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Molly LeFleur (NPC)

A tutor full of lessons to learn. (DECEASED)

0 · 167 views · located in Season 2

a character in “The Walking Dead: Online”, as played by Captain Calamity

Description

.: Molly LeFleur :.

Image


Description:

 Portrayed By Rachel Mcadams
 Music Tutor / Cello & Violin
 28
 Female
 5'8" / 135 lbs
 French / Canadian
 Has a 1/4" inch tattoo of an eighth note on the inside of her lower lip.
 Often wears tights and capris with some kind if loose-fitting to, preferably in black. She does wear the cliche turtleneck at times, but prefers to layer.

Traits:

 3 Strengths
Musically Inclined: The girl understands musical theory and can sing or play the cello.
Yoga Master: Molly is greatly flexible and can center herself and her mind when she tries.
Kid Whisperer: Between having a younger brother and babysitting, she can handle kids.

 3 Flaws
Overwhelmable: She becomes easily frustrated and flustered.
Naive: The girl has trouble accepting the truth sometimes; reality's a bitch.
Asthma: It happens less often now, but Molly carries an inhaler for her bad asthma.

Personality:

 Fears
Failure, Losing Loved Ones, Never Finding A Man, Sticky Things, Bugs

 Aspirations
To have lead chair in her orchestra, to get married, to have children.

 Dominant Emotion
Naiveté

 Demeanor
Molly is a bit flighty-- and may come off as airy, but she is actually very intelligent. Her Californian upbringing has fed heavily into her mannerisms, speech, and outlook on life. She loves to talk about anything and has quite the penchant for gossip. When she gets stressed or pressured, she shuts down a little bit -- this manifests itself in different ways. Silence... freezing up... isolation. It's important to her to process things on her own time. Though not the bravest, she is very loyal to those that are good to her. Approaching 30, she is still struggling with what it means to be an adult.

 Quirks/Oddities
Can make any story sound dramatic.

 Skills/Proficiencies
Ballet, Tap Dancing, Tango, Musical Theory, Proficiency (Cello/Violin), Singing, Knot-Tying, Astronomy, Baking/Cooking, Gardening, Swimming, Acrobatics, Gossiping, Mixology, Barista Training, Yoga, Cycling, Rollerblading, Skiing, Surfing.

Equipment:

 Doesn't feel comfortable with any weapons. Would likely use a gun over a melee weapon.
 Keeps a pair of sunglasses and chapstick with her at all times.
 Has a favorite silver necklace that she wears.
 Has a headband she usually wears to keep her hair in place. Also wears bright colored shirts and tights with a skirt or shorts over them.

History:

 Born in Santa Barbara, CA.
 Begins taking ballet lessons at the age of six.
 Gets pins put in wrist after skiing accident at Mt. Shasta.
 Father gets new job in Los Angeles; family moves.
 Gets accepted into UCLA to study Music Theory & Composition.
 Begins tutoring dance students on the side.
 Gets engaged to boyfriend of three years; ends up canceling wedding.
 Was picking up little brother from UCLA campus at time of outbreak.

So begins...

Molly LeFleur (NPC)'s Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Briana Hawke Character Portrait: Sarah Hawke (NPC) Character Portrait: Molly LeFleur (NPC)

0.00 INK

# Sarah Hawke #


“C’mon, Brett. Let’s just go,” Sarah whined from the hallway. She had to run to keep up with him as he cruised towards the auditorium. Katie and her friend Theo trailed close behind.

“I’m not leaving without Amber,” Brett called back, “she’s got theatre class.”

Another girl, Katie, trailed behind them as she struggled to keep up. “I can't get a signal! Nobody is picking up. I can't even get onto Facebook,” she cried out between breaths.

None of them chose to acknowledge how odd that actually was. The group turned the corner and found themselves facing the large double doors of the theatre auditorium. Unlike some of the others in the rest of the school, these doors didn’t have windows. Whatever was happening on the other side, the doors were locked. Made obvious after several attempts to wrench it open by Brett. A feat even his muscles couldn’t triumph over.

“What the hell!?” He grunted in frustration.

Sarah rolled her eyes. “It’s a lockdown, Einstein.”

“What about the other doors?” He protested.

“It’s a lock… down…” Sarah repeated. He wasn't necessarily in the running for "Brightest Bulb" in the yearbook.

“This is bullshit!” Brett demonstrated his frustration by kicking the door. Hard. “We have to—“

“Who the hell is out there?” A voice shouted from the other side of the door.

Brett kicked at it again. “We’re students. Let us in!”

“We’re in a lockdown. Why aren’t you in your classroom?” The voice answered. From the pinched, slightly British-sounding accent, Sarah guessed they were talking to Mr. Weston, the voice teacher.

“Mr. Weston, something bad happened to Mr. Geoffries. We can’t get ahold of the paramedics or anything. Please let us in…” Sarah was pleading her hardest. She hoped to God that a less abrasive approach might appeal to his sense of reason.

“W-What happened to him?” Mr. Weston stammered, his voice shaking.

“There was, uh—“ Sarah's words caught in her throat.

“He got attacked, man,” Brett yelled over her.

Sarah listened as she heard, Mr. Weston shuffle around behind the door. "Why don’t you just, uh, go down to the office and—“

BAM!

Brett’s foot collided with the handle of the door again, clanging all the way down the hall.

“Stop it!” Mr. Weston cried out.

BAM! BAM! BAM!

Again and again he kicked at the door, denting the metal in.

“Please! NO!!" The teacher continued to cry out. His screams began turning more desperate, as if he was suddenly in danger. "STOP! PLEEEASE!!"

Katie tugged at Sarah's arm, pulling her back from the door. The hallway suddenly filled with the rise of muffled sounds as dozens of terrified screams rang out. Panicked students. Brett backed away from the door too, as it began to shake violently from the other side. As if bending at the frames, the door burst open with pressure from the other side. A wave of panicked bodies surged out, people spilling over each other in a desperate frenzy. Amongst them, a student crouched over Mr. Westons limp body. They immediately took off in the other direction, barely head of the torrential mass of people. Straining desperately to keep her bearings, Sarah buried her face with her arms as she ran and passersby collided with her. She made it a few doors down the hallway before getting knocked to the ground by the sobering blow of someone's shoulder. Sarah hit the ground hard and rolled into the person in front of her, knocking them to the ground as well.

“Molly?!” Whoever he was, the crowd had already carried him away -- lost in the surge of people like a bottle in a flood.

Sarah looked to the girl next to her. Blonde and terrified. “I’m sorry,” she began, “I didn’t—“

Ear-shattering screams seemed to be coming from every part of the corridor, even from where they were running. Parts of the crowd ahead splintered into different directions, some doubling back the way they came. Sarah looked around, unable to see any of her friends from before in the swarming frenzy of bodies. The girl next to her seemed to be in the same predicament.

“This way,” she said, grabbing the girl’s hand and leading her down the stairs nearby.. As they delved deeper into the stairwell, the sounds of chaos resonated louder from above.

The woman pulled her wrist from Sarah's grasp. “W-Wait. My brother—“

Sarah rounded on her. “He's closer to the car than you are...” The woman’s silence was all the answer she needed. Briana turned and continued trotting down the last few steps, the woman following her after a bit of hesitation.

“What’s happening up there?” The woman asked. Her voice shook slightly. Sarah figured it probably wasn’t shaking from jogging down the stairs, but rather from her fear that the world might be ending.

“Haven’t you been watching the news?”

The woman shook her head. “No, I was at the airport…”

Sarah snorted. "Airplanes. That'd be a fun place to be right now." She began to slow down as they neared the hallway. It was likely that there were people still down here. In what condition would remain to be seen. “It’s an infection of some sort, from the looks of it. The media didn’t seem to know how to explain it.” The two of them crept into the hallway in front of them towards the locker rooms, their shoes echoing on the cement floor. “Whatever it is, it’s bad.”

The silence hung for a moment before the woman finally spoke. Where are we going?” She asked.

“These locker rooms let out onto the football field. We can go around the track to the parking lot,” Sarah explained as she ducked into a passing doorway.

“So those… things… up there… those are—?”

“I don’t know,” Sarah said, her gaze dropping to the floor. It was suddenly dawning on her how stupid it was that she was in Biology class when the world ended. It'd be a great story to tell her kids... as if she'd ever have a chance to have any now.

"Listen, my brother--" The woman started, pulling Sarah by the arm.

"If he's smart, he's already running to your car. You do have a car... right?"

"Yeah... and I have the keys...” she replied.

Sarah stopped in front of the girl’s locker room door and looked the girl squarely in the face.

“Then let’s hope we get there before he does.”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sarah Hawke (NPC) Character Portrait: Rafiq Chedidi Character Portrait: Molly LeFleur (NPC)

0.00 INK

# Sarah Hawke #


Sarah sprinted through the bleachers with Molly in tow. Like a lighthouse in the fog, two beams of headlights cut across the parking lot where her brother sat in his car. She waved her arms, beckoning at him, and he kicked the car into gear peeling up next to them. In the background, dozens of other students tore through the sea of cars, chased by whatever infected things chased them. Sarah got in the backseat so Molly could sit next to her brother. She slammed the door shut, and the kid peeled out.

"Holy shit is it good to see you," he said, eyes darting out the window. "Is this really happening?"

Molly leaned back in her seat. "Y-Yeah... I think it is."

"Molly, I saw one of them-- I saw it..." the kid trailed off, shaking his head. Molly put an arm on his shoulder and looked back at Sarah.

"We saw it too..."

The kid looked back at Sarah through the rear-view mirror. "Who's your friend?"

Sarah crossed her arms. "Sarah. Hawke."

The boy smiled. "You're Calvin Hawke's sister?"

