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Land of the Dead (High School of the Dead SI)

Discussion in 'Creative Writing' started by Brian Boru, Jul 4, 2015.

  1. Brian Boru

    Brian Boru Experienced.

    Aug 22, 2014
    Likes Received:
    Odd, would have figured someone would comment about the epic blue-balling.
    AdVeNtUrE and Slayer 10321 like this.
  2. Arthur MacGuffin

    Arthur MacGuffin Getting out there.

    Oct 8, 2017
    Likes Received:
    I found it hilarious but I only just caught up today so nyeh, but the funniest part for me was where Tom was just so done with everyones shit that he just told Saya that she's riding in the trunk.
    Slayer 10321 likes this.
  3. Sornek

    Sornek Know what you're doing yet?

    Jan 4, 2017
    Likes Received:
    Oh dear god, i'm rolling on the floor. Nice way in shutting up saya
    Slayer 10321 likes this.
  4. bearblue

    bearblue So far, so good.

    Feb 6, 2017
    Likes Received:
    I just found this and spent a few hours reading. Enjoyable isn't quite the right word, since I'm not normally into Zombie fics, but as a survival fic, it's definitely got tons going for it. As a romance, it's sweet as heck. As terrible apocalypse events go, it's right on the money for terrifying. And I'm rooting for all of them, as I know, really, it's all just getting started. So...

    Well done! I think this is very much worth the time I spent and I think you've done a great job of "what if." Thank you for sharing this.
    TanaNari, Brian Boru and Slayer 10321 like this.
  5. zarabg

    zarabg Not too sore, are you?

    Feb 17, 2017
    Likes Received:
    Awesome chapter, really enjoyed it, cant wait for more! :)
  6. Threadmarks: Part Twenty-Seven
    Brian Boru

    Brian Boru Experienced.

    Aug 22, 2014
    Likes Received:
    Forgot to post this one.

    In retrospect, asking for a buster might not have been my most thoughtful decision of the day, I reflected as the car ground to a halt about half a block from Shizuka’s house as its tortured engine seized up in series of clangs and rattles followed by one very final pop.

    “Okay, looks like we’re parking here.” I stated a bit abruptly as I kicked open the door. And I do mean kicked. The thing stuck like a motherfucker. I hopped out with the others quickly scrambling out behind me, not wanting to be around after that clanking tin can’s death rattle had to have alerted half the neighborhood’s resident zeds.

    Saya was the second to last one out, having had to sit in Saeko’s lap, face as pink as her hair while her features were stiff to a degree normally reserved for statuary.

    As we stepped away from the car, I paused for a moment to give the rustbucket one affectionate nod. Normally I would have given it a pat on the hood, but considering the volume of smoke billowing from the engine bay, I was in no rush to get too close.

    “Ya did good buddy, ya did good.”

    “Sensei,” Saya asked wearily, “How much farther? Because I will be very upset at you and never forgive you if you stranded us in the middle of the city to be eaten alive kilometers from our objective.”

    “About 12 houses. Give or take.” Shizuka replied with a sweet smile. Or at least the appearance of one. She could be hard to read, but to my highly trained eye, she was all but projecting an aura of smug amusement.

    I guess after 30 minutes of listening to Saya running on full Tsundere mode on the way down, she was very pleased to have an opportunity to take her down a peg.

    Couldn’t blame her. There had been moments when I really had been tempted to follow through on my threat of sticking her in the trunk. Looking around as we quickly stepped our way towards Shizuka’s home we kept a constant lookout for any undead, amazingly we saw none, at least none along the stre- wait, never mind.

    Coming from around one house came a trio of zeds, looked like a group of salarymen judging from their outfits and approximate ages. I made to deal with them almost on instinct but before I could take an extra step both Takashi and Rei had dashed ahead. Takashi checked the first with his shield, knocking the clumsy former human to the ground before following with a chop to the thing’s head, splitting it in an eruption of gore. Rei had stood behind him and with a quick thrust of her spear over his crouched form lanced the face of the second, the broad-bladed spear all but decapitating it. She quickly pulled her spear back and with a twist of her body caught the third, tripping it as Takashi recovered. He then exploited Rei’s opening and and finished it with a smooth strike.

    I blinked in surprise, despite having never fought before as a team, the pair had taken out three zombies in less than as many seconds.

    I had to say, being able to work as such a well-oiled machine despite never having trained together spoke volumes of the depths of their relationship. I had to admit it, I was impressed. Saya, on the other hand, was subconsciously radiating jealousy while Seiko was... blushing faintly.

    Jesus Christ.

    Please don’t tell me that she considered “Couples Zombie Slaughter” to be romantic. Because at this rate I was going to have nightmares about her.


    Forcing down yet more dark, dank things that would haunt my subconscious to deal with later, I moved past the pair and reached the front gate to Shizuka and Rika’s house. After a moment’s panic digging through my pockets I pulled out the proper key and quickly unlocked the gate that separated the house from the street. We could have vaulted the wall easily enough but why make it harder for yourself when you didn’t have to?

    I pulled the gate open and turned to the others. “Alright everyone, get in, Shizuka, unlock the front door and let the others in, I’ll lock the gate.”

    She nodded and, stepping past the others, made her way up the stairs to the front door and after fumbling with her keys for far longer than she needed to found the correct one and opened the door, leading the others inside, once they were in I shut the gate quickly locked it, and made my way in as well, Shizuka waiting with the door open until we were all inside before she shut the door and locked it herself.

    “Hey sensei?” Kohta asked with no shortage of excitement in his voice, almost bouncing on his heels as he indicated Rika’s car outside. “Was that a real MilSpec Humvee?”

    “Yep!” Shizuka replied. “Used to belong to the US marines. My roommate bought it and had it shipped up from Okinawa.”

    “Amazing what perks being an elite sniper brings, eh?” I commented dryly.

    “Nah, more she’s just a giant military Otaku who knows who to talk to.” Shizuka replied with a shrug.

    “Alright everyone. Here’s the plan. We’re to raid the kitchen and strip the house of anything even remotely valuable, load it in the truck, and maybe if we get a chance grab some showers.”

    I paused. “And we’re going to see if we have something sane for Miss Busujima to wear.”

    She frowned, crossing her arms under her breasts and defiantly thrusting her chest in my direction. “And what is wrong with my clothing, sensei? It is durable and allows a high degree of movement.”

    I almost flinched. Down boy.

    “Leather doesn’t breathe.” I replied calmly. “I know it might be comfortable, flexible, and even protective, but once you get a good sweat going you’re going to be wishing that you could take a bath in baby powder because the chafing will be the stuff of legend. Do remember, that this will probably be our last chance to clean up until we get into the mountains. Which could be a week or more.”

    It was a testament to her sense of practicality that Saeko almost turned green at the realization. “Sensei, I am beginning to believe that I did not entirely think this through.”

    “And that is why I am the teacher and you are my beloved student,” I replied putting on my best all knowing master act.

    She lowered her head, blushing slightly. “Of course, sensei.”

    Good, she seemed...

    I paused as I realized exactly what I’d just said.




    I sighed. Well. That was certainly a thing.

    Damn it, mouth! Next time check with brain before you try and sound all deep and shit! There were so many ways to misread that statement that you could probably write a book.

    I sighed. “Okay. How about you girls just shower off and find her a change. The boys and I will get in the gun safe and start loading the truck. Then we can swap off and get moving once we’re fed and dry. In all luck we’ll be spending the night with the Takagis.”

    They nodded in agreement and separated but to my personal shame I noticed the awkward coughing and side glances they gave me and Saeko, first chance I had I was ramming my skull against a brick wall until the sweet dark embrace of unconsciousness came for me. It was the only way to be sure this nightmare ended.


    About an hour and a half, give or take, with a hot bath behind me, I felt much more alive than I had in weeks. The pressure Z-Day’s anticipation and the mad scramble just to keep everyone alive during those first critical hours had stretched me to the breaking point. Even now the sounds of sirens and the occasional gunshot could be heard despite my best efforts to ignore them.

