Chapter 3: Containment of the DEAD
Author's Note Part 1: Alright, third chapter! I'm doing my best to remain focused on this, so I don't suddenly spiral back into a hiatus or writer's block. For this chapter, we have the introduction of this series' equivalent of Rais… At least, in regards to his status as the bigger human antagonist. Likening him to Rais in any other way would just be insulting to Suleiman…
Anyways, this chapter will introduce quite a few more changes to Canon, with the main ones being shown near the beginning while the group is still taking the time to rest and get used to the new "normal" they'll be dealing with… I've been hinting towards it in the past couple chapters, but this one will actually show it.
One last thing, I had to make another change to previous writing, and one of the scenes in the last chapter was altered slightly. Due to watching through the third episode and noticing the ocean (even though it was also shown in episode 1), as well as googling certain areas, the newscast in the previous episode where the newswoman talks about the "Saitama Prefecture" had some info altered so she's talking about "Tokonosu City" instead.
Anyways, I don't have much else to say early on here, so I'll just get to writing the chapter so that you guys can enjoy it.
3rd Person POV:
It takes a few more seconds, but the static on screen eventually changes to a more flowery picture with the words "Please Standby" written on it. After a few seconds of the picture, with frantic voices being heard in the background, the screen changes once again to show an anchorwoman behind a desk, who's handed a sheet of paper, and turns to face the camera.
"Uh, there, seems to be a problem occurring at the scene. For now, we'll bring you the story from inside the studio. The situation outside seems to be extremely chaotic, so stay inside your homes unless it is absolutely necessary to leave. We'll bring you more stories as soon as it's safe to bring you more information from the site." She says, before the screen is replaced by the picture from before. Unfortunately for some, that's not enough information.
Slamming his fist on the desk beside him, Takashi grits his teeth in anger. "Is that all? Why didn't they tell us anything else?" He asks in anger. After a couple seconds, the resident genius answers his question, drawing everyone's attention.
"They're afraid of causing a panic." Takagi says as she adjusts her glasses while looking towards the windows.
"A panic?" Rei asks, raising a hand towards her chest and clenching it in worry.
"Yeah you idiot!" The pinkette exclaims, turning to face the room. "First panic, then chaos. And chaos causes a disruption of order. And then… When order is disrupted… Well, you should just hand it all over to the walking corpses!" Takagi says in annoyance, while Zach takes the remote from Saeko, and changes the channel once again in order to attempt to get some more information on what's occurring. Luckily, it seems some other stations are willing to give more information, despite what Takagi said.
"This unusual biological virus that has begun to spread through Tokonosu City, has begun to be put under control by the self-defense force. It has been concluded from multiple eyewitness accounts, that the virus seems to be extremely similar to the Harran Virus, which was recently vaccinated only a few months ago by doctors Imran Zere, and Allen Camden." The newswoman onscreen says, the background behind her showing footage of the self-defense force sitting behind barricades, their guns at the ready in case the infected show up.
"Through quick discussions with the Global Relief Effort and the Ministry of Defense, it has been decided that the areas affected by the virus will be treated similarly to Harran, and they will be walled off from the unaffected areas, with constant surveillance. As a result, the Tokonosu City will be quarantined, and those living within the walls will receive constant airdrops for supplies." The newswoman continues, the footage changing to show planes being loaded with the same crates that Zach remembered rushing to open during his time in Harran.
"Parts of the affected area have been set ablaze, while other areas have multiple reports of looting. Due to the quarantine being put into effect, the government officials have decided- Ktchhhh State of- Ktchhhh" Unfortunately, the newswoman's words are cut off by static, the screen also being affected before going back to normal for a few seconds, and then going to complete static, with no more sound coming through. As a result, Zach shuts off the screen, before turning to face the rest of the group, who were all reacting to the news in their own ways.
"This is crazy." Kohta says, running a hand through his hair. "Everything was normal when I checked the news this morning…" He trails off, taking out his phone and tapping away at it to see if he could get more info.
"I can't believe it… It spread all through the entire city in only a couple hours…?" Rei asks, stumbling back to Takashi's side. "But… They're going to stop it, right? They'll stop it from spreading, and things will go back to normal soon…" Rei says, her tone suggesting that she was saying this mostly to reassure herself as she grabbed one of Takashi's sleeves. In response to her words, Zach can only sigh.
"Rei." He says, making the brunette turn to face him. "In a way, you're right… They are going to contain it. After all, that's what the news just told us… Unfortunately, those of us within the walls are counted as part of keeping it from being spread. They already said, it's been decided that this is going to be treated like Harran was… And that means, that besides the airdrops… We're gonna be on our own for the next few months at least." He says with a grimace.
Shaking his head, he turns to face the group, noticing how they were all looking at him. …Reminds me of how all of us in The Tower looked to Brecken and Crane… He thinks to himself, before mentally shaking his head to clear it. "Right. First things first. We get the microbus, and we get out of the school. Honestly, with how it's closed off, it's like one of the Quarantine Zones in Harran. Full of useful supplies, but overrun with the dead…" He trails off, walking over to the window and looking out through the blinds.
"And what do we do after we get out of the grounds?" Takashi asks, making Zach think about it as his eyes roam over the courtyard below, and the amount of Biters that were shambling around.
"We can figure that out after we get further away from this place." He says as he turns around to face everyone. "Our main priority right now is getting away from the school, which is absolutely swarming with Biters right now. Not only that, but based on what I saw, there aren't many other infected in the areas around the school. So, when we leave, we need to make sure that we close the gates behind us." He says, getting looks of confusion from everyone else.
