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Creative Fiction HHN story


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Hello everybody! I have been working on this project for quite a while now and would love some feedback, criticism, critique, and maybe even some help alone the way to stay true to the canon. I just wanted to preface this thread with a personal "idea" i guess you could call it. I know there are a lot of fanatics on this site like myself that have been around for awhile. I don't know if I'm alone in this or not but the reason I have started this long and detailed project is because I would love to see everything from Halloween Horror Nights combined into a centralized canon. An epic story to encapsulate all we love and know about the event, to enjoy characters that could grow and develop together and separately as the event grows. I will include the first chapter on the thread. If anybody would like anymore I will make further post. If not, or if it sucks so bad nobody would like to read anything else from me let me know so I can close the thread. Thank you so much and I can't wait to hear back from a community that is so close to my own heart about the past , present and future of this event.


“…How many? It’s nothing we haven’t handled before. Do we know where they are? We can look for them. There is a what? No the team doesn’t need to know. I’ll radio when I can. Bye”


                Chapter 1-The Corn

The helicopter blades were loud, louder than the speakers in the cabin playing another damned Beatles song. James looked up from his watch, and saw Conner checking his sidearm, sliding the top slide over and over again to make sure the weapon was oiled. Appearing content he holstered the .45 and let his head hang between his knees appearing to close his eyes. Bailey was staring out the window, so close to it that her breath was fogging up the glass. Kelso, the squad medic, was adjusting his headset.

James felt a lurch in his stomach as the helicopter took a dip in altitude. Taking a deep breath he grabbed onto his seat harness a little harder, flying was not one of his strong points. Distracting himself he went over a mental checklist of gear on his vest; 2 tactical knives, 6 magazines for his M4 assault rifle, 2 frag grenades, and 4 magazines for his .50 Desert Eagle. He started to get that fluttering feeling in his stomach; this was why he signed up. Today it was a simple hostage extraction; tomorrow it might be a full blown firefight in Antarctica. This job was always unpredictable, and unknown to all but a few.

They worked for a very secret section of the Department of Homeland Security, specifically called for high risk, low profile missions.  James had received the call a week ago, advising what was going on. After the briefing had ended skepticism had filled his mind, along with self-doubt. The squad had trained for these missions but went on them seldom. All missions this department went on were blacklisted and this one would be more so than any other.

Price the pilot came over the radio, “10 minutes until drop fellas, final checks.”

James checked his own sidearm as he remembered what he was informed of a week ago. The initial mission seemed simple enough. Land, find the hostages and make it to the extraction point. He didn’t know the risk until Hathaway had called him last Monday to give him, the squad leader, the critical info that the others didn’t need to know. Hathaway had told him that the location of the hostages was unknown and that there may be an unknown number of hostiles guarding them, sounded routine. Then Hathaway told him that the intelligence personnel had discovered something else. Magnetic readings were too high and there are odd electrical readouts from the area. All signs of possible paranormal influence.

Not just ghosts, as much as James wished. There could possibly be full blown physical manifestations of unknown paranormal entities. It could also mean manipulations of physics and of the actual environment as well. And as much as the team had taught for these rare missions he had seen even the most experienced men faint or forget all there training in the face of the unexplainable. His current team hadn’t been together during a true paranormal mission. Sure they’ve had plenty of scares, a few which could have been real. But none had ever been. Of course none of the other missions had the readouts that this one had shown.

James looked around at his team. Conner had been with the team for about 6 months; he was inexperienced but had a good head on his shoulders when it came to a fight. Bailey was even newer than Conner and untested. James was forced to take her by the director of the department. Something about her being somebody’s daughter. Then there was Kelso, an ex-army medic, who had seen his fair share of wounds working in the wars. None of them had ever seen a paranormal phenomenon. James had had one.

5 years ago he had run across a “Werewolf” while on a simple weapons bust operation. He lost all his men on the mission and barely made it out with his life. Every full moon all he could do was remember his lost friends. He didn’t like the fact that blood could be on his hands again, that if the mission went south the only person he could rely on was in the helicopter next to theirs. The squad riding there consisted of the main contact squad, who had been on multiple paranormal affiliated missions. Leading them was Jason, the team lead paranormal expert.

Jason had met a multitude of things during his 10 years with the department; Ghost, Poltergeist, Werewolf’s, Monsters, Undead, Psychopaths and even a rumor of a Demon. If there was anybody who knew how to handle those things it was him. When the shit hit the fan James hoped Jason would be standing there to have their backs.

The ambient noise changed in the cabin. The Beatles kept on singing “Paperback Writer” but James noticed a slowing sound to the rotor’s of their helicopter. The rest of the team had noticed too. They all looked up at the ceiling knowing the sound wasn’t normal. James could feel his stomach in his chest as the helicopter started to lose altitude. He heard Baily scream as they plummeted to the ground.

That’s when the rotors started to regain speed and the chopper twisted right then left as Price tried to retake control. “Goddamn it”, James yelled as his rifle slid across the cabin and slammed into Kelso’s shin, who let out a yelp. The helicopter seemed to dip to the right. Price came over the intercom once the cabin settled level again, “James, hope everyone is ok back there. We lost power, we’re fine now but I have some bad news.”

James pressed his radio closer into his ear, “What is it Price?”

“Well, to say it plainly, my nav and communications consoles are shot to shit and I can see the ground but it’s nothing but a cornfield. Real creepy thing is no stars here, there were 5 minutes ago James. I can’t see anything above me, just black sky.”

James felt his heart beat faster, this was not good. He had heard of this and never thought it would happen. Even though his squad didn’t know it, the situation had just become dire. The loss of power, the Comm systems failing, these were all signs of a temporal distortion. This was bad, really bad. It had become possible for them to not be located anywhere anymore. This could be a completely different time or dimension. He needed to get a hold of Jason. That’s when he heard his radio key up in his ear.

“James this is Jason, give me a status update. Are you guys ok over there?”

“Jason, man is it good to hear you”. Seemed like the internal comms still worked. “We’re good here, expect for me almost pissing myself.”

