You And Whose Army?

You And Whose Army?

Following two isolated men, and their struggle for survival in a world of corruption and surrealism.

550 readers have visited this universe since The Stinky Hat created it.

Introduction

No solid storyline as of yet. It is to come.

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DBAA.

The Story So Far... Write a Post » as written by 2 authors

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Robert Flynn Character Portrait: Kazui Terriama

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"Elizabeth. Take me to where you are. Please."
On any other day, Robert Flynn would be tending to matters of severe importance. His house needed soundproofing from the screams at night. The generator in his basement needed minor repairs. His front door needed more protection as the thick oak bar slammed behind had begun to splinter and break after countless attacks.
Yet here he was again.
Alone in the dark of the makeshift crypt he had built in the park of the city, his weary head resting upon the casket in which she was held, silence holding him in its cold, gentle hands. On some days, he could have sworn he heard her voice from inside the casket, telling him how everything will be okay, how they'll be together soon. How he wished that were the truth. Unfortunately, he was stuck here. Stuck to fight for his survival with each passing night. Alone.
Why do I do it? he thought. Why do I fight? The question was never answered, only pushed to the back of his mind to be ignored and hopefully forgotten. What time is it? He found himself no longer caring. Let the bastards come.
It was five 'o clock in the afternoon. He had spent 3 and a half hours there, his head pressed against the hair-thin layer of dust that lay upon his wife's casket. If I could just die now...
"Take me to where you are." He whispered again, softly. A single crystal tear rolled from his eye and mixed with the soot and dust under his cheek. He remembered his days with her, the years he spent living alongside her raising their little girl. They were both a part of him. His entire life. The day their hearts stopped beating, Robert changed, and he would never be the same. He had never truly felt sad when it happened. He never knew why. Since then, he had been broken. A husk of his former self.
Outside, they began to prowl. He could hear the slight shuffles of their feet from where he sat, their laboured breathing, their impatient growls. This wasn't a way to live. He let out a deep sigh as he drew himself from the casket, wiping the dust from his face.
"I'll be back soon, okay? I won't leave you for long. I promise."
He always told himself she was capable of hearing him, that she understood. It didn't matter. He was sure he would join her soon, anyway. His life had been badly patched together, and since the Infection had broken out, he had no care for his life. Sure, he would ensure his survival, but most haphazardly in its nature. His only defense was that he wouldn't let them have the pleasure of killing him.
Digression.
He began to make a list within his head of what he should do next when he heard the familiar echoed roar of the motorcycle belonging to the one man Robert didn't want to see. Multiple 20 Gauge slugs were fired and the loud guttural groans and screams began again. They were soon silenced by more gunshots. Without looking behind him, Robert leaned over and pushed the heavy protective lid back on top of Elizabeth's casket as the crypt door screeched open. Flynn took in a sharp breath through his teeth.
"If you're going to shoot me, Terriama, do not miss."
A figure stood silhouetted by the light of dusk outside; slim, tall and holding a smoking sawn-off loosely aimed at Robert's head.
"The crypt again, Flynn? Why do this to yourself?" The deep, mocking tone of Kazui swept all reason from Robert's mind, and he twisted his head violently towards his silhouette.
"Have you no concept of respect?" He snapped.
"Have you no concept of the situation you're in?" Kazui remained calm. "It's been a few hours. I saw you come in here at around one 'o clock, and you didn't leave. Around 6 of them were accumulating outside. You'd be dead without me, you know."
"I'd be better off that w-"
"Shut up. Flynn, this is our world, now. There is no poetic side to life or death anymore. This is instinct. Survival of the fittest. The Old World is dead. Switch on."
Flynn looked into Kazui's slanted brown eyes slightly illuminated by the light behind him.
"Why did you kill her?"
Kazui shrugged.
"She turned. She was one of them."
"I could have helped her. Cured her."
Robert's fists clenched and turned bloodless at his sides.
"With what? Old World science? It's history. Tell me, have you managed to cure one, yet?"
Flynn turned his head to the side. Thoughts of worthlessness plagued his mind, and he pathetically attempted to wave them off as he always did.
"No. You haven't. They're too far gone. I once, too, did believe in this city. I believed humanity could be reborn. Now look. Switch on, Flynn."
"Have you ever read a book, you illiterate fuck? Do you even know what this is? It's a cylindrical bacterium. Somehow it creates an isotonic solution in the blood, the blood thickens, circulates slower and activates most, if not all, body functions. The memories are still intact, mind you. The Infection within the blood requires flesh and blood. In return, it gives energy to find more flesh and blood. Without flesh or blood, it creates inanimate proteins causing abnormal metabolism, eventually destroying cells. They are scientifically driven to eating, destroying, feeding. That's why you sometimes see them fighting among themselves," Robert raised a finger and waved it. "because the fuckers can't get fresh blood."
Kazui smiled wryly and shook his head.
"Old World science." He lowered the sawn-off in his hand and stepped towards Robert. "Interesting as it may be, all I need to know is where to get fuel and shells."
"And what happens when there is no more fuel or shells? You die."
Kazui smiled.
"I get a different gun."
"You do know bullets don't always work? You're too absorbed in the sadistic pleasure of seeing a head explode in front of your gun to understand the why of things. Your shotgun only works because it creates a wound too large to be healed. The blood is thickened to the point where it cushions impact. Go ahead, try a pistol. See if the smug smile on your face returns before it's torn off."
Kazui sighed.
"I'll be pacifying the area west of here in a few days. I came to let you know. Wouldn't want the explosion surprising you."
"One day there won't be anything left of this city to bomb. You'll kill it."
"It's already dead."
Silence. The two men looked at each other in the darkness, binary opposites in their nature.
"Go ahead." Robert waved Kazui away with a simple gesture and a sigh. "Bring the whole goddamn city down. Take me with it."
Kazui looked Robert up and down, and shook his head once again.
"You're a broken little man."
"Still alive, though." Robert rasped as Kazui walked from him to the door, and he laughed uncontrollably. It had been so long since he had felt happiness that his laugh sounded somehow unsure, and upon hearing it, he couldn't help himself but laugh harder. The incredible screech of the motorcycle's tires outside sped away and faded into nothingness.
"Still alive!"
Robert found release in the laughter, and didn't stop.
Later, in the lonely confines of his bed, his broken body numbed by alcohol and Chopin playing softly on the record player in the other room, he wept.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kazui Terriama Character Portrait: Iris Ernest

