Saturday, October 29, 2011

HvZ: Mission Two

This morning I woke up, and felt super groggy and achy. I went to a late brunch, and then cruised through the campus, looking for any humans out and about, but to no avail. As the afternoon started, I felt odd. At first my fingertips went numb, and then my arms and legs tingled. I felt really warm, and all of a sudden the world spun, and all I saw was darkness.

When I woke up, I was on a covered flight of outside concrete stairs. I was dazed, and my head felt like it was splitting open. I tried walking off the stairs, and into the light rain, but I couldn't get halfway down the stairs before an intense paint wracked through my body. I retreated to the top of the flight and tried to remember how I had gotten there. Nothing was coming to me. I checked my watch, and it said 2:05 p.m.

I sat down and listened to the rain that pattered against the bricks and the hum of a nearby ventilation system. Just from what I saw around me, I realized that I was at the Steam Plant, just behind the Arts building and Ross Engineering. No one would really find me unless they knew where I was or were actively looking for me--and I couldn't go anywhere without collapsing.

The chilly air combined with the sounds of the rain and vents were very hypnotizing. I sat there for what felt like forever, and then I heard something. I looked up and saw a team of about twenty humans equipped to the teeth with blasters coming around the corner. The infection inside me looped at the sight of the weapons, and I wanted to flee, but my body wouldn't respond correctly.

The group spotted and came over to where I was. They seemed completely at ease and happy to have found me--a reaction that completely put me at unease. The woman in front came up to me, made sure I was alright, and then uttered a nonsensical phrase: Super bird. And then, it happened...
This image flashed in my mind, and everything flooded back to me.

I had been attacked from behind and tranquilized earlier in the day. At one point I had woken up, and found myself strapped down, people talking to me from all around, and flashing a series of cards changing in front of me. Someone out of my vision stuck me with a needle, and my arm burned as the chemicals mixed in my blood. The infection with in trembled at this invasion of the chemicals, and I could feel my mind becoming aware of the infection's loss of control over my body. They were curing me!

Some authority-sounding man spoke behind me, saying things that I couldn't pay attention to or decipher. My ears rang and my vision was getting cloudy. A moment before I became unconscious again the last flashcard was the Superman emblem, and the image of a bird in flight.

I blinked, and I was back on the steps of the Steam Plant, surrounded by a huge group of humans. I looked down at my watch, and it now read 2:18 p.m. The woman told me that I was a test subject for a strain of "Agent Z"--a possible cure for the infection. I had been captured as a zombie, given a dose of Agent Z, and left at the Steam Plant to test the effects of it, especially on mobility and cognition responses. So far, my mind was behaving as an un-infected human should without a live version of the infection in them. This was a phenomenal step. I needed to be protected and escorted to a pick-up zone for the Bellingham Defense Front (BDF).

The group of humans all swarmed around me, kept me hidden and protected, and we proceeded to Miller Hall. Inside, there was another zombie-turned-human by Agent Z. It was explained by a military member that quite a few different subjects were given various doses and strains of Agent Z to test all of its effects, and that the BDF was preparing to pick up these test subjects at 3:00 p.m. We had to get these "objectives" from Miller Hall, to the extraction point at the tennis courts on The Ridge before their doses wore off.

It was decided that the group of humans present would split into a few groups: two groups defending and escorting the two objectives, with a third group running around for added protection and intel. My group decided to try and use the PAC route to get to the Ridge, and so we made our way through Miller Hall so we could building-hop. Once our group was reloaded, strapped up, and had me safely in the middle, we launched.

We rushed out of Miller and were going to use the Humanities Building and Old Main as jump-points, but after seeing no zombies we briskly walked all the way to Vendor's Row, and filed down beneath the PAC. The PAC has many exits, and we knew any infected that saw us wouldn't be able to track all of them. After filing through the building, we came out on High Street. Our presence had been detected, but we all pushed across the street, and the whole way up to The Ridge. The zombies stalked us the entire way, but my group kept tight on me--I even had a few personal guards to kept them with me, even if the other members strayed off to stun a zombie or scout ahead.

We were hunted the entire way through The Ridge, but we all kept close as we filed through the parking lot, and then along a back-road going between all the dorms. One of our members had a key into Delta and the Ridgeway Commons. The group rested a moment and tried to figure out a way to get me to the tennis court, a mere thirty feet from one of the exits. At this point, we were pinned down in the building, as groups of infected has circled up around the building and extraction point.

