When a tiny riot in Los Angeles turns out to be not so tiny after all, US Army reserve Lieutenant Angel Tunudo is told to call his subordinates to arms, but only two of them - Sergeant Michael Cross and Specialist Saul Tink - show up to greet him at the reserve base. After working out that the riot is actually the start of a Zombie Apocalypse, the three men decide they have to take matters into their own hands. They rescue a handful of other people and set up camp in the apartment building where Angel's girlfriend used to live, but even with things going well at first it isn't long before the situation takes a realistic turn for the worse.And that's not even the half of it.A Web Originalaudio drama created by KC Wayland and available here. Each chapter is released for download over the Internet in 3 parts every 4 weeks. (The only exceptions so far have been the Season Finales. "The War" was 4 parts long, while "The Harder They Fall," "Scorched Earth" and "The Ink Runs Dry," were released as single, hour-long episodes.) Aside from the official site, there is a forum, a Facebook page and a wiki.
The first season began on May 4th, 2009 and finished on April 19th, 2010.
The second season began on August 23rd, 2010 and ended on July 30th, 2011.
The third season began on January 2nd, 2012 and ended on December 5th, 2012.
The fourth season began on August 26, 2013 and ended on July 19, 2014.
Season One (May 4, 2009 - April 19, 2010)
#01. "It Begins" (May 4 - May 18, 2009)
#02. "The Two Things" (June 7 - July 22, 2009)
#03. "The New Arrivals" (July 6 - June 20, 2009)
#04. "Rules And Regulations" (August 2 - August 16, 2009)
#05. "Lady And The Tink" (August 30 - September 14, 2009)
#06. "The Remains Of Eastern Bay" (September 27 - October 12, 2009)
#07. "Blood, Sweat And Fears" (October 26 - November 9, 2009)
#08. "Where Do You Go When You Sleep?" (November 23 - December 15, 2009)
#09. "The Road To Living Death" (December 29, 2009 - January 18, 2010)
#10. "Purgatory" (February 1 - February 15, 2010)
#11. "R&R" (March 1 - March 15, 2010)
#12. "The War" (March 29 - April 19, 2010)
Season Two (August 23, 2010 - July 30, 2011)
#13. "Separate Dying Embers" (August 23 - September 6, 2010)
#14. "Out Of The Ashes" (September 20 - October 4, 2010)
#15. "Desperate Times" (October 18 - November 1, 2010)
#16. "Over The Air-Waves" (November 15 - December 6, 2010)
#17. "There Might Be Others" (December 20, 2010 - January 10, 2011)
#18. "No Place Like Home" (January 24 - February 7, 2011)
#19. "The Catalyst" (February 21 - March 7, 2011)
#20. "About Last Night" (March 21 - April 4, 2011)
#21. "Mark of the Beast" (April 25 - May 9, 2011)
#22. "Our Doubts are Traitors" (May 23 - June 6, 2011)
#23. "The Devil's Workshop" (June 20, - July 11, 2011)
#24. "The Harder They Fall" (July 30, 2011)
Season Three (January 2, 2012 - December 5, 2012)
#25. "Inadequate Strength" (January 2 - January 16, 2012)
#26. "Who Overcomes..." (January 30 - February 13, 2012)
#27. "The Thirty-First" (March 6 - March 19, 2012)
#28. "Last Dying Breath" (April 2 - April 16, 2012)
#29. "Beyond Our Walls" (April 30 - May 14, 2012)
#30. "Short Term Memory" (May 28 - June 18, 2012)
#31. "Family Ties" (July 2 - July 16, 2012)
#32. "Captive Hearts" (August 6 - August 20, 2012)
#33. "Red Winter" (September 3 - September 17, 2012)
#34. "It Only Takes One" (October 1 - October 15, 2012)
#35. "The End is Near" (October 29 - November 12, 2012)
#36. "Scorched Earth" (December 5, 2012)
Season Four (August 26, 2013 - July 19, 2014)
#37. "Balance of Power" (August 26 - September 9, 2013)
#38. "Unity Makes Strength" (September 23 - October 7, 2013)
#39. "Chemical Reactions" (October 21 - November 4, 2013)
#40. "Monsters" (November 18 - December 2, 2013)
#41. "Eye of the Storm" (December 16, 2013 - January 6, 2014)
#42. "Chasing Ghosts" (January 20 - February 3, 2014)
#43. "The Darkness Ahead" (February 24 - March 10, 2014)
#44. "Life and Death" (March 24 - April 7, 2014)
#45. "Distorted Truths" (April 21 - May 5, 2014)
#46. "Under Pressure" (May 19 - June 2, 2014)
#47. "The Lion's Den" (June 16 - June 30, 2014)
#48. "The Ink Runs Dry" (July 19, 2014)
This series provides examples of:
Achilles in His Tent: Michael spent the first part of season 2 sulking in his room after Burt took over as leader of The Tower. He comes out of it by volunteering to find medical help for Saul and by the time he gets back from The Colony he's ready to take back command.
