Prelude - Gus
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Author:  Ismaels-Legacy [ Mon Jan 17, 2011 5:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Prelude - Gus

The years have not been kind. War, famine, plague, and those blasted undead have turned the world into a bleak, unforgiving place. The days are short and the nights are long, figuratively as much as literal. There has been little solace in the company of others since life seems so fleeting. Moments shared in pleasures, but those too pass quickly. The only thing that lasts in this life is memories.

You stare into the small clay shot-glass before you, filled with a clear, potent liquid.


You throw the shot glass back and swallow the liquid fire found within.

"More" you say, hollowly. The bartender doesn't question it, he simply pours you another and taps the gold coin that you placed on the bar. "Two left" he says, and turns back to polish the newly washed tankards behind the counter.


Staring into the liquor you can almost hear the screams as they drift into your thoughts from a time long ago......

Your heart races as the shambling horde slowly advances toward you. "Hold the line!!!" Bellows your senior officer. The soldiers around you look as nervous as you feel. Some are sweating, others shaking, some are adjusting their grip on their weapons, and you're pretty sure that you just heard John throw up further down the line. You try not to look at their faces, afraid that you'll see the mask of fear that so often shows up before battles like this.

You're not 'green', but you're still not used to fighting the undead. Hell, noone should EVER 'get used to it'. Your first campaign was a disaster, at least from your standpoint. Too many men looked out across the field and saw their family members advancing toward them, shambling on decayed limbs, hobbling on broken bones.....

It was the children that were the worst. It's hard enough to see them die, but to have to kill them again.....that was hard. It shook your very soul.

[ooc: you may choose to continue with the memory OR with the bar scene, the choice is yours.]

Author:  Marcus [ Wed Jan 19, 2011 12:19 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Prelude - Gus

The memories of Gus' old life, long ago when he had friends and a family, when he thought he had a future, when people depended on him, when he wore a uniform, spilled into his days all too often. When he lost it all, he ran. He ran into the deep country. And when that wasn't deep enough to escape his memories, he hid in the bottom of a bottle. It was all Gus could do to keep his throat wet enough to drown the gruesome scenes from his mind during the day, but it was hopeless when he slept. It was no wonder most of the folks who were alive back then became monsters themselves, even if the zombies spared them, they weren't the same. But Gus was no monster, just a drunk.

Now Gus is an old man, one of the few, and not even crazy... not quite. He hated life too much to be crazy. The shambling hordes already took all he had... his house, his neighbors, his comrades, his boy. But on the bright side they got his wife too. Most people refer to someone who has lost a spouse and a child as "twice cursed," but when he's at his most hateful Gus merely calls it a "zombie divorce." Hell, if he ever ran into the zombie that did her in he wouldn't know whether to run it through or give it a medal.

Two drinks left... One to toast his wife, and another to toast the zombie that rid him of the hag.

Gus suddenly realizes where he his, not in the bloody fields surrounded by the dead, but in a bar, and not a bar that was abandoned and littered with limbs like most of them in the old days, but one still open for business.
"Misery loves company, aye, bartender?" Gus slams another shot. "Hey, you look a lot like a guy I used to know... old Jerry... aw hell,you couldn't be Jerry, he's dead. Zombies got him, must 'a been thirty years ago. Doubt you've had many travelers lately." Gus doesn't even bother looking around the room. He's too tired, and he already knows its empty. They always are. Gus begins to snicker. "Not often I'm anybody's number one customer."

Author:  Ismaels-Legacy [ Wed Jan 19, 2011 1:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Prelude - Gus

"Misery has found it's home." The bartender answers soberly. He picks up the bottle of spirits, weighs it in his hand, shakes it a bit, shrugs, and sets it on the counter before you. "Take it old-timer. Something tells me that you've earned it."