One of my guards was able to confirm that at least one of the other objectives had reached the courts safely, and that the court may be protected by an anti-infection mist or signal. We were sufficiently pinned down, no matter which way we went. All we could do was wander from door to door, peaking out at the hungry infected. As the clock grew closer to 4 p.m., I could feel the effects of Agent Z wearing off. At first, there was a nagging feeling in the back of my head that kept creeping forward, and my chest began to have that hollow feeling again.

As Agent Z completely left my system, I could feel the infection taking over again. It was numbed, but it was returning. About this time is when we heard the news--the other objective was going to be picked up by the BDF. All the infected focused their efforts on the tennis court, where the humans were guarding their objective. There was only enough time for three waves, which the humans were able to keep their objective safe and rescued--but many humans were turned in this last effort. The humanity and infection in me fought each other as I watched the onslaught from the sidelines.

During the evening, there was word that the different tests of Agent Z had helped synthesize an air-distributed serum that helps fight the infection. Essentially, it targets the infection's ability to recover from being stunned by the polyurethane in the darts. The serum was successful, but only to an extent--now the infection took 12 minutes to recover, instead of the usual 10. It was a victory, but a small one that many of us figured would effect us less over time. We had the BDF on the run...

Saturday, October 22, 2011

HvZ: Day Three

Day three was terrible for us infected. We woke up realizing that the pulses and tremors that invaded our dreams were not only a reality: the humans had received a device to keep us at bay.

The morning dragged by, knowing that the humans were safe until noon; and each shudder in the air only made it worse. Our infections twisted and coiled within, ready to be released. On top of that, the weather matched our temperaments; it was windy, cold, and rainy.

During the rest of the day, humans stayed together, and weren't out in the open for long. It was a slow day, and my legs and body ached from the hunger and yearning. In the rain, I made my way back to my dorm, to rest and recuperate, and prepare. There had been whispers that the humans were planning another attack on the hordes on Saturday.

Friday, October 21, 2011

HvZ: Mission One

Thursday evening: Counterstrike

Our swarms of zombies grew, in a slow, predictable manner. Our prey fell to our tactics, their humanity slowly shed itself under our corrupting touches. Some were turned in mere minutes, others languished in that grey, mottled zone between human and infected, and eventually succumbed and joined the Pounding of Many Feet in the search for more humans.

Like I said before, we were all driven by that dull ache within. That mind-numbing drive to push forward and spread the feeling to more and more. One of of us...And with news of the administration preparing a strike against us, we hunted more fervently than ever, for both humans and information.

By the time evening was starting to chill the air, we had found enough viable information to attempt a counter to the humans' plots. Rumors of some sort of anti-infection device were found to be true. The admin had used a relatively small-radius device, keeping the infected away from a part of a building. That was just a test. We later learned that after they found it successful, the full-sized device was ordered to be flown in to campus via helicopter. There was also a vague time and location, but they were enough to go by.

At 6 p.m. we found a literal army of humans had set up a defense on the Communications Lawn, one of the perceived drop zones for the infernal device. Our own hordes congregated just outside of Parks Hall, crowding around the outcroppings of rocks. (Earlier in the day there was talk of a Rock of Authority being among the outcropping and sculptures here). As more of us gathered, Those That Make Us Chant stood atop the rocks and mounds, and guided us. We all knew that what the humans planned meant to stymy our spread, and that we had to act soon.

Due to the firepower of the humans, Those That Make Us Chant suggested that we should only attack in waves, as a constant attack would expose each of us to a near-lethal amount of darts and their polyurethane. Waves of infected ebbing and flowing would make the humans fearful, is what we were told.

Although the main group of humans massed upon the Comm Lawn, a few keen-eyed infected noticed small groups dispersed along the edges of campus, as if they were looking for something. Thinking they could be signaling reinforcements or obtaining supplies, small hunting packs formed up and sought them out.

Those of us still gathered outside of Parks divided up, and prepared for an assault. Next to Parks Hall we could see the mass of humans on the lawn. They had gathered in two groups,  about half in a tight ball on the actual lawn, and the other half taking the height advantage upon the stairs. As instructed by our peers, we formed long lines of infected, and stormed down the stairs, onto the lawn, and against the humans. Our lines wavered and curved, exposing many to the darts, and as the waves broke, they crashed into the humans on the lawn. Many of us were struck down by darts, but many brought back fresh infected to Parks Hall, where we waited until the side-effects of the darts wore off. Due to the size of our group, the newly-infected were turned quickly, shedding their humanity under our will. They became one of us.

