Dead End Chapter 83

Dead End

Dead End Chapter 83

Chapter 083

“Those damned orca bastards. They really have a knack for smelling blood. They probably swarmed here after I killed that sea lion.”

“Did you kill it in the water?”

“Are you crazy? After what happened yesterday, the thought of water alone pretty much makes me piss myself.”

Shepherd showed Son Taehwan where he’d killed the sea lion. It was about 10 meters away from the water’s edge.

Watching the orcas frenziedly hunting, Son Taehwan started to think hard.

“Shepherd, you’re a genius.”

“What do you mean?”

“It was problematic to get from Nelson Island to another island, but this sea lion could be the key.”

Shepherd quickly understood what Son Taehwan meant.

“Are you suggesting we scatter pieces around the island?”

“Yeah. Those blood-thirsty orcas will go crazy and swarm to it.”

Son Taehwan took out a generator belt left over from a previous skirmish at the Chilean base. With this, they could scatter pieces of the sea lion’s body around on land as well.

“Thank goodness, padre. I did contemplate whether we should’ve cut up the Czech’s body.”

“Heavens no. Never bring that up again.”

The pastor shuddered and waved his hands, dismissing the ghastly thought.

“Anyway, we’ll be able to have a decent meal today. We should barbecue plenty of meat before we leave this place…”

“Senior, hold on.”

“What? I’m not going to ask you to cook. I’m amazing at cooking meat, you know?”

“No, I don’t think we have the time for that.”

Son Taehwan started to explain further but then looked towards King George Island. The smile faded from his face.

“Those bastards… how is that even possible?”

“It looks like they’ve moved during the orcas’ hunt.”

Like marines storming the land from the water, a zombie burst out from the sea. Following it, one by one, alpha zombies that had caused the collapse of the Chilean base yesterday began to appear. After the second sighting, which was a stout zombie, another alpha zombie landed on Nelson Island, expelling black steam.

Son Taehwan could easily imagine how they managed to travel from King George Island to here.

“You can’t be serious; they walked underwater, Sujin?”

“I don’t know. Their physical characteristics are no longer human.

The zombies moved around King George Island undeterred by the blizzard. It wouldn’t be surprising if they had walked underwater like divers.

“Damn it. I thought the orcas would distract them so they wouldn’t follow us.”

“Do you think they followed us on purpose? Look at that.”

The alpha zombies suddenly started hunting the sea lions. The creatures chaotically lunged at the sea lions, tearing at their flesh. The stout zombie held down one trying to escape into the water, crushing its head, and other alpha zombies responded swiftly.

“This gives us a chance to learn about their ‘abilities’.”

“Abilities?”

“Yes, the ones like the runner that the orcas killed yesterday or that stout guy have an attack pattern. It’s good to know it anyway.”

Son Taehwan observed the stout zombie’s movements and those of the other alpha zombies. There were two new zombies they hadn’t seen at the Chilean base yesterday. One slim alpha zombie used its long arms like a whip, snapping a sea lion’s head clean off.

While its speed was slow, much like the stout zombie, its arm – stretched out like a whip due to dislocated shoulder joints– measured about 1.5 meters in length.

“If we encounter that one in a narrow space, it’d be difficult to manage.”

“Looks like that one’s an alpha too.”

Another alpha seemed swift. Like the one-armed zombie encountered at the Chilean base, or the runner killed by the orcas yesterday, it moved agilely to cut off the sea lions’ escape.

And the last one to appear was akin to an embodiment of terror: the spearhead.

The creature emerged from the water, dripping, the last of them to come ashore.

“Damn. It’s like watching Godzilla.”

“Be thankful it’s not shooting radioactive beams.”

Son Taehwan watched with a bitter smile as the spearhead obliterated a sea lion, hurling a large rock to crush it. Blood sprayed everywhere, and the few remaining beta zombies flocked towards it.

“It’s like watching a primitive tribal society. The brave hunters bring back meat, and the rest of the tribe rushes in to feast.”

“Senior, there seems to be a hierarchy too.”

It was like watching a pride of lions. The beta zombies that had crowded around were eating away at the meat but stepped aside, letting the alphas come through, as if submitting to their presence.

‘Is there some order to this chaos?’

The sight made Son Taehwan shiver. It would’ve been easier if they were just mindless monsters. At a distance, you could take them out with a gun. But these creatures had fought the Red Scorpions with organized tactics, ultimately leading to their annihilation.

