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Noah Ripley

"Each person will do their share."

434 views · located in The Wild West

a character in “A Handful of Dust Remake”, as played by PsychedOut

Description

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Name:
Noah Ripley

Role:
Male 1

Age:
24

Occupation:
Leader

Likes:
Calmness—He much prefers a quiet town to a bustling one, especially because it means everyone is safe.
Dust—He cares deeply for the people of Dust and the town itself.
Aaron Sullivan—He considers Aaron to be a good friend, and he trusts him with the safety of the village.
Fairness—The driving force behind everything he does as a leader, a friend, and a man.
Evanne Remmington—Although they don't always get along, and he does not agree with her actions (namely, leaving Dust), he values her opinion on decisions he has to make and is glad she's back.

Dislikes:
Disorder—As a leader, he wants Dust to be as peaceful as possible.
The Newcomers—While he knows that the woman will die if he turns them away, he can't help feeling that breaking the rules will end badly for Dust. He doesn't necessarily dislike Ginny Thompkins or her husband, but he actively and openly distrusts Robin Braddock.
Pamela Clay—He is greatly annoyed by her sense of entitlement and selfishness. He recoils every time she starts to talk about how her mother ran the town.
His brother—He still can't forgive him for stealing his fiance.
Being out of the loop—Not knowing what is going on in the village can be very dangerous.
Weapons—He hates the thought of hurting someone, and that is all he can think of when he picks up a weapon.

Fears:
Weakness—To be seen as weak is to be seen as a poor leader. To be weak could mean terrible things for Dust.
Ignorance—One of his biggest nightmares is making a decision before he knows all the facts and it turning out to be the wrong decision. Ignorance is dangerous in a world like this.

Dreams:
Family—Noah has always wanted a family. He thought he was going to make one with Female 4 before it ended.
Security—What he wants more than anything is for Dust to be safe and secure from the outside world.

Personality:

Honorable::Intelligent::Fair::Ruthless::Close-minded
Noah Ripley is, at heart, a very dependable man. He is wholeheartedly dedicated to the well-being of Dust and its inhabitants. He works hard to be what others see in him: a principled, honorable, and just leader. He holds fast to his morals, and this can lead him to be quite ruthless when it comes to doling out justice in the village. For all his good qualities, he is very slow to forgiveness. He will remember a slight for a long time, and he is often oblivious to the sometimes petty nature of his grudges. He values fairness and loyalty above all else. Even as a child, he based all his decisions, all his actions, on whether or not it was fair. When confronted with a problem in which the best solution—that is, the one that is best for the community—is unfair to any party, he finds great difficulty following through, and he will often meet privately with the unfortunate party to discuss. The three rules of Dust are to him a constitution of sorts that provides the building blocks for the safety of Dust's citizens. Breaking these rules is nearly unforgivable. Noah is not particularly talkative, but he endeavors to be friendly and polite with everyone. He can be a bit of a pushover when it comes to making others happy. Despite his efforts, though, he can be surly and closed-minded, especially when caught off guard or in a bad mood. Noah strives to be a trustworthy, impartial leader, and he encourages the people of Dust to come to him with any of their problems.

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Background:
Even at a young age, it was clear that Noah had leadership potential. Although he was born to parents that were not particularly powerful or wealthy, he was commonly looked to by his peers as a leader and looked up to by younger children as a role model. He was well-like amongst his peers and the adults for his tolerance and honesty. He and his younger brother were very close, and Noah spent a lot of his time looking after the younger boy while their parents worked. He and Risalda Enudo were exactly the type of couple to be labeled "sweethearts," and their relationship seemed flawless. Noah was 17 when his mother died and 19 when his father died.

The exact details of how Noah was chosen as the successor to the leader of Dust are fuzzy to him, but chosen he was about a year after his father's death. It became a very timely decision a couple months later, when the leader stepped down and Noah became the official leader of Dust.

Noah and Risalda were engaged at this point, and just a month away from the wedding the truth about her and Noah's brother surfaced. Heartbroken and betrayed, Noah ceased all unnecessary contact with both of them and cut his ties as best he could. Unable to show his weakness publicly for fear of undermining his leadership skills in the eyes of Dust, he found solace in a friendship with Evanne Remmington. When she left, he was understandably upset, but he did not allow anyone to speak poorly of her in his presence.

He defends her similarly now that she's back, and it was her familiarity with the newcomers that convinced him to let them stay for the time being.Image

So begins...

Noah Ripley's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Noah Ripley Character Portrait: Risalda Enudo

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The ring on her finger seemed to... twirl easily as she used her thumb, twirling it about on her middle finger. Silver, with little sterling diamonds in it, it had to be her favourite. It.. reminded her of the past. What she wished she had, and what she wished she didn't lose.

She was alone, as always, in that quiet, annoying little hut of a medical building. It was annoying because she could actually thoroughly think as she sat in her chair, at the same desk, and sat in the same position. Her head resting on the palm of her left hand, and her left elbow resting on the old desk. Her legs crossed under the chair, with her other arm in her lap. Her white doctor's coat was the only one in town, and it flowed down her.

A black ink pen was in her right hand now, and she tapped it rhythmically before putting it back in it's proper place on her desk. Her rings on her hands totaled to a whopping five, three on her right, 2 on her left. Risalda then stood up, and walked into the back room of the Medical Building, which was really just a huge room split in the middle by a wall.

"I suppose I might as well get some more allergy medicine ready. I have a feeling there's going to another dust storm.." Risalda muttered quietly, as her fingernails tapped the metal tables, getting them out of the cabinets, to properly count the correct dosage of pills for a full-grown woman. "Can't have the wrong medication getting to the wrong person I suppose.." She bit her bottom lip, as the pills made a loud clattering sound hitting the metal tray.

As she separated pills, her mind wandered. Wandered to things she shouldn't be thinking about again. Things like her ex-fiance, Noah, and his brother. She didn't even like his brother.. Risalda doesn't even know why she did it. She only cared, truly loved, Noah, and of course she messed it up. Messed it up just like the pills she spilt on the floor.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Noah Ripley Character Portrait: Juniper Jacobs Character Portrait: Evanne Luna Remmington Character Portrait: Dana Clay Character Portrait: Pamela Clay

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Noah rested his forehead on the papers that littered his desk. He had no doubt that their would be ink pressed into his brow, but he couldn't bring himself to care. It was days like these that Noah found his job to be the most difficult to carry out: the mind-numbingly boring days. For whatever reason, Harvest tax paperwork just wasn't doing it for him, and any distraction would've been a godsend. At this point he would even welcome Pamela coming in to bother him about the newcomer vote. While the Thompkins couple didn't pose any kind of threat in Noah's eyes, Robin Bradford was a whole different story. Noah knew that, despite his own indecision, most of the people of Dust had already made up their minds one way or the other. Either way the vote went, though, there was no way he was letting that woman leave the safety of town before she gave birth. He couldn't stomach the thought of her or her child dying because they turned the family away.

Noah's head shot up at the sound of shouting on the main street, one of his unfinished papers sticking to his forehead. He batted it away and smeared the ink off his face with the back of his hand. A smile spread across his face as he approached the Town Hall's screen door. There, in the middle of Main Street, was a strange collection of Dust's usual suspects: Pamela and Dana Clay on the ground, Juniper Jacobs and Chip Darney perched on a roof.

I gotta get out of here, Noah thought, pushing the door open and stepping onto the porch. An arid breeze gently pulled at his green tunic. From what he could see, Juniper and Chip on the roof had done something to upset Pamela Clay. He would think it was breathing too loud, but he knew that Juniper much preferred to earn her disapproving looks. Seeing Evanne join the group, Noah decided to call it a day for his work, and he tried his hardest not to run to join her. He caught the tail end of her offer to Pamela.

"I could go with you as well, Evanne," he suggested. "I need to speak with the newcomers anyway. And Juniper and Chip might require some extra supervision."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Noah Ripley Character Portrait: Juniper Jacobs Character Portrait: Evanne Luna Remmington Character Portrait: Dana Clay Character Portrait: Pamela Clay

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A hit! Juniper and Chip cheered as they saw their weed wads slap against a face with long dark hair. They shared a high five before peeking over once again to see who it was. Then Juniper heard the screech of a voice that she knew all too well. “Get down here right now!” Pamela Clay. Juniper rolled her eyes dramatically before looking over at Chip who was swallowing a lump in his throat, he went on to mutter a weak "Uh oh." Juni let out a soft chuckle at this reaction and then patted his back before sliding toward the makeshift ladder that got them up there in the first place.

"Come on. We've got to go." She said, looking back at the boy who was worried he would get into trouble. "Don't worry, she's not as scary as she looks." Juniper reassured him before disappearing behind the back of the house and jumping down until the dry soil. Soon after, Chip was right behind her. While they took their time to approach the roach, Juniper noticed a slew of people gathering around the Clay girls. Maybe she was in more trouble than she bargained for. Not looking over to Chip and moving her mouth only the slightest bit she said "It was a good shot though." Chip snickered a little bit right before reaching them. When they were within ear shot Juni could tell they were already trying to figure out their punishment. The thought of being punished for having just a bit of fun made Juniper boil inside. After all, no one could deny that Pamela Clay was the most hated woman in town.

