The Restless Dead

Zombie or Post Apocalyptic themed fiction/stories.

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majorhavoc
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All is Lost, Part 33

Post by majorhavoc » Sun Apr 05, 2015 12:04 am

My question is answered with the sound of the lock bolt being slid back and a heavy metal bar being lifted off a pair of stanchions. I push open the landing door and warily emerge from the stairwell. Directly in front of me is a large commercial generator resting on a wheeled carriage. Standing on either side of it is a young couple, each in their mid twenties. Both are wearing close fitting wool hats pulled down tight over their ears, mid-weight coats, gloves and sturdy boots. Appropriate attire for the present circumstances, holed up in an unheated building on a chilly fall evening. They're also holding guns, pointed awkwardly in my general direction. Tracy has what appears to be a 20 gauge shotgun, Josh is armed with a revolver. Neither looks particularly familiar with their weapon, which makes me especially nervous.

“Word of friendly advice?” I offer, holding my hands in front of me, palms out. “If you were still unsure about me, you never should have unlocked that door. Once you let a stranger in, you've already surrendered the best advantage you had. And frankly, the way you two are pointing those things, anyone who knows their way around a firearm will get the drop on you anyway.”

Joshua and Tracy eye each other, shrug, and lower their weapons. “I guess we're just going to have to trust you then,” Josh offers, setting the revolver on the generator. Tracy follows suit with her shotgun.

“Likewise,” I agree, withdrawing the pistol from my waistband. I set it down on the generator, which elicits a startled reaction from the couple. “Don't look so shocked, you two. I didn't know if I could trust you either.”

After apologizing for the harsh initiation, Tracy and Joshua introduce themselves and Andy, the inattentive lookout. And to the fourth member of their party: Liza, a quiet, morose young woman. Visibly pregnant, Liza is seated next to the western window in a glass partitioned office on the other side of the room. She offers a half-hearted wave and then disinterestedly returns to peering between the heavy floor-to-ceiling curtains. With her shoulder and temple slumped against the window like that, I get the distinct impression that Liza is not entirely focused on the task of watching the street below.

“Please excuse Liza,” Tracy offers, reading my thoughts. “She's had a really crummy past few days. Lost her people to the zombies and the four of us just barely made it out of Camden alive. Liza's taking it especially hard.” Then, continuing in a whisper: “I'm not sure how much good she's doing as a lookout, but at least it's something to keep her distracted.”

Having switched off our flashlights, the only source of illumination on the entire third floor is a compact LED lantern resting atop the wheeled generator. It casts each of us and our surroundings in a pale, artificial glow. With the exception of the walled off central area enclosing the stairwell and an adjacent one housing the elevator lobby, the entire floor is primarily an open office layout; mostly a single large room filled with desks and filing cabinets.

Scattered around the room are business relics from another era. Hulking IBM Selectric office typewriters, outsized dictation machines and even a microfiche reader the size of a small refrigerator. Set into one of the walls enclosing the elevator lobby is brass letter box, part of an archaic mail chute system connecting each of the building's three floors. Next to that is a glass-fronted cavity set entirely into the wall itself. Visible through the glass door is a canvas fire hose coiled tightly around a large metal reel.

The open office space is ringed by glass-partitioned executive offices that abut the building's exterior walls, affording their former occupants the coveted windowed view of the world outside. Drawn across each of these outer windows are the heavy lined drapes that I first noted while observing the building from the outside.

Finally, aside from the executive offices, the only other interruptions to the open office layout are closed off areas in each of the building's four corners. One corner contains a set of bathrooms, another houses a utility room and electrical service closet. Within the walled off space in the third corner is a small kitchenette/lunch break room. The fourth corner is given over to a second enclosed stairwell. I soon learn this corner stairwell interconnects the building's three enclosed floors, but doesn't descend all the way down to the ground level below. This confirms my initial assessment that the only way in or out of this building is through the central stairwell, or – before it stopped working – the elevator.

Andy now: “So Bill, exactly what direction did you come from just now?” When I advise that I approached the building from east, Andy winces noticeably. “I thought I had the streets running east and north covered. I can't figure how I missed you.”

“Well son,” I begin, ushering Andy back to the windows on the eastern wall. “You do realize that if anyone were trying to approach unobserved, they wouldn't be using the streets. I came from behind that dentist's office over there,” I advise, pointing. “See that dumpster? I was behind that for a good five minutes, just watching this building. Then I hugged that low wall down there. By the time I came out from behind that, I was below your line of sight.”

Andy, defensively: “So you were trying to sneak up on us.”

“I was being cautious, young man. Trying to get a read on what I was getting myself into," I explain. “I was also making sure I wasn't leading any zombies straight to this building. That's for your benefit as well as mine.”
Last edited by majorhavoc on Tue Apr 21, 2015 12:11 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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All is Lost, Part 34

Post by majorhavoc » Sun Apr 05, 2015 12:14 am

After helping me retrieve my gear from the bottom of the stairwell, Joshua and Tracy take me on a tour of the safehouse. Andy and Liza remain at their stations at the third floor windows, watching the outside of the building as the night deepens. The young couple ushers me down the northeast corner stairwell onto the second floor. Because the enclosed portion of the structure is elevated on support columns above the open air parking level, this second floor is itself a full three stories off the ground, well out of reach of anything attacking from the ground level. I soon learn that unlike the stairs I used to enter the building, this corner stairwell only connects the three enclosed floors; it doesn't descend down to the ground level.

Here on the second floor, they reveal the saferoom itself, a walled off area surrounding the now inert elevator shaft. There are two heavily reinforced doors leading off this enclosed elevator lobby, and they each feature a small barred window that allows anyone barricaded within to both see and hear anything approaching. The doors are also been fitted with a heavy steel crossbars, dropped into place once the safehouse occupants retreat inside this fortified refuge for the night.

The saferoom boasts a total of eight folding cots, each with a well worn sleeping bag, a thin woolen blanket and a soiled pillow. “If you got a spare t-shirt, Bill, I'd advise you use that as a pillow case,” Tracy warns. "Those pillows are pretty skanky." There are several large plastic storage crates, but whatever supplies they once contained have long since been claimed or used up by prior safehouse occupants. Josh shows me a red 3-ring binder labelled 'Security Protocols – Clayton, New Jersey Safehouse.' He begins flipping through the laminated loose leaf pages as he explains the logic of this place.

“The guy who set this place up was a genius; he had everything figured out. Only the central stairwell connects to ground level. And the doors leading off of it are welded shut on the first and second floors. The only way to get into this building is the way you came in: through the third floor door at the top of the stairwell. And then only if someone unlocks and unbars it from the inside. There's no way anything's gonna get through that stairwell door.”

“Don't be too confident, young man,” I advise warily. “Give zombies enough time and they seem able to pound their way through practically anything. And I've encountered a kind of giant zombie that's built like a tank. It wouldn't take too long for one of those to get through even a heavy steel door. Although I'll grant you, I don't think one of those things would even fit in that central stairwell.”

“Wouldn't matter anyway,” Joshua assures me. “We'd be long gone.”

