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February 17, 2015

Race for Safe Haven - Tara

[Posted  by Ted H]

So...I've been working Sundays a lot....like, every Sunday. Turns out this seriously fucks with my updating because I forget. The time I usually set aside for updating and all the little nuances that come with it is now taken by me driving to work and dealing with people. My bad. Figure I'd update before people think that I've abandoned the site...

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[Race for Safe Haven - Tara]

            The chorus of moans outside was unrelenting. They knew who was inside and they weren't going away until they were fed. One would almost think that they could smell the living inside. Tara peeked out the window to see them outside the club, mindlessly wandering about, some keeping close to the van she had ridden in on. The previous night was stressful and restless, knowing what was outside. Today was merely bleak.
            Tara thought back to the previous day once again. They had tracked down a van and wanted to use it to drive to Albany. The engine had a problem with it but it was fine as long as it wasn't taxed. When they had driven near a horde of zombies and had to get away in a hurry, they decided to risk the engine and drive through as quickly as possible. But the area they drove through seemed to be an unending deluge of the dead, and when the engine failed, everyone bailed out as quickly as possible and scattered away.
            Tara didn't know at first if anyone else had made it out besides the few people she was with now. She met up with three others in her group and they took refuge in a nearby club. Inside was also infested with the dead, but with no way of backtracking, they scurried to a nearby staircase and barricaded themselves on the second floor. The small area they were in was deemed safe for the present, and they waited there for the night, though little sleep was done. All talking had been done in whispers for fear of the dead that were on the second floor as well.
            Along with Tara was Sarah, Eric and Jenny. Eric had bestowed himself leader until they could hook up with the rest of the group, something he maintains will still happen. Eric spent most of last night talking over a walkie talkie radio that he had. It was through that Tara learned that the rest of the group had also escaped, though they were still fractured beyond just missing the four in the club.
            "Jason and Laura are still missing," Jenny said, sitting next to Tara as she moved away from the window "Everyone else is accounted for." Tara looked to Eric, still chatting away on the radio, then back to Jenny. "I hope Jason's okay," Jenny said. "He's a smart kid," Tara assured "You know he'll find his way back. And maybe he's got Laura with him."
            "Neither one are much fighters," Jenny said pessimistically. "They'll make it," Tara said "We'll make it. We're all going to live through this."
            "You don't honestly believe that, do you?" Sarah said as she walked over, topless and fixing her brunette hair into a ponytail. "Nice to see you and Eric slept peacefully last night," Jenny said condescendingly. Sarah smirked and rolled her eyes. "We're all as good as dead," she said "Even if we make it out of this particular jam, we're still as good as dead. Might as well enjoy every quiet, and relatively private moment we can get. The dead don't have to be the only ones moaning."
            "Get dressed," Eric said as he walked over "We're leaving."
            "How?" Tara asked "The way we came is filled with zombies."
            "It probably cleared out a bit with all the commotion still happening outside at the time, but that's not the way we're going."
            "We going out a window?" Jenny asked.
            "Mike has eyes on our building," Eric said "At the other end is a fire escape. That's our way back to the street."
            "Did they find another vehicle?" Sarah asked "A van, truck, anything like that?"
            "They're not getting us," Eric said "Ammo is low for them and Jason and Laura are still MIA. Our only way out is through our own means. Then we make for the rendezvous Mike told us about before."
            "We only have just one gun," Tara said, not liking the  plan thus far.
            "And I've killed more of these things than anyone," Eric said with a smile "So just one gun is fine so long as I'm around." Eric reached and pulled out his .357 magnum and proudly held it up. "Six shots per load," Jenny reminded him "Not so great if we get swarmed."
            "Then don't get swarmed," Eric snapped back "We either leave now or we never get out of here. No use in waiting." The three girls looked to each other nervously. The dressing room they were holed up in offered little in the way of weapons. The options of waiting to die or to follow Eric and possibly dying weren't very enticing.
            "Let's go," Eric said, not even caring in anyone else wanted to weigh in. The far end of the dressing room had two doors hugging the corner. One led to a small walk-in closet, the other led to a hallway. Inside that hallway they heard the movement and moaning of at least two zombies. Eric picked up a bag and handed it to Sarah. Inside was all his spare ammo that he didn't have stuffed in his pockets. There was also a knife that Jenny took out and wielded.
            Eric unlocked and threw the door open, walking through with his gun leading the way. A lone zombie down the hall turned itself to see the living approach and immediately started for them. Eric wasted no time walking right up to it and shooting it in the head, lighting up the dark hallway and sending an earsplitting boom all around.
            Before the body even struck the ground, hungry moans rose up to respond to the gunshot, the promise of a possible meal exciting all the dead inside and outside the club. Realizing the gravity of the situation almost instantly, Eric ushered the group to hurry through the small hallway. Along the way, another zombie was making its way at them. Eric pushed it into the wall before grabbing it by the shoulders and throwing it at the opposing wall. He then dropped his boot several times on its knee, destroying its knee cap. The group rushed by before it could get back up.
