Returning to Pink Hill after their raid on the Beulahville Home Depot, the group and townies began unloading the supplies from the vehicles. Thomas was eager to get back to work on their vehicles, so they could get out of town before the horde arrived, so he rejoined Trip and the other Marine from the motor pool back at the garage. Bryce and Alison set to work inventorying and packing their supplies. Mike decided to sneak around town and try to find anything useful he could “procure” from the town. Brooke took a walk, alone, to the diner to see if they were still open.
Brooke and Mike were about 4 blocks away from each other when they heard a scream that turned their blood cold. Rushing towards the location where it originated, about halfway between them, they found a gruesome scene. Four of the sprinters were tearing into the bodies of two townies, a man and a woman. The woman was obviously the source of the scream, but the things had finished her off while Brooke and Mike were running towards the scene. Unfortunately, the sprinters sensed fresh meat approaching and advanced on Brooke and Mike. Mike fought a withdrawing action and left Brooke to fend them off while he set up to use Henry’s rifle to his advantage. Brooke was holding her own against the things, but it was only a matter of time before one would get lucky and get through her defenses.
As Mike was preparing to open fire, a group of Marines on patrol came on scene. Overly gung-ho and hungry to kill a few of the things, the Marines started tossing grenades at the ones who were not close to Brooke. After badly missing with the first grenade and bouncing the second harmlessly off a building to land in the middle of a side street, the third package was the charm. The detonation mangled two of the things and the rest were finished off with bullets to the brain. The two dead townies also got the same treatment.
Back at the garage, Thomas and Sean heard the sound of the blasts and knew by the sound what they were. They both dropped their tool and grabbed their weapons, heading towards the sounds.
As the four Marines, Mike, and Brooke were conferring about what happened and how the things got into town in the first place, since the horde was still a few hours away, Timothy Hickman arrived, breathless and pale. He asked if anyone had seen the girls. He couldn’t find them anywhere. He was talking about his daughter Samantha, and Bryce’s daughter Kimmy.
According to Tim, Thomas’ fiance Sarah Beth and Bryce’s sister Jessica were watching the girls. He knew they took them to the town meeting at the elementary school auditorium, but nobody had seen them since. Thomas and Sean arrived on the scene to hear this news and they came up with a plan. First, they would go back to the elementary school and search the area, talking to any townsfolk nearby. The Marine patrol would gather a few more of their buddies and start making a circuit of the town to look for breaches and see how the things got through the barricades in the first place.
Back at the elementary school, Mike started checking the exits to see which ones were secured. He found that the only ones that weren’t chained and padlocked were the main doors to the auditorium area, and a small door leading to the kitchen. Looking in the kitchen, he could see that something was recently dragged through the area.
The others talked to townsfolk nearby, learning that several people had seen them sitting near the back of the auditorium. They found someone that said the girls had fallen asleep during the meeting and that they saw Jessica and Sarah Beth sitting with them while they slept even after almost everyone else had left.
With that info, the group entered the auditorium, focusing on the approximate area where people said they had been sitting. After a few minutes of searching, they found some discarded syringes under the seats near that area. The four of them had been drugged. Judging by Mike’s discovery, they had then been dragged out through the kitchen exit to a waiting vehicle.
Leaving the school, most of the group decided to check out the doctor’s office, while Sean looked for the mayor. At the doctor’s office, they found the door locked and the lights off. Actually, they realized then that most of the town’s generators had been shut off to conserve fuel before the horde’s approach. Mike put on his night vision goggles to look through the window. He could barely make out a pair of legs sticking out of a doorway within. With that news, Brooke picked the lock and the group entered.
Searching through the doctor’s office turned up nothing except the body of the nurse, Ann. Her throat had been slit. She started to rise as the living dead just as she was put down. There was also no sign of Fabiana, and the last anyone had seen her, she was helping the doctor prepare for the attack on the town. Things were getting worse by the minute. The group decided to go check the building where the mayor’s secret meeting had been.
