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Owen James Calley

0 · 499 views · located in Modern-day zombie apocalypse.

a character in “Dead Morning America”, as played by Iki

Description

Name: Owen James Calley
Alias: Monday
Species: Wolf/Feline mutt
Age: 29
Fur: Black
Eyes: Blue
Height: 71" (1.80m)
Weight: 160lbs (72.57kg)
Build: Athletic

Equipment

Loadout: Sig Sauer P226 Elite in .40 S&W; tritium sights, short-release trigger, and Picatinny rail - currently bare - strapped to his right thigh in a paddle holster when not in use.
Ammunition: Five twelve-round magazines (One loaded, four on the MOLLE rig strapped to his left thigh), minus one expended magazine and seven rounds.
Melee Weapon: Cold Steel Panga Machete, utilized more often than not in order to conserve what little ammunition he's carrying.
Primary Tools: A small Benchmade 140 SBK model knife with serrated blade (4.5" blade total, 1" serration), a lensatic military compass, a pocketful of 550 cord, and a mini Maglite.

History

Born to a working middle-class Irish-American family, Owen learned the basic principles of hard work and its given value and satisfaction at a tender age. That of course didn't stop him from frivolously enjoying life as a wee little pup, despite having to cope with the consistent and invariably confusing barrage of questions and teasing surrounding the oddball couple that was his parents, and his 'differences' therein. Bred a mutt between a wolf and a feline woman, it was often that his father would have to explain to visiting friends and their friends when they'd badger Owen about why his mother was different from his father - even in a modern day and age of general tolerance - that "Love simply finds a way."

His father a wise old wolf and his mother a sweet doting kitten, he grew up with a fairly well-rounded moral compass despite notably misanthropic behaviour that developed over the course of tormentive years endured at the hands of his peers because of his 'differences,' and after flying the nest at the cookie-cutter age of 18 and a short stint in the conventional Army, made the swap over to Special Operations, and spent the last six of his eight-year term in and out of the Middle East. When that grew stale and he eventually exited military service, he still managed to make good headway on his own, and even made a notorious name for himself with the local police department. Enlisted as a 'runner' to help train their patrolmen in apprehending suspects on the street, he earned his distinctive nickname through his second of two part-time jobs and his distinctive knack for parkour, making himself something of a unicorn to catch during exercises and simultaneously earning the moniker 'Monday' for the dreaded 'Black Mondays' that he worked running literal circles around officers at the department.

But that didn't hardly last a short three years before the enigmatic zombie virus began sweeping the nation, and his place as a job-holder was ultimately dissolved - not that it mattered at length, when most of the people who cared about money ultimately wound up dead or reanimated and had no real use for it anyway - but when shit started going sideways, and public broadcasts started calling for safehouses and collection points, he did what made the very most sense to him: he stayed put. The way he figured, safehouses meant lots of people, and lots of people probably meant lots of wounded and afflicted - whether they kept that to themselves or not - which meant secret killers in the night when the disease finally took hold and the infected people who kept quiet about it literally woke up dead. But that was just a theory. Consequently, being 'one step ahead' left him one step behind in terms of power in numbers, forcing him to try to make it on his own when his personal supplies inevitably ran out, and his to-and-fro trips eventually attracted a Screamer - which consequently attracted far too many of the walking dead for him to deal with on his own, and forced him to cut out into the concrete jungle of the city. Hence the present, and the knack for staying alive his survivalist skillset has given him.

So begins...

Owen James Calley's Story

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#, as written by Iki
"Wake up...Wake up...WAKE. UP."

It could have been the distant gunshots that finally brought him out of the blackout - or, it could've been his subconscious screaming signals of panic through his nervous system to force him awake. It could have been anything.
All he knew, was that when he finally opened his eyes, he was lying on his face, and his head was pounding.

"Nngh~" Everything hurt; most of all, his head. It took nearly a full minute to finally roll himself over, just to realize that he was lying some metres under the bottom platform of the fire escape, "What the hell?"
Instinctively, he pressed his palm to his forehead as he groggily worked himself up to sit to try to curb the sharp aching throb pounding through his skull, but that just made it worse. It was only then, he realized, his palm was suddenly sticky and wet. Peeling his hand away from his head, he forced his blurry eyes into focus, and almost immediately wished he hadn't.

"Blood," He gulped, staring dumbly at the dark red smear on his palm. Still blinking the grey out of his swimming vision, he glanced around, trying to make sense of things. How long had he been out? The stuffed gym bag lying frumped in the alley not more than an arm's reach away made everything click almost instantly, and the fleeting instant where he'd lost his footing trying to leap from the railing of one fire escape to the next platform and caught a vending machine with his face on the way down shoved its way into his aching head.
"Christ," He swore at himself, shaking his head as he tried to rub the last bits of blur out of his eyes and wiped his bloody hand off on his brown fatigue pants, "Fall could've fucking killed me. Gotta be more fucking careful," It was an empty vow on borrowed time, he knew, because "careful" was a very relative term these days. Hell, when dead people got up again and started eating everyone, words like "safety" and "refuge" just seemed like a bad joke.
And that just raised questions in his head about why he wasn't infected yet. Surely, he couldn't be that lucky. He'd seen enough zombie movies to figure that once bitten, death and reanimation was almost a guarantee, and that wasn't even taking the other possible mediums of transmission into account: air; water; plant life, animalia; the concept was terrifying in every sense of the word.

But he had a plan, at least; which he figured was a lot more than what could be said about most people. Considering the seemingly endless hordes of walking dead, he figured it was safe to make that assumption. The thing that he still couldn't put a finger on though, was the different types he'd come across - or in some cases, had come across him. His best guess was at some kind of caste system, but how a virus identified something like that almost to the point of executive selection, he could only fathom wild hypotheses. Most of the walkers he'd come across were just that: walkers; slow, shambling; the typical zombie that he'd seen in almost every single mainstream zombie flick he could think of. But then there were some that screeched so hideously through their shredded, rotting vocal cords that he would've pegged the bird-like monsters for demons before anything - and that wasn't even the bad part. The bad part was the packs that they invariably seemed to attract - packs that didn't just shamble, but sprinted in a full-on chase.
Ironically, he didn't count that nearly as bad as the ones that he would've sworn were stalking him like some kind of animal...like some kind of undead predator.
He'd seen them move before - only in glimpses, but it was more than enough to unnerve him. They didn't walk - they prowled on all fours like a feral animal, and much the way he parkoured, they leapt around with such ease and pounced with such incredible range, that it was nothing short of a miracle that he'd survived those close scrapes when the bastards practically ambushed from an entire block away.

"Gotta get moving," He mumbled to himself as he painfully willed his limbs to move and shakily worked his way to his feet, scooping that bag up on the way. Dusting off his black shirt, black hood, and the drab green field jacket he wore over them, he was up and moving again; and it was no sooner than he'd slung the heavy pack over his shoulder and dabbed a bit at his forehead that a few shamblers up toward the mouth of the alley noticed movement and turned their milky, unblinking eyes on him.
"Fuck," He muttered, chewing his lip; wondering to himself how many Screamers were out there with them - or god forbid, Hunters. It was enough to make him instinctively check the pistol strapped to his thigh, "Good. Still there."
It wasn't a moment after, that one of those horrid, awful things somewhere in the lurching crowd opened its mouth and began to screech; that long, haunting scream that crescendoed to an almost deafening sound like a shrieking bird over nails on a chalkboard. In that very instant, every muscle in his body went tense, and his ears went back. He could see it, now. That demonic, bird-like monster was staring right at him - through him - with those horrible, sunken eye sockets; viscous, tar-like gouts of blood gushing from its slackened, broken maw.

"Oh, fuck."

