This interview was conducted at the bedside of Zandra Corbes, at the
converted military hospital aboard the QE2 docked in Port-au-Prince
managed to cruise on the flat tire for a mile or so. But the road was
rough, and it soon stripped the rubber completely. The bandit was laughing.
I screamed at him to shut up. I was in terrible pain from the bullet
wound to my thigh. What made it worse was that the truck was a stick
shift. So I was in searing pain whenever I changed gear, pressing the
clutch with my leg. I tried to keep it in fourth as much as I could.
We saw an old car, crashed against a rock. I pulled over. Pt. Goodson
told me to stay in the truck. He cautiously approached. We needed to
see what was salvageable I watched through the dusty, bug splattered
windshield. Then he smiled and gave an AO Kay signal. This was good.
It wasn't a perfect tire fit. But who cares if your crossing radials
with ply when your slowly bleeding to death?. I pulled up parallel to
the car. Pt. Goodson shouted to me that he would try to find a jack.
He released the trunk catch and hobbled over to open it. He leaned on
the trunk. Trying to master the pain of his broken ankle. I saw through
the dust on the windshield, Pt. Goodson open the trunk and reel back.
An undead was lurched out at him.
In the trunk? That's horrific. It sounds like a 'gotcha' scene from
a Romero movie. What was an undead doing in there?
ZC: Who knows. We never quite figured that one out. Perhaps he was a
relative being taken to hospital? And he had become uncontrollable.
But if so, why did they abandon him there?. We just don't know.
Anyway, they both fell back into a cloud of dirt.
What did you do?
ZC: Well, here's the embarrassing part. I had been feeling
really good about how I had handled the whole situation since the copter
crash. I mean here I was with two highly trained chopper pilots, and
it was me who was doing the Sigourny Weaver bit. (laughs) Anyway, the
question was "what did I do'". I just sat there screaming
and crying. I was hysterical.
Well, that is understandable
ZC: I know. I know. But all the same. I should have done something.
I had a side arm.
So what did happen?
ZC: Lt. Mavern. sprung to action. He leapt from the truck like he had
never been injured. He grabbed the zombie by the hair and pulled it
off Pt. Goodson. Then, whirled it away from him in a sort of wrestling
move. You know the one where they grab their opponents hand and spin
them around, then let go?
He landed with a thud against the truck bed. This is when our bandit
friend leaned over the side and got it in a choke hold. He held it long
enough for Pt. Goodson to put a gun to it's head and shoot it.
So the bandit ended up being a stand up guy?
ZC: Wouldn't that be a nice ending? No, unfortunately not. Because Pt.
Goodson's gun was no more than a few inches from his face, Bandit guy
lunged for it. So a whole new fight started. He knew Pt. Goodson had
a broken ankle and went for it. Leaping from the truck, he kicked Pt.
Goodson square on the shin. Again and again. Then started punching him
in the face. But three against one won out. We subdued him with several
well placed blows. We had nothing to tie him up with though. So I watched
over him whilst they tried to fix the flat.
or three minutes of trying to change it. I noticed a rustling in the
tall grass by the side of the road. I told them to hurry. Then the rustling
became something else. Something clearer. It was footsteps. Lots of
them. Surely enough, the sound of the gun shot had attracted the attention
of every zombie for miles around. They started to stream out of the
grass, the bushes, everywhere.
We got the flat fixed to a fashion. But at this point they were all
around the truck. Including in front. I floored it. Knocking one clean
over the hood. He smashed the windshield but rolled completely over
the top. I thought we were clear. But then I glanced in the rear view
mirror. To my horror the zombie I had just flipped over the roof was
now in the back bed with Lt. Mavern and the bandit. I tried swerving
but it just kept everyone rolling around in the back. The zombie was
holding onto the Bandit guy. I pulled the wheel down hard to the left
and that's when it happened.
ZC: The zombie and the bandit. They flipped over the side.
They rolled a good deal and then came to a stop. The other zombies were
stumbling towards him. He was shouting to us. Screaming for us to stop.
But you said "That's when it happened." what was 'It?"
ZC: Well, I stopped. We looked at each other as if to say,
"what do we do now?, who's going back after him?" and we just
all knew without saying anything that we were not going back.
So many things flashed before me. I thought of the moment I had a gun
to his head earlier in the day. How I tried to shoot him and missed.
How I felt that I was better for not having been his executioner. How
I had felt I had come through something awful but somewhat untarnished.
And now here we were. His fate in my hands once more. Only this time
a different thought entered my head. It was a a joke I had heard once.
ZC: Yes. Not a funny one but a joke nonetheless. Two men are
in the woods. Suddenly a bear starts to chase them. The first one says
"we're done for here. How can we ever outrun a bear?"
and the second man says "I don't have to. I just have
to outrun you."..... get it? That's what ran through my head.
It's not how fast we are. It's whether we were faster than that poor,
poor man. That bandit who's name I never knew.
have tried to save him. But I chose to drive off. I watched in the rear
view mirror. He stopped running after us. He just stopped. I guess he
knew his fate at that moment. He was about to die. They descended on
him and were immediately satisfied. they had their prey. Leaving us
to drive away.
picked up by a search and rescue team two hours later.
That's an incredible admission. Why did you choose to tell me this.
You of all people. A reporter. You know I will have to print this.
ZC: I know. I know. But there is some part in me that has to
confess. I went looking for a story and I got one. I have to tell the
whole truth. Warts and all. This is what war does. It forces you to
make decisions you would never make in the cold light of day. But when
you are out there, and your adrenalin is running and you have to make
split decisions, you cannot stop time and review it rationally. Instinct
will always govern. This is the truth. this is war. And it's our duty
to report it. Otherwise what are we doing here as reporters?
Corbes, Lt. Mavern and Pt. Goodson are all recovering in the converted
QE2 military hospital ship.
this exclusive interview with ZWN embedded reporter Zandra Corbes
this exclusive interview with ZWN embedded reporter Zandra Corbes
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