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Author Topic: The End (Story Posts Only)  (Read 7255 times)

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Friday

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Re: The End (Story Posts Only)
« Reply #60 on: October 01, 2008, 12:20:30 PM »

5. Study the maps in your car. Maybe you can figure out where you're going to go.

You leave Jacob and head out front. You don't run into anyone, but you can hear Nicole playing somewhere nearby. Your car is right where you left it.

You open the glove compartment and take out the maps.

Hmm. After studying them for a bit, you find a general map of Northern California. Looks like there's another town to the north, about thirty miles. You've been there before. It's smaller than this city but still fairly large. You have no idea what condition it's in. You could find a hospital, or anything else there, perhaps.

Alternatively, you could go west, into the hills. There's a town up there about fifty miles away that you remember driving through on your way to the coast before. You could check it out. Heading to the coast itself is another idea.

Or, you could just head north, into Oregon. Get as far away from this as you can.

You find a map of the town to the north. It's fairly detailed, and shows you exactly where the hospital, and even the airport is.

There's a tapping on the glass. You jump, and turn to see David. You open the door, and he asks you to pop the hood.

You do so. He loads a few bags into the trunk, and walks away. You notice a piece of paper he seems to have dropped onto the seat next to you.

You pick it up.

I think Jacob did it

You crumple the paper, and then rip it up before tossing it in the trash.

More time passes. You look for any more maps. A general one of North American highways. A map of a town you've never heard of, in Idaho. A map of LA. Nope. Not going there. Even if it didn't get nuked, you'd stay the fuck away from that place anyway.

About a half hour later, Jacob, David, and Nicole are ready. You join them for one last tour around the vet.

"So, where are we going, anyway?" asks David.

"That's a good question," says Jacob.

Everyone is silent.

"I think maybe we should head north. I don't want to go into the mountains," David says.

"I think we should head to the mountains. More people up there. If there are survivors, they will have headed to the hills," says Jacob.

"I've been studying the maps," you say. "My vote is..."

*******************************

1. ... that we should head north to the next town. I have a detailed map of it. We could find the hospital there."

2. ... to go into the mountains. There's a town about fifty miles in. We could get supplies there, and I'm sure there's a hospital."

3. ... that we head out of state. North, to Oregon. I want to get as far away as possible."

*******************************
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Friday

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Re: The End (Story Posts Only)
« Reply #61 on: October 01, 2008, 12:21:11 PM »

1. ... that we should head north to the next town. I have a detailed map of it. We could find the hospital there."

Jacob shakes his head. "That's good, but I really still think we should head for the hills."

"Well, if conditions in the town are not so great, we can always do that, still," you say.

"I guess," Jacob sighs. "I just don't want to go from the frying pan to the fire, if you know what I mean. I just have a bad feeling about staying in the valley."

Nicole comes up and hugs Jacob's leg. He gently pats her head. "I'll be OK. Wolfy will look after us. He saved me, and he'll keep us safe," she says up at him.

"Wolfy?" you say, slightly bemused.

Nicole turns and looks at you. "You're my big bad wolf!"

You snarl at her, and she gasps, pulls back a bit, and then giggles.

David laughs. "Do I get a nickname, too?"

"No," Nicole says.

There is a moment of silence. You take a look around the lobby, presumably for the last time. Odd. You again feel somewhat sad, like when you left the gas station. You're not usually a sentimental type of guy. Hell, you haven't given a single thought to your apartment that probably got blown to bits in the blast until just now.

"Well, let's get going," David says. "Wherever that might be."

"Up," Nicole says, raising her arms. You bend to pick her up, but something occurs to you.

"Nicole, is your arm hurting?" you ask, looking at the sling.

"No, not anymore," she says.

You turn to Jacob. "Is that normal?"

He shakes his head. "No. I've noticed it too. The wound is healing incredibly quickly. I looked at it this morning. It seems to have healed almost entirely overnight."

You turn back to Nicole. "How'd you do that, sweetie?"

"I dunno," she says. "I had a dream about an angel and he touched my shoulder. He was pretty."

"An angel, huh?"

David interrupts. "Look, this is fascinating and everything, but we need to go," he says.

"Yes, you're right," you say, picking up Nicole and putting her on your shoulders. "Let's move."

The four of you walk out to the car.

"Wait a minute," Jacob says. "I just got an idea."

"Yeah?" you say.

"Why don't we put up, like, a sign? A big one, out front. Leave directions as to where we're going. If any other survivors see it, they can follow us and meet up. I mean, I seriously doubt the faceless can read."

David is already opening the car door. A quick glance seems to reveal he doesn't care.

**********************************

1. "Sure, Jacob. Sounds like a great idea. Let's do it."

2. "I'm not so sure that's a good idea, Jacob. Even if the faceless can't read, I don't like the idea of something or somebody following us."

**********************************
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Re: The End (Story Posts Only)
« Reply #62 on: October 01, 2008, 12:21:39 PM »

2. "I'm not so sure that's a good idea, Jacob. Even if the faceless can't read, I don't like the idea of something or somebody following us."

Jacob shrugs. "Alright. I guess so. I still think it's a good idea."

You nod. "I just don't think it's worth the risk. Sorry."

Nicole leans down and puts her up side down face in front of yours. Her hair hangs down.

"Can I help you?"

"Put me down!"

"No, I was gonna drive like this. I'll open the sunroof."

"Noooooooooooooo!"

You flip Nicole over as she screeches and set her down on her feet. She immediately runs over to the passenger seat and opens the door.

"Guess we're sitting in the back," Jacob says.

"Come on, let's go. No sense standing around."

You all pile in. As you start the car, you notice David doesn't have his rifle.

"Hey, you put the rifle in the trunk?" you ask him.

"Yeah," he says. "Here, I'll hold the shotgun."

You pass it back to him. "So, uh. How many bullets you got for that rifle, anyhow?"

"Four in the rifle, and I've got ... uh... seven more in my pockets."

"Alright," you say. "Let's roll."

You pull out of the driveway and onto the road. After a few turns, you're back on the highway, heading north. The outskirts of the city begin to fall away, and you find yourself in the flat countryside of the fertile farmland that is the California Valley.

You fiddle with the radio. Still nothing but static across all channels. You click it off.

But it reminds you that you have that other radio. You'll have the figure out how to use it next chance you get.

"I spy with my little eye... something... brown!" Nicole says.

"Is it bigger than a breadbox?" you ask.

"No," Nicole says.

"Animal, vegetable, or mineral?" says Jacob from the back seat.

"That's not a yes or no quessstion!" Nicole says.

"Is it a mineral?" you ask.

"What's a minny-ral?" Nicole asks.

"Like a rock," you say.

"No," she says.

"Well, then, is it a vegetable?"

"Like broccoli?"

"Yeah, like broccoli."

"Nope, not a vegetable!"

"Well, then it's got to be an animal," you say seriously.

Glancing in the rear view mirror, you see David shaking his head as he stares out at the passing countryside.

"You only have two more guesses!" Nicole says.

"What! Wait, I thought we got twenty!?"

"No sorry only two more!" she says, and laughs. She's staring at you, her eyes bright.

