Dead End Chapter 64

Dead End

Dead End Chapter 64

Chapter 64

He glanced momentarily at Han Sujin before his gaze returned sharply to the minister. She, too, was looking at the minister with icy eyes.

“You’re asking too much. You know what I said, right?”

“It doesn’t matter. You have to do it.”

Eventually, the minister picked up the chainsaw, and Son Taehwan directed him toward where the bodies lay. Han Sujin, looking worried, spread out a long piece of packaging vinyl on the ground. Shepherd and the others dug traps as if they were plowing a field with a snowmobile. Shepherd, too, with his rifle slung over his back, diligently worked until he paused to scan the surroundings.

The defense plan Son Taehwan had devised in a short time was more than he had imagined. Even Shepherd, who had experienced various operations in Iraq, couldn’t dream of holding off a major attack by a numerous mobile force and zombies with such few firearms. Instead of a cigarette, he puffed breaths into the air as he spoke to Han Sujin.

“Doctor lady, that lieutenant guy… what exactly does he do?”

“A former lieutenant of the South Korean Air Force.”

“Ha, ha, ha. I’d believe you if you said he was some CIA or tactical specialist.”

“Ho, ho. Don’t let him hear you say that. He’d get all cocky.”

Shepherd went back to his shovel and let out a small chuckle. Meanwhile, the minister stood with the chainsaw in front of three corpses. The engine was already running, and he was shaking like a leaf.

“Hey. We don’t have time. And don’t forget I saved you.”

“Saved me?”

“If things had escalated back then, Shepherd or the others might have attacked you.”

“EEk. That, that is…”

The minister was also aware of the strange atmosphere earlier. Eventually, he pressed the switch on the chainsaw and with a disturbing sound, the frozen and bloodied body was dismembered. Son Taehwan watched dispassionately as the minister sobbed and methodically chopped up the corpses, sealing them into plastic bags.

Memories of the ears and nose he had recently seen surfaced in his mind. Cutting up a woman’s body into dozens of pieces almost made Son Taehwan vomit. Someone who cuts up another’s body for money. Someone who does it to survive. With zombies that bleed black, perhaps the revulsion would be less. But a corpse stiff with clotted red blood was grotesque beyond imagination. Before he knew it, the minister was also wracked with sobs.

Perhaps what the minister had said was indeed his own conviction. Looking at him pitifully, Son Taehwan spoke with an unexpected coolness.

“Two more to go.”


“There’s still not enough. We have to scatter more in that wide area.”

The minister looked at him through his goggles, but Son Taehwan averted his gaze. He pointed his gun forward as if ready to fire at any moment. Reluctantly, the minister proceeded to dismember the bodies brought over by the Red Scorpion.

“Minister, have you completely lost it?”

“Ha, ha, ha. Seems so, doesn’t it?”

Once most of the work was done, people watched the minister’s spiritless demeanor with a smug sense of accomplishment. He wasn’t a serial killer, yet he had torn apart the bodies of three people, piling them up in front of the control center.

Those who had initially laughed at the minister lost their words at the sight of the plastic bags, stiff with frozen blood. Particularly when they saw the face of a man cut in half amongst them—a sight grievously horrifying to comprehend—that they could do nothing but groan in subdued tones.

“Hmm, maybe they’ve come to their senses a bit now.”

“Yeah. Let’s go in. Well done, Lieutenant!”

People headed inside, and the minister followed them, as if in a daze. He carefully removed his blood-spattered clothes and wept quietly. Son Taehwan too couldn’t forget the strange sensation of cutting the black man’s body.

“Forgive us for our sins today, from our sins… our iniquities…”

Approaching the minister, Son Taehwan lightly patted his shoulder.

“Well done.”


The minister paused in his prayers, looking up at Son Taehwan with a vacant expression. That small gesture of kindness was enough for him. The minister laid his head against the wall and burst into tears, while Son Taehwan watched with a sympathetic gaze.

He hated him, yet he couldn’t hate him—an inherently weak human being. Son Taehwan recognized that he wasn’t so different from the minister.

Weak, agonizing, and despairing.

And yet, they sought out the right path to walk. Of course, what each considered the right path varied. Glancing at a wall marked “Dead End,” Son Taehwan went up to the second floor. There, Han Sujin was waiting on the stairs.

“Going to tease me again?”

“Not really.”

Han Sujin gently stroked Son Taehwan’s hair from the step above.

“Why do you keep doing that, Miss?”

“You’re kind of cute sometimes, senior.”

“Please, just stop.”

The two bickered as they continued upstairs. What followed was a waiting game. There was no sign of either the Red Scorpion or the zombies. The people, having grown weary from the wait, fell asleep on shifts while Son Taehwan and Han Sujin chatted quietly as they ate chocolate balls.

“What time is it, senior?”