“How do you figure that?” I counter. “The central stairwell is the only way in or out, and if this place ever comes under attack, it'll be choked with the undead.”

“That's the genius of this place. There is another way out of here, and it starts with that second stairwell that we just came down.”

“But those stairs don't go all the way down to the ground floor.”

“No, but they do connect the three floors that are above ground level. So anyone familiar with this building's layout can quickly get from floor to floor. Worst case scenario: if we can't defend the stairwell door on the third floor, we retreat down that second set of stairs. Think about it; even if something forced its way out of the central stairwell and onto the third floor, it would take it a while to even notice that second set of stairs tucked away in the corner. Plenty of time for us to use it to get down here, pile into this saferoom and bar the doors from the inside.”

“Then what?” I challenge. “At best you've bought yourself some time and put another set of doors between you and your attackers. Now you're trapped in here. You can't get to the central stairwell from the second floor; it's welded shut. And even if you could, those stairs will be crowded with infected.”

“The answer is right next to you, Bill,” Joshua advises, gesturing to the elevator doors. “There's a reason why the saferoom itself is set up here in this walled off elevator lobby. Here, let me show you.”

Joshua retrieves an oddly shaped instrument hanging from a wall peg next to the elevator doors. It's a eight inch long steel shaft about a half an inch in diameter. It features a large clevis ring attached to one end and a narrow slot cut into the opposite side. Pinned inside that slot is one end of a thin, hardened steel bar; about four inches long. It swings freely where it's anchored in the slot.

“Ever wonder about those little holes you see on the outside of elevator doors? It's for this: an elevator key.”

With that, Joshua inserts the swinging steel bar into the hole and then pushes it deeper by feeding the steel handle in after it. We hear the faint thunk on the other side as the pinned steel bar clears the inside of the door and swings down against something metallic. Then Josh twists, using the clevis ring to apply torque. “Just work it a little until you feel that swingy part engage the mechanism on the other side of this door. Then you twist it and …”

Joshua's efforts are rewarded by a louder clunk of a hidden mechanism being pushed out of position. The gap between the two elevator doors widens incrementally.

“Voila!” Josh announces triumphantly as he inserts his finger tips into the gap between the two elevator doors and pushes them aside. “Firefighters use elevator keys like this one to release the locking mechanism on the inside of the door.” Josh steps away, revealing an empty elevator shaft. A chill draft emanates from the darkened cavity, like the first hint of some grim fate approaching from a great distance. “Take a look, Bill,” Joshua advises, shivering. He snaps on his flashlight and aims it down into the elevator shaft. “But watch that first step; it's a doozey.”

Approaching the empty shaft warily, I peer down into the dark abyss. Josh's flashlight beam reveals the bottom of the shaft over thirty feet below. “I'm assuming we don't just jump if we ever have to use this exit?” I ask.

Josh points to a rolled up emergency ladder stowed neatly in a corner of the safe room, along with a long steel pipe. “If it ever came to that, we'd hook the fire escape ladder to that pipe, brace it against the opening and then just unroll it into the elevator shaft. Once we all climb down to the bottom, we don't even need the elevator key, the door locking mechanism down there is exposed and can be disengaged by pushing on it with your hands.”

I look down to the base of the shaft again. Josh is right, it's completely empty all the way to the ground. “So what happened to the elevator car?”

“Look up,” Joshua advises, redirecting his flashlight. I crane my neck upwards and spot the bottom of the elevator car, not ten feet above our heads. “The guy who set this place up must have used that generator that you saw on the third floor to power the elevator to the top floor. There's no fuel left in the generator now, so I'm guessing it was used up weeks ago powering the safehouse lights.”

I start to see the logic of this arrangement. The elevator doors on the ground floor open on the side of the central column that's opposite to the stairwell door. Once intruders gain entry to the stairwell, they'd be totally focused on that. Not a locked and presumably inert elevator shaft on the other side of a brick wall. The safehouse occupants could drop into the base of the shaft while several hundred zombies are crowding into the central stairwell. Then the survivors could quietly open the elevator doors and slip away undetected.

Josh is right; it's a brilliant, well-thought out escape plan, if it ever came to that. But seeing how this safehouse has obviously never been attacked, it's also a plan that hasn't been put to the test. And if there's one thing I've learned about the apocalypse, it's that the best-laid plans have a distressing tendency to go straight to hell.
Last edited by majorhavoc on Sat Jun 22, 2019 8:51 pm, edited 9 times in total.

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All is Lost, Part 35

Post by majorhavoc » Sun Apr 05, 2015 12:49 am

As the night draws deeper, Liza and Andy come down from the third floor and join us in the saferoom. Liza is moving stiffly, her left hand resting protectively on her protruding belly. Tracy helps ease her to a sitting position while Joshua and Andy bar the two doors.

When the final bolt is slid home and the last cross bar drops into its stanchions, the five of us settle onto the cots, a solitary candle the sole source of light. Barricaded in this tiny room, in a building shuttered against the deepening night, we are a world onto ourselves. A lonely bastion of humanity amidst a vast sea of mortal peril.

I shift uneasily on the narrow cot, fragrant with the aroma of a hundred tired, un-bathed bodies that have used it before me. I look around and realize this is it; this is as good as it gets. A short reprieve from the unending struggle to cheat death for one more day. Shuttered away from the night in some miserable hovel of a saferoom, with the vague promise of a few hours of respite.

And on chance days such as this one, the opportunity to briefly share company with the living. I don't know these people, I think. And I don't care to know them; not in that way. It's not worth the risk anymore. With familiarity comes fondness. And with fondness comes the tentative hope of belonging. Of fooling yourself into believing that you might matter to someone in the way you imagine they matter to you. Time and fate always reveal it to be a damn lie. A lie that fools tell themselves to ward off the crushing loneliness of life.

It's better this way. Tomorrow these four could well be dead. Or I could be dead. So best not to invest anything more in this encounter than the bare minimum pleasantries required to pass the time.

“Who feels like a drink?” I mutter as I withdraw the Bushmills from my pack and uncap the bottle. “I'm sure as hell having one.“


****

We share more than the whiskey. Andy begins assembling a meager dish of canned tuna and pita pocket bread. More stale and crumbling pita than actual tuna. I'm caught off guard when Josh, his hands cupped around a portion of this precious meal, leans over and hands it to me. I grumble an awkward thanks and retrieve a few packages of the cheese and crackers, which we open and divide amongst us. As we begin eating, the group divulges to me the reason for their keen interest in the Fairfield Township safehouse.

“It's the next logical stop on our way to Cape May,” Tracy explains. “We figure once we get to Fairfield, it'll be just two more days till we reach the evacuation center.”

I eye Liza dubiously; she doesn't look capable of moving quickly over terrain. “You people should give yourselves at least three.”

“Three days then,” Joshua allows. “The RFH broadcasts say the military will keep the evacuation center open another six.”

Up to another six days, Josh,” Tracy corrects. “That's why we need to get there ahead of the deadline, just in case.”

“No problem. Even if we take three days like Bill says, that will give us plenty of time.”

