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19th December

I shouted out to everyone that I was here to help them all. I said they needed to get off the train, run to the back and get on the other carriage that had the doors open. I told Adam to help the others do what I said. When he asked me where I was going I told him I had to help the others.

I moved through the panicking woman and children as they barged past me to get to the open door. One of the woman put her hand on my shoulder. I couldn’t see very clearly in the grey light, but her voice was sincere as it thanked me. I pushed through to the next door and opened it. From the doorway I repeated my speech to the masses on the next carriage. There was a general murmuring of concerned voices and as I ran forward. The shambling dead came up behind me, unlucky in catching the swift prey escaping out of the last carriage, they burst in. Then pandemonium broke out.

Woman screamed, children cried and, up the front of the carriage, a male voice bellowed in anger. Oh crap.

I ran forward and mashed the lit-up open button on the door. “Get to the last carriage, get to the last carriage.” I repeated as a mantra to the prisoners leaping past me out into the first tendrils of early dawn.

The stomping of boots in front of me rang out over the panicked breaths and barefooted running of the other passengers. A shot rang out and voices shrieked once more. I instinctively ducked, the zoms were pouring though this carriage, swiping at the woman, children and hostage takers alike. I pushed the last couple of prisoners out the door and leapt to the ground myself. I had to jump to reach the door close button on the outside of the carriage. I heard shouts inside, now muffled by the closed door and a couple more gun blasts rang out. I felt the need to savour the moment, but still had work to do.

I pushed and encouraged the poor wretches ahead of me and jumped up to close the next door I came to as well. I shoved the woman and children on, and told them to get on the carriage and that I would catch up.

At the end of the prisoner carriage, nearest my own train, I got to work unlocking the carriage hitches and unplugging the electric connections. I then ran to the passenger carriage of my own train where the last remaining passengers were struggling to climb on board. I unceremoniously shoved a couple of them on before clambering up myself and hitting the door close button.

Through the gloomy light I looked around. The carriage was jammed full of wild, staring eyes. The filth on their faces only making the whites of their fearful eyes glow brighter. I caught sight of Adam, threw him a wink and strode off towards my engine cab. I left the door open so the escapees could see there was more passenger room in the next carriage too, and leapt into my driver’s seat. I shoved the throttle forward and with a lurch and a jerking of carriages, we took of at a break-neck walking pace. Followed closely by a carriage of rescued woman, children, and my son. Tailing along behind us was a, hopefully, empty carriage of carnage, then weapons, then food and stores. We had left behind a bunch of evil bastards and a dozen or so starving slovs with a debt to repay.

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Posted by on 19 December in Zombie Philes

 

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19th November

I still don’t have a blind clue what I’ll do when I catch up with them. They took all of the weapons and ammunition that Adam and I had managed to gather from the army depot. Somewhere in the bowels of their armoury carriage, along with all our guns and other loot, is my handy dandy machete. And I now find myself travelling with a child’s pink backpack with the few bits of food I have managed to scavenge, and a bent piece of rebar reinforcing, about a metre long and very handy for swinging and poking dead people with. I don’t even have my diary, and all this is being written on scraps of paper I find lying around. Other than this, and a deep seated hatred for anybody on the first two carriages of that train, I’m completely without a plan, or the means to carry one out.

But that’s by the by. We’ll cross that narrow, wobbly, suspension bridge over a great yawning chasm when we come to it.

So which option did I choose? Behind curtain one: A no-expenses paid trip the length of the train to be shoved through the door of the last carriage containing any number of reanimated dead people wanting to strip the flesh off my bones. Curtain number two had a carriage of bored maniacs, heavily armed, rippling with blood-encrusted muscles, simply itching to sink sharp objects into my fleshy parts for the pleasure of hearing me scream – oh, and then a trip, either dead or dying, to the last carriage to be chewed on by undead anyway.

Of course I’d go for Option One. Who wouldn’t? I mean, the inevitable excruciating pain as foul and rotting ex-humans rip chunks of your flesh from you at least is predictable and a known variable. Those psychopaths next door, they had the combined mental capacity of a brussel sprout, but still the reasoning power to invent slow and painful methods of making the pain last and last and last. If option three were a bullet, I would have gone for that, but I wasn’t given the luxury. The words spilled from my mouth with very little thought, other than for Adam. He was my primary concern. If I could go to this death knowing he would be safe and looked after, I would have unlocked the door and stepped into that carriage myself willingly. Without that guarantee, the only hope I had was to fight my way out. “Third Class.” I muttered.

