Arcane Part 1:


September 23, 1998:

Tal was sitting at his desk in the detective's bullpen going over the basics of a car-theft ring case that he had just been assigned to. It looked to be just another boring run of the mill car-theft ring and he would probably have it cleared up within a day or two with the help of his partner Sid Calton and a couple of the other detectives.

He finished reading the file, it was awfully slim pickings, it seemed the ring only struck at night, and always in the person's driveway or right in front of their house, and no one ever seemed to see or hear anything.

"Maybe it won't be as easy as I thought," Tal grunted out in a low tone.

"Talking to yourself is the first sign of insanity Tal," Sid said grinning at him from across the desk.

"Who ever said I was sane in the first place," Tal replied grinning back.

"Not anyone I know," Sid said continuing their long running banter.

"Heh," was all Tal said and then stood up stretching. "You up for some lunch," he asked?

"I thought you would never ask, my back is killing me from these chairs, be nice if Irons would breakdown and buy some real desks and chairs," Sid complained out loud.

"That SOB will never do that and you know it Sid," Avery Calhoun told him.

"Yeah I know Avery, spends all his and the stations bloody money on those hideous pieces of artwork," Sid griped.

"Quit whining and let's go eat," Tal ordered.

The two of them left the East office and walked down the short stretch of corridor out that door and walked the few paces to the double-front doors, but before either one could grasp one of the door knobs they were stopped by an oily voice behind them.

"Where are you two going," Chief of Police Brian Irons asked?

Tal turned around making sure to give Sid his best shut up look as he did so, "We are going to go eat lunch Chief," he told him.

"Have you two solved that car-ring case yet," Irons demanded?

"Not yet Chief, we just got the files about fifteen minutes ago and finished reading them," Tal answered.

"See that you get it done immediately, I'm tired of all the people complaining about having their cars stolen," Irons whined.

"Okay Chief," Tal said and opened the front door.

"And another thing Detective Martin, you will address me as Sir," Irons ordered.

"Sure Chief," Tal said and left the building leaving behind a quietly fuming Irons.

"Heh heh heh," Sid chuckled next to him, "He sure doesn't like you Tal."

"Frogs will fall out of the sky before I give a flying leap," Tal said grinning wickedly.

"Yeah but what if he tries to fire you," Sid questioned?

"He can't afford to, I'm one of the top detectives in town, plus the city council likes me and so do the people in town, there would be an uproar if he tried," Tal explained as they got in the black Crown Vic.

"Yeah but the town seemed to turn awfully quickly on the STARS after that mansion blew up," Sid warned.

"I know, I believe the STARS, and I think someone is covering up something," Tal said musingly.

"What could they be covering up," Sid asked?

"I haven't found that out yet," Tal said, "but I think I'm getting close."

"What do you mean you think you're getting close, you aren't investigating the STARS incident are you," Sid asked and then moaned when Tal nodded in the affirmative, "you're gonna get both of us busted down to beat cops."

"Don't worry about it, no one is going to find out."

"Famous last words," Sid grumbled under his breath.

"Oh stop whining," Tal said, "how bout this I'll pay for lunch okay."

Sid perked up at that, "sounds good to me."

"I figured it would," Tal said a little sarcastically and hoped he had enough money in his wallet.

"Let's go, I'm starving," Sid said impatiently.

"You're always starving," Tal said wickedly and started the big engine of the Crown Vic and pulled out of the spot in front of the RPD building and pointed the nose towards Emmy's diner.

* * * * * *

Emmet Brown pulled out of the barn on his tractor and hooked the large harrow to it and then drove out into his field to plow for the next growing season. Five hours later his wife came to call him in for lunch, and found the tractor tilted over on it's side, deep gouges were in the metal, and blood was everywhere but the body of her husband couldn't be found.

* * * * * *

Dana Mulhalen hiked through the peaceful Racoon Forest, it felt like her pack weighed nothing at all as she enjoyed the early fall weather.

She stopped to rest on a large rock for a moment and was about to get back up when something rustled in the leaves across from here and she heard a moan.

Figuring someone was hurt she got up leaving her pack on the rock and walked towards the repeated moaning.

"Is someone there, do you need help," the only reply she got was more moans and rustling.

Walking into the bushes a few seconds later her scream was swallowed by the dark forest.

* * * * * *

Twelve-year old Mark Petry was having the time of his life, he had just gotten a new bike and he was peddling for all he was worth through the park and enjoying it as the wind whipped through his hair.

