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Community Story Part 1
Arc One: "What? I'm the fsckin' janitor."
Location: Burton, Michigan
Climate: Sunny and windy.
Date: 8 / 17 / 11
People really like to imagine when true disaster strikes, they're well prepared, ready to help their friends and loved ones. Sitting on the sh!tter with your pants literally around your ankles was not, what Jack had envisioned. Okay, some crazy dude poking his head under the stall wasn't life threatening either, but it was definitely weird as hell.
"WHOA! What the fsck!? Get outta here you freak!" The bald guy shouted at the strange man. The resulting roar from the peeper sent shivers down Jack's spine, but, feeling cocky, he taunted his new acquaintance. "Hey fruitcake, how about a a little hike!?"
A swift kick from Jack's boot sent the man out of his sight for the moment and Jack went on to finish his business. "Man, that greasy ass egg sandwich from Speedway... " Laughter in the stall beside Jack didn't help his disposition any. "Hey, peter-puffer, YOU go eat one of those and see for yourself! It's like Napalm up your ass when it comes out!" The head suddenly popped back into view akin to a whack 'em gopher commonly found at an arcade, much to Jack's audible dismay.
"Man, I told you to take a hike... But, if you weren't so freakin' TOKED UP, you'd get the picture!" Again the snarling face received a size thirteen makeover and vanished from Jack's sight. "Jesus. WHAT are they puttin' in the dope these days?" His neighbor was now howling with laughter, fully realizing the situation.
Jack simply rolled his eyes and started to wipe. As he secured his belt, a nerve wracking scream rang out from the stall beside him. "Hey, WHAT THE FSCK are you doing!?" His heated question was met with a muffled growl. "ALRIGHT, THAT'S IT. I'm gonna BEAT the livin' Mother Mary outta your sorry ass!"
Jack was ready to throw down as he stepped up to the stainless steel stall door. His hand worked the lock while he scanned the right side of the bathroom for the freak. "Where are you, mother-" He jumped at the earsplitting howl before being thrown back into the stall by the crushing door. "Agh! You sonuva-" Jack's eyes met with the sight of the man from the right stall and he realized this wasn't a run-of-the-mill drug addict. "Y-you ripped his fscking throat out! What the hell is wrong with you!?"
Jack felt as his boots were being clawed at by the lunatic and he reflexively planted a sole in its face one again to free himself. He wasted no time in frantically hopping onto the toilet to avoid the flurry of scratching hands, but in his haste nearly fell over into the wall on his left. Jack's hand reached up to grab something, anything to help him not fall. Luckily for him, his hand clenched onto a steel grate overhead. Jack looked up and his mind put two and two together instantly.
With a good tugging the grate swung down to reveal a man-sized duct. Jack stretched his arms upwards and clenched onto the edge of the opening. With a grunt he threw both elbows inside while using the stall wall to boost himself up. He had only the cool breeze and the chilling screams echoing against the metal plating to greet him. It was also dark, which Jack had a solution for. A hot second later and a small flashlight cut through the dull black giving the bald dude what he needed to move forward.
"None of the White Box stuff, even?" John Amsel had asked this same question for several weekends now, with the same reply in the negative. When most of the Department carried their .357 P226's, John had to buy his own practice ammo, carrying a .45.
"No, sorry sir."
It wasn't too big a surprise, with the stockpiling people had involved themselves with. Even the Flint police had to drive out to a Walmart in the next city over, just to buy some ammo. The plain clothes officer sighed none the less. "You're sure? Could you check, really quick?"
The clerk was torn for a second, then ducked off behind the counter. As he returned, John smiled, his prediction true. While they couldn't explicitly tell their employees to deny that there was ammo around, they could leave their shelves empty to hang onto some. "What do you need?"
"Ah, two hundred of the .45 hollow points. Fifty twelve-gauge shells, double ought if you got em." Yeah, he had to stock up, too. He opened the boxes to be sure of the contents, then tossed them into his backpack. "Thanks, have a good one." With all the crowding there was, he was lucky to get anything at all. It'd be prudent to leave pretty soon, if that idiot would hurry up...
"Hey, the hell do you think you're doing?" Some kid was trying to pull the zipper on his pack. John flipped him around flashed his badge. "Should have tried someone else. You're coming with to the department."
Jack was powerhousing his way through the vents now after seeing how many people were skittering about on the ground floor. I'll say I was the janitor, yeah, that should work... Jack thought to himself, seeing the hard time the security folks were having with the crowds in the store. Literally moments after he devised his excuse for being in the vents, Jack felt the metal duct start to buckle from the weight.
"Sh!t, sh!t, sh!t!" he said with clear panic while he tried to back pedal. It was of no use, though, as the whole section of pipe he was in came crashing down on the ground below. Normally he'd be severely injured from such a fall, but several arguing people softened the landing a bit.
Jack clambered out of the piping only to see some of the patrons staring at him and the vent. "What? I'm the fsckin' janitor. Are any of you gonna help me put this damned pipe back where it's supposed to go?" The shoppers turned away and returned to their last minute shopping, albeit slightly calmer. "I didn't fsckin' think so!" Jack fumed with conviction even an established actor would've been impressed with.
"Sir, you're either going to have to calm down, or come with me." Jack turned around to see his cop-friend standing there with some punkish kid beside him. Sudden screams at the other end of the store caused John to glare at Jack questioningly, who nodded in response.
"Hey, man, I ain't fsckin' staying around here." John produced his baton, causing the kid to bolt off down a nearby aisle. The cop collapsed the bludgeon as quickly as he had produced it, glancing around at the rising state of panic. Jack scratched his head. "John, what the hell is going on?"
"Not a clue." He started off towards the entrance, waving Jack behind him.
"What do you mean you don't have a clue?" He stared after his friend and shook his head. "Well, I'll catch up with you here in a hot sec." Jack opened up the pockets on his 5.11 cargoes and began stuffing random munchies and drinks into the myriad of pockets on them. After he grabbed everything he could cram, Jack ran back to the DIY section in hopes of finding a weapon of some kind. Not too long after he walked down the tool aisle he spotted a sledge that would do nicely. Jack grinned and marched back the front of Wally World. "Time to go Viking on some punkasses!"
"That's... impressive" From the people crowding the register, it was impossible to even see the sliding doors out front. People were attacking each other to get in, and to get out. They weren't even trying to steal anything, and they weren't protesting anything. John started to back away. His badge was a job, but he wasn't blindly bound to it.
Jack's slow march was now a full charge as he barreled down the aisles, his hammer poised to strike down the first idiot that got in his way. He slowed down when he reached the front of the store, seeing the throng of fighting shoppers near the entrance. Jack then spotted John, who was backing away from the situation totally empty handed.
"What the hell are you doing? Pop some bastards and show em who's boss!"
"And sic the crowd on me? Learn to think, baldie!" The officer continued to backpedal, glancing worriedly at the crowd.
"Oh, you did NOT just call me that, donut-muncher." The noise of the argument grabbed some attention, for some of the rioters broke off, full sprint. Remembering the fsck in the bathroom, he braced for the first one, catching the guy in the side of the ribs mid-sprint. "Back the fsck off!" The enraged target bounced back to his feet, only to have his knee smashed by a second swing from the sledgehammer. "Yeah, yeah, you like tha-" Almost instantly, four other rioters dove onto the wounded person, ripping out chunks of his flesh. Jack paled mid sentence and turned tail.
John was waiting at the first aisle, shoving over a shelf to block their pursuers. He fell in behind Jack, pounding towards the rear of the store. "Try to find the shipping pallets, we can climb up there!"
"So we can starve up there?!" Jack absentmindedly weaved around a toppled rack of movies, cursing. "Assho!e! Let's take one of the trucks, we need to get outta here... If you wanna know what took me so long, one of those assho!es ate the-"
"Fsck up and keep running!"
Defense? Maybe? Shooting five people in the face was something John would tend to call an enraged shooting, but it almost made sense in this case. "Do you have that door yet?" He hissed and sighted the pistol as another one darted out of cover.
Jack gave up on cutting the lock, jamming the bolt cutters back into his pocket. "Well, no sh!t." He picked up the sledge, smashing the lock with the first swing. "Okay, we're good!" He pulled the heavy door open, piling through the doorway with John behind him. "Lock it!" John reached out to slam the bolt closed, realizing the hammer had bent it beyond use. They scampered away from it as fists pounded on the other side. "John... those things can't open doors."
"Better for us. Let's try to find a key for one of these trucks." They had thankfully ended up in a rather large truck garage. John shuddered at the possible consequences if they had just ended up outside. "John, look around on the trucks, like behind the side view mirrors and in the fire extinguisher compartments."
"You sure you aren't just pulling this out of your ass?" John grunted.
"Trust me, I was a truck driver for a few years, I know how this stuff works."
The Officer produced a cigar. "Sure. You never could keep a job. Or a girl."
"Well," Jack sighed. "At least I have a positive outlook and refuse to give up."
"Of course. You'd have taken one look at your life and committed suicide otherwise."
"Clipped to the engine lines. Incredible... You ready?" John stood by the garage door, his right hand on his holstered sidearm.
Jack opened the driver-side door and hopped in. "Man, it's been awhile... " After completing the ridiculous start-up procedures, he then plugged in his iPod into the truck's main radio. Finnish Industrial metal blared over the speakers as he put the big rig into gear. John activated the electronic opener, and Jack smoothly pulled the big machine into the rear lot. He glanced in the mirrors to see John shutting the door behind the rig, before running up to the passenger side.
"Jack, this thing got a ham radio?"
"Yeah, here." Jack reached over to the radio, turned it down, then handed John the mike from a bracket to the left of the radio. John turned the radio to channel 9, which was fairly devoid of chatter.
"Any Burton Police listening in? Over."
"Unit 5-3. Please identify, over."
"This is Sergeant Amsel, of the Flint Police, unit 1-4-7. We have a situation at Walmart on Court street. Over."
"Uh... Damn." John dug for a way to explain the situation. "You remember Reykjavík? Over."
"What? Confirm. Over."
"The incident in Iceland, last month, it was on television? It happened right in Burton, and the Court Street Wal Mart is fscked, over!"
"Mother of God..."
Arc 2: "I think you killed it..."
Location: New York, New York, USA
Climate: Slightly overcast
Date: 8 / 17 / 11
Date: 8 / 17 / 11
"Korbey... Hey, wake up..."
Korbin flopped over, grumbling. Svetlana kept pushing him.
"Hey, Baby, wake up..."
Korbin slowly opened his eyes. A scream resounded outside his apartment. His eyes shot open and he groped under his pillow for the Glock 17. Still drowsy and buck naked, Korbin walked over to the door and looked out the peep hole. A man was viciously attacked a woman in the hallway. He opened the door and put two hollow points in the man's back.
"Korbin!!!", Svetlana yelled. "What the fsck did you just do?!"
"Lana, he was stabbing her to death." Korbin yawned. "He fscking deserved it." He sniffled, rubbed his ears and asked the woman, "Hey, lady? You okay?"
The woman pushed her assailant off of her. "You just shot a man! What the hell is wrong with you?!" She started fumbling for her cell phone and punched in a certain three-digit number.
Korbin grinned. Svetlana was standing behind him with her arms crossed. "Korbey, you said you'd give up how you were before for me!"
"Yeah, that was before women were being attacked outside my door. But, y'know, I gave up drugs. Does that mean nothing to you?!"
The woman in the hall said, "What the... My cell phone isn't working!"
Korbin thought, Well that saves my ass a whole hell of a lot of trouble. At least from the cops. He looked back to the lady and said, "You're welcome for saving your life, b!tch. Hope your hand doesn't fall off, it looks hurt." With that, he shut the door and went over to his dresser and pulled out some clothes. Svetlana went to the door while Korbin pulled on jeans, a black tee shirt, and black boots. Glancing at the bed, he opted to jam the Glock in the back of his waistband. Svetlana gasped, grabbing Korbin's shoulder and pointing at the door.
"Korbin... Korbey, that guy is still moving...."
