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Episode 1: A New Day

Chapters

Chapter 1: Out of the Frying Pan

Chapter 2: Adventures in Babysitting

Chapter 3: In Your Charge

Chapter 4: Rock and a Hard Place

Chapter 5: It’s Just One Bullet

Chapter 6: Hey, Sis

Chapter 7: Two Enter, One Leaves

Chapter 8: Everything’s Going to be Okay 



Chapter 1: Out of the Frying Pan

The day wasn’t going so good for Mordecai. He had just come home sick from his art class. He could just remember the anger, the betrayal, that his girlfriend brought to him. He had caught her sleeping with a state senator. He felt the blood thirsty satisfaction of killing the man, but at the same time, regret and shame. He didn’t remember much from that day. One second he remembers killing the man, and the next, he’s sitting in a police car on his way out from Atlanta, Georgia some time later.


Mordecai sat quietly in the back seat of the police car, handcuffed with his hands resting on his lap. He was looking down at the floor. For the first part of the ride was in complete silence, aside from the radio that made noise every once in awhile.


The éclair police officer looked through the rear view mirror at Mordecai, and decided to make a conversation.


“Not everyday I have a blue jay sitting in the backseat of my car.” said the police officer.


Mordecai looked up at the police officer. “Not everyday an éclair is driving me to prison.”


“Touché” replied the police officer.


The radio started making police officer jargon. Hell, I don’t fucking know what they say when shit is going on. Anyways, Mordecai looked out the window and noticed a bunch of police cars bolting towards Atlanta.


“I don’t approve of what you did.” said the police officer. “Senator Sour Bill was a good man. You had no right to end his life like that.”


“You don’t have to tell me twice.” Mordecai replied solemnly.


The police officer focused on the road again. The radio start making noise again. Mordecai looked at it.


“You gonna answer that at anytime soon?” the blue jay asked.


“Nope.” the police officer nonchalantly answered. “Half the time, that shit ain’t important.”


Mordecai shrugged and looked back out the window. More police cars and a helicopter zoomed towards Atlanta. Mordecai wondered why so many police officers were driving towards the city.


“Sucks that Duncan isn’t around.” said the police officer. “We’re usually a duo, but the little wuss called in sick today. What a baby, huh?”


“Dude, maybe he’s actually sick.” said Mordecai. “Don’t fault him for not feeling so hot.”


“Well, excuse me.” the police officer mumbled.


Mordecai sighed and looked out the window again. He figured that he could look at freedom one last time before sitting in prison for life.


“So, I hear you're a student up in UGA. Have you attended there long?”


“Going on my third year.” Mordecai answered.


“You meet your girlfriend up in Athens?”


Mordecai didn’t like where this was going.


“You wanna know how I see it?” asked the police officer.


“I got much of a choice?” Mordecai asked.


“Nope.” the cop answered. “Regardless, could be you just married the wrong woman.”


“Go fuck yourself.” Mordecai grumbled in anger.


“Watch it blue jay.” the cop snapped back. “You’re lucky I’m so lenient. Duncan doesn’t take kindly too that stuff.”


Mordecai rolled his eyes. He knew that he married the wrong woman, but he didn’t want an éclair reminding him of it. The police officer looked in the rearview mirror again, prepared to start another conversation.


“I’m driving this boy named Swizzle Malarkey once. He was the worst one. He wouldn’t stop going on about how he didn’t do it.” The officer spoke, starting up a story. “He was a younger fella. Big, soft eyes, and he had tan skin and green hair, and he’s just wailing back there, says it wasn’t him. Crying and snotting all over, right where you’re sitting.”


The radio blared again, interrupting the officer. He reached over and turned the thing off mid-speech. Then he continued.


"Then before long he starts kicking the back of the seat, li-like a fussy baby on an airplane. And I tell him he's gotta stop, that that's government property, and I'll been forced to zap him otherwise." He rambled. "So he stops, and having exhausted all his options, he starts crying out for his mama. ‘Mama, it's all a big mistake! It wasn't me!’”


"Maybe he was innocent." Mordecai thought out loud.


"Innocent?" The officer questioned with disbelief, "They caught the fucker red handed! Stabbin' his girlfriend, cutting her up as the boys came through the door! He sits in my car screaming bloody murder that it wasn't him! I think he actually believed it himself. It goes to show, people will up and go mad when they believe their life is over."


Mordecai immediately took back his thought, that murderer was even worse than himself.


"Oh I got another good one for ya." The driver chuckled to himself, looking over his shoulder at Mordecai. He continued talking.


Mordecai had a bad feeling. He looked ahead while the police officer continued to rant. He saw a person dressed in dirty clothes walking across the road.


“Oh shit!” Mordecai cried out, but it was too late. The car hit the person and the police officer lost control of the vehicle as it swerved to the side of the road, striking the guard rail. The car started rolling down a steep hill, causing debris to fly around, each flip the car made. After that, Mordecai’s vision turned black.


After a few hours, Mordecai started to stir awake. He could hear muffled screaming and gunshots. He was too disoriented to figure out what was going on. He closed his eyes a few and reopened them a few times while the screaming died down. He ended up slipping back into his unconscious mind one last time before stirring fully awake.


Mordecai groaned tiredly and started to look around. He felt a sharp pain coming from his right leg.


“AHH SHIT!” Mordecai groaned. “Thirsty…”


The blue jay looked back and saw the police officer laying on the ground followed by a trail of blood.


“Hey! Hey, officer! Are you alright?!” Mordecai called out. “I’m still cuffed back here!”


No reply.


“Officer?!” Mordecai called out once again.


No reply.


Mordecai sighed and looked over at the window facing him. He kicked the window a few times before the glass shattered. He scooted towards the window, until he was close enough to climb out. He reached out and pulled himself out the window. He fell out of the car and landed on his side before attempting to stand up. He stumbled against the police car, yelling in pain. Mordecai used the police car to support himself while moseying towards the other side.


Mordecai looked down and saw a shotgun shell sitting on the ground. He bent down and picked it up, and looked over at the shotgun. He walked over and tried to pick that up.


“I could probably hold this better without these cuffs on.” Mordecai said to himself. He started walking towards the police officer.


“Officer?” Mordecai said softly. The officer still didn’t reply. “Goddamn…”


He walked over to the police officer slowly. As he approached the dead cop, Mordecai looked down and saw the keys to the handcuffs. Mordecai bent down and picked the keys up. He started to unlock the handcuffs when he accidentally dropped them on the ground.


“Shit!” Mordecai cursed. He bent down and picked the keys up again. He then unlocked both the cuffs from his wrists. It felt good to be free of those things.


A faint groaning started coming from the police officer. Mordecai looked down curiously to see if the officer was okay.


“Officer?” said Mordecai. The police officer then snarled and launched towards Mordecai. Luckily the blue jay fell back before the cop could get him. “HOLY SHIT!!! WHAT IN THE HELL?!?!”


Mordecai started backing away from the police officer, who was hungrily crawling towards the frightened blue jay.


“What happened?!” Mordecai asked in fear. “WHAT HAPPENED?!?!” Mordecai then was stopped by the police car. The police officer continued to snarl and crawl towards Mordecai as he picked up the shotgun. He took the shell out of his pocket and tried to load the gun, but the shell slipped out of his hand.


“Shit!” Mordecai cursed. He picked up the shell and then loaded it into the shotgun. He then pointed it at the police officer. “Don’t make me do this!”


The police officer didn’t listen. He kept crawling towards Mordecai, in hopes to have him as a meal. Mordecai then pulled the trigger, blasting the cop’s head off. Mordecai sighed in relief, but at the same time, he was still in shock about what just happened. How did a police officer die, and then come back to life as a flesh eating monster? That was what scared Mordecai.


Mordecai looked out in the distance and saw a figure in the shape of a little girl. The blue jay’s eyes widened and he decided to take action.


“Help!” Mordecai cried out. “Go get someone! There’s been a shooting!”


The little girl turned around and walked away. Mordecai hoped that she heard him and left to go get help. Mordecai then heard growling coming from behind. He then stood up, groaning in pain as he felt the pain in his leg acting up. He then tripped over the cop’s corpse and fell on his side. He stood up once again and started limping away from the oncoming zombies. Mordecai started to approach a fence. He looked back and saw the zombies stumbling towards him, snarling hungrily. Mordecai then used his strength to climb up the fence towards the other side for safety.


Chapter 2: Adventures in Babysitting

Mordecai dropped into a yard, landing on his bottom. He started backing away, not even bothering to stand up, until he bumped into the deck of a house. The zombies continued to snarl ravenously, as they tried to push the fence down. A gun shot was heard in the distance, and Mordecai looked towards the direction the sound was made. The zombies stopped what they were doing, turned around and started moseying towards the direction of the gun shot.


Mordecai stood up and looked around. Strange enough, the neighborhood seemed deserted. Smoke was rising in the sky, and cars were jamming the roads and the houses were abandoned.


“Hello?!” Mordecai called out. “Anybody?!” Mordecai then started to limp around the yard. He moseyed towards a nearby tree house. He looked down and saw a tea set.


“I’d fill one of these tea cups with some bourbon if I could.” Mordecai thought out loud. He looked up at the tree house. Was that little girl he saw earlier in there? “Anybody up there?” Mordecai called to the tree house.


No reply. It must be empty. He walked away from the tree house and towards the house.


“HELP!” cried Mordecai. He walked up the steps and looked through the glass door. He then started to knock on it. “Hello? Anybody home? I need a little help.”


Nobody was there. The house was abandoned, but Mordecai wanted to be sure if it really was empty or not. He slowly opened the door.


“Coming in!” warned Mordecai. “Don’t shoot, okay?”


Being the polite blue jay he is, he closed the door behind him. Mordecai looked around and saw that the house was a mess. The furniture was toppled over, blood was everywhere, and the only lights that were on was the light coming from the TV and the sunlight.


“These people might need more help than I do.” said Mordecai. He looked over and saw a bowl of fruit. What a relief. He hadn’t eaten anything all day. He went to go grab a fruit, but had a look of disappointment afterwards. “It’s fake, damn.”


Mordecai then walked towards the kitchen. He then slipped and fell into a pool of blood, groaning in pain. He stood up and searched through the kitchen. He found a cup of water sitting next to the sink. He picked it up and guzzled it down. After finishing the water, Mordecai sighed in relief that his cotton mouth was washed away.


BEEEEEEEP


Mordecai turned his head towards the direction of the beeping. He carefully stepped over the puddle of blood and saw a blinking red light that read the number three. Mordecai pressed the button.


Three new messages. Message one. Left at five-forty-three p.m.


Hey, Sandra, this is Diana. We're still in Savannah. Ed had a little 'incident' with some crazy guy near the hotel, so we had to get him back to the ER and have it checked out. Anyway, he's not feeling well enough to drive back tonight, so we're staying an extra day. Thanks so much for looking after Vanellope, and I promise we'll be back in time before your spring break!


Message two. Left at eleven-nine-teen p.m.


Oh my God, finally! I don't know if you've tried to reach us; all the calls are getting dropped. They're not letting us leave and aren't telling us anything about Atlanta. Please, please, just leave the city and take Vanellope with you back to Marietta. I've got to get back to the hospital. Please let me know that you're safe.


Message three. Left at six-fifty-one a.m.


Vanellope? Baby, if you can hear this, call the police. That's 9-1-1. We love you… we love you… we love y-


Mordecai picked up a photo of the family who lived in the house. The picture consisted of a smiling man, his wife, and their little girl. He put the photo back and sighed sadly. What horrors has this family gone through?


Suddenly, Mordecai heard a little girl’s voice out of nowhere. “Daddy?”


“Huh?” Mordecai wondered. He walked to the kitchen again and looked around for the source of the noise. He opened a small drawer and found a walkie-talkie sitting inside. Mordecai picked it up and walked towards the glass door. “…Hello?” he spoke to the walkie-talkie.


“You’re not my dad.” said the little girl. “You sound too much like a wussy to be my dad.”


“Okay….well I’m not one of those things.” said Mordecai.


“Yeah, I know.” said the voice. “Otherwise, you’d be like ‘BLEEEEERRRRRGH!!’”


