Mutagen is a Webnovel created by Exallion.
This lightnovel is presently Ongoing.
If you want to read Mutagen 527 A Stop Over, Reminiscing Felicia’s Memories, you are coming to the right site.
Read WebNovel Mutagen 527 A Stop Over, Reminiscing Felicia’s Memories
Day 128 – 12:22 PM – North-South Freeway, Deptford Towns.h.i.+p, New Jersey, United States of America
Atop the flyover built over Clements Bridge Road, Mark’s group stopped for lunch.
It was not the best place to stop, cook their food, and eat. And in fact, it was better not to. It was because of the dried blood in the middle of the road that even the weather could not wash away anymore. Here and there, bones could also present, scattered like pebbles.
However, since it would take too much time to search for somewhere to better to eat, this was enough. Furthermore, since it was an overpa.s.s, the only directions that the infected could come from was the entrances and exits. Of course, unless the infected were capable of flight.
Everyone all sat down in a circle while eating their lunch. It was rather good that the weather was a bit chilly, and the sky was quite cloudy. Even though they were eating in the open, they could barely feel the heat from the sun.
Nevertheless, except for Mark and Mei, the others were quite restless for two apparent reasons.
One, they kept glancing warily at the direction they came from. It was easy to understand why.
“Don’t worry about anyone chasing behind,” Mark said. “There won’t be any.”
They could not help but look at Mark carefully. It had not been long since they met him. Yet, the surprises he showed them was overwhelming and out of this world.
After they broke through that blockade, Mark did not say anything else about the armed people chasing behind them. That was why they were quite worried that those outlaws might still be chasing.
But thinking about it… No one in the right mind would still chase after witnessing what happened. Another one of those beams could probably wipe out an entire armed battalion.
What they did not know was that there would be no one chasing anymore because all of them were already dead.
The other thing that Hannah and the others were worried about was… the one sitting beside Mei, being fed by her.
It was the [Queen Type] infected.
Seeing an infected sitting and eating with them was very surreal. They thought that all infected were carnivorous beasts that had no intelligence. But this one… even started to get picky about its food.
At first, Mark brought her quite a distance away, killing an infected and giving it to her. Unexpectedly, she turned away. Instead, she was staring at the others that were cooking at that time.
Specifically, she was glaring at the pot they were using.
Once they all had seated, the [Queen Type] looked at everyone and imitated them. She sat beside Mark, looking restless. She only calmed down once a bowl of food was given to her.
Well, that turned out badly.
Despite her bizarre actions, she was still an infected. She did not know how to properly eat and tried to gobble everything in one go. In the end, two-thirds of the contents of her bowl was wasted instead.
Not content with what she ate, she tried to gobble up the food that was spilled on the ground.
Of course, Mark did not let that happen. Reprimanding the [Queen Type] like a child, Mark managed to stop her. Instead, he tried to feed her.
That was when Mei jumped in and volunteered to do it. From there, it ended up with this situation.
Due to this… Although they managed to cook and eat more food than before, they never felt satiated.
Not to mention that they also shared the vehicle with the same infected.
Although the [Queen Type] looked behaved, there was no way that they could let their guard down around her.
And apparently, there was one more thing.
“Felicia, are you okay?”
While eating, Sandie, who was eating beside Felicia, could not help but notice. Felicia was staring at the northeast while eating.
In fact, it was not hard to notice her since she was turning her head away from where her body was facing.
Thus, that question took the attention of everyone.
Felicia was the one taking care of Morgan the most. Everyone could see her dedication to taking care of him while he was still unconcious. Seeing her like this was quite odd for everyone.
“Ah, no… It’s nothing.”
Of course, it was a lie. There was something in her mind.
“Come on. Say it.” Arnold chimed in. “We’ve been together for four months already. We can tell that there is something wrong. Don’t make us worry.”
Hearing that, Felicia smiled bitterly. Since she could see the concern towards her, she decided to share what was in her mind.
“Well, it’s just my parent’s house is near here…” Felicia took a deep breath. “Actually, I had a scuffle with my parents before when I was in first-year college several years ago. I ran away and started working independently. That is way before I ended up in Atlantic City. I haven’t heard anything from them for years.”
Hearing that, everyone fell silent. Everyone here had their own circ.u.mstances, and this was Felicia’s. In fact, aside from the people here that already lost their families in Atlantic City, some did not know whether their families were alive or dead.
And the worst part…
Not only that their homes were far, but also none of them had enough courage to confirm the fate of their families.
It was because of fear. They were afraid that they would see their families’ incomplete bodies. Worse, to see them wandering the streets as an infected.
There was the urge that it was better to not confirm it and just hope that they were still alive somewhere.
But then, while everyone was silent. An unexpected question came from the most unexpected person to say it.
“Want to visit your parent’s house?”
