t_catt11 Fun is Mandatory RDI Staff Karma: 364/54 6846 Posts
from bad to worse
October 26, 2014
Intersection of Cornelia and Halsted - 12:25 PM
After distributing the weapons and ammuinition found within the police car, the survivors make the decision to continue on foot. The logic is certainly sound; neither tools nor shelter to conduct repairs seem to be at hand, and with the size of the city of Chicago, it seems likely that there will be other chances to obtain transportation. For now, the medicine at the Save Rite remains the first priority.
With more than a little trepidation, the party sets out, single file, headed east into the intersection and around the pileup.
The crash site itself is a riot of twisted metal, broken glass, and shredded fiberglass. As you approach, both the buzzing of flies and the stench of death become extremely prevelant; soon, the source of both is revealed in the bloated, rotting corpse of a driver of a red Mustang. The fact that not only these vehicles, but that a dead man with a chunk of his head missing, could be sitting here in the autumn sun with no one intervening is yet another jarring sign that civilization as you all know it may have, in fact, come to an end.
As the group rounds the far end of the pileup, putting themselves mostly across the intersection, they notice motion to the north, further up the intersecting street (Halsted). Three doors up stands what was a boutique gift shop; the vast majority of the glass storefront has been broken out, leaving the contents of the shop exposed to the elements. A figure steps out of the store, pauses, then shrieks at the sight of the survivors. It tears off at a dead run for the group, shrieking all the way.
Worse yet, answering shrieks come from the south. Three more figures appear from various buildings and alleys, and all three likewise head for the survivors at full speed. It is clear that in moments, the party will be attacked from two directions.
Posted on 2010-08-23 at 18:11:33.
Edited on 2010-09-10 at 13:16:24 by t_catt11
Emily fell into step with the others when they set out, slipping back into her silence shell and gripping the iron tightly again, thinking. She'd already established she would be listening to Murph from now on, as he seemed to be the only one qualified and willing to do so. And... however fragile it was, she trusted him, and believed he would make the best decisions for the group as a whole, without favoritism or corruption she believed one of the others would bring.
The stench of death and decay slammed into her like a wall, bringing her out of her musings, and she gagged on the rotting smell and covered her nose and mouth. Emily could still feel it lingering inside her though, and the thought made her skin crawl; she shivered. By the time they finally got to see the corpses, her skin had broken out in a cold sweat and she was visibly shaking. Even though she'd known to prepare herself from something like this, she felt bile rising in her throat and the hair on the back of her neck stood up.
Who were they?
Did they have families, people waiting for them?
... Do they have anyone still waiting for them?
Emily was still wondering about this when something let out a terrible shriek and her head shot up in time to see something charge right at them. She stumbled, but this time was prepared and gripped the iron tightly, ready to fight if it came to it.
But her new-found resolve flickered and died when she heard more of them. Emily looked around her in a full circle, spotting the others, and her gut twisted into an uncomfortable knot.
(OOC: Emily's gonna be up for a fight this time, but between the shaking and new-nauesia, I wouldn't be betting she'll be effective!)
Posted on 2010-08-24 at 02:18:33.
Edited on 2010-08-24 at 02:20:33 by PrincessAli
The smell hit Mac like...well...a Mack truck. It wasn't so much the smell as the the combination of the smell and the sight of morbidity displaying itself behind the wheel of a car in the pile up. Saliva began to pour like water from his glands, leading to gagging, leading to dry heaves, for when you eat near nothing, you produce nothing.
Righting himself up and wiping his mouth on his sleeve (and keeping his sleeve there)he says,"Damn! I never smelt a smell that smelt the way that smell smelt! The sooner we get away from this the better...(hurk!)...damn it all!"
Just as those words left his lips, a blood curdling shriek comes from the north, and the sound was all too familiar. Mac spun around, gun at the ready, to see what was coming, and saw Emily in a stance with the tire iron looking like she was ready to beat some derriere.
More ferral screams came from the opposite direction. Mac spun around once more to see three more running his and Alaster's way.
"Emily, get behind me, get behind me now!"
