'I challenge you,' Jane said, 'To a game of chess!'
'I forfeit,' Jimmy said, not raising his eyes from the disassembled .45 spread out on his workbench. 'You win, boss. Again.'
Jane threw her arms into the air. 'Victory!' she proclaimed.
'Huzzah,' Jimmy said, inspecting the .45's barrel.
'Woo!' Jane said and strode out of the room to spread the word of her great victory. The rest of their base proved woefully lacking in people, however, so she spent a few minutes petting Mutt, Tank's 3-legged bulldog. It slept right through it all, snoring like a phlegmy buzzsaw.
She quickly grew bored of the dog and picked up one of their 'talkies. She adjusted the wave frequency and pressed the talk button.
Tank's 'talkie suddenly came to live with a loud squawk, making him jump and drop the armfuls of canned food he'd been carrying. They fell to the floor with a deafening clatter, and he froze where he stood, holding down the talk button on his 'talkie before Jane - it had to be Jane, he thought - could make any more noise. He strained his hearing. Were those the slow, rotting footsteps of a walker? Was it just dripping water? Was that a ticking clock or the sounds of an approaching burrower?
The building had been an enormous shopping center once. Three stories of anything a hot-blooded American would ever need. These days you were lucky to get in and out alive.
Satisfied that nothing had heard him, he raised the 'talkie to his mouth and spoke into it very quietly. 'Why,' Tank said. 'Are you calling me now?'
'I won at chess!' Jane said, her excited voice distorted by the interference.
Tank sighed and closed his eyes. 'Boss,' he said in a tired voice. 'Did you drink coffee again?'
There was a long silence.