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NO MAN's LAND: the THAW - a Survival RP (IC/On Hiatus)

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Beiarusia
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NO MAN's LAND: the THAW - a Survival RP (IC/On Hiatus)

Postby Beiarusia » Thu Jan 28, 2016 6:30 pm



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Twenty-seven years.

Time cares not of our calamity.

Of our demise.

We, a mere blip within the cosmos, our rise and our fall, our history, our struggle, it means naught once all has been said and done. Human civilization stands now in ruins, a relic of times since gone pass. A monument of our former glory as the masters of this planet; a monument to the sins of the world.

The Outbreak could not be stopped.

Could not be contained.

The world as we once knew it is no more, a slate wiped clean in a global pandemic unlike anything once before seen. Millions upon millions have fallen, and the rule of mankind has effectively come to a close. This is how humanity dies, not with a bang but in quiet whisper, consumed by plague and our own inner madness.

But even in darkness there is a light.

The human will to survive, to overcome, still lingers when all else has decayed. Survivors, holdouts to a dying world, stand firm against the inevitable. These select few press onward, moving forward when so many others have already crossed over and into oblivion, and though they continue to breathe, to live, they must do so in the twilight of human existence. Every passing day is a struggle more difficult than the last and tomorrow is never guaranteed. Fate is soon approaching and their time is running out.

And what of you? Will you accept the cold embrace of the end or will you claw at every second of life? Alone or with others? And if the chance remained to right what was so horribly wrong would you take it no matter the sacrifice?

But it does not matter as first you must survive in a world no longer meant for man.

No Man’s Land.


Year 27: Day 240
March 13, 2043


Sera Tallow // Barracks A, Cheyenne Mountain Complex, Colorado

The LED was blinking. A single, angry red eye burning through the near total darkness of the room in silent judgement, its voice killed and its once glossy face rendered useless, spite having long since ruined the clock. Not that its alarm was needed. The girl was already awake. In truth she had not been to bed, having spent the night alone and lost in her own morbid thoughts. At least this time there had been no tears.

No whispers behind her back.

It was a long moment before Sera rolled from the cot, swinging her legs off the side and planting her bare feet to the cold, tiled floor, the linen bedsheet still draped across her shoulders. There was no hurry. No reason to get out of bed, so the girl lingered until she could summon the effort. Standing, she took the few steps needed to reach the door, the muted light of the hall beyond filtering in from below and acting as her guide. The light switch was on the wall. Bright light filled the room, the girl keeping her eyes shut tight until the glare no longer hurt. Greeting her was a familiar sight.

The room was small, barely large enough for even her, its walls bare and concrete. Prison cell came to mind. There was a cot on the far wall and a standing dresser on the other. That was about it. Utilitarian to a fault.

Allowing the bedsheet to fall into a pile at her feet, Sera went to dress herself, pausing to stare into the mirror on the inside of the dresser door. Not much had changed since Aspen save for the dark circles around her eyes. Her hair was longer as well, reaching down to the bottom of her neck and obscuring her left eye despite her best efforts to contain it, though in truth she had simply given up. The white tank-top, ragged and well worn, its strap sliding from her shoulder and partway down her arm, did little to hide away the stick of a figure. Her eyes, vibrant once, were now dulled. Listless. Tearing away from her reflection the girl stripped and dressed herself in something relatively clean. A white T-shirt and grey Remnant fatigue bottoms. The MARPAT jacket was left in the dresser along with everything else Sera had previously owned, including the utility bag that had been her mother’s.

Dressed, and with socks on her feet, Sera left the room and stepped into the dimly lit hall. Many more rooms lined both sides of the hallway, some in use but most empty still. A restroom and showers were at one end – which Sera made use of – while an open lobby of sorts occupied the other. The lobby branched off into various other sections, including a messhall, storage, and a rec room. A stairwell led to the upper floor and entrance to the bunker, that itself opening up into the complex proper where a road and other similar buildings could be found cutting into the mountain, many of which were locked down tight.

Not that it mattered too much. This bunker alone had more than enough supplies to last them throughout the winter, and even beyond, and the powerplant was still functioning in some diminished capacity. There was even water in the reservoir, but Sera and the others had been advised against drinking it until the filters had been checked properly. Both buildings, the power plant and the reservoir, had been inaccessible thus far. Another barracks had been broken into after some effort but largely it had been left alone for the time being. Other buildings were even more impervious to their efforts, such as those that had been of interest to Ambrose. A few military vehicles – a couple trucks, jeeps, and an APC – could also be found above on the road, abandoned and unworking, not that anyone had expected them to.

Sera entered the mess hall and helped herself to some of the rations. A simple breakfast of beans and water that was likely older than she was. After the very least there was enough power to run the microwave. Hugh had had to explain to the girl how to use it, she having never seen one in working order until now, and again having to explain things after she had put a metal fork in one evening. The lights flickered as she heated her food, the chime dinging loudly when the timer had run its course. Eating quickly, she left the soiled bowl in the large sink with all the others and made her way to the rec room. Boredom was easy to come by here in the bunker. A misfortune as the girl’s mind was prone to wander where it shouldn’t. She would much rather stick to her room but the others, Hugh especially, would worry. Being out would lessen that to some degree.

They had been in Cheyenne Mountain for maybe four months now. Sister Mary had been persuaded by the old man, Ambrose, to seek out the complex, him promising a safe place away from the winter and from those who would cause them harm. Sister Mary had agreed, so the group of runaways and defectors had made their way east to Colorado Springs, pausing long enough for Hugh and his wife, Lauren, to bury their daughter.

Aside from the blizzard their goings had been relatively easy. Sister Mary was lively and optimistic, as was Foley and the wolf cub. The zealots were more concerned about their overall safety but they too were in good spirits. Hugh and Lauren were still grieving from their loss, which was to be expected. Sera, too, had become withdrawn, she having lost everything she had ever known in a span of two weeks. Cain had been there for her though, and just that was enough to keep her afloat. He was like a brother to her. Maybe more. Sera didn’t really know how to feel about the man. It there was something then she was lost to ignorance, and he had his own reasons.

She would never find out. They were near Colorado Springs and had just set up camp inside an old gas station a few hours before when they were attacked by… something. Sera wasn’t entirely too sure. Nobody was. It had come under the cover of darkness, large and with a terrible wail unlike anything the girl had ever heard. All she could do was run. The group was scattered. An effort was made to locate the others but all they found was the remains of the horse, torn near in half and its flesh ripped from the bone.

Sera couldn’t recall much after that. She had fainted from the terrible sight only to awaken at the entrance to the complex.

Hugh and Lauren.

The old man, Ambrose.

Luke Anton.

Herself.

This was all that was left. All that had made it to the complex.

Sera stumbled into the rec room, not bothering with the lights and falling onto the nearest sofa, face down and with her arm hanging limply off the side. The room, like all the others, was concrete but with enough space to accommodate twenty people easily. Shelves, games, and other amenities had at one time been present, but most had either been taken by the previous inhabitants or lost in some other way. There was a television and movies to watch, but with the power situation there was little point in trying to get it running. Hugh had found a deck of playing cards but there had been little interest in playing games. Ambrose was too busy trying to access other parts of the complex, Anton being drawn in to help him with the task, and Lauren could barely look at Sera without some measure of dislike marring her visage. Hugh himself had learned early on that it was best to just leave Sera be. She would much rather be alone most days as it was.

This day especially.

Another year older. Such a waste for someone who wanted so much to disappear.





Tyrone Mercer // Raton, New Mexico

After Salida it had been chaos. The Vultures had come under the cover of the snowstorm and had laid waste to whatever defense the Order could put up. By the time they even knew what was happening it was already too late. A spear had been driven right into the heart of the town and it had become a free-for-all. Mercer had grabbed as many people as he could in the mass exodus. Drake. Westley and his new wife. Dean and his merry band of drunkards. They and some others had all gotten out with only the clothes on their back, and the bartender’s supply of booze.

In truth they should have died. If not by the hand of the Vultures than from mother nature. Temperatures had been well below freezing, and there was no food or ammo to share amongst themselves. Many would have simply given up if not for Mercer taking charge. He pushed them onward with little more than a hope and a prayer.

A week after and they were found by a scavenger, Striker. He hadn’t much but he helped them towards a small outpost, and from there the group made it over the border and into Raton, a sizeable town in northern New Mexico. A farming village with a well armed militia and room to spare. This was where they had waited out the winter.

And with the first thaw of spring Mercer was heading back.

“You can’t be serious.”

Mercer ignored Drake’s concerned. He finished lacing his boots and checked his gear. A double-barreled shotgun, a few extra shells, and enough food to last a couple days, more if he rationed it properly. Not the most well thought out or well prepared of plans, but he couldn’t sit back any longer. Spring was here and now was the time to head back north.

He had to know, one way or the other, if Sera had made it. A fool’s errand to be sure but he had nothing else to look forward to. She was as close to family as he was gonna get, and he owed her this much at the very least.

“Think about it.”

“I did,” Mercer said, voice rough.

“You’re gonna get killed out there,” Drake reasoned.

“So I should just forget about it?”

Mercer headed for the door but Drake stepped up to stop him. “No, just… Just think it through. You go out there and get killed and then what? If she’s out there, she’s gonna need someone to look after her. Ya can’t do that if you’re dead.”

Drake was right. Mercer didn’t admit it aloud but he was getting ahead of himself. Getting himself killed would solve nothing. If anything he’d die never knowing what came of Drew, Sera, and the others. In truth there was little chance of him finding anything. The state was massive, and months had since passed. But with some more planning… “So what do you suggest?”

“You’re the leader. Get a posse or whatever you wanna call it.”

A simple suggestion. One that Mercer would take into consideration.
Last edited by Beiarusia on Mon Feb 22, 2016 3:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Wallenburg
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Dawn in the New World

Postby Wallenburg » Thu Jan 28, 2016 7:57 pm

Christopher Garmany || 13 March 2043 || Salida, Colorado

The clouds hung low in the sky that night, gloomily scraping the treetops. You could hear them out there, the creatures, shrieking after one another, hunting food and enjoying the newly thawed ground. Their calls disturbed me beyond description. I just kept quiet and hid from the moonlight, hid from the pale face above.

It was hard to hide in that wreck of a building. The roof and walls soaked and dripped with the melting snow. Two and a half dozen winters worth of mold had died and regrown in all sorts of places. The floorboards were warped and the whole lousy shack breathed like a man running for his life. The wind tore through every open window and let in a draft that would freeze flesh to bone. And the front door had long fallen off of its hinges, and we didn’t have the tools to build a barricade to keep the creatures out. We had slid a sofa in front of the open entryway, closed all the interior doors, and hoped for the best. I had locked myself in the old bathroom, hoping to get some sleep. But the shrieks kept me up. I couldn’t shake them. They rang in my head, taunting me and teasing me. And the open doorway, the torn-up sofa that looked even older than that pathetic cabin…that’s really why the calls frightened me.

They were coming from inside.

Something crashed against the bathroom door and I scrambled for my rifle. Standing up, I could feel my heart galloping, trying to flee from the threat that croaked and snarled only a few feet behind that old wooden door. It screamed for me to follow it, far away from the cabin. But I was silent. The inhuman snarls wandered off into another part of the cabin. I hoped they were heading downstairs.

I stepped over to the window to look out onto the Colorado spring. We were stuck in the outskirts of Salida. When the winter had begun there had been a thriving citadel here. As I stood in that rotting tomb of a bathroom, I could hardly imagine that it had simply disappeared, that it could fall so quickly. There were few signs of battle--the winter and the monsters had carried away the worst of everything. Whatever scavengers had crawled through the lost town had probably cleaned it of any remaining weapons. A shell, a ghost of the settlement remained, a great mausoleum for an untold multitude of men, women, and children. And the maw of this grim graveyard hung open wide, as if to swallow me as well. It wanted me. Months had gone without a human death, and the town's ghost hungered for blood.

A scream--a human scream--called out from another room. Then there were gunshots and the horrific death screeches of a lurker. I turned to face the door again. My hand drifted over to the doorknob and silently unlocked the door. I pushed the old piece of wood aside and looked down the hall. Nothing. Stepping out, I held my rifle at the ready. I walked silently down the hall to investigate the gunshots. The door to a bedroom hung open, with the hulking body of a reaver splayed over the threshold. I called out quietly, “Hey, it’s all right, I’m coming in.”

I stepped over the dead creature and into the bedroom. A young woman with ratty brown hair stared at me, a shotgun pointed at my chest. But when she recognized me, she lowered the gun.

“Chris, thank God. Where have you been? We could have died!”

“I’m sorry, Veronica,” I said. “I panicked and had to hide in the bathroom. I hope I didn’t cause you too much trouble.”

“Well you did, ya idgit!” called out another voice, a man’s, from behind me. I turned around and saw my friend Carlos hidden under a pile of clothes in the closet, the barrel of his submachine gun sticking out toward the fallen reaver. “Ver was almost reaver food! I told you, baby, this guy doesn’t know the first thing to surviving in the real world.”

Carlos and Ver were the only people with me now. After a few weeks of waiting on the Oklahoma border to retrieve my parents with minimal risk to our own forces and supplies, I convinced them to follow me into Colorado to complete the mission. Most of the team refused to push forward; they wanted my sister, the lieutenant, the officer. They were quite happy to wait for my parents so we could escort them back to Louisiana, but entering the heart of darkness, marching toward Denver, that was unthinkable. My parents were of little consequence to them. They pitied me, of course, but their pity would do little to save what little remained of my family. Only Carlos and Ver were willing to risk themselves to venture into the Colorado snow. Now, despite our proximity to my parents’ last known location, even they had grown weary of travel and tribulation.