“Listen, we possibly have a temporal distortion.” He heard Jason sigh then continue,” With the current readings from Hathaway’s team and what we just experienced, we may have run into a large paranormal event. This whole region could be a large physical manifestation of another dimension with real hostile “things” running around in the dark. James, lethal force should be immediately authorized for all contacts in this area.”

James swallowed hard. “10-4.” He looked at his squad, seeing all of them staring at him.  “How far out are we from the landing zone?”

“Not sure, we should set down to try to get our bearings as soon as the pilots don’t see any more corn. Remember, don’t under any circumstance…”

There was a large boom as James felt the helicopter start to roll to the right.

Conner looked out the window, “Holy shit, the other copters going down!” James unbuckled his harness to get to the window to look. Flames were coming from Jason’s helicopter as it started to spin and pass their own.

James looked on as the helicopter carrying the other squad left the view of the window and yelled, “Price, fallow it now!”

“You got it boss.” The nose of the helicopter tipped forward as they sped after Jason’s team.

Bailey looked to James standing in the middle of the cabin, “This wasn’t supposed to happen! What are we going to do?”

James slung his rifle over his back and turned to Bailey,” We’re going to get our missing team back, if you don’t want to then stay on the damn helicopter when we land Bailey!”

Price’s voice crackled over the speakers again, The Beatles finally turned off,” I can see the wreckage James. It crashed inside a prison of some sorts, a pretty big one by the looks of it. I can set us down in the corn but I can’t get us any closer, there’s a lot of smoke.”

“Just get us down Price.” James went through a mental checklist again making sure he had everything as the helicopter started to drop into the corn. The rest of the squad unlatched their harnesses and grabbed their gear. “As soon as we get boots on the ground you have authorization for deadly force for anything you see. Do not hesitate to kill anything that doesn’t seem right. And watch out for friendly fire, our team is out there and we don’t know what kind of shit they are in right now.” James turned away and slid the latch of the cabin open, warm humid air smelling of corn wafted inside. The chopper made a minor bump as it landed in the middle of the corn, and James stepped out with the others following behind him.

“I’ll stay here and wait for extraction”, said Price over the radio.

“10-4.” James slid back the charging handle on his rifle, feeding a round into the chamber. “Conner, Bailey, Kelso, line formation. We head in the direction of the nose of the helicopter towards that prison.” Hopefully the guards were already helping Jason and his squad away from the wreck. Conners took the lead and started parting the corn towards the prison.

James noticed there was no wind; the air was warm and stagnant. Nobody made a sound except for the light crunching of dead corn husk under their feet. Looking up he realized Price was right, there were no-

-Shots coming from the direction of their chopper. James spun around and shouldered his weapon, looking through the corn instinctually for a target. Then a blood curdling scream ripped through the silent world, and James felt his gut twist. It was unmistakably Price. Conner had already advanced next the James and was ready to move back towards the helicopter which was still grounded a quarter mile away. James looked behind him and noticed that Bailey was shaking, barely holding her weapon up. Kelso had his rifle up watching the direction towards the prison.

“What’s our move”, Conners looked over his rifle stock at James. Those couple of words sent a tidal wave of thoughts crashing over his mind, making him unable to focus. What got Price? Was Jason ok? How were they going to leave without a pilot? They had no navigation; no external communications back to headquarters and had no clue where they were. Flashes of his old team swept over him, he had to shake it off, or history could repeat itself. “What do we do James?”

James looked over at Conner, “Get in a circle formation; we go back to back until we get to the prison. We don’t know how many people are out there. When we get to the prison we radio for backup and extraction.”

Bailey spoke up her voice quivering, “But what about Price? We can’t let him die out here.”

“We have 5 other men possibly injured needing help in that prison. We have no idea what happened to them. I don’t like it any more than you do but if you want to go and help Price then go. We need to keep moving!” James turned and motioned for them to form up in a circle to move. He needed to stop them from going back to the helicopter. With unconfirmed temporal distortion there was no telling what got price, or even if their bullets would work against it.

Now the squad moved as a unit towards the prison, rifles raised waiting for the slightest movement in the corn. The smell of the area was slowly changing. James couldn’t place it but it was the smell of smoke and like something was cooking. That’s when James saw the end of the corn. “Stop,” he whispered. Kneeling he moved to the edge of the corn. The ground turned from dried up corn husk to packed dark dirt. He looked up at the prison; it was a mammoth of concrete, straight out of the 1930’s. The walls at least 20 feet high and the guard towers at the end of the perimeter walls were even higher. And that’s when he saw them, and all hope about getting help at the prison vanished. Hanging from the guard towers were 2 bodies, the uniforms those of guardsmen. Blood appeared to be covering them from wounds James couldn’t see. He motioned for Conner and pointed at the towers.

“Oh shit, what the hell happened here?”

“I don’t know but it was nothing good.”

Then Bailey spoke up, “The doors open James.” They all looked forward and saw that the main door of rusted iron leading into the perimeter of the prison was standing ajar.

“Well that’s where Price said he could see the flames of the crash. Let’s get in there and find them.” James stood up raising his rifle and stepping out of the corn and towards the door. He jogged and slammed himself against the side of the door and motioned for Conner to follow him. Conner leapt out of the corn and found a spot right behind James. Fallowed by Bailey then Kelso who whispered over the comms, “James from what I can see on that far tower that guard was disemboweled.”

James barely heard Kelso. He was focused on the smell coming out of the dark prison door, rust mixed with that burning cooking smell and piss and damp dirt. James tapped Conner behind him letting him know he was about to move, took a deep breath and breached through the doorway.

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Here is Chapter two for anybody reading. Hopefully you will slowly start to see the references. It's very light at first then becomes more and more prominent for the cannon of HHN. I didn't want some cheesy HHN story but a great story that will tie everything we love together.


Chapter 2-The Prison


Turning on the flashlight on the bottom of her rifle Bailey stepped further into the prison wall, eager to get through the perimeter and closer to the crash site. She hoped everybody was ok. She had never been on a combat mission before and things had not at all gone to plan like in the briefing. All she could hear were boots beating against the pavement as they moved in a line through the dark. Bailey could see a dark rusted door ahead, embedded into a yellow stained concrete wall, the words “RECEIVING” stenciled in over it. Reaching the door the squad stacked up again ready to make entry. This time she turned and pulled on the door as Conner moved past her into the room. Kelso filed past her and she fallowed, rifle barrel aimed at the center of the room as she moved along the wall.

