*CONTENT WARNING: I am brutally blunt and can cause some butt hurtness.*
*NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: As some may know- I am Paul as well, but this character Paul is not based on me- maybe like 15% or so- but that was just my lack of creativity in the name game and thus gave him the one-syllable wonder of a name. Just thought I'd clarify this.*

Chapter 2: Heart of the Problem

Approaching the two cars met bumper to bumper, impacted together now seemingly making one car, Paul realized the quicker he got past this barrier, the better. Jumping on top of the hood of the car, an infected came crying towards him, being met by a swift kick to the face as Paul took aim and sent a round to her head.

Continuing up the bridge, Paul stuck to the left side, seemingly more clear of wreckage- a straight run almost- only leaving him exposed to his right.
A mangled corpse that lay on the ground between two cars on the right was being shreaded further by two infected tearing at it like rabid dogs. Paul cringed
Three infected sprang out at Paul as he was left in the open and semi-distracted. With swift reaction, Paul sent two of them down quickly and butting the third on the forhead with the stock of the shotgun.
With the two shots, Paul heard ravenous screaming from behind him; several infected were drawn to the sound on the bridge- rushing to Paul violently. Paul was about 1/2 way across the bridge, picking up his pace, realizing he didnt have much time until he would be overrun like the helpless people on the road.

Quickly loading in several shells back into the shotgun, another two infected came quickly upon Paul, leveling them to the ground with one well aimed round of buckshot. It seemed almost too easy to Paul, reminding him of some cheap video game that was point and shoot- all that had to be done. A warm smile could be felt in Pauls chest.
With the wreckage now blocking the left side of the bridge, Paul shifted to the right side, stopping in his tracks as his eyes held hold of the carnage they bestowed in them.

Juarez, Mexico, population of 1.5 million, sat in burning ruins; people running threwout, visible even from where Paul stood in utter disbelief. Screams filling the air as thick as the smoke that engulfed much of the already violent-struck area.

Paul snapped out of his disbelief and carried on down the bridge, clearing the rest of the way as he jogged a few blocks down the road, keeping to the side of the road and using cars as cover to avoid any unwanted attention.
The road was filled with panic and hysteria. People running among the infected unknowingly until they were ontop of them, ravaging them relentlessly.
Across the street, Paul spotted out a familiar restraunt that seemed to have people inside of it. It was an older building- one that had obvious signs of being owned by multiple companies in its history. Brass bars covered the windows and door with its brick exterior. A symbol of safety in Paul's eyes as he saw it.

