Note to readers: This story has been written for those familiar with the back story and workings of Dead Frontier. I wrote it nearly two and a half years ago, so there are probably countless errors in it. I will not be updating or continuing the story. Reviews are greatly appreciated. If you wish to learn more, you can check the dead frontier wikia.
Scott Heimann hadn't got a good night sleep since, well, before. Before this nightmare that no one woke up from. Before, when the world made sense and this kind of thing only happened in cheesy Sci-Fi movies. "Lot of good it's doing you, talking to yourself." He thought. He turned his face away from the dying fire, and tried, fruitlessly to sleep. Again and again, the events from the past year pushed the weariness from his limbs, filling them with a need to move, to run, to hide. He closed his eyes, and tried to shut himself away from the world. A world so screwed up that God himself gave up on it.
Chapter 1: Chaos
Morning broke. Scott got up, muscles aching. "What I would pay to just sleep in a clean bed for one night." he thought. Even then, he doubted that he would ever sleep as good as before the outbreak. Getting chased by ravenous zombies through the dark made for some crazy nightmares. He had spent the past few months picking his way across the country, searching for a pocket of humanity. But so far, his efforts had been largely unsuccessful. The best that he had found so far was three groups of looters, each of whom had tried to kill him. He wondered if he was the only sane person left in the world. You are alone… A cold, dark voice inside his chest whispered. You're the only one left… everyone else is… gone… dead…. One of them….
"No!" Scott yelled, pushing away the thoughts. "There has to be someone else, at least one person, even if only one…" He trailed off, and shook his head. "There has to be. I survived, someone else had to." Seeing that he was just lying there, he cursed and got up, stretched, and began tearing down the barricaded door that separated him from the rest of the world. He finished, gathered his meager supplies, and walked outside. Fresh air felt nice in his lungs, the damp, musty scent of indoors was already gone. He quickly scanned his surroundings, and, seeing nothing, began picking his way down the street.
After a few minutes of walking, he encountered his first infected of the day. It was normal; its flesh was riddled with wounds from past encounters with humans, and from just the effect of walking around all day, every day for the past year. But appearances are deceiving. Beneath the rot lies a strength that far exceeds any average human. Scott walked up to it, calmly unsheathing his machete, not wanting to draw a lot of attention just yet. It turned, and a loud moan came from its ruined mouth. It shuffled towards him, eyes lighting up in anticipation. "Not today, pal." With one heavy swing, Scott chopped into its neck. A gurgling sigh came from the beast as it slumped to the ground. Scott smiled, and then stomped on its neck, breaking it like a wet branch.
Before the outbreak, he would have probably of screamed and run away, but the past year had hardened him into a lethal killing machine. It was destroy or be destroyed world nowadays, and he was not planning on dying any time soon. Sheathing his weapon, he continued down the street. Nothing else eventful happened that day, aside from the killing of numerous more infected.
Seeing that there was only about another hour of sunlight left, Scott made his way towards a sturdy looking pawn shop. Walking in the empty doorway, I scanned the room for anything to barricade the door with. Seeing a sofa, he shut the door and shoved it in front of the wooden door. The dull thump told him that it would hold, its wood was still relatively strong. Scott walked behind the counter; the heavy grating would stop any zombie from getting in. He took a couple of chairs setting behind a desk in the back and shoved them under the handle of the door leading into his little sanctuary. Kicking away debris that littered the floor, he laid my sleeping mat and other supplies down. Only then did he hear the shuffling, the light brush of bare feet against carpet. He slowly turned, and even though he saw it, his brain refused to believe it. Standing just a few feet away, watching him, was a six foot four irradiated infected.
"Jesus…" was all that came out of his mouth before the thing emitted a deep roar, the sound splitting his eardrums. It leapt at him, too fast to see, as Scott reached for his gun. It was too fast.
Chapter 2: The Dead House
The mutant crashed into Scott, sending his body flying into the metal grating of the cashier's table. The screen bent inward by the fore of his weight, and he tumbled to the ground. Instinctively, Scott rolled to the right, determined that, even if he was going to die, he wasn't going down easily. A huge green fist smashed into the ground where he was moments before, shattering the floorboards below the soft carpet. Scott lashed out with his foot, kicking the monstrous elbow. He heard an audible crack, but was unsure if it was the thing's arm, or his own leg, it had felt like he had kicked a limestone fence post. The zombie roared again, raising its hands high above its head, clasping them together. Scott pulled himself out of the way just in time; the beast's fists came down like a sledgehammer, crushing the cashier's desk. Scott jumped up and threw his shoulder into the infected monster's chest, knocking it off balance. He quickly reached for his gun, but found that it was not there. It had fallen out of his side holster in the struggle, and he spotted it lying a few feet away from him.
