I DON'T own the rights to ANYTHING, this is purely a fan-made story and is not to be considered anything but that. All rights belong to the creators of the Walking dead, the directors, and all the rights owners to the Walking Dead. Any credit for any parts of the series should go to these people and not to me, I'm just a fan who wants to share entirely made up plots within an already amazing story and world.

Me Before Them.

Part 5.

‘Daddy issues’ was what they’d have called it back in the old days. Truth was it was issues deeper than anyone could know. The bastard had beaten my mother since my birth; she endured it all even before I had been born. He threatened to throw us out on the street, leave us with nothing. This wasn’t revenge anymore now that I thought of it. I needed to give it more meaning. This would be for her. A beacon to show that we don’t live in his shadow anymore. I reached down and lifted up my grim weapon, a stick, a rock. All tied together by a mess of tape and wire. I had tied a rope onto it so it could be hung underneath my arm. I grabbed up the handgun my brother had given me. I always left it by the mattress I had been sleeping on. You were never less aware than when you were asleep. Not that you'd sleep much nowadays anyway. I holstered it in the front of my pants. I walked outside onto the deck. The view was something spectacular. The sun was orange as can be as it set in the evening. I could still hear the beeping of the armed C4 through the walls, which brought me back to the matter at hand almost instantly.

I had armed the explosives just before I caught a man rummaging through some of the hotels suites. He had almost flown out of the room, He moved so fast you could tell he was terrified. It's not very often you hear a sound like that anymore. I had gotten the jump on him fast and it had only taken one punch to put him out as he exited the room.

I lifted my leg up onto the rail and began to traverse down the rope. Above me I caught glimpse of him, Gill. His burnt head all pink and blistered glistening in the sun light, he had small parts of his hair left in places which made him look even more grotesque. He looked out over the balcony at me.

“Fuck you!” He screamed as he popped his head back out of sight.

I continued downwards onto the next floor down via another sheet rope. Quickly I proceeded into the suite and picked up another sheet, hanging it over my shoulder in one fluid motion. I marched towards the door I had barricaded lightly for exit. It took me three heaving pulls to move a large wooden cabinet from the doorway. I opened the door cautiously and stepped out into the hall. I was in their territory now, the creepers’ territory. They were fucking everywhere you didn’t look. So you had to look fucking hard. I began walking down the hall minding each new doorway I passed on my way. I eventually came to an elevator, it wasn't working, obviously. Inside the shaft was a ladder. I had pulled the doors open and been traversing up and down it for weeks now. The kitchen on the bottom floor had contained canned beans and other tinned goods that were well beyond their expiry date. I didn’t care, when I was starving anything would do. I took each new step gently, descending nine more floors down to the ground level. The elevator was stuck on the fourth floor. As I descended past I caught a glimpse of a creeper.

One of my basic traps had caught it. A hanging sheet over the entrance to the elevator shaft; the creeper had most likely walked straight into it tangling itself up within. It just lay there at the bottom of the shaft grabbing at nothing like some small children do. I kept moving down, each new step that rung of the ladder got a reaction from it. One second it would be grabbing away at nothing; the next it’d arch its back and push itself up as if to look at me through the fabric. When I reached the bottom and touched down my foot to the floor it stopped moving. It was aware I was there. I moved around it and stepped up into the lobby. Four creepers prowled the floor, blocking my way to the stairwell leading down to the underground car park. That’s where I had left the Jeep I’d been driving.

I slipped my right hand round the wooden handle of my makeshift weapon and removed it from my shoulder, readying myself for an attack. As I begun to stalk up behind the first creeper I heard something from behind me. Maybe it was that creeper I’d left in the shaft all tangled up. When I looked back I saw a shadow collide with the ground inside the shaft. It made a huge crashing noise. The sound of bones breaking was clearly distinguishable. I turned back towards the creepers in front of me. They were well aware of my being here now. They moved towards me as hastily as their inflexible bodies could. I made towards them, tightening both my hands around my makeshift hammers handle. I swung it as soon as one came into range. The squish and cracking sound when it struck was sickening. I moved onto the next and knocked it down with a thrust to its chest. The next two were still coming on. I danced around them and ran towards the stairway. I slammed shut the door behind me.

From the other side of the door they banged heavy and hard, knocking it against my back. If there were more, they’d easily knock this door down. I stood there for a good moment absorbing their blows through the door. I pulled the detonator out of my pocket and fingered at it a bit. I pushed the button; I was met with what felt like a small earthquake. It shook all the way to the ground floor, dislodging concrete from the walls this low down. The pushing against the door stopped with it. I moved quickly now, almost jumping down three flights of stairs as I went. The stairwell led out to the car park, it was filled with creepers. They were everywhere you looked, near four hundred of the bastards if I had to estimate. Most were shambling towards the car parks entrance, more than likely they were being pulled out there by the sound of the explosion. A few beams had crumbled and broken from the shock of the above floors falling. I pushed up hard against a wall and shuffled across the space in the direction of the Jeep. It sat waiting not twenty feet away. I got to it unscathed.

I walked around the vehicle and opened the door hopping into the driver seat. I shut the door lightly and turned the key. The engine rumbled and choked as it tried to turn over. That got a whole lot of looks from the creepers. I began pushing my foot hard into the floor, filling the vehicle with gas. The creepers kept on coming towards me, more and more of them came on as they noticed the vehicle choking and spluttering. It started then; suddenly and abruptly. A roar from the engine filled the car park attracting all the creepers within ear shot. I slammed it into gear and pushed the pedal to the floor. As I drove through the crowd, The vehicle jumped and bounced as I left a line of broken bodies behind me. I drove out onto the street where I could see the biggest gathering of creepers I’d ever seen. At least ten thousand, it was like some huge concert for the dead. I turned the wheel and headed out towards the coast.