“Nine thirty.”

Han Sujin let the chocolate ball melt in her mouth as she looked towards the hill. The snow was now gently falling, and the hill faintly visible.

“Do you think they might be circling around or heading somewhere else?”

“No, that’s unlikely. We’ve rigged tripwires with flares all around there. We will know if anything moves, be it zombies or whatever else.”

Son Taehwan would have been grateful if the enemy came from the rear or the side. In that case, they could focus most of their forces on the closely-clustered buildings and counter the mobility and firearms of the enemy. He was already seeing zombies slowly converging toward the open area, just as he expected. They were gradually tearing apart the corpses that the minister had dismembered.

“Senior, it looks like there’s a lot of zombies left in Chile base, right?”

“I liked it best when I could throw away those roach traps, you know?”

Han Sujin barely managed to suppress her laughter so as not to wake the others sleeping nearby. The two watched the zombies slowly approaching from the distant ridgeline. Suddenly, a whizzing sound pierced the air followed by the flare rising from the hillside. Back home, maybe a wild boar or a deer would bump into cans or wires, but not in Antarctica. Son Taehwan quickly grabbed his binoculars and searched the distant horizon. If it was just a false alarm caused by a stray zombie, there was no need to wake the others. However, what he saw was something glistening beyond the hill.

“All hands to battle stations! All hands to battle stations!”

Son Taehwan pounded on a can as he yelled like a madman.

As if to confirm Son Taehwan’s call, snowmobiles appeared from afar.

“All hands to battle stations! All hands to battle stations!”

“Get moving! This is the real thing, it’s the Red Scorpion!”

Shepherd, woken up by the noise, also checked outside and shouted loudly. The people, upon hearing Son Taehwan’s command, jumped up and ran to their assigned posts.

“Move it! Donghyuk, Xiao Wen! Take care of the machine gun!”

Xiao Wen, with Park Donghyuk’s support, climbed up to an area with an antenna. This was the last bastion, where food was stored, and some warmth remained.

Son Taehwan and Han Sujin also raced to a spot designated for a sniper. The place he chose was right on top of the building where he had fought the one-armed zombie.

“Senior! It’s the front!”

“I know! I see it too!”

The sound of their voices already spread across the entire Chile base. Atop the hill, faint silhouettes accompanied by flickering headlights became visible. Son Taehwan pulled Han Sujin up onto the building, then lay down in position.

“Radio check. Radio check. Can everyone hear me?”

“Okay, lieutenant!”

“Right side here! Loud and clear!”

“Left side here! Loud and clear!”

They had handed out two newly acquired firearms to those with some hunting experience. Like in the military base defense training, Son Taehwan arranged overlapping fire sectors like a fan. Once the enemy entered their ‘range,’ they were as good as dead.

As the long-range radio check with the stolen and owned radios was being confirmed, voices were heard shouting from afar.

“What are they saying?”

From a distance, three snowmobiles sped forward, their riders visible as Son Taehwan observed them through his sniper rifle, swallowing hard.

“Less than I thought.”

There were only seven people aboard the three snowmobiles, far less than the number Shepherd had mentioned of the Red Scorpion. As Son Taehwan watched the snowmobiles cross the four hundred meters mark, his fingers slipped into the trigger guard.

“Four hundred, three-fifty. Hold your fire, everyone!”

He checked the buoys set up in advance through his scope. As the enemies zigzagged, suddenly one of the snowmobiles flipped over with a flying pancake-like whoosh and crashed to the ground.

“What’s that?”

Accompanied by an unpleasant crunching sound, one of the three snowmobiles was wrecked by a trap set up by the survivors of Chile base. They had dug deep, broad trenches as though plowing a field with the snowmobiles, and one of the vehicles had fallen right into the trap. Not all the people could dig traps—it was sporadic, about every 10 meters, and sometimes they concealed remnants of the Chile base under the snow.

One man on the snowmobile was pinned underneath, bleeding profusely, and another, flung out, tried to shake his head and rise.

“I’ll need to confess to the minister.”

Son Taehwan aimed at the heart of a target three hundred meters away.

“Senior, what do you think they are saying?”

“Screw that! Did they listen when we were talking?”

“No, senior! Look behind! Behind!”

Han Sujin put binoculars to Son Taehwan’s eyes to show him what she had seen.

“Iron spikes!”

Unable to help it, Son Taehwan left the sniper scope and shouted out. The iron spike, which had disappeared after Han Sujin’s raid yesterday, had astonishingly reappeared on the hill. And it wasn’t just the spike—the hill was filling up with more than that.

“Hey! Lieutenant! The snowmobiles have stopped; what’s going on…”

Shepherd, too, had seen the zombies slowly descending from the hill. The number of zombies that appeared was far greater than the zombies at Chile base from yesterday.

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