September 17th, 6pm.
1.5 days after boarding the cruise ship.
Joel boards the lifeboat carrying Monica Treymore. You hear a final gunshot outside, and Mike and Bob join everyone inside, both visibly shaken. The boat drops to the sea, Jeff and Adam jump from the Pinnacle and swim to the lifeboat. From your vantage point, you can see that the Pinnacle has become completely overrun with zombies. You can see a few other life boats that have launched, or are in the process.
Looking around, from a direction you could not see while on the deck, a Coast Guard vessel is approaching. You immediately realize, it's moving too fast. Grabbing a pair of binoculars from the supplies, you can see people milling aimlessly around the deck of that vessel. Moments later, it crashes, full speed, into the Pinnacle, putting the final nail in the maiden voyage of the vessel. Both vessels quickly sink. There is no sign of the black ship you saw moored to the side of the Pinnacle when you looked out before. They could have escaped or gone down with the larger ships.
Night is quickly approaching, but you're able to make out 3 other lifeboats. There are 40ish other people, including the baby, on your lifeboat. There is plenty of room to spread out as the ship was designed to pack in 370.
Monica is a sniveling mass of goo. Joel immediately Monica is a sniveling mass of goo. Joel immediately notices that she's very warm to the touch.
Ethel somehow made it and seems no worse for wear.
Ms Hartten is currently quiet as she holds the sleeping baby, but you fear her mouth will start dribbling verbal vomit any minute.
Stephen McDermont is there with you as well. He's pretty quiet at this point as he tries to digest everything he's seen in the past hours.
The man you ran into in the hall who was carrying his bitten daughter is holding his head in his hands off to the side. You note that he's alone.
Covering the entrance to the life boat when you entered was a clean cut guy, in decent shape. Based on the way he holds the gun and his appearance, you'd swear he was a soldier, except for the wheelchair.
Outside of these, there appear all walks of life and diversities. Families(some broken), single men and women, young and old.
Everyone is exhausted. There is some blood on some of them, but you have no way of knowing if it was a bite or a cut, someone else's blood or something else entirely.
Most of them are bordering on being in shock. Some are definitely there, unable to believe what they just saw and lived through.
The sun is setting and the winds and waves are beginning to pick up.
We need to take an inventory of the lifeboat. Check everyone on board and get any info we can on them. We need to split up to get this completed. Also we need to signal the other boats and meet up with them getting them to follow the same steps. From that we need to see if the lifeboat has inboard navigation. Or maps. Figure out where we are and where we plan on going. I'm not sure how many noticed the creatures on the coast guard ship so for now we need to keep that between ourselves if possible.
Bob makes his way to a bathroom and washes his hands, arms, and face. He changes his clothes from his backpack and tosses the bloody gore-splattered clothes into the trash. He noticed bits of gray brain matter on his favorite short sleeved shirt and shudders. His hands can't seem to stop shaking. He looks at himself in the mirror and he notices that there is now a patch of white hair that runs across his right temple. He's heard of people who had their hair change when exposed to significant shock, but never saw it happen before. He looks five years older.
He splashes water on his face, taking deep breaths and holds out his hand until the shaking subsides. It takes about three minutes. He puts on his knee braces, a pair of jeans, a long sleeved shirt and a hoody. He takes a deep breath and heads back out to his friends and family.
I think the first thing we need to do is address the wounded. Kris, Mike and Bob, get your crap together. 3 minutes can turn a person into one of those meat-headed monsters. Make an announcement asking for help from anyone with medical training. Look them over for wounds before allowing them to help you inspect the other passengers. Anyone with bite wounds should be put near the door. Don't forcibly separate anyone from their families, but keep them segregated. And don't tell anyone what's going on.
While that is happening, Joel, I think you mentioned something about being familiar with boats. Can you figure out how to drive the thing? Also, do you know how to navigate and use the radio? If you can't do it alone, get some help from one of the other passengers. I want to contact the other lifeboats and try to organize us into a floatilla. We need to let them know about our suspicion that bites turn people into meat-heads, and that they need to take precautions. We'll definitely find land by heading west, but we need to figure out where we are so we can minimize our time on the life boat. We want to get to land quickly. Also, try to raise the coast guard.
Jeff, help me take a look and see what other supplies we have and let me know. Let's try to get some food and water distributed to these people and try to get them calm. Everyone is freaked out and we don't want them getting hysterical. We also need to get life vests on everyone. I put one one and you guys all need to have one too.
I hope everybody understands the significance of the Coast Guard ship. This means this plague didn’t just start on our ship, it has spread to the mainland and onto a military base! Are we closer to Bermuda or the mainland? Not knowing the navigation system, I think it would make more sense to go to the mainland since we can’t miss it if we sail west.
I put on a life-preserver and start to take an inventory of our supplies.
