drone. He then went back in the car to see the feed while controlling the drone.

***

Day 3 - 7:10 AM - Bacoor City Hall, Molino Boulevard, Bayanan, Bacoor City, Cavite

A white quadcopter with a camera mounted beneath it was circling the perimeter of the tree while checking if there was any danger in approaching it.

After the quadcopter finally figured that the tree did not seem to be dangerous, the drone went closer and went to check the city hall in a clearer view. As the quadcopter was creating noises, it could not be helped if that it attracted the Z-types around. To evade the pursuit of the infected, the drone flew up and descended in another area to continue the reconnaissance.

The traces of devastating events that happened within the past two days were left in the open. Rows of vehicles were left in the parking lots while the glass walls of the mail building were broken into pieces. The government vehicles were left in the middle of the roads. It was obvious that they tried to escape but the traces of blood on the vehicles showed how they failed to do so.

Around the compound, a large number of infected gathered. Many of which were wearing uniforms of government workers while there were also quite a number of infected in police uniforms. But what stood out among the infected were those odd looking ones. Their movements were very slow, even slower than the Z-Type b which was the Eaters. What made them very noticeable was their skin that looked like the bark of a tree. The eyes of these infected were also green colored compared to the normal counterparts which had pure white pupils.

***

Back inside the car, Mark and the gang were watching the monitor. Even the docile Biter they brought along and was tied in the very last seat at the back was looking at the monitor. When they saw the infected that had tree bark skin, they all thought that the reason for this mutation was that huge tree in the middle of the compound.

Mark controlled the drone and the scene at the back of the main building was revealed on their eyes. It was then that they saw it. It was an eight or nine foot humanoid that had a body made of a tree and was even shaped like a tree. It even had leaves on its head and hands and roots for its foot. Rather than a zombie, it more looked like a treant from fantasy stories. If not for the figure of a person plastered on the center of its body, Mark would have really thought so.

The figure looked the same as the tree bark skinned infected at the previous location. The person's back was connected and was hanging on the wooden body and arms through root like veins. When the figure moved, the wooden body also moved mimicking the movements of the figure. As the wooden body was stiff, it walked like a penguin swaying side by side as it moved.

The huge mutant then stopped and the person looked up to the drone monitoring it. Then it decided to ignore the drone and looked up to the huge tree as if it was waiting for something.

The people inside the car gasped at the appearance of the mutant. It was fortunate that Mark decided to scout the area using the drone first rather than blindly driving into the compound.

Looking at the figure, a sudden thought entered his mind and it even made him mutter.

"A Level 2."

"What did you say, Gege?"

Even though he muttered the words softly, Mei who was always sticking close to him heard his voice.

"Nothing."

Mark decided to not say what had just entered his mind as it was not confirmed and he did not know where the thought came from either. It was as if someone whispered the idea to him.

As the Mutant was behaving strangely, Mark decided to control the drone and look at what the mutant was looking at. There, he saw a single nut shaped fruit on a branch of the huge tree. The fruit seemed to be the same size as a baseball and was emitting a faint golden glow.

Seeing the fruit on the monitor, Abbygale and Odelina gulped for some reason.

"What's wrong with you two?"

Mark noticed the abrupt change in the mental fluctuation of the two and asked.

"Papa, I want to eat that."

Abbygale directly said without any thoughts. Odelina on the other hand explained what she felt briefly. She was red in the face though as she knew that she lost her composure in front of everyone.

"Master, I don't know why but something tells me that that fruit is edible and highly beneficial to us."

Hearing what she said, Mark looked at the screen. He controlled the drone once more and looked at the huge mutant that continued to stare at the fruit.

He then decided.

"All right, we'll try to get that later."

With what he said, Abbygale and Odelina felt delighted.

While Mark was controlling the drone, he noticed some commotion on the highest floor of the City Hall.

Mark made the drone fly closer to the windows and saw people inside. The people were also watching the drone with hopeful expressions. The drone flew across the row of windows and stopped at a certain spot.

"Found her."

Mark said.

What was shown in the monitor was a twenty-four year old female. Her looks were above average and could be considered beautiful to certain standards. Now however, she looked really dispirited, thin and weak. She noticed the drone flying by the window and she only stared at the spot she was sitting and did not bother to stand up.

Looking at her, Mark felt his heart being torn. Was it really the lively girl he treated as his little sister before? It was then Mark remembered. This girl had type-2 diabetes and she had been taking medicine ever since the time he knew her and her older sister. Since she was trapped here, it was likely that she had not been able to take her medicine in the past two days! It was also possible that she had not been eating well these previous days!

