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268 Evacuation Blockade, The Sure Death Situation and the Betrayal

 Day 41 - 3:00 PM - Barangay Dinahican, Infanta, Quezon

Mark rode on the back of Chaflar as he commanded it to fly up to the sky. The two flew high up but not too high that they would end up being struck by a random lightning strike. It was just enough to oversee the situation below while the whale with four limbs chased behind them like a mad creature.

As they flew, Mark watched the whale from behind and observed it. The whale was really covered with barnacles of different sizes all over its body, even its underbelly and the insides of its mouth. Even though most whales were not known to chew their food, being swallowed by this guy would surely tear anyone apart.

All of its feet looked similar to a frog's but without webs and the limbs were shaped like an Axolotl, a member of the tiger salamander family. The way it moved its body made it look like a tadpole with limbs that had yet to lose its tail while the way it ran was similar to a certain cat bus in a popular anime movie.

Everything crumbled in the face of the whale. Without minding anything, it tore through everything in its path as it chased after Mark and Chaflar.

As Mark thought, the whale was the very center of the storm. The eye of the storm moved at the same phase as the whale and the storm also changed its direction.

Mark made Chaflar control its flying speed or else, it would be no sweat for Chaflar to lose the whale. They current goal was to make it chase after them and Mark kept Chaflar from flying through the eye wall.

Flying like this, Mark could clearly see the difference in the situation between the eye of the storm where it was calmer and outside the eye wall where the strongest winds and rain was located.

To say, the storm was really a small one as it was not a naturally occurring one. Normal tropical cyclones had could have a span of one hundred to two thousand kilometers and its eye could have a thirty to sixty-five kilometer diameter. The storm caused by the whale however did not even managed to cover the whole Quezon Province and was just roughly fifty to sixty kilometer span. As for the eye, it was just between ten to thirteen kilometers in diameter.

Small as it may be, what it packed was its wind strength, rainfall count and its speed as it moved at the same speed that the whale that was at the center of it. The most unfortunate thing was that since the whale was the very center of the storm, it could stay in one place in an indefinite amount of time and the storm would cause way more damage in the affected areas than what a normal storm could do.

As Mark and Chaflar led the whale away to the north, they eventually reached the northern shore. Mark saw a lot of dead bodies both humans and animals along the way which made him sure that the evacuation experienced quite an amount of struggles.

Mark was sure that his group was fine though. After all, not only that they were capable themselves but they had his strongest trump card with them. If things where pushed to a shove, that trump card would surely make the move.

Since time had already passed, the evacuation should have reached the rendezvous point with the military already, or worst, they were already close. It was unless they were caught up in something that it was hard to escape.

Mark and Chaflar continued to fly off to the sea towards the Polillo Strait and turned northwest following the shallow part of the sea north of Infanta. He was sure that the brunt of the storm would surely reach the people that evacuated along with the people from the military but they should be able to endure it. The most dangerous thing about the storm was the flood and storm surge after all. They should be able to overcome some heavy rainfall and strong winds.

With the whale on their tail, Mark and Chaflar continued to fly northwest. Their target destination and the place to fight the whale was...

...the Death Valley Settlement.

***

Day 41 - 3:42 PM - Barangay Poblacion 38, Infanta, Quezon

Unknown to Mark that was leading the whale at the north, the Evacuation March of the people from the East Port Settlement came to a roadblock.

They entered the central conjoined area of several Barangays in Infanta and were the most populated area in Infanta. This was also the place where Mark and his group spent time testing things before they arrived at the East Port Settlement last night.

Along the way to this place, the encounter with both the infected and Evolved Sea Creatures caused a lot of casualties to their ranks. More than two hundred people died in the estimated count and most of them were normal people who joined the fight to at least defend their loved ones.

Even with the loss of these people, there were still a lot of them and they were all ready to deal with the infected once they entered the most urban town in Infata.

However, they were not blocked by the infected. In fact, they barely encountered them. Instead, they were blocked by ranks of hundreds of people armed with guns. The new assailants wore dangerously looking expressions of their faces as they watched the evacuees like prey than being people. Among the ranks of the new enemies, were the men of the Ruanto Family.

"Jacob, what is the meaning of this?!"

Darren shouted after he came out of his vehicle not minding the rain that immediately soaked him wet.

Jacob that stood under the cover of a roof of a certain commercial building only sneered at Darren's inquiry.

"Darren, Darren. Do you really have to ask? I know that you recognize these men."

"You damn devil! You allied yourself with the Death Valley!"

At Darren's words, Jacob clapped his hands.

"Correct! We've been allied for quite a while now. They really liked my presents after all."

