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A Veil of Black and Gold

Ch. 2

The realization that there was someone else, anyone else, in this godforsaken hospital, made Rick Grimes and Nicole Montez bond that much quickly. They weren’t alone, maybe they could figure out what was going on here. Why was this hospital dark and empty? Why was the smell of decaying flesh as strong as it was? The dazed cop blinked a couple of times before answering the dazed young woman.

“Who is that? Nicole? Nicole Montez?” It figures the local authorities would know who she was; her older brother’s parties had the tendency to get a little loud, getting the cops called by the nosy neighbors. ‘Rael! Dad! I have to get home, maybe they know what’s going on.’ She thought, lost in her thoughts about her family. “Nicole? Can you hear me?” She looked up at the cop; she had forgotten that he was there.

“Yea, I hear you Officer Grimes.” She stumbled closer to him and saw he had a little smile on his face.

“I think due to the circumstances, it’s alright for you to call me Rick.” She looked up at Rick, surprised that the cop she had once hated for busting up her social fun times, kept a calm and cool demeanor for her sake. ‘He’s a cop, so he’s good at helping people stay calm, even when shit’s hitting the fan.’ She thought.

“Well, Rick, can you explain to me what in the fuck is going on here?” She said in the coolest voice she could muster. He looked around, just as bewildered as she was and shrugged his shoulders.

“I’m afraid I’m as in the dark as you are. No pun intended.” He said with a smile, as Nicole looked up at the dead lights. She suddenly thought of this one invention called a telephone, and started walking towards the nearest nurse’s station. Rick’s hand grabbed hold of her arm as she walked by. “Where are you going? It’s best if we stay together.” She shrugged off his grasp and looked him in the eye.

“Then let’s go. We aren’t going to get any answers just standing here. I’m going to look for a phone to call my house.” They both hobbled, surprisingly at the same pace due to their almost matching wounds. Nicole grabbed the phone quickly but slammed it down just as fast. “The phone’s dead.” She sighed as Rick began rummaging through the items on the desk.

He found a small matchbook and tested one of the matches. It struck with fiery spark and he nodded to Nicole, holding on tight to the matchbook. Some flickering lights caught their attention and Rick protectively got in front of Nicole. She looked from around him, eager to see what he thinks he was protecting her from. They made their way slowly to the lights and saw they were coming from a different wing of the hospital.

A lady lay in the middle of the hallway, dead. Nicole saw it looked like something had come and ripped her open, eating away at all the flesh on her body except for her face. Nicole slowly let a small smile come to her lips as the thought of whatever happened to this poor woman went through her mind. She continued to stare when Rick’s voice suddenly brought her back.

“Nicole, get away from there. Let’s find a way out of here.” She reluctantly followed. Rick was unsure of this girl he was stranded with, as she slowly pulled her face from the window, wincing slightly as she brought her hand up to gingerly touch her bandage. She seemed off, like she was in her own reality to make up for the horrible one she seemed to have found herself in. ‘I’ll just have to keep an eye out on her. If she’s anything like her brother, I may just have my hands full.’

He looked back at her, and saw her attention was on something else. She had a confused and terrified look on her face and when he saw what she was staring at, he looked at it the same way. There was a door, locked with a huge chain and padlock with four words spray painted on them: ‘don’t open, dead inside.’ There were noises coming from the other side of the chain. It was like guttural moaning noises with the occasional sound of something getting knocked over.

The guttural became more of a growling as something began to push against the door. Nicole gasped and held tightly onto Rick as she saw fingers-human fingers-reach in between the doors, gripping the chains and padlock. Rick held onto Nicole and led her away from the awful and scary sight. He pulled her through another set of doors to the elevator.

As he rapidly pushed the down button, Nicole kept her hand over her mouth. ‘What in God’s name was going on here? Why were there people locked in a room marked ‘dead inside’, when it was obvious they weren’t dead?’ She thought so hard, she didn’t realize a single tear escape her eye. She looked away from Rick, but he saw it. He pulled her into a big hug, careful not to hurt her or himself anymore than they already have, and she cried.

It just all started sinking in, that something serious was happening and that people have died. ‘I hope they’re ok, please let Dad, Rael and Ray be ok.’ She slowly stopped the flow of tears and cleared her throat.

“Ok, I’m feeling a lot better.” She sniffled and wiped her nose on her gown, looking up at Rick. He just smiled down at her and soothingly wiped a stray tear that had gotten away from her.

“Don’t worry. We will make it out of here and we will find our families. I promise you, Nicole. I’ll look after you.” She sniffled once more and nodded, looking toward the door that leads to the pitch black staircase.

