Battle Without Honor or Humanity (HvZ-4)

Posted in Humans.vs.Zombies on April 22nd, 2008 by Tom

Tuesday

I was up early Tuesday morning working away at a test. If I know now what I knew then… I wouldn’t have bothered. I just figured that if the apocalypse turned out to be… not the apocalypse, I should still probably take a stab at maintaining my grades. As I was working, Nate came in, sporting a bandanna on his forehead. I’d momentarily forgotten he’d been slain that evening, following the mission.

Being undead apparently didn’t bestow upon Nate any new-found sense of chivalry or humor, becuase he spent the next 15 minutes talking trash about how bad I was gonna die the next day. About how I’d become his personal target, and that he was going have some of the best zombies out scouring campus for me. Then he sniffed the air near my head, and said he could smell my brains.

OK. Whatever. But after he left, I had to talk to Ian about what to do. If there was even a grain of truth in his words, I was in serious trouble. Still not confident in my skills to defend myself in a pinch, I was afraid of these people who would hunt me. Ian and I hatched a plan. We decided that I’d wake up at 5:30, go to Magruder, and then sleep on a couch in there until 9, when Ian would come wake me up for class. If I could just get to that building, I would be safe. All three of my classes were held in the building, so I wouldn’t have to leave if someone brought me food.

The plan was perfect. I set my alarm for 5:30 when I hopped into bed at 3:30. The only problem is, near as Ian and I can infer, I got up, switched off the alarm at 5:30, and got back into bed. Ian woke me up at 8:15, realizing what had happened. Quickly I suited up, aiming for stealth rather than intimidation today. The horde would not be impressed by any array of weapons at this point. They were hungry, and there were only twenty-some-odd of us left.

I snuck out early, creeping across the parking lot, only packing socks up my sleeves, and a 6-shot maverick stowed in the pockets of my cargo pants. I began walking up the street right in the middle, trying to distance myself from the sidewalks where it would be all to easy for a zombie to hide, and simply reach out and grab me by the ankle. Eventually, I made it to Magruder. As I stepped inside, I realized right then how far I’d come, and how little I had left to go. The nightmare would soon be over, for better or worse.

The day went by pretty fast I guess. Between every period I had to check up on the TrumanZombies.com website, and slowly watch as our numbers dwindled, and theirs grew. Cody had, the night before, requested information for when the humans would all be free to meet. The Final Mission time was set for 4:30, with a potential standoff to end everything occurring at 6 PM. Location: to be determined.

Ian brought me lunch, which was awesome. Some people came to visit me, tell me war stories, give me news about the outside world. It wasn’t a bad day, all in all. That afternoon, I began to check my e-mail compulsively. It was nearly 4, and Cody hadn’t given us a location. Finally, we were all directed to the BSU, at the edge of campus. I started to panic, becuase that was about as far from where I was as was possible. I quickly packed my things and moved out… noticing the zombies amassing in the very building from which I had taken refuge in. My flight from there was quick though, and without reservation. I was done hiding.

I took a long route, skirting campus, to get to the BSU. En route, I saw the military commander who’d helped us access the automatics walking towards Barnett with the case of syringes. My heart leaped: maybe we were finally going to escape this nightmare; maybe with those samples someone could find a cure! I continued on quickly to the BSU only to find it was locked when I arrived. I turned to hasten my retreat; this screamed ‘ambush’ and I wanted to get under cover quickly. As I did so, I saw a fellow human jog up to me. I began to explain to him that the doors we locked, but he already knew. He’d been spotting from a window up in the West Campus Suites from across the street. We quickly got inside of the building, and as more humans showed up, got them to make their way over as well.

Finally we met Greg and Kathleen. We’d learned from a security video that the military commander I’d just seen had actually set us up. He killed the tech who was our last hope of getting communications to the outside world. We understood in that instant that our fate had already been written, and that there was no escape from this hell now. Kathleen said she was able to determine that the commander had called for a helicopter to provide him an emergency extraction, and that he’d taken with him the samples. I felt like such a fool. I trusted this man without thinking, assuming he was working for our survival. If I’d stopped him right there, maybe things would have been different.

