OtE V1, Chapter 9: Tribulation

Observation Log: 153384

Observer 131, reporting on Michael Cinagra’s situation.

Every second, the undead tide grows thicker in the nearby streets and alleyways. From this vantagepoint, even Michael is able to understand his situation.

“Welp, I’m fucked.”

At least, if he were a normal human, perhaps he would give in to despair. However, behind the glass of the motorcycle helmet, I can see that there is a smirk on his lightly-bearded face. He held the sledgehammer with his right hand and swung it down onto the skull of the first zombie to make it up the stairs. Most of them were simply pushed off the broken railing and fell down into the crowd below. Although most of them were not damaged too severely, the ones they landed upon were not so fortunate.

“I really wish I would have brought my damn glaive along this time… Well, it is getting kinda dull lately. Even after sharpening it, there are a bunch of chips. Phew~! I should switch to the flail for a while.”

He shoved the bloody sledgehammer’s handle into the space between his backpack and armor, then grabbed the wooden handle on his waist. With a flick of his wrist, the spiked steel ball swung through the air and ripped off the face of the next zombie to climb up.

After that, he shield-bashed an obese woman off the ledge. When her 200 kilogram body landed onto several much smaller zombies, they were all crushed. Then she was trampled upon by the horde, suffering a similar fate.

“Damn, it feels like the building is gonna collapse…”

The stairs leading up to the second floor had long since been broken down, but zombies quickly filled the holes and a new ‘staircase’ was formed. The undead in the subsequent houses broke through the walls of the first and second floor. However, there was only one direct route to the roof, regardless of how many of the creatures poured into the building. At least, that was the case in the beginning.

After an hour, there were so many corpses and immobile bodies piled up below the balcony, that they were able to create a ramp leading straight from the backyard, up to the roof. Michael’s flail broke from overuse, so he switched back to the sledgehammer.

With every swing, five to ten zombies were knocked off the ramp and fell down into the crowd. He did not have the luxury of killing them directly, since a single second would have left him vulnerable to attack. Even though the undead were unable to damage his body directly, they could still drag him down and smother him to death.

However, while he was distracted by the enemies in front of him, he let his guard down. That lumbering giant directly scaled the front of the house and started charging towards him. Its head was badly mutilated and it only had the left eye to see out of, yet it was still able to pinpoint Michael’s position.

It tackled him off of the roof, causing the two of them to fall down into the horde below. Although my direct vision was obscured, I could see, hear and feel the electromagnetic disturbance growing dramatically. Thus, I quickly escaped into the sky in order to avoid being damaged.

There was a blinding light, which was bright enough to paralyze my visual sensors for a few moments. Then I heard the crackling of lightning. I was nearly struck by the branches of superheated plasma… Although I would not have ‘died’, my systems would have been temporarily disabled and it would have required months for my nanites to repair my body.

When I scanned the sky, I noticed that dark clouds had obscured the sun. Lightning continued to bombard the hordes of undead, as they attempted to flee in every direction from the initial strike. Then rain started pouring as well. The thunder vibrated my shell, as I tried to locate a ‘safe’ place to hide.

Unfortunately, the nearby buildings were all being filled with zombies, to the point where some of them collapsed under the weight. Others were struck by lightning and ignited. The situation was dire. All of my self-preservation protocols were ordering me to abandon my current mission and cease observation, but I ignored and disabled them.

I lowered my altitude and carefully approached the smoldering hill of human corpses. Many of them had been nude beforehand, or at least, thinly clothed. The fire and electricity had fused most of the bodies together, but they were not moving. Although their nanites might have survived, much of the human tissue was not as resistant to heat.

“Ow~! Ugh~! Eww~!”

It did not take long, before the heavily armored man was able to climb out of the pile of carcasses. His body was no longer releasing electromagnetic energy. However, his suit of armor, drenched in viscous black liquid, was more harmful than helpful in such a situation. If he stayed out in the open, he would certainly have died.

He crawled across the corpses, as if moving slowly would protect him from the lightning. The rain was swiftly washing away the blood from his scratched and dented breastplate. His backpack was still intact, though it was similarly drenched and the books inside were likely ruined.

Rather than returning home, he continued southward at a steady pace. His hammer had been lost, but it wasn’t particularly valuable or rare. The kiteshield was still intact, so when zombies occasionally blocked his path, he would bash their skulls open with it. Of course, another one of his greatest weapons was actually his fist.

With a gauntlet covering his fingers, knuckles and palms, every part of his right hand was able to destroy a zombie. The only problem was that his height and the length of his arms, made it difficult for him to deal with enemies taller than himself.

We could both finally rest once we reached the Wharf Apartments in the easternmost part of Canton. All of the undead who had previously been inhabiting this building were likely lured away during the event earlier. There were functional lightning rods on the large complex and all nearby structures, so the danger was significantly lessened once we entered inside.

“Oh my God…”

Michael grunted and groaned the entire walk over, but when he actually saw what he looked like under the armor, he was fairly startled. No, perhaps even I was slightly surprised.

“Oww~!”

A decent amount of the skin on his chest and left leg was burned, with blackened blood vessels that had the appearance of dead trees. The branches spread out across most of his torso and thigh.

“Oh goddamn it! Shit!” He cursed as he looked inside of his backpack and realized that it was filled with putrid black blood. His first aid supplies were obviously contaminated and useless. The guns and knives could still be used after a bit of cleaning, but the books were ruined.

Of course, considering the circumstances, he was more concerned with treating his injuries than anything else. After searching through the apartments near the back of the building, he eventually found one that he was satisfied with. Then he went back and placed the armor onto a small cart, meant for moving luggage. He hesitated for a moment, but decided not to give up on the backpack. Bringing everything over to his temporary home, before heading out onto the porch and enjoying the cool rainwater.

I however, am going to stay inside and use this opportunity to recharge. Hopefully he does not choose to do anything rash without me there to record everything…

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