“I believe you Rick.” She walked toward the door and pulled it open, leading the way while Rick lit the matches, unsure if Nicole really was ok at that moment. The matches weren’t working as well as Rick hoped and Nicole had already fallen twice.

It was just too dark and the matches didn’t give off enough light. Things got worse when they saw they were on the last match. “Rick, I don’t want to be in here all in the dark.” She grabbed hold of his arm and he held onto her. When he looked up he saw something that brought a smile to his face.

“Nicole look, we’re at the exit. Ow!” The match had burned down, burning Rick’s fingers a little, but Nicole had seen it before the light died out. It was indeed the exit. She pushed open the big door and they both shielded their eyes from the sudden brightness of outside.

Once they were able to see, the sight was horrendous. All over the ground and in the back of random trucks were bodies wrapped in white sheets. There had to be dozens of them, all lined up and all of them for some odd reason had some kind of head wound. Rick tried to shield Nicole from seeing the disaster, but she just pushed his hand away. There was much more death than she had ever imagined their being.

“Rick, what is going on? Why are all these bodies here?” He just held onto her and led her down the stairs and out the courtyard filled with dead bodies.

“I don’t know Nicole, but don’t worry. We just have to get to our families. Alright, we have to stop by our houses, to see if they are safe. Where do you live?” Nicole may have been behind Rick but her mind was still at the courtyard, the dead bodies holding her interests, keeping her mentally apart from cop trying to help her. “Nicole!” His outburst brought her all the way back and he looked into his eyes. “Why do you do that? Where are you going? What in your head is more important than trying to find your family?” His voice was loud and accusing.

She looked back at him and scoffed, walking away-more like waddling- from him, not wanting to get into a conversation like this with a pig. “Hey, you listen to me.” He grabbed her arms and forced her to make eye contact with him. “You can’t wander like that. We need each other; we need to have each other’s back. I don’t know what’s going on, but I need you to focus, Nicole. I know you have hateful feelings towards me because of your brother and Ray,” ‘That’s also how he recognized me.’ Nicole thought, remembering how Rick had busted Ray a couple years ago for a possession charge. “But we are in this mess together and I have no problem protecting you, I just need to make sure you’re willing to return the favor. If not let me know and we can go our own separate ways.”

She looked up at him in shock; he would leave her here to fend for herself? Nicole then realized that it was not worth it, holding such a meaningless grudge against someone who was willing to help her. She sighed and looked back up at the former cop and nodded.

“I’m sorry, Rick. I have your back just like you have my back. Let’s look for our families; my house is on 22nd, maybe ten blocks down that way.” She pointed to the west, away from the hospital.

“I live in the same direction, right on 35th. We can stop by your place first.” Rick said as he looked down at Nicole, smiling softly at her. She smiled back and they continued hobbling along toward their destination, unsure of what they would find. They only walked two blocks when they both nearly collapsed. Their wounds were proving too much to take on foot, and they started looking for another means of transportation.

“Look Rick, there’s a bike!” Nicole exclaimed as she jogged slowly to the bright red number with pegs on the front tires. “It’s perfect! You can drive and I can ride.” She positioned the bike on its two wheels when suddenly the half body that was lying nearby woke up and turned toward Nicole. “Aaugghh! Rick, what the hell is that?! What is that!?” She fell over the bike and ran to Rick, hiding behind him like a scared rabbit. It reached for them and snarled at them, chomping its jaws and trying its hardest to reach them. Rick carefully walked to the bike and picked it back up.

“Nicole, come on baby, it’s time to go.” She stood in shock for another few moments before hopping on the front pegs and riding away from the half body, Nicole was still looking back towards it after they were blocks away. It seemed to take forever for the duo to get to Nicole’s house but once they finally did, Nicole didn’t wait for Rick to stop the bike.

She hopped off that thing quick, hurting herself in the progress, and ran into her house. The door was ajar and the smell that was coming from her dad’s room was unbearable. She quickly confirmed her worse fears when she walked into it.

Her dad was dead, his brains all over the wall and dried blood on his mouth and hands. She fell to her knees and cried hard, her body shaking painfully at each sob and each sob getting stronger than the last. Her dad was dead; Rael Montez Jr was no longer a part of this world. She sat next to his body, holding his blood stained hand in hers, wondering what had happened in her father’s final moments.

Rick finally walked in and saw what was keeping Nicole. He kneeled next to her and pulled her into his arms once again, she only held onto the embrace for a few moments before standing up. He looked up at her confused, and saw she had a look of determination and sorrow on her face. She looked down at her dad once more before speaking.

