The Walking Dead



Original poster
The small towns of America were always the heartbeat of the working class as some would say. Growing up in peace was always something that people wished for but these days there was no peace to be found. "Please line up in an orderly fashion" the CDC agent yells through her bullhorn, the parking lot of the Fallbrook South Dakota High-School having been converted into a large walkway, chain-link fencing separating the line sections. Men stand watch in towers, but not military by the looks of them, reserve, maybe National Guard the real Army and Marine's currently busy dealing with other outbreaks. The line was mostly vacant, the few who made the journey walking through the weaves of fencing. The roads had grown dangerous lately, the dead, or infected as the radio kept calling them, blocking up the highways, even spilling onto the back roads before the military could contain them.

Containment had failed, everyone knew it but the radio and the TV and the government as a whole tried not to admit it, tried to people to get calm, but as the bus rolled up everyone knew why they were here. They were refugees, brought to the small mostly evacuated town for their…protection. Each of you step off the bus, having come from far and wide to refugee camps, only to be moved, have your vehicles confiscated and moved to your final destination, have your stuff taken, and told you were safe again and again till you ended up here in the middle of nowhere as the world burned around you. It "Please continue down the line in an orderly fashion" the CDC agent says as you all walk down the half empty line, it seeming so much like a ghost town. As you all reach the desk at the end of the gantlet, the woman sitting behind it beginning to ask you questions. Asking for your name, any skills, age, basic medical information and so on, just like every other camp; just like every other one that you each are sure is overrun by now.

Your weapons are taken and the group is lead into the lobby, the news playing on a TV mounted in a corner, the program going on like nothing has happened. It continues telling people to drink their fluids if they are with fever, to avoid the infected at all costs, trying to make you calm and passive. "Reports from England say the infection is contained" The reporter says, the observant seeing that his hands are shaking, clearly not enjoying the lie. "One more step to beating the virus that has been ravaging the world for weeks." The man who lead the group into the room stands at the door "please all of you wait here for a moment till we can get a medical examination room open, we are going to have to give ya each a once over before your let out into the community where your vehicles and equipment will be returned" he says closing the door behind you, leaving you to your own devices for now.

A girl near the back of the room watches each of you her pink hair a bright contrast to her tan skin. Her eyes narrow like that of a sly fox, clearly marking her Asian descent. Her clothing is a little ragged, an old field jacket with some patches sewn into it, giving it a unique flair. Her pants are a simple pair of cargos and her shoes, if one were to look, clearly show the signs of a runner, worn down and nearly ruined. The baggy clothing hides her form and the fact that she brings her knees to her chest does not help any, but she does not make herself known. she keeps quiet, the TV continuing its chatter of random news events, reruns of Friends coming up next it seems. As the world burns people do not want to admit it, trying to keep the calm and keep the people dumb to what is really going on. Keep the obedient and passive, much like the walking dead.
Levi felt another bead of sweat run down his face as he shuffled through yet another chain link barrier. He swiped at it, not in the mood to have his temperature taken again. He was nervous, and he was hot, but he was 'as healthy as a damn horse' as he'd told the last guard to stop him. He eyed the high school in front of him, the wide windows and barely reinforced door. This wouldn't have been his first choice for a hold-out. He exhaled loudly when they were stopped at yet another checkpoint. He took a moment to examine the people around him. All different sizes and shapes, but he didn't think one of them was older than him. No children around, no older people, just a bunch of scared young people who were in world where they felt naked without guns and hatchets.

The country-boy removed his ball-cap, a trucker style navy-blue affair with a faded emblem on the front, to run his hand through his short, sweaty hair. He fanned himself with the cap as they were shuffled through the doors of the high school and into a blessedly air-conditioned lobby. Levi would have stripped out of his shirt right there if there weren't young women around. He dropped into a sitting position beneath a near-by vent, relishing in the cool air. His hand fluttered towards his belt, where his sickle was kept until just a few moments ago. He'd developed a nervous habit of gripping the handle and his hip felt light without the blade.