I rolled my eyes at Carlos’s complaints and looked out the window. More creatures were swarming in on us. We couldn’t escape. We had to wait them out. Together we pulled the dead lurker out of the room and propped it up as best we could to block the door against further attack.

“That’ll have to do,” Ver said. “All right, lock the door and find somewhere to hide. We wait until morning. The lurkers don’t like the sunlight.”

I crawled under an old wooden desk, flicking the safety on my pistol to avoid shooting myself in my sleep. I laid there for a long time, listening to the angry wind sigh through the building. I thought about my mission. I worried that my father and mother had been in Salida when it had fallen, when the devastation that persisted outside the walls of that cabin was fresh and clung to the winter air. My parents had sent me a transmission as the winter set in, but after that I had heard nothing. Nightmares of discovering the bodies of my parents in all varieties of terrible contortions and tortured deaths plagued me in my sleep. I cannot fail, I would tell myself. I’ve put in so much effort to rescue them, I just can’t return without them. Then I would remember that my father had told me almost the exact same thing when he had gone to rescue my mother. Within a few weeks, my sister was dead. After months, nobody had returned.

These thoughts ran fearfully around in my mind as the first monsters crawled into the cabin. Their varied snarls, growls, and grunts haunted my exhausted brain and did not let me sleep. I stared up at the bottom of the desk as the creatures brushed against the walls and dug their claws through the decaying wood. The door bumped twice through the night, each time sending my heart up into the desk, and each time bringing it down, tired and exhilarated beyond its comfort. I begged silently for the monsters to go away. I knew not who or what I pleaded to, but I begged nonetheless. The infected circled through the cabin for hours.

When I woke up—I must have eventually fallen asleep out of unfathomable exhaustion—Ver was loading our few supplies and Carlos’s footsteps thudded across the roof. Light streamed in through the window. It had been daytime for a while.

“It’s about time you woke up, city boy,” teased Ver. “We were going to let you hibernate until summertime, but it looks like you are joining us after all.”

“Shut up,” I said sleepily. I looked over her and asked, “How come you’re so well-rested?”

She looked at me, her eyes twinkling with a curious sense of confusion. “What do you mean? Why wouldn’t I be?” Before I can answer, she understands my question. “Oh, the infected. I didn’t really notice them. I guess they just don’t get to me anymore. After a while, I’ve gotten used to it. Did they keep you awake?”

“I guess not, seeing as I just woke up. But…it was a rough night.”

Ver shrugged. “Sorry to hear that. Now, are you going to help us pack, or will you just sit on your ass all day?”

We left the cabin as the sun crawled through the sky to midday. The air was fresh and cold. We walked through the desolate city, silently observing each relic of the bastion that had once held out in this modest town. The walls were still largely intact, but the gates were wide open. The bandits had probably taken everything they wanted when they left; there was nothing to guard anymore. My friends and I walked into the settlement, weapons ready should an infected beast try its luck against us. But we were alone. The town was entirely dead. Even the wind seemed to lessen to an ethereal whisper as we wandered the streets.

My parents had briefly described Salida in their radio transmission, but the complexity and crude beauty of the town amazed me. They did not have what we had in New Orleans. They had no electricity to power every home. They had no farms to sustain the population. They had been neighbors to bandits and cannibals and rapists and murderers. Yet they had held out for twenty-seven years. That required strength.

“Is that a church?” asked Carlos. “Didn’t the scouts say that this was some sort of theocratic settlement?”

I stopped and turned to look down an intersection at an impressive church, situated near the center of the walled town. “Indeed it is. Perhaps it has some answers to our questions.”

We walked to the doors of the church and pushed them open. Light filtered in lightly through stained glass windows, filling the interior with a sort of dim golden light, like the golden rays of a dawn sun. The building radiated power. Not piety, not reverence, but power. That seemed odd for a place of worship, but at that time I did not know what kind of people the Salidans were. I looked over the interior thoroughly. The walls were generally clean, and in some places appeared freshly painted. The pews looked old but they were well maintained. I tried to ignore the obvious bullet holes scattered through the church, and the dull stains that spilled their ghostly pools of crimson over the floor, electing instead to continue on into the building.

I opened a door into another section of the church, some sort of complex for storing food and quartering the clergy. Ver continued to explore the main area, and Carlos was climbing some stairs to a tower. I opened a door to one of the small cells and quickly searched the room for anything useful. Apart from a few worthless odds and ends, it was empty. I entered another, and noticed a handgun. A Glock 17. I quickly took it and checked it for ammunition. The magazine was full. I tucked it in my pants and kept searching. I then continued searching, and a shirt caught my eye among the various articles on the small cot.

It was my father’s.

I took it in my hands and felt the fabric. It called to me silently, whispering comforting words in his voice. I looked out of the room into the hallway and wondered what my chances were of ever finding him or my mother. I folded the shirt up and walked out of the room.

We were on the roads again, heading east toward the wall. The sun had risen to its apex and was slowly falling through the sky back toward the far away horizon. I carried the shirt inside of my poncho, freeing my hands for the Glock. Veronica was searching buildings for spare food, and Carlos was walking alongside me, staring at her rear.

He whispered to me as Ver stopped outside a grocery store, “Hey, what do you think the chances are she’ll do me in that supermarket?”

“You’re a disgusting man, Carlos.”

“No, I’m serious. She’s a hottie, and I think she likes me. At least, she definitely isn’t into you, and I’ve been getting a lot of good vibes.”

I sighed. “Dude, just no. I don’t want to stall our plans because you want to get some—”

A pile of junk collapsed over on the side of the road, a mutt leaping from it, snarling and growling. It raced toward Ver, who was still peering through windows for supplies. I raised my gun to shoot the infected creature, but Carlos already had it in his sights and mowed it down with his weapon. Ver shouted out in surprise, drawing her weapon but relaxing as the mutt tumbled to the ground dead.

“You all right, Ver?” asked Carlos.

“Yea, yea. Oh, God.” She stared at the mutt for a while, then looked around carefully for other infected before returning to her scavenging.

Now what do you think my chances are?” he grinned enthusiastically at me.

I raised my eyebrow high. Here we were in infected territory, and he was talking about sleeping with Ver. I guess she wasn't the only one used to constantly staring into the eyes of Death. “Whatever, Carlos. Look, this is important, and I'd rather not risk your lives to find my parents. We need to be quick about this. Sex can wait. Now, we know my parents were here, but not when. And I don’t know where they went. What do you think?”

“Well, I thought they would make their way south back home, or at least try to. They’d definitely avoid Denver.”

“They weren’t in Pueblo. And that’s the most direct route.”

He shrugged. “Well…what about Colorado Springs? Isn’t there a settlement up there.”

“I don’t think so. We could check though. What is that, a two-day journey?”

“Ha! If you don’t need to sleep! Three days, city boy. And we'd need the food to get there.”

“All right then, let’s help Ver out with that. We'll stay here a while, see if we can't pick some more flesh from the bones of this crumby little town."

We waved over at Ver, joining her in searching for food as the sun crept down toward the darkening horizon. We walked into the supermarket, closing the door behind us as we began our search.
Last edited by Wallenburg on Thu Jan 28, 2016 8:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Sarejo
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Welcome to New Mexico

Postby Sarejo » Thu Jan 28, 2016 8:29 pm

Westley wiped the sweat off of his head as he took a breather from tilling the land. He leaned on his hoe, looking over the small patch of farmable land next to the river he and Lucia had been given after arriving in New Mexico. Though it was still technically winter, Westley estimated it was about 50°F outside, way hotter than Colorado, and he took a drink from his canteen to attempt and stave off the heat, but to no avail. He looked back over his work and found it to be around half done, and he decided to take a short break. He walked over to the one tree on the property and sat down. He looked up at the tree and said, “How the hell do you stand this heat? You must be one tough son of a bitch.” He tapped the tree in acknowledgement. He leaned back into the tree and began thinking about Colorado. The ungodly amount of bloodshed reminded him bitterly of the Emerald War, and remembering Salida brought back to phantom pain that plagued his absent eye. The walk with Tyrone and Drake, and a few others, was long and fluctuated from freezing cold to blisteringly hot and raiders seemed to be around every corner. But somehow all of the group has survived, and now they were in Raton. Not a shitshack, per se, but not exactly Tacoma or the Boston Westley had heard about from Hugh Garmany. Westley remembered him fondly as a good man.
Lucia walked out of the farmhouse they had about three quarters of a mile outside the town and over to the tree her husband sat under. He looked up and rose as she approached. She melted into his embrace and when they released they stood with their arms around their backs and looked over the river. Westley unconsciously rubbed her stomach, and she smiled remembering the baby they were expecting. Lucia was happy to be in a stable-looking town for once, one that didn't draw the ire of a madman, or be under the rule of a corrupt man or an insane order of warrior-priests. If there was anywhere that would seem safe to have a child, it was here. But one thing worried her. Fighting had broken out between several large factions out in the Southwest, and New Mexico's large deposits of gold, copper, zinc, and lead would draw armies for promise of both riches and to manufacture bullets. Even though he tried to not show it, Westley was concerned too, and she had once caught him sitting on the porch with his gun watching the empty horizon for any marching armies. He was obviously sharing her thoughts because she felt him tighten his hold on her slightly, as if he was trying to protect her from an unseen foe.

“Lunch is ready,” she said, finally breaking the silence, “Sandwiches with the bread from that bakery in Raton. Come inside, it's too hot out here to work.” “Only half finished..” Westley said. “You can finish it later. Now come inside and eat. You'll need your strength if you're going to fight off an army on your own.” She said, trying to make light of the situation, invoking a smile, if a weak one, from her husband. He dutifully followed his wife as she led him by the hand inside, and hung his hat on his chair and sat down to eat. Lucia retrieved two canteens of water from the cellar, and the cold water cooled Westley to the core, and the sandwich was delicious even if they didn't have much to work with. Westley chuckled to himself as his new life reminded him of living during a time called something like the Grand Depression or Great Depression or something to that effect. He would head into town tomorrow to pick up a few more goods they needed on the farm, and that week he planned to dig an irrigation trench for the crops. But that would wait. He sighed and went back out to finish plowing now that it had cooled a bit, and began raking away at the dirt.

He had just finished when a boy, no older than 17, rode up on horse, pulling to a stop just in front of Westley. “Christ David! You're going to have me killed!” Westley yelled at the reckless rider. “Sorry Mr. Turner, I didn't mean to scare you like that.” David apologized. “You have to do more than that to actually scare me, but I don't think Lucia would take very kindly to you injuring her husband,” Westley chuckled, “Now, what do you want?” He asked. “Mayor wants you. Something about some Empire or another and Mercer wanted you too. Mentioned a girl, Sera I think it was.” Sera, Westley thought, I haven't heard that name in a while. “Thank you, David.” Westley said, tossing him two .45 bullets. The boy nodded and rode off. Westley went inside to tell Lucia where he was going, and after giving her a quick kiss, saddled up their horse and rode towards town. He encountered the gates around ten minutes later, and the guard opened them to let him inside. He made a beeline for the Mayor's office, and entered inside after tying up his horse. Once he entered inside, the Mayor looked up at him. The Mayor was a middle-aged man, likely of Hispanic descent, and his accent proved such inferences. He said, “Ah, Westley, thank you for coming. Please sit down.” He gestured toward the seat in front of his desk. “Now as I'm sure you heard, fights have broken out very close to this region, and threaten to move more in this direction. And since your wife is pregnant, I was wondering if you would like to move into the city for more protection.” Westley nodded, and said, “Thank you, Rodrigo, but see, my wife doesn't much like towns. Seeing as every town we've been in has been sacked, I'm not sure she would like staying in yet another one. Now, don't get me wrong, I don't doubt you, your men, or your ability to protect this town, I'm just saying what my wife thinks.” The Mayor nodded and shrugged. “Well that was my only business with you.” He said, gesturing towards the door. Westley stood, shook the Mayor's hand, and left to find Mercer.

Westley finally caught up to Mercer walking the streets, and approached him. “Mercer, you said you wanted to speak to me about Sera?” He said once he had caught up to him.
Last edited by Sarejo on Thu Jan 28, 2016 10:33 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Beiarusia
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Beiarusia » Thu Jan 28, 2016 10:35 pm

Year 27: Day 240
March 13, 2043


Tyrone Mercer // Raton, New Mexico

Drake had been right. He usually was whenever he spoke his mind. If Mercer was gonna go running off in search of Sera then he’d need to think things through. Rushing headfirst into Colorado would get him nowhere, or possibly killed outright. He’d need help. People he could trust. Luke had disappeared after Salida and Drew was missing and possibly dead. That only left him one option for the most part.

Sarejo wrote:“Mercer, you said you wanted to speak to me about Sera?"


And just like that his one option arrived.

Mercer shook Westley’s hand, it having been a long while since they’ve seen each other. Unlike some of the others Wes and his wife were making a home for themselves here. They even had a little farmhouse somewhere outside the settlement. It was still standing all these years and simple enough to refurbish. Mercer, well, he’d been living in the hotel in town where most everyone else from Salida, or Aspen if they made it that far, had gathered. Rodrigo, the mayor of Raton, had welcomed the refugees with open arms, giving them food and a home should they wish to stay. Like Grand Junction the settlement was better off than most others, but unlike Junction the people of Raton were friendly. Not many bandits or infected in the area, and the militia was competent enough to keep anything foolish at bay. It was a good place to live, or as good a place that one would find nowadays, and Mercer couldn’t blame anyone for wishing to stay.

But he had something he had to do. He couldn’t rest easy without knowing.

“Heard about your wife. Congrats.” He paused, unsure how to go ahead with what he needed to say next. “Let’s talk in the bar. On me.”