    To help focus my attention elsewhere, I’d opened up Shizuka’s laptop and begun searching for the most up to date road traffic information I could manage in order to plan for our exodus. All the while I kept several tabs from both national and international news sites to help keep track of the goings on in the rest of the world. It didn’t bode well. Large swaths of Europe were on fire with most the large cities already being under siege by the undead. China had already become a media black hole having gone as far as to completely shut down the civilian internet. And America, well, Martial Law had been declared and they were actively deploying US military units to combat the “infected”.

    Oh, and several major Hollywood stars had managed to get themselves eaten on live TV while protesting the “brutal oppression”. I’d make a joke about stupid liberals, but considering the fact that numerous white nationalist groups had declared this God's punishment for multiculturalism and already started numerous race riots in order to “purge the undesirables to save the white race”, neither side really had a pot to piss in.

    What really amused me was that there were people fleeing across the Mexican border in droves. Headed south, that is. Northern Mexico is a lightly populated wasteland. Which might be a Godsend for the few souls that lived there.

    One of the best managed responses to this entire situation seemed to be Jerusalem. The Israelis looked like they were preparing a fortress city protocol, though considering the tone of the reports I was a bit hesitant to feel positive about it. Some of the ethnic subtexts I was hearing were extremely disturbing and were hinting at a bloodbath that could probably be called a holocaust.

    As for the rest of the Middle-East, it looked like every asshole with a grudge against their neighbor was taking the opportunity to cash in their chips. To call it a shit show was pretty much the understatement of the millennium. The only group that seemed to be even marginally stable was the Coalition forces in Iraq, and that was because they were hunkering down and shooting pretty much anyone who as much as looked at them funny.

    All of this was being done, of course, while waiting for the girls to finish bathing and while I was sitting in the window watching the house across the street. I knew that sooner or later Alice and her father would show up and I was not going to let that little girl down. Also the dog, can’t forget that brave little trooper.

    I was also doing my best to stay in contact with ‘home base’. Which was actually getting easier. Less failed calls. Though fact that the cellular lines seemed to be clearing up did not bode well for anyone.

    “Hey, Sensei!” Takashi called out from the Kitchen. “You going to help out with loading the truck?”

    “I’m busy. Checking out the traffic patterns and trying to find the best evacuation routes,” I glanced up. “Where’s Kohta?”

    The teen sighed deeply. “I think he’s still in Rika’s room, drooling over the weaponry.”

    I frowned. “Tell him that he’ll have all the time to get his rocks off later. We need that vehicle up and ready to move as soon as I make the call.”

    He nodded. “I got you, sensei. But what are we waiting for? I mean, I can see you’re watching the street for something.”

    “Survivors,” I replied. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. “Takashi. Do you trust my instincts?”

    “Considering you’re probably the only reason I’m alive right now, yeah.”

    No. No I really wasn’t. I took a deep breath. “There’s going to be some people coming by sooner or later. If I ever want to be able to sleep at night ever again, I’ll have to be here.”

    I paused. “In fact, there are survivors across the street in, I think that house over there...”

    I pointed at the house where Alice’s father would have met his end in the canon. Now, while most people portrayed them as villains for that act, having lived the situation, I could say with certainty that they were not evil. They were just scared. “Might be a good idea to send someone over to try and get them to join us. But be careful. They’re going to be jumpy and will probably try to stab you.”

    He blinked. “You serious?”

    “It’s the same feeling that had me ready for the undead rising. That good enough for you?”

    He nodded. “I’ll get Kohta. We’ll armor up and check on them.”

    “Good. Once you’re done over here, we can use the opportunity to strip their cupboards as well. Call it payment for the ride.”

    “Right sensei.” He nodded and began for the door before pausing and turning back. “Anything else?”

    “Yeah. Don’t forget the little dog.”

    He paused in mid step, lifted a single finger and then lowered it with a deep, long-suffering sigh.

    “Sure thing, sensei.”


    Hail Mary, full of grace...

    The prayer ran through my head in what felt like the thousandth time in ten minutes as I was left dealing with something that frankly I’d been dreading almost as much as the Zombies...

    Hadaka Apron Saeko.

    Saeko, cool as a cucumber, walked towards me slowly and gracefully, her body shifting from step to step with the ease and flexibility of a snake homing in on an especially fat mouse. There was a coy, playful smile on her face and I swore to god that she was giving me bedroom eyes.

    In her arms she was carrying a tray full of food. Delicious smelling food. Food that she’d cooked, having volunteered for kitchen duty. Her excuse was that she didn’t want to get the clothes she’d be taking dirty, but even though I remembered vaguely that she’d done this in canon, I knew, somehow she was doing this on purpose just to fuck me...

    Goddamn it brain!

    Fuck with me.

    Hail Mary, full of grace…

    She was carrying the tray low and in front of her in a manner that seemed to be placed perfectly to bring attention to her full, pert bust, which was being rather... attentive in the cool spring air.

    Swallowing deeply and trying not to make a fool of myself, I simply plastered on a pained smile and nodded at her. “Thank you for the delicious meal, Saeko.”

    “You’re welcome, Sensei,” she replied. “If there are any other matters I can aid you in, then do not hesitate to ask. I am at your service.”

    Oh Lord help me. Hail Mary, full of grace…

    “I’m fine. Really.” I said a bit too quickly. “Very fine. I’m busy though. Important things about the evacuation. So if you’d just put it down I’ll eat it in a moment.”

    She nodded, seemingly accepted my words without a moment of hesitation. “Of course, sensei.”

    She turned around and bent over at the waist gently placing the tray on the table, and of course, giving me a perfect view of her perfect, peach shaped bottom that was, of course, obscured only by a sexy black thong that could be sarcastically referred to as “ass floss”.

    It was all I could do to hold in a pained whine that probably would have sounded like someone deflating a balloon.


    “Thank you Saeko.” I said in a pained, almost robotic tone. “You may go now.”

    She nodded and bowed deeply giving me the perfect up shot before turning about and leaving, her hips and bottom in a manner best described as hypnotic.

    I released a deep breath I didn’t know I was holding when she left.

    “I need an adult,” I muttered to myself.

    Good lord I felt dirty. Like Chris Hansen would pop out of the woodwork at any moment and ask me to sit down. I also could use a cold shower. And a cigarette... and I don’t even smoke!

    Forcing all thoughts from my head and focusing all my mental faculties on enjoying the food in front of me. And I had to admit that it was actually a very enjoyable meal. Saeko was actually a very talented chef. She also, it seemed, had decided to go all out with this one. It was outright loaded with the freshest ingredients, no doubt making full advantage of all the things we would not be able to bring with us. Shizuka was a pretty decent cook, as long as you didn’t expect her to do anything too complicated, but Saeko was on a whole other level.

    She’d make a wonderful wife...



    Hail Mary, full of grace…


    I’d like to say that I enjoyed the meal, but to be honest, while it was delicious it was hard to truly experience your food when you kept having ass floss flashbacks which were themselves intermixed with bouts of prayer.

    For a moment, I thought about going for seconds, but considering what was awaiting me in the kitchen, I decided that discretion was the better part of valor and that I wasn’t that hungry.

    And believe me, it takes a lot for me to turn down seconds.

    I sighed deeply and leaned back, clearing my mind.

    Then I leapt forward, a chill running down my spine.

    Oh shit. Oh shit. Oh shit.

    During that whole ordeal I’d lost my focus. I stopped watching the window for Alice and her father. And if anything happened to that little girl or her old man, it was on my head.

    Frantically I leapt towards the window and looked outside.

    There I could see that the Humvee had been moved across the street and the boys were helping a number of people load it up with the useful contents of the house. Considering the number of people and volume of cargo it would be a tight fit, but in this situation alive and well stocked was far more valuable than comfortable.

    More telling, though, was that there seemed to be at least half a dozen new additions to the street. Seems the boys had been busy...

