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93 Commercial Center

 Day 3 - 1:32 PM - Molino Boulevard, Bayanan, Bacoor City, Cavite

Along the boulevard, a black armored and apocalyptic styled van was leading a convoy consisting of six vehicles. There were three were Hi-Ace vans, two multi-cabs and a Black Armored Caddilac. The convoy was following the boulevard going east, south-east.

Inside the Armored MB Sprinter that led the convoy, everyone was watching a 3d action movie Mark downloaded in the mall before in the large monitor at the back of the vehicle. Mark actually had more horror, gore and zombie apocalypse moving stored in his Hard Drive but no one would have the mood to watch those movies at the moment.

While the others were watching the movie and Odelina was driving the vehicle, Mark was busy looking outside the window. He was staring blankly outside while contemplating about things. Right now, for him, there were a whole lot of things to analyze or at least create a theory.

As he was deeply thinking about things, he could hear the voices of the girls who were watching the movie. It seemed that the movie had already reached the first fight scene.

Inside the other vans in the convoy, almost no one dared look at outside the window. Every single time they attempted to do so, all that happened was them seeing the devastation the apocalypse had brought. All they could see were abandoned cars with broken and blood covered windows. Vehicles that collided into each other or even worse, busted through a wall or fence. There were even some overturned vehicles. They could also see the remaining rain water puddles that had not evaporated or sucked under the ground yet. The puddle were not clear colored but rather, blood colored as the rain yesterday washed the blood that scattered across the road. There were also decapitated body parts and decaying corpses left here and there.

Not only on the road but the houses and establishments along the road were the same. The windows were broken, the walls were splashed with blood and there were some that had already turned into ruins.

There was even the fact that there would be infected everywhere. Many of them were attracted and even chased their vehicles.

Every time they looked outside, they were only reminded of things that could happen to them and things that happened to their families and friends. The morale of the survivors was very low. It would sure take some time for them to get used to the new state of the world right at now.

Back inside the vehicle, it looked like that Charmaine was also paying attention to the scene outside the window from time to time. She noticed something and could not help but ask Mark.

"Big Brother, I just noticed but why are there too few zombies on the road? Back in the City Hall there's just too many."

Her question also attracted the attention of the others inside the car. They all turned to Mark waiting for an answer.

"Well, it's just my theory but there should be a single reason to this. Though everyone became infected with Mutagen through the air, we actual infection started at a single point and not everywhere at the same time. The infection started to spread out from that point so the largest numbers of infected could only be found in three locations."

Everyone nodded and waited for him to continue.

"The first location should be at the ground zero. The second location was where the current infected was still spreading or the frontlines of the infection. The last one should be at places where people were gathering. Like you just said, there are more infected back in the City Hall. It is because there are people hiding inside. Now, we are nowhere near those locations so expect to encounter lesser infected."

Mark had just finished what he wanted to say when he remembered to add another explanation that was easier to understand.

"Just think of it like this. These places had less food and prey for the infected so where would they go?"

That was really easier to understand and perfectly explained the current number of infected. Since these places had less food and prey for the infected, the infected should have gathered to places where there were more people.

Their several minutes of travel were smooth. The boulevard had four lanes for vehicles for each direction making it easier to maneuver across abandoned and crashed vehicles. The number of infected also did not hinder the convoy and was easily decimated. If the road was blocked, Mark's vehicle that led the convoy would easily push the cars blocking the road to the side allowing the convoy to move on.

It was fine until they reached the first main intersections of the boulevard. Before the outbreak, the distance between this intersection and the City Hall was just three to five minutes on foot and even just a minute on a vehicle at full speed but now, they took about ten minutes to get here due to the obstacles on the road.

However, that was not the problem here. The problem was because there was a large traffic blockade of about more than a hundred cars blocking the intersection. The convoy could not help but stop and look for a way around.

Mark stepped out of the vehicle along with Abbygale and started to survey the area around them while eliminating the infected in the area. The police in the convoy along with Chief Mallari also went out to protect the convoy using their riot shields and police batons. It was not the right time to go out and shoot after all.

Mark climbed up on the roof of an abandoned van to see further and even tried looking at the fast food just to the right of the convoy. Seeing the situation, he could only shake his head in disappointment.

It seemed that the people who created this mess were out of their minds while escaping. In the center of the intersection, the main cause of the blockade could be seen. About a dozen of cars crashed into each other and the other vehicles that tried to maneuver around the crashed vehicles ended up blocking each other's ways. Even the drive thru and the parking area around the fast food was in the same situation.

Mark returned to the vehicle and Odelina lowered the window on the driver's seat.

"Master, how is it?"

"It's impossible to get through this. Get me the tablet. I'll try to find another route."

Odelina looked behind her and told the girls to hand over the tablet and immediately gave it to Mark. While Mark was browsing the offline mapping app, Abbygale could be seen dashing and jumping around breaking the necks of each incoming infected in the area with a single kick.