The bar wasn’t too far from the town center, it having been exactly that back before when things were still normal. Unlike some of the other settlements the bar was rarely packed in midday, the people of Raton being to preoccupied, or too content with their lives, to waste away on drink. Not that that discouraged some from living wherever the liquor was.

Mercer led Wes to the counter where they both took a seat. Dean, the bartender from Aspen, was busy wiping a dirty glass with a, surprisingly, clean rag. Nodding to the two men he stopped what he was doing to get them their drinks. A local beer of some sort.

“I’ll get straight to the point,” Mercer began after a long drink. “I’m heading back north. Into Colorado. I need to know what happened to her. To Sera. I need to know if she’s still alive or…” His words trailed off. He took another swig of the alcohol before being able to continue. “If I go alone then I’ll be dead in a week. I know you’ve made a home here, that you have a kid on the way, but I don’t have too many people I can rely on. If Luke was here, maybe. And I know I’m asking a lot, but will you consider it?”

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Sarejo
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Father Knows Best State

Postby Sarejo » Thu Jan 28, 2016 10:47 pm

Mercer wrote:“I’ll get straight to the point, I’m heading back north. Into Colorado. I need to know what happened to her. To Sera. I need to know if she’s still alive or… If I go alone then I’ll be dead in a week. I know you’ve made a home here, that you have a kid on the way, but I don’t have too many people I can rely on. If Luke was here, maybe. And I know I’m asking a lot, but will you consider it?”


Wes nodded slowly, thinking over the offer, stroking his beard thoughtfully. He took a long drink from his glass, and finally replied, "I will most definitely think about it, Mercer. I know she's like a daughter to you. Normally I would accept with no hesitation, but Lucia is so far along I don't think she can travel, and I don't want to leave her and my child alone here. I will have to think heavily about this."
Cheers mates.

Bouncer at The Pub | T͢hę ̀E̶̛m̨pę͜ŕ̨or̀͜ h͜͝a͏s ͢Á̕ẃ̨͡ò͟k̀͜͞e͢ń | I am in the process of writing a small book. I hope you enjoy. | The infamous Duke of Autumn
To be Updated
I am a Catholic Democrat. Now that you've picked your jaw up off of the floor, carry on.

I am also a seasoned OP and Co-OP, and can help with worldbuilding, just TG me.
New Grestin wrote:Like I said, Bei's posting is really eclectic right now, which I'm assuming is school and/or work related. Or he's hiding a body. I dunno.

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Deramen
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Founded: Sep 05, 2014
Ex-Nation

Postby Deramen » Thu Jan 28, 2016 11:33 pm

Martha & Gregory|Raton, New Mexico

Gregory swiped sand off his shirt. he grumbled something about before the infection but he still walked. Martha tagged along moving slowly and gently, hoping to not get sand into her already sandy shoes. "Adventuring!" is what Gregory had called it. To her it was an excuse to go into the bright, hot, shitty desert but to him it seemed like fun. She coughed which flew dust particles into her eyes. "Gah! Why the hell did we have to do this! I liked the cold better." she yelled. Gregory turned his head and spoke sternly. "Martha! You know I hate your swearing!" Martha rolled her eyes but still continued her stroll. She looked down. her poor clothing was mismatched, green top and blue shorts with a black stripe. She very much despised the fact that she looked like a clown and wished she had a hat or shades. She looked at Gregory, the man was wearing some regular clothing for once instead of the pastor wear he found awhile ago. It actually looked better then her clothing. It was a teal shirt that said "Denver Diver!" She vaguely remembered Denver, it was a bad experience. They moved until they reached a small settlement.

There there was a sign, it read "Welcome To Raton!" which had a tiny sun with black shades next to the words. The sign looked old, very old. She shrugged off the fact and bothered Gregory. "Can we get some water? I'm so thirty!" she waved her hand over her face to signify her thirst. Gregory sighed and spoke. "Yes Martha we will get water now can you behave? We are coming into this new place and I don't want to embarrass myself." Martha shrugged and turned her attention to the buildings. There were big and small ones. and over in the distance she could see a barn-house of sorts. Gregory led her to the nearest building and checked the sign. It was a pub. He disliked drinking but hell it was the only place with drink in the name so he moved in. there he saw people drinking, what got her attention was two people were talking near the bartender. Martha focused on these men. While Gregory went up to the Bartender who was washing a small clear glass with a oddly clean cloth. She acted in auto pilot but listened closely. She made out phrases like "I’ll be dead in a week." "If Luke was here, maybe." " I know she's like a daughter to you." She could only hear so much with Gregory interrupting her thoughts every few seconds to ask about things. She noticed that she was staring at the men and oddly shuffled herself away and turned to a painting of animals playing some card game. It suddenly interested her. She hoped to god they didn't notice. She thought to herself and shook Gregory's arm, She had an idea.
Last edited by Deramen on Fri Jan 29, 2016 6:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
You can call me Dera.
INFP-T.

[violet] wrote:
Scoochi2 wrote:I'm now being offered Filipino girlfriends...

You say that like it's a bad thing.

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Seventh Oblivion
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Posts: 694
Founded: Jun 27, 2015
Ex-Nation

Postby Seventh Oblivion » Fri Jan 29, 2016 10:01 am

Mason Alexander

Year 27: Day 240
March 13, 2043.




Mason sat by a river running through the trees of a silent forest. He watched as the shadows of the trees flickered in the reflection of shimmering water of the tranquil river. Looking around, he saw nothing but Bristlecone Pinewood trees. The density of the clustered space ahead of the embankment. He groaned, desperate for something to eat. All he had was a moldy loaf of bread and an apple. He wanted to save those for later, when he could properly sit down and eat, but he wasn't here for a rest yet. Mason needed to get out of the area before the infected tracked his scent. He spotted a squirrel on the branch of a tree and jumped in shock.

"It's dinner." he whispered. The squirrel shuffled slightly across to the edge, and he knew that if he didn't act now, the little guy would scamper down the tree and into the wilderness, never to be seen again. Mason crawled up the river bank and took cover behind a rock. He waited for the squirrel to stop moving before taking out his rifle. The rifle rested against the rock as he set his scope on the small furry body up in the trees. Mason took a long, deep breath before waiting for the right moment, just in case the squirrel stayed where it was. He placed his index finger on the metal trigger and anticipated the direction of the shot. The squirrel was about 30 yards out up ahead.

He counted down in his head, backward from 3.

3... Mason watched as the squirrel idly scratched it's stomach, before returning to its original position.

2... He silently waited for the perfect time, taking another deep breath.

1... The squirrel was in the ideal place for a shot.

BANG! The bullet whizzed through the air and connected with the squirrels body, the birds perched higher up took off, causing even more noise along with the frantic squawking. All was silent. The echo of the shot had dissipated into the distance, leaving a quiet tension behind it. "Gotcha." he celebrated, punching the air. He watched as the little guy fell onto the emerald grass below. Mason trekked through the ankle-deep water of the narrow river before running the rest of the way. He had blown a clear shot through the guys small chest. He made sure to brush the bullet residue from it's fur so he wouldn't consume the lead.

"Perfect."

35 Minutes Later

Mason had hatched an idea. He'd been wondering how to setup traps for quite a while, and only knew one of them. In order to survive, climbing the trees and cloaking his scent should suffice if he kept hunting the smaller animals of the forest. He would set up the traps, run to the tree and wait for a while. When he heard the trap go off, he would run over and quickly kill the trapped animal, wasting his ammunition like that was stupid and he knew it.

This way, if the infected came through the forest, he would most likely be hiding up in the tree with his bag and his rifle, waiting for animals to become trapped in those that he was about to try and assemble. He figured this was the best way to capture and eat animals, quietly, instead of shooting them, and risking both being found and wasting meat. This would be his way for the next few months before the animal count got too low.

Mason sighed, content with his plans.
Last edited by Seventh Oblivion on Fri Jan 29, 2016 10:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
...

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Derelldia
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Founded: Aug 11, 2013
Democratic Socialists

Postby Derelldia » Fri Jan 29, 2016 11:30 am

Running, gunfire, smoke, death. Utter madness. The only way to describe that night. Helpless. The only way to describe how everyone was in that town. Even to the man who should have died that night. A helpless soul in the freezing winter he spent many years surviving. Another victim of the Vultures insatiable desire for control of the region. The fires still burned even through till the morning after. Even in a blizzard, the damage had been done. Straws drawn, and Salida got the short one. Now just an empty shell of its former self, everyone had left except scavengers and those who couldn't find themselves anywhere to go. Locust was both of those things and more.

A broken man. Another winter spent alone to add to his list. He only stayed in Colorado to cause trouble for the Vultures. They may have renamed themselves as The Dominion, but Locust saw that as a way for them to escape who they were. Locust mostly prayed on the occasional small group of soldiers from the Dominion. Taking out patrols, occasionally looting small supply caches, generally being a small thorn in the side. Yet, nothing he did felt like it gave him meaning or a sense of belonging. He didn't question it tho. He never was a man to care for where he felt he belonged. Never had a calling besides punishing the irredeemable.

He did setup a small shelter within the ruins of Salida. The blizzard stopped any fires from burning through the entire town. So he managed to find a small building to use as protection and storage from the winter. But now its Spring. The seasons have changed. Its time for a return to the harsh reality. Scavenging season is upon us.

The morning light broke in over the walls of the ruined town. Sunlight streamed in causing most of the infected to scatter and hide within the ruins as well. Luckily, Locust had purged most of the infected from the ruins. As much as this is a perfect place for a nest, now is not the time to have such a nest when the town still inhabited by mildly insane man and his guns.

Locust had emerged onto the street from his shelter. Having taken a few looks to make sure the area was clear of infected, he limp walked down towards the supermarket. A place where most of anyone would go to when looking for anything in town. Rifle in hand and revolver just sitting in his coat pocket, he opened the door to the supermarket, letting it close behind him as he limp walked further into it. It was pretty much entirely empty except for what was sitting in the furthest back area. Locust had been using it as his source of food and water while he was in the town.

Locust reacted to hearing a gun being fired. He span and looked at the doors. Seeing nobody within sight he figured it must have been his imagination. Nobody sensible would come into the town that's been leveled by the Dominion. He just shrugged and carried on with his routine. As he limp walked further into the supermarket, he began hearing other footsteps and voices echo. Just idle chatter every so often as they walked. Was definitely a group of them. Locust almost froze as he heard them. Unsure what to do. Leave, shoot, talk? All valid options here. Locust reached into his pockets to check what he had brought with him. Empty pockets, well as empty as you can get with a revolver. Poking his head out, he spotted the people. Three of them. Two males and a female. Nothing he hasn't come across before.

He set down his rifle and leaned it against the shelf. No time like now to do the usual...

"Howdy, m'amigos!" He called out from behind the shelf. He waved his hands out from the shelf before emerging from it himself. "You'll find nothing in this place. Scavenged to the bones, so it's been." He stood there staring at them through his mask. "So what brings you lot to the wonderful town of Salida?"

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Ithalian Empire
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Father Knows Best State

Postby Ithalian Empire » Fri Jan 29, 2016 2:07 pm

On the I 76, Jack Robinson.


Jack stared out across the wide open landscape that spread out before him. So incredibly different than the wide open grasslands he had just left behind him, yet it was somewhat the same. From where Jack stood the land was still relatively flat, but further west the land started to get more and more hilly till eventually it all together turned in the majestic mountains.

Jack had never actually seen real mountains. Just the big hill that made up the Wisconsin Dells and the glacial deposits that characterized the geography of much of the Midwest. And for the past three years, it was nothing but prairie lands and next high grass. Funny how such natural beauty existed in a world so filled with death and decay. Jack was not one to get all philosophical about anything, but a scene like this could turn anyone into a poet.

He adjusted where his rifle sat on his shoulder and continued walking. There was a chill in the air, not the blasting, ice winds that drove snow across the plains, but it was cold enough to send a chill though Jacks body. Jack tightened his jacket around his body.

He had heard stories from people who had traveled this way before, those that didn't try to kill him of course. They all said to stay away from Denver and Colorado Springs. Denver because of bandits and infected, Colorado Springs because of infected. But this didn't matter to Jack, he really didn't know where Colorado Springs was, and Denver was at the end of the weed-choked road he currently was walking on.

That was the problem with wandering around such a vast country seemingly at random, you never knew where you could end up at the end of any given day. It was a tiring life, and Jack was feline it leave him. The farther he traveled the harder it got, it seemed as if the universe had decided to put a timer on how long he could continue to go before something killed him.

A second problem of being alone, Jack thought to himself, was that your thought became your only company. And as much a he liked to be alone there was still something to say about human contact. At least when that contact didn't involve bullets flying and bodies dropping.

He walked for a few hours on the Interstate before turning south on a road the was in an even greater state of disrepair than the one he was walking on. He decided it would be easier to walk along the side of the road than one it. As Jack walked he came to a decision, one that would probably change his entire life. The next settled town he came across that didn't try to put a bullet in him he would stay. The traveling days were behind him. His past would be behind him. So he continued to walk, at a steady pace. Not noticing that his direction was changing to a more southwestern direction.
Eat ,Drink, and be mary, for tomorrow we die.
PRAISE THE FOUNDERS

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New Grestin
Powerbroker
 
Posts: 9500
Founded: Dec 21, 2013
Ex-Nation

Postby New Grestin » Fri Jan 29, 2016 2:53 pm

Image
Act II
Overture

Twenty First Year of the Collapse: The Reign of Emperor Roger, Holiest unto the Lord
As relayed by Jerry Carlsburg, First Historian to the Royal Court

In the earliest years of the Empire, the tribes of Denver were little more than warring factions, vying for what little control they could grasp onto. The Amazons maintained their nests in the deepest reaches of the city, capturing anyone that dared interfere. The Mole-Folk held the sewers, where they conducted vast unknown projects for their own, enigmatic machinations. The Patriots, once the boot of the Remnant scum, were now reduced to little more than roving gangs of scavengers. Bullet Farmers maintained outposts throughout the industrial zones and re-concentration camps, using their expert knowledge and engineering to construct a vast rogue empire of their own. Those outside these tribes were left to scavenge and, naturally, most would succumb to starvation and pestilence.