Andy now: “Just as long as we don't waste too much time scavenging. Or run into too many zombies.”

“How are you people set for food?” I ask.

“Not so good,” Josh concedes. “We got enough to see us through tomorrow, maybe into the following day if we stretch it. But then we're gonna have to figure something out, or just go without for a day or two.”

Tracy, impatiently: “No, Josh. I told you; Liza's eating for two now and she needs to keep her strength up. So not eating isn't an option. And we'd better avoid zombies, because she's in no condition to run.”

“Well, I think I can help you people out with that,” I advise. “Tomorrow, I'll take you as far as this river I've been following. All you have to do is retrace the route I took today. It'll keep you off the roads and out of sight of zombies for a good while. I'll draw you a map and show you where to find a couple of vending machines with all the snack food and pop – er, soda – you can carry.”

“Oh man; that would be awesome, Bill,” Josh exclaims, readily agreeing to this proposal. “But lemme ask you something: why the hell are you heading away from Cape May? That's where the military is evacuating people. Don't you know that's everyone's ticket out of this nightmare?”

“That's ... that's not an option for me anymore,” I advise, shaking my head. “I'm heading north now, see if I can get around the major cities. Winter over someplace rural, like Vermont or upstate New York.”

“Why? This east coast evacuation plan sounds like it's a one-time deal, Bill. Even if you survive until spring, I don't think you're going to get another shot at this. You should totally come to Cape May with us, man. We could pool our resources and -

- I said that's not an option,” I insist. A little more forcefully than I intended; I soften my tone. “You people are young. You've got your whole lives to think about; and a world to rebuild. The calculus is different for me. My future plans are decidedly … short term.”


****

The meager rations are consumed far too soon. I rummage through my pack and fish out a package of raisins.

“Ooh, raisins!” Tracy exclaims. “Do you have any more, Bill? Josh, trade the good man something for his raisins.”

Josh, protesting: “But I hate raisins.”

“Joshua Walt McGowen,” Tracy chastens. “They're an excellent source of iron. You know: iron? Good for women's health? And what's good for the mother is good for …. ”

“Oh yeah,” Andy pipes in. “For Liza.”

“And for Tracy,” Josh adds, a sly smile spreading across his face.

Tracy, blushing: “Yeah, for me too.”

I watch the young couple exchange knowing glances. “What a minute. Are you saying that Tracy … Tracy's with child too?”

Tracy leans over and grasps Josh's hand before replying. “We just found out the day before yesterday. I kinda suspected for a couple of weeks now, but we had to raid a drug store to make sure.”

Liza's belly is visibly swollen so it stands to reason that she conceived well before the zombie outbreak. But I'm incredulous that Josh and Tracy managed to get themselves pregnant with the world crumbling around them.

Tracy, reading my thoughts: “It's not like we planned it or anything. But now that it's happened, and we're just a few days away from Cape May ...” She trails off, meeting Josh's gaze before he picks up the sentence and finishes her thought: “Tracy and I decided that maybe it wasn't such a bad thing. Once we get evacuated, it'll be safe to bring a child into this world. Like you said Bill: we have to think about rebuilding society.”

“T-that's wonderful,” I profess, searching my pack for the remaining packages of raisins. “I guess congratulations are in order, to you as well as Liza. It would be an honor for me to give these to you; you two mothers-to-be will certainly make better use of them than I can.”

“Well, we won't accept it as a gift,” Tracy insists, even as she quickly gathers up all six packages of the dried fruit. “We'll trade you for them, won't we?” Then elbowing Josh: “I said: won't we, Joshua? Quick, trade Bill something for these raisins.”

“Uh, ah,” Josh stammers, pawing through his pack. “Ah ...”

“What about medical supplies?“ I suggest, waving my bandaged left hand. “You people don't have any antibiotics by any chance?”

Josh, hesitantly: “We've got a one-week course of Cephalexin. But I was kinda hoping to keep that in reserve. That stuff's pretty valuable these days.”

“Joshua!” Tracy exclaims. “Bill's injured, and we're not. Give him the antibiotics!”

“No,” I concede. “Josh is right; antibiotics are a valuable commodity, certainly worth a hell of a lot more than a few packages of raisins. Maybe I can sweeten the deal. How are you people set for weapons?”

Silence. Josh glances nervously at the 20 gauge and the revolver resting on the ground next to the saferoom door.

“Really? Just that bird gun and one revolver? How have you people managed to survive as long as you have?“

“We do a lot of running and hiding,” Andy advises. “We only use the guns if we absolutely have to.”

I again look at Liza dubiously.

“Liza's new to the group,” Andy explains. “We just met up with her today. The last of her people were killed by the undead. She was hiding in a warehouse when we found her. We couldn't just leave her to fend for herself.”

I quickly realize that harboring Liza means sacrificing the best defense these three have; their speed and mobility. After a moment's reflection, I produce the back-up pistol from my backpack; a .40 caliber Sig Sauer automatic. I set it down on the floor between us and then place the spare magazine and the box of .40 caliber cartridges next to it. “There’s 15 rounds in the gun,” I advise solemnly. “Plus another 15 in the spare magazine. And 50 more in that box.”

Josh, incredulous: “Are you serious? Y-you'd just give all that to us?”

“Don't be ridiculous, young man. It's not a gift. I'll trade it for some of your antibiotics, and hopefully a few bandages if you could spare them.”

In the end Joshua and company provide me with enough bandages to redress the wound each of the next three days. And the antibiotics, which I start on immediately. Plus a pair of batteries that fit my flashlight, now showing the first signs of fading output.

Tracy also lends me the use of her multi-tool, which features a tiny screwdriver designed for eyeglasses. It's also a good fit for the windage adjustment screw of the Colt pistol's rear sight. I adjust the point of aim a few degrees to the left. It's just an estimate of course, but when I return the tool to its owner, I'm confident the pistol is much closer to shooting true than it was previously.

After re-stowing our gear, we switch off the last of our flashlights, slide into our sleeping bags and extinguish the candle. Shivering in the darkness, we drift off to sleep, one by one.

****

“Bill. Bill!” Josh whispers urgently. “Wake up!”

“W-wha?” I reply groggily. “I was snoring, wasn't I? Well Francis does too, you know. Whaddaminute. Josh? Andy?”

“Sshh. Let's not wake Tracy unless we have to.”

“Or Liza,” I add, sitting up.

“That's just it, Bill.” Andy pipes in. “The door's unlocked and Liza's gone.”
Last edited by majorhavoc on Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:49 pm, edited 12 times in total.

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All is Lost, Part 36

Post by majorhavoc » Sun Apr 05, 2015 10:10 am

According to my watch, it's 5:15am. This time of the year, it's still dark out, but dawn isn't too far off. As the three of us emerge from our fortified sanctuary, our flashlight beams rake the darkened second floor. Everything has an unearthly stillness to it.

“How could she just walk away without either of you noticing?” I query as we begin fanning out into the open office floor plan.

“You didn't wake up either,” Josh counters.

“Point taken,” I concede. “But I'm a very heavy sleeper.“

Andy, sarcastically: “Yeah, no kidding. At least someone got a good night's sleep.”