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Just keep pushing. Don't stop. Don't stop. Don't stop. Running. Running. Running. Faster. Faster. Faster. Nyx Goldwin's heart pounded so viciously in her chest she was afraid it would burst as she dashed as fast as she could up flight after flight of stairs. Last night she'd locked herself in a closet on the first floor of a tall office building only to wake to the repetitive sound of pounding on the door. She'd nearly jumped out of her skin when she'd opened her eyes and found a large gaping hole in the door, a snarling, vicious hunter ripping wildly at the wood. Her first instinct had been to scream, but she'd managed to swallow it and slow her breath, allowing herself to think a little more rationally. It had seemed that the hunter was intent on completely tearing down the door before getting to her, and silently she thanked God that she'd closed the door before falling asleep because, whether it be from lack of intelligence, or something else, the hunter hadn't thought to simply jump through the hole it'd made.

So Nyx had grabbed her pack, slung it over her shoulder, and slammed the door open as fast as she could, shoving the hunter back, stunned. Without hesitating, she took off, racing for the nearest flight of stairs. A second later, a clawed hand reached out and took hold of her blonde hair, dragging her violently to the floor, but thinking-fast, she kicked her legs up into the air and caught the monster in the nose with the heel of her booted foot. A sickening crack filled the air and she was free and scrambling once more towards the stairs, this time wrapping her blonde hair into a high bun.

Too late had she realized that up was probably the worst way she could have gone. What would happen when she reached the roof? As she ran, Nyx whipped out her gun and loaded it up, the silencer on the end ensured that she wouldn't alert any other infected, now all she needed was a clear shot.

Her heart raced as she rounded the final set of stairs and slammed open the door at the top, bursting out onto the roof. The fresh air hit her face and the silence of the day was eerie. Quickly, Nyx sprinted to the end of the roof and crouched, waiting.

A second later he appeared, crawling towards her like an animal hissing and snarling on all fours. Her skin crawled at the sight of him and she breathed out, time seeming to slow as she trained her gun on the monster, waiting for the right second. One shot. That's all she'd have. She would need to hit it right in the head in order to puncture it's brain and kill it, but at the moment, it's back was turned. Turn around! She urged impatiently, trying hard to keep her hand steady.

As though it had heard her, the hunter whipped around so fast she hardly caught the movement before it leapt towards her, launching through the air with the eerie grace of a predator. Without thinking, Nyx pulled the trigger once, twice, three times.

And the hunter fell mid-pounce. She let out a breath and lowered her gun, standing from her crouch. Slowly, her heart returned to it's normal pace and she crossed to the body of the hunter and shot it once more in the forhead. Just to be safe. Nowadays, one could never be too safe.

When she was sure the hunter was history, Nyx pulled her hair out of her bun and rubbed her eyes. She'd hardly gotten two hours of sleep before the interruption and her nightmares had made sure they were anything but restful. Exhaustion made her hands shake and she glanced at the hunters body, amazed that she'd made the shot.

Suddenly, a shrieking filled the air and Nyx ducked instinctively, looking up towards the skies. One of those screamers was around. Had it spotted her? Or was someone else in danger? Following the sound in a low crouch, Nyx held her gun ready at her side as she approached the low wall at the edge of the building's roof.

Leaning over the wall, Nyx spotted the source of the noise. A screamer, like she'd suspected. It seemed to have spotted someone else and was creating a fuss. It hadn't noticed her, but, figuring it was only a matter of time, Nyx trained her gun on the screamer's head. Her hands shook a little still, but she took a deep breath and steadied them before shooting three bullets straight into the spine of the infected screamer, right where his head met with his neck. She'd severed it's spinal cord, cutting off connection to the brain and causing it to drop to the ground in a silent heap.

With a sigh of relief, Nyx leaned back slightly and wiped her forehead before leaning back over the wall and shooting another two bullets into a runner, reloading, and another fifteen into the remaining hoard.

Before a minute had passed, the hoard was nothing but a heap of bodies. Nyx narrowed her eyes on the figure at the end of the ally. The reason for the screamers wails. Was it a person? A survivor like her? Deciding to find out, Nyx flung herself over the side of the building, landing on the fire escape below. She climbed quickly down the ladder and landed gracefully ontop of a dumpster.

Lifting her gun, she held it shakily on the figure and shifted her heavy pack on her shoulder. "Who the fuck are you?" She spoke forcefully, letting him know she wasn't joking around. If he posed a threat, she would shoot.

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#, as written by Iki
Imagine his surprise - and heartfelt relief when the rounds tore into that horrific monster and it finally went silent. It still did nothing for his aching head, and the warbling howls of the Screamer rang continuously in his ears like an unholy air-raid siren that he knew was going to plague his dreams if he actually lived that long.
"The fuck is that even coming from?" He muttered to himself as the rounds rained down and dropped corpse after corpse after corpse, glancing around. He didn't hear gunshots, only the soft punctuated thump, and abrupt snap of the supersonic rounds echoing down the alleyway from the street. It took a second for his battered head to register the angle, but when it finally clicked, he felt incredibly dense. The roof! Of course!...and whoever it was, must've had a silencer; no way it would've been such a quiet deal otherwise.
"Fuck I really must've ate that fucking vending machine," He cursed to himself, instinctively pressing his palm to his forehead. His head was pounding so hard, it was almost impossible to think! - but he wasn't about to look a gift horse in the mouth. Whoever it was, they'd just covered his escape. Gritting through the pain that made it almost impossible to walk in a straight line, he hurried on his way down the alley, and the chainlink fence that divided it quite nearly in half, "Goddamit, this is like a bad fucking Hollywood movie," He swore outloud, and it wasn't until she leapt down onto the fire escape that he realized how painfully right he was.
The first thought that shoved its way into his head was how much noise the woman had just made, and he cringed reflexively. Jumping down onto the fire escape like that might as well have been a cannon blast, and the fact that she actually had the gall to start with him was just in-fucking-credible.
"Are you fucking kidding me?!" He snarled back at her as quietly as he could, "Do you have any fucking idea how much fucking noise you're making?! Fuck!" It was subtle at first; a low, shuffling rumble up the alley that made him bolt upright, and turn those keen ears to the street.

"Fuckfuckfuckfuckfuck, you've gotta be kidding me. Christ, just once, I wanna be wrong about this!" Runners. He hated Runners, almost as much as Screamers, and there was no way every corpse within miles hadn't heard the unholy summons of this last one before she managed to drop it. There was always more; always. Flocks of them; herds of them; hordes of them. He almost didn't want to see what he already knew was coming around the bend, but as the first few started to round the corner, all he could do was turn tail to the tidal wave of corpsed flesh that was rolling down the alley.
"Fuck! Fucking RUN!" She could shoot him for all he cared - it'd be better than getting chewed up by those freaks. Adrenaline surging through his aching body, he broke into a dead sprint down the alley. A dumpster, and a few stacked crates were all that stood between him and his temporary freedom, and if it weren't for the looming sense of doom that was forcing his aching body to push harder, he might not have made it down the alley with that heavy bag and so much head trauma. Forget the girl, she could obviously take care of herself, if she could shoot like that from the roof with a pistol. Right now, the only thing he could focus on was getting his ass over that fence!
So when he reached it, he didn't waste any time slinging that heavy bag off his shoulder, using its arcing momentum to heave it up and over the fence. Backing up a few paces, he broke right back into a sprint. Bounding off the wall to gain a little extra momentum and height, he streamed easily up onto the top of the dumpster, and took the stacked crates stride by stride until he reached the top. Another bound off the wall lifted him up high enough to plant one hand and effortlessly vault the fence, tucking into a roll as he landed on the other side. Without missing a step, he snatched up that gym bag, slung it over his shoulder, and just kept running. Time to leave!

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Nyx watched as the figure tried to run first, but was stopped up short by a fence. She let a tiny smile hit her lips. It was selfish to be happy that he was trapped, but for fucks sake, she'd just saved his life and all he did was run. Then he turned back to her, cringing from the sound of her decent and swore straight at her. Okay, so she'd made noise, but what was she supposed to do? Stay on the roof the rest of her life? She'd wanted- no, needed to find out who's ass she'd just saved and fast. It's not like she could have just dashed back down all the stairs of the building and caught him.

