Commander Monday: Michael Kenworthy

Michael made his first zombie kill at the tender age of 13, during a time when most boys his age were too busy watching MTV, playing Space Invaders or running away from girls to notice the zombie threat. Michael’s experience and considerable brainpower may very well make him the most experienced and valuable asset the ZSC will have in the days to come.

Before facing the shambling horde for the first time, Michael tested the waters of the acting world by appearing in Tom Moore’s ‘Night Mother alongside Sissy Spacek and Anne Bancroft.  From there he appeared in several television roles, including Growing Pains and its spinoff series Just the Ten of Us. In 1988 he accepted the role of Jesse Wilson and starred in the film that would gain him his elite zombie killer status, Return of the Living Dead Part 2. Michael was nominated for Best Young Actor in a Horror or Mystery Motion Picture for this role. He moved on shortly afterwards to take on The Blob and in 1990 turned down an offer from Beverly Hills 90210 to attend college.

 

Michael has achieved multiple degrees in theater arts, telecommunications and broadcasting. In 2011 he crossed paths with our own Commander in Chief, who immediately spotted his leadership potential and invited him to join our ranks. Michael is currently stationed on the West coast, operating out of an undisclosed location while putting his numerous talents to work in preparation for the dark days to come.

If you’re just joining us for this series, please be sure to check out our previous Commander Monday reports!

 


Commander Monday: The Oracle

Oracle: “Frenzied women from whose lips the god speaks” – Walter Burkert

Logistical expert, webmistress, guru of all things technical and little flashy pointing thingies on the ZSC website, the omniscient Oracle sees all, hears all and knows all. Once an innocent writer of young adult novels, LK Gardner-Griffie’s role in the upcoming apocalypse is perhaps the most crucial of all. Without her wisdom, infinite knowledge and uncanny ability to translate the often-garbled incoming transmissions from other commanders, we would surely be lost in a maze of utter confusion and mayhem. While only those higher up the chain of command and several very privileged others have actually seen the Oracle with their own eyes, many of us have caught glimpses of her in various social networking locations, and some have even received the occasional top secret memo that changes the course of one’s destiny…

LK Gardner-Griffie is an award-winning writer, blogger and mom to four-legged children. She hails from the West coast, is often infected with wanderlust, and in another lifetime might have found herself belting out country music tunes for a living. She recently completed the first book in a new children’s chapter book series, Timmy and the Golden Lion Tamarin, which will be published through True North Publishing in the spring of 2015. Under her new management with Gandolfo Helin Literary Management, her award-winning Misfit McCabe series is on hold temporarily while she and Italia Gandolfo are engaged in strategy sessions. She has shared many articles and blog posts on her website, Griffie World and will be speaking at The Muzeo in Santa Ana, CA on November 20, 2014 for the Open Book Series.  LK was recently interviewed by Gail Zahtz on BlogTalk Radio (click the link and hear the Oracle speak), and previously by Christine Fonesca, and previously chatted with Lorna Suzuki at All Kinds of Writing. She has also been included as one of the featured authors on Publish or Bust.

LK  is a woman of many passions and talents, and when the two are put together to take a stand against bullying, censorship, abuse and other issues that have likely affected all of us in some way or another, the possibilities are endless. She speaks up, shouts out and challenges us all to think before we act, and do what’s right no matter what the circumstances.  Most notable of her pet projects is the drive to donate books to family and/or children’s shelters. See for yourself, and take action as you will. Purple brigade, salute your commander and heed of the shining example she sets for us all.  

 

More news and current events:

Kick Cancer: http://kickcancer.griffieworld.com/
On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorLKGardnerGriffie
On Twitter: https://twitter.com/lkgg

__________________________________________________________

If you are just joining us for this series, be sure to check out our other Commander Monday updates!


Tasty Survival – Delicious Camp-Style Cobbler

Photo credit: Ragesoss

Photo credit: Ragesoss

You’ve been hiking through the wooded areas of the Pacific Northwest, keeping an eye peeled for zombie activity. Things have been a bit quiet — which is good, you’re not complaining … when BAM! Out of nowhere, your sweet tooth kicks in and it’s running on overdrive. You eye your fellow travelers and wonder whether sweetbreads really are sweet. After doing a quick check to make sure you haven’t been bitten without realizing it, you notice some bushes in the distance.

Boo-yah!!! You’ve hit the jackpot. Wild blackberries for everyone. All you have to do is pick them. Then the monster idea hits… Blackberry Cobbler. A desert for kings served up camp-style for you and your fellow Zombie Survival Crew members.

