No Matter the Distance: (w/Muna)

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Turtle of Doom, Oct 9, 2014.

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  1. The end of the world could have been perpetrated by so many things. Logically, an economic fall was the most likely, but that's not what happened. Oh no. What happened was straight out of the horror movies.
    Zombies. Oh yes... zombies. What started out as a massive influx in the common cold virus somehow mutated. People were dropping like flies all over the world. It was a pandemic like the world hasn't seen since the bubonic plague overtook Europe, or since small pox were introduced to the Native Americans.
    It's hard to say exactly when the dead began rising, everybody has their own theories, but the most widely accepted one involved vaccines. The elderly dying was upsetting, but when normally healthy children started falling ill the doctors and scientists powered through, digging for a vaccine. A cold is hard to do that with, but luckily with the killer mutation the virus slowed it's mutation process. Thinking they were saving humanity the world governments tried instituting mandatory immunizations... Unfortunately, those who received the shots got sick too, with one hell of a nasty side effect. They'd rise, hungry for human flesh, unable to communicate, but still obviously beings capable of intelligent thought.
    They hunted the humans nearly to extinction. Never just mindless wandering and chancing onto somebody to munch on, but active hunts occurred. They maintained the ability of thought, and would utilize tools and alternate routes trying to sate their unending hunger.


    Emma leaned idly next to her car. She'd heard the rumors of course, but didn't really believe them. Pulling the phone out of her worn jean pocket she unlocked the screen and dialed the same number that she had been dialing thrice a day since the virus had started killing people. She and Maisy had somehow been led to opposites ends of the country during the course of their lives, but they had always checked in. More so now than ever.

    The busy signal sounded again. The damned lines had been tied up all day. Growling she crawled into the beat up jeep and turned the ignition. She would have to make her way to a land line and the nearest one to her house was the grocer down the street. The traffic was viscous and she had to dodge at least out of control vehicles even inside her little suburban neighborhood.

    Pulling into the lot her jaw dropped at the sight in the parking lot. The windows were shattered and littered across the ground. People were fighting for food stuff. "Oh god, Maisy..." Emma hurled herself out of the jeep and plummeted towards the building. She had to get to her sister. Her sister had to be okay...

    #1 Turtle of Doom, Oct 9, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2014
  2. Panting heavily, blinding lights reflecting in the evening sun before her eyes, Maisy felt disoriented as she sprinted down the crowded street. The New York City street was deafened by panicked shouts and children weeping as she pushed her way through the throng of people, running to gather supplies. Something sharp, something easily swung. Something non-perishable, something to filter.

    Maisy understood people. She understood riot behaviors; just a week before, she had been a clinical psychology major at NYU. She knew her knowledge would be useful - disease outbreak, vaccine mistakes, and hungry undead found in morgues and crime scenes across the city - the media was rampant before the networks were abandoned. Biters had been swarming homes and businesses in the northern part of the state, working their way down strategically. Thanks to the massively naive population, actual news had been ignored under the branding of conspiracy theories at first. Maisy had her suspicions until she was forced to flee from her university with nothing but her bag and the clothes on her back, fighting through the city streets among panicked peers.

    Something sharp. Something easily swung. Something non-perishable. Something to filter. Maisy repeated her shopping list as she cut through a darkening alleyway, determined to get the supplies she needed to survive a hidden journey. She knew of a small pawn shop nearby where she could find what she sought. Breaking the front window after checking if the streets were emptied, she ran through the shop quickly grabbing a hunting knife, a dusty, unopened Brita filter, a decently sized machete... Jeez, people pawn some weird shit. She stuffed the filter into her bag and slung her belt through the knife and machete sheaths. I have to get out of here. Food will have to wait.

    Maisy jumped back out through the broken window, running and dialing her phone - it rang and rang, but no matter how impatient she was, the only thing on the other end would be, "You called so you should know who this is. If it's important leave a message, if not don't bother." Damn it, Emma! Where the fuck are you?
    #2 Muna, Oct 9, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 14, 2014
  3. Hurdling over several prone bodies, Emma finally made it into the store, glancing she halted. More people were rushing through the isles, not stopping for smaller people in their way. Holy fuck! Holy fuck! Her mind raced as she dodged the bodies hurtling towards her as she tried to make her way back to the office. In a lapse of attention she missed seeing the rotund manager come barreling towards her knocking her into a flimsy shelf.

    She sprawled across the ground, rushing to pull herself back to her feet before she got trampled. She took a breath and glanced around trying to find the best course, she settled on the tops of the mostly empty shelves. Emma pulled herself up, saying a silent prayer for balance, she darted down the aisles above the looters, and out of harms way. She reached the back of the store, and threw the office door open. Nothing back here had been touched yet and she sighed as she grabbed the phone off the hook. "FUCK YOU!" She screamed at the dead line before forcefully throwing it against the wall.

    She was panicking now. The news reports must have been right. How could they have been though? Zombies aren't real, girl, pull yourself together. She took a deep breath and peered back out of the office window, well, zombies or no, the situation wasn't ideal. She kicked the locked drawer of the desk, the one she knew held the manager's emergency pistol and pulled it open. She checked the magazine before clicking the safety on and tucking into the back of her jeans. Taking another shaking breath she looked around, a letter opener, and some bottles of water were the only useful things she found. After gathering everything she could find she carefully opened the office door and slipped into the the store.