I may have some experience with small boats but nothing of this size. We should also ask the group on board for people with experience in sea navigation. Work the radio? You're kidding, right? I'm still trying to work my smart phone. The most I can help with is navigation, and I can navigate both by the sky/stars, and I have an understanding of sea maps. Although I wonder if I may be more useful in helping Mike, Kris, and Bob as I have an expertise in religion and we may need some grief counseling and bedside manner to go with the first aid, to help people from going off the deep end. Plus I have first aid knowldege from my lifeguard days and can help bandage, wash wounds, etc.
Bermuda is a tiny speck of islands almost 600 miles from the mainland. I can't imagine our ship went that far out, and even if they did it would take a professional to navigate our way there. I suggest we head toward the mainland, and if we find an island, to stop there to gather our bearings. But make sure we don't run out of gas!
I put on a life jacket and offer my viewpoints and services to the others in our group.
Before we move onto all of our grand ideas i think the group needs to have a quick meeting to make sure we are all on the same page. Bob, Kris and I begin to set up a quick triage of all passengers. Once set up I and to help reduce the loss of any very necessary supplies I move of to help Adam and Jeff with an inventory of supplies. Make sure all passengers have a life jacket and assign one of the passengers the role of gathering personal information about everyone on board so we know what skills we may have in the event they are needed. After that I will attempt o assist Joel with the navigation and radios while he figures out how to drive an steer this craft. If the wind and waves are picking up we may need to deal with a rough ride no matter what direction we head. We need to make sure as Adam said that we contact all the other boats and see if we can round them up. I would like to possibly suggest that depending how many are on the other boats we consolidate into as few boats as possible removing all supplies from the left over boats. Also if possible we need to see how much fuel this and the other boats have. Also I think we need to give out the food and water sparingly as we do not know how long we will be out here on the ocean. Also depending on the lifeboat so of them if not all should e equipped with a desalination unit to prevent the need of storing water. Most ocean going vessels it is a requirement. Not something we might be able to take with us but at least that may eliminate the need for water. Also during the inventory in the medical kit does it include sea sickness mess. We need to work quickly to find a few folks on our boat that we can use to help with all these tasks. Some will be in more of a condition to assist ten others. Also we need to find the blankets for those that are in shock or on there way. Still trying to make sense of what is happening it think it is save to say that heading to land may be just as bad as what we say on the ship based on what we say on the coast guard ship. Now I'm not saying the sky Is falling. It is possible that whatever is causing this is water Bourne as the CG cutter could have also been on the water and not dispatched from the land.
Thanks Joel. We could definitely use your help with assisting the wounded.
Bob nods to Adam. Finding the infected people and separating them is first priority. Joel, Kris, Mike and I set up a triage station as Mike suggested. Joel - can you find the first aid kit for the lifeboat? Bob stands on a chair and tries to get the attention of the forty traumatized passengers. He raises his voice over the sounds of weeping and conversation.
"Hello. Listen up! If I could get your attention for a moment. We've all just been through something terrible, perhaps some new sort of terrorist attack. We want to rest, but if we want to make it back to our homes and the mainland, we will all need to work together and help each other out."
"A few of us here are trained in emergency medicine and we're setting up a triage station to help the wounded. If any of you have medical experience, you are more than welcome to join us. If you have been injured in the slightest - even something as small as a nick or a cut - if you could come here and line up at this set of chairs and we can help you. If anyone has any medicines in their possessions - aspirin, insulin, nitrogen tabs, please let us know so we can take inventory of what medicines we may have available on the ship for those who may need it. Are there any crew members here who made it off the vessel? Is there anyone here with law enforcement experience or military experience? We'd like to speak with you."
"Here's what we know: Last night on September 16th, Mr. Billy Haynes of Texas experienced some sort of infection. Something like rabies. Those of you dining in the banquet hall may remember he was the man who collapsed during Mr. Forthington's welcome speech. He became like a wild animal, biting anything that moved and feeling no pain. We know he killed the ship's medical staff. We believe that whatever he had was infectious, possibly transmitted by blood. Other people who were exposed to him became like him. You can't reason with them, you can't talk to them. That's what we saw on the deck of the ship before we got on here. We know that the time before infection seems to be anywhere from minutes to longer. We know that people who are infected are immune to pain. Only wounds to the head seem to do anything. Don’t let them bite you. Don’t go near them. The only way to stop them is to hit them in the head. We think this may have been the first phase of a terrorist attack using some sort of biological weapon.
We know that earlier today, our ship was boarded by people armed with automatic weapons. We saw their vessel boarded next to our cruise ship- they were not coast guard or any other government. We think that might have been the second phase of a terrorist attack.
Please, if you're injured or you see anyone with an injury, come forward to get treated. If you have any additional information that may be helpful, please let us know. And please put on your life jackets found underneath your chairs."