“If you want to describe them as doing that, then whatever.” said Mordecai. He walked towards the living room. “How old are you?”


“100.” said the little girl sarcastically. “How old do you think I am?”


“You sound like you’re around 9, 10 years old.”


“No, stinkbrain, I’m 8.”


“Stinkbrain?” Mordecai asked in wonder. “What the hell is a stinkbrain?”


“That’s what you are.” said the little girl.


“Well, what’s your name?” asked Mordecai.


“Vanellope.” the little girl answered.


“Hi, Vanellope.” Mordecai greeted. “I’m Mordecai.”


“Are you a hobo?” Vanellope asked.


“No, I’m not a hobo.” said Mordecai. “I do need help though.”


“What’s that? Can’t hear you!” Vanellope said. “Your voice is so wimpy, it made my ears numb!”


“Hey, I’m trying to be nice.” Mordecai said in an irritated voice.


“I’m trying to be nice.” said Vanellope in a mimicking tone.


“Stop copying me!” yelled Mordecai


“Stop copying me!” Vanellope repeated.


“That is rude and this conversation is over!”


“And this conversation is over.” mimicked Vanellope. “I’d turn around if I were you.”


“Why?” Mordecai asked.


“Turn around if you don’t wanna become food to those things.”


Mordecai turned around and saw a female zombie about to bite him. He pushed the zombie away and started to run from the kitchen. He slipped and fell into the puddle of blood again. The zombie grabbed Mordecai’s hurt leg, and was about to feast, but was stopped when Mordecai kicked her with his good leg. Mordecai crawled away while the zombie was crawling towards him. The zombie caught up quickly and climbed on top of the struggling blue jay.


Mordecai, with all his strength pushed the zombie off from him and he backed towards the door. He looked back and saw Vanellope standing behind him with a hammer in her hand. Mordecai quickly grabbed it and struck the zombie on her head. Mordecai whacked the zombie a few more times in the same spot to make sure she was dead. As the zombie finally died, blood started seeping out from her head. Mordecai stood up and looked over at Vanellope.


“Man.” Mordecai said to himself. “Hi there.”


“Reminds me of that day in school when the lunch ladies undercooked my steak.” said Vanellope.


“Sounds shitty.” said Mordecai.


“Yeah.” Vanellope said. “I wasn’t too happy with the results. I threw that thing at the lunch lady’s face and demanded her to put it back on the grill.”


“You’ve been all by yourself through this?”


“Yeah, and I’m starving. My parents better get home soon.”


Mordecai remembered what he heard from the answering machine and he decided to tell her in a more easy way.


“I think that might awhile.” said Mordecai with a hint of sorrow in his voice.


“Aww crud!” groaned Vanellope.


“I don’t know what happened, but I’ll look after you until then.” Mordecai said in a assuring tone.


“Alright, stinkbrain,” said Vanellope, “what’s the first order of business?”


Mordecai thought about it. These zombies are already dangerous enough. Going out there at night would be suicide. Leaving during the day would be the better choice due to the fact that if any zombies were around, they would be able to see them coming, and avoid them before becoming their food.


“We need to find help before it gets dark.” said Mordecai, choosing the safety of daylight.


“Good, cause if you wanted to leave at night, I’d have to smack you.” said Vanellope.


“You know, you’re not very polite for a little girl.” said Mordecai.


“Deal with it, cause you’re stuck with me now.” said Vanellope with a smile.


“This is gonna be a thrill ride.” said Mordecai sarcastically. He opened the door and Vanellope grabbed onto Mordecai’s arm. “Let’s go. Stay close to me.”


Vanellope nodded, and then the duo walked out of the house and into the remains of the world.


Chapter 3: In Your Charge

Mordecai and Vanellope both stepped outside. The little girl closed the door behind her and looked inside her house one last time. Now that they were out in sunlight, Mordecai could get a better look at her.


Vanellope has fair skin, rosy cheeks, a button nose, hazel eyes. Her hair is black and pulled back into a ponytail; it's decorated with a various assortment of small candies, and the scrunchie appears to be made of red licorice. She wears a light mint green hoodie with strawberry bootlace tassels, and two Reese's Cup wrappers for a skirt. Her mismatched leggings are striped with teal and white, and the left is additionally accented with purple "double stripes". She also wears black boots with red frosting scribbles on the soles.


Vanellope ran ahead of Mordecai, while Mordecai fell behind, due to his injury.


“Come on, Mordecai!” urged Vanellope. “Move your molasses!”


“You try having a hurt leg.” Mordecai grumbled.


“Shake it off!” said Vanellope. “I hope you know that I stubbed my toe last week while I was in recess, and I only cried for about 20 minutes! Let’s go!”


“Augh! Fine.” Mordecai said with a groan.


“Thank you, Jeeves!” said Vanellope.


This is gonna be a long day. Mordecai said in his thoughts.


The duo walked towards the gate that secured Vanellope’s house from the dangerous streets. Cars were scattered everywhere in every direction. The only inhabitants in the street aside from zombies were two men. One was a diminutive man with a blue plumber's outfit and cap, white undershirt, blue eyes, and brown hair. He also wore brown leather work boots and work gloves along with a plumber's tool belt. The other man, trying to push a car blocking their path was another blue jay like Mordecai, except this blue jay is a round bellied blue jay who wears a white shirt and a light up tie with a bowling design. He has long black/brown hair that runs down to his shoulders. His feathers and eyes resemble Mordecai's.


“Oh my land.” said the short man in disappointment.


“There’s no way we’re getting out of this mess.” said the blue jay. “It's hot dish night.”


As Mordecai was about to open the gate, he looked over at Vanellope, and decided to check up on her.


“How are you doing?” Mordecai asked.


“Hey, Big Bird, I ain’t letting you ‘look after me’ just so you can ask me questions.” Vanellope replied sarcastically.


“What the ‘H’, kid?!” Mordecai gritted. “You’re really starting to piss me off! I’m starting to regret taking you with me!”


“Aww, cheer up, pal!” said Vanellope. “I was just pulling your leg. Let’s leave this dump, go help out those two men out there, and forget our little feud.”


“Are you serious?” asked Mordecai in an angry tone.


“C’mon what do you say, friend?” said Vanellope as she extended her hand.


“We are not friends.” refused Mordecai. He was starting to get annoyed of the kid already. He just wanted to focus on getting out of the city and away from those monsters.


“Aw, c'mon, pal! You son-of-a-gun! C'mon, buddy! Shake on it! C'mon, chumbo! Mordy, my man! M' main man!”


Mordecai just shot a glare at her.


“Hey.” urged Vanellope. “My arm’s getting tired. Are we friends or not?”


Mordecai had enough, but it seemed to him that Vanellope wanted to leave just as bad as he does, plus she’s willing to bury the hatchet. He figured that he should at least take it easy on her. She has no knowledge about the messages on the answering machine.


“Alright, fine.” Mordecai said, finally caving in. He then shook her hand, and then pushed the gate open, and the duo stepped out into the street.


The two men jammed on the road, suddenly turned around in a panic.


“Jiminy jaminy!” cried the short man.


“Don’t eat us!” the blue jay pleaded.


“We’re not gonna hurt you.” said Mordecai in a assuring tone.


The short man sighed in relief. “Phew, for a second there, I thought you and the gal were both gonna give us the chomp.”


Good. Finally some friendly faces. Does this guy know what’s going on?


“Do you know what the hell this is?!” Mordecai asked.


“No idea.” said the short man. “You’ve seen them then?”


“You could say that.”


“I’m Fix-it Felix Jr., sir. ” the short man said with a smile.


“Mordecai, this is Vanellope.”


The blue jay knelt down on one knee and faced Vanellope. “I’m Steve.”


“Another one?" Vanellope questioned. "How many of these talking blue jays are around?"


"Yeah, I'm a little amazed myself." said Steve as he cocked his head towards Mordecai.


While this was going on, Felix and Mordecai had their own conversation going on.


“Listen, we’re kinda in a jam here, so if you could be a kind gentleman and help me push this car out of the way and we’ll take you and your sister out to my brother’s place. It should be safer there.”


“I’m not her brother. I’m…”, Mordecai thought, should he lie or should he tell the truth? He settled with the truth, “…just some guy.”


“…Some guy?” Felix questioned, noticing what Mordecai said.


“Yeah.”


“She’s alone?” Felix asked with disbelief in his voice. He looked over at Steve. “Let’s get going. Staying here for too long is a mistake.”


Mordecai nodded and turned over to Vanellope. “What do you wanna do?”


“The faster we get out of here, the better.” said Vanellope.


Suddenly, Steve interrupted with urgency, "Them monsters comin'! WE GOTTA GO!" It was true; several of them came staggering down the car-flooded street, in pursuit of them.


Felix positioned himself over the top of the green hood. "Mordecai, quick! Let's go!"


There was no time to lose, Mordecai quickly joined Felix's side, ignoring the sharp pain in his leg and started to help push the vehicle while Steve tended to their red truck and watched their backs. The first push shoved the car back quite a bit. During the second push, Vanellope dashed in between the two men and also helped to shove.


When the obstacle was finally out of the truck's way, Felix hopped into the front cab with Mordecai and Vanellope. With no remaining room in the front, Steve took the back of the truck. He backed himself up as far as he could against the truck wall as Felix started their get-away vehicle. It was a close escape, the zombies nearly got Steve. Fortunately, Felix immediately floored the accelerator. He hit a few things as the group sped away down the sharp corner of the street, no longer abiding driving laws.


He turned to Mordecai. "For just ‘some guy’, it seems like you've saved a bunch of lives today."


Later that same evening


It's late at night when Mordecai and his unlikely partners arrived in the countryside. The moon is bright. Vanellope and Mordecai are exchanging friendly glances with each other while Steve relaxes in the back and Felix drives. They drove past rows and rows of tall crops. There are enough crops to provide food for an extremely long period of time. But in the glow of the night, these crops seem dangerous and house many secretive things, good and bad. You'd never know what could sneak up behind you with these tall growths.


Felix pulled into the driveway of his house. It was a large two story house that was dimly lit. By the looks of it, there were enough rooms to provide for Mordecai and Vanellope. Felix turned the truck off and everyone stepped out.


“Hey Felix, I’m gonna head out.” Steve said to Felix. “My mama's gonna be in a snit.”


“Alrighty.” said Felix. “Have a good night, Steve.”


“It was nice to meet you both.” Steve said to Mordecai and Vanellope. He then turned around walked out into the darkness.


The door of the house opened and a man stepped out. He is 9-feet tall, muscular and beefy, with his most noticeable features being his huge hands and feet. He has spiky dark auburn hair. His attire clothing are a pair of burgundy red overalls with one strap across his right shoulder while the left strap is broken. He also wears a large red plaid-patterned shirt with ripped-off sleeves which has three buttons at the neck, two of which are buttoned up, and he also wears a turquoise green undershirt beneath his plaid shirt…and he’s barefoot.


“Hey, Felix.” the man greeted happily. “I was worried about you.”


“Don’t worry, Ralph, I’m fine.” said Felix. “I’m glad I had Steve with me, otherwise, I’d be a snack to those things.”


“Well, I’m glad you took him with you.” said Ralph. He then turned his attention towards Mordecai and Vanellope. “Who’s your friends?”


“We don’t mean to be a bother, but we just need a little help. We won’t stay long.” said Mordecai. He figured that he didn’t wanna be too much of a nuisance.


“Mi casa es su casa!” said Ralph with a chuckle. “Well, not really, but you and your sister are welcome to stay here for the night.”


“Oh, beg my pardon,” said Felix, “not her brother. Well, he’s just some guy who found her alone.”


“I see.” said Ralph. “Well any who, you look like you hurt your leg pretty bad.”


Mordecai looked down at his hurt leg. “It's not doing so good."


"I can help you out." said Ralph. "Felix, go inside and grab the disinfectant and bandages." While Felix went inside, Ralph directed his attention towards Mordecai. "You, go take a seat up on the porch and I'll see what I can do to help."


Mordecai, Vanellope, and Ralph all walked up on the porch. Mordecai took a seat on the chair that was right by the door, while Ralph knelt down on one knee and examined the blue jay's legs. Felix stepped out of the house with some medical supplies and handed them over to Ralph.