Molly turned around in her seat. "Someone just mentioned him on the news..."

"What?" Sarah said, jumping forward in her seat. "What'd they say?"

Molly turned back around. "Some Channel 8 reporter mentioned she was with him. Ya know Daniel, if it wasn't for her I probably wouldn't have made it... out... of--" Her voice trailed off as something outside the window caught her attention. Her brother seemed to notice it to, as he began to slow the car down. Sarah leaned forwards in her seat, trying to get a better view.

Several feet in front of them, a man in a shredded suit stood with gun pointed squarely at them. He panted heavily, gesturing with his gun.

"Out."

Molly's brother pulled the parking brake and began to unbuckle his seatbelt. She grabbed him by the arm. "What do we do?"

Sarah unbuckled her seatbelt too. "Just get out of the car."

They each slowly opened their doors as their hijacker circled around towards the driver's side door. Once he was near enough, he grabbed Daniel by the arm and dragged him away from the car onto the pavement.

"C'mon, he didn't do anything!" Molly screamed out. "Sarah, do something!"

Daniel swatted at his attacker as he was forced onto the ground, he punched the man in the face and flipped him over, wrestling for his weapon -- but ended up with the tip of the pistol placed square against his head. "Get your hands off me, asshole!" he shouted, swinging furiously.

"Please," Molly begged, "we'll take you anywhere you want! You can go back with us!"

The hijacker pinned the kid down with his knee and stared into Molly's eyes.

"There's no going back..."

BANG!

Molly fell back into Sarah's arms, unable to look at the horror in front of her. Tires squeeled out in front of them as their car sped off down the road. The two girls clutched each other in the middle of the street, unsure of where to go. Molly sobbed into Sarah's shoulder wishing that today never happened.

Sarah looked around for a street sign to figure out where they were. There were too many trees around blocking the street lights for her to make out anything definitively. Out to their right was a small strip mall with a row of storefronts. It seemed quiet enough to take shelter in for the moment, so Sarah led Molly across the street that direction. As they got to the corner, Sarah was able to get a better look at the array of stores. There was a hair salon, a bank, taco joint, ice cream parlor, and a deli. All the shop's lights were off except the hair salon's, which flickered in and out silhouetting a few stray walkers on the walkway in front of the windows. Sarah squinted her eyes as they crouched by the brick wall, trying to make out any movement in the shops ahead.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sarah Hawke (NPC) Character Portrait: Rafiq Chedidi Character Portrait: Molly LeFleur (NPC)

0.00 INK

#, as written by Zephon
Rafiq Chedidi

---

Bang!

The noise snapped Rafiq back into reality. “What was that?” He asked Nasir, who had sat down on the stool behind the counter. He appeared tired. Nasir rubbed his eyes and said, “What was what?” Rafiq shook his head. “Never mind.” He looked back out through the glass doors. His parents and two other walkers had turned their attention to something else, slowly moving away from the shops. Rafiq suddenly felt madness coming over him. He turned back to his friend. “You look like shit. Why don’t you go into the office and grab some aspirin or something?” Nasir did not protest, but simply stood up and entered the office.

With his friend out of sight, he picked up the hunting knife that he had dropped on the floor earlier. He silently opened the door and stepped outside. He was not sure what he was doing. He took a step forward. Somehow he felt a sudden need to get close to his parents and do something. He took another step. He had to put them out of their misery. If only he kept really quiet. They would not hear him and...

Then he noticed the two girls opposite in the street. They were crouched down and staring at him. He stared back. In the faint light of the moon, he could just see that they were both blond and in their twenties. One was holding on to the other. Sisters? The other one was staring at the knife in his hand, still bloodied from before. Suddenly he realized how he must look. And how stupid he was. What was he thinking?! He must have gone insane.

Movement at the end of the street caught Rafiq’s attention. An entire group of walkers was coming towards them! The girls did not seem to notice, but were still staring at him. He beckoned them to come over. One shook her head, still staring at his knife suspiciously. Rafiq lowered the knife and pointed behind them in a panic. They both looked back and one of them screamed, “Sarah!”, which only focused the walkers attention on them. The other girl – Sarah - pulled the screamer up and pulled her along towards Rafiq. “Follow me,” he whispered.

They ran back into the deli and Rafiq closed the doors behind them. Knowing the glass wouldn’t hold long, he looked at Sarah, who seemed to be the more assertive of the two. “We need to lower the security gates, or they’ll get in. Grab that piece over there and start turning it.” Sarah did what she was told immediately. As they lowered the gates, Nasir walked back into the shop. “Wow! Who are you? Where do you come from?” Rafiq shot him an angry look. “Not now!”

He could see the walkers coming closer. They were groaning angrily, hungry for something. Just as the gate hit the pavement, the first walkers reached the shop. They grabbed the gate and began clawing at it, the chains rattling under the pressure. “Do you think it will hold?” Sarah whispered. Rafiq nodded. “It should.”

They spent the next few minutes without speaking a word, all holding their breath in fear. The rattling of the gate was nerve wrecking. The growls the undead made was downright terrifying. Suddenly, without warning, the walkers lost interest or were distracted by something else and moved away from the deli.

It was Sarah who broke the silence. “Thank you. They would have caught us if it weren’t for you.” She looked at the knife, the suspicion on her face not entirely gone. “The way you were standing out there. With that knife. Well, we just...” She looked away. The other girl began sobbing. “Ow Daniel...” she moaned. Sarah walked over and patted her on the back. “This is Molly. She... she just lost her brother. My name is Sarah.” She looked up at the two Arabic men, clearly expecting their names as well.

Rafiq tried to be reassuring in his tone, but was not sure if he succeeded. “My name is Rafiq. This is my friend Nasir. I’m sorry about your brother.” “Yeah, I’m sorry too,” Nasir said, “Some of those things got Rafiq’s parents as well.” Rafiq closed his eyes, not feeling like discussing this. Molly wiped away her tears. “My brother was not killed by those things. Some bastard killed him for our car. Shot him in cold blood.” She said sadly. Nasir sagged to the floor, raising his arms in despair. “What has this world coming too!” He exclaimed.

Sarah looked at Nasir, worry showing in her face. “Are you okay? You look ill.” Nasir smiled that smile that he used when he did not want to show how bad things were. “Don’t worry. It’s just my luck to contract the flu at the end of the world,” he said jokingly. “I’ll be fine.” Sarah was not convinced but decided to let it go for now. Instead, she said, “So, what now?”

Rafiq considered for a moment. “We have to get out of here. It will only be a matter of time before they, or some looters, come back.”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sarah Hawke (NPC) Character Portrait: Rafiq Chedidi Character Portrait: Molly LeFleur (NPC)

0.00 INK

.: Sarah Hawke :.


Speckled beams of light shot through the slitted metal gate as dozens of walkers poured against it, clawing and scraping with their bloodied hands. The shadow of their backlit silhouettes played over the four huddled strangers in the dimly-lit deli like a dark fog. Sarah broke the silence with a sniffle. She had run out of the classroom with nothing but her t-shirt, and it wasn't until now -- when she had finally stopped running -- that she had started to feel the deep coldness of the night air.

Rafiq glanced over at her. "Are you crying?" he asked her quietly.

"No, I'm not crying," she snapped back.

"Hey, you--" she said, calling over to the young man's friend. He had his back slightly to them on the farther side of the shelf of goods, scratching at something on his leg. Once he realized she was talking to him, he quickly stopped.

He looked around at the others. "Who? Me?" Sarah continued to glare at him.

"There's blood on his pants!" Molly exclaimed, pointing at Nasir and backing away.

Rafiq stood up, raising his hands in defense of his friend. Sarah had backed Molly up towards the main isle, huddled together. "No, no, no. He's fine! Just a small gash. Tell 'em, Nasir."

His friend shrugged, wiping some of the sweat from his reddened forehead. "I really do feel fine. It's no big--"

"Were you bit?" Sarah yelled, cutting him off. Her hands had balled into fists. She still didn't know what the cause of all this was, but knowing the nature of infection this was something airborne or biological. All it could take from one of these things is a bite or scratch -- a little blood in the wrong place -- and it could be game over. Would he change instantly like a werewolf? Or did it takes hours? Days?

Werewolves, Sarah? Really? she thought to herself.

Nasir looked to Rafiq nervously. Their eyes spoke to each other.

Rafiq smiled slightly. "Simply a cut."

Sarah narrowed her eyes at the two, no closer to knowing if she had just been played. Trust was going to be a hard thing to earn back after what she had just seen done to Daniel. People were desperate enough to do anything to survive -- and that was almost more terrifying than the mass of biters staring at her through the grated door. "C'mon, Molly. We're leaving," she said taking the girl by the hand. She began leading her towards the rear exit, praying that none of those things had managed to come around back.

"Please," Rafiq protested, "we-- we need help. If we want to get out of the city, we're going to need each other."

Sarah turned on him, throwing her hands in the air. "Look-- I appreciate you taking us in here. You probably saved us from being those biters' dinner right now. Don't think we don't appreciate that. But--" she turned to look at Molly-- the poor girl's eyes looking at her with the weariness of a thousand lifetimes. She had seen more today than she could have stomached in her whole life. "What we saw out there--" Sarah lowered her gaze to the floor. "Nothing's ever going to be the same again. Not after this. How are we supposed to escape this?"

The two boys looked at one another, solemnly-- and suddenly an idea hit Rafiq, perking him up.

"Would a Vespa help?" he asked, excitedly.



~ + ~



Minutes later, Rafiq cracked open the door, pressing his eye to the crack to scan outside. The street lamps really were vacant in this area and the general clamor of the city was making it difficult to really hear anything distinctly -- especially with the horde of walkers causing a ruckus on the other side of the store. He turned back to the others, gripping his knife. "I think we're as ready as we're gonna be..." he said. The others nodded, and Rafiq gently stepped out into the night, making sure to keep his head on a swivel as he crouch-ran towards the two parked Vespas. "Ever driven one of these?" he asked.

