06/04/01

    It was about 2 months into the crisis that we had to abandon our station located in the capital city of Harrisburg Pennsylvania.  The hordes of the undead became too much for us to handle.  Using the last chopper to flea we left the station, that was our home during the first few months of this plague.  Stopping a few times to refuel, we headed aimlessly west where the reports of undead were sparse in location and sounded like a better chance of surviving was feasible.  Everywhere we stopped had maybe a gallon or few left in the tanks, we took what we could and left.  Unfortunately we spent more fuel then we took in, this caused us to decide to land at the first place we saw that looked like it could accommodate a small group of humans for a while.  
    We landed the chopper at sunrise as to not attract attention to ourselves.  The surrounding area was infested with the creatures.  We looked into the shopping center below and saw the place crawling with the undead wandering aimlessly from store to store.  We crawled down into room where the skylight had already been broken out of.  Going down inside we noticed that this was, at least what it looked like to myself upon first looking around, an apartment.  Plants, television, a makeshift kitchen and two bedrooms made up this small "hideaway" above the mall. 
    The door was opened and we heard something in the stairway.  Henry, with rifle ready, crept into the doorway and noticed a ghoul walking up the stairs.  Motioning us to keep quiet, Henry turned the gun around so it could be used a bat.  The ghoul made its way into the doorway and as it noticed us and raised it's hands, Henry swung the gun as if he were Mark McGwire hitting #70 during his banner homerun year.  The skull of the creature cracked like an egg shell when the butt of the gun connected with it.  Having a 6' 1" SWAT member on your side doesn't make the odds look so bad, he's what I consider our great "equalizer" against the army of the undead.  
    We noticed a dead ghoul at the door, a bullet hole through it's head and bite marks all throughout the body.  Curiosity took over me when I grabbed the wallet of the dead ghoul and opened it.  My heart sank when I saw the ID card, WGON Traffic Watch, Steve Andrews.  Steve must have been here as one of the residents and lost a fight with a group of ghouls and decided to come home, bring an army of ghouls with him.  Did Frannie take him down?  How smart are these things? These questions ran through my head as I looked at the wallet.  
    Blocking off the door until we could decide what to do, we relaxed.  Myself and Henry decided that we need to see how infested the mall actually was.  We told the other two to stay put and to block the door.  Grabbing my small 9mm Glock I followed Henry quietly down into the hallway.  Reaching the hallway we noticed an open door at the end of the corridor.  Unsure as to what lay beyond the door we tip-toed to the end.  It looked as if a wall was placed in front of this door and reinforced, but that looked to be destroyed.  Maybe a small group of creatures came through here, and maybe that's what drove out the people here before us, we'll never know. 
    Expecting a surprise attack of ghouls we were very surprised and relieved to see only one lumbering in the main hallway.  Looking at each other we decided go into the once great arena of consumerism and see what there was to see.  I peeked around one corner and Henry the other, and when we reported back in on each other, came to the conclusion that there were 3 noticeable ghouls on the upper level.  Grabbing a 2x4 that was laying at the demolished wall as a silent weapon, I decided to take the one at my end and Henry the 2 at his and then meet back there.  
    Disposing of the ghouls was an easy task.  Trying to keep the smell of rotted flesh out of your nostrils, not so easy.  Half-eaten body parts were strewn all over the mall, both floors.  Looks like there was some sort of attack on the mall and either the attackers lost, or the residents lost, maybe it was both from the looks of the carnage.  Looking down into the first floor I noticed only a handful of ghouls and a large open door where they seemed to be coming in from.  
    Henry and I decided that we were done with our reconnaissance for the time being.  Closing the door behind us and locking it, we headed back upstairs.  Troy and Brent took a while to unblock the door, I guess they were ready to ride out an attack for a while if we hadn't made it back.  We reported what we saw and sat down to decide on a plan of attack.  
    Two SWAT issue rifles and three 9mm pistols among us and a few extra clips of ammunition were we had to go on.  We decided that saving ammunition was best but using it was also a necessity.  If we were going to retake this mall we were going to have to fight hand to hand.  Troy and Brent, while Henry and myself were exploring, found a few extra rifles and boxes of ammunition hidden in the hideout.  So it appeared as if we didn't have to get so up close and personal with the ghouls anymore. 
   First order of business was to close the docks door.  The problem is that we found keys in the one store's elevator but now we have to figure out which key goes where.  Some of the keys are labeled and some aren't.  Our plan is to shut down the escalators so the ghouls can't get upstairs and then we can stay upstairs and pick the bastards off one by one so there will be fewer of them once we go downstairs.  We plan to check each key at each store to one, label them and two, to figure out which ones go where so once we go downstairs to close off the door it will be quicker for us to seal it.  
    We figure once the door is closed to the ghouls won't be able to figure out how to open it, their intelligence is limited but from what I've seen they show glimpses of complex thinking at times, so we must be careful of that.  The next problem is that once we kill the ghouls, what to do w/ them, they'll stink after a few days.  We concluded that once we kill them all, put them all on carts and wheel them over to the large doors and two of us use gun fire to hold the ghouls that may wonder of that way off, and two of us to wheel the carts out with the ghouls on them, we don't care about the carts, just keeping the mall living friendly.  
    That is all for this report, the next one will come when the mall is clear and I can sit in the food court and write this without worrying about being eaten.  So please be careful in dealing with these creatures, one wrong move can end your life before you know it.  Stay alive and on your fight.  

This is Matt Blazi singing off for now...