Dwarf Fortress Stories

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How to kill zombie animals for dummies

16 July 2012, 06:07 Rating: 6 [+]

Singlefierce, the first victim of the haunted taiga recorded by the expedition, former wagon-pulling yak cow, current champion of the undead hordes, scourge of Graniteplan and the One Thing pushing me under the earth finally fell.

To a sad, world-worn little coot whose only joy in life was his crossbow. He was lost in society, so he turned to understanding small game instead. He understood them well enough, he supposed. A little practice.

He made it to an outpost preparing for a siege. All arrivals were interviewed to assess their martial capability and poor old Alåth's familiarity with the kingdom standard light crossbow put him in charge of two fresh recruits. The guard captain did an awful lot of side-glancing on that announcement. Maybe the rookies were the type to learn from example.

The alarm bells were rang not even an hour after the draft. The stone doors to the fortified bunker entrance had been left ajar for a minute and then a cat, a child, a parent, a guard and just about half of the fort in order were bumbling outside in a reckless manner, all shouting and chasing after one another, drawing the attention of the semi-alive wildlife.

Alåth was the only one with ammunition.

He made his first orders: his subordinates were to man the doors and bar them in a heartbeat if anything caught the scent of the civilians being corraled back inside. He was an expendable. In the face of rabid, rotting badgers making it to the infirmary or the sleeping warrens, all left outside were.

After he restored order by stomping on a rabid ermine terrorizing the crowd, the evacuation could begin in earnest. Everyone made it indoors in record time thanks to his unflappable demeanor and clear hand gestures, but as he was leading the pet reindeer calf of some rich migrant through the doors, the king of all evil came cantering around the corner.

The titanic yak cow had grown nearly twice its natural size past death. Some of the moldering reins were still caught around its flesh, straining against the cancerous, bulging muscles. It reared up and bellowed like a really goddamn huge yak would.

Alåth didn't even stop to guess or assume, much less to think. The crossbow slipped into his hands and he put a bolt right in the monster's dominant rear leg. And then the belly. Then the spine. Then the guts.

His hands were working like a weaver's. Bolt after bolt after bolt punched at the yak's torso, snapping bones, bursting eyes, tearing flesh. They were at arm's length from one another, but Alåth could only hear the rhythm of the crossbow clacking and twanging like an instrument against his side.

The screaming beast hurled the entire weight of its body at the tiny old man. He took one step to the side and watched the rotting mountain of meat collapse at his feet. Ceremoniously, he raised his wooden crossbow up in the air and struck it between the shoulderblades with a barely audible little "thump".

And that's how you kill zombie animals.