It was during this age of terror and death that Roger arrived. Penniless and starving, he did his best to eek out an existence in the deathly hole once called Denver. His travels eventually led him to the Bullet Farmers, whom welcomed him into their fold. He rose among them, quickly, until he was left in command of an entire regiment. However, the brutality of the first wastes brought it's fist down upon his burgeoning command. The Summer Swarms, teeming with the latest abominations from the Outlands, descended upon the city en masse. They decimated the city, killing thousands and shattering the semi-stable peace that had come to the land.

Roger, in his wisdom, saw this as an opportunity. He began a campaign across the city. All were brought into the fold, either by force or peace. The Mole-Folk, The Patriots, even the mighty Amazons fell beneath his ever-growing forces. By the Twenty Third Year of the Collapse, Emperor Roger had claimed nearly all the tribes. Yet, even with his power, he knew that consolidation and command were needed. He appointed commanders for each tribe, whom would work under him as proxies. His decisions were theirs.

He set his sights on the construction of a mighty fortress, and he found it in the ruins of Coors. Few of the Old-Worlders knew of it's true nature. Some claimed it to be used for sports, others claimed that music would be played there. Regardless of it's original nature, Coors would prove an excellent base for The Emperor.

As the sun set on the Twenty Fourth Year of the Collapse, he began work on his magnum opus, his legacy to the world.

The Wilderness, Eight Miles from Salida

"Can you make it?"

She sighed, turning her gaze from the cracked glass of the scope to Andrew. He laid on his belly, a look of vague concern on his face as she shot him a dirty look. The two laid there in the brush; insects and the sound of the billowing wind their only companionship, save for one another. The sun beat down overhead, desperately trying to break the low-cloud cover that had rolled in.

"You think I can't?"

The man shrugged, then placed the binoculars against his eyes once more. Veronica sighed. She slid back into place and zeroed the sight. Her parka seemed even heavier now. Her heart beat against the walls of her chest in a manic tempo. The rifle's wood seemed to quiver alongside her as she leveled the sight at the large stag in the clearing ahead. Majestic, almost regal looking, the creature stood in the middle of an open clearing. Exactly where the two needed it.

On her left, Andrew laid. Weeks of scruff now covered his scarred, boyish face. A canvas backpack sat awkwardly atop him, coupled with his green fatigues and vest, gave him a look of pseudo-militarization. A single, improvised SMG in hand, he watched Veronica closely. He prayed the shot would ring true; they needed to make sure their dried food could last the month. His mind swam with the potential. Sandwiches, steaks, jerky. Anything he could think of to use this beast for.

Veronica leveled the rifle on the creature, took a long, deep breath and pulled the trigger.

The beast dropped, blood spurting from the open wound on it's head. Andrew jumped up, flailing his arms in joy as he approached the creature. Veronica rolled her eyes, smiling, and followed closely behind. He hung over the creature for a moment, triumphantly.

"Holy shit. I can't believe you got it."

She slapped him across the shoulder and knelt down, trying to throw her weight under the creature. Andrew took one more moment to admire the beast, then the two lifted the carcass and started back towards camp. He sighed, seeing the familiar red hue of the campfire through the distant pine trees. They'd been out and about since late December, but only recently had they been able to find something fresh to eat. Most of the animals were either already claimed or hibernating and, while Andrew wondered what bear tasted like, he wasn't keen on finding out.

Veronica chimed in from behind.

"So, you think we'll ever catch up with them?"

"Who?"

"The Zealots, you twit."

He paused for a moment, as though the thought needed time to process. Andrew shrugged, letting his SMG rattle against his side. Even if they did, they'd just execute them anyway. That was the policy.

He wanted to chuckle at the irony.

The Empress wanted to make herself so different from Bill, yet she adopted a policy that was right up his alley. Anyone they could confirm was from Salida, especially the Order, was to be executed with extreme prejudice. He loved how she emphasized that part. Andrew had a strange admiration for the woman. She'd come out of nowhere and taken control, yet in spite of everything, she seemed alright. Everyone was well fed, everyone was treated fairly. It was even better back at home. He wore his blue armband with pride, knowing that he was serving the will of someone who actually seemed to give a shit about him, rather than some despotic warlord.

Veronica, on the other hand, felt quite different. She refused to let Andrew's naivety rub off on her. The man was blind and refused to truly see what was going on. She'd seen the executions in the beginning. She'd seen the first purges. She'd been there since the start. She cleaned up the mess that used to be the Patriot leader. Shouldering the dead stag, Veronica knew exactly what this was about. There were to be no loose ends.

Salidan survivors meant that the Order might survive, and that was a threat even greater than full insurrection.

There was one person, though, that stood out. A person that nobody had seen since the last siege in Winter.

Sasquatch.

No real name. Just a nickname. A name that had become almost a folk-tale to the slaves.

A man that Paulson desperately wanted to kill.
Outskirts of the Dominion

Randy trudged through the undergrowth, wincing quietly as the thorny bushes brushed against him. His scruffy face had become a caricature of itself; scarred with an ever enlarging beard. A cowboy hat sat atop his head, similarly shabby and accented with a large bullet hole in the top. A red bandanna hung off his neck accompanied with a respirator. The storms in Spring had an unpleasant habit of carrying fallout with them, and Randy knew cancer would keep him from his goal. A duster, peppered with bullet holes and grime, fluttered quietly behind him. Beneath laid a simple gray t-shirt and a pair of jeans; a tactical vest and shoulder holster kept them company.

Rifle in hand, Randy snuck along, trying his best to keep his body low to the ground. The rifle, with it's wooden construction and aging metal components, sat comfortably in his grip. It was an older model, manufactured in before the Collapse. If the markings and manufacturer weren't rubbed away, he might have noticed it was an M1 replication. It didn't matter, though. All that mattered, at least to him, was that it fired bullets and said bullets hit things. It had accomplished those simple requirement with flying colors.

He pressed himself against a tree. Footsteps in the distance knocked his heart into overdrive. It thudded in his chest like a cannon. He wasn't that far from the highway, not even a few miles from the outskirts of the Dominion. How had someone found him? Did she know? She must have thought he was dead, right? The thoughts flew through his head at light speed, each one steadily ratcheting up his anxiety. He peeked his head out to find the origin of the footsteps.

A dying, sickly Lurker. It wandered around in circles, a thin strand of drool hanging from it's quivering maw. He could see the disgusting form of the beast; it's veins beneath it's gaunt and sickly skin, even it's bloodshot eyes buried in it's hairless head. He sighed, then stepped out. The creature turned to him and moaned, quietly. It raised it's arms and stepped forward, stumbling over bushes and rocks before Randy unceremoniously cracked the butt of the rifle against it's neck. It snapped like a twig. The creature collapsed and twitched for a few moments, then it was over.

Randy sighed. He couldn't even enjoy this kind of thing anymore. Ever since Salida-

The name made him shiver. Memories dredged up from that awful day. He swallowed them down and let the thought continue.

Ever since Salida, he couldn't stomach killing anymore. He could barely even handle the sight of blood now, let alone the unspeakable horrors that woman had unleashed on that city. He tried to focus on moving forwards, but the past always seemed to tighten it's grip when he did. He should never have helped her escape Denver. Then again, how could he have known? He could have never seen this possibility. Nobody could. No one could have anticipated the Dominion's rise. Denver was being picked clean of the infected, even as he trudged along towards the freeway. The scent of burnt bodies could be smelt for miles around the city.

Pushing aside a crumpled thorn-bush, Randy's eyes finally met that wretched place.

Coors was even more noticeable than before. Fires were peppered throughout the city, plumes of dark smoke rising into the air that could be seen in towns miles away. The towns that hadn't been raided or destroyed during the Winter, that is. The area had been practically depopulated of it's original inhabitants; replaced with scavengers and scavvers and the Summer Infected. All of which were just as detrimental to one's health as the ashen fallout storms.

At least it's not out East, Randy mused.

He stepped over the railing of the highway and onto the warm pavement, checking up and down the road for any wandering infected, or heaven forbid, human beings.

He found none.

A sigh of relief escaped his lips and Randy let his unease escape him. He watched the fires crackle in the Dominion and steeled himself for what was to come. The Empress would pay for her sins, as would her newfound empire. He could hear the screams of Salida, of Aspen and Junction, in the back of his mind.

They screamed for revenge.
The Dominion of Denver | Coors

The water rippled, quietly, as Jen laid back, letting her head rest against the nearby wall. A deep breath escaped her lungs as she sat there, up to her neck in water. It was oddly relaxing, given the status of affairs outside. Every so often she could hear the familiar report of a gunshot. A scream, perhaps, but not always. The Enforcers had been sweeping Coors for any signs of dissent since she'd returned from Elitch, when the Patriots had once again attempted their coup d'etat.

She sighed.

It was an action that further secured their fate in her mind. The other tribes had fallen into line once she outlined her plans, and within a matter of months, the Dominion was becoming a major economic force. It wasn't entirely her plan, of course. One thing that Bill hadn't understood was the value of advisers.

She had surrounded herself with all the intelligence and wit the Dominion had to offer. Each kept in line with a combination of incentive and fear. Success would ensure that their infractions could be forgiven, while failure could result in Draconian measures. The same standards had been applied to the military as well, which had swelled since a mandatory draft was instituted. They patrolled the streets of the city's slums, now moved to the former arena, day and night. Crackdowns were regular and frequent and though the drug market was growing, The Party kept it under wraps that more than half the product in the city was theirs.

That kind of thing was bad PR, she mused, a slight grin coming over face.

It didn't matter who was profiting, as long as they got their cut.

Outposts were established outside the city, allowing her to reach out beyond her city, influencing the surrounding towns with fear and money. Most had been allowed, even encouraged to rebuild, with a minor string attached. Most of the nearby mayors were puppets. If she needed people exported to the city for the slave-trade, then the town police would ensure they'd quietly disappear for the right price and coercion. Everyone was profiting from her command, yet they also couldn't shake their pants-shitting fear when she actually entered the room. Jen planted her head behind her hands.

If one could ignore the massacres and crackdowns and constant state of fear, life in the Dominion wasn't all that bad. One just had to make sure they were on the good side of the Council.

"Miss Paulson?"

Her eyes flicked open, quickly swiveling towards the man in the doorway. He held a small clipboard, coupled with a few sheets on homemade paper. A dull blue cloth band was strapped tightly on his upper arm; a high-ranking Party member. Jen sighed, raising her head to meet the man.

"Yes?"

He flipped through the papers, taking a moment to scratch his bald head. He was clad in a light jacket and cargo pants, along with a bandolier across his chest. She hadn't yet instituted a dress code; something she was beginning to regret forgetting.

The man gave a quiet "aah" as he found the right page.

"The most recent reports from the Southern Expedition. They relayed that the Khan of Albuquerque is willing to organize trade routes. The Expedition wants to know how to proceed."

She sighed, frustrated. Part of her wished they hadn't found anything, or that maybe the Khan would just use their skulls as cups or something. He was being distressingly amiable and that made her distressingly nervous. She'd never seen the gangs in New Mexico, but the tales she'd heard her father tell gave her reason to be worried.

Especially if the Khans still used motorbikes.

Jen rose out from the water, barely even caring that the Adviser was still standing there. Admittedly, though, the man found it rather distracting. She wasn't terribly attractive, but she wasn't difficult to look at. Jen sat in the dead middle of mediocrity, yet he couldn't exactly tell her that.

The Adviser wasn't terribly excited by the prospect of telling the Empress that her body was "just average", especially since he valued his continued survival.

She quickly dried herself and threw on something decent, in this instance a pair of jeans and a long-sleeved shirt, accented with a light forest-colored jacket. Not much point in looking regal for this kind of business, she mused as she threw on a pair of boots.

The throne room had been completely refinished. All of Bill's tacky constructions were ripped from their nest and sold off to the other tribes. Jen preferred a more utilitarian look. A few of the older paintings still remained here and there, but she had taken to converting the throne room into a meeting chamber for the Council. A large gray table now sat in the middle, depopulated and empty as the pair passed it and entered a small room.

Piles of radio equipment laid about like an enthusiast's wet-dream, with a few Party members moving to and fro throughout the mess. Jen pushed past them to the radio in the back, tailed closely by the Adviser.

At the radio, the man quivered a bit as the Empress approached. For the briefest moment, he feared he'd be killed or, worse, his family killed. Then, without even a semblance of anger, the Empress motioned for the radio headset. He nodded nervously and handed it to her, trying to still his shaking hands.

She spoke, taking on a tone of loose authority.

"This is Denver 1, requesting Goddard 2, please respond."

There was a long, uncomfortable pause. It seemed as though the whole room had gone deathly silent as Jen's breath caught in her throat. Please respond, she thought. For the love of god, just respond.

"Uh, Goddard 2, responding to Denver 1, over."

Well, at least we can mark that off the to-do list for a moment. She smiled, giving the Adviser a thumbs-up. Then, brushing her unkempt auburn hair from her face, Jen spoke again.

"Goddard 2, your orders stand. Provide the target with the proposition and report back immediately. Over."

Another pause, another nervous twitch from the radio operator.

"Roger that, Denver 1. Goddard 2 out."

