NATION

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OUTBREAK (Sandbox/Survival - IC / OPEN)

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Beiarusia
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Posts: 10749
Founded: Dec 29, 2014
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

OUTBREAK (Sandbox/Survival - IC / OPEN)

Postby Beiarusia » Sun Jan 16, 2022 1:40 pm





DAY 26
Tuesday, August 14, 2018



Samantha Tallow
Liz's Pet Store, Chicago, Illinois

The teenager had spent the night sleeping in a dog's kennel. Admittedly, it was quite comfortable, padded by the pet bedding and blankets that had been scavenged from inside the now abandoned store, and while not for the claustrophobic the plastic box did give a much needed sense of safety when outside there was none to be found. The electricity was still operational and so, too, was the plumbing in the small employee's restroom. Had there been food the girl could maybe justify staying a tad bit longer, but, no matter how comfortable she was, or thought she was, there were more pressing concerns that had to be addressed before the coming day was out.

Chiefly, finding her missing father.

Her father was the CFO for the European branch of a multinational corporation and had been in the United States on business. Samantha, his only daughter, had accompanied him as she had many times before when not in school. They had been on their way to the airport to leave for London when the attack happened, but it wasn't until much later that the girl was privileged to the knowledge of just how bad the situation had become. By then the quarantine had already failed. Her father, however, was optimistic even as the world imploded to pieces around them, but if he truly was hopeful or else lying for the sake of his beloved daughter Samantha would never know. He'd never tell. As for where he was now, the night before yesterday they had been separated by those things while attempting to find safe passage out of the city. They had a plan, a place to meet-up should something like this occur, but given the state of the city it had been a slow and difficult journey for the girl, especially so as her disability forced her to be more considerate of her surroundings. To approach every storefront or street with overwhelming caution. Still, she couldn't be too far now, and no doubt her father was already there awaiting her. Maybe his optimism had worked in the end.

Samantha crawled out from the kennel and stretched, feeling a bit exposed in the darkened store but otherwise having no cause for immediate alarm. Around her, the pet store was in abject disarray, having been looted during the riots two weeks prior or sometime after. A window had been smashed and the registers broken into; several shelves were overturned or otherwise emptied of product. The store looked to have been ransacked if only to make a mess, as if swarmed by hooligans, and the only discernible item missing was the cat and dog food. No animals were sold here so Samantha had been free to explore without the distressing sight of kittens and puppies and hamsters and whatever else dead in their cages. (A few unfortunate goldfish were floating bellies-up in clouded water but that was the worse of it.) A thorough search or the building the previous evening had turned up nothing of use or importance save for a simple multi-tool, and after doing her best to lock the door to the manager's office she had fashioned herself a bed for the night. Now it was simply a matter of making certain she had everything before leaving. She wouldn't be coming back.

Her backpack was sitting atop the kennel where she had left it. It hadn't been touched — a paranoid thought to be sure but one couldn't be too careful nowadays in light of all that had happened. Inside it were two granola bars, a handheld radio (useless to the deaf girl), a flashlight with spare batteries, her sketchbook, and some spare clothing stuffed haphazardly atop everything else. Samantha considered changing into something more fresh. Her T-shirt and leggings were soiled, and she'd gone far longer than she'd like without changing underwear. More than that she was desperately in need of a shower and overall felt grimy to an uncomfortable degree.

Throwing a blanket inside with the multi-tool that she'd found, Samantha zipped up and slid the backpack over her shoulders before grabbing her cellphone and charger. The battery was at 100%. She tried to send a text, first to her father and then to her mother overseas, but the message failed to send. Next she tried the internet but that, too, was unavailable. Her service was unstable and holding the device above her head failed to find any meaningful improvement. With an annoyed huff she pocketed the cellphone, grabbed her father's suitcase, and then cautiously made her way out from the small office. The empty store greeted her. She made a quick round through the aisles, mindful of the glass, before detouring to the restroom once certain she was still alone. Samantha washed up as best she could with the available soap and paper towels. Done, she stared at her reflection for a moment. Blue-green eyes stared back. Her hair was tangled, limp, and somehow less blond than it had been a few days ago. Her smile was crooked and in need of a toothbrush.

CVS. There was a pharmacy nearby, attached to the pet store but on the opposite side of the block.

Samantha nodded to herself, finding no harm in the diversion to snag some personal necessities before setting off for downtown. A toothbrush and deodorant and a few other toiletries. She hurried for the exit, eager to be on with her day and to reunite with her father. She paused only to consider a can of dog food that had been left behind, eyeing it hungrily for a long moment as her stomach growled in support. Could people eat pet food? Obviously, but would it make her sick? She was uncertain, so passed, promising herself that the pharmacy would have snacks.

Just a little while longer.



Dead Air Radio - 107.1 FM

"Good morning Chicagoland!

This is Quarantine Jack, and for those of you just now tuning in this is 107.1 FM, Dead Air Radio, bringing you the latest news and music because, and lets be frank, the apocalypse sucks. Yeah, I get it, the mailman ate grandma, but take away the looming extinction of our civilization and what are we left with? Nothing, and that's a total drag with a capital "D," so allow me the privilege, no, the honor of being your number one host at the end of the world.

Now for the weather. Looking outside I can see some clouds so expect a cloudy day. Slight chance of rain. Maybe. What do I know? The weatherman's dead out back so your guess is as good as mine. Now, for the daily news. Let's see here. Yeah, everything is still dead as fuck. What was that? I can't say that on-air? Well news flash! I can say whatever I want. Who's gonna stop me? The FCC? Hah! Those losers were brain-dead even before the infection. But in all seriousness, we've picked up a few tidbits on the withered grape vine that our wonderful listeners, that'll be you guys, might find interesting.

First off, I've been informed that anyone not in biting distance of the station is getting static, so if someone would like to turn off whatever it is that's jamming my tunes I'll be sure to give you a shout-out. Second, some fine folk at Saint Andrew's Church seem to be having some rough times. I'd say keep them in your prayers but prayers don't keep the zombies away. For that you're gonna need buckshot. Speaking of buckshot, anyone near the grocery store on North Broadway be on the lookout for a hobo with a shotgun. Sounds like a bad joke. Lastly, anyone been seeing those lights up in Sears Tower? Zombies were bad enough, we don't need some ghost to be making things worse.

[...static...]

Sorry folks, seems like we're having some technical difficulties on me end. So let's get on with the tunes. Alright, so, what do we have for your listening pleasure. Junk. Garbage. Oh, absolute garbage. Well shit. I apologize but my selection at the moment is slim to fuck-all. Hey, if you, yes you, my darling listeners, come across any spare CDs, cassettes, records, or even an 8-track feel free to bring 'em down to the station. We'll pay you for the trouble. Ah! A little old, but I feel that it suits our inaugural broadcast just nicely. Here's The End of the World by R.E.M. Enjoy."st just nicely. Here's The End of the World by R.E.M. Enjoy."





SURVIVORS
Loyola University, Chicago, Illinois

Those who could had gone home during the quarantine. They were local and so had that option. Others, those from out-of-state, or those who willingly stayed in the dormitories for whatever reason, had become trapped as the campus was overwhelmed by the sick and dying and undying. Those who hadn't left when they could were now trapped and taking refuge in the Cudahy Science Hall. Cole Bennett and Paul Reeves, two loners that had been roommates in the dormitories before the building had become too unsafe to hide inside. Lawrence Carpenter, a chemistry major that had simply hunkered down in his classroom. Morgan Kaur, Joyce Hamilton, and Lynn Nguyen were from the same sorority and had been chased by the things wandering outside. They were the last known survivors on campus. Everyone else was dead or gone.

Lynn had left two days ago to find help. Being the smallest and most nimble, she had the best chance of sneaking past the Infected and had volunteered to do so. She still hadn't returned or contacted them. Joyce and Morgan were busying themselves by scrounging for whatever food and water they could find from the break room refrigerator, teacher's officers, and the few vending machines that were actually stocked. Cole had gone off somewhere and so had Paul. Lawrence had sequestered himself away in a science lab to work on his "project" as he had called it.

The windows and doors had been barricaded as best they could, and while the Infected left them alone so long as they were quiet they would bang against the walls every so often, as if to remind the survivors inside that they were still outside waiting for them.

The students didn't have much in terms of supplies. They couldn't wait forever, and if help never came they'd need to escape somehow.



INFECTED
Chicago Police Department - District 7, Chicago, Illinois

The CPD had been overwhelmed in the first days of infection. After the riots, and after the declaration of martial law, the police were relegated to processing the mass influx of those displaced by the violence as the National Guard locked down Chicago. It didn't take long for law and order to break down. The infection spread rapidly, and with many officers dead or AWOL the precincts had been overrun.

The street outside District 7 was surprisingly devoid of traffic due to the nearby CPD roadblock. A police cruiser sat abandoned just outside the station, bumper crumpled against the orange barricades set up to protect the glass exterior, its driver's side door open and keys missing. A few more cruisers lay abandoned in the lot alongside a handful of personal vehicles. Shell casings glinted ominously in the sunlight. Infected milled about, at least two dozen strong but with more undoubtedly lingering just out of sight. Some walked aimlessly, others were lying motionless in the street but could spring up at any given provocation. The front doors to the precinct had been shattered and more Infected were inside the front atrium that had been absolutely destroyed in the chaos. One was on its hands and knees, feasting on the corpse of an officer, his torso torn open with his badge displaying the name OFFICER ALVAREZ. Inside the station proper another Infected was stuck inside the jail cell. A looter that had been arrested only to turn later after having been bitten during the riots. Lacking food and water for an extended period this particular Infected had grown weak but would lunge at the nearest survivor if given the chance.

The lower floor was only partly compromised. A few doors had been locked and the Infected were stuck in the "public" areas predominantly, with one being stuck in the garage. The upper floor was clear entirely.
Last edited by Beiarusia on Sun Jan 16, 2022 2:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Bolslania
Minister
 
Posts: 2792
Founded: Mar 07, 2018
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Bolslania » Sun Jan 16, 2022 4:27 pm

Cameron Swanson
You can never go home again



A black SUV rolled down the silent streets of Chicago. In it sat a single driver. A very nervous driver. Normally he wouldn't have wanted to take a vehicle in to a place where the slightest sound would bring death upon him, but he needed gas. Other gas stations he'd come across had been dry, not a single drop of gas left in their storage. So here he was, rolling into a BP gas station on East 87th street. He had kept his speed down to not add any noise to the already rumbling engine. He parked near the exit of the station, killed his engine, and waited.

After a few minutes the armored driver's side front door swung open, and out stepped Cameron Swanson, rifle in hand. His eyes swiveled around the quiet streets of his home town. Checking for any movement or activity. Still nothing. At least not yet. He began to move about the BP, looking for any signs of life. Entering in to the building, he flicked on the flashlight mounted on his rifle, sweeping it across the dusty building. Some ceiling lights still flickered, many were silent and dark. The hum of freezers indicated that the building still had power. He stepped slowly into the building, rifle planted firmly in to his shoulder as he panned along the dirty interior. He peeked over the top of the counter to confirm nothing was hiding behind it. Something had been tickling his nose since he had entered this place, and he stopped as he realized what it was.

Rot. Something in this building was dead. The smell seemed to be coming from the back of the building, so that is where Cameron proceeded. He paused outside of the men's bathroom. Listening. He could hear something moving. He quietly slung his rifle over his shoulder, reaching down to his hip where his ASP baton sat. He pulled it out, flicking it with a sharp movement of the wrist. The telescoping steel extending to its full 21 inches. He took a deep breath to steady himself before he threw open the door to the bathroom.

If these things could even be surprised, the infected sitting over the dead cashier certainly was. It looked up from its meal at the large SPS officer bearing down upon it, barely managing to pull its bloodied arms out of the corpe's chest before a steel baton connected with its head. The infected fell to the ground, blood running from a newly created dent in its head. It quickly looked up and snarled at Cameron, who was raising his baton for another swing. The zombie pushed itself away from Cameron's follow up swing, springing off the ground in an attempt to knock Cameron off his feet. Cameron quickly sidestepped the ungainly thing, swinging his baton back around as the infected moved past him. The baton hit the back of the zombie's head with a sickening crack, and the infected crumpled to the floor. It lay motionless as blood pooled from the back of its head and on to the floor. Cameron caught his breath as he watched the infected in the dim light of the bathroom. It didn't move, but Cameron gave it another strike to the back of the head. It was never a mistake to make sure. He cast a quick look at the disemboweled BP cashier. He didn't seem interested in trying to eat Cameron, not yet anyway. Cameron moved to the sinks, fiddling with the faucets until water began to dribble out. He used it to wash off his baton before killing the water flow and collapsing his baton.

He stepped back in to the main portion of the BP, satisfied that he had secured the building. He exited back in to the overcast Chicago weather, taking no time to pause, he quickly began checking for gas. After a few minutes of searching he found a pump that still had some gas left in it. He went over to where some empty gas cans were sitting, moving several over to the pump. Flicking off the cap of the first can he began to pump gas into the can, returning to maintaining situational awareness as the gas began to flow. After a minute or so he changed out cans, screwing the cap over the recently filled one as the second one filled up.

2 minutes later and he had another 10 gallons of gas. He carried the two full cans to his car, setting one in the trunk and the other on the ground as he opened his car's gas flap, pouring fresh gas into his fuel tank. It was only a matter of moments before he set the somewhat depleted can into the back of his car, closing the trunk as he prepared to continue down the road.
Last edited by Bolslania on Sun Jan 16, 2022 6:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Thai Sweet Billy
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Posts: 66
Founded: Dec 20, 2021
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Thai Sweet Billy » Sun Jan 16, 2022 11:59 pm

    PAUL REEVES
    Loyola University Cudahy Science Hall | Chicago, Illinois
    __________________________________

The dorms had become so quiet that Paul Reeves swore he could hear every individual shuffle of the infecteds’ footsteps above him. They moved about erratically, no sense of pattern or determination in their footsteps whatsoever, their movements were completely random and sporadic. Occasionally, he’d hear one stumble to the ground, another rushing over to investigate the noise, and another banging on a wall, almost as if there was a modicum of humanity left inside those monsters.

Almost as if they were taunting the motley crew of survivors left.

They had been on campus for a little over three weeks now, and things were already becoming dire. Paul and his roommate, an engineering major named Cole Bennett, were probably one of the only ones left alive on campus, save for a trio of sorority girls and a chemistry major named Lawrence Carpenter, whom he had only met in passing a semester before. The last time he had checked, Lawrence had barricaded himself in one of the classroom labs, and he and Cole both had agreed that they weren’t going to risk their lives to save him or help out the girls. Not yet, at least.

It was selfish, yes, but it was necessary—everyone knew the risk that came with moving around on campus, let alone leaving their dorm rooms. Any sudden move or loud noise would tip off the infected, and while dealing with one or two wasn’t difficult, dealing with a dozen at a time was fatal.

So… they were trapped. Everyone was trapped. For a moment, as he sat atop his bed, blankly staring at the light creeping into the dark room from through the blinds, he thought there was nothing left for them to do. They had done their very best to barricade any places the infected could’ve possibly broken into, and bathroom breaks were quick and strategic, as to not draw any noise to their dorm.

Cole had even thought of the ingenious idea of soundproofing their room, and while he certainly had a start with taping a plethora of jackets, extra towels, and sheets on the walls, it only made the pre-existing clutter in the room even worse, and it was only really done in spirit.

He sighed as he sat atop his bed, staring out the blinds, where he could see the blurred figures of infected roaming around the outside of the dorms.

