“Escapism” (add-on style RP)

persephonii

Goddess of Spring
Original poster
FOLKLORE MEMBER
Invitation Status
  1. Looking for partners
Posting Speed
  1. Multiple posts per week
Writing Levels
  1. Advanced
  2. Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
  1. No Preferences
Some simple rules to follow:
1. Third person pov, minimum 3 paragraphs.

2. the setting is a college in Colorado, three days into a zombie apocalypse, feel free to create some new things! We are world building as we go!

3. Any smut related rp can be taken to pms if desired, the spiciest you can get in this thread is some makeout sessions, a few touches here and there but nothing major. Don’t forget, this is the end of the world, no time for funny business.

4. Real face claims only unfortunately, no character can be younger than 18, there will be acts of gore, drug use and more!

5. Simply have a picture of your character and a reply to my first post under it! Anyone can interact with anyone, the major place of origin is Colorado State University, have fun!

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Esther



In the last 24 hours it has been said that over four countries have now experienced the outbreak. We will continue to provide more news as the day goes on. For now we advise that you stay indoors, do not leave for any reason, hold out until help arrives. . .

That was the third day now of pure bullshit. The world was slowly deteriorating around them, people are terrified to let anyone into their homes that might have been stuck on the streets. If you listened real close at night, you can hear their low gurgles and strained groans. Who would have thought that the zombie apocalypse would be real? Young College student, Esther Summers, surely didn’t think it was. She found it to be a joke, some sick prank being pulled on the world as she sat within her dorm room, staring at the tv in disbelief.

The first day her phone would just ping over and over again with messages, news, fears. The next day any phone connections seemed to be fading, even her roommate was having trouble getting in contact with her parents in the next state over. She had wanted to leave, head home and be with her family but she was once more pulled back, her roommate Lydia insisting that they stay together.

Stay together, what a joke. She claimed she needed her and today, on the third day, she found that poor fool slumped in the bathroom, having overdosed on Esther’s old pain killers from back when she lost her appendix. She was a heavy person, no skinnier than her but god all that dead weight was a bitch to haul out into the hallway. She was sure something ate her up a few hours ago, the sickening crunch of bones left Esther feeling sick.

She would dial for her parents a few more times, frowning every time it went to voicemail. About the sixth call in, she was left feeling as if her stomach was in her ass, staring at the phone as an automated voice expressed the lack of connection to any phone devices. Even the updates from the news stations had subsided, fuzz on the tv that often reminded Esther of when her leg would fall asleep if she sat on the toilet for too long.

She had to leave, she knew that..but was it even safe to go? She hesitated for a long while, weighing her options with hopes to have a proper solution. Though, not matter what way she looked at it, there was no doubt that she needed to leave and so, she braided up her platinum blonde hair and pulled on some comfortable clothes. She laced up her favorite pair of work boots and grabbed a bag to stuff it with as much food as she could carry. She considered taking a knife with her but if this was what it truly was, she was worried that would leave her vulnerable to get cut.

Instead, she snatched one of her baseball bats, the perks of being here on a baseball scholarship she supposed. Setting off, she slowly opened her door and glanced out into the hall, trying her best to not look at where she had left Lydia laying..knowing that despite her hopes, the girl was gone..and in pieces. It wasn’t hard to get down the hall, she was hoping there would be none of those things on this floor..but the sound of approaching footsteps from around the corner left her believing otherwise. She quickly pressed her back to the wall, silently praying it wouldn’t be too hard to kill the undead, and waited for her moment to strike whatever was coming from around that corner.
「 」
Code by Jenamos
 

persephonii

Goddess of Spring
Original poster
FOLKLORE MEMBER
Invitation Status
  1. Looking for partners
Posting Speed
  1. Multiple posts per week
Writing Levels
  1. Advanced
  2. Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
  1. No Preferences
(Still open!!)
 

