They ate Eidelberg.
Dammit! Neeta thought. I was still training him.
The zombies gnawed on his abs, his fine, tanned, eight-pack abs, while he screamed and blubbered and somehow still managed to flip his surfer-blond hair stylishly over his shoulder.
Not that anyone really noticed. The zombies had more interest in his meat than his pelt. There were only eight, but that was still too many for a bunch of unwashed trainees, particularly with the idiot film crew hounding them and getting in the way.
Around Neeta, seven panicky apprentices screamed and flailed with their tools, forgetting everything she'd taught them over the past six weeks, while through their headpieces, Dave shouted directions having more to do with good drama than good tactics. One cameraman continued to film while another had abandoned his camera and fallen to his knees vomiting.
Zombies grunting, plebes screaming, someone calling for her mother...
Wait, that was Neeta--and she wasn't calling; she was apologizing. She just knew Mom was spinning in her grave.
"Fall back!" she shouted into her mike. "Roscoe, Katie--take point and keep the path clear. Everyone else, orderly retreat. Move, move, move!"
Neeta dashed to the front line, wielding her chainsaw as much to badger her students into action as to keep the zombies at bay. She kicked the kneeling cameraman with her heel.
"Come with us if you want to live!" she snarled.
"I do want to live! I do want to live!" he blubbered and dashed into the center of her retreating students.
"Help me!" Eidelberg wailed. A zombie was now pawing at his hair. Young thing, not long turned. Probably some surfer boy's dream girl once.
Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator, lunged forward with the chainsaw and severed the zombie's hands--and Eidelberg's head with it. The titanium teeth of the saw made a clean cut, but that didn't mean it wasn't messy. Gore and blood splattered her rubber hazmat suit and coated the visor of her faceplate.
Didn't slow her, of course. She let go of the saw with her right hand, swinging it to the left and removing something's arm, and wiped her visor, while still backing up. All part of the job.
Meanwhile, her plebes, finally remembering their training, had formed up in a neat diamond pattern, stepping back in rhythm. Katie and Roscoe swung their blades like paired ninjas. LaCenta and Spud kept their flamethrowers shooting out at regular intervals. Gordon on the right lunged forward low and severed one shambling undead at the knees.
"Score! OOH Rah!" he shouted, as he pulled back into formation.
On the left, Nasir's cheap Craftsman Treesplinterer 5000 shook so hard, he'd only sever something by accident. Gordon shouted for him to keep the blade up. "Remember Heisman!"
Nasir replied in what Neeta thought were Arabic curses. She made a note to learn them. There weren't enough swear words in the English language for her job.
Inside the diamond formation, the on-location film crew huddled and moved with her team. Only one cameraman remained outside.
Neeta ignored him. If Ted got brained, wasn't her problem. Guy was a lunatic, anyway, whooping and getting into the fray. Still, he had good instincts. She'd seen him skip out of the way of a flailing arm just in the nick of time, and once, he used his camera to knock a zombie off Katie before it tore her helmet off. He wore an industrial-grade protective suit and helmet, too. Reckless, but not stupid.
As the last of her trainees cleared the building, Neeta made a wide sweep with the saw, causing the horde to pull back long enough for her to jump out and slam the door. Gordon and Spud braced it shut while she reached into her pockets and pulled out a napalm bomb.
Director Dave screamed, "Stop! No, Neeta, those things are expensive."
Ted the cameraman crouched low to get a good angle as Neeta pulled the pin. Behind the faceplate, she could see him grinning encouragement. Gordon had pulled out some of his own grenades.
She shouted, "Napalm sticks to zombies!" for effect and because, well, Ted was kind of cute.