|Buck Rogers|| Our scene begins in media res; there is a little side-street in the quarantine zone that winds in gentle curve to a residential dead-end. It is a street adjacent the outermost edges of the destruction-- look one way and there is a fair, abandoned city, look another and you can see the devastation wrought by the explosion, a ruin of rubble standing as eternal testament to the vitriol Umbrella inspires in some. It is a world caught on the border between dream and nightmare, man and monster-- and straddling that twilight line is one Buck Rogers, accompanied by the loveliest little doll in gay Paris.
They stand in the shadow of a small home. It has a roof of sloped tiles, two stories, an open front door and porch. It is crammed next to a few other such homes. The front yard is tiny; such is the nature of metropolitan homes. A red bicycle without its chain sleeps on its side, propped beneath a lamp post. It is quiet, relatively free of danger..
Save for the snarling, mottled rot-man pinned to the sidewalk, trapped beneath the iron heel of the human tyrant. It is an obese man. His flesh sloughs off in snakeskin chunks, and his black veins are vivid and trace poison lines from extremities to his heart. Bug-eyed, double-chinned, without any human thought but plenty of animal hunger he claws at the immense foot pinning him down.
"Y'see, sweetheart," Buck rumbles, not glancing toward Celeste. She watched him drag the zombie from the home and throw it down on the ground bodily. "You need to learn how to kill."
Buck draws his huge S.T.A.R.S. knife. Flips it. And with brutal, heartless purpose, begins to mash the zombie's face with the hilt, breaking its teeth apart bit by bit. If the blunt trauma happens to snap the thing's jaw from the hinges, or smash its orbital plate and leave its face a ruined mess, so be it-- it'll live. Sort of.
|Celeste||Celeste blinks a bit as he drags the zombie out of the house and eyes it warily as he speaks to her and murmurs to him "I... I suppose I do..." She wrinkles her nose at the fat slob zombie and murmurs "I doubt he could have easily gotten away from the fuckers biting him... stupid fat piece of shit..." Though as Buck beings to remove it's jaw, she grins evilly, quite enjoying the site.|
|Trixie||Another night, another patrol of another perimeter. Trixie stifles a yawn as she walks, keeping an ear to the radio for signs of trouble.
But the radio isn't what clues her in to something odd happening. Instead, it's the crunching sounds of bone being smashed and the broken-sounding moan of a suddenly-jawless zombie. And two softer voices carrying from somewhere nearby. Closer than she'd realized.
She doesn't report the disturbance by radio, although she really should have. Instead, she moves closer to the source of the sounds.
|Buck Rogers|| "He might have been a good man," growls Buck with a sudden severity of tone, pausing to stare down the lolita. "He might not have been. But he's gone now, sweetheart-- so you watch your fucking mouth. We don't speak ill of the dead." His face is unmasked, gaze stern and unyielding-- there's a fierceness to his aspect that tends to arise only in battle, directed at the woman. "Ain't a person in this world that deserves to be.. this. Any luck, he's up with Jesus, now."
Saying so, Buck resumes his heavy-handed work; his knuckles and knife batter the dead man's face again and again until the dislocated jaw tears off, hanging by wormy strings of flesh and jagged protrusions of bone. When there's no longer a real risk of biting, Buck takes the blade of his knife and works out the remaining teeth, sawing into the gums and popping them out, roots and all, until the sidewalk is stained a pungent, ichorous red. The giant's gloves are coated in filth; he wipes them off on the fat man's brown shirt, leaving slick trails. Satisfied, Buck rises up, and takes his foot off the corpse's chest. He seizes it by the scruff and hauls it to its feet, and gives it a violent shove toward Celeste. He has not given her any weapons.
The fat dead rotten stinking broken thing shuffles toward the girlmeat. Through its ruined mouth, frayed vocal chords still make human-like sounds of hunger. "Ain't gonna bite you," he muses, "but he can still claw you up. Let's see how you dance, girl."
|Celeste||If Celeste were an animal with expressive ears, they would have gone flat at the scolding, her gaze looking down embaressed as she murmurs "Sorry.... Buck.. I... I won't... speak ill of them... but... I don't believe in Jesus... we can talk about that later though...." Her gaze only looking back up as she begins to hear the flesh and the bone being worked out, her eyes watching with joy echoing as the zombie is rendered more or less incapable of harming her.
Though as he unleashes the zombie towards her she blinks a bit and asks rather panicked "With what... what the fuck am I suppose to like... fight him with?" Her brow furrowed and she looks less than amused by his words, her steps beginning to back away from the approaching obese zombie.
|Trixie||Trixie, having just come into sight of the strange encounter, wonders the same thing. She trains her carbine on the should-be-dead man, just in case, but doesn't pull the trigger. Yet.
