Search This Blog


October 11, 2015

The 2015 MLB Turtle-Wax Awards

[Posted by Ted H]

And now for the yearly digression of writing into the completely unrelated world of sports.


[The 2015 MLB Turtle-Wax Awards]

These are the awards you DON'T want to win.

PROGRAMMING NOTE: The following award has been retired:

The "Joe West Level Of Incompetence" Award
Awarded to the umpire who made the biggest BS call(s) of the year
[Previous winners: 2011 Jerry Meals, 2012 Sam Holbrook, 2013 Fieldin Culbreth, 2014 Joe West]

I figure with instant replay, the worst of the worst replay decisions are moot, and thus singling out the remaining blown calls seems not as fun. And even if a blown call gets upheld by instant replay, then it's more than just the umpire at fault. So, away goes another award, and I figure it's fitting that Joe West, the worst umpire who ever lived, should go out as his own award namesakes champion.

...And now onto the awards that still exist...

October 4, 2015

Race for Safe Haven - Two Bullets

[Posted by Ted H]

End of act 1....not too thrilled at how it turned out, but this was me just trying to wrap it all up, long ago losing all my momentum I had through last years day I'll probably go back and fix it, like many things I've written here...

Anyway, October means we begin our final countdown to NaNoWriMo 2015!


[Race for Save Haven - Two Bullets]

            "Holy shit, that might be them," Jason said as the sounds of an approaching truck grew louder. "Great," Laura said "Now we can get out of this dump." Williams was in back, looking over Jenny when he emerged to see what the sudden commotion was about. "They made it," he said aloud with a relieving sigh, recognizing the sound of that truck that he listened to so many times before, always as an annoyance, but this time a welcoming sound.
            "Now you kids can head to Safe Haven and possibly make it through this apocalypse," he said as Jason looked back to him and nodded. Williams then gazed up, apparently lost in thought. Jason looked at him and wondered what he was thinking about. Laura paid no heed and made for the stairs to greet the group on their return.
            "No sense in putting it off," Williams said finally. "What do you mean?" Jason asked as Williams reached for a handgun and ejected the bullets one at a time onto a table. "Your friend is very sick now, near the end. It's quite painful, I've seen it firsthand more times than my soul can bare." He picked up two individual bullets and left the rest on the table. "It would be torturous to try and move her at this point. She made a request," he said as he reinserted the two bullets into the gun.
            "You can't..." Jason started, but couldn't place any words after that.
            "Can't what? End a terminal suffering. I have no drugs to treat her with. No way of lessening the pain. All she wants is for the nightmare to end, and for her to not be able to rise again."
            "Why two bullets?"
            Williams closed his eyes. "No one should have to face death alone," he said "And I'm not that far behind her anyway. Why not now myself? I have no interest in cataloguing my own demise to this infection."
            "But before-"
            "Reality is a cruel wakeup."
            "You're a doctor, a scientist," Jason pleaded "We could use someone like you."
            "I've caused nothing but suffering since this all began," Williams said "Brandon seems to be able to live with what we did...What we did so others can survive...But my conscience can't bear the weight. Maybe it's because I'm dying, I don't know. But just like that poor girl inside, I just want it to end.
            "What do I tell the others?"
            "Tell them the truth. Tell them also to never lose hope, to not be weak like me. I've done terrible things I've rationalized away. And now that I've reached the end of my usefulness in this world, in this apocalypse, it's time I answered for my sins. I'm locking the door behind me. My last act on this earth will be of mercy, before I turn the gun around and prevent my own turning."
            Jason said nothing as Williams nodded and made for the back room where Jenny was. The door closed and the lock made a loud click sound. Jason closed his eyes and waited for the inevitable sound of a gunshot. Then another shot soon rang out, followed by the sound of a body falling to the ground like a ragdoll would, and there was silence.

September 27, 2015

Race for Safe Haven - Mostly Not About the Girl

[Posted by Ted H]

So, the climactic end battle of the 1st act of my latest attempt at a zombie epic. The part I'm posting here was written long after NaNoWriMo 2014, so the majority of my momentum was ancient history at that point. Still, compared to previous zombie novel attempts, this one looks more promising. 4 October updates stand between now and NaNoWriMo 2015; 1 to wrap up act 1, 1 to do my yearly baseball awards sham, 1 to announce my 2015 NaNoWriMo (even if it shouldn't be much of a surprise, and my Halloween update.