  1. Grab whatever you can find to hold the berries and dance your way to the berry patch.
  2. Post a sentry to make sure no wandering zombies, or hungry bears try to fight you for the berries.
  3. Do NOT walk through the patch of nettles. Or at least make sure you’re wearing boots and the thickest pair of socks you have with you.
  4. Pick as many berries as you can carry. While some will go in the cobbler, the berries are great to eat on the go, and have plenty of antioxidants and all sorts of other good things for you.
  5. When you get back to camp, melt a stick of butter (or margarine) over the fire.
  6. Mix together 1 cup of self-raising flour, 1 cup of sugar, and 1 cup of milk.
  7. Pretend it is zombie brains and beat well.
  8. Pour the melted butter into a 2-quart-ish pan (if you didn’t melt it in the pan to begin with)
  9. Pour the floury, sugary goodness over the butter — BUT DO NOT STIR.
  10. Add berries (about a quart to the mixture). DO NOT STIR
  11. Keep on the fire until the crust rises over the berries and turns golden brown.
  12. Try not to drool while waiting.
  13. Serve hot with a little cream, or for a real treat, a scoop of ice cream … if you can find any.

This tasty treat is a favorite of the Purple Brigade leader and has the Oracle stamp of approval. Oh, and if you have an oven available, preheat to 350F.


Commander Monday: The Oracle, L.K. Gardner-Griffie

LK3Logistical expert, webmistress, guru of all things technical and little flashy pointing thingies on the ZSC website, The Oracle sees all, hears all and knows all. Once an innocent writer of young adult novels, L.K. Gardner-Griffie’s role in the upcoming apocalypse is perhaps the most crucial of all. Without her wisdom, infinite knowledge and uncanny ability to translate the often-garbled incoming transmissions from other commanders, we would surely be lost in a maze of utter confusion and mayhem. While only those higher up the chain of command and several very privileged others have actually seen the Oracle with their own eyes, many of us have caught glimpses of her in various social networking locations, and some have even received the occasional top secret memo that changes the course of one’s destiny.

 

61Ct0489pnL._SX300_L.K. Gardner-Griffie is the author of  the award-winning Misfit McCabe series.  An avid blogger and mom to several four-legged children, she hails from the West coast although she is often infected with wanderlust. In another lifetime L.K. may have found herself belting out country music tunes for a living.  L.K.  is a woman of many passions and talents, and when the two are put together to take a stand against abuse, bullying, censorship and other issues that affect us all in some way or another, the possibilities are endless. She speaks up, shouts out and challenges us all to think before we act, and do what’s right no matter what the circumstances.

L.K. was recently interviewed by Christine Fonesca, and previously chatted with Lorna Suzuki at All Kinds of Writing. She has also been included as one of the featured authors on Publish or Bust. Purple brigade, salute your commander, and take heed of the shining example she sets for us all.

AngelaAshley

www.griffieworld.com

 

If you’re just joining us for this series, please be sure to check out our previous Commander Monday reports!

 


Moira Rescue Mission: Part VI

The mission to rescue Blue Brigade member Moira Jones continues…

A secret self-organized unit within the ZSC received the Urgent call for help from Moira Jones and sprang into action. Although the city is awash with walkers, these brave souls put together a mission plan on hearing Moira’s plight. Exactly what we expect from Zombie Survival Crew members. Below is a brief mission recap, then a continuation of the field reports pouring in following up on earlier reports of the mission’s genesis.

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.

Field Reports:

PERSONNEL:

The Rescue Team

Emma’s POV (With Apryl):
     We moved slowly through the darkened hospital. I tried to steady my frayed nerves and ordered myself to get a grip. Purple Brigade prides itself on the ability to think clearly in any situation, and I needed to be on top of my game for this mission—even if I’d forgotten my go bag in my haste to get to the hotel. Luckily, Jess remembered hers and so I’d been able to receive a bit more information from the Purple Brigade leader, the Oracle.
     No one knew how many walkers there were, but the situation didn’t look good. Walkers had easy prey in a hospital, and so far there had not been one single report of anyone making it out alive. Still we had two powerful zombie-killing positives on our side: Blue Brigade Leader Norman Reedus and the Leader of Special Forces, Michael Rooker.
     With them leading us, we had hope. But each moment intensified the danger Moira faced, and there were so many questions swirling through my brain: Where did she end up? How much food did she manage to grab? Were there other survivors with her? Had she been bitten?
     I shook my head. I needed to make sure we got the first level clear before we could really begin looking for Moira. Out of the whole group, I was probably the newest and greenest. Sure, I’d taken on walkers before, but nothing of this magnitude. Frankly, in terms of combat skills, Luna, Jess’s zombie-killing dog, surpassed me by far.
     I was glad I’d been paired with Apryl. The woman could wield her Desert Eagles like no one’s business. She made that clear when she took out a walker reaching for Norman by firing an impossible shot right over his shoulder and directly into its head.