Papers were strewn about everywhere. The receiving wooden chairs were broken and tossed about the room. The persistent smell of rust and cooking meat lingered in this room as well. Bailey and Kelso filtered into the room and could see dried blood on the wall. That’s when Bailey looked over at Kelso who had gone right. He was bending over a body in the corner of the room next to another metal door. The bouncing of the rifle lights in the darkness and the smell of the closing in smoke was making her dizzy.

The radio keyed up, “We have a body over here,”Kelso said. Bailey moved over behind Kelso as James and Conner made their way from across the room. The smell was terrible and she had to fight the urge to vomit. The dead guard was half sitting in the corner of the room, his throat cut and old dried blood staining the front of his uniform. Kelso looked up to James,” There was definitely a riot here.”

“We have plenty of dead guards. The question is where are all the inmates,” asked Bailey. She turned away and looked at the door next to the guard. She saw multiple bloody hand prints on the rusted knob. Looking further she saw faded white lettering “TRANSFER TO COURTYARD”. “This could lead outside to the other team James. Do you want me and Conner to check it out?

James looked over and met her gaze, “Go ahead. If you find anything send word on the radio. We’ll look around here and see if we can find any further supplies or maps. Do not engage any hostiles without us there to back you up.” He stood up and went towards the receiving desk on the other side of the room and started to rifle through the papers there. Bailey turned and grabbed the handle.

“Ready?” She opened the door and Conner rushed outside with her right behind. The doorway had opened to another concrete hall, only this one continued for about 100 yards and then ended outside. The smell of the burning meat and hot metal smacking her in the face as the bright red glow of the helicopter fire flittered from around the corner to the left. As they advanced they heard shouting. Conner slowed down as they approached the corner.

Bailey leaned out from the wall to see the crash site. The courtyard was gigantic; it could easily fit a large house in the center. Walls towered 20 feet high of rust stained concrete and razor wire. She could see at least 3 other long hallways leading away from the area. Slightly in front of her the twisted burning frame of the helicopter sat propped against the wall. Flames leapt up from the wreckage, the smoke was drifting up and out of the courtyard almost as if being carried by a light breeze. It allowed Bailey to see the charred remains of the squad pilot still strapped in the twisted wreckage. For a second her heart stopped as she imaged that the others must have all burned alive inside of the cabin. She also saw about 25 men in orange jumpsuits standing around staring at the wreckage, all talking amongst themselves in low whispers. Most were covered in tattoos and their jumpsuits were stained with dirt and filth. Conner tapped her on the shoulder and pointed to the other side of the courtyard. There appeared to be a trail of about 6 bodies on the ground leading to yet another rusted door. She could also see a trail of a dozen bullet casings in the glow of the firelight leading in the same direction. A wave of relief hit her; there were at least a couple survivors in the other side of the prison.

Appearing to emerge from the shadows of one of the corridors a man approached the inmates. He was in a dark brown sports jacket and nicely dressed besides. Bailey could barely hear him over the crackling of the flames. “Split up and find em. You three make sure the bodies get burned. Throw um on the helicopter.”

One of the inmates turned, “What if they shoot us too?” Bang! The man in the suit shot the inquirer.

“Then bring anything you can use to beat them with you. Do the rest of ya understand?” The others nodded.

Conner keyed up his radio and pressed himself closer to the wall, “James this is Conner, approx. 20 hostiles in the courtyard. One is armed with a pistol. We can see that the survivors of the crash headed to the other side of the prison, we got inmate bodies and brass on the ground. We may be able to get the jump on them, permission to engage?”

James voice crackled over the speaker, “Negative, stay quiet we’re coming.” The radio cut out and Bailey could hear the inmates start to disperse.  She looked down at her rifle and wished she hadn’t come. This was way too much to handle for a first time mission. Where the hell were they? Why hasn’t this been reported to the local authorities? All she could do was just fallow orders and get out of here-

“Well whada we have here?” Bailey looked up at the origin of the southern drawl. And saw a gun pointed at her face. Conner had raised his weapon and had it trained on the man with the handgun, the only problem were the 4 other inmates holding various weapons standing behind the finely dressed man. She saw a bat with nails in a balding man’s hands, a wooden board and pipes in the others.

“DROP YOUR WEAPONS NOW!” yelled Conner at the top of his lungs. The man smiled and raised the gun a little higher leveling it with Baileys head.

“Now son, that ain’t no proper introduction. I see you and your lady friend here are outnumbered, I suggest that you drop your weapons now before I blow her pretty little brains all over this here wall.” Conner kept his weapon leveled at the man’s head. “You gotta be plain stupid to mess with the warden in his own jail sonny. Last warning, drop it or she’s dead.”

Bailey could feel the cold sweat that had somehow enveloped her body and smell the body odor of the inmates across from her. She didn’t want to die here like this, “Conner drop it now!” she yelled. Conner started yelling something as gunshots filled the air. Two red circles appear on the warden’s chest. Bailey didn’t hesitate; she dropped and leveled her rifle at the closest inmate, the round hitting above his left eyebrow, tearing away the skull. The warden’s handgun went off as it fell, the shot going wide. Bailey felt the concrete chips hit her brow from the ricochet. Conner was firing killing the two remaining in front of him before they could come any closer. Then more shots rang out from behind them as Bailey turned her head to see James and Kelso running up the corridor. James shots found the last inmate’s chest as the orange jumpsuit turned red and he fell on top of the warden’s lifeless body.

Bailey slowly sat up holding her right side. She had landed on it hard. Kelso bent down next to her and started to check the scrapes along her forehead. She started to feel dizzy, noticing she was breathing the smoke in the courtyard quicker. Her thoughts kept turning to how she had almost died. It was as if the sight of the warden’s barrel was burned into her retinas. Kelso started to check her elbow, brushing the grit away and brining her back from her thoughts. She stood up shaking Kelso away from her and turning to look at James. “Thanks, I could’ve died and-“

“Don’t thank me yet we need to fallow the other squads trail before the rest of the inmates come running,” replied James.