            The far end of the hall had a door that was suppose to lead to the fire exit. Eric quickly kicked it open thinking it would only contain a few zombies at most. As soon as the door swung away, it revealed over a dozen waiting and hungry ghouls already riled up from the gunshot. Eric panicked and rushed a shot off, missing his target's head entirely and striking the wall on the far side of the room.
            Tara didn't need to be a scholar to understand that the four loaded bullets Eric has were woefully insufficient against the incoming hoard. "Go back!" she shouted as Eric screamed "No! We keep going!" and shot one point blank in the face. He grabbed it before it dropped and used it as a shield as he pushed them back at the doorway. "We push through. It's the only way out!" She wanted to help, but all she could manage was to stand still and watch the hopeless struggle.
            Jenny ran up to help push and tried stabbing any zombie that stuck its head through, but she couldn't generate enough force to penetrate the skull. "This is suicide," Sarah said as she slowly backed up through the hall, away from what she was sure was about to be a dam breakage of zombie. Eric, who had pushed the dead so far that he was almost into the next room, was now encountering enough resistance that he was forced back, barely able to keep the corpse he was holding in the way of the dead.
            Jenny managed to push on zombie's head down to where she could drop her knife right through the back of its skull. Before she could pull it out, reaching hands grabbed at her, forcing her to abandon the knife and retreat backwards. Now alone in his struggle, Eric placed his magnum muzzle in the mouth of a nearby zombie and pulled the trigger, hoping the new corpse would act as a roadblock to the advancing horde. Instead, it became dead weight being pushed on top of him as arms and heads began spilling through the doorway up high.
            "Fuck," Eric said to himself as he looked to Tara and Jenny nearby. "This isn't gonna work!" Jenny yelled as Eric gritted his teeth and slowly nodded. Sarah meanwhile had continued her backtrack, refusing to turn her back on the scene playing out. Suddenly, she fell backwards over something and toppled to the ground. "What?" she asked as she looked to what she was top of to see the one-kneed zombie from before.
            She screamed as she tried kicking backwards. The zombie grabbed one of her legs and held it down. "No!" she screamed as she tried pulling her leg away as the zombie held her tight and moved one hand up her leg to push her pant leg away and expose her calf. Sarah raised her other leg and began kicking at the zombie's head, but it refused to be deterred as it dropped its head onto her leg and bit in.
            Sarah's painful howl was the breaking point for Eric's endeavor, as he slipped out from his collapsing zombie barricade and ran for Sarah. Tara and Jenny were already on their way down the hall as the zombie pulled up from Sarah's leg and chewing on a mouthful of flesh. Tara jumped over the two and reached to pull Sarah away while Jenny grabbed the zombie by the ankles and pulled in the opposite direction.
            "Shoot it!" Tara yelled at Eric as he ran up, no indication of stopping. "Leave her!" he yelled as he ran by, the horde from the next room climbing into the hall over the three corpses stuck in the doorframe. "No, please!" Sarah cried out as Eric sped by, not even a glance down in her direction. "You bastard!" Jenny shouted as the combined force of her and Tara pulling finally broke the zombie's grip on Sarah. Tara kept dragging her away as Jenny stepped on and over the zombie as it tried crawling after the girls.
            Jenny helped Tara pick Sarah up and follow Eric while the dead chased. They stumbled down the hall, only slightly faster than the hoard chasing. At the end, Eric was through and looking back at them with the door in hand. "Don't close the door!" Jenny yelled as Eric hesitated but couldn't bring himself to close them out. Eric aimed and fired at the hoard as the girls ran passed him. He stepped back and closed the door.
            "Gimme something go block the door with!" he yelled as the girls dropped Sarah and grabbed a table and dragged it over. Eric braced the door while Tara and Jenny ran about grabbing any furnishing that wasn't nailed down and tossing it in front of the door. When they were finished, all they had was an awkward pile of furniture, most of which had been used to barricade the staircase entrance from before.
            Eric silently reloaded his magnum as Tara sat against the window and helplessly listened to the pounding at the door to the hallway. She turned to hear pounding begin at the door to the stairwell as well. Sarah sat on the floor sobbing as she tried to tie a torn rag from her shirt onto her leg, the blood pouring into a puddle around her. Jenny took a seat next to her and closed her eyes.
            "Shit," Eric said as he patted down all his pockets. "What is it?" Tara asked. "The radio," Eric said as he bit his lip "It must've fallen out when I was trying to push through." He turned to punch the wall, exciting the dead at both doors even more as they tried to claw their way through. Neither barricade they set up would hold forever. The doors were old, and were starting to already crack under the relentless assault the dead.
            Jenny gave off a heavy sigh and kept her eyes closed. Sarah finished the best she could with her leg and sat crying to herself in the middle of her own blood. Eric swore to himself as he paced about the room, occasionally stopping to try and tweak the barricades on both doors. Tara turned to look out the window. The world outside looked quiet, with the dead silently roaming about right under her. Tara could only wonder how much time was left before one of the doors failed, or how much longer Sarah would last, or how much longer any of them would last with no supplies.

