The Story of Reyes Albert, Island Prisoner

I’m doing a playthrough where I journal what happens to the character. I was posting this at the ‘What’s Happening in YOUR randomly generated apocalypse? Part 2!’ thread, but the entries were adding up and I was getting good feedback, so I figured it merits its own topic.

Journaling the character really helps me get immersed, and sometimes leads me to find clever solutions that I wouldn’t normally. If you’ve ever planned out a backstory for a character, journalling their progress is the next step and really makes you get attached.

I’m intending to play through Reyes for as long as he stays alive. But this isn’t planned or scripted, so he may fall victim to the cruel winds of fate.

My process is: Write and take screenshots while playing, then edit it into a semi-coherent ‘chapter’ and post.

Feel welcome to comment, ask questions, etc!

So get comfortable, pour yourself a warm cup of Bone Broth, and let me tell you…

… the Story of Reyes Albert.

Later on, around Ch. 10, I start to use ReShade. It makes the game look even more fantastic, and lets you build a visual shader theme! It works in addition to any tileset, and shades it right on top. Highly recommend, and it takes < 10 minutes to set up with OpenGL. ReShade - add visual filters to your game

Reyes Albert, Prisoner, Ch. 1

“Wait here, I’ll just go see what that’s about.”

Reyes Albert found himself alone in the prison warden’s office. He was here often, as his computer skills came in handy whenever the prison staff had tech problems. But the warden had been gone for hours, and a barking outside signaled that something was wrong.

Through the reinforced glass window, he spotted a K9 unit, mouth frothing with blood. Reyes called out, “Hey warden! Something’s up.” He didn’t want to leave the room, as he’d been told by the warden himself to stay. But doing nothing made him just as guilty.

He stepped outside into the darkened hall. It was then that he heard a crash, as the front door caved in. An enormous, rotting hulk shoved its frame into the hallway. Reyes immediately stepped back into the warden’s office, and shut the door.

Panicking and trapped, the prisoner Reyes awaited certain death. But the blow from the unnaturally muscular zombie launched him clear through the reinforced window, past the K9, and into a barbed wire fence. He struggled for a moment as the K9 sawed at his ankles, before he took off in a sprint.

reyes albert 1

Chased by two K9’s, Reyes ran past the helipad and around the warden’s office. He was beginning to be boxed in. Ahead of him, another K9 forced him to run into the alleyway. As luck would have it, the dead-end alleyway had a drain pipe, which Reyes climbed to the roof.

From here, he could survey the entire prison island. Reyes had never seen the prison from up high. It was strictly forbidden to climb any of the structures. He could even see the ocean surrounding, and a couple islands to the east. The prison was composed of three structures, one of which dominated most of the island.

Regaining his stamina, Reyes rested for a few moments. He was in distressing pain, which drained some of his focus but was otherwise not much of an issue. He paced the roof, trying to come up with a plan. He would try to break the window to the southern guard tower, and jump across the gap.

reyes jump 2

In uncharacteristic deftness, Reyes cleared the gap with ease, and landed on the jagged windowsill without a scratch. He entered the tower, and recovered a L523-MBR with 23 rounds. He felt incredibly lucky to be alive, much less holding the grips of a battle rifle.

However safe he felt, without water his survival would only be short-lived. He checked the bottom floor of the guard tower, which was empty save for two doors. Opening one, he saw the corpse of a K9, and feeling a tinge of dread closed the door and returned upstairs.

With his rifle in hand, he decided it would be best to find a place with high visibility and begin to kill the undead. He climbed upstairs and cleaned the broken window of glass, in case he had to leave in a hurry. Then he went back downstairs, and through the north door. This led back towards the warden’s office, and was protected by bars. It was an excellent location to shoot from.

reyes firing 2

In two carefully-aimed shots, he downed his first zombie. It had barely touched the metal bars as its skull exploded. A zombified K9 scratched at the bars, although Reyes trained his rifle on a stronger brute which was approaching, trailed by other brutish zombies from inside the main prison structure.

The second zombie was downed quickly as well, although the blast from the shots made Reyes’ ears ring. The K9 continued to chomp and gnash ineffectively at the bars. Reyes kept firing on the zombies streaming out of the buildng. The third went down. The fourth. The fifth. Sixth.

But as he trained his rifle further northwards, it appeared that many of the zombies that had chased him before had… died? Their corpses littered the path with gore. Something else had killed them.

reyes curious 1

Reyes hoped they had merely been slaughtered by the gigantic hulk, in a fit of rage. But in the back of his mind, he recalled the violent security turrets that were also a possibility. It was likely that he, too would be shot on sight, if that was what happened to them.

Either way, it was dangerous to go back. He resolved to push into the prison structure where the zombies had come from. At least he knew he could carve his way in that direction.

With a sense of trepidation, he descended down the gutter pipe he had originally climbed. He landed on a boulder, and was assaulted by a K9 at close range. He fired four wild shots before a fifth connected to tear the K9 apart, and leave a bloody streak down the alleyway.

He checked himself over for injuries, and although he was still in some pain, he was unbitten. He checked his rifle. Seven bullets left.

reyes alleyway 1

Then he spotted the hulk.

hulk 1

Could seven bullets put it down? Reyes couldn’t see himself much enjoying sharing this prison island with a hulk much longer, and decided to fire.

Aiming for the hulk, the zombie ahead of it caught the first bullet and died. After firing three bullets into the hulk, it was looking heavily injured. Reyes kept firing.

zombie hulk stuck

Due to some Cataclysmic good fortune, the zombies had got caught in a pit right at the same tile as the hole in the wall. Reyes merely had to keep firing and he would take them out one-by-one.

zombie hulk stuck 2

Blood seeped into the pit as the hulk approached. Around the corner, a K9 fast approaches.

zombie hulk stuck 3

Only one bullet left.


Save me RNGesus…

zombie hulk stuck 4

Leaving the carnage below, Reyes climbed up the gutter to the north building. He descended behind the structure. Perhaps he could loot the warden’s office, and find another weapon. If he is lucky, he might even be able to score some water.

The warden’s office has been ravaged. The hulk must have torn through this place in the first few minutes. The are broken walls and bricks on the ground. Reyes Albert hoists a plank up high, and steps forward into the wrecked structure.

Picking up nails, he explores.

Reyes Albert, Prisoner, Ch. 2

It was the same morning as the cataclysm happened. Already, the prisoner Reyes Albert has been punched through a window, into a barbed wire fence, assaulted by zombie K9’s, climbed a gutter, jumped across a building, found a gun, and shot down several zombies, including a hulk.

His sheer will and determination to survive, as well as a hefty dose of luck, has brought us here.

reyes house 1

But he won’t live for long, unless he gets a way of making clean water.

Reyes fashions himself a nail mace, and walks towards the location he shot some zombies earlier. He braces himself for a K9 that he knows is out there.

He must get water, food, and medicine. He is woefully unprepared.

kitchen 1

He recalls a kitchen, from where the hulk emerged. A pit sits at the entrance. Perhaps, beyond it there is something like a pot, that he could use to boil water?

The K9 spots him as he nears the kitchen. It drags its body through the barbed wire, over top of the hulking corpse. Reyes slams it on its armored head as it approaches, although it bites him in return.

