As we sat and recovered from our ordeal, I described our adventures to Amber and Abe. I told them about Mr. Smith, Ellis on the roof and the soldiers in the trucks. I also told them about the battle we thought we saw taking place.
‘We saw that too,’ said Abe, ‘and were planning to head in that direction.’ Amber shook her head.
‘It seemed like a great idea at the time but the closer we got, the thicker the crowds of viros got and in the end we gave up.’
‘I know,’ said Ellis. ‘We thought about the same thing but the soldiers will likely shoot anyone who just walks up to them unannounced. If we had a vehicle then that would be another story.’
‘But none of us can drive,’ said Abe.
‘Vinnie can,’ replied Ellis. ‘Well, at least he had started his driving lessons. I bet he could drive us to the soldiers.’
‘He probably could,’ said Amber, ‘but we need to find him first.’
‘Exactly,’ said Ellis. ‘What are we waiting for?’ Amber looked at Ellis’s ankle.
‘You won’t get far with that ankle,’ she said. ‘Perhaps we should wait a while.’ Everyone fell silent again and I felt very sad for Ellis. Although I had only just met her I already knew how independent she was and the thought of slowing everyone down must be really annoying her. I looked around the dirty storeroom. I saw a pile of orange traffic cones and there was something behind that looked interesting.
‘Hang on,’ I said and walked over to the corner. I moved the cones out the way. ‘What about this!’ I said as I pulled a rusty wheelbarrow away from the wall. I turned to Ellis. ‘We could take turns to push you in this. You wouldn’t slow anyone down and you could fire your catapult if necessary.’
‘Brilliant,’ said Amber and Ellis together. I carried on looking around the room.
‘I think it would be a good idea if we all armed ourselves with something. I know that none of us are trained fighters but we have all watched enough films and played enough games to understand the need to fight back against the viros with something.’ I grabbed a mop that was minding its own business beside the sink. Underneath the sink I found a large can of red spray paint.
‘Have a look around for anything else you think we might need,’ I said. ‘Food. Medicine. A torch. Anything.’
We spent the next five minutes finding all the useful things we could. Abe found a barely-working torch but couldn’t find any spare batteries.
‘We might pick up some on the way,’ he said. I handed him the red spray paint.
‘You can spray this into the face of any viro that gets too close.’ I handed the mop to Amber. ‘You can use this like a spear if you need to.’ She grinned.
‘Put what you can carry in your rucksacks,’ I said, ‘ and the rest we can put in the wheelbarrow with Ellis.’