Rebuild: Kingston Falls – Day 4

Rebuild LogoJason’s eyes snapped open. It was dark. Not just because it was night, but he had closed himself up in one of the offices of the police station. It probably had belonged to someone nobody liked since it had no windows, but it was where he spent his nights inside the wall.

He put his hand to his chest. His heart was pounding. He could feel his whole body jitter like he was rushing on adrenaline. Jason waited in the dark and listened.


Jason took a couple of deep breaths and was just beginning to relax when he heard something. It was a thump, like something had fallen over. It was followed by a scream and by gunshots.

He pulled open to door to let some light in and then quickly found his gun on the floor. Jason pulled his baseball cap onto his head and stepped out into the police station.

“They’re inside,” he heard someone yelling. It was Candy, up on the roof.

“From where?” Superman was up there with her. So was Walker.

Tom and Eric were pressed up against the glass of a window on the West side of the building, looking out.

“The wall is down,” Eric said.

“Fuck this!” Tom turned from the window. He locked eyes with Jason for a moment. “Come on, E. Let’s get.”

Jason held up a hand. “Where are you going?”

“The fuck away from here.”

“We can fight them back.”

Tom walked out of the room toward where he and Eric kept their stuff. “The wall is down,” Eric repeated.

“So we put it back up.”

Eric turned to face Jason. His eyes were hollow. “No. You don’t get it.” He said everything very slowly. “The wall is down. Not just part of it, but lots of parts of it.”

“Where is everyone?”

“Some of them are fighting.” Gunshots sounded to back up the words. “Some of them have run.”

“And you?”

Eric bit his lip. Tom ran out of the other room with two backpacks and threw one at Eric. It landed at his feet. “We are leaving, Eric.”

Eric glanced back and forth between Tom and Jason a couple of times.

“Fine. Stay.” Tom left the police station through the front door.

Jason watched Eric as he watched Tom leave, then slowly rotated his head back to Jason. “Get on the roof. It’s safer up there.”

The two of them quickly made their way to the ladder that lead up to the roof access. As he climbed Jason thought to himself, “This is good. Ladder, not stairs, those things can’t get up a ladder.” They scrambled out onto the roof where Candy, Walker and Superman all had rifles and were taking shots at the zombies milling about on the grounds below.

They all watched as Tom, backpack on his back, threaded between the shamblers, reached a section of wall that was fairly clear, then climbed over it.

Jason waited a minute, but no one made any attempt to fill him in. Finally he asked, “What the hell is going on?”

Superman spoke up first. “Gray dropped the south wall.”


“He signaled over something about checking the wall for weakness, and about an hour later, the whole damn thing fell over.”

“Crazy sonofabitch did it on purpose,” Walker barked.

“We don’t know that.”

“Supes, you are an optimist to the end, huh?”

Jason waved them both off. “Where is everyone else?”

Candy put down her rifle. She hadn’t been firing it, so Jason assumed it was empty anyway. “Bruce, Johnny and the new girl, they got an early start and went over the wall.”

“Which way?”

She pointed South, toward the down wall and horde beginning to pour through the opening.

“Shit. Kane?”

“He was with Gray.”

Jason paced along the perimeter of the roof.

Eric said, “What do we do now?”

“I’m partial to getting back on the road.” Walker was nodding agreement with Superman.

Jason took off his cap and ran his fingers over his scalp. “I guess we don’t have much choice. The five of us aren’t going to clear this and fix the wall.” Candy picked her rifle back up and put on a brave face. Eric burst into tears. “We go downstairs, gather what food we can, and then we leave.”

Superman looked out over the field of fire in front of him. “I suggest we follow Tom’s trail. Looks the most clear.”

The five of them filed down the ladder and quickly gathered a few supplies. Jason went back to his room for his jacket and a few other personal items, a folding knife, an ax handle, and a picture of his wife. He lingered on the photo for a moment, running his fingers over the creases, before slipping it into the front pocket of his jeans.

He headed back out to the front doors of the police station where everyone else was waiting. There was a backpack on the floor at Candy’s feet. Jason picked it up and slung it across his back. “What am I carrying?”

