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Adventure! RPG: American Revenants - American Revenants


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With a rebel yell...

Seagulls scatter as Burt sprints for the weapon, leans over backwards and grabs it, then straightens up, using his extra momentum from skidding to a halt. He barely managed not to trip and fall on the pavement, but he pulled it off - it probably even looked kinda cool.

Balance regained, he looks around, getting his bearings. The people assaulting the man on the ground are all looking at him in surprise - and they look significantly deader up close.

Then two of them lunge straight at him! The other three renew their attack on the fallen man...

"Gaaaah!" Years of training with IDPA and IPSC kick in, and Burt automatically raises his weapon while his right foot slides back into a modified Weaver. Knowing he's got no time for a proper sight picture, he switches to point shooting; punching his right arm into a locked position towards the target, he fires two rounds at the first attacker, then immediately fires at the second, again with two shots. As close as they are, he knows headshots will be the only thing to drop them immediately. He'd seen entirely too many examples on the news and in shooting reports of attackers still coming after shots to center mass. Take out the processor though, and everything shuts down.

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Bunny

In the brief moment between when Bunny opens the door and when she throws her knives, she’s greeted with the oddly comical, and yet still entirely unpleasant view of a very unhealthy looking man (she doesn’t remember seeing him around before) standing in the doorway. He stares at her with a look of complete and utter incomprehension for about a half a second, then gets about half way into what would undoubtedly have been a fierce snarl. He never gets the chance to finish it though, as two knives suddenly embed themselves handle-deep in his eye-sockets.

Bunny’s blades hit with the force of bullets, sending a spray of blood and gore from the back of her target’s head as they punch out the back of his skull, and sending him crashing down on his back in the middle of the hallway where a pool of blood begins to collect from under his hair. He jerks once, and then is still.

((Yeah, not only is that zombie Dead. Twice over. If zombies have an afterlife, its frickin’ ghost is now Hurt with Lethal damage. You rolled a lot of damage successes!))

Not even taking the time to watch him fall, the stripper immediately closed the door and locked it again.

*click*

"Okay Mandy, you can come out now, I'm in the kitchen."

Bunny grabbed the duffle bag from the floor and rifled through the drawers, grabbing knives and dropping them in her bag. Choosing two bigger knives, she strapped them to the side of her boots with the leather straps of the thigh high sex magnets.

"Are you okay sweetie?"

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"Don't shoot!.. What is a killer alien... what?"

Still wary (after all, isn't that just what one of them would say? ::unsure ::tongue ::wink ) Buddy slowly lowers the gun & holsters it back on his hip (don't fret my beauty - your time will come... ::wacko ::getsome ). Glancing around the macabre scene once more he shrugs,

'... Yeah, okay... but you're still blood-drenched, dude - what's up with that?' ::sly

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'Fluid dissociation'

Swinging his fist behind him, David realizes - with sinking spirit - that he actually failed to put any real weight behind the blow... He feels his fist impact something fleshy and clammy, but it seems to withdraw instantly, leaving David once again lost in the darkness...

Almost instantly, David feels something hard and sharp clamp down on his upper arm! Again, nothing pierces the skin, but the sheer force of the attack [is he being bitten?] hurts like all hell, and he feels like at the very least, his arm's being badly bruised.

Another toothy thing clamps down on his rib cage, but isn't able to get much purchase on the wider surface, and it doesn't hurt much before David pulls out of the way.

Somewhere in the back of his mind, David's organizing the room according to where he thinks he might be. If this is the morgue-room he thinks it is, he has a good idea where the door leading out might be - and next to it, the light switch - but he's not exactly sure where in the room he is, or which direction he's facing...

*Shit! Shit! Shit!*

,,

Inside David's mind the gravity of his situation begins to dawn upon him but still his body continues to act like some kind of machine or puppet.

,,

David recoils his arms and sprints backward in the darkness, attempting to slam whomever is behind him into the nearest wall...which he desperately hopes to find.

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More, More, More, More

BAM! BAM! BAM! BAM!

Four more shots ring out, echoing the four that had brought him here in the first place. The first of his two assailants goes down instantly in a spray of blood, landing in a twitching pile on the pavement. The second however hardly seems to react as the bullets from Burt’s new gun go whizzing by its head, missing by no more than a few millimeters.

Standing this close to the action, Burt realizes, with a slow, crawling sense of horror, that the other three attackers are chewing on their victim (who is now quite obviously dead, or faking it very well)! Not merely biting him, but actually chewing on him, making loud, wet, almost satisfied sounds while they’re at it!

Burt has no time to react to this grotesque display however, because the second of his own two attackers has reached him, and it looks like he plans on doing some chewing of his own!

Will the Real KAMZoS Please Stand Up?

As if Buddy’s question is the catalyst that brings full awareness of his condition, the “blood-drenched dude” looks down at himself and inspects his gore-soaked condition. Even in the dim lighting of the underground garage, Buddy can see the man’s face go pale as he stands motionless for a moment.

’Hhhuuaaagghhh!!!!!’, says the man as he bends at the waist and vomits explosively all over his shoes.

Then he stands back up and starts to wipe at his mouth, apparently feeling much better now that he’s gotten that out of the way. Buddy barely notices though.

He’s far more interested in the dead guy he saw running full tilt up behind the Blood-Drenched Dude when he bent over so he could upchuck.

Stumbling Around in the Dark

David gets only a few into his sprint before he realizes (belatedly) that his enemy is either very short, or was already ducked down low when he began his backwards-sprint. Needless to say, he topples head over heels and rolls for what feels like several feet backwards in the blackness, coming to a stop after the back of his head smacks into the wall he was looking for.

Slumped against the wall in the pitch-black room, David hears what sounds like the pitter-patter of tiny bare feet running across the tiles. Coming for him.

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More, More, More, More

BAM! BAM! BAM! BAM!

Four more shots ring out, echoing the four that had brought him here in the first place. The first of his two assailants goes down instantly in a spray of blood, landing in a twitching pile on the pavement. The second however hardly seems to react as the bullets from Burt’s new gun go whizzing by its head, missing by no more than a few millimeters.

Burt blinks. *No reaction at all? No ducking or jerking away from the zipping sound of bullets going right past the ear? What the hell?!*

Confused, he glances over at the man still being attacked.

Standing this close to the action, Burt realizes, with a slow, crawling sense of horror, that the other three attackers are chewing on their victim (who is now quite obviously dead, or faking it very well)! Not merely biting him, but actually chewing on him, making loud, wet, almost satisfied sounds while they’re at it!

Burt has no time to react to this grotesque display however, because the second of his own two attackers has reached him, and it looks like he plans on doing some chewing of his own!

"Crapcrapcrapcrapcrap!!" Sliding back and to one side, Burt adjusts his point of aim to compensate for the movement and fires at the head again. This time only once; he wants to make it count.

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In the kitchen

Bunny hears the closet door click open. Then she hears Mandy scream loudly, perhaps at the sight of the gore filling the hallway.

"Aaaah! Oh my god oh my god!" ::scared

She tears like hell into the kitchen, sprinting towards Bunny and grabbing hold of her, hugging her waist with frantic tightness.

"He was trying to kill me... Ms. Lewis, why was Dad trying to eat me?" ::cry

Her words still muffled against Bunny's sweater, Mandy then starts sobbing harshly, still holding on tightly to Bunny...

West 228th and Broadway

Alexander opens fire! His attacker takes a lead slug to the gut, blowing a messy hole in the center of his body. The next two shots both miss, but it couldn't matter after a bullseye like that...

...could it? But despite the big hole in its core, the man stumbles around the car door and lunges at Alex!

The crowd of messy, unhealthy-looking folks is upon him - two or three are already close enough to reach out and touch him... ::unsure

A dark department store

John's toe clicks lightly against the floor as he leaps. Flying through the air in a graceful, hurtling bound, John watches in dismay as his target wheels around, standing ready to intercept his attack! The man's big jaws open wide in a ghoulish position, and John's not sure if he's planning to hit him, or bite him! ::wacko

Fortunately, he never has to find out. John's ax strikes true, landing at the base of the man's shoulder and driving down all the way to the sternum, splitting the intermittent flesh like kindling!

For a good four or five seconds, there is no reaction from anything at all - then the man, staring blankly, falls backwards, apparently dead. John has to hold on and tightly wrench his ax in order to prevent it from being pulled down with his victim.

Meanwhile, the wounded girl on the floor has turned herself most of the way around in order to watch the melee, and has now begun crawling back towards John...

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A dark department store

John's toe clicks lightly against the floor as he leaps. Flying through the air in a graceful, hurtling bound...
In the back of his mind John thinks,

*Whoa this is a long leap???*

...John watches in dismay as his target wheels around, standing ready to intercept his attack! The man's big jaws open wide in a ghoulish position, and John's not sure if he's planning to hit him, or bite him! ::wacko
This isn't a bar room brawl and John wasn't really intending to fight fair,

*SHOOT!!! HE KNOWS!!!*

Fortunately, he never has to find out. John's ax strikes true, landing at the base of the man's shoulder and driving down all the way to the sternum, splitting the intermittent flesh like kindling!
John's face gets a primevilly savage grin and he smiles at his rabid opponent,

*That's gotta hurt. Maybe attacking children wasn't a good idea? Ditto using your teeth on someone with 3 extra feet of reach.*

For a good four or five seconds, there is no reaction from anything at all - then the man, staring blankly, falls backwards, apparently dead. John has to hold on and tightly wrench his ax in order to prevent it from being pulled down with his victim.
John gets a much more puzzled look at he watches his blank foe fall and then he wrenches his ax out,

*That didn't hurt? No pain? Maybe he was dead and didn't know it? Lots of odd things here... that leap, the blow with the ax, that was something out of a movie.*

Meanwhile, the wounded girl on the floor has turned herself most of the way around in order to watch the melee, and has now begun crawling back towards John...
John glances at her and his training pulls him back to the here and now. He walks over to her, puts his ax on the floor nearby, kneels next to her and looks her over. He says very quietly,

"Try not to move. Are there more like him around? Where does it hurt?"