This confrontation showed us how strongly fortified the field was, and we devised a plan to flaunt the size of the field--they couldn't guard it all. From Parks, we dispersed ourselves in small groups, flitting our way around the Comm lawn until we massed as a large column behind the Communications Facility. We anxiously waited, but when we struck from behind, we were deterred and had to retreat back to Parks and regroup. Once we were as one again, we charged the lawn and stairs from the front. We knew we were going to get struck down, but we came back with more fresh kills--I was able to infect a human separated from his guard, and one of the younger infected even managed to claim the Bearded Squirrel Man, the great human strategist. With this kill, we were encouraged and chanted and sang an old song from our human lives: We all live in a yellow submarine--a yellow submarine--a yellow submarine!

As the sky grew darker, the freshly-infected told that the device would be approaching the campus very soon. Together we stood upon the stairs next to Parks, and looked down at the field with yearning. We must have them! As a single group we spilled down the steps and onto the lawn, calmly filing into a long line across the field, and then into a rank of four lines. For a brief moment, the humans and infected stared at each other in the dim light, and chanted and called out to each other. And then, we crashed like a wave on their defenses for one last time. Again, we couldn't overtake them, but we did manage to cut down their numbers.

We jogged, ran, hobbled, and limped back to Parks, many of us drained and tired from the effects of the darts, and that's when we heard it. The helicopter approached the Comm lawn, and the humans still had quite a force to defend the position. Our own numbers were too few, and so we stayed back in the shadows. After a few moments, it was clear what the device was: we all heard a vibration in the air, like far off music, but each of us felt it more. Our infections were driven inward by the pulses and tremors in the air, and we could not stop it. We fled across the campus away from the device and its blasts that caused our infection to burrow and wallow in our chests, but there was no escaping it.

News spread that the device had only been prepped to run for so long. It was estimated that the power source and supplies used would only allow it to oppress us for 17 hours. And so, we went to sleep with the gnawing knowledge that we couldn't strike again until noon--and in our sleep we chanted: 

We accept you, 
we accept you.
One of us, 
one of us.
gooble, gobble.

HvZ: Day Two

Thursday: Life as a Zombie

This morning I woke up feeling very achy and sore all over. Taking a warm shower and stretching sort of helped, but then I realized it wasn't just a muscular ache or soreness. That ache and hollowness in my chest and legs remained. There was also another sensation sitting in my body, and I remember the only word I can describe it with was "hunger." I also realized that I was viewing and assessing the world in a different way: It felt like when you notice how things a tiny crack in a window that changes your vision just slightly.

After finding a small meal at the dining hall, I wandered down towards my class on far south campus. It was a very lonely morning, as I didn't see a single potential victim around, only the slowly-growing numbers of my brethren and sistren. We nodded our heads with slight smiles--we were as one and we all know it--even the fresh ones. I went to class as usual,took my exam, and again wandered outside.

The rest of the morning was slow and target-less. The one pack of humans I glimpsed disappeared into a building, and I had seen them toting large blasters that could easily spray me in darts...those filthy darts. Just seeing those blasters my body knew instinctively to be wary of them.

I later realized that the human I had infected the afternoon before still hadn't completely turned. A full 15 hours later, and he was still human. By the 16th hour he finally was consumed. Apparently those freshly-infected, in their first hour or two, sometimes spread a strain of the infection that hasn't passed the threshold to infect humans. (Others say that some humans may be slightly less susceptible).

When I looked upon my first kill, there was a vivid moment where I remembered the moment I tagged him. He had been leading a few zombies away from his friends so they can escape. For a moment I felt sad for him, but a shadow passed through me and all I could focus on in the memory was the feeling that went through me as I had infected him. One of of us...

By the afternoon more humans were about on campus, mainly to show up for classes, and they kept in tightly-knit packs that defended all their members. Of course, this didn't deter some of the braver zombies. The impacts from the darts cause our infection to withdraw deep within, but some zombies--especially Those That Make Us Chant--say this is good for promoting a healthy strain that will infect many. Makes it hearty and resistant.

In the late afternoon there was dark rumors crossing the campus. Many zombies claimed of information about a weapon against the growing hordes. They spoke of the local administration, and how it was already trying to contain our masses. The administration had deployed a device that could hold the infected at bay--specifically on the East-side of Haggard Hall, where all day many of our kind stayed away from, like some sort of a taboo. The rumors spread by the hordes claimed that an even greater weapon was coming to campus. We could not have this, and so we planned, waited, and searched for information.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

HvZ: Day One

Wednesday: Escorts and Exercise

I was extremely busy yesterday with the game, but I shall explain my adventures through the first day of HvZ, Fall 2011. I'll even throw in some map drawings, but those may come later.