“Some canned goods, a little jerky, some other odds and ends.”

Jason nodded and then looked around at the others. “We ready to go?”

Everyone looked at him but no one gave any answer, but only because they didn’t want to say it. They had only secured this place for four days, but it had been a wonderful change from the constant moving. No one wanted to lose this, but Jason looked out the front doors and could see human shapes swaying with slow steps and knew it was already gone.

“Let’s go.”

Superman and Walker pushed the doors open with their rifles up. “Don’t fire unless you have to,” Walker cautioned. “We need to conserve bullets, plus avoid the sound.”

Jason stepped out between them and headed toward the section of wall that Tom had scaled. Superman followed a step behind, then Eric, then Candy, with Walker bringing up the rear. The line of them walked quickly but kept from breaking into a jog, keeping their distance from the zombies, winding around them and toward the wall.

One by one they went over the wall. Everyone waited in silence on the other side. Jason looked around for signs of Tom but didn’t see any. He saw a scattering of zombies, most of them now shambling toward them. As quick as he could, Jason evaluated the streets. “We’ll go North, around the apartment building I checked out and then head West out of the city.”

Candy looked off to the West. “Back the way we came in?”

“I figured we know those streets a little better.” He didn’t wait for people to agree and started for the apartment building. Before, he had approached the building in the day and been inside it through the night. At night, it loomed ominously. It was probably still largely empty, but the shadow it cast in the moonlight was unsettling.

Jason rounded the corner of the building and bumped into a zombie. It fell to the ground and immediately started trying to get up. Another hand grasped for him and he stepped out of its reach. A chorus of groans rose up. His vision was filled with a crowd of undead that spanned the four lane street.

It happened faster than he expected. The crowd began to surge toward him, toward the corner of the building. He kept taking steps back, though back was now North, and before he could do anything about it, the horde of zombies was between him and the rest of the group.

Walker rushed forward, he and Superman began firing off shots. Candy had her own rifle in hand using it like a club. Eric turned and ran back for the wall.

Jason started swinging his ax handle, but he kept having to give up more ground. The others were backing up too. The gap between them was getting wider.

“Run,” he shouted. “Head West! Get out of the town! I’ll try to circle around and meet you!”

“Meet at the station,” Candy yelled.

“The station,” Jason confirmed. At the edge of town, before it gave way to farmland, there was a radio station the group had spent a night in on their way in. He watched as the other three turned and broke into a run, around the other side of the apartment building to head West.

Another zombie shuffled close to Jason and he cracked it between the eyes with his ax handle. It staggered backwards but didn’t fall. He turned and ran North.

At every intersection and alley, he tried to make his way West but the path was always blocked by more of the undead. Eventually he gave up trying, settled into a comfortable jogging pace, and just headed North out of town. He spent a night in a farmhouse, and as he made a longer loop around the outskirts of the town another night in the back room of a gas station. It took three days for him to get to the radio station on foot. He stood a hundred yards away and watched as zombies shambled in and out of its wide open doors.

Kingston Falls had failed. The number of undead there seemed to be multiplying and Jason had lost the entire group. He hung his head and started walking the road away from the town. Jason’s hand went to his front pocket and felt that the photo was still there.

“I know. I promised. I’m not going to give up. I’ll find them. I’ll find more. I’ll find somewhere else and start again. I’ll survive. I promise.”

Rebuild - Day 4

So, why the abrupt end? Well, it turns out that even though Rebuild says it’s connecting to a server and saving your game, it’s apparently saving the game in your browser cache. Sometimes, websites, like gmail, do updates and because of stuff in your cache the sites crash, so you have to clear out your cache. Had I known my game was saved there, I’d have tried to figure out a way to clear the rest of the cache and preserve it, but I didn’t know, so I wiped the cache clean and with it Kingston Falls.

I hoped that perhaps the generation of your town at the start was based on the name of your town and the name of your leader, and that I could recreate the game by using the same in both, but it doesn’t work like that. Every attempt to recreate the game resulted in a new town and new people. Of course, I could have created a new town and just lied, kept playing and you, the readers, would have never known. But I would have known. I was left with only one option: wipe the slate clean. But, I didn’t want it to be a bloodbath. In the world of random name generation, it’s possible when I start my next town – and I will be starting another town once my anger has subsided – that the same names might just pop up. This might not be the last we see of everyone.