“Shall we take them out here? The number of beta zombies has significantly reduced. If we snipe from here, we could take a few of them down.”

“But you said some of them are fast? If they close the distance, we’re done. Our weapons are limited.”

With less than forty bullets for their rifles and only four shots left for the sniper rifle, could they really take out all those alpha zombies? It was a complete gamble. The number of beta zombies had decreased enough to consider taking a shot, but Son Taehwan shook his head.

“Lieutenant, what should we do? I’ll follow your lead.”

“Me too, senior.”

Son Taehwan took a deep breath before looking back at them.

Nelson Island was much narrower compared to King George Island, with a maximum width of 24 kilometers. It wouldn’t take half a day to be overrun by those zombies. Moreover, even places with strong defenses proved challenging for Son Taehwan.

The spearhead was still able to throw rocks, and the other alphas remained unscathed. Although the stout zombie had its right hand twisted by a gunshot from Son Taehwan, it held a long pipe in its other hand.

“Whether we gamble or not, let’s secure a way out first. If we get pushed back to a boat, we can head out to sea.”

There were orcas in the sea, but Son Taehwan intentionally didn’t bring that up. There was no time for sorrow, despair, or fear.

“Are we not gambling here?”

“Shepherd, it’s tough with forty bullets. If we had a machine gun, I’d consider, but if they flank us, we’re done for.”

“Right, they’re damn smart and use flanking strategies.”

“Those truly intelligent bastards. We can’t even be sure that’s all of them.”

The situation at the Chilean base had worsened because the stout zombie had led a flanking force that smashed through the defenses. Ordinary zombies are one thing, but these were different; they had intelligence.

Remembering that desperate situation, Son Taehwan shuddered. With what they had, they were hopelessly outmatched.

“Shepherd, you and the pastor work on dismantling the sea lion and keep a lookout from here. Sujin, go back to the base and salvage whatever you can. I’ll look for the boat.”

Son Taehwan coolly issued orders. Shepherd took up the sniper rifle to keep watch on the coast and drew his knife. The others cautiously retreated.

“Sujin, prioritize food and water. And the laptop.”

Son Taehwan said this and turned away. He thought he was being incredibly irresponsible, but there was no helping it. He ran frantically along the coast as instructed by the Czech.

Soon, he saw a gentle slope and next to a rock, a black rubber boat, tipped over. On top of the boat, there was snow, and tucked underneath, a frozen water bottle and a Russian combat ration box.

“That Czech was really a good guy.”

The Czech had left all this behind and died in despair. With this equipment, one could’ve escaped Nelson Island alone and headed for a base on the Antarctic mainland.

“If only Sujin packs the food properly…”

As he thought of the young lady, he paused. Suddenly, his heart began to race.

Her hair was glossy black, her eyebrows arched beautifully when she smiled. Her nose had distinct shapes, her lips were small and plump. What was most striking were her big, expressive eyes. When she blinked, it was as if a puppy was tilting its head in curiosity.

Not to mention her looks, her medical skills were also solid. Except for the occasional clumsiness, she had a surprising no-nonsense side, and Son Taehwan had survived thus far thanks in large part to her.

He loaded the crate onto the boat and took a deep sigh. The memory of the Czech’s suicide flashed before his eyes again.

“Damn it, I don’t know what to do. What are you thinking, Son Taehwan?”

Was it just a bond forged with someone he survived with, or…

The touch of Han Sujin’s hand, the feel of her cheek, such memories were pointlessly vivid. And the most impactful was the sound of her heartbeat he felt from behind. Recalling the sound of her heartbeat made Son Taehwan’s own heart start racing uncontrollably.

“Donghyuk. Damn, is this okay?”

He sighed deeply again and frantically loaded the items left by the Czech onto the IBS rubber boat. He tried to dull any emotions, detesting the idea of being swayed by them any further.

He shook his chest with his fist and eyed the sea. The sea was teeming with sea lions and penguins chased by orcas, taking refuge towards the east of Nelson Island. Among them were some acting strangely due to the black blood and attacking their fellows.

“Now there’s more to worry about than just the orcas.”

Looking at the infected penguins, he felt a dizzying surge of horror.

No doubt among these penguins were those Son Taehwan had seen on a fishing trip to Narebski Point not a week ago. Just days before, Antarctica was peaceful, and now it had turned into a land of hell.



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