"Why is that? Wouldn't it just waste time?" Saeko asks, genuine confusion in her tone. In response, Zach nods.
"In a way, yes. It'll waste a bit of our time getting out of here. But, in the long run, it's one of our best options." He says to her, turning to make sure he was talking to everyone else. "We're going to be stuck here, walled off from the rest of the world. As a result, taking out, or limiting the amount of undead we have to deal with is something we should focus on when we get the chance. Avoiding them is another option, and one that's actually preferable when you don't have the means to take out multiple at once, like our current situation." He tells them, before turning to look out the window towards the main gates.
"But… Closing the gates behind us, and keeping all the students and teachers who turned into Biters trapped on school grounds? It might not seem like a lot, but it'll keep a few hundred zombies stuck in this area, unable to wander around the city and either crowd up areas, or turn more unsuspecting survivors." He says as he allows the blinds to snap back into place, and grab a chair as he walks towards the TV, placing it beneath the television, and then climbing on top of it to start messing with the back of it.
"And what are you doing now? I thought you said we need to get out of here?" Takagi asks with a bit of annoyance, making Zach turn his head towards her, even as he keeps one eye on the back of the TV.
"Right now? I'm seeing what I can do to better our chances." He says, managing to rip a part of the back off, and reaching in and pulling out components, whiles also unplugging it's power cable from the ceiling. "The rest of you, look around for anything that you think might be helpful. Cellphones, gauze, duct tape, chemicals, etcetera." He says as he moves a few piles of books off one of the desks and puts the items he'd grabbed onto the open space.
"Whatever you find, pile here. I'll explain in a few minutes, but this'll actually help us get out of here and to the minibus. It might take us a bit extra time, but it'll make our chances that much better." He says as he walks into the bathroom, and starts to grab some other items out of the cabinets. As he does this, the rest of the group shares a few shrugs, before looking around the teacher's lounge, grabbing some random things since they weren't entirely sure what Zach was looking for.
A few minutes later, Zach was stood at the desk looking over the pile of items in front of him, including cellphones, a few other power cords, some chemicals from the cabinets, string from a few of the desks, a few batteries, a few nails from the bag Takagi had, some aerosol cans, duct tape, sugar from the cabinets above the kitchenette, as well as a few different items that were made out of metal or plastic. He'd also been lucky enough to find a crowbar in the closet.
Keeping an eye on the items on the desk, as well as what the others in the group had on hand for weapons, Zach nodded to himself. "Right. Takashi, gimme your bat for a few minutes. I'll work on that first." He says, holding out a hand for the weapon in question.
"Uh… Alright." The raven haired teen says, giving Zach the bat, which the brunet places on the desk to the right of the items, before grabbing a few of them and sitting on a chair in front of it. Under the watchful eyes of the rest of the group, Zach took a few minutes to use some of the power cables, batteries and nails they'd found, while also doing his best to break apart the plastic items, and utilize what metal pieces he could, duct taping most of the items onto the bat.
A few minutes later, and he stood up, holding the bat in front of him, most of the upper length now having sparks dancing across the metal pieces attached. Turning around to see the shocked looks on everyone's faces, he handed Takashi the bat, making sure that the raven haired teen grabbed it by the rubber handle. "There you go Takashi. One "Tru-Action Electric Baseball", ready for use." He says with a smirk.
"Woah…" His friend said in surprise, looking at the electricity dancing along a good portion of the bat. "This is badass…" He says with a smirk, getting one in return from Zach.
"Eh, it's alright. If I had some other things, more time, and maybe something different from a bat, then I could make something really useful. But for now…" He trails off, turning around and grabbing some more items, as well as the crowbar. Taking another few minutes to craft another weapon, during which he directed some others in the group to grab what snacks and drinks the teachers had left behind, he eventually stood back up, now holding the crowbar, which had a constant flame being let off near the end of it. "And now, I introduce you to the "Zazhigalka"… Others at The Tower believed it was Russian for "Smash your enemy's face in and then set him on fire"… Of course, they could be wrong." He says with a chuckle.
Looking to the side, he saw Rei's makeshift spear, and Busujima's bokken. "Rei, you want me to do something about that?" He asks, nodding towards the spear in her hands. His fellow brunette thinks it over for a few seconds, before nodding, handing him the spear. It takes him a few extra minutes, before he hands Rei her spear back, the tip of which was now sparking with electricity. "It's not as good as Takashi's electric modification, but since yours is actually able to pierce their bodies, I figured it evens out. I present to you, one version of "Ben Franklin's Key"." He says with a smirk, getting a nod from Rei as she takes the spear back from him.
Looking over at the bokken in Busujima's hands, he looks up at her face with a raised eyebrow. "Would you like anything done to that, Ms. Busujima?" He asks the purplette, causing her to glance down at her bokken, before shaking her head as she raises her eyes to look at Zach.
"No, thank you for the offer however, Carter." She says, getting a nod from him in response as he takes the leftover items on the desk, and stashes them into his backpack. Slinging his backpack over his shoulders once again, he looks around at the group around him, all ready to follow him out into the Biter-filled halls.
"Right. We pick up what survivors we can along the way, and see if they want to come with us." He says, flinching slightly. "Unfortunately, since this school has a microbus, and we don't have some of the better weapons like I did in Harran, we can't take the time to actively look for survivors, since it's too much of a risk, and they might not all fit into the bus." He says, before shaking his head. "That being said, those we do come across, we offer a place. Takashi, Kohta, help me remove the barricade. You girls… Double check everything, make sure we have all that we can bring." He says, getting nods from the others in the group as Takashi and Kohta walk up to the barricade with him, leaving their weapons with Rei and Takagi respectively.