With that said, Mac takes aim at the head of one of the freaks and decides before he squeezes the trigger to communicate one thing...
"Alaster, I got the one on the right, you take the left one, we'll take the middle one together, got it?"
Not waiting for a response Mac quickly rechecks his aim on the moving target and pulls the trigger.
Lord, I don't normally pray. I'm not even sure you exist. I'm just praying that I have as much luck as Murph has experience with this $h*+!
Posted on 2010-08-24 at 02:58:23.
Edited on 2010-08-24 at 03:06:17 by Tiamat5774
Temporarily calmed back down Amber had followed Murph back toward the group. A brief discussion put them back on the pavement, heading on foot towards the pharmacy again.
She had gone with great trepidation. The soft soles of her shoes whispering along the pavement seemed so loud and the glittering speckles of sunlight bouncing off the crash tempted her to look into the shadows again. It was a fight against her own will to keep her eyes forward, fixed on the living beings that walked with her, instead of the corpses that lay in wait only a few feet away. At every shadow that seemed to jump at the corner of her vision she held her breath and began to repeat ‘baddest mother ****** in the valley… baddest mother ******…’ in her head even as goosebumps rose on her arms and tears welled in her eyes.
The smell affected her like it had the others, but there was something about the smell that was easier to handle than the tiny little blood stained hand she had seen waving behind that ‘Baby on Board’ sign. So she swallowed the bile in her throat, held her breath and trudged on.
Baddest mother… baddest mother…
Worse than all of that though was the scream that cut through the air like a knife. The octaves were human, but the humanity had been strained through cheesecloth until it was nothing more than a strong solution of insanity. Her head whiplashed toward the noise and she saw the ‘thing’ rushing towards them, only to be followed by more screams coming in the other direction.
Panic threatened to well up in the marrow of her bones and quickly spread through her body again. But just as her fingers began to loosen around the cool rod she held she fought against it. Murph could not protect her as he had promised if she kept falling off the edge of sanity, those screaming things would get her and Joshua would be alone. Blinking back the tears that stung her eyes she gripped the crowbar.
Around her the others were moving, those with guns facing the creatures and preparing to shoot, while Emily
even sick she seems to have more balls than you Amber
Moving behind Alaster and Jake for safety, but still holding her tire iron in case.
Somehow she too managed to move. A few steps on wooden legs brought her a few paces behind Murph. There she braced herself, waiting for the thundering shock of gunfire and whatever would come after it.
((Holding that spot until something gets close enough to be an immediate threat. If something does get that close she will likely swing with that crow bar, although it would be likely she would do so blindly))
Posted on 2010-08-24 at 15:29:02.
Eol Fefalas Keeper of the Kazari RDI Staff Karma: 461/28 8455 Posts
Well, Murph thought, grinning with grim satisfaction as he watched the others react to his Army-inspired motivational speech, that worked better than I’d hoped it would…
“We could do both,” Jake pondered out loud, “but we'd have to split up, and that might not be a good idea. I don't know...”
“Nope,” Murph interjected, “Whatever we decide, we decide together and we stay that way. At least for now…”
“…I just want to thank you for not giving up on me,” Emily sniffed, a tear tracing it’s way down one pallid cheek, after stringing more words together in her last discourse than the mechanic could remember her having spoken in the last ten days, “And that I'll be beside all of you, no matter what happens.”
Murph nodded at this, wrapping an arm around the sickly girl’s shoulders and giving a reassuring squeeze. “We don’t give up on this team, Em,” he assured her, “Not on you or anyone else…”
The chatter continued for a little while longer; each member of the small group affirming their resolve and offering their input… the need for warmer clothes, the need to make the best use of the daylight that would be dwindling away all too soon, and, given the present circumstances, the ‘wisdom’ of continuing on foot and abandoning the idea of patching up the patrol car… and, when it was done, the decision was made that they would, in fact, be heading out on foot despite some obvious trepidation about having to skirt the huge pile up.
((…at this point, that Murph gives them the “formation demo” with the army men that I mentioned earlier and then we get moving…))
“…Are we the baddest MoFo’s in this valley of death,” Mac practically cheered before they formed up, stretching a bit more satisfaction out of Murph’s grin as he double-checked and topped off the loadout on the SLP.