Purple Brigade

     I tightened my grip on my full Tang 440, twenty-inch blade. At least I knew how to use the thing. It was light, easy to swing, and razor-sharp.
     We couldn’t get in and out of the hospital without a fight. Our entrance alone made that quite clear.
     “All right people,” Michael whispered, loud enough for us to hear but quiet enough to keep any nearby walker from hearing us, “you all know what to do. You still have your walkie-talkies; so don’t forget to keep us informed as to where you are. We can’t help you if you get pinned down by walkers and we don’t know where you are, and we’re not going to go running all over the hospital looking for you when we’re trying to find Moira, got it?”
     We nodded. He looked each of us in the eye, and I held his gaze, drawing encouragement from his determination. We were usually a light-hearted and cheerful bunch, especially amongst each other, but not now. Finally, Michael gave a satisfied nod.
     “Let’s go get her. Just remember to watch your partner’s back, and if one of you gets bit…well, you know what to do.”
     I swallowed and glanced at Apryl, who nodded to Michael. I knew that if Apryl got bitten, I’d have to put her down, but I wasn’t sure if I could bring myself to do it.
     Cross that bridge if you come to it, I told myself.
     “Take out any walker you see as quietly as you can, if it’s in your way.” Michael whispered, lowering his weapon again. “And don’t forget, we’re headed for the sixth floor, ward six. If you find her before the rest of us, let us know and we’ll hurry up there.”
     We all nodded again.
     Everyone began to split off into their respective groups: Michael and Tiffany, and Apryl and me. But as we started to move apart, spreading out, our phones suddenly crackled to life and we all stopped short, looking at each other, then hurriedly each of us scrambled to answer. There was only one possible explanation for all of the phones going off at once: news from HQ. The ZSC managed to set up a fairly stable system of communication that allowed a single call to be made to up to sixteen people, so no doubt Norman’s crew were receiving the same call.
     “You have Rooker, Tiffany, Apryl and Emma,” Michael said into his phone. “Go ahead.”
     “And you have Norman, Eve, Jess and Rebecca. Go ahead.” Norman’s voice came in over the phone.
     “Rescue team, this is Yellow First Lieutenant Sean Patrick Flanery.”
     Each of us looked sharply at each other. A sense of foreboding settled itself into the pit of my stomach but I tried not to give in to it.
     “We’re reading you, Flanery,” Rooker said. “What’s the problem?”
     “ZSC HQ just received a call from Moira.” Sean responded, and I felt my breath suddenly cut itself off. Moira called? She was alive?
     “Moira contacted HQ?” Norman asked, sounding as relieved as I felt, “Is she all right?”
     “I don’t know.” Sean said. I could hear the tenseness in his voice, which made me worry. He wasn’t one to get worried easily.
     “What happened?” Rooker asked. “Is she in a secure location?”
     “She said she was, but now I’m not so sure. While I was on the line with her something happened, it sounded like glass breaking and I think something grabbed her. I couldn’t make out much more before the line went dead.”
     Silence fell. No one said a word.
     Finally Norman spoke, softly, but determinedly.
     “We’re going after her, anyway,” he said. “Did she give you a position?”
     “She said she was still on the sixth floor, and she said the only way up was the stairs.”
     “Then we’re taking the stairs.” Michael said, “Can you give us any more info?
     “Sorry, that’s all I got before the line went dead,” he answered. “Stay safe. Flanery out.”
     He hung up and we slid our phones back into our pockets.
     We split up and hurried off in different directions while I conjured up in my mind the map of the hospital Jess showed us. The nearest stairwell lay beyond the critical care ward, through another hall. Apryl unsheathed her hunting knife and I readied my blade as we fell into step beside each other.
     Power was out in the building. Very little light illuminated our path. We peered into darkened offices and patient rooms as we passed, ready to strike if we saw any movement or heard any moaning. Dark smears of blood covered the walls and floor. I could dimly make out what looked like dismembered limbs littered across the cold marble floor and occasionally a shredded corpse.
     Luckily the corpses in the corridor were just lunch, no coming back.
     I shuddered at the thought that this was the new normal. What was around us—this eerie quiet, this feeling of apprehension…of being hunted, this was our reality—a dark new world extending towards a grim a future we were hard-pressed to escape. Unless we could stop the outbreaks. That was what the Purple Brigade worked on. If Jess and I made it out alive, we’d have a good field report to make back to The Oracle.
     We reached the doors to the critical care ward and paused, listening to the hall that lay beyond it. We couldn’t hear anything. Apryl looked at me. “You ready?”
     I nodded, tightening my grip on the blade. One… She raised one of her silenced Desert Eagles and switched the safety off. Two… I grabbed the door handle and tensed. Three… I jerked the door open and we rushed into the critical ward.
     I’d never seen such carnage before. Ever. Blood, guts, flesh… all caked on the walls and floor, and strips of something I didn’t care to identify hung from the ceiling.
