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Adaption

Adaption

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The Goodwin cure was mean to heal any and all ailments. Unfortunately, it seemed it had quite the opposite effect and became known as the Goodwin virus. Now cities are infested with zombies, driving those still alive to less than decent living situations.

1,631 readers have visited Adaption since Lilah created it.

Introduction

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      A tale as old as time.
      How the hubris of man has called down judgement from trying to control things that we simply do not understand.
      The lives of many lost because of the insatiable pride of a few.
      So is the nature of mankind.

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It has been 20 years since the โ€˜wonder cureโ€™ went global. A miracle drug meant to fix all ailments in humans from the simple cold to full blown cancer. A biological achievement often compared to an act of God. A scientist of microbiology by the name of Trevor Goodwin came up with this medicine, testing it on himself and several other high risk patients before revealing it to the people at large. According to the man, it used a highly advanced cell culture to recognize what was natural in a human body, and expel anything that it saw as a threat, meaning any and all illnesses and conditions. Naturally, people were skeptical at first, but as the treatments continued the evidence started to stack. Goodwin had created what could have been a universal cure to all known ailments, as people who were diagnosed as terminal suddenly saw a reversal in their symptoms. Men, women and children who were on their deathbed were up and running around within a week. The world rejoiced, or at least those who could afford such a thing. Naturally Goodwin went about marketing his creation, and overnight he became the most powerful man in the world with enough wealth, fame and control over major pharmaceuticals to rival even the leaders of the civilized world.

There were, of course, protests against such a creation. Those who would claim that we had no right to play God, that such a thing was against the will of the Almighty. There were also others who were complaining about the capitalization of such a drug, screaming out that the entire human race had a right to receive treatment from the Goodwin Cure. There were yet even more, corporate heads and people who had something to lose in the face of this invention, that went out of their way to sabotage or discredit Goodwin and his cure. While people were getting better, the evidence piling up that this could be the end of illness in our time, there was a cloud approaching that would bring about the downfall of the known civilized world.

Several years after the creation of the Goodwin cure, symptoms started appearing from those who had used it. Lack of cognition, sudden and extreme bouts of coughing and vomiting, high fever and sweating. Considering the only link was the Goodwin cure, everyone who had been gunning for the scientist went after it completely, and rightly so because it wasnโ€™t long after these symptoms appeared that the first death was recorded. Even as a investigation was launched and the body examined, people started dropping like flies. Regardless of what time they had their injection, be it years ago or just yesterday, everyoneโ€™s symptoms were the same. Goodwin couldnโ€™t be reached for comment, nor could anyone even find the man. He had suddenly disappeared off the face of the Earth, and it wouldnโ€™t take long to understand why. Soon after the bodies started turning up, they started moving on their own. The dead could walk, a zombie film come to life as no recognizable aspect of the person they once were could be found, and they seemed to have a hunger for human flesh. The first attacks were televised for the world to see, and as the virus spread, it also adapted. The dead began to change from the walking husks to several different and deadly variants, focused solely on spreading themselves to every living person they could set their sights on.

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The governments of the world tried to shrug this off, that it was an isolated incident, but after a month of attacks happening around the globe, every nation's military started to move against the dead. This wouldnโ€™t matter in the long run however, as they moved too late to quarantine the situation. With no fear of death or understanding of pain, the dead marched against those who would stem the tide and swiftly overwhelmed them. Cities became slaughterhouses and soon the living became the endangered species on the planet. Governments fell, looting and murder became commonplace, and a horror that had become a tired trend in the modern day suddenly became a very vivid and terrifying reality. This was the apocalypse, and soon it wasnโ€™t about stopping the virus, it was about surviving it.

Fast forward twenty years and youโ€™ll find entire abandoned cities where only the dead roam freely. The Goodwin virus went global, every nation came under fire and suddenly there were no longer any kind of national governments or armies. The world regressed to an almost tribal like state where survival of the fittest rules came into play. Despite this, humans have a natural instinct to band together, and several communities sprung up as the survivors of the event that became the new D-day (Dead Day) built fortifications, set rules and started governing themselves. Zombies wander the roads and fields looking for anything living to try and eat or otherwise spread their disease to while roving bands of less than savory people prey on the ones who manage to get past them. For the most part people just want to live, there are very few that are actually trying to solve this epidemic and many believe their efforts are fruitless. After all, how can their be a cure to what was once also called a cure?

