Dead End Chapter 76

Dead End

Dead End Chapter 76

Chapter 076

“We need to get away from the shore even if we take a rest.”

“Senior, my legs are shaking so much, I can’t move.”

“Should I carry you? Hurry up and get up.”

Son Taehwan grasped her hand with his injured one, but did not miss her flinching reaction.

“Did you get hurt by any chance?”

“It’s nothing.”

“Hey damn, where did you get hurt! Are you okay?”

Her actions reminded him of earlier, when Han Sujin had devotedly tended to his wounds.

“Wow. Are you trying to take advantage of the situation and cop a feel?”

“Quiet down, where did you get injured!”

Han Sujin struggled to get up with one hand and winced as she rotated her arms.

“Hey!”

“It feels like I sprained my arm when I was running on the ice.”

Both had faced two giant zombie whales, and considering the circumstances, being left with only a thumb and an arm injury was extremely fortunate. Far away, the whales were crushing zombies on the beach with their weight as they hunted.

The group of four once again realized just how reckless their fight with the killer whales on the ice floe had been.

“We really got lucky.”

“Yeah, we were lucky. But who knows how long our luck will last?”

“If I stay with you, senior, maybe our luck will continue.”

“Stop the noise. I’m the underdog who never gets lucky.”

While grimacing, she stood up and gave Son Taehwan a pointed look.

“Hey. If it’s too hard, I can carry you. You’ve earned that much.”

“Hehe. I’d like to be carried, but I can still walk. If it feels like I’m going to die, then carry me all you want.”

“Then I’ll grant you the right to be carried at any time. Like a ‘Son Taehwan Free Ride Ticket.’”

“Ha ha. That was funny. It almost sounds like a Parents’ Day gift.”

Han Sujin ruffled his hair and walked ahead on the beach. She deliberately showed a bright look as they turned their backs on King George Island. After the adrenaline rush of the crisis passed, Disk Hyuk’s death and that of the other survivors took its place.

They had survived.

But the good people at the Chilean base and Red Scorpion had all been wiped out.

Just four left.

Four was still an impressive number, but Han Sujin could not hide her bitterness.

Meanwhile, Shepherd, not understanding their words but seeing her bright smile, nudged Son Taehwan’s side.

“She’s a remarkable woman. Are you two dating?”

“Shut up. If you don’t want to be eaten by whales, get walking.”

Far from King George Island, as the iron spears retreated from the orcas’ assault and the whales, now with no more prey on land, slowly returned to the sea, Son Taehwan watched as they gradually dove back into the ocean.

“Sujin. If even those whales are infected, maybe…”

Son Taehwan trailed off while walking, watching the whales head out to sea.

The orcas become infected by eating penguins or zombies on the shore.

If it had been just the orcas, they might have been eradicated using GPS or whaling ships. However, if the infecting agent was a bird like a penguin, and considering the ferocious infectious power of the Alpha zombies, anything the orcas hunted might also become infected.

Fish, crustaceans like shrimps…

The next thought was the prospect of a global infection.

The infection wouldn’t just end at King George Island—it would spread instantaneously through the sea, and eventually lead to a global pandemic.

“Hey, doctor. Seriously though, didn’t you participate in some epidemiology studies in Africa?”

“Senior, I know what you’re asking. To give you a preliminary answer, I’m not really sure. But I do know that killer whales range greatly, and once they are corpses, they wouldn’t be able to sense blood…”

The zombies in the midst of a blizzard walked King George Island. Similarly, these infected would relentlessly spread, not knowing fatigue. Infections that don’t die even underwater are deadly.

She responded in Korean on purpose; there was no need to unsettle Shepherd or the preacher.

“Senior, what’s wrong?”

“Nothing. Just got something on my mind.”

Han Sujin looked at him with concern.

She desperately tried to keep the mood light so Son Taehwan wouldn’t fall apart, but sometimes he seemed to be completely lost in thought. Considering everything he had gone through, it was surprising he was still sane, but she became increasingly worried about him.

Son Taehwan thought about something else entirely, his gaze distant.

“Sujin. How much do you believe in dreams?”

“Why suddenly talk about dreams?”

“Just, dreams. Do you think they mean anything?”

“I don’t know. That field is part of what I was trained on when deployed here.”

“Ah…”

Son Taehwan looked at her then let out a hollow laugh and shook his head. He’d taken the talk about dreams too seriously.

In truth, he had been dreaming for several days about returning to his room, where she would greet him as a zombie. Although part of it was guilt, Son Taehwan knew better than anyone why he dreamed this.

He had come to Antarctica without having a proper conversation with Minsu.

Unsaid words. Unheard words.

He was troubled by that. If Minsu had died…

He looked towards the northwest, where Korea lay.