He looked over his shoulder at the door and heard a shuffle behind it. "Move away Lana, I think he's coming back for seconds."
She complied and retreated into the bathroom. He moved over to the door and took aim towards the entrance. At first scraping sounded from the door, but it abruptly changed to pounding, then a full on wailing on the door. Korbin shot through the door four times.
"Gotcha, bastard..." Korbin moved to open the door when a hand burst through, reaching for his face. He backed off imediately. Korbin shot the remaining rounds in his magazine into the arm, which only reacted slightly from each shot. "Holy fsck, what the hell are you?! Lana, stay in there and lock the door!"
She looked at him, obviously frightened. "Just don't let your self get hurt!"
She looked at him, obviously frightened. "Just don't let your self get hurt!"
Korbin jumped over the bed and flipped it to barricade the doorway. He tore loose papers off his table, revealing a small lock box that he kept unlocked. He swept the loaded magazines into his pockets, and reloaded the pistol with another. Korbin proceeded to pull the bed down and clambered over to reach the door, the arm still flailing. As he reached for the lock, the crazed man put his other arm and his head through the door. "See how you like this, motherfscker." Korbin shot the freak until his gun flicked empty, seventeen rounds later.
"Lana!" Korbin shouted, deafened from the gunfire. He staggered away from the scene, before vomiting all over the floor.
Svetlana peered out the door at Korbin, who was doubled over his pile of puke. He choked out an earnest, "Fsck me!"
She gasped, staring at the mess. "Oh my, are you okay?!"
She gasped, staring at the mess. "Oh my, are you okay?!"
He staggered to his feet and reloaded the gun again. "Yeah... no... I think...?" He kept the Glock squared over the door. "I swear, if he fscking moves..."
"I think you killed it..." Svetlana said, hugging him rather tightly.
Officer Kimbal and O'Donell had been dispatched to the scene of a supposed shooting. Upon arriving, they had booked it up two flights of stairs to get to a grisly scene. A man had been slammed through a doorway, sprawled half and half on each side, his guts spilling down from the sharp splinters. He'd be lacerated by dozens of bullets, as the brass casings covering the floor testified. Kimbal began moving past the body as O'Donell was calling for back up.
Kimbal heard a shuffle and saw a man sitting with his back to the door and was holding his head. She stepped on a casing and he quickly looked behind him. Officer Kimbal had her gun trained on his head.
"Woah, woah, woah! This isn't what it looks like!"
"You sicko! Hands behind your head, stand up, slowly! How the HELL could you do that to someone?!" She moved closer to cuff him when a muffled yelp was heard from the hallway. Kimbal quickly glanced behind her. "O'Donell? You okay back there...?" Officer Kimbal backed slowly away from the perp, and glanced out the door, seeing a shuffling woman advancing towards O'Donell.
"Ma'am, I'm going to have to ask you to--" O'Donell howled as the woman bit into his shoulder. His response was a quick knee to the stomach and wrenching motion sending the biter to the floor. He reached for his stun gun, and slammed it into the woman, setting her in spasms as he crawled away, gasping.
"Harry?! Are you okay?! Did she get you-FSCKI" She screamed as the man in the door started jerking violently. Three shots rang out behind her, two striking the already torn up man in his chest, the last one landing in his head. One hand was curled like a fist in the wall, with deep furrows that looked cut out by axes.
She turned around slowly and saw the perp's gun smoking. She stuttered weakly, "Th-thanks..." She then backed away from the corpse towards Officer O'Donell. The perp walked to the door, asking, "Is your buddy good? Sounded like that thing on the floor bit him... You may want to cap it."
O'Donell spoke up this time, "You want us to just kill her?"
Korbin's response was less than cordial. "I don't think these things are people anymore... that motherfscker," he gestured at the limp form in the door. "Tried to kill her, and bit her on the hand before he..." Korbin left out some details, instead skipping to later. "Smashed into our room. Shot him with two full clips."
Svetlana appeared behind him and clung to his shoulder. She asked, "Is everything okay? What's going on?" She directed this at the cops.
Just then on the cops' radios reports of other biting and bloody assaults were popping up like wild fire.
Just then on the cops' radios reports of other biting and bloody assaults were popping up like wild fire.
Korbin walked over to the spasming woman. "That can't be good." He shot the woman in the head. The Officers just watched, horrified.
Svetlana sighed. "Korbin... What the hell is going on...? Why are these people attacking everyone?"
He looked back at her then checked his ammo. "I really have no damn clue.... Did this bastard really rip some of my wall out?!" He saw the clawed hand buried in the wall. "Uh... Officers... you may want to see this..."
Kimbal and O'Donell looked at each other. "What is it?", O'Donell asked, gingerly dabbing at his bite.
Korbin poked the body in his door with the muzzle of his gun a few times before attempting to pull its arm from the wall. He planted his foot on the wall and yanked it loose, revealing long, sharp claws that had grown there in the few hours since he'd "killed" it the first time. "Those weren't there when it attacked me the first time." The Officers were dumbfounded.
Kimbal had to rub her eye's before she believed what she saw. "This isn't happening...."
O'Donell stood and hefted his partner up as well. "I think we better come to terms with now, before we see another one." He patted Kimbal on the shoulder. "Don't want to let those claws near me, no siree."
Korbin walked out to them and offered his hand. "Korbin Helringer. This is Lana, my girlfriend."
O'Donell aswered for both the police strongly shaking Korbin's hand, despite his injury, "I'm Harry O'Donell, this is my partner, Kelly Kimbal."
"Well nice to meet you. Let's get the fsck outa here, alright?" Everyone nodded.
Kimbal shuddered. "I want my shotgun..."
Korbin, Lana, Kimbal and O'Donell were going down to ground level. Just before the door to the foyer, O'Donell dropped to one knee and produced a small automatic from a ankle holster. He handed it to Lana. "You'll probably need this, from what I've seen. It's better than nothing."
She looked at Korbin with a terrified look in her eyes. "You've never shot a gun before?." Lana shook her head. "It's simple, you line up the notch here with the post here and you squeeze the trigger." She nodded and looked at the gun, noting it looked similar to what Korbin and Kimbal carried..
O'Donell looked at her and said, "Its only got ten shots, so make 'em count." Lana stared at the weapon and nodded solemnly.
"Okay," Korbin said as he checked his mag. "I want you to hug the walls behind me, and follow my steps exactly." The two Police Officers nodded. Kimbal took to the right of the door, O'Donell the left. Korbin was several steps back from the door way, covering it head-on.
Kimbal opened the door and peered through it, then she slowly opened the door, "cutting pie" into the room. She spotted a shuffling person in the center of the room, she looked back and motioned "eyes on one". She pushed the door open silently and the three on the door quietly entered the room. O'Donell nearly tripped over a corpse before catching himself. The one freak in the room turned a little much and it's arms flailed until it saw the people. Kimbal shot it in the chest, then in the head while it staggered.
The double doors to the outside were barricaded and thuds were heard from within. A bloody arm smashed through a nearby window, slashing itself on the sharp shards as it flailed around. O'Donell looked at the others and said, "Back up?!" They all nodded and begin to trot back up the stairs, at the top, they closed doors and moved barricades out of the way as they continued up to the seventh floor, the floor just before the roof.
"Svetlana... I--uh, you..." Korbin stuttered a bit more before saying, "Get on the roof and don't come down until we come to get you."
She smirked and swiftly replied, "I don't think so. These things will kill us both the same, so I'll stay here to make sure they can't get to you." Korbin looked at her intently before roughly kissing her. "Don't die!"
She smirked and swiftly replied, "I don't think so. These things will kill us both the same, so I'll stay here to make sure they can't get to you." Korbin looked at her intently before roughly kissing her. "Don't die!"
Pounding could be heard a floor down. O'Donell muttered, "Damn , these guys move fast... what the hell is going on?"
Arc 2: "That was too damn close for me!"
Korbin said, "That probably won't hold them long..."
Arc 2: "That was too damn close for me!"
Location: New York City, New York, USA
Climate: Slightly overcast
Date: 8 / 17 / 11
Date: 8 / 17 / 11
Korbin heard them pounding on the door down the hall. He could see figures moving in the thick, opaque window on the door.
"Aim for the head. I don't want these things getting up again like before."
Officer Kimbal and O'Donell were on the left and right of the hallway, respectively. Korbin was in the middle and Svetlana was behind them. She was obviously scared out of her mind, but she seemed like she would hold through.
The pounding got louder and louder and the door started to buckle and creak, the hinges starting to bend. First the glass got punched through, then the top hinge burst and the creatures were hanging through. Finally the door got pushed onto the floor and the horde flooded into the hallway.
Korbin and the Officers opened up on them, stalling them in their tracks momentarily.
Korbin yelled, "We gotta go, now! Get to the damn roof!"
O'Donell deftly reloaded his revolver with a speedloader then said, "You guys go, I'll come as soon as I can!" With that Lana, Korbin and Kimbal started trotting up the last set of stairs to the roof. They got through the door and held it open for O'Donell. Four shots rung out below, a solitary pair of feet could be heard clambering up the stairs, then the horde could be heard rushing up after him.
A scream blasted from the stairwell. Korbin looked and saw Officer O'Donell about half way up the stairs aiming behind himself at a freak who was holding onto his leg about to drag him into the jammed mass of crazies. He shot twice, his last rounds, into the crazed man's chest, yet the man kept his grip firm. Korbin took aim and shot the creature holding O'Donell several times, his last shot landing in its head causing it to crumple. O'Donell took the opportunity to crawl up the stairs as Korbin sent rounds over him into the flesh wall behind him.
When the Officer made it to Korbin, they clasped hands and he was dragged up onto the roof, and the door was slammed shut behind him.
"Oh my god..." the Police Officer coughed. "That was too damn close for me!" He stood up and shakily reloaded his revolver again.
Korbin looked at Kimbal and Svetlana, then back to O'Donell. "We need to find a way off of this roof! You two look for a way while we hold the door." They all nodded and proceeded as commanded. Korbin and O'Donell braced the door while the others looked for a safe way away from the oncoming horde.
The crowds surged and, civilians mixed with mindless beasts. Mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, and children all became trapped in the hell that was the streets of New York City. Families trampled their own flesh and blood attempting to escape from the maelstrom of flesh. But no one could escape. Those attempting to flee by vehicle soon became ensnared in a maze of mangled vehicles.
A man quickly moved atop the roofs of abandoned vehicles, managing to stay out of reach of the mobs around him.
A police-cruiser resided in front of an apartment building, offering the slightest bit of hope that he might come across a firearm, or at least a bit of ammo for his revolver. As sparingly as he had spent his last rounds, there wasn't a single one left on his person by this point. He glanced around for a brief moment and then moved quickly, yet carefully over to the car. He looked through the window and saw the shotgun on the dashboard.
"Hallelujah!” he exclaimed.
He attempted to open the door, only to find that it was locked. A groan of dissatisfaction escaped from him, before a well placed pistol whip shattered the window. He reached in and opened the car door, leaning in and doing a brief search of the car as the alarm screeched. The shotgun was all he could recover before he was forced to flee from the noisy scene.
He moved into the alley by the apartment, looking about to find a way to escape the vicious crowds. He spotted a low hanging fire escape and climbed up it. He then proceeded to the roof.
Svetlana was looking around on the edge of the building; Both O'Donell and Korbin were holding the door.
She hadn't found anything yet, but she did notice a lot of chaos in the street. Looting, mauling, mobs and panicked people running about. She saw a ladder that looked like it went to a fire escape and she approached it. A hand then appeared and gripped the metal of the ladder.
"Holy fsck!" she yelled and pointed her gun at the man who was climbing up. She noticed that he wasn't psycho or looking at her like he wanted to devour her. He seemed perfectly normal, maybe just a little shaken. "Oh my... You don't look like them, are you okay?!"
"I'd be a lot better if I didn't have a gun to my head," he replied in a southern accent as he completed his ascent.