“The baddest in the valley,” Murph nodded, clapping Mac on the shoulder as he moved to his position at the front of the line, “and don’t any of you forget it…” For the first time in quite a while, the mechanic’s eyes flicked towards Heaven instead of just the sky… Ya hear that, Lord? Baddest in the valley… back me up on that, would ya?
The sickly-sweet smell of death and decay hit him full on as they reached the pile up and Murph knew, before he even saw one, that there’d be bodies in that tangle of wreckage. “Breathe through your mouths not your noses, people,” he suggested to the rest as they drew closer and began to skirt the mess, “and keep moving… keep moving…”
They were nearly around the pile-up - having gotten there with more than one gag reflex, horrified look, or queasy commentary being kicked off as a result – and Murph’s head was on a swivel, scanning the north and south stretches of Halstead as the group continued eastward, when he caught sight of the creature stepping out of the shopfront a few doors up… He grumbled a curse as the creature shrieked and trained his shotgun on the thing as it bolted into a run… “Close it up,” he barked to the others, calling for them to collapse the formation into a defensive configuration…
“Emily! Get behind me…”
“Alaster I’ll take the right on,e you take the left, we'll take the middle together.”
“Yeah... Alright got it.”
…Mac’s .357 barked… Alaster’s Browning boomed…
Again, Murph waited for the… Don’t say zombie… thing heading at them from the north to get just a little closer before he opened up on it with the SLP…
“Keep moving, folks! We’ve got places to be,” he hollered after that first shot, “Mac! Al! Check your fields of fire! Keep to your range! Shoot and move!
C’mon, people! Let’s go! Let’s go!”
((OOC: There we go… playing along… As stated above, Murph’s gunning for the zombie from the north; if that one goes down (even if it’s only for a moment) Murph will turn and crack off a shot at the ones coming from the south if there’s a clear field… continuing to holler out ‘orders’ in hopes of getting everybody on the eastern side of the pile up and not just standing in place while we get bumrushed… ))
Posted on 2010-08-24 at 17:08:16.
t_catt11 Fun is Mandatory RDI Staff Karma: 364/54 6846 Posts
Yep, defintiely worse
October 26, 2014
Intersection of Cornelia and Halsted - 12:30 PM
A little while, their hunger unfulfilled,
The mothlike worlds flit 'round the guttering sun.
Mac and Alaster coordinate their fire, and Murph barks orders to the group as a whole in an effort to keep everyone on the same page. Still, in the face of these things bent on the death of every living person, it is difficult to maintain coherent thought.
The FN shotgun in Murph's hands roars, and his target staggers to the side from the impact. Incredibly, though, it resumes its headlong rush at the group with very little slowdown.
Mac levels his .357 at his own target and squeezes the trigger, but the things are amazingly fast, and his shot sails wide. Alaster, however, has better luck - the Browning thunders in his hands and strikes his target squarely, but much like in the case of Tommy Murphy, the creature staggers, but continues to charge.
The attackers close the gap between themselves and the surviviors with terrifying speed, and the centermost threat from the south launches itself at Mac, who bashes it with the butt of his revolver. Unfortunately, doing so places the bounty hunter in an awkward position, and he is unable to get off another shot. Emily steps up to his aid, however, smashing it with her tire iron, and Jake cracks its head from behind with his night stick, causing it to slump limply to the ground.
Alaster chambers another round and fires again, this time striking the monster fully in the chest and blowing it backwards to the ground with the force of the impact. It does not move again.
The assailant from the north clambers over a wrecked car to launch itself at Murph, but just before it can do so, the shotgun roars again, blowing a gaping hole in the creature's chest. It crumples to the ground in a heap.
The final attacker from the south - still untouched - launches itself though the air and tackles Jake!
Before anyone can react, the creature on top of Jake bites him directly on the throat, eliciting a cry of pain from the athelete. Fearful of hitting Jake with a bullet, Mac and Alaster instead bash the monster with the butt of their firearms, and Amber steps in to deliver the final blow with her crowbar.