Hearing that, Darren's eyes glinted.

Presents, it might sound innocent but if the Death Valley was mentioned, those presents could only mean people. That was right. It seemed that the Ruanto Family had been sending the Death Valley some of the people from the East Port Settlement as slaves to be traded. There had been reports that people, mostly good looking women, were missing inside the settlement. However, the investigation Darren led personally found no leads about what happened. The culprit was too slippery for them.

Who knew that it was actually the Ruanto Family that stooped too low and allied themselves with the criminals? It seemed that the words saying that politicians and criminals go side-by-side were not all false. They had just witnessed a literal one with their very own eyes.

Darren panned his eyes on the people that surrounded them. He did not want to start a fight in this condition since sure enough, hundreds or even a thousand or more would die in this if not handled correctly. In those casualties, not only the people from the settlement but also his family could possibly be included.

"Jacob, what do you plan to do?!"

"As for the plans, you should ask me."

The heavily build man standing beside Jacob stepped forward. With a prompt, Jacob spoke after that man.

"Darren, let me introduce this man to you. He is Adrik Volkov also known by the name "Emperor"."

Hearing that, Darren's eyes turned wide.

Adrik Volkov who was known as "Emperor" of Death Valley Settlement, was the leading figure and founder of that settlement build for criminals and those that turned into ravaging beasts after the outbreak started. To think that the man that founded that cursed settlement would appear here in person.

After the introduction, Adrik Volkov spoke.

"We've been itching to swallow your settlement since the start but who knew that an opportunity like this would appear. Thanks to our comrade here, the former Mayor Jacob Ruanto, we were able to organize this event. Jacob had informed us about the evacuation and actually, informed us about every single move of you people until you all walked into this stage."

Those words made everyone that heard it turned to look at the people around them. The Ruanto Family escaped the situation first and left them behind. For them to be able to relay information there should have been a spy within the people of the East Port Settlement.

Taking those words into their worried hearts, a seed of distrust was planted to everyone.

"Jacob, you animal!"

Darren cursed in exasperation.

"No, no." Jacob shook his head. "Rather than being an animal, I'm just being wise."

Jacob then panned his eyes to the people in front of him before turning back to Darren.

"Darren, Darren. You know what? You have been a thorn in my throat since the start. You're business had been flourishing but you are not accepting any investments and distribute shares to others. You've been flourishing and even after the outbreak, the good things appeared in your family. However..."

Jacob sneered.

"You severely lack ambition. If you allied with me before and accepted my offer, your family business should already have dominated the market in a large part of the country. You gain profit, I gain profit. It's a win-win situation for us. However, you being an honest hypocrite declined my offer and continued with the same routine. If you accepted that offer, I might have already said goodbye to being just a Mayor of the boonies but moved to a higher position already! I just lacked funds! Funds I say!"

Darren frowned.

"It's my family business and what does it have to do anything with you and your twisted mind? You crazy-ass bastard."

"Well, it might have been that way before but now... Heh."

Jacob sneered with a twisted expression.

That time, Adrik spoke.

"Darren Bryce Salvador, you really lacked ambition. Even your face tells it right now." Adrik then turned to Jacob. "You however, had too much."

"URK!"

Jacob released a strange cry as his eyes widened in disbelief. He turned his eyes down in pain and saw a hand covered in scales that pierced through his chest from his back. On the hand was his heart that was still beating. Jacob's disbelief turned into horror. The hand was pulled out of his chest causing blood to splatter as his body crumbled to the ground.

"Why..."

Jacob uttered his last word and died.

Adrik, who held Jacob's heart threw it on the floor and squished it with his right foot.

"You have too much ambition..." Adrik said in a cold tone as he looked at the dead body. "...even more than mine. I'm a criminal and you're a politician. If the politician's ambition exceeded a criminal's it would not take long for someone like you to try and usurp my throne. It's better to cut the weeds early then."

Adrik raised his hands and his hundreds of armed men aimed at the people from the East Port Settlement.

"Now, just surrender without a fight. A least, I could promise that your deaths won't be painful. We just need to get a lot of merchandise and manpower while the rest will be killed after all. Also I heard that the daughter of a Military Major and the niece of the crazy scientist in the Military Settlement are with you people. Bring them out."

Those words caused a feeling of dread and despair to spread among the people. After all, the people that were not chosen would die and those that were chosen would live a life that was worse than death. They would rather die all together but unfortunately, they did not have the courage to kill themselves.

It was a life and death situation for everyone. Everyone did not even notice that the rain buffeting their bodies had gotten stronger for some reason.