Brian looked outside, the bodies were hitting the floor so to speak. However, he didn't feel like he was really contributing much. Every time a zombie shambled up close enough to be shot at, another member would either shoot it themselves or take it out with a plow. No one ever felt so impotent while holding a shotgun and a Death Scythe in their lives.
Jeez, more of these bastards are coming though. We've been handling them so far. Can we keep this up? He looked nervously out the windows towards the spawn points. I hope so.
"20- maybe 30 minutes at most, if they follow precedent they'll wait and gather power before making the all out attack. Really that first wave was just to test our defenses." Tommy walked back into the Promenade and noticed the dents on all the window barricades, he then found the nearest bathroom and began washing blood and brains off of his arms and face.
"I suggest we figure out a plan with how to deal with them, if we can't get the spell reversed in time. If you have anything special stashed away, now might be a good time to grab it."
Once he was a bit clean he went to the lounge.
"So, how are we doing? Making any progress?" Tommy asked, but he was able to notice that the room was looking worse since the last time he was there.
Leland and Garrus simply stared at Tommy once he asked his question, looking back at each other before back at Tommy. "There has been progress, yet it was more of for the zombies since the lounge got all messed up..." Leland told him, adding, "We've gotten no farther on the front we actually want to progress on."
"Why did you let him get the book Tommy!? WHY!?" Garrus yelled out with frustration, hitting his fist against the table which collapsed beneath them.
"Uhh...so how are the zombies and defending against them going Tommy? I'm assuming good since you're here...or bad if you were the only one that survived and have come to tell us that all is lost," Leland said with a scared look on his face.
The last of the wave fell with a thud as Steven brought his army of weapons to a halt. His vision was blurry. He couldn't hear anything anymore. His entire body was numb. Every last nerve cell in his body had been drained. His heart was beating like a war drum. He couldn't stop laughing.
"YOU THINK YOU CAN KILL ME!?! NOTHING CAN!"
He approached a zombie on the floor, barely having dodged a kill blow, and barely alive. With strength he shouldn't have had left, he grabbed the zombie by its jaw, and threw it against the wall. You could hear the stud crack beneath the weight of the throw. In one fluid motion, he leaped towards his last victim, slamming the heel of his hand into the zombies forehead. If his eyes were working, they would be rolling to the back of his head.
"I am unstoppable. I can block out the sun. I will rend the flesh from your bones and have the marrow within. I AM A GOD AND NO DAEMON CAN EVER STOP ME"
The broken zombies attempt to struggle was useless; feebly clawing at his armor with one good arm. With a final cry, Steven crushed its skull in his hand.
He was still laughing.
And it seemed nothing would stop him from laughing until she appeared in her usual blue dress and sorrowful expression, and gently touched the back of his helmet. The point where she touched his armor changed instantly, from his bright light to her ethereal blue. The color slowly spread over his armor, and jumped to his weapons. Once the last of it changed color, Steven fell out of his armor and onto the floor.
"Poor thing. He always had problems with his temper." She tapped lightly on the armor's hand.
"Be a dear, would you?",she asked. "Take him to his room to rest. He needs to sleep off whatever mood he's in right now." The armor nodded and, picking him up slowly, took him into his room. It came out a moment later, grabbing one of the floating halberds out of the air, and stood quietly by her side.
"That's better", she said with a slight smile. She approached Tommy, Garrus, and Leland with confident strides and introduced herself. As best as she could, anyway.
"Hello boys. Steven went a bit ill, so I'll be taking over tonight. Don't worry, though, I expect he'll be fine after sleeping it off. Now, about these zombies..."
She turned toward the battlefield, littered with corpses, and thought for a moment. She then raised her arms, and two massive sheets of pale blue light appeared in the sky. One slid under the fallen un-dead, the other rested on top of them. With a slicing motion from her hands, the pressed sheets folded in half. She repeated the move, over and over again, until the entire remains of the last battle could fit in her hand.
"Man, everything is so much easier when we don't have to split the power down three ways," She said with a smile.
"So, do you need any help here?"
Taryn looked up from the zombie, or rather half-of-a-zombie, she had been frying. "I'm good." she replied. With a casual flick of her wrist she stopped the flow of electricity. The infected torso twitched a final time and then lay still. Taryn observed the carnage Tyson had caused then whistled quietly. Severed zombies bits were now quite scattered. 'This is not going to be fun to clean,' the technopath noted. She started to comment when Tommy's voice over the comm unit confirming that more zombies would be on their way. 'Great...'
A Chinese profanity caught Taryn's attention and she turned toward Levi. "Nice trick with the bullets." she complimented. "Zhu yi." she added with a brief grin.
"20 -maybe 30- minutes at most"
More than enough time for Levi to prepare for the next wave, but nowhere near near enough to repair the barricades. When the onslaught of undead resumed, they would have to up their firepower to compensate. He had an idea of what to do, but that would require more ammunition. Best case scenario, not a single zombie would lay their hands on him. If they were going to be faster and tougher, he preferred it that way.
Levi flashed a grin of his own. "Xie xie," he replied quietly before turning his attention to Tyson.
"Hey, Tyson! How much ammunition do you have left in your bag? If so, do you think you could spare some?" Levi didn't want to make the trip back to the Lounge, if only in case the army of demon ghouls decided to attack now as opposed to a half hour later.
Tyson had found the removal of limbs from the zombies added more fluidity to his flow of his slaughter. The loss of three limbs from a body would normally cause a demon the leave the body of its own choosing because it wasn't possible for it to continue forward onto the book or fight. This also caused a massive mess to be made in their current location but that didn't really bother Tyson. The smell of burning flesh was still ripe in the air as Tyson looked on to the outside of the Promenade only to notice the absence of any visible zombies from his current position.
Tyson sighed heavily and took a few seconds to catch his breath as the weight of his armor and the constant motion required for killing off such a large number was making its presence know through out his body. Tyson heard the exchange of a few words clearly sound of Oriental languages before he was addressed.