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Kazui's motorcycle stuck to the road effortlessly as it raced North at unbelievable speed. His house was on the Northern Hills, in a rich suburb of fully-detached houses that boasted small villa-type architecture, fitted with once turquoise pools and playgrounds for kids that would laugh and cry in the Old World. The jagged and viciously rocky hills loomed over the city of New World Pretoria with a welcoming sense of malice. Kazui took a grand liking to his house in the hills. Not for it's position, not for it's architecture, but for the memories it gave him of the Old World. Little pieces of history in the broken, dysfunctional and empty world he had been left in, and large reminders that he was a survivor.
His house was among the highest in the suburb, the entire city at its feet. The skyscrapers would claw and climb into the sky, and the rest of Pretoria would always watch in envy. Kazui wished for a day in which he could apply power to the grid for just one night, so that he could see the sky be poisoned with the beautiful industrial-esque lights as he rolled over in his bed and peered out of the large window that covered the expanse of two-third of the bedroom on the seconds floor.
He found it incredibly hard to sleep these days. There was something changing in him. Something... other.
Not the infection, not me. Immune... just like Robert.
He always felt the need to ask Robert if he ever had similar feelings and if there was some piece of fossilised Old World history that could tell him what was happening to his body and how to fix it.
Huh. He'd love that. I can already hear himself licking his lips like a hungry, feral little dog, savouring the taste of the words 'I told you so'.
His motorcycle roared onto the road that lead to his house, and outside he could see a small horde of about a half dozen of them. Some of them retained memories of his name from the Old World and would speak it, shout it and scream it in an attempt to lure him from the safe confines of his heavily fortified house. This had lead him to soundproof everything he had in his home, so that he could never hear them unless he wanted them to say his name one last time before he took the rifle from the second floor and...
Screw it, they never say my fucking name right anyway.
As always, Kazui took post about ten metres from the 7 Infected persons and proceeded to systematically make their brains fly from their skulls with a semi-automatic rifle. .308 rounds from the rifle were never enough to kill them. As Robert had said, the wound needed to be large enough that the coagulated and sickeningly thick blood could not repair it, but Kazui had found a small box of ammunition labeled '.308 Hollow-Point Expanding'. Kazui didn't know how they worked or why, and he didn't care. All he knew was that there was nothing better to make an undead head explode.
Once every body left outside his house was in pieces, Kazui remotely unlocked and manually pulled up the garage door that lead to his large underground haven. Originally, the basement of the house was intended to hold 5-6 cars, but Kazui had 'renovated' it, filling it with hoarded crates of ammunition, weapons, fuel, chemicals, and valuables, leaving space only for his black motorcycle, a generator that kept the house alive and a matte black Mustang he had fully armoured so that it no longer resembled a car. Much of the storage on the first floor resembled that of the one below, only neater and more... civilised. There were even paintings up there. Pieces of history that he loved so dearly, yet he had never been able to cover them correctly due to the weight of the dust sheets he owned.
As he began to climb the neat glass staircase to the first floor, there was a deafening crash upstairs, the sound of bitter glass shattering violently. Too fast and instant for it to be an Infected. A scavenger, perhaps? Interesting, I had gotten bored of Robert. Whoever this bastard is, they've chosen the wrong fucking house.
Dropping his pack of weapons and his overcoat to the floor gently, Kazui produced a small firearm, a Berretta 92, from the inside pocket of his suit jacket. Never a one for fashion, he had just seen Robert wear them all the time and admired the number of pockets they harboured.
Kazui cautiously rose up the stairs and used his firearm to slowly and silently push the ajar door to the house wider. He heard shuffling, fast movement and the unmistakable sound of small gasps in awe of his collection. He edged to the corner of the wall to his living room, now a temporary storage room for even more ammunition, weapons and artwork. He peeked round the corner and instantly retracted. There was a dark, slim figure of a woman overlooking his things, the clothes on her too tight for her to be undead. She seemed to be stealing from him nonchalantly, and she was making a reasonable deal of noise in the process. She had been admiring his smaller and less impressive weapon stock with widened eyes for quite some time.
Why, thank you very much, you stupid bitch.
Kazui calmly wrapped his fingers about the grip of the pistol and extended his index to meet the trigger. He slowly pulled back the hammer and rushed the corner with speed, but silence. He walked up to the girl and placed the cool metal barrel of the gun against her clothed neck, and he could almost hear her hairs stand on end.
"Don't you dare move. Tell me who you are, and why you broke a fucking window like an idiot to let me know you were stealing."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kazui Terriama Character Portrait: Iris Ernest

