Twisted Time

December 11, 2010

I dont normally use the site for self promotion but the following is pretty important to me and it does have zombies, so I figured I would post it here.

Over the last year I have been working (working/obsessing, same thing right?) on an iPhone game

For those of you who havent played Magalomania from the glory days of the Amiga, its one of the first RTS games (From before C&C) and is/was pretty awesome.

In Twisted Time you build and control an army across 25 levels of changing scenery and danger and much like the game of its inspiration, you rapidly upgrade your army from sticks and stones to bows and arrows to laser Gatling guns.

We’ve created a custom control scheme that actually works for strategy games on the iDevices, and allows you to quickly allocate your forces to different areas with a quick swipe of the finger (I’m actually pretty proud of this feature, I think a lot of developers ignore the interface and don’t spend long enough making a viable solution for touch devices)

Anyways, heres the itunes site: [Twisted Time] (http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/twisted-time/id401665306?mt=8)

Heres the (admittedly pretty basic) web page on our site: [Burnt Ideas] (http://www.burntideas.com/twistedtime)

Oh one last thing, after you complete the first world you unlock an endless zombie mode :-)

 

Thanks for checking it out and I promise to post some more stories soon!


From One Mind, Into Another

November 23, 2010

“Checkpoint Alpha, fall back to checkpoint Charlie, Bravo is unresponsive, fall back now, over”

The voice drifted into the man’s consciousness, forcing him to open his eyes. Blinking he forced himself to focus on his surroundings. Strapped to the passenger seat he dangled across the cab, hanging into the driver’s side, which had mostly been torn away by the wall the vehicle was against. No, not a wall, the ground. He shook his head. The vehicle was on its side, crumpled with windows smashed and scattered across the cab. Blood was dripping past his face too. He reached up to the pain throbbing through his head and touched something sticky. Pulling his hand away coated in red he realized where the blood was dripping from.

The radio crackled to life again “Checkpoint Alpha, come back, over”

He looked out of the vehicle at his surroundings. The grey concrete road was pitted with rough holes, splashed with blood, a lot of blood, and scattered with bullet casings. Across the street a large building was billowing smoke into the clear blue sky, the flames licking up the outside of the building and setting alight to a pair of curtains that billowed out into the wind. Looking at the vehicles dashboard he could see the radio, shattered as it was he was surprised it worked, yet with no handset it was useless to him.

“Checkpoint Charlie, any sign of Alpha? over”

Who was he? Where was he? Some sort of warzone? He pulled at his jacket, camouflage, and saw the name tag ‘Jacobs’. He nodded, he liked the name Jacobs. He liked the name Mark too, Mark Jacobs. It had a nice flow to it, so, for the time being, he would be Mark Jacobs. He tried to remember something, anything, but his mind was blank. He pulled at the seatbelt, braced himself against the dashboard and unclipped the latch. Tumbling, sliding and crawling, Mark pulled himself through the front window and free of the vehicle.

“Checkpoint Charlie? Status report? Checkpoint Charlie, come back, over”

Looking around he could see the streets were deserted, nothing moved. The faint radio crackle, the whistling wind and the building fire was all he could hear. This was unnerving, Mark knew he was in a city, he could see building tops for miles around, there should be more sounds, cars, people, even gun fire. Nothing.

“Twelfth troop is moving to fallback point eight. All surrounding units are advised to do the same, over”

Mark looked at the crashed vehicle he had just emerged from, skid marks were all around it, obviously the rest of the convey had kept going, leaving them to their fate. The vehicle was a dark grey humvee, blood coated the heavy weapon mounted to the roof and was sprayed into the circular turret that provided access from the rear of the vehicle to the gun. As he looked at the scene he realized that as the vehicle had come to lay on its side, whoever had been in the turret had been firing at the enemy, tearing holes into the concrete road until he, yes, Mark could see strips of material and blood, had been pulled out of the hatch. Despite the damage taken from the crash, Mark could tell that the vehicle had not been hit by a single bullet. He frowned. Getting down on his hands and knees he looked at the driver’s side, more blood and again, more strips of material, as though the driver had been pulled from his seat and out of the window.

