If I Stand, We Fall (IC)

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coinsruledude
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Re: If I Stand, We Fall (IC)

Postby coinsruledude » Fri Aug 07, 2015 3:56 am

Marcus: 2

[Tuesday, September 18th, 2012 – 11:24 AM]

Marcus and J.J. apprehensively searched the house for clothing. Having sacrificed their brightly-colored jumpsuits to scale the prison fences, they needed a quick way to blend in with society again. A dresser in a second floor bedroom was filled with men’s clothes, so they each picked out a shirt and pants. Marcus took a pair of jeans that rode high on his ankles and a blue wool T-shirt. While J.J. was picking out his own clothes, Marcus tore through a connected bathroom, looking for something to treat the cuts he received from hopping the fences.
“Make sure you get a shirt to cover your tattoo.” he commented.
“I know, I know,” J.J. replied, sliding his arms through a red long-sleeved shirt. “You seem on top of it today. Usin’ the peels, stealin’ keys and ****. Have you been thinking about escapin’ for a while?”
“For about three months. I already spent a year in that **** place, and I wasn’t going to spend a minute more if I could avoid it.”
“I’m gonna look around this place for money and guns.” J.J. said, walking out of the bedroom.
“Be ready to go in ten minutes.” Marcus responded. He began wrapping an ACE bandage around his injured shin; the wound was pretty deep, but adrenaline was still surging through his body, making it easier to deal with the pain. After treating his arm in the same way, he laid back on the bed and stared at the ceiling for a couple minutes, reveling in his newfound freedom. Despite being less than a mile from the prison, the elation he felt at being out of the facility was incredible. He started getting antsy after a while, so he stood up and unceremoniously dug through the multiple nightstands near the bed. In the back of his mind, he was aware that the people he killed downstairs were likely the owners of the house, but it didn’t affect him much. His unusually unsympathetic attitude only hardened in prison, setting the stage for him to evolve into a killer.

There was nothing of interest in the bedroom except for a well-worn leather wallet, which he grabbed and took the money from immediately. By the time he went downstairs, J.J. already found keys to both trucks parked outside and was digging through the refrigerator for something to drink. He tossed a can of pop to Marcus before cracking one open himself.
“Guess what I found?” J.J. said. He pointed at the kitchen table, where a Glock 22 was sitting next to a small box of ammo. "Found it in a damn cupboard."
“Nice find," Marcus said, grabbing the weapon and checking the magazine. He was familiar with firearms, which was one of the reasons the court refused to let him off easy during his sentencing. "I’m thinking we go north. If we can get into West Virginia before they get a pig watching every stretch of highway, it’ll be harder for them to track us down.”
“Alright, well…let’s get our asses on the move.”

[11:32 AM]

After deciding to steal the newer truck, the men drove east on Interstate 81 for several minutes, trying to calm their nerves and relax. They were so distracted while looking for police cruisers that they didn’t initially notice the strange state of the world around them. Fleets of cars were shoved to the side of the road, and as the escapees closed in on a high-population area, a traffic jam forced them to stop in their tracks.
“What the hell is this traffic?”
“Like I ****’ know, Marcus…there isn’t anybody in those cars either. Look. It’s like everyone just abandoned their cars.”
“I think there’s people up in the road in front of us.”
To get a better look at the traffic jam, J.J. and Marcus got out of the truck and stood in the bed, shielding their eyes from the sun overhead. Gridlock continued on into the distance, with their stolen truck being the last link in the chain of abandoned vehicles. The source of the backup appeared to be a crashed tanker truck spread across the highway. In the gaps between cars, a cluster of people was milling around aimlessly. Some had extremely dirty clothing while others were seemingly pinned between crashed cars.

“Let’s get onto Main Street to avoid all this ****. The cops can’t be too far behind us right now, an’ we gotta go.” J.J. offered.
“That was weird.” Marcus commented, sliding back into the passenger seat. J.J. pulled the truck around and drove on the wrong side of the road for a short period of time before crossing over and exiting onto West Main Street, which cut north of Salem, a sizable city just outside Roanoke. When the men exited the highway, a gunshot rang out from somewhere south of their position. Two more sounded seconds later.

“Sounds like somebody got hold of a gun in the riot. Good for them.” J.J. laughed. He recoiled and glared at Marcus after receiving a hard punch on the shoulder. The truck swerved onto the shoulder slightly before he brought it back under control.
“Good for them, but really bad for us, ****! Every cop in the state is already heading to the **** prison, and that gunshot is telling them where we’re going!”
“Don’t **** at me! You killed that guy in the house, remember? You think that won't tell them where we're going?”
“Just keep **** driving.” Marcus said, scowling and looking out the passenger window. The roads were eerily empty, but suddenly a police roadblock appeared out of nowhere when they turned a corner. J.J. swore and slammed on the brakes, intending to turn around and flee, and Marcus readied his stolen pistol, but they quickly realized nobody was present at the checkpoint. One squad car has its lights dimly flashing and its front door hanging open, while the second was sitting idle and stone dead. J.J. immediately exited the truck and jogged over to the cop cars, keeping his head on a swivel.

“Where are you going?” Marcus hissed.
“To take the ****’ squad car,” his companion replied. “They won’t be lookin’ for a cop car.”
“Until they call in on their radios and ask whose car just got **** stolen! Then they’ll have the number, plate, everything! Are you retarded?” Marcus yelled. He considered jumping behind the wheel of the truck and leaving J.J., who he was beginning to see as a liability, but a guttural moan directed his attention to left of the roadblock. Two uniformed police officers, blood soaking their navy blue clothing, awkwardly emerged from a small patch of undergrowth and saplings on the side of the road. Marcus pointed his pistol at the officers and told them to stop, but neither of them listened to the order. Curiously, instead of engaging in a firefight with their own firearms, the cops simply waddled onto the pavement and tried pursuing Marcus, who backpedaled as they got closer. The men had gray skin and their jaws were hanging open as if in anticipation of something. J.J. looked on in confusion, but eventually he decided to take action; he popped the trunk of the unlocked police cruiser, and he retrieved a Benelli shotgun, which was built for close-quarters combat with a buttstock and iron sights.

“On the ground!” he yelled, after taking a moment to familiarize himself with the weapon. It didn’t take him much time to remove a shell from its holder on the stock and load it. Neither cop obliged to the order, instead choosing to push Marcus all the way back to the truck.
“Shoot on three, alright?” Marcus shouted. J.J. nodded, and after three seconds the two unloaded at the officers, ready to defend their freedom at all costs. Blood splattered from the wounds, especially from the shot J.J. fired directly at the rear officer’s chest, but the figures continued stalking forward, regardless of the gaping gunshot sounds on their bodies.
“Oh, **** me!” J.J. exclaimed. Marcus kept shooting until his stolen pistol was out of ammo; he chucked the empty weapon at the lead officer before retreating inside the truck. The cops began banging on the window and door, trying to get inside any way they could.
“Get their heads! They must be drugged up!”
“I’m tryin’ to!” J.J. replied, loading more shells into the shotgun. Three shots later, and both officers were on the ground, their heads torn apart by high-velocity buckshot.

“Cops are on another level, man,” J.J. said, looking at the bodies as Marcus exited the truck to examine the aftermath. Nobody was screaming or acknowledging the gunfire in any way, and as they listened for noises, they could hear more gunfire occurring elsewhere in the city. It was spread out and constant with multiple sources. “We gotta bail.”
“**** me….****!” Marcus yelled. He rubbed his face with his hands before breathing deeply for a few seconds. There was no way three murders and the assorted other escapees’ crimes would go unnoticed, so he felt there was only one option left.
“No,” he said slowly. “No, we don’t bail. We go back to the prison.”
“Not on your life.”
“Yeah…yeah, if we go back to the prison they have all kinds of guns. The riot might be done by now, and even if it isn’t, we’ll get that **** straightened out real quick with these guns we just stumbled on.”
“What about going north?”
“What about shooting people to death? Two cops? Stealing guns?” Marcus demanded, waving his hand at the bodies. “We’re in over our heads, man. We have been since the start! We won’t be getting out of the state - not after this - so you know what? I say we go back and hole up in that damn prison. Get to the armory, take whatever guards are left hostage. At least that way we’ll have a few fences between us and SWAT.” J.J. hesitated before sighing and loading the two remaining shells into the shotgun.
“Let’s check these cars real quick and make our stand. I won’t be goin’ down easy.”
Last edited by coinsruledude on Sun Nov 29, 2015 2:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
"You can only talk rubbish if you're aware of knowledge." ~Karl Pilkington
"**** it, it's late. Change it later." ~Me and Teddy

coinsruledude
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Re: If I Stand, We Fall (IC)

Postby coinsruledude » Wed Sep 23, 2015 12:22 am

Oliver: 6

[Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012 – 7:00 AM]

The water was flowing opposite the direction Alan and I wanted to travel, so we had to paddle to avoid floating backward and losing ground. Zombies dotted the banks of the river, but they ignored us for the most part. We didn’t make much noise; the canoe and the paddles all cut through the water with ease, so there wasn’t splashing or anything. Conversation never started up again, so it was pretty much just silence. I whistled a little bit – it was a habit – but Alan didn’t seem to mind. AJ sat obediently in front of me, and although he tried barking every once in a while, my homemade muzzle stopped the noise from alerted the undead.