The K9 tears into Reyes as he frantically slams his nail board into its durable body. After three good hits, it is dead. Reyes however is pretty hurt.

reyes hurt 1

Wanting to simply get a pot and go home, Reyes climbs through the pit and into the kitchen. There are no tools here, of course, because it is a prison. There is just a sink and a fridge, the cooking tools must be elsewhere.

In severe pain, Reyes stumbles onward. He enters the nearby rooms. He takes a blanket. Far off, he hears a whump.

The next door he opens is a gold mine. Codeine, first aid kit. He takes them to the room with light, leaving his nail mace in the back room. There are some sounds, but nothing urgent.

kitchen 2

Reyes patches up his wounds. He takes an aspirin and a codeine. He retreats into one of the adjacent rooms, and lies down for a while.

He can’t sleep, but the rest does heal him somewhat. Reyes is certainly not feeling his all.

While sleeping, he was kept away by the sound of footsteps, just in the rooms north of him. He’s only killed about eight zombies so far. That’s a far cry from the whole prison island.

He’s hungry now. And thirsty. He’s got to get moving, and find a proper kitchen with tools and food.

prison 2

The prison is dark, and sounds come from within. The zombies gather at the bars, where Reyes looks at their decaying faces. A prisoner and a cop. Perhaps they could be killed through the bars, using a tool such as a spear…

Reyes headed into the sunlight, and back to the warden’s office. He had found medicine. But he still needed food and water. He drank a soda from the warden’s personal desk.

It was time to explore the third building, which was separate from the prison itself. Reyes had noticed broken glass there earlier, and likely there were zombies inside.

third bldg

The structure had been somewhat damaged, although it appeared that the damage was limited. The zombies here appear to have disappeared… or perhaps they left the island?

Finding a matchbook, Reyes immediately went to torch the hulking corpse, along with several other corpses.

There are a hole lot of corpses in this tile. I believe they got stuck here, it’s a pit, and the hulk went berserk on them. That’s some cataclysmic luck right there. Thanks hulk.

Lots of fuel for my fire. It’s a lot of work, but after tossing dozens of corpses, the area will be more secure. Reyes tosses various splinters and wood fragments into the fire. We need it big.

fire 1

Reyes walks down to the south, to add the corpses of zombies he shot earlier to the pile.

Two zombies eye him hungrily from an office. The reinforced glass should hold, but the door is open. He just needs to be quick. He’s also looted a rucksack, and a tac vest. They stink, but maybe the stink will throw off the zombies?

hungry 2

He’s recovering from the heavy job, when the prisoner gets out of the office and gets awful close quick. Reyes sprints off, and leads the zombie into the fire and barbed wire. Some maneuvers and application of nail mace later, and the prisoner zombie is dead.

lotta corpses 2

Reyes rests for a moment, pops a codeine, and watches the corpses burn. He still needs to find a way to boil water. He’s got to find a proper kitchen, and thinks there may be one in the exterior building nearby.

His health condition is moderate. He’s unbitten, and hurt but managing his pain. All things considered, this is a good place to be. He bandages himself up a bit more, and continues on. His prisoner’s shirt and pants are completely tattered.

reyes health

Reyes explores further into the island’s third structure. It seems to have a computer terminal. He smashes down two doors with his nail mace, and finds a light jacket and a soda.

Encouragingly, there are no consequences to Reyes’s smashing of the doors. It would seem the southeastern part of the island is mostly clear of zombies. Perhaps soon, Reyes can even delve into the computer systems. Or find a boat, and leave this forboding island.

Reyes Albert, Prisoner, Ch. 3

It was the afternoon of the first day of the cataclysm. Reyes’s introduction to the new world had been as quick as a punch through a reinforced glass window by a hulk. Life has been kinder to him since. He found a battle rifle, and used it to kill seven zombies, including the very same hulk, before running out of ammo.

The air smells of the stench of burning flesh, as the corpse pile he set on fire reduces to smoldering ash. He explores the eastern coast of the island, which is barren aside from an empty wooden dock. Far beyond, he can spot two deserted islands, one which has an abandoned barn. The other is known to have a cave.

reyes docks 1

Although he may seem safe, at his core Reyes is extremely vulnerable. He has no way of desalinating water, or even boiling it yet. Although the southeastern corner of the island is cleared of zombies, the prison is still dangerous, and Reyes is slow to heal his wounds.

He must keep pushing if he is to survive longer than a few hours. That means exploring more of the prison’s main structure. Ideally, he could find a kitchen, with a pot he could use to boil water.

He’s also keeping his eyes out for anything that could make a long spear. Brooms or young trees. The prison bars are holding back the zombies, and Reyes intends to use that to his advantage. With a spear, he could kill them without risk.

Reyes wants to climb up on top of the buildings, but the downspouts he used before have all been destroyed. He drags a bookshelf out of the warden’s office, clears the broken bricks and wood from the path, and pushes it past the corpse of the hulk, all of the way around to the alleyway.

reyes shelf 1

Lodged between the shelf and the corner, Reyes climbs over the corpse of a K9 and onto the roof.

reyes shelf 2

From there it’s a simple jump to the guard tower. He’s done this before. But this time, he plans to explore further.

reyes jump 4

In the protected area just west, which Reyes has not explored, there is a dead K9. A forboding sight, given that Reyes did not kill this one. He advances slowly, careful for any automated defense systems that may still be active. He was a techie, he knew deeply how much of their society had become automated to a fault.

reyes k9 1

The K9 itself was tangled up in the barbed wire, and Reyes began to think it had unintentionally killed itself. In the dark ahead, he spotted a second K9 corpse bound up in the barbs. It seemed clear.

A beach ahead stretched out into the open ocean. A distant lighthouse and a tiny island were all that was on the horizon. Reyes passed in shadow through to the next guard tower.

Of course, the metal door was locked. He slammed it several times with his nail mace, and it seemed to be making a dent. Taking brief rests to regain stamina and listen, it seemed the island was scarcely inhabited. At least the southern and eastern sides were clear.

The dents didn’t progress any further, and Reyes was forced to give up. He’d try the wooden door above. He smashed through both the southeastern and southwestern guard towers. His prize was a Colt Lightning .45 Carbine, with five rounds.

reyes guard tower

He decided to continue his sweep of the perimeter of the prison. The west had a long beach. Four of the zombies had died wrapped up in this barbed wire. He pocketed a cash card from a cop, and three bandages.

reyes west 1

Ahead, he spotted the gym. He could see a brute standing near some weights. More importantly, he noticed a K9 outside, in the run between the wall and the barred fence he stood behind. He would be safe, even if it did notice him.

He continued to creep through the shadows northward. He could see the entire gym, which was vacant aside from the single brute zombie. A second K9 came into view in the run. As he crept forward, the K9s spotted him, and began to chomp ineffectively on the barred fence.

west 1

He continued to scout the western wall. The only other thing he spotted was the carpentry shop. No kitchen, yet. Reyes was becoming thirsty and peckish. He doubled back through the walls, as the K9s gnashed at the metal bars between them.

He climbed up to the guard tower, and crossed the walkway north. The northwest guard tower had no gun. Reyes descended to the bottom wall, and continued his scouting. He was hoping to spot the cafeteria through an external window.

north 1

He dropped to a crouch, noticing the K9 nearby. It spotted him anyways, or maybe smelled him. He stood back up and walked forwards, trying to keep his calm.