“Twelfth troop, rendezvous at checkpoint delta, we have two additional units on route to that location, over”

Looking around Mark saw a trail of blood leading away from the humvee and into a shattered shop front. Swearing, he reached into the vehicle and pulled a large caliber machine gun from its rack and several clips of ammo that looked like it matched the weapon. He checked the safety and pushed the clip into place, pulling back on the loading bolt and checking the first shell had clicked into place. Satisfied that the weapon was ready he braced the large gun against his hip, pointed it forward and strode off toward the shattered window.

“Twelfth troop be advised, we have confirmed combatants at checkpoint Delta, over”

Approaching the shattered window he peered into the gloom. Display cases were toppled, chairs scattered and china, obviously the stores merchandise, was shattered across the floor. In the middle of the wreckage two figures lay slumped on the floor.

“Anyone alive in here?” he asked

With a low moan one of the figures looked up. Mark stood, frozen in stunned panic as he realized the figure slowly pushing itself upright had been eating the chest of the body on the floor. Dark blood poured from the mouth of the man as he stumbled over the wreckage toward Mark, arms outstretched and eyes unblinking.

Mark pulled the trigger.

The heavy machine gun roared, lighting up the shop with giant flashes of flame and light as the figure flew backwards, bullets tearing through flesh and bone. Mark stopped firing and peered through the gun smoke at the figure. As it cleared his eyes widened and he swore before pulling the trigger and sending more rounds into the man as he had started to rise up. Gun roaring Mark saw the man’s flesh being torn away as the second figure sat up into the hail of gunfire. A bullet clipped through its skull, spraying blood into the air and the figure slumped back to the floor. Mark stopped firing, and paused as the man, body torn apart by the bullets, continued to move, pulling himself toward Mark with its shattered arms and leaving a trail of blood and gore in its wake.

Mark frowned, aimed the barrel and carefully squeezed the trigger. One round exploded from the gun and buried itself in the man’s head, where he immediately slumped to the floor, motionless.

Mark stood silently looking at the figures, until, satisfied they were truly dead, he turned away.

“Headshots only? Guess I need something more accurate” he said to himself.

As he looked around the deserted street a distant explosion went off with a thud in the distance and as he watched a small plume of smoke rose into the air. Slinging the weapon over his shoulder, Mark Jacobs set off toward the distant combat, determined to regain his memory and let others know to aim for the head.


Decisions

November 22, 2010

“So what should we do?”

“We should just leave her, close the door and walk away.”

“NO! That’s what got us here in the first place! We have to do the right thing.”

“Which is?”

“Maybe we can cure her?”

“Cure her? Really? Are we looking at the same person? Never mind the devastation going on out there, but she can’t be cured. Her arm is practically coming off at the shoulder and her guts are still in the other room.”

“Well we can’t just leave her here, maybe we could bring her with us? Get away from the city and find someone to help?”

“…”

“OK, maybe we get her some food, some water and then come check on her later on?”

“We are the food you idiot. Go grab the axe and we can be done with her.”

“No!”

“We have to, the handcuff won’t hold her for long! Either get the axe or get the door.”

“I can’t, it’s not right. She’s a person.”

“A person? Like the ones out there? You didn’t have a problem taking the axe to all of them did you? How many of those people did you kill? There must have been easily fifty, maybe more.”

“They weren’t people, they wanted to kill me.”

“Just like she does.”

“You’re wrong.”

“Then why is she handcuffed?”

“Because…”

“Exactly, now get the axe before she pulls her shoulder apart.”

“…”

“Do it”

“I shouldn’t listen to you, your bad for me! Get out of my head! GET OUT!”

“I’m the only thing keeping us alive. Now do it! DO IT!”

“I.. I’m sorry Mom”


Properly Armed

November 19, 2010

The large man raised his arm and slammed the hammer down on the molten metal blade across his anvil. Sparks shot across the room and bounced off the two shadow drenched figures in front of him. The taller of the two men, with a thoughtful look on his face spoke first.

“Why?”

The blacksmith looked at him and smiled.

The man filled the silence, “There must be a dozen hardware stores in the city, take ten of your little villages men, go raid them, and you’ll have enough tools and weapons to last a life time, why make your own?”

