Gener@tion Z - Day 2 - 1:30pm
After fighting their way out of the horde that had been waiting to greet them the second they woke up inside the Scenario, to say that Kurt was pissed was an understatement. Tammy had left them out in the open, prying open the entrance to the book store after knocking Kurt unconscious and stealing their stuff. He took his anger out on the enemies that overwhelmed them, using every ounce of military experience he possessed to dispatch the lot of them, saving their virtual lives and the trouble of having to fail the class. As most of them fell at the mercy of his weaponry and combat skills (a few of them got in close enough for him to twist their necks and crush their faces with his fists, as he was using hand-to-hand combat skills that rivaled Rambo), the duo quickly fled the book store.
They managed to go the rest of their journey without much more zombie activity, which was a relief for them both as they had nearly maxed out all of their ammunition on the horde that caught them off-guard at the book store. Now they were traveling with a much lighter load, having had to ditch what little Tammy had left them with and move on with what they could carry, which included a single dufflebag with a little food that had been consumed quickly during breakfast, a few lukewarm drinks, and the last bit of ammunition they had left. The two walked along the city road, passing the vacant buildings on the empty streets as they pressed on to nowhere.
"Hey, Lieutenant, you know what I'm going to do?" Hymon asked jovially, as he looked around.
"I don't know, shut up?" Kurt responded annoyingly, half-listening.
"When I get back on the surface, I'm going to go to the gun store and buy a bunch of guns and permits with my dad's credit card, then I'm going to store them into one of these buildings. That way when we come back in here tomorrow, we'll have a new supply of weapons at our disposal."
"Why not just go to a gun store right now?" Kurt asked, still lacking any real interest.
"Well I don't know where one is at the moment. But I can drive there and find one in the real world, then buy some guns and leave them somewhere close to where we're gonna store up for the night. So we can get them tomorrow."
"You do realize how much a gun costs, right?" Kurt said, turning to him. "You're actually willing to blow off a large sum of money to essentially cheat?"
"Well, no, I wouldn't call it cheating. I'm just saying we could get the upper hand by manipulating the reality around us."
"You carry the Sickle Cell trait, Private?" Kurt asked Hymon with authority, looking forward.
"Yes sir," Hymon answered.
"You're lucky. Because if you didn't, the second I'd come to find out you were infected, I'd blow your brains out. Now shut your mouth and keep moving."
Yes sir," Hymon said obediently, following Kurt farther down the road as a convenient store appeared around the corner along a strip of stores that they'd passed on the way up. Kurt walked in vigilantly, moving towards the snacks to resupply on their foods. As he stuffed the duffle bag, he grabbed a Snickers bar from one of the boxes and tore it open, devouring it while he continued to replenish their load. As he did so, he heard footsteps behind him and turned quickly, dropping the bag and drawing his pistol. At the sight of Hymon, he dropped his guard and looked at him angrily.
"Private, what the fuck do you think you're doing?!" he shouted. "Get by the door and keep watch!!"
"Okay," Hymon said sheepishly, throwing up his hands in defense as he walked back by the door and stood in front of it. Kurt shook his head pathetically and continued to stuff the dufflebag with junk food.
Across from the convenient store was a lake, known to most as Lake Ronald, which ran adjacent to the docks that were located just around the corner from where they were currently positioned. As Hymon stood by the entrance of the convenient store, he could see activity transpiring out by a lone boat that seemed to be floating aimlessly along the current of the water. He started to pay it no attention until he heard a gunshot ring out in the distance that made him jump. Kurt heard it too. He brought the bag with him to the door and peered out of the store curiously as Hymon pointed out toward the lone boat in the middle of the lake.
"What was that?" Kurt asked, on full alert.
"Out there on that boat," Hymon said, focusing in on it. "I think it came from over there."
"Let's go." Kurt said quickly, hustling his way across the street and over towards the docks around the corner to get a better look at the boat.