Action Bomb: During the Second Battle of the Tower, Kalani saves the Tower from the tanker truck bomb being sent in by the Mallers. By flying his helicopter directly into said tanker.
Agent Mulder: Saul is the first to guess that he and his friends are actually dealing with zombies.
Agent Scully: Angel refuses to believe Saul's theory at first. Instead, he thinks it might just be a bunch of mental patients escaping from a nearby insane asylum.
Saul himself becomes Agent Scully temporarily in "Lady And The Tink" when Lizzy tries to explain how the zombies could set up a trap.
Anyone Can Die: Established in the first chapter when the Commander and Cindy both fall victim to the attack. Very firmly ingrained during the Second Battle of the Tower.
Apocalypse How: Societal Disruption (with the possibility of Societal Collapse or Species Extinction) on a Planetary scale.
Arc Words: "That was then...This is now..." Heard at the start of each season opener and at the beginning of several other episodes. Always spoken by Michael.
A Storm Is Coming: In Chapter 40, as Victor and Tanya prepare to make a trip into Ground Zero, the sounds of thunder and rising winds can be heard faintly in the background. Victor notes this by saying "Those are some nasty looking clouds, you sure you want to do this?"
Attempted Rape: After taking Lizzy captive, Tardust tries to rape her only to be stopped by a very pissed off Scratch.
Remember what Kalani said about the zombies somehow crossing all the islands of Hawaii without boats or anything? Yep. They can swim.
When Bricks takes away Scratch's knife she says she always has a spare. Durai later takes away Scratch's knife and gun while publicly accusing her of betrayal only for her to bring out that spare and stab him in the chest with it.
Chekhov's Gunman: The zombie that attacks Saul, Lizzy and Burt in the first part of "Lady and the Tink" turns out to be one of the smarter zombies that the survivors are especially scared of. It successfully breaks into the Tower at the beginning of "R&R", killing 1 person and threatening the lives of several others.
Then in "Mark Of The Beast", it attacks the Mallers the same way it attacked Saul and company.
Chekhov's Skill: Tower-dwellers successfully attract a group of zombies to a particular spot in "Blood, Sweat And Fears" by dropping bottles of human sweat from the top of a nearby building. This knowledge and the remaining bottles prove essential in attracting a Zerg Rush of zombies to decimate the Mallers at the end of the first season.
There's also CJ who has a whole apartment building filled with weapons, ammo, how-to books and various plans she's designed. She also keeps a network of safe houses and gardens for her to live on. It should be noted that while she did have others with her at first, she has since then been keeping all of this stuff maintained by herself for several months.
Cult Colony: Seems to be the case with the appropriately named Colony, though not everyone's buying into it.
Cynicism Catalyst: Todd's death at the hands of the zombies is Lizzy's main reason for wanting to kill every zombie she sees.
After Samantha's Death, Datu spends a lot of time being generally depressed and hopeless. During The War and its aftermath he is completely convinced that everyone is going to die and begins leading some of the other Tower members in prayer rather than trying to help fend off the Mallers/zombies/fire. It isn't until Michael, Pegs and Kelly return from the Colony with Samantha's daughter, Hope, that he really gets better.
Saul: Whatever, Michael would have done the same thing
Angel: Well he's not here now. He's probably back at the Tower surrounded by ladies.
(Cut to Michael and the other Tower residents besieged by zombies)
Michael: Shoot that bitch in the face!
Diary: The main Framing Device of the story, which is being told through the journal entries of the characters.
Distant Finale: "The Ink Runs" dry ends 14 years after the climax of the show and reveals the the entire series has been a tale told by Michael and Pegs to Saul and Lizzy's son, Nicolas
Doesn't Like Guns: Pegs, though only at first — she slowly grows to tolerate them, and will even use them ever since she saved Michael's life during the First Battle of the Tower. And while she is more willing to use a gun when necessary afterwards, she still prefers not to use a gun.
Elite Zombie: "runners," "jumpers," "smart ones," "behemoths," and "little ones" on top of the regular "biters."
