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Robyn Dempsey

"A mother knows what her child's gone through, even if she didn't see it herself."

0 · 471 views · located in Post-Apocalyptic America

a character in “Bullets and Brains”, as played by Scarlet Loup

Description

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"A mother knows what her child's gone through, even if she didn't see it herself."




The Basics




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Full Name
Robyn Lynn Dempsey

Nicknames
She's never really had nicknames besides Ginger and Red Head. Robyn's also been called "Mom" or the mom of the group.

Gender
Female

Age
Fifty-three

Ethnicity/Race:
Irish and Scottish; Caucasian

Sexual Orientation:
Homosexual

Prior Occupation:
Social Worker

Current Occupation:
Unofficial group leader




What's on the Outside




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Hair Color: Her hair is, thanks to her Irish lineage, ginger.

Eye Color: Green

Height: Five feet, four inches

Weight: One hundred, fifteen pounds

Tattoos & Piercings: Robyn has an infinity symbol tattooed on her left, inner bicep. She has the average ear piercings in both ears and a cartilage piercing on her right ear. She once had a nose ring, and the hole still remains though she hasn't worn the ring in ages. Robyn also had her bellybutton pierced, but she hasn't used it in years either.

Scars: She has scrapes and scratches on her knees and hands from falls as a child. She has a deep scar on her left pinky from where she nearly severed it cooking dinner once.

Character Color: #006600

Description: Robyn's appearance simply screams "Irish". She's been blessed with ginger hair that falls just above her chest. Usually, however, it's pulled into a sloppy bun to keep it out of her face. A smattering of freckles fall on her nose and cheeks, but they are also found periodically on her arms and back. Robyn lacks a very intimidating figure, but she has no need for one because who would pick a fight with her? She's average weight for her stature, though she's on the skinny side. Once, she had a multitude of piercings. But, as she matured, Robyn began to use them less and less. Her green eyes, sometimes sympathetic and sometimes piercing, appear all knowing, as if she can read into one's past.





What's on the Inside




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Personality:
{Laid-back, clear-headed, goal-oriented, easily offended, compassionate}

If there was ever a woman made to be a leader in the time of the apocalypse, it would certainly be Robyn Dempsey. She is usually quite laid-back. Rules, she knows, are important, but so are the liberties and rights of others. Generally she believes that as long as it doesn't negatively affect the others, it's probably okay. But, then again, she knows that this isn't always the case. Her clear-headedness in times of stress allow her to think things through rationally whereas others might rely on fight or flight. Robyn has seen enough zombie shows and movies to know that when the people lose their control, they tend to spiral downward. She certainly does not want this to happen, for everyone in the group is like a child to her. She knows this is probably because she misses her daughter so greatly, but Robyn certainly hopes that this is because the others have begun to trust her like a child would a mother.

When confronted or singled out by another, Robyn quickly grows defensive. In college, even though she excelled, she was known as the girl from the slums. However, she usually doesn't snap suddenly. Instead, Robyn kindly asks and slowly increases her voice in volume and her words in intensity to express her anger. She's a goal-oriented woman who refuses to be deterred by any man or woman. Robyn knows they will have to make the move to the South if they want to survive the winter, and she refuses to let sentimentality stop her. She especially refuses to let her own sentimentality keep her from leaving. Robyn usually never regrets life experiences. "Whatever will be, will be" as the song goes. But, she does have her own few personal regrets. There are times when she looks to Nathan and wonders if he truly is capable of leading a group like this. Also, she regrets not pursuing Beverly and Phillipa to try and find them. The days ahead are dark, and Robyn knows this. Yet, she still holds on to shreds of hope and continues to lead her group of rag-tag survivors to a safer home.


Hobbies:
Reading, especially mysteries || Biking || Knitting, though she'll admit she wasn't really good at it || Cooking, though she's never really been good at this either

Habits:
Tends to check her phone every half hour or so in case her daughter calls || Toys with her wedding ring when nervous or bored || Chews the inside of her cheek when she thinks || Speaks softly when she's in "mom mode" || Tends to baby the younger members of the group

Oddities:
Allergic to dogs and bee stings || Abused drugs for a period in her youth || Becomes suddenly upset and depressed at the mention of her daughter and wife


Likes/Loves:
  • Mystery novels
  • Wine coolers
  • Children
  • Random facts or trivia
  • Light rain
  • Fleetwood Mac
  • Green Tea
  • Birds
  • Irises
Dislikes/Hates:
  • Hearing people chew
  • Moist air
  • Non-fiction books or articles
  • Being provoked or singled out
  • Walking around alone
  • Peanut butter
  • Bees and wasps
  • Her hair color
  • Brandy and whiskey





What Makes Us Special




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Strengths and Weaknesses

Character Skills/Talents:
  • Robyn's extremely sympathetic with the other group members.
  • In high pressure scenarios, she's usually able to keep a clear mind.
  • Being in good physical shape allows her to keep up with the younger members of the group.
  • Having navigated New York streets for years, Robyn's a pretty adept driver (contrary to popular stereotypes).

Character Flaws/Weaknesses:
  • Though she's still in very good physical shape, Robyn knows she is aging and worries she'll eventually be a liability.
  • She easily takes offense to harsh words or anything she perceives as an insult.
  • She can not shoot a gun for the life of her. Well, she can, but she has a poor sense of aim.
  • Robyn lacks the ability to lie well, even though she tends to be calm in most situations.
Secrets:
Robyn experimented with drugs through most of her high school career || Sometimes regrets making Nathan her right hand man because of his arrogance || Usually leaves some kind of note wherever they camp so that Beverly or Phillipa can find her later

Fears/Phobias:
Being attacked by a zombie while alone || Seeing a family member as a zombie || Bee stings or wasp stings || Prolonged death (she'd much rather go out with a bullet or something instant)




What's Done Is Done




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Biography

Place Of Origin: Philadelphia, PA

Birth Date: August 18th, 1965

History:
Robyn Dempsey never knew her father. Then again, most of her classmates didn't know their fathers either. She was the second child born to Fiona Dempsey, the ex-wife of a history teacher. Fiona herself was a teacher at a local Philadelphia elementary school. From what her brother told her years later, her father was an abusive man. After finding out she was pregnant again, Fiona mustered up the courage to divorce him. Growing up in the slums of Philadelphia certainly wasn't the best place for young Robyn. But, her elder brother seemed to constantly appear at her side to help guide her through life. Both he and Fiona made sure the young girl excelled in her studies. Life fell into a simple pattern. Though they never had an excess of money, the Dempsey family made do with what they had. When Robyn was twelve, she boldly announced to her mother that she wanted a little brother. Though she was reluctant to bring another member into the family, Fiona adopted Will when he was one year old. Quickly, the young boy fit into the family. In middle school, Robyn began to go out with boys, but this was only because she wasn't even aware homosexuality was an option. Since elementary school, she'd never really been drawn to boys. Her first kiss, in fact, was a peck on the lips with a girl in sixth grade after a dare. By high school, she was fully aware of her sexuality and embraced it. At the end of high school, she graduated top of her class and then attended University of Delaware so that she could become a school social worker. Too often had she met students abused at home or bullied, and it inspired her to help them.

She graduated and moved to New York, settling in an apartment with a few other girls. Luckily, work wasn't too hard to find, and only a few months out of college, she found a decent job as a part-time social worker. On top of this, she moonlighted at bars and took up odd shifts at a book store. For years, she was quite content. And then her friends began to get married. At one of these weddings, she ran into a young accountant named Beverly Patterson. The two talked almost the entire night and exchanged numbers to keep in touch. They became close friends, but things didn't become romantic until the two spent a drunken night out on the town. After that, the two found it difficult to ignore the sudden love they felt for each other. Robyn and Beverly moved into their own apartment together and lived as any married couple would, even though gay marriage hadn't been legalized yet.

When Robyn was 37, she and Beverly decided to try and have a child via donated sperm. It took years of trying, but Beverly was finally pregnant after a year of trying. Phillipa Hero Dempsey-Patterson was born nine months later and became the apple of her mothers' eyes. Robyn floated blissfully along on Cloud 9. Three years ago, her mother died, but her grief was overshadowed by her own wedding. In 2011, she and Beverly were two of the first to get married once gay marriage had been legalized. With a wife, a daughter, and a stable job, it seemed life could not get any better. And it would not.

