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Hola, faithful readers!

This is the first chapter in the sequel to Crisse, des zombies!, currently titled, Crisse, encore des zombies!

Have fun!

November 15th, 07:23

“Attention: une intervention des services d'urgence nous oblige à interrompre le service sur la ligne verte, entre les stations Angrignon et Honoré-Beaugrand, pour une durée indéterminée. La STM vous remercie de votre compréhension. D'autres messages suivront.”

“Would you guys quit playing with that?”

Michaela glared from where she and Sebastien —Seb to his friends— had been checking past the turnstiles in the deserted metro station. Water dripped from the ceiling, spreading in yellowish puddles on the filthy floors. Plink-plink-plink. The steady sound had already drifted from her conscious mind to register only as a faint background annoyance, the kind you don't notice until it stops and you feel all the tension you didn't know was there drain from your shoulders. No one had come to mop up in at least two weeks, not since the day the metro had first broken down. She didn't look too hard at the rust-coloured stains spattered along the floor and some of the walls. Some things didn't bear thinking about, at least not unless you were safe in the cold light of day. She swallowed, making a face at the faint metallic taste in the air, like copper. Or, rather, like blood.

Jack rolled his eyes at her. “Come on, Mickey, lighten up! It's not like we're going to get into trouble with the law for messing with the PA system or anything.”

“Yeah,” Don agreed, and not for the first time Michaela found herself wondering if he'd ever had an original thought of his own after he'd become friends with Jack. She glared harder at the two of them.

Seb spoke up. “We won't get fined, but unless you want to attract those things to us, you shouldn't make so much noise. "Ça les attire, t'sais?”

Jack gave Michaela a grin that he doubtless intended to be charming. Maybe it had worked on girls in the past, she wasn't sure. He had a roguish air about him, combined with big blue eyes and blond hair that made him irresistible to some women. If she was honest with herself, she knew that not that long ago, she might have let herself be charmed as well, at least as far as to forgive him the occasional lapse in judgement. Now, though, two weeks after her entire life had been turned completely upside-down, she was far less forgiving of individual idiocy.

“Don't you worry, Mickey babe, if they come we're more than ready for 'em.” He patted the butt of his rifle meaningfully. “We'll give them a reception they won't forget any time soon, I promise you.”
“Yeah,” Don said, nodding, both hands on his rifle. “Put some bullets in a few skulls, that'll have 'em thinking twice about messing with us!”

Michaela herself hadn't put down her rifle since they'd made their way into the metro, and she had to swallow an angry retort. Like it or not, these two jokers were the only backup she and Seb had while they were back in the city, and she needed them on her side. How she'd managed to miss what reckless jackasses they were before... well, before, was beyond her. Maybe it was because before, being a reckless jackass didn't have consequences that were as deadly as they were now. She forced herself to modulate her tone.

“Look, guys, these things don't think, and that's the whole problem right there. You can't reason with them, you can't frighten them, you can't do anything like that. Come on, you know this: you saw the ones back in the village, didn't you? They're dead. They're not human, not in any meaningful sense of the word, anyway.”

“Duh. Of course we know that. They're zombies.” Jack scoffed.

Of course, the problem was that Jack and Don didn't really know. Sure, they knew intellectually what was going on, but they hadn't been anywhere near the city when the mysterious illness had hit, hadn't been caught up in the hysteria, the havoc, the horror that had been those first days when the infection had begun to spread at exponential rates. They'd been on a hunting trip, and had returned to the relative safety of rural Ontario. They'd only ever seen any of it at a safe remove from the gut-wrenching terror that the dead inspired in everyone who got too close. She shook her head: it was impossible to impress any of this on them until they got to live it up close and personal. Until then, zombies would be the halfway-funny things that you saw in horror movies, and nothing more. Seb at least was more steady, although he too had been far away during the initial outbreak. At least he wasn't treating this like it was a hunting trip with his buddies. Michaela wouldn't have been surprised to find out that Jack and Don had somehow managed to sneak a six-pack into their webgear.

“Okay, we can't stay. We've already taken way too long here, and we have a lot of ground to cover between here and the rendez-vous spot. I'll take point, and Jack will take the rear.”