As suddenly as the fight began, it is over.
Three of the four attackers are quite clearly dead, and the fourth (the one that bit Jake) is lying unconscious. The eerie calm of a city devoid of human noise settles in heavily over the survivors.
Jake's injuries appear to be minor overall, but blood is trickling from the bite marks on his throat - the skin was definitely broken.
A cool breeze blows a few leaves along the otherwise empty street...
Posted on 2010-08-25 at 15:59:39.
Edited on 2010-08-25 at 16:00:36 by t_catt11
The ‘thing’ had continued to speed toward them even as the first shot gun blast rung in her ears. The shot had realigned its path slightly and taken out a decent bit of its arm but had little other effect. A squeal escaped from her as it kept moving closer. Behind her the others were shooting and bashing at things but she barely noticed, instead her world focused on the dead creature rushing toward her.
“God! Tom kill it!” she shrieked hysterically behind him and then flinched as the shot gun rang out again and in mid lunge the thing fell to the ground, a dark circle burning in its chest.
She paused there a moment, staring down at the creature. Beyond the rotten features it was human. The dull cloudy eyes had once glittered with life and lit up when it saw a loved one walk into the room, the hands that were not green and splattered with blood had no doubt held children in them, had made coffee and tied shoes, once it had been just like they were now… but now it was a twisted heap of flesh that had been stopped before it could destroy its own kind.
Screams behind her pulled her thoughts from the awful smoldering thing. Turning she noticed yet another one, on the ground wriggling over another shape. An assessment of the situation was not needed. Instead she acted purely on first instincts, the creature was not one of her companions, although the shape under it likely was.
Dashing toward the fray Amber stopped just before it, spread her legs as far as the short black skirt would allow her to get a firm base and then swung the crowbar much like a short golf club. It arced from her shoulder until it hit the thing under the jaw. Blood splattered from the point of contact as the head rebounded backwards, the rest of the body followed this line and rolled off of the shape it had been attacking.
If this had been a movie instead of their lives the camera would shift from showing the slow motion action of the crow bar contacting the undeads jaw to a full length view of Amber. Every muscle in her small lithe body pulled tightly, her little waitress outfit pulled even tighter over it in her wide stance. The inches of exposed perfect skin glistening in the afternoon light with perspiration. Dark hair clinging to her face in places and in others being whipped by the gentle breeze around her head. The crow bar at her side, ready to be swung if needed. Her dark eyes whipping about quickly as she took short deep breaths.
However, this wasn’t a movie and the glowing Hollywood effect the adrenaline pumping through her veins had caused was lost on her.
Human… it was human…
Was… it isn’t anymore…
If Tom hadn’t fired… would I…
The ‘Triple B’ movies… shoot them in the head… shoot them in the head…
A virus… always a virus… but it’s not raining…
Always rains… drench the heroine…
Sunny… God the blood is red in the sun…
"It bit him. Oh my god is he... is he going to turn?"
“What!?” She snapped out of the torrent of thoughts assaulting her and looked over at Jake, the shape that thing had been wriggling over. Only then did she notice the blood dripping down his neck.
Her heart lurched up into her throat and she stared at her companion with wide eyes, and gripped the crowbar tighter in her fist.
"Stupid f****** thing." Alaster cried and then proceeded to bash the thing laying on the ground into a nice red smear while continuing to scream at it, “I'm tired and I don't want to be bothered by any of you things ever again."
Watching the blood and bits of flesh fly as the bat rose and fell over and over again the adrenaline began to fade from her system and she relaxed her stance. Slowly she looked around and ticked off the members of their little group, everyone was alive for now at least. The last person she looked at was Murph, fixing her dark eyes on his and asking the unspeakable question:
Mac squeeze off his shot and missed completely. There was no time to bash himself for his failure because he was too busy pistol whipping another one of those freaks that leaped at him. Emily stepped up to bat with her tire iron and Jake brought it down with a crack to the head.
It wasn't till the end of the fight he had realized that Jake had been up close and personal with one of those things and was bitten.