Meanwhile, Sean talked to several townspeople, but nobody knew where the mayor was. They did see the sheriff going into the sheriff’s office a few minutes ago, so Sean went that way. When he arrived, Sheriff Wilson was field stripping and cleaning his weapons. He glanced to Sean, quickly returning to his work, while telling him he’s welcome to take as many 9mm and 12 gauge rounds as his group needs. Sean told him about the missing girls, just as two townies entered the office behind Sean, the bell over the door tinkling a hollow welcome. The sheriff, without looking up, asked if they checked the auditorium, as he saw the girls there. Then he asked if they checked the doctor’s office. Sean explained what they found at the school and that others were checking the doctor’s office.
Finally, the sheriff looked up. Frustration and anger clearly showing on his face. He slammed down the pistol he iwasworking on. “Damn it! It’s one thing to use newcomers or some nameless soldiers to keep the things passive, but innocent children?!? This is just too much!!! They have the things contained over at…” A single shot rang out as one of the townies put a bullet between the sheriff’s eyes. Turning around, Sean drew his own pistol and a fierce gunfight ensued. He ended up taking both of the men down and ensuring they wouldn’t be rising again.
The group found nothing in the building where the mayor’s meeting had been held. The room was much as it was the last time Mike was here. The group returned to the streets, finding Sean and Major Morgan. Sean told the group about the encounter at the mayor’s office and told Major Morgan that everything in this town wasn’t as it seemed. Convinced that the doctor was hiding the undead somewhere in town, they started searching building to building, but turning up nothing. In frustration, several of them grabbed a nearby townie on patrol duty and confronted him with what they knew, asking where the doctor was and what was going on in this town. The man, scared for his life, said he’d seen the doctor leave town a while ago, headed out the south gate.
The south gate led towards Beulahville. The map in the meeting room with Beulahville marked. There were other towns overrun, but only Beulahville was marked. The Home Depot. The guards in the warehouse lot across the street. They weren’t guarding just The Home Depot, or their post would be in THAT parking lot, not the one across the street. The Home Depot would’ve been cleared. They were guarding the warehouse across the street! Major Morgan made preparations to pull his men from the defense of the town as soon as the group returned with evidence that the town was compromised. Thomas, Brooke, Alison, Mike, and four Marines loaded into a Humvee and sped to the warehouse outside Beulahville.
At the warehouse, The group confronted the guards with the full threat of the Marines’ M-16’s and the mounted .50 cal on the roof. Still, the guards refused to back down. The firefight was over in less than two minutes. All four guards were dead and the Humvee rammed the gate. Inside the parking lot, the group unloaded from the Humvee, leaving two Marines outside to guard the vehicle. Since it was light outside, those two gave their night vision goggles to Brooke and Alison, so that everyone would have a pair.
Inside the warehouse, it was indeed dark. They found several coffin-like metal containers on the main floor and began opening them. Inside, they discovered a wealth of scientific equipment, including laptops and a full portable lab set-up, with blood spinners and the whole works. While they were searching, the dark warehouse suddenly lit up with many flashlight beams from the catwalk above. A voice told them to drop their weapons, and over a dozen red dots found them, targeting them. In the chaos, Mike managed to sneak away to the rubber swinging doors at the end of the room and made it through them without being seen.
Back in the main warehouse, Thomas tried to get them to identify himself, and everyone was looking to him. The standoff grew incredibly tense. Nobody was wavering. While Thomas stated his case to the men with the guns, several of them became very caught up in his oration, but the remainder were not fooled by his words. Someone above ordered him to stop the nonsense, and two flash-bang grenades were tossed into the group from above. The order came again, “Drop your weapons!” Finally, Thomas and the others set down their weapons and stood down.
Through the rubber doors, Mike found a hallway that ended in another set of double doors. Looking through the glass panes, he found a guard post with several more guards standing in front of another set of doors. Hearing the commotion in the warehouse, he moved back to those doors and peeked through, seeing his friends being searched. He did his best to hide his MP-5 in the hallway and his set of lockpicks on his person, then came out and surrendered as well.
As they were being disarmed and searched, Alison was reluctant to give up the fire axe she’d taken back on the cruise ship. It was her weapon of choice and her psychological anchor as well. In the confusion of taking this weapon from her, Brooke managed to hide her pistol and her nail file in her clothing and the guards forgot to search her, not even realizing their mistake, thinking everyone had been searched.
The group was led into the guard post Mike had seen earlier and down a set of stairs in that room, to a basement area that had been converted to a makeshift jail. Cell doors had been poorly and hastily cemented into concrete block alcoves that had been created along the walls. There were 5 women in the cells already. Four of whom the group didn’t know. Those four looked like they had been kept prisoner here for some time, suffering abuse at the hands of the guards as well. The fifth woman was a groggy Dr. Fabiana Winters.