So we mobilized. I at least knew where he would be: Barnett Hall was the only building with enough space around it for a helicopter to land. On the way over, people were… excited. I didn’t understand it. Every step I took was one closer to my own death. A horde of potentially 100 Zombies would be waiting for us, hungry to stop us, and allow the commander to escape with the samples which he planned to spread throughout the Midwest. We pressed onward, taking a back road that eventually ended behind Barnett at a fence.

As we approached the fence, we saw that lurking behind the houses was the first wave of our attackers. The gathered at the open end of the street forming a line, picking their targets, and discussing strategy in whatever foul tongue the dead communicate in. The closed in, closer, closer. A few of us jumped the fence, and though safe, were unable to protect those remaining. We rushed them and quickly they backed off. We returned to the fence. More went over. A tipping point had been reached and the zombies rushed in. Trapped in a corner, I did what I had to. SNAP. One stunned. *slide-back-slide-forward* (this is how the gun reloads) SNAP. A second one down. Michael Justus is eying me and I wasn’t going out that easy. *slidebackslideforward* SNAP. I’d stunned him. Just like that.

Some random woman came over then, hollering for us to “get off her property.” I guess you can’t really say you live in a hick town until you’ve heard that at least once. The zombies scattered, stunned and confused at the sudden appearance of the woman. I jumped the fence and rejoined my squad. In the fray we only lost one man, Michael. We continued to our destination.

On the hill we saw a large cluster of zombies. A forward squad of humans went ahead and chased them back across the street to the creek. My eyes followed them, and were met with the sight of the full horde. I couldn’t believe it. It seemed like they’d mustered their entire force, just as we had. We were out-numbered 4-1. Greg and Kathleen found the position they needed to attack the helicopter, and told us it would be in range in 5 minutes. If we could just hold the hill for that time, Kathleen would blast the damn thing out of the sky, and the Midwest would be saved from the plague.

The zombies slowly began moving in. 4 minutes. Breaking into two main squads and forming a pincer attack, they were getting ready. 3 minutes. Every second they wasted organizing was like a tiny gift from the almighty. 2 minutes. Then I heard it. The sound of hundreds of feet stampeding to hasten our doom. Things went quick. They were closing in on my end of our loose circle around the launcher. We quickly confirmed that only one of us needed to survive to complete the mission. That was encouraging.

What was not encouraging was the 20 hungry faces I was staring down that were now moving with alarming pace. SNAP. I missed! The shot veered off! *slidebackslideforward* SNAP. I got one that time. *slidebackslideforward* SNAP. Got a second. I stepped back a few paces, but there were to many, moving too fast. 1 minute. *slidebackslideforward* SNAP. ANOTHER! *slidebackslideforward*

slam.

I fell to my knees. In the confusion of it all, I’d forgotten the skill that kept me alive this past week. Someone had gotten me from behind. The feeling was unreal. I had pockets full of clips waiting to be spent on zombies. I had comrades that needed avenging. I had a life left to live. No more. Soon, I would be one of them. As I struggled to come to grips with the events of the last 5 minutes, I heard ‘whoosh’ sound, and saw Kathleen’s missile sail up until the sky, connecting violently with the approaching helicopter.

It was done. The zombies had devoured most of us. One had run to take cover in Barnett. Another had just run. I can’t blame them. We all wanted to live though this. A strange sense of euphoria spread over me though. Maybe it was the neurotoxins… or maybe, just maybe, it was the knowledge that my skills and sacrifice had bought us the previous seconds needed to save the greater Midwest from the nightmare that had been our lives this past week.

I struggled home, walking with the horde. Pulling myself up the stairs and into my room, I did my best to summarize the events of today as best I could. With that done, I searched the room, and found what I was looking for. It’s sitting here on my desk, as I type this. Loaded, cocked, and ready to go.

There’s maybe ten minutes left before it happens, before I turn- oh wait. There’s Ian. I’m glad he’s back.
I don’t know if I would have been able to it myself.

