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Noah Winters

All I care about anymore is finding my daughter.

0 · 232 views · located in Maryland, USA

a character in “Perseverance: The Contagion”, as played by Messiah

Description

Name: Noah Winters
Age: 30
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 185 lbs.
Former Profession: Author
Current Status: Alive

Noah stands tall and fairly fit - even before the outbreak, he kept up a semi-regular workout schedule. Though, by no means, is he an athlete. He's smart, kind, and compassionate and tries to avoid conflicts as best he can which may seem like cowardice to some, but he prefers to describe it as "being diplomatic". But, in spite of this, he's not afraid to take charge when the situation calls for it. Unfortunately, even when he means well, he can often say or do the wrong things. He has a tendency to be clumsy.

Before everything fell apart, he was outspoken and laid back, especially around family and friends. Since the incident at the docks, he's become a lot more serious and quiet, and spent basically all of his time since then on his own. He's both hopeful and fearful of finding his family, which is why he remains in town, despite every other sign telling him he should hit the road.

Equipment

Noah carries backpack with essentials in it, including food, water, rope, duct tape, some medical supplies, a scarce amount of ammunition for his gun, and a flashlight, all of which he had or scavenged from the city. He carries a metal bat with him at all times and a 9 mm Glock, which he also found. (Though he's not particularly proficient in its use, he's learning.) Notably, he wears a chain around his neck with his wedding ring at the end of it.

History

Noah Winters grew up in a loving home in a small town in Delaware. Two parents, an older brother. Really, he couldn't have asked for much more growing up. His older brother joined the Marines early on in the American invasion of Iraq, but was killed in action on his first tour of duty. After high school, Noah attended the University of Maryland, advancing his love and knowledge of writing. It was there he met a woman named Grace. In late 2005, they were married and soon had their first and only child; a girl named Emily. Unfortunately, in 2011, Noah and Grace got a divorce, but remained on fairly good terms and they shared custody of their daughter.

In 2009, Noah became a published author after years and years of writing. (He'd been submitting his works to publishers since 1999, when he was almost 17.) His life was good. He had a beautiful wife and a wonderful three-year old and his schedule was more or less made up by himself. There were deadlines set by the publisher, but day-to-day, he was free to do what he liked, and what he liked to do was write. Shortly after Emily was born, they moved to the infamous seaside Maryland town.

When the news first started reporting of Larry Fitzgerald and the infection, Noah decided to lay low. He figured that everything would blow over soon enough. The military would come and clean things up and everything would return back to normal. As time passed, it became evident that this wasn't going to happen and Noah became increasingly fearful for himself, his ex-wife, and most of all, his young daughter. Despite his fear, he ventured out, at much risk to himself, to search for them. He arrived at the house they used to share, (when they divorced, Grace received the home, but Noah stayed to be close to Emily) and found it to have been looted. To his horror, he found large bloodstains on the floor leading outside, but found no signs of Grace or Emily.

Now, he spends his time scavenging what he can and hiding from the living dead, trying to survive. His only friend now is a journal that he's written in everyday since the day he went to search for the ones he loved. His most intimate thoughts and feelings are written in the journal, as well as just a documentation of everything that's happened.

So begins...

Noah Winters's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Zalt Fox Character Portrait: Zaila Korbeil Character Portrait: Noah Winters
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#, as written by Messiah
January 5th, 2013,

I went to our old house today. I wanted to see if Grace and Emily were okay. The house looked like looters had been through there. Books, clothes, and toys were thrown all over like someone was looking for something. I guess anything that might be useful was taken already; there was no food, nothing that could be used as a weapon, and no real supplies. But, in the kitchen there was blood. God, so much blood. There's no way they survived that, whoever it was. Was that Grace? Jesus, or what if that was Emily? Maybe it wasn't either of them. It could have been that looter. Yeah. It was probably that looter. Anyway, there was a trail of blood that led outside, so I followed it. There were no signs of Grace, or Emily, or any looters. No bodies. Nothing. This is real, isn't it? The army isn't coming to clean this up. Are there more survivors? How could this have happened?