February 1, 2015

Race for Safe Haven - Another Bar

[Posted by Ted H]

Cold, officially over.
Inventory season, officially over.

Think it'sabiout time I started writing again...

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[Race for Safe Haven - Another Bar]

            They weaved through alleys and cut across streets whenever it was clear. If anything dead saw them, it was too far behind to catch up to them and would lose them in their serpentine path through the streets. There were time where Rhett felt like they were traveling in circles, but didn't speak up about it. Either Jason knew where he was going and Rhett would speak up and possibly draw unwanted attention for nothing, or Jason didn't know where he was going and Rhett would speak up and draw unwanted attention while the group was lost. Either scenario didn't appease Rhett, so he kept his mouth shut and decided to just deal with the situation he was in.
            At one point, Rhett could tell they were going in circles. Jason seemed to be taking them passed the same point over and over. Eventually, they made it back to the same spot and Jason stopped, allowing Laura and Rhett to catch up to him. "Problem?" Rhett asked and Jason nodded. "At the other side of this block is where we need to go," he said "But the dead are everywhere. No way I can sneak us around them all."
            "Just distract them," Rhett said "Throw a bottle or something."
            "We tried that before," Jason said "Doesn't work that well. Sure, some of them will follow the sound, but too many will linger around and make it impossible for us to get through unnoticed."
            "I pied-pipered these fucks once already," Rhett said.
            "Yeah, with a gun," Laura mocked.
            "Then that's what I'll do," Rhett said as he made up his mind.
            "What are you...wait, what?" Jason said.
            "I pop a couple rounds off, run like hell, give you guys an opening."
            "That's suicide," Jason said while Laura made no effort to dissuade Rhett.
            "Where are you trying to get?" Rhett asked.
            "There's a bar on the other block," Jason said "But I don't think the front windows or doors were reinforced enough to repel a siege of the dead that you'll have tailing you. Even if we get through, there's no way you can just show up with that many on your tail."
            "I don't see a problem here," Laura said as Rhett made a face and thought. "There's gotta be a back door," he said "A shipping entrance or something. That could withstand a hoard."
            "But they'll still follow you to the bar, They'll still get in," Laura complained.
            "They're not smart enough to go around to the front," Rhett said "They follow me to a door, then that's all they'll try to follow me through."
            "I'm not even sure there is a back way in," Jason said.
            "Either that, or we wait out here all exposed and get discovered eventually anyway. You're call."
            Jason didn't like the idea, but he couldn't think of any better plans either. Reluctantly, he nodded. "Don't move until the coast is entirely clear," Rhett said as he walked out towards the open street "And make sure someone's at that back door when I arrive."
            "IF there is a back door," Jason reminded him.
            "Yeah...if."
            Rhett's instincts were at defcon 1. He hated this plan, and figured now would be as good a time as any to get the hell out of there and try to find his car again. The gas station might have cleared out by now and he might now be able to gas up in peace. He wouldn't lose sleep over abandoning Laura, and the world probably wasn't losing a valuable asset if Jason died, but he ultimately couldn't allow himself to leave those two hanging like that. And the prospect of hooking up with other survivors wasn't that bad of an idea. They were all undoubtedly heading for the same place anyway.
            "I gotta stop being nice," Rhett said to himself as he took off running for the dead. A few noticed him right away and gave off excited moans as they shuffled to meet him. Rhett then turned and started running parallel to the hoard as he tried to get the attention of as many as possible. Once at the corner of the street, he turned back, took aim at the closest approaching ghoul and pulled the trigger.
            The shot echoed like the one at the gas station as the nearest zombie crumpled to the ground, a bullet hole in its forehead. Anything nearby turned towards the sound as Rhett began sprinting down the next street. Keeping ahead of the dead behind him wasn't going to be a problem, but now everything up ahead of him was aware of him, and looking to cut him off for a meal.
            At the end of the block, Rhett looked down to see the bar in question. "Can't believe I'm trying to get into yet another fucking bar," he said to himself as he started running down the next block instead of heading for the bar. At the next corner, he would turn and try to circle to the rear of the bar. Getting there would prove to be an issue since space was becoming limited from the dead closing in on all sides.
            One zombie ventured too close in Rhett's way for comfort. He risked another shot as he raised his weapon as he ran and shot at almost point blank. The zombie kicked its head back as it fell over. If anything nearby wasn't aware of Rhett, it was after that gunshot. He cut over a sidewalk as he reached the next corner and turned.
            A row of buildings attached to each other dominated the right side of Rhett's vision as he desperately scanned the area for an alley entrance. A wall to wall mass of the dead was approaching up ahead as Rhett spotted an entrance to a side alley he was looking for. He pushed himself harder as he tried to reach the alley before the mob overtook it.
            He turned down the entrance with the dead right on his tail. He counted down the distance to where the bar would be and where the back door should be. "Oh fuck!" he yelled as he noticed a chain link fence blocking his path right where the bar's back door was. The alley way for the bar was on the opposite end of the block and already flooded with zombies.
            A couple trashcans were sitting next to the fence. Rhett jumped on to one of them and used it as a boost. He leapt and grabbed the top of the fence. The dead were catching up to him as he heard the moans, making him barely hear the sound of the fence rattling as he dug his feet into the gaps and climbed. Zombies on the other end of the alley took notice and started making their way to meet Rhett.
            As he reached one leg over the top, the mob reached the fence and started to thrash at it, attempting to go through it or just bring it down. The entire thing shook as Rhett struggled to get over and ended up falling backwards. His head bounced off the pavement as he landed, causing him to squeeze his eyes shut and grab for the back of his head. The pain drowned out all noise save for a ringing in his ears and all he wanted to do was go to sleep until the pain subsided.
            Instead, Rhett attempted to crawl away. The fence wouldn't be able to hold back the dead and more and more were piling onto it. He noticed a top corner giving way as the fence began to collapse. An attempt to get on his feet only ended with Rhett falling back onto his ass. He reached for his gun and kept it aiming as he crawled backwards away from the collapsing fence. Metal clattered to the ground as the fence stood no longer, the dead no longer hindered on their quest.
            There weren't enough bullets in the world to hold them back as Rhett stopped crawling and sat with his gun aimed. He couldn't decide which one to shoot, and even if her could he wouldn't be able to land a shot with his vision wavering. He briefly considered just putting one in his brain or at least shoot randomly to ensure these things would have to earn their meal a little more.
            Just then, the closest zombie fell over and Rhett felt hands grabbing him. His first instinct was the dead from behind had reached him, but instead of biting, Rhett felt himself get dragged along the alley as more zombies in his view were falling over. He could make out popping sounds as he was being pulled passed a figure aiming a gun and into a building. The stark contrast in lighting made it impossible for him to make out anything except the rectangle of light leading to the outside. The figure from before entered and Rhett felt himself being released. As the door was closing and Rhett's view plunged into darkness, he felt himself drifting to sleep, a confident sense of safety washing over him. Even if the people he was with now meant him ill, at least they weren't going to eat him.

