Chapter 17 - No Man Left Behind

Current Location: Confounding Cul-De-Sac

Ray and Reisa stood atop a steep hill while Brent, Karisma, and an infirm Harry lay at the bottom, a horde of zombies slowly closing in.

Put him down”, he said? Was Ray seriously advising them to ditch Harry to be devoured?

What?” Karisma cried. “But-”

No, it’s alright,” Harry said, wincing, “Just go, you’ll be safer up there. Don’t worry about me.”

We can’t just leave you here!”

Ray chuckled over the melodrama. “Well, you don’t have to if you don’t want to.”

This isn’t funny, Ray!” Brent shouted.

He shook his head. “Okay, it looks like you got the wrong idea. I meant you should put him down so you can take out your own guns.”


Ray looked around. “Yeah, I don’t see any others approaching our flanks or rear. This is a pretty good place to make a stand.”

Ray took out his gray rifle and went down one knee, sighting down the scope.

Crack! A zombie jerked as it was struck through the head, and promptly dropped.

Ray pulled back the bolt on his rifle to chamber another round.

I count about 20 of them in that group. There are 5 of us. If we’re all shooting at them at once we can probably take them all out before they reach us. You just need to watch out for any fast ones that come up.“

Brent looked back at the… horde? Ray’s estimate wasn’t too far off so it wasn’t very much of a horde. Funny, it seemed like there had been a lot more when they were on the run.

Crack! Blackened cranial fluid sprayed out the back of one of the walking corpse’s heads, and it too fell to the ground.

The zombies were also pretty far away too, and at the snail’s pace they were going it might be one, maybe even two minutes before they got here.

Oh, they’re really slow,” Karisma realized as well, “So like, why do we have to fight, even? We have enough time to move around this hill.”

Ray adopted a sardonic smile. “Well yeah, I thought you knew that already. I wasn’t sure why you thought you were stuck, so I thought I’d have a little fun. No big deal.”

It was kind of a big deal to Brent.

Wow, but you had us totally fooled there, mate,” Harry sighed. “Bad time for a joke.”

Eh, I guess.” Ray shrugged as he dropped yet another zombie with impeccable marksmanship.

Alright, let’s get you back up,” Karisma began, but Harry held up a hand.

Actually, I’m thinking we fight it out.”


I’ve been itching to try out that gun, the machine gun. The DP-28, I think was the name.”

Oh shit. Brent had forgotten about that.

Ooh yeah, that might work.”

Harry had Brent and Karisma turn him about so he could rest his bottom on the hill slope with his injured leg stretched out to reduce the weight on it.

Taking the DP-28 out of his backpack, he raised the “light” machine gun into the air and fired a test shot. Chak!

Brent winced. It was loud as hell, but the zombies were already after them.

Are you sure one of us shouldn’t use it instead?” Brent asked, and by ‘one of us’ he really meant himself. “You know, with your injury and all.”

Nah. It’s got a bit of a kick, but I can handle it.” Harry braced the heavy gun against his shoulder and pointed it in the middle of the massed zombies. “Alright, now let’s see what this thing can really do.”

Ray grinned. “Hell yeah. Shine on, you crazy diamond.”

Harry opened fire.

Chakchakchakchak! The black disc magazine on top of the weapon spun around as it unleashed a fully automatic stream of bullets on the zombies.

The rounds ripped through them, none of them hitting anywhere close to the head, but they didn’t need to.

It was a glorious moment. “Yaaaaaa!” Harry roared as he swept the gun’s barrel left and right, mowing down more and more of the undead with each sweep. Brent couldn’t see it, but Harry’s “Zombies Killed” counter was probably going up like crazy right now.

Chakchakchakchak! The dead bodies involuntarily jerked about as they had limbs blown off or holes blasted in their torsos, some falling down nearly in pieces.

When another fast zombie came running in it was quickly torn down as Harry directed his fire towards it.

Brent felt a little jealousy, wishing he was in Harry’s place, but was mostly just awestruck at the sheer spectacle.

Alas, it could not last forever. The disc completed a full rotation and the machine gun clicked to a stop, out of ammo.

Out of the group, there were only four undead still walking.

Crack! Well, three now. Ray had still been headhunting this entire time, though any impact he made was overshadowed by Harry’s spree.

Ah, that’s all,” Harry lamented. “But that was bloody amazing, eh?”

Yeah…” Brent agreed as he surveyed the devastation the two men had wrought, the ground littered with slain zombies. Did he even need to do anything at this point? At this rate they could just let Ray pick the rest of them off.