Robyn was at work when the outbreak began. An odd man was pacing on the lawn in front of the school, so the school was sent into lock down. Police were alerted, but an officer was bitten when he tried to talk to the man. Terrified, Robyn watched the news with worried thoughts running through her mind. At about three PM, still under lock-down, Robyn learned the horrible truth. She frantically called family members, but none of the calls gave her any real closure. Knowing that she had to get out, Robyn snuck into her car and drove off to her apartment, hoping to find her wife or daughter. Both of them were still out. Reluctantly, she gathered food, charged her phone, wrote a note, and left her home. Quickly, she found a group of "refugees" roaming with weapons and vehicles. She joined the chaotic group and quickly became their "leader" simply because she was able to unite them. Since then, she's been wandering with them around New York. She knows, however, they'll have to move out soon. Winter is coming, and that means freezing temperatures.

Family Tree
Mother: Fiona Dempsey || 82 (at death) || Dead
Brothers: Conner Dempsey || 59 || Dead; Will Dempsey || 42 || Unknown
Wife: Beverly Patterson || 44 || Unknown
Daugther: Phillipa Hero Dempsey-Patterson || 16 || Unknown

Happiest Memory: Her happiest memory is when, after years of Beverly trying to get pregnant through donated sperm, they finally received the call saying that they were expecting. The next months passed in a blissful blur (or at least they did to Robyn). Phillipa was, and still is, her "baby", and she is terrified that she doesn't know where she is.

Saddest Memory: Robyn is still haunted by the responses she received when she called her family members after finding out about the apocalypse. Her eldest brother told her he was in the hospital, having driven his wife there that morning. She warned him, but before he could get away from the hospital, she suddenly heard a scream and the phone fell as flesh torn and bone crunched on the other end. Will never picked up his phone. She called Beverly next, only to find out her cell phone was left in the kitchen that morning. Finally, she dialed her daughter's number and waited until the young girl picked up, frantic. She said that Beverly had picked her up from school, but that they were stuck in unmoving traffic. People were walking around "like zombies", and she was frightened. Before Robyn could find out where they were, Phillipa told her she'd call her back and hung up. She still hasn't called back, though Robyn always carries her phone with her.

So begins...

Robyn Dempsey's Story

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nathan Durand Character Portrait: Michael Fairaday Character Portrait: James Milo Character Portrait: Adam Dawson Character Portrait: Art Character Portrait: Robyn Dempsey Character Portrait: Annabelle Marie Richards Character Portrait: Aspen Bates Character Portrait: Layton Bates Character Portrait: Elias Grant Character Portrait: Kat Savchenko

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|| Outfit ||
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Silence had long since befallen the world. No longer were there honking horns, laughing children, or large planes zooming above head. There were often dying and fearful screams here or there, mingled with the sounds of Mother Nature, whom had reclaimed her lands. But the most prominent, ruling, and horrifying sounds were the groans. Not the kind you hear coming from your parents' and older siblings' rooms late at night when they think you're sleeping tight, all snug as a bug. The groans of corpses, walking and rotting and looking for flesh to devour. It had been some time since the living dead (and not the sexy ones with fangs that Hollywood and lonely female writers pushed to the unwashed masses) had overtaken the world. Those that didn't join their ranks either ran or died trying. Art was one of those who ran. If it weren't for her Kela and Robyn and Nate, she figured she might have died after a month. Art was agile, flexible, strong, intuitive, and she knew how to survive in the wild. But there had been more than a situation or two where running wasn't an option and her hunting knife wouldn't have been enough to save her. Despite this, she still volunteered to go alone while some others headed in a group to ransack a ghost town (zombie town?) for supplies. Nate and Robyn, of course, insisted that she go with the group but she decided otherwise and left fifteen minutes ahead of them.

The silence around the town was not quite so...silent in her neck of the woods. As out of place as could be was the Mission Impossible theme. She was humming as she darted around, crawling under cars, twirling around corners with watchful eyes. Her Timberwolf/Husky padded playfully around with her, her tongue lolling out of her maw and dripping with saliva. To others, it may seem as neither of them took the situation seriously or simply didn't care. The fact was, she was confident. She hadn't seen signs of any hoardes and figured she'd be able to escape easily, whether she had to drop some stuff or not. Her target was not the grocery store. It was the local Dollar General. Her trusty GPS lead the way and she was quick to heft her empty backpack, tightening her grip on the straps. “Kela. No room for failure. No barking. Understand? No ladridos.” The blue and gold eyed dog gave a low snort in response. It had taken a month for her to train Kela to respond to her new commands and it was well worth it. She was the perfect companion for keeping watch, her species heightening her senses and her training and wolf blood heightening her instincts and reactions. The canine was strapped into her harness once used for farmers market trips, prepared for transporting the necessities when Art had a little red wagon.

If there was one thing that Art would absolutely not put up with, it was funk. Toothpaste, extra toothbrushes, deodorant, soap, rags, and various other toiletries were put into the bags that went into the cart before she set out to fill her own backpack, constantly sidestepping to avoid fallen merchandise with the flashlight of her phone strapped to her thigh lighting up the place. Candy was the first on her list. She needed her sugar and would not do without. She had stocked up on stuff and was headed out when she spotted a cute jacket and squealed just a bit, snatching it up quickly. She figured she might as well grab some more clothes. Winter was coming and not to mention, washing clothes had become a luxury. And poor Joshamee and Isabelle were growing like weeds. She stuffed every bit of clothing that she could into a black thirty gallon trash bag, hauling it over her shoulder and finally leaving. No signs of the undead. While her backpack wasn't quite heavy, the clothes had caused her to walk hunched with knees a bit bent; She didn't want it to tear. Sucking it up, she braved the nippy air and maneuvered her way back towards "home". It wasn't too far of a jog but she had to walk this time around.

And then she heard it.

The sound of feet dragging against grass and concrete, groaning and moaning. She wasn't even a mile away but running wasn't an option. Kela lowered her head and issued and low growl, her lips pulling back to reveal a nice set of sharp teeth. “Estable. Maniobras evasivas.” She didn't need to bring her finger to her lips to hush her pal - and she couldn't - to send the message. “Ir a Robyn,” she whispered. Kela gave a light nod of understanding as her human companion set down her black bag of clothes into the wagon before pulling out a notebook she had gotten for Cyan, writing quickly.

Clothes & stuff in big bag. Lots of hygiene products. Few games for the kids. Snacks too. Found zombies and I'm going to go check on the others. Robyn, write my story if I don't make it back. And take care of Kela. I love you guys.


P.S. Bury me in the powder blue jacket with the white faux fur lining the hood. It's fabulous.
♡Art♡


The dog took off at a careful trot down the street with perked ears, towing her wagon with her. Taking a deep breath and telling herself that everything was going to be fine, she headed off towards the sounds. There weren't many, just four. But where there were four, there were more. She only prayed that they were all in small groups and not traveling like a pack of wolves. The idea of killing them made her stomach turn and she could feel tears well up in her eyes. Don't see it as killing them. You're liberating them. If, God forbid, you were to become one of them... Would you want me to let you roam around, rotting and looking for humans to eat? Or would you want me to end your suffering? It isn't cruelty, but now the greatest kindness you can do someone.
Nate was right. Drawing out one of her bowie hunting knives, she whistled loudly and drew their attention. Moaning and groaning, they shuffled towards her and she walked towards them. Crying the whole time, she jammed her knife into each of their faces, using as much force as she could muster. Rotted flesh and blood that was almost tar covered her hand as the bodies fell. Her vomit wasn't too far behind, making the stench all the more terrible. If she lived then she would definitely down some Listerine. Painfully swallowing the disgusting aftermath, she headed out, taking more careful steps.