"Hey, Tyson! How much ammunition do you have left in your bag? If so, do you think you could spare some?"
"I left my gun on the roof since no one in the Society has any real fighting training in regards to a teammate using a gun in close quarters." Tyson replied as he walked over to his bag and removed an equipment belt and attaching several explosive and incendiary devices and attach them to it.
Picking up the heavy bag, half full of boxes of ammunition, and bringing it over to Levi Tyson continued to speak. "Because of that you can use whatever ammunition I have left in here. I should also warn you that any ammunition coming from a red box means that it has an explosive tip and will create a tiny explosion when it makes contact with anything after it's been fired."
Putting the bag on the ground in front of Levi, The turned around and saw the outline of zombies forming on the horizon of his vision. Fuck! Trying to focus provided no yield as whether or not the zombies were waiting for something or if they had started to march again.
Tapping his communicator to activate his communicator Tyson spoke out to everyone. "I can see the zombies again, but I'm not sure about what they are doing. I'd appreciate it if you could get that kid to end this now before I find out."
"Why did you let him get the book Tommy!? WHY!?"
Tommy sat down, and stared up at the ceiling. " I don't know, something at the back of my mind told me it wouldn't be a problem. I mean I've done some pretty stupid things in the past but this? Leaving an artifact of doom just sitting on my shelf without any precautions, and forgetting about it? That just fucking crowns it. I mean normally I'm safe with things like this, I always lock up my reagents, keep my weapons stored in the pocket dimension, don't give a device to someone without training in magic. So I had a brain fart and now we're all gonna get killed by an army of demon zombies." Tommy let out a sigh, " That has to be one of the dumbest explanations I've ever heard."
Tommy, grumbled something under his breath, and stood up and poured a glass of cranberry juice.
"The fight went alright, no ones been hurt, but we've only taken out less than half of them, and we're already starting to tire, and that was easy mode compared to what's coming up next." Tommy chugged the juice, letting it wash out the taste of dried spit, sweat, and blood.
"We could use atleast one of you out there this time it's gonna get..."
At that time a glowing women deposited Steven on the coach.
"Hello boys. Steven went a bit ill, so I'll be taking over tonight. Don't worry, though, I expect he'll be fine after sleeping it off. Now, about these zombies..."
Tommy didn't bother finishing his thought as he watched the woman walk out. Who is that? Tommy thought, remembering the last time the glowing woman showed up.
"I don't blame you Tommy. It was probably the evil book of doom making you stupid...or something like that. Maybe...it's also partially my fault for dropping him off with you," Leland replied, patting his best friend on the shoulder.
"I blame all of you," Garrus muttered hopelessly, glancing up to see the glowing women before completely ignoring her and standing up from his seat. "I'll help you guys hold down the fort while Leland tries to get Renton to stop this madness from continuing. I'm probably more useful helping you all out anyways," he said, trying to psyche himself up for zombie fighting. He turned to his brother quickly and said, "You better have gotten him to say that spell backwards by the time I come back."
"Can't guarantee that, but I'll do my best. I'll come up with something...I hope," Leland muttered, looking at the small child in his lap who was eying Tommy's drink intently.
Jason silently looked on as Tyson handed Levi the extra ammunition, still breathing heavily from the previous battle. He slowly lowered to sit on the grime caked floor, crossing his legs. The Keyholder took another long look around him, glancing momentarily at the mounds of dismantled undead that he helped contribute to, noted only slightly by the gaping holes left in skulls and vitals, and claw marks that left some without certain facial features. He began to meditate, in hopes to center himself mentally, and to prepare him for whatever else may come.
"How're you holding up there kiddo?" Erebus asked contently.
"I'll be fine. Just need to catch my breath, that's all." He replied, taking a long inhale before exhaling said breath. Tyson's words of another impending attack caused the Keyholder's adrenaline to race, but he subconsciously regained control. Like the others, he'll worry about the problem when it better presents itself.
"I should also warn you that any ammunition coming from a red box means that it has an explosive tip and will create a tiny explosion when it makes contact with anything after it's been fired."
Levi nodded appreciatively as he sorted through Tyson's bag, removing the red boxes of ammo so he could examine them. He opened one of the boxes and removed a round. In appearance it looked about the same as a regular 5.56 round, save for the red tip which denoted its explosive nature. This would be perfect for dispatching zombies at a distance.
"Thank you, Tyson," Levi replied as he began to place rounds into the pockets of his costume's tactical vest. "I'll make good use of these". With one pocket full, he unzipped the next one and began to shove more rounds in. "You know, Taryn, I wouldn't be able to do this if you went with my idea of going as Simon and Kaylee," he quipped with a chuckle. "Now only if you went through with getting Zoe's Winchester...that would've been interesting".
With a small window in time to get supplies, Brian took the break in the action as a chance to reload. He came over to the pile in the cafe, looking for some shells, but there were none. Only rifle ammo. Damn. Lousy bugger, who doesn't bring shotgun ammo up front? Levi mentioned the Winchester. He couldn't let that go unchallenged, not in his current get up.
"Well you know man, the Winchester for all the hype about her, she wasn't really that good a shot, took too much time to reload there too," he mentioned. "Nah, I don't think even I would be going with the old Winchester there with some of these guns kicking around. Just saying. Probably better off with the guns we got there now. Speaking of which, I guess I need to find some more ammo in the back or something."
He headed for the lounge in back, slow at first then speeding up the more he thought about the kinds of beings that could be on the way. Reaching the ammo pile in the back, he grabbed some shells and shoved them into the pockets of his jeans and shirt. Not wanting to waste the opportunity, he hit the kitchen and picked up a bottle of Canadian rye he had been saving for later tonight. If those things take me down, I'm at least going down drinking the good stuff. He went back to the pile and tossed the bottle onto one of the box he had been taking out of and brought his entire bundle of cargo back out through the museum into the cafe area with the rest of the ammo that had been stored in there. "There, now I got me some bullets for them and a couple shots for me." Fully replenished he headed back to his post, awaiting the next round that the group had been warned about.