    From across the street I could see Takashi talking to a relieved-looking man before he turned his head towards the house. From across the street our eyes met, and moments later he had his phone out.

    Mine began to vibrate about a second later. I almost wondered why he just didn’t shout out to me, but right. Zombies. Loud sounds. Bad idea.

    “Yes Takashi?” I asked.

    “Sensei, you were waiting for a girl and her father, I’m guessing?”

    “Yep.” I replied, relief filling me as I spotted a small girl clinging to the man with whom he’d been speaking. “That’s them.”

    “We have them...” He sighed over the line. “And the dog.”

    “Great!” I replied, my previous tension vanishing like mist in the wind. “Okay, pack up and get over there. There’s going to be a swarm showing up any minute now and I’d very much like to be gone before it gets here...”

    He simply nodded to me across the street and closed his phone, ending the call.

    I stood up and disconnected Shizuka’s computer from the wall. No use leaving it when it could still be useful.

    “Alright everyone!” I called out. “We’re leaving! Put some damn clothes on and get ready to move out!”

    And that means you, Saeko!
  7. CrossyCross

    CrossyCross LADY OF LOVE

    Nov 18, 2013
    Likes Received:
    I wish you had a NSFW version of this story. I'd love a One True Threesome ending with Saeko and Shizuka. They're the only gals I care about in HSotD anyway...
    Topzakal, Fate, Destrucfor and 15 others like this.
  8. Brian Boru

    Brian Boru Experienced.

    Aug 22, 2014
    Likes Received:
    If you want to make an omake pertaining to that be my guest. I am not exactly confident in my porn writing skills but if some enterprising fellow wants to try be my guest. I'd even make a NSFW thread to hold them.
  9. CrossyCross

    CrossyCross LADY OF LOVE

    Nov 18, 2013
    Likes Received:
    Don't have a good enough handle on your character for it. Unless you mind giving hints and instructions on how the emotional parts of the relationship interactions would work out?

    I'll probably just bug Crit to include expies of them in his quest. He can handle it in Mistral...
    TanaNari and Ckxsl023 like this.
  10. Brian Boru

    Brian Boru Experienced.

    Aug 22, 2014
    Likes Received:
    Not to put too fine a point on it Tom is pretty conservative in his outlook and likes to consider himself a one-woman man with Shizuka as his woman. If anything like the OT3 were to happen then it is because Shizuka encouraged it. And between you me and the fence post, her and Rika weren't JUST roomies. Though Tom might still be reluctant at first but enough booze and the dreaded Shizuka puppy-dog eyes might push him over the edge. He would be kicking himself later but still.
  11. CrossyCross

    CrossyCross LADY OF LOVE

    Nov 18, 2013
    Likes Received:
    Hmm. Shizuka might hold back a bit since Saeko's a student, but then again with the constant crises and Saeko being generally awesome...

    ...huh, and mayhaps Saeko might actually notice some things herself and go towards the wife to get the heads-up. Okaaaay, something to consider. Everything going kaput due to zombie apocalypse does make things more flexible for people, as normal standards aren't as important, and Saeko's practically a celebrity herself in the group...
  12. Psyckosama

    Psyckosama Well worn.

    Feb 19, 2013
    Likes Received:
    Yeah. Coauthor speaking. They had an interesting relationship. I hope Brian doesn't mind the spoiler but while they were both respectably Bi, they tended towards different ends of the Kinsey Scale. Make what you will of it.
  13. Ckxsl023

    Ckxsl023 Know what you're doing yet?

    Aug 18, 2017
    Likes Received:
    Pls do, crossycross
  14. Galeiam

    Galeiam Optimistically Asexual.

    Jul 16, 2014
    Likes Received:
    Sigh...didn't know how much I needed this story until I found.

    SO damn hard to find good HSoTD fanfics
    Slayer 10321 likes this.
  15. Perney1984

    Perney1984 Getting out there.

    Oct 27, 2017
    Likes Received:
    good share, very usseful
  16. Wild Transient

    Wild Transient Whimsical Dakka Worshipper

    Oct 31, 2017
    Likes Received:
    A High School of the Dead SI? very interesting. Good riddance to that scumbag shido. Your SI's reaction to his first kill felt quite realistic. Having actual trained combat ready minions helps a lot in zombir fighting. I look forward to see where this goes.
    preier and Slayer 10321 like this.
  17. Threadmarks: Part Twenty-Eight
    Brian Boru

    Brian Boru Experienced.

    Aug 22, 2014
    Likes Received:

    AN: With thanks to Psyckosama, Grey Rook and Lilbobchicago have a new chapter.

    I had to admit, there was certain thrill riding in a military-class vehicle down a zed-filled road and watching the bodies fly in every direction. How did that song go again?

    “Move Bitch! Git out the way! Git out the way, Bitch! Git out the way!”

    “Sensei,” Saya growled out, disturbing my state of automotive homicidal zen. “As... amusing as it is listening you to butcher an English rap song, you might want to know that you’re frightening the others.”

    “Shit, did I say that out loud?” I thought to myself.

    “Yes. Yes you did.” was the immediate response.

    Crap… I must be more tired than I thought. To be fair, I’d been running full-throttle without any real rest for at least fifteen hours. I was kind of impressed I hadn’t collapsed yet.

    Muttering an apology I glanced around the rest of the vehicle, despite being one step short of an APC, with our group, Alice and her father, and the extended family from across the street all packed in it was more than a little snug. Taking everything from Shizuka and Rika’s apartment that wasn’t tied down didn’t make things easier. But I wasn’t one to complain, not when the Xth zombie was sent pinwheeling into the sky as we zipped along at around thirty miles an hour and I could hear the clinking of enough firepower to arm a marine squad in the back.

    Speaking of Rika’s armoury, either the series had underrepresented the sheer size of her gun collection or meeting me had somehow inspired her to expand her collection by an order of magnitude because instead of the three guns of the series there were an even baker’s two dozen. Everything from a couple cute little ‘girly’ pistols to what seemed to be a full-on anti-material rifle.

    As we rode along I began to brainstorm what I was going to do one we reached the Takagi estate and rendezvoused with the other half of the thegns. While all of the Thegn gangs theoretically respected the rules I’d set down, the ones on the other side of the river were more… aggressive in their adherence the viking theme they adopted after encountering my boys. While I could never prove it, I was sure some of the gangs from the far side of the river were using live steel in their holmgangs, the duels they had accepted as a means of settling disputes instead of massive back-alley brawls like in the past. I had wondered about some of the scars and bandages the leaders from the far side sported when they showed up to train with us but I’d never pressed them on it, not wanting to put them on edge, or worse, let them loose into the surrounding area without even my minimal supervision.

    Most of these boys, asides from their leaders, had almost never met me despite my attempts to visit each gang at least once to see what their situation was and make sure their leaders weren’t teaching them something wrong that would get them killed in the days ahead. Hopefully it wouldn’t be too hard to smack some heads together and get them to follow me on an escort mission to the storage lot. Which was why I was hoping Mr. Takagi had softened them up by the time I got there, It’d make things much easier. Or at least that they didn’t pick a fight with the Ultra-Nationalists and when we got there the entire complex on fire with the two groups duking it out while civilians were getting munched on by the undead that had streamed through the gaps in the barriers that no one was manning.

    At that thought I pulled out the crucifix I had been wearing for months now, muttered a prayer and kissed it. That was the last thing I needed right now. I prayed that we didn’t come to that.


    Thankfully, my trip to the Takagi estate was delightfully mundane. Besides the ongoing game of Carmageddon that was our drive through the city, the only real event of note was one of Shizuka’s neighbors having a small but thankfully contained panic attack when we forded the river. Apparently she had some childhood trauma related to the ocean and was uncomfortable around large bodies of water.

    Been nice if they’d bothered to tell me that before we were fifty yards out.

    “For the sixth time it’s alright, you don’t have to keep apologizing ma’am.” I said over my shoulder to Mrs. Ikari. The matriarch of the extended family that had been hiding across the street from Shizuka’s place was still breathing a little harder than was normal and her husband was still holding her hand while squeezing it soothingly and speaking to her in a calming tone.