Scott started towards it, but a massive weight slammed into him, knocking him to the floor. The infected pressed its enormous forearm into Scott's throat, cutting off air from his lungs. Madly flailing, Scott desperately attempted to throw it off. Only then did he remember his knife. Scott reached into his boot and, clasping the handle of the large bowie knife, pulled it out. Flipping it around his hand, He slammed it as hard as he could into the base of the creature's neck. The blade sunk deep into the monster's neck, all the way to the handle. The beast roared in agony, loosening its grip. Bring his leg up; Scott shoved the zombie off of himself. He crawled over to his discarded sidearm, desperate to reach it before the zombie recovered. Reaching it, he cocked the hammer back on the revolver and turned. The infected was just getting to its feet when he pounded two heavy .44 caliber rounds into its chest. Scott squeezed the trigger again, this time aiming for the zombie's knee. It found its mark, and the green infected zombie's leg buckled, sending it sprawling to the ground. Scott calmly walked up to the writhing, screaming mass and fired again, point blank, into the forehead of the monstrosity. Its head jerked back, a red mist of brains squirting out the sides. The beast let out one long, last breath, and was still.
Scott stood there for a few moments, sweat pouring down his face, staring at it. He was unable to comprehend how this thing used to be a person. Pulling his knife out of its neck, he spotted another knife it its back, one that he had not seen in the struggle. I tried to pull it out, and it wouldn't budge. Yanking on it with all my might, it came free with a sickening sucking sound. It was a huge, 12" hunting knife. The blade was rather skinny the base, but widened considerably at the tip, giving it a strange, lopsided appearance. "People used to use these things when bear hunting." Scott said to himself. He then realized that he wasn't the first person to encounter this monster, and whoever this belonged to before had probably not been as lucky as him. A faint moaning sound caught his attention, growing louder, with many, many more joining in. With a start, he remembered the loud roar, the sharp cracks of gunfire. Scott quickly gathered his supplies as the chorus of moans became louder, more insistent. From the sound of it, hundreds of the infected were coming, and he was on the menu.
Chapter 3: Flight from the Dark
As quickly and as quietly as he could, Scott grabbed all of his supplies, and tore out of the pawnshop. The scene in front of him was one of utter madness. Hundreds of infected zombies were pouring out of buildings, alleyways, and any other conceivable object, from all directions. Countless scores of the infected, in their lust to get to him first, were leaping out of the different levels of buildings, smacking wetly against the pavement, some getting up, some lying still. Quickly choosing the direction with the least amount of zombies, Scott sprinted towards an abandoned insurance firm building; a picture of a smiling man giving him a thumbs up sign was barely hanging to its side. Scott nearly ran into a group of the shambling undead as he ran inside. Seeing that there were too many to deal with, in too small a space, Scott ran back into the street.
The moaning horde was closing in, fast. Spinning into the alleyway adjacent to the insurance building, Scott spotted a fire escape dangling a few feet above him. Leaping up with all his might, Scott grabbed the second to last rung of the ladder, and attempted to pull himself up. His blood ran cold when he felt a decaying hand grip his boot. Kicking like a man possessed, He shook it off, and climbed into the lowest basket of the fire escape, trying to calm his beating heart, and get his breathing under control. He glanced into the window next to him and saw an infected trying in vain to eat him through the glass. Scott quickly got to his feet, and proceeded to climb up the stairs as fast as possible. When he reached the third story, he saw for infected walking down the fire escape, towards him. Quickly pulling out his revolver, he took aim at the nearest zombies head. Its head nearly exploded with the force of the bullet penetrating its skull. Scott Aimed at the second, and it likewise fell. Taking aim yet again, he squeezed the trigger and *click* was all he heard. He had forgotten to reload.
Desperately holstering it, he pulled out the new knife he had obtained from the green zombie. The closest infected, a skinny female, was much faster than the other, got to him first. Scott swiped the knife, and it cut deep into her neck. It stumbled for a moment, and Scott used this to his advantage. He grabbed the zombie by the shoulder, spun it around, and jammed the blade into the back of its neck, severing its spinal cord. This one taken care of, Scott moved up the stairs towards the last of the monsters, a huge, heavyset man. Scott could not take this one down like the other one, it had a height advantage on him, and its ample belly was too large for him to get close enough to its head without risking a bite. Frustrated, Scott lashed out at its chest, the knife cutting through it like a knife through warm butter. He hacked at it again, this time targeting the fat of its stomach. He cut through it, but cold intestines poured out of the wound onto Scotts hands. Leaping back, he tripped and fell down the few stairs leading up the side of the building. The infected, obviously seeing its chance, attempted to jump on him. It came short however, and it too, fell.
Scott, being more coordinated, was the first to get up. He would have dispatched the zombie then and there, but he had dropped his new knife in the fight, and was in too enclosed a space to use his machete. The infected was getting to its feet when Scott made his move. Before it could get its balance, Scott shoved the rotting corpse of a man over the railing. The zombie fell three stories before it hit the ground, a sickening crunch was the last sound it made. When Scott looked over the rail, he saw the large mob of the infected growing, all clustered around the fire escape that he had used to get away.