There are no immunity to the Goodwin Virus, no way to combat it aside from lopping off entire limbs if one is fast enough. Once youโ€™re bitten, you might as well kill yourself right then and there because the only other alternative is a slow death followed by a quick revival in the very thing you hated.

At least...thatโ€™s how itโ€™s always been. But this tale isnโ€™t one of known variables or foregone conclusions. If anything, humans have proven resilient and shown our ability to adapt.

Some more than others.

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โ•ญโ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ•ฎ
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Hello and welcome! This roleplay was created by Quakernuts and I. Currently it is a 1x1, however we are possibly looking for one more person to join and collaborate with us. Essentially this story's centered around a group of people who find out one of their own is immune to the Goodwin virus, and attempt to find a rumoured lab that might be able to use them to create a cure. It is important to note that we did take inspiration from the game The Last of Us. If this sounds at all interesting to you, or if you would like more information, feel free to message either one of us!

โ•ฐโ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ•ฏ
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Toggle Rules

The GM of this roleplay hasn't created any rules! You can do whatever you like!

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Charlotte Sinclair Character Portrait: Kasey Kwon
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#, as written by Lilah
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โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”
The outside wasnโ€™t any different from what it had been when she last stepped out of the communityโ€™s gates. Everything seemed over grown and unkempt; Wild plants sprouted up wherever there was space, the grass was too thick and tall to be able to see if anything crawled under it. It was also quiet. Well, quiet apart from the footsteps of some of the heavier footed members of the supply group she was running with.

Charlotte had never done a supply run before. At least not for her present community. The last thing that could have ever been considered anything as such was when she was a little kid hoping from house to house, looting what she could. But that was awhile ago. She was young with her grandparents by her side. Now she was just a teacher with a few basic skills to protect herself. She was only pushed into going because they needed more people. A month ago they sent some scouts on a big supply hunt to gather whatever they could, and more than half that group never returned. It was a sad day, but one a lot of people come to expect. There are no guarantees for life, even within the confines of the communityโ€™s gates. Charlie knows this.

It had only been a couple of hours since their group of six had left. There wasnโ€™t a lot of talking, having been told to keep it pretty hush-hush unless thereโ€™s need to comment. Itโ€™s better to be as quiet and not attract any unwanted attention. Besides, theyโ€™d all been briefed on what to do. It was a simple medical supply run. Theyโ€™d gotten word that there was an abandoned lab set up in a city not far from their community. They were supposed to find it, collect any important medication, and get the hell out of there as fast as they could. Easy enough in theory. They had an exact location, but they didn't know if the intel was reliable or not. It was traded information. Sadly, they needed to take the risk to check. Medical supplies were running low, and they couldn't survive on herb remedies forever.

Soon enough, the dirt trail through the forest turned on a skinny and cracked paved road in the city. One of the guys, Oliver she believed his name was, took off the pack he wore and pulled out a ceased and faded map that looked old enough that Charlie wasn't surprised it didn't just crumble into his hands. Crouching down, he placed the map on the ground as his eyes scanned over it. Looking up, he turned his head to look at the five staring at him as he questioned, "any one know what street we're on?" The blank stares they all shot him back seemed a clear signifier that none of them knew.

Peering over at Eliza, the only other girl in the group, Charlie stated, "come with me up the road to check for street signs. We'll radio if we find something." A key thing in this world was trying to do everything in groups. It does nobody any good not to have backup. The girl merely nodded before the two of them made their way, the other four gathering around the map to study it.

"So this is your first supply run, huh?" So much for not speaking unless necessary. Charlie brought a hand up to rest against her forehead, shielding her eyes from the sunlight directly above them. Damn it was hot out. "Yep," Charlie replied, glancing around for any sort of sign of where they were or what road they were on. This street just didn't seem to end. "What do you thi-" Eliza started to question her again, but Charlie quickly held up her hand and hissed out a sharp 'shh' after hearing a twig snap come from the dense forest at the side of the road. Eliza squinted her eyes at Charlotte, gritting out, "what? I'm just making conversation," clearly annoyed with being interrupted. Charlie shot her a look before quietly saying "I heard something, be quiet for a second," trying her best not to offend her.

Slipping her knife from the holster on her waist, both her and Eliza went to the opposite end of the road to cover under some of the underbrush. Both waited in silence to hear if any other noise came from the direction in with she heard it before. Could it just be an animal? Yes. But it could also be one of the infected. She'd prefer to have a run in with a bunny than some rotted corpse and the disgusting stench that trailed with it.