The blacksmith, still smiling, turned the blade and brought the hammer down again, before hefting the red hot weapon, inspecting the blade and thrusting it into the large barrel of water to his side. As the steam billowed into the air he looked at the two men and spoke.

“Lifetime is the keyword son. I, and we, around here, like ours to go on for a long time.” He walked across the room to a large rack “When the ammo in the rifle you carry runs out and you’re down to hand to hand, and the only thing standing between you and your enemy is the weapon in your hand, will it be a cheap piece of metal you got at a hardware store? Or something made to keep oblivion at bay?” He pulled a short blade from the rack and hefted it, inspecting the glint of light as it played along the razor sharp edge.

“I see the hammer you have tucked in your belt, and it’s a pretty big one, but it’s designed for hitting nails, not enemies. When it gets wet, you put it down and wipe your hands. You can’t do that in combat.” He thrust the blade, hilt first, at the second silent figure, who clumsily scooped it up “This here has a channel for blood, a hilt to protect your hand, leather grip to absorb your sweat and an edge to make the devil himself shit blood” He smiled again and walked to the far door.

“I have two tied up outback; use your hammer on one and this on the other. Don’t come back until they’re both dead”

As the two men walked out of the room, the blacksmith pulled another blade from the rack and set it on the table. He sat down, steepled his fingers and waited, listening to the dull rapid thuds coming from the other side of the wall. A few moments after the thuds faded away and a single sharp ‘Snikt’ sound echoed into the room, the door was pushed open and the two men walked back in. Both were covered in blood and the first, who held the hammer, was drenched in sweat.

Looking at the seated blacksmith and the blade on the table he dropped the hammer to the floor.

“We’ll take two”


Live Fire

October 15, 2010

Walking briskly Daryl led the group of four across the moonlit city street and took a left on a feeder road. Each of the four walked with care, picking their way through the debris so as to not make any sound, their clothes soft and dark, whispering cotton, the multitude of weapons they each carried, padded and dulled so as to make no noise and to reflect no light.

The city they walked through, a bustling city of hundreds of thousands, of culture, business and learning, had not prepared for the infections. Officials had ignored the warnings, until the first hospital had gone quiet. Phone calls went un-answered and nobody opened the doors, locked and bolted from the inside. The police were called, they sent a team in, they did not return. They sent a second, much larger team in. Gunfire erupted from the second floor, the survivors raced back to the exit, slamming the doors behind them, gashes and bite marks gouged into their arms and legs with stories of unimaginable horror, of people gone mad. As they were sent to other nearby hospitals the army was called and they sent a team in.

Three days later the city was dark, power extinguished by countless downed power lines and bodies caught in city distribution transformers.

As with any city, the first rule was to never go in, for Daryl, Ed, Mark and Chloe, they had no choice. Survival is sometimes more than just finding food and shelter, it’s finding a purpose, and for this group of four they were intent on finding their purpose.

Turning left once again Daryl led the group into a long street, surrounded by tall residential buildings and withering trees. He paused as a slowly moving figure stumbled into the moonlight. With a smooth motion Daryl un-slung the light, composite hunting bow from his shoulder, notched an arrow and drew back the string. With a light thud the figure fell to the ground, the arrow passing cleanly through its skull and skittered across the street. “We’re here” Daryl whispered and pointed at a nearby entryway door. He motioned to Chloe and back to the door.

Advancing on the doorway she pulled a set of keys from her pocket as the group spread out behind her and notched arrows. She paused at the door, noting the flaking white paint and listened. Satisfied that she could not hear anything from the other side, she flicked through the key ring and pushed the key into the lock. Twisting the key slowly she eased the lock open and pushed down on the handle creaking the door open and peering into the darkness beyond.

With a sudden slap against the door, a pale white hand shot out of the darkness, grabbing her shirt and slammed her against the opening, desperately trying to drag her through. Twisting Chloe scrabbled for her holstered pistol, brought the gun up alongside her head and pointed it into the darkness where two dull eyes stared back at her. Two shots rang out loudly, causing the three on the street to jump and spin toward her. Chloe staggered backward as another figure shouldered into the door and swung it open before dropping to the floor as an arrow slammed into its skull. A third stepped over the fallen figure pushed forward by two more living dead, pale arms outstretched toward Chloe who raised her pistol as arrows flew past her, burying themselves in the chest of the advancing zombies.