Conner stepped over the bodies and pointed his rifle around the corner. “Courtyards clear.”

James shouldered his rifle and moved behind Conner as they both stepped out of cover. Bailey grabbed her weapon and fallowed suit with Kelso bringing up the rear.

As she started to step over the bodies of the inmates that littered the opposite corridor a question began to tug at her. Why would the warden have been helping out the inmates? It made no sense. This whole scenario seemed impossible, like finally realizing that your dream is a nightmare. They had reached the door at the end of the corridor when she heard somebody running towards them.

Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! The cracks Kelso’s rifle filled the corridor as three inmates fell down in the courtyard behind them. Bailey looked forward to James as he grabbed the door handle and Conner entered into another dark room and vanished. Kelso’s back was pushing up against hers as she moved in behind Conner, his weapon issuing its battle cry as he kept killing inmates who had started down the hall towards them.

She stumbled and fell inside, her rifle hitting the ground as it broke her fall. The metal door they came through clattered shut as James finally made his way into the pitch black room with them. Kelso must have turned around, she could hear him and James fumbling with trying to barricade the door, and then the banging and yelling started. Bailey slowing stood up in the darkness as she listened to the inmates on the other side of the door screaming and banging their weapons thirsting for blood. Fumbling she turned on her flashlight on the bottom of her rifle and pointed it at the door. The boys had been able to put a desk against the door and they had their backs pushed up against it. Their perspiration was reflecting the white light as she moved over to them and added her weight to the barricade. The smell of gunpowder filling her senses as she tried to get her breathing under control.

As the banging started to fall away to nothing James stood up and stepped away from the desk, snapping on the light under his rifle. Bailey watched a he shown it about the room. There was another desk in front of them, this one looked heavier and twice the size. Lazily the light went to the walls next to the desk to the left and right of them revealing bookcases, filled with leatherback volumes. Cobwebs appeared to have covered everything. That’s when it dawned on her…there was no way out. No windows or doors, only the one they came through. Conner stood up and stepped away from the barricade, she could see the realization dawn on his face as well, “James, sir. There’s no way out of this room…”

James turned to face Conner, “Be quiet.” He walked around to back of the desk. Bailey noticed the pounding on the door had stopped and stood up alongside Kelso, the barricade forgotten. They were trapped. She watched as James picked up a piece of paper on the desk, read it, then set it down again. “Raarrrgh”, James ripped a desk drawer out and tossed in on the ground. Turning to the bookcase he rested his forehead again a row of books, his breath coming out in short gasp. Kelso ran over to James as Bailey picked up the first set of papers James had put down. The paper smelled like a fine aged parchment, she began to read the faded ink, Kelso’s questions fading into the background….

                     Invoices of Ticket Sale

            Total ticket sales for year: 3250

            Total ticket sales per month (average): 325

            Total cleared income: 45,000 Dollars.

Bailey held the invoice in her hand as she absently shuffled papers on the massive oak desk, which is until a paper that was signed and stamped caught her eye. She grabbed the paper and started to read as horror dawned on her face.

        To Warden Strickland,

            It has come to our attention that you have been charging the general public admission for unauthorized tours through your facility, to include electric chair execution viewings. At this time we at the Board of Corrections order you to cease and desist all unauthorized activity. If your actions continue the Board will look towards forcing your resignation and punitive action will be enforced as outlined in state standards 1.213.15. If you would provide proof by the end of the month that these unauthorized tours have stopped then we will place a formal complaint to the state asking only for your early retirement. Thank you Mr. Strickland, we look forward to hearing from your by the end of the month.

Yours truly,

Director Malbron.

Bailey held the paper in her hands, tours. Who would give tours of this insane place? And give then to whom, the corn? She folded the paper and shoved it into her pocket as James let out another howl, “Noooo I won’t let it happen again! I won’t let my team die again! I…” Kelso cut in over James quieting him.

“We won’t die James we aren’t your old team. It’s me Kelso, and Bailey and Conner are here too. We’re going to find a way out ok?” James nodded his head slowly and closed his eyes. She could hear his breaths deepen and when he looked up at them in the glow of their lights the stern, resolute leader seemed to have taken control again.

“Ok, we won’t go back outside, I doubt we have the ammo to clear the prison, we know our guys came in here, there must be a way out. Tear this place apart.” James turned and started pulling books off of the shelves. Conner did the same. Bailey watched, stunned for a minute on what to do. She kneeled next to the desk and started to check it for switches, running her hands over the aged oak. She could hear Kelso above her shuffling through the papers on the desk, some falling down on her back. Placing her rifle next to her she ran her hands along the back paneling, along the top underside and the sides. Her fingers moved over a small circular button. She hesitated for a moment the pushed it in. She heard a click next to the drawer space that James had pulled out. The floor shifted under her hands as she jumped back on her knees, bumping her head on the desk. Everybody turned to look at where the sound was coming from. The floor slid open and they all looked into the darkness of the hole. Bailey noticed a smell of pine wood and what smelled like beer drifting up from the empty space.

Conner picked up his rifle and motioned to the others, “Let’s move this desk off of here.” Bailey stood up her knees aching as she stood next to Conner and pushed. They were able to clear the desk from the hole. He pointed his light at the darkness within it and signed, “I don’t see anything.” James grabbed a book off of the shelf and dropped it in. They waited.

“Not as sound”, Bailey whispered. They all exchanged glances; the bouncing of the lights was starting to give her a headache again.

“This has got to be where Jason’s squad went”, James looked up at them. “Apparently they didn’t bother to move the desk before they went. We have to find out how they got down there, wherever there is.”

Kelso shoved his rifle into Bailey’s hands as he stepped forward, “We have any rope?” James shook his head. Bailey could see Kelso’s face going a shade paler in the light. “Ok well can one of you help me hang a little lower so the fall won’t hurt as much?”

It was Baileys turn to step forward, she liked Kelso and if she could help him out she would. She let the rifles settle at her feet as they both kneeled next to the hole. “I promise I won’t let go if you don’t feel comfortable”, she whispered.

