This is the eleventh episode of Season 4, premiering October 12, 2013. It is written by Xraymoon102, and it is titles 'One Last Fight.'
The group finally reached the hangar, but Asher and Mason were gravely injured. Instead of the lone hangar, they have come to a large walled-off community surrounding the hangar, guarded by 120 trained soldiers. Everyone has to live in trailers, except for soldiers, who live in tents. A horde of walkers attacked from the ridge, and Private John had to flee with a few other soldiers, who he ended up killing, deeply regretting it...
The gates of Fort Cessna open and John steps inside, covered in blood. Riley sits at a desk, a cigarette burning in a nearby ashtray and his head in his hands. A voice is heard saying "I don't know if I can live with myself." Ashlynn holds Brealynn close, a tear dripping from her eye. Will nods, however reluctantly, at Riley. Asher is lying in a hospital bed in very bad shape. A voice is heard saying "About 30 guys. They're trapped." Another voice is heard saying "You can stay and not have any worries about it... Or you can go."
John slides out from in between the trees. He wipes his brow of sweat, and looks up at the nearest soldier, who is aiming his M4 at him.
Soldier: John? That you?
John: Yeah, it's me!
Soldier: Where are Justin and Rachel?
John chokes back a sob.
John: They didn't make it.
The soldier looks down at his feet.
Soldier: Oh, well, umm... Make your way over to the gate, I'll have it open for you.
The soldier steps down from the wall and leaves John's sight. John looks down at the large machete in his hand and then back into the forest. He makes sure no other soldiers are looking, then chucks it back into the trees as far as he can. He starts strolling along the wall, softly running his finger along the cement. When he gets to the front, the gates of Fort Cessna open and John steps inside. The grunt who John was talking to slides it back shut, then walks back over to his position. John looks up at the command center and sees Riley standing in his office window, his hands on his hips, staring down at John.
Erika steps inside a room, then walks over to a desk with a woman sitting calmly at it.
Woman: Hi, can I help you?
Erika: Yeah, I'm... I'm here to see Asher Lucero and Private Mason.
Woman: I'm sorry, they're in different rooms right now. Which one would you like to see first?
Erika: Umm... I guess Asher.
Woman: Okay, right this way.
The woman starts walking down a hallway and Erika follows. The small section of the command center turned into a hospital is where she is. When they get to a room with 504 written on it with sharpie, the woman pushes the door open and smiles at Erika.
Woman: Right here.
The woman walks back to the main office and Erika steps inside, then gasps slightly.
Asher is on the bed in horrible shape, hooked up to several machines.
Erika: Are you going to be okay?
Asher clears his throat with a slight cough, then glances over at Erika, muttering.
Asher: I'll be fine... Two weeks... They said in two weeks... I'll be able to walk around again. How... How is this place? Secure? Is it safe? Did you notice... Anyone at all... who seemed off?
Erika: Well... People talk a lot about the leader, some asshole teenager named Jackson. No one really seems to like him.
Asher: Is he a... Problem?
Erika: If they've gotten a place like this with him then I think he's fine.
Asher: Good... I heard... Gunshots... What was it?
Erika: Someone was at the top of the ridge and got overrun by walkers, and they started coming for the fort and got five people.
Asher: Were they... ours?
Erika: No... They were some random soldiers who got caught in the herd out in the woods. This other guy, John, was with them and was the only one that made it back. He's with some guy named Riley, I think. In questioning or whatever, like they're wondering why he was the only one to make it back. A little group is going to the top of the ridge to see who was up there.
Asher: Good, good...
Erika: This place isn't like the others. It's... Special. It's different from any other place we've had. When you can walk you'll see. It's not like the school. Just... Promise me you won't try and take down Jackson. I know for a fact you won't appreciate him.
Asher closes his eyes for awhile, then opens them to reveal a pair of soft, brown eyes, a thin layer of tears covering them.
Asher: Erika... Look at me. In two weeks- maybe, just maybe- I might be able to walk again. But after that fall... I'll never be the same again... Even if I want to... I'll never be able to defend the ones I love like that again.
John's head is buried in his hands.
John: I don't know if I can live with myself...
Riley: It's okay, John, there was nothing you could do.
John: Justin and Rachel... I let them die... I could've shot the limpers, I could've...
Riley: John. Everyone knows you didn't do anything. The limpers were coming at you guys and they got them. Did anything else happen? That's how it went, right?
John rubs his eyes, looks up at Riley, and nods.
Private Daniel bursts into the room.
Riley: What is it?