Knowing that it would take them only moments to find a way to get on it, for there were windows attached to every level of the staircase, Scott retrieved his fallen knife, and quickly sprinted up the last flights of stairs to the roof. There was only a small door and the escape leading to the roof, so he was relatively safe for the moment. Searching for a way off the building, Scott saw none. Two sides of the roof faced streets, while the other two led to taller building, so he couldn't jump to another roof.
Jogging over to the door, Scott heard desperate pounding, a sure sign of zombies trying to get to him. Not knowing what else to do, Scott reloaded his revolver, sadly seeing that he only had a few rounds left. The bangs on the aluminum door were growing louder, and more insistent. Not only that, but he heard the thumping of feet running up the fire escape. Fear slowly rose in Scott's chest, threatening to overcome him. Suddenly, he had idea. "Screw it" He thought, and leapt off the roof towards a window of the building adjacent to it. Time seemed to slow down as he neared his target; an overwhelming sense of exhilaration going through him, then was replaced with utter panic as he smashed into the window. Scott's left shoulder hit the wall next to the window, sending him spinning into the room in a mix of shattered glass, blood, and curses. Scott's head slammed into the ground and his vision flashed red and white. The last thought that crossed his mind was "What the hell was I thinking?" as the world slowly faded to darkness.
Chapter 4: Others
Scot slowly regained consciousness in pain. There were small, sharp pains from his head to his feet, and a more insistent one in his shoulder. Groaning, he tried to sit up, but the throbbing in his arm took his breath away. He turned his head to look, and as he did, he noticed that he was lying in a small pool of his own blood. Horror covered him, and Scott quickly scooted away from where he was lying a few moments ago. To his relief, the puddle was not a big as he had first thought, but it was still big enough to make him worry. Then his attention was turned back to his shoulder, which he painfully remembered had hit the wall on his jump. It was burning with shooting pain s down his arm. He tried to move it and found that he could not; each time he tried only intensified the sensations. Only then did he see that it was out of place, it was either dislocated or broken, Scott hoped the prior. Bracing himself, he forcefully shoved it upwards and brought his shoulder down. An audible crack and a quick, unbearable pain exploded, and then quickly died away to relief. The fire died down to a dull ache, and Scott began picking the glass shards out of his back and legs, hoping that he could get them all.
After several minutes, Scott realized that he was alone, not being horribly devoured by countless infected that had raced upon him while he was unconscious. He quickly scanned the room, and saw why. The apartment room that he had jumped into had its door heavily barricaded, wooden planks and every other movable piece of furniture was stacked up, stopping anything from coming in. Scott then saw the original owner, slumped down, brains painted against the wall behind him. He had apparently lost all hope, and in desperation, shot himself with the hunting shotgun lying in his lap. Scott walked over to the corpse and picked up the shotgun, then patted the dead man on the arm. "Thanks buddy, that's two I owe you." He said out loud. He grabbed the two boxes of shells that were next to him, one full, and the other almost empty. Deciding that standing there would do him no good, Scott began tearing down the barricade.
After he had done that, Scott cautiously walked down the hall, shotgun in hand. He walked down two flights of stairs when he began hearing voices.
"From the looks of it, he'll be up a few floors higher." Said one.
"Crazy bastard must of panicked." Said another.
"Anyway, he might still be alive, so hurry up!" Said the first one again.
Scott almost ran down to meet them, but memories of raiders that he had encountered before made him stop. Where these men trying to help him, or just take his supplies? Scott decided that he wanted, no, needed help, and that if there was a possibility they might kill him, so be it. He quickly stepped down the stairs and was about to walk through a doorway where he thought he had heard the voices when the air around him exploded with machine gun fire. Scott rolled out of the way as the wall behind him burst into woodchips from the force of the bullets.
"Stop shooting!" Scott yelled.
"Huh?" came the reply. "Who's there? Show yourself!"
"I'll come out if you won't shoot." Replied Scott"
"Alright, but keep your hands where we can see them. One wrong move and your dead."
Scott tossed the shotgun out from his cover, and walked out with his hands on his head. Two men walked up to him, guns raised.
"You that guy that decided that he could fly?" Asked the first man, dressed all in black.
"That's me." Scott said with a shaky laugh.
"You could have killed yourself. What happened?" The man in black asked.
Scott told them of his encounter with the green zombie, and how the horde had appeared moments later. Then of his flight to the roof, and his decision to jump.
"Well, just living this long is enough to say that you aren't completely helpless, so you can stick around for a while." Said the man. "My name's Slayer, and this is Bleach." Slayer said, holding out his hand.
"Scott Heimann." Scott replied. But wondered "Slayer? Bleach? What kind of names are those?"
"We'd better move out." Beach said "That gunfire is bound to attract some attention."
Scott picked up his shotgun, and walked down the hallway with little group that he had found himself in, and his spirits soared. Things were looking bright for the first time in a long time.
Chapter 5: Bloodbath
Slayer, Bleach, and Scott walked out of the now deserted apartment and into the street. Surprisingly, no zombies remained; all had either wandered off, or had been killed when Slayer and Bleach had entered. Seeing this, Scott asked them:
"How long was it before you got in?"