*Evalutation time: How bad is she hurt, and what do I need to do here? Building isn't on fire but is it dark enough that I should move her? Can she be moved safely?*

*What will I need to treat her and is it near by? OK, it's a big store, where would I put first aid kits... Ah, duh. In an aisle that has a sign that says 'first aid' or 'medicine' or something similar. Camping section I'll bet.*

(OOC: When it comes time to administer first aid, which might not be now, John will be spending a willpower point for an autosucc)

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West 228th and Broadway

Alexander opens fire! His attacker takes a lead slug to the gut, blowing a messy hole in the center of his body. The next two shots both miss, but it couldn't matter after a bullseye like that...

...could it? But despite the big hole in its core, the man stumbles around the car door and lunges at Alex!

The crowd of messy, unhealthy-looking folks is upon him - two or three are already close enough to reach out and touch him... ::unsure

The strange twinge in Officer Holdens gut cries louder as he stares blankly at the approaching thing with a kill shot in its sternum. There are others as well, he just now saw them, but somehow knew they were there. Moving on survival mode only, he sticks the barrel of his pistol in the mouth of the one who just took a bullet in the gut and squeezes of another round.

In one move, he swings his left leg out in a wide but suprisingly graceful reverse roundhouse kick...using the turning momentum to leap onto the roof of his squad car.

Staring down at the mess of attackers, he can't believe what he's seeing.

"What the F*** is going on !?!"

His scream is more for his sanity than to be heard.

(( So one shot for the wounded. One roundhouse kick to another, then Athletics I suppose to move to the roof of the car? ))

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  • 2 weeks later...
Stumbling Around in the Dark

David gets only a few into his sprint before he realizes (belatedly) that his enemy is either very short, or was already ducked down low when he began his backwards-sprint. Needless to say, he topples head over heels and rolls for what feels like several feet backwards in the blackness, coming to a stop after the back of his head smacks into the wall he was looking for.

Slumped against the wall in the pitch-black room, David hears what sounds like the pitter-patter of tiny bare feet running across the tiles. Coming for him.

*Ow!*

The thought enters David's mind of it's own accord but then just as swiftly he realizes that it was more the surprise of the impact than it actually hurting. What in Hell was going on?!?

Pulling himself up he places one hand upon the wall and begins to feel his way at a brisk pace for the nearest corner. Letting go of his visual reliance entirely he closes his eyes, attempting to let his other senses sharpen. In particular he lets his ears target the approaching menace, hoping that this time he will be prepared. HIs legs muscles tense of their own accord, preparing for a vicious kick...

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A 9mm Church Bell

Just in time, Burt fires his gun, the bullet going straight through his attacker’s open mouth and out the other side in a spray of red gore. He hits the ground solidly even before the clap of the gun has finished announcing his death.

Then the sound fades, and Burt is left standing in the middle of Vesey Street with two men lying dead at his feet and several hundred birds wheeling overhead, waiting for their chance.

A few meters away two men and a woman are gathered around a third dead man. By the time they’re finished, there may not be any left for the birds.

Triaged Black

"Try not to move. Are there more like him around? Where does it hurt?"

When John speaks, the girl looks up at him with the same look of confusion, desperation, and pain in her eyes, and lets out a second rattling moan. As their eyes meet, John suddenly realizes that something is terribly wrong.

And then, the look still in her eyes, the girl lunges for John’s ankle, her mouth agape. ::ohmy

In the Mouth of Madness

Alex fires a round into the mouth of his already-wounded assailant, but is amazed when even this fails to put him down. The only logical conclusion Alex can come to is that the bullet must have passed through his throat and out the other side without hitting anything truly vital. He knows this doesn’t really make any sense though.

Pushing his shock aside, Officer Holden spins on his foot, launching an amazingly powerful kick that impacts with tremendous force against the side of a second assailant’s head. His neck gives way with a loud popping sound as the head attached to it spins more than ninety degrees away from Alex’s offending foot. The man goes down immediately, but just as quickly begins to struggle back to his feet, his neck and head dangling at an obscene angle.

Alexander Holden sees none of this however, as he turns and executes a solid, but none too graceful leap onto the roof of his squad car. Atop his new vantage point, he notices three more people coming towards him from the direction of Broadway.

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In the Mouth of Madness

Alex fires a round into the mouth of his already-wounded assailant, but is amazed when even this fails to put him down. The only logical conclusion Alex can come to is that the bullet must have passed through his throat and out the other side without hitting anything truly vital. He knows this doesn’t really make any sense though.

Pushing his shock aside, Officer Holden spins on his foot, launching an amazingly powerful kick that impacts with tremendous force against the side of a second assailant’s head. His neck gives way with a loud popping sound as the head attached to it spins more than ninety degrees away from Alex’s offending foot. The man goes down immediately, but just as quickly begins to struggle back to his feet, his neck and head dangling at an obscene angle.

Alexander Holden sees none of this however, as he turns and executes a solid, but none too graceful leap onto the roof of his squad car. Atop his new vantage point, he notices three more people coming towards him from the direction of Broadway.

The past minute has caused a strange but powerful emotion to well within officer Holden...survival! Not knowing what is going on, and not willing to believe the worst, he still knows that these things are going to hurt him if he does nothing. He must press on.

His vantage point from the roof top of his car allow him to see several approaching civilians, all acting in the same fashion. He almost absent mindedly draws his baton and holsters his pistol. Saving ammunition may be a wise choice. He was training in martial and melee combat for self defense and that is what he must rely on now.

Alex looks quickly to the windows and rooftops and near empty streets.

"Is anyone out there...can anyone hear me!"

He screams.

With that he takes a minor offensive before attempting a quick getaway.

((One kick to the closest mob, then he'll leap off the car and move away from the approaching hoarde))

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A 9mm Church Bell

Just in time, Burt fires his gun, the bullet going straight through his attacker’s open mouth and out the other side in a spray of red gore. He hits the ground solidly even before the clap of the gun has finished announcing his death.

Then the sound fades, and Burt is left standing in the middle of Vesey Street with two men lying dead at his feet and several hundred birds wheeling overhead, waiting for their chance.

A few meters away two men and a woman are gathered around a third dead man. By the time they’re finished, there may not be any left for the birds.

Swallowing the bile rising in his throat, Burt suddenly remembers an old saying, about discretion being the better part of valor. Cursing himself for being unable to do more, he backs away slowly, leaving the attackers(and the birds) to their feast. Once he's sure none of them are following, he picks up his pace. *Gotta make it to the truck!*

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Triaged Black

When John speaks, the girl looks up at him with the same look of confusion, desperation, and pain in her eyes, and lets out a second rattling moan. As their eyes meet, John suddenly realizes that something is terribly wrong.
::huh ::ohmy
And then, the look still in her eyes, the girl lunges for John’s ankle, her mouth agape. ::ohmy
John reflectively attempts to jerk his foot and whole body back even before he realizes he's been stupid. Pulling nothing at all he brutally tries to slam his heavy boot into her face. Maybe later he'll tell himself he was simply trying to push her away, but at the moment it's an act more of fear and horror than thought.

(OOC: Dodge and Kick)

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A not so fluffy Bunny in the kitchen -

Bunny hears the closet door click open. Then she hears Mandy scream loudly, perhaps at the sight of the gore filling the hallway.

"Aaaah! Oh my god oh my god!" scared.gif

She tears like hell into the kitchen, sprinting towards Bunny and grabbing hold of her, hugging her waist with frantic tightness.

"He was trying to kill me... Ms. Lewis, why was Dad trying to eat me?" crying.gif

Her words still muffled against Bunny's sweater, Mandy then starts sobbing harshly, still holding on tightly to Bunny...

Bunny's shoulders tense up as the child starts screaming. She looks blankly at the girl as she sobs against her sweater...

Trevor

It made her think of her son...he was probably still..

"Get the f@ck away from me!"

She pushes the girl away...hard.

The stripper kneels down, her leather boots screeching softly at the change of position.

"Mandy, you gotta be strong. That wasn't your dad, girl, that was one sick MoFo...and you know what? There are plenty more where he came from!"

Bunny looks at the hallway door and turns back to the girl

"I don't know what's happening Mandy...your dad, he was dead long before all this happened. But they're coming back. All those people that died in the news? They're coming back...and you know what? I'm not gonna just sit here and get eaten alive by some deader. You want to come with me? Fine. But you've got to act strong. You've got to run with me and be strong 'cause its not going to be pretty. There're going to be a lot more ugly people trying to chomp on us on the way to somewhere safe..."

Bunny stands up, checks her gear, zips up the duffel bag and turns back.

"So are you coming with me?"

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  • 4 months later...

An Arresting Development

Alex’s powerful, field-goal style kick catches the one he’d just kicked in the head only a moment before (who has managed to struggle into an upright position just in time to get kicked in the head a second time) right between the eyes. This is apparently more trauma than even this superhumanly resilient man’s neck can withstand, as an audible tearing sound comes from the man’s neck and he immediately goes back down in a silent and unmoving heap. Officer Holden has just beat a man to death with his boot. ::unsure

With that accomplished, Alex leaps from the top of his wrecked squad car with admirable skill, and begins running towards Broadway, only to find himself nearly face to face with two men in military field-garb who seem to have just appeared out of nowhere. And both of them are pointing high-powered assault rifles at him.

”Freeze!”, one of them shouts at him, but before Alex has a chance to react, they both open fire! ::ohmy

It takes Alex a moment to realize that they aren’t shooting at him, but at the small mob behind him. It takes only seconds, and every one of Alex’s attackers is laying prone in the street, and his saviors(?) are standing amidst a scattering shiny brass casings.

Their gruesome task accomplished, both soldiers immediately take aim at the NYPD officer, and the one on the right shouts, ”Are you injured?! Have you been bitten?!”

To Alex, the one who’s just shouted at him looks like he’s probably the one in charge here. He looks relatively calm and sure of himself. The one on the left, who looks to be the younger of the two, looks more like he’s trying to decide between just pissing himself now, or shooting Alex first and pissing himself after.

A surprisingly calm and rational-thinking Officer Holden reflects that it might be a good idea to answer promptly and forthrightly. And to not make any sudden movements….