The door behind me opened and Kyle stepped back in. I didn’t even turn to know it was him. The stench hadn’t left my nostrils since he had left not 10 minutes ago. He grabbed a fist full of the back of my shirt and wrapped a huge arm around my throat. The bicep bulged and forced my chin up towards the ceiling of the carriage. The lacquered wood there glistened and reflected back my blood-caked face, the eyes darting around in terror.

The Boss simply said “Third Class it is.” And I heard a grunt of disappointment from Kyle and a waft of hot air hit my ear and invaded my nostrils. With that he shoved me forward and I stumbled past the Boss. The child at his feet shrunk back into the shadows for fear of being trampled on. Half way down the carriage we came to an old-style door with a door handle. Kyle’s grip around my throat tightened as his hand grasping my shirt released and reached forward to open the door. The drop to the ground was a few feet and Kyle simply took a step forward and I was forced along with him. My feet hit the ground with a spine-jarring thud and Kyle hanging on to me by the throat simply worked as a pile driver to force his weight on to me as well. I grunted in pain and Kyle bent back and slammed the door shut behind him.

We were standing outside the train now, on the weed covered gravel beside the railway tracks. The smell of diesel and wild flowers hit me before being overpowered once more by Kyle as he breathed “Move” at my face.

The carriage we walked past, well in my case stumbled, was maroon in colour with gold writing on it. It had the name “Xena” across the side of it in bold letters. The rest of the carriages behind that one, in the direction I was being forced, were the blue, orange and white ones of one of the London rail services. For some reason a memory of them being over crowded, unreliable, and exorbitantly expensive flashed through my mind, but that didn’t really matter too much when you were about to be eaten to death.

I did a quick inventory as we walked past the first of the modern carriages, the faces of the meat axes inside leering at me and making rude gestures. There was no escaping Kyle’s death grip around my neck, that was for sure. He was probably armed, but the chances of me getting my tied hands on any weapon were nil. My trouser pockets contained nothing, I confirmed this by patting them as we walked. I wore a pair of faded and dirty jeans. A t-shirt which was once white, but was several shades of grey by now, and a red and black long sleeved shirt over that. I didn’t even have a warm jacket – mainly because it was warm weather at the time and I figured I would pick another one up closer to the time that I needed it.

As we reached the second-to-last carriage, Kyle reached up and pressed the open button on the outside. He obviously didn’t want to open the double doors on the last carriage, instead electing to push me in through the door of the adjoining carriage, this one full of what they considered ‘livestock’. The doors slid open with a hiss. He started man-handling me up into the carriage as, in a blur, a figure shot out the door and into the bushes. Kyle exclaimed “What the..” as he spun to try and grab the small child that had sprung past him. With that all hell broke loose and there were woman and children all rushing for the open doors and Kyle swinging arms and legs around to keep them all inside the carriage.

I was only half way up into the carriage when all this kicked off, so as soon as Kyle’s grip came off my neck to keep the others in line, I dropped to the ground and rolled away. I leapt to my feet and quickly jumped into the bushes where the child had just gone. There was no sign of the kid there any more, and I couldn’t go after him anyway, not with Adam still on that train.

I stopped and looked back and caught a glimpse of Adam looking out the open door. By this time Kyle had swung his bulk back on to the carriage again and was swinging punches at anyone and anything that came near the door. He pressed a button and the doors closed. The train started off again and the last time I saw Adam’s face it was pressed against the window looking out for me.

I chased that train for about three miles, shouting every profanity I knew, before collapsing in a sobbing pile on the hot tracks.

I’ve been chasing that train ever since, and won’t, no, can’t stop until I’ve found my Adam, rescued whoever is left to rescue, and put bullets in the brainpan of everybody answering to the name Boss or wearing black.

 
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Posted by on 19 November in Zombie Philes

 

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17th November

I swear I heard a gun shot in the night last night. I’ve got to be gaining on them. What little supplies I’’ve managed to get along the way are dwindling though, and as much as I hate to admit it, I’m going to have to take a day off from the pursuit in order to stock up again. I can’t be wasting away and have no energy when I finally find them. I have no clue how I’ll take them all on yet, but I can’t see it going well if I’m already part dead on my feet before they have a go at me.