    The looters had made their way outside and she hoped they'd left her jeep alone. Dodging only the last few stragglers she made her way back to the jeep, not hesitating at all to turn the key and slam it into gear. She fished her cell out of her pocket again dialing her sister's number. "Maisy, I'm coming...." She muttered at the generic recording telling her to try her call again later. She took a breath and tucked the phone into the console before turning off the main road onto a tiny dirt road that would lead her to the highway quicker. She'd get out of Washington and to New York if it was the last thing she did.
    #3 Turtle of Doom, Oct 9, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2014
  4. Maisy slunk to the shadows, careful not to draw attention to herself. The biters that had spilled into the city were targeting larger groups and she fully intended to stay far away from them. She ran through the city, trying her hardest to make it to the ferry. There she hoped she could catch an emergency ride out of the city. For the time-being, however, she only had another hour before the sun set and she had to not only find something to eat, but she had to chase after an almost impossible ferry as well. Maisy knew her sister would remain skeptical of the outbreak. They had spoken about it frequently over the last couple of weeks when the illness first started to spread. She silently hoped that it was safe in the west.

    Sneaking around a building, she passed a torn up cafe. Ducking inside, knife in hand, she dashed to the kitchens, hoping to find anything salvageable. She found a can of chicken broth and a jar of peanut butter. Good enough. Throwing them in her bag with the filter, she headed back out to the street, running west.

    As the ferry dock came into view on the horizon, she could see nothing but chaos. Shit! She ran into the crowd of shouting and grabbing people as city officials were trying their best to evacuate their precious New York citizens. Pushing her way to the front with her small and slim body, she managed to come to the head of the mob. "Everybody, get back! We can take ten more people with this ferry, the rest of you will have to wait for the next available Ferry. Please, stay calm!" A policeman tried to make order out of the mess in front of him. Maisy stared the man in the eyes, trying to get his attention. As he looked back at her, he reached out and grabbed her arm, pulling her through, reached for the woman and child behind Maisy and pulling them along, continuing to make the impossible decision of which ten people would be saved.

    Maisy ran, pulling her NYU sweatshirt over the handles of her weapons to keep them close. Before she reached the water, however, she was stopped by someone in a lab coat who rushed to take her temperature. "98.4. She's clean!" Maisy was pushed through toward the water. "105.7! She's hot!" Hearing a loud scream, she stopped in her tracks and looked back. The child was being pulled toward Maisy by men in uniform as her mother was reprimanded. A loud crack exploded in the air, leaving Maisy's ears ringing as she saw the woman's body fall to the ground and thrown into a burning car. That's not a car... those are bodies. Holy shit! Maisy sprinted for the girl, no older than 9, and grabbed her around the waist, lifting her and rushing for the ferry.

    She stepped onto the deck to join the group of lucky runaways, setting the crying and screaming child on the floor, blocking her way of escape. Standing by the railing, holding the straps of her bag, she watched as the last few people piled onto the deck and lurched as the ferry started to depart, drifting away from the smell of burning flesh and desperation. New Jersey, here I come. Emma, I'm coming for you.
    #4 Muna, Oct 9, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 14, 2014
  5. The jeep rumbled steadily over the packed mud of the side road, Emma had glanced at the traffic leading away from Seattle, and had opted for the dirt, and mud banks that had been carved into the land by ATVs and other off road fun. She was happy for its existence right now, but unfortunately people could see her from the highway, and some brave souls were attempting to cross the ground to make it to her road. "Get the fuck out of my way!" Emma screamed punching the horn of the jeep as a Silverado struggled to right itself, nearly sideswiping her in the process.

    Grunting with the power of the jeep, Emma lifted herself up on the steering wheel, turning the vehicle almost exactly ninety degrees. pointing the nose south, and moving away from the cluster of vehicles. Well after the jam of endless traffic exited her rear view she corrected her direction heading east once more.

    The sun set behind her as she drove on, determined to reach her sister. She knew Maisy, and if anybody could survive this, it was her. Just stay alive, sis... we'll get through this together. The lights on the jeep began to flicker and Emma cursed as she realized what was happening. The alternator was dying, but there was nothing she could do about that now. She pressed the gas, talking to the vehicle, urging it just a little further. "Come on, baby!" She said soothingly, petting the dash, "Get me somewhere, anywhere... I've been good to you."

    Despite her urgings the jeep sputtered, not getting anymore gas as the last of the battery's life drained from it. "Shit, fuck, shit!" She spat, beating the wheel and dash in front of her. Climbing into the back, she opened her backpack and dumped the contents on the seat. She stuffed the bottles of water in it and then dug through the car finding a half eaten candy bar to add to her pitiful stash. She shoved the candy bar in the small pocket before climbing out of the back door and moving to the back. She pulled the tire iron from under the carpet, and spent several moments debating grabbing her guitar too. Only you, Em. The world has gone mad, and you're worried about music.

    Hoisting the bag onto her shoulders she moved back to the front and grabbed her phone out of the console as an afterthought, and walked into the night.
    #5 Turtle of Doom, Oct 9, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2014
  6. Once the initial panic had subsided, Maisy sat on the bench on the side of the fairy, next to the kid she picked up. She hadn't spoken a word since the ferry left. "Hey, kid. What's your name?" Maisy spoke softly. "My name is Ashley." Nodding, Maisy continued, "Hey, Ashley. Do you know where your mom was going to take you?" Ashley's eyes started to tear up, lip trembling. Slowly, voice cracking with grief, she responded "We were going to my aunt's house in Jersey." New Jersey. "Alright, kid. I'll make sure you get there. You know the address right?" Watching the child nod, she smiled. She remained silent until they arrived.

    Grabbing Ashley's hand, Maisy situated her bag over her shoulder and moved quickly to stay ahead of the mob of people behind them. New Jersey was hectic, but not as bad as New York City from what she could see. They ran to avoid a line of military special ops officers running across the street, conducting riot control. Shit. How can we make this faster? Maisy glanced around and found an unoccupied van. Fuck it. Holding her finger up to her lips to signal Ashley to be quiet, she dragged her to the abandoned vehicle. Having to wrench the dented door open, she ushered the child into it before climbing in herself, unnoticed by the rushes of people around them. Beneath the dash, she removed the cover and fumbled with the wiring, using the flickering street lamp to find the wires she needed. Stripping them quickly with her nails, she touched them together and started the car.