She lowered her weapon, smiling sheepishly. "Sorry... I thought you were one of them." Lana then turned about and yelled to the others, "Hey, guys! Someone just showed up!"
Korbin took notice of the man with the shotgun immediately and screamed across the roof, "Hey!! Get that heat over here!! Let's blast the fsckers!"
The man moved towards the others, his shotgun lowered. The first thing he noticed seemed to be the police.
"I swear I left my license for this in my other wallet," he said with a slight smirk.
O'Donell wasn't impressed. He barked as the door kicked against him, "Cute! Now shut up and shoot when we move!!"
Korbin said, "On my mark. One... two... three... move!" O'Donell and Korbin backed away, and all three men unloaded their guns mid-level into the door. After what must have easily been several dozen rounds they stopped, and something slumped on the other side. Only a moan and scratch could be heard now.
Korbin and O'Donell reloaded their weapons. Korbin turned to greet the newcomer. "Thanks for the assist. I thought they'd have gotten us for sure."
"My pleasure," he responded, and then added, "Don't suppose y'all got any spare thirty-eight rounds? Possibly even some three-fifty-seven mag?"
It was obvious that the man was not from New York City, not only from his southern accent, but the way he dressed. He sported faded blue-jeans, and brown cowboy boots which looked relatively unharmed. A gray t-shirt concealed his torso, sweat dampening it. He wore brown fingerless gloves and a brown leather jacket, which had been justified by the earlier rain. And finally, his brown cowboy hat sat atop his head, offering protection from the sun.
O'Donell pulled a small box from a pack on his belt. "This is all I have left. Enough to fill my loaders and some change." He refilled his speed loaders and gave the box to the newcomer. "Name's Harry O'Donell, by the way. That's my partner, Kelly Kimbal."
"And I'm Korbin and she's Lana. Nice to meet you." Korbin extended his hand.
"Much obliged! Name's Clyde," he said, spinning the cylinder on his now loaded gun.
Korbin retracted his hand, slightly irked. "Alrighty, Clyde. Why don't you help us find a way off the roof that doesn't go through twenty more of these freaks?"
"Well from that door, I got a feelin' goin' through the buildin' might be a bad idea."
O'Donell replied, "Yeah, we know."
"The streets are fscked, barely made it up here without five folks hangin' off of me," Clyde mentioned as he sat on the ground.
Korbin looked around quickly. "We need to keep to the roofs... About how far across do you think that alleyway is? Looks to be around eight feet... I can make that." Korbin was smirking slightly.
Svetlana seemed perturbed by this. "We should find another way, so he doesn't kill him self trying to look good..."
"That's good and dandy, but I don't think many besides you can make that jump. If we have enough ammo, we could potentially go down and get through the other side, by usin' a door like normal people," Clyde suggested.
Korbin looked at him funnily. "Okay, fine. We can do that too."
"Even if we do find a way, where do we go?" Lana asked. The question stumped everyone, showing how poorly planned the concept actually was.
"We could go to the Police Station. It has to be the most secure place here, and it has weapons in the armory," Kimball suddenly spoke up.
"Not to mention there is probably a chopper on the roof," Korbin added.
"If it hasn't been requested yet, which is unlikely," O’Donnell informed, killing off the delusion.
"Thanks for that epiphany, kill-joy!" Korbin groaned.
"Either way ya look, we still need some weapons if we plan on makin' it out of New York. And good luck findin' a gun-store 'round here," Clyde reminded the others.
Korbin glanced about before saying, "Well, let's not waste time here. Let's go."
Svetlana got in the rear of the group, with the officers leading. Korbin and Clyde took the center. Once they arrived at the fire escape, Clyde looked over the side of the roof. He saw nothing but a few shambling freaks.
"You know what them folk look like? Some o' them zombies, from one of those ol' horror flicks," Clyde mused.
Officer Kimbal balked at this. "Oh my god... I think you may be right...." She pushed her fingers in to eyes to clear them. "Wow... The whole damn city might be infected..."
"I knew comin' up north was a bad idea!" Clyde groaned.
Korbin snorted. "Well, bullets still kill motherfsckers. So let’s shut up and shove off, awright?"
Lana looked at Korbin sadly. "I was hoping we'd get to settle down... Why did we have to come back...?"
Korbin glanced her way. "I don't know... maybe we came back because we were guided... maybe it was just blind chance. But, whatever it was, we aren't going to find out just standing around talking about it. Let’s go."
Clyde looked at the two and sighed "You might still be able to settle down, I reckon the Military probably got this little island sealed off."
"Yeah, to bomb it," Korbin snickered.
"We aughta not waste any time in a pissin' contest then, huh?" Clyde replied with a smirk, before climbing down the ladder. The Police Officers were next down the fire escape, then Korbin and Svetlana.
"We're in range, someone get on the gun!” Sergeant Taylor's gruff voice barked, waking up Corporal Tom Davis. It took him a moment, but after a brief look around the cramped space he was in, he remembered that he was in the back seats of a U.S. National Guard Humvee. "Davis, wake up, we've got work to do." Davis reflexively grabbed the M249 in his lap. He opened the feed cover, examining the belt of 5.56mm before slapping it shut.
"One click!" Taylor shouted. He waited a second, expecting for the M2 mounted on the top of the vehicle to start firing. After several seconds of nothing, he shouted, "What do you see?"
"Nothing." The gunner said. "Not a god damn thing."
"The hell do you mean, nothing?" Taylor switched with the man on the gun. Looking around, he realized it wasn't literally nothing. There were dozens of cars, but, the thousands of people were gone. Flat out swept away. "Christ." He dropped back into the humvee, grabbing the radio off the dash. "Uniform one, this is Gamma three, no contacts yet. The streets are picked clean. Over."
"Roger that Gamma three, proceed to the target destination as planned. Patrol two and four are already inbound. Out"
"Alright everyone, listen up." Taylor shouted, turning back to his men. "We're still proceeding with the initial plan. We're headed straight for Wall Street, so gear up. Check weapons and ammo and make sure your balls are on tight. We are not pulling out on this one."
"Is that an order sir?" Private Whimsley said from the back, and the humvee erupted with the sound of laughter. Taylor did not laugh.
"Is that what this is to you, Whimsley?" He almost yelled. "A ******* game? My Mother died out there! If you want to laugh about this situation, fine." He pointed to the door. "But you can get out of my Humvee." He turned and sat down, silently watching the road as the plow attached to the M113 in front of them smashed abandoned cars aside.
"Sarge-" Whimsley started, but Taylor interrupted him.
"Shut up and gear up."
They continued the rest of the way to the target in silence.
As Clyde descended the fire escape he noticed not much changed from when he was last down there. He seemed to attract the attention of a few shambling 'zombies', but it didn't phase him. The police were behind him quickly.
Kimbal poked him. "Hey, Clyde. Why didn't you let us go down the ladder first? We're the cops."
Clyde simply grinned as he moved toward the approaching shamblers. "You may have the badges, but I got the smoke-pole." He raised his shotgun and took aim at his targets, then remembering the nearby infected that he would alert. "Work on that door," Clyde instructed, motioning to a door in the alleyway. "I'll work on these fellas."
The Officers proceeded to check the door, as Korbin and Svetlana got down from the fire escape. It was locked so O'Donell kicked it in. The shamblers out in the road turned towards the alleyway at this.
Lana looked into the road and said, "Korbin... ****! You may want to go help Clyde." Korbin turned to see the shamblers approaching and said, "****, I guess you're right." He then trotted over to Clyde's side, Glock drawn.
"We 'bout to have us a party!" Clyde shouted in excitement, readying himself beside Korbin. His excitement soon disappeared when sprinters began fighting their way through the crowd of shamblers. "Uhm, fellas... I think we aughta leave this one."
Everyone took Clyde's advice and ran through the door. When everyone was through O'Donell slammed the door shut and pushed a shelf into its way.
Korbin said, "That probably won't hold them long..."
Kimbal nodded in agreement adding, "Yeah... so let's get to the roof, like, now?"
Wall Street had once been packed full of busy people, bustling about, tending to their stocks and what not, but not anymore. Now, the buildings were completely empty, but it looked as if someone had been engaged in a deadlock. In the target building, the New York Stock Exchange, tables were over turned, blood was splattered on the walls, and windows were broken. The interesting thing was that there were no bodies. If there was a fight, which the evidence heavily suggested, the last man alive cleaned up very well.
"Fan out!" Taylor ordered as they entered the barren building. "There has to be someone still alive." Everyone did as he said, and spread out to search every inch of every room. "Hold here men. We need to set up a base perimeter. Davis, Whimsley, Sovey, you're with me. We're gonna go scout ahead."
Davis left his squad behind, minus Whimsley, Taylor and Private Sovey as they started for the nearest corridor
The corridors were just as empty as the main room, with the exception of a few bloody and mangled bodies. Sovey was unnerved at the sight of them, as he was neurotic by nature, but the sight didn't bother the veteran members of the squad like Taylor, Davis and Whimsley as much. Or they were just good at hiding it. It was a good fifteen minutes of walking before anything exciting happened.
"Holy ****, they're fsckin everywhere!" Someone's worried voice crackled over the radio.
Taylor was the first to react. He stopped walking immediately and pressed the keyed the mike on his shoulder. "This is Gamma Three, what is the situation?"
"This is Gamma Five-One, we've met... Fscking hell! Allen's down! Peterson, Jacobs! Fall back!"
"Five-One, repeat! What is the situation?"
"Seven's down! We're falling back to the humvees! Oh, Jesus, Eight just got fscked!"
"Gamma Five, pull out, NOW!" Taylor yelled.
"We're leaving the building now! Peterson, go, I'll cover you!" There was the rattle fire, and then came back on. "Peterson! ****! They're outside too! I'm surrounded. Fsck!" And the radio turned to static.
"Gamma Five-One! Respond! Gamma Fives? God damn it all!" Taylor resisted the urge to throw away the radio. Veins pulsed up and down his neck, and his muscles bulged. "Gamma-Threes, get moving! Get to the top of the building."
Suddenly, a blood curdling scream erupted from the other end of the hall. The four men realized that they had already waited too long, and the zombies were already coming. Four of the infected ran at the fireteam from the opposite end of the hall. Taylor fired his M4 at them to no effect, and then turned to them. "Keep moving!" He said. No one moved. Taylor fired the M4 again, and without looking away from the sights, he repeated himself. "GO!"
"Oh, sh!t... “Davis fired his weapon alongside the Sergeant, unwilling to move, as Whimsley and Sovey ran up the hall to the nearest exit.
"Davis, you too." Taylor said blankly, but Davis didn't move. "Davis, don’t make me order you."
"Sir, there is no reason to-." Taylor fired another burst, and brought down the last two zombies.
"Davis, I just lost half of my men, and I've wanted nothing more than to die with my men in action. My mother just died two hours ago, and she was the only family I had left. Now you get out of this building with the rest of your squad, and make sure they get out of this. Do you understand me?" Davis simply stared for a moment before he nodded and took off down the hall way after the others.
Outside, Davis found the two Privates holding off the advancing horde as they came down on them from both directions of the alley. "We're kinda stuck here... Any ideas?" Sovey asked, rocking a new magazine into his M14. Davis glanced around, finding a fire escape that was swarmed with zombies.
"We need to make it to that fire escape! Just fight your way to it!" Davis yelled over the sound of gunfire and screams. "Whimsley, back up! Throwing a frag!" Whimsley continued to fire, stepping backward as Davis dug a grenade out of his vest. He solidly yanked the pin of the M67, taking a step forward before lobbing the grenade. "Don't loose that ground! Sovey, you and me give covering fire so Whimsley can get up that ladder!" The grenade cracked deafenly, tossing the infected aside like ragdolls.
Davis shouldered the SAW, for the first time that day. Whimsley ran to the ladder as he fired, hosing down the incoming zombies in one long continuous burst. Before he knew it, the gun was empty. Both Whimsley and Sovey were firing, covering him as he clipped another drum onto the M249 and locked the feed cover onto a new belt. "Sovey! Go!" Davis hoarsely shouted as he continued to fire.