"Fuck! Fucking RUN!" His panicked, words pulled Nyx from her thoughts and made her focus. What was that sound? Running feet. Dammit! She'd alerted a horde of runners. God damn, could she do anything right? Rolling her eyes, she turned to face the opening of the ally. The horde was already rounding the corner and the guy she'd rescued was making his escape at the other end, over the fence. He seemed to have picked the only way out, and there were to many to stand here and pick them off. The guy had just left her to them. She couldn't handle them all on her own with a pistol. If she had more time, she could unpack one of her other guns and probably take them with an automatic, but the first few were already reaching the dumpster she stood on, climbing their way up. Shit!

Without another moment's hesitation, Nyx pointed her gun down at the clawing hands of the runners, shooting three in the eye and one in the forehead before backing up, taking a running start, and leaping clear over their heads. She landed with a thud on the other side of them and rolled into a crouched position. It took the pack a second to realize what had happened to their prey, but by time the first one had turned, she was already racing towards the fence at the end of the alley. Runners may be quick in a chase, but they were slow climbers. If she could just get over the fence, she could shoot the rest of them down from the other side.

As she approached the fence, she found the retreating figure of whoever she'd saved, already sprinting away. Okay. Now to get over the fence. Quickly, Nyx latched herself on, adrenaline pulsing in her veins as a hand reached up towards her feet, propelling her forwards. At the top, she swiveled and threw her bag to the ground on the other side, leaping down beside it.

"Omph!" She groaned and sat up. The runners just reaching the fence. Time to get shooting. Get her ammo out. The first runner latched on the fence. Reload her gun. Two, three, four runners on the fence. Hand shaking, Nyx stood and threw her pack on her shoulder, ready to run incase one managed to make it over. She lowered her gun and aimed carefully. One, two, three runners down. Four, fix, six runners down. Fifteen down and none over yet. Reload.

Big mistake. In the time it took her to reload, the final five runners made it over the fence and dashed towards her. Trying not to scream, Nyx turned on her heel and sprinted full force down the alley, the five runners practically breathing down her neck. Had the guy she saved gotten away? How the hell was she going to get time to turn and kill these final five? As she run, Nyx kicked down trash cans and rolled dumpsters in the way of the five runners, trying to buy time before the inevitable happened.

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#, as written by Iki
Faster; harder; go, go, go, go, go! It was all he could think as tore down the alley. His head was on fire, and his temples were pounding so hard, the compounding head trauma was starting to make his vision blur again. Do or die, do or die, go, go, go, go, go! Somewhere between his sense of self-preservation and moral compass, though, he got tripped up over the clamour coming from back up the alley, and cantered up a little to dare a glance over his shoulder.
"Shit, they're still fucking coming," He swore to himself, gritting his teeth. The girl was hauling ass, with those monsters hot on her heels. "Don't do it, don't do it, don't fucking do it. Just turn, and fucking run; GO!" He was already regretting this train of thought, but he couldn't just leave someone like this! Whether she got them wrapped up in trouble again or not, it was good to finally meet someone who wasn't a rotting corpse!
"Fuck! Why'm I such a fucking - nngh! Boyscout!" He cursed at himself out loud as he slowed to a trot, ears twisting back, "Where can I...perfect!" Picking back up to a sprint, he tore down the alley a little further just to keep as much distance as he could between himself and the gaggle behind him. He wasn't set for sure on how smart or how stupid Runners were, but he couldn't afford to take any chances. Skidding to a stop at the alleyway door of the shop not more than twentyfive meters from the street, he dumped his bag, ducked down, and dipped into his pocket for his roll of 550 cord. Yanking more than he'd ever need off the meticulously wound loop, he grit his teeth through his pounding headache and aching muscles to force his fingers to tie a knot around the tubing of the switchbox right around the corner from the doorway. Running it roughly knee-high to the opposite side of the alley, he tied it off to the switchbox over there before he ducked into the darkness of the receded doorway.
"Christ, I hope this fucking works," He prayed internally, leaning out juuuust enough that he was visible enough to motion to the fleeing woman with both hands. Palms up, he thrust them upwards again and again, mouthing as blatantly as he could: Jump!

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Nyx's obstacles of garbage and dumpsters was slowing down the runners a little, but not enough. Glancing ahead, she saw that the trash cans were thinning out. Sooner or later, she'd run out of things to kick in the way, and once out on the street, the horde behind her would only multiply. Shit, shit, shit! She thought as she neared the end of the alley.

Suddenly, a familiar figure shot out of a doorway sending her a signal. Jump? Why jump? She saw it just in time. A trip-wire. Cursing, Nyx flung herself forward over the wire and rolled to a stop, groaning. She'd hit her hip hard on the fall and knew there was going to be a bruise. Rubbing her side, she rolled onto her knees and elbows and pinched her eyes shut. If the trip-wire didn't work, she was fucked. She'd already hesitated too long.

Launching herself forward, she grabbed her gun from where it had skidded from her hand and turned to face the horde. Wait- where were they? It took Nyx a second to realize that the runners were no longer chasing her. They were laying on the ground, using their hands to claw their way towards her. The wire had worked. Breathing a sigh of relief, Nyx hesitated no longer.

She jumped to her feet and used her remaining bullets to kill the final five runners. When it was done, she slipped the gun into her belt and slumped against the wall, breathing hard and rubbing her hip. She couldn't remember the last time she'd ever run so fast and hard in her life. Damn. Thank God that guy had set up the trip-wire.

After catching her breath, Nyx rose with a groan and slid her pack back onto her shoulder, turning back towards the alley. Being careful to step over the wire, she faced the figure that had saved her. "Thanks." She said a little breathlessly. "Sorry I got us into that shit." He was obviously a survivor like her. There was no need for suspicion now, though she couldn't help being a little wary.

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#, as written by Iki
He didn't waste a second. The moment she hurled herself over the tripwire, his machete was in his hand, and with an angry snarl, chopped down on one of the prostrate Runners.
"Filthy, fucking - nngh!" The wet 'splot' as the sharp blade impacted on rotting skull was beyond satisfying, and he certainly didn't stop there. Posting his foot on the halved head of the exterminated corpse, he slammed the blade down into the closest Runner he could reach, sheer rage fueling a relentless flurry of chopping strikes. Everything hurt; worst of all his head. His muscles ached, and his heart pounded in his ears as he chopped down; again; and again; and again; and again, the prostrate monster thoroughly dead before he ever stopped. She could have the others, for all he cared. After being run ragged like this for the last few days, he just wanted an outlet.

"Fuck you!" He grunted as he chopped down for the last time with a sharp clink of metal on concrete as the blade sliced all the way through. Standing over the bloody mess he'd made, he snuffed, and wiped the spittle from the corner of his mouth before he wrenched the blade free, and flicked as much of the gore off of the carbon steel that he could. God, that felt good! Rotten, stinking, sprinting, monstrous bastards!
"Yeah," He panted breathlessly with a half-hearted wave of his hand, glancing over at her, "No problem, there," "Fuck, I'm tired. Thank fuck that's over with." Staring down at the broken, rotten corpses of their latest triumph over literal Hell, he just shook his head, and wiped at his mouth again, "Christ. I'd rather be in fucking Afghanistan. Taliban weren't even this fucking bad," He swore half to himself as he worked his machete back into the scabbard slung across his back and promptly - if not sorely scooped up his gymbag and jostled it up onto his shoulder, "You got somewhere you're headed?" It seemed like a totally irrelevant question when every square mile was packed with bogeymen, but anywhere was better than here, and if he was gonna travel; might as well be with someone else who was looking over their shoulder every ten paces too!