Where was I? Oh yeah, the ultimatum.

I didn’t have a clue what the space cowboy was on about. Sitting there in his luxurious seat, in his suit and tie. A small boy chained at his feet. What a freakin’ nut bar. At this stage I need to point out, I had not said a word to the guy. It wasn’t out of bravery, or wanting to be all cool and blasé about it. It was the deep seated terror I felt in the pit of my stomach, the dizzy wooziness of having just come around after my brain had been pounded against the inside of my skull – twice – and the fact that in front of me was one cold hearted, evil mother, and behind me was a train carriage of behemoths ready to tear my head off and drink from my skull. I wasn’t sure which I feared more, and so I just stood there trying not to kack my pants.

I looked up at the Boss man questioningly, obviously confused by this whole Gauntlet versus Third Class bizzo he was ranting about. So he enlightened me.

“This train is made up of two 450 Desiro diesel locomotives, hauling seven carriages made up of this one you stand in now, acquired from the London to Cambridge Orient Express, though we picked it up somewhere around Stevenage from memory. The other carriages consist of staff quarters, livestock,” He said this with a smirk, knowing I knew there were people in those carriages, “Food and storage, the Armoury, and what we refer to as Third Class, which houses a host of Lurkers.” At my confused frown he translated: “The walking dead people? Zombies if you will?” I knew what he had meant. My confusion was as to why they would have a carriage full of them. Noticing I still looked confused, the realisation as to why dawned on him. “A long train journey can get rather boring for those of us,” At this he nodded at the door behind me, “Lacking in the mental department to keep one’s self out of mischief. Therefore we carry a number of the Lurkers for entertainment purposes.”

He continued his blathering. I felt like I was in one of those movies where the arch-nemesis reveals his evil plot just before the good guy, hopefully me, escaped and ruined the dastardly plans before they could come to fruition. I looked around the carriage for some escape route that didn’t take me into the path of something shiny and pointy while he continued.

“This train used to hold a large number of happy families, making their way back and forth across the country in search of a safe home. I travelled with them for some time until a few of the boys you met in the previous carriage joined us and started rough-housing and messing about with some of the woman. This didn’t go down so well, as I’m sure you can imagine, with the kind hearted folks and so both sides soon came to what could politely be called an impasse. You see, the original inhabitants of the train didn’t like being beaten up, raped and some of their number mysteriously disappearing, and the boys in black couldn’t bring themselves to refrain from said activities. That’s where I stepped up and mediated for both parties. I think we all came to an amicable conclusion where we fed most of the original travellers, less a select few, to a hungry hoard that had been following the train for about a hundred miles by this stage, and kept the train for ourselves. Everybody was happy. Well, those unhappy no longer complained anyway.” With this his eyes crinkled up in what must have passed as glee to him. Me, I just stood there and tried not to hurl chunks.

He then reached up and pulled on a crimson cord which hung the length of the carriage just above the windows and looped through silver hooks. Somewhere behind him there was a distant ding of a bell and the train immediately began to slow with a squeaking of breaks until it came to a complete stop.

“Before you need to ask, let me assure you that the boy of yours will be looked after. Not well, mind you, but looked after all the same. So, what will it be? The Gauntlet through the carriage behind you, or Third Class in the last carriage?”

 
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Posted by on 17 November in Zombie Philes

 

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3rd November

The number of walking dead in this small town I’m in now is too thick to go out at night again. I’ll hunker down in this dusty old store until daybreak when they retire to their dark holes before continuing. They can’t be that far ahead now anyway.

So where was I? Oh yeah, unconscious. Again.

So the next time I come to my senses, the whole world seems to be rocking and rolling, and not in the musical sense. I’ve been propped up against something cold and metal, and everything seems to be rocking back and forwards. Adam is there, staring intently into my face with his blue eyes. They’re red from crying, and crying isn’t like him at all. There’s something cold and wet down the left side of my face and I look down to see my left shoulder has spots of blood on it. Well, that explains the cold and wet, but not the rocking.