He wondered how Cheryl was doing, how the rest of his “friends” were doing, if he could even refer to them as friends. The last time they were all together was on a summer road trip, a sour memory in Paul’s mind that he was better off forgetting, given how everyone had dogpiled on him in supporting Cheryl’s thinly-veiled “creep” accusation. He wondered if they were still alive, if they thought about him, and if they even remembered him.

thump thu-thu thump

Paul turned to the door, instinctively grabbing the crowbar leaning beside his bed. Of course, that knocking pattern was his and Cole’s running password—normally, they wouldn’t leave the room if they weren’t in a buddy pair, but the amount of infected roaming the halls had been cut down over the weeks they were stuck by the survivors, so they at least had some breathing room.

Paul crept through his room, his steps deliberate and soft, as if to not make anything creak beneath him or accidentally kick an empty bottle. He looked through the peephole and saw a young African-American man around his age, with a seemingly permanent scowl on his face, who had a hammer in one hand and a bookbag in the other. He looked on either side, as if to check if the area was clear, then stepped back as Paul slowly turned the lock to its open state and slowly opened the door.

Cole’s nose wrinkled, as if he smelled something. “You fuckin’ stink, dog.”

Paul was too apathetic to feel offended. “Just get in, man.” His tone was flavorless.

Cole moved in as quietly as he could as Paul shut and locked the door behind them. He set down his bag in the center of their room and sat down on his bed, opening the bag up to fish out what he had found.

“Waters, don’t care that they’re not cold,” He passed the plastic bottles to Paul, who took the water bottles and placed them in a small mini-fridge beneath their bed, where they had crammed whatever they could inside, including some beer they had hid before shit hit the fan. “Those girls gave some to me, they were scavenging the break room and offices in the dorm—”

“They actually talked to you?” Paul blinked.

Cole had a look on his face that seemed to say “what the fuck” without any words. “Wh… ‘course they fuckin’ talked to me, dude. It’s the end of the world, stop worryin’ about that shit.” He paused, fishing through his bag for something. “Anyways, I found… this…”

He retrieved a tall white can from his bag, which had a familiar “M-shaped logo on its front side. Paul scowled at the can and turned to Cole. “Why do you have that, dude? I think a Monster is the least we need, it’s a little too on the nose, too.”

Cole scoffed. “You never know, man.” He set the can down on his nightstand. “For food, they ain’t have those pre-packed sandwiches we nabbed when shit hit the fan anymore. Couldn’t find cold meat or bread, either, the other dining hall was too packed…”

“So… snacks for dinner again?” Paul rubbed his temples. As if to answer his question, Cole retrieved a handful of snacks from the bag—cookies, potato chips, and a bag of beef jerky. Cole sighed. They most likely had to share the last one.

“So that gives us a week's worth of stuff, maybe more if we ration,” Paul figured, running the numbers in his mind as he grabbed a marker off a whiteboard they had hung on one of the walls. Before, it had been used as a planner, but now it was to monitor their supplies.

Paul set the marker down with another sigh. “Cole, do you even think this is gonna be sustainable?”

“If what’s gonna be sustainable?” Cole stuffed his backpack beneath his bed.

“I mean, if we can stay here, dude. It’s… it’s only gonna be a matter of time before the infected come and find us, dude. I don’t know if the others can survive for that long, and they probably want nothing to do with us. We’re trapped, dude. I don’t know where to go, and the campus is probably crawling with the infected.”

He sighed. “We’re safer staying here, anyways. Those doors can probably hold. I don’t know.”

“Ni—motherfucker. Paul.” Cole judgingly stuck out a finger at his roommate. “You’re the one who’s so good with numbers. Go ahead and quantify how long we’ll have until we starve, or if those fuckers out there find us.”

Paul remained quiet as Cole folded his arms. “Can’t do it? Thought so. Sticking in one place and waiting for someone to save us ain’t gonna make us get out of this, dude. Take some damn initiative for once and realize we can’t be sedentary all day long.”

At that moment, Cole turned to Paul’s crowbar, resting aside the bed. He gestured to it. “Can that even kill one of those infected motherfuckas? Why the hell do you have that again?”

Paul grabbed his crowbar, as if to defend it. “What else is a crowbar good at doing, genius?”

“Touche.” Cole sighed. “Look. Where I was getting at was this: you know those three sorority girls, from down the hall?”

Morgan, Joyce, and Lynn, right?” Paul asked, a bit too surprised that he had remembered their names. “What about them?”

“Well, Lynn’s missing,” Cole explained. “She’s been missing for, like, two days now. Morgan told me she was last going to Insomnia Cookies to get supplies for them. If you’re so uptight about talking to girls, dude, maybe realize that your actions can speak louder than words.”

“When did you get so talkative with females, Cole?” Paul asked, genuinely surprised, knowing his friend’s often inflammatory language towards girls in the past. “And where are you getting at with this?”

“Paul… listen to yourself speak, dog. ‘Females’, really?” Cole rubbed his temples. “Look. If we find Lynn and get her back to her friends, maybe that’ll help you out some. Maybe they’ll just thank us and leave. Maybe they’ll give us something. I don’t know, but it’s worth a shot.”

Paul sat and pondered for a moment. What Cole was suggesting was dangerous, suicidal, even, but it was certainly doable with two people. Maybe they could rescue Lynn, or even find out where Lawrence was and save him. It was worth a shot, and even if he was hesitant… Cole seemed determined. Maybe being cooped up in a room all day with nothing to bore him had finally made him reach his breaking point.

Paul sighed. “I’ll go with you. But we need to do something first.”

“What’s that?” Cole asked.

Paul reached into his bag, retrieving a roll of duct tape and one of his old magazines, which Cole only cringed at. Carefully, he unraveled the tape, placing some of the magazines around his left forearm, to where they wrapped around his left arm.

Cole then watched as Paul wrapped the duct tape around his arm, binding the magazines to his forearm. Once he did the same to his right arm, something clicked in his head, and he lightly smacked his forehead, as if to scold himself for not realizing what Paul was doing sooner. “Man, Paul, you’re a freaking genius.”

After checking to make sure his improvised magazine arm guard was on correctly, Paul tossed the duct tape to cole. “I have another magazine and a textbook in my bag, make sure you do it like how I did. I, uh, don’t think it’ll stop something huge, b-but it’s a start.”

“Yeah.” Cole muttered, unraveling the roll of duct tape for himself. “It is a start.

__________________________________


They crept out of their room as quietly as they could, ensuring to pick sneakers they knew wouldn’t make any squeaking noises against the floor. With Cole in tow, Paul led the way, making sure to watch his step as he moved out, checking every corner with deliberation.

With every step he took, the lump in his throat and the beating of his heart grew stronger. Half of him was trying to question why he had even agreed to do this job with Cole, while another half was commending himself for being so brave. Even then, it took a huge amount of pressure from Cole to even get him off his bed—Paul knew it’d be even worse if they came across the girls or anything else.

Though their steps were quiet, they maneuvered through the halls with as much skill as one could expect from a pair of college students. Paul stuck close to a wall leading up to a corner as Cole entered the stack behind him, as if to watch his rear.

He peeked his head around the corner. The stairwell was empty, a dark space that reeked an aura of creepiness, given he was so used to the entire building being packed with people.

Paul nodded to Cole, and, with his crowbar up and tight in his hands, led the way downstairs.

Code: Select all
Waters x2
Monster energy drink x1
Miscellaneous junk food x5
I Love Thai Sweet Billy
Chief Keef for Prezzy 2024
FREE YOUNG THUG AND GUNNA
At first, I felt like I was the Driver from Drive (2011), but now that I think about it, I feel like I'm William Foster from Falling Down (1993)

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Tayner
Powerbroker
 
Posts: 7887
Founded: Oct 09, 2014
New York Times Democracy

Postby Tayner » Mon Jan 17, 2022 12:58 am

Specialist Luke LaForge
Chicago // August 14, 2018

Luke’s stomach growled as he walked down the eerie streets of downtown Chicago. He had run out of food over a day ago, and since then had been lost in the urban sprawl, sneaking around alleys and side streets, staying away from storefronts where the infected were present. He was left with scant options regarding where to find his next meal, but at least he had water and cigarettes for now. He puffed the tobacco with his left hand, exhaling a large cloud of smoke as his right hand rested on the pistol grip of his rifle. He’d been walking and hiding for many hours, waking up early in the morning with a pain in his stomach.

Luke had heard the human body could last weeks or even months without food, but after happily living a life with three square meals a day and being tossed into the fray, constantly moving with all of his gear on him, his stomach decided that the people who told him that were liars. He didn’t risk using his rifle, sound drew in the infected, a lesson Luke had learned the hard way, and there were likely more infected within four city blocks than he had ammo for. He cut back down an alley, seeing that there were a handful of infected down the street, clawing away at a small law office’s facade.

Stopping for a second, Luke observed the alleyway, looking for any threats that it could hold, and after a few seconds he felt comfortable that there were none. He slowly walked down the alley, peeking behind dumpsters and trash cans as he passed them. Eventually he made it across to another side street, and as he approached the corner of the building to peek outside of the alleyway he took another drag from his cigarette. As he peeked around the corner he came face to face with a woman, or what was a woman.

In an instant Luke took in every feature of the woman’s face, milky bloodshot eyes, a gash on her cheek, blood covering her mouth and chin, some of it dry, some of it fresh. In another instant the woman let out a mix of a growl and moan, leaning forward and grabbing Luke’s chest rig, opening her jaw wide. Luke let out a panicked yelp, cigarette falling from his lips and to the sidewalk below as she grappled at him. He pushed her back, but her grip was tight and the force took both of them off balance, Luke falling on top of her as they both crashed down.

With a quick motion, Luke reared back his arm and struck her in the temple with his clenched fist, repeating the motion two or three times before pushing the woman’s hands off of him and stumbling to his feet, hand reaching for his rifle that was attached to his plate carrier with a one point sling. He looked around, two of the infected that were previously hunched over a corpse and another from further down the street now had him in their sights. He cursed, looking back down to the woman who was now climbing back up to her feet, and with one swift motion, he shouldered his rifle, placing the muzzle of the weapon to her temple and pulling the trigger.

He turned tail and ran as the shot rang out, the woman not even hitting the ground before he was in motion. The infected were coming out of the woodwork now, climbing out of busted up store fronts and shambling out of alleyways. The word fuck. repeated many times as he ran, only stopping to shoot any infected who blocked his path. He ran down the street, coming to an intersection before turning a corner to the next street, being greeted by two dozen infected a mere twenty or so feet away from him. Looking over his shoulder, he didn’t like what he saw either, and he froze, frantically looking around in all directions looking for an escape.

His eyes fell on an alleyway across the street, halfway in between the horde in front of him and his current position. Like a bat out of hell he ran, beating the infected to the entrance of the alleyway by a scant few seconds, hauling ass towards the other side. Shit! was now the word of the moment as he realized the far end of the alley was blocked by a chain link fence. Without even thinking Luke slid off his pack and threw it over the fence as he ran up to it, and climbed it at a speed that would make squirrels jealous, just barely escaping the grasp of the fastest infected that had followed him.

He landed unceremoniously, falling onto his back before looking around, seeing that the street that he had now landed in was empty. Grabbing his pack as he stood up, he didn’t even bother to look at the infected pressing against the fence he had just scaled before yet again running away, eventually ducking into the first building that was unlocked. It appeared to be a pet store, that much was apparent. He raised his rifle, clicking on the flashlight as he entered, and was rather surprised to come within spitting distance of a literal child, who was now holding up her hands to shield her eyes from the light.

Just as fast as he raised his weapon, he lowered it, speechless for a second. A kid? I haven’t seen a kid in weeks. He thought. What do I do? Where are her parents? Should I go? No you fucking idiot don’t just leave her behind. Luke thought, settling any questions or doubts he had about what to do. He kneeled down on one knee, taking off his helmet and letting his sweaty hair fall down before speaking.

“Hey there, I’m Luke. What’s your name?” He spoke softly and calmly. It was surreal, minutes ago he was running for his life, but now he was pretending not to be scared shitless. Why, he didn’t know, but for some reason he figured it’d do no good running around and panicking in front of other people.
If anyone askes where we were Saturday at 14:30, we were at The Pub, understand?

-If it's stupid, but it works, it ain't stupid.
-No Combat Ready unit has ever passed inspection.
-No Inspection Ready unit has ever passed combat.
-There is nothing more satisfying to you then having the enemy shoot at you, and miss.
-Remember, your weapon was made by the lowest bidder.
Disclaimer: The sig is out of date and I probably won't update it

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Emike
Civil Servant
 
Posts: 6
Founded: Dec 23, 2021
Ex-Nation

Postby Emike » Mon Jan 17, 2022 3:02 am

DAVID LIND
7:27 AM, Tuesday, August 14, 2018
79°F (26°C) - Cloudy w/ Chance of Rain
2936 W Eastwood Ave, Albany Park, Chicago, Illinois
“Stardust caught up in our eyes, ends abruptly, no reprise.”



28 DAYS AGO

Wind tugged at David’s clothes, pushing his short, blonde hair out of his face as he looked out over the waters of Lake Michigan.

Absent-mindedly, he ran a thumb along the flap of the cardboard box in his hands, feeling the ridges along it. Packed inside, he knew there’d be a plastic bag, and within the bag, his mother’s ashes, but some part of him still didn’t want to look at it, even if he knew it was there. In his head, he was four years old again, his mother spraying him with the hose as he ran through the front garden, or pretending not to notice as he snuck chocolates from the bowl on the counter that he wasn’t supposed to touch.

But when he finally opened the box, she was there, not back at his childhood home. Not sitting in a hospital bed, her bones visible through paper thin skin and an IV line sticking out of her arm. She was ashes in a plastic bag small enough to fit in both hands when he tugged it out, peeling open the flaps as the wind picked up some of the coarse grey powder and carried it away.

“Bye, mom,” he sighed, tilting the plastic bag upside down — the ashes inside tumbled into the clear, pristine water, clumping together before being swept away, pulled out into the lake. Turning on his heel, putting the bag back inside the box and tucking it under his arm, he marched back up the beach.



PRESENT

Reaching down, David pulls out the stopper of the tub’s drain, watching the water inside be sucked down into it.

It feels like a waste, especially since the only water he'll be able to get now will be bottled or rainwater — but if he leaves it, the still water will do nothing but go stale and attract mosquitos and other insects.

Besides, he's not planning on coming back.

Standing up, he dries his hand on his pants, moving out of the bathroom and into the living room. Early morning light spills in through the cracks between the boards he'd used to fortify the windows, casting the room in an orange glow, and on the floor, his backpack sits leaning up against the couch, already packed. He's been putting off leaving for far too long, but now that it's the morning of his departure, he feels like he's come to terms with it. His mom's house provided a false safety that was never his to begin with.

Change the car battery, charge his phone, drive out — it's a simple plan, though he'll probably still somehow manage to fuck it up and get himself killed regardless. Grabbing his windbreaker, he pulls it on, before slinging the backpack over his shoulder, tightening the straps around his arms. In the holster on his belt is his father's gun, which he hopes he'll never have to use, though he knows it's inevitable that he'll eventually have to make the choice between his life or someone else's, and he knows which one he'll have to choose.

He double checks he has his wallet and the house keys in his pocket, then considers grabbing the car keys that are sitting on the counter. The chances of someone breaking into the house are slim, and if they do, then it isn’t likely they’re going to take the keys knowing that the car is probably dead. But if they do, then he’s screwed, unless the military is still getting people out of the city.

Reaching up, he combs a hand through his hair, before snatching the keys. Sure, he could lose them somewhere, but it’s better than regretting not taking them.

At the front door, he puts on his shoes, ignoring his mother’s slippers still sitting in the doorway next to his father’s loafers. Both of them died before the outbreak — it could be argued that they were some of the lucky ones, though neither of them died a peaceful death.

It’s meticulous work, taking down the barricade he set up at the front door. It should be able to hold its own, he figures, unless someone intentionally tries to break it down. Moving cabinets and chairs, when he reaches it, he unlocks the three locks that secure the door. His hand lingers on the knob as he takes in the silence of the house, and hears the sound of a distant crow squalling somewhere outside. “Shoulda’ just gone to the fuckin’ airport,” he mutters through his teeth, swinging open the door.