Paddling was mind-numbing and didn’t take much concentration, so traveling on the water gave me a lot of time to think about my predicament. I didn’t know the situation outside Philadelphia, and judging from what he told me up to that point, Alan didn’t either. The two of us were basically lost. I knew the river went north, but past that, nothing was set in stone. Eventually we would end up somewhere in central Pennsylvania or lower New York, and I didn’t have much hope for that region of the country. If Philadelphia was gone, then the rest of the states wouldn’t be much better off. Going further north seemed like our only option at the time, though. West would take us to the Midwest, south would put us in the Carolinas, and east would take us towards Manhattan – none of those places sounded like good rest stops for me and Alan. There were too many people, too many big cities. We were surrounded.

“What’s going on up here?” Alan asked worriedly. When I turned my attention to the view in front of us, I noticed a bunch of objects sticking out of the water. At a distance, they looked like branches or jagged pieces of metal, but as we got closer I could make out sleeves and individual fingers. Zombies were stuck just below the surface of the water, sticking their arms above the surface as they watched the shadowy form of our canoe approach, their vision likely obscured by the fact that they were underwater.

“Oh, ****,” I breathed. “Be careful.” The underwater zombies looked like they got stuck crossing the river at a particularly shallow portion of the Schuylkill River, just before where Interstate 476 crossed over the thin body of water. The hands seemed to pop out of the water as we got closer, rising up and grasping at the air eerily. I assumed that a small horde got in the deep mud on the banks of the river; it was either that or they just decided to stop in the water for whatever reason.

“How are they even alive?” Alan whispered.
“I don’t know. Do they breathe? I don’t think they breathe.” I replied in a hushed tone. There was no threat of the zombies hearing us, but it’s not like we were just going to yell out either. As our canoe slowly slipped by the first row of hands, we tried to maneuver around them with our paddles, but all of a sudden another few limbs rose up, and one of them grabbed the end of my paddle with an iron grip. For a split second I held on tightly, not wanting to lose the one thing that helped us steer, but I immediately let go when I felt the canoe dip down to one side; the zombie’s weight acted as a good anchor. The canoe tipped far enough to the right for some water to lap over and wet our pants, but we managed to right ourselves before we spilled into the water with the zombies. Alan only used his paddle when it was absolutely necessary from that point on, but soon enough we were past the hands. No more appeared after we crossed underneath the Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge, but we held our breath until we were in deeper water where surprise zombies weren’t a threat.

“We can switch off when you get tired.” I said, a little guilty that I lost my paddle. As if he had been waiting for it, Alan passed the remaining paddle up to me right after I offered to take it.

The Schuylkill started to wind around more as we approached Phoenixville, and small islands started appearing as well, bisecting the river and forcing us to choose which side to follow. Near a small concrete bridge that crossed over the river, the land bulged inward from the left and narrowed the river to half its normal length. On that small spit of land, we noticed a shaggy figure crouched down on the bank of the river. Its movements weren’t that of a zombie, so we assumed it was a person when we rounded the bend and noticed it. I drew my pistol and passed the paddle to Alan so he could control the canoe if something were to happen.

“Do you see that guy up there? On the left.” I asked quietly.
“Yeah…should we talk to him?”
“Probably. He’ll see us anyway.”

When we were about a hundred feet away from the man, I whistled and started waving slowly. The man jolted upward, his hands wet from rinsing them in the river. He reached for his belt, but when he saw our canoe he seemed to calm down a little. He waved as well and signaled for us to stop near him.

“Hello!” I said loudly, hoping he would hear.
“Hello! I’m not gonna hurt you, but stay quiet!” the man said back, obviously trying to regulate his voice. Alan and I managed to land the canoe on the bank of the river on the bulge of land, albeit a bit awkwardly. We had to wade through a foot or two of water to get to dry land, but it wasn’t that big of a deal for us. We left our supplies in the canoe, and AJ jumped out to follow me; he immediately approached the stranger and started smelling his feet, and the stranger bent over to pet him before addressing us. He was a tall black man with a clean-shaven face and a black beanie covering his head. On his waist, a large bowie knife hung in its sheath, along with some kind of snub-nosed revolver in a holster. He was also wearing a red flannel shirt, with all buttons except the top one buttoned, and a pair of blue jeans.

“Didn’t expect to see people out here. I’m Normand.”
“I’m Oliver, and this is Alan.” I replied.
“Nice to meet you.” Alan said, smiling.
“Where’re you two heading?” Normand asked, drying his wet hands on his shirt. As first impressions go, I didn’t see any reason not to trust Normand at first. He wasn’t afraid of talking, so conversation just kind of flowed with him. Regardless, I kept my pistol in hand just in case. After hearing all the riots in Philadelphia, I knew the country was in a dire state, and people are scumbags.

“Out of Philadelphia. We don’t know much past the fact that cities are bad places to be.”
“No kidding,” Normand replied. “It was smart to go on the river. Freeways are just…terrible, really. I’ve been dealing with them for a few days…I’m actually down here looking for my wife.”
“What happened to her?” I asked, suddenly uneasy. I didn’t expect him to just open up about his personal life. It seemed strange, almost like it was fabricated to keep my mind occupied while his buddies snuck up on me.

“She came down here a week ago looking for one of her friends,” Normand replied, shaking his head slightly. His face bore an expression of disgust and disappointment. “She got a text a few weeks ago, but she didn’t check her phone until recently…her friend said she was hiding in a place called Doylestown. I haven’t hear from either of them, so I had to come look.”

“Doylestown? North of Philadelphia?” I asked.
“You been?”
“Yeah, I know of the place.”
“Mind giving me some directions?” Normand asked. It was almost like he was embarrassed.
“Route 422 to PA 363. Take it east, and it’ll take you to a place called Lansdale. Then get on Route 202 and take it northeast, and you’ll be there in a few minutes.”

“I’ll try to remember that…422, 363, and 202. I appreciate it,” Normand said. He looked at us for a second before continuing. “You two want a ride?”
“We’re fine.” I replied curtly.
“Once you find your wife, where are you going?” Alan asked.
“Back up to Maine. There’s a small city that held out, and we were staying there before my wife left on this goose chase. Honestly, if you don’t have a plan as of right now, it might be a good place for you.”
“What’s the name of this town?” I asked. Normand furrowed his brow and glanced around rapidly for a few seconds.

“To be honest, I don’t remember. We’ve just been staying in the church, and I never had a reason to ask. All I know is, it’s on the eastern shore of a big lake. Moose-something Lake.”

“I don’t know if we’ll get all the way to Maine, but we’ll keep an eye out,” I said. I started backpedaling to the canoe, hoping Alan would follow so we could just leave. I didn’t trust Normand and I didn’t want to stand talking to him for much longer. “Good luck finding your wife.”
“Sure you don’t want a ride?”
“I don’t.”
“Oliver, we’ve been sitting in the canoe for a few hours,” Alan said slowly. “It served its purpose of getting us out of the city, so…maybe we should take the free ride.”
“I would rather take the river. He just told us all the roads are blocked everywhere, not just Philadelphia. We need to just keep going. We’re still around way too many zombies.”

Alan didn’t argue with me after that. He got back in the canoe and helped get AJ back in his cage, since the dog didn’t seem to want to get back on the water. Normand bid us farewell and watched us paddle away for a short time before he walked up the embankment near the river and disappeared. I kept my eye on him the entire time, watching for him to leave.
“I didn’t trust him.” I said aloud.
“I could tell, but why? He seemed sincere.”
“Not to me. He didn’t give off much of an ‘I would trust him’ vibe. Random black man on the side of the river, washing blood off his hands, gun on his waist, no mode of transportation in sight, no group. Hell no, I’m not going anywhere with him.” I explained bitterly. The whole encounter made me uncomfortable. If our encounter happened the other way around, with Normand seeing us first, Alan and I might’ve been dead right there. It brought me back to my time in Iraq, where you had to keep your head on a swivel and you couldn’t trust anyone except the people you went there with.

“Fair enough. Where are we going?”
“We’re going to paddle around a bend, hide the canoe on the bank in some cattails or something, and pick a house to stay in for the rest of the morning – long enough to make sure no one is following us or setting up an ambush. No offense, but I’m not putting my life at risk because you didn’t think he was off.”
"You can only talk rubbish if you're aware of knowledge." ~Karl Pilkington
"**** it, it's late. Change it later." ~Me and Teddy

coinsruledude
Posts: 14906
Joined: Wed Nov 24, 2010 7:36 pm
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Re: If I Stand, We Fall (IC)

Postby coinsruledude » Sun Sep 27, 2015 1:24 am

Oliver: 7

[Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012 – 7:32 AM]

We hid the canoe in a patch of cattails a few hundred yards from where we encountered Normand. The plants weren’t thick enough to hide all the colors of the canoe, so I scooped some mud from the edge of the river and smeared it on the sides to cover the red and white as best as I could. The only way I imagined someone would find the canoe is if they were actively looking in the weeds for something. Regardless, we took all of our supplies with us when we went to find a hiding spot. I planned on having us hide for only a few hours to throw off anybody on our trail. Alan and I climbed up the gentle embankment and made our way further into the town of Mont Clare, which was a small suburb on the opposite side of the river from its larger neighbor Phoenixville.