"Lets have a look." said Ralph. He took a closer look at Mordecai's leg. It was already swollen a little bit, as what ever blood was initially on there had already dried up and is coating the area of the wound. Ralph started working on the leg while Mordecai winced in pain. "Yeah, this is swollen to hell."


"Could be worse." Mordecai uttered with a shrug.


"That's what it sounds like. Seems like things got awful bad in the cities." Ralph replied, who was already at work with Mordecai's leg. "What did you say your name was?"


"It's Mordecai." the blue jay answered.


"Nice to meet you Mordecai." Ralph chirped. "I'm Wreck-It Ralph." He then changed the subject. "How'd this happen?"


"Car accident." Mordecai answered.


"That so. Where were you headed, before the car accident?" Ralph questioned, raising an eyebrow.


"I was getting out of Atlanta." Mordecai truthfully answered.


"The news says 'stay.'" Ralph replied.


"Yeah, well that's a mistake."


"Who were you with?" Ralph pressed on. "The girl?"


"I was with a police officer." said Mordecai. "He was giving me a ride."


"Awful nice of him." Ralph spoke, like as if he already knew why Mordecai was with the officer. "We've got room for you and the girl to sleep in." He then turned towards Vanellope, remembering that she was standing behind him. "I didn't catch your name, kid."


"Vanellope." the girl answered like it was obvious.


"Can't imagine what you've been through, Vanellope." Ralph solemnly replied.


"I'm looking after her until we find her parents." Mordecai added.


“So, Ralph, I was thinking that we gotta fix the fence tomorrow.” said Felix, finally speaking up after listening on Ralph and Mordecai's conversation. “Those things could break through and we don’t want that happening.”


“I agree with that.” said Ralph. He then gestured to Mordecai.


"Alright, well, Mordecai and those folks in the guest room can help out in the morning."


"Seems like plan enough to me." said Ralph. Felix nodded and then walked into the house. "Well, I'm all done here. It should start to feel better tomorrow."


"Thanks." Mordecai muttered. He was thankful for Ralph's help. His leg is already starting to feel better. He could even go for a little stroll if he wanted to.


"If your leg gets hot or the swelling doesn't go down, you're probably dealing with an infection."


"What do we do then?"

"We'll probably have to shoot you."


Mordecai's eyes widened in panic. He was hoping that his leg didn't get infected.


Ralph smirked and then spoke up again, revealing that he was kidding. "We'll clean it, re-dress it, and you'll be fine."


"...okay. That'd be preferable."


"There's blankets and such in the other guest room." Ralph explained. "We'll be seeing you bright and early. Come tomorrow, which way you think you're heading?"


“Towards Macon, I guess.” Mordecai answered. He looked over at Vanellope. “You coming?”


"Yeah." said Vanellope. "I just need some air that's all."


"What's wrong?" Mordecai questioned.


Vanellope sighed. "It's my parents. I miss them."


“I know, Vanellope.” said Mordecai.


“How far is Savannah?” Vanellope asked.


“Pretty far.”


“Shoot.” Vanellope said in disappointment. She then bobbed her head down and sighed, changing her expression to a somber demeanor.


“Ready to go to bed?” Mordecai asked.


“Yeah.” Vanellope answered. “I’m beat.”


“Alright, lets go.” said Mordecai.


The duo then walked into the house and closed the door behind them.


Chapter 4: Rock and a Hard Place

“Hey, get up.” said a voice. Mordecai awoke and sat up, only to see a raccoon standing by the foot of the bed. He is a brown raccoon with short, and spiky hair. He has darker brown circles around his eyes. He also has a long tail with six dark brown stripes.


Vanellope woke up from her bed and stood up. “You’re adorable!”


“I see your sister has warmed up to me rather quickly.” said the raccoon.


“I’m not her brother.” said Mordecai. “Name’s Mordecai.”


“I’m Rigby.” said the raccoon.


A young boy with fair, freckled skin, rosy cheeks, bright blue eyes, and deep blonde hair styled into an upward cowlick stepped into the room. He wore a Reese's hat and brown blazer over an orange shirt with two yellow stripes on it; brown pants, and chocolate brown shoes which have a chocolate syrup rim. His blazer has peanut butter-colored accents on the sleeves.


“Rigby, come on, let‘s get going!” exclaimed the boy. “I'm extremely bored right now.”


“We better get going, or we won’t hear the end of it.” said Rigby. They all walked out of the house. “That’s my boy, Rancis.”


“Your boy is a human.” Mordecai pointed out.


“I’m aware of that.” Rigby said. “He was adopted. My girlfriend and I were good friends with his real parents, and suddenly, they just upped and left. We decided that adopting would be a lot easier at the time, so one year ago, we adopted Rancis.”


“Ahh.” said Mordecai with a tone of understanding.


“So, I heard through the grapevine that you were on your way to Macon.” spoke Rigby.


“My family’s from there.” said Mordecai.


“Well, Macon is on the way, and personally, I’d like the help from someone who could put the hurtin’ on some walkers if he has to.”


“Yeeeeah.” Mordecai agreed. He liked Rigby’s style. “Sounds good, dude. We’ll tag along.”


“Aw yeah!” Rigby exclaimed. “We gonna party!”


“Yeah we are!” Mordecai agreed. He just met his best friend today.


Rigby then looked over at his wife. “Eileen, this is Mordecai and,” he then looked over at Mordecai, “what’s the girl’s name?”


“Vanellope.” Mordecai answered.


“Vanellope.” Rigby repeated.


Eileen is a short mole with tan fur. She looks surprisingly human. Her eyes are small and squinted. She has red glasses and wears a pink shirt with ruffles around the neck and shoulders and a blue skirt. She has a small light brown tail and brown hair tied into a side ponytail.


“That’s a cute name.” Eileen said to Vanellope.


“Awww, thank you!” said Vanellope with a smile. “See, Mordecai? People do think my name is cute.”


“I never said it wasn’t, Vanellope.” gritted Mordecai.


Felix approached the group and decided to join the conversation. “Morning fellas.” Felix greeted. “How’d y’all sleep?”


“Pretty good.” Mordecai answered.


“If you got a minute, I’d like to talk to you about something.” said Felix. “I’ll be over at the fence doing some repairs.”


“Can I help?” Rancis asked.


“Sure. How about you be my foreman? You can sit on the tractor and yell at me when I take a water break.”


“I like the way you think.” said Rancis. “Let’s go.”


Felix and Rancis wandered off towards the fence. Eileen looked towards Mordecai’s direction.


“I can keep an eye out on her.” said Eileen. “We can stay and visit.”


“Thank you.” said Mordecai with a look of gratitude.. He then wandered towards Rigby, who was working on the engine in his truck.


He seems like an alright guy. thought Mordecai. He figured he’d have a small conversation with him.


“Hey there, uhhh, Rigby.” Mordecai greeted. “Need a hand?”


“Nah, I think I got it.” replied Rigby. As Mordecai was about to turn around, Rigby faced him. “Do you need any help, dude?”


“What do you mean?” wondered Mordecai.


“I mean in taking care of that little girl.” Rigby answered. “Do you know what you’re doing? You got kids of your own?”


“Nah, no kids.” Mordecai answered solemnly.


“Would’a liked one then?” wondered Rigby.


“You know.” said Mordecai. “So, what’s your plan?”


“Get on back down to Fort Lauderdale and let this mess get sorted out.” said Rigby. “Government will start handing out shots and the National Guard will do its thing. On the off chance things got too bad, we can hop on my boat, I guess.”


“You have a boat?”


“I’m a commercial fisherman, catching mackerel and dolphin, whatever’s biting and paying. Eileen wouldn’t be wild about it, but the boat’s not that bad.”


Hmm. Seems interesting. Mordecai thought.


“How’s Rancis doing?”


"Good, I think. Eileen's got a sister up in Memphis; we were coming back from visiting her. We were in a gas station and some guy grabbed my boy." Rigby expressed, standing up from his work, "I thought he was kidnapping him. I was on the fucker in about two seconds and… Christ. Just lucky I was there."


Damn. thought Mordecai.


Rigby continued. "We saw a lot of bodies before we stumbled upon Ralph’s. But we're a tough family, Mordecai. Ain't nothing gonna faze us."


“See ya.” said Mordecai, knowing that there was nothing else to say. He decided to check up on Felix and see what he wanted. The repairman was hard at work when Mordecai approached him.


“Hello, friend.” said Felix.


“So what did you wanna talk to me about?” Mordecai asked.


“I just wanted to properly thank you for your assistance yesterday.” said Felix. “If it weren’t you coming in time, those dead guys would have been nibbling on our flesh.”


“Thank you for picking me up.” said Mordecai.


“No problem buddy.” said Felix. “Couldn’t leave you behind.”


“So, what do you do for a living?” asked Mordecai. He figured that he could get to know Felix while he’s talking to him.


“I’m a repairman.” Felix answered. “I was in the middle of project when the dead started walking. My coworkers were attacked, and I managed to run away in time. I had to check on Steve to see if he was okay.”


“That’s rough.” Mordecai spoke with sympathy. He wasn’t the only one that was having a hard time.


“I saw a guy in Atlanta kill a kid. A lad. Just shot him right in the face.”


“Was the boy one of the walkers?” Mordecai asked with curiosity.


"I don't even know. He was either attacking the guy or asking for help. He didn't even hesitate. He just turned, put the barrel of the gun right between the kid's eyes and pulled the trigger." Felix explained sorrowfully, "You don't see things like that. It's not like in the movies."


"They don't fall like you think."


Felix blinked. "Did you have to do it?"


"Do what?"


"Kill. Have you had to off one yet?"


"Oh, uh…" Mordecai hesitated, thinking back to the officer and babysitter who he had to kill. "Sometimes it's kill or be killed."


"I guess. I don't think I'd sleep good after that."


“I’m just glad that I’m putting my hammer to good use.” said Felix. “Ralph just wants to protect us, and with the amount of people that take refuge here, he wants to make sure they’re safe and comfortable.” Felix paused. “How about yours? How’s your family?”


“My sister and parents are up in Macon, I hope.” answered Mordecai with a hint of sorrow in his voice. He wasn’t sure if his family was alright or not.


“Oh my land, I hope so too.” breathed Felix. “Ralph and I lost our dad not too long ago. Those things…they got him…it was so horrible.”


“It’s okay, dude.” assured Mordecai. “He must have been a good man.”


Felix smiled. “Thanks Mordecai. You’re a good guy.”


“And Felix, thanks again for the ride.” Mordecai said with a smile.


“No problem Mordecai.” said Felix. “Anyways, when you see Ralph around, see how he’s doing. He took a rather particular liking to you.”


Mordecai looked over and saw Ralph standing on the porch, enjoying the morning air. Mordecai walked away from Felix and approached Ralph. Ralph looked over at Mordecai and smiled at him.


“Nice morning, huh?” Ralph asked.


“It’s lovely.” agreed Mordecai.


“So, how’d you get out of Atlanta?”


“I got a ride and I was in a wreck, and I walked until Felix found me.”


“That’s good. Nice to know that a good man like you got out of the city.”


“This house is a brilliant set up you got.”


“It was my father’s pride and joy.” said Ralph. He then frowned about his dad’s death. “Man, I sure do miss him.”


“I bet, dude.” Mordecai said with remorse.


“Where’s your family?” asked Ralph. “Parents? Wife? Girlfriend?”


“My parents are up in Macon, with my sister.” answered the blue jay.


“I hope they’re okay.” said Ralph. “Now you got this little girl. You just stumbled up on her? She was all by herself?”


“Yeah.” said Mordecai sadly. “I was looking for help when she came to my rescue.”


“Can I give you some advice?” requested Ralph.


“Sure.” accepted Mordecai.


"Let's say things don't get better back in the cities. Or they get worse before they do. You're going to have to depend on the honesty of strangers if you're going to make it. And if those same people get to questioning yours, you're going to be in trouble." he says, before continuing, "At least you have the common sense to listen to a man giving you advice.”


Mordecai smiled at Ralph, when suddenly there is the loud rev of an engine turning on and a sharp scream.


“What the?!” Mordecai exclaimed.


