With years of experience playing, directing and battling against any and all manner of all dead, undead or just mostly dead behind him, Light Blue Brigade’s First Lieutenant Ted Raimi already has the single most important weapon to survive the pending Z-pocalypse – expertise. Situated in an undisclosed location somewhere near Los Angeles alongside Commander Anthony Guajardo, Smith & Wesson in one hand and cattle prod in the other, Raimi brings that expertise to the front lines, and ensures that the western coast is well protected and prepared.
Ted Raimi first arrived on the screen in 1981, appearing in the now infamous and wonderfully nauseating Evil Dead, where he got an early taste (excuse me) for dealing with… well… evil dead. He went on to appear in many films, including Midnight Meat Train, Drag Me to Hell, and a small but memorable role alongside fellow First Lieutenant Sean Patrick Flanery in Masters of Horror: The Damned Thing. On the smaller screen, we’ve seen him in episodes of Supernatural, Code Monkeys, Legend of the Seeker, Xena: Warrior Princess, and Your Dungeon, My Dragon.
After very extensive investigations, this reporter has uncovered what may be an awkward and uncomfortable truth about First Lt Raimi’s true intentions. It seems he has in the past connected with the Zombie Rights Campaign, a fringe operation devoted to supporting the rights of the mindless creatures that may replace us at the top of the food chain in the very near future. It is this reporter’s opinion that such a group could only be a cover for something much more nefarious, which brings to light the possibility that LT. Raimi’s motives for accepting the role of ZSC leadership may not be what they seem. However, more extensive recon has failed to turn up any further evidence of questionable activities. For now, we will adopt a cautiously optimistic wait-and-watch stance, and trust in Our Fearless Leader’s decision to bring him in without question. He is Ted Raimi after all. When it comes right down to it, he’ll be right there with us on the second rung from the top of the food chain on Z-Day.
Be sure to keep an eye out for Mr. Raimi’s future endeavors, including Attack of the 50 Foot Cheerleader in 2012. In 2013 we’re expecting to see Mr. Raimi in Oz The Great and Powerful, a prequel to The Wizard of Oz which will (unfortunately) probably not have any zombie story lines. We’re also keeping a watchful eye on High Midnight, which is currently in production.
To ZSC Brigade leaders and 1st Lieutenants: I’m sending this from a tiny town outside Moab called End of The Line. I’ve holed up in an Old West museum with a Navajo named Joe Holiday. The walkers have thinned out, but that won’t last long. I’ve had a lot of time on my hands, so— We Take Care of Our Own is about a tight-knit family dealing with survival amidst the Zombie Apocalypse in a small Midwestern town and was inspired by the The Walking Dead. The treatment of both the graphic novel and the TV series inspired this tale because it’s brilliantly complex, poignant, and shockingly real. We Take Care Of Our Own examines the human reaction in the shadow of the Zombie Apocalypse. I’ll be moving on in the morning with Joe. We’ll be heading to Monument Valley, where his people are. In the meantime, keep up the good fight…I know I will.
Please note because the characters are dealing with a zombie outbreak, this excerpt may have some strong language.
My brother and I are the only two left in Churchville, Illinois, population once 112. I’d say last two alive, but that’s not really right. I’m alive, but my brother, Tom Nolan, is very dead. He’s a zombie now. An undead man walking. Tom used to call them flesh-heads, like the towel-heads he fought over in Iraq, but that was before he got bit. I know I’m supposed to put him down, but he’s my brother, and we promised Dad that we’d take care of each other no matter what. Dad always said, “Us Nolans, we take care of our own.” It’s the six hundred and sixty-sixth day since we stopped using calendars. I only know because 665 is written on the little chalkboard I keep up here. Beneath it are the thin remnants of all the numbers that have been written and erased. I take up the nub of chalk, erase the 5 with my finger, and draw a 6 in a looping motion. 666…the number of the beast. I think of the Iron Maiden song. It was one of my brother’s favorites. I remember their mascot, Eddie; tight dead skin pulled over his skull face. In one of their posters Eddie was dressed like Uncle Sam, grinning and pointing his rotten knife of finger. That’s right; UNCLE EDDIE WANTS TO EAT YOU! Welcome to The Zombified States of America! I lie still for a minute, breathing in the warm attic air; wood and dust, mixed with my own stink. I’ve long taken to sleeping in my clothes. Tom used to say they’d stand up on their own if I bothered to take them off. I don’t sleep very well anymore. Mostly because my mind always goes back over all the things that have happened, and partly because of the Metallica that plays all night long. I play it for Tom, and for me. They were his favorite band, and it helps to drown out the racket he makes the minute darkness falls. I don’t know what it is with flesh-heads, but the night wakes them up, like rats or coyotes; gets their zombie engines runnin’ full throttle and sharpens their senses. Even though Tom is walled up in Grandpa’s bomb shelter, he always knows when night has come. I sit up on my mattress. My butt sinks down through whiny, shot springs to the wooden floor beneath. The emptiness in my stomach howls. Man, I’m hungry. Maybe I’ll find some food today in town. Maybe. The lone window in the attic glows white hot with sunlight that blots out Illinois farm country below and beyond. I pull on my boots, and remember buying them with Dad and my brother. I reach for my brother’s belt and stand up, careful not to whack my head on the low eaves thick with shadows and cobwebs. I thread the belt into my jean loops, and pulling it tight, see I’ve punched six new holes in its cracked leather. My brother used to say I looked like one of those starving children on TV. I take up my shotgun that stands against the wall like a cowboy leaning on a post. It’s a Remington 870 express pump action. Dad gave it to me when I turned thirteen. I’m seventeen now, and I miss being thirteen something terrible. I start down the attic steps, each one creaking its own note like piano keys.