Through some glass he saw a hall, but nothing special inside. Two more K9 corpses were mangled in the barbed wire to the north. The door at the end of the run was locked, so he doubled back and climbed up top. He smashed the next door in.

At the northeastern tower, there was a fully-charged flashlight. A commotion downstairs made Reyes jump, as something sounded like it was moving in the barbed wire he had passed just moments earlier. Something must have arrived from outside. It sounded like a zombie, but he couldn’t be sure.

He kept going, tracing the eastern wall south. This would be the last wall to explore. He needed to find the cafeteria, or some place with a pot he could use to boil water.

He passed by the helipad, where he spotted another K9 tangled in barbed wire. The wires themselves seemed to be effective at catching the wandering undead. He was glad there was so much of it here. If he could fortify this island prison, he would have a chance.

east 1

He pulled a second cash card off of a zombified cop, as well as an extendable baton and a second flashlight. He made a mental note to come and burn the bodies here, as those zombies were close to his safe zone.

Coming up to the warden’s office again, he had finished his loop of the prison. He walked up to the corpses, and tossed them into a pile on the helipad. Altogether he turned three more corpses to ash.

As he stood there, he started to feel hungry. He cracked open a soda, and watched the bodies be consumed by flame.

east 2

Reyes Albert, Prisoner, Ch. 4

A small plume of smoke rose from the helipad, as three corpses burned to ash. Ocean waves crashed into the rocks, and Reyes Albert walked beside the barbed wire fence that lined the exterior of his prison compound.

It was the afternoon of the first day of the cataclysm. Reyes was looking for water. He hadn’t yet found a way to boil water, and he didn’t much like the idea of drinking toilet water raw.

He needed a pot. Or something to cook water in. He needed to get into the kitchen, only he couldn’t remember where it was. Something strange had happened, that he was sure of.

He decided to push into the prison, using the open entrance to the south. While walking, he noticed a multi-tool laying on the ashes of the main corpse pile.

Wielding a Colt Lightning .45 Carbine with five rounds, and wearing tattered prison garb, he stepped towards the hall. He knew there were two armored cop zombies here. They would be trouble to dispatch with his gun, and he would much rather tear them up in the barbed wire.

reyes bring it

Reyes stood in the entrance of the hall, and shouted out. A prisoner shuffled in from the central hall. Reyes lured them out, and into the barbed wire fence. The led the zombie back and forth, passing through the fences dozens of times, tearing its skin and limbs. When it finally lost all strength from its body, he tossed the corpse into the fire that burned on the helipad.

reyes barbed 1

more than trouble

Reyes lured one zombie out, and it began to slide against the barbed wire, the barbs not piercing the riot armor. He aimed his carbine, and shot the zombie in the helmet. Blood and gore leaked from the wound, so Reyes aimed and shot again. The cop zombie collapsed. Only two shots. He tossed the corpse onto the ashes of his previous fire, and relit the pile.

2 shots

He goes for the next one, which is thrashing about in the office. In the hallway lies a broken automated turret. It looks like it was disabled by zombies after firing a few rounds. Took a door clean off.

Luring the zombie just behind, Reyes struggled to conserve his stamina, finding himself too close for comfort. He pulled out his rifle and shot it twice. It died, but he had just one bullet left.

This second corpse had a glock with one bullet. He dragged the body to the fire.

fire 2

He could hear some smashing from inside the prison. He stepped inside the hall, watching a zombie as it strained uselessly against the prison bars. Stepping into an office, he found a hip flask of vodka.

prison 4

He flipped on his flashlight to reveal much of the hall. One of the cellblocks was clearly ahead of him.

He clicked the flashlight off, and awaited a zombie from down the hall. When it arrived, he lured it outside and through the barbed wire fences. He managed to kill it without firing a shot, but it took a lot of footwork. It had an AR-15, with 6 rounds.

He just needed to find the kitchen, but it was beginning to look like that would be pretty far inside. He hefted the AR-15 onto his shoulder, but left the carbine and glock resting against the prison hall. They only had a single bullet each.

With his flashlight on, he went deeper. The next cell block held two zombies, who rushed up to the bars right next to Reyes. The next area held two smaller cellblocks, and ended in a locked metal bar door. He would need to open it somehow to get any further. He exited the prison building, and decided on another plan.

Reyes climbed onto the prison structure, and dropped down into the gym. He had scouted this gym earlier, when he snuck through under the shadows of the prison walls. In three shots, the brute was dead. He had some minimal pain from the landing, so he took an aspirin. A zombie turned outside, and strained ineffectively at the bars.

He checked the periphery. Snapping open his police baton, he broke down the wooden door. It led to a hallway, with one more wooden door. He entered. It looked to be a kennels, with dog food and miscellaneous supplies. He pocketed scissors and a dust mask. While he wasn’t desperate enough to eat dog chow, it was good to know it was there.


With all other doors blocked, Reyes stepped back out into the gym. He spun the weights off of a benchpress, and turned the central pipe into a makeshift crowbar. He tried it on the prison bars, but they were much too strong. He dragged the punching bag into the corner, and used it to climb back onto the roof.

While he hadn’t found the kitchen yet, he had narrowed down the possibility to the north side of the prison. It had to be there. But he needed to open the metal bar doors somehow…

Outside, he spotted a prisoner zombie near the helipad. He led it through the barbed wire until it was dead, and burned the corpse.

He thought back to a terminal he saw in the staff house. He went back, and attempted to log in…

hacking 1

The password was routine. He had fooled the guards into using a predictable pattern before the cataclysm hit. Simple iterations on the month, so that they could be in compliance with the prison password policy while simultaneously exerting minimum effort.

hacking 2

Reyes folded a bit of scrap metal into a lockpick, and attempted to pick the lock. He gave it a few tries, before thinking his efforts would be better put towards the doors that were essential to his current survival. That meant he would go back into the prison, and begin to unlock the interior doors. He made a mental note to come back, and loot the armory.

It was early evening, and Reyes continued to try and pick the locks inside. A zombie in the adjacent hallway strove towards him, but was held back by the prison bars.

lockpicking 1

After a dozen tries, he makes it through the first gate. A dozen more attempts, and he’s through the second. Reyes feels optimistic — he’s just about scouted the entire island.

At the end of the hall, he finally spies it. He has been searching for this all day. A large room with tables, likely the kitchen is nearby. He needs to get the zombies out of the hallway. There are three of them now, in the hall before the kitchen.

Reyes decides it’s time to shoot them. He’s tried to stab them with the long reach of a spear, but a metal mesh between the prison bars prevents him. Only a bullet would travel through.

hallway 2

He fires the final shots from both his carbine, glock, and AR-15, killing two of the zombies and injuring the last. All he needs to do now is get into that hallway, and he could surely finish off the last one.

He heads north to the cafeteria’s other entrance, and shouts loudly. This causes some of the other zombies nearby to stir.

He picks the lock towards the last zombie between him and the kitchen, kills it, and is in the kitchen at last.

kitchen 4

A cast-iron frying pan will have to do, to boil water. Reyes snatches up a water bottle, unlids it and knocks it back, drinking down the precious water. There are a couple fruits here, a couple of TV dinners, and some tins of food. Some pasta, pesto, and sugar.

kitchen 5

There is also a massive pantry nearby. Reyes could live for weeks on this… He may very well be safe. He closed shut the doors, and at last he felt secure. He was safe in the cafeteria, locked behind the powerful metal prison bars. And just in time, as dusk was beginning to fall on the first night.