After about a five minute wait, they spotted nothing and no other noise was made. Seemed safe enough to emerge and keep going, but the sooner they got back to the group, the happier she'd be. One thing was for sure, the rest of the walk both of them didn't speak a word.

After another couple of minutes, they reached a turn in the road where thankfully a road sign still stood tall. Grabbing the walkie-talkie from her large shoulder bag, she turned it on to the proper channel saying, "hey, we found it. We're on Carson Road, turning on to Mayview Street." It was only a few more seconds until Ollie's crackled voice came from the other end saying, "Got it. You two stay up there, we need to go east from Mayview."

Once of the rest of the group finally caught up, Ollie navigated them all from there. Thankfully there were no more infected scares like before. They kept mainly to the off roads and travelled under as much cover as they could to stay undetected It was only about two hours later that they finally found the makeshift lab. The walls were cemented, and the windows were blackened out. Charlie couldn't tell what kind of lab it was, but it was probably just some old research place.

"Check to see if one of the windows have been broken into. If we walk through the front door and there are squatters in there, it'll just alarm them to our presence," Charlotte suggested, stepping away from the other five to circle around the building. "Also check for any sound traps like cans and stuff on the floor." The can thing was always one of her grandma's favourite tricks. If something or someone came through the window or the doors, most often than not they wouldn't be looking at their feet and knock over the pile of cans she had set up.

Soon enough she found a propped open window and waved the others over. One by one they crawled in, Charlotte first, Ollie second, the others following behind. The room they seemed to be in had beds lined up against the wall. It was more of an infirmary looking place than any sort of top grade medical facility. Silently, they all paired up and went searching for whatever they could. The room they were in seemed pretty picked clean and Charlie already had bleak hopes that they'd find anything useful.

Still, everything was relatively quiet other than their own scuffling footsteps. Eliza and Charlotte eventually found a room where shelves had fallen to the ground, random supplies scattered everywhere. The floor was cluttered and one could barely walk into it. "Either this was checked thoroughly or left untouched, try moving stuff around to see if there's anything useful, she suggested. Eliza was quick to move, getting on the ground to push stuff around. Charlie tried her best to step over stuff, pushing up the metal shelves from where they had fallen to make it easier to move around. Compared to the other rooms, this was trashed. It was unusual.

"I found some unlabeled bottles. Don't know what's in them, but let's take them anyways," Eliza muttered as she continued scrounging around. Charlie gave a small smile as she moved to the corner of the room where another shelf had fallen to the ground. She couldn't seem to budge it up, it was a lot heavier than the other ones. "Could you help me lift this up?" Charlotte asked, turning to look over her shoulder at Eliza. The girl quickly scurried her way over and grabbed the other end of the shelf unit, grunting as she tried lifting it back up. Eventually they got it up far enough, but Charlie quickly let go of her side when she felt a hand snake around her leg. She let out a small shriek as she frantically kicked. "Fuck, Charlotte, I can't hold this by myself!" cried Eliza, as Charlie was tugged back by the arm that stuck out from underneath all the junk below her. Falling to the ground, Charlie let out a panicked cry as she heard an ever larger crash and groan from Eliza. Trying to twist around, she finally broke free of the infected's grip, but as she struggled to get up, the hand that previously had grabbed her turned into two as it clamped on to her outstretched arm. Charlie didn't know what to do. In that very moment, it's like everything she'd learned went blank. She could actually feel her body go into shock and she didn't know how to stop it. She just fucking paused. And because she paused, she gave the damn bastard all the time it needed to sink its teeth right into her upper arm as it tried to tear her flesh out.

In a moment, her panic was cut off by a large crack of a gun going off and a cold, horrendous smelling splatter of blood landing on her face. The biting grip on her arm turned slack. Soon everything seemed to move back into reality. Turning her head towards to doorway, she saw Ollie standing there, gun pointed in the direction of an infected's head that was now blown open, blackened blood pouring out of it. In an instant he was over, tugging on her good arm to get her up, commanding, "help me get this shelf up off Eliza!"" Charlie went on autopilot, helping him lift it off before he dragged her out from under it. She was knocked unconscious and the awful bend to her leg showed that the bone had basically snapped in half. Ollie picked her up and left without another word, Charlie following behind him, a grip on her bleeding arm. She couldn't think about that now. She needed to make sure Eliza would wake up.