Just as Davis started towards the ladder, something grabbed his shoulders and pulled him back. A few seconds later, he felt something rip a chunk of flesh from his neck, and another from his shoulder. Suddenly, a part of his arm was gone. He dropped his M249, and he suddenly found himself surrounded by zombies. As they started to open up his stomach, he used the last of his energy to look up at Whimsley and Sovey as they continued up the fire escape without looking back. Beyond his anger, he felt a sensation of completion. He had completed his mission. The two had survived.
He looked down, and found a primed grenade in his hand. He looked to the zombie in front of him, and said with a hoarse and weak voice, "See you in hell." And there was a violent explosion before everything went black.
Everyone ran about in an attempt to find some sort of way to the roof, hopefully before the barricade failed. Outside the crowd slammed against the door in a steady, headache inducing rhythm. Hints resided everywhere that the building was vacant, even before the riot. Stacks of cardboard boxes and trash covered the floor, dust coated everything. Upon closer inspection, it looked as if at one point, the building was under renovation. Random portions of the walls were different shades than the rest, and a paint roller was seen.
"Looks like this joint was gettin' fixed up," Clyde pointed out, motioning to a multicolored wall.
Korbin randomly hollered out "Guys, take a lookie over here."
Everyone did as Korbin said, turning to see that he stood in front of a closed door. It had a small square on the door which was a darker shade than the rest, making it look as if it was from a sign.
"Don't stairs normally have signs?" Clyde questioned.
"Yep," Korbin replied with a smirk.
"Good work!" O’Donnell said as he moved straight over to the door.
Korbin turned the doorknob, only to find out that it wouldn't turn completely.
"It's locked," O’Donnell sighed.
"So? Kick it down like you did the other!" Korbin argued.
"I can't. It’s a steel door, on a steel frame." O’Donnell admitted.
"Well the hinges sure as hell ain't steel." Clyde suddenly exclaimed. "Anybody got a screwdriver?" He added.
"No...But if they were fixing this place up, there’s bound to be usable stuff laying around," Kimbal said.
After a glance around the room, Clyde said "Boys, watch the door. I'm off to find a screwdriver."
"I'll go around and gather some stuff together. Lana, want to come help me gather some things?" Kimbal asked.
"Sure..." Lana nodded.
Lana had remained quiet the majority of the time, still slightly shaking. It was obvious that she herself was shaken by these events. No one could blame her, who wasn't shaken in one form or another?
Even Clyde, in his calm, cocky demeanor was unsure. He had seen people attacking each other, innocent people trapped in cars and begging for their deity of choice to help them.
The thing that bothered him the most though, was not knowing. Not knowing exactly what was going on, and not knowing if he even believed the 'zombie' theory. Most of all, if the things were zombies, not knowing how far it had already spread. He wanted to get out of the hell that was New York City, no; he needed to get out of it. If not for himself, for his family. To make it back home and make sure everything was okay.
Clyde hadn't even noticed that he had paused in thought, almost forgetting about the situation for a few brief seconds.
"Clyde!" Lana called aloud, which snapped him out of his daze.
She walked into the room, holding a screwdriver in her hand. "Will this work?"
He nodded "Yeah, thanks."
Clyde took the screwdriver and walked over to the door, then handed his shotgun to O’Donnell.
"If one of those things is behind the door, blast 'em." They exchanged a nod, and with that, Clyde began working on the hinges.
Korbin continued to look around while Clyde was fiddling with the door. He went into the room where Svetlana was. He saw she was bent over looking around on the ground and just enjoyed the view for a moment. He then proceeded to help by looking through some boxes.
"Oh, look," He said as he looked in a box. He retrieved a crowbar from the bottom. "I have some painful memories from you bad boys." He held onto it as he went to help Lana out.
"Hey, Korbin?" She asked. "That bent pipe looks loose, think you could pull that off?"
"Yeah, I do, but," He said squatting where the pipe entered the wall. "I don’t have to." He unscrewed the pipe from its fitting. "I think O'Donell has a club now," He said smirking.
Lana and Korbin returned to the other door. Kimbal had a worried look on her face as the pounding at the door resided some. Running could be heard outside, but the only door they to worry about at the moment was the one they barricaded.
Clyde finished unhinging the door and pulled it from the threshold. "That aughta do it," He said.
"Guys, how about we get the hell out of here?" Kimbal suggested.
O'Donell handed Clyde back the shotgun before saying, "Sure thing."
Lana walked up to him and gave him the pipe. "I think this would be slightly more effective than your baton."
O'Donell smiled as he took it, then undid the baton and its case from his belt. "Here," He said. "You take it, I need the belt space." He then put the pipe in his belt. Lana attached the case to her waistband.
"I suppose I aughta lead, since I got the spraygun," Clyde suggested, questioningly.
"Probably a good idea." O’Donnell said.
Clyde began to go through the door, before O’Donnell added "Clyde, one more thing... Take care of our shotgun."
Clyde simply responded with a smirk and then began up the stairs, aiming up from the hip. O'Donell and Kimbal came next, with Korbin and Lana on the rear.
"Hold on, I have an idea," Lana suddenly said then turned to Clyde. "Give me that screwdriver." Clyde handed it to her wordlessly with a curious look on his face before she ran down the stairs and back into the previous room. She went towards the multi-colored wall and searched through the garbage until she found a closed can of paint, as she figured she would. She went back over to the others and pried the paint cans top off with the screwdriver. Lana pocketed the screwdriver and then poured the wet paint onto the bottom of the stairs as she followed the others up.
Korbin smirked at her. "Nice idea, babe. That should make their trip up the stairs pretty difficult until the paint dries."
She smiled. "Thanks."
They opened the door to the first room up stairs. It looked like a store room. Shelves lined the wall with office supplies and cleaning chemicals. A mobile bucket was in the corner. A dead janitor was on the floor with his guts torn out and blood lead out the next door. A pocket knife was in his hand next to his face, a deep cut was across his throat. In his other hand was a key ring.
Clyde and O'Donell entered the room first.
O'Donell looked around and said to Clyde, "Let’s check out the room before we go through, might find some useful stuff."
Clyde nodded and they went to work.
Korbin pushed past Kimbal and walked straight to the dead man. "Looks like this dumb fscker did himself in. *****." He grabbed the knife and key ring from the corpse. "Nice blade, though," He said as he wiped the blood on the man's jumpsuit and stowed it in a pocket.
Clyde grabbed a mop bucket and threw in bottles of chemicals, rags, and various office supplies. "This could come in handy," Clyde explained, then turning to the others and adding "Don't suppose any of y'all want carryin' duty?"
Lana stepped forward, trying to ignore the corpse Korbin was looting. "I'll carry it...”
Korbin pulled the man's wallet from his pocket, then removed his watch. He then began inspecting the wounds on the body. He didn't seem to notice the smell or care that his face was a few inches from the gory mess.
Lana seemed squeamish at this sight. "Korbey, could you stop that." He looked up quickly, with an almost animal look in his eyes which faded at seeing her. "Oh... Yeah, of course," He said.
Clyde pushed Lana the mop bucket. "We aughta keep going, don't forget about what's downstairs."
Kimbal nodded from the door way, looked down the stairs, then shut the door. "I can still hear them at the door down there. It sounds like they're pushing the shelf out of the way so we should move."
Korbin peered towards the other door. "Well, this guy sure as hell didn't gut himself. He was chewed up. There are bound to be few fscking zombie things out there. Be careful but make sure you know what you're shooting." He turned around and walked over to the door with the key ring in hand and unlocked the door. "I got point. Clyde, O'Donell, I don't want any nasty surprises."
They nodded and took position behind him. Korbin looked back at Svetlana holding the mop bucket. "Be careful, okay?" She nodded silently.
Korbin kneeled and pulled a knife from his boot. He then opened the door and drew his Glock. At first glance it was a room full of cubicles. He quickly swept his eyes from one side of the room to the other, taking note of threats, exits, and points of interest. No threats so far, two doors, one directly across from the one he was at and one to the left of him. He quickly scanned the cubicles noting that one computer had power and that a corpse lay mangled in the right-most cubicle.
Korbin exited the door and moved right, motioning O'Donell to stick with him and the others to split the other direction. He moved up half crouched to each cubicle and peeked around quickly with his pistol ready. When he got to the last cubicle he approached slowly. When he stood next to the body it twitched then looked at him. "Holy fsck!" He stomped on its head several times until his boot was stained bright red. The zombie's head was caved in a bit but it still moved some. Korbin took his knife and rammed it into the creatures head, stirring the blade around. "Yeah, you like it deep face, don't ya *****?"
O'Donell tapped his shoulder and almost got his hand sliced when Korbin turned around swinging. "****, son. It's me. I think you killed it... You can stop playing with it."
Korbin looked back at what he had done, shrugged and stood up. "It looked at me funny."
O'Donell sighed slightly then turned to the others and yelled, "All clear over here." Kimbal gave them a thumbs up. O'Donell turned to Korbin and said, "Alright, crazy, where to, the door across from the closet or the other one?"
Korbin thought for a moment. "Let's do that one," He said pointing to the door that faced the closet. He looked around quickly then proceeded to the door.
He motioned, "I hear something" and stacked on the door.
Korbin got on the right, the side that swung out, and said quietly, "O'Donell, you got the coffin. Face it." O'Donell didn't seem to quite understand, but stood directly in front of the door, revolver leveled. Korbin raised three fingers and dropped one each second. After three seconds he opened the door.
O'Donell didn't shoot. He instead said, "Holy mother of hell... this is a coffin." Korbin peeked in and saw a pile of corpses. "Y'know, back in the day, this'd be a gold mine... now I think that's a mine field." He shut the door and backed away.
Kimbal eyed Korbin suspiciously. "A gold mine? What the fsck kind of man are you."
"Was. That's who I used to be. But, admittedly, one can but try. Now let’s move on." With that, Korbin walked past her and stood by the other door. He waived every one on.
O'Donell took position in front of the door. Kimbal and Lana were behind Korbin, Clyde moved to the side opposite Korbin. This time Clyde opened the door.
O'Donell said, "Clear, check it."
Clyde popped through the door. It was a stair well going down and up. One floor down there was a pile of rolling chairs. "That explains why they had no where to sit," Clyde half chuckled. O'Donell came in behind him.
Kimbal and Korbin followed with Lana coming last. Kimbal looked at Lana and said, "Let me help you with that up the stairs." She used one hand to hold the mop cart, and the other to hold her pistol. Lana said quietly, "Thanks"
O'Donell and Clyde started up the stairs, with Lana and Kimbal behind lugging the bucket up. Korbin covered their back.
Down below something fell on the chairicade, making a ruckus.
Clyde glanced back and said, "We aughta hustle up." Everyone moved a bit quicker at this.
They got to the top floor before Korbin turned around and saw two shamblers milling their way towards him. Clyde tried to open the door, but it was locked. "Clyde, heads up!" Korbin pulled the key ring from his pocket and tossed it over. "Thanks, keep them buggers off us, now."
One of the zombies got to the last flight of stairs and tripped, falling on its face with a meaty thud.
Korbin chuckled. "Kinda stupid are we?" He stood in an uninterested manner in the middle of the stairs.
Another crash was heard down the stairs, though this one plowed through the barricade. Korbin quickly brought his pistol to bear. The other shambler walked towards Korbin now, but this one tripped over its compatriot in a less than thoughtful manner. Korbin shot the pinned one in the head, the other one was flailing too much to get a clean shot off.
From the stairwell a shrill shriek was heard. The hairs on the back of Korbin's neck stood up and his thoughts seemed to melt away. His muscles became taught and ready to act. He heard from above the keys get handed off, Clyde's loud boots move him to over look the stair well. Kimbal and Lana dropped the cart and stood at the top of the stairs, guns drawn.
