Friday, 4 November 2016

ATZ - an English Adventure (concluding part of Day One)

Hi all

***warning another long post, get the kettle on!***

The concluding part of Day One, if you missed the first part then you can find it Here


Shaun is set upon...
Shaun turned as he felt the brush of a cold hand touch the back of his bare arm, twisting his upper body and dragging the limb out of reach of the infected female that had tried to stop him. With the momentum he gained he dropped low and stuck out his trailing leg, tripping the zombie and causing another to crash into the stricken creature. With both of the zeds down it was relatively easy for him to drop the heavy cricket bat onto the heads of the zombies, putting them out of their misery. Beatrice had stopped and watched him finish the zombies off, nodding in approval before pointing with her massive iron frying pan at two more of the infected citizens of Margate that were following closely behind. Shaun squared his shoulders and hefted the polished willow bat before stepping back into the fray.

and deals with it!
Constable Smith was distraught, his first fracas with a wrong’un and he had killed them with his ASP. The weighted baton had connected solidly with the male’s head and dropped him to the ground with a thud. Smith had checked for a pulse and couldn't find one. On his knees by the body he wept as the feeling of remorse tore through him, he was meant to be a guardian, a protector of life not the taker of one. Standing shakily to his feet he turned to head back to the sarge who was staring at him in horror. He thinks I'm a monster, Smith thought to himself.  I AM a monster he added, thinking on the sarge’s wide eyed gaze that seemed to look passed him, maybe at the victim he concluded.

A low moaning sound, followed by the scrape of shoes dragging across tarmac spun Smith around just in time as the body of the victim of his assault crashed into him with open arms, nearly dragging him to the ground [random event – a previously killed zombie returns back to life].  In horror the PC lifted his baton again in self-defence, shoving it deep into the open mouth of the zombie, smashing teeth and cracking its jaw in the process. Drawing his arm back, he withdrew the ASP pulling more teeth with it and pulling the zombie’s face closer to Smith, who gagged at the smell of rotten meat on the infected breath.  Using the heavy butt of the baton he cracked the zed in between the eyes twice in quick succession forcing the zed to the floor. With tears still streaming down his cheeks, Smith stomped his heavy, steel tipped boots into its face, cracking the skull and stopping its attack in an instant. Smith ground to a halt suddenly drained of all energy as he tried to process what had happened over the last few minutes. Horrified at his actions he looked desperately over at the sarge for some guidance only to see another creature detaching itself from the shadows of a nearby tree and shuffle toward his superior officer with murderous intent.
 
PC Smith is attacked by a teenaged zombie

sgt. Ellis is also in trouble (top left)

St. Ellis caught movement from the corner of his eye, despite his lack of bravery Ellis had been a copper for over twenty years and instinctively his hand went to the canister of PAVA on his right hip. Something wasn’t right though, the scrote was moving all wrong, unnaturally, jerkily like a puppet with the strings all tangled together. Up came the right hand and with no official warning (the natural rules follower in Ellis winced but the coward prevailed!) he triggered the spray in a long plume of pelargonic acid vanillylamide or pepper spray, that splashed across the face of the assailant. Ellis’s cry of triumph was cut short as the milky white eyes of the creature remained locked on him as it reached out blood soaked hands. Stumbling backwards, trying to stay out of reach of that gore covered grip, Ellis fumbled for his ASP forgetting which side it was attached to in his haste and instead drawing out his standard issue handcuffs. Too late to rectify his mistake he swung the heavy steel bands, using them like a crude knuckle duster and punching the zombie in the face with a heavy right haymaker that rocked the zeds head back and knocked a few of those awful, bared teeth out of its mouth. The momentum of the swing caused the sarge to become unbalanced and he teetered on the edge of the curb nearly falling to the ground. Instinctively knowing that to fall would leave him wide open to attack, he pin-wheeled his arms in an effort to stay on his feet giving the zombie another opportunity to bite at him. Ellis cried out in fear as he felt the jaws closing on his left forearm and he battered at the head of the infected citizen with the steel cuffs, desperate to free himself from the grip of the zombie. Incoherent expletives poured from his mouth and tears ran freely down his cheeks as he drove the hardened metal into its face over and over and with ever increasing power, fuelled by terror and the insanity of the situation he did not, could not stop until the creature finally slid to the floor in a graceless heap, it's face and head a pulpy ruin [the fight between the sarge and the zombie went on for four rounds!].