Reyes Albert, Prisoner, Ch. 5

Reyes had one last thing to do before he could settle in for the night. An armory in the staff building taunted his mind. It was on the southeastern side of this prison island.

He’d hacked it open earlier, but now returned with his makeshift lockpicks. After a few short moments, he was in. He took a tazer, but the other police equipment seemed too cumbersome for him. Better suited for gunfights than zombies.

armory 1

Maybe he would eventually recycle the fabric to make something new. There were two shotguns, but without any shells they were just dead weight. He could always come back, if he needed to.

Reyes went through the warden’s office next, to see if there was anything he’d passed over earlier which would be useful now.

wardens office 2

This is the same room where, in the first minute of the cataclysm, Reyes had been launched through the reinforced window by a hulk. The broken glass lay there. A forgotten empty gun — the one he had killed the hulk with — lay in the corner. The place reminded him of his past life as a prisoner. It was easier then, being told what to do and just living off of what was given to him.

It all felt so oppressive to him then. But compared to now, that was easy. Since the cataclysm, he had to fight every inch to survive. But maybe now that most of the zombies were dead, he could turn this place into a paradise of sorts.

On his way back, Reyes was surprised by a prisoner zombie. Where did this one come from?


It stood on top of the pile of burnt corpses. Reyes couldn’t decide whether it had risen from the ashes, or merely stumbled upon the pile. He killed it, and inspected its body. It certainly looked like it had just gotten up. Very concerning.

He decided that all the dead zombies around the island needed to be pulped immediately, starting with the hulk. It was bloody work.

pulping time

west 2

Reyes clubbed in dozens of heads, as the blood seeped out to a fair chunk of the island. From the sky, great red warts must have appeared across the compound. Fear gripped him — what if he had missed a zombie somewhere, and it would come back to life? He didn’t like the idea of walking around at night in the dark, and being ambushed. Patrolling around the island twice however, he was beginning to feel at ease. He thinks he got them all.

He entered the prison and passed the seven or so zombies still locked in the cellblocks, carrying his loot back into the cafeteria.

reading 1

Reyes lit a small fire in the oven, and read a book on, of all things, birdhouse construction. Maybe he could set up some birdhouses outside, and attract some food to the island. Or maybe that was just fanciful thinking.

The embers in the oven soon went out, and Reyes finished his water bottle. Just a moment’s rest. It was dusk outside, and he had work to do before he could sleep.

He flicked his flashlight back on, and set off down the prison halls. He pulled at the heavy bar doors, but they wouldn’t budge… He remembers shutting them, but not locking them. Perhaps the prison had an automated system? The thought of being trapped inside there petrified him.

He was out of lockpicks. He crafted a dozen more, and used them all. Still no success. He was beginning to get worried, and the thought of no longer seeing the light of day made him desperate. He felt like a prisoner again.

Finally, after 20 lockpicks, he was free of the prison. A wave of relief washed over him.


He passed by the cellblocks, with pair of zombies straining to reach him through the bars. He’s looking for furniture to clog the gates with. He’d rather deal with the rare chance a zombie gets into the halls, than be trapped in the prison to die.

chair 1

He drags a chair from the parole office through the halls, and jams it into the door. Then he does it again with another. With the chairs in place, he should never get trapped again.

chair 2

He enters a bathroom in the entrance, and plunges his water bottle into toilet water. Never done this before. He’s going to try and boil it for tomorrow morning.

Using the oven’s fire, he cooked two TV dinners, and ate one of them. The other he would eat in the morning, when he woke up. Reyes slept in a bed, in a closed room in the doctor’s office. It was in the center of the compound, and felt safe enough.

He woke up in the dead of night, fully rested. Flicking his flashlight on, he went to head back to his pantry for a meal. He gobbled down the TV dinner he made the night before, and drank the water he had boiled. He would start his day by making more clean water for himself.

After he readied himself to head out, he started exploring the prison for the second time. At the eastern coast, he tore apart the rope dock railings for some long strings and rope in the hours before dawn. He didn’t have a clear idea yet, but perhaps the ropes would be of use.

docks 1

Taking a good many ropes, he headed back. He went to the cafeteria, and began to break up the bench for scrap wood. Using some of the rope fibers from the dock, he crafted a crude bow, and arrow shafts to kill the zombies. There were a few unknown rooms in the prison to explore, but he had to put the zombies down first. Luckily, they were behind bars.

cafeteria 2

Reyes walks up to a prisoner, trapped behind bars. In the light of his flashlight, he shoots nearly 20 of his crude arrows into it before it finally collapses. He recovers some of the arrows, and bashes the corpse into pulp.

It seemed to have originally come from a second room, and it bashed a door down to get closer. Earlier, he spotted a circular saw inside there. He’s got a good feeling that this will be the prison’s hobby shop.


The prison’s workshop. There’s a drill press and a power lathe in there, as well as a workbench. These are some advanced tools, but Reyes isn’t sure what he’d use them for yet. They’d probably need power, as well. He grabs one of the circular saws and put it in his backpack. Might help with cutting up wood.


He starts to construct a boat over on the docks. He wants to call it the “Lowrider”. He thinks it’ll be a small canoe, big enough to explore the islands to the east. It’s a long way off, but it’s a start. He’s not great at building, so he figures he might try a practice project first.


He steps into the gym every so often to craft in the sunlight. It’s nice and protected, even if there is still a corpse there. His flashlight is at about two-thirds power, but he may need to conserve it for a long time. He pounded a metal piece into some wood for a screwdriver, and created a short bow which will be a bit better than his self bow.

gym 2

He crafts thirty more crude arrows. It’s hard to feel safe even if there are only three zombies left on the entire island. Anything that’s loose must be killed.

Trying to shoot the K9 with his bow, his crude arrows just reflect off. It’s got a kevlar vest, and this just isn’t cutting it. He lets out a shout, to try and draw a zombie he saw earlier over. Looks like this will be more trouble than he thought.

k9 1

Reyes re-applied his bandages. He had a lot of scratches from the K9s yesterday, as well as being punched by the hulk. It might take him a few days to heal. He’s never been great at healing.

He climbs up to the guard tower, and gets behind the barred wall. He walks around, shouting, but can’t find the zombies he saw before. Maybe he killed it somewhere else?

He searched thoroughly around the prison, until he attracted the same K9 around the perimeter. Wielding his sharpened bit of rebar, he tries to jab it into the K9’s body. The dog tears Reye’s tattered prison garb, this time completely. He’s left there in his skivvies and light jacket. In retaliation, he strikes the final blow next and kills the zombified K9. He pulps the body, punching it with holes.

k9 2

It’s not exactly cold out, so he’s enjoying the freedom of not having that prison garb on anymore. His bare legs are feeling the morning breeze. He realizes that he has one last place to explore inside the prison — the showers. Maybe he’ll be able to find some soap, which he could use to clean a new pair of pants.

But there are two zombies up in the shower room, a cop and a prisoner. He tries firing his short bow at the cop, but the makeshift arrows he’s made won’t pierce its armor.

showers 1

He flings dozens of arrows at the prisoner zombie, each one slowly taking it down. He keeps firing these little fragments of wood into the zombie as it becomes more and more like a porcupine. Eventually it is killed through sheer determination.