Coming to a stop Juni crossed her arms across her chest. Chip took his usual stance with his hands in his pocket and his head held high. Juniper was proud that he wasn't ducking his head in shame this time. There was nothing to be ashamed of. They didn't know who was down below... It was honestly all good fun. If it had been anyone else in town there would have a couple of shared laughs and nod goodbye. Pam was just one of those fun suckers. It was unfortunate that she had to be the one down below. Otherwise, Juniper and Chip would have still been on that roof enjoying themselves. Now it looked like they had to do chores.

"What seems to be the problem, your Highness?" Juniper said, her voice drenched in sarcasm. Your Highness was a little nickname that Juni had given Pamela years ago, and somehow it just stuck. It was awfully appropriate since Pamela thought she walked above the rest of the townsfolk. Juniper looked over at Noah, knowing that he would disapprove of her picking at Pam. Juniper let the little fire inside of that wanted to punch Pamela in the face dwindle down. Her light eyes look between the people in front of her. Dana was trying to remain cool, Pamela was just Pamela, Noah was being diplomatic as usual, and Evanne was trying to make things a little less annoying.

She realized that this was her best option, though the mentioning of the newcomers sent her stomach into a pit. She wanted to see Ginny and Owen, but she had mixed feelings about Rob. She was mad, but she knew that he was avoiding her more than she was him. "That's fine." She said, agreeing to run errands. However, she was going to let Chip get away. Juniper looked up at the sky, "Well shoot, will you look at that time." She looked over at the 10 year old next to her, "You're supposed to help Mrs. Crawly gather her crops!" Chip shook his head like he knew exactly what she was talking about. "But Juuuuni," He whined, trying to ham it up. Before he could go on though Juniper slapped him on the back and said "Go on, Chip."

After this little episode Chip began running toward Mrs. Crawly's little shack that was toward the Town Hall. Juniper smacked her hands together, looking at Noah and said "Should we leave?" She could only stand so much time in the presence of Miss Pamela Clay.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Noah Ripley Character Portrait: Juniper Jacobs Character Portrait: Evanne Luna Remmington Character Portrait: Dana Clay Character Portrait: Pamela Clay

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First Evanne and now Noah. It seemed that everyone in the town was going to join Pamela in the middle if she stayed here any longer. “Don’t be too hard on them, Pam. Boys will be boys.” That would be the case if both culprits were boys. As they both approached the crowd Pamela learned that her convictions were correct. Juniper was the leader of the destructive duo.
Almost as if Dana was reading Pamela’s mind she came up to her and whispered, “remember Pamela, it was just two weed balls; a little joke. Don’t make it into a big deal.” Dana hugged her big sister and quickly scurried away, “I have to go finish my work…and I uh, remembered I have to run some errands. Bye everyone!” Pamela knew Dana had errands to run but they weren’t that pressing, she had a copy of her mech schedule for the day.

Ah! Pamela thought to herself, Noah Ripley. Dana must have been in a rush to get away because of Noah’s unexpected presence. She did look and smell like a mechanic. Ha, she probably didn’t want Noah to see her like that. Pamela knew why Dana was so infatuated with the monkey for a leader. He was everything Dana loved about their dad and everything Pamela hated about him. His affinity for the newcomers made him weak and is going to singlehandedly destroy everything Diane Clay built.

“No, Noah,” Pamela shot him a look that she reserved only for the Noah Ripley, “we need to talk before you ‘speak with the newcomers’. Understand? Or do I need to explain here in front of everyone the superfluousness of this vote since it really comes down to you in the end. Our votes don’t matter one single bit, ain’t that right? So, as I was saying, we need to-“

“What seems to be the problem, your Highness?” Juniper and the kid that Pamela didn’t really know reached the crowd, interrupting her like they were born to do so. Pamela and Juniper haven’t stopped staring at each other since she started walking towards her. Pamela was cold hearted, she knew that, and Juniper was warm, fun, and inviting. Pamela was jealous of Juniper on top of all the hatred she had for her and it made her furious. She’s never wanted to hit someone until Juniper ruined her life a year ago. She can never forgive her for what she did. Pamela knew Juniper’s flame inside was yearning for a fight and Pamela’s ice cold heart was urging her to kick Juniper in the face. But there were more important matters at hand. The ferocious battle of fire and ice would have to take place at another time. Dana was right, it was just a stupid childish prank. This time…Pamela would let Juniper get away.

“You seem to be the problem, Juni,” Pamela took extra time saying Juniper’s nickname, injecting as much sarcasm to it as she did with ‘Your Highness’. “I don’t understand why you insist of being a child,” Pamela looked over to Evanne, finally breaking the uncomfortable eye contact with Juniper, “but if you insist on being one I will have to punish you like one. Go help Evanne with her errands. You are lucky I don’t have time for this today.” Pamela walked towards Noah and clamped on to one of his pockets, “you and I have to talk now.” She began pulling him towards the Town Hall but stopped midway and turned to Juniper one last time, “I swear to God if you don’t have your harvest this cycle I will be all over you.”


Pamela, before turning back to Noah gave a stern look to the remaining two, Evanne and Juniper, “you are dismissed.”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Noah Ripley Character Portrait: Juniper Jacobs Character Portrait: Rob Braddock Character Portrait: Dana Clay Character Portrait: Pamela Clay

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Dana was beginning to like how this day was turning out. She was going to get to witness a Pamela and Juniper showdown. Juniper was such a brave and free soul. Dana wanted one day to be as open with her feelings as Juniper. Dana was aware that a lot of the town was stuck between thinking she was a kid and she was the best mechanic in the world. Juniper defied expectations and somehow was the sexiest bartender in history and the derpiest kid in our town, maybe in America. Dana dreamed of that level of comfort in her own skin. She was confident when it came to machines but needed to be more like Juniper. Dana thought the majority of the people in Dust could benefit from a little bit of Juniper juice.

Dana was so wrapped up in Juniper and the adorable Chip Darney’s calm and collected entrance that she didn’t notice the fourth member of their group. “I could go with you as well, Evanne,” Dana, recognizing the voice, could feel her face begin to burn, even more than it was in the hot sun, “I need to speak with the newcomers anyway. And Juniper and Chip might require some extra supervision.” Noah Ripley was here, less than 4 feet away from her. Dana turned to him and managed a smile. She then remembered what she was doing before Pamela came and got her which more importantly told her what she was wearing. I look like a dirty bum right now. Crap , Dana thought to herself. Why did Noah have to come out now? There have been so many countless days that Dana put on her nice outfits, attempted eye liner, eye shadow, and even dreaded mascara hoping to see Noah and she never did. The day she looks like absolute poop is when he decides to just appear! Dana couldn’t decide if she was madder at him or herself…or Pamela! Yeah, blaming Pamela is always the way to go. Regardless, Dana had to get out of there. She shimmied up to her sister and whispered into her ear, “Remember, Pamela, it was just two weed balls; a little joke. Don’t make it into a big deal.” Dana squeezed her sister tight and ran off, spurting some poor excuse as to why she was in such a hurry.




“That’s a bit of sweat you managed to acquire,” Patrick smiled at his daughter as she entered the Mech Hall, “Pamela grilled you that hard, huh?” Dana walked up to the counter, the store was emptying out, “No, Noah was there.” Patrick raised a brow, grinning harder, “ah, the love of your life!” Dana turned bright pink. She quickly looked around to see if anyone overheard her dad, “can you be any louder? Quiet down.” Patrick smirked and slowly got up from his chair. Dana’s eyes widened in fear, knowing what he was about to do. “Challenged accepted,” Patrick said as he made his way to the front door. He opened it and took a few steps out. “Dad, whatever you are about to do please-“

“Hello world!” Patrick exclaimed, “My name is Patrick Clay and I have an announcement! My beautiful daughter Dana Clay is madly in love with a fine gentleman. We aren’t sure if he knows but today is his lucky day because I am here to let everyone know!”

There was a small crowd of forming in front of the Mech Hall. He always took his jokes too far. Patrick maybe had a little too much Juniper than Dana wanted him to have. “Who is the lucky guy?!” Someone from the crowd called. The mood was light and everyone was enjoying Patrick’s boisterous announcement…everyone except Dana. She couldn’t help but appreciate his ridiculousness though. “Dad, you are already a few weeks from death,” Dana pulled at his shirt, “don’t make me make it a few days.” Patrick turned to Dana, “Ha, I already have one daughter who wants me dead. That’s all I need,” he paused in thought and then continued, “Besides, I might as well go out having fun and getting you that boy of yours.” He gave her his Patrick wink-smile combo before turning back to the crowd.

“The special man who has captured my daughter’s heart,” he dramatically grabbed at his chest with both hands. Someone passing by at the wrong moment could have mistaken it for him having a heart attack. He wasn’t too far off from one these days. “Noah Ripley,” Patrick yelled at the top of his lungs making Dana almost faint, “…needs to find this young gentleman and tell him to open his eyes because Dana isn’t going to chase after him forever! That’s all folks!”

Patrick let out a hefty I-am-proud-of-myself sigh and began walking back towards the shop. Dana’s mouth was wide open and all she could do was stare, “you are such a kid some days, Dad.” Patrick stopped in front of his daughter, put his hands on her chin, closing her mouth, and stared deeply at her. All the childishness left as he said, “you will not chase that boy forever. You are the best thing I’ve ever created and you don’t need a guy who doesn’t know how great you really are. I’m not saying to give up on him, he is a great man. Just know when enough is enough. Okay?”