That was the first thing Noah Winters wrote in his journal, months ago. He still asked himself those same questions nearly everyday and no closer was he to answering them. His ex-wife and daughter were still missing and he had no idea where to begin looking. Maybe he should go back to the old house again, he thought. Then again, it was hard enough going back the first time. But, that was the only chance he had of finding them. Honestly, he was afraid that he was going to find them and they'd turn out to be dead - or worse. The fear gnawed at him daily, but maybe it was better to know, one way or another.

Either way, he couldn't just sit there. It was time to get up and get moving. He sighed and stuffed his journal back into his backpack and stood up, hoisting his bag up onto his back as he did. Then, he picked up his gun on a nearby desk, checked to make sure the safety was on (he didn't want it accidentally going off, of course) and put it into his pants. Finally, he picked up the metal bat lying on the floor and exited. Carefully, he made his way down the steps leading up to the apartment he was taking shelter in. It was relatively out of the way and the dead had a little more trouble traversing stairs than normal.

Bat in hand, he traversed the streets. Some of them were empty, some of them weren't, but he was quick enough to avoid confrontation with those... things. Assuming they didn't sneak up on him, that is. They can be surprisingly stealthy sometimes. He'd managed to avoid a lot of fighting by being careful and keeping his head on a swivel.

Traveling through the streets never got any easier. He could hear his heart thumping in his ears. This is what it must feel like to be a small animal in the woods; predators all around you ready to ambush you at any moment. Except small animals in the woods don't really have the ability to fight back.

His old house wasn't far now. Just a block or two more. But, as he neared the dark red house that he used to call home, he spotted a group of amblers crouched over a body. The body was human. He could see the feet and the arms sprawled out. There were four of the dead and they were in the street right in front of the house.

"Shit." he whispered to himself.

Now, his options were to turn around and leave, try to sneak around and go in through the backyard, or go and fight them. None of those particularly appealed to him, but sneaking seemed the least objectionable.

Sneaking it was.

He approached the neighboring house and went into the backyard. There was a wooden fence between the two properties. There was no gate he could get to without risking alerting the participants of the feast in the street. It was a fairly tall fence, too, but he thought he could get over it.

First, he tossed the backpack over the fence, and then the bat. The long grass on the other side padded the landing of the objects. Then, he reached up and began to hoist himself up the fence. He hated pull-ups. It was the worst part of his workout. Of course, he'd give anything to have things back to the way they were before.

With some effort, he pulled himself up to the top of the fence. Before dropping down, he sat and looked around. The amblers were still enjoying their meal. He hated to see it, and it made him sick, but he couldn't do anything about it now, and throwing up wouldn't do him any good. Food was hard enough to come by as it was.

He dropped down into the grass and picked up his backpack and his bat then approached the backdoor. As he did, he spotted something moving in the tall grass and he jumped. It was a crawler. A man who looked as if his legs had become a meal for some of the other dead, except whoever was eating him hadn't had the chance to finish. The crawler moved towards him, reaching up and snarling for him.

"Shit." he whispered again as he gripped the bat with both hands and stepped back. With a heavy overswing, he brought the bat down on its head, sending blood and brain matter out. He was careful to jump back to avoid much on him. Blood spattered the lower half of his jeans and his boots, but nothing else.

When that was done with, he stood at the back door for a long while. Finally, he mustered up the courage to open the door - slowly - and go in. There, on the floor, was the blood trail. He swallowed the lump in his throat and stared back down at it. Before investigating what may have happened, he decided to inspect the house again. It looked the same as he remembered it had been months ago. Books, clothes, toys.

Then it dawned on him. There were clothes lying around, tossed. That meant that Grace hadn't packed them. Why wouldn't she? The only explanation was that she'd been killed before she could. The thought lingered in his brain and he stood motionless.

Grace is dead.

Or worse. He knew it was a possibility, but he couldn't fathom it being a reality. The evidence had been there before when he first came here, but he missed it, or he ignored it, or he didn't want to realize it.

What about Emily?

He panicked and rushed to his daughter's where room had been. It was empty. He checked the drawers. Her clothes were gone and her backpack wasn't anywhere to be seen. Immediately, Noah's mind conjured up what probably happened.

