|Introduction · Survival Guide · Journal · NecroWatch|
I remember those days almost too well. When it happened I was away from Malton as my parents had arranged for me to study abroad at a private school. From the first moment I heard that something was wrong, I remained glued to the television screen. The news weren't very clear about what was happening, but we all knew it had to be something pretty bad.
I still have no idea what has happened to my parents, but since my father is an influential man I hope that they're out there somewhere (and alive, God willing, not horribly mutated into those monsters). So yeah, there's a good reason for why I don't use my last name much. There's just some kinds of attention that you just don't need.
Two years later, I came back to Malton. All my friends told me I was out of my mind of course, but not knowing what had happened here had haunted me ever since the beginning. I just couldn't go on pretending like nothing had happened. Getting through the Quarantine Zone was certainly interesting, but honestly nothing could prepare me for the horrors that lay waiting for me in my old home town.
The Malton I had once known was gone. In its place I found only devastation. My former home town was just an empty husk now and it was eerily devoid of things that would have made it familiar. It seemed strange even to my memories as I looked around me at the run-down buildings, broken windows and blood-stained streets. Not a living soul was to be seen anywhere. I decided to head towards a military base I seemed to remember called Fort Creedy. Out of all the possible locations it seemed a likely safe haven for any remaining survivors. It felt like the best place to start out my search.
On my way I passed those shambling corpses that now claimed the streets. They were at a distance, but I could still hear their beast-like and troubled groans. Luckily for me, they didn't catch onto me and I had no trouble evading them. Further along, I saw the tall yellow walls of what used to be the Giddings Mall. Its entrances and windows were blocked with obstacles and all manner of junk, but I could see the lights in at least a part of the building and at one point I thought I could hear feint music from the inside. When my cries outside were unanswered, it was then and there that I truly began to be afraid, not knowing if I could find admittance anywhere before something terrible happened.
As the sun set behind the buildings of Malton and my first day in the city was ending, I finally managed to find sanctuary. The Boutcher Alley police department was being used as a safe-house by a group of survivors. They were the first people I had seen in the city, but they didn't seem particularly friendly or welcoming to me. Most of them were armed to the teeth, too.
I never made it closer to the fort except to see its protective walls on the horizon. A group of the walking dead nearly caught me then and there and I could only survive by scrambling over the makeshift defenses of a nearby junkyard, but before I could warn the people who were sheltering inside its horrid noises had attracted more of its kind. No sooner than I could catch my breath, the zombies were already tearing down the barricades. I managed to flee the building as best as I could, being happy to be alive, but I never got to know what happened to the others who were left behind me.
The next day I again lingered too long outside and attracted unwanted attention. One of the zombies grabbed me and there was no way I could escape its steely grip. As its clawy hands beat me, through all the panic, I can only remember thinking that this was it and how coming here had been a horrible mistake. Somehow, through the pain and the regret, my consciousness lingered in my body though. I had slumped to the ground and I felt ill to my innards, but had no control over myself. All I could remember was a helplessness that just seemed to go on forever and the feeling of cold pavement pressed on my cheek.
I remained somewhere between consciousness and death. How long it went on, I can't say. At some point, I remember staring at a dark-skinned man. His head was bald and glistening with sweat. From what I remember, he seemed to be wearing military issue clothing. A pair of dog tags hung from his neck as he crouched beside me and injected me with a needle. At the time I couldn't say what had happened, but it was all in all a seriously bad experience.
Little did I know that my day would only be getting worse when I stood up and stumbled my way into a nearby building. I was resting in one of the rooms when suddenly the door burst open and a woman in military fatigues stood in the doorway. I remember seeing the Fort Creedy tags around her neck and I'm sure I breathed a sigh of relief. She had a stern look to her and short, closely cropped black hair. Her eyes were green and piercing as they looked at me. Before I could open my mouth, she drew her weapon and shot me in cold blood.
Even before the fall, Dunningwood was not only known as the monument capital of the city and therefore as a likely destination for visiting tourists but it also had its fair share of loonies. I think even the Scientologists had a place of their own there. It was this 'burb then that I found myself in, helping local survivors deal out medical assistance at St. Aidan's hospital (which gracefully lets in those who are looking for sanctuary).
After some time there I found that something strange was going on. It seemed wherever I went, a strange stuffed crocodile was watching over my actions. It took me a little time to figure out what was going on, but it seems Dunningwood has become the haven of yet another mysterious cult. These people were actually worshipping a stuffed animal! They called it, appropiately enough, the Cult of the Stuffed Crocodile.