Zarko Straadi

Edgesquire
FOLKLORE MEMBER
Posting Speed
  1. 1-3 posts per day
Writing Levels
  1. Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Female
Genres
Sci-fi, fantasy, magical, modern, Steampunk

IMOJEN BRECJA
STUDENT

location | interactions | mentions






"Zombies? No way, bruh, that's totally fake!" Imojen risked a glance in the direction of the voice. A group of frat boys where huddled at a table together, phones out.

"Dude! There's tons of these videos, it's not just one person! I'm tellin' ya man, the Zombie Apocalypse is here!"

"Then why isn't it on the news?"

"Like they're gonna put it on TV and panic the shit out of everybody. You seriously trust the mainstream media?"

Imojen turned away and headed, tray in hand, to an empty table on the other side of the cafeteria, feeling a moment's relief that she'd managed to stay below their radar. Once she settled in, she got out her own phone and started searching for 'zombie' videos.

The search results were still topped by commentary videos about The Walking Dead and the like, but there were also viral videos with titles like 'Zombie Attack--REAL!' and 'Flesh-Eating Psycho!' climbing the recommendations list.

As she ate, Imojen switched to Agenda-Free TV. She felt a chill when she saw that Steve Lookner's livestream news coverage was...of the 'Zombie Pandemic.' She started the feed. Lookner went from clip to clip, showing the locations where they were recorded on an interactive map. Imojen's throat went dry when she saw that one of the outbreak clusters was at the Denver Airport.

There was still a lot of argument in the chat over whether the whole thing was fake, a conspiracy to create a distraction (from what, exactly, was never specified), or maybe some kind of protest movement or flash-mob where people dressed up as zombies and victims, acting out attacks. Then Lookner went to vids from an incident in a high school in Korea and another in Japan.

Suddenly at attack appeared right in front of her eyes, a pack of ghouls tearing the entrails out of a hapless victim with their teeth. Imojen yelped and pulled back: a phone in the hand of one of the frat boys, showing video from some site without YouTube's content restrictions. "Hey Imojen! The Zombie Apocalypse is here! You should come with me--could be your last chance to lose your virginity before it's all over!"

She could only manage to look up enough to see their bodies standing around her. "Leave me alone," she said, barely audible.

"God, you marching misogynist morons!" a girl in aggressive punk clothes at the next table said. "Fuck off!"

"Triggered, snowflake?" the frat boy said. "Or just jealous?"

A text notification sounded. Imojen turned her full attention to her phone. Maybe if she got into a texting convo and ignored them, the frat boys would go away? Professor Bhandari:

Imojen, could you come to the Microbiology Building right away?

Even better! "I have to go," she said, a little louder as she scooted her chair back, shouldered her bag, and picked up her tray. Using it to distance herself from the guys, she squeezed through and hurried for the waste bin.

"Hey, what's your hurry?"

"Duuuuude! You just got shot down by Imojen!"

"Shut up, man!"

Feeling a little guilty about throwing her uneaten food away, she willfully ignored them as she made her escape.


Imojen hopped on her bike and rode to the Modernist red-brick and concrete facade of the Biology Building. Traffic was crazy, but she stuck to the sidewalks when she could. Even so, she earned a couple loud horn-honks because her brain kept trying to push the outside world away and focus her full attention on whether the 'zombie pandemic' was real or not, what she ought to do if it was, or the question of why she was being summoned to the Microbiology Building. Some of her studies crossed into microbiology, but she spent most of her time at Natural and Environmental Sciences.

"Imojen! Thank you for coming!" Professor Bhandari said, looking a little surprised that she had. Imojen bit her lip, realizing that she'd forgotten to text her back. She opened her mouth to stammer out an apology, but the Professor came over, put an arm around her and pulled in to talk confidentially. "I'm sorry to interrupt your lunch, but...have you heard anything about the new pandemic?"

"The...uh...people biting people...?" Imojen replied, not quite able to bring herself to say the word 'zombie' in a realm where scientific skepticism reigned.

