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221 Road Chase, An Unexpected Encounter with a Strange Looking Biker Outlaws

 Day 35 - 01:58 PM - Marikina-Infanta Highway, Real, Quezon

It had already been past noon when Mark arrived at the vicinity of the highway. This mountain road was called Marikina-Infanta Highway but was also known with the names Marcos Highway and MARILAQUE Highway. It was a one-hundred and ten kilometer long scenic highway that connected Metro-Manila and Infanta Quezon in the Philippines.

This highway passes through several cities, municipalities, mountains and other areas. At the place Mark reached however, was the desolate mountainous part of the highway. This part was of the highway that was built along this mountain range run across the mountains from the south west to the north east.

As one of the main highways in Luzon, Mark expected it to be a little more populated but he was greeted to the complete opposite reality. He was not thinking about the structures such as houses and pit stops and expected them to be scarce since this was a mountain area but he expected more vehicles along the highway.

However...

The highway as almost empty.

There were a few abandoned vehicles that already looked run down by the weather. As for the infected and dangerous animals, there was none.

Looking around, Mark could see some structures here and there. All of the structures were decrepit houses that were dozens of meters apart from each other. The things that took his attention on those houses however was that he noticed that there were houses that were surrounded by overgrown crops.

Mark approached one of the houses nearby. He had no plans to intrude into the house but he wanted to check the plants growing outside. There, he found a supposed to be small garden of Sweet Potato but after a month of being exposed to Mutagen and not being under care and management, the vines had overgrown and even covered the exterior of the house.

The largest leaves of the vines were a little bit larger than his palm and the vines were as thick as his pinkie finger. There no doubt that it was a mutated or evolved plant. Mark approached with caution since there it would not be surprising if he was suddenly attacked by the vines. However, it seemed that he was just thinking too much. Nothing dangerous happened. It seemed that only the growth of the plant was affected but it did not turn into something dangerous.

Waving through the thick foliage with Amihan flying beside him, both of them were amazed. The quality of the vines was superb. Mark also stumbled upon a lump of dirt bulging from the ground and found that the root of the vine was here. He pulled out the roots and dug an almost volleyball sized sweet potato.

"It's too BIG!" Amihan exclaimed. "I saw something like this before but those are small compared to this!"

"Yeah. With normal sized ones, a size of a human fist is already big."

Mark nodded as he held the dirt covered sweet potato that he could barely hold with one hand.

Due to this discovery, he made a mental note to stop by this place once more before he return to the base. He could at least take some vines and plant them back at the base. As for the extraordinarily large sweet potato, he cleaned off the dirt and put it inside his backpack. It would be something good to eat in the next few days.

Before continuing on his way, Mark peered through the broken windows of the house and it made him decided against entering it even more. Aside from the house being dark inside due to the vines covering its exterior, there was an unpleasant stench coming from the inside. It was a mix of human waste and rotting flesh. If it was others, they might have vomited already from the smell. Even Amihan did not try to come close to the house and stayed several meters away as Mark checked it.

Walking towards the north east route of the highway, he still did not find any trace of the infected or the animals. The only things he saw was the dried up blood stains on the road and at times, crumbling skeletal remains that could not be recognized whether it belonged to a human or an animal.

Along the highway, Mark saw several abandoned vehicles and checked the vehicles one by one. It was not because he was searching for supplies but he wanted to see some clues if there had been any human activities in the area.

Most vehicles had their windows broken into pieces with varying causes. Some were because the vehicle crashed onto something while the others were obviously broken in by force. There were also vehicles where the windows looked like it was broken by some animal.

The inside reeked of mold as anything made of cloth inside the vehicles was exposed the humidity of the mountains for too long. Some vehicles even reeked of blood inside. However, he found traces of human activity at on all of the vehicles as he saw that all the vehicles had their trunks pried open and the locks were broken.

Furthermore, he noticed that the state of the some vehicles did not match up to the majority. Those vehicles looked newer and the smell of blood in those vehicles were thicker than the others indicating that these vehicles were left here much later after the outbreak. The worst thing however was that these vehicles had traces of bullets on them.

Mark closed his eyes and heightened his sensitivity over emotions. He then touched the dried traces of blood inside the vehicle he was currently investigating. This vehicle seemed to be abandoned here not too long ago compared to others. He started to feel the lingering emotional energies on the vehicle. This was the benefit he received after his empathic ability started to recover. Even though it was still by touch, his sensitivity towards emotions became higher that he was now able to detect lingering emotional energies in the environment.

He noticed it accidentally when they were doing a supply run and he picked up the gun of a person who committed suicide in the barrio. The person shot himself on his temple while sitting on his bed. Mark managed to feel the despair and helplessness of the person before he died. It was rather unsettling since he felt it too suddenly. However, it only applied when the emotion was too strong to linger on things the person used before while having that emotion.