Adam’s face lurches back and forwards as I rock back and forwards too. We get out of synch and he comes towards me as I go forwards. He hoarsely whispers to me. “Dad, dad, are you OK? Do you know where we’re going dad?” Suddenly he’s jerked back and I see somebody has him by the back of his collar and has yanked him off me and dumped him on the floor. It’s hairy guy again. His muddy, brown eyes are red rimmed. What little skin on his face that isn’t covered in black, brown and a tingle of red hairs is caked in months of grime, blood and who knows what other crusty crud. He leers at me, and this time I see a glimpse of yellow teeth behind the facial furniture.

Now I know we’re in the midlands of the UK somewhere, but whenever I think back to this guy talking to me, I can only hear it in a Southern American hillbilly accent. For all I know he was probably a bank manager, or professor of something or other in his past life, but from this point on, in this written version of what happened, he’ll always be an ignorant, ugly, dirty and smelly hillbilly to me.

“‘Bout time you woke up boooy.” He drawled. “Got an appointment with the Boss.” He pronounced the capital ‘B’. Almost a “Baaawss”. In my version of the truth anyway.

He sways back and forth before me to the same rhythm I seem to be feeling. He towers over me like a giant made of mud and hair. As he bends down and grabs the front of my shirt, he lets out a puff of foul, rancid breath straight into my face. Standing back up he drags me into a standing position and I lean back against the metallic wall behind me. This is the first time I get to look around and see my surroundings. I’m in a long, narrow room, to either side of me are rows of bench seats covered in a blue, fuzzy patterned material. The space that I’m standing in has no seats, but I see behind where Adam is now prone on the floor a set of metal, double doors, and I realise where I am. I’ve seen these before in my past life. In fact I relied on them five days a week to get me to and from work every day.

We were in a train carriage. And it was moving.

 
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Posted by on 3 November in Zombie Philes

 

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27th May

This is written for the Doc based on my findings of how his inventions went.

So Adam and I went a few miles away from the lab and found a nice quiet field to do some practice in. The fences are in pretty good nick around this field, and I started off by letting Adam fire off a few rounds with his 9mm. Thanks to all the guns and ammo you found in the security guy’s area Doc, we won’t run short very soon.

Needless to say, within a half hour or so there was a good gathering of snotties around the fence line, drawn by the sound of Adam’s target practice.

The first order of business was to trial the tasers you found in the security wing Doc. This bright yellow thing shaped to look like a pistol fires three pointy prongs out, each trailed by a very thin coil of wire. When the prongs hit something (or an ex-somebody in this case) they stick in, and pulling on the trigger delivers a good 20,000 (or was it 40 thousand Doc?) volts down the wires into the slov.

The result Doc is that the zombie stands there and spasms a bit, but it doesn’t really do a lot more than that. I held my finger on the trigger for a good few minutes before the battery ran dead, but the zom just quaked about for a while and then came back slathering at us.

So that’s Test One a failure.

Next you told us to give the new bullets a try out. With the snotties stuck on the other side of the fence from us, this was something I’d give Adam a go with, as you asked for us to aim at their bodies instead of the head this time.

The bullets you marked with a blue dot were first up. Adam popped a guy in the thigh, but I think it just went right through. It blew a big chunk out of his leg though and he fell over. Looks like his football days are over. I told Adam to go for a wider bit of the body and this time he clocked one in the chest. It stood there for a bit and then we heard a whistling sound as steam started coming out of the hole! We both tried a few more shots to other parts of the body with much the same effect – i.e. a hole with a jet of steam. Only a headshot was effective in putting them down.

I think you said the blue dot bullets were hollow nose bullets filled with hydrogen peroxide and methanol? The result was a steamy hole, but not much more.

The third, and final test for the day were your green dot bullets. Much the same as the last test, these are hollow points with a brew of hydrogen peroxide again, but with salt and vinegar. Sounds like we’re giving them crisp flavoured bullets as an appetiser, but we’ll give it a go.

Adam popped one into the chest of an old lady. Much like the ones we turned into boiling kettles earlier, this one just staggered from the impact then came right back to the fence again wanting to get at us. About 30 seconds later, Adam was lining up another shot when I told him to hold on a minute. The chest of the woman he shot seemed to be caving in. After a few seconds, some black ooze came bubbling out of the hole and dribbled down as her whole chest just collapsed and she ended up flopping to the ground.