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Nyx rubbed the back of her neck with one hand, slightly relieved that he'd waved off her mistake. Now that the previous adrenaline rush had run it's course, her whole body ached with exhaustion. She'd hardly had two hours of sleep in the last twenty-four hours, and, looking at her company, she found that he didn't look much better off. She was running on pure adrenaline and training.

She heard him say something about Afghanistan and the Taliban. So he had been in the army? Good. If she was looking to team up with him, military experience was a great asset. "You got somewhere you're headed?" He asked, and she swept her long blonde hair up into a bun on her head, pushing her bangs from her face, thinking over the question a second. Where exactly was she heading?

She thought of home. What home? The last time she'd had a "home" she'd been twelve. And that home had been destroyed. After that, everything else had felt alien. Like she didn't belong. So where was she heading? She remembered the broadcast saying something about safe-houses and evacuation centers, but wouldn't that mean everyone was rushing there? Guessing it was the best shot she had, Nyx shrugged.

"Wherever the nearest safe house is I guess. I don't know. It's the only shot I've got. How 'bout yourself?" She shifted her pack on her shoulder and glanced towards the opening to the alley, then up at the roof of the buildings. Just checking, one could never be too cautious, though things seemed okay right now. "I'm Nyx Goldwin by the way." She added, wondering if he'd ever heard of her family and the huge scandal they'd been involved with eleven years ago. Not that it mattered. As far as the world was concerned, she was a nobody now.

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#, as written by Iki
Shifting the bag on his shoulder, he paid as much attention as he could, but quite frankly, it was getting harder and harder to focus. Tired, hungry, and hurting, he knew it was just going to be that much worse when the adrenaline finally wore off, and he came crashing down from this high. He needed to ride it for as long as he could until he could find somewhere to lay low for a bit and recuperate, and that seemed a bit more realistic with another pair of hands and eyes.
"Nyx, huh," He replied shortly as he went about untying the trip wire - one end, and then the other, before he promptly rolled it up around his fingers and stuffed it back into his pocket with the rest of the cord. Might come in handy again later!
"Well, the way I see it, we should stay away from places like that. Panicked people flocking to to'm probably made a lot of noise about it, and if these...things haven't broken down the doors already, then they're probably well into the process. That, and the way I figure, a good portion of those people were probably already bitten or infected, whether or not they kept quiet about it - and that shit prob'ly turned in on itself when the people who didn't say anything woke up dead, and started killin' everyone else," He didn't like the idea of it all, but he'd been regrettably right about a lot of things lately that he rather wouldn't have, so he was inclined to follow instinct on this one. The Runners were a fine example of how right he'd been, and really, he didn't know how much longer he could force his muscles to grind like this. He'd been through countless training rotations, and plenty of rotations in the Middle East that were worse than this, but actually being able to rest and re-fit every now and then was the deciding factor. Hell, even the Taliban called it quits when they'd had enough, and at least during breaks between movements, they could set up sleep rotations within the team. These things...they just kept coming, and having gone days without any real sleep and hardly anything to eat was really starting to wear on him. He'd lost a little bit of weight over that period of time, and was quite frankly surprised he'd survived the morning. Chalk it up to training and instinct, but even that could only get him so far.
Retreating to the receded alleyway door of the laundromat he'd set the trap from not minutes before, he peeked into the lightless shop to do as much of a sweep from the outside as he could before he crouched down right there on the spot, and slung the bag off his shoulder. Popping open the zipper just enough to get his hand in, he dug around a moment or two before he produced a fistful of Quaker bars, and tossed her the better share of five. Fuck it. If they got ambushed right now, he'd just keep right on eating. At this point, he wasn't sure how much he cared; he needed a break. He hadn't had the opportunity to check a mirror, but he was confident he looked as ragged as he felt.
"S'just a theory, though," He shrugged indifferently, "I mean; you're more'n welcome to if you want, but I'm not goin' to any kinda safehouses around here," He went on, promptly tearing a bar open to take a big bite, "Up toward upstate maybe, but not around here," Shaking his head as if to emphasize that point, he went in for another bite of that granola bar and devoured the rest of it. He hadn't hardly finished chewing before he tore open another and took a bite of it, "Way I see it though, we should try to find somewhere nearby where we can lay low for a minute before we make any big movements. Find somewhere quiet and rig somethin' up so we don't have to watch the doors and get some rest, maybe get somethin' better to eat. Don't know about you, but it's been a few days since I've been able to actually get some good sleep and get a real meal in me. These things just don't fucking quit," Chew chew chew, shaking his head. He'd decidedly taken the higher road and ignored the ugly stigma attached to the name "Goldwin" by avoiding it entirely, as if he'd never even heard her. He didn't know the whole story and figured he never would, but he remembered bits and pieces from reading the defamatory headlines in the paper, and what he did remember was all bad. Media; what could you really do, anyway?
"There's a house, actually, not more'n a block away I'm sure'll be safe. Guy who lived there was smart as all get-out; he and his wife would've made it out alright, and the place is probably still in tact," Glancing up at her expectantly, he didn't really wait for her to get in any say-so over the matter, "No more of this runnin' and gunnin', though; if we're gonna do this, we're gonna do it quiet, or we won't be able to go five minutes before those things are bangin' on the door. Could always use another action arm in the meantime though, just incase shit does go sideways. Power in numbers, n'all. You game?"

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Nyx watched him wrap up the wire and listened while he talked. He explained to her that most of the safehouses nearby were probably too crowded, a hot spot for the infected, and a great place for the infection to spread. She shrugged and sighed. He had a point. The broadcast she'd heard had no-doubt reached hundreds of thousands of people by now and they would all want to get to the same place. The safehouses would be a breeding ground for the infection. Shivering at the thought of all those panicked people running right to their death, Nyx tugged on a piece of hair that had come loose from her bun and tried to pay attention.

All she could think about was her sister. Was she one of those innocent people rushing right towards death? Had she already been killed? Where was she? The last time Nyx had seen Avalon Goldwin, she'd had to have been fourteen or fifteen. Six or seven years ago. The two of them had had a strong connection, but once they'd been separated, Nyx hadn't even known where to start looking. What if she'd died years before? Her hand dropped from her hair to the little gold ring hanging from a chain around her neck. Her fathers wedding ring. Her mothers belonged to Avalon. After turning eighteen and being released to live on her own, Nyx had escaped to New York in search of a new life. Was her sister even in New York? Hopefully. If not, she would find her.

Something hit her dully on the arm and fell to the ground, shocking Nyx from her thoughts. She glanced at what had hit her to find that they were Quaker bars and her new companion had tossed them to her. "Thanks." She muttered, blandly and bent to pick them up, chewing as she listened to the next part of his plan.

"There's a house, actually, not more'n a block away I'm sure'll be safe. Guy who lived there was smart as all get-out; he and his wife would've made it out alright, and the place is probably still in tact," He paused to look at her and Nyx gave him a nod to let him know she was listening before he continued. "No more of this runnin' and gunnin', though; if we're gonna do this, we're gonna do it quiet, or we won't be able to go five minutes before those things are bangin' on the door. Could always use another action arm in the meantime though, just incase shit does go sideways. Power in numbers, n'all. You game?"

Finishing, her portion of the Quaker bars, Nyx wiped off her hands and rolled her eyes with a nod. "You know, it's not like I want to shoot stuff. I'm not some trigger-happy moron." She let out a slight snort. "Those things used to be people. I only shoot them if I have to." After proving her point, she leaned back on the alley wall and looked him over. He had military experience and had already thought of things she hadn't, so he was smart, and it really wouldn't be so bad to have someone else around.

Making up her mind, she shrugged, and sighed. "Yeah I'm game." She smiled slightly and took out a knife. Nowadays, she was rarely seen without a weapon in her hand, even if she didn't necessarily need it. "I never did catch your name."