It’s already warm outside, the beginning of another hot summer day, and he briefly reconsiders wearing his jacket, before deciding that it’ll at least keep him from getting sunburned. Under the shade of his mother’s porch, he shuts the door quietly, taking a glance around the surrounding street. Other houses are also boarded up, some with cars in their driveways, some without.

In the front yard of the neighbor directly across the street, a cardboard sign proclaims ‘NO MORE BLOCKADES, NO MORE QUARANTINE’ in black marker. Whoever lived there got their wish, David supposes. He hasn’t seen military trucks in forever, and if the military’s pulled out, then the blockades are probably down, too. Though he doubts the neighbors are alive to enjoy the post-quarantine city.

He cautiously walks down the front steps, turning to look both ways down the street. In the distance to his left, he thinks he can see a figure standing in the middle of the road, close to where the Francisco stop would be. So turning right, he tries to hug close to the houses as he makes his way west, checking the alleys between before passing in front of them.

From the next intersection, he works his way north. A flock of birds feast on an unmoving body resting on the train tracks, and he tries to move silently to avoid startling them as he crosses the tracks on foot, feeling the ridges through the rubber soles of his shoes. Across the street are more suburban houses, and a handful of apartment buildings — somewhere in the distance, a piercing scream rang out, and David felt his pulse quicken. Can’t head in that direction…

At the bridge, a handful of cars are piled up, the metal charred but not alight. Whatever fire had been burning there has since been put out by the rain, or burned out on its own. A handful of corpses rest inside them, some slumped against the steering wheels or halfway out the windows, skin blackened and clothes in tatters. With the cars blocking the bridge, there are a handful backed up along the rest of the road, all backed into each other. When they tried to flee, they didn’t get very far.

Nausea rising up in his throat, he pushes on towards the gas station he knew would be just a little farther ahead. Large, blocky letters above the entryway of the building read Snappy Convenience Center, and behind the building is the car wash of the same name. Inside, he can already tell the fridges and shelves are mostly looted, but he’s not here for food or energy drinks.

Instead of going for the front door, he goes for one of the broken windows, breaking off the broken glass at the bottom with his hands before lifting himself up and through it, landing with a soft thud on the other side. When he looks up, he’s glad that he did — if there were any Infected stalking around that he didn’t spot on his way here, the ring when he opened the door certainly would have attracted them.

The lights are out, but the natural light spilling into the convenience store is enough for him to see by, illuminating the room. He scans the empty racks, then glances up at the mirrors in the corners of the store, made for checking for shoplifters — when he determines that there’s nothing creeping in between the shelves that could lurch out at him, he starts to move, keeping his feet close to the ground as he carefully begins to search the convenience store for what he’s looking for, hand on his gun.

He passes through an empty chip aisle and moves past a row of refrigerators before he finds what he’s looking for, the auto repair section. Pliers hang in their plastic packaging, wires and other tools hanging from little metal hooks, and he’s starting to fear they don’t have what he’s looking for when he spots the car batteries stacked on a shelf, untouched in comparison to the rest of the store.

Looking at each of the batteries, he spots what he’s looking for — the Duralast on the top shelf should work for his parent’s Civic, and if it didn’t, well, he could always come back and check again to see if they have something that would, or try to find an actual auto repair shop rather than the limited selection of tools and spare parts in the convenience center.

It’s as he grabs it that he hears it — a shuffle and a groan from somewhere behind him. He turns and looks, and figures it must be coming from the bathroom in the back of the convenience store, the door thankfully closed. Whoever is in there must have turned after locking themself inside.

Regardless, he isn’t about to take a chance on it. Quickly, he makes his way back to the window that he entered through, and lifting himself through it again, he lands on the concrete outside, the car battery tucked beneath his arm. For a moment, he lets himself relax.

Until he looks up, and meets the glassy gaze of a man standing by a gas pump, jaw slack and posture hunched. He tenses as the man’s lips twist into a snarl, leaning on his right foot, and when he launches towards him hands first, fingers curled into claws and mouth opening wide as if to take a bite out of him, he takes off in the direction of the bridge, quickly managing to outpace the infected man’s clumsy gait.

He manages to spot the small group of Infected congregating near the bridge before they see him, though just after he’s managed to turn into a park to the side of it, they hear the grunts and howls of the man chasing him, instantly becoming alert. If he doesn’t find somewhere to hide soon, he’ll have a much bigger problem on his hands than the man chasing him.

The grass in the park is overgrown, but not enough to hide in. Looking around, he spots a building to his right, and considers climbing it, except that the walls are smooth, without any places to get a good grip on them. But on the other side of the park is a small cluster of bushes and trees, and with a glance behind him, he can tell that the infected man is too far behind him to clearly see what he’s doing.

So clutching the battery close to his chest, he ducks down into a rhododendron, the twigs poking and scratching at the skin on his face, and tugging at his clothes. He keeps a close eye on the man as he navigates through the brush, careful of the ledge just behind him. One small misstep, and he’ll go tumbling down the hill and into the river below.

Stumbling to a stop, the infected man pushes into the bushes, nostrils flaring — David doesn’t know if he can smell him, or if it’s just from how hard he’s sucking in air, trying to fill his failing lungs. His eyes are wide as he looks around, looking up rather than down, and David crouches behind a tree, knowing that moving any more than he already has is risking breaking a twig or stepping on leaves and alerting him.

David can hear the infected man’s footsteps and heavy, wheezing breathing getting closer, twigs snapping underfoot as he approaches. Slowly, his hand drifts towards his gun, fingers brushing the handle as he squeezes his eyes shut and tries to picture where the infected man is behind him, trying to steady himself as he starts to shake, pulse pounding in his ears…

…and somewhere down the street, a car alarm starts to go off.

The infected man growls low in his throat, before he starts to shuffle away, the bushes rustling as it leaves and starts to head in the direction of the noise. David doesn’t know whether it’s another survivor, or another infected person that accidentally set it off, but regardless, as he peeks over the bush, he sees a handful of backs receding as the Infected go to investigate the disturbance.

“Fuckin’ hell,” he whispers, reaching up to rub a hand over his sweaty brow before turning it to mop up some of the wetness with his sleeve. He suddenly feels way too hot.

Looking down at the car battery, he allows himself to slump against the tree — he just has to get back and change it, and with any luck, he’ll finally be able to charge up his phone. Though whether or not he’ll manage to get a signal is another matter entirely.
Last edited by Emike on Mon Jan 17, 2022 10:34 pm, edited 3 times in total.
~
Emike is a state located in the North Sea, in the
coastal waters west of Denmark and south of Norway. A
former communist state that was once allied with the USSR,
it briefly attempted a capitalist economy, but is currently
undergoing a shift back to socialism under its new
president, Henrik Bakker.

emikerenne.em

Constitution of Emike | Emike Wikipedia | BØDA KARLA National Newspaper


User avatar
Anowa
Post Marshal
 
Posts: 17534
Founded: Jul 29, 2014
Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Anowa » Mon Jan 17, 2022 10:43 am

Deputy Marshal Cameron Oosthuizen
Doctor Curtis Freeman

BP Station (S Jeffrey and E 87th), Chicago, Illinois

Cameron had to give it to the Doctor, using toll roads was smart. When the world came tumbling down around everyone's ears, the familiarity of roads they didn't have to fork out a week's pay to drive on is what came to their mind, both before and after infection. Streets were clogged, highways are bumper to bumper of miles of cars, but the toll roads were comparatively sparse.

Sure they'd have to merge with the highway to get to Chicago proper, but right now the two were making good time after Gar- A sudden shift of direction out of nowhere and the car was now heading down an off ramp.

The Marshal grabbed her rifle to stop it from bouncing around as she looked to the CDC researcher in the driver's seat, now looking between where he was going and some point in the distance. "Saw a blacked out SUV."

The Marshal paused as she prepped her rifle, "Isn't your eyesight supposed to be shitty?" No response, as expected.

As they pulled up to the -as Cameron now realized- BP station, the blacked out SUV was there, and it looked like a man was just now in the motion of entering the driver's seat. opening ther passenger side door, the marshal stepped out. For a moment, she didn't say anything as she surveyed the man. Black uniform, vest, and the patch on his shoulder signified which paramilitary group he belonged to, just like the US Marshal patches she had on her.

"You're a long way from Langley."
Awards:
Tie Winner: Most Involved in P2TM, 2016
Winner: Best Crime RP, 2016

An Intro to Anowa

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Bolslania
Minister
 
Posts: 2792
Founded: Mar 07, 2018
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Bolslania » Mon Jan 17, 2022 2:36 pm

Cameron Swanson
I got friends in low places



Cameron's head shot up as he heard the sounds of a vehicle engine coming down the road towards him. He unslung his rifle, keeping the barrel towards the ground as the car rolled to a stop next to him. A woman got out of the car, with a man sitting in the drivers seat. The woman was wearing gear that affiliated her with the U.S Marshal's, namely the word "Marshals" inscribed on the front of her plate carrier. The two observed each other for a moment before the woman spoke up.

"You're a long way from Langley" she said. Cameron's posture relaxed. For the moment at least the woman didn't seem intent on harming him. He straightened up, letting his rifle sit loosely in his hands.

"That I am Marshal." He said, his native Chicagoan accent clearly noticeable.

"Where you two heading?" He asked. While Cameron far from trusted the Marshal and whoever was in the driver's seat of her vehicle, he was on his own, and finding some people to run with in this city wasn't the worst of ideas.

User avatar
Shyluz
Negotiator
 
Posts: 6953
Founded: Mar 13, 2015
Corrupt Dictatorship

Postby Shyluz » Mon Jan 17, 2022 5:36 pm


Charlie Mills
Blythe's Convenience, Chicago, Illinois

Charlie Mills woke up slowly, drawn from her booze-induced slumber by a pounding on the security shutter. The TV stopped new programming about a week prior, becoming an endless rerun of an infomercial segment. Quietly, she repeated the lines from memory: "...now that's a lotta damage," she sat up from her makeshift bedding as the pounding on the door intensified. She knew who it was--it was Teddy. Teddy had been one of her regulars before shit started going downhill. A heavy, middle-aged man with no future. He came in every other day, bought a bottle of Fireball and paid with a grimy twenty-dollar bill. Hell, even into what Charlie now considered the end of the world, Teddy was coming in for his bottle of Fireball. Every other fucking day.

At some point though, he stopped coming in for the liquor. He'd become one of them, one of the mimics. She'd heard about them before--infected that pretended to still be people. Now she'd seen one. The first time she saw through Teddy's mask was a week ago. He was staring at her through the shutters, drooling like a starved dog. That was the day she put up the sheets, and the day she knew what she had to do: she had to kill Teddy before he turned her into one of them. She'd manufactured four cocktails in the night, when Teddy couldn't see her, and while her process wasn't perfect--most of the Jack Daniel's went into her instead of the firebombs--it did end up with finished product. Last night had been a lot of trial and error, but by the end she had a bundle of four bottles. One would be enough to torch Teddy, she hoped. If it wasn't, she had three more chances.

She scooped the four bottles into her ratty bag, clinking gently, but Teddy heard. The pounding intensified, and she could hear Teddy shrieking and snarling like animal on the other side of the glass and shutter. He was yelling, too, but it was all psychotic noise. In his rage, Teddy flipped between demanding she let him in or begging her to open the door. Charlie winced with every pound, her groggy walk turning into a nervous jog as she quickly went behind the counter. Mr. Blythe had kept a baseball bat behind the counter--he felt that it would keep away robbers with small blades and knives, but the cashier wouldn't be confident enough to risk their life against a gunman. Charlie didn't know if he was right. She didn't even know if Mr. Blythe was still alive.

She grabbed the maple bat from under the counter, and scurried towards the back of the building. From there, she could get roof access, the ladder safely behind a fence and gate locked with a padlocked chain. She clambered up the ladder and fell flat on her belly atop the roof, scrambling towards the lip above the door. She skidded to a halt, and peeked over the edge. Teddy was slamming his whole body into the security shutter, screaming and raging and drawing others--the mindless infected--towards Blythe's. She peered out onto the street below.

Charlie locked eyes with Teddy, whose once world-weary but kind eyes were bloodshot, wide awake and filled with rage. She stood and placed the bat in the crook of her arm. She could hear Teddy inhale from below as her trembling hands attempted fetch the Bic from her pocket.

"Charlie!" Teddy screamed, spittle flying from his throat, "You bitch! Let! Me! In!" At last she pulled the chartreuse lighter from her pocket, as she backed away from the ledge. She could hear the screeching from down the road. More were coming. Not the pretend people, like Teddy. The beasts. Stepping backwards, she fumbled with her bag's clasp as she tried to get it open. She could hear Teddy climbing up towards the roof, stepping on the external ice machine.

"Shit shit shit, c'mon, c'mon fuckin' never gonna buy shit from Goodwill again..." Finally, the bag came open, and she grinned as she hastily began to draw a firebomb from within. The smile fell from her lips as she heard Teddy's mangled, sore-covered forearm smack against the roof's ledge. They were just below now, she couldn't see them but she could hear. The rasping, shrieking chorus almost cheering for Teddy as he pulled himself onto the roof.

"There you are," He thundered, rolling his shoulders, "You should've let me in, Charlie."

Charlie froze in fear as the large man cackled cruelly and sprinted at her as if to pounce. He took one bounding step, then another. A third and he'd crossed half the distance to Charlie. She felt adrenaline pour into her veins, and her mind went blank. She dropped the lighter, and in her other hand she released the Molotov, the bottle sliding gently back into her messenger bag. The hand that once held the Bic reached over and grasped the handle of the heavy maple bat. With her off-hand she grabbed the hitting end, raising the bat levelly in front of her, and charged at Teddy. With a war-cry of her own, the bat slammed into his ribs and she just kept moving towards the edge of the roof.

Teddy was caught off-balance or off-guard, probably both as the bat cleanly intercepted him mid-step of his charge. The air rushed from his lungs in a great hacking cough, and his was pushed back. One step, then two. Finally a third. Teddy and Charlie's eyes locked once more, and with a final burst of strength, she pushed the dead man from the roof. The fall was short, but brutal. He landed on the edge of the icebox with a sickening snap, and rolled limply off into the crowd of infected, sickly beasts below. A dull thud marked the end of his descent. Quickly, Charlie rushed back towards the discarded Bic, gently tossing the heavy wooden slugger aside. She snatched it up, the rough gravel shredding her fingertips and nearly pulling away a nail. The pain didn't register.

Caution long ago abandoned, she hurried over to the edge. As skidded to a halt, she drew the Molotov cocktail from the bag once more, this time with a half-measure of confidence that, while somewhat unfounded certainly felt earned. She rose the wick--a strip of novelty t-shirt dipped in whiskey--to the garish lighter, and sparked the lighter. It took two shaky attempts, but finally the butane took and the fuse was lit. She rose the Molotov in defiance, the half-dozen or so shrieking, walking animals in human skin below unaware of their coming end. She spiked the bottle into the crowd, and it shattered, dousing them in mankind's eldest companion. Charlie looked down at their diseased forms as they writhed in pain and confusion, the fire eagerly burning them away. The herd dispersed in panic as the animalistic infected desperately sought a way to douse the flame. Only Teddy's broken form remained on the cracked Chicago sidewalk.

She turned, and retched.
Otherwise known as Nornsmark for official, region-ey things.

User avatar
Emike
Civil Servant
 
Posts: 6
Founded: Dec 23, 2021
Ex-Nation

Postby Emike » Mon Jan 17, 2022 10:24 pm

ANIYAH BIRD
8:36 AM, Tuesday, August 14, 2018
83°F (28°C) - Cloudy w/ Chance of Rain
434 W Wellington Ave, Lake View, Chicago, Illinois
“I’ve been awake all night driving around the city aimlessly, trying to clear my mind.”