[Race for Safe Haven - Mostly Not About the Girl]

            Brandon and Rhett didn't speak as they reached the necessary lab and found the vials of inoculations. Brandon transferred them into a metal carrying case and slid it into a backpack to wear. Afterwards they snaked their way around the complex to where Brandon said the weapons storage was. "Gotta say," Rhett said as they approached the door "When we restored the generator, I half expected all the doors in here to unlock and open wide to let out any contained zombie." Brandon made a face. "That isn't how shit like that works," he said as he swiped the keycard and unlocked the weapons door.
            The sight inside was one to behold. Brandon laughed with relief while Rhett swore a few times with a giant grin on his face. Weapons were clearly missing, but for the most part there were plenty of guns and ammunition inside. "This is fantastic!" Brandon exclaimed as the men entered and closed the door behind them. "Load up?" Rhett asked with a smile. Brandon nodded with a smile of his own as the two went to work raiding the contents of the room.
            In the corner was a duffle bag with a rifle laying on top of it. Rhett opened it to find it filled with rifle cartridges and canned food. In the front he found a map and a set of keys. "Someone was coming back for this stuff," Rhett commented. "Makhew," Brandon said as he picked up the rifle and checked it before discarding his own "Probably not just him, but I guess shit deteriorated here too fast. Damn shame."
            "Those zombies that are already inside when we got here," Rhett said "They didn't come from outside, did they?" Brandon sighed. "Some infected person died suddenly. We made sure no one too heavily infected got ignored, but the guy must've had a heart attack or something, we'll never know. We had our inoculation formula, we just needed to contain the deadheads while we set up our exit."
            "These keys?" Rhett asked.
            "They're tagged, so they go to one of the trucks in the vehicle depot. That must have been Makhew's exit plan."
            "What's ours?"
            Brandon opened his mouth but made no sound. He never gave too much thought into it. "I guess," he finally said "We sneak out when it's dark. Figure it out from there. Make for Safe Haven."
            "On foot?" Rhett asked "Starting from the wrong end of the country?"
            "We have more than enough weapons!" Brandon said "As long as we avoid any large hoards. We'll find a car eventually. Find a group or some shit. We have the drugs that'll save lives, people will fight over us joining their groups!"
            "What about our current group?"
            "They're dead! I told you!"
            "Laura and Jason? And your boy? What about them?"
            "Williams is a dead man, he knows it too. He told me not to stress about making it back if it isn't feasible. As for the other idiots you left behind; fuck em!"
            "So...We just abandon everybody?"
            "You said it yourself, they want to ditch you. Well, now is as sure a shit a time as ever to begin ditching! We got the guns, we got the drugs, we got some food and supplies. We can make it on our own, Rhett."
            "We need a car," Rhett said plainly "We don't last ten miles outside this complex day or night without transportation. I'm making a play for the vehicles. And if the rest of my group is dead, at least I'll make sure of it."
            "Why are you making such a big deal about those assholes?"
            "They want me out, that's whatever. I just can't do the same to others though, not if I can help it. You can either help me, or try to survive alone out there."
            Brandon did not respond but instead stood with an angry look on his face. Rhett meanwhile collected handguns and ammo into a bag and slung it over his shoulder. He tracked down every shotgun shell that looked the same as the ones he was already using and loaded them up. There was spare riot gear lying around, but he deemed the stuff he took from the cop car to be sufficient enough and had no room to carry a spare set. He loaded up two assault rifles and slung them opposing to his back while he picked up a third.
            "Just tell me," Brandon finally said as he secured the duffle bag of rifle ammo "This isn't about rescuing the girl." Rhett looked to him and smiled. "Mostly not about her," he said as Brandon shook his head. "A lot of pussy out there still alive," Brandon mocked as he prepared his own weapons set "Hell, there's the one chick you left behind."
            "No thanks," Rhett said "I saw you eyeing Laura, you can have her." Brandon made a fake vomiting gesture and both men laughed. "Thanks for helping out, "Rhett said as they prepared to leave. "All alone neither of us make it," Brandon said "And your suicidal plan has a sliiiiightly better chance for success."
            "Works for me," Rhett said "Let's rock."