On the vessel that had been left alone in the water, Louis, Kristina, and Sarah were engaged in a deep struggle with a horde that was quickly taking siege of the boat. How? They swam. At the start of the day, a gathering of Infected had traveled into the depths of the lake and intercepted the lone yacht quietly, causing its occupants to awaken to the grisly sight of wet pale grotesque and hungry human shells looking to devour their flesh. The entirety of the morning had been spent trying to desperately hold off the horde with the single shotgun Kristina had brought with her and it proved to be somewhat effective with such a large supply of ammunition she had also carried along with her in her bag. But time was wearing thin and so was their supply. Before today, Louis, as well as the rest of them, had been under the impression that they were safe, being that these zombies shouldn't have been able to swim. Was it possible that they had learned it over night? Or better yet, had the Flu learned to adapt? Whatever the explaination, it was apparent that yesterday, large bodies of water were the main line of defense against the Infected, but today, it was no longer a source of protection.
"Louiz!" Kristina called as Louis turned in her direction. She tossed him the shotgun that they had been taking turns with throughout the duration of the siege. The boat was covered in blood and decaying bodies after disposing of the tenth wave of zombies. They seemed to be endlessly intercepting the group with the gunshots drawing in more and more after them. "I'm going to check on Sarah."
"Okay," Louis said securely, cocking the gun and disposing of a few more infected heads. The infantry of zombies had been thinned out since they first began to take over the ship, but they still wouldn't stop coming, so there had to be someone keeping watch on the deck at all times to dispose of any more that climbed on from the waters. One of the creatures had made its way into the helm earlier in the assault and Louis had accidentally fired some rounds at it while it stood in front of the steering wheel. The bullets tore through the creature, but unfortunately a few collided with the navigation system, rendering it useless and stranding them in the middle of the lake. Their only option at this point was to keep on the defensives until they could no longer fight or until a miracle occured. So far they weren't having the best of luck.
Kristina unlocked the door to the bridge and found Sarah sitting in the pilot's chair with her head down in her thighs, her hands pressed over her head like she was protecting herself from something that might fall from the ceiling. Kristina called her name and Sarah looked up with red teary eyes. She closed the door behind her and ran forward, hugging Sarah tightly.
"It will be all right, Sarah," Kristina said, trying to comfort her. "It is almost over. Ve'll be back on ze surface soon."
"You don't know how much willpower it took for me to not just unlock that door and dive out into the lake," Sarah said, trying poorly to hold back her emotions. "This damn class....I would have done it easily that if this were real."
"Don't say zhat, Sarah. You should vant to see zhis zhrough to zhe end. Go down fighting."
"Easier said than done."
From the shoreline, Kurt and Hymon had already begun to untie one of the smaller boats from the docks and Kurt proceeded to hotwire it from the bottom, which launched the vessel forward from the docks and out onto the lake towards the lone boat stranded in its center. As Louis blasted another soaking wet infected figure trying to climb aboard from the side, he could see across the horizon that there was a boat speeding its way in their direction. Unless the zombies had also learned how to operate aquatic vehicles, that must be either a wild card or a human, Louis thought. Still, based on his enemy's newfound "intelligence," even if only fleeting, he wasn't about to let his guard down until he could visibly see that the driver and occupants of the boat were uninfected.
When the boat pulled up alongside the yacht, Louis could see that the driver and its passenger were both students he knew from the class and took a breath of relief at the sight of them.
"Do you need some help?" Kurt shouted in the direction of the yacht when they were close enough to be heard.
Every fiber of Louis' body wanted to shout back something sarcastic or insulting, since he knew Kurt was asking a serious question and not joking. Louis decided to hold his tongue. "Yes, we need some help," he shouted, blowing away another zombie that had crept up from behind when he heard the footsteps.
"Ditch the ship and climb aboard," Kurt called, steering the boat closer to the yacht and leaving a four to five foot gap between the two vessels. "Try to hurry it up before these guys get the better of both of us. We only have so much ammo. Is it just you?"