The police on the other hand applied the block, push and hit strategy. They would block the infected with their shield, push the infected back and hit their necks with the batons. It was quite effective since the number of the infected where not big.

Swiping and enlarging the map on the tablet, Mark soon found another route which would go around to the western side of this blockade.

"Odel, drive inside that commercial center. It will lead us behind that fast food and we can also stop on the gas station on the other side of the street."

Odelina nodded and readied to reverse the vehicle. Mark signaled the police to return to their vehicles as they were leaving.

The convoy made a U-turn and drove back for about 3 three lots. There they found the entrance of the commercial center. It was a commercial area that consisted of several separated commercial buildings and a wet and dry market further inside. Vehicles could be driven inside the center compound. One of the entrances of the center was connected to the boulevard while the other was on the street next to the fast food at the corner of the intersection.

After entering the commercial compound, they were greeted by the gory scene inside. The glass windows of the stores were smashed open and dried up blood could be seen inside almost every store. The only stores remaining intact were the stores that had steel shutters down.

***

Inside one of the closed stores in the wet and dry market, five people were huddled on the floor. The group consisted of two women and three men. The store was small and these people were in no way related to this store at all. Due to that, they could only access the main area of the small retail store and the toilet. It was lucky that this store was selling sun dry goods making them able to eat for the past two days. The problem however was that their water supply had already ran out last night.

"What are we going to do now? I'm thirsty."

One of the women voiced out in a weak voice. The other people in the group had no way to answer her though and just kept quiet.

Then, the ears of the woman who spoke just now perked up.

"Do you hear what I'm hearing? I hear vehicles."

"What are you saying? I don't hear anything."

One of the men said.

"Yeah, maybe you're hallucinating because of your thirst."

The other woman in the group added.

When she heard what they said, she could not help but agree. Maybe she was really hallucinating. After all, once a person started to get delirious, they could hear or see anything and that was the only word that could describe her state right now.

Until... she heard it again...

"I'm not wrong! I really hear it!"

"Yeah, I also heard it too!"

One of the men who did not speak earlier said.

Because of that, the others perked up their ears and started to hear the sound of vehicles passing by.

"Should we ask for help?"

The thirsty woman asked the others.

"We have no choice do we? We'll be stuck here and die if we don't."

The other woman said making the three men nod.

"Alright, gather anything we could use as weapons and grab some bags of food. We have to hurry or we will miss them!"

The man who was acting as their leader spoke and everyone moved immediately according to his instructions. However, the only things they found that they could use as weapons were a pair of broom and dustpan. They were feeling aggrieved but they had no choice.

"When we go out, ignore the zombies and run towards the vehicles as fast as possible. We only have one shot at this."

***

While moving inside the commercial compound, Mark and Abbygale had to go out and deal with the infected. The road was too narrow and was designed to only allow two vehicles to pass at the same time. However, the outbreak left a lot of cars abandoned in the middle of the road giving them the need to push every single car out of the way. Still, it was easier compared to the situation at the intersection.

The only problem they had right now was the incoming infected and the slow pace they were travelling.

More and more infected were getting attracted by the sounds of the engine and the police also started to help to hinder the infected from coming close to the vehicles.

After another seven minutes, they were finally at the last corner of the road. It was the corner of the wet and dry market that led to the other entrance.

At that time, Abbygale stopped beside her Papa and pulled his sleeves while looking at a certain direction.

"Gale? Is something wrong?"

"Papa, danger."

Hearing what she said, Mark looked at that direction and saw nothing. However, four people entered his detection area at that time. They were running away from something.

Soon the four people were on sight, two women and two men. They were all running shouting towards Mark's direction. They all ran like there was no tomorrow despite their weary looking faces. They tried to avoid all the infected on their way and succeeded but their panic did not lessen even just a little.

"Help!"

They all shouted in a chorus while panting. Their voices all sounded desperate and filled with fear.

Crashing sounds could be heard just behind them. Then, after a louder crash, a two meter mutated infected could be seen running after the four while carrying a freshly mutilated body. The features of the infected could not be any more familiar to Mark since he encountered this kind of mutant twice inside the mall. It was one of those that he previously called "Fat Mutant" which he now decided to call Dozer. It was because of these mutants' tendency to ram on anything and everything that was on their way between them and their target.

However, this Dozer chasing the group of survivors looked slightly different. Its body was all bloated as if like a balloon that was ready to burst open. Furthermore, there as a gas like effect near its mouth. Mark could not help but think of the large Woodman back in the City Hall. The Dozer in front of them should be another Level-2 Mutation.

Hearing the shouts, the police started to get ready to confront the infected and save these survivors. It was their duty after all. However, an unexpected situation happened.

"Well sh*t."

Mark cursed. It was because when the Dozer saw him, it disregarded the survivors it was chasing before and started charging towards Mark's direction.

"Gale, stay here and guard the car. Papa will deal with this guy!"

Mark did not wait for the little girl's reply and ran off towards another direction, away from the convoy.