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#, as written by Iki
"Never said you were," He replied levelly through a mouthful of granola, "I'm just sayin': I'm not up for more of..that, back there," Waggling his hand back up the alley and the slaughterhouse it had turned into. He was coming down from that high a lot sooner than he wanted, and his limbs were beginning to feel heavy. Time to get moving, before that rot settled in.
"And I'm not trying to imply that I'm okay with it either," He went on, habitually wiping at the corner of his mouth before he wadded up those wrappers and wearily worked himself up to his feet, forced to lean against the brick wall to even make it that far, "Radical jihadists and bomb-makers are one thing, but these are- were fellow Americans," He corrected bitterly, carefully lifting the very corner of the polymer dumpster lid to squeeze the fistful of wrappers through and just as delicately set it back down again without so much a sound, "These were friends; these were family; these were typical, everyday soccer moms and office workers; normal people just like you, and just like me," The words stung even worse in his head than they did on his tongue. The vicious irony that forced him to put down the very same people he'd raised his right hand in oath to protect was almost a laughable thing. But these were trying times, and everyone was doomed to do regrettable things. He wasn't about to lose sleep over it, "There's an easy way to justify it, though, if you can believe it," As if anyone could ever believe that. What he was getting at was almost borderline insanity. He was a bit of a misanthrope sure, but there were very few people he'd ever wish this on. The rest? Well; this was the very least they deserved, as far as he was concerned.
"Ever ask yourself how many of'm were rapists or child molesters?" He started on an abruptly alternate and morbid tangent, tilting his head at her almost accusingly, "How many of'm were thieves and murderers? Ever ask yourself how many of'm were crooked cops or corrupt politicians?" An almost smug ghost of a smile tugged at the corner of his lip as he smoothed over his jacket and habitually tugged down the protruding corners of his hoodie - obsessively even, so the corners were flush, "That's how I justify it; by kiddin' myself into thinkin' that every one of these things I blow away or cut down is someone like that, and I'm actually doin' the world a favor instead of just adding to a body count. But I guess that can only last for so long, eh?" Chuckling at the thought, he just shook his head and scooped his bag up again.
"In any case, we need to get moving," Adjusting the strap on his shoulder, he considered the woman briefly, and whether or not telling her his name was really a good idea. Hell; she had to call him something, right? It wasn't really fair to her that he was so..distrustful, and it wasn't fair to hold her to the same low-ball standard as other, more selfish people he'd run across. But then again, life couldn't be all roses, could it?
"And you can call me Monday," He answered shortly as he crept up toward the mouth of the alley and peeked the corner. It wasn't his real name, but it wasn't a lie, either. It'd have to do for now. Peering around the corner of the building, the streets were only sparsely scattered with Walkers from what he could tell, and none of them seemed to be paying any particular attention. Fair enough he figured, with the rest of them probably still on the other side of the block after the incident with the Screamer. Fair enough, and lucky for them; this was going to be easier than he thought.
Stooping to pick up a palm-sized stone, he beckoned back down the alley at her urgently before he hucked that stone as far as he could down the street. Sure enough, what few Walkers were paying attention turned to see what it was that was skipping down the pavement, and he didn't waste any time. Without another word, or any further gesture, he skated out into the street and down the opposite alley between the two adjacent convenience stores straight ahead of them. Not long now! Almost home free!

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Nyx raised a single blonde eyebrow at his theory. Sure, it was rather morbid, but if it worked for him, who was she to judge? Nowadays, if you wanted to survive you had to kill. That's all there was to it, and everyone had different ways of coping with things. She could argue that there were a lot less thieves and murders than there were average citizens, or that thieves and murderers were more likely to have the survival know-how, but Nyx swallowed it. Who was she to mess with something that kept him sane?

When he stood and turned to go, Nyx snapped back into attention and followed him to the end of the alley. She saw the walkers, same as him, but before she could think of something to do about it, he'd grabbed a rock. Realizing what he was doing, she crouched, shifting her bag on her shoulder and waiting.

When the walkers all turned away from them to follow the stone, Monday dashed out across the street, Nyx hot on his heels. She flew with silent feet, making sure not to make noise and alert the walkers again, and before she knew it, she was back under the safe cover of the alley, leaning against the wall panting hard. They were just walkers, but if they'd been stopped, they'd have been stuck out in the middle of the street, absolutely no cover.

Once she'd caught her breath, Nyx rubbed her hip where she'd bruised it earlier and flipped her knife in her hand, pulling herself off the wall. "Alright Monday," she whispered, "where to next?"

Sorry about this... I got distracted.

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#, as written by Iki
She was right - of course she was right; for there to be a sheer volume of malignant people infected in favor of people who were just Joe and Jane everybody was just pure fantasy; but it was how he coped, like so many others. His method was just a little more grim and maybe even a bit altruistic. Besides, like he'd mentioned before: they were typical everyday anybodies. Now, they were nightmarish, unliving beasts, and at the end of the day, that fact made it infinitely easier to pull the trigger, survival aside.
Barely breaking stride when they reached the opposite alley, he only slowed to a meager trot so she could catch up, "Keep going," He replied simply, slipping his machete out of its glossed leather scabbard, "It's not far, just up the alley," Up the alley, and around the corner, with only a few Walkers milling aimlessly about between them and their freedom - Walkers that had already turned their milky unblinking eyes on them and had begun their awkward shuffle in their direction. Picking up the pace a little to take point, he stuck to his side of the broad alleyway, and snatched the closest one by its outstretched wrist. Using its own momentum against the clumsy shambler, he flung it backwards to let her take care of the stumbling disoriented corpse, and with a sharp grunt and a sickening 'splot,' slammed his machete into the scalp of the Walker behind it.
Still in motion, he just pressed on, quickly building momentum, "Home stretch, c'mon!" He snarled internally to his aching body, forcibly willing his limbs to keep right on pumping despite how they screamed at him to stop. Stiff-arming another set of out-stretched rasping hands, he hurled the Walker to the concrete and leapt right over it, slicing the one that had just worked itself to its feet a few meager meters down the alley through the neck as he sprinted past, toppling its head from its shoulders with a dull wet thud on the concrete. Almost there!
Confident she was still right on his tail, he only paused for a brief glance at the mouth of the alley before he booked it straight across the street and into the narrow driveway of the household across from it. Well-concealed between the white picket fences of the two homes, he finally stopped, and immediately slung his bag off his shoulder, using the momentum to hurl it up and over with a strained grunt.
"Thank fucking Christ," He thought to himself a bit breathlessly, double-checking over his shoulder and then back toward the street again, sinking down to one knee. Hands cupped, fingers laced, all he had to do was wait, now. He'd be her step-stool for this one; up and over!

S'okay, this reply isn't that great anyway. :|

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While Nyx had been catching her breath, Monday had kept moving, speeding off down the alley. With a sigh, she shoved herself off the wall and gripped her knife tightly in hand, racing after him. Thankfully, he slowed just enough to let her catch up before picking up the pace again. Ahead of them, a few lone Walkers milled, but that wasn't too bad. She could tell by the urgency in his walk that either they weren't far, he didn't have much longer to go, or both. She herself, didn't know if she could last another hour.

Keeping to the right, just behind him, Nyx caught the Walker he threw back to her and used her knife to stab it in the back of the neck, severing the spinal cord in one fluid movement. Without stopping, she yanked her knife from the body and pushed on, flipping the knife in her hand so that she was gripping the handle with the tip pointed up towards herself.

The next walker she caught, Nyx slammed it hard on the head between the eyes with the hilt of her knife. A sickening crack filled the air when she broke the creatures skull, and it dropped like a stone. Without hesitating, she followed after Monday. Ahead of her, he sliced the head clean off one of the walkers, a few stray drops of blood landing on her cheek and in her blonde hair.