A few minutes later, the group was stood near one of the outer stairways, looking out over the courtyard and the numerous Biters roaming around. Luckily, but also worrying to Zach, none of the zombies below even seemed to notice their presence. What's worrying is that they should either smell, or "see" us, even from this distance. The fact that they don't… He trails off while mentally shaking his head, and turning his head slightly to look at the others. "Right. A few tips I can give you are as follows. As I'm pretty sure we've all realized by now, try not to make too much noise. They're drawn to that like moths to a flame." He says, nodding towards a part of the fence where some of the zombies were banging on it, drawing the attention of nearby ones.
The others nod, while Takagi shifts her arms beneath her chest. "Like Carter said, keep it quiet. What's more, they're strong enough to rip through regular doors, so once they get a hold on you they'll tear you to shreds. So be careful." She says with a slight glare at nothing in particular. Unfortunately, before Zach can voice his mounting worry at the newest change to the infected he'd learned about, everyone's attention is brought to the scream that echoes through the air, coming from the stairway they were practically standing next to.
Without even sharing a glance, the group rushes towards the stairway, throwing open the doors leading outside. The sight that greets them is a group of four students on the landing below, with five Biters shambling down the stairs towards them, as well as one already laid out on the ground with its head smashed open. As one of them starts to close in on the group, and the guy at the front gets ready to hit it with the bat in his hands, Kohta quickly takes aim, and takes it out with a hail straight to its brain.
Following that, Saeko leaps off the railing onto the landing below, her bokken swinging down and crushing another Biter's skull, while Takashi charges down the stairs, swinging his bat at the one in front of him, and sending it crashing into the railing besides it with a heavy dent in its head. While this is happening, Rei faces one that had turned around at the sound of Kohta firing the nail gun, stabbing it through the heart. Unlike if she'd tried this earlier, thanks to the modifications made by Zach, when she pulls the spear out of the corpse, it's left to twitch erratically with electricity dancing along it's body.
The twitching causes it to lose what little footing it had, and crumple down the stairs that it had previously been climbing up. Finally, the last Biter that was still up continues to walk down the stairs towards the smaller group, only for Zach to come up behind it, and smash his crowbar over it's head, causing the body to crumple to the ground, even as the top of the uniform that still remained caught fire. As the situation calms down, the two groups face one another. "Thank you." One of the girls starts, only for Saeko to speak up.
"Keep it down." She tells the new group, Zach nodding as he raises a finger to his lips, his crowbar gesturing at the other Biters in the courtyard below them. "Is anyone bitten yet?" the purplette asks, getting confused looks from the other group for a few seconds.
"What? No, no one." The blue haired girl of the group says, shaking her head. As she does so, Rei takes a glance over their uniforms, before looking back at her group.
"It looks okay. We'll be alright." She says, getting a nod from Zach as Takashi walks down the stairs to join them.
"We're gonna be taking the microbus out of the school grounds. Do any of you want to join us?" The brunet asks, lifting his crowbar onto his shoulder, even as he takes a few glances around to make sure the little scuffle hadn't drawn the attention of any nearby Biters.
"S-sure." The bluenette says, getting a nod from Zach in response.
"Alright then." He says, looking over what they have as weapons, before narrowing his eyes at what he assumes is a coatrack of some kind, pointing at it and drawing the group's attention. "While that's good for making the Biter's keep their distance, in a crowded area like this school, it's not a very good weapon. You're more likely to constantly hit it into walls, and draw more of them." He says, getting a flinch from the student holding it. "I'm not saying it's a bad weapon, just not a good one for this situation." He tells the kid, making him look between the item in his hands and Zach.
"But then… What should I do?" He asks, making Zach frown as he looks around to see if there's anything nearby he could use. Unfortunately, with where they currently are, there's nothing for him to use.
"…For now, hold onto it. But keep an eye on it. The last thing we need is to travel too fast, and as a result the end of that hits into the stair's railing. That would be like ringing the dinner bell for everything underneath us." He says, turning to face the student again. "At the moment, stay near the middle with the girls. The long reach you have will even out the fact that you're further back." He says, getting a nervous nod from the teen in response. "Right then. Let's get to the entrance." He says to everyone else, getting nods all around before the now-larger group makes their way down the staircase, and into the school once again.
It takes them a few minutes, with Zach, Takashi, Saeko, Rei and Kohta taking out the Biters that were in their way, Takazawa from the other group joining them, but the group of survivors eventually makes it to the staircase leading to the school's main entrance. Unfortunately, they're forced to stop at the top, due to the fact that the entire area is filled with undead. "Man… There are a bunch of them…" Takashi comments as the group stays hidden behind the railing.
"From what I can tell, the only thing they react to are sounds. They can't actually see us, so it's pointless to hide from them." Takagi comments from her place near the middle of the group, the other group that had joined them taking up the rear to watch for Biters behind them. Zach raises an eyebrow as he turns to look at her.
"And you actually tested this?" He asks, making the pinkette frown as she turns to look at him.
"They don't react to anything hitting them, and they immediately turn in the direction of the nearest or loudest sound." She tells him, making him sigh in response.
"Right, but did you actually walk in front of one?" He asks, making Takagi give a huff as pink dusts her cheeks and she avoids his eyes. "I'll take that as a no… Shit." He mutters, turning to face the shambling crowd of Biters below them once again.