Deliberately pacing her shots, Chloe started firing and her attackers started falling. More figures lurched through the doorway, stumbling over the mounting pile of bodies as Chloe began to fire faster in rising panic and the rest of the group continued to unload arrows. Shifting his position Ed pulled out a flash light and fired the beam into the dark hallway. Dozens of swaying undead were lit up by the light, their pale pallid skin reflecting a sick yellow color. Swearing he shouted out “There’s too many, we need to back off!” before turning to see a dark figure stumble around the corner of the street “We have more coming from the south guys!” he shouted out as he notched his final arrow and hammered it through the creatures chest. Staggering from the impact it lurched forward, eyes fixated on Daryls back, as several more figures rounded the corner, drawn by the gunfire and fighting.

Backing away from the door Chloe reloaded and looked around as a smash of glass made her look up and throw herself to her side. Crashing through a fourth story window the glass encrusted zombie slammed into the ground next to Chloe, its bones splintering through its shins as it reached out and grabbed her leg, dragging itself on top of her. With an ear splitting boom, the zombie jerked violently to Chloe’s left before lying still, its upper skull sprayed across the street from Marks shotgun. She pulled herself up and scanned the surrounding windows for more drop-ins. Zombies started to enter the street from the north as Daryl shouted out over the sound of their gunfire “Mark, take the north, Chloe the door and windows, Ed, you got the south, I’ll float, look for an opening so we can get out of here!”

Dozens more started to pour into the street from both directions and the doorway, stumbling over each other and the prone figures to reach the four as they methodically took aim and unloaded rounds of ammunition at the advancing horde. A crashing sound as four more burst through another building entry way was met with Daryls rifle fire and they collapsed to the ground as yet more lurched over their bodies. Daryl looked around wildly as Chloe threw her now empty pistols to the ground and pulled a compact automatic from its sling. “There!” she screamed, pointing at an external, raised, fire escape “Were going to have to go up!” Second rule, broken, with purpose.

“Incoming armor!” Daryl spun to see Ed firing at the armored zombies, remnants of the local police and army forces, combat helms shaking as they absorbed his heavy buckshot. Running to the fire escape Daryl jumped against the wall and threw his weight upward, grabbing the collapsing stair and pulling it down. He stood on the stairs tail end and started firing wildly into the densely packed mob of zombies bearing down on the four. Chloe ran past him and up the stairs, jumping upward and pulling the next set down, Ed came next, swinging his now empty shotgun at a grasping zombie and knocking it to the ground before climbing the stairs. Mark flipped his rifle to automatic and unloaded the full clip into the outstretched hands and faces as they grabbed at his shirt and the gun. Pulling himself away he tried to reach the ladder as Daryl backed up, firing to keep a clear path for Mark. Bullets rained down around him as Chloe and Ed fired rapidly into the crowd, he grabbed the railing as a hand gripped his leg and pulled him backward, screaming with a look of shocked terror on his face before being swallowed by a dozen moaning bodies as they tore and bit at him.

Daryl reloaded as the first zombie climbed onto the stairs and advanced toward him over Mark’s bubbling screams. The creature crumpled as Chloe fired two shells through its skull, and tumbled over the railing, only to be replaced by another as they began to climb after the group of three. Turning Daryl ran to the next ladder urging the other two onward and upward. As they reached the second landing, the stairs, with no weight on them swung upward and away from the first zombie as it reached the landing. Breathing a ragged sigh of relief Daryl looked out over the railing and turned to the others “We made it” he tried to say. Instead the crash of glass swallowed his words as a figure crashed through the landing window, into Daryl and dragged the two of them over the railing to the street below. Chloe screamed and fired wildly into the now broken window as another figure tried to climb through. Jumping, Ed grabbed the next set of stairs and pulled it down before dragging Chloe by the shirt and the two climbed upward. Rushing they desperately climbed as more windows shattered on each landing and the fire escape began to shake from the weight of so many. Firing the last of her ammunition Chloe took the lead pulling the ladders down as Ed fired through windows and cleared a path for the two of them.