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"There's no need to break a door. Pick the lock. All it takes is a hairpin and a flat-bed screwdriver. Rather simple."
Kazui's brown eyes observed the girl's pretense of a sickly innocence, noting every single aspect of her in the hopes that he could read her next move, whatever that may be. Also noting the silence, Kazui pressed the pistol against the girl's neck harder in order to make her stop turning. All the while, his left hand was tucked in his pocket, fiddling with the handle of a small knife in case the gun was disarmed from him.
"Stay where you are, and put your hands on your head. I don't want to kill you, and you no longer want to steal from me."
It wasn't until he had locked his gaze into the girl's glistening eyes that he realised how much he enjoyed being in his own company.
"Tell me your name."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kazui Terriama Character Portrait: Iris Ernest

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'But,' she paused, now fully turning towards him,'I like to make an entrance. Even if there is nobody to see.'
The gun was not touching her directly now, but it hoovered in the air, an inch or two away from her neck. The fact that he hadn't shot her the moment he saw her, if only to wound her, was encouraging. Iris watched him more intently now, her eyes lingering way too long over anything they saw.
'I love your jacket,' she noted, her gaze falling at his hand, suspiciously tucked away. Oh, please, she thought, so painfully obvious. She raised her eyes once more, staring into his, the corner of her mouth quirking upright. 'My name is Camille,' she answered, before she bowed curtly. Then she tilted her head and looked at him, 'True or false?'
Before the man could react, she slipped the thin, sharpened blade which rested into her sleeve right into her hand, the thumb against its naked surface. A twin blade lay in her other hand. She collided her body on his, forcefully enough to push him towards the nearest wall. The impact couldn't have been strong enough to hurt him greatly, so Iris did not wish to let him regain his senses from the shock. Her right hand shot out to grab his wrist, pounding it against the concrete and pressing hard until he could feel the blade. Her left hand, barely seemed to touch him, but she made a slice along his arm before she stopped on the same spot- his wrist.
'Now, here's what you don't know...' she drawled, never relieving the pressure of her grip, 'you might try to overtake me or even more rudely, you may even attempt to kill me. I don't want your blood. Just your guns and your ammunition. Make a single move and this,' she pointed with a flick of her head towards one of her blades, 'will be pushed -without any significant effort- right into your flesh, severing all those tiny, colourful strings that allow you to move your hands.' Without shifting further, she took a quick step back and brought her knee up against his crotch abruptly. Not that it'd cause any fatal damage, but it'd be enough to daze him.
'Imagine how your life will be when your trigger finger no longer obeys you... I don't believe it'd last very long.'