~Fin

You And Who’s Army? (HvZ-3)

Posted in Humans.vs.Zombies on April 22nd, 2008 by Tom

Still trying to get completely up-to-date.

Sunday

We assembled in the middle of Magruder, and were briefed that the Zombies had stolen some of CELO’s transmission equipment deconstructed it, and hid it throughout campus. We had to retrieve the broken pieces, and once they were reassembled, hold the area for transmission.

The first component went fine. We broke into three squads. Mine went to Ryle, picked up our component, and made our way back. Soon after we returned, the 2nd group did too. We waited and worried. The third group had been assigned the West Campus Suites, at which we’d received intel that a horde was gathering. However, soon enough, they emerged triumphantly around the bend, shouting to us in their excitement. They’d taken on that horde and not lost a single person!

Then came the hard part: holding the parking lot between Violette and Magruder for nearly 20 minutes. At first, it was fine. We just hung out there. A few zombies tested our perimeter, but more or less we held. Little by little though, they began to amass. There were maybe 7 or 8 on the south end of the parking lot, using the cars for cover, trying to catch us off guard, and more or less distract us. To our north, maybe 120 meters away, the remainder were all there. Just waiting.

Someone pointed out that the zombies’ hand would be forced: after being stunned, they would need to wait 15 minutes to rush again, meaning they would only have enough time for one big rush. If we could hold that off, it would be a victory for us. People took up positions. Sock-lobbers were assigned gunners to cover them, and people with automatics began to plan flanking maneuvers.

Across the way, someone snapped a cellphone shut, and held up their arm in signal. Then it began. Not a charge, or a rush, but a slow march. At a designated point though, they all broke into a run. A few slipped through, sliding on the still-damp grass, only to get peppered with darts as they entered the human ranks. Most of them were held back. I myself got one or two people. Pulling the trigger was getting easier. I didn’t have time to reflect on the morbidity of this, becuase suddenly a victory cry rang out.

“We got Mohr!”

And got him they did. In his brave attempt to his the zombies in their charge’s weak flank, he’d left the safety of the human perimeter. For all his gun’s speed and ammo stock though… he still missed one, and that’s how we lost him. It was a real blow to human morale to see one of our bravest leaders shouting about his insatiable need for brains. Many people cried out in anguish.

There was no time to grieve though. Several zombies still remained, and they began to regroup. We played the game of them coming slightly into the perimeter, just daring a foolish human to chase them into the labyrinth of automobiles. Soon though, they gave up, and we held the lot. The mission was complete.

I headed back to the SUB with what remained of the Bannabats, the local West Side squad. They’d taken some heavy losses that day, including their leader. I bid them farewell as I sat down to rest in the SUB and get some food before the transitional Senate meeting.

It was pretty fun fooling some zombies into thinking I’d be easy prey after my meal by just waltzing by them towards the exit; only to spin around, go up three flights of stairs, and not re-emerge until three hours later, after the meeting. HA!

Monday

My day today has been very odd indeed. The previous night I was up until 4 AM working on various homework things, take-home tests, etc. This morning I Angela took my test in to ODE. I skipped for two reasons: 1) I was exhausted after spending all night finishing it, and 2) I knew John Mohr would be waiting for me, and this his new-found-undead-ness would make the return journey all too difficult. Plus, there was a German exam to study for.

So I didn’t go to Math for the first time this year. Instead I slept another hour, showered, studied, and took off for Baldwin. After that class, I had my most dangerous treck: Baldwin to Magruder. My judgment of this route was immediately vindicated when Shane came up from behind me. I turned my gun fast enough, and he back off. As I tried to advance towards my destination though, he persisted.

Annoyed, I steadied my hand and stunned him, giving me the 15 minutes I needed to get to class safely. I tried to be stealthy the remainder of the trip, and arrived without further incident.

After class, Ian and I took the long way back from class, which was fortunately also without incident. I had a quick lunch, and worked a bit on the entry previous to this one before setting out. If I could just make it to this last class, my chances of survival would get better. I’d set up a time for a rendezvous to the mission location following my class, so once I got to the building, I allowed myself to relax, just a little bit.

