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Not your average zombocalypse

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Day one of the zombie apocalypse, Ravi spends an inordinate amount of time drenched in other people's blood and viscera, sneaking around Seattle's back alleys and frantically avoiding not one but two terrifyingly evil crime lords lest he get brutally murdered or turned into someone's dinner or something else equally horrible.

Day two of the zombie apocalypse looks much the same as any other.

"So?" says Liv. She gestures around the living room with her cereal spoon. "I thought you liked it here. You were already moved in before this all started."

"I'm not complaining," says Ravi. He really isn't. "It's just that in my head, the zombie apocalypse always looked like taking the bus to Southend and luring zombies into the Thames. I never thought I'd be spending it in your flat, eating breakfast food and raiding the liquor cabinet."

Clive and Liv share a look over his head.

"Sounds like complaining to me," says Clive. "You should have mentioned your expectations earlier and we'd have done our best to accommodate them."

"Yeah, we could easily have pointed you to an empty warehouse outside of town. I'd even have driven you there," says Major in an apparent--and failed--display of generosity. "No trouble whatsoever."

Ravi holds his hands up in surrender. "I'm just saying, this isn't the apocalypse I prepared for."

Clive shakes his head. "All right." He eyes Liv's bowl of soldier brains and granola. "You nearly done with that?"

"Yup," says Liv through her mouthful. "You know, I've never liked granola, but mister dead soldier here--"

Ravi wrinkles his nose. "Did you put hot sauce on that? Hot sauce and granola?"

"Duh," says Liv, and waves the bottle at him.

"I'm going to go in the bedroom and check police frequencies," says Clive loudly. "When I come back, that--" he points, "had better be all gone."

"On it, partner," says Liv, shoveling in another mouthful.

 

 

"I'm with you," says Major later, coming over to sit with Ravi at the breakfast bar. He's holding a bottle of jalapeno-infused tequila and two shot glasses. "This is weird."

"Thank you. The gung-ho twins over there are making me feel bad," grumbles Ravi, eyeing the three city maps pinned up on the walls or spread across countertops, and the shorthand stratagising Liv and Clive are busy Sharpie-ing onto the windows. "I'm just your average Joe medical doctor, no use to anyone til you need a temporary and otherwise ineffective cure for zombieism."

"Worked for Scully."

Ravi feels better. "Cheers," he says, and they down their tequila.

"Well," Major clarifies. "Not the zombieism part."

Ravi rolls his eyes, jumping to his feet when Liv beckons them over.

"All right, listen up," says Clive, and grabs a ruler to point at maps and pins. "Liv and I have been looking at the building plans Major drew up this morning, and we think we've worked out how to get inside the facility without alerting Stoll to our presence. We don't know anything right now, so think of this as recon. It'll take three or four of us on the inside and another on the outside to co-ordinate."

"Like M," says Ravi, nodding. "I could do that. I can do a decent Dench."

"Dench," says Clive blankly.

Ravi, who's really just trying to make it out of this plan alive, puts on his best sultry voice. "Hello, James--"

"Major, Clive and I will be on the inside," Liv interrupts. She's got an actual laser pointer. "Ravi, it's really up to you if you're with us for the break in or not; you'd be a definite asset but at this stage we're not sure of their numbers and for all we know--"

Ravi really isn't in this to be zombiefied at the 11th hour. "I'll be the guy on the outside. M."

"Yes, I think that's wise. You and Peyton will be able to work together to--"

On second thoughts, maybe the zombies won't be as bad as all that.

"Ah," says Ravi, trying for casual. "Actually. My Dame Judi isn't as great as all that. I think it's best if I go with you. Seems sensible to go where I'm really needed. I could be bait."

"Bait," says Major flatly.

"Sensible is not the word I'd use for that," says Liv, frowning. Ravi doesn't like this brain. "Nothing in this plan calls for bait. Weren't you listening? Where did you think we would need bait?"

Ravi abandons casual and jabs at the map. "Inside. Where the hordes of zombies are, and where Peyton isn't."

Liv narrows her eyes.

"Ravi!" she says. "I thought things were happening with you two." She does a weird little slow-motion chest-out-shoulders-back shimmy that Ravi instantly tries to forget.

"Yeah, well. Turns out she'd rather get with Blaine than me." Ravi rubs a hand over the bruises on his face. "'Spose getting kidnapped and nearly horribly murdered by two of Seattle's finest henchmen puts things in perspective. Can't blame her, though, if you're into weasely, pasty-faced, and traitorous, then I'm clearly not the guy for it."

Major looks at the shot he's just poured, then the bottle. He hands Ravi the bottle.

Clive clears his throat. “Anyone ready to get back on topic?”

"Yes," says Ravi with feeling, trying to remember where he was going with the thing before they got onto his love life. "Ah--"

"Breaking in," says Clive, then turns to Liv and says, "I think the second storey vent is out, I don't like the look of those camera angles, but look--"

Ravi tunes out as they argue over which vent to crawl through on their zombie search, laughing when he catches Major's equally grim expression.

"No," says Liv eventually, "but look at the intersection of A7 and X," whatever that means, "of course it would be better if--"

She pauses and gives Ravi a look that he frankly doesn't care for. "Bait," she says slowly. "Bait could work."

 

 

Ravi adjusts the rearview mirror to look at his overalls in the light of the streetlamp. "I'll be breaking the third rule of the apocalypse."

"No, you're not," says Major. "There'll be two of us. The third rule--"

"--says don't go into the bathroom alone," Ravi finishes. "I'll be alone in the bathroom with a zombie. Just because I happen to like you doesn't make it better."

Major shrugs. "I promise not to break down the door and eat your brains," he says. "I'll just make it look like I did. Very convincingly."

He bares his teeth, and Ravi feels a twinge of something nervous.

"All right," he sighs. "Let's get this over with."

They leave the car behind them and duck and cover their way through the alley to meet Liv and Clive, Ravi with his janitor's bag full of blood and the last bit of soldier brain, Major with his syringes. The wind is whistling through the night air, leaves scuttling with them along the damp concrete, and a dustbin tips and lands with a clang across the street. Everything a zombie recon mission should involve.

"Cheer up, doc," says Clive when Ravi and Major reach them at the far end of the alley. "Isn't this what you wanted? Less lounging around in Liv's apartment, more shooting evil zombies?"

"Yeah," says Ravi. "But I've changed my mind since yesterday. There's a reason I avoid bullet conservation games. I'm more of an, oh look there's something unnaturally green and glinting behind that waterfall, let me refill my weapon between bloodbaths, kind of man." He meets Major's high-five then casts an assessing look at the building they're sneaking into. "Did you consider abseiling into the penthouse?"

Major laughs. Clive rolls his eyes.

"When opportunity strikes," says Ravi, and hefts the janitor's bag higher.

"Right," says Liv, who's been ignoring the conversation in favour of amending her sketch of the window layout in her notebook. "Ready?"

She's got the badass look down, leather jacket and gun and wirecutters at the ready. Clive is right behind her. Major gives Ravi a big old grin and Ravi shakes his head. "As I'll ever be."

"To the fence on the count of three, then," Liv whispers, counting them down, and like that, the moment that Ravi has been waiting for has arrived, and the zombocalypse rebellion begins. God help them all.