    Rolling forward slowly, she hoped the people in front of her had enough sense to move. She turned down an emptier street and headed for Ashley's family. Luckily, they weren't too far away from where they landed and they found themselves parked outside a dark apartment complex. There were people here, waiting for loved ones, searching for their lost family members, some were fighting over ridiculous possessions. Maisy held Ashley beneath her arm, her free hand resting on the handle of her machete. Guiding the kid through the group of people, they ran up the stairs to her Aunt's apartment. "Auntie!" Ashley cried when she saw her. Embracing one another and brushing off thanks of gratitude, Maisy held up two fingers as a goodbye and turned to head out of the building.

    Red and black bruising blocked her view. Moving to the side and shouting behind her, Maisy let out a warning. "Lock your door, now!" Without pausing for a response, she swiftly pulled the machete from her belt and swung it as hard as she could at the biter grabbing for her. She felt its burning and clammy hands grab the sleeve of her sweater just as her blade made contact with what was left of its neck, severing its head from its body. She jumped over the quiet undead, not stopping to see where it came from. Flying down the stairs, she addressed the stragglers on the street. "Get the fuck out of here!"

    Running as fast as she could, Maisy slid her machete back into her belt and continued her desperate journey out of the city.
    #6 Muna, Oct 9, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 14, 2014
  7. At this point Emma was regretting veering off the road most traveled. The dark Pacific sky hid any trace of the stars or moon, even as she moved further away from the city lights. Unsure how long she'd been walking Emma spotted some lights glinting on the horizon, though a large fire blazed not to far from them she picked up her pace. The tire iron was getting heavy, but the pistol she'd tucked into her jeans was going to need to be a last resort type of weapon, being as she didn't have an extra magazine.

    As she neared, she didn't know what to expect, but even if she had been expecting something, it definitely wasn't what she walked into. A man's voice boomed over a megaphone, directing residents to assemble for inspections. Inspections? What the fuck is this shit? She trotted forward, slipping in between to dark buildings, sticking close to the shadows, to get a better look at what was happening.

    A huge mass of people were being herded like cattle into a large, open space park. Emma felt her blood begin to boil as she watched the inhumane treatment of the people. Nobody fought back though, and that fact alone restrained her. She shifted the tire iron in her hands, readying herself for a possible threat, not willing to become part of this horrific display of authority and crept closer.

    "For your own safety, and the safety of your families any and all citizens displaying any signs of illness or fever will be terminated and cremated." The voice boomed, vibrating off the buildings. Oh, hell no!

    Moving as silently as she could, Emma backed away from the assembly, back the way she came. Exiting the passage she turned and started to run back into the darkness, paying more attention to the threat behind her, and not paying any mind for where she was running. Just as she felt she was out of range of the madhouse playing back at the town she ran face first into something, fleshy and unmovable, and stumbled back a few feet.

    Apology on her lips, Emma paused as she saw what she had run into. Her jaw hit the ground, and she backed away even as it came towards her. It's slacked jaw gnashing at her as it lunged. Screaming, Emma swung the tire iron as hard as she could, sending the monster flying backwards, head over heels. Turning swiftly, she slammed into another one. She spun, looking for a way out, but they had surrounded her. The first one acting as a decoy as the others trapped her, preventing her escape.

    Emma froze, knowing that panic would result in a quick death, and she'd never reach her sister. Casually she switched the iron to her left hand and pulled the pistol from her waistband. Flicking the safety off she prayed the movies had it right and she aimed, firing a shot into the nearest zombie's eye. Blood sprayed as the bullet exited the back of its head and it slumped to the ground, finally, hopefully, dead.

    As if the gunshot were a cue the others leaped at her. She wasn't sure but she thought she had counted four total and she swung the iron, putting all of her strength behind the blow, trying to at least clear a path. An audible crack reverberated along the iron in her hand as she felt the zombie's neck snap and it stumbled, still continuing forward. "Die already you dead, fuck!" She screamed taking aim, and loosing another one of her precious bullets into its head. Thank god we took the time to learn to shoot, hope Mais found a gun too.

    Seeing a small opening Emma darted between two dead persons and took of running back towards the town. They had guns, they can help even if they are nuts! Not paying attention to her feet she kicked a rock, causing her feet to get tangled, and sending her stumbling to the ground. "Stay down if you understand." A voice commanded before several gunshots zoomed over her head. "That's six!" A different voice than the first shouted and rough hands dragged her to her feet.

    The man with the megaphone glared at her, his face sunken and worried. "Are you sick?" Emma looked at him dumbly until he grabbed her shoulders and shook her roughly, "Are you sick, woman? Did they bite you?" Shaking her head her mind wandered back to her sister. If they were out here, then New York would be... Oh God! Emma frantically grabbed for her phone, dropping the gun in the process and hit the numbers for her sisters phone. To her surprise the line actually rang this time, but she got voicemail. "You've reached Maisy, leave a message, and I'll try to get back to." The phone beeped, and hoping against all hope Emma left a message. "Mais, I'm heading east, made it to.... hell I don't know where the fuck I am. Stay safe little sister"
    #7 Turtle of Doom, Oct 9, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2014
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  8. Maisy managed to break away from the crowd in New Jersey pretty easily. Most of them were boarding up buildings and hiding inside; she had no desire to be trapped in a swarm of irrational biter bait. She traveled further west still, sticking to back roads and shadows. She passed one or two zombies on her journey, but thanks to her light feet and distance, she was not targeted. It was much worse in the more populated areas. Hoards of zombies destroyed the city and made quick work of the riots, creating even more biters to join their army. I want to live in the city. It'll be refreshing. Maisy shook her head and mentally kicked herself as she thought over her current situation.