     Blood dripped from the ceiling tiles. The emergency exit light glowed red, making the whole place seem to be nothing but blood. The stench was unbearable. The smell of rotten flesh, of death, wafted through the air and I wrinkled my noise, swallowing to keep my stomach under control.
     “Oh, man,” Apryl muttered.
     Bodies of patients and doctors alike littered the floor, most torn apart, their intestines strewn across the cold floor, their muscles and organs exposed. Through it all waded fourteen walkers.
     The one closest to us—missing an arm and an eye—lifted its head and looked at us. A guttural hiss emitted from its disfigured face. The others turned to look. Their soulless, lifeless eyes bored straight through us. The unnatural glint of an insatiable hunger brightened their gaze as they spotted new prey.
     Together, we rushed the walkers. She took down the one missing an arm with a clean shot through the head. I swung my sword through the neck of what had been a doctor.
     His body crumpled, but his head clacked its jaws together as it tried to get a bite of my boot. I stomped down, feeling the sickening crunch of bones snapping, and turned my attention back to the others. Apryl felled two more as they approached. I took down two patients and a nurse. Apryl marched forward, duel wielding her Desert Eagles now, putting a walker down with each shot. She took down four more. I got another two, but as I swept my arm back from a stroke, I lost my footing on the slick, blood-covered floor and stumbled against a walker. It grabbed hold of my arms and growled. I tried to jerk free, but it wasn’t letting go of its food so easily. I pulled against it, harder this time, trying to kick myself free at the same time. It wasn’t working.
     “Down!” Apryl barked and I obediently lowered my head as the walker snarled.
     Blood and bone fragments splattered all over my face. The walker suddenly dropped, shot through the head. There was no time to wipe my face or thank Apryl. I quickly drove my blade into the face of another nurse and then pulled it free and spun, sword outstretched, and swiped off the head of another’s head. That’d been a close call. Very close. I turned to Apryl, shaken, but alive.
     “Thanks,” I said, wiping the gore off. “Are you okay?” She nodded, but looked me over worriedly as she approached.
     No bites on either of us. I needed to step up my game if I wanted to get through this.
     I looked down at the walkers, now still, on the ground as Apryl took out her walkie-talkie.
     “Apryl and Emma,” she said. “In the critical ward. Squirrel.”
     We grinned at each other and hurried back down the hall. Some of my confidence was restored as we made our way down the corridor and the other teams continued to check in. Not one had given the ‘Oreo’ alert, much to my relief. I kept reassuring myself that we would find Moira. She would be fine.
     There were more walkers in the next hallway, but not as many as in the previous one. I let Apryl handle it and instead pictured the layout of the hospital once again, placing our teams in the wards and corridors they’d last radioed in from. We were all still on the first floor, but judging from where Jess, Luna, and Rebecca’s reports, they were fast moving up. We were making headway.
     We paused by the stairwell door, hearing a slow shuffling coming from the other side. I nodded to Apryl and she gave a quick, powerful kick. The door slammed back, straight into two walkers. While they were dazed, she unsheathed her knife and took them out.
     “Apryl and Emma, entering a stairwell. Squirrel so far, we’re going up.”
     It looked like some debris was blocking most of the doors. We’d be doing a bit of climbing to get over it, but it wasn’t anything we couldn’t handle. Everyone radioed in that they were heading up. The higher we climbed, the darker it became, and soon we were in almost complete darkness.
     “We can work around this.” I murmured to Apryl as I heard her stumble over a piece of debris. “We’re to the third floor I think, so we’re half way there.”
     “I’m all right,” she said. “It’s just annoying. We need to move faster. I’m worried sick about Moira.”
     “I know,” I answered, trying to see her in the darkness, “I think we could try and go a little—”
     Something suddenly grabbed my leg. A growl rumbled in the darkness. I yelped and fell back, banging my head against a stair.
     “What?” Apryl called out. “Where is it?”
     My head spun. The walker tugged on my leg. I tried to pull free from its grip, and surprisingly, my leg lifted it up, so it was a small walker at least.
      Apryl rushed over and lashed out with her knife, but missed and slashed my leg. I clenched my teeth to keep from crying out as the skin split apart. Instead, I reached for my own knife.
     “I got it,” I told her and slammed my leg back down.
     The walker growled but let go. I spun my knife and drove it into its head.
     “Are you okay?” Apryl asked, rushing to my side.
     “Y-Yeah,” I assured her, wincing at the stinging pain in my leg and covering the wound with my hand, “I’m okay. Could you reach into my bag and get out the bandages? I think you cut me.”
     She quickly handed them over. I wrapped up the wound as best as I could, hoping that the scent wouldn’t alert any walkers or leave a trail for them to follow. I pulled out my flashlight and flipped it on to take a quick look at the walker, to make sure it was dead.