Ollie led the way back to the infirmary area and dumped Eliza on the bed, before turning to face Charlie. She was quick to note the hand that rested on his gun. Holding up her hands in surrender, as in instinct, she tried to stop her voice from shaking as she stated, "I can still help. I can help Eliza. Let me do that, then you can do what you need to do. She needs to get back to the community as fast as she can and we both know she won't be moving by herself very fast even if she wakes up." There was a pause as he stared her down. They both knew she was the only one in the group with any sort of medical knowledge, no matter how sparse it was. He must have contemplated for about two minutes before he grunted and dropped his bag. He rummaged through it for a second before grabbing a clothe bandage and throwing it at her. "Wrap it on your arm. Don't let the other's know. Tell them it was a close call. You and I will deal with this when we can leave. We'll spend the night here, so help me get a cover on that open window." Charlie nodded. She could keep busy.

As long as she was busy, she didn't have to think of her imminent death.

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Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Charlotte Sinclair Character Portrait: Kasey Kwon
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

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________________________________________________
Kasey Kwon
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โ€œKasey!โ€

โ€œKasey!โ€

โ€œKASEY!โ€

โ€œWhat?!โ€ Kasey finally responded, looking up from his rifle as he sat, his back propped up against the wall next to the gate leading out into the great known world. An M16 lay in his lap, a rag encircled around his hand as he wiped the barrel back and forth. The man calling his name whipped his head towards Kasey at his response, looking down at him with a bit of surprise.

โ€œOh, shit. Didnโ€™t think you were here already.โ€ Kasy gave a bit of a shrug.

โ€œHopefully youโ€™re more observant out there than in here.โ€ Kasey stated, ribbing the older gentleman a bit, which was met with a firm stare. Gravel, not his actual name but more a moniker given to him because of his appearance, was an aged man, early fifties with a big bushy grey beard and enough muscle on him to make the standard person think twice about trying to gang up on him. He was one of the expedition leaders for the Community, someone who took others on trips outside the walls to either deal with an encroaching pack of the dead or search for supplies. For the moment, a machete hung from a scabbard on his back as a shotgun was held loosely in his hand. A ball cap worn backwards adorned his head while a red and black plaid shirt complimented some dirty and dusty jeans that looked like they were three weeks overdue for a good wash. All he needed was some sunglasses to really nail the โ€˜war veteran slash lumberjackโ€™ look and that would be it.

โ€œOn your feet then, weโ€™re about to head out.โ€

โ€œIโ€™ve been ready to go for an hour, would already be gone if it wasnโ€™t for you guys slowing me down.โ€ Gravel took a few steps closer as Kasey managed to get to his feet, slinging his rifle on his back and making sure his pistol and knives were in their proper place. Aside from his weapons, Kasey preferred to travel light. A form fitting white t-shirt along with a pair of rather bland grey shorts that looked like they deserved to be in the same wash load as Gravelโ€™s pants adorned his figure. What skin did show was calloused or tanned from days of spending it out in the sunshine running from who knows how many things that wanted to kill him. Gravel got within his personal space a bit, forcing Kasey to take a step back to maintain a decent boundary between them.

โ€œI know why youโ€™re going on this run Kasey, and trust me, I want to find them alive too, but donโ€™t get your hopes up and donโ€™t go in half cocked. They wonโ€™t be sending a rescue team for the rescue team.โ€ Kasey gave a scoff, not like his reason for joining this little band of merry men was a secret. His friend, Charlie, had been on the last run. Against his very wishes, as she wasnโ€™t necessarily a supply runner to begin with, but numbers had been down for over a month now. Everyone was being forced to pull a bunch of different weights at different places. He had argued against it, complained, and some would even say bitched incessantly about this very problem. Now here he was, in a situation where his comments were justified even if he didnโ€™t want them to be.

โ€œI know what Iโ€™m doingโ€ Kasey stated, his irritation, anger and a little fear mixing together to create his bristly persona. โ€œHurry the fuck up already, I donโ€™t have all day and neither do the survivors...if there are any.โ€ Kasey stated, wandering past Gravel to where the rest of the group stood. Gravel shook his head, hefting his shotgun and resting it on his shoulder. The other members of the group; Johnny, Mack and Lucy all waited patiently for Kasey and Gravel to finish their conversation while the last member of their group, MacGyver finished loading up the truck they were to take to the supply groupโ€™s last known location. Once he was done, he wandered over, his toque wobbling off center as his lopsided smile seemed to brighten the group a tiny bit.