Let's hope the Khan's willing to compromise, Jen mused, letting her smile fade as she rose from the radio desk.
Let’s not dwell on our corpse strewn past. Let’s celebrate our corpse strewn future!
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The Nameless Wayfarer
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Founded: Oct 26, 2015
Ex-Nation

Dreams of Spring

Postby The Nameless Wayfarer » Fri Jan 29, 2016 4:40 pm

Year 27: Day 240
March 13, 2043


Wolfgang Magnusson // Lathrop Park, Colorado

Four silhouettes meandered their way down an abandoned country road, the dawn following close behind them, throwing red spears at their backs. The path had been left to wither years ago by its creators, and now, mother nature struggled to begin its voracious reclamation. The cracked concrete, now the color of faded stone, gave way to sparse patches of sickly grass. The shrubbery was of hardy stock, proven by its ability to claw through the layers of frost that caked the ground and reach the nutrient rich rays of the heavens above. It was an impressive feat; albeit a minuscule and easily unnoticeable one. Despite the weather bringing what seemed to be an eternal winter, the flora still prevailed and burst forth from the ice, signaling the coming of a spring long over due.

Mother nature was a creature of brutal efficiency, for nothing could stand in her way of progress. She was a wickedly comedic thing, demonstrating that even if humanity's dominion over Earth ended in a storm of nuclear fire, her greenery would still be victorious. The plants, the animals, they would all come back - just in different shapes, sizes, and colors. No matter how tenaciously mankind tried to fight it, the instinct of Earth was to change; and it would change, with or without them.

One figure trudged ahead of his fellow travelers at a rather steady pace. A titanic figure, one that stood nearly six feet and five inches in height, cast a lengthy shadow across the crimson speckled snow that lay behind of him. The man, whose visage was covered by a gas mask and a worn and wrinkled hood, was built like a mighty oak tree – a beautiful, indomitable thing from a world years before his time – tall and sturdy, and he projected nearly as large of an umbra.

He walked on, accompanied by nothing but his fading shadow. The apparition of his towering, lean frame was set against the bloody backdrop of the morning's horizon. The rising sun, made of a bright mixture of reds and oranges, filled the sky. It was a remarkable vista, one worthy of a painting. The man began to feel the road's remains crumble away and drift into the icy soil beneath. His rhythmic steps formed a harsh cadence as his brown combat boots, now faded and smudged with various types of debris and dried blood, crushed the melting earth underfoot. The noises of his march echoed throughout the still air of the woods; air that had been filled with the cry of a wounded animal just minutes prior. Now, all was quiet, save for the occasional howling gust of wind and the soft noise of the giant’s short trek through the sea of shallow white powder.

A crisp breeze pushed through the ashen grey trees, sending what little leaves they had on them off and into destinations unknown. The cold air nipped at the titan's skin as he pulled his hood tightly around his head and wiped off his gas mask's fogged lenses. Silently, he stopped his incessant slog through the decaying timberlands and paused to gaze up at the hazy sun.

He let out a fatigued sigh, his exhalation sending wisps into the frigid air, before he muttered, "I told you not to drag the deer, lad."

The voice of an adolescent sounded behind him, filled with embarrassment, "I - I'm sorry... it's... it's just too heavy."

The masqueraded man slowly turned on his heel to face the youngest of his three companions, "Is it, now?"

With a gulp, the boy replied, "Yeah."

"He's been lugging that thing for six miles, Wolf. Give him a break, will you?" Said one of their group, a man with tan skin and a dark, curly beard. He reached over to seize the doe's corpse, as he intended to carry it the rest of their journey.

"No," barked their leader, Wolfgang Magnusson, from behind his shroud. His towering form trudged forward and grasped the man's wrist brotherly yet firmly. He peered down at the youth, "You need to learn strength to endure this world, kid - and pain can be one of life's greatest teachers."

The boy bowed his head in defeat and tugged at the beast's lifeless body until it was over his shoulders. With that, he advanced down the path with the group's fourth traveller by his side, making idle conversation under the heavy yoke of their kill.

The bearded fellow, his face traced with a hint of disgust, silently mouthed his displeasure.

Wolfgang turned away from his accusing glare and stared off at the ruins of what once was a township in the distance. "You can go ahead and accuse of me of being too harsh, Louis; we're living in what used to be a free country, after all."

"He's only twelve years old, Wolf. He lost his parents back in Salida - don't you think he's suffered enough?"

Magnusson whipped around to meet the latter's eyes. He growled like an enraged carnivore as he spoke, causing Louis to shrink back in surprise, "You think I want him to suffer, Louis? Is that it?"

Wolfgang continued, "When the Dominion shows up, I don't want to him to suffer - I want him to have a fighting chance! I want him to have the opportunity to maim every single one of those murderers. I want him to not be forced to hide in the corner; to sit idly by while those depraved fuckers raze everything he knows and everything he loves."

Louis, with his eyes shut, shook his head and grasped Wolfgang's right shoulder tightly. He murmured, "I'll never forget what you did for us after Salida. You're a good man, Magnusson... just promise me you'll stay that way."

Louis jogged down the hill, determined to catch up with the others, as Wolfgang followed him at a much slower pace. The trees gave way to a plain of rolling hills, dotted by crumbling ruins of the old world. Smokestacks, created by the cooking fires of their new inhabitants, crawled up into the open air, as the clouds slowly gave way to a blue sky.

Finally, he saw the gates of Walsenburg in the distance.
The Nameless Wayfarer: I write, I drink tea... and that's about it, actually.

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Deramen
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Ex-Nation

Postby Deramen » Fri Jan 29, 2016 6:41 pm

Gregory & Martha|Raton, New Mexico

Martha moved quickly and silently. She told Gregory she had to go to the bathroom but it was an excuse. While he was busy talking to the Bartender she moved over to the nearest booth. A man wearing white robes, White ski pants and white boots was the unlucky target. She rushed to the man and plopped her baggy self into the booth. She picked up what she thought was a menu and waved it above her face. She gulped and lowered the smooth paper slightly, just enough for her to see him. The mans hair was rigid and solid. She saw that the man was older by a few years, young but with more experience then she ever had. She blushed ever so slightly. "Hey.... Dude? Whats your name? Mines Martha. Thanks for the help, I uh needed to get away from something. If two guys or a old looking dude come over don't tell them its me okay? Please."
You can call me Dera.
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[violet] wrote:
Scoochi2 wrote:I'm now being offered Filipino girlfriends...

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Wallenburg
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New York Times Democracy

A Stranger in the Heart of Darkness

Postby Wallenburg » Fri Jan 29, 2016 7:31 pm

Derelldia wrote:"Howdy, m'amigos!" He called out from behind the shelf. He waved his hands out from the shelf before emerging from it himself. "You'll find nothing in this place. Scavenged to the bones, so it's been." He stood there staring at them through his mask. "So what brings you lot to the wonderful town of Salida?"

I flinched and flung my gun into firing position as the voice called out to us from within the store. My heart leaped and pounded in my chest as I scanned the room, my eyes drifting across the empty aisles. I spotted a human figure behind a beat up shelf and pointed my gun at him. "Y-you...this place is empty? Who are you?"

Carlos came up behind me and pushed the barrel of my pistol toward the floor. "My friend, calm down. Don't worry." He looked over at the masked figure and began to walk toward him. "So, you're a regular here or what? We're passing through, trying to help city boy there find his mom and pop, hopefully get in some good reaver kills while we're at it. What are you doing here?"

Carlos's tranquility amazed me. Didn't he know we were in bandit territory? I looked over at Ver and saw that she was almost as calm as he, her shotgun in her hands but pointed to the ground, as if it were a greater threat than a stranger hiding in the dark corner of the supermarket. Trying to appear more relaxed, I looked over my gun and then stuffed it into the back pocket of my pants.
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Derelldia
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Founded: Aug 11, 2013
Democratic Socialists

Postby Derelldia » Fri Jan 29, 2016 8:27 pm

Wallenburg wrote:
Derelldia wrote:"Howdy, m'amigos!" He called out from behind the shelf. He waved his hands out from the shelf before emerging from it himself. "You'll find nothing in this place. Scavenged to the bones, so it's been." He stood there staring at them through his mask. "So what brings you lot to the wonderful town of Salida?"

I flinched and flung my gun into firing position as the voice called out to us from within the store. My heart leaped and pounded in my chest as I scanned the room, my eyes drifting across the empty aisles. I spotted a human figure behind a beat up shelf and pointed my gun at him. "Y-you...this place is empty? Who are you?"

Carlos came up behind me and pushed the barrel of my pistol toward the floor. "My friend, calm down. Don't worry." He looked over at the masked figure and began to walk toward him. "So, you're a regular here or what? We're passing through, trying to help city boy there find his mom and pop, hopefully get in some good reaver kills while we're at it. What are you doing here?"

Carlos's tranquility amazed me. Didn't he know we were in bandit territory? I looked over at Ver and saw that she was almost as calm as he, her shotgun in her hands but pointed to the ground, as if it were a greater threat than a stranger hiding in the dark corner of the supermarket. Trying to appear more relaxed, I looked over my gun and then stuffed it into the back pocket of my pants.


Locust jerked his head almost horizontally as he stared at the group. "Based on that reaction, looks like I scared ya. That said, flinching gets you offed in the Dominion, or so I hear." Using his hands to bring his head back to a normal looking position, Locust eyed them all. "Passing through with enough gear to make me think you'd be a Vulture. Lucky I didn't off you when I had the chance then. But alas, I stumble onwards in an endless rambling to myself. Having a town burn down and the people slaughtered can do that to a man, that or the isolation for nature knows how long." He rambled on slowly getting into a mumble.

"ANYWAY!" He shouted, "I am here because I set up a small hut down the street. Basically, I live here." A sharp pain jumping through his leg almost causing him to stumble forwards. "Ow. Fuck me, preferably the lass. That was a pain." He muttered to himself, " Anyway, if you're looking for people, it's likely they're dead. Sorry to break it to ya, but I doubt you'd even find their corpses here." He sat down on the floor with his left leg straightened out and his hands rubbing down it. "If you are actually looking for people that is, and you're not just saying that to try and keep me for shooting ya. You don't look like bandits from around here, that or you're a very newly formed group." Slight heavy breathing as he rubbed his leg trying to soothe the pain. Eventually a small sigh of relieve as the pain went away. "And about this place being empty, it's pretty much gone. I know where there is some supplies, but that won't get you much of anywhere."

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Landenburg
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Ex-Nation

Postby Landenburg » Fri Jan 29, 2016 9:55 pm

Deramen wrote:Gregory & Martha|Raton, New Mexico

Martha moved quickly and silently. She told Gregory she had to go to the bathroom but it was an excuse. While he was busy talking to the Bartender she moved over to the nearest booth. A man wearing white robes, White ski pants and white boots was the unlucky target. She rushed to the man and plopped her baggy self into the booth. She picked up what she thought was a menu and waved it above her face. She gulped and lowered the smooth paper slightly, just enough for her to see him. The mans hair was rigid and solid. She saw that the man was older by a few years, young but with more experience then she ever had. She blushed ever so slightly. "Hey.... Dude? Whats your name? Mines Martha. Thanks for the help, I uh needed to get away from something. If two guys or a old looking dude come over don't tell them its me okay? Please."

Ishmael

Ishmael slowly sipped on his beer, enjoying the little bit of pay he had gotten from a previous caravan run. Pretty soon he'd order some food and then find a bed. Often times when he sat alone, he thought of his family and all those that died around him. Everywhere he went there was death, with little love in the world. It was a cesspool of violence and murder and he was a part of it. The world had become him as much as he had become it. Ishmael killed to survive, that much is true. Yet, he always had to see the faces of those he had killed when he didn't have anything to focus on. However, his brooding was interrupted by a girl who jumped into his booth. She picked up a menu and pretended to look through it, while starting to peek out over the top of it. She blushed, before speaking. "Hey....dude? What's your name?" Mine's Martha. Thanks for the help, I uh, needed to get away from something. If two guys or an old looking dude come over, don't tell them it's me okay? Please.". She seemed to be trying to hide from them, at least from what Ishmael could see.

"Name's Ishmael. You're interrupting my good time. Why don't you go hide at someone else's booth?" he said, scornfully looking at her.
Alas yonder woman, damn you tempt me with thy saucy bosom
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get some

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Deramen
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Founded: Sep 05, 2014
Ex-Nation

Postby Deramen » Fri Jan 29, 2016 11:24 pm

Landenburg wrote:
Deramen wrote:Gregory & Martha|Raton, New Mexico

Martha moved quickly and silently. She told Gregory she had to go to the bathroom but it was an excuse. While he was busy talking to the Bartender she moved over to the nearest booth. A man wearing white robes, White ski pants and white boots was the unlucky target. She rushed to the man and plopped her baggy self into the booth. She picked up what she thought was a menu and waved it above her face. She gulped and lowered the smooth paper slightly, just enough for her to see him. The mans hair was rigid and solid. She saw that the man was older by a few years, young but with more experience then she ever had. She blushed ever so slightly. "Hey.... Dude? Whats your name? Mines Martha. Thanks for the help, I uh needed to get away from something. If two guys or a old looking dude come over don't tell them its me okay? Please."

Ishmael

Ishmael slowly sipped on his beer, enjoying the little bit of pay he had gotten from a previous caravan run. Pretty soon he'd order some food and then find a bed. Often times when he sat alone, he thought of his family and all those that died around him. Everywhere he went there was death, with little love in the world. It was a cesspool of violence and murder and he was a part of it. The world had become him as much as he had become it. Ishmael killed to survive, that much is true. Yet, he always had to see the faces of those he had killed when he didn't have anything to focus on. However, his brooding was interrupted by a girl who jumped into his booth. She picked up a menu and pretended to look through it, while starting to peek out over the top of it. She blushed, before speaking. "Hey....dude? What's your name?" Mine's Martha. Thanks for the help, I uh, needed to get away from something. If two guys or an old looking dude come over, don't tell them it's me okay? Please.". She seemed to be trying to hide from them, at least from what Ishmael could see.