            The two men marched their way to the back exit, already feeling the weight of the bags they carried, not to mention the guns. They were only getting one chance to escape and couldn't afford multiple trips. "We open that door, all hell breaks loose," Rhett said as Brandon adjusted the helmet on his head that he found in the weapons storage. "Sure we can't just sneak out?" Brandon asked. "I'm too fat and you're too stupid," Rhett said as he opened the door and Brandon unloaded into any nearby zombie.
            "Take point!" Brandon shouted as Rhett stepped outside with Brandon sticking close "And remember to keep those rifles on semi-auto so you don't burn through an entire magazine in seconds without killing anything!"
            "Whatever!" Rhett called as he aimed and fired as he inched his way forward. The sun was already setting behind some buildings, sending shadows across the yard. "Stop worrying about my flank and help me carve a path!" Rhett yelled "Or we'll never get through!" Brandon paused to reload while stepping alongside.
            Rhett's rifle clipped empty and he simply tossed is aside, reaching for a ready loaded gun from his back, and began shooting again. "There's too many!" Brandon cried as he quickly tried picking off multiple zombies in one sweep but missed half his shots. "Too late to turn back!" Rhett shouted over the near deafening moans.
            The second rifle went dry on Rhett and he used it to bash a nearby zombie back before dropping it. He reached behind himself, but instead of pulling out the last rifle, he brought out his shotgun and blasted a small path. Their advance through the mass of zombies had slowed and Rhett questioned how much longer it could take to get to the garage, or if they would have much ammo remaining to even get that far. He lost track of time as all of his senses were focused on his current task of killing anything near him. The shine of the setting sun in the corner of his eye kept him going in the same direction, but he dared not look above the horde to see if they ever ended, lest he lost focus for even a moment on the ones right in his face.
            Just as Rhett thought there would be no end to the sea of zombies, he and Brandon shot their way through and emerged in a small clearing near the vehicle depot. The shooting spectacle they provided drew enough zombies away, allowing them easy access. "C'mon!" Rhett called as he smacked Brandon's shoulder, unsure if the man could hear him anymore.
            Rhett turned to the front door to see Mike and Tara emerge, guns drawn. Tara wore a look of vindication while Mike seemed like he was trying to decide if he was hallucinating. Rhett quickly slung the last rifle off of his shoulder and tossed Mike the gun. Then he quickly dug into his pocket and pulled out the keys to toss to Tara. "Look at the ID tag! Find that truck and get it out here!" Rhett yelled. Tara looked to the keys, nodded, and raced back inside.
            Brandon backed up to the line of garage doors and reloaded as Rhett and Mike joined him to cover. "Which of these doors?" Rhett asked. "No idea!" Brandon said without turning as he kept firing into the crowd. It was an interminable wait as the three men fired at the crowd. "Where are the drugs?" Mike asked as Brandon took off the bag containing the container. "Shit is heavy," Brandon said as he also took the duffle bag off of him to make the rifle ammo more easily available for him and Mike. Rhett continued to shoot his shotgun before he put it back around him and switched to a couple of the handguns he'd obtained earlier, taking carefully aimed shots at the approaching zombies before tossing aside an empty gun and shooting a fresh one.
            The sound of an engine roaring to life sent a wave of excitement through Rhett. A nearby garage door was sent upward to reveal Matt with one arm pointing a gun while the other was pulling a chain for the door. Immediately after the door was up, a large truck barreled through into the horde before quickly reversing. "Move!" Mike yelled as he grabbed the inoculants bag and sprinted for the truck. Rhett was right behind him, taking pot shots as he ran.
            Brandon hastily tried to get the ammo bag back onto him as he stumbled behind everyone. A zombie reached in and grabbed him by the bag, causing him to fall over. "No! Shit!" he cried as he tried to fight the zombie off of him as more moved in. The zombie on top of him tried to fight through his flailing arms to bite him until it was suddenly shot in the head and fell over. Brandon tried to stumble up as another arm grabbed him and steadied him. "Rhett?" he asked as the man pulled him forward and towards the truck. "You...came back for me?" he asked after they climbed into the back of the truck. "What I tell you earlier?" Rhett responded "I won't ditch anyone, as long as I can help it."
            Tara drove the truck through where the horde seemed thinner as she made for the exit, plowing through a hastily made barricade in the process. She came to a stop when things were clear so Brandon could get into the front passenger seat and direct he back to the others, leaving Rhett, Mike and Matt in back. "Thank you," Mike said to Rhett as Rhett shrugged. Matt said nothing but slowly nodded. "You pulled my ass out of a fire once, so I figured..." Rhett finally said.
            They rode in silence for a while after that. The cool night air was setting in and blowing passed as the truck drove on. Matt mumbled something about the truck being loud enough to attract the dead to wherever they were heading, but no one seemed to care at this point. "Maybe we were a bit hasty," Mike said after a while "About sending you off alone. Maybe you're not as big an asshole as we first thought." Rhett said nothing, but tilted his head back to laugh.

September 20, 2015

Race for Safe Haven - Beyond FUBAR

[Posted by Ted H]

I know what NaNoWriMo will be for 2015....stay tuned...


[Race for Safe Haven - Beyond FUBAR]