โ€œAlright.โ€ Gravel started, his eyes floating over each of them. โ€œWe all know whatโ€™s going on, but as a quick recap...A supply run was made by 6 individuals to a lab some distance from here for medical supplies. That was over a day ago, theyโ€™ve missed their check in and no word has been heard from them since. Our job is to search for them and the supplies they may or may not have found.โ€

โ€œSo basically weโ€™re looking for corpses and pills.โ€ Lucy spoke up, picking at her teeth with her nail. Gravel gave an exasperated sigh.

โ€œIโ€™m not asking for optimism, but could you please keep the depressive shit to yourself?โ€ Lucy shrugged, flicking an invisible piece of food off her finger as Kasey glared at her from his spot in the circle. โ€œIf they are dead...or otherwise, we deal with it when the time comes. For right now, we focus on our objective, everyone clear?โ€ There was a litany of acceptance, both begrudging and enthusiastic before he continued. โ€œAlright, letโ€™s load up. Sunโ€™s high in the sky and I plan on being back before it sets for the night.โ€ Everyone gave a nod as they took up their respective spots in the truck, Kasey and Johnny sliding into the back of the pickup as everyone else got into the extended cab. The engine rumbling was an almost comforting sensation as they rode towards the gate, stopping briefly to allow the guards to open it up. As they drove out into the open road, the gates shutting behind them as they went, Kasey stole a glance at the sign leading to their community.

โ€œWelcome to Lintwood.โ€




โ€œLooks like a bunch of runners...theyโ€™re twitching something fierce.โ€ Mack stated, sighting the dead through the scope on his rifle as he used the top of the truck as a prop, kneeling in the bed. Gravel hissed through his teeth a bit, reprehension evident on his features as Kasey gave a glance his way.

โ€œAny chance we can fight our way through?โ€ Gravel asked, looking back at Mack as he scanned the horizon.

โ€œThere doesnโ€™t seem to be many outside, but there are several windows broken on the building from what I can see. I have no idea how many more are inside.โ€ Gravel looked back, stroking his beard as he lost himself in thought. Kasey paced slightly, his finger tapping against the side of his rifle as he held it in front of him.

โ€œWe know this is their target, but we have no idea if theyโ€™re inside or if they were run off.โ€ Gravel stated, looking off into the distance. โ€œThey could have been chased further away, we could be wasting our time trying to get inside. Chances are if they were caught there, theyโ€™re dead anyways.โ€

โ€œWe still need to look for supplies inside.โ€ Johnny stated, sliding the hammer back on his rifle as he sauntered up to where Gravel and the others were standing.

โ€œIโ€™d be going in anyways.โ€ Kasey stated, his eyes glued ahead of them towards the target building. Gravel looked over at him, his mouth forming into a frown as he contemplated their actions some more.

โ€œWhat did I ask of you back home?โ€ Gravel asked, causing Kasey to glance over his way and give a shrug.

โ€œThis isnโ€™t me going in on a whim, if that were the case Iโ€™d already be gone.โ€ Kasey stated, irritation building with every word as he looked ready to start running into the building at a momentโ€™s notice. Gravel gave a sigh and took one last look towards the laboratory.

โ€œMacGyver, you think you can outrun the runners in the truck?โ€

โ€œNot a problem Bosserino!โ€ MacGyver stated, his head perking up and his fluffy toque bobbing side to side. โ€œIf Mack can stay in the back and take care of the ones who get too close, I think I can bait them away. Sound good?โ€

โ€œIt will give us an in at the very least. You got your radio?โ€ MacGyver slid off his backpack, searching through it real quick before pulling out a walkie talkie. He gave it a shake and Gravel nodded. โ€œGood, keep that handy. Weโ€™ll give you a call when weโ€™re ready to pull out, come back and get us at that point but preferably without bringing the rest of the party with you.โ€

โ€œBah, no fun Kahuna.โ€ MacGyver stated, giving another lopsided smile as he made his way to the truck and hopped inside. He rolled down the window, slipping his arm outside and slapping the door a couple of times. โ€œWe ready to roll out?โ€ Gravel waved his arm forward prompting a holler from MacGyver as Mack held onto the top railing of the truck as he kept his rifle propped up.