"Name's Ishmael. You're interrupting my good time. Why don't you go hide at someone else's booth?" he said, scornfully looking at her.



Martha Sighed and spoke softly. "Wow. For all you know Murderers could be after me but Nah! Your beers more important. Nice to know I picked the right booth. Screw it man." She put her head down. She had a small headache. She Grabbed her head then shook it. "Peace, i'm going to the damn bathroom Ishmael." She stood up and dropped the menu. Her hands felt oddly cold and she could her those voices again. In the heat of the moment she stood up and stumbled into a wall. She moved back then moved into the door properly. Martha blushed crimson red but still held the anger in her face. once she got in she faced the mirror. She saw that she was sweating so much. Her headache felt stronger. Martha rinsed her face, took a drink and slowly shuffled out and sat down away from Ishmael. The booth she plopped down on was empty and had no menus to hide behind. Her eyes felt like they were being poked, her skin started feeling hot. She started looking around. The Pub was almost empty with only a few people. She realized she didn't fit into the clearly older and more well dressed people but now she didn't care. The headache pounded in her head and squeezed her already weak head.

She thought for a minute and then stood up. She moved to Gregory. "Hey Greg, Can I call you Greg?" Gregory preoccupied and busy turned around. "Huh, sure. You done with all that stuff you girls do?" Martha rolled her eyes. "Yes Greg, now can we go. I hate this place." Greg nodded and they made for the door. Gregory got out while Martha followed suit. "Uh Greg? Can you see that man floating?" Martha questioned. Gregory turned to her. "What? No, Wait you can?" Martha nodded and slowly she sat down. Gregory walked into The Pub once more. He looked at all the people and called out. "Hey any of you guys Doctors!? My girl is having hallucinations!"
You can call me Dera.
INFP-T.

[violet] wrote:
Scoochi2 wrote:I'm now being offered Filipino girlfriends...

You say that like it's a bad thing.

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Ithalian Empire
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Founded: Jan 19, 2015
Father Knows Best State

Postby Ithalian Empire » Sat Jan 30, 2016 9:58 pm

Jack Robinson/Intestate 76


Still walking, still making his way to who knows where. The sun was reaching its high point, but its weak rays wouldn't warm things up much. The crunch of dead weeds under his feet and the occasional caw of a crow where the only sounds that accompanied Jack. But even with the seeming solitude he did not feel comfortable. Experience had taught him not to get to comfortable even when he thought he was alone.

At one time that would have been called paranoia, now it was called erring on the side of caution. And this place was alien to Jack. All he knew was that he was on a road that lead straight to the yawning mouth of hell itself. That was what people had said about Denver. And things like that don't change very quickly. Not in this day and age at least.

After walking for another half hour Jack notice something was odd. He listened for awhile. Than he realized that the few bird that had been around had stopped there calling. The silence was as ominous as it was tangible. If something was out there Jack decided it was best that it didn't know that he knew it was there. So he kept walking, not changing pace of direction.

Whatever it was Jack could hear it. There was two of them, Jack noticed the sound of two distinct bipedal trends. One walked with a slight limp as there was a distinct thump that came regularly. They were definitely human. Any infected would have attacked by now. And if they were human, they would be more dangerous than any animal that lived.

Now that Jack knew for certain that he was being followed he had a few options before him. He could turn around at meet his, his what? Pursuers? Taggalongs? They may not be a threat to him at all. But Jack had no guarantee of that as soon as he turned around he would be greeted with a bullet to his face.

His second option would be to duck into the tall grass that was growing on the die of the road. It wouldn't provide much cover, but some cover is always better than now cover. So that was what Jack did.

He heard the two start running. He was low to the ground, he couldn't see the road any more but could hear the two men walking around. One of them started talking.

"Were in the living hell did he go?"

"Beats me. Just jumped into the grass and disappeared."

"The little f'er knew we were following him. Damn, he had a fine rifle though."

"Yup, good looking jacket too."

At least that settled that one. These two were bandits. Jack would not feel very sorry for what he was going to do next.

"So do we follow him in?"

"You want the rifle?"

"Yeah."

"Than you first."

It was the one with the limp. Jack cringed at the sound he was making, trudging through the grass like that. The second one entered the grass. He was a little bit more careful. Jack just crouched there, keeping his position, trying to keep every muscle in his body from moving. His right hand moved into his jacket and found the cold handle of his hunting knife. He carefully pulled it out of its sheath, trying to mitigate the sound of steel on leather.

Limpy was walking straight for Jack, he could make out his outline through the long strand of grass. He was carrying some sort of rifle. It looked home made and primitive. But it looked like it could do its job with deadly accuracy.

The would be bandit was now mere feet from Jack. It was no or never. Jack popped up from his hiding spot. He took note of the surprise on Limpy's face, not that that was unexpected. Next Jack kicked out with his right leg, his foot connected with Limpy's right knee causing it to bend inward. There was the sound of snapping ligament, the bandit kneecap moved out of place. The bandit fell to the ground, letting out a cry of shock and pain. Jack want down on top of him, his knife finding a target in his adversaries exposed neck. Removing the knife Jack was welcomed by a small fountain of blood.

Limpy's friend had noticed the commotion and was running to where Jack was at. Wasting little time, Jack charged. The second man was armed with a makeshift spear. Jack was too close for the weapon to of any use. The hunting knife plunged into the man's chest.

And that was the end of that. Jack looked through the belongings of both dead men. Jack found that the bolt and most of the assembly of the makeshift gun were from the same kind of gun he carried. Jack found six 7.92x57mm FMG rounds in one of his pockets. The other one had nothing of use for Jack.

So Jack continued on his lonely journey. Picking a random direction to walk in. He was like a leaf in a fall wind, moving across the surface of the earth, never staying in one place for long.
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Wallenburg
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Founded: Jan 30, 2015
New York Times Democracy

Postby Wallenburg » Sat Jan 30, 2016 10:47 pm

Derelldia wrote:Locust jerked his head almost horizontally as he stared at the group. "Based on that reaction, looks like I scared ya. That said, flinching gets you offed in the Dominion, or so I hear." Using his hands to bring his head back to a normal looking position, Locust eyed them all. "Passing through with enough gear to make me think you'd be a Vulture. Lucky I didn't off you when I had the chance then. But alas, I stumble onwards in an endless rambling to myself. Having a town burn down and the people slaughtered can do that to a man, that or the isolation for nature knows how long." He rambled on slowly getting into a mumble.

"ANYWAY!" He shouted, "I am here because I set up a small hut down the street. Basically, I live here." A sharp pain jumping through his leg almost causing him to stumble forwards. "Ow. Fuck me, preferably the lass. That was a pain." He muttered to himself, " Anyway, if you're looking for people, it's likely they're dead. Sorry to break it to ya, but I doubt you'd even find their corpses here." He sat down on the floor with his left leg straightened out and his hands rubbing down it. "If you are actually looking for people that is, and you're not just saying that to try and keep me for shooting ya. You don't look like bandits from around here, that or you're a very newly formed group." Slight heavy breathing as he rubbed his leg trying to soothe the pain. Eventually a small sigh of relieve as the pain went away. "And about this place being empty, it's pretty much gone. I know where there is some supplies, but that won't get you much of anywhere."

Carlos stopped about twenty feet in front of the man. I could tell why. Whatever this town had seen, it had been particularly gruesome, and he had seen all of it. All of it. I watched his leg suspiciously. Ver had raised her shotgun slightly. Carlos had lowered his hands closer to his own weapon. Things were not going well.

"So you know where to find supplies? Would you care to share with us that information?" I asked, trying to sound confident. In reality, I had absolutely no confidence. This was my first encounter with someone beyond the walls where people hadn't started shooting, and the odds of keeping it that way looked dim. "All I can tell you is that we are not raiders or bandits of any kind. We're hoping to get to Colorado Springs, if there's a settlement there."
PROFESSIONAL CRITIC OF ALL THINGS GENSEC
There never has been, nor will there ever be, such thing as a wallenburger.
grestin went through the MKULTRA program and he has more of a free will than wallenburg does - Imperial Idaho
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True Refuge
Minister
 
Posts: 2607
Founded: Jul 14, 2015
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby True Refuge » Sat Jan 30, 2016 11:47 pm

Walsenburg, Colorado
“This is an interesting town,” commented the Evictor curiously as they made it past the stern gaze of Walsenburg’s northern perimeter guards.
“Only reason it exists is because it’s too small fry at the moment to warrant the Vultures’ resources on an attack,” said the Vagrant calmly and cynically. “Although I agree, the few defenders we’ve seen so far are in such a weird uniform.”
“Gas masks, ha. Wonder who owns Walsenburg, who came up with the idea.

“Reminds me of that Wolfgang guy from a few months back, from the expedition that basically started all this.”
"You’d think they’d wear something more practical. I can imagine it must get a little hot under them, what with their airtight seals,” added the Watcher.
“I bet there’s something this town’s doing wrong, I don’t think you’re supposed to wear it all the time, probably screws with the filter.”
“Since when were you an expert?”
“Since we started guessing, Jimothy,” the Vagrant chuckled.

The town’s outskirts, which frankly was most of the town, was cheap, one-storey houses struggling to survive against twenty seven years of weather and decay. They were the sort of cheap housing people had been living in for sixty years despite the buildings being designed to last for fifty. The sun beat down considerably harder than Salida’s blizzard weather, but it was still quite cool, the signs of the oncoming spring, wearing away the paint and colour even faster. The centre of the town was decidedly less sad and much more inhabitated. Plenty of the settlement’s citizens and refugees made their daily way around Walsenburg, filing away their days.

“Seems a little dreary, doesn’t it?” said the Watcher with an amused face.
"And boring at that. I have the urge for a drink, how about heading to a bar? Alex, you still have that bag or two of pilfered bullets with you, right?”
“The inn owner was rich. Too bad none of them match our guns. For a bar, how about heading over there?” The Watcher pointed towards a lonely sign nailed over a pre-Break light-show advertisement.
“The Den? Strange name…”
“Strange town, Silvas.”

The Walking Men opened the door to the bar, which was actually nicely furnished and didn’t have that disgusting old alcohol smell that most pubs of present day had, marking it out as probably the town’s main meeting place. The three took seats at the end of the bar, ignoring the stares from many of the other patrons. The bartender drifted towards the three strangely dressed men at the far end of the bar, only recently arrived, a couple more of the bloody refugees from Salida. Long medieval-like cloaks were draped on what could be called their fading Sunday bests, as it was clear the men's shirts and trousers had been sun-bleached to death and beyond. And yet they walk in here as if they know nothing about the town, the bartender thought. Overcoming his initial distaste, he politely asked them what they wanted.

"Have any coffee?"

The bartender gave them a curious look.

"Coffee?"
"Yes, coffee."
"Haven't had someone in quite a while who wants coffee in here."
"That's because your clientele is probably drunkards and people drowning their sorrows."

A few of the glares from the regulars intensified at this offhand remark. The bartender twitched.

“I suppose any pub has its share of heavy drinkers…”
"Well, do you have coffee?"
"Maybe I've got some beans out back, I don't know. Don't get your hopes up." The bartender disappeared into a storage room. The Watcher shook his head as his fellows smirked at him.

"Not even decent places like this serve coffee!" the Watcher exclaimed, "What am I supposed to do?"
"Start your own coffee bean farm," chuckled the Evictor, "Then you'll have all the caffeine you want."
The Vagrant joined in the mocking, adding "I'd think that after that seven years you would have let go of that, man!"

"I drank quite a lot when I was younger, alright?”
“You drank coffee before you were twelve? That’s not healthy.”
The Watcher shook his head as the other Walking Men’s smirks grew larger. “Goddamnit, why’re you mocking today?”
“To distract ourselves from what we did during Salida’s fall, of course.”
“Thanks for reminding me, guys.”



Salida, Colorado
Seventy Seven Days Ago

The guards’ compounding yells sounded like a banshee’s call to the few night-owls walking in the streets, and the cacophony carried with it the same fear and dread. The calls of “Vulture attack!” startled the guards into action even as they were torn apart by arrows and lead, and the message spread quickly as the alarm was raised, an even louder scream that caused the Walking Men to jolt awake.
“What the fuck? shouted the Evictor over the deafening sound. While he was shaking himself fully alert and awake, the Vagrant had already began taking his weapons from their organized positions on the floor.
“We’ve got to move, the Vultures are probably taking advantage of the blizzard to mount a surprise attack!”

“Shit! Where’s Alex?”

“Downstairs.”
The next few minutes were an urgent scramble for the Walking Men as they met with the Watcher, who had already pulled his revolver on the inn’s owner and collecting a bag of bullets.

“Good evening. Want to make our way out?”

Their cloaks swirled round them while the door slammed, leaving the bewildered and frightened owner to his own panic. Outside, the hysteria had already permeated every inch of Salida and its inhabitants, and so people were mindlessly running towards the exits with only a single bag with them. The Walking Men stood in the middle of the street, observing the chaos with wide eyes.
Several cracks rang out disturbingly close, and the screams of several guards deaths intensified. The Walking Men ducked into an alleyway as people ran like headless chickens away from the North Gate, which was in somewhat close proximity from the inn. The Watcher stuck his head out and focused on the distant gate.

“They’ve broken through the gate. That was ridiculously quick, I guess they paid too much for the mercs after all.”