"I'd say about half an hour." Bleach said. It took a while for the horde to move on, and we got impatient with the remaining infected, but they didn't pose much of a problem. Slayer took care of them."
Scott noted the large, impressive looking sniper rifle on his back. The words "The Jackal" were stenciled in on the barrel.
They walked in silence for a while; Scott realized that he was following them. They at least seemed to know where they were going. Scott had headed to Fairview after he had heard over a CB radio that there was some kind of "Outpost" in the western half of the city. Scott discarded this at first, thinking that it was just another guy in his basement messing around. But the thought had lingered in his mind until he decided to see if it was real or not. Wanting to find out for sure, Scott questioned:
"So, There is supposed to be some kind of survivor camp in the city, you guys know anything about it?"
Bleach and Slayer stopped to turn and stare at him, open mouthed.
"You don't know the outpost?" Bleach finally asked.
Scott shook his head."Man, you've been missing out. You haven't ever been there or anything?" Slayer asked.
Feeling stupider by the second, Scott again shook his head.
"We'll show you the way, just keep following us." Slayer said, and turned to continue on.
Scott decided to just keep his mouth shut for a while, and walked after them. "So there is an outpost, and there has to be more people there!" He thought to himself. Scott almost bumped into Slayer, who had kneeled down, and was taking aim at a distant figure. Scott waited to she if he could hit such a far away target. The rifle made a spitting sound, and the figure fell. Impressed, Scott decided that he was happy that he had this guy as a friend. "Well, you might think of them as friends, but they probably don't think of you as one." Scott thought miserably.
"Take cover!" Slayer whispered, and in a blur of movement, rolled behind a burnt out van. Bleach was only a few moments behind, and Scott, the last. Pulling out a sturdy looking machine gun, Bleach asked what they were up against. Scott felt a pang of fear when he heard this. Slayer was an amazing shot with the rifle, Bleach had a .50 cal machine gun that could tear a guy in half with one shot, and they were taking cover?
"There is a large group up ahead, I'd say about twenty strong." Slayer explained.
"What kind?" Bleach asked."Mostly longarms, a few other reds." Slayer said.
Scott didn't know what "longarms" or "reds" meant, but when he peeked out from their cover, he knew. There were several zombies coming towards them, their movements more fluid than the regular infected, and they were faster, much faster. The thing that was most impressive about them, though, was their extremely long arms. Even when they were bent, they were nearly touching the ground. They looked like if you took a seven-foot tall guy and doubled the length of his arms, then put enough muscle to shame a gorilla on them, you got a longarm.
"What's the plan?" Scott asked.
"See if they will pass by." Bleach said.
But it was too late for that. The wind picked up ever so slightly, and twenty-some heads simultaneously turned towards them. Slowly, they started to speed up, until they were jogging. Bleach got up, and sent a storm of lead towards them. The impact of the bullets was tremendous. Blood and flesh flew everywhere; some fell, but most just seemed to be hampered a little by the furious assault on them. Many of their heads started exploding for some reason, and Scott strongly suspected that Slayer was responsible.
"Don't just stand there!" yelled bleach over the roar of his gun. "Start shooting you moron!"
Scott quickly pulled out the shotgun, and blasted a few shells towards them. The impacts seemed to slow them down more than hurt them, so he pulled out his .45. Aiming for the head, Scott squeezed the trigger, and to his satisfaction, one zombie fell and did not move. They had killed about three fourths of the infected before the moans were heard. With a start, Scott remembered the episode on the roof, and turned around to make sure that there was a means of quick escape. There was none. Infected began pouring out of the buildings behind the first group, most of them being immediately mowed down by the gunfire.
"In the building!" Slayer shouted a command.
They sprinted into a restaurant; any infected in their way was immediately destroyed. They took cover behind one of the counters, and began moving tables in front of them, making a "wall" The angry moans of the infected growing louder every second.
Chapter 6: Rescue
Scott had thought that what he had gone through a few hours before this was the worst the world had to offer. He was wrong. Thousands of the infected were attempting to force their way through the doorway, and a few of the larger windows. A pile of bodies was forming in the few feet in front of the main doorway, as each infected walked through it was instantly cut down. But they just kept coming. Over the roar of the gunfire, moans, and insistent pounding of the infected against the walls, came the ominous clicking of an empty clip.
"Shit..." Bleach cursed, and quickly rummaged around his pack for another string of bullets.
"Hurry up!" Scott shouted, as the tide of zombies swelled past the front of the doorway, and into the building.
The amount of zombies outside was amazing, it seemed as if every singly infected in the world was coming for them. Scott picked up his fallen shotgun and pounded several rounds into the wall of bodies, sending most of them sprawling. With a yell, Bleach finished reloading his large machinegun, and launched a furious assault on the oncoming horde. Scott saw Slayer speaking quickly into a green radio, then switched it off, and pulled a funny looking gun. It looked like an AK-47 with the back end chopped off, and the front end shortened. Scott reloaded his shotgun, certain that this would be their "last stand". Slayer began firing upon the horde, and with each shot of the gun, at least one, if not two, infected fell. Scott watched in awe as the gun tore through everything it was aimed at, and on top of it all, the kick was so powerful that Slayer seemed to have a hard time keeping it aimed straight. This was especially impressive, because Slayer had no problem with his rifle's kick, which was bound to be very strong.