He again found himself examining the group he'd come in with, his eyes lingering on the pink-haired girl in the corner. He stared at her, finding the combination of dyed hair and Asian descent very foreign. Now don't mistake Levi for a racist, but you don't come across too many Asian-folk in a town called Tumbleweed and even less people with pink hair. He turned away from her, not wanting to come off as rude. He glanced after where the official had gone and decided it would likely be a little while. "Well folks, looks like we're gonna be in one another's company for fine little while. So I figure we best be gettin' to know each other." He grinned, face friendly and tanned. "I'm Levi Gray. Nice to meet y'all." Levi wasn't sure what kind of people were around him, but he decided that if the going got tough, he'd get up and lead these people.
Alex had taken to surviving in this new world easily enough when the outbreaks had first started. She was no stranger to shooting, and once she got used to the targets actually bleeding and exploding into fleshy bits, it wasn't all that bad. Escaping her home town had been a close call, but she had made it, then it had just come down to the issue of finding safety. "Safety" had come in the form of poorly chosen government shelters made out of poorly reinforced buildings. "Safety" had involved taking her weapons away, at the arrival of each 'shelter', and unarmed she felt more at danger then she had felt for even a moment while wandering the newly made wastes with her weapons in hand. Each time she argued with the officials, flashing her now-worthless weapon permits and cursing and spitting until she felt like she was going to pass out, but they never relented - and she was forced to hand her precious babies over into the hands of their "saviors".

And now it was time to wait, and get felt up again by some doctors who were "checking for infection" because there was obviously plenty of time for them to get bitten on the bus ride between shelters. Sure one of her favorite boots had bite marks on it now, but the leather had been too tough for the living impaired bastard to break through to her skin. She took a seat, reluctantly, wishing that she still had her guns. Her handgun to shoot the TV, so she wouldn't have to listen to 'Friends', and her rifle so that she could clean and maintain it, her favorite way to keep calm, and ensure her future survival. She had managed to keep the knife concealed in her boot, at least, but she couldn't take it out to sharpen it without revealing it, so that left her with nothing to do but look around at the people that she was being incarcerated with this time. She sat back in her seat, opening her combat vest so that she could get a bit of air, letting her legs spread out like a guy relaxing on a sofa. There was plenty of room, and nothing else to do, so why not relax? She thought, while wiping the sweat from her forehead with the back of one biker gloved hand.

It was a rag tag group, not many looked like they'd be able to survive out there for long, at least not without help. She noticed the pink haired girl, and she would have smiled if she weren't so angry. People really were coming in from all over the country, they must be running out of shelters. Alex half expected everyone to sit in a sullen silence, like in the few places that she had gone to. There wasn't much to talk about anymore, except for the outbreak, and there was no reason talk about that - it was going on all around them. She was surprised when someone stood up and started introducing himself. A country boy, he looked tough, it made sense that he would be one of those who could still get up and try to make the best out of a situation like this. Some of the others looked a little shaken up, so some non-gut-muncher related conversation would probably help cheer them up a bit. "Tha's a good idea, Lev. No reason ta sit here all quiet." She adds, giving the former-farmer boy a two fingered salute. "I'm Alex, i's a pleasure."
Eli hated this heat. She hated it with every fiber of her being. The humidity was suffocating, the sun was unforgiving-- even the earth seemed to radiate heat. How could people live in a place like this, bearing this weather everyday and calling this hell their home? She missed the city: the cool rush of air squeezing in between the skyscrapers, the buzzing of the crowd as they scurried about in chaotic order like organized bees. Now she was stuck in Tumbleweed. Tumbleweed!

She huffed a grunt as she tried to pry a stray hair from her sweaty face, growing more and more frazzled by the minute. This weather was going to destroy her hair. It was already a disheveled, matted mess from lack of shower and comb. This only made her hate this stupid heat more.