After riding at top speed he decided to stop near a wooded section and eat the peanut butter and jelly sandwich that his mother had packed for him.

Setting the bike down on it's side he sat down and pulled out the sandwich and started eating it, he was halfway through it when he heard a whine from the trees facing his back. Getting up he walked into the trees.

Two days later his body was found horribly torn and battered, the sandwich was still clutched in his hand.

His mother had been the one to find the body, and she went insane screaming and yelling, and was committed to the mental ward of the Racoon Community Hospital.

* * * * * *

"Hey Emmy," Tal said waving to the owner and waitress of the small café.

"Hey Tal, Sid, how's it going guys," she asked pouring them large cups of coffee?

"So, so," Tal said wiggling his hand back and forth.

"That exciting eh," she responded smiling.

"Not any worse than usual," Sid piped in and then yelped as he scalded his tongue after sipping the hot coffee.

Tal chuckled, it happened every time they came too Emmy's, Sid could never remember that she always kept an extremely fresh pot of coffee ready.

"Dang Emmy, coulda warned me," Sid said sipping a glass of water to help reduce the pain if he could.

Emmy just smirked and said, "Now Sid how many years have you been buying coffee here," she asked?

"Too many," he grumbled.

Tal chuckled some more, the conversation went the same way everyday.

"What are you chuckling about," Sid asked with a little indignation?

"You," Tal said his eyes twinkling, "you do this every time."

"Do not," Sid said.

"Do too," Tal replied.

This went on for a few seconds until Emmy with her hands on her hips said, "Now don't make me send you two to opposite corners."

Sid started to say something but swallowed it along with another sip of coffee.

Tal just ordered his food, "I'll have a burger and fries Emmy, and tell Burt not to put so much grease on the fries this time, I had the darnedest time eating them last time."

"Will do," she said and handed the order to Burt the cook.

"So what do you want to do, after lunch," Sid asked?

"We'll interview a few people that have had their cars stolen by this ring I guess," Tal answered.

"Sounds like a start to me," Sid said and sipped more of his coffee.

"About the only place we can start, there aren't any other clues to go on," Tal explained.

"True," Sid said.

September 27, 1998, 8:37p.m.:

"Sid, what the hell is going on," Tal asked as he pulled up in his Crown Vic and watched as two dozen police cars and a couple of the SWAT vans roared out of the basement garage of the RPD building.

"Well ah, you really aren't going to believe this Tal, but uhm, well they are going out to fight the zombies that have massed in town," Sid said scuffing his patent leather shoes on the concrete of the parking lot like some two year old kid.

"Zombie eh, I'm not surprised I didn't exactly have a quiet weekend myself," Tal said getting out of his car and standing next to Sid, the late September wind whipped the end of Tal's blue wool overcoat around his legs, he was wearing street clothes at the moment, a t-shirt, jeans, and sneakers, he had just gotten back from a weekend at the cabin that he sometimes rented in the Racoon Forest.

"Why what happened," Sid asked?

"I'll tell you later," Tal said walking around to the back of his car and popping the trunk, reaching in he pulled out an old Mini-14 chambered in .308 as well as a ammo bag filled with half a dozen spare magazines.

"You heeled," Tal asked setting the rifle on the back seat of his Crown Vic?

"Yup," Sid replied holding his leather jacket open that he was wearing over a shirt and tie, it showed his large Ruger GPF-555 blackhawk .44 magnum revolver.

"Is that all you have on you," Tal asked?

"Nope, I kinda borrowed this from the STARS office," Sid said reaching behind himself and picking up the Stoner M4A1 assault rifle that had been leaning against the wall, it had an IR scope and flashlight fitted to it and a 30-round magazine was in place.

"Well let's go kick some zombie ass, partner," Tal said and got in the driver's side of the Crown Vic and waited while Sid jogged around the front end and got in the passenger side.

Tal flicked on the car's CB and picked up the mike and started talking into it, "this is RPC unit Adam Charlie Mike 798, requesting information on nearest infestation of zombies." Tal felt rather stupid for asking about something like that but couldn't help it, zombies was zombies and that's all there was to it.

"Adam Charlie Mike 798 proceed to Intersection of East Vine and Manassas," the dispatcher told him.

"Roger that dispatch, Adam Charlie Mike 798, rolling, out," Tal said and set the mike back into it's cradle.

"What's Irons fat ass doing about this," Tal asked finally?

