Keller had lost track of how many people were trying to scratch out a living in the sewers. There were thousands that he swore to protect, and thousands others he didn't know about. He had tried to get some kind of army together, to use his influence as a Judicator to secure weapons, enough to arm those men still strong enough to fight. But every day, a hundred died, every day a hundred turned into those....things. It was a losing battle, and Keller was starting to feel the strain.
A fresh wound beneath his jacket was a reminder of when he pushed himself too far. He had been trying to save a little girl, cut off from her family and surrounded by the infected. But there were too many, and Keller himself nearly lost his life. He had to pull back and leave her. But it didn't mean her screams echoing in his head every-time he closed his eyes.
Down here, in the dark and cramped tunnels, and stinking halls, Keller had killed countless infected. He had soon learnt that a bullet through the head finished them as quickly as it would a normal man. But they were not normal, and there were so many of them.
Keller had gone down to the lower levels once, deeper than he had ever gone before, and found a nightmarish hell of death. It had been there the families had first fled, when the infection still wasn't understood. People sheltered their infected friends, their relatives, and when they turned, none were ready for the destruction.
Now Keller faced a constant struggle in these upper levels of the sewer, protecting more people than he ever could, with only a small handful of poorly-armed, barely trained, frightened men to aid him against the terrors that moved through the darkness.
He had lost all contact with the surface, with the city he loved, and for all he knew, it had fallen to the creatures. For all Keller knew, the only light left on Goidelaer II was within these sewers. And that light was flickering.
As Keller moved through the tunnels once more, carrying a heavy pack of food towards one of the camps, not sure if the camp had survived the time since he last saw it. He didn't know how long it had been, down here in the darkness there was no way of telling the time, none had carried any clocks with them when they moved into the sewers, they had simply fled, blind panic overpowering their judgement and rationality. The people had been living only off what they could salvage, and the precious deliveries that Keller brought when he could.
And so, when the unmistakable sound of a gunshot echoed down the tunnel, seemingly coming from a thousand directions, Keller froze. A second gunshot echoed down the tunnel, and Keller could hear the direction it had come from. He set off at a run, his heavy footsteps loud in the tunnel as he moved, his hands already going to his holstered weapons. The infected didn't use guns, at least not to Keller's knowledge, so the gunshots could only mean one thing, survivors.
It wasn't long before Keller reached the source of the gunshots. A group of men and women, dressed in the uniform of the Civil Wardens, and even a few Judicators, were taking on a horde of the infected with their assorted weapons. These were not men trained for combat, and as Keller watched, one of the Civil Wardens was dragged screaming into the water, where he quickly fell silent.
Not wasting another moment, Keller dropped his pack and drew out his twin revolvers. Moving quickly towards the group, firing once as he ran. One of the infected spun and fell as Keller's bullet found it's mark, striking it in the skull and punching through. Without pausing, Keller fired again, his target falling to the ground at the feet of a cowering woman.
Keller heard the sound of a shotgun unload to his left, and as another of the undead fell, the infected turned and ran, sensing that there was no more food to be had here. Keller turned towards the sound of the shotgun blast and saw a tall man,dressed in a stained white shirt and padded jacket, clutching a sawed off shotgun, still smoking.
Keller moved towards the man, and called out to him as he approached.
"What business have you in the sewers?"
The man turned to Keller, and he could see receding hairline and short, ragged beard. There was something about the man that hinted at unspoken horrors. When he replied, his voice was low.
"Confirming suspicions. What's yours?"
Keller had reached the man, and stopped, appreciating how tall the man really was, standing a good few inches above him.
"Protecting the people. What's happening on the surface?"
Keller could only assume that this kind of rag-tag band of Civil Wardens and Judicators had come from the surface, and his suspicions were confirmed when the man replied.
"Situation's bad, tension between Colonials and the natives rising, reports of the infected sneaking into the city. Could cause complications in the near future"
It sounded like the surface had gone to hell as much as the sewers had. But if the Colonials and Natives had tension, it meant there were still Colonial and Natives left, and the city still held. Although from what the man was saying, not for very much longer.
"There's scores of the infected down in the lower levels. Too many families sheltering infected relatives. There's a war coming, and once the smoke clears.... I'm not sure if there even is going to be a winning side."
Keller let the thought hang in the air for a moment, the silence strange after the action and noise just moments before, before turning and heading back to where he had dropped his pack. The people he was heading for need those provisions, and he was going to bring it to them.