He is looking for signs of any one infected or feverish.
September 17th, 6:30pm.
Several people come forward looking for assistance with minimal injuries, bumps, bruises, sprains, and couple cuts, nothing serious. None of them have obvious bites, but they could easily be concealing them Most others keep their distance as they are wary of everyone.
While you are treating everyone, Bob remembers that when he was trying to restrain the previously bitten girl she was running a very high fever.
The man who is missing his daughter does not move from the corner.
Ms Hartten stays away from you, but you can tell she's getting ready to launch into another tirade concerning the end of the world, etc.
Ethel seems ok and her spunk is even making people feel a bit more comfortable. How can you not laugh about the 90 year old woman telling a story how she kept three creatures at bay with her walker?
The man in the wheelchair introduces himself as Dan Taylor. Formerly a lieutenant in the army, he was a highly rated marksman before an RPG took off one of his legs at the knee. He was on the cruise celebrating that he was still alive after everything.
Stephen McDermont and a few others seem far too interested in a conversation with Ms Hartten.
Monica is very quiet, obviously overwhelmed with what's happened. She is definitely running a fever.
There is one family of 4, 2 teen age boys. And another broken family, a mom and her preteen daughter. The daughter can't stop crying after watching her father attacked and eaten.
Several people have made makeshift beds from the extra life preservers and some blankets that were with the provisions.
Most of the people are armed with makeshift weapons. Clubs, axes, glass from broken mirrors, etc.
Skill sets vary from the people you've spoken with, but none of them are any better than you guys at most things. An older gentleman steps forward, he introduces himself as Ted Liska. He was on the cruise celebrating his retirement. He's been an avid boater for years and can help with the vessel.
The vessel is equipped with basic navigation instructions. How to start the engines and steer. There is a note that the vessel only has enough diesel to run for around 10 miles. It is not designed to get you to land, but to get you away from a sinking ship and to a rescue ship. There is ample battery,with a solar charger, to keep the lights on. There is a water purifier and basic foodstuffs to feed 370 for 3 days. Seeing that you have at most 40 people, you have ample food for sometime.
There's a basic first aid kit, a flare gun with 4 flares, a life jacket under each seat and two small restrooms(think airplane small).
There is a radio for communication. Currently, you get a great deal of static as a result of the solar storms, however, you do hear numerous broken reports of the dead rising, ravenous dead people attacking, pretty much everything you've experienced. No one responds to your attempts at communication.
While you sort through all this, the sun sets on the longest, worst day of your life....and you know tomorrow will not be any better. The sky is dark and the weather is definitely picking up.
There are no sea sickness pills...no medication outside of aspirin and anti-biotic cream in the med kit. There are plenty of barf bags
Contents of the First Aid Kit:
11" Height, 9" Width, 5" Depth
Description Pieces per kit
Ammonia Inhalant 10
Certi-Strip, Plastic, 1" x 3" 16
Bandage Compress, 2" 8
Bandage Compress, 4" 3
Certi-Gauze Roll, 4" x 6yd. 2
Triangular Bandage with Pins, 40" 6
Gauze Compress, 36' x 36" 2
Wire Splint 1
Asprin Tablets 40/2's
Certi-Burn Cream, 1 gm. 12
Eye Dressing (2-20 ml. Eye Wash, 2-Eye Pads, Tape) 10
PVP lodine Wipe-Ups, 1" x 2" 10
3 days of food for 370 people = 1,110 days of food for 1 person, 27.75 days of food for 40
Remember, there were over a dozen people on the boat BEFORE you got on. Then a bunch more made the dash to get on once you'd secured it.
Life jackets - Yup, 370 of them
Fire extinguisher - 3, one at each end of the boat and one in the middle
First aid kit - as described above
Communications and navigation
Compass - built into navigation station
Distress beacons (EPIRBs) - built into navigation station
Red flare, rocket parachute flare, and/or smoke signal flare - I believe I already mentioned a flair gun and 4 flairs - you guys got to these before anyone else
Laser pointer for signaling aircraft (red is color of distress, but green color is higher power and will be seen farther), with lithium cells, in double waterproof plastic pouch (remember that pointers of high power are a theoretical hazard to eyes of low-flying pilots at night) - missing
Radar reflector (to help rescuers locate the raft) - Integrated onto outside of boat
Lantern and fuel, if fuel doubles as firestarter - there are 4, solar powered. They are bolted to the vessel but are designed to be removed with little effort
Radio transceiver, standard VHF marine and an optional amateur radio if a licensed radio amateur (see Ham Radio) or an AM/FM/Weather/Shortwave radio receiver - - built into navigation station, no radio.
