June 6th, 2008
Ryan had just finished his speech, and nobody moved. He glanced slowly around the room, making eye contact with each Fool in turn, and met a grim and determined face from nearly all of them.
He continued. "Alright then, excellent. I'll give you more information later, but for now, your assignments. Peace, how are your lock picking skills these days?"
Peace replied smartly as he stood up. "Sharp as tacks, sir."
"Excellent. Rule number six. I want you to go outside, upstairs, and get us into the apartment above us." Peace nodded and rummaged through is bookbag before bolting out the door.
"Wait," Cowboy spoke up. "Rule six?"
Beard filled in the information as he drew a weathered book from his duffel. "Rule number six from the Zombie Survival Guide - Get up the staircase, then destroy it."
"Bingo," Ryan confirmed. "We'll have a much better chance of survival once we can get into the apartment above us. That'll be our base of operations from here on out. Kamikaze?"
"Yes, Captain!" she saluted with her response.
"You're on staircase duty. I'll help you find some tools, and then I want you to start dismantling the staircase to the apartment above. I've got a ladder, so that'll be our access once the stairs are gone. That'll keep most things at bay. Try and save what wood you can, we may need it later for cooking if the power doesn't come back." She raised her hand.
"What about your arm?"
"Oh. Oh this?" He raised his arm with the red stained bandage. "This is nothing. We'll worry about this later."
She walked over. "We'll worry about this as soon as we are upstairs, okay? I want to make sure we clean and bandage it properly."
Kamikaze checked his bandage briefly before heading outside. Ryan took a moment to regain his thoughts, caught off guard by how adamant she was.
"Beard. Go ahead and move to Phase Three of the Emergency Zed Plan, as you see fit. Snowsuit up, buddy." Beard nodded, slung a bag over his shoulder, and headed out the door.
Rubble looked hesitant. "If there's zombies about, should we be worried about being outside, undefended?" he asked, nervously.
Ryan grinned. "Got it under control. Phase Three is to secure the perimeter. Beard is on scout patrol while we're putting things in order. He'll be roaming the nearby area looking for defensible positions, choke points, and any stragglers that may wander by."
Rubble nodded. "Nicely done."
"That's why we have the Plan. Rubble and Angel Hair, you two are porters. I set things in a pile in the living room, you two make it go upstairs by stairway and then ladder. Got it?"
They groaned in unison. Ryan shrugged, unapologetic. "Sorry guys, there's gonna be a lot of stuff, and some of it can get kinda heavy. I'm counting on you two working together to get it done. Think of it as your hazing." High fives exchanged hands as they set to work gathering up supplies.
Everybody had left to work on their individual assignments except Cowboy, who sat looking at Ryan expectantly. "Just us, right T.Rex?" he asked, excited. "Betcha you've got a special job lined up just for us Billy Badasses."
Ryan looked at his feet before responding. "Well buddy, you and I have the very important job of gathering useful supplies from this downstairs apartment and piling them in the living room for Rubble and Angel Hair to move."
"Weaksauce," Cowboy replied.
They set out scouring the apartment for anything they thought might be useful against what Ryan hoped would be a short siege. They found more batteries, rope, matches, and made sure to grab Ryan's Mag-Lite flashlight.
"Just make sure you don't get anything too heavy, or that needs power, Cowboy, because we can't be sure the power will come back in time." Ryan warned, as they piled a long torchiere in the living room.
"Wait, how long is 'in time', exactly?" Cowboy asked, seeming worried.
"Couldn't say for sure. I hope no more than a day or two, but I can't even get a hold of the Purdue Police," Ryan admitted. "Power is out, and I found evidence of several attacks all on my own. I have no way of knowing for sure how far it may have spread without my computer. The best we can do is prepare for the worst, and hope for the best. I'm guessing that we can hole up upstairs and stay low for a few days before the authorities get their heads out of their asses, and put together a plan to clear out the campus. Unless something gets out of control, we don't have to resort to a Redeker strategy."
"Ryan, what the hell is a Redeker strategy? Is that gonna go on my inappropriate references counter?" Cowboy seemed almost annoyed and held out his hands as a warning.
"Sorry. It's from the Zombie Survival Guide again. I'll go over more of the details when we get settled upstairs."
"I hope that's soon, because it's really freakin' hot in here."
"I know, Cowboy. I know."
Together they gathered some low tech entertainment - playing cards, a few books and a board game. Alex's room had some candles that Stephanie had given him, and those were confiscated towards the war effort. Almost all of the electronics were left behind, but not before being emptied of batteries. Ryan grabbed his cell phone charger in case they ever got power back. They took the ski poles from under Ryan's bed, bleach, toilet paper, and soap from the bathroom, and every inch of duct tape they could find. They grabbed any clean towels and Ryan's personal grooming kit.
"Are you really worried about growing some stubble?" Cowboy joked, as they ransacked the bathroom.
"Rule number five." Ryan replied, before remembering not everybody had memorized the list. "Ideal protection is tight clothes and short hair."
"You mean you're gonna cut your hair?" Cowboy asked, incredulous.
"It's gone as soon as we get some time tonight." Ryan replied, brushing the curls from his forehead.
A first aid kit from the linen closet and two sleeping bags joined the pile of goods being transported upstairs before Cowboy and T.Rex moved to the kitchen. They piled any non-perishable food into trash bags, leaving the cabinets bare. As Ryan wrapped the steak knife set in a hand towel, he wondered how long they might last with the food at hand, especially without power.
The food in the refrigerator had been without power for a few hours, and it was uncertain when it might come back. They opened the fridge door and quickly emptied it of anything that could be taken upstairs without worry of spoilage - including cans of soda.
Just then, Peace ran into the kitchen and skidded to a stop. "T.Rex!" he shouted. "You gotta come see this."
Current Word Count: 9,928