Sarah ran her hands along the grooves of the handlebars, feeling the smooth metal against her fingertips. "My oldest brother had a bike growing up. He used to take me on a few spins with that thing. Can't be any harder than this, right?"

Rafiq tossed his set of keys to her. "Then Nasir and I will take the green bike so you two can ride together."

Sarah nodded. "Thanks..."

She rose her leg over the bike, mounting it as Molly took the same position behind her gripping her tight. Molly poked her head over Sarah's shoulder. "This is gonna be cold, isn't it?"

Sarah grinned. "First one with tears dripping down their face loses."

Molly butted heads, playfully. "You're on."

It was nice seeing her in somewhat better spirits. It had been less than 30 minutes since the incident happened -- it was almost like she couldn't bare to think of it with everything else to worry about. Rafiq had taken his spot on the bike behind Nasir. They looked at the girl's nodding to let them know they were ready.

"So where are we even going?" She couldn't believe she hadn't thought to have asked earlier.

Nasir looked up at the sky, as if surveying the stars. "East. North-East? Probably our best bet. We don't want to get pinned with our backs to the ocean."

Against her back, Sarah felt Molly lurch forward at the mention of ocean. "Ocean? That sounds safe. Maybe we can find a boat."

Sarah asked the obvious question. "And anyone here know how to operate a boat?"

The dead silence was the only answer she needed.

Molly sat back in her seat, folding her arms. "We could find somebody down there who does?"

"Seems like a long ways for a longshot," Sarah expained, brushing her hair back from her face. "East it is." She revved the Vespa to life, brilliant white lights instantly illuminating the alley around them -- and echoing all around. Nasir quickly keyed the ignition on his moped and started backing it up.

"Stay close," he warned, kicking off the ground into the night. Rafiq hugged him tightly from behind careful not to fall off the bike. Sarah leaned into the handlebars as she hugged a turn and felt Molly do the same. The biters only heard them coming a second or two before they actually made it to the street, but the Vespas sped by them before the walkers even had a chance. The dead horde began turning around and stumbling their direction down the road. How many hours it would take them to catch up the pace they were going gave Sarah a slight sense of relief, but she knew full well that there were thousands, possibly millions more of them to worry about.

In Nasir's headlights ahead she could see the outline of a tipped-over bus covering 3/4 of the road. The street was littered with glass and a few stray corpses of those fortunate enough to have escaped a worse fate. Sarah took a moment to examine how worse off the walkers were than she was. It wasn't a great time for anyone or anything anymore. Nasir began using his legs to walk the bike around the tight corner as he slowed down. But before he even got few steps, the familiar growl of a nearby biter sounded out from somewhere nearby. And then, like a chain reaction, more of them began calling out from the other side of the bus. Nasir wrenched the handlebar, sending his bike into high gear through the crack between the wrecked vehicle and building. Sarah knew she only had a split moment to make a decision: there was an alley to her right, but it could easily be a dead-end... or-- she plunged through the opening in the same, but possibly less successful fashion as Nasir did. By the next moment, she was past the edge of the bus and saw the size of the swarm with her own eyes, every reflex in her body wanted to turn into the alley, but she hunched down into the bike and plowed through the divide.

Rafiq turned around on his bike up ahead, flashing a big grin and thumbs up--

And then his eyes bulged.

Sarah looked to the side and saw the swiping limb of a passing walker. She managed to duck just in time-- just in time for Molly to get snagged by its fingers. In that moment-- three things happened.

The walker was jerked in the direction of the bike, its limb crunching as it ripped near out of its socket. Molly, on the other hand was violently yanked backwards, losing her grip on Sarah and the bike. Sarah was pulled back by the girl as well, forcing the Vespa into a wheelie. The bike flew out from under Sarah as she, Molly, and the walker skidded down the road. The Vespa veered off ahead, straining to stay balanced on its wheels before giving out into a bus stop bench nearby. It was a blur in every sense of the word, but Sarah felt her shoulder hit first. After that it seemed like multiple parts of her body were colliding with the pavement at the same time. She rolled to a stop several feet ahead of where Molly lay, motionless. The walker whined a weak growl as it tried to regain its composure. Sarah rolled on her side, howling inwardly-- her face red. She didn't have the air in her lungs to scream out in pain. That was gone too.

A hazy figure slunk in towards Molly as Sarah blinked and blinked to try and clear her vision. Sarah didn't need to be able to see to know what it was... and she was too far away. Gritting her teeth against the pain, Sarah put one elbow in front of her-- forcing her body across the pavement towards the girl. She wasn't about to watch another person die in front of her.

She didn't get far before she heard the distant hum of the boys' moped heading back her way. Sarah collapsed back on the pavement and turned, raising one hand in the air so they'd see her. A violent gust of wind blew by her as Nasir deftly maneuvered the bike around her and towards Molly. Rafiq readied his knife as Nasir lined up with the encroaching walker on his right side. As they began to pass one another the walker turned, rearing its hideous face-- just in time to receive Rafiq's blade. The knife lodged firmly into the beast's face. Rafiq began losing his balance and tumbled off of it onto the ground far less roughly than the girls had. He rolled to a stop mere feet away, sliding to a stop on his ass, eyes as wide as the moon. Sarah guessed he hadn't done something like that before.

*COUGH COUGH*

Molly wreathed to life a few feet away, as she got her breath back. Nasir had abandoned the moped and ran over to Rafiq who was nearest to him. Sarah looked past them at the shambling bodies of the walkers they had attracted with all the commotion. "You guys!" she yelled weakly, pointing past their heads. Once they saw what was happening, Nasir pulled Rafiq to his feet and the two boys split to attend to the girls.

"Oh my God..." Rafiq muttered, kneeling by Sarah.

She winced a bit, as she straightened herself up with his help. "Is it that bad?"

"No, you just-- we got lucky," he replied, pulling her to her feet.

The herd of walkers was closing in now, both from the way they were coming and the way they came from. Surrounding buildings boasted chained doors and boarded windows -- a deterrent to both the walkers and Sarah's group from getting inside.

"We shouldn't have left the deli!" Rafiq said aloud, mostly scolding himself. Nasir appeared from behind with Molly-- half carrying, half guiding her.

"We ain't dead yet..." Sarah breathed out, each word coming out with a little less air. She raised her hand to point past them where the bike had peeled out. Black skid marks tracked right across a manhole in the ground that was cracked open a few inches. Two frightened eyes peered out from under the metal lid, staring right at them...

And Sarah stared right back.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sarah Hawke (NPC) Character Portrait: Rafiq Chedidi Character Portrait: Niobe Kajja Character Portrait: Carl Dupree (NPC) Character Portrait: Molly LeFleur (NPC)

0.00 INK

#, as written by Zephon
Rafiq Chedidi

---

Instinctively, Rafiq ran over to the manhole, ignoring the bruise that was about to form on his ass. Sarah followed close behind him, slightly wobbly from shock, presumably forming some bruises of her own, but otherwise fine. “Please, help me get this open,” he said both to her and the person beneath the cover. In some other situation, Rafiq had probably been surprised to find a person lurking from the sewers. Right now, their simply was no time to think it over.

The walking dead were coming towards them, aroused by anger, hunger or some other ungodly force. Rafiq and Sarah tried to pry the manhole open, but getting a grip was difficult. He could hear the person in the sewers whisper with somebody else. “Please, open it!” Rafiq pleaded. “We are sitting ducks out here!” Sarah added. They could hear a faint “Alright” and somebody pushed the cover towards them.

Nasir and Molly had reached them now. “I think she twisted her ankle,” Nasir said, eyes fearfully darting between all of the dead people surrounding them. Rafiq was sure that his friend wasn’t doing so well himself, but did not mention on it. Ever since Sarah had made that comment back in the deli, Rafiq feared that Nasir was suffering from something worse than the flu. But Rafiq could not bear losing his friend, not so soon after his parents. So he tried to push it from his thoughts.

They managed to get the cover of the manhole and the sewer person revealed himself. It was a big young man with what could best be described as a goofy expression. “Well, come on then. We don’t have much time.” They could clearly hear the walkers now and quickly followed the man into the hole. None of them thought twice about entering the sewers. Facing certain death did that to a person. Rafiq was the last the go in, the walkers mere meters away. While holding on to the ladder with one hand, he tried to close the cover with the other. It was difficult and heavy and he could already see one of the dead trying to get to him. Pushing with all his strength, he managed to close the hole halfway, but then a grey hand grabbed his. As a reflex, Rafiq pulled back and got lose. He climbed down two rungs. “Quick! Quick!” He screamed, hoping that the rest had already managed to get down. The creature tried crawling into the hole, but was thankfully not small enough to fit through entirely. It was stuck at the midsection, clawing angrily. Rafiq climbed down as fast as he could.

Below, the others were waiting on him. Beside their rescuer stood a woman. She looked either African or Caribbean and even Rafiq could see she was beautiful, despite the dirt all over her face and clothes. “Did you close it?” She asked him. Rafiq looked up, but it was too dark to see if the monster was still there. “Not entirely,” he admitted, “but the first one got stuck.”

The man grinned and slapped him on the back. “Don’t worry about it. Even if they do get through, they’ll fall to pieces on the floor.” Rafiq and Sarah both stepped away from the ladder, as if that was just about to happen. The man looked them over. “Anyway, my name is Carl and this is Niobe. We have a group not far from here.” Niobe snorted at that, as if she did not really consider it a group she would ever be a part of. Despite that, she said, “You can join us. Safety in numbers, right? “

---

“They are called walkers.” Carl had talked most of the way. Due to Molly’s ankle, they did not move fast, but Niobe had assured them that the sewers were safe. The place was dark, damp and stinky, but Rafiq did not really care. At least they were alive.