The End of the Beginning: "The Ink Runs Dry" shows that 15 years after the outbreak, society is starting to rebuild while still dealing with the zombie threat. But the threat is still out there and Ink may have even left one or two surprises behind for the survivors to deal with. All this is explained as Nicolas takes his first steps into the world by choosing to become a guardian.
Everybody's Dead, Dave: After the Second Battle of the Tower, those on the helicopter, ( Michael, Pegs, Riley, Kelly, Datu, Tanya, and Hope) thought they were the only ones left alive after the Tower collapsed.
Kelly: Who else was in there?
Every Helicopter Is A Huey: One of the two helicopters found by the survivors in Season 2 is a Bell 412, with the other being a Coast Guard Pelican (Sikorsky HH3). The helicopters used by Fort Irwin in Season 3 were Blackhawks, however.
Fire-Forged Friends: Many, many examples. It would be easier to list the combinations of people who haven't become this.
Gas Cylinder Rocket: In 40-2, Victor shoots at a scuba tank that a little one was tangled up in. The tank goes flying across the street and gives the Little One a nasty case of road rash.
Gatling Good: The only way to actually kill a Little One or Behemoth with any certainty seems to be the M134 Minigun.
Geeky Analogy: When discussing the possibility that Lewis might be The Mole, Angel says that he is unlikely to have killed Pippin because he was on the top floor of the Tower filling the generator at the time.
Living Lie Detector: Kelly is able to do this from her background as a lawyer. She's able to detect when one of the Colony members is lying, allowing her to save Pegs and Michael in time to escape Gatekeeper's coup. She is less able to get a read on Pippin though, because his face was so badly swollen from the beating the Mallers gave him that she couldn't read him facial tics.
Locked in a Freezer: Angel and Riley in chapter 10. Although it's more like "trapped in a freezer by flesh eating zombies." And without electricity there's not so much danger from freezing, but there is the overwhelming, stomach-turning, stench of rotting meat.
Loophole Abuse: In chapter 8, Kelly falls asleep on guard duty and doesn't notice Latch and Scratch approaching the building. When Michael threatens to kick her out of the Tower she points out that there's no rule against sleeping on guard duty. note There was a rule that said everyone has to "pull guard duty" but it apparently didn't say anything about staying awake. Michael fixes this with an Obvious Rule Patch.
My Friends... and Zoidberg: Michael chastises a bunch of rebellious Tower dwellers by saying "I just sent two of my friends out there to help you people, and I'll not have you throw it back in their faces!" Angel brings it up a bit later:
Angel: Didn't we send three people out there?
Michael: I said two friends. The other one was just Burt.
No Zombie Cannibals: A confirmed aversion, which could be why the other zombies pick up their fallen brethren and take them back to the Arena.
Not So Different: Riley's arc in Season 4 showed that her desire for revenge against Scratch caused her to veer dangerously close the the Moral Event Horizon, which would make her just like Scratch. Tardust and Scratch both describe this trope word for word when comparing Riley to her nemesis.
OOC Is Serious Business: When Burt and Angel are trapped in the hospital in chapter 23, Burt yells for Riley and Kalani to leave them and run for the helicopter on the roof of the hospital by saying "Get to the chopper!" Angel asks if that was a quote from Predator. When Burt says "What?...Oh, no, it was just a coincidence." Angel goes into Oh, Crap mode.
Prisoner Exchange: Saul tries to set one of these up in Chapter 24, by offering to kidnap and hand Pegs over to the Mallers in exchange for the captured Lizzy. But both sides end up trying to screw each other over. The Tower folk use Riley as a decoy and plan to ambush the Mallers to get Lizzy back, while the Mallers use a decoy of their own, who they promptly shoot to cause confusion, to allow Scratch and company to pull an end around and attack the Tower while its best fighters are away.
Put on a Bus: Pegs, Kelly, Datu and Hope were all sent to a safe zone in Boulder, CO.
Happens again in Chapter 24 when Burt tries to shoot the tanker truck bomb the Mallers are driving toward the building and again it doesn't work.
Finally there's Angel, who was left on the roof of the Tower, when it collapsed, but was pulled out by Scratch. Unfortunately the fall left him with injuries so bad he would probably be paralyzed, his hands were torn to shreds from trying to repel down the broken zip-line without gloves, and he was covered in burns from landing on the burning remains of the Tower's fuel truck. The doctor flat out said that he was dying and that it was amazing he even survived at all. Then Scratch executes him when he refuses to tell her where the others have gone.
