Finally, Robb decided to act. "We're going to work the neighborhood and clear out as many zombies as possible."
"Is that safe?" asked Erin.
"Not particularly, but it will thin out the number of zombies around us, and maybe we'll find survivors living in the nearby houses."
"And," said Irene with a grin, "there's always the chance to pick up stuff in other people's houses."
It's day 43 of the zombie apocalypse, and Team Robb is going to canvass the neighborhood. This is a simple "Search" mission where the team is going to check a few houses on the table in hopes of finding loot or, even better, other survivors.
The table is a suburb, making it ER 2. The red PEF is Rep 4 and in zone 1, the white is Rep 6 and in zone 3, and the blue PEF is Rep 2 and in zone 1. Every one of the team has slept well and suffered no problems.
The 3d6 rolled for zombies at the start get us seven, four off to the right of the team, two straight ahead, and one off to the left.
In this encounter, Robb and Irene are Rep 4, which Erin is Rep 5.
Turn 1: Robb 1, Zombies 3
"There's lot of people out on the street today," commented Irene dryly. She aimed her shotgun at the crowd approaching by the side of house to their right. The blast took the head off of one and knocked down to others. Erin aimed her rifle at another and took its head clean off. Robb fired two shots at another, one of the shots clunking into its chest and staggering it into the ground.
Robb ran over to one of the zombies still standing and swung his machete into its skull, killing it instantly. Erin fired her rifle into the skull of one of the zombies lying on the ground but still moving. "We're off to a good start," said Robb.
Irene hit 3 but only OD'ed 1. Erin got hers easily with her new Rep of 5, and Robb hit once with two shots but only got a knock down. Between all the shots fired, a grand total of four zombies were summoned. Not good!
In melee Robb got 3 successes to the zombie's 1 and got the Obviously Dead. Erin "popped the weasel" on one of the Knocked Down zombies.
Turn 2: Robb 2, Zombies 1
One of the few zombies still on its feet rushed towards Erin, who fired off a shot from the hogleg and dropped it. "There's still a few around," said Robb, "let's get inside quick."
Robb threw the door to the green house open and stepped inside. Erin and Irene followed behind. "Hello, if the zombie apocalypse happened tomorrow, would you be ready?" Irene quipped.
"Quiet!" Erin hissed.
Suddenly several zombies rushed out from a back room. Erin got off a shot, killing one of the zombies. Robb and Irene were too slow to fire, but Robb got his black-bladed machete up in time to take the head off the zombie rushing towards her. Irene smashed another in the jaw and it fell back. Erin stabbed another through the eye with her knife.
A zombie charged Erin, who easily passed her being charged test and got one shot, getting the OD easily. The white PEF showed up, but it was nothing.
Entering the building, I rolled 6d6 looking for 5's or 6's and got a shocking 4. For the zombie surprise total, I rolled a 3 for a total of 7. Robb got a total of 6, Irene a total of 6, and Erin a total of 9, meaning she was the only one who could fire. She fired once with her rifle, getting an OD on the charging zombie.
In melee Robb beat the zombie 3 to 1, but managed to get an OD. Irene beat her zombie 2 to 0, but got only a Knocked Down. Erin beat hers 5 to 1, and got an OD.
Turn 3: Robb 6, Zombies 6
Turn 4: Robb 4, Zombies 5
Robb slashed down with his machete and killed the zombie that Irene had knocked to the ground. "That's the last of them," he said. "Let's look around and see what we can find."
A quick check found quite a bit of food in the kitchen. The group stuffed as much as they could into their bags. "Shall we look upstairs?" asked Erin.
Robb beat the prone zombie 4 to 2, and then managed to roll a 2 on the melee result, getting an Out of the Fight, which becomes an Obviously Dead for a zombie.
Robb, Erin, and Irene all got 1d6 on their looting result, meaning three food parcels.
Turn 5: Robb 1, Zombies 4
Robb tiptoed upstairs, trying to make as little as noise as possible. At the top of the stairs of the split-level house, Robb spotted three zombies moving around in the hallway. Irene quietly pushed Robb aside. "Three all together like that? That's tailor-made for my shotgun."
She fired, the closest two tumbling to the ground. Unfortunately neither had been hit in the head. Robb fired awkwardly down the hallway, missing both times. Erin fired a shot past them both, killing the one still standing. She and Robb ran forward and shot the two that Irene had hit previously, making sure that they stayed down.
They searched the bedrooms on the upper level. Robb and Erin found stashes of chips and other snack food tucked away in the bedrooms, while Irene found several liquor bottles in the drawer of a nightstand. "A little something to help them sleep, I guess."
With both zombies knocked down, Robb and Erin could "pop the weasel." Finally the dice were a little kinder, giving me only one zombie summoned by the shooting.
Looting gave Robb and Erin another food parcel, while Irene got a resource. I decided it would be a luxury item.
Turn 6: Robb 5, Zombies 1
Outside the house many zombies were gathering, attracted by all the gunfire.
