"What it is is the last of the food in the freezer," said Irene dryly as she poked around in the kitchen. "I've been trying to use up as much of it as we can since I'm worried the power is going to go out at any moment."
For the last few days Robb and his girlfriend Irene had been holed up in their little house in the suburbs. The news reports on the radio had confirmed that there had been an outbreak of a bizarre disease which turned regular people into shuffling, cannibalistic monsters. The disease had spread quickly, and local law enforcement and emergency personnel had been overwhelmed. The military base a few hours away had been deployed to handle the disaster in the larger cities, leaving smaller communities like River City on their own.
Robb and Irene had covered the windows of their home with heavy blankets, thinking that it would cover much of their movement and light and prevent attracting attention from the occasional zombie that seemed to wander aimlessly through their neighborhood. From time to time they would peek out, seeing a former neighbor now covered with gore walking around staring sightlessly at the world. The fear, combined with the cooped-up conditions, was threatening to take their toll. The two had kept themselves occupied stockpiling their meager supplies: counting bullets, filling old water bottles, and coming to the depressing conclusion that they were very, very unprepared.
"We need to find food," Irene said for the hundredth time. "Not to mention medical supplies, ammunition, and quite frankly a vehicle wouldn't be a bad idea either. There seem to be more and more of those things out there every day."
"I also would like to know what was going on out there," said Robb as he checked his pistol. "Okay, we'll leave tomorrow at first light."
"Great," said Irene. "I'll go get my derby gear."
For the first session post-Day One, I decided on a simple "Discover" scenario from ATZ: BDTZ. Robb and Irene desperately need food, having found nothing on the first day in terms of resources.
Robb is a Rep 4 Civilian with Born Leader and Agile, a BAP and a machete. Irene is a Rep 4 Civilian with Athletic, a bat, and a shotgun.
Rolling 2d6 (1d6 for each human) I ended up with six zombies: four behind the house, one in the alley across the street, and one down the street towards their goal: a supermarket.
Turn One: Robb 2, Zombies 1
As they quietly exited their small cottage, Irene whispered, "there's one of them in the alley, right across from the house."
"There's another down the block. I think we can handle two." said Robb with what he hoped was a confident voice. As he walked down the street he drew his pistol and aimed at the one down the block. He snapped off two shots, hitting the zombie once and dropping him.
Robb fired twice, hit once, and with the "Easy to Hit" rule scored an OOF. Rolling two d6, one more zombie was summoned, this one in the large building to the right. The other zombies began to close on the group.
Turn Two: Robb 5, Zombies 1
The zombies draw closer, but don't make contact since Robb and Irene had moved away from them.
Turn Three: Robb 1, Zombies 3
Turning to see how close the zombie that had been in the alley was to them, Robb was shocked to see four more closing in from around his house, while Irene saw another exit the large building on her side. "Where did they all come from?" Irene asked as she unslung her shotgun. She pointed it at the crowd of zombies by the house and fired a single blast. Two of the rotting zombies tumbled to the ground. Robb fired twice again with his pistol, again only hitting and dropping one.
As two of the zombies rushed towards Robb, he reached back with his left hand and pulled the black-bladed machete from the scabbard on his belt. With two deft swings he cut the sharp blade into both attackers, removing the heads from their bodies. Irene had barely managed to get her bat into play before the last zombie was upon her, but she managed to ram the bat's end into its face, stopping it cold.
"You okay there?" asked Robb with concern.
"It's not easy juggling all these weapons. You've got two holsters."
"We'll see what we can do about that later," said Robb. "For now, let's keep moving."
Robb automatically passed 2d6 on the Receiving Charge table, and Irene successfully passed 2d6 as well. Irene fired the shotgun, getting the best 3d6 out of 6d6, hitting and making two OOF, while Robb shot twice but only killed one. That's a lot of noise, but I didn't need the two of them getting overwhelmed by zombies in melee combat. Robb divided his 5d6 (4d6 for Rep, 1d6 for a higher impact weapon) between the two, easily getting an Obviously Dead on both tries on the first go-round. Irene, with 5d6 to 1d6, only scored one success! Thankfully the zombie passed 0d6, a grim reminder about how easily melee can turn on a person.
Only two zombies were generated, both towards the bottom, thankfully in the opposite direction from where they were headed. The two would have to be dealt with for Robb and Irene to get home, however.