Mac was disappointed with himself, but tried very hard not to let it show. It seemed ironic that he made himself a barrier between the three that were coming at them and Emily, but it was Emily and Jake that pulled his fat from the fire. Being saved by a girl, cause he missed. That was a first for him but he wasn't so shallow that he wouldn't give credit where credit was due.
"Thanks, Emily, for having back. You too, Jake. Hope I can return the favor sometime."
"Stupid f****** thing!"
Whack! Whack! Whack!
"I'm tired and I don't want to be bothered by any of you things ever again."
Whack! Whack! Whack!
He then became aware that Alaster was beating a dead horse and said,"Come on, man". He wrapped his arms around him tight to restrain him and pull him away.
"I think it's dead, and your slinging that crap all over the place! Now, we need to keep moving and get Jake and Emily taken care of. Its not too far away, now."
Still disappointed, he fell silent, with nothing more to say. Just wish I could've been more help.
Posted on 2010-08-26 at 01:24:08.
Edited on 2010-08-26 at 01:34:14 by Tiamat5774
Eol Fefalas Keeper of the Kazari RDI Staff Karma: 461/28 8455 Posts
Don't say zombie... Don't say zombie...
“Son of a…” Murph was a little surprised when the shrieking creature all but ignored the first blast from the combat shotgun – it staggered a little, sure, but nothing like it should have if it had been human – and despite the damage that the buckshot should have done, it kept on running straight for them with no notable slowdown to its step…
Can I say “zombie” now?
Don’t even! Zombies ain’t real… this is something… else… it’s gotta be.
The sounds from behind him and the fleeting glimpses of movement in his peripheral vision begged for Murph to turn and see what was happening with the others and help them as best he could but, since the… Zombie?… thing coming at them from the north end of Halsted had refused to drop, the mechanic couldn’t afford to let it out of his sights just yet.
Directly behind him, Amber let out a little squeal, as he led the still-charging creature with the FN’s barrel… Keep it together, baby, he thought in her direction, afraid that if he spoke the words out loud it would skew his aim… The thing was scrambling over a car, now… launching itself at them…
“God! Tom, kill it!!!”
Baddest in the valley… Cha-BOOM!!!
Murph’s breath exploded with that second blast and the last of it passed his lips as the body landed on the ground in front of him with a wet crunch… Thank God… He tried not to look at this one too closely… didn’t want to personalize it like he’d let happen with the first one…
The second one’s always easier, isn’t it? Like those whackos in the desert…
It’s never any easier.
You’re gonna want to get past that, Sarge… This is different…
His eyes tore away from the body as he turned to react to the scuffling that had broken out in the ranks behind him… One of them had gotten in… He hadn’t taken this one down fast enough to help with the other three and one of them had gotten in… Murph’s vision squared on the tightly packed group just in time to the end results of Amber’s swing with the crowbar…
…These ain’t people, Murphy…
“It bit him! Oh my god, is he... is he going to turn?”
…Even those so-called insurgents in the sandbox were people…
Murph tried to shake off what was coming next even before it happened. He blinked at Jake as the kid got to his feet and couldn’t help but notice the trickle of blood running from the bite mark on the soccer player’s throat…
…When those people came runnin’ at you, screamin’ and hollerin’, you knew they were crazy but you at least saw some kind of soul in their eyes, didn’t you?...
“What!?” He felt Amber tense… felt all of them tense… and wanted to say something to her because he knew what she was thinking but couldn’t say anything because he was thinking it, too… all of them were… and the very surreal idea that what they were thinking might actually be true had rendered him dumb…
…these things ain’t got no souls in their eyes, Sergeant…
He looked at Amber… then towards the thing she had clobbered with the crowbar… reached out a hand, without realizing he was doing it, to close over hers as it clenched tight around the weapon… and blinked at it once before an obviously shellshocked Alaster took to the thing with a bat…
…these things ain’t human…
“Stupid f****** thing,” he heard Alaster cry from somewhere far away and frighteningly close all at once, as he watched the man bludgeon the fallen creature into a pulp, “I'm tired and I don't want to be bothered by any of you things ever again.”