Looking out the window at the street below, Aniyah counts at least twelve infected.

Her mouth twists, brows pulling together. It’s going to be hard getting anywhere, especially since she doesn’t even know the situation in the rest of her apartment building, and much less whether or not the labs were secured or overrun in the past few weeks.

But getting to Atlas’ labs is her only chance — she didn’t make it out with the initial evacuations, and she knows that she won’t make it long on her own, with food in the pantry finally running out and the water in danger of getting shut off any day now. Not to mention that her parents are among the infected, if they aren’t already dead. In order to survive, she’ll have to leave, and hope that there’s someone there who can somehow help her, or that she’ll be able to find what she’s looking for on her own. If it even exists.

Slinging her backpack over her shoulders, she fiddles with the straps, tightening them enough that it won’t be slapping against her back if she has to run, then grabs the baseball bat she’d found leaning against her parents’ nightstand, testing the weight of it again in her hands. She’s strong enough to swing it, and it’s hopefully heavy enough to knock the infected back of she hit them with it, even if she can’t swing it with the same force that someone of a larger stature could.

Her parents stare down at her from pictures on the walls as she takes a final look around the place where she grew up — if she’s lucky, she’ll be able to come back with her parents in tow. Otherwise, she’ll end up meeting the same fate as them, if not a worse one. She’s careful as she removes one from its frame on the mantel, tucking it into her pocket alongside her access card for the labs, and her school ID. If she’s going to die, then she wants to have it on her, if only to pretend that they’re still with her.

She’s careful as she slides open a window, clambering through it and onto the fire escape just outside before shutting it behind her. Nothing should be able to get up there, at least nothing without the motivation to climb up and reach it. Looking down, she surveys the narrow alleyway below, and though the street is crowded, she can see clearly that there’s nothing down there waiting to ambush her.

So taking a deep breath, she starts her descent.
Last edited by Emike on Mon Jan 17, 2022 10:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
~
Emike is a state located in the North Sea, in the
coastal waters west of Denmark and south of Norway. A
former communist state that was once allied with the USSR,
it briefly attempted a capitalist economy, but is currently
undergoing a shift back to socialism under its new
president, Henrik Bakker.

emikerenne.em

Constitution of Emike | Emike Wikipedia | BØDA KARLA National Newspaper


User avatar
Paddy O Fernature
Postmaster-General
 
Posts: 11962
Founded: Sep 30, 2010
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Paddy O Fernature » Tue Jan 18, 2022 7:39 am

Home of James C. Wess | Day 26 | Location: Unknown

Twenty Six Days....

This was the time it had taken for TEOTWAWKI to come and pass across the eastern seaboard of CONUS, if not further. Since the fall of the major news outlets, information pertaining to the rest of the world was sketchy at best as most of it came second hand in the form of transmissions over his CB/HAM base station set up at his homestead. He also had a newly acquired and cloned 700MHZ digital system that allowed him to tap into local and federal first responders that came within range of him, courtesy of an abandoned ALS unit down the road that he had found on one of his latest excursions into the surrounding neighborhoods.

James was what the gold star generation often mockingly referred to as a "Prepper", though he himself never referred to himself or his lifestyle in that manner as to him the title brought up images of tin foil hat wearing idiots that were waiting for aliens to come and invade. It didn't help that mainstream media for years now has played off this bandwagon, producing mindbogglingly bad shows such as "Doomsday Preppers" which did nothing to help with this negative stereotype being portrayed. He wasn't a conspiracy theorist, and didn't want to overthrow the government, he was an educated man that saw the politically and economical turmoil spreading unchecked across America for nearly a decade and decided that it might be a good idea to take a little initiative about his own well being in case SHTF.

Living and working in the city of Chicago (also known as Chiraq due to it's insane crime and homicide rates) meant that finding a house that came with built in security wasn't that hard of a thing to do. After arriving nearly a decade ago he settled down into a one and a half story brick house that had a slate roof and unfinished basement. Over the course of the next two years and some change, James worked tirelessly in his free time to turn the run down building into a solid home that any middle class working man would be proud to live in.

He started with the exterior of the home first, before moving on and doing the interior of the home. Using some good old fashioned elbow grease, he removed and replaced the old slate roof and attached a metal one in it's place and attached a brand new gutter system to it. He then reinforced the brick exterior and added Hardie Plank Siding (aka fiber cement panels) that was colored and textured to look like traditional wood paneling, thus blending it in with the rest of the cookie cutter housing around him and disguised it's solid brick core.

The windows were already covered in security bars due to the crime rates across the city, and he left those in place. However, he removed the mounting screws and nuts and replaced them his a heavier gauge galvanized system with self locking nuts for increased strength and resistance to outside tampering. The front door he removed as well, as it was just a standard hollow core door made from compressed sheet and had a glass pane in the middle of it and just wouldn't do. He replaced it with a solid hardwood door on interior mounted hinges, and installed a beefy deadbolt and lock into it, as well as an anti kick device. He also installed a steel frame around the door as well for increased security measures.

The house came with a rusty chain link fence already installed around the property, which was a pretty common feature across the city. The only thing James did, was repair and reinforce the central metal postings where needed, and insure that they were actually cemented into the ground and not just dropped in ghetto style and could actually hold up against a dedicated intruder.

Moving on into the interior was an even bigger investment of both time and money. He gutted pretty much the entire interior down to studs and dug out a basement extension that covered pretty much his entire back yard and side of his house. He took the time and did the prep work right, before pouring a concrete pad and laying rebar reinforced filled cinder block walls for the extension. He then added a load bearing steel cap and I beam structure across the top of it that would support and distribute a follow up cement roof. Once everything was cured and dried out properly, he then back filled around the edges and buried it all under almost a foot of dirt. He then placed a small decorative shed in the corner to store his lawn care tools for the lawn he would eventually plant, which also discreetly hid the ventilation/emergency egress shaft for his basement extension as well. A single car garage was also added above the basement extension on the side and was connected directly to his house.

The rest of the inside was redone as cost effectively as possible, while upgrading the wiring and plumbing as needed to bring it into code. He also installed as energy efficient light fixtures and appliances as he could afford, knowing that it would save him money in the long run in running costs. He did splurge some and had a in house sprinkler system installed, which he managed to get his insurance company to help pay for as fire risk in these older houses and their bad wiring as very real and they knew it.

James then spent the next years paying down his debt as much as possible, while slowly tinkering and tuning and adding to his overall preps collection as needs arose, such as adding a "Mormon" pantry for canned goods that he could pick up on sale, and a CB base station, just to name a few. James thought that he had prepped for the most likely and logical scenarios that might befall himself and mankind.

However, as luck would have it, he never could have predicted what actually befell Chicago....

James woke on the couch in his living room, still dressed in the clothes that he wore yesterday on his latest excursion into the surrounding neighborhood. He didn't remember actually falling asleep, just that he was glad that he had managed to find a few hours time to actually get some much needed shut eye. Stretching out his arms and legs for a moment, the man slowly came around mentally as he stood to his feet. Half walking half shuffling, he made his way to the kitchen through the semi dark interior of his home, guided only by the natural light streaming in through his reinforced windows. There, sitting on the counter right where he left it, he found what he was looking for.

A smile crept across the mans face as he reached out and grabbed the half empty pot of cold coffee that he had brewed the day before. He gave it a swirl as he sniffed the heavenly aroma wafting through the soft plastic lid. Not even bothering to find a mug, he just popped the lid back with his thumb and drank the dark nectar of the gods, feeling it's life giving flavor spread throughout his body.

Having finished his first quest of the day, the man turned and with coffee pot still in hand, walked his way out through the kitchen and to a heavy interior door that lead to the basement. He opened the door and descended down some wooden stairs into the darkness below, the steps creaking in protest of his weight as he descended. He shuffled around in the dark for a moment before finding what he was looking for with his outstretched hand. With a flick of his wrist, he flipped the light switch and was pleased to find that the external power was still online as the led lighting in his basement came to life. He took another drink of his coffee as he walked past the normal workbenches and tool racks found in pretty much most American's basements, before coming to stop in front of something that was most certainly out of place in any home.

Mounted to the basement wall before him, was a surplus steel submarine door in all it's functional glory that James had procured online from a government salvage yard in Boston a few years prior. Hell, the damned thing even had a two point radial hand crank in the center and an armored porthole to see through. Reaching in his pocket, he procured a small "key" as it were, that locked and unlocked the turn handle on the door, thus acting as a default lock of sorts to prevent unwanted access. He quickly disengaged the lock before turning the hand crank counter clockwise with one hand until he heard the numerous locking pins audibly retract from the frame and back into the door, allowing it to swing open freely.

He stepped into to the void beyond, which he like to jokingly referred to as his command room. From here he had access to a flat screen television, a table with his laptop set upon it's surface, his CB/HAM base station to listen in and communicate with the outside world, and a laminated map of Chicago pinned against a wall, with various POI's highlighted across it. He quickly engaged the battery inverter switches located right next to the door, which brought external power online inside the command room, and was instantly greeted by an electrical hum and several blinking lights across the room as systems automatically came online.

"Good morning Chicagoland!".... came the slightly distorted voice over the loudspeaker attached to his base station. James just smiled and sipped his coffee as he turned toward his laminated map and started marking off locations as they were announced over the radio with a black dry erase pen. His little map was getting more and more crowded as the days went by, and it brought a sense of calm to the man knowing at at least someone other then him was still alive out there in the world. Looking over his map, the man weighed the options before him as music from the radio station started to fill the room that he was in. If he was going to last here much longer and start venturing further out into the city, a resupply to bolster his existing stocks would go a long way in aiding him to this end as well as possibly provide him with a surplus from which to barter with among other survivors. As such, the news of a possible stockpile at the local ALDI's was just the ticket he was looking to fill his current needs and was too good to pass up at this time. Finishing he coffee, James turned and exited the little room leaving the radio and thus the music playing in the background as he made his was over to a wall locker and workbench to start preparing his kit for the journey ahead.

Today was going to be a good day.

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Anowa
Post Marshal
 
Posts: 17534
Founded: Jul 29, 2014
Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Anowa » Wed Jan 19, 2022 1:52 am

Bolslania wrote:Cameron Swanson
"That I am Marshal. Where you two heading?"


Blue eyes remained firmly locked in to place upon the man own, as the Marshal let his body do the subtextual talking. There was a demonstrable lack of trust as opposed to an inferred lack of trust. For a moment his body relaxed before straightening, and his arms were still cradling his rifle.

A quick survey of the rifle told her enough about the man to signify he hadn't actually been in a gunfight where it mattered. An AN/PEQ-15 was mounted to the side instead of the top, redundant flashlight on the side, with no counterweight, and nothing to actually see two of the features of the attachment visible on his person.

Glock 17 in it's holster was slick, and notable for being the 17, and not the typical 19 that most officers used. Body armor and uniform was similar to her own though black on grey instead of the coyote on multicam she wore. The man didn't have an evident helmet either, but had sunglasses on him. They were about the same height, but the man was much more heavy set.

Her eyes glanced over to his vehicles suspension, no more than a second before her eyes locked back to the man's. The wheels weren't at the right height for what she remembered of Ford Explorers, either he had a massive load of equipment inside (which was proven false by what little light she could see being cast through all the windows), or it was armoured.

Either the man had gotten lucky and just so happened to snag the exact equipment the SPS used -poorly balanced rifle non withstanding- or he was the real deal. Trust was hard to come by these days, though people who could use a gun and could be trusted were fewer.

The Marshal shrugged, "Wherever the local federal rally point is... if it still exists. It'd be easier if the jarheads hadn't set up a jammer and forgotten to turn it off. I'm Deputy Marshal Cameron Oosthuizen, the man behind the wheel is Doctor Curtis Freeman, CDC. Keeping him alive is my responsibility, and he's probably the only person alive who can at least help not make this mess get any worse. So I take that matter rather seriously. I'm immune, he's a carrier, thus the hazmat suit."

In the driver seat, the orange suit wearing man was now reading a tourist map of Chicago, and checking surrounding landmarks as best he could.
Awards:
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Winner: Best Crime RP, 2016

An Intro to Anowa

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Emike
Civil Servant
 
Posts: 6
Founded: Dec 23, 2021
Ex-Nation

Postby Emike » Wed Jan 19, 2022 5:24 pm

DAVID LIND
8:49 AM, Tuesday, August 14, 2018
83°F (28°C) - Cloudy w/ Chance of Rain
2936 W Eastwood Ave, Albany Park, Chicago, Illinois
“You’re unsure if I am a loose end or a strand, that waits for you to mend or understand.”



26 DAYS AGO

By the time David made it back to his hotel, he already knew he'd missed his flight.

He’d thought that he’d packed it, but when the security agent asked to see his ID, his pockets had been empty, and thus began his dash back to the hotel. Some part of him still hoped there would be a delay in his flight, whether for technical issues or otherwise, but considering how the past few weeks had gone, he doubted that he’d get lucky this time. Sometimes, life is just shitty.

“I was in room 509,” he explained to the woman at the front desk. Jacket slung under his arm, suitcase handle clenched tightly in his hand, he tried to keep his cool. “I accidentally left my wallet up there. Has anything been brought down?”

“I can check,” the receptionist chirped, a smile stretched unnaturally wide across her face, “if you’ll just wait here a moment, please.”

“Sure.”

He bounced on the balls of his feet as he waited, trying to distract himself from his frustration by watching the people moving around him. It was a busy day for travel — three men in suits passed him, coffees in hand as they talked, while a woman dragged her screaming child into an elevator, a baby on her hip. Another woman worked on her computer at the bar on the other side of the room, as another hotel staff member pushed a cart of suitcases.

He was distracted enough that he almost didn’t notice the receptionist's return. “Here it is! It was just brought into—”

His phone started to go off in his pocket, and David sighed, checking the caller ID. When he read his wife’s name, he relaxed, answering the call. “Hey, Nat,” he said a little tersely as he shoved his wallet into his pocket, giving a nod of thanks and a wave to the receptionist before he grabbed his suitcase handle, turning on his heel and heading towards the hotel entrance, “I might be home a little late. I forgot my—”

“David,” his wife interrupted, “are you in the airport?”

“What?” David asked, stopping in his tracks. “No. Did something happen?”

Natalie breathed a shaky sigh of relief, though when she spoke, he could tell she was on the brink of tears, voice tight and wet. “Check the news. It’s— it’s bad. Like,
really bad, David. God, I was afraid…”

A sharp wail broke the silence of the hotel lobby, and he turned towards the collection of chairs in the sitting area, his heart dropping into his stomach when he saw the expressions of shock and horror on the faces of the people there, all of them with their gazes fixed on the television screen. Striding forwards, he could distantly hear Natalie continuing to talk, but he couldn’t comprehend what she was saying.

On the television, a reporter wearing a grimace sat with her hands folded on the table in front of her as she spoke, her voice low and soothing. An image to her right depicted an ambulance outside the hospital, someone being rolled inside on a stretcher. “...potentially thousands exposed, though we don’t have accurate numbers yet. It’s currently unknown who is responsible for the attack, though White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders is expected to hold a conference in three hours that will hopefully give us more answers. For now, Illinois' National Guard is requesting that Chicago residents remain calm…”

“I’ll rent a car,” David blurted, though a feeling of dread washed over him. Something told him that it wouldn’t be that easy to get home.



PRESENT

The street is empty — the infected that had been lurking on the tracks having wandered elsewhere, and anyone who had locked themselves in their houses during the quarantine either dead, or still trapped inside — but David still glances up to check it again every few seconds, aware of how quickly he could go from alone to surrounded. As quietly as he can, he opens up the hood of his parents’ car, the new battery tucked underneath his arm.

It doesn’t take him long to find the battery, disconnecting the terminals with a socket wrench before removing the clamps. He doesn’t have any goggles or gloves, but he’s careful not to rush as he removes the old battery and installs the new one, closing the hood once it’s secured inside.