From behind me I heard the familiar sound of a gun loading, as I turned to see what was behind me I was greeted by the kiss of a gun barrel on my cheek. Two men were in my fucking vehicle. One kept quiet while the other told me where to drive. We were headed towards the port. These guys must’ve been with Gill. The ride out there was as quiet as if they weren’t even there. The cold kiss of the barrel had become warm against the back of my neck.

When we arrived at the seaside, I was told to hand over my weapons. I did, I wasn’t in a position to say no. We walked along the beach a while before we arrived at a long pier.

"How far?" I asked as my shoes were swallowed by the sand.

"Bout twenty minutes..." the man who did the speaking said."We walk along the beach to be safe. Jump into the water and swim away if need be. Zombies don't swim too well." He looked towards the waves lapping up at the waters edge.

"Hahaha, zombies?" I laughed lifting my head into the air. the laugh became louder before it stopped. God that word had taken me back. It'd been years since I last played a video game. So much of my youth had been spent killing small pixelated monsters as I sat in my room, those were the years I'd started taking drugs, started abusing myself, started to rebel.

"What's so funny about these undead fucks, that has got you like that?" The man said as he kicked a rotting sand covered limb from his path.

"Just that you call them zombies, I don't." I answered him, another off my footsteps embedded into the sand.

"What do you call them then?" The man asked me.

"Creepers." I replied like that was their name.

"Creepers?" The man mimmiced in a question like tone.

"Just look at the bastards, they're creepy as fuck." I said looking up ahead towards a long wooden structure in the distance.

"Don't think we'll need to swim, did you see how many were in the street outside the hotel." It was the first time the quiet one had talked.

"Thousands of them." The talkative one said back.

Just then a beach buggy appeared in the distance, it moved towards us quickly, it was a small black dot at first. it grew larger as it closed in on me and these two others.

"You set them explosives off. that's what this detonator is for." The talkative one said as he pulled the detonator from his pocket.

No shit I thought to myself before agreeing to the accusation.

The beach buggy pulled up beside us, two young teenage boys hung from the back of it with machetes. An older man with white hair and goatee was at the wheel of the vehicle.

"Wanna ride..." he asked before noticing I was a prisoner and not one of their own. "Gill?" he asked again with a look of exhaustion.

The two men shook their heads and that was that. They loaded me into the back where I sat with my legs dangling over the edge. The othe two had squeezed into the front. These two boys were what worried me the most. Their eyes showed they'd seen some shit, been through some horrible circumstance.

As we drove under the large pier and into the shade, I noticed more people working on more buggies, some were removing engines from motorcycles others were dismantling boat engines. From behind, I heard them speak.

“Mike’ll want to see him.” One of the men said his voice crisp and clear. the driver, he prodded me in the back with his now drawn firearm. I jumped down off the back, the two boys flanking me from either side. We began moving around the pier and up to the street entrance. A large steel gate blocked it off the street. From what I could see the pier held two warehouses, a large cruise ship docked up beside it. We all walked closer to the gate where a man sat in a pay booth reading a book.

“Will.” One of the men escorting me said.

The man turned and raised his hand to his mouth. As he whistled a group of teenage boys came piling out of one of the warehouses. They hurried over and ifted the gate, we walked in. From then on it all went dark. When I came to, I found they’d tied me to the floor. There were handcuffs on me and they were done up tight as fuck. My wrists were bruised and aching. The floor beneath me was uneasy, rocking slightly. I realized then that I was in the ship. The room I was in bare of everything but a stool. An interrogation room anyone with a brain would know it.

A while later I heard the door open behind me, footsteps followed as someone walked into the room. He was a larger man I noticed, He had a mess of red hair and a chubby face outlined by more red facial hair. I looked at the ground after looking at him.

“Start talking, Dwayne said you’d admitted to blowing up that hotel. You know one of my guys was in there?”

“No.” I said still looking to the floor.

“Where’d you get your explosives?” He asked again, this time he used his hand to raise my chin so I’d look him in the face. I told him everything about everything. The only thing I didn’t mention was Sanctuary.

“Trust isn’t something I give out easily, Max. I believe you; your dad sounds like a cunt.” He’d said after I’d told him my story. “We’ve had a number of nut jobs turn up here. Some have tried to take this place from us forcefully. We’ve had others infiltrate this place and kill others. We’ve even had a child rapist. You’ll meet him in a minute.” He undid the handcuffs and lifted me from the floor. He pushed me out into the hall. We walked for a while, through the lifeless white halls of this ship. I spied saw small children running about their mothers as we passed an open door.

He led me into another room, the door to this one had to be wound open and shut. Inside there were pipes galore. A boiler room, I was chained to a pole and cuffed around my ankles, the man left without another word. A metal winding sound filled the room as the lock outside was done up tight. What followed was complete silence.

“Hey you.” A voice called across the room breaking the quiet. A black man he was with tattoos covering most of his skin., even his face.

“You the child rapist” I said locking my eyes on him.

“Nah not me, that’d be old Charlie over there.” He shrugged his head signalling towards another man tied to another post. This guy was old, older than my father. He’d be roughly eighty by the look of him. He looked up and smiled his gums at me. He had no teeth left in his mouth.

I turned and looked at the wall before kicking it as hard as I could; my fathers’ words were ringing in my head. ‘You always bring trouble with you, you always fucking have.’