…Something told Murph he should stop the kid but something bigger told him to just let it go and wouldn’t let him move to do a damn thing to stop the brutality. “Don’t say it,” he muttered under his breath as he closed his eyes and tried to will himself not to think what he was thinking…
…These things are zombies…
His eyelids opened again and he found himself looking into Amber’s dark, frightened, and questioning pools… and he could hear the question she was begging him to answer… What now?
You know what happens when someone gets bitten in a zombie movie, Murph… you’ve seen enough to know… You know what you gotta do…
“This ain’t a zombie movie,” Murph murmured, offering a scant shake of his head before he let go of Amber’s gaze and turned his own to Jake…
…You know what you gotta do…
…If this was a zombie movie, yes, Murph would’ve known that the best thing right now would be to put Jake down before anything in that bite went any further through the man’s blood and sucked his soul out… and he couldn’t believe that he was thinking that very thing now… it was all he could do to keep from lifting the shotgun as he let go of Amber’s hand and took a few steps towards Jake, eyes hardly ticking away from the bloody bite mark…
“You alright, Hammo?” Murph asked, his hazel eyes flitting from the bite, to the Molotov clutched in one of Jake’s hand, and then to the soccer player’s eyes. “That thing get you too bad?
Why don’t ya lemme… take a look at that…”
((Regardless of answer… oh… taking a few minor liberties with actions here for RP effect only… and am assuming of course that the Molotov is still in tact. If not I’ll edit…))
Murph closed the remaining distance between them and, in the same motion, reached to pluck the Molotov from Jake’s hand. “This might sting a little,” he grimaced, hoping Jake was still too dazed from the tackle to resist, “but you don’t want that infecting.” Almost as quick as he said it, the mechanic had Jake’s head craned back, the wick from the Molotov clenched between his teeth, and was pouring a healthy slosh of the Jack Daniel’s on the other man’s neck wound. He released his hold on Jake, then, and stepped back a few paces to take himself out of the man’s personal space as quickly as he had encroached on it.
He took a slug of the whiskey for himself, then, as he kept an almost apologetic eye on Jake Hammo’s face for another moment. “That’ll do for now,” Murph said after a moment, “but we’re gonna want to look at it closer when we get some place a little safer.”
I ain’t killin’ him… Not yet…
He held the bottle up, then, and his eyes skimmed the other faces in the group. “Anyone else?”
((If any one else wants a drink, Murph will pass the bottle… if not, he’ll put the wick back in and hand it back to Jake.))
“All right, people,” he muttered after a moment, “We’re burning daylight… let’s move…Jake… stay close to me, bud…”
If you do “turn,” I want you close, he thought grimly as he cast an almost doleful look at Amber before trudging on to the east…
Posted on 2010-08-26 at 01:49:17.
Edited on 2010-08-26 at 16:27:13 by Eol Fefalas
All Jake could think about was how he had hit that thing over the head and he was suddenly on the ground with one of those things tearing at his neck.
He could only watch as Alaster and Mac beat the crap out of that thing that bit him and ignore the pain. It felt like someone slit his throat with a dagger.
'I wish it was a dagger,'Jake thought.
Then before he finally took in what had happened Murph was leaning over him, removing the Molotov from his hand and craning his head back. He Started to pour the drink into his mouth and he felt the Jack Daniel's trickle down his throat, through his chest into his stomach.
GM edit: at this point, Jake feels no ill effects aside from the pain of being bitten in the throat. If something else is ging to happen, I'll let you know, sunow. This is why I PMed you, after all!
Posted on 2010-08-26 at 02:44:29.
Edited on 2010-08-26 at 05:00:44 by t_catt11
What did you do? That thing used to be human and you... You just destroyed it. Are you going to lose all of your humanity out here? Are you going to be any better than what they are?
Alaster looked back at Jake who had just dry heaved and turned his face over on the ground. He knelt down beside him dropping the bat to the ground and lifted his face off the dirt ridden road.
"Not here man we're gonna get you somewhere safe alright." Alaster said as he half picked up Jake. "Hey murph can i get some of that for the nerves?"