Now that there’s one less zombie in there, Reyes goes another route. He thinks the showers has a second entrance.

He went to make some more lockpicks, and fired arrows until a zombie in an adjacent hall until it died. It was slow going, as he had to craft so many little items.

But soon he got through. He would try and approach the shower from behind, and see if there was any soap. From this angle, he could unlock the shower without being seen, and sneak up on the cop zombie from behind.

showers 2

He flicked his flashlight on, and was surprised to see that this led to an actual laundry. There was thread, and dozens of prison shirts. No pants, unfortunately. He ripped a blanket up into smaller rags.


Stepping into the light of the gym, he continued crafting a pair of jeans. He read a sewing book earlier, which was invaluable. Feeling hungry, he headed into his pantry for a bite. He ate two pickled herrings for lunch.

reyes albert 2

He crafted some jeans out of fabric from the laundry room. He impressed himself with how well they fit, so he decided to try and tailor another thing. He went over to the armory at the staff house, to pick up the clumsy riot gear. He put a riot helmet on, and picked up a steel-plated vest. He also grabbed a pair of hiking boots he spotted.

From the vest, he took out the steel plates. Without them, the vest was light enough to wear. He also made some cotton gloves, and a balaclava. He’d never worn a balaclava before, but the warmth did feel nice on his face. The extra fabric might throw a zombie off, too.

reyes balaclava

The island is his. He was in pain, but he’s considering the whole island clear.

reyes hp

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.

training 1

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.

hp 1

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.

boat 1

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.

builder 1

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.

zombies 1

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.

breakfast 1

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.

larder 1

After adding a seat, Reyes pushed his boat out into the sea. It seemed to have everything he needs.


boat 3

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?

otters 1

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.

radar 1

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.

kitchen island

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.

lighthouse 2

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.


Irradiated fruit isn’t radioactive :slight_smile: It doesn’t glow.


Imagine if it did. Find one, and you don’t need a lamp anymore!

Reyes Albert, Prisoner, Ch. 7

The lighthouse was nice, and had a lot fewer dead bodies on it than the prison. It also had some useful survival tools, and he’d seen a billiards table on one of the higher floors. It was a place made to make isolation livable.

He just needed to kill the two zombies stumbling about on the boulders outside. But he couldn’t find them. He hoped they had wandered into the waves, and sunk beneath the water.

Reyes began to load things onto his boat, which would be useful elsewhere. A pro fishing rod. Some pickled preserves. Some condiments. Rice. He ate heartily today, and was hoping to put on some weight.

He wanted to row around a bit more, and give some time for the zombies to wander off into the waves.

Refilling his water at the water purifier inside, he prepared to head out. It was 1:26PM, so he couldn’t leave for long. Sundown was in about eight hours.

He rowed west, to the next small island. It seemed to be like the others. Small, and full of ducks. Their immense quantity of shit was visible on the water’s surface.

He continued rowing northwest, into the expansive lake. He wanted to find shore, and the mainland.

After ten minutes, he was attacked by a jawed terror. A zombified shark, with rows of serrated teeth. It was bloody from a previous kill, which Reyes could see floating nearby.

jawed terror

He didn’t have a suitable weapon to fight a shark. He kept rowing, hoping to outrun it. Driving in a zig-zag pattern, he managed to evade it. Reyes knew he was extremely lucky.

His arms were very hurt. Gnashes scored his body, including a bite.


Reyes was in severe pain. It had been foolish to row so far out. He needed to return to the safety of the prison immediately. It was about an hour’s rowing away…

He popped two aspirins, and rowed. This had been the worst day since the cataclysm. He was struggling to hold on.

The sharp pain of the bites stung him. He applied bandages to his arms, and took an antibiotic. He had fourteen of them, and hoped they would help with the numerous bites as they healed. Reyes popped a codeine, hoping it would help with the severe pain.

Keeping pace, he rowed past the lighthouse and back to the prison.

shark 1

Arriving, a shark was right on his heels. He dove from the ship, and landed on his ass.

shark 2

Reyes was badly hurt. It would take a few days for his arms to heal, and he didn’t like the look of his torso wounds.


He staggered into the prison. There was no direct route, so he had to disassemble part of the barbed wire fence. But his pain was fading away, as the codeine activated. Soon, he was painless.

Reyes floated through the prison compound, his arms in tatters. The shark’s gnashing maw had torn him up pretty bad. His military rucksack looked like it was coming apart, as well.

He went inside the prison entrance. The compound was nicely locked down. He felt pretty safe in here.

Reyes didn’t plan on leaving his fortress island any time soon. He poured antiseptic on his chest wound, cleaning the bites. If he wasn’t so sedated, it might’ve hurt.

He picked up a sharpened bit of rebar, which was fairly long. This was a shark-killing weapon. Standing from the shore, Reyes stabbed the zombie shark to death.

revenge 1

Then, he was free to take the rest of the valuables from his boat back into the compound. He had beached it pretty well, but it would be no trouble to push it back out to the water when he wanted to. But for now, the ocean caused him to shudder.

He wouldn’t explore any further until he had seriously upgraded his boat. The risk was too high, and the zombie sharks were too capable of killing him.


For now, he would rest and heal. He needed to watch his bite, and manage any infection with antibiotics.

He picked up a fantasy novel from the medic’s office. But on his way out, he stumbled and fell into the pit. A foolish mistake, and he’d pay for it over the next few days. He was severely injured.

pit 1

stupid mistake

He took another codeine, patched himself up, and dropped into bed in a cell. The next morning, he awoke and habitually went to the cafeteria. It was still strange, coming here after the cataclysm. But this place was his now. He was going to make it a paradise.

cell 1

One thing it needed more of was natural light. He couldn’t keep up braziers or burning anything. If the lighting could be ambient, that would be much easier.

He ate some more pesto, straight from the jar. Loves the stuff. It was still pretty early in the day.

But he was freezing. He lit a fire in the kitchen. His arms were getting worse.

He sat there by the fire for a few minutes, getting warm. He grabbed a blanket from the laundry room, and put it on. Boy, was he cold. He could hear one of the zombies bashing away in the prison showers, behind bars.


He took off his blanket as he left the prison entrance. He was injured, but wanted to be active today. He took apart some windows, and brought the glass to the roof. But he was getting too cold again, so he grabbed his blanket.


His arms had both ceased to function. This probably happened due to the cold. His vest warms his body up, but his arms are exposed to the frigid spring night air.

This means he’s going to take quite a lot longer to heal. He worked away at creating splints, and soon enough he had one on each arm.

Reyes read a book on swimming. He could now swim, without drowning.

reading 2

He spent some time wandering the compound, planning projects. He had several holes he hoped to dig in the roof, to allow more natural light during the day. Reyes wanted to turn this prison island into a fortress paradise.

He slept back in the prison, and awoke at 3:30AM. He had a few hours to kill before daylight. He decided to pull together the materials for a light cart, to help him move goods from his boat into the prison. The fewer trips, the better.

Reyes Albert, Prisoner, Ch. 8

Reyes brought in planks from the warden’s office, and left them in a pile in the prison entrance. He also added some other materials, like sheet metal.