Anyway, I’ll probably take a couple of weeks off from this and then come back to it. I really want to finish a Nightmare play-through of Rebuild, because I’m itching to play Rebuild 2.

Rebuild: Kingston Falls – Day 3

Rebuild LogoTom and Eric were repacking the bags again. After the sun had come up, the two of them had gone down to the basement again and found another cache of canned goods. The haul back to camp would be heavy and slow, but the food was worth it. John Walker could hear them discussing the placement of items on the bags and how best to pack them as he passed by the open front door on his path around the house.

John looked behind him just in time to see the dog they’d found disappear around the corner of the house in the opposite direction. He was tired. Sleeping outside the wall had put him back into the alert mode he’d hoped he was done with when they settled down. Four hours sleep just wasn’t enough, but it was all he could manage. He stopped his patrol and leaned up against the porch of the house.

His canteen was nearly empty, and he finished it off in just a couple swallows. Just as he was beginning to relax he heard barking coming from the back of the house. John dropped the empty canteen and pulled his weapon to the ready. He started careful steps around the building.

The barking continued, mixed in with a few snarls and just as he stepped into view of the back yard it was replaced with yelping. Training and instinct took over as he saw the dog being pulled apart by two zombies, John fired a single shot into the dog, ending its suffering. He put another two rounds into the zombies, one in the chest and one in the arm.

“Get your shit together now,” he yelled. “We are leaving!” John fired another two rounds and the zombies dropped to the ground from the impact, but now he could see several others shambling in from the neighboring street and the two he’d shot were moving again.

He glanced at the motionless form of the dog and then turned back to the front of the house. Tom and Eric were coming out the front door with their backpacks on. John slung his M-16 over his shoulder and held out his hands. Eric tossed a duffel bag to him.

“What’s up? Where’s the dog?”

“Dead.” Tom and Eric exchanged glances. “Move. Now.” John was already heading back toward the wall and the other two men had to jog to catch up. Their pace would easily keep them ahead of the zeds.

The three of them got back to the wall and scrambled over it. Tom started removing his pack. “Keep it on,” John told him. “We should get this stuff over to the station right away.”

John could see everyone else was already back from their duties from the crowd gathered around the rear of the police station. He did a quick head count, adding in Gray who they’d seen where they’d come over the wall and would stay there until he was relieved, and came up with one extra. Jason must have found a new addition.

Eric walked right into the center of the group and dumped his pack. People began to grab things from it. “Don’t take more than you need,” he cautioned them. “This stuff has to last.”

Jason was already handing out new orders. Most of them had been following him so long that they didn’t question he was in change anymore.

“Everyone, this is Chastity. She’ll be with us from here on out.” There was a mumbling of introductions, some waving and a couple of handshakes. “Bruce, I’d like her to work with you and Johnny Ng. We need to know more about what’s around here, and I’m going to leave it to you to run the scouting team.”

“Aye aye.” Bruce nodded to Johnny and motioned to Chastity and the three of them moved out of the circle and off to the side to discuss amongst themselves.

“Walker,” Jason continued. John snapped to attention. “I know you just got back, but we need you and Tom and Eric to head to the building we found Chastity in. She didn’t have much of her own, but she admitted to hunkering down and now searching the building.”

John nodded. Eric and Tom walked back over to join him.

“I’d also like you to check the church next door to the building. We can see if well from the wall, and it’s empty and safe, so it shouldn’t be too difficult.”

John nodded again.

“Everyone else is on the walls,” Jason finished. The group broke up and people began to wander off toward rest and eating. Jason headed straight to John and called out for Mr. Kane to join them.

Kane wasn’t a soldier anymore. He’d been Army once, but retired. Now he wore a cowboy hat and a six-gun on his hip.

“John, how was the situation at the,” Jason seemed lost for a word, and finally stammered out, “farm?”

“It’s clear of food, but it has a zombie problem.”