Alaster took the outstretched bottle of liquor and tipped it into his mouth taking a long gulp. Then tipped some into Jakes mouth.
((assuming he's ok and allows this if not my next sentence can go either way.))
"It's alright man just to calm the nerves you're going to be fine."
If he turned could you kill him? A man whom you don't know that well but is closer to you than anyone has been in a while. Could you really shoot him if he turned knowing it was his body you were desecrating?
Alaster handed the bottle back to Murph and helped Jake to his feet grabbing the bat on his way up.
"C'mon we gotta get out of here that's four already who knows how many more are out there. And... WE can't afford another jake at the moment."
Alaster looked at the group. Even Murph looked as though he was ready to leave him at the first sign of a change.
"Don't any of you think it. I am not going to leave him behind to rot with the rest of them now get your head in gear someone take his gun and if he does start to show any signs or if he starts looking weary and tired then I'll carry him if thats what it takes but im not going to take the life of a human and have it on my concience. I already killed two today. Let's go.
Posted on 2010-08-26 at 04:22:56.
Edited on 2010-08-26 at 10:48:39 by malek04
“This ain’t a zombie movie,” Murph murmured, offering a scant shake of his head before he let go of Amber’s gaze, but not her hand. He had saved her life and then taken her hand in his almost as if it were the most natural thing in the world.
You sure about that Tom? You positive? Or are you just BSing us so none of us, you included, don’t freak out too badly?
She dropped her eyes to his hand over hers.
If you are… don’t stop she thought to herself and felt a familiar pang of guilt ride through her.
The infamous ‘Leaning Tower of Amber’ returns.
Amber was the middle child of Louisa and George Klein. All her life she had heard the story of how her parents had gotten together. George had been a grade ahead of Louisa in High School and the two had become ‘High School Sweethearts.’ After George graduated he decided not to go to the college he had worked so hard to get accepted into, but instead had worked two, sometimes three, jobs in order to save up money. A year later Louisa graduated and the two eloped and ran off to the other side of the city to begin a life together, a life far from the abusive household Louisa had grown up in. He had swept her off her feet and carried her into the sunset… Amber’s mother had never had to work or worry over bills, she raised their three children and left anything difficult up to George who like a great stone pillar withstood it all with patience and never even considered raising a hand to his family. A fairy tale.
Amber grew up wanting, expecting, a prince charming to whisk her off into her own fairy tale. So she leaned on the men that had gone through her life, expecting them to hold her up. With Daniel it had begun with ‘I really don’t feel safe going out to my car here at 3am… will you walk me?’ which progressed quickly to ‘My lease is up and I’m short on cash… could I stay here awhile?’ and then finally ended like the others with a crash when she showed him the little plastic strip with the blue cross on it. Daniel hadn’t held her up, and she had taken a violent emotional fall. Six months after that little blue cross became the center of her existence, and no prince charming had shown up to take care of them; she began to build a foundation to stabilize herself. No more leaning… Joshua had to lean on her now, and if she was leaning without a solid support to hold her up they would both go to the ground like dominos.
But now… she didn’t know where Joshua was, or even if he was alive, things that were once human were attacking them, a young man stood in front of her with a bite mark on his neck that no one knew the effect of, dead bodies lay strewn about the ground and the scent of gunpowder and terror lingered in the air… now the foundation had slid out and she was leaning again.
Murph let go of her hand then and started to step away from her. Her heart lurched and she had to clutch the crowbar a bit tighter so she didn’t reach out in her desperation to grab for him.
He isn’t yours. He saved your life perhaps… but he’s also saved the lives of these others and still has to do so. Stand on your own two legs Amber… she tried to remind herself as he began to administer whiskey to the wound as a makeshift ‘sanitization’ of the wound.
After administering some of that sanitation down his own throat Murph spoke up again. “That’ll do for now, but we’re gonna want to look at it closer when we get some place a little safer.”
“There will be plenty of supplies at the drugstore… I took a year and a half of nursing classes… we’ll get you fixed up there.” Amber offered in a dry voice.