When light came up, he would get started. It was still 4:19AM, and dark. He was chilly, and wrapped a blanket around himself. He sat in the prison entrance, looking over his items before the day began.

The sun rose at 5:18AM. Reyes started his day at the docks, and removed a few more ropes. His cart would need these for its frame. It would be lightweight, like the boat, and be easy to move.

docks 2

It just needed a single wheel. He’d pull it along like a wheelbarrow. He fashioned a crude wrench, just large enough to set the wheel into the vehicle.

He built it, and called it the Hauler. It was extremely light at 12kg, and could hold up to 75L. Moving with it was just about 1/3rd slower than regular walking.


He loaded everything up from the boat, and hauled it into the prison. It was so much easier to move along now. Reyes would have a much easier time with construction, as well as bringing goods back into the prison.

He loaded up some things from the prison entrance, as well. Then he unloaded them in the prison pantry.

Now that the Hauler was done, it was time to really start turning the prison into a paradise.

Reyes crafted a crude jackhammer, which he had a pretty good idea would let him dig through the roof. It took about three hours to put it together. He used some planks, sheet metal, and fashioned a durable head out of metal.

It was a heavy, manual tool. He loaded it into the Hauler, and brought it down in the prison hall. He’d start by wrecking the floor.

hallway 3

Although he was able to get it into the Hauler, he couldn’t wield it in his arms. He’d need to wait a bit longer before it was possible.

Today, he had to read and rest.

reading 3

He sat in the hallway near the gym, and began to read a samurai novel. He was feeling pretty great today. Maybe his paradise here could come true. Soon enough, it was 8:16 PM. Reyes closed his novel and grabbed some planks for fire. He would boil some more water before trying to sleep.

kitchen 6

He started to imagine what his prison compound could become…

As night fell, Reyes went to the docks to collect planks. He had hundreds of them at the docks, and was still thinking of what to use them for. He’d brought 32 of them inside the cafeteria, as fuel for the stove. The rest, he decided to use to add to The Lowrider.

health 1

He was starting to feel better, for the most part. His arms still gave him trouble, but hopefully they too would be healed soon. Then he could really get to work. For now, he was still capable, but was wearing two arm splints.

Reyes ate some marshmallows, and went to bed.

He awoke at 5:52AM, and reset the bandage on his left leg. After a nice big breakfast, Reyes disassembled more of the dock.

He moved some planks over to The Lowrider, to use to make it bigger. It would need defensive walls to protect him from the Z-sharks. His goal was to fortify it from all sides.

Reyes went through the parole office, and dismantled the shelves. Among the files he found a fully-charged flashlight.


He brought a lot of wood down to the boat, to start the additions. This time he used full wooden frames, instead of the lighter versions. They had to be tough and durable.

The ship would need to grow almost three times the size. That meant he needed a lot of nails. He could cut costs where possible, but it was going to take a lot of resources.

lowrider 2

Reyes went around the island taking apart anything he suspected would have many nails. After he passed through a room, it was left in scraps. Loose pieces of furniture remained in disheveled piles, their nails taken.

He added a few more frames to the boat, before the sun went down. He doesn’t want to waste his flashlight, so he lives by the sun.

sleep 2

This morning’s breakfast is graham crackers. He heads out to find more objects to disassemble for nails. The Lowrider is hungry!

Desks are the best to disassemble. Bookshelves are good too.

On his way into the medic’s office, he closed shut the bars behind him. He noticed they had locked shut behind him… The only other way was through the pit. Last time, Reyes hurt himself falling into it. He tried again, and fell right in, on top of the dozens of pulped zombie corpses.

It couldn’t have smelled good. He climbed out. He was only a bit injured. Hopefully this wouldn’t delay his arms healing.

health 2

He bandaged his legs, and took a codeine.

For the boat, he had the basic shape figured out. It would be like a little wooden tank. Most of it would be walls, protecting a small interior.

Lowrider 3

Eventually, the sun went down and prevented further work. Another day had gone by, as Reyes continued to work on projects and heal. He ate, and slept.

In the morning, he boiled up some water and continued working on the boat, and disassembling nails from furniture around the island.

boat 5

He enjoyed working on the boat. Much more, he enjoyed the peace he had on the island. It had now been days since he saw the last zombie. He pulled the boat up a bit more onto the shore. Reyes was a bit afraid of the sea, ever since he took that bite from the jawed terror.

His boat would be a small tank. A small, squat container with good defenses. If he ever needed to, he wanted to be able to sleep on the water.

Most of all, he needed a shark-killing weapon.


Wow, you had really lousy luck with those jawed terrors. I’ve done several Wizard Vacation starts that start on an island, and have spent weeks of game time paddling about in kayaks and canoes with only 1 jawed terror encounter (and mine ended much worse than yours). I generally find that beavers are a bigger hazard, just because they are much more common. And I saw a PR go in a couple of days ago that claims to tone down their hyper-aggressiveness. In general, I’ve found travelling on water to be pretty safe, overall.

BTW, I’m curious how slow that barge you’re building is going to be if it’s still powered by just oars.


Yeah it was wild! Reyes saw three jawed terrors out there in his first big trip. If he’s lucky, they’ll just be limited to that area, instead of infesting the whole lake.

You’re right about the speed, I checked and it’s immobile at this weight. He’ll need to trim it down and risk the sharks still. Thanks for that, he was about to keep building the boat for two further days before checking. His arms are broken so he can’t take it out for a test run.

EDIT: Might see about building sails instead… They seem challenging, but that might be a fine option for Reyes.


I have tried adding sails to a canoe or kayak, and can’t figure out how to do it. The only way I can get it to give me to option to add a sail is if I remove the oars. It seems like I can have one or the other. Give only one option, I’ve stuck with oars. But I’m probably missing something. It can be hard to figure out why an item doesn’t show up on the list of things you can install.

Reyes Albert, Prisoner, Ch. 9

Reyes was working on his boat, preparing it for defense against the vicious jawed terrors that seemed to be all over the lake. He needed a good way to defend himself, and that included a weapon capable of killing a shark if he had to go head-to-head.

It also needed to have long reach. He saw that Z-sharks had a habit of crawling onto land slightly while trying to eat him. That meant everything from his weapon to his boat needed to take that into account.

Reyes started to get the materials together to make a crude hacksaw.

He needed more small strips of sheet metal, but couldn’t use his arms still. That meant no smashing things. He used a chisel to cut a piece of sheet metal into smaller strips, to attach to a crude hacksaw.

As he was working, night fell, and he had to wait to finish the hacksaw.

His boat needed more work. It was getting heavy, too heavy to row by oars alone. The choice now was whether to build it out as a full boat with sails, or strip it back down to basics.

From here onwards I’m using a ReShade preset I made. It’s like a group of filters you can apply to how the game is displayed. I set up a topic for ReShade here: ReShade - add visual filters to your game

boat 6

If he was going to build sails, he could retain most of his work, and make it closer to what he had originally imagined. That meant he needed to find some sheets.


Being sail-powered meant Reyes would be free to wander around the ship while it moved. He could fight off Z-sharks, cook, or work over his gear while in transit. Moving would take very little energy.

However, the ship would be limited to move only in the direction of the wind. That certainly made pushing off from land more difficult, and he’d need to make sure the area he landed his ship was always clear.

larder 3

Reyes took stock of the food left in the prison kitchen. He still needed to get back to the lighthouse, which had lots of food in addition to what he had at-hand here. But for now, he had just a few days left.