How much longer do we have to stand out here?! her mind moaned, as she shifted her weight to her other leg. Her heeled boots were murdering her feet. Yes, this was not the wisest choice of footwear, and the rest of her ensemble didn't redeem her. Although ripped and bloodstained, her outfit still stood out of the crowd, screaming "rich and stupid." Her black, mid-thigh sweater dress was snug against her body, although she had no curves to emphasize, and the thin leggings beneath them were tucked into knee high, fur trimmed boots. Bangles, hoop earrings, and a designer tote bag completed her foolish get-up.

She shuffled along, a perpetual pout plastered on a mouth ready to complain at any moment. Like cattle, the group was herded into a room, where a soldier blabbed on about a medical examination. Or at least, that's what Eli thought he said; she rarely listened to anyone. She barely heard the country hick make his introduction.

Eli was now giving this Levi a once over. It was as if she was sizing him up, deciding if he was worth her breath. He wasn't, but Eli could never be rude.

"Eliza Bastilone." she announced with a flash of her pearly white, obnoxiously strait teeth. She glanced around at the others, maintaining strong eye contact and that charismatic smile. She acted like Miss America: grin to the judges... make them think you'd be their best girlfriend.
Reece wiped away the sweat from his forehead with his arm as they stood in line to go into their 'shelter.' It was the same as last shelters he went to, taking your weapons to keep you 'safe', searching you for bites from the infected, then letting you go again. Reece thought this was all unnecessary; just a big waste of everyone's time.

Finally they allowed them to go inside. Reece was getting pretty hot out there in the sun. He welcomed the nice cool air generated by the air conditioning. He pretty much ignored the guy talking about the medical examination and stood in front of one of the air conditioners, cooling off his burning hot body. Once he felt better, Reece sat down near the back of the room. That was when Reece finally decided to look at the group he'd be staying with for a while.

They all looked like they would of been one of the first to become infected. He heard Levi's introduction, as well as Alex's. They both looked like they could handle themselves for a while, but when he heard Eliza say who she was, and the way she smiled at everyone, he could tell right away that she was one of the few types of people that is hard for him to stand. Of course, he noticed the pink haired foreigner in the back of the room with him. He didn't know what to make of her just yet.

Reece decided to hell with it, and just say something as well. There would be no harm done in introducing yourself to the people that you would most likely be spending a lot of time with. So, he stood up.
"I'm Reece Collins. It's uh...pleasure, I meet you all." He said with his usual bored expression.
"People just call me Fox" the pink haired girl in the back adds, resting her head on her knees. Before anyone else had time to introduce themselves or respond there was a knock at the door to the waiting room, a solider popping his head In "Hey everyone, I am here to escort you to the examination rooms, all right? You're going to be given a once over before you will be let into the city limits" he explains trying to put on a reassuring face. The boy could not be any older than twenty, probably drafted recently to help handle the crisis. "So please follow me in an orderly fashion, OK?" He questions while stepping out and pushing the door further open. His radio crackles to life, and he tugs it from his belt and holds it up to his ear to hear it better, "Victor-one-two Delta what is your Sitrep, over?" The soldier keeps walking motioning for each of the new arrivals to follow into the school's hallway before responding "Victor-one-two Delta here, escorting civilians to medical for examination, over." The radio is silent for a bit before coming back "Report to Tower Echo once civilians are secure, over."

As the civilians make their way through the school, it looks so hauntingly deserted, the lights are on but no one is home - as they would say. Most of the lockers are still standing, probably with whatever contents were in them on the day of the first outbreak, gates pulled shut here and there as a stop gap measure - just in case the worst should happen. Trophy cases stand proudly with rows of this school's achievements, but that just makes it even more painfully obvious that they will probably never get another one, it is depressing in its own way. "Roger command, report to Tower Echo once civilians are secure, over and out" He gives a sigh as he walks the halls along with the Civilians, looking over his shoulder "We were supposed to get reinforcements, don't tell anyone but we are a little undermanned.. The reinforcements were coming in by road but…I really shouldn't say anymore," he says waving it off, clearly military discipline was not one of his strong suits.

