Menu:

All Flesh Must Be Eaten One-Shot (2006 – 2007)

To Live and Die in Louisiana, Session 4

Scenario Author: Allan Goodall
Write-up Author: Allan Goodall
Run Date: March 3, 2007
Game System: All Flesh Must Be Eaten (Unisystem)
Zombie Master: Allan Goodall
Cast Members: Natasha Alexander, manager of the Blue Note jazz club (Alana Goodall); Ryan Kaufman, disaffected National Guardsman (Jason Gallagher); Chuck Williams, Wal-Mart general manager and regular at the Blue Note (Jimmy Pope); Neil Decelles, the Blue Note's cook (Jimmy Pope)

Friday, September 21, 2007, 3:17 PM CDT

Police Station, Goudeau, Louisiana

Ryan Kaufman scrambled off the back of the dead man. Kaufman's chest hurt from the bullet impact that, fortunately, failed to penetrate his Kevlar. He looked down at the man with the bullets in the back of his skull, and he looked up at the regular Army men in their NBC hoods. Right there and then Kaufman decided that he'd had enough. He was getting out of this chickenshit outfit.

Kaufman was a member of the Louisiana National Guard. He'd already been to Iraq, twice. He tried to resign, but he was pulled back in through the stop-loss process. He was individually activated, a procedure that was actually illegal. Now civilians were being shot in the head without due process. Kaufman was finished with the National Guard and the Army. He wanted out.

He left the hooded soldiers to deal with the body of the man who had grabbed him. He didn't hate the man; he was only trying to escape. He hated the soldiers who fired, even though Kaufman was in the way. The Kevlar vest saved his life, but his limbs and his face were not protected. He could have been killed.

Something incredibly weird was happening. He needed to get out of here. Unfortunately, the place was crawling with soldiers.

Two other Guardsmen walked into the police station. Kaufman followed. Inside were four civilians, a couple of cops, and a squad of regular army soldiers in their hooded Nuclear, Biological, Chemical suits. Four of the hooded soldiers were dealing with a bloody corpse on the floor.

Someone came into the station behind him. Kaufman looked around then snapped to attention. Old habits died hard. In walked a man wearing fatigues in the faded green digital camouflage pattern favoured in Afghanistan. Over his chest pocket was the name Watkins. A single gold star on each shoulder indicated he was a brigadier general.

Gen. Watkins took immediate charge, demanding to know what happened. A soldier in a hood — Watkins was unhooded — explained the situation. A male civilian stepped forward. He demanded to know what was going on, and why they were being held against their will, illegally. He started spouting off about his civil rights. Civilians. They just don't get it.

The general listened to the man, then cut him off in mid sentence. He explained to the civilian, in no uncertain terms, that the state was under martial law, that a deadly disease outbreak had occurred, a disease outbreak that the army was containing. He proceeded to tell them that they would be taken to a triage facility, where they would be examined for the disease and either treated or released. The makeshift facility was up the road in Bunkie.

Gen. Watkins turned to the Guardsmen. "Who can drive a truck?" Sensing an out, Kaufman shot up his hand. "Right." Watkins pointed at Kaufman. "You and you" — the other man he pointed to was Private Taylor, a man in Kaufman's unit — "Take the five-ton out front and drive these people to Checkpoint Delta." Watkins motioned to two soldiers in NBC gear. "Go with them."

Kaufman did not salute, as his unit did not salute in the field. He snapped to attention and then wheeled right and strode out of the office. The truck was ticket out of here. He just had to deposit the civilians at Bunkie, first.

* * *

The survivors of the Blue Note stomped out of the police station, following the soldiers. Chuck Williams had demanded an explanation from the general. He didn't get what he wanted. Now they were being moved to some government holding pen. In all likelihood someone in the pen would change into a zombie, and that would be it for all of them. This mess made Hurricane Katrina look like a sun shower during a picnic.

Chuck, Natasha, Vee, Serena and Neil all climbed onto the back of the truck, one after another. They sat down on the benches in the back of the canvas covered military truck. Two soldiers in hoods jumped on behind them. They were armed. The soldiers refused to look at the civilians as the truck lurched forward.

