Robert looked back out the window at the rising sun. For the first time, they had a reason to fight. Finally, a purpose. As Robert began folding the paper back up, a small red dot appeared in his matted, unwashed hair. A shot fired, and Robert slumped to the ground, dead.
There was an eerie, chilling silence. It felt like they stood in shock for several minutes, but it was no more than a fraction of a second before Nick screamed, “Everyone, MOVE!” and dived onto the two girls, all three of them tumbling out into the hallway and out of sight of any windows.
All three of them heard a faint whirring which became more distant as they listened. Nick furrowed his brow, unsure as to the source of the noise.
“That sounds like the helicopter that came to rescue us...” Mada timidly suggested.
They poked their heads back into the room. Carnage was everywhere. Brendan lay in the far corner, a bullet wound in the back of his head. Eliot lay covered by a sheet from the bed. Mada averted her eyes before they could tear up, and looked toward Robert, most recently slain of the group.
Robert lay slumped partway against the bed. His hair was rugged and unwashed, and his T-shirt and button-up still held their casual and nonchalant look. He had become an icon of survival; he had given up all semblance of civility, he had killed without remorse, and still he had fallen in the end. His aviators lay on the floor in front of him, one lens cracked.
“Look at this...” Nick said, pointing towards Robert’s motionless body. “The bullet went clean through him. It went in his forehead and out through his lower back. Which means...”
“I did hear a helicopter!” Mada interjected. “He had to have been shot from above. But... who would want to kill Robert? And why didn’t they come for us?” As she spoke, her head turned to Brendan’s lifeless form. “And why were you and Brendan so eager to kill each other!? Hasn’t there been enough violence!?” Her voice became shaky as she began to think of her fallen lover. If only Eliot hadn’t died... they were meant to be together...
Nick faltered as tears began to run down Mada’s face. “Listen, we need to pull together if we’re going to get through this. Please stop crying. I don’t know why anyone would come for Robert. I thought maybe you would know seeing as how I’ve been kind of out of the loop this whole time. You guys did basically abandon me after all. Please, please stop crying.”
Mada regained control of herself. She would have to think about Eliot at a later time.
“And here’s the deal with Brendan. He knew this whole thing was coming. I don’t know how. I heard him talking on the phone with Conor about the optimal temperature for the creation of zombies, so I subdued him any way I could. I didn’t want to kill him, but he was obviously up to something. He was dangerous. I tried to get you guys to come rescue us so that I could capture him and Conor and then find out what’s been going on.” Nick paused, looking around the room. “But now they’re both dead. And apparently Brian was in on this somehow too, judging from that note.”
Mada was silent. It was hard to believe that Conor, who had tried his hardest to lead them through the outbreak, was behind all of this. And to imagine that Brendan was also guilty was also difficult to swallow.
Semas had also been standing silently, but she looked a little more self-aware, as if whatever drug Brian had slipped to her was finally wearing off. Finally, she broke the silence.
“You... you saved us. You pushed us out of the room.” She said, while moving in to give Nick a grateful hug.
“Er... yeah... but... I don’t think they were really... looking for us anyway...” Nick mumbled as he awkwardly received her embrace. It is a little known fact that Nick is the worst at flirting of the entire Classic Brian cast, which is quite a feat in itself.
The group took what little supplies they had. Nick pocketed Brendan’s iPod, which had remained on Robert’s lifeless body. He also took Conor’s note, which Robert had still been clutching when he had been shot. He wrapped some clothes around his leg to help the bleeding.
“I guess we’re headed for Norman, Oklahoma.” Mada said. Nick nodded in silent agreement, and Semas followed seemingly without knowing or caring what was going on.
They stopped in an abandoned department store and found winter coats. Nick changed out of his girls’ clothes into a badass leather jacket. He kept the slightly bloodstained Oakley’s he had taken from Brian. He then picked up a pair of scissors.
“We’re going to have to travel light. I’m going to need to be more aerodynamic.”