Water was also important. The prison’s toilets had lots of water still available. This island fortress remained a good place to stay. He ate some coconuts. It was still early. 8:39AM.

He hoped to get the boat ready, by the time the wind turned westwards.

Reyes took apart some more desks, as he found them to be the best sources for nails. He’d seen there was a desk in each watchtower, watching over the prison. He took each of them apart. The day turned into night as he worked away.


Soon night fell, and he went to the cafeteria. He boiled up enough water to fill every plastic bottle and jar he had. There was no reason not to have as much clean water available as possible.

Reyes re-hydrated and cooked some lentils on the oven fire. Using the light, he crafted a few small things like more lockpicks, and hammered some steel into spikes.

fire 3

He awoke to his alarm, at 5AM. He wanted to get started more than he wanted to sleep in. He needed to finish up his boat, and head off the island.

He still needed more nails. Anything that was pinned down, he un-pinned and took the pins. He turned over beds, and took apart the bedframes for nails. Doorframes were also great sources, and had a dozen nails each.

The boat still needed walls before it was fully secure. That meant a lot more work still needed to be done. At least a few more days.

boat 7

The base of the boat was done. It was a flat surface, with a door at the back that he intended to add walls to. He put the oars in the boat. In case the sails stopped working, maybe he could swap them. He also put up a cloth roof over the seat, to protect him from the sun.

He may have to take the boat out sooner than he hoped. His food looked to be running low, and that meant he needed to get to the lighthouse within the week.

At least Reyes had been putting on weight. All that pesto made him fat, which would be spent if he had to go hungry for a while. But losing his fat was a last resort. His plan for now was to wait, and keep working on the boat for as long as he had food left. Worst-case, he could try rowing.

He knew there were sharks between him and the lighthouse, so the walls were a necessity.

The Lowrider was really coming along. After he finished the hull, and started on the walls. This ship was now even faster than his original design, with twice the top speed. This would jet him around the lake very quickly, so long as the wind was cooperative.

He set up curtains in the windows on his doors, to prevent sight. If he had to camp somewhere, the less chance he was spotted the better. By that logic, he decided to wall in the sides of the ship to prevent lateral vision.

It certainly became a tank. A small pillbug where he could be somewhat safe. He used some doors to make three windows at the front, for him to see through, and he installed curtains on each which could be pulled closed.

He’d been working so much that he had lost some of the weight he had put on in his pesto-eating days.


Nightfall came, and Reyes headed back inside the prison to rest. There were just four essential pieces left before the ship would be seaworthy.

Reyes Albert, Prisoner, Ch. 10

Reyes awoke to the dark of the prison.

prison cell.PNG

His stomach was rumbling, and he went to the cafeteria to prepare the day’s food. He picked up a can of clam chowder, and a bottle of water. After heating the chowder and eating it, it was time to finish building his boat, The Lowrider.

He stripped a few of the excess boat pieces he had made for a few last desperate nails, and searched through the guard tower nearby, breaking apart a chair for its binding nails.

He had ransacked the prison island by this point. Reyes had broken apart so much furniture for precious nails to build his boat. Only a few pieces of furniture still remained intact.

But finally, The Lowrider was complete! A small wooden raft, with a cloth roof overtop of the seat to protect Reyes from sun exhaustion. A sail extends above the ship. The Lowrider has a wide 3-door entrance to the front, and a small exit to the back. The doors each had curtains, which could be opened for viewing either forwards or backwards.

He was confident that his ship could withstand minor assaults. From the safety inside, he would likely be impervious to the Z-sharks that infested the lake.


In total, it must have taken Reyes nearly a full week to build. It had nearly a thousand nails, and represented much of the scrap furniture from the island. It was a makeshift masterpiece.

The sturdiest portions were composed of broad boards from the prison docks, where the seaplanes once landed when delivering Reyes to his sentence here. Other pieces of the boat were made from desks, chairs, and other furnishings he had plundered from his prison. It was a haphazard “tank-boat”, meant to protect him from ravenous Z-sharks so that he could travel the lake in peace.

It was later than he thought, and he went to bed. The morning came, and he ate some bologna and pickled fish. He grabbed a couple water bottles for the day.

It seemed safe on the island prison. It really was his own paradise, of sorts. But he needed to get to the lighthouse, as there were more supplies there, including a water purifier.

At last, the Lowrider was in the water again. He was somehow able to maneuver the boat by grabbing it and twisting it into the water.

He was now completely free to roam, safe in his wooden tank-boat.

He went back quickly to stock up on food and water. It was time to set off, and visit the lighthouse.

Reyes Albert, Prisoner, Ch. 11, "Setting Sail"

It was time to go.

He grabbed much of his larder, and added the items to his mobile travois he used for carting goods around the island. Today’s destination had a great kitchen, with possibly more kitchenware than he had at home. It would be an excellent place to bring some of his hard-to-cook-with ingredients. He left simple canned items behind, as an emergency stockpile for if he had to flee back home. Reyes loaded anything that may spoil.

larder 4.PNG

He also loaded his two empty guns, the Glock and the Carbine. Even though they were out of ammo, it felt good to keep them in the boat at least.

It felt like so long ago that Reyes last killed a zombie. He still saw them daily, locked away behind bars near the prison entrance. Pushing themselves against the wall of their cellblock whenever he passed by.

Reyes decided, before he left, he could make a number of crude metal spears, each fragile but with enough reach to kill a shark.

He loaded his items into the boat. It was nearly at full capacity now. He could prepare only slightly more. Soon, it would be time.

On this last day, he crafted two additional crude spears, totaling him at three. He’d set out tomorrow morning, with the dawn’s light. He hoped the winds would be good. He almost wanted to pray, but he was sure that in this world, there was no God.

Reyes passed the evening boiling water, leaving behind a few days amount of emergency water at the prison isle. After all, the worst-case scenario could bring him back bleeding and dazed into the secured prison. Such an easy and essential thing as boiling water could very well save his life.


He estimated his emergency stockpile had 8 days of water. He took two bottles with him, in case things went bad on his trip to the lighthouse.

Finally, it was time to leave. He unfurled his makeshift ship’s sail, which was powerful enough to pull the small wooden tank-boat off of the shores and into the lake’s water.

His heart picked up pace as exhilaration shot through him. So many days of preparation, and finally it was time.

His first objective was to get to the lighthouse. There was food there, as well as a kitchen. He wanted to have enough to last him a few days before he would explore further. He hoped to find the edges of the lake, or even scout a bordering town if possible. He didn’t have any recollection of just how large this shark-infested lake was.

Reyes had lost track of how long he was at the prison, but it was weeks for sure. Perhaps 3 or 4 weeks. His entire world had been that prison, since the Cataclysm.

The northerly wind carried him most of the way west. But he fought against it southwards, and came so close to the lighthouse. Eventually, however, the winds stopped and he was unable to turn the sails.

The boat was dead in the water, and he considered swimming. But that would expose him to the risk of being attacked by sharks, or for the boat to somehow drift off. He needed to wait til the winds changed.

sleep 3

He took a three-hour nap. When he awoke, it was midnight. The wind still faintly blew north. The ship was still immobile. Until the wind changed direction from north, he could go no further.