“Better head in the other direction then.” They turned to head onto a different street, only to see a gun barrel pointed at them. The Walking Men’s hands shot up as a smile appeared on the lone bandit’s face.

“Got myself a nice catch then,” he said as his grip on the shotgun hardened, “Get myself something nice when we get back.”

The Evictor gave him a worried nod as the bandit stepped closer and gestured for him to do the same. The bandit prodded his stomach with the gun’s barrel and began frisking him. The Evictor’s capturer grinned when he felt his old .357 revolver, and the Evictor punched him in the jaw in this moment of distraction. The Vulture’s head snapped back and the carbine fired, narrowly missing the three.

The Evictor reached for the carbine, but the Vagrant yelled at him, “Leave it! We don’t have time!”

The Vultures’ advance was quick, but the Walking Men’s run was quicker, dashing through backstreets and working their way towards the West Gate, where hopefully they would be able to make a dash for the south and beyond.

At the southern gate, the sudden surge of people fleeing the disaster blocked off the gate as the few remaining guards stationed there attempted to stop people from being trampled to death. The Walking Men’s impatience built as the sounds of the battle edged closer and closer towards the gate. The Watcher massaged his forehead, while the Evictor’s face hardened, anger slowly building up. The Vagrant let his hands drift to his belt. Tensions among the crowd were starting to build too, and not before long a fist was thrown. Shouts broke out as the crowd jostled to move away or for some, join in with rapidly growing brawl.

The Walking Men unsheathed their short swords with a metallic shing, and started to push violently through the crowd. When the people, who had long since turned in their weapons to the city guards, saw their blades, they panicked. People who stood in their way were hacked at with very little of the finesse of classic swordsmen. The fear-driven surge overwhelmed the guards before they could quell the disturbance, and the Walking Men burst out of the city leaving dead and bleeding behind them. The Vultures’ bullets flew past them as they ran into the snowstorm, in the same way they did Fairview.




“Sorry, we don’t have anything to make coffee with. Too much of a delicacy round here, you know.”

“Ahh, fine. Just a bottle of water to begin with, then we might order something harder,” the Vagrant mused while placing five of the 7.62mm bullets carefully on the bar top. The bartender snatched them up and placed three glasses a large glass bottle near them.

“I’ll come back later to see if you three want anything else in a few minutes.”

The tender moved off towards another group of customers, leaving the Walking Men to their devices.

“I suppose we’ll be living here for a while, guys?”

“That’s true. Just waiting for something to happen.”
Last edited by True Refuge on Sun Jan 31, 2016 12:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Tayner
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Tayner » Sun Jan 31, 2016 1:49 am

Luke LaForge, Glenwood, Colorado


Luke sat in his shack built in the outskirts of the ruins of Glenwood, smoking a cigarette and sharpening his knife. The shack was held together by sheer luck, being built out of the rubble of the town. He had salvaged most of his valuables, including (but not limited too) his Dixie Marines Uniform, his (very) expensive trombone, his Dixie Flag, and a bottle of white wine nearly four times as old as he was, Some old French Wine from the French-Indian War that he found in an old display case in a vineyard before he set foot in Colorado. He planned to give it to Carly when he got back to Dixie.

He put out the cigarette, and sheathed his hunting knife, and grabbed his rifle. He had set up a deer blind out in the woods and his food supplies were running low, so he figured he'd bag a deer. He put on his coat and went outside. The morning sun was just rising over the horizon as he slung the rifle over his shoulder and made his way to the deer blind, which was really just some wood nailed to a tree. He climbed up the boards up onto a little platform that was nailed on top of a branch, and wrapped a rope around the tree and himself a few times to make sure he wouldn't fall. He sat the rifle in his lap and waited for a deer, or squirrel, or any living thing to wander by.

A few hours later

Having dozed off a half hour back, Luke was awoken to the sound of a twig snapping. We calmly looked around the woods, seeing a buck standing twenty yards away. He shouldered the rifle slowly to not startle the creature, and aimed right where it's heart would be.

Bang

The buck dropped to the ground, after letting out a deathly noise. LaForge dropped out of the deer blind, as he grabbed the deer by it's hind legs, and started dragging it back to Glenwood. It wasn't the largest of deer, but it was still a good kill. He would skin it back at the shack and smoke the meat and store it for later.

Ashton Malibu, Unmarked backroad, Colorado


Ashton tossed the pack on his horse's back. He didn't rider her often, but instead just threw a pack on her and walked her down the road. He didn't have a proper saddle anyways, so it didn't matter much. The past few days had been uneventful, having met few people. He had a conversation with some fellows about the area, and sold some ammo to some other guy. He gave the reign a slight tug and continued to walk along the back road. He figured with the Dominion hanging around, he would take the back roads to avoid a confrontation.

It was little after dawn, and every now and then a stray zombie would be limping on the road, only to be quickly dispatched by Ashton with a jab of his Bowie Knife. He always feared a bandit attack, but even if they managed to cap him, Ash had a dirty little surprise waiting for them. He had a small chest full of home made guns and ammunition, and one would think, Why would I buy from this guy when I could just shoot him and take his shit? Well, he had about a pound of home made plastic explosives wired to the lock on the case, so in case anyone forced it open, it would obliterate the theif and all the ordnance inside, just as a little fuck you, in case of someone trying to rob him.

He sipped from his water canteen and hummed as he walked down the road. Every now and then he would stop to piss, or to kill a zombie, but Ash and his horse who he had taken to calling 'Bo' usually kept a slow moving pace.

Enos Grey, Near Glenwood, Colorado


Enos lead his four man scouting team down the backroads, being vigilant as he moved forward down the road, with his rifle raised. Every now and then, a report of gunfire was heard off in the distance, sometimes a single shot, or short bursts. The team was originally six men, but two were killed when some raiders came down on their camp in the middle of the night a few weeks ago. They passed a rusty, sun bleached, bullet riddled street sign, that read Glenwood, 3 Miles. He pressed on, moving at a steady pace. A caravaner back down the road told him to expect nothing but ruins, so he didn't plan to stay in the old settlement long.

The Dixie Scouts had already been to the ruins of Grand Junction, Salida, and a few other minor settlements that were caught in the Vulture's warpath. The caravaner was kind enough to brief the men on what he believed the recent local history was, but news sources are believed to be mostly unreliable these days. After about twenty minutes they reached the town, not seeing much but rubble. The men combed over the ruins, when Enos noted a small shack almost concealed by the woods.

"You guys keep searching here, I'll go check something out." He said as he slowly made his way to the shack. He walked around it, finding a door that faced away from the town. This is sketch as fuck. Enos though to himself. He popped open the door, and slid into the shack, rifle raised. He quickly discovered that the single room shack was clear, but noticed signs of recent habitation. A cigarette butt put out, some embers in what would be a fire place, some trash on the table. What caught him off guard was seeing a Dixie Flag over the bed, and a slightly dirty Dixie Marines Dress Blues uniform hanging on the wall. The rank represented on the shoulder boards was Colonel. He set down his rifle and opened the drawer of a nearby night stand, and fished out a handful of Dog Tags, most likely made in Dixie.

Click Clik

The sound of a well oiled AR-15 was heard being charged behind him and the click of a safety was heard as Enos dropped the dog tags on the night stand and slowly raised his hands.

"What are you doing in my house?" A baritone of a voice boomed from behind him.

He calmly turned around and looked at the sight of man with a scruffy beard, wearing a US Marined ball cap, with an assault rifle leveled on his chest.
I have my own Discord Server now. Check it out. Or don't. Or do if you don't plan on it.

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The Nameless Wayfarer
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Ex-Nation

Postby The Nameless Wayfarer » Sun Jan 31, 2016 6:15 pm

Wolfgang Magnusson // Walsenburg, Colorado


Deep in the center of Walsenburg, a bar - one much larger than its counterpart on the other side of the settlement - catered to its patrons behind doors closed to the public. The pub, called The Den by its new denizens, was probably a popular spot for the wealthy alcoholics of Walsenburg before society's collapse. The establishment's leather-seated booths, classy paintings and its elegant maple countertops proved that this was a place reserved for the upper echelons of the town; it was hardly a haven for the drunkards of the lower class. Despite The Den being under fresh and far less prim and proper management, it still served as a place for Walsenburg's key figures to congregate. However, instead of it being a rendezvous point for small business owners and statesmen, it hosted to an eclectic gathering of marauders, technologists, agriculturalists and a handful of other post-apocalyptic influentials.

In addition to that, Walsenburg's premier bar also became the permanent residence of the city-state's de facto leader, Wolfgang Magnusson. It was a place where Magnusson and his cabinet could meet and discuss matters of importance, sealed away from the rest of the community.

Yet, today it had a group of much more unwelcome clientele.

As the Walking Men sat at the very end of the counter, ordering their respective drinks, a rather muscular woman approach them.

"I see that you're fresh off the boat, so let me put it you in simple terms - this joint isn't for bounty hunters," said the guard, as she put her hand on a rather menacing piece of firearm; a large pistol, cobbled together of mismatched parts, hung from her leather belt on a holster used by the police in days of old. She tilted his head in the direction of the door, gesturing for them to depart the bar.

Suddenly, a voice familiar to one of their group sounded out from The Den's back room.

"Well, I'll be damned. I haven't seen the likes of you for some time," it said. A figure donning a gas mask and a commander's cap stepped out from the shadows.

"I can practically smell the blood from here, Vagrant."
The Nameless Wayfarer: I write, I drink tea... and that's about it, actually.

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Mesrane
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Ex-Nation

Postby Mesrane » Sun Jan 31, 2016 9:08 pm

Year 27: Day 240
March 13th, 2043


Davis McKinnon // Hartsel, Colorado

"The plague hasn't changed this place a bit."

There was no sound save the wind in the little vale, a haunting tribute to the lives of those who had once lived in the tiny town of Hartsel.

Or was it? Hartsel hadn't ever been anything but a poor excuse for a town, even before the plague. There was nothing to it besides a gas station and a post office, both abandoned, both empty, both utterly insignificant even before T-13 had stolen life from the place.

No, much more fitting that the wind be a paean to the surrounding mountains, a declaration that they, and they alone, claimed ownership over the valley. Anyone else was a trespasser.

His cursory sweep of the town complete, Davis McKinnon lowered his M14 and regarded his traveling companion. "Agreed, Charlie. Agreed. Maybe that means there's still some useful loot here."

Charles Harris muttered a quick prayer, as he was wont to do when danger might be lurking near. It was done entirely subconsciously and without regard to who might be watching. The pastor had no need of pious motions to prove his faith to others. In Charlie's eyes, correspondence with God was not so necessary as it was simply self-evident, as instant and instinctive to him as breathing. The calloused, ebony hands that did the praying might as well be tapping idly on a desk.

His friend and long-time companion, Davis, offered up no such plea to the heavens. Davis liked to think that he believed in a higher power, but so many sweet things had turned sour in his life that he no longer believed said power had any interest in him. The blonde-haired wanderer, who's shoulder-length golden locks and piercing blue eyes put him in good company with Vikings, put in his faith in his aim and the strength of his legs. As far as he was concerned, those were the only reasons he continued to breath.

A well-practiced routine played out here as Davis and Charles swept the exterior of the gas station, pistols drawn, worn boots treading across cracked asphalt. Lacking ammunition, the M14 was useless save as a scope or a bluffing tool.

Charlie flung open the door, following Davis into the store as they rapidly cleared the aisles. There was little of note here, the bare shelves having already been picked clean by twenty-seven years of scavenging. The only thing that caught Davis's eye was a small booklet resting on the counter. He scooped it up, intensely curious.

"Ah! A road map of the state." Davis patted the booklet appreciatively. "Just what we need, even if a lot of pages are obscured by blood."

"Oh?" Charlie arched an eyebrow. "I can't imagine the previous owner met with a good end. So few people do these days." He shook his head sadly.

Davis was already moving for the door. "Not just blood, Charlie. Wet blood. Somethin' unpleasant is waiting in that post office. Keep that .44 handy now."

The pair moved rapidly out of the gas station and into the parking lot, where Davis held up his hand for quiet. After a few moments, the low moans of an infected drifted towards them from the post office. Simply put, it was a terrible sound. It indicated that death had occurred there not too long ago, and portended the end of anyone who didn't tread carefully.

Davis was so tired of that sound. So many people had worked to get away from it forever, and too many friends had been lost to it.

He swung open the door and stepped inside the gloomy post office. The moans grew louder and more aggravated. It sees me.

The ranger brought his .45 up as the thing stepped out from behind a counter. Two shots went off, and the creature that had once been a human being dropped dead, its brains splattered out across the floor. "Hey Charlie, why don't y-." Davis was slammed to the floor by a screaming, clawing, grasping thing. He barely had time to process that there was a second infected in the building before the creature's jaw was closing a hairsbreadth from his ear.

Davis tried to pull away, tried to reach for his machete, but the infected was too close and too heavy. It took all his strength and focus to pin its head back and avoid the hungry jaws.

Suddenly, swiftly, the weight of the infected was lifted from him and carried halfway across the room. Davis saw steel rise and fall in quick succession as the infected was put down. A moment later, Charlie's smooth bearded face appeared above him. The pastor offered the ranger his arm, and Davis gladly took it. "That has to be what, number six, seven now?"

Charlie chuckled. "Eight, probably. It don't matter. You'd do the same for me, and have, twice as many times." He glanced out the window at the steadily sinking sun. "Not much daylight left. C'mon, let's get a fire going."

* * * *


The two exhausted travelers huddled around the fire, Charlie buried in his Bible, Davis lost in the new road map. "If we keep heading east up Highway 24 we'll hit Colorado Springs in a couple days," Davis remarked.

"Gonna be dangerous."