Chuck and Natasha asked the others what happened to Eric. Neil explained how the sick man who was brought into the police station appeared to pass out (or die!). Then the man woke up and went for the cop. The cop tried to drop him, but when a taser and a gun failed to have an effect, the cop ran away. Eric and the man started to fight. Serena stammered out that she saw Eric bitten by the man. Eric killed him, then he ran to a restroom. A few moments later he came out. By then the men in the hoods arrived. They took Eric out of the station. A short while later they heard gunshots. Now Eric was nowhere to be seen. It didn't look good for Eric...

The truck lurched on. Chuck tried to strike up a conversation with the hooded soldiers, but they wouldn't communicate. Their suits had a strange patch on one arm. It looked like a triangle made of partially completed circles. On the other arm was a U.S. flag in black and olive. They had name patches on the front. Vincent. Simeon. When Chuck spoke one of the soldiers might look over at him, but mostly they just looked at each other while gripping their assault rifles.

It wasn't long before they rolled into Bunkie. Natasha recognized it as she stared out the back of the truck and saw buildings and signs slip past. Bunkie, Louisiana marked the beginning of Cajun country. Bunkie and points south was "Coon-ass country". Everything north of Bunkie was "Yankee territory".

The truck slowed down. They were nearing their destination

* * *

Kaufman slowed the truck as they came to the check point. The road was blocked by a wooden gate, sort of a makeshift version of the gates that block railroad crossings. Nearby were several tents behind a quickly erected razor wire fence. Stunned civilian faces looked out through the chain link.

A truck full of soldiers burst out of the check point area. They came to an intersection ahead of Kaufman's truck and turned to Kaufman's left, heading south. There was a line of trucks ahead of him, waiting to go in through the gates.

Another truck lumbered north toward the intersection. Something was wrong. The truck was weaving, slightly, in the road. Kaufman saw the truck approach. He could accelerate or he could throw the truck into reverse. He accelerated, stomping on the pedal. As soon as he cleared the road he dropped both feet on the brakes. The front of the truck kissed the back bumper of the truck ahead.

The lumbering truck drove through the intersection. Kaufman noticed the driver fighting with another soldier in the cab. The truck hit a ditch and rolled over.

Private Taylor, the Guardsman sitting in the cab with Kaufman, swore. "We gotta see if they need help!" He jumped out of the cab, slammed the cab door shut, and ran over to help the people.

Kaufman watched as the guardsman ran to the truck. Civilians were crawling out of the back. They got up and walked toward the Guardsman. No, they weren't walking. They were shambling Kaufman grabbed the stick shift. He threw the truck in reverse and gunned it.

* * *

The truck stopped. The Blue Note survivors looked at each other. Suddenly the truck jumped forward. Another truck drove past, barely missing the rear of their vehicle. Chuck saw that the driver was wrestling with someone in the cab. They heard the truck crash. This was not a good place to be.

Chuck yelled at the soldiers to let them out. Vincent and Simeon stood up. Vincent pointed at Chuck and told him to sit down. The truck jumped backward, throwing the soldiers off balance.

Chuck leapt at Vincent. Reacting, Natasha went after Simeon.

Chuck slammed heavily into Vincent's gun arm. There was a sharp crack and Vincent let out a hood-muffled scream.

Natasha swung at Simeon, but missed. Simeon smacked Natasha across the face with the barrel of his gun. Natasha went down.

Chuck turned his attention to Simeon. He swung a punch at Simeon. The soldier dodged out of the way, raised his gun, and fired. A single bullet struck Chuck between the eyes. Chuck's lifeless body collapsed.

Neil, the cook, shouted as Vee and Serena screamed hugged each other. Neil threw himself at the men at the back of the truck.

The truck stopped, throwing Simeon and Vincent off balance again as Simeon started to swing his gun toward Natasha.

The truck jumped forward. Natasha kicked out, catching Vincent's leg and flipping it forward. Vincent tumbled out of the truck.

Neil punched Simeon in the head. Simeon fell backwards, over the tail gate. Neil grabbed at Simeon's assault rifle as the soldier went over. Simeon hit the ground hard, but Neil held onto the gun.