            "Everyone....Everyone just keep calm!" Mike shouted with his arms raised. Through the chaos he tried to lead the group into the vehicle depot and just now had a chance to get his bearings. "This is beyond FUBAR, Tara said as Mike attempted to account for everyone. Matt was pushing a crate into the entrance. "What happened to Steve?" Mike asked. Matt didn't bother answering. Tara shook her head.
            "We can't leave him," Mike said as he made for the door. "No!" Tara cried out "He was bit, or he thought he was. He held those things off enough for us to duck in here." Mike wore a distressed look as he sighed. "What about Brandon and Rhett?" he asked. "They made it," Matt answered "They got the generator running and made a bee line for the labs. I saw them enter while you two were firing at the last few zombies."
            "Okay," Mike said as he paced "They made it, so they'll get the drugs. All we really need to do now is figure a way out of this."
            "How?" Matt asked "Any vehicle in here has no keys. None of us know how to hotwire."
            "They'll come back for us," Mike said confidently.
            "Why would they?" Matt asked, a grim expression on his face "Brandon was here to pick up the drugs and Rhett was told time and again by the most of us that once we were done in Albany, he would be out of the group. There is no incentive for either of them to risk their necks for us."
            "They'll come back," Tara said, eyeing Mike who stopped pacing and stared off into space "Rhett won't leave us, not after everything we've been through so far."
            "Well I'm glad you think so," Matt said sarcastically "And you think Brandon will also be a hero because...?"
            "He's too scared to go off on his own. His little doctor buddy won't last much longer. Guy like him wants as many people around him as possible."
            "Even if that's true," Matt said as he folded his arms and leans against a wall "Even if they think we weren't all slaughtered and they indeed feel the urge to save us...What rational person would want to deal with the small army of the dead out there? There were four of us and we were overwhelmed almost immediately. What makes you think the two of them could possibly make it through to us and have a way to get us all out alive?"
            "They'll find a way...They have to..." Tara said as Matt ignored her and walked away from the door. The vehicles inside varied in style and were lined up neatly, each facing a garage door to the outside. "Maybe one of these trucks have keys inside," Matt said as he approached the first one "Gonna start hoping maybe the whole 'keys under the visor' cliché plays out." Tara ignored him as she looked to Mike, who was still only blindly looking off into space.
            "They have to..." she repeated as she walked to a nearby office. The door was locked but the window on it was easy enough to break through to get the latch. She still wanted to believe the others would come back for them, but just in case, perhaps the vehicle keys would be stored inside this office.

September 13, 2015

Race for Safe Haven - Labs pt3

[Posted by Ted H]

Ya know what The Walking Dead needed more of? Actual zombie action where the protagonists were in danger against zombies, and not just against other fucking humans...


[Race for Safe Haven - Labs pt3]

            They returned to the lab door where the panel was no longer flashing red. Brandon pressed a few buttons and the metal door unlocked and slid open. A potent smell of death washed out and caused Rhett to retreat a few steps. "Christ," he said as he put a hand to his face "What the hell happened in there?" Brandon made a face, but marched forth. "Let's not linger," Brandon said as he cut a path through the lab, the majority of it covered in plastic covers, all stained red with blood.
            "What went on in here?" Rhett asked. "They attempted a cure," Brandon said as they reached the opposite end of the lab. Brandon paused before opening the door. "Listen," he said "We gotta cross an in-between area before we hit the other lab...If you thought the smell here was bad...just try to ignore what you see."  Rhett was taken aback. "I've been watching dead people get up and try to eat me all day. How much more disturbing could this next room be?" Brandon sighed and opened the door.
            The smell of death was more pungent when they stepped out of the lab. Rhett threw his hand over his mouth an tried to breath as little as possible as he walked. The lights were dimmed and at first Rhett couldn't place what the large piles to the sides of the room were. "Are you shitting me?" he asked as he began to notice the limbs and pale faces of the bodies packed in the room like sardines.
            "This really feels like the end, right?" Brandon said as he tried to avoid looking at the bodies "All these people, dead...and it's only a tiny fraction of the overall carnage." Rhett ignored him as he looked closer at some of the bodies. "You're...a little morbid, aren't you?" Brandon commented. "None of these people were zombies," Rhett said. "How would you even know?" Brandon said as he made his way through for the other lab.
            "They're all executed the same way," Rhett said "Something poked through their ear and into their brain. These people were killed before they turned." Rhett looked more at some of the bodies to see various incisions and injuries. "You wouldn't understand," Brandon said. "Try me," Rhett said as he folded his arms and faced Brandon.
            "What we did here..." Brandon began as he struggled for the words "We were trying to save the world."
            "A lot of bodies here suggest otherwise," Rhett quipped.
            "They were already doomed. Infected, no cure ready. They died knowing they were serving a greater purpose."
            "You didn't even come up with anything!"
            "Our job wasn't to do that."
            "Earlier, Williams said-"
            "Williams sugarcoated it. Our job here was to research the infected. See if we could study how it was spreading. You couldn't imagine the time crunch we were under, the world already falling apart. We had to forgo certain procedures to expedite the results needed."
            "Ethics too?"
            "Whatever it took."
            "So you lied about this purpose so foolish people would flock to you to be experimented on."
            "Just the infected ones. The healthy we ushered to Safe Haven."
            "What about healthy people with infected family?"
            "I don't know. There were so many."
            "Don't fucking lie to me Brandon!" Rhett screamed, his arms now at his sides with his fist balled up.
            "How many? Our morgue is overflowing with bodies! This hallway is just where the scientists began dumping corpses to save time!"
            "How many people did you kill for this inoculant?"
            "I didn't kill anyone."
            "I wasn't part of the science team. My job was to keep the infected people contained and to usher as many to the lab as the scientists needed."
            "On par with a train conductor to Auschuwitz."
            "I'm sorry, the fact that you alive right now, able to not get sick just by breathing, is that because of the efforts here? Because men like me were willing to do the things needed to get the research needed to make this miracle concoction?"
            "Too high a price," Rhett said "How many people died for this research?"
            "All over the world? To get the necessary data? It would keep you up at night."
            "And you're okay with the blood that's on your hands?"
            "They were dead either way. They died so some of us won't have to. So humanity can survive this."