GPS - - built into navigation station - see below
(lighter) - missing
Food and water
Fishing kit - It's there
Rainwater collection equipment - built into boat
Seawater desalination kit - built into boat
Water (typically 3 liters/person/day) - plenty to go around
Emergency high-calorie rations/food (not as important as water). Chocolate has a superior calorie/weight ratio - MMMmmm chocolate
Other tools and boating items
Hatchet - missing, but you can guess which passenger has it. It's his only weapon
Waterproof flashlight - missing
Heaving line - It's there, and it's big and heavy. You won't be carrying it around for long
Ladder - hooked on outside of boat
Sea anchor (also called a "sea drogue") - outside
Bailer - you don't see it, but there is probably a small compartment that allows access to the mechanicals
Bilge pump - you don't see it, but there is probably a small compartment that allows access to the mechanicals
Boat hook - outside
Bucket - full of puke
Any knife - missing
GPS. First off, out at sea, you have no cell signal, so that GPS will not work. Your phone does NOT talk directly to the satellites, it needs towers. The built in GPS was very erratic when you first boarded the vessel. Probably a result of the ionization in the atmosphere. It is now functioning and shows you much further out to sea than you would have guessed. The storm definitely pushed you the wrong way. As for north/south, you're somewhere around the Carolinas(why is it always the Carolinas?)
It's starting to drizzle.
The lifeboat can be viewed in google:
Schat-Harding's 370-person CRV55 lifeboat on test at sea
since I am a wound care nurse I suggest I evaluate everyone one on the boat. I will take one female with me so all can get searched. I will explain this is for the protection and safety of all on the boat. If there are any non participants I can make a persuasion check or Bob can assist. Other than that I can organize the groups once checked. We will need an organized hierarchy. We need leaders from each group of individuals to advocate for us and help with crowd control. I can't remember if we have a total count of survivors with us, men women child? Since my major phobia is water I will not go to the top of the boat at all. There is no way to convince or talk me into it either. Think BA Barackas A team and flying! My thoughts on the dead floating would be that they would sink. They don't have control of their epiglottis and would swallow water, this would inevitably sink them. Also, they have the coordination to walk but swim might be a stretch. Swimming takes a lot of coordination and I would be surprised if these infected uncoordinated things can muster that coordination. If that doesn't kill them at the depths we are at now, the cold would surely slow their movement at the bottom of the ocean. Lastly if that doesn't kill them. It is proven that any ship that sinks and makes a substantial noise attracts sharks.
September 17th, 8:00pm
About half of the people are willing to be checked out. As you're announcing your intent, Ms Hartten takes the opportunity to open her mouth and start raving about the "wrath of god", the "End of Days", and how you and your friends(outside of Adam and Jeff who are just misled by you) are agents of the devil(I'm really missing RPing this in person). After looking to leave a helpless baby behind to be zombie food, and now trying to get everyone naked to you can personally be satisfied no one is infected. She says no way will she let you "perverts" examine her and that she knows she wasn't bitten and her word should be good enough for you. To make matters worse, Stephen McDermont and a few others, some with guns, seem to be giving into her religious fervor. The boat is quickly dividing into the reasonable, who side with you, those falling to the religious ramblings of Hartten, and some who are undecided or afraid to do much of anything.
As for zombie's sinking, now that it's dark, it is hard to see much at all, especially with the cloudy skies and rain. However, you haven't heard anything large bump into the boat.
Andrea gives Monica the once over. She has no bites, cuts, and barely a scratch. She's very scared and restraining her will certainly make things far worse in the eyes of the other group.
At this point I take the group individually not to arouse any attention and suggest we lay low and conform to the crazy until we come up with a plan. Drawing as little attention to ourselves as possible. Then we can separate on dry land.
We could also start the rumor with whispers that we noticed this sort of behavior in the victims we saw changed. We could start be saying they would rant about such things. We could play her crazy against her as she escalates we could be the whispers that prove she is changing!
In our group meeting - which will be far away from Mrs. Hartten and out of earshot- I share my findings about Monica.
"Guys, we have a bigger problem. The six year old Monica: she has a fever. I'm positive that when we inspected that other little girl back on the ship - that girl who was infected - she had a fever, too. I think we need to keep a watch on her. I fear that the Hartten group is going to try to prevent us from restraining her, and will put this entire ship in jeopardy. We can restrain her and put a blanket over her so it goes unnoticed."
"Kris, I think we need to speak out against her now. Not go under the radar. If she's left unchecked, she'll bring over the undecided people and I've seen enough bad horror movies to know that once they achieve critical mass, they look to throw the devils overboard. Hasn't anyone here seen or read The Mist?? We need to nip this in the bud."
If the girl is infected we can use that to sway the others our way! How? We would have to come up with that.
I agree with Bob on this one. Fight fire with fire. She is in no position to lead the group and she needs to be put in her place.
Bob is livid, furious with this hypocritical woman.