((His combo of Wits, Willpower, and Reflective facet means that Alex is managing to maintain an impressive sense of calm, even in this chaotic situation. Of course, if you want to play him as frightened and scared Shade, I won’t stop you. ::wink ))

Under Construction

Burt is back on Church Street and across it almost before he realizes it, and he turns towards the northeast corner of the construction zone, heading for the truck. As he runs through the wreckage of the zone, Burt sees that some of the bodies scattered about the sight are moving. Some of them are already standing and stumbling around.

Perhaps it’s the adrenaline still flowing through his system, but Burt’s senses seem to be operating with unusual clarity at the moment. Which is unfortunate, because it means he can see just how impossible it is for some of those people to even be moving, let alone standing or walking. Maybe the atrocity he witnessed back there caused his mind to snap?

Burt can’t help but feel a sense of relief when the truck comes into sight (with no one, dead, deadish, or alive anywhere near it!), and it takes only a moment to reach it. It sits there all alone looking dirty, used. Beautiful.

Reconstructive Surgery

A man might wonder where he got all this sudden speed and dexterity, but John doesn’t really have the time to as his foot jerks back and then kicks forward like a striking serpent. The girl’s jaws close on empty space a brief instant before John’s foot hits them with bone-shattering force. Her lower jaw nearly breaks off and sags grotesquely, while her upper jaw, and part of her cheek, actually caves in under the force of John’s heavy boot.

The girl’s head jerks back from the force of the blow, but she immediately turns the ruin that was her face back towards John, the look of confusion, desperation, and pain never once leaving her eyes.

Then she lunges for John’s ankle again, with the obvious (and obviously futile) goal of trying to bite his ankle a second time!

Childlike Faith

"So are you coming with me?"

Mandy stumbles away from Bunny after she pushes her, looking very afraid with tears still streaming down her face. Then she seems to gather strength from somewhere inside herself and just like that, with the adaptability that only a child can display, she calms down visibly and nods her head.

Quietly, but very firmly, she says, “I’ll be strong, Ms. Lewis. I promise.”, and takes a step to follow her.

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An Arresting Development

Their gruesome task accomplished, both soldiers immediately take aim at the NYPD officer, and the one on the right shouts, ”Are you injured?! Have you been bitten?!”

Alex stands in plain view of the newcomers, his hands are suprisingly steady and calm. In standard police fashion, his left hand extends slowly towards them, his baton still clutched firmly in hand, but in a clearly visible and non-threatning manor.

"I'm a little banged up, but I'm fine. I wrecked my squad car back there...hit may head pretty good. I've not been bitten...if that is what you asked.' Alex couldn't be sure, given the situation he went on his gut.

"My Names Holden, Alex Holden. NYPD Badge number 8303. I was heading home to my wife when my car spun out. What's going on here?' Even though Alex knew the answer, something in him had to ask.

"I'm going to holster my baton, I'm moving my hand down now." With that he follows by moving his weapon away...very slow. Alex studies the two men, as he recalls a strange "vibe" from the dead attackers. He looks at these two as if to find the same thing.

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Under Construction

Burt is back on Church Street and across it almost before he realizes it, and he turns towards the northeast corner of the construction zone, heading for the truck. As he runs through the wreckage of the zone, Burt sees that some of the bodies scattered about the sight are moving. Some of them are already standing and stumbling around.

Perhaps it’s the adrenaline still flowing through his system, but Burt’s senses seem to be operating with unusual clarity at the moment. Which is unfortunate, because it means he can see just how impossible it is for some of those people to even be moving, let alone standing or walking. Maybe the atrocity he witnessed back there caused his mind to snap?

Burt can’t help but feel a sense of relief when the truck comes into sight (with no one, dead, deadish, or alive anywhere near it!), and it takes only a moment to reach it. It sits there all alone looking dirty, used. Beautiful.

"Ohhh baby, am I glad to see you." Snagging the keys out of his pocket as he runs, Burt puts on a final burst of speed and nearly bounces off the driver's side door. Fumbling a bit, he manages to slide the key into the lock and pops the door open. Jumping in, he slams the heavy door shut, re-locking it with his left hand while his right slips the key into the ignition and twists. Thankfully, he knew the behemoth would start right up...he'd made sure to personally oversee every facet of maintenance and repair on it. City property or not, this was his truck, and no one said otherwise.

Snatching the radio's mic, he glanced at the display to make sure it was still set to the emergency services channel before squelching the button. "Attention attention attention. This is Burt Hoffman, NYC Sanitation, looking for anyone active on this frequency. I am mobile and able to provide transportation. Please respond. Over."

Repeating the phrase like a mantra, he gave a thirty second pause between transmissions to allow for response. Putting the big diesel in drive, he started for home. Hell, he had nowhere else to go for the moment, and the safety of his bunker seemed to be getting better and better.

((Spending Insp to make damn sure that truck starts on the first try. I've seen these movies, dagnabbit. ::laugh ))

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Reconstructive Surgery

A man might wonder where he got all this sudden speed and dexterity, but John doesn’t really have the time to as his foot jerks back and then kicks forward like a striking serpent. The girl’s jaws close on empty space a brief instant before John’s foot hits them with bone-shattering force. Her lower jaw nearly breaks off and sags grotesquely, while her upper jaw, and part of her cheek, actually caves in under the force of John’s heavy boot.

The girl’s head jerks back from the force of the blow, but she immediately turns the ruin that was her face back towards John, the look of confusion, desperation, and pain never once leaving her eyes.

Then she lunges for John’s ankle again, with the obvious (and obviously futile) goal of trying to bite his ankle a second time!

John briefly thinks, *And I'd questioned paying the extra $20 for steel shod boots* as he tries to kick her brutally in the face again.
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Childlike Faith

QUOTE

"So are you coming with me?"

Mandy stumbles away from Bunny after she pushes her, looking very afraid with tears still streaming down her face. Then she seems to gather strength from somewhere inside herself and just like that, with the adaptability that only a child can display, she calms down visibly and nods her head.

Quietly, but very firmly, she says, “I’ll be strong, Ms. Lewis. I promise.”, and takes a step to follow her.

Bunny smiles as she stands and nods at the girl

"Good Mandy, I was hoping you'd say that."

Looking towards the hallway and Mandy's "father", the stripper adds almost as an afterthought

"You're going to need some clothes Mandy. Get your school backpack and stuff it...remember, lots of undies, lots of socks, the rest you can wear for longer. If you want to keep anything, take it because I don't think we're coming back..."

As Mandy gets her stuff the stripper puts a hand on the hilt of a knife in her boots, unlocks the bolt of the entrance door and steps into the hallway for a peak at what's between them and the elevator.

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Exodus

Officer Holden senses no “strange vibes” from either soldier.

As Alex moves to holster his baton, the younger soldier who looks like he’s about to have an accident starts and seems about to open fire on Alex (the kid looks really nervous). The officer (apparently) in command stops him immediately with a gruff, ‘Private Durden! Stand down soldier!’

‘Private Durden’ starts again, but reluctantly lowers his weapon without firing, much to Officer Holden’s relief. The second officer takes a step forward, weapon lowered but still pointed in Alex’s direction, and says, indicating himself and his fellow soldier, ‘This is Private 1st Class Durden, and I’m Sergeant Horn. We’re both of us in the 69th Infantry.’ His voice fades a bit, and the Sergeant eyes grow distant as he says, ‘Practically all that’s left of it now, I guess.’

Then his eyes focus again, and he looks back at Alex. ‘We had a temporary camp up at Mosholu Golf Course, of all places. A little after first light this morning we were swarmed by these… things’, he says, indicating the fresh corpses surrounding Officer Holden’s squad car. ‘It was like something out of a goddammed movie! F***ing walking dead people just kept on coming… We’re the only ones made it out. There’s still a mass of ‘em back behind us, but thank God, they’re so slow you can just about out-walk the bastards.’

‘We’re making for the bridge. Heard your gunshots, figured we’d take a quick look. We managed to contact contingent of the 7th division down in Manhattan. Supposedly they’re trying to close the place off, or evacuate into Jersey failing that. That’s where we’re headed’, he says, pointing down Broadway towards the bridge just visible in the distance.

‘They’ve got a barricade up that way, or so they tell us. Should be safe on the other side. If you’re up for it, you’re welcome to join us Officer.’

Throughout all of this, Private Durden continues to try and look in every direction at once, and seems to be growing more nervous by the second. Alex might actually find it amusing, except that he suddenly sees what the Private is seeing. Shambling figures approaching – slowly, but steadily – from all sides. Soon Officer Holden and his new ‘friends’ will be surrounded unless they get moving.

What’s Your Twenty?

The truck starts up without a hitch, as Burt knew it would, and he begins his transmissions. He completes two sets of transmissions when the radio suddenly squawks to life.

‘Mr. Hoffman! Mr. Hoffman, do you read? Over.’

((Assuming Burt answers in the affirmative)), ‘Mr. Hoffman, this is Sergeant Shaw of the National Guard, 7th Regiment, transmitting from the New York Times building off of Rodgers and Hammerstein Row. Where are you now Mr. Hoffman? Over.’

A Real Kick in the Teeth!

As John’s foot kicks out with lethal force his target doesn’t even flinch. In fact, she almost seems eager to meet his foot halfway!

The results are unfortunately messy.

The ex-fireman’s foot hits the girl’s front teeth first and keeps right on going. The already-weakened bones of her face simply can’t hold up under the impact of John’s heavy boot and, with a sickening wet *crack*, her face caves in entirely and a gory mess of blood, clear fluid, and gray matter pours from out of her nostrils, and what used to be her mouth, across John’s shoe and onto the floor. A second later one eye slowly bulges out of its socket and dangles limply over what is no longer identifiable as a human face. The remaining eye stares emptily at nothing.

Scouting the Way

Mandy obediently nods her head, and turns towards her room. Realizing that she’ll have to pass her father’s corpse again in order to get to her room she hesitates for a moment, but after a pause and a deep breath, she heads resolutely down the hall without pausing.

Meanwhile, Bunny steps into the hallway to have a look around. This time, the hallway is even more malevolent feeling than before, in large part because there are now four – no, five – walking corpses in it. Three of them are male, all adult and all middle age, and two of them are female of varying ages (the youngest looks to be not much older than Mandy), in the full light of the hall none of them look pretty. Bunny’s increasingly impressive intuition causes her to suspect that the noise of Mandy screaming, along with the noise of the fight itself, is what drew their attention. Now that she’s in the hall though, Bunny is obviously drawing all of their attention.