    Her face pale and covered with a sheen of sweat that wasn’t entirely because of our contained and tightly packed seating arrangement looked up to me and quietly smiled before bobbing her head again and saying in a quiet voice, “Even so I’m still sorry. An old woman like me breaking down like a frightened child.”

    “You were a frightened child,” Saya said bluntly. “That’s how childhood trauma works. Something happens that burns itself into your mind so badly that every time you face it you go back to that moment.” Trust Saya to make an anvil look subtle…

    Our conversation was cut short as we rounded a corner on approach to the estate and was met by a set of jersey barriers that seemed to have been modified by putting a line of barbed wire across the top. Behind them, were a trio of men standing guard, two of them wearing black faux-military dress uniform...uniforms that I recognized from previous encounters with the local breed of ultra-nationalist pseudo-fascist. The other guy was a normal civilian, salary man if the suit pants and unbuttoned shirt were any guess.

    “Present yourself,” one of the man said looking up to the HUMVEE without a ounce or fear, or at least with a bucket of bravado.

    Before I could respond a gorgeous, and to be completely honest absolutely MILF-tastic woman, with magenta hair who looked like she was at most 35 stepped into view a wearing a fashionable looking black dress.

    They always say look at a girl’s mother to see what she’ll look like in 30 years, and goddamn, Saya was set to age like a fine wine.

    “I’ve got this...”

    The young man nodded. “Yes, ma’am.”

    She smiled and looked up. “You know, Brody-dono, it is polite to call before you visit.”

    I smiled weakly as I looked down from the turret ring. “Um. My apologies. I’ve been a bit overwhelmed. Sometimes the small pleasantries just get overlooked.”

    She chortled lightly. “It is alright. I understand. But there are no worries, Saya called on your behalf.”

    I glanced down. “Thanks.”

    She simply smiled and gave a respectful nod, before glancing behind the wall. “Open the gate.”

    Moments later a forklift rolled into view and lifted the barricade out of the way to allow the Humvee to pass. Not wanting to waste time we quickly drove into the compound allowing them to replace it.

    At the top of the hill I could see the Takagi estate itself, a western-style mansion with a large driveway in front and several outbuildings to either side. Off to the right side of the driveway, nearly a dozen large military-type tents were lined up in a neat row. I could see dozens of people milling about the tents either talking or working on something with their hands. Most of them were... rough looking... trailer trash sorts,for a lack of a better term. The rest were more normal looking people, one of whom was an oddly familiar looking woman with a pixie haircut and a resting bitch face.

    Inside I could see a large group of young men forming a circle in the main driveway, judging from the scraps of equipment many of them were sporting, and I could hear the chanting even over the rumble of our engine, ascertained that those were the thegns who managed to reach the Takagi complex. I had found my lost boys.

    Glancing out the window to Mrs. Takagi, who’d taken it upon herself to guide us to a parking spot, I asked, “What’s going on?”

    “If I’m to understand correctly, one of my husband’s subordinates called the honor of one of your ‘Thegns’ into question. He demanded a duel to satisfy the insult, and my husband agreed to allow it as long as it was done under proper supervision.”

    “Well at least there isn’t live steel.” I muttered under my breath as I hopped out of the truck and made my way to the Thegns. As I walked I paused and bowed to the woman. “My apologies, but I have to see to this.”

    She nodded in response. “Of course.”

    Grinning for a moment I turned back to the large crowd, most of whom were too focused on the fight in the center of the crowd to notice my approach. I tapped one young man who was shouting encouragement to their leader on the shoulder to get their attention.

    He glanced over his shoulder with a growl of annoyance, “What do you waa... oh. Um. Sorry, my Jarl.”

    A smug grin spread across my face as I nodded. Jarl was I? Heh. Yeah. I could roll with that. Putting a finger to my lips I made my way past him I quietly passed my way through the crowd. Several of them cursing at me, only to go pale as a sheet when they saw who was on the receiving end of their tongue after which they’d sheepishly bow and let me through.

    I finally got through the crowd to get a front row seat for the fight. I should have known. Toji Yoshida, AKA: Eric the Red. Short for his age, with a wiry build, pretty boy features, and naturally red hair with matching eyes that I swore glowed in the dark, he stuck out even in this much more technicolor version of Japan. That meant he’d have had to fight twice as hard and be twice as vicious as your average delinquent just to keep up his reputation. He was the type who had decided to split the difference and go for quadruple.

    In fact, I’d bet good money that he was probably the bloodthirsty little fuck who’d come up with the idea of going a-viking to begin. God knows his gang had built up a reputation as the most notorious raiders on the far side of the river. Having the outlet was probably the only reason he hadn’t gone rogue. At first he’d been even more resentful than Onikuma himself, though once the raiding started he’d become downright enthusiastically cheerful.

    It was honestly a little terrifying.

    I also noted, with some annoyance, that he wasn’t wearing his helmet and instead was letting his long, and I honestly couldn’t believe I was going to use this word in reference to a man, luxurious red hair flow wildly behind him like a silky, well conditioned, crimson banner.

    Good lord. I needed to squeeze a tit, just to reaffirm my sexuality.

    Against him was a man who looked to be somewhere in his mid to late 20s, tall, immaculately dressed in the pseudo-military uniform that seemed to be preferred by Takagi’s happy band of World War 2 apologists. His hair was slicked back and his features severe, and he held himself like he was hiding a spare bokken somewhere a bit uncomfortable.

    Or at least that’s probably what he’d normally look like. He seemed like the type.

    Right now however he looked a bit more disheveled. And by that I meant he had the look of a man in the midst of getting his ass kicked. His clothes were dirty and scuffed, making it clear he’d taken his fair share of tumbles, his hair was a mess, and from the looks of things, his nose very well might be broken, and he looked downright punch drunk. Probably from the same shield bash that wrecked his nose.

    Eric on the other hand had a light sheen of sweat on his face, and the gleeful smile of a “That Kid Down the Street” when left alone with a power drill and his sister’s pet rabbit.

    And somehow, I was this psychopath’s boss.

    God help me...

    Standing off to the side, was Souichiro Takagi, looking a stone faced as ever.

    I hadn’t seem the man in person before, though I’d seen him on television, on the occasional political posters, and of course his voice was constantly streaming out of those damned propaganda vans. He was more intense in person.

    Quietly I slipped into place next to him.

    “Brody-dono.” he greeted calmly.

    “Takagi-dono.” I replied with a nod.

    Greetings over with, the two of us turned our attention back to the fight. A fight which was starting to have a bit more weight to it than a simple duel.

    “Your men are somewhat... wild.” he observed as we watched the two clash.

    I shrugged. “I know, but I’ll admit I’ve put more effort into making sure they don’t piddle on the rug than giving them their flea dips.” A little glib but I couldn’t show an ounce of give with this man, otherwise he’d walk all over me.

    Turning back to the fight, Eric was pacing back and forth, a maniacal grin on his face and his blunted ax twirling like a baton between his fingers. The boy was toying with his older opponent like a cat with a mouse.

    “Come on, brother, all you have to do is admit you were wrong and say ‘I’m a giant pussy swinging around my overcompensation stick’ and it’ll all be over.” He said in a genial tone, as if he were talking to a close friend. His smile on the other hand bore a degree of smugness that made me want to punch him by reflex.

    Right. No one with an ounce of pride would capitulate under those conditions.

    I glanced at Takagi. “He is your subordinate, Brody-dono.”

    I nodded. Right.

    Stepping forward, I spoke in a bold tone. “Alright Eric, that’s enough.”

    I turned to Takagi’s subordinate. “Do you admit your error, never mind his outrageous demand?”

    He paused for a moment then bowed unsteadily. “He is a skilled fighter and I retract my remark.”

    “Good,” I replied coolly. Then I turned to Eric. “You’ve won the fight and proved your skill. There’s no need to continue. Accept his submission. Making outrageous demands like that will only make you look the fool.”

