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Snippet #2445186

located in The Haven Universe, a part of Live Together or Die Alone, one of the many universes on RPG.

The Haven Universe

None

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Callie Winters Character Portrait: Rishi Sharma
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November 9th, 2013

0925

It was absolutely brilliant.

Rishi had managed to compile several small handbooks containing his observations on the nature of the undead. It was fairly short, speaking relative to most novels, only ten pages of his small and neat handwriting. It gave him a sense of accomplishment, knowing that he was contributing, in some small way, to the way of human life. The Scavs had their wits and their weapons, and the actions they took were necessary for the continuation of their lives without a doubt, but Rishi tended to be more forward thinking. True, his work wouldn’t show immediate results, but he was patient. If he learned anything from his four decades of schooling, it was patience. The payout for all the toil he had gone through the past couple weeks had presented itself in the form of the pocket-sized handbooks bound together with his sewing needle and some glue. He included ten extra blank pages in addition for the Scav’s to write in, should they’ve found it necessary. For some strange reason, it was as if they had an endless supply of pens and paper, so there was more than enough to hand out to everybody, not just the Scav’s.

“Finally.” Dr. Sharma exhaled as he leaned back in his chair. He sat back and admired his handiwork. He attached a pen to each and went downstairs to the command center with the notebooks in hand.

“Ms. Winters, I have some good news!” he exclaimed when he saw her scrambling some eggs. She turned around and gave Rishi a weak smile. Rishi was aware that she had taken Monroe’s death as a heavy blow, but his quirky mannerisms remained the same around her regardless. There was no need to drop morale any more than it had already been.

“What is it?”

“I’ve finished writing up new guidebooks for everyone! I have taken the original mass of paper and ink back to work out of, and in its place, I have created several pocket-sized and to the point versions of my earlier work. I understand that only a handful managed to skim the original, and it was laced with personal opinions and other unintelligible scribbling, but these copies are clean cut and easy to read!”

He dropped the lot of them on the table and handed one to Callie to look over. With a slightly tired, but quizzical gaze, Callie looked it over.

“Half of this book is blank?”

“Yes, of course they are. I added in the extra pages so that everybody could take notes, or jot down their thoughts whenever the need arose. I understand that some of our populace has taken to expressing their feelings in a more…recreational manner, but I figured it would help. I know it helps me.”

Rishi grabbed a pen out of his pocket and gestured for Callie to take it.

“I know it isn’t much, but here you go. I will hand these out to the rest of headquarters, just be sure to inform the Scav’s that these are here for the taking.”

When she took the pen, Rishi immediately turned and grabbed books for the rest of the residents of Haven that were present.


November 9th 2013

1600

“Mr. Fowler! Look at all this wonderful equipment the Scavs brought for us!” Rishi exclaimed as he burst into the techie’s room without warning.

“Fuck!” the man said as he jumped straight off the couch. “Dear god don’t you knock?”

“Waste of time. Gary, you must have a look at these! There are the new super phones, a dozen or so top of the line video cameras, and the new 50 Terabyte laptops! They were even so thoughtful as to pick up cables and chips for us to use.”

Though the larger man was livid at Rishi’s sudden intrusion, his anger began to subside once the professor began listing off the brand new equipment. Gary noticed Rishi was carrying a sack full of the stuff he mentioned.

“Think of it as an early Christmas present.” Rishi said as walked over to Gary and handed him a laptop with some cables. “I hear you’re going to go out tomorrow?” Rishi asked.

“Thanks. Yeah, we’re going to grab one of those solar panels. I’m just going through my files on it right now.” He sat back down, setting the laptop to the side. When the professor didn’t leave, Gary shook his head ever so slightly and threw Rishi a frustrated look. “What?”

“I will need your assistance with a project of mine once the solar panel is installed.”

Well?”

“Many of these cameras aren’t designed for use by our Scavs. They need to be less hand-held and more ‘attachable’ to the user. I have drawn out some diagrams for you to look over.” Rishi said as he reached into the sack and produced more paper. “There are several different versions I had in mind, but I need your assistance taking the cameras apart and re-organizing them into proper Scav-Cams.” Gary took the papers and looked through them quickly. The drawings were surprisingly good. There were depictions of makeshift helmet cameras to shoulder mounted cameras and even wearable lipstick cameras. “As you can see there, once I re-program this one, we will essentially have homemade nightvision goggles, albeit visible, but far less so than the torches. In this one, the Scavs will essentially have a rear-view mirror at all times, and with this one, they will even be able to zoom in, effectively creating binoculars! All the while, we are recording the footage. What do you say?”

