Session I: A Trip to the Woods
The session begins with Rita Hancock (Ally) and Alice Hunter (Melissa) as part of a group of six teenagers camping out in woods off Church St, west of the village proper. Rita and Alice have been friends since the ninth grade, with Rita being something of the tag along for most of that time.
Moses Scott Luther (Johnny) and Charlene "Charley" Walker (Mary) are hunting deer in the small stretch of woods, having gotten permission from the land owner, Charley's cousin, to do so. Moses and Charley have been friends for well over five years, after Moses' son (the previous sheriff, who's since died in an auto accident) introduced them.
Saturday 10:00pm, April 26th, 2008.
Beginning first with Rita and Alice, both of whom are sitting around the campfire with the other teens drinking beer and telling jokes. The evening is winding down and the group has already started pairing off. Alice begins the scenario interested in Dillon Jakes, a local football player. With her Allure trait and Seduction skill her first action is to elicit his interest and (very easily) wrap him around her finger before her rival, Jenny Sampson, can do so. Rita meanwhile is far too shy to seek the attentions of any of the football players and has found herself rather forced into company with Jimmy Carver, the local nerd that Charity Wayland brought along. Rita has no interest in him and he clearly is interested only in Charity. By midnight everyone has paired off and will soon begin heading for the tents to make out.
Rick Hanson, who's managed to become rather drunk, angers his girlfriend, Charity Wayland, by being a bit too fresh in front of the other teens. Drunk and frustrated, Rick curses her which in turns prompts Jimmy Carver, (who not so secretly has a crush on her) to pipe up, surprising everyone. In seconds Rick is up, bullying and shoving Jimmy, who's already backed down and is clearly afraid of him.
Alice makes a Persuasion attempt to get Dillon to intervene and spare the poor boy any further humiliation. She is surprised when she fails and Dillon dithers. Rita does intervene, standing up and calling Rick a bully to his face which only causes him to divide his attention between Jimmy and her. Thankfully Michael Cook, the third football player in the group, pitches in and attempts to calm Rick before things get out of hand.
Rick is having none of it though. When Jimmy tries to reason with him, still clearly afraid, Rick punches him in the mouth, sending him sprawling to the ground. Though the two other boys step forward at that they don't intervene directly as it's clear knocking the boy down has satisfied Rick. He simply stands over him and slurs insults at Jimmy until he scrambles away, off to his tent crying.
Dillon and Michael express their disgust with Rick's behavior and turn to lead Alice and Jenny off to their tents. Charity also stomps off in disgust leaving Rick cursing everyone drunkenly. Rita heads for her tent as well, not wanting to be left alone with the jerk.
In only minutes the group can hear Rick and Jimmy going at it again off near Jimmy's tent. When sounds of Jimmy begging Rick not to kill him are heard everyone moves to crawl out of their tents and see what the heck's going on. As they do so Alice and Rita (and everyone else apparently) feel the ground suddenly lurch sharply for a moment, nearly throwing them all down. Neither of the two girls notice anything else that has occurred beyond the apparent small earthquake, unusual in the extreme for southern Louisiana. Both girls are struck by the nearly overwhelming conviction that something far-reaching and profound has occurred, though they have no idea what. Simultaneously, a gun shot rings out.
Once outside and on their feet again everyone can see Rick standing over Jimmy, who's clearly been shot, pointing a smoking handgun at the prone boy. As everyone stands stunned for a moment Jimmy scrambles up and off again, stumbling into the woods, ignoring cries by the group for him to wait. Rick is shocked as well, babbling that the gun "just went off...it just went off" until Dillon slams into him and snatches the gun away. After a bit of yelling back and forth they manage to get the story from Rick that he had intended to terrorize Jimmy a bit with the handgun, just for fun. At which point the gun "just went off".