"No, there are two others in the bridge," Louis answered, making his way to where Kristina and Sarah were located. "I'll go get them."
"Okay." Kurt turned to Hymon. "Get your weapons ready, private. We're going to have to hold off the boat for a little while until they're ready."
Louis took the stairs and opened the door to the bridge, walking in to see Kristina and Sarah holding each other as Kristina tried to comfort her friend. Louis rolled his eyes.
"Oh great, you guys choose now to get cozy. Could have done that earlier when I wasn't fighting for my life."
"Shut up," Sarah said bitterly, wiping the tears from her eyes as she stood up, regaining her composure. "What's the situation?"
"That military guy from class, Kurt, is outside waiting for us with a boat. He's offering to get us out of here but we've got to go now."
"Okay, let me just make sure I have my meds," Sarah said, turning back to her bag, which was by the pilot's chair on the floor. She reached inside and pulled out an orange bottle of pills, holding it tightly in her hand as she brought her bag with her. As they left the bridge, she started to put the bottle in her pocket while following Kristina and Louis out onto the deck but as she brought it by her waist, it slipped from her grasp and fell onto the plywood of the deck outside, the top popping off and its contents spilling out in front of her. "Crap!"
She reached down and tried to scoop the tablets from the floor back into the bottle but unfortunately there was so much blood spilled out onto the deck that many of the meds were now soaked in the bodily fluids of the deceased infected around them. She tried to save what little of them she could but Kristina turned back to her frantically.
"You have to leave zhem!" She called, pulling Sarah up by her arm. "Ve don't have time!"
"But I need them!" Sarah said with a touch of desperation.
"Ve can stop at a drug store later but ve need to move now!"
Sarah looked back down at the pills hopelessly but continued to follow Louis and Kristina to the edge of the boat where they spotted Kurt and Hymon firing their weapons at the zombies that were now trying to take seige of their ship as well as the yacht. When the women came into view, Kurt made a double take, spotting Kristina among them and smiled inside. Jackpot, he said in his head joyfully. He ran from where he stood and picked up the large rope piled in one corner of the boat, then cast it over the side.
"You're going to have to jump!" he shouted. "Grab hold of the rope and climb aboard!"
"Okay," Louis said, mostly to himself as he prepared himself. "I'll go first."
"You're too big, man! Let the ladies go first!"
Louis looked up with offense, squinting angrily at Kurt for his remark, but decided to let it slide for the time being. "If I don't make it, at least the zombies in the water will be distracted and the girls can make it over without a problem."
"Whatever you say," Kurt called with a shrug as Louis took a running start and hopped over the yacht's railing, past the water gap and onto the side of Kurt and Hymon's boat. He collided with it recklessly, underestimating his distance and accidentally released his grip on the boat's rail as a result of the sudden force. Luckily, he was able to grab on to the rope before slipping into the water and used it to make his way onto the boat. Once there, he rolled onto his back and sighed with relief, looking up into the blue sky above.
Kristina was next. She jumped across with relative ease, grabbing hold of the boat's side and hoisting herself over next to Louis, who was sitting up, making sure to help the girls if they had any trouble. Kurt had moved from the steering wheel to the edge where Kristina had landed and was there to help Kristina to her feet with Louis trying to do the same, both putting more effort into helping her than she actually needed. Sarah took a deep breath but she was visibly hesitant.
"Come on, Sarah, you can do it," Louis shouted encouragingly.
Sarah nodded quickly, ran from the back wall of the yacht's cabin, and tossed herself over the water, making the same distance as Louis, but when she grabbed the edge of the boat, the sudden pain was too much for her and she slipped slightly. Luckily, she did as Louis had done and grabbed hold of the rope before falling into the water, however, she'd fallen far enough for her legs to become submerged. As she lifted one back up onto the side of the boat, green shadowy spider-like fingers jutted from the water and grabbed hold tightly to her partially submerged foot, keeping her in place. Sarah whimpered in terror, trying to shake herself from the zombie's grip, but it was tighter than she could have imagined.