This time, he was trying it on the vehicle to see if he could deduce what had happened.

Suddenly, several emotions came into his mind. Despair, fear, anger... There was danger everywhere... It was suffocating that it felt that they were surrounded. The lingering emotional energy inside the vehicle was too strong as it came from several people. This kind of feeling even made Mark's hands shiver.

The people in this vehicle were not attacked by the infected or the animals since there were no traces of confusion in the emotion which signified that they were dealing with something unknown. Unknown things like the infected and evolved animals. It became more likely that they were attacked and surrounded by people.

VRRROOOOOMMM!!!

The sounds of several vehicles were heard. It was coming from the direction Mark intended to go.

"Amihan, let's hide."

Mark said before he ran towards the higher side of the mountain where he could hide while watching the commotion on the highway. Amihan hurriedly followed behind him.

The vehicles were still far but with the mountain being quiet, the roaring vehicles were too conspicuous. The sounds were echoing across the mountain range.

Soon, a refitted owner-type jeep appeared in their sight from the blind curve of the highway. The vehicle was driving too fast that its side hit the safety railings of the highway and created sparks but it managed to get through the curve safely. Looking at the frantic expressions of the four people inside the jeep, they seemed to be being chased.

Following the jeep, the cause came into sight. Two men riding a large quad bike together with more than a dozen men riding on different motorcycles appeared from the same curve. This group was obviously chasing the jeep for unpleasant reasons. Their faces looked ferocious and even though they were riding on some stylish motorcycles, their outfits looked barbaric. Their clothes were made of processed pelt from evolved animals and insects while wearing animal skulls and accessories which was in high contrast to their vehicles and weapons.

The ferocious looking group had guns but they were not shooting at the vehicle they were chasing. Looking at their expressions, Mark knew that they were enjoying the feeling of tormenting their victims as they frantically tried to escape. For sure, these guys had something in store for their victims at the end of this chase and that was why these barbaric people looked rather confident and relaxed.

With the situation at the highway, it seemed that Mark entered the hunting grounds of this group. For sure, they were also the ones responsible for the newer abandoned vehicles in the highway.

"My Lord... Those guys are scary..."

Amihan said as she watched the barbaric biker group.

She was not wrong. The group could be considered as scary even in most people's point of view.

Mark on the other hand was contemplating. He was thinking if he should help those people or not. Those people came from the north-east which could mean that they came from the settlement there. He could use some information and if possible, a guide there. Not to mention, there was a lot of vehicle in front of him now. Just by helping those people, he could possibly get three things at the same time. Even though the motorcycles would not be able to bring him to Bay City, it should be enough to get him to the settlement here in Quezon Province.

If he could get information from those people, it would save Mark more time. After all, he knew nothing about the state of the settlement here. If it was a military settlement, it could be better but what if it was a lawless settlement ran by some people proclaiming to be the leader? Things might become troublesome if it was the latter case.

However, before Mark could even make a move and before the vehicle of the victims could pass by, he faintly heard one of the bikers shouting. Looking at the Biker, Mark frowned. The biker shouted at his comrades while pointing at the place where Mark was hiding.

Mark could only sigh. Things had become troublesome. It would be easier if he could launch a sneak attack but who knew that there would be someone in the biker group with the ability to detect him. How far was he from them? From Mark's view, they were still about two hundred meters from him. That was some formidable detecting ability.

"Amihan, stay hidden."

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With Amihan staying behind, Mark ran back towards the highway and jumped over the safety railings. After landing, Mark calmly walked into the open. His emotionless eyes stared at the incoming vehicles.

The people at the escaping vehicles were shocked to see someone come out of the woods in front of them and became afraid that he was with the bikers. It was when they noticed that the person was not looking at them at all but at the direction of the bikers.

"RUN AWAY!"

A woman at the back of the jeep stuck out her head through the window and shouted at Mark. Even though they were the ones in the worst situation, she actually risked getting hurt just to warn Mark. This made Mark's first impression with this group rather good.

BANG!!! POOM!!! SCREEEEECH!!!! BAM! BAM! BAM! TAM!

A loud sound of a gunshot echoed which was followed by an exploding sound of a wheel and the jeep getting out of control. The jeep then tried to break and stop but due to that, the speeding jeep on the highway ended up tilting to the side and rolled three times before it was stopped by the safety railing on the outer lane of the highway.

One of the two men riding on the quad bike took had made that shot with a sniper rifle and accurately shot the rear wheel of the jeepney.

Mark looked at the jeepney. The woman was still shouting with worry about his comrades but it seemed that her comrades in question were in a bad condition. He on the other hand just stood there looking at the situation.

With Mark not moving at all and the jeep forcefully stopped, the bikers divided their group into two and surrounded their targets.