At a white picket fence, he threw his bag over and crouched, lacing his fingers together, ready to help her over. Thank god. She wasn't so sure she could hop another fence on her own right now. Using all her remaining strength, Nyx hurled her bag over the fence and placed a hand firmly on Monday's shoulder, stepping firmly into the basket he'd made with his hands.

He pushed her up, and Nyx reached for the top of the fence, grabbing it on time to swing herself in a high arch over to the other side where she landed hard. Rolling to a stop, she leapt to her feet and grabbed her bag, sliding it over her now aching shoulder as she waited for him to appear over the fence.

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#, as written by Iki
With Nyx on the approach, his muscles tightened, and he set his position - and all at once when she stepped down into the cradle of his hands, he heaved up to help her perpetuate her own momentum, muscles straining painfully. Up and over, as quick as you can! One last obstacle, and they were home free - and with the streets temporarily clear, he didn't want to risk anything. Any other time, any other place, but not here.
Backing up a few paces, he wormed his machete back into its scabbard, and put as much power into those few steps as he could, and - bounding up as high as he could on one foot, locked his claws into the wood as much as he could to get as much push out of it as possible to lurch himself upwards, and snag the top of the fence. Heave, ho! Gritting through the aching burn that screamed through his shoulders, he pulled up and kicked his legs up high enough to roll his torso over the picketed top and land on his feet, crumpling down to one knee on the soft green grass. Despite how his muscles ground, and his chest burned, he couldn't help but manage a breathless, panting smile. Home free. Finally.
Despite the recent coming of Hell, the fenced-in backyard was its own quiet little piece of paradise. The slightly overgrown grass felt lush and cool between his toes, and the colorful pallet of fragrant flowers blooming in the garden limbing the back porch of the sky blue household never would have hinted that anything was ever the matter. As far as a few empty lawn chairs and barbeque grill were concerned, life was still just the same.
Stooping to scoop up the heavy gym bag, he slung it over his shoulder, and promptly yanked his machete out of its scabbard, "C'mon. Let's get inside," He remarked after he'd realized he'd just stopped. Marching right up to the back door, he futzed with the doorknob a bit. It was clearly locked, but the fact that he seemed to know better was worthy of a question or two when he lifted up, jiggled it a bit more, and the lock came loose. He couldn't help but let himself smile, even if it was just a fleeting instant, "Never did get around to gettin' the damn thing fixed, did you?" He chuckled under his breath, carefully and quietly pushing the door open.
Cautiously peering inside the dim house, he led with his machete, point first; creeping quietly on measured steps. The back door opened into a short hallway with a staggered door on either side; one opening into a small laundry room, and the other an extended pantry. He took both corners as they came; suddenly, and pointedly, leading with that machete each and every time. Satisfied, he pressed on down the hall, and into the small combined kitchen and dining room. It was tidy, and the stove and the counter were bare, but they were still clean, just like the mahogany chairs and dining table - a bit worn, but perfectly clean.
"This way; on me," He whispered over his shoulder at her as he rounded the corner to the right and button-hooked right into the right side of the living room. Grey carpet complimented white painted walls and the satin baby-blue curtains that were tied shut - and that was nothing to account for the fancy leather couch and armchair adjacent to them beneath the panoramic window pane looking out into the backyard; seated neatly in front of the big plasma screen television set that waited quietly for someone to watch it. The house was empty, and quiet; like nothing had ever happened at all.
Approaching the far corner of the room, in front of the couch, he let her take that left side, and - trusting that she still had it covered, allowed himself the brief pause he took for an almost longing stare at the small picture frame on the end table. Sensitive fingertips trickling gingerly over the brass colorcast frame, he touched it delicately; as if it were the most fragile little flower in the world that would wither and die if he handled it wrong. But that was only a moment before he just as delicately laid it face down on the polished oak surface. That wasn't the only one - there were more on the adjacent wall; an entire album's worth and more of framed family photos neatly arranged over the soft white paint. Most prominent was the one showcased smack in the center. Larger than the rest, it was a formal group photo of a hazel-eyed wolf in a plain black suit, his black fur tinged with creeping grey; posed regally beside his grey-furred feline wife in her modest white gown, and their son; the left breast of his pressed dress greens colored with rows of ribbons to compliment his staff sergeant stripes and the adroitly worn green beret upon his head, its red flash poignantly contrasting the sharp, deep color. The blue-eyed, black-furred young man pictured in uniform was unmistakable - especially when he passed right in front of the portrait to meet her at the corner of the adjacent living room hall.

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Nyx followed him into the house cautiously, knife in hand, closing the door gently behind them. He lead, using his machete as he turned corners and searched rooms with her right on his heels. The pantry, and the laundry room were safe. So was the kitchen. Everything seemed so... Clean. Neat, organized, and.. cozy. Like a home should be. Looking around as she walked, Nyx was reminded that she'd never had a home like this, and filled with the familiar empty loneliness she'd always gotten whenever she looked at a happy family or a functioning home. The only positive relationship she'd ever had in her life was with her sister. And now even she might be dead.

When they reached the living room, Monday left her to cross to a little end table. She watched curiously as he lifted the picture there with such delicacy one might have expected it to shatter any minute. She watched the way his head bent over the picture, and took in his posture as he held it. It had to be very important to him. Monday then crossed the room to observe a photo hanging on the wall. The look on his face gave it away. This couldn't have been just a friend's house as he had said earlier. This had to be a family member's house or maybe a girlfriend or wife's house. She glanced at the picture he had his eyes on and took in the figures under the protective glass of the frame. No. This house belonged to his parents. It had to.

Suddenly, the house held a bigger meaning, and she glanced around the room again, trying to imagine what he must be thinking. Was he worried? Or was he confident they'd made it out? Nyx was reminded of her sister once more and her free hand went up to the gold ring hanging from her neck. Avalon. I will find you, I promise. She pinched her eyes shut for a second, overwhelmed with worry. Her sister was fantastic with weapons. Both of them were. If there was one thing their father had ever done right in his life, it was to teach them how to shoot.

When Nyx opened her eyes again, Monday was standing next to her once more and she wiped her face clean of emotion, dropping her hand back to her side. Deciding not to mention what she now suspected of the house, Nyx sighed and merely looked at him for a second before turning away, and heading back to the kitchen. The house was obviously safe. If something in it wanted to eat them, it would have already.

In the kitchen, Nyx placed her elbows on the counter and dropped her bag to the floor. She buried her face in her hands for a moment before lifting it and rubbing her eyes. There was nothing more that she wanted than a good nap, but she had to do something first. Her eyes rested on a small white phone sitting on the counter, practically begging for her to pick it up. "Give me a second." She said to Monday and reached for the phone, dragging it across the counter.

Using one hand to dial, and the other to twirl her knife on the counter, Nyx held the phone between her shoulder and ear. Once the familiar number had been dialed, and the ringing started, she leaned back and waited. One, two, three rings. Come on, come on! "Mary-Margret's orphanage and foster-care speaking. Do you have a child that needs caring for? Due to the outbreak of the infection, we are working to keep every orphaned child safe from harm." On the other end, Nyx heard the sounds of coughing, sobbing, and puking. Mary-Margret's familiar voice made her stomach lurch and she had to grip the counter to stay steady.

"Miss Margret." She spoke with a thick voice. "It's Nyx. Nyx Goldwin. I need some information."

"Ohmigoshnyxgoldwin!" Marys words were all slurred together with excitement and happiness, making Nyx cringe. The woman had always been too happy for her taste. "Yes, what do you need?" She said again, seeming to have regained her composure.

"I need information on Avalon Gol-" she glanced at Monday, unsure of how much she should say. "You know who I'm talking about. Where is she? Who was the last family to have adopted her? Don't give me any of that 'confidential information' bullshit either. You an I both know you can get me what I need." Nyx felt bad for speaking to the woman so harshly, but she had to get her point across. "Please." She added, just for good measure.