"Buck, is that you?" she calls to the pair. Though the mountain of a man is unlikely to be anyone else.
|Buck Rogers|| "What do you have?" Buck asks, reaching a hand into his pocket. There's a metallic clang and the bike chain from the abandoned red bicycle can be seen now hanging out of his pocket. "You've got your body," he begins, taking a few steps toward the mangled undead. The fat zombie continues to lumber toward Celeste. She is faster when it comes to running, but the monster never tires.. and can manage surprising bursts of speed with alarming suddenness when it comes close. It snarls, moans, reaches for her, walking. It has jerky, unnatural movements, like an amateur puppeteer's marionette-- a fat man dancing on strings clumsily held. "You're not very strong, but these things are clumsy. He'll try to grab you when he gets close; bait the lunge, circle around, and push hard, you might knock him down."
His smile's wide as he steps in. There's a stray brick near his boot. He kicks it, and it haphazardly bounces over toward Celeste. "You could pick that up and try to brain him. You don't have much strength in your arms, but blunt trauma is blunt trauma."
It's closer now. It stumbles forward and lunges.
"You can look for something sharp. Damage the brain and they go down. Don't need much strength to stab through an eye socket. Ever heard of lobotomies? Used to be how the doc's did 'em-- icepick right up around the optical nerve, scramble your brains like morning eggs. A knife. Car keys. Your finger tips. A bottle."
He thunders forward and suddenly the chain is in his hand, wrapping around the zombie's thick throat as it goes for the girl. The chain goes taught and rings as the monster's movements are pinned. It just dumbly tries to go forward. "You need to be brave, princess."
It's only then he looks toward Trixie. His free hand lifts in a wave. "Hey there, sweetheart. Put that gun down. Now."
|Celeste||Celeste looks down at herself as he comments she has her body, still stepping back as she looks over herself and says "I am just curves... like... no fuckin muscle Buck..." A pout forms upon her lips but she nods as he begins to further explain. As the brick is kicked to her, she is quick to squat down to pick it up and holds it with her right hand.
She is looking around for something sharp just when she hears the chain tighten and looks to see the zombie that close to her and she softly says "Alright... I.. I will be brave..." Then there is a Trixie! She offers a wave hello with the brick in her hand as she says "Hiya Trixie, Buck is teaching me how to defend myself." And that is when she tries to use the Brick on the in position zombie, putting all her might behind it, which truly, isn't much.
|Trixie||Trixie blinks at the directive from Buck. "But..." she protests, in spite of lowering the muzzle of the carbine, wincing as the zombie comes up against the chain, and as Celeste goes to work with the brick. Only then does she see the wreckage that was once the dead man's face. "Ye gods, Buck... what kind of training /is/ this?" she asks in disbelief.|
|Buck Rogers|| The brick smacks into the fat man's skull. There's a loud thump.. but the force behind it is so impotent that, while it might have been injured, the fact it can't feel any pain means it's not at all inconvenienced; the hit is met with a dead-eyed stare that suddenly swims to life, the zombie's arms flashing up to grab at Celeste's arm. It growls, finds purchase in the softness of her skin, pulls her close and exhales against her-- a most putrid odor wafts from its rotting mouth, the gag-inducing concoction of rotten flesh and bacteria and copper blood. Its hanging jaw flaps in mockery of a laugh.
Buck yanks it back, and its hands pull off her arm. He draws his knife from his pocket, and offers it hilt-first to Celeste. "The only learnin' worth its salt is hands on," he explains to Trixie. "You know what killed a whole mess'a people in Raccoon? Fear. Too many people see an ugly mug like this and freeze up. Lay down roots like a sad little tree and wait to die." A flex of his arm, and the creature's head is yanked back. Its face swells as its fluids are forced up by the tightening noose around its neck. "There's no lesson that can make you okay with looking at something scary and hitting it. You just need to fan that flame inside ya stomach, even if it's itty bitty."
"Stab him, baby girl. Anywhere under his neck."
|Celeste||Celeste looks terrfied and like she is almost about to puke when she smells it breath, going green and scrunching up her face. As she gets free she begins to shake out her arms as she says "Oh... my.. fucking... god... it's.. it's so gross..." And the award for girliest moment in the zone... might just go to Celeste. She shudders one last time for now as she says "I know.. I know.. hands of is best... you are talking to a fucking medic... the only training I know /is/ hands on..." She nods slowly as she uses Buck's knife and goes to try and stab at the fat zombie's throat.|
|Trixie||Trixie shudders, too, remembering being grabbed at by several zombies in Afghanistan some months back. It isn't something you forget. Her hands tighten on the carbine, but she forces herself not to raise it. "Get that knife in and out of that thing, Celeste! Don't let go once it's in!" she offers. "In and out! In and out!" she begins to chant, becoming an impromptu cheering session for the Gothic doll.|
|Buck Rogers||"Good girl," Buck praises as the knife pushes through flesh. There's resistance, more than the little girl might expect-- sawing through a human neck isn't like cutting butter. Even with the knife's penetrative power, there are layers of skin and fat, tendons and muscles and veins-- and there's a spinal column there in the back which catches the knife's tip when she goes in far enough. It's dirty, dirty work, and as monstrous as this abomination is, it still resembles a man enough to be discomforting. The human mind is disturbingly good at recognizing humanity. "It's scary, but never let that stop you."|