The basement is cool and dark as a moonless field. Morning quiets my brother, and all the Metallica albums on the mp3 player usually run out about four in the morning. I snatch the mp3 player, with its cracked plastic face, out of the speakers it spends the nights docked in. Mom gave us the mp3 player and the speakers. She bought them right after she got herself a eBook reader. Mom said we shouldn’t be afraid of technology, especially if it helped a person appreciate the arts. I guess Metallica, Tom Petty, and Bruce Springsteen are as much art as Mom’s books. I stare for a moment at the thick steel door that keeps my brother safe. I touch my hand to it, wishing I could still touch my brother. I wish I could still muss his hair, or try and make him flinch. He stirs behind the door. I hear the slow clicking and clacking of his teeth, tired from gnashing all night, followed by a low, growling grunt, then silence. I slip the mp3 player into the front pocket of my jeans and bound up the steps, thinking of Mom instead of my zombie brother.
The sunlight leaks into the kitchen around the edges of the ply boards that cover every window on the first and second floor. I hate it because it makes the whole house feel like a cardboard box, lit by seams and cracks, but without them, there’d only be a pane of glass between you and death. Not that plywood keeps death out, ‘cause it doesn’t, but it’s a good first line of defense. I set my rifle on the kitchen table, next to the boxes of shells, and go to my bike angled against the counter. I check its chain and return to the table. Man, I’m tired. I sit down. Just for a minute.
Erik and Jaimy have a relationship that’s filled with love and commitment. There’s just one problem… she wants to eat him. He works hard to keep her grounded in the world of the living, but Amanda, Jaimy’s best friend, wants her to embrace all aspects of being undead, including munching on Erik, buffet-style. Erik knows that he’s fighting an impossible battle, but he’s become a zombie in many ways himself. When he’s left vulnerable, will Jaimy’s love save him or will she embrace her true nature and destroy him?
“I have to put my foot down, Jaimy. I mean it.” “Mmmmm… foot. Jaimy like foot.” She grins, and her jaw sags. It makes her look like the Joker. Good thing I like Batman. “Focus, sweetie. I’m serious. Amanda can’t come over if she’s going to attack me. Don’t you understand how that makes me feel?” “But foot good. Jaimy hungry.” “Enough with the foot!” I yell. Jaimy’s bottom lip drops below her chin, the zombie version of a pout. “I’m sorry, honey,” I sigh. “Let’s just finish the movie, okay?” She snuggles up to me and digs her head into my neck. The familiar smell of mold mixed with coconut shampoo clings to her limp, matted hair. No matter how often she showers, the mildew smell lingers. I’ve come to love that smell. I never planned to have a member of the undead as my girlfriend. My opinion of zombies had always been they were disgusting, unnatural creatures. Hell, they only existed in bad horror films until two years ago. No one’s sure how it started, but the current ratio of undead to “stays dead” is about even. After the initial panic, the government held mandatory classes on how to deal with zombies. Unlike the film versions, our zombies behaved pretty much like when they were alive. Once you got past their steep decline in I.Q. and their cravings for human flesh, you could almost forget what they were. Congress fast-tracked legislation to make it a crime to kill a zombie unless you were under attack. Zombie rights groups formed soon after, and the push for integration led to hate-crime legislation. The compromise was the installation of “big brother” cameras on every corner. With the cameras, you could prove you only acted to save yourself. Zombie hate crimes are pretty rare now, although I suspect that’s because many people provoke zombies into coming after them. Jaimy will graduate from King High this year, unless there’s another unfortunate incident with a teacher. But it’s really not her fault. Amanda is to blame for Jaimy’s slip-ups. She always tries to get Jaimy to eat people and destroy things. Just because they’re zombies doesn’t mean they can’t be civilized, but Amanda has completely embraced her inner zombie.
What can we say about Anthony? Enthusiastic, energetic and loyal, he leaps into action without hesitation, fears neither defeat nor the undead even when faced with the most overwhelming odds and never misses the opportunity to use (or misuse) sharp pointy weapons. He has a smile even more infectious than the most devastating of zombie viruses and can charm his way in and out of even the most precarious of situations. But don’t make the mistake of underestimating one of the ZSC’s youngest commanders, Light Blue Brigade Commander Anthony Guajardo has stood toe to toe with true badassery and lived to tell the tale.