The Winter was hard this year. Harder than anyone had ever remembered. Most of the crops failed, being too wet for anything to grow without mouldering. People were starving to a degree that they were eating their animals; stock and pets alike. No matter how bad things got, people always ate their dogs last. The damned house cats may not have much meat on them, but they're also keeping rats away; another possible food source. Without a cat, the rats may be enticed to enter the home where you could quickly catch and cook them!

The town itself only had two horses left, both belonging to the traders who made a living traveling from town to town distributing supplies. Of course even horses needed food, so they were often let loose outside the walls to graze. They were heavily guarded at all times, though. Not because the undead may take them, but because the peasants might.

There were hunters, of course. Poaching was STILL illegal, the punishment had been lowered to Outlawry rather than death, though. No one in their right mind would kill a hunter, though, especially in these conditions. They ran trap lines and occasionally brought down large game for the community. Of course, even they were having a tough time this winter....

That's when the riots broke out. People with nothing to lose started breaking into homes, robbing each other of everything they could possibly use for food or fuel. No one really knows where it began, but everyone certainly knows where it ended; the Street of Dreams, since renamed (unofficially) the Street of Nightmares.

You stood your ground like a good soldier. You told them to turn around and go home. You told them that no one had to get hurt. They didn't listen. No, of course they didn't listen. They charged you like a wave of anger and desperation. It happened in slow motion, you could see every footfall that every citizen made. You tried to avert your eyes as the front line realized that they would never be able to stop in time, that those behind them were forcing them forward. You watched as a haggard woman, no more than 19 years old, turned her head and started screaming at those behind her. She staggered, but the tide wouldn't let her fall. They drove her forward, onto the point of your spear....'

Author:  Marcus [ Thu Jan 20, 2011 11:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Prelude - Gus

Gus wanted more than anything to go back for the woman and see if there was any life left in her, but it was all he could do just to get the body off the end of his spear. Besides, Sergeant Gus Henderson was too hardened to step out of line and too hateful to risk everything for a stranger. She was dead anyway, and tomorrow someone would have to kill her again. Gus yelled out in anger, which was the only thing he felt he could do. "Any man who stands out of line, it will be the last thing you ever do, I guarantee it. Hold the line!"

Author:  Ismaels-Legacy [ Wed Jan 26, 2011 10:05 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Prelude - Gus

There's a rumble in your stomach as you realize that you haven't eaten at all today. Not that that is terribly unique to this day alone, though. Bread seems to have a habit of taking up space that could otherwise be used for alcohol. You pound on the bar and the barkeep shows up with a mug of water. "I've got no problem serving you more, but before I do, drink this first. You'll thank me later, for sure."

"Drink this", she says. She is the most beautiful woman you've ever known. It's shocking how she will turn into the biggest shrew you've ever encountered once you're married, but right now, in this memory, she's enough to make your knees buckle. Granted your knees have already buckled, but still, the thought is there. The whiskey burns as it slides down your throat. It hurts, but it seems to be relaxing you a bit. Calming your nerves. It's taken everything you can think of and MORE to block out the flashbacks of the Starving Time. Hell, no matter what anyone says, it's STILL the starving time. Sure, you have food now, but it's never enough. You're alive, but sometimes that's not enough. That's how you fell in with HER....

Author:  Marcus [ Sun Jan 30, 2011 11:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Prelude - Gus

Gus cringes at the memory of his wife. Sure, she had a great pair, but after the I-do's, she could be summed up as naggin' and saggin'. Not even an unpleasant daydream can take Gus' thoughts off of the rumblings in his stomach forever though. Sooner or later Gus is going to need some grub.

"Hey, fella, you got a pot of something cookin in the back?"

Author:  Ismaels-Legacy [ Mon Feb 28, 2011 7:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Prelude - Gus

The barkeep nods silently and walks to the back, bringing you a wooden bowl and spoon filled with some stew consisting mostly of root vegetables and a few chunks of questionable meat. "Eat up soldier. I'll not have you drinking yourself to death in my bar. Not while there's so many shufflers still roaming the world. Your work's not done yet." he says softly before turning to serve other patrons.

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