Gone

The 27th squad slowly approached the gate to Zyracuse central. Clipboard was caught off guard. They were usually one of the rowdier squads that liked to celebrate their successes. Today was different.

“What happened out there? You were due back hours ago!” he called out to Decap as the vehicle slowed to a halt.

Decap just stared straight ahead, “I…I don’t know.”

Clipboard looked over the other squad members to see if any of them were in a happier mood, “How many today? The 24th came across a couple dozen. Can you beat…” His voice tailed off when he noticed that one of the crew was missing. “Wait a minute, where’s Allen?”

Decap spoke up again from the front, “I don’t know, he was there, and then he was gone.”

“Was he bitten? Did he take a walk? What happened?”

Sasha spoke up from the rear of the vehicle, “We were having a good day, a typical 27th type of day. We had taken out a handful of those ghouls down by the MOST. Decap and Anna went to see if there were any late museum visitors that needed to be kicked out of the IMAX.”

“We were taking a little longer than expected, we came across another five Zack,” Anna continued. “Sasha came after the two of us while Allen started a fire to take care of the bodies. He was alone for only a minute or two. When we returned, he was…” Anna broke down, unable to finish.

“He vanished, right into thin air,” Decap continued.

“Were there any Z’s lurking when you left him alone? Maybe he was bitten, and took off?”

“No, that’s about all I know for certain. We completely cleared the area,” Decap said, finally turning to face Clipboard. “I always cut off their heads. I don’t want to take any chances of a last second bite. Besides, he wasn’t the only one missing.”

“What are you saying? The rest of you are here?”

“When we got back, they were all gone. Allen, and all the bodies, all of them were gone, even the heads. Whoever it was, they were quick. They overpowered Allen, and collected 5 bodies in a matter of minutes. All without a sound. When we got there, the only thing left was Allen’s lighter. We drove around downtown for hours searching for him. We only left when we were low on fuel. He was just gone.”

“We’ll send out another squad that way in the morning. For now, try to get some rest, if you’re lucky, there’ll be a little bit of food left for you. We’ll find him, don’t worry.” Clipboard said as reassuringly as he could.

As the car made its way through the gate, Clipboard waved and faked a smile, but he could feel his insides churning. This was not the first time a squad returned with stories of bodies vanishing, but it was the first time the thieves took one of theirs.

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