September 6, 2015

Race for Safe Haven - Labs pt2

[Posted by Ted H]

Not many updates to go until November. Anyone else excited?


[Race for Safe Haven - Labs pt2]

            "I thought this place would've been zombie central?" Tara said as Brandon impatiently paced around the room, waiting for the spontaneous cigarette break to end. "It was," he said after a moment "I was hoping at least a few of the Guard people successfully cleared it out. They were trying to contain it when Williams and I fled. It didn't look good at the time but maybe they were successful."
            "Then where are they?" Tara asked. Brandon shrugged. "Maybe in one of the labs," he suggested. "You aren't the National Guard," Steve said suddenly "And it's obvious you aren't a scientist. So who the hell were you and why were you even here originally?" Everyone but Mike looked to Brandon for an answer. "Let's not worry about that right now," Mike said as he flicked his spent cigarette away. "I want to know," Steve said.
            "It's not important," Mike quickly responded "All I care about is that he knows where the inoculations are." Steve made a face as everyone gathered near the other door. Brandon opened it and reeled at the smell that hit him. "Holy crap," he said as he coughed and put a hand to his face. He slowly made his way into the hall as everyone followed. The hall was lined with blood and dead bodies. A battle had taken place with bullet holes and limbs everywhere. All the bodies had bullet holes in their heads.
            "Jesus," Brandon said as he looked to each corpse as he made his way down the hall. "These things were inside?" Rhett asked. "Yeah," Brandon responded "They tore through before we realized what was happening. Williams and I grabbed what we could and ran when we could."Rhett looked about at the blood and bodies, half expecting one to get up and attack. "How'd they get in?" he asked "The front entryway was practically pristine when we entered."
            "So?" Brandon asked, trying to ignore him. "So," Rhett said "In case you didn't notice, these things make a huge ass mess, especially when they're in a group. There wasn't even a bloody footprint back there. And not a single one wandered off down a different hallway?" Brandon motioned towards Mike, who turned to Rhett and said "Not important. At least right now it isn't."
            Rhett made an obscene gesture as Brandon caught sight of a familiar body and walked over to it. Sitting against a wall near a pile of bodies was a man. His head was down and a handgun was in hand after being used against himself. The other arm had bites all over. "Damn, Makhew," Brandon said as he began searching the body for something. He took the handgun but couldn't find any other ammo. "Friend of yours?" Mike asked.
            "Here we go," Brandon said as he pulled out a keycard and held it up. "He always had this on him," he said. "And what is it?" Mike asked. "The end of hallway number three is a weapons stock," Brandon said "The only way to access it is this card. I guarantee you Makhew here never had a chance to get inside and load up, meaning no one has had a chance to raid the guns."
            "That...actually sounds promising," Rhett said. "After we get the drugs," Mike said, ushering Brandon to get up and continue on. "Really?" Tara asked "Later?" Mike sighed. "The weapons room is on the ass end of this complex," Brandon said "The quickest way there now is through the main lab. Might as well get the inoculations first, then hit up guns on the way out."
            "Besides," Mike assured "We haven't run into trouble yet. Best to get what we came for before embarking on any side quests." The group pushed their way down to the end of the hallway where a large door stood; the entrance to the lab. The door had no handle and the panel next to it was flashing red.
            "Brandon?" Mike asked as Brandon was already looking over the panel. "That would be the main lab," Brandon muttered as he slapped buttons on the panel and turned back to Mike. "So auxiliary power is keeping the building lit up, but main power is needed to work the lab doors. Not just this one but the one we're trying to get into as well. Emergency protocol bull shit."
            "...And the generator you mentioned before?," Rhett asked. "Right, there's a generator that should suffice," Brandon quickly said "But the generator shack isn't inside the complex, and the fence protecting it from the outside was torn down in effort to fortify the fence for the main complex."
            "Christ almighty," Steve said with an annoyed look. "It won't be that bad," Brandon assured "It's not like the dead are just waiting for up back there. This isn't a video game." Everyone looked to Mike, but all he could do was shrug. "Not like we have a choice," he said as he nodded to Brandon, "Lead the way."
            Brandon took them down a side hallway leading to a metal door. "Okay, get ready," he said as he unlocked the door and slowly pulled it open. Rhett stood ready with his shotgun as the outside was slowly revealed, but nothing was waiting on the other side. "Clear," he said as he stepped outside, followed by Tara and Steve. Brandon crept out next with Matt and Mike shut the door behind him as he followed.
            "Which way?" Tara asked as Brandon wordlessly walked forward, constantly checking around for any threats. The back area was mostly wide open pavement. The perimeter of the yard was lined by the tattered remains of a fence hastily torn down. Brandon was making a straight line for a wooden shack on the far side. A large building to the far right of the yard caught Mike's attention. "What's in there?" he asked. "Vehicle depot," Brandon responded.
            "We could use a ride out," Steve said. "The keys aren't in there," Brandon responded "They moved the keys inside the main complex when we tore down the fence. I don't know where they are. If I did, Williams and I would have driven out of here...and a lot more people would have survived..."
