Dead End Chapter 90

Dead End

Dead End Chapter 90

Chapter 090

“Sujin, follow me. Shepherd, listen to the pastor’s sermon carefully.”

“Hmph, I’d also like to team up with the pretty doctor, but can’t be helped. Got it. See you in a bit.”

Han Sujin trailed behind Son Taehwan without any complaints this time. As they walked westward on Livingston Island, they remained silent.

Occasionally, Han Sujin glanced towards where Shepherd had gone but soon hastened to catch up with Son Taehwan’s brisk pace.

“It’s not what you’re thinking, right, senior?”

“What is?”

“That we’re going to ditch everyone and just take the plane and run away.”

“I’ve lied about the quantity of fuel, but I haven’t lied.”

“Lied?”

“If I were to leave alone, there should be enough fuel for about 500 kilometers. If I hadn’t lied about your weight, it might have been fine to include you, too.”

Han Sujin gaped at Son Taehwan in shock.

“Th-then why did you do that?”

“I can’t trust them. A small glimmer of hope could lead to everyone stabbing each other.”

“But Shepherd risked his life for everyone at the Chilean base, didn’t he?”

“There was no hope back then.”

“Then why go through all the trouble to search for gasoline?”

“Well, we need to make absolutely sure we can reach the airport. If we crash, it’s over.”

“Wow, senior, you really are twisted, you know that?”

Just as Han Sujin was about to start gossiping about Son Taehwan to the dog with her, the dog suddenly ran ahead of them and growled.

“It’s not barking.”

“Is there something out there?”

Son Taehwan observed the direction the dog was growling at through his scope.

“What is that? An oil field?”

“Oil field?”

“There’s some drilling equipment, and it looks like the machinery is still running!”

“Ah!”

“An oil field, I’m not sure, but if the machinery is still active, that means there’s got to be oil!”

The Dragunov’s scope was too low-powered to make out the precise situation.

The distance was roughly 2 to 3 kilometers.

However, the dog seemed to prevent the two from approaching that area.

“What’s with this guy? Is there something over there?”

“Senior, I’ve got a really bad feeling about this.”

“But there might be oil over there.”

“Why didn’t the Spaniards at the base go there after they saw it?”

Son Taehwan had no answer. But the fact that the machinery was still moving meant that the place hadn’t been bombed.

“We still have to go. If you don’t want to abandon those guys.”

“That’s…”

Son Taehwan walked on silently. And as they approached the strange moving machinery, Son Taehwan too began to feel an unsettling premonition — the same feeling he had when he first encountered Han Young’s corpse.

As the sky began to lighten, both looked up silently.

“Senior… have you ever seen such a big bird?”

“Bird? The seagulls here are large, but…”

Suddenly, the dog, going crazy, bit the hem of Son Taehwan’s clothes.

“What’s wrong, boy?”

“Senior! Look!”

Without hesitation, Han Sujin drew her revolver and fired a shot into the air. Surprisingly, the bird flying circles in the sky, emitting a ‘black steam,’ began circling them again.

“Damn it! First orcas and now a bird!”

Son Taehwan was about to shoot the bird with a sniper rifle but instead grabbed Han Sujin and they both fell to the ground. The bird narrowly missed them and soared back into the sky.

– Lieutenant! What’s that sound, why the gunfire!

“There’s a bird! An infected bird is flying around!”

-A bird?

“Shepherd! You see it from there! The infected bird is flying around!”

-No! All I can see is the sky!

Coincidentally, Shepherd had the automatic rifle, and the firepower of Son Taehwan and Han Sujin was limited. Only four bullets were left in the Dragunov, and the revolver’s ammo was just the same.

“Damn, how do we hit that.”

Once again, the bird swooped down as if it spotted something and then rose to the sky again.

– Lieutenant! Are you alright!

“We’re still good!”

Contrary to its recent threatening appearance, the bird returned to its original spot and kept circling in the air.

“What the hell is it doing? Why did it return over there?”

“It doesn’t seem to have any intention to attack, right?”

“Why is that? Alpha always attacked living creatures, whether humans or orcas.”

“That’s just a theory… but could it be that lifetime memories and instincts still govern even after zombification?”

“Lifetime instincts?”

“Think about it. Penguins never attacked us.”

Indeed, penguins had never attacked them.

“Animals don’t attack those bigger than themselves. Maybe this is why neither penguins nor birds attack us.”

In fact, Alphas, unlike Betas, had higher intelligence and it wouldn’t have been strange if they retained their lifetime memories or instincts.

“I get what you’re saying, but…”

“Then why did humans attack their own species? Perhaps that’s part of human instinct, the drive to prey on one’s kind.”

