Out of the Frying Pan

A Gaming Session Of All Flesh Must Be Eaten

The Back Story: (aka the idea that became the setup for this game)
"It started as a normal day for each of us. We awoke, went about our regular daily routine, not knowing that today was going to be anything but routine. Breakfasts were eaten, coffees made and drank. Last kisses given to loved ones before we went about our day. Had we known that this would be the last normal day, we might have done things differently..."
This narrative is the "After Action Report" (AAR) of the current AFMBE game being run, set in Carson City, Nevada. So far, two sessions have been completed, and more are sure to follow.
The Cast Of Characters: (aka the Player Characters)
Name Player Archetype Character Type Status
  1 Jock Survivor Deceased, Dead
  1 Police Officer Survivor Alive & Uninjured
  2 Scientist Norm Deceased, Animated, Now Dead
  2 Detective Norm Alive & Uninjured
  3 Disgruntled Former Employee Survivor Alive & Mildly Wounded - Human Inflicted
  4 Narcissistic Jeweller Norm Alive & Mildly Wounded - Human Inflicted
  5 Video Store Clerk Norm Alive & Uninjured
  6 Artist Norm Alive & Uninjured
  7 Journalist Norm Alive & Uninjured
  8 Cheerleader Survivor Alive & Uninjured
Session Start
The game began relatively uneventfully. The Jock was at the plaza to do some banking as was the Cheerleader. The Scientist was on his way back to work after visiting the cafe on the ground floor. The Narcissistic Jeweller was late for work - but since he owned an entire floor of the building, he cared little about when he arrived. The Video Store Clerk was set to visit a radio station to collect the prize he won in a call-in on-air contest and the Journalist was heading back to her office. The Artist was all set to go shopping at the jewellery store. That left the Disgruntled Former Employee - wrongfully (in his mind) fired from his job at the bank, he had been living in his car for the past few weeks - his home foreclosed upon by the bank, and his other assets lost from an addiction to online gambling. In his hand he carried a duffle bag - prepacked with handguns, a shotgun, hunting rifle and enough ammunition to ensure that he wouldn't be the only one to fall this day.
By a twist of fate, they were each inside the elevator that morning. When the power went off between floors, they didn't think much of it. The Disgruntled Former Employee was willing to tolerate some delay, as he had a specific task to complete.
Then, they heard the screams outside their elevator. Screams of abject terror, which seemed to go on for ten to fifteen minutes, before they dwindled away to nothing. Afterwards, all they heard was silence. None of them could get any cellular service from within the elevator, and after waiting for at least half an hour, they decided to take action.
With a little careful work (and some sweat), they were able to open the elevator doors enough to let people exit, one at a time. The elevator was apparently stuck between the second and third floors. Outside the elevator, they saw a lobby that was in shambles. The fire lights were on, and they could see splashes of what appeared to be blood sprayed upon the walls - but no visible source for the blood.
Carefully, they each exited from the elevator. They could see bits of human tissue scattered on the floor, and had NO idea what to make of it. Since they lacked any weapons (and since the Disgruntled Former Employee clutched his duffle bag like a favoured chew toy), they grabbed what they could: a pair of fire axes and a fire extinguisher.
As they checked out the floor vestibule, they realized that they weren't completely alone: there was a body slumped over a glass table flanked by comfortable-looking sofa chairs. As they got closer, they realized it wasn't slumped over the table at all: instead, it was feasting on the remains of another! The jock collapsed into panicked hysterics, babbling like a frightened schoolgirl, while the others managed to keep their cool. The creature sharply looked up at them, snarled, and lunged at the group, blood and entrails trailing from its mouth. The group made quick work of it, though the fire axes seemed only to irritate it more. This problem was solved by the sudden report from the Disgruntled Former Employee's shotgun - dropping their assailant at their feet. Prior to its death, however, this "thing" had managed to rake its nails along the Jock's arm. The injury was relatively minor, but stung, and would bleed slowly until properly bandaged.
They were rewarded by a chorus of moans - outside the vestibule, they could see more of these creatures, lunging at the glass of the doors, intent upon the lunch waiting just inside. Though the maglocks were down, these creatures didn't seem to understand the concept of pulling on a door, rather than pushing. The glass, however, wouldn't hold for long. As cracks began to appear in the reinforced glass, the motley group of survivors decided to retreat to the relative safety of the elevator, and not a moment too soon! The windows gave way shortly after the last one re-entered the elevator, and they were able to close the elevator doors seconds before the howling mob followed them inside.
The Narcissistic Jeweller made the suggestion that they get up to his office. He had food there, a medical kit, a handgun and a satellite phone. Naturally, he omitted the fact that he had a small cache of gemstones useful for barter.
After opening the elevator roof hatch, the gang began their climb up to the seventh floor. The service ladder was slippery, but usable, providing only a few tense moments on the climb up. Upon their arrival, they were pleased to note that the vestibule here was unscathed. Whatever it is that had happened on the lower level might not have made it to this level.