Red Brigade

     “Oh my…” Apryl breathed.
     It was a toddler. Or, had been a toddler. Its neck and part of its leg bore huge bite marks—a little girl with pretty, long brunette hair caked with blood. Her little hands were dirty and covered in blood as well. Neither Apryl nor I spoke for several minutes. We resumed our silent ascent up the stairs.
     We finally made it up to the sixth floor and approached the door, relieved, but wary. We slid our weapons out in preparation.
     Apryl went first. There was an odd sound as she yanked on the door. She gave a sort of chuckle and whispered, “You have to push it open.”
     I laughed a little and waited for her to push it open, but something was wrong. She grunted as she shoved against it as hard as she could, but the door didn’t budge.
     “Give me a hand,” she whispered. I edged in and shoved against it with her. It was no use. The door wouldn’t budge.
     “Oh you have got to be kidding me,” she growled. I wasn’t much happier about the situation.
     “I guess they locked it or barricaded it. We’ll have to go back down and try the fifth floor.”
     “Such a waste of time,” Apryl said as we started back down.
     I nodded, not that she could see me, but she expressed my sentiments exactly. If this door was barricaded, what about the fifth floor door? We’d probably end up having to double back and find the other stairwell, which would cost us a lot of time. Time we didn’t have.
     Both Apryl and I rushed back down to the fifth floor door and tried it. It too was barricaded, but gave way a little as Apryl leaned against it, so I helped her and together we shoved against it as hard as we could.
     After shoving and grunting for several minutes, we managed to push the door open wide enough to squeeze through. For a moment, I thought we were alone and somehow stumbled across an area that didn’t have any walkers. But just as Apryl started to reach for her walkie-talkie, we heard it. A sickly groan came from one of the rooms. A walker in a hospital gown emerged, staring at us. Apryl started to go for it, but I caught her arm and stopped her as more walkers emerged from the other rooms. Their moans grew louder. More and more began to issue forth.
     “We’ve got this.” Apryl raised her Desert Eagles while I unsheathed my blade.
     The thought that one of these things might be trying to get to Moira filled me with disgust and anger.
     We’re coming, I thought. We’re coming, Moira. Just sit tight.
     “You take the left side, I’ll get the right, okay?”
     I nodded, then we both rushed forward. Walkers fell with every bullet Apryl fired and with every swing of my blade.
     We’re not going to let these things stop us. They’ve taken enough from us already: our families, our homes, and our security. We’re not about to let them take Moira, too.


Moira Rescue Mission: Part V

The mission to rescue Blue Brigade member Moira Jones continues…

A secret self-organized unit within the ZSC received the Urgent call for help from Moira Jones and sprang into action. Although the city is awash with walkers, these brave souls put together a mission plan on hearing Moira’s plight. Exactly what we expect from Zombie Survival Crew members. Below is a brief mission recap, then a continuation of the field reports pouring in following up on earlier reports of the mission’s genesis.

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.

Field Reports:

PERSONNEL:

The Rescue Team

Jessica’s POV (With Rebecca):
     Rebecca, Luna, and I slowly started making our way toward the hallway directly in front of us. Rebecca was a new recruit in the Red Brigade of the Zombie Survival Crew and incredibly grateful that her machete arrived in time for the rescue mission. She ordered a special-made Billhook Machete and also brandished her desert eagle with silencer. I carried my cast iron skillet, a sword that I’d commissioned, and also a gun with a silencer. Luna had her unmatched keen senses of smell, hearing and sight even in the dark, and of course, her fangs and powerful bite. We halfway down the hall when all of the sudden Luna stopped in her tracks and let out a soft growl.
     “Jess, I see something down there in the hall,” Rebecca said, tightening her grip on her machete.
     I squinted made out a dark figure hunched over another dark figure. We inched closer. Slurping and crunching noises filled the hall—definitely a walker enjoying a meal.
     “I got this,” Rebecca said and moved forward.
     As she approached the walker, it lifted its head up and sniffed the air. Before it could even turn around, I heard the machete swing through the air, and thud—the walker’s head smacked the wall.
     I moved closer. Rebecca smiled and said, “Four!”
     “That would’ve been a hole-in-one, right there,” I joked. Surprisingly there weren’t any other walkers the hallway. We made it to a set of stairs.

Purple Brigade

     “Rebecca and Jess, squirrel. We’re at the stairs.” I paused. Something didn’t feel right about how quickly we made it to the stairs. Only one walker, and that was it?
     “We are heading up.” I put the walkie-talkie back in my pocket.
     Rebecca, Luna and I made it safely to the top of the stairs and headed down the hallway. We came to a door, and we pushed it open, walked through, and froze.
     “Oh my God,” Rebecca said.
     My eyes stung with tears and I knew I couldn’t keep them from pouring down my face. Rebecca and I embraced one another, sobbing quietly. Then we heard a very soft snarl.
     We pulled away from each other. The tears fell even harder as we moved toward the sound. There it was, in an incubator, probably not even a week old when it had been bitten. Its entire left arm and part of its face had been ripped off. It snarled as loudly as it could—barely louder than a whisper. Rebecca and I looked at each other and knew what we needed to do, but my heart broke.
     I lifted my cast iron skillet over its tiny body and as I brought it down to end it’s suffering, it snarled. I fell to my knees and wept. Rebecca crouched down and we tried to comfort each other, but there was just no comfort to be had.
     Rebecca pulled me back to my feet. We searched the room now filled with tiny growls and snarls. There were probably twenty infant walkers in incubators. Helplessly, they all reached, hoping for something to satisfy their longing.
     Rebecca and I looked each other in the eyes and said at the same time, “They are not alive.”
     I lifted my cast iron skillet above the nearest incubator and I brought it down, before moving to the next one. Rebecca watched with tears flowing and stepped toward a snarling little body. She pulled up her machete and brought it down, ending its suffering. Our tears never ceased as we made our way around the room, and before we knew it the room fell silent. My hands trembled as I looked at the mangled and cut up bodies.
     “We had to do it, Jess,” Rebecca said, tears still flowing down her cheeks.
     “I know, but…” my voice trailed off. A noise came from the hallway.
     We wiped the tears from our eyes and moved slowly toward the hall. We pressed against the doors to listen and heard the shuffling of feet. I pulled the door open. Rebecca, Luna and I slipped out. We stayed against the wall and moved quietly down the hall. Something grabbed my leg and I fell to the floor hard.
     “Oh, crap!” A sharp pain shot up my side. I’d fallen onto my sword. Blood ran down my side.
     “Luna, get it!” I said as I tried to kick at what latched onto my leg.
     Luna snarled and growled as she pounced my attacker. She bit into it. A sickening crunch sounded as her teeth tightened down on its rotting skull. Its hand released my leg.

