The world leaders have met at a summit to discuss the potential fatal problems of such a vast population. But no agreement could be made on how to marshal the people. Many countries were forced onto the brink of war. The issue was soon dropped and everyone hoped it would soon right itself. However, the leader of Korea had other ideas on the matter...
”We’re not just talking about a small scale culling, here billions will die.”
“We have no choice we are working under His command, there’s nothing we can do”
“I don’t think I can do this...”
“You have to, there are necessary precautions to save the people who are needed. You will certainly be part of that group.”
“What about the innocent people? Mothers and children? How can you justify that?”
“We are working for the greater good, for a better more resilient future. Do you understand the potential of this? We are talking about better people. Stronger people and essentially less people.”
So the act was done, there was no going back. Full scale panic swept across the nation, as the Korean leader announced what had been done. A disease has been released by the Korean scientists. This disease spread like wild fire, wreaking havoc across every country it touched. Starting waterborne it soon evolved to become even more deadly yet. Once it reached the atmosphere there certainly was no way to stop it. Within weeks everybody contracted the awful disease. Some people hung on longer, but never more than a few days. Soon they would die a slow and painful death.
With the exception of just a couple of million people, you are one of the survivors. The future of humanity, sure you suffered, but you’re alive. You felt the pain of the terrible disease but you pulled through. Now you are the future of humanity. Having the disease has somehow altered your DNA. You are the new breed of human.
Designed to not only reduce the population, but also to create something known as a “superhuman”, where common illnesses will no longer have effect, where muscles are stronger and offspring are more powerful than before. The “old” kind of human has been totally eradicated, the next generation will be “superhuman.” Low immunity and illness is nothing but a distant memory...
But something has gone wrong. They had hoped for less free will, humans to be a better workforce than before, but they got more than they bargained for. Your DNA has been altered so much that many have developed “powers.” Not the usual controlling elements or becoming invisible etc.
Can you smell that? That’s the smell of danger...
Can you taste that? That’s the taste of evil...
Can you hear that? That is the sound of a person four miles away...
Not only has the disease made the people stronger, but given them unimaginably acute senses. Most can smell and taste when danger is approaching, or hear things that are miles away. Fewer have individual abilities, such as being able to read some minds or simply being able to tell when something bad is going to happen or even rarer, possible flashes into the near future.
Will you seek fellow survivors and form an alliance to get to the bottom of the deadly secrets? Will ‘tribes’ be formed, or will you wander the now desolate earth alone? Will you become a scavenger, or will your newly found freedom go to your head?
You live in the city of Exodar where the surviving people are in panic, but someone has to take charge. So what exactly are you going to do?
And finally, something scarier is on the horizon...You’re being hunted!!
Family (if you have any):
2) Catherinebutcher is my Co-GM, as we wrote this together! She is in charge as much as I am!
3) Your powers MUST have limits.
4) If you want a power that isn't listed then please consult us in ooc or PM one of us.
5) Please be literate.
6) Also we'd like at least a paragraph per post. And we're not talking three lined paragraphs here!
7) Use the character sheet given! Or else...
8) Post 'turmoil' at the end of your character sheet, just to show us that you've read this.
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"You probably heard her, since you survived the disease, but in case you didn't she said come on in," Amunet called out. Then, without another word, she turned on her heel and walked into the mansion's grounds. If the boy chose not to come, it wasn't her business, but he probably would. It was an opportunity that would be a waste to miss out on.
When Amunet reached the front door, she wondered if she should knock. The girl had already let her in at the gate, so it meant she was welcome, but she didn't want to be rude. On the other hand, there was only two of them, they probably did not need to rush over to open the door. Her mind made up, Amunet swung open the huge door and tentatively let herself in.
"Hello?" she called softly, still not wanting to intrude.
Smiling softly, she decided to speak. "Hello," she began tentatively. "Welcome. My name is Katherine Wilson, but you should call me Kit." She ducked her head a little in greeting, and Bastet mewed softly before jumping down and proceeding to rub up against Amunet's legs. "Sorry," Kit apologized. "She's quite affectionate..."
Unsure what to say next, she moved past her guest to poke her head out the front door. Able to tell that there were two other people nearby (one of whom she was sure was the woman she'd greeted earlier on her trek up to the mansion), she called out to them. "Hello? You're free to join us. We have food and supplies," she added as an afterthought. It never really occurred to her that there could be a reason to refuse, or that one of these people might not have benevolent intentions. To be trusting was part of Kit's nature.
Norman, she thought at her butler, unsure over what distance his limited telepathy would work, could you please make sure we have three guest rooms available? There was no reason they shouldn't, but it could not hurt to check, just in case.
Miss Katherine, she heard in her mind, I really must protest. We do not know who these people are. The words held a mental tone of resignation, though, and Kit knew there was no need to respond. Norman was like that, always concerned for her, but in the end, he generally allowed her her freedom anyway.
Norman sighed to himself. sometimes, he wished his employer were not so altruistic. It made his job all the harder. He had to protect her from possible threats, and she'd just let three more waltz into the estate. not to mention the fact that she could not know him as anything other than the affable butler, a role he'd played for many years now, but one that became difficult with times as dire as they were.
Still, none of the visitors were having particularly loud thoughts, which he knew meant that they did not intend his charge harm, for the immediate present. It was likely that the presence of other would keep them from attempting anything as well. Were they smart, they would be too wary of the others to try anything funny.
He quickly checked the rooms, then placed a hand over the gun well-concealed to even his newly-enhanced sight, as if to assure himself that it was still there. Hastening down the stairs to the foyer, he noted that only one of their guests had made it inside thus far, a young woman who appeared to be of Egyptian or Middle Eastern descent, currently being accosted by Kitty's feline companion.
"Welcome, Miss. Please, feel free to make yourself at home," he greeted, bowing and gesturing to the living room door.
"As I said before, my name is Amunet Kilora. Thank you very much for allowing me to stay. I am in your debt." Humbly, Amunet stepped back and bowed deeply to Kit before straightening. When she heard the old man, she turned to him and smiled.
"Thank you for your kindness," she murmured and walked gracefully to the room the man gestured towards. When she walked in, she realized it was a living room, but for fear of being rude, she waited until the others came in before sitting. She wanted to make a good impression.
