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119 A Dilemma

 Day 4 - 3:45 PM - Daang Hari Rd., Molino IV, Bacoor City, Cavite

More than an hour after they left Carlo's house, the group reached their current location after going turn after turn on roads and streets that they none of them ever used before the outbreak. These circumstances could not be helped as they were trying to avoid the most populated main roads and areas as much as possible.

Actually, the San Miguel I subdivision where Carlo and Anna lived could be accessed by the back road and the main entrance that was directly connected to Molino-Paliparan Rd., one of the longest roads in Bacoor and was one of the most populated. As such, the moment their vehicles went out of the subdivision, it did not take them long to encounter a road block in front of a hospital. Without any choice, they went into a branching road that led into the subdivision where one of their close friends, Carren, lived.

Mark did not plan on going to that house as he knew that Carren did not live here anymore after she married. The current inhabitants of the house should be her parents. Since they were there already, they passed by the house but Mark detected no one inside the house. With that, they continued on their way.

The streets they passed through were not densely populated. They would encounter small groups of infected every now and then with the occasional common mutated infected like Dozers. Dealing with that small number of infected was not hard for them who had an Evolver and Mutators. Nevertheless, it was too annoying especially when they encounter fully bloated Dozers that could explode at the slightest ignition.

Currently, the road they were traversing was wide and the abandoned and crashed vehicles in the middle of the road were almost non-existent. As such, they were able to accelerate more freely leaving most of the chasing infected behind. They two vehicles sped up on the road and their next destination on the direction they were going was Mark's house. It was not like there was anyone back in his house but he wanted to take to some things with him. Since his house was closer to this direction than the houses of anyone in the group, it was better to go there first.

Mark was now inside the MB Sprinter with the rest of the group. They did not ride on Laelaps' back since the next destination was far away. It was better for the dog to reserve her strength for more crucial circumstances.

*Crunch.

Abbygale who was sitting on his lap was eating some high calorie crackers. Not only the little girl but also Laelaps on the back and Emika on the other vehicle was having their snacks. It seemed that constantly using their abilities make them hungry faster than usual. It was obvious though since they needed nourishment or else, where would they get the energy to use their abilities.

Anna who collapsed earlier due to her emotions had already waked up about fifteen minutes ago. Even though she was not crying anymore, the grief she was feeling was apparent on her face. She was currently being consoled by Sundra and Charmaine who sat beside her.

At the end seat, Janette, who was still tied up was staring at Anna for some reason. Mark noticed it since earlier but her weak conscious had some weak fluctuations but the fluctuations could not be called as emotion at all. If it was to be described, it was like a fetus that was yet to be fully formed.

***

Day 4 - 4:37 PM - Gawaran Ave., Lakeville Subdivision, Molino VII, Bacoor City, Cavite

About one more hour later, they reached the subdivision where Mark lived. It was actually at the end most of the clusters of subdivisions in the area. Just over the creek behind the subdivision, the territory did not belong to Bacoor City or to Cavite anymore as it belonged to another province.

Every one of Mark's friends could not help look around. It was because this was the first time any one of them would actually see the place where Mark lived. And to say, for the most part, it was kind of similar to Carlo's subdivision since several blocks of the subdivision were almost vacant. At several blocks however, were fully occupied which made the difference.

Along the way, Mark could not help but sigh in relief. There were very few infected roaming the streets due to the location of the subdivision. Even though it was obvious that almost all of the houses had been abandoned, there were still presences of people at very few houses. It looked like that the houses that had stronger defenses had managed to hold out. Those houses could be clearly identified even without Mark's ability as an Empath. It was because there would always be infected wandering around them.

At the few last streets however where Mark's house was located...

"What the hell is this?"

Mark voiced what was in everyone's mind.

They stopped the vehicle before they could even enter the area. It was because they saw signs of activity some blocks away. After Mark went out to check, what he saw was a large horde filling up the street where his house was located. Scratching his head in dismay, he returned to the vehicle.

"Gege, what happened?"

Mei immediately asked seeing his expression.

"Just wait and you'll see."

Mark replied and looked at Odel.

"Odel, let's leave first and find a place we can stay. It's almost five already."

"Alright, Master."

With that the two vehicles retreated about two blocks away. They scoured the place for a safe place to stay for the night and ended up eliminating a lot of infected along the way.

They searched a few streets. However, it became difficult to find a place that had not been broken through near around the area. Mark thought of finding a house or building close by the area where he lived but far enough as not to alert the infected but the search was not going smoothly. The reason was because the blocks around the area only had less houses built and the houses were not secure at all.

"How about that church there?"

Charmaine pointed at the roof of the church that could be seen behind the clubhouse they just passed by. The church was on the same block as the clubhouse, just built further behind it as the large block was used and built with many things like a basketball court, a playground and a swimming pool. The main entrance of the church was located at the road behind the block.

