I hate the place. The whole town was a dump, barely able to feed itself and half the people were dying of disease. No wonder the other half had turned to crime. It would be fine if they were just looting what’s left of old English civilisation, everyone does that, but stealing from other communities? That’s low, especially considering they’re living through exactly what will happen if those towns run out of food. So I’m here to put a stop to the raiding. My own special way, with added blood and gore.
The town itself was situated in an industrial complex, with the exits that were not blocked by large warehouses were boarded up with corrugated iron sheets. I’m surprised the zombies constantly tapping away at the defences hadn’t broken through yet, considering the whole thing looked a bit makeshift. The guy in charge was a certain Harold Normandy, although I’m certain that was not his real name. Hardly anyone uses real names anymore. The world collapsing gave us a neat chance to remake ourselves however we wanted. This guy likes to think of himself as a military commander. All the people wear uniforms and follow military orders. My guess is harsh punishments were the only thing which stopped people complaining. So what with his whole township starving and stealing he must have some serious discipline. Not like it mattered. When I was done, this place was going to be ash.
No one ever looks up, not even me. As soon as you understand this faithful rule you can stay undetected easily, so long as you never enter the field of vision of someone looking at the ground. So naturally, I was lying on the corrugated iron roof of one of the warehouses, watching the people doing mundane tasks below me. I had gotten a ladder from one of the deserted and crumbling houses of the dead town nearby precisely for this purpose. Since the entrances would all be guarded and I seriously doubted any visitors were allowed in, I was going in over the roof. Keeping the metal from making a huge amount of noise had been surprisingly difficult, but no one had noticed my fumbling yet.
Patience is key. There was no way I could take on a town full of warriors in a straight fight. So I had to turn the odds in my favour by every way I could think of. Part one, gather intelligence, which was what I was doing now. It’s crucial to know who the leaders are so that you can kill them first. Also, it’s nice to know where all the booby traps and secret entrances are. I had a few booby traps of my own, but they weren’t to know that.
Part two was attack at night. I had a working watch on me, something very few people still had. I had a feeling it only functioned because I had poured so much faith into the little wind-up timekeeping device. Attacking at 3am worked every time. It made everyone groggy, except me, since I would know exactly how much caffeine to consume beforehand to keep me awake. Gave me a killer headache the next day, but it was worth it.
Part three, outclass your enemy. If they use melee weapons, bring along something ranged. If they have a giant ass shotgun available, make sure you have explosives ready. There’s nothing worse for an enemy’s confidence than seeing you have a better weapon than him.
Part four, use the area to your advantage. I had that covered. My vantage point would allow easy sniping across the whole town, assuming no one hid in the buildings. But anyway, I was going to burn them, so it didn’t matter.
Part five, bring spray paint. On my third ever town I forgot to pack spray paint and had to risk coming back to spray my logo. Suffice to say, I never forget it.
Lying on my stomach on a rusty metal roof for hours on end was boring as all hell, and I once again wished I still had a working music player. I distracted myself by listening in on all the conversations floating up from the town. Little personal anecdotes from the soon-to-die-horribly. The metal saps all the heat out of you, so I was glad I brought both a comfortable hoodie and an awesome looking trench coat. I have a thing for trench coats – they look awesome. Besides, the doctor used to have one, back when TV was still a thing that existed.
Skullfucker lay on the roof to one side of me, my backpack on the other. This was for two reasons. Reason one, to keep them within easy reach. Reason two, to make sure I was as flat to the roof as possible. I was sorely tempted to eat a can from my bag but I knew it would just make me hungry. I could eat once I’d made my kill.
I must have laid there for about 12 hours or more, and believe me, that kills. Once I was sure everyone was asleep, I stood and stretched my limbs, slowly waking my aching body and readying it for action. Then, when I was certain I wasn’t about to cramp up, I opened the bag and took out a six-pack. It wasn’t for drinking. I stuffed flammable rags into the ends of the beer bottles before readying my flint and steel, pouring some of the beer onto the roof. It burned fiercely as I lit it, and I used the tiny flame to light one of my Molotov cocktails. Then, with a smile of messed up glee, I threw it as hard as I could across the road and into the next building.
Before even the first groggy sleepers were awake, I had thrown all my little fiery cocktails of death. The burning buildings illuminated the pitch-black town enough for me to load Skullfucker with minimal effort. Then I waited. Sure enough, some light sleeper was running through the town yelling “fire”. My shot caught him through the arm, jamming it and his torso together and sending him to the ground, howling with pain. My next shot hit someone coming out of the building further down the street, carrying a huge meat cleaver. He went down, trying to pull the bolt out of his shoulder. I missed my next shot, but managed to nail the guy with my fourth. But really, I wasn’t planning to waste any more bolts here. Not when I had something far better planned.