“Walkers? How do you know that?” Rafiq asked. “They said so on the news. Before they went out,” Carl said and fumbled about in his pockets to pull out a phone. It was not a phone Rafiq was familiar with. “Made it myself,” Carl said proudly. “Still has signal and stuff, even though most of the phone companies went dead. You see, mine taps into the satellites directly and...”

Sarah interrupted him. “It works? Can I use it? I need to know what happened to my family.” Carl looked at her apologetically and shook his head. “No, not here. Even my phone won’t pick up a signal in the sewers. That’s why I was up there near the street. Was trying to get on the internet and find out more information.” Niobe laughed at that. “Updating your Facebook status, you mean.” Carl smiled wickedly. “Well, the status alive has never seem more appropriate. Anyway,” he looked back at Sarah and Rafiq, “even if we do get a signal again, your family still needs to hold on to a phone that ALSO works. It would be an extreme long shot.” Rafiq placed a hand on Sarah’s shoulder in sympathy, but she shrugged him off.

At that moment, Molly gave a small yelp. They all looked back and saw her and Nasir lying on the floor. Molly quickly scrambled on her feet again, but Nasir kept laying still. He had been supporting the girl, but was now in dire need of help himself. Rafiq quickly rushed towards his best friend. “Nasir? Nasir! Are you okay?” He asked. Nasir was not responding and a knot tightened in Rafiq’s stomach. This was bad. He knew it. “Come on Nasir, wake up!”

Sarah and Niobe had crouched down beside him, while Carl had grabbed a hold of Molly. Niobe looked Rafiq in the eyes and said, “What’s wrong with him?” Rafiq felt tears prickling his eyes. “I don’t know,” he responded, “some kind of flu.” He took Nasir’s hand in his and squeezed, hoping it would somehow bring him back. “Please, we have to help him.”

He then saw a hand moving near Nasir’s legs. It was Sarah’s. She was revealing the spot where the walker had bitten his buddy. “You... you said it was a cut,” she said with a mix of accusation and disappointment. Rafiq swallowed. “I know,” he said, “I’m sorry. I thought it was. Maybe. But what does it matter? It’s just a small bite.”

Sarah closed her eyes in frustration. “It’s not,” she said, “I don’t really know what is going on, but this virus, or whatever it is, must be transmitted somehow. It could be the air, but the more I think about it, the more that seems unlikely. That makes direct contact the next likely thing. Perhaps through touch, perhaps through blood.”Rafiq could see that Niobe backed away slightly, despite of herself. “You think he will become one of them?” Molly asked timidly. Sarah shrugged and said, “I don’t know. Hell, how should I know? It’s just a guess.”

“No!” Rafiq shouted angrily, which was very unlike himself, but these people could not know that. They all backed away from him and Nasir. “He can’t die! I won’t let him! We can’t let him!” Tears were running down his cheeks. “He’s just unconscious. Please, we have to get him to the hospital.” He knew that was a stupid thing to say, but he had to try something. Anything.

“No hospital is gonna help us,” Niobe said not without pity. She sighed and stared at her friend. “What are we going to do Carl? Fuck, this is messed up. What if...”

Nasir made a movement and Rafiq breathed out in relief. “See, he’s not...” It happened so suddenly that Rafiq simply had no time to react. Nasir grabbed him by the shoulders and pulled him down. Sarah immediately jumped on her feet. Rafiq looked Nasir in the eyes and for a fraction, his only thought was “that are not the eyes of Nasir”.

He would have died there if it had not been for Niobe. Before Nasir could bite Rafiq, she took Nasir’s head and smashed him down on the floor, holding it in place. Nasir did not seem to care and kept trying to bring Rafiq’s face to his mouth. Only then did Rafiq respond and pulled away from his friend. “Ow god, ow god,” Molly murmured in the background. Nasir growled and trashed about, but Niobe did not release her hold. “Guess that proves your theory,” she said to Sarah with a hint of sarcasm. In the meantime, Carl had restrained Nasir’s legs.

Sarah pulled Rafiq away and slapped him in the face. “I’m sorry, Rafiq, but Nasir is gone. It sucks. Give... Give me the knife and I’ll stop him.” Rafiq shook his head. “No.” Sweat was dripping from Sarah’s face. He knew his face would not be much different. “No. I’ll do it.” He glanced at his friend, now dead and turned into a monster. “I owe him that.”

He released the hunting knife from its holder and held it firmly. Funny how everything had changed so quickly. Just a minute before, he was pleading for Nasir’s life. Now, he was about to plant a knife through the skull of the person he had cared about the most. He felt sick. He felt tired. He felt disgusted. But he knew that it was the right thing to do.

For the last time, he looked at Nasir. Niobe was still holding him down firmly. She was stronger then she looked.

“I’m sorry, buddy. See you on the other side.”

Rafiq plunged the knife downwards.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sarah Hawke (NPC) Character Portrait: Rafiq Chedidi Character Portrait: Samuel Abbott (NPC) Character Portrait: Annabelle Mae McCallister (NPC) Character Portrait: Niobe Kajja Character Portrait: Carl Dupree (NPC) Character Portrait: Molly LeFleur (NPC)

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# Sarah Hawke #


"What are we going to do with the body?" Sarah asked, breaking the silence. Rafiq was still crouched over his friends motionless corpse, maybe secretly hoping he would back to life. It had all happened so suddenly after their escape from the street. One second he seemed fine and the next--

Sarah didn't even want to think about it anymore. Carl and Niobe stood by silently... respectfully. Molly sat on a large pipe nearby, nursing her injured ankle-- her eyes red and tired.

Rafiq turned to the others. "Go on ahead... I just need some time," he said.

Sarah shook her head. "How will you know where to follow us?"

"She's right," Niobe spoke from behind them. "I'll stay behind with him. You guys go on ahead."

Rafiq look at her appreciatively, not expecting her of all people to do something so kind. Niobe tucked her pistol into her waistband and went to find somewhere to give the kid some space. Carl put a hand on her shoulder as she passed but she barely noticed, walking past him down one of the other tunnels. Carl reluctantly started walking down the sewer the way they were heading. Sarah helped Molly to her feet and followed after him, taking one last look back at Rafiq. He didn't deserve that. It could've gone down another way -- maybe. But it was already in the past, and would be a part of him forever... for better or worse. He held eyes with her until they disappeared around the bend.


~ + ~


The three of them trudged along the narrow walkway on the side of the sewer bank. There were handrails to use for support, but Sarah feared she'd catch something worse than whatever infection was out there if she touched it. Her shoulders were already starting to hurt from carrying the brunt of Molly's weight. She had no idea how Nasir did it for so long-- maybe the adrenaline? Surely they'd be able to find crutches or something to help the poor girl once they got somewhere safe.

And that place arrived not a moment later. Carl opened the hatch on a causeway over on the side of the tunnel and cold fresh air poured in from the other side. He held the door open wide as Sarah helped Molly through, and then closed it tight behind him. There were finally lights in whatever hallway it was they stepped into. Carl continued leading them through some another hallway and stepped into what looked like some kind of maintenance room. There were doors that led to countless other rooms, Sarah imagined. Seated at a table in the corner was an older woman with brownish-grey hair and a young boy with a baseball cap. They were in the middle of a card game under the candlelight. The woman jumped up when she noticed Carl was back.

"Oh, thank God," she exclaimed. "We were starting to worry about you two-- wait where's Niobe?" She noticed the woman wasn't with them once Carl started to shut the door behind the two girls.

Carl threw his backpack over on the ground and went to the upended vending machine that had been bashed open. His feet crunched the glass as he shifted his weight, looking around in its interior for something to eat. "She's fine. She's back with another survivor we found..."

The woman furrowed her brow. "Doing what?"

Carl pulled a bag of Doritos from somewhere and popped them open. " Probably fucking," he said, nonchalantly. The woman's look changed, as if she were about to slap him across the face. "I'm kidding, Jesus-- err, not Jesus but-- no, you know what? Just calm down. They aren't out there sinning... they're paying their respects."

That shut her up. She suddenly felt very foolish. "Oh... well-- I'm sorry," she said to the girls opening up her arms to embrace then. Very awkwardly, she managed to pull them all in for a three person hug. She noticed Molly wince a bit and looked her over. "Dear, are you hurt?"

Sarah wrenched Molly away and helped sit her down at one of the benches. "I think she may have sprained her ankle... and she has glass all over her hands."

"So do you, honey..." the woman replied. Sarah hadn't even taken the chance to look herself over yet. Things had gone by too quickly.

"Where are the others?" Carl asked, plopping down at the table. A few chips spilled on the cards and the little boy glared at him.

The older woman turned to him. "Jessica is covering the tracks west of us, and George has east with his dog-- out in the patrolman kiosks on the platform. One of 'em would probably welcome being tagged out right about now as a matter of fact..."

"I just got back!" he shouted with his mouth full, spraying more chips on the table.

Sarah dragged a chair over for Molly to elevate her foot on while she examined it. The girl blankly stared at her reddened foot, no trace of emotion in her eyes. Maybe it had just been too much death for her. Who knew what else she had dealt with tonight...

"Just stay with me, Molly. You're the only one here I can trust now," Sarah whispered to her. She grabbed a dirty towel from nearby and tore it into strips to wrap her foot. "We don't know these people and Rafiq hasn't given us any reason to trust him-- especially after Nasir. If you get a bad vibe from these people just tell me and we'll get out of here together." The girl's eyes looked up and met hers, watering a little. She didn't nod, but Sarah knew she understood. It felt good having somebody on her side during all of this.