Red Brigade

     “Jess! Oh my gosh, are you ok?” Rebecca knelt down beside me.
     “Yeah, just kinda stabbed myself,” I said, feeling like a fool.
     Rebecca reached into my backpack and found some first aid items to mend my wound.
     “You’re going to have to do it.”
     Rebecca’s eyes widened as she looked at me and she knew what I meant. I needed her to pull the sword out of my side.
     “Bite down on this,” she said as she handed me a towel from my bag.
     I closed my eyes tightly as she gripped the handle of the sword. I pictured Moira. Saw her fighting off walkers, trapped in a room with little to no provisions. Anger built up in me and I felt no pain as Rebecca pulled the sword from my side. She quickly bandaged me up and helped me to my feet.
     We pressed on and came to some more stairs. I pulled the walkie-talkie out of my pocket, “This is Rebecca and Jess. Squirrel, and we are about to head up another set of stairs.”
     I turned my flashlight on for a second to read the sign posted by the stairs.
     It said: “Take these stairs to get to the 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th floors.”
     I looked at Rebecca and she looked back at me. “You ready for this?”
     “Hell yeah, I am,” she responded “Are you?”


Moira Rescue Mission: Part IV

The mission to rescue Blue Brigade member Moira Jones continues…

A secret self-organized unit within the ZSC received the Urgent call for help from Moira Jones and sprang into action. Although the city is awash with walkers, these brave souls put together a mission plan on hearing Moira’s plight. Exactly what we expect from Zombie Survival Crew members. Below is a brief mission recap, then a continuation of the field reports pouring in following up on earlier reports of the mission’s genesis.

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.

Field Reports:

PERSONNEL:

The Rescue Team

Tiffany’s POV:
     “While I was on the line with her something happened, it sounded like glass breaking and I think something grabbed her. I couldn’t make out much more before the line went dead.”
     Those words from Commander Flanery echoed in my head. Scared for all of us, I questioned if we’d make it in time and even if we did, would we make it back out? I knew I shouldn’t think about stuff like that, we’d made it this far. But what if we were too late?
     I shook my head. “No,” I said to myself. Moira counted on us and we were going to get her to safety, no questions asked.
     Michael and I broke away from the group and made our way through the 5th floor. I took lead. My katana was quieter than Michael’s HK417 chambered 7.62 millimeter. We entered the Burn Unit. The mix of burnt and rotting flesh attacked my nose. I choked. The faint gunshots of the others echoed in the ward as mine and Michael’s boots stomped along the dingy floor.
     Michael yanked me back into a dark corner. I looked over my shoulder. He put a finger to his lips and pointed over my shoulder towards five walkers shambling down a nearby hallway. He motioned for me to take the two on the left. He’d get the three on the right. I nodded. On the count of three, we charged from the hallway, running towards the walkers.
     I thrust one of my katanas forward. It slid through both walkers, pinning them to the wall. They growled, clawed and snapped at me. Singed flesh hung from their bodies. Without a second thought I ran the blade of my second katana through their skulls. I cringed a bit, but it needed to be done.
     I let the bodies hit the floor before pulling my blades free. I shook the blood from them as Michael dropped the last walker with a shot to the head. We looked at each other and nodded. I felt safe knowing Michael had my back.