“I trust you Bailey”, he swung one leg into the engulfing darkness, then the other, sitting on the ledge now. He looked up at James and Conner and grabbed Bailey’s hands as he slipped off of the ledge. She didn’t realize how heavy he was, she could feel his weight pull on her shoulders as he dangled in the darkness, “God it smells like beer down here, bad.”

BANG, BANG, clink! The door!

“Shit”, Conner yelled as his rifled cracked the air above her, making her jump. Bailey heard James join Conner, opening fire on the doorway.

She heard the inmates pushing into the room, the heavy scraping of the other desk being pushed across the concrete. In the air above her she felt as much as heard the incoming rounds from the direction of the door. She broke out in a cold sweat. They have guns! Bailey could only try to hold onto Kelso, the room was filling with ricochets, dust and torn papers as her team and the inmates exchanged fire. Looking up, Conner and James were using the huge desk as cover; her eyes glanced towards her rifle as she gripped Kelso even harder, the sweat on her hands seemed to turn into rivers. Her shoulders were on fire, she glanced down and looked once more into Kelso’s eyes, “Bailey, let me go!” She opened her hands watching him fall from sight.

Her arms as light as a feather she grabbed her rifle got onto a knee behind the desk and began to return fire, the cracking of the rifle vibrating her eardrums. There were over a dozen bodies in the door way and they were still piling through. That’s when she felt it like a hammer blow in her chest, and then it pulled her backwards off her feet like a hook. She fell on her ass, the breath taken out of her.

“Bailey!” Conner dropped to her side his hands running over her vest, she watched him, trying to re catch her breath that had been forced out of her. She felt light headed, trying to slowly draw in a breath, and trying to push the weight off of her lungs. Conner ran his hand into the hole in her vest, and took his fingers out, no blood. “You lucky son of a bitch Bailey”, he smiled at her that’s when James screamed at them.

“Get into that hole now; we have nowhere else to go! Now!” James fired a few more rounds, dropping his magazine onto the ground. Bailey could barely focus as Conner dragged her to the hole, and pushed her in. She felt the cool air rush past her, saw the darkness enveloping her as she fell into oblivion.

Edited by Neosauron
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  • 2 weeks later...

Chapter-3 Kelso


“Promise me Robert.”

“I don’t want to in case-“

“I said to promise me. Promise me you’ll come back to me after this.”

He looked into her eye as she grabbed his hand from across the table, “Penny you know how this goes this time isn’t different.” He almost felt powerless against her gaze. He loved her eyes her short brown hair, and even how she was playing with it now. He was entranced. He saw the tears start to well up in those eyes.

“But it’s different this time; we have our baby on the way. I don’t want them to grow up without their dad.” A single tear rolled down her face.

Kelso couldn’t hold it anymore and let a few tears go himself, feeling like a self-conscious baby. The waitress walked up. “Who ordered the salmon?”

Penelope raised her hand at the elbow and said thank you as the waitress placed her plate in front of her. “And the burger must be yours.” She set the plate down in front of Kelso who had almost lost all his appetite.

Kelso leaned forward, “Penny I’m not supposed to tell you this but it’s just a simple search and rescue. There are two poor kids that have been missing for over a week now and we might have found out where they are at.” He looked down at his plate and picked up a french-fry popping in his is mouth. Delicious.

Penny had taken a few bites; at least she looked a little calmer. “What’s so important about these two kids anyway, that you have to leave me?” He opened his mouth again to tell her about them being the kids of higher ups in the state department when she interrupted him. “No don’t tell me I don’t want to know. Let’s not talk about it anymore”.

They didn’t, and for a little while Kelso lost himself in the conversation with the love of his life, this night that he would always remember and hold dear to his heart.

Leaving a generous tip for the waitress they left the restaurant and walked back towards their apartment downtown, a light snow starting to cover the world. He felt good, with Penny wrapping her arms around his, walking beside him he felt that everything was going to be ok. They stopped at the crosswalk about a block from their apartment, waiting for the signal to cross when he felt a small tug at his other elbow. It was a child. His clothes were no better than rags and his face was covered in dried old dirt. Kelso noticed the kid’s mother not too far down the sidewalk trying to huddle under a moth eaten blanket to get warm. Then the kid spoke to him, “Please sir, do you have any food, I and my mom haven’t eaten in days.”

“Sure kid, hold on.” He looked at Penny then started to walk to the mother shuddering in the snow. Taking off his jacket (he felt how cold it really was) and laid it carefully over the homeless woman, watching her a second as the shivering seem to let up a little. Making his way a little farther down the block he ran into the diner and bought 2 turkey platters and ran them back out to the mother and kid who Penny was on her knees talking to. He handed the turkey over with a hundred dollar bill and watched as the kid realized what he had been given.

“Oh wow! Thank you so much, we can get into a place to stay with this! Thank you so much.” The kid ran back to mom and handed over the money and food. They looked over to Kelso and Penny and waved as they waved back and kept walking to the apartment.

She looked up at him as they finally got to the front door of their building. “That was an awfully nice thing you did for them Robert.” Fumbling she dropped the keys as he bent down to pick them up she bent down and kissed him. He felt his heart melt in the bitter cold of the night. Nothing could ever beat this feeling. He snatched the keys off the ground and walked behind her up the small stoop to the building door. They let themselves in and the warm air rushed into them and Kelso felt his nose start to run.

Holding each other close they let themselves into the apartment. Kelso immediately noticed the light on the answering machine was blinking in the darkness. Penny flipped on a light as he made his way to the machine and pushed the button. James voice came over the speaker.

Beep. “Robert its Ed, the push off date has been moved up. We need you to catch a flight to D.C. tomorrow and we will be leaving the next day. Intel reads positive for the targets. See you then.” Beep.

Kelso felt his stomach tighten, he expected another week with Penny not a night. He turned to see tears start to come from her eyes. She seemed so small and vulnerable standing in the kitchen, spotlighted by the fluorescents.  “Hey its ok, we will make tonight last as long as we can.”  He had to hold her and let her know everything was going to be alright. Closing the space between them he held her close, rubbing her back, the satin of the dinner dress playing across the palm of this hand.

“I hate your job, I hate you being gone and sometimes I even hate you for making us go through this. You could be out there teaching at the university Robert. You have the degree and the certifications.” He could see the hurt in her eyes as she pulled back a little to look up at him again. “Stay here with me? Please?”

