Zombie Apocalypse

Playlist: The Crazy World of Arthur Brown - Fire

Lower Level, Black Sun Base, Intsy, Arkhangelsk Oblast, Northern USSR, December 6th 1941 05:16

Zombie German Soldier

Joe and Olga braced themselves, weapons ready, at the far side of the mess hall and watched the hastilly-repaired weather door buckle and bend under the ferocious onslaught of the undead. As it finally came completely away from its hinges and a clearly dead German soldier, dripping with slime, blood and half-frozen sea water, leaned through, they opened up.

Deafening in the combined space, the Bren gun hammered a long burst of .303 rounds into the thing; but as before, most of it just seemed to go straight through without hitting anything important. Next to him, Olga released her bow and a broadhead shaft appeared sticking out of the corpse's chest. It seemed to notice this more, probably because it remained visible to whatever it used as eyesight. Sparing it no more than a glance, however, it started to scramble over the table.


Dropping the Bren and hefting the Totenmesser, Joe dashed forward and slashed a blow across the thing's throat, opening it wide. Nothing much except a wheeze of air shifiting inside the empty lungs came out, but the head wobbled. Joe's own eyesight blurred for a moment, as a surge of energy like the world's greatest cup of coffee made with the world's most rotten milk rushed into him, setting his heart hammering as his adrenals went into overload. Olga had dispensed with the bow, and charged up, aiming a crushing blow at the thing's head with the butt of her PPD-40. She was too hasty, however, missed completely, and nearly went headfirst through the door.

Getting himself under control, Joe stabbed again, and once more the stolen strength rushed over him; I could get used to this, he thought exultantly. The zombie went limp, and slithered backwards out through the door onto the dock, to be replaced with another. Almost frenzied now, Joe stabbed it again and again, backing away as it swarmed towards him, and was almost surprised when it slumpled across the table, inanimate once more.

A wild yell had come from behind him, but he'd ignored it at the time. Glancing now, he saw Igor Kurchatov, wide-eyed and horrified, standing in the doorway from the Control Room staring at the zombies. Sagging, the biologist disappeared back from view.

Upper Level, Black Sun Base, Intsy, Arkhangelsk Oblast, Northern USSR, December 6th 1941 05:16

Keeper Note: No Steve or Loz this week, so Anné and Cyril a bit passive generally except for a bit of booby-trap design.

Zombies lurching into the flames

Birapeer, Anné, Jimmy and Francoise stood in the expedition store room, watching the far weather door buckle under the continued assault of zombie fists. Flames were leaking around and through the breaks in it, and molten seal rubber and burning petrol were seeping into their area under the lintel. The level of the onslaught varied as the zombies within the flames were consumed, and others replaced them, seemingly endlessly...

Behind, the clanks and curses of Cyril and Marcus manoeuvring an oil drum of petrol down the spiral stairs became slowly more distant.

Zombie on Fire

At some personal risk, Anné had attached a tripwire and two grenades to the doorframe, and as the door failed a shattering blast scattered burning fuel, bits of zombie and rubble in all directions. Their barricade began to catch, and Birapeer suggested very firmly that it was time to leave. Gesturing Francoise, Anné and Jimmy ahead of him, he cast as last look back as blazing zombies began to stumble up against the full petrol drums of their barricade, and slammed the door before taking the stairs two at a time.

Lower Level, Black Sun Base, Intsy, Arkhangelsk Oblast, Northern USSR, December 6th 1941 05:32

As the last of them emerged from the base of the stairwell, a deep, groundshaking thump erupted above, along with a pressure wave of hot air, after which a steady breeze upwards heralded the chimney of the stairs drawing cold air from below. The temperature in the corridor began to rise rapidly, and Marcus, Cyril and Francoise hurried to move the drum of petrol further into the Control room.

Igor Kurchatov, suffering a short episode of Echopraxia

There they found Kurchatov, huddled in a corner, wringing his hands and weeping. As the two men moved the drum to a hopefully safe distance, Francoise went to him and hunkered down, laying a blanket over him. "Scoot back into that corner, where it's safe," she said, "and stay quiet." Rather to her surprise, he obeyed exactly what she said, to the letter, without demur. A little puzzled, she poked her head through the door to the mess hall. She found the zombies under control, but Joe only marginally so - he looked more tense than she'd ever seen him, like a pinless grenade or a coiled cobra. I'm not sure which is the more dangerous bomb, she thought to herself.

Back in the corridor, Birapeer, Marcus and Cyril were watching the fire slowly claim the stairway door, weapons readied for the appearance of more zombies. They'd stacked all the crates from the corridor into a heap against the portal, and Birapeer - not without a certain dark humour - had lugged the corpse of the zombie Poliakov on top of the pile. Now, flames sprang from crate to crate and the heat increased, forcing the defenders back into the control room and infirmary. Nothing, however, attacked the door.

Lower Level, Black Sun Base, Intsy, Arkhangelsk Oblast, Northern USSR, December 6th 1941 08:26

It took nearly three hours for the flames to burn out, and the defenders were drooping with weariness and running with sweat by the time it did. Joe, wary in case the entire base caught, had lashed some oil drums and a table together to create a raft, but was devoutly hoping not to have to use it. Some of the others had grabbed some sleep, but all were on edge. Finally, they set a guard rota and retired, wrapping up warmly again as the shattered doors top and bottom let the cold in and the temperature began to drop. The best they could do was pile mess-hall tables against the doorways.

