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112 The Unknown

 Day 4 - 7:52 AM - Firenze Townhouse Complex Subdivision, La Joya St., Buhay na Tubig, Imus, Cavite

Mark took out a notepad and prepared to write important details about their plans. Especially, it would be better to take note of the places they needed to check and arrange those places from nearest to furthest. In that way, they would be able to do a linear search instead of going back and forth when they did not need to do so.

Unfortunately or fortunately, Mei, Abbygale, Odelina and Melissa were only here for the sake of discussion. Mei hand no plans to search for her family obviously and for Abbygale, she had no family to search anymore. Melissa on the other hand, both her parents were working abroad and there was no way for her to search for them. Moreover, her close friends live Manila and other places far away. As for Odelina, her parents were already dead and her husband's parents and siblings were from abroad too. Odelina's only sister was also living with her in-laws abroad.

Their discussion went smooth. The other members wanted to search for their families if possible. It was good that Ann and Carlo were actually neighbors so going to their place to search for their families could be done in one go. It was also the reason how the unreliable looking Ann was able to enter and work at Carlo's family's business.

As for the two sisters, Charmaine and Cielo, their father, half-brother and step-mother also lived at Manila making the search for them pretty much impossible at the moment or maybe, even in the future.

"By the way, where is Elsa?"

Mark asked while looking at the two women.

Elsa was the oldest among them siblings. She was also one of the people closest to Mark like a sibling similar to Charmaine and Carlo. However, he had no idea where she was and his only lead was her younger sisters.

"About that, Big Sis went to Mall of Asia for a date with Erwin."

Cielo replied. Apparently, when Charmaine went to the City Hall early in the morning, Elsa was still at home so she did not know where their older sister was.

"Hmm..."

Mark tapped his chin hearing that. Mall of Asia was located within the Bay City which was now made into an evacuation settlement by the military. He then remembered something and subconsciously tapped on his belt. However, he did not find what he wanted to get.

"Gege, the phone is inside the car. I charged it yesterday when you collapsed."

Mei said after seeing Mark's actions.

"I see, Mei'er can you get the phone. Maybe we can ask Angeline. They should have a list of their refugees, right?"

"Yes."

Mei stood up and made her way to the garage under everyone's confused gazes. They were confused as to why the two suddenly mentioned about phones when the phone services were already down since the morning of the first day the apocalypse commenced. After all, the only ones who knew about the Satellite Phone Paula gave Mark were only Odelina and her two children.

"Bro, why are you talking about phones? The service is already down."

Carlo voiced out making everyone nod.

"The phone I'm talking about is a Satellite Phone directly connected to the military communication line."

"What?!"

Everyone was surprised.

"Then, Bro, you can contact the military?"

"We can only contact the group in Bay City."

Mark stated.

"Then Big Brother, isn't it possible to ask them for rescue? Especially for the people we needed to look for."

Charmaine asked.

"You better not count on them."

Mark shook his head and continued.

"If the military move out to evacuate people, they won't be able to prioritize and end up saving every survivor they come in contact with. Unless the person they needed to search for is a famous scientist or someone with expertise or probably a high ranking politician, that case will happen. If we rely on them, we won't know when they would be able to find your families. When it comes to worse, they would not be able to. Furthermore, the military manpower in Bay City right now is severely lacking. It even took them too long just to pick up the survivors at the City Mall we were in before because of their lack of people."

Mark stated the facts he was able to think of which was highly likely to happen.

With that, they finally understood the circumstances. Also if Mark did rely on the military before, then, all of them who are here right now would not be here in the first place. If the worse situation even came, they would already be dead already and would have no chance to even sit here.

Because of this fact, they all became thankful of Mark who went off away from the possibility of going to a safer place just to find them. The same case also went for Sundra, Melissa and Ann who was not in Mark's list in the first place. Even though it could be said that they were here on the whim or because they wanted to stay, it was no lie to say that they were also saved by Mark.

At this time, Mei finally returned with an odd looking phone, because of its overly large antenna, on her hand.

"Gege, here."

Mei sat back beside Mark and handed the phone.

"Thanks."

Mark then started browsing on the phone looking for the number Paula saved in it. After pressing the call button, Mark waited for the other line to answer.

After about ten seconds, the line finally connected.

"Hello? Mark?"

A familiar female voice answered the phone. It was not Angeline however but Paula who answered.

"Paula?"

"Yes, it's me. Why did you only call now?"

Paula sounded aggrieved.

"I had a lot going on at my side. By the way, where is Angeline, I have something to ask her."

"That's..."

Paula paused with a sad tone.

"Did something happen?"

Mark asked with a frown noticing that something was wrong with Paula's tone.

"Ange is in coma right now."

"How?"

***

Day 3 - 5:57 AM - Tirona Highway, Kawit, Cavite

The convoy led by the military had just left the Bacoor City Mall just more than half hour ago. They took long despite the short distance they travelled due to the infected now blocking the streets despite the fact that the military rescue squad had just passed through this road the night before. Furthermore they also encountered several mutated infected further hindering their travel.

