Mike leaned against the stairwell door on the sixth floor, looking through the tall rectangular glass window into the hall.
Just in the little area he could see there were three zombies wandering loose.
If he moved quick, and was decisive he knew he could take them out individually before they could shuffle around and surround him. It would be a quick, easy victory.
But he wasn’t hunting alone. There was no real need to take even that little bit of risk.
Looking over his little crew, he noted their weapons.
Troy had his staff and of course fire magic, though Mike had no idea how useful either would be in a fight yet.
Jessica carried a small roofing hammer with an almost hatchet like blade. She looked comfortable with the weapon. Mike figured she must have picked it up in her first fight with the zombies and knew how to use it.
Amy and Yuki both held a golf club, a putter and driver respectively.
All in all, considering they were in an apartment building that housed college student not soldiers or crazy survivalists, they weren’t too bad off.
Clearing his throat Mike laid down his strategy.
“I’m going to open this door, bang on the door well and let the zombies come to us. The doorway will restrict the number of them that can come attack once. I’ll take the first one through and then we will rotate clockwise after that. Troy, can you safely fire your magic over my shoulder?”
Troy looked thoughtful, not answering instantly and Mike felt his confidence waver a little before the black mage answered, “I should be able to compress the fireballs down to the size of a baseball and maintain killing strength. At that size it will be easy to pitch them over your shoulder, but you’ll probably feel the heat coming off them…”
“That’s fine, as long as you’re not melting my face off or anything then I’ll deal with the discomfort. I want you to hit the ones at the back of their queue. They aren’t smart, they won’t even acknowledge the other zombies around them, much less notice we have them in a death trap, so this should go fairly smoothly.’
He hoped he wasn’t jinxing them all.
Everyone nodded their approval. None of the girls had anything to add, so Mike stood, stretched, and moved to the door.
Looking back over his shoulder he mouthed, “Ready?”
Again everyone nodded.
Mike pulled open the door, propping it to stay open with his foot as he banged the metal head of his ax against the steel frame of the doorway.
The noise rang out aggressively in the near silence.
The three zombies Mike could see all turned, their attention drawn.
Just to be safe, he gave the doorway a second tap, then stepped back through it into the stairwell.
It took a few moments for the first zombie to arrive. They moved at about half the speed of a normal person walking, slow but steady.
Without so much as a thought, Mike swung his ax, embedding it in the first zombie’s temple as soon as its head broke the plane of the doorway. Then jerking it out, he stepped back again, letting the zombie’s body crumple to the floor as he said, “Jessica get the next one.”
They attracted more than just the three zombie’s Mike had seen and before long there was a pile of dead bodies in the doorway. The bodies only proved a further obstacle to the walking dead as they stumbled over them, unbalancing and making themselves even easier to kill.
Only once was there any danger, when Yuki, not quite recovered from her injury attacked her first assigned zombie. Her golf club bounded off its head with a crunching noise. Had it been a living opponent then she would have given it quite the headache. Unfortunately, as a zombie, the fact that she hadn’t crushed its brains meant it was basically unfazed.
Mike had stepped forward, thinking quickly, and chopped the zombie off at the legs. Then he’d moved back again, giving her a second chance at the death blow. That was the extent of the drama.
All told they took down thirteen zombies, everyone leveled up, except Mike and Jessica who were both at level two already.
Clearing the bodies from the doorway, they found two item drops. The first, a health potion they debated over in a whisper before decided to give it to Yuki to finish her healing. The second, was a small ring with a skull on it.
As none of them had an analysis type skill, they had no idea what the ring was or how to use it. Troy claimed he could feel magic coming from it, so Mike tossed it to him. As the only current member with actual magic, it made sense to let him have the magic ring.
None of the girls objected, mostly because the ring itself was both ugly and it gave off a vaguely off putting feeling.
Still to be fair, Mike had Troy burn the stack of bodies down to ash with his magic as “payment” for the ring. By the end Troy was exhausted, his mana fairly well spent. Seeing that Mike told him to rest on the stairs and keep watch.
Moving into the halls, a quick circuit through them proved their party had killed all the zombies wandering free. That just left the individual rooms.
If anything, hunting them in their rooms was even easier than setting them up in the doorway.
Mike would knock on the front door, calling out, “Anyone in there? We’re a group of survivors, we can help if you let us.” a prepared speech to let any other survivors know their intentions.
The only answers he ever got were shuffling groans, wheezes and moans coming from undead throats, bringing Mike to the second part of his job, opening the door.
Without the janitor, or super’s keyrings, he could only try the knob. If the door was locked Mike got to have a little fun and kick the door down. By the fifth door he had it down to an art form.
Once the door was down it was only a matter of clearing out the zombies inside. Which was generally only one or two, the actual occupants of the rooms. Though they did stumble into one apartment that had been hosting a game night or something, bringing Mike face to face with five zombies at once.
It didn’t prove a problem for him.
Barreling into the first he knocked it back into the others, then with a nasty swing he took one down permanent.
Stepping into the blow he reversed the ax, catching a second zombie in the nose with the butt end of the ax shaft. Following through with his full strength he slammed it into the wall, driving the wood all the way into its brain and taking out a second zombie.
By that time Jessica, Amy and Yuki had made it into the room and engaged the remaining three zombies. He helped Amy with a chop at her zombie’s knee, but left her to take the actual kill.
After that they found two empty apartments and an apartment with a zombie stuck in the bathroom.
Mike too care of the bathroom zombie,since he was naked from the waist down, and finally leveled up with the kill. Mike took no time at all to distribute his attribute points into Quickness.
His Strength and Body increased naturally at every level up, and the idea of keep a balance appealed to him.
In a game, generally specialization was key. But this was reality. If he specialized entirely in being strong then a problem came up where he needed to be fast to solve it, he’d end up dead.
Becoming a Jack of all trades might actually be desirable now that the world had gone to hell.
At least until he had the strength of two or three average people anyway.
Then he could re-evaluate things and see how he felt.
|Name: Mike Tanner – Race: Half Orc
Occupation: None – Level: 3
Purse: 1330 Credits
STR: 1.6 / QUI: 1.4 / BOD: 1.5 / SPI: 1.1 [AP: 0.0]
Author : The Steve