The house was under attack. Grace packed Emily's things. She intended to finish packing, but didn't get a chance. She stayed behind and let herself get killed so Emily could get away.

This was too much for him to bear and he dropped to his knees and started sobbing.

Grace sacrificed herself to save Emily. And I was too selfish and stupid and scared to come here and help them. Now Emily's out there on her own, scared. She's only seven.

It was a terrible thought to think. He almost hoped that she were dead, just to be away from all of this. But, if she were still alive, he had to find her. That was his job now. But, for the moment, it was time to leave. Maybe Emily was hiding out somewhere in another house. He had to hope.

On the return trip, he spotted a girl enter a house half a block down, followed moments after by a rather intimidating looking man wielding a machete. After they'd both gone inside, he approached slowly and hid at the side of the house. He could be dangerous to her and try to hurt her, but then again, he might not. He decided to wait before making any rash decisions.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Zalt Fox Character Portrait: Zaila Korbeil Character Portrait: Noah Winters
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#, as written by Arik223
The young girl jumped at Zalt's voice, she turned and backed off a little. Zalt didn't flinch or move, she had hairspray and a lighter up, fairly effective. From up close the girl seemed younger then before, 17 maybe 18, but surely not fit enough to deal with bigger dangers. Take Zalt for example, if he was a bandit, and did plan on hurting her, all he needed to do is lift up his foot and kick the hairspray away. "what kind of question? I really...uh...I am just searching for food...please I really don't want ti have to use this" the girl seemed to be extremely frightened, Zalt even felt bad. He sighed slightly, "Listen, if I wanted to hurt you I wouldn't have called out to you." He gave her a slight smile, "I'm harmless, if it makes you feel any better ill put all my stuff down." he slowly reached for his machete to not scare her and force her into burning his face off, once he had it he unhooked it and placed it on the floor, he did the same with his knapsack and kicked both towards her. "See?". When the girl was quiet Zalt heard some noises, from outside by the sound of it, maybe from the house next door, but if his instincts served him right, there were no zombies in this house.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Zalt Fox Character Portrait: Zaila Korbeil Character Portrait: Noah Winters
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#, as written by Messiah
Noah's head jerked to attention when he heard the shriek. It had sounded from the direction that he'd come from, but he couldn't pinpoint exactly where. He knew that sound. The sound it made attracted everything from the area to it. Luckily, he hadn't had any run-ins with them personally yet, but they were dangerous. Very dangerous. You'd be lucky to come out of the ordeal alive or unscathed in any way. Honestly, he felt bad for whoever had come across it, but going back was tantamount to suicide. Besides, his own situation was troubling enough. The shriek drew in the dead from all directions, and he was directly in the path of who-knows-how-many.

To check, he peeked around the corner of the house. And sure enough, there was a considerable crowd of the walking dead heading his way. He only got a quick glimpse of them, but it looked as if there were at least twelve or fifteen of them. Quickly, he looked around for somewhere to hide, but saw little in the way of anything. His only option was to go inside the house, but that meant taking his chances with the two people inside, and he hadn't decided if they were dangerous or not. If they weren't, though, and they were friendly, not going inside to warn them may end up getting them killed. He wasn't a monster. Not yet.

So it was decided. He moved from the side of the house to the backyard, then slowly and quietly, he opened the backdoor and slid inside. His bat was held up with both hands as he carefully crept through the house, trying not to alert or startle the two still inside. Their voices weren't far away, and when he rounded a corner, he saw them.

What he saw was genuinely surprising. The large man had been disarmed, probably his own doing, and the girl was pointing a lighter-and-hairspray combo at him. Once he'd taken a moment to absorb the sight, he lowered his bat.

Maybe they're not so bad.

Before either of the two could speak up, Noah did, "I don't know if you heard, but one of the screaming ones just sounded the dinner bell, and unless you want to be dinner, you should probably find somewhere to hide before a whole crowd passes us by and sees us." His voice was quiet, barely above a whisper, but there was a sense of frustration and urgency to it.

Didn't they hear it?

