The trip to Wickenburg was mostly uneventful, if you can consider crushing occasional undead bodies underneath the wheels of the SUV 'uneventful'. He avoided Tuscon by making use of the small roads linking suburbs around the northeast of the city, and circled around the southwest of Phoenix through the criss-crossing small roads that went through what was probably ranches, although those delays meant it was close to the dead of night by the time he reached Wickenburg. Wickenburg itself was so sparsely populated for its size that there was at least 50 meters of desert between each house on the south side of town, which he was simply driving through to avoid the roads. He could see smoke to the north, only by the hint of orange glow that highlighted the smoke against the night sky. If he remembered right, that was the city center, with shops, restaurants, and stuff like that, all packed in close together. By how dull the glow was by now, it was probably well on its way to burning itself out.
As he entered the desert to the south of the airport, he turned off the car's headlights (he was certainly not going to let himself be a brightly lit beacon all the way out to his /actual/ destination!) and turned on his special pair of night vision goggles. He wore them by an elastic strap as if they were the oversized paintball goggles that they really did resemble, extremely lightweight, and with the intensified image projected on the inside of a transparent visor covered with a perforated mesh screen that he could see through to keep full awareness of his surroundings with the night vision turned on, or off. It took a little getting used to, being able to see through a transparent night vision image, but he had DEVELOPED the damn things, he knew how to use them.
He killed the engine as he got closer, taking off the goggles and grabbing the binoculars he had thrown in the back of the vehicle before he left. There wasn't much light, but he could at least get a better idea of the layout of the airport... hangars to the south, a terminal building to the north that was larger than he expected, along with smaller buildings around it, a control tower that was larger than he expected too... probably doubled as offices of some kind. He thought he saw a dim white glow inside the tower /move/ slightly, just before a much brighter one suddenly shone into his vehicle from his left. Dammit!
On reflex he scrambled to the other side of his vehicle, opening the door and tumbling out somewhat ungracefully... at least he had the Escalade between the light and himself, even though he was certain whoever it was had seen him already... although the only person he could think of being here would be... "Who's there? Come on out, I already saw you in the vehicle." ...Okay, no Italian accent, so it couldn't be PT. Granted, he'd never heard PT /speak/ before, but PT even /typed/ with an Italian accent, he just couldn't wrap his mind around it if PT was actually a speaker of perfect American English. The firm, 'in-command' tone sounded like the man had taken it right out of a police manual, so he was probably a patrol officer of some kind... SWAT types were less friendly about their verbal instructions.
He thought over his options at this point... he was only armed with his Dark Ops knife on his belt, his HK45s at the back of his waist and on his left-handed shoulder holster on his right side... he had his fingerless SAP gloves and the forearm web-bracers to his gear, but otherwise was just wearing a black T-shirt with his BDU pants and boots. 3 HK45 mags on his belt... he could probably outshoot him, but the fact that the cop hadn't shot at him already was a good sign he wouldn't have to...
"I said come out! Now!" the cop's voice shouted, louder this time.
Okay, running out of time now... he tightened the muscles in his throat before answering, giving it that scratchy, 'froggy' sound like a Marine Drill Instructor... it was somewhat comical in retrospect, but it would keep his voice audible without allowing it to carry on across the desert. "Okay, okay, just get that god damn light out of my face!" He made a point to peek up at the officer, holding one of his empty hands up, shielding his eyes from the light... and the light lowered away. He kept his hand up, but used his other hand to raise his goggles back to his eyes, turning them back on to get a look at this man. He was just noticably smaller than R himself was, shorter by about a full inch. Early-mid 20's, caucasian with the beginnings of a mustache... what was it with male cops and having mustaches? He was wearing rather typical American SWAT gear over what looked like an average police uniform. Tactical vest, helmet with transparent goggles pushed up on top of them. He had a fixed-stock MP5 with a forend light, and carried his handgun on a waist holster instead of a thigh holster... and he was still wearing a side-handle baton on his belt. Even more telling than that, was how the cop was APPROACHING him. This guy couldn't have ever made SWAT, let alone be one already. He decided not to commit to anything just yet... get as much information out of the policeman as possible, and set up a more favorable kill scenario if he had to.