January 24, 2015

Preview 2015...

[Posted by Ted H]

So I got sick.

And was doing inventories all month for work.

Those two things do not play nice.

One more inventory to go and I'm beginning to rebound from the cold, but clearly I've been slacking off on updates. But instead of slapping together something to cover this week, I decided instead to gather my thoughts...here are my planned writings for the near future...

-Race for Safe Haven. I've got plenty on standby for a while. Act 1 is almost done, just gotta get my cast to the climax and wrap it all up. Worst comes to worst, if I can't think of anything better, Act 2 will be my 2015 NaNoWriMo, but don't quote me.

-Demons Ascension. I've a couple short story ideas already in mind for James Blake. Lord knows I would love to write another novel with him, but I'd like to flesh him and his universe out some more with some short adventures before tackling another big project.

-Untitled play. Remember Our Town of the Dead? Remember how I mentioned it was originally some bull shit I scrapped together in high school and later redid it proper? Yeah, well that wasn't the only scrapped together play from high school. I've recently begun reading a book that served as the starting point to another one of those plays. Personally, I'd love to try that play again after actually reading the original story. File this project under "maybe".

-MLB Turtle Wax Awards. Yes. This will happen again. I enjoy it.

-Why Diary of the Dead sucked. I've been thinking about doing a long form essay about why this movie sucked, similar to what I did for the previous movie. Of course that would mean actually watching it. You can excuse me as to why that hasn't happened yet. Maybe I should do one for Resident Evil: Apocalypse instead...

-NaNoWriMo 2015. Duh.

January 11, 2015

Race for Safe Haven - Jason and Laura

[Posted by Ted H]

Hey, look, it's 2015. Too bad for me that the playoffs are happening and my Packers are playing. Writing isn't exactly a priority. Also, work has me doing some funky hours for the next couple weeks, so...yeah....send more writers?

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[Race for Safe Haven - Jason and Laura]