“GO! I won’t be far behind!” instructed Ralph.


Mordecai quickly flew past Eileen and towards the source of the noise. Felix's leg had been crushed by the tractor! Zombies, attracted by Felix's screams reached in through the fence, trying to bite him. The fence preventing them from doing so was starting to snap. Rancis, who was in the seat of the tractor, leaned out of his chair with a confused and blank look on his face. Suddenly, another one of the zombies reached for his leg and pulled him closer by the shoulders.


"My leg is stuck!" Felix yelled, "Get it off of me!"


“Help me!” pleaded Rancis.


Mordecai wasn’t sure what action to take. Should he save Felix, the man who saved his life, or help out Rancis, who’s only a kid? This was tough on him. Both of them depended on him, but Mordecai had to choose one.


I’m sorry, Felix. Mordecai thought with regret as he sprinted towards Rancis. The blue jay grabbed Rancis’s shoulders and tried to pull him away from the zombie who had a hard grip on him.


“Don’t let them take me!” Rancis exclaimed with a desperate tone in his voice. Rigby ran over to Mordecai and Rancis, and the duo worked together to pull Rancis away from the tractor. Mordecai managed to gain the upper hand, and picked up Rancis. He placed him on his feet and the kid ran towards Eileen.


“Help me! Please!” begged Felix. Rigby stood there, frozen in shock. He then turned around and ran away. “Mordecai, please help me!”


As Mordecai ran to help Felix, he was too late. The zombies broke through the fence. Felix made a piercing scream as one of the zombies bit his neck and ripped out some of his flesh.


“Sweet mother of monkey milk!” exclaimed Vanellope as she witnessed the zombies devouring Felix.


Ralph approached the scene a little too late. A look of shock and sorrow appeared on his face. He punched the zombies that were eating Felix. All three of them were dispatched by Ralph’s giant fist.


“Felix.” Ralph said in a soft tone as he ran to aid his brother.


“R-R-Ralph…” gurgled Felix as blood leaked out from his throat.


“You’re gonna be okay.” Ralph whispered in a hushing tone.


“I…I c-can f-f-fix it…” said Felix in a raspy voice. Afterwards, he took one last sigh and passed away quietly. Ralph buried his face on his brother’s chest and started sobbing quietly. Rigby looked at Felix’s corpse with horror. He let an innocent man die.


Ralph stood up, with sorrow on his face as he wiped his tears away as he turned towards the group. “Get. Out…GET OUT OF HERE!!!!” Ralph bellowed as he slammed his fists on the ground, causing everyone to flinch.


“I’m sorry…” muttered Rigby in regret.


“SORRY?!?!” roared Ralph. “Your boy is alive. You don’t GET to be sorry!” He then turned towards Mordecai with the same amount of anger. “And YOU! You didn’t even TRY to help!”


Mordecai looked down with a look of sorrow on his face. “I’m sorry…I was worried about the boy…I panicked.”


“Look at him…you weren’t worried about HIM!” Ralph growled, pointing at Felix. “Please, just go. Get out and never come back.”


Mordecai looked over at Rigby. The raccoon still looked regretful because of his lack to save Felix. He looked over at Mordecai.


“You’ve got that ride to Macon if you want it.” mumbled Rigby as him, Eileen, and Rancis walked away. Shortly afterwards, Mordecai and Vanellope followed, leaving Ralph to mourn for his deceased brother.

Chapter 5: It's Just One Bullet

Later that day, Rigby was driving his blue truck with Eileen, Rancis and his two new friends in downtown Macon. The streets were deserted and messy with broken, smashed cars and blood. Power lines were dipping into the streets and there were papers littered around. The truck’s engine started sputtering and then eventually dying down, stopping the truck in it’s tracks. The truck ran out of gas.

“Well, this is as far as we’re going.” mumbled Rigby.

“Then it’s far enough.” said Mordecai as he stepped out of the truck. Everyone else stepped out too and into the street. The group looked around the deserted town, hoping to find some help.

“Look!” exclaimed Rancis when he pointed at a man in the distance.

“Hey there!” Rigby called out while waving his arms. “You friendly? Truck’s run out of gas!”

The man turned around, revealing himself to be one of those zombies, snarling at him.

“AW SNAP!” yelled Rigby. More zombies started to surround the group in all directions. There was no way out!

“We’re trapped!” cried Eileen.

“WAH!” shrieked Rancis as one of the zombies pinned him. Rancis struggled to push the zombie off from him while he was whimpering in fear. Suddenly there is a loud bang and the splatter of blood as a bullet pierces Rancis's pursuer and it hits the ground. Rancis pulled himself up, in shock.

His savior is a young, cloud-like woman, who’s dressed in a red-striped tank top, brown shorts, and small boots. She has pale, white skin and cloud hair that looks like it's tied in a pony tail. She gripped the pistol in her hand skillfully and fires a few more shots as Rigby and Eileen rescue Rancis. Her aim is true, as it takes down another of the monsters.

"RUN!" Another voice yelled, it came from a young boy with fair skin, orange-rosy cheeks, dark brown hair, and chestnut eyes. He wears a large and sugarcoated mallow crème pumpkin skullcap and candy corn colored socks. His jacket is shades of orange, black, and brown, colors generally associated with Halloween. It is worn over a white T-shirt with 3 candy corns on it, and accompanied by brown pants. His boots are a deep chocolate with reddish soles.

Mordecai and the others are quick to heed his order. The woman fired two more shots as the group rushed past the metal gates. The boy quickly slammed the gate shut and locked it with a combination lock. He does so just in time too, as the horde is beginning to thrash against the sturdy metal. He then joined the others, inside the pharmacy.

As soon as everyone is inside, a tall raccoon stands on lookout, occasionally taking peeks out the window.

“We can't take risks like this!" A different woman voiced loudly.

"And we can't just let people die, either." The cloud girl with the gun retorted.

"When I SAY ‘that door stays shut no matter what’ I fucking MEAN it." This woman is a robin. Her feathers are red and white in color; her beak is curved. She has brownish spots on the sides of her head, which are comma shaped, and a curved hairstyle. She’s also wearing a green hoodie and a pair of blue jeans. She continues speaking, "We don't know who these people are; they could be dangerous!"

"Worse, they could've led them right to us." A male gumball machine angrily added.

"Where the hell is your humanity?!" The sharpshooter argued.

Mordecai crossed his arms. "Whoa, chill the fuck out, lady. We're just people trying to avoid those things, just like you."

"Don't come in here and swear at me!" The robin gritted, squinting her eyes at Mordecai.

"I'll say whatever I want if you start threatening these people."

The sharpshooter interrupted, "You'll have to excuse her."

"The hell he, or ANYONE will. This is about survival, do you guys not see what's happening?"

The boy spoke up, “They’ve got kids, Margaret.”

“Those things outside don’t care.” Margaret hissed.

Rigby decided to cut in, “Maybe you should go join 'em, then. You'll have something in common!"

The gumball machine scowled. “Margaret, you have to control these people!”

“CJ and Gloyd just ran out there.” said Margaret, defending herself.

“She’s an asshole, that’s for sure.” Mordecai blurted out.

"That's what it takes." Margaret sneered.

"Well you don't have to be a bitch about it."

Suddenly, the gumball machine turns and gestures to Rancis, who is wiping the blood off his face with a rag.

"Holy SHIT. Son of a bitch, one of them is bitten!"

Mordecai didn't see Rancis get bit, "He wasn't bitten."

"Hell he wasn't! We have to end this, now." The gumball machine walked over to Rancis.

Rigby stepped in to intervene. "Over my dead body."

"We'll dig one hole."

“Leave me alone!” Rancis snapped. “I’m not bit!”

"Don't you people get it? We've already SEEN this happen. We let someone with a bite stay and-and WE all end up bitten!"

"Shut up." Rigby yelled, emphasizing each individual word.

"We gotta throw him out! Or smash his head in!"

“Don’t you lay a hand on me.” Rancis sneered.

“Mordecai, what do we do about this guy?” Rigby asked to Mordecai.

Margaret tried to calm the gumball machine down. “Benson, it’s just a boy.”

“We put the hurtin’ on him!” Mordecai suggested.

“That’s what I’m thinking!” Rigby agreed in a tone of appreciation, for Mordecai’s loyalty, while Benson’s gumballs turned red in anger.

CJ had enough of this. “Everyone CHILL OUT!”

“Nobody’s doing ANYTHING.” Margaret replied.

“Shut up, Margaret.” Benson said, before turning to CJ. “And YOU, shut your mouth! They will find us and they will get in here, and none of this will matter. But right now we're about to be TRAPPED in here with one of those things."

"What the hell are you talkin' about?" Rigby angrily asked.

"He's bitten! That's how you TURN."

“Are you deaf?!” Rancis snapped towards Benson. “I’m. Not. Bitten!”

“Yes. You. Are!” Benson snapped back.

Mordecai stepped up. “Listen here, dude, that boy isn’t bit. You need to just back off.”

“Back off?!” Benson questioned with disbelief. “When that boy dies and comes back as one of those things, would he stop attacking us as long as we ‘backed off’? No, he wouldn’t!”

“Are you tone deaf?!” Mordecai shot back. “He’s fine! We can figure this out without killing anybody! There’s always another way around it!”

“Yeah, with a shovel.”

This set off Rigby. “I’m gonna kill him, Eileen!”

Suddenly, that familiar voice away from the group called to Mordecai. “Hey, Mordecai?” It was Vanellope.

“Yeah?”

“I’m starving! Where’s the food?”

“I have no idea! Go look around!”

“Whatever, stinkbrain.” mumbled Vanellope.

“Hey, I’m not the bad guy here!” Benson yelled in his defense. “I’m just trying to watch out for Margaret!”

“No, you’re just the guy arguing for killing a kid!” Rigby retorted.

“He’s covered in muck! He’ll find the bite. WATCH.”

“He won’t!”

“And if he DOES?” Benson countered, “The first thing he’ll do is sink his teeth into your wife’s face. Then once she’s dead, he’ll probably pounce on YOUR little girl.” He continued, turning to Mordecai.

“Then we deal with it then. But right now, you’re just acting like a frigging maniac!” Mordecai replied angrily.

“Then get ready to deal with it because that boy is BITTEN.”

Rigby interrupted, “It’s not gonna happen!”

“It is and we’re tossing him out NOW!” Benson shouted while his gumballs changed to a deep shade of red.

Mordecai stopped him, getting right into Benson’s view, "NO. You don't touch that boy, you don't TOUCH anybody. I've got a little girl I'm trying to protect in here too. You want to get violent you stupid fuck?! Well, COME ON!! You better have a plan to kill me though, because it's ME before anyone else in here!"

“Sweet mother of monkey milk!” cried out a certain little girl.

Extreme worry creased Mordecai's forehead. Vanellope had unlocked the washroom door, only to be jumped by a zombie that had somehow managed to get locked inside. She reacted quickly and backed up, causing the thing to hit the ground and struggle to grab her ankles. "Holy crap!" Benson exclaimed.

"VANELLOPE!" Mordecai cried as he quickly rushed to get to her side. He bumped right into Margaret though and tripped, hitting the floor and blurring his vision. He quickly got to his feet and ran to Vanellope who was trying her best to not get bitten by the crawling and snarling fiend.

"Get away from her you son of a bitch!" Mordecai barked as he grabbed the zombie's shoulders and threw him back. Then, it turned on him, trying to bite his throat as Mordecai fought back. "Ah, God, get…off…ugh…" It got really close to biting Mordecai when a gun sounded and a bullet flew straight into its head, effectively killing it.

Mordecai pushed it far from him and leaned over onto his knees. "Man…"

CJ was holding her gun shakily, "You ok?"

Mordecai caught his breath, "Just great, thanks."

Gloyd turned to the doors, "Uh…guys?" The zombies outside had heard the loud gunfire and were pounding against the barricaded windows.

The raccoon on lookout stepped back in fear, before breaking out into a run to the farthest wall.

Margaret whispered an order, "Everybody DOWN! Stay QUIET!"

Everyone heeded the order and got down behind shelves and tables. Worry and fear was apparent on everyone's faces.

Benson peeked his head out from behind a shelf, his mouth in the shape of an 'O'. "They're gonna get in!"