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kazui Terriama Character Portrait: Iris Ernest

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The pain from the drive against the wall, the cut and the knee to the crotch did not stir Kazui, and instead drove him into an unimaginable controlled rage. He pulled the wrist under the knife sharply forward, allowing himself to be cut only slightly to allow for the girl's threat to become empty; Nothing was damaged other than the flesh. He slammed his head brutally against hers, stunning her for a second, which was more than enough. In this time, he attacked the bicep of her arm carrying the switchblade and instead of retracting his fist, he made it into a rigid, flat structure with which he struck her in the throat with a snap of his elbow. He followed up soon after with a fully turned left hook catching her perfectly on the temple, her head carrying the force of the blow directly into a marble counter. While she was doubled over, Kazui stood -with force- onto the girl's calf, keeping her on her knees facing away from him, and stretched out with the knife in his left hand meeting it with the soft skin above her throat. His right hand, admittedly under attack with painful pins and needles from the two cuts, seized her hood back, and then clutched at her her, twisting her back toward him.
"False," He said, lightly panting. "And I don't give a shit what you want, be it me or my things."
His heel dug harder against her calf - a simple threat.
"Now, tell me your goddamn name or I'll drive this fucking knife into your mouth. And don't lie. I'll be able to tell."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kazui Terriama Character Portrait: Iris Ernest

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Iris would have shouted, bellowed, cried out in pain. She'd have teared up from anger or humiliation, or gritted her teeth in anger. But that would have been possible for a person present. Nevertheless, Iris was not present, because she detached herself from the pain. She could feel a light pressure - and of course, the imminent danger. The fact she could not feel the pain right this moment did not mean she wouldn't be doubled over later, on the crystal-clear floor of her apartment, her arms shaking and her finger twitching uncontrollably, reaching for a painkiller. Or ten. She knew that all too well.
At this very moment, all she was aware of was the blade pressed against her throat and her own anatomy. A cut could easily find and pierce the trachea and she'd be bleeding out on this retched hill. At the hands of a man who couldn't even cover invaluable masterpiece paintings.
'Iris,' she said steadily with a hint of annoyance in her voice, 'You wouldn't know me, I'm afraid.'
She had to act quickly. The pain would reach her soon enough. 'And you are named Teriama. Ruthless killer of half-crazed zombies, the hero nobody will hail because we will all be dead by the time you're done. Hoo-fucking-ray.' She shifted, uncomfortable in his grip. 'If you're not going to kill me get your goddamn hands off me,' she spat at him. 'Unless you have other plans.'

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kazui Terriama Character Portrait: Iris Ernest

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Kazui smiled slightly.
"You're in my house. I think I get to do what I want."
Kazui slammed his heel into Iris' calf again, this time harder. She wouldn't be able to get away, now, and so Kazui released his grip in her hair and drew the knife away from her neck. Kazui retracted himself from the girl and flicked the lightswitch on. The floor had been speckled with blood here and there from Kazui's own arm. Keeping his eyes fixed on her hunched body, Kazui pulled up a decorated woven chair from a small desk beside him and sat facing Iris, his hands on his knees.
"I don't consider myself a hero and I don't want to be hailed. It's a hobby for me - killing those things. And while we're on it..."
Kazui slithered a zippo lighter from his pocket along with a small red box of fine cigarettes, and placed one in his mouth gently before lighting it. Kazui could tell the grey-blue smoke trail from his lips was unpleasant to Iris, and so he took a richer indulgence in it.
"...What did you call them again? Zombies?" Kazui laughed at the word. "This isn't a nice horror story or a poem. Those things are what they are. There isn't a word for them and you shouldn't fucking care."
Kazui inhaled cigarette smoke deeply, his eyes fixed intently on Iris' pained figure. He blew out the smoke directly into her face.
"If you wanted a gun, you could have just asked me." His lips twisted into a faint smile.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kazui Terriama Character Portrait: Iris Ernest