I don't respond to Andy's implied complaint. The salient point here is that everybody was sound asleep when Liza decided to take a nocturnal stroll, or someone would have heard her getting up. “What's the deal with Liza, anyway?” I ask as we work our way over to the corner stairwell. “I hardly heard two words come out of that young lady the whole evening.”

“We don't really know much about her,” Josh advises. “She was pretty much in shock when we found her. But who could blame her? Her group had been wiped out.”

“She wouldn't hurt herself, would she?” I ask, broaching a delicate subject.

“I don't know, Bill,” Josh replies. “Let's just locate her before we have to find out.”

We first hear Liza as we enter the corner stairwell; the muffled cries of a bereft young woman. We get half way up the stairs to the third floor before realizing the sobbing is actually coming from below us, on the first floor.

“Why'd she go down there?” Andy queries as we reverse direction. “None of us have even bothered to explore the first floor; it's not even mentioned in the safehouse binder.”

We reach the first floor landing, as far down as these stairs go. The sobbing is louder now, and it somehow seems more disturbing that a woman's cries should be. There's also something unsettlingly familiar about it.

Andy's about to open the stairwell door when I grab his shoulder, urging him to halt. “Wait,” I plead. “How much do you know about this woman?”

“How much do we need to know right now?” Andy replies impatiently. “She's in distress.”

“I mean how much do you know about what happened to her and her party? You said they were killed. How?”

“By zombies, that's how. She was pretty distraught when we found her; so we didn't think it would be a good idea to pump her for details.”

“Did any of you actually check her?

Andy, exasperated: “For bites? Yes, Bill; as a matter of fact we did. Tracy checked her.”

“How well?”

“How well? How should I know 'how well'? We left them alone so the poor woman could have some privacy while Tracy checked to make sure she wasn't hurt.”

“Wasn't hurt, or wasn't bitten? I'm just saying that unless Tracy checked every part of her - “

“- we didn't check every part of you, Bill. Liza's been with us for the better part of day. She's not a zombie, if that's what you're getting at. Listen to her; zombies don't cry.”

“Actually Andy, one particular type of undead does. And trust me, you don't want to provoke that kind.”

“Or maybe, she's just a woman upset about her dead friends. Now let go of me, Bill; you're starting to come across as a real asshole, you know that?”

“Fine. Just do me one favor: turn off your flashlight before you open that door.”

****

We ease the stairwell door open and cautiously fan out onto the first floor. We can't make out much; it's almost pitch black in here. As we advance deeper into the open office room, we encounter a sprawling obstacle course of dimly perceived desks, chairs and filing cabinets. But it's obvious where Liza is; we can hear the choking sobs of despair emanating from the southwest part of the darkened room.

“Liza?” Andy calls out, advancing further towards the source of the sounds. “Liza, it's Andy. And Josh and Bill. We want to help. Listen, we know you're upset.”

No response. But the sobbing changes subtly in tone. A trace of irritation is discernible along with the cries of sadness and despair.

Andy's leading the way and then abruptly collides with a trash can in the near darkness. It clatters noisily and the man stumbles farther forward before regaining his footing. The crying changes further, edging closer toward simmering anger.

“This is ridiculous!” Andy hisses. “What's the matter with you, Bill? I'm turning on my light.”

“No Andy! Don't - “

Too late. Andy's flashlight pierces the darkness and, homing in on the woman's cries, illuminates a solitary female figure on the other side of the room. She’s on the floor of one of the glass executive offices, her face buried in her hands and kneeling before a small, damp mass piled upon the floor. The office carpet between her knees and the piled mass is a dark, wet stain.

Liza has removed her skirt and underwear; she's naked from the waist down. Folds of flesh hang loose from a suddenly flat and trim belly. Under the harsh glare of the flashlight, the figure's sobbing abruptly changes to a feral growl. I realize it's not her face that's buried in her hands, just her mouth. She's eating something.

Andy freezes in his tracks. “What the - “

“Lights off!” I hiss. Rather than fully complying, Andy drops the flashlight beam down to the floor at his feet, casting the kneeling figure back into near darkness. The growls subside and after a few seconds, the figure resumes her sobbing. Only now I realize they aren't choking sobs, they're sobs interrupted by the compulsion to gnaw on something in her hands. Something frail and fleshy.

Josh, in an anxious whisper: “W-what happened to Liza's baby?”

“That's not Liza any more, Josh. And I think we're looking at what's left of her baby.”

“What are you talking about?” Andy cries, his tone a growing mixture of dread and disbelief. “S-she's obviously given birth. It must be stillborn, right? T-that's why she's crying. But what is she rubbing all over her mouth?”

“Andy, we're all going to back up now; nice and slow.”

“We can't just leave her. Something horrible has happened.” Then much louder: “Liza! It's us! We can help you!”

In the dim light reflected from Andy's down-turned flashlight beam, we see the figure in the glass office rise to its feet, still sobbing. Haltingly, it emerges from the office and begins shuffling in our direction, its cries steadily changing to low growls of seething anger.

I look behind me: the stairwell door leading back up to the second floor is maybe sixty feet away. “Andy, unless you turn that light off right now, everyone in this room is going to die.”

Belatedly, the man complies. In the darkness I can hear Andy quaking with fear as the sobbing draws nearer. “Don't move,” I whisper. “We'll never make it to the stairs.”

We stand in mute horror as the figure approaches. With Andy's flashlight extinguished we can see the faintest traces of dawn's first light emerging from around the window drapes on the east side of the building. It's just enough illumination to make out movement in the darkness. It's steadily approaching, but angling ever so slight to our left. It's going to pass by us, but very close.

“Not. A muscle.” I hiss under my breath.

The figure is fifteen feet away when Andy loses his nerve. He lets out a yelp of fear and bolts towards the stairwell door. The creature emits an anguished shriek and then launches herself towards the fleeing man.

Andy actually makes it to the door before the witch catches him. Shrieking and swinging her arms wildly, she drops the panicked man before he has the chance to yank it open. Andy falls heavily to the floor, the flesh on his back flayed open by five ragged wounds. Standing above the injured man, the witch immediately begins flailing away at him with razor sharp claws. The sounds of his screams are being drowned out by the zombie's maniacal shrieking.

As I'm pulling the Colt pistol from my waistband, Josh lunges toward the witch. I can see him lower his shoulder and draw his forearm across his face, preparing to deliver a vicious body blow at the frail-looking figure. The witch interrupts the furious lashing of her fallen prey just long enough to sweep her left arm around in a crushing backhand. It catches Josh hard on his left shoulder, lifting him off his feet and launching him into a metal file cabinet fifteen feet away. He lands against the cabinet with a harsh thud and crumples to the ground, groaning.

I'm already stepping toward the witch when I discharge the first two pistol rounds. They strike home on the creature's back but have no discernible effect as it continues to rake Andy's now limp form lying on the floor. I adjust my aim upwards and deliver the next six bullets to the back of creature's neck and head. It's still attacking Andy as I'm marching closer and eject the spent magazine onto the floor. As I step over it, I've already stuffed the second magazine into the pistol's hollow handle and released the weapon's slide lock. I advance two steps farther and halt just beyond arms reach from the shrieking creature. I pump all seven rounds directly into the base of its skull.