"Yes, yes, Avalon! You're probably worried sick about her. Hmm give me a minute and I'll get you the number- pause and the sound of rustling papers, more puking, coughing, and sobbing. "Ah! here it is! 1-813-839-2772, good luck Nyxie dear." And with that, the woman hung up. Obviously there were more pressing matters to attend to at the orphanage.

Nyx looked at Monday. "One more call." She spoke quickly, dialing the number Mary-Margret had given her. One, two, three, four rings. Avalon! Be there, please! Even if Avalon had left her foster family for a new life like she herself had at eighteen, maybe they would know something about her, where she was. "Hello?" A male voice answered, sounding grief-stricken and confused. Crap. What if this was Avalon's foster father and he was grieving over Ava? "Yeah, um hi." She said, a little unsure a second. "This is Nyx Goldwin. I understand Avalon used, or still, lives with you. I need you to tell me everything you can about where she is, and I need you to not ask questions."

Whether from the understanding that they were living in a new world, or the familiarity of her last name, the man answered her. "Ava was here last night, and this morning when I left. I got home an hour ago to find my wife, dead and infected, and Ava's room emptied of all her hunting gear. The stuff her father left in his will along with almost all of our canned food and water bottles. Anyway, she's not here, but it looks like she got out. Hours ago though. There's no telling if she's still alive, but she couldn't have gotten too far. Somewhere in New York City." Relief smacked Nyx like a tidal wave and she dropped the phone in shaking fingers, plopping her head into her hands to breathe a second. Avalon was alive! And here in the city! Picking up the phone, Nyx said thank you and hung it back up again, looking across the counter at Monday. Would he come with her to find her sister? She stood, but a wave of dizziness crashed over her and she landed on the ground next to her bag. Okay, maybe she should get some sleep and food first. Avalon wouldn't get too far on foot. Standing, she leaned on the kitchen counter again and looked at Monday. "Okay. I need to sleep."

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#, as written by Farrah
Once she heard the back door open and the quiet footsteps that soon followed, Kamille felt a rush of fear jolt through her veins. Her heart pounding at what felt like the base of her throat, the young woman carefully pulled her M1911 Pistol out of the holder on her leg and took in a deep, hushed breath. Voices. Intelligent voices at that, so she should be safe. But suddenly, a jarring memory flooded back to her and she squeezed her eyes shut for a moment. Don't trust anyone. Especially after what they did to him. Pushing a few stray strands off her face, Kamille lowered herself to the ground and stabilized a position at the end of the hallway. What was she even doing? Half crouching, half clinging to the wall in hopes she would just disappear into it forever and not have to deal with all this zombie shit that took away her loved ones, her life? No, she needed to move. Or at least make herself known so that one of them didn't accidentally shoot her in an impulsive stage. Shaking her head, Kamille tried to remind herself not to trust them. For all she knows, they could be no better than the looters and madmen running around New York City once all hell broke loose. But, if she was to team up with them, getting out of this place seemed all the more easy...

Right when she was about to go back into the bedroom of the vacant house that she thought was going to be a safe-haven, Kamille identified one of the voices as being female. Female! All of a sudden she felt better, well... better than the feeling she was dealing with before, but if you were to sum up her feelings in a few short words it's safe to say that she felt like a trapped animal nevertheless. Once the blonde girl rounded the corner and assuming that her teammate was soon to follow, she realized she had two split decisions to make. Swallowing hard, Kamille emerged from the shadows and before her brain had the time to tell her body to stop, words softly but sternly came out of her lips. "Don't shoot." Shit! Shit shit shit! Sometimes she felt like her lips weren't connected to her brain at all, and assuming her defensive position, the young woman emerged from the hallway. It was either flight or fight, and by the looks of this girl she was hoping it wasn't the latter.

Upon reaching the end of the hallway and approaching the kitchen, Kamille finally got a good look at the girl's friend. He was intimidating, that's for sure, and although it wasn't that uncommon in the first place to see what looked like a feline mutt, it still came as a bit of a shock. He was so big, so... furry, so strong looking. But for some reason she didn't feel as if these people were a threat, or would try to harm her in any way. Either that or she just got herself into such massive shit there was no way to get out of it so all's left to do is just go with the flow until she dies. With her pistol carefully pointed at the floor and her shoulders hunched forward in an almost defensive, yet submissive position Kamille tried to make herself seem as non-threatening as possible... which, let's face it, is pretty easy when you're a measly 115 lbs. "I didn't mean to startle you guys, I just... I didn't expect that I'd see any..." Then it suddenly registered. The dark furred mutt was the same guy she saw in that picture somewhere in that other room. Now all of a sudden, she felt like the intruder. "... I mean, I thought this house was vacant." Now she felt like an idiot. A huge idiot who just got herself into a giant mess. And by the edgy look of his female companion, she didn't look like an easy person to get along with.

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Character Portrait: Owen James Calley Character Portrait: Nyx Goldwin Character Portrait: Kamille Robinson Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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#, as written by Iki
Once upon a time, it had been. Some weeks ago, when the outbreak was just a semblance of some strange flu bug, and things were - relatively speaking - normal, this had been his father and his mother's home. Some weeks ago when people went about their daily lives without a real care in the world.

Days gone by.

It was a sobering thing to realize that life was gone forever, and the vacant house was just another grim reminder of that; this house, with all its worldly comforts and warm, familiar memories. Suddenly, he was torn. He'd been in and out of the Middle East so many times that the only way he could keep track anymore was the service stripes on the sleeve of his dress greens, and every time, it had been so easy to just drop what he was doing stateside to go run around the mountains of Afghanistan. Back then, war was a distant thing; far from home, where it was so much easier to put aside thoughts of friends and family and just drive on when no one else existed but him, his team, and their national counterparts. it was a strange and awkward family all on its own, but it was a kind of family nonetheless, and that made it infinitely easier to focus when it was just about him, and the guys to his left and his right. Now, the war was a home game, and a million thoughts swarmed him all at once. Thoughts of warm sunny days, and cool rainy weekends; thoughts of childhood and innocence all the way through turbulent adolescence, and an even rougher adulthood; those precious, sacred things that lived on in a bittersweet montage on the wall in front of him.

With them, came thoughts of longing and regret.

"God, what was the last thing I said to them?" Chewing his lip, he bit back the angry tears that were welling up in his eyes, gripping the handle of that machete so hard that his entire arm began to ache, "We weren't fighting, were we?" Staring hard into that family portrait, all he could feel was guilt. He and his father didn't always see eye-to-eye, and the idea that the last thing he might have said to him may very well have been 'go fuck yourself,' tore at him like a ravenous animal. He didn't know which was worse: the fact that his life was playing out like a bad Hollywood cliche, or the fact that he really couldn't remember the last thing he'd said to his old man. He couldn't stop the helpless chuckle that bubbled up, shaking his head and wiping at his eyes, "Christ, lookit me, all teary-eyed; I've gone soft, haven't I?"
It was a long minute before he wandered back into the kitchen, but for the most part, he was only listening to her conversation off-handedly. The slip of paper sitting in front of his seat at the dinner table had most of his attention instead, but he'd paid enough attention to catch her in her secret. He'd heard enough to be able to finish for her. Avalon Goldwin. So she had a sister.
Even then, he pretended not to notice, and took a mental note, instead, delicately picking up that torn half of notebook paper as he let the gym bag slump off his shoulder and onto the kitchen floor. It didn't take him anything to recognize his own father's shorthand.
"Oh, God," In that instant, his heart leapt into his throat, and he swallowed hard to keep from choking on it.