The group stood in silence as Nick cut off his long hair. He stood before them more confident, agile, and sexy than ever before. Then the group set off again.
Hordes of zombies were rarer now; it seemed that with less people to eat, the weak ones were slowly dying off. After a long journey, they found a bright yellow Volkswagen Beetle with flowery brake lights and keys still in the ignition. They set out for Oklahoma listening to a torturous amount of Taylor Swift, because Mada was riding shotgun and therefore in charge of the radio.
As the group arrived in Norman, they noticed that it was far colder and far zombie-er than the rest of the trip had been. This place was the source. This is where it was all going to come down.
“I’m picking up a weird radio signal. It’s interrupting my horrible, horrible taste in music.” Mada said.
Nick looked out the window. There were zombies surrounding them, but they seemed totally oblivious to the car full of human flesh. The hordes were traveling somewhere, as if they were being directed.
“This might be a stretch,” said Nick, “But those zombies are clearly headed somewhere. Maybe the radio signal is directing them...?”
“Then all we have to do is follow the zombies to find out where this is coming from!” Mada interjected.
Semas sat quietly in the back seat and said nothing. Although the drugs Brian had given her had worn off, she was still quiet and scared out of her mind by the whole situation.
After following the zombies to the center of campus, the ended up outside the music building. Zombies were packed all around it, standing completely still, unable to get in due to the metal fence surrounding the building.
“That’s where this is coming from. I think we just need to get inside that building and we’ll find out what’s been going on.” Said Nick, not letting the hordes of zombies around them break through his calm demeanor.
“I don’t know if we should do this,” Mada said, “Maybe we should stop and make a list of our options.”
“There’s only one way in,” Nick responded. “Besides, no one likes reading your lists.”
It was a risky move, but the trio got out of the car amidst the horde of zombies. They walked slowly through the eery crowd to the short fence, which was easily climbable for a human but prevented the zombies from entering due to their poor agility. Mada hops over the fence with her cat-like agility. Nick puts his hand on the it, preparing to crawl over.
The zombies attack.
Mada screams, Nick jumps over the fence, and Semas flails in panic as the zombies crowd around her. Nick and Mada reach over and pull her over to the other side, but not before she is bitten several times.
“NICK! WHAT DO WE DO!?” Mada screams. Semas stands, dumbfounded. Mada gets out machine gun she had taken from Eliot’s body.
“No.” Nick said, putting out his hand. “We have this.” He holds up the flask; all that remains of Cory’s miraculous, hallucinogenic serum. “She’ll be tripping balls for a few hours, but at least she’ll survive.” He pours the contents of the serum into Semas’ mouth. She returns to the silent, out-of-touch state she had been in back when they rescued her from Brian’s tyrannical clutches.
Mada and Nick shared a long, passionate glance. At least as passionate as eye contact can be through a pair of sunglasses. Nick threw down the empty bottle of serum and clutched his knife. Mada held onto her machine gun; there was still a little bit of ammo she had been saving. Semas deliriously clutched her broadsword. The three stepped into the musical fortress.
It was totally dark inside the building. Mada led the way with her gun in hand.
All the lights came on suddenly, blinding the trio. Mada screamed.
Nick took control, protected by his powerful sunglasses. “Mada! It’s okay. The lights must be automatic. Everything’s fine.”
They looked around. The room looked like an experiment gone horribly wrong. It was filled with strange machines. Through the smoke and debris around them they could still see a shadowy figure on the other side of the room.
“I’ve been expecting you.” A voice rang out and the figure stepped forward into the light. “How do you like the new world I’ve created?”
And then Mada sees his face. Covered in tattered flesh like a zombie, the face is somehow familiar. It’s the face of a friend of hers... or one that looks like it. It’s hard to explain how similar yet dissimilar the zombified face looked.
“It’s impossible!” Mada shouted.
It’s Conor. Zombie Conor. His flesh was tattered and pale. There was a large bullet wound in the back of his head.
“How are you... what happened? They said you were dead.” Nick stuttered.