The others might need her help. She wasn't quite as useful as the others; She was a decent shot with a bow and arrow but she didn't have the equipment and using her knife made her vomit. She wasn't just going to abandon them though. Her creeping turned into a jog as she followed Nate's previously given directions, finding that they weren't too far away. The pumpkin wedged between the automatic doors gave away their presence and it made her heart clench. What if they were in there and dead.... Or dying. Taking a breath that tasted of vomit, she grimaced and headed in. “Olly olly oxenfree,” she whisper shouted. It didn't take her long to spot them. She maneuvered her way to Nate's side, excusing herself silently. Seeing what they were all staring at caused her to puff up her cheeks, heart dropping. “I got stuff, babe. Kela is on her way back to base now... We could run.” It was a futile attempt, she knew. She knew Nate would probably prefer to take down the zombies now.

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The cart was heavy but she was strong. She couldn't let down Art. Nose to the air, Kela trotted past vehicles with zombies trapped inside, abandoned homes, and decapitated and decaying bodies in the streets. Her wagon pulled smoothly behind her as she headed to the outskirts of town. There was no pep in her step until she saw home. A small farm house encircled by vehicles, the grounds littered with tents for those switching out for guard duty or those who simply didn't want to sleep indoors. She gave a long, low pitched howl as she stopped before taking off. She barked at Elias as she passed him but didn't stop until she reached the steps of the house. She howled and barked more, vying for Robyn's attention. Joshamee and Isabelle were the first to reach her, removing the harness and freeing her from the wagon. “Robyn! Robyn!” While Izzy had been holding the antsy canine in an attempt to calm her down, Josh had gotten Art's note and began screaming for Robyn.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Art Character Portrait: Robyn Dempsey Character Portrait: Shanti Nayar Character Portrait: Elias Grant

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She hated towns, or anything with more than two houses, so she had no intention of heading out with the group that was going to pick over what they could in the quaint town in the New York country side. Shanti instead moved steadily through the trees of the forest, watching a deer she spotted not more then ten minutes ago. She had on a pair of jeans, and boots, her hair was tied back and she wore a long-sleeved t-shirt. She did sort of wish for a coat or something. The creature had not caught her scent as of yet, and she was glad that she had the wind on her side. She fitted the crossbow with an arrow, if she didn't get this right, and just wounded the creature, the smell of blood would attract the undead. She was pretty sure there were some out here, and some other creatures that she didn't feel like facing on her own.

The deer was actually still pretty young, it looked like the start of the horns could be seen on its head. Venison would be a welcomed change, but what made Shanti hesitant was the smell of blood would still be strong, as she raised her crossbow,the deer looked up, but not at her. Something else had caught its attention, a lick on her hand and she looked down. Lizzy was right there, where she always was. With that moment of distraction she heard the deer take flight, and that made her uneasy. She listened again, and heard a creak.

It was that sound that made her curious, and she moved toward it, there it stood like a light bulb of some sort, the white house tucked back into the woods. It was an two story with a wrap around porch, a barn stood next to it as did a small garden off to the side. She noticed a shed in the back, she slung the crossbow back in its place and took out her binoculars. This was one of her most prized possessions, these belonged to her foster father, and she didn't ever leave them at camp. She looked at the house first for any sign of life, the windows had been boarded, there were loose ones hanging from the upstairs ones. The front door stood intact and she zoomed in, "No scratch marks, Elizabeth, that is a good sign."

She looked at the barn next, the door was securely closed, that was interesting. She looked at the beagle, "so what do you think." Elizabeth looked up and looked up with one of those dog faces that made you smile. Shanti looked at her, "your a bunch of help." Shanti took a swept of the area, for anything that looked suspicious. The area looked to quiet, to quiet, not even one undead, but also no sign of life either.

She put the binoculars up and moved her crossbow aside to pull her knives out. Arrows were to precious, and she rather not waste them if she didn't need to, when she went back over her mind what she grabbed that last day. She knew she was going to make choices and pack smart. She didn't know how long she would be walking, or who she would run into. She knew though if she headed north, warmer clothes would be needed. Yet she lost her coat somewhere in Maryland, or lets say she had to barter it, which she was now debating if that was a good idea or not.

She decided to approach this in the least threatening manner, just in case...and there was always a just in case. So she put the knives away and walked. She was silent and had her hands out in front of her, like there was a cop right there and he was going to arrest her. She entered the lane that would leave her out in the open, Nathan would probably call it a dumb fucking move, but the guy wasn't around, she could be dumb all she wanted without him there to nag her. She didn't walk slowly though, she tried to look normal, just a passerby looking for shelter or something to that effect.

She got to the first step and stopped, she took another three sixty look around, for two reasons, to see if she missed anything from afar and to give the person inside (if there was one) a good look at her. She didn't want to yell, that would be a sure way to attract the undead. She did the next best thing though, she walked the steps to the door and knocked. She had not met an undead person to this day that knocked. The door creaked open and with one hand behind her and another still out in front, she moved it more open with her foot. "Hello, anyone here, I am just a traveler, I mean no harm. I am looking for some food."

She didn't hear anything, no movement, "I only have protection from the undead," she continued, she didn't want to lie. It would be a sure sign that she was mistrustful. Again she moved the door open with her foot, her hand still on her knife, but the other was at her side. Elizabeth was by her side, not moving any more forward then Shanti, "Elizabeth...," the beagle took off inside the door. She didn't hear anything, nothing moved suddenly at the movement of the dog. Nothing came out and chased it, two minutes went by and Elizabeth came back.

Still Shanti moved slowly as she entered the door, the smell of old house hit her nose. She pulled her knife then, not willing to get surprised by something hiding in a closet or she walked slowly into the house and the first room she came to was the living room. She glanced here and there looking at what was still around. A white couch sat there, with two rocking chairs. The coffee table had magazines on it, and she looked down. Yes...that definitely looked like a knitting basket, she flipped it open and inspected the contents. The crochet needles would be useful, the yarn would be useful too. She looked around and looked at the mantle, but someone had stripped the pictures from their frames. She would come back, plus if she were to grab anything, she would need to find another bag.

She continued on, and hit the kitchen, it looked ransacked, but not totally. She looked through the cupboards and the pantry, there was some stuff, but not much. She wasn't really looking for food, because she was leaving that up to the ones that went to town. Room by room she went, closely inspected everything. She found some winter clothes that someone could use, one being a flannel shirt that she put on, grateful for the extra warmth. She headed upstairs next, slowly and cautiously, finally found a bag she could use to carry some things in, the thing that threw her off was the nursery. She opened the closet, baby clothes, a few things would not hurt and they weren't that heavy.

She moved from room to room, grabbing mostly clothes, some things from the bathroom, including medicine and some other necessary items. She found herself in the master bedroom, and she stopped, something smelled really bad in there. She looked about and noticed the bathroom door closed, Elizabeth growled a low growl. Something hit the door from the other side and Shanti jumped. "Well that is just freaking great," she said to herself. She left the room, only grabbing the crocheted blanket from the chair near the door. She closed the door, and pulled some red lipstick from her back pocket. It was her way of marking territories. She put an X on the door and pulled a table that was in the hallway in front of it.

She decided it was time to head back, whatever was left someone else could have. She went to the kitchen again when she got back downstairs and noticed the door to the cellar, that wasn't going to happen today. In between the clothes she put what cans she could find, and anything else useful from the kitchen, matches were always helpful. She didn't even bother with the fridge, rotting food was a good way to attract the dead. In the living room she took the knitting needles and yarn and put that in last, and looked around. She kneeled down in front of the couch and turned a cushion over. Her own tradition when scrounging was to be honest about it. She typed a note on the underside of the couch, explaining who she was and if anyone came back, they would usually find money there, or something of value. No one wanted to move the dumb couch, and if they did decide to look under the cushion..well they must have been desperate.

Outside, she scanned the area and looked to the garden, she walked over to see what was worth saving, or could be taken for future use in a more permanent setting. She had what she needed, pulling up some of the root vegetables to see if anything was still good. She sighed, gardening was a favorite thing to do, but nothing could be saved from this one.

She glanced to the barn last, she wasn't going to try that either, she would Robyn about the house, and if she wanted some others to come back with her, it probably would be a good idea anyways. She walked back down the lane and toward the wood. She travel home was slower as she was weighed down with more, she approached camp and noticed Kela pulling her wagon, "What the...," she stopped, that wasn't good, Art never went anywhere without that dog. She passed Elias, "Teach," she said, giving him a smile. The man looked like he was in a bad mood, Elizabeth growled slightly, and Shanti rolled her eyes, "Lizzy," she said and she kept walking. She dropped her extra bag off in her tent, it was just her method and then followed where the dog had gone.