“Oh, I guess I’m from here, but I had started to think of myself as English, I’v been over there for such a long time… To think I won’t be going back again.” She shook her head taking a deep drag. “It’s hard to think about.” She smiled meekly, voice deep with the out breath. Her voice was clearly not English, though it did hold a little of the accent and she smiled across the street. Her fingers worked across the scratched surface of the bat, ever thoughtful of it, though she felt no threat, she was more than aware it would be worse the further they got into the city. Even a few miles before she had started to feel the touch of eyes on her, she knew there would be fights and with the likely hood that everyone had experienced some of the enhancements, it would be worse than ever.
“Our names are Lyulf and Tanwen Bareket… I know it’s a bit of a mouthful, but I’m sure my sister wouldn’t mind you calling her Wen and you can call me Ly.” He spoke softly, hoping to make her jump just a little; as he walked past the new woman from behind. He hated to see someone new talking to his sister, they were not to be trusted; especially now that the population was so desperate. He placed 5 small backpacks of supplies on the floor, spare hand twirling his ice pick, deadly point gleaming. He moved to the pump, pulling off the cap with ease before sticking the nozzle in. The groaning of the pump filled the silence, turning his apple eyes to the new girl. He was good at assessing what people were like, but he found he was having trouble with her, she didn’t tick the right boxes. She seemed to give off the bad girl attitude, but she was polite and courteous to his sister and seemed to have no weapons, so that made her ok.
“Where have you traveled in from? Your accent isn’t the local one and I’m surprised to find someone who isn’t with family at times like these.” His face held no accusation when he said this, more than aware that many people didn’t have a family to go and care for. He turned hearing Tanwen take another drag, she had told him that she’d quit; so many things had changed that he wasn’t surprised to see this was yet another. His posture was soft and even, confident in his ability to protect her from any harm that might come. He put down his pick, leaning the wooden handle against his firm leg muscles and tapping off the gas. He clicked it back into place, before checking that the spare canister was full to and a smile returned to his lips.
“I think we are going into the center, to see what’s left of civilization…” She turned to her brother, quirking an eyebrow in question. He nodded in return. “You are more than welcome to join us, though we may not be staying for long… It is not as safe as it once was.” She tugged the ends of her dress, taking the last deep drag of her cigarette. The smoky air filled her lungs and she held it in, quite unwilling to stop smoking, even if it was the end of her cigarette; blowing it out with a frustrated sigh. She shifted herself up to her feet, brushing her bum of any dirt and picked up a few of the packs. Her nimble fingers picked out a packet and unwrapped the foil, passing the smoke to Eris. She nodded in thanks and started to strap their bags to the quad bike.
Drawing in a deep breath, Amelia shrugged her pack further up onto her shoulders and kept her eyes on the tall buildings that gradually loomed towards her. She focused on every step, knowing that it brought her closer to her target. And what would she do when she got there? She didn't even know, but she knew that if she didn't concentrate on something then she would simply break down and curl in a ball. She need something to take her mind off of her current situation. And so, what consumed her mind was the task in hand and nothing more. She didn't allow anything else to enter her mind and blocked out the world around her, not wanting to see or hear anything. Although she was trying to block stuff out, she began to realise that she could hear with far more accurancy and her sight was sharp and picked up little details. It worried her that her senses were vastly improved, but it wasn't the most important thing at that moment in time and she could think of a million other things that she should concentrate on. The heightened senses just reminded her that she was a freak and had somehow survived the deadly disease that had killed many.
Amelia was close to the centre of town when she noticed the sky starting to darken. Frowning, she drew to a halt, realising that she had lost all track of time and that dusk was falling over the streets. Biting her bottom lip, she fought to decide what to do. She couldn't carry on into the dead of night, but she wasn't sure she wanted to stop and set up the tent. And so she made the decision to go into one of the many houses and just hope that there were no dead bodies. Mustering all of her confidence, she turned and walked to the first house to her left. The door was locked. Moving on, she found the next house had three dead bodies in the front room. Wretching again, she tried to next one, which to her surprise was empty. It felt wrong breaking in, but what else could she do? She had to sleep somewhere and after a search around the house, she discovered that there was no-one about. Taking out some blankets, she threw them on one of the bedroom floors, before removing some canned food from her bag. It would have to be cold, for she had nothing to cook on. Not that she minded, Mia was glad for the food inside of her aching stomach. She had barely eaten since she had woken up. She would settle down for the night, though she doubted that sleep would come easily and she worried constantly about someone else breaking in...
‘My mum...’ Scarlett began. Madeline shook her head and returned. Madeline’s usually cold heart was breaking, when she had re entered the room Scarlett looked so
well again, the previous weak girl that was clinging to life forgotten. Madeline had never dealt with death, sure she remembered her Nan’s funeral. But she had hated that woman anyway, so had never been particularly sad. And now her mother and father were both dead, and she had seen their bodies. Now again, so much death everywhere and she wasn’t sure how much longer she could stand it. Her skin crawled at the thought of all that mess and smell. She knew she must find someone soon, she had money in her bag. Perhaps she could bribe someone to take care of her. But it was not healthy to look to the future, she must focus on now. Looking after Scarlett had been so new to her, she had no idea how deal with this kind of emotion. Nor did she have any idea why she felt such an impulse to take care of this small girl.
‘Your mother is gone, she didn’t make it.’ Madeline whispered taking the girl into her arms. And with that a light went out in the small child’s blue eyes. Madeline was terrified she was giving in, terrified she would die right there in her arms. To start with there was just silence, as the girl held on. Then, the sobbing began. She was shaking not just with the sobs, but cold again. Madeline wrapped her in the blanket that she had retrieved from the bedroom, and she held her close. Willing her warm, after a while the girl fell asleep clinging to that old jumper.
Madeline considered staying on that sofa, with the girl on her lap and having a nap herself. But instead she decidd it would be best to get as far away from these memories as possible, just like she had wanted. So she carefully stood, Scarlett lay cradled in her unnaturally strong arms. The blanket still encased her, and the jumper was clamped between Scarlett’s spindle like arms. Madeline left the house and began running, Scarlett would never see that house again, for now that didn’t matter while she peacefully slept.