Evidence of his invaluable resourcefulness was witnessed just last year; while on a regular reconnaissance mission in Philadelphia, Lt. Blue Brigade intercepted a suspicious communication that indicated the city’s water supply might be at risk of contamination by an unknown substance. Acting purely on raw instincts, Anthony hit the streets in full stealth mode. Once he had identified the most likely point of origin, he enlisted the aid of nearby members of the Red Brigade and other ZSC loyalists to successfully establish a protective perimeter and prevent contamination. His quick and decisive actions saved the city of brotherly love from what would surely have led to a catastrophe of global proportions. We have no doubt that all would have been lost had he not been there.
Anthony hails from San Antonio, Texas. When he is not busy saving our collective behinds from the shambling hordes, he is a hard-working actor who has appeared in television commercials and live theater since the age of 5. With high marks for his studies in Technical Theater History, he got his first true taste of the business after landing a featured role in the film Shark Boy and Lava Girl. Through hard work, perseverance, faith and perhaps a healthy dose of sheer stubbornness, Anthony landed the role of Miguel on the AMC original series “The Walking Dead,” an experience that he would later describe as the best experience of his life.
Anthony with fellow ZSC Commanders Norman Reedus and Neil Brown, Jr.
“People aren’t always what you expect them to be. I remember when I first got on set and was looking around at all these established actors and big scary dudes made up to be “vatos” I was a little intimidated. But the truth was that all of the actors were really nice, hardworking people ….and the “vatos” were just a bunch of big teddy bears.”
Anthony is currently living in Los Angeles and recently participated in a national commercial campaign with AAA. He also starred in a short film with Director Rod Guajardo. Anthony also enjoys exploring the behind-the-scenes aspect of the industry and when the opportunity presented itself, he jumped onboard feet first with the upcoming indie short filmArose the Coward
Anthony keeps a sharp eye on the perimeter while the rest of the crew embarks upon a very dangerous and important mission - replenishment of caffeine supplies.
MISSION: Rescue one Moira Jones from 6th floor of over run hospital. OBJECTIVE: Search for and rescue Moira Jones and bring to safety. STRATEGY: Rendezvous with fellow members of the ZSC and use skill sets to bring Moira Jones to safety.
The cold wind cut through the thick hoodie, pea-coat, and flannel shirt I wore as I walked along the cracked and crumbled sidewalk. I shivered and ducked my head down in an effort to keep it at bay. It seemed I was always cold these days. The power in the abandoned library I lived in finally kicked the bucket and at night the cold became unbearable. The daytime wasn’t much better thanks to the heavy gray clouds covering the sky for miles in all directions. Another problem with clouds, they made everything feel so much more depressing. Sure, the city wasn’t deserted, not yet. Several apartment complexes and quite a few stores had been abandoned when the first outbreak occurred. But those who stayed…stayed put. No one ventured outside anymore, not for long anyway. The gray clouds were always a kind of symbol of that for me, in a weird way. They had this feeling of expectancy, of waiting. You knew the clouds wanted to break and shower the city with rain, sleet—whatever it was up there—but it kept itself contained. That’s kind of the way things were now. I touched the grip of my Colt 1911 as if expecting Hell to break out right there. It didn’t. I relaxed a bit and tried to concentrate on keeping my teeth from chattering. The first outbreak happened a little over three months ago. It sent everyone into a panic. There’d been smaller ones since. Whenever someone dropped dead it was only a matter of time before they began walking around again. Everyone came to expect this, but that didn’t make it any less frightening. I have it a bit easier than most, though, no family to take care of really. I have a sort of ‘family’ with the Zombie Survival Crew, but no one to be obligated to. I missed that. See, I’d been living with my little brother and my uncle. Then my brother, Todd, turned. He was one of the first to turn, actually. Just six years old… After that my uncle took off. I don’t know where, and I don’t really care. Everyone in our apartment building left to go find shelter deeper in the city or find their family and friends. I think we all knew the first outbreak was just the tip of the iceberg. I left too, taking as much food as I could and a few blankets, and moved into the public library. To be honest, I’m surprised no one else thought to go there. I mean, the doors are heavy wood, easy to barricade with bookshelves. There’s entertainment, and as a long as you have enough food and warmth, it’d be perfect. Oh well, guess I’m the only one to think of it. I headed to the abandoned supermarket just a few blocks down. My canned food supplies were low. If I was lucky, I’d be able to find a few cans that hadn’t been grabbed already. As I walked, I looked up, brushing back some of my windswept hair out of my face, and saw a group of four coming towards me. I stopped, my hand immediately going to my gun. They stopped. I saw that they were alive. They reached for their weapons too, and eyed me with suspicion and distrust. I dropped my hand to show them I wouldn’t draw my weapon if they weren’t. They