Unless of course you have a virus… God please don’t let him have something…
He held the bottle up, then, and his eyes skimmed the other faces in the group. “Anyone else?”
Amber shook her head, there would be no way she could keep on her own two feet if she started drinking now. Alaster, of course, took a good long swig though.
“All right, people,” Murph muttered after a moment, “We’re burning daylight… let’s move…Jake… stay close to me, bud…”
Before heading east Murph’s eyes caught hers again, slowly she swallowed as she read them and gave him the slightest nod to show she understood, then lowered her gaze almost guiltily.
Leaning Tower of Amber…
I need to right now…
"C'mon we gotta get out of here that's four already who knows how many more are out there. And... WE can't afford another Jake at the moment." Alaster agreed with Murph while Amber sent out a sympathetic mental note to the Tin Man as she tried to move her rusty joints again.
"Don't any of you think it. I am not going to leave him behind to rot with the rest of them now get your head in gear someone take his gun and if he does start to show any signs or if he starts looking weary and tired then I'll carry him if that’s what it takes but I’m not going to take the life of a human and have it on my conscience. I already killed two today. Let's go.” The drunk continued after glancing at them all.
Leave him behind? Amber’s eyes ticked to Jake and Murph who had begun to take the lead of this little band. The look Murph had sent her echoed through her mind.
No… we aren’t leaving anyone behind, not alive at least. She thought soberly.
Say something Amber… stand on your own two feet, don’t let Tom be the sole pillar for this group… stop leaning
As she creaked away from the scene of their last encounter and towards whatever else might lay in their path between here and their first goal she looked over at Alaster.
“No one said anything about leaving him. We are going. To the drugstore. Get some penicillin for Emily and some bandages for Jake… some food and supplies for the rest of us.” She said with as much confidence as she could muster.
Posted on 2010-08-26 at 16:11:30.
t_catt11 Fun is Mandatory RDI Staff Karma: 364/54 6846 Posts
October 26, 2014
Cornelia Avenue, 700 block - 12:45 PM
The concept that Jake might become one of those things - some zombie out of a horror movie - is too horrible to truly comprehend. Murph applies bourbon as a makeshift antiseptic and then puts on a brave face, but everyone is thinking the same thoughts - if it truly is a zombie outbreak, what good will a little whiskey do?
Mac calms Alaster, who has beaten the unconscious attacker to death and beyond. Everyone tries to look away from the bodies; the sobering fact is that, in death, these loook like regular people. Neighbors. Friends. Family.
However, there is really no other alternative than to press on.
"Get some penicillin for Emily and some bandages for Jake…" Amber states.
"Augmentin," Emily corrects. "I think that I may have pneumonia. Penecillin will help if it's streptococcus based, but not if it's homophilus. Augmentin will kill them both."
The girl - the youngest of all the survivors - pauses for a moment and shrugs. "I'm studying to be a doctor. These kinds of facts stick with you."
Soon, the group is past the wreckage in the intersection, and picking their way down the street. This block of Cornelia is largely emptier than the last; only one car is on its side here, with only a couple of others haphazardly scattered along the street. The entire block is deathly quiet, and the group is able to carefully pass without incident.
Soon, the group reaches the diagonal intersection where Broadway and Cornelia meet. Sharply contrasting with the last block, the devestation here is as bad as any of you have seen. Several buildings are burned, some totally destroyed by fire. A fire truck is here, but is nearly crumpled where a dump truck apparently ran into it at high speed. Bodies in various stages of decay are scattered about the entire scene.
After scanning for safety, the party turns south on Broadway. On the east (left) side of the street is a small strip mall-style building with green awnings. The first store on the corner is the Save Rite - then a check cashing store, a laundrymat, then the hardware store.
Across the street, at an angle, site Treasure Island Foods - a local neighborhood grocery store that none of you had thought about being here when you plotted your route. Perhaps fortune is shining on you now?
From the looks of things, quite a few windows have been broken out of the grocery store, but the strip mall shops themselves look to be undamaged by the chaos.
Posted on 2010-08-26 at 18:40:51.
Edited on 2010-08-31 at 20:03:26 by t_catt11