“Oh, so you are from Exodar? How convenient,” she said in a slick, but polite tone of voice, “So you know the area fairly well. A nice plus.” And it was. Knowing your grounds was key to survival. And now that Eris had become an official resident of Exodar, she would have to learn the area ASAP. Eris walked over towards her golf cart, grabbing one of the steel bars that held it together. It glistened under the light from the sun, and it was warm to touch. She had kept her eyes on the girl the entire time. The bat she held made Eris want to feel close to her own bag of weapons, which laid like a lump in the passenger seat of the cart. Just for comfort, of course. She didn’t need or want to draw any weapon now. She had to play it cool.
Then the man that had driven the pair on the bike reappeared from the gas station’s store, yet from directly behind Eris-- almost too close for comfort, like he meant to scare her. She didn’t jump or budge in the slightest, instead froze like a statue. Her breath paused for a moment. Bastard, you did that on purpose, she concluded; why else would he get so close behind, and speak so softly? He probably meant nothing of it... He probably thought he was being funny, in fact. But something about him sparked her a bit off. Unintentionally pushing her buttons, so to say. And that realization made Eris sigh, because she knew she would have to overcome her disgust of men. How all the ones in her life back home were pigs, nasty horrible pigs, like her father. But now all those men were dead because of the disease, thanks to her Almighty of course. If the nasty pigs were gone, maybe only decent men were left. She would have to give this theory a study, maybe even a test in time. For now she didn’t react to Lyulf, his name that he had whispered so devishly behind her back before she could see his face. And Tanwen. Very interesting names to say the least. Nothing like the names back home, like Sarah, Helen, Cathy, or Sue -- your cookie cutter baby names.
It was time for her to answer his question, and she would be honest, for now. “Dallas, Texas, and the pleasure is all mine to meet you, Ly Bareket,” she chimed in some old fashioned southern accent for the kicks of it. It was that sweet southern bell talk that her crazy mother had always blabbed in. Even when Eris moved out to the Rocky Mountains to get away from Texas, that southern twang still found its was to hang in there. Maybe being in this new place will help it wear off, but accents were hard to fight. “And sorry hun, no family traveling with me. All are dead,” she muttered, looking away back at the dead body of the man across the street. The facts of their death would be quite easy to explain. The disease, the perfect lie.
The girl began to speak again. “The center sounds great to me,” Eris said shortly, wanting to follow them for now. It would be fun to have some company, to keep her distracted from thinking. “There are supposed to be a couple million people still alive,” she added, hearing it on the news, CNN. Eris took her pack of cigarettes out again and grabbed another smoke, lighting it quickly. She would hang around these two until they no longer wanted her. Maybe her red eyes would scare them, especially at night. She wondered how they would react to the red, nocturnal glow of her eyes once the sun would set. She hopped in her driver’s seat of the cart, and started the engine with her now full tank. “I will follow you all, but this thing is kind of slow.” Her smiled traveled first to Lyulf, then softened a tad more when she glanced at Tanwen. They seemed to like her, good.
She counted doorknobs as she passed them. Lounge, study, game room, ah, here we go.
The kitchen had much the same feel as she remembered. It had, of course, been visible the last time she had been here. The former cook here, a portly man with an easy, wide grin called Giovanni, was not one to mess with the well-oiled machine that was his workspace, and so Kit felt fairly safe in the assumption that everything would be as she had last known it.
What was not familiar, she realized quickly, was the smell. It assailed her extra-delicate nose as she entered, and Kit had to grab onto a counter to keep from falling over from the sheer nausea that followed. The smell was unmistakeably decay, and Kit was not quite so naive as to fail in understanding the implications. Suddenly, the effort to stand was too much, and she slid down the cabinet to the floor. Giovanni... She knew who it was, for even amidst the overwhelming odor, she could pick out the scent of ginger, basil, and a hint of cologne.
Kit managed to overcome the urge to retch and raise herself to her hands and knees, crawling closer towards the source of the smell, reaching out a tentative hand. Within a few feet of distance, it made contact with something solid. Moving her fingers along whatever it was, she was able to determine that what she was touching had once been a hand. It was now a squelchy, soft mass of flesh hanging off bones, and Kit quickly withdrew her hand, cradling the wrist in the other one whilst sitting back on her calves.
"No..." she whispered. "No, no no!" She scrambled backwards as far as she could, until her back made contact with the wall. Drawing her knees to her chest, Kit rested her chin on them, at once welcoming and cursing the blindness that made the image before her unrealized. Her breathing grew ragged, but she refused to succumb to the same sobs that had gripped her earlier. This was her reality now, this death and destruction and inky-black dark. Help me...
Norman heard the call as little more than a whisper in his mind, but it was enough to set him in the direction of the kitchen at once. Throwing the door open with all due haste, it took him only moments to take in the situation. It was not long after that he had pulled young Kitty into arms much stronger than an elderly man's should be, and returned her to the foyer. He wasn't exactly sure what to do. How did one comfort a child, a mere girl really, who had had more than a lifetime's taste of death in a few short weeks?
"Piano," she whispered, "take me to Daddy's piano." Norman nodded without hesitation. He had seen the young Katherine pour out her troubles to the keys more often than he cared to think, and supposed that it truly was the comfort of the familiar that she needed. He found himself hoping dearly that she could still play, given her present condition.
He set her at the bench, and turned to leave. Miss Katherine would want her privacy for a time, he could tell. Instead, he returned to the kitchen. Unless his newly-sharpened eyes deceived him, what lay on the floor had once been Giovanni, the cook on the Exodar staff. Likely, he had known that the family was planning on returning here soon, and had pressed past his sickness to return to work. Such was the way of the Wilsons: nearly every person that had ever worked for the couple had come to consider themselves- and be considered- family.
With those same too-strong arms, Norman managed to move the body outside to the gardens, where he noticed that two mounds of earth had been recently disturbed, enough for the rest of the regular staff. He realized with some trepidation that Giovanni had likely dug these makeshift graves himself, and known full well what awaited him. Indeed, the shovel he had used was still nearby. Norman took it up, and spent the next ten minutes creating a depression of suitable size, and lowering the man's corpse into it.
Another few minutes later, Norman straightened, wiping the sweat from his brow and regarding his handiwork solemnly. It is in my hands now, friend. I shall not fail, he swore silently. With a heaved sigh, the butler returned to the kitchen. It would need some bleach, and then he could use it to prepare a meal for his charge and her guests, however many there might be eventually. As he retrieved the mop from an attached closet, he heard the sound of music drifting from the foyer, and smiled a little to himself. Not all was lost after all.