    She came across another abandoned vehicle - this one being a news van, bigger than the one she stole before. She placed her hand on her machete and opened the driver's side door slowly, checking for any signs of life, living or dead. She found nothing. Glancing at her surroundings, observing nothing but city lights and fires in the distance. She climbed into the back of the van, keeping an eye on the windows and mirrors to make sure she remained safe.

    She reached into her bag, pulling out the bottle of hand sanitizer she kept for school. She was relieved to see it was still half full. She poured some into her hand and rubbed it into her skin. Feeling her stomach growl, she reached for the jar of peanut butter, pulling it out of her bag with a thud. Maisy looked beside her, seeing that her phone had fallen. Taking the lid off and dipping her finger in to take a bite, she opened her phone and saw she had a voicemail. Heart leaping into her throat, she checked for a signal. One bar. Good enough for me. She pressed the call button and entered her code quickly. "Mais, I'm heading east, made it to.... hell I don't know where the fuck I am. Stay safe little sister." Maisy felt relieved to hear her sister's voice. She's alive. Thank God. She pressed her "1" speed dial and waited for it to ring, hoping to catch her. She must be on the move. Waiting for her voicemail message to finish, Maisy whispered into the receiver. "Emma, oh my God. I am heading west, whatever you do, stay the FUCK away from cities! I'm fine. I plan to sleep when the sun rises. I just escaped New Jersey, there are not many left breathing." Her thoughts flashed to Ashley for a moment. Shit, she's probably dead. She continued, "Emma, call me as soon as you get this." She hung up her phone and turned it off to save her battery, shoveling peanut butter into her mouth. She half-wished she had water, but she was grateful for what she did have. She ate quickly, making sure to conserve most of it, trying to avoid staying in one place for too long.
    #8 Muna, Oct 10, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 14, 2014
  9. Surprisingly enough, the man with megaphone had actually been a school bus driver just a few weeks before, and before that had served in Vietnam. Emma felt a little more comfortable finding out that they weren't actual government officials, but rather the people the townsfolk had nominated to lead in this crazy crisis.

    Even with her insistence that she was fine a petite white haired woman led her into a windowless room to check her for signs of infection. After passing inspection Emma was granted permission to stay, but she refused, asking only for a place to stay for the night, and maybe a few supplies before she headed out. Understandably, they were hesitant to part with the supplies, but Emma shrugged it off and bunkered down for the night, feeling like this little town was probably one of the best protected places she could find to sleep.

    The next morning the town was bare of all inhabitants, save for a few of the men and women that had volunteered to do guard duty. She cautiously approached one woman, speaking as she put her hand on her arm to get her attention without being shot. "Hey, I was wondering where the head hauncho guy would be right now, I'm getting ready to head out and wanted to talk to him before I bounced."

    "Jesse will be in the library," The woman said flatly pointing towards a large central building. Emma thanked her and moved toward it. I've got to get him to part with something, even a couple of rounds for my pistol... Oh shit! Where's my pistol? Patting herself down she realized she didn't have it, and she mentally kicked herself for being so careless. Growling at her own stupidity she entered the library.

    Finding herself face to face with a firing squad she raised her hands and her eyebrows. "Woah, I'm just here to talk to Jesse..." She stammered. "Let her back!" The man's voice called out. Sighing as the guns were lowered she circled around the line, and made her way further into the building. Jesse spotted her and waved her back into a study room.

    "I know you don't really want to part with any of your stuff, but I could use some help. My sister is on the east coast, and she's all I've got, I have to get to her." Emma ran her hands through her uneven blue hair, and threw her hands up in frustration. "Being the spaz that I am I even managed to lose almost all my weapons last night. So currently, I have three bottles of water and a letter opener to he...."

    Jesse's grimace interrupted her plea, "You talk too much girl." He addressed her gruffly, setting her .380 next to her tire iron which was resting on the table next to him. "You should really be more careful with your weapons, with the situation being what it is and all, you're lucky we're honest folk..."

    "Oh God! I would hug you right now, if you didn't terrify me!" She cried grabbing her stuff off the table.

    "Also, we discussed it, and it would be unchristian for us to send you off without nothing." Emma's eyes widened as she realized what he was saying. He moved to the cabinet and pulled out a few canned goods, a metal can opener and a box of shells for her pistol. Overwhelmed by their generosity, Emma stammered trying to get her words out, but was interrupted once again. "Don't go and make a big deal outta it, girl. Take the stuff and go."

    Shoving the supplies into her backpack Emma set out feeling more hopeful than she'd had since all this started. The sun was high in the sky as she made her way east. She pulled her phone out of her pocket by habit and almost fell over when she saw the voicemail. She listened to her sister's voice, and then listened to it again. Maisy had made it out of the city, and was on her way west. She breathed a sigh of relief and decided that she'd call next time she got somewhere recognizable so that she'd have some sort of update to give her sister. She powered down the phone and headed off.
    #9 Turtle of Doom, Oct 10, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2014
  10. Maisy found her way back to the interstate, feeling refreshed after getting something in her stomach. She walked along the deserted road, cars wrecked into each other for at least 5 miles. She finally found a large truck, one that didn't have a smashed in door or shot engine. She climbed up into it, taking her seat behind the wheel. This truck was abandoned rather quickly - the keys were still in the ignition. Turning it, the truck roared to life to show a full tank of gas. Maisy's luck of travels finally turned around.

