The next season of Z-LAND will take place 5 years after the last.
To get you ready for it, Rycon has written what happens during those 5 years and we’ll be posting them here so you can follow along with what happens to the survivors.
Last time we covered the first half of Jake and Nic’s adventures around the post-apocalyptic New Zealand in their first year after Season 2. Now we’ll find out what happened after their encounter near Tauranga
Jake and Nic continuing adventures
Jake raises his bullpup into the air and fires a warning shot. The figures duck for a second but answer with a hail of bullets, two of which thunk in the yacht with the remaining hitting the water either side. Realizing that they’re outgunned, Nic floats the idea of a bait and switch. Quickly grabbing a white towel from below deck, he says to stay down until they are close then fire away. A risky play but the plan is put into action. Both of them hit the literal deck and the flag is raised. No more gunshots are heard but the sound of engines grow louder.
They both look at each other, the flag is wedged in against a seat and they both crawl forward weapons in hand. There is only one chance to get this right and, as the sound of the engines reaches a crescendo, with a quick peek over the bow they both unleash an volley of fire in the direction of the boats. It’s the first time either of them have emptied an entire magazine and it’s almost beyond belief how quickly it went. They hear screams of pain, returning fire, and the plink-plink-plink of bullets tearing through the metal hull of their ship.
They pin themselves to the deck, but the sound of the engines doesn’t stop, it grows louder still until CRASH! They’re both thrown across the deck and slammed into the side rails. Splintered wood is thrown into the air and flames take to what was the bow of their ship.
Quickly the vessel begins to lurch forward into the water and what was one of the metal dinghies can be seen lodged into the front of their yacht. The crumpled metal boat is slick with blood and riddled with bullet holes, but the other boat is unseen. Jake and Nic both start to lose their grip as the yacht begins to go under. There isn’t any time to grab anything, they only have what their wearing and the weapons they are carrying.
The two of them drop into the drink as the yacht and the crumpled dinghy sink to the bottom. Finally, the second boat is in sight as Jake and Nic bob in the water, turning tail and returning to Tauranga with speed.
Swimming to shore wasn’t easy, neither was surviving the first night. Cold and without supplies they stumbled upon a logging office, the area all around them seemed to be used for forestry. In the morning they cautiously collected what little supplies had washed up on shore. It wasn’t much but with it they could survive a little longer.
Drying their soaked maps in the sun they discover that they’re stranded on a small spit of land known as Matakana Island. With Tauranga and the remains of civilisation to their south they both begin the trek. As they near the edge of the island, plumes of smoke can be seen rising from Tauranga. They are, however, different than the large scale fires they’ve witnessed in the past. This flames must be controlled by someone, somewhere in the city.
Thankfully the trip off the island isn’t too difficult with the low tide. Only a small amount of swimming is required. They arrive on the small peninsula of Omokoroa. The small town contains many of the shambling dead and Jake and Nic cautiously move through the dead town collecting what little food supplies that remain. They have a goal in mind, a fire station in Bethlehem, just northwest of Tauranga that they spied on the maps. There they hope to find radios and other forms of equipment, that and the building will serve as a staging point as they move closer to Tauranga in an attempt to find the ones who attacked their boat.
The days are not without peril. Even being cautious, they often find themselves in combat with the dead. Thankfully they have worked out efficient methods of disposing the dead together. Finally reaching the station, they begin to set up their staging point, trapping the building and disguising their presence.
At night they slowly make their way towards the harbour, the main port of Tauranga. There is a strange glow in the night as they approach, a strange sight after months of darkness. Before reaching the northern port they cross a railway bridge and then begin to hear a sound that slowly grows in volume as they near the ports. The sound of a thousand voices screaming out into the night.
They can hear them but cannot see them as they near the edge of the port. One of the great machines that once moved hundreds of containers a day sits unused, and Nic carefully climbs its ladder to get a better view of the area while Jake watches the fence line. Once Nic reaches the top he can see it clear as day but the binoculars make it all the clearer. Three giant container ships float moored to the port, each emitting light into the night and each surround by innumerable dead. Gangplanks are stretched between each of the vessels allowing movement between each, and on all of the decks many people can be seen. Living breathing people, however many sit shackled together, bound by chains.
A cautious approach is called for and, to learn more, the Jake and Nic look out from the top of the container crane until the sky slowly begins to grow lighter. From what they can tell, the majority of the people on deck are in chains, bound and welded to the metal deck of the ships, and between them walk men holding assault rifles. They seem to care little for the thousands of dead that swarm the bottom of the ship and one large gangplank that extends out towards them conjures images of poor souls forced to walk out along it.
It’s difficult to see the far sides of the vessels but Jake and Nic do catch sight of small boats and dinghies similar to the ones that approached them on the water. In total six “guards” are seen on deck.
The following afternoon Jake and Nic are awoken in their fire station home to the sound of a distant train rumbling past. Half an hour later gunshots and automatic fire are heard from the direction of port. Carefully they move between the abandoned homes towards the port. Dead stragglers move alongside them towards the noise. As they reach the railway bridge they’ve crossed before they pause as the sound of a train rumbling away from the ports reaches them.
Throwing themselves down in the overgrown grass the long machine begins to pass. It’s immediately clear the train has been heavily modified. The front displaying a massive steel wedge covered in the blood and gore of the dead and the engine sending out plumes of black smoke. It plows through the dead on the bridge with ease and carriage after carriage races by with every window covered by iron plates.
With the danger and the alertness of the dead in the surrounding area the decision to return home is made. The fire station remains just that for the coming week as they continue to attempt to survive in Bethlehem. It is here that Jake and Nic’s year draws to a close and the two find themselves thinking of the others they’ve left behind. Would they ever see them again? And what of the ports, for now Jake and Nic have only begun to scratch the surface…
Tune in next time to see what happened to the rest of the group that stayed behind at the Marine Centre!
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