“Allow me to explain.” Said Conor, menacingly. “I was new here in this town. Winter was at my door. I was terrified. And lonely. I didn’t have any friends here in Oklahoma. So I thought, why not create my own friends? I thought I could control people. I got funding from the school to do this science project.”
“But,” Nick interjected, “How did you find time to do all of this?”
“Simple,” Conor scoffed, “I’m a music major. I don’t have any real work to do. Anyway, I was working on my experiment. But then the dean came to visit, and he disapproved. They were going to cut my funding. I had to launch my plan early, and I couldn’t really control people. I could just, uh... sortof zombify them I guess. When my plan backfired, it began to spread. I came back to Springfield to save you guys. AND YOU SHOT ME IN THE HEAD.”
His voice echoed through the large room. The trio listened to the echo grow smaller and smaller each time it repeated.
“Conor... I’m sorry... I didn’t...” Mada tried to explain it, but the words wouldn’t come out. She had, after all, shot him. She could understand his anger.
“But... how are you alive?” Nick asked.
“Well, I had been working on fixing this mess. I developed a way to make zombies that could be controlled. That could talk and act like a normal person. I even trained a few to fly helicopters and shoot guns. I injected myself with a vaccine that would kick in if I were bit by a zombie; I would turn into one of my improved zombies instead of a mindless monster. Of course, I didn’t expect it to be as necessary as it was. It was merely a precautionary measure.”
“So what you’re saying...” Nick started, “is that you can fix this? That the zombies can be stopped? I’m so glad we made it here to talk to you!”
“Oh no,” chuckles Conor, “I think you misunderstand me. I’m not going to turn my lovely hordes of killers into peaceful creatures... I’m going to turn everyone into one of my zombies, and then I will rule over all of them! Plus, uh, I sortof still have a craving for human flesh. I couldn’t work around that side effect.”
Conor burst into maniacal laughter. Mada took aim and fired the last ammunition from her machine gun into him, but the bullets all impacted the dead flesh of his legs with a dull thud.
Conor called out to a doorway behind him. “Assemble, my minions! Our ultimate battle team cannot be stopped: Final Fiendish Faceoff Friends, assemble!”
And from the doorway behind him came zombie Eliot and zombie Brian. Mada began to sob, and called out to Eliot.
“Eliot! I love you! Remember when we went to prom together?”
Zombie Eliot was oblivious to her cries, as he was firmly under Conor’s control.
“We’re going to kill you and eat you.” Said zombie Eliot. “We’re going to keat you!!”
The Final Fiendish Faceoff Friends attacked all at once, and began to run at Nick Mada and Semas.
“Wow.” Nick remarked critically, “You guys are terrible at fighting. What kind of strategy is that? Did you even think this out at all? I mean, you should be running long range attacks on Eliot instead of Conor. And you clearly didn’t stock up on items before you started this fight.”
Mada and Semas ganged up on Brian, while Nick stood back and healed them.
“Man,” Nick remarked bitterly, “I hate being the white mage.”
“Go to sleep!!” Brian shouted as he lunged with his knife.
“Hey Brian!” Nick shouted, “I’m deriving serious pleasure from fighting you. I’m really enjoying it.”
“Ha! Your spite trick won’t work on me. I’m not going to take myself out just to spite you.” Brian responded.
Mada jumped into the conversation. “Zombie Robert would have been dedicated enough to do it!”
“Dammit!” Shouted Brian, as he put himself to sleep with his knife out of spite.
The trio turned to Conor and Eliot.
“Muahaha! You may have taken out Brian, but it’s getting late. Once we reach three in the morning, I’ll be filled with unstoppable grumpy rage!”
“Oh yeah,” said Zombie Eliot, “You do get kind of bitchy when you’re tired. Like on that acid trip I had.”
“Hey Conor!” Said Nick, waving Brendan’s iPod in front of him, “I was just talking to the zombies outside and they haven’t heard any Band Practice songs.”