Gary sat on his couch bent over in serious concentration. Unlike his first awkward dealings with the professor, he was actually presented an opportunity to work on something else worthwhile, something challenging. Instead of balking at Rishi’s enthusiasm, like the others surely would’ve over such a project, Gary simply nodded his head, the gears clicking in his mind as he looked over the drawings.

“I think a couple of these are doable. This nightvision idea you have is good, but it’s too bulky.”

“So you’ll help me with these then?”

“Yeah. Yeah, I can do this. It’s better than cleaning the chicken coop.”

“Wonderful! I will leave these here with you then. There are some others that I’m keeping for now, as I will still have to hand out something to the Scavs.” Rishi placed the sack of cameras on Gary’s desk. “And please, do come back alive. I would hate to have to do this myself.” Rishi said as he turned and left Gary’s small room, the icy glare of the techie stabbing at the professor’s back as he exited the room.


November 10th 2013

0444

Rishi woke early as usual, grateful his sleep cycles granted him the time he needed to conduct his research. With the camera’s they brought him, he could finally reach out beyond the walls of Haven. He was simply not cut out for dirt work, and it showed when had to escape from Cambridge. Because of the safety concern posed by letting Watson free to roam, he couldn’t conduct any more real research without the proper tools. Dr. Short made it very clear to him earlier that she would not surrender any more supplies to his work either. So much for professional courtesy.

He grabbed his glasses and began scratching out another job for the Scavs, excited to see the outside world.

Job


Big Brother

Suggested number of Scavs – x

Area – anywhere

Objective – Simply to observe and record.

Information – Thanks to the efforts of the Scavengers Kiera and Tilo, I have managed to compile a relevant series of guidebooks on zombie behaviour and biology. Unfortunately, due to the hazard of setting Watson free, I cannot obtain further information regarding the nature of the undead. However, once again thanks to the efforts of Tilo, and another Scavenger by the name of Ben, I may continue delving deeper. You may notice the aforementioned booklets on the tables, if you have not already received one, as well as a number of camera-phones. These phones have been charged and programed to function normally. What I require of you, is to take two or three of these devices with you, and walk around, recording the undead, and anything else of particular interest.

Since you are once again actively seeking out the presence of the undead, the mission is of course, dangerous. Though there are tests I will need you to conduct in the field in my absence, I urge you to use discretion when it comes to whether or not you follow through, as the hazards may very well outweigh the benefits reaped.

I have outlined below a number of tests you may try to accomplish throughout your journey.

• Flick your torch on and off repeatedly directly at one or more subjects from a distance
• Shine your torch around varying surfaces nearby one or more subjects
• Moan like one of the subjects whilst nearby
• Throw a Molotov cocktail directly into one or more subjects whilst remaining undetected
• Light a fire nearby one or more subjects and observe
• Sever the arms of one or more subjects, retreat, and observe
• Puncture the torso of one or more subjects, retreat, and observe
• Gouge the eyes or otherwise blind one or more subjects and observe
• If eye gouging is successful, move around subject constantly making different noises
• Break, sever, or otherwise severely cripple the legs of one or more subjects and observe
• Throw the remains of a dead animal directly at one or more subjects from a distance
• Throw the remains of a dead animal nearby one or more subjects from a distance
• Throw a living but crippled animal directly at one or more subjects from a distance
• Throw a living but crippled animal nearby one or more subjects from a distance
• Throw the remains of a previous subject directly at another subject from a distance
• Throw the remains of a previous subject nearby one or more subjects from a distance
• Talk to one or more subjects
• Sing to one or more subjects
• Verbally threaten one or more subjects
• Tell jokes to one or more subjects
• Laugh at one or more subjects
• Launch fireworks directly into the sky above one or more subjects and observe
• Splash liquids directly into a subjects face
• Make an excessively loud noise nearby a subject

These are of course just a sampling of tests you may conduct during your excursion, though you may also include any you feel relevant. I will be on the radio during the entirety of your mission, along with Ms. Winters, and will be here to advise you should the need arise. I understand that the danger of operating at night will increase the level of potential danger exponentially, and thus, until I have prepared appropriate night vision, this operation will be performed solely throughout the daylight hours.

Special Equipment – If I have not already given you a booklet and a pen, there are several on the counter nearby for the taking. Several cellular devices are also required, as I need you to record your ongoing throughout the day. I will also recommend you take several food items with you, as this will likely be a long excursion.


Rishi


November 10th 2013

1830

Rishi was tinkering with the laptop he claimed for himself back in his room. Gary had hoarded a surprising number of programs since the start of the apocalypse, some of which had Rishi physically pump his fist into the air when he saw them. Some of them had already been used the maximum number of times, but Rishi was a world class computer programmer. Hacking was but child’s-play, though the lack of internet was upsetting. There was so much knowledge that had been acquired over the past few decades, and now most of it was inaccessible. Such a waste.