"Owen-

Remember all those corny zombie movies we used to laugh at? I remember how I used to bust your balls about how paranoid you were after reading that article in National Geographic, or whatever magazine it was some years back. Hell, I even remember you forcing me to draw up a plan, just in case. I remember how ridiculous your mother thought it was, too. Never thought you'd be right. Guess you get to say 'I told you so,' but I'm willing to bet that today, even you don't want to. I hope this letter finds you well. I figure you've made it through worse, but you're my boy, and I'm always going to worry. Figure you're probably doing the same thing right now, but if you get this letter, we're heading north through Upstate. Gonna try our luck up toward Ottawa, and then keep going. Like you said: virus probably won't do very well up where it's colder, figure it's worth a shot. Here's to hoping you're right. Your mother says she loves you; she's terrified for you. Hope you make it out of New York alright. If we make it, we'll be waiting for you at the northern cape of Hudson Bay, just like we planned.

Love you. Stay safe.

-Dad"


By the time he was halfway through the letter, he was in tears - and by the time he reached the end, he was seething, and it was all he could do to keep from breaking down. An ugly mixture of indignant rage and self-loathing misery was beginning to boil up under the surface, and that calm, collected exterior had broken away entirely - and with those blinders on, he hadn't picked up on the subtle creak of the floorboards in the hallway. In fact, it wasn't until that timid little voice piped up that he even realized there was someone else in the house. Without thinking, he dropped that letter back on the table, and whirled around. Ripping his pistol out of its holster and clicking back the hammer all in one motion, he was more than prepared to blow the young woman's (Kamille) brains - and their saftey - all over the back wall.
"Stop, fucker! Think for a fucking second!" That little voice of reason in the back of his head was the only thing in the world that saved her from an abrupt and early end. She was half a pound of trigger pressure away from a new orifice, and in that fleeting instant, all he could think of was the sanctity of his home and the safety of his family. Pistol still in hand, he stalked across the room and brushed past her, just short of jogging down the hallway.
"If I find one fucking thing out of place; so help me God," He snarled under his breath, button-hooking into the first room down the hall - his parents' room. He had to pointedly remind himself not to slam the door behind him, and it was all he could do to restrain himself from doing just that. Guilt was tearing him up inside, and the squatter (Kamille) was just caught in its path. He was just angry - beyond angry - mostly with himself.
"Christ, I'm such a fucking cunt!" He berated himself as he sunk down against the bedroom door and let his weapons drop to the carpet. He needed this...this time to be alone, even if it was just for a few minutes, because those walls had come crashing down, and all that was left was the miserable thing he'd been reduced to in all of sixty seconds. Head in his hands, all he could do now was weep.

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Character Portrait: Owen James Calley Character Portrait: Nyx Goldwin Character Portrait: Kamille Robinson Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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#, as written by Farrah
When Kamille watched his gun point in her direction she instantly froze in her tracks. She did a good job concealing her emotions, but inside she felt like hauling ass down the street, around the corner and into oblivion. Sucking in a tight breath, her collarbones visibly making an appearance while the rest of her remained absolutely still, Kamille questioned whether or not she should raise her own gun in defense. But this man who was taller, heavier, scarier and furrier obviously wielded more power and more experience than she did. The only other time she ever fired a gun was at the shooting range, and even then she's only gone a couple of times. Her knuckles were bone white as she held onto her own pistol, and only when the cursing mutt made his way around her and down to what she assumed was his bedroom, or maybe even his parents bedroom, did she let out a short and almost choked breath.

Suddenly, Kamille had the impulse to follow him and explain that she needed to get off the streets. This place, among all the carnage and other atrocities that festered in the city, was her safest bet. Her backpack and a few other necessities lay strewn about in the bedroom and she had an immediate fear that her belongings scattered about his home would make him snap - hell, make anyone snap in this situation. Taking a step in his direction, the young woman decided it would be her safest choice to stay put. After all, she had no idea what kind of people she was dealing with. And if she was able to make him that mad... No, he's probably just stressed out. Hell, we all are. But then again, what was the one rule she kept ignoring? Don't trust anybody.

Looking back at the female standing in the kitchen, Kamille didn't know whether it was alright to relax or to keep her guard up. She looked at her up and down, from the mop of blonde hair strewn about her face to her almost meanly angelic features, then to her attire and whatever weapons she was carrying. What did she get herself into? She always did manage to attract the most interesting of people. "Listen, I don't mean any trouble..." She started, giving the girl across from her an almost apologetic expression if it wasn't for her serious demeanor. "...but I guess if you want to shoot me, shoot me. I'd rather be dead than have to live through this nightmare anyway." She let her gaurd down, standing tall at 5'6". Slipping her gun back in it's holster on her thigh, she exhaustively let her arms collapse at her sides after running her hand through her dark, long hair. At this point, it was hard not to care. It wasn't like she really wanted to live, anyway. She didn't really have anything to live for.

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Character Portrait: Owen James Calley Character Portrait: Nyx Goldwin Character Portrait: Kamille Robinson Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Image


When Nyx had balanced herself once more, she looked at Monday. He seemed to be focused on a letter laying on the counter. Probably from his parents. She could tell by his face that he was near his breaking point, so, deciding not to intrude, she turned her back and face the kitchen, leaning on the counter.

That was when she heard the footsteps. There was someone else in the house? Instantly, Nyx's gun was in her hand, the knife forgotten on the counter. If she had to shoot, at least the silencer would make sure she didn't alert any nearby zombies. A moment after she had her gun out, she heard a small voice come from the hallway. "Don't shoot." Defiantly female. Small and scared. The girl rounded the corner and Nyx found that her physical appearance matched her voice perfectly. She was a small girl with long dark hair. And, other than the pistol in her hand, was defiantly not a threat.

Nyx raised her gun to the girls forehead, holding it there. She wouldn't shoot unless she had to. "I didn't mean to startle you guys, I just... I didn't expect that I'd see any..." Something seemed to click in the womans mind and she sighed, lowering her gun to her side again. This girl wouldn't hurt them, the only question was whether or not she had the disease without knowing it. "... I mean, I thought this house was vacant."

That was when Monday flipped out completely. He raised his own gun, and Nyx could see his finger twitch on the trigger, something inside him had snapped. "Don't shoot Monday, you'll only alert a horde." Seeming to have realized this himself, he lowered his gun, but stalked off past the young woman. Nyx heard a door slam somewhere down the hall and figured he'd gone to a bedroom to chill. Feeling the probing eyes of the girl, Nyx turned her blue gaze back on her.

"Listen, I don't mean any trouble..." In a serious and apologetic voice that was hard not to believe. "...but I guess if you want to shoot me, shoot me. I'd rather be dead than have to live through this nightmare anyway." Nyx sighed and shook her head, slipping her gun away along with her knife. Glancing at the letter still laying on the counter, she decided to put it in one of the drawers. Whatever was in it was Monday's business. Not hers or the woman's. Slipping it away, she rubbed the back of her neck with her hand. Would she ever get some sleep.

"Nah, I'm not going to shoot you. You seem alright." She gestured towards where Monday had stalked off to and dropped her hand from her neck to the counter. "And you'll have to excuse Monday. It's been a pretty stressful day." She looked the girl over once more and hoisted herself up onto the counter. If she was going to have a conversation, standing would only waste energy. "I'm Nyx Goldwin, that was Monday, and before I decide if you can stay with us, I need to ask you a few questions. I mean, you don't have to stay with us if you don't want to, but if you do, I don't have a problem with it, and if Monday does, I'll take care of it." Exactly how, she didn't know, but she figured he wouldn't have an issue with her staying once he calmed down anyway. "Okay, I need to know what your name is first of all." Nyx pulled her hair out of her bun and massaged her head. "Also, have you been bitten or scratched by the infected? Felt any flu-like symptoms? And finally, are you any good with that gun or do you just keep it around as a toy?" Nyx tried to focus while she asked her questions, but all she could think about was Avalon and sleep. As soon as she was done talking to this girl, she'd take a long nap, eat, and shower. The thought of a shower made her wonder what she must look like to this girl, and consciously, she rubbed at the blood on her cheek while she waited for answers.

Ew. this sucks, sorry.