Unseen by Police Sgt Ellis and Police Constable Smith, intelligent eyes had observed the struggles that they had had with the infected people of Margate, the brutality of their fight and the finality of the officers dealing with the incident had been noted in a little notebook that was always carried, always to hand when needed. More words were scribbled – no warning given! Excessive force! Police brutality! This was going to make a great story. Despite the horror that she had witnessed since the devastation caused by Storm Daenerys and the odd explosion off the east coast, April Nillson – journalist and roving reporter for an independent news channel couldn’t hide her glee as she thought of the hard hitting (haha) expose of Her Majesty’s finest beating citizens to death that she would broadcast, that was if she could find her camera man Bobby and get the blasted story out there.  Whatever was going on in Thanet, all the violent episodes from its local folks, all the damage from Daenerys, all the lives lost and many hundreds of injured all the battles being fought over life and death in the hospitals by the medical professionals – all of that was overshadowed by this moment, this story right here! This was going to get her onto a mainstream media outlet for sure.  All she had to do was get out of here alive, easier said than done but she was resourceful and smart.  So far she had got away with dressing up in the ragged blood covered garments of one of the infected locals who had been savaged by a huge Rottweiler over by the Millmead housing estate.  The smell was ghastly but seemed to confuse the senses of the “zombie” like people.  By adopting their characteristic “broken marionette” movements, that almost had her chuckling she was able to move about a bit more freely.  Taking a quick photo with her phone and with one last look at the policeman who was now busy throwing up next to the bloodied mess that was all that was left of the former infected human being, April pulled up the dirty hood of the fleece she was wearing with a grimace at the stench and melted back into the shadows [there was another random event where a zombie was revealed a survivor, however it was right on the edge of the board and in the next turn she was able to leave the board straight away! This won’t be the last we hear of April Nillson though no doubt….].

a roving reporter


Constable Smith saw the flash of light that seem to come from the deep shadows by the train station, “who the hell is taking pictures?” was his first thought followed very quickly by “what did they just see?” That however was a worry for another time as more movement, a lot closer to him bought him back to what was happening right here.  A teenaged girl, no older than his younger sister charged directly at him.  Covered in blood and with the manic look that had been plastered over his other assailant, the girl advanced on Harry with her mouth open wide fully intent on taking a chunk out of the officer.  At first Smith tried to just fend her off, slapping aside her hands and talking - no pleading with her to stop, to back down, leave him alone, to go back home! However, it was apparent to him that she wasn’t going to stop attacking him, in fact she had already nipped him and drawn blood from his left arm and it had only served to spur her on and the attacks had become more frenzied.  Screaming, part in desperation and part in fury he kicked out with his heavy boots, clearing some space and allowing him to whip his ASP in a deadly arc, connecting with the underside of the girl’s chin and snapping her head back with a loud crack.  Without another sound the infected fell to the ground and didn’t stir.


With the patient on board the ambulance the medics were in a flurry of activity, connecting monitoring leads onto the girl’s arms and legs, attaching an oxygen mask to her face and running up another bag of fluid in an effort to stabilise her before racing to the hospital [the medics don’t activate…].  The police officers that had stayed to help the patient and assist the medics jumped down from the back of the crowded ambo to not only give the medics more space to work in but they had spotted more of those infected/dangerous people approaching the vehicle in that jerky, spasmodic motion that somehow managed to cover ground in a relatively swift way.  Drawing their ASPs both officers stood near the rear doors of the truck as the zombies (yeah they both felt that word was adequate for these ‘people’) drew nearer.  PC Mike Spalling edged in front of WPC Anita Hives much to her annoyance at his overprotective stance, however looking at the blank faces and broken gait she was grateful none the less that he was in the way as the narrow approach between the ambulance and the hedges funnelled the zeds one at a time, if he wanted to be all macho that was fine by Anita she had a family that she wanted desperately to get back to, in fact as soon as this ambo was gone so was she! She’d go back to the nick, load up her gear and get back to her kids.  Ahead of her Spalling had already downed the first of the assailants and was just dropping the heavy end of his ASP onto the crown of the last zombie’s head with a loud crunch that made Anita wince.  Blood streaming from a little nip on Mike’s forearm, he turned to her with a worried look, “let’s get those fucking medics moving Hives, then we can get the fuck out of here, these bastards are giving me the shits!” emphasising each expletive with a savage kick to the creature on the floor. With a nod Anita slapped the side of the truck and screamed at the occupants to get moving, never once taking her eyes off of the bite mark on her partner’s arm.