After unlocking the doors into his office level, the Narcissistic Jeweller discovered that they hadn't been so lucky. There were signs of chaotic battle inside the office itself. Blood trails led several different directions inside the main hallway, and several severed (and chewed upon) limbs could be seen lying on the ground.
After a moment's reflection, the Disgruntled Former Employee realized that things were far worse than they were before, and handed pistols out to those who could use them, keeping the shotgun for himself (and the rifle in the bag). The group entered the office space, lit only by the emergency backup lights, the light revealed less than it hid from view. They managed to secure the floor, and found several more of these stubborn walking corpses without injury. Three were dispatched with fire axes, two by pistols and one by the boomstick - the shotgun hit was a lucky one, exploding the zombie's head in a mist of blood, bone and brains. A few others were left incapacitated, but were left alone otherwise, as nobody wanted to get close enough to dispatch them.
By luck, one was decapitated in error. The Jock had been aiming for its head, but instead he managed a lucky shot to the neck. The Disgruntled Former Employee kicked the headless (though still animated) body into one of the office spaces, which they then closed and locked. Armed with nothing but a smile and a fire extinguisher, the Cheerleader smushed the still dangerous severed head.
Moments later, their luck ran out. They got sloppy and walked into a corridor with corpses around them. Nobody thought to shoot the corpses in the head or whack them with an axe on the way by. As the Scientist was passing by one, it grabbed his leg and bit him. While he screamed in pain, the jock managed to punt the head off the Scientist's leg, and the Narcissistic Jeweller putting a bullet in the zombie's brain. On the plus side, they now had direct access to the Narcissistic Jeweller's office.
They now found themselves camped out behind locked doors, and considering their next moves. Cellular service is practically nonexistent, though they do get internet service from the office computer. Satellite phones are still working reasonably well, though nobody seems to answer most of their outbound calls. The few people that the Journalist are able to contact are completely unwilling to provide any concrete help - or are not interested in providing anything more than confirmation that this "walking dead" problem seems to be citywide.
The scientist's condition is worsening rapidly, and they're not sure yet what to do. Things in the outside world seem to be taking a turn for the worse. Over a satellite radio transmission, they learn that US government has declared martial law in the Continental United States, and all airlines have been grounded. Other reports have come in that there are large-scale riots in Paris, Berlin, Tokyo, Madrid, Moscow, Johannesburg, Sydney, Rio De Janeiro and other major cities.
Some sort of infection seemed to be spreading from the Scientist's leg wound. After quick consultation, the group decided to attempt to amputate his leg below the knee, and cauterize it with a hot plate (power being provided via the emergency generator service that the Narcissistic Jeweller had installed in order to protect his business from theft during a power failure). The Scientist passed out from shock after the first whack with the fire axe, though he appeared to stabilize after they finished their grisly work. While they were arguing about the next step to take after cauterizing the wound, the Scientist died without regaining consciousness.
Over their satellite radio feed, they heard the CNN announcement of a coming presidential address - or, to be more precise, an address by the acting president. The address commenced shortly thereafter.
The address given was as follows:
“… the Office of the White House has been strangely quiet since this all began. Other than last night’s declaration of Martial Law, we have heard nothing from the President or his chief of staff. Again, I wish to inform our listeners that our country is in chaos. Since the beginning of this crisis yesterday, we have heard nothing from President Obama. Rumours of his death have neither been confirmed nor denied by the White House, other than the brief press release we were given earlier today…
I’ve just received an update. The President, or should I say ‘Acting President’ will be addressing the nation shortly… And… it looks like it will be beginning in mere moments. We are going live now to a secure Presidential facility, where the acting President, Duncan Arne, formerly the Secretary of Education, sixteenth in line of presidential succession, will be addressing the nation…”
Good evening, citizens of this besieged nation. I am coming to you today to assure you that despite the horrific events of the past twenty-four hours, the government of this United States remains.
Due to extraordinary circumstance, it is with the greatest sorrow that I report our 44th President, Barack Obama, is at this time missing and presumed dead. Therefore, and to preserve the ability of the United States government to act swiftly in this building crisis, Congress has enacted the Presidential Succession Act of 1947. Through this Act, Congress has made every effort to contact the appropriate officers of succession. For reasons as yet unknown, my office has been the only one to be reached by Congressional officers thus far.
I am sure that all of you are aware of the dire situation facing us today. All of the major cities of the United States – as well as many of our allies – are under attack by what can only be described as the walking dead. These… “things” remain alive despite all reason, and feast upon the flesh of the living. Two days ago, the mere suggestion of something such as this would have been dismissed as sheer fantasy – something you would see in a Hollywood movie, perhaps. In these changing times, however, we have all been forced to reconsider our understanding of the world around us.
The list of cities infected by these creatures is a broad one, and I will not list it here. Various news services should carry the full list and will update it as time permits.
The CDC office in San Francisco was able to confirm that the cause of this disease is some sort of bio-terrorist agent. The exact source of this pathogen has yet to be found, but this administration has ordered that every effort be made to isolate its source and ensure that due justice is done.
