In the last installment, Reverend Green was about to be jumped from behind by a couple of zombies. He was following a member of his congregation (Kimberley) who had run from the horror and not really paying attention to anything else.
A long way off, Ricky and George could see what was about to happen. Could they run fast enough to save the priest? If they joined in, would they end up as zombie chow themselves? Read on to find out what happened next...
The Game (continued)
The two trailing zombies reached for Rev. Green, but some sixth sense must have warned him of the danger at his back. In a bravura piece of brawling, he knocked them both down. One of the monsters fell awkwardly, split its skull open on the concrete pavement and lay still for ever more.
Hearing the sounds of fighting, Kimberley plucked up enough courage to look back around the corner. More zombies were approaching and the young woman couldn't leave the minister to face them alone. She swallowed hard, then charged into the fray.
The young woman pushed the nearest zombie to the ground and started to hit it with her tennis racket - again and again. When she had finished, the "fat lady" zombie was clearly not moving any more.
Ricky and George charged towards a third zombie which was threatening to outflank the reverend and attack him from behind. Neither of them had ever seen a zombie before and neither had ever been involved in any violent activities, so it was no great surprise when Ricky bottled it and pulled up short.
George, on the other hand, charged straight in. Despite being REP5 and facing only a single zed, he lost the fight badly and ended up on the ground, stunned. This was extremely dangerous for him, as he would require a complete activation to recover his wits and another to stand up before he could defend himself to any great effect.
The players' luck was amazing, as once again the zombies fluffed one activation roll after another. They moved like molasses, moaning and reaching for the living, but never quite reaching them.
George finally threw off his daze and got back onto his feet, just as Ricky pulled himself together, ran forward and whacked the zombie hard with his cricket bat. It crumpled to the floor at the same time as Rev. Green finally dispatched his final opponent.
Suitably wary, the party continued in their quest to find Laura. They hadn't entirely believed the news reports or government advice before, but zombies were real; there was no room for doubt any more. This made their search all the more urgent!
The Long Search
|Note the very large potholes all over the road at the end of the cottage, courtesy of a "rough terrain" random event card.|
From this point on, the party decided on two things that they would do differently:
- They would stick together - no more splitting up.
- They would try front doors - no more breaking and entering.
The next house they tried was full of zombies [especially the bathroom; what's that all about?]. Fortunately, both Kimberley and George were quick enough in reacting to retreat without a fight.
|"We did remember to lock the door, didn't we?"|
The party became slightly strung out as they ran away from the zombie house, towards the burger bar...
...but all they found there was a single, slightly dirty man who (a) didn't know anyone called "Laura" and (b) had staked his claim to all the Doomburgers(TM) in the restaurant & wasn't prepared to share them with anybody.
George might have tried to reason with him, but the man had a very functional-looking rifle and was clearly getting a little bit agitated by their continued presence, so they left him to his food.
On to the next house, then. This time, Kimberley kept watch outside whilst George opened the bedroom door. There were 3 more zombies in there, but the little man quickly shut the door again, then started to drag the settee across the opening..
Ricky went into the bathroom, where his natural propensity to acquire things kicked in [remember that 'greedy' trait?]. The Reverend followed and started to remonstrate with him, reminding Ricky that this was someone else's house and in any case they really didn't expect to find weapons, booze or car keys in a bathroom.
And so it was that no-one was looking in the right direction when another zombie crawled out of a broom cupboard in the corner.
Mind you, I should read my own event cards more carefully. The zombie ought to have attacked straight away, but we played it that the monster was just placed.
George was too busy holding the bedroom door shut to notice anything amiss, but Ricky and Rev. Green left the bathroom before the zombie could move. Without hesitation, they both set upon it and by the time that Kimberley came to see what all the noise was about, the creature had been pummeled into the ground.
Hoping that the barricaded bedroom door would hold, the group ran from the third cottage into the fourth and final home. This time, George stood outside whilst Rev. Green and Ricky searched the main room. The minister found a crossbow hanging on the wall, though was somewhat chagrined to find that it only had a single arrow [courtesy of another event card, a few turns later]. Ricky hunted through the cupboards and came away with a number of tins of food [fruit cocktail, chopped tomatoes, cherry pie filling...].
Meanwhile, Kimberley investigated the bedroom. Again, there were 3 zombies in it; all young women in various states of undress [another WTF? moment; the models were drawn semi-randomly from the box...]. Once more, the zombies were slow to react and Kimberley shut the door quickly - but only just in time to prevent the zeds' reaching arms from grabbing her.
Rev. Green ran over to help Kimberley; between them they piled trunks, the TV and chairs against the bedroom door. On the other side, the zombies were tearing at the barricade with their bare hands, but weren't making much impact on it.
George stepped into the cottage's front room. "Guys, it's getting quite busy out there!" he said. "I think we should be leaving". Several zombies were approaching from the square, but there was probably still time to escape.
"I'll just have a look in the bathroom", replied Ricky - and there was Laura, cowering in a corner. Of course, Ricky then wasted time by looking for stuff that he could take [greedy, remember?].
I love my random event cards. Sometimes [quite often, really], they're just so appropriate for the story. On this occasion, the bathroom door couldn't be reopened. Maybe Ricky had locked it inadvertently behind him and was panicking too much to realise? Or perhaps the door was badly fitted and stiff?
Whatever the reason, the party now found that Laura and Ricky were locked in the bathroom. There were 3 zombies in the bedroom and more approaching the front door. What would you do?
The party quickly locked the cottage's front door, then Rev. Green and George tried to force their way into the bathroom. Meanwhile, Ricky and Laura climbed through a back window and out onto the street.
What with the zombies trying to break their way in as well, there was a fair amount of tense action happening!
For some reason, the zombies found the locked and barricaded doors to be quite tough going. In contrast, Rev. Green kicked the bathroom door in quite easily. Seeing the open window, they guessed where Ricky had gone and a few moments later the party was all reunited in the street. They paused for a moment, hugging the building's gable wall to avoid being seen by the zombies who were all congregating on the house.
"OK, everybody ready? Let's RUN!" called the minister - and he took off without waiting to see if the others were indeed prepared. "Wait, what?" responded George, but everyone else took to their heels and he had to follow.
Zombies in the square saw the fresh meat and moved to intercept the people. Although slow, they were able to cut the corner and one of them got close enough to George to trip him up.
This time there was no miracle respite and the zombies tore George apart in a brief, but violent, feeding frenzy.
The remaining humans fled, appalled at the sight and in no mood to do anything other than escape. As they did so, Laura screamed imprecations at Rev. Green. "You IDIOT!" she shouted. "We could have waited until they had gone the other way. We would all have made it!" [courtesy of an 'Argument' random event card. Laura won the argument's first round very convincingly (and very loudly!), but soon ran out of breath].
As a final kick in the teeth the heavens opened and it started to pour, soaking the survivors and lowering their spirits even more [one last event card. Tragicomic, really].
As so often happens in games of All Things Zombie, the party ended up with a similar number of people as it had at the start; it just wasn't the same people. I suspect that the zombies' early inertia had given the players a false sense of security, so that when the double zed activation came [as it always does at some point], they lost a party member.
Still, for a bunch of citizens, half of whom didn't even have an improvised melee weapon, they didn't do too badly. The mission goal was achieved [how unlucky was it that Laura was found only in virtually the last possible hiding location?!], so perhaps they should be eligible to test for REP increases after all?