Korbin stood his ground, Glock in on hand, blade in the other. The dilapidated creature bolted up the stairs on all four and turned standing to face Korbin and the others. Its face was badly damaged, having had most of the skin ripped from it. Its teeth were now permanently barred. From the end of its bloody fingers were long, sharp claws. Gashes in the stairs could be seen from where Korbin was standing. What really set it apart from the other husks, though, were its eyes. They were wide open with an animal lust gleaming in them, and the desire to kill was so great they seemed to glow.
It simply stood there for a moment looking Korbin in the eyes. To him it seemed like an entire day went by. Everyone opened fire on the ravenous creature, but to little avail. It took two shotgun blasts and many pistol rounds, but it barely flinched. Suddenly it charged forward, stomping onto the two zombies at the bottom of the stairs leaping off without missing a beat.
Korbin shot twice, but it was already too close, landing practically at his feet. The beast tried to charge up the stairs at him but he kicked it squarely in the chest and sent it back down the stairs. As it was falling the zombie grabbed hold of Korbin's leg and took him for the ride.
At bottom of the stairs the creature raised one of its clawed hands and attempted to impale Korbin with it, but he jabbed the knife through its fore arm and held it back. Korbin growled in pain as the zombie dug its other clawed hand into his back, and shoved his Glock intro the thing's ugly face. The first two shots visibly blew shards of skull into the wall behind it, but it continued to stagger until Korbin put a final round between its eyes.
His aim waived back and forth as he tried to get a bead on the prone zombie that was crawling towards him. He fired three times, until the gun locked open, dry. The zombie shuddered and slumped as the back of its skull was blasted out.
His thoughts were slowly returning to him as his state of mind faded back to normal. As the adrenaline surge eased off, he suddenly felt incredibly tired and nauseated. From up the stairs Korbin thought he heard Svetlana scream his name, but he couldn't quite tell as he closed his eyes to the pain and fell into unconsciousness.
"Korbin!" Lana screamed.
Everything happened so quickly, you were lucky if you could process the situation in time. In a matter of a few minutes, the building had been swarmed with infected, and Korbin had been pulled down the stairs by some strange creature.
Several shamblers made there way up the stairs, towards Korbin. Clyde took aim, though couldn't get a clear shot. A chill went up his spine, as he knew if he fired, the buckshot within his shotgun would hit Korbin as well.
"Fsck!" Clyde growled in annoyance.
O'Donell however was already overlooking the stairwell firing his revolver at the oncoming zombies. Kimbal was quick to begin down the stairs towards Korbin, shooting only when she was over him. Lana had emptied her only magazine of ammunition on the crazed infected, making her unable to shoot, yet this didn't stop her from following Kimbal down the stairs with her baton out and ready.
Kimbal and O'Donell made short work of the first couple zombies up the stairs, the others having a very difficult time moving up. Kimbal and Svetlana dragged the clawed zombie from Korbin and picked him up. They dragged him up the stairs, his feet sliding under him. When at the top, they laid him on the ground. Kimbal then picked the keys off the ground where O'Donell had dropped them and started fumbling through them, trying to unlock the door.
Lana was hurriedly checking Korbin's vitals, listening for breath, and checking his pulse. "Korbin... wake up," She pleaded as she applied pressure to his wounds.
As more infected came from below, Clyde grew uneasy. He couldn't think of much, as the entire situation was rushed. He sat his shotgun down and slid O’Donnell’s pipe out of his belt. Before O’Donnell could stop him, he was already walking down the stairs towards the approaching infected.
"How ya doin', boys?" Clyde asked with a grin, before clutching the pipe and slamming it into the nearest shambler's head. It dropped twitching to the ground. He put a kick in the next shambler's stomach, sending it back enough so he could slam the pipe into its head. He was not trying to kill them, just simply slow them down enough to get the door unlocked.
A tapping was heard from a distance, quickly happening one after another. He sarcastically groaned "Great!"
The next infected came running towards them, he attempted to ready himself to strike its head, but he was too slow. It grabbed a hold of Clyde and shook him violently, though he did manage to keep it from biting him. He dropped the pipe and put one hand on the side of its head, slamming it into the wall repeatedly. Its hand went for his face, attempting to do him any damage it could.
A zombie was shuffling up behind the ongoing melee, but was shot in the leg causing it to topple over behind the one Clyde was fighting.
Clyde pulled it away from the wall and pushed it as hard as he could, happy to see it tumble down the stairs.
"How’s that door comin'?" Clyde asked as he saw a few approaching shamblers.
"There aren't many keys left to try... Oh--I got it," Kimbal said excitedly, opening the door. "Come on!"
Clyde looked up at the others with a slight smile. "'Bout time."
He grabbed the pipe and walked back up the stairs, not having to pick up the shotgun, due to O'Donell already having done it. He saw Lana knelt over her boyfriend, tending to his wounds as best she could.
Clyde glanced back at the approaching freaks "Somebody aughta move 'em, I'll be security"
He remained in his position and watched them closely, a tight hold on the pipe as Kimbal knelt down to help move Korbin into the next room. It was a long hallway with several doors on either side. At the end of the hallway was a door with an exit and stairwell sign at the top.
Everybody got into the door and Kimbal shut and locked it as a few more shamblers tripped on the stairs. She turned to the others and said, "Let's check these rooms for stuff to barricade the door with." O'Donell nodded, turned and he and Clyde walked off to look through the rooms.
Kimbal and Svetlana stayed with Korbin and kept an eye on the door to the stairs.
O'Donell and Clyde swapped weapons back, O'Donell taking his pipe and Clyde the shotgun.
Clyde kicked the door in, revolver at the ready. He checked left then right, entered and O'Donell followed with his revolver and pipe. It looked like a personal office, two desks, two chairs, and a big potted plant next to a window looking out to the street. The room itself was dark, save for the small section touched by disfused sunlight, trying to push its way past the clouds outside. It looked like the previous inhabitants were kind enough to turn off the lights. One desk was in complete view from the doorway, the other however, being concealed by a cubicle wall.
O'Donell and Clyde scanned the room with their eyes from their position, until they relaxed, if only slightly. O'Donell walked over to the window, then he observed the streets below. It looked like chaos incarnate had walked through the streets of the city. Cars were broken and in piles, buildings had broken in doors and windows, and infected people, in two states it seemed, shuffled and ran about.
Clyde walked towards the concealed desk, while O'Donell remained frozen in front of the window. He saw a corpse slumped against the cubicle wall. It was nearly coated in blood, and wounds of varying types covered the corpse. Bites, cuts, tears, and even bullet wounds covered the decrepit lump of flesh.
"Oh!" Clyde saw the corpse begin to twitch. It turned its head at an awkward angle to look at him. He took a step back as the creature reached out at him lazily, though it didn't stop until it tipped over and fell against the ground. He put his boot on top if its head, and forcefully shifted his foot for a better hold.
"'Ey," Clyde called out at O'Donell, which snapped him out of his daze. He turned only to see Clyde with a boot atop a creature's head. The thing was flailing its arms up at him.
"Need a hand with that, Clyde?" O'Donell asked, swinging the pipe like he was the designated hitter of the Yankees.
"Nah, but I could use a pipe upside this things head."
O'Donell walked over to the zombie, wringing the end of the pipe with his hands. "Sure, can do, man," O'Donell said while lining a hit up. Clyde stepped back and turned his head. O'Donell made one mighty swing, bashing the creatures head open sending blood, brain, and skull bits flying. He then backed away, seeming to be a bit distraught.
"Oh my... did I just do that?" He dropped the pipe and puked on his boots. "Ahck... ****, didn't know I could hit that hard..."
Clyde watched O’Donnell’s reaction to the situation, with a bit of sorrow in the fact that it affected him so. But even he knew, he couldn't expect any less. A man of law, meant to help people and save lives, was taking lives. At that, the lives of the very same people he was meant to protect.
"Come on, man. You aughta get outta here, I'll get Kimbal to help," Clyde suggested.
"No, I'm fine," O'Donell pleaded, "Really," he said to dismiss the look of suspicion on Clyde’s face.
Can you hurry up?" Kimbal shouted from outside the room.
A sigh escaped both of them, though they skipped straight to business.
"Search the other desk and take the drawers out, I'll get this one," Clyde said as he walked over to the desk, which was previously guarded by the seemingly dead body. It had a computer atop it, and the usual setup. Blood was splattered across the cubicle, though it didn't take him from his train of thought.
Clyde yanked out the desks drawers one after another, a repeated crashing sound when the drawers hit the floor. He grabbed the computer, and tossed it aside, before swinging his arm and knocking the remaining few items off the desk. He turned to see O'Donell doing the same thing.
"Damnit!" O'Donell spit. "This desk has wheels, we can't use it."
Clyde didn't even attempt to lift the desk, instead choosing to pull one side of it out to face him, and then drag it slowly.
"Need some help with that?" O'Donell asked at first sight of Clyde trying to lug the heavy desk out of the room.
"Yeah, I'd appreciate it." Clyde stopped his dragging, and got a firm hold on it, as O'Donell moved over and did the same.
"One...Two...Three!" Both Clyde and O'Donell grunted as they simultaneously lifted the desk up. They dragged the table into the hallway and past Korbin, Lana, and Kimbal. They dropped it with a heavy thud in front of the door.
O'Donell put his hand on the small of his back and stretched. "I didn't know offices needed super-heavy duty metal tables for paper pushing. I can't wait until I find a nice big bottle of pain killers..." He pushed once more and a loud crack came from his back. "Ooh, damn, that's the spot..."
"I'ma check the other room for anything that can help, while we wait for sleepin' beauty to wake up." With that, Clyde went off by himself.
Even though the desk now more-or-less blocked the door into the stair well, Korbin was still unconscious and it left everyone in a difficult position. Several terse minutes passed as nothing much happened other than the occasional thud of a zombie falling down the stairs outside the door, or a rager running up and bashing on it several times.
"This desk isn't going to keep them out long. I hope you have a plan!" O'Donell sighed.
It was obvious that the situation had taken a toll on O'Donell, both physically and mentally. Though not to say it hadn't taken its toll on everyone. Lana and Kimbal sat around Korbin and tried to wake him up, while O'Donell sat away from the others, against the wall.
"Yeah, I got a plan alright," Clyde cut in as he strode into the room with his shotgun in hand. "We keep from becomin' lunch and make it outta here."
Clyde raised his shotgun for an enthusiastic pump, thoughtlessly ejecting his only shell.
"Crap, I need that," he barked as he dove to retrieve the shell.
"Holy hell... I need a cheeseburger... or falafel..."
Svetlana turns about suddenly and pounces on Korbin, saying, "Oh my, I'm so glad you're okay." He lets out a pained howl and thrashes about.
He sat up when Lana removed her self from him and looked about dazed.
"Woah... we're all still alive... That's good." Korbin looked at Clyde strangely and said, "Sh!t, cowboy, got anything to eat on ya?"
"Nah, I wish," Clyde responded, for the first time, noticing his own hunger.
"Well your boots look tasty as hell right now, so pick me up before I chew your feet off... Let's get going already I don't want to have to fscked on by another one of those psycho zombie freaks..." He reached up with his left hand to Clyde.
"Korbey, you're sounding like a zombie your self," Lana said to him helping Clyde pick him up.
When Korbin went to take a step, a bolt of pain caused his leg to go limp, and he would have face-planted had Lana and Clyde not been supporting him.
"Oooh, that hit the spot," Korbin barked as he started hopping about on his good leg. "No sir I don't want another... Hey, bear man, O'Donell?"
O'Donell looked up from his gun at Korbin and replied, "Yeah, what do you need? Good to see you moving, son."
"Can you come over and help me walk? You're big enough I don't need two of you to help me." Korbin reached his good hand out to O'Donell.
"Yeah, sure thing." O'Donell stood up and moved to help Korbin walk on his good leg.
Kimbal stands up from observing the contents of the mop bucket and says, "Hey guys, if we mixed all these chemicals in the bucket and lit it up, we could make a pretty big fireball."
Korbin, with a smirk on his face looked down at his hurt leg. "Take the laces from this boot, or some piece of string. Here," He fumbled a lighter out of his pocket. "Light if and hold the button down with the string. Tie it to the top of the mop handle and place it so that if it gets bumped it will fall... should be a good way to torch some fsckers."