"No more than Bismarck or Sioux Falls was. There used to be a big military presence there. I think the loot'll be worth it."

"Mhmm." Charlie shut his Bible. He stared into the flames, suddenly reflective. A traveler they had encountered on the road a few days before came to the forefront of his mind. The poor man had been limping along on one leg and a crutch, with nothing but a knife and the clothes on his back, intent on getting out of Colorado. They hadn't gotten much out of him, mostly because it had taken a good twenty minutes to convince him they weren't going to rob him. After that, all his rambling, raving speech had indicated was that a large group of raiders had torched a number of towns in the state, including Salida and Grand Junction. The why and how were not forthcoming, and eventually the man had scrambled away, desperate to get out. Charlie hoped the Lord was watching over him, but had a sinking feeling such a broken individual was probably dead at this point.

All they knew was that some great upheaval had occurred here not too long ago, and that perhaps it wasn't going to be quite as safe as they had first thought. That they would have to tread carefully went without saying.

Davis began organizing the loot taken from the unfortunate traveler who had slept his last night here. Before being bitten and thus infected, they had left behind a rusty hatchet and no fewer than six 7.62 rounds, which actually made Davis's M14 more than a scope. As the former Montana ranger loaded his rifle, he stared at Charlie's Bible, suddenly curious. "Read me a verse, Charlie."

That caught Charles Harris by surprise, and not many things did anymore. "I thought you said God wasn't interested in you a couple months back."

"He still ain't, but his book seems to work for you, and a good word from a minister might make him reconsider."

Charlie suppressed a rising chuckle and obliged his friend, opening his Bible to the Book of Matthew, having verses in mind already. "Matthew 24, 6-14." He cleared his throat, and for a moment there was no sound in the post office but the crackling flames. " 'And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are but the beginning of the birth pains.'

" 'Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name's sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come'." That done, Charlie shut closed his Bible and put it aside.

The look on Davis's face was not unlike that of many children who Charlie had read to in any number of settlements in the Midwest. It was full of wonderment, yet also hopeless confusion. "End? End of what? The hell was that about?"

This time, Charlie did laugh. "Well, in this day and age, I believe the 'end' the verse refers to is most applicable to war."

"So when everyone accepts the gospel, war will end? Your God can do that?"

Charlie shrugged. "I don't know, and yes, in that order. God does amazing things when he works through us, but believing that he will requires enormous faith, which most people don't have in a time where simple survival is paramount."

Laying back on his mat, Davis began to sharpen his machete while gazing guardingly past the flames and out the window into the night, where he knew death and danger lurked. "War doesn't end, Charlie. War doesn't change. It ends people and it changes whoever survives. And then, if you're caught up in it too long, it whittles you down until the only thing you can possibly do anymore is fight another one."

After that, even the flames died, and there was no sound in the night but the ring-ring-ring of steel on stone.
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Beiarusia
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Beiarusia » Sun Jan 31, 2016 11:21 pm

Sarejo wrote:...


Year 27: Day 240
March 13, 2043


Tyrone Mercer // Raton, New Mexico

He had expected as much. Westley had settled down; was about to start a family. To ask him to leave on some fool’s errand was more than presumptuous. Wes had fought long and hard for his peace, for a future worth having, and Mercer owed him that right at the very least.

“Thought I’d ask,” Mercer intoned, taking another long swig of the beer. It was bitter. Strong, but without any flavor aside from that of dishwater. Local brew. “I’m still heading out. I can’t sit around and not know for sure. You do me a favor and take good care of that kid. Not too many good things in this world, so make sure this is one of them.”

That was it then. Mercer was on his own. Sure, there were a few others in town that he could bother to ask, but none of them he knew, or trusted, as much as Wes, and even then the two had only just met rather recently. But after Aspen, after Junction and Salida, after the Order and the Vultures, the two may as well have known each other for years. Regardless, Mercer wasn’t about to give up now. He couldn’t. He’d continue on as planned, and he’d either come back with Sera or he wouldn’t come back at all. Until he knew, one way or the other, Mercer would just keep on searching. What more was there to do.

Downing the remainder of the beer, Mercer was about to bid Westley farewell when a man slid into the seat beside him. A familiar, grizzled face with bright eyes and a dark, neatly trimmed beard, a large coat and cargo pants with the bottoms tucked into his boots. A scavenger.

“Think I heard mention of going back north,” said Striker, the very man that had found them all in Colorado only two months before. He leaned in close, not giving Mercer the chance to answer. “I’m heading that way myself. Getting a crew together for a big score. Tell me, have either of you ever heard of Cheyenne Mountain? Big military complex near Colorado Springs. American, and then Remnants after that. Word is there’s a lot of tech to be found there. Figured if you’re heading up that way then why not tag along. Kill two birds with one stone.”

“Colorado Springs is a death trap,” Mercer said. But wasn’t all of Colorado? Striker had already saved their skins once before. He could be trusted, and if he was heading north then why not tag long until the need to split ways came about. “How many you got?”

“Two if you say yes. Was gonna make a posting later today. See if anybody wants to make it rich." Striker glanced over to Westley."What about you, Wes was it? More than enough to go around. Wanna make it three?”

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True Refuge
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby True Refuge » Mon Feb 01, 2016 12:40 am

The Nameless Wayfarer wrote:"I see that you're fresh off the boat, so let me put it you in simple terms - this joint isn't for bounty hunters," said the guard, as she put her hand on a rather menacing piece of firearm; a large pistol, cobbled together of mismatched parts, hung from her leather belt on a holster used by the police in days of old. She tilted his head in the direction of the door, gesturing for them to depart the bar.

“Bounty hunters?” the Evictor said in a stressed tone. “How the fuck did people start thinking we were bounty hunters?”

“That’s sad,” the Watcher, “Legend goes from bandit hunters to something completely different. Word of mouth, goddamnit.”

The Vagrant swirled to face the bouncer and said calmly, “Going to shoot a man simply for sitting somewhere they shouldn’t? I like this town’s laws.”
Suddenly, a voice familiar to one of their group sounded out from The Den's back room.

"Well, I'll be damned. I haven't seen the likes of you for some time," it said. A figure donning a gas mask and a commander's cap stepped out from the shadows.

"I can practically smell the blood from here, Vagrant."

The Vagrant’s attention completely forgot the woman and he smiled towards the figure. “Wolfgang! You sound different from all the way back on the expedition and I guess you don’t look like the lumbering maniac who slayed the Brute!”

The other Walking Men followed the Vagrant’s attention.
“That’s Wolf? Seems slightly different from how you described him, man…” the Watcher muttered.
The Vagrant continued in the same cheery manner as he stood and walked towards the heavily clad Wolf, “It has been a while. I don’t think I saw you since the expedition split up after the Vultures captured half of us… What have you been up to? Oh, and yes, I'm considerably less edgy now, the muteness thing was a remnant from a childhood trauma all the way back during the Break. A good change, I'd say.”

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New Grestin
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Ex-Nation

Postby New Grestin » Mon Feb 01, 2016 1:31 am

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Act II
Chapter 1
All along the Watchtower

Outside Salida, Colorado

The city had been reduced to nearly ashes. Skulls and bones littered the streets. With a keen nose, one could still smell the lingering scent of rotted human flesh. Travelers from miles around still avoided the city, both for this and for the same reason that the sniper was there for. It was a designated "no-entry" zone. Not that they felt like telling anyone this until they actually shot them.

It looked better on the report if they said that the occasional bandit or refugee pulled a gun.

She sat there, nursing a roll-up cigarette. A head of dirty blond hair rand down her back. There wasn't much need to tie it down anyway. Just more work for someone that already did enough work as it was.

Hours were spent at her rifle, watching the ruins from the window of the church. She was clad in a tank-top and cargo pants, dirtied and accompanied with a baseball cap on her head. Boxes of ammo laid around her, mingling with the spent ammo cases in an orgy of disorganization. Cans of dried food were mixed into the ever-swelling din of garbage. There were other snipers too, but the schedule had a gap inbetween shifts, leaving her to monitor the city alone.

Not that it bothered her. She preferred the quiet, serene nature of the ruins to her friend's radio chatter.

Movement caught her eye; she snubbed the cigarette out and took up the rifle, nestled neatly on the windowsill with a bipod. Four people, roughly, were milling about in a supermarket. The shot was difficult, to say the least. With a frustrated sigh, she snatched up her radio and cranked it to life.

"Anybody got eyes on the supermarket?"

Nothing but static responded. She sighed. Of course everyone else was asleep. Eighteen hour shifts had a habit of doing that.

She let the group talk, then leveled the sight on the group, finally settling on the woman's head. She hated this part of the job, but if she intended to stay alive, the bullets needed to keep flowing. Her eyes briefly flicked to the windowsill, finding the scratches up and down it's length.

There were at least two dozen.

She took a deep breath and squeezed the trigger.

Now it was time for number twenty five.
Coors, Dominion of Denver

"Now, look, I'm not saying that we should hold off on it, but the attacks are getting worse."

The words hung in the air like smoke as the rest of the Council sat, quietly. Miller, a small man in a heavy coat, sat nervously. The Administrator of the Law, he was a quiet man with black, scraggly hair and a shriveled beard. Around him was a mix of all that Denver could offer. Some looked like businessmen and women, others looked more like the same wasteland rif-raf they'd spent months learning to control. The dichotomy amused him immensely. A cigarette shook in his hand as the others watched him. Commanders of the other tribes, advisers and Empress herself sat in silence for a moment before he continued.

"I mean, I can't be the only one thinking we're being too harsh. I've lost three officers in the last week from these assholes."

Another voice, feminine, rose from the Amazon commander. Tall and stocky, she sat in her tribal wear with her dark hair in a tight bun. Tattoos covered up and down her exposed arms. Adriana was her name, if he recalled correctly. Her vest was peppered with pockets and bandoliers, a machete clinking at her side. Jen's paranoia knew few bounds, and those bounds included weapons around her. If one wasn't trusted, their weapons were taken. Adriana was trusted, though not for the reasons Miller thought.

"It's not the harshness. They're terrorists. They'll cause trouble if we're harsh or not."

Jen sighed. She sat at the head of the table, clad in a black dress. She didn't hate the look. If anything, it made her look like something out of the Victorian era. She still couldn't help but wonder why Bill kept one of these sitting around, but she didn't want to think about that too hard. Cleaning out the "fuck room", as it had been nicknamed, had been enough nightmares for one lifetime.

She hated the meetings themselves more than anything. Dealing with other people was the worst part of the job. The power, the control, that was enjoyable. The bureaucracy that her role needed to not implode was not. She spoke up, trying her best to maintain a cool, authoritative tone.

"The crackdowns will continue until the resistance is quashed. If we let our guard down, even for a moment, they'll gain the advantage."

She paused, snatching her glass from the table and downing the scotch within. The burning liquid soothed her frustrations for a moment.

"We've already killed dozens of the bastards. We've been dumping them by the bushel since the liberation."

"Yes, Madam, but if-"

She cut him off with little more than a glance. He knew exactly what that meant.

"If the situation becomes worse, then we will adjust the plans. For now, we stay the course. Are there any other propositions?"

Naturally, there were none.

"Good, then we'll reconvene tomorrow to discuss the situation in New Mexico."
Jen stood and mused over the mountains of literature that populated her personal quarters. Piles of books laid about with barely a semblance of organization. Nietzsche and Tolstoy mingled with Freud and Lovecraft as she flipped through the contents of a history book. This time, it was World War 2. Her eyes flicked over the words, detailing the atrocities of her ancestors. There was something darkly comical about it all. The history she had known, filtered through her Father, was far more vague than the intricate and nuanced tales she'd been reading for months. The Book-Keeper, more than happy to supply her, had found himself at a loss to fill her insatiable appetite for knowledge.

Her minds drifted to the others. To Sera, To Luke and Hugh and Lauren. To Cain. Their faces seemed blurred in her mind. Partially forgotten. Their memories overwritten with the stresses of rule. She assumed them dead. There were few constants in her life, but the fact that most of her friends tended to die was one of them. Even Cain, who she could have seen a life with, had disappeared into the black hole that was the world around her. Tommy, though, was more solid in her memory. Reports of his activity within the resistance were still on her desk across the room. They mingled with plans to expand Coors and an empty can of Pepsi. That would need to be dealt with eventually.

She felt a twinge of guilt. What if they'd died in her vengeful conquests? What if they were buried in that ditch along the highway, rotting alongside the Order and half Salida? God, what if she'd sold Sera off with the rest of the town? She choked it down. There was no time for regrets. She had to keep moving forward. The Dominion was what mattered now. Returning to her work, she continued on an analysis of the Ostfront.

She barely even lifted her eyes from a paragraph about the Kursk Salient as a figure stepped into the room.

"Ma'am."

Her eyes rose to meet the Adviser once again. He scratched his head, nervously. For what felt like forever, he stood there, unsure of how to relay the message.

"The, uh, Khan, um, he-"

Jen shot him a dirty look, irritated.

"Christ, just spill it out."

"The Khan is coming. Here. To meet you personally."

Her heat sank, blood running ice cold as the book fell to the floor. Thoughts swam in her mind as panic began to take hold. Her hands shook as she reached into her pocket, snatching up and cigarette and quickly lighting it. Eyes wide, Jen just sat there, dumbfounded.

"What should we do, Ma'am?"

All she could do was mutter something quietly. There were few things that frightened her anymore, but the prospect of meeting the man who almost conquered the Republic terrified. She'd never even seen the man, yet it felt like his presence seemed to hang over the room.

"Anything we can."
Last edited by New Grestin on Mon Feb 01, 2016 3:26 am, edited 2 times in total.
Let’s not dwell on our corpse strewn past. Let’s celebrate our corpse strewn future!
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