Opening up the door to the driver’s side of the car, he tosses his backpack into the passenger seat, closing the door behind him. Pulling out the keys, he puts his foot on the break before he slides them into the ignition, his pulse quickening.

“Moment of truth,” David mutters.

Turning the key, the engine rumbles to life, a gentle hum quiet enough that he can be somewhat comfortable that nothing is close enough to be drawn to the noise. He breathes a shaky sigh of relief, reaching over to fumble in his backpack for his phone, before plugging it into the outlet.

It takes a few minutes for the smartphone’s screen to light up, but when it does, his heart leaps into his throat. With shaky hands, he opens it up with his thumbprint, tapping on his messaging app. He’s never been religious, at least not since he was a child, but he still sends out a silent prayer, hoping for a message telling him that they’re at least safe, that Natalie and Nell made it out of the city…

But there’s nothing, not since the twenty fifth, when the whole neighborhood lost power and his phone finally ran out of charge later in the night. Besides the texts he remembers sending his wife that evening, there’s nothing, and when his gaze drifts up to the upper left corner of the screen, he realizes why.

“No fucking signal,” he grits out, leaning back against the seat as he drops his phone into the cupholder.

Taking a deep breath in through his nose, then exhaling through his mouth, he clenches his hands, trying to keep them in his lap, but he can’t help himself when he slams one fist against the steering wheel, making it shift on its post. He hits it again, the side of his hand aching from the force of it, then curls his fingers around the wheel, leaning forwards to rest his head against the top.

He needs a new plan.

Even if his phone isn’t getting a signal, the radio still might be able to get one. If the station is up and running, that is. Reaching towards the dashboard, he turns the volume down before he turns it on, starting to switch between channels. He mostly catches static, until a man starts to speak, his voice grainy from a poor connection, “—prayers don’t keep the zombies away—”

He shuts it off quickly, with a new idea of what he has to do. Surely, the radio station would be able to connect with shelters out of state. He grabs the stick on the gearbox, when he realizes that he doesn’t know where the station is.

“Shit,” he curses. If he can’t get a signal, he won’t be able to get online to be able to search it up.

But the audio quality was grainy — if he gets closer, then if the signal improves, then the audio might get clearer. It wouldn’t be perfect, but being able to get the approximate location of the station would be better than trying to find a cell tower and attempting to get it functioning again.

With a sigh, he turns on the radio again, putting the car into drive as he pulls out of the driveway, turning down the street as The End of the World starts to play. He turns left this time at the crossroads, heading for the bridge on Montrose Ave this time rather than the one on Lawrence, and is pleased when his prediction holds true as the signal gets clearer, the music turning less choppy.

He turns onto North Campbell, driving past three Infected digging into the abdomen of a woman, the trio raising their heads to watch him as he passes, though they seem reluctant to leave their current meal. But other than them, the neighborhood is desolate. Houses line the streets, and David supposes that everyone there could have been holed up inside — staring up at the darkened windows as he passes them, he can’t help but wonder if there’s anyone staring back at him.

It’s by chance that he’s looking in the right direction to see the words Dead Air Radio graffitied in bright red on the side of a large, brick building, the words clumsily spray painted on. If he’d been going any faster than a crawl, then he might have missed it. He turns sharply to the right, then pulls into the alleyway below, killing the engine. He briefly surveys the area before he cautiously gets out of the car, locking the door behind him as he stares up at the building.

There’s a double door, and a rolling steel one, and striding up to the former, he knocks on it as loudly as he’s comfortable knocking, waiting uncomfortably in the alley. An eternity seems to pass as he stands there, glancing over his shoulders as he watches to make sure he’s still alone, and he’s considering whether to leave when he hears the sound of the door unlocking, before it swings open.

Shay Talbott was a thin woman even during the best of times, but she maintained an aura that was both inviting yet steeled to an edge should the need arise. A look complimented by her dark hair and sharp eyes. Someone who could take care of themselves. She looked to the newcomer then to either side of the alleyway before offering a warm smile. “Hiya. How can I help you?” She relaxed, leaning against the doorframe with arms crossed. A holstered pistol was visible on her waist.


The woman who greets him is gaunt, though she still gives off an aura of authority, her sharp eyes fixing him with an even stare, dark hair framing her face. She glances to either side of him, seeming to check to make sure he’s alone, before she smiles warmly at him, leaning against the doorframe and crossing her arms. His attention is drawn to the pistol on her hip, though he can’t tell if she intended for him to notice it or not. “Hiya. How can I help you?”

“I can’t seem to get a signal on my phone, and I need to contact some people out of state,” he explains, looking past her into the building, though he can’t see much beyond the entryway. Looking back down, he meets her gaze again. “It’s urgent. I was wondering if there was anything you could do to help me.”

“You neither? Hate to tell you but signal's getting scrambled. Nothing is getting past the suburbs as far as we can tell,” she explained before sighing. “Our broadcast can't do much at this rate and Jack is getting annoyed. If we knew the problem I'd go and fix it myself. You haven't heard anything?”


“Nothing,” he huffs, shoving his hands into his pockets, “the house lost power a couple of weeks ago, so I haven’t really been keeping up with the news. You think something could be jamming the signal?”

Shay considered it for a long moment. However, before she could answer, a stray gunshot echoed somewhere in the distance, a reminder that the streets of Chicago were not safe. Or less so than before the outbreak. "Maybe we should talk inside," she said, quickly motioning the man inside.

Once he was she set about re-securing the door, locking it and blocking it with a filing cabinet that had been dragged in from one of the now abandoned offices. The hallway was unassuming, leading to the side entrance and a few auxiliary rooms. Further down it passed a stairwell and, beyond that, opened up to the main lobby where the main doors and windows had been barricaded. The light fixtures overhead were still functional so the interior was well lit despite the windows being blocked.

“Maybe you're onto something,” Shay pointed out as she led him towards the lobby where several chairs had been arranged to make a seating area. A potted tree added to the decor, as did several framed photographs of men and women who had contributed to the radio over the years. “We didn't start having issues until after the quarantine. More-so after martial law set in. Maybe the A-N-G was trying to keep the airways clear for something. Left whatever it was running when they pulled out. That's my guess, anyway. Either that or someone damaged the transmission tower on the roof, but I'm not sure who would do that, and I'm the only one who knows how the damn thing works.”


“I’m guessing you’ve been up there to check it,” David drawls, taking a seat in one of the chairs.

The National Guard being the ones responsible makes sense, whether it be because they wanted to keep the airwaves clear, or because they were trying to contain the inevitable hysteria that would spread following the news of a real-life zombie apocalypse. Though that’ll make his job a lot harder.

“Sorry, but I’m sorta’… new to the area,” he tells her. It’s only half a lie. “If there’s something blocking the radio and cells and shit, do you know where it’s likely to be? Places where the military was holed up before they pulled out.”

Shay considered it for a moment, hand up to her chin to add to her look of contemplation as she leaned against the wall with a portrait of the radio's founder just to her right. The old man in the frame seemed to look down at David with friendly eyes beneath a mop of shaggy white hair. “If I had to guess,” she began, “the Army took over Midway not long after the quarantine. Could be there, or at the armory near by it. Or if they needed to increase the range, it could be on top of one of the towers. I know Aon has a flat roof, if they couldn't jack into one of the radio masts on Sears or the Hancock building.”


“I guess the airport is as good a place as any to start, then,” David sighs, standing up. If the airport and the armory are near each other, then he could go straight from one to the other pretty easily. And if the military had been there, it could be a good place to stock up on supplies, though depending on how fast they pulled out, they might not have left anything useful. And he doesn’t want to run into Infected in military gear. “I should get going. Any chance you have a map that I could borrow?”

Shay nodded before stepping into an adjacent room, returning with a large map of Chicago that was framed. She'd taken it off the wall and now laid it flat on a small table nearby. "Only one we have. Phone work?" She didn't seem too keen on smashing the glass and ripping free their only map.

It was detailed, if a bit outdated, having been published in 1996 according to the date stamped in the bottom-right corner. Midway Airport was easy to locate, however, as was their current location, marked with a small golden star.


“That’ll work,” David assures, pulling out his phone. He adjusts the camera so that the portion of map he needs is focused in the frame, then takes a photo. Putting his phone away, he reaches up, combing a hand through his hair. “Thanks for everything. I guess you’ll know that I succeeded if your signal improves.”

She shows him out the door, and he leaves, newly armed with a map and a handful of addresses. He’s not sure if the airport will be overrun or empty, given that air traffic was likely grounded days before the military pulled out, but he doubts much will be left in the armory, given the riots in the days following the initial attack and the looting that must have happened since then. He supposes the Aon Center is the biggest wildcard, given that he doesn’t know whether people holed up there or not. It could be empty, or packed with the infected.

But regardless, he isn’t sure he’s going to make it long enough to get there. There’s no point in thinking so far ahead when no matter what, it’s likely going to be his only option if he wants to find where Natalie and Nell are. Turn off the jammer, call Natalie. That’s the new plan.

So getting into his car, he starts to head towards the armory.
Last edited by Emike on Wed Jan 19, 2022 8:47 pm, edited 2 times in total.
~
Emike is a state located in the North Sea, in the
coastal waters west of Denmark and south of Norway. A
former communist state that was once allied with the USSR,
it briefly attempted a capitalist economy, but is currently
undergoing a shift back to socialism under its new
president, Henrik Bakker.

emikerenne.em

Constitution of Emike | Emike Wikipedia | BØDA KARLA National Newspaper


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Beiarusia
Postmaster-General
 
Posts: 10749
Founded: Dec 29, 2014
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Beiarusia » Wed Jan 19, 2022 7:25 pm

Samantha Tallow
Liz's Pet Store, Chicago, Illinois

Samantha was just exiting the aisle when a man entered the pet store suddenly and without warning. A flashlight blinded her, but not before she could see the rifle that the stranger had aimed her way. Hands were raised in surrender, and to shield herself from the blinding light, but as quickly as the man had set his sights on the teenager he lowered the weapon, a look of confusion on his face. The man looked to be a soldier. She wasn't familiar with the American patches but she had seen others in similar gear manning the roadblocks near the hotel where she and her father had holed up throughout much of the quarantine.

As far as she was aware the soldiers had pulled out days ago.

The man removed his helmet before kneeling down so that he was more-or-less eye-level with the teenager — something that Samantha found annoying — and then said... something. She wasn't all too great at reading lips but made the assumption that it was some sort of introduction.

After a moment of staring blankly in response she set aside her father's briefcase and then signed, "I'm deaf," knowing full well that the man would not understand, but going through the motions would get the point across that she was unable to understand him. Hand signs were universal in explaining such things. If she wanted to communicate she'd have to rummage around inside her backpack for her sketchbook.

Not that she had time to do so. Movement caught her eye from behind the soldier, across the street, and the man would see the abrupt change in expression from understandably wary to fearful. An Infected man wearing a bright yellow hard hat had wandered out from behind a nearby building maybe half-a-block down the road, no doubt attracted by the noise the soldier had probably made, and was quickly joined by a small menagerie of others in a twisted game of follow-the-leader. It took a moment for the Infected to catch sight of the survivors, but once they had they were quick to break out into a dead-sprint, announcing their intent with an angry snarl as they crossed a vacant lot towards the pet store.

Maybe the soldier could kill the five Infected charging towards them, but Samantha wasn't about to place her trust in someone she'd just met only a handful of seconds ago. Grabbing her father's suitcase, she spun on her heels and rushed towards the back of the store, not looking to check if the soldier was following but expecting him to do so anyway. She had found an emergency exit just past the restroom during her exploration and, although not knowing 100% where it led, was willing to take the risk that the alleyway between the commercial buildings was clear enough for her to escape. The teenager scrambled through the overturned aisles, leaping over the mess of dog toys and skidding around the corner, passing by the manager's office and the restroom towards the push-door in the back of the small hallway, an EXIT sign glowing just above. She threw her shoulder into the push-bar and stumbled out into the alleyway. There were no Infected here, but those that had come after the soldier would be quick on their heels. It was now just a matter of which way to go.

User avatar
Bolslania
Minister
 
Posts: 2792
Founded: Mar 07, 2018
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Bolslania » Thu Jan 20, 2022 8:46 am

Cameron Swanson




Wherever the local federal rally point is... if it still exists. It'd be easier if the jarheads hadn't set up a jammer and forgotten to turn it off. I'm Deputy Marshal Cameron Oosthuizen, the man behind the wheel is Doctor Curtis Freeman, CDC. Keeping him alive is my responsibility, and he's probably the only person alive who can at least help not make this mess get any worse. So I take that matter rather seriously. I'm immune, he's a carrier, thus the hazmat suit.

Cameron let a small grin come on to his face as the Deputy Marshal, Oosthuizen, introduced herself and her partner. The Deputy Marshal was surprisingly tall, standing about as tall as Cameron. He couldn't make out many details of Freeman given that the man was encapsulated by a HAZMAT suit.

"Officer Cameron Swanson, CIA Security Protective Services. Docs said I was a carrier as well but I'm lacking in the HAZMAT suit department. On the matter of Federal Rally points I haven't heard anything about one. As far as I know the Fed bugged out of Chicago a while ago, but I suppose there isn't any harm in looking for a rally point." His posture had further relaxed, he was now allowing his carbine to hang by its sling from his shoulder, with only his shooting hand on the rifle, with the finger off of the trigger.

At the moment the two didn't seem to mean him any harm, and coming across people who he could rely upon to some degree would be hard to come by these days. Having a CDC doc would be helpful. Hell, maybe he could find some way to begin to at least slow the spread of whatever the hell this virus was, but that was probably nothing more than wishful thinking on Cameron's part.

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Tayner
Powerbroker
 
Posts: 7887
Founded: Oct 09, 2014
New York Times Democracy

Postby Tayner » Fri Jan 21, 2022 7:17 am

Specialist Luke LaForge
Liz's Pet Store, Chicago
August 14, 2018




The girl froze for a second, understandably so considering she just had a gun shoved in her face. Then she touched her ear with her index and middle fingers. Luke looked confused for a second, as it looked like she was listening into an earpiece like in the spy movies. Before he had time to understand, the girl glanced over his shoulder, and something immediately changed her expression. It did not take Luke long to follow her gaze, and to see the infected once again come out of the woodwork. He swore under his breath as they began to sprint towards him and the girl, and as he turned around to face the girl all he could see was her back as she ducked into the back rooms of the shop.

Shooting was useless, the last resort, the nuclear option. He’d already discovered that the noise attracts even more of the infected. “Hey, wait up!” Luke called as he followed behind the girl, fumbling with the chin strap of his helmet as he threw it back on. He caught up to her in the alleyway, and as Luke exited the building he threw the door shut and looked both ways before making a split second decision. The horde I ditched was somewhere to my right. He thought as he referenced his internal compass. “This way.” Luke said as he placed a hand on the girl’s shoulder, ushering her to follow him as he started for the streets.

Luke spent as much time glancing over his shoulder as he did looking in front of him, making sure he didn’t out-pace her, although his concerns seemed to be unwarranted as she easily kept pace. It had been over a week since he’d met anyone who didn’t shoot at him, he didn’t know what to think, he just knew that he had to get to safety and he had now inherited the responsibility of keeping the girl safe. Where are her parents? What was she doing there? Did I just kidnap this girl? Questions once again raced through Luke’s mind. Yeah, right. If she had people she’d run to them before running away from the infected. He concluded, before clearing his mind.

His eyes darted madly as they ran down the street, watching every storefront, alleyway, parked car, and anything else big enough to conceal the danger of the infected. As far as Luke could tell, they had managed to outpace the zombies that had initially set upon them, however that didn’t mean they were safe. One street could be a ghost town but if you took one wrong turn you entered the type of all-you-can-eat buffet where you’re the one being served to the infected. In fifteen minutes they covered a few blocks with no surprises before Luke stopped, looking over to a seemingly abandoned building.