O'Donell gave Korbin an odd look. "You sound like you know what you're talkin' about..."
Korbin tried to shrug but ended up wincing in pain. "Ow... Well, that's a rather long story we don't want to tell..." He quickly glanced at Svetlana, who had a slightly distraught look on her face. "Set it up and let’s get up those stairs."
Kimbal took the lighter from Korbin and nodded as he explained how to set up the trap he had devised. She piled all the chemicals and supplies on the floor and dumped all the liquids into the mop bucket. She light the lighter and secured it to the mop handle with a zip-tie, sweat dripping from her forehead. She then kicked all the supplies down the hallway and said, "Let's stuff as much of that useful stuff into our pockets as possible." She then distanced her self as much as possible from the fire-rig.
Korbin was eyeing it like an art critic looks at a painting. His eyes seemed glazed over slightly, which could be because of how much pain he was having to deal with, physically and mentally.
"How 'bout we head out, 'for that thing blows?" Clyde suggested with an eye stuck on the contraption.
Korbin shook his head a bit. "Yeah, good point, it could slip prematurely... Let's go."
Clyde moved to the front and went up the stairs with O'Donell almost dragging Korbin up behind him. Lana and Kimbal were staying as close as possible without unbalancing the two large men in front of them.
Clyde focused on the door and kicked near the lock, with his foot parallel to the door. A cracking sound shot from the lock, as the door broke free and swung out. Clyde had his shotgun aimed and ready to fire. He cautiously stepped closer, his nerves getting to him. He expected it to be like a horror film, the second you put your guard down, the creature comes from the darkness. Though he was wrong, the roof top was completely void of life.
He walked through the door, shotgun ready, checking the sides of the door for anything he may have missed. He turned back and said, "All clear, c'mon, I have an idea of where we can go to rest a bit."
O'Donell dragged Korbin the rest of the way up the stairs, with Lana and Kimbal coming up and shutting the door behind them.
O'Donell asked Clyde, "Where do you have in mind?"
Clyde replied, "We're gonna go to my hotel room, all my stuff is there and it should be pretty easy to keep those things out of. Plus, it's only about a block or two down this street, though, it is on the other side."
Korbin looked up and mumbled, "Sounds good to me." Lana and Kimbal nodded their heads in agreement.
Clyde nodded. "Alright, let's head on down to chez Clyde."
"Well, Clyde, this sure as hell seems like a great idea. Let's all run across the road into the zombie infested hotel! OH WAIT. I have a torn up leg THAT WON'T WORK." Korbin seemed slightly miffed by all the set backs.
Clyde looked out at his surroundings, and the feeling of disappointment was obviously felt by all. Suddenly, everyone had realized the difficulty brought on by the usually unimportant fact - It was on the other side of the road. It would be impossible to reach the hotel, without traveling at ground level. There was not much life on the street, save for a few shamblers which were spread out too much to be a large threat. However that did not stop the feeling that there was an unseen danger. Perhaps it was hidden in an alleyway, or possibly one of the many abandoned vehicles which littered the street. If anything, the feeling of danger had risen.
"If y'all don't wanna keep goin', it don't bother me any." Clyde walked towards the side of the building, true to what he said. The wind whipped at his face as he looked over the edge.
Without even glancing back at Korbin and the others, Clyde said "I would suggest y'all follow, though. He can't even walk, and I reckon we all need a spot to rest."
"We're going to have to cross the road eventually," Kimbal pointed out. She began to walk towards the edge of the roof, before shooting a glance back at Korbin "Better get to hopping."
Arc 2: "Which floor, buddy?"
Location: New York City, New York, USA
Climate: Slightly overcast
Time: 12:45 PM
Svetlana stood at the edge of the building's roof looking at the hotel where Clyde's room was. "How are we going to get in there...?"
O’Donnell and Korbin were behind her. After pondering for a moment O’Donnell said, "We gotta get you somewhere to rest, buddy. You're looking pretty beat right now."
Korbin seemed to be getting weaker the longer he went without rest and despite his headstrong attitude looked like he would collapse at any moment. He looked up with a glazed look in his eyes and declared, "We could just blow a hole in the wall and storm in, Ghast...."
O’Donnell looked at Korbin funny. "Hey, Lana... Who's Ghast?"
She turned with a worried look in her eyes and said, "It's an old nickname of his... when he's in too much pain he gets... dissociative."
Clyde’s eyes darted over to Korbin and were fixed on him, momentarily. His sights then moved once again over to the hotel. "How 'bout we just cut the crap and go right on through the front door?"
Vince peered out the 7th story window of the Drake Hotel. He had been in Room 117 since last night, and woke early in the morning to the sound of gunshots and screaming. Not necessarily uncommon where he was from, but the Drake was a swanky joint. For two hours Vince watched the mayhem and destruction in the streets.
Up until today, Vince liked working as a bagman. The family put him up for the night in the outfit's nice hotel in the city, in the morning he would trade a bag of guns for an envelope of money, and then drive back to Jersey. It beat selling phony calling cards on the street.
Vince pulled a gold lighter from the front pocket of his jogging pants and lit his last Kool. He didn’t figure the two thugs he was supposed to meet were going to show up anymore. He opened up the big hockey bag and laid out the weapons on the bed.
A sawn-off over-under 12 gauge, two Tec-9s, and two Mac-10s covered the bedspread. Those ******* gang bangers would have been blown away. The types of people the Rozzitti crew dealt with had no use for empty guns, so each machine pistol came with two loaded thirty round magazines, and a box of 50 shot shells for the shotgun.
Back at the window, Vince watched five people dart across the street below. One guy was limping along, while being supported by a tall policeman. Vince shook a drag from his Kool and said to himself, “I ain’t seen such uproar since they said the Nets were moving to Brooklyn!”
With each step glass crunched and debris were scattered. Clyde set his shotgun down, and climbed onto the hood of an abandoned taxi. He held his hand out for Korbin to grab. Clyde pulled the exhausted looking man up as the officers helped him up from below. Svetlana followed, and the police officers brought up the rear. It was slow going, but the pattern repeated itself as the group climbed across the mess of automobiles. The whole time Korbin kept mumbling incoherently. Finally they found themselves on the sidewalk under the awning of the Drake Hotel.
Svetlana said, "We're just going to walk right in?"
Korbin wobbled around a bit, "Ghast... the C4..."
"We can't stay here," O’Donnell replied as he positioned himself to the side of the double doors. Kimbal took up position opposite her partner. Svetlana held the teetering Korbin up. Clyde stood in front of the tall wooden doors and with one hard kick they flung open.
The heavy wood doors swung into the lobby. Marble pillars rose upward, supporting a balcony that wrapped around the hall. A wide staircase lead upward to the balcony. Framed artwork hung from the walls and chairs and couches lined the walls. An oak reception counter sat in the middle of the room. The white marble floors were streaked with blood.
Clyde took the first step carelessly. The room was brightly lit from a highly decorated chandelier which hung overhead. Each step sent an echo around the large room. Each person’s eyes darted across the room, from side to side, in an attempt to locate any threats. Another noise could be faintly heard over the sounds that they themselves created, a static groaning. Clyde raised his shotgun, and walked slowly towards the noise, towards the reception desk.
It stood in the middle of the room, an island amongst the sea of white, concealing whatever dangers may have lurked. As he moved closer to the desk, the sound grew louder. The sound mixed with another sound that could only be described as raw meat slapping against the slick marble floor, in a dull repetitive rhythm.
As he peered around the darkly stained desk he saw another being stuck between death and life. It was another one of those crazed creatures that they had encountered before. Its non-existent pupils stared up at Clyde, and it twitched while on all fours, seemingly unable to pose a threat even if Clyde had completely put his guard down. The being was deformed with bite marks, muscles torn apart, flesh ripped straight off. He had seen many carcasses in his life-time, and it was obvious to him that it was not the work of a human, even one as savage as the creatures that roamed the city. It had to be the work of an animal. The confusing part, was trying to think of an animal that could do such damage within the city. He wasn't in the backwoods anymore; dangerous animals didn't lurk behind every corner. And whatever got to the person in front of him, was undoubtedly dangerous.
The corpse-creature suddenly, though slowly began to reach towards Clyde, who took a step back. This startled the creature who jumped back towards the large flight of stairs behind it and while still on all fours howled at the encroaching humans. Korbin, from the back of the group, let out a roar which echoed throughout the entrance hall, making him sound like a giant. The creature was distracted momentarily by this and looked towards Korbin. Clyde took the opportunity to step forward with the barrel of his shotgun pointed towards its temple, although he was still too slow to pull the trigger, if just by a split second. The creature leapt towards him with its clawed hands outstretched. He jumped to the side, barely dodging the beast. It landed on all fours with such force that it slid back on the slick marble floor. It turned to face him, and it then began to charge. He swung the end of his barrel up as the thing went to leap. The two connected only briefly as he planted his last shell into its torso. He moved out of the way of the creature as it continued it's descent into the banister on the stairs. It seemed stunned for the time being, flailing about and scratching at the ground.
Clyde, already moving up the stairs yelled back at the group, "C'mon! Get past it; we can't risk it this time!!"
They all ran past as fast as possible, O’Donnell basically carrying Korbin under his arm, who was trying his best to point his Glock at the spasming mutant. They got up to the top of the stairs when they heard the thing stop. It released another howl then could be heard crawling up a pillar to the balcony.
An elevator door was open at the end of the balcony. A body lay in front of it, its arm sticking out keeping the door open in a cycle of opening and closing partially.
Kimbal turned around and was walking backward, one hand on O’Donnell’s back to keep up with the group, pistol pointed towards the oncoming monster.
Korbin was thrashing in O’Donnell’s arms, muttering curses and challenges to the beast.
Clyde rushed over to the arm-munching door of the elevator and kicked the dead man over into the corner of the elevator. A large cavity was where his face should be. "C'mon! C'mon! C--" As Clyde was encouraging haste Kimbal's pistol flared, the creature was charging the group. Kimbal glanced over making sure Lana, O’Donnell, and Korbin were in the elevator before diving in, narrowly avoiding a claw filled tackle sending the thing slamming into the wall. Clyde was mashing the 7th floor button as the door slid shut.
The creature could be heard slamming and scratching at the metal doors as the elevator slowly began to climb. Cheesy elevator music mixed with the creature's howls of disappointment and the buzz of flies around the corpse in the corner.
Clyde looked at the faceless body again. "Which floor, buddy?"
Vince opened the door slowly and looked out into the hall. The seventh floor hallway was eerily silent and empty. Vince stepped out and quietly shut the door behind him. He drew his duo-tone Jericho 941 but kept it concealed behind his back. Vince didn't mind sitting in his room smoking cigarettes with a pile of guns while everything outside fell apart. Problem was he was out of cigarettes.
Once he felt he was alone, Vince moved across the hall and knelt in front of the door to Room 118. He tucked his 9mm into the back of his waistband. He produced a pick set and went to work on the lock. In under a minute, the lock clicked, and Vince opened the door.
Something wasn't right, and Vince knew it right away. A strange noise was coming from the far end of the room. Vince pulled the Jericho from the small of his back and crept in. He stopped dead as soon as he saw the scene on the floor behind the bed. Vince had seen some wild stuff before, but nothing like this.
A man was straddling a woman's body and literally chewing her face off. She wasn't moving at all, and was certainly dead. Something must have given Vince away, because the man stopped chewing and turned to Vince. The man's face was covered with blood, and his stare was blank, but no less terrifying. Vince was frozen in fear. Lots of times he had guns pointed at him, even shot at him, but nothing was scarier than the creature that was now moving toward him.
Finally he snapped out of it and pulled the trigger. The shot blew through the man's upper chest, and he stumbled back a bit, but showed no sign of pain. Vince fired again, this time the bullet entered through the man's right eye and he fell back against the wall.