Dana couldn’t believe what she was hearing. Her father never talked to her like this, not about Noah. She couldn’t help but take every word to heart because of how serious he was. He spoke like they were his dying words. He was not joking around one bit. Dana never believed Noah would ever notice her if he hasn’t already. He was married for Christ sake. Noah obviously isn’t worried about little old Dana…but she had to try.

“Okay,” Dana knew her dad just wanted her to be happy and appreciated having someone who cared that much about her happiness. Soon she’d have no one to care for her like her father does.

“Now,” Patrick bent over and picked up a heavy sack and handed it to Dana, “you must go help that Rob character with his water filtration system.” Dana smiled knowing that she’d get to prove her mechanical skills once again. She’ll be in her comfort zone and will get to meet one of the newcomers. Win-win. Dana grabbed the sack, put it over her shoulder and went out into the hot sun. She looked back at her dad who was standing outside, now walking backwards, “I am going to get you back for that by the way.”

“Bring it on, Danimals! Give me your best shot.” Patrick waved as Dana made her way to the newcomer shack at the corner of the town. Dana skipped the entire way to the shack, not hearing the coughs that were coming out of her dad as she left. She was beyond excited to do some tinkering and he didn't want to ruin it for her. Nothing worse than a dying old man bringing the mood down.

When Dana reached the shack she knocked on the door three times lightly and quickly, "Hello! I am Dana Clay, the town mechanic. I was sent to help you with the filter."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Noah Ripley Character Portrait: Ginny Thompkins Character Portrait: Juniper Jacobs Character Portrait: Rob Braddock Character Portrait: Evanne Luna Remmington Character Portrait: Owen Thompkins Character Portrait: Dana Clay Character Portrait: Pamela Clay

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Evanne was still snickering when she heard a very familiar voice. It was one that made her want to scream and run but also stay and talk with him. Things had been awkward between them since she had arrived back in town. They hadn't completely discussed all the reasons she left or came back.

"I could go with you as well, Evanne. I need to speak with the newcomers anyway. And Juniper and Chip might require some extra supervision."

'With Evelyn? Come with us to get Evelyn and then go to the newcomers with food for them?' The only problem was Evanne couldn't find anything wrong with this. In fact, having an extra pair of hands wouldn't be so bad. She smiled at him and nodded. "Sure thing. I'm sure they'd love to have you over." She told him, looking away from him as soon as Juni came into sight. She was a welcomed sight

Evanne smiled at her friend. She could always count on her to be by her side when she needed her. And then Chip ran off after a bit of teasing from Juni. "Bye Chip!" She called after him, waving.

She couldn't help but look at Pamela then at Juniper when their staring match started. She frowned, confused. She had never heard what happened between them. She would definitely need to get that out of Juniper at some point. It wasn't right that she knew all of Evanne's secrets and she knew none of Juni's. She looked at Noah and nodded her head at the two as if to ask him what was with them. If she couldn't get it out of Juniper, she'd get it out of Noah. She could tell it was more than their usual bickering that they had been doing since childhood.

Evanne couldn't help but roll her eyes, crossing her arms. Sometimes, well most of the time, she just wanted to go right up to Pam and smack her. She didn't care who she was, no one treated her like that. "Did you ever think he might not want to talk to you, Pam?" She called after her. Sure, she didn't really want Noah to come but she was not going to sit there and be push around by that pampered ass.

Evanne grew up with Pam and couldn't stand her. Their families often had dinners together. "You don't have any servants here. Don't ever talk to me like you're above me." She warned Pam as she walked to the daycare in the direction Dana had run off in. As she passed Pam, she bumped into her with her shoulder and continued walking. "Noah, if you don't find us at the store just meet us at their shack." She said to Noah and even offered him a smile.

"Why the hell does she think she's so much better us? You know if she had to go survive outside these walls, she wouldn't even make it one day." Evanne told Juni, trying to calm herself down. She didn't know why Pamela always riled her up so much. Dana was so sweet and so likeable. Apparently Pamela had been hit with the unpleasant stick when she was born, more than a few times.

She saw a crowd forming around the Mech Hall but she kept walking. When she stepped up to the little house that the day care was in. She walked up to the door. It was a split door and the top part was opened in so they could get some light in there. Evelyn always seemed to know when her mother would be there for her because there she was, reaching up for her. She started grinning and babbling the moment she saw her mom.

Evanne couldn't help but smile at that. She opened the door, scooping her up. "Hi baby!" She held her at her side and user her hip to keep her up. She grabbed the baby bag that held Evelyn's things and added it to her shoulder with her medical bad. "Thanks, Helen! We'll see you later!" She told her, waving at her and left. She turned back to Juni as she shut the door. "Ready to get some supplies?" She asked.

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Ginny sighed. Of course, Owen was going to have to go soon. She felt like she never got to see him anymore. She rubbed her huge stomach. Was he avoiding her? She often awoke to find herself alone in bed. Had he found someone in town that he'd rather spend his time with? These and more questions raced through her head. She knew he loved her, she could see that clearly in his eyes. He always saved one look for her, even the first day they met each other. She always knew it would be him. They didn't even wait that long before they were married.

"Dunno. I was just about to head to Mech Hall before that happened. You know what, I'll stay. Take care of you, too. Let this asshole toil in the fields for the day. I have to fix that fucking rainwater filtration system I was making. You know, to be useful to this goddamn town." Robin said.

Ginny looked at her brother. She jumped a little as he slammed the back door. She sighed, moving the rag to her neck. "You went to far that time." She warned her husband.

"I should go. Don't get into too much trouble. Keep an eye on him." Owen said.

She gave him a weak smile and nodded. "I will.. you don't get in trouble either." She told him. She leaned up and kissed him back. Sighing once more as he walked away, she pushed herself off the rocking chair. "I love you, Owen!" She called after him.

Heading back inside, Ginny shut the door behind her. At least without so much sun pouring in they didn't have to worry about it being as hot in there. She dipped the rag into the water again and wrung it out a little before putting it back on her neck. She waddled out the back door, leaving the door open.

"Owen wasn't trying to be mean." Ginny told her brother who was already hard at work.

She found a log and eased herself down on it. "Can I help with anything? I hate not doing anything... That's all I do now. I'm just waiting for this baby to get here." She sighed, rubbing her belly. She bit her lip for a moment. She had to tell someone how nervous she was.

"Promise me something." Ginny told her brother. "Swear to me that if anything happens to me, you won't leave Owen alone here with the baby? The baby needs his uncle... even if I am around. I want you to stay with us... If you can't stay... we won't stay either.

She opened her mouth to continue but she heard the knocking at the front door. Sighing, she stood up again. She probably shouldn't be moving around so much but Robin looked a little held up at the moment. She went through the house and opened the door, smiling at the girl she had seen before but didn't exactly know her name. "Hello, Dana. I'm Ginny Thompkins. I'm sure my brother would love some help." She moved out of the way to let her in then shut the door behind her. She lead her out back. "Robin, this is Dana Clay. She's here to help you with the filter. She looks very handy." She smirked at her brother. She knew he prefered to do things by his self. It would be interesting to see how he worked with this girl.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Noah Ripley Character Portrait: Juniper Jacobs Character Portrait: Evanne Luna Remmington Character Portrait: Dana Clay Character Portrait: Pamela Clay

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Noah barely even had time to register Dana Clay before she scurried away, and Evanne responded to him after what seemed like a moment of thought.

"Sure thing," she said. "I'm sure they'd love to have you over." He grinned back at her.

"No, Noah," Pamela needled, "we need to talk before you 'speak with the newcomers.'" Noah did little more than sigh, but she continued, "Understand? Or do I need to explain here in front of everyone the superfluousness of this vote since it really comes down to you in the end. Our votes don't matter one single bit, ain't that right? So as I was saying, we need to--"

Juniper's interruption had Noah sending a silent prayer of thanks up to whatever gods were watching over his sanity, and the resulting snarkfest, however heated, that followed was just the reprieve he needed to steel himself for the inevitable. Evanne's eyes found his, a question playing out in her irises. He shrugged helplessly. The answer to that kind of inquiry would require too much explaining and too many of Juniper's secrets divulged without her permission.

Noah winced at Evanne's responses to Pamela. It wasn't that he didn't agree with everything she was saying--on the contrary, in fact--but he knew that they would be hearing about it from her later.

"Noah, if you don't find us at the store just meet us at their shack."

He nodded. "Of course," he said with a smile he was sure looked more like a grimace. Evanne had already begun walking away as Pamela continued to talk at her and Juniper. Pamela grabbed on to one of Noah's pockets

"You and I have to talk now," she said, pulling him straight back to his own personal hell. He missed his small window of escape when the she-devil turned back to Juniper to grump some further instructions Noah was far too busy groaning out loud to hear.

Pamela fixed him with another of those patented glares that she saved just for him.

"Come on, Pamela," he said. "What is there to discuss right now? The vote is for me," he admitted as he allowed her to drag him wherever she wanted, "so I'll now how the people of Dust feel. You can't honestly be against that, can you?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Noah Ripley Character Portrait: Owen Thompkins Character Portrait: Risalda Enudo

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"I'm sorry I startled you."

