|Rebecca Chambers||FOUR DAYS BEFORE OUTBREAK:
The city was on a knife's edge of tension. And what had happened in the zoo was... well... it was horrible. All that was known was that there were conflicting reports - reports of a terrorist group that had taken control of the zoo, and who had released a YouTube statement saying that all animals had to be free and roam wild - and the humans were the ones who were throwing the Earth into imbalance.
Some say that these terrorists were armed, and extremely dangerous, and that the zoo itself was a scene of a bloodbath because of them.
But the hippie-esque types didn't quite seem the slaughter everyone who opposed them types - and... well...
The vehicles containing the S.T.A.R.S. agents roll up, no doubt - and the stench of blood was obvious even from outside it - most of the civilians cleared - R.P.D. having set up a cordon around the zoo. No one in, no one out.
|Trixie||Trixie steers the now partly blood-stained and very overworked Tahoe into a parking space. "Wonder if the RPD would sell me this thing if we live through this mess," she murmurs, shutting down the engine and opening her door. Immediately she brings a hand up over her nose and mouth. "Oh, /gawd/... someone brought out 'the animal' in the animals, that's for sure." Wincing, she tucks the car keys into her pocket and approaches the cordon at the front gate.|
|Buck Rogers||When it rains, it pours, the saying goes-- Buck's pretty sure there's some eloquent way to relate that to the universe shitting on you, but he lacks the poet's verse, replacing soulful creativity with stoical silence as the vehicle transporting him and officer Caldwell bumps along the road to the zoo. When it pulls up and he disembarks, armed with the standard S.T.A.R.S. gear and his personal riot shield, lips curl and nostrils flare, soaking in massacre ambience. He adjusts his helmet, tightens a strap, and does a quick look around. "With me, Caldwell," he instructs. "We'll need to split into teams, sweep the area. We'll take the aquarium." He went there awhile back on a date, and kinda liked it.|
|Prestige William Caldwell||THEY'RE EATING THEM...AND THEN THEY'RE GONNA EAT ME...OH MY GOOOOOOOOOD. Is what Caldwell would say if he were a movie man. But sadly, he wasn't. Surely there was SOME eating of people or animals though. Caldwell was armed with his own personal gear and as such, was ready to go when Buck told them to move out. He got out and pulled out his pistol, readying it. "Got it. Moving on your mark." he followed behind Buck carefully and quietly, being VERY aware of what was going on around them.|
|Rebecca Chambers||As for bringing up the rear was Rebecca Chambers. "Likewise - the people out here are /really/ hurt - but the EMTs have them. I think I'd be more in use out there... I'm joining your team, Buck!" says Rebecca.
The zoo itself, once the teams enter the cordon - was quiet. Perhaps disturbingly so.
The scent of death and gore would be most prominent in three directions - the monkey house - and the lizard cave, and most especially the aquarium. And the sounds of animals would be prolific.
But were they angry, or in pain?
|Buck Rogers||The big man's head twists and his eyes alight on a sudden flash of movement in his peripheral. He stares at it for a moment, transfixed, and notes the shaking of tree branches and the rustling of leaves lingering after the breeze that carries the bloodied scents has faded. Glimpses of fur, little sounds, and he pauses, focused. Like an animal himself, he draws in a deep, ragged breath through his nose, before lifting the hand holding the shield and pointing off toward the monkey house. "Watch the trees," he commands. "The chimps got out. A couple watching us. Might be anything in here's vulnerable to that sickness." He's suddenly keenly aware that there could be a vast number of belligerent beasts surrounding them on all sides. "What's the biggest thing kept here?"|
|Trixie||Trixie smiles as Rogers and Caldwell approach the gates, with Rebecca close behind. "Looks like I'm with you all, then. Unless you want me to check out the monkey house by myself, 'cause I can totally do that. Been years since I got to watch the chimpanzees play. We can meet on the other side," she says.