Turn 7: Robb 3, Zombies 6
"Okay, we're done here. Back downstairs. Be careful." said Robb.
On their activation, Team Robb moved back to the lower level.
Turn 8: Robb 4, Zombies 4
Robb and the others stepped back outside the front door. They quickly took in the many zombies staring at them hungrily. "Where did they all come from?" asked Irene. She fired her shotgun at the most closely-packed group. One fell back clutching its face, but the other two just fell backwards.
"It doesn't matter. We can't let them overwhelm us." growled Robb as he fired twice at another. It's head blew into pieces. Erin shot another in the head.
Irene got 2 KD's and 1 OD her shot. Robb shot twice and got one OD. Erin got another one. She was on a roll today! But three more zombies were summoned by the shots.
Note: the zombies didn't activate because at the time of the roll, no humans were visible. I'm not sure if that was the right call, but there it is.
Turn 9: Robb 2, Zombies 4
Erin fired at another of the zombies, but the shot went low and it just stumbled down. She and the others took off across the street in the direction of the house next door.
"Let's get inside!" said Irene.
Turn 10: Robb 3, Zombies 4
One zombie stood near the front of the door. "Let's get him, Belle," said Robb to his black-bladed machete. He swung it in a wide arc, catching the zombie in the neck and removing the head.
The other zombies on the street rushed towards them. Erin frowned and fired another shot from her rifle. The bullet went in and out of its head. Robb's shots were not to accurate, and neither found their mark. Irene was too busy swinging around on her skates to get off a shot.
One of the zombies plowed into Robb. He stumbled backwards, catching his feet on the curb and tumbled to the ground. Robb cried out in surprise, and desperately tried to get the machete between him and zombie snapping and tearing away at him.
Irene shouted "Robb!" and rushed forward. She began pulling at the zombie lying atop her boyfriend.
Robb rushed into melee, not wanting to risk summoning more zombies. He got 5 successes to the zombie's 1, and got the OD. On the zombie's turn, they rushed towards them, and Robb and Erin both passed 2d6 while Irene only passed 1d6. Erin's shot got one, but Robb missed both of his shots.
In melee, a single zombie managed to get into melee. In the tight confines it charged Robb. Robb only passed 2 to the zombie's 3, however! With a roll of 5, Robb was knocked down!
Now it was it time for a very, very critical roll. I needed a 5 or higher on a d6 or Robb would become a zombie. Holding my breath, a rolled...a 5! Robb would continue to live. For now.
Irene moved in, but only got 1 success to the zombies 1. They were tied. For now.
Turn 11: Robb 1, Zombies 6
The zombie atop Robb reared up off of him. He grabbed Irene's shoulders and sunk his teeth deeply into her neck. She screamed in pain and terror. Her cry cut off with a wet gurgle. Erin pulled the zombie to the ground, stabbing at it with her knife.
Entering into melee again, Irene only got 2 successes. The zombie got 3! That meant the Irene had also lost combat! Rolling to see the result, the die came up with 1, meaning Irene was Obviously Dead. Robb, sadly, recovered from being stunned.
Turn 12: Robb 2, Zombies 5
Robb gaped in shock at the terrible wound in Irene's neck. His mouth moved, but no sound came out. "We have to get out of here now!" shouted Erin, firing down the road at a zombie staggering towards them. Robb howled in fury and shot the zombie on the ground.
Erin pulled the protesting Robb away from Irene's unmoving form, and they hurried back towards their home.
Things had gone very badly. Erin shot one of the few close zombies, killing it, which Robb "popped the weasel" on the one with which he was in close combat.
Robb passed a Fast Move check, and got 1d6. Since he was within 12" of the table edge, he and Erin moved off and the encounter ended.
Robb stumbled into his home. Their home. He mindlessly staggered to the sink in the kitchen, and he heaved violently into the drain. Erin, in the meantime, began gathering her things.
"What are you doing?" he said, wiping vomit from his mouth with the back of his hand.
"I'm leaving!" she shouted. "I'm not going to just stand around here waiting for us all to get picked off one by one! I'm going to Heart City and finding my family!"
"But, there's got to be millions of people there! You have no idea where they could be! Or if they are still alive!"
"I don't care! I'm leaving!"
"But, it's too dangerous!" Robb said pleadingly. "And you can't leave at night. At least wait until morning, and we can talk about this."
Erin looked at him with steely eyes. "Okay," she said softly, and walked slowly to her room.
The next day, when Robb awoke, Erin was gone. He stood in the silent house, alone.
In the post game check, Robb failed to increase in Rep, while Erin rolled a 6, increasing her Rep to 6. Then in the "Keeping It Together" roll, Robb rolled only 4d6 instead of 5d6 (4+1 for Born Leader) because he had lost combat. In contrast, Erin could roll 6d6 for her Rep. Robb only got 2 successes, while Erin got 5. At twice the total Robb had, Erin would be leaving (and would have poisoned anyone left behind, if there were any.)
What a brutal game! Robb nearly died, and I lost Irene and Erin. Now, Team Robb was just, well, Robb. What will happen next?