The two youngest members of the group were out on the look for Robyn, and Shanti stood nearby. If something was going on, she would go check out for the leader, as the majority of the group had gone with Nathan.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Art Character Portrait: Robyn Dempsey Character Portrait: Shanti Nayar Character Portrait: Elias Grant

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The camp at which the survivors reside seems colder to Robyn. Perhaps it's due to the lack of coverage from other buildings, but she isn't certain. She's wrapped in Beverly's hoodie as she sits in the farm house's kitchen, sipping a hastily made cup of tea with only the slightest scoop of sugar. Except for the sugar they'll need to cook with, the ginger has made sure that the rest of the sugar in the house is with Art now. Besides the young woman, Robyn is the only one who knows about her diabetes, and she makes sure she keeps it in mind. One day, she knows, they will be unable to find more insulin for her, and the sugar will be the only thing keeping her diabetes in check.

The tea in the cup is quite bitter, therefore, but her mind isn't even focused on the tea now. She looks at the phone on the table in front of her with a focused gaze as if blinking might cause her to miss the only thing that's important to her now. It vibrates and dances in a slow semicircle on the table before Robyn can snatch it up and check the screen. Her iPhone background, a picture of Beverly and Phillipa, is obscured by a notification prompting her to continue playing some God damn app that doesn't even matter anymore now that the world has gone to shit. The disappointment nearly chokes her, and she sets the phone down so she can cover her mouth to deafen the sob lest the others hear and try to comfort her. She's supposed to be strong for them.

Every day she grows less hopeful. It has, after all, been a month now since the apocalypse began. If she could have called, she would have. With one hand still wrapped around the mug, Robyn picks up her phone and dials the number she'd memorized as soon as Phillipa had her phone. Her gut churns as the phone rings softly against her ear. Phillipa's voice in her ear causes her heart to flutter. "Hi, it's Hero! I c-" Robyn hangs up suddenly as the familiar voice mail answers her instead. She drops the phone on the table and stands up quickly, knocking the car on to two legs as she moves toward the window to look out. Beverly's jacket is baggier on her mostly because Beverly bought hoodies baggy rather than tight. She crosses her arms over her chest as if to hug herself, reassure herself, when Josh begins screaming for her.

Her maternal instincts kick in without a second thought, and Robyn races out of the house and into the bizarre circle of cars and tents. It does not take long for the note to fall into her hands as Josh races up, worry evident on his little face. As her eyes scan the paper, Robyn finds it difficult to fight back her own emotions, but she knows she must. What would the kids think if she didn't?

"Oh God...oh no, not Art," she breathes, looking down at the woman's faithful dog. She manages to maintain a poker face that spreads into a forced smile as she looks down at the dog with an idea. "Kela! Kela, where's Art?" The dog grows visibly excited, and Robyn fights to remove her harness as the husky wiggles around under her grip. "Shanti, did you see Art out there?" She asks the question quickly, but hardly looks up before Kela begins to run off. Robyn whirls around swiftly, almost losing her balance as she looks at Shanti. "I need you to come with me. Please." Again, she turns around and follows the husky while pulling the pistol Nate bestowed upon her from her where it is wedged between her jeans and hipbone.

It takes a while, but they arrive at the spot Art was last seen with Robyn wincing from a cramp in her side. "Art?" she speaks in a stage whisper. "Art, it's Robyn. Where are you?" The smell of death hits her hard, and she covers both her nose and mouth with the fabric of a sleeve so that she doesn't gag. Kela follows the smell and so does Robyn after a brief hesitation in which she gathers her thoughts. Oh God, please no. Not her. Not Art. She can't be dead. Not yet. The pile of zombies scattered about is overwhelming, and Robyn pauses again. Is she one of them now? God, what is she supposed to do? Sort through the bodies? She does just that, of course. Covering her hands in the too long sleeves, she begins to lay the bodies out as well as she can. "Art...don't be dead, please," she whimpers softly, brow furrowing deeply.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Art Character Portrait: Robyn Dempsey Character Portrait: Shanti Nayar

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#, as written by girlwt
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Shanti followed Robyn out of camp and into to town, on her guard and knives at her sides. They followed Kela to the pile of zombie bodies, "Robyn, I don't think she is there," she said as she took a good look at them, someone had put up a good fight, and Art was more willing to live then to let four zombies take her down. Shanti glanced at the ground, footsteps led farther into town, "Maybe she went to look for the others," she continued.

She heard something crash nearby, and smelled something, "Lizzy," the beagle took off, having the better sense of smell, and probably could recognize someone's scent. She hoped the other dog would follow, she looked back at Robyn, "We can only think that she just beat the heck out of these guys and then went into town, and it sounds like trouble so keep you guard up." She knew that she didn't have to tell Robyn that, and she said it in a quiet manner, not like an order, but as a reminder. Shanti gave her a quick smile.

Shanti moved from where Robyn was, but only took a few steps away, she sort of thought if the other needed to continue digging she would just let her, but truthfully she sort of hoped that her words would snap her out of it. She actually said a silent prayer that she was right and Art really went to go look for the others. Somewhere nearby she heard a gunshot, "Fuck," it was a silent curse, "Robyn come on, it really does sound like trouble."

She wasn't kidding when she said she didn't like towns, full of nothing but zombies and people who wanted to take you out for their own enjoyment. This was turning into a really bad day.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nathan Durand Character Portrait: Art Character Portrait: Robyn Dempsey Character Portrait: Shanti Nayar

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She needed someone. Robyn needed moral support, someone to crack a joke about the entire situation. Hell, she needed Art, but as far as she knew, Art was dead. She was usually extremely laid back, but it was certainly difficult for anyone to remain composed when one of their closest companions in the end of the world was gone. She looked at the bodies, trying to identify them as she twisted the sleeves of her hoodie slowly. Perhaps she only kept her composure around the less composed members of the group. Robyn knew Shanti was strong, and she would understand the fear Robyn had.

"Do you really think she's...okay?" Robyn asked, looking at Shanti, her forehead crinkling in concern. She gave a soft sigh. Stop working yourself up, Robyn. You're not helping. Her mental pep talk seemed to have a positive effect on her, for she slowly grew less forlorn. It also helped that Shanti pointed to the footprints on the road, left in blood and gore from the surrounding zombies. She was about to tell Shanti they should follow them when the crash sounded. Instinctively, Robyn followed Shanti as Kela most likely followed either her or Lizzie.

Yes, let's say that's what happened. She ran into town. Art would do that. Shanti's smile did reassure her even if the fear returned soon after. And then there was the gunshot. "Oh God," she breathed, taking off at a sprint toward the town, pistol rubbing awkward against her hip from its place between her flesh and the belt she wore. They weren't supposed to shoot. Nate didn't want them to shoot. Why did they shoot?

Robyn paused in the street, far enough from the store that she couldn't notice the smoke at first but close enough that she could make out the figures of Nate, Art, and Oakley. She almost fainted as relief filled her, but Robyn regained her composure quickly as she noticed Art laying down beside Nate. "Art!" she called, moving toward the two figures at a slightly slower pace as she caught her breath. Shit, shit, shit. Nate looked up at her, still wearing his slightly worried smile.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nathan Durand Character Portrait: Adam Dawson Character Portrait: Art Character Portrait: Robyn Dempsey Character Portrait: Aspen Bates Character Portrait: Layton Bates Character Portrait: Shanti Nayar Character Portrait: Kat Savchenko

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{A fabulous collaboration between myself and Scarlet Loup}


Art rolled her eyes, already knowing Nate's answer before he gave it. He wasn't predictable – She just knew him well enough. Sighing, she watched as the molotovs were thrown and busied herself with trailing behind him. She almost felt bad for letting Nate be the protector in the situation, hiding behind him as he stabbed the zombies moving towards him, but she figured that he didn't mind too much. She let off steam with midnight dances and he liked to stab dead people. Everyone had their quirks. Besides, she recalled a point in time where he mentioned that he didn't mind saving her ass. She smirked a little at the memory before realizing that he had cleared their area, immediately producing a large black trash bag from one of her backpack side pockets. “You people eat canned soup, right?” Even in this situation she joked, teasing in her voice. She knew very well that they ate canned soup. It was often that Nate teased – and sometimes reprimanded – Art for not eating what the others did.

