“You’ve got to close the fucking doors.” He’s right, if I don’t start closing the doors we’re all going to be torn limb from torso in one brief bloody encounter with the Horde.
So I shut the door. Above me in the gloomy hospital corridors the coughing roar of a shotgun ignites. The familiar scream of storming zombies descends upon my three fellow survivors of this zombie apocalypse. Ascending the metallic staircase Louis cries “Hunter!” I reach the top in time to witness a blurred, hooded figure leap passed the doorway, crashing down on a flailing Zoey. It tears a hole in her torso with sharpened claws. Zoey’s got a one-way ticket to zombification if I don’t help her. So I sprint forward discharging my assault rifle, screaming. I can rescue her from this cruel fate.
The Hunter’s cacophonous roar explodes through the corridor. It falls, twisting in the air, pain etched across its face. Slumped, inanimate in the corner, we’re one small step closer to safety. Francis surrenders his med-kit to Zoey.
“Thanks man” the sound of an eleven year old boy hums through my earpiece. The seeds of triumph etch across my face; I’ve saved Zoey.
“Close the fucking door!” Back in the zone.
I take point, sprinting down the blood soaked corridor. Shining a flashlight into an open door reveals a vomiting zombie, I gift him three bullets and watch his brains as they travel upward towards the ceiling, splattering as the corpse drops. We’re so close now, up the elevator, through the construction area and onto the rooftop where the helicopter is waiting.
“Ready?” I ask defiantly before flicking the switch. The on screen prompt informs me I’ve alerted the Horde. That they’re coming. Bill crouches behind a barricade. Zoey and Francis take up positions watching the left. In Francis’ hand is the telltale red glow of a pipe bomb. Zoey clutches a pistol in each hand.
“Here we go.” Then the combined roar of the horde somewhere uncomfortably close. Tension builds. My trigger finger quivers on the trigger.
Thirty. Forty. Maybe fifty undead burst from the door to the right. Bill’s sub machine gun ignites. They charge, vacant eyes wide, eagling their feed. From the left a similar scenario kindles but Francis is prepared.
“Die!” he screams, releasing the death-tube previously glued to his righthand. Thirty zombies turn from their fixated sprint towards us and chase the glowing red stick. They crowd. They fight to pick it up. To take a bite; oblivious. And then, KABOOM! A red mist lingers in the corridor. Limbs assault the walls, vaulting upward, outward. Countless corpses slump together. On Bill’s side the Horde are clambering over his barricade. He’s overrun. I turn and spit a dozen shotgun shells beyond his crouched head. Zombies flail backwards spinning to the ground.
“Into the elevator, come on!” I back up, firing shells at the remnants of the Horde. Bill bashes the elevator control. Top floor.
“Watch the skylight.” He cries. We look up at the hole in our sanctuary. Silence.
We’re seconds away from a final charge.
“We’re almost there!” Cries Zoey, in her strangely masculine voice. I wonder why I can’t hear a helicopter. We climb the ladder, atop the hospital. No helicopter.
“To the radio room.” Bill says. We sprint. It’s nervously quiet, not a twitcher in sight. Inside the radio room the helicopter pilot is endeavouring to contact us. Bill responds. We stock up on ammo and instruments of redeath, preparing for the inevitable showdown.
“To the roof.” Zoey squeals. I perch in the left corner; nervously anticipating whatever the AI Director throws at us.
The first wave barely makes it to the rooftop. A mounted machine gun makes light work of their fragile corpses. Zoey wields a scoped rifle and sets about bursting heads. The fountain of blood erupting from each neck is beautiful.
“5 minutes till arrival.” The radio crackles but we’re each lost in the ecstasy of blood lust. Francis hurls a Molotov cocktail at a lone zombie. Ablaze it sprints towards the building edge and plummets a thousand feet. Bit of a waste.
The corpses litter the hospital rooftop like crisp packets on an empty school playground after lunch hour.
“The chopper’s here!” Francis exclaims. We drop from our asylum and sprint toward the landing pad. We’re going to make it. Then the floor beneath our feet trembles. Zoey turns just in time to see the huge shard of concrete rearrange her face for the worse.
“TANK!” Time to sprint. Up ahead a Hunter has Francis pinned. Behind the Horde have Zoey surrounded, she’s doomed. In a last ditch effort to save herself she grasps at her pistol but the frantic mob have torn her arm from its socket and she’s a little bit more than dead. Francis’ internal organs paint a messy picture across his sudden resting place. On a more optimistic note, Bill is inches from the helicopter before the Smoker constricts him. The vile tongue wrapping itself about his throat, yanking him away from safety. Ensnared and good as dead I ditch Bill. Every man for himself.
The helicopter pilot is beckoning me. Behind, the howl of the Horde dominates the airwaves.
And then I’m no longer running along the hospital rooftop. I’m not even running. I’m flying. Flying straight passed the helicopter. I look back in time to see the Tank stood defiantly in the last point I remember being. It’s watching me.
The death screen flickers.
“Fuck.” We start over.