With little preparation, Paul took off across the street, shoving people out of his way, inadvertantly pushing someone right into the grasp of an infected mans hands.
A single infected growled as it charged Paul, being met by a swing of the shotgun and a blast to the front of his head. A second and third infected attempting the same mindless charge, both being met by quick rounds pumped into them.
Paul made it to the restraunt door, pulling on the door only for it to be locked.
"Let me in, I'm not infected!" yelled Paul as he checked his back, ensuring his yelling hadnt drawn attention.
Still, no one answered his call.
"I know you are fucking inside! I have guns, I can protect you! Just let me in please!"
As Paul yelled for the door to be opened, a small group of infected started to quickly approach Paul, growling their hatred and malice. Paul banged on the door, spotting his impending doom quickly closing in on him.
With that, the door quickly opened, an arm dragging Paul in as the infected met the door being slammed in their faces as it closed and locked in front of them.
A tall chunky man in a traditional chefs uniform stood by, putting up a table infront of the door as Paul took a few breathes.
"What took you so long man," said Paul still recovering, "I was almost dinner!"
"We didnt know if they could talk or not," responded the chef, "I am sorry amigo. I am Juan by the way."
"Paul. And who is 'We' anyways?"
Juan gestured to the back kitchen area, "The rest are back here, mainly people who were here when they started flooding the streets."
The two walked back to the kitchen area where a young white couple, not even out of their mid teens yet sat in a corner, the boy bleeding from his arm, the girl cuddled up next to him. A black man in his early 20's leaned against the wall with a cigarette in his mouth looked up as Paul entered. A lovely latina women sat by a radio, listening to the dramatic voice of the radio host freaking out.
"The kids are Matt and Susan, Matt was bitten on by a man who we managed to kick out the restraunt. The black man is John, he is on leave from the Army. And the lovely lady is Maria, she works here as a waitress."
Paul waved to everyone, John nodded his head, Matt and Susan glanced over and quickly went back to doing nothing and Maria came over to Paul.
"You have guns, what are you a cop?" said Maria, interested in the new guest.
"No, I'm just an old Marine- didnt feel like dying just yet" replied Paul with a grin on his face, "I would think there would be more of yall here, where did everyone else go?"
Juan leaned against the wall next to Matt and Susan.
"People paniced at the news and decided to make for their families and homes, couldnt really blame them- they were scared."
"Now they are probably dead.." said John, taking a puff from his cigarette, "but lets just pretend that acting on the first emotion during a panic is a good idea."
"Those people were my friends jack ass!" said Maria rudely, "Im sorry you have no one here, but this is home to some of us! Im sure if you had a son or daughter at home during all this shit, you would be rushing to them as they did."
"Jeez, glad I stepped into the restraunt where THEY wont kill me, but the drama will!" said Paul comically.
"More in store for you too sweetie," said Maria sharply, seemingly immune to Pauls humor, "Just keep it up."
"And this is Paul everyone," said Juan, trying to break the ice, "now lets all just calm down and think this threw."
Everyone sat still, thinking to themselves, the quiet murmurs of Matt jerking in pain.
Feeling weird by the awkward silence, Paul went back to the dining area and sat on a chair, focusing his thoughts on all the infected he had witnessed, transfixed on their appearance as he reloaded his shotgun and recapped his pistol magazine. He remembered the bite marks all over their arms, necks and scratches all along their faces and throats. Thinking hard to himself, he thought about infections and how they spread.
"What is on your mind young man?" asked Juan as he came over to Paul's side.
"Just a lingering thought about why there are so many of them," said Paul, looking up at Juan, "I think it may be the bites."
"But what makes you think this?" responded a stunned Juan.
"Its just the way viruses spread. Its not airbourne or we would all be like them by now. As far as I can tell, its not the water that spreads it, its not sex, so I figure it is threw saliva or blood- those bite marks over most of their bodies- it cant be a coincidence."
"I think it is God, we have sinned for so long, it has come up in our flesh and devoured our souls!" said Juan in a priest-like voice.
"Ya- lets just hope it is something that simple" said Paul sarcastically.
"But if you are right..Matt.." said Juan just as a scream interupted him.
Juan and Paul rushed back to the kitchen where Maria and John backed into a corner as they witnessed Matt tearing into Susans throat- flesh dripping from his mouth.
Paul rushed over, kicking Matt in the face, knocking loose Susan but was quickly taken by suprise by Matt's speedy recovery as he tackled him to the ground. Paul held his jaw shut as Matt lunged violently at him. Paul kicked him up long enough to draw his pistol and land a shot straight threw Matt's eye.
"What the fuck just happened?!" exclaimed Maria.
"Its the fucking bites. Thats how they become crazy." said Paul sternly, wiping off blood from his hands, standing back up to his feet.
"I just cant believe it!" yelled Juan, crouching over to Susans now dead body, "it spread so fas-"
Susan lunged up at Juan, immediately taking a tear out of the left side of Juan's throat. Juan screamed out in agony.
John rushed over, sending a stern boot to Susans face, knocking her grip off of Juan's throat and immediately pinning her down with his foot.
"Hurry up and kill her! She is stronger than it looks!" yelled John.
Paul rushed over, quickly disposing of Susan without thought or even the slightest bit of mercy with a quick round from his sidearm- his survival insticts quickly coming back to him as if he were back in the fields of combat that he left behind a while ago.
"No.." mumured Juan, holding his neck tightly.
"He's bit. Pretty good at that." said John.
"What do you want us to do.." asked Paul to Juan, still holding his Glock in hand.
"Im..not ready to die. But you unfortunently cant stay if you honor my wish."
"Juan! You dont have to do this- we can help you and try and find a way to help!" cried out Maria
"Dont be foolish- you have seen what happens right now to those who get bit. Its only a matter of time" replied Juan sadly.
"He's right unfortunently chica, but if we gotta move- we better move soon while there is still sun in the sky" said Paul, taking a look to the outside, guestimating the time.
"Come here," said Juan, grabbing a duffle bag from a cabinet as he stood to his feet, the others following him as he went to the dining area of the restraunt.
"Take enough bread and water to last you a while. Who knows how bad food and water will be needed in a few days."
"Thank you" said Maria- hugging Juan with watery eyes and a smile.
Paul and John loaded the bag with the water bottles and bread, zipping up the bag as it was filled.
"Good luck Juan." said John, creeping up to the entry, taking a look outside.
Paul put his hand on Juans shoudler, "Its never too late," putting a hand on his pistol.
"No- no, I want to cling onto every last second, life is precious you know, Paul" replied Juan, his eyes watering up.
"Fair enough."

The three approached the door cautiously, taking a breath as Paul lead the way to the outside.
"Now or never" thought Paul to himself again.
"Ok- lets go!"
Paul swung the door open to further expose the carnage on the streets.

Stay tuned next week for Them and They: The Zombie Apocalypse Chapter 3: Road of Perdition!