"SHUT UP." Rigby half-whispered, half-ordered.

There was a sudden rat-tat-tat-tat of bullets in the distance, and large thumps and bumps. The loud noises luckily attracted the monsters away from the pharmacy.

"Is that the military?" Mordecai wondered out loud.

"I don't know." Margaret replied.

"Thank God for whatever it is." Gloyd stated.

“Seriously, CJ?!” Benson yelled. “We almost DIED because of you and your itchy trigger finger! That was stupid! That was-”

Benson started groaning in pain and tightly clutched his chest.

Margaret cried out, “BENSON!” Benson collapsed on the floor, still clutching his chest.

“What’s wrong with him?!” Mordecai asked immediately.

“I need my pills.” Benson replied weakly.

Eileen stepped forward. “I think he needs some nitroglycerin pills. I assume there are locked in that room behind the counter.”

“PLEASE, help him.” Margaret pleaded.

“Alright, I’ll find a way in.” said Mordecai.

“Thank you.” said Margaret in a thankful tone.

Rigby stepped up to the plate, taking charge, “Everyone else should get comfy and look for something useful. We could be in here awhile.”

"I'm starting to think this drugstore isn't a permanent solution." Gloyd agreed.

"You're right, this ain't exactly Fort Knox."

Mordecai questioned Gloyd, "What do you suggest?"

"We need as much gas as possible so we can ALL get out of downtown Macon. Fast." Gloyd began, "There's a motel not too far from here, out towards the end of Peachtree. I'll work my way towards it and then loop back, siphoning what I can."

“You from around here?” Mordecai asked with curiosity. “Local?”

"Born and raised."

"If you're going to do that, here's a walkie-talkie if you get in a tight spot. Hopefully you won't need it." Mordecai said, handing him the talkie that he had found in Vanellope's house.

"Cool."

"Vanellope's got the other one. Check in with her and get back here as soon as you can."

Gloyd nodded, pocketing the talkie.

Rigby spoke, still in 'leader mode', "And, you, what's your name?"

"It's Margaret. My friend’s Benson."

"Keep a good eye on him. These boys will work on getting you your medicine."

"That's right." Mordecai supported.

"And you, you keep an eye on that front door. You're our lookout." Rigby continued, gesturing towards the raccoon at the door.

"It's Don, you got it."

"And I'm CJ." She said, standing behind Don.

"Ok, CJ, you'll shift in with Don when he needs it. For now, get some rest – you're a good shot and I'd like to keep it that way." Rigby advised.

CJ nodded, 'You got it boss."

Margaret narrowed her eyes, obviously in distaste of Rigby taking charge of the group while Rigby continued issuing orders.

"Now get him those pills." He concluded, before the group set off to do their own thing in the building.

Mordecai walked past a group of shelves in back, examining the place. He noticed an ATM. It's not damaged; I'm glad this place didn't get looted. He thought silently to himself. To the right of the ATM, he spotted a lone energy bar on the floor. He bent down and picked it up, before strolling towards Vanellope who was sitting on a crate with her walkie-talkie.

"Hey there." Mordecai said, bending down to her height.

“What’s up, Mordecai?” Vanellope replied.

“Did you find anything to eat?” Mordecai asked.

“No.” Vanellope replied. "I've come up with nothing."

“Well, I managed to find this energy bar.” Mordecai said, handing Vanellope the energy bar. "It ain't much, but here you go."

“Thanks, Mordy.” Vanellope spoke with relief. "I haven't eaten anything all day."

“No problem, kid. Well, I’m gonna go grab those pills.” said Mordecai. “Let me know if Gloyd says anything.”

“You got it, chumbo.” said Vanellope.

Mordecai stood up and turned to the door behind him. On the door was a sign that read, AUTHORIZED EMPLOYEES ONLY. As well, there was a yellowed piece of paper that had been stuck on underneath the sign. It read, ALIVE INSIDE. Lee glanced sideways, thinking about his family, before reaching for the doorknob.

The door easily opened, and Mordecai stepped in, with Vanellope close behind. Mordecai's face was filled with sorrow as his eyes took in the scene. "I can't… I can't think about them in here." He murmured. There was a mattress that had been placed on the metal floor. Covering a large majority of the mattress was a huge and messy blood stain, spilling out onto the tiles too. In the middle of the puddle, was a picture frame that had fallen and broken. There was a first aid kit nearby on a table and several other things.

Mordecai swung the door back to its original position. There was also an door with a brightly-lit neon sign above it that read "Exit". It had been barricaded by a large, empty shelf tipped over on its side. Books and other things were toppled over. Windows were boarded up. Mordecai walked closer towards the messy mattress. He noticed the photo, There's a photo over there. Mordecai knelt down and slipped the photo out of the shattered frame. It was a photo of his family. Mordecai, dressed in a white dress shirt and black tie, stood the left of his mother and father. His sister was dressed in a distinctive, blue pharmacy uniform. They were smiling as they posed in front of the family drugstore. Mordecai smiled fondly at the photo, reminiscing, before frowning and taking the photo in his hands and ripping himself out of the picture. He put the remainder of the photo back down.

Suddenly, there was a voice behind Mordecai, shocking him, "Find anything?" It was CJ.

Mordecai turned to face her, dropped his half of the photo. "It's a photo of the family who owned this place. It might help us track down the keys to the office."

CJ stopped him, "I know who you are. You're Mordecai Quintel. You're a student at Athens who killed a state senator who was sleeping with your girlfriend. This is your parents' store; folks around town know the owner's son got himself a life sentence. I paid attention to that trial. Maybe you're a murderer. But I don't really care. Frankly, that's a skill that might come in handy."

"Hmmph." Mordecai responded, shaking his head.

"Did you tell anyone out there who you were, or that you were tied to this place?"

"No. I've been sticking to first names for a reason."

CJ shook her head and stared at Mordecai, “You seem like an ok guy, and the last thing we need is drama out there. You've got this little girl to take care of, and… look, don't make me wrong on this."

Mordecai stepped forward, towering over the reporter. "I don't plan to."

"Good. Because if this lasts longer than a few days and you're a detriment to the group, then we'd have a problem."

"I hear you."

"I'll just keep it to myself."

"Thanks."

CJ looked away sheepishly, before looking back up with a small smile, "Don't worry about it."

She turned and exited through the door and back into the pharmacy. Mordecai went back to examining the room. He looked at the bloody bedding. "My parents came in here hoping to survive… but it looks like one of them was hurt. I wonder if it was my dad." Mordecai chuckled softly, talking to himself, "Trying to be a hero, maybe. Or protect her, at least."

Mordecai walked away from the bedding and towards the blocked off exit. "This door leads to the back alley."

He turned towards a pallet that was leaning towards the wall, and he pulled it down, cause a cane to drop on the floor. Vanellope looked over at it and picked it up.

“Nice walking stick.” commented Vanellope.

“This was my dad’s cane.” said Mordecai. “He’d mosey around with it from time to time.”

“Why? Was he hurt?” Vanellope wondered.

“Nah, he was okay.” Mordecai answered. “He’d use it to put the hurtin’ on some shoplifters. This cane’s protected this store more than any guard dog could.”

“I think at this point, you could use it to bash the walkers.” said Vanellope.

“That could work.” agreed Mordecai. He looked over at the desk that’s blocking the door to the back room. He positioned himself to push the desk out of the way. He gave it a few good shoves, then it was eventually out of the way. He opened the top drawer to check for the keys, but they were not in there. He only found a television remote. “It’s the remote to my dad’s TV.”

He pointed the remote at the TV, pressed the power button on, and only got a blank screen. “That’s what I figured.” Mordecai then turned his attention towards the door.

Eileen mentioned earlier that the door was locked. Mordecai had to improvise.

“Alright, do your thing Knuckles,” chirped Vanellope, “bust it open!”

“I don’t know how I’m gonna do this.”

“Whack it with that cane.” Vanellope suggested. Mordecai grabbed the cane and whacked the door with it. A loud bang rang immediately after.

“Looks like it’s not gonna work.” said Mordecai. “I’m gonna have to find the keys.”

“Aww fine.” grumbled Vanellope.

“Let’s go back out to the store.” said Mordecai.

The duo stepped out of the office and back into the door. Suddenly, the walkie-talkie started to static, followed by a voice.

“Hey there, this is Gloyd. I’m kinda in a jam here. Uhh, girl? If you’re there, could you put your brother on the phone, or the talkie?”

“You can talk to me, Gloyd.” Vanellope replied. "What's the problem?"

“So…I’m down at that motor inn and, well, I-I’m stuck.”

“Stuck?”

Gloyd whispered, “Yeah, I, uh, saw a chance to get some supplies for the group and a bunch of the roaming ones got the jump on me. I'm hiding over here but they won't leave”

Mordecai asked, putting his hands on his waist, "What's up?"

"Gloyd's trapped down at the motor inn." Vanellope answered, before talking to Gloyd again, "Hey Gloyd, we're gonna talk it over and send a group to come get you, all right?"

“Phew, awesome. I'll sit tight 'till then.”

"Sounds good." Vanellope agreed, before the connection between the two walkies cut off. She turned to Mordecai, "Here, take this. You‘re gonna need it to get Gloyd."

Rigby cut in, "What do you think?"

"I think Don's not great around zombies, and you've got your family here.” said Mordecai. “I'll take CJ and her dead-eye down to the motor-inn, get Gloyd, and get back here as fast as I can."

"If that's what you want to do…"

"Somebody's got to."

CJ spoke up, "Yeah, I'm in."

"Good. It doesn't sound too bad there right now."

"Let me know as soon as you want to head out. I could use a jog."

Mordecai walked past Rigby and his family, overhearing Eileen saying, "We can't let anything happen to us.", and Rigby replying, "I know, hon." He headed over to CJ, striking up a conversation.

"You're a pretty good shot."

"Well you don't fuck with a laser tag queen, especially one that's three days out from her last cup of coffee."

"You ready to head out?"

"You got it. You?"

"Yeah."

"Let's go."

The two of them headed out the alley exit which was in the office and out onto the streets of Macon. Mordecai knew his way around Macon, so he led CJ to the motor-inn that Gloyd was supposedly talking about. It didn't take too long to reach it. As they carefully approached the motor-inn, there was a loud grumbling.

"Shit! Get down!" They hid as one of those things dressed in a varsity jacket stood and turned their way. Fortunately, it didn't pursue them, as it silently stalked away. Mordecai and CJ peeked up from under their hiding spot; there were several of those monsters in the lot. Suddenly, there was a squeaking as the door to an ice-machine next to a vending-machine opened slightly and closed again.

"Did you see that?" CJ asked anxiously, hoping it was just a trick of the eye.

"Sure did."

The door continued to squeak open and close. "Be ready to shoot." Mordecai advised, as CJ aimed her gun towards it. The door finally propped over, and Gloyd emerged, climbing out as soon as he saw them.

"GUYS! Oh man, I'm glad you're here."

"Holy, Gloyd!" Carley scolded, shaking her head.

He hopped over the short brick wall and joined his comrades.

"All right, that wasn't so hard." Mordecai said, raising his eyebrow.

"Can we get out of here before any of these things notice us?" CJ requested.

"Not yet. There's a survivor trapped up there." Gloyd denied, pointing up to a door next to the balcony. There were two zombies pounding against the door and wall, trying to get in.

"No way, we gotta go. NOW." CJ disagreed.

"LISTEN. I was out here looking for gas. And then, up there in the corner room, I heard crying coming from inside." explained Gloyd quietly.

"Who is it?" Mordecai asked curiously.

"It's a girl. We talked and she got frightened. I was trying to get in and help her and she started yelling and saying I was bitten. I tried to convince her I wasn't and that's when all of these guys came out of the forest. A couple almost got me and I ended up hiding in the ice-machine."

"Lucky you; now let's go!" CJ insisted.

"We can't just leave her."

"Damn right we can't." said Mordecai, supporting Gloyd's side.

CJ angrily whispered back, "You guys are suicidal. Over a girl!"

Gloyd squinted at her, " I'm saving her, with or without you."

Mordecai agreed, "Think about if it was you."

"Fine. Let's go save Gloyd's damsel in distress." CJ sighed.