"…Someone needs to go down there and test Takagi's theory." Saeko says from her place beside the others. "I don't suppose you wanna volunteer." She says with a sideways glance at the pinkette in question. In response to her words, Takagi averts her gaze, making Zach sigh as he runs a hand through his hair.
"…I'll test it." He says as he starts towards the stairs, before a hand is placed on his shoulder, making him turn to see it's Takashi.
"Hey, wait a minute man." He says, Saeko turning to face them as she straightens out and puts a hand on her bokken.
"I should be the one to go." She says, only for Zach to shake his head at the two, and lightly brush Takashi's hand off his shoulder.
"No. I've got the experience. If Takagi's right, then there's nothing to worry about. If she's wrong, then I can deal with it if one actually attacks me." He says, turning again and starting down the stairs. "But you two be ready just in case something does go wrong. You can never be sure of anything, after all." He mutters to them as he walks closer to the Biters, doing his best to avoid drawing them to his voice so that he can get an accurate test on Takagi's theory.
It takes a few seconds, since all the Biters are facing away from him in one way or another, but once he gets into the middle of them all, Zach can feel the familiar rush of adrenalin filling his body in case he needed to run, as well as a couple beads of sweat on his forehead. He tightens his grip on his crowbar as the Biters walk around him, just in case he needs to crush one's head. The others watch the situation from the stairs, Saeko getting her bokken at the ready just in case she needs to help him.
After a few more seconds of looking around, Zach looks towards the main entrance, and sees a Biter in the way. It was shambling, but it was walking almost directly in his direction, swaying from side to side. He raised the crowbar a little just in case, before his grip lightened as he recognized the situation. It's almost like… He trails off, before breathing a sigh of relief when the white-eyed Biter walks right past him. Like when Crane gave me one of those Cloak Potions… He thinks, flinching slightly at the mental reminder of the putrid taste the "cloak" had as a tradeoff…
Shaking his head to clear it, he looks around the area, nodding when he's sure it wasn't just a one time occurrence, before seeing a bloodied shoe by his foot. Nodding his head, he bends down, picks it up, and then tosses it at one of the shoe lockers further into the building, and away from the main doors. As all the Biters turn in that direction and start shambling towards the shoe, Zach turns and walks back to the group, climbing up a few of the stairs so he could look at them.
"Alright, Takagi was right. They only work off sound. Which means that silence is golden in the coming months. C'mon, let's get to the bus." He says, before looking past his group at the smaller one joining them. "You guys, we're good. No need to keep an eye out anymore. But keep an eye on your weapons. One wrong move, and we'll have the entire room, and probably any Biters outside the front entrance all heading directly towards us." He says, getting a nod from everyone in response as he turns back around and starts walking towards the main entrance, the way clear now thanks to all the Biters walking into or smacking the lockers further away in an attempt to find the cause of the noise they'd heard.
Opening the left door, with Saeko opening the right door, the two keep the doorway clear for everyone else to walk out, before Zach makes sure the doors close quietly behind them, turning back around, he faces the group once again. "Right. Let's get to the bus. Ms. Shizuka, don't immediately start it once we get there, I'll explain why once we get inside of it." He says, making the blonde tilt her head slightly.
"Um, okay then." She says, slight confusion clear in her voice at what his reasoning could be. Despite that, Zach nods at the nurse, before turning back to the rest in the group.
"Alright, on the way there, only take out Biters that are directly in our way. If we try to do any more than that, it's likely a commotion will start up, and draw more to the scene." He explains, getting nods all around. "Good. Let's get to the bus then." He says as he starts walking at a steady pace towards area he'd seen the minibus parked earlier through the window in the teacher's lounge, numerous quiet footsteps following him.
As the group makes their way through the courtyard, Zach allows part of his mind to think, even as he brings his crowbar down on a Biter in front of them. All these differences… I don't like them. Not just because it's slightly unfamiliar for me… He trails off as he sidesteps another Biter, which Saeko takes out with her Bokken. But because they're select differences that make it clear this isn't the Harran Virus, even though there are multiple similarities that make it seem like this is the Virus. He thinks with a grimace. That, plus what was found out during the Harran Outbreak… Paint a very bad picture… He thinks to himself, the frown on his face deepening.
However, Zach put those thoughts out of his mind for now, focused instead on getting his group to the minibus. Sure enough, close to five minutes later, they arrived in front of the bus, which Shizuka unlocked and allowed everyone to climb inside. Zach was the last in with Takashi, closing the door quietly behind him, and then turning to face the group. "Alright Carter, mind telling me why we're not getting out of here yet?" Takagi asks from her place in one of the seats, her gaze being drawn outside to the Biters shambling about.
At her question, Zach places his crowbar on the floor, and takes his backpack off in order to look through it while he replies. "Right now, if we start up the bus and try to drive out of here, it's going to draw all the infected to us." He tells her as he takes out some plastic from earlier, as well as some of the sugar they'd grabbed, and a lighter he'd stashed in his backpack. "As a result, we'd have trouble driving out of here, and we'd probably be unable to close the gates behind us." He continues, even as he opens the sugar, and starts breaking pieces of plastic.
"Alright, but that would just be unfortunate. I'm not sure I like being stuck in a bus surrounded by the undead for very long…" The pinkette says with slight nervousness in her voice, getting a nod from Zach in response.