Lower Level, Black Sun Base, Intsy, Arkhangelsk Oblast, Northern USSR, December 6th 1941 11:36

Later that morning, the team climbed cautiously up the soot-covered stairs to examine the results. The entire top level was burned out, of course, anything flammable practically vaporized and the walls and floor buckled by the heat. Barely-recognizable heaps of ash and bits of bone marked where the zombies had succumbed to the cleansing flames.

Outisde in the clean, fresh air, they looked around at the scene. Slighly less destroyed zombies dotted the area near the outer doors; further away were the marks where they had hauled themselves up from where they'd lain covered in snow to converge on the base. Olga and Birapeer started collecting ID tags and counting the twisted remains of helmets to try and tally up a body count.

Remembering her idea about the radio, Francoise went looking for the antenna. After some searching, she found it - or rather, an 8" stub of it. The zombies had obviously walked across it more than once, and it was smashed to bits. She took some measurements, then went down to the lower store room and scrounged. An hour later, she had a makeshift replacement lashed together and jury-rigged onto the connections, and she, Birapeer, Joe and Olga were hunched over the radio.

Radio Set, WW2 vintage
Keeper Note: Two critical results here; Francoise using a wreck of a radio, and Birapeer understanding Russian - probably because Olga had to speak slowly due to the poor reception.

Olga had located a book belonging to her squad's radioman, and Joe had translated the control labels. Despite the makeshift aerial, Francoise's diligent work managed to raise an airbase at Murmansk, and from there a connection to the Soviet intelligence located there. Francoise's Russian failed her at this point, and Olga took over. Identifying herself, she relayed a carefully doctored account, dealing more in "secret weapons" than "zombiskis". The officer at the other end made notes and instructed them to hold in place for orders, while the report was passed up the chain and across to the British. As she hung up the mike and explained what had been said to the others, Birapeer caught Francoise's eye behind her and nodded slightly; she had described it accurately.

The search above had confirmed what the empty crates had suggested; at least seven Germans had left the base, probably just before the Soviets arrived, heading south-east and probably carrying at least one sprayer from the laboratory.

Lower Level, Black Sun Base, Intsy, Arkhangelsk Oblast, Northern USSR, December 6th 1941 14:02

Major-Doktor Dieter von Bach, Schwartze Sonne

The sun was just starting to set when Jimmy, standing alone in the Radio room, was startled to observe a tall figure in a Black Sun German uniform suddenly standing on the other side of the room. "Diensthabender Offizier! Sofort melden!" he barked, in a powerful, commanding voice, clearly expecting instant obedience and appearing angy and impatient. Jimmy correctly gathered that he was asking for some kind of report. "Hello?" he ventured. The German did not react and did not appear to notice him speak. Jimmy poked his head through the door into the mess hall. "There's a German man in here, and he's very angry with me," he reported.

Birapeer, Marcus and Joe came barrelling through the door, expecting trouble, and were a little non-plussed to discover the officer standing calmly if not happily, looking straight ahead apparently at nothing.

Joe cleared his throat. "Guten Tag mein Herr, ich bin Heinrich Stassel Oberleutenant Wehrmacht," he reeled off confidently, and was a bit disappointed when the man made no response at all. "Is he really there?" muttered Birapeer, sounding a little existentialist, and as he said so he noticed that the man cast no shadow. For the occultists, this was worrying indeed, but adding that to the fact that the man was standing directly in front of the mystery gadget led to the conclusion that he was some kind of projected image.

Drawing his Tulwar, Birapeer stepped forward to the area of floor directly ahead of the figure, and finally receieved a reaction, though not a very favourable one. "Wer zum Teufel bist du?" he said contemptuously. Birapeer rather languidly slashed through the image, quartering it, to absolutely no effect. "Primitiver Untermensch," scoffed the German. Birapeer stepped into the image, and was treated to a surreal mixture of images of the room, the inside of a man's head, and ... somewhere else, dark, grey and grainy, with a rather eye-aching light quality.

Best I could do realtime!

Joe stepped onto the square Birapeer had just vacated, eyeing the still vaguely moving tulwar carefully. "Ah!" said the man, "Du siehst aus wie ein Engländer!" Joe responded in his excellent German, "Wer bist du und was können wir für dich tun?" The man laughed, noting Joe's slight accen and switching to English. "I? I am Major-Doktor Dieter von Bach, of the Order of the Black Sun, and I command here; this is my operation. What can you do for me?" He laughed deeply and gloatingly. "You can die...." Behind him, the Gadget's illuminated portions changed from a pale yellow to an angry red, which pulsed brighter and dimmer once a second. von Bach's image faded, trailing his mocking laughter as it went.

Instant pandemonium ensued, as each of the team present simultaneously reached the identical conclusion: Bomb! Calling urgent warnings to those not present, the team headed away from the pulsating device as rapidly as they possibly could. Birapeer ran past it, into the stairs and upwards towards the landside exit; everyone else fled out onto the dock. There they glanced at Joe's raft, decided against it and took what cover they could on the dockside, waiting for the inevitable blast...

Session Date: 2nd June 2020 - in CyberSpace!