A few of the others probably saw it as her being uppity - She wasn't one to sit down and explain herself these days and to be fair to them, she kind of did seem a bit prissy for it being the zombie apocalypse. She still spent at least twenty minutes every morning and night on her hair and pouted about her clothes being dirty. Lord knows that the organic eater wasn't about to slurp down a can of Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup. She had literally turned such food down to eat wild mushroom and grass soup instead. There was a time when she thought Robyn was going to die from simultaneously choking on her coffee and having a heart attack when Art suggested they all go nude during the summer. Robyn assured her that there would be none of that.

All were such fond memories that kept her smiling even through dark times as she used her thigh-strapped phone light and Nate's gun light to select food from the shelves. There were lots of soups and dry ramen packets in this aisle along with those sides that you need only to add water, heat up, and stir. She made sure to grab all the three cheese instant mashed potatoes that she could because Joshamee loved them. Isabelle, on the other hand, was more of a fan of macaroni and cheese.

There was something exhilarating about killing in the mind of Nate. Video games could provide a mockery of what the carnage was really like, but it was nothing like the real thing. It was much like giving an alcoholic a can of soda. There was no auto-aiming in real life or unlimited ammunition for your pistol. This was real life, and there was no way to restart the mission. And he loved it. Wendy thought he was crazy when he tried to take Penny out shooting. Crazy bitch. Maybe she was one of the zombies he slashed through now. The knife moved with a bit more strength. Filed for divorce. How dare she divorce him? She’d been far too nonchalant about it, too.

Nate looked up as the door’s lock clicked. It was too late, far too late. He’d stayed up by himself after the kids went to bed, waiting for Wendy to come home. As she entered, he flipped the light on and watched her jump in surprise with cold, calculating eyes.

”Where the hell were you?” he asked, his voice soft despite his steely gaze.

“Out.” She moved past him and set her purse down on the table, heels clicking on the wood floor, as he stood up and moved around. Wendy had never really lost the beauty of her high school years. She was still a slight woman who preened just about every morning. He rubbed at the stubble of his unkempt facial hair as she turned around, dress twirling slightly.

”Where?” he asked quickly, moving closer to her, hands in the pockets of his sweatpants. She shrugged and turned away from him, occupying herself with a magazine on the stained coffee table. Wendy toyed with her hair slowly, running a hand through the bleached pixie cut. His throat caught, for she only did that when she was nervous.

“Nate. It’s not working out...we’re not working out, babe. I...called a lawyer.” His brow furrowed, and he chewed the piece of gum in his mouth with more vigor. “I think it would be best for us both if we got...a divorce.” He caught the gum between his teeth and stared at her without expression, jaw clenched. He slowly opened his mouth and then he closed it again as he walked back toward the kitchen, head held between his hands.

“Honey...please don’t just walk away from me,” Wendy said, a sigh of exasperation leaving through her frowning lips. “We can’t just keep living this God damn lie, Nathan!” He turned to her, and she met his gaze, tightening her jaw as if mimicking him. “I don’t love you.”

The stack of dishes hit the floor violently, knocked in a sharp movement as Nate shoved past. ”Fuck you, Wendy. Fuck you!” He had wanted to say something snarky, something moving. Instead, he cursed her out and continued to do so as he moved down the hallway, past the kids' rooms. He disappeared into their bedroom with a loud slam of the door that woke the kids. He’d woken up the next morning to a pile of divorce papers in place of his wife.


He physically shook his head at the heat of the nearby flames licking by his face. There was no time to think about her. Art piled food into the bag beside him as he passed by again with his bag and gun in hand. ”Can’t be too picky when the world’ gone to shit,” he replied, smirk returning to his lips. ”I’m going to grab protein bars. You coming?” In truth, he didn’t want to leave her behind. Not because he didn’t trust her to protect herself-- well, partially because of that-- but because he liked keeping the others in view. It lessened the chance of a casualty, and in turn, the wrath of Robyn who would undoubtedly lose trust for him if one of the survivors perished.

He hardly noticed the limp in his step anymore. The health aisle, packed with powdered protein shakes and supplements, was quite easy to find and navigate through. Zombies had no use for the products there. As he set his backpack down, the beer cans clanked together slightly and made a soft ding in response to the first few protein bars.

Nate was zoned out again. Art paused with him, canting her head to the side as she observed him until he came to. The fire was moving across the aisles and they had to get out. She pulled the gray fabric of her Nirvana shirt over her mouth as some form of protection from the thickening smoke. She could smell the plastic and paper burning stronger now, the thick cloud of smoke starting to sting her eyes. Squinting, she pulled her shirt down and gave a cough, following him. “I'm not sure setting fire to the whole store while we're all in here was the best idea,” she teased. She knew full well that Nate would never make such a decision if he thought for a second that even one of them wouldn't make it out alive.

Nathan looked quickly over his shoulder and replied with a short chuckle. ”Well, it worked out good except for the-” He paused to cough. “Smoke. Besides, it adds to the excitement.”

“Next aisle over.” She walked past him and headed into the next aisle – Cereal and snacks. She didn't bother looking too hard as she grabbed every Quaker and General Mills brand item she could, shoving it into the bag. A brush of movement against her back caused her to turn and speak. “Oh – Are you ready to le-” She was cut short as she saw the flaming, rotting corpse with gaping maw reaching for her. Her voice became a shrill scream. Her knife found its way into her hand again and she quickly and immediately began stabbing the zombie in the face until it crumpled at her feet.

She could hardly stand the stench any longer, burning rotted flesh smell now wafting directly beneath her nostrils and attacking her olfactory senses in the most horrendous of ways. As was usual, her killing of a zombie was followed by a hearty vomiting session. She slipped in the blood and guts as she turned in an attempt to not get any on the bag or the now for-sure dead body. Grunting, she ended up with her earlier meal on her jacket, headphones, hands, and some of it on her face. Whimpering in disgust and just a bit of fright, she pushed herself up and grabbed her bag, taking a moment to breathe. Didn't do her much good - Her shirt smelled like vomit. So did her hands. And the air was thick with smoke.

Nate finished piling what remained of the protein-heavy snacks into his backpack before standing up and slinging it back over his shoulders. The store was quite bright from the slowly spreading flames now, so he flipped off the flashlight and looked around. Art was nowhere in sight, of course, for she wasn’t the type to follow mindlessly. You had to respect her for it, but it was also worrisome. His protective nature kicked in, and he moved back down the aisle, gun held at his hip.

”Art?” he called, waving smoke from in front of his face with a quick movement of his hand. ”Where are you, damn it?” He turned and peered down the cereal aisle where she was located. A look of relief moved across his face as he moved closer, but it disappeared as he noticed the vomit on her front. ”Aw, shit, Art…” he murmured, brow furrowing as he stepped over the dead undead corpse. Nate made sure to breathe through his mouth as he leaned down to help her up the rest of the way, but that only caused him to cough harshly from the thickening smoke. ”Let’s head out, okay? Meet up with the others.” Nate moved ahead of her, clearing his throat.

“I'm... I'm comin', Nate.” Art tried to keep up, dragging her bag behind her. Fuck! I should have double bagged it! The bag began to tear and she quickly put away her knife. Dry heaving, she felt like passing out until she remembered that she'd probably die if she did. She prepared the remaining three bags, stuffing one inside the other and beginning the slow transfer of goods from the ripped bag into the more sturdy set of bags. She forced herself up and toted the bag over her shoulder, her knees buckling under the weight as she trudged towards the exit. “Guys! Let's go!” There was a gunshot in answer and she immediately picked up her pace.

”Get the hell out of here!” he shouted, throat feeling scratchy from the mixture of stress on his vocal cords and smoke. It wasn’t difficult to make his way out of the store and back on to the streets once the smaller, fallen shelves were stepped over. Once he was out in the open, away from the store, Nate turned around again and looked for a trace of Art. Twenty minutes had obviously come and gone, but he fought the urge to make a snarky comment about it until the others showed up with their spoils.

