Dying to Live, Living to Die (Hopefully not cliche Zombie Survival)

Discussion in 'The Quest Log' started by The Omen of Death, May 12, 2017.

  1. The Omen of Death

    The Omen of Death My presence, has just marked your eventual demise.

    You are drifting through darkness, floating weightless in an inky black void. Slowly you realize you are not quite awake, but coming out of unconsciousness; you must have passed out for some reason. You try to sit up, but some unseen force holds your body down. With a note of frustration, you realize again that you are still not fully awake. Focusing your will you try to start yourself awake, and for a moment it seems to work – you sit up and look around and can see that you are in a dark tunnel with very little light. You notice a man stooped over some object to your right and try to call out to him, but your voice does not work. Regardless, the man turns to look at you and it is then that you see it is not a man at all, but a smoky silhouette of shadow in vaguely a man-like shape. The thing sets upon you in a flash and you feel a smothering presence overpowering you in the darkness, wrapping you up, holding you down; trying to invade you. In panic you jolt awake – this time for real.

    The first thing you notice is a sharp stabbing pain in your head. Reaching up, you feel your hair matted in blood and grimace as you run your fingers over the jagged edges of what must surely be a serious head wound. Part of your scalp has actually been torn free of your skull and hangs in a greasy mess over your ear. You’re not bleeding from the wound very much – it seems to have clotted – but you definitely should get it seen by a medical professional sooner than later…

    In addition, your left arm, shoulder, and side are numb. Moving them slightly, you wince at small twinges of pain here and there, but are relieved to see that they are not broken – though it does seem that you have been thrown down on that side recently and with significant force.

    Sitting yourself up against a wall of cool damp stone you take in your surroundings. The floor is of hard packed dirt with a thick layer of dust on top and (from what you can feel), quite a bit of shattered safety glass lays around you. In the air, you smell a mix of smoke and ozone, like when an electrical outlet shorts out. That and the heavy stink of blood (your own maybe, you do seem to have lost quite a bit) and something reminiscent of burning hair… All in all, it’s somewhat hard to breathe, as if you’re not quite getting enough oxygen with each breath.

    It is very dark, but a dim greenish glow stemming from a huge mass of twisted metal before you gives enough illumination to at least make out your hand in front of your face, as well as what’s immediately around you. Looking at the mass in front of you, you can see that it is the wreckage of a subway train – or perhaps even two trains – as if one had run up into another on the same track. Now, however, the subway cars choke the dark tunnel you are in, cast zigzag across the tracks in a crumpled and jagged pile of wreckage. The greenish glow comes from inside the smashed train cars themselves and you surmise that it would be illumination from the emergency exits.

    Looking to your right, you see a mangled body without a head. You shudder and wonder what it was you saw standing over that body in your half-conscious dream state.

    Thinking back, you try to remember how you could have arrived in such a predicament, but you can’t get past the pain in your head. Your memory is all cloudy. How much of it have you lost? All of it apparently; you can’t even recall your own name. Looking yourself over for a clue to your own identity, you note that you are wearing reasonably savvy business attire with a gold watch. Unfortunately, the watch is broken, its face smashed and the hands stopped at 7:40 am.

    Checking your back pocket you find your wallet and upon looking inside, you find your license.

    “Greg Bradley”, you say to yourself, reading the name off the ID. The address shows a street in the suburbs. There’s also a photo of the wife and kids (you guess). The woman is pretty enough and there are two cute girls – a ten-year-old and a younger one, maybe seven.

    A twinge of frustration creeps into your mind. Why can’t you remember anything? Isn’t seeing things like this supposed to jar a memory or something? You take the photo out of the wallet and tuck it into your breast pocket. Checking the rest of the contents, you find a number of low-end credit cards, $50 cash, and a half dozen of your own business cards; showing that you are an accountant for the Morgan Corporation, located on the 24th floor of the Summit Tower.

    Also in your possession is a crushed cell phone (totally dead) and a ring of keys including the key and fob to a Toyota, a house key, a PO Box key, a padlock key, and what you think is an elevator key marked ‘ST 24’. Incidentally, your key chain also includes a small LED penlight – which upon testing in the darkness of the tunnel, seems to offer minuscule comfort against the engulfing blackness.