Nate forced us to hang back. I desperately wanted to join the other humans in Ophelia Parish, get the briefing, and show them that I was there to support them.But we stayed. In vain we strained our ears to hear what the zombies we planning, but it was no use. The only useful thing we could discern is where they were heading. Soon after they began to break up, we received a phone call from the other humans, informing us that our mission was to retrieve a mod from Pershing.

To those humans all the way in OP, this mission seemed like suicide. They were outnumbered two to one, and had a long, long road ahead of them. We however, had a pretty easy road ahead of us. We once we got the news we bolted from Magruder across the street to Pershing. It only took us about three minutes once we were inside the building to track down the moderator, and soon Ben joined us too. Kathleen then informed us we needed to escort her back to Baldwin where she would make contact with a tech, thus completing our mission.

And so we ran. Kathleen was in the middle, with Ben, Nate, Chris, and myself each taking a corner to defend. We made it to Baldwin without even so much as a sighting of a single zombie. With the mission complete, we were then left with a pretty easy choice: cover our individual escapes while the horse was distracted, or find the humans and attempt to bail them out. Nate pulled out his phone and confirmed that the humans were pinned down inside Ryle, with the zombies showing no indication of relenting.

So we left Kathleen in Baldwin, and began the long trek to our entrance point to the fray outside Ryle. We’d barely made it a few paces outside the building when we ran into a group of four or five zombies. Finally, my time had come. This wasn’t a one-man ambush by Shane or Joey. This wasn’t me ducking into a building to avoid Rocco en route to the SUB. This was an attack. We each called a mark and chased after them. Like a fool, I hesitated, thinking it would be better to stick together as a unit, rather than risk further losses by going alone.

Soon though, I realized my feelings were not shared, and so I began chasing down my mark. I finally had a clean shot as she tried to slip into the SUB, but I hadn’t been leading my target, and she was moving, so the dart just missed. Quickly I called Nate to see what had happened to the others. When I met back up with them, I saw we’d lost Chris Owens. Ben chided Chris for not using a Nerf gun, but relying only on socks. I thought that was a little cold.

So we continued. As we neared our destination, Nate’s phone rang. The humans at Ryle weren’t willing to wait any longer for the meager reenforcement we would provide; they were rushing. Nate ordered us to double-time it, and we ran the rest of the way. As we hit the fringe of the battle, we ran into two more zombies. Nate and Ben took point, while I kept an eye on them at the rear. They then darted into the maze of the apartment complex. I ran on ahead.

As we rounded the corner, it was only then that I realized the true carnage with which we’d left our brethren to deal with. Darts littered the grass. Stunned zombies were corralled in a corner, with the live ones darting here and there. The human remnant was holding though. Suddenly, out of the apartment complex sprang one of the zombies that had been on our tail. He and I circled for a bit, he made to rush, and I fired. Another hit… this time.

We quickly dispatched of the bulk of the remaining zombies, which wasn’t much, and then started organizing the humans into escape squads based on dorm. I ended up with Zack. He and I were the only C-Hall people there, and so we began the long road home. As we walked, I told him how terrible I felt leaving the humans to fend for themselves while the four of us took all the glory.

Zack responded, “The minute we heard the Nightcrawlers were in position, we knew what our job was. ” This eased my mind greatly, that the remainder of the humans knew the mission was important above all, and gladly accepted their role, despite it being the far more dangerous one. We ran into a bit of trouble at the SUB, finding Hogey waiting for us at the front door, and a zombie that un-stunned just as we headed outside.

Eventually we just went back to back, and slowly walked across the street, guns drawn. Zack had Hogey in his sights, and I was covering two in the rear. Once we’d all collectively stopped traffic and made it across the street, a skirmish ensued. We took two down, leaving only the smallest. Zack went back for his ammo, feeling relatively safe at this point. predictably, he was charged as he stooped to pick up his dart. He raised his gun to stun her, and MISSED. At that range, she was too close; he panicked and ran.

I gave chase, and between the two of us we brought her down. It was close though; closer than I think either of us would have preferred. I hunkered down in C-Hall for the rest of the night… all I could do was await the dawn of the next day, one that would decide my fate forever.

Apocolypse Please (HvZ-2)

Posted in Humans.vs.Zombies on April 21st, 2008 by Tom

Things are bad.
I mean… they were always bad, but now they’re worse.

Briefly, here are the updates in terms of missions:

Friday

The scientist were attempting to identify what was inside of those syringes what we procured from the first mission. It seems to be some type of biological weapon or cure for the infection, but they weren’t sure. They needed samples of live… or nearest to it, undead flesh and DNA to test it on. It was our job to procure this for them.

We managed to locate three particular zombies and subdued them to get the biological materials needed. The humans were ecstatic after this mission. It went nearly perfectly: we quickly found the zombies, got what we needed, and got out of there before any real losses were sustained.

Saturday

The next day, we received word that a general in charge of a large cache of weapons was willing to aid our cause with automatic weapons… if we could get to him. We knew he was in Violette, and that there was a concentration of the Undead somewhere between Ophelia Parish and Baldwin. So we went around. The long way around. This was, I believe, the biggest concentration of Humans in a single place. We were at our strongest at that moment.

Once we reached the facility, the general informed us that he didn’t have access to the weapons, and that the man who had the key card had gone out on patrol, and not reported in for more than an hour. It then became our job to retrieve him, and hopefully our salvation in the guide of automatics. The battle eventually went down on the field next to Pershing.

A Human contingent went straight in, attempting to scatter the horde. They were more or less successful, but there was a lot of confusion. I remained with the rear guard, covering the hoped return path back through Pershing. Eventually though, it became apparent that the remainder of the humans across the street needed help. I asked a small portion of the rear guard to come with me and we sprinted out to help.

I think merely by our additional presence we caused enough confusion to allow one of our own to stun the zombified military officer, and get his card. Follow this, we all bolted. We were confused, and no one was taking charge. The mission was proceeded as planned, but all semblance of organization had been lost. People stuck in small groups and took multiple return routes back to the military installation.

The source of, more or less, all this disarray was that we’d lost John Mohr in the fray. People couldn’t believe it. We returned back to the base, and got the weapons we needed. Then, suddenly, everyone turned and saw from the steps of Violette none other than John Mohr sprinted back to us. He triumphantly raised his right arm and pointed to the bandanna still present on it, and we all broke out in a roar of excitement. He had cheated death to return to us.

I returned to Dobson, as opposed to my typical C-Hall, in order to do the Radio Program. Upon reaching the station though, I realized two things: I hadn’t started the recording, and I didn’t have my iPod cord. This was very, very bad. I’d already missed the convoy to the West Side, and so I was going to have to go it alone.

I made it to Magruder, skirting the edge of Violette, just fine. Upon arriving there though, I quickly realized that I was in trouble. Zombies were guarding all the exits I needed. I was trapped in there with a fellow comrade, Matt Butler. He needed to make it to McClain and get his bike, which was about as bad as me needing to get to C-Hall and BACK across campus to Dobson.

We waited and waited. Finally, we saw our opening, and took it. Remembering the Joey Palmer Maneuver, I checked the back corner of our exit, only to find my suspicions confirmed. SNAP. I stunned the zombie, only to feel a push at my back. I was tagged.

I turned around to see my assailant. It would have been a great kill, except for one little thing. His bandanna was down. Since I’d considered him stunned, of course I’d ignored him. Matt had too. I stammered that he was still stunned. Realizing his error in play, he let me go. Matt and I took off for the SUB. By this point though, the stunned Zombies had phoned in reenforcement.

We ended up going out a back door of the SUB and scaling a small brick wall to get back to Magruder. This cat-and-mouse continued until we finally decided to chance a less-used route. It served us well. We slipped away from the entire scene unnoticed, and made it back to C-Hall. I got my equipment, and Lizz joined me to go back to Dobson. Thankfully I met no resistance on the way back.

We did the radio show, and I managed to sneak back again across campus.
It was a hell of a day.