“If you find a place that looks good, let me know.” I mentioned. I had to tug on AJ’s leash to keep him from wandering off on his own; he didn’t like having the leash on, but I didn’t want him running away or drawing zombies to us, so he was forced to plod along next to me.
“Let’s just get in one quick if we’re trying to hide,” Alan said. “That one right there looks fine.” He was referring to a two-story house we were approaching. A small bridge that crossed over the river ran right in front of it, but it had several trees in its front year to provide concealment.
“Alright, let me go first.” I told him, handing him AJ’s leash. I drew my M9 again and slowly walked up to the front door. It was locked, so I walked around the house and found a back door, which was also locked. There was an adjoining garage on the left side of the building, and luckily there was a door there. Its paint was peeling and the doorjamb was rotting from the outside, so all I had to do was kick it three times for it to break open. Only a single bar lock from the inside was keeping it shut.

Inside the garage, a 70s Corvette was covered with a blue tarp. Just by taking one look at it, I could tell it wouldn’t work for us. The engine was missing, along with a lot of the interior. I got into the house via an unlocked door and immediately went to open the front door for Alan and AJ. The interior of the house was relatively clean, as if nobody had lived there even before the zombies. Some of the furniture was moved in odd places, like a sofa chair in the kitchen, but otherwise it was just a normal house. There wasn’t a basement, and the second floor was just as quiet as the first floor, meaning we were safe for the time being. I shut and locked all the doors and closed some of the blinds on the windows to make the house look even more abandoned.

“We’ll stay here until noon, and then we’ll head back out.” I said, taking AJ’s leash from Alan and sitting down on the living room couch. I took the leash off to give him some freedom, and he walked around the room smelling the furniture and whatnot before sitting in front of the couch. I was lucky AJ was so obedient, or else we would’ve had a lot more trouble keeping him in line and away from zombies. Alan sat down in a loveseat on the other side of the room; he tried turning on a nearby lamp, but there was no power in the house, as expected. He sighed and looked at me for a minute.

“Where are we going?” he asked.
“Out of the city.”
“That’s not a sufficient answer.”
“Well, I don’t know what else to tell you.” I replied. I rolled up my pant leg and began the process of removing my prosthetic leg, which was causing me increasing discomfort due to sitting awkwardly in the canoe for so long. Normally I wouldn’t have risked taking it off unless I was absolutely sure there was no danger, but I felt we were safe enough. Alan didn’t say anything else in response to what I said. He looked at the ceiling and took a few deep breaths, and it almost looked like he was about to pass out.
“Are you alright?”
“Yeah, yeah,” he said, closing his eyes. He took a few deep breaths, and I figured he was just exhausted from the morning’s events. Then he opened his eyes and took another anxious breath. “No, actually. I’m not. I don’t feel good.”
“There’s water in the backpack I gave you. Just chill out for a few minutes. You’ll be fine.”
“No, it’s not that. I haven’t been taking my medication.”
“Medication? For what?”
“I’ve been taking Micronase for about half a year now. It’s an antidiabetic.”
“When were you going to tell me you needed medicine?” I asked indignantly. The fact that Alan was hiding a medical issue from me was insulting, considering that we were depending on one other for survival. If he had something wrong with him, I wanted to know.
“When I started feeling like I needed it again.”
“This is a shitty time to say something,” I said, leaning back in the couch. “You should’ve told me earlier. If I hid my missing leg from you – somehow – and you randomly found out later on, would you be pissed?”

“I’m not going to apologize for anything I didn’t say, Oliver. Wasn’t it more important to get out of Philadelphia than run around searching for medication? We would've died in the city. I wanted to wait until we had a moment to breathe, like right now.” Alan retorted. I rolled my eyes a little, but I knew he was right. Two days earlier, if he told me that he needed to stop at a pharmacy before we left the city, I would’ve told him to go by himself.

“How long can you go without your medicine?”
“I won’t die without the pills, but it makes my life a lot easier when I have access to it.”
“Alright, you know what? I’ll go find you some,” I sighed. I began putting my leg back on. “I don’t want to deal with this **** any longer than I have to-”

AJ suddenly started trying to bark through his muzzle, so I stopped talking to see what was causing him to freak out. Eventually I noticed the faint sounds of gunfire from somewhere in the city. Alan heard them too, and he got up to look through the picture window.
“Don’t stick your head out too far.” I warned, still in the process of strapping my prosthetic on.
“Can you hear those engines?” Alan asked. After he mentioned it, two engines started getting louder and louder as they approached our position. According to Alan, who quietly relayed to me what he saw as he saw it, a motorcycle and an SUV sped by our hiding place from the south. He couldn’t tell who was in the SUV because of the tinted windows, but he said the motorcycle rider looked a lot like Normand.

“I told you,” I said. “They’re trying to figure out where we went.”
“You probably shouldn’t go out by yourself.” Alan said. He looked guilty, but by that point I was pretty angry for multiple reasons. I just wanted to get moving as fast as possible, and with Alan’s physical ability to move waning as time went on, finding his medication was top priority in my mind, even if he said it wasn’t an immediate life-threatening condition.
“This might be the only chance we have to look through a city without many zombies. I’m going to take a ****, and then I’m leaving to find your pills. What are they called?”
“The brand is Micronase. The actual drug name is glibenclamide or glyburide...I'll write it down for you.”
"You can only talk rubbish if you're aware of knowledge." ~Karl Pilkington
"**** it, it's late. Change it later." ~Me and Teddy

coinsruledude
Posts: 14906
Joined: Wed Nov 24, 2010 7:36 pm
Location: Restricted

Re: If I Stand, We Fall (IC)

Postby coinsruledude » Tue Oct 20, 2015 1:12 am

Oliver: 8

[Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012 – 8:00 AM]

I waited around in the house for a little while before leaving to find a pharmacy. There was little doubt in my mind that the people we saw drive by the house were with Normand, and the last thing I wanted to do was get caught off-guard by his group. Once I was sure they were gone for good, I headed out back across the bridge to Phoenixville. To avoid overburdening myself, I emptied some of the stuff from my backpack and left with it half-full so I had room to grab as much medication as possible.

When we came in Phoenixville via the river, the city was quiet. Because of that, I didn’t expect to find many zombies, but it turns out I was dead wrong. I continued walking down the road that led to the bridge, but as I went I noticed more and more zombies down side streets and in the yards of nearby houses. Three times I had to walk around the block to avoid a particularly nasty group of them, and by the time I found myself on the main road again, the route I initially came through had been blocked off by a small cluster of wandering zombies. I cursed under my breath. If I managed to find Alan’s medication in the city, I definitely couldn’t return the way I came.

At that point my instincts took over. The city was pretty alien to me since I only saw passing glimpses of it when I had to drive through the area in pre-apocalypse times, but I figured that exploring the downtown area would give me a better chance of having a pharmacy. I walked down Bridge Street – a two-lane road encircling Phoenixville – and found myself at a fork where the road split off to the south and the southwest. I stopped behind a row of abandoned cars in a nearby parking lot while I thought of which direction to go, but the decision was made for me. The Shell station on the corner was completely overrun by zombies, and some of them noticed me before I could completely decide where to go. They ended up wandering and shuffling towards me in a way that forced me southwest.

Luckily, I recognized the red cursive sign of a Walgreens as I approached another cross street. It sat in a strip mall overlooking a clusterfuck of an intersection where three two-lane roads met. I didn’t waste any time in running across the open space and into the strip mall parking lot. At least a dozen zombies were between me and the pharmacy doors. I yelled to get their attention.

“Hey! Fuckers!” Most of the zombies in the area turned their heads in unison, which looked pretty comical, all things considered. With their slow reaction time, it was like they were newborn babies. I backpedaled and led them all the way back up the street I came down before ducking into an alleyway and running out the other side. By crossing back over through a side street, I returned to the strip mall and found the parking lot empty, like I wanted. Unfortunately, there were still zombies following me, but I didn’t have much time to make my situation any better. The pharmacy doors were locked, so I repeatedly swung at the front doors with my baseball bat until the strong glass gave way. I crawled through the hole I made and oriented myself in the store.

Rows of cosmetic products greeted me to the right, but I ignored all of it as I rushed deeper into the store and towards the back, where I assumed the meds would be. Another plate of safety glass protected the pharmacy, and I broke it out without much trouble. As I crawled over the counter, I could hear zombies attempting to get into the store from all directions. I drew way more attention than I thought I did in that **** city. While keeping an eye on the main part of the store for movement, I hastily pulled a crumpled piece of paper from my pocket and looked at what Alan wrote down for me.

“Alright. Micronase…is it in M?” I muttered. It looked like somebody already cleared out the store, making my job easier since there was less **** to wade through. The absurdity of what I was doing hit me while I was looking through some of the rows of shelves. Why was I even there? Getting pills for Alan was important for him, but for me it was nothing more than a charitable act, optional at best and pointless at worst. Even as I walked from shelf to shelf, I could feel myself getting angrier. There I was, trapping myself in a building with zombies all around to help an obese college professor get his pills. I would’ve been better off without Alan, and I considered abandoning him – and the pharmacy – for a brief moment before I focused back on the task at hand. I was already in the Walgreens, so I figured I might as well load up what I could. Plus, AJ was still with Alan, and I didn’t really want to leave my dog behind. I found a few bottles of the medication Alan needed, threw them in my backpack, and then shoveled two armfuls of random bottles into the remaining space. I didn’t bother looking at the labels, since it would’ve been a waste of time.