The nearest is one of the men, and is in the direction of the elevators, perhaps eight feet away from where Bunny is standing, but he (it) is moving so slowly that Bunny could probably get halfway to the other end of the hall before he (it) could reach Mandy’s door. The other four “individuals” are all in the other direction, away from the elevator, which is one good thing at least. Two of them are closest, at about twelve or thirteen feet away, and are practically walking hand-in-hand they’re so close together. The rest are strung out loosely down the length of the hall, and judging by their average speed it’ll be a good half a minute before the furthest makes it to where Bunny’s standing.

From somewhere back in the apartment, Mandy calls out, ‘What about toilet paper Ms. Lewis? You want me to bring any?’

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What’s Your Twenty?

The truck starts up without a hitch, as Burt knew it would, and he begins his transmissions. He completes two sets of transmissions when the radio suddenly squawks to life.

‘Mr. Hoffman! Mr. Hoffman, do you read? Over.’

((Assuming Burt answers in the affirmative)), ‘Mr. Hoffman, this is Sergeant Shaw of the National Guard, 7th Regiment, transmitting from the New York Times building off of Rodgers and Hammerstein Row. Where are you now Mr. Hoffman? Over.’

Burt heaved a sigh of relief. He hadn't been sure he'd raise anyone at all. "Nice to hear from you, Sergeant. I am currently northbound on Church from the Ground Zero site. Repeat, I am northbound on Church, coming from Ground Zero. Do you require transport, and is your location secure?" He let the mic button go, freeing the channel for response.

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Scouting the Way

Mandy obediently nods her head, and turns towards her room. Realizing that she’ll have to pass her father’s corpse again in order to get to her room she hesitates for a moment, but after a pause and a deep breath, she heads resolutely down the hall without pausing.

Meanwhile, Bunny steps into the hallway to have a look around. This time, the hallway is even more malevolent feeling than before, in large part because there are now four – no, five – walking corpses in it. Three of them are male, all adult and all middle age, and two of them are female of varying ages (the youngest looks to be not much older than Mandy), in the full light of the hall none of them look pretty. Bunny’s increasingly impressive intuition causes her to suspect that the noise of Mandy screaming, along with the noise of the fight itself, is what drew their attention. Now that she’s in the hall though, Bunny is obviously drawing all of their attention.

The nearest is one of the men, and is in the direction of the elevators, perhaps eight feet away from where Bunny is standing, but he (it) is moving so slowly that Bunny could probably get halfway to the other end of the hall before he (it) could reach Mandy’s door. The other four “individuals” are all in the other direction, away from the elevator, which is one good thing at least. Two of them are closest, at about twelve or thirteen feet away, and are practically walking hand-in-hand they’re so close together. The rest are strung out loosely down the length of the hall, and judging by their average speed it’ll be a good half a minute before the furthest makes it to where Bunny’s standing.

From somewhere back in the apartment, Mandy calls out, ‘What about toilet paper Ms. Lewis? You want me to bring any?’

"Sure sweetie, and don't forget to bring a flashlight..."

The stripper's knife arm shoot out towards closest corpse, blade reaching for the brains behind its right eye...

"and you'll also need some batteries...and try to find daddies keys to the car..."

Tucking into a roll, she grabs the knives from the burst sockets of the zombie that had tried to come inside earlier and yanks them out as she sommersaults back into a standing position...assessing whether the elevator corpse needs finishing or if the others can get a starting... ::devil

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A Real Kick in the Teeth!

John looked at the ruined face of girl that he'd just killed and closes his eyes. What had he done? Over reaction? Mercy killing? Self preservation? For the millionth time John tried to convince himself this wasn't happening, and yet again reality remained the same. Then John realized if he stayed put the spreading pool of blood would get to him. John rolled away from it, retrieved his ax and rose to his feet. His boot was gory but it was water repellent, maybe he'd just end up with a stain.

John reached over and grabbed a bag, then put it over what's left of the girl's head. It wasn't a blanket but it would have to do. Then he frowned. The man had been nuts, but John could have sworn the girl hadn't been rabid, just hurt. Either he'd been wrong and these rabid types would attack each other, or the man had infected her and she'd gone mad in a few... hours? Minutes? Very odd. Of course maybe she'd already been infected and hadn't reached the final stages until now.

John grabbed a large carry bag and a backpack and walked back to the store exit. There he intends to drop the backpack off, grab his flashlight, and then do a quick survey of the store with ax in hand. First priority is to check to see if anyone else is there, second priority is fire arms, if he finds any he'll load them, if he finds a bike he can use he'll bring it to the store entrance, if he finds any more bodies he'll check to see if they're alive. If he finds anything else he thinks will be useful he'll bag it and/or drop it off at the front of the store.

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Alex amazes himself at his overwhelming calm. In a situation like this, he'd expect himself to be a mess like the young Private. "Thank you for the offer, I'll head with you for sure. I need to get clear of all this and then head home. Make sure my wife is...still." He almost chokes up as the words get stuck in his throat. "We're having a...baby" He puts a hand up to his face to cover the emergence of emotion.

He is immediately cold again, as he notices the shambling hoarde heading their way.

A change of pace, his tone sets in a more commanding voice. "Ok Sgt. We need to more Now. Their closing in around us" Alex opens up his thoughts to feel them out if possible. Noticing the shaky young soldier, Holden fixes him with a commanding tone as well. "DURDEN! Pull yourself together, you've been trained for war. You've been trained for the "suck". This is the SUCk! Screw on your head soldier!" ((Command Roll Please))

The new look on his face, his mind at peace again, he leads the two soldiers out of the mess towards the bridge and hopefull safety. "Don't worry men...we'll make it!"

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A Trip to Holland

Burt heaved a sigh of relief. He hadn't been sure he'd raise anyone at all. "Nice to hear from you, Sergeant. I am currently northbound on Church from the Ground Zero site. Repeat, I am northbound on Church, coming from Ground Zero. Do you require transport, and is your location secure?" He let the mic button go, freeing the channel for response.

Sergeant Shaw’s voice comes over the mic immediately, ‘No, no we’re fine up here at HQ Mr. Hoffman, but we do have a situation if you’re willing to help. Over.’

((Assuming Burt answers in the affirmative)), ‘We’ve got some men at the Holland Tunnel onramp who need an immediate pickup, if you’re willing. We’ve already sent out a pickup team for them, but you’re closest, and we could use the extra vehicle. The situation is urgent, and you’ll probably be putting yourself in danger, so I won’t blame you if you refuse.’ There’s a brief pause on the line, and Burt wonders if the Sergeant is finished and has forgotten to say ‘over’, but then he continues, ‘If you’re willing to help Mr. Hoffman, then you’ll want to head straight up Church, then west onto Canal Street – don’t take Avenue of the Americas, repeat, do not take the Avenue of Americas – there’s a wrecked semi there that’s turned the entire street into one big barricade. Actually, all of the streets in that area are a mess…’ , there’s another pause, though this time it sounds like the Sergeant is conferring with someone before he proceeds, ‘It looks like taking Varick north’ (which Burt recalls is actually a one-way street that normally runs south ), ‘all the way up to Broom street is your best bet. Our men should be spread out across the top of the Holland onramp, holding the line. Good luck, Mr. Hoffman. Over.’

The phrase ‘holding the line’ nags at Burt, but the Sergeant doesn’t bother to explain. Holding the line against what? Clearly, he thought Burt knew more than he did, and as Burt recalls how he came across his new handgun, he can’t help but think maybe Shaw’s right. Burt doesn’t really have time to think about it, though, as the Sergeant’s estimate of the road conditions appears to have been a bit of an understatement, and Burt’s skill behind the wheel begins to come in very handy.

((Yeah, I know this is kind of an open-ended post for you, archer, but I wanted to give you the chance to respond one way or the other before shoving Burt into a new scene.))

"Sure sweetie, and don't forget to bring a flashlight..."

The stripper's knife arm shoot out towards closest corpse, blade reaching for the brains behind its right eye...

"and you'll also need some batteries...and try to find daddies keys to the car..."

Tucking into a roll, she grabs the knives from the burst sockets of the zombie that had tried to come inside earlier and yanks them out as she sommersaults back into a standing position...assessing whether the elevator corpse needs finishing or if the others can get a starting...

Wetwork

Bunny’s hand jerks out, and her blade flashes in the hall lighting for a brief instant before splitting her target’s right eye neatly down the middle. The man’s head jerks back and then straightens again, and for a moment he merely looks confused to have a handle sticking out of his face, but then he seems to lose his balance and collapses to the floor. He doesn’t get back up.

Bunny tucks neatly into her roll the instant the knife leaves her hand, and comes back up with two new knives just as the zombie finishes collapsing to the ground. A simple glance confirms that he’s no longer a threat, but a look over her shoulder and she realizes that one of two who were walking side by side only moment ago seems to have pulled ahead, and will be on her quicker than she’d thought at first.

Perhaps it would be a good idea to tell Mandy to hurry.

Shop Till You Drop (pt. 2)

A thorough search of the store reveals no more bodies, alive or dead (or any state in-between). Unfortunately, there don’t seem to be any firearms on hand either, unless you count the truly impressive selection of paintball guns available. On the plus side however, John pretty much has his pick of camping/survival gear to choose from. There’s also quite the selection of first-rate ‘cycles to choose from as well.

Exodus from Kingsbridge Contd. or The Suck

A change of pace, his tone sets in a more commanding voice. "Ok Sgt. We need to more Now. Their closing in around us" Alex opens up his thoughts to feel them out if possible. Noticing the shaky young soldier, Holden fixes him with a commanding tone as well. "DURDEN! Pull yourself together, you've been trained for war. You've been trained for the "suck". This is the SUCk! Screw on your head soldier!" ((Command Roll Please))

Sergeant Horn responds to Officer’s Holden’s command with an almost instinctive, ’Yessir! Good idea.’