But who knew... these people could turn out to be alright.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sarah Hawke (NPC) Character Portrait: Rafiq Chedidi Character Portrait: Jessica Abbott (NPC) Character Portrait: Samuel Abbott (NPC) Character Portrait: Annabelle Mae McCallister (NPC) Character Portrait: Niobe Kajja Character Portrait: Carl Dupree (NPC) Character Portrait: George Remington (NPC) Character Portrait: Molly LeFleur (NPC)

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#, as written by Zephon
Rafiq Chedidi

---

When the others had left, Rafiq went to work on Nasir’s body. He knew that it was impossible to give his friend a proper burial, especially being in the sewers, but at least he could try to leave him behind with some respect. With some difficulty, he managed to move Nasir to the side of the wall. He covered the head wound with a cloth he knew Nasir kept in his pocket. When he wanted to place the hands in a dignified position, Rafiq noticed the leather bracelet his friend wore most of the time. It had been given to Nasir by an ex-girlfriend, but he somehow had not gotten rid of it. Rafiq unclasped it and put it on his right wrist. It would be the one thing to remember his friend by.

He then prayed for Nasir, saying the Salat al-Janazah out loud. He was not entirely sure he was doing everything correct, only having been to an Islamic funeral two times in his life, but it would have to do. In his mind, he not only prayed for his friend, but for his parents as well. And everyone else he may have lost.

Niobe was walking towards him. “You’re muslim,” she said. It was a statement, not a question.

He nodded. He was definitely not the most religious person, but in this moment, it somehow felt good to acknowledge his heritage. “Cool,” Niobe said without judgement. Rafiq turned around and wiped some dirt – or was it blood? – of his face. “Thank you for staying with me,” he said. Niobe shrugged in a way that indicated that it was only the natural thing to do. Then she pointed to the way the others had left. “We better go. This place should be safe from those walkers, but I’d rather not find out.” Rafiq nodded in agreement. After everything that happened, he was still alive. And he was determinant to stay that way.

---

Rafiq woke, still groggy from a deep sleep. He looked around and saw other people laying on the floor as well, asleep or trying to. For a couple of seconds, he was confused and disoriented. Then, everything that had happened rushed back and he groaned. He remembered now. Everything had gone to shit.

Only one man was sitting up. He scratched a dog behind its ear and looked at Rafiq with a faint smile. Rafiq did not recognize him. Earlier, Niobe had lead him to some sort of maintenance room. Sarah and Molly had already been there, as well as some other people. An older lady – was her name Annebelle? - had hugged him and a boy had looked at him curiously. Rafiq did not recall much of what happened after that. Exhausted from fear and grief, he had simply fallen asleep on the floor.

“Good morning. At least, I think it is morning,” the man said quietly as to not wake the others. “Here, have a couple of cookies.” Rafiq took them eagerly, not realizing until now how hungry he was. “Thank you,” he muttered.

“They tell me your name is Rafi?” The man inquired. “Rafiq,” Rafiq corrected. “Rafiq,” the man said, “I’m George. And this is Charlie.” George’s voice had gone a pitch higher as he had said that in an endearing way. The man clearly loved that dog. Rafiq smiled at Charlie, who came over and licked his hand. It felt good to find some friendly people.

He looked around and saw a woman he did not recall from last night. She was sleeping next to the boy, with her arm around him protectively. Rafiq figured it must be the mother. Niobe and Carl were not here. George noticed his searching gaze.

“They are out on watch,” he said. “I’d rather be safe than sorry.” Rafiq nodded, he could see the sense in that. “Do you know what happened?” he asked George. After everything, he still had no clue what was going on. George shook his head. “I don’t really know. One moment, everything was fine, the next, the dead are walking and killing everyone. Annabelle thinks it is the wrath of God.” He patted Charlie on the top of the head. “Personally, I think it is some type of epidemic. But it is widespread. The entire nation was hit. Maybe the entire world.”

Rafiq swallowed the last bite of his cookie. The entire world? That would mean that no rescue was possible. That they would be stuck in this situation for as long as the epidemic lasted. George seemed to have the same thought. “It seems we will have to adjust to this new world for at least a while. And the best way to survive is to stick with the right people.”

George gestured to the people around them. “Apart from Niobe, who somehow is born for surviving the bloody apocalypse, these are probably not the people best suited for the situation we are in. But they are good people. And that is what’s important.” He looked at Rafiq intently, as if he was making a decision. “You seem like good people as well. After what Niobe told me you did after what happened to your friend... well, I feel you would do the right thing when it came down to it. You can join us if you promise me one thing: to put the safety of this group above anything else.”

Rafiq nodded and shook George’s hand. “I can do that,” he said. And he meant it.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rafiq Chedidi Character Portrait: Jessica Abbott (NPC) Character Portrait: Samuel Abbott (NPC) Character Portrait: Annabelle Mae McCallister (NPC) Character Portrait: George Remington (NPC) Character Portrait: Molly LeFleur (NPC)

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#, as written by Zephon
Rafiq Chedidi

---

Unsure on what to do, Rafiq picked up the backpack. It was heavy with food and two sleeping bags, but he would manage. He placed the bands on his shoulders and fastened them.

The man in the wheelchair looked at him curiously.

“What are you doing?” He asked. “Are you guys stealing from the shop?”

George sighed and crouched down next to the man.

“Sir, how long have you been trapped in there?”


The man closed his eyes in a way that made it seem like thinking about the progress of time pained him. It was difficult to make out his facial expression, hidden beneath a layer of wrinkles and dark red spots.

Just as Rafiq began to wonder if he had forgot the question, the man spoke up. “I think a day. Maybe. I was here with Regina. Like we usually do. Coming to this shop I mean. She’s lovely. She is the only one that still takes me out of the house. Have you seen her? Regina?”

George smiled faintly. “No sir, we have not. You see, there has been a... uh...”

“Crisis,” Rafiq spoke up, realizing that George was not sure on how to explain the situation to the man. Quickly thinking on the spot, Rafiq managed to spun a story to the man about how a virus had affected some people to become extremely violent. It was not that far from the truth, Rafiq figured, but he did not dare to mention that the dead were actually walking. He was not sure how the man would react to that.

“I see. That’s horrible,” the man said faintly. “And you boys are taking the opportunity to plunder this place.”

“No, that’s not...”

“Don’t lie to me.” The man slowly raised himself an inch from the wheelchair and gestured towards Rafiq. “I know how you people are.” The comment made Rafiq take a step forwards, anger flaring up at him for a second. Then it went away again. He was not entirely sure if the man was being racist or referencing something else.

The man must have noticed his movements, because he carefully glided a meter backwards with his wheelchair. “Look, I do not condone what you are doing. But you saved me from them,” he quickly glanced towards the bodies in the corner, “So I will give you time to go. I will wait here for the police and explain things to them. They surely will be here soon.”

“I don’t think that-“ Rafiq was about to say that the police would not come, but George cut him off.

“I think that’s for the best. We go.” And with that, George walked back towards his own backpack and shot Rafiq a look that said ‘do not argue, follow me’.

As they left the shop, George barred the door. Through the glass, Rafiq could see the man sitting in his wheelchair, watching them.

“We are just leaving him in there?” Rafiq asked.

“You heard the man. He wants us to leave.”

“Yes, but he clearly does not-“

“No. But what else do you want me to do? We can’t take him with us.”

Rafiq swallowed hard, not sure how to react to that. He knew George was right. It would be impossible to take the man into the sewers. Yet, this did not feel right to him. Not at all. It made him feel sick to his stomach. Was it going to be like this? Survival of the fittest? Leave the weak behind? He was not sure he was ready for that.

“But, at least I could go back and tell him the real situation,” he said in a last attempt to do something. “I should not have lied to him. He needs to know.”

“But you DID lie to him.” George scratched the stubble on his chin and looked at Rafiq with a hardened expression. “And I think he’s better of not knowing. Look, I locked him inside the shop. Maybe he gets lucky and the bombs kill him quickly.”

With that, he walked away.

Rafiq followed him in silence.

---

They got back to the maintenance room without incident. They had not spoken for the entire trip, but there was a silence acknowledgement they would not tell the others what had happened.

Annabelle was the first to greet them. “Where are the others,” she asked with a hint of panic after seeing their faces.

“Don’t worry. We just split up to cover more ground.” George hugged her briefly.

Molly was playing cards with the boy Samuel. Jessica was standing near the other door, which was halfway open to let her see into the tunnel.

Rafiq put the backpack down next to the table and sat down. He was disgusted and ashamed with himself.

“You’re okay?” Molly asked.

“Yes, just tired. How are you?”

“I’m alright.”

They looked at each other awkwardly. He and Molly had been through hell together, but they were still complete strangers.

“Have you brought a lot of food?” Sam asked excitingly, seemingly not very worried about the current state of the world. A thought struck Rafiq how both the old man and this young boy were, in a way, still complete innocents. It made him shiver.

He pushed the backpack towards Sam. “Have a look. I also brought you a couple of comics.”

“Really? Awesome!” The boy turned over the backpack and pulled everything out. He quickly found the comics and rushed over to his mother.

“Look mom! And I’ve not even read these yet.” He picked one out and showed it to her. “Well, except for this one. You bought that one just two weeks ago.”

Jessica squeezed him in the shoulder with affection “I remember. Go on, you can read them over there,” she said. She mouthed a ‘thank you’ to Rafiq. He nodded.

