Alas, the aftermath...
Asher discovered Alexander to be the traitor after Luan was killed. The entire school was under attack and was scattered everywhere. After Lady Slave and Joshua went missing, the group headed outside, where Alexander forced them to give up their weapons. He was about to kill Asher, but suddenly Ellis appeared and shot him with her blunderbuss. He was ripped apart, and the group stared in shock at Ellis.
The group stares in shock at Ellis and then at the bloody mess. Asher snaps out of it and grabs Alexander's rifle, then aims it at Ellis.
Asher: What are you doing here? Where's Will?
The group looks confused and Ellis glances at the trees.
Beth: What does she have to do with Will?
Asher: Back when I was in the woods, looking for Ashlynn, I came to the cabin to see if Will knew. This girl was with him and Mason! She knows him!
Ellis: Calm down, I'm his niece. Paw is Will's brother... And he's fine. You're welcome, by the way.
Asher: Oh... Thank you, but where is Will?
Ellis: Oh, right.
Ellis turns towards the trees and inserts to fingers into her mouth, then lets out three high-pitched whistles. A few seconds later, Will, Miller, and Mason emerge from the trees, covered in weaponry. They walk forward calmly and when they get to the gate, there is the school group on one side, staring at Will and his group on the other side. Asher and Will's eyes meet, and they know what each other are thinking. Will looks down at Alexander's bloody mess, then up at Asher.
Will: That earn us back?
Asher smiles and Beth chuckles.
Asher: Yeah. It does.
Will smiles. He turns to Mason and Asher turns to Jasper.
Will: Tell Dean we're ready.
Asher: Get the keys. We'll take care of Joshua and Alexander right away.
Jasper nods and Asher turns to Will, seeing Mason running towards the woods.
Will: Damn. You guys have a nice place here. What the hell happened?
Asher: There were four people here when we came... The one your niece shot, Alexander, was killing people in their sleep behind our backs. We just found out it was him last night. Shit, it's morning already? We were up all night looking for him, finally found him out here.
Will: Oh, shit... Who'd he get?
Asher: The first was one of the guys that was here first, Brad. After that it was another guy named RJ. We met him about two months ago. Then we got attacked by this random group. We'd never seen them before, they just showed up... We couldn't have survived that without Luan, I'll tell you that. But he... Alexander killed Luan last night.
Will and Miller stare at Asher in shock.
Will: Jesus... Now that he's dead, do you think anything else bad could happen?
Asher: Anything could happen. But for now, it looks like we're safe. Where'd Mason go?
Will simply smiles and looks at the group.
Will: You'll see.
Jasper runs back outside with the ring of keys. He runs to the gate and unlocks it, then Beth helps him pull it open. Will, Ellis, and Miller walk in, seeing Ashlynn and Brealynn comforting the frightened Lady. Joshua is still lying on the ground. Ashlynn checks his pulse, then sighs in relief and looks at Asher.
Ashlynn: He's got a strong pulse. It looks like the bullet went into his left shoulderblade. It'll be a bitch, but someone can get it out.
Jasper: We need to give him medical attention. Beth, you and Ashlynn take Joshua to the infirmary. Take Brealynn and Lady along too, get them in their room, and don't let them come out until we clean everything up. Aummer, you keep them company while they're in there. Asher and I'll get them in and burn Alexander, then start cleaning up. You okay, Lady?
Lady: Y-y-yes, I'm o-okay...
Asher: Get them inside. We'll get to work.
Beth and Ashlynn pick up Jasper and start to carry him back to the school. Brealynn helps Lady up and they follow. Asher and Jasper walk Will, Ellis, and Mason over to Alexander's body. When Asher looks up, he sees several animals running towards the school- horses, pigs, cows, chickens, goats, and a dog. Asher smiles as he sees Mason and Dean herding them towards the school gates. Asher then realizes this: Not all hope is lost.
