Apocalyptia is an upcoming 2017 reboot of the original novel written by Ryan Ray Martinus Lee using the computer program Blurb. The story stars Ryan Lee alongside Ashleigh Yzerman, Caleb Meyerhoff, Taylor Williamson, Karsten Seidel, Leah Antonides, Carlie Olfert, Eric VanderZwaag, Megan Tan, Jonathan Martin Hicks, Angelica Malagon and guest star Olivia Holt as they attempt to combat the Zombie Apocalypse. The reboot changes things from the original novel, such as Ryan's love interest and the zombies being similar to those from the Dead Rising series, though they are also likened to those from the 2004 remake of Dawn of the Dead. The novel also introduces the reboot's antagonistic company, known as the Blackwatch Corporation in the story and headed by Josh Vandiermen (though he makes no appearance). Blackwatch appears to be inspired by the Umbrella Corporation from Resident Evil, as they are responsible for the outbreak and seek to prevent anyone from exposing the truth. Ryan, Ashleigh and Caleb's sisters are mentioned in the story, though their fates are not confirmed.
Main Group Edit
- Ryan Lee
- Ashleigh Yzerman
- Caleb Meyerhoff
- Taylor Williamson
- Leah Antonides
- Carlie Olfert
- Eric VanderZwaag
- Megan Tan
- Jonathan Martin Hicks
- Angelica Malagon
- Olivia Hastings Holt
Blackwatch Corporation Edit
- Josh Vandiermen (mentioned only)
- Matthew Grice
- Mark Shewfelt
- Karsten Seidel
- Sonja Marchinkow
- Danielle Yzerman (mentioned only)
- Rachel Meyerhoff (mentioned only)
- Carianne Elizabeth Lee (mentioned only)
Ryan Lee finds himself caught up in the Zombie Apocalypse, being the sole survivor in the neighborhood he lives in. After collecting his equipment (a Remington 870 shotgun and a baseball bat), Ryan leaves his house and fights his way through the dead in an attempt to escape town. The amount of zombies, however, forces him to seek cover in a townhouse, where he encounters a pair of survivors: Jonathan Martin Hicks and Carlie Olfert, who reveal that they got trapped there while scavenging for supplies after the outbreak. Ryan offers his help to them if they can help him get out of town. Desperate to get out of there too, Carlie quickly accepts his terms. Jonathan, however, suggests they not only leave town, but head up North where a safe haven for survivors has apparently been established. Ryan hesitantly agrees that it's worth investigating, and suggests they find a working ride. Together, the three manage to secure a pickup truck and escape the town. On the ride out of town, they pass a Blackwatch Corporation delivery truck that had previously carried a supply of mysterious biological chemicals into town.
The novel transitions to early evening, with Jonathan telling Ryan how they (him and Carlie) ended up traveling together. It is revealed that Carlie lost her family to the dead, and she might've ended up the same way if Jonathan hadn't shown up one afternoon. Ryan apologizes for Carlie's loss and assures her that she won't be alone anymore, stating that he and Jonathan will be there for her. It isn't long before a horde of zombies derail them from the road, forcing them to continue on foot. Against their protests, Jonathan draws the dead away, giving Ryan and Carlie an opening. The two continue through the woods while Jonathan draws the horde toward a nearby factory, where he is saved by a corporate security guard. The next day, Ryan and Carlie are exhausted from running, eventually coming into contact with a two-man search party. The strangers introduce themselves as Eric VanderZwaag and Leah Antonides, the latter concerned about their well-being. Ryan requests enough supplies to last them on the journey. Eric decides to bring them back to his camp to meet the rest of his group as well as get supplied. Upon arriving at a fortified gas station and being introduced to Eric's group, Ryan is shocked by the appearance of old friends Caleb Meyerhoff and Ashleigh Yzerman.