Finally the two reached the upper landing. Mark turned, covered his face with his arm and fired two round, severing the hinge bolts and watched the stairs fall to the landing below, pinning a squirming figure beneath it.

Looking out across the barren rooftop they checked behind the large AC units and determined that there was no threat for the time being. They stood together and peered down at the streets below them, thronged with hundreds if not thousands of zombies, milling around and looking up at the two figures.

As the fire escape tore away and crashed down to the street below, bore down by the weight of dozens of zombies, Chloe looked at Mark and asked “What now?”

He shook his head and looked out at the streets and the crumpled structure that had been the only method of roof access. Shaking his head he looked back at her and said “I have no idea Chloe, I have no idea.”


Calculated Choices

September 27, 2010

Brushing his hand across the tree trunk, Eric took short, low breaths and marveled at the air. How clear it had become in just a few short months, crisp and clean as billions of motors, power plants and more had shut down. Even away from the city he had never smelled anything like it, it’s pure arom,..

“Break his knee caps”

Eric looked up, startled, as the two men stood over him.

“Look, guys, I know I’m not the fastest one here but, but why?” he asked not quite believing his situation.

The first man looked at him, weighing him in his eyes, a simple calculation that life had become “There’s a group of them coming toward us from the south, and we need to slow them down until we can get to higher ground.” Eric looked at him with wild eyes “It’s nothing personal.”

Backing away Eric held up his bound hands, palms open. “Hey, hey, hey, there’s got to be another way, maybe if we just stay quiet we can avoid th” his words were cut short by a simple, sharp, “No” from the man. “So that’s it then? What? I’m just a decoy? You caught me, bound me and dragged me all this way, as a decoy?”

“Yes”

Eric didn’t see the man behind him, but he felt the searing pain as the club smashed into the side of his leg. Falling to the floor screaming, he tried to raise his arms to stop a second blow, missed the club and felt his other kneecap explode as the weapon was brought down directly on it.

Turning from the screaming, broken figure the man motioned to the others “Let’s go! We need to get up this hill before they get done with him.” With that the group moved away, climbing the steep hillside as the first of their pursuers emerged from the tree line and made its way to Eric’s sobbing figure.

The man, cold from a hundred similar decisions turned at the top of the hill and looked back. After a few moments, he nodded, sure that the pursuers, one more in number, were unable to climb the steep rocky hillside. Making his way after his group he looked over the most recent captives and mentally marked the next one.


A Night At The Museum

September 20, 2010

Sprinting through the dark, wood clad hallways, the two men barely glanced at the dust draped exhibits either side of them. “Dave” The trailing figure yelled, “Take a right” as he pointed toward a large set of double doors approaching on their right. Bursting through the doorway they stumbled to a halt as a figure in the middle of the room turned toward them. With a guttural scream the leading man swung the small hatchet in a giant arc, burying the blade deep into the creature’s skull, collapsing it to the floor and yanking the wooden handle from his hand as it fell to the floor. Planting his foot on the now still face, he grabbed the protruding handle and pulled upwards. As he strained to free the weapon a loud crash echoed from a side door to the room. Eyes widening, he pulled harder, trying to free the blade locked in place by bone and muscle.

The door smashed inward, followed immediately by several stumbling figures, causing Dave to let go of the axe and turn toward the third entryway to the room.As he ran toward the door he yelled at his companion, who remained motionless watching the ghoulish figures pour into the room with wild eyed fear.

“Mark! Mark! Get over here man, we have to GO!” he screamed, slamming his shoulder into the door and throwing it open. With a start, Mark blinked, swore and sprinted for the door, diving through into the darkness as the door slammed closed behind him. Scrambling to his feet he turned and saw Dave, bracing against the door as the first of the undead slammed into it. As the door shook and the pounding increased, Mark slowly backed away. “Mark, give me a hand, please, help me hold this shut! Get that bookcase, that will slo.. Where are you going, no, NO, COME BACK!”

Dave’s screams echoed down the hallway as Mark sprinted away toward the museum exit. As he reached the exterior doorway the echoing screams abruptly stopped. Without a second look back, Mark pushed through the door and ran out into the early dawn.


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