"We...we're calling them 'Zeds,'" the Professor said. "It's spreading incredibly fast. The CDC has asked for our help, to get as many eyes on the problem as possible. I called you in because an ecological perspective might help us find answers, and your work on mycology and soil biomes might intersect with the work we're doing. Can you stay?" Imojen nodded; she had nowhere else to go.

Scrubbed up and decked out in biohazard gear, Imojen plunged into the work. The National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, just west of the CSU campus, apparently had at least one live 'specimen,' and perhaps others not so live (if 'live' was even accurate in this situation) as they were providing MRI and CAT-scan data, as well as tissue samples.

Imojen threw herself into the work. Hours melted away until her eyelids started getting heavy. She sighed, resigning herself to the pain-in-the-ass process of going through decontamination so she could get out of her hazmat gear and have another cup of coffee.

A hand on her shoulder made her jump out of her skin. "Imojen, it's after midnight. You should go get some rest. Come back in the morning, OK?"

"Yes, Professor."


"It has to be the prion! So far as we can tell, those other things are just globs of tissue in the bloodstream, probably a side effect of the tissue necrosis."

"We don't even know it is a prion, and we won't until the folding simulations are compete."

"The DNA of the tissue globules matches the body they're found in, so they can't be the infection vector! Besides, they're inert an all the blood and tissue samples."

"But they're the only thing with enough structural diversity to explain the different infection tracks."

Imojen listened to the debate on Zoom as she studied some of the globules under a microscope. Muscle cells..and...skin cells? Combined? Something about that seemed familiar...

"Xenobots!" she shouted.

"What?" one of the other researchers on the Zoom call said. "...Imojen Brecja, is it?"

"Uh...xenobots...they're synthetic lifeforms, made from skin and heart muscle cells of frogs. They're designed using evolutionary algorithms to perform specific tasks, and they can operate in swarms. But in this case, they're made from the tissues of the infected person..."

"You think they're the disease vector then?"

"...Maybe they have prion disease...sort of...like...maybe the prion infects first, then triggers the creation of the xenobots...like a kind of symbiosis."

"But the globules are inert!"

"In tissue samples. But...we haven't been able to observe them in the blood of a live Zed or infected person...have we?"

"No, but it's not like they could know the difference between being in a live body and being in a live tissue sample!"

"...Maybe...maybe they can..."

"Come on, how?!"

Imojen gathered her courage. "...Myxogastria...slime molds...normally they live as single-celled organisms, but food scarcity triggers them to spontaneously congregate into larger structures and move as a single body. They can also organize to form fruiting bodies and distribute spores in hopes of finding areas with more food. They can detect airborne chemicals and seek out food sources. And they have a kind of emergent intelligence...they can solve mazes, or figure out an optimum set of paths between multiple locations.

"So maybe this pathogen is like that? That might explain the infection tracks. Like, if the infected person is in a crowd of uninfected, they pick up scents or hormones or something, and use the bite-and-fast-turn approach. But if they're surrounded by infected or alone, then it uses the slow-burn approach so its host can carry it to a location where it can find new hosts before the victim turns. And the xenobots are inert in tissue samples because they communicate with each other well enough to determine that they're not in a body, so they shut down to conserve energy."

"Oh my god...an intelligent infection...but something that complex couldn't--"

"Oh fuck! It's broken out of Denver!" one of the other researchers in the lab said, phone in hand. "The National Guard is trying to block I-25, but..."

"Focus, people! We've got to find a way to stop this thing! We don't have a lot of time!" Professor Bhandari said.

"I--I can't," one of the other students said. "The Zeds could be here any time! I have to go...get my family out of here!" Once the dam broke, most of the other students and professors also fled.

"Imojen..." Professor Bhadari said, wondering if she too was about to leave.

Imojen shrugged. "My father couldn't care less about me. I'm just a girl. And I haven't seen my mother since I was five. I'll...stay as long as I can."