    She drove through the night, plowing through the walls of cars surrounding her path. The toll road had been opened but were, like everything else, left to collect dust. She headed west, finally seeing a sign indicating she had made it to Ohio. She felt the lids of her eyes weigh down on her, threatening to close. Still, she drove through the night, her only motivation being her big sister. Their parents had been dead for quite some time and Emma was all Maisy had left. If Emma was still alive, she would be doing the same. She knew her sister like the back of her hand.

    Arriving in Columbus cautiously, she expected another scene of chaos as the other cities had been. She turned on her phone to check the time. 6:04 am. I should find somewhere to rest. Driving through back roads, she followed a dirt trail out to a farm located just outside of Columbus. It would have to do. She parked the truck behind the empty stables and set to work, ripping down the fence to create a barricade for herself. Angling shattered pieces of wood, she tied together a fence with a fallen electricity cable, one that had stakes jutting out to the side to protect her new truck. She climbed over the sturdy fence, thankful of the times she spent working with her father while he made furniture years ago. Climbing back into the truck, the sun was rising slowly higher into the sky.

    Before she hid herself beneath the dash, she called her sister again, hoping for an answer. Her phone was off, as she wasn't surprised to find. "Em, it's me. I am just outside of Columbus, Ohio. Sleeping in a stolen truck for the time being. I will call again when I am back on the road. I'm following I-70 W for the time being. Stay safe, big sister." Turning her phone off and closing it, she laid her head on her bag, rested her hand on her machete, and closed her eyes.
    #10 Muna, Oct 10, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 14, 2014
  11. The terrain was not easy on foot, and Emma began to feel herself getting frustrated. Maisy had already made it to New Jersey, and here she was stumbling around the mountains and trees of the Northwest on foot. She needed to find something to speed up the process, and heading straight east wasn't the answer either, and she had been walking for a while now, it had been so long since she had eaten.

    Emma found a nice sized clearing to post up in, and set her bag on the ground. She pulled open a bottle of her precious water and drank a few sips before digging into her bag. Pork and beans, tuna, potted meat, green beans, and spinach. Jesse had really gone out of his way. Emma sighed, deciding she could do without food a while longer.

    After loading her supplies back into her bag, Emma caught a soft rustling sound in the surrounding trees. Oh, shit, what now...? She turned, her hand instinctively reaching for her pistol. Well, that's not a zombie. She found herself staring into the gold eyes of a thin coyote. Coyotes, and zombies, and broken jeeps, oh my. "Where there's one..." She whispered, slowly spinning, catching glimpses of the rest of the pack. "..there is many." She sighed, damning her luck. If it's not one thing, it's a fucking million...

    At least she didn't have to waste the bullets, she released the grip on the pistol and grabbed the tire iron off the ground, holding it firmly in both hands. Just my luck, survived being gnawed by the undead just to be devoured by skinny coyotes. The visible canine yipped at her drawing her attention as a couple more dashed out, snapping at her legs. She swung the tire iron, connecting firmly and sending the animal flying away from her.

    Grabbing her backpack, she tossed it over her shoulder and took off running, hoping to hell that the trees would help keep her separate from the snarling beasts on her heels.
    #11 Turtle of Doom, Oct 10, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2014
  12. Maisy woke with a start as a loud and frantic knock connected with the windshield of her truck. Her hand darted to her machete, ready to fight her way out. Looking out the window without raising her head too high, she saw a lone police officer trying to get her attention. His face looked flushed, as if he had been running for a while. She bolted upright and cracked the window enough to yell through. "Are you sick?"

    "No, I'm clean. I was tested before I could leave New York. Look, there's some biters making their way down the interstate from Jersey, can I hitch a ride with you?" He was breathless. Maisy scrunched her face in thought. "Empty your weapon and throw it through the window. Then I'll unlock the door." He looked behind him, as if trying to make a decision. "Don't try anything, bitch. I'm not trying to hurt you." With that, he disassembled his hand gun and tossed the pieces through the window, followed by his baton and a taser gun. "All right, can you let me in please? I'm dead if you don't."

    Maisy reached over and grabbed his weapons and put them beneath her seat, unlocking the door. She couldn't trust him, but she couldn't leave him either. Jumping over her barricade and into the seat beside her, the man slammed the door shut and locked it, rolling up the window quickly. "What's your name?" Maisy questioned him. "My name is Officer Laramore. Erik Laramore." He tilted his head back to catch his breath as he responded. "Nice to meet you, Erik. I'm Maisy." Maisy took the keys with her as she jumped out of the truck and ran around it quickly, picking up her makeshift barricade and throwing the pieces into the bed of the truck. "We'll need those again." She explained herself as she got back in.

    Maisy situated her bag on her left side, furthest away from the man sitting beside her. She wasn't sure if she could believe what he said. Turning the engine over, she started the truck and drove the way the officer was heading. "I'm headed west to find my sister. You can go that way too, as long as you want a ride. Anywhere else, you're walking." He nodded in understanding. "Yeah, tough times and all...-" She saw him double-take at her out of the corner of her eye. "Hey, I've seen you before. On the dock. I remember your sweatshirt." Maisy looked at him and her eyes widened as she remembered. "You pulled me through to the ferry. You saved my life."

    Erik smiled softly at her, waving his hand to dismiss what she said. "Well, you're saving mine now so I guess we're even." Maisey tossed her hand sanitizer over to Erik, not having to explain herself. Once he rubbed some on his arms, he reached into his vest and pulled out a bottle of water. "Drink this, you look like shit." Maisy scowled at him, but accepted it thankfully nonetheless. She took a few conservative sips, relishing the feeling of hydration slide down to her stomach. She handed it back to him quietly, continuing to drive down the side of the interstate. Maisy had become skilled at avoiding cars and watching her rear-view mirror; biters far behind them, making their rounds on whomever wasn't moving fast enough.
    #12 Muna, Oct 10, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 14, 2014
  13. Emma panted as she swerved around another tree. Fuck, these things are fast. I'm never going to lose them at this rate. The tire iron was heavy in her hand, but she wasn't willing to give it up either. Leaping over a felled log, Emma had a brilliant idea, and dropped to the ground instead of continuing to run.