“That’s what Gray said too. Well, that’s what he signaled to Candy anyway.” He turned to Mr. Kane. “I think if we could secure that, we could use it, but we need to clear it first. You up for a hunt?”

Kane tipped his hat back and spit tobacco out the side of his mouth, really playing up the cowboy. “I reckon I could do that.” He smiled.

“Well, alright,” Jason said. “Thanks, John.” Then he and Kane walked off toward the south end of camp.

Everyone was gone except for John and Tom and Eric. Tom knelt down to the duffel at John’s feet and began going through it. Eric and John headed for a nearby picnic table.

“I guess,” Eric started, “I can take the church. You and Tom can take the apartment building?” John nodded. They sat together silently for a moment, Eric staring at the table while John watched the clouds float by in the air.

Tom joined them and placed a six-pack of beer on the table. “Drink up, gents. Tomorrow we go back outside the wall.”

The three of them cracked open a beer each and shared uneasy smiles. “I hope Kane kills all those motherfuckers,” John said between sips. “Motherfuckers killed my dog.”

“Without whom,” Eric added, “those zombies might have gotten us surrounded.”

“To the dog,” Tom toasted. “Whose name we didn’t know, but is in a better place than this.”

The three of them finished the toast. Then they finished the beers.

Rebuild - Day 3

Rebuild: Kingston Falls – Day 2

Rebuild LogoBruce found a hole in the fence that surrounded the warehouse and carefully slipped through it. The building loomed dark and ominous, so he started his search by walking the perimeter. Deliberate steps avoiding kicking anything or stepping on anything, his head constantly turning left and right scanning from the warehouse to the street outside the fence. It was clear. Every step and the longer it stayed clear just amped up his internal tension. By the time he got back to the hole in the fence he was practically jumping out of his skin.

Turning toward the building, his palms started to sweat. Bruce had not brought with him any sort of weapon. It was a little stupid, but then without a weapon he wouldn’t be tempted to try to stand and fight. Flight back to the safety of the compound was the real goal.

All the doors to the warehouse were open. There was no light inside save for where the sun shone through. He took the three steps up to the nearest open door slowly and peered inside.

It was an empty shell. Probably abandoned long before the zombies came. There were shadows in places, but none so dark he couldn’t see into them. Once inside and his eyes adjusted slightly, the building wasn’t nearly as foreboding as it had appeared from outside. There were no zombies here. No other survivors either. And no supplies of any sort. Not an entirely wasted trip, however, since he now knew there was nothing here.

Bruce stopped being careful and jogged back to the fence, slipped through the hole and ran back to the wall. He scrambled over the top of the wall and dropped to the ground, safe. All the tension flowed out of his body and he collapsed back against the wall.

“Find anything,” a voice called from above. Bruce looked up and shielded his eyes from the sun to see the shape of Candy standing on the edge of the police station roof.

“Nope. Just an empty warehouse.” He got up and dusted himself off.

“The way you shot over the top of the wall, I thought maybe you were being chased.” He could hear the smile in her voice.

“Just excited to get back inside. Johnny back yet?”

“Superman said that Gray flashed some Morse code using a hand mirror. The kid was back inside, found some people who might join us if our illustrious leader goes over to pay them a visit.”

“Is the hospital safe?”

“No idea. You’ll have to ask the kid yourself.”

“The others?”

“Jason said he might have to stay the night to win over any new recruits. And the scavengers want to be thorough, so they’ll be outside tonight too.”

Bruce nodded. “Thanks, Candy. Good lookin’ out.”

“It’s my job now.” With that she vanished back away from the edge.

Bruce headed into the station and found a spot to sit down. He broke out the granola bar he hadn’t eaten for lunch and nibbled at it. After a short while, Johnny walked in and pulled up a chair.

“So, now what?”

“I suppose,” Bruce said between nibbles, “we get a good night’s sleep, then head out to scout more tomorrow. How was the hospital?”

“Clear, mostly.” Johnny picked up a small bag of chips, tore it open and started eating. “There are some zombies locked in rooms, maybe some wandering the upper floors, but it’s safe enough. There are a few people living in there. Didn’t try to convince them to come back with me though.”


