After giving her location to the team inside, she finished the conversation, hoping her boldness would continue to pay off.
"You can save your flattery. I will hack the cameras because it will help you get to me alive. When you get here alive, and move me to a secure location-and by secure, I mean free of the infestation-then we can make introductions. As for being a godsend, I think that I will be having words with whoever landed me in this hellhole, should I ever meet them. Where I want to be sent is back home to Seoul, and the sooner you get here, the better my chances would seem to be. I apologize for my rudeness, but I am agitated. I'm sure you understand."
Posted on 2009-04-12 at 19:48:30.
Edited on 2009-04-12 at 19:51:51 by Miko_Ayune-sama
Dancer hung up before any more could be said. If she piggybacked the line, that meant other people could also. He turned to Jackson and Colton. "Let's move guys. South Korean female, trapped. Presumably by Erkovitch. We find her, we find him. It falls right into place." Dancer collected ammo from the dump, and moved to the door. Conecaling the rifle as best as he could, he opened the door.
Noone was on the other side. The city streets were empty.
"Rescue? In the middle of Moscow? What was I thinking?" Mi-Kyeong thought to herself.
"No. Now seems the perfect time to clear my mind, and focus on the task at hand." It was the first, simplest lesson taught in Taekwondo.
She found an even more secluded corner of the already secluded closet she was in, and put on the black screen saver with the stars, which, she thought in retrospect, was rather ironic, considering what she was doing. She proceeded then to sit cross-legged with her wrists on her knees, hands dangling limply, and thinking to herself "At least I didn't learn this from a Tai-Chi master. I might give myself away with that ridiculous humming."
"Okay, time to be serious."
After about twenty minutes, her mind was empty, but for the task of survival-and getting home...and hoping her benefactors got here quickly...and...the fact that she was getting nowhere with meditating...
"Who am I fooling, here? I'm not going to clear my mind this easily, like I had a bad dream. This is real, and it won't stop until I actually do something about it."
Taking out a small notepad and a pen, she jotted down every detail about her back door into the network, then stuffed the sheet into a compartment in her bra, which she had used at school for hiding those types of things.
"Now. Time to open my eyes."
She searched for the physical security systems tied into the network. That was odd; there were cameras jury-rigged into the system. They worked, but that wasn't the point. The point was, their model suggested Cold War era technology. These should have been in a museum.
She was thought-vomiting again, she realized. Back to the current task. Preparing to backdoor into the program that controlled them, she noticed a red flag. They did have some security around things, after all. The cameras were going to be tricky.
No matter, she held a degree from MIT in this field. This was, as one of her favorite American movies had put it, her "Kung-fu," and her Kung-fu was strong.
She laughed inwardly at that thought, then loaded her tunneler bot. Its graphic looked ludicrous. It looked like a mole with a caver's hat on its head and a jackhammer in its hand. Ludicrous, but it got the job done in half an hour, as opposed to the estimated four hours it would take to sneak in around the firewalls, never mind the days a brute force attack would take, and the detection involved.
Once into the cameras, she paused to observe.
Posted on 2009-04-13 at 08:38:45.
Edited on 2009-04-21 at 04:35:42 by Miko_Ayune-sama
Jackson stepped outside and put on his sunglasses. Partially to keep incognito on an outing like this and partially because his eyes hadn't adjusted to daylight from the darkess that Ivan lived in. How he could stand it, he'd never understand. He lit up his next smoke and said, "Ok guys, what's the plan? We rescue this girl and she helps us? I do love a good challenge..."
He made sure the revolver in his waistband was covered and double checked his pockets to make sure his C4 and other assorted explosive gadgets were there and safely separated. He loved a good explosion as much as the next guy, but not in his pants.
"I say first we see where that call came from."
He pulled out his cell phone and attached a locator to it. He casually tapped the phone line into the building and pressed some buttons on his phone.
"Looks like it came from...an IP address. Looks like this chick knows her stuff. As far as the 'where'..."
He waited a second, the device providing him with a dramatic pause.
"Not that far. Looks to be a warehouse a few streets down. I say we walk. It'll give us time to think about what we're up against. She sounded like she was in trouble, right? That just means we'll need to be that much more careful, and pedestrians down a street will look a lot less obvious than a taxi with three heavily armed guys getting out. Agreed?"