started to move, but kept their hands close to their weapons as they crossed the street, watching me the whole time. I started walking again, making sure they wouldn’t try anything when I turned my back. Only after I rounded a corner did I relax. You couldn’t be too careful. It wasn’t just the dead you had to fear; you never knew what other people were planning, either. The Walkers aren’t really a huge threat in this area, not yet, anyway. It’s only a matter of time. Everyone knows that. You can’t stop people from dying, and you can’t keep them from coming back, either. No matter how many times you heard the broadcasts swearing up and down that a cure is right around the corner. That’s complete bull crap. Fear ruled the city now. I breathed a sigh of relief when I spotted the darkened windows of the supermarket up ahead. Half way done with the trip, but I didn’t feel safe. No one felt safe anymore. I slid my gun out from my belt and switched the safety off, chambering a round. Satisfied, I moved quickly up the sidewalk and to the broken automated doors. I peered inside, quieting my breathing so I could hear better. I didn’t hear anything at all, so I eased inside and waited for my eyes to adjust to the darkness. I didn’t want to use it the flashlight in my pocket, (a) because I didn’t know how long the batteries would last—and there was a shortage of batteries now ever since the power outages started happening more and more frequently—and (b) I didn’t know if a Walker lurked inside or not. My eyesight adjusted and I eased my way towards back wall. I’d been in here a few times with better lighting. If there were any canned goods left, they’d be back there. Trying my best not to make a sound, I started to make my way down the aisle. I should’ve checked the ground better, I know. My foot hit a basket in the middle of the aisle and it went clattering across the floor. Gasping, I froze and waited for the echo of metal clattering on the floor to cease. As it died away, another sound made my heart stop, then immediately begin hammering at my ribcage. Slow, shuffling footsteps came from somewhere in the store. I whirled around and inhaled deeply, hoping to smell it before it got too close, or I hear it. Whatever it was. I couldn’t stay put, it would be suicide. The smartest thing to do would be to keep moving. I did. When I estimated I reached the canned goods section, I reached out and started feeling for cans. It didn’t matter what I picked up, I’m not a picky eater. I was just happy when my hand touched the cold aluminum and started snatching up cans, shoving them into the canvas shoulder bag. I tried not to let them clink against the extra ammo clips in there. Satisfied I grabbed enough for another week or two, I started for the exit. “Uhhhhhhhhhhh…” The moan came from right at my elbow. I whirled. My arm smacked into cold, clammy, rotten flesh. How could I not notice a walker getting that close? The sound of cans clicking together probably distracted me but that was no excuse. I needed to do better than that. I aimed my gun at where my arm met dead flesh, then thought better of it. With my other hand I pulled free the Army Scout knife strapped to my leg and swung. The blade ripped into soft tissue. An angry growl crept from the darkness before a heavy body stumbled against me. “Get off!” I shouted, shoving it back as hard as I could and swung again, aiming up towards the source of all the moaning. “GAH!” The walker moaned. The blade dug into thick bone. It hit the skull, but didn’t penetrate to the bone. I quickly jerked it free, a foot against the zombie as leverage, then brought the knife down as hard as I could. It plowed into the zombie’s skull. A disgusting, cold liquid squirted onto my hand, doubtless blood and brain. Thunk. The zombie fell at my feet, dead once and for all. I pulled my knife free, wiped it clean on the nearby shelf, re-sheathed my weapons, and bolted for the door. I didn’t stop running until I was halfway down the sidewalk. That was close, I thought. Too close. Pay more attention next time. Still, it was satisfying to be alive in spite of the gray, gooey slime on my left hand. Best of all, at least seven cans were in my bag. I patted my haul appreciatively. As I walked, a noise off to my right made me stop. I reached for the blade once again—it’d be best to keep noise to a minimum. A terrier, very dirty looking, padded out of the alley up ahead. I stopped short. I hadn’t seen an animal in ages, except for crows of course. All of the pets disappeared; either locked in with their owners, run off, or eaten from what I could figure. “Hey, puppy,” I crooned, offering my hand in a sign of friendliness. “You all alone? Come on, I won’t hurt you.” I inched forward, careful not to look threatening. The dog stopped, ears lifted in alert. I smooched my lips, begging it come with me. “I won’t hurt you, I promise.” The dog whimpered then cautiously trotted forward, staying as far away as possible. He sniffed my hand. I tried my luck and slowly uncurled my fingers to touch the rough fur on his head. He backed away. I clicked my tongue. He approached again. I managed to gently stroke his fur. Slowly, his droopy tail began to sweep back and forth. That’s what I love about dogs. They can go through the worst things and still be willing to love if shown affection. “There we go,” I murmured approvingly, stroking under his chin when I saw it made his tail wag faster. “Now just come home with me and we’ll—” The dog’s head jerked towards the alley. He gave a startled yelp before turning and darting away. “No, wait!” I called, getting to my feet. “Don’t