"Stop staring, start shooting!" Bleach yelled.
Startled, Scott realized he had not fired a shot in nearly a minute. He aimed and fired, felt entirely insignificant, standing next to two death machines. With the infected pushed out of the doorways, Slayer raised his hand.
"On my mark!" he commanded, and pulled a "pineapple" fragmentation grenade out of his coat. He pulled the pin, lobbed it into the center of the sea of bodies. With a deafening explosion, the grenade detonated, sending bodies, limbs, and all other things in the blast zone, flying in every direction. The shockwave knocked everyone, including Slayer, Bleach, and Scott, to the ground. They were up in an instant, though, and they sprinted through the doorway, and into the street. The zombies, less coordinated as they were, were just getting to their feet, when bright headlights streamed across the blackness of night. Two trucks, armed with snowplows and .50 cal turrets, raced towards the three survivors, and screeched to a halt next to them.
"Get in!" The driver shouted, although this statement was completely unnecessary. The group climbed into the closest truck's bed, and began firing. The truck carrying them pulled away, while the other stayed behind to cover them. Scott saw that Bleach and Slayer were staring at him, thoughtfulness lining their faces.
"So you don't know about the outpost..." Bleach asked.
This was especially confusing to Scott, who expected them all to be talking about how lucky they were to be alive. Bleach and Slayer didn't seem to be fazed though.
"No," Scott said, "Where is it?"
"Its in the western portion of the city, in about the middle." Slayer answered. "That's where were headed. If there is an extra bed in the hospital, we'll see if they can do anything about your back."
Scott had completely forgotten about the glass cuts he had gotten while jumping through the window in his escape.
"What else is in the outpost? Is there food I can buy? I'm getting tired of candy bars and canned soup..." Scott asked hopefully.
"If you've got the money, there is anything that was in the old world. We're almost there." Slayer said.
The truck reached the top of a hill, revealing a large "clean" area below them with high walls, and all sorts of movement going on inside them.
"Welcome to Naysticias Holdout." Bleach said with a smile.
Chapter 7: The Outpost
The outpost was better than Scott had ever hoped. It had fresh water, food, and best of all, live people. Bleach and Scott had gotten off while Slayer had stayed behind, saying.
"I gotta see these trucks back where they belong, or some asshole will try and steal another one."
Bleach lead Scott through the outpost, explaining each different area, the marketplace, the yard, etc. When they finished their little tour, Bleach left, saying "You might want to get some more ammo for that shotgun." And he walked back into the crowd. Scott used his memory to make his way to the marketplace, which was a really bad name for it. It was basically a bunch of people shouting their prices over the rest, each one saying that they had the best deal. Scott walked up to a burley man with an eye patch and a sword strapped to his hip, seeing that he was selling shells.
"How much for the whole box?" Scott asked.
"I'll give it to you for eight hundred bucks." The man replied.
"Eight hundred..." Scott whistled softly, "Jesus, you could buy a box for twelve bucks before..."
"Yeah, well every damn bank has been cleaned out, and inflation is a bitch, so what?" The man growled. "Get outta my sight before I decide that you're worth a bullet."
Scott backed away quickly, and bumped into a woman. In a flash, She had a knife in her hand.
"Back off jerk." She threatened.
Scott decided that he did not like the marketplace anymore, so he moved towards a building labeled "Meeting Hall." He sat down on one of the empty benches, and a strange man came up to him.
"Are you selling that shotgun?" He asked.
"Umm... maybe..." Scott answered. "What's your offer?"
"I'll give you a this rifle for it." The man answered. "And 400 rounds."
Scott thought for a moment. He had used rifles quite a bit before the outbreak, so he was a pretty good shot, but nothing could beat the feeling of power you got while hoolding the shotgun. In the end, Scott decided he would take the rifle.
"Deal." He said. And the exchange was made.
Scott recognized his rifle from all the old war games he used to play. It was a M1 Grand, and it was in good working order. He didn't know if he had made a good trade, but he needed a better gun, and he didn't have much ammo for the shotgun.
"What's done is done." Scott thought, and yawned. It had been a long day. Scott looked for a place to sleep, and saw several. He headed for a building labeled "Hotel"
He walked into the lobby, which looked pretty much like one before the outbreak, except there were guards with M-16's watching your every move. He walked up to the attendant, and asked how much a room cost. She looked at him kind of funny, like he was making some bad joke, and said that a "Room" was thirty bucks a night.
He bought one surprised at how cheap they were, and headed into the sleeping area.
What it turned out to be was just a couple of gyms filled with cots and sleeping mats.