The trio examined the scene; the two zombies were still busy pounding away at the survivor's door. In the motor-inn lot, there was a RV, and a red car. By the RV, there was a zombie absently whacking at a wall next to one of the room doors that was boarded up. Next to the red car's wheel, was a pathetic, but still dangerous zombie just laying there. There was also a zombie in the middle of its meal that was closest to the group. They stealthily made their way behind the next brick wall.

Mordecai instructed, "Ok, this is the plan. We don't know how hard it's going to be to get her out of that room."

Gloyd added, "Yeah, it's boarded up."

"So we have to kill every one of them in here."

As if on cue, CJ cocked her gun. But Mordecai stopped her, "QUIETLY. Noise attracts these things. Now let's have a look around."

Mordecai and Gloyd peeked up over the wall, staring at the zombie nonchalantly feasting on a body. Gloyd commented, "Oh man. She's eating something. So we got that one right there, close."

Mordecai looked over to the right, in the direction of the balcony and the red car. He noticed a truck near the balcony. Gloyd talked about the red car, "I saw one lurking on the other side of that car."

He returned to his original position and peeked up again, noticing the RV. "We can hide by that RV if we're quiet and keep our heads down." He signaled to Gloyd to follow him to the RV. They quietly snuck behind the occupied zombie. When they reached the front of the RV, Mordecai looked over to the side of the RV. There were two of the things, one still attacking the wall, while the other stared blankly into the side of the RV. Mordecai stopped looking. Gloyd spoke up, "We don't have much out here, except for CJ's gun and we can't use that much." Mordecai looked over to the side again; examining the zombie just standing there. "I'm not sure I can take them both out myself, even if I had a weapon." He voiced out loud.

Mordecai decided to head back to where CJ was, "Let's head back to that wall. Safe there."

When Mordecai and Gloyd made it back undetected, Mordecai peeked over to the left side of the wall, noticing a thin pillow on the ground.

"There's a pillow over there."

Gloyd explained, "That's about as far as I got when it came to supply gathering."

"I might have an idea for it." Mordecai replied, reaching for it.

"Good luck smothering them to death…" CJ said sarcastically.

"That's not really what I have in mind."

Mordecai glanced over to the balcony side, taking note of the truck, "We can hide by that pickup." He and the others silently began to make their way there, keeping their heads down. As they reached the pickup, Mordecai looked up at the zombies hammering away at the door. "They really want to get into that room."

They made it safely, and Mordecai went up to examine the window, wondering if there was anything useful inside. Inside was a green awl. Not thinking first, he jammed his shoulder into the window, hoping to break it. "Ow!"

Gloyd looked up in disapproval, "Hey man, that drew some attention. Be careful."

Mordecai decided to try a different method; he held the pillow up to the window. Gloyd questioned, "What are you going to do with that?"

"I don't really know. Has anybody taught you any tricks for getting into cars?"

"Not without tools or making a bunch of noise." He began, before squinting, "And none with pillows."

Mordecai ducked back down, and looked over to the red car, "We can do something with that car, I bet, if it weren't for that fella lurking near the front." He had an idea to get rid of that 'fella' near the car. He turned to CJ, "Get out your gun."

"But the noise…"

"Just follow my lead; stay right behind me."

Mordecai and CJ walked up to the zombie, who began to groan as he noticed them. As it began to attack, Mordecai shoved the pillow right into the thing's face, preventing it from moving forward. CJ jammed her pistol right into the pillow, pointing where the head would be and pulled the trigger. The pillow softened the noise of the bullet and the threat was eliminated. Gloyd couldn't resist commenting on it, "That was sick!"

The zombies at the top of the balcony turned their heads, but resumed their attack on the door.

Whew, thank God that worked. Mordecai thought.

They crouched under the red car. The vehicle's front wheels were balanced on ramps. Mordecai tried to push the car off its ramps but it wouldn't budge a bit. He opened the car door and poked his head inside. There was a metal object on the driver's seat, which Mordecai pocketed. Next, he noticed the car's gear shift. He unlocked it. Mordecai closed the car's door and showed the object he had found to Gloyd, "It's uh, a, sparky thing."

"Sparkplug. You should hold onto that, could come in handy."

After resuming his position, Gloyd continued, "We can get that guy by the wall over there, I bet…" Reading his mind, Mordecai began to push the car in the direction of the fat zombie attacking the wall. It turned around at the sound of the vehicle inching its way closer and closer to it. It didn't resist however, and the car smashed into it, trapped it against the wall. "That was awesome!" Gloyd expressed.

No longer having the option of hiding behind the red car, they retreated back to the pickup. Mordecai returned to the window, he pulled out the sparkplug and was about to jam it into the glass when Gloyd stopped him.

"Wait-" Gloyd said, gesturing to hand him the thing, "Let me see the sparkplug."

Mordecai handed it to him, and he proceeded to place the sparkplug on the cement ground. "The porcelain inside these things turns car windows to tissue paper." He stomped on it, revealing tiny bits of metal. Gloyd picked a piece up and placed it carefully in the palm of Mordecai's hand.

Mordecai held the porcelain in his hand and proceeded to hit the window, shattering it instantly. The loud sudden noise unsettled the zombies above more than muffled gunshot and vehicle crash. Luckily, they did not pursue them and continued on to their business. Mordecai reached into the window, careful to not prick himself on the glass. He plucked the awl from its place and showed it to Gloyd.

"That could scramble a brain pretty good." Gloyd commented.

"That's exactly what I was thinking."

They made their way back to their original starting position. After that, Gloyd and Mordecai once again snuck behind the munching zombie and behind the RV. Mordecai looked over to his right where the standing zombie was and examined his awl. "This pick is the prime walker killer. I should be able to take those guys out when they come around the corner of the RV. He whistled at it, attracting its attention. The zombie slowly staggered towards the source of the sound. As soon as it stumbled close enough, Mordecai jumped in front of it and swung the pick. The pick hit the zombie in the chest before Mordecai pulled it out and lunged for its face. Mordecai pulled the pick out, the zombie sliding off.

From behind him, Gloyd was occupied with distracting the previously eating zombie who had also heard the whistle. He picked up a large wooden plank and whacked it in the head. He dropped it, "Mordecai! Get him!"

Mordecai carefully aimed his awl before jumping forward and nailing the zombie directly in its forehead, piercing its brain, and ending its days as one of the living dead.

"Nice!" Gloyd thanked him.

"Thanks for having my back."

"For sure!"

The two of them snuck around the side of the RV, CJ following from behind. They went up to the zombie trapped from behind the back of the red vehicle. It was trying to get unstuck. Next to the struggling, fat zombie, there was a wonderful fire axe. As Mordecai got closer to it though, the zombie noticed him and tried to reach for him with its one arm. Mordecai attempted reaching for the axe but was blocked off by the zombie who snarled and growled at him. Trapping the zombie wouldn't be sufficient enough, Mordecai had to kill it to so he could get the axe. He thrust the awl deep into the huge zombie's head, where the awl found its resting place. The awl was jammed even deeper into his head and pierced through the back of his head when he fell over onto the hood over the car.

Gloyd walked over, "Dude, where'd your weapon go?"

"Into that ice-pick sized hole."

"Haha, wow." Gloyd snickered, impressed, "It's cool, now we've got THIS."

Gloyd pointed to the fireman's axe they now possessed.

"Are you two done?" CJ said exasperatedly.

Mordecai reached for the axe, pulling it off its supports. He turned and looked at the zombies on the balcony.

"Two more."

Gloyd looked over, "That should help."

They walked over to the base of the balcony stairs. Mordecai turned, "Why don't you guys lag behind; just in case this goes to hell."

CJ agreed, "Ok. We'll be right behind you."

Gloyd nodded.

Mordecai slowly stepped up the stairs, turned down the corner, and began to slowly approach the two zombies. As he got closer, the seemingly female one turned and faced his away, detecting him. She rotated and reached her arms out towards Mordecai, staggering to him. He swung the axe, hitting it in the side of its head, killing it. The other male zombie, hearing the clamor, also began to approach Mordecai. Mordecai curved the fire axe from the side hard, slicing straight through the fiend's head and hitting the wall on the opposite side. "Rad." Gloyd called it.

Mordecai and the others stood in front of the door. It was only then that Mordecai noticed the corroded walls, he wondered if it had only started corroding when the apocalypse began or had it been a while. The door had been barricaded by one long, thick piece of wood that had been hammered down, locking the door.

He went up to the door, placing his left hand on the surface and knocking with his other. "Hello in there? We're here to help."

There was a sorrowful voice that responded, "Please, just go away!"

CJ suggested, "Let's go, guys."

"In a minute." Mordecai replied, before speaking through the door again, "If you open up, we can take you somewhere safer. We've got a group in town."

"No no no. Please, no!"

Gloyd interrupted, "She's in trouble!"

"Miss! We're coming in!" Mordecai called out, proceeding to kick the door.

"You might want to break through that board first." Gloyd suggested.

Mordecai brought the axe down, splitting the board off. He reached for the handle, locked. Then, he started kicking his foot at the door. Suddenly, the girl's voice cried out, "Stop, just stop. I'm coming out."

The door unlocked and slowly opened, a ragged, young woman with deathly pale skin. She's got medium length brown hair, and blue eyes. For attire, she's wearing a pink tee shirt and a pair of green jeans, supported by a brown belt.

Mordecai and the others realized she had been injured, blood dripping from the recent wound.

"You're hurt." Mordecai stated in disbelief.

"Oh, God." CJ expressed.

"I…I said stay away." the survivor said.

"We need to get you help." Gloyd spoke up.

"It's too late for that." She continued.

CJ stated the obvious, "Guys, she's been bitten."

Mordecai and Gloyd flinched, "What?!" Gloyd exclaimed.

The stranger yelled sadly, "I told you. I said go away, I'm bit. But you wouldn't just leave."

Mordecai spoke, "Let's calm down. You could be fine."

"I won't be fine. My boyfriend was bitten. You get sick and you die and you come back and you kill anything you can find."

"You have a boyfriend?" Gloyd said down, looking down with true remorse.

"GLOYD." CJ shushed.

The woman ranted, "I don't want that. It's not Christian. Please, just leave me, please go."

Mordecai relented, "Ok, we'll leave. Just try to take care of yourself, for whatever time you have left."

The woman looked down, noticing CJ's gun. Her voice taking a persuasive tone. "You have a gun."

"So?" CJ questioned.

"Can I borrow it?" She slowly requested.

"What do you mean 'borrow'"?

"Give it to me. I can just, you know, end this and then – then there's no problem."

Mordecai exclaimed, "Whoa whoa whoa…"

"PLEASE. I don't want to be one of them. They're…they're…satanic." she pleaded.

Mordecai remained silent, "…"

Her pleading became hysterical. "Give it to me, PLEASE!"

Gloyd anxiously stated, "This is crazy!"

CJ ordered softly, "Please, step back."

"It's just two seconds, just one bullet, and I can be with my family, and it'll all be fine." The girl insisted, slowly stepping closer to CJ.

Mordecai expressed, "Miss..."

"Back up!" CJ shouted.

The woman lunged at CJ's weapon, "PLEASE!" CJ resisted, while being pushed back by the woman. Suddenly, there was a loud splitting noise as the supports and foundation of the balcony began to topple. The gun was flung away and the balcony hit the ground with a deafening crash. Mordecai got to his feet. CJ looked around for her misplaced weapon when she saw it. The woman was in the process in picking up the gun.

Mordecai tried to calm her down, "Whoa, take it easy. We just want to help."

The woman slowly stepped back from Mordecai and the others, "You can't. She placed the barrel of the gun to her temple, her hand shaking.

"Miss, just relax now…you need to think this through…we'll find you a doctor," Mordecai began softly, "It'll be ok, let's all just….Nonono no, NO!" Mordecai cried as the woman pulled the trigger, sending the bullet flying through her brain.

The gun lay discarded by the stranger's bloody corpse. Gloyd slowly made his way towards it, bending over to pick it up. His hands were shaking as he felt the barrel of the gun, still warm. Gloyd suddenly covered his mouth with his hand and heaved onto the ground. He wiped his mouth, quietly managing to muster, "Let's get out of here."

