In the end, caution won, and eventually turned out to be quite a few hours with their slow pace and poor sight. The moon was high in the sky and well on its way down again when they finally reached the point where the highway came back down to earth. To their enormous relief, there were no dead in sight.
They hopped over the barrier in a part of town Ben didn’t recognize. It looked like mostly smallish individual homes with the odd apartment building as far as they could see. “This is good,” Ben said. “Low population density.”
“It could be good,” Claire corrected. “They’re slow and mostly don’t travel great distances but that doesn’t mean they’ve all stayed in the same spots all these years.”
It was true, Ben reflected. It was still a pretty good idea to avoid major population centers, and this was still close enough to being one that they had to be very careful, but zombies did move around enough for dispersion to have happened over the last decade. They might run into more than they assumed. They might run into none.
They had departed the highway near an overpass without ramps. Moving as quietly as they could, they made it to the other road. This one had few cars on it, and looked as though they’d spent the last 10 years rusting in place.
“Have you ever seen anyone get this far away before?” Claire’s expression was hard to read in the dark but her voice was weary but with a nervous edge. Ben was flagging as well.
“No. There’ve only been a few who got away without getting caught, and coverage mostly ends long before you get out here.”
She started carefully inspecting every car they passed. Her inspections were visual only after she touched a rear view mirror and barely managed to catch it when it crumbled off the car. The loud sharp sound of breaking glass would definitely bring them bad luck.