“Rishi, its Callie. Do you have a minute?”

“For my saviour, anything. Come in, come in.” Callie opened the door and looked around at the scrawling on the walls before making her way to the pile of furniture in the middle of the room. Since the beginning of winter, Dr. Sharma had re-arranged everything to resemble an imaginary fort a child might make, though it resembled an artificial cave more than anything. He reasoned it would help keep him warm, which was met with ridicule. Unlike the others who had seen his room for the first time, Callie didn’t appear surprised or curious. She didn’t seem fazed at all by the professors antics, and instead retained her typical easygoing yet businesslike attitude.

“So” she said as she pulled a chair up to the table “I heard a rumour recently.” She continued, as she crossed her arms over the back of the chair.

“I assure you Ms. Winters, I did not consume Mark’s secret stash of cookies.”

Callie let out a single high-pitched laugh as her head fell into her arms, shaking the entire time.

“Oh, were you talking about Ben and Laney?”

“No,” she said still shaking her head, suppressing another laugh at Rishi’s expense. Once she composed herself, she looked back at him. “No, nothing like that. I just had a visit with a messenger from the Rands.”

“Oh?”

“While we were talking, she mentioned that one of the people in their group had turned, but the strange thing is there were no bite-marks.” She said plainly. Her face became hard to read after that point. “Seeing as how you’re spending time with one of, you know, them, I figured you might have some insight into why that happened.”

Rishi’s brow furrowed heavily as she spoke, his curiosity sparking.

“What did you say?”

“She said the man was on heart medication, and that he might have taken the wrong pill. The Rands that found him apparently blew his face off, but from her account, there wasn’t a zombie anywhere near him at any point. Do you have any idea what might have caused him to turn?”

“You say there were no bitemarks?”

“Supposedly.” She said, shrugging her shoulders.

“If that is truly the case, then our situation might be far more dismal than previously thought.”

“Why is that?”

“If he turned without being bitten, then there are several potential reasons as to why that may be, and none of them are good. Where is this woman? I need to speak with her right now. Where is she?” Rishi stood up, knocking his chair over in the process, and rushed to the door as he talked. Callie reflexively stood and followed the man, worried at his reaction.

“She’s downstairs in the family room, Rishi, what’s wrong?”

The two of them quickly made their way to Sandra, Rishi explaining on the way.

“So far, we have only seen bitten people turn, so it’s safe to assume the typical method of transmission is in the saliva. Of course, I don’t have a microscope, so I couldn’t confirm this, but because we hadn’t seen any other method of transmission, I thought it was safe to assume the bite is what got you. If there are other methods of transmission, we are vulnerable to infection without further information on the virus, or whatever it is that is doing this to people.”

Callie didn’t say anything, but she understood very well what the professor was saying. When they came to the woman, Rishi began speaking without introducing himself.

“What were the circumstances of this person’s death?”

“Pardon?”

Callie quickly came up behind him and cleared the situation down, explaining to Sandra the hypothesis Rishi came up with. She once again explained the situation to Rishi in detail. When she finished, Rishi’s face had fell into his hands.

“What is it? Rishi, say something!” Callie said as she grabbed his arm and gave him a shake.

“Callie, do you know how many germs we carry around in our mouths?”

“Rishi, what does that have to do with any-”

“There is no transmission!” He yelled at her, Sandra simply staring in a shocked sort of awe.

“Rishi, calm down. Tell me, what are you talking about?”

“People don’t die because there is a virus in the saliva that slowly turns them into a zombie Callie. People die from the bite wounds because of infection brought on by the germs in our mouths! They just die Callie, they just die. I don’t know why I hadn’t thought of it before. Callie, this is very important. We might all be zombies already.”

“Excuse me?” Sandra said, clearly outraged at the statement.

“Slow down. We might all be zombies?” Callie said, motioning with her hand for Sandra to calm down.

“Yes. How do you explain so many people turning at once, all throughout England? Everywhere at once? Look, not all of us might be infected, but I would reason otherwise. It would be safer to think that all of us have contracted this ‘zombification’ process, and that if one of us were to pass away, we would come back regardless of the circumstances surrounding our deaths.”

“Can you be sure?”

“I would need to see it for myself, but I believe that might be the case.”

“I can’t listen to this.” Sandra said, getting up and leaving the room. Rishi looked at Callie and sighed.

“I am going to watch over Hoppy while we wait. Mark told me about her condition, so if she doesn’t make it, I need to be there to make sure…” He trailed off as he let out a sight. “Let's just hope that for once, I am wrong.”