This Week in Co-Op: From the Journals of Rochelle and Ellis

6/30/2010 at 6:50 PM

Last week, Marc and Mike chronicled their adventures together as they tackled Dawn of War II's campaign.  This week, Co-Optimus staffers Tally and Jason will regale you with their tales from their recent venture into Left 4 Dead 2's "The Passing" DLC campaign.  Rather than a straightforward telling, though, they've gotten a bit creative with this assignment and decided to detail their adventure from the perspective of the characters they played: Rochelle and Ellis.

Excerpt from Rochelle's Journal:

We saw another survivor today at the bridge. Some biker guy with all sorts of tattoos... he tried to convince us he was with the cops, but as if. Still, though, it feels as if it's been ages since I've seen another face besides the faces of Coach, Ellis, and that whiner Nick. Well, another face that wasn't trying to eat me, I guess. Apparently there's a small group of them (survivors, I mean), so it seems we really aren't the only people left alive and un-zombified in the world. The problem was that we couldn't reach the other group because the bridge was up and the power was cut, so we had to go around. Another street... another set of buildings... all filled with freaking zombies. Girl, why couldn't you have stayed at home instead of chasing some dream about being the next Diane Sawyer?

Anyway, a couple notes for today; first up: Hunters have a difficult time jumping out from under buses. We came across one today that appeared stuck under a bus. He kept trying to jump out, but he couldn't quite make it. A volley of lead solved his problem. I really hate those screaming freaks.

Second: we came across a zombie with supplies strapped to him just like us. A med kit, some pills, a molotov... He'd survived like us for awhile, but he turned just like the rest of them. Will I end up like him one day? The thought scares the hell out of me. We've survived a little while, but none of us really know what causes this disease. Maybe it just takes a whole lot longer to effect some people rather than others and we're already dead, we just don't know it. God, I really need to stop thinking about this.

From Ellis' Journal, Day 37

Well dang-it-all! Here we are in the finest machine to ever grace this Earth - I'm referring to THE stock car of the great, even in undeath, Jimmy Gibbs, Jr. (may he race forever) - and some idiot has left the barrier up on the bridge. I mean come on! What sort of backwoods backbirth do you gotta be to leave block off a major road when the freaking' undead are come back to life. It reminds me of this one time when me and Keith were out in the woods running from a bear after Keith poked it with a stick and Keith got it in his head that the best thing to do would be to… What was I talking about?

Anyways, we barely get away from that mall and those damned freaky zombies when we gotta deal with this mess.  I 'spose it wasn't all bad as we met up with some other folks that survived this horrible ordeal, and I think Ro kinda likes that one biker guy the way they were going on about mountains or sumthin'.  They pointed us in the right direction - and all the zombies that were along the damn way - and we were makin' purty good progress when we came across a wedding reception. Must have been some party, man… you know, until the zombies ate all their brains. I could hardly believe it when I saw that the bride had been turned into one of those witches. Poor girl, probably never expected to spend her wedding night like this.

I thought we was just going to right through, but then I saw the sweetest thing I've seen in this whole mess since I first laid eyes upon that blessed vehicular mobile of Jimmy's. An entire loud-speaker sound system, a Midnight Riders tape, and "Save Me Some Sugar (This Won't Take Long)" all cued up. How could I not press play? This was a once in a lifetime opportunity to crank that shit up like God intended. It's just too bad those undead types lost their taste in music along with the ability to think, feel, or rock. That crying bride in particular clearly wasn't fan and she was all over me. I gotta say, if I make it through all this, I don't think I'll ever be getting married, man. I'm gonna be having nightmares about that for the rest of my life.

From Ellis' Journal, Day 43

Holeee shit, man. Why couldn't someone put one of these safe rooms in the locker room of a gym, or something. I need a shower for about a week. After we escaped from that crazy-ass witch at the bulldozer, we thought we were in the clear. Oh, man… what I wouldn't give for twenty of those witches right now. The "historic under the river tour" is one of the biggest shams to be advertised since Keith told me that the only way to experience "the new Coke" was by closing my eyes and… it's not what you think.

I should have known something was up when the further we went down the stronger the smell got. There's no way a historic river would smell like that; that is not how history smells! With nowhere else to go, though, we jumped feet first into one of the biggest cesspools I've ever had the unfortunate pleasure to stand in. This wasn't like when Dave's tank on his trailer burst and leaked over the neighbor's yard. That was funny! I tried to make light of the situation, asked my brother Nick what happened to his white suit, pulled the ole "hey I found a candy bar!" gag, but inside, I was dying, man. There is only so much shit a man can take before he has to say, "nope, that's it, I ain't going to go on anymore." Course, them zombies might have had a way to motivate me into getting through it all.

If you think you know what dark is, you ain't never been in a sewer with a pack of undead brain gobblers trying to get to your head meats. I could barely see two feet in front of me and I'm pretty sure I winged Coach a couple times mistaking him for one of those Chargers (they are both built like linebackers, to be fair). I wasn't so sure Ro was gonna make it after she got pinned down by that one group, but no pack of zombies is a match for Ellis' Patented Semi-Pro League Championship Winning Backswing! If it weren't for the sewers and the thoughts that that darlin' car might be in danger from who knows what, I probably coulda spent all day clubbing zombies in the head. If only Keith could see me now...

Extract from Rochelle's Journal:

After surviving the madness that it took to regain the bridge, we met all three of the other survivors. One of them, Louis, had a pretty messed up leg... I really wonder how he'll be able to manage like that. We took the elevator down to the generator to start filling it up when all hell broke lose. Zoey, Francis, and Louis covered us while we started the mad dash for gas cans. This collecting cans crap is really starting to get old.

We split into pairs, me and Ellis and Nick and Coach. As Ellis and I were picking up a couple cans behind a house, a Charger and Hunter ambushed us with freakish timing. As I saw the Charger go for Ellis, I frantically tried to shoot it down, but before I knew it, a Hunter was ripping at my throat. It was such a long, long time before I heard the calls of Coach and Nick and their pounding footsteps. Things started going dark, but then I felt the Hunter pushed off me and Nick grabbing my hand, helping me to my feet. I guess that means I owe him one. Ellis was quiet in the corner... too quiet. Thank god there was a defibrillator in a nearby house, though who knows why. He sputtered a few times, then started breathing again. That was too damn close.

As for the rest, we managed to get all the gas cans we needed to fill the generator. A couple of Tanks showed up (I swear, they have to know when we're close to escaping), but between the seven of us we managed to kill them. As the bridge began to lower, we ran like hell to the stock car, throwing a molotov or two behind us for good measure. As Ellis put the pedal to the floor, I could hear Zoey shouting her goodbyes behind us. I wonder if we'll ever see them again... if we do, I hope it doesn't involve them trying to eat our faces.