Suddenly, there was rustling of footsteps and leaves as zombies began to emerge from the woods. "Shit!" Mordecai silently cursed.

"Here they come!" Gloyd exclaimed, as the group quickly bolted out of there and into a pizza delivery car, "Get in!"

CJ slammed the accelerator, driving off into the night, losing the zombies.

Chapter 6: Hey, Sis

The crew made it back to the pharmacy safely. Rigby looked over at Mordecai. “Everyone alright?”

“Yeah.” answered Mordecai. “We had some close calls, but Gloyd’s fine.”

“OOOOHHHH!” Rigby cheered. “Nice work, dude. You’re one tough son of a bitch.”

Gloyd spoke up softly, looking down, "I've got a few cans of gas for your pickup in the trunk of my car."

"Good to hear it."

CJ stepped into the conversation, "And things back here?"

"Quiet." Rigby explained, "Our 'friend' is still in and out over there. He won't survive anymore stress."

“The next order of business is to get those pills out of the pharmacy.”

Rigby nodded and turned back towards Eileen and Rancis. Mordecai walked towards the door where Don was keeping watch. "Heard or seen anything?"

"Nothing, luckily. Want to step outside, have a look around?"

"Ha, I'm not suicidal yet."

"No, the gate out there is closed. We can hang out in front of the store and be fine."

"Oh, huh." Mordecai expressed, "Eh, not right now…"

"All right, let me know if you want to."

Mordecai walked over to a board next to Don's head. It was a cork board with various posters and things held there with push pins. He walked around the shelves until he finally made his way to Rigby, Eileen and Rancis.

He overheard Eileen say, "We just need to get back to Fort Lauderdale.", to which Rigby replied, "We'll do our damndest." Rigby noticed Mordecai.

"Hey, dude; you really gave that gumball machine hell."

"Yeah. We got pushed, you know."

"You don't have to tell me; I was ready to tear the man's head off." Rigby began, "Anyway, we, Eileen and I, appreciate your support."

Eileen agreed, "Thank you, Mordecai."

Mordecai asked, "How's Rancis doing?"

Eileen answered, "He's ok, it was just a shock."

Rigby added, "We're lucky as hell nobody got nabbed on the way in here."

"No kidding." Mordecai replied, with a relieved smile.

"How's she doing?" Eileen spoke up, looking over to Vanellope.

"She seems to be doing alright." Mordecai answered, with a hint of 'I don't know' in his voice.

Rigby commented, "She's a tough one, right there."

"She's just a little girl, Rigby." Eileen scolded

"What were you sayin, Mordecai, she spent days surviving on her own?" Rigby asked Mordecai with curiosity.

"That's right." Mordecai confirmed.

"Not just any little girl can do that." Rigby stated.

Mordecai decided to change the subject. "Are you guys all right?"

"We're just fine, considering." Rigby slowly nodded.

"How about you, Rancis?"

Rancis remained silent, staring at the floor. Eileen spoke up for him, "We've all been through a lot."

Mordecai asked a different question, "What's the plan?"

"Hang tight, I suppose." Rigby answered. "Seems pretty dangerous out there, so we oughta wait for things to clear up."

Eileen questioned, "You said your family was from here in Macon?"

Mordecai answered sadly, "That's right."

"Where are they? Should we go looking for them?"

"They're…gone."

"Oh my goodness, do you think? How?"

"I just know, all right?" Mordecai scowled.

"Eileen, it's not our business." Rigby intervened, before quietly mumbling to Mordecai, "Mordecai, you got a second?"

"Sure."

Rigby and Mordecai walked farther from Eileen and Rancis, out of earshot. He began, "Back at Ralph’s house…"

"Yeah?" Mordecai replied worriedly.

“We didn’t even try to save him.” Rigby said regretfully. "That blood is on our hands."

“We did everything we could.” said Mordecai in an assuring voice.

“We killed that man.” said Rigby.

"We didn't have a choice. You think you do, when you think back on it. But in a moment? When things are really out of control? You don't have any choice."

"I guess."

Mordecai gazed at the raccoon in front of him; he decided to console him, "Try to let it go?"

Rigby stared back silently and blankly, before returning to his family's side. "Try to get some rest, hon."

Mordecai heard him mention to his wife, "How can I with those things out there?" She replied.

Mordecai walked over behind the family, he noticed some old photographs. I don't remember them very well. Next to the hung up frames were newspaper clippings, which he briefly examined. Mordecai continued down the aisle, on the other end, again, were more photographs of his family. He brushed past the door and towards Don, "How are we doing?"

"Good, want to go have a look around outside?"

"Let's have a look around."

"Ok." Don said.

The wooden door opened with a slight as Mordecai and Don exited the pharmacy. Mordecai looked side to side, careful to not attract any of the zombies' attention. He inspected the scene, "…Jesus."

The messy and destroyed street was littered with many of the things, as the zombies stumbled about pointlessly. Mordecai and Don noticed a human body in which several of the zombies were partaking in. Part of the digestive track hung out of the body. Don backed up, covering his mouth, "I think I'm going to be sick."

"They just…"

"Eat. As far as I can tell, that's all they care about."

"And if one gets you…"

"They eat you, and whatever is left comes back as one of them."

"How the fuck…"

"I think it might be more than a couple of days before all this gets sorted out."

"Yeah, I think so too. We better keep it down out here." Mordecai advised, before crouching to his knees. Don followed suit. Mordecai examined the zombie-infested street. He noticed a television and electronics store, "Ha, too bad we don't have a way to come out here and watch the news."

"It would be nice to know what was going on elsewhere."

"Atlanta's in rough shape; that's all I know."

Mordecai noticed a hardware store, "Did you guys try to get in there and get weapons?"

"I did, but it was too risky. Then a bunch of guys showed up and THEY tried…"

"And what happened?"

"I think they're most of who you see wandering around out there." Don explained, shaking his head sadly.

Mordecai continued to look around, before a zombie trapped under a pole caught his eye, "Look at the one trapped over there..."

"Better her than us, huh?"

Mordecai squinted carefully at the walker, getting a better look. It was a female blue jay with long brown hair wearing a blue uniform and had a badge that said, L. Quintel. His eyes widened, "Oh shit…"

"What? Do you know that girl?"

"Kind of. She…has a familiar face." Mordecai lied.

"Ah. You're from around here, huh? Could be anybody, you know? They start rotting and get all chewed up and-"

"Shut up, Don."

Mordecai looked down, shaking his head as he thought of his former sister.

Mordecai continued, "Look at the uniform, though. She could've worked at the drugstore and died with keys in her pocket."

"It would take a lot of effort to make it safe enough to out there and see if she has the keys. If we can somehow prove that she worked here, I think it'd be worth it."

"I'll see what I can find…"

Then, Mordecai remembered the photo he had found on the bloody bedding. "That girl over there has the keys."

"How can you be sure?"

Mordecai pulled out the photo, offering it to Don. "I found this in the office. That girl in the photo worked here. The keys being on her is as good a bet as we can make."

"Yeah, I agree. We just need to figure out how to get out there and get them." Don began, "You wouldn't need long, right?"

"Nah, just a few seconds."

"Maybe there's a way to distract them and buy you some time."

Mordecai looked right in front of him and saw a brick laying on the ground. Unfortunately, it was outside the gate and out of his reach.

I can’t reach that brick. Mordecai thought to himself.

To the right of Mordecai's sister, there was a window that had be boarded up badly, "Man, that's a hasty fortification job over there."

"Yeah, it didn't work."

Mordecai took note of the combination lock that had saved all of their lives. He pulled out his television remote, "Open sesame."

"That…won't work."

Mordecai frowned, "I was kidding."

"It's universal, but not that universal."

"I know, Don."

Trying a different method, Mordecai proceeded to get to his feet and cut the combination lock from its place with his fire axe.

"Awesome!" Don commented, looking at Mordecai's handiwork, "Now to distract those things…carefully."

Mordecai looked over to the television store and pulled out his remote. He handed it to Don, "Think you can do anything with this?"

"You know what I COULD do…"

"What's that?"

"It's universal; I could program it to work with those TVs across the street. Let's just hope the power is still on."

"You can just do that?"

"I memorized all the codes when I was in AV. Let's try."

Don stuck his hand out through the bars, aiming the remote at the store. The televisions across the street flickered on brightly. On the screens were static.

Mordecai was impressed, "Well fucking done, Don. All that dork nonsense might save a life."

"Who's to say it already hasn't?"

The sound of the static from the televisions attracted the attention of some of the walkers. "That got a few of them to take notice…" Don voiced.

"But not enough." Mordecai stated, as the walkers resumed to absently stumble about.

Mordecai stood up, and quietly pushed the gate open a bit. Don looked worried. He reached for the brick in front of him. Mordecai carefully inched his way through the gate and a bit out. He tossed the brick far across the street, smashing into the television store's windows and shattering them. The sound of the store's televisions and alarms attracted the horde, as they gathered to whack them.

Mordecai looked over to Don, "Now's the time."

"Be careful." Don warned, as Mordecai left the metal gates out into the now empty street.

"Keep an eye out, will ya?"

Mordecai crossed the street over to his trapped sister. The walker looked up in acknowledgment as she quietly groaned at him. Then, her groans became louder as she tried to grab Mordecai. Mordecai bent down a safe distance from it.

"Hey, sis. I don't know what happened to mom and dad. But I know…if you were there, you would've died for them, so…uh… Yeah. I'm going to assume that's what happened.”

Don stupidly called towards Mordecai, "Did you find them yet?!"

"Give me a second." Mordecai snapped back.

Mordecai closed his eyes and looked down, "I'm sorry, Lacey. I'm sorry I wasn't here. But knowing you were… to take care of them, through all of it. That helped."

Mordecai got to his feet, reluctantly raising the axe. He brought the axe down onto her neck, splaying blood. The walker stopped moving, as Mordecai pulled up and gazed down sadly at his former sister. Suddenly the walker reached for his legs, Mordecai quickly jumped back. He raised the axe again, bringing the axe down again, cutting her neck again. She snarled in protest. Mordecai swung the axe yet again, still not killing her. He brought it down, but it just wouldn't cut through. He was about to swing down at his sister's neck again when the thing shifted and moved her head into the axe's pathway, effectively killing her.

"Ugh…God…" Mordecai gasped, reaching into the corpse's front pocket. He pulled out the pharmacy keys, "There we go." He got to his feet, waving the keys at Don.

Don smiled, and slowly turned towards the television store. "HOLY CRAP!" He exclaimed, "RUN!"

The walkers were beginning to lose interest in the televisions and began turning their way, staggering with their arms out towards them. Mordecai bolted back down the crosswalk, towards the pharmacy. Don closed the metal gates as best as he could. Then, they ran back into the store.

Once inside, Don braced himself against the doors, "Man, that was close."

"But we did it, that's all that matters."

Don regained his posture. Mordecai headed over to where Margaret and Benson were, "I've got the keys."

“Great! God, you're amazing. Let's get in there."

Margaret and Mordecai entered the office, approaching the medicine room's door. He inserted the key into the lock, turning the handle. The door opened without a fight. They stepped into the brightly-lit room when suddenly; the store's alarm went off.

“Oh, no.” Mordecai muttered as he silently rushed into the room.

“We gotta hurry.” Margaret ordered, following behind, looking for the much needed medicine.

Chapter 7: Two Enter, One Leaves

The sudden clamor of the bell raised the dead, luring the horde towards the entrance of the pharmacy.

Eileen spoke softly, gathering her bearings, "C‘mon Rancis, let’s get out of here."

Rigby yelled at the top of his lungs, "I'm gonna get the truck pulled up 'round back."

Margaret advised, helping Benson to his feet, "Do it fast. I've got to get Benson out of here."

"I don't plan on dilly-dallying." Rigby retorted, he turned to his family, "Honey, take Rancis into the office and barricade the living hell out of the door behind me. Gloyd, when you hear me honking in the alley, start getting people out of here."

"You got it."

"Don, CJ and Mordecai, you guys make sure our defenses stay up 'til then. And Mordecai, I better take that axe, in case I run into any of them on the way to my truck."