"And that's fair. Granted, buses actually held out for at least a few hours back in Harran when directly attacked, but that's beside the point. Right now, the best bet is to get all, or at least most, of the infected out of our way, and get the gates open ourselves so we can close it, instead of what we'd need to do if they swarmed us, and break them down with the bus." He says, as he continues to mess with the plastic and sugar.
"Alright, but how are we going to do that. I doubt throwing a shoe at the school wall is going to get the attention of all of the zombies out there." Takashi asks, using a hand to wave towards the infected shambling around outside the bus. In response to his words, Zach nods.
"And you're right. Which is why instead, we use these." The brunet says with a smirk, holding up the makeshift firecrackers he'd just created. "I light these further away, and the sound draws all the infected around us towards them. One further away from either side of the direction the bus needs to drive towards the gate is sure to part the infected like the Red Sea. Then we have a clear path." He says, getting a hum from Saeko in response.
"Impressive." She says with a small smile, getting a nod from Zach in response.
"Thanks. Though I can't exactly take all the credit here. I have Spike to thank for the crafting recipe for these things. They only last for a minute or so, but since these Biters are different and only use their hearing, they won't be drawn back to us until the bus starts up." He says with a smirk, closing his backpack and standing up with his crowbar in hand. Walking further into the bus, he opens the emergency exit on the roof, and then jumps up and climbs out, standing up to look out over the sea of undead beneath him.
Taking a few seconds to look over the sight, he nods to himself, before taking his lighter and using it on the first set of firecrackers, and then tossing them far away from the front of the bus. He does the same with the second pair, but walks further towards the back of the bus and then tosses it. Seconds later, the sound of the firecrackers going off fills the air, and all the moaning from the Biters suddenly stops, before they all start to groan once again, and like he'd planned, the crowd starts to split in either direction he'd thrown the firecrackers. Unfortunately, he grimaces slightly when he sees it taking longer, since these Biters were even slower than the ones in Harran.
Shaking his head, he kneels down to look at the group inside of the bus. "Alright, they're starting to thin out. I'm going to start heading for the gate. Ms. Shizuka, once you see it open, start up the bus and floor it. They're slow, so we'll have more time once you get through, but even though I want to keep them trapped here, I'm not going to risk our lives just to do that." He says, getting a nod from the blonde in response as he turns to look at the other students inside. "As for the rest of you, if something happens while I'm at the gate, keep this bus safe." He says, getting nods from the rest of them. "Alright, I'll see you guys in a couple minutes. Wish me luck." He says with a smirk, before standing up, and then leaping onto the ground at the front of the bus.
It doesn't take him long to turn left and immediately start to run across the courtyard to the gate, reaching it close to a minute after he'd heard the firecrackers finish making noise. Making it to the gate, he takes a quick glance over his shoulder, and sees that the undead are still being drawn to where the firecrackers were going off a minute ago. With how loud they were, it had even drawn most of the infected from the gate as well.
Definitely different from Harran, where the sound would've only drawn those in the immediate area, or maybe a bit more. Zach thinks to himself as he turns around to get the gate open, now that he'd made sure that the bus was still safe. Now that he was actually looking at the locks on the gate, instead of just walking through them while they were open, he was both glad, and annoyed at the multiple locks on them. Glad because it meant that the infected would have to actually break down both gates to get out instead of just putting enough stress on one to break a lock, but upset because it would take more time to open, and close them.
Muttering profanities under his breath as he got to work, he slid the bars out of their locked state, some of them being a bit tougher, since the janitor hadn't oiled them recently. Multiple locks, with some being un-oiled. Well, guess that's boarding school for you. He thinks to himself as his lips twitch into a frown for a second. As a result of this, it takes him close to a minute, but he eventually gets all the locks undone. As soon as he's done doing so, he's quick to walk one part of the gate open, before rushing back to the other half and pushing it open as well.
While pushing the second part of the gate open, he hears the minibus start up, and once the gate is open all the way, he stands beside it and turns back to face the courtyard. What surprises him is that despite all the infected now turning towards the bus… It wasn't moving! He watches with wide eyes as the infected slowly start to shamble towards the bus, wondering what the hell could be causing them to even think about sitting around, before he notices what those on the bus likely saw before he did.
Another group of survivors are running towards it, one of which appears to be taller and older than the others, probably a teacher, who is waving them along. A few seconds later, and Zach feels fury rush through his veins when one of the students falls and reaches out towards the adult for help, only for said adult to instead kick the kid's face in, drawing infected towards the now-wounded kid, who he assumes it letting out pained sounds loud enough to draw them away from the bus.
The teacher then proceeds to walk to the bus, before getting on. Luckily, it only takes a couple seconds after that for the tires to start spinning, before the bus starts forwards, and then quickly veers left towards him and the gate. It takes about thirty seconds, but the bus speeds past him, before he hears the brakes squeal as he quickly rushes the two halves of the gate closed. The infected slowly shamble closer as he reaches through the bars and slides the locks into place, before taking out the last firecracker he made, and lighting it.
Takagi said that they could break down normal doors with ease, which wasn't the case back in Harran. If that's the case, I don't want to think about what a group this size could do to these gates. So… His thought trails off as he pulls his arm back, before lobbing the firecracker as far as he can into the courtyard, the fuse ending seconds later and causing the item to start letting off sounds. As a result, the Biters that had been drawn towards the running bus behind the gate, instead turn towards the new, louder sound, and make their way towards it.