Shaun swung the willow cricket bat with all the technique he could muster crunching the blade of the bat into the temple of the first zombie and was already stepping through the blow as the creature was falling to the ground. With a flick of his wrists he turned the momentum of the heavy weapon back on itself and delivered another stunning blow to the zed that trailed behind crushing its skull with a mighty thud, that he felt right up his arms.  As the last zombie crashed to the floor, Shaun was looking passed them at the group of people running full tilt in his direction. Squinting his eyes, he could make out that they were uninfected and just a bunch of scared Margatonians. With a shrug he turned back to his new companion and gestured to the big Haitian woman, Beatrice “Shall we?”  he drawled with a grin that this time reached his eyes and lit up his face with dry humour.  Trying to scowl at the man, she folded her arms across her expansive chest, her enormous iron frying pan dangling from her right hand, before returning his grin with a brief one of her own. “You’re crazy sugar” she laughed as she threaded her left arm through his and the pair sauntered off down the road and away from the crowd of panicking people.

the crowd of civlilans head toward Shaun and Beatrice
Andy stuck his head out of the back of the truck, trying to look in all directions at once.  Seeing no zombies in the immediate vicinity, none that were standing that was, he stepped out onto the road hefting the bloodstained oxygen cylinder in his right hand.  As he made his way down the side of the truck he noticed the blood trickling down the PC’s arm, “do you want me to clean and dress that dude?” he asked with a nod at the wound.  Spalling shook his head and pointed up at the hospital that loomed in the near distance, “naw mate, I’ll be fine just get her there will you. I’ll get this cleaned up back at the nick.”  Nodding Andy made his way to the cab and scrambled into the driver’s seat firing up the big diesel engine as he went.  Glancing into the rear of the vehicle through the viewing hatch he saw that Anna had sat in the attendant’s seat and shouted through for her to buckle up. Reaching above him to the lights console he slapped the “999” switch that engaged the emergency beacons and pressed his foot on the footplate that operated the sirens before peeling away in a cloud of tyre smoke.
Fanning the smell of burning rubber out of her nostrils, WPC Hives looked at her colleague and gestured toward the squad car around the corner where they had left the sarge and the kid.  PC Spalling nodded and they both broke into a jog heading toward Station Road.  Sgt Ellis by this time had had the same idea, as he sat by his puddle of vomit (and the broken body of the man he had pummelled) he longed for the sanctity of the police station and its familiar corridors. Looking over at the tear stained face of PC Harry Smith, he gestured kindly to the stricken boy and pointed at the car.  Turning quickly, he got behind the wheel of the Skoda Octavia and twisted the key, savagely gunning the engine.  Smith dived into the passenger side and quickly slammed the door just as Spalling and Hives piled into the back of the “panda car”.  Slamming his foot to the floor, Ellis turned the steering wheel full lock causing the back end to whip around facing the car in the right direction, dropping the hand brake the sarge barely kept the car under control as it leapt forward like a horse bolting from a burning stables, throwing the passengers back into their seats.
 
the ambo peels away 

the police head back to the squad car as the sirens from the ambo attract all kinds of trouble

the sarge puts his foot to the floor barely keeping control of the car.

Andy “Gobbo” Wosa skilfully guided the ambulance around the surprisingly tight corners around the hospital, still moving the truck at high speed and with sparing touches to the brake he negotiated the narrow approach road that led to the ambulance entrance at the Accident and Emergency department of the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother hospital [Gobbo passes a rather astonishing series of drive tests!].  So intent on his driving was he that he failed to hear the loud crunch of tortured metal nor see the rising smoke column that came from the direction that they had just come from….

Sgt Ellis, fear driving him like he drove the powerful squad car, pushed his foot flat to the floor as the images of the last few minutes played over in his head on a loop like crystal clear CCTV footage.  The “panda” responded eagerly and the big engine propelled the vehicle forward at high speed.  [sgt barely makes his drive skill test here] Ellis jerked the wheel to the right in an attempt to negotiate a gentle bend and over the level crossing, bumping the car over the tracks and causing the wheels to lose traction as the left the ground briefly.  With the sarge lead foot pushing the accelerator down hard, the tyres spun as they hit the tarmac skidding and failing to grip the road [Ellis failed his drive test and the car skidded forward d6 inches, I rolled a 6!, gulp].  PC Harry Smith looked up just in time to see the squad car heading toward a solid brick wall that separated the road from the old gas works, in the back PC Mike Spalling crossed himself and braced just as the Octavia hit the wall with a speed approaching 70 miles per hour.  WPC Anita Hives, prayed that her husband would keep her children safe as she felt herself lifted out of the backseat with the force of the impact… [Ellis never regained control of the car as he failed yet another drive skill test and couldn’t swerve out of the way, hitting the wall with disastrous results.]

the sarge loses control with fatal results





video

With the final flick of the brakes, Andy bought the ambulance to a safe halt just outside of the A&E doors.  Jumping down from the cab he headed to the back of the truck and opened the door before operating the tail lift.  Anna was already disconnecting the monitoring equipment from the mounting on the back of the vehicle and connecting the oxygen mask to the mobile canister that Gobbo had brained the zombie with.  Between the two of them they manoeuvred the trolley off of the ambulance and pushed the patient through the double doors of the A&E and into a scene of bedlam. 