And then Buck speaks up, and her eyes snap to the trees as she instinctively draws her pistol. "Oh, boy... looks like the chimps get to play with /us/. And I used to know, but I can't remember..." The last is apologetic.
|Prestige William Caldwell||Caldwell coughs and clears his throat. He watches the trees lightly "Being watched from all sides, big man. Be prepared for an ambush." he raises his gun and readies himself, ready to take out anything that comes their way. He breaths in a fresh breath of oxygen and looks around. "Biggest thing kept in a monkey house? Probably a gorilla. And if that fuckers gotten sick we better be prepared to take it down." he waves to Trixie Stix and nods "Gotcha. We should stick together in case we get attacked. Best way of defense to be honest."|
|Rebecca Chambers||Those monkies were around. They seemed to be clinging to the human's presence as something safe, but were they normal? Were they infected? No one was getting a good enough look to see. But they wouldn't attack. Yet.
Hooting and general monkey sounds follow them - the wooded path to the aquarium ending with a pair of doors that lead inside. People could probably walk around the thing for an alternate pathway.
Because these double doors were barricaded - sloppily. With a garbage can and two chains.
|Trixie||"Why don't they do something..?" Trixie murmurs, looking up at the trees. "I think I'd feel better if they attacked us. Just hate suspense..."
As the party approaches the aquarium, she looks over the sloppy barricade, hands on her hips. "Hmm... I give them a C for results, B for intentions. Clearly /someone/ didn't want anyone going in there. I don't like to think about why. Zombie fish, brrrrr..."
She glances toward the path to the monkey house thoughtfully. "According to the doctor I met at the hospital, people have been contaminated by ingesting contaminated water. Be careful in there," she warns softly.
|Buck Rogers||Buck swaggers up to the garbage can and gives it a rough nudge with his foot to check its weight. "Rush job," he criticizes, as the echo of ringing steel sings out, the shock rattling the twin chains, too. He stills them with his hand, pulls, rattles them again, testing their strength and tightness, releases. Dusts his giant paw off on his hip. "Don't be so sure it's to keep us out," he warns, leaning over the barricade. With his great height, it's easy enough-- he's aiming to give the doors a push, see if he can open them just a crack, and peer inside, without breaking the whole thing down. "And if they haven't attacked by now, they're not gonna. Nothing sick we've seen so far is patient. If it's sick, it comes right at you. Poor fuckers are just scared." He backs away from the double doors. Clicks his tongue at Trixie's contaminated water comment. Far, far too easy to imagine people and animals getting sick that way by an aquarium.|
|Prestige William Caldwell||Caldwell raises his gun towards the monkies, once he realises they aren't attacking he lowers it again. "Jesus this dark ass place gives me the creeps. Let's hurry up and finish this so we can go." he looks at the barricade sloppily set up and shakes his head "Looks like they were trying to hold off something? Maybe?" he asks mostly to himself. "You never know man." he says to Buckeroo and continues walking with them.|
|Benny||There is rear security and then there is Benny style /REAR SECURITY/. The drive in Trixie's Tahoe, did not go well for him especially after the first time he got a bad case of motion sickness with Trixie at the helm. Perhaps, it is the Tahoe's old 90's suspension or the way Trixie takes those corners but probably more likely a combination of the two and the misfortune of having some suspect sushi at the Mr. Ko's Sushi-To-Go at the food court. So he volunteered to be Rebecca's double rear security (boy that sounds kinda bad) to give his stomach a chance to settle itself. Fortunately, he's also kinda stealthy when he wants to be and he's watched Ninja Master b-movie series about a dozen times, give or take a few. He blinks, when he spots the monkies the group has encountered and remains hidden for now until they need him to either flank or warn them of an ambush from some other threat.|
|Rebecca Chambers||When the door was busted open. The source of the scent that wafted throughout the park would have its source confirmed to be here. The lights were out, except for a couple of flickering ones further down the hallway. The aquarium was set up in kinda a square shape - two floors with smaller exhibits around the outside perimeter - the center of the aquarium was a huge central tank.
And bodies lined the floor to the left of the first turn. Dead people - wearing clothes that might mark them as average people, as zoogoers that decided to try to break the stress of the last handful of days with a trip to the zoo.
Slumped against the walls, laying on the floor - there were about 15-30 of them, most with their backs to the left - and horrendous gashes or missing pieces all the while.