As the NYPD Officer begins to lecture him, the expression on Private Durden’s face transitions from a look of shock and anger, to one of acute embarrassment, to a dawning look of hope and courage. Alex’s words seem to have their desired effect on the young Private as he stops shaking, his grip on his rifle seems to steady, and he seems to momentarily forget about their situation as he looks at Alex and says, ‘Yes sir, thank you sir. Consider it screwed on!’

The new look on his face, his mind at peace again, he leads the two soldiers out of the mess towards the bridge and hopefull safety. "Don't worry men...we'll make it!"

Both men are obviously reassured by Alex’s words as the three of them head out in the direction of the bridge, settling into a steady jog. Alex’s keeps picking up more and more “strange vibes” as they go, and a simple scan around them shows that there are an increasingly large number of shambling, shuffling figures walking around. Most of them seem to be heading in the same direction as Alex and his two companions. Whenever one of them catches sight of them, it moans more or less loudly and turns in their direction, but none of them seem to be able to get up above a fast walk so Alex and the two Soldiers find little difficulty in avoiding them. At least while they’re so spread out.

As they move, the Sergeant thumbs the switch on his radio and begins talking to someone on the other side. ‘Manhattan HQ, this is Sergeant Horn en route to the Broadway Bridge barricade with Private 1st Class Durden. Over.’ There is a moment’s pause, then a voice comes over the line, ‘This is Sergeant Shaw at Manhattan HQ, what’s your condition Sergeant Horn? Over.’

‘We’ve picked up an NYPD Officer, one Alex Holden’, says Horn into his radio, and continues, ‘and we’re about 700 meters out from the bridge. We just wanted to confirm that your men are aware we’re coming and will keep the bridge down for us. Over.’

There’s another brief pause and then Sergeant Shaw’s voice comes over the line again, ‘The bridge is still down Sergeant, but not for long. Our men are reporting an increasingly large number of plague victims making their way across. You’ve got about three minutes. If you’re not across by then we’re going to have to raise the bridge and withdraw without you. Over.’

The blood drains from Horn’s face, and he hollers into the radio, Three minutes! What the hell are you talking about?!’

‘Sorry Sergeant, but those are the Lieutenant’s orders. The situation’s getting desperate, and as soon as you and your men do cross, we’re pulling you all back to HQ for the evacuation effort and-‘ . Shaw’s voice cuts off momentarily, leaving only static coming out of the radio’s speakers. The he comes back on again just as suddenly and hurriedly says, ‘Sorry Horn, but we’ve got a major situation over at the Holland Tunnels that’s taking priority right now. I’m going to have to cut this conversation short, so just get your asses across that bridge and I’ll see you on the other side soldier!’

The line goes dead, and Sergeant Horn curses under his breath as he puts it away. Private Durden doesn’t seem to have anything to say about what he’s just learned, but he’s starting to look like he’s going to soil himself again. All three of them pick up their pace.

The two soldiers and one police officer reach the bridge with what Alex estimates is just under two minutes left on their ‘deadline’. Fortunately, they only really have to get past the halfway point where the bridge divides before it starts to raise, which is only about 150 feet away. Unfortunately, the bridge is already becoming crowded with “plague victims”, and getting across the roadway level will be difficult and dangerous at best. However, Officer Holden’s keen eyes quickly notice that the upper subway section of the bridge seems to be entirely empty. If they could climb up there quickly enough, they would have a free run to the other side.

((The bridge itself is a two-story structure, with two 34-foot wide, two-lane roads on the lower level, and three subway tracks running across the upper level. The bridge has a total span of 304 feet, and when closed has a clearance of 25 feet over the water.))

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A Trip to Holland

Sergeant Shaw’s voice comes over the mic immediately, ‘No, no we’re fine up here at HQ Mr. Hoffman, but we do have a situation if you’re willing to help. Over.’

((Assuming Burt answers in the affirmative)), ‘We’ve got some men at the Holland Tunnel onramp who need an immediate pickup, if you’re willing. We’ve already sent out a pickup team for them, but you’re closest, and we could use the extra vehicle. The situation is urgent, and you’ll probably be putting yourself in danger, so I won’t blame you if you refuse.’ There’s a brief pause on the line, and Burt wonders if the Sergeant is finished and has forgotten to say ‘over’, but then he continues, ‘If you’re willing to help Mr. Hoffman, then you’ll want to head straight up Church, then west onto Canal Street – don’t take Avenue of the Americas, repeat, do not take the Avenue of Americas – there’s a wrecked semi there that’s turned the entire street into one big barricade. Actually, all of the streets in that area are a mess…’ , there’s another pause, though this time it sounds like the Sergeant is conferring with someone before he proceeds, ‘It looks like taking Varick north’ (which Burt recalls is actually a one-way street that normally runs south ), ‘all the way up to Broom street is your best bet. Our men should be spread out across the top of the Holland onramp, holding the line. Good luck, Mr. Hoffman. Over.’

The phrase ‘holding the line’ nags at Burt, but the Sergeant doesn’t bother to explain. Holding the line against what? Clearly, he thought Burt knew more than he did, and as Burt recalls how he came across his new handgun, he can’t help but think maybe Shaw’s right. Burt doesn’t really have time to think about it, though, as the Sergeant’s estimate of the road conditions appears to have been a bit of an understatement, and Burt’s skill behind the wheel begins to come in very handy.

((Yeah, I know this is kind of an open-ended post for you, archer, but I wanted to give you the chance to respond one way or the other before shoving Burt into a new scene.))

Already on Church, Burt smoothly turns the truck left onto Warren, cutting over to Broadway and making a right to head up towards Varick. "No problem Sergeant, let your men know I'm on my way. I'm approaching Varick and will be there as soon as I can. Hoffman out." Catching the sense of urgency behind Shaw's words, Burt clips the mic to the sunvisor above, and presses down hard on the accelerator.

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Shop Till You Drop (pt. 2)

John mentally swears, the place is still and quiet, talking feels unnatural.

*Stupid ass New York fire arm rules. Night scope range finders they have. Carry cases they have. I'll bet if this store were in any Southern state they'd have firearms.*

Axe now wiped off and strapped to his back, John walked briskly up and down the lanes picking out what caught his eye and popping it into the bag. The flashlight has been pocketed in favor of a battery lantern working off those new glowing rocks some genius invented. LEDs? His pile of stuff at the front of the store was getting large but he'd cut it down in a bit.

Pausing in the book area, he picked one out and thumbed to the index, then to the section he wanted.

Rabies (Latin: rabies, "madness, rage, fury"), a.k.a. hydrophobia is a viral zoonotic disease that causes acute encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) in mammals. In non-vaccinated humans, rabies is almost invariably fatal after neurological symptoms have developed... ...The virus is usually present in the nerves and saliva of a symptomatic rabid animal. The route of infection is usually, but not necessarily, by a bite. In many cases the affected animal is exceptionally aggressive, may attack without provocation, and exhibits otherwise uncharacteristic behaviour...
The period between infection... is normally two to twelve weeks... the symptoms expand to slight or partial paralysis, cerebral dysfunction, anxiety, insomnia, confusion, agitation, abnormal behavior, paranoia, hallucinations, progressing to delirium. The production of large quantities of saliva and tears coupled with an inability to speak or swallow are typical during the later stages of the disease; Death… two to ten days after the first symptoms; the few humans who are known to have survived the disease were all left with severe brain damage...
the patient… is in a state of extreme agitation and has frightening hallucinations. His face is a mask of terror. He shouts incomprehensibly at the top of his distorted voice. His body is racked with tremors or spasms.... Episodes of madness continue until the victim falls into a coma; this is followed by paralysis and death. Sometimes the madness includes ferocious, biting, attacks on anyone nearby...

John thought, *Lovely. I didn't see any 'mask of fear' and the infection period is on steroids, but the rest of it is pretty close.*

John gathered his gear and stored it in the backpack or various pockets, *There we go, nothing but the best, cost no object. One 5 to 10 thousand-dollar night vision riflescope, now all I need is a rifle. New work gloves, socks, pants, rope, duct tape, a whistle on a necklace, knives, compass, lighter… not much point in replacing the boots, they’re stained but I know they fit. Food, water, thermal bag, batteries, a pair of expensive flashlights, first aid kit, multitool, 12 hour glow sticks, and even a hand crank flashlight radio… if the roads are good maybe I’ll get a pickup truck.*

*Odd. The weight on this is off. I’d swear it should weigh a lot more than it does. Expensive stuff is lighter? High tech plastic or some such? Maybe a really good backpack helps more than I thought? It isn’t like I’ve been working out… no, right. All I’ve been doing is moving bodies around. OK, so I have been working out non stop.*

*So, what next? Ah, right. One top of the line leather coat and then I’m off to visit the weapons fairy. The leather coat place is at the other end of the mall, outside of Macy’s… and speaking of Macy’s I need some more makeup. Leather Studio is on the lower level, so either I walk though the lower level or I bike it over to Macy’s and walk down.*

*This place feels like a tomb, I'll head outside and bike it. Then Macy’s and some make up, then downstairs and leather studio.*

(Note: Both Macy’s and Modell’s are on both the ground and lower levels).

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Wetwork

Bunny’s hand jerks out, and her blade flashes in the hall lighting for a brief instant before splitting her target’s right eye neatly down the middle. The man’s head jerks back and then straightens again, and for a moment he merely looks confused to have a handle sticking out of his face, but then he seems to lose his balance and collapses to the floor. He doesn’t get back up.

Bunny tucks neatly into her roll the instant the knife leaves her hand, and comes back up with two new knives just as the zombie finishes collapsing to the ground. A simple glance confirms that he’s no longer a threat, but a look over her shoulder and she realizes that one of two who were walking side by side only moment ago seems to have pulled ahead, and will be on her quicker than she’d thought at first.

Perhaps it would be a good idea to tell Mandy to hurry.

The stripper calls through the door

"Take your time honey! We won't be coming back for a LONG"

The stripper grunts the word as she flips the knives in her hands and thrusts them towards the two lumbering zombies, each headed for one of the so far demonstrably weak eye sockets of the corpses.

time..."

Not waiting for the deaders to fall, she rushes towards the last two zombies (slipping past the wounded Zs if they're not dead) while pulling the knife out of her other boot. As she reaches the closest "woman" she leaps, feet first, past the woman...The stripper attempts to jam her knife up beneath the zombie's chin as her stilletto heels, feet spread outwards make for the eyes of the "girl"...

