右！右に行け！"Right! Go to the right!"
後ろから来るぞ！"They're coming from behind!"
再装填している！援護頼む！"Reloading! Cover me!"
The soldiers surrounding Mari shouted in between bursts of gunfire. Each burst was curt, efficient, and less than a second. There wasn't much time between any one of the soldiers firing, but any pause was filled with the soldiers communicating to each other. They moved as one, the soldiers forming a ring around Morioka and Mari, with each soldier keeping one hand on their weapon and the other hand on the shoulder of the man next to him to keep track of their positions in the dark. Morioka Sensei had one hand forward holding the backpack of a soldier in front of him, and his other arm holding Mari, who kept both arms up near her head in a defensive posture. Soldiers had to let go of the man next to them when they had to fire their gun or knock someone down with the butt of their rifle, in a motion that was practised and effective. Once each threat was dealt with, they would regroup and re-establish contact. When people, infected or not, ran into the soldiers, they would often knock the person to the side, deflecting them onto a path where they would run into someone else. If the person came head on, the soldiers knocked that person to the ground where they would finish them by shooting them directly in the chest or head. There would be some awkward shuffling as each encounter would buffet the group one way or the other, or they had to step over bodies, but overall their progress was slow and steady.
Mari couldn't make out most of what was happening around her, it was just a chaos of noise and flashes of light, with screams and yelling somewhere beyond the ring of safety around her. All she could do was hope that she made it through the next moment as she had made it through the last moment, but it never felt secure enough to be sure that would be the case. For her it was a whirlwind of chaos, being constantly jostled by forces outside the ring of soldiers, the growls of the infected always close by, beams of light flickering in any direction but the one she was looking. She never knew if this was the moment the group would break down and she'd be killed. It felt that as effective as the soldiers seemed to be, it was a fragile bubble of protection just barely holding together. Out there, with every moment and scream and growl, more infected were being created within the walls of the hospital, a slowly increasing pressure of danger that Mari could feel closing in on her. She felt it on a gut level, like being in a submarine going farther and farther down into the dark ocean depths. If they didn't make it outside soon, all the shooting these soldiers could do would not hold them all back.
前方左、あの出口に！"Ahead and to the left, that exit!" Morioka Sensei yelled out. The ring of soldiers shifted, somehow moving as one via an unseen communication transmitted in their individual motions. A few steps down the hallway were large canvas laundry baskets within metal frames and on wheels. There were also mops, cleaning equipment, piles of towels, and garbage bags, forming an extra barrier extending from the wall that the soldiers had to go around. Someone infected, a growling silhouette against a black background, ran from farther down the hallway and into the soldiers. One of the soldiers in the lead shot at him, but missed, and then another soldier swung the butt of his rifle in a motion that send the running figure stumbling to the side and then fell into a pile of towels where he seemed to get tangled up. Another soldier to Mari's side put a boot onto the figure flailing in the pile of fabric, holding him still enough, and then shot him in the head twice.
死ね！"Die!" the soldier said with an angry, low voiced growl. It was an attempt to sound aggressive, but the wavering tremble of fear was obvious.
落ち着け"We've gotta stay cool," a soldier beside him said, a slightly more mature voice with more composure.
Suddenly the soldiers behind Mari lurched, as an infected had managed to jump on top of them from the darkness, using something, a body, a pile of towels, to launch off of and get more height. The body came crashing into the circle, and Mari screamed as she ducked downward. There was a shuffle of motion, bodies pressed against her as they stumbled, and she pushed back at all of them, not concerned if it was soldier or infected. She feared any moment would be a hand scratching at her, or worse, teeth thrust at her from the darkness. The soldiers yelled, the infected growled, and there was more firing from all around her. Suddenly, it was as if one of the soldiers pushed up against her melted away into the darkness. The growling infected was gone too. There was a gap where less than a second ago there had been a life or death struggle right on top of her.
圭亮！"Keisuke!" a soldier behind Mari yelled. She could barely make out anything in the darkness and the soldiers flashlights that never pointed where she wanted to see, but she was close enough to the soldier yelling that she could feel him moving away, just a step, with an intent to go after the missing soldier.
ダメだ！諦めろ！"It's no good! He's gone!" another soldier yelled out.
死ねぇぇぇテメェら！"Die motherfuckers!" the first soldier yelled as he started shooting wildly into the darkness. For a moment Mari felt that he was just as likely to hit his friend as he was to kill the infected, but then she realized it would be as much mercy killing as vengeance.
