"We're too heavy," I said.
"Cut McKinley loose."
"But he'll die!"
"He's dead already."
I hesitated. McKinley had saved my ass more than once.
Creech looked me dead in the eye. "Cut him loose, or I'm shoving you out the hatch instead."
I cut the straps holding Mckinley's stretcher to the rail. The look in his eyes was pure hatred but he couldn't move, strapped in to the stretcher. I looked away.
The zombies were close, too close. I kicked McKinley into the waiting horde and watched as he tried to scream. Creech got us airborne, but one of the zombies had latched on to the rail. We dragged his body across the tarmac, and I kicked at the fingers that were holding on to the landing skid, trying to make it let loose.
Zombies aren't like us. They don't feel pain. The creature kept trying to climb even as I mashed its fingers into a bloody pulp with the heel of my boot. I could hear screaming as I stomped on the things head over and over, obliterating what was once a face, and it finally dropped. The sreaming had been me. I vomited out the door as we soared into the sky.
"Fuck. We're gonna have to go through decon now," said Creech. "Pain in the ass."
I just stared at him. All I could think about was the look in McKinley's eyes as I fed him to the monsters.
Creech softened a bit. "McKinley was dead, Hanes. He just didn't know it yet. He wouldn't have made it back to the Ridge."
"He was alive when I cut him loose."
Creech didn't say anything, he just turned back to watch out the windscreen of the chopper. Neither one of us talked for the rest of the ride back to the Ridge.