As he lay there, Scott felt more secure than he had ever been since the outbreak, walls and people surrounded him. His last thought before he drifted off to sleep was "I'm finally safe."
Ten minutes later, sirens sounded. The outpost was under attack.
Chapter 8: Outpost Attack
Scott woke up, looking around wildly. People were scrambling around, grabbing their weapons, or fleeing. Scott picked up his new rifle and followed a large group of survivors to the meeting hall. The crowd centered around a raised platform, one man standing on it. The mob went silent as he shouted these words through a megaphone.
"You know the drill. These freaks want to eat us all, so lets wipe the bastards out!"
A deafening roar followed this as the crowd exploded into cheers, and they ran to different locations. Not knowing what else to do, Scott followed a small group of survivors out of the gate. He began wondering what they would be doing, when a solid looking door opened to a sturdy looking building. It was Secure; many outpost guards were inside, with plenty of food, water ammo, and anything else you could think of. They ran up the stairs to the roof, and promptly began loading their weapons. Scott was beginning to get the idea of what they would be doing. They spread out over the roof, and took positions. Scott asked a survivor what they would be up against.
"Your pretty much safe up here, you just have to try not to waste too much ammo on them. Take down the bigger ones, so the people at the main gate won't have very much trouble." And he walked away.
Scott began hearing moans a few minutes later. The noises made by the other battle stations were drawing more and more zombies out of the buildings. Then, the beasts came out. Hundreds of moaning corpses staggered into the street. They were immediately cut down by rifle fire, but more took their place. Without a scope, Scott had to wait until they were much closer. He looked at the other three men with him, noticing one was armed with a shotgun. He asked why this was, and the reply was:
"Ever try and shoot a crow with a rifle?" Scott heard the man mutter under his breath "Fucking new people."
The infected were about half way through the street, and Scott opened fire on them. His M1 had an enormous kick, and it didn't help that it didn't have a rubber shock absorber. His shoulder grew sore after about fifty rounds. Then Scott felt a tap on his shoulder. Three new people were standing there, and they took his group's positions. The two in Scott's group left saying, "We did our part, and we're going to get a drink."
As Scott walked by, he heard an OG officer say:
"We need more men in the junkyard, there getting hammered there."
Scott volunteered to go, along with a few others. They sprinted through a side entrance to the outpost, and made their way to the junkyard. Scott could see why the battle was going badly there. There was nothing to stop the zombie's advance, save for a few wrecked cars. Scott ran to one of then, crawled to the roof. There were hundreds of zombies milling about, all trying to get to the outpost, where the sirens rang a dinner bell to them. About fifty zombies chose the path nearest to him, and they worked their way through the trash. Scott took aim, and fired into the crowd, zombies dropped like flies.
As they were getting closer and closer, panic crept in Scott's brain. His shots grew wilder, and his accuracy decayed dramatically. The beasts swarmed up against the car, their hungry claws grabbing at Scott's boots. His terror extreme, Scott emptied his clip, and began smashing their heads with the butt of his rifle. He crushed bone and flesh, destroying a few zombies, but they just kept coming. They began crawling up the side of his car, when bullets tore through them. Two men with MP5's sprinted towards him, their guns blazing. The infected tried to get to them, but the endless stream of bullets mowed them down.
The assault stopped, Scott climbed down from the car, breathing heavily. He had just brushed with death, and decided that he would not like to do so again. His saviors finally got to him, and quickly asked if he was all right. Scott told them that he was fine, and that he owed them his life. They smiled and introduced themselves.
"My names Elijah Willson." Said the older of the two.
"Josue" Said the younger, who was only about sixteen.
"That was a crazy stunt you pulled," Elijah said, reloading his gun. "Trying to secure a section of the junkyard all by yourself, and with that." He said, pointing to Scott's M1.
"I didn't know what else to do..." Scott said, shrugging.
"Well, a rifle is always good, but you need something that can stop a lot of zombies in their tracks if your fighting in the Junkyard." Josue replied. "Comeon, we can still kill a few more zeds." And went to a section where there was more fierce fighting. They walked into an area, where about ten survivors were battling a rather large horde. Elijah and Josue went to the front, while Scott joined some more people on the side, picking of zombies too keep their numbers under control. They hat to still be on guard though; a zombie crept up behind them, and took a nasty bite out of one of the snipers legs. The zombie was immediately killed, but the bitten man turned to another, whispered something in his ear, and then shot himself. Startled, the snipers sent two men to cover their back, as to not let it happen again.
Scott fell into a rhythm of death. Aim, shoot, aim shoot, reload, aim again... He didn't know how long they were there, or how many zombies he killed, there was always another. His trance was broken only twice, once where he was nearly shot by another sniper, and again when an entire group was overwhelmed by the infected, the men's dying screams fading away into moans. Scott grew tired, his shoulder ached, and he felt like his arms were lead. Suddenly, when he took aim, there was nothing to shoot. A dead quiet surrounded the group, which lasted only for a few seconds, then one man shouted:
This was immediately followed be cheers, hugs, crying, gunshots in the air, jumping around, and all around screaming. Scott found himself next to Josue and Elijah, they cheered and drank, and talked like they were old friends. When Josue said that they should do it again, they all immediately agreed. Nobody seemed concerned that just moments before, they were facing hell. They were all just happy to be alive.