Tommy handed the rest of his juice to Renton before heading to his room. As he passed the door to the bathroom he looked in the mirror. He was a sight, completely covered in green save his face and arms where he washed the blood off, dressed in purple shorts that wear ripped above the knees, and splattered with blood all over. His vest was in one piece, so that was something. He went to his closet, leaving bloody foot-prints all the floor, mum would kill me if I tracked blood in the house, one of the advantages of living out of the house I guess. He stepped through the door and into the pocket dimension on the other side. The dimension held the small stock-pile of magical devices Tommy had acquired, it took him only a few seconds to find what he was looking for: A steamer trunk wrapped in caution tape. It had been the contents where his sisters birthday gift to him, he added the caution tape after seeing what was inside. He picked the box up and walked out with it. Here I was hoping I could forget this for the bad idea it was, well, there's still a chance I won't need it. At the front door he left the box behind the information kiosk.
"Please don't touch this thing unless I tell you to, I'd really rather not let this thing loose if I can help it." He told all present.
In the distance the horde began moving. This time it was no longer the relatively uniform shambling army that attack before. The corpses were twisted, bloated, and mutated in terrible ways. Hulking abominations walked side my side with monsters with jaws dripping with acid. Whatever sick depraved augmentation one could imagine being inflicted upon the human form, it was present in the rotting multitude that marched on the Promenade. The quicker ones broke off of the horde and took the lead, running, both on their feet and on all four, some even gliding on wings.
"Alright here they come!" Tommy yelled into his comm. He rooted himself as he was pounced upon my a zombie that seemed to be half animal, with razor sharp teeth and claws. A rabbit punch sent it flying away but not before it scored a cut on Tommy's shoulder.
Renton giddily accepted the juice that Tommy handed him and drank it down as he watched Tommy head to his room. His eyes went over to his father who got up and said he'd go and help out with the zombies before turning to leave. Renton babbled something as he threw the cup on the floor and started to get teary-eyed, his dad turning around and telling him he'd be back soon.
"I'm sure he'll be fine fighting off zombies. They'll all be extra fine if you manage to say this spell backwards and stop them from having to fight zombies though," Leland told his nephew as he wiped his tears away before showing Renton the spell on the book page.
"Jesus christ are those what we'll have to fight?" Garrus asked with a mixture of disgust and fear in his voice as he saw some of the new foes that they'd have to fight, "Freakin' nasty. Were they this bad before?"
If anyone responded to Garrus he didn't have a chance to hear it, for right after he asked his question a hulking monstrosity on all four legs started to bolt towards him as quickly as possible. It quickly ran ahead of its group as it ran at full speed towards the Promenade, tearing up chunks of the ground with each stride. Garrus tried sending a few smaller shockwaves to hit the beast, only to have it be barely harmed by them. He changed tactics and sent a wave in the ground, the force causing the ground to bend and break into bits. The new obstacles caused little problem to the zombie though as it jumped over the risen earth; jumping off of a particularly large piece and jumping onto Garrus.
As he fell he managed a strong shockwave that decimated the body of the beast that was on top of him, leaving only it's hind quarters and the head that had torn into his shoulder intact. After hitting the floor hard he managed tore the head of the zombie off of him, giving it a good smash with his boot to make sure it was dead. He breathed hard as he stood up, wiping some sweat off his brow as he realized that this would be a helluva lot harder than he initially thought if he had some trouble with just one.
Richard currently had his hands full with this group. He had finished refilling his ammo right as the next wave hit.
"Jesus Christ I think bullets are only pissing it off. Can somebody else get to the rear barricade before we get overrun? I don't think we'll be able to handle it on our own as it is."
He knew it wasn't as bad as he was portraying it, but the increased durability mixed with the sheer number was proving to be very troublesome to keep back. Hopefully his supplies and aid would get them through the current wave, but they would probably fall back with the next one if something didn't change soon.
"Here who come?" Taryn muttered as she looked at the barricade. The breached and rather ineffective barricade. Despite Tommy's shouting there appeared to be nothing new trying to break in. There were only dead corpses. Dead-er corpses. 'Did they regroup? the technopath wondered. She glanced up toward the ceiling. A blinking red light, one of the indicators that meant the security system was still online, gave her an idea.
For safety Taryn backed up against the nearest wall. Something squished unpleasantly under her boot when she accidentally stepped on top of a fallen zombie...part. Taryn accessed the nearest security camera while shaking her foot in disgust. She put her hand up against the wall for balance.
Several cameras responded to her silent query over the network. A few had been knocked out of alignment and were looping error messages. One camera had an odd film coating its lens that Taryn didn't want to dwell on. Suffice it to say some of the cameras were out of commission. But she only needed one...Taryn shuffled through her options quickly to find a view of the front entrance. While she scanned she focused her attention on the barricade. Just in case. There was a camera stationed in the main hall. 'That'll do.'
Taryn's view of the café and its carnage shimmered for a moment like a TV with bad reception. Then a series of 0's and 1's appeared in an overlay to meld into a small monochromatic image. Of a giant clawed hand.
'Wait, what?' Taryn shook her head in a reflexive motion. But the image didn't change. The claw remained for another second and then was withdrawn. Then something knocked the camera from its perch. There was a brief moment of disorientation as the camera dangled by its wires and began to spin. Taryn got a glimpse of sharpened teeth and another clawed hand before the video feed died entirely. 'Not good!
"Guys?" Taryn said loudly, breaking off her connection with the system. "We've got company." she warned. As Taryn turned toward the main hall a loud shrieking cry accompanied a winged zombie that flew, actually flew into the café. Using the light fixtures as handholds the creature hurled itself to the ground and vaulted over a table. Chairs and splintered wood went flying.
Easily six feet tall the mutated corpse had wings made of twisted flesh and bone protruding from its back. Split fingered hands formed claws and matched the malformed feet that were covered by what could have once been a pair of baggy pants. The creature was so filthy it was hard to tell what was flesh and what was once clothing. Its head appeared human-normal except for being corpsified and gross.
