Keith crouched outside the warehouse with his team, anticipation shuddering through him. It was remarkably difficult to place informants with the Infected, but their latest information had finally named this location as one of the stops on their "underground railroad", and tonight was supposed to be a full house.
"Get into position," he said over his shoulder. "Signal when everyone is in place." A handful of his fellow Humanist Corpsmen vanished into the shadows around the warehouse, and Keith waited impatiently for their radio signal. Feet shuffled around him, and men checked their weapons or tugged nervously at their Kevlar. The Infected were not known for violence, but why take risks?
"This isn't right. We shouldn't be here," a quiet voice said.
Keith turned and clamped his hand around Rick Tyler's slender arm. Rick had always been a hesitant, quiet recruit, and Keith had been leery of bringing him. "This is do-or-die time," he whispered emphatically, giving Rick's arm a small shake to emphasize the point. "How old is your little girl now? Six? She's just an innocent child now, but what happens when these sickos decide it's time to recruit her, huh? How long do you think they'll wait to do it? Twelve? Fourteen?"
Rick shuddered and steeled himself, and Keith let him go, turning back to examine the warehouse. Finally, the radio crackled to life, and he sighed, eager to get the strike underway. He waved for his team to move forward and lifted the radio to his lips. "In five. Four..." The rest of the countdown was silent, and as he mentally hit 'one', two men surged forward, slamming through the door. An echo of another door banging open sounded from the back of the building. Keith smiled at the synchronization; they were getting better.
Unfortunately, the Infected were one step ahead of them once again. A man—their inside man—lay hog tied in the center of the warehouse floor. He was sobbing quietly, and with each breath he took, a fleshy flap opened and closed on his neck. Keith gestured for his men to check the partitioned rooms that had been set up along either side of the warehouse, but he knew they would find them empty.