OOC: Walkers from the east: 57/99 dead, 6 with 9 damage to head, 6 with 8 damage to head - 30 zombies inside (18 in hallway near Samantha, 2 on lower stairs with 8 damage to abdomen, 7 damage to right arm, 3 near bottom of stairs, 3 in hallway near Azadeh with 4 damage to right leg, 7 to right arm, 4 to right arm), 4 in the hallway at the eastern end Runners from the east: 18/19 dead, 1 with 9 damage to head in hallway grabbing Samantha IC: In the comm room- "I know you could shoot me, Ramirez," said Lereux, "but if I lower my weapon I'm a dead man anyway. Malone's going to kill me - unless you or McCain do it first. Even if you do kill me, I'll still pull this trigger. If I go down, I'm taking her with me." "I'm not going to negotiate with terrorists," said Malone. "He isn't lowering his weapon in any case. And someone really ought to take that call." "Don't even think about it." The captain nodded to Lt. Blanco. "You can answer, Doctor." "Yes, sir," said Lt. Blanco. She went over to the microphone and depressed the button to talk. "Sir, this is Lt. Blanco. We have a situation here. Over." "What kind of situation?" asked Lt. Colonel Carmichael, concern evident in his voice. "Why aren't I speaking to Lt. Malone?" "Tell him," said Lereux. "Sir, Captain Lereux returned with several survivors from the diner to retake command. He tried to arrest her, but she is refusing to give up command and others are helping her resist." On the motel balcony- Thayer began to twitch, his anxiety and tension rising with each passing second. Gary had too much on his mind to notice, but Baldwin saw it. "Chill out, man," he said. "I'm sure this will all be straightened out soon." Thayer gritted his teeth and spat at the big black man. "Shut yer piehole, ni-" He paused for a second. "Nincompoop." Baldwin stared back at him, looming over him and pointing his rifle at him. "I know what you were going to say, you racist sack of slime!" "Easy, there," said Gary. "Shooting him isn't going to solve anything." "It'd make me feel a hell of a lot better, that's for damn sure!" "Just try it!" shouted Thayer, bringing up his own rifle. David walked around the southeast corner of the motel and stood beside Malanowski. "You're not thinking about shooting my friends, are you?" he asked. He held his Sig Sauer casually in his hand, not pointed at anyone yet. "I'd really rather not," Malanowski answered. "That's good to hear. You give a rat's ass about who's in charge now?" "Yeah. Yeah, I do." In the medic's room- Zorie Spooner and Phillips stood near the door. "Well, I'm not hearing anything," she said. "I guess that's a good sign." Phillips nodded, but he couldn't help thinking that this might just be the calm before the storm. On the motel's roof- Sheen kept searching the low grass east of the collapsing diner, but still couldn't find any targets. In the diner parking lot- Impossibly, the zombie with the sucking chest wound from a grenade blast at close range ran towards the exit from the diner and the two men standing nearby. Hockey shot again, barely hitting and finishing the creature off. "Scratch two hostiles," he said to Willie. "Nice shooting, young man," said Willie. "The name's Hockey. Airman Justin Hockey." Willie shook hands with him. "You can call me Willie. I've seen quite a bit of action in my long life, but I'm nowhere near as good as you are. I'm a war correspondent." On the roof of the diner- Azadeh struggled to climb back onto the roof under her own power, but couldn't pull her legs back up. The three zombies from the kitchen arrived below her and reached for them, but somehow they stumbled over each other in their haste to get at her and none of them could grab hold. Unfortunately, Azadeh could not hold onto the edge of the roof. Her fingers slipped and she plunged into the ruined diner below, looking up desperately at Luke. She landed badly, rendered unconscious from the fall. The zombies closed in hungrily. Samantha also tried to pull herself back up, but she couldn't find purchase either. She did, however, maintain her grip. The zombie beneath her tried for her legs again, seizing her and almost plunging its teeth into her soft flesh. She twisted out of the way of its teeth, but it still wrapped its arms around her legs and began to crush them. Then the horde of slower zombies surrounded her. Only two of them had room to try to get her, The first one bit her calf deeply. Held in place by the faster zombie, she could not escape this time. The pain was nearly unbearable and she screamed in agony, but she managed to stay conscious and keep her wits about her. The second ghoul couldn't get past the others to feast on her. (Luke, all three zombies near Azadeh are at point blank range. You may shoot one before they get a chance to act. You could also reach Samantha next round; you don't know for sure that she's been bitten or grabbed, but if you did that you'd be abandoning Azadeh. With the zombie grabbing her, you'll need to roll a STR vs. STR Resistance roll first to break its hold - it has a STR of 20, but you may combine her STR of 8 with your own, giving you a 50% chance. If that succeeds, you could then try a STR vs. SIZ Resistance roll to pull her up. Her SIZ is only 9. She was also supposed to have 10 HP total and not 9, so I fixed that.) In the diner- The four straggling walkers finally reached the diner and clawed their way inside over the broken eastern wall. They headed for the big group surrounding Samantha. In the helicopter- As the helicopter flew onwards, it passed a horde of two or three hundred zombies shambling west on the highway far below. "They must have come from Ogallala," said Erica Spears. (Bob, roll Spot Hidden.) In the warehouse- Kimberly ran towards the line of defenders, only to stumble and fall. Joe's momentum carried him past her, but he was able to stop not far beyond her when he saw her go down. The zombies closed in on her, the runner in the lead and two walkers trailing it. Sally remained cool and collected, as did Michael and Rosie. Randall nearly lost it, but managed to keep his head. The runner pounced on Kimberly, embracing her and starting to devour her. Her fall had stunned her and she could not evade it. It ripped a decent-sized chunk from her left arm. "She can survive a bite!" called Sally, taking aim at the closest walker. "We can still save her!" She fired at its head, only barely hitting, but it was more than sufficient to take out the ghoul before it could reach her. Michael reacted slowly, and the second walker lunged for Kimberly, but luckily it just missed her. Michael fired three bullets at its head, hitting twice and destroying it. The missed shot was heading right for Kimberly, and she couldn't move while she was pinned down. It gouged a furrow in her left thigh, but she narrowly held onto consciousness. "Sod me!" he cried. Randall shot the runner in the head with his M-16, and it expired on top of Kimberly. Rosie rushed over to her and looked up at Joe. "Help me get her back to the stairs, before more of them come!" In the lower hatch chamber- "Come on," said Kerry. She swallowed her fears and led Lynne and Mrs. Foo into the meeting room. "Oh, dear," said Mrs. Foo. "I hope my husband okay." In the meeting room- The three women entered the meeting room just as Ellen ran into the living quarters. In the living quarters- Ellen rushed through the living quarters. "Mr. Foo!" she shouted. As she ran, she saw the monster go down. While she couldn't see much past it, she was relieved to see it fall. In the upper lab hallway- "We're all alive and mostly well!" called Mr. Foo. "Alice is seriously injured, though. Stay back from us and this thing! I have reason to believe that it has infected all of us!" "You mean like Judith Reagan was?" asked Jenny, gulping. "Oh, no...wait, maybe we can find or develop a cure down here. The scientists here must have been working on one, so if we can find their research it would help." "Yes, and there could be something that would help on that reel of tape. Ellen, go back upstairs and seal that hatch! It was locked for a very good reason, and these things mustn't get out of this place. While you're up there, we need fresh a 9-volt battery sent down so we can get the reel-to-reel working." "But I can't!" she yelled back. "Ellen, you must lock us down here, for everybody's safety." "No, it's not that - the diner's been breached! We were going to lock ourselves in to keep them out, then escape through the tunnels." "Have we seen any running water on this level?" asked Duke, helping Jim treat Alice. She was still far too weak and injured to move under her own power. "I believe there was a sink in that alcove off the meeting room, but if that water is anything like the water up in the prison I wouldn't chance drinking it. But what are we going to drink?" "The PMS compound must have water," said Mr. Foo. "We'd better find a cure fast. We can only last a few days without water - and that's if the infection doesn't get us first." "We can do it!" said Jenny. "I'm a scientist...well, a lab assistant anyway. I'm not as skilled as Stephanie, but I'll give it my all." She looked at her burns from the creature's tentacles, but couldn't do anything for them. "I know quite a bit about biology and other sciences," said Duke. "Between the two of us we should be able to come up with something." He examined Alice's skin where the creature's tentacle had touched it. He was able to bandage her very effectively. "It burned right through her shirt and into her flesh." "Yes, but it wasn't like an acid exactly. That creature must have come in through the vent. Wait, how would it have fit?" "We've seen it alter its shape," said Mr. Foo, coming over to help her and patching her up. "It may have been able to squeeze through by contorting itself. It's also possible that it wasn't always so big. It might have been smaller when it broke through, and grown when it ate the flesh off of that skeleton - presumably Kirby. Or - well, you're not going to like this, but there may be more than one of them."