Before I ran out into the main part of the story, I noticed two zombies that were grouped up at the front door, blocking the best exit. A fire exit in the pharmacy got my attention, and I ran through without a second thought, not thinking an alarm would sound. As I expected, there was no noise. From the back of the strip mall, I jogged down a small asphalt street meant for delivery trucks. As I ducked through a row of trees, a zombie that was lying on the ground caught me off-guard and grabbed me. It took me to the ground without much effort, and it bit down hard on my leg, but all it got was a mouthful of carbon fiber. I kicked it away with my real leg and got to my feet before stomping the zombie to death, again using my real leg. As I shook off the encounter, I noticed that some pill bottles spilled from my half-open backpack, and I quickly shoved them back in before zipping my backpack all the way and running north.
"You can only talk rubbish if you're aware of knowledge." ~Karl Pilkington
"**** it, it's late. Change it later." ~Me and Teddy

coinsruledude
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Re: If I Stand, We Fall (IC)

Postby coinsruledude » Tue Oct 27, 2015 2:27 am

Oliver: 9

Without directions around the city, I had to rely on landmarks to find my way back to our chosen hideout. Normand’s crew seemed to have disappeared completely, which was good for me and my short trip back to the abandoned house. The presence of other survivors – our competition – was still worrying to me, but nearby zombies kept my mind from wandering too far one way or another. I saw even more on my way back than I saw on my way to the pharmacy. A small cluster of them began trailing me, so I took a few detours and ducked in and out of buildings to prevent running an entire train of undead back to our hideout. Unfortunately my efforts were wasted. When I finally got back to the abandoned house where I left Alan and AJ, my heart skipped a beat as I looked at the handful of zombies that were pounding away at the walls. They weren’t near any windows or the one particular door I kicked in, so they couldn’t actually get inside, but their behavior indicated that our hideout was no longer safe. Wanderers were being drawn in by the noise as well, so every second I didn’t act was another second that I allowed more zombies approach. I unholstered my Beretta and prepared to engage the undead. They weren’t as invested in the house as I thought they were, so it only took a single shot from my gun to draw all of their attention to me. Between shots, I called out in hopes that Alan would hear me.
“Alan, I’m back! If you’re still alive, grab our **** and get out of the house! We need to get to the canoe!”

I focused on the front door, continuously firing at the zombies to thin their numbers and create a path for Alan. After an antagonizing period of time, the front door opened. I was thrown off when AJ came barreling outside first, followed by Alan, who was carrying both of our bags of supplies. At the time, I was angry that AJ was out of his cage, but ultimately Alan made the right move. He couldn’t carry everything. He had to leave the heavy dog cage behind in order to carry my duffel bag and his backpack.

“AJ, over here!” I demanded, taking a break from firing my gun to ensure my dog didn’t get himself killed. Despite my efforts, he ended up walking up to the nearest female zombie and sniffing its feet. It bent over and made an attempt to grab him, and he squirmed away as its grayish hands struggled to get ahold of his fur. He began yapping as he darted between undead legs, desperately trying to get back to me. I lost sight of him as more zombies converged on his location. In a way it was a good thing, since it drew attention away from Alan, who was having trouble navigating through the small horde. Unfortunately for us, at that moment a much larger crowd of the undead joined the fray. It was a sizable group that came from the general direction of the Walgreens, so I knew it was the horde that followed me. I backpedaled to the bridge that crossed over the river while I waited for Alan and AJ to make their way over to me. Down on the riverbank, I could make out the thin form of our canoe, which was still nestled in the pile of weeds.

Alan carefully made his way to the bridge by pushing through the distracted zombies, and thankfully AJ popped out as well; his fur was matted down in some spots with old congealed blood, the evidence of very close calls with zombies, but he looked unhurt. Before we could get back to the canoe’s location, the Walgreens horde blocked the west side of the bridge, closing the available space with their tightly-packed bodies. There was nowhere to go but go further into Mont Clare, and there was no way to go but on foot.

“AJ, come on! Let’s go.” I said, struggling to control AJ’s random movements with my commands. He was visibly scared due to the smell and the sight of the zombies, so he was ignoring me and darting from place to place, barking and growling.
“Oliver, where do we go?”
“I’m not sure! Just follow me, and keep your eyes peeled for uncrashed cars!”
Before our only window of opportunity shut for good, we rushed back across the bridge and passed our hideout for the last time, which had at least a dozen zombies crossing its front yard and driveway to actively pursue us. At that point, I had no idea where I was; Mont Claire wasn’t a familiar city for me, so my mental map of roads was as useless as the garbage strewn around in the street I was running down. AJ tentatively followed me and Alan as we made our way into the suburbanized city. Unsurprisingly, zombies began filing out of kicked-in doors and open yards due to my gunshots, which riled up way more enemies than I had bullets. I kept my gun in hand even though I couldn’t do much with it. I used it to take out several wanderers that blocked our path, and just in case I got cornered or snatched by a zombie I couldn’t see, my finger was ready to squeeze the trigger at all times.

The first time I looked back at Alan, he was right on my heels and doing a great job at keeping up, even with two bags of cargo on his back. By the second time I looked back, he had dropped behind AJ and he was struggling to keep my pace. I slowed down to grab my duffel bag from him and continued onward at my constant pace, shouldering some of his burden. I didn’t have a problem carrying the load, especially since I had been trained to do so in scenarios reminiscent of running through a war zone, although instead of zombies it was Islamic insurgents. I didn’t want to look back again, but I knew I had to, and unsurprisingly Alan had again dropped behind even further. We swapped backpacks so I was carrying his, which was filled with heavy cans and bottles of water, and he was carrying mine, which only had the armful of pill bottles.
“You need to keep up, or this is going to get ugly for you.” I mentioned.
“I know, I know,” he heaved. He was having problems controlling his breathing, and his face was twisted in pain and exhaustion. Sweat was starting to stain his clothes even though we had been running for only a few minutes. “Keep going, I-I’ll keep up. It’s fine.” I didn’t believe him, but I kept running regardless, one bag on each shoulder. While I was checking on Alan, I also made sure AJ was keeping pace. Often times I took him running before the apocalypse, and I was never able to outrun him even though he was just a puppy. I called him over and had him run on my right side, and he seemed more comfortable doing something that was familiar, despite the lack of a leash.

Alan yelled out for my help soon after I looked away, and before I even looked back I could tell his voice was farther from me than it should have been. He had stopped to catch his breath in the road, and a few zombies caught up with him before he could get moving again. They were slower than he was, but just barely, and they were too close for comfort. I stopped in the road and held my ground until Alan got close enough for me to shoot without a risk of hitting him. By firing two shots, I eliminated the immediate threat and approached Alan.
“You can’t **** pull that ****!” I yelled at him, loud enough to spook AJ for a split second. “Don’t stop! Keep running!”
“I can’t anymore! We…we need to find a car, and soon!”

I started jogging again without replying. It was already painfully obvious to me that Alan wasn’t prepared to face the apocalypse, mentally or physically, but it had never been a major problem until that run through Mont Clare. He was a liability, one who was struggling to stay ahead of zombies. He was literally running just fast enough to stay ahead of dead things. Honestly, although I was annoyed with him already for making me get his stupid diabetes medicine, I was also feeling bad for him. Reality was crashing down hard on him, and I could tell that he knew his obesity was going to get at least one person killed in the near future, possibly two and a dog. Micronase wouldn’t help him lose weight, and Micronase wouldn’t make the zombies go away – unless there was some miracle cure I missed out hearing on the news before the TV went out.

“You need to keep your **** moving,” I told him. “We’ll find a car if we find a car, but if we don’t…the only thing you’re carrying is your own medicine, so I’ll leave you.”
“Please don’t, Oliver.” Alan said. His was face strained and his voice was getting more ragged by the second, but he was composed despite the circumstances. He was weaponless, on the verge of total exhaustion, and being hunted by dozens of flesh-eating creatures, but he was still able to look me in the eye and talk to me.
“I will if you make me, Alan! We’re still strangers. I don’t owe anything to you. If you want a car, help me check if they’re unlocked!”
“I-I can’t stop to look, or they’ll catch up-“
“Then run faster than they are!”
After we cleared the small suburban patch of the city situated on the Schuylkill River, Mont Clare opened up into fields and hilly expanses of grass. I noticed a large golf course on our left, but we didn’t run into any electric carts to grab. More conventional transportation was also becoming less likely to find as car accident scenes were becoming more common than untouched parked cars. The closer we got to Route 422, the more crashes we saw. When we started our escape, I automatically dismissed crashed cars as a viable option due to the damage they had received. I wasn’t a god, though, and I starting to feel the same exertion Alan was experiencing, although my knees were probably undergoing much less stress. AJ didn’t have a problem going for miles and miles, it seemed, but I couldn’t. The crashes were probably our only hope of finding a working car since other survivors had almost certainly combed through and taken the obvious options. Even if we managed to find one with gas, there was always another problem with it that made it useless, most often the battery being dead or the tires popped. Anything that had frontal damage was skipped, but cars that simply received cosmetic damage had potential. We came to Route 422 before we found a car, and the highway exchange was an absolute minefield of cars, trucks, and debris. Again, unsurprisingly, there were plenty of zombies to cause us more stress.