[Will spend an inspiration point to double Bunny's dicepool for the Stiletto leap of doom...and a willpower point ::biggrin ]

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Alex keeps the soldiers at a brisk pace and moves with no noticeable hesitation towards the side of bridge where the metal supports meet the ground. "Ok boys, its time to be all you can be. Up there will be our best bet." Officer Holden points to the subway lines above. Once their attention is fixed where he wants, he guides them down along the path they will take to where they are standing.

"A quick climb is going to be our safest route. I know our time restraints...so don't even try to negotiate on this one. You're climbing!! I know you've been through hell, and you're tired and scared. But we're almost there. This last little climb and you'll be safe and evacuated. So don't look down and move your ass!"

Alex Holden paused for the briefest of moments to reflect on everything that had happened and everything he was doing. He was amazed at how well he was taking this horror and easily he could inspire those around him.

The officer waits for the others to begin climbing, and will defend himself if any monsters approach. If not, or when they are safely up, he will move and use a car ((or two)) as a vaulting point and leap up and grab on to the bars, and climb.

"Keep....moving. Almost....there!" He grits through his teeth as he climbs.

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A Column of Smoke by Day

As Burt makes his way to the onramp, he passes more and more of the unhealthy-looking plague-victims, and whether he wants to admit or not, he’s beginning to understand what’s happening around him. He actually sees one or two of them struggle up from where they’d been laying on the ground as he passes. Most of them seem to be making half-hearted attempts to follow him, or even intercept him. But Burt drives his city truck at a speed, and with a skill, that would put many professional race car drivers to shame, and none of the ‘shufflers’ on the street get very close to him. As he nears his goal, they become thicker and thicker.

As he passes the corner of Varick and Watts, a column of smoke comes into to view right about where the onramp should be, and he catches a fleeting view of what looks like a burning vehicle of some sort, surrounded by people, with a huge mass of birds wheeling through the sky overhead. The image is obscured by all the abandoned cars in the roads, and the decorative trees and shrubbery on the between-street islands before he can get a clear image of it though, and he’ll have to find a way to the onramp itself if he wants a good look.

In no time at all he comes screeching around the corner of Varick St. onto Broome, and almost immediately, he has to come to a stop as the road is fairly choked with plague victims (if Burt is at all open-minded, then the “Z” word is probably starting to float through his head at this point). From the slightly raised vantage point of his truck, Burt can see that the swarming mass has surrounded a group of about five soldiers grouped into a loose circle at the head of the onramp itself – and they’re firing at will into the crowd! Burt can see the source of the smoke on the other side of the circle from Burt. It looks like it used to be a military vehicle of some sort, but now it’s a mass of smoke and flames.

It’s immediately apparent that the only way that Burt will be able to get to the soldiers is through the swarm surrounding them. He’ll either have to abandon the soldiers, get out of his car and try to work his way through the encroaching horde (and risk getting shot in the process), or just plow his way right through the lot of them. ((It’s time for Burt to make a choice))

((OOC Note: Descriptive words like “swarming mass” and “crowd” don’t actually mean that there’s a wall of people surrounding the soldiers. There’s a lot of zombies in the road, but it’s not like that scene in the new Dawn of the Dead movie when they’re trying to escape the mall or anything. There’s enough that it would be very difficult to run between them without colliding with one or more, and impossible to drive to the soldiers without hitting several.))

Being Seen

John straps on his pack, hops on his bike, and heads out onto 92nd and then down 57th St. Things are still relatively quiet out on the streets. There are still abandoned cars (along with cars whose users can’t drive them anymore, on account of being dead at the wheel) strung along the roads and up onto the sidewalks. There are still a few lonely corpses covered with pecking birds scattered here and there.

As he pedals his way rapidly (and man, he really is moving too!) over towards Macy’s, John can’t help but notice the birds that are beginning to crowd the western sky. Technically, there are birds wheeling through the air as far as he can see, but out towards Manhattan it’s tuning into a virtual cloud of them. John mentally shrugs and figures it must be migrating season or something ((cuz he botched his Intelligence roll)).

As he pedals, John also sees a handful of figures trudging up or down the street. A couple of them are definitely heading towards the mall, but just as many are wandering off in some other direction or another. John’s three most recent experiences with other people is already making him a little uneasy, but then one of the figures (a woman, by the look of it) seems to see him. Faintly, as on a light breeze, John can just make out what sounds like a moan coming from her. Almost immediately, all of the trudging figures that John can see turn in unison in the direction of the moaning woman, and several of them seem to see what the woman has seen and they also let out moans.

Then they all begin walking towards John….

The Stiletto Leap of Doom

"Take your time honey! We won't be coming back for a LONG"
Two knives whistle down the hall with lethal speed, the stripper who threw them close behind. The walking corpse on Bunny’s right is hit “dead” in the eye, just as Bunny had intended, and he goes down hard. The other knife misses its target, but not by much as it whips through the long hair of the woman it was intended for (which, disconcertingly, draws no reaction at all from her). Bunny hardly has time to notice this though, as she hurtles between her targets before the man has even finished his fall.
time…”

As she reaches the first of the next two zombies, Bunny launches herself bodily into the air and simultaneously buries her last knife into the chin and head of the last of the males and jams her stiletto heels into the eyes of the straggling girl. Both she and the girl crash to the ground, with the girl underneath, and Bunny landing on top of her, her heels popping messily out of the girl’s ruined sockets. Bunny can already feel her starting to squirm underneath her, and rather than screaming or panicking, the girl only lets out a long and mournful moan, which is answered almost immediately by two other moans. Looking up, Bunny sees that the one with her knife in his throat is reaching down towards her, but he seems to be having trouble getting his mouth open with the knife in its chin. Bunny doesn’t have to see where the other moan is coming from.

((To recap: one of the first two zombies is good and dead, with a knife in its eye, while the other was missed and is turning around and heading in Bunny’s direction. The one with her knife jammed under its chin is obviously in bad condition, but he’s still up and moving. It’s hard for Bunny to say how good or bad the girl is doing, but it would probably be fair to say that she’s doing more bad than good. Also, whatever else was already wrong with her, the girl is now blind.))

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Bridging the Gap

Alex easily makes his way to the upper level of the bridge, but by the time all three of them are standing on the upper level more than a full minute has passed. ‘This way sir! We’ve got no time!’, hollers Sergeant Horn, and then they all start running.

Alex and his two companions make it across the halfway point of the bridge in plenty of time, but they’re still a good way from the other side when suddenly there’s a thrumming in the metal frame of the bridge. Immediately the tracks beneath them begin to rise. With each step the bridge rises higher and higher, and in no time Officer Holden finds himself hurtling down a steep incline towards the bridge’s southern tower.

Miraculously, all three of them keep their footing, though the last dozen feet or so involves something closer to sliding than running, and with no time to spare they get themselves off the rising portion of the bridge.

Alex and Sgt. Horn are still catching their breath when Private Durden suddenly points down below them and screams, ‘Oh sh!t!!!!’ Almost simultaneously, gunfire erupts from down on the ground.

Apparently, no one took into account what would happen to all the walking corpses on their side of the bridge when it was raised, and more than twenty of them seem to have slid, stumbled, or otherwise managed to collide en masse with the (rather flimsy) barricade that had been set up by the 7th. The barricade is down, and more than half of the walking dead are already up and moving and are in the process of swarming the four soldiers still standing. It looks like two soldiers have already been taken down, and each has two or three zombies busily tearing at their bodies.

Private Durden screams again, and without any warning he opens fire on the zombies surrounding the fallen soldiers, apparently without consideration of whether they’re actually dead yet or not. Three zombies are hit, and one of them takes a bullet to the head and falls onto its victim in a spray of blood and gray matter. Down on the ground, the soldiers still fighting off their attackers are completely unprepared for the sudden and deafening noise of the Private’s assault rifle (or the spray of bullets hitting the ground not far from them), and several of them turn instinctively to see what in hell is happening. One of them takes his eyes off of his attackers at precisely the wrong moment, and a zombie immediately clamps down on the wrist of his gun hand.

His scream brings everyone’s attention back to the matter at hand, and one of them jumps to the aid of his fellow soldier, hollering over his friend’s screams all the while, and the other two begin firing their own weapons again. Meanwhile, Private Durden seems to have used up his weapon’s clip and is frantically trying to reload it with the obvious intention of firing into the mass below a second time. He looks scared practically out of his mind. For a second, it seems as though Horn has completely disappeared, but then Alex spots him down below, apparently having rushed down to help his fellow soldiers the instant he spotted their trouble.

Everything is in chaos.

A Way Out

Dr. Shaw moves only a few feet to his left when his searching hand finds what he elatedly realizes is a door handle! But those pattering feet are still coming, and David’s leg kicks out viciously to meet it before he has time to try the door. He feels his foot connect with something, and there’s a soft exhalation of air, and the sound of something thumping across the tiles in the dark, but no other noise. Wait! No, there’s a hiss, as of something breathing between clenched teeth, and the sound of footsteps so light that David might never have heard them had he not already begun to pay so much attention to what his ears were telling him. Whatever it is will be on him in a moment, but he should be able to get through the door before then if he moves now.

What’s the Matter Girl?

Rick woke to the feeling of something wet and insistent against his hand, and the sound of one of his dogs whining. He looks down to see that his hand is being given a good cleaning by a very concerned german shepherd. Rick’s head is pounding, and it takes a moment to get his bearings, but then he begins to remember. The whole world starting to go nuts very quickly. Everybody getting sick, then him. After that it’s all sort of a blur for at least the past two or three days.

It occurs to Rick that he’s been hearing his other dog barking down the hall for several seconds now. Then it occurs to him to wonder why his dogs are in the house at all, they should know better! But slowly, the ferocity and urgency in his dog’s bark gets through his pain-fogged brain and begins to wake Rick up a little. His other dog stops licking his hand and begins to growl low in its throat, its ears pulling back against its skull, and this serves to wake Rick up even more. Just in time too because suddenly there’s the sound of shattering glass and the barking gains a new level of ferocity and volume!