The survivors looked down at Chuck's dead body. Vee and Serena sobbed.

Neil went to the front of the truck bed as the vehicle bounced along and made a turn. Neil lifted up the canvas. There was a window in the back of the truck cab. The driver was alone. Neil checked over the assault rifle and started to bring it to his shoulder.

The driver was talking to himself. "getting out of this outfit. I've had enough of this shit. I'm out of here" The driver took a swig from a small metal flask.

Neil thought for a second. He reached forward and opened the window. He demanded to know where they were going. The driver glanced back. When he saw that the person talking wasn't a soldier he relaxed a little. The driver said he was getting them out of there. He wasn't going to wait around for that disease, or whatever it was, to kill him. He'd had enough of that.

Neil realized they had a kindred spirit. He climbed through the window into the cab. Natasha moved up to the window. Neil introduced himself, and the rest of the Blue Note survivors. The driver shook Neil's hand, and said his name was Ryan Kaufman. Neil asked if Ryan had any more to drink. Ryan handed over the flask. Neil downed the contents of the flask and handed it back Ryan. The Guardsman went to take a sip, found it was empty, shrugged, and threw the flask out the window.

The cook asked Ryan where they were going. Ryan pointed to a map. Neil picked it up. They were on U.S. 71, heading toward Alexandria. They were not going to Alexandria, though. Alexandria was teaming with military. Neil saw a sign indicating that they were now in the town of Cheneyville. Ryan said he was going to turn off the highway and take the Cheneyville-Echo Road to Echo, Louisiana. From there they would make for the road across the Red River north of Marksville. The army was holding a line along the Red. If they could get across they would be free to go anywhere in the country.

Ryan pulled off the four lane road, and onto surface streets. Soon he came to a sign for Echo. He turned right, taking them north and away from highway 71.

Neil asked if he knew what happened back at the police station. Ryan explained that while he was walking to the station someone grabbed him and threw him on his back as a shield. Neil realized he was talking about Eric. Ryan said that the soldiers killed Eric. Neil said he didn't know Eric very well, just that he was an ex-Special Forces type.

Ryan shook his head. He said that while Eric carried him, the other soldiers fired anyway. "The shot me. The shot me!"

"But they're one of you," said Neil.

"Not me. I'm guard. They're regular army."

Neil shook his head. "They're zombie food, now."

"And I'm AWOL."

"We're wanted for assaulting military officials."

"That's okay," said Ryan. "I won't hold it against you.

"If it helps any, I'll say we held you at gun point." He made a gun out of his finger and thumb. "Drive!"

The road ended at LA Route 1, a four lane highway. Ryan turned the truck onto the highway. They passed a sign advertising the big casino in Marksville. Three Humvees passed them, on their way to Alexandria. There was no other traffic. In a couple of minutes Ryan turned left onto a road that led to Egg Bend. This would take them to the bridge without them having to drive through Marksville, which likely had a big army contingent.

When they got close to the bridge, Ryan stopped the truck. There was a military check point at the top of the bridge. A line of cars leading up to the check point blocked it. Someone was moving between the trucks. He backed up the truck until it was out of sight of the bridge.

Ryan got out. He was going to sneak forward and take a good look at the check point. Neil asked if he could have the keys to the truck, just in case Ryan didn't come back. Ryan thought for a second, then handed over the keys.

Ryan slipped along some bushes until he got a good look at the check point. Five cars were stopped along the bridge road. The passenger door to the second car from the front was open. A soldier walked into view. The soldier was missing his left arm. A civilian female stumbled into view, bumping into the soldier. A deep gash ran along the woman's neck. Zombies! Ryan slipped back to the truck.

He told the others what he saw. The check point was crawling with zombies. He was going to run through the check point. Everyone agreed that it was the best thing to do. Natasha asked him if he had another gun. She wanted to defend Vee and Sarena if zombies came through the canvas. Ryan pulled out his pistol and handed it to Natasha.

Ryan threw the truck into gear. The truck moved about 20 yards before zombies wandered into the street. Ryan ran them down with a sickening thump.