“What... really? Well... can I borrow that iPod for a minute?” Conor took the iPod and hurried outside to show the zombies his music.
“Ha! Conor is a terrible villain.” Nick exclaimed, “Well Mada, according to that letter, there should be a way to stop the Zombie Snowpocalypse in here somewhere. I bet it’s deeper in the base. ...Mada?”
Nick turned to see Mada running toward Eliot with open arms.
“Oh Eliot, I missed you so much! Being around Robert and Brian for so long made me realize what a real man you are! They always try and pretend that they’re cool and confident... but you don’t have to pretend, Eliot. You’re comfortable with who you are, and I love you for it.”
With that, Mada jumped into zombie Eliot’s arms and proceeded to make out with him passionately. The only problem was that Eliot was, in fact, a zombie and was actually just trying to eat her face. The two were disgustingly intertwined, Mada filled with love and Eliot filled with a deep hunger for mortal flesh. The scene was startlingly similar to the “sex” scene which had been chronicled with disgusting detail in Eliot’s acid trip, except that Mada probably wouldn’t survive it. As Eliot consumed Mada’s face, Nick pulled Semas away from the adorable/gruesome scene and ran further into the fortress.
Nick was in bad shape. His injuries from the days previous pretty much prevented him from fighting. Semas could only protect him for so long in her drugged state. As the two of them dashed into the next room, Zombie Robert stood in front of them, his bullet wound still bleeding and one lens of his aviators cracked.
“You know,” said zombie Robert, “Working for Conor sucks.”
“Will you let us through?” Asked Nick. It was, admittedly, a stupid question.
“Well...” Thought Robert, “What’s in it for me? I mean, I would let you through, but it’s going to take some serious persuasion to make me ignore the big plot hole. Conor went to Springfield when he could have just stopped the zombies from here? Plus it was never explained why he sent people to kill me but not you. I mean, come on. What shoddy story writing.”
After some negotiating, Nick hesitantly agreed to give Robert Semas in return for passage. She was still totally clueless about what was going on.
“Okay, thanks!” Said Robert, taking his new acquisition with him. “I never even liked Band Practice that much anyway. Your leg is bleeding, by the way.”
As Nick advanced past Robert, he could hear him talking to Semas. “You’re going to be the new Hannah. First I’m going to dye your hair, and then teach you how to do improv, and then make you a Bears fan...”
As Nick hobbled into the last room, a giant computer screen towered above him. It appeared to have the controls for the zombie program on the display. “I’ve got to get to that monitor!” Nick shouted aloud.
“Luckily, I’ve been monitoring your progress!”
Brendan dropped down from the ceiling. He had become a horrifying bird-zombie reminiscent of the Birdndan from Eliot’s imagination. Also, apparently his puns are worse when he is undead.
“Out of my way, Brendan. I’m sorry about what happened between us, but I need to get to that terminal!”
“That’s not the only thing that’s terminal!” Quipped Brendan cleverly, as he left a probably-fatal gash in Nick’s shoulder with his talons.
Nick fell to the ground. Too injured to stand, he could only pray for a deus ex machina. As hopelessness overtook him, he heard a CRASH as someone burst through a wall. (It was a really quick deus ex machina.) Nick and The Birdndan stared open mouthed at the one person they hadn’t expected to see.
“What kind of titty-munching pussy gives up after one hit from this asshat?”
It was Roy Schribner.
“You go ahead,” He said, “I’ll take real good fucking care of this dick-tree.”
Nick crawled up to the computer. He could hear the sound of The Birdndan and Roy Schribner fighting behind him. He guessed Conor’s password (it was “<3 U Rhett”) and found the zombie deactivate button. As he clicked the button, he began to fall in and out of consciousness. Would the button turn the zombies back? Or stop their spread? Or would they all just fall down? It’s really weird how unclear that was. The last thing Nick heard before passing out was a victory cry as the fight behind him ended...
Outside, snow fell. Debris from the crisis lay everywhere. Zombie Snowpocalypse.