Chicago Public Library, Manning Branch

The two had found their way into the sanctuary, the building was open and still had power. Luke drew the blinds on any windows, checking every aisle and room before Luke finally felt safe enough and turned to the girl who’d been sticking not too far behind him wherever he went. All throughout their sprint and search in the library she hadn’t said a word, Luke needing to tap her shoulder to get her attention. Maybe she was just in shock, the apocalypse must be traumatic for a kid, hell, Luke was traumatized. People were eating and shooting each other in the streets for Christ’s sake.

“Hey, can you hear me?” He asked as he settled down at one of the many tables around the library, before taking off his helmet and drinking some water from his canteen.
If anyone askes where we were Saturday at 14:30, we were at The Pub, understand?

-If it's stupid, but it works, it ain't stupid.
-No Combat Ready unit has ever passed inspection.
-No Inspection Ready unit has ever passed combat.
-There is nothing more satisfying to you then having the enemy shoot at you, and miss.
-Remember, your weapon was made by the lowest bidder.
Disclaimer: The sig is out of date and I probably won't update it

User avatar
Anowa
Post Marshal
 
Posts: 17534
Founded: Jul 29, 2014
Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Anowa » Fri Jan 21, 2022 4:59 pm

Deputy Marshal Cameron Oosthuizen
Doctor Curtis Freeman

BP Station (S Jeffrey and E 87th), Chicago, Illinois

Bolslania wrote:
"Officer Cameron Swanson, CIA Security Protective Services. Docs said I was a carrier as well but I'm lacking in the HAZMAT suit department. On the matter of Federal Rally points I haven't heard anything about one. As far as I know the Fed bugged out of Chicago a while ago, but I suppose there isn't any harm in looking for a rally point."


Fuck.

The lack of a rally point had just harpooned the scraps of the plan the Marshal had: Regroup, get out, get to safety. Except there was no regrouping to be had. The path from here on was a lot more muddy, continuity of government obviously placed a safe zone in Colorado Springs, but how many people had thought the same? The highways to Chicago were clogged enough despite the toll roads, so how fucked were the interstates to Colorado and the rockies? Was a ground approach even viable for travel anymore, even inside Chicago?

Turning she looked at the Doctor through the window, the man rolled the window down and leaned out, silent. Cameron spoke up, "Rally point's gone."

"Home Depot's down the road, so are a few pharmacies. We'll make our own."

The woman's brow furrowed, "What? The fuck are you talking about, if the Federal govern-"

"Myself and Mr. CIA here are infected. We break quarantine to get to the interior and we'll be shot regardless. Besides, there's still people in this city." He had a point, waltzing in to the interior would more likely get them all shot for being transmission vectors than welcomed home with open arms and put to work. "At least if I have somewhere I can work, there's a chance we can get relief eventually."

Cameron sighed, her gaze then focusing on the SPS officer, "Home Depot?"
Awards:
Tie Winner: Most Involved in P2TM, 2016
Winner: Best Crime RP, 2016

An Intro to Anowa

User avatar
Hastur
Envoy
 
Posts: 270
Founded: Jul 01, 2017
Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby Hastur » Fri Jan 21, 2022 10:46 pm

Lauren Pryzbylewski
John Hancock Building, Chicago, Illinois

“They are coming up now! staircase 2! Jesus Christ, there are a lot of them!”

The panicked babble from Pryzbylewski’s earpiece warbled away. The man set up in the security room on the 99th floor saw all from the muddled black eyes studded throughout the building. Whatever he saw from the isolated safety of the monitors had struck fear into him.

Lauren, unaware of what lay ahead, charged towards their only ad hoc entrance to their refuge within the tower from below, rifle in hand, pain rising her still healing thigh as she cracked into a sprint.

“How many?” Lauren keyed coolly.

“I-I don’t know! A lot!” Raines cracked back; tone intertwined with fear.

“Raines! I need an estimate! how many!” She remained steadfast as she turned the intersection within the vacated office floor, the entrance in her sights. Beyond that was the stairs. There were two sets in the building, one on the east, and one on the west. Judicious barricading with office equipment from the current floor and one above had produced an airlock of
sorts. One couldn’t get any higher or lower without first entering the west side 89th floor stairway and crossing over to the next.

“Maybe a dozen? Two dozen?! They are almost on them!” Over the buzz, she could hear it now. The trudging clack on concrete and zealous screech of the agitated infected crossed through the thin confidence of the magnetically locked ID card door.

A trace of uneasiness fomented in her heart as she settled close. Her hand remained still, balanced above the scanner, sanitation team ID card ready to execute the swiping motion that would release the latch briefly. A nagging instinct spurred her to withdraw, sink back to the security of the 90th floor, but she knew that option would be impractical.

The clack was an echo now; the squawks blood curdling rage filled shrieks; they were close. It was now or never.

Lauren’s hand swiped downward; the lock exuded a short high pitched digital chirp as the diode blinked from red to green. With expeditious flow, she wrenched the door wide and pranced outward.

Her eyes collided with the two survivors who had caused the upheaval as they continued, any hope of progressing higher now barred by the stacked rampart of desks, office dividers and vending machines. For a flash, the pair froze. A woman in a barista uniform and a man in a business suit. Their eyes were broad with terror as they gawked back at the black uniform clad woman holding at the doorway. They did not question it, the Infected were right on their heels now, passing the bend.

“Follow the corridor! Move! Move!” Lauren ordered; the pair forced their way through, scurrying down the corridor with what scant energy they had left. Putting all her weight into it, Lauren tackled against the door, forcing it forward into the gap, but she was a second too late. The door held ajar as she was met with resistance. One of the infected had forced its way into the gap, its body keeping open long enough for it to slither through the rift before it smashed shut. The light fluctuated from green to red as the infected man collapsed onto the floor in front of her.

The pair locked their gaze. It looked like it could have been anyone off the street. Their face was pale, writhed and scrunched into an acute statement of rage. Dark Matted blood glazed the periphery of its lips, cracks of blood sprawled through the whites of its eyes as it whisked upward aggressively, throwing its body towards her.

Muscle memory took over, drills kicked in. Pryzbylewski tensed up, dread swelling as she plucked at her sidearm, thrusting her left arm up to defend herself as she shift herself into a more stable stance. But she wasn’t fast enough, feeling its arms swath around her as its shoulder slammed right into her midriff. The abrupt jolt forced the air from her lungs, the momentum driving her back into the wall. Her pistol broke loose from her palm, scattering far as she lost her footing, tumbling down groundward.

Now unarmed and right on top of her, it renewed its attack, its jaws snapping upwards at her neck. Focred into a struggle, her left arm braced against it, to which it snatched the first thing it could seize, latched onto her forearm. A string of crunching sensations hummed out, her eyes swelling as shock flickered as it sought to tear chunks free. Lauren whirled her free hand at toward her attacker. The rapid impacts caused it to recoil, creating an opening. She pushed her boot into its chest. The kick finally forced the infected back towards the wall, holding it in place as its hands violently grappled against her ankle, attempting to fight free.

Her hands desperately pulled at her rifle’s sling, getting it upward into her hands. Rifle clasped tight, she rapidly jammed the barrel forward into its face as her boot kept it back. The thing gave off one last snarl before she pulled the trigger, Pryzbylewski turning her head away as the rifle let off a suppressed screech. The surface behind it being pasted with a dark red splatter as the infected went limp.

Lauren finally breathed, the vibration of her exhale punctuated by a breakneck rattle against the door. From the narrow view hole in the door, several faces battled for control, all of them attacking the entrance to break through, the magnetic bolt being the only thing keeping them out. Climbing to her feet, she gathered her equipment, holstering the tossed pistol, heading back down the hallway towards their sanctuary.

Her arm felt numb. A glimpse corroborated the worst. The sleeve on her soft shell jacket had been pulled back, blood seeped from the bite shaped scars, twisting down to drip from her fingertips. A silent curse spat from her lips, the strain was becoming more palpable, anxiety tearing through. She recognized what bites meant. She just had to hope that the antivirals worked. The two survivors waited at the door, unable to pass. Their eyes drawn to the wounds, she could see the look of concern, one less for her own wellbeing, but for the consequences it would bring.

“You’re..” The man spoke up, slight hesitation in his voice. Lauren scanned her card, the door unlocking with the familiar buzz, exchanging a brief, steel eyed glance back.

“Yes. Go in.” Lauren ordered. The pair hesitated, frozen on the spot, anxiety preventing them from moving.

“Go in!” She reiterated, voice more forceful. The two finally began their assent, moving up to the safety of the higher floors. Pryzbylewski followed, she had to have a word with her boss, things were about to get a lot more difficult in the tower with the one safe exit blocked.

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Vacif
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Founded: Mar 22, 2015
Scandinavian Liberal Paradise

Postby Vacif » Sat Jan 22, 2022 4:42 pm

PLAN B
Chicago Police Department - District 7, Chicago, Illinois

Crunch! Ramone flinched, looking left at the source of the noise.

Casper plucked a chip from the Dorito bag with a pair of chopsticks. It was Sweet Chili Heat. He looked at the mind board in front of what may have been the last two non-infected people in the District 7 Station. Sprawled out in front of them was every single idea they could come up with in the past week on how they could escape the station once supplies ran dry.

“For some reason, I don’t see us being able to kill them all, so let's cross that one off…” Ramone sat up, taking a red marker and drawing a large “X” over a quarter of the mind board that suggested drawing the Infected into choke points across the second floor and stairwells. An ambitious plan at best, and foolish at worst, it was his after all. “On account of us not having either the guns, ammo or will. That leaves running out the back door into the alley, checking the garage, and waiting here for rescue.”

“Which isn’t coming.” Crunch!

“Uh-huh…” Ramone sighed, another massive red X over their plans to try and make the police station into something sustainable until rescue arrived. Unrealistic, but potentially doable given the right resources. “That leaves running out the back, and the garage,” he turned around to Casper, “Input?”

“Well I don’t think it’ll be as easy as just opening the door. Maybe one of us could make a distraction from the second floor, allowing the other to slip by?”

“But we don’t know what’s in the alley, could be sandwiched by mouth breathers. Plus with them so close to us, we’re not going to make it on foot.”

“Why don’t we just… check the perimeter cameras? You have those right?”

Ramone slapped himself with a palm straight to his forehead, “right, the fucking CCTV. Why didn’t I think of that?” He walked back to a table in the room and grabbed his duty belt, securing it around his hips along with his Glock 22 secured in it’s holster.

Casper rolled up the chip bag and followed Ramone. “The easiest answer is the one we forget the most.” He picked up the improvised spear beside him. It was a gardening Hoe that had been straightened out and sharpened. Grip tape lined the shaft where his hands were.

“Were you a teacher before?” Ramone asked half-heartedly as he cautiously walked towards the briefing room door, an exit into the far more dangerous halls of the PD. He slowly twisted the handle, pushing it, and peered through the gap in the door down the hall. It was clear, at least to his right anyway.

“Good to go?”

“It looks clear. I don’t hear any mouth breathers. Might still all be on the first floor though.” Ramone hushed, slowly he pushed the door open, looking to the left of the door. His eyes were met with an empty hallway, with exception to the trash and blood that littered the floor. They were in the clear so far. “Camera room’s down the hall to the right… I think. let's go,” he wasn’t sure, he hadn’t memorized this place yet.

Ramone stepped out into the hall, one step at a time, unholstering his pistol from his belt and holding it at low ready. Casper followed as Ramone walked down the hall, reading the plaques on the wall that noted what room was what. The files room, recreation room (already looted of junk food and water), a number of offices full of cubicles and littered with trash on the floor.

Finally, a room labeled “CCTV Security”. His hand went for the door handle to try the lock, and he was relieved when the handle gave way and he heard the mechanism click quietly. He leaned in to look into the room, no one in a dark room, lit up by black-white camera screens on old CRT televisions. The chairs were knocked over, the trash bin was overflowing with garbage, and anything that could serve as a container was pulled open and searched inside. “It’s unlocked, let’s see what’s going on outside,” he slowly pulled open the door enough to get through, and stepped inside, holstering his sidearm.

Casper quietly followed Ramone through the door and closed the door behind them. He was still fairly sure the second floor was secure but they could never be too sure. Given that the MB could clear a hallway in under two seconds, they had to always watch their backs. The building was so quiet, you could hear your own heart beat. So they’d hear if the infected broke through any of their doors or barricades.

The past week had been a trip and a half. After the quarantine failed and the FEMA camp at Wrigley was overrun, Casper had spent the worst part of a week fighting their way out of Chicago with a handful of other survivors from the camp. Himself, two ICE officers, a survivor and one of his logistics officers had barely made it out in one of the FEMA mobile response vehicles. He’d witnessed Keith, the logistics officer and Julian, the survivor get torn apart by the infected in Chicago. Keith was torn apart by infected mongrels, roving packs of beasts. It wasn’t all Rottweilers and German Shepherds. Ravenous Chihuahuas, Golden Retrievers and Great Danes. Former house pets now turned murderous monsters. The ICE officers, Soren and Yates took care of the dogs, but Julian was killed by Psychotics. It was surreal seeing people go about their usual routines, only to break into an aptly named psychotic rage. He wasn’t sure how painless it was with their improvised weapons but it was quick. Soren and Yates were shot and killed by hostile survivors. Luckily for Casper, the mobile command vehicle was lightly armoured for this exact reason. He wasn’t able to retrieve either one under the eye of snipers, but he could at least escape with his life. The roads cleared up significantly outside of the city, in the suburbs and off the main roads, there were almost serene streets. At least when he got here, District 7 was at least in a somewhat functioning state. How it all went so bad in the past three days was about the same as the past week. Bad luck.

He peered over Ramone’s shoulder at the security system. The tech inside was definitely older than the modern atrium below. “Y’know the garage still probably has my truck. If none of the cruisers work, we at least still have that.” Searching through the footage, most of the infected they could see were still congregated out front, but if anything happened, there was no doubt more MB would swarm in from the suburbs around them. The back streets looked empty and the hallways on the first floor were clear. The only issue was a single haggard officer pacing around in the garage. Blood, snot and saliva dripped from their face, their uniform disheveled. They weren’t looking too good, but even one in a starved state, they could be dangerous. He could set off an alarm or cause a loud enough noise to attract attention.

“Christ, that’s Sergeant O’Hannan. I didn’t know he was infected.” Ramone recognized them, even through the grainy screens he could recognize a familiar limp, his grief hushed. “It’s the way they walk, bad leg, doesn’t- eh, didn’t go on patrols anymore,” Ramone explained as he looked for controls to the cameras, specifically the garage camera. He found a numbered switch, sharing the same number as the garage camera. Pushing the switch left, the camera moved slowly to look in the same direction, a large white FEMA emblazoned truck being revealed inch by inch. “Given that’s the only FEMA truck in our garage, I’m guessing it’s yours. Lucky break, just have to…” Ramone’s tone, along with his motivation, sank.

“Deal with the Sergeant…” He shot a look at Casper after a long moment, “I’m not shooting him if I don’t have to.”

“Well I don’t mean to discriminate but the Sergeant doesn’t look to be in the best of shape. We could lure him out, knock him out or something. Two of us, they’re not any more durable than we are.”

“Good point, but given the situation we’re in, I’m just expecting the worst. There’s good news and bad news though if we want to go to the garage.” He turned towards Capser, leaning against the consoles. “Bad news is the door is probably locked, the Sergeant was adamant on not being allowed to infect anyone, so he probably ordered someone to lock him in. Good news is that I know where the key is, in their cubicle.”

“That should be in the secure part of the building right?” Casper asked nervously, unconsciously gripping the hoe-spear tighter. He swallowed, “We should probably get all of our stuff together now before we head to the garage. If something happens during our escape, we won’t be able to come back for anything.”