This virus, however, and its effects are both swift and relentless. I have been in discussion with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and they have advised that the situation east of the Rockies can be considered to be tenuous, at best. Many of our citizens have been infected, with countless more being devoured by the creatures that used to be their family and dearest friends. Our total casualties to date can only be guessed at, but must number in the millions, if not more.
This administration declared martial law last night, with little to no result in the situation. These “creatures” are multiplying faster than expected, rendering all of our efforts meaningless.
Therefore, and with no other recourse, I have authorized an evacuation of all parts of the continental United States east of the Rocky Mountains. This evacuation is to take effect immediately. The surviving members of the United States Army, Marine Corps, Air Force and Navy are working now to establish an exclusion zone west of the line of the Rockies and north of Santa Rosa, California. All citizens in the remainder the continental United States are to make every effort to escape the cities and make their way to the military posts established at the east end of the mountain passes through the Rockies. There, they will be greeted, cleared by the CDC and FEMA, and granted access to the safe zone. Bring only what you must: medical supplies, food and enough clothing for the trip, as personal belongings will likely be rejected upon entering the Safe Zone.
In addition, I have ordered the United States Air Force to deploy for a mission that can only be described as key to our future survival. In thirty-six hours, elements of the 8th Air Force will be dropping sound emitters all major population centers in the United States containing significant numbers of infected individuals. After six hours have passed, elements of the 2nd, 5th, 509th and 917th Bomb Wings will then strike at each of these areas of infestation with a series of low-yield nuclear weapons. These weapons will be fused as airbursts in order to minimize the long-term global environmental impact. It is therefore of absolute importance that surviving citizens leave immediately and begin their trek to the Safe Zones. In forty-eight hours, all survivors must be a minimum of 35 miles from any large city in the Midwest, southwest, southeast or northeast of the United States. Fallout risks should be minimal, but precautions should be taken to avoid consuming contaminated water or food.
Our nation is at a crossroads. Either we will be resilient, and send back these creatures back to the depths of hell, or they will consume us.
In the meantime, let me assure you that every effort is being made to find the madmen responsible for this diabolical attack upon our great and glorious nation. We are a peaceful people, but we believe that any act of evil must be strongly countered. Any other nation found to have aided or assisted with this devastating attack will also be named our enemy. Our people and our nation have a long memory. Those who wrong us will pay the ultimate price. Our wrath will be swift, sure and violent.
Thank you and God bless.
This caused considerable panic, for a moment. Though the distance they would need to travel was relatively minor, they had no idea on what conditions were like “out there”. Plus, they lacked a considerable quantity of food and weapons – which would be a necessity in order to survive this trek.
In the midst of it all, the Disgruntled Former Employee and the Narcissistic Jeweller decided to kill the Jock - he had been scratched earlier and had been giving them both a hard time. For all they knew, he was infected, too! When he returned with a new survivor in tow (who had been hidden in a closet in the office), he got a little physical with the other two, and proceeded to be dropped by some very lucky point-blank attack rolls.
In retaliation, the Journalist capped the Disgruntled Former Employee in the elbow, ending hostilities (for the moment) after aiming her pistol at the Narcissistic Jeweller's head. The Video Store Clerk confiscated the weapons held by the other two, and returned them to the duffle bag (now in his hands). The Journalist's phone then chirped - a contact of hers within the Carson City PD! The detective on the phone told her that he and another police officer were safe, but atop the water tower. An abandoned "deuce and a half" truck was nearby, and they told her they'd meet the group at the loading dock to their building.
The group gathered the few supplies they could (all the food and drinks from the office they had been in) and started to climb back down the elevator shaft. The last one to climb down was Video Store Clerk, and was suddenly beset by the newly-animated (and hungry) Scientist. After a vicious (but short) melee between the two of them, the Video Store Clerk was able to push the walking corpse back and clamber down the elevator shaft - losing their only shotgun in the process (the zombie had its hands on it, and it was the only thing that kept it from biting him).
Without much issue, the newcomers met with the group from the elevator, who then hightailed it out of Carson City. From the terms of the presidential address, they knew they needed to get far out of city limits, and heading north west worked well - and would carry them towards the areas purported to be safe by the US military.
Along the way, they found a small convoy of US army 2 1/2 ton trucks that had run off the road. One had crushed the lower body of a zombie and held it pinned in place. The other had crashed into a tree. In one, they found cases of MREs. And a reanimated GI. They were able to kill the zombie quickly and grab two cases of MREs before they heard the moans and hoots of the approaching dead in the nearby forest. So, they left the other truck behind.
While on the way, they managed to do a little bartering at a gun & surplus store west of Carson City - the owner likes shiny diamonds, and knew that doom was upon them already. While negotiating, one of the survivors on guard outside saw what looked like a star rising in the east - ICBMs, perhaps?? Outbound mail. Their destination was anyone's guess, and none of them wanted to stay there long enough to find out.
-- To Be Continued --
Session End