It takes all seven to send the witch to the floor, and it's still not through with poor Andy. Lying on its stomach, it continues pawing at the limp body's shredded left arm. I finish the creature off by grasping the back of a rolling office chair, swinging it high over my shoulder and bringing the wheeled metal undercarriage down upon its head. The third blow finally stills the creature. In the dim light I see that I've flattened its bullet-weakened skull; a fan of ejected brain matter strewn across the carpet in all directions.

It's obvious that Andy is dead, I don't even bother checking for a pulse; it would be a challenge to find a sufficiently intact limb to check anyway. Turning away from the bloodbath, I sweep the spent magazine off the floor and rush over to Josh, just now rising unsteadily to his feet.

“Joshua, listen to me carefully. Did that thing cut you anywhere? Tell me now; even if it's a scratch.”

“Huh?” Josh responds groggily. “No, Bill. But I'm going to have one hell of a set of matching bruises. One on each shoulder.”

“Wear them in good health, young man,” I offer with a sigh of relief. “Now let's get back to - “

My voice trails off as I detect the first distant howls coming from outside of the office building. A rising crescendo of unearthly groans and wheezing, slavering hisses that I've come to know all too well. I usher Joshua towards the stairwell door.

"Oh Andy," Josh mutters sadly as we hastily step past the ruined corpse.

"Mourn him later, Josh. Quickly now; we're under attack."

"You knew," Josh pants as we sprint up the stairs to the second floor. "You knew about these crying zombies and you tried to warn us. All Andy wanted to do was help."

"That's what makes them so dangerous, son." It occurs to me we should reserve some sympathy for poor Liza too. Even in undeath, some shred of tortured memory remains; an unbearable sadness knowing what a young mother has done to her own unborn child. "I guess now we know what those witches are crying about."
Last edited by majorhavoc on Mon Feb 08, 2016 8:53 am, edited 22 times in total.

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Re: The Restless Dead

Post by harleyvato » Sun Apr 05, 2015 10:19 am

Damn,things didn't stay quiet for long! Thanks, Major!!

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Re: The Restless Dead

Post by Nature_Lover » Sun Apr 05, 2015 11:18 pm

Thank you major. The new characters are interesting. :)

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Re: The Restless Dead

Post by 6shooter » Wed Apr 08, 2015 10:07 pm

This is awesome, thanks Maj!
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All is Lost, Part 37

Post by majorhavoc » Mon Apr 13, 2015 8:25 pm

Tracy almost blows the two of us to kingdom come when Josh and I emerge from the stairwell. We find her standing alone in the darkened office room of the second floor, with a flashlight and a shotgun trained directly on the door.

“W-what happened down there? I-I heard screaming and then shooting and I thought – where's Andy? Josh; where's Andy and Liza?”

Josh gathers the frightened young woman into his arms. “Andy and Liza are dead, Tracy. There's - “

“ - no,” Tracy whispers; a stricken look spreading across her face. “No, not Andy.”

“There's nothing to be done about it now,” Josh continues. “You need to get back to the saferoom and pack as fast as you can, OK? Then I need you to go through Andy and Liza's packs - ”

Tracy is shaking her head in disbelief.

“Tracy; look at me. They're gone, OK? You need to get it together, honey. Hear that outside? They're coming. Go through Andy and Liza's packs and grab anything we can use: food, medical supplies, batteries, anything. Just shove it all in yours and my pack, and Bill's too. We'll sort it out later. Then you stay put, OK?”

Me, urgently: “Come along son, we need to check the third floor.”

Josh gives a frightened and bewildered Tracy a quick peck on the cheek and then turns to join me. “Oh, and Tracy?” Josh calls out over his shoulder as he follows me back into the stairwell. “Lock the saferoom door behind you.”

Josh and I race up the steps and burst onto the darkened third floor. The sounds of hundreds of undead are growing louder now; we can hear them rapidly converging on the building from all directions.

“How could they find us so quickly, Bill? I don't see how so many could have heard Liza's screams and your gun.”

“I have my suspicions it might be something else, Joshua. Help me open up some of these curtains and let in some light. We need to see what we're doing.”

Working together, Josh and I rush through the executive offices lining the eastern wall and quickly draw the curtains aside. The eastern horizon is now ablaze with an expansive ribbon of pink and purple. The predawn light floods through the windows; illuminating the main office room. I quickly glance down at the ground below my window and observe a steady stream of infected approaching the building from the streets running north and the east. More are spilling through the gaps between the buildings surrounding us.

“There has to be hundreds of them down there, Bill!” Josh cries in alarm. “How long do you think it'll take for them to find the door leading into the stairwell?”

“Not long,” I advise grimly. “When those things gather in hordes like this, they're like water; they just flow around obstacles, probing everywhere. They'll find that stairwell door soon enough.”

I turn back towards the center of the room, intent on checking the central stairwell. I stop dead in my tracks and stare at the stairwell door in astonishment. It's unbarred and standing wide open.

Josh sees the open portal the same instant I do and lets out a gasp of shock and disbelief. As we both sprint towards the unexpectedly open door, we hear the sounds of savage pounding upon metal echoing up the central stairwell. The undead have indeed located the door on the ground level. It's unlocked of course, but swings out onto the open air parking lot. With a dozen jostling zombies beating directly on its outer surface and a hundred more infected pressing in from all directions, it's effectively locked to these creatures. It'll hold them at bay, but not for long.

Josh is the first to reach the stairwell door up here on the third floor, he slams it shut and locks the bolt. “I don't understand,” he stammers. “We locked it up tight right after we brought your gear up from the stairwell last night. How did it get unlocked?”

“Doesn't matter now son, hand me the crossbar.”

No response.

“Josh, I said give me the goddamn crossbar!”

“It's not here, Bill,” Josh cries in alarm. The young man searches frantically to his right and left. “It's should be right here! I don't understand where … who … “

Josh and I scour the area, widening our search radius as precious seconds tick by. The crossbar is nowhere to be found. It has simply disappeared.

“Bill, who opened this door from the inside? Who hid the crossbar?”

“I think we have to assume it was Liza. I think she deliberately sabotaged our defenses.”

“Why? Why would she do that?”

“I don't think she was herself when she did it, Josh.”

“I don't understand. Are you saying she turned into a zombie, and then went upstairs to unlock this door? And then took the time to hide the crossbar before going down two flights of stairs to eat her baby?”

“Something like that.”

“That doesn't make any sense, Bill. If she was already a witch, we should have heard her crying, right? And if she could stop crying, why didn't she just kill us all in our sleep? You saw what she did to Andy.”

“Josh, I don't have time to explain how I know this, but I think when Liza walked out of that saferoom last night, she was something between a human and a zombie. I think she went upstairs, opened this door and hid the crossbar so we wouldn't be able to secure it. Then she went down to the first floor and became the thing that killed Andy. And I believe that thing called the horde to us. I don't think it had anything to do with the shrieking or the sound of gunfire. I think those things were on their way here before any of us even woke up.”
Last edited by majorhavoc on Mon Feb 08, 2016 8:53 am, edited 6 times in total.