            Rhett blew through the entrance, the bell ring barely audible over the chorus of moans and Rhett's beating heart. The bell kept ringing to indicate the small mob that was after him as he ran to the back. He pushed through the stock room door and frantically searched for an exit sign. The dead were right behind him, any wrong move or dead end would spell the end.
            A glowing exit sign caught his eye, and Rhett was to it in an instant. The cries of the dead tailed him and he waited for the mob to draw near before pushing out back outside. He kept looking back at the crowd as he walked forward, unaware of the figure who was right outside the door. The sound of a girl gasping caused him to snap around, gun drawn, and cry out at the person.
            "Don't shoot me!" a blond girl cried as she threw her arms up and cowered to the ground. Rhett, unable to process the situation right away on the fly, could only shake his gun at her and go "Bwah! Christ, where did you come from?" Instead of waiting for a reply, Rhett grabbed the girl and started running. "Oh my God!" the girl yelled as the dead started pouring out of the gas station.
            They headed for a vacant lot when the girl stopped. "Not that way," she said as he pulled Rhett towards a one story building. Rhett looked to the lot to see more zombie pouring out. "Through here," she said as she ducked into the building "We can lose them in here."
            At the other side of the building, Rhett and the girl ran out a door and into a back alley. A few steps out, they could hear the moans of more zombies who discovered them. "Stick close," Rhett said as he shifted in front and aimed his gun. Three zombies blocked their advancement while the alley was filling up from the street behind. Rhett squeezed off a couple rounds, striking one in the head. "Keep up!" he yelled as he rushed forward and shouldered into a zombie, sending it tumbling back into the other, allowing Rhett and the girl to get passed.
            "Stop shooting!" the girl yelled as she struggled to keep up with Rhett. "Yeah, let's just lay down and die," Rhett barked sarcastically. "Every time you shoot, you announce where we are!" the girl yelled back. "They already know where we are!" Rhett yelled as he threw his arms up "Dumb bitch."
            "Laura! Up here!" someone yelled down from above. Rhett and the girl slowed down to see a man lower a ladder from a fire escape. Zombies from down the alley were coming, giving Rhett no real choice but up. "Go first," he said as the girl scrambled up the ladder while Rhett aimed his gun and waited. The mob of zombies behind was closing in fast and the undead up ahead were wasting little time in getting over.
            "Who the hell is that?" the man above asked.
            "Just leave him, he's going to get us killed," the girl said as she reached the top and got off the ladder.
            "What are you waiting for, man! Let's go!" the man yelled down. Rhett put the gun back into his belt and started up the ladder. By the time he reached the top, both incoming waves of zombies converged on the ladder and groped their hands up, but were unable to climb. "Well that was fun," Rhett said as he finally allowed himself to relax, the girl shook her head at him with a disgusted expression.

            The man entered through a window, the woman following. Rhett took one last look at the sea of the dead below before going through the window himself. Inside was a storage room for old furniture. The woman threw herself onto a couch and tried to catch her breath. Rhett looked to the man, scrawny with short, blond hair not unlike Chris had looked, but with darker eyes and a clean look to his face.
            The girl was also blond, but didn't seem like she was related to the man. She had lightly colored eyes and she kept her hair tied behind her head. She was out of shape as evident by her still being unable to catch her breath while she held her sides. "No more running, please," she mumbled to herself as she laid down and closed her eyes.
            "Thanks," Rhett said as the man shrugged.
            "Not gonna lie," the man replied with a nod "I was only aiming to rescue Laura, but you're welcome anyway."
            "Still...Name's Rhett."
            "Were you that asshole who brought the entire city's worth of undead down here?"
            "My fault?" Rhett asked, confused by the accusation "Your friend was being chased, too."
            "Nah man, we were sneaking. You're the one attracting everything."
            "That stupid gun!" the girl broke in, sitting back up "You shooting up the place caused them to come. They came from all directions, of course some would find me if I'm nearby! Now we're never getting out of here."
            "No," the man spoke, putting a hand up to calm the girl down "We can still escape. We just need to be quiet about it, and not shoot any guns unless we need to."
            "Alright, my bad, Jesus," Rhett said as he waved his hands out "It's not like any of us died, right?" The girl said nothing as she flashed Rhett a dirty look and laid back down.
            "Well Rhett," the man said "It's not like we can change what happened. Just, you know, be more careful."
            "Right..."
            "Anyway, I'm Jason. And over there is Laura.
            "Where were you guys headed?"
            "We're looking for a car, but neither of us can hotwire or anything like that. I found keys on a dead body and went looking for the car it went to."
            "You found keys on a corpse, and what, assumed the vehicle they went to was nearby?"
            "You know how when you hit the lock button on the remote keychain and it makes the car honk briefly? I was looking for that."
            "........And she bitched me out for shooting a zombie."
            "That's different."
            "Causing a horn to honk won't attract an unwanted crowd?"
            "It's a calculated risk."
            "It's just as dumb as what I did. Dumber actually."
            "Well what was your master plan?"
            "Gas."
            "That was my job," Laura said from the couch.
            "For a car you don't have?" Rhett asked.
            "Do you have a car?" Jason asked.
            "Yeah," Rhett said "Parked it to get gas. How did you not hear me driving?"
            "The last thing on my mind was to listen for a car when I'm too busy looking for another car."
            "How the hell did you two survive this long alone?"
            "We didn't," Laura said, making another dirty face towards Rhett.
            "What she means is we're not alone," Jason said "We're part of a larger group."
            "And where is the rest of this group?"
            "Scattered. Laura and I are trying to get to a rendezvous to meet up with them again. We figured having a car with us would help us all get out of the city faster."
            "So what are we waiting around here for?"
            "We can't go back empty handed."
            "Is...is that a rule or something?"
            "No, but..." Jason hesitated "We're in a bad way. The group is on the brink and I figure if we don't have something useful on our side, we won't last another day."
            "This is stupid," Rhett said as he made for the exit "You have a chance to meet up with more survivors, and you're passing it up to go car hunting with an idiot."
            "Hey!" Laura yelled.
            "How far is this rendezvous?" Rhett asked.
            "A bit to the northeast," Jason responded.
            "We find your group, then we deal with getting my car back," Rhett said as he reached a door, slowly opened it and checked outside. He pulled out his handgun and nodded that the coast was clear. "Any trouble on your way up here?" Rhett asked. Jason shook his head. "I didn't exactly look around," Jason said "The front is unlocked and I'm pretty sure nothing saw me sneak in. They were too distracted by the gunshot."
            "Good enough for me," Rhett mumbled. "Just stop that," Laura quipped "We did just fine before you riled up all the dead. We don't need you saving the day." Jason put his hand up to Laura again and asked her to relax. "Can we fight later?" he pleaded as he looked to Rhett's gun. "How many bullets are in that thing, anyway?" he asked. Rhett shrugged. "Let's hope a lot," he said "What about you two? What weapons are you rocking?"
            Jason shrugged as Laura pulled out a knife. "I'll fucking cut anything that gets near me!" she announced proudly. "You're both dead without me," Rhett said "Stick close and don't say anything."
            "Asshole," Laura said under her breath as the three made their way down. The rest of the building was empty as they found their way to the front. Outside was mostly clear with a sporadic zombie still making its way in the direction of where Rhett was shooting before. "They're literally on a one track mind," Rhett observed as he watched from a hidden position.
            "You know the way to that rendezvous?" Rhett asked Jason, who nodded. "Alright, they're not really paying attention, but stay low and stay quiet," he said "Jason, take the lead. Laura next and I'll cover from behind." Jordan nodded. "You're putting the one person here without a weapon in front?" Laura asked, brandishing her knife again.
            "If you try and stab a zombie," Rhett warned "I promise you I'll do absolutely nothing to stop it from straight up murdering you. You stay between me and Jason and you don't try a fucking thing. Got me?" Laura huffed and stared at Rhett for a moment. Jason sighed and waited. "I say we ditch this fucker now, Jason," she said as she put her knife away and folded her arms. "We're not doing that," Jason said as he looked to Rhett "We ready?" Rhett nodded, and Jason was off. Laura waited a moment before following, then Rhett brought up the rear with his weapon ready.

