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80 On the City Hall Rooftop

 Day 3 - 8:31 AM - Bacoor City Hall 4th Floor, Molino Boulevard, Bayanan, Bacoor City, Cavite

Mark and Abbygale stood on the ruined rooftop of the City Hall observing the surroundings.

After getting the information he could get from the congresswoman's group, he told Charmaine that he would go out for a bit and check the situation around the compound. Wandering around the fourth floor for a few minutes, he found the access to the rooftop.

Mark wanted to get some fresh air. After he was not in sight of those people anymore, his confident looking face and scary stare crumbled. The domineering actions he showed those people were all an act! He felt drained. There was nothing scarier for him than talking to strangers! Especially with people of high standing! During the time he was talking with the congresswoman, his Empathic ability was fully activated. In his mind, getting surrounded by a horde of mutants was better!

He was too anxious but he was still able to hold on and not blew the act off.

The moment he stepped out to the rooftop, he squatted to the floor and leaned his back on the wall as he felt exhausted.

Abbygale seemed to have noticed his condition and voluntarily gave him a hug. Mark felt a little better due to it. This girl was really something else. They stayed like that for a few minutes until Mark recovered his composure.

Mark really felt mentally exhausted. He was keeping this act for long and was now finally alone to vent it all out. In front of others, he did not want to show this weak side of himself. Acting all cool and stuff since the outbreak reached the mall and until now, he started to grow sick of it. He was a loner and a shut-in for damn sake.

However, he could not, no, he should not show any sign of weakness to others. The first one to do so was the first one to lose the advantage they had.

Mark patted the little girls head with a sincere smile. This time, he was really happy to have her by his side.

"Thanks Gale. I'm fine now."

Abbygale let go of her embrace and beamed an angelic smile at her Papa. If Mark did not know how savage this girl could be, he would really think that she looked like an angel.

Mark started to do what he came here for.

While the little girl was wandering around waving a three feet long branch she found, Mark was looking at the tree. The tree was really huge. It was about twenty-three meters in height from the ground floor. Mark circled the tree several times and looked at the fruit that was about seven meters above him. He concluded that the tree was not only strange by its size but even the fluctuation he was feeling from the tree.

It was faint when he was inside the building but the fluctuation was stronger here in the rooftop. He tried touching the tree and sending his mental energy to the tree but did not receive a response from it. From what he felt, it looked like it was sleeping or in the similar state if not.

Abbygale was also glancing at the fruit from time to time. It really looked like she wanted to have that fruit. The golden glow of the fruit was more visible at this place.

As it was one of his goals, Mark started to think of ways to get the fruit. However, he stayed away from the thought of climbing the tree. As he felt that faint sentience from the tree, climbing the huge tree was a really bad idea.

He would probably need a gaff to reach that. He looked around but saw nothing he could use. His eyes landed on the roof of the police command center to the south. There were several tall poles used to elevate reception antennas. Maybe, he could use those poles. In the end, he needed to go to the command center before he was able to try and get the fruit.

As he could not do it right now, he left the notion of getting the fruit for later. He focused more on the surroundings.

Due the growth of the tree, the rooftop was in tatters. He was actually very careful of his steps during the time he was observing the tree. The rooftop was too uneven and had a lot of cracks. There was also the large crack he used to make the drone enter the building. If he made a misstep and fell into the crack, he would sure end up back to the floor below.

He walked to the edge of the rooftop. The strong morning gale was ruffling his clothes. Mark was amazed at the sight. Behind the compound of the City hall was a wide plot of land used for farming. A small forest could even be seen on the further distance. During this time of the year, the farming plots should be left bare.

Now however, the lush green grass that had newly sprouted had already covered the vacant farmland along with several plants that looked like leftover crops from the recent harvest. The leaves of the trees on the forest were also visibly greener that they supposed to be days before the apocalypse.

As the wind brushed over his face, Mark felt quite a bit of calmness and satisfaction. It might sound bad but it was actually one of the few things he wanted to see in his life ever since he became a zombie apocalypse fan. To see what the world would end up look like after humans stopped affecting the environment negatively.

The wind really felt good and the morning sun was not as harsh as before. He really felt satisfied. A little more time and the world would be covered with overgrowth of plants. That would surely be a good sight to witness.

Mark looked at the scene below at the street. The sight of the infected did not really ruin the view but actually added a good flavor to the view. The existence of the infected only bolstered the fact that the world was ending. Different from what most people would feel, he really felt happy than sad.

A satisfied smile crept up in his face. Most people who would see him like this might think that he was mad but he did not mind it.