Sometime later, Caleb introduces Ryan to the other members of the group, consisting of Taylor Williamson, Megan Tan, Eric, Angelica Malagon, Leah, teen actress Olivia Hastings Holt and their leader Karsten Seidel. Caleb explains the story of his friendship with Ryan while Ashleigh convinces Ryan to stay with them. Carlie questions Jonathan's fate, and while Ryan is uncertain, he is convinced that Jonathan survived. Karsten offers his assistance in helping them find their friend, though he isn't willing to abandon the gas station. Olivia informs him that the gas station is not safe for them, suspecting that it won't be too long before the dead arrive. It is revealed that Karsten and Taylor are dating when Taylor is able to convince him that they could find somewhere more secure. During their time at the station, Ryan develops a friendship with Olivia and sparks something between himself and Ashleigh, while Carlie makes friends with Leah and Eric. Megan befriends Ryan and provides him with new equipment to combat the dead, while Caleb learns more about Carlie's first encounter with Ryan and the dead. Carlie's story convinces Caleb even more that it's worth searching for Jonathan. Caleb talks with Karsten about Ryan, suggesting him to be the leader their group needs, though Karsten isn't so sure yet.
Ashleigh expresses her relief to see him alive, and Ryan promises he won't leave her. Ryan informs her that he and Carlie were on their way to a rumored sanctuary for survivors. Ashleigh promptly tells him that Karsten doesn't trust it, resulting in Ryan asking her opinion. Ashleigh admits she's not sure, but she's willing to trust him. The story skips back a few hours earlier, with Jonathan fighting off the dead at a factory before a corporate security guard saves his life. Jonathan recognizes her as a member of the Blackwatch Security Service and holds her at gunpoint, accusing her of condemning thousands of innocent people to a fate worse than death. The security guard drops her weapon and introduces herself as Sonja Marchinkow, confirming his theory that Blackwatch is responsible for the outbreak. She explains that she betrayed the Corporation, stealing a sample of the virus. Jonathan doesn't trust her, but decides to give her a chance to prove herself. He asks her to help him reunite with his friends, a term that she readily accepts. In the present, Ryan approaches Karsten to talk with him about the supposed safe haven up North. Karsten expresses his distrust of the Army, believing that the Army will execute them on sight. Ryan believes that they need faith, reminding Karsten that the gas station won't last forever. Taylor interrupts their conversation, alerting them to a horde of zombies approaching from up the street. Karsten then asks Ryan about their chances, which Ryan has no answers to.
As the horde closes in, Ryan gives instructions to the other members of the group, much to Karsten's surprise. Olivia and Eric are tasked with watching the doors and windows while Taylor is sent to the roof to snipe the dead. It isn't long before the dead begin to swarm the doorway, forcing Ryan to join Olivia and Eric with holding the door shut. When the dead begin to penetrate the store via the boarded up windows, Olivia and Eric rush off to deal with it, leaving Ryan to struggle against the door with the zombies. Despite Taylor's sniping, the zombies eventually break through the door, forcing Ryan to fall back. In the ensuing chaos, Eric is trapped against the boarded up window when the zombies reach through and grab hold of him, and Olivia is trapped in place when a zombie grabs her ankle and keeps her from reloading her weapon. With another zombie closing in on her, Ryan chooses to help her and races toward the counter, tossing her a mag for her Magnum, allowing her to dispatch both zombies. Karsten is able to rescue Eric, though the zombies instead grab him and pull him through the window, where they then swarm him. His screams distract Taylor, leaving her vulnerable to an advanced breed of zombie, which leaps up onto the roof and tackles her. Carlie races to the roof to help her friend, while Caleb retreats out back to ready the delivery truck for escape. Ashleigh is cornered by a pair of zombies, though Ryan reacts quickly enough to save her life. More zombies pour into the store as Carlie returns from the roof with Taylor, and the remaining Survivors attempt to fight back against the relentless horde of zombies. Caleb returns after a few minutes and orders them to get to the truck, prompting the group to fully abandon the store as the zombies flood inside. Taylor, distraught by the loss of her boyfriend, is ready to allow herself to be set upon by the dead, but Caleb is unwilling to lose anymore friends to the dead and saves her life, pulling her along with him. The zombies continue their advance as the delivery truck pulls out onto the road and speeds away. As they leave, Ryan believes that he spots Karsten's reanimated form among the flood of zombies.