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All is Lost, Part 38

Post by majorhavoc » Mon Apr 13, 2015 8:34 pm

Minutes later we rejoin Tracy inside the saferoom on the second floor. Josh immediately grabs the elevator key and deftly unlocks the sliding doors. We get them about half way open when the sounds of metal being violently smashed apart thunders up the elevator shaft. Followed by a deafening roar.

“What the hell was that?” Tracy screams.

I glance down into the elevator shaft and see daylight spilling into the bottom. A massive arm, covered in scaly, plated protuberances, reaches in and grasps the edge of one of the ruined elevator doors. With an ear-splitting screech, the metal portal is ripped from its mounts and disappears from view as it's yanked clear of the elevator shaft.

“Our worst nightmare,” I announce, withdrawing my head from the elevator shaft. In the simplest terms possible, I bring these two up to speed about what a Tank zombie is and what it can do. Their ashen faces tell me I've done a pretty good job.

“They're not invincible, but we don't have the firepower to bring one down,” I explain. “I do have some explosive devices,” I continue, gesturing to the courier satchel. “But I doubt they're anywhere near powerful enough to destroy one of those things.

Joshua, sputtering: “Explosives? Did it not occur to you to let us know you brought a great big bag 'o bombs into the safe - ”

The young man's complaint is cut off by another deafening roar of the Tank zombie, immediately followed by massive tremor reverberating throughout the entire structure. A powdery cloud of pulverized concrete suddenly spews through the gap between the elevator doors.

Tracy, fighting back panic: “OK, that thing's totally breaking the building. It's breaking a three story office building, Josh!”

“It's trying to get inside the elevator shaft,“ I observe grimly. “So it can get at us.” I think back to that second Tank we encountered in the Asian food market. It chased Donovan and me vertically through the building, climbing up through the ruined floors, hand over gargantuan hand.

Josh now, grasping: “OK, you say we can't kill it with our guns, and we can't kill it with your bombs. How did you deal with these things before?"

“Well, the last time I fought off one, I had four companions with me, and we were all packing some serious firepower. And clear lines of sight out to about 75 yards. We probably got close to 150 rounds into the creature by the time it reached us; plus one well-placed axe head,” I explain. “Oh yeah, as I recall, it was also on fire the whole time.”

“Bill, you are not being helpful,” Josh protests. “We only got a few guns between us, and aside from that assault rifle of yours, none of it qualifies as 'serious firepower'. Sounds like the only effect we'd have on it would be to piss it off.”

I'm only half listening; I'm thinking way back to the first Tank I encountered, alone with Francis when we were cornered at the top of that parking garage. “A fall from a substantial height would also do the trick,” I blurt out.

“So you're suggesting we somehow lure that nightmare to the roof?" Tracy asks doubtfully. “And then just convince it to take a swan dive off the side of the building?”

“I don't think there's any way we can get this Tank to a great height,” I reply, a desperate plan beginning to form in my mind. “But maybe we can bring a great height to this Tank.”

***

The infected converging on the building have already smashed through the stairwell entrance on the ground level. I know this because I'm standing just outside the elevator lobby, and my instructions to Josh and Tracy are being drowned out by the sounds of hundreds of feet scrambling up the central stairwell. Plus the furious pounding on the welded door here on the second floor.

Above the din, I exchange some final advice to Josh as he drops the crossbar back into position on the other side of the saferoom door. We're regarding each other through the small barred window, he and Tracy locked safely inside; me standing out in the main office room. “Bill, shouldn't we all stay together?” Josh protests. “And why do you need the elevator key? We've already got the elevator door unlocked, what do you need it for?”

“I'm still working the details out in my head, Joshua,” I reply, shouldering the M16 and adjusting the courier satchel's strap. “Just make sure you and Tracy are ready to get the escape ladder into position. We won't have much time.”

“What about you?”

“I'll be along soon enough, if everything goes according to plan. Just stay as far away from the elevator shaft as you can and be ready for my signal.”

“Signal? What signal?”

“Believe me Josh,” I call over my shoulder as I jog towards the corner stairwell. “You'll know it when you hear it.”
Last edited by majorhavoc on Mon Feb 08, 2016 8:53 am, edited 6 times in total.

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All is Lost, Part 39

Post by majorhavoc » Mon Apr 13, 2015 8:47 pm

The creatures are already at the top of the central stairwell and beating savagely on the door by the time I arrive at the third floor. The morning sun has now cleared the eastern horizon and the slanting light is pouring through the unblocked windows.

As I pass the central stairwell door on my way to the elevator lobby, I regard the shuddering portal. Visible through the door's reinforced window is the side of a zombie's face, a pair of hands and – inexplicably - a blackened and visibly decomposing foot squashed against its glass surface. Abruptly, the zombie's face shatters and the inside of the window glass is suddenly awash with diseased blood and pulpy brain matter. Seeping underneath the stairwell door is a viscous brew of more liquefied flesh, a steadily blossoming stain on the floor all around it. Rank after rank of undead are charging to the top of the stairwell and crashing themselves against the door, incrementally weakening it with each successive wave of sacrificial assault.

I should have practiced with this elevator key when Josh first demonstrated its use last night. It takes me numerous attempts and squanders precious minutes before I feel the hidden mechanism on the other side of the elevator door finally pivot to the left. The elevator doors spring open about a quarter of an inch. Working my fingers into the gap, I quickly push them aside, revealing the elevator car's darkened interior. As I'm stepping over the gapped threshold and into the elevator car, another inhuman roar thunders up the elevator shaft, accompanied a loud crash of concrete far below me. I feel these sounds as much as I hear them; the full intensity of the Tank zombie's fury is being channelled up this elevator shaft.

The massive creature below me is systematically battering apart the opening at the bottom of the elevator shaft, making it wider and wider. Soon it'll be able to get its entire body inside the cavity. Once inside the elevator shaft, it'll beginning to climb upwards, quickly reaching the second floor elevator lobby where Joshua and Tracy are waiting.

We're running out of time.

With my flashlight, I quickly scan the elevator car's interior. A placard above the bank of floor buttons indicates the elevator has a maximum load capacity of 2,500 pounds. Looking higher, I regard the elevator cabin's ceiling. I'm looking for an service hatch, but it's not at all like in the movies; there's no obvious opening up there. The ceiling is comprised of six square panels, arranged in a three-by-two grid. The five of the six panels each contain a recessed light fixture.

But the sixth panel, occupying the middle position in the back row, is completely featureless. I circle underneath this last ceiling panel, regarding it intently. I can't see anything up there indicating the presence of a handle or even a latch. Undaunted, I crowd into the car's back right hand corner. There are narrow metal handrails anchored to the elevator cabin's side and back walls, about three feet off the floor. I place my right foot upon one of the handrails, lean in towards the corner, and spring upwards. Quickly planting my left foot on the opposing handrail, I press my palms against the ceiling to achieve a sort of awkward equilibrium. Probing the back edge of the elevator car's ceiling, I discover that the whole area above the sixth panel is recessed, as if it were meant to be grabbed from below. It takes only a modest tug to pull it free of a pair of hidden retaining latches and the whole panel section swings down, revealing a dark opening leading up into the space above the elevator car.