Mark said, staring at Felicia.
Felicia could only stare back due to the unexpected question.
In fact, while she reminisced, she was unsure whether she wanted to visit or not. What if she saw them dead?
But then, Mark pushed her further.
“Since it is close here, it is better to check it now. Remember that I will be taking you all out of this country. No one can tell when or if you will be able to go back here.”
Felicia contemplated deeply. The others just kept silent and let her think it over.
“Won’t it be a bother? You said before that we are in a hurry.”
“You said that it’s near, right?” Mark replied. “Since its nearby, it’s not a bother. If anyone else’s house is near the way we are going to take, it would be fine to stop by. Besides, I’m thinking of making a detour after we leave. We should find a place to spend the night early today?”
Everyone was confused. After all, it was just noon. They could still travel for about two to three hours before finding a place to stay.
Seeing their confusion, Mark continued, taking out his phone and opening the map.
“From where we are now, it is not far and we will cross the Delaware River and pa.s.s the border between New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Past the bridge, we will immediately enter Philadephia. I don’t think that we will have a good time searching for a place to stay there.”
Now, they understood his reason.
Philadephia was the largest city in the state of Pennsylvania.
Entering the city before dark? Why not jump into the Delaware River instead? It was more questionable if they would be able to find a good and secure place to stay there.
No one could refute Mark’s decision. It was better to take it safe than take a risk in the outbreak.
“Then, what’s your decision?”
Mark turned to Felicia and asked once more.
“Then…” Felicia closed her eyes and took another deep breath. “Please.”
“Lead the way then. After eating and resting a bit, sit beside Otis and tell him the directions.” Mark said.
Felicia replied. There was no enthusiasm in her voice. And instead, it was filled with uncertainty.
After lunch, Sandie took Felicia’s role in taking care of Morgan as she sat at the front pa.s.senger seat.
Taking a U-turn at the junction road to the right of the northbound lane, they went down into Clements Bridge Road.
And to say, unlike the Atlantic City Expressway and the North-South Freeway, Clements Bridge Road was very populated.
Of course, not humans, but infected.
The road, they were about to take, ran near different communities, like Glendora, and boroughs, like Runnemede.
Just with those two places, there should be a population of about twelve thousand people.
The population of the infected might be lesser. However, comparing that number to a group of sixteen people, it was already overwhelming.
Of course, there was no way for that number of infected to be gathered in a single area. Nevertheless, if they were to create a huge commotion, it would not be surprising if they were able to accidentally call h.e.l.l on Earth.
Furthermore, they were just pa.s.sing by these two places. Their destination was quite further.
The house of Felicia’s parents was located in the eastmost part of Haddon Heights. It was more than four miles from where they eat lunch.
Because of the number of infected, Mark decided to ride on the roof instead. After all, with the speed they were currently taking, it was hard to outrun the infected.
Moreover, since the road was smaller, even with the lesser number of abandoned vehicles, there were too many blockades.
It was not like it posed too much trouble. It was just annoying to deal with repeatedly.
While dealing with the infected, Mark could not help but notice.
It was quite a nice place to live in.
There were a lot of houses. However, they did not look cramped at all. Even the smallest houses were large enough for a family to live in. Not to mention that almost every house had a very wide yard.
The facilities such as malls, diners, churches, schools were also close to the residential areas making it easier to access.
Well, that was before not outbreak.
Right now, that very same reason made the place a h.e.l.l of an infected hole.
They took roughly one and a half hours to finally make it through Runnemede and Barrington.
It was lucky that aside from roadblocks of abandoned and crashed vehicles, they did not encounter any barricades or manmade blockades. Unlike the residential areas, Mark pa.s.sed through before back in the Philippines, it seemed quite impossible for this place to be barricaded considering the layout and style of the residential area.
Thus, they did not have to take detours too many detours along the way.
Soon, they finally entered the border of Haddon Heights.
At this point, Felicia was obviously restless.
The closer they got to their destination, the louder was her heartbeat.
Seeing the place she was very familiar with, if one was to nudge her, she might cry.
After all, the familiar places in her memory looked very different now.
The lively streets became a deadly road.
The beautiful houses were left broken and abandoned.
The lovely neighbors were now carnivorous infected.
The good things in her memories were being replaced with the current unsettling appearance of the place.
Then, she realized. She was starting to doubt her decision to return to this place.
If she did not return here, the good memories she had would not be replaced with the unsightly things she saw.
However, they were already here.
“Turn left, right?”
Otis asked, snapping her out of her thoughts.
It was the last two turns before they reach her parent’s house.
What would it look like? Were her parents still there?
Both antic.i.p.ation and fear filled her heart.
Another turn, this time, it was to the right.
A white modest house with a wide yard that contained an old playground, they finally stopped in front of the house of Felicia’s Parents.
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