The floor was damp in places - a quick glance either way would show some of the aquarium fronts on the smaller displays were smashed. And the big central tank? Typically, it held sharks or other wildlife. But today - it was red with blood.
And from the center, one can hear a steady 'thump' 'thump' 'thump'. But the source would be hidden behind the red mist.
|Trixie||Trixie shivers as she looks across the giant chamber beyond the barricade. "Guys, I just heard something from that left corridor... watch the dead people over there," she cautions softly. "Might be livelier than they look." The main tank is seen, and the bloody water draws another shiver. "Oh-Em-Gee... I've seen that movie..." she whispers. "Stay /away/ from that tank. Far away."|
|Buck Rogers||When Buck breaches the barricade and rushes in, one mammoth foot smashing through it, he's prepared for immediate violence. A quick scan of his surroundings reveals nothing threatening in the vicinity, and the tension in him melts for the moment, though it lingers, low-level. Keeping point, he makes his way to the group of corpses sprawled out with surprising consistency, taking a knee and examining them. "Check for survivors," he demands, but it's pointless formality-- there's a certainty in the pit of his stomach that they're looking at an unrestrained slaughter. "Why are they all on one side... ?" An open question, as he reaches a gloved hand out to turn one of the corpses, looking at the jagged, bleeding edge of its torso, entrails spilling out. He glances at the red mist and the thump, thump, thump from the central tank, nodding. "We'll split and sweep the floors. There might be someone alive hiding. Avoid the central tank-- meet back up here in ten. We're not equipped to deal with infected sharks, so we're backing out when we've confirmed no one's trapped in here."|
|Prestige William Caldwell||Caldwell nearly heaves up his lunch, what does come up is a bit of spit and heavy breathing. "Oh god..I think i'm gonna be sick.." he mutters, looking over the slaughter. "What the hell happened here?" he asks, turning on his tactical flashlight and looking around the area, keeping an eye on the bodies in particular. "I highly doubt anyone survived whatever happened here, Buck. But you got it." and he looks around for anyone that's NOT looking like they're already dead. "Is that a..shark tank filled with blood? Have they been feeding people to it?"|
|Benny||"Contact left. Something silvery and with teeth. Don't know how many." Benny says in a hushed whisper as he moves up quickly but silently from his double rear position, first tapping Rebecca on the shoulder lightly and then moving up to Buck, who is the team leader. He then holds up his hand in a fist to signal for the group to stop, then goes to a kneeling position on one knee. He is holding his Samurai Edge pistol with a silencer attached at the ready in the low tuck position, his H&K MP7 is currently slung over his shoulder with a cross strap. "Contact middle tank. Saw movement, looks like a tentacle." He nods to Trixie as she tells the team pretty much the same thing.
He feels bile in the back of his throat, the torn up bodies and the smell don't help matters much. He fights the feeling of naseua, after he gives his report, he listens carefully to Buck's instructions and blinks when he turns over the corpse. He glances towards Trixie and William before replying to the team commander, "Copy orders, Buck...but I have a bad feeling about this..." He was also following along with Buck.
|Rebecca Chambers||That flash of silvery that Benny saw - one lunges out of the back of one of the corpses as Buck draws near it. A sinous, snake-like body - and it rebounds off of his shield with his far-too-large teeth and flashing red eyes. If you wanted to know what it was, you'd have to roll biology, but right now...
It was basically a snake, with fangy teeth that rip and tear.
And flashes from the bodies that William and Benny draw near display more of them. One leaps from the corpse in a spray of gore and catches Benny by the arm, lashing around it like a constrictor - no doubt to sink his fangs into his arm as it tries to find purchase.