He lowered the goggles again, letting them just hang around his neck by their elastic strap. He was already taller than the cop, and didn't need to look any more threatening by having fancy goggles over his eyes. He walked back out around the Escalade, saying in the same froggy voice, "You're a cop?"... using a voice like that made his throat a little raw, but it was a minor discomfort at best. He made sure to keep his voice 'hopeful', as if he felt like was suddenly rescued by the presence of this borderline incompetent.
The policeman turned slightly, to shine his weaponlight on the Escalade, "Yes, sir, I am..." his voice faltered just a bit as he undoubtedly spotted the array of weapons arranged inside the car... "Sir? You're going to have to come with me."
He wanted to ask 'why', but that wasn't a question cops liked to hear, so instead he asked a more cooperative question, "Where?" It would tell him where the rest of them were, at the very least.
"With me, to the control tower, sir." his voice got firmer as he continued "You'll have to turn your weapons over to us, and we'll protect you." This obviously wasn't on a whim for this officer. Probably standing orders to disarm civilians 'for their own safety' as zombies overran the planet, and this guy was too green to even consider questioning it.
He couldn't help a slight twitch in his face, but the cop didn't seem to notice... He took the last few steps towards the cop, making sure his head was turned to the side, leaning over just a bit as if getting a better look at the control tower, "The airport's safe?" he asked, to reinforce the impression he was just getting a better look at the place, still showing as few signs of non-cooperation as possible.
"The control tower is safe, yes sir." Which probably meant they hadn't secured the terminals yet, at the very least. Most likely they had just went up to that oversized tower and holed up for safety. And from the tone of his voice when he'd told R to turn over his weapons, the rest of the cops here were going to ask the same thing, and the only other people he knew were coming out here were certainly not going to respond favorably. Could mean PT's in some trouble... oh well. <Time to make a move, I guess...> he thought.
"Okay, here. I'm taking out my pistol." he answered, still not looking directly at the cop. He slowly reached to his shoulder holster with his right hand, awkwardly removing it from its holster. He hit the magazine release with his thumb, letting the mag drop free, then with his other hand, pulled the slide back to eject the remaining round, making sure he only grasped the slide with his ring and little fingers... then dropped the now empty handgun to his feet as he used his remaining three fingers to grasp the end of a knife (a Cold Steel Delta Dart to be exact) concealed in his forearm web-bracer. As it came free, he rotated his wrist and stuck the point of the triangle-shaped blade into the policeman's neck and left it in, moving his now empty hand firmly down over the top of the officer's MP5, reaching down with his fingertips and pulling the ambidextrous safety lever up to the 'safe' position, and holding it there. As the cop moved his free hand to try and remove the knife from his neck, R swung his other arm across, knocking his hand away, then slid his foot backwards, driving his fist to the cop's throat. A perfect punch. He could even feel the energy flow up his leg from the earth, up his back to his shoulder, where it exploded forward through his fist. The metal knuckles of the SAP glove struck the protruding pommel of the knife directly, driving it all the way to the back of the officer's neck, and into the bone.
The officer went limp instantly, and R quickly wrapped his arms around the MP5, holding the man up by the sling of his weapon, then after turning off the weapon light, slowly lowered himself onto one knee, lowering the body down onto its back as quietly as possible. He turned the body sidewards before reaching in and removing the knife, HEARING the sound of blood flowing, as it was too dark to see... flowing freely as if it were from a faucet, spilling out over the sand. The heavy metallic odor of the blood hit him an instant later... distinctly different than killing a zombie, with their thickened, congealed blood that would barely ooze out from gunshot wounds. In a moment of curiousity, he put his night vision goggles back on, leaning in closer to the officer and looking into his open, dead eyes... He could see fear and anger in the look frozen on his face, but above everything else, was shock and disbelief. He'd caught the man completely off guard, which brought a smirk to his face.
He worked the MP5's sling off of the man's shoulders, removing the magazine. He could tell by the weight it was fully loaded. <Now to find PT...> he thought as he recovered his handgun, reloading it and holstering it again.