With the flashlight clenched in my teeth, I boost myself up through the hatch and sit upon the elevator car's dusty roof, my feet still dangling into the interior cabin. The elevator shaft smells of heavy bearing grease and the faint metallic odor of electrical ozone. A double-beamed steel cross member is bolted over the top of the elevator car, and is supported in three places. A set of braided steel cables descending from the darkness above are anchored at its center. And on each end of the cross member are massive spring tensioned roller guides, each meshing with a vertical steel guide rail anchored to the side walls of the elevator shaft. The spring tension mechanism appears to allow the roller guides to lock onto the guide rails when the elevator arrives at the desired floor, or when electrical power fails.

I'd need to defeat all three of these anchor points in order to move the elevator car from its present position. But examining the apparatus more closely, I suddenly realize the weak point of this whole arrangement isn't the triple redundant anchor points for the steel cross member; it's where the cross member attaches to the elevator car itself. Three oversized bolts connect it to a narrow steel channel spanning the top of the elevator car. Sever those three connections and it won't matter if the cross member remains firmly attached to the braided cables and the locking roller guides. It can stay where it is. All I care about is dropping the rest of this 2,000 pound metal box directly onto the head of a certain outsized zombie forty-five feet below.

The three steel bolts are sufficiently lengthy to create a narrow gap between the steel channel and the cross member it's bolted to. A pipe bomb would just fit into that gap. The steel channel has a three-sided cross section forming a 'C', with the opening oriented upwards. The force of an explosion within that concavity would be directed vertically; squarely at the cross member above, violently forcing the two pieces of metal apart.

The problem is the three bolts are spread out across the width of the elevator car. A single pipe bomb would likely only take out two. A pair of pipe bombs wouldn't work because there's no way to detonate both simultaneously. Even a microsecond delay between the two explosions would guarantee the second pipe bomb being blown out of position.

Still, severing two of those three support bolts would leave only a very tenuous connection between the cross member and the elevator car hanging below it. One that might be overwhelmed with a little help. Say, by loading the elevator car beyond its 2,500 pound weight limit. Dropping back down through the service hatch, I dash out onto the third floor and regard the hulking wheeled generator. “Kubota 35kW” is emblazoned on its side.

If I had to guess, I'd say this thing weighs close to 3,000 pounds.
Last edited by majorhavoc on Mon Feb 08, 2016 8:54 am, edited 8 times in total.

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All is Lost, Part 40

Post by majorhavoc » Mon Apr 13, 2015 8:57 pm

Even on wheels, it takes an appalling amount of effort to maneuver the behemoth machine over to the elevator car's open doors. I have even more difficulty getting the jack supporting the generator's trailer hitch to up and over the gapped threshold. But once that is accomplished, the generator's pneumatic tires allow the rest of it to roll into the elevator cabin with relative ease. I can feel the entire elevator car sag under the massive machine's weight. Somewhere above me, strained metal creaks and groans in protest.

By now I'm winded and sweating profusely. But as bad as I feel, the stairwell door is faring even worse. Under the zombies' incessant onslaught, it's now beginning to bulge and bow at the center. The glass in the small vertically oriented window was already shattered and crumbled to the floor, but the embedded wire remains intact and firmly anchored to the steel window frame. As I collect my breath, a fourth severed zombie arm, shorn of all but two fingers and completely denuded of skin, is extruded through the wire lattice and drops to the floor with a wet splash.

Sensing that time is running out, I climb back onto the generator and poke my head up through the service hatch. I retrieve one of the pipe bombs from my satchel, take a deep breath and thumb the attached lighter's striker wheel. There's no need to activate the noise alarm; I simply stuff the sputtering explosive device into position in the elevator frame's cross section.

It's one thing to arm a bomb and then immediately throw it as far away from you as humanly possible. It's quite another to arm it, leave it where it it is and then try to move away from it. Particularly when the task involves first lowering your head through a narrow elevator access hatch and climbing off a large, wheeled generator. I manage that well enough, although as I'm gathering the M16 off the floor I realize I've somehow split open my lip in the process. I make it to within a few steps of the corner stairwell when the door behind me finally gives way and dozens of infected spill into the room. That's the precise instant the pipe bomb detonates.

When an explosion takes place in a confined space, a number of things happen in rapid succession. In the case at hand, the initial explosive impulse instantly and catastrophically overwhelms two of the three steel bolts connecting the elevator car to the cross member. Next, a rapidly expanding shock wave encounters the heavily constructed walls and ceiling of the upper elevator shaft. With nowhere else to go, the concussive wave is redirected back onto itself, vastly multiplying the kinetic energy of the explosion. This is the basic theory behind shaped explosive charges, so useful for applications like blasting through the heavy steel plating of armored vehicles. In the elevator shaft, this concentrated explosive force, along with the combined weight of the elevator car and the 3,000 pound wheeled generator, shears that last support bolt and, like a piston in a engine cylinder, drives the elevator violently downwards.

As the roof of the elevator descends below the opening onto the third floor, some of this explosive force is redirected out into the open office floor plan. It blasts to pieces the first rank of zombies passing through the breached central stairwell door. It also slams me into the corner stairwell door, breaking my nose. Staggering, I manage to open the door, slip into the corner stairwell and close the door behind me. But not before the next rank of zombies spill out onto the third floor and immediately spot me.

More of the explosive energy is expended as the ruined elevator picks up speed and passes the second floor. Some of the expanding gases are expelled through the partially opened elevator doors, which knocks both Tracy and Joshua off their feet. By now however, much of the explosive energy has been expended and this violent rush of air causes them no further harm. But at this point the force of gravity has assumed full authority over the rapidly descending elevator. When it encounters the next solid object, it is travelling at well over 200 miles an hour.

That 'next solid object' happens to be the armored pariental skull plate of the Tank zombie, having finally shouldered its way into the bottom of the elevator shaft and preparing to let loose another thunderous roar. Instead, it more or less gets a face full of steel framed elevator car, 3,000 pound diesel generator and the accumulated kinetic energy of forty-five feet of gravitational acceleration.

In other words, the Tank zombie is squashed like a ripe tomato.

***

The heavy shades are still drawn across the windows of the second floor, so I'm nearly blind emerging from the corner stairwell. But there's no missing the loud crash of window glass coming from the southeast corner of the room. Not to mention the brief flash of daylight as the curtains in that vicinity of the room momentarily part and reveal a dark figure tumbling onto the floor. It immediately disappears amidst the shadowy maze of office desks and file cabinets. Then the curtains settle back over the broken window, casting the room back into darkness. In place of silence however, I hear a menacing hiss emanating from somewhere in the darkness ahead of me, as well as the sound of sharpened claws raking across a metal desktop. I immediately drop into a crouch and blindly sweep my hands in front of me. My fingers brush up against something flat and hard; a file cabinet. I sidle up to this closest source of cover and immediately crab to my right, trying to make as little noise as possible. Somewhere in front of me and to my left, I hear something moving.