go!” A clattering from the alley grabbed my attention. I drew my knife. Doubtless the little dog heard something in the alley before I did. Another walker appeared from the mouth of the alley, shambling forward unsteadily. I pulled back and drove my knife into the side of its head, pushing over against the wall. It struggled for a moment, so I twisted the embedded knife, making sure I destroyed the brain, and then jerked it free. The zombie crumpled at my feet. I fought off a wave of nausea. A woman this time, with dirty, long blond hair. She couldn’t have been dead very long. Her color wasn’t as bad as I’d seen before, it was still a bit pink, though fast changing to gray. “Mwaaaaaaahh…” The moan came from the alley. I whirled, my knife ready to go into the head of another walker, but I stopped short. The alley overflowed with walkers. Their voices joined together in a grisly howl of the hunt. I bolted for the library. I charged through the front doors and slammed them shut and tipped the heavy bookcase barricade in front of them. In a few minutes the sound of their moans grew louder. The scratch of their nails raked against the wooden doors as they thumped against them in vain. I started towards my little sleeping spot in the back corner, a good vantage point from which I could see every entrance and exit. Suddenly my pocket vibrated. The musical jingle of a ring tone floated up to me. I scrambled for it. The phone only ever received calls from other Zombie Survival Crew members—all of which were formidable fighters. If they called, things were dire, indeed. We’d been lucky so far to maintain a stable connection. I pulled it free and looked at the caller ID. My eyebrows raised in surprise. Eve! “Hello?” The line was filled with static, but I could still hear her. “Emma!” she said in relief. “I thought you would never answer. Are you okay?” I glanced at the doors. The walkers continued to thump and moan outside. “Sure,” I said. “Nothing I can’t handle. What’s wrong?” She paused. I frowned. Whatever it was, it couldn’t be good. “Eve, what’s wrong?” I asked, a bit worried. “It—It’s Moira,” she said quietly. My heart skipped a beat. “What?” My voice rose in panic in spite of my efforts to control it, “What’s happened to Moira?” “She’s okay,” Eve said hurriedly. “For now. We just got word that her hospital has been overrun with walkers. She’s pinned down and needs help, fast.” I ran a hand through my hair. “Thank God.” True, her situation was less than appealing, but as long as she lived, I’d hold out hope. We agreed to meet at the abandoned hotel close by the hospital. “Be careful,” Eve said. I smiled. She’d become a surrogate mother and big sister rolled into one. “I will if you will,” I said. “I’ll be over in just a little while.” Over in my sleeping area, I reached under my pillow for the rest of the ammo I kept stashed there. And for something else—my sword. I loaded up with the extra ammo, bits of jerky, bandages, an extra knife, and some pain pills and antibiotic ointment I’d been lucky enough to find. I strapped on my sword and headed for the side door, hoping the walkers hadn’t gone around back. All clear. I took a deep breath and kept my sword at the ready, just in case. The bookshelf barricade slid out of the way. I slipped through the door and onto the sidewalk. Out of the multitude of buildings I picked out the one I knew to be the hospital. It stood quite a hike away and doubtless wouldn’t be an easy trip. But I didn’t care. This was Moira we were talking about, Moira. The strong one, the one we all looked up to and admired. The angel. I swallowed the lump in my throat at thought of how scared she must be. With Eve, Jess, Apryl, Tiffany and Rebecca helping me, there’s no way we’d let anything happen to her. Hang on, Moira, I thought. Breaking into a jog, I ran still clutching my sword. “Help is on the way.”
Zombie Survival Crew
“We are going to need more supplies.” I said, looking at the nearly bare shelves. My mother, little sister, step-dad, and fiancé were staying in my house. All of the doors and windows barricaded. “I will drive to the store and see if there is anything left.” Unfortunately, people didn’t always take what they absolutely needed. Most of the stuff went whether it was needed or not. We were down to a few cans of vegetables, a box and a half of cereal, and five bottles of water. That wouldn’t last very long. A trip to the store was in high demand. Not to mention, we needed medical supplies. A couple of band-aids, not even half a tube of Antibiotic ointment, one wrap, and about twenty-five Ibuprofen pills. I put on my homemade weapons belt and grabbed my cast iron skillet, slipping it in the holster designed for it. Then I grabbed my twin Desert Eagles with silencers, army knife, and three daggers. As I put on my coat I said, “Come here, Luna”. Fortunately, I’d taken the time to have Luna properly trained by Sean Patrick Flanery and Donut. She was a zombie killing machine. With her, I felt calmer. I knew she had my back. Luna and I headed for the door. “Don’t forget your phone!” mom called out and tossed my phone to me. “Thanks!” I smirked and walked out the door. Luna and I got into the car and headed to the store. When we got there, there a group of living people stood outside. The group of men looked like they meant business. One guy held a baseball bat and thumped it against his hand. Another rested his hand on the handle of a machete. Two others stepped forward, holding crowbars. I stopped for a minute and looked over each one of them carefully. Didn’t see any guns. I moved toward the doors. “Don’t take another