"Good thinking Jackson. The only part that's weird is that the streets are empty. I don't see anyone."
Dancer checked to make sure all his ammo was around. He only had what was in the shotgun and rifle. He looked longingly at the rifle, but decided to put it back in Ivan's, knowing he would stand out if anyone did happen to be out.
The weird part is the way the russians acted. They stared at the three when they left the airport. Not a word was said, they just stared, like they knew something bad was going to happen. And something did.
As they rounded the corner, and could see a warehouse in the distance, they heard a sound. It was a guttural screech. Seth looked up and noticed a flock of birds flying fast towards the group, they turned up at the last second and distracted Seth from what was really happening.
The creatures from before were climbing out of storm drains on the streets. One grabbed Seth's leg and pulled it towards his mouth. Rotten skin was falling from it's jaw, and it was covered in sewage and bodily fluids. The hexagonal burn was shiny against the pale skin on the zombies exposed arm. Seth realized he couldn't get out of the things grip. He was trapped.
Jackson pulled his revolver when he saw the creature going for Seth. The blast from the gun occurred just seconds before the creature's head exploded like an overripe melon.
Alert now, he swung around and was faced by two more of the lumbering, disgusting creatures, each with the same hexagonal mark on their arms. He didn't even consider firing a warning shot after he saw what they were capable of in the dossier earlier. Two more shots, and they hit the ground with a nauseating splat. He turned back around to check on his companions who were busy with more of their own. Quickly, he tucked his revolver away and pulled out a sawed-off shotgun.
He emptied both barrels into the storm drain that seemed to be spawning the things. He threw the spent shotgun to the ground and shoved a cement block into the storm drain, blocking it. If only he had a good grenade...he remembered the Dirty Dozen and smirked at the thought.
He pulled his revolver back out and took the break in the fight to reload. "What ARE these things..." he thought as he rejoined the fight.
Colton was on his knees, an M-16 raised to his cheek. He was firing in short bursts. The other two had pitols out, allowing them to save their ammo for their bigger weapons, but reducing their capacity to kill the hordes of zombies slowly lumbering toward them.
Colton glanced to his left and saw a large department store with a glass window. Making sure his flanks were clear, he picked up a rock on the sreet and threw it, smashing the window open.
He beckoned for the other two and they moved backward, still firing on the endless streams of infected until they finally rolled behind the shttered glass.
Colton motioned for them to continue backward while he removed a small plastic explosive from his suit and stuck it to the wall. He rolled backward just before the explosion caved in the wall of the store, leaving an impassable barrier of rubble in between them and the zombies.
"Warehouse, now" Colton lowered his M-16, flipping the saftey on and throwing it inside his jacket. As they mved through the department store to the next building down, he picked up a baseball bat, a combat knife and chainsaw, just for the hell of it.
Seth nodded his thanks to his comrades. His black glock was shining against the dim light inside the department store. He looked at the other two and asked "Hey guys. You think this store has a hunting section? We could use some shotgun rounds, and I might grab a rifle since we don't have to hide it from anyone now."
He lit a cigarette in the store, and kept the handgun at the ready, just in case. He knew that soon, they would need more ammunition.
Jackson lit up too, since no one was around in the store. He looked around the store and finally found the sign he was looking for. Sporting Goods. Hopefully they could pick up a few extra rounds or some extra firepower. Who knew, there might even be a pawn shop between here and the warehouse.
He pointed it out to the other two and they started carefully over to the sporting goods section. They were like kids in a candy store. Rows of rifles, shotguns, knives, even a few handguns. Luke picked up a couple boxes of .38 rounds for his revolver, some speed loaders, a combat knife that he stuck into a holster and attached to his left leg. He found a NATO-style holster that fit his revolver like a glove and attached it to his right leg. He also picked up some fish hooks and some screws that were lying around in case he had to make a pipe bomb later. Shrapnel was always fun to use against the enemy.
After they had raided the stock, they heard a noise behind them. Another group of zombies had follwed them in, and they wanted blood. "Hell, if it's blood they want..." Jackson thought, raising his weapon, "It's blood they'll get...their own!"