At the Blackwatch Research Facility in North America, Head of Research Matthew Grice is working with his team in developing new strains of the virus. However, process is slow without the original sample of the virus (which was stolen by Sonja Marchinkow when she betrayed the Corporation). However, their research has resulted in the creation of several living bioweapons, which Matthew believes might be useful later on. The facility receives a visit from the Chief of the Blackwatch Security Service, Mark Shewfelt, who has come to deliver news from the Chairman of the Corporation. According to Mark, the Chairman is concerned about their involvement in the outbreak following the betrayal of an operative. Matthew replies that the remnants of humanity will soon be wiped out, assuring Mark that they have nothing to worry about. Mark does not want to take any chances, and orders Grice to deploy the bioweapons. Meanwhile, the Survivors have set up camp on the side of the road, with Ryan thinking about his inability to prevent Karsten's death. Caleb confronts Ryan and informs him that the group has decided to name him the new leader. When asked how the decision was made, Caleb tells Ryan that Ashleigh, Olivia and Carlie supported him and his decisions, and his actions during the attack were more than enough to convince everyone. Despite his own thoughts, Ryan accepts the responsibility and officially takes charge of the group. At the same time, Jonathan and Sonja eventually arrive at the gas station, now overrun by the dead. Sonja is uncertain that anyone could've survived, while Jonathan is confident that a few could've made it. He is convinced that finding the survivors is their best chance of finding his friends. Using firecrackers to distract the dead, the two Survivors manage to pass the gas station and continue the search for Jonathan's friends.
Ryan addresses the rest of the group, apologizing for the loss of their friend but thanking them for having faith in him. He promises that he will do everything in his power to make sure they make it to the safe haven in one piece. Ashleigh puts herself behind his plan, and Carlie proposes Ashleigh become a co-leader. Caleb agrees, and Ashleigh officially becomes a leader of the group. Ryan advises everyone to get some rest before they begin the journey toward the "Safe Haven." Sometime later, Ryan talks with Caleb about his decision to take them to the safe haven, as he is beginning to wonder if Karsten had a point not to trust it. Caleb reminds Ryan that the others are willing to trust his judgement, and it is up to him whether or not they head for Safe Haven. A helicopter passing overhead draws their attention, and Eric suggests they investigate. Ryan reluctantly agrees and takes Caleb and Olivia to investigate, leaving Ashleigh in charge of the camp. The helicopter leads them to an abandoned junkyard, where they witness the chopper dropping off a few containers. Upon closer investigation, they discover that the pods belong to the Blackwatch Corporation, and the pods subsequently break open to release the creatures locked inside. The three Survivors are quickly driven back by the lizard-like creatures, though Olivia quickly stands her ground. It is revealed that Olivia is an expert of martial arts, fighting off the three bioweapons and killing two of them. Ryan is able to distract the third, leaving it open for a surprise attack from Caleb. Unbeknownst to them, their efforts are recorded by the agents aboard the helicopter before it flies away. Ryan concludes that Blackwatch must have something to do with the outbreak, and Olivia suggests they look into it later and report back to the others. Upon their return to the camp, they are surprised to find Jonathan and Sonja held at gunpoint by Ashleigh and Eric, with Carlie standing up for Jonathan. Ryan settles the conflict and expresses relief to see Jonathan is okay. Tension quickly arises when Ryan recognizes the logo on Sonja's uniform and turns his gun on her.