Early in the morning, I woke up a little  earlier than usual and went about my morning routine. I gathered all my gear--backpack, blaster, clip, extra darts, moderator and player bands, and jacket--and headed out by 7:20 a.m. I knew my floormate (also an Alex), who has the same early-morning class as me, was more than likely one of the Origin Zombies, so I was wary of going outside. I got to the door, and sure enough he was waiting outside for me. Alex and I had an uneasy truce set up, but there was also another zombie just outside of the door. In a brief scuffle, I stunned both with socks and we all went to eat.

After eating, Alex split off to go hunt, and I was again attacked by the other zombie from before. If he hadn't scuffed his shoes while running, I'm pretty sure I may have been turned very quickly. Halfway to class, my Alex texted saying he'd tagged someone in Red Square. Later, I found out that this was the crazy-fast player known as "The General's Hound." This meant bad news for all humans, as he is super fast, and gets kills very quickly. Within half an hour, the Hound had tagged three people.

I finished class and jumped from Academic West to Communications, where I went to class and then stayed in the computer lab afterward. At ten, I had until one for my next class. I ended up finding a group of humans to roll with. We easily went from Comm to Environmental Studies, and used its underground connection to get to Arntzen Hall. From here we building hopped all up north campus, then from there

I had class in Fraser that I was able to get to safely. In the class I realized that there were quite a few human friends in there. Once class was out, we all teamed up and started going through campus as a massive pack. For the next two hours we ran a highly efficient escort service. We didn't care if it was one human trying to get corner to corner on campus, or a group of six trying to cross to the next building--we were there. If you could keep an eye out, a blaster ready, and stayed with us, we'd get you where you needed to be--and we loved it!

This was all going fine and awesome, and then the Hound happened...

The large group I was with grouped up at Miller to talk to some people, and then we saw a lone human across Red Square fighting off two zombies, and about to lose. Most of the group took off, and I half jogged with them. When the human fell, my group ran faster, and I started to go around the fountain the other way. I had totally let my guard down on watching The Hound, and then bam, I was a zombie. The rest of my comrades got to Haggard Hall after seeing the human was tagged. They all looked back to briefly mourn my death, and then took off to continue escorting.

I went back to my dorm to drop off my backpack and blaster, and then gathered a few zombies from my floor to go hunting when I was able to spawn as a zombie. With wondrous timing, we left the dorm hall just as two humans were pinned down at the entrance. After a while of stalemating with them, we decided to actually go hunt. Even after only 30 minutes of becoming infected, I was feeling different. There was a need to hunt, an ache in my legs and chest, to reach out and infect someone else to share this feeling with. So, we hunted.

After a little bit of running around, we happened upon a few humans around Arntzen half-deciding what to do next. A few of them eventually made a break for it, and I chased down a single human. He was waving around his Spectre blaster and ended up swinging it as he fired at me, catching the dart in the barrel instead of firing it. Needless to say, I tagged him. It felt wonderful, but there was still a slight pang of what I could only describe as "hunter's remorse" as I ran off knowing I infected him.

Slowly, the aching in my legs and chest became stronger, and that remorse for the newly-infected human gradually faded away. And all I wanted to do was hunt.

HvZ Fall 2011

Just a good place to get the information and follow the story, since I would've had to keep updating every post with links to other parts of the story. [Videos and maps are being worked on, and will be added to post later].

Zombie Outbreak Detected!
Zombie Plague Imminent
Outbreak T-Minus 10 hours

During Game
Kills Detected!
Day One
Day Two
Mission One
Day Three
Day Four and Mission Two
Day Five
Day Six and Mission Three
Day Seven
Final Day and Mission Four


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Kills detected!

[Updates throughout the day]

As of 7 a.m. this morning, there were 15 people on campus that became initial carriers. We don't know for sure if this is from low immune systems or from other variables.

As of now (8:42 a.m.), there have been 8 verified infections of humans.

Day One
A really fast zombie nicknamed "General's Hound" was the first victim. Since then he has been infecting people left and right.