"Nonsense.. just a little jumpy nowadays. I'm sure it's not the best habit for a doctor.. but.. no one's perfect, right?" She smiled charmingly, tucking her hair behind her ear. Her arms crossed, leaning against the counter, she listened to him.

"My wife is doing just fine..."

"I'm sure you both are excited." She said simply. She didn't want to push it as they were the Newcomers, or whatever the town called them. Nevertheless they had her vote.

"Oh, anyway, I was wondering if there's anything I can do for you here? Maybe I can organize something or fix something?"

Risalda rubbed her arm, and looked around the tiny hut she'd rather call a building, but whatever. "Something to do...I'm sure I can find something." She smiled a nice smile, almost motherly in a sense.

God, she wanted Noah back so bad... she needed him. She thirst for his muscular form hugging her tight. His deep eyes.. god, why'd she screw up her life like that? She hated it. She hated her.. Risalda was on the brink of insanity.

"Hmm.. well.. for starters, you can come with me to the building where I get supplies, and help me bring back some boxes. I need some more needles and medication for some townsfolk." She looked up at Owen, and smiled.

"Follow me." Risalda still had her doctor's coat on, to establish her authority, as if the town didn't know their only doctor.

Hell, if it wasn't for her, there'd be half the town you see before you.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Noah Ripley Character Portrait: Pamela Clay

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Evanne told Pamela to not talk to her like she was above her. There was one problem to Evanne's statement though. Pamela was above Evanne in every way imaginable, unless how many children one has was taken into account.

  • Pamela, even though she had a town sanctioned job and was omitted from harvest tax, grew as much food as almost any of the farmers and gave as much as she could.
  • Pamela spent hours upon hours reading books about civilizations and ways to run countries from before the disease.
  • Pamela kept everyone in line just like her mother did before her and if she has a daughter she will do after her.
  • Pamela donated time a the hospital in the little free time she had.
  • Pamela went hunting with the guys when they needed an extra member.
  • Pamela won't admit it to anyone but she was the one who lowered Juniper's sentence from a year to only 6 months.
  • Pamela does everything for Dust.

Fuck Evanne.



Pamela and Noah stopped a few feet shy of the Town Hall, "Come on, Pamela. What is there to discuss right now? The vote is for me," he admitted, "so I'll know how the people of Dust feel. You can't honestly be against that, can you?"

"For the first time in a long time," Pamela thought long and hard about her next few words, "it doesn't matter what I think." Pamela took a moment to air out her shirt by pulling the fabric back and forth, "because of this vote you are giving a voice to people who can barely read, let alone articulate an opinion on whether you should let these people join us or not. You are telling them that their opinion matters." Pamela sat down on the steps in front of the town hall. She's been walking and barking at people for far too long today and was getting tired of it. She looked up at Noah and spoke softly, almost whispering, "what do you think is going to happen when you make your decision and you disappoint the people who voted otherwise? Do you think they are just going to stay quiet? No, you just gave one hundred little people one hundred little voices and now they will never shut up. It's happened already before in other towns. You keep up this democracy façade and people will revolt, Noah. I promise you that."

Pamela turned and looked at the town hall, with the Dust insignia on the front, "in the cellars of this town hall right now is enough back up food and water to last this entire town months in case of an emergency. Do you think if Diane Clay asked the people to give up half their food 20 years ago they would have? No, they would have bitched and moaned and we would have all died five years ago when we had that drought that lasted all summer. You do remember that drought right?"

The leader before Noah died in the drought and the town went through a few interim leaders before finally voting on Noah. Pamela personally thought it was a good vote at the time. She still does. She really didn't want to spit this much stuff at Noah but he's been avoiding her for a few days and it had to be said. Pamela didn't dislike Noah as a person; she actually enjoyed his company when it wasn't business related. It's just too bad that 95% of their interactions these days are just that, business related.

Pamela looked up at Noah once more, "You and I both know that this town was not built on democracy. Don't start giving people the impression that it was. Stop being a carpet and do your damn job."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aaron "Sullivan" Character Portrait: Noah Ripley Character Portrait: Ginny Thompkins Character Portrait: Juniper Jacobs Character Portrait: Rob Braddock Character Portrait: Evanne Luna Remmington Character Portrait: Dana Clay Character Portrait: Pamela Clay

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Evanne suspected that Juniper was off in her own little world but she came back to life when Evelyn was in her arms. They walked over to the store her mother owned, she was glad to see that her mother wasn't there. "Hey, Sam. How long is she going to be gone for?" She asked, already putting things in her basket. She only got things that she needed or that it was possible that the newcomers, her friends needed.

Evelyn laughed, clapping as Juni held her and talked to her. Juni was one of the few that could hold Evelyn and she wouldn't mind. She reached up and grabbed a strand of Juni's hair. She stroked it, staring at the pale golden hues.

Evanne sighed when Juniper mentioned the boots. "Yeah, she's just about done with those. But I can't find a bigger size boot for her that aren't huge. I have no idea where to find a pair. Any suggestions?" She asked her.

The blonde moved to the front of the store and paid for what she got. They piled it into as few bags as possible and began to out into the out air. She looked at Juni and gave her a soft smile. "Are you really okay with coming to see them with me? I know there's some... history there."

As they walked, Evanne's eyes couldn't help but search for Noah. Was he okay? Was he getting the wrath of Pamela because of what she said? She hated to think she caused him more trouble. She saw them over by the Town Hall. She couldn't help but wonder what they were talking about. Pam obviously didn't know her secret but she was sure she knew just about everyone else's.

Pam could be a cruel woman when she wanted to. Evanne hated that she had so much power. She always seemed to want to dictate everyone else's lives.

Evanne smiled at Noah and nodded her head as they walked past. Her heart skipped a beat. God, why did he have to make her feel things she shouldn't? She should just go back to Aaron. He would be a fine choice to settle down with.

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Ginny smiled as she watched her brother and Dana go around and around, messing with different parts of it. she didn't know everything they were doing but she sat where she had before and watched them. This was the closet thing she had to entertainment in a long time. She watched the way the two seemed to be connected as they worked. She wondered if this friendship could develop into something more.

She knew her brother loved Juni but if he couldn't admit that, could he have a relationship with this girl? She wished she knew all the facts. She wanted her brother to be happy. If it was Juniper that would be amazing, if it was with this girl who seemed to match him then that was fine as well.

"I think you two did amazing." Ginny said, carefully getting up. She followed Dana into the house. She laughed softly. "Ah... it looks like everyone is calling me that." she shook her head. She went into the cooler house and took a seat on the bed. Her feet throbbed in pain but she tried to ignore it.

She perked up when Dana found the Journal. But then Rob had to freak out again. Sometimes she wondered how he got so touchy about these things. They shared everything growing up. And now he shut everyone out."Robin..." She sighed, watching him leave to go fetch more water.

Ginny looked over at the brunette girl and smiled at him. "I'm sorry for him snapping. He's been through a lot... we all have." She ran a hand through her hair. She rested her hand on her large stomach. "You don't have to worry about him. Really, we're not bad people. He has a lot on his mind." She shook her head sadly.

Smiling, Ginny sat up a little more when she mentioned the baby. "Well, my husband and I haven't really decided on what we want to name the baby. It's hard when you don't even know what your having." She laughed softly as the baby started kicking. "I think the baby knows we're talking about them. Wanna feel the baby kick?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Noah Ripley Character Portrait: Juniper Jacobs Character Portrait: Evanne Luna Remmington

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Juniper cooed at the little version of Evanne that was in her arms. The baby Evelyn was an adorable tiny blonde with a combination of features that were recognizable. Juniper didn't know who the little girl's father was, but she didn't want to pry. The situation was messed up, that she understood. Why else would the dear Evanne escape into the wilderness? Honestly, Juni was just impressed that the pregnant woman was able to survive out there. When she was out there by herself the first while was rough. There were even a couple moments when she thought she was going to die.

But those stories are for another time.

While Evanne shopped quickly, Juniper tried not to think of their final destination. She kept herself preoccupied with the little Lottie. When Evanne posed the question about boots Juniper shook her head. Shoes were a hard thing to come by in these days, especially shoes that fit. A shoe maker wasn't exactly the ideal occupation in the desert, but it was definitely desired. People generally just passed down their shoes. Other boots that were too torn apart to wear were reused and parted like old cars. Shoes were important. Juniper thought for a moment before responding to Evanne.

"I haven't seen a kid with her size boots for a couple of years now..." Juniper thought of the collection of boots that her mother had saved for her. Most of the boots she had grown out of when she was a young'en were given away to the kids that she fostered. Juni highly doubted that she had such a small pair of boots just sitting in one of her of wooden chests but she would still look. If she found something then she would tell Evanne, otherwise it was pointless to get her hopes up.

Juniper walked with the baby while Evanne walked with the groceries. "Are you really okay with coming to see them with me? I know there's some... history there." History there? History there!? There was more than history there. Ginny and Owen had been some of the best friends that she ever had and Robin... Well, Robin was Robin. Freckles. The Sand Man. Juniper had loved Robin more than she had loved anyone else. She never had the chance to love and appreciate her parents, and no one in town really cared for her anyway.