Shoo Out the Clowns: The soldiers from Ft. Irwin: Puck, Robbins, Muldoon and Carl are attacked by Behemoths in Chapter 42. Robbins, Muldoon and Carl are killed, while Puck remains hospitalized though much of the rest of the series.
Shoot The Fuel Tank: Subverted, twice. First when Burt Angel and Riley try to use gas canisters as bombs to hold of the zombies in Chapter 13 and they fail to explode when shot. And again in Chapter 24 when Burt tries to shoot the Mallers' fuel truck bomb before it reaches the Tower and it fails to explode.note It takes Kalani's Heroic Sacrifice, flying his helicopter into the tanker, to get it to explode.
In 21-3, "Mark of the Beast" Burt does it again, this time quoting Airplane!.
Scratch chastises another Maller who kept her waiting by threatening to "...feed your ass to the sisters!" Word Of God has said that this is an explicit reference to The Shawshank Redemption.
Sigil Spam: In the epilogue, the survivors have adopted the symbol Ink used to control the zombies as the symbol of their new society. It's on the flag, armbands, and pretty much anywhere else they can put it. This is Justified since the symbol is some sort of instinctive stop sign for the infected, preventing them from attacking people and places marked with it.
Smug Snake: Marcus, as much as we got to see of him.
Spy Speak: Soldiers from Ft. Irwin use code phrases to identify themselves over radio or sat phone communications. These phrases are ad libbed but require a certain combination of pre-arranged words within them. For example:
Puck:Three tangos sat on the wire.
Carl:The Roman pillar fell on the fish!
Earlier in the series survivors from The Tower used bird-themed callsigns for people and places to disguise their communications over CB radio.
The Starscream: Scratch. She may have started out as a Dragon with an Agenda, but after Durai publicly accuses her of betraying "The Family" by killing Angel she reacts by killing Durai.
Gatekeeper was this for Marcus. He staged a coup to take control of The Colony in Chapter 19.
The Stinger: After the credits for the Season 2 finale, there is a final part which reveals that Angel and Burt were still alive but but had fallen into the hands of the Mallers.
The Straight and Arrow Path: Riley was once a pro archer and prefers to use a bow over a gun, which works out in many situations since its quiet and the zombies are attracted to loud sounds.
Survivor Guilt: Datu finds it really hard to forgive himself for letting Samantha get taken.
Technically Living Zombie: The zombies have demonstrated a need to breath, eat, and sleep. They can be killed by gunshot wounds to the chest rather than requiring a headshot, and they can even bleed out from amputated limbs.
Thanks for the Mammary: Burt cops an accidental feel on Riley while trying to put a shoulder holster on her in chapter 24.
The Immune: People started to speculate that Saul and Tanya might be immune after some close calls. But when it's revealed that they can both breath the Haze from Ground Zero, their immunity became a real possibility.
Saul's immunity was pretty much confirmed late in Season 4 when he was bit directly on the neck by a zombie and didn't turn. note This even helped Saul defeat Ink in the Grand Finale. Ink couldn't understand that biting Saul wasn't going to turn him, giving Saul enough time to reach the CJ's Katana
Theme Twin Naming: Subverted — Latch and Scratch are nicknames for the twin Mallers. We find out later that Latch's real name is John, but Scratch has yet to reveal her real name to anyone.
Title Drop: Early in season 1, Pegs makes a sign to announce that there are survivors in the Tower which says... you guessed it: "We're Alive".
Took a Level in Badass: Once she got behind the controls of the helicopter Pegs became much more confident, even telling both Datu and Michael to shut up at different points.
Two Lines, No Waiting: Mostly, separate storylines are confined into their own chapters, or even multi-chapter story arcs. But occasionally multiple storylines will appear in the same chapter or even the same episode. For instance chapter 18 features Michael, Pegs and Kelly's journey to The Colony, which is cut with Angel and Kalani going to the Army Reserve base to secure MREs.
Unreliable Narrator: Mostly averted so far, but the story is being told from the journals of the characters which makes the story susceptible to this.
We Have to Get the Bullet Out: Done on Saul in chapter 14 despite the lack of adequate tools, antiseptics or morphine. Plus the only one with the medical knowledge to perform the operation is Saul himself.
What a Drag: Riley and Burt coax information on Scratch's whereabouts out of Tardust by forcing him to run along behind their vehicle until he falls. They then threaten to just keep going and drag him if he doesn't talk.
Zombie Gait: Inverted, generally. Most, if not all, of the zombies are significantly faster and stronger than the average human, and some of them are smart enough to play tricks on us. Loud noises seem to be the primary method of attracting them, so at least you can avoid them to an extent by keeping quiet.