Sunday, October 26, 2014

As The World Dies: Fighting to Survive (Book 2, part 2)

now that i'm full of bagelly goodness and caffeine, let's continue!

After meeting about the vigilante, the leaders of Ashley Oaks decide to do damage control and keep things quiet for now. Morale of the people are the main concern and there's a party to be had in order to bolster spirits!

Jason discusses zombie eradication techniques with Travis (catapult to combat zombies? zombipult!) and leaves the discussion telling Travis to go after Katie. Travis is caught off guard by this (only because no one outside Jenni and Juan know about happy ending) and lets Jason know his ideas are worth pursuing and he'll think about his suggestion.

Now that they've moved into the hotel, food preparation has become easier. Kitchen conversation centers around Mr. Freak Out's header to the street, with the hint of the vigilante made. Should the vigilante be thanked or put on trial? Who did it? Will Shane mess up Rosie's kitchen? (the answer is no, but not after he makes a few idiot comments because that seems to be his character. what is it with men named Shane in the zombie world?) After enjoying a delicious lunch, Katie goes to take Travis some lunch. Lunch winds up ignored for more happy ending.

We see a girl talk moment between Jenni and Katie get interrupted by Shane before we're introduced to the county's nut job. Otis is the type of nut job that you want to get on the evening news for the best sound bites.

But soon it's party time and everyone parties hearty. The adults in the ballroom dancing, the kids on the balcony with weed and a good time is being had by all. That eventually gets shattered when Shane, likely drunk off his ass, decides he needs to "fix" Katie (the town could have told him not to bother after witnessing the public display of affection on the dance floor). The night goes to hell, Shane and his cohort are taken to jail and we're left with wondering what the aftermath will be.

The decision is made to take statements from all involved and post them for the fort folk to read to (and spread gossip) to determine what should be done, if anything. In the end, Shane and his cohort are cast out of town with some supplies and given the "don't let the door hit you on the way out" spiel.

This doesn't last long as the vigilante strikes again. Cohort returns, but the vigilante is on guard duty and sees fit to injure Shane's cohort so the zombies will finish him off. The vigilante's actions are discovered when Zombiehort is found, finished off and their corpse examined. Afterwards, the decision is made to try and find Shane to see if he was the cause of Zombiehort's return to Ashley Oaks.

Instead of finding Shane, they find the deserted car they were sent out in. Evidence collected finalies the realization the vigilante had a hand in this, but they cannot find a trace of Shane and assume he has become zombified. That's when zombies decide to make an appearance and give Jenni a panic attack. Further discussion determines the freak out should be kept secret, lest the vigilante catches wind of it and does to Jenni what they've been doing to other people they determine are a detriment to the fort community.

In light of what happened, the decision is made to let the town know about the vigilante. As expected, there are mixed reactions, but the bigger picture is put on hold when the fort's mayor has an episode from a previously undisclosed heart condition. After swearing about his stupidity, they look for medicine and it becomes clear a new leader is needed. Naturally, bitch queen trophy wife nominates spineless rich man to run things and Travis is nominated by Juan. Travis isn't so sure this is a good idea, even though people have been deferring to him as de facto leader for a while. Well except when it comes to shooting stuff. That's all Nerit.

Jenni breaks down again, blows off Juan and goes to talk to Katie about it all. After venting, Jenni gets her head back on crooked (we're in the zompocalypse, head on straight just sounds out of place), they go to sleep. Sadly, this will not last long because a fellow compound of survivors comes under attack from bandits armed with zombies (well one led to the other)

A team is formed and dispatched to see what is left of the compound, which doesn't amount to much. After dispatching the zombies, a search is on for survivors. The only ones found left alive inside are a mother and son. An overturned truck is found with two more survivors- two girls who had been taken from the compound by a bandit. The bandit is found on the road and left behind untouched because taking action could have unwelcome results.