Likewise the one with William - but William wasn't aware at all, so it sinks its fang into his legs, teeth punching through jeans and pants - but not leg armor, if he was wearing some.
|Rebecca Chambers||And more bodies start to shiver and twist - roiling with ~something~ living and moving within them.|
|Rebecca Chambers||And the center tank thumping grows into a greater frenzy - a series of random knocks against all areas in the direction of the S.T.A.R.S. team.|
|Buck Rogers||The coiling mass of teeth and twisting bodies smashes against Buck's shield, leaving a red splattering of blood across its translucent face. The shock of it startles him, forcing him back a step in instinctive recoil, but he quickly gathers his wits and stares down the writhing masses. "Back up," Buck calls, rising to his feet and taking a few steps back. Whatever the hell those things are, the last thing he wants to do is get swarmed by them in such a constrained area. "Quit shooting! Search aborted-- back out!" There's nothing to gain in here; the odds of there being survivors immediately sank when it turned out the bodies were still aggressive. Staying in here with monsters and that ominous central tank is pointless.|
|Trixie||"Tentacle? Okay... different movie, probably same idea," Trixie murmurs, aiming her Samurai Edge at the corpses. "Silvery, fangs..? Better stay away from- hey, where are you going?! We don't even know if those people are /dead/-dead!" she yelps as Buck hurries inside.
And then suddenly the bodies erupt with snakes, or eels, or something like, and she gives out a little scream of terror. On instinct she takes a bead on the bodies and fires twice into the mass. One slug whines away off the floor, but the other seems to find a target. "Guys, get OUT of there!!" she cries, nearly beside herself with terror for her teammates.
|Prestige William Caldwell||William is attacked by a slithery sneaky snake. He yells out as the snake sinks its teeth into his leg armor "Get this damn thing off of me!" he yells out. Suddenly he whips out his combat knife and stabs it in the back, pushing it off him with a quick kick after that. "We gotta go, now!" he tries to get out of there ASAP, Buck was more of the tank, William was just a really tall shooter mans. "We gotta go people! NOW!" he takes cover behind Bucks shield and tries to retreat as fast as possible with his team|
|Benny||"Holy Shit!" Benny exclaims when one of the silvery snakes suddenly shoots out of a corpse and wraps around his arm. He reacts on instinct, his years of Kungfu training has honed his reaction and as the creatures entangles his arm, he quickly jerks the arm back, while swiping his other hand against it in a whip like fashion, which throws the snake off and it thuds against the wall. He quickly, draws his combat knife from the sheath and holsters his Samurai Edge Pistol, not wanting to accidently hit the glass where the tentacle thingy is thrashing about. Rather than engaged any more of these creatures, he listens to Buck's command to tactically withdraw and heads backwards, with s sliding step keeping his eyes forward to defend himself in case any more snakes try to attack him. "Trixie, is there any way to seal off this corrider?"|
|Rebecca Chambers||There was a problem with retreating, now - and Trixie finds out that problem first. One of her shots dings off one of the side tanks and causes the blue water inside to spill out onto the floor below - dousing the man beneath with an eel head sticking out of his throat.
And the man sounds sickly.
Yes, he groans - a wet, gurgling sound, his eyes empty as he stands up, another eel sticking its head out of a chewed hole in his abdomen.
And this causes a series of other responses to sound.
Most notably, between Trixie and the others - four or five zombies, all sprouting eels, start to lift, cutting off easy escape. Not to mention another half dozen randomly arranged around the others. They could retreat farther into the corridor - maybe there'd be another exit there. But that would require leaving Trixie behind.
And one musn't forget about the thumping from the center tank... a little 'tink' sounds. A little indent - a crack in the heavy glass surrounding the tank. But luckily, perhaps, these things rarely seemed to pound the same place twice. Lucky so far.
Benny's serpent strikes the side of the wall, and leaves a red trail sliding all the way down - but he was backing up into a wall of zombies - and they reach out their hands for him.
William fares a little better - the serpent is struck, falls back - and with another hiss - leaps out to try to strike him again!
|Rebecca Chambers||The same eel that Buck first fended off, was fended off again, its little jaws finding no purchase on the shield - leaps up towards an exposed part of Buck's neck... and was severed in two by the swipe of a knife.|
|Rebecca Chambers||And meanwhile, Rebecca Chambers - somewhere on the trail, was frowning to herself, leaning over a monkey that had fallen from the trees, and was limping around. "...hey, little guy," she says. "Do you mind if I help you out of here? You don't seem that vicious..." she says. Picking up the monkey who clings to her like a mam, Rebecca straightens, and looks around.