At least someone was happy today.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Harper Hopkins Character Portrait: Nathan McDonald (NPC) Character Portrait: Lillian "Lily" Strong Character Portrait: James Marshall (NPC) Character Portrait: Wayne Williams (NPC) Character Portrait: Rafiq Chedidi Character Portrait: Steve Hilpin (NPC) Character Portrait: Tara Schantz (NPC) Character Portrait: Jessica Abbott (NPC) Character Portrait: Samuel Abbott (NPC) Character Portrait: Annabelle Mae McCallister (NPC) Character Portrait: Niobe Kajja Character Portrait: Carl Dupree (NPC) Character Portrait: George Remington (NPC) Character Portrait: Molly LeFleur (NPC)

0.00 INK

#, as written by Zephon
Rafiq Chedidi

---

“Another can of beans.” Rafiq placed it next to the others.

“Well, at least we won’t be lacking for beans for a while,” Molly said while scribbling it down in the notebook. Feeling useless because of her ankle, she had asked Rafiq to help out making an inventory of everything that they had. Figuring out rations was probably a good idea.

“I don’t like beans,” Sam said from behind his comic. His mother looked at him reproachfully. He did not notice, as he was already back in the wonderful world of the Marvel universe. It suddenly hit Rafiq that the kid was probably reading the last story Marvel would ever publish.

The door flung open and Niobe and Carl sashayed in. Annabelle peeked in behind them, smiled and then returned to her watch duty.

“Where is George?” Niobe asked, dropping a stuffed backpack near the others.

“Hello to you too,” Jessica responded with a tinge of sarcasm.

“Yeah, yeah, where is George?”

“On watch,” Rafiq said and nodded towards the other door. “Did something happen?”

She simply looked at him for a second and then went to find George without saying another word. Carl shrugged at them apologetically.

“What’s her problem?” Molly asked indignant.

“Nothing,” Carl said. He reached over to a bag of potato chips, but thought better of it when he saw the way Molly was looking at him. “Sorry,” he muttered. “Anyway, we ran into some people. Niobe wants to talk with George first before we decide... uh... on things.”

Rafiq looked at Molly, who seemed equally confused. “Things?” He asked, “what things?”

Carl thought for a second but then figured there was no point in lying.

“We got to Capitol Records, where we ran into a bunch of-“


BOOM!

The sudden noise made him shut up as a shock all went through them. For a moment, they all just sat there. Stunned.

BOOM!

“The bombs!” Rafiq shouted, “Get down!” He hoped he could hear them, but if they did not, they all seemed to have the same idea, as they all crouched down on the floor. Jessica ran to her son and covered his ears.

BOOM!

BOOM!


Annebelle scrambled back into the room, having realized that the room was safer then the tunnel outside. Jessica had told them earlier that this room was as earthquake proof as an underground place could get. They had hoped this would be the same for bombs as well.

BOOM!

BOOM!


It felt different from an earthquake though. There was a lot more noise for one thing. And it was apparent that the danger came from above. Rafiq had instinctively wrapped his arm around Molly, who in turn was holding his other hand.

The bombs went on for a while longer, but then eventually died away. Rafiq could feel his heart racing and sweat was trickling down his forehead.

Once they were sure it was over, Rafiq helped Molly up. She was a bit pale, but otherwise not in any visible signs of panic. The others seemed to cope as well, considering the situation. It was unnerving to think what would have happened if they had not been here. This was not the moment to just sit down though.

“We have to make sure the others are okay,” Rafiq said. He picked up one of the flashlights they had collected earlier.

“What about Sarah?” Molly asked. Rafiq swallowed hard. He did not want to think it, but if the girl had not gotten underground, she was probably dead. It made him feel sad.

“One thing at a time,” he heard himself say, although it came out a lot colder then he meant too. He turned around and left the room. Carl and Jessica followed.

The tunnel was dark. The bombs must have cut of the power, Rafiq thought to himself. Thankfully, George would not have gone far.

Just as that thought came into his head, they could make out George and Niobe leaning against the wall. They appeared alright.

“Oh my God, you are okay.” Jessica said loudly and ran towards them. George held up a hand and indicated for them to be quiet.

“Yes, we are alright,” he said in a low voice, “and you guys?”

“We are all fine,” Rafiq whispered. “What’s happening?”

Niobe took a step away from the wall and looked at something a bit away from them. It was a train, derailed. “Just before the bombs fell, this group ran inside that train. They have not seen me or George. We were lucky. That railcar not so much.”

They carefully shuffled closer to the train. Those people might be in need of a help. At the same time, they might be trouble. Or worse, they might have died and turned into walkers. George lifted his gun and Rafiq and the others did the same.

Suddenly a light fell upon them. It danced away and around them. Someone inside that train was trying to get their attention.

“They are trapped,” Rafiq said.

“That they do,” George said in a flat tone.

Rafiq was the first to reach the train. Through the glass, he could make out a number of people. There were ten of them, including a little girl. They would outnumber his little group, but then again, they did not seem particular dangerous. It was quite a mix match of people.

The woman with the flashlight was shouting something, but he could barely make it out through the thick glass. It was clear what she wanted though. Getting out.

He looked at George, remembering what happened earlier that day with the man in the wheelchair. If he did not want to help these people...

Thankfully, George was not that cruel. “Alright,” he sighed, “let’s try to get them out. Still, be careful everyone.”

Rafiq gave the woman in the train a reassuring smile, which seemed to ease her tension a bit. She said something to her fellow people and backed away. Together with Carl and George, Rafiq tried to pull the door open. With the way the train had fallen, this proved to be quite difficult, as the door was heavy and gravity against them. Yet, they managed and after a couple of grunts and cursing, the door swung open.

The woman with the flashlight was the first to get out and was about to say something, until she saw the gun in George’s hand, who was pointing it straight at her. “What the...” she began.

“Look,” George said, “we don’t want to do you guys any harm. But I’m sure you understand that we have to make sure you are not the wrong kind of people.” He placed a deliberate emphasis on the word 'we'.

A man propped his head behind the woman. He was angry, “Come on! We already had a shit day!”

George narrowed his eyes, but focused his attention on the woman. “You seem like a reasonable lady,” he said, “I only ask of you people to get out of the train one by one and see if you are carrying any weapons.”

The woman nodded. “That is only sensible,” she said.

They did as George asked and got out of the train one by one. They all lifted their hands in the air upon coming out, indicating that they were not holding any weapons.

“Alright,” George said, “that was not that bad, was it?” As he said that, he lowered his gun as a sign of goodwill. They all just stood there, not sure what to do next.

At that moment, they could hear another bomb falling in the distance. It was not close enough to do any damage, but nearly all of them looked up at the ceiling regardless.

Another bomb fell, clearly audible this time.

Later, he would be amazed at the fact how he was the one who had made the decision. But at that moment, all Rafiq could think of was to get everyone to safety.

“George!” He shouted, “we have to get back to the maintenance room! We’ll figure this out later!”

Niobe and George briefly exchanged looks.

Another bomb.

Niobe nodded.

“You heard the boy! Let’s go!”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Calvin Hawke Character Portrait: Natasha Dean Character Portrait: Dyomie Thornes Character Portrait: Marie Thornes (NPC) Character Portrait: Harper Hopkins Character Portrait: Phillip Wilson (NPC) Character Portrait: Sarah Hawke (NPC) Character Portrait: Nathan McDonald (NPC) Character Portrait: Lillian "Lily" Strong (NPC) Character Portrait: James Marshall (NPC) Character Portrait: Jack Cavanagh (NPC) Character Portrait: Wayne Williams (NPC) Character Portrait: Rafiq Chedidi Character Portrait: Steve Hilpin (NPC) Character Portrait: Tara Schantz (NPC) Character Portrait: Jessica Abbott (NPC) Character Portrait: Samuel Abbott (NPC) Character Portrait: Annabelle Mae McCallister (NPC) Character Portrait: Niobe Kajja Character Portrait: Carl Dupree (NPC) Character Portrait: George Remington (NPC) Character Portrait: Molly LeFleur (NPC) Character Portrait: Everett T. Bronson (NPC) Character Portrait: Oliver O'Brien (NPC) Character Portrait: Dax Faraday (NPC)

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.: Calvin Hawke :.
# Sarah Hawke #


BOOM! BOOM! B-BOOM!

Thunderous quakes shook the ground as dozens of convicts shepherded a hooded man down the halls towards the kitchens. Their riotous noise-making was almost enough to overpower the sound of the distant bombs dropping, but not quite. The captive was corralled across the kitchen tile and thrown into the walk-in freezer. Sarah struggled on the tips of her toes to see what was happening, but the halls were packed with too many bodies. Through the heads of the men ahead of her, she managed to see Oliver force himself into the freezer with a bearded man and the prisoner.

BOOM!

Another explosion in the distance, followed by the aftershock of a neighboring building crumbling to the ground. Sarah looked at the mob of strangers scrambling for cover all around her, feeling absolutely lost and alone. A passing shoulder knocked her to the ground, and Dax -- having witnessed Sarah's fall -- limped over to help her off her hands and knees.

Her eyes lit up when she saw who it was, his bright red hair like a lighthouse amongst the chaos. "T-Thank you," Sarah managed to blurt out. Dax pulled her to her feet, nodding curtly.

"This way," he ordered, starting down one of the side halls. She took his arm, helping to steady the man as they moved away from the frenzied crowd. Sarah looked over her shoulder one last time, hopelessly checking for Oliver in the mass of convicts. She hoped that whatever was happening behind that freezer door had nothing to do with him -- however serious it looked.

If only she knew...


* * *


Inside the freezer, Bronson slammed Calvin against the metal rack, cuffing his right hand to one of its legs. Oliver closed the door behind him as he entered, turning around just as Bronson ripped the bag from Calvin's head. He squinted against the crystal blue fluorescent light -- a bandana crudely tied around his head and mouth in a makeshift gag. His reddened eyes glared back and forth between his two captors as he sat on the freezing plate floor, shackled to the rack behind him.