step,” the biggest guy warned. “We run this place, and if you want to come in, you’ll need to pay.” Pay? Right…we’ll see who will pay. I took another step. “I’m warning you,” he shouted. “You need to give us some weapons if you want to come in here!” I couldn’t help it. The giggles bubbled up in my stomach. I let out a huge roll of laughter. They were just amusing. Did they not know? Well, of course they had no idea that I was in the Purple Brigade of the Zombie Survival Crew and therefore properly trained to handle any and every situation that might arise. “What are you laughing at, ho?” asked the smallest guy of them all. I went from laughing to serious in a millisecond. Oh no he didn’t. Not taking my eyes off of them, I opened the car door. Luna stepped out. She bared her fangs. Her hackles rose down her back. She stood there and stared at them. “What was it that you said? I don’t think my dog heard you quite right,” I said taking a few steps closer. Luna stayed in step with me, not taking her eyes off of them. “I called you a ho,” the little guy said, emphasizing the word. “That’s what I thought you said.” I smiled. With one swoop, I pulled the three daggers from their holster and whipped them toward the men. They hit their mark, leaving the little guy standing. While the three clutched their legs, Luna lunged at the little guy and took him down to the ground. They writhed on the cold, wet concrete. I smiled and said, “I wouldn’t move if I were you. Luna doesn’t take jokes very well, and that’s all you guys are…a joke.” I walked into the store and grabbed a few more cans of food, some more medicine, and some dog food. When I walked back out, the four grown men were sitting with terrified looks on their faces. One of them actually peed himself. “Keep the daggers,” I said with a grin. “There’s plenty more where they came from. Come on, Luna.” We got in the car and headed back to the house. On the way home my phone rang. LK Gardner-Griffie, my commander, informed me that someone was in distress. A fellow member needed help. LK was safe, but couldn’t get out to help anyone at the time. “I’ll take care of it,” I assured her. “It’s Moira. She’s trapped in her hospital room, almost out of supplies. All of her caretakers are dead.” The words stung like a million bees. “I will get a group together to help her,” I promised. As soon as I hung up with my commander I called my sister, Eve. Without even saying hello she asked, “Are you safe? Is everything okay?” I assured her that I was fine, but told her that we had a problem. “What is it?” she asked, desperation in her voice. “It’s Moira, Eve. She sent out a distress call through ZSC. She’s stuck in her hospital, alone, barricaded on the sixth floor. She’s not injured but is running low on food. She needs our help.” Panic rose up inside my chest. “Alright, let’s meet up at my work then we can head out from there. We can’t leave Moira defenseless like that!” Eve’s voice cracked. “Okay, see you there.” I got to the house and unloaded everything and informed everyone that a very sweet young lady needed my help. I said goodbye to everyone and packed a few supplies, my weapons and Luna in the car. I headed to Eve’s work. She got in the car without a word. We were all business on the way to the hospital. Eve pulled out her phone to call Emma. I listened to the conversation. When Eve said we were pulling together a team to go help Moira and asked if Em was in, I gave my best “Hell Yeah, let’s do this’” grin to my sister. Eve hung up with Emma after telling her where to meet us. She looked over at me and gave me a soft punch in the arm. “You ready for this, Jess?” I smiled. Luna nudged me; I pat her on the head. “Those walkers don’t stand a chance. Let’s go save Moira.” We took off for the hospital.
The Rescue Team
We all gathered in room twelve upon arrival. The stench of death filled the air. The moans of walkers echoed in the distance. Apryl, Jessica, Rebecca, Emma, Eve and I stood discussing strategies. Jessica got a map of the hospital. She wouldn’t tell us how. A knock on the door made us jump. Walkers couldn’t knock! We draw our weapons, ready for a fight. Eve grabbed the door handle and yanked it open after a silent count of three. We lower our weapons. Michael and Norman stood in the hallway. They’d received our mission and coordinates. We laid out a plan—who’d go where and how we’d work our way through the hospital. The only option was to clear it out in order to reach Moira. Michael tossed his bag down on the bed and pulled out walkie talkies. We established a safe word when one of us clears a path, “Squirrel”. “Oreo” meant pretty much get your butt to my location I am in need of assistance. We’d reconvene on the sixth floor. The mission would be tricky but Moira was worth it. Her bravery is ZSC legend. She possesses the courage of an army of millions. We needed to draw on that and go get our girl. We headed out, ready to stomp walker butt and save our little chick-a-dee. Standing outside the hospital, the world became quiet—too quiet. Despite our nerves, we needed to go in there. Michael would lead the team of myself, Apryl and Emma. Norman had Eve, Rebecca and Jessica. Once we cleared the first level, we’d break apart once more; Norman and Eve, Michael and I, Apryl and Emma, and Jessica and Rebecca. We all look at each other, say a prayer and charge the hospital “To Moira!” This would be one hell of a night.
This file contains the mission objective for the members of a secret self-organized unit within the ZSC. These members received the Urgent call for help from Moira Jones and have sprung into action.