“Do we follow the highway?” Alan asked, grateful for finally having a moment to rest since neither pack of zombies was interested in pursuing us. We had pulled far enough ahead of the Mont Clare horde by that point for it to fracture due to small wildlife and other noises along the path we followed; the highway horde was too far ahead of us to notice our presence. It was chilly outside, so I laid down on the asphalt to get as much warmth into my limbs as possible after tossing my bags to the ground. I didn’t bring a heavy coat with me from my apartment, but it was getting to the season where I would need one soon, especially if we were going to continue heading north.
“There won’t be any chance in hell of us finding a car on Route 422,” I said. “Everything will be pinned in too tight for us to get a car out, assuming we find one that **** starts. Our best bet is to keep searching the stuff on this road and ignore the highway itself entirely.”
“Can I have a water bottle?” Alan asked. I tossed one to him and opened one for myself. AJ was rooting around in a pile of trash on the side of the roadway, but he came over when I whistled and offered him a drink of water from a third bottle. He came over and started lapping at the neck of the bottle as I held it for him.

“I found Micronase at the pharmacy in Phoenixville,” I mentioned to Alan. “I grabbed as many bottles of it as I could find and filled the rest of the space with whatever was on the shelves.”
“Thank you.”
“If you really want to thank me, you’ll lose some weight.”
“I understand, Oliver.”
“Do you?” I demanded.

We sat and talked for a while as our lungs and legs recovered. It was the first time he and I sat down and had a conversation that lasted more than two minutes. Alan mentioned that diabetes was built up over time. He claimed it could never go away, but I didn’t entirely believe him. He looked like he could’ve lost at least two-thirds of my entire weight and still be chubby, and I made sure to tell him too; if there’s one thing people know about me, it’s the fact that I’m painfully honest. I’m direct and I don’t think before I talk. Alan was different, even the opposite; everything he said was calculated and came out of his mouth sounding exactly as he intended it. He went on to explain how he never had the time or the patience to exercise much before the apocalypse, and combined with a diet of fast food and job that didn’t require physical activity, it caused him to balloon out after he started working as a college professor.

I’m not the kind of person to abandon somebody, despite what I yelled at Alan while we were running. Talking with him allowed me to think through our relationship again. We weren’t friends, not even acquaintances, but he depended on me for survival. His presence didn’t benefit me at all, aside from being a person to talk to, but I figured I might as well try to help him while we were together on the off chance we stuck with one another for a long time.
“Tell you what. You have all the time in the world now to fix your body. I’m not your friend, Alan, and I’m not your family. Think of me as your personal trainer, alright?”
“I’ll try to do that.” he said, shaking his head a little in amusement. After that comment, we stood up and prepared to run again. AJ was already raring to go, so much so that he was pawing around in a pile of trash on the side of the road. I dragged him away from the black plastic bag and we slowly built up to a jogging pace. Alan was slow, but I didn’t slow down for him.

The gridlock was so tight directly under the overpass that Alan and I had to jump onto the roofs of cars, hopping from one to another as zombies reached up to grab at our legs. AJ was small enough to weave between their legs and under the cars themselves. Zombies started to fill the gaps between the lanes of cars, reminding us in a menacing way that if we fell we would be eaten alive. Each car’s suspension whined and squeaked every time awe jumped from car to car, but by keeping our legs in the middle of the cars, the zombies’ arms never got within a foot of us. One hiccup in our plan of car-hopping was when we approached an SUV, which required us to hop up and pull ourselves up onto the roof on all fours. I didn’t have trouble with the maneuver, but Alan hesitated before attempting to do the same thing. He barely got his knees onto the roof of the car, and he would’ve slipped if I didn’t grab his hands and drop flat on my back, giving him the momentum he needed to hoist himself up.

At the end of the line of cars, one in particular stood out. It was a green Explorer with two dead bodies inside; one was strapped into the seat and squirming around, indicating that it was a zombie, but the other was dead from a gunshot wound to the head; a hole in the windshield indicated that it came from outside the SUV itself. The vehicle was flipped around so it was facing the wrong side of the road, and a dead body was lodged underneath the front wheels. By looking at the direction it was facing and the way the occupants died, I had a good feeling that the car would start.
“Try this one!” I said. I stuck my pistol in the car and shot the zombie in the passenger seat, and Alan quickly pulled it aside and laid it on the ground as I checked for keys. To our delight the entire roared to life when I twisted the key, so I yanked and dragged the dead body out from beneath the wheels and hopped behind the wheel. AJ was reluctant to enter the vehicle; he was walking in circles and sniffing the wheels of a nearby car, so I had to pick him up toss him in the back seat myself. As we pulled away from the highway exchange and left the unorganized zombies in the dust, I checked the fuel gauge.

“We have a half-tank of gas. That should get us pretty far north.”
“Is there anywhere in particular we should go?”
“I’m not sure. We’ll stop in a little bit and figure out another plan.” I said. A few seconds later, I heard AJ start peeing in the back seat, and I realized why he didn’t want to get in the car.
"You can only talk rubbish if you're aware of knowledge." ~Karl Pilkington
"**** it, it's late. Change it later." ~Me and Teddy

coinsruledude
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Re: If I Stand, We Fall (IC)

Postby coinsruledude » Fri Oct 30, 2015 3:03 am

Marcus: 3

By retracing their steps, the fugitives made their way back to Western Virginia Regional. On the way back, they noticed more people wandering around the routes they took, as if their presence stirred up the community.
“Everybody looks sick,” J.J. commented, looking out the driver side window at the motion-blurred scene of a man and woman attempting to scale a concrete highway barrier. The men didn’t slow down to take in the scenery, but there was obviously something wrong with the population. Their skin was gray, and their clothing was soak in mud, blood, and water. “Like the guys in our cell block.”
“Maybe there’s an outbreak of something,” Marcus reasoned. “It would explain why the cops aren’t all over us right now, and why those two were passed out in that ditch.”
“The hell kind of outbreak is this? I don’t want the ****’ flu.”
Unsurprisingly, the prison appeared deserted from the outside. Due to so many inmates running rampant, every vehicle in the parking lot was missing. Marcus assumed that fellow inmates stole them, or possibly they were used by a surviving guard or two to flee the uprising within the barbed wire fences. The front doors of the prison had been forced open by a vehicle, likely a truck or van, from the outside, but the offending vehicle was not present, as the driver likely fled. The doors were hanging by their top corners, the metal door frame bent and warped out of place. J.J. and Marcus armed themselves with their stolen pistols and the shotgun before entering. The reception desk was torn apart and the contents of its drawers scattered all over the floor.

“Still got them keys?” J.J. inquired, grabbing and lightly shaking a gate that had been put into lockdown during the riots. Marcus dug through his pocket before procuring the key ring and unlocking the gate. It slid open without much effort, making a metallic raddling as it moved out of their way. The men wandered through the first cell block, looking for any sign of habitation. During their walk, they passed three inmates and a guard, all of whom had been struck down with blunt objects. Their heads were split open and they were lying motionless near small pools of blood. Marcus, always the one to be thorough and think ahead, paused briefly to grab the guard’s taser and baton.
“Where’s the damn armory?”
“I don’t know, J.J. It’s not like they put jail layouts on the Internet for people to look up.”
On their way through the prison, they began to hear muffled noises echoing throughout the cell blocks, ranging from the clink of metal on metal to the loud vocalization of insults and slur. Eventually they could hear loud conversation coming from inside the cafeteria. Judging from the vocabulary and tone of the speakers, they concluded the group inside was made up of inmates who stayed behind. Marcus unceremoniously threw open the double doors and walked into the room, followed closely by J.J.

A large number of inmates were seated in the cafeteria as if it was still lunch time and there was no unrest in the prison at all. Some of them bore the wounds of rioting, including slashes and even a few gunshots. Most of them had some kind of improvised weapon at hand, and several were armed with batons, but with all the pistols they were carrying, J.J. and Marcus had more firepower than the entire room, which fell silent when the two men entered. They weren’t the only two not wearing orange jumpsuits either; five other men were wearing civilian clothing, but they had clearly been inmates before the riot judging from their tattoos and their location among other inmates.
“Look who it is.” a voice said. The man who threatened J.J. with a crowbar during the riot stepped forward, the cast-iron tool still in his hands.
“You wanna **** with me, Keylon, go right ahead. This thing’ll stop you.” J.J. threatened, pointing his shotgun at the man.
“You ain’t even got bullets.” Keylon said, calling J.J.’s bluff. J.J. fired a warning shot straight up at the ceiling, shattering a small light fixture and sending glass raining down on him and Marcus. Keylon scowled and took a step back.
“You **** idiot,” Marcus exclaimed, brushing sharp shards of glass off his shoulders with the back of his hand. He turned to the crowd of inmates, all of whom were now aware of the pair’s presence. “What happened while we were gone?”
“The guards fled,” a random inmate replied, picking his teeth. “And some of our buddies did too. We just stayed because we figured it wouldn’t be worth it.”
“Not with such a big escape,” Keylon said, glaring at Marcus. He crossed his arms and leaned up against a nearby wall. “We’d get re-caught in hours.”
“Actually, the city’s in chaos right now,” Marcus replied. “There’s no cops anywhere.”
“We offed two of ‘em to get all these guns.” J.J. added, trying to gloat over his accomplishment. Two men stepped forward from the crowd. They were easily distinguishable since they were among those not wearing jumpsuits.

“We ran into a shitload of people who looked sick,” one of them spoke up. “Did you guys see that ****?”
“Yep. All pale and everything.”
“One of ‘em got me on the arm,” the second man said, holding up his crudely-bandaged forearm. “We beat his **** pretty good for it, but…seriously, is it like that everywhere?”
“We got all the way up to Salem, and it seems that way.” Marcus said. The inmates began to settle back down and go about their business, discussing what to do with their newfound freedom. With no authority, they were no longer bound to the prison, but since most of them chose to stick to their routine in the first place, Marcus wasn’t so sure how many of them were going to leave. Maybe they were all staying for good to wait the chaos out, or maybe they were just waiting until the time seemed right to leave. It was essentially perpetual free time at the prison.