“We should get some clothes, might as well eat a little bit too. My dad is dead, Rick, but I noticed my brother’s car was gone. I have to hope that Rael is still alive. I have to hope that I still have my brother.” She looked down at Rick and walked toward her room.

When she opened it, she had even more hope that her brother was alive. She jumped as Rick came up from behind her, coming to check up on her. She gave him a look and turned back around, walking toward her closet.

“How do you know?” He asked. She turned around abruptly. “You sound so sure, but how do you know for sure?”

“Well, Officer, have you ever seen one of these?” She walked to her bathroom and opened the door under the sink. He recognized the big hole cut out of the wall and rigged lights as a stash spot for growing marijuana. He gave her a look of authority, but then it turned into one of admiration.

‘So it was Nicole and Rael this whole time.’ He thought to himself, referring to the drug dealers that him and the entire police force were unable to locate and take down. ‘It makes sense.’ He continued to muse. ‘Nobody would ever expect the town lawyer’s youngest child.’ But he still wasn’t seeing how this shows that Rael was still alive somewhere.

When he voiced his opinions to Nicole, she answered with a very confident reply. “No one in the world knew about this, except Rael. I mean, come on Rick, even you couldn’t figure this thing out.” He looked at her with a look of uncertainty as she continued her answer. “He took it with him, wherever he went. He’s alive Rick, and I’m going to find him.” She walked back into her dad’s room, not looking in the direction of his body at all and went to his closet.

“What are you doing now?”

“I’m getting you some clothes.” She looked at him like he was mentally three.

“Your dad has clothes that will fit me?” Rick asked curiously, ignoring the look and walking closer to Nicole.

“You two were about the same size.” Nicole tossed him a faded tee and some jeans. “I’m going to change as well, and then we can take off to your house.” He nodded at her in thanks and she exited the room. She changed into some easy clothing: an old band tee and a pair of short denim shorts.

She pulled her hair into a high ponytail, ignoring the greasy and dirty feel and went back into her dad’s room. Rick had respectfully put a sheet over her dad and was kneeling over him. She cleared her throat and he turned toward her, rising up from his knees. He looked a little better, her dad’s clothes had fit him well and she gave a small smile. “You ready to go home?” She asked as she leaned against the door frame. He nodded and followed her back out to the front yard.

“Wait, what about your dad? Don’t you want to bury him?” She closed her eyes slowly and opened them even slower.

“Let’s go to your house first. If it’s not dark by the time we’re done at your place, we’ll come back.” She turned and walked to the bike. They got on and rode to Rick’s house. He wasn’t able to jump off as Nicole had but his eagerness was all too apparent and Nicole hopped off first, letting Rick run into his house quickly. He pushed open the door and started his search.

“Lori, Carl it’s me.” He called out, his voice echoing through the empty house. Nicole followed him inside and saw an obviously empty house. “Lori! Carl! Where are you?!” He yelled and ran through the house, looking for some sign of his family and finding none. Nicole sat on the floor near the door, letting Rick search at his leisure. However, it was obviously not going well. “LORI! CARL!”

She heard him collapse on the floor followed by sounds of hysteric sobbing. She got up and went to him, seeing him curled up in the middle of the floor. She knelt by him and held him, instead of him holding her. She cradled him gently, letting him sob and cry as much as he needed. “Is this real? Is this happening to me? Am I here right now?”

She held him tighter, not sure if he wanted her to answer or if he was asking himself. He slowly stood up and walked back outside. She didn’t follow; she knew he would need a minute to himself. She sighed and tried to replay what all had happened to her and Rick that day, they both had no family, they were both alone in a world full of death and decay and she didn’t know how long they were going to be able to make it. All of a sudden she heard a loud bang, and ran outside. Rick was on the ground and a boy was standing above him with a shovel.

“Hey!” She yelled, when she felt something collide with her head and saw two people standing over her. She heard Rick mumble something soft. It sounded like Carl and she let a small whisper escape her lips before everything went black. “Ray…”

Notes

Chapter 2!!
Nicole and Rick team up!! They leave the hospital but are captured!!!
What is going to happen next?!?!
Read to find out, walkers!!!
~Intulo <3

Comments

I love this story please update soon

racheljewell racheljewell
4/29/14

lol please update love this story

Blakeray Blakeray
4/24/14

Please update soon. I love this story

racheljewell racheljewell
4/24/14

please update love this story

Blakeray Blakeray
4/22/14
I like it keep it up
DarkAngel DarkAngel
4/24/13