"...hello?" she asks the forest, that only responds with monkey noises.
|Buck Rogers||"Break through!" Retreating deeper is too risky now-- every corpse is a potential monstrosity, and there's no guarantee they'll find another exit, rather than be trapped and swarmed... and that central tank looks increasingly unpleasant. Buck is instantly in motion, barreling toward Trixie, every limb a violent whirlwind aiming to utterly devastate every last thing in his way with a straightforward, knife-handed brutality. If they take a few hits, so be it-- they'll live. They just need to make it back to the entrance.|
|Trixie||Trixie stares at the mass of eel-filled dead between herself and her teammates in trembling disbelief and horror. Then she looks at the stream of water from the tank that had been punctured and awakened the dead again. Then she looks at her Samurai Edge and grimaces in fear and indecision, remembering Buck's order to hold her fire. "Ohmigawd... damned if I do, really damned if I don't..." she moans.
And then Buck shouts to break through, and she just throws up her hands and holsters her pistol, reaching for her knife. A teammate might burst through that mass any second, and she does /not/ want to be the one to shoot or stab them! "Guys, come on out! I'll... I'll assist!" she shouts to the others. "Whatever the hell that may mean..." she adds, to herself, readying herself to move to assist the first one out however she can. If she can.
|Prestige William Caldwell||William watches as the dead literally rise, with...eels in them? That was horrifying, disturbing, and frightening all in one. "Jesus! Shoot them!" he raises his pistol and fires off a shot towards the zombie, headshotting it at once with a single bullet, causing a spray of blood, brain matter, and bone. He takes a deep breath and releases it. "God damn..how many of these things are there?! What do we do, Buck?"|
|Benny||Benny spins quickly, when he feels his foot hit something squishy, undead and has snakes inside of it. His knife is a blur in his hands, as he uses his free hand to grab one zombie by the side of it's head and his knife hand slices through the neck, cleanly separating it's head from the body. Blood gushes out of the neck, including a snake's tail but he quickly steps forward, ducking his head as the fountain of blood gushes over him flows into the next move by attacking a second zombie that is still standing after Buck's bezerker rage took down two of them. His second attack is not as effective, merely slashing a zombie's arm as it tried to grab him clusimly. "Braaaiiinnnnzzzz" it groans or sounds something like that anyways. "We gotta fight our way to Trixie, keep going and don't look back."|
|Rebecca Chambers||Needless to say, these men and women were S.T.A.R.S. for a reason. They were the best. Between Buck's shield, Benny's knife, and William's pistol fire - the zombies themselves slump to the ground - removing that physical wall between the team and their exit.
Zombies were stumbling towards them from behind as well, but these ones moved less... intently than ones they may be used to. Some couldn't see, with eyes removed to house eels. Some had them sprouting out of legs and arms.
So they had a little bit extra shamble to them.
The fallen zombies were growling, as Benny observed - but all that was left were little snappings at their feet if they should try to move over them, the eels that they once housed snapping for the sweet flesh that walks by them.
And in the center tank, there a single /WHUMP/!
And a tentacle sticks straight through. The end of the tentacle sways there a moment, before, with a sickening sound, an eye opens on the very end - a yellow thing with a wild crimson pupil that surveys the S.T.A.R.S.
|Rebecca Chambers||Water begins to leak out, but it is a slow drip, from that very narrow opening.|
|Buck Rogers||"Get to the entrance," Buck tells William as his subordinate fights, every slash of his knife tearing arteries and ligaments and releasing frankly improbable sprays of blood, coating him in viscera and filth. He stomps through the line of eels snapping at the ground-- no time to stop and kill them, especially not when that queer, baleful eye opens, some mutant tentacle staring at them in no natural fashion. "Go, go, go!" Hopefully, that massive creature just feels like watching.. but if it starts getting aggressive..|
|Prestige William Caldwell||William nods to Buck and immediately starts booking it across the aquarium towards the exit. He stamps and swerves around the eels trying his best to avoid them, he does however, fire another shot off in the room, hitting either an eel or a zombie should some still remain. Trying to get out of there as soon as possible, because zombies and eels are a big no no.'|
|Benny||Benny feels like he's in a video game - ironically, Street Fighter Zombie Edition! If only he knew how to throw Hadokens his life would be complete. "I...really...hate...snakes! And ZOMBIES!" As one of the snakes tries to take a bite of his leg, he slashes his knife downwards, severing it's head for its indiscretions towards him. As he rushes the snake gauntlet, it is almost like he is playing hop scotch, Kung Fu style as he nimbly dodges two other snake attacks and makes it through to Trixie. Of course he doesn't have much time to rejoice as he skids to a stop, the momenutm of his dash carries him slightly past Trixie as he spies the freaky tentacle with an eye staring at them! "What...the fuck is...that!?"|
|Trixie||"C'mon, guys! You can do it!! I'm out here rooting for you!!" Trixie cries as she watches and waits, afraid for her team but unable to assist their escape without further endangering them. After a moment of indecision, she sheaths the knife and draws her pistol once more, taking a firing stance and waiting for them to emerge...