“Sure you don't want me to take point?

Great. Just what she needed: a wounded-ego moment from Jack. “Not just yet. I'm the one who's seen these things from close up, and I know what to look for. Besides, watching our rear is even more important, because that's where we're most vulnerable, and none of us as fast on the draw as you are.” That last part was true, at least, for what it was worth. “Don't use your guns unless you absolutely have to,” she added, although she pulled her ear muffs from her belt clip and slipped them over her ears. She and Seb each had a pair on loan from Rob, although Jack and Don each had their own pair that they'd had with them on their hunting trip. They were the latest in tactical gear, Rob had told her proudly, minimizing hearing damage from loud gunshots while amplifying voices and other sounds. It was a gift horse, and so she hadn't looked it in the mouth.

Jack seemed mollified by the compliment, and fell into line without protesting further. Don said nothing, nor did Michaela expect him to. Don was much happier following directions, and if he wasn't following Jack's lead, then Michaela's was just as good. Seb, she knew, would follow her lead, because that's what he'd signed on for. She blew out a short puff of breath, composing herself, and running a hand through her short-cropped hair. She still wasn't used to the sensation, although she'd cut off all her waist-length hair over ten days before, an act of necessity, since it was far too easy for grasping fingers to get tangled in it. How on earth had she ended up being in charge of this suicide run? It wasn't the first time the question had popped into her mind, and not for the first time she answered it herself: it was because no one else would do it. If it had all been up to her, Jack and Don wouldn't have been her first choices, either. Randhir would have been a better partner, and Marco; they wouldn't have been screwing around with the PA system, and they certainly wouldn't have argued about marching order. She swallowed the lump that had suddenly formed in her throat. Useless to think about that now.

“Let's move out.”

Date: 2009-11-01 06:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

Sneaking six-packs into the webgear? Brilliant! And entirely feasible with configurable PALS/MOLLE gear, too...

Oh and, what sort of rifle?
Edited Date: 2009-11-01 06:23 pm (UTC)

Date: 2009-11-01 06:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Actually, I was going to ask you. Recommendations for a rifle that's easy enough for a slender but reasonably strong woman to carry for long distances? Let's recall that ammo is a factor in this as well...

Date: 2009-11-01 07:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Let's see. A semi in an intermediate chambering would be ideal; all of the following shoot either .223 NATO/5.56x45 NATO (what Jeff Cooper would call a poodleshooter) or 7.62x39mm Soviet, and by M-14 standards are light, handy, and underpowered.

SKS. With a surplus PLA SKS gunner's apron (See here, scroll down a bit.), you can carry 200 rounds in stripper clips readily accessible, with more elsewhere, such as in a pack. Mention the country they were manufactured for bonus gunny points. Lever Arms out in BC sells them in 10-rifle "Investor Packs" for collectors, people who're disappointed by their RRSP's performance, and anti-zombie self-defence community organizers whose friends and family are proving dilatory in arming themselves NAG NAG NAG NAG NAG


Very popular in Canada, in part because they're ringers and functionally identical to the (sadly prohibited) AK-47. I want one. They come with some spiffy ammo pouches, too.

A Ruger Mini-14 or Mini-30. These are basically M-14's scaled down to chamber .223 Rem/5.56mm NATO or 7.62x39mm, respectively. Very popular and common in Canada, but mags are rarer than AR-15 mags. The rifle Zoey prefers in L4D is a scoped Mini-14.

Then there's theAR-15. Restricted in Canada, but very popular nonetheless, so many makes, models, chamberings, barrel lengths, accessorized, etc that I could take all day and not even scratch the surface. Parts are readily available and it's real easy to build your own. See here for the Brownells AR-15 builder: you can even custom-build your own online. It's like paper dolls for gun nutz. Assuming that Mickey has been talking to that survivalist loon lawyer character from the end of CDZ!, a Norinco M4 clone would be a distinct possibility.

And then there are the Swiss Arms PE-90s (gorgeous rifles but hideously spendy) or Robarms XCRs (which are v. popular in Canada as they take AR-15 mags and accessories but are non-restricted).

All of these are easily carried, operated, and shot by reasonably fit small-statured people and available in Canada.