Back in Ashley Oaks, the search and rescue team relay what happened- the bandits pretended to be people from Ashley Oaks and when their leader went to confirm this, they were shot in cold blood, the compound was raided and the gates were opened to allow the zombie feast. The bandits are labeled a threat and preparations begin.

A lull in the action takes place, allowing fortification, supply searches, expanding to allow more residents and speculation about the mayor race. The lull is broken when it's discovered the bandits are watching. The break is made worse when Katarina and Bill run into bandits on their way back to Ashley Oaks with a fresh set of survivors. Katarina is forced to shoot at a bandit vehicle and in the process kills an innocent (but likely saved them from the life the bandits had them living).

Later, Katarina and Bill explain what happened and Nerit believes the plan the bandits had went south when the tire was shot out. This theory is verified after a few days of silence. The scene of the wreck reveals a couple of dead bandits and based on the shape in which they were found, causes more unease among the Ashley Oaks residents. Nerit announces they are at a stalemate with the bandits, but must remain vigilant. The only light moment from all of this is a zombie fisherman found and the question if zombie fish exist (does that mean there will be zomfish fries for Lent?)

A few days later, a zombie herd hits the fort and Nerit refers to it as target practice (I laughed my ass off). The question is raised if zombies migrate (more laughing at this thought), but the likely conclusion is the bandits are starting to make their move.

Some good news arrives when Ed not only reports fresh peaches are headed their way, but his sons were found at the family farm alive and well. Nerit decides it's time to get the last of her weapons stash from the store for the coming problem (the bandits. the zombies are a constant source of problems).

A scavinging mission returns with bad news- one of the teenagers was killed on a supply run. Jenni blames Cop #2 for sending the teenager into a storeroom and his death. Then Jenni accuses him of being the vigilante because the teenager had been one of the people enjoying pot during the ballroom party. Cop #2 is sent to his room, but before the situation can be discussed further, Otis pops up with his randomness. Before he can be shooed away, Nerit said they need his help. Otis asks why he should bother and Nerit tells him it will help defeat his enemies. The trap is ready.

Groups head out to collect more survivors and the stash from Nerit's with the promise not to disturb Ralph's body (which obviously the bandits have disregarded). The safe is still intact, so Travis gets to work on opening it while the others survey the damage that had been caused (long story short- they made it a meth lab). The contents of the vault are loaded up and the group know they're being watched.

The group handling the rescue mission feel that something is off, but they are able to rescue a couple of children, who fill them in about what the bandits did with the other part of their family. The conclusion is reached that the shit is about to hit the fan with the bandits and it's time to head home.

Back at the fort, people are getting ready for the oncoming onslaught and it becomes evident what Otis had been doing- rigging up a hands free system so everyone could communicate. Nerit is coordinating everything back in the fort while the others are doing what they can to shake the bandits. In the end, the groups make it back to the fort and the bandits decide to force their hands. First their leader presents an innocent, who is likely being mistreated by the bandits. Nerit has Katarina pick off the innocent to show the bandits they don't care. Changing tactics, the bandit leader presents Shane and Katarina puts him down too. This throws off the bandit leader, but not as much as the teenagers presenting a barrage of Molotov cocktails. The smoke from the cocktails allows Jenni's group to come barreling through and bring some friends along. The bandits scatter, the fort residents recognize they had to go somewhere dark in order to win, but they might finally have some peace.

After everything settles down from the bandit incident, the time comes to have the election for mayor. There is supposed to be a debate and then everyone eligible will vote. Spineless rich man wins the coin toss, gets in front of the crowd and announces that Travis is the right man for the job and renounces his candidacy. While bitch queen trophy wife flips her lid at this development, Stephen (hey, spineless rich man redeemed himself) tells her to cram it and lets her know she had been getting it on with Shane.

Jenni has another nightmare, but finds the strength to drive back the demons on her own. Katie discovers she's pregnant (something Nerit hinted at before the bandit incident). The vigilante appears to be quiet for now. Seasons change, somehow Thanksgiving and Christmas happen and there's a general sense of peace for a change.

And then the military shows up..........

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