The group are locked into individual cells and all of the guards leave except two. In a few minutes, Dr. Lewis arrived with two more guards. He told the group that Kimmy, Samantha, and Brooke haven’t just been dealing with the flu. He told them that the virus has an airborne component and that they are all infected. Everyone in this room, everyone in the world, will rise as the living dead when they die, even if they haven’t been bitten. Everyone that is, except Samantha, Kimmy, and Brooke. And if they are immune to the airborne virus, Dr. Lewis has every reason to believe they will also be immune to the pathogen-borne virus, a concept which he plans to test. He ordered the two guards to unlock Brooke’s cell, so he could take her up to the lab to continue developing the cure which will make him not only a very wealthy man, but also a king.
After Dr. Lewis left, the two guards moved to unlock Brooke’s cell and she decided to go with them willingly, knowing she had her pistol concealed and hoping to get a shot at the doctor. Mike quickly picked the lock on his cell, and Thomas began slamming himself against his cell door, seeing the chips of concrete fly off, rewarding his efforts. As the guards got Brooke to the door and the stairs beyond, Thomas, now free from his cell, the door slamming against the floor of the room, charged them, tackling one down onto the bottom steps. Mike freed the others while Brooke took out the remaining guard, then fired a shot just past Thomas’ head, killing the guard he was pinning, and saving his life. As she helped Thomas up, he grabbed her by the shoulders and planted a kiss on her lips, thanking her for what she had just done.
With that, the group hurried up the stairs, took out the two guards in the guard station and found all of their gear stored there. After re-equipping and adding a few flash-bang grenades from guards who would no longer be needing them, the group moved through the doors into a long hallway containing decontamination stations and biohazard suits, finally arriving at a door with two small wire-mesh reinforced safety glass windows. Looking through, Mike could see a lab. He motioned the group forwards and Thomas looked in as well. Inside the lab were seven more guards, along with Dr. Lewis. Strapped to operating tables in the center of the lab, and hooked to a number of machines lie the unconscious bodies of Samantha and Kimmy. There was no sign of Jessica or Sarah Beth, until one of the guards came into view holding a reanimated head. The had was that of Sarah Beth! As the guard moved towards Samantha and Dr. Lewis, Thomas’ now deceased and reanimated fiancee’s jaws opening and closing, Mike opened the door just wide enough for Thomas to toss a flash-bang grenade through the crack. Once the thing went off, they threw the doors opened and began taking out the guards with carefully placed single shots to the head. The plan was ruthless and efficient. When the smoke cleared from the second flash-bang, the stunned and blinded Dr. Lewis was the only one standing.
The group freed Samantha and Kimmy from the tables, while Mike checked out the strange door on the opposite side of the room. Looking through the window, he could see a roomful of the living dead things. As they milled about, a face pressed itself to the window, trying to bite him through the glass. He winced back for a moment, realizing quickly that it was the face of Jessica, Bryce’s sister. Thomas, looking through the glass, also caught a glimpse of their missing Marine.
After brief negotiations about what to do, Dr. Lewis was shoved through the door to the containment room. At the last second, Thomas put an intact grenade in the man’s hand, so he could choose that end if he could get the pin out before the things killed him. Then, they hurried from the warehouse, back to the Humvee. The Marines back at the Humvee saw several of the guards escape from the other side of the warehouse, but held their ground. As the group climbed into the vehicle, they heard a final, small explosion from the warehouse.
Returning to Pink Hill, the group found the repair work finished on the vehicles, with the Marines guarding the garage. The group and the Marines boarded their vehicles and rolled out of Pink Hill with the horde only about a half hour away. A short distance out of town, the Marines, including 1st Sergeant Hauser and the final motor pool Marine, leaving Bryce and Fabiana and their daughter Kimmy, Thomas, Brooke, Mike, Trip and Sarah (Brooke’s friend, mutilated by Spiderbait) and Trip’s buddy David, Sean, Alison and her friend Heidi, Sean, and Timothy and his daughter Samantha.
The group begins heading west, loaded with tools and supplies, but low on food and fuel.
This concludes Season 1.