By Kevin Jepson
Grid Reference: 102:233 North 4
Target Pre-outbreak name: South Alexander St and Lloyds Ave
Scout Name: Samuel R. Everson
Weather: Partly cloudy, calm and cool, maybe rain later.
Hey Frankie, I got another one for you.
Gotta say it made me think.
I wanted to check out this intersection mostly because I'd hung out there back in the old days. Call it a personal trip if you like, I just wanted to see what became of it is all. I lived there briefly for a few months when I worked contract for the railway. Must have been six or seven years pre-outbreak. It was one of the great "social combat zones" of the old world, the place where the rich guys and gals from the North side of Alexander rubbed shoulders with the working stiffs from the South side. The battlefield weapon of choice was coffee. On the North side there was a trendy looking upscale Starbucks, on the South side an older and very well used Tim Hortons. Lots of snide remarks passed between the two sets of patrons I can tell you. Both businesses did very well in their day, since they didn't seem to compete for the same customers.
I entered the city via the usual route around dawn. Was pretty chilly, so I hoped Zack would be moving slowly. The air scout guys had told me there weren't any horde-sized mobs between the entrance and my target area. So I figured I could get in, check it out, and get back without attracting too much attention.
Approached South Alexander and Lloyds Ave from the East around 7:50am.
Road was surprisingly empty of dead vehicles, some parked along the south side, doors open, windows intact.
Many of the buildings along the street still have intact doors, which are closed. Will need to be checked carefully for lurkers. No sign of Zack on the street.
Got close to the intersection and saw that the Starbucks looked surprisingly intact. Door was open, windows unbroken. Could've been open for business actually, if it wasn't for the leaves drifted into the doorway. Still no Zack in sight.
Approached the Starbucks to check out the inside. Looked fine as it was still in pretty good shape, tables and chairs mostly upright, but lots of leaves on the floor and dust on everything. Tossed a rock into the room and waited, which is S.O.P. of course. Got signs of Zack from behind the counter, scrapes and dragging, but no howl. Couldn't see it, so it must have been stuck on the floor somehow. Didn't bother to check any further inside.
Across the street, on the opposite corner, is the Tim Horton's.
Man, what a contrast!
The windows smashed and the facade of the building trashed. The remains of barricades all around the walls. A police car was right up on the sidewalk in front of the door. The car's windows were broken but the doors were closed.
Back in the old days a cop car parked next to a Tim Horton's would have brought on a lot of knowing looks and giggles, eh?
On the ground around the cop car were dead ghouls. Since Zack doesn't really rot, even after years they still looked "fresh". Several were missing their heads, shotgun blasts I suspect. Others, missing the back of their heads, were shot close range in the face, with a service revolver most likely. Looks like the cops set their car up to block the door and used it like a pillbox. Checked inside the car, nothing but empty shell casings and shotgun shells. The doors were still locked, they must have been pulled out through the windows, poor sods.