Ronnie Jerimiah wasn’t amused to see the three of them but at least they brought some light, if the cell phone and PDA could be called that. He’d been hiding in the dark for over a day and hadn’t been able to see anything down here. As the others laid out unconscious Luke on a table and looked for places to lay down, Ronnie checked out the basement. There was a lot of junk storage but more interesting was the workbench and tools, the Styrofoam cooler with 4 beers, the barrels of old Civil Defense supplies, the ancient furnace in the corner and most importantly the dark and foreboding hole in the wall.
The hole was formerly a bricked up doorway. The weak light couldn’t penetrate the darkness but did reveal numerous dirty footprints coming and going through the hole. There was also the clear stench of death emanating from the opening. They only rested long enough for Luke Bruce to regain consciousness. Then the four of them grabbed various heavy hand tools and stepped into the unknown. A short passage led to a ledge with a small corroded ladder dropping 3 feet into an old brick tunnel. The arched roof and narrow central trough made it appear to be an old sewer. It was only about 8 feet wide and utterly dark. The decision was made to go to the right.
Traveling by the weak light of the cell phone and PDA was difficult. The pale light barely extended more than 5 to 10 feet. It was enough to pick up barefoot prints on the tunnel floor and moist debris in the small central channel. Sometimes there were bones. Suspicious bones. And when they came to a decomposed zombie pulling itself toward them, the lights picked that up. They smashed it. At one point, a smaller tunnel to the right could be seen to exit to sunlight but there were bars blocking the exit so they continued. Not long after they realized they weren’t alone.
Behind them came the sound of several footfalls – the sound of bare feet slapping against the hard floor. About this time they passed another circular side tunnel on the left. Briefly a pair of glowing eyes were illumined by the cell phone – eyes that seemed awfully large for an animal. They picked up the pace and then heard numerous feet behind them. Ahead of them they could see that they or whatever was following them was driving a pack of rats down the tunnel. And then they caught a glimpse of a wretched creature in the feeble light. It had once been human. The thing was naked and covered in filth with blue-gray skin and lank hair. It’s eyes were alive and full of spite and it’s mouth filled with shattered teeth. It’s hands were contorted and ended in bony claws where the flesh hand been peeled back. The thing hissed and bounded into the darkness. Behind them something took a swing and raked Buttermilk’s leather jacket.
The creatures clicked and hissed in the darkness calling to each other. Luke, Johnny, and Ronnie hurried down the tunnel looking for another exit while while the creatures grew bolder. Soon they were dashing up when the lights weren’t quite pointed at them and taking a swipe. Luke fell a little behind and was overwhelmed. He went down in a tumult of claws and teeth. Ronnie turned back during one such attack and shot one creature with his 9mm but it came at a price. The thing howled and leaped back into the darkness and another attacked Ronnie from behind leaving 4 wicked claw marks cutting the producer down to the ribs. Just then cell phone and PDA gave out. They were thrust into darkness.
Ronnie shot again and again. With each shot the tunnel was briefly illumined by the flash. Behind them the tunnel was a churning mass of the creatures loping after them. Each time they would recoil from the noise and light of the gun. Ahead of them were fewer of the creatures. They began running as fast as they could in the dark with only the muzzle flash to illumate the way. Salim tripped on something and went down hard. He was stunned but Buttermilk pulled him up out of the grasping claws not a moment too soon. Ronnie kept shooting ahead and behind. Then they saw a feeble light from a sewer tunnel 3 ft up the left wall. .
The 5 ft high concrete sewer pipe led to an open manhole. Ronnie let the others pass while he shot into the darkness. His companions made it out but when he tried to some thing grabbed his ankle and wouldn’t let go. He couldn’t free himself and was being pulled back into the sewer. Buttermilk saved him with a burst of superhuman strength.
They were free of the sewers but not safe. Within seconds three nearby zombies had closed the distance and were attacking. Fortunately these runners were nothing like what was below ground and after an initial struggle the zombies were put down. The three exhausted survivors began checking the nearby vehicles for keys and found a young girl in a bus. She told them the deli lady in the delicatessen had some keys but she was a monster. They resolved to get those keys and flee to the small National Guard post that Luke had mentioned.
On the count of three Salim through open the front door and Ronnie rushed with his pistol up. Behind the counter was a rotund female zombie in a white apron. It turned toward them and Ronnie double tapped the bitch in the chest. “You got nailed by the Ronster!”. They quickly found the keys and some canned soup and escaped in the clerk’s Saturn.
4.5 Runner Killed
0 Runner Wounded
1 Hungry Dead Wounded
1 Player Killed (Luke Bruce)