No Mercy

"Son, we just crossed the street...let's not throw a party till' we're out of the CITY." the chain-smoking war veteran grunted, casually fiddling with his lighter as the hot flame jutted up into the cigarette's moist textures. A fine, ash-tinted smoke rose from its bud, making the veteran's nerves fall back into "relaxation status" as the survivors readied themselves for another gauntlet.

Louis and Zoey, the latter of which had just escaped being ripped apart and mauled by the hulk-like super zombie they'd dubbed the "Tank", were still peering back at the alleyway they had just sprinted down, where both her pistols and his SMG now rested at the bottom of the bank.

Francais, no more unnerved than he was out of ammo, was more interested in the startling, literal "Horde" of zombies slouching around on the other side of the premature safe house they'd reached above the main street. Their nearest safe house was at least two blocks away on foot...

"You guys ever hear about Chicago Ted?" Zoey chimed. Bill silently mutted 'shit' as he realized she was going to try and start up a conversation, turning away as Francais leaned against the building and Louis sat down next to them to listen in.

Zoey was a novel horror fan, from Dracula to Halloween to Freddy vs Jason. She's seen them all, as her parents had initially made her grow up in a very Gothic atmosphere of movies and games. Realizing this would only haunter her young, soon-to-be adolescent mind, they attempted enrolling her in private schools where she, just as they feared, spent her time watching and performing nothing other than horror in her dorm. Now she had a VERY intimate knowledge of all themes, genres, twists, and painfully obviously elements of horror situations. In this case...

"Chicago Ted is a legend that started just a couple of weeks prior to the outbreak in Riverside. The commonly spread line is NO ZOMBIE IS SAFE FROM CHICAGO TED!" the college girl said in a comically-loud tone, hands on her hips and in a manner that made the two men chuckle.

It took only a few minutes of proper explanation for Louis to become hooked. Louis was a disgruntled employee of Dell Computers, a Junior Systems Analyst with a lot of unanswered complaints involving wages, taxes, and naturally, insurance. Every day, his world became this sloppy white puddle of papers, unfulfilled documents, complaints, and things he didn't even want to remember. Day after day, his bosses ignored him, and he was given little back of his life other than the front page every stressful morning. As such, hearing such an exciting tale from the 21-year old college student made him unquestionably giddy and excited to search the entirety of zombie-infested Fairfield and meet this enigmatic, highly-praised "Chicago Ted".

"Hey guys, I've got an idea. LET'S GO LOOK FOR CHICAGO TED!" Louis jumped in cheer.

Zoey, often willing to go off on dangerous exploits herself and understanding Louis's reasoning that having someone as obviously powerful and talented as "Chicago Ted" on their team would make them a force to be reckoned with, agreed. Four people had little chance on their own, but FIVE!?!?!.....they would be disemboweling Tanks, gutting Boomers, and impaling Smokers for the sheer delight of it...

"I'm in." she answered hastily, raising her hand for some odd reason before putting it down.

"FUCK NO." Francais intervened, snapping up his shotgun.

Zoey said sweetly, "Ah, don't get mad Francais-"

"I'M NOT MAD." he replied viciously.

"Yes you are." Bill quickly shot back at him without even turning to meet his angry glare.

"Come on Francais, we all know that you can't stand the thought of being around someone who's actually invincible." said Louis, checking around for any discarded weapons on the rooftop.

Francais was a "rough and tough" biker in every sense of the word. During the first few hours of the infection, he was in a bar with a shotgun while the customers, the other bikers, and even the bartender had either run off to their homes and stockpiled food and supplies (to inevitably get slaughtered by the Horde) or locked themselves up in the bar's basement. But him, no, he felt that no zombie could touch him. He was invincible, and in many ways, showed it off by blasting away "Horde" zombies and even fighting off Hunters with his indomitable confidence.

That, however, was where his weakness lied, Francais happened to be a very talkative person, even if he was being mauled by a Tank he would still continue to spit in its face. Many times, his arrogance had almost gotten them all killed, and his bizarre sense of pride disturbed them all. This was evidenced when he had, during a night they had spent locked up in a movie theater, murmured in his sleep about a "pleasant" time before joining forces when he had gruesomely raped a witch, something that Zoey held him in account for every day afterward.

"You can hug some Witches on our way." she teased him. He merely jabbed her with the butt of his shotgun, a bad move as he rushed to stop her from sliding over the edge of the building. Lifting her onto her stomach and back on the roof, he apologized as she hugged her now bruised red nose.

"Gg...r.r....alright FINE." the biker sighed in a more anguished tone.

"Yay!" Zoey, almost instantly recovered, threw her arms around him for a warm hug. Louis, inclined to join in the jubilation, bear-hugged Zoey, now crushing Francais definitely as he pleaded pleaded for oxygen. They ignored him. That is, until the sound of a lighter clacking against the ground drew their attention. The city was truly dead...

Bill, face contorted with grief and irritation, faced them and yelled, "Are you SHITTING ME!? After ALL THAT hell we JUST went through, and you're telling me I have to DRAG my bleeding ass HALFWAY across the city, AWAY from any mapped safe house, to find some guy we don't even know EXISTS!!?!!!"

Zoey, Louis, and Francais nodded, two out of three of their faces welled up with cute expressions and bright, wet eyes.

But Bill, a trained, mentally-adept war veteran knew how to avoid this. Standing upright in his viridian, old style blazer and pants, he met Louis and Zoey's cartoonishly large eyes with a stern, depressed face.