Confident that they weren't going to head towards the gate anymore, Zach quickly turns around and runs towards the bus, leaping onto the roof, and then dropping down through the emergency hatch, surprising those in the new group at the way that he'd entered. "Go!" He shouts at Shizuka, who quickly turns back around, and slams her foot on the gas, the newly-arrived brunet grabbing a seat to make sure he didn't fall down as the bus suddenly shoots forwards down the street, and away from the school overrun with the dead.
As the bus continues to barrel down the road, Zach finally allows his tense muscles to relax slightly, and walk over to the rest of his original group. Saeko moves to the window seat of the row she's in, and Zach flops into the chair she was previously sitting in with a quick thanks. As he does so, Saeko nods, before she continues cleaning her bokken of the blood that had splattered it. A row ahead of him, Kohta wraps new tape around his nail gun to ensure it stays together, while Takagi relaxes beside him.
In the row beside the glasses wearing teen, Takashi lets out a breath of relief as he sags slightly. "Can't believe we did it…" The raven haired teens mutters, getting a nod from Kohta in response to his words. The former teacher from the new group, who Zach now realizes was Mr. Shido, also hears the teen's words, and starts walking up the aisle as he speaks up.
"Thank God that we did." The adult says, placing a hand on the seat Zach is sitting on, and looking at him and Saeko. "I take it one of you has been appointed leader?" He asks, making Zach look up at him with a glare.
"Leader? Not really. We all helped one another to get out of there, though I will admit that I had a heavier hand in it due to my… Past experiences." He says, before shaking his head as he sits up straighter. In response to Zach's words, Shido gets a twisted look in his eyes.
"That's not good. In order to survive we definitely need a leader. A leader who bears everything. With valor. With confidence." He says, making Zach glance up at him out of the corner of his eyes, and speak up in a hushed voice.
"And I suppose someone who kills one of his students is considered "leader" material?" He asks, making Shido flinch as his gaze wavers at the glare Zach is sending him. "I saw what happened, and I'm not gonna forget either. This situation is familiar to me, Shido. I should just toss you out there with the Biters… But I've learned that everyone deserves a couple chances to do the right thing. But fuck up a second time, and I'll make sure you won't be hurting anyone else." He warns the teacher, making it so that the man's previous confident behavior disappears, as the man quietly turns and heads back to the group that he'd "helped" get to the bus.
As he does so, the bus finally clears the Sakura trees that were planted on the road leading to the school, and a teen at the back of the bus speaks up from his place looking out the window. "The city!" He calls out, causing everyone else to follow his gaze and look out the left side windows, Shizuka taking a quick glance as well while she continues driving. The sight that greets them is smoke rising from what are no doubt numerous fires in the city, as well as a large collection of ships slightly far off the coast, each with guns clear to see on their decks.
"Well, the blockade had already started earlier. Not surprising it got finished by now." Zach comments getting some of the other teens to look his way in confusion at his words. "…Right, wasn't really made public knowledge when I transferred here, was it?" He asks rhetorically, before turning to face the teens at the back of the bus, as well as Shido. "…I'm a Harran Veteran. So I know some of what to expect from here on out." He says, getting wide eyes from the people who heard him. "I can explain some more later. For now… Let's all take the time to calm down after the shitshow we all just escaped from." He says as he turns back around and slumps into his chair again.
It'll also give me some time to think about some of the shit I've been putting off till now… He thinks to himself with a slight frown as his eyes close slightly, his mind now having the ability to go over what he'd learned, what he already knew, and what could possibly occur in the coming days, and possibly even hours…
Close to an hour later, and a number of realizations that did not do Zach's morale any good, he's shaken out of his thoughts by a thump, his gaze quickly looking towards where it came from to see a corpse being flung out of the way of the bus, on an otherwise clear road. …Guess Ms. Shizuka was moving too fast, or it was heading towards someone and she took care of it. He thinks to himself, before his attention is brought to a teen in the bus as he stands up and starts shouting.
"Shiiiit! Like I said, it's only dangerous if we keep going!" He exclaims, placing a hand on a seat and stepping forwards in the aisle so he's practically standing next to Zach. "First of all, why do we have to go back with Komuro and the others?! You're the ones who decided to go back to the city! Maybe we should've just… Looked for a safe place inside the school, or… If you ask me, we were better off where we were!" He yells out. Unfortunately for Zach, before he can speak up, another teen from the rear group speaks up.
"He's right, I kinda agree with Tsunoda. We should barricade ourselves-" However, the teen is cut off when the brakes of the bus squeal as it slides to a sudden halt, causing most on board to lurch forwards at the sudden stop, before Shizuka unbuckles and quickly turns to face the people behind her.
"Okay you all, that's enough. I can't focus on the driving with all this yelling!" She exclaims, attempting to get the former students to calm down. Unfortunately, the fact that she'd turned to face everyone and was still sitting had the side effect of causing her breasts to hang down towards the floor thanks to gravity, thus drawing most males' attention towards them, especially the teen who'd been yelling before.
"…Yeah. Whatever…" He mutters, finally quieting down enough so that someone else can speak up.
"Why don't you tell us what you'd like to do?" Saeko asks the teen, making him turn his attention to the purplette and appear to struggle to come up with something, before turning back around so that he could point at Takashi.
"I just can't stand this guy… I hate him." The teen says, completely changing the subject from Saeko's question, and instead deflecting their attention to the new point he brought up. In response to his words, Takashi stands up and looks at him with a mixture of confusion, and indifference.
"Why? What the hell did I ever do to you? I don't even know you." Takashi states. But the guy's hardly listening, focused so much on whatever it was that caused him to say this that he starts yelling the second Takashi finishes speaking.