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Iris had to resist the urge to roll her eyes at him. Blowing smoke in my face? Yes, that is intimidating. Watching him lazily -at least seemingly so- she laid back against the wall, getting as comfortable as possible (that word almost made her laugh due to her current condition) on the floor. If anything, the smoke did not bother her- but the light did. She tilted her chin towards the box in his hands.
'Since you're opting for a more ladylike choice of smokes, hand me one. Least you could do.' She just hoped he would light it without wrapping his lips around it first. The thought of her sharing any contact with him somehow...repelled her.
Iris had a better chance to examine him now. Physically, he wasn't an impressive beast of a man. But there was something in the way he carried himself. An air of indifference or mischief. The same look a child gets when they wonder what would happen if they went on to break that toy.
Her head rested on the rough concrete surface, suddenly heavy on her shoulders. 'Could I? Perhaps. However, I'd have to owe you. And don't get me wrong, but a thief who owes is worse than a thief getting caught.'

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kazui Terriama Character Portrait: Iris Ernest

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Kazui haphazardly threw the packet of cigarettes at Iris' feet.
"Who the hell would I be to push you out of my fucking house unprotected at night with those assholes gathering outside? I might be a dickhead, but I'm not sadistic. Of course you can have a gun, I give a fraction of them to my partner, anyway. Soft cunt never uses them though."
Kazui took a moment to think of Robert, and wondered what stupid self-pitying exercise he's taking part in that exact moment.
"I don't care if you owe me or not, the sooner you are away from my house, the sooner I can get some sleep."
Kazui stood up from the chair and took a gun from the nearest crate at random. It was a Walther P99. Semi-automatic, capable of hitting the same spot many times with great accuracy, causing that irreparable wound Robert talked of. He lowered himself to the floor and slid it along his tiled floor towards Iris.
"There's a clip in there. You'll need to scavenge your own ammunition."
Kazui had been thinking over what Iris had said. How did she know about him? It didn't matter. Though, he was curious. Robert was on his mind a lot more than he would ever wanted to admit.
"Have you seen the other one? My so-called partner?"

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kazui Terriama Character Portrait: Iris Ernest

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'You're nothing if not a gentleman. I like that about you.'
Iris picked up the packet and drew a slim cigarette out, holding it between her slender fingers. A glance at them was enough to confirm her suspicions- she was shaking again. It was trivial, really, and she hadn't given it much thought but when the tremor became violent enough for her to be unable to pick a lock (the true reason why she hadn't used that venue with Kazui's estate) she was forced to contemplate it. To no end.
'Lighter, please,' she murmured softly. Somehow Iris doubted that there was not some sadism involved in Teriama's tactics. Her own body protested because of him.
She was hardly surprised to see him throw away a weapon with such ease. In any case, weapons he had in abundance. Ammunition on the other hand... the moment he was out, he'd be meat. Just like all the others. And no matter what she had told him, weapons were hardly the only reason she was here.
And don't lie. I'll be able to tell. She almost grinned. Overestimation of one's self could prove almost as fatal as the opposite.
'Your partner? Why, no, who is he?' Iris feigned renewed interest, sitting up and moving her head closer to his direction.
Of course she'd seen him. She'd seen both of them. Killing and burying. Smoking and praying. His partner seemed quite different to him- more merciful in a way. Which could very well mean he was dead by now. He frequently visited a secluded house and stayed in there for hours. Iris had wanted to go see what there was to be found that proved so fascinating to him, but the exits were unknown to her and she'd very much dislike to be trapped inside with a stranger while bloodthirsty creatures howled outside.
'Would I like him, you think?'