MISSION: Rescue one Moira Jones from 6th floor of over run hospital. OBJECTIVE: Search for and rescue Moira Jones and bring to safety. STRATEGY: Rendezvous with fellow members of the ZSC and use skill sets to bring Moira Jones to safety.
I sat perched in an old chair inside an abandoned house. The cold evening air howled. Rain leaked through the roof. I faced the boarded up door, a black handled katana with an eleven-inch blade on my lap and another within reach. My eyes ached. My long black hair lay matted and dirty across my shoulders. The toe of my heavy black leather boot tapped on the floor as I stared at the door. I wasn’t expecting company, but I made sure I was ready should someone decide to “drop by.” I wore all black and my long leather duster jacket. I hid in the shadows, ready to pounce.
I’m a member of the ZSC Orange Brigade. We are the ones always one step ahead. We are the oddballs lurking in the shadows. The ones you are unable to read because we are so full of surprises. We’re the thinkers—the ones who plan ahead, ready for anything. I’ve perfected moving without being seen. It’s how I stayed alive the day the world went crazy and the dead started walking. It’d been a normal day. I was restocking my go bag, you know, just in case. I spotted my neighbor, Ms. Newman wondering around my backyard. She looked beat up, bloody, and lost. I rushed outside to her side. When she turned around reality slapped me in the face. I thought, maybe I was dreaming. Maybe I was seeing things. When Ms. Newman lunged for me, I grabbed a nearby shovel and disposed of her. I ran for my house and went for my phone. Sure enough an alert text greeted me. D-Day arrived. I reacted quickly, contacting my fellow brigade members and my brigade buddy. I told them I was safe, alive and on my way to a designated location. A horde of walkers right outside of the city cut me off. They chased me to my present location. I set up camp to wait for them to clear. I contacted other ZSC members. Eve, Rebecca, Em, Jessica and Apryl. Sure they are from different brigades, but we are all fighting for the same cause. My phone echoed through darkness and I’m quick to grab it. I hit a couple buttons. It’s my first lieutenant David Della Rocco. He got an urgent message from Blue Commander, Norman Reedus pertaining to brigade member Moira Jones. She was trapped in a hospital over run by walkers. Blue brigade is rallying members for a rescue mission. He reached out to his good friend Rocco for help. Moira didn’t have much time. She was low on resources and needed help ASAP. I let Rocco know I’d help and bring reinforcements. Standing, I hurried to collect my supplies, holster my swords to my back. I look over my shoulder and motion to someone. From the shadows stepped another ZSC member, Apryl. I met her right inside the city, she’d been running from a walker. She found the house we hid in. I felt a connection to this girl; we were both oddballs, which made things perfect—we fought off the horde as a cohesive unit. “Moira’s in trouble.” I relayed the message to her. Apryl nodded and pulled out two Desert Eagle mark XIXs. “Let’s go save Moira!” We turned and took a deep breath. For Moira, we’d willingly face whatever waited on the other side of the door. I quickly contact Rebecca and tell her the dire situation. I send her the coordinates of where the hospital is and the nearest hotel to the hospital where we’d meet up with everyone else. Then I passed it down the chain to Eve, Em and Jessica. “You ready for this?!” I asked Apryl. “Heck Yeah! To Moira!” I had faith that with all our combined skills, Moira would be safe. One more alert went out to Special Forces—attention one Michael Rooker—we’d need him. I stuff my phone in my pocket and look at Apryl. We kicked the door open and ran into the darkness.
Lt Blue Brigade
The world went to hell so quickly and I was so unprepared. As a member of the ZSC Light Blue brigade I should have known better but I never expected the worst disaster in history to take place so soon! When the call came in from my commander, Anthony, I stood there staring at my phone for a long while. A few shots fired close to my house and broke my paralysis. I quickly strapped my double thigh holsters on and the calf sheath for my hunting knife. I slid the knife in place and loaded clips into my twin 9mm Taurus 917Cs and fitted silencers onto the end of each barrel. I got my daughter and grandma into the car with essential supplies in a matter of minutes. I set my compound bow and quiver on the front passenger seat and moved to open the garage door, one of my silenced twin 9s in hand. I gave grandma a thumbs-up. She nodded and watched me in the rear-view mirror. My grandmother made fun of me on many occasions for what she felt were ridiculous preparations. As I looked into her fear-filled eyes I knew she finally understood. I pulled the garage door open in one quick movement and took down the three walkers loitering in front of our house. Grandma pulled out and I hopped in the car. I told her to head to my uncle’s house. I spoke with my uncle about supplies and how long we could ration out food before a run would become necessary. Suddenly my phone rang. My sister, Jess. I was relieved to hear her voice. “Are you safe? Is everything okay?” Jessica promised she was fine but that we had a problem. “It’s Moira, Eve. She sent out a distress call through ZSC. She needs our help.” Jess ran down the situation. Her voice cracked with worry. “Alright, let’s meet up at my work then we can head out from there. We can’t leave Moira defenseless