Juniper's eyes widened when she looked over at Evanne. She cleared her throat suddenly and nodded her head. "It'll be fine." She said, reassuring herself. A smile and a nod were sent toward Noah from Evanne as they passed. If Juniper were more herself she would have teased Evanne, but she just wasn't spirited enough. Within minutes they were on the porch of the Thompkins' residence, and before she even had time to stop herself she was knocking on the front door.

Well shit.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Noah Ripley Character Portrait: Ginny Thompkins Character Portrait: Juniper Jacobs Character Portrait: Rob Braddock Character Portrait: Evanne Luna Remmington Character Portrait: Dana Clay

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Evanne nodded when Juni answered her. She sighed. "I hadn't thought so... Ginny's really great at making things... maybe she can fashion up something." She shrugged. It couldn't hurt to ask. "I don't think it would be too stressful for her and it would give her something to do while she's waiting for the baby... Maybe if she can make or even mend shoes, the town would want her to stay that much more?" She thought allowed. She turned and looked at her friend to see her opinion.

Now that she thought about it, she and Juniper hadn't exactly talked about how they were going to vote. Evanne had just assumed she would vote for them to stay. But if things had gotten awkward with Robin, she might not. She chewed on her lip for a moment, thinking of how to ask her. "I know we're not supposed to really ask but... how are you going to vote?" She watched, waiting for her opinion. Would she even bother telling her? Juni was the only one in town that she could call her best friend, besides Noah that is.

'Stop thinking about him.' She told herself. She kept walking, hopinh Juni wouldn't noticed her cheeks were now pink.

There were so many questions people wanted to ask Evanne, who was Evelyn's father, why did you leave town, were you pregnant before you left, if so did you know you were pregnant? The truth was she hadn't known she was pregnant when she left. There were just so many things going through her head at the time that she needed to leave. How could she stay?

Evanne didn't think anyone would really miss her. Sure, she was always the goody two shoes of the town who would stick up for those weaker than herself, but that didn't mean they cared about her. She was a nurse and was vital, but it wasn't like she wasn't the only one. The town even had a doctor. Who would care about little ole nurse?

She had been mostly right when she came back. There were only a few that really welcomed her back. Her mother certainly would have rather she stayed lost, except for Evelyn. She sometimes wondered if her mother was plotting something behind her back. She was so... possessive of Evelyn. She couldn't believe that her mother would try to steal her daughter.

Before she knew it they were at the little shack. She frowned at the idea of such a shabby home for her friend but what could they do before they were accepted?

"Ginny, Owen, Rob! It's Evanne and Juni. We got some stuff for you!" She said, trying to sound cheerful with such heavy thoughts on her mind.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Noah Ripley Character Portrait: Ginny Thompkins Character Portrait: Juniper Jacobs Character Portrait: Rob Braddock Character Portrait: Evanne Luna Remmington Character Portrait: Dana Clay Character Portrait: Pamela Clay

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"For the first time in a long time, it doesn't matter what I think." Noah almost fell over in shock, even as Pamela continued, sinking down onto the steps of the town hall.

"Their opinions do matter, Pamela," he argued fervently, his arms spread wide. "I can't just add a whole 'nother family onto their burden with no regard to their thoughts or feelings or needs." He almost argued further, but in that moment he truly saw Pamela for the first time of the day. She looked tired and worn, and her voice lowered.

"What do you think is going to happen when you make your decision and you disappoint the people who voted otherwise? Do you think they are just going to stay quiet?" she demanded. "No, you just gave one hundred little people one hundred little voices and now they will never shut up. It's happened already before in other towns. You keep up this democracy façade and people will revolt, Noah. I promise you that."

Noah scowled, but he paused for half a minute before he replied. "I think you might be overreacting a bit to one little vote. This is far from the first vote Dust has ever had. If it makes you feel any better, you can think of it as an opinion poll."

He winced when Pamela began speaking again. Oh boy, he thought as she launched into her standard speech. At this point he practically had it memorized. Oh, yes, he thought. Everything was perfect when Diane Clay ran Dust. Nothing was ever better, because Dust so-oh-oh-oh great.

"Yes, I remember the drought." Morbid as it is, that's how I got my job. Noah's attention was pulled away once again as Evanne walked by with Evelyn and Juniper. He smiled and raised his hand in greeting to her, but Pamela's voice jerked him back to their conversation.

"You and I both know that this town was not built on democracy," she said. "Don't start giving people the impression that it was. Stop being a carpet and do your damn job." And just like that, Noah was angry.

"A carpet?" he asked indignantly. "Like when you pulled me back here and I let you? Or like when I mostly listened to your little Diane Clay stump speech again?" He took a deep breathe to calm himself before he continued, "I am going to go speak with with newcomers, like I was going to earlier, and try to see whether or not they are shitty people and whether or not I am going to let them stay." And hopefully catch up with Evanne, he thought to himself.

Noah turned abruptly and strode away, leaving Pamela to collect dust on the steps of the town hall. He didn't stop, didn't turn around until he got to the dirty, rundown shanty that the newcomers were currently calling their home. Tentatively, he stepped to the door and knocked.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aaron "Sullivan" Character Portrait: Noah Ripley Character Portrait: Ginny Thompkins Character Portrait: Juniper Jacobs Character Portrait: Rob Braddock Character Portrait: Evanne Luna Remmington Character Portrait: Dana Clay Character Portrait: Pamela Clay

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Evanne pushed open the door, surprised to see Dana there even when Ginny had told her. "Hey, everyone!" She smiled at them. She grinned when she saw Ginny and Dana sitting on the bed, Dana touching her large stomach. She had spent most of her pregnancy alone. She couldn't imagine what it was like to actually have support throughout a pregnancy. She really only had it towards the end when she ran into Juniper, Owen, Robin, and Ginny.

She had been very fortunate to find them. They helped her through the end of her pregnancy and the delivery of Evelyn. She hadn't known if she would make it so she wrote down the name of Evelyn's father in case she didn't make it so Juni could take Evelyn to him if something happened to her. Luckily, Juniper never had to open that letter so she didn't have to worry about anyone knowing the true identity of Evelyn's father. Whose business but hers was it anyway?

She grinned at Robin as he came over. She wrapped her arms around him as he gave her a hugs, she still was holding the bags. "Hey Robin. It's great to see you." She said with a grin. She nodded, when he pointed out Evelyn. "Yeah, you haven't seen her since she was like... two or three months?" She said with a smile.

And then more awkwardness came. Juni and Rob. How did she not see this coming? Well, that was a lie. She saw it coming. She excused herself into the kitchen area and because to put away the food from her. She was just looking up out the window when she felt her heart stop.

Aaron. There he was dragging in some lumber like he always did after his camping trips. She ducked back into the other room so he wouldn't see her. Things were too awkward with him. She took Evelyn from Juniper so her daughter wouldn't get caught in the crossfire.

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Ginny laughed at what her brother said about the little nickname for the people of the town. She smiled at her brother when he walked into the room. Yeah, things were about to get weird but he had to face Juniper at some point. She took the mug from him, thanking him.

Sipping her drink, she reminded herself that she had to keep hydrating. The worse thing she could do for her baby was not hydrate or eat. "Hey, thank you for coming!" Ginny greeted her friends. She smiled at the sight of Evelyn. She didn't care if she had a boy or girl. All she wanted was to have a healthy baby. She knew her husband probably secretly wanted a little boy.

Ginny couldn't help but look in between Juniper and Robin. The tension was building in their little shack. She almost thought it could explode from it. She watched as Evanne escaped into the kitchen area. 'Traitor,' she thought. Of course they all wanted to run and hide, but Evanne was the only one who could do it.

Then again Dana seemed to have the same thing on her mind. 'I am not gonna be left alone with them.' She tightened her grip on Dana's wrist when she thought she was about to run. She whispered so only she could hear, "I don't know what's going through your mind right now but you don't want to get involved in any of that. Just sit and try not to get hit in their crossfire."

Ginny gave her another smile, hoping to ease Dana's panic.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Noah Ripley Character Portrait: Ginny Thompkins Character Portrait: Juniper Jacobs Character Portrait: Rob Braddock Character Portrait: Evanne Luna Remmington Character Portrait: Dana Clay

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Entry:

The tensions at Jonastown Council are mounting.
Even the dumb hick who lives near the chapel
knows something's up.

From what I can gather, one of their main concerns
is that there are less people willing to take on
positions in the Town Guard with the rise of
smuggler activity—not that their fears are
unjustified. There have been more violent
smugglers coming into town, though some avoided
our shack like Death's angel passing by a door
smeared with lamb's blood. (Probably Carlos, Shill,
or Sik'is Crockett's doing.) They haven't harmed
them... Not yet.

I have to hide my status and keep pretending to
be some farmer else they'll turn on us. At least it
gives me more power to ask what the fuck
the Council's doing without sounding like a
hypocrite. I don't care if this is the best town we've
been in so far. I've a right to complain.

I'm packing if this gets even worse. Going to make a
large cover out of the most durable material I can
find for the wagon, and bags to sling over Lowell
and Macy. If this town goes to shit, we're going
prepared.
















Braddock Farm was located in what used to be called the state of Wyoming. It started to come to ruin after the death of his mother, primarily due to his father's grieving. This event left Mr Braddock much more hardened than he was before and made him sterner with his children, determined to keep them close.