"Help me!" Sarah screamed at the top of her lungs.
Louis and Kristina launched forward over the railing and Louis held out his arm for her to grab. Back on the deck of the boat, Hymon was disposing of more zombies, shooting and knocking them into the blood-filled water around them before they were able to board the vessel.
"They're getting more frequent, Lieutenant!" he called over his shoulder as he delivered two headshots to a pair of zombies climbing aboard with his pistol.
"We've got to go!" Kurt said loudly, heading back over to the steering wheel.
"Hold on!" Louis called over his shoulder just as Sarah grabbed hold of his arm. He pulled her up and Kristina grabbed her when she was within reach. Suddenly, a dozen more hands shot from the waters below Sarah and attached themselves to her leg, pulling with inhuman strength that nearly through Louis and Kristina from the boat as well. Their grips were slipping fast and Sarah was beginning to weep.
"Don't let go please!" She shrieked through her cries. "I don't want to die."
"You're not going to die!" Kristina screamed, pulling Sarah up by her free arm with all her might.
It was then that the ship began to move forward gradually and Kristina realized that Kurt was once again navigating the boat.
"Wait!" she yelled in his direction.
As the boat increased in speed, Louis and Kristina's grip on Sarah slipped more and more and the fear in her eyes grew. The zombies were relentless with their hold on her; they weren't going to let go and because there were more restraining her to the side of the boat and a few trying to climb up her back as the boat began to speed away from the abandoned yacht, it grew more difficult for the two to hold on. The water splashing up from the lake soaked Louis' arm and Sarah's hand slipped from contact, leaving her hanging only by Kristina's embrace, which was beginning to force her over the boat's railing as well. Louis reached over and hugged Kristina's waist, trying to keep her aboard but soon, the water loosened her own clutch on Sarah's arm. Sarah slipped from the side of the boat and shrieked violently as the zombie hands that had been dragged along for the ride pulled her under. As the boat sped away, Louis and Kristina looked on to see Sarah disappear under the surface of the lake and in a matter of moments, she was gone and the water behind them went still.
"Damn it," Louis shouted loudly, turning back to Kurt and Hymon. "What the hell was that? You just basically let her die!"
"Need I remind you that none of this is even real?" Kurt said firmly, turning back to Louis while he drove. "She'll be back on the surface and living out the rest of her life in just a little while."
"Are you serious right now?"
"He's right, Louiz," Kristina said calmly, slowing her breathing to a steady pace. "She no longer has to deal wivh vhis madness."
"Exactly," Kurt said. "Not everyone can handle this kind of environment. I don't think she would have lasted much longer in this anyway. She got taken out at the exact time she should have. The fact that she made it this far is good enough. Besides, if we had tried to slow down and help her onto the boat, the Infected would have climbed aboard with her. We barely have enough ammo as it is. Trust me on this, you have to think logically in these kinds of situations, especially under pressure. I've ran hypothetical situations like this through my head many times before. I analyze every nook and cranny of this kind of thing."
"Looks like someone had an extra bowl of bitch flakes this morning," Louis said under his breath, as he turned and took a seat on the back end of the boat.
Hymon watched the scene unfold from where he stood putting his pistol away into the back of his pants and when the conversation seemed to have died down, he turned and made his way over to where Louis sat, introducing himself. "Hey. My name is Hymon Knapp. The guy driving the boat is"-
"I know who he is," Louis said quietly but with attitude. "And he knows who I am."
"Oh," Hymon responded, turning back to the front of the boat, where Kristina took a seat by the helm beside Kurt. "Well....who are you?"
"Ah," Hymon nodded with false understanding as he took a seat on the plush couch-like sitting area beside their new passenger. "So you guys have history, I'm assuming?"