You glance around, looking for something brown, but don't see anything. Hmmm.

"I'll give you a hint, Wolfy," Nicole says. "It's new!"

"It's new?" you say. "What do you mean?"

Nicole only smiles at you.

"Is it something one of us is wearing?" you ask.

"Sorta," Nicole admits.

"Uhhhh..."

******************************

You've got one guess (question) left, then she'll want to know what it is. First answer to two endorsements.

******************************
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Re: The End (Story Posts Only)
« Reply #63 on: October 01, 2008, 08:10:28 PM »

"Can anyone else in the car see it?"

"Yes, of course!" Nicole says.

"Well, then it's gotta be..."

***********************************

What?

***********************************
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Re: The End (Story Posts Only)
« Reply #64 on: October 01, 2008, 08:11:06 PM »

"Is it my eye, sweetie?"

Nicole jumps a bit in her seat. "Yes! You got it!"

You smile. "My eyes are actually hazel, Nicole. But it's OK you thought it was brown. They are very close."

"Not uh," she says, wagging her finger at you. "It's brown. I saw it."

You're about to say something when your eyes flicker over the rear view mirror. Huh?

You suddenly lean in closer.

Two eyes stare back at you. One hazel, and one brown. Right, and left.

Old, and new.

"That's weird," you say.

"Hey, wait a minute," David says. "Look. Up there. That house has some coming from the chimney."

You look, and sure enough, set back about two hundred yards or so from the highway, you see a country house with a small orchard with smoke rising from the chimney.

"Should we stop?" asks Jacob.

*********************************

1. Stop and investigate.

2. No reason to stop.

*********************************
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Re: The End (Story Posts Only)
« Reply #65 on: October 02, 2008, 03:17:45 AM »

1. Stop and investigate.

You pull off the road. The gate is open. A white pickup truck is parked outside, next to a tractor. You park some distance back, on the driveway.

"Are there people in there?" Nicole asks.

"I dunno, sweetie," you say. Scanning the front of the house, you can see the curtains are drawn and the front door is shut. There's a porch with a rocking chair on it. You glance back at David and Jacob. David runs a hand through his greasy blonde hair.

"Let's check it out," he says.

Jacob slowly gets out of the car. "I'll stay back. If there are people here, remember, be polite. This is their house, most likely."

David goes around back and opens the trunk, grabbing his rifle. "Yeah, and if it's not, they may shoot first and ask questions later."

You grab the shotgun from the back seat.

"If you guys go up there armed, they might think you're coming to raid the house," Jacob says.

"What's the alternative? Walk up there with no guns, hoping they'll invite us in for some coffee?" David says.

Jacob shakes his head.

"Or what if there's Faceless inside instead?" David continues, coming up front again. He takes his glasses off and breathes on them, wiping them off.

"Inside, tending a fire?" you ask.

"Well, who knows? It's unlikely, maybe, but possible. There's no way I'm going up there unarmed, anyway."

*********************************

1. "Fine, stay here then. I'll leave the shotgun here and go alone. I'll have the 9mm in my pocket, hidden, in case something goes wrong."

2. "I can't argue with that. Come on. Jacob, take care of Nicole. We'll check this out."

3. "I don't like this. Let's just go."

*********************************

Location: Northern California, Highway north of hometown (Country House)
Health: Normal
Infection: Unknown. At this point, you're pretty sure something is wrong with you. Alcohol seems to have improved your situation a bit.
Weapons: Lead Pipe, Revolver (empty), 9mm automatic pistol (10 rounds), Sawed-off Shotgun (10 shells)
Assets: Clothes, contents of wallet, Nice watch (Showing 10:33), Swiss Army Knife, Roughly five day's worth of food and water, Car, near full tank of gas, Flashlight, batteries, lighter
Skills: None that would be useful spring to mind. Damn the school system!
Members in party: Nicole, Jacob, David

Nicole:
Health: Shot in shoulder. Assets: Clothes. Skills: ????

Jacob:
Health: Normal. Assets: Clothes. Skills: Medical

David:
Health: Normal. Assets: Hunting Rifle. Skills: Rifle

"They" encountered:

"Faceless"

Form: Humanoid
Attacks: Vines
Resilience: Medium, can be killed by massive damage to torso
Speed: Low
Special/Notes: Central nervous system does not seem to be present in the head

"Flesh Worm"

Form: Worm
Attacks: Mouth, Unknown
Resilience: Unknown
Speed: Unknown
Special/Notes: Unknown

"No-Face"

Form: Humanoid
Attacks: Unknown, seemed to summon other faceless. Changed a bird into a Crawler.
Resilience: Unknown
Speed: Unknown
Special/Notes: Can suddenly vanish, or turn invisible. May be all in your head.

"Crawler"

Form: Vermin
Attacks: Vines
Resilience: Low
Speed: High
Special/Notes: Can climb and stick to walls, ceilings.

********************************
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Friday

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Re: The End (Story Posts Only)
« Reply #66 on: October 03, 2008, 10:36:05 AM »

1. "Fine, stay here then. I'll leave the shotgun here and go alone. I'll have the 9mm in my pocket, hidden, in case something goes wrong."

David looks at you, but shrugs. "Fine," he says, "I'll stay by the car and cover you."

"You do that," you say, and put the shotgun back inside the car. Nicole looks up at you, worry showing in her dark eyes.

"Just stay in the car, honey sweetie sherriffiffififif dark lolita overlord, kin to the old ones kid," you say. She nods. "It'll be alright."

You turn to the house, making sure the 9mm is still in your leg pocket.

"Careful," David says from behind you.

You walk up onto the porch. The rocking chair is broken. There is a coffee can on the railing. It looks to be empty. There is a brown paper grocery bag with a single loaf of bread sitting in it.

The front door has a screen door over it. You pull it open and ring the doorbell.

Almost immediately you hear someone get up and start walking toward you from inside. You take a step back, and try to put a nice expression on your face. You hear the door unlocking.

The door swings open inwards. A middle aged man wearing plain clothing opens the door. Behind him you can see a slightly younger looking woman peering at you from the living room. A fire is going in the fireplace.

"Can I help you?" he asks in a clear voice.

You do a double take. No guns? No faceless? You half expect a child to run by, chasing a dog. Did the apocalypse somehow miss this house?

"Uh... yeah. We were just driving by, and noticed the smoke coming from the chimney, so..."

"Ah. I understand," says the man. He reaches out a hand. "Name's George. George Gibson." His hand and arm are large, and muscled, like the rest of him.

A bit nonplussed, you shake his hand and introduce yourself. "Nice to meet you," you say.

George turns toward the woman. "Honey, come on up here. There's a nice young man at the door."

The woman walks forward, timid. George makes room for her and she holds out a hand. You shake it and her grip is incredibly light. "How do you do," she says demurely. "My name is Anna." Her long dirty blonde hair frames a pretty face. She looks pretty good for her age. A small crucifix hangs around her neck, pressing against the fabric of her pale blue sundress.

You smile. "The pleasure is all mine."

George looks past you, out at the car. "Thought I heard something," he says. "But it's best to mind your own business these days, eh? Anyway, you and your friends are welcome to come in. Annabelle can cook something up for ya, can't you?" he says, smiling at her. His eyes are clear and without guile.

***********************************

1. Sure. Go on in, see what's cooking.

2. Well, a married couple in a country house. Whatever. No use to you. Time to go.

3. It'ss gotta be a trap. Kill them. Kill them both.

***********************************
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Re: The End (Story Posts Only)
« Reply #67 on: October 08, 2008, 06:34:24 PM »

1. Sure. Go on in, see what's cooking.

"Uh, sure," you say. "Let me go talk to my friends."

George nods. "Annabelle," he says, "Go and put something on."

Anna turns and George gives her a slap on the butt. You head out back toward the car.

"So what's the deal?" David asks, shouldering his rifle. He's squinting through his glasses at George, still standing framed in the doorway.

"Seems like a normal enough couple," you tell him. "They invited us in for food."

"Fine by me. Just the two of 'em in there?" David asks.

"I think so," you say. "Not entirely sure."

"Could this be some kind of trap?" Jacob asks.

You shrug. "It doesn't seem like it. Hand me the shotgun."

Jacob reaches back into the car for it, but looks puzzled. "It's not --"

Nicole steps out of the car, holding the shotgun. She runs around the hood, her dark hair streaming behind her like a shadow. She holds it out to you with both hands. "I was coverin' you," she says, very seriously.

You grab the shotgun and check it. The safety is off.

"Nicole!" Jacob says sharply. David looks amused.

*************************************

1. "Nicole! Guns are dangerous! You shouldn't touch guns. Let the grown ups use them, OK, kid? I don't want you getting hurt."

2. "Uh, thanks."

*************************************
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Re: The End (Story Posts Only)
« Reply #68 on: October 08, 2008, 06:35:05 PM »

2. "Uh, thanks."

Nicole smiles. Jacob coughs.

"Uh, do you really think encouraging a kid to use guns is --"

"You're the one who wasn't paying enough attention to stop her from doing it in the first place," you interrupt, "and besides, maybe she should learn how to shoot. I think the social gun/little girl taboo has gone right out the ffu - the window, don't you?"

Jacob just shakes his head.

You turn back to Nicole. "But maybe you should start with something a bit less... large," you say, eying the sawed-off.

"I could give her lessons," David offers.

"Uh, we'll talk about it later," you say. "Come on."

The three of them follow you up to the porch. Nicole stands almost directly behind you, hiding her face.

"Uh, George, this is Jacob," you say.

Jacob steps forward, holding out his hand. "A pleasure."

George shakes it heartily. "Pleasure's all mine," he says, grinning with big teeth.

"That's quite a handshake you have there," Jacob says, withdrawing his hand, a bit gingerly.

"Aye, I've always held by that you can tell a man by the quality of his handshake," George says.

You gesture at David. "This is David."

David simply nods. His eyes are withdrawn behind his lenses.

"And this," you say, stepping to the side, "Is Nicole. Come on, kid. Say hello."

Nicole looks up briefly. "Hi," she says, then steps behind you again.

"She's shy," you say.

"Well I see no reason for it," George says. "Such a pretty little thing, she could be a model. Annabelle!"

Hurried footsteps. "Yes, George, honey, what is it?" Annabelle says, emerging from the interior.

"There's a little girl here. Why don't you take her inside, show her Casey's room? The menfolk need to get to talkin', I reckon."

"A little girl? Where?" Annabelle says. She comes forward to the door, and you gently push Nicole in front of you.

"Awwww, aren't you the sweetest little thing!" Annabelle says. "I could just eat you up. Won't you come inside?"

You bend down and whisper in Nicole's ear. "You want to go with her? It's OK. I think it's safe."

it's never safe

Nicole stares up at Annabelle for a long moment. Finally she says, clearly, "You lost your sons in the war."

Annabelle looks startled. She simpers a bit. "Now how could you know about that?" she says, looking at Nicole carefully.

"I see them. They're standing behind you. The taller one's face is all bloody. There's a hole where his mouth should be." Nicole says, flatly.

Annabelle turns white. George even looks a bit disturbed. "Now how in blazes could you ... who are you people?" he asks.

"I'm sorry," you say quickly. "Nicole is a bit odd. She hit her head, we think. She says weird things sometimes. I don't rightly know what's wrong with her."

George shakes his head. "How could she know about Donald? Listen, is this some kind of joke? Because --"

"It's no joke," Jacob says. "Please, it must be a misunderstanding. A coincidence, perhaps. Nicole told me just the other day that she saw flying monkeys digging a hole in the lawn. She's just playing around."

Annabelle has one hand to her mouth. She's looking at Nicole intently. "You... you say you can see them? My boys?"

Before you can answer, Nicole again speaks in that same flat inflection. "Yes. The smaller one is crying. He misses you."

George shifts uncomfortably. "Maybe you four should leave. I don't need my Annabelle getting all upset all over again," he says.

*************************************

1. Apologize for Nicole, and agree that leaving would be best.

2. Apologize for Nicole, and ask to stay, at least for awhile.

*************************************
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Re: The End (Story Posts Only)
« Reply #69 on: October 08, 2008, 06:35:30 PM »

1. Apologize for Nicole, and agree that leaving would be best.

"Perhaps you're right," you say. "I'm sorry about Nicole."

no you're not

George frowns. "Well, no hard feelings and all that. I jus' don't want my Anna here all upset again."

You nod. "I understand. I, uh. I think I should warn you... about those... things. They're branching out from the craters. We just barely escaped the city. We're headed north, see if the town is still intact."

"It ain't," says George. "It's overrun with 'em."

Jacob steps forward. "You're sure?"

"Sure I'm sure," says George, a bit sourly. "I had me a cousin up there. Went in right after the blasts. My poor Annabelle was left here all alone. I managed to get out but I never did find my cousin. We'll be alright here. I can protect my Anna. You go on now, git out of here."

"I see. Well. Uh, good luck," you say.

George nods. "You too."

You turn to leave. David steps off the porch and heads back to the car. Jacob is right behind him. You gently push Nicole away from the house.

"Wait," says Anna. She steps out onto the porch.

"Little girl..." she says, "You're wrong about Casey. Donald died in the war fighting them terrorists in the desert, but Casey was just a boy. He didn't die in no war."

Nicole looks serenely back at her. "Yes he did," she says.

Annabelle only looks puzzled. Nicole turns and skips away toward the car. You open your mouth to say something, then close it.

You leave the two of them there, in the country farmhouse. George watches from the porch as you pull away.

"Well, now what?" says David. He is now sitting in the front seat, next to you, Nicole having chosen the back seat herself this time. She is sitting behind you and is apparently attempting to braid your hair.

Jacob sighs. "If the town is really overrun with Faceless, shouldn't we head elsewhere?"

David shrugs. "I don't know if I believe farmer John for sure. Besides, we could still find the hospital intact, isn't that the point?"

Nicole pulls on the hair covering the nape of your neck. It hurts a bit, and you tell her to cut it out. She giggles and leans back in her seat.

"We could find a hospital up in that town in the hills," Jacob offers. "I can't believe that every single town everywhere got hit by ... whatever."

"Well, what does Wolfy think?" David asks, turning to look at you.

****************************************

1. "Let's stay on course. This is the nearest hospital and if there's any kind of cure, it'll be there."

2. "I think we should head to those hills. We have the maps, we can make it."

3. "Oregon sounds pretty good right now, actually."

4. "I say we head back to the vet. There's no sense driving around aimlesssly if everywhere we go is just gonna be more zombies. At least we know the vet is safe."

****************************************
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Re: The End (Story Posts Only)
« Reply #70 on: October 08, 2008, 06:36:02 PM »

2. "I think we should head to those hills. We have the maps, we can make it."

"Alright, then. Let's put it to an official vote!" David says, a small undercurrent of sarcasm in his voice. "I agree with Wolfy. Let's head to the hills."

"I suppose I'll cast my vote for the hills as well," Jacob says.

You halfway expect Nicole to say something, but she only continues to stare out the window.

"Well, looks like we're changing course. The highway junction is right up ahead, if I remember correctly, actually," you say.

David opens the glove compartment and pulls out the maps. After a minute of fumbling around with them, he confirms what you thought. "Yeah," he says. "Should be seeing it anytime now."

A few minutes later you come to the turn off. There's a gas station and a small diner here in the middle of nowhere that you remember from trips in your past, but both are now skeletal, burnt remains.

"How'd the fire get out here?" Jacob asks. "Look, the grass around the structures is hardly burnt. It's like someone set fire to the buildings."

"I don't know," you say, as you turn left past them. A few cars are on the road here. They look abandoned. You peer into them as you drive slowly past, but see nothing. One has blood on the windshield. The wiper is standing up, smearing it across the glass.

Suddenly, there is the sound of shattering glass. You look back and see two crawlers have emerged from the window of a car and are rapidly closing with your vehicle. You accelerate as one launches an incredibly long vine at the back of your car.

Jacob is looking back out the rear window. "We lost one, but the other is latched on!" he says.

Nicole starts to climb forward into the front of the car. David roughly pushes her back and sights his rifle. "Get down," he says.

In your rear view mirror you see tentacles reaching up over the back of your car, and then the crawler flips up onto the back and smashes itself against the rear windshield. David seems to be unable to get enough room to properly aim.

The crawler is continuing to smash itself into the glass. Cracks are starting to appear.

"Fuck it," you say, and slam on the brakes. A horrible screeching fills your ears as your tires lay black track onto the pavement. The crawler again crashes into the window, but this time it continues to roll across the top of your car. You head it thud right above your head.

"What the fuck are you doing!?" David yells.

You quickly open your door, and, ducking, step outside. The crawler is still on top of your car. Vines hold it in place. Some of these vines look to be over five feet long. You reach into your pocket and bring out the 9mm.

The crawler stirs, and the vines tense, then start to writhe. It picks itself up, a small ball of flesh and horror and rot.

You blow it off the top of your car with one well aimed shot. You hear a wet thud as it lands on the pavement across the car from you. Vines trail after it.

Checking the road behind you, you see the other crawler rolling along at a brisk pace toward you. Still quite a ways back. You get back into the car and press the gas.

David shakes his head. "That was stupid. You could have gotten yourself killed," he says.

"It worked, didn't it?" you say.

He smiles. "Yeah, I guess it did. You're a pretty good shot, you know."

"I must have been a sharp shooter or something in a past life, because I know fuck-all about guns," you say, then look over your shoulder back at Nicole. "Sorry, kid."

She only smiles at you. "You were a knight," she says.

David laughs. "Fancy that. Sir Wolfy. Next she'll be telling us Jacob is a prince."

"He is not!" Nicole says. "Jakey is a doctor."

Jacob, for his part, seems afraid but coming down off it. "I am. And as a doctor, I advise your friend Wolfy to not ever do anything like that again. Scared the heck out of me. For a moment I thought he'd lost his --"

He suddenly stops talking, realizing what he was saying. You glance at him but say nothing. A moment passes in silence as the road continues to roll under you.

"He's not far off the mark, you know," Benny says from behind you.

Surprised, you look up into your rear view mirror to see him sitting with both arms stretched out to his sides, along the back, draped over Nicole's and Jacob's shoulders. He's grinning at you with his one eye.

You turn, and he's not there. Jacob and Nicole sit alone, only looking out the windows.

You check the mirror again, and he's still grinning at you.

"Nope, they can't see me, bro. Not even little miss mystery here," he says. "That was nice going, by the way, with the crawler on the roof. Nice footwork. Quick thinking. These fools you're with don't appreciate you, I think. All they do is nag nag nag."

Steeling yourself, you ignore him.

"Heading to the hills, eh?" he says. "Not a bad move, I'd say. I mean, from your perspective. Once you get up there, well, you might realize it's not so smart of a move."

Benny leans forward, and in the mirror, you see his mouth is almost in your ear. But you don't actually see him there.

"I'll bet you're just dying to ask me some questions," he says, his breath hot on the nape of your neck and ear canal. "But what would your friends think? Eh? Talking to yourself in a metal cage hurtling at seventy down the sun baked highway? You think Jacob might get worried, maybe ask you to pull over? Could you blame him, really?"

You stare back at him in the mirror, grim faced, willing him to go away.

"Oh, relax, bro. I'm just kidding ya," he says, and grins again. "I'm sure you're quite sane. I mean, hell, I used to see dead people all the time, too. But then, I was infected with some sort of flesh worm parasite that was eating my brain."

As you stare at him, his face next to yours, you suddenly notice something.

His eye. His remaining eye. It's brown.

Just like yours. Exactly like yours. Even down to the tiny flecks of black.

Benny leans back and laughs hysterically. "You finally noticed!" he says, wiping away tears from his remaining eye with one hand. "Man, what did you think, you got that new eye for free from Princess here? Nah, nothing is free in this world, bro, and you'd best remember that."

Benny winks at you (blinks?) and runs a hand through Nicole's hair. It looks like he can actually touch her. He brings a lock to his nose and inhales. "Ahhhhhhh," he says. "The sweet smell of innocence. Or... was that the sickly sweet smell of decay? Hard to say, really. With a nose like mine, I mean, I can hardly be trusted, either way."

He grins one last time and vanishes. Nicole's hair abruptly goes back to where it was.

The noise of the engine suddenly comes back. You didn't realize it had gone until just now.

You pull over, suddenly.

"Everything OK?" Jacob asks.

"Yeah," you say, breathing hard. "I just... I'm alright. I just need to get some air."

"That's one thing there's still plenty of," David says.

You push open your door and step onto the road. It's empty, both ways, as far as you can see. The foothills lie ahead, maybe a mile or two.

You think about what Benny said. Are the hills really safe for you? Is he just a figment of your imagination? Can he know something you don't?

Nicole touches your waist. You look down at her.

"What's wrong?" she asks. You see Jacob listening in from the other side of the car.

"Nothing, kid," you reply, smiling. "I'm fine. Just a bit... carsick."

"You want me to drive?" she asks seriously.

You laugh. "Don't you think you're a bit young for that? Can you reach the pedals?"

Nicole looks indignant. "I bet I could!"

"How old are you, anyway?"

"Eleven," she says, looking down and circling a foot.