โ€œRest of you, on me. Quick sweep, stay in twos and donโ€™t take chances. Weโ€™re not going to be here long.โ€ Gravel stated as the group started forward. The truck blared past the building, horn sounding an alarm from the vehicle as they went along with MacGyver giving out some unique insults to say the least as the Runners all turned and started bolting after the truck with all the speed their twisted and mutated bodies could muster. Before long, there wasnโ€™t a single Runner left in the yard as the small group made their way onto the grounds. The group of 4 quickly made their way towards the lab, splitting up once they got closer. Kasey ended up pairing off with Johnny as they combed the walls for any kind of entrance or clue as to whether the supply group even made it inside.

โ€œFound a door.โ€ Johnny stated, having run up a few feet farther than Kasey to get a look around the corner. Kasey caught up to him as Johnny stepped up to the entrance. He gave it a push and a tug to no avail. He finally pushed his shoulder into it before shaking his head and looking over at Kasey. โ€œBlocked. Maybe they barricaded it?โ€

โ€œWouldnโ€™t make sense.โ€ Kasey stated, looking out towards the rest of the town. โ€œIf they were about to get surrounded, their first priority would have been to get out and head back towards Lintwood as fast as possible.โ€

โ€œTrue, but what if there was no way out?โ€

โ€œThen it would have been easier to hide than barricade.โ€ Johnny shrugged, looking around. Kasey pointed towards a broken window. โ€œWe can get in from there, Iโ€™ll head in first, rifle at the ready.โ€ Johnny nodded, bringing his rifle to bear as they approached the shattered remains of glass around the window. Both of them took either side of the window, sweeping the immediate room for threats. โ€œClear.โ€ Kasey stated.

โ€œSame. After you.โ€ Johnny stated, keeping his rifle at the ready and pointed towards the room as Kasey slung his rifle over his shoulder to get through the opening with more ease. A moment later and he was standing in a practically destroyed room with multiple objects littering the floor ranging from shelving to cracked bits of broken bottles. He stepped on the ground lightly, grabbing his rifle and bringing it up to the ready position before reconsidering and slinging it on his back again, this time pulling out his pistol and a blade. He rested his gun hand on his arm with the blade, keeping both weapons pointed forward as he took a steps inwards. Behind him he heard a crack as the glass was shattered beneath Johnnyโ€™s boot. Kasey shot a glance backwards, and was met with a silently mouthed โ€˜sorryโ€™ from the man as Kasey stepped to the door leading into the hallway.

Opening the door and quickly checking both directions, Kasey was greeted with another empty area. With Johnny bringing up the rear with his rifle, Kasey stepped forward and started sweeping the areas. It took a good several minutes of checking empty rooms before they came upon one which showed some clues as to what happened. There was a crawler dead on the floor from what appeared to be a single rifle round. Not to mention signs of a fight, blood splattering the ground that was recent and signs of panic. Kasey wandered in, dipping his fingers in a pool of blood to test the consistency, confirming that whatever was bleeding had been here recently. Johnny wandered inside the room, recognizing the same things as Kasey but having enough sense to not bother saying the same thing out loud. As they went about piecing things together, Kasey giving the crawler a kick for good measure, a single word was uttered behind them.

โ€œApples.โ€ Johnny turned his head slightly.

โ€œTacos.โ€ He replied, at which point Lucy and Gravel wandered into the room as well, with a heavy sigh from the abrasive woman.

โ€œStupidest...check sign...ever.โ€ Gravel ignored her, walking closer to Kasey.

โ€œAnything?โ€

โ€œI canโ€™t say for certain that itโ€™s them, but something happened here recently. The blood is relatively fresh and heโ€™s a recent kill.โ€ Kasey stated, pointing to the crawler.

โ€œHuman blood?โ€ Gravel asked, making Kasey shrug.

โ€œI donโ€™t see any animals and itโ€™s too red to be from the dead, so I would say yes.โ€ Gravel gave a nod.

โ€œIf they had wounded, they might have tried to look for an infirmary. Letโ€™s see if we canโ€™t find one.โ€

โ€œWhat makes you think thereโ€™s one here?โ€ Lucy asked as they made their way out of the room. Gravel shrugged.