With Jimmy having seemingly been shot in the chest the immediate concern is for his safety. Alice and Rita manage to draw everyone's attention to the fact that Jimmy may be dying somewhere nearby and needs medical attention immediately. Everyone (with the exception of Rick, who's still in shock) dashes off into the surrounding woods hoping to find him before it's too late.
Alice fails a Hard Will+Intuition roll to guess which direction Jimmy ran off to and Rita likewise fails a Will+Perception check to track him. After several tense minutes it's clear that, though the group has split up and already covered a lot of ground, they can't find any trace of Jimmy. After continuing the search for a few more minutes, until becoming lost and disoriented in the woods becomes a real danger, the group finally trickles back to the campsite and Rick.
There they find Rick already in a state of panic, sure that Jimmy has died in the woods somewhere and that he himself is in serious trouble. Alice and Rita are disgusted when Rick begins worrying with the other boys about how he's going to get out of this mess. Even further when they all begin weaving a story attempting to absolve Rick of any blame for the shooting. Apparently the gun that Dillon now holds actually belongs to Charity's father and she took it without his permission, fearing snakes in the woods. Confronted with the choice of whether or not to intervene in the matter, both Alice and Rita decide to remain quiet and go along with things for now. Dillon still has the handgun after all.
Nevertheless, once it's been agreed upon that the boys will lie and Charity will back them up, the other four teens turn their attention to Alice and Rita. They aggressively insist they back up their story that Jimmy took the gun from Charity and threatened Rick with it, forcing Rick to take the gun away, at which point if went off in the earthquake. Alice and Rita both agree for the moment, playing along. Alice manages to convince them she's fully on board with the plan with her high Willpower and Influence. Rita however barely lies convincingly as she's known to be a compulsive liar and this makes her attempt all the harder. Nevertheless, though the boys are suspicious of Rita and take a moment to threaten dire consequences, everyone is satisfied they have a plan.
All that remains if verifying the Jimmy is in fact dead, which requires them to hit the woods again (in pairs this time) to find him. After all, if he's still alive that'll ruin everything.
Charley and Moses start off on the other side of the woods an hour earlier. With his superior tracking skills Moses has found the perfect spot to watch for deer and the two are already in their deer stands, waiting quietly for deer to follow the musk they've laced in the area. They can hear the faint laughter of the teens camping on the other side of the woods occasionally and can only hope this hasn't put the deer too much on edge. According to Charley's cousin there are only two or three at most in the wood, assuming they haven't left the area completely what with all the noise.
In moments their concerns prove groundless as they both spot a deer wander cautiously into sight nearby. As Moses spotted him first and they have surprise, he takes a couple of rounds to aim for the neck and hits well, though he doesn't drop the deer. Taking her shot immediately after Charley misses completely despite aiming as well. The deer takes the first initiative point so it darts off, badly wounded, out sight before they can fire again.
Scrambling down out of their tree stands, Moses and Charley race off to track down the wounded deer before they lose it completely. In moments Charley catches sight of it and fires off two quick shots. She scores a wildly lucky hit and drops the deer at last. When the two reach the deer and put it out of it's misery, Charley takes a moment to gloat, having won their five dollar bet about who'd bag the first deer. Clear proof of feminine superiority, in her opinion. Considering the small size of the wood they occupy and the noise of teenagers partying a ways off they know it will be their only one this trip.
Back at the truck the two set about securing the deer to the hood and opt to settle in at their small campsite for a beer before heading back into town for the night. Reasoning that all the ruckus will surely have driven off any other deer within a ten mile radius they sit back and celebrate the one that didn't get way.
As it is roughly midnight, Moses and Charley decide to pack it up for the night and head home. Just as they take to their feet to do so they feel the ground suddenly lurch sharply and drop. Thrown back off their feet by this they require a moment to recover, then wait to see if any form of aftershock will follow.