The mismatched band arrives outside of the Gym, and the Soldier opens the door, "I am sure you guys all know the drill, pick a place to go and get stripped down, and a doc will look you over for bites or signs of infection as well as any other signs of illness that could infect the community. Take care," he gives a half-heated salute and makes his way back down the hall. The gym is divided into rooms with cloth dividers, each a simple medical room, a bed, IV hook, cabinet, the works for getting examined. As each of you get into a room you are greeted by a doctor, divided along gender lines as would be normal, but it is a nice amenity. That they can still act as if nothing is wrong even in this crisis and respect such lines is mind boggling, however. As the doctors look you over they ask the same questions as before, confirming your identity with name, age, hometown, etc. Then they move onto the medical, have you encountered the infected, were you exposed, were you ever scratched or bit even once, the usual.

It all goes well at first, until you hear a crack off in the distance, over the sounds of the humming lights and the doctors speech each of you can pick it up. The lone crack of a rifle being fired followed by more cracks, louder, closer, the radio budding to life too low for any of you to hear as the doctors continue as if everything is OK, trying to calm, reassure, but each of you feel that sense of dread you have felt at every safe zone, that sense of terror, that fleeting feeling that the quarantine has been comprised.
She was chilled, soaked through with sweat from the outside heat and then herded into the ridiculous cold of the shelter. A high school was hardly the kind of place that she'd have chosen to go to after the outbreak happened; after all, she knew first hand how easy it was to break into one. (She and her friends had never been accused of being totally well behaved.) That fact made her nervous. However, what choice did she have? Every civilian was to go to one of these shelters and be checked over for any sign of the infection. It was all in an attempt to control the spread of this... disease.

Disease she called it, as she wasn't sure what caused it. Virus? Bacteria? Parasite?
Not that it much mattered if she did know, as she sure as hell wasn't equipped with the knowledge or skill to cure or prevent it's spread in any way.

The teen glanced about her, chocolate eyes taking in the appearance of those other survivors who had made it to this shelter, as well as the military personnel guiding them through the empty corridors of the place of learning turned zombie shelter. They all stood out in a way, no two people seeming to really fall into the same category, and somehow that gave her the sense that, in spite of her incredible height, she wouldn't stand out too much in the time she was around them, and that was fine with her. She didn't want to stand out, and she didn't want to talk with anyone as the others seemed to be so comfortable doing. She just wanted this nightmare to be over.

Rather silently, she obeyed the orders given to her. The same drill she had been through what seemed like countless times over how ever long it had been since the outbreak started.

"Annie Johnson; eighteen years old..." She rattled off her information almost mechanically, before answering the next question she knows is to come, "Who hasn't come into contact with them? They're everywhere."

The doctor merely nodded.

Next, was the physical examination. Growing past the embarrassment of being nude in the presence of a stranger as they examine every inch of you meticulously wasn't easy. Even as many times as she had gone through this all ready, the lanky brunette was still uncomfortable with this part, and she dressed quickly once her clothing was returned to her. Once again, she had passed the evaluation. She wasn't infected; she could still be counted among the survivors for the time being. Of course, she could have told this doctor that from the start, not that she'd have listened.

In spite of that, though, a sense of unease was embedded in her even before she heard the gunfire in the distance drawing closer. The cold that was once attributed to the air conditioning mixed with her sweat drenched clothing had sunken past the skin. Fear began to rise, and her fight or flight instincts were screaming at her. Even as the doctor tried to assure her of her safety, she was chilled to the bone.
Alex was surprised when the soldier showed up, normally they were made to wait much longer while the doctors prepared. If they were already prepared, it either meant that they were worried and they wanted to get it done quickly, or another group had gone through not long before them. The former seemed the most likely to her. She obediently followed orders, for now, knowing full well that they could withhold her weapons or give her plenty of other kinds of shit if she didn't do just that. So she shuffled along with the others into the partitioned off gymnasium, kind of glad that things were going to be dealt with quickly, even if it was a little suspicious.