December 28, 2014

Race for Safe Haven - Gas Station Adventure

[Posted by Ted H]

Christmas season has finally passed, meaning I'm allowed to have a life that isn't entirely work! Lucky me! Maybe I'll get some writing done if it isn't too much trouble...

*ring! ring!*
Hello?......uh, sure, I guess I can totally come in to work on my day off because other people don't want to show up and no one else wants to come in...

What was I saying?

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[Race for Safe Haven - Gas Station Adventure]

           Rhett drove through town to scenes of abandoned cars and building and the dead roaming everywhere. The radio played nothing but static as Rhett scoured the airwaves in search of the broadcast Jake had told him about. He scolded himself for not getting the station from his friend while he could. This whole mission he and Jake were on would weigh a lot less on him if he knew that the major shelter in California was still standing. He badly wanted to dismiss the notion in his head that there was no safe place anywhere, and he and Jake were looking in vain.
            The easiest way into the city was via the highway, but every entrance was gridlocked with abandoned vehicles and even more of the dead. Some even had road blocks set up in an apparent effort to keep the dead away. Eventually, Rhett grew tired of having to back out of onramps and settled for taking the back roads to get into Syracuse.
            The neighborhood scenes on the way to the city were appalling. Fires had been burning unchecked in some houses, bodies were littered all over lawns, mostly devoured, in some cases only a pile of bones. Dismembered corpses were crawling and dragging themselves into the street at the sight of Rhett's approaching red SUV.
            At the outskirts of the city was a shopping mall, once billed as the Mecca of Upstate New York shopping, now a hollow shell, part of it blown down from an unknown explosion, the rest sinking into the unstable ground beneath. Rhett wondered as he passed if the zombie apocalypse was the only thing going on, or if only a few weeks abandonment really could spell the doom for some modern amenities. He altered his way into the city various times because of the police barricades near the mall.
            Rhett's dashboard indicated that he was running low on gas. He had enough to get to the shelter location, but not much after that, and Rhett had a feeling he might need to drive beyond the dome. He detoured his route in search of a gas station. "I don't know this fucking part of town," he mumbled to himself as he searched, going slow enough to get a good look down each intersection but fast enough to not let any wandering dead reach his car.
            "Finally," he said as he stopped short at a crossing and turned left down a street. He felt lucky that everything near the station was quiet. "Too quiet," he said with a smirk as he stopped by a pump and got out, tossing his hat next to the shotgun. He took a deep breath and threw the gas mask over his face. His vision was slightly distorted, but everything was otherwise fine. The lights on the pump were active, meaning the station was working off an independent generator. He grabbed a hose and tried to pump gas, but nothing came out.
            "Credit or pre pay inside" flashed on the screen as Rhett swore and reached for his wallet, instinct being the only reason he had it on him anyway. "Where the hell..." he trailed off as he searched for his credit card before he stopped and slapped himself in the head. "Fucking bar," he said as he pushed his wallet back into his pants.
            He looked into the gas station and looked for movement inside. Merchandise and sale advertising posters covered most of the view. He shrugged and reached into his belt and retrieved his handgun. If there was anything inside, ten bullets were more than enough to handle things. He wanted his hands free, so he left the shotgun behind. He wasn't planning to take long anyway. The entrance was automated, the doors opened before him as he approached to reveal nothing inside waiting for him, at least not in the open.
            As he entered, a bell rung above the door and Rhett readied himself. He checked around quickly and saw nothing move; the place was empty. He jumped behind the register and stopped at the sight of the cigarettes and lighters. Rhett had quit a few years ago, but now decided that cancer was a preferable demise to whatever the apocalypse had in store. He grabbed a couple packs and a disposable lighter. He had packed his old lighter, but more fire was never a bad idea.
            "Now then," Rhett said as he turned his attention to the cash register. Usually when he paid for gas in cash, the clerk would type something into the register and magically, to Rhett, gas would become pumpable. "Maybe there's a code or something...Shit, what pump number was I?...Fuck it," Rhett said as he wandered back outside in search of a zombie. People usually die with their wallets, and his plan now was to use someone else's credit card.
            To Rhett's dismay when he stepped out, a fairly large hoard had followed him on his trip for gas and had now caught up. His initial instinct was to get to his car and drive off, but the gas issue was still unresolved. This might be his last good chance for gas. He made a break for the car; he needed his shotgun. In the rush for the car though, and because of his limited vision from the gas mask, he failed to see a zombie step out from behind the car. Just as he was about to enter the car, it reached out and grabbed his mask, causing Rhett to recoil back.
            The mask pulled off of Rhett as he frantically raised his gun and shot the zombie right in the middle of its forehead. The shot echoed through the area. anything that wasn't aware of his presence would now give him their full attention. He turned back to see more zombies had closed the gap to him and he knew he didn't have any time to get into his car for the shotgun. He had to lead them away first. He took off back for the station. There was no room to go elsewhere and Rhett hoped he could lose them through the back and circle around for the shotgun.