During the short quake they're both acutely aware of their surroundings and so clearly hear a shot ring out from the direction of the teenager's camp across the wood, along with frightened screaming and some frantic yelling that goes on for some time. They both identify the shot as having come from a handgun of some sort as well. Charley immediately determines that driving around the outskirts of the wood and entering on foot from the north might be the quickest route there, so the two pile in and begin driving around. Charley figures she may soon be acting in her capacity as a law officer and fetches her sidearm from the truck, though she insists on making Moses wait so that she can drive.
Within fifteen minutes the two arrive on Church Street, park and exit the vehicle to begin hiking in toward the camp. Along the way Charley notices that the truck seems to be acting up, to the point that it's nearly died twice on the short drive. Once they've moved no more a hundred yards into the woods they both detect scuffling sounds coming from the direction of the truck, including the obvious sounds of something impacting it repeatedly as well as glass shattering. They reverse direction immediately and dash back for the truck. When they arrive they find the deer they shot just over an hour ago is gone, the ties that held it laying all about. The truck's front windshield has also been bashed in and the hood of the truck is dented badly in several places as well. The entire front end is naturally smeared with blood and mud, making the whole scene quite a mess.
Moses and Charley both look around for clues as to what happened to their deer but don't discover anything beyond the obvious. Someone apparently made off with it and took time to smash the truck up a bit in the process. They can't find any clues as to which direction the deer thief could have gone, despite the fact that this occurred less than a minute ago. Taking a moment to listen intently to the woods around them they can't detect any sounds of movement nearby either, though can still hear a bit of yelling going on in the direction of the camp nearby.
Deciding that's more important than the lost deer at the moment, they head back in that direction again.
A few minutes later they reach the camp, having nearly run flat out through the brush the whole way. Though they find the campsite easily enough, no one is there. They can hear the teenagers in the woods all around however, calling out for "Jimmy" frantically. They decide to wait until someone returns or ventures near enough to the camp for them to engage, rather than dashing out into the woods and getting lost as "Jimmy" seems to have.
Once it again becomes clear they can't find Jimmy (having searched out quite a ways from the camp) Rita, Alice and Dillon decide to return and see if anyone else had better luck. Back at the camp they come upon the scene of Rick and Charity confronted by Charlene Walker, a local deputy, and Moses Luther, some old guy they've seen around town. Rick and Charity have already started spinning the tale they all agreed to, claiming Jimmy took Charity's gun and threatened Rick with it, who then took it away with the gun then discharging accidentally during the short earthquake moments ago. Dillon immediately pitches in, backing up their story.
With Dillon on hand and having heard the story from the other three already, Charlene first asks for the weapon in question from Dillon and secures it in her pack. Though Rick and Dillon are convincing, Charley has detected that Charity is being dishonest somehow. Focusing on her, Charley pours on the heat a bit but Charity proves tougher that she expected and sticks to her story. Charley then turns to Rita and Alice, who haven't voiced their account yet.
Rita speaks first, claiming the rest are lying and that Rick had the gun from the beginning, having supposedly gotten it or taking it from Charity. She faithfully relays everything she witnessed up until now and doesn't care much when the other teens all lash out at her. (She didn't like any of them anyway and she knows they all hate her.) She does throw in a few details that aren't true, claiming to have taken the gun from Rick herself and such. Charley can detect that she's being untruthful as well.
Alice had dithered on what to do up until now but with Rita speaking out she can see from Dillon's reaction that he's very angry about it. Still having her sights on him and having issues with authorities anyway, she backs up the rest of teen's story and even renounces Rita's account, being rather rude to the officer in the process.
So far Charley can tell every story she's been given is a false accounting to one degree or another, even if the two boys do seems sincere in their telling. She opts to call in for backup and take everyone in for further questioning. When she asks to see the body she finds the kids never found Jimmy and only now realizes he might still be alive somewhere. She immediately snatches her radio to call for EMT's and backup but finds the radio seems to be malfunctioning. While she is able to make contact with the dispatcher, the signal quickly fades and her radio dies before she can even communicate anything.