Oliver shook his head, running one hand over his face to calm his nerves. He waited a beat for Bronson to speak, but knew that the man probably felt he had nothing to explain. Since things had gone down, Bronson had assumed total authority over the surviving convicts, including Oliver -- so much so that the men had coined the monicker "The Warden" for their bearded leader. The assumption was that his orders went without question, his means and deviances without mention -- and in return he would provide security, safety, and sustenance for those who followed him. And the cycle continued, and continued... leaving Oliver as the only real voice of reason. Had things gone down differently, Bronson would have likely killed him during their escape from the prison bus, but he recognized that Oliver was the only reason they survived in the first place. He wondered how long that immunity would hold out for -- given the way things had been going lately.

"What the hell is this, Everett?" Oliver asked, jabbing a finger at Calvin.

Bronson sighed, dramatically. "Now why would you go and use my name -- my God-given birth name -- in front of our prisoner?" Oliver rolled his eyes, as if that was the point here."Are you fucking stupid?"

"Explain this before I get pissed," Oliver replied, already tired of these games. Calvin wrestled with his wrist against the pole, testing the strength of his bindings. Bronson served up a sharp kick in the knee to shut him up, and Calvin yanked his leg back in pain.

"Maybe if you had been around today when I needed you, we wouldn't be in this situation," Bronson chided, circling the floor. "This man murdered my brother," he explained, turning to look at Calvin. The two glared at each other for more than a moment, reveling in their dislike for one another. "He was smart enough not to resist me when I found him, and so I've brought him here to serve his sentence."

Oliver shook his head at the ego of it all. "Serve his sentence? Listen to you! Did you really just break out of prison to start another one?" he scolded. "You ever think of asking him why he killed your brother?"

"Finally, someone with some sense," Calvin chimed in from the floor. Bronson delivered another sharp kick, this time to his shin. His handcuffs rang taut against the rack as he winced in pain, grasping for his leg. Oliver leapt forward, placing his arm across Bronson's chest as he wound up for another kick -- this one aimed at Calvin's stomach.

"You really gonna put hands on me, boy?" Bronson asked, calmly. Oliver eased up, eyeing the man with suspicion. He knew from their time together in the joint just how unpredictable the man could be. It was a very calculated impulsiveness -- one that treaded the fine line between genius and suicidal. But there was something in Oliver's eyes that Bronson didn't like. He wound back, quickly striking out with his elbow against Oliver's jaw. The man reeled backwards into one of the other metal racks, gripping it with all his strength to keep himself steady. Cansan d bags of food clamored on the ground as they were knocked free of their shelves. Bronson was already on him again, this time driving his knee into Oliver's stomach. His limp frame dropped to the ground, effortlessly. This was the real Everett T. Bronson... the "Warden" that everyone whispered about. He reached down and drew a knife out from Oliver's waistband.

BOOM!

The Warden turned to Calvin, examining the knife in his hand like a surgeon with his tools. He inched a few steps closer to his prisoner, pondering his fate...

BOOM!

Another bomb dropped as he placed a foot on Calvin's chest, pinning him against the rack. His other hand grasped Calvin's handcuffed wrist and braced it to the pole, holding the knife close. But, no... it didn't add up. His brother was an idiot -- too much so to be considered his right hand man. Besides, such a small knife would take too long for a proper severing, and Bronson hated doing a messy job. He backed off a bit, watching Calvin wreathe and squirm against his restraints in protest.

BOOM!

Dust sifted down from fresh cracks in the ceiling, falling past Bronson's judging eyes. What was his brother to him? What punishment fit the crime? He supposed that in a way, he was his eyes and ears. Always the talker, never the thinker -- his dear baby brother. That seemed fair enough -- an eye for an eye.

Having finally decided, he looked Calvin straight in his... for the last time.


* * *


+ Niobe Kajja +


The bold young woman kept her weapon held high as she popped out from behind the corner of the overturned train car. The girl kept a steady aim on Niobe as others from the group crept out from behind the car. Niobe watched as the girl's eyes widened and she adjusted the grip on her gun.

"Easy there now, kid," Niobe muttered, keeping as still as could be. Another girl came up from behind the armed one and put her hand on the gun, lowering it.

"There's a little girl with them," she said, nodding in Lily's direction. Dyomie noticed what she was talking about and dropped her guard a bit. Natasha joined them, sauntering out from her hiding spot with her weapon drawn -- Phillip close behind. They looked just like the rest of them... as if they had just been through Hell and back.

BOOM!

They all braced themselves as the entire platform shook again, the metal rails ringing like church bells as parts of the ceiling crumbled from above loosening the tracks. Niobe sized up the four newcomers.

"Look," she called out, "this is the most people I've seen in one place since this all started... so I know I'm not crazy when I say we need to stick together if we're going to have any kind of future here. None of us know each other, I know... but that's the situation we're in." Harper looked at Nathan -- and Steve, who stood behind Lily with his hands on her shoulders. "There's no more how do-you-do's, no more shaking hands and talking about the weather. There is only one thing... survival."

BOOM!

The hanging silence was stifled by yet another explosion. "She's right," Rafiq added, pushing to the front of the crowd. "We can't keep pointing guns at each other when the real enemy is out there." He pointed up towards the streets above. "We have to go deeper into the tunnels until the bombings stop."

Dyomie squinted her eyes, still unsure of what to do. "We don't know you people," she protested in defense of her situation.

Niobe lowered her weapon, slowly -- too tired to put up with anymore of this. "And you're not going to at the other end of a gun," she preached.

Jessica lovingly squeezed her son's shoulders as she edged towards the front of the group. "There's a junction about a quarter mile down the tracks that could hold all of us. It might be tight, but the foundation should hold until all of this settles down," she advised, looking around the group.

Jack crossed his arms. "One of our friends is still out there," he protested, pointing behind him. "Calvin could have made it somewhere safe before the bombs got this close..."

Harper's gaze lowered to the ground. "So the best possible scenario is that Calvin's holed up somewhere with a bunch of psychotic escaped convicts?" Molly stood next to her, chewing her lip in thought. Something they had mentioned caught her ear, and it all suddenly added up in a flash.

"Calvin... Hawke?" She asked, hanging on their every breath. Harper looked around at some of the others, not quite understanding. He was enough of an established film personality that anyone with a TV would know the name, but Molly's face didn't show the excitement of a fan... it showed nothing but worry and panic.

"Uhh, yeah... Calvin Hawke," Harper replied to the girl.

Molly looked Rafiq dead in the eyes. "That's Sarah's brother..." she said, loud enough for everyone to hear. Rafiq furrowed his brow, sad that she wasn't here to rejoice in the news that her brother is alive... or at least, was a minute ago. Only time would tell how many deaths they'd be mourning in the inevitable aftermath of the bombings.

"Who?" Harper asked eagerly, her interest peaking.

Rafiq shook his head. "One of our own is missing too," Rafiq replied, somberly. "Sarah." Harper traded a look with Nathan through the crowd.

"Two of our own," George corrected, bristling at the thought of his poor dog.

Rafiq nodded. "His dog went with her..."

Niobe holstered her gun and took in the group. "There's nothing we can do for them now," she insisted. As much as they all hated the thought, she was right. It was only them now -- they had to keep moving. "Jessica, lead on..." Niobe commanded. The group slowly started trudging along, helping each other around the wreckage of the train cars and debris. Dyomie glanced back at Marie and the rest of her group, slowly stowing her pistol and following suit. Jessica pulled to the front, guiding the group deeper into the blackened metro tunnel. The pitter-patter of over a dozen different footsteps trailed behind her as more bombs thudded against the surface above. Niobe gritted her teeth as she ran, hoping she knew what she was doing. Whatever this new world was, it was clear that the rules were made up as you went along.

If this really was the end... she had a feeling it was only just getting started.


.: END OF SEASON :.

The setting changes from season-1 to Season 2

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Marie Thornes (NPC) Character Portrait: Wayne Williams (NPC) Character Portrait: Rafiq Chedidi Character Portrait: Molly LeFleur (NPC)

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#, as written by Zephon
Rafiq Chedidi

---

“Ow come on Rafiq, I’ve been stuck here forever.” Molly looked at him with her best Puppydog-eyes impression.

“I know, but it’s not safe out there,” Rafiq responded weakly. He knew the argument didn’t hold much water.

She jumped on that fact immediately. “You and the others have been outside multiple times now. I can handle myself. I’m a big girl you know.”

“But you’re ankle...”

“Is fine!” She made a twirl, showing how the sprained ankle no longer affected her. Nevertheless, she winced a little. The injury clearly wasn’t healed yet. She knew that he knew. “We don’t have to go far. I only want to step outside and see the sun.”


She turned around and looked at Wayne, who was laying in his bed and had been observing the situation with a bemused expression. Spending his days in the makeshift ‘sickbay’ corner must have made him very bored. “Come on Wayne,” Molly pleaded, “help me out here. Fellow patients should stick together.”

Wayne laughed at that. “Not so sure what your problem is Rafiq. If it were me, I’d take this beautiful lady outside in a heartbeat.” He gently placed a hand on his stomach and added dramatically, “Alas, I’m in no shape to do so.”

All of sudden, Wayne retched and spit some of the content of his stomach in the bucket next to his bed. Both Rafiq and Molly turned away from the sight. This was Rafiq’s cue to leave. He hated vomiting.

“Alright, alright. I’ll take you outside for a second,” he said. Molly hugged him gratefully and winked at Wayne. “See you later Wayne. Do get better.”

“Yes, my lady,” he said with a face distorted between a grin and a grimace.

