The Final Eight by Wratts, Oil On Canvas, 1993

Premise: It's a brand new client, boys and girls! Welcome back! It's 2022, and we're trucking on through Covid Year 3. Many lost loved ones, some remained unscathed, but the pandemic affected everyone. So Season 4 is matching in theme, dedicated to you, oh spikey S-protein covered piece of shit. As usual, nobody knows where it started, but the infection spreads from the bite!

It all began on the New Year's day! The great New York Apple fell, and the Fireworks over Moscow boomed, as our planet completed its rotation. Calendar being an imperfect system, of course, it didn't quite make it match to a second. The Outbreak Event began on January 1st, around 2 a.m. The first patients flooded hospitals, and lack of staffing recovering from the holidays overwhelmed the medical systems across the globe. An airborne virus of unknown origin and structure, with no time to study it. The survivors - are the immune minority, not susceptible to the initial spread. But the virus mutates inside the infected, and their bite will turn you into the ravenous mindless killing machines bent on consuming flesh.

Happy New Year! Don't get ate!

USMC Helicopter

So. Several folks touched base about voicing desires to have an RP / Functional plot option to "shoot down helicopters" which are by Season's lore established to be USMC. So thinking it over, I suggest we make it a PZ player teamwork quest!

If you present a screenshot of owning:

  • 3 assault rifles
  • a military HAM radio,
  • and having an engineer crafted a motion sensor Pipe Bomb, Aerosol Bomb, and Fire Bomb (all three necessary)

you will be granted an RP acknowledgement that you've managed to assemble an tracking RPG.

After that you can RP shooting down a helicopter during the next helicopter random AI event, and two things will happen:

A. Helicopter events will stop. B. A helicopter you shoot down will crash at a random location, which I will mark on the map. If you venture there, you will locate some nice supply drops and will be able to salvage RP helicopter parts. If you reach engineering and mechanics 10 (can be teamwork, a mechanic and an engineer, in duo), you can RP fixing the helicopter and providing survivors a chance to escape and exit the season in "Alive" status, having successfully left Knox County.

After that your main character is considered safe, and you may roll another without losing the "Original Character" status.

(of course, nobody is required to participate or even attempt to escape. Those enjoying their life in Knox County can stay and continue as normal)

Shiro's Ritual

During the grueling six months starting with New Year and ending in the late days of June, Shiro Nagai has undergone the most horror inducing and subtle transformation, that seeped into the nightmares of every survivor who has come in contact with his work. There are two ways to go about it. Either Dr. Nagai has suffered a serious psychotic afflicted following the traumatic episodes of losing his family’s loss in a prior volcano incident, OR he has truly come into contact with a supernatural and dangerous entity known as Shiryo Mother.

Through the months, he secluded himself in various remote hideouts and facilities, producing pages and pages of horrific, mad writings, ramblings, and losing stability by the day. Many survivors tried to find and help him, but Shiro was as clever as he was elusive. Misguided or not, Angela Linderman saw scientific method to his occult writings, as if his mind was still that of a scientist, while an occult force or sickness had overcome it.

Soon it became apparent that Dr. Nagai was slowly changing into less and less recognizable shape, becoming unhinged, obsessed, and deeply affected by his findings, all culminating in him constructing a dark temple to The Mother, with aim to involve a group of survivors in a rebirth ritual. As Angela Linderman survived a single bite from an infected and beat down the virus, Shiro started referring to her as The Nurse, allocating her a role in his dark game. Angela was once again bitten, and that time, the infection took to her. As she neared the end, she became more invested in Shiro’s ritual, hoping to unearth a clue about the vaccine, that might be hidden in the occult research. Ishida, Penny, Angela, and the corpse of deceased Tyler were the four participants in the ritual. They went in with a plan to fake some parts of it and subvert it, although Angela’s mind was overtaken midway by some force or condition unknown, which resulted in the ritual going more towards the way Shiro wanted.

Doctor Shiro Nagai and Nurse Angela worked together in perfect harmony to bring about the closing of two worlds together - that of the living and the dead. Whether or not the ritual’s intended goal has been achieved remains circumspect, however. A deep fog and never-ending cloudiness seems to have permeated the county after their mutual demise. Sober minded and in clarity, they worked in tandem to show the other survivors the cure to all their woes - while in their fugue state sought to seal their fates. Dr. Nagai met his end in the culminating climax of the ritual, a sacrifice by fire. He and Angela were to be The Lovers, given to The Mother as offerings. At the sight of the flames, Angela gained lucidity for a brief moment, deeply affected by the zombification virus already, a final push of her will forced an attempt to stop the ritual, as she produced a pistol hidden in her corset, and put 7 bullets in Dr. Nagai to prevent the sacrificial burning. Although Angela killed him, the fire was set by the spectre of Shiro’s dead wife (??), and Shiro (with Angela) perished in the flames.