    It occurs to you that you should probably find something to bandage your head with. You consider for a moment trying to use your shirt as a makeshift bandage. It seems to work in the movies.

    It is then that you hear the rattle of movement from within the pile of train wreckage before you, followed by a long mournful sounding groan. Instinctively, you quickly turn off your penlight and remain still; waiting to see what is making the noise without yet revealing your presence. You don’t hear the sound again and wonder if some injured person is trapped there in the twisted subway cars, waiting for you to make the first move…

    1. Wait quietly for help to arrive
    2. Bind your head with cloth from your shirt
    3. Call out to whoever is there
    4. Try to sneak toward the source of the sound without revealing your presence
    5. Ignore the sound and climb through the wreckage to the front of the subway train
    6. Ignore the sound and climb through the wreckage to the rear of the subway train
     
  2. Francis Stickmin

    Francis Stickmin Mysterious Writer

    4.

    BTW (This is a great piece, really well written, and intriguing).
     
  3. The Omen of Death

    The Omen of Death My presence, has just marked your eventual demise.

    (Thank you, I appreciate it, obviously this seems to have a good start with someone, even though for a while I thought this was going to die in the annals of the Questing forum, I will have this move on with your choice now because so far it didn't appear anyone else will give out a choice, for now so we shall go with what you gave.)

    (So Choice 4 has been chosen with 1 vote!)

    Hauling yourself up, you cautiously move toward the sound of the person seemingly trapped in the wreckage. Climbing up the caved-in side of an overturned subway car you peer over to see a horrific sight. Train cars and bodies are smashed together in a grizzly mess that makes your stomach lurch. Severed limbs and broken corpses litter the debris, while one particularly gruesome body has literally had its entrails torn out and spread over a large bloody swath. Of particularly chilling detail, you notice shuffling footprints moving through the mess, leaving a trail on the other side of the pileup, and headed off toward the front of the train wreck.

    You again hear the moaning and follow it to where two train cars have slammed together side-to-side. There, a man is trapped between the two cars just above the waist. You have no idea how he could still be alive, as the damage looks grave. You can’t see it from here, but you can imagine his pelvis and legs have probably been sheared off and right now, only the pressure of the train cars slammed together holds his insides from falling out beneath him. The man looks like he is in shock and moans, still trying to pull free now and again, but without much real effort. You notice a lot of blood around his mouth and throat – probably what he has spit up since getting pinned.

    1. Go to see if you can help this poor soul (maybe it’s not as bad as it looks)
    2. Ignore the person in the wreckage and climb through the mess to the front of the subway train (following the bloody footprints)
    3. Ignore the person in the wreckage and climb through the mess to the rear of the subway train
     
  4. The Omen of Death

    The Omen of Death My presence, has just marked your eventual demise.

    (Choice 1 was chosen with 1 vote!)

    As you approach the man, he looks up and moans loudly reaching with his arms towards you. Going around behind him you reach under his arms in an attempt to pull him free. Not only is he stuck fast, but he actually tries to bite your arm as you try to help him. You pull back just in time and the man goes berserk, snarling and biting at you and thrashing about wildly. You notice that he is slowly beginning to extricate himself with all the erratic movement – but not simply by slipping out from between the two train cars – the thing is actually tearing itself free from its lower half in a spill of steaming red entrails!

    1. Find a large stone to smash its head in with
    2. Flee through the wreckage to the front of the subway train
    3. Flee through the wreckage to the rear of the subway train
     
  5. The Omen of Death

    The Omen of Death My presence, has just marked your eventual demise.

    (Option 2 was chosen with 1 vote!)

    You move quickly avoiding the man, ignoring the mess behind you and with the throbbing pain of your injuries, make your way over and through the wreckage of the train cars that scatter the tunnel in the direction, the train was headed for before the wreck.

    Along the way you see dead bodies everywhere, smashed into the twisted metal of the wrecked train cars – each more gruesome than the last. Disturbingly, you also notice an unusually large amount of entrails scattered about. You somehow doubt that that many people could all have been disemboweled simultaneously by a simple train wreck – even one as serious as this one appears to be. You’re not sure (and you certainly don’t want to get close enough to find out firsthand), but some of the bodies even look as if they have recently been savaged, as if by some wild animals’ rending jaws. As you get further along, you also notice a large number of bloody footprints headed in the same direction you are going. They seem to be joined by more and more footprints as you pass through one mangled subway car after another.