Kit allowed her fingers to move over the keys without depressing them at first, testing to make sure she could tell what was what. Encouraged by her success, she ran a few test scales, feeling the familiar joy she always got when she played. Before long, she was confident enough to begin a song properly, and eased into the first bars of Chopin's Nocturne #4, letting her long, thin fingers dance easily across the many keys of her father's grand piano. It was a melancholy piece, beautiful in its delicate sadness before transitioning into a stronger, more robust melody, a dichotomy that had struck Giovanni and made the song his favorite.
I do not know what to make of this new world, with so few in it. I cannot pretend to know why I survived where other, stronger people did not. But, Liz, I meant what I promised. I will live. And I will help others to do the same, wherever I can, for as long as I can. That resolution, at least, was something she could carry with her, when all else seemed so impermanent.
By now, the ashes of the burned building and her sister's body should have been blown all around. The remnants of her sister had undoubtedly already traveled further away then she had. She imagined the wind carrying Isis to the ocean. The two of them had always wanted to go to the beach. They had, in fact, but they were never in one place long enough to enjoy it, and that included the beach. Amunet then imagined her sister's spirit dancing in the waves, relishing the feel of the warm water around her ankles. Then, she would splash Amunet, and in a hysterical fit of giggles, they would splash and splash until both of them were too weak with laughter to do anything more than collapse into the gentle, rolling saltwater.
When Amunet pulled herself out of her imaginings, she realized she was crying and hurriedly wiped her tears away. She could not afford to submit to such weakness. Amunet swore to herself to lock up her useless grief and focus on her mission...her mission. Amunet was pulled out of her musings by the sound of a piano. Surprised, she stood and listened closely, the walls of the mansion not inhibiting her hearing as they would have done before the disease. The rich melody of the piano was so relaxing. Without thinking, Amunet found herself slowly drifting towards the sound. It stirred up a number of emotions in her, happiness, sadness, grief. It all overwhelmed her, but she couldn't force herself to stop listening, because the beauty of it was also oddly comforting. Finally, Amunet arrived to the doors of the room that beautiful music was coming from and cracked open the door. She did not want to intrude, so from the crack in the door, she watched as Kit produced that hauntingly wonderful song, her fingers dancing over the black and white keys. Then, Amunet closed her eyes, allowing her senses to focus on the sound. Still, she knew that was just an excuse. The tears burned behind her eyes, but she refused to release any emotion. Instead, she would listen calmly and without a single tear.
He was in utter shock as he saw his sister move across, what was she doing? How could she trust this woman so? He stepped quickly across the station, moves jerky with anger and distrust. A few seconds after his sisters fingers had touched down, he pulled her away, snapping her into his tight embrace. He was unsure if anything had managed to pass between them and in truth he did not want to. This woman was now more of a risk to them, such a handy trick as his sister had could be bought and sold at a high price, especially with their knowledge of the area. He looked at the other woman, green eyes full of distrust and slight anger. With more care than when he had grabbed her he took her to the quad bike, touching her with gentle reassurance as he helped her on the back.
“Now you might not get lost if you lose sight of us.” She smiled mildly, eyes dazed from her effort expended. She watched her brother pick up her bat, sagging where she sat, eyelids dropping. She was glad for the comfort of the cold, gold metal, once more placed firmly in her grasp. She slid her arm around her brother as he sat down, snuggling into his back and relishing his warmth even in the morning sun.
“I’l go slow so you may follow if you want, when we get there you can be with everyone else who has lost as much.” His words were softer now, knowing he might have over reacted just a little. “I’m sorry if I seem rude, I love my sister very much and I can be a little over protective of her. You must understand she is all I have left now, just as I am all she has.” He gave Eris an honest nod, red hair trailing over his face. With practiced even motions he put his hair into a braid, not wanting it in his way while he drove. The thick red trail of his hair, slipped down between his shoulder blades, running to just below them and ended in no hair band, but rather began to unravel. He tugged his sister tight around him, not wanting her to fall off in exhaustion, a couple of minutes sleep would replenish her and then they would be in the city center. He hoped that the woman they were now traveling with was ok, he couldn’t bare the thought of his sister being around anyone who was of danger to them.
He kick started the engine, enjoying the roar of noise next to the desolate silence of the city, it had never been so quiet before and he hated to think about what was behind it. He pulled out of the gas station, but remained at a cool steady speed, not wanting to get to far ahead. He cringed at the bodies that littered the ground, some neatly lined by someone’s family, others sprawled where they fell, it was awful. A few tears slid across his face, pushed back by the wind and he wiped them off quickly, coming closer to the center. He took a left on Merry avenue, looking at the few people that seemed about, they were scared looking. He took another right and was finally in the center of town. He braked gently, knowing it would wake Wen, wrapping his spare hand around hers as a brace. One the bike stopped, he flicked his climbing hook out of its slot, spinning it as he got of his seat, holding his younger sister steady as she woke up. His smile was gentle as she looked up at him as he all but lifted her off, supporting her.
“Where is Eris?” She asked looking at Lyulf “You didn’t put her off did you? I like her..” He sagged into his arms, hear resting on his chest, bat scraping the floor; only loosely held in her hand.
She watched as the two hopped back onto the bike. Lyulf had to adjust Wen so that she could get a good grip. The girl looked sleepy immediately once hitting the soft of her brother’s back. Sleep. That did sound kind of nice, but sleep was something Eris was used to missing. And at this moment, sleep was highly unlikely. She couldn’t sleep well around others.
“Go the pace you want,” she muttered, waving him on with a flick of the wrist. She didn’t need them to go slow to appease her. She was well capable of taking care of herself. And now that she had images of the center of the city, Eris was even more prepared. Before they took off, she heard him speak again. He apologized for his rudeness. So he didn’t suspect her of anything after all; that was reassuring. For a second she was beginning to think he had some sixth sense or something. And for him to apologize leaked one vital piece of information- he was genuinely good. Guys like that back home were easy prey. They never expected Eris to flip her switch-- the same switch she was currently keeping ‘off’ now. Eris had no intention on seeing Lyulf as actual prey though. She was going to see him as a challenge. Maybe God sent him there as a test to keep Eris in check? Crazy as it was, it made sense to her. Don’t worry, I won’t do anything stupid, she thought to herself in a prayer like manner.
