Making the Grade

Making the Grade

Game thread for Syndl, Cleokatrah, Paper_Bard, Alioth Elased, and Madadh.

Morning came faster than you wanted. Or perhaps that was just a result of a lack of sleep. Twenty-four hours ago, everything was normal. The everyday was, well - every day. Last night brought an end to that, in a way you would never have expected. This wasn't Zombieland, where creatures were people you knew and a virus changed them. This was something worse.

Last night's bloodshed flashed dimly through your mind. A red haze colored every memory, hanging like an unwanted sweater on a bent wire hanger - bending and reshaping to the warped situation, becoming something no one would ever want. You don't want your memories of last night, but there they are anyway.

The room provides needed distraction.

It's a regular sized room, with chairs and music stands everywhere, and large closets on one side, locked carefully. Ringing the top of the square room are half windows, which are growing lighter as the dawn approaches. You can see now, dimly, that your bastion of safety is the Gaither High's band room, with tables and desks piled close against the only door out.

To one side you see a door that leads to a small office; the other side also holds a door - is that a bathroom sign next to it? The room itself is fairly empty, except for the plethora of chairs and stands that don't hold anything but the opportunity for another backache. Your makeshift bed of four chairs pushed side to side was not as comfortable as you thought it would be.

Lila shifted uncomfortably. Plastic dug into her ribs and her feet hung off the edge of the chairs by a good few inches. She rubbed her eyes, but it was useless. She was still trapped in this horrible nightmare. Images of her blood-soaked daughter still clung to the foggy reaches of her memory. Lila tried to banish them, forget them, anything to avoid the grisly sight. Still, it came to her in waves, much like a dream. If only she could wake up.

She hadn't slept at all for fear of one of those creatures crashing through the doors. She barely remembered her panicked flight from her house to the high school, but she vividly remembered the gruesome sight of her neighbors feasting upon one another. Friends running blindly and screaming in terror. There had been a fire somewhere, but she couldn't remember why or how it started. Only that she needed to keep running.

It was by pure luck that she managed to find this group. She looked around at the other three and shook her head. Lila couldn't help but feel like they were all dead. All of them, herself included. They just hadn't woke up to the realization of it yet.

Noah hadn't been able to sleep easier, but neither could he just sit there and do nothing.

ZOMIES! That's what those... things... were. Like friggin Dawn of Dead! People were just running around, blood dripping from their mouths, wounds all over them. He'd seen a six year old girl with her ankle broken and twisted nearly 90 degrees the wrong way, and she just kept going. He'd seen people dragged down by these things, ripped into shreds, and then devoured. He had seen a few up-close. They smelled like rotting corpses. The whole city stunk of bodies.

His hand reached back to the katana strapped to his back, grasping the hilt as if to make sure it was still there. He muttered curses under his breath as he paced back and forth. His eyes had dark rings under them from lack of sleep. He should be exhausted by all accounts, but he was still riding high on adrenaline.

He had come across three zombies on his way there. Not together, thank God, he'd never be able to face more than one on his own, but seperate. He had been trying to avoid the things but it was hard sometimes to look in ever cranny that they could be hiding.

He had dispatched each of them rather quickly. The things dove at him with an animal fury, but lacked any defense or tactics. He had the benefit of reach due to his katana, and stabbed or slashed at the head each time. Get them in the head, that was what all the movies said to do. Sometimes he had to hack off the legs first, get the thing prone, then stab it in the head.

He was thankful for the Katana. The dealer hadn't known what to do with it. It wasn't an antique, obviously modern in design. The blade was made of a newer kind of steel, and the hilt was not like the historical examples. But at the same time the blade was made to cut; it wasn't a dull copy to put on one's mantel. Noah wasn't sure who made realistic katanas anymore, but he was thankful they did.

He eyed each of the entrances as he paced, looking for any zombies. Zombies. Noah could barely believe he was using that word to describe something in real life. It was like fact and ficition had decided to swap places. Noah wasn't sure what was real anymore. If there were zombies... did that mean that Aliens... Bigfoot... Vampires... were they real too?

Noah sighed, and kept pacing. He just had to keep his mind on the task at hand, staying alive.

5'9", athletic build. Brown hair, basic cut. Tanned. Blue, melt worthy eyes. He's got a skin condition called vitiligo that's most dominant on his left arm and part of his right, giving them a piebald appearance. There is another patch near his temple that streaks to his brow, making half his left brow completely white. The hair on the depigmented patches of his arms is also white.

Aside from the vitiligo, he appears every bit a cookie cutter teenage jock. Bright, cocky eyes (well, until this morning at least), sardonic lips, young, athletic body he disabuses by attiring it baggy jerseys and the latest (and most expensive) deconstructed denims. For shoes, he wears sneakers that moonlight as spaceships, and on his wrist is the ever popular charity band, only his is bright red and marked with the loud acronym D.A.R.E, perhaps the only material clue which sets him apart from his generation's mold.

Currently wearing a blue and white Lightning jersey (hockey) and jeans. He's holding a 9mm and has some bruising on his face, probably some dried blood (minor car accident residue).
Cody moved away from the small pool of mostly clear vomit he'd just created - not his first since the occurrence - and shakily tested his knees. They worked. He was standing, but his hand was against the wall, his head still reeling from the nightmare, and from facts it just wouldn't grasp. Unlike Lila, he had opted for the discomfort of the floor, huddling there on the
Assuming it's a typical music room where the space for student performers is arranged upon graduating steps?
steps in shocked horror, too terrified for any sleep that didn't involve one eye open. The short burst of sleep he did get had been full of flesh eating monsters, tearing faces off those that he knew.