Weapon M870 Shotgun (5/5)

Well no, he didn’t need to, but he’d feel amiss if he didn’t at least make at least some token contribution.

Crack! After Ray downed the next zombie, Brent held up a hand and called out. “Hey, I can handle the rest.”

Really? Cool, I was getting pretty tired.” Ray stood up and wiped his brow, resting his rifle on his shoulder.

Brent aimed his shotgun at the two remaining zombies.

BOOM! He fired on the closer one, and four 20s appeared above it, indicating it had been hit by four pellets. Once again it was blown away, rolling on the ground until it moved no more.

Zombies Killed: 4

Hm, so if four pellets were enough to kill it that meant each zombie had no more than 80 HP. If he could somehow control the number of pellets that hit, perhaps he could get a better estimate of how many hit points these zombies had.

Ka-CHAK! He pumped the slide, and aimed at the last zombie. If he shot it like this, how many pellets would hit?

The zombie kept walking towards them, scowling with a skeletal face, oblivious to the fact that all its fellows lay dead around it.

Ah, never mind. It wasn’t a good time to try and experiment. One zombie bite could still be the end of him.

BOOM! Brent fired, and along with the usual bunch of blue number 20s there was a yellow number 40 floating above them. The damage was doubled for some reason?

Zombies Killed: 5

The indicator confirmed the kill, and a sense of elation went over the group. Ray looked around again and made sure there still weren’t any more coming from another direction.

They’d actually done it! They had actually killed all the zombies, just as Ray predicted.

Brent lowered his weapon and looked back.

Ay, looks like that was the last of them!” Harry said, “Brilliant job there, Brent.”

Yep,” Ray agreed, and sighed. “But damn, I should really get a medal or something for that. That has to be a record for consecutive headshots.”

Karisma rolled her eyes. “Yeah yeah, you’re a badass, no need to rub it in.”

Ray grinned and made an immodest shrug. “Hey, you said it first.”

Reisa stood some distance away from Ray atop the hill, silent. She looked quite shaken from what she had just seen, her fingers plugging up the holes of her pointed ears.

Brent could relate, his own ears feeling kind of rattled from being in close proximity to Harry’s machine gun when it went off.

Seeing everyone looking at each other and realizing it was over, Reisa removed her hands from her ears. “So this is how warfare in your world is conducted…”

Sort of,” Karisma replied sheepishly, “It doesn’t usually involve zombies.”

Speaking of Reisa… “Hey, thanks for shooting the fast one back there,” Brent said to her. “You uh, really saved me.”

Yes, you are… most welcome,” Reisa replied.

Wait, should he also be saying something like “Oh no, you are too kind and gracious, o princess” or “my life is now eternally yours, your highness”?

Nah, that would be too hammy and cringy, especially with everyone else watching. Ray would probably roast him for that.

About that-” Reisa began, and it was almost embarrassing how quickly Brent snapped to attention. “Yeah?”

That is, could you retrieve that arrow for me? I only have so many…”

Oh! Yeah, yeah I can do that,” Brent nodded.

Ah, it’ll probably be dirty, can you clean it up too?”

Right, of course your highness!” Ack, that just kind of slipped out. Brent turned around to hide his furious blushing and started jogging over to the field of zombie corpses.

There goes a SIMP!” Ray called to his back.

It was official: The universe hated him.




Brent managed to find Reisa’s arrow without trouble, still sticking out the eye socket of the zombie it had killed. What a shot. Now that was some genuine elven archery for you.

He gingerly grasped the fletched end of the arrow and tugged. It came free with a small squelch, the tip covered in black fluid. Gross. No wonder she asked him to clean it.

Brent tried to wipe off the arrowhead on the ground. It wasn’t exactly clean afterwards, but being coated with dirt was better than being coated with zombie blood.

He came back to find the others sitting on top of the hill, and hiked up himself.

Karisma and Harry were looking out over the neighborhood, Ray was munching on a stick of beef jerky, and Reisa was just… sitting there with her eyes closed. Must be some elvish meditation thing.

Ah, the hero of the hour returns,” Harry welcomed Brent back, “Let us celebrate our glorious victory with wine and song!” He mimed raising a wineglass.

Him, the hero? Come on Holmes, he barely did anything,” Ray said mid-chew.

Barely did anything? Brent was going to object, but Harry raised a finger and spoke first. “Ah, that’s where you’re wrong mate. Or did you forget that our boy here bravely held the line while we cobbled that rope together?”