Daniel: We found two people at the top of the ridge, one guy one girl. The guy was some bandit, had a spear on him we think. It was in a limper's neck when we got there. He's dead now, so no worries about him. The girl, though...
Riley: What is it?
Daniel: She was ours. That little supply group you thought had been gone for too long... She was in it. It was Laura.
Riley: F-ck... Go tell Jackson. I'll go tell the community. Let Mona know she needs to start setting up a burial. Six people this time. All of them military.
Daniel nods and steps out the door. Riley nods at John, sighs, and walks out as well. John stares at the door, then gets up and leaves.
Riley stands in the doorway of the hangar, next to General Jackson. The entire community is gathered in front of him, listening. A slight chill runs down his spine when a short gust of wind blows. He steps forward and sighs, then looks up at the community.
Riley: Six good men died today. Private Rachel, Private Justin, Sergeant Goodman, Sergeant Porl, Sergeant Relovan, and Private Laura. As you all may know, Laura was on that supply running group sent out a week and a half back. That limper attack we had a few hours ago? They were after Laura. They got her at the top of the ridge, where we're assuming she was the obly one to make it back from the supply run. We don't know how that run went down, and a very expertised team is being sent out to solve this mystery in three to five days. The limpers out there drew out six of our men, and five were killed by them. They were taken down. Private John was the only one to survive that.
Riley looks out at the community and sighs.
Riley: Things are changing. Now! Yesterday we had some newcomers welcomed into Fort Cessna, three of which are my old friends. One of them is Lieatenant Colonel Hall. He is higher ranked than me, so he will be now rising up to a position above me, and is welcomed into the staff of leadership, joining General Jackson and myself. A ceremony to honor our dead will be held tomorrow at sunrise, and it is mandatory for everyone to attend. Of course, there will be no consequences if you don't, we merely wish for you all to come. The staff of leadership will do anything and everything in its power to ensure a tragedy like this does not happen again, and we promise all of you will be completely safe. We are now short of supply runners, so if you wish to apply for that task, please come meet Mona in the training wing of the command center tomorrow. You are all excused.
Riley spins around on his heel and strides through the dank doorway of the command center.
Weeks passed. After two weeks, Asher still could not walk. Three days later, he was on his feet, but couldn't walk far. Weeks passing became months, when Asher was able to walk on his own and could live in a trailer, but he still had a permanent limp. Fifteen months into the apocalypse, a meeting was called by General Jackson, Corporal Riley, and Colonel Hall. The following members of the community were called to meet in the training wing:
When Asher and Reese stepped into the room, everyone else was already there. The large room was filled with chairs, and the large amount of people there are filling in those seats. Asher and Reese take the last two seats, and then Jackson and Will stand up at the front of the room. Riley is sitting at the desk, his head buried in his hands and a cigarette burning in the ashtray next to him. Will clears his throat, then starts to speak.
Will: Thirty-one of you have been called here today, most likely because of your abilities out there. In the real world. We know all of you can fend for yourselves very well. We have seen you in combat, and we know you all can handle it.
Riley stands up, then clears his throat.
Riley: What we have ready to present to you today is the oppurtunity for a mission. There's... There's about thirty guys trapped, from what we heard. The mission is to go out there and save them, then bring them home. They're all soldiers that we've worked with before, and they're trapped in an office building. Now before you go ahead and say you'll do it, you have to know where they're trapped.
Beth: Where are they trapped?
Riley: ... Southern California.
Everyone is silent, their eyes like glowing tennis balls in the dimly lit room. He feels sweat beading on his forehead.
Riley: This won't be an easy task. We know these men can fight vigorously, out of almost anything. If they can't fight through those walkers keeping them inside that building, then we have to assume our strongest people can. They found our station and left a message on the radio, telling us exactly where they were and that they needed help. They did not specify how many walkers there were, so we're sending you all fully armed to the teeth. This expedition will be led by Lieautenant Colonel Hall. But we're offering you a choice.
Jackson: You can stay here and not have any worries about it... Or you can go. The choice is yours. In a few day's we'll be calling another meeting, your minds must be made up by then.
A knock comes at the door to the room, and Ashlynn goes it it and opens it, seeing Asher standing there.
Ashlynn: What is it?
Asher: They called a mission... I'm going to accept. It's a mission down to southern California, we leave in a week.
Ashlynn stares at him, purplexed.
An hour later, she is sitting on her bed, staring out her rain-splattered window. She cradles Brealynn close, and swallows nervously as a tear rolls down her cheek.