He kept the gun trained on the man for a minute, watching matter drip from his eye socket. Vince was kind of half dreading and half looking forward to this moment. He just made his bones. Killing someone was something that you had to do to eventually in his career path. He had been worried about how it might affect him. But Vince felt nothing as he stood over the corpse. No emotion, no regret. Ice cold.
A new thought crossed his mind: Did it really count? Vince didn't believe in zombies, vampires, or Eskimos. But he had a hard time convincing himself that he just killed a man and not a zombie. So did making your bones by whacking out a zombie count?
Vince didn't have time to dwell on it and went to rifling through the woman's purse and the man's wallet on the dresser. He removed about $300 in cash and all the credit cards. Cautiously, he searched the dead zombie or man or whatever, and came up with a half-pack of Camel's. He lit one up, saying to the dead man, "These are very bad for you."
Vince tucked the Jericho back into his waistband and left the room, heading for Room 116 next.
A ding sounded and the doors to the elevator creaked open. Korbin wrestled away from the group and stacked himself on the door. "Check those corners... proverit oti uglu, Ghast..." He popped out, checked left then right quickly and ducked back in. He was standing heavily on his good leg, but winced every time he stepped with his other.
Vince was busy picking the lock on a guitar case he found in the room when his grin disappeared. Voices. What was that, Russian? He put the pick away and drew the Jericho. Last time he ran into Vlad's guys he nearly didn't walk away. They would be the last people he wanted to see right now. This was the Outfit's hotel, and they had no business here, zombie riot or not.
Svetlana stepped forward and whispered in Korbin's ear. He seemed to calm down some and let her support his wounded side. She looked back at every one and said, "Let's go, it seems safe enough to try and get some rest."
"Alright," Clyde said. "My room is number 116, third on the right."
Vince pressed the wall behind the door, figuring Vlad's boys would spray the bathroom first.
They proceeded down the hall, still fairly cautious and checking each open door for signs of trouble.
When they arrived at Clyde's door, he set the shotgun down and produced a key, but when he felt the handle was unlocked, he scowled and drew his S&W 28.
Clyde kicked the door in and peered into the room. He slowly strode into the room. The entire room sat before him, seemingless lifeless. Though the bathroom entrance stood to the right of him, open, though only by a few inches. It attracted his attention momentarily and he took a few steps toward it, which was a mistake made very prominent as he heard the door slam behind him, and felt a gun's barrel touch the back of his head.
"Who the fsck are you, John Wayne?"
Clyde turned his head slowly and replied calmly, "Now, buddy, no need to go slinging insults or bullets. Cause, y'know, if you did, my buddies on the other side of the wall would turn you into a red mist."
Vince thought about it for a few moments, then slowly removed the gun from the cowboy's head. "With that sporty little hat, you don't look like the Russian Mob, so maybe you're ok for now."
From the hallway Korbin screamed, "Shta?! Elbu glupaw ukol!!" The Jericho again found its way to the back of Clyde's head.
"Woah, woah, woah! Don't be stupid now, our friend here is just having a bad day, if you can imagine that."
O’Donnell opened up the door, in full NYPD regalia with his revolver pointed at Vince. O’Donnell barked at the little man, "Put the damn gun down, creep!"
"Cops and Russians both should know not to come to this hotel. I don't like your friends so far, pal." Vince lowered the gun from Clyde's head but kept it pointed in his direction. He had no idea what was going on, but the big policeman looked like he was looking for a reason to pull the trigger.
O’Donnell said calmly down the sights of his pistol, "One.... Two..."
"Oh! Easy Barney Fife!' Vince lowered his weapon, but refused to drop it. "You got a warrant? What are you doing in my room?"
Clyde turned around and scratched his neck. "Better... Now what's this about YOUR room?" Clyde said, dangling the key from his finger.
Vince looked at the guitar case for a moment, trying to piece together a lie about being a blues guitarist, then dropped it altogether when he saw the key. "Alright, alright. I was gonna borrow your ice bucket, mine's missing."
O’Donnell pushed past Clyde and starred down at the small man, "Nothing makes me madder than worthless, petty crooks."
Vince smirked while looking up at the big officer, "And I hate power hungry cops. What's the matter with this guy, the bribe money late?" Vince took a step back and pointed to the window. "You know what? Maybe you are good for something. You'd be good people to ask what the hell is going on out there."
O’Donnell looked like he was going to lunge out at the man when a hand fell on his shoulder and Kimbal said quietly, "Harry, leave it alone, we need all the help we can get and as much as I don't like it either, he is still around and we can't say that for a whole lot of other people." He looked at her then back at Vince, then walked out of the room slowly, keeping an eye on him.
Vince smiled and tucked the gun away, "Thanks hunny."
She glared at him. "Don't make me handcuff you to a bed and leave you for those freaks."
"You can handcuff me to the bed, but promise not to leave," Vince added with a wink.
Clyde piped up, "Alright, y'all can screw around later, but Korbin needs to rest, so he gets the bed. Why don't ya bring him in, I bet he's tuckered out right now."
With that, Lana and Korbin came into the room and sat on the bed. Satisfied the guido wasn't an immediate threat, the police officers left the room to check the other eight rooms on the floor.
"So this is your room? No hard feelings, hey? You can call me Vince."
"Nice to meet ya, name's Clyde."
"I don't know what half of this sh!t is," Vince gestured to the gear he had come across in Clyde's bags. "But I have a feeling you ain't a musician. What do you really have in there?" Vince pointed to the guitar case.
Clyde shrugged, as he attempted to hide a grin which had crept onto his face. "You know...entertainment."
Clyde walked over to the guitar case, and then carried it over to the end of his bed. He unhooked a keychain from his jeans and fished through the keys, until he found the correct one and unlocked the pad-lock which had kept it secure. He undid the clamps on both sides, and opened the case.
"Marone! I knew it," Vince nodded in appreciation.
Inside the case resided a collection of weaponry. A seemingly antique lever action rifle sat as the center piece while a stainless steel pistol sat along-side it, inside of a brown leather holster. Several magazines accompanied it, a bullet peeking out the top of all. A few boxes of ammunition, a maintenance kit, and a few other related items were the final touches, not to mention the large hunting knife that Clyde had brought along. Its blade was hidden in a brown leather sheath, only its leather handle exposed.
"You could carve up a body with that!" Vince said of the big knife. "This is what I carry for a blade." Vince pulled up his pant leg and retrieved a pearl handled butterfly knife from his sock. He waved it around until it was open and added, "What is that hand-cannon?"
Clyde smirked as he retrieved the pistol from its case, and then from its holster. The light hit the stainless steel barrel and caused a glare as Clyde aimed it at the wall. "This here's my Coonan Classic in good ol' three-fifty-seven. Popped on some fixed sights and a spur hammer. Went with wood grips. The revolver an' rifle takes the same rounds."
Korbin mentioned from the bed, "Ammo interchangeability. Smart man."
Lana sighed, obviously distraught over the men's love for their weapons.
Clyde looked over to Korbin for a moment, before putting his Coonan back in its holster and turning once again to Vince.
"Yeah, I was plannin' on vistin' the north once in my life. I don't think I'll be doin' much sight seein' while I'm in this city full of flesh eatin' freaks."
"Yeah, what in Hell is going on out there?" Vince asked.
Lana replied, in a distinctly Eastern European accent, "It seems that people are becoming infected and attacking everything in sight. I'd hate to say it, but it reminds me of a very bad zombie movie's plot..."
"Yeah, I was afraid you'd say that," Vince replied, thinking about the guy he shot in the next room over.
Korbin eyed him, sizing him up.
Vince pointed to the man staring at him and asked, "What's with him?"
Korbin scowled, "Like you can't see that my leg was ripped in half?! But don't worry, most of it isn't my blood... Now... If I had to guess from your slicked back hair, disgusting accent and piece of sh!t gun, I'd say you're a small timer for one of the local Mob Families?"
Vince lit a cigarette, "Well, you're right: I wasn't worried about you. And I ain't saying ****."
"Don't have to, I'll find out just by looking at you for long enough. Ya skittish piece o' ****. Bah... I doubt you even know how to use that heat you've got."
"Va fungool, faccia brutta. Don't find out the hard way." Vince said, exhaling smoke.
Korbin replied with a smirk, "No, grazie, ma il sentimento era gentile."
"World traveler over here."
Lana turned to Clyde and asked, "Do you have any medicine, painkillers or antibiotics we can give Korbin?"
Clyde was sliding his revolver into his inner-waistband holster, when he was pulled back into reality. He had started arming himself while Vince and Korbin were squabbling. He now stood with a shoulder holster on, his Coonan sitting firmly inside of it, with two loaded mags on the other side of his chest. He had ditched his leather jacket, and attached a double magazine pouch to the left of his belt, and he attached his knife to the right side of it, the final touch being the rifle that he had slung over his shoulder.
"Yeah, I think I have something," Clyde said as he walked over to one of his bags, gun in hand. He fumbled around a bit and pulled out a bottle of painkillers. "This aughta help some." He tossed them to Korbin, whom readily snatched them up and popped the top off.
"Anything's better than nothing." He said while fishing a fist full out. "Babe, head to the bathroom and get me some water?" She nodded and came back with a paper cup full. He dumped the pills in his mouth little by little, pouring in some water each time. When he was done, he crumpled the cup and threw it, set the bottle on the ground and flopped out on the bed, stuffing his gun under his pillow. "Wake me if the boogeyman scares anyone."
Lana stayed with Korbin, Clyde and Vince stepped out into the hallway. O'Donnell and Kimbal had found the other rooms on the seventh floor locked, except for Room 118, which contained a nasty mess, and Vince's room, where Clyde and Vince caught up with them.
"Oh! Hey, here's my ice bucket after all!" Vince joked.
"You don't have any extra bullets for that gun of yours, would you?" Kimbal asked Vince.
Vince shrugged his shoulders, "I'd love to help you out."
Kimbal sighed and sat down on the bed, and an uncomfortable chunk of metal. She stood up and pulled the bedspread off revealing his illegal firearms. She eyed him and said incredulously, "Really now...?"
A bullsh!t artist to the end, Vince put on a surprised look, "So that's why my bed was so lumpy last night! I tell ya, I'm gonna have a word with that bum at the front desk."
"Don't make me frisk you, Vince..." She said sternly.
O’Donnell walked over to the bed and scanned the guns. He picked up a Mac and pulled the magazine out. "These are fully loaded, what the fsck were you up to?"
"I reckon one hell of a good time," Clyde coughed up from the rear of the group. O’Donnell noticed Clyde’s new attire and weapons immediately, though seemed to be too distracted by Vince to question him.
Vince put his wrists together, as if he were being handcuffed, "For Christ's sake, if you aren't going to arrest me, lay off."
O’Donnell stepped forward reaching for his cuffs, but Kimbal stepped in front of him and said, "Harry, really, he can't help if he's chained up. Let's just take him along and if he causes any trouble, we can cuff him to a phone pole."
"Oh! Take me along? I am quite comfortable right here. You see outside?" Vince pulled the blinds aside. "There ain't nothin' out there I need to see right now."
O’Donnell smirked. "Fine, stay here and rot, but we're confiscating this contraband." He walked over to the guns and started seriously considering them.
"Hey, ain't you ever heard of due process? And where you planning on going anyway?"
O’Donnell stopped for a moment. "Sh!t... Out of the city, I guess."
"Good idea, but I have a feeling the traffic on the bridge is going to be bad."
"Let's play the optimism game, shall we? Anyway... We still got the benefits that come with bein' in the city. Let's make the most of it while we can," Clyde said, having moved on to a new train of thought.
"What do you mean?" Kimbal asked, not quite understanding his point.
Clyde walked towards the others, before he chose to explain. "Sleepin' beauty in there ain't in very good shape. While we let 'em rest, we aughta go down and try to get some food, or anything we can use. The big city is loaded with crap..."
He paused momentarily, before continuing. "We aughta get set-up in case any problems pop up or somethin'. Kimbal, O’Donnell, y'all checked the rooms right?"