Turn Four: Robb 1, Zombies 6
The pair of heroes moved right up to the store's entrance.
Turn Five: Robb 3, Zombies 5
While Irene watched the street, Robb slowly opened the door to the small supermarket. He glanced in, seeing nothing amongst the trashed shelves and empty coolers. As the door shut behind Irene, a small bell attached to the door rang with a tinkle. Suddenly three zombies appeared from behind the shelves and rushed them. Robb barely had time to get his machete up, but managed to catch two of them, making short work of them with quick downward strokes. Irene had a rougher time of it because her bat got tangled up in an empty rack. She lashed out with her heavy boot, knocking the zombie back and splitting its head upon the ground.
"Man, I am having an off day," said Irene with disgust.
"Don't worry about it," said Robb. "Let's just look around and see what we can find."
Unfortunately, the store's contents had been completely ransacked. What little there was to find was completely useless.
"There's a restaurant next door. We can try there," suggested Robb.
The "What's Inside" table revealed 1/2d6 zombies. Rolling a 5, that meant 3 zombies would be in the store. Moreover, on reaction table I rolled a 5 for the zombies, but only a 4 and 2 for Robb and Irene respectively, meaning that they wouldn't get off a shot before going into melee.
Like before, I split Robb's dice 3d6/2d6, but he still managed to beat both off easily. And again, Irene only passed 1d6 out of 5d6, but the zombie again passed 0d6, meaning it was Obviously Dead. Another close one for the Derby Girl.
In a stroke of bad luck, the store turned out to be empty after both searched it.
Turn Six: Robb 6, Zombies 6
I rolled on the random events table, but got one that only applied to them being in a car. I just moved on.
Turn Seven: Robb 1, Zombies 4
Robb and Irene ducked out of the store and quickly moved to the restaurant, a skeevy-looking place called "Stinky Pizza."
"Those two zombies are still coming down the street," said Irene with concern.
Turn Eight: Robb 2, Zombies 6
As the two entered the store, a zombie in an waiter's uniform flung itself at them, its apron an unrecognizable mess of gore and Italian food. Robb hacked at it with his machete, leaving it an even messier figure slumped over a table. Robb checked the dining arena, while Irene went back into the kitchen. "I've found some food!" she shouted triumphantly.
Quickly they gathered up the various goods in a red-checked tablecloth and left the restaurant.
The table again showed zombies, but this time only one. Again, though, it tied Robb for its reaction roll, meaning it would be melee rather than shooting. Thankfully with 5d6 Robb handled it easily.
Robb failed to find anything, but Irene did, thankfully getting a "food" result.
Turn Nine: Robb 5, Zombies 3
Turn Ten: Robb 3, Zombies 6
Robb and Irene began walking back towards their house. The two zombies, a cheerleader and a woman wielding a traffic sign, were coming in the other direction.
"What's the plan?" asked Irene.
"We shoot them, and then failing that we tear them apart," said Robb.
"Ooh, that's my favorite plan," said Irene.
Turn Eleven: Robb 3, Zombies 2
Robb once again drew his pistol, firing twice. The cheerleader staggered and dropped to the ground, pompoms flying.
No zombies were summoned by the two shots. Thank goodness!
Turn Twelve: Robb 4, Zombies 3
With a growl, Irene launched herself at the last zombie. She feinted one way, then zipped back the other, catching the zombie with a clean swing that turned its skull into a red spray of bone and gore.
"Are you crazy?" asked Robb. "I could have shot that thing!"
"I didn't want to risk making any more noise than we had to," said Irene with a wolfish grin, "besides, I needed to prove that I still got it."
That kind of thinking is going to get her killed, thought Robb grimly. But he pushed aside that thought and headed home, pleased that they would be eating better than okra tonight.
I decided to risk melee combat against the last zombie, rather than risk summoning more. Besides, it seemed like something Irene would do. Irene passed the first round 2d6 to the zombies 0d6, and the combat was over. With no other zombies on the board and the pair less than a foot from home, I figured it was done.
Rolling for Rep increases, I got a 6 for both, meaning that miraculously both would advance to Rep 5! Robb and Irene were quickly becoming serious bad-asses. I wouldn't have minded the chance to increase the group's size though, but they did manage their primary goal: gaining a food resource for the month. Not to mention living another day.