In the end he had known she would do this, asking him to stay. The team didn’t have replacements and he couldn’t hurt them on this or any other assignment. “I have to go, but I promise this will be the last time ok? I swear it.” He could see the light come back into her eyes a little, the unexpected news of him leaving the unit was something she obviously loved to hear.

“Are you sure?” Penny’s smile came out as she took her wrist and wiped away some of the tears still left on her face. “How?”

“He pulled her back into his embrace. “All of these past operations, you didn’t think I spent all of that money do you? We can move anywhere you want and I’ll start up my teaching career. We can get more stable and wait for our baby to arrive. What do you think?”

“I love it.” She kissed him again as they moved into the living room and onto the couch. That night was perfect, a gem in Kelso’s memory that would shine in the darkness of nightmares to come. They talked of the future, of the baby and the excitement of moving out of the snow and the city, they talked for a few more hours and as the sun began to rise they made love.

Later Kelso said goodbye and left in a cab to the airport, happy to leave the snow, sad to leave Penelope and excited to get a rifle into his hands again.


                Chapter 4-The City

Bailey looked down at him, he could hear the door being pushed open above and the exchange of gunfire between whoever was coming in and James and Conner. Kelso looked up at Bailey; he could see her looking at her rifle that was lying next to the hole. “Bailey, let me go!” She looked at him one more time and opened her hands. His stomach felt like it was doing a somersault, the familiar sensation of falling overtook him… then he was sliding, rolling sideways. This wasn’t right his mind told him he should be falling, not rolling across a floor. He rolled one more time and stood up. Darkness, utter darkness greeted him. Except to his left there was a shadow of a door outlined by a dim light behind it. Unsure he took a step. The ground seemed stable, like concrete. As he stepped towards the door his boots made a loud echo. Looking behind him he could see only nothingness.

Reaching outward he felt for a doorknob with no luck. Kelso keyed up his radio with no feedback, no contact with James apparently. He tried shutting his eyes to get them to see better in the darkness when he heard a yell in the dark.

“Ugh! What the hell?” Kelso turned, scared to death, and somewhat saw Bailey roll across the darkness towards him, rifle flying out of her hands. She laid there breathing for a few more seconds then turned her head to him. “Where the hell are we Kelso?”

“I have no idea”, he walked over to her and grabbed her raised hand, slowly pulling her to her feet. She staggered a little bit, her hand reaching up to a small hole in her tactical vest. “I can’t believe those bastards shot me!” That’s when another rifle slid across the floor out of the darkness and stopped against Kelso’s boot. He reached over and slung his rifle up and turned on the light again to see Bailey better.

He moved his light over Bailey’s rifle so that she could re-arm herself. That’s when James and Conner rolled out of the darkness into Bailey’s legs knocking her into him and ending the fiasco with the whole team on the ground together.

Conner immediately rushed to a knee and pointed his rifle into the darkness from the direction they rolled in from, everyone else reaching for their own weapons. Kelso grabbed his, propped his leg under him into a firing position and pointed his light into the darkness. There was nothing there, just a concrete wall.

They were in a solid concrete room except for the door without a handle. Kelso felt his chest tighten again, another trap. Falling into a roll, the gravity changing itself, this wasn’t normal. They had been told about paranormal situations, even trained a little for them. But this, this was major. He ran up and pushed his hand against the wall they had come through. Nothing but solid brick. “What the hell is going on here James?! Where are we? This isn’t normal.”

James lowered his rifle and hung his head. Looking up at Kelso he replied, “There’s a possibility of a massive temporal distortion. One of largest ever measured by headquarters. I don’t know where we are.”

It was only worry at first but now it was fear that he felt. “How do you not know James? You gave us the briefing and headquarters briefed you, so tell me how you don’t know!” Bailey and Conner turned to face them now, their lights joining the lights of the other rifles pointing at the floor.

A crackling came over James radio, Kelso jumped. *zzzzzzzwiiiiiiiizzzz* “James, James? This is Jason, come in.”*zzzzzwwwiiiizzzooo* “Don’t go …City it’s unsafe… fallow path…school…Don’t know if you can hear …”

James keyed his radio repeatedly trying to get out. “Jason! Jason! Where are you? Give me your location! Jason?” Nothing but static replied. “We need to keep moving, they’re alive! Conner, take out this door with me.”

Kelso didn’t think this was a good idea and he had more questions for James, but it was too late. They kicked the door and light flooded into the small room blinding them, along with the stink of beer. James and Conner rushed into the room followed by Bailey. Kelso raised his rifle and entered in, clearing the right side of what appeared to be an abandoned bar. That’s when the smell wafted over him, not only the smell of beer, but a sweeter more musty smell. It tickled the back of his mind as he tried to place its familiar scent.

That’s when he noticed the silence in the bar. It was empty and he could see the layers of dust coating the seats and pool tables. The liquor bottles were smashed and covered in cobwebs. But other than that the bar was immaculate. James moved further into the room along with Conner, and after looking around they lowered their weapons. Bailey was the first one to break the weight of the silence, “It’s so quite in here. I wonder where everybody is.”

Kelso stepped further into the bar. He flipped what appeared to be a light switch and dim recessed fluorescents lit up the room, to his surprise. That’s when the sliding, grating sound of stone moving over stone came from behind him. By the time he swung around to look his heart did the familiar dance as the passageway they had walked through was gone, in its place nothing but solid brick wall. “No way, this can’t be happening. The doorway is gone guys, it’s just gone!”

Conner ran to the brick wall and slammed his shoulder against it, trying to move any of the bricks to get back the way they had come, with no result. James turned away from them again and started to walk to the front door.

“No more walking away James! We deserve answer to what the hell is going on here! You obviously didn’t brief us on this! Some of us have families back home James, how do you not get that! Tell me what the hell we are doing here and what is going on!” Kelso could feel his blood pounding in his ears. Images of Penny sitting at home waiting for him, for her husband that would never come home if this all turned to shit, rushed through his mind.

