Emergency sirens wailed up and down the halls. Shops closed down, trapping people inside. All other costumers where herded to the bunkers and emergency escape hatches. Portals opened up at regular intervals up and down each arcade. Out streamed the hordes of undead shamblers.
Avera skidded into the break room. Vicky and Kyle were playing cards at the table. “Didn’t you hear the sirens?”
“Sirens are going off nearly every day, what’s so special about this one? Or, who’s attacking today? Devin the Unstoppable? Sven the Terrible Baker? Dagon? Carrie the Dress Maker? ”
Kyle shuttered at the last name. “Please, not her.”
“Dead things! Well not, dead things. They look pretty dead. Lots of them.”
“Oh,” Kyle and Vicky said in unison.
“Have they ever tried to attack before?”
NO. THIS IS TOO COORDINATED FOR THEM.
“Sooo, what do we do?”
“Like out the window?” Vicky looked over at the window to the outside. It slammed closed. She frowned. “You’re going to make us fight our way out, aren’t you.”
THERE IS COMPLETE FAITH IN YOUR ABILITIES. IT WILL BE FUN.
“Woohoo!” Avera jumped and pumped a fist.
“I guess, if we must,” Kyle cracked his knuckles.
“We’re all gonna die,” Vicky muttered.
A wall opened up revealing a large array of weapons of various types. Vicky picked her usual arsenal: Two castor pistols, a bandoleer of shells glowing several colors, and the 52mm Springer Blast-lock. She also checked her Winters Special and let it begin charging.
Kyle picked the Blackstone Anti Personal Door Knocker and three extra drum magazines. The castors preloaded all glowed green. “What’s this going to fire?”
Vicky inspected the shells. “Not sure. I’d say acid, but if it’s coming with the Door Knocker, I’d expect it’s going to pack a punch. Be ready for it.” Kyle loaded up.
“This speaks to me.” Avera picked up a whiffle ball bat.
“Why is that even in there?” Vicky snatched it away from Avera. “You want range, this is close combat.
“Fine.” Avera picked up the hand held Gessler 3 Deep Freeze Experimental. She tapped the gauge and it read green.
“Good enough. Take some extra shells.” Vicky tossed Avera a few spares.
“Then lets get this adventure started!” Avera lead the way out of the break room. But not before picking the whiffle back up. Vicky grumped and followed behind Kyle.
The employee hallway was clear. They made it to the arcade and peered out. The undead were everywhere. They shuffled about. More were still coming in from the open portals.
“Kyle, say hello,” Vicky said.
Kyle walked through the door and shouldered the Blackstone. “Hello MacSweeny’s!” Every single shambler stopped, then turned to face him. As one, they howled, shattering glass. Then they all surged forward, limbs flailing.
The Blackstone fired. Any glass that had not shattered yet, shattered from the shock wave. Kyle found himself thrown backwards into the wall from the recoil. The safety railing warped and buckled under the concussive force and shot. The first several lines of enemies exploded into dusty pieces and collapsed. Immediately more replaced the ones that had fallen.
Avera fired several shots, hitting about half of the new wave front. She followed up with a burst of Thread, shattering the frozen corpses into icy piles of goop.
Vicky picked off several of the remainders that were missed.
“That kicks hard!” Kyle rubbed his shoulder. “I think I’ll have a bruise.”
“You should see what an actual Door Knocker can do,” Vicky said while reloading her pistols.
“Come on! It’s clear for the moment.” Avera dashed out into the open arcade. Down other hallways could be heard the tale tail sounds of more coming. “Down this hall and a flight of stairs. From there we can make our way to the main lobby at the end of the hall.”
“Or we could jump down.” Kyle peaked over the bend safety railing down to the bottom of the Market. The bottom floor seethed with shamblers.
“If you want to fight all that, be my guest,” Vicky said.
Avera dropped a MgAp Acuity Damper over the side. They watched it hit the bottom and detonate. They blinked at the flash of light. Everything in its radius had dropped. “I cleared a spot for you.”
Another wave rounded the corner, faster then what they had just defeated.
Avera raised the whiffle bat as it glowed in her tainted yellow Thread. “My Turn!” She tore off into the crowd. There was at the distinct biff sound as the bat connected, throwing several of the undead into the air. A blast of ice appeared on the ceiling and the entire mob vanished around the corner. A loud boom rocked the floor and cracked the walls. Flame, ice and dusty body parts flew through the air. Smoke filled the hallway Avera had charged down.
“Do we wait,” Kyle shot two more rounds at the ones come up the steps. The shamblers stopped coming up the steps but there were also no more steps. Another wave appeared from a different hallway and several began climbing up from the floor below.
“I don’t think we’ve got a choice.” Vicky cleared a way further down the hall and they ran. Kyle reducing wave after wave to dust until they reached the end of the hallway. The stairs here had caved in as well. Behind them, the hordes had closed in again. There was another explosion that buckled the floor from where Avera had run off to.
Kyle grabbed Vicky and picked her up.
“What are you doing?”
“We’re going down, that’s what’s up.”
“No. Nononononono. Noooooooo.”
Kyle had stepped up onto the safety railing and jumped out off the balcony with Vicky. As they dropped, he twisted then threw her onto the third floor as they passed. He continued on down to the bottom floor.
Vicky rolled to a stop, picked herself up and ran back. Kyle waved from the bottom up at her. He was completely surrounded. She shouldered the Springer and picked off several of the advancing undead towards him. Their heads exploded into dust with each shot. She couldn’t use any of the special rounds aiming that close to Kyle.
Below, he reloaded and began knocking down shamblers in every direction. But more kept coming in from behind as he turned to defend a different direction. He made progress until he was out of sight. Vicky could still her the Blackstone’s report echo up the walls.
“The rule book specifically states, ‘do not separate in the event of an attack!’ did you two even read the rule book?” Vicky shouted out into open corridor.
Grunting and shuffling caught her attention and she opened fire on two shamblers with her two pistols. One warped in with a black ball of light and another melted. She reloaded. Vicky frowned, realizing she had used most of her castors already.
She sprinted towards the lobby, shooting only the ones that were directly in her way. She made it to the balcony that overlooked the lobby. She could see outside. Between her and the doors to freedom was an entire floor of undead, with more spilling through the portals every moment.
More were pouring in from either side of the balcony. Vicky took the last of her castors and threw them out into the lobby. Before they hit the floor, she fired at each one. The castors mixed and recombined. A shock wave of white light vaporized every shambler it touched. The entire facade of the lobby disintegrated. The safety railing Vicky hid behind crumbled and melted. A black fireball grew in the center of the room, heating up the lobby until it burst into flames. Then it shrank, pulling everything towards it.
Vicky found herself spiraling in the air towards the black fireball. It was the last thing she remembered.
NO LIFE DETECTED. INITIATING PURGE IN THREE. TWO. ONE.
The entire Market caught fire at once and burned. Fire rushed through the arcade, the halls, secret passages, tunnels, unmarked doors and every nook and cranny. Nothing outside the shops was spared. The fire continued well into the night, lighting up the surrounding countryside for miles.
Vicky woke up. She stared at a white ceiling. Her head felt full of cotton and fuzz. She turned her head to see Avera and Kyle laying in beds on either side of her.
Kyle groaned and stirred. Avera twitched and didn’t move.
WELCOME BACK, MY FRIENDS.