Casper thought up all the stuff they could bring that was still at the station. They still had some instant coffee in the station, the beans had all been used up with the filters earlier. Yates was practically eating instant coffee and creamer to stay awake during their escape from Chicago. They probably could do that too if things got desperate. They could fill up some of the old water bottles from the water coolers. Snack bags, trash bags, books and entertainment, toiletries, soap, towels, any first aid kits, batteries from the appliances, and any tools they could find. He was pretty sure the police or army had cleared out the guns and ammo, but maybe they left behind a cleaning kit or some WD40. Maybe some radios and duffel bags. Hell ammo cans were good for carrying things.

“Yeah it’s still on the second floor. Good idea though, you get everything you can find. I’ll make my way to that office and grab anything that seems useful on the way. Lets contact over the radio if anything happens.” Ramone spoke, standing up, pushing himself off the surveillance console. There was a slight anxiety that crept in the back of his mind, what if the door to the office was locked too? That could mean they’d be stuck on the running through the back door idea, and they’d never make that with the amount of MBs that were around here

He opened the door to the hallway slowly, poking his head out to check left, and then right. Still clear, he non-verbally said with a nod. He looked back to Casper nervously, not quite sure if he wanted to part with the only human he’d been stuck with for a week, “Alright, stay safe,” he decided aloud as he walked into the hallway and broke into a slow jog.
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Member of Task Force Atlas
Nation name pronounced Vuh-sea-f, sometimes shortened to Vac, or 'Cif.

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Beiarusia
Postmaster-General
 
Posts: 10749
Founded: Dec 29, 2014
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Beiarusia » Sun Jan 23, 2022 2:39 pm

Tayner wrote:Luke LaForge
...

Samantha Tallow
Chicago Pet Store, Chicago, Illinois

She and the soldier had escaped the things, finding refuge in the public library on the corner of Madison and Hoyne Avenue. The building was more-or-less intact. As if untouched by the riots and looting. Admittedly, there was little of immediate value to steal from a library, and most survivors were inclined to scavenge the supermarkets, hardware stores, or petrol stations for supplies. Books could offer entertainment, or be used for kindling if one were desperate, or provide instruction on how best to do this or that, but few would consider such long-term benefits in their panicked desperation.

As the soldier checked the aisles and backrooms, Samantha found herself a book, choosing at random a novel by Lila Bowen as she awaited the man's return. She was seated at the central-most table, one of many that were arranged in a semi-circle in the "reading section" of the main lobby. Her briefcase and backpack were on the floor next to her. The overhead lights were off, but enough sunlight filtered in from the skylight for her to read the first few paragraphs. Not that the words stuck. She was anxious. The things were terrifying enough, but now she was alone with a man she did not know, and although he was probably a soldier — the teenager hadn't ruled out that he had simply stolen the equipment — she was uncertain is he could be trusted. After all, she was alone and physically incapable of defending herself against someone that much larger than she was. And he had a gun.

She'd be cautious for now and would run if she so much as felt uneasy.

The man returned. Samantha took notice but continued to "read" as he settled down at the table. He removed his helmet and took a swig from his canteen before speaking to her. He wasn't being forceful and, if anything, was maybe a bit confused.

Setting aside the book, Samantha grabbed her backpack and set it atop the table, unzipping it and reaching inside for her sketchbook. As she was pulling out the sketchbook a can of dog food tumbled out and onto the table with a small clang, rolling towards the soldier who sat across from her. The teenager had grabbed the can on her way out of the pet store, but would never admit to this despite the slight flush to her cheeks. It was a moment of weakness, and truthfully she was unlikely to eat the pet food considering her aversion to meat.

Ignoring it she opened the sketchbook to a mostly blank page filled with scribbles and wrote, "Deaf," before showing it to the soldier, tapping on the word to add emphasis. She then added, "Are you a soldier? Can I trust you?" She handed him a pencil and watched carefully for his reaction.



SURVIVORS
Insomnia Cookies, Chicago, Illinois

Insomnia Cookies was one of several shops on the corner of Sheridan Road and Arthur Avenue. A Mediterranean restaurant was to the right; a T-Mobile was to the left, followed by a Potbelly, a Taco Bell, a beauty salon, and a small cafe. Above were student apartments for nearby Loyola University. Across the street was another dormitory. Two vehicles had crashed into one another at the intersection, a larger SUV and a smaller, crumpled Civic that had been knocked aside a good distance. The driver of the Civic was still inside, head resting at an unnatural angle and clearly deceased for some time. The SUV was empty. The street just outside the shops was otherwise empty of traffic. Trash littered the ground from an overturned bin, scattered about by the wind. The T-Mobile had been looted during the riots but the remaining storefronts looked to be intact.

A sweet scent was in the air.

Four Infected lingered outside. One was an overweight man wearing a stained utility jumpsuit, another a young woman who had previously been a student at the nearby university, and another was an elderly man with a noticeable limp, and the last was a paramedic. The Infected would not wander too far from the Insomnia Cookies, and would from time to time bang against the glass. One, the paramedic, even tried the door but it had been barricaded with a table.

Lynn Nguyen had left the campus to go and find help, but she hadn't made it far when she was beset upon by the Infected. She had managed to find safety in the Insomnia Cookies, but her attempt to escape via the back door was unsuccessful as the door was blocked from the other side, and two days later and the Infected had yet to lose interest. Cellphone service was still out so she couldn't contact her friends. Not that all was bad. There was still electricity, and Lynn had sustained herself with cookies that she had baked herself. She was physically well despite the small injury to her calf. One of the Infected had grabbed at her during her escape, and although she had kicked it off it had made an attempt to bite her. The injury was unnoticeable, just a small limp from the soreness.

And a slight sniffle from a cold.
Last edited by Beiarusia on Mon Jan 24, 2022 6:10 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Thai Sweet Billy
Attaché
 
Posts: 66
Founded: Dec 20, 2021
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Thai Sweet Billy » Sun Jan 23, 2022 10:21 pm

Beiarusia wrote:Lynn Nguyen had left the campus to go and find help, but she hadn't made it far when she was beset upon by the Infected...


    PAUL REEVES
    Insomnia Cookies | Chicago, Illinois
    __________________________________

They reached the bottom floor of the dorms and left campus as quickly and quietly as they could, maneuvering through the two city like two rats on the search for food. The analogy was pretty accurate, all things considered—they were as nimble as could be and were also on the search for food, but finding Lynn and bringing her back to safety was the bigger concern here.

The corner of Sheridan Road and Arthur Avenue looked like a warzone. Crashed cars and broken glass were everywhere. All of the shops, which previously were either full of random people or students, were empty, and the occasional window and shattered pane of glass spoke numbers about the desperation of people in the most challenging of times, before everything slowed to a crawl. Maybe they were so desperate that they wanted some Taco Bell? Who knew.

As they rounded another corner, Paul and Cole stacked against the wall, the former clutching his crowbar while the latter held onto his hammer with a vice grip. Paul inspected the area before them patiently while Cole watched their rear; there were four infected outside, all lingering by the glass, while one would occasionally bang against it, causing Paul to flinch. The lights on the inside seemed to be on, and the entrance was barricaded by what appeared to be a table. She was in there alright, but she wouldn't last long by herself if more came.

"Whatcha got, Paul?" Cole asked with a whisper, his voice a little jittery, as if to hype himself up.

"Uhh..." Paul felt himself stammer for a moment. "Uhh... f-four infected outside. One fat one, one old one with a crooked leg. What do we do?"

"Ion fuckin' know, man." Cole sighed. "Just call 'em zombies, bro. Saying 'infected' makes you sound stupid."

"...What else do I fuckin' call them, dude?" Paul snapped, clutching his crowbar as he glowered at his roommate. Eager to not cause a scene, he just turned around and rubbed his temples, thinking. "Umm... fuck. Okay. Look. I have an idea. Let's, uhhh... draw them out, go for the faster ones first, then finish off the slower two, the fatass and the old guy. Lets use the car crash as a buffer and go at them one at a time. Sounds easy enough?"

Cole nodded. "They just die by a hit to the head, right? That's how most zombies die, right?"

Paul stood up. "I think so. Just remember the wrist guard thing we made, I think they're super predictable once you get the hang of it."

Paul saw Cole reach into his green jacket's pocket, retrieving a folded up bandana that he handed to Paul. "For you. So it doesn't get in your mouth."

Paul reluctantly took the piece of cloth, wrapping it around his mouth as Cole mirrored the motion with another bandana. "Alright. Fuck. Let's do this, Paul. I've got your back."

They both made their way into the street, and then Paul extended his hand out, inching the crowbar over to a nearby stop sigh. He tapped the tool against the sign a couple times for good measure, the high-pitched dink-dink! noise loud enough to cause the four infected outside to snap their heads over to the pair without drawing any unneeded attention.

Immediately, Paul saw the two "healthier" infected persons beak away from the store and turn towards them: a paramedic and a former university student. The color had been totally drained from their bodies, their eyes bloodshot and various fluids leaking from their nose and mouth. They reeked of death, and Paul instinctively brought his shielded arm up to cover himself as they sped-walked towards them.

The infected paramedic was on him first, latching onto his arm with a vice grip. His teeth failed to dig into the makeshift arm guard as Paul shoved the infected man off him, as far away as he could. With two hands on his crowbar, Paul swung across his vision, his crowbar briefly meeting some resistance on something as he heard a hollow THWACK!, followed by the sound of a body dropping to the pavement.

The paramedic's jaw had been smashed, hanging by a few spare ligaments on the side of his head. As the infected man tried to push himself back up, Paul jabbed the other end of the crowbar down onto him, embedding the flattened end deep in the infected's skull.

Cole, similarly, was experiencing some luck. With a grunt, he kicked the infected woman away, swinging his hammer down onto the top of her head. The student fell limp as a sickening crunch echoed through the empty streets, dropping dead beside Cole's feet.

"Fuckin' bitch, we did it." Cole panted, turning to the other two infected staggering towards them. The infected worker was overweight, his gut poking out of his jumpsuit, and grime covering his body. He reeked even worse than the last two. The infected old man had a limp, his faulty leg crooked and bent to the side, and the noises he made were raspy snarls and inhales as opposed to the guttural growls of the fat man, or the hisses of the regular infected.

Cole simply stepped forward as the old man stepped towards him, and swung his hammer across his vision again. It really was an unfair match up to begin with: the old man ragdolled to the side as Cole's hammer caved the side of his head in, dumping grey matter onto the ground as Cole backed up. "Paul, MOVE!"

Paul turned to the fat man and sidestepped out of the way of an attempted grapple. He gripped his crowbar again and swung, using the length of the tool to great effect as the curved end buried itself into the infected worker's temple. His arms flailed as he tried to reach for Paul, but to no avail—his arms were only just barely short enough to keep himself from grabbing distance of Paul.

Cole swung his hammer down again, the flat end cracking open the infected man's skull like an egg. He went limp and crumpled under his own weight, very nearly taking Paul and his crowbar down with him as he fell to the pavement in front of them.

Paul's breath hitched as he tried to regain his bearing, panting for a good thirty seconds as he watched the blood pool from the infected man's body. His crowbar protruding from his skull seemed surreal, and a little sickening, even. "Oh my God, oh my God. Jesus. Oh, fuck..."

"Paul! Cole offered a hand out to him. "Get up, bro. We're done."

Cole took his roommate's hand, grabbing his crowbar back from the infected man's skull. He felt queasy and dizzy, but, as far as he was concerned, he wasn't bitten. Cole even visually confirmed this, both for himself and his partner. "We're good, man. We did it."

"Y-yeah." Cole nodded, catching his breath. "We did."

The two of them turned to the building, making their way up to the doors. As opposed to banging on the door, Paul simply knocked on the front window, with the same knocking pattern he used for entering his room again. "Hey, uh, L-Lynn? It's Paul Reeves and, u-uh, C-Cole Bennett. From the dorms and Cudahy? We dealt with the infected outside, it's safe to come out now."

They heard movement inside the store, and saw a short Vietnamese-American girl limping her way over to the door, pulling away the table barricading the doors with some effort. She opened the door with one hand, her other hand holding a half-eaten cookie. Paul immediately took notice of the sweet smell of freshly-baked cookies, and saw that she had a noticeable limp in her step.

"Um, thank you." She was remarkably apathetic about the violence outside. "There's cookies inside if you want."

Paul gave a long sigh. Maybe cookies was the move.

Code: Select all
Paul Reeves -> Infected x2
Cole Bennett -> Infected x2
Paul Reeves & Cole Bennett -> Cookies


Collab post with Hastur


    DR. HENRIK SONDERGAARD
    Atlas Chicago HQ, John Hancock Building | Chicago, Illinois
    __________________________________

The most daunting thing about the city of Chicago now was how eerily quiet things had become. Everything was intense and silent, and even the wind seemed to stop at certain moments, as if listening to itself pass between the skyscrapers and through the streets.

Dr. Henrik Sondergaard was smoking a cigarette from his office, silently staring out at the empty and lifeless city below him. There was just something about the buildings that made everything seem so lifeless and dreary. He likened it to the skeleton of a dead animal, the buildings below them and the skyscrapers beside them all serving as the bones of a beast that was slowly rotting away.

He turned away from the window for a moment and sat atop his desk, looking at his things for a moment, as if contemplating everything that had transpired in the last two weeks. The reports and details following the Outbreak (as he called it, anyways) truly had snuck up on him, all things considered. He was surprised and somewhat disappointed that he had missed such details. In only a couple days, he had amassed enough paperwork, NDAs, and waivers on hand that he swore they could stack to the ceiling.

A plethora of questions plagued him as things worsened. What would it mean for him and his research? His projects? His funding? How could such a disease have snuck up on him? He pretty much had to cast aside everything he had been working towards in favor of surviving once the order for the Atlas VIPs to evacuate was given. Not to mention, he wasn’t even sure if an evacuation team was going to arrive… nor was he sure if they would come to remove him or extract him.

And the virus…

It was almost a perfect storm, really, and while he wasn’t sure where it had come from, his gut most certainly believed that Atlas, somehow, was involved.

Regardless, their supplies were dwindling, and they needed to make a decision, fast. While the tower itself was at least partially compromised, it certainly wasn’t impossible to escape, but Henrik knew that it wouldn’t be a solo job.

He grabbed the Glock 19 off his desk and stuffed it into his lab coat, into an inner pocket from which he could easily draw it quickly from. After a couple swipes of his keycard against the readers in his way, he had found himself in the security room adjacent to the offices, watching the doors swing open to reveal a woman in a black tactical uniform making her way in.

He stared at her as she entered—more specifically, he stared at her bleeding arm. He cringed, immediately reaching for the Atlas-embroidered backpack sitting slung over his shoulder, where he fished out his medkit and passed it towards the woman.

“...Miss Pryzbylewski.” His tone was flat as he inspected the blood from her arm. “You’re injured. Take care of that… from a distance, please.”

Lauren obliged, taking a moment to open the kit. Her hands sorting through the contents, applying the bandage and gauze to the open wound. The bites oozed red, seeping as she bled more than expected. She gave a succinct glimpse back to her employer, her mouth ajar as her face scrunched up momentarily as she stiffened the dressing. The ire she was getting was expected, but it still made her feel devalued. If it wasn’t for her wife, she would have walked long ago. She was, after all, the only one that could shoot worth a damn here.

“I’m afraid they compromised our airlock on the 89th floor. They’ve blocked the stairway door leading down. Between one to two dozen hostiles.” Lauren warned, cheeks crumpled in discomfort as the bandage gradually soaked crimson. Her hands fumbled for the cigarette case stashed in her pocket, flicking it open with one smooth motion as she placed a hand-rolled cigarette to her lips, lighting up. “We might still be able to use the elevator, however.”