"Not really," Louis answered bitterly. "He just happened to have fucked me over big time for no apparent reason. Last year, I was walking through the hallway with some friends of mine and messing around, when he came around the corner of the 700 hall and I accidentally bumped into him. At the same time, I scuffed his black ROTC shoes."
"Ouch," Hymon cringed.
"Yeah. Completely unintentional though. But not according to Mr. McCormick over there. He told the head Sarge or whatever that I did it on purpose. So I got suspended. My dad complained to the school and ultimately, his dad and mine got into a fight over it in the middle of the school parking lot. It ended with the both of them going to court and they were both put on probation. Didn't solve anything. I was still suspended and its still on my permanent record, thanks to this guy. I actually had my #1 college pick pass on my admission because of it."
"Damn," Hymon declared. "That's cruel."
"Tell me about it. What bothers me is that if I hadn't decided to jump first back at the yacht, I feel like I'd probably be where Sarah is right now. Can't believe I'm stuck with this pretentious asshole for God knows how long."
"Yeah well, we've all got problems. If everyone realized that, Arc-Hive.com beeswax updates would die out."
Louis looked up at Hymon curiously, a smirk forming on his face. "99 Problems but a Bee ain't one."
"Yep," Hymon said, smiling. "Glad you got the reference."
"You watch 'The Absolute Best'?"
"Greatest cartoon on network television. I own all of the current seasons on DVD and the 'Absolute Best' video game. I also have the original Team Velocity/Absolute Best Crossover 'What if?' special on my Hornet RG Phone. Part 1 and 2."
"Dude," Louis replied, scooting up in his seat with enthusiasm. "You saw last week's episode?!"
"I sure did. Taylor is totally off his rocker now. I don't know how Cobie and Reed are going to stop him this time. A friend of mine on this Absolute Best forum I use says Brutus The Irishman might actually return this season."
"Wait, what forum?"
"AbsoluteQuestpage.com," Hymon answered.
"The guy who posted it was TeamVCaptain44?"
"Yeah, that's him. You're on that forum?"
"Dude! That's me!"
"NO WAY!" Hymon exclaimed. "We've been Roleplaying on there together for years!"
As Louis and Hymon reconnected through their mutual appreciation for a popular cartoon television series, Kristina and Kurt sat at the front of the boat, conversing on their next plan of action.
"Vhere are ve supposed to be headed?" Kristina asked, watching the waters ahead split under the path of the boat.
"My dad has a lock-up on Avon Isle across from here."
"Zhat's zhe island right zhere?" Kristina asked, pointing ahead at the body of land across from the city.
"Yeah, I was planning to head over there anyway," Kurt answered. "There shouldn't be many Infected on the Isle."
"How so? I've never been there."
"There's an amusement park called 'Zenith Station' located there. They have a ferryboat called the 'Zenith Fairy' that takes passengers to and from Avon Isle. My uncle used to be the captain of the ferry. Well, the captain behind the captain. The captain most passengers know is the fictional Fairy that they market the theme park with, but he was the one that actually navigated it with the knowledge he took from his time in the Navy. He was the one that helped my dad build the lock-up as a sort of shelter in the event of a city-wide or worldwide catastrophe."
"Vhy did he not make zhe lock-up closer? For easier access?"
"He did. That's how I got all of my weaponry at the start of this thing. But now I need to restock and its our best bet. There are more lock-ups around the city but this is the closest. The ferry is kept on the Isle over night and the only inhabitants that should be over there are the nightshift employees. Shouldn't be too hard to dispatch."
"Right," Kristina nodded. "You sound like you know vhat you're doing."
Kurt turned to her with a sly half-grin. "That's because I do."
"I apologize for blowing you off last week. I hope you can forgive me."
"Its okay," Kurt said, lying his hand on her shoulder casually, as she looked at it with an uneasy feeling. He looked her in the eye and smiled with a flirtatious wink. "We can make up for lost time."