Then, from the direction of the saferoom, Josh's excited voice. “Bill? That you out there? I think the Tank's dead! Just give me a sec and I'll have this door opened for you.”

I have to sacrifice my position in order to shout a warning. “No Josh! Keep it barred; I'm not alone out here!”

The instant I finish my sentence, I drop to the floor and roll to my right. Even as I'm doing this, I hear something powerful and lithe gallop over the tops of the office desks, scattering desk lamps and typewriters as it rapidly crosses the room. I circle around to the far side of another file cabinet and from there watch in mute fascination as a menacing shadow closes in on the spot where I was crouching just a few moments before. Landing with a loud crash, the shadowy creatures emits a sputtering howl of outrage that its quarry, having unwisely revealed itself, has failed to stay still long enough to be cornered and attacked.

Josh again, from inside the locked saferoom. “Holy shit, what is that out there with you?”

I'm not about to answer. Instead, I begin to contemplate my next move when the creature again springs into action. Homing in on the sound of Josh's voice, it streaks diagonally across the darkened room and crashes heavily against the barred saferoom door. I only get a glimpse at it, but the way it's moving confirms my suspicion that this is another of those hunter zombies; aggressively hostile and supremely dangerous. The creature either somehow crept up the side the building or simply launched itself from the ground level; an undead projectile aimed directly at the window glass.

With the hunter assaulting the saferoom door, Tracy and Josh scream in unison.

Sunrise has definitely occurred because the tops and bottoms of the window drapes are suddenly aglow with diffused light. I can now make out the hunter; it's literally hanging off the door's barred window, violently tugging on the window bars. Attempting to rip the door from its hinges.

With the creature's back momentarily turned to me, I rise to my feet, shoulder the M16 and shout a final warning: “Drop to the floor you two; now!”

With that I unleash a volley of rifle fire at the dark shape menacing the saferoom door.

The hunter zombie detaches itself from the door and rolls off to the left, a howling blur of flailing limbs. It skitters across the floor, sending office furniture flying in every direction before disappearing into the shadowy confines of an executive office. I sense it collecting itself, shrugging off the shock of being hit by gunfire. I decide not to wait to see how badly I've wounded it; I lower my head and charge towards the safehouse door.

“Josh, Tracy! I'm on my way to the door! You'd better have it open by the time I get there or I'm a dead man!”

I can hear the thing emerging from the executive office as I'm closing in on the saferoom door, now swinging open as Tracy steps aside to admit me. I'm just beginning to wonder where Josh is as I'm passing into the saferoom when the young man, crouching off to the side, springs up and throws his body against the door, slamming it closed. The portal comes within a hair's breadth of latching when all of Josh's weight and momentum are instantly cancelled by the hunter impacting on the other side. The young man is driven back almost two feet, yet somehow maintains his footing. Instantly, he's joined by Tracy at his side as the two work together to hold the monstrous zombie at bay. “Lower your heads, you two,” I command as I thumb the M16's fire control switch and jam the barrel between the bars of the door's narrow window. The hunter's face is briefly lit up by the stroboscopic muzzle flash before it's ripped apart by a point-blank fusillade of fully automatic rifle fire.
Last edited by majorhavoc on Fri Feb 19, 2016 1:05 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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Re: The Restless Dead

Post by TheWarriorMax » Mon Apr 13, 2015 10:05 pm

YAYY!! MOAR

Thank you. Great update.
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Re: The Restless Dead

Post by DTyra » Tue Apr 14, 2015 1:15 am

Moar goodness! Thanks, Major!
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Re: The Restless Dead

Post by TheWarriorMax » Wed Apr 15, 2015 6:03 am

"When an explosion takes place in a confined space, a number of things happen in rapid succession. In the case at hand, the initial explosive impulse instantly and catastrophically overwhelms two of the three steel bolts connecting the elevator car to the cross member. Next, a rapidly expanding shock wave encounters the heavily constructed walls and ceiling of the upper elevator shaft. With nowhere else to go, the concussive wave is redirected back onto itself, "

Is that the Monroe Effect?

I remember Andy McNab talking about it when he sets off two bombs at the sane time on opposite sides of a house: the shockwave meets in the Middle and amplifies there...
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Re: The Restless Dead

Post by JeeperCreeper » Fri May 01, 2015 4:56 am

You know what I like? Eating food when I read these stories as the characters are starving.

Bravo, Major!!! Great Work!!!! Boy, these strawberries are delicious...
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Hudsonhawk777
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Re: The Restless Dead

Post by Hudsonhawk777 » Wed May 13, 2015 6:37 pm

SO good MH. Need MOAR
Following the path of least resistance is what makes rivers and men crooked.--Unknown

ForeverMan53
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Re: The Restless Dead

Post by ForeverMan53 » Tue Jun 16, 2015 3:29 pm

Love this story.
Keep up the great work.
Gotta get me one of those Ditch Bank Blades. That thing looks wicked. :mrgreen:


oh yeah MMMMMOOOOAAARRR

Chad1387
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Re: The Restless Dead

Post by Chad1387 » Sat Jul 04, 2015 12:19 pm

Your story is very well written and reading it is a great way to pass one's time.

Thank you for writing it.

I hope you return and continue posting updates.

walterde
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Favorite Zombie Movies: Dawn of the Dead, Black Hawk Down and Interstellar
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Re: The Restless Dead

Post by walterde » Sun Jul 05, 2015 9:58 am

At least post an "I'm done" so we'll know for sure.
I gotta go to class.

selen
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Re: The Restless Dead

Post by selen » Mon Jul 06, 2015 6:26 am

That was a great update. Thank you :clap: :)

cranky1
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Favorite Zombie Movies: night of the living dead

Re: The Restless Dead

Post by cranky1 » Tue Aug 11, 2015 5:19 am

Wow,I been reading this for 3 days now and the walking dead got nothing on this! I can't wait for more. Great story, cheers jim

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azrancher
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Re: The Restless Dead

Post by azrancher » Wed Sep 16, 2015 4:25 pm

And that's all she wrote, this story has been going for 4 years now.

I think we need to create a stealth-invisible zombie/undead critter.

Thanks for the entertainment so far.

Rancher

KFA_Davis
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Re: The Restless Dead

Post by KFA_Davis » Wed Sep 30, 2015 4:05 am

Anxiously awaiting MOAR!

Great story, majorhavoc!

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Resident Evil series
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Re: The Restless Dead

Post by vthunter » Mon Oct 26, 2015 9:54 pm

Hey, Major, been away for a long stretch here. Serious life issues consuming great amounts of time again - just starting to get unburied (sorry, bad pun there, huh, considering our 'location'?).

Hope you're well & tucked away in some comfy abode just cranking out more words on this story... it seems our departures just about coincided with each other and I can only wish that all is good with you & yours!!

Glad if you'd have more updates, only when you're ready. I know you've spent a lot of valuable time on it over the years and your fans, us, really do appreciate it!!!

Happy Halloween, sir!!

vthunter

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