One of the zombies held onto the truck. It crawled up the front grille and along the hood toward the windshield. Neil aimed the M-16 and fired. A hole opened in the window, with spidery cracks emanating from it, making it hard for Ryan to see. The zombie hadn't been touched. It continued to crawl up the hood. Ryan shouted at Neil to fire again.

Neil fired a second time. He even missed the hole this time, shattering the rest of the windshield. Ryan and Neil were hit with wind, tiny bits of safety glass, and the stink of decay. The zombie continued crawling up the hood toward Ryan.

Natasha leaned in and fired the pistol. The bullet slammed into the zombie's skull as it reached a pale hand for Ryan. The zombie's eyes rolled, and it let go of the hood. The corpse fell off the truck.

Ryan cranked the truck into a tight turn. He swung into the left lane and rushed the bridge. More zombies appeared, only to be mowed down as the truck hit them, one after another.

The truck reached the top of the bridge. In front of them was the looming bulk of a fuel company bobtail truck. The bobtail blocked the road. Large "flammable" placards hung on the side of the trailer.

Ryan stomped on the brakes. The truck came to a screeching halt two feet from the bobtail.

There was no way around the truck. They had to move it. Ryan got out of the military and ran for the cab of the bobtail. Neil ran with him, in support. Natasha climbed into the cab of the military truck and slid behind the steering wheel.

Ryan climbed into the fuel truck. There were no keys. Using his knife, he was able to pry off the starter mechanism. He started hot wiring the truck.

Neil ran around the back of the bobtail. As he came around the back of the truck he saw a clutch of zombies heading for him. Instead of heading back to the cab, Neil ran straight for a nearby stand of trees.

Ryan started the fuel truck. He backed it up and moved it out of the way.

Natasha put the military truck into drive and let out the clutch. She'd never driven stick before. She stalled out the truck. She started it and tried again. The truck stalled, again.

Zombies converged on the military truck. Ryan hit the horn of the fuel truck. Natasha yelled at Vee and Sarena to make a run for it.

The women ran for the fuel truck as zombies converged all around them. Natasha ducked past one zombie and climbed into the cab beside Ryan. A zombie moved to her door. She fired, destroying its brain with one shot.

Vee and Sarena ran. Sarena stumbled. A zombie was on top of her almost immediately. Then another, and a third. Sarena screamed from under the pile of zombies. Vee screamed, too, but she ran for the truck. Natasha helped Vee into the cab.

Ryan started the truck rolling. More zombies were shambling toward them. Neil burst from the woods and ran to the road. Ryan stopped. Neil climbed into the cab and shut the door behind him. The zombies were almost on top of them. Ryan slipped the truck into gear, popped the clutch, and sent it rolling down LA 107 toward Effie.

Everyone was quiet. The night before 15 people were sleeping in the Blue Note bar in Lafayette as zombies prowled the streets. Less than twenty-four hours later there were only three of them left. If it wasn't for Ryan, they might all be dead...

Ryan asked Neil to check for a manifest. Neil found it. The truck was carrying a load of low sulphur clear diesel. That's what the truck used. For once, luck was with them.

Neil asked Ryan where they were going. Ryan shrugged. He lived in Shreveport. He thought they'd skirt around Alexandria and take the interstate up to Shreveport. He hadn't thought any further than that. He tried hard not to think about the implications of the bridge check point. The military had planned to hold a line along central Louisiana. That line had been pierced, and there were now zombies north of the Red River...

 

To Live and Die in Louisiana was originally intended to be the first adventure in a longer zombie apocalypse campaign. Instead, while everyone enjoyed the scenario, the group's attention shifted elsewhere.

So what happens next? Can the army stop the zombies in central Louisiana? Or is it too late, and the world has now been infested with zombies?

If you like happy endings (i.e. Shaun of the Dead), assume that the survivors made it to Shreveport and the zombie menace was contained.

If you prefer a more downbeat ending (i.e. Dawn of the Dead), the survivors make it to Shreveport only to be torn apart by the zombie hordes there waiting for them.

If you want to know what was planned for the campaign, if you e-mail me politely I just might tell you...