"You're stubborn as an ox and I appreciate that." Cheeky Robin, then sixteen, gangling, bright auburn-haired and looking as if someone had dumped a bucket of freckles over him by accident, smiled at the statement and crossed his arms, awaiting the piece of advice he was going to get this time. "One day, kid, that's gonna come in handy. You're gonna get to know people outside this wreck and you're gonna have to face 'em, and you're gonna have to
connect with 'em. What do you do when you do make those connections?"

"Cut 'em off?"

"Don't be an idiot, kid. What you do is make sure you don't assume you know too much about 'em. Knowing too much about people, or
thinking you know too much about someone is going to kill you one day, figuratively or literally."

He never really paid those words much heed, but ever since being thrown out into the chaos of the world outside the farm the next year following his father's death, he never held a piece of advice so close. He could hear his voice playing over and over again each time he recalled brushes with death and betrayals caused by people he construed as friends and allies. However, for some strange reason he could hear his voice in his head again as he stood there staring at her in the interim of their conversation.

The way she lied and lied and lied about how she was feeling by affecting a cheerful front for everyone else was too telling and it broke him to see that look pass across her face.

"Robin freaking Braddock. You just couldn't stay away could you?"

To that, he gave a scoff. A lie in exchange for hers.

"One can never really miss that color hair. Or how messy it is." Or how much nicer it looked braided. No, stop. "I see you haven't either."

Instead of leaning forward to offer her the same greeting he'd offered Evanne, he offered her a greeting that should've been intended for someone as young as the baby girl she was holding—he ruffled Juniper's hair gently.

"Tried to, but I failed anyway. This town's too small to hide in." Before he could say much else—a blessing considering the tense atmosphere—more knocks came at the door. Groaning in frustration at having the half-conversation interrupted, he went to answer the door, shooing their house guests further into the small shack to make room for the new one. He wasn't quite expecting the town's leader to show up at his doorstep.

"Believe it or not, it's Ripley," he announced, stepping aside to allow him to come should he want to. "Welcome to our humble abode. Have you come to pass judgment yet?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Noah Ripley Character Portrait: Ginny Thompkins Character Portrait: Juniper Jacobs Character Portrait: Rob Braddock Character Portrait: Evanne Luna Remmington Character Portrait: Dana Clay

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The rickety door swung open to reveal a freckled, mischievous face that could not have been much younger than Noah Himself. "Believe it or not, it's Ripley," the man said. Why would they not believe it? Noah thought. That seemed like a reference, but to what? He decided not to ask. The man stepped away from the door to let Noah inside, and Noah entered the tiny shack. "Have you come to pass judgement yet?"

Noah smiled. "No," he said, "come to form it." His eyes scraped through the little shack. He remembered sneaking off his family's little plot at night when he was younger. He would come to this very shack with a weak flashlight searching for odds and ends left behind by its previous inhabitants. Since these newcomers had moved in, they had breathed a new life into the torn up shanty. Maybe this will be good for Dust, he thought. He turned back to face the man at the door, holding his hand out to shake. "Noah Ripley," he introduced himself with a smile, "but you seem to already know that."

Noah found himself looking around for Evanne despite himself, giving her a weak smile. Juniper and Dana were both looking rather skittish, as if he had interrupted something. He nodded to Juniper. "Hey," he said to the younger Clay sister, "weren't you out there earlier with your sister and the uh..." He pantomimed a slingshot. "You were gone before I even knew you were there."

The woman she was sitting with looked for all the world like she was about to pop, and Dana's hand was on her swollen stomach. "You must be the famous Ginny. Evanne's told me about you."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Noah Ripley Character Portrait: Ginny Thompkins Character Portrait: Juniper Jacobs Character Portrait: Rob Braddock Character Portrait: Evanne Luna Remmington Character Portrait: Dana Clay

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When Robin scoffed Juniper tilted her head slightly, half surprised at this. At first she genuinely didn't know why he did that, then she remembered. She was the liar, she was naive, she was artificial, and she was somehow every problem in their relationship. Juniper swallowed the lump in her throat. She never knew that someone could make her feel so worthless until that night. She also didn't know that they could come back and do it all over again with a mere scoff. If Juniper had been raised any other way she would have scurried off the premises as soon as possible.

But not today. "One can never really miss that color hair. Or how messy it is." Juniper couldn't stand that. She narrowed her eyes at him, ready to pounce. How juvenile, he couldn't even get a good jab at her. Juniper smirked at this fragile line of comments then went in for the kill. She really shouldn't have, but she couldn't help herself. Once she was set on fire it was hard to put her out.

Her eyes flicked up and down Robin. "As I recall, you loved messy hair," she said, her words burning with vile. She was implying exactly what everyone thought she was implying. Juniper smirked, ready to keep going, when there was a knock at the door. In that moment she was frustrated with the interruption, but honestly it was a good thing. She would have burned that bridge before she even had a chance to start rebuilding it.

When Noah walked in Juniper nodded back at him and decided it was her time to leave. Ginny and Owen's child was more important to her than bickering with Robin. She caused enough trouble as it was, and if people caught wind of her history with Robin their votes might sway. She looked at Noah, then back to Robin. Mischief glittered in her eyes as she approached him. A little too close and a little too forward, Juni's lips grazed Robin's cheek as she made her way to his ear. "We'll finish this later." She whispered. Her hand was strategically placed for the little push that she gave his shoulder before she stepped away.

Cheerfully she gave everyone else a wave and a goodbye. She hurried out of the shack before Robin had anything to do about it. Juniper was in a tangle of steaming anger and the chill of the heartbreak that she had felt that night.She needed to find Chip. He was probably off doing God knows what right now. She shook off these feelings as she made her way toward the hiding spot that she had showed Chip a couple weeks ago.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Noah Ripley Character Portrait: Pamela Clay

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"A carpet?" Noah was angry. It didn't happen often, him getting upset like this, but when it did...it was because of Pamela.
"Like when you pulled me back here and I let you? Or like when I mostly listened to your little Diane Clay stump speech again? I am going to go speak with the newcomers, like I was going to earlier, and try to see whether or not they are shitty people and whether or not I am going to let them stay."

"You let me pull you back here because it is my job to pull you," Pamela stood up off the steps and let out a deep sigh. She could feel the heels of her feet begin to ache. She could smell the slight body odor coming from her; the kind that was so faint that you would have to have your nose to her pits to smell. Pamela's stomach was grumbling and her heart was heavy from the bossy act that she was forced to put on during this time of the harvest cycle. Normally she would continue ripping Noah a new one but honestly she just couldn't muster anything up this time around. She spoke slowly and quietly, meticulously choosing each word, "I want you to succeed, Noah. I want you to be a great leader. I want this town to survive. But you have to be honest with yourself and understand that the advice I give you just might be right. You can't write me off anytime I talk to you."

Noah turned abruptly and strode away, leaving Pamela to collect dust, no pun intended, on the steps of the town hall. She smiled at the sight of him leaving, partly because he spoke up to her for once and partly because she could finally go home and get some sleep.

Pamela began walking towards her home when she saw a small kid tossing a pebble up and down and skipping down the street. She took a few quick strides and before he knew it Pamela was standing right beside him. He jumped when she spoke, "shouldn't you be helping Mrs. Crawly with her crops, little boy?" Chip Darney, in his surprise, dropped his pebble to the ground. He turned slowly, his face white with terror, "I'm so sorry, Ms. Clay. I swear I was on way!" Juniper is a bad influence on these kids. She is going to be the death of me. Pamela smiled at the kid. She rustled his bushy hair then kneeled down so they were eye to eye, "Didn't anyone teach you that lying is bad?" Chip's eyes widened as he tilted his head backwards, afraid of what Pamela would do to him. "Yeah," he stammered, "I know not to."

Pamela's mood was getting better, as if she Chip's childish joy was seeping into her. She brought her pointer finger to her chin, pretending to think really hard, "now, what are we going to do about your punishment?"

"Punishment?! No!"

"Punishment. Oh yes." Pamela laughed for the first time all day, "take my hand, Mr. Darney. I know where we need to go."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Noah Ripley Character Portrait: Ginny Thompkins Character Portrait: Juniper Jacobs Character Portrait: Rob Braddock Character Portrait: Evanne Luna Remmington Character Portrait: Dana Clay

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Manifest:
· Two (2) packets of generic analgesic
(Standard issue; no one has the time for name
brand bias when one's in pain)
· One (1) "Sawyer Mini Multipack"
(Very old; appears to be some sort of emergency
water purification system. Gave the other two
away)
· Four (4) packs of various freeze-dried berries
· One (1) crudely-made paddleball
(Good times)
· One (1) rusty knife (Someone's begging for
tetanus)

Entry:
Spoils written above. Not much food to be had,
but there's a lot of useful things.

Perhaps not the paddleball.

Some have left town fearing prosecution. We're
'robbers' now, apparently. I'll have to be
careful next time I wander out to get supplies.














Where she initially couldn't face him—and that had been going on for days since their arrival—she now greeted him with an easy vindictiveness.

"As I recall, you loved messy hair."

He still did.

Robin flushed.

