Reyes Albert, Prisoner, Ch. 6 - "The Lowrider"
Reyes had enough of all that zombified moaning. Day and night, the creatures taunted him. If they ever got free somehow, they would try and kill him. He sat down in the prison entrance hall, and worked away for nearly an hour, whittling and shaping planks into a series of arrows. In total, he now had a bundle of sixty.
He took a quick break to refill on water and food. He drank some orange juice, and then walked into the darkness of the prison to train his archery on the zombies.
Reyes fired slowly and precisely, clearing the cellblocks one-by-one.
He finds a few items in the cells, including a light battery, a copy of Trapper’s Life, and a cellphone with unified power system. The toilets in each cell carried some water. He went to the cafeteria and boiled some up. The only zombies left behind bars now were cop zombies, who wore riot armor that resisted his crude arrows.
He made a pair of oars. He wanted desperately to get off the island, or at least have an escape route, and his next goal was to craft a canoe large enough for him to set off.
He started to disassemble the dock for planks and rope, and then he went home and to bed in the medic’s office.
He awoke, and drank some water. It was early, before the sun came on. He boiled up two bottles full of clean water, and switched out some of his bandages. He was starting to feel moderately better, but was still pretty hurt. He heated up a microwave burrito on his frying pan. Tasty, tasty junk food.
He read a few chapters of Trapper’s Life before continuing on his day. Perhaps the knowledge would come in handy when he got back to the mainland. He stepped outside to the gym to read in the sunlight.
He wanted to practice woodworking today, so that he could make a solid canoe. At the same time, he could make some improvements to the prison’s defenses.
But he needed to find or craft a good saw. He ate some pickled fish. Assembled some bandages.
Then he stepped out on the docks. He figured he would do some of the early work to get the canoe together. Maybe while he worked, he would get a better idea of how to finish it.
He laid a 4x1 light wooden frame for the boat, and set up an area for his oars. In front of him, he would set up a light stowing container.
The boat was coming along. Maybe he would be off this island as soon as a couple days. It was noon, and time to work on some other projects. He needed to flex his carpentry skills.
Locking down the island fortress was important. Reyes feared the idea of coming home, injured, only to find that the undead had taken the place back over. It was still possible for zombies to climb up from the seas, and wander into his home.
The holes were in the eastern fence, ripped apart by the hulk zombie on the first day. He went around the prison and docks, gathering as many planks as he could find.
Reyes started work on patching up the holes. He knocked back a water bottle and checked his watch; it was 1:32 PM. The date was May 3rd, the wind was calm, and the sky was clear today.
For the walls, he deconstructed some of the doors from the warden’s bathroom nearby.
I didn’t spawn with a saw, but Reyes’s specialty is that he is clever. So I made a custom mod to add a crude saw recipe, so that I could do boat-building on the island. The mod is called ‘Crude & Improvised’, and includes several new makeshift tools.
He fashioned a crude saw out of some sheet metal from the medical room. Working for over an hour, he bent and twisted the sheets until they resembled a row of jagged, toothed blades. He attached the blades to a wooden handle using some wire.
He took down a few more doors from within the warden’s office, as well as the prison entrance. These doors could be repurposed as thick wooden plating.
Reyes munched down a chocolate bar as he continued to fortify the prison compound. He felt relaxed. Finally, he was safe. The prison walls had been entirely enclosed. There was even a wooden door at the entrance for him to enter and exit the fence, and a second metal door remained to enter the prison building.
Beyond that, the halls would surely slow down any enemy. Reyes imagined that he could even last weeks within, if he were ever besieged by something. Although a number of reinforced glass windows remained, they appeared to be quite durable. Zombies surely wouldn’t be a problem.
Reyes wondered what the outside was like. Did this happen everywhere, or just the prison island?
He had tasted the water, and it wasn’t salty enough to be an ocean. Reyes was in a lake, which meant that eventually there would be land in all directions.
This would be advantageous. Using his boat, he could explore the shores from safety.
He wanted to practice just a bit more. But it was night. And tomorrow, he could continue crafting a way out of here.
He wandered down the prison halls, passing the few zombies that still remained locked in the cellblocks. The two were familiar to him now. Whenever he’d come home, they would come out to say hello.
Tonight, Reyes slept within one of the cells. It was safe there, deep within the prison.
A loud noise woke him up. It was one of the prisoners still in the cells. He had a few hours of sleep, so he decided it was a good time to wake up. He headed into the cafeteria for breakfast. It was 4:24 AM.
He boiled some water for the day, and ate a pear and a plum. He was hoping to get more crafting done today. Patching up the last bits of the prison, and then working on the boat.
Before sun rose, he went around the entrance organizing items. He’d amassed quite a stockpile, as the sole inheritor of the prison island.
Reyes went to the roof to watch the sunrise. A light breeze passed over him on the rooftop. Around 5:18AM the sun came up, and his day began.