    At length you get to the front of the train you must have been riding on. In walking, you surmise that you had been on the train and thrown out a window when it crashed. You must have struck your head when you landed, which knocked you out for who knows how long. On that thought, you risk approaching a random victim’s arm sticking out of the wreckage to take their watch. Unlike yours, this one still works and indicates the time to be 6:04 pm. If that is correct, and your watch indicates the time of the crash, that means you were out of it for roughly ten hours. Wow, you’d better not go back to sleep until you can get yourself to a hospital or you might not wake up again. You also find a working cell phone in the aisle as you go and see that it still works, but there’s no signal down here in the subway tunnel.

    Looking at the first car of your train, you see that it is completely flattened under the rear cars of another train. It looks as if the first train was stopped on the tracks and your train somehow ran into the back of it at a rather high rate of speed.

    Continuing on, you cautiously pass through the scattered cars of this train with much the same scene of carnage cast before your eyes, until you finally arrive at the head of the first train. Unlike your train, the first car of this train is relatively intact. You know that at the very front of the train is a control room, which hopefully will have at least a first aid kit and if you’re lucky, a working radio. As you approach, you see that all the bloody footprints leave the train at this point and continue down the tunnel in the direction the train was headed. They are quickly lost however in the hard-packed dirt and darkness of the tunnel itself – though following them won’t be a problem – you only got one direction to go – unless you want to turn around and go back the way you just came it appears it would be safe to do so as it does not appear anything is following you anymore.

    1. Search the train’s control room before deciding what to do
    2. Turn and go back
     
  6. The Omen of Death

    The Omen of Death My presence, has just marked your eventual demise.

    (Choice 1 was chosen with 1 vote!)

    The door to the train’s control room is locked, but you are able to go outside and pull the smashed remains of the train car’s windshield out, allowing you to climb inside. When the train was hit from behind, it caused the cars of both trains to accordion together, sending them sliding almost sideways down the tunnel into each other until this particular car got wedged in a narrow spot and caused the massive and jagged pileup behind it. As you enter the control room, you see that the driver of the train has been crushed to death by the front of the train as it smashed into the side of the tunnel and got wedged in. You try not to look too closely at his flattened and gore drained shell; or the pool of mess under what’s left of his seat.

    Checking the area, you see a map of the train lines on one wall and note that the train was headed into the city before it crashed. That makes sense to you, as you would have been traveling from your house in the suburbs to your office in the city during the morning rush. Looking around some more, you find a well-stocked first aid kit, a proper flashlight, a crowbar, some signal flares, a large fire extinguisher, and working CB radio. You also find the train operator’s book bag with his lunch in it and help yourself to the contents, seeing as he won’t miss it anytime soon. You’re actually surprised that it tastes so good, given that you’re eating it in a small room with a horribly mangled corpse just a few feet away.

    After eating, you wrap your wounds in proper bandages and down a couple of pain pills and a no doze. You’re pretty sure you don’t want to fall asleep in here regardless of the head injury. You definitely don’t feel safe down here in this tunnel of death. Packing the first aid kit, flashlight, and signal flares in the book bag, you heft the crowbar in your hand and check out the CB Radio – unfortunately, it’s not the portable kind, but definitely worth trying to call for help on.

    You consider trying to take the large fire extinguisher, but are not sure about the weight versus utility. It can wait till you’re ready to leave, so you decide to address it again after trying the radio.

    After a while trying the current channel with no response, you try calling out on the other channels. Just when you are ready to give up, you dial channel 7 and hear a voice answer you on the other end.

    “Help, I’ve been in a subway train wreck!” you say over the comm.

    “This is Officer Main of the 3rd Precinct, who is this, over.”

    “Uh, my name is Greg Bradley”, you identify yourself, “I’m on a wrecked subway car down in the tunnels, I don’t know where exactly. Everyone on board is either dead or gone.”

    You hear an awkward pause on the other end of the com, and then Officer Main’s voice comes back on, slow and grim.