    Eric, unfortunately, wasn’t having any of it, instead he turned his head and spat at the ground. His disdain and contempt was blatant. “Fuck off old man, that cunt over there insulted me and he needs to learn his place.”

    My eyes narrowed. “Watch yourself, boy,” I said in a warning tone. “Accept his submission. Now.”

    He rolled his eyes dismissively. “And what are you going to do about it? You want a piece of me, old man?” He grinned and spread his arms wide, extending his shield and axe to the side, doing a slow circle of the impromptu ring. Several of the gangers, likely Eric's personal followers, roared their approval of their chief's bravado.

    “No, boy, I’ll take the whole thing.” I said with a growl. “Holmgang it is.”

    I looked over to Kohta. “My shield and arms please.”

    He nodded and returned moments later with my shield with a Black Raven on a white background. I accepted it without a word and took my axe, giving it a few practice swings. A moment later Saeko approached carrying my helmet and looking extremely intense, even by her standards.

    This was unexpected.

    Without a word she lifted the helmet and understanding her intent I lowered my head to make it more easy for her to place it upon me.

    “Show him his place, Brody-sensei.” she said without hesitation.

    “Wow, nice piece of ass you got there, chief,” he said with a smirk, “Been checkin’ out the student body?”

    She gritted her teeth and I saw murder in her eyes. Yeah. Time to put a stop to this. The worst I’d do is beat him senseless, if Saeko got her mitts on him, they’d be burying him in bucket.

    “Keep that up, Eric, and I’ll let her deal with you.” I said darkly.

    “And it’s not even my birthday!” he said with far too much cheer.

    “But unfortunately, I need you alive.” I finished. That made him blink. Audibly.

    Goddamn anime.

    “Huh. So you’re saying the little kitten is too much for me?”

    “You’re making me reconsider my stance,” I said with a growl. “Now, shut up. It’s time for teacher to give you your lesson.”

    He laughed and spun his axe. “Now this is what I’m fucking talking about! Come on old man, hit me with your best shot!” With that he flew right at me, axe high for an overhand chop.

    With no visible effort, I stepped around his swing, and batted his swing into his shield, forcing his upper body to twist to the left but leaving his face still pointed forward...and wide open for my counter.

    I followed up by simply cold-clocking him. He went out like a light.

    “And the lesson for the day?” I asked in a conversational tone. “Always wear your fucking helmet.”

    Looking up I spotted one of the more shell-shocked gang members, and assuming it was one of his subordinates, I said: “You. Drag his his ass off to the side and dump a bucket on him.” The ganger took a moment before he realized I was talking to him. I cleared my throat once to get his attention and after a moment processing my words he immediately grabbed his leader and bolted.

    “So. That was dumb. If anyone else has a case of the stupids, form a line. Otherwise, I believe we can just assume that I’m in charge and you do what I say, right?”

    I smiled and did a slow rotation, taking in the crowd.

    “So? No takers?” I grinned. “Good. Because, we’ve all got shit to do, so if any of you have something you need to bring to my attention, I’m all ears.”

    Yet more silence. Oh for God’s sake.

    “Kohta, Takashi... go talk to them and find out who needs to talk to me.”

    I shook my head and walked back to Mr Takagi.

    “I apologize about that mess.” I said calmly.

    “You’re very capable,” he replied with the smallest smile. “Perhaps when the situation is more opportune we will have to test our skills.”

    His eyes were downright sparkling with what was probably the closest he’s capable to boyish glee.

    I couldn’t help but smirk. “I look forward to it... But enough of the formality.” I offered him my hand. “We’re going to have to work together closely, and I feel it would be best if we don’t spend the time dancing around each other. Call me Tom.”

    He paused for a moment giving me a measuring look then his eyes flickering behind me for a moment took my hand with a small nod. His grip was strong enough to twist steel. I responded by matching it. His lip lifted ever so slightly with approval.

    “You may call me Souichiro, Tom-san.”

    I smiled and followed as he lead us off to the side. “So, where do we stand at the moment?” I asked him calmly.

    “My wife is handling the logistics so if you desire exact numbers, ask her, but as is we have several weeks of supplies and are quartering several hundred survivors, not counting your own numerous subordinates.”

    “And the mall?” I asked.

    He glanced at the gates. “Last night I sent a team of my best men to investigate it. The female police officer leading the defense was somewhat difficult, but an accord was reached. I have already dispatched a send group to evacuate them. They should be returning within the hour.”

    I smiled. “Kohta will be pleased.”

    He raised an eyebrow.

    “The shorter of the two boys who accompanied me. The junior police officer is his girlfriend.” I explained.

    He nodded with a slight hum. “And how does your situation stand?”

    “At last report, good. We still have a trickle of family members coming in, but at this point I wouldn’t be surprised if we were edging close to a thousand.”

    He smiled. It was extremely faint, but his pleasure at the news was clear. “Impressive.”

    I had the feeling that was about as close to a “Booya!” as the man was physically and emotionally capable of.

    “But it will put a great strain on your supplies.” He then said, the frown right back on his face.

    “You’d be surprised,” I replied dryly. Before the late and unlamented Shido had decided to fuck things up, I’d intended to run a school festival with the hopes of getting as many loved ones at the school as possible, and my preparation had reflected this.

    As impressive as the numbers I had now were, I probably would have been able to save maybe even twice as many if Shido hadn’t decided that he needed to prove he was the biggest swinging dick. It honestly made me wish I could murder the bastard. Again.

    Between what I had in my storage locker and what I’d managed to squirrel away in the mountains, I probably had enough to feed everyone in my group for three months, more if we were willing to cut rations until we could get a harvest planted.

    He raised an eyebrow and obviously wished for me to continue.

    “I’ve have roughly three month’s worth of food, not including seed stock.” I replied, as matter-of-factly as if I had been discussing the weather.

    As a reward for dropping that little bomb, I had the pleasure of seeing Takagi’s iron visage actually break for a moment and the stunned man openly stare at me in amazement for a moment.

    “You have three months of food?” A second voice called out from behind me, turning around I saw that Mrs. Takagi, along with her daughter Saya, were walking towards us, apparently so the latter could greet her father. It was a bit hard to see but Saya was fighting down a downright impish smirk. It wasn’t everyday the Iron Giant’s armor cracked and this was likely a special treat for her.

    Looking back to her mother I nodded, unable to hide the grin at the stunned look on her face. “What can I say? I like to plan ahead and what red-blooded American doesn’t have a Zombie Plan?”

    The sheer audacity of my words seemed to take them aback, as Mr. Takagi just gave me a dumbfounded look in response, too stunned for words and too proud to stutter. Mrs. Takagi was also staring at me before I saw something click behind her eyes and they narrowed ever so slightly. I had a feeling I’d need to be explaining a few things eventually. Though not right now.

    Even Saya had to doubletake for a moment.

    “That is more than I saw at the storage,” she noted.

    “The rest is at the lodge,” I replied, to which she simply nodded. She’d long learned to just roll with it. It was easier on the sanity.

    Changing the subject I cleared my throat and said, “Regardless of supplies or manpower, and I hope I don’t sound too bold, we’re going to have to relocate to the storage. It’s closer to the highway and once the EMP hits, it’ll be easier to move out from the periphery than from the city proper.”

    “I agree,” Mrs. Takagi replied. “Though my husband and I have discussed the situation and would like to raise two points.”

    Taking this as his cue, Souichiro began to speak. “First, I wish for a small group of volunteers to remain here. We have decided that this location will serve as a secure strong point from which to gather supplies from the city. Second, we have several mechanics here and they have assured me that they will be able to remove the critical electronics from a number of vehicles which can then be placed within shielded containers in the eventuality of the attack of which you are so clearly concerned.”

    “I take it Saya explained my concerns?”

    Her mother nodded. “Yes, and I find it to be a distressing, but likely possibility. My husband is more skeptical, but we have decided that it would be better to err on the side of caution.”

