The halls seemed never-ending and the heightened atmosphere of fear felt surreal. Max and Darren reached the east doors, which were already locked. "Okay, nothing is getting in through here." Max said as he pushed the door with all his strength. "Wait, shouldn't we cover it up, since it is glass?" Darren pointed out. Max nodded his head and started to think of where to get appropriate sized coverings. The fencing room. "Alright Darren, go check the south doors and I'll find some coverings for these doors." Max waited for Darren to leave the eastern hallway and then proceeded to open the fencing room door. I doubt the fencing room will miss these. Max told himself as he lifted and drug floor mats into the hallway. He placed them upright onto the doors in a fashion incapable of seeing out or in. Trapped in the one building I was freed from. How ironic. Max exited the east hall and made his way towards the south hall to check on Darren. He stopped at the edge of the hallway, and froze in awe of what he saw on the other end. He sprinted toward Darren. "Shiiit! That's terrific! When did they get here?" Max asked him as he waved at Calvin, Logan, Morris, John, and Stephanie. At that moment, he couldn't feel happier. The situation at hand seemed easier with some acknowledgement of his friends survival. "They busted through the doors just as I was about to bar them. I'm happy I didn't or else we'd have thought them to be zombies!" Darren exclaimed. Max knew his statement couldn't be more true. "Hey Maxipad, how you shakin'?" John said as he walked up to and shook Max's hand. "Come, guys! Carry your stuff to the main hall, everyone else is there at the moment." Max informed them. More people means more manpower... but it also means stronger strains on food and water. Max ignored his thoughts, and walked between Morris and Stephanie with something he hasn't possessed in a long time. A smile. Perhaps it was more of a smirk; Max isn't really a good smiler. "Max, how do you think our families are doing right now?" Morris asked him. Max looked at Morris with a very serious face. "Look, James, I'm sure our families are just as safe as we are. It would be best if we didn't talk about this until tomorrow." Max told him with serious thoughts of doubt. Our families have a much lower chance of survival, this school is isolated from communities.
They grouped up with their fellow ex-classmates in the cafeteria. It was midnight, and completely pitch black outside. Max, Darren, Thomas, and Morris sat with each other in the center most table, discussing what they should do next. "The storeroom has some food supplies, but with our numbers it won't last long. I'm not sure we'll be able to ride this out." Max stated. "Ah fuck no, I'm not going out there. I'll gladly stay here, Max." Darren said furiously. Thomas started to sweat and he grabbed for his pulse. "Look, I think we should leave in the morning, I don't want to stay here any longer." Thomas exasperated before he got up and walked away from the table. The situation was too much for him to bear all at once, his heart was under pressure. "I'm glad he's gone." Morris mumbled. "Now then, we'll take a vote as for when we leave. Either tomorrow or when supplies run out. Personally I would rather we leave as soon as we can." Max suggested. Darren looked outside through the windows and then turned his head to Max. "Alright, I guess you have a point. We'll vote." Darren got everyone to group up at the largest table. Eleven of us, no ties. "Alright then. I know this is a strange situation, but we need to stay calm-" "Hey! How are we suppose to do that when there are things trying to kill us?!" Katelyn yelled, interrupting Max. "Zombies. Not things, nor are they humans. Look, as far as we know this place is well protected." "Then why don't we just wait it out?" John suggested. "Yeah, I mean, for all we know the military could come through and wipe them out." Autumn stated. This is going to be harder than I expected. Max waved for everyone to follow him and walked up to the storeroom door. "Have a look for yourselves. We won't survive a week with what's left in there. But, nonetheless, Darren and I have come to the conclusion that we should vote. If you wish to stay here for as long as possible, stand to the right of this door. Stand to the left for asap leaving." Max said as he walked over to the left of the door with Morris and Darren. Stephanie stood beside Max, and Calvin joined them shortly after. Thomas is the only one left. Max looked over at the other group, shaking his head. "Autumn, are you seriously considering this? What about you, Logan? If we leave now we won't have to-" "Thomas! Get over here now! Do you want to die?!" Katrina yelled at Thomas. Thomas looked down as everyone stared at him. He slowly walked over to the right side of the door. "This is ridiculous, Max. We're not actually staying here are we?" Stephanie asked him. "Majority rules, pal. Looks like we'll be riding this baby out." John exclaimed. Why can't things work out in my favor. No... no, this is it. I'm tired of this. "I'm leaving whether you guys join me or not. I trust at least James and Steph would join me." Max said exuberantly before he walked over to the left most table and picked up a backpack filled with supplies. The packs were filled earlier by Autumn and Jacob, in an attempt to sort out the tension and stress. He proceeded towards the north hall and entered fencing room.
Stephanie, Morris, and Darren joined him. They slept in the fencing room with the door locked as everyone else slept in the cafeteria. No one really slept, though. The night felt longer than any other, with many thoughts racing through each survivor's minds. When the eternal morning finally came, Max's group walked to the main hall doors and planned their route out of the building with minimal notice from zombies. Through the small windows in the doors, they could see half a dozen zombies roaming the parking section. After they planned a makeshift idea to Darren's truck, Max was about to wave them out. Just as he went to do this though, an idea hit him in the face. The fencing room! We kept steel blades under lock and key in the closet. "Hey guys, wait at the main doors, me and Steph have something to retrieve." Max said, wincing at Steph. Stephanie hesitantly walked with him to the fencing room. "What are we doing, Max? Something you want to tell me?" She said, hoping for him to open up his emotions to her. "The weapons. We can use them in clutch moments." He stated as he opened the door. "Come on, Max. The weapons aren't real." "No, Steph. The swords kept in the closet." Max chuckled. They unlocked the closet and opened the large container. Three of them, one for each of... oh wait, there are four of us. I still have Darren's switchblade. Stephanie grabbed for the katana, leaving Max to carry the claymore and rapier. They proceeded out the room and back to the main hall before being interrupted by Autumn. "Max, don't leave. You shouldn't do this." Autumn pleaded. Max stopped and turned to her. "Autumn, I wish to live. Living involves more than the security of these walls." Autumn ran away from them, hiding her emotions for Max's life. She has connected to Max over the years, and she can't bear to see him disappear forever. Stephanie tugged on Max's arm and they continued to the main hall doors, regrouping with Morris and Darren. "Holy shit! Swords! Real swords!" Darren exclaimed in surprise, grabbing for the claymore. Max handed the switchblade, from earlier, to Morris and kept the rapier to himself.
Max and Darren grabbed firm grips of each of the main hall doors. "Everyone stay together. Darren and Stephanie will ride up front, while James and I will ride in the bed of the truck." They pushed open the doors to the blissful morning sun. Max could see four notable zombies, neither of which were particularly fresh. The four of them sprinted to the truck, just as a zombie arose from the other side of it. "Get away, fucker!" Darren yelled as he kicked the zombie in the chest, knocking it to the ground. "Come on Darren, drive!" Max exclaimed as he tossed in the backpack and climbed into the bed. Morris climbed in with him as Stephanie sat in the passenger seat. Darren reversed over the zombie, knocking something loose inside the truck. He drove onto the road exiting the school, driving to the east. Marius High School was located at a small town in western Virginia, and was, perhaps, a secluded example of the zombie epidemic severity. It is unclear as to how the plague spawned, though the most heavily affected areas seem to be the Great Lakes region.