Chapter 9: The Gauntlet
Their happiness would not last though. As soon as they re-entered the outpost, they knew something was horribly wrong. Nobody was celebrating. Even the marketplace, which usually was packed with people, was silent. There were sounds of a battle in the direction of the main gate, so the survivors of the junkyard headed that way. Someone spotted a figure in the distance, limping towards them. Scott recognized it as Bleach.
And, seeing that he was injured, Scott ran towards him.
"What the hell happened?" Scott demanded.
"The Main Gate fell. We were overwhelmed. You've got to go help them, there is something new there, something evil." Bleach stammered, and then passed out, falling to the ground.
"You heard the man!" Scott yelled. "To the Main Gate!"
A round of cheers and war cries followed this, as the party moved to the battle. Scott moved Bleach into a stall at the marketplace, so that he was out of the way if the zombies reached the center of the outpost. As he did, something from Bleaches coat fell to the ground. Scott picked it up, and, with a start, realized that it was half of Bleaches machinegun. The front half had been torn away in a crescent shape, as if a huge circular weight had fallen on it. Scott then saw something that made his blood run cold. A tooth was sunk near the damaged part of the gun. It had not been broken, but bitten. Scott shuddered to think of what monster could have done this, and dropped the now worthless gun to the ground. He turned and ran to the main gate, determined to help in any way possible.
Bleach had said the battle had gone badly. This was an understatement. The scene before Scott was one of utter chaos. Hundreds of small bands of survivors were fighting seemingly endless numbers of infected. What made matters worse, was the fact that many parts of the long sandbag wall had fallen, and the survivors were now locked in terrifying hand to hand combat. The ground was painted red with blood, and the screams of survivors being torn limb from limb were at a constant. Scott ran to a group of fighters, dispatching zombies as he went, and asked what he could do to help. The reply was just to kill as many as possible. Ant to avoid the "Crawlers." Scott didn't know what a "crawler" was, but he strongly suspected it was what was responsible for what had happened to Bleach's gun. He began shooting the infected, each shot carefully placed to conserve ammo. They just kept coming. Scott began noticing some differences in the zombies that he killed. The ones that were slightly purplish flesh were harder to kill, and they were more coordinated and cold move faster than their decomposing counterparts. Scott had to kill each one with a headshot; a simple shot to the chest would not take it down. Eventually, the M1 ran out of ammo, so Scott pulled out his trusty .45. Seeing that his zone was reasonably secure, Scott moved to an area with heavier fighting. There he met Elijah, who was having trouble with his MP5.
"It's jammed." He said, "And I don't want to move to the gauntlet."
"The gauntlet?" Scott asked.
"Yeah," Elijah answered "That's where melee fighters go, its suicide."
"Where is it?" Scott asked. "I'll help them."
"You'll kill yourself!" Elijah screamed. "The crawlers are all over it!"
"There are other people there." Scott reminded him. "Nobody wants to die."
"Fine! Kill yourself! Its by the entrance to the rooftops." Elijah said, and began working to repair his gun.
Scott sprinted to the rooftops, determined to save some people. He didn't know why, but he felt obligated to be at the area with the heaviest fighting. He soon reached "the gauntlet" and saw why it was called that. The survivors had moved cars, tables, and any other debris to make a funnel, the zeds on the opening end. They would move in, and be forced to come through the small end; about three could fit through at once. There, the defenders, who used anything from lead pipes to swords to kill them, cut them down. There were several others, who had not run out of ammo yet, who tried to thin out the ranks of zombies so that the fighters would not be overwhelmed. Scott ran to the front line, the boom of his .45 louder than the other firearms. He took down five zombies, then reloaded. He was about to open fire again when he saw his first crawler. Out of the sea of infected came a strange looking creature. Its arms were about the same size as the longarms, but the difference was that instead of legs, it had another set of arms, giving it a spider like look. It moved with incredible speed, racing towards a survivor, who screamed and attempted to run, but the crawler grabbed his shoulders and legs, and bit into him, its entire head inside of the poor bastards chest. It was immediately cut down with gunfire.
"Jesus..." Scott whispered, and re-focused on the task at hand. The normal infected had all but been killed off, leaving the only the stronger zombies. Scott opened fire on one covered in blood, its chest exploded as he pounded three rounds into its chest. But more took their place. Scott shot many more, until he ran out of .45 ammo. He pulled out his knife, his last line of defense.
Getting close to the purples was hard, they were faster, stronger, and their attacks were more calculated. Scott found that stabbing them in the neck was most effective, it usually downed them in one hit. His knife grew slippery, and piles of stinking bodies covered the ground. After he finished off a extremely fat red, Scott again heard the sound of a crawler. He turned too quickly to the sound, and fell over a rotting body. His knife flew out of his hand, and he hit his head on the ground, hard. Stunned, Scott saw out of the corner of his eye a crawler headed right towards him.