What the hell, right?

Marla's Penance

Escape from Knox County

And so, some of the survivors have towed the ruined remains of the helicopter and are thinking of its reconstruction. Here are the requirements to produce a flying helicopter capable of allowing 3 people to escape.

  • A character with 10 electrical and 10 mechanics. Until these skills are met, you just don't know enough about avionics systems.
  • Restore the shape and structure of the helicopter with level 10 metalwork walls, no shitty walls! Put 3 seats. Complete with a roof.
  • 3 heavy duty wheels
  • 3 Generators in at least 90% condition.
  • 560 lbs (70 cans) of Gasoline
  • 1 HAM military radio (rigged with that cordless phone)
  • A computer (for jury rigging the screens for your radar)

On 93.2, the sounds of a tape being inserted into a player is heard. The cassette whirrs as it goes through blank tape, before finally playing the audio on it. 1812 Overture begins to flood over the station

For a while, the music is as normal as it always is when Chris decides to play a tape over the radio. The eerie silence of the cab, and the echo of the music from inside the empty space of the van. But at around the 1 minute mark, a light external audio can be heard. As the tape continues playing, the light interference grows in volume, until it is evident what is being heard. By the 2 and a half minute mark, the loud heavy chops of helicopter blades drown out the music of the tape. And by the third, you don't need a radio to hear them. At about the 3 and a half minute mark, the interference over the radio grows quieter, and the skies louder. For a few moments, the helicopter Chris had been working on hovers over the trainyard East of Muldraugh. It does light maneuvers, indicating hes doing a test flight.

The rotors whirr, power plants are functional, generators are on, sensors online, engine online, and the blades start to spin. Lifting off are the first sensitive and scary moments, that feel tingly with anticipation of your ass being on fire if this goes wrong. But not in this craft. It functions as designed. Pitch, yaw, tilt, altitude, every indicator shows stable, and the craft survives a 5 minute test flight, giving you, Chris, a pretty good sense of confidence.

Those 5 minutes of test flight go by, and peering eyes and ears are well evident to it. At the 10th minute of the tape, the helicopter begins to move from its area over the train yard. It flies over the Ohio river, leaving the rotors a distant sound. At the 12th minute mark of the tape, the sound of rotors are gone. The tape plays out the rest of its song, and the rotors are still unheard.

Air Activity Detected

The machine rises higher into the air, you have 24 hours of fuel to make it to the next landing, refueling, or whatever else be the plan. The brave new world outside of Kentucky is ahead of you, what dangers, encounters, and politics you might encounter, you do not know, but you have a long range radio and a radar, although the craft is defenseless against air to air combat action. Good luck, and godspeed.

Sgt. Chris Burt has successfully completed the 'graceful exit' quest and is granted a winner slot. Chris survived in Knox County for 1890 hours (2 months and 18 days), and personally killed an absolutely legendary amount of zombies, totaling 12051.

Kill Squad

At the USMC HQ Bunker in Maryland, the grizzled gray haired one eyed colonel with a black eyepatch presents the map of the area to a squad of elite black ops marines. The resources are tight, and the transport are few, with the satellite systems crippled and only operational for global communication rather than surveillance, this might be the last shot at retrieval of the test subject codenamed Patient Zero before it's too late. All eyes are on them now, got to get it done quick, and quiet. Losing Fort Knox, the Delta Facility and the test subject over in Kentucky had set them two steps behind instead of advancing them one step forward. The intel received on the retreat of the sole UN soldier marked the perfect opportunity to counter. He struts through the row of 10 operatives, and, clearing the briefing room, takes the squad leader to his private office for a more detailed, secret briefing.

The sound of an engine and rotor blades alerts Knox County to an approaching helicopter. Upon a panicked glance, survivors looking up can spot a dual rotor Chinook transport approaching fast, equipped with a light set of missile armaments that bomb the area, shooting four missiles, one into each of the major structures around the old airfield. Surrounding the area in flames, which produces cover smoke, the USMC in this way, protects its Chinook from the expected UN missile, which took down the previous transport over Knox County and which, they assume, is laser guided. They also deploy two slow falling heat flares, to cover themselves in case of a heat seeking and thermal guided missile. And just to cover themselves against tricky Japanese inventions, the aircraft also sprays chaff, to disrupt radio guidance. Any missile that would fly towards them at this altitude would redirect to chase the countermeasures.