Orange Brigade

     “You ok, Kid?” Michael asked.
     “Yeah.”
     “Let’s move out.”
     I nodded. Michael took lead. That’s when I heard it, growling and shuffling. I lifted my head to see Michael and I surrounded by walkers. Every direction stood a drooling, rotting corpse. We were trapped.
     I mumbled a few curse words and pressed my back against Michael’s.
     He looked over his shoulder at me. “Ain’t afraid of these bone heads are ya?”
     “Of course not.”
     “Good.”
     He fired a shot. I swung my katana, sending flesh and blood splattering everywhere. One walker tried to bite; just as he did I rammed my katana blade into its throat. I swung the other, decapitating another walker. It seemed like there were countless walkers. For every one that dropped, two more took its place. I kept telling myself, think of Moira. She needed us.
     Michael’s gunshots echoed, silencing the skin, heads and blood splattering around us. My clothes were wet with walker blood, but it didn’t matter—I’d swim an ocean full in order to save Moira. Michael and I continued cutting a blood soaked path to the stairway. We were almost at the end. One more floor and we’d meet up with the others.
     Someone grabbed me. I thought it was Michael, until I felt blood trickle down my arm. Crap.
      I tried to jerk my hand away. I didn’t feel any pain from a bite, but that could be my body running on adrenaline. Pulling away, the force caused me to drop one of my katanas. Something grabbed my ankle. Before I knew it I was pulled down. My head smacked the floor.
     Despite being dizzy, I knew I needed to get up. On the floor was the worst position I could be in with a horde of walkers. I rolled over, kicking at the walker who tried to bite my leg. My head throbbed, felt like it may fall off my neck and roll away.
     I grabbed my other katana and swung, slicing through the abdomen of a walker. Blood and gore spilled onto my jeans and down my arm.
     Michael yelled, “Kid! Get up!”
     But I couldn’t. He took a few more shots, then felt him—at least I hoped it was him—grab me by the ankle. Before I knew it, I was being dragged towards the door. I grabbed the pistol from the waist of my pants and fired at a few walkers following us, nailing them in the head.
     Michael dragged me, leaving carnage behind us. He stopped and yanked me to my feet. We turned, shooting the last four remaining walkers as we backed out the door leading to the stairwell. Michael slammed the door shut and I leaned back against it to catch my breath. If it were a cartoon, my heart would’ve been beating three feet out of my chest.
     Michael looked at me. Something warm ran down the side of my face. I touched the top of my head and flinch.
     “Sh*t”
     Michael shined his flashlight on the wound. He fished in his back pocket, pulling out a black and red bandana and wiped the blood off my face to inspect the cut on the right side of my head right along the hairline.
     “Damn kid, they got ya good. You didn’t get bit nowhere, did ya?”
     “No, I’m pretty sure I didn’t.”
     Michael nodded, wrapping the bandana around my head to protect the cut. He asked me how many fingers he was holding up, what’s my name, who he was. Once satisfied, he stepped back. I regrouped, shaking off the dizzy spell and ignoring the pain in my head to get ready to charge up the steps with Michael. I reached for my walkie-talkie first—needed to give a status report.
     “Team Rooker, just left the burn unit. Squirrel!!”
     “Good, Eve and I are on our way up. All’s clear on our end.” Commander Reedus responded.
     “All’s squirrelly over here” Em chimed in.
     “Squirrel!!” Jessica added.
     “Alright then, everyone, let’s get our behinds up to that floor and get our girl.”
     Michael and I charged the steps. I pushed myself onward. I had no choice. Even as the pain in my head increased, Michael kept telling me to move my butt. We reached the top of the stairs, looked at each other and proceeded to kick the doors open.


Moira Rescue Mission: Part III

The mission to rescue Blue Brigade member Moira Jones continues…

A secret self-organized unit within the ZSC received the Urgent call for help from Moira Jones and sprang into action. Although the city is awash with walkers, these brave souls put together a mission plan on hearing Moira’s plight. Exactly what we expect from Zombie Survival Crew members. Below is a brief mission recap, then a continuation of the field reports pouring in following up on earlier reports of the mission’s genesis.

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.

Field Reports:

PERSONNEL:

The Rescue Team

Eve’s POV:
     
     We split off from the group and made our way silently toward the eastern staircase. Aside from the big group we’d encountered when we first entered the building, Norman and I weren’t seeing many walkers. We took down five before we made it to the door that opened into the stairwell.
     “This seems a bit too easy,” Norman said, almost too softly for me to hear. I wasn’t sure if he was talking to me or thinking aloud.
     “You okay, Eve?” I looked over to see him watching me.
     “Yes, I’m fine.” I tossed him a quick glance and added, “I’m worried about Moira. That message from Sean has me a bit freaked out.”
     “Yeah, me too.” Norman stepped forward to peek in the window of the stairwell door.
     He leapt back as a grotesque face slammed against the glass.
     “Damn!” He studied the walker for a moment. We could hear more of them shuffling around behind the door.
     I pulled my hunting knife out of its sheath and held it so that the blade ran along my forearm. My left hand gripped my compound bow. I nocked an arrow—held between my right middle and forefinger, leaving my two other fingers and thumb wrapped tightly around the hilt of my knife. I turned and covered the hallway behind us while he prepped his weapons.
     Norman pulled back the string on his crossbow until he heard it lock. He slid a bolt in place, pulled a silenced 9mm Glock out of his waistband and chambered a round. He grabbed his walkie and announced that we were entering the stairwell.
     “Here goes!” He yanked the door open and stepped to the side as I loosed an arrow into the group amassed there.
     My arrow went through three skulls before lodging into the fourth, not quite penetrating the creature’s brain.
     Norman jumped over the fallen and began working his way through the dozen or so other undead that crowded eagerly toward him.
     I took the flat of my palm and shoved the arrow through the skull of the fourth zombie before sending a second arrow flying to take another out just as it lunged for Norman’s back.
     The base of the stairwell was far too constricted to use our bows practically. We slung them and focused on knife work.
     He gestured to the stairs behind me with a nod of his head and used his hands to signal that he wanted me to go first, he would be right behind me. Fortunately, red tinged emergency lights still lit this area and we were able to make it up the two flights to the third floor.
     Norman studied the map near the door.