    I simply nodded. “That’s fair.”

    With that the four of us made for the main house, Mr. and Mrs. Takagi and I discussed organizing the evacuation while Saya followed along, occasionally adding her own opinion, though I noticed her parents didn’t seem to really note what she was saying.

    This caused me to literally take pause. Oh no, I was not dealing with this coming of age shit with the undead wandering around, time to nip this in the bud, now, “Excuse me, as I have no desire to be disrespectful or, God forbid, question your parenting, but Saya has proven herself to be a valuable member of my group. Without her insight we probably would have taken far greater casualties. I put great stock in her opinion and consider her a valuable advisor.”

    Saya looked at me for a moment with absolute shock, obviously never imagining that I would go to task for her with her parents like this. Then she shrunk back when she noticed that Souichiro had decided to make her the sole focus of his attention.

    “How did my daughter’s insight help so greatly? You seem to be otherwise extremely well prepared.”

    I looked at Saya and smiled. “Tell him.”

    She took a deep breath. “I-I... when Brody-sensei first encountered the undead, along with several other teachers, one of them panicked and fled, destroying the main gate with his car. This both breached the defenses of the school and drew the attention of a small horde of th-...”

    I gave her a steady look and cleared my throat.

    “Zombies,” she said with a slight blush, obviously a little uncomfortable using such a normally silly word in front of her parents. “I devised a plan and with Brody-sensei's aid, jury-rigged a decoy with which to draw them off.”

    “She also helped me convince the principal of the enormity of the situation,” I added, my features darkening for just a moment, remembering that brave, brave man. “Because of her we were able to react much more swiftly, and of course, in an emergency fast action saves lives.”

    He looked at her for a long moment and then smiled. It was a small smile, but for a moment his stony facade cracked and in his eyes I saw real pride. “As I expect of my child.”

    Her mother was also controlled but much more expressive. She looked very pleased indeed.

    After taking a moment to allow the Takagis their honestly somewhat adorable bonding moment, we continued onto the main house, having resumed our conversation. This time however, much to my pleasure, Saya’s option was being given some actual weight and consideration. She was still the junior member of the conversation, true, but at least this time she was being treated as a member rather than one of the peanut gallery.

    As we neared the house, one of Mr. Takagi’s men came rushing up to us.

    “Takagi-sama, the group from the mall is returning.”

    “Kohta!” I called out, “Walk with me!”

    I looked over to Souichiro and his wife. “I’m not missing this reunion for the world...”

    Mr. Takagi gave me a stern look, but his wife gave him a look and he seemed to just deflate ever so slightly and follow. Saya seemed to double take at this for a moment, before following.

    Kohta met us half way and gave me a confused look. “What is it, sensei?” He asked as we approached.

    I smiled knowingly. “Just keep a close eye on that bus.”

    We stood in place for a moment, calmly watching as a continuous stream of people slowly exited the bus until I saw a familiar little pixie in blue step out of the bus. I couldn’t help but smile.

    From next to me I heard a gasp and looked over to see Kohta looking on in shock, almost quivering in place. He turned to me, his eyes begging.

    “Go to her,” I said calmly.

    He didn't have to be told twice and with a shout of joy he rushed towards her, sending one gang member flying like a pinwheel in his wake. “Asami-chan!” he shouted, a huge grin on his face.

    The little pixie heard his bellow across the manor grounds. “Kohta-kun!” she squealed, almost letting go of the old lady she’d been helping out of the bus, only to rush forward once the woman had waved her off with a smile. Faster than greased lightning, she tore her way through the crowd of people making their way from the vehicles to the manor, darting between them like a deer in a forest. Her blue eyes were shining with tears and her expression one of pure joy.

    The two didn’t slow down for an instant until they collided with each other, Kohta snatching up Asami in his arms and swinging her around, her tiny frame leaving her swinging like a kite in the wind in his tree trunk-like arms. When he stopped spinning her around he pulled her close and she all but smothered him in kisses all over his face, before returning the favor with one long deep kiss himself.

    Honestly, and somewhat ironically, it was like watching a replay of the famous VJ day kiss photo abet in miniature, big as Kohta was horizontally he was still only 5’2’’ and Asami was half an inch shorter than her beau. It was adorable and I could feel something warm and fuzzy welling up in my chest. If nothing else I’d stopped one awful heartbreak from happening.

    I wasn’t the only witness as many of the thegns and their followers who had met Kohta had seen their very public display of affection and had start hooting and hollering in approval...ah teenagers…

    “Do you see this?” Souichiro exclaimed stepping forward. “Remember this, all of you. Look upon this young warrior and his reunion and remember. This is why we fight! For those we cherish!”

    That got a round of cheers from his followers as well as a number of the refugees. Even a couple of the thegns seemed to take it to heart.

    Smooth political operator taking advantage of a situation or not, I couldn’t help but agree with Souichrou. This was what I was fighting for, what I’d spent a year training myself and others for, breaking the bank supplying for. So that young loves and lives would survive in this Land of the Dead.

    That made me think of my own love, I turned around looking for a familiar length of golden hair. I spotted her standing among the refugee tents, looking over an older man who was doubled over and holding his chest. A warm feeling filled my chest.

    Well played, Souichiro. Well played.

    For those we cherish, indeed.
  18. Introspective Tinkerer

    Introspective Tinkerer Searching for their Answer

    Jun 10, 2014
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  19. Krantz

    Krantz Know what you're doing yet?

    Jul 8, 2017
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    Hopefully not....
  20. Magical Kiro-chan

    Magical Kiro-chan Padoru except Sumireko is kind of a dick

    Feb 17, 2018
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    Hazardine, Oniele and Slayer 10321 like this.
  21. Kerfirou

    Kerfirou Cultivating Dantian inside a Star

    Jan 11, 2015
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    ..Ohm right, i almost forgot you also posted this one here as well.
    Oniele likes this.
  22. Galeiam

    Galeiam Optimistically Asexual.

    Jul 16, 2014
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    God damnit!

    That's like asking Murphy to come bless your first born.
  23. Krantz

    Krantz Know what you're doing yet?

    Jul 8, 2017
    Likes Received:
    Like Minato did in Naruto
    The Mad Ghoul, OSRfanatic1 and Oniele like this.
  24. Ofunu

    Ofunu Veteran lurker

    Jul 16, 2016
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    I hope this is not dead and it's just that Brian Boru has been really busy. This is one of my favortie tories in this fandom.
    Slayer 10321 likes this.
  25. Psyckosama

    Psyckosama Well worn.

    Feb 19, 2013
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    First, it's rude to Necro. Second, it's not dead. I should know I co-author the damned thing. Brian has been busy but we have been discussing it, mostly formulating the nitty-gritty of his post emergency plans.
    The Mad Ghoul, preier, jhi and 7 others like this.
  26. Threadmarks: Part Twenty-Nine
    Brian Boru

    Brian Boru Experienced.

    Aug 22, 2014
    Likes Received:
    We've come back from the dead so many time we're getting a free ice cream next time round.

    Thanks to PsyckoSama, Lilbobchicago, Grey Rook

    Part Twenty-Nine:

    The Takagi’s meeting room was tastefully austere, sacrificing much of the victorian charm of the rest of the main house to capture a distinct sense of purpose and absolute focus. The furniture was still antique, and probably worth more than my parents’ house, but much more subdued in its beauty. In the rest of the house, even the chairs were a point of conversation. Here, however, focus was to be kept on the subject at hand, and not on the object upon which one sits thine ass.

    On the table was a large map of the grounds of the failed Crystal Peaks Ski resort and the surrounding area. I had to admit, it was a bit of a strange bird. While designed primarily as a Ski resort, it had been later expanded to include a lakeside marina when the the geniuses behind it realized that they were building on a mountain next to a dam. This lead to them adding a small marina to the design, and while it had barely started construction when the entire project crashed and burned, it still have a couple of temporary docks from where they brought in the construction equipment by barge.