Marcus and J.J. sat down next to the five civilian-clothed inmates. Marcus made sure to keep track of the firearms he brought into the room. J.J. put his shotgun on the table in front of him before going over to the serving tables for some food. Marcus assumed most of it was cold, but regardless, it was food.
“Why’d you guys come back?” the man with the bandaged arm asked.
“Figured we’d make a stand behind the fences. After killing a couple cops, we didn’t think we had a chance at escaping anywhere…what about you guys?”
“Same as you…I think you helped some of us over the fence, actually, so thanks for that. After we ran through the forest, we found a house, stole clothes. You know, the usual. What you’d expect. Then we realized what exactly we ****’ did. Keylon got it right – a big break like this is bound to attract so much attention that it’d be stupid to try and run. We got back like fifteen minutes ago.”
“I was thinking, if there really is some kind of disease going around, we don’t have to leave. We could basically annex this damn place,” Marcus said, smirking. “The feds are obviously busy dealing with all the **** going on outside the fences. We could, you know, turn this prison into a clubhouse. Break into the armory, loot a few nearby houses for booze, and just party until they come for us…and then we’d make them regret coming for us.”
“Not a bad idea. We’re all going to get a couple decades, minimum, so might as well enjoy it, right?” the man said. “What’s your name?”
“Marcus.”
“Name’s Blaine.”
Last edited by coinsruledude on Sun Nov 29, 2015 2:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
"You can only talk rubbish if you're aware of knowledge." ~Karl Pilkington
"**** it, it's late. Change it later." ~Me and Teddy

coinsruledude
Posts: 14906
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Re: If I Stand, We Fall (IC)

Postby coinsruledude » Tue Nov 03, 2015 2:45 am

(Play for entire post: http://www.yourepeat.com/watch?v=PQADfbtf6ag)

Roy: 9

[Sunday, September 6th, 2026 - 3:17 AM]

Roy walked through the forest for over two hours after watching Wei bleed out. To his dismay there were more zombies in the area than he expected. They were barely visible in the dead of night, especially since the canopy of leaves overhead blocked moonlight from reaching the ground. He narrowly avoided getting dragged to the ground several times. Each time he managed to find enough energy to get away, but he could feel his body shutting down. Coupling his soaking wet clothes with nighttime meant he was shivering as he moved through the trees and undergrowth. His feet were partially numb, which slowed him to a walking pace for the majority of his travel, although the sudden appearance of hordes motivated him to sprint two separate times. At one point he thought he heard distant gunshots, but he wasn’t certain if they were real or if his subconscious panicking due to the extreme exertion and hunger he was experiencing. Roy assumed they were real, so he assumed the convoy found Feliks.

Although there were plenty of opportunities to get on a road, he opted to stay within the tree line for the most part. The rough terrain was harder to move through, but he didn’t want to take any chances. Zombies found it more difficult to maneuver around fallen branches, rocks, and pits of dirt that were hidden on the forest floor at night, but so did Roy; he tripped constantly and ended up skinning both of his knees, and one time he accidentally tried catching himself with his injured hand, causing him a sharp jolt of pain that subsided very slowly. He dropped the branch he was using as a weapon not long after he initially picked it up, because he found it too painful to constantly hold an object in a grip. Weaponless and alone, he kept walking. It was either walk or die, and he desperately didn’t want to die.

Before he could find a safe place to hide, Roy collapsed. His legs simply gave out underneath him and he fell to the ground in a heap. He curled in a ball and tried to focus on steadying his panicked breathing, but his lungs just couldn’t get enough air to satisfy his body’s need. At the same time, he began retching, spitting foul-tasting stomach acid onto the leaves and dirt near his face. It was unpleasant and painful, but he was fortunate enough not to have many zombies in the direct vicinity. He managed to sit up and sit cross-legged on the ground, which helped clear his throat significantly, and he remained in the same position until he heard zombies approaching; he could’ve been there for two minutes or two hours. It was difficult for him to tell. Standing up proved more of a challenge than he thought it would, and it took a female zombie literally diving at him to get him to his feet. Adrenaline surged through his body and not only assisted him in pushing the zombie aside but also getting him to his feet. Roy didn’t know which direction he came from in the darkness, so he chose one randomly and slowly walked to where he hoped was safety.

Somewhere in the middle of the forest, a noticeable path cut through the trees. Patches of mud left over from rain in prior days made the trail treacherous to walk in during the night, and soon Roy was soaked up to the ankle in gritty brown water as he followed the path. After one too many close calls, he abandoned his plan to stay in the forest. There was a distinct smell to the dampness of the surrounding trees and ground, reminding him of the treehouse behind his childhood home on the East Coast.

The trail eventually led Roy out of the forest and into another expanse of field-covered hills. Instead of ankle-deep water and muck, he was able to walk on an asphalt roadway, which was bumpy and covered in grass-filled cracks beyond repair. Another thing he noticed was the sky opening up; the blanket of clouds opened up like the eye of a hurricane, giving moonlight the opportunity to light up a small patch of the Earth. Dozens of stars were also visible, although they were blurry to Roy instead of twinkly due to his fatigue. Zombies were wandering aimlessly throughout the fields, but not many of them took notice of the human shambling through their midst. The undead did take notice of the loud vehicle engines that began approaching from the west, however, as did Roy. He began running faster, trying to get over the crest of the nearest hill to avoid being spotted; there was little doubt in his mind where the noises were coming from. When he looked back, he saw a searchlight sweeping the area and illuminating zombies. Within seconds of each one being illuminated, they were cut down by rifles one by one. Roy threw himself to the ground in knee-high grass that covered the side of the road, hoping he wouldn’t be spotted. As he laid on the ground holding his breath, he noticed motion on the other side of the road no more than twenty feet away from him. At first he thought his eyes were playing tricks on him, but the movement was distinctly human. Two reflective dots stuck out in the grass as Felix desperately tried to get Roy’s attention, but he was unable to comprehend the signals in his tired state.

Felix got to a kneeling position in a last-ditch effort to get Roy to look at him, but before he could do anything else the first convoy vehicle got to the top of the hill and shined its light down the road, exposing Felix and leaving Roy in the shadows. Knowing he was caught, Felix defiantly stood up and shouted at the convoy in grief-stricken Polish and walked towards the vehicles. One of his arms appeared to be broken, and he was limping. Three figures approached him, one of whom was clearly Zheng. They stood and talked to Felix for several seconds. Roy couldn’t hear the discussion talking place, but at one point Felix feebly swung at Zheng, who blocked the blow and forced the man to the ground with ease. They were toying with him, similar to what how they presumably dealt with Wei before shooting out his knees. While the convoy was preoccupied dealing with Felix’s appearance, Roy began rolling and army-crawling along the road, trying to keep his movements slow and methodical as much as possible, although in his state it was hard to move at all, let alone stay subtle while doing so. He hear every crunch and he saw every blade of grass move, but Zheng’s crew didn’t.

Felix tried fighting back again, but he was forced to the ground and beaten with the butts of rifles. Each blow dealt enough force to bruise his arms as he tried to block the assault, and several of his fingers were broken in the process of protecting himself. It was a futile effort, but the Pole refused to lay down and die in the road.
“You aren’t going to escape,” Zheng said coldly. “Wei and Roy didn’t. You’ll die just like they did.” In response to Zheng’s threat, Felix simply laughed despite the pain it caused him in his ribs. He knew Roy was alive, so he knew Zheng was lying.
“I’m a dead man walking,” Felix said. “I have nothing to fear anymore! Not anymore…you’re so stupid. Stupid, stupid. That’s my new favorite word: stupid.”
“It’ll be your last.”
“How do you know? It might be “it”. Ha-ha, **** you! It, it, it!”

Zheng fired at Felix with his combat shotgun, hitting the man square in the chest. He fell to the ground wheezing, and he endured two more blasts – one to each knee – before Zheng shot him in the head and ended the altercation. Felix’s drawn-out death did more than annoy the convoy members, however. Roy managed to sneak into the flatbed truck, which was unoccupied since it had been driven to the location by Zheng himself. He slammed on the gas, and the truck lurched forward. It accelerated slower than he hoped it would, but he steered it directly into the two SUVs that were idling in front of it. One was pushed off into the grass and ended up with its bottom hung up on the side of the road, while the other was pushed along the roadway by the much bulkier truck. Its tires screeched and smoked as the truck sped up, and a particularly large bump caught the rims and flipped the SUV onto its side. Roy, who was now under gunfire by Zheng and the other convoy members, rapidly turned the wheel to the left to dislodge the SUV from the front end of the flatbed. The smaller car was shoved into a ditch and flipped onto its roof, trapping the driver and passenger inside as Roy continued down the road.