With that Charley informs everyone that she'll be detaining them all for questioning and Rick that he's under arrest. While ignoring everyone's objections she leads Rick away from the group a bit to cuff him, preparing to march the whole group back to the truck to radio from there. Before she can even turn him around to cuff him however, everyone is startled when Charity calls out in surprise, "Jimmy!" Turning they see Jimmy has indeed appeared at the edge of camp, still clearly wounded and looking lost.
When Charity calls out to him he immediately turns his attention to her and moans loudly, seemingly still in a significant amount of pain from the gunshot wound he's sporting. Charity rushes to his side and Jimmy grabs her desperately...then bites her on the shoulder. Hard enough for blood to spurt.
Everyone, including Charity, is shocked at this for a moment but it isn't long before Charity is screaming and trying her best to get free of Jimmy. Jimmy manages to maintain his grip long enough to literally rip a hunk of flesh from Charity's shoulder...chewing and swallowing it! As Charity's knees buckle in shock he's already angling for another bite.
Moses and Charley take the first initiative point.
Though he's an old-timer and lacking in unarmed combat skills to begin with, Moses elects to try to pull the kid off the poor girl anyway. Dashing over to them he finds Jimmy an Easy target so he manages a grab easily enough. With his bad back making the effort all the more difficult for a senior citizen, he fails to pull Jimmy off Charity.
Charlene decides to deal with what's in hand first, opting to cuff Rick before breaking up the fight going on across the camp. Unfortunately Rick has decided to make use of the distraction to flee, not being one to think ahead much. Charley spends her actions for the round attempting unsuccessfully to grapple Rick.
Alice is standing near the action but she has no interest in getting bitten [having the Coward complication]. She screams and jumps behind Dillon for cover.
Rita is a fan of horror movies and novels, so her first impression of Jimmy's behavior is obvious. [Ally opts to use Rita's Intuition to ask if Jimmy is a zombie and discovers, of course, that he is. I passed her a note though, so the rest of the group aren't sure just yet.] Rita correctly intuits this then and decides she has no intention of getting bitten either, dropping back behind the others.
Michael is a jock and doesn't hesitate to grab Jimmy. He grabs easily but likewise fails to pull him off Charity.
Rick has used up all his actions evading Charley's attempts to subdue him and now he can't run, so he moves away as best he can.
Jimmy ignores Moses and Michael's attempts to yank him off his prey, focused completely on eating Charity. He attempts another two more bite attacks, with the poor cheerleader as an Easy target. He lands both bites and Charity has taken exactly her Life Points in damage.
Dillon follows Michael's example and jumps forward to grab at Jimmy's feet to yank at him. He fails to overcome Jimmy's undead strength as well, failing to pull him free or Charity.
Charity is well aware she's in deep trouble if she doesn't get free of this lunatic chewing on her. She struggles, spending all her actions in an attempt to get free but fails.
Jenny is in shock, staring at horror at what's going on and unable to act.
Moses has been up close and personal, witnessing the viciousness of Jimmy's attacks and how badly hurt Charity is. He abandons the attempt to pull him off and spends an action slinging his hunting rifle off his back and wielding it, intending to use it as an impromptu weapon to slam the butt into Jimmy's head. Having no Melee Weapon Combat skill, he gets one shot at it though and he already used that action unslinging the rifle from his back. He resorts to kicking him instead, lands the kick but does no apparent damage.
Charlene decides she's wasted too much time on Rick already and heads for Charity, leaving Rick free to flee on his upcoming Initiative point. She's also decided that Jimmy poses a real threat to Charity's life and issues the warning she feels obligated to on the short dash over there. Once there she draws her sidearm and fires two shots into his back, hitting both times. When that fails to stop him, she drops 3 Plot Points on a shot to the head. She hits with that attack as well and this seems to end his chewing on Charity when he slumps unmoving to the side.
Though Rita's initiative point follows there doesn't seem to be anything for her to do so she passes.