Spending Time In Preparation (HvZ-1)

Posted in Humans.vs.Zombies on April 18th, 2008 by Tom

So the plague has hit Truman pretty hard. The CDC has us quarantiened, nothing gets in, nothing gets out. We’ve taken to simply roaming the streets armed to the teeth: jumpy, paranoid, but otherwise safe. It could be a lot worse.

I should also say that I’m green. SO green. I’ve made a few ventures through open areas on my own, but I haven’t run into any real combat yet, and I’m anxious. Not anxious to kill zombies, but just to prove, to myself more than anyone, that I have what it takes to survive.

The first mission was a success. I arrived a little less than halfway through, following a few others heading down as reenforcements. The humans managed to hold all three stations, which yielded information concerning a type of transmitter. After tracking it down, we found it contained six syringes. The function of these is still a mystery, but if it’s anything to bring this nightmare to an end just a little sooner, I think the mission was a complete success. We suffered minimal losses and braved pretty inclement weather to come out ahead of the undead.

I should also mention John Mohr. The man is a veteran of a previous outbreak, and you can tell. His senses are perfectly tuned, and he has a sharp mind for the small stuff, details even, that can be the difference between life or death out in the field. He’s had my back since we first got news of the outbreak, and I’m thankful for that.

This week was really heavy on exams, in spite of the pending zombie apocalypse, but the in-class portions are done now. Getting the take-homes wrapped up between missions shouldn’t be too big of a problem, especially with all the time I’ll be spending inside.

My paranoia is starting to get to me. I don’t like looking over my shoulder at every single corner, checking behind bushes, swinging a weapon around like I’m some type of action hero. Especially at this point, when the plague has been relatively contained. It seems excessive. I’m still alive though, so that’s gotta count for something.

The weekend presents an interesting quandary: there’s no class, so you could potentially camp out for the whole two-day period. However, there are missions to be accomplished, and the lack of activity makes staying inside just that much harder.

I’m going back out there now.

Big Darkness

Posted in Humans.vs.Zombies, Nerd, Random on April 16th, 2008 by Tom

Lots of things going on here!
I have so much classwork, it is absurd, but I wanted to drop a line in on the ol’ Blog.

Emily posted this a few weeks ago, and I finally got around to watching it.
Remember (high school people) how I forced everyone to watch Troll 2 at one point or another? (Also: Shout out to the Sion kids who introduced ME to it) It seems I was not the only one who became quasi-obsessed with it:

You Can’t Piss On Hospitality,” still remains, even to this day, the greatest line ever spoken in cinema history. So check out the documentary if you’ve seen Troll 2.

If you haven’t seen Troll 2, send me an e-mail, and we’ll figure something out.
Speaking of other silly things I forced on people back in high school, remember eat poop you cat?!
Now you can play online.

Ian and I were reading the news when we came across a news story concerning Jessica Simpson. She went to the hospital for something so… whatever. However, closer inspection revealed it to be another classic proof of what I’m quickly terming Noble’s Law:

Despite the noteworthiness, importance, or stature of any item of interest on the internet, the comments will always be more entertaining.

Exhibit A:

I will try to post more examples of Noble’s Law in the future.

Ian and I are also avid fan’s of Howie Mandel’s Deal or No Deal program. Or at least we the online flash game. A lot. Probability dictated that about 26 games later, this would be bound to happen, and reality followed suit:

Another fun thing I was referred to not just by Ethan, but by WordPress, is Stuff White People Like. This blog is essentially the tell-all of the upper echelon of mod-hipster-indie-types. The frequency with which I come across a given article that perfectly describes either myself or someone I closely associate with is… disturbing.

On a final note:
Humans vs. Zombies has started. The outbreak is here, in Kirksville, and no one is safe.
(Least of all me since I smashed my foot into my desk and occasionally pick up a little limp.)
Expect the next few blogs to be largely zombie-oriented with crazier music than usual if I manage to survive long enough to type them. If I don’t, except a full account of my tragic death, and perhaps a summary of my zombie exploits following the game.