    The coyotes, close on her heels, flew over the tree with the easy grace of a predator and trotted forward momentarily before turning back to her. Well shit, that always works on tv. She scrambled back over the log. As her feet his the mulch ridden ground she felt the strong paws of a coyote. She screamed and fell forward into the dead leaves on the ground, a sharp stick poking into her hip bone. That's not a stick! Rolling to her back she triumphantly pulled the letter opener out of her pocket just as the scavenger leapt from the ground, sharp canines aimed for her throat.

    Reflexively, Emma's hand rose to defend her throat from the bite that never came. Instead the coyote gave a high pitched yelp and slumped limply against her chest spraying her with saliva and blood. Oh God, that's nasty! Disgusted, Emma shoved the carcass off of her and looked around for the rest of the pack, but they weren't in sight.

    "Well, hell..." Emma muttered glancing around. She had completely gotten turned around. Glancing up at the sun she was able to determine east again, and got an idea. She pulled her phone out, seeing she had another voicemail she listened to her sister's progress. Wow, Mais is moving quick. and punched Maisy's number. "Hey little sis, got your messages. Still in Washington, but headed southeast, I'm gonna try to aim for I-40. Hope I find a vehicle soon. I'll try to keep you updated. Love you. Be careful, Mais!"
  14. Maisy and Erik were still on their way along the interstate. Nothing particularly interesting was happening on this stretch of road - Maisy couldn't help but wonder why. Wanting to understand better, she decided to break the 20 minute silence. "Erik, I have to ask. How did you make it out of New York City? Last I saw you, you had just finished putting a bullet into a woman's brain."

    Erik glanced at her. "I was first stationed at the docks to screen healthy people for evacuation. We had received the red alert yesterday morning, not a whole lot of time to get shit together. Once your ferry left, all hell broke loose. Half of those people were trampled to death and the other half hadn't noticed the biters sneaking into their presence. I managed to get picked up by a Medevac transporting first aid supplies to New Jersey... they said the city was lost. They didn't have the resources necessary to save anyone."

    Maisy swallowed. Everybody died? "How is that possible? The streets were still rioting when I hopped on that ferry." Erik hesitated and started to wring his fingers. "Yes, that is true. It seems that my gunshot attracted more than just screams. Zombies were everywhere. That dock was destroyed within fifteen minutes." He clearly seemed devastated. This, however, did not stop Maisy.

    "And how is it that you escaped New Jersey?" She had to know, considering he was on foot and still managed to make his way to Ohio. Erik swallowed hard and continued to be honest. "I met up with my old patrol partner, Jude. She has been working in Jersey for the last year or so... Anyway, I hitched a ride with her out of town. We stopped pretty early in the night to get some shut-eye, but it seems that we didn't go far enough... Zombies broke our windows, grabbed her and sunk their teeth into Jude..." He stopped talking for a moment, staring out the window. "She seemed fine at first, you know? Still fighting them off, shouting orders at me, until she turned. Her eyes were clouded over, she stopped breathing. She lunged at me... I only had a pen close to my hand at the time, so I shoved it into her temple and I ran. I ran for as long as I could, until I found you."

    Maisy took a breath. Damn it. I'm a dick. "I'm sorry." She had no other words. Instead, as she drove, she thought about what he said. New York had fallen. New Jersey too, by the sound of it. Fuck, how are we going to outrun this?
    #14 Muna, Oct 10, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 14, 2014
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  15. Blood spattered, and still on foot, Emma began to wonder how she had managed to miss every little dirt path and hunting trail in Washington. Just my luck. Born with the natural grace of a blind goose, and the luck of a house fly, with the attention span to match.

    The sun settled down onto the horizon when she finally managed to stumble across a frequently used hunting trail. "Oh yeah! Who's the boss? I'm the boss!" Emma sang as she did a dance for her little victory.

    "And you're sure 'bout that, honey?" A silky smooth voice called out from behind the thick tree line.

    Emma spun to face the disembodied voice, peering into the growing shadows, as her hand reached back towards the gun tucked into her jeans. The sound of a shell being racked behind her caused her to flinch, and she peered over her shoulder, at a tall thin man making himself visible next to the road. "I wouldn't do that if I was you, sweetheart." He grinned setting the barrel of his 12-gauge at her. "I promise I'll getta shot off 'fore you can..."

    Taking him as a man of his word, Emma raised her empty hand to show him, as she turned sideways, knowing there was at least one other person nearby. Why? Why? Why? Why! I just want to get to my sister... The woman slid into view. It looked as though they'd been out here a while. Both were filthy, the woman's hair appeared to be a dull brown in the fading daylight, but Emma couldn't be sure. Their clothes were tattered and stained. "Look, I don't want any trouble, alright." Emma told them.

    "Neither do we, honey." The woman replied. "We were panhandling our way north to Canada when the dead started wakin' up, so we took to the hills. You ain't sick are you?"

    Emma shook her head while spinning in a slow circle so they could see she didn't have any bite marks. As she stopped she noticed that the man had closed the distance between them. "You got blood on you. That from a biter?" He spat.

    "Uh, coyote, actually..." Emma said hesitantly. The man nodded to the woman and walked back into the woods, leaving the two women alone on the path. "Are the two of you healthy, then?" Emma asked, feeling rude, but knowing the question was necessary.