Imojen worked through the night. As time passed, the Zoom conference got more and more laggy until it failed altogether.

"Thank you for staying Imojen, but it's time to go," Professor Bhadari said. They've reached Ft. Collins. The National Guard is setting up fortifications around NCEZID, and bringing in supplies. They say they'll be able to keep us supplied by river, and in a worst-case scenario, they'll be able to evacuate us the same way. Take this," she said, handing over a back-up drive. "This has copies of all our data. I've given everyone else one. Hopefully we'll all make it, but if at least one of us does...thank you for all your hard work. Don't give up, Imojen. The world needs you. Please, make it to NCEZID."

Imojen was exhausted by the time she got back to her dormitory at Newsom Hall. Riding her bike in her hazmat suit was awkward, but the campus was a ghost town in the early morning dusk. As she reached the hallway around the corner from her room, she stopped with a jolt of fear: there was a body laying in the hallway, a girl. No blood or bite marks...not a Zed, she thought, and besides, they don't sleep. Maybe...she's just drunk and passed out? That wasn't a terribly uncommon occurrence in normal times. But now?

Cautiously, she approached the prone form. No movement, no sign of violent trauma that she could see. I'll scare the bejabbers out of her in this suit, Imojen thought, giving the girl's foot a little push with one of hers. Nothing. She kicked a little harder. Still nothing. She picked her way around the body so she could stand above the head, then crouched to sweep her hair aside. Choking back her gorge, Imojen scrambled away from the corpse, its eyes glazed over in death.

Doesn't she...live here somewhere? Imojen thought. She'd seen the girl and her roommate a few times, passing on the way to different classes, but she'd never mustered the willpower to talk to them, or really, any of the other people around. What to even say? She hurried back to her dorm room, feeling chills at the thought of a killer on the loose, in addition to the looming threat of Zeds. I need supplies...weapons.

Once inside with the door locked behind her, Imojen took off her helmet and gloves. Her own roommate was already gone, her side of the room disheveled. She'd taped a piece of notebook paper on the bathroom mirror, with a message written in Sharpie: GET OUT NOW!

Imojen searched her room for anything that she might be able to use. Cleaning supplies...but would caustic chemicals work on Zeds? They seemed impervious to pain. But maybe they could wreck their senses of sight and smell. That would have to help, right? Then she remembered to her chagrin that she'd carefully chosen the cleaning products she used for non-toxicity. I'll have to find a janitor's storage room. Aha! The dowel! she thought. She pulled all her clothes out of her closet and piled them on the floor, then liberated the heavy wooden dowel. She tried a few practice swings and thrusts, which came out a lot more awkward than she liked.

As the adrenaline from finding the body wore off, her mental focus faded to nothing. Imojen sighed. Like it or not, I have to get some sleep. She set her alarm clock and her phone to wake her in a few hours, then closed her curtains to keep any Zeds (or psycho killers) from being able to observe her movements. A moment of gratitude for the fact that she wasn't on the ground floor. Then she shoved her bureau in front of her door, peeled off the rest of her hazmat suit and plopped into bed.


Suited up with closet rod in hand, clothing and supplies in tow in a fold-up laundry cart, Imojen made her way down the hallway. I can't hear very well in this thing... she thought, slowing as she neared the corner. She froze: a shadow. Someone...or something...was waiting for her. Carefully, and as silently as she could, she backed away a couple steps, then let go of her laundry cart to hold the dowel with both hands. She slowly turned her body part-way so she could see behind her; no Zeds or other threats.

Taking a two-handed grip on the dowel, she raised it high so she could bring it down on the skull of the Zed (if it was a Zed) should it charge. But what if it's the killer? It could just be another person though...there's no way to know...

Gathering her courage, she opened her mouth. "H...hello?"


「 」



Created by Black_Sheep & edited by Jenamos
 
Last edited: