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War of the Dead Chapter 1

From the Journal Of Alex Quarterbane

On the maiden cruise of the Pinnacle cruise ship at the big gala dinner. I’m in attendance more out of a sense of obligation than anything else. Seated at the table are other guests who share the corridor in which my berth is located, a professional poker player, Vincent, absorbed in his thoughts playing absent mindedly with some poker chips and an attractive young woman with an elderly husband, she does her utmost best to look enthralled by him but when he turns away to look to watch the nights entertainment, I see the disgust in her eyes. Speaking of entertainment, we listen to the crooning of an Elvis impersonator diong his best to replicate ‘The King’ on stage including his oscillating pelvic area. I personally always found Mr. Presley high overrated.

The owner of the cruise ship a Mr. Farmington offers a short speech, I don't really pay much attention as I whittle away at the table, a bit sullen that the only implement I was permitted to retain on my person was this feeble 3 inch carving knife, I feel naked without my equipment at hand, amongst a herd of beasts with which I’m not particularly familiar or comfortable, Humanity, give me the open plains of my birth or the jungles teeming with life where I ply my trade. So many think I make my living killing creatures for profit, some of this is warranted but they don’t understand the respect I have for my prey, and the part I play the ‘cycle’ of things.

One of the other passengers is making a scene in the distance, he seems quite ill and passes out, ships crew attend to him and administer CPR and he is taken away. I pay close attention to one of the cooks who assists, something about the way she carries herself tells me there is more to that woman than meets the eye, I make note of her name badge as she helps carry the sick passenger away, Famke.

The Captain a Mr. Romero attempts to turn everyone’s attention back to the celebration. The night continues leisurely.

The next morning the wife of the ill passenger appears in the corridor outside our rooms with a bleeding arm and crying "They're all dead, they're all dead' we usher her into the room of the haughty trophy wife with which I shared a table last night, her name is Isobella. We call a medic, he says she has a fever. Isobella then insists of being moved to a new room, because of the mess made.

Famke one of the ships crew goes to passenger services to find out if there is are any rooms available.

I go to sick bay with Vincent and the medic to try and find a doctor, for the poor woman lying sweating and being ill in Isobella’s room.

As we enter sick bay we see a blood spattered scene of carnage, I can tell from their wounds they are quite quite dead. instinctively I pull ther pathetic esxcuse for a knife from my belt. Vincent bolts.

I ask the medic where security is and he says to try calling them, I call on a nearby service phone and request assistance. The bodies remarkably rise and start to advance towards us.

I push the medic back through the door and shut it, I desperately search for something to bar the door, but the hallway is barren of any useful items. I shout for the medic to lead me to the main Security office.

Security personnel pass us in the corridor and I tell them of the blood and carnage and advise them to be careful and they they should get weapons of some sort.

I enter Security and try to unsuccessfully convince the head of security Mr. Kirkman to arm his men, and try to see from where I am where they the gun cupboard is located. I notice a massive disturbance on the security screens in the casino, I point this out to the security chief and manage to convince him to recall his men and arm them and miraculously to give me a weapon as well.

I ask to have a security escort and tell the chief I'll head to another sickbay and make sure they're prepped. After this we start to head back to security and one of these bodies heads towards us I shout a warning which is ignored, I can tell from the wound to the man's throat was ripped out and he could not have survived, shouting again one last warning which is ignored, I shoot him hitting squarely and this doesn't even slow him down. He swings and glances me, gnashing his teeth as if he wants to replicate his own demise upon my persone. Now at point blank range, realisation dawns and I shoot him through his eye socket destroying the brain, this techique appears to work wonderfully.

We head back to security and come upon the ships owner Mr. Farmington in the middle of a ridiculous speech about not calling in the Coast Guard, Famke, Vincent, Elvis and an ill looking Isobella seem to have found their way to the security office as well. Once Farmington leaves Kirkman says that he is going to ignore that idiot and drafts us all in to help.

Kirkman says we have to head to the captain and convince to call for help. I notice Isobella has been bitten and try and get her locked in a cell, my warning is not heeded and she is even provided with a gun. I shake my head to myself thinking of the lack of logical these ‘civilised’ people can exhibit when put in instances of danger and horror.

We head to the bridge and the captain says he has been locked out of the radio, he says we need to override the security lockouts. At precise moment the power and lights go out luckily emergency lights come on, bathing us in a sullen and oddly appropriate blood red glow.

We head below decks to find engineering and get the power back on. We hear automatic gunfire but know security only carry pistols. Flashes of gunfire burst forth from the darkness of the engineering deck and we all dive for cover. Isobella faints, but seems to recover, however she drops her gun which I pick up, I don’t trust her and will not risk the rest of us.

These walking corpses which are growing more and more in numbers set upon us, drawn by the loud gunfire, and I tell everyone to aim for the head. We begin shooting, I drop one as does Kirkman. Isobella turns and Vincent deftly and surprisingly puts her down with a headshot, showing a calmness under pressure which was lacking only a brief hour ago, there may still be hope of him surviving this.

I drop another zombie as Elvis and Famke retreat, Vincent, Kirkman, Romero and I follow. After the automatic fire disappears we head back and find some bodies in black combat wear. I collect a gun and all the magazines in one of their packs and manage to tune in to their comms frequency, finding out that they are indeed professionals and they have taken over the bridge. We need to find a way to reclaim the ship or these ‘living dead’ will be the least of our worries.

From the Journal Of Alex Quarterbane

We make our way towards the bridge and are beaten back by combat troops holding the bridge, when we are set upon by a horde of zombies coming up the stairs to the bridge drawn by the gunfire. We find a kid carrying a skateboard ducking behind one of the counters, who runs to the other exit as we enter. We all move into the room but Elvis gets attacked, I hold my gun over his shoulder and blow the creatures brains out.

Crazily one troops grabs a grenade and pulls the pin, he gets attacked by two zombies and drop the live grenade where he stands, all but Vincent and I manage to get off the bridge, the grenade goes off and we are both severely wounded and shaken.

Kirkman gets the drop on the head of the mercenaries and asks them why they are onboard, apparently they were hired to sabotage and sink the ship but not harm the passengers. Kirkman tries to lead the mercenaries to the cells but Famke and I manage to convince them all to work together. Kirkman then says we need to split up and collect as many passengers and get them to the theatre so we can coordinate evacuation.

On our way down one of the corridors we hear sobbing coming from one of the rooms, I enter and find an old man crying sitting next to his zombie wife strapped to the bed. I try to pick him up and convince him to leave, he won’t leave his wife so I shoot her in the head before realising the noise created was probably a bad idea, he feebly tries to hit me but I walk into the corridor and continue on our way telling him to follow, he tries to hit me again and I grab his cane, I coldly tell him he can carry on hating me as long as he gets his arse moving. We find the lifeboats and they clearly can’t manually lower them without a lot of noise and bother, we decide to head towards the theatre and check it out, scavenging our way there. In one hallway we find a man threatening another with a gun saying he was bitten. Famke manages to talk him down as the injured man was clearly was just cut. Along the way we come across some sad and grisly sights. A father with his daughter who is bitten, Famke gives him a gun and says he needs to protect himself, we leave him. A crazy man covered in blood rushes us with a knife and is knocked out by Elvis, we find the room he exited contains a mutilated body of a woman, we lock him in with her body and continue.

We eventually make it to the theatre and Kirkman briefs those survivors who made there about our situation, he says we are relatively safe here but need to hole up for a day or more until we don’t arrive in port and rescue is sent. A religious nut says this is because we have ignored ‘His’ teachings, we all ignore her but Kirkman tries to calm her down.

It’s decided we need to find Fallington as he has the codes to turn the radio back on. When we reach his room it’s filled with zombies. An odd plan is formulated where Elvis leads them into another room by singing and we lock the interconnected doors behind them. He gives a wonderful rendition of ‘Hound Dog’ and the plan succeeds. Fallington’s suite is locked but Elvis uses the axe to take off the handle which luckily works and we enter. Fallington shoots at us. I dive behind cover, Zack the skater fires his gun and moves back into the corridor, hitting Fallington dazing him, Elvis leaps through the entrance tackling him.

After questioning him he tells us he has a satellite phone but can’t raise anyone on the the mainland or anywhere else.

When we return to the theatre with Fallington, problems have started to arise with the crazed religious nut drawing more and more people to her way of thinking. One of Zack’s mates is found to have a bite. He is quarantined in a nearby room. Shortly later an old man dies from cardiac arrest, he was not bitten, we move him into a room being used as a temporary morgue and watch to see if he comes back which he does, well thats answers that question! I bury my axe in his head.

After a while in the theatre, Fallington goes over to the religious woman (Hartten) and confesses he had tried to sink the ship, which drives her into a frenzy and she demands his blood as a sacrifice to appease the Lord revealing her absolute insanity. Her ‘congregation’ moves on Fallington, Kirkman threatens Hartten and her followers. Ms. Hartten says that he may kill one or two but he cannot stop them all, they surge forward and take Fallington, they cast him out into the hallway.

Fronm the journal of Vincent 'Stoneface' Parker

We shut the stage door. Maria the security guard a mercenary and a dwarf called Token come with us. We head for the lifeboats but zombies follow us. The engineer seems clueless. He buggers up the launch and we have to find another lifeboat. Launching the boat is noisy and it attracts some shambling zombies. Headshots from Vincent, Zach and Alex take down zombies. Elvis decapitates another. More zombies arrive and they surround us. This close it's axework. Famke spots a coastguard vessel heading our way. Alex lets rip with with his submachinegun. Two zombies drop. Zach, Vincent and Famke jump into the boat. Vincent helps Maria onto the boat. Elvis and Famke see zombies on the coastguard ship. It's heading at ramming speed towards the liner. Alex jumps backward toward the lifeboat shooting his machinegun. The coastguard vessel slams into the liner and explosions erupt all over. Both ships start to sink. We move out of the way so we don't get sucked downs into the ocean.

We head towards the mainland. There is a small amount of fuel on the boat. The rain comes down and Elvis is seasick. The sea gets choppy. We think that there is a storm coming. We are drifting and Zach has fallen overboard. He was trying some extreme skateboard tricks. We spot a shark coming his way. Vincent takes a pot shot at the shark. He hits but it keeps on coming. It circles Zach. The shark bites Zach while we try to pull him into the boat. We drift for a couple of weeks before we see land. There is a marina and we head for it. We tie up the lifeboat. We see a shop but it turns out to have been ransacked. We hear the sound of rifle fire. A zombie shambles towards us and attacks Token. He fends it off with a monkey wrench. Vincent swings wildly with his axe and hits Token by mistake. Famke calmly shoots the zombie in the head. In the woods we see zombies surrounding a house. We spot an RV nearby. Elvis ignores the people in house and heads for the garage. Token heroically charges into the zombies.Famke steps onto branches making lots of noise. Alex sprays the zombies with bullets.

A voice from the house cries out keep away from the house. Famke tries to talk him round. Henry and Eleanor invite us into their house. We are in Fairport, North Carolina. The crisis talked two weeks ago. FEMA messed up and the walking dead are everywhere. We hear that the shop owners where killed. They occasionally hear stuff on the radio. We see a clip of President Obama talking about a virus affecting the virus. It's transmitted through bodily fluids. He assures everyone that the crisis will be resolved. We see that their plans to deal with the walking dead are foolish in the extreme. Another clip shows the nearest rescue centre is in Jacksonville, 50 miles away. Rioting, looting and disorder is everywhere. Other countries seem to have been affected. We plan to head into Fairport next day looking for supplies.

Approaching Fairport we see fires burning. We see bodies littering outside the police station. The place is trashed. Famke takes a look a the weapons safe. Eventually she opens the safe. Inside the safe are pistols, 2 shotguns and H&K G3s (assault rifles) with ammo. Alex finds some handcuffs. Some graffiti says "No cure". A zombie appears at the window scaring Token. He dispatches it with his monkey wrench.

From the Blog of Zach "Ace" Montgomery

We find a women being gnawed on by two teenage zombies, but move on as her screams attract a new group of zombies. There's a forgotten handgun in the back corner of the town gun shop and as we're leaving we walk straight into a female zombie with her stomach ripped open. We kill it, but not without catching the attention of the natives. We raid some homes and find some useful items. Minutes later we hear a screaming baby and, on investigation, find it by itself in a house surrounded by zomies. We rescue it, change its diapers, and carry it back to Elvis and Token in the police station.

Out on the far side of the town we find an abandoned Walmart.... I step through the door and am pounced on by four feral dogs though luckily due to a call from Famke, and sheer luck, I manage to avoid them as they come barrelling at me. I manage to skate away but take almost fatal wounds doing so. As I speed away they turn on Alex and bite into him in unison, though he escapes up a stack of shevles to join Famke and Vincent. I spot some zombies heading for the barking and, more importantly for me, a door I can escape through!

I smash the pin code lock off the door with a well placed axe blow and as I step through Famke comes sprinting alone the top of the shelves toward me. Thankfully the zombies turn on the dogs and we're left to loot things. As we're loading up the pickup at the back loading bay we see Henry coming towards us - a biker gang has taken over the house and kidnapped Maria and his wife. We circle around and pick up the guys at the cop station before heading back to the house via the back roads.

We sneak up to the edge of the forest and look over the house - I set up on the ground ready to shoot at anyone outside if things go bad. Famke and Vincent run up to the house and try to attack the two guards outside. It's going badly and a third guard walks around from the back - I take my shots at him and miss initially, before hitting him the second time. Famke, Alex and Vincent kill the second guard and charge into the house, luckily making short work of three of the bikers. The final biker runs off leaving the leader's girlfriend, Spiderbait, behind - enraged she attacks Alex over and over - a mistake as Alex unloads on her blowing her to chunky kibbles.

We get approximately 3 seconds to celebrate before the bikers that weren't blown apart by shotguns start rising to their feet! I lose one in the trees while the others kill the two zombies in the house then go looking for the kidnapees - they find them in the cellar. We butcher the biker's Harley's for parts and fuel, taking just two of them with us.

From the Journal Of Alex Quarterbane

After holing up in a barn Zach and I manage to heal the terrible wounds from our encounter with the biker gang, The Ghost Riders.

We continue on our way to Jacksonville.

On our journey we come across a young couple fleeing from a group of zombies. We allow them in the RV but only after they surrender their guns and allow us to inspect them for bites.

We come across some derelict cars blocking the road but behind them is a growing herd of walkers. Some of the group approach to see how many zombies there are behind the cars and gauge the danger of moving them and continuing in this direction.

We have to retrace our steps to find another way around the herd.

After some time we don't find another route so have to return, the walkers haven't dispersed so we devise a plan. I draw the attention of some of the them on the harley, while zach connects a wynch to one of the cars to the pickup to clear the road.The plan works well and we continue on our way.

As we round a bend in this long road we come across a massive herd of a hundred or more zombies milling about in the middle of the road. Faintly in the distance we hear the sound of Elvis music coming from the centre of the group. Bravely Zach heads out into the scrub and fires a few rounds of his gun to draw the horde away, he then runs forward to meet our convoy and we drive past what was drawing their attention a car still running in the road, doors open, radio blarring, two bodies lie in the road, all chewed up.

A little ways down the road the RV sputters and dies. Luckily no zombies are around. There are some farmhouses and in the distance we hear church bell. After a heated debate, about half of us decide to investigate. Leaving Zach with the RV.