This clever tactic guarantees the Chinook a safe landing approach, and the bird descends, hovering over the airfield at a mere 50 feet above ground, throwing down the rappel lines. Unknown to the USMC command, however, the survivors were already there, waiting at the airfield, with a point blank direct line of sight shot. Penny positions her reticle directly at the bird as the Marines hook in to drop down, and fires the newly assembled by the survivor team rocket launcher from a mere 200 feet away. No countermeasure can disrupt a shot at such close distance. Bravo Leader rappels down, one marine, boots on the ground, as the explosion booms above him, the high payload thermobaric EFP missile bursting the Chinook into flames and immediately killing the rest of the Black Ops Bravo Team, and the conflict begins.

The Radio Van tunes to Military Frequency 907.0, and the voice of a girl begins speaking in a calm and collected, yet assertive manner.

[907.0] To the military. This is Lisa Gray. I have a gun to my head. Listen to what I have to say or I will put a bullet through this brain you find so precious.

[907.0] First: I want all military personnel to cease all further attacks and fall back. In response, I will surrender myself, on my terms, but only after we have created a vaccine for Penny and her baby.

[907.0] You know as well as I do that Penny is everything I have. Do not think I'm bluffing. If Penny is harmed, I will put an early end to your mission right now. I will not lift this gun off my head until I see Penny return to me alive. Fall back, and do not follow her.

[907.0] Once we have the vaccine, I will ask them to not interfere further. I will ask them to drop me off at a safe location where I'll be waiting for your pickup. Enough people have been killed. Let's not make it all for nothing.

The transmission stops.

Maryland stayed quiet in response to Lisa's offer, so the survivors took it into their own hands to restore safety.

Predicting that the Bravo Leader would eventually make his way towards the Delta facility after having fled from the initial battleground, Marla set up an ambush on the way there, locking herself inside of a trainyard safehouse, waiting patiently in hopes that he would come across it and decide to loot it for supplies.

And so he did. And Marla left him no chance to react.

"I was waiting for you, honey."

Bravo Leader is shot dead, taking several shotgun hits and eight .44 magnum shots at point blank. USMC takes another hit in its series of losses.

Patient Zero

Aware of the two parachutes that emerged from the crashing helicopter, the survivors set out to find the USMC personell that had survived the explosion.

Some of them went to finish the job and loot the helicopter. Some of them went to provide help to the likely injured.

When Burt and Barry set out to investigate the crash site of the helicopter, they were fired upon from a distance. They returned with backup, and the site had been abandoned - apart from a huge horde of infected that swarmed the building from the courtyard and proceeded to end Barry's alcohol-fueled misery when he got trapped in a corner.

Penny had other ideas. Penny believes in the humanity of the helicopter survivors. She leaves on a mission to find whoever landed in the western forest - completely unarmed.

What she found was not a soldier like everyone had expected, but a young girl - scraped shins, missing one of her shoes, holding nothing but a pitchfork to defend herself.

This girl did not remember much. She dropped from the helicopter and had sheltered up in a nearby forest hut, waiting for whoever was transporting her to come back for her. However, nature can prove tough and dangerous, and even though Penny offered to stay with the girl, their rations would not last forever. Thus, the girl, whose name is Lisa Gray, agreed to move away from the parachute site, going home with Penny, leaving a note behind for whoever may be searching for her.

In the meanwhile, the other survivors were able to gather some information from the helicopter wreck - namely a part of the mission papers. It appears the helicopter was transporting "Patient Zero" to a secret facility referred to as "Delta Facility" in the southern parts of Knox County. In combination with what was uncovered by Angela and Shiro, and eventually solidified in Shiro's Ritual, this Patient Zero may be the key for a vaccine or even cure to the infection, which is likely why the Marines were transporting her.

Despite their success in locating one of the individuals, the pilot of the helicopter was still unaccounted for. By scanning radio frequencies, the survivors managed to make contact with the soldier calling himself "Alpha One Nine". His orders are to locate the missing girl and wait for further instructions. In doing so he has opened fire at the survivors in at least three different occasions, always ready to defend himself.

However, after several encounters and attempts at negotiation, he agreed to meet up on neutral grounds, provided the survivors come unarmed. He claimed to have set bombs around the survivor's lodge, to gain leverage and security, and pleaded for them to just give the girl up, as he would not be able to do anything for them should USMC send their Bravo Kill Squad.

The survivors took that as an invitation to build another missile launcher, and promptly exploded another of USMC's helicopters, ambushing the kill squad and wiping them out before they even set foot into Knox County. Mervin surprisingly sided with the survivors, ready to defend against Bravo, knowing that he himself would likely also get killed after having come into contact with them. Unfortunately, Bravo did not get the chance to kill him. It was Marla who brought by his demise, mistaking Mervin as one of the USMC soldiers, and shooting him dead on the battlefield.

Marla's Warheads Shopping Tour