Burroughs, Kerouac, McCarthy, Ballard and Hunter are on the road again. Going places that they’ve never been. Seeing things they may never see again… Like pockets of civility and people who haven’t been turned into zombies.
They need to get from Washington DC to Safe Haven on the west coast, but all they have is a wood-paneled wagon, carpool dragons and hundreds of miles of road ahead of them.
[The Organ Trail began life as a free, zombie-apocalypse parody of the 1970s eudcational game The Oregon Trail, but the Director’s Cut is an expanded, commercial release that sees Organ Trail leave its parody roots partially behind. I initially thought this would be a done-in-one, but this particular adventure is more sprawling than the simple graphics might lead you to believe.]
160 Miles to Chicago.
This leg of the journey west is actually rather uneventful. Two medkits spontaneously combust, but otherwise the ancient Mayan gods seem to be smiling down upon Burroughs and his cohorts.
The Chicago weatherman says zombie activity is high at the moment, but that doesn’t change things for Burroughs – he still has to get out there and scavenge, he still needs to take whatever jobs he can get if the group has any chance of making it to the west coast.
Both jobs involve clearing out buildings that have become infested with bandits. He takes the one that pays the most first, and makes short work of the pack of degenerate, purple-assed mandrills.
He clears out the second infestation like the veteran Exterminator! that he is, earning the group 39 greenbacks, but burning through a lot of ammunition in the process.
He does some scavenging, but the horde is so dense he barely manages to grab some food and money that was dropped on the ground before he has to come back in to town with a minor injury. The group trades cash and excess food for ammo, medkits and fuel and then beds down for a couple of hours.
196 miles to the remote shack.
Just outside of Chicago Hunter gets tired from all that sitting in the back seat. He should take a leaf out of Rebecca Black’s book – she can take it in her demonic stride with a twisted, evil smile on her face.
If Hunter’s constant backseat bollocks wasn’t enough, Kerouac starts dicking around with one of the spare batteries and ruins it. Writers tend to be useless at being normal, practical and, well, useful, but this is getting out of fucking hand.
Hunter gets dysentery and Burroughs proclaims it to be Quetzalcoatl shitting on him for being such an asshole.
The group reaches the shack, and unsurprisingly there aren’t many people around to talk to or trade with. If it was a bustle hive of activity it wouldn’t be particularly remote now, would it?
The owner of the shack offers Burroughs $15 to defend the shack from a massive horde of zombies. He even says it’s suicidal, but Burroughs doesn’t pay any attention. He goes outside with his shotgun and lays waste to every last one of the green bastards that shambles towards the shack.
He goes out scavenging, and returns with money, food and scrap. He gives the scrap to Kerouac to repair the wagon. He goes out again, and comes back with enough money to pay some guy at the shack named Ash enough to train him to find Medkits while he’s scavenging… And then while zombie activity is low he goes out scavenging again. Crazy bastard.
He gets his comeuppance and is attacked by two zombie dogs. He comes back with food and a bad bite on his leg.
McCarthy patches him up, and then the group hits the road. It’s 260 miles to St Louis – the longest leg of the trip so far, and Hunter still has dysentery.
It starts pissing down rain, but the change in weather seems to fix Hunter up.
A bit further down the road everyone is thirsty and stops to drink some filthy-looking sludge. They all complain about feeling sick afterwards – Burroughs just shakes his head and lights a cigarette. The sky clears up.
Burroughs must have gone on the nod, because suddenly the wagon is surrounded by a herd of shamblers. As ever, Burroughs takes care of business. Climbing out on the roof and dealing with the zeds one by one.
When the road is clear he climbs back in and the group carries on. Minutes later they see a huge explosion in the distance. Suddenly they’re in St Louis and the city is burning – not enough for people to flee though; I guess when you’re surrounded by the walking dead, some fires and crumbling buildings really aren’t so bad.
There are two jobs on offer, but neither pays very well. For the first job he just has to retrieve a carton that fell out of the back of someone else’s wagon. He approaches the task in a zen-like manner, only shooting the zombies that he absolutely must put down, but otherwise focusing ahead. A small horde tails him, but he gets the crate easily and makes it back to town.
The second job is to kill “a couple” of bandits, but when Burroughs gets to the building on the outskirts it is completely infested with the shady bastards. He kills them all anyway – a handful of lives for $14…
In a seeming bloodlust Burroughs goes out scavenging. He comes back out of breath, so it must have been deadly out there, but he also has a Medkit and some food.
Burroughs does some more scavenging, the group does some more trading, and then they head out. There’s a small but ravenous horde outside the city, so they shoot their way through. They’re really going to need to get a decent trade for some ammo, and soon.
168 miles to the cave.
They run out of water a couple of hours into the trip. Everyone gets dehydrated and start mouthing off at each other.
The muffler starts making a weird noise, but Ballard checks it out and doesn’t think it’s an immediate issue. They reach the cave.
Burroughs goes out to scavenge while Ballard and Kerouac fix up the wagon. There’s one job on the board, but Burroughs doesn’t think it’s worth the ammo for a measly $14. Hunter reckons it’s worth it, but Burroughs refuses to give up the gun.
There’s nothing to buy and no one to trade with, so the group rests for a couple of hours and gets back in the wagon.
106 miles to Memphis.
Kerouac gets drunk on some secret stash he’s kept hidden from the others and starts waving and hollering out the window. He nearly gets bitten by a zombie, but luck – and the reinforced windows – keep him safe.
Why is there a fucking pyramid in Memphis?
Kerouac gets to work wheeling and dealing – making some fantastic trades… For everything except ammunition. Burroughs goes out scavenging but gets badly wounded. McCarthy patches him up as soon as he’s back in town, but the trip out really wasn’t worth it.
They bundle back into the wagon and head out. That familiar, low rumbling of a pack of motorbikes comes up from all around. Ballard lights a cigarette for Burroughs as the elder statesman of murdering villainous assholes rams every last one of the bikies off their precious hogs.
196 miles to the prison.
1719 miles travelled. 0 deaths.