He fired off a couple of rounds just as they came within range, and he smelled the gun powder in the air, and he was blinded by the barrel flash in the darkness, but only momentarily. He was ready for them this time...
Seth saw his moment. Seizing the confusion of the fight, he grabbed his shotgun. Letting out two blasts, the mossberg shattered two skulls, back to back. Grey brain matter oozed out of the zombies heads as they fell to the ground, not to rise again. The smell inside the store was horrible, the sweet scent of decay flooding on their nostrils. Lifeless eyes were all around them as the zombies filled the aisles. Dancer stood next to Jackson as the blasts echoed through the store, muffling the moans of the zombies. That's when he realized something horrible.
Some of them retained memories of their past lives.
He saw a few zombies holding farming tools, holding just enough brain capacity to wield them. "The virus must only have a minimal effect on some genes," he thought. The bullet casings rained down as the three shot their way into the alcohol section. Russian vodka filled the walls. Seth grabbed one bottle, stuck a piece of rope in it, and lit it. "Please be as flammable as gas..." He let it fly, and a very small explosion occurred. four zombies were lost in the conflagration, and Seth stuck another bottle in his jacket. They might need it if this gets any crazier.
Mi-Kyeong cursed under her breath. "I should have told them to wait until I got the cameras."
She was speaking to herself again. When did she pick up this habit? Must be a nerves, she thought to herself as she continued, "I'll lock the door, and give them another call. I'll tell them to announce themselves when they get here, so I don't panic when they knock."
The door wouldn't hold forever, but it might buy her some time, if she was quiet. A thought came to her, which she spoke under her breath, "Wait a second! This is Russia. They should have cameras on every corner-Hell, every store! I'll just trace that cell location, find the cameras there, get them on, and find out how long they're going to take."
She switched desktops, silently praising whoever hat built the Linux user interface, and tracked the cell-phone.
"A department store? What the hell are they doing? Wait...that makes this easy. Civilian cameras, no real security, piece of cake. I may not even need Brown-Nose."
She searched for a backdoor, and had it within seconds. Who said Russia was bad? Weak network security for the most part, it certainly made her work a lot easier.
Getting the cameras on, she made the volume barely audible, so as not to alert anyone (or anything) on the other side of the door. What she saw was a horrifying sight, but not one she was utterly unprepared for. She'd seen these things eat her best friend, Ji-Soo.
She still owed these bastards for that, she thought bitterly, tears of anger beginning to well up at the bottom of her vision. She wiped them clear, and focused on the screen.
Hoping their concentration was good, she risked another phone call. She needed weapons. A long, heat-treated oak dowel would work, if they could find one, preferably inch-and-a-half in diameter, if they could get it. A good hunting knife was also on the agenda, and maybe a steady gun; she couldn't fight close up all the time.
Luck seemed to be with her; the phone began to ring.
Posted on 2009-04-21 at 04:29:23.
Edited on 2009-04-21 at 04:31:20 by Miko_Ayune-sama
Seth answered the phone with one hand, his other hand firing rounds from his glock.
"We're working our way through the store and towards the warehouse. It's not a far run if these bastards will just leave us alone!" The report of the gunshots was clearly audible through the phone. Dancer screamed, as one zombie had grabbed his shoulder, digging dirty, decaying fingernails into his back. threw the other arm back, connecting his elbow to it's nose, and he felt it crumple and blood flow onto his arm. the zombie let go, and he turned, and punched it square in the chest.
The rotting corpse gave way, and Dancer's hand plunged into the thing. He automatically felt revulsion at the horrendous smell drafting up from the wound, and the thought was enough to cause him to have a small vomiting spell. He pulled his hand out, and the thing collapsed. He put the phone back to his ear and said "This job is so disgusting."
Jackson looked on as Seth punched a zombie in the chest and removed his hand, covered in gore as it sank to the floor.
"Man, that's just gross. I guess that'll kill the old bastards too. More than one way to skin a cat, and all that."
Jackson led the way through the next few aisles of the mall as the trio started heading toward the exit, toward the mysterious woman in the warehouse. It looked like easy going. Well, as easy as it was going to get, they had to kill another few of the creatures along the way, but they made it to the exit unscathed. Jackson stood covering the entrance to the warehouse.