            "Heads up," Steve said as he pointed to a zombie that spotted them. "Pick it up," Mike said as they ran to the shack, a lone moan behind them soon joined by others. "Do they lock that shack?" Tara asked as they approached. "Let's hope not," Brandon said as he reached the door and tried the knob. "Shit," he said as he fruitlessly tried turning, but the locked door would not budge. "Out of the way!" Steve yelled as he rushed by and threw his full weight into the wood door.
            Inside was a large metal box that extended passed the ceiling with a small panel on the side with a flashing screen. "I just gotta fire it up," Brandon said "Cover me." Mike ushered everyone inside the shack. "How fast can you work?" Rhett asked. "Shouldn't take long," Brandon said while biting his lip "Just shut up and leave me alone." Rhett looked back to Mike, who was nervously watching the dead outside as they slowly made their approach. "They know," he mumbled to Matt who was standing next to him "They all know we're here."
            Steve had wandered to a far corner of the shack and Tara followed. "Are you okay?" she asked as Steve sat down against the wall, a stressed and miserable look on his face. He checked to see if anyone else was looking and motioned Tara closer. Tara sat down next to him and Steve turned his left arm to reveal his bloodied sleeve. "Oh no," Tara said as she covered her mouth and looked to Steve as he pulled his sleeve up to reveal the injury. "Those things were clawing at us when we were trying to escape the car," he said as he covered the injury back up "I wasn't sure if it's infected or not. I'm trying to wait and see."
            "How do you feel?" Tara asked. Steve shrugged. "I don't know," he said "I feel a bit warm, but maybe it's all in my head. Maybe I got only a little infected, but the drug can keep me alive. I don't know, and it's killing me not knowing." Tara put a hand on Steve's shoulder. "We gotta move!" Mike said. "Almost there!" Brandon shouted "Just shoot them!"
            "We start shooting, we'll attract the rest," Mike said.
            "I start this generator, every corpse within a mile will come anyway. Just shoot them!"
            Mike bit his lip and contemplated for a moment with his gun ready. Rhett looked to him and Brandon waiting for one of them to make a move. "Keep him safe," Mike said as he yelled for Tara and Steve to join him. "What are you doing?" Rhett asked. "Just keep him alive. We'll meet up back at the building," Mike said as he jumped out and started shooting. "Oh fuck!" Steve yelled as he ran after him.
            Tara and Matt hesitated a moment. "Go," Rhett said as they looked to him "We'll be right behind you. Matt nodded and left while Tara lingered a moment longer. "Don't do anything stupid," she said and was off. "Feel free to move your ass!" Rhett yelled at Brandon. "You're not helping," he responded.
            Rhett heard gunshots and turned to try and look outside. The rest of the group had successfully diverted the dead away from the shack. "They better not be leading those things back the way we came," Brandon complained. "Just shut up and work," Rhett snapped "How long does it even take?"
            "This is a fucking process," Brandon yelled. "Well you suck at it!" Rhett yelled back, impatiently waiting to join the others. The shooting outside continued as the chorus of moans approaching only seemed to increase. "There," Brandon announced "That should do it."
            "I don't hear anything," Rhett said as he strained to hear signs of life from the generator over the moaning nearby. Three metallic clicks sounded before the generator began to power up. "Let's go," Brandon said as he jogged to the door "It's about to get really loud." The generator began to make a low buzzing sound that quickly grew louder. "How loud?" Rhett asked as Brandon pushed passed him and out the door. The buzzing grew even louder and Rhett covered his ears as he followed Brandon.
            "Holy shit!" Brandon screamed as Rhett took stock of the mob of zombies outside. "I don't hear shooting," Rhett said as Brandon broke for the complex. Most of the zombies were ganged up by the vehicle depot, but many were taking notice of the generator buzz and now the two fresh meals that ran into the open. "They gotta be in that garage!" Rhett yelled as he fired at the closest zombie.
            "We'll never make it!" Brandon shouted as he motioned Rhett to follow him "You don't even know they're there, or if they're alive! C'mon!" Rhett contemplated the wall of corpses between him and the vehicle depot, more dead constantly on the way. There was no way he could get through, and even if he did, there'd be no way out. "Fuck!" he said through his teeth as he sprinted to catch Brandon as he shot his way back to the complex.
            "They're too many!" Brandon announced as he tossed an empty magazine from his rifle and frantically searched for a new one to load. Rhett came up behind and fired a path with his shotgun. "Just shoulder passed," he said as he went forward and fired again. The dead were closing in from behind and they couldn't afford to get bogged down. "Hope that door didn't lock us out," Rhett said as he reached the complex and grabbed the handle.
            "Open the fucking door!" Brandon screamed as Rhett pulled and threw open the door, allowing Brandon to race through. He paused before entering, hearing a couple nearby gunshots. "Son of a-" he said as he grabbed the inside handle and swung it closed behind him as he entered the complex. "Lock it," Brandon said as he tried to catch his breath. "What if the others try to follow?" Rhett asked. "They're not going to follow us," Brandon said as he reached over and locked the door "They're dead. We're all that's left."
            "I heard shooting," Rhett said.
            "There is no going back!" Brandon shouted with a frightened look on his face, the sound of banging hands on the door echoing in the hallway "Let's just get to the lab and figure things out from there." Rhett paused a moment and shook his head. He wasn't stupid enough to go back outside, but he didn't like leaving everyone behind like this. "Let's go," he finally said as Brandon reached over and locked the door.

