[A/N: Sorry for the long upload guys; I just never had the time to look on this. Guess Valve time affects everyone, eh?]

Ellis had a Combat Rifle equipped with an additional laser sight.

Nick had a military standard Semi Automatic Sniper Rifle.

Rochelle had an AK-47 rifle.

Coach had a Full Auto Tactical Shotgun.

Gordon on the other hand, had this... strange, futuristic looking gun. It bore a gleaming black metal that shined under the moonlight; Undistinguishable characters written on the side. Gordon held it up to his shoulder, aiming it like a rifle.

"They're almost here guys. Get ready." Rochelle said to the others.

When the first few infected appeared from the corner, Nick peered into his rifle's scope and fired.





Four infected down in matter of seven seconds. The others arrived right behind them, snarling. Ellis and Rochelle cleared off the next few that appeared. Behind them, some infected appeared out of the buildings and alleyways.

"Pipe bomb." said Ellis to Gordon, brandishing a homemade explosive made solely out of PVC pipe, black powder, and the remnants of a smoke alarm. "Beeping attracts them. They swarm these things like flies to horse shit." He then took a lighter out of his right pocket and ignited the fuse. He threw it to a nearby alleyway; the pipe bomb bounced around and disappeared around the corner. Infected appeared from inside one of the buildings and chased it round the corner; some came from behind them, rushing out and ignoring the survivors. As they passed by, their faces were torn in a snarl, sort of in a way saying to the survivors, "You're next."

The pipe bomb exploded, sending several torn limbs and blood flying in the air and landing near the survivors. One object even landed on Nick's shoulder.

It was a human nose.

"SHIT! THAT IS NOT FUNNY!" he screamed brushing the human nose off his shoulder.

The three other survivors laughed; meanwhile, Gordon was dumbstruck, clearly not seeing the drastic change in Nick's persona. The laughter came to a halt as more footsteps were heard coming from an alleyway.

"I'll take care of this one." said Gordon, with a sly look on his face. He raised his weird looking rifle up to his shoulder, and fired.

A peculiar looking object appeared out of the muzzle of his "gun". It had the appearance of a spherical object. Inside it were swirling colors of blue, black, and a white core; a truly peculiar thing. It bounced around the alleyway at extremely high velocities. Whenever it touched one of the infected, the infected would drift slowly in the air and turned slowly to black and disappearing altogether. Gordon managed to clear off all the infected in that alleyway with that one attack. Everyone was awe struck, their mouths agape with shock.

Finally Ellis spoke out. "Whoa. What did you just do to them Gordon?"

"It's a pulse rifle, and the thing you just saw obliterate those things was a Dark Energy orb. This pulse rifle has a secondary fire mode that enables it to launch a ball of pure dark energy that will disintegrate anything living thing in its path."

"I have no idea what you just said." Nick remarked.

"Dark energy..." Rochelle's voice trailed off.

Nick raised a brow in her direction.

"I interviewed a renowned physicist once, Dr. Sheila Connor, who was theorizing about Dark energy."

"She said that it was a form of energy that naturally permeates all of space throughout the universe, and on large scales it opposes the force of gravity as it has strong negative pressure."

Everyone stared at her.

"She also mentioned that Human cosmologists hypothesized the existence of dark energy with negative pressure to explain the accelerating expansion of the universe, and it was calculated that 70% or more of the universe consisted of dark energy. The nature of this energy was unknown and it could not be directly detected, hence the name 'dark energy'."

"Impressive." Gordon said.

"Yeah, well...I'm a Reporter, Y'know?"

Gordon explained, "You see, A this pulse-rifle can also be loaded with dark energy cores to give the weapon a grenade-like alternate fire mode that launches a dark energy ball. When such a concentrated blast of exotic matter passes through a human-sized life form, the target is instantly killed. Furthermore, the victim's mass is cancelled out by the negative energy, causing the corpse to start floating in defiance of gravity a moment before it dissolves as a result of molecular disintegration."

"So that's what happened to 'those zombies back there in the alleyway. No corpse, nuthin."

"It's amazing how you managed to make Ellis understand all of this, Rochelle." Nick chimed, receiving a nasty look from Ellis. "Okay, Time for science is over. Let's get moving people."

"The mysteries of the universe are lost on that man." Rochelle muttered, shaking her head.

After checking themselves for any wounds, they continued walking. Thirteen minutes in, they had managed to get halfway through the town. They arrived at the entrance of a ruined park. The road in front of it was packed with rubble from an adjacent building, so no way through there. They decided to check out the entrance.

"Whelp, looks like it's locked. Any ideas guys?" said Ellis, looking hopefully at his companions.

"I'll give it a go." said Gordon, whipping out his red crowbar. He hacked the padlock a couple of times and the lock came off successfully.

