Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Ravens Pt. Two

It was an all too common problem that Heinrich and other raiders faced; finding survivors tucked away in some remote store or home. Most of the time they were half-starved and crazed, but sometimes they could be reasoned with, brought back to the village to rejoin humanity. The rest of the time they were the occultists that paid homage to dark gods and spirits, relying on their arcane abilities to carve out a niche for themselves in this new, horrifying world. Heinrich’s sickles were each coated with silver, hammered onto the curved blades over the cold iron they were cast from.
The perfect weapon against anything supernatural.
Heinrich had personally killed two Necromancers with his twin sickles, as well as one Night Mother; a horrible, twisted creature that, while undead, still retained their intellect and gained a host of nasty powers gifted to them by the dark gods. Their teeth and claws were dripping with a diseased much that would create horrible infections within hours, as well as drug you into a sluggish state that made it hard to fight, or even move.
Walking up to the register, Heinrich reached out and grabbed one of the rose scented candles. The wax was warm, and yielded to his touch.
“Someone’s here,” He said, looking over at Steven with a worried glance, “or has been recently. Stay on the lookout.”
Steven nodded before pulling out a dented duck whistle, one of the old tools hunters used to replicate the honks and quacks of their quarry. Putting it to his lips, he let loose two short cries; a code that let the others know there was danger nearby, and not in the form of the walking dead. For David and Samuel it meant they needed to convene at the duck call; for Michael, it meant he needed to watch their back by remaining where he was.
Pushing through the batwing doors to gain access behind the counter, Heinrich and Steven began searching the shelves for anything of use: antibiotics, prescription strength painkillers, insulin… it was all needed. They quickly began pulling bottles into their satchels, carefully checking the labels to ensure they weren’t mixing in any anti-depressants or anything similar. Heinrich moved over to where the Pharmacists had enclosed bottles in paper bags, sorting them by name of the customer.
These he didn’t bother to read, merely shoving the entirety of the paper bags into his satchel. Heinrich jumped as David rounded the corner, a few bottles of wine peeking out from his own satchel, a wide smile on his face.
“I found batteries!” He whispered, giving Heinrich a thumbs up.
This brought a smile to his face for the first time in days. Batteries were like unicorns now, pretty much the stuff of legend. They were usually the first things looted from any store that they visited, if they were lucky enough to find any. Heinrich hadn’t even thought of telling his men to look for the precious little bars of electricity, but now he couldn’t stop smiling.
“Good work! Glad I let you get that wine now. Any sign of Samuel?”
“Not yet, but the back entrance is through the employee only area,” David replied, moving behind the counter to help with the sorting of the medicine, “I imagine he’s having a bit of a time securing the entrance, probably locked.”
A startling hiss and crackle issued from the ceiling, causing Heinrich to whip his sickles out in a flurry of movement before he could remember the sound of an intercom being used.
Wait, an intercom?
“Well well, it would seem I have visitors in my humble abode.” Came a sibilant drawl over the crackling speakers. “If I’d known I was to have company, I would have offered you all aid when you first arrived. But instead I find you stealing what is rightfully mine.”
“Shit,” Heinrich muttered, catching sight of Michael as he rushed to the back of the store towards the pharmacy.
“Since you insist on such rude behavior, I’m afraid I must insist on a fair exchange. Say the old Shakespearean exchange rate, a pound of flesh from each of you?” The voice said, saccharine and sweet. “My friends will ensure they take what you owe.”
Michael moved into the back of the pharmacy, eyes wild with fright. He looked to Heinrich, his blade clutched tightly in a white-knuckled grip. “Crawlers man, there are fuckin’ Crawlers in here!”
Shit, Heinrich thought, looking over the darkened store with dread, Crawlers are not what I was expecting…
Crawlers were creations of truly demented minds, human torsos with arms sewn into the flesh, creating eight legged monsters that were far faster than zombies, and far more deadly. Their heads were split down the middle, usually with bits of scrap metal or knives sewn in with wire to form monstrous teeth. While their bite wasn’t infectious, it was deadly as sin.
“How many did you see?” Heinrich demanded, crouching behind the counter, motioning for the others to do the same.
Michael dropped to a knee, bringing his sword down slowly, revealing a bit of pale flesh and blackened gore sticking to the end of it. “I tagged one good, but it had two others with it. All of them have eight or nine arms apiece, some of them with knives.”
“Great… just what we needed.” Heinrich groused as he heard one of the stacks within the store come tumbling down, a long enunciated hiss followed by a chorus of gurgling growls bringing a wave of despair over the seasoned warrior. “Alright, we lure them back here. Michael, you pin them with your sword and try and keep them from mobbing us. Steven, David I want you to hammer anything that comes over the counter; aim for the center mass and just keep hitting. I’ll use my sickles to disarm them.”
“Why do we have to do the heavy lifting while you just take away the knives they have?” David demanded in a harsh whisper, fear evident in his eyes.
“By disarm, I mean to literally hack away their arms you idiot.”

No comments:

Post a Comment