Another thing that was putting pressure on them was the horde that kept on following them behind from the time they left the mall. The slower infected had already been left behind but the faster ones kept on coming. Their numbers were endless making the sounds of guns being fired sounded continuously. The sounds of battle in all directions made all the survivors they were transporting restless all the way.

"We're finally hitting the expressway."

1st Lieutenant Rafael said with relief. Inside his armored vehicle, Angeline and Paula were also aboard. It was their privilege considering their family connections. Together with them, Reyah and her daughter Sariya also were also aboard. As the little Sariya was an evolver, even if it was a mild evolution, was a precious existence to the military. Due to that, they were also given special treatment.

As they arrived at the expressway, not only the 1st Lieutenant felt relived but also the other soldiers. It was because the expressway was a closed road and had already been mostly cleaned the rescue squad when they passed this place by yesterday. Since the expressway could only be accessed by the entrance and exit roads, it would be impossible for the infected to suddenly flood in like how it happened back in the highway. Furthermore, even if they just let the horde behind them follow behind them, they would be able to speed up through the expressway and leave the infected behind.

However, that relief caused the soldiers to lower their guards at that moment.

A huge bodied humanoid shadow lunged over the walls of the expressway directly towards their convoy in a very fast speed.

The soldiers failed to react to it as no one would expect to something to jump over about three meters high going over the walls. Furthermore, the attacker came from a blind spot and came straight towards the military trucks middle of the convoy instead of confronting the exposed soldiers on top of their vehicles firing towards the infected behind.

BAM! SHIINK!

The humanoid landed loudly, directly beside the moving truck. It then immediately waved its hand causing a metallic slicing sound.

That was when the horror struck.

Half of that truck was sliced open including the bodies of the survivors sitting on the right side of the truck.

"AHHHHHH!"

Screams of horror were heard coming from the truck as the survivors sitting on the opposite side of the truck saw how the bodies of the survivors in front of them was split horizontally through their stomachs.

Among those screaming survivors...

Was Joseph who watched the bodies of his father and their co-worker Calvin split in half, spattering blood all over his face.

The metal supports of the roof of the truck on the right side was all sliced off making the tarpaulin roof to flutter through the wind as the truck had not stopped moving. Due to the sudden entry of air through the inside of the truck and the speed it was moving, the upper bodies of the victims immediately slid off from their lower bodies spreading the gruesome scene of intestines and blood on the floor of the truck. Some of the bodies at the end of the truck even fell out of the truck also scattering the blood and guts on the road.

"Dad..."

Joseph slowly slumped unto the floor not minding all the gore and blood on the floor. He held the decapitated torso of his father who was had yet to breathe his last.

"Joseph..."

Bernard called out with a fading voice while stretching his hand towards his son's face.

"Dad!"

Tears finally flowed out of his eyes. His grief was now able to overcome his shock. He held his father's hands let his father touch his face one last time.

"Become, strong... Survive..."

Bernard's body finally slumped down. He died with his eyes open.

There were other survivors who were in the same situation as Joseph. Inside the truck were people who knew each other. If the person in front or beside them were not their relatives, they could be their friends or close co-workers. Yet, they all saw their bodies sliced in half like that. While some grieved at their loss, some almost fell insane due to the sudden traumatic experience.

To see people you love die because of sickness is one thing. Seeing them die because of an accident was another. Seeing them killed by someone was further. However, to see your loved one getting split in half splattering blood and guts on your face and by your feet and watch them slowly die...

Would make many people crazy...

The truck then lost control and was toppled to the left side as the engines and other mechanisms of the truck got damaged in that attack. Due to the speed they were going, the truck slid quite a distance away painting the middle of the expressway with blood.

Outside the truck, the military vehicles were entangled in a bloody battle.

Their enemy could finally be described.

It was a seven foot tall male humanoid with grey skin. His torso looked very thin with bones almost sticking out of its skin. On contrary to his torso, his limbs were firmly shaped with stacked muscles. The most noticeable however was not his body shape but his non-existent right wrist that was replaced by a meter long claw shaped blade made of unknown material.

RATATATATAT!!!

The humanoid moved in a very fast speed that the soldiers firing at it could not even hit it with a single bullet despite the fact that all of them were using M16 Assault Rifles.

"AAHHH!"

A soldier screamed as his arm was sliced off by the humanoid. Another soldier went to aid the screaming soldier but before he could even do so, the head of the screaming soldier flew off with a trail of blood.

Enraged, the remaining soldiers went into formation with their faces looking seriously distressed.

"Captain! We need reinforcements here at the back! We have an unknown here! We're losing men!"

One of the soldiers shouted at the radio in alarm. It was because another soldier was decapitated with his legs falling off.

'Unknown', it was what they call existences who could not be confirmed whether they were a Mutated Infected or a Failed Mutator. It was even because there were abnormalities even among the mutated infected leading them to fail at differentiating these two kinds of existences apart from one another in a single glance. Furthermore, the unknown was on a way different level compared to the common infected.

And to confront an Unknown, even for the military, was a suicide mission.