"Really?" you say. "Are you sure you're not twenty? You look so grown up."

Nicole gasps. "Never! I never wanna grow up! Grown ups are dumb. I'm a Toys R Us kid."

You shake your head and pick her up, lifting her above your head. She screeches and you spin her around once, then set her down. Her cheeks are flushed, and she hugs you around the midsection, looking up at you.

"Come on, Wolfy," she says. "We have to get going. It's not safe here."

it's not safe anywhere

"Yeah, OK," you say. "Let's go."

The four of you get back into the car, and you drive with a heavy heart under the yellow sun into the golden hills.

Behind you, cities burn, and worse.

End

Act 1

To Be Continued
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Re: The End (Story Posts Only)
« Reply #71 on: October 09, 2008, 09:29:50 AM »

Act 2

The road beneath you gently begins to rise. To your left and right, hills begin to obscure your view. Every once in a while you pass an abandoned car on the road. None show any signs of life. You find one smashes into a tree off the road. Another has broken through a gate into one of those gated communities and fallen into a ditch.

Up ahead, the road turns, and you slow down. You make the turn to see a vehicle much like yours, flipped onto it's side. The windshield is blown out, and shards of glass litter the pavement in front of it. There's a small crater in the road nearby. You steer around both.

"The fuck is that noise?" David says.

You don't hear anything. "I don't hear --"

But then you do. It's quiet, but...

"It's coming from back in the valley," Jacob says, peering over his shoulder.

"I'll try to find a lookout. I think the land levels out just ahead," you say, accelerating.

Sure enough, there's a ridge around the next bend. You park and step out of the car, looking down the hills back to where you came.

Three helicopters fly in the distance, low to the ground.

"The government?" asks Jacob.

You shake your head. At this distance, you can't make out any distinguishing marks on the flying machines. It looks like they're headed north to south, back toward your hometown.

David sights his rifle.

"What do you think you're doing?!" you ask him.

"Just looking through the scope," he says.

"Oh," you reply. He hands you the rifle. You put the scope to your eye.

Well, they're black. Other than that, not much else is made clear.

"Should we head back down there?" David asks. "Try to signal them?"

"I don't think --"

Suddenly the distant crack of gunfire cuts you off.

bratatbratatatat. Bratatatbratatabratatrat.

The sound of gunfire echoes up at you, distant and muted.

Flashes from the copters. They're firing down at the valley floor. At what, you're not sure. You put the scope up again.

"They're shooting!" says Jacob.

"How astute," David says. "Let me get my rifle back."

You attempt to swing it down to find what they're shooting at, but you can't make out much more than... wait. They're flying over the highway. The same road you were just traveling north on.

A fireball fills your lens. You open both eyes to see an explosion underneath the helicopters along the road.

"Jesus Christ," David says. The sound of the explosion roars gently in your ears. "Bombs? Rockets?"

"I don't know," you say. You wordlessly hand David back his rifle.

"They're shooting at both sides," Nicole says. "They've only been ordered one simple thing. But there's another side they don't know about yet."

You turn to her, standing up till now silently beside you. "What? What do you mean, Nicole?"

She looks up at you, and her pupils suddenly contract. "Wolfy?" she says up at you.

You gently rub her head. "What were you just saying, before?"

"I... I don't remember," she says. She looks back at the helicopters, now moving further south. "They're pretty birds. But they're raptors," she finishes.

David is looking through the scope again. "I've no idea what kind of helicopters those are, but damn if those aren't miniguns attached to the underside of them. Two apiece. And they've got some kind of tubes along side them."

"Rocket launchers," you say softly. "Could they really be firing on survivors?"

Jacob sighs. "It's feasible. If they don't know how far the infection has spread... the policy might just be to kill anything that moves."

"Well, isn't this a good sign?" David asks, watching the helicopters fly away. "Doesn't this mean that somewhere, the government or whoever is staging a resistance?"

"Maybe it's just California that was hit," you say.

"No, I don't think so," Jacob says, rubbing his beard. "We'd have seen a lot more people here a lot sooner if that was the case."

The group falls silent. You watch the three helicopters vanish to the south.

You head back to the car. The others follow and pile in.

"Should we go back down there? Try to find what they were shooting at?" David asks.

**************************************

1. No. Whatever it was, it's paste now. No point going back. Keep heading west, toward the town.

2. It's only a ten minute or so ride back. You might learn something.

**************************************

Location: Northern California, coastal highway, the foothills (Ridge Overlooking Valley)
Health: Normal
Infection: Unknown. At this point, you're pretty sure something is wrong with you. Alcohol seems to have improved your situation a bit.
Weapons: Lead Pipe, Revolver (empty), 9mm automatic pistol (9 rounds), Sawed-off Shotgun (10 shells)
Assets: Clothes, contents of wallet, Nice watch (Showing 11:18), Swiss Army Knife, Roughly five day's worth of food and water, Car, near full tank of gas, Flashlight, batteries, lighter
Skills: None that would be useful spring to mind. Damn the school system!
Members in party: Nicole, Jacob, David

Nicole:
Health: Shot in shoulder. Assets: Clothes. Skills: ????

Jacob:
Health: Normal. Assets: Clothes. Skills: Medical

David:
Health: Normal. Assets: Hunting Rifle. Skills: Rifle

"They" encountered:

"Faceless"

Form: Humanoid
Attacks: Vines
Resilience: Medium, can be killed by massive damage to torso
Speed: Low
Special/Notes: Central nervous system does not seem to be present in the head

"Flesh Worm"

Form: Worm
Attacks: Mouth, Unknown
Resilience: Unknown
Speed: Unknown
Special/Notes: Unknown

"No-Face"

Form: Humanoid
Attacks: Unknown, seemed to summon other faceless. Changed a bird into a Crawler.
Resilience: Unknown
Speed: Unknown
Special/Notes: Can suddenly vanish, or turn invisible. May be all in your head.

"Crawler"

Form: Vermin
Attacks: Long Vines
Resilience: Low
Speed: High
Special/Notes: Can climb and stick to walls, ceilings.

********************************
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Re: The End (Story Posts Only)
« Reply #72 on: October 09, 2008, 10:43:10 AM »

1. No. Whatever it was, it's paste now. No point going back. Keep heading west, toward Limestone.

"I don't want to go back," you say. "Whatever was down there is dead now."

You continue up and west. A canyon stretches to your left. The creek at the bottom seems to be where the fire was stopped. Everything past it is blackened. You can still see plumes of smoke rising in the distance. Soon, the road turns away and you put the canyon behind you.

"Pretty grass," Nicole says. You look over to your right to see the Gold Hills Country Club front gate. Behind it stretches the golf course. You actually golfed there, once. The place looks empty now.

As you continue past it, you see what would have been a normal sight a week ago. A man is golfing on the greens. As you watch he swings his club and the little white ball goes flying off into the distance. You're about to comment when the man turns around, and even at this distance, you can see it's Benny. He shoulders the golf club and waves at you.

"I had a membership here," Jacob says.

"Oh yeah?" you ask. "You like golf?"