We tried a few more shots each, getting a bit more distance from the fence so the bullets would stay in the zoms rather than pass right though. It appears that the green dots take between 30 to 90 seconds to react (not all of them did though) before a very strong acid starts eating away at the snottie’s flesh. This doesn’t kill them as the head is still untouched, and the acid stops working after a minute or so.

Not a total failure if you’ve got time on your hands to wait for the reaction, and aren’t too bothered about then still remaining snappy afterwards.

We’ll head back in now and hope you answer the door this time!

 
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Posted by on 27 May in Zombie Philes

 

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23rd May

The building has been running on energy provided by a nearby wind farm. Seems that although their business is based on poisoning the planet with their chemicals, they made everything all right again by using renewable energy. On the up side, this meant that as long as power usage was kept low the place had continuous power. The building would have drawn off from the main grid when power usage went above what the wind farm generated, but with the grid now non-existent, Doc had to limit his power use to just what the wind farm could produce.

Adam and I left the Doc downstairs as we deployed our usual building clearing tactics. Adam watches my back as we methodically go room to room checking for snotties.

I like to take a quiet look into a room in case there are lots of them first. If not, I knock on something (door, wall, back of a zombie head) to get their attention, and as they shuffle over, I dispatch them with ol’ rusty trusty – my machete.

Adam watches my back and in the corners in case I miss anything. He has his gun now, but that is a last resort as we want to ninja our way around. Too much noise will get them lurching towards us from all over the place so we take it carefully.

The zoms here are all dressed in their suits, or in some cases, white lab coats. They’ve been locked in here for some time so they are pretty lethargic and gaunt. They don’t take a lot of killing. I pile them up in the hallways ready for getting rid of them later on. They’re very light, being not much more than bones with a leathery layer of skin stretched over them.

We spent most of today clearing out the 4 floors above ground level. Doc was relieved when we came back unscathed and no worse for wear.

I think he’s been fairly happy in his solitude all this time, but just too terrified to take on the mission we just went on.

As thanks he wanted to show us what he’s been up to for the past few years, but we were both pretty shattered after our day of slaughter. It’s pretty sapping running on non-stop adrenaline for hours on end. We hoovered a few snack bars from a vending machine upstairs and settled in for the night. I promised Doc we’d see what he’d been doing in here tomorrow.

 
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Posted by on 23 May in Zombie Philes

 

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12th May

Well, the adventure just got a little more real today. Sussing out a wee convenience store this morning, I was just making my way into the front door to see if there were any lurkers inside before raiding the shelves when Adam gave a shout from back outside.

I popped my head out again to see that a couple of slovs had come around the corner of the store and were fast approaching. I raised my machete to make a run at them when I spotted movement out of the corner of my eye. There were three more behind me in the store, now making a bid for freedom, or more likely a bid for the back of my neck.

Caught between a rock and a dead place, Adam and I had to fight our way out. Adam struggled at first under the pressure, forgetting to take the safety off his quickly drawn gun, but I was slightly less worried because they were still about ten feet away from him. The three inside were one swift lurch from grabbing hold of me and dragging me down.

I spun and lopped the outstretched arms off the first one coming for me, and sliced the side of its head off with the backswing. The second took a neat slice to the neck before its head lolled back with a sickening sucking sound coming from its throat before collapsing in a heap. Just as I thrust the machete into the eye of the third, Adam got his first shot off. With a quick twist and pull, I wrenched my machete back out of the face of my last assailant and turned to see Adam had capped his first undead.

It turned out to be a bit of a sloppy shot in the heat of the moment, but the bullet entering under the lower jaw took a sizeable chunk out of the back of the zom’s head due to the angle of wee Adam shooting upwards. I threw my machete at Adam’s last visitor and it hit it in the chest, making it stagger back a step or two. That was all the time Adam needed to line up his next shot and cap the snottie through the left eye. What a shot! I’ll have to find him a fair one day where he can shoot those metal pegs with an air rifle with a bent barrel – see if he can’t win an oversized teddy bear or something.

So it was a bit of a nervous start to the morning, but it turned out for the best as the wee store was still full of all sorts of non-perishables we could take with us. Mostly boiled sweets and the likes, being one of those quaint ‘ye olde’ stores on the tourist trail, but worth it all the same. Adam got his reward for his fine shooting under pressure.

 
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Posted by on 12 May in Zombie Philes

 

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