James turned around, looked Kelso in the eyes, and then turned away. He sat on a stool and slung his rifle over his shoulder.  The rest of the team gathered around him, waiting for answers. James looked up at them; his eyes looked so forlorn that Kelso actually saw the internal pain for a fraction of a second. “I know you have all had training on these kinds of situations but never expected to get involved in one. I was informed a few days ago about how dangerous the electrical and seismic readings here are. The readouts headquarters has received prior to our arrival here was more than concerning. They had never seen anything like this before, and the temporal distortion couldn’t be measured by our tech teams. They sent both combat teams in not only to find the two hostages, but to deploy a device, one that has been sitting around in the lab for a while; the tech guys call it a spectral analyzer, or just The Device. I’m not entirely sure of what it does, but Jason’s team has it and is in charge of deploying it. We have to stay together within a temporal distortion; reality isn’t the same as we know it here.”

There was a thump that came from the back of the bar. Kelso swung his weapon around and leveled it at the bar. Everybody else watched, waiting for movement. He couldn’t hear anything else except for his breathing, adrenaline on high again. After a minute he lowered his rifle and turned back to James and motioned for him to continue.

“This is why we have to find the other team. I don’t know how we will get out of this situation now that we are cut off from the helicopters; but I do know the only way to survive this is sticking together. So to answer your question Kelso, no I don’t know what’s going on or how the hell we get out of here, or even where the hell we are.”

Kelso felt like screaming, like throttling James for this, for knowing this could happen and not letting his team know. All he could do was take the last of his strength to look at James and ask, “So, what’s going to happen, what does this even means? Ghost are going to chase us?”

James got off of the stool and look Kelso in his eyes again, and Kelso swore he could see the pain lingering just behind his eyes, could see how much putting them all in this situation was hurting him. “Robert this means that anything could come after us. I don’t know what occurred at this area before this distortion but I do know that the target area was in Carey, Ohio.”

Bailey who had been attentive for the entire conversation finally broke her silence, “What causes these distortions James? Why here and now?”

James looked at her, “I know you haven’t been with the team long Bailey, the specifics aren’t really understood. But it’s something so terrible it touches and tears the veil between worlds, cuts the sheet between two realities so to speak, allowing energies to come through and change and manipulate our reality. That’s what we are in right now.”

“HELP!” The door leading to the kitchen behind the bar burst open and a male stumbled out and fell to the floor. Kelso slammed his rifle into his shoulder ready to fire when the thing he was running from staggered into the bar. Then he realized what the smell was that was faintly lingering in the air. The thing that followed was something he never thought he would see, something that should have only existed in the movies and TV shows. A zombie, with half its face missing, the flesh dangling from its chin, blood and slobber dripping from its slack jaw, eyes set on the crawling man. Kelso was too stunned to realize he had let his rifle drop down and was no longer aiming at the zombie. He jumped as Conner stepped up beside him and put three rounds into the skull of the shambling creature. It let out a short moan and fell to the floor, unmoving.

The man somehow managed to grab onto the bar and pulled himself up, he was covered in sweat and his shirt which read “EAT AT SIDS” was torn near the bottom. Bailey stepped over to help him get stable on feet as Conner switched out his magazine and James casually unslung his rifle and checked to make sure a round was in the chamber.

“Conner your with me, lets clear that kitchen and make sure there aren’t anymore of those damned things.”

James and Conner stepped around the corpse and moved into the kitchen. Kelso looked at Baily, “Am I the only one in aw here that there’s a real fucking zombie right there? Is this normal?”

“I don’t know what’s normal right now but this guy needs our help”, she turned back to the male. “Sir, are you okay?”

He was shivering and looked like he hadn’t slept in days. He looked at them like they weren’t real, like he was hallucinating. “I’m…I’m ok I guess. But they are all dead, everybody. Those things have taken the town. They ate…” He paused trying to compose himself, “They ate my son, my wife. I didn’t want to live anymore, but I don’t want those things to eat me either. I’ve been stuck in the freezer for days.” He grabbed Kelso’s vest, “You have to help me get out of here, I mean you must be from the army right? The marines? But you’re here to save us?”

Kelso didn’t know what to say to him, the man had seen hell and anything he thought he could say wouldn’t help him. He was happy when Bailey stepped in to say something.

“Yes we’re here to help, what’s your name?”

“Sidney, the guys call me Sid. You can guess this is my bar. I was closing up when they came. I was able to go into the back and make sure they didn’t see me. That one slipped in when I was throwing out the trash. It would have killed me if not for your buddy back there.”

Conner walked out from the kitchen, rifle hanging in his hand as he stepped over the dead zombie again. When James came into view he was trying to key up his radio again. Conner came over to Kelso and clapped him on the chest, “Next time don’t freeze up, and make sure you aim for the head.”

Sidney seemed to have calmed himself down a little by the time James made his way up to them. “Do you know the way to the school around here?”

Sidney looked at James, it then realization crossed his face, “Yeah, I think so. You must mean the consolidated school at the end of Bay Mont Ave. Why do you want to go there?”

“That doesn’t matter to you, how do we get to the school from here?”

“Well when you leave the front doors here head right, at the second traffic light take a left and about 3 blocks down the school will be on the right hand side of the road. But mister, those things are all over the place and as soon as you kill one of them, more will come.”

James ignored him and walked to the front door then looked out the glass to see where the next enemies might be. Kelso looked over to James then Sidney, “Did you hear anyone else come through here?”

“No sir, if they did they were quite about it, either that or I was asleep.”

Conner had joined James at the door. That’s when Bailey walked over to them, “What do we do about Sidney?”

Conner turned to look at her, James didn’t even move, “He can stay here or try to survive out in this place, but we didn’t come to rescue civilians and we aren’t here to babysit. He can do what he wants.”

Bailey’s mouth dropped open, “You have to be kidding me, since when do we leave innocent people to die?”

James had to turn around to look at her, “Since we are going to have a hard enough time surviving this together on our own Katherine. You want him to come with us then he’s going to be your responsibility. If he gets you killed just remember that I’m not agreeing with your bleeding heart.”

She looked back over to Sidney, “You heard him, stay close and be quite we are going to be moving quickly”. Sidney nodded as Kelso made his way to the door to join them. James reached over and unlocked the door and pushed his way out into the abandoned street, Conner behind him and he followed suite.