December 21, 2014

Race for Safe Haven - Time to Go

[Posted by Ted H]

[Race for Safe Haven - Time to Go]

            A third week had passed,  and one morning when Rhett woke up, he noticed there was no power in the house. He immediately dialed Jake while walking through the house, trying every switch before heading into the garage where the fuse box was. "Hel...hello?" Jake answered, trying to shrug off sleep. "Dude, I have no power," Rhett said as he opened the fuse box and started flipping every switch.
            "Fascinating," Jake said, completely uninterested "Can I go back to sleep now?" Jake had no longer been as interested in conversing over the last few days. Rhett figured it was fatigue of the situation finally setting in, but he also realized that Jake had no longer been mentioning Austin, and was quick to change subjects whenever Rhett inquired about the man's brother.
            "Do you have power?" Rhett asked as he gave up on the box and made his way back into the house. "Is this really important?" Jake asked.
            "Yes," Rhett replied "Because if it's just me, then whatever. But if you don't have power either, then the entire east coast grid is down, meaning this situation is officially FUBAR."
            "FUBAR as in, what, help is officially never coming?"
            "Yeah. We officially need to consider one of those shelters or even that place in California."
            "Shit," Jake said as Rhett heard the sounds of him getting out of bed. After a moment Jake spoke again. "I got nothing over here."
            "How are you on supplies?"
            "Weight watchers snack chip...things, and my sword. It's all I need. You?"
            "I've been stretching a box of cereal the last few days. I think it's time to consider seeking help."
            "Yeah, so I'll see you here?"
            "Maybe. What if the Rochester shelter isn't around anymore?"
            "What if the Syracuse one isn't either?"
            Rhett thought about it a moment. He could tell Jake already knew what he was about to suggest, because he could tell Jake had been chomping at the bit to get out and run crazy in the apocalypse. "Reconnaissance?" Rhett suggested.
            "Fuck! Yes!" Jake shouted.
            "We check out each other's shelter situation and report to each other. We'll figure our next move after."
            "Bout damn time!" Jake said as Rhett heard him rushing about on the other line.
            "Hey, don't do anything stupid," Rhett warned.
            "Don't worry, man," Jake assured "I'll save the real fun for when we meet up. Do more damage that way."
            "Know where you're headed?"
            "TV said something about the college nearby. You?"
            "Carrier Dome."
            "Aw, you're finally going to an SU game?"
            "Yeah, I'm not too happy about it."
            "Well try not to die. I'll be so pissed my apocalypse buddy dies on me."
            "Cute. Just keep all future communications to texts. I dunno the next time I'll be able to charge my phone."
            "Can we get this started already?" Jake sounded almost giddy.
            "Alright. Let's check back in at sundown."
            "This is gonna be awesome!"
            "Try not to die."
            "Stay frosty!"
            Rhett rolled his eyes as he hung up. Jake was immature, but he wasn't retarded. He'd be fine. He just hoped one or bother of the shelters were still around. If not, they'd have to hook up and find a way to California on their own. Either way, Rhett felt that this whole apocalypse thing would be easier to endure once he finds Jake.
            "Let's do this," Rhett said as he collected all his supplies in the basement and threw them into his backpack. He stashed most of his cash from the bar at the bottom of the bag. He figured it be useless in the apocalypse, but you never knew. He checked outside to find it just as quiet as before.
            "Maybe it isn't as bad anymore," Rhett lied to himself as he opened the front door and snuck out. He opened his car door and tossed the bag into the back. Before rushing back into the house, he checked down the street to see a lone corpse in the middle of the road. Almost immediately, it looked over and saw Rhett. It moaned aloud and started making its way over.
            Rhett ran back inside and grabbed the duffle bag. He ran back out and tossed it with his backpack. He checked back on the corpse to see it had made headway over, but still not enough ground to catch Rhett. Back in the house, he ran for his weapons, foolishly saved for last.
            He grabbed the handgun and stuffed it behind his belt. He wanted a knife, but he felt slicing a zombie's throat would be a suicidal waste of time. Instead he grabbed a large flathead screwdriver with a yellow and black handle. It was his fathers, and like his father he had always insisted on using it for whatever project around that needed work despite the head being too large for most screws. The end of the world would prove to be a serious project.
            Finally, he picked up the shotgun. Most of the ammo was in his backpack, while a handful of shells were in his pocket. He was wearing thick jeans, boots, and most of the tactical gear including gloves. He didn't want the helmet, opting more for his own Yankees hat. He had the gas mask ready, but didn't want to drive with it on, so he kept it in the case that he attached to his belt. Over everything, he wore his lucky Yankees shirt. If today was the last time he'd ever see home, he was dressed appropriately.
            He ran outside with everything and looked for the zombie. It was still far off, but another one had been drawn over from the commotion. Rhett hadn't seen it before and now it was by his car. "Well fuck," Rhett said as he readied his shotgun but thought twice about it. He wasn't sure how many shells he'd need, so conserving ammo should be a priority, especially with only ten bullets in his handgun.
            "Let's dance, asshole," he said as the zombie groped towards him. He ran up and shoulder checked it away. These things were slow, and Rhett figured they were no problem one on one. the zombie had tumbled onto its back, but it was immediately getting back up as Rhett hopped into his car and fired up the engine.
            He backed out and drove down the street, more zombies seeming to crawling out of the woodwork at the noise. At the end of the street, he looked back to see a small crowd in pursuit. "Okay," he said as he drove away "Maybe it is as bad out here still."