Art wasn't too far behind Nate... Okay, maybe about twenty-three minutes behind him. But she made it out, nearly collapsing at his feet. She gasped and drank in the semi-clean air like a fish back into water, closing her eyes. Resting against the bag, she shielded her eyes and glanced back at the store. “Should we leave the stuff and go back in? Can't be much longer before that fire reaches the cleaning aisle and I don't want anyone in there when that plastic melts and those flames hit the chemicals.” She gave him a worried look, reaching up to ask for assistance in getting up.

Relief washed through him as Art moved out of the building. Sure, she collapsed on to her bag of food and whatnot, but at least she was out of the store. He set his gun down along with his backpack by the spot Oakley had settled down when the going got too tough for her. Nate moved to her and crouched down, balancing on the balls of his feet as she spoke.

”No, you’re not going back in,” he said, making his voice firm to avoid arguing about it with her. Nathan offered a brief smile, trying to lighten the situation. ”Can’t have you wasting food like that.” He joked, referencing the way her stomach rejected its earlier meal. He reached down to help her up, but Nate walked her away from the store instead of toward it. He supported her with an arm below her armpit, ensuring she wouldn’t fall. ”Do you want me to leave you to head back in?”

Art grumbled unintelligibly under her breath when Nate assured her that he absolutely wasn't letting her go back in, making her way away from the burning building instead. She didn't complain too long because she knew she wasn't going to win. Nate tended to win these sorts of arguments more than she did. Sighing, she momentarily decided to act like a child, throwing her head back and letting out a whine. “But I can heeelllllppp.” It accomplished nothing and served no use other than a brief second of amusement. She hated when things got serious. People got all serious. Then they got their panties into a wad. People argued. People got angry. People got sad. It was all so depressing. At his final words, it was almost reflex, her reaction. She threw her arms around his shoulders and mock swooned. “No! Nate! I don't ever want you to leave me! Who shall keep me warm at night?” She peeked to see if there was just a hint of a smile on his face, giving her own cheesy smile.

It was a wonder at times that she was their third in command.

It was also a wonder that nobody had outright told her that she was mentally unstable. She wasn't, obviously. But you can see how someone might think that.

He gave a bit of a forced laugh, the worry beginning to overshadow his amusement. Still, he managed to retain a smile as she pretended to swoon in his arms. To put it bluntly, he was quite dense. Inference had never been his strong suit, but he certainly wasn’t stupid. He blinked at her a few times, wondering to himself whether she was to be taken seriously. Then again, it was Art, so perhaps it was just her being her not-so-serious and flirty self.

”The smoke must have gotten to you worse than I thought,” he replied, still trying to make light of the situation as said smoke spread within the store. He hadn’t shared a bed with someone since the divorce was filed. In fact, he hadn’t really had a bed since the divorce process began.

He pried her hands off of his shoulders gently and set her down before rising. ”Don’t go running off, alright?” he said, looking at her with as much seriousness as he could given her swooning. As he moved toward the door, he continued looking back at her, pointing his index finger and middle finger at his eyes and then at her in an “I’m watching you” gesture. He wouldn’t enter the store, but Nate pushed open the door and shouted in again, calling for them to get out. He didn’t want to outright abandon them, but Nate knew that it wouldn’t do the group much good if he went in and died alongside them. He was extremely practical when it came to decisions. Nate’s emotions were hardly a part of these executive decisions. As a few more filtered out, he picked up his belongings and moved back toward Art with them in hand, Oakley following behind. ”I’ll give ‘em a minute, and then I’ll go in after the stragglers, okay?”

Art gave a silent nod, rolling over on her side and closing her eyes. The adrenaline was winding down and she was tired. She hoped that Kela had made it back safely and that Robyn wasn't too worried. Robyn was probably going to smack Art when she saw her alive and well. She didn't mind though - It was nice having someone that cared that you were alive. She gave the faintest of smiles and yawned, pulling her headphones over her ears and plugging them into the phone still strapped to her thigh. “Galaxy, play Metallica, For Whom the Bell Tolls.” The phone replied with a ding and a smooth “Of course, Art” before the metal music began blaring into her eardrums, forcing her to keep awake.

"Art!" Nate looked up suddenly, still wearing that half-amused smile he'd given Art as Robyn approached at a half-run, half-walk. Nathan looked down again and shook Art before pulling the headphones up slightly so they rested on her temples instead of her ears.

“Whaaat?” The younger woman whined and sat up, rubbing her eyes. “You know I hate people touching my headphones when I got my jams,” she grumbled under her breath before looking towards the sound of footsteps from the opposite direction.

"Mom's here," he told her, utilizing the name many in the group had adopted including Art. Nate normally would not have referred to the older woman by the name, for Robyn was less than twenty years older than him. Still, he knew Art would be receptive to the nickname and would recognize it. The red head knelt by Art and looked down at her. "God, Art...my God, how crazy are you?" Her voice didn't sound as frantic now, for Nate was one of the ones who needed her to stay level-headed and calm. He was far too unstable and trigger-happy. "I thought you died." She sighed and looked to Nathan. "How did it go...?"

"Successful, I believe." He stood up slowly, his feet seizing up from crouching. "Still waiting on a few, but we have supplies."

“Everything's fine. From my run, theirs, and then my run with them... I'd say that we've got enough food for a while for everyone. Assuming nobody steals our shit. Oh! And clothes. Nothing Gucci, but it'll keep us warm. We could blanket raid ater this.” Art pushed herself up and embraced Robyn, hugging her tightly before moving to Nate's side, wrapping her arms around his side. “On a much lighter note!” Art prepared herself mentally for the prank she'd been waiting to play on them both forever and this just seemed like the absolute perfect time for it. The actress put her skills to work and beamed a happy smile. “Nate and I are totally an item now!” She gave her most joyous of squeals, giving Nate a tight squeeze and leaning up to place a kiss on his dirty cheek. But with the chunks she's blown and concrete she's eaten in the past hour alone, her lips weren't exactly clean either.

Robyn's smile returned rapidly as Art began speaking about the supplies they'd gathered Hell, what would she have done if Art didn't make it? "I guess we'll have to make do with that," she replied, playing along with the joke. Robyn wasn't even sure if she'd worn anything from Gucci in her life. With the condition the world was currently in, she probably wouldn't in her remaining years either. She relished the hug, holding Art tightly as if letting go would mean losing her. When they finally parted, though, Robyn watched in confusion as she latched on to Nate, who seemed just as confused.

"We...are?" he replied, his words a mixture of question and statement but mostly question. He took the hug well, of course, for he would certainly never reject her from hugging him. He'd learned not to do that, for she was always hugging someone. Plus, she hadn't reacted well when he first rejected her hugs. She followed the constricting squeeze with a peck on his scruffy, dirty cheek however, and he made a brief expression of both fake and actual disgust mixed with the remaining confusion as she did so. He certainly didn't hate the kiss. In all honesty, he did appreciate it. Or perhaps that wasn't the right word. Regardless, he allowed her to do so without pulling away. The amusement showed plainly on his face now as he turned to look at her. "You're delirious," he told her, fighting to sound serious. He wasn't an actor in any sense of the word. Placing an arm around her from under her armpits again, he started to stand and pull her upward. "Let's get you back, okay?" His limp added an unnecessary little bounce each time they moved, but he kept a decent pace as he moved her along, away from the chaos of the burning building. "You're crazy. You know that, right?" He was joking, of course, but there was something...quirky about her.

Amusement flickered beneath the surface of her visage but didn't once show as she looked at Nate adoringly. That is, until he told her twice that she was crazy and began to tow her off. Time to really sell it! With the smoke in her eyes it wasn't hard to muster up some tears as she threw herself away from Nate and onto the pavement like some Disney princess in pain. It actually did hurt as she hit the concrete but the more tears the better. She whined some and looked back up at Nate with a tear stained face. “I'm not crazy, Nate!” Something that her shrieking suggested otherwise. “I thought you liked me.” Her bottom lip poked out some as she quivered with mock hurt (and a bit of real physical pain), putting on a show for everyone about. Humiliating Nate wasn't exactly the idea but she knew they'd laugh and kiss and makeup later. Regretfully, minus the kissing. Unless things went better than expected. She placed her face in her hands and cried a little more, taking a moment to let it sink in. She knew Nate hated it when she - or anyone else - cried. She shamelessly played on his emotions before looking up at him again, crinkling her nose delicately. “I guess I am crazy to think...we” She stopped and choked up, burying her face in her hands again.