“Yeah. I don’t like talking to gun barrels.”


“So, tomorrow?”

“I want to go take a look at the neighborhood to the north-east. You mind checking out the trailer park to the south-west?”

“I guess not. I supposed this is my job now.”

Bruce smiled and sighed, “At least until we come up with something better.”

They both laughed, just a little, and then wandered off to find places to sleep.

In the morning, everyone met up for breakfast, ate in silence, and then went back to their duties. Johnny strolled off toward the trailers, and Bruce ambled off toward the houses.

Rebuild - Day 2

Rebuild: Kingston Falls – Day 1

Rebuild LogoRebuild is a game by Sarah Northway. It’s best described as a survival sim and it’s done in the after action report style. Meaning you assign people to tasks that have chances of success or failure, then when you are done the game calculates the results and gives them back to you. In Rebuild, each turn is a day. But enough about that… this game is about zombies, and the story goes like this:

It all started in Holland…

The media called it the Dutch Flu, and connected it to some kind of weird tulip eating cult. The Netherlands used to export a quarter of the world’s tomatoes and cucumbers, but that wasn’t all. They were exporting the undead. Armageddon.

During that first year, survivors banded together to fend off the zombies, always staying on the movie and never looking back. But we’re not going to run any more. We’re putting out feet down here and we’re going to reclaim this place in the name of Humanity. Today… we begin to rebuild.

But I’m not just here to tell you about a nifty game. I’m a writer… I’m here to tell you a story. So what follows in this post, and for the rest of this series, is a narrative of the plight of Kingston Falls, a 10×10 city in Rebuild on the Nightmare difficulty level.

Jason watched as Bruce Collins secured the last piece of the fence. Jason had convinced them to stop running, to try to make a safe place to fight back against the shambling husks. And it began in a police station and then spread to two small neighborhoods and a field they were already working to grow food in.

“You know,” Bruce said, “running was a lot safer than this.”

“Sure. But it also kept us on edge all the time. Perhaps behind a secure fence we can relax a little.”

“Relaxing gets you dead.”

“I did say ‘a little’.” Jason turned and headed back toward the police station. Bruce trailed behind him. Along the way they ran into others, everyone heading toward the meeting Jason had called. Inside, they all took seats and sat silently for a while.

“Who’s on the wall?”

Jason didn’t see who asked it, but he ticked off the names aloud anyway. “Gray, Candy and Superman.” The soldier already had that nickname when Jason had met him, but he’d seen enough action out of the man to know the guy deserved it. Lately he’d taken to watch duty. They called it ‘sitting the wall’ but in reality they were on roof tops. Superman was up on the police station now, along with Candy. Gray was out on one of the houses, which was just as well since the scientist’s talking to himself made everyone a little uneasy. They were all a little stressed and tired, run down, but Gray might just be full-blown crazy.

The room fell to silence again. Ever since the decision had been made to stand some ground, the whole group had been looking to Jason for orders. “Eric,” he said at last, “you and Tom, grab some sacks and see if you can scrounge up some more food from that other field just south of the wall. Take Private Walker with you.” The three of them nodded. “Bruce, if you’re up to it, I want you to go outside the fence, north-west, and check out the warehouse we can see from the roof.”

“Aye aye.” Bruce tapped his fingers to his brow in salute.

“Cut that out.” Bruce smirked back at Jason. “Johnny, you know this town, right?”

Johnny was a skinny kid. He’d probably be in high school if not for the end of the world. “Yeah.”

“You know the hospital to the south-east at all?”

“I’ve been there once. A long time ago.”

“Well, I’d like you to go check the place out and see what you can find. Eventually I want to move the fence to include it. A lot of that equipment could be useful.” Johnny gave a half nod and hung his head. It was clear to everyone that he didn’t want to go outside. “That just leaves me and Private Kane. We’ll be looking in on the apartment building to the north. I think I saw some people in there.”

“Might be zeds,” Kane blurted out.

“That’s why you are going with me. You and that M-16.” Kane smiled from ear to ear. “Anyone got anything else to add? No? Well then, everyone has a job to do, so let’s do it.”

Rebuild - Day 1