Gunfight at Ackland Mall

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Tarumigan "The Pain Train" Gistarai
Leonard Futz

Clash Of Titans. Yes, that's right. Titans!

The Gunfight at the Ackland Mall has already passed into the legends of mall survivors. Rest assured...when your children's children sit down at a campfire years from now to eat zombie brainz stew, they will talk of the great stands of humanity that made it possible...the heroic stand at Caiger, the grand Battle of the Bear Pit.

Oh, and those two lunatics in Ackland Mall who totally wrecked the coffee gazebo. Damn them!


The Beginning

In the beginning, there was nothing. But that's going a little too far back in time to give an appropriate scope to the event in question. The event of May 28....NO, NOT THE BIRTH OF JIM THORPE!...this particular event occurred on May 28th, 2007 at the Ackland Mall. There was, at this time, a bloody conflict raging between Ackland Mall Security and The Malton Bounty Emo Killers (know as...M-BEK). The genesis of this conflict is somewhat open to debate, but it is believed by historians that the conflict was touched off when one of M-BEK's agents hijacked an entire truckload of donuts destined for Ackland Mall. Nothing more needs to be said regarding the enmity between the two groups...you know how mall cops are about their donuts.

Suffice to say, the two groups had been negotiating strenuously over the fate of the donuts since May 23rd of that same year.

By negotiating, I mean that they were shooting at each other. With bullets.


Ackland Mall

Tarumigan Gistarai was a Mall security officer of no small capabilities. He was well-versed in the maintenance of weapons and body armor, zombie counter-intrusion tactics, and even knew how to get a free game of Q-Bert at the Mall arcade. This day he was walking his regularly scheduled patrol route through the Mall, unaware of the assassin lying in wait.

Hidden within the unassuming service area of a coffee gazebo, Leonard Futz waited. Futz was a member of the M-BEK, sworn enemies of Ackland Mall Security, and dedicated servant to the Great Donut-Stealing God Errtu. Seeing the well-dressed Ackland security officer walking the beat secretly filled Futz with rage. Unfortunately for all concerned, Futz had not only the will to act on his rage but also the weapons. Indeed, it is rumored that the agent carried no fewer than twenty pistols upon himself at all times. With the greatest stealth, Futz took off after Gistarai, his hand resting against one of his numerous weapons of death. He did not have long to wait before an opportunity arose.

The young security officer paused in his beat to make a radio announcement at one of the many radio terminals dotting the Mall, an announcement (ironically) about how M-BEK's forces in Havercroft were being routed. Right in the middle of his spiel, Leonard Futz walked up behind the other man. "Officer Gistarai," he called, and when the AMS Security officer turned, Futz yanked out a pair of pistoles, screamed, "THE DONUT GOD SENDS FOR YOU!" and opened fire.

Leonard Futz unleashes copious death upon his enemies

Officer Gistarai was shocked. And shot. The first bullet was stopped by the good officer's flak jacket. The second he caught with his teeth and spat it out on the ground, for no bullet could possibly violate his smile. But he reasoned that if Futz had two bullets, then he probably had many more. Tarumigan ran for it, screaming, "ACKLAND MALL SECURITY OFFICER UNDER ATTACK!" into his radio as he dived for cover behind the food court's McBurger Kong, not eager to face Leonard Futz's numerous weapons of death. It occurred to Gistarai perhaps five seconds later that he too possessed awesome weapons of death. Two seconds after that, Tarumigan rose from behind the counter with a shotgun. As Futz stared down the barrel of the monster gun, Tarumigan shrugged and said, "I could not find a trident that fit into my flak jacket." Then he fired.

But the wily Futz lunged for cover himself, and the shotgun blast demolished the coffee cart behind him. Outraged Mall patrons have, to this day, not forgiven Tarumigan or Mall Security for the searing rain of coffee that accompanied this most heinous act. Shoppers ran madly for cover as bullets, buckshot, and coffee beans flew in every which direction. It was a truly magnificent battle, one whose equal had not been witnessed in the hallowed halls of Ackland since the great Battle of the Bear pit. Indeed, a large poster of Channel 4's Ron Burgundy hung from the ceiling with numerous other advertisements, as if exulting the combatants to even greater feats of combat.

Tarumigan vaults over the counter of McBurger Kong to bring Righteous Death to his foe.

Windows exploded, trousers were soiled, and utter chaos reigned as the two fighters fought a running gun battle down the halls. The floor of Ackland Mall is still carpeted by all the brass shell casings fired...it is estimated that in their combined wrath several hundred shots were fired in the two short minutes of the fight. Dude, they were booking. This was a fight to the death, and victory the only acceptable outcome.

Eventually, Futz took cover behind a stout-looking Zud soap display, whilst Gistarai hid behind a mall map. And this wasn't the cool, huge maps that you find in heavy duty display cases. This was a paper map you'd carry in your car. He was totally deflecting bullets with a piece of paper! But he knew he had to attack soon or suffer Humiliating Death. The mall security officer charged and pulled the trigger. His shotgun belched righteous fire, blasting a massive divot out of the soap display. Then the shotgun clicked...no shells left.

"You're empty," hissed Futz, raising his pistol and aiming right at the officer's head. "And so you shall die."

"Actually, you can't kill me."

"You have no bullets left!" exclaimed Futz. "What do you mean, then, I can't kill you?" he began, then heard a terrific groan beside him. He looked over to the soap display...now dangerously unbalanced from the shotgun blast to its base. With a shriek of falling steel, it toppled over and crushed Futz. Gloriously. Gistarai could not hear his whispered last words, but they are believed to have been, "Et tu, Zud?".

Gistarai turned to leave, but a low groan stopped him. He turned slowly, having forgotten one simple fact about Malton...that the dead rise.

Leonard rises from the dead. I mean, he totally died again seconds later, but it was still cool, and I had to use this picture somewhere

The battle continues...a tribute to that day in May 28th when two players met in Glorious Battle and walked away from the field of honor with great victory. Well, not really. Futz totally died, and zombie-Futz chased Gistarai off like a little schoolgirl. And then zombie-Futz got chucked out a window. But still, two enemies met online at the exact same moment! What could have been cooler than that?

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