Her skills had not lessened in her time away from the stage. As Art threw herself on to the concrete, he turned a light pinkish color. The more she whimpered and cried, the deeper the color of red became. "Art..." he mumbled, leaning down to begin pulling her back on to her feet. With the backpack on his shoulders and his gun in one hand, it became too hard to do, so he crouched on the pavement beside her. His face was a bright scarlet now, and he rubbed at the back of his neck slowly. "Come on...don't do this," he replied, keeping his voice low. "I-I like you." He wasn't sure in which context they were speaking, though he could assume she meant the "like-like" kind that elementary school students whispered about. For now, he referred to the amicable type. Maybe he did have those feelings, but there was far too much going on the worry about such things. Art peeked up at him with one eye, her distraught expression slowly becoming one of amusement. She leaned up to his ear, whispering softly. “Yeah, I know. Just wanted to hear ya say it. Now, go play firefighter.” The possibly insane actress kissed his cheek again and made a shooing motion, setting herself upright quickly, dusting herself off. “I seriously need to bathe and brush my teeth,” she whined to Robyn as she moved back towards the store only to grab her large black bag, heading back over to those who had made it out. “I think we could all do with some nice "hygiene-me-time" tonight, right?” Her smile was a polite and normal one, acting as though there weren't a building with zombies, fire, and other group members right behind her. Pretending it wasn't happening helped her not break down.

His grin returned quickly, almost taking over as his blush slowly died down. "Screw you," he muttered as she kissed his cheek. “You know where I sleep.” "Don't get yourself killed, okay?" Again, he moved toward the building and waited, occasionally shooting a glance at Art. God damn it, it was hard to tell when she was pulling your leg.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nathan Durand Character Portrait: Adam Dawson Character Portrait: Art Character Portrait: Robyn Dempsey Character Portrait: Annabelle Marie Richards Character Portrait: Shanti Nayar Character Portrait: Kat Savchenko Character Portrait: Esther Lille

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#, as written by girlwt
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Shanti followed behind Robyn, who took off when she saw the others. Shanti figured they would have to leave quickly to avoid the undead that would be attracted by the noise. Lizzy came back after seeing the others come from the building, which yes had been set on fire.

Shanti looked at it What a waste she thought to herself. Nate's need to cause destruction had struck again. Yet she hung back, knowing full well that she was in for a lecture one way or another. She had to smile though at Art's antics, smiled then roll her eyes. The others followed out, and it didn't look like they lost anyone to whatever was inside the building. She looked over at the Doc who was helping Kat, but she was also looking out for more undead. Anna came over and talked about finding another woman, Shanti glanced in the newcomer's direction...yeah something else was more of an accurate assumption.

The girl looked away and down the street, either the majority of the undead had been in the store, or they were hiding. She only saw a handful lumbering their way, "Can we play reunion back at base," she said to no one in particular. She didn't want to be wasting anymore time inside the town, which was creeping her out as it was. She shivered slightly even though she had an extra layer on from that morning. She had changed weapons figuring distance would be a better option at the moment. Risking a glance at Nate, she said nothing else, positive that mouthing off wasn't a good idea anyways.

"I am sure the kids are worried about you," this time her comment was to Art, she would have admitted that she was a little worried herself, but Shanti kept the face without expression. She gave the actress one of her small smiles instead after a minute, "good think you got big feet, or would have never found the trail leading here."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nathan Durand Character Portrait: James Milo Character Portrait: Adam Dawson Character Portrait: Art Character Portrait: Robyn Dempsey Character Portrait: Annabelle Marie Richards Character Portrait: Aspen Bates Character Portrait: Shanti Nayar Character Portrait: Cyan Kress Character Portrait: Kat Savchenko Character Portrait: Esther Lille

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#, as written by mich22
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Adam exited the building with a rough cough to clear his lungs. The only regret, perhaps, would be the waste of supplies they had caused with their little light show. They hadn’t even taken a small fraction of what that store contained, and now anyone else that came would only be disappointed by ashes and dust. It may not be their problem in the future, but it may cause trouble for others in the future.

He noted that the group was already abuzz with chatter and seemed to be in good spirits. He gazed softened admiringly. The fight for survival, as much as you’d think would tear people apart, had actually brought them all closer together. Though, he couldn’t quite say he’d compare them to family just yet, they were dear to him, in some way. One would never be able to tell that they just came out of a burning building. Robyn and Shanti had even come to join the party. It was so rare to see the founder of their group stray so far from the children back at camp. Art and Nathan were up to their usual dramatics again. Sometimes he really wondered if they were--he quirked an eyebrow at Art’s announcement to Robyn. Oh good for them. The obvious fluster and confusion on Nathan’s face almost brought a smile to his lips. He did hope they’d invite him to the wedding.

His head snapped up at the call of his name. Oh goodness, he’d been completely lost in his thoughts again. He hoped Kat hadn’t noticed. Had she been speaking to him? A little blonde was jogging over to them—ah Annabelle. A flood of questions came soon after. ”Our plans went a little awry.” The cause of that seemed obvious enough, ”Yes, we’re all more or less in one piece, not to worry.” He shot Anna a quizzical look however, when she informed them that her scavenging had resulted not in clothing, or food, but another survivor! She turned around and the strange froze like a deer in headlights. Even disregarding the torn lip, the poor girl looked scared out of her wits. Adam looked down at his other companion. ”You should be alright for now, please let me look at that ankle when we’re back at camp.” Even so, he apologized again to Kateryna for dividing his attention from her so often.

The brunet took a gentle step forward to greet the stranger. Whatever terror she was feeling it certainly showed on her face. ”Hey--it’s alright. He spoke softly, “It's alright to be frightened...we all were at one point, but I promise you, you’re safe now.” Admittedly, shy, frightened, and sick children had given Adam a lot of experience speaking to the timid. He was an unassuming man in daily life, but as soon as you were his patient, he always gazed at you with a rare, irresistible prejudice in your favor. As if you were understood as much as you wanted to be understood. As if you he regarded you with the impression of you, at your best, that you hoped to convey. “We were just about to return to our camp. There's food, a warm fire, and a safe place to sleep. You’re welcome to join us. I can patch you up there as well.” Practiced fingers reached into his sack, pulling out a cotton pad. He held it at the level of her broken lip, to allow her to see what he was holding. “May I?”

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Robyn Dempsey

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As Nate brooded and contemplated, Robyn sat inside the farm house at the wooden dining room table which must have been impressive before the apocalypse began. While he was busy pretending to be the strongest member of the group, she stayed with those who were intelligent enough to realize the house would be the best place to sleep. Already, some of the children had curled up in blankets and sweaters by the wood-burning stove for a nap. Thank God the previous owners had thought to keep that. She wondered now where they were. There had only been a zombie or two within the farmhouse when they arrived, not the family (or at least the entirety of) that must have lived here. It wasn't worth worrying about now. Robyn knew she'd only succeed in upsetting herself.

Instead, she looked back to the maps before her. Candlelight flickered on the table, and she held a flashlight for good measure. She'd been working on the maps for a while now, picking up more as they moved along. That grocery store probably had maps before it burnt down...again, not worth worrying about. No, Nate had done what he had to do, right? He sacrificed the majority of the store to keep the others safe. That was a very fair trade-off. Then why was it still bothering her? Her brow furrowed in visible consternation, but she reverted to some sort of serene expression as she continued to look over the roads she had traced in bright red Sharpie. Alternate routes were in a mixture of blues and blacks and whatever other colors she could find.

A sound caught her attention, and Robyn looked up quickly. As a piece of ginger hair fell in front of her eyes, she realized the sound had merely been the creaking of a floorboard beneath the napping form of a napping child. She smiled in an endearing manner and subconsciously pulled her phone out of her pocket. For just a moment, she also wondered what she'd do when the battery of her phone died. Just as quickly, she forced it out of her mind and pressed the capped Sharpie against her cheek.

