FVZA: Interactive Case 4: Zombie Outbreak
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Interactive Case #4: Zombie Outbreak! (Part 5)

Review Part I
Review Part II
Review Part III
Review Part IV

Your faithful friend Greg has panicked and driven off, leaving you and Travis behind in the midst of a certified, fast-spreading zombie outbreak. And it'll be dark soon. See what other surprises await in this latest installment of Zombie Outbreak.

Date: October 27, 2004
Place: Austin, Texas

It's late afternoon. Or is it early evening? You're not sure; you never wear a watch, and neither does Travis. All you know is, daylight is fading. For the last hour or two, you've been walking deserted streets, armed only with a Winchester rifle and a shotgun. There's not a soul about: just the sound of distant screams, burglars alarms, gunfire and the occasional helicopter flying overhead.

"I need to take a breather," says Travis as he shuffles over to a bus stop bench. You join him and, after a moment, he says, "I have to admit, I like this place a lot better with all the people gone." You're just about to agree with him when you hear the sound of an engine and spot an SUV coming down the street toward you. Sweet salvation! You immediately run into the street, shouting and waving your arms. The SUV veers toward you in response. You're saved! Except, the driver doesn't appear to be slowing down. And he's leering, almost like a...zombie. But wait: zombies can't drive, can they? (editor's note: early stage zombies can drive cars and trucks and operate simple machinery). With a surge of engine, the SUV leaps forward. It clips you in the leg and sends you end over end, your body like a sack of potatoes.

You land heavily on the road and look up just in time to see Travis' body fly across the sidewalk and slam into a brick storefront. The SUV careens over the curb and crashes into the building, pinning Travis against the wall. He lets loose an ungodly howl. The zombie, a male of about 50, lurches out of the driver's side, its face dented by the steering wheel, but otherwise no worse for wear, and starts toward you. You try to stand but something is wrong with your right leg; you can't put any weight on it. You roll over to your shotgun, pick it up, and check the chambers: only one cartridge left. Make it count, you tell yourself. The zombie shuffles toward you. It has some kind of software company ID on its lapel. Steady, steady. You wait until its fetid breath is crawling up your nose and then you fire.

The zombie, its head now permanently detached from its body, drops stiffly to its knees and falls forward. You roll out of the way just in time.

Using the shotgun as a crutch, you stagger over to check on Travis and your heart sinks. Poor Travis: a guy who could tear phone books in half with his bare hands, has been reduced to a whimpering mess. His body is crushed between the totaled SUV and the wall, and the battery acid and radiator fluid from the SUV has made his face resemble a bubbling pizza. The weary resignation in his eyes says it all; you take his hand and he lets out one long last breath and dies.

Town Lake, Austin
You want to stay with your friend for awhile, but unfortunately, that's not going to happen. A half dozen zombies have picked up your scent and are moving toward you from the other direction. Damn zombies! Don't they ever stop?! You pick up Travis' rifle, limp out into the street and start firing in a blind rage. You want to take them all on, destroy every last one of them.

But more than that, you want to live. You've never been so conscious of the gift of life as you are in this moment. So you move away, using the shotgun as a crutch, and after about 50 yards you find a rhythm and you begin to put some distance between you and the zombies. But then, up ahead, you spot three more zombies; oddly enough, a black guy, a white woman and a Latino teen; apparently, there is no racism among zombies.

You cut down an alley and emerge on the broad expanse of Congress Avenue, with the Texas State Capitol looming large in the distance. And something else: some type of a barricade. You move closer and squint is disbelief. Army jeeps! Soldiers! Hallelujah! You start toward them, dragging your leg and smiling ear to ear, when you hear the sharp report of a rifle and the barely perceptible sound of a bullet whizzing past your ear. What? "I'm not a zombie!" you shout, only to be answered with another volley of shots. Fortunately, these guys are only Army Reservists, and all the shots miss. You turn and hurry in the opposite direction as fast as your good leg will carry you.

Thirty minutes later, you're resting on a park bench looking out on Town Lake. Your friends are gone. Your right hip and thigh are throbbing with pain. And God only knows the fate of your girlfriend Marla. You think back to your first date with her, when you went out to dinner and then walked along the lake. It was a night not unlike this; cool air, a soft pastel sunset. You were a little buzzed from the margaritas and you shared with her all your hopes and dreams for the future. And this is what it comes to? Eaten by zombies? No. No, you're not going to go out that way. You rise to your feet with fresh resolve and limp away as the unmistakable groaning sounds of zombies fill the air.

Night is falling. What you gonna do?
(Click the number corresponding to your choice)

Keep moving. You must stay ahead of the zombies, and anyway, you're bound to run into some other survivors sooner or later.

Find shelter while there's still light. Make sure it's a secure location that you can defend.

Commandeer a vehicle. There's got to be something somewhere: a valet parking stand, a hotel, and rent-a-car place. You must get out of the city, and fast.

Proceed to Part VI of the case.

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