August 30, 2015

Race for Safe Haven- Labs pt1

[Posted by Ted H]

By now, I should know what my NaNoWriMo should be.........hopefully. I am scheduling this from the fuuuuuuutuuuuuuure!


[Race for Safe Haven - Labs pt1]

            "Let's get moving," Mike said as he nodded to Jason and everyone else got situated in the station wagon. Brandon started the engine as Jason pulled on the chain to raise the garage door. He drove quickly into the empty street as Jason dropped the door behind them. "This is going to be easy," Brandon said as encouragement as the drive began. Brandon sped through the streets as he recounted the path back to the shelter, Rhett looking out his window in blind hope that he'd see a certain recognizable car he remembered Chris and his family leaving in.
            No one talked as Brandon drove, opting to instead check and recheck their weapons. Nothing was left with Jason and the others, Brandon assured they were safe and that every available weapon was needed for this mission. Ammo wasn't plentiful either, another reason Brandon insisted that every gun was taken.
            The emergency shelter was several miles away in a caged off area with various warning signs posted along the way. "They allowed infected people inside," Brandon explained "That's what led to everything falling apart. At first it was a good idea, but once they lost all usefulness..." Mike was about to question what he meant when Brandon turned the wheel quickly to avoid hitting a zombie that wandered into his path. "Shit!" he said as he swerved again to avoid more. He turned a corner to reveal a large amount clustering around where the shelter was.
            "I figure they would have dispersed by now," Brandon said as he slowed down. "That's a lot of them," Steve said as he peeked over Mike's seat to look "I don't think we can just plow through that." Brandon hit the gas and sped towards the shelter. "Sure we can!" he yelled over the raging engine "We just need to have enough speed behind us!"
            "Brandon, stop!" Tara called "There has to be an easier way!"
            "The only other way is to go all the way around," Brandon said "That'll take too long and who knows what will go wrong."
            Brandon crashed into the first zombie and it harmlessly bounced off the front of the car. More zombies were taking notice though and were now clustering into the path of the station wagon. More and more were colliding with the car and being forced away, but  Brandon was losing speed as he was hitting more, and visibility was dropping from the occasional blood splatter onto the windshield. Brandon tried to turn away from the heavy section of the hoard, but they were becoming too tightly packed in the street to avoid.
            Brandon mounted the sidewalk and crashed into a building. Almost immediately, the dead overwhelmed the car. "Get us out of here!" Mike screamed as Brandon shifted into reverse and back up blind into a lamppost and sliding into another car. The car was stuck and Brandon couldn't drive out. "What now?" Tara said as Brandon opened his door and jumped out. "Out!" Mike called as he climbed out and shot at the nearest zombies.
            "Fuck," Rhett said as he opened his door, only for it to get caught on the other car Brandon drove into, making it impossible to get out on this side. Steve had already gotten out on his side and Tara was out after him before Matt toppled over the seat from the back and leapt out. Rhett frantically  shifted over to the other side as hands pounded on the front of the car and zombies began climbing in through the open front doors. A zombie appeared in the doorway Rhett was trying to get to and he shifter back and aimed his shotgun and fired.
            "Not good," Rhett said as he swatted away the reaching hands from the front and pumped the shotgun and fired at the zombies that kept appearing in his exit. The piled bodies created a temporary obstacle as he flipped himself over the seat and into the trunk area. He fired the shotgun and blew away the rear window, then quickly stuck his hand arm through to find the trunk latch. He kicked the raising door to knock back any nearby zombie before blowing a hole through the line with his shotgun and sprinting.
            "Rhett!" Tara called as Rhett ran forward in the crowd. She was standing at a corner store front waving him over as Steve and Mike fired into the hoard. Rhett caught up and they followed Brandon into the store and out the other side of the corner, funneling the dead where they entered and allowing them a distraction. Brandon led them to the narrow break in the fence he described before and they passed through, Rhett noting it was wide enough for his car to easily squeeze through.
            They entered into a large parking lot where the dead were more scattered. Ahead was another fence and behind that was a building complex. Rhett could only venture guesses as to what the building was used for before. "There's another fence!" Brandon called as they approached the next fence "I don't have the key to the gate but we can jump it!"