“So it seems. If all else fails, we use the elevator,” Sondergaard explained, taking a long draw from his own cigarette. He sighed, leaning against his desk for a moment, staring off blankly towards something in the room as she patched herself up. Before long, though, an idea had formed in his head, and he sat up from his leaning position, lowering his cigarette. “What about the alarms in the security room? Surely there must be a way to remotely trigger them by each floor. Perhaps we can draw them to another floor, and maneuver past them. It’s a thought.”

As he said this, his eyes drifted from the floor, over to the wound on her arm. Given the obvious situation at hand, there was really only one explanation as to how she had gotten wounded… and he considered reaching for the Glock in his labcoat upon realizing this. The fact he was outgunned, though made him reconsider his movement.

Lauren considered the plan. It’d clear the floors, packing them all into one space like a pack of sardines at best. At worst, it’d draw more in. It certainly wasn’t the worst idea she’d heard, but it had a lot of moving parts. She wasn’t sure how she felt about risking her neck trying it, however. Her eyes lingered for a moment, scanning over the doctor. His nervous shuffle was obvious as his eyes flowed to the wound. The weighted side angle of his jacket made it clear he had a gun.

“Don’t bother.” Laura stated firmly, eyes locked on his pocket as she removed the Atlas marked black case from the bag. Inside was the antiviral jet injector, the issued solution to injuries from the infected. One shot solved the problem, or so was stated. “Could work. I saw a light from the Willis Tower, it was used as an evacuation centre. Might have a radio.”

“...Did you take your antivirals?” He inquired, apparently more focused on the other matter at hand than the tower. He took a step back as he watched the woman work, inspecting the bandaged wound for himself.

She removed the injector, mulling over it for a moment, considering the weight in her hand as she felt the unnatural heaviness of it. She saw the other team members use them, even executives, but they had never lived long enough for her to judge the effects for herself.

“Do these even work?” Lauren asked, not even waiting for a response. She’d be dead anyway if it didn’t, no reason not to try. With a labored, nervous sigh, she pulled her collar down and pushed deep into her neck. The device rattled off a short buzz, a minor piercing tinge sparking for a moment in her skin. She drew on her cigarette, exhaling the smoke as she repacked the device, feeling only slightly less on edge.

“Well… it remains to be seen,” he muttered, drumming his finger against the table as he lowered his cigarette again. “Regardless, like you suggested, Willis Tower may be our next best plan of action. If there’s a radio, that means there’s a chance of finding help.”

He set his cigarette down once more as he exhaled another puff of smoke, inspecting the building off in the distance for himself. “We’ll go there next. As soon as we get the infected packed on the floor, we will make our way to Willis Tower, and if there’s a radio, we'll call Atlas.”

If anyone knew what to do, or had any modicum of safety and organization left after everything had fallen, it was Atlas. Getting there, however, was going to take time.
I Love Thai Sweet Billy
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FREE YOUNG THUG AND GUNNA
At first, I felt like I was the Driver from Drive (2011), but now that I think about it, I feel like I'm William Foster from Falling Down (1993)

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Tayner
Powerbroker
 
Posts: 7887
Founded: Oct 09, 2014
New York Times Democracy

Postby Tayner » Mon Jan 24, 2022 12:55 pm

Beiarusia wrote:Samantha Tallow
...

Specialist Luke LaForge
Chicago Public Library, Manning Branch
August 14, 2018




A can of dog food rolled out of her backpack as she withdrew a sketchbook. Luke raised an eyebrow before she started to write down something, showing it to Luke. "Deaf" The girl wrote down, tapping on the word. She then wrote a few more words before turning the sketchbook back to Luke. "Are you a soldier? Can I trust you?" She questioned. Of course, I’d be skeptical too. Luke thought before considering what to write down. Taking the pencil, he replied.

”My name is Luke, I am a soldier. I’ll look after you until we find your parents.” He started before showing her. After she read it, he continued. ”Where are your parents? Are you gonna eat that?” He asked, the second question referring to the dog food she dropped. She couldn’t hear it but his stomach had growled a few times since they had met each other, and just about anything that was edible looked like pure gold. He patted his stomach in an attempt to show her that he was hungry, truth be told why would she bother sharing?

It was true that the military had pulled out days ago, Luke ending up left behind in an unfortunate turn of events. She had little reason to trust him, just like Luke had little reason to be here. He was a weekend warrior who was a construction worker civilian side, what was he doing in the middle of Chicago, which was all but a warzone. Although finding a kid all alone in the middle of Chicago was also curious. He just wanted to get out of Chicago, but he figured if there was to be anything good to come from this shitstorm, it’d at least be that he got the girl back to her parents.
If anyone askes where we were Saturday at 14:30, we were at The Pub, understand?

-If it's stupid, but it works, it ain't stupid.
-No Combat Ready unit has ever passed inspection.
-No Inspection Ready unit has ever passed combat.
-There is nothing more satisfying to you then having the enemy shoot at you, and miss.
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Disclaimer: The sig is out of date and I probably won't update it

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Beiarusia
Postmaster-General
 
Posts: 10749
Founded: Dec 29, 2014
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Beiarusia » Mon Jan 24, 2022 6:09 pm

Tayner wrote:Specialist Luke LaForge

Samantha Tallow
Chicago Public Library, Chicago, Illinois

The man's name was Luke and he was indeed a soldier. Or so he claimed. Samantha was still hesitant to trust the man, but he seemed sincere and had even offered to help her in finding her parents. Well, her father in any case, considering her mother was back home and safe in the United Kingdom. All in all, the teenager was simply unable to justify abandoning the man to strike out on her own. The city was dangerous and together they could cover much more ground at a much faster pace. Alone, Samantha would have to tread carefully, what with her being deaf, but the soldier solved that issue and, for an added benefit, was in possession of a weapon should things get bad. Weighing the pros and cons inside her head Samantha would be foolish to not trust the man. Maybe not unconditionally so but she needed him if she were to reunite with her father.

He then asked, "Are you gonna eat that?"

Samantha, resisting the urge to roll her eyes, rolled the can of dog food over towards Luke. Taking back her sketchbook and pencil she quickly jotted down, "Samantha. We were chased by the things. Need to find dad at the tall skyscraper."

She wasn't sure how far they were from downtown, and during their escape from the things she had lost sight of the skyline so couldn't say if they'd gone in the right or wrong direction. She didn't own a map so had been using the landmark to guide her. The soldier might even know a more direct path. The teenager was eager to get going and hoped they wouldn't stay put inside the library for too long.



INFECTED
Home Depot, 87th Street, Chicago, Illinois

Immediately west of I-95 was the Home Depot. At a glance there was no obvious sign of looting, and the only apparent damage was to the Garden Center that had suffered a broken window during the riots two weeks ago, damage that had been hastily repaired with a blue tarp and duct tape. The parking lot was mostly vacant. Bright orange shopping carts were scattered about or upended, and of the vehicles that remained only two were of any significance. The most obvious was the tractor-trailer parked in the southern end of the lot. The semi was vacant and the trailer was locked. Of the few bodies that had been left to rot in the immediate area none would appear to be the driver. The second vehicle was a large GMC truck pulled haphazardly near the front. It's left-front tire was flat and some supplies had been left inside the bed. The remaining vehicles were of little note and had simply been abandoned.

Inside, the store showed signs of having been picked through, however, given the sheer size of the supercenter much remained to be scavenged. Of course, the most useful or expensive items had been taken long ago, but anything found here could be functional with some ingenuity. Three Infected wandered the store. When one bumped into an item, making a noise, all would rush together, but would separate after some time. A fourth was trapped underneath a pile of wooden 2x4's that had collapsed atop it, its upper-half exposed as it tried to pull itself free. A few more were already dead from gunshot wounds.
Last edited by Beiarusia on Mon Jan 24, 2022 7:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Bolslania
Minister
 
Posts: 2792
Founded: Mar 07, 2018
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Bolslania » Mon Jan 24, 2022 6:49 pm

Cameron Swanson



"Myself and Mr. CIA here are infected. We break quarantine to get to the interior and we'll be shot regardless. Besides, there's still people in this city."
"At least if I have somewhere I can work, there's a chance we can get relief eventually."


Cameron sighed as he listened to what the doc had to say. The man had a point, if Cameron was carrying the virus, which he almost certainly was, they'd get shot and buried in a mass grave damn near immediately. Setting up shop at the selected home depot wasn't an all too bad plan. It had good access to roads and stores which hopefully would have some supplies left in them, and it would be a good place to keep this doctor alive.

"Home Depot?" The Marshal asked of him. Cameron nodded, stepping back towards his car.

"Sounds like a plan. You lead, I'll follow." He said, setting his rifle in the passenger footwell of his Ford before he himself got in to the driver's seat, closing the door and starting the engine.

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Segral
Ambassador
 
Posts: 1746
Founded: Sep 06, 2017
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Segral » Mon Jan 24, 2022 11:07 pm

Khalil C. Moses
Insomnia Cookies // Chicago // Illinois


As Lynn and her knights in grimy armor convened at Insomnia's glass front doors, a new sound suddenly erupted from within the store, a heavy scraping that was all the cause for concern. A fifth undead corpse that had slipped out of notice? A looter with a mean streak? Even worse, a West Side Killa with a mean streak? The possibilities were endless when things had gotten as unimaginably far-fetched as they had now. It would be more concerning if the sound was dismissed as inconspicuous. Yet, before anyone could get far enough to actually verify which one of the thousand possible intrusions at that current moment was causing that horrific scraping sound, the possibility was confirmed for them. It came not as a drawn, pale, bleeding zombie, nor the barrel of a gun, but a gaunt, twitchy college student who slipped through a slight crack of Insomnia's back door, a fat wedge of light illuminating his presence for a brief second before sliding dark yet again.

As he passed through the shadowy archway of the cookie store's backroom and into the proper storefront, he stumbled slightly, seemingly struggling to find his footing amidst the mud and guts that caked the bottom of his once-yellow boots. The more you looked, the more you realized that this was a man who had shrunk. At one point, he looked like he would've been a decent height, a few leg days short of a decently lean build with a bit of muscle bulging out of the thick black shirt that now hung limply off his shoulders. Now, the weight of the world had put a slouch on his shoulders and had thinned him out in his ribs, his arms, his hands. They looked like spiders, one weakly clinging to a hammer, the other looped around a waistband with a distinct blade-like shape poking out. Not that it was any use to him; by the looks of it, he would be too weak to get anywhere in a real fight. They were grimy too, as was every patch of exposed skin aside from the slightly cleaner top half of his face. The face was only spared from being a terrifying sight by the spare t-shirt wrapped around the lower half as a makeshift mask, revealing nothing but the wisps of a scruffy beard. Considerably thinned cheeks and dark swollen circles ringing his eyes didn't leave a pretty impression. Whatever you could see of it between the curtain of overgrown dreads that hung over his face.

Khalil Moses was in the worst days of his life, the most torturous. And due to the unfortunate lack of academic overlap between Fine Arts and STEM majors, his days were seemingly becoming all the more difficult.

"...Can I take some? Please?" he asked hesitatingly, his slow, plodding tone coming out as a slight plea as he nodded his head towards the nearest baking oven. A little imagination to pull the mask away, and you could imagine drool beginning to form at his lips from the scent alone. His free hand had drifted towards the crucifix around his neck, beginning to thumb the metal around its frame as if to reassure himself, while the occupied hand gripped his hammer with an ounce of remaining strength.
yea bro idk

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Beiarusia
Postmaster-General
 
Posts: 10749
Founded: Dec 29, 2014
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Beiarusia » Tue Jan 25, 2022 4:51 pm

Thai Sweet Billy wrote:Paul Reeves
...
Segral wrote:Khalil C. Moses
...

SURVIVORS
Insomnia Cookies, Chicago, Illinois

Lynn had been in the kitchen — another batch of chocolate chip cookies had just come up — when she heard the ruckus outside. Something had riled up the Infected, and soon thereafter came a measured knock against the glass storefront of the Insomnia Cookies. Curious, she peered out from behind the counter and into the lobby and spied two men standing just outside the window. It took a moment but she recognized them as classmates. Two loners: Cole Bennett and Paul Reeves. They had holed up inside one of the dormitories last she heard, and she was surprised to see them, even more-so when she saw the dead Infected on the street behind them.

"Hey, uh, L-Lynn?" stammered the taller of the two as he announced that the coast was clear.

She hurried over towards the barricaded door, or as quickly as she could, limping along as she ignored the pain in her calf from where the Infected had attacked her, and quickly pushed aside the table so that she could let them inside. Then came the awkward moment of standing just inside the doorway. It was clear that Paul and Cole were just as surprised to have made it this far as she was to see them. "Um... thank you," she said, a bit confused before awkwardly adding, "there's cookies inside if you want."

The words had barely left her mouth when something banged loudly against the back exit, the one that had been blocked from the outside, followed by the noise of the door being forced open. As Lynn, Paul, and Cole turned to face this new threat they were instead greeted to the sight of an emaciated young man, about their age, and who looked to have walked through Hell and back. He shuffled inside not unlike the Infected, hammer in one hand, but instead of coming towards the trio of survivors he instead turned towards the still-warm oven and the cookies that now sat atop it. His voice was starved. "...can I take some? Please?"

Another moment passed before Lynn said, "Sure. Go ahead. They... they're fresh."

She limped over to a nearby table and leaned against it to take some of the pressure off of her leg. Lynn had been considering just how she was going to escape this predicament, but hadn't considered such a menagerie of oddballs. Still, the Infected outside were dead, so things were looking up.

"Friend of yours?" she asked Paul, motioning with her head towards the guy that had come in through the back.


SURVIVORS
Blythe's Convenience, Chicago, Illinois

A few hours had passed since the demise of Teddy. The street just outside Blythe's Convenience was again quiet, and the only sign of life were the crows picking away at the charred remains of the Infected that had succumbed to Charlie's Molotov. The fires had long since died away, but the smell of burning flesh lingered, an acrid scent that hung in the air despite the gentle breeze that carried with it the coolness of the nearby lake.

Down the road a figure approached.

Rachel Persson had, before the outbreak, been a concierge at The Gwen, a luxury hotel in downtown Chicago. When everything went to Hell she had sought refuge in her workplace, hiding as the infection ravaged the city streets and, as a small benefit, enjoying a luxury suite for the first and maybe only time in her life, and now that things had quieted down she was eager to escape to someplace less detrimental to her long-term survival. Not that things had been easy. The Infected were dangerous, but so, too, were other survivors. The reasonably attractive young woman walked with a slight stagger in her step, holding onto her side with a hand that was now red with blood. The injury was not too severe, being more a graze than something immediately fatal, as far as she could tell, but she'd need to find somewhere safe before she could administer any first-aid.

An hour ago two men had attempted to rob her and had threatened her with a handgun, but when the mugging was interrupted by the Infected she had made a break for it and had been caught in the crossfire by a stray bullet. She was lucky, and had managed to escape before more Infected could crawl out of the woodwork, but her luck was just about to run out.

On top of being exhausted, hungry, and injured, Rachel was not alone as something else had now wandered onto the street. The crows picking away at the corpses were the first to notice, squawking in alarm and taking flight in a swirl of black feathers. It was then that Rachel saw what had spooked the birds. Three large and haggard dogs that meandered listlessly, but as they turned to face the lone woman they quickly perked up, baring their bloodied teeth and loosing a croaking growl. One barked, and together the Mutts charged.

Rachel could not outrun the canines. Even if she was healthy doing so would be near impossible for her. Her only option was to barricade herself inside one of the nearby buildings, and the closest to her was Blythe's Convenience. She hurried over and immediately noticed that the windows had been covered by sheets and newspaper, and trying the door found it locked. She tried again, shaking the handle in desperation and banging on the window, crying out, "Is anyone inside? Please help!" The pain in her side flared and her blood was dripping onto the concrete below.

The Mutts were about 100 yards away and were quickly closing the distance.
Last edited by Beiarusia on Tue Jan 25, 2022 5:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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