Michael simply snatches Jimmy off of Charity and steps back, not particularly wanting to handle a corpse.
Rick's initiative point finally comes up and he sprints off into the woods, still panicked and attempting to avoid arrest.
With that the combat ends but a new Initiative roll is made when Charley decides to run after Rick.
Moses takes initiative. Thankfully Jimmy didn't land any Extraordinary Successes in his attacks so Charity isn't bleeding badly enough for it to be a problem. Since she is badly hurt however, so Moses asks frantically if anyone has first aid training [having only a d2 in the area]. Rita claims to, so he instructs her to treat Charity. He moves off in Rick's direction, intending to join the chase next turn.
Alice is still afraid and hiding behind the big football player. She takes no other action.
Charity scrambles away from Jimmy, still somewhat hysterical, but is open to Rita treating her bites.
Rita is less than convinced that Jimmy doesn't pose a threat any longer and moves only a little closer to Charity, forcing her to come closer to be treated. She sets about doing so once she does.
Rick sprints off again through the woods to escape his arrest.
Jenny falls back on what she knows and starts organizing things, try to restore some sense of order to the chaos. She asks Rita what she needs and starts chasing the boys off to go fetch a first aid or something.
Charlene sprints for Rick and rolls a horrible 3 on the attempt. With his Athletic Trait adding to his roll, Rick has scored an Extraordinary success already and pulls away to Distant range right off the bat.
Dillon and Michael both dash for the tents to find something Rita can use to treat Charity.
Moses likewise fails to catch up with Rick, his Bad Back complication slowing him down. He finds Rick is at Distant range from him as well when the quarterback rolls another Extraordinary Success.
Charley drops 3 Plot Points on her attempt to catch Rick but fails to secure the Extraordinary Success necessary to keep him from escaping. He pulls out of sight in the woods ahead and is lost.
Moses attempts again to catch Rick but decides not to risk Plot Points on it. He doesn't secure an Extraordinary Success and loses him also.
Back at the camp Rita treats Charity's injuries but since she isn't in any immediate danger this largely amounts to cleaning the wound and slapping a bandage on it. With that done Charity is no more or less in danger than before [and as she's not a PC she can't take Second Wind]. It only remains to be sure she isn't injured further or someone will end up carrying her out of the woods.
Having lost Rick, Moses and Charley are confronted with deciding between trying to track him down or getting Charity to a hospital. They decide Charity is the main concern and head back to camp. There they find Rita has done what she can with Charity's wounds, so Charley starts ordering everyone to get up and head for town. With her Influence and So Say We All trait she soon has everyone doing just that, heading straight for the truck and the radio there.
In moments everyone arrives at Charley's truck and finds that radio isn't working either. A quick check confirms the battery seems to be dead and the truck won't even start. Since the truck is an automatic they decide to attempt to push start it and, after two failed attempts, give up on that as well. In the end they're forced to hoof it back to town to report everything that has occurred, with Charley intending to return quickly with deputies to track down Rick.
On the long walk back to town the group is surprised to hear the faint sound of gunshots coming from the direction of town. At first only a small smattering of shots from one point it's soon followed by other instances here and there, some even occurring simultaneously in two or more places at once. In less than half an hour they've covered most of the distance to town but find the gunfire has dropped off sharply and they haven't heard anything for several minutes. They can see the glow on above the tree line in that direction that seems to indicate a large fire has broken out in town, though.
As they approach the town limits they pass between the Fellowship Baptist Church and the pastor's house on the opposite side of the road. Both seem to have a mob of people surrounding it, beating on the doors and windows.
Charley immediately calls out to both groups for an explanation, prompting both groups to turn in her direction. With a loud, collective moan the two mobs begin shambling toward Charley and the rest of the group. Although the two mobs have turned toward them the PC's and the teens still can't get a good look in the dark, especially with the street lights inexplicably being off. They do see that the two groups of people are all moving in a jerky, uncoordinated fashion and not very quickly at all. They all seem to be dressed for church as well, which is unusual enough to stand out in the dark.