Now, the four of them sat down a good distance from the beach. They seemed completely drained just from walking a few dozen meters on the sand.

Each sat atop their rocks, drinking water or brushing their hair, taking a moment to rest. Son Taehwan brought out a map picked up from Sejong Base and Han Sujin took out an emergency kit she had managed to salvage, filled with antibiotics and medical tools she had grabbed from the Chilean base.

She first took a painkiller and then looked at her arm.

“Ugh. Senior, have you received first aid training? I can’t bandage this on my own…”

“Of course, I was in the damn Korean Air Force.”

“Wow. Anyway, can we start a fire first?”

“Hold on. Let’s look at the map. There should be some sort of base on Nelson Island.”

Shepherd joined in after listening to their conversation and glanced at the map.

“This base here didn’t get an attack order.”

“Then maybe Angel of Death didn’t touch it either.”

“Maybe.”

“Keh keh keh. They probably didn’t expect the orcas to get infected.”

Son Taehwan looked at the beach with a bitter smile.

Even in a simple map or booklet, the position of the Czech base on Nelson Island was indicated. Nelson Island itself was a small islet with a maximum length of only 23 kilometers, and because of its basin geography, you’d stumble upon the Czech base just by walking around.

“Anyway, Lieutenant. We should collect the weapons first, before you trip over a zombie penguin or something.”

As a veteran, Shepherd began by organizing weapons first. After the fierce battle with the orcas, they were completely destitute again. They had lost the chainsaw and half their ammo had sunk into the sea.

Fortunately, they still had Son Taehwan’s sniper rifle and Shepherd’s shotgun.

They had 37 rounds for the rifle and four for the sniper, along with several knives, but that was hardly enough even for a fight against spears, let alone zombies. Han Sujin flinched, reaching into her pocket for her Colt, but Son Taehwan shook his head quietly.

“Lieutenant. Can we take a moment to breathe from zombies?”

“Probably. The number of people living on Nelson Island isn’t very high. And zombies are not just made—they need to get infected…”

Research bases from various countries are centered on the Antarctic continent or King George Island. Even considering the entire South Shetland Islands to which King George and Nelson Island belong, facilities are scarce.

“Then, lieutenant, I guess we don’t have to worry about zombies for a while?”

Just as the words left his mouth, the preacher unexpectedly jumped forward with a start.

“Zombies! Zombies!”

He had seen a zombie approaching from behind while drinking water.

Son Taehwan and Shepherd reacted quickly. Son Taehwan picked up a rock the size of a human head, while Shepherd covered his back with the gun. The zombie reaching them from behind was hit by the rock and fell.

“Here too!”

There were two zombies approaching, both emanating black smoke. Son Taehwan picked up another rock, grinding his teeth as the other zombie’s movements seemed dangerous.

“Shepherd!”

“I got it!”

Bang bang.

Shepherd pulled the trigger before the zombie could do anything. Three shots rang out, and the remaining zombie trying to leap aside got its head blasted open.

“Barely hit it.”

“Huff huff.”

Son Taehwan gasped for air, dropping the rock with a thud. If it weren’t for Shepherd, the zombie’s charge might have seriously injured their group.

“Shepherd, can you teach me how to shoot later?”

“Shoot? What are you talking about, lieutenant?”

“I’m not that familiar with close-range shooting. I always fire lying down from 100 meters away.”

“Aha.”

Shepherd chuckled and nodded.

“Damn, can’t even rest easy. Alright, I’ll teach you shooting later. For now, how many do you think are here?”

“I’m not sure. I’ve never been to this part before.”

Son Taehwan estimated the number of people that might remain on Nelson Island.

Typically, wintering teams range from just 10 to at most around 20 people. If there were so many zombies on King George Island, it was because they’d gathered nearly every base’s personnel. Additionally, wintering teams from various countries often deploy unusually large numbers.

“About twenty? And that’s on the high end.”

“Phew. So, we’ve taken care of two, which means we’ve got to find the remaining eighteen or fewer?”

“Most likely.”

Shepherd nodded vigorously. Son Taehwan and Han Sujin’s eyes too sparkled brightly.

‘Damn, there’s no time to mourn.’

Son Taehwan sighed and looked back at King George Island. Standing still made the grief rise up, threatening to swallow him, but it was better to keep moving than to freeze in place.

“We need to find a safe place to light a fire. Shepherd.”

“Should we focus on what we can do first? You’re a good officer indeed.”

“Ha ha… I don’t seem to hear that much in the military, to tell you the truth. Anyway, I feel like I’m going to freeze to death if I just stand here. Let’s move.”

“Ugh, me too. I just want to dry myself first.”

The preacher shrugged his shoulders and agreed.

Even Shepherd, who hadn’t fallen into the water, felt the cold as his sweat cooled.



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