    “Mt. Suishoyama. An interesting choice,” ” Miss Takagi remarked as she studied the map, “Protected on two sides by mountains, one by a large body of water, and the other is a narrow mountain valley with no major settlements or outlets. The only major approach is over the dam and through a winding mountain road.” she glanced up. “In other words, it is a fortress.”

    I smiled. “Security was one of my utmost concerns. After all, while zombies are not known for their mountaineering talents, ultimately the most dangerous predators will be the living and not the dead.”

    This of course, was relative bullshit. While I knew it was ridiculously hard to approach, the security had been a distant consideration to the fact that it could be reached via a reasonably simple and direct route, was close enough that that we could walk it if push came to shove, was isolated enough that we would not have to run a gauntlet to get there, and most importantly, was completely abandoned. I’d only realized how stupidly protected it was after the fact.

    She nodded then glanced up. “It does raise one major concern, however. That being food. While the lake is richly stocked with fish due to the thoughtlessness of the developers...”

    I blinked. “Really?”

    “You didn’t know?”

    I shook my head. “Never heard anything about fish.”

    She nodded. “Understandable. It was something of an ecological scandal that was quickly overshadowed when the business imploded. It seems that in order to promote fishing, they had the lake stocked with several invasive species of fish. Brown and Rainbow Trout, I do believe, along with Large Mouth Bass. There was a call to exterminate them before they could damage the local ecosystem, but the regional government couldn’t assemble the will, nor the money to fund the project.”

    Well, I wasn’t really the fishing type, but even I knew those were actually some pretty sizable fish, and with this much time virtually uninterrupted in the wild there’d be some monsters in that lake.

    “I see. But what is your issue with food?”

    “These mountains are not well suited for farming, and even with access to the valley, it would take a great deal of time and effort to clear.”

    I smiled. “I see. You’re right, farming most grains would be extremely difficult, but we already have several stretches of clear land perfectly suited for farming: the ski slopes.”

    She peaked an eyebrow.

    Saya smiled. “He’s thinking potatoes. Mother. At first, I was wondering why he had so many varieties and subspecies, but it makes sense now. It seems that he’s hedging his bets.”

    “I’m almost as Celtic as Cú Chulainn and Brian Boru,” I replied drolly. “My mom's side of the family were literally potato refugees. The downsides of having limited genetic diversity in your potato crop has been all but burned into my racial memory.”

    For the first time in the conversation, Mr Takagi spoke up, in the form of a dull chuckle. “I see you have much in hand. However, do you really expect us to subsist on a diet of potatoes and lake fish?”

    “My ancestors subsisted on similar fare and were taller, stronger, and healthier than their bread and beef eating English overlords.” I replied coolly, not liking his tone. I politely refrained from mentioning that your average Japanese man of the time, subsisting on a diet largely consisting of fish and rice, was just about the height of your average Irish woman of the time. “But you are correct. I have no desire to live off of fish and potatoes.”

    This was mainly because I didn’t know about the fish.

    “There are a number of farms and rural villages south of the lodge. Once we have the civilians to safety we can send teams into them to recover as many domestic animals and livestock as possible. Chickens and pigs, ducks, rabbits, goats if we can find them. Cattle will be more valuable as a source of labor. And we can’t forget dogs and cats as well... To be companions and guards, not food,” I added after the moment.

    Felix and Fido were worth more alive than on a dinner plate.

    Then Mrs. Takagi dropped a bomb.

    “So, how did you know this was coming?” Mrs Takagi asked without even raising her tone. “And why didn’t you warn anyone?”

    I closed my eyes and sighed. “What makes you think I knew?”

    “Because one does not invest this level of preparation into a simple zombie plan, while everything I have seen implies a man who knew not only exactly what he would have to deal with, but when,” she replied. “Potatoes have a usable lifespan of three to five weeks in normal conditions. This can be extended up to several months if stored properly, but one does not buy and refresh multiple tons of potatoes every few weeks for something as trite as a zombie plan, nor would you be able to afford the sheer volume of supplies you seem have gathered on a assistant teacher’s wage.”

    “Takagi-dono,” I said in a tired tone. “Do you know the difference between a mad man and a prophet?”

    Saya’s eyes went wide at my answer, while her mother seemed to defer to her husband.

    Mr. Takagi said nothing but inclined his head after a moment, silently asking me to continue.

    I looked up at him, my eyes red with exhaustion. “One of them is proven right by history. Who would have believed me? How many people could I have saved from the inside of an asylum?”

    Saya whispered softly, “So... you knew it. All of it. You knew this entire time. So that’s why you trained the boys? That’s why all the weapons. That’s why you tried to arrange that school festival...” her eyes went wide. “Sensei, where’s Shido-sensei?”

    “In the sewers, a block down the road from Yorinaga’s Yakitori,” I replied drolly.

    She gaped, her eyes going wide.

    “Shido was the kind of man who’d happily lead us all to our deaths as long as he was the one who got to do the leading,” I said dryly. “He was far too ambitious, far too arrogant, and far too influential. The divisions he would have created would have cost us time and lives.” I also just despised the bastard on a personal and professional level, not that anyone would consider that an excuse... except maybe Rei.

    Souichiro locked eyes with me, unblinking for a long moment then gently dipped his head. “Duty heavier than a mountain,” he said with a respectful tone. “We shall never speak of this again.”

    Well that went better than I hoped, thank God for Takagi pragmatism…

    “So how long have you known?” Yoriko asked. “I’m guessing a year?”

    I blinked. “How did you know?”

    “You do not believe we’d allow a mysterious gaijin to educate our daughter without first inquiring to his origins. You appeared as if from nowhere a year ago,“ he paused, “Exactly one year ago, yesterday. The timing is extremely convenient, and when combined with your foreknowledge, leaves many questions to be answered. And I’m also assuming that it is directly connected to your reasoning for killing Koichi Shido.”

    “He’d have gone full psycho, and his behavior would have lead to dozens of deaths, including your own,” I said with a growl.

    Saya blinked, her mask of calm slipping for a moment. “What the hell did he do?”

    I sighed. “Well, without my intervention all of about a dozen people would have survived the school. You, Kohta, Takashi, Rei, Shizuka, Saeko, Shido, Yuuki, Yamada, Taniuchi, Tsuda, and Kurokami. Once you were away from the school in the bus, he would have started acting like it was his personal fiefdom and made insane proclamations like how you’d all be needed to repopulate the species.”

    She blinked. “What.”

    “After you, Kohta, Takashi, Rei, Shizuka, and Saeko decided that he was completely nuts, he left you all by the side of the road to die.” I snorted. “Hell, he even tossed Yamada to the undead because he was more interested in worrying about his family than participating in Shido’s Fuck Bus.”

    Saya’s face slowly twisted into an unmoving rictus of shock, disgust, and utter bewilderment as all of her blood seemingly made its way to her face as she blushed completely red in that special way only a female anime character could. It was a bit off putting to see it in real life.

    “And how did his actions lead to our deaths?” Souichiro all but growled.

    “He ended up plowing through your barrier in his bus after the EMP went off. The undead swarmed your compound, leading to the deaths of almost everyone within. The two of you died fighting, as back to back badasses in a last stand to buy time for Saya and her friends to escape.” My tone still quiet but on the inside my gut churned, it was one thing when they were just cartoons, but these were people. People with hopes and dreams for the future.

    “Then in a way, you avenged us retroactively and in doing so prevented our deaths,” Yuriko remarked before letting out a deep sigh. “I never thought I’d see the day where the only serious, logical explanation for a situation that I can think of is is that it is all ‘a big ball of wibbly wobbly, timey wimey stuff’.” she said in the most droll tone physically possible.

    Saya began to sputter, and turned to her mother. “Seriously? Doctor Who? At a time like this?”

    Her father turned to her with a glare, obviously annoyed that she raised her voice to her mother, but he was cut off by his wife.

    “Daughter,” her mother said with a sigh. “We are in the midst of a literal zombie apocalypse and are dealing with a man who has seen a possible future. The world has officially become a place where only the only logical answer is one, that by all standard convention, sounds like lazily written science fiction. I believe I’ve earned this moment of irreverence, if only to preserve the lingering wisps of my sanity.”