"What-" Taryn's startled exclamation was cut short as the creature gave another shriek and launched itself forward. 'Woah!' Taryn dodged to the side, shoving off of the wall and aiming for one of the nearby tables. The table she'd found was broken and on its side. 'Good enough. It's a chest-high wall.' Taryn thought as she scrambled behind her makeshift cover. Keeping most of her body behind cover Taryn began firing short blasts of electricity at the creature. It whined in a high-pitched range but continued to move forward.
Tyson quickly ran out through the barricade and pulled one of the explosive devices off of his belt and set the timer to twenty seconds. Tyson's plan to make it far enough away from the cafe that everyone else would be clear of the blast distance failed as soon as the mutant zombies began to charge. Tyson got as far as he could before pressing the button to activate the countdown and turning around to run away.
Activating his communicator, Tyson make a firm statement to Levi. "Levi I set off a bomb out here. This wouldn't have been a problem except in order to get as many zombies as possible in the blast I had to set the bomb and trigger it early. Everyone in the cafe is in range of the bomb so you will need to use a magnetic field to stop the shrapnel from hurting any of you."
Before Tyson heard reply he saw a a zombie crawling along the wall and take off flying for another section of the Promenade roof; doing something to the cameras. The sight of this zombie cause Tyson to freeze in his tracks. It's almost like what I turned into.
Lost in time for a few seconds Tyson was literally knocked out of it by a charging zombie. Tyson was knocked forward several feet before he tumbled to a stop. Tyson moved his arms over his head and tucked his legs in as the explosion from the device sent shrapnel flying in every direction. Pieces of shrapnel ripped through zombies, deflecting off Tyson's armor, and cut his ears and hands as they passed by heading towards the Cafe. The shock wave that followed moved Tyson a few feet forward along the ground as Tyson watched the shrapnel stop in its tracks at the Cafe's entrance.
A sigh of relieve was breathed at the sight that his botched plan turned out okay before the winged zombie from earlier flew into the Cafe. The zombie swung along the roof before hitting the ground and jumping at Taryn. Tyson tried to block out a though in his mind but it only made it hit him worse. What if whatever I became, attacks the other members like that? What if I use my power and I just become overtaken instantly? What if it just overtakes me while I do nothing? Tyson tried to break his train of thought but was failing hard. His concentration was beyond lost and he had no chance of knowing of the approaching zombies.
A clawed zombie swiped at Tyson's back and a loud metal whine was made as it cut halfway through Tyson's armor. The zombie withdrew its claws and moved to attack again as Tyson rolled over and was hit by a larger zombie that knocked him off the ground and into the air. The clawed zombie slashed again, cutting off the explosive and long sword belts from his armor before Tyson was launched through the air before receiving a hard landing.
Tyson pulled the short sword from his back but it was knocked from his hand by the clawed zombie. With nothing else to do Tyson quickly shuffled himself backwards away from the clawed zombie but stopped at the zombie dug it's hand right where his head would have been. The other hand was raised and was starting to be moved down towards him. Everything slowed down like it was moving almost at a stand still.
" Your so fucking pathetic! Are you so much of a little bitch that you'd let that little fear of losing control if you use your powers stop you from living? Stop you from getting justice? Stop you from moving forward and instead just dying like you have nothing to live for?"
"Like you have any idea what it's like? What do you know of actual fear instead of just inducing it? You always controlled the fear; we even named you Nightmare. Now you're dead like the rest of them. What would you suggest that I do?"
"Easy. Embrace the fear and take the risk. Everyone who I used my power on never fought the fear. They all died or lost their minds. No one ever bothered to fight it, so it was as if they just surrendered to death. If you loose control fight the fear it gives you and take back your control."
With nothing left to lose, Tyson did the one thing he never wanted to do the most. Embracing his fear meant giving what was inside of him control. Tyson let out a small sound wave and he was gone. Control was completely lost as his body was taken over and reality came back to speed.
Tyson's eyes grew black as the sound waves instant grew and he caught the zombie's arm before it pierced his chest. Twisting it around completely the bone completely disconnected in the arm and ripped it off. Turning the severed limb around and slamming it into the head of the arms previous owner.
Jumping back up to his feet, two throwing knives were removed from his shoulder and were being wielded as daggers. There was no order or pattern to his movements as he charged as he charged forward like an animal; producing inaudible sounds.
'This isn't good,' Garrus thought to himself as he walked back another ten steps away from the entrance, the distance between him and it widening drastically as the mutated zombies started to swell around the entrance, with a few slipping inside. Those were quickly dispatched, but as easy as it was to send shockwave after shockwave at the wall of zombies, Garrus was finding it hard to actually make a dent in the population of the horde.
'For every one I kill there are ten to replace it it feels like,' he thought hopelessly as he retreated further back another few steps to help give him some breathing room.
"If at all possible can we get some help up here at the front entrance?" Garrus called into the communicator, narrowly avoiding some acid that was spat out by a particularly bulbous looking zombie. A quick shockwave caused the zombie to explode, drenching the zombies behind it and the floor around it in an clumpy, acidic bath.
As Garrus managed to swallow down his lunch from earlier in the day he saw one of the metal beams of the entrance start to give way before being completely bent forward, allowing the zombies to quickly fall in around it and charge towards him. He found himself against the main hall wall as he sent a shockwave through those charging towards him, the zombies falling to the ground after he destroyed their legs. All were much easier to pick off now that they were crawling towards him, and after a few minutes he was back to killing off the horde at the entrance again.
"None of this is working," Leland groaned, rubbing his eyes tiredly as he strained to think of something that could work. 'Magic won't work and none of my previous plans have either,' he thought as he opened his eyes to see his nephew staring at him.
"We've got to think of something kiddo, otherwise we're kinda screwed," he muttered with a solemn expression on his face, turning his eyes towards the book that caused all of this mess. "Maybe...maybe we should just try a simple plan," Leland mused, deciding to simply try to recite a word of the spell backwards and have Renton repeat it. "This might take awhile but it's the only thing I can think of. And you're going to have to do your best little man, so let's start. Say 'llaf' for me."