Before the doctor could even begin interrogating her she started, "Alexandra Nightingale, twenty one. 'Was born in Flitwick, Bedforshire in England. Moved to Manhattan, New York. And then from there to Raccoon, Kentucky. I ran into hell loads of the things on my way out of Raccoon, sprawling ass town that is, one of 'em almost took off my foot." she holds up her boot for emphasis, showing it to the doctor so she could verify that nothing had broken through, before slapping the boot to emphasize it's toughness and then tugging it off.

She then proceeded to strip down for the next part of the examination, she'd never really had a problem with her nakedness, she wouldn't have cared even if the partitions were down. But if they wanted to keep pretending like everything was alright, then she could put up with it for the younger ones, at least. The doctor examined her thoroughly, as she had been in the last shelter, and the shelter before that, and however many there had been before that one. The stupid blond bitch still took special care examining her foot, despite already seeing that the brain-chewer hadn't broken through her boot, and Alex was forced to grin and bear with it to the end. When it was finally over she re-outfitted herself, tugging on clothing and buckling her vest, and lastly a quick finger slipped into her boot to make sure that her knife was still strapped into place.

It was then that she heard the familiar 'crack, crack, crack' of rifle fire. She wasn't worried yet, but there was one major difference between this and every other time that she'd heard it before. This time, she wasn't armed. She felt as if a cool finger was running along her spine, why couldn't this issue have waited until she had her guns back? Just a few more hours, until she was armed and ready to deal with whatever problem was showing up. She could only hope that this was only a small group of them wandering nearby and not the same sort of massive horde that had taken out Raccoon, or some of the other shelters that they had been to...
Levi got up, a little sad to leave the vent behind. He walked along behind the young man, who babble aimlessly as they walked and who quickly began to get on the country boy's nerves. Never before in his life had he been so short tempered, and it scared him a little when he realized he wanted to burry his fist in the other's face and then beat him to death with that trusty radio. He forced his eyes onto his surroundings, observing the banners and motivational posters that lined the halls, as well as the dusty lockers. He mentally noted that there might be something worth finding in one of them.
Soon enough he was corralled into a changing room and asked the usual shit. "Levi Gray, 24, Tumbleweed." He shot the doctor a dirty look at that last question. "Are you fuckin' kiddin' me dude? You musta' been holed up in here from the damn beginning. They're everywhere!" The doctor recoiled a bit but nodded and scribbled on his clipboard. He stripped out of his clothes impatiently, letting them pool on the floor carelessly as his tanned skin was exposed. It was clear Levi did a lot of outdoor work shirtless, and judging by the only faint tan line around his hips…The doctor wrote the 'all clear' on his clipboard in time for the gunshots to start.
Levi scowled and hurried back into his clothes, securing his cap securely backwards, so it didn't inhibit his peripheral vision. Things were about to go down.
Reece just sat in his chair, feeling too lazy to move just yet. When the guy came to take them to the medical exam, Reece felt like punching the guy in face. This feeling quickly faded away, as if he never had the feeling in the first place. He stood up slowly and lazily followed the rest, staying a few feet behind the group. He ignored all the motivational banners and posters, and thought that there should be something useful in the lockers. He would take something later.

"Reece Collins, 19. Klamath Falls, Oregon." He said as he took off his shirt. "And of course I've been in contact with them." He said calmly. After stripping the rest of his clothes off, the doctor looked him over. The only wounds Reece had were from the bullets his father shot at him. They were already healing so Reece had the bandages off. There was a perfectly round scar on his arm from the bullet going all the way through. It still hurt him to swing his bat sometimes. His skin was becoming a little tan from being out in the sun so much. He kept telling himself to stop sleeping outside during the day, but he hasn't made any move to find a place to sleep. His bullet wound on his stomach was still closing up.

The doctor gave him the 'okay' and Reece started putting on his clothes. He was just zipping up his pants when the gun shots were heard. 'They're here?' He thought as he finished getting dressed. 'That's just our luck...'