When everyone had stepped inside the park, Ellis shut the gate. The park was a few inches below street level. The first thing they saw when they had reached a clearing was a ruined water fountain. The fountain itself was still working, streaming jets of water out onto the ground. However, the magnificent marble structure that it was once was now destroyed.

"Watch where you step." said Nick.

"Hey guys, we should really fill up our water bottles in the fountain." Coach said. "It still looks pretty clean; looks like the water system in this town is still working."

As they took turns filling up their canteens, Ellis heard a familiar and foreboding sound emanating from the area they had just came from.

"Hey anybody coughin'?" asked Ellis nervously to the others, his hands shaking. Everyone shook their heads. That could only mean one thing...

And with that, a tongue lashed out from out of the darkness and wrapped itself around Ellis' body. It dragged him kicking and screaming back into the abyss.

"What the-" was the only words Ellis managed to utter before he was dragged, kicking and screaming, back into the darkness.

"Ellis!" everyone chimed. The remaining four survivors ran as fast as their feet could take them towards him. Gordon and Coach managed to grab hold of Ellis by his shoulders and began a frantic tug-of-war between them and the Smoker. While the Smoker was occupied, Nick took a bloody fire axe, and with one mighty swing, cut the tongue. A scream of agony came from the Smoker. It was hardly a scream actually, since the mutation it has undergone had a drastic effect on its vocal cords. To be fair, it was like a distorted 'ack!'. One part of the tongue was still wrapped around Ellis, while the other one was slowly making its way back into the Smoker's tongue.

"Oh no you don't." Rochelle muttered to herself as she swung her Kalashnikov around and caught it reflexively. She let out a hail of gunfire on the Smoker, emptying an entire magazine in the process. The Smoker must have been already dead halfway through the mag.

As the others helped Ellis back on his feet, Nick had a sly grin on his face for no apparent reason.

"Are you okay, because that's what, the 12th time you've been dragged this week? That's a new record even for you Ellis."

"Very funny, Nick." Ellis muttered. "And I'm okay, thanks for asking."

Honestly, Ellis was not okay. He was tired, he was sure he had broken or bruised some of his ribs, and he was in a real need for a cup of coffee right about now. That reminded him...

"Hey 'Ro, could you hand me the Thermos?" Rochelle gave him a silver flask that they had filled up earlier before they left the safe house.

Ellis took the cup of and began to take careful sips. The water was still hot but it was just what he needed out there in the cold, dark embrace of the night. The Survivors usually took had hot water with them when they traveled because water they had found and collected had to be boiled to get rid of all the harmful stuff in it. Sometimes, when they get lucky, they would each bring a cup of instant noodles and eat them along the way. It was okay to keep the stomach quiet, but a cup of rich caffeine would surely not have hurt. The problem was, they never had a packet of instant coffee with them to fill the entire flask. So this would have to do Ellis thought.

Once they had cleared the park of supplies, they headed outside and sealed the gate behind them. They had entered a small road district that had barricaded doors and boarded up windows. One shop, on the other hand, had a boarded up door with the glass window smashed that gave them a welcome invitation. Plus, the thing had its inner lights on, so it probably had a generator inside. Now this was all fine and dandy to Ellis, but what made it even better was-

"Holy shit guys, a 7-Eleven!" Ellis screamed with excitement he only felt on those special occasions.

"LOOTING SPREE!" Nick yelled, rushing through the shattered glass window and grabbing each and every item he could get a hold of. Coach followed enthusiastically.

What the hell, thought Rochelle. It was near impossible to ever see a building with functional lights nowadays. Let alone a fully operational convenience store. "I call dibs on the counter knick-knacks!" she screamed, running after the two like a giddy schoolgirl. God, she thought. It was a long time since she had ever been so happy. Once was at the carnival, but that's another story altogether...

Ellis headed straight towards his first target; A coffee machine. He poured himself a cup and filled up his own flask. He plopped down in a nearby chair and tried to put is mind at ease.

"Freeman, catch!" Nick cried out, throwing a bag of chips into the air; which promptly landed unharmed in front of Gordon's Zero Point Energy Field Manipulator.

"Nice job Freeman. But let's see how well you are backhand!" He threw a bag of pretzels at him, which he caught once again.

"Man. This is one fine looking cheeseburger." Coach said, gazing lovingly into a large Cheeseburger he re-heated in a microwave oven nearby.

Now, while all the boys were having fun at the back, Rochelle was checking out the front. As large part of it was destroyed. Mostly the counter, but everything was all fine there. She rummaged around, hoping to find some essential supplies for future rainy days. Maybe some soap or shampoo, a toothbrush, or even some breath mints.

Being a newscaster, she had put cleanliness and well being into the top of her list of things to do every morning. It was essential when doing live interviews and news coverage. No sense of good grooming now. Still, taking a shower every once in a while calmed her; Made her relax, Made her feel human again in this apocalyptic world of the undead. She looked down behind the counter; Nothing. Easing her eyes slowly to the right revealed a bloody human hand that was connected to a body that lay underneath a chunk of concrete.