Will: That's where. I found them at a farm six months ago. You guys know, right?
Asher: Know what?
Will: The fact that it doesn't matter how you die, you turn. Unless it's the brain that's destroyed, we'll all be one of them someday.
Asher stares at Will blankly.
Asher: No... We didn't... That's what that gunshot was. Luan must've turned.
Mason and the Asian man herd the animals into the fields of the school, then Jasper shtus the gate and snaps the lock shut. The animals proceed to spread out around the vast field. Many head to the river and others start to chew on grass. Asher smiles and then turns to the bloody mess, frowning.
Will: Let's get this over with.
Asher: May as well.
Asher and Will grimaced as they reached their hands over to Alexander's entrails.
Ashlynn and Beth set Joshua down on the bed.
Beth: Paper towels. We need paper towels.
Ashlynn: And tweezers. I'll get the sewing kit and everything else. You try to keep him calm if he wakes up. Be right back.
Beth nods and Ashlynn runs off. Beth pulls off his shirt and takes the bag off his head. He is still unconscious. After a few minutes, Ashlyn runs back in with the sewing kit, paper towels, and a first-aid kit.
Beth: Okay, turn him over and wipe it up, I'll try to get the bullet out.
Ashlynn: Got it.
Ashlynn gently rolls Joshua over and takes a paper towel, then delicately starts to pat away at the blood. When it is all clean, Beth can clearly see the back of the bullet. She slowly reaches the tweezers in and grasps the bullet, then pulls back gently on the tweezers. Just as it looks like the bullet is out, a loud clink is heard and Beth gasps: The bullet broke in half while she was dragging it out and she only got the back.
Beth: It split. Hold on, I think I can get it. It's sideways now.
Ashlynn: Be careful.
Beth: Always am.
She sinks the tweezers into Joshua's back and pulls out the rest of the bullet.
Beth: Yes, I got it!
Ashlynn: Good, now we have to stitch him up. Here's the sewing kit.
Beth: W-Wait, what?
Ashlynn: We have to sew it back together so it's not just an open wound. You want me to do it?
Beth: Yeah, I just don't feel comfortable doing... This.
Ashlynn shakes her head and threads a tiny string through the thin needle, then carefully stabs it into his skin next to the wound. She gently threads the string and needle through his open wound and eventually closes it, then pulls it tight and ties it off. She snaps the string and looks at Beth.
Ashlynn: That's all we can do for now.
They walk away and head out the door, then walk down the hallway and walk past Luan's room, seeing Will, Asher, Jasper, Mason, Ellis, an Asian man, and Miller wiping up blood from off the walls. They see a black garbage bag with lumps all over it, indicating a body is in it. Luan's body. The sheets are pulled of his bed and the mattress has been removed. After Mason wipes off the last bit of blood, they wipe their forheads and look at Ashlynn and Beth who are standing in the doorway.
Ashlynn: (SNIFFS)... We should bury Luan's body over in the small field on the other side of the river where we buried the others.
Beth's eyes start to water and tears start to run down her face. Ashlynn puts her arm around her shoulders and comforts her.
Ashlynn: It's alright... I know it's hard, take as much time as you need. Excuse us for a minute.
Ashlynn takes Beth into her room where Brealynn, Summer, and Lady are. Asher looks at everyone and then looks at the body.
Asher: We'll take the sheets and let them soak in the river awhile. It's just about reaching full winter now, there's lots of snow outside. The fire should've burnt Alexander's brain so I think we're good there.
Miller: Will, Asher, Dean, and Jasper can take the body out and start digging. Mason, Ellis, and I'll put stakes in the sheets and let them soak in the river, then we'll come join you. After that we'll hold a small funeral for him, then get settled in I guess.
Mason: Sounds like a plan.
Dean: Let's go.