At the church we find a priest with a few companions all with shotguns. He says he rings the bell regularly to attract survivors, he says to come inside and he will barricade the doors, warily we agree and proceed in. There is a collection of survivors, twelve including Father Raymond and his cat 'Joshua', the group also includes a woman in child birth, they have been holing up in the church hoping for a sign of what to do, they haven't heard about the possible refuge in Jacksonville but this may be the sign they have been waiting for.

Famke and Token return to the RV to update Zach on what is going on in the church hall and decide to stay there overnight.

During the night, those who stayed in the RV hear the sound of motorbikes, they abandon the RV and flee towards the church in the pickup.

The gang surround the church and demand those who were in the RV are sent out. At this time the husband of the pregnant woman enters the room covered in blood, saying "she's dead" Famke goes to investiaget and finds the woman dead, stomach burst open, baby missing, another woman and the Father are also dead in the room, Famke using a pillow to muffle the sound shoot them in the head with her gun. At the same time Token starts ringing the bells hoping to draw zombies to attack the bikers outside.

Shit gets real.

In the ensuing mileu Zach gets bitten by one of the church folk who was bitten and turned by the zombie baby we suspect is crawling around somewhere but noone sees this. I head upstairs shooting at the zombie woman who was attacking Zach. After I shoot at the zombie again I see it bite Zach on the arm, he unloads his automatic weapon on the zombie blowing it's lower-half away. Token swings his massive monkey wrench trying to collect our companion Zach and the woman, he swings wide and misses both. Token swings again and hits Zach, Zach fires at Token. I finish off the zombie.

Astoundingly Zach summons the bravery 30 men and dives out the window firing his machine gun on the bikie gang surrounding the church outside killing several of them, the last thing he sees is a large group of zombies coming over the hill towards the church.

The bikers flee because of the zombies heading towards the church.

At this stage two of the church survivors appear in the RV having fixed whatever was broken. Our group and the survivors now totalling about 18 people pull ourselves together and head off in convoy of vehicles. We find out later that the pregnant woman was bitten before she gave birth but the husband says he didn't know it would hurt the baby or his wife.

We eventually reach Jacksonville and find a horrific scene of military bombardment on the city, a huge wave of living survivors are fleeing towards us, surrounding the RV, bashing on the sides, automatic gunfire rings out as 6 soldiers clear the crowd and move towards the RV heavily knocking on the door.

 From the Journal Of Alex Quarterbane

We manage to turn the vehicles without hurting any of the surging crowd.

A military humvee rams the RV and flips it killing some of the survivors we picked up at the church. I jump off the bike and find the two soldiers in the humvee I pull them out and take their kevlar vests. The humvee won't turn over, Token determines the radiator is gone. A large group of faster zombies is moving towards us. Token shoots some of the crowd to stop them getting in our pickup. I hand Famke one of the kevlar vests we put them on she climbs on the back of my bike.

After being chased by the group of fast zombies we manage to find and hole up in a food distribution warehouse with some other survivors. Discussions begin with some of the others including some soldiers about what to do now.

The soldiers suggest entering Jacksonville for medical supplies as last word was that the zombies being contained broke their containment and have spread into the surrounding countryside.

Famke climbs up to the roof to see how many zombies are about. Too many to make a run we wait another day.

The next day we clear some space using plastic bottles as silencers and head into the city.

We manage to help a gun shop owner who was trapped on his roof and he rewards us with weapons and ammo, he decides not to come with us. We continue to a supermarket with a larg pharmacy section and lead the zombies out while I go in and collect some medicine. I successfully collect some antibiotics etc. on the way out of the city we collect some fresh clothes from abandoned shops.

When we get back to the warehouse and it's surrounded by hundreds of zombies. We go in search of some heavy trucks to clear the zombies, which we are luckily able to do. We collect two trucks. I use one to clear zombies from the entrance while the other backs up to collect the survivors. I continue clearing the way but stall the truck and have to run for the other one while they begin to take off, I dive for the sideboard of the truck but miss. I have one last chance to try and jump in the back. I manage this with the help of people reaching for me.

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Last Updated:March 2013