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kazui Terriama Character Portrait: Iris Ernest

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"No. You wouldn't."
Kazui ran the girl's every word through his mind, clinically studying her every possible thought process. He drew his eyes from hers to watch intently as the trail of blue ash on the cigarette burned gently and fell as light as a feather onto his boot. Cigarettes are so disgustingly metaphoric.
He noticed the digression, and the repetition of Iris' voice with his head.
'Lighter, please.'
"You could only have sounded more of an ignorant asshole if you had clicked your fucking fingers at me. Then again, I'm certain that if you did so, I'd only have broken them off." Kazui took a short moment to note the girl's pathetic and juvenile tremors.
"There's a lighter just up there, on the table next to you." A small nod followed, followed by a very faint smile. Kazui found entertainment in the silence of movement that came before and after his words were spoken, and instantly drew another cigarette from an extra packet in his pocket to place in his mouth.
"My partner? His name is Robert, and you know that." Kazui had a hint of impatience in his voice, and it was already becoming as hoarse as always with smoke. The thoughts of Robert came back, and only anger and annoyance followed. Kazui had always wondered how it was that a man so lucky to be alive could possibly wish to throw it all away after all Kazui had done for him. The silence in the room was noted, and, with a sigh, Kazui lit the cigarette and resumed his hungry gaze on Iris.
"You came to my house, attempted to steal from me, threatened to immobilize, if not kill me, and I have given you the mercy of your life and a firearm. The least you could do is not fucking lie to my face."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kazui Terriama Character Portrait: Iris Ernest

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Iris reached out for the lighter on the table he had pointed out, every tendon in her arm screaming with pain. She did her best to mantain a calm, uninterested demeanour, though she was quite certain the corner of her lips must have twitched at least once. When her fingers closed around the lighter, the shaking echoed softly as they lightly hit the wooden, flat surface. Tightening her grip, she withdrew and took a moment to still herself.
'I sense some annoyance. Trouble in paradise?' Robert. She had not known that. Only his last name. Iris' thumb flicked the lighter cap open and she spun the metallic wheel. The first two tries only rewarded her with sparks. The third, she managed to hold the flame long enough for her to light her cigarette, though her shaking steadily worsened. Not enough to be noticed right away, if one wasn't looking.
And yet she knew he was looking.
She firmly placed the lighter on the table and used the latter as a means of support to slowly stand up. Her knees almost buckled beneath her. Bastard. You have any idea how hard it is to jump from roof to roof with a wounded leg? Of course you do. And you mean to tell me you're not sadistic.
'The only reason,' she began, her back against the wall for added stability, 'my head is not adorned with a bullet hole is because you mean to interrogate me first, find out what I know and if I can be of any use. So don't play baby Jesus with me. It's really not a good look for you.'

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kazui Terriama Character Portrait: Iris Ernest

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Kazui laughed hard for the first time in a long while. Playing the baby Jesus seemed like a very minute thing in comparison to playing God himself. The laughing gradually subsided, and the stern, bored look tore across his face again. He observed Iris and her involuntary tremors. He got it too sometimes, though with massively decreased intensity. Robert had a theory it was to do with the Infection being carried within the body.
'There is no immunity', he would say. 'The tremors are most likely connected to the fact that the isotonic solution that the Infection creates cannot fully metabolise with our blood. I have a theory that it's to do with our blood type, but there's no progress. The theory would simply see to it that we know exactly how long we have to live, if that. The Infection is carried in us, yes, but there is no immunity. We'll decay and turn into them once the successful implantation of the metabolised isotonic solution is in our cells. It's then that the inanimate proteins will eat us from the inside out while we're fully conscious. We might go mad, we might turn into them. I don't know. Perhaps the Infection will even mutate within our cells. The possibilities are quite extensive. I don't know the answer, but my money is on the decay.'
"You're better off sitting down, Iris. Tell me, how long is it that you have had those tremors?"

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kazui Terriama Character Portrait: Iris Ernest

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She raised an eyebrow at his sudden wave of laughter, a curious faint grin on her face. Perhaps he won't kill me after all. The man's thirsty for some humour and from what I've seen, his partner does not provide it.
Iris nodded silently and spotted a chair on the opposite of him. As she walked towards it, she took note of the effort she needed to put in every step. The sound the wooden legs made when she dragged it along the floor sickened her, but she wasn't going to lift it anytime soon.
'Now, let's see,' she started, slipping into the chair, 'it must have been a few months now. Of course, at first, they were nothing, a mere triviality. It happened rarely and only to a small degree. But as time went by...'
Fire. Flames were licking the surface of the walls around her. The deafening sound of wood collapsing and the chemical bonds being destroyed by the heat, causing explosions all around her. The smoke filled her eyes with tears, but she had torn her blouse to cover her nose and mouth with the fabric. She could feel the radiating heat on her back, not welcoming, but malicious, threatening. And behind her, guttural screams and flesh being torn apart.
'Well, they worsened gradually.' Iris paused, then chuckled. 'You understand, therefore, why I couldn't click my fingers at you.'