"You know!" He exclaims, a fist being pulled back as he starts towards Takashi in an attempt to hit him. However, Rei is quick to stand up, and using the pole of her spear, hits the teen in his stomach. Knocking the wind out of him as a result, and causing him to hack up some spit, before she flings him further down the aisle, causing him to clutch his stomach and fold in on himself to ease the pain he's feeling.
"Asshole." Rei mutters as she stares down at the teen lying on the ground. Seconds later, the sound of slow clapping can be heard from the back of the bus, and everyone turns to find Shido walking towards Takashi and Rei, stepping over the injured teen to do so.
"Bravo… Simply outstanding teamwork." The adult says, stopping his clapping and placing a hand on his hip. "I'm impressed. I commend both of you." He continues, tilting his head up to look down at the two teens, Takashi narrowing his eyes in distrust, while Rei outright glares at the former teacher in front of them. "At any rate, a conflict like that only proves my point. We need a leader. We do." He says, leaning down to look the two face to face. "Surely neither of you want such a difficult responsibility on your shoulders." He continues, a sickening smirk making it's way onto his face.
From his seat next to Saeko, Zach's eyes narrow at Shido's words. To an extent, they made sense. As did his words earlier. Unfortunately, the way they were being phrased seemed like the man was leading up to something, and the brunet wasn't sure he liked it. While he thought this, Takagi spoke up from in front of him while adjusting her glasses. "So, you're gonna run for the position then." She says, making Shido bend down to look at her.
"I'm a teacher Ms. Takagi. And while mature, all of you are barely in your teens." He continues as he straightens out. "That alone makes it very clear who is qualified to assume such a role. I have experience." He says, and before Zach can speak up to say anything, Shido turns to face all the students behind him. The ones from his group, as well as the ones that Zach's group had saved earlier. "Why, just moments ago I saved all of these brave students. What do you say, guys?" The raven haired adult asks.
To Zach's displeasure, it only takes a few seconds before everyone Shido led out of the school stands up and starts clapping for him, with the other group slow to join, but still clapping from their place sitting in their seats as Shido took a bow at the applause. A frown makes it's way onto the brunet's face at the sight, realizing that his words to Shido earlier had likely made the adult spread his influence quietly to the group his own group had saved earlier. The former teacher in question turns to face the rest at the front of the bus. "There. It's been decided. The majority seems to have made the choice quite clear, yes?" He asks them rhetorically.
The Harran Veteran wants to speak up about the current situation, but things were starting to pick up momentum fast, and not in a way he liked. The bus door slamming open and Rei jumping out only added to the growing unease he felt. "Rei!" Takashi exclaims as he runs to the door of the bus as the brunette stalks away, causing her to whirl around to face him.
"No way! I won't do it. I'm not staying here with him!" She yells back, making Takashi stare at her for a few seconds.
"Get back in the bus." He mutters to the girl as Shido watches the events with a cruel smirk on his face, before giving an overexaggerated sigh.
"Well, there's nothing I can do if you don't want to act in accordance with all of us." He says, making Takashi whirl around to face the former teacher in confusion and annoyance.
"What "us"? What are you talking about?" He asks, before turning back to look at Rei without waiting for an answer. A few seconds later, and others in the bus are surprised when he leaps out and makes his way over to the brunette who had turned and started to make her way further from the bus once again. While not able to make out words, the people in the bus could see the two talking. While this happens, Zach looks at the cause of this out of the corner of his eyes, tempted to speak up. Unfortunately, with how the teens in the back were acting, anything he tried to bring up would be ignored, or Shido would find a way to explain it away.
He knew their type. The former students at the back were willing to listen to anything the teacher Mr. Shido said, as long as it continued to give them some sense of normality, and made sure they continued to live. Any evidence of his wrongdoings would be brushed aside in their minds since he was making sure they stayed alive, and didn't have to actually worry about the undead at the moment. Zach wasn't too thrilled with being stuck in the bus with them, but until they could make it to a safer location, this was the best they had at the moment.
Further thoughts are cut off by the sound of a horn being let off from somewhere to his right, and him and Saeko look out the bus's window to see what caused it. The sight that greets them is a city bus barreling down the road, swerving slightly as it drives. "Ms. Shizuka! Reverse!" Zach yells, making the nurse give a startled yelp as she quickly changes the bus's gears, and slams on the gas to reverse quickly. As she does so, Zach is able to see the bus slam into the side of a car further down the road, and flip up and onto it's side, before sliding down the street.
As this happens, the brunet catches a glimpse of Takashi tackling Rei into the tunnel they'd been standing beside, before the wrecked bus slams into the walls on either side, bringing it to a stop as fire breaks out around it. Zach and Saeko are quick to jump out of the still open door of the minibus, and run over to be as close to the flaming bus as they can be without it being unbearably hot. "Takashi! Rei! You two alright?!" Zach yells, hoping the two can hear him. Unfortunately, his yelling draws the attention of the undead inside the bus.
As a result, him and Saeko watch as Biters climb out of the broken windows in the bus, their bodies flaming as they stand on the side of the bus, and the street. Fortunately, some good news comes in the form of Takashi's face being seen through a small opening between the bus, and the curved wall of the tunnel. "At the police station! Meet up at the East Police station!" He shouts through the opening.
"What time?!" Saeko shouts back, her grip on her bokken tightening as the Biters slowly start to make their way towards her and Zach.