The same gray-listed eyes that had seen him through America's greatest triumphs, victories, and defeats brought a new level of awe and aspiration from everyone except Francais, his badass "cowboy" attitude unaffected by the war veteran's ice-cold glare. Bill was nevertheless unfaded, even though Francais's moniker began to wither. That was the sincere pleasure of adrenaline, the adrenaline he'd lost and just recently regained as he was unconditionally drafted for the newest and most epic war in history, or as the biker had called it, the "world's biggest bar fight" except without the tabs or the cops. Bill hated to compare himself to that juvenile, ironically-competent harley, but he had to admit, this doom-stricken world had given his won bland, almost non-existent background a sense of liveliness.

"Godammit, motherfucking assmunchers from planet 9...." Bill threw his curses in the air, against any form of rationality, as the three other survivors backed away from him cautiously.

"SHIT!" Louis cried as Zoey's red sweater backed into and pressed against his chest, his eyes went wide as he felt a sudden "plummet" against his spine. Francais, once again, came to the rescue, snatching Louis's arm and almost effortlessly hoisting him up the side of the building again with one arm on him and an automatic shotgun in the other.

"Alright, next time one a' yous' falls, you're going to OBEY the laws of physics. Understand!?" Francais cocked his shotgun menacingly.

Louis and Zoey nodded. But the horror-loving college girl once more felt the need to speak and asked him, "I dropped my pistols in the alleyway when we were climbing. I don't have any weapons or anything to defend myself."

"You could just strip for the zombies you know? It'd work on everything cept' the Wit-" Francais didn't finish the sentence. Zoey slapped him, and as he grinned from the minor pain on his cheek, she backhanded him. But not with normal force, no, the force of the aggravation she felt from his snide remark empowered her arm, giving her the strength to unbalance the mild-mannered biker from his cocky stance and knock him clean off the right side of the building.

"Shit, Francais!" she cried regretfully.

"AAAGH!!!" he yelled back, followed by a series of bangs and thuds, "AAF! OOG!!RRAGAG!!!"

Zoey buried her hands in her eyes, and then performed the same action only the other way round, as Louis and Bill, finished with his string of curses, gazed for any sight of the biker. As she heard the sound of laughter, Zoey peeked out between her fingers to see the misty ground below them, with Francais's limp body still moving far below them, the shotgun still wrenched in his arms.

She then looked toward the point of trajectory upward to see that Francais had, instead of falling all the way, managed to crash on and dent a pair of vent boxes attached to the next building, and then a garbage bin, until finally he landed on an unsuspecting zombie who'd unfortunately been wandering out there alone as if guided by some unseen, unpredictable force.

"Oh thank god..." Zoey exhaled, turning back to Bill, the "leader" of their team, "Bill, any suggestions?"

Without saying a word, the angered war veteran threw his arm behind him, pointing the college girl in the direction of an ammo stockpile and assortment of light weaponry amassed on a raised platform. She grabbed a pair of pistols, something she felt was almost "trademark" to her fighting style, shoving them into her sweater's pockets, not the least bit concerned with whether the safety was on or not as all the pistols she'd found earlier came with them already on. Spying an M16, the same model Bill was using, and to great effect, she considered adding it to her repetoire.

"Sorry, Zo, but its time I upgraded." Louis snatched the M16 away from her, smiling as he stuffed the strangely-abandoned Painkillers into his pcoket and strapped the medical kit onto his back. She grimaced, left only with the choice between a Submachine gun and a Pump shotgun.

"Fine, I guess I owe Franc one." Zoey said, clutching the shotgun carefully and loading a few shells into it. She scooped up four handfuls of ammo and a medkit, as did Bill, and took off after the junior analyst. "Wait Louis, I think Francais just found a shortcut..."

"You know Zoe, maybe you're right. If he can do it, so can I." Louis said proudly. Tucking his M16 under his arm, he stepped back a bit and directed himself to where Francais had fallen. Then, he made a starting run, gradually picking up his speed as he reached the leg. His left left leg swiftly ascended, leading him into the jump, and as he caught the most air, he suddenly began to scream. Zoey watched in horror as Louis FLIPPED in midair, he landed on his back against the first vent, but wasn't lucky enough to hit the garbage bin below, falling on top of Francais. The wind properly knocked out of him, Francais struggled to remove Louis but failed, dropping his shotgun-arm in pain.

"Damn you trash-talking, dirt-wearing, square-faced, yellow-bellied pansies." came the starfish comments of Bill, M16 in a more "ready" position than Louis's.

He repeated Louis's initial jump, with a greater momentum built up as he moved farther back and had holstered his weapon. He flew through the air, and indeed he had gained both more air and movement than either the analyst or the biker, but unfortunately, went too far, smashing miserable into the brick surface of the next building. Grunting, he slid, bricks running up and down his back as though he was receiving a spongebath, and his temples collided with the hard metal surface of the vent below. In a slow motion, his head bent and the rest of his body flipped upright, dragging him off the vent and finally dropping him onto the garbage can, the force of his and the previous falls breaking through it and depositing the extinguished veteran in a hill of trash and waste.

Zoey stumbled backwards, taking up her pistols and edging towards the nearby doorway that led into the obliterated apartment complex below. Whistling, she emptied her first clip into a battalion of undead awaiting her right behind the door in a quantity that would have made Alan Seeger cut himself repeatedly.






"This is gonna be a long night." Bill moaned, rolling off of Francais and Louis.



No Mercy

Zoey, as The Unkillable, Dim-Witted Female Protagonist.

Francais, as the Unusually Competent Bastard.

Louis, as the Young-Spirited, Pointman.

Bill, as the Wise, Bitter Old Man.