It was a serene night, on the waves of the lake. Any danger would have been hidden beneath the water’s surface. He bobbed up and down on the waves, watching the light of a full moon cast over the lighthouse.

At 1:00AM, the wind calmed and slowly Reyes pulled into the docks. Traveling slowly, he brought the boat forwards until it docked. He waited a moment, to make sure the boat was stopped, before stepping onto the pier.

The lighthouse seemed quiet. He remembered one or two of the zombies having been here. Last he saw, they had wandered into the deep water. Perhaps they had drowned there, unable to swim. Or perhaps they would wander back ashore if there were a sound.

For now, Reyes went into the lighthouse, and crept into the back to check the larder. As he remembered, it was well-stocked. Extremely well-stocked. Later, he’d count it all to see exactly how much. But for now, he still had to ensure the lighthouse was fully clear. Danger may still await him.

The kitchen. The bedroom. The bathroom. The rec room. The machine rooms. All clear.

Now that he was safe, he slept. Tomorrow, he would barricade the lower part of the tower. It had too many windows down there. Reyes wanted this lighthouse to be another haven. Perhaps even better than the prison isle. Here, there was even a water purifier.

Reyes Albert, Prisoner, Ch. 12, "Lighthouse Refuge"

He awoke in the queen-sized bed upstairs. Gazing over the fireplace, lit only by the faint moonlight. It was 1:05 AM, a long time til daylight. But he was awake, and ready to take account of the lighthouse’s holdings.

He figured the best way to do this was to bring all the food to the second-level kitchen. There, he could set it all out on a counter and see what was there.

Stepping over the long-dead corpse of one of the zombies he killed a week ago (when he first visited this lighthouse) Reyes counted the larder up.

Reyes did an estimate of his food stocks. In total, weeks worth of food, if he used it right. He might also see about baking, to make use of the calorie-rich cornmeal and flour.

There were some odd cooking tools around, but nothing he needed. Reyes went out to the boat to collect his pan, and brought some other things inside while he was at it.

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Reyes took apart a some of the outside dock for firewood, and lit the kitchen oven. He made deluxe scrambled eggs from powdered egg, pickled fish, and clean water. Absolutely delicious!

Both of his arms were still broken, but healing. There was not much to do but pass the time, especially with such a well-stocked kitchen.

He kept on cooking, making cornbread, tortillas, flatbread. These baked goods would last for weeks and needed no refrigeration. In total, he made enough to last days. He planned to eat these in advance of any pickled food.


Reyes explored the lighthouse. He found a pair of golfing gloves, which seemed light-weight and just a bit durable, and slipped them over his fingers.

Upstairs, a group of crates held items. Reyes broke them open to find a sewing kit, some preserves, a charcoal smoker with charcoal, and fish bait.

Fishing… he felt two ways about it. It meant sustainable food, but also huge risk with the Z-sharks all around. For now, it was a risk he didn’t need to take.

Reyes rearranged the shelves from the larder into defensible positions. He figured that if he placed them all around the central stairwell, it would be easy to block that stairwell off if danger arose, or whenever he left the lighthouse island. That could help him contain the zombies in case they invaded his lighthouse retreat.


He placed the other shelves blocking the room with the water purifier. That was one room he most certainly didn’t want the zombies to find their way into.

There wasn’t all that much else he really needed from the island. Reyes filled numerous containers with clean water from the purifier, which he estimated would last him over a week at sea. After this stop at the lighthouse, Reyes was confident he could survive an expedition further out from the prison islands.

Reyes Albert, Prisoner, Ch. 13, "Deluxe Sandwich"

After packing his boat, Reyes headed out into the lake. It was calm, the light air softly billowing The Lowrider’s sails.

He hoped that, with weeks of food, he could set off on a long journey to scout the lake’s shores. Somewhere out there, there must be hints of what had happened.

boat 8

He went southeast. After setting the direction, he started to make a deluxe sandwich using flatbread, cheese spread, ketchup and bologna.

Reyes was so enraptured by making his sandwich, he drove right into the shoreline of the lake. Some beavers were ashore, scavenging about. The boat was beached, but not damaged.

The only signs of life he saw around here were an old, abandoned barn and a far-off road. He decided to try and get the boat back in the water to keep moving. But it seemed stuck. Perhaps he had beached it a little too hard when he was distracted by his sandwich.

Try as he might, he was unable to get The Lowrider back in the water. He decided to walk to the road, perhaps there were buildings nearby that he could check the status of.

For his trek, he brought along two water bottles, a can of soda, and a few other bare essentials. He hoped not to be gone for much of the day. He guessed perhaps by noon he would be back here at The Lowrider, where he would leave more food behind.

The road seemed to stretch on for a ways. It led west to a motel, which interested Reyes. This would be the first place on land he had visited since his escape from the prison island. With his two arms in splints, he anxiously crept towards it.

It was then that he spotted a burned-out zombie, shambling on the road. It was clear now. The zombies were here, too.

Reyes wasn’t ready for combat. But he did need to get further inland. He avoided them as best as possible.

On the road, Reyes spotted a bike. But… something terrible was beside it, with creeping legs. If he could get to the bike, he might be able to remove the wheels. If he then attached them to his boat, perhaps he could wheel it back into the lake.

What a disastrous mistake it was, beaching the boat.

Reyes wasn’t ready to risk an encounter. He continued down the road in search of vehicles.

Far in the distance he spotted what he could only recognize as a mass grave.

He kept walking, fueled by his desire for something positive. There must be more to it than an infested motel and a mass grave! Eventually, he ran into another prison. There would be no escape from this reality. It dawned on him, that his island paradise may be the best place for miles.

Reyes desperately wanted to get back home. He wished it were simple. But the boat was beached, and the closest wheels he could see were haunted by a disturbing undead. He decided to double back, and see if the zombie had wandered off.

Reyes could possibly outrun it, and draw it away from the bike.

Stepping towards it, Reyes held his spear out and waited to draw its attention.

Its wretched head turned to face Reyes, and it began to crawl on its spindly legs towards him. Reyes launched his spear, which fell short, as it slowly advanced. He decided it would be best to walk it southwest, off of the road, before returning for the bike.

He easily threw it off his tracks in the moonlight. It was nearly 4:25 AM, and not dawn for a short while still. Reyes returned to the bike.

It was working! He pushed the pedals and rode over the grass, back towards his boat.


If he was going to adapt his boat, he unfortunately needed more materials. In all likelihood, that meant Reyes was stranded on land until he could find a jack to lift the boat, a welder, and a welding mask.

A tall order, but he did have his new bike, which could drive fast. He decided it would be good to scout the mainland here, and see if he could ideally find a town with a tool shop.

Reyes passed by the mainland prison, following the road east. He found a hybrid gas-electric motorbike, which was in good enough condition to ride, and with a full battery. Reyes moved his bike basket over to the motorbike, and hopped on.

The engine activated, and Reyes started cruising down the remote road.


Imagine if he dies now. “That f :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: ing sandwich!” would be perfect epitaph, imho.

Unrelated: for a game that strives toward realism, CDDA allows some quite, ahem, interesting things, like crafting, throwing things and riding a bike with broken arms.

edit: about zharks - it looks like they love waters near island prisons. I rarely if ever saw them farther than, say, 5 OM tiles from those.