"Is she who you were looking for, Master?"

Odelina asked and Mei also had the same question. Their eyes were filled with pity. If that woman was who Mark was looking for, then, they should take her as soon as possible. Looking at her figure, her condition was not looking good.

'I need to contact her.'

That was what filled his mind. Mark made the drone look around through the window once more. The number of people inside was about 30 or lesser. There were also a few men wearing police uniforms. Among the people, he saw someone familiar. It was the current congresswoman of the district-2 of Bacoor. Along with police and a few men that looked like her bodyguards, she tried to approach the window the drone was peering through.

Mark felt that he should not be bothered with these people and made the drone fly away. He needed to scout the place thoroughly and find the entrances and exits before going in for the rescue. He also planned to lure the infected away using the drone to make the rescue easier.

He made the drone enter the Main building from the broken glass windows of the second floor. Luckily, the ceilings were high or else, the drone might have already been caught by the infected. The whole place was a mess. The tables were overturned, papers and office wares littered the hallways and rooms and there were bloody mess in every place.

He soon found the stairs which was the main access to the all the floors. He then found out the reason why the infected was not able to enter the higher floors leaving the third and the fourth floor fully intact. It was because the large roots of the huge tree were blocking the stairs going to the higher floors. This meant that they would also not be able to use the stairs to pick her up.

Mark made the drone leave the building and find another way. The camera then panned towards the sides of the city hall. Both the northern and southern part of the third floor had a suspended pathway that connected the city hall to the Gymnasium at the north and the Bacoor Police Command Center at the south.

These places were the only ways they could find in order to enter the third floor of the City Hall. Mark made the drone fly to the entrances and saw the doors which were locked. It was no problem for Mark as he could just bust their way in as long as he manage to access the buildings.

Circling the City Hall once more, he finally found an entry to the into the building for the drone. It was a large open crack at the ceiling on top of the building where the huge three had grown.

Mark made the drone enter the building. It was kind of tricky but Mark's years of accumulated experience in playing games came in handy as he used the controller skillfully.

Soon, he found the area where the survivors gathered.

It seemed that the people inside were alarmed as they heard the buzzing sound coming from the propellers of the drone. The police and the bodyguards had even drawn their guns and were ready to shoot at any moment they notice something wrong.

***

The people inside panicked as they heard the sound coming from the hallway and was entering their resting area. Even if they said that it was their resting area, it was actually the waiting area in this floor and could be openly accessed from the hallway.

As they heard the buzzing sound, the non-combatants started to scurry away while the police and the congresswoman's body guards were ready to fight.

There was one exception though. It was the 20 something year old woman who was far too weak to move. She was just by the entrance and if any danger was really in the hallway, she would be the first to be implicated.

The woman was also frightened when she heard the sound but she was really weak to move and it seemed that the people around did not even bother to help her. She was about to cry. She just came to this place to renew some of her papers for employment when the outbreak happened. It was lucky that she was able to escape and survive until now. Right at the moment, she was feeling the full brunt of her illness as she was not able to take her insulin shots since the outbreak started. She actually brought some when she came to this place. She always brought a bottle everywhere she goes. Unfortunately, she lost her bag along with all her belongings when the apocalypse came.

Without any energy to move, she resigned herself to her fate. She heard the buzzing sound stop in front of her as she closed her eyes. However, she waited but nothing happened after a few seconds. She then heard a voice.

"Geez, you already managed to survive this long. Don't you dare give up on me."

It was a familiar voice but she could not remember whose voice this belonged to anymore. She opened her eyes and looked up and saw the thing that was creating the buzzing sound and the voice. It was the drone she saw from the window. Underneath the drone, there was a camera which was obviously filming her. Just behind the camera, there was a small radio taped on the drone.

"I'll land the drone so take the radio underneath it."

She heard the voice once more and the drone slowly landed in front of her. In her confusion, she followed the instructions and removed the radio from the drone.

"Good."

The voice said coming from the radio.

"Uhm, who are you."

She spoke on the radio. There was no answer.

"I can't hear what you are saying. Push the button at the side of the radio when talking."

She followed the instruction and asked the same question. Then the answer came.

"I'm hurt. Well, it's been a long time. About seven years I think?"

'Seven years?'

She thought. Then the image of a person entered her mind. He was the person who cherished her at those times. Due to some deep reasons, he avoided them and they lost connection with him.

Tears welled up in her eyes, as she asked on the radio.

"Big Brother?"

Then a snicker came from the radio.

"It's good that you still remember me. Anyways, I came to pick you up, Charm."