"HOW DARE YOU MA'AM!"
"HOW DARE YOU?"
"You found yourself alone, a stranger in the belly of a ship surrounded by murderous creatures. My family and my friends took you in when you had no place else to go. You were a stranger to us. We didn't know who you were, or whether you had honorable intentions. And still we did our best to keep you protected from harm..We made you part of our family. We were repeatedly attacked and assaulted by these creatures. We fought our way up from the belly of the ship.. and WE PROTECTED YOU. When we found other survivors we could help like the wonderful Mrs. Ethel WE PROTECTED HER FROM HARM. Mrs Ethel, I'm sure you would agree we did our best." (nods to her)
"When we made our way to deck of the ship and found those creatures ravaging strangers, bodies everywhere, we didn't for a second stop and leave you behind. WE RISKED OUR VERY LIVES FOR YOU MA'AM. I say again, HOW DARE YOU? When we made it to the top of the steps, who was it that ran out and grabbed the attention of the creatures, sacrificing himself so that you could make it into that lifeboat? My friends and family. These people here with you now. Who was it that picked up the corpse of one of those creatures and threw it at them, knocking them down and buying us time so we could all escape? My friends and family. We have people here. Good people like Stephen McDermott, who are sacrificing everything to help people like you. HOW DARE YOU accuse me of these terrible things when all we're trying to do is keep our own families safe, and those people who we were able to help. FOR SHAME, MS. Hartten."
"Let him who is without sin cast the first stone. Do you remember that? That's John 8:7. Judge not, lest ye be judged. That's Matt, I cant remember what verse. How dare you, Ms. Hartten. Do you remember the lessons of your own bible? Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt LOVE THY NEIGHBOR AS THYSELF. That's Leviticus."
[Obviously, she's a nutcase. This is an attempt to sway the other people in the room and keep her from poisoning the well. If you like, I can attempt a persuasion roll on the people in the room.. hopefully some people in her camp and in the undecided group will come to their senses and see things our way.]
"Mr. McDermott. Please, you know we did our best. But we're human. You fought side by side with us and you were there with us. I hope you aren't giving credence to all of this."
I will point out to Bob that have a knowledge in religion that is a 6. I may be able to temper Ms Hartenn with patience and some of my knowledge (although your quotation of scripture at the spur of the moment is quite admirable). The trouble is by yelling at her, she is more likely to get more agitated and less reasonable. Perhaps I can sit with her for awhile, speak her language until she calms down, and try to inspire her to act more as a inspirational leader rather than a doomsday person.
I'll also point out privately to Bob try to cut her some slack and don't take everything she says personally - there is no way of knowing on anyone will react in the next few days as this calamity sinks in. She's speaking out of fear, not out of hostility.
Maybe you're right, Joel. This woman just has a way of getting under my skin. She sounds awfully hostile to me. We think we're safe for thirty minutes and we get someone like this who I know would rather have us dead than try to help them. Why can't we just have peace with our forty survivors?
Could you maybe try your way with her? Join her group, if she'll let you and talk some sense into her? Thank you!
"How dare you sir! Not only did you want to leave the babe to die a horrible death, on several occasions you did your best to be rid of me and everyone else with you! I witnessed you(pointing at Monica) send her family to it's death because you didn't want to assist them. That man in the corner, you tried to take his daughter away from him. You tied up a small child instead of caring for it. You truly are the spawn of the devil!"
Addressing the people who are listening to her, "See what I mean, he tries to use words against me, yet his actions continue to show his evil and selfish nature! Now he wants all of us to strip down so he and his friends can, check if we're ok. Who would know better than yourselves if you're ok? Next he'll want to take your weapons so they can "inventory' them or some such nonsense. But in the end, they'll keep them, leaving you defenseless!"
Heads start nodding in agreement. You get the feeling things are on the brink of getting really ugly.
As an aside, it's nice to have a few minutes to think about what I get to say and how to twist your previous actions against you.
Under his breath, the veteran in the wheelchair, Dan, mumbles under his breath to you, "What a whack job. She's definitely got some PTSD."
Bob, I don’t think the veteran has taken a side yet but that sounds like he is leaning towards our side. I think everyone will listen to him, a veteran in a wheelchair.
Let’s ask him in front of everyone to try to defuse the situation and get everyone on the same side (hopefully our side).
Presenting a firm front is fine - but we are going to get no where by bantering, threatening, or forcing divisions. Good leaders inspire others to follow them based on good behavior and wisdom (a la Captain Picard). My knowledge of history (which is a 6) knows that no matter how crazy or unreasonable someone is, in a desperate situation people will follow anyone who is willing to lead with their actions.