Normally, Mark would decide against it as churches were one of the most frequented places by people in other locations. This one however, had the higher possibility to be an exception, though it was not a new church it was not that old either. Furthermore, because of the location of the subdivision, the devotees of this church were far lesser than other churches. This church was also always closed unless it was Sunday or at special occasions when a mass should be held. It was very unlikely for people to gather at that place.

The two vehicles soon arrived at the church and Mark was right. The whole place was locked and devoid of people. The only existences present were several wandering infected that were immediately attracted to the two vehicles that stopped by.

The church was built with a three floor structure, the first floor where the mass was being held, the second floor which only consisted of an indoor veranda that oversees the entirety of the main hall and the basement rooms consisting of several dwelling rooms and a two-vehicle indoor parking. Behind the church, there was another small building attached where the religious officials, priests and other personnel of the church dwell and prepare for the masses and other events.

Upon arriving, Mark was used to the scene but the others were disappointed. As a church, a normal person would think that it would look grand or at least, formal. This church however looked dilapidated. The walls were not painted, the large openings at the side of the hall were only blocked with steel grated gates making anyone outside be able to see the insides of the church, and the basement parking was bare without cover. The building beside the church was not even finished in construction yet as wooden posts, scaffoldings and rebar were sticking out of the walls and the roof.

"The place was not secure at all... I don't know if we could even call this a church."

Melissa blurted out her honest opinion after seeing the state of the church making almost everyone nod.

"Well, we don't really need to stay there. Look at the parking, we can just make the vehicles enter there and block the entrance with Emika's vines. As for the sleeping area, there should be rooms there."

Mark pointed at the room inside the basement that could be seen since there were no gates on the parking space.

"You're the boss. We'll follow you then."

Melissa replied. In any case, they could not find a good place to stay.

There were few secure looking houses that they passed by but Mark did not want those houses due to the fact that those houses were just one entrance buildings. In case that a sudden emergency came like a new mutant or a sudden horde of biters came, they would be trapped inside the house with very little space to fight in. With this church however, they could fully cover the parking doors and use the basement. If the parking door was blocked, they could use the main entrance of the church or the door at the building beside it to deal with the danger.

With that, they cleared off the infected which was done in less than five minutes due the small number of infected around the church.

They followed Mark's arrangement and sealed off the parking entrance. However, the entrance was not only sealed with vines but also with tree roots making the defense much stronger. Mikio wanted to help and as such, he made his nails grew longer that it started to look like tree roots. Similar to his older sister, he could grow and control his root like nails. However, his control was way worse than Emika and he also gets weak after using the ability.

Lighting up the place with several lamps, they started to scour the area. As Mark said, there were really rooms at the basement. There were three rooms with bunk beds and two rooms for utility. At the building beside the church, there was a kitchen, a dining room, an office, and the preparation room connected to the main hall of the church.

What Mark did first though after securing the place was to launch the drone they were always using. He wanted to see the situation around his house and if he was able to, find the reason why there were a large number of infected gathered at that place.

Mark connected the video feed to his laptop using several devices and sat at the balcony of the church. He sat there so there would be a better reception between the remote and the drone and the same for the wireless video feed.

The drone flew several blocks away and towards the direction Mark's house was located. Mark watched the scene along with the others as everyone was interested on why Mark decided to find a place to stay first. After the drone arrived, everyone was shocked.

The last three streets at the end of Lakeville were brimming with infected. The numbers probably exceeded thousands. Each of the three streets was stretched out for about three hundred and fifty meters but about seventy percent of the streets were occupied by the infected. Furthermore, there were also a lot of mutated among them. It was hard to count due to the number of the infected but it should be around or more than a hundred.

"Nee~ Uncle. Where is your house?"

Emika asked.

To the girl's question, Mark pointed at house inside an alley with a Cotton Fruit tree on the front yard that was being focused on the video.

"Eehh... Your house is small. Mmmmf!!!"

Emika said in disappointment and she was immediately grabbed by her mother stopping her from speaking further.

"Sorry about that."

Rosamie apologized about what her daughter said.

"It's fine. I live alone so it's pretty large if you ask me."

Mark said indifferently. Looking back at the video, he continued while frowning.

"This scene however... It's out of my expectations."

"Gege, who would expect something like this?"

Mei said on the side. She was right however. Who would really expect this when they barely encountered the infected since they entered the subdivision?

"Actually, I thought that the reason that there were very few infected is because of the location. To think that we encountered too few because they are all gathered there."

Mark was obviously distressed.

As they were observing the scene, the sun started to set and the clock ticked at six o'clock.

While they were watching the video, a bright flash of violet light further disturbed the chaotic scene. After the flash of light, the infected was visibly agitated that they all started running about but it seemed that they had no apparent direction and looked confused. They rammed at each other while the mutants started attacking the other infected blocking their way as if they were looking for something.

Everyone in the group was surprised by that flash of light. Furthermore, one of the reasons for their surprise was that the flash of light came from...

Mark's house...

"You got to be kidding me..."

Mark slapped his forehead with mixed emotions.