“Don’t worry about it. Family is family, right?” she said with a smile directed towards the brother, who was rolling past her on the bike. Family didn’t mean anything to Eris. She had killed her family without a hint of sorrow or guilt. Yet, Eris was able to act like she cared, they didn’t know she killed her parents. And the longer she was able to convince them of her kind nature, the quicker they trusted her. She would need their trust to start off on a new leaf, create a new image for herself, despite the red eyes.
Eris watched as the two on the bike finally took off, and she followed behind them by stepping on the gas. The golf cart gurgled at the force on the gas pedal, but then began to pick up speed rather quickly. It wasn’t as slow as she thought it was, able to manage keeping a stable eye on the duo way ahead. Or maybe it was just her vision allowing her to see farther. She couldn’t tell anymore, the new improved senses were already feeling second nature. She reached to the bag in the seat next to her, pulling out yet another cigarette. Chain smoking rocked. It eased her nerves, and it made the time pass faster. She sped past the dead bodies of people on the ground, scrunching her noise at the awful smell. People would have to get these bodies out of the way if they didn’t want disease spreading again, this time due to the large amount of corpses.
She saw up head that Lyulf and Tanwen took a left on a street, called Merry Avenue. The street sign was briefly shown in the image Tanwen had showed her earlier at the gas station. It was exactly the same, down to the color and print. Eris took the left, and then a right. The two were already off their bike when she arrived. Other were around now, in collected groups talking quietly.
“So this is the city’s center, huh?” she spoke up, turning the engine of her golf cart off and hopping out. She swung her heavy bag of weapons and cigarettes over her shoulder, the guns clinking together. She made her way to the two again, stopping about 5 feet back to give them space. “Where to now?” Eris threw the butt of her cigarette she had been smoking down to the pavement, squishing it with her combat boots. The sun was lowering in the sky, which meant her eyes would soon draw the unwanted attention of people around. “I suggest finding a shelter. Some place to kick back when the night comes around...” she added, almost in an urging voice.
Kit could understand that, and she did not disturb Amunet's reverie by saying anything. Speech, in her opinion, was largely overrated when so much could be expressed in other ways. When she came to the conclusion of the melancholy nocturne, she shifted instead to one of Hayden's more lively numbers, one that had her fingers trickling up and down the keyboard as though teasing it. Happy music, in Kit's estimation, was not designed only for happy occasions, but also for those where its influence might lift a spirit or provide a balm to a broken heart. Not a cure, though it had been her medicine often enough, but simply a delicate relief, a salve.
At the conclusion of the second song, Kit replaced the cover over the keys, and turned to where Amunet was standing. "Are you hungry?" she asked softly, choosing to ignore the woman's still-delicate state in favor of pretending she hadn't noticed. What was there she could say or do anyway? Kit knew well enough the pain of losing those yo held most dear, and also that there were no mere words that could ease that pain, or at least none that she knew. "I'm sure Norman has made dinner now, if you'd like something to eat?"
Norman noticed the shift in song, perhaps fittingly, as he finished scouring the kitchen and was pulling out utensils and checking supplies. There would be no cooked meals tonight, he decided. Better to do something simple and call it an early night, perhaps. Kitty shouldn't be allowed to go too much longer without sleeping, and unless he missed his guess, Miss Amunet was fatigued as well.
This thought firmly in mind, he swiftly pulled a few fresh vegetables from the fridge (or at least the ones that had kept), and a few more directly from the garden. With a flare and ease that would have impressed Chef Ramsey himself, Norman sliced through the produce with one of Giovanni's large, ever-sharp knives, assembling a salad that channeled the Mediterranean region, particularly in its use of the versatile olive.
A plate in each hand, he advanced to the dining room, which was mercifully free of dead anything, instead being just a tad dusty. That would certainly be on his list of tasks for tomorrow, along with inspecting the rest of the garden to see what else was still in order and what would need some tending to, and of course a full preparation of each of the guest rooms. He had a sneaking suspicion that Miss Katherine would not stop at one guest, and he needed to do everything possible to make sure that the property could sustain that many people. Money, of course, was not an issue- but the availability of purchasable items just might be.
The butler sighed to himself. Perhaps a trip into the center of town might be in order for tomorrow. Kitty would probably want to come, if only to invite other people without a place of refuge to stay with them. Norman frowned, contemplative. He'd have to try and convince her that such a thing was not a good idea. Their current visitor seemed well enough, but... one could never tell what sort you'd run into in the middle of Exodar.
As she heading towards the town centre, she saw more and more bodies lining the streets. She retched again and again, and even felt faint at times. So she ran faster, but she was not immune to exhaustion and Scarlett could not only sleep in her arms forever. She stopped dead, even though her head span without the distraction of speed. Scarlett’s head rose and she pointed towards one of the houses. Madeline cautiously approached the house of Scarlett’s choice. As she did, she became aware of another heartbeat coming from within...
"Yes, I am hungry," Amunet replied, realizing just then that she truly was. "Where are we eating?" Amunet puzzled over her own question. She had no idea what the layout of the house was. In fact, she probably wouldn't even be able to find the living room again. She was never very good at directions. It had always been Isis who had known the way. That thought brought a pang to her heart, so Amunet hurriedly continued her train of thought. Pretty soon, most likely tomorrow, she would need to take time to get familiar with the mansion. She may bot be good at directions, but she was a quick learner and could probably pick it up soon enough. She also needed to find Norman and talk to him, probably after dinner. She did not intend to stay here for free, she never had. All she had to do was ask Norman what he needed to be done, and she would do that.
With that decision made, Amunet stepped fully into the piano room and watched Kit expectantly. For now, she needed to eat.
She could hear Norman bustling about in the dining room before they entered. Gesturing in the direction of a seat (or at least what she hoped was such), she indicated that Amunet should sit. Norman placed their plates before them, and a whiff told her that it was Mediterranean salad, one of her favorites. Thanking her butler, she picked up the salad fork and began to eat delicately, enjoying the extra kick that an elevated sense of taste gave the dish.
"So Miss Amunet," she began cautiously, uncertain of whether the question would be taken the wrong way, "what brings you to Exodar?"