At first I thought it was a bit crazy to worship a stuffed crocodile, but I doubt you can stay in this city for too long without developing some kind of eccentricities. This was, to my great relief, also a relatively safe and prosperous area, as far as things go in this doomed city anyway. You could say that I become something of a believer myself.
That's not to say I didn't see my fair share of fucked up shit while in there (, , ). Life certainly was interesting here and I was lucky not to have wound up on anyone's bad side. The central conflict going on, happening mostly at Skarin Row Police Department, seemed to be a conflict between another, uhm, eccentric called Reathxia and some of the followers of the Toothy Lord (that's the Crocodile, not to be confused with the nearly satanic Alligator, mind you) (, , )
As relatively pleasant as my stay had been in Dunningwood, the cultists wouldn't help me find my family. So, eventually I made up my mind to continue to other parts of the city. I needed to go get me some new clothes (hospital chic - isn't), at least.
In parting, I'd just like to say "thank you Mighty Crocodile!"
Being Watched (December 2007)
After seeing other parts of Malton, Shearbank seemed almost surreal. It was entire suburb of the city that supported a thriving survivor population, with scarcely any immediate troubles looming in the horizon. While in Shearbank, I found the first trace of Necrotech, the corporation I believe that my father founded. He never talked about his work to any of us though, so I'm going purely based on what others have told me. Yeah, I guess we had a strange family.
It wasn't apparent from the street, but the Whippey Building was a still functioning facility. I spent a few days exploring the premises and learning about the high-tech equipment inside, but all of the time I had the eerie feeling that my every move was being watched and recorded. After a few days, one computer terminal actually spoke to me, inquiring about my intentions and identifying itself as ALICE. Let's say I was just a little bit spooked.
Even before the disaster, Roachtown was never a good part of town. While staying in Shearbank now, I overheard a call for assistance by some people still eking a living in Roachtown. Apparently, a large number of zombies had overflown from the neighbouring parts of town and threatened everything in there. After all the hopelessness I'd seen, something compelled me to go there and try to be of assistance. I learned a lot about organizing a defense in Roachtown against the string of small zombie hordes that came our way, but even though we could stave off their attacks we could never make them stop.
A week after I had left Roachtown behind, I passed through it again and saw the same Necrotech structure that I had used as a home, ruined and ransacked, with a horde of zombies outside. Though I felt a sting in my heart, I doubt my presence would have changed the outcome. Instead of protecting just any building, I'm now resolved to helping the people. They're Malton's real strength now anyway. As long as we have people, we can can rebuild and retake any building.
Remember A.L.I.C.E, the strange artificial intelligence lurking within Necrotech premises? Well, I sort of cut a deal with it and now I travel the breadth of Malton, moving from one Necrotech facility to the other. Once there I make sure the revival and scanning equipment is functioning and also provide timely intel by doing Necronet scans of the surrounding areas. As I make my way through the ruins of Malton in this way, I'm still searching for signs of my father and uncovering the truth about Necrotech.
I'd heard rumors of a powerful alliance in the north east of Malton. Supposedly this union of survivor groups was the brainchild of a Caleb Usher. I wanted to learn more about the man and the great alliance he had created, so in my touring of Necrotech facilities, I was slowly making my way towards Dulston, the supposed peaceful center of this alliance.
Unfortunately, I soon learned Caleb Usher has managed to escape Malton and that the alliance he had created was in shambles. When I arrived in Dulston, it was doing fine, but not too long afterwards I witnessed a zombie horde take over the Treweeke Mall and slowly from there the destruction was spreading.
I helped the struggling survivors with medical assistance for quite a while, visiting Ablett Arms in Rhodenbank for refreshments (never got to taste the special) while continuing my study of Necrotech. Things weren't looking too good for the survivors, though. The resistance was failing, the destruction spreading... I had not found the mighty alliance I had come looking for.
For years now this city has been under siege by an unending horde of walking corpses. There have been pockets of resistance so strong that certain areas have at times seemed also safe, if not quite normal, but for the most part the city is straight out of some post-apocalyptic movie. Though Dulston, as detailed in an earlier entry, is no longer the center of Malton's latter day civilization, I've decided to return and stick around. But yeah, it isn't easy.
I've heard rumblings from the maddened wanderers that go around Malton of something starting to happen. I've checked what I've heard about against NecroNet's extensive data on zombie activity and it would indeed seem that there is increasing collaboration of sorts among the walkers. That's not to say anything about the doomsday cultists which plague human settlements. Survivors getting more and more sloppy, down in numbers and the zombies getting more and more dangerous.
It could happen some day. Malton's End.