"Damn!" Mi-Kyeong switched her search. Instead of finding out what the men there were doing, she looked for the cameras looking into the room outside. No good. She would need BrownNose.
They were, for some reason, more secure than the department store's cameras, but why? They still read as civilian. What was going on here? Legitimate questions, all, but for another time.
Gathering her laptop into its bag, Mi-Kyeong spotted a rusty pipe in the wall which looked weak in a few places.
"This is better than nothing. At least I won't put my fist into a corpse with this." She set the laptop bag down, and took a low stance with the pipe in hand, and paused.
This would be the point of no return. These things, if they were out there, would hear this. She would be forced to fight. She took a few breaths to prepare, then, an epiphany. She could take a quiet peek outside before she pulled out the section of pipe.
Taking what seemed like an eternity unlocking the door, for fear of noise too soon, Mi-Kyeong cracked the door, and braced for what she would see.
There appeared to be nothing out of sorts. This was her first break in a long time. She shut the door again, but took a different stance this time. Standing with her back to the door, Mi-Kyeong gripped the pipe just below the strained area, and pulled with every ounce of strength she could muster. It came free at the top with the unmistakable screech of protesting metal. The bottom bent to a low angle, but didn't give way, yet. Great. More noise. Pulling sharply up again, the pipe came free, and she had a section that she guessed was about a meter long. She hefted it in her hand, and it was reassuring with the weight of steel.
Now, she was ready to leave, and had little choice in the matter. It was time to be rescued on her terms.
She ventured out, and saw nothing unusual, until she had walked about thirty meters. She saw what looked like a lone German Shepherd, eating. She thought nothing of it, until she had gotten a better angle. It was eating a corpse, and was missing the skin along the left side of its face. One eye was milked over, and its tongue was bitten halfway off.
Her arm went slack, and the pipe hit the floor with a loud, reverberating clang, that echoed throughout the warehouse.
The dog perked up. The ghastly visage looked right at her, as the half tongue licked the side of its mouth. It sniffed for a second, then began to lunge at her from ten meters.
Mi-Kyeong barely had time to react. It was good that she was a black belt candidate before she left home. Her reflexes gave her a very slight edge. She dropped into a sideways crouch to present a smaller target, then backhanded the dog with the pipe, knocking it about a meter to the side, but not killing it.
The dog landed on its front paws, and used the momentum of the pipe strike to twist as it landed, giving it a chance to lunge again.
Mi-Kyeong twisted as well, to face the dog, but was a second slower, and was forced to dive sidelong to avoid the dog's teeth. Extending her free arm in an arc and tucking into her abdomen as she dove, she created similar momentum to the dog's earlier maneuver, came up into her crouch, and backhanded the dog with the pipe again. This time she heard the crack of bone, as the dog's bottom jaw flew free with the weight of her weapon, and the neck followed suit. The dog dropped, and began to twitch, but otherwise remained motionless.
Mi-Kyeong decided to make sure the dog was permanently dead. She walked over to the body, and stomped its skull. The resulting splash of gore made her retch, desperately fighting the urge to dry-heave.
She failed miserably. Dry-heaving violently, she finally managed to fight through the excruciating pain to recompose herself, and surveyed the rest of her surroundings. Nothing else seemed out of sorts, until the corpse gave a moan and started to rise.
At least it would be slower than the dog, she thought. As it rose, Mi-Kyeong charged, and brought the pipe down across its head, and got a perverse feeling of satisfaction as the angle knocked the bastard's head clean from his shoulders. Seeing a nearby door, she continued toward it, hoping her rescue was near. Composing herself, she opened the door.
Posted on 2009-04-23 at 20:33:05.
Edited on 2009-04-25 at 04:24:57 by Miko_Ayune-sama
Dancer turned to his partners. "Time to go. Run to conserve ammo." Seth spun around and ran, hoping he'd be able to rush to the trapped girl. He had his pistol in his hand, and the dark chrome reflected what little light was shining through the store. Seeing a way to weave into the warehouse, he stopped and motioned it to Jackson. "You think we should take it? We may not have a lot of other options."