Norman had fully intended to cook only a salad, but judging by the enthusiasm with which Miss Katherine was eating (at least compared to her usual mannerisms), it wouldn't hurt to whip up something else as well. Flipping on the stove, the elderly man began to boil a rich stew, listening to the flow of conversation inside the room. He was secretly glad that Kitty had asked the question she had, since he needed to know anyway. The problem was, Norman was well-used to running interrogations, and sometimes his questions still had that ring to them. Miss Katherine, though, was innocent as spring sunshine, and most people could sense that. It made talking to her all the easier, and people generally said more than they had intended to. What was more, he wouldn't have to subject their guest to his own brand of question, and that relieved him. It wasn't as though he enjoyed playing antagonist, only that he would do it without hesitation if it became necessary.
The stew bubbled merrily in the pot, and he stirred it with a feeling curiously akin to good cheer.
"Kit," she began softly, "I am positive you lost someone special to you because of this dreadful disease, didn't you?" Amunet paused but quickly began to speak again, before she lost her courage. "I lost my twin sister...She was everything to me. We have always been orphans, always living on our own, always just the two of us. Sometimes, I even think we are not two different people, that we were just the same person born into two different bodies...When I lost her..." Amuent paused again, this time because she became choked with emotion. She tried to hide it by taking a sip of water to gain her composure. She didn't know if Kit noticed, but she continued anyway, knowing she had to finish before she lost it.
"When I lost her, I lost part of myself," she explained, "And I lost part of myself because of that dreadful disease. For now, I am going to train myself. I will familiarize myself with my new body and new senses. When I feel I am ready, well...I'm going to find the ones responsible for the disease." Amunet's voice was shaking now, this time with anger. How dare those people destroy everything for so many people?! Amunet picked up her fork and began to eat again, using the action to calm herself down. There was no use getting worked up. It wouldn't help her, and it certainly wouldn't help Isis. In fact, it would harm her by maybe causing Kit to dislike her. She truly hoped that wouldn't happen. She liked the girl. She didn't want to lose a friend, no matter how new the friendship was.
Mia stretched, letting her body relaxed for just a moment. Seconds later, it was tense once again. She lay frozen where she was, listening intently. Her enhanced sensitivity, her hearing mostly, was picking up on some noise outside. Noise probably meant people and people could mean danger. Slowly sitting up, she glanced around for anything that might be used as a weapon, but nothing within reach was any good to defend herself with. Cursing under her breath, she got to her feet, her movements rigid and tensed. Snatching up her blankets, she threw them in the top of her bag, before putting it over her shoulders. She could sneak out the back. No, she had to face her problems head on, there was no running this time. If she was going to do this, then she was going to have to find people and this was the time to do it. Taking a deep breath, she headed out of the room and towards the stairs, as silently as possible.
Creaking, the bottom stair caused Mia to jump slightly, her breath catching in her throat. No, she wouldn't be scared. Shakily, her hand reached for the door, as she mentally prepared herself for anything that was about to come. She could defend herself if it was needed and it would probably be needed. Biting her bottom lip, she pushed down on the handle and through open the door...
Stood in the middle of the abandoned street, was a girl, no older than 17 or 18. She was pretty, with long flowing brown hair and pale cheeks, with eyes that held a certain glint in them. Even from the doorway, Amelia could tell this was someone with divine taste and quite obviously upper class. It struck her as odd that a girl like that was alone, but it took a few seconds for her to realise that she wasn't alone. In her arms was a girl, with bright blonde hair, around 8 or 9 years of age. The girl looked fragile and exhausted, her eyes drooping, her body limp. Mia forgot every single one of her troubles when her eyes fell upon the unlikely pair. This little girl and her new carer were far worse off than she was right then, as both were young and had obviously lost their whole families. They needed her help. She jogged over to them, slowing as she neared, so not to frighten them.
"Well hello there," She said in a gentle voice, her eyes locked on the older girl, who appeared to be rather intimidating. "My name is Amelia. Are you two alright? She doesn't look so well." She nodded to the younger girl, taking the chance to get a closer peak. She really didn't look well. "She needs some food. Do you have any with you? If not, I have plenty and you'd be more than welcome to share with me." The look in her eyes was deep concern, but also it held a hint of trust and hope that she had found someone who might travel along with her in the dark times that had befallen them all.
The pain of this other woman’s face was evident, and she made the resolution that she would not ask any questions. No doubt this woman wanted to forget just as she did, and she would not look after them if she upset her. Scarlett’s eyes widened and she smiled at the woman, after a moment though she slumped back and cuddled close to her Angel Madeline. She was hungry, and scared. She felt ill and exhausted. She did not want to think about her mother, but it was hard... It had only ever been her and her mother, an inseparable bond. Her mother was her best friend, and although she loved Madeline she was not her mother. Her cuddles were not as warm. She did not rock her, or sing to her. But Scarlett could sense that Madeline loved her and that was enough for now. Silent tears streamed down her white cheeks, and she began shaking more violently.
‘Also, i haven’t slept in such a long time I am exhausted you see, I have been running for miles. The disease gave me my legs back, you know. I can run so fast now!’ Madeline’s voice sped up as she got excited. Madeline was so glad that all of her worries and cares were gone, she was safe and so was Scarlett. Scarlett who was now shaking worse than before... Was she in pain? Afraid, perhaps? She held her even tighter and close to her chest and shifted her so that she was more upright can her head was resting on her shoulder, with her free hand she rubbed the girls back while she waited for whatever the other woman wanted to do. She hoped the house behind the woman was free from dead bodies, and craned her neck to pear at in, in a not so subtle gesture that she wished to be invited inside.
Then something changed. Amunet's voice grew stronger as she talked about her resolution to make herself stronger, to find the people who had loosed this awful disease upon the world at large. The heat of anger that she was emitting was a little shocking to her tablemate, who had never seen her mad at anything. So complete was her conviction, so strong the inflection behind it, that Kit was truly moved. Here was someone who had taken the worst of situations and decided to really make something of it. Not just to keep on living, but to truly be alive and proactive.
"Let me help you," she said softly at the conclusion of Amunet's speech. "I am not strong, but I know that I can be of some assistance. I lost my sister, too, and both of my parents. Until now, I never thought I'd be able to do anything about it, but... maybe I can, even if it's just a little."
