Sometime during the morning the number of people sleeping in our hostel went from three (an Austrian(?) girl got stuck with us, poor thing) up to five. Jenn and I got up in the morning to go see a Japan with sunlight on it to find that our friends with the ancestral habit of colonization had made their way back to the hostel. It was also apparent that at some point during their evening they had encountered a crowd of zombies, for they were no longer human. We had no choice but to leave them behind.
浅草 - Asakusa
With our group of survivors down to just two we knew we'd need some fresh energy to survive. Luckily, it seemed the virus had yet to spread all the way to the nearby shops and we were able to scavenge some breakfast from a Matsu-ya (松屋), the Japanese version of fast food. By the time we had finished eating though, they were everywhere.
Getting to the shrine took an unexpected amount of work; the streets and sidewalks were packed with throngs of
spectators brain-hungry zombies, come to feed upon the terrified masses running the Tokyo Marathon for their lives down a narrow corridor fenced off from the virulent hordes. Navigating through the writhing masses required some cleverness on our parts but, as always, my head was more than up to the task.
You may have noticed the above caption is substantially longer in English. Let me assure you that the messages are the same in either language. I did my duty in fully, directly, and truthfully translating the Japanese. Rather, the difference in length is due to the logographic property of the Kanji that allows them to compact a large amount of information into a single character. Why do you think Twitter's was (before the zombie outbreak) so popular in Japan?
At one point, even that great hero of Japan, Mario, unable to find anymore mushrooms or stars, and unable to leap the four or so feet required to leap upon the heads of Japanese zombies, had no choice but to flee his beloved homeland.
Just look at those bloodthirsty creatures, clapping their hands with delight as their future prey passes so near their slobbering mouthes. God, it was so horrible. Japan's last hope, dressed in his overalls, left it that day. We can only pray that one day Mario might return. Return, and save us all.
浅草寺 - Sensou-ji Temple
We hoped to find refuge from the hungering masses within the ancient walls of Senso-ji Temple, but the stronhold had already fallen to their ceaseless hunger for brains.
Crestfallen and fearful of what the future might hold, we nonetheless bravely stepped forward into what was almost undoubtedly a warren of evil. We still held onto the hope that we might find a monk that had barricaded himself within an inner sanctum. If we could find one he would no doubt be a great asset against the forces of evil. Well, Blizzard seems to think so anyways.
However, from the top of the steps we saw nothing but destruction.
But then Jenn, with her keen bird-watching eyes, spotted a tranquil garden seemingly unnoticed by the zombies not terribly far from our perch atop the stairs. At the garden Jenn took a moment to center herself in Zen meditation and consult with the ancient Japanese deities as to our proper course.
While Jenn meditated I watched the entrance to our enclave, ready to give warning to her should we be found out. Luckily, though we were hidden so near where they passed by we escaped notice, undetected by their unthinking minds.
A shout sounded from behind me, and I rushed back Jenn, fearful that she may have been attacked by a zombie that somehow snuck past my careless gaze. Thankfully, such was not the case. During her meditation Jenn had been blessed with the providence of the spirits of the garden, and our path became clear to her. She laid out our way forward in no uncertain terms.
She had seen in her vision a "rose-eyed" woman, a sage or oracle who we must find if we were to make it out of Tokyo alive. But Jenn's vision did not end without giving her one last bit of crucial information. She told me that in her vision the woman stood in a single column of light. All around her the darkness swarmed and pushed, becoming ever more ambitious as it squeamed its way in and out of the borders of the light. The oracle was in trouble and our time was short; however, so was the path to the oracle.
Short though it may have been, we did not take our path quick enough. We could not save the oracle. Her pure white sweater of sagacity had already been dyed red with blood; her eyes, small behind her large rose-tinted glasses, only flickered open for a moment as we approached her beside her death
Fists clenched, breath abated, we hoped against hope that she still had the strength left to relay to us that which would save us. We stood by her side, ever conscious of the growing attention of the passing husks, and waited. The pauses between her breathes grew longer, their depth, shallower. Was it all in vain?
Suddenly, using such effort that she drained what little color was left from her cheeks, she took one last, deep breath into her lungs. Her chest rose up, and as it fell for the last time, her breath brought with it a single word.
So that was our destiny. We were not to leave Tokyo - we were to be its saviors. It was up to us to do what not even Mario could. But were we up to the task? We had no choice but to try.
We returned one last time to our garden to collect our thoughts, and something amazing happened. The ancient warrior spirits of Japan filled us with their wisdom and fighting power.
Also, they gave us a totally kickass tree-house to act as our base.
計画 - The Plan
From the TTHB we looked out over the city and set to work on our plan. With a zombie population rapidly approaching ten million, one thing was clear. We were going to need help.
Just at that moment, Tammy and Ryan showed up! Jenn and I hated the idea of having to cut down our former friends, but zombies are zombies, and there's only one way to deal with.
But! They were no longer zombies! As it turns out, the Austrian girl we had abandoned back in the hostel to be devoured by our two zombie-turned friends had in reality been friends with Will Smith, who just finished developing a zombie cure, but only had enough to save his best-bud from Austria from the Brits before he ran off with his dog. So, the four of us, together again at last, finished our plans for saving Tokyo before the Japanese government decided it was time to start working on Tokyo 3.
実行 - The Execution
The plan made, we set in motion the liberation of Tokyo. We set ourselves to our tasks and did as the oracle bade us. As their numbers grew we fought only harder. We spit in the face of despair and pushed on, and on, and on.
The number of them that fell was uncountable, but for every we cut down four more joined the fray, until their numbers blacked out the streets, their silhouettes harshly lit by the lights of a civilization fighting to keep its torch burning through what could be its last night.
Surely this was the end. Soon, we would be overwhelmed. We had taken many with us though. What were once humans, and now monsters, stained the walls with the ichor as we pierced through their numbers. Still, it was not enough.
A City Saved
The sun broke through the night, and we had broken the horde. We saved Zombie Tokyo.
With our job done and our time in Tokyo over, we said goodbye to Tammy and Ryan. They would be heading home, but Jenn and I had gotten a call from Sapporo - things were getting out of control at the Sapporo Brewery. Production levels were way too high, and the whole place would soon be inundated.
They needed people who didn't cower before a monumental task.
They needed people of, preferably, German stock.
They needed heroes.
They needed a team that could...
drink. all. that. beer.