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It took Nyko almost an hour to retrieve the carburetors from the ceiling tiles where he’d hidden them when he locked Iron Jack’s for the last time. These two choppers were his babies. He’d crafted them, by hand, in the back of shop. Even though they sat in the show room, each with a price tag hanging from the handle bars, he’d never really had the heart to sell them. They were designed to pique the interest of potential buyers, who would want a bike built according to their own specifications.
Nyko started working at Iron Jacks since he was a kid, tinkering on bikes. At first he did grunt work, adding aftermarket parts and doing minor repair work after school. When Jack died Nyko was already running the place. Jack’s son Henry didn’t want any part of the business, so Nyko bought it from him, and grew the business into a successful custom bike shop.
He enjoyed the time getting the two bikes ready to run. He worked by the light of a small lantern, quickly and quietly, trying not to draw too much attention to himself. The infected were all around out here, and Nyko knew from experience that light and sound could draw them from miles away. The work reminded him of better times.
In just a few minutes, the stainless steel carburetors were installed, the batteries had water added, and he added a gallon of fresh ethanol to each. The fuel lines were all stainless, so there wasn’t any real need to worry about the ethanol rotting rubber tubing.
When they were ready to crank, he resisted the urge to kick the starter and roar off down the road. He was on a mission. The old shop truck was in the first garage bay right where it was supposed to be. He drained the oil out of it, and while that was draining, he topped off the battery with water, and checked his portable jump-starter. The battery in it was dead too.
His motorcycle was a six-volt, not enough power to turn the old truck’s motor over.
Nyko searched the shop, looking for an old twelve-volt alternator. While he was looking, he grabbed a pair of jumper cables, and the cordless drill out of his saddlebags. In his office, he searched through his desk until he found a nine-volt battery.
An hour later, he squeezed the trigger on the cordless drill, spinning the alternator. The nine-volt battery excited the actuator, and current began to flow through the jumper cables into the old truck’s battery. He wasn’t sure if it would be enough, but after he’d expended both of the batteries for his drill; the truck turned over slowly and finally fired.
“Fuck yeah!” Nyko shouted when the engine caught.
Without the shop’s air handling systems running, he knew he couldn’t leave the truck running for too long, but he also knew it would take some time to recharge the battery, and his drill was dead. He knew the noise he’d been making would have drawn several infected to the shop. His old bike trailer was still parked outside, he’d made sure when he pulled up.
Nyko scouted the shop. If there were only one or two out there, he wanted to dispatch them as quietly as possible. The first thing he found was an eighteen inch pipe wrench. He picked it up and hefted it over his head in a trial run. “Quit stalling, pussy,” he said under his breath.
He laid the pipe wrench down on the work bench and picked up a pry-bar. A couple of practice swings later, he laid the crowbar down. Blunt instruments always resulted in large amounts of bodily fluid. Even a single drop in the eyes or mouth could result in infection. The biker laid the crowbar down on the bench, and picked up a long, flat bladed screwdriver. The shaft was over a foot long, and forged steel. An idea formed.
A pair of safety goggles hanging on a hook on the back of the bench caught his eye. Nyko grabbed them and slipped them over his head, resting the goggles just above his forehead.
The cleaning cabinet delivered the second half of his weapon, as he unscrewed the fiberglass handle of the push broom and used two pipe clamps to fasten the screwdriver securely to the end. He now had an almost seven foot spear, tipped with a massive steel point. He tied a clean rag from the cabinet around his face, covering his nose and mouth, donned a pair of mechanic’s rubber gloves, and lowered the goggles onto his face.
Nyko checked his keys to make sure he had the right one for the lock on the trailer. He set the key ring on the bumper of the truck, laid the spear down quietly beside the door, and drew his pistol. The heavy steel door was good protection, but without any windows, Nyko had no idea how many might be in the general area.
With a deep breath, he lifted the door about waist high, crouched on one knee and peered out into the parking lot. By the light of the full moon he made out four shapes. All four immediately turned and started making their way towards him.
“Four. Fuck.” Nyko cursed. Four was the worst number. If there’d been five, it was clear he’d have to use his pistol. No one went hand-to-hand with five. Three, he could pretty easily take down without making any noise. But four was always a toss-up.
“What I wouldn’t give for a silencer,” he said, heaving the door the rest of the way up.
The four infected moved quickly. Nyko holstered his gun and picked up the screwdriver-spear, waiting to see which would make it to him first.
He jabbed outward, piercing the nose of a redhead. He felt the spear stop against the back of her skull, and quickly pulled it backward. Pus and gore dribbled down her face as she collapsed. “Sorry Darlin. Always did love a redhead,” he said, stabbing another.
The third and fourth infected stepped within spear range at the same time. Nyko backed up as he speared one straight through the eyeball. As he removed the spear, the eyeball came with it, stuck at the base of the screwdriver. He kicked the final one in the chest, pushing it onto the flat of its back.
“I wish you’d just fucking stay down,” he said, stepping towards it. The infected, of course, didn’t. The drive to infect others was all they felt. No humanity, no memories, nothing left of what they were. Just some genetically manipulated virus created in the basement of some research laboratory contracting muscles and firing enough synapses to keep blood circulating.
It tried to get up, reaching for Nyko’s leg. He drove the sharpened metal screwdriver through the back of its throat, interrupting the few synapses still firing.