Gobbo races down the narrow streets

the crew rush the patient into an A&E. (ignore the hideous curtains!)

a very hard-pressed jr doctor comes over to assess


hope you enjoyed Day One of my campaign, please feel free to comment.  If you would prefer a more traditional style AAR next time rather than the narrative then let me know.  Criticism is appreciated not rejected on this blog.

thank you 
dGG

31 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Alright greedy ;-)

      There will be more Martin, it will be a little while as I've got two big essays to write in the next couple of weeks....unless you want to do them for me? :-)

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  2. Absolutely stunning! I can only guess at the amount of work that has gone into this - it must be a real labour of love. Please, please keep doing this!

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    1. Thank you Hugh, as I'm sure you appreciate a lot of time and effort goes into these, but I do love doing it and I'm pleased people are enjoying them

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  3. Stunningly brilliant! As Hugh said, this be a real labour of love for you. I would certainly stick with the narrative format. It makes for a more exciting read. One thing I would like to know is this - did any of the police survive that horrendous car crash? I'm guessing not.

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    1. I will stick with it then Bryan and no sorry it was a complete disaster for the police...

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  4. I like how you have not forgotten the horror, the guilt, the momentary breakdown of emotion at `killing` a person... zombie or not, that's no small thing. American movies always miss that, and make grizzly movie time killing feel almost a compulsory every day la a laaa X Box occurrence. The way your characters can`t q-u-i-t-e bring themselves to say "zombie" but "infected people" its all just masterly.

    Once again, the scenery does not let you down; and that burning police car. WOW man!!! Like Bryan, I want to know the ultimate fate of the cops in that car? Somehow I get a distinct feeling that heavily charred and blooded zombie cops are going to emerge from the vehicle any time soon.

    more please.

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    1. Thanks Steve, my guess is that the guilt would be quite overwhelming especially when you have bludgeoned another person to "death". The police officer wasn't to know that the infection couldn't be reversed and as far as he was concerned he'd killed that human and robbed him of that chance, however he was defending himself and as I said in my reply to B sadly the cops didn't survive the crash.....

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  5. You GOT to keep going, and you got to collect all this together (make sure you keep all the photo proofs) and self publish this into a full novel.. or even a novelette, with someone like Lulu Publications, etc. This is extraordinarily good, and just keeps getting better.

    I wanna know about that bite on the shoulder.

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    1. I will keep going Tarot, another encounter is in the table ready for the first dice to be rolled....

      I'm keeping the work together on a drive and will look at collating at the end of the campaign, obviously the plot is unfolding as the game develops so will be interesting to see what happens.

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  6. .... and the curtains look just fine Andy.

    I cant say anything that hasn't already been said. This is incredible and sets a bar the likes of which I have not seen before in the zombie table top gaming battle report or/and narrative genre. We (in this household) have sat up and are taking notes for a true `master.`

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  7. Replies
    1. Not very man cave though Hil.... ;-)

      I appreciate your kind words though mate x

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  8. Narrative all the way! Well done sir!

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  9. Amazing street (and hospital) pictures, a great post!

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  10. Cracking stuff! Much prefer a narrative to AARs!

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  11. This is like the best episode of "casualty" ever!!!

    Cheers Roger.

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    1. Don't talk to me about Casualty Roger, I've been banned from watching it! I tend to start shouting things like "you can't shock Asystole!!" and "not once have I been in a bloody ambulance/car chase...."

      Thanks for reading :-)

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  12. Can't really top the comments already made, Andy. The narrative is the way to go - gripping stuff mate. I was concerned about the bites received by the coppers, so possibly the accident saved unnecessary carnage later on. You've set the bar very high for the rest of us - obviously we'll need to up our game. Congratulations and curses in equal measure. Back to the Patch! Must...be...AWESOME!!!

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    1. Thanks Jez, having read a sample of your own work you already are set to awesome. ;-)

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  13. Great story and an exciting read! Well done, can't wait for the next report. Hopefully things don't go too crazy as things unfold!

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  14. Fitting conclusion to day one and of course you have to write your aars up the way you want.
    I did like the stroyiline nd how you;ve handled the various elements in it (except for the Hollywood exploding car!)

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    1. thank you Joe. Sorry about the exploding car but a little theater doesn't hurt mate. I know exploding cars are rare, and usually only after some time being on fire. But in my defence the rules and the dice rolls meant all of the coppers died in the crash and this was too satisfying....

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  15. Brilliant stuff dGG. I like this style of story telling.

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    1. thanks Rod, glad you liked it as there is more to come

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