    "Nah. Call me Candi, honey, come on in." Grabbing Emma by the arm she led her into the trees.
  16. The time passed slowly in silence. Maisy felt bad for questioning Erik so rudely. She was more open to him accompanying her, though, knowing what he'd been through to get to Ohio. "Erik, you're a cop. You must know what the rest of the country is like? Is the west safe?" Erik sighed and ran his hand through his disheveled black hair, looking at her. "No. The west is being evacuated just like New York City was. I have no idea how successful they were, lines of communication have been unstable."

    Maisy pulled out her phone and turned it on. Another voicemail. She called it and set it to speaker. Emma was still in Washington, headed southeast.

    Maisy smiled at her sister's voice. "Looks like we'll head to I-40. We're coming up on Springfield, we can go south from there. What do you think?" Erik shifted at her question. "I think we need to get off the main roads. Like now." Maisy looked up to see a roadblock on I-70. "Do you think they'll have any idea of where to go?" Erik hesitated. "I doubt it. They may not be able to let us pass...By the look of the road blocks in Jersey last night, I'd be damned surprised if they didn't shoot first and ask questions later. We could turn around or try to go through, that's up to you..." She thought for a moment. She didn't see any movement ahead, but she didn't want to backtrack. "Damn it."

    Veering off the interstate, Maisy turned the truck around to head back toward Columbus. "A road map would be wonderful right now." She couldn't risk another scene like in New York City. Erik responded, "There should be an exit for Grove City before we get to Columbus. That's our best option to stay away from the city." His deep voice sounded gravelly from exhaustion. Maisy looked at him, bags under his blue eyes and stubble growing over his jaw. "Why don't you get some sleep? This drive will take a while. I'll wake you if anything happens." With that, Erik nodded and leaned his head against the window.

    Fuck. Losing time having to turn around, losing gas... I'll have to find a different car soon or have to figure something else out soon. Glancing at her dashboard, she saw they still had half of a tank left. Sighing, she drove carefully to avoid debris in the road, feeling uneasy that they were driving toward the biters that killed Jude.
    #16 Muna, Oct 11, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 14, 2014
  17. Candi and her man, Zak, as it turned out were pretty alright people. They welcomed her into their camper, and in return for their hospitality she shared her can of pork and beans. "We take turns keeping watch, and you'll be expected to take your fair turn, sweetheart." Emma agreed, offering to take first watch.

    Zak handed her the shotgun, "Stay in the cab, girl, save for once every couple hours, then yar gonna need ta make a perimeter check, just be quiet, sound draws the biters."

    Emma sighed, thankful for the added protection of the shotgun, she moved into the darkened cab. It'd be a long night, but she was thankful for the cover their rv provided, and she wasn't above accepting the generosity of others, not when it gave her a better chance at getting to her sister. Propping her feet up on the dash, Emma idly wondered where Mais had managed to get to.

    The trees swayed softly in the night breeze, and Emma found herself having trouble focusing on the sleepy night. Figuring it was a good time for a perimeter check, she slid quietly out of the camper, leaving the door to the cab open, so the noise level would stay down, and walked in slow, lazy circles around the vehicle. It was better than being stuck in the cab, and she realized that her hosts were holding out on her. They had a set of four wheelers parked behind the RV, apparently waiting for the need to escape, because the keys were glinting teasingly in each ignition. Well, if my luck holds, at least I have a way out...

    Everything was remarkably quiet... even the animals were quiet. The animals shouldn't be quiet... An earsplitting shriek cut through the night air. CRACK!

    "Holy shit, that was a gunshot!" Emma realized, and darted back to the RV, shotgun in hand. She knew that it was a stupid move to run towards trouble, but she was supposed to be guarding the occupants, and felt a pang of responsibility... Peering in the cab, she noticed nothing unusual, so she quietly climbed back into the camper. Emma crept back towards the bedroom, stopping in her tracks as she saw the body, on the floor.

    It was Zak's. Candi was standing over him shaking, blood streaking down her face from a hole in her cheek. "He was sick... He thought he could endure it, bu-but... he bit me..." Tears rolled down her face as she realized what she said. "HE BIT ME!!" She screamed, falling to the ground with her hands clawing at her face. Emma's eyes widened at the sight. Her heart clenched, knowing what she should do. Candi's screams were going to be attracting all nearby zombies, not to mention the sound the gunshot had made.

    Tearing up, Emma racked the shotgun and took aim. "I'm so sorry, Candi... I really am..."

    Luckily the ATV had a full tank of gas, and started up easily. Riding into the darkness, Emma finally allowed the tears to fall. I did the right thing, the better thing....
  18. Dialing her sister's number, Maisy decided to leave her a message as Erik slept. "Emma, I hope you get this soon. I've run into a snag on the Interstate...road blocks. Picked up a cop drifter - man saved my life. He says New York City and New Jersey are dead and authorities are more likely to shoot you before you can speak. We're backtracking towards Grove City. Hoping to find gas there. I love you, Em. Be careful."

    Turning her phone off, Emma kept her eyes on the road. She hadn't seen any sign of biters for the last half hour or so. She was coming up on the exit she needed for Grove City. Her eyes darted to the sleeping man beside her, debating whether or not she should wake him up. Deciding not to, she turned the radio on to see if anything was still running. Static on mostly every station. However, on one station, she heard a repeated broadcast: "Stay inside. Illness running rampant. If approached by an ill or rabid human, aim for the brain without hesitation." The message repeated on a loop. Maisy turned it off, feeling uneasy.