He rolled to the side, and on to his feet. Scott screamed as the crawler leapt up on him, its enormous weight pushing him to the ground. He pushed against its weight with all his might, but the things snapping head inched closer to his exposed chest each second.
Chapter 10: The Monstrosities
Scott closed his eyes, sure that he was about to die. Suddenly, blood spattered his face and the beast on top of him let out a choked scream, and fell to the side, dead. Scott got up, wiping his eyes, which, luckily, had been closed. He looked around for his savior, and saw Slayer, who smiled at him, gave a salute, and began firing upon the horde. Many of the survivors had died, and many more were wounded. The fight was going badly. But then something caught Scott's attention that gave him hope. Out of the outpost came seven men, dressed fully in sturdy looking armor, with huge miniguns spinning. They advanced on the infected, and opened fire. A storm of lead utterly destroyed the infected zombies ranks, the sheer number of bullets pushing the wall of bodies back. Nothing could stand up against the team, and soon the only sound was that of the soft whimpering of the wounded, occasionally broken by a gunshot. Scott ran up to Slayer, and asked him who they were.
"The exterminators." Slayer answered, "They are an elite group of survivors who are armed to the teeth with the best the outpost has to offer. We were lucky to have them."
"Thanks for saving me back there." Scott said.
"No problem. What was that thing on you?" Slayer asked "It looked like a fucked up longarm"
"They call them crawlers." Scott replied.
"All survivors, report to the meeting hall immediately." Came a voice over the loudspeaker.
"That's us." Slayer said. "Lets go." And began walking towards the meeting hall. Scott followed in silence.
When they reached the meeting hall, the same man that was up before the outpost attack, was shouting. The crowd around him was screaming, and the wounded were being rushed to the hospital. Finally, someone fired a shotgun in the air and yelled "Silence!"
It was dead quiet. The man on top of the podium, Scott heard that his name was Neil, said,
"By now you all know about the new type of zombie. They are extremely hard to kill. All survivors not properly equipped should not attempt to kill one. There have been many sightings of new zombies. Anyone who brings proof that they have killed a new type of the mutation, and information about their whereabouts, and also the best way to dispatch them, will receive a reward of fifty thousand dollars. I highly advise that you work in groups, in an attempt to minimize losses. Bring a picture, or a body for proof. That will be all."
This was followed by a storm of questions, and excited conversations. Fifty thousand dollars for killing a zombie was not bad. People began suiting up immediately. Scott turned to Slayer and asked if he wanted to go. Slayer answered that they should wait until morning. It was slowly getting darker outside, so Scott walked out of the main gate, to the bodies of fallen survivors. Others had gotten the same idea, and were quickly stripping the dead of anything useful. It sickened Scott to the stomach, but he needed ammo. After a half a hour, he found a good amount of rifle ammo, and a about five clips of .45 ammo. He returned to the outpost, and went to find Bleach. He was right where he had left him, in a marketplace stall. Scott slapped him a few times to wake him up, and helped him to the hospital. It was nearly full, each wounded person needed to be strip-searched for bites. Bleach was treated; he had luckily avoided serious harm.
Scott returned to the hotel, and paid another thirty bucks. After he paid, he realized that he was running low on money. This made the fifty thousand dollar reward seem even more appealing. Falling asleep, Scott was haunted by nightmares of being trapped in a car, the claws of zombies tearing him limb from limb. He awoke several times in cold sweat, only to realize that he was safe. After a few more episodes of this, Scott gave up on sleeping, and wet outside. The cool night air felt good against his body, which felt sticky from sweat and gore.
"Can't sleep?" A voice behind him said.
Scott spun around and saw that it was Josue.
"Took me a long time to get used to it." Josue said slowly. "The nightmares never really leave, they only fade."
They sat in silence for a while. Finally, uncomfortable, Scott asked.
"Are you going to hunt the new zombies?"
"No." Josue answered. "No point in getting myself killed over money. I guarantee you, half the guys that go out there, won't come back."
"I need the money." Scott said. "And it feels like I should be dead already, so it won't rally matter if I don't come back right?" He laughed dryly. "No point in living if you aren't doing anything."
"No point in living if your dead." Josue said, and got up. "Take care of yourself." He said, and left.
Scott sat alone until the sun came up, and then stretched, and went out to find Slayer. After looking for a bit, he spotted him standing next to Bleach. Slayer saw him, and nodded. Scott noticed that Bleach had some new guns. It was a sleek black rifle, with a large scope attached to it.
"Well, we about ready to go?" Scott asked.
"Just about." Slayer answered, and with a bit of joking anger, said "Bleach still needs to adjust his scope."
"Hold on." Bleach answered. "No point in having a scope if you can't shoot a house with it."
Bleach finished, and the group of three set out, determined to bring at least one sample back for the fifty grand. They walked out the gate, and into the inner city.