Chaos reigned as the next wave of undead hurled themselves forward. But these were nothing like the zombies that had dropped by the dozen. These zombies were horribly mutated and distorted, a cruel and macabre mockery of the humans they once were. And they were fast. Very fast. Levi had no time to prepare his newly acquired explosive bullets when a particularly agile ghoul slammed him into the floor with a powerful tackle. The zombie opened its mouth, revealing rows of serrated teeth. Perfect for tearing flesh from bone. Before it could take a chunk out of Levi, he slugged it in the side of the head. He then grabbed the zombie's head and twisted it at a sharp angle, breaking the rotting bones of its neck.
Kicking the inert creature aside, Levi stood just in time for another one heading - rather, waddling - his way. Its stomach and left arm were severely distended, its mottled grey skin covered in stretch marks and scars. Three bullets found their way out of his pocket and pointing at his new target. Three bullets were fired, and three gaping holes manifested themselves in the zombie. Two in the head, one in the chest. Chunks of diseased flesh shot out from the wounds before the ghoul fell over dead.
As Brian returned to his accepted station on the cafe side barricade, he was greeted with a sight that would shake even the most stone-cold creationist. The zombie army had evolved, past the standard Shaun of the Dead style zombie and more up to the Left 4 Dead style zombie. Damn, I sucked at Left 4 Dead. OK, OK, it's all right. Should be able to handle these guys, much like the...actually where did the other zombie bodies go? Huh, oh well. Maybe they dissolve once dead. Makes cleanup easier I guess.
They were moving at various speeds but a breakaway zombie caught his attention first. The grey monster dashing up to the barricade, teeth bared and claws raised at it was clearly drooling at the prospect of a fresh meal. It made a flying leap towards the barrier, intent on opening up another front now that the right barricade seemed to be packed with his brethren.
Brian was a bit startled by the brazen charge of this zombie but he got his shot off. The shell ripped through the zombie's chest, halting its jump at the apex and sending it flying backwards, hitting the ground with a thud. A quick double tap to its prone head made sure there was one less creature to worry about, but the creaking sounds of the rafters were worrying. One fell by Garrus as he was swarmed by the beasts, but Brian could feel a wave hitting, and those zombies took the brunt of it.
As Garrus took care of his horde, the one in front of Brian was growing by the second. "Shoot!" he cursed out. "There's way too many of these things here, you know?" He fired off another round, trying to connect with a head. "At least for just the slow and easy approach!" He had to fall back a bit from his position. This was proving to be a war of attrition, and they were outnumbered greatly.
Jason began to jump into the fray, or rather several of the undead jumped at the seated Keyholder, the one running the fastest lunging at his vulnerable position. His eyes flashed open in the nick of time, his body curling into a ball to roll away from the pouncing attack, the zombie nearly missing him as several others followed suit. Jason barely had time to scramble to feet before another zombie took them from under him, leaving another one to collide with him in the air. As the two rolled to a stop, Jason fought to keep the zombie from doing any serious damage, grabbing a hold of its arms as it wrestled atop him.
Fuck! They're getting crafty!" He thought in strain as the undead growled and snapped at his face mask.
"We...we can't keep going like this," Garrus muttered to himself as he ducked behind a large pillar in front of the museum entrance, sending out a few shockwaves to hold the zombies at bay while he used his communicator.
"Everyone, I think a retreat might be in order...at least for the main entrance. There's simply too many of them up here," he yelled into the communicator in a panic as a large swarm tumbled their way over their fallen brethren. A shockwave was sent above them, causing half of the wall to collapse and crush the majority of those that had made it through; the few others being taken out a few minutes later.
"I bought some time but shutting half of the entrance. How's the situation going for everyone else? Is it just as bad? Is there no way to retreat?" he asked, catching his breath now that there was a slight reprieve as the zombies tried to funnel their way through the debris at the entrance.
Brian had followed suit when Garrus called for a retreat of the main entrance. Keeping an eye on the bottleneck they had turned the gate into, he spoke. "Buddy, we gotta get something going out there eh? Like these single shot guns, they ain't doing much there, ya know? We gotta get something that can just start mowing them down. Like a lawn mower! A really big one! Do we have any of those kicking around the place?"
Tommy fell back as Garrus brought the ceiling down.
"Well ya, I do have a back up plan for retreat, we all piggy back a teleport with Leland, but I'm afraid of whether or not the book will get left behind, it does weird stuff like that sometimes."
As the zombies getting through through Tommy charged to meet them. Knocking one straight out of the entrance with a full strength punch to the chest.
"Like a lawn mower! A really big one! Do we have any of those kicking around the place?"
"Not a lawn mower, but rotating things that kill, ya we have those." Then a zombie, standing almost ten feet tall charged Tommy, knocking him across the museum, and into a replica Masterson Armor suit. Ugh, I hate being on the wrong end of those punches.
A magnetic blast struck a zombie in the center of its distorted mass and violently hurled it against the wall. Another opportunistic ghoul was rewarded with a swift two-handed blow to the face, its force amplified by another magnetic bolt. It stumbled backwards, which gave Levi enough time to ready his last pair of explosive bullets. The rounds fired and blew apart the creature's skull in a rain of gore. As the freshly headless corpse crumpled to the floor, three more zombies took its place. Each looked eager to spill his blood.
The first one to reach Levi was taller than the rest by at least two feet. Its long, thin legs allowed it to cover more ground more quickly than its undead brethren. The creature lunged for him with its sharp clawed hands raised. Levi responded by stepping into its charge and sweeping its legs from underneath it, causing it to drop hard onto the floor. He spun on his left heel, raised his right foot, and brought the boot hard onto the zombie's skull.
Trying to catch their potential prey off guard, the other two zombies went straight for Levi in a headlong charge. One threw its gigantic rotting fist forward, aiming to score a vicious punch. He stepped to the side, allowing the strike to cleanly miss before pivoting on his left foot and driving his right into his opponent's gut. Through his boot he could feel the decaying flesh and bone crumple under the force of his attack. The zombie let out a strained growl as it stumbled back, giving Levi enough time to send it sailing into the wall with yet another powerful magnetic burst.