"We tried, all but three were locked," Kimbal said with a sigh. O’Donnell narrowed his eyes at Vince, "By the way, you wouldn't be responsible for the mess in 118?" He threw a spent 9mm shell at Vince. It bounced off his chest and hit the floor.
Vince looked at the brass casing and then at the police, "I'm gonna have to take the Fifth."
"Well, we aughta check the rest of 'em, make sure there ain't no surprises. We need any supplies we can get, anyway. After that, we can head down and find some food." Clyde paused, and then continued "So, who's up for the trip?"
"Look, like I said, I'm fine right where I am," Vince quickly replied.
The room fell quiet, as all but Vince remembered what they had run into. "I'll go," Kimbal said from the silence.
"Glad to see you had a sudden change of heart," Clyde chuckled as he led both Kimbal and Vince.
"Well, I know this hotel in and out. The owners are friends of mine." He didn't come out and say it, but he didn't want to be left alone with the big cop that seemed to have it out for him.
Before departing, they had loaded up with the weapons that they had found in Vince’s bed. Clyde now armed with his lever-action had handed off his pump to Kimbal. She took some of Vince's shells and topped it off. Vince chose a mac-10, and grabbed some of the spare magazines from the Tec-9s and Mac-10s and started pushing rounds out of them, then he started to load them into the mags of his pistol. Kimbal also topped her magazines, and after ensuring everyone was ready they made for the first door.
The trio stopped in front of the door, their weapons of choice in-hand. Clyde chambered a round into his Coonan, preferring to keep the rifle slung behind his back, and having tucked his revolver into one of his boots. He looked back at Vince, who then took the lead. He took a lock-pick set from his pocket and went to work on the door. Anyone could tell that it had to be awkward for Kimbal, to say the least. After a few moments, a clack sounded from the lock.
"And...there ya go," Vince exclaimed, as he stepped back, into the rear of the group.
Clyde stepped forward and slowly turned the knob, opening the door up to a small crack. He looked back at Kimbal, as he stepped to the side.
"Such gentlemen you both are," Kimbal rolled her eyes and shouldered the shotgun. "Eh, you wanted the boomstick," Clyde reminded her. Vince stood to the left of Kimbal, and raised his Mac-10 to eye level. Clyde, with his Coonan in his hands, pushed open the door with his cowboy boot and Kimbal stepped in, followed by the two men.
Kimbal scanned the room through the ghost ring sight on the shotgun, while Vince stepped into the bathroom at the left. Clyde asked, "Sh!tter clear?"
Vince ripped the shower curtain down with his left hand, while keeping the Mac trained on the tub with his right. "Nothin'."
"Its all clear," Kimbal confirmed from the other room.
When Vince started picking the lock on the next room, an impatient Clyde pushed him aside and jammed Korbin's crowbar in the doorjamb. "Enough of this sneaky bullsh!t..." he muttered, leveraging the crowbar against the door. With a grunt he popped the lock on the door and backed off to let Kimbal and Vince sweep through the room. He then followed and assisted them.
It was a slow and very repetitive process, each room an identical copy of the one before. Pry the door, enter, clear, search, repeat. Kimbal turned a blind eye to Vince as he added any cash he found to the roll in his front pocket. Once it was clear that the 7th floor was occupied only by themselves, the trio started down the stairs. They didn't find a lot of any use, except some bed sheets for dressing Korbin's wound, which they handed over to Lana, and a hard leather camera case that Clyde had emptied, and rigged to the back of his belt. They had all grabbed more ammo, before they descended the stairs, and into the lower levels of the Drake Hotel.
Clyde proceeded with caution, while Kimbal maintained her position in the front.
"We need to watch our asses down here. There's some deranged thing in the lobby that nearly killed us all on our way in." Kimbal warned.
Vince rolled his eyes, "Now you tell me!"
"You didn't ask," Clyde responded as he moved down to take the lead, despite the fact that he was armed with a pistol. "How we plannin' on takin' this critter out?"
"Lead poisoning." Vince held up his submachine gun.
"We tried that. It was a little less than effective," Kimbal stated. She noticed a floor plan map on the wall next to a fire extinguisher, and tore it down. "Looks like the next floor is about the same as this one. Same deal, people. Pop and clear, but stay frosty."
They went down the stair well to the next floor's entrance and prepared for entry. Clyde popped the lock on the door and they entered ready for a fight. Instead they were greeted with the smell of more dead flesh and more corpses strewn about another hall. They proceeded cautiously, making sure not to step on any corpses to the first door. Clyde popped it open and found that it was barricaded, but rather poorly. With some more effort he slid the junk against the wall enough so that Kimbal could squeeze into the room. Once she was in, she briefly glanced around, to ensure a lack of hostiles. She turned and dragged the largest piece of the barricade, a full dresser, out from in front of the door. Clyde and Vince then followed, squeezing into the room and continuing the search for anything useful.
Kimbal braced herself as her eyes darted across the room for a closer look. A small closet was torn open, as were several luggage bags, the items strewn across the room. A tiny light blue footy pajama was splattered with blood, no more than a few feet from a baby bottle that had lost its top.
"Oh, what's in here?" Vince asked aloud, stepping over to a duffle bag and ruffling through its contents. "Diapers, bottles, powder. Don't suppose ya plannin' on havin' my baby anytime soon, eh Kimbal?" Vince snickered. She didn't seem amused by his joke and glared at him before returning to the search.
Kimbal's eyes followed a trail of blood that traveled across the room into the bathroom door. Clyde twisted the door knob, and slowly nudged the door open with his boot. The stench that had filled the hallways and the room, intensified. He stared into the room, the opening only large enough for him alone to see. Clyde's usual cocky and light-hearted demeanor vanished. His expression was cold, blank. His head lowered, only to rise along with his arm, gun in hand. He cocked the hammer back, and the stainless steel barrel flared once, the slide jumped back to eject the casing and re-**** the hammer. He lowered his gun towards the ground and pulled the trigger, carefully lowering the hammer down with his thumb. He then shut the door.
Kimbal asked from the other side of the room, "What was it? Was something still moving in there?"
Clyde didn't answer her question, as if it didn't register to him. "Y'all ain't gon' want to go in there..."
Clyde walked out of the room to gather his thoughts, and get some fresh air, to escape the horrors of death. But when he stepped into the hall, he was surrounded by just as much death as before. The lifeless corpses covered the floor, and forced their rotting stench into Clyde’s nostrils. Since he had been in the city he had been forced to face death or fall victim to it himself. So far he had been able to survive with his body intact. He hoped that his mind could do the same.
"You okay?" Kimbal asked from the doorway, standing with a rolling luggage bag, Vince soon following with a duffle bag in hand.
Clyde sighed, brushing it off. "Yeah, I'm fine."
The three quietly moved across the hall, and pried open the door. The moment they stepped into the room, their jaws dropped. It turned out to be a large, two bedroom, luxury suite, with another large room in between. A higher grade burgundy carpet covered the floor, and contrasted with the milky white walls. Velvety red drapes hung aside several windows that nearly reached the ceiling, letting the occupants enjoy the view of the streets below, and letting enough sunlight into the room, that the trio could see at all.
Clyde strutted into the room, crowbar in hand. He looked in all directions, taking in his surroundings. The room was eerily vacant. Kimbal and Vince moved towards him with their weapons drawn, having left the luggage bags at the door. Kimbal looked around, and then reached to flip the light switch. Beams of light shot from the ceiling, lighting up the entire area.
"Now this is what I'm talkin' about," Clyde exclaimed loudly, with his arms reached out towards the sky, partly in hopes that it would lure out any zombies.
"Ohh, a fridge. Don't mind if I do," Vince said, hungrily. He seemed to forget completely about securing the room, instead choosing to secure the fridge. It had two doors on the top, and one large handle on the bottom, insinuating that it slid out. He pulled both of the top doors open.
"Are you kiddin' me?" he grumbled. The left and right doors were packed with bottles of purified water, the wrapper stating the hotels logo in large bold letters. He then bent down to slide out the bottom.
"Well would ya look at that." The bottom cabinet was filled with various bottles of alcohol, with a few bottles of soda to match. He held up a bottle of Vodka, for the others to see.
"'Bout time, I can use a drink after all this," Clyde remarked.
"Okay, this room is bigger than the others. To secure it, we should split up," Kimbal said.
Vince, unable to resist interrupting her, "Yeah, 'cause that always works on Scooby-Doo..."
Clyde chuckled in response. Kimbal only stared at Vince, clearly annoyed.
"Clyde, you take that side. I'll take this one," Kimbal continued, as if nothing had happened, also gesturing her arms to show which she was talking about.
She then suddenly turned towards Vince "You can watch the door."
Both Clyde and Kimbal went off, towards their respective sides. A few moments later, they returned just as silently as they had departed, both finding the same thing. The rooms were vacant, no sign of anyone having even stepped into the suite. No items outside of what the hotel had placed, and nothing of any value to them.
"Whatcha find?" Clyde shouted out towards Kimbal, both heading towards Vince simultaneously.
"My end was empty."
"Yeah, same story here," Clyde replied, choosing to lean against a counter-top with a sigh. At the end closest to him, resided a phone. He picked it up and put it to his ear.
"Room service, please!" he said into the phone. Unexpectedly, he heard something on the other end, a clicking noise, and then a crash which caused a sudden silence. He heard what sounded like a person breathing faintly, then a groan.
"Well fine then, I didn't wanna talk to you, anyway," he said into the phone, slamming it back down onto the hook.
Vince perked up, as though he heard something. "Yo, you hear that..?"
"Hear what?" Kimbal asked.
Vince looked towards her, and then back towards the door. "Lemme check it out." He walked over to the slightly opened door and peeked out, only to have his nose bashed by a flailing arm. He fell back into the room and barked, "Sh!t!" He tried to aim at the door but when he came to his senses there were three or four zombies trying to push their way past each other into the room. "Holy sht!"
Clyde cocked the hammer back and stepped forward with his pistol raised, as Kimbal ran to his side. He shot towards the group of zombies viciously trying to get to Vince, pegging one in the skull with a .357 magnum slug. He continued to yank the trigger back, keeping a focus on keeping them off of Vince. He blew a hole in one's throat, blowing away another's jaw. As soon as Vince made his way out from in front of the mob, Kimbal sent lead into them at a rapid rate with her own pistol. When his Coonan finally clicked empty, Kimbal blew the last one away leaving a meaty, bloody pile between them and the hallway.
Clyde ejected his magazine, letting it hit the plush carpeting beneath him. He popped open one side of his magazine pouch, and drew out a fresh one, popping it in and racking the slide. He stood there, his pistol raised towards the door, but nothing else came. After a moment, he sighed in relief, and slumped against the wall.
"We need to load up, and get the hell outta here," Clyde said, then bending over to pick up his magazine off of the ground below. The others barely heard him; their ears were ringing so loud. Clyde retrieved a box of ammunition from the case on the back of his belt and took a seat on the floor. He started sliding the bullets into the magazine, one at a time, while Kimbal grabbed the few things of use from the room. Vince wiped blood away from his nose and kept watch over the door, as if he expected an undead army to march in at any time. Considering how their day at gone so far, it wasn't that far of a stretch.
Once they were loaded and back in the hallway, they found the zombies they just smoked were the same bodies they stepped over not ten minutes before.
The door to the next room was wide open. Cautiously, they stepped inside, weapons at the ready. No one was inside, but it was apparent that the occupants left in a hurry. Clothes were strewn across the floor, and a suit case and a kid's back pack were sitting on the bed.
Clyde inspected a baseball glove, then threw it down and picked up a wooden Louisville Slugger. "Ha! Mine!"
Vince looked over, and was awash in jealously. "Hey, no fair! I want a bat!"
"Fair 'nuff." Clyde shrugged, and tossed him the other bat he found.
"Aww, come on!" While Clyde laid claim to the wooden bat, Vince found himself with a pink aluminum bat with a floral sticker reading 'Flower Power'. "Why do I get the pink bat?"
Clyde held up a pink Yankee's hat, "Ya wanna hat too?"
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