Oh. Yeah.” It seemed like Ray actually had forgotten about that, and he promptly shut up.

How’s your foot?” Brent asked.

It’s much better now,” the bearded man grinned, wiggling the body part in question about, “I can walk again! All thanks to Dr. K here.”

He patted Karisma’s back. “I’m no doctor,” she replied bashfully. “The item thingie is doing most of the work for me.”

Brent gave Reisa her arrow back, then took a seat on the grass himself. His hands were still sore, but the grass was cool and soft so it didn’t irritate his palms too much.

The rest of his body was also a bit sore from what he’d just gone through, so Brent just sat there in silence, listening to the sound his own breathing, getting some rest and relaxation now that it was over. He laid back and looked up at the sky, a perfect shade of blue with the occasional cloud.

Hm. Before being transported here, he hadn’t really gone outside much, not seeing the appeal.

This wasn’t too bad, actually. Maybe after a life-threatening battle you could appreciate these things better.

It wasn’t all blue sky, though. If Brent looked far enough in any direction he could see the dark storm clouds of the Halo, slowly encircling the island and reminding him of the overarching situation they were in.

Hey Ray,” he said, a random thought occurring to him, “Why do you keep calling Harry ‘Holmes’?”

Hm? Oh that. I just know too many people with the name Harry already,” Ray replied, “Along with all the celebrities and pop stars. I use his last name to help me differentiate.”

Well, that was one mystery solved.

Harry is a common name in your world?” Reisa chimed in. Brent lifted his head a little to see her. It looked like she was done with her meditations.

The western world, but yeah,” Karisma clarified.

In my kingdom of Anlusia we have many ‘Eldred’s. There’s at least one with that name in every town.”

Huh. Some things were the same no matter what world you were in.

Eldred, huh? Uh, is that for boys or girls?”

The princess raised an eyebrow. “Well of course it would be for-”


A scream came from the distance. Brent immediately sat up, everyone else springing to attention.

Everyone but Ray, that is.

Looks like someone’s in trouble. We ought to go check it out,” Harry said.

Now how did I know you were going to say that?” Ray leaned back, hands behind his head. “Count me out. You can go do that, but I’d rather just move on to another region. Let someone else deal with the zombies.”

Come on, Ray,” Karisma chided, “You don’t even want to take a look?”

If we take a look at whoever it is, they’ll get a look at us. I’m not too interested in getting into another fight right after the first.“

You are still unharmed, and your strength has not left you,” Reisa pointed out, “Can you truly just ignore a cry for help?”

Uh, let me think about that-” Ray thought about it for less than a second. “-Yes!”

It is as I thought, then. You may have some skill as a warrior, but your soul is as selfish and cowardly as they come.”

Please. I don’t want to hear that from some weird chick pretending she’s all dressed up for Halloween or something.”

Reisa bristled at that insult, despite not fully understanding it. “Why you-”

Brent rushed to her defense. “Are you serious dude? I thought we went over this before! You still can’t believe that she’s clearly not from our world? Just look at-”

Guys, guys, GUYS!” Harry called out, putting his hands out in an “everybody stop” gesture. “We’re wasting time here when someone could be in danger.”


Harry cut off Brent. “No buts, mate, let’s just go. If the bloke doesn’t want to join us that’s good on him, no skin off my back. Now come on!”

Without further preamble Harry dashed off, his newly healed foot not holding him back.

Uh dude, wait a minute!” Ray called. “You need to rel-”

Brent rounded on him, still furious. “What, are you changing your mind about helping us?”

Well, no, but-”

Then don’t tell us what to do!”

Brent looked at Karisma and Reisa, who looked back at him. The boy gave a brief shrug and ran after Harry, the others following close behind. Ray just stared at their backs, for once at a loss for words.

A note from vauntless

Twists and turns abound in this chapter! This was pretty amusing to write, for more reasons than one.

Also, if you are the cultured sort of person who enjoys Jojo's Bizarre Adventure, the Part 6 anime should be out by the time of this release.

As usual, I'd appreciate it if you read 'n review, favorite 'n follow, or any combination of those and boost this story on TopWebFiction at if you want to support the story!

What do you think SIMP stand for?
Simpering Simpleton!
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Stuck In My Parents' basement
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Nothing, it's just a word
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Other (leave a commento pls)
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Either way is fine for me
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Total: 2 vote(s)

About the author


Bio: if only I had thorns like a thistle

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