I will take the next action and stand in the middle of the crowd with my hands raised and call everyone to please listen:
Loudly "Everyone calm down and take a deep breath! Everyone stop for a moment and please listen! We appear to be caught up in a very difficult situation, but we all need to work together to save ourselves! But we can't work together if we begin to fight among ourselves! This is a new beginning for ourselves - let us unite together to figure out the best way to save ourselves! We are in a small boat, and realistically it may take a long time to get rescued - but the more we work together and trust one another, the better chance we have of saving everyone on our boat!"
Slowly and Loudly in my best Tommy Lee Jones tone "Now the first thing we all need to do is stabilize our situation! Please, let the paramedics on board do their job! And also, please, everyone calm down pause and let's cooperate and work together! These men here are the best equipped to help you!"
Slowly standing down, I look for reactions from the crowd. If the veteran is ready to speak, I gesture toward him.
Directed to Mrs. Hartten I reiterate what Bob had said, but with a conviction of a dying confessing his world to his wife of 60yrs.
If what you say is true, then why did we rescue you, a woman of faith and crippled with age, then isn't it fair and just to say that we could have left you to die on that ship? Did we not save the child from shear doom by risking our lives to rescue it from un-seemingly insurmountable odds? Did we not say to that wonderful family that we were heading down into the depths of the ship to save our families? Did we not send them to a safe place were we had just been to meet the rest of the ships staff and patrons as the announcement instructed us to do? I say Mrs. Hartten and everyone, your words come from a place of good but do nothing but spread hatred and mistrust amongst us. How many of you can point fingers at anyone while you fled from the ship with screams of help coming from the doors next to you. I am not a religious man but doesn't the bible state "he who is without sin cast the first stone" ? I say we don't need hysterical rants and panic , we need a stay of the mind and body, we need to collect our thoughts and come together as a group to fight and defend against the real evil...
those monsters who have hurt so many and have taken so much. Stand with us and we will stand with you! The safety of the group and those who survived is paramount. We are tired, we are battered, let us comfort the scared, heal the wounded and feed the hungry. Then we will come up with a plan for what we do next. I look at Mrs. Hartten and say "let not anger or hatred take you over, there is room in your heart to see the truth" At that point I walk slowly with conviction and say let us forgive and I open my arms to her and look for a reciprocation"
As I do this I look into every persons eyes as to look for response.
To help elicit a response, I will start to applaud.
While all this is going on I am spending all my time and using notice to try to gauge all the passengers on board to see what kind of threat they may pose if this goes bad. I'm looking for those big and strong as well as those that have any kind of weapon. I want to see how many of them seem to be on Ms. Harttens side. I'm all for trying to reason with this crazy ass old lady but I will have no problem taking people out if this starts to go badly. I'm making note of there position on the boat who is between me and them and who looks like they can cause some damage. I slowly make my way to the soldier and ask him firmly if he understands what has happened and what might happen. If he does and is convincing and says he is on our side I will give him the extra handgun I have and one magazine. Believe that I am not about to let this crazy ass old women or anyone who we saved from that boat cause any issues at this point. We don't even know at this point where we are or how long we can survive. Seeing that at this point my only focus will be the safety of my friends. Anyone else on this boat is expendable in my opinion. I do not know what these people have seen or if they can even be reasoned with at this point. I am a critical incident stress leader. I have seen and experienced just how people handle very stressful situations and I have seen people snap.
I to am very stressed not wanting to make the situation worse I plan on not speaking. I believe that bob and Joel can handle that.
September 17th, 9:00pm.
Kris' efforts at reconciliation are not reciprocated. Ms Hartten(don't forget, Kathy Bates in appearance) returns to her rant about the end of the world, wrath of God, etc. Once again, she points at Mike and Bob who were the most vocal about leaving the baby behind. She points to Jeff and Adam who "dragged" the rest of the group to rescue the baby. Her group shuffles off to one side of the boat. A few more of the undecided go over to her, a few more seem more interested in what you are offering. There are some who are still either undecided or just don't want to get involved.
Based on your interactions with people, you're pretty certain at least 50 percent of the people are definitely bite free.
The veteran, Lieutenant Dan(come on guys, how did you miss this!), has his own gun and is firmly in your camp. Your side definitely has a few more people, however, the other side is more soft of mind, strong of body, while both sides seem equally armed.
As the exchange finally subsides, mother nature decides it's her turn. Thunder begins crackling, you can hear the wind screaming outside, and rain pouring down on the roof of the vessel. Lightening flashes, lighting up the interior with eerie shadows leaving you extremely on edge. I'd like everyone to make a vigor check. Anyone failing receives one level of Fatigue. If you get a critical failure, seasickness overwhelms you, two levels of fatigue.
The weather is really starting to make the boat rock and roll. Adam and Joel's stomach is churning a bit, but not enough to be sick.
Kris on the other hand is praying for the end of the world. The combination of guts, gore, and the violent seas have sent his stomach into overdrive. Pretty much bag and fetal position. Everyone else is managing okay.