He didn’t know where he was going. He didn’t even know what country he was in, let alone where was safe. All he knew is that he was alone again.
"You can only talk rubbish if you're aware of knowledge." ~Karl Pilkington
"**** it, it's late. Change it later." ~Me and Teddy

coinsruledude
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Re: If I Stand, We Fall (IC)

Postby coinsruledude » Sun Nov 29, 2015 2:07 am

Marcus: 4

[Tuesday, September 18th, 2012 – 11:50 AM]

J.J. brought Marcus a plate of food from the serving tables, but like he expected, it was cold and unappetizing. None of the cooks – or any other prison staff for that matter – stuck around for long once the inmates had control of the building. He pushed the plate to the side and continued talking with Blaine.
“Has anyone tried to open the armory in this place?”
“Not that I know of. We could probably get in there now, especially if you look for keys on the guards who – you know – didn’t get the chance to leave.”
“Let’s go now. The sooner we get that thing open, the sooner we can get some **** done.” Marcus said, standing up. “J.J., do you think you can hold things down here?”
“Yeah, I’m gonna spend some time chillin’ out after murdering a couple cops.” J.J. replied. He started shoveling food in his mouth as Marcus and Blaine left the cafeteria, leaving him to eat at the table with Blaine’s civilian-clothed friends.

Marcus knew where the armory was from listening in on guard conversation, but the particular part of the prison they needed to search was a staff-only unit of the building, meaning they had to trust their gut instinct to find the correct room. As they traversed the halls of the prison, occasionally having to open a locked gate using their stolen keys, Marcus noticed more bodies scattered around the building.
“Looks like a lot happened while we were gone.” he commented, stepping over the bloodied form of an inmate. He vaguely recognized the man as an occupant in one of the cells across from his own, but he didn’t think much of it. He was still running on the adrenaline of being in a firefight with the police.
“I’m glad I wasn’t here to deal with it,” Blaine responded. He held up his injured arm and lightly slapped the crude bandage he had placed over the wound. “I’d rather get bit by some lunatic than get beat to death with mop.”

Once they searched a few sections of the jail, a heavy door stood out against the rest of them. Although the heavy door was locked, Marcus was able to conquer it with his key ring, just like he did with the metal gates throughout the prison. Inside the door was the entire armory, which appeared to be untouched despite the justified slaughter the jail guard could have unleashed on the inmates using the weapons inside. Several short racks of guns were lined up against the walls. One contained assault rifles of varying calibers and manufacturers; AR-15s filled most of the rack, but there were a few M4s and older Ruger Mini 14 rifles present. Another rack was split between Remington Model 870 and Winchester Model 1912 shotguns. On the back wall, a handful of Glock 40 and Glock 22 pistols were hanging from bolts on a corkboard.

It was an eerie and invigorating sight for Marcus to know that the huge amount of firepower was now available to him and the other inmates. Almost immediately, he began digging through the metal cabinets in the armory. Inside, boxes of ammunition were stacked high enough to touch the tops of the container. In addition to the raw weaponry, there were several riot outfits packed away in various places in the armory, complete with helmets and riot shields. Blaine began inspecting the shotgun rack, grabbing one in his hands and looking down the iron sights with a smile.
“We need to make sure these get in the right hands,” Marcus stated, walking inside the room.
“Yeah, probably. What were you in for anyway?”
“I beat my wife a couple times. My cellmate pissed me off a lot too, so I kicked his **** eventually.” Marcus replied casually. He knew prison was an unforgivable place, so he held his various crimes up like they were trophies. Showing weakness or remorse in front of Blaine could’ve been deadly.
“Armed robbery for me. I tried to get a few thousand dollars from a bank back in 2005. It didn’t work out. We got in a chase.”
“What happened to your partners? Did they sell you out for immunity?”
“Nah. They both died in the chase. I guess I got off easy in that way since I didn’t…you know, die.”

As Marcus looked around, he found one of the cabinets to be well-stocked with bulletproof vests and cut-resistant gloves, and he immediately snatched some of the clothing to put on.
“You want one?” he asked, tossing one to Blaine, who snatched it out of the air.
“They could’ve used this stuff during the riot.” Blaine commented. The two men stripped off their shirts and donned the vests to protect them from any inmates who decided they were better off dead.

“They could’ve, but luckily for us they didn’t. There’s a lot of **** in here, and we need to keep this **** accounted for,” Marcus repeated, slamming the cabinet containing the vests closed. He pulled on a pair of cut-resistant gloves as approached Blaine and looked him hard in the eye. “Can I trust you with a key?”
“I don’t see why not, Marcus.”
“The two of us need to regulate every single gun and vest that leaves this room, okay? The gangs can’t get access to them or they’ll just shoot each other to death. Those aren’t law-abiding citizens out there.”
“You’re the pot calling the kettle black,” Blaine responded in a semi-serious tone. “Those aren’t law-abiding citizens out there, but neither are we. ****, just the guard batons and tasers were causing tension before you and J.J. popped back in. Nobody will take no for an answer if you and I walk back with goddamned rifles. Plus, we’ll need everybody in this prison armed to the teeth when the cops come to get us.”
“Eventually we’ll do that, but right now, everyone’s still hopped up from the riot. It’s bad enough J.J. has guns already – he might’ve already shot Keylon for all we know.”
“Hopefully not. That’ll ignite some ****.”
“Exactly. The Aryan Brotherhood and the gangbangers can’t go head-to-head right now or we’ll all get torn apart.”
"You can only talk rubbish if you're aware of knowledge." ~Karl Pilkington
"**** it, it's late. Change it later." ~Me and Teddy

coinsruledude
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Re: If I Stand, We Fall (IC)

Postby coinsruledude » Wed Dec 09, 2015 3:30 am

Oliver: 10

[Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012 – 9:10 AM]

Finding a vehicle marked the end of our escape from Philadelphia. Sitting above four wheels after days of being on foot was a satisfying feeling, and it was amplified by the fact that we had just finished a grueling sprint away from several different hordes. After a few minutes of driving I asked Alan if he would drive, and he agreed. I was relieved of my position behind the wheel and immediately removed my prosthetic leg when I got in the passenger seat. It was killing me after that run.

The previous owner the SUV had made it a point to keep their vehicle clean. The interior was spotless – aside from the old bloodstains on the driver’s seat – which gave us the feeling of being out of place. We were sweaty and dirty, so our presence seemed to ruin the whole cleanliness vibe that came with the car. On any other day I wouldn’t have noticed such a minor change in my surroundings, but sitting in that car was a surreal moment. Sure, it was just some metal panels and clear glass windows, but it made me feel genuinely safe.

“I gotta say, I’ll take this over the canoe any day of the week.” I mentioned, glancing at Alan. He nodded and settled down further into the driver seat.
“I couldn’t even tell you what day of the week it is. It just goes to show how much my mind is scrambled. You would think I’d have some kind of intuition with that since I was a teacher, but I guess it never stuck.”
“Pretty sure it’s Wednesday,” I replied, scratching my chin stubble. On the side of the road ahead of us, several zombies were grouped up around what I assume was a fresh corpse. They were tearing into it with gusto, and when we drove by I saw the four skinny legs of a deer sticking out of the melee of blood and teeth. “What a waste of venison…have any of your skills as a teacher paid off for you now that the world is over?” I asked. I reached down and yanked the lever on my seat to recline back a few degrees.

“Not yet. I wouldn’t say the world is over, though.” When I snorted in response, Alan shook his head. Obviously he still had some hope left for the world, but I had all but given up on everything sorting itself out. Nothing on the scale of the zombie outbreak had happened before, and it was really looking like we were going to be wiped out entirely. Not just the United States or Pennsylvania, but the entire world. Western society seemed to be dying, and if it was, optimism wouldn’t help us survive.
“Really? You wouldn’t?”
“No. We don’t know enough to make that decision yet.”
“I guess. At the very least, Philadelphia is over. Do you agree with that after what we just saw?”
“Yeah…”

I told Alan to drive north, and he didn’t object. From Mont Clare, we took I-476 north out of Pennsylvania and into New York. We weren’t crazy enough to drive straight into Manhattan, but north was definitely our best option. South was zombies, west was zombies, and east was ocean. North was also guaranteed to be zombies, but at least the further north we went, the less populated the land became.

Hours into our journey, we had no choice but to go straight through Allentown, arguably the densest urban area on the drive, and as luck would have it we nearly lost the engine to a horde. Alan was trying to reverse away from a small cluster of zombies on Cetronia Road, and the Explorer got surrounded by a wall two or three zombies thick before he could put it back in drive; if he just rammed through them, I guarantee something would’ve been damaged in the engine. Luckily I was able to stand up with the upper body sticking out of the sunroof, and I managed to put enough of them down with my gun for Alan to rev the engine and make speed bumps out of their bodies. AJ was freaking out the entire time, and he peed in the back seat again before I could calm him down.

Our encounter did more than teach us to be careful. It confirmed for us that more places were affected than just Philadelphia, which I expected. We didn’t encounter many people on our drive north through Pennsylvania’s small farmland communities. I had assumed the rural population battened down the hatches when they heard the news of the apocalypse, but regardless, we didn’t see anybody that wasn’t wandering after us with bite marks on their necks. A few car crashes were present on the main roads, and a few buildings were boarded up tight, but we didn’t stop to see if we could make friends. Conversation started up again not long after we got out of the horde.

“Where are we going, Oliver? Seriously.”
“North.” I replied. It was the only reply I had; the population was going to thin out as we went north, so I assumed there would be less zombies once got above Mohawk Valley. Anything past that was out of my knowledge. Alan let out a disgruntled sigh, so I continued talking.