Molly took Rafiq’s arm into hers as they left the room. It was a thing she did to show affection, Rafiq had noticed. So had Carl, apparently, as he had often tried to help her escort through the rooms. The three of them had gotten along quite well, all things considering. Marie often hang out with them as well. That was, when her sister was not around. Rafiq was not sure what her problem was, but he felt like Dyomie had a huge chip on her shoulder. Especially when it concerned Marie.

Just as he was thinking about her, they ran into Marie.

“Where are you going?” She asked.

“Outside,” Molly beamed, “Rafiq is going to show me the sun.” She pulled him closer, but Rafiq instinctively took a step backwards. Marie seemed to notice, but instead smiled faintly at Molly. “Sounds nice,” she said.

“You want to come?” Rafiq asked. He suddenly realized how it might look if he took Molly outside alone.

Marie shook her head, “No, I’m sorry. I promised to help Jessica out with the laundry.”

“Alright,” he said, “maybe another time.”

“Maybe.”

---

They walked pleasantly towards one of the entrances of the metro tunnels. Despite Molly’s injury, it didn’t take them long. At least she was able to walk at a more or less normal pace.

Rafiq pushed open one of the doors and peered through. The area was free of walkers. Of course, despite the hell it had put them through, the bombing had at least been somewhat effective. There were still some stragglers here and there, but the number of walkers in the immediate vicinity of their hideout had decreased drastically.

“Oh my god,” Molly said slowly as she stepped outside. Looking at her expression, he realized she had not yet seen the aftermath of the bombing. The city was not completely destroyed, as he had feared a while back, but some of the buildings were severely damaged. Add that with the eerie emptiness of the streets and it must be a difficult sight to take in.

“Yeah, they hit the city pretty hard,” he said.

“It’s a ghost town.”

“Zombie town.”

She did not laugh at the joke.

“You think he’s still out there?”


“Who?”

“My brother.”


That had been one of the things that had made him and Molly bond so quickly. Both of them had lost family in the early hours of the outbreak, something the others hadn’t experienced for themselves. Everyone feared and wondered about their family, but the two of them were the only ones who knew for sure that the people they loved were gone.

“I don’t know.”

Molly had told him what had happened to her brother, Daniel. He had been killed by a car thief, but she couldn’t remember if he had been shot in the head or not.

They both stood there for a minute in silence, enjoying the sunlight while remembering the people they had lost.

All of a sudden, she grabbed him by the hand and pulled him towards the nearest building.

“Let’s get a better view,” she said.

“I thought we weren’t going far.”

“As if the building across the street is far.”

He had to admit she had a point and so he followed her.

The door of the building was locked, but someone, maybe from their own group, had smashed one of the windows in. Rafiq helped Molly through and then stepped into the room himself.

“Be careful,” he whispered, “there can always be some hidden.” He shuddered, remembering that one time in the supermarket. He often wondered what had happened to the old man in the wheelchair.

They quietly made their way to the roof, which was easily accessible through a number of stairs. Outside, two directions were obscured by the other buildings, but the south and east were clearly visible. Rafiq had not have time yet to view the city like this. He gasped, just like Molly.

The city seemed wrong. Off. Lifeless. The bombing had changed the city in something that was still recognizable, but different. A knot tightened in Rafiq’s stomach. With everything that had happened, this was somehow the most depressing view so far. It told him their truly was no way back. The world had changed and they had to live by its new rules.

“What’s that sound?” Molly asked.

“What sound?”He answered. Defensively, he took a hold of his knife. He hadn’t let go of the thing ever since it all started.

Then he could hear it too. A mumbling of growls and grunts was coming from the street below. They looked over the edge of the roof. A small number of walkers had grouped together and were scuffling about aimlessly. They had not noticed there were two humans up on the roof, but had somehow decided to stop in front of the building they were in.

“Dang it,” he whispered in an annoyed tone.

“What do we do now?”

“We wait.”

But that proved futile. As he said it, Rafiq could see movement from the corner of his eye.

He turned around and saw that something had made it to the top of the roof.

They were trapped.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rafiq Chedidi Character Portrait: Molly LeFleur (NPC)

0.00 INK

#, as written by Zephon
Rafiq Chedidi

---

Three walkers stumbled through the door. One had a hole in its chest, the other had a missing arm. The third walker seemed to be in perfect condition, or as much as a walker could be.

Rafiq gulped. He could feel sweat trickling down his back. Molly had now seem them to and let out a small gasp. Then she looked at Rafiq in horror. She didn’t say anything, but she clearly was hoping he knew what to do.

Thankfully, walkers were slow and stupid. It was probably the biggest advantage the living had over them. They had to take advantage of that now, or he and Molly would be done for.

“Move away from me. Keep moving around,” he said to her, “don’t let them corner you.” He pulled out his knife. He was tempted to get his gun, but the noise could alarm the other walkers on the street. He would only use that as a last resort.

Molly did as she was told and this clearly distracted the walkers. Two went in her direction, while the other one went straight for Rafiq. He hoped that Molly’s injury wouldn’t slow her down too much. If she could give him enough time, he could take care of the first one and then help her out.

It was the one with the chest hole that came for him. Rafiq quickly sprinted towards the creature. The walker clawed at him, but he had anticipated that. At the last second, he jumped aside, missing the outstretched arms. The dead thing tried to turn towards him, but it was too late. Rafiq quickly stabbed it through the right ear, plunging the knife straight into the brain.

As the walker fell to the ground, dead for good, Rafiq could feel his blood pumping in his throat. He was operating on pure adrenaline.

He was relieved to see that his sudden movement had distracted the second walker, focusing its attentions on him. From a quick glance, he could see that Molly had been able to avoid the third one, but it was edging closer towards her. He had to act fast.

This time it was the walker without an arm. It had been a woman once, though her features were already too deformed to make out anything else. It was already close to him, so he had to change tactics. Rafiq took a defensive stance and held his knife up high. George had told him how this pose would probably not work against a human opponent, as someone could easily knock the knife out of your hand. However, a walker would not be focused on the knife and did not protect its face. An easy target.

The creature was near enough now that he could smell it. Predictably, it raised up its arms as it tried to grab his hand. Rafiq easily avoided them and jabbed the knife forward.

He heard a muffled scream. Distracted, he quickly looked aside.

His heart sank.

Somehow, Molly had fallen down. The walker was on top of her.

Cold fingers touched his own arm. The distraction had made him lose focus. The knife had only pierced the eye of the walker and was now stuck in the socket. The creature had a tight grip on him, bringing his arm to its mouth. Rafiq tried to pull away, mustering all his strength. The creature would not let go, so instead, he made himself fall down.

The sudden change of weight made the walker lose its balance. It fell on top of him. Rafiq took a hold of the knife with his other arm and trusted upwards. He heard a sickening sound and then the creature moved no more.

He got up as fast as he could. Molly was still pinned beneath the walker.

Its teeth were on her neck.

He half ran, half stumbled towards her, fear grabbing a hold of him.

Then he noticed something strange.

The walker was not moving. Only Molly was.

“Molly?”

“Yes?”


Relief swept over him. She was still alive.

He pushed the walker off her. She was trembling and covered in guts and blood.

“Are you alright?” He asked her, “were you bitten?”

She slowly got up. “No,” she said, “I don’t think so. I... I did it Rafiq. I killed it.”

She held up a kitchen knife. Where she got it from, he had no idea, but it did not matter. She was safe.

“Congratulations,” he replied sheepishly.

She started laughing and he laughed with her. Exhausted, they fell to the floor. But they couldn’t stop laughing. Everything about the whole situation was so ridiculous.

After a good three minutes, he finally made himself stand up again. He slowly walked towards the edge of the roof and looked down. The group of walkers had moved on towards the next group of buildings.

“We should get back,” he said.

“Yes, I think I’ve had enough for one day.”

He opened the roof door and walked down the staircase. She followed him.

“Thank you,” said Molly from behind him. Her voice had gotten its strength back again.

“What for?”

“For saving me.”


He shook his head and chuckled. “Saving you? You saved yourself.”

“Yeah, but I wouldn’t have been able to deal with the other two. You’re much better at this surviving thing then me.”

“Don’t sell yourself short. Once your ankle is healed, you’ll be able to do just as much as me.”

“You really think so?

“Of course I do. We’re all the same. Nobody know what he or she is doing. We’re just doing the best we can.”


No reply.

He looked back.

A walker was sinking its teeth into the back of Molly’s neck. Her expression was that of complete confusion, but she didn’t utter a sound.

“NO!”

Shock, anger and desperation all welled up in him at the same time. He rushed back up the stairs, not even realizing he had pulled out his hunting knife. The walker was gorging on Molly’s neck, blood gushing everywhere. It did not notice Rafiq and a quick stab through the ear took it out.

It fell and slid two steps down the stairs. Molly fell as well, but Rafiq caught her. One look at her face and he knew he was too late. Dead eyes were staring up at him, frozen in the same look of confusion as before.

Hot tears filled his eyes. His heart was racing. It had happened so quickly, he could not even process it. Where had that thing even come from?

He looked up and noticed that one of the doors leading towards a corridor was open. They had failed to check it and Molly paid the price.

“Stupid, stupid, stupid,” he muttered, still holding the dead girl in his arms. Some people, colder or more rational people then him, would now check the rest of the building for it to be safe. But to him, it that moment, it did not seem to matter.

Angrily, he kicked the dead walker in the head. It rolled down the stairs even further.

What was he going to do now?

He sat down on the stairs, gently moving Molly’s body into his lap. Her neck was nearly bitten in half, so he had to support her head with care.

After one long look, he closed her eyes. He knew what had to be done next.

“You were wrong,” he said, “I couldn’t save you.”

She looked almost peaceful now.

“And my best is clearly not enough.”