December 14, 2014

Race for Safe Haven - The Waiting Game

[Posted by Ted H]

Hey, remember the part in the 1st LotR book when Frodo didn't do shit for about 50 years after finding the ring. Me neither. The movie showed it as well, though Peter Jackson kinda glossed over it...

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[Race for Safe Haven - The Waiting Game]

            Over the span of the next couple weeks, Rhett did what he could to deal with his cold. During the day he crept around his house for supplies, slowly bringing what he could down into the basement. At night he would hold up in the basement, gathering any news he could from the internet after setting up his laptop. There was no new information to be found, but Rhett took solace that there was a stream of information coming along, even if it seemed that there were fewer and fewer people posting news with each passing day.
            Jake would find a charger eventually. Austin found a couple in the house he was in and tossed them out for Jake. The nightly conversations would start up again as a result. Austin's condition would worsen though, and Rhett could tell by the adamant nature in which Jake would refuse to talk about it. For everything else, Jake was his usual self, treating the zombie apocalypse like a potential blank check for mayhem so long as there was someone else to enjoy it with him.
            Rhett wouldn't turn on the television again since he didn't want to risk the noise in the one story house and his inability to get cable in the basement. Not that there was anything to watch; all news networks had shut down and all there was broadcasting was a tickertape of local shelter locations. The internet had eventually stopped updating and not long after that, he wasn't able to even connect.
            Jake meanwhile was in a two story house, allowing him to avoid basements and able to look out as the undead roamed nearby. He described it as watching a bunch of drunks mill about after closing time. They would be aimless until some sound caught their attention and they would make for the source regardless of what actually made the noise.
            He had access to a radio in the house and was able to scrape together the only news available now. "The situation out in California seems to have changed," he said to Rhett one night "Apparently, people over there have something figured out."
            "Figured out how?" Rhett asked.
            "I dunno, but they're putting the call out that they're a safe haven."
            "I was in no mood to drive to Rochester. You think I'd be game for a cross country trip?"
            "No, they said the only way in was to get to any of the remaining shelter locations and wait for further instructions. Apparently they have a plan to get people there."
            "What do you think about it?"
            "It sounds dumb. You hated the idea of herding everyone in the shelters. These assholes want to herd all the shelters together now, too."
            "Honestly, though, what choice is there at this point?"
            "Yeah, I'm running out of food. You?"
            "I didn't have much to begin with. If it wasn't for me being sick and having no appetite, I'd be long empty by now."