Pulling my bag and Skullfucker onto my shoulders, I shuffled backwards until I reached the ladder, which was, mercifully, still there. Now that I was outside the town, I drew the wakizashi, aware that a zombie could jump-scare me at any second. As it turns out, I needn’t have worried. The undead were clamouring at the metal barricades, the fire attracting them with its warmth and light. Perfect.
Now for the most evil part of my plan. Since I couldn’t kill everyone in the town, I would let the dead do my work for me. That had a nice taste of irony to it. Opening my bag again, I pulled out a small metal box, a bit battered from repeated use but easily my most invaluable piece of kit. I pulled the areal on the top up to gain maximum range, before disengaging the safety and hitting the big red button.
There is something just awesome about explosions. While ones in real life are quite a bit more deafening and somewhat less flashy than ones in movies, they still send a thrill through me. They were damn effective too. When I hit the button, every one of the charges I had laid on the defensive perimeter of the town went off, ruining the defences for good and letting the dead in to attack the ill-prepared living. It was a massacre.
One last thing to do. Running after the zombies into the town, I headed for the centre. Mostly, the humans just ignored me as just another fleeing figure, although a couple gave me odd glances, as if confused as to who I was. As well they should be. I had already selected my canvas, a big flat wall of brick on the side of Harold’s humble abode, and was shaking the tin of spray paint, blue this time, as I ran.
With lots of practise, it took me about two minutes to make the man-sized wolf’s head symbol on the wall. Naturally, a couple of people saw what I was drawing and tried to kill me. I gave them a quiet meeting with a crossbow bolt.
Getting out of the town proved even easier than getting in. The zombies were busy feasting and the humans too busy fighting for their lives to give me any serious attention. And, like everyone else, I could kill lone zombies in my sleep. As I dashed away into the night, I was pleased to report that the town of Smalltown Nowhereville was no more.
When you have just ended several hundred lives people are bound to be pissed at you. So generally, I would advise getting out of there as soon as possible. Originally, I would have a car on standby, but since there was no gas left I was faced with one option. The bicycle. I didn’t particularly like cycling, but it was a hell of a lot faster than walking, which I hated even more. I have a really nice expensive mountain bike I looted from a store and it has served me well, spray painted in urban camo (various shades of grey) with a wolf’s head logo scratched into the handlebars.
Some people would say it is stupid to keep your logo on all your equipment, but I do it so I can easily tell it’s mine. If I need to sneak into somewhere, I don’t carry my town-killing equipment. I try not to sneak into places too often. It never ends well for me, as my only two failed towns both involved sneaking and both ended with me being chased out, one with me being very nearly shot. Sneaking plus me equals not a good time.
Smelling smoke from the burning buildings, I tied my equipment to the bike, covering it with a tarp. The only things I kept ready were my weapons, since you never know when you might need some. Besides, my back would kill if I carried my pack around everywhere. I started cycling north, deciding to continue the reign of terror I was spreading across the country. I was perfectly ready to take down another bandit town, so going back would be cowardice.
'Still', I thought as I passed the rusting hulks of so many burned out or fuel-less cars on the road out of town, 'maybe I could take a little time off'. It had been a long time since I had visited an honest town and I was really interested to see one of the zombie-proof cities that had apparently been cleared in this area. As I checked my map, an ordnance survey one with the positions of new towns and trading posts marked on in red pen, I found that the closest one was ‘New Beginnings’. Wow, even the name sounded hopeful.
The route up there was fairly simple, follow the ‘A’ road I was on until I reached the motorway then continue straight on until I saw it. However, from what I could tell it was several days trip. Not that that mattered. It was the apocalypse, we had all the time in the world. Once I was enough miles away from my recent handiwork that my legs began to badly protest, I got off and looked for a place to sleep. For one night, I only needed somewhere reasonably zombie-proof. One house on the street looked suited to the task, with all the windows and doors boarded up and a rope ladder hanging from an upstairs window. The ladder took what remaining strength I had and left me tired as all hell.
It must have been 5 in the morning by the time I actually fell asleep, right there on the carpet just inside the window. I didn’t even check if there were any zombies – I was too tired to even care if they ate me. All in all, a very good day’s work.