While the entire situation is certainly bizarre, Charley has no reason yet to suspect any real danger. She does warn both groups to halt and answer as to what's going on, becoming a good bit more defensive when they don't respond beyond moaning some more. Unslinging her rifle (an action which Moses copies) she tries to present a more authoritative image while making her demands. The group is then surprised when two young voices call out from one of the windows at the church, warning them to run away. After only a few moments, with none of the group running, two shots ring out from the church aimed at the mob that just abandoned it. Sounds of a scuffle from inside the church follow with an older voice yelling and the two young voices arguing.
Finally, Rita feels secure enough in her convictions to claim to Charity that they're dealing with real life zombies, which Charley and the other PC's were already coming around to. The teens are nearly in a panic behind them as well at the unusual behavior of the two groups closing in on them, especially considering the shots from the church that didn't seem to hurt anyone they impacted. Though three of the group on the left break off to stumble toward the church again, there isn't any other reaction.
Though he isn't quite willing to accept Rita's crazy zombie theory just yet, Moses suggests they ought to leap the ditch nearby. That way they can fall back to the pastor's house if necessary. Otherwise, it looks like the two groups are going to converge on them and force them back up the street. Already the group on the left has spread out enough to make circling around for the church difficult.
Charity tries one more time to deal with the crowd by firing a shot off into the air before demanding again that they halt. When they don't respond and only shamble closer she decides to follow Moses' advice and lead the group over the ditch nearby. Everyone makes the jump easily (being mostly cheerleaders and football players). On the other side of the ditch they find there are still three relatively close at hand on their side of the ditch to be dealt with.
Moses decides Charity is far too conservative and fires into the nearest threat, hitting well. When this doesn't drop his target he opts for a called shot to the head, missing, and another shot, hitting and dropping it at last.
Jenny is convinced. These are zombies and that's bad news. She grabs Michael by the arm, delaying her own Initiative Point to his in order to pull him toward the nearby house.
Alice likewise isn't having anything to do with zombies. She sprints for the front door of the house and tries the door, finding it locked.
Michael follows Jenny's lead and both sprint for the door right behind Alice, also finding themselves at a locked door.
Dillon follows the crowd and grabs Charity by the hand to lead her away for the house.
Charlene grabs Moses' rifle to demand he hold his fire [her Duty complication forbidding firing at unarmed civilians] before finally deciding these might just be zombies after all. At least something entirely screwy is going on that they should get the kids clear of. She tells Moses and Rita to fall back to the house and stands her ground until they at least get out of her way. This delays her Initiative Point to the top of the following turn, as Moses didn't move already.
Rita demands the handgun that Rick used to shoot Jimmy, in order to defend herself. She spends the turn arguing quickly with Charley, who refuses.
The zombies shamble forward, with the closest reaching Charley and attempting to grapple her twice. She dodges both attempts but finally gets a close enough look (and smell) to verify that these people are at least partially decomposed and reek of formaldehyde.
Moses makes another head shot at the closest zombie, missing it and finding it's time to reload. He doesn't bother just yet and runs for the house instead. There he makes an attempt to reload his rifle quickly but fails, carrying the action over to the next turn.
Alice spends the turn arguing with the other teens over what to do now, with the front door to the house being locked. Suggestions of shooting out the lock or breaking a window are the main source of disagreement.
Charley finds her path to the house clear but waits for Rita to move out of danger first.
Rita takes the opportunity sprint for the group, giving up on getting the handgun from Charley just yet. Charley then sprints for the front door where everyone has gathered. She and Moses agree with shooting out the lock and simply barricading it from inside, so she yells everyone away from the door in order to do so next turn.
The zombies alter course and amble closer, moaning still.
Moses spends an action reloading his rifle and fires at the lock, spending 2 Plot Points on the shot. He blows it out neatly then turns to cover Charity from the advancing zombies.