    Saya paused for a moment, gaping like a goldfish trying to figure out a logical retort before simply lowering her head and simply muttering “Point”.

    “Brody-dono,” Mr. Takagi said calmly. “If it were not for my wife, I would consider this madness. But I trust her judgement and can find no fault in her logic. So, in this ‘future’ your foresaw was what would have happened had you not been present?”

    I nodded. “My ‘visions’ largely centered on your daughter and friends. As if watching an anime or reading a manga.”

    He nodded lightly. “And in that future, who now live hundreds would have died without your intervention, including myself and my wife?”

    I nodded gently. “Yeah. Like you said, I woke up here, in Japan a year ago, with the shirt on my back, the knowledge of what was to come, and no possible way to get home. So I did what any man would do.”

    “No you did not,” he replied sharply. “Most would have seen to their own safety, and that of their loved ones. They would not have dedicated their lives to ensuring that as many survived the coming disaster. They would not have raised an army to protect those survivors. They would not have prepared a safe haven. Yet you did these things. You do not give yourself nearly enough credit, Brody-dono.”

    He then stood up ramrod straight and bowed to me. Deeply. For a moment his torso was almost vertical. “Thank you very much for your actions, on behalf of my family and my countrymen.”

    I was unsure how to respond, I was overwhelmed that the couple had just accepted me somehow knowing that there was a zombie apocalypse coming a year before it happened. And I had to admit, that Souichiro had just hit me right in the feels with that one.

    “And in doing so you have both avenged our deaths and saved our lives. For both I owe you a debt.”

    “Then you can repay that debt by helping me keep as many of our people alive as possible.” I finally replied after gathering my wits about me.

    He chuckled dully. “Of course. That is answer I’d expect of you.”

    Saya looked over. “Okay, Nostradamus-sensei, earth-shaking, sanity-melting revelations aside I believe we still need to discuss how we plan to reach your promised land.”

    “I’m thinking we get as many vehicles as we can that can survive or at least be shielded from the EMP and move out in a convoy as soon as the power dies. We should be able to make it in a day.”

    “You’re sure about the EMP?”

    I nodded. “Yes. The Chinese launch some time tomorrow. The US Navy launches ABMs to counter but one of the Destroyers was overrun, and they missed one of the missiles which exploded in an airburst EMP strike.”

    She grimaced. “So how much do you actually ‘know’?”

    “Only until a couple days from now,” I admitted. “Beyond that, it’s just fragments.”

    Mrs Takashi scowled. “Do you know what causes it?”

    “Something supernatural,” I admitted. “Beyond that I got nothing.”

    “Supernatural, of course,” she said pinching the bridge of her noses as if she were in pain.

    I shrugged my shoulders as I gave her a sympathising look, “Sorry, all I know is that it wasn’t some sort plague that went out of control. Whether Hell ran out of room or some idiot sneezed while saying “Klaatu Barada Nikto”, all I can honestly tell you is that something other caused this.”

    The couple looked to each other then nodded, some wordless decision had been made and I somehow knew this would be a massive headache… joy…

    “Very well,” Mr Takagi said with a nod. “Then the plan shall be this. We will begin to strip the grounds immediately, then relocate to your encampment. Once there we shall strip every vehicle present of its electronics and place them into shielded storage. After the Pulse we will return the vehicles to working condition and begin to move.”

    Thinking back to the size of the lot, I tried to picture whether or not the extra three hundred people would be able to fit inside the walls of the lot. After a few moments of rough calculations, it’d be a tight fit but it’d be doable. Then the image of a certain pixie haired twit came to mind.

    “You are going to have problems with a small group who will ignore reality and try and argue that the zombies are still people. They mean well, but they’re basically going to make fools of themselves. You’re probably want to have measures in hand to manage them before they do something stupid and get themselves, or more important anyone else, killed.”

    He simply nodded. “I have heard rumblings but did not believe that anyone could be so foolish. I am not a man who likes to admit when he is wrong, but in this case I shall do so with great... disappointment.”

    “I might be able to point out the likely ringleader if you like.” I offered.

    “Do so and I’ll make sure they stay quiet and out of the way,” Mrs Takagi offered with a hard edge to her voice.

    I raised an eyebrow. “You’re not going to kill her, are you?”

    She smiled beatifically. “Of course not. I value the life of every man and women under our protection, and will seek to protect them with my all, even from themselves if need be.”

    I paused for a moment and nodded. “Okay then. We’ve worked out the details and you have the location. I don’t want to sound rude but we’re burning daylight and time is of the essence.”

    Mr. Takagi nodded as he stood. “Of course. I shall issue the orders to my men immediately.”

    “I’ll go tell my pack of wildmen to get ready to move out, and remind them to cooperate,” I replied. “Shintoko Third Elementary is being used as a shelter by the JSDF and Takashi’s mother works there. I don’t think the authorities will listen to me, but I’m going to have him tell his mother where to go for when things go pear shaped.”

    Souichiro raised an eyebrow. “And you believe they will?”

    “It’s likely that they have no long term plan besides wait for extraction. Such a passive direction is weakness.” I replied. The manga had never really given much information on the school or what was going to happen there, but let's not fool ourselves. This is Highschool of the Dead and nobody is allowed to have nice things.

    I only lasted this long by defying the genre and going full Zombieland. Because fuck Highschool of the Dead. Fuck the Walking Dead. Fuck the entire Action-Horror zombie movie genre. And fuck you, George A. Romero, you motherfucker. I’m going full on Survival Horror, thank you very much. Emphasis on survival.

    “I’d also like to check Rei’s fathers’ station. If he’s alive, he’d be an asset. If it is abandoned, it would probably be a good idea to strip it of any firearms. If you can reach any in the time we have, I suggest you do so.”

    “We shall do so,” Mr Takashi replied calmly. “Do you know of any other survivor groups?”

    I shook my head sadly. “Outside the Airport, no. However I can give you the numbers of several of the teachers from the school. They can likely coordinate with the students to see if anyone can find out. As much as I’m loathe to say it, you’re much better equipped to do large scale rescue and evacuation than we are.”

    “That is understandable. You are only one man who was working in secret on a teacher’s wages. I have access to an organization that is the product of decades of hard work and effort backed up by a not insubstantial personal fortune.”

    “Alright then,” I said after a moment, “If you want I can leave you two alone with Saya for a moment...”

    He shook his head, dismissing my offer. “There is no need. Our daughter is safe. That is what is important. We will have time together once we are secure and have the time to dedicate personal concerns. For now, we must attend to our duties.”

    I nodded. “Lets.”

    A/N: For some dark comedy. I don't remember if this has been discussed in this thread but over on SB it has been mentioned and the both of us have confirmed that Brody did not even think about stockpiling condoms for his great trek.

    Now remember the vast bulk of his followers are terrified and soon to be VERY bored teenagers with limited chaperones of any sort. Cue the fireworks.
  27. Stelarwand030

    Stelarwand030 I trust you know where the happy button is?

    Nov 25, 2017
    Likes Received:
    You need to thread mark this.
    But other than that glad to see you back.
    Slayer 10321 and Brian Boru like this.
  28. Brian Boru

    Brian Boru Experienced.

    Aug 22, 2014
    Likes Received:
    And fixed thanks for pointing that out.
    Slayer 10321 and Stelarwand030 like this.
  29. Brian Boru

    Brian Boru Experienced.

    Aug 22, 2014
    Likes Received:
    Likes are appreciated but replies are the life blood of this fic. Anything that couldn't be said on SB feel free to say here. We take everything talked about into account when writing future chapters.
    Slayer 10321 likes this.
  30. snthsnth

    snthsnth Versed in the lewd.

    Jan 8, 2015
    Likes Received:
    If it's not a serious spoiler, will Brody be forced into essentially being king/president/etc over the group?
    Slayer 10321 likes this.