Not a nightmare, but reality.

A quick glance over the room's occupants told him what he already knew. His father hadn't made it. Running on the street after the crash that had claimed at least a half a dozen cars, his father had shot over his shoulder and shoved him aside. "Get in the school. I'll follow you." Naive, young, and terrified, Cody had obeyed. Through screaming passersby down Northgreen Avenue, past the doors, into the hallways and straight into a man bearing a sword - A Sword! - and then following him cause he seemed to know what he was doing until they, and a pair of others, ended here. While his father remained outside, shooting. Fighting for his son and his country, a son that had deserted him.

Don't break, Cody heard him. You're no good to nobody if you let yourself break. Miracles were still possible.

Testing his legs, first one and then the other, down the layered platform, he came to a rest at the bottom, not brave enough yet to near the closed door. He spit more vomit flavored saliva from his mouth. After wiping his mouth with the hem of his jersey, he tested his voice. It was just as shaky as the rest of him, but it worked.

"Is everyone okay?" A stupid question, for sure, but it sounded better than 'were any of your parts eaten last night?'

He still had the gun in his hand. It was like an extension now, something he knew damn well he'd better keep. And learn how to use, fast. Most of the shots he had fired last night had been wide. Running had been more effective. Running and hiding. Wondering about things like ammo and his girl, and amputated body parts, not really paying attention for an answer, he pulled the phone from his pocket and dialed his father's
And if the phone's not dead, and there's no answer, he'll try his girlfriend (Stacie), and then his mom. That failing, he'll keep going down friends and relatives until he finds somebody - or nobody.

Please answer...

"Hello?" The cell answered on the first ring, and his father's voice was possibly the best thing he'd heard in his life. "Cody? Is that you, son?" There were shots in the background, and someone screaming, but his father's voice was calm and determined - and thankfully still alive.

"Son - listen carefully, because I don't have much time. Stay safe. Remember what I taught you. I'm headed to
The nearby Air Force Base at the south end of Tampa, which everyone but Noah would know about.
MacDill. Meet me there if you can."
There was shouting, someone talking to his father in the background, but between the static and the gunshots it was impossible to make out what they were saying.

"I have to go now, son. I love you." The phone went dead after the last words from a man who viewed his son as the center of his life, but rarely mentioned it aloud.

Originally Posted by Cleokatrah View Post
"Is everyone okay?" A stupid question, for sure, but it sounded better than 'were any of your parts eaten last night?'
Please answer...
Noah whipped his head around to stare at the young lad who'd asked the question. He'd run into the kid on his way to the school. The teenager had looked like he had nearly shit his pants in fear. His dad had more balls then both of them, however, as far as Noah knew sacrificing himself so the two could get away. Noah wished for a rifle right now, far more effective than his sword at long range, though in close corridors his sword would suit him well.

"Oh yeah... we're all fine, as far as I can tell. Aside from the fact that there are ****ING zombies out there, tearing your city to pieces, feasting on anyone and everyone!" He seethed. Damnit... why was he the badguy, the pissed off one. Why was he okay, not in shambles like that woman and this kid. Why was he not crying and sobbing like the rest of them. Why?

He turned to the kid again as he noticed the kid had reached someone. "The hell is that? You managed to contact someone? Is your stupid military here? You americans spend billions of dollars on tanks and guns... where are they now?"

"Hey! Leave the kid alone and try to calm down." Lila was on her feet in an instant, putting herself between Noah and Cody. Fear for her own life was replaced by her maternal instinct and right now, that was in overdrive. The cell phone in Cody's hand crackled to life and as the boy listened to a voice on the other end, she went silent, straining to grasp any line of hope there might be.

Noah stared the woman down. "Calm down there lady. I'm not going to hurt the kid... I'm just a little frustrated, that's all." He backed away. "I admire your desire to protect the lad, but you got to understand, we're all in this together. None of us are going to hurt you, the kid, or anyone else that is alive and breathing."

Lila looked Noah up and down, her anger fading as quickly as he spoke. "Well... your tone was... harsh." She crossed her arms over her chest, unwilling to back down any further. "Hot heads will get us killed just as quickly. We can't afford any of us freaking out. Sorry."

Cody stared at his phone. He'd heard excitement. Words like military and zombies stuck to his head. Words like 'I love you, son'. His eyes misted. He wanted to crumble. But he had a nine millimeter in his hand and there were things outside that wanted to eat him. There was a lady he didn't know wearing a blood soaked garment and sticking up for him. He didn't want to ask what the blood was from.

"I'm okay," he said. He was too numb to absorb the sword bearer's anger. And he understood it, besides. Where were America's soldiers and guns? Was this going to be another Katrina, where the president played ostrich and stuck his head in the ground while organization after organization ran around with their heads cut off? What if this was happening all over the place, and they couldn't come?

The battery display on his iphone blinked red. He should shut it off, but his fear didn't dare. He looked up to Lila, his face colorless. In an automatic voice, he informed, "That was my father. He was... fighting. He says we should make it to MacDill." It was doable, he thought. It was right down the street. If they were lucky, they could jump on a plane and get the hell out of here.

He flicked his gaze to Noah, wary, but he said nothing to challenge him. He was too afraid he would leave.


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