Alice shoves open the door to jump inside and find a safe spot to hide. She finds Rick inside the living room there, cowering next to the couch. (He manages to identify himself before Moses shoots him for lurking in the dark room.) She moves in and takes position away from the door to allow everyone else inside.
Michael, Jenny, Dillon and Charity follow in, clearing the door.
Charlene finds she's needed to reload since firing that shot into the air and decides to get inside first. She leaps in and starts issuing orders to the football players to barricade the door once Moses is inside, then reloads her rifle.
Rita jumps inside as well, moving clear of the front door (and the window she finds herself standing next to).
The zombie move steadily forward, two of them coming nearly close enough to grapple Moses.
Moses leaps inside and slams the door shut, then steps aside for the younger men to start pushing furniture in front of it.
The young men get the couch wedged up against the front door in time to prevent the two zombies arriving there from simply walking in, though they find they have to lean on it to prevent them from pushing through anyway. Charley and the rest of the girls get to work reinforcing the barricade with the two heavy chairs and the small table. After a couple of minutes work they have a passing barricade that at least serves to keep the zombies at the front door from getting in. They find that several of those outside have stopped at windows to beat on them and it's seems likely they'll eventually break one and get through.
With what they've got seeming to hold for the moment, Charley changes her mind about weaponry and tosses the handgun to Rita after all, instructing her quickly on proper use. After a moment's consideration she decides against letting go of her own sidearm and giving it to Alice. Alice is clearly uninterested in shooting anything.
She and Moses then check the adjoining two rooms, finding the hallway beyond, the stairs and the dining room. Taking a peek in the kitchen she quickly moves to tap the boys and get them moving the heavy appliances there into the dining room. A moment's argument over that is ended with the use of the Willpower and So Say We All trait and the boys are soon hard at work moving appliances. Before they're done they find zombies have apparently shifted to the back door from the kitchen to shove and slam against it as well.
Moving quickly the boys have the appliances shoved, rolled and kicked into the dining room where everyone gets to work blocking the hallway and the base of the stairs. Having done that everyone moves up the stairs to the second floor where Charley, Moses and Rita take up position. Alice is tapped to explore the rooms upstairs and she grabs a couple of the football players (ignoring Rick) to lead the way.
A quick look around doesn't reveal any obvious threats or anything helpful but the body of an elderly woman is found on the floor in the bedroom. From the looks of it she's been shot and recently at that. Alice reports this back and Charley turns over her rifle to her, trading positions to move out to look for herself.
Charley finds the elderly woman was indeed shot, very likely within the last hour or so and may even have died only minutes before. She can't determine anything else about the scene. Following in Alice's footsteps she digs a first aid kit out of the bathroom and rejoins the others at the top of the stairs.
After a moment of discussion, characterized mostly by Moses and Charley calming everyone down, the group as a whole agree that holding off the zombies for now (possibly overnight) is the main concern. If they should find themselves in the same situation by morning they can make plans to break out again and head for town.
A quick test confirms the lights aren't working in the house and while the windows in the adjoining rooms provide dim moonlight for where they stand, the stairway below is cloaked in darkness. A short discussion of how to generate some light without setting the house on fire comes up with nothing. Still, they figure if the zombies get inside and find the stairs then their opening one of the two door below to get in should spill moonlight in from those adjoining rooms. That should be enough to shoot them by.
The subject of ammunition is addressed and a quick estimation of the numbers of zombies they're facing is considered. In the end Charley and Moses are sure they have enough rounds to defend the stairway from the whole horde...assuming they don't miss very much. Rita only has five rounds in the revolver used to kill Jimmy, however.
With all immediate matters of concern addressed the group settles in and prepares for whatever's coming next. They're not surprised when the sound of breaking glass comes from below in one of the ground floor rooms. They are surprised, however, to hear someone scrambling through the broken window quickly and the screams for help by the young girl apparently doing so.
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