10:00 a.m. 36 Z - 546 H
10:12 a.m. 43 Z - 539 H
12:18 p.m. 64 Z - 524 H
4:45 p.m.: 123 Z - 420 H

Day Two
181 Z - 415 H
11:19 a.m.: 196 Z - 401 H
3:43 p.m.: 249 Z - 348 H

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Outbreak in T-minus 10 hours

More like 9:43 hours. (For continuity, read here first)

Tonight's testing session was probably the most populated of the four sessions. There was so many, that our labs are currently backed up. As of last count, there were 529 samples cataloged, and quite a few from tonight's still left. Blood tests will be running late into the night, cataloging every sample and testing for who will become the initial carriers. We're expecting notifications to the carriers around midnight.

Our tests on zombie-positive blood in rodents shows that our projections are correct: the virus will reach the threshold for human-infection at 7 a.m. tomorrow morning. That's Wednesday, October 19.

Good luck everyone! May you have good aim and run fast.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Zombie plague imminent

As many of you have read, there has been a threat of a plague about to hit the campus of WWU. Again, local analysts, with the aid of years of data and algorithms, have determined that the plague will become active on the morning of Wednesday, October 19th. The symptoms and spread of the virus seem to only manifest during the hours of 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.--It is believed that a combination of available sunlight and temperatures are the cause of this. Due to the metabolism and intensity of the virus, which essentially turns people into non-lethal "zombies," essentially burns itself out in a short amount of time. It then remains dormant until daylight times and temperatures become suitable again. 

As mentioned in the past, this virus can only be carried by and affect relatively small groups of campus populations.  There is no real correlation between these carriers. There is relatively no adverse affects of being a carrier of the virus, especially because of the very rapid life-cycle of each outbreak; however, it was deemed prudent by the local administration to regulate and observe events during the outbreak. In order to help regulate and observe the situation, the administration has sponsored a series of testing and briefing sessions to discover this quarter's potential carriers.

During these sessions, those present were briefed on how to react during the outbreak. Subjects that have a potential of becoming these so-called "zombies" will wear orange armbands to signal caution to all others on campus. If someone does become a "zombie," this orange band will be tied around the head. There will also be moderators with green armbands to make sure the outbreak doesn't interfere with daily campus life.

Three sessions still remain open, and will be held at Arntzen Hall, Room 100 @ 7 p.m.: tonight, and Monday and Tuesday evenings.

In conjunction with the local administration, there is a military force that will be monitoring the situation on campus. Intervention by this force has been authorized, and will be used sparingly. Initial talks reveal that there is a vaccine being developed by this group, and they may use it if needed. This military group published a report that the use of polyurethane, a man-made foam, temporarily stunts the spread of the virus: A single touch of polyurethane can limit the virus's abilities for up to fifteen minutes.

Due to the effectiveness of polyurethane, the military has urged the use of Nerf-created products, specifically blasters and darts. The accessibility, ease-of-use, and commercial popularity of these products was deemed the best option in equipping the carrier-population. It was also revealed that socks can be used as an equally viable option for warding off the infected.

(There are several theories to exactly why this is true. Some say include trace amounts of polyurethane are in the socks from the factories; chemicals in laundry detergent may have similar effects as polyurethane; and one researcher has even introduced the idea that the socks incubate a zombie-resistant compound after coming into contact with young adults' feet, and water from being washed).

If you feel that you may be a carrier, please, attend one of the meetings mentioned above. Additional information can be found online, on the local administratively-run website.

Good luck, and may you have good aim and quick feet.

Part 1
Part 3

Monday, October 10, 2011

Zombie Outbreak Detected!

Last year I documented the fairly-tame zombie outbreak that happened on WWU campus during Spring Quarter, and I'll be doing it again this year. Video evidence of last year's outbreak has been compiled in an informational video below.

According to long-range transmissions, there is a high potential of this non-lethal plague striking campuses around the world within the next few months. Local analysts have determined that a WWU-based outbreak may hit the student population within the next week. These analysts have used algorithms and data over the past few years to predict that the full-on outbreak will happen approximately 7 a.m. local time on Wednesday, October 19th.

Scientists have also found that once the outbreak happens, only a specific population of students will be able to become carriers, and ultimately show physical symptoms of the zombie virus. These potential carriers will be tested for during the coming week, be trained on how to respond on campus, and issued orange armbands to designate that they may be carriers. Anyone becoming infected will tie the orange armband around their head, to signal to everyone they are zombies.
If you feel you may be a potential carrier, please attend one of the meetings over the next week, which will be at 7 p.m. in Arntzen Hall, Room 100 on the following days:
  1. Thursday, Oct. 13
  2. Saturday, Oct. 15
  3. Monday, Oct. 17
  4. Tuesday, Oct. 18
Good luck, and may you have good aim and quick feet.

Part 2
Part 3