"Not really," Jacob admits. "But if you're a doctor, you have to play. If you don't occasionally spend a day riding around in a cart hitting a little ball around with a big club into a small hole, they come when you're asleep

they sure do

and tie you up. Dump you onto the course with nothing but a golf club and a bath towel."

David chuckles. "Yeah, but you must have made pretty good money."

"I guess," Jacob says, and looks again at the course through the fence. The grass is starting to get long.

The country club passes behind you. Occasional offshoots lead into the back hills. Houses. Everything looks fine. Empty, but fine.

"Look, up ahead," David says. "There's someone in the road."

Indeed, there's a body laying face down in the middle of the road. As you watch a hand twitches. The body starts to crawl. There's a house nearby, set back off the road a couple hundred feet.

Jacob leans forward. "We should stop. He needs help."

"He's probably infected!" David says.

"We have leftover alcohol in the trunk," Jacob says.

"Just run him over," David says. "Best to put him out of his misery."

Nicole touches your shoulder from behind you.

*****************************************

1. Run him over.

2. Steer around him.

3. Stop.

*****************************************
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Re: The End (Story Posts Only)
« Reply #73 on: October 10, 2008, 11:14:34 AM »

3. Stop.

"I don't think I have to warn everyone to be careful," you say as you slow to a stop. "Nicole, you stay in the car."

Nicole pulls on your arm. "I don't like this," she says. "Wolfy, let's go."

"It'll be OK," you tell her. You grab your shotgun.

David steps out the passenger side door and readies his rifle. Jacob steps out of the car behind him.

You push open your door and check your shotgun. You click the safety off.

"Hey, you OK!?" you yell. The man doesn't seem to hear you. You take a few steps forward. "Are you OK?"

Finally he stops crawling and pushes himself up on one side, shakily getting to his feet. His right eye is missing. You grimace, and point your shotgun at him.

He's dressed in jeans and a wife beater. Tattoos on his arms. They look like snakes. He's got a crew cut. His shoes are worn down and dirty. Blood covers his hands and stains his shirt.

His good eye fixes on you. "I... I killed her," he says. "I killed her."

You do not reply. He begins to walk slowly toward you.

David's voice comes from behind you. "I got him. I'm gonna take him."

"Please," the man says, in a clear voice. "If you're real, kill me. I can't resist them anymore. I tried. I tried so hard. Please."

"I think we should do what he says," David says.

"We have the liquor in the trunk!" Jacob says angrily. "We can save him!"

You glance back at the car. Nicole is in the back seat, looking afraid. You turn back to the man.

"Please," he says again.

**********************************

1. Shoot him with your shotgun in the chest.

2. Shoot him with your 9mm in the head.

3. Shotgun in the head.

4. Tell David to kill him.

5. Tell David to stand down. You're gonna try to save him with the alcohol you have left.

6. Shrug. Get back in the car, drive off.

**********************************
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Re: The End (Story Posts Only)
« Reply #74 on: October 11, 2008, 10:54:00 AM »

4. Tell David to kill him.

"Take him," you say.

"No--"

Crack.

The man's head snaps back. For a moment, you see him standing there, both eyes holes. One goes all the way through.

Then he collapses. His arms spasm on the ground for a moment, reminding you of the vines when a faceless dies.

You turn to face the car. David is nonchalantly getting back in. Jacob is staring at the body. He is very white.

You walk toward him, and touch his arm.

Her jerks away from you.

"This isn't right," he says. "You just shot an innocent man."

"Well, technically, I shot him," David says from inside the car.

"We had the alcohol in the trunk," Jacob says. "We could have saved him."

"And had another ticking time bomb jammed into the car with us? He was asking for death," you say.

"You... no. This isn't right. I won't be a part of this. No longer."

Jacob turns, and begins to walk down the road, back the way you came. David is looking up at you, rolling his eyes.

Nicole steps out of the car. "Jakey!" she says. But Jacob does not appear to hear her. He only continues down the road. His steps are rigid.

"Jacob!" you call. But still nothing.

************************************

1. Go after him.

2. Leave him. Guy is soft. Can't even use a gun. He's dead weight anyway.

************************************
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Re: The End (Story Posts Only)
« Reply #75 on: October 12, 2008, 12:01:41 PM »

1. Go after him.

"God damn it," you say, and take off down the road after Jacob.

You catch up to him and put a hand on his shoulder. "Wait, wait. Just wait. I wanna talk."

"Talk?! What's there to talk about, you fucking murderer! You -- you didn't even have the fucking guts to do it yourself!" he says, facing away and still walking.

"He was infected! How is this any different than that Faceless I shot back at the vet?"

Jacob whirls on you with a sudden speed, knocking your arm away. His eyes are blazing. You take an involuntary step back. Where has the calm Jacob you knew gone?

"You. Fucking. Murdered. A person," he says, the words clipped and broken. "The difference. Is. We had the cure. In our fucking trunk."

You shake your head. "We don't know if it would have worked... he was asking for death."

"Would he still have been asking for it if he had known there was a cure sitting five fucking feet away from him?!"

"Listen, I'm sorry, OK? But this isn't Kansas anymore, and some decisions are going to be hard."

"Listen?" Jacob laughs. "Oh, yes, I've been doing a lot of that. My whole fucking life. I listen. I help. I mollify. I mediate. I advise. I... listen."

He pauses. His face contorts. "Jacob..." you say.

"Shut the fuck up," he says, raising an arm and pointing it at you. "I listen. Others like you, they don't. I'm done. I helped you, I kept you around even though I thought you were a danger to us, I smoothed things over with you and David. And when I asked you not to murder someone because we had the cure sitting right in the fucking trunk, what did you do? You ignored me. Nobody listens. Nobody cares. My whole fucking life."

"It's not like that, Jacob. I was only doing what I thought was best."

"What you thought best," Jacob slowly repeats. He looks you right in the eyes. "Then I was right about you after all. You have lost your humanity."

He turns, and continues to walk away from you, down the road.

"Where will you go?!" you shout at him. "We're in the middle of nowhere!"

He does not reply. You turn back toward the car. No help there. Jacob is continuing to walk away, down the road.

************************************

1. He's angry. He'll get over it. Get back in the car, follow him at a distance.

2. Go after him again.

3. Use your gun to get him back in the car by force. A doctor is ssomeone too valuable to lose.

4. Forget it. He's not coming back. Head to Limestone.

************************************
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Re: The End (Story Posts Only)
« Reply #76 on: October 13, 2008, 05:43:37 PM »

1. He's angry. He'll get over it. Get back in the car, follow him at a distance.

Cursing, you walk back to the car.

"He seems pretty happy," David says. "Does he not understand that we did the right thing, here?"

"I guess his opinion of the 'right thing' is different than ours," you reply, ducking into the driver's seat.

"You gonna follow him?" David asks.

"Yeah," you say, turning the car around. The body of snake-arms still lies in the center of the road. Nicole stares at it as you turn.

Jacob is still walking along the shoulder, downhill. He glances over his shoulder as you pull up behind him and grimaces. He doggedly walks on.

A few minutes pass. You keep your distance. David starts whistling. Nicole touches your shoulder and you turn to look at her.

"Is Jakey mad at us?" she asks, her eyes wide.

"Yeah, he is, Kid," you say.