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kazui Terriama Character Portrait: Iris Ernest

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Kazui listened to her words, his ears pricked sharply.
"My partner would love to have a look at you. I'm sure he'll find something of you hidden beneath this facade of yours."
He leaned in, now, his forearms resting upon his thighs, keeping his own gentle shaking under control by clasping his hands together tightly until his knuckles were white. Kazui noticed his veins were pushing through his skin, creating bulges uncomfortable to look at, making small shadows on his arm. He stared for a while before breaking the silence.
"Do you get the pains? That rushing, burning feeling pulsing through your veins? The pain which makes it seem as if there are a million tiny little razors pumping through your entire body?"
There is no immunity, Terriama. Only people who prolong the Infection.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kazui Terriama Character Portrait: Iris Ernest

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Iris' eyes trailed downwards to Kazu's clasped fingers, pale knuckles by the force he was subjecting them to. His tremors were a lot more subtle than hers, barely noticeable. His interest in hers, however, pointed out the obvious. Iris had long wondered about it. She hadn't had the time to finish her education and perhaps that would have been valuable - molecular biology could have offered the answer to so many of her questions; alas, the struggle to survive and the search for a new shelter every night kept her too busy to engage in theoretical endeavours. Not to mention, she had no equipment, no laboratory in which she could test whatever theories she might have had. For now, she decided to keep the extend of her knowledge to herself. Perhaps his partner will be of more use to me in this department.
His next question startled her. Mainly because those were relatively new and Kazui himself did not seem to have been terribly affected by the virus as of yet. When she nodded, the motion was mostly automatic.
'I do.'
She recalled the feeling. There were times when the shock of the pain ran through her entire body, a thousand electric explosions all at once. Her core and limbs did not feel like it was under her control anymore. She would spasm uncontrollably then progress into a catatonic state. There were some hallucinations then- shadows looming in around her, a prolonged feeling of asphyxia. Iris suspected that was not due to the virus itself but she had waved it away. The truth remained unchanged; she knew something was happening to her. Even worse, she knew exactly what it was that was happening to her but she had not decided yet which of these days she'd put a bullet through her own head.
She looked up now, her eyes meeting his. A glimmer of concern flashed in her eyes, mixed with a hint of vulnerability, but Iris blinked quickly enough to regain control. This man was not her friend and letting her guard down would certainly result in some much unwanted organ transaction she hadn't signed up for.
'You seem to know an awful lot about them for me to not assume that you're a little bit too familiar. You're on the death list too, aren't you?'

The setting changes from New World Pretoria to Earth

Setting

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Character Portrait: Kazui Terriama Character Portrait: Iris Ernest

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The setting changes from Earth to New World Pretoria

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kazui Terriama Character Portrait: Iris Ernest

0.00 INK

Kazui ran a slightly quivering hand slowly through his clean-cut hair, before resting his fingers at the back to scratch gently to no end, perhaps to somehow conjure an answer. He shifted backwards in his seat and raised his head again so that his eyes met Iris'. Slowly nodding his head, he opened his mouth but the words in his mind did not form on his lips. He savoured a long moment to compose himself, exhaling a long and painful sigh.
"Robert would know more about it than me."
Why the fuck would you know anything, Kazui?
"He's into the whole science side of it. And while we're on the subject, I suggest you stay clear of him. He's a broken man, and broken men do nothing but break all that is around them."
Kazui could hear the irritation in his own voice.
"To answer your question, no. I'm not going to die and neither are you, and neither is Robert. We're immune. End of story."
You're lying to her fucking face, Kazui.
Don't you do that to her, Kazui.
He can't trust her. Why bring knowledge to the enemy?
She's not our fucking enem-

Kazui tensed his jaw and slammed a sweating palm into his temple, holding it there and intertwining his hair with his fingers, tugging harshly until the voices were silenced. He could feel Iris' eyes on the top of his head, and so he raised to lock his darkened eyes with hers once again. In her eyes there was a twinge. Pity, perhaps?
Pity.
Kazui scoffed.
"Don't you fucking look at me like that."
He smiled, only to bring forth a painful, wheezing cough that stabbed both his chest and stomach.
"I suppose you'd like a drink?"

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