“If you want something more specific, we need to find some buildings where we can build up some kind of fort. It can’t be on the main highway, but it needs to be something like a small town so there’s enough supplies in nearby buildings to keep us going for a while. My ideal situation would be a Planet Fitness or some other stereotypical strip mall gym. Park a few cars to block the entrance, loot and clear the area, and hold up in there for as long as we can.”
“Why a gym?”
“All the weights will definitely still be there – nobody would take the machines. Treadmills won’t work properly without power, but the exercise bikes and similar **** will still be usable,” I said, gazing out the passenger window. “We need to get you conditioned for the apocalypse, buddy.”
“Why do you keep coming back to my weight?” Alan asked defensively. “We already addressed it multiple times. I’m fat. I have diabetes. I need to lose weight. I understand…you got your message through!”
“Have I, though?”
“Yes – multiple times.”
“Okay, but let me just say one more thing, alright? I’m being serious.” In all honesty, it would’ve been a good idea to leave Alan in my apartment building while I fled Philadelphia, but I didn’t allow myself to do that. Morality and my sense of humanity was still intact, so abandoning another person to their devices when I had the ability to help wasn’t an option. Plus, I enjoyed the human interaction, even if it was with a stranger. Talking to AJ would only keep me from going crazy for so long, and it was probably already a symptom of it.

“What do you want to tell me?”
“I just want you to know that I don’t want to see you die. Nobody else needs to die, especially if it can be prevented. You weren’t born fat. You weren’t born with diabetes. That just happened during your life, just like how I lost my leg during my life. When I came home from Iraq missing a limb, I spent a few weeks just sitting and doing nothing, and it felt terrible. I wasn’t used to it. I had to drop a couple grand out of pocket to get my running prosthetic, but once I had it I started…you know, doing stuff again. I kept myself active, and as you can see, I’m much better equipped to deal with this Hell than you are.”

As I talked, I looked at Alan’s face every so often to see if I could tell what he was thinking. For the most part he maintained a neutral expression, but when I mentioned my leg, I noticed him looking at the fake limb I had lying across my lap.

“All I’m saying is you need to lose weight. If we find that perfect gym, we can start working out. Start out slow, then do it more and more. We didn’t get a choice to survive with each other, since we kinda just bumped into each other by chance, but we can better our odds by working together. Right? Do you agree?”
“Right.”
“Alright then.”
"You can only talk rubbish if you're aware of knowledge." ~Karl Pilkington
"**** it, it's late. Change it later." ~Me and Teddy

coinsruledude
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Re: If I Stand, We Fall (IC)

Postby coinsruledude » Wed Dec 16, 2015 1:37 am

Marcus: 5

[Tuesday, September 18th, 2012 – 12:24 AM]

Equipped with their newfound weapons and body armor, Marcus and Blaine made their way across the prison and back to the cafeteria. They made sure to lock the armory when they left, although Marcus knew in the back of his mind that nothing was stopping other inmates with stolen keys from raiding the place. He put faith in the fact that the rest of the prison was too preoccupied with their freedom. As they approached the cafeteria, Marcus told Blaine what he wanted to do next.
“You need to get some people together – guys you trust not to crack under pressure. I’ll do the same thing, and we’ll meet up in about a half-hour outside the armory to plan out what we’ll do next. That sound good?”
“Aces. I’ll see you there.” Blaine said, pushing the cafeteria doors open with his rear end while giving two thumbs up. He disappeared into the highly-populated room while Marcus continued down the prison corridors, navigating several rows of empty cells before he came upon the protective custody wing of the prison. He had to talk to his own contacts.

Several of the inmates who used to be housed there were lying dead in their cells. Once the prison was wrenched from the hands of the guards, nothing was left to protect vulnerable inmates from the wrath of their more violent counterparts. One lonely cell at the end of the first hallway was still occupied by a living person. The middle-aged man inside had dark gray hair and sagging skin on his face, but he was far from sickly; his body was well-toned and intimidating. His cell door was shut tight, but the automatic lock was disengaged just like with all the cells in the prison, allowing both its occupant and outsiders to open and close it at will. The man looked up when Marcus approached.

“I figured you’d still be here. I didn’t think anybody would **** with you.” Marcus said, addressing the man. From conversations with other inmates and eavesdropping on prison staff, Marcus knew the man as Clyde Pope, a disgraced police officer who was facing many years in prison for attempted rape. Judging from what fellow inmates said of him, he was a very narcissistic human being, one who didn’t have a problem with fighting people and ruining their lives via the justice system. If it hadn’t been for a strong background in self-defense – and the stolen taser he had in his hand, which he had pointed at Marcus – he would’ve been lying dead with the other protected inmates. Clyde sneered at Marcus as he cast glances at his weapons and bulletproof vest.
“What do you want?” he asked. “Who are you?”
“My name’s Marcus. I’m a prisoner here, same as you, and I want you to help me out with something.”
“What, you don’t want me dead? What makes you think I’m going to trust you, or any of the animals out there? Killing a cop is like getting a Christmas bonus.” Clyde explained. He lowered his taser, accepting that he was out-gunned by Marcus and his AR-15.

“Compliments of the armory.” He patted the grip of the weapon, which was hanging by a shoulder strap. “I know you don’t trust me, but I plan on taking this place over. You can help me, and I can help you.” Marcus got a snort and a sarcastic eye-roll in response.
“Prison takeover? You and what army?”
“I don’t think you realize what’s happening outside your cell. This isn’t just a riot. It’s a **** revolution. There’s a whole cafeteria full of angry guys out there who will gladly grab a gun and kill as many cops as possible. You, though – you’re on the inside. You’re with us now, not the cops.” Marcus said. He tried as hard as he could to appeal to the former police officer. He needed allies, and he knew throwing his hat in the ring with someone like Clyde was risky. If his plans didn’t work out, things would get ugly for him very fast.
“I bet a couple of your angry guys disagree with you there.”
“That’s a given, but I’ll help you deal with them. Trust me, you won’t have a problem walking around here anymore if you help me deal with something I want to do,” Marcus explained. Clyde stood up from his cot and leaned on his cell door, hands clasped together through the bars and a single eyebrow raised, signaling for Marcus to continue. “I’ve been thinking of escaping for a while. The whole time, I thought about what I wanted to do when I got out. I planned on going back to my house, killing my wife, and making that damn house my fortress. Get guns, get ammo, get food, and hold out there for as long as possible…take as many **** SWAT down with me as I could. My plan hasn’t changed, not at all. It just got bigger.”
“You’ll just get yourself killed.”
“I don’t think so. Listen to me. There’s chaos outside the prison fence for some reason. Whether it’s a plague or a massive power outage or what, I don’t know. All I know is nobody is keeping order outside; the police haven’t shown their faces in a long time. Me and a few other inmates got out and caused some havoc before coming back here. We got off scot-free.”
“Why’d you come back if you got out, you dummy? **** run if you can.”
“Like I said, I don’t want to run. That’s a shitty life. I want to put up a fight. We need food to do that. Cafeteria **** isn’t going to last long. It’s already getting cold and spoiled. We need to raid a grocery store or something. Pallets and pallets of canned goods and water will let us stay in here for weeks when the cops finally do come. That’s where I want you to help.”

For several minutes, Marcus talked to Clyde and filled him in with his plan to stock the prison with as many resources as possible. He spoke of how he wanted to organize armed groups of inmates to loot the outskirts of Roanoke, stealing things like food and water to sustain the liberated inmates behind the fence. Once the prison was supplied, Marcus wanted to establish new guards made entirely of former inmates, who would essentially act as domestic peacekeepers to make sure the prison didn’t tear itself apart. Using the armory and equipment gathered outside the fence, the prison would arm itself and it would be impossible for the local authorities to retake without massive casualties.
“Chaos is all you want, Marcus,” Clyde reasoned, sitting down on his bed. “You won’t be able to get those men to cooperate for more than a couple minutes, especially if you put me with any of them.”

“We have riot gear in the armory. All we need to do is put it on and show our dominance. Dominance, Clyde! That’s what this is about! Chaos is secondary. Obviously this is all to **** with the government, to **** with the people who put us in here, but the main thing is this: I don’t get thrown in another prison somewhere and left to rot. Here, I have control…not just control over myself, but over other people. If you’d fiddle-fuck around in your cell, that’s fine, but someone else will gladly help me out. I came to you first because I thought you would be jumping at the opportunity to be respected as a leader again.”
“I’ll help you out, Marcus, but I want a gun. The biggest **** gun in the armory is mine, you understand? I won’t have some angry inmate kick me to death. Not me.” Clyde demanded, sliding open his cell door with a metallic clang.

“That can be arranged.”

[Tuesday, September 18th, 2012 – 1:00 PM]

Before returning to the armory, Marcus grabbed J.J. from the cafeteria. He and Clyde exchanged dirty looks at each other, but neither of them made any move against the other. Blaine was waiting outside the armory with two other men, both of whom had been sitting with him in the cafeteria when he met Marcus.

“Are these your people?” Marcus asked, looking at the civilian-clothed men.
“Howard and Malcom,” Blaine responded, point to each man as he said their name. Howard was a scrawny blonde who stood a few inches taller than Marcus, and Malcom was a clean-cut black man with hair cut so short he looked bald. “Are these your people?”
“J.J. and Clyde,” Marcus said, introducing his allies in the same way Blaine had. He looked over the small group he had standing in front of him, and he felt a rush of adrenaline as he realize what they were doing. He plastered a wide grin on his face as took his key ring out of his pocket and opened the armory door. “Guys, the six of us are going to **** own this place by the end of the day, and I can’t wait.”
"You can only talk rubbish if you're aware of knowledge." ~Karl Pilkington
"**** it, it's late. Change it later." ~Me and Teddy


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