They split up. Asher and Will lifted the body and Jasper and Dean opened the doors. When they got outside, they walked over to the part of the river that was running through the courtyard. Then they crossed the makeshift bridge and walked across it to their makeshift graveyard. They went next to the wooden crosses and set the body by the river. There were ten shovels leaning against the fence. Everyone grabbed one and walked over to an empty spot next to RJ's grave. Asher traced a small rectangled with his shovel and nodded to it.
Asher: About four or three feet deep. Stay inside the lines.
They start to dig. A few hours later, everyone is standing around Luan's grave.
Asher: We're all gonna say a few words about him... Luan, you were a good man and a loyal fighter. You saved a countless amount of lives. Without you, I would've died twice now. Thank you. You were a good man.
Asher is on the leftmost side of the line. Next to him is Will, then Mason, then Ellis, Miller, Dean, Ashlynn, Brealynn, Lady, Summer, Jasper, and finally Beth. Joshua is still unconscious in the infirmary.
Will: Luan... I'm sorry you didn't get to know we redeemed ourselves after that whole... Incident at the cabin. We brought him down, Luan... That was for you.
Mason: Man, I didn't know you very well, and I barely ever talked to you, but I could tell you were a good man. You saved so many of us and definitely saved Jason's life. Thanks for keeping us alive, man, I don't know what we're gonna do without you.
Ellis: Hell, I never knew you, so there's not much I can say... I guess, based on what I hear, you fought for the good of everyone in this group, so I'm gonna thank you for saving Will's ass and keeping Mason alive. Thanks, dawg.
Miller: I remember when we first came by your group, when Will brought us, and when we rolled up and gave the medicine to Jazmine, you were the guy making sure everyone was alright. You saved so many asses, bro, it's gonna be a pain in the ass without you. Thanks, man.
Dean: I never knew you, and I'm sorry for that. I guess... Thanks for doing your best to keep people alive.
Ashlynn: You were with us from the very beginning, Luan. Whenever someone was hurt or something... You were always there. And when Ben was out there, you didn't hesitate to hunt him down. Thank you for everything, Luan, thank you for being there.
Brealynn: Thanks for getting the meanie that made Brooklynn go away for a long time.
Will exchanges as quick look with Ellis, Mason, and Miller upon hearing Brooklynn's name.
Lady: You kept people not sick so thank you for that.
Summer: Thanks for just keeping everyone safe and alive and always being there when we needed it the most.
Jasper: I'm sorry I didn't get to know you any better. We weren't close, but you were always in good grace in my eyes. Thanks for keeping everyone I've grown so close to alive.
Beth is now sobbing and walks up to the cross, then kneels down.
Beth: Thank you... For everything... You were always there... No matter what... Thank you...
Beth can't continue. She bursts into tears. Everyone's heads are bowed down and after a few minutes, everyone walks away.
Asher and Will are walking up the stairs to the roof, about to take Joshua's shift together. He has woken up, as it has been two weeks since Alexander's death. As they walk, they talk.
Asher: Dean seems cool. I think we're okay. We're finally safe.
Will: Yeah, and the dog should have her puppies any day now. I think we're finally done. We can stop fighting for the time being.
Asher: There'll always be the walkers, but that's a threat we can keep under control. But in general, we're safe. We're just approaching full-on winter, and with the food you guys brought, we should be okay for half a year.
Will: Yeah. Things finally seem like they're gonna be okay. I'm feeling more and more optimistic by the minute.
As they walk up, Joshua walks past them, smiling and nodding. He hands Asher the rifle and just as they walk up onto the roof, Asher says:
Asher: I'm glad you're back, Will.
As they walk onto the roof, they are met with the beautiful sight of the crystal-clear lake water, the white snow falling, covering everything, everyone in the group scattered all over the place at peace, and the animals happily graazing in the snowy fields. Asher smiles. Not all hope is lost. Luan's gone, but death is just another thing on the agenda. Finally, in peace, they can sit back and watch the animals happily graze forever in peace, just as he is doing right now.