"Probably pissin' his lacy drawers over it, I also heard he was ranting about Umbrella double-crossing him and destroying his city," Sid informed him.

"Irons is a total ass, and a fruit cake," Tal said gripping the steering wheel of the car as they proceeded along the road at less than 35mph, "dang I'm gone for two days and it looks like most of the city has been trashed," Tal said.

"There have been several incidents," Sid told him.

"Really, I wouldn't have noticed," Tal said straining to keep the sarcasm out of his voice.

"Hey don't shoot the messenger pard," Sid said raising his hands as if to defend himself.

"I know it's not your fault Sid, I'm just tired is all," Tal told him quietly.

"Tired of what," Sid asked equally as quiet.

"Of the killing and the death, I moved to Racoon to get away from that," Tal said tiredly.

"I know the feeling Tal, I was over in the middle east when all that crap took place, and I got tired of the killing to," Sid said trying to alleviate some of his friends pain.

Tal sighed and sat back in the seat realizing that hunching over the steering wheel wouldn't get them their any faster.

"Look sharp here we are," Sid said opening the door and hopping out before Tal could stop.

Tal parked the car sideways next another cruiser and got out, grabbing up his Mini-14 he extended the bipod and laid across the trunk of the car while Sid leaned over the hood.

"What's the situation," Tal asked of one of the senior cops there.

"Not good, about thirty of those things are headed this way," Jay Mann said a riot gun clutched tightly in his hands.

"Damn," Sid swore softly.

"Looks like they are here," said a younger female officer holding and H&K MP-5A3.

"Let ´┐Żem have it," Mann ordered and everyone opened up on the teeming, rotting mass of the undead.

"This isn't going to work," Tal thought to himself and then relaxed letting the hammering of the Mini-14 continue as the large .308 rounds pounded into the stinking mass of undead.

September 27, 1998, 8:40p.m.:

The big .308 slugs pounded into the zombies along with rounds from over a dozen different weapons, none of it seemed to faze the shambling group of undead.

As Tal watched the zombies reached the first line of cruisers and attacked the officers taking cover behind them.

One of the cops screamed and went down underneath a pile of the undead and blood fountained into the air as they gnawed through the carotid artery in his neck.

A few moments passed and the zombies were passed the first line and still walking straight into a hail of lead as they advanced on the second line. They breached the second line and several more officer's lost their lives as they refused to back down from the menace, one of the officers went down his H&K MP-5 stuttering wildly in all directions and several officers were hit but not killed, the zombies took care of that a few moments later.

Looking forward and trying to get a clean shot at some of the zombies Tal heard a grunt and looked over to his right and saw Sid sagging to the ground. Racing over to his fallen partner he saw that one of the MP-5 rounds had nailed him right in the center of the forehead killing him.

Tal cursed and slung the Mini-14 over his shoulder and grabbed up Sid's M4A1 as well as his Ruger. Turning back to the barricade he watched as zombie staggered towards him, raising the Black Hawk he pulled the trigger and blew its head off, blood, bone, and brain matter sprayed out behind it in a fine mist over the dead cops and zombies behind it, it staggered and lurched for a second and the folded at the knees falling chest first to the ground.

Taking a quick look around the, he saw that he was the last cop standing and the only sign he saw of the other's was the occasional blood splattered patch of blue as the zombies finished their meals.

Turning and running Tal felt bad but he knew it would be suicide if he stayed behind, he ran for all he was worth feeling like a traitor.

September 27, 9:05p.m.:

Tal ran for what seemed for ever but was only about fifteen minutes, it had started raining about five minutes ago and he had ignored it as the cold wetness of the rain slid down the color of his overcoat and soaked his shirt, making it stick to him and making the cold clamminess even worse.

Finally stopping for a moment he bent over hacking and wheezing as he struggled to get air back in his lungs, getting the breathing back under control he straightened up and saw that he was in the industrial section of town. Looking ahead of him he saw movement in the dim light afforded by the weak lighting in the alleyway, staggering, shuffling movement, and a few seconds later he heard the pathetic moans of those not allowed to die in peace.

Looking around himself carefully he spotted a door to his right and kicked out snapping the lock and pushing it open, ducking in he slammed it behind him and then threw the security bolt that was at the upper part of the frame.

Leaning against the door he struggled to slow his heart rate and breathing, finally he managed to breath through his mouth quietly and listened to the wet hungry moans as the undead stumbled past the door he hid behind