Han Sujin spoke these chilling words without changing her expression.

“Is that the nature of humans?”

Son Taehwan couldn’t argue against her logic. Red Scorpion sought money through killing, and the Sejong base coldly abandoned people.

No different from a zombie.

Son Taehwan found the words irritating. In this lawless Antarctic, humans discarded virtues, plunging below animals.

‘We just can’t merely survive. No, just surviving is not enough.’

Son Taehwan felt guilty about lying to Shepherd earlier. Despite his conscience pricking him, he changed the subject.

“But there’s something odd. Then why did that bird go back there?”

“I’m not sure. But it’s certain there’s something over there.”

Son Taehwan looked towards the place where machinery was continuing to operate. It loomed ever larger, as if entering a forbidden domain or a demon’s castle.

“Shepherd. We’ll keep moving westward.”

-Really? Are you sure you’re alright?

“I don’t know why, but the bird didn’t attack us. And it seemed like…”

-Like, what?

Observing the circling bird, Son Taehwan shook his head in denial. Han Sujin’s words had given him a clue. The bird seemed to be ‘guarding a nest,’ circling and protecting something.

“No, it’s nothing. Anyway, is there any oil there? Any kind will do.”

-Dammit, hardly any supplies left here but a few canned meats. This place has been heavily bombed, fuel depots utterly destroyed.

“Damn. Alright, then keep scanning the area. There might be other survivors or something.”

-No need for backup?

“Not for now. I’ll call if needed.”

After finishing the comm, Son Taehwan stood and moved forward, and the dog reluctantly followed, whimpering. Regardless of the sounds overhead, they stayed close to the ground as they approached the area of concern.

“My god… there was a reason why the folks from the Spanish base didn’t come here.”

“I didn’t expect there to be so many.”

The place was a seagull breeding ground, with hundreds of seagulls moving and squawking. Whether the area had always been a nesting ground or not, everything moving was an ‘Alpha zombie.’ Even the newborn chicks were emitting black steam; around the machinery, within a 100-meter radius, it was all zombie seagulls.

Son Taehwan spotted a red gasoline canister beyond the nests of seagulls. No doubt, the survivors at the Spanish base saw this, too.

“Maybe the fuel on the plane was salvaged from this hellish place.”

“Why?”

“Look at that.”

Son Taehwan pointed towards a crawling zombie among the seagulls. Its legs were thoroughly consumed, and attached to its torso by a rope was the red gasoline can.

“…Senior. Let me say this in advance. Don’t even think of risking your life.”

“I know. Won’t do anything unnecessary. And remember this- I’m the only pilot. Hold on.”

Son Taehwan cut off Han Sujin as he surveyed the area near the gasoline can. The dog beside them was whining quietly, appearing anxious.

The dog that tried to stop them.

The mysterious machinery.

Numerous seagulls.

Why was the ‘sweep’ initiated on the western side of King George Island?

The reason why America mobilized an AC-130 to destroy everything in Antarctica.

And, despite everything, why didn’t the AC-130 destroy the machinery?

No, the cause of all events in Antarctica.

Son Taehwan was looking at the origin of all those questions.

The oil drilling rig was continuously expelling something that piled up like a mountain outside its bounds. From within a well-like structure, that something was stacking up. Son Taehwan held his breath as he took in the sight.

It was the source of infection that had infected all Alpha zombies.

That very source had infected all nearby gulls, which then spread to the sea or to humans, creating chaos.

“This can’t be… Everything started here! From here! They wanted to completely destroy Antarctica to keep this origin point a secret!”

Han Sujin snatched the sniper rifle and could see the area near the machinery.

As soon as she saw the borehole, she sighed deeply. The substance that was being pumped out was rippling and dissipating as it ‘evaporated.’ The sheer quantity was staggering, but witnessing the spectacle, Han Sujin was appalled.

As a doctor, she had hypothesized several possible causes of infection.

A virus or some kind of bacteria.

But the truth she encountered was completely different. Han Sujin quickly recognized the identity of the substance spreading out before her.

“The infection source is soil?”

Whatever was pumped from the borehole and accumulating near the nests of gulls was unmistakably soil.

“Geologist!”

Son Taehwan suddenly shouted out loud.

One of the unresolved questions had been the unusual number of geologists in the Sejong Base wintering expedition. Usually, not many geologists were included.

But this year, an unusually large number had been organized, and it was because of these people that fuel had been supplied.

Another clue – among the Chinese who died at Sejong Base, one was a geologist.

Why had a geologist died here?

That question, too, was answered right there before them.

Perhaps the countries of the world had discovered this ‘black soil’ sooner than expected and attempted to utilize it.



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