Don't dwell. It won't help anyone. You'll worry them.

Right now, her priority was moving south. If Phillipa was with others, they would also move, wouldn't they? Of course they would. Right now, those around her, the ones that she knew were relying on her, needing support.

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Character Portrait: Robyn Dempsey

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Joshamee Cortez
{Collaboration between Scarlet Loup and Little Fox}



The brother and sister both had equal amounts of kebabs and aluminium foil bowls of stew on their trays as they made their way into the house. They would yell out for everyone to come and get their grub on but such actions could draw unwanted attention. They separated as they got inside, carefully walking about to find anyone that they could serve. Joshamee found Robyn first, smiling bashfully as he offered her some food. “I made it all by myself... With Art and Belle.” The cute child set the tray and forks down to peel open one of the foil bowls, releasing delicious scented hot steam. Carefully, he picked it up by the tips and set it on the small end table next to Robyn with a fork before offering her a kebab to go with it.

Robyn looked up from the maps quickly as she heard Joshamee's voice by her elbow. She quickly capped the highlighter in her hand and met his endearing smile with a smile of her own. It was the same smile she used at work before the world went to shit, but it certainly wasn't insincere. Instead, it was one of those smiles that seemed personal, as if there was only the one smiling and the one receiving the smile. It made you feel special no matter who you were or where you came from. The red-head swiveled on the wooden chair, turning to face the young boy. It smelled wonderful, really, and she was suddenly aware of her hunger.

"It looks great," she replied, pulling her hair up into a more manageable bun as she spoke. She took the kebab from him with a genuine "thank you" and nibbled on it slowly, savoring the taste. "I think this is better than anything I've ever eaten from an actual restaurant!" She set the kebab down on the table and took up the foil bowl, which she brought to her lips after attempting to cool it with a few breaths. "When this all ends, you three should definitely consider opening your own place." She had purposely chosen to use "when" not "if". Word choice was a priority these days.

Joshamee knew he should probably get to serving everyone else but he instead simply ran off to deliver the tray to the kitchen, taking one of the kebabs and stews for himself before rushing back to Robyn, sitting at her feet as he ate the warm, but still a bit hot food. He didn't want to spit out the piece of venison that was burning his tongue so he only held his mouth open making airy "Ahhh ahh ahh" breaths as if to cool off the meat before quickly chewing and swallowing.

Grinning up at the redhead that he had taken to calling "abuelita" every now and again since he viewed Art as a mother and Art viewed Robyn as her mother. “What if we find a small town to clean up? You guys can get rid of the zombies and then we can start uh...” He paused to think of that word that everyone else was always using. “Settle! Yeah! We can help people who don't have a big family like we do! Me an' Art an' Izzy can make food for them. Muy delicioso!” He gave a wide yawn before taking another bite.

“My mom was a cop. But her little brother, mi tio Ignacio, he had his own restaurant. He made really yummy pollo con arroz. That's Spanish for chicken and rice. Have you had it before? What about grilled chicken salad or steak salad? He could make really good steak with parma... Perma... Parmara... Parmesan sauce with cheese and shrimp! Mommy said he didn't pay taxes though so he had to go away.” He gave another yawn accompanied by an innocent and adoring gaze that fell upon Robyn, the young Latino subtly (well, not so subtly) scooting closer to her.

Robyn nodded along as he spoke to her. She didn't do so in the way many adults did, using the slow bobs of the head to absentmindedly acknowledge the ideas of a child. No, she nodded genuinely, listening to him as one might listen to a professor. He was too young to deal with this. He was too sweet, too innocent. Josh didn't deserve this. None of the children did. "I think it's a wonderful idea. Everyone needs a family, right?" She was well aware of the make-shift family dynamic they'd created, and Robyn adored it. For just a moment, she wondered if this would be her only chance at being a grandmother. Would she ever hold Phillipa's child in her arms?

His family story evoked a slight frown. She was familiar with stories of students losing family members for various reasons: drug use, jail time, suicide. She'd met a few children who had dealt with a parent being deported. For some reason, it seemed different as Joshamme told her. It felt closer to her, like she too had lost an uncle. The boy yawned and moved closer. The red head smiled at him like a parent might. She eased herself on to the ground, careful to not crush his small foil bowl. "I'm sure he knew how to cook very well. I'd love to meet him some day." Again, she did not say "would have". Even if he had died, it would be better for all of them if she spoke hopefully. "Hey, why don't you go get ready for bed, sport? We might have a long day tomorrow, and we'll need your help."

Bed? Why did he need to go to bed? The boy yawned while attempting to protest and insist that he wasn't tired. He didn't even finish his food yet. “Will you tell me a story, abuelita? And make sure nobody eats my food?” He looked at her with big brown eyes filled with innocence, clambering into her lap and resting his head of dark curls against her chest as though her breasts were pillows. “I like stories about dragons... But no scary stories.” He gave another yawn and closed his eyes, wrapping his arms around her arm in front of him.

She held him in her arms for a moment, hugging him against her. Maybe if it had all been different, she and Beverly would have had a son, too. Maybe. "Of course I'll tell you a story," she replied, her voice growing softer instinctively, for he was closer now. "No one will touch it." With one arm around him, holding the boy to her chest, she pushed herself up into a crouch so that she could grab the leftover food and place it on the table. Her other arm tightened around him, holding him in a better position. The walk to the kitchen from the dining room was not far, and she was able to place him amongst the piles of blankets without straining any muscles. A child or two were also curled up nearby, but they were fast asleep by now. "Get yourself comfortable, alright?" A story about dragons? Her mind raced to think of something. Beverly was the one who made up stories. Robyn merely read them from story books. Still, it couldn't be too hard, right?

Josh grinned happily and settled in more as he closed his eyes. He loved stories! Isabelle used to tell him stories but she wasn't very good at making new ones. He'd never tell her though because she might get angry or maybe he would hurt her feelings. He was pretty sure Robyn had plenty of good stories to tell that would give him good dreams. He had to have his stories before he went to sleep or he would have bad dreams. He didn't like telling people about his nightmares because then they worried. He didn't want to make anyone worried. Josh knew that they were all already worried. Zombies tended to do that to you.

Besides, he needed to be strong. He wasn't a baby anymore and he needed to take more responsibility. To make himself more useful. He could cook and feed the dogs. He was also very fast and graceful but they'd never let him be a scout or a scavenger. He was too scared and always freaked out and froze when he saw zombies. He saw them and he knew that they used to be people. They used to be someone's mom or dad or brother or sister. He couldn't kill them but he was always too scared to run.
She was not ignorant, and she knew that the zombies terrified the young boy. Again, she wished that they had not had to face this at such a young age. Robyn could only hope that life would become easier as time went on, but she knew this wasn’t the case. The entire country had been torn apart, and it might never be fixed effectively. The only they could do was be brave. As a side note, she also hoped Josh would find courage to face this new and terrifying world. A story came quite suddenly to her.

”Once upon a time, there was a castle, and this castle belonged to a Queen and her two children, Princess Belle and Prince Josh. Prince Josh was a curious child, but he found it hard to be brave sometimes. One day, he wandered out into the woods by himself, and he came face to face with a dragon.” Here, she stopped for momentary dramatic effect. ”He was scared, as any person would be. The dragon spoke to him and asked for his name.”

”Josh replied in a scared voice, and he spoke to the large dragon. He was afraid, but he knew that dragons liked to eat people sometimes, so he grabbed the sword at his belt and held it before the dragon. ‘I’m not afraid of you!’ he shouted, waving the sword about. The dragon laughed then, and smoke billowed from his nose and mouth. ‘Eat you?’ he asked. ‘Oh no, I don’t eat humans!’” She stopped once more and looked toward Josh. [color=#006600]”Prince Josh was safe from danger, but he had been brave.” She opened her mouth as if to add something to the train wreck of a story. Instead, she merely leaned forward and kissed Josh on the forehead lightly. [color=#006600]”The end. Good night, Prince Josh.” As his breathing slowed, Robyn stood again and walked out into the kitchen, leaving the sleeping child peacefully curled up on a pile of blankets.

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