"How come? Wasn't that man a bad guy?"

"Well, it's complicated. I don't know the answer. But I thought it was too risky to bring him along. He might have hurt us."

"Will you shoot everyone like him?" Nicole asks.

"That might not be a bad plan," David mutters. You ignore him.

"No, not for sure. It depends on the situation."

"What if I got in... infected?" she says, and starts to tear up. "Would you shoot me too?"

You stop the car. "No, Nicole. I wouldn't." She stares back at you. "I promised I'd protect you, remember? I'd find a way to save you."

David is shaking his head. "If we're gonna survive out here, we need to come to an agreement about situations like this. We can't be bickering like people in a zombie movie."

"I agree," you say to him. "When Jakey -- er, Jacob calms down, we can discuss this."

Speaking of which, you give Nicole a pat on the head, and turn back around in your seat.

Jacob is gone.

"What the hell?" you say, leaning forward. He was right there, in front of you, on the road, a second ago. You couldn't have had your back turned for more than a few seconds. "David, did you see where he --"

"No," David says. But he's pointing at a nearby house.  There's a car in the driveway. A minivan. The screen door over the front door is ajar, and as you watch it slows to a stop.

"You think he went in there?" you ask.

"You got me," David says, and shrugs.

"Fuck," you say. "Sorry, kid."

The blinds are drawn. There's no activity coming from the house. It seems like a normal everyday middle class home. It's painted yellow. The garage door is shut. There's a basketball hoop set up in front of it.

"If you're gonna go investigate, I should stay here with Nicole, guard the car," David says. "But... well, remember what I said before. I think we should just leave him."

You turn to look at David. He's watching you carefully.

******************************************

1. "You're right. If Jacob wants to be on his own, so be it."

2. "No. I'm going in and looking for him."

3. "No. All of us are going in. The car will be fine."

******************************************
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Re: The End (Story Posts Only)
« Reply #77 on: October 13, 2008, 11:17:13 PM »

3. "No. All of us are going in. The car will be fine."

David narrows his eyes. "I don't see why I have to go. I don't want to go in there."

"Er, I think we should stick together. No sense splitting up. Who is gonna steal the car, anyway? It'll be OK for a bit," you say.

David leans in close after glancing at Nicole in the backseat. "Listen, this is our chance. Jacob is gone. We can just leave him. Trust me, if he's what I think he is, we don't want him near us, or the little girl," he whispers.

"I'm not just going to leave him alone in the middle of nowhere," you reply. "At the very least I want to talk to him again, and give him a ride to town. If he wants to leave once we're in a safe place, so be it."

David leans back and throws up his hands. "OK, fine," he says. "But don't say I didn't warn you, later."

"So are you coming or not?" you ask.

David shakes his head and sighs, but then steps out of the car. He cocks his rifle. "Well, let's go save Jakey," he says.

"Thanks, David," you say. He nods at you.

Nicole gets out and stands next to you. She looks up at you, and hugs your leg.

"Stay behind me," you tell her. "David, you bring up the rear."

David takes a rifle bullet out of his pocket and loads it. "Got it."

You head for the front door. It's unlocked. You open it to reveal an entryway leading into a small living room with dining room attached. A hallway is to your right, leading away from the living room. Around the corner from the dining room you can see a hint of linoleum. The kitchen, probably.

The room is an absolute mess. The dining room table has been knocked over on it's side. The TV is cracked and broken. Garbage is scattered all over the room. There is what looks to be a large bloodstain on the wall behind the TV.

"Jacob!" you yell. "Hello?!"

Silence in the house.

"If you're in here, say something!" you call. You step forward into the room. A newspaper dated a week prior is opened on the ground in front of you. The headline is something about a contaminated water supply.

David heads into the dining room, stepping around the table, and peers into the kitchen. "Uhg," he says. "It's not pretty over here. Uh, Nicole, stay where you are."

"What is it?" you ask.

David just shakes his head. "Nothing dangerous... I think. Just... keep Nicole back."

Nicole tugs on your arm. "What happened here, Wolfy?"

"I don't know, kiddo," you say, looking out the glass door into the back yard. A kiddie pool with a small inflatable slide sits about twenty yards out, surrounded by grass and brightly colored toys.

David steps back over to you. He nods toward the hallway.

You peek around the corner into it. Empty. A single roll of toilet paper rests on the carpet, unrolling from an open door. The door at the end of the hall is open, and you can see what looks to be the Master Bedroom. A lamp has fallen off its stand and broken on the rug.

"Jacob!?" you call again. Still no reply. "Stay close," you tell Nicole, and start to slowly walk down the hall. You pass the toilet paper and glance into the empty bathroom. The shower curtain has been pulled down, and the toilet seat is up. The entire bowl is stained red. Something seems to be floating in the water. You quickly pull the door shut before Nicole gets to it.

You enter the Master Bedroom. A quick visual sweep reveals Jacob standing over the bed. He's reading something.

He looks up at you, his eyes somber. "Jacob?" you say. "Didn't you hear me?"

"They all died," Nicole says from behind you. "Their Mommy got infected and she killed them."

Jacob shifts his eyes to Nicole.

"Well, where's Mommy now?" David says. "I've got a present for her."

"She's gone," Nicole says. "She took them to the pits."

Jacob is crying. He sinks down onto the bed.

"It started with just one. A grandmother," Nicole continues. "They knew she was infected, but they didn't want to kill one that they loved. She infected another when he came to try to help her. Then he infected his family. Soon all the houses around here had someone who was infected. The people were scared. No one was coming to help them. They didn't know what to do."

You look at Nicole. Her pupils are huge and pulsing.

"Snake-arms killed his wife, but not because the worms told him too. He killed her, but she infected him when he did. He's not dead, you know. You killed him but he's not dead. I can still see him."

David snorts. "Fuck if he's still alive. I put a bullet through his eye. I saw it."

"You killed what was left of him. Now it's just the snakes..." Nicole says, then gently sways. Her eyes go back to normal, and she looks around, confused.

You approach her and hug her. She looks up at you. "Wolfy, this place is death and decay. There is nothing for us here. Let us move on."

You cock your head at her. Her eyes seem normal, but her speech is still monotone and lacking childish inflection.

"I think... that she's right," you say, looking at Jacob. "I'm sorry about before. But it had to be done. There's nothing for you here. Let's go."

Jacob looks up and holds out something. Keys.

"I was going to take the minivan," he says.

You nod. "Maybe we can --"

Suddenly, Nicole's head snaps almost completely sideways. "Spot is still here. He's hungry. He misses his people."

There is the sound of shattering glass from the living room, following by a heavy growling and seething noise.

"Oh, fuck me," David says. "Not the zombie dogs."

You quickly stride to the door. David is right behind you. At the end of the hallway stands what looks like used to be a black lab. It's head has caved in and been replaced by vines. Blood seeps from the neck and multiple wounds along the body where vines protrude.

You bring up your shotgun. The dog growls at you, mixed with a low, almost sensual hissing noise. The vines wave in the air, vibrating along with the noise.

You aim.

The dog vanishes around the corner, toward the front door.

"What was that?" Jacob asks. He's clearly terrified.

"The fucking zombie dogs," David says.