โ€œItโ€™s a research facility of some kind, they would have to have medical supplies around somewhere. Common sense I would think.โ€

โ€œSince when has common sense ever factored into what we do here.โ€ Johnny quipped with a slight smirk as he followed the group into the hallway. Gravel gave a quick โ€˜shushโ€™ to shut him down from saying such things, being a man of procedure over many other things. With that, they quickly went about looking for the infirmary.




It only took them a few minutes to find the infirmary, a trail of blood leading them there that Kasey had noticed almost immediately stepping out of the room. The double doors leading to the area unfortunately prevented them from looking inside as the windows were covered in dried blood. Gravel gave a hand signal and they stacked up on the door, he and Kasey being the closest with Lucy and Johnny bringing up the rear. Gravel looked at Kasey, making sure to have eye contact before nodding and they both opened the door.

Immediately Gravel was nearly tackled to the ground by a slobbering walker as he managed to get a hand on itโ€™s face and push it away. Lucy came in behind, bashing in its skull with the butt of her shotgun as Kasey was facing a few more of the dead. One was on the ground, doing her best to crawl towards her while the others with various wounds ranging from bullets to bites all charged forward. Gravel got his bearings once more, kneeling as Kasey did the same. No order was needed as a quick burst of gunfire came from the four of them. A few seconds later, the dead roamed no more. Gravel stood up, taking a good look at one of the faces of the dead for a moment too long in Kaseyโ€™s opinion before giving a massive sigh. โ€œFuck.โ€ He stated, slinging his shotgun on his back.

โ€œLooks like we found our scavengers.โ€ Lucy stated with all the tact of a drunk preacher at a funeral. Kaseyโ€™s eyes darted back and forth as he quickly wandered over to each body, flipping them over and taking a good look at their faces. Johnny and Gravel were more respectful as they carefully identified each of them.

โ€œOllie...Eliza...Teaganโ€ฆโ€ Gravel stated, each time his voice getting a little quieter. Eventually he just pinched the bridge of his nose and stood up. โ€œAlright, no point in staying here then. The gunfire will have attracted something, we should head out before that something decides to try its luck against us.โ€

โ€œCharlieโ€™s not here.โ€ Kasey stated, standing up and looking around the room. Gravel looked over at him.

โ€œI count five.โ€ Gravel stated, looking to the others.

โ€œCharlie makes six.โ€ Kasey stated, his voice wavering a bit as he did his best to remain composed despite everything in him wanting to scream at the world. Gravel gave a nod, wandering over to Kasey and placing a hand on his shoulder.

โ€œFan out...be careful.โ€ Johnny gave a nod while Lucy scoffed as they split up to search the rest of the infirmary and started moving out into the hallway. Gravel looked down at Kasey for a moment. โ€œWe can spare time until MacGyver and Mack get back, when that happens weโ€™re leaving.โ€

โ€œShe could still be alive.โ€ Kasey stated, his eyes still darting in every direction as Gravel squeezed his shoulder to keep him in the now.

โ€œKeep your expectations low, this situation got FUBARโ€™d pretty quick by the looks of it. Just be careful.โ€ Kasey shrugged off the shoulder, at which point Gravel started walking away and reaching for his radio to call the truck back for a pick up. Kasey was trying to look at the situation as rationally as he could, despite every fiber in his being wanting to just walk outside and unload on any walkers or runners that happened to be outside in order to feel some sort of vindication. Instead, he took note of the blood splatter and bullet casings, piecing things together slowly as he wandered around the room. The infirmary wasnโ€™t large, no nooks or crannies to hide in, so Gravel wandered out into the hall with Johnny and Lucy as they started searching the nearby rooms for any sign of Charlie.

It took a few minutes for Kaseyโ€™s head to get set back on straight as suddenly a trail of blood starting making itself clear to him. Drops and splatters that lead into the back of the Infirmary, and there he noticed a faint mark of deep red blood smeared on a couple of the lockers. He walked closer, inspecting the marks as he did so and noticed the splatter on the handle. Raising his knife, hoping for the best and fearing the worst, Kasey swung the locker open.

Inside was Charlie...still alive as she raised her hands weakly, her face pale and breathing ragged. Kasey stood there for a moment, shock at the fact that she was still among the living before he noticed just how much blood she had on her. โ€œShit...shit shit shit...Charlie...hey...GRAVEL!โ€ Kasey yelled backwards, before trying to reach in and grab at her relatively tiny frame.

โ€œHey, youโ€™re going to be ok, alright? Charlie, I need you to talk to me, ok?โ€

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