    As she entered the city, Maisy noticed something different about this place. It was clean, almost organized. Coming up on a simple wooden barricade, she had to come to a stop. Shaking Erik awake, she had no idea what to expect. "Wh- Where are we?" Erik spoke softly. Maisy responded, "We're coming into Grove City, but something doesn't feel right." As she rolled up through the barricade, she was met by a man wielding a shotgun. Pointing it at her and motioning for her to roll her window down, she placed her hand on her machete casually and rolled it down. "Hey. Safe passage?" Maisy questioned simply.

    "Are you sick? Where did you come from?" The man seemed exhausted but stern nonetheless. Maisy thought out her careful reply. "No, we are not sick. We escaped New Jersey last night, seeking a safe path out of the state." The man stood still, listening to her words. After a moment, he raised their gates and let them through.

    The city was quiet, nobody outside. Maisy had no idea where anyone was hiding, but it didn't matter. She turned to Erik and said, "We need to get gas. I trust you won't arrest me for siphoning?" She smiled at her own comment, wondering how a cop would feel about stealing gas. Erik laughed briefly, responding, "That's fine. Give me my gun and I'll keep watch." Reaching beneath her seat, she grabbed the pieces of his hand gun and handed them over, feeling she could trust him. Pulling over in front of an abandoned house, she got out of the truck and searched in the bed of it, finding a gas can. Walking toward the house, she found a garden hose laying in the grass and picked it up. Using her hunting knife, she cut off a length and took it to a car parked on the street, keeping her eyes on what surrounded her. She stuck the piece of hose into the gas tank and sucked on the other end to get the gas flowing. Before she could see her progress, Maisy felt a sharp strike against the back of her head. Everything before her flashed into darkness as her knees buckled, head striking the pavement with a loud crack.
    #18 Muna, Oct 11, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 14, 2014
  19. Emma drove until she feared falling off the ATV. The sunrise came and went without her noticing. And the trees had thinned considerably. Her heart was heavy and her stomach was doing somersaults as she finally came upon a town... well, a village... kind of.

    She pulled off the road, hiding the ATV in the bushes a few miles down the road. She hoisted her backpack, checking that her pistol was still in its spot. Just as she finished camouflaging the ATV and the shotgun, she managed to turn away before her stomach heaved and she fell to her knees. Emma threw up until she didn't have anything left, and then threw up some more. Her whole body shook as she finally allowed herself to mourn. She hadn't known Candi well, but she was sweet, and so scared... That last pleading look on her face danced vividly behind Emma's eyelids.

    Struggling back to her feet, Emma set shakily towards the group of houses. Nope, not even a village... I wonder how far I made it anyway... Once she was within shouting distance Emma started calling out. "Hello? Anybody around? I'm not sick, just wondering where I am, and would maybe want a map!" She tried to be specific as she could, but it felt strange screaming at what appeared to be a ghost town.

    Nobody answered her calls, and eventually she gave up, fearing she'd be drawing in biters. Though, in these vastly unpopulated regions, she was lucky, because the undead were few and far between. Quietly, she came up onto the town. The buildings were antique, beyond the point of condemned, and one sign above a door informed her that she was looking at the "Hardman Post Office". Sighing, she didn't know what to make of things. She'd obviously made it into the grasslands of Oregon, but she had no clue where Hardman was, and she obviously wasn't going to get any answers from the long dead inhabitants... Wearily she made her way back to the ATV, hoping beyond hope that she had enough gas to get somewhere that wasn't completely dead.
  20. Erik climbed out of the cab of the truck slowly, too scared to make any noise. He had a bad feeling about stopping here, but had no say in the matter; The girl would have left without him if he didn't do as she wanted. Having no other option, he reluctantly agreed, "That's fine. Give me my gun and I'll keep watch." He considered taking his gun to the nearest home and raiding it for food or excess weapons. Thinking back to his journey out of New Jersey, he shook his head stubbornly. He couldn't leave Maisy on her own. He would have been dead if it weren't for her - he had been running all night, not knowing how much further he could move when he found her truck.

    Following her around the truck, he stopped before he left the shielding of the vehicle. Raising his reassembled hand gun, he kept watch. He noticed a shadow running beyond the targeted vehicle, moving quickly. Before he could make a sound, the shadow had moved behind Maisy, striking her with the shotgun they were carrying. Blood freezing, he crouched and hoped he wasn't seen. His ears focused on the strange footsteps, seemingly dragging Maisy along. Feeling his chest, he cursed as he remembered Maisy had taken his taser. Deciding to leave it behind, Erik crouched low and waited for the figure to disappear.

    Running to the car Maisy had been working over, Erik stayed crouched, wondering what to do. He hadn't had much experience before the illness spread: Being only 26, he hadn't had much hands-on personal experience. Taking a deep breath, he sprinted in the direction the figure led his friend.

    Running between to houses, he hid behind some unruly looking hedges; the sound of a door slammed to his left. Crossing yards, he approached a two story house, a basement door located in the back yard. Erik left his finger on the gun trigger with his right hand and pulled on the cellar door with his left. Lifting it just enough to slip inside, he gently closed it behind him. Taking a moment to gather himself, he took a deep breath and held it, listening ahead of himself.

    "Jake, I found her trying to take our gas. What do I do with her?" Erik heard shuffling, as though a chair had been pushed across the floor. A male voice responded. "Bring her here. Did she have any weapons on her?" A thud echoed through the room. Erik kept his hand on his gun, ready for confrontation. The female voice squeaked, "She has blades on her belt. We could use those."

    Erik's heart skipped a few beats. He crossed the main basement room on light feet, sticking to the wall for coverage. Raising his gun in front of him, holding his hand for stability, he slid around the wall into a small side room and took a quiet breath. Shadows moved in front of him as he cocked his gun. Swallowing his fear, he opened his voice and growled, "Raise your hands and step away from her or I'll shoot!"
    #20 Muna, Oct 12, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 14, 2014
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