弾を無駄にするな！"Don't waste your ammo!" Morioka Sensei yelled as he reached out to the soldier and pulled him back in. The soldiers closed ranks to fill the gap, and they pressed forward, continuing to shoot outward in any direction as needed. Mari didn't have to see any of them to sense their tension was higher now after having one of their team taken away.
They rounded a corner, and just ahead of them were glass sliding doors. They weren't moving, stuck in a partially open position. There was a crowd of people jammed up in front of them. Some people were trying to get out, squeezing through the gap between the doors that was just large enough to get through. One person was caught in the middle, on one side someone, a friend or relative, a younger woman in cotton pyjamas, was pulling to get this man through to the outside, and on the inside were infected clawing at him. He was turning or dead, but no one was relenting. Around them there were people running up, some of them people trying to get away, who thought the group in front of the windows were like minded people trying to get out. When they reached the group, an infected at the door would turn and surprise the new arrival by attacking them. Other uninfected assessed the situation but thought the door was still the best option and were trying to pull the infected out of the way, only to be pulled into a mortal fight for their lives. And yet more infected ran into the area just to attack anyone and everyone.
ガラスを撃て！邪魔なものは撃て！"Shoot the glass! Clear the area!" Morioka yelled, his voice loud enough to be heard over the constant noise, but still steady, urgent without panic.
There was a little ambient light coming in from the outside, from distant streetlights and other sources, so Mari could see between the soldiers, and even though most of the people were silhouettes, it was possible to make out the action. The soldiers opened fire, at first targeting the most central parts of the glass doors and floor to ceiling glass on either side that weren't obstructed by any people. The glass shattered in such a way that they went from transparent to an opaque pattern of millions of fracture lines, like a mosaic of uncountable tiny crystals. They didn't fall out and away from the frame on their own, but people immediately began to push and fall through them, causing the glass to rain down.
The woman in pyjamas pulling at her companion found him suddenly loose and she stumbled a step or two backward as he fell to her feet. She might have been free to get away, but as soon as she was in the clear, a bullet caught her somewhere in her forehead or eyes, causing her head to be flung backwards, and she crumpled down to the ground. The soldiers hadn't targeted her, they were just shooting anyone who was still moving in their planned path, infected or not. Other bodies spasmed and fell as bullets ripped through the air, pushing life and movement to the ground and away from the soldiers. Within seconds, there was a pile of bodies and shattered glass in the exit. After a moment of silence following the gunfire, someone ran from a hallway and out through the doors, jumping over bodies. The soldiers didn't react. They didn't concern themselves with anyone who wasn't coming directly at them.
There wouldn't be much more time before more people, and much more infected would fill the space the soldiers had just cleared. The soldiers didn't need any prompting from Morioka Sensei to start moving as a group toward the opening in front of them.
ガラスに気をつけろ"There's glass everywhere, be careful!" One of the soldiers in front called back over his shoulder. The warning was for Mari, the only one without heavy combat boots, and for Morioka Sensei who was minding her. There were bodies on top of most of the glass, but they were awkward to step over and around, and making it very possible that one would slip onto an unseen shard in the darkness. The plastic slippers Mari was wearing would hardly protect her with all the awkward and unsteady angles her feet were being forced into with every step.
彼女を"Take her," Morioka Sensei said, and pushed Mari forward to a soldier. Much like the soldiers Mari first encountered, he was covered head to toe in gear made mostly of a heavy canvas like material which obscured the man inside entirely. Putting his rifle in a strap that let it hang from his chest, the soldier pulled one of Mari's arm toward him as he crouched down, and she was lifted up and across his shoulders the way the soldier in Shibuya had carried her. Mari felt like a rag doll, not so much because of the way she was being carried but because it was the second time in a night where it seemed like all her actions were being dictated by other people and the circumstances around her. Under all the continual fear and moment to moment panic was a growing frustration at having her fate dictated by others.
Just on the other side of the threshold of the shattered glass doors, there was a small entrance way area, with glass doors on the right that lead to a small off hours emergency entrance, and on the left were more glass doors leading outside. Both doorways were locked in an open position, and a few people and infected ran across the path of the soldiers from the emergency area, heading outside. There seemed to be fewer people here than there were behind them. As there was more light here, Mari could see more of the group she was with. There were two soldiers ahead of her, who, like the soldier carrying her, and the ones she encountered in Shibuya, were covered completely in dark grey and black combat gear designed to protect them entirely from anything that might be in the air. They had all sorts of gear strapped to their fronts and backpacks, as well as pockets and weapons all over. They looked ready to both survive and fight in anything. Two of the soldiers were in simple dark blue uniforms, like the naval man who examined her when she first got off the truck. They had dark blue caps, and like Morioka Sensei, had rubber gloves and a surgical mask. The rest, including Morioka Sensei, were in dark green, though Morioka Sensei did not have anywhere near the same amount of gear as them. He had no helmet, no extra equipment. The soldiers had hard combat helmets, and vests for carrying extra gear.
くそ～～～！"Shit!" One of the soldiers behind Morioka Sensei screamed out. Mari couldn't see until Morioka Sensei turned, and then it was revealed to Mari that one of the bodies they had just stepped over was reaching up to grab one of the soldiers in green. Mari only had a moment before the soldier carrying her turned so that Mari ended up facing a different direction, but in the light from one of the soldier's flashlights, it looked to her like the moving body, a chubby man in a navy button up shirt, had a large chunk of his head missing, most likely a wound from one of the soldier's high calibre assault rifles. His head was so damaged that Mari was surprised that he was somehow still alive, let alone able to move. But it was only a flickering image in Mari's eyes, not enough to be sure exactly what she saw. The man was pulling the soldier down, clutching and clawing at the soldier's leg just above the boot, and that's all Mari saw before she was swung around by the soldier carrying her as he turned to see for himself what was happening.
こいつも動いている！"This one's moving too!"
Mari heard the soldiers yelling between gunfire, and mixed in was the familiar guttural growling of the infected. The soldier carrying Mari was ahead of the others, standing in the small entrance way just steps from the open door to the outside. Mari could only look toward the door, and wish that she would be put down so that she could run for herself. She looked below her and saw a slick pool of blood, spreading out from the woman in pyjamas who had been shot directly in the head earlier. She, at least, seemed entirely dead, having been killed before being infected. The soldier who had been carrying Mari was firing a hand gun without any regard for how Mari was being shifted and jostled on his back. Mostly Mari could only hear the the frantic soldiers screaming and shooting, but occasionally as she was swung side to side she could see a little of what was happening. It seemed the floor was coming alive with arms reaching up out of the black mass below them to try and pull all the soldiers down. They soldiers aimed their guns downward but had to hesitate before shooting, for fear of hitting each other. Distracted by the danger right below them, an infected woman, a young girl who had maybe been in her teens, with a summer dress and frilly cardigan, ran in and jumped on the back of one of the soldiers in green. A soldier in blue pulled out a hand gun and aimed at the girl on the other soldier's back, but he couldn't get a clear shot.
助けてくれ！こいつを！"Help me out! Get this one!"
Mari was spun around again and couldn't see what happened next. Just more yelling and gunshots, an indistinguishable cacophony of noise that Mari couldn't understand how any soldiers could communicate anything to each other.
やられた…あいつらみたいになりたくねぇ…"I'm fucked! I'm infected! ... Not like this..."
There was a stillness after the last thing Mari heard. Then a single shot, a shot that Mari understood. The soldier carrying Mari didn't hesitate to turn and head to the door, and Mari was now facing back toward where she could see Morioka Sensei with his hand on the shoulder of one of the soldiers in blue. The soldier was looking down, his shoulders slumped, looking defeated. The other soldier that must have been shot was nowhere that Mari could see, lost in the darkness.
我々は行かなければならい。すまない…"We have to go. I'm sorry..." Morioka didn't just rely on his words, he was already pulling the soldier along. There was just no time to stop moving. Mari was swung around again as the soldier made his way out the door, within a few hurried steps they were on the asphalt of a roadway leading directly out to the main road. The main entrance to the hospital that Mari had originally come in was a hundred or so metres to their left. The soldier carrying Mari put her down, and she stumbled a bit, a little more dizzy than she realized from having been turned and jostled so much on the soldier's back. She took a moment to get her bearings. The two most heavily armed soldiers, in the head to toe protective gear, were on one knee with their rifles aimed back toward the hospital entrance. The rest of the soldiers were scanning the area with their weapons aimed outward, and Morioka Sensei was in the centre near Mari, in control and assessing option, as always.
Far off in the distance, echoing so that it was unclear where exactly it was coming from, there was a siren, cycling in sharp electronic crescendos. In any other time, Mari would have assumed that it was a tsunami warning just after the earthquake. On this night, though, with everything that was happening, the siren could mean anything. Maybe the moon was falling out of the sky.
Someone ran out of the hospital just as the soldiers came out. A man in a faded green button up shirt and jeans, who just ran straight on. The soldiers on bended knee tracked him with their guns, but didn't fire, he was uninfected and therefore irrelevant. The next person to come out was a woman with a small build, wearing jeans and a flower print shirt that went down to her thighs. She ran three or four metres straight out from the door, and then stopped abruptly, as if she had just thought of something. She pivoted to face the soldiers, and crouched just for a moment, to initiate the movement of running at them, but before she could take one step, one of the kneeling soldiers fired, one shot hitting her in the chest, just below the throat. She wavered, then he fired again, his next shot hitting her in in the cheek, just to the left of her nose. She fell backward as if punched, and crumpled to the ground.
ここにいたら危険だ！"We gotta keep moving!" One of the kneeling soldiers yelled back. Another infected came out of the entrance way just as he finished speaking. This one, an older man wearing pyjamas and a robe, stumbled as he came out, having bumped into one side of the open glass doors. He was already turning to face the group as he put one hand on the ground to steady himself. His face was lit by the flashlights attached to one of the soldier's guns, and it was clear he was infected. His eyes had pupils so wide they looked almost black and his face was contorted into a limitless rage. The next moment, it was as if he just disappeared, the gunshot hitting him square in the head, and he fell away from the light immediately.
Mari heard gunshots behind her, which surprised her and she crouched defensively and turned. A soldier in blue with his assault rifle firmly braced against his shoulder and his head aiming down the barrel was standing straight and shooting down the driveway that led to the main road. Mari couldn't see who he had just shot, but another shadowy figure came around a stone wall and up toward them. The soldier fired again, and the figure fell to the ground, their momentum from running carrying them forward as they skidded on the asphalt. It was too dark to see if the person was definitely infected, but no one who was uninfected would be running toward the hospital.
くそっ！"Goddamn it!" Morioka uttered, not to anyone in particular. If there were infected out on the main road, then there was no clear direction to go. He looked in the only other direction away from where they had come from, which would take them alongside the building of the hospital and ended at the main entrance that Mari had come in earlier. The area by the entrance was a chaos of screaming, lights, gunshots, shadowy figures running in all directions. Just in front of it, between the madness and where Mari and the soldiers were, there was a still figure of a young woman, standing casually, completely still. For a moment Mari wondered with a little envy how anyone could remain so calm before she saw someone run into the figure and bounce off of it. The young girl was a statue, similar to Mari in size, but impervious to everything around her.
Mari was pulled out of her envy of the inhuman girl by Morioka Sensei grabbing her and bringing her down the driveway to the main road. They were more disperse now, not the tight circle they had been inside the hospital, but they were in a roughly circular formation. Two soldiers in back, shooting at the infected coming out of the hospital, two soldiers in front, advancing to clear the way to the road, and a soldier on either side of Mari and Morioka. Morioka wasn't constantly holding onto Mari as he had been before, as he was sure she knew as well as he did that the safest place possible was as close to him as possible. Mari kept a hand outstretched, not holding onto Morioka, but touching him, so that she could keep track of his movement and direction even as she kept looking in every direction for the next danger that might come her way.
At the end of the driveway, just before the sidewalk on the other side, were low cement walls with bushes on top. With precise motions, the two front most soldiers ran up to take a place on either side, using the wall for cover. From their vantage point, each could scan down the road in the direction they were facing. One solder fired once at some unseen target out on the road, but mostly they conserved their shots, as people ran by on the road, chasing more visible victims. The rest of the group caught up and took places on either side of the driveway, with Mari, Morioka, and two soldiers joining on one side, and the remaining soldiers on the other.
左も右も進めそうにありません"It's not good either way," said the soldier at the entrance closest to Morioka Sensei.
明治通りに進むぞ"We should head toward Meiji Street," Morioka Sensei said back.
ですが、左前方玄関前に障害が…"That'll take us by the front entrance..." The soldier said. They had all seen the chaos there, and even though they'd be going around it, it was clearly a source from which danger would radiate outward.
自衛官や戦車もあるんだ、まだマシだろう。逆に行けば、闇雲に走るだけだ…"There are more soldiers and armoured vehicles there. They can form a better defense. If we go the other way, we're just running nowhere..." Morioka Sensei said.
There was no further talking. The soldiers all looked around at each other to confirm that everyone was ready. Some looked nervous, others looked grim, but everyone was resolved. The two soldiers closest to the wall on either side held up their hands as they scanned the road. One brought his hand down into a fist, almost like he was pulling a cord, to indicate that the area he was watching was clear enough to go. The other soldier took a few more beats, and then brought his hand down when he was satisfied. With both soldiers indicating it was time to go, they aimed their guns outward to cover the area. Then the two soldiers who had been flanking Mari and Morioka went out into the street, side by side, as if they had practised this synchronized move many times. Morioka grabbed Mari and pulled her to follow the two soldiers. The heavily covered soldiers in the back kept their guns aimed behind the group, occasionally shooting, taking down people coming from the direction of the hospital.
Mari didn't like the feeling of being pulled out into the street. It felt too exposed out on the large road, that anyone could run from any direction, so she didn't know where to watch. A soldier to her left fired his gun, and then a soldier behind her. She would instinctively turn to look in the direction of the gunfire, only to see nothing because whoever was being shot was already dealt with. There were people running up and down the street, and the soldiers were being careful to not fire if a person was only running by. Not because they didn't want to shoot anyone innocent, but just to conserve ammunition for real threats.
Mari looked one way and then the other, constantly turning to try and get a sense of what was going on. Down the street away from the intersection they were going to, it wasn't full of people, but more and more infected and future victims were pouring into the road from some unseen exit on another side of the hospital. The closer intersection was only a little over a hundred yards away, where there were soldiers and police, and there were overpasses from which they were shooting and maintaining a better defense. The armoured vehicle with a gun turret that she had seen before was shooting into the chaos at the hospital main entrance, their sustained fire preventing the infected, and their victims, from getting too close to the intersection. For the moment, it did look like the better option.
道の反対側に行くぞ！ "Get to the other side of the street!" One of the soldiers called out. They were clearly better off staying on the far side and approaching the intersection that way, so as to avoid getting caught in any crossfire between the blockade and the hospital.
The more open road and illumination from the streetlights favoured the soldiers, as they were able to assess threats and have time to aim and fire. The group made quick progress down the road to the intersection. The soldiers along the pedestrian overpass fired back toward the hospital, taking out infected as they came running out from the main driveway that led to the hospital's front entrance. Sometimes someone, a patient or doctor would come out with their hands up high, screaming as loud as they could to not get shot, and sometimes they made it forward, where there were police moving black and yellow traffic barricades to create a line of defense. Some uninfected would get shot if they came out without making it clear enough they weren’t infected, and some would get shot as they got close to the police and some officer would decide the person seemed dangerous. Some people were getting by, and the police were channelling them in toward the crowd of people who had previously been trying to come through the intersection checkpoint from the other side. Most people on the other side were confused as to what was happening, so the few people escaping the hospital that made it past the first line of police found themselves running into a wall of panicked people not going in any direction.
When the armoured vehicle fired toward the hospital, it's large calibre gun made people practically explode when it hit them. There were blue and white buses with steel grates over the windows that police and soldiers hid behind as they reloaded and coordinated with each other. Morioka was directing their group to head for the closest of the police buses, where there was a police officer in black riot gear waving them in. It seemed to Mari that they might just make it. But, then, as she focused on the way the man in riot gear was waving his hands, it seemed as much warning as guidance. He was trying to tell them to be careful of something more, a danger on top of being chased, but it was too much to convey exactly what using just hand gestures alone.
One of the soldiers to Mari's left, closer to the hospital, was hit in the head with a bullet. He was one of the men in blue, with a cap that offered no meaningful protection. Blood sprayed like a mist and then he went down, falling in front of Mari. All the soldiers around Mari went down to the ground, half of them reaching a kneeling position and the rest of them flattening entirely. They waived their guns as they looked around for where the bullet might have come from.
どこから来たんだ？誤射か？ "Where the fuck did that come from?" Morioka Sensei yelled out, showing some panic for the first time. His question still had a ring of authority to it, expectant of an answer as much as an expression of his surprise. "Was that friendly fire?"
いや、病院からです！"No, it was from the hospital!" One of the soldiers in the heavy canvas gear yelled out.
Mari was curled on her side on the ground, one arm over her head, and the other propping her up just a little so that she could keep looking around and be ready to get up and start running again. She looked back toward the officer in riot gear and could now see clearly that he was telling them to approach but keep low and watch out, as he had been all along. Just as she worked out what the police officer was trying to communicate, there was a quick streak of pinging noises, as bullets were hitting the side of the bus. She turned to look toward the hospital to see who was shooting. On the other side of the street, just outside of the driveway to the hospital main entrance, she saw a soldier, one of the ones in green with a combat helmet, running toward them. He had two hands on an automatic rifle, holding it up near his chest, but not braced against his shoulder the way she had seen the soldiers handle their guns all night. He was waving the gun erratically, and firing in what seemed like a random pattern. He was infected, and shooting everywhere. The soldiers around Mari were shooting back, but, recovering from the way they had scrambled to the ground, none of them were hitting him.
Within a second of Mari catching sight of the infected soldier, he seemed to burst into two halves, separated by a mist of blood, as he was hit with multiple high calibre rounds from the armoured vehicle. Mari didn't have a moment to feel relief as she saw beyond the now fallen infected soldier and saw there were others, infected soldiers and police with guns, firing everywhere as they came out of the hospital. Their fire was making the soldiers and police in the intersection more cautious about exposing themselves, inhibiting the amount they could fire at the infected, and in turn allowing more infected to get out. The distance to which an infected would make it to the intersection before getting shot was getting closer and closer.
Mari was only barely processing all the implications when she heard Morioka Sensei yelling to her, and to all the soldiers.
行け!行け！"Go! Go!" He had now given in completely to the absolute urgency of the situation. It wasn't panic, but there were no options except for everyone to reach to their core desire to survive and run as hard as they could. Morioka was already running when Mari turned toward him in response to his shouting. Mari kicked her plastic flip flops off and sprang to her feet in movements that were as efficient as they were frantic. Adrenalin focused her so that each step was precise and powerful. She ran forward like a sprinter, managing to get ahead of some of the soldiers, weighed down by their gear.
It was only a few strides to reach the bus, but as fast as Mari approached the safety of hiding behind it, she felt like the air itself was resistance that slowed her. She could feel the bullets in the space between her and everything else, as if they formed invisible lines like laser tripwires, causing death if she crossed them. A bullet clipped the corner of the bus causing the officer in riot gear to step back and twist so that he had his back against the bus. Another bullet hit the ground ahead of her. She heard a yell from behind her that she was certain was one of the soldiers being hit and falling to the ground, but she wasn't going to turn to confirm.
With her last stride, close enough to the bus that she felt she was going to make it, she launched herself into a jump to cover the last few steps. She reached out with her arms for either someone to catch her, or to brace herself if she landed on the ground. It didn't matter. It was a leap of faith in a literal sense, propelled by instinct to just get out of where she was, and whatever was ahead of her would be better. She saw Morioka Sensei just ahead of her, having just reached safety himself and turning to see the others come in. He held up his arms as Mari dove toward him, and she felt an elation in having Morioka Sensei receiving her, ensuring she was safe. She didn't know why he had pulled her out of the hospital, but she was grateful he had.
But she didn't land in his embrace as she imagined she would. She didn't find herself in the comforting safety of his arms. Instead, he grabbed her arms by the wrists as she came toward him, his grip sudden and painfully firm, holding her hands back from getting too close to his head. The rest of her body, unsupported by him, landed awkwardly, crouching down below him with him holding her wrists above her. She looked up, and there was enough light that she could see his eyes, wide with fear.
He hadn't been reaching out to save her, he was reaching out to save himself, to stop her hands, her nails, from getting near his face, in case she accidentally scratched him as she was practically flying toward him in a frantic and uncontrolled way. Mari felt hurt, a sudden sense of abandonment, as she now realized from his actions that he hadn't brought her along because he cared about her as a person in any way. It seemed silly, now that she understood, to have ever thought that he would have ever singled her out of all the people in that hospital to protect her in particular. She remembered the nurse calling him over when Mari had spoken about how close she had been to the earliest signs of the breakout, and it was her circumstance, not her as a person, that defined her in his eyes.
He wasn't saving her, he was keeping a specimen.
Who his daughter dates
Based on a real and random conversation with a guy about his daughter and age and dating and stuff.