Unknown to him, the drone that landed on top of another building was watching him. All his expressions and actions were caught by the drone. From the time he went out to the rooftop to the time he was satisfyingly looking at the scenery were seen by Mei, Odelina and the two children inside the Van.

Mei actually wanted to call unto the radio the time she saw his exhausted face but Odelina stopped her from doing so. Mark was trying his best not to show this side of his to them but they accidentally saw it. It was better for them to hide that they knew and just needed to support him with the best that they could.

On the other hand, they did not mind the satisfied face Mark showed while looking at the effect the apocalypse brought. Rather, they felt that his mindset was better and more suitable in facing the crumbling world. A downhearted mindset of a leader would only make things more difficult for his people.

Back to the rooftop, Mark started surveying the area around the command center. He could see that the two front entrance doors were wide open and the glass windows in the first and second floor were totally broken leaving only the frames of the window. Just with this, he could say that entering the first floor of the command center was highly dangerous.

However, the armory was actually in the first floor of the central building of the command center according to the information. The armory was locked with a number lock though making the process of retrieving the weapons much easier. The only problem was the danger to navigate to first floor to find the armory as the chief readily gave him the number combinations to the locks.

It looked like they needed to lure away the infected out of the building first before going. Would the drone work? Probably, it would not do. The ceiling of the command center was at the standard height and the passages were narrow. The drone might end up being broken down if used to enter the building.

Thinking of the way, Mark walked along the edge of the rooftop. He ended up walking towards the back side of the building. Below, he could see the City Health Center. He actually knew about this and thought about getting Charm's medicine from there. As the City Health Center, it should have medicine for a lot of common and uncommon illness. However, going to that building was total suicide. The building was separated to the City Hall and the only access to the health center was to go down the street and the front door. It might have a back door but getting there was even more dangerous that entering through the front.

The street was brimming with infected. The large Woodman was also frequenting the front of the building while gazing at the fruit on the huge tree. The Woodman seemed to have noticed Mark as it turned its body facing him. It did not make any threatening movements though.

'Hmm?'

Mark noticed something.

There was a strange male infected came shambling out of the broken down doors of the Health Center. It had a bloated neck and chest and was walking strangely as if it was drunk. But the pace it walked was not slow either.

'It's a mutated Biter isn't it?'

Mark thought. Then an idea hit him. Bloated chest and throat? Was it not the sign of a screaming infected in video games?

Mark decided to experiment.

He kneeled on the roof with one knee and carefully aimed his assault rifle. Seeing his stance, Abbygale ran over and looked at what he was aiming at.

If it was a Biter, it should be vulnerable to pain. Mark did not plan on killing it so he tried aiming at the infected's foot. It was hard as the distance was far and the assault rifle was not equipped with a scope. However, while he had no confidence of shooting it accurately, he was confident that he would not attract any of the infected below. The large Woodman as an exception, of course.

TSST!

Mark fired the first shot.

PANG!

It missed. The bullet burrowed unto the concrete several inches from the infected with a loud sound. The mutant infected seemed alerted but did not do anything but look at the hole the bullet made on the concrete. The other infected nearby seemed to be alerted by the sound as they started to flock towards the source.

Mark was not bothered by him missing the first shot and fired again after adjusting his aim.

TSST!

This time, there was no sound but a thud as Mark missed the shot again. What was hit was another infected that was attracted to the sound his first shot made. The innocent infected was hit at its forehead dying immediately with a splatter of blood.

TSST!

Mark adjusted his aim once more. This time, he succeeded.

AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!

The mutated infected actually screamed just as he expected.

A loud sharp scream echoed across the street as the mutated infected with bloated throat and chest was hit on its left shoulder. Mark was aiming at its feet but hitting the shoulder was not considered as a failure, right?

Still, Mark almost burst out laughing when he heard the scream. It was not the eerie and creepy sounding scream but a scream that sounded like the infected's throat was being choked by something.

Abbygale by his side already sat on the roof happily laughing out loud. Mei and Odelina who was watching what he did from the vehicle held back their laughter but also let out smiles while Siegfried and Odette were holding their stomachs as they laughed.

The infected's scream sounded like a person who inhaled a whole tank of helium! He sounded like Donald Duck screaming out loud while rolling on the pavement in pain!

However, it really did what Mark expected it to do so. The scream might have sounded funny but it actually attracted the infected. Even the infected from the other sides of the building came flocking towards the back of the City Hall!

Mark now had a way to keep the infected away from the command center for some time. He doubted that the infected would continuously scream. In that case, he would just make it scream once more later.