With a primal roar, the third ghoul charged forward and thrust its blade-like arm at Levi in the hopes of impaling him. He managed to sidestep the attack, but not without receiving a grazing along his left side. The zombie then went for a horizontal slash, but Levi was able to duck under the attack and deliver a two-handed strike to its chest, followed by two more to the face and finishing it off with a well-aimed roundhouse kick that snapped its neck.
"Everyone, I think a retreat might be in order...there's simply too many of them up here!"
Garrus's panicked voice sounded in his ear while Levi knocked another zombie to the floor and smashed its skull with his boot. As Levi sent another ghoul flying away with a quick blast, a series of loud rumbling and crashing temporarily drowned out the groans and cries of the undead. Facing the direction of the din, he saw that a good portion of the main entrance had collapsed. Garrus then returned, saying that he had - at least momentarily - sealed the Promenade's main entrance to stall the zombies.
Well, that's one way to do it...
"Garrus is right. We need to regroup," Levi said into the comm. "There's too many of them and they're too powerful. If we stay out here, we're as good as dead".
Richard was quickly getting overwhelmed, he was losing ground and he knew it. There was no way, even with the defenses set up previously, that he could hold his current position.
"I'm falling back, they're too fast and there's too many of them. Sorry guys but I can't keep this up." Richard said before beginning to fall back from the position, firing into the zombies as he went.
Shit, I can't kill them as fast as they keep coming. At this rate they'll be in the building by the next wave at max.
'Come on...' Taryn complained. 'Stop already!. Despite the smoking and blacked edged wounds covering its body the super-zombie still managed to shuffle forward. Its grotesque wings were useless and blackened. So it couldn't fly. But it was still not stopping. Smaller zombie surrounded the super-zombie like weird and dead minions. But the super-zombie...'It's like it has rubber skin.' Frustrated, Taryn stopped the current she'd been firing and dropped her hands. Electricity ran across her fingers in short bursts as she debated her options. Some of the minion zombies decided that she was a good target and scrambled towards her. One climbed over a broken chair but slid on some debris leftover from Tyson's bomb. A quick but precise lightning strike left a gaping hole in the zombie's chest. It fell to the ground and was trampled on by a second zombie who received a similar gaping chest wound. Taryn glanced back at her larger foe and saw that it had stopped on the other side of her table barricade. Its wings were twitching and the creature was making agitated sounds. 'Next Halloween, I'm keeping the guns.' Taryn declared. 'A shotgun would be perfect right about now.'.
Spotting a metallic object on the ground Taryn picked it up and shook it lightly to get the drywall dust off. The broken metal chair leg was twisted to a jagged point on one end. It was more of a stake that the club Taryn was looking for. But a stake worked too. Taryn swung the makeshift weapon around in time to catch a small zombie across the chest. It shrieked and fell backwards. "Alright." she muttered. "Let's try this." Shifting her grip Taryn turned toward the super-zombie.
Having given up flying the zombie was in the act of climbing over the table barrier. Taryn rushed forwards and turned so that her shoulder struck the zombie's chest with her full momentum. The creature, already off balance, stumbled backwards with a growl. It swiped clumsily at Taryn's head. She ducked behind the table. Using it as a shield she moved until she found a low point in the barrier and vaulted over to the other side. The super-zombie shrieked in anger when it spotted her again. It turned to swat at her with one clawed hand.
"Yaa!" Taryn answered with a yell of her own. She swung her stake around and upwards in a tight arc. Puncturing the creature's midsection the stake almost completely disappeared but was stopped abruptly by a collision with something solid. The zombie gave a high pitched wail as something dark and viscous began pouring from the wound. Taryn grimaced but struck the stake with the palm of her free hand. Something gave with an audible crack and the zombie's cry became a gurgle.
The creature was not, however, beaten. Sharp claws raked across Taryn's shoulders and upper back, shredding the vest fabric easily and slicing into her flesh. She hissed in pain but kept her one-handed grip on the stake. Jerking her elbow back she managed to dislodge one clawed hand, grabbing the arm before the creature could strike again. Her shift in position caused the creature's other hand to dig deeper into Taryn's shoulder, dragging a pained cry from her. She scowled up at the creature and tightened her grip on its arm. With one hand still on the stake Taryn brought her electricity back to full power in a rush of white and blue sparks.
The electricity shot through the metal weapon and into the creatures body while simultaneously covering the creature's skin. It began shaking in violent spasms, a dark froth forming at its mouth. Taryn leaned her head back as much as she could to avoid the icky substance. The convulsions were so powerful that Taryn lost her grip on the creature's arm. She quickly slammed her hand onto the creature's chest in an effort to keep the circuit going. A quick jerk of her shoulder dislodged the creature's claws. A harsh acrid smell combined with the smell of burnt clothing. Taryn coughed reflexively and turned her head aside. 'Uh-oh.' The minion zombies were approaching. Taryn shoved the super-zombie as hard as she could before stepping backwards. Her left boot collided with the table. The super-zombie fell in the opposite direction, it's head impacting the ground with a loud crack. Taryn tensed, waiting for the creature to move again, but it remained still.
'Finally' Taryn sighed. Then she sidestepped quickly as a normal-sized zombie lunged toward her. Her shoulders ached but Taryn lifted her hands to continue fighting.
"Garrus-...right. We need-...regroup...too many...-powerful...stay out here...good as dead". Levi's voice over the communicator was choppy and distorted. Taryn removed the comm unit and scowled at the damaged device. Thankfully the gist of the message was clear.
"Regrouping sounds good." she commented. Locating Levi a short distance away Taryn began fighting her way towards him.