Norman chose that moment to enter with three steaming bowls of stew, and Kit did not have to wonder long how much of the conversation he might have heard. "As to that," the old butler said with more authority in his tone than Kit was accustomed to, "I might be of some use. I was not always a manservant, and my previous profession may provide some assistance as well, should you wish it."
Katherine was startled. There was a hardness to Norman's tone that she had never before heard, and the sudden change confused her. For a moment, she wondered if the man speaking was even Norman at all. Her dismay must have been evident on her face, because he continued in a softer manner. "In addition to being employed as Master Wilson's butler, I was also his bodyguard, and I was in British law enforcement before that. Should you need help training yourself, I would be happy to give it." Kit sensed tightly-suppressed rage, and guessed that Norman was probably just as angry as either of the girls at what had been wrought.
She gestured for him to sit and take his meal with them, which once would have been extremely odd. Now, though, it seemed like so many of the boundaries of Kit's old life had ceased to exist, and this was one that she had disliked in the first place. It took him a minute, but eventually Norman sat, and he and his employer sipped at their stew, deciding to wait for Amunet to make her decision, something that by unspoken agreement neither of them would push. In truth, she was still a bit taken aback by Norman's confession, but she'd always known he was a little different from a typical manservant, and when the entire world was chaos, what was one more unexpected revelation?
"I would be grateful for your help," she answered, "In fact, I would be ecstatic, but...I want to be sure you know that it isn't exactly safe. I don't want to be held responsible for bringing danger into your lives if you weren't willing." Amunet waited, considering her own feelings on the subject. Yes. She wouldn't want to drag them into danger if they wanted to live peacefully, but on top of that, she would hate to harm them, period. They had been so kind to her. Even with the entire world's population alive, she and her sister hadn't received this kind of kindness before. The specialness of their actions made Amunet wish they wouldn't get involved at all, even willingly, but she needed help. While she wished she could take down all of the perpetrators on her own, she knew she couldn't. She didn't have the manpower for that kind of mission.
Amunet removed herself from her thoughts and took a bite of stew. Delicious flavors exploded in her mouth, and Amunet smiled slightly, enjoying the richness of flavor. She had to hand it to Norman, he was a really great cook. Eating through her stew, Amunet continued to watch Norman and Kit. Even if they said it was okay, that they wanted to help, she wanted to make sure by watching their body language and seeing if it's what they really felt.
Mia noticed the other girl shift in the woman's arms and caught the glimpse of a pretty smile before she fell back exhausted. "This girl needs to rest desperately. She isn't well Madeline. Let us get her inside." She moved her pack on her shoulders, for it was digging in, turned and headed for the house that had been her shelter the previous night. It looked like she would be remaining there for a while. Her mind drifted to the young girl. Madeline had found her, which meant that the poor girl had lost all of her family, at such a young age as well. Poor little lamb. Mia thought to herself, shaking her head a tiny amount. She too had lost her entire, but she was dealing with that, she was stronger than she thought. She was just glad that she hadn't had any children. The thought of losing them would have destroyed her from the inside out...
"I don't know Harry...It's a big thing. I'm scared. What happens if I am? What are we going to do?" Mia gushed, sitting herself on the bed, head in hands, she was shaking from head to toe. "I don't think I can handle this." Two warm arms around her caused her to burst into tears and press her face again his torso. "I'm so frightened." Barely a whisper.
"We'll get through this Mia darling. Please don't worry. I'm right here for you. You will always have been beside you. I'm never going to leave you." He kissed the top of her head, hugging her tightly. "Besides, we could call it Harry Junior!" A giggle escaped Mia's lips, as she sat up, wiping her tears, glad that he was being so strong about it all.
Gulping she looked down at the thin white strip in her hand. A gasp stuck in her throat, as fresh tears cascaded down her cheeks. "It's negative," She whispered, looking up at Harry. His face flickered disappointed, before he held her closely.
"See, nothing to be worried about..."
Amelia turned to smile at the young woman, nodding her head. "Wow, so some good has come out of this horrible nightmare," she concluded, looking the girl up and down. "I'm sure that's a bonus for you. You must be pleased. But let us talk later. Come inside, eat and then rest. You look awfully tired and I'm sure there is plenty of room in here for the pair of you." She pushed open the door and held it for Madeline to follow with Scarlett. "I'd love some company right now..."
Sighing inwardly, he reconsidered. No, Kitty didn't see him as simply as that, and he was being inconsiderate to think so. She held a great deal more regard for him, and indeed for anyone, than that. All the same, he had been consciously presenting himself in a certain way for years, comfortable in the knowledge that only his employer knew the gist of who he really was. He had never told anyone the whole story, but if he was to fully shatter her illusions about him, Kitty might have to hear it one day.
The truth was, Norman could not regard himself as a good person. A decent one, perhaps, but not a good one. He had done too many things he regretted to be good, or even lawful. Rarely had he made a single decision without employing only the coldest, hardest logic available to him, and never had he been truly altruistic, something that seemed to be the young woman's natural state of being.
No, Norman was not a good man, but a practical one. This, he knew she needed. Kitty would simply give until she had nothing left if allowed, and it was his job to ensure that she did not. Amunet's cause was a worthy one, moreso than any he had encountered for a long time, but the two did not truly know what it might entail. He had found throughout his life that even the most noble intentions required much less-than-savory work to come to any kind of fruition. Miss Katherine, he decided, did not need to know this; it was enough that he did. He wondered for a moment if it was cruel of him to keep her blinded figuratively when she was already trying to cope with the implications of a literal, permanent darkness. It was selfish of him, he knew: he wanted something in his world to remain untainted with the harshness that pervaded the rest, and she was the only thing left that held any innocence.
He would do whatever it took to ensure that she never lost it.
Kit listened intently to Amunet's words; allowing them to sink in fully before nodding. "I understand the danger, but... what is not dangerous, now? I wish... I wish to do something that makes a difference, and I believe that you can, Miss Amunet. I only ask that you allow us to help." The young woman smiled softly, then nodded again, more firmly this time. "I think that tomorrow, we should make a trip to Exodar proper, and see what we can see. There may be others like us, who wish to change these circumstances; I would like to offer them shelter. We should probably pick up some supplies, besides." She cocked an ash-blond head slightly to the side. Norman's emotions were oddly complicated at the moment, and she could not discern if he was troubled or just resolved.