"Seven-o-clock! If not today, then tomorrow at the same time!" Takashi responds, before the view of his head is cut off by pieces of the bus continuing to break apart. Now that they had a plan for meeting back up with Takashi and Rei, Zach and Saeko get ready to take out the zombies that were extremely close to them so they could head back to the minibus. However, this turns out to be unneeded, as the Biters promptly start to collapse to the ground, their bodies still flaming. Zach stares at the sight in surprise, and slight hope.
"Holy shit… They're more susceptible to fire than the ones in Harran. Those ones could've been burning for hours and still walk around like nothing was happening to them." He comments, before turning to Saeko. "C'mon, let's get back on the bus." He says, getting a nod from the purplette in response as they turn and head back to where the rest of the group was waiting, closing the door behind them after getting on.
"It looks like we're not taking this freeway anymore." Saeko comments, getting a nod from Shizuka as she changes the gears once again and start driving.
"Okay. I'll turn around and find another way." She says, using the large intersection to turn the bus around, and head back the way they came. As she does so, Zach takes a glance back at the burning wreck they were leaving behind, before watching as it promptly explodes, incinerating the Biters around it.
…I hope you two got away from there already… He thinks while closing his eyes, hoping his two friends didn't just perish because they'd stuck around too long. Shaking his head to clear it, he turns back to the inside of the bus, and walks further in, before him and Saeko share a glance, and nod as they head towards the front, and take a seat in the row in front of Takagi and Kohta, separating themselves from Shido's group more than they were earlier. Lines were quickly being drawn between groups, and at the moment, it wasn't entirely clear how these divisions would develop…
Author's Note Part 2: And there we go! Another chapter done! Sorry if I worried you guys with the numerous days wait on this chapter. Work actually took up a significant amount of time these past few days, so I wasn't really able to work on this as much as I wanted to. Luckily I had a relatively short day today, so I was able to finish up, and post this today. With that being said, let's get to the changes made!
First and foremost, the Quarantine:
So, like I've been hinting these past few chapters, this story is AU in the sense that it is just Tokonosu City that's being affected by the outbreak, and as a result, it's being treated similar to how Harran was. Walled off from the world, airdrops, anarchy beginning, and more. At least for now. Depending on what route I decide to go, that might change in the future chapters if I decide to take from Dying Light 2, and have it so that while Harran succeeded, Tokonosu fails. But, we'll just have to wait and see…
The modifications to weapons:
Alright, so this has been something I've been thinking of since before I even started the actual writing process of this, back when I was making notes. In this story, certain craftables are possible. Now, the more "outlandish" ones aren't going to appear, but some of the ones that are "believable" to make with the items it shows in the game, Zach will be able to make for the group.
Everyone from the second group surviving:
So, having gone through the Harran Outbreak, Zach knows the advantages and disadvantages to certain weapons. A large, metal pole as a weapon in a school or cramped area? If not payed attention to, it's likely to hit something and draw Biters and Virals. As a result, he knows this is something that he has to warn the kid about, and because of this, the scene where they're forced to run to the bus, and lose people along the way, doesn't happen.
Leaving the school quarantined:
So, as a result of the previous change, and the knowledge that Zach has from Harran, keeping all the Biters that turned in the school, on school grounds, is one of the best decisions to make at this time, instead of using the bus to break out of the gates. Because it means less out in the city, and as a result, less people likely to be turned unsuspectingly by students roaming close to the academy, or further out as the days continue.
And that's about all the changes for this chapter. Unfortunately, not much changed near the end with Shido's take over, but I'll fully admit here that my main reasoning behind that is twofold. First, it makes it so that I can actually keep Shido as the main human antagonist in this and what he affects, instead of just booting him out of the bus on his own by having Zach outright blab that he killed a student. The second reason… Well, I stated it in the chapter. The other teens Shido saved would… Probably not take his word for it since they didn't see it. If you need proof of this line of thinking… Just look around the world today…
Anyways, that's about all I have to say on this chapter, so I'll go ahead and get to responding to the reviews I got on the previous one!
Calderoneric758: Well, I already stated in the previous chapter that he kind of has makeshift metal plated boots, but more official ones as well as better gear is something that's been on my mind due to future events. As for DLC from Dying Light… Well, you'll just have to wait and see, won't you? XD
Dcraus: Well… Not something about this story, but something for me to think on, I guess. I've only seen some of the beginning of each of those, but I'll keep this in mind when I continue watching them.
SurotoFall: Yeah, I saw that there were a few in this crossover category, but they keep getting only partly into it, before being left behind. Now, I'm not blaming the writer's, since as I know from personal experience over the past 2 years, Writer's Block is a bitch and a half to get out of. As for the lewder scenes… I mean, this is HOTD… Need I say more? XD
Pyrojack25: Well, here's a third, and with more to come I hope! XD
Well, I'll admit I've only seen the shorter trailer for the new game, so I'm not all that caught up on the longer one. As a result, I'm pulling more from the HOTD side of things, instead of DL. At least for now. As for Shido, well, there have been hinted threats thus far, but he has the backing of his purposefully-blind students, so Zach isn't gonna risk a direct confrontation in the small bus when things could end up with everyone coming out a loser. And yeah, Harran having an actual biological explanation was interesting. As for me, I'm actually replaying the game once again while I write this story, in order to make sure I get certain things correct. XD
Well guys, that's about it for this chapter. Now all that's left for me to do is let it sit for a couple hours to clear my head before I go through and edit it one last time. Hope you all enjoyed this chapter and the changes it brought, and I hope you'll continue to enjoy the story as much as I'm enjoying writing it!