He continued to work on the boat. Throughout the day, Reyes ate some pesto from a jar he carried around. Unconventional meal, but if you’ll believe him, it’s quite tasty.
After a quick break to boil some more water, he headed out into the dusk with a thermos full of clean hot water. He continued working on the boat until just after dark. He slept in a cell again.
In the morning, he woke up at 7:57AM and went into the prison’s pantry. He grabbed some more of the fruits, and had some for breakfast. His stomach full, it was time to head out.
After adding a seat, Reyes pushed his boat out into the sea. It seemed to have everything he needs.
It was a speedy boat, composed of a light wooden frame. A set of three sticks held a basket, which Reyes could use to stow any items he gathers on his trips. At the nose of the ship, Reyes sat in a seat and paddled two oars.
At 9:08AM he rowed by the first island. It was very close to the prison — he could have even swam over. There seemed to be not much of anything there, aside from trees. As he sailed past, he spotted a family of otters on the southeastern side.
It was a nice sight. Perhaps the cataclysm hadn’t been so bad?
He kept on rowing. The Lowrider was fast. In a few short minutes, he was at the second island. This one had a barn at the far side.
Another fine sight. A family of muskrats on the western coast of the larger island. In the water, he could see fish swimming near the shores. Ducks also inhabited the northwest coast.
Finally, it came into view. The abandoned barn on this island seemed interesting to Reyes. He hoped that he find some trace or tool that would be handy. If nothing else, he could tear apart the structure for materials to add to his home.
He beached his boat and stepped ashore. It was an ancient agricultural structure, likely abandoned as farming was centralized and industrialized. Inside, there was a kiln. He took apart the doors and put the frames on his boat.
Aside from that, the island was barren. No food, aside from the animals.
Reyes decides to investigate the lighthouse, southwest of the prison. That place was much likelier to have food stored away. He wondered if the lighthouse keeper would still be alive.
He rowed his boat southwest, circling the island that had the abandoned barn. A migrating flock of Canadian geese passed overhead. It was 12:40PM.
Suddenly, he spotted something terrible.
A gigantic zombified shark, laying on the beach just nearby a mutilated fish. It seemed uninjured, which was worrisome. He rowed far clear of it. Hopefully its vision was limited. He’d heard that sharks relied on their sense of smell.
He had to skip the cave, which was beyond the jawed terror. There had been some rumors of this cave among the other prisoners before, but nobody knew for sure what went on in there.
The ducks scattered on Reyes’s approach. His boat was fast enough to pass their pace. The Lowrider was indeed a beauty.
He continued to row southwest, as he went further and further from land. It was just Reyes and waves amid the light breeze.
He was beginning to tire as he approached the lighthouse. It appeared to be a brick structure, on a small sandy island. A two-seated boat was just outside, on the docks. That likely meant that somebody was still here.
It was just a few seconds later that Reyes noticed a dead woman, climbing over the rocks toward him. He rowed the boat around the island in a circle, to see if there were any other beasties about.
Through the window, he spotted another dead woman inside.
But circling around the back, he glimpsed the lighthouse’s larder. It was completely stocked with jars and bags of all kinds. There was a dead man walking inside. It was worth the risk.
Reyes docked just north of the other ship, and climbed onto the dock. He only had his trusty cast-iron pan.
He began to walk inside. He would fight the zombies one-by-one. A quick stop in the doorway to regain his stamina before entering the lighthouse.
The room he had seen the zombie woman in was empty. Perhaps she had slipped out the open window. He moved to the back room, to fight the zombie he saw in the larder.
Reyes rushes forwards raising his pan, as the zombie rips at his light jacket. Pounding it repeatedly, it goes down. Reyes took a bit of damage to his right arm, but is unbitten.
Catching his breath, he walks into the room. He spots a water purifier — a true treasure. He’ll come back for it when the lighthouse is clear. He pockets a bag of breads for now.
The other two zombies must both be outside. He decides to check upstairs. Maybe he’ll find a weapon that will make killing them easier.
This lighthouse has a pretty swanky kitchen. He takes off his light jacket, and hops over the bar to the fridge.
A pear in the fridge seems to be glowing with irradiation. But there are a couple more breads here. He kicks back for a second, and pops the little breads into his mouth. He washes it down with some clean water.
He continues his climb up the lighthouse. There’s a bedroom up top, and some leisure rooms. Continuing his climb, he reaches a room with machinery in it. There are also come boxes full of stuff in here. He takes a jar of food, and disassembles one of the machines for parts.
From so high up, he could see a great distance away. There seemed to be nothing but more lake and more islands. Reyes decided to row a bit further today. The things at the lighthouse weren’t going anywhere.
Reyes had come a very long way, since that first day in the prison warden’s office. Now, he had the resources to survive for weeks. And the fortifications to live in safety.