37 The Big Apple
Judith woke up in the comfortable bed of a luxurious hotel room. She rubbed her eyes while yawning and looked at the time indicated by the watch of her little brother next to her who was still in a deep sleep in their double bed.
'4:39 p.m. No... If I remember correctly Josh's watch is moving forward 3 or 4 minutes. So it's at least 4:42 p.m. Anyway, it doesn't change a thing, we are late.' She thought without really seeming to care about it.
She put her feet on the floor and sat down for a few moments on the bed. She knew that by raising the blinds now Josh would wake up automatically, he couldn't stand the light when he was sleeping, so she didn't do it yet.
With what she had been through since the start of the apocalypse, a few extra seconds of calm wouldn't hurt.
She and her brothers had arrived barely 4 hours ago in this city and we were already expecting a lot from them. She had told the people who had taken care of their case hundreds of times that they hadn't slept for 2 days and needed to recuperate but came up against an imparable argument, 'Monsters are at our gates, all awakenees must participate in our defense immediately.'
She who thought when coming here that being an awakened would be an advantage wasn't so sure of it now.
Anger rose in her when she saw the single bed at the back of the room where Ewan's bag was lying on, 'He didn't even had the time to lie down.'
Beeing the strongest of the three, Ewan had decide to protect his little brother and his little sister. He lied saying he was a high level awakenee and justified this by showing a tiny dot of energy on his fingertip. The people he was talking to being ignorant, they believed him.
He said that he could participate without problem at the protection of the city immediately but in exchange he asked as a sign of goodwill that they gave Josh and Judith a few hours of rest.
They agreed but asked them to be ready at 4:30 p.m saying that a small group of low-level awakenees was going to pick them up later to take the role of reinforcements.
The integration here didn't start off in the best possible way, to say the least, the worst part for Judith came from the fact that people twice their age had shown no shame or empathy in asking them to go outside and risk their lives, 'It's the advent of a world where everything will be done by interest.' She didn't even felt pessimistic thinking that.
Having the impression of hearing shouts, Judith raised the blinds slightly and saw people waiting on the sidewalk below the hotel. Realizing that she and Josh had to hurry, she opened the blinds fully to wake him up.
Josh opened his eyes as soon as he felt the daylight on his face and snuggled up under the duvets on the bed, "Holy shit! Can't you shake me lightly like everyone instead of doing that!?" As she expected it was brutal and instantaneous.
"We're late Josh, you're not a kid anymore so hurry up." She got up from the bed and picked up a rubber band that was in the front pocket of her backpack at the foot of the bed.
For obvious reasons she was easily losing patience lately, so seeing that Josh was still under the duvets was starting to annoy her, "Josh!"
Having suffered on several occasions from the excesses of anger of his sister during the last days and not wanting to see another one, Josh quickly got out of bed and put on his shoes without saying a word.
When Judith finished doing her ponytail, she saw that Josh was already ready with his rapier and their magnetic room access card in hand.
"It's okay, I'm ready." She said with a sigh.
A bald man in his forties was pacing nervously in the street, a street as chic as the hotel, surrounded by towering skyscrapers. He had been tasked with leading a group of 10 to the combat zone and found himself having to wait for two latecomers who were still not coming despite his shouts.
When he saw Judith and her brother walking out of the hotel casually, he couldn't contain himself, "Are you kidding me! Do you even realize your unconsciousness!? People are counting on us at the barricades!"
Josh apologized flatly but Judith didn't care and join the group without saying anything. Even if he was an awakenee, that man wasn't impressive at all for her and the other awakenees weren't blaming them for arriving late because they would have to fight less.
On the contrary, it was him who was a little frightened when he saw the gigantic ax Judith had on her shoulders and her zombie appearance caused by lack of sleep, "Let's get going, we've wasted enough time." He said with a more calm tone while indicating the path to their right with is thumb.
As the group was leaving, a young woman with a bow at her back about the same age as Judith came next to her, "Our destination is straight ahead, about 800 yards." She said with a friendly and relaxed smile.
"Why are you talking to me?" Judith didn't expect small talk on the way, even Josh was silent.
Seeing that Judith didn't seem very open to discussion didn't at all deter this girl from continuing to talk to her, "Right now, I would say it's because I don't want to stay too close to some of the guys in the group."
Indeed, looking at her more closely Judith saw that the girl who spoke to her was rather cute. She wasn't a model either, but her latin features and her curves had caught the eye of a group of 3 boys who seemed to be in their late twenties not far from them.
Their whispers and sexual allusions illustrated with their hands while looking at this girl without much discretion made Judith understand why she had joined her.
"Well you can relax with us, my brother isn't a pervert."
"Don't worry, I already figured it out." Replied Gabriella while looking at Josh.
If innocence had a face, it would be Josh's. If we asked him how we make babies and he answered wrong, it wouldn't even be surprising.
"What?" Josh was a little off the mark because of his lack of sleep, he hadn't paid attention to what the girls were saying.
"Nothing. What's your name by the way?" It would be smart to make friends quickly in an environment Judith was unfamiliar with, especially when that possible friend appeared to be smart.
"Gabriella, and you two?"
"Nice to meet you, you are new here aren't you?" Gabriella deduced looking at the dark circles on their eyes.
"I heard that this whole organization has only been going for a day and a half, we can't really be qualified as new members. But yeah, we've only been here for a few hours." Said Judith.
"You know, things change very quickly in the space of a day and a half, especially here. Fourteen hours ago, we still had electricity in this borough." Said Gabriella with regret.
If the only problem was electricity then that was nothing, Judith was staying in a 5 star hotel and from what she had understood there was nothing missing in resources apart from that.
"By the way, seeing as you seem to know how things are going here, do you think it will be fine at the barricades?" This question also caught Josh's attention, he was just like Judith very worried about Ewan.
Gabriella grew pensive, "It's the first time I'm coming but I have heard things and if it's like yesterday..."
"Shut up everyone! We are only 300 yards from the barricades!" Said the leader of the group to silence everyone.
Whether it was Gabriella, Josh or Judith, no one had noticed that they were already close to the goal.
When the group approached the large street leading to the barricade a little more, most of the people present lost what little courage they had assemble before coming.
The ground was strewn with the rotting corpses of humans and in a lesser number, disgusting goblins.
Seeing this, Judith began to run without hesitation towards the barricades which she could see in the distance, passing between abandonned yellow cabs characteristic of New York while checking to see if there were any fresh corpses on the ground.
"Come back here!" The shout of the so called leader of the group was useless, she didn't slow down and worse than that, Josh followed her as well as Gabriella.
After a while Judith saw the barricades very clearly, it would be more accurate to say that it was two rows of cars stacked on top of each other to block access to a bridge rather than real barricades.
There were about sixty men leaning against the cars who were doing absolutely nothing, including her brother.
Ewan greeted her with a smile and went to give her a hug in front of his teammates eyes, "Where is your team?" He asked her, worried that she had done something stupid.
"Just behind." She replied when Josh and Gabriella arrived breathless one after the other.
Not bothering to introduce himself to Gabriella, he waved to them enthusiastically to approach the cars, "It just ended but it's still a spectacular sight to see."
Through the car windows they saw 2 piles of bodies of humanoid monsters different from those they saw near Philadelphia.
There were about a hundred corpses in the left pile, an ogre-looking man of at least 6 feet and 9 inches tall with a club in his hand stood beside it.
He seemed to be bubbling with anger because the pile next to his was four times larger and because unlike him, the two men standing beside their pile didn't even seem to be out of breath.