With in instant loss of space and time, Tyson found himself in the blackness of his mind. A place with no light to see, no sound to here, no smell to smell, no taste to taste, and unlike last time nothing to feel. "And what now? How do I fight it? I can not be afraid. I can get rid of the fear but there's no way I can fight it from in here! How am I suppose to fight in this nothingness?" Tyson thought out. In this place there was no need to open his mouth, anything that was thought just went through the void of the space around him before returning.
Tyson's body charged forward towards the zombie that had knocked him around just a few moments before. The creature punched forward like Body coming towards it was just as easy a target as it was while it was on the ground. This was a mistake as the punch was side stepped before the two knives were raised on both sides and thrust into the zombie's eye sockets. Jumping into the air and tucking it's legs in Tyson's body turned into a ball, heading over the zombie's head as it was pulled down with the knives. Not letting go of the knives the head snapped back when it was pulled forward with the body's momentum. The head wasn't pulled further as the knives were pulled free from the head as Tyson's legs extended down, meeting the group, prompting him to continue running forward.
The knives were flipped around in his hands as he ran between two zombies, swinging his arms forward before slamming his arms back driving the blades under the back of the skull, destroying the cerebellum and brain stem. The blades were pulled out and the knife in the hand was dropped about a meter in front of Tyson in the face of a mutated zombie running at him on all four limbs like a dog. Having raised his foot Tyson slammed the knife forward into the zombie's head as it made contact with the other end.
A smile seemed to wash over his face before getting charged in the side by a zombie with a arm twice as wide as it's body. This sent Tyson's body sliding sideways on the ground, dropping one knee to the ground as one of his feet hit a dead zombie limb. As Tyson finally stop small pieces of chipped off armor fell to the ground. A flash of light came off the ground and and Tyson's head shift to look at it. The short sword that was knocked out of his hand before, laid on the ground. Getting up off his knee Tyson started to run low to the ground, picking up the short sword as he ran, and changed his direction to the mutant that was again charging towards him.
The force of the impact hit Tyson and a pain shot up his arm inside his mind. A white light filled the space around him and things became hazy. After a few second things started to become clear and Tyson found himself standing in front of a door. Tyson opened the door and walked into a room filled numerous lab stations. A feeling of familiarity washed over Tyson as a voice called out to him, "Dr. Tilio's in his office if you're looking for him." Tyson looked over to see a lab assistant look back down into a microscope.
Tyson walked across the room and came to a door with Dr. Daniel Tilio written on it in thick, black letters. It finally hit Tyson, he was at the original research center where he was given the formula and was examined afterward. I can't be back here. Not really anyways. I wonder what is this?
Tyson turned the door knob and entered into the beige coloured room behind it. Tyson looked around and saw a few pictures on the wall of famous genetic scientists and a few diplomas as well. The was a messy looking desk covered in lab charts, hand written notes, and a few glass slides and dishes. The Doctor spoke to Tyson from behind the file he was reading; as Tyson took a few more steps into the room. "Take a seat. We've finished our testing and I have somethings I'd like to talk to you about."
Tyson went to sit down and turned around in a shock as he heard his own voice reply, "I'd rather stand Sir." Tyson saw himself, but younger standing at attention in front of the desk. It was now apparently clear that Tyson was in a memory one of his own memories. A much younger version of himself stood looking at the Doctor. The file was lowered onto the desk and the Doctor's face became visible. A man with messy blonde hair, dull blue eyes, and a slender face was relieved. His eyes had deep bags below them, indicating that he hadn't had much sleep in the most recent days.
A stern, serious look overcame Dr. Tilio's face as he began to speak. "I'm going to be very blunt and just go straight into it since this information has drastically changed our work load. First off, you didn't actually die a few weeks ago. Your body started undergoing a massive genetic shift and the mutation accelerated on a currently unknown scale. Normally cells die due to a lack of oxygen but your cells just grew stronger despite the lack of oxygen. Most mutations have currently unknown effect and could very well still be slowly mutating even now. However mutations in various sections of your brain, lungs, vocal cords, and windpipe have noticeably occurred.
Based off of those we preformed the experiments such as lung capacity, brain scans while using the power both in and out of control, and cell regeneration tests as well. Cell regeneration seemed normal but your brain waves are very erratic while using the power and they sent the equipment into a state of disarray. This is almost definitely connected to your statements about your mental state when this happens as well.
The strangest results came from when we were testing your lung capacity. Since you were able to continuously produce sound waves well beyond your previous lung capacity would allow, we ran those tests. Your lung tissue itself has become stronger but your capacity hadn't improved nearly as well. When we gave you a MRI we found out why you were able to continually produce those sound waves. You actually developed what we are currently calling an air chamber in between your lungs and your throat, which connects to your nose. It appears that you are able to breath in through your nose while still exhaling from your mouth at the same time. This is done by the passageway from your nose opening and the air you take in bypasses your windpipe that the carbon dioxide from your lungs exits from. Basically it allows your body to get fresh oxygen while still having a steady supply of air to exhale in order for your sound waves to be generated on.
In the end we are still unsure of the effects of the code name "Vesper" formula we gave you. More mutations could still potentially occur so you'll be regularly tested from here on out. I'll be updating you with anymore information we come up with. You are dismissed." That's right, it was called "Vesper". Maybe that's what I should call that thing. It's probably the most fitting thing to call it. Name the beast after the virus as it's said.
Jason eventually managed to scramble to his feet, looking on as impaled zombies continued to fall at his feet. He took a second to survey the tattered area, the cafe in shambles and crowds of zombies of all types roaming and attacking both he and the other heroes. The idea of retreat seemed like the only logical reason at the moment. He was snapped out of his trance of surveillance when a single, defiant undead launched directly at the boy, sharpened teeth and nails bare. The attempt was ill-fated for the zombie as Jason caught the zombie head on, grasping its face. Dark blood splatted against the black armor as he held the undead in place, a second of stillness before spikes protruded from the corpse's body. As the body ceased to move, Jason rose to his feet, teeth gritting from behind the mask as he watched hordes of undead proceed to attack his friends. He began to move towards them to provide extra assistance; another unruly zombie rushed towards him. A thick spike sprung from his palm as he drove through the zombie's torso, slicing upwards towards the neck. The spike exited rapidly before being entered through the the skull in quick, repeated strikes. The undead ceased to move and its legs buckled and dropped from under it, but Jason refused to let up, falling on top of the zombie.