He hated himself for letting his guard down to show her the smallest hint of sentiment. Of course she was going to pounce on that opportunity to kick him in the gut. Her blue eyes were ablaze; she was enjoying this. Her reasons were, of course, completely justified. However, it didn't make it any the less easy for him to be able to meet her face-to-face. As much as he wanted to launch a verbal attack, a riposte or a scathing remark—anything to fight back—he found he couldn't, enveloped by an overwhelming sense of dread and vulnerability. He tightened his jaw and stiffened his stance, hoping to maintain that last bit of dignity in her eyes. It was then that he remembered they had an audience.

"Noah Ripley, but you seem to already know that." Robin shook his hand firmly and promptly let go when it seemed appropriate enough to pull away.

"Yeah. Old man Clay's filled me in," he bit, glancing at Dana to confirm, having forgotten his anger at her for finding the journal. His eyes flickered back to Noah. "Robin Braddock." He stepped aside and took his mug of water from the foot of his bed to take a sip.

It was then that Juniper approached him with that cheeky look of hers and leant over to him. "We'll finish this later," she had whispered in his ear, but not before intentionally teasing him with those lips of hers. He willed himself to remain calm, even through the searing irritation that didn't leave him until she finally left the shack. (That one forceful push had nearly sent him over the edge. That, and she spilled some of his water on him.) Oh, we'll finish this later, all right.

He observed the town leader move towards Dana, and all confidence he thought he had observed in her had gone out the window once she noticed. "... You were gone before I even knew you were there." This should be interesting.

"You must be the famous Ginny. Evanne's told me about you."

"The belly's quite large, isn't it? Forget McKinley; here's Mount Virginia," he said with a small laugh, sounding more surly than amused with his bad mood spilling into what should've been friendly banter.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Noah Ripley Character Portrait: Ginny Thompkins Character Portrait: Juniper Jacobs Character Portrait: Rob Braddock Character Portrait: Evanne Luna Remmington Character Portrait: Dana Clay

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As more familiar faces entered the shack, Dana felt smaller and smaller. She wasn't feeling like her confident mech self and it was destroying her. She sat there, dumbfounded, with her hand on Ginny's belly like some fanatical pervert, too engrossed in what was happening between Rob and Juni to notice herself.

One thing was obvious to Dana by watching the two of them nip and bite at each other. The history that Rob and Juniper had was one soaked with emotion and marinated in heartache. Dana held her breath when Juniper slithered up to Rob and whispered something into his ear. Whatever history they did have looked like it was going to repeat itself. Dana's mood meter was depleting fast watching this scene unfold. A knock on the door is what ended the reunion so abruptly, leading to Juniper's...forward action towards Rob.

Noah.

"Old man Clay's filled me in," Robin shot a telling look at Dana. It was a look that said I know all about your feelings for Noah, little girl. Believe it or not . Dana was still trying to figure out what that meant, Robin's "believe it or not" thing. It must have been a jab at her.

"Hey," Noah's eyes scanned Dana, looking from her face to her hand on Ginny's belly. Dana could have sworn his eyes lingered on her chest for a split second but quickly chalked it up to her imagination, "weren't you out there earlier with your sister and the uh..." Noah brought his arms up to his face and pantomimed shooting a slingshot, looking like a grown up Jack. Dana remembered the stories of a kid named Jack that her father used to tell her when she was young. She could still hum the tune from an ancient play that Patrick sang to her. There are giants in the sky. Noah continued, "You were gone before I even knew you were there."

Dana spent most of her time complaining that Noah never noticed her but now that he is she was flustered. Just say something! It was so easy for Juniper to remedy her awkward situation with Rob. Dana was beyond jealous of how Juniper was able to just turn it all around, leave the victor, and look moderately calm the entire time too. Dana's eyes couldn't do anything but fixate on Noah. Her father was well aware of her feelings for him, but how aware was Noah? Dana, in that moment, decided that she was going to follow Juniper's lead and go for what she wanted.

Dana stood up, as straight as possible to seem taller, and looked directly into Noah's brown eyes.

"After you are done here," Dana's hand went for her knife again, her stupid nervous habit, but she covered it up nicely by putting her hand on her hip instead, "can we talk?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aaron "Sullivan" Character Portrait: Noah Ripley Character Portrait: Ginny Thompkins Character Portrait: Juniper Jacobs Character Portrait: Rob Braddock Character Portrait: Evanne Luna Remmington Character Portrait: Owen Thompkins Character Portrait: Risalda Enudo Character Portrait: Dana Clay Character Portrait: Pamela Clay

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Evanne remained quiet standing near the door separating the kitchen area from the small bedroom. She watched the exchange between Rob and Juniper just like the others. She didn’t exactly know what their history was but even when she came across them in the wilderness, there was definitely something going on.

Her cheeks turned bright red when she say Noah enter the shack. He didn’t notice her in the dark corner. When his eyes didn’t immediately find hers, her heart sunk a little. She frowned when Robin introduced Noah. She heard Ginny chuckle from the bed. She guessed it must be some sort of inside joke. She stepped forward as Noah shook hands with Ginny. She watched their exchanged. She couldn’t help but wonder if it would be better if she and Noah didn’t now each other. What if they had a fresh start? Sure, it wasn’t possible but sometimes she thought it would be better that way… almost. She decided to make her presence known.

"Hey, so I guess you managed to pry yourself away from Pam?" She smirked at him. ”I hope I didn’t get you into any trouble with her. Her tone was playful, almost as if she didn’t mind causing him a little bit of trouble every now and again.

Evelyn clapped and cheered, making her mother laugh. She reached out for Noah to take her. "No, no, baby, Noah can't hold you." She told her. She tickled her daughter’s sides causing the most adorable giggles from Evelyn. She squirmed. The sounds of laughter were short lived as a screamed pierced the dry air.

Evanne immediately jumped into action, passing Evelyn off to Noah who was now closest to her. She moved around Robin and Dana to kneel beside Ginny who was grimacing in pain. ”Breathe Ginny.” She told her friend in a calm voice.

The one thing Evanne could always be credited with was being calm in the most extreme circumstances. The only time she broke was when she was in labor. She took Ginny’s hand, helping her sit up. The blankets and mattress was wet from Ginny’s water breaking. ”You and your baby are gonna be just fine. We’ll get you to Dr. Enudo.”

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Evanne was finally back, just in time to grab her daughter before the knock on the door. Noah was someone she had never seen before. She smiled at him. "Hello, Mr. Ripley. It's great to finally meet you. Feel free to call me Ginny." She held out her hand so he could shake it.

She glared at her brother’s joke. ”Ha. Ha. Very funny.” She grabbed Owen’s pillow and threw it at her brother with as much force as she could manage. That was a mistake. She didn’t exactly know what happened next but she knew something was wrong.

She felt wet. Did her water just break? No, no it couldn’t have. They needed to wait until the vote. The baby could wait until then. She didn’t hear the exchanges around her after that. She knew something was wrong.

Then the worst pain imaginable ripped through her body. She heard the scream just like everyone else but she didn’t realize it came from herself until she saw everyone looking at her. And then Evanne was by her side. Ginny didn’t want to move but she let her sit her up. She didn’t hear her words. The only thing was pain. So much pain.

”Something’s wrong… I can tell.” She cried out, staring into Evanne’s eyes.

Evanne shook her head. ”No, everything is just fine, I promise. It’s just labor. You can do it. Now let’s get you up and walking. It’ll help it go faster.”

Ginny couldn’t say no to that. She let Evanne pull her too her feet even though it hurt so much. Her mother had told her about how long labor could take. If moving around made it go by faster, she’d do whatever to make it not last as long. Soon she would be staring at their child. The only thing that matter was the child.

"I need Owen."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Noah Ripley Character Portrait: Ginny Thompkins Character Portrait: Rob Braddock Character Portrait: Evanne Luna Remmington Character Portrait: Risalda Enudo Character Portrait: Dana Clay

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After Juniper's dramatic exit, Robin Braddock seemed to have swallowed a lemon. Admittedly, it had Noah on edge as well. Were they going to be a problem? Noah did not know Juniper as someone who was exactly rational, and he worried that whatever had obviously gone on between these two would cause trouble in other ways. As Noah was eyeing Braddock warily, Dana stood up from her spot.

"After you are done here," she said, "can we talk?"

"Sure," he replied. "Is there something wrong?" Before Dana replied, Noah shook Ginny's hand. Robin teased his sister about her size, and was subsequently hushed with a pillow. Whatever trouble Robin brought with him, Noah hoped it was balanced out by this sweet-seeming woman. Evanne stepped out of the shadows with Evelyn in her arms.

"Hey, so I guess you managed to pry yourself away from Pam? I hope I didn't get you into any trouble with her," she said with a teasing smirk. Noah rolled his eyes, but he smiled. He knew Evanne had no qualms about causing him a little pain. Evelyn was clapping and gurgling from her place in her mother's arms, and the two made a seemingly perfect pair. "No, no, baby, Noah can't hold you," Evanne said when the baby reached out for him.

"I could," Noah protested. Honestly, he hadn't yet gotten the chance to truly meet Evelyn, although it was strange seeing as Evanne was one of his closest friends. His work--and Pamela--always kept him busy around the time of the Harvest Tax, and this year was no exception. Suddenly, there was a scream from Ginny, and Noah found himself with an unexpected armful of Evelyn as Evanne raced into action beside Ginny.