Date: 2009-11-01 07:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Dammit, having watched that vid, I am getting the urge to buy a CZ858; they really are the most economical way to get into evil babykilling black assault rifles in this country...

Date: 2009-11-01 06:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Great way to begin it again; revisiting the scene of the opening crimes. Very nice.

Date: 2009-11-01 06:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thank you!

I figured it was a good place to start as well. :)

Date: 2009-11-01 07:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]


Date: 2009-11-01 07:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

If we're talking something more old-school, a lever action in .30-30 (ballistically very close to 7.62 Soviet; more powerful than a 7.62 Soviet inside of 100 meters, but loses the edge farther out; the deer can't tell the difference), a pistol caliber like .44 or .357 Mag (which do very nicely out of carbine or rifle length barrels and can also be used in a sidearm), or one of the old cowboy calibers like .45 Long Colt is also credible in this role, especially in practiced hands. Some guys call them "old school assault rifles"; they are light and handy, don't kick too hard, shoot really fast for a manual repeater, hold reasonable amounts of ammo, and really, their only drawback is slow loading; you shove ammo in through a loading gate instead of swapping mags. Marlin makes them, and there are enough Winchester 1894's out there that it's scary.

A note on magazines; we both know that the moment the zombies rise, every single pinned magazine in this country is going to get stuck into the nearest drill press and de-nerfed. Also, mags are gold. People who just discard them when reloading like in the movies are going to regret it; smart zombie hunters will have a drop pouch to hold their spent mags.

Date: 2009-11-01 07:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh yes. Weaponlights and tritium sights. I think I showed you the night sights and light on Alice, right? These are the best things to come along since the safety catch, since they allow you to obtain sight picture in total blackness, and then illuminate the target before firing so that you can comply with Rule 4. I wanna get trit sights on the -14's and the 1911 eventually.

Surefire, Pelican, and Streamlight all make good weaponlights, which can be mounted on guns via Picatinny rails, barrel clamps, improvised field expedient mounts, or The Handyman's Secret Weapon.

You really want a light that throws 60 lumens or more at a minimum. Sadly, these run bright at the expense of run time; about an hour at 60 lumens on two CR123's is typical. And the CR123 batteries the good ones take are spendy; $3-3.50 a pop (but worth it).

Date: 2009-11-01 07:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

I'll keep that in mind. Batteries in this world are going to be a rare commodity, I think. Nothing like having to wade through a hardware store full of zombies to make you re-think just how badly you want a bunch of batteries. ;)

Date: 2009-11-01 07:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Well-informed anti-zombie self-defence community organizers know that Surefire sells CR123's in 72-packs. They have excellent shelf life characteristics, and can be used in other devices, like cameras and MIOX water purifiers. How many canteens are Mickey and her redneck sidekicks carrying again?

Date: 2009-11-01 08:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I don't think I specified. I'm keeping my options open. ;)

Date: 2009-11-01 08:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'd think that bottled water would be easy to find at least at first; Zack don't drink.

What are they doing for clothing and warmth? November can get pretty nippy.

Date: 2009-11-01 08:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Lots of thermal wear, I'm guessing. :)

I haven't got there yet, but doubtless there will be a paragraph about gear at some point. I don't want the narrative to get too bogged down in details that will only be of interest to die-hard zombie armaggedonists. ;) Tom Clancy I ain't.

Date: 2009-11-01 08:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm just throwing this stuff out in case you might find it useful for flavour/plotpoints; feel free to disregard at will :).

Date: 2009-11-02 01:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"Far MORE forgiving of individual idiocy"?

Oh, and "ear muffs" are for keeping your ears warm. Now "hearing protectors", OTOH...

Date: 2009-11-02 01:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Ergh. Fixing will have to happen later.

And HEY! The website called them ear muffs, I figured I could too. :D

Date: 2009-11-02 01:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Their ad copy is insufficently tacticool, then :).

Date: 2009-11-02 01:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Hee! Well, Mickey isn't all about the tacticool, and since it's her POV, the nomenclature stays for now. :)

Date: 2009-11-02 01:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Of course, it's your novel; I'm just the technical consultant here :).


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