((OOC: Blade, I just realized that you never told me the names or gender of your dogs, so if you could include that either in your next post, or in an OOC post/PM/whatever, that’d be great. Rick’s in his bedroom, on his bed (cuz that’s where I’d be if I had just gotten over being deathly ill). The barking dog is down the hall, probably in the living room from the sound of it, and that’s where the sound of breaking glass seems to have come from.))

Checkout Time

Chris is just about ready to go nuts! He’s been in here for days now. He hasn’t heard from his parents for days, he hasn’t heard from any of the recruiters for days. He hasn’t heard from anyone for days! His swanky hotel room’s a mess, and his already limited food supply has run out. He’s been keeping to himself for days now, ever since the plague, and the world going nuts, but sooner or later he’s going to have to step outside that door.

The football recruiters had set him up with this amazing hotel suite, just down the street from Times Square, and for the first day everything seemed like it was going great. Then the Disease had hit and everything slowed down in a hurry. The next day everything had more or less stopped. His parents hadn’t sounded so good the last time he’d spoken with them, and they’d told him to just stay put and ride things out. A city like New York was dangerous at the best of times, and it would be near-suicide to try getting out with things the way they were. So he’d stayed put.

For a day or so it had seemed like his folks were right and the whole city had gone crazy. But the next day it was as though the entire city had been evacuated without his noticing. It was so quiet. But he could see the bodies, and the occasional person, down on the street below, so he knew what had happened. Then yesterday, military vehicles had rolled by, but were gone almost before he’d gotten to the window to see them. So maybe things weren’t as bad as he’d feared.

Today, he had no food, his room stank, there was nothing on TV, he’d already done a few dozen reps with his weights, and still nothing had changed. It was time to step out his door and face the world.

((There ya go, Sablesma! Feel free to insert little extra bits about Chris’s thoughts/reactions and so on, maybe give a description or something, and then take it from there.))

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The Stiletto Leap of Doom

QUOTE

"Take your time honey! We won't be coming back for a LONG"

Two knives whistle down the hall with lethal speed, the stripper who threw them close behind. The walking corpse on Bunny’s right is hit “dead” in the eye, just as Bunny had intended, and he goes down hard. The other knife misses its target, but not by much as it whips through the long hair of the woman it was intended for (which, disconcertingly, draws no reaction at all from her). Bunny hardly has time to notice this though, as she hurtles between her targets before the man has even finished his fall.

QUOTE

time…”

As she reaches the first of the next two zombies, Bunny launches herself bodily into the air and simultaneously buries her last knife into the chin and head of the last of the males and jams her stiletto heels into the eyes of the straggling girl. Both she and the girl crash to the ground, with the girl underneath, and Bunny landing on top of her, her heels popping messily out of the girl’s ruined sockets. Bunny can already feel her starting to squirm underneath her, and rather than screaming or panicking, the girl only lets out a long and mournful moan, which is answered almost immediately by two other moans. Looking up, Bunny sees that the one with her knife in his throat is reaching down towards her, but he seems to be having trouble getting his mouth open with the knife in its chin. Bunny doesn’t have to see where the other moan is coming from.

((To recap: one of the first two zombies is good and dead, with a knife in its eye, while the other was missed and is turning around and heading in Bunny’s direction. The one with her knife jammed under its chin is obviously in bad condition, but he’s still up and moving. It’s hard for Bunny to say how good or bad the girl is doing, but it would probably be fair to say that she’s doing more bad than good. Also, whatever else was already wrong with her, the girl is now blind.))

The stripper quickly pushes hard against the floor and spreads her legs until they form a perfect "T", feet pushing against the opposite walls of the hallway, holding her up, upside-down.. .As the "man" bends towards her she twists her trunk forwards, grabs the knife and pulls it out as she twists back and plunges the knife though the girls heart and tucks into a roll through the man's legs!

::ultracool

[ooc: What's the "woman" doing?]

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Being Seen

John straps on his pack, hops on his bike, and heads out onto 92nd and then down 57th St. Things are still relatively quiet out on the streets. There are still abandoned cars (along with cars whose users can’t drive them anymore, on account of being dead at the wheel) strung along the roads and up onto the sidewalks. There are still a few lonely corpses covered with pecking birds scattered here and there. As he pedals his way rapidly (and man, he really is moving too!) over towards Macy’s
John thinks, *WOW!!! WHAT THE @#$@%!!! THIS JUST CAN’T BE REAL!!* John easily hits the highest speed he’s ever done on a bike, then passes it, with minimal effort. His mental tone was one of euphoria, this was the first bit of good news he’d had in a while. In the back of his mind he wondered if he was going to tear his legs off, but with no pain and other distractions he decided to worry about it later.
…John can’t help but notice the birds that are beginning to crowd the western sky. Technically, there are birds wheeling through the air as far as he can see, but out towards Manhattan it’s tuning into a virtual cloud of them. John mentally shrugs and figures it must be migrating season or something ((cuz he botched his Intelligence roll)).
*Flying rats. I had a shot gun I might turn them into greasy burgers… but that can wait till the food turns bad.*
As he pedals, John also sees a handful of figures trudging up or down the street. A couple of them are definitely heading towards the mall, but just as many are wandering off in some other direction or another. John’s three most recent experiences with other people is already making him a little uneasy, but then one of the figures (a woman, by the look of it) seems to see him. Faintly, as on a light breeze, John can just make out what sounds like a moan coming from her. Almost immediately, all of the trudging figures that John can see turn in unison in the direction of the moaning woman, and several of them seem to see what the woman has seen and they also let out moans.

Then they all begin walking towards John….

John thinks, *WOW!!! WHAT THE @#$@%!!! THIS JUST CAN’T BE REAL!!*

*This isn’t rabies. They’re all the same & not attacking each other. War plague of some flavor maybe. Doesn’t matter.*

John moves off a bit to consider his actions.

*Retreat back into the Mall? Four main entrances plus a few store entrances. No way one guy could secure it.*

*Bet I could move around the corner and sneak in. If they don’t know I’m in there they might not follow.*

*Sure, then if I could lock myself in a store, why I might last a week. Pass.*

*With my speed I could just go around them, it’d be easy.*

*Sure, and if I run into a herd of them the crash will be interesting, and if I find that 20 year old blond she’ll fit on the back seat. Pass again.*

*Time for some American Steel. No point in hot wiring it, dead at the wheel means car keys and accident means the engine turns off.*

John pedals away from the plague victims and looks for a big honking monster SUV with someone dead at the wheel that’s not too badly damaged that’s far enough away from the victims for him to check out and then still run if it doesn’t work out. If he has to he’ll settle for something smaller rather than closer.

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Checkout Time

Chris is just about ready to go nuts! He’s been in here for days now. He hasn’t heard from his parents for days, he hasn’t heard from any of the recruiters for days. He hasn’t heard from anyone for days! His swanky hotel room’s a mess, and his already limited food supply has run out. He’s been keeping to himself for days now, ever since the plague, and the world going nuts, but sooner or later he’s going to have to step outside that door.

The football recruiters had set him up with this amazing hotel suite, just down the street from Times Square, and for the first day everything seemed like it was going great. Then the Disease had hit and everything slowed down in a hurry. The next day everything had more or less stopped. His parents hadn’t sounded so good the last time he’d spoken with them, and they’d told him to just stay put and ride things out. A city like New York was dangerous at the best of times, and it would be near-suicide to try getting out with things the way they were. So he’d stayed put.

For a day or so it had seemed like his folks were right and the whole city had gone crazy. But the next day it was as though the entire city had been evacuated without his noticing. It was so quiet. But he could see the bodies, and the occasional person, down on the street below, so he knew what had happened. Then yesterday, military vehicles had rolled by, but were gone almost before he’d gotten to the window to see them. So maybe things weren’t as bad as he’d feared.

Today, he had no food, his room stank, there was nothing on TV, he’d already done a few dozen reps with his weights, and still nothing had changed. It was time to step out his door and face the world.

Chris "Voodoo" Partlow stands at the window, both hands on the glass as he looks down to the street below. From here the bodies looked so tiny, almost fake. He'd never been in a building nearly this tall before and he wasn't yet used to the feeling. He banged on the glass in frustration and walked back across the room to the small set of speakers attached to his ipod, turning the music up loud.

And my weight, that's just as heavy as my name

So much dough, I can't swear I won't change

Excuse me if my wealth got me full of myself

Cocky, something that I just can't help

He lies down on the workout bench and starts doing reps of 250, over and over and over again, quietly spitting lyrics along with the song through clenched teeth.

'Specially when them 20's is spinning like windmills

And the ice 32 below minus the wind chill

Filthy, the word that best defines me

I'm just grinding man, y'all nevermind me

Voodoo sits up, sweating, and puts his head in his hands. He looks back and surveys his trashed hotel room. Finally he nods to himself, stands up and begins picking clothes up off the floor and stuffing them in his bag. Time to get out of here.

My grind's 'bout family, never been about fame

From days I wasn't Able there was always Caine

Four and a half will get you in the game

Anything less is just a goddamn shame

Shrugging on his letterman's jacket, he turns off the music and packs away both ipod and speakers. He gets all of his stuff together and puts it by the door- bag of clothes, bag with football pads, bag of weights, workout bench and bar, compound bow case. It was going to take more than one trip to his truck. Voodoo sighs and puts a bag over each shoulder, carrying the bow case and workout bar in his arms. He'd be back for the weights and bench.

He opens the door and checks out the hallway. Assuming there's no one around, he heads down to the elevators and presses the down arrow.

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Rick woke to the feeling of something wet and insistent against his hand, and the sound of one of his dogs whining. He looks down to see that his hand is being given a good cleaning by a very concerned german shepherd. Rick’s head is pounding, and it takes a moment to get his bearings, but then he begins to remember. The whole world starting to go nuts very quickly. Everybody getting sick, then him. After that it’s all sort of a blur for at least the past two or three days.