Now this would not strike her as strange any more than finding a body in the roads and sidewalks, but this was different. As she surveyed the body, she had an epiphany; as if two wires connected themselves in her mind. The broken in glass window, the destroyed counter, and the mangled corpse under a concrete slab…

Only one thing could create destruction of that magnitude...

"Oh no." Rochelle muttered.

"What?" said Gordon, appearing behind a very stunned Rochelle. Once his eyes met to what she was looking at, he grew uneasy. "Ooh… Is that bad?"

"Gordon, take a mental note; things like this aren't always a good omen."

As if on cue, the street was filled with a loud roar and distant thundering footsteps. The sound of cars being flung into the air by humongous fists awoke them out of their stupor.

"Guys, I think we need to go." Rochelle said to her group, without taking her eyes of the slab in front of her.

Ellis took point, immediately finding a doorway and ushering them into an adjacent alley.

As soon as all of them got out, Gordon slammed the door shut and proceeded to blockade it with nearby trashcans and a broken table.

"GORDON! Those things won't stop a Tank! Let's go NOW!" Rochelle screamed, dragging Gordon by his shoulders and pushing him near the others.

As soon as they got halfway out the alley, another roar erupted from the building they just came from. Succeeding it was a mighty punch. The door and the barricade was littered out into the alley and a Tank stepped out of the doorway. It got itself stuck in the narrow doorway long enough for the Survivors to be alerted of its presence.

"TANK!" The four Survivors screamed in unison.

Everyone started running away and shooting frantically. The Tank was closing in on them just as they piled out onto the Main Street. Cars were littered literally everywhere. Some even stuck inside walls of nearby buildings. Luckily, none seem to have active alarms.

As the beast itself toppled onto the street, it gave a deafening roar while raising both its humongous arms in the air like some undead gorilla.

Gordon smirked; it seemed like an undead, homicidal version of D0g.

The Survivors took it as a chance to widen the gap even more, running frantically away. It was difficult to do so, since they had to constantly hop over upturned cars and even some burning ones.

Once they had reached at least a few hundred meters, all five of them proceeded to hide behind separate upturned vehicles while unleashing hell upon the Tank. Slowly, the Tank approached. Flinching their and here from the hailstorm of lead, but still approaching. It was obvious that it was getting mad. It punched a nearby taxi with such strength, that it went flying above them and landed some distance behind them. It continued to do this to remove any obstacles barring its path. Meanwhile, Ellis saw something familiar in a nearby store.

"Hey Gordon, Keep that thing busy for me, will ya? I'm just gonna get somethin'." Ellis said, darting across the street and into another broken in window.

"Keep it busy? I'm a Theoretical Physicist. I don't keep things busy!" he yelled back. Although on aside note, he was really good at obeying commands; as fighting with the Resistance showed him.

The Tank was closing in on them. And with a punch, it smacked a sedan towards Rochelle and Nick's direction. It spun in the air long enough for Gordon to sprint over to them and take out his Gravity Gun that they had seen earlier. He pointed the device in the car's direction and pressed the trigger.

The gun unleashed an orange blast of energy that punted the sedan back a couple of feet. The Tank resumed its attack; punting another car in their way.

"Guys, Look. I've found some gas cans and a-" Ellis was cut off by a car landing only inches in front of him.

"Aaagh!" he screamed, jumping into the air a couple of feet. Once he had regained himself, he quickly sprinted back to the others and handed each of them a gas can. They threw these near the Tank and ignited them with a Molotov cocktail.

The Tank was aflame; A horrible towering inferno to describe in detail. It was slowing down quite a bit. The Survivors took notice of this and blasted the remaining life out of the Tank with everything they've got. As Gordon slumped down near Ellis to reload, Ellis noticed the strange looking claw he had seen only a few hours ago on their first initial encounter.

"Hey Gordon, what's that thing do?" Ellis asked, gazing at the makeshift device lying next to him.

"This." Gordon said, Picking up said device and pointing it at a Propane tank Ellis had gotten. He pressed a trigger and instantly the propane tank hovered in front of the gun. He lifted it up, aimed it at the monster and fired. The Propane Tank was punted through the air by the device and hit the Tank square in its chest and exploded on impact. The Tank stumbled back a couple of feet, roared, and collapsed.

It took them a few seconds to regain themselves and another few more to inspect the Tank's corpse.

"It's dead." Coach muttered.

"I think we need to find a safe house, now. Sun's going to come up in a few hours." Nick announced.

As a reply, somewhere near them came the sound of wailing and sobbing…

[A/N: Well, there's another chapter. Again, forgive me for the time lapses; I'm gonna put up another chapter soon!]