like that!” I fought back tears, thinking of her stuck in the hospital alone. “Okay, see you there.” I explained to my daughter that I needed to go and she’d be safe, asked her to keep an eye on grandma and make sure she stayed out of trouble. She gave me a stiff nod, a serious expression on her face. I pulled her into a hug, my tough little girl, and kissed her on the forehead before grabbing my go bag and leaving the house. Jessica and I met up, quickly planning a route to the abandoned hotel. I put in a call to the last member of our small group…and listened to it ring. And ring. I began to worry she hadn’t received her warning in time. “Hello?” Emma’s voice sounded on the other end. Oh thank God. “Emma! I thought you’d never answer. Are you okay?” My voice trembled. I looked over at Jess who watched the parking lot with focused intensity. “Sure.” She hesitated for a moment before adding, “Nothing I can’t handle. What’s wrong?” Again the thought of Moira—who’d been through so much and was tougher and sweeter than any young girl I’d ever known—alone and scared brought tears to my eyes. My throat tightened as I tried not to cry. “It…” I took a deep breath to steady my voice. “It’s Moira.” “What?” Panic came through the phone loud and clear. “What’s happened to Moira?” “She’s okay, for now,” I said before Emma could work her way into a full panic. “We just got word that her hospital has been overrun with walkers. She needs help, fast.” “Thank God.” I could picture her standing there with a hand over her heart, relieved that Moira lived. “Jess, Rebecca, Tiffany, Apryl and I are putting together a rescue team.” Jess threw me a quick glance, a “hell yeah” grin on her face. “We’re going to get her. You in?” “You know I am,” she said. I could so hear the implied “DUH!” “Good,” I said, smirking at her eagerness. “We’re meeting at the abandoned hotel close by the hospital and formulate a plan of action from there, okay?” “Okay.” She paused. “Just give me a minute to take care of something and I’ll be right over.” “Be careful.” My chest constricted again at the thought of Emma making her way to our rendezvous by herself. I wished I were there to make sure she stayed safe. “I will if you will.” She sounded like she smiled at my overprotective mother hen statement. “I’ll be over in just a little while.” We hung up. Jess turned to me. I inhaled deeply and gave her a soft punch on the arm. “You ready for this, Jess?” She smiled and patted her dog, Luna on the head. “Those walkers don’t stand a chance. Let’s go.” We took off to meet up with the others who’d help us save that brave little girl.
As always, you guys have managed to wow us. The Command Center has been buzzing with excitement over the latest batch of contest entries. We asked you to create a zombie, using any medium you wished, put it in an environment… and then kill it. The creativity displayed in the entries we received these last few weeks is amazing.
Enough gushing. You guys want to know who the winner is, right? The first prize winner of our Creature Feature Contest will receive a Zombie Survival Crew t-shirt signed by 11 cast and crew members from The Walking Dead.
First Prize Winner: @Catella_Snape (Lt Blue Brigade) and @Jessadorkadon (Purple Brigade)!
Congratulations! Here is the video they put together with help from Catella’s daughter, Michelle:
The runner-up will be sent a ZSC logo t-shirt. And the runner-up winner is…
Matthew Jones (Yellow Brigade)!
Here is Matthew’s winning drawing and the story that accompanies it:
This is Johnny Decker. Well, was Johnny Decker. Now he’s just a head, an undead head. Sadly he had decided to tag along with his girlfriend, Penny, and several others to a secluded cabin in the woods. DUN DUN DUN *thunder crash*. While there, the secret gov’t base neighboring the local skinny dipping spot was having some “security issues.” After much grabbing, biting, screaming, and running all but Johnny and Penny were eaten. Though Johnny had become infected from an ankle biter! That’s the plot twist! Luckily for Penny she had been training for years to be a champion lumberjack. Finding her weapon embedded in a tree stump Johnny quickly got the chop; flying through the air (as depicted) he cursed his newly found zombie desire for brains and longed to see his home again. Then he was split in twain by the mighty axe of Penny the Zombie Slayer. The End.
P.S. A neat little trick for the kiddies! Print out Johnny Decker and hold down the paper at the center of his head, just above his mouth… gash, with a pin or similar device. Now… spin! Voilà! Flying decapitated zombie head action! Fun for all ages.
Congratulations again to both winners.
If you any of you are still feeling creative, you have until February 20th to submit your entries for our second ZSC anthology contest.
Brace yourselves Zombie Survival Crew. Light Blue Brigade First Lieutenant Ted Raimi knows what it means to battle the undead and will mince no words when addressing the Zombie Survival Crew troops.
Now, some might find Commander Raimi’s warning a bit chilling. But the bald truth is that this commander is demonstrating true leadership with a no-holds-barred assessment of the threats we’re all preparing to face.
Lt Blue Brigade Commander Anthony Guajardo explains the reasons for his choices of essential Go Bag items… But in order to see what the reasons are, you’ll need to login and if you are not a registered member, please take a few moments and register for the site. The links for both the login and the Member Registration can be found in the sidebar to the right.