Lt Blue Brigade

     “Right. It should be a straight shot past this nurse’s station then we head left and the next set of stairs should be just down this hallway. There are,” he did a quick count of the small rooms off the hallway, “only 12 rooms, six on each side, between us and the stairs. We’ll assume they were all occupied when it all went down. Of course there are 48 rooms total in this wing so we should be prepared for worst case scenario.”
     He reloaded his gun and crossbow as I double checked my guns.
     As he pushed the handle down, the emergency lights failed, throwing us into pitch black.
     “Holy crap!” I whispered. “I can’t see anything!”
     “Here.” I tapped one of the flashlights against his hand and he took it. I swung my bag back around, the other flashlight in my hand.
     I felt breath on the back of my neck; my heart constricted and goosebumps rose all up and down my arms. This breath was cold and it reeked of rotting flesh. I whirled around and smashed my flashlight against its face before tripping on Norman’s shoe. I fell against the railing, my right foot slipped off the edge of the top stair and I tumbled down, coming to a stop on my back a few feet below. My flashlight rolled down to the landing and flickered on spreading an eerie light up the wall.
     I couldn’t breathe and my ankle throbbed.
     I tried to get up and felt sharp pain stab through my ankle. I sucked a breath in through my teeth to keep from crying out. Tears pricked my eyes as I flopped back down.
     Norman rushed down. He came into view on my left side.
     “Are you okay? Are you hurt?”
     “It didn’t bite me.” I wanted that to be very clear. “I hurt my ankle when I fell. I don’t think I can walk on it.”
     He looked down at my ankle and grimaced. I knew it had to be bad.
     “It’s already swollen and bruised. It looks awful.” He carefully lifted my leg.
     “I’ll have to help you walk.” He decided after even the tiniest pressure on the joint made me wince.
     “Norman, there’s no time for that! You need to get to Moira.”
     “I am not leaving you behind. I have to make sure you get back to your little girl!” I could tell from his tone there was no point in arguing.
     “I need a way to stabilize it. A splint or something. All I have is an ace bandage and some gauze in my first aid kit. Then maybe I can put some weight on it.” I tried to pull my toes up which earned me a wave of hot pain that cascaded up my leg from my ankle.
     “Hey!” Norman reached into his back pocket and pulled the map back out. “There’s a medical supplies closet just past the nurse’s station. Think there’s something there we could use?”
     I shrugged and frowned at him. “I don’t think you should go in there by yourself.”
     “Come here.” He helped me to my feet and guided me to the top of the stairs.
     He had me sit against the wall, facing the door. He jogged back down the stairs and grabbed my flashlight.
     “I’ll be right back, okay?” He pointed to my guns, “Keep those handy.”
     I took them both out and rested them on my lap. “Be careful in there.”
     He nodded then slipped through the door.
     The silence in that darkened stairwell was deafening. As I waited, I fought back tears. I worried that he’d get hurt. I worried that we wouldn’t get to Moira in time. I worried that I’d never see Michelle again.
     At one point a walker leaned against the door, which failed to latch behind Norman. I shot it and the four that followed. Their bodies kept the door wide open, but I couldn’t move them.
     I saw a zombie fly backwards, an arrow embedded in its skull and breathed a sigh of relief as Norman came into view.
     He took the bandage from my kit and carefully wrapped my ankle first. He fit a stiff ankle brace over that and then a walking boot before helping me to my feet.
     I took a tentative step and while there was still a great deal of pain, it was manageable.
     “This will work.”
     We entered the cardiac ward. At one point most of these people were someone’s grandparent, husband, wife. Bodies littered the floor as we made our way to the staircase that’d take us to the sixth floor.
     We were nearly there when a walker launched itself from behind a curtain and latched on to Norman’s arm. “Son of a…” He fell backwards, as it snapped at him.
     I limped forward as quickly as I could and drove the blade of my hunting knife to the hilt into the base of its skull.
     Norman panted, his eyes wide. I took hold of his arm and pulled back his sleeve and examined it carefully. There were indentations where the teeth had tried to penetrate, but the skin remained unbroken.
     “Thank God,” I whispered. “I guess you and Daryl don’t share the same luck when it comes to sleeves.”
     “Ha!” He smiled and shook his head.
     I helped him up and we walked over to the door that would lead to Moira. He signaled on the walkie-talkie that our wing was clear and we were heading up the final 3 flights.
     “God, I hope she’s alright,” Norman breathed.
     “Me too.”
     He opened the door and we began our ascent.