The massive THUMP startles her, and she instinctively looks past the others, freezing for a second as she sees that terrible, baleful eye on the end of the tentacle, staring at her teammates, and just possibly her as well.
And it's the last straw for the terrified, angry girl. "Go suck an eel, Squidnado..." she growls, bracing the Beretta and firing. Her target is the creepy peeping tentacle.
|Rebecca Chambers||A bullet strikes dead in the center of the eyeball on the antennae, as the rest of the S.T.A.R.S. break free - it's a clear dash to the exit!
But the tentacle withdraws, and the walls start shaking with a sound: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/1/1d/NOC_whale_sound.ogg - repeated over and over and over again, with increasingly higher volumes.
More thuds, more sounds of breaking glass. If one dares to look behind them, they would see tentacle after tentacle poking through the glass, each with a frenzied eye on the end. The center tank was a wall of them, easily twenty or so - just from what could be seen from the door.
And more and more water starts to leak out from the center tank - the red, misty water smelling like poison as it seeps towards the door and starts filling the corridors.
|Buck Rogers||Smashing through the once-barricaded double doors, kicking over the garbage can and sending its contents spilling across the walkway in his haste, Buck makes sure the rest of the group has similarly made it out. As the gunshot rings, and the cracks spread through the glass, the red-poisoned water spurts in great streams like opened veins, filling the area with a foul, foul scent. "Get away from the water!" He yells, and keeps moving. The tank's going to shatter, and they don't want to be anywhere near it when it happens-- who knows how many of those critters will wash out, or what that water might do to them.|
|Benny||"Woah...nice shot Trix!" Benny exclaims as the tentacle eyeball thingy explodes after Trixie shoots it. He quickly motions for her to run, giving her a gentle push if she lets him towards the exit. Since he's probably one of the fastest runners in the group, he lets the others get ahead of him and he trails behind slightly so that he can run interference if needs to be. He's rear security after all and takes that role very seriously. He glances around for Rebecca as he's running out of the exit, back into the Zoo. He yells, "Rebecca...Rebecca, Evac! Evac! Get to the Tahoe! S.T.A.R.S. we are LEAVING!" He hopes that his voice will reach Becca's ears because he isn't going to leave her behind. He went through to much in the Arklay mountains to leave the one they rescued trapped in island of moreau zombie zoo of hell! After they all reach the Tahoe safely, his adrenaline finally wears off, that bad sushi he had or motion sickness finally catches up with him and he unceremoniously PUKES his guts up, on the street. He is doubled over with projectile vomit coming out. He still has his S.T.A.R.S. combat knife in his hands though, nearly stabbing himself in the gut while he's ralphing. "Unnngggghhhhh...sorry..." He dry heaves, his stomach now running on empty and rests one hand on his knee. The knife still in a death grip in his right hand, chunks of zombie and snake guts still dripping form it.|
|Trixie||Trixie turns and runs after her teammates, watching for any zombies or eels that might try to follow. Otherwise, she runs for her life, looking for and hoping that Rebecca is close behind them. She only slows down once they reach the Tahoe, panting and exhausted. A long look around reveals that everyone is accounted for, and she silently begins to cry with relief that everyone is alive.
And then she scowls, pointing back toward the zoo gates. "And /that/... is why you /don't/ rush in when you see /dead people/ lying around..." she says softly but intensely, riding the wave of relief-rage common to all mama bears.