Do we as a group have a plan as to what to do of one of these passengers turns zombie on us? Obviously we have to destroy him/her but how? Just shooting someone in the head in front of dozens of people, some of whom are formulating their own "network" is bound to cause panic and outrage. Does someone in our group have a large knife that can be stuck in a zombie skull, leaving the shooting only as a last resort? We haven't been able to find a pair of handcuffs by any chance, or some other good binding mechanism, have we?
I think if someone does turn into a zombie, we hide behind Ms. Hartten and let her take care of it. Maybe we should ask her what we should do?
I feel feverish!!!!! I may bite her anyway.
Joel raises a good point. We should discuss our game plan if one is infected. Lock in the second bathroom? Open a window and push overboard?
When I go to speak with the father with his face in his hands, I will offer my condolences and be very sensitive/sympathetic. I want to ask him gently what happened to his daughter. I will mention that Monica now seems feverish, and she was about his daughter's age. Is there anything he can tell me about her symptoms that could help this little girl? Anything at all that he noticed? We need to try to do a comparative diagnosis to see if what Monica has is just a garden-variety fever...
We could lock them in the bathroom with Miss Hattman?
I'm all for *not* firing a very loud gun in an enclose space and splattering meathead gore all over frightened and confused people...if we can help it. I wonder if we'll be able to use our axes to push it out the door and into the ocean.
Guys we are all carrying ax's we can just smash their heads in with the ax?
...and if we miss and happen to hit mrs. H it would be a shame. Man I rolled snake eyes.
Seriously we should take shifts sleeping and watching. We should have flashlights axes and guns at the ready. We should find a spot with an egress if we should need it. With my notice I am looking for people with signs of fever or unusual behavior(as well as throwing up)
I think at this point we just need to get through the night and reevaluate tomorrow morning. Do what we can to avoid anarchy and a blood bath. And above all, take care of ourselves first (not because we are better than anyone ele but we trust our own group the most and it must stay intact)
I will say I'm surprised the other group has accumulated such a gathering when they have only spoken out in terror and panic while we have attempted calm reasoning and demonstrated live preserving abilities. Reason will win out in the end.
September 18th, 10am.
2 Days since the cruise ship embarked.
As Bob approaches the man, he makes no movement. If not for the slight motion from breathing, you'd think he was a statue. Gently touching his shoulder to get his attention, a tear streaked face looks up at Bob. Bob instantly knows the man's heart is completely shattered. The light has gone out of his life. A second later, there is a flicker of recognition. He remembers seeing Bob in the hallway, he remembers Bob offering to tend to his daughter, and he remembers Bob tying his daughter up like some crazy animal. He remembers his daughter crying for her daddy to take her away from the mean man. He remembers how you told him he couldn't have his daughter back, and he remembers that he had to grab her and flee, for what he felt was his life and his daughter's.
He slowly stands up.
It's one of those actions that seems to occur in slow motion. It draws the attention of everyone on the boat. And he speaks, "The crazy god woman is right about one thing. This man and his friends are monsters. They tried to restrain my daughter and keep her from me. They should have died on the ship with the rest of the filth." He says nothing else and walks over to Ms Hartten. Immediately, a few individuals, and a man with a young boy walk over to join her camp.
Calmly, sadly, and loudly:
"Your daughter was infected, sir. By tying her up we saved your life. She couldn't bite you. Where is she now? What happened to your daughter? Did she turn on you? Did she attack you mindlessly, forgetting you were her father?
"We warned you sir. We tried to help you. You came to us in the ship, with no idea what was happening. We told you about the monsters. We begged you not to go alone in the ship filled with infected people and to stay with us. You didn't listen. Your daughter had a fever. Can you tell us how long she had that fever? What other symptoms did she present with, sir? How much time passed before she changed? Did you untie her?
There's another little girl whose life is at stake sir. Another man's daughter. You can't being your daughter back, but you might be able to help her. Are you really going to refuse to help this little girl, sir? Has anyone in this ship seen anyone infected start with a fever and change? If this man won't help, can anyone else?"
September 18th, 10:05am.
Unfortunately, people have stopped listening, the damage has been done. Even Lt Dan is giving you guys the, "What were you thinking?" look. Ethel seems unaffected by the statement as she was there at the time, but so far she's been pretty quiet. Keeping mostly to herself.
In fact, at this point, most people seen to be giving you guys the cold shoulder. Your previous actions, have been used/turned against you and some of the picture has not turned out very well for you.
The storm rages for a little over a day. A lot of people experience seasickness and many are showing signs of complete exhaustion. It's obvious most haven't slept, or have slept very poorly. You know tempers will be short and fuses shorter.
It's early morning when the sun finally breaks through the clouds. Spirits rise a little, but people are still very wary.