All he could do was watch as she declared that the woman was going into labor. He did his best to silence the swell of panic in his mind. It wouldn't do any good to freak out right now, he reminded himself. Instead, he focused on Evelyn, who seemed just as confused as Noah felt at the abrupt change in situation. Studying her features, he could pinpoint each and every one that she shared with Evanne. Most of them, truthfully. One in particular stood out from the carbon copy of Evanne, though: her eyes. Unlike her mother's crystal blue, Evelyn had familiar mahogany eyes that Noah would recognize anywhere. His eyebrows shot up.

"You and your baby are gonna be just fine. We’ll get you to Dr. Enudo."

Poor Ginny looked like she was about to collapse. Noah felt the panic seeping back into his mind, and his focus was temporarily pulled from his detailed examination. This was not what he signed up for when he became the leader. If he had wanted to deliver babies or even deal with any facet of pregnancy, he would have gone to medical school with Risalda. He recoiled at the memory of her, but he knew it wasn't the time to open that can of worms.

"I'll take Evelyn and go ahead," he offered, "so the doctor can prepare for you."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Noah Ripley Character Portrait: Ginny Thompkins Character Portrait: Rob Braddock Character Portrait: Evanne Luna Remmington Character Portrait: Risalda Enudo Character Portrait: Dana Clay

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Entry:
coming up

































It was the way it had been back home—when they had a relatively stable home. At the end of the working day after they had had their supper—if there was any to be had—there was almost always at least one waiting for his sister. In return, there were many, many looks of exasperation, mock or real, reserved for her nudnik of a brother. Despite the clear irritation it brought to her some days, it was perhaps the only way they could forget about the day's stresses and actually enjoy their youth. Following the death of their parents and their departure from the farm, it became only think linking them back to home. In a way, they were the childhood photographs they never had.

He believed that this was no different from those other times. He let out a laugh at the displeased look on her face, temporarily cut off by the pillow hitting him square in the face. It stayed on his face for a while as he continued to laugh, and though he swore he heard something like the beginning of a commotion, he had dismissed it as the usual sort of pain that Ginny had when moving and everyone else telling her not to strain herself too much. That was until he pulled the pillow off his face.

Panic set in, freezing at the sight of his sister in pain—and at the damp bed underneath her. When he was sure he could trust himself to move, he threw the pillow at the first bed he thought to throw it at and quickly approached her as Evanne was helping her up. He encouraged Ginny to put as much of her weight on him as possible as he supported her.

"Clear the damn way," he bit, glaring at everyone in his way as he led Ginny slowly over to the door of the shack. He offered his sister an apologetic smile as he practically threw the door open and led them out onto the rickety front porch. "Hey, Gin. Guess the kid didn't like me making fun of his momma and decided to give me the old what fer." He pressed a kiss to her sweaty temple and took the rag from his shoulder, wiping her forehead with it as they eased down two steps. "You're gonna be fine, okay? You're gonna have this kid and everything will be just fucking peachy. You're gonna have a little menace on your hands before you know it. Just... breathe or... whatever you have to do when you're in pain."

The medical tent seemed even farther off than he had expected at the rate they were going but with the pain Ginny had been experiencing around her ankles and feet it wasn't as if she was going to be able to take off. As such, he muttered words of encouragement to Ginny each step they took to the tent, trying to build her up as the fear of losing her to complications following the birth became ever stronger. When they had finally reached it—and by then he was nearly in tears—he gave a few pants of exhaustion before he could speak.

"She needs a doctor!" he yelled steps before he and Ginny entered. "Just—Help her!"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Noah Ripley Character Portrait: Ginny Thompkins Character Portrait: Rob Braddock Character Portrait: Evanne Luna Remmington Character Portrait: Owen Thompkins Character Portrait: Risalda Enudo Character Portrait: Dana Clay

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Evanne’s eyes met Noah’s as she helped Ginny stand. Noah. Noah take Evelyn away. Well, not away just ahead of them to the hospital. She hesitated. The only time she let Evelyn out of her sight was when she had to work and she left her at the daycare. But now, with Noah? Then again if she could trust anyone with Evelyn’s safety it was him. He was her best friend after all. But still she couldn’t give the okay until she watched Evelyn rest her head on Noah’s shoulder while looking back at her mother. Her heart squeezed. She nodded. ”Okay. We’ll be right behind you.”

The blonde pushed the worries of her daughter out of her head and focused on Ginny. ”That’s right Ginny, just move at your own pace.” She encouraged her friend, grateful to see that Robin pulled himself out of his stupor to come and join her at Ginny’s other side. Ginny needed everyone now. ”We’ll find Owen, don’t worry.” She looked at Dana. ”Check and see if anyone saw him okay?” She didn’t know if the teen would listen to her but she kept moving, not looking back.

She never let go of Ginny as she and Robin ushered her to the Med Tent. They had to go right passed Juni and Aaron. She only met their gazes for a second. She knew Juni would eventually come to check on Ginny. There was not much she could do without medical treatment. ”We’re almost there. You’re doing great.” She soothed her.

As soon as they were in the tent, Evanne slipped away from them after making sure Rob had her. She pulled back a curtain to an empty bed. ”Ris!” She called, hoping her friend would appear. ”Let’s get her on the bed.” This was directed at Rob as she came back to them. She helped ease Ginny just as she cried out from another contraction. She moved out of Rob’s way so he could take her hand. She knew he wouldn’t leave her, at least not while Owen wasn’t there. She washed her hands and put on a pair gloves before moving back to her.

Her movements were precise. She covered Ginny with a blanket and took off her undergarment for her. She disgaurded them before helping Ginny’s feet into the stirrups. She had plenty to do before Ris showed up. She inspected Ginny. She was surprised to see how far along Ginny was without feeling the contractions sooner. ”You’re 10 centimeters dilated. The baby is well on his or her way.”


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Her legs felt so heavy as Evanne tried to urge Ginny to walk. She wouldn’t be able to make it. That’s when her brother slipped his arms around her as well. They took the weight off her painful feet and ankles. They made it easier for her to move but it was still a very slow process.

” Hey, Gin. Guess the kid didn't like me making fun of his momma and decided to give me the old what fer.”

She couldn’t help but laugh at her brother’s bad joke. Her laugh turned into a groan. She could barely hear what he said as he continued. ”As long as the child is a menace to you too.” She tried to joke back.

How long had she been walking? It felt like forever. Her head was spinning. They had to stop several times when she was overcome by painful contractions. Perhaps walking was helping the labor move on. She didn’t know. She couldn’t even feel the pain in her feet or ankles now that they made it to the tent. It was just the contractions that hurt. ”Where’s Owen?” Ginny whimpered as she was eased onto the cot. She cried out as another contraction ripped through her. Was this what it felt like to die? She squeezed her brother’s hand, unknowingly digging her nails into his skin.

It had been a long time since Ginny had been embarrassed by much these days. She didn’t fight when Evanne took off her underwear then examined her to see how far along she was. Sure, she wasn’t a nurse but Evanne had explained before how many centimeters she needed to be dilated before she could start pushing.

”What? But Owen’s not here yet. I can’t start pushing!”

”He’ll be here soon, don’t worry. He won’t miss the birth of your child.” Evanne tried to assure her but how could she be so sure?

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Noah Ripley Character Portrait: Ginny Thompkins Character Portrait: Rob Braddock Character Portrait: Evanne Luna Remmington Character Portrait: Owen Thompkins Character Portrait: Risalda Enudo

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Owen supposed that the pretty young doctor didn't really want to talk to him, because instead of engaging a little more conversation she went to the other room to continue separating medications. The tired man sighed. At least he tried. Then again, he was being a bit too curious and bit too forward about all of the old medical supplies the town had acquired. That was none of his business. It was none of his business until he had been accepted into the town... Then he might start asking questions. Right now he didn't really care though. All of this old world stuff would hopefully save his wife and unborn child.

He finished his boxes quickly and went out back to get another load of supplies. When his feet hit the hot ground wafts of dusts swirled around him. The heat was becoming unbearable and he wondered if the rest of the farm hands had decided to call it a day. From experience in other towns, he knew that if the heat was too much everyone just went home and stayed inside to avoid any nasty sunburns or heat stroke.

Inside of the cellar that held the other supplies, Owen thought he heard commotion above on the street. Naturally he turned his head to hear, but everything was much too muffled for him to make out anything. He figured it was just a group of farmers going home or people out and about getting help from the Mech Hall. Owen stacked a couple of boxes on top of each other and went back. He looked around while on the street, seeing no Ginny on the porch. Owen frowned, perhaps she was taking a nap out of the sun.

Approaching the Med Hut Owen heard familiar voices, all frantically trying to instruct and calm. Oh God. Owen put down the boxes as he heard, "Ready, 1... 2... 3!" It was happening. Ginny was having their baby right now and he was missing it. Owen cursed himself as he watched Robin and Evanne hold Ginny's hands while she pushed. Owen ran a nervous hand through his hair while he did a slightly hysterical twirl around the room. "Oh God." He mumbled. Everything he had been stressing about, everything that kept him up at night was coming to a head right now. His wife, his Ginny, might die in just a few moments. But he couldn't loose it right now. He was supposed to be the strong one, and be the one in control. "Excuse me," he said to Evanne, pushing her out of the way. He needed to support his wife.

"I'm here, Ginny. I'm here."