Rick Keene groans as he wakes, the hand that wasn't being licked slowly moving up to rub his forehead before an eye opens and he slowly glances over at the dog licking his hand. "Sierra? What are you doing in here girl?" He then slowly pushes himself up, trying to think. What was going on? Oh yeah, thats right. It started about a week ago. He saw reports on the news how alot of people were getting sick. He wasnt that worried at first, figuring it was just a bad bug going around and it would eventually pass. Even when he started to feel sick himself, he still wasnt to worried. It wasnt until he heard people had started dieing that he did become worried, but by that time the hospitals were already practically overflowing. He didnt see what else he could do so he just locked up the scrapyard he owned, made sure his dogs had lots of food and water, and then spent much of his time in bed trying his best to fight off whatever it was he had. After that, things were a blur, randomly falling in and out of consciousness. But now........he was better? ........Yes, aside from the headache and otherwise his head just feeling......weird, he felt much better. He even felt rather........good.

It occurs to Rick that he’s been hearing his other dog barking down the hall for several seconds now. Then it occurs to him to wonder why his dogs are in the house at all, they should know better! But slowly, the ferocity and urgency in his dog’s bark gets through his pain-fogged brain and begins to wake Rick up a little. His other dog stops licking his hand and begins to growl low in its throat, its ears pulling back against its skull, and this serves to wake Rick up even more. Just in time too because suddenly there’s the sound of shattering glass and the barking gains a new level of ferocity and volume!

All these thoughts cease however when he registers the barking in the other room. His dogs didnt usually go on like that unless something was wrong, so Rick slowly starts to push himself out of bed. "Sam! What are you going on ab......" His question is stopped however by the sound of shattering glass, causing Rick to lunge out of bed and toward the door. *Darn it, this better not be more stupid teenagers* Rick would think as he races toward the door, having had problems more than once with kids trying to hang out in or steal stuff from his yard. And before leaving his room he grabs a metal rod that he found in his yard a while back and kept by his door just for such occations, and then rushes out and into the living room.

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A Column of Smoke by Day

As Burt makes his way to the onramp, he passes more and more of the unhealthy-looking plague-victims, and whether he wants to admit or not, he’s beginning to understand what’s happening around him. He actually sees one or two of them struggle up from where they’d been laying on the ground as he passes. Most of them seem to be making half-hearted attempts to follow him, or even intercept him. But Burt drives his city truck at a speed, and with a skill, that would put many professional race car drivers to shame, and none of the ‘shufflers’ on the street get very close to him. As he nears his goal, they become thicker and thicker.

As he passes the corner of Varick and Watts, a column of smoke comes into to view right about where the onramp should be, and he catches a fleeting view of what looks like a burning vehicle of some sort, surrounded by people, with a huge mass of birds wheeling through the sky overhead. The image is obscured by all the abandoned cars in the roads, and the decorative trees and shrubbery on the between-street islands before he can get a clear image of it though, and he’ll have to find a way to the onramp itself if he wants a good look.

In no time at all he comes screeching around the corner of Varick St. onto Broome, and almost immediately, he has to come to a stop as the road is fairly choked with plague victims (if Burt is at all open-minded, then the “Z” word is probably starting to float through his head at this point). From the slightly raised vantage point of his truck, Burt can see that the swarming mass has surrounded a group of about five soldiers grouped into a loose circle at the head of the onramp itself – and they’re firing at will into the crowd! Burt can see the source of the smoke on the other side of the circle from Burt. It looks like it used to be a military vehicle of some sort, but now it’s a mass of smoke and flames.

It’s immediately apparent that the only way that Burt will be able to get to the soldiers is through the swarm surrounding them. He’ll either have to abandon the soldiers, get out of his car and try to work his way through the encroaching horde (and risk getting shot in the process), or just plow his way right through the lot of them. ((It’s time for Burt to make a choice))

((OOC Note: Descriptive words like “swarming mass” and “crowd” don’t actually mean that there’s a wall of people surrounding the soldiers. There’s a lot of zombies in the road, but it’s not like that scene in the new Dawn of the Dead movie when they’re trying to escape the mall or anything. There’s enough that it would be very difficult to run between them without colliding with one or more, and impossible to drive to the soldiers without hitting several.))

His dark brown eyes scanning the scene in front of him, Burt can't help a mental flashback to 'Shaun of the Dead'.

Ed: Any zombies out there?

Shaun: - Don't say that.

Ed: - What?

Shaun: - That.

Ed: - What?

Shaun: That. The Z word. Don't say it.

Ed: - Why not?

Shaun: - Because it's ridiculous.

Ed: All right. Are there any out there, though?

Shaun: Can't see any.

Ed: Maybe it's not as bad as all that.

Shaun: Oh! No, there they are.

Shaking his head to dispel the replay, Burt makes himself concentrate on the problem at hand. "Crap." Gripping the wheel until his hands hurt, he stomps on the gas and heads through the crowd toward the trapped soldiers, laying on the horn to get their attention.

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Alex stares down as the chaos unfolds below him. Still steady and calm, somehow, he look around as if a solution will present itself. From up high on the bridge, he gazes towards Brooklyn and his mind wanders to his own family. His wife, where she may be, if she needs him. In her condition, only a few weeks from delivery, she must be terrified. A few faint sounds echo in his mind as he pictures her...those sounds, the sounds of gun fire get louder and louder until they refocus him to the mess below.

Fuck...from here I can get home with little difficulty. His mind play the scenario out. If I go, I know I can make it home. These men may die, but they shouldn't have gone down there. If I leave I live. If I stay... The though lingers but only for the moment it takes for him to drop down into the frey.

Standing a good fifteen feet back from the mess his command is issued in a NO NONSENSE tone. I can't leave them to die.

"Soldiers, fall back to me. FORM A LINE DAMN IT!" After issues this command, his service issue which is in his hand will provide some cover fire.

(( TWO shots at safe targets. Command Roll.))

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Sheathed in Her Heart

The ex-stripper’s legs brace themselves firmly against the walls on either side of the hall as she twists upwards and pulls her knife from the dead man’s bleeding chin. Bunny twists back just as quickly and plunges it into the heart of the blind girl with a soft, meaty thunk. Without stopping to observe her results, Bunny drops her legs and tucks into a roll, aiming between the man’s legs.

Unfortunately there simply isn’t enough space between those legs for Bunny to fit through, and she ends up rolling directly into his shins. Fortunately, this has the unexpected effect of knocking her attacker entirely off-balance and he falls over the balled-up Bunny and directly onto the girl still struggling blindly on the floor (and who’s taken quite a beating in the past few seconds).

Wait, she’s still struggling on the floor?

As Bunny comes out of her roll she sees that, yes, the girl – who’s eyes are now replaced by bloody red wounds, and who has a knife sticking out of her chest – is still struggling underneath the man Bunny just tripped. How is that even possible?

While the girl still seems to be having trouble getting herself coordinated, the man on top of her is already pulling himself back up, and is looking over his shoulder at Bunny all the while, though he hardly looks graceful as he does so. Looking over her own shoulder, Bunny is just in time to see the woman she missed with her thrown knife stopped cold as she is smacked hard across the right ear by Bunny’s baseball bat.

The woman’s only reaction, other than a sharp jerk of her head, is another moan as she slowly turns to face her attacker. As she shifts her body out of Bunny’s way, a frightened looking Mandy comes into view, holding the bat in her shaking hands.

,,

New Wheels

As John turns to pedal away from his (very slow) pursuers, he's met with a very unpleasant realization. There is no 'away' from his pursuers. They seem to be more or less dispersed in every direction he can see. Even worse, every few seconds John hears a moan or groan come from one direction or another. And every time he's able to verify where it came from he sees another plague victim who's giving him that same look of dull hatred and need that John first saw back at McMahon's and who is (very slowly) making their way towards him.

Still, John's speed on his new bike is nothing less than phenomenal, and given how spread out his pursuers are it isn't really a big problem. Yet.

John can't help but notice that he's becoming the center of orbit for an increasingly large number of satellites. The image that flashes through his mind is that of sharks circling their prey before moving in for the feeding frenzy.

John sees a likely target a few hundred yards down the street from his current location, but at the speeds he's been managing it only takes him several seconds to get there (it would have taken him even less time, but he has to veer widely around a few "pedestrians" who're trying to intercept him). Indeed, John might almost wonder whether it's worth bothering with a car at all – it feels like he's pushing fifty miles an hour he's going so fast!

As he pedals up to his chosen vehicle he sees that it's a silver Lincoln Navigator (2006), it's in very good condition and with a fresh corpse behind the wheel. Pulling the door open, John hauls the corpse out of its seat (an act which barely registers as odd at this point, after days of hauling corpses – before they began to outnumber the living), hops in the cab and tries the ignition.

The Navigator starts up immediately, and a jarringly loud burst of static comes pouring out of the car's speakers. Apparently the previous owner had been listening to the radio. At a very high volume.

Now John just needs to decide where to go next.

Going Down?

It catches Chris a bit off guard, but when he steps out of his room’s front door he finds that several of the hall lights seem to be out, and many of those still on are flickering dimly. This has the general effect of making the hall look like something out of a horror movie and, considering the events of the past few days, Chris can’t help but think how appropriate that is. He’s doesn’t really let it get to him though, and he continues on his way down to the elevator. The hotel’s apparent power troubles do leave him a little concerned about the condition of the elevators. If those aren’t working he’ll have to lug all his stuff down the stairs, and man will that be a pain in the ass!

Looking up and down his hall, Chris doesn’t really see anything particularly out of the ordinary (other than the flickering lights of course). A few of the doors are open here and there along the length of the hall, but the rooms are dark and Chris doesn’t hear anything coming from any of them. One thing that definitely catches his notice though is the smell! Chris probably doesn’t want to think about what’s causing it, but whatever it is, it’s unlike anything he’s ever experienced before. The entire length of the hall seemed thick with the foul smell, and it made Chris all the more eager to get to the elevators.

He reaches them quickly enough, and thankfully the buttons are still lit up and nothing seems obviously out of order or wrong as he presses the button for the lobby and waits for the doors to open.

Immediately after he presses the elevator button, something catches Chris’s attention – perhaps a noise or maybe a something different about the flickering shadows along the walls – and makes the hairs along the back of his neck stand up. When Chris turns around to look behind him, and can just make out a backlit silhouette in the dim flickers from the overhead fluorescent lighting as it walks towards him.

The atmosphere of the hallway itself makes even the fake potted plants next to the elevators look sinister, but even so there’s something about the person approaching Chris that puts him on edge.

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