Wary or not we need to figure out how to meet up with the other boats and possibly search the area for any other people that might have gotten off that ship. We also need to get our bearings and start to head west towards land. Unless any of the god fearing idiots on board the boat with us would like to get out and wait for Noah and the Ark to swing by and pick them up. I will be happy to help them off. If there are no objections I say we make our way west once we do a quick search of the area. As for the rest of the people on the boat either pitch in and help us get safely to land or sit there but do not get in our way of attempting to get this boat safely to land. If there are no objections I say our group starts. Lets open the hatches and get in some fresh air it should help those that are still feeling sick and I think a little sunshine would help us all out.
Josh I grab the flare gun binoculars and the flares and open the hatch and take a look to see if I see any of the other ships or land for that fact. Is there a handheld compass in the kit if so I take it also to try and get our position. Great thing is the compass will always give me true north and I say we get back on the radios and try again now that the storm is gone.
I am going to start the morning talking with Bob and Kris about starting to locate other key and valuable items on the boat and make sure we have possession of them before the other "faction" does the same. Mike already has the compass, we should have possession of other radios, batteries, fuel, tool boxes, potential weapons, binoculars, and medicines, particularly any poisonous ones. We should talk to Jeff and Aam about how to secure and guard these items. I don't like how our attempts at reasoning and bonding have gone and although I am not ready to give up, we need to be ready for the worst.
September 18th, 11:00am.
Most of what is on the boat is built in.
This is a small control area in the center of the vessel. There is a central viewing area where the controls are. Additionally, this is where things like the compass and radio are built in. There was a chest there that contained 4 sets of binoculars. There are no tools or batteries and there is no access to the fuel as it is much like your car. Accessible from the outside. The ship really isn't designed to be scavenged. Everything is built in to survive rough seas and have nothing move.
Mike, as far as you can tell, the storm blew you much further out to sea. From your vantage point, all you can see is ocean, in every direction. There is a small dot off to the west that, through the binoculars, looks like another life boat. You estimate it will take a couple hours to get to it using the engines and burning your precious fuel. Don't forget, the instructions with the boat stress you have limited fuel.
Stephen McDermont and a couple other of Ms Hartten's people are doing similar things. It's obvious some of them don't believe her spiel, however, your previous actions with the baby and little girl have given them a very negative view of you.
Let's make sure we have control of the boat operation area in the event someone else want to control this ship
Good points, Mike and Joel - I agree.
I would say let's spend the fuel and get to the second lifeboat. We need to go west anyways, so we're killing two birds with one stone.
Adam and Jeff and Joel - Mrs. Hartten thinks you folks are still her knights in shining armor, just misled. By the rest of os satanspawn. Do you think you could be our ambassadors to her group? Perhaps approach Steve McDermott first and propose the idea of going to the second lifeboat. The way things are going, anything we do is perceived in the worst possible light. So if we just start driving the boat west without asking, we'll have a shoot out on our hands in no time.
For the record, I can't believe that after healing people on the lifeboat of injuries, fighting off zombies and risking our lives to allow 20 more people to get onto this ship when and saving the people in our original group and brining them here to safety, that those actions don't give us any goodwill at all. It really makes no sense to me. The first thing at least 20 I these people saw when boarding this lifeboat was our people fending off the dead, shouting and encouraging them to get on board.. Then the next thing they experienced was the same group mending wounds and stopping bleeding. Really seems weird.
So to Joel's point, if we keep a small group on watch - the same group watching Monica, they can guard our items as well. Let's increase the number on watch from two to five?
(1) How is Monica doing after a day? Better? Has the fever broken?
(2) Any radio chatter now?
(3) Does GPS work on our mobile phones? It should. It's satellite based. This should tell us where we are and exactly how far away from shore.
Also - if we can slide up to lifeboat #2, then lash it to ours, then have boat #1 drive west till it runs out of fuel, then have boat 2 go west. This may double our distance. These boats were designed to move 340 people- so they are really light right now. It shouldn't slow them down muh to be tied together.
I think the time for words is past. The only thing that can win these people over now is actions. We have done some good acts, yes. But some if what we have done has been despicable. I understand why we did it, but those facts in the hands of a zealot like Ms. Hartten are enough to convince these frightened broken people. Nothing we can say now will convince them of our intentions. All reason is gone. All we can do now is show them.
Until then, head west keep trying to hail that other boat as we make for a rendezvous. But don't just come alongside it until we hear from them. It could be full of meatheads for all we know.
September 18th, 3:00pm.
No useful radio comments in three hours, the trip to the other boat is uneventful. Pulling along side, you can't see any motion inside, but it's hard with the sun and glare from the sea.
The boat looks clean, of course, 24 hours in a hurricane would wash off any blood/gore/etc.