A wave of the smell of rotting meat washed over them as they entered the street. A light breeze was blowing and Kelso could hear a crow cawing in the distance. He looked up, no stars again, same as in the cornfield. It’s like they were in a completely different world.

The power didn’t appear to be gone in this part of town, there was a traffic light to the left of them that was blinking red, along with a dozen cars surrounding them in the street. Trash drifted lightly in the slight breeze making it dance around their feet. Then Kelso saw them, staggering around the cars about 100 yards away. More zombies, their moans verifying that they were real and they were heading towards them. Bang!

Kelso turned to see James moving down the road to their first traffic light, spent rounds flying out of his rifle. Multiple zombies fell in front of them only 25 yards away, and more were trickling out of alleys and from shops and gutters. They all joined James and starting picking targets as they moved together through the abandoned cars. Kelso felt his adrenaline pumping as the rifle kicked back against his shoulder. He glanced back as they passed under the first traffic light; Bailey was watching their rear flank as Sidney stumbled in between them all with his hands over his ears. Kelso switched out magazines as they continued forward, the stalled out traffic getting a little heavier. That’s when Sidney screamed.

“AHHHHHHH”, Kelso jumped and turned to see a rotting body pull itself from under a stalled vehicle, cutting off Bailey and Sidney from the rest of the team.

“BAILEY!!” Kelso watched her turn as she realized what had happened. Another zombie pulled itself from under a vehicle and staggered towards her. Kelso shot the zombie in front of him and pushed it out of the way as he moved back to her, his fingers sinking into the soft skin as he pushed the bag of meat to the ground. Sidney pushed past him and fell onto the concrete. Looking back he saw that James and Conner were still pushing forward, focused on getting to the next street to head down towards the school. He turned back to Bailey, there were 4 more zombies flanking her. He took aim and shot 2 when his weapon jammed. Letting the sling catch his rifle he dropped it and drew his .45 and tried to steady his hands. Bailey shot one more of the undead as the last one placed its hand on her shoulder, when he pulled the trigger, and watched its head implode. Bailey let out a surprised scream as she turned and looked at him. She slid over the roof of one of the cars and took 4 striding steps and planted a kiss on his cheek.

“Thanks”, she looked him in the eyes for a split second then ran past him to pick up Sidney. Kelso turned to follow and watched as she bent down to grab him then shot right back up and jumped away. Then he heard the moan. As he stepped up he saw that their new friend had been bitten on his ankle and had changed rapidly into one of the undead. The wound still oozed blood onto the asphalt as he reached for Baileys legs, hungry moans escaping from him in protest. Kelso leveled his pistol and ended Sidney’s existence. He stepped over the corpse and started sprinting with Bailey to catch up to the rest of the team.

The smell of the decaying flesh was getting stronger as they sprinted to catch up to James and Conner. Navigating through the labyrinth took almost all of his focus. All he could imagine was seeing rotting hands reaching out to him from the shadows of the vehicles. That’s when Kelso turned around to see how many of the creatures were left and wished he didn’t. They must have been pouring out of the shadows while they were running over and around the vehicles. He watched them pour from the alleyways and out of the buildings. There were over a hundred rotting corpses shambling towards them, trying to keep up while bouncing off of the cars and trucks.

Kelso yelled over his radio, “James slow down, we are coming up behind you!” Bailey stepped in front of Kelso as they reached Conner. They were stopped under the second light. Kelso looked to the left and saw the road to the school was empty.

James turned to them as he replaced another magazine in his rifle, “Try to save ammo, we just went through a whole mag getting up here, and the way looks clear now.”

Kelso nodded as they started to run down towards the school. He could hear the moans of the dead falling further behind them as they moved onto the darker street, the power was out here. Bailey’s breath was starting to turn ragged as he switched on his light. It shown off the old cracking asphalt of the street as he jogged alongside the team, keeping an eye to the right to make sure they didn’t pass the school. He shot another look back, only to see that none of the dead had come near the street, they hadn’t even rounded the corner towards them. “Guys, stop. They didn’t follow us.” The team stopped and turned to look at the zombies bouncing around in the maze of cars.

“Why…aren’t they coming after … us?” Bailey wheezed out.

“I don’t know and I don’t care. Is anybody bitten?” They all looked at their arms and legs, double checking that they weren’t infected. “Good, let’s keep moving the school should be close.” They began to move in down the street with Bailey watching the rear.

The moans faded into the darkness, Kelso realized that their surroundings had lapsed back into silence, only their boots upon the pavement were heard. The smell of the air became clearer, and the night seemed to cool around them. Looking up he could see the homes and businesses were dark and silent, standing like skeletal guards in a crypt. Was this what the town of Carey, Ohio has been reduced to? Where were all the people?

“I think this is it,” said Conner. They rounded an apartment building and they saw the school. It was a large three story brick building. The windows had iron safety bars across the glass, some of which was missing. There were vines growing up the right side of the building almost all the way to the slanted roof shingles. The building was at least 100 yards from end to end, the yard in front was covered in dead grass and large weeds. A rusted wrought iron fence about 8 feet high separated the yard from the sidewalk. Kelso saw an ankle high fog lingering over what grass was left. And on the steps leading up to the front doors he saw a lone Jack-O-Lantern, the candle inside flickering, making the sinister face appear to move at their arrival.  James was looking over the menacing building as well, his eyes seeming to dart to all the windows.

James stepped up to the gate hinges and pushed. The squeaking was extremely loud and shattered the silence that had enveloped them. They followed him through into the cracked pathway leading up the large wooden front doors. Kelso could feel the vacant stare of the Jack-O-Lantern on him as they reached the front doors. He gave it a look back, and could see the small tea candle inside. “Wonder who put this here?” Kelso said.

Bailey gave him a quick look over her shoulder. James reached for the brass handle on the door but before he could touch it the door moved forward, opening just a crack. Darkness was all Kelso could see inside of the building. James turned back to them, “Lights on and stay tight in here, I can’t see a damn thing.”

Kelso couldn’t shake the feeling that he would never leave this place. James pushed the door open the rest of the way and they followed him into the darkness.

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