She finished her stew without saying much else, then waited as Norman retrieved the dishware. "I'll do the dishes, Norman," she said lightly, and she felt him hesitate.
"Very well," he replied at last, though she could tell he was a bit uncomfortable with the idea.
"Miss Amunet, there is a guest bedroom on the second floor, down the hallway to the right of the stairs. The door should be open, and there's a bathroom attached, should you need it. The library is to the left." Kit herself had intended to spend time there, but realized belatedly that it would be useless, and a touch of melancholy colored the last statement. "Feel free to do whatever you like, though."
Kit couldn't do that. It wasn't the girl's fault, but growing up in a beautiful home full of people who loved her didn't necessarily build up your street skills. In fact, Amunet had a feeling that if Norman wasn't around, Kit wouldn't last nearly as long as she will with him here. The thought of Norman had Amunet discreetly glancing at him. He definitely was tougher than he looked. Amunet knew for a fact that he wasn't as weak as she thought he would be. In fact, he probably wasn't weak at all, even as an old man.
Amunet looked back at Kit as Kit continued to speak. She had said something about going out tomorrow, which was fine with Amunet, and now, she was giving directions. Amunet filed her words away, so she could find her way around later, but she didn't get up to go. Instead, she decided to present her offer.
"Look," she said calmly, "I never meant to stay here for free. I intend to be of some help around here. In fact, Kit, if you are doing the dishes, I'll help. It'll go much faster with two people."
‘Thank you’ She said and walked past her proudly, into the open door of a small flat. Madeline refused the urge to wrinkle her nose at the sight of such a pokey flat. However, she guessed she should be grateful. It was warm and there would be a sofa or a bed for her to catch up on some sleep. What’s more there was food, and her stomach was now growling furiously. She was even sure she had heard Scarlett’s stomach rumble. Inside the small flat was a cosy looking living room with squashy sofas. It was not the luxury furniture that Madeline was used too, but it looked comfy and clean enough. She hesitated before laying Scarlett on the sofa. She was not sure if she was ready to let go of her, but this Amelia seemed nice enough. Madeline knew that if anything happened her astonishing new speed would ensure a quick getaway if necessary. Madeline took the bag off her back and retrieved the old jumper Scarlett had been carrying and gave it to her, and then retrieved the blanket and covered her over. Scarlett flashed Madeline one more grateful smile and then let sleep succumb her. Whilst Madeline helped herself to food, vivid dreams over came Scarlett...
‘Mummy!!!!’ Scarlett screamed as she saw her from across the playground, she ran as fast as she could to her mothers opened arms. Her mum had tears in her eyes, but a smile of pride was spread across her pretty face, the face which Scarlett loved so dearly. But before she reached her the dream changed... Her mother was crying hysterically and clinging to her, ‘Darling don’t ever leave me, I need you!’ The words scared Scarlett so she promised again and again that they would never be apart. Even at that age, Scarlett knew she had to play the mother. The dream changed again... more crying... but not coming from anywhere in particular, just endless sorrow. The odd scream, terrible, terrible sounds... A flash of bodies heaped on the floor. This was the hospital, where her mother had at first taken her. And then they were back home, cuddled together. It hurt ... everything hurt. Her mum was shaking beside her. Her voice growing weak. ‘See you in heaven.’ Then she went cold, and her life vanished...
Scarlett awoke screaming, but Madeline was at her side making it ok... but it wasn’t okay. How could it ever be ok again? She’d let her mum down! She wanted to go back to her home. Catching a glimpse of Amelia more tears sprung to her eyes, that lady was so much like her mum. But she wasn’t her mum. She needed her mum! Madeline was rocking her, but she only cried harder. She cried until she felt sick and exhaustion over came her once more. Perhaps if she died then she would see her mum in heaven like she promised? Slowly sleep brought her relief once more, this time there were no dreams or nightmares...
But... she couldn't see. Couldn't pick out colors in a sunset, or read her favorite books, or even see Norman's face. "The walls..." she trailed off, voice suddenly melancholy. "I wonder... how long will it be before I forget the color of the sky?"
Belatedly, she remembered that she was not alone, and shook her head almost violently. "No... forgive me, I speak nonsense. The kitchen is this way." Kit removed her hand from the wall, letting it fall to her side and brush lightly over the smooth fabric of her dress. Some things were better now, after all. She was beginning to truly appreciate her remaining senses, and explore the implications of the strange new way she could "see": her understanding of the feelings of others through the sounds of heartbeats, body temperatures, the little, invisible tics they had when they lied to her.
And she still had her piano, she mused as she turned the stainless-steel faucet, cool and smooth under her touch. So what if she couldn't see it? She knew what it was, and she could use it; was that not enough? She scrubbed at her dishes with fervor, using her fingers to judge when they were clean, and then handing them to Amunet so that the young woman might dry them with one of the terrycloth kitchen towels.
Most recent OOC posts in The Greater Good?
So I was just assuming that Jasper was asleep, and from Kiku's post it seems like the others were too. I don't know if you'd rather wait for the others to get a bit further along or move us to the next day. I'm fine either way.
Ex, your character was brilliant, welcome to the roleplay! I know that's a bit late, but still. Please don't be afraid to ask questions! Both me and Cathy are completely open and friendly, or at least we try to be! :) Any problems, let one of us know!
We do have a new rule for you guys and that is about the posting. We're really pleased that you're enjoying it and we hope that this doesn't annoy anyone, but could you just slow it down a tad. We're struggling to keep up ourselves. It may sound like we're moaning (I hope it doesn't, because we aren't!), but we just want it to be available for others to still join and be able to keep up as well.
Again I apologise for abandoning you!
Feel free to shout and scream at us!
Kim~ (Your awfully bad GM)
Kim (Your bad GM!)
but yeah, love this rp so far! hopefully more of our characters can end up meeting each other soon!
Loving how this is working out!
Also, we ended up on the most words per post! How cool is that?!
Well done and keep up the hard work! I think we're averaging about 700 words per post, which is great! :)
Of course you're accepted and I love both of your characters! :D
Looking forwards to your post!
Anyway, I hope my sheets ok and look forward to joining you!
Catherine (co GM)