Jonathan quickly stands up for Sonja, telling him that she saved his life and helped him to find them. Ryan then informs them that they were just attacked by creatures deployed by Blackwatch, and Sonja suspects it was meant to be a trap for her. She explains that she worked for Blackwatch until she discovered their plan to release a virus to wipe out humanity, enabling them to rebuild the world in their image. As proof of her story, Sonja shows Ryan the vial she stole when she betrayed the company, explaining that it contains the virus responsible for everything. Ryan asks if it could be used to develop an Anti-Virus, which Sonja believes is possible with the right tools. Ryan asks the group whether they want to locate a lab where they can possibly create a cure, or continue toward the Safe Haven. Most of the group vote that the possibility of a cure is worth the risks, and Ryan welcomes Jonathan and Sonja into the fold. At a hidden camp, Mark observes the recording of the bioweapon test. After witnessing Olivia's abilities against the bioweapons, Mark realizes that these Survivors could pose a threat to their plans, and sends a report to the Corporation's CEO detailing the events. The novel returns to the Survivors, with the group making last minute preperations for the journey. Ashleigh expresses her happiness that Ryan found his way to their side and is proud to have him leading them. Ryan assures her that he won't be leaving them again after what happened, and promises that he will always be by her side. Eventually the group has gathered their belongings and they pull out onto the main street.
Sonja advises them to be ready, as she believes that Blackwatch will undoubtedly be coming after them. Ryan is confident his friends can handle anything, and expresses gratitude to Sonja for risking herself to help his friend. In doing so, Sonja has gained Ryan's trust. Megan attempts to comfort Taylor over the loss of her boyfriend, though Taylor appears lost in thought as she gazes up at the sky. The novel promptly skips back a few hours earlier, with Karsten's mutilated body lying outside the broken window as the delivery truck carrying the Survivors peels out onto the road and drives away from the overrun station. The infection enters Karsten's bloodstream and reanimates him, but not as a zombie. The reborn Karsten makes use of his superhuman abilities to escape from the horde and boards a hidden Blackwatch Corporation helicopter, from which he contacts the company headquarters to report his mission's status. He receives orders to reunite with the Survivors and continue his mission: to destroy them from within and any chance they have of discovering the truth. In the present, Caleb wakes up when the delivery truck breaks down in a mostly abandoned town called Fairfield. Ryan expresses frustration, while Ashleigh suggests they search the town for either spare parts to fix the truck or find a new ride altogether. Ryan agrees as he sees it to be their best bet at the moment. Unbeknownst to them, their movements are being tracked by one of Mark's agents. It is at this moment the Blackwatch Corporation decides to deploy Project: Nemesis.
Jonathan and Sonja enter a workshop to check a few abandoned cars for spare parts, encountering a small group of zombies they easily dispatch. As they search the workshop, Sonja expresses her feelings that she's endangering them all by staying to Jonathan, though Jonathan feels different. Their discussion is cut short when a bioweapon breaks into the workshop, this one wielding a gatling gun in hand. The two just barely manage to escape the creature, though it seems to track Sonja's movements. Realizing that she is the target, Sonja orders Jonathan to warn the others while she draws its attention. Jonathan reluctantly hurries off to find the others, only for the creature to turn its attention to him. Fortunately, Sonja attacks the creature and successfully gains its attention, allowing Jonathan to escape. Across town, Ryan investigates a grocery store in his search for either spare parts of another ride, unintentionally finding some supplies to last the next couple weeks. He soon encounters a "Super Zombie," which tracked him to the store and creeped up on him. After a brief struggle, Ryan immobilizes the zombie and is left confused by its intellect. Meanwhile, Sonja leads the creature to an abandoned complex, where she runs into Megan and Eric. The two are caught by surprise when the creature attacks, following Sonja to the complex. Megan demands to know what the creature is, but the only thing Sonja knows is that it's one of Blackwatch's creations.
- A major difference from the original novel is Ryan's love interest. In the original, Ryan was shown to have romantic feelings for Taylor. In the reboot, however, Taylor is dating Karsten Seidel, hence Ryan's romantic feelings are directed toward Ashleigh.
- The invasion of the gas station in the novel seems to be inspired by the Walker attack on the store in Episode One of Telltale's The Walking Dead video game series.
- While Mark Shewfelt appears to lead the Blackwatch Corporation's efforts throughout the reboot, it is arguably Karsten Seidel who serves as the primary antagonist, having gone undercover for Blackwatch and getting close to the Survivors to the point they don't question his loyalty and devotion. It is implied that he's been with them for such a long time that the realization of his betrayal is damaging, especially to Taylor.