            "Who's 'we'?" Steve yelled as Brandon reached the fence first, jumped on and climbed the chain links. Mike reached next, but instead turned and aimed his gun as cover. Tara and Matt were on their way up as Steve reached and tried to catch his breath. By time Rhett had reached, Tara was on her way down the other side while Brandon and Matt were checking around for any incoming threats.
            "Steve, let's go," Mike ushered as zombies began to close in. "Are you bleeding?" Rhett asked as he noticed the blood trailing down Steve's arm. Instead of answering, Steve began his climb up the fence. Without even a glance at Rhett, Mike began his trip up the fence. Rhett slung his shotgun over his shoulder and grasped the chain links as he began to pull himself over.
            Rhett's feet had just hit the ground on the other side when Brandon was leading them forward again. "That fence won't last long with that many piling up on it at once," Brandon said as they moved on, causing Rhett to remember how easily a similar fence had failed a few days back. "There aren't any on this side," Tara commented, noticing the distinct lack of dead bodies. "They're around, trust me," Brandon said as they reached the front of the building.
            The front door had been kicked in an no longer closed. Brandon pushed it open with his rifle and crept inside slowly. The rest followed him, with Steve bringing up the rear and closing the door as best he could so they'd be out of sight and have a chance to catch their breath. "We can't stay long," Brandon said "We're out of sight so they can't get too agitated out there, but they'll definitely head this way once the fence is down."
            "The hell was that out there?" Steve demanded "Bailing from the car like that on us?"
            "How about you shut the hell up!" Brandon yelled dismissively.
            "Argue later," Mike said as he checked around the room. They were in a small entry area that branched into three different hallways. "Lights are on," he said looking about "This place still have power?"
            "Not exactly," Brandon said, immediately forgetting about Steve "Lights are dim. This place is running off emergency power. The lab door won't open without the main power. Lucky for you I know where the generator is." Mike nodded as he motioned Brandon to lead the way. "No time like the present," he said.
            Brandon started down the left side hallway, Mike following him, then Rhett, Matt, Tara and Steve. "How big is this dump, anyway?" Rhett asked as he looked around the sterile white walls, softly lit by the dim lights, some occasionally flickering. "Not as big as you think," Brandon said "All hallways eventually lead to the same lab in the back of the complex."
            "The it doesn't matter which route we take?" Tara asked.
            "That's not the lab we're looking for," Brandon said "The lab we need is this way."
            "How many labs are there?" Mike asked.
            "Just two. But the other one is way bigger. The second lab was just used for the juice."
            "The juice?" Mike asked.
            "The inoculation. That's what we called it while the eggheads were putting them out."
            "What happened in the main lab?" Rhett asked.
            "Let's not talk about that."
            They continued on the hallway as it began to curve, still no signs of trouble. "How much farther?" Tara asked as Brandon ignored her and walked ahead until he stopped and swore. "What's wrong?" Mike asked as he and the rest of the group caught up to see what he saw. At the end of the hall was a door shut with a large red X painted in blood over it.
            "How bad could this be?" Rhett asked as Brandon approached the door and put his ear to it. "An X on a door means the room is, uh, compromised." Rhett shrugged "We got the guns to handle it," he said confidently. Brandon bit his lip as he continued to listen. "I hear them on the other side. A lot of them."
            "So?" Rhett said. "So?" Brandon repeated back to him "This is a thick ass metal door. I'm not supposed to be able to hear shit!"
            "We don't have much of a choice," Mike said as he aimed his gun and waited for Brandon to open the door anyway."
            "No," Brandon said "There's an easier way. We cut back and go around."
            "That's not the lab?" Matt asked.
            "No, it's right by the lab though," Brandon said as he began back down the hall the way he came. About halfway down the hall, he stopped at a door and slowly opened it. "It's clear," he said after peeking inside. The group entered into a large meeting room with several  tables placed around to form a square with an open space in the middle. Chairs were neatly placed around and conference call speakers were placed at each station. At the far end of the room was a podium with a projector screen hanging on the wall behind it.
            "Cozy," Mike commented as he pulled out a chair and took a seat. "Let's not waste time," Brandon said as he crossed the room for the door on the other side. "We would have heard the moaning of those things if they had gotten inside," Mike said as he made no effort to stand up. Instead he pulled out a cigarette and lit up. Rhett proceeded to pull out a cigarette for himself.