He controlled his breathing and focused on listen. He heard, somewhere faint in the distance, the sound of metal on metal. Then the moan. He started sprinting, heading towards the ancient rusted wreck of a car, left to rot in the street.
The runners were on him fast. Second wave, released when he crossed some unknown threshold. That was good news, because it meant he was the first person to run past this section, at least outdoors.
The runners were nearly on him when he got to the car. He stepped on the hood, the roof, then down the other side. The runners tried to follow him directly and failed. They were fast, but they weren’t agile. A bunch of them went down in a heap and the rest detoured around. It wasn’t much, but it gave him a couple of steps on them.
He didn’t want to go back in the buildings, but he couldn’t take this many runners. There. He zigged across the street and said a prayer to a god he didn’t believe in. There was another car remnant there, and he took at a run. The hood collapsed and his leg sunk hip deep into the car. No engine to stop him. He couldn’t afford the time. He pulled himself up and there was a stab of pain he didn’t have time to worry about.
He kicked the first runner as hard as he could, connecting with its jaw. It would have been a perfect drop kick if he were playing soccer. He got lucky, for once, and the runner knocked down two other as it went down. There were half a dozen right behind it, and they swarmed around the car. He jumped over and landed hard, his hurt leg buckling. He ran again, not nearly fast enough.
Smith slammed an elbow back into the face of one of the runners. It didn’t have much effect. You could damage them, but you couldn’t really hurt them. He needed to get his back to something solid. He was probably fucked either way, but it would give him something.
He could feel their fingers scrapping at his leathers, their teeth breaking and grinding as they tried to find flesh. He turned and grabbed one and slammed it into as many as he could reach. He began punching as hard as he could, feeling the squelch of dead flesh with every blow.
He aimed, as much as was possible, at their mouths. They didn’t have normal human reflexes anymore, so it was easier to knock out their teeth than it would have been if they were still people. Take out their teeth and they wouldn’t be able to kill him as easily. Desperation move.
There were enough of them that they would eventually overwhelm him. He kept punching and moving until his back was up against the wall. This was good. They were only coming at him from one direction, and that meant that he could take them one at a time.
He grabbed the first one he could get a grip by the ears and pulled as hard as he could, slamming it’s face into the brick behind him. The thing went limp as the brain died. One down, a shit load to go.