"Here you go" Mordecai called, tossing the weapon towards Rigby.

Suddenly there was a metal crashing outside the doors, "Guys, that door's not locked anymore!" Don warned the group.

"Shit. You three get on it! I'll get back as fast as I can!"

Don, CJ, and Gloyd dashed towards the wooden doors, bracing themselves against the wild pounding and pushes.

Mordecai warned Vanellope, "Stay away from the windows."

As Mordecai made his way to help his comrades at the door, he heard Eileen cry out, "Gloyd, we need your help! Please hurry!" Mordecai quickly ran to the door, taking Gloyd's place in the middle. There was a crashing of glass as walkers threw blow after blow into the walls and bookcases.

Don turned to Mordecai, still pushing back the doors, "Hey, Mordecai…if we don't make it through this, you should know that… I think you're a great guy."

"We WILL make it through this." Mordecai yelled back.

CJ began, "Don, if we don't make it through this, you should know—"

Suddenly the doors pushed Mordecai back, as the walkers' attack became more furious. Mordecai quickly regained his place at the door, struggling to push the doors back into place.

"I should know WHAT?" Don shouted.

"Huh?!" expressed CJ.

"You said I should know—"

Suddenly, the exchange was once again interrupted as the bookcase to the left of the front doors collapsed. Walkers poured in. CJ scowled, "On it."

"Are you sure?" Mordecai questioned.

"Oh, shit!" She swore, taking her gun out.

"Wha…? Oh, shit!" realized Mordecai, as the walkers slowly reached for Don. Luckily, CJ shot the closest ones.

"Ok then…" Mordecai relented, before spotting Vanellope, "Vanellope! Can you look for something in-between the handles! Something real strong, ok?!"

"You got it, stinkbrain!" She nodded, before rushing off.

The doors threatened to push open, as Mordecai forced them back, "VANELLOPE! Did you find anything?!"

"Give me a second! I got an idea!" She exclaimed as an idea formed in her head.

There were more crashes of glass as they shattered, Don exclaimed, "That window is SCREWED!"

Mordecai turned to him, "GO!" Don hesitated for a second, before nodding and heading to defend the other window.

Without his comrades to help, the doors pushed open again. Mordecai had to try even harder this time to force the walkers out. He shoved his back against the handles again. Vanellope ran up to him, "Here you go!" She handed him a stick that he recognized, it was his dad's cane. Without any second thoughts, Mordecai grasped it and slid the cane between the handles.

"Ahhhhh! Get off, GET OFF. GET IT OFF ME!" Don yelped, as the walkers were threatening to pull him through the window any second.

"SHIT! I'm out! I'm OUT! MORDECAI! Help! Ammo! In my purse!" CJ shrieked, as a walker gripped her ankle, pulling her closer and closer.

The scene seemed to slow down for Mordecai, as Vanellope, in complete shock looked back and forth between their comrades as they both needed aid. Mordecai turned to CJ, before looking back to Don. He was running out of time. Sorry, Don. Mordecai thought numbly as he dashed towards CJ's purse. He rummaged through it, before pulling out a clip and tossing it to CJ. CJ quickly reloaded her gun and shot the gaining walkers.

"Ah, no! GET 'EM OFF ME!" Don cried, before wooden boards covering up the window split open and the walkers dragged him through, "AHHHHHHHH!" Don kicked his legs, struggling to get out of their grip. They pulled him straight out the window, kicking and screaming, before tearing him to shreds. His pleads echoed through Mordecai's mind.

CJ gagged at the noise, "Oh my God…" Before clenching her teeth and firing off a few more shots.

Rigby burst through the office door, axe in hand. "Let's GO!"

CJ dashed for the door, "They got Don… They…they…" she absently expressed.

"It doesn't matter, you've gotta MOVE." Benson ordered.

Vanellope also ran for the door, before yelping as a walker grabbed her legs. Mordecai angrily rushed at it, stomping on its back several times. It finally let go and Vanellope scrambled to her feet in a daze. Mordecai stepped over the zombie, before frantically running towards the door. Benson held the door open as Vanellope stood behind him.

Mordecai fearfully ran from the walker, before feeling a firm hand placed onto his chest, stopping him. It was Benson. Benson gave Mordecai a dirty look, before screaming at him, "You're not coming with us, you son of a bitch!" He threw a blow towards Mordecai's face, knocking him to the cold floor.

"Let me go!" Vanellope yelled, as Benson forcibly guided her away.

Mordecai's vision blurred when he collapsed onto the floor. Mordecai's hand naturally rubbed his area of collision. He looked towards the door, the endless darkness inside. Is this where I die…? Suddenly, a figure appeared in the door. As Mordecai's vision settled, he realized it was Rigby! Rigby rushed to him, and then all of sudden raised his axe at Mordecai. Mordecai instinctively raised his hand, as if it would lessen the blow. Rigby brought the axe down, hitting not Mordecai, but the familiar walker he had stomped on before.

Rigby reached his hand out towards Mordecai, "I'm not letting somebody else get eaten today."

Mordecai gratefully accepted the hand.

"Especially a good friend." Rigby continued, pulling Mordecai to his feet and towards the door. Mordecai turned, the pharmacy was lost; walkers poured in from all sides as they shuffled uncomfortably closer towards them.

Mordecai quickly reached for the handle and slammed it shut.

Chapter 8: Everything's Going to be Okay

The group retreated from the lost pharmacy, heading their way towards the motor-inn that Gloyd had gathered the gas from. The big yellow sign that hung above the inn read, Travelier MOTEL. It was shaped like an arrow. Margaret dragged the dead corpses, including the dead stranger, into a large, lumpy pile. She stared disgustingly at her hands, before wiping them against the sides of her jeans. Eileen and Rigby were rummaging through boxes on the truck of their pick-up. Rancis nonchalantly approached Vanellope, "Hello there, Vanellope."

Gloyd was intently listening to the radio in his delivery vehicle. Mordecai was gazing sadly at his last remaining piece of his family. Sudden shotgun blasts broke the silence, attracting Mordecai's attention. Accompanied with these shots were piercing screams. Mordecai looked out into the distance, before the sounds disappeared. He looked back towards his group. Mordecai walked towards Gloyd, "Hey Gloyd."

Gloyd raised a hand to stop him, concentrating on the broadcast. The radio was reporting on the status of major cities. Atlanta was in the middle of a stage 9 catastrophe. Gloyd looked down, thinking. He looked back up, "I think I need to go."

Margaret turned her head, picking up on what he had said. She slowly began to make her way to them.

"To Atlanta?"

He nodded, "Yeah… I got friends there, and I just can't stay here knowing that they could be trapped in that city."

"It sounds like nobody knows what's happening there. When we left a few days ago it could've gone either way."

"I got to take my chances"

Mordecai noticed Margaret, whose eyes suggested stopping him. But he advised her not to intervene with a shake of his hand. She looked down, frowning, before walking away.

"You gotta do what you gotta do." Mordecai spoke.

"And I gotta do this."

"I respect that."

"You guys be safe."

"We'll try."

Gloyd sadly glanced up at the balcony where CJ, he, Mordecai, and that girl had toppled from. He remained silent and motionless, before walking towards the road and into the darkness. Mordecai went over to Rigby and Eileen, "Hey dude."

"Close call back there."

"Thanks for picking me up." Mordecai expressed, shaking Rigby's hand.

"No problem. We have to take care of each other."

"Yeah, we do." Mordecai smiled.

"Hey, about Vanellope."

"Yeah?"

"Earlier I said there's some stuff out there that might screw up a precious little girl like her."

"You did."

"Well I still think that's true. But after what I saw today, I think, between you taking care of her and her taking care of herself, you two are going to be just fine." Rigby grinned.

"Thanks, man."

"You got it." Rigby pointed, before heading back over to Eileen.

Mordecai headed over to CJ, who was poking around in a few boxes, "How are you doing, CJ?"

"I'm ok. You know, considering."

"I do, yeah."

"I can't stop thinking about Don. We couldn't have saved him, could we?"

"I don't think so. It happened pretty fast."

"I know it's stupid…we'd just met… and he was such a… it's just that… I think that I liked him."

"I'm sorry, CJ."

"It's ok. Thanks though. There's been a lot of death in the past few days. Anyway, I'd rather be alone I think."

Mordecai nodded, "I understand." He turned to walk away, when CJ interrupted him.

"Wait, Mordecai?"

"What is it?"

"How did you choose? We both needed you… you picked me."

"I thought you needed the help."

"Ah, that makes sense."

"But it wasn't a choice, like that. It was… just something I did. I don't know why."

"I just wish we both could've made it, you know?" She admitted.

"Me too, CJ."

She resumed rummaging through the boxes, and Mordecai walked away. He walked towards Vanellope and Rancis, noticing that Benson was glaring at him from the back wall. Rancis was in the middle of a conversation with Vanellope. Mordecai cleared his throat, cutting in, "Hey Rancis, can you give us a minute?"

"Ok, sorry." Rancis apologized as he walked away from Vanellope.

Mordecai looked down at Vanellope, who was silently leaning against the vehicle. He got to her eye-level, "How are you doing?"

"Rancis loves to ramble." Vanellope simply answered. "He tried talking about comic books to me, and I'm not a fan."

"Eeee."

"Thanks for looking out for me back there."

"No problem, kid."

"I know I haven’t said it lately, but I do miss my parents. I’m worried about them. You know what I mean?"

"My parents are dead."

"Ouch." Vanellope quietly mumbled.

Another voice spoke, "Mordecai, come here for a second." The voice belonged to Benson.

"Let me go deal with this." Mordecai told Vanellope. As Mordecai got to his knees, Rancis resumed his conversation with Vanellope.

Mordecai walked over to Benson, asking with a irritated tone, "What do you want?"

"You like Margaret?"

"Not really." Mordecai replied, crossing his arms.

"Good. Stay away from her; or everyone her knows that Mordecai Quintel is a killer. And I'm not talking about those THINGS out there. You hear me?"

Mordecai shrugged, looking away.

"I asked you a question, boy."

Mordecai looked back, still remaining silent.

"Then again, I wouldn't expect a convicted murderer to listen to anything anybody's got to say. I know who you are. And I don't give a shit about what happens to you. But if anything happens to Margaret or that little girl you've got with you, heh, you watch your ass." Benson snapped, before rudely brushing past Mordecai.

Suddenly, Margaret spoke up, "Hey, Mordecai; do you have a second?"

Mordecai glanced over his shoulder at Benson who was glowering at him. He grimaced. Margaret continued speaking nevertheless, “Benson would be dead if it weren't for you."

Mordecai looked down, with a guilty look on his face, "That guy, Don, is dead because of me."

"You can't be like that. You're only one man."

"I don't know…"

"We're lucky to have you."

Mordecai looked up and smiled, before there were sudden loud booms. They reminded Mordecai of the sound fireworks made. But in this world now, that was impossible. Margaret and Mordecai nervously glanced up. Rigby broke the silence, "I hope that's the sound of us winning this thing."

"Me too."

"This motor inn's pretty damn defendable. We block off the entrances with some cars and keep someone on watch and we could stay here until the military rolls through."

The three of them began walking towards the road, Margaret agreed, "I actually agree with that plan."

"Me too." Mordecai supported.

Rigby continued, "We've got beds, we've got water and most importantly, we've got light. There are worse places to call home."

Margaret approved, "Yeah. You're right. You know guys, I think it's going to be ok."

As if on cue, the motor inn was suddenly plunged into complete darkness as the area's electricity began to shut off. Vanellope dashed towards Mordecai with complete shock on her face.


Trivia

  • First appearance of Mordecai.
  • First appearance of Vanellope.
  • First appearance of Rigby.
  • First appearance of Eileen.
  • First appearance of Rancis.
  • First appearance of Margaret.
  • First appearance of Benson.
  • First appearance of CJ.
  • First (and last) appearance of Police officer.
  • First (and last) appearance of Steve.
  • First (and last) appearance of Fix-It Felix Jr..
  • First (and last) appearance of Wreck-It Ralph.
  • First (and last) appearance of Don.
  • First (and last) appearance of Gloyd
  • Vanellope's parents have the same names as Clementine's parents, because I got lazy and didn't think of any new names.

  

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