"Jason, it's finished! Let it go!" Erebus called from the Mindscape, Jason reluctantly letting up.
"Fucking zacks! I wish they'd all hurry up and die!" He responded, stomping out yet another feeble attempt at an attack by a nearby undead.
"Well, truthfully, they're all already dead to some extent..." Erebus replied, a hint a snark in his voice. Jason replied with nothing but a low growl. One that sounded normal on the outside, yet dangerously ominous from the mindscape. Jason continued to move towards the others, the zig-zagging crack engraved in his mask elongating only slightly. But the now aware Erebus was aware of what he done. He attempted at talking Jason down, in hopes that he could retain some composure, but it was drowned out by the attacks of undead that stood in between him and the others. Teeth clenched, he began to move at a speedier pace, his attacks becoming lesser elegant and more feral. He eventually reached the other heroes, panting as he feigned to stand still.
"If we're going to retreat, Then I think it should be done now. How will we close off this area? These things are fucking everywhere." He asked those that would listen through the grit of his teeth, beheading a quickly approaching undead.
Monsters in the museum was not a good sign, as Tommy booted a zombie across the room into a display. Brian was hurriedly shoving more shells from his pocket into his shotgun as more members of the team were falling back.
"How will we close off this area? These things are fucking everywhere."
Jason brought up a good point. If these zombies were able to break through the massive barricades that stood outside, what hope was there to try and prevent them from getting deeper inside?
"I hate to say this after all the money we just spent fixing up the place, but it's there anything else we can knock down like Garrus did outside there?" Brian asked. "I mean we gotta get some kind of space, we can have them running around in here like some zombie pit or something. Not without extra firepower to fight that there, anyway, you know?"
A powerful electrical disturbance permeated the air nearby. Turning quickly to face the source, Levi saw a zombie drop to the floor with a smoking hole in its chest. Behind the fallen creature stood Taryn, her arms alight with arcing electricity. She had been busy dispatching her fair share of zombies, if her appearance had anything to say. Almost nothing remained of the sleeves to her costume. What was left showed signs of burns and what looked like tearing.
"Taryn!" Levi called as he approached her. Getting closer, he could see in better detail the damage to her outfit. Like the rest of them, it was obvious she had more than a few tough fights. It was also clear that she had been significantly injured during the frantic undead melee. The way she carried herself was a big indicator. "Are you alright?" he inquired in a concerned tone.
Tommy flew through the rest of the museum, through the back wall, and only came to rest when he bowled over a zombie that Richard was perforating with lead. Tommy stumbled to his feat, and then fell over, grabbing a zombie's arm to steady himself and accidentally ripping it off. He pulled himself to his feat once more just in time to see a razor clawed zombie lunge at him. With the claws inches from his face, the zombie's head exploded into gore. The zombie that Tommy had dis-armed came after him, only to have his head stoved in by his own humorous.
"Damn, there are a lot of zombies back here." Tommy said as fell back to Richard's position.
Richard continued shooting into the crowd as he spoke to Tommy.
"Did you think I was lying to get attention? Though it is very nice of someone to actually decide to help me eventually. Now rather than wondering at how much I wasn't actually lying, I get some help." He was quite a bit agitated at this point. He had been firing into the crowd coming towards him that seemed to be getting stronger and the only time he actually got help was when somebody was apparently punched in his direction.
Taryn turned her head to look at Levi but was then forced to look back at the demon-ridden corpse she was frying to keep her aim steady. The monster angrily snapped at her but a second fistful of lightning took care of the irritating sounds. And the majority of the zombie's upper chest. The final groan and heavy sound of the zombie falling was almost familiar.
"I've been better." Taryn replied to Levi. She took a breath and then winced. "I'm going to need a gallon of disinfectant after this." Making sure there were no zombies about to swipe at her, Taryn turned so that Levi could see the damage to her back. She wasn't actually able to see the damage herself but judging by the pain and the number of claws on her old foe Taryn guessed that she had a nice series of bloody scratches. In between the bouts of sharp pain Taryn could feel blood seeping into her shirt and what remained of her vest. "And stitches." She added in a frustrated tone. Taryn was both angry at the super-zombie and at herself for getting so close with so little protection. Her costume was nowhere near the armored level of her normal battle outfit. Taryn scowled and brushed at her sleeve. Blackened bits of cloth and zombie goo transferred to her hand. 'Ick.' Taryn was getting tired of zombies. 'I changed my mind. Forget the shotgun...'
"Where's a Death Machine when you need one." Taryn muttered. Perhaps they could install one in the Café ceiling after things settle down...or maybe even one at every entrance.
The electricity that had been running freely along Taryn's arms abruptly migrated to her hands where it hovered at the tips of her fingers. Quickly estimating how many zombies were within range Taryn released the electricity as eight individual arcs of lightning. The energy blasts tore through dead flesh and left holes and scorch marks in their wake. One zombie lost both its legs and collapsed to the ground. It began pulling itself forward on its hands, still determined to continue its attack. Taryn pointed at the zombie, letting electricity run back along her arms once more. "That's just not fair." she commented.
Whatever had attacked Taryn left a series of nasty scratches along her back. The wounds were bleeding pretty badly, but it didn't look like a mortal wound. Although he wasn't a doctor, it was safe to guess that having an open wound while fighting rotting corpses wasn't a good thing. "I think Brian should take a look at you," he said, his disquiet very clear in his expression. "He can fix that up, I'm sure. But for right now, let's regroup at the Lounge...or at least some where that isn't here". On that thought Levi activated his comm. "Everyone, I'm thinking we should fall back and reorganize at the Lounge. All of our weapons are there and we can funnel them in down the hall. It's better than getting picked off one by one," he announced as he started to move in that direction, hoping Taryn would follow.