"We should go," you say.

"I think there's a window in the Master bath," Jacob says.

"They like dogs better," says Nicole. "Human bodies are slow. They use them for drones."

"And what do they use Dogs for, may I ask?" says David.

"Hunters," says Nicole.

***********************************

Describe your next action. Remember to bold.

***********************************

Location: Northern California, coastal highway, the foothills (The Yellow House)
Health: Normal
Infection: Unknown. At this point, you're pretty sure something is wrong with you. Alcohol seems to have improved your situation a bit.
Weapons: Lead Pipe, Revolver (empty), 9mm automatic pistol (9 rounds), Sawed-off Shotgun (10 shells)
Assets: Clothes, contents of wallet, Nice watch (Showing 12:18), Swiss Army Knife, Roughly five day's worth of food and water, Car, near full tank of gas, Flashlight, batteries, lighter
Skills: None that would be useful spring to mind. Damn the school system!
Members in party: Nicole, Jacob, David

Nicole:
Health: Shot in shoulder. Assets: Clothes. Skills: ????

Jacob:
Health: Normal. Assets: Clothes. Skills: Medical

David:
Health: Normal. Assets: Hunting Rifle. Skills: Rifle

"They" encountered:

"Faceless"

Form: Humanoid
Attacks: Vines
Resilience: Medium, can be killed by massive damage to torso
Speed: Low
Special/Notes: Central nervous system does not seem to be present in the head

"Flesh Worm"

Form: Worm
Attacks: Mouth, Unknown
Resilience: Unknown
Speed: Unknown
Special/Notes: Unknown

"No-Face"

Form: Humanoid
Attacks: Unknown, seemed to summon other faceless. Changed a bird into a Crawler.
Resilience: Unknown
Speed: Unknown
Special/Notes: Can suddenly vanish, or turn invisible. May be all in your head.

"Crawler"

Form: Vermin
Attacks: Long Vines
Resilience: Low
Speed: High
Special/Notes: Can climb and stick to walls, ceilings.

"Spot"

Form: Canine
Attacks: Unknown
Resilience: Unknown
Speed: Unknown
Special/Notes: Unknown

********************************
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Friday

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Re: The End (Story Posts Only)
« Reply #78 on: October 14, 2008, 12:56:38 PM »

Stick together, Wolfy in front, David in back, Jacob with handgun, and Nicole between. B Line to the car.

You shut the door and turn around.

"Alright. Here's the deal. We need to get out of here, and we need to do it right now. David, you take the rear. I'll go up front. Jacob, Nicole, you two stay in the middle. We go straight out to the car. No messing around with windows. It shouldn't take us more than fifteen seconds to get out."

"What about Spot?" asks David.

"If you see him, you blast him," you reply. You take out your 9mm from your pocket, and hold it out to Jacob. "Here, take it."

He shakes his head. "I'd only end up shooting one of you, or myself."

"Come on. It's a gun. Nothing easier to use in the world. We need you armed."

Jacob wipes away his tears. He crumples the piece of paper he was reading earlier and sticks it in his pocket. "Alright. I'll try. But only if I have to."

"I'm not asking anything else," you say.

Nicole looks up at you. She's trembling. When she speaks, it's back to girlish tones. "Wolfy..."

"Don't worry, kid. We're gonna be alright," you say to her, then turn to the others. "You ready?"

Jacob nods. David runs a hand through his hair and adjusts his glasses.

You turn to the door. "Here goes nothing," you say, and kick it open.

Empty hallway. You move.

Nicole follows, then Jacob, and David.

You step into the living room, sweeping your shotgun toward the front door, then the other way. Nothing. The sliding glass door is shattered inward. Shards of glass mix with the garbage on the floor.

You start toward the front door. It's shut, just like you left it. Where the hell did the dog go?

There is a scrabbling noise above you. Footsteps.

"He's on the roof!" hisses David, pointing his rifle upward.

"No," you whisper back. "Don't shoot..."

The footsteps above you seem to stop. A low growling sound is heard. The noise is right on top of you.

You motion the others to wait. Gingerly, you step toward the door and push it open. Facing backwards, you step out the door, shotgun tilted up.

The edge of the roof comes into view. You take a few more steps. A single vine slithers over the edge. You pause for a second, then take another step back.

The dog's head suddenly comes into view. The vines writhe and hiss/growl at you.

You blast them.

There is a horrible yelping and angry hissing noise. Chunks of vine and gore rain down. The head withdraws.

"Now, go!" you yell, pumping your shotgun.

Jacob runs for the car, carrying Nicole. David comes out back first, rifle pointed up. There's a scrambling noise along the far side of the roof, then a thud on the other side of the house.

"He's on the ground on the other side," you say. "Now is our chance. Get in the car."

David wordlessly follows your orders. You run for the driver's side as he circles around to the passenger side.

The dog comes around the side of the house. David quickly aims and fires a shot, but seems to miss. You level your shotgun, and the dog retreats to the corner of the house. You fire.

Scattershot slams into the edge of the garage and the ground. Some of it hits the dog, but only in the front area. Some vines hang limp from the head. The dog again yelps, but doesn't vanish entirely around the corner.

Jacob steps out of the car and starts firing the 9mm at it. His shots are wild.

"No, get back in the car! It's just trying to bait us into wasting --"

There is a low growl from behind you.

You turn, and a golden retriever hiss/growls, and lunges.

But not for you.

Before you can move or react, it grabs Jacob in it's frontal head vines from behind and bears him down to the ground right next to David.

"Jacob!" you yell. But the only answer you get is his screams.

The retriever bounds away to join the other one. Jacob twists in his tentacled jaws. His face flashes toward you for one brief second.

David curses and fires at the retreating dogs. This time, they do actually vanish around the side of the house.

There are horrible ripping, shredding sounds. Jacob's screams go silent.

**********************************

1. Charge around the side of the house.

2. Leave.

**********************************
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Friday

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Re: The End (Story Posts Only)
« Reply #79 on: October 14, 2008, 05:31:54 PM »

1. Charge around the side of the house.

Before you can think, you're sprinting around the corner after the dogs and Jacob.

"No! He's gone!" David says from behind you.

You skid around the corner to find blood and body parts splattered everywhere. Both dogs turn to face you over the shredded corpse of what remains of Jacob. His head has been severed at the neck. His eyes stare at you grotesquely.

You fire, but the dog you were aiming at sidesteps as the other spreads out to your right. Spot is directly in front of you, his mangled head vines seeping green blood onto the grass. He leaps with a tremendous roar.

You pump your shotgun and fire into him. He is deflected and falls to the ground, green erupting from his body.

The retriever leaps at nearly the same time, attacking in tandem. You try to dodge, to pump your weapon, but it's no use. He tackles you, the vines wrapping around your head and torso, digging into your flesh. Pain flares all over you. You struggle but the vines are incredibly strong. You hear David firing his rifle. The retriever grunts  and growls and you feel yourself being lifted.

You are torn to pieces.

From behind you, you can hear Nicole screaming as your head thumps to the ground and your vision goes dark.

********************************

You have died.

********************************

Thanks for playing, everyone. I had a blast, hope you had fun playing as well.
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