    “Listen Greg, there is no easy way to tell you this, but the whole world has gone to shit, just like that train down there. Some sort of terrorist bio-weapon released on the city this morning. A poison gas, or virus, or the like. It causes those exposed to suffer death-like symptoms, including a semi rigor mortis like state, and then they go crazy with cannibalistic rage. Just like the zombies in them movies. And like the movies, you got to hit them in the head and destroy their brain in order to put them down for good. Also, if you get bit by one you got roughly ten minutes before you’re one of them yourself – though I did heard this one guy actually lasted three hours before he changed. You haven’t been bitten now have you” he asks, pausing for a reply.

    “No”, you say quickly, not wanting to lose contact with what could possibly be the last living soul in the city.

    “All right then,” Officer Main continues, “Here’s what you need to do. Follow the tracks to the first station and get to the streets above. The first thing you need to do is avoid contact with any zombies. Next, you need to get your bearings and know where you are in the city – get a street map if you can. Then find a pry bar or tire iron and drop yourself into the nearest ‘center of the street’ manhole cover. It has to be one in the center of a main street, not a side street or manhole cover near the curb. And unless you’re Lou Ferrigno, you’ll need the tire iron to lever up the hundred and seventy five pound manhole cover. Obviously a light is going to be handy down there too.”

    “You still with me?” he asks.

    “Uh, yeah, I understand,” you reply – more than a little apprehensive about some plan to go down into more dark tunnels with ravening cannibalistic zombies lurking about.

    “Good” he continues. “Once inside, set the manhole cover back behind you – this should keep the zombies from following you in, unless you really piss them off for some reason. There shouldn’t be any zombies in the sewer tunnels – or if there are, there’ll be a hell of a lot less in there than on the streets. Once in the main sewer line, follow it just like you would the streets above to our Precinct House here on 3rd and Spring Street. You’ll see street names marked at each intersection of the tunnels and they run directly under the center of most streets. When you get to 3rd and Spring Street, you’ll need to be careful. The zombies are thick in this area, but we’re nice and safe here in our Precinct House. Like a fortress here, and well-armed, so you don’t got to worry once you’re inside – you just have to make a dash from the street to the door is all – you are good at running right? Over.”

    “I’m injured; got a head wound”, you reply, “but I suppose I can run a short distance all right. What about the hospitals though? I think I really need medical attention rather quickly. Uh, over.”

    “No, don’t go to any hospital! They are all overrun right now. We have medical supplies here and a triage unit with doctors and a surgeon. You get yourself here and we can help you. You hear?”

    “Yeah, thanks for the information. I’ll try to get to you,” you say, not really certain about it just yet.

    “Good Luck. Over” comes back the final reply.

    After giving it some thought you conclude that you now have a number of things to consider. If the city really is overrun with zombies, then you’ll need more than a crowbar to survive. You need real medical attention pretty soon too.

    The 3rd Precinct seems to offer both and is in the direction the train was going.

    Then there is your home and family. You don’t remember anything of them yet, but perhaps seeing one of them in person will trigger the return of your memories. You know they must love you and wonder if they are safe.

    Has the attack spread into the suburbs; or is it contained in the city? What if it spreads further? Is this the only city to be attacked; or are there more cities across the country facing the zombie threat?

    You’re not entirely sure how far your home is from the city, but you think you had just over a 40 minute commute – yeah, that sounds right. You try to work out in your head how far that would be in miles if you estimate the average speed of the train, when it occurs to you just to look at the line map on the wall of the control room. There you see that your suburb is twenty-six miles away from Summit Station (you presume under Summit Tower where you work), taking the green line from Summit Station to Fairmont Station and from there, the yellow line to Suburbia Station. Now all you need to know is where on the green line you are currently, which you won’t find out until you walk in one direction or the other to a station.

    Looking at your new watch, you see that it is now 6:35 pm.

    With this weighing on your mind…

    1. Take the heavy fire extinguisher & continue heading further into the city in the direction the train was going
    2. Leave the heavy fire extinguisher & continue heading further into the city
    3. Take the heavy fire extinguisher & head back the way you came in the direction the train was coming from
    4. Leave the heavy fire extinguisher & head back the way you came
     

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