It didn't matter now. Noah ducked down and moved towards the living room window where he hid himself right beneath the sill. The other two, well... he hoped they listened to him. He'd stuck his neck out for them and if even one of them didn't hide, then that could be the death of all of them.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Tara Felicity Brown Character Portrait: Zalt Fox Character Portrait: Adelaide Korbeil Character Portrait: Zaila Korbeil Character Portrait: Noah Winters
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[size]Adelaide Korbeil

Adelaide stayed back as Tara's wolf-dog growled and go in what seemed like an attack mode "fuck I am not here to hurt you" she put her hands in the air, the knife in her right hand. She was kind of relieved when Tara finally recognized her and called off Buster. She watched as the dog sat dosn obediantly. She had to laugh at the first thing Tara said to her, it was known to everyone that she liked to stay high twenty-four seven. "Oh I was high girl, I was fucking tripping when I saw the first walking corpse. It was messed up."

When Tara mentioned the time she ran down the street naked she grinned "That was videotaped ya know...only way I knew it happenee, that was the night I tried LSD. Some crazy shit let me tell you. Its good to see you though" she said with a smile, obviously she was not high. She hasn't been high for months now, she still craved it but she knew this was not the time to be fucking around if you wanted to live.

When Tara responded about the camp she nodded her head, "Z and I are still at our house, have it all boarded up and shit and have been going through houses for supplies." Thats when she heard the ear piercing scream "shit...Zail" she ran over to where Tara was and looked towards the town "where is the screamer?" she asked, hoping Z was safe from the dead corpses.

The sun was setting, she needed to get home soon but she knew it was notba good idea to go down there with a horde walkong around "damn this isnt good" she took out her walkie and spoke into it "Z you there, you okay? Please don't fuckin tell me you were the one to set it off". Zaila would know what she was talking about, it was only a few minutea before she got the whispered response.

"Yea Addi, fine. No I didn't set it off. Im safe. Weird thing is I have run into a couple of people. What do i do?" the response was at a whisper, Adelaide sighed a relief."Stay there and whatever you do don't bring them to the house. Ill let you know when the horde is clear. Stay safe Z." She then sat down and cracked her kneck, she hoped the horde will be taken care of or died down soon. She was worried about Zaila, this is a reason why she didn't want to split up but Z always had a way with her persuasiveness.

Zaila Korbeil

Zaila stared at the man as he took his weapon and backpack off, her hand was shaking a little as she held the hairspray. She lowered her hands as the guy seemed to not want to harm her "so what do you want to know" she asked still feeling a bit guarded, she didn't know what to say. Addi was the one that was the talker, not her.

She heard the sound of a screamer "this is not goood" she muttered. Another guy came into the house, ahe took a few steps back. The guy then whispered to them, telling them about the screamer and that they should hide. She wouldn't argue, she planned on hiding but she didn't like that she was stuck in the house with two guys she didn't know.

She ran and laid herself behind the couch, she then heard Addi's muffled voice coming out of the walkie. She grabbed it and turned the volume down "Z you there, you okay? Please don't fuckin tell me you were the one to set it off". Zaila shook her head, she really hated how Addi swore so much but it was one of Addi's never ending habits.

"Yea Addi, fine. No I didn't set it off. Im safe. Weird thing is I have run into a couple of people. What do i do?" Zaila spoke into the walkie at a whisper, she didn't really want the guys to hear the conversation she was having with her sister. Addi's voice was heard once more "Stay there and whatever you do don't bring them to the house. Ill let you know when the horde is clear. Stay safe Z." She knew that was Addi's way of signing off, she put the walkie back in her bag and laid there silently, she was shaking a little, she never would get used to being in situations like this.[/size]

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Daniel Taylor Character Portrait: Zalt Fox Character Portrait: Zaila Korbeil Character Portrait: Noah Winters
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#, as written by Arik223
"so what do you want to know" the girl asked clearly scared. She didn't look like the fighting type, she looked frightened and not like someone who is used to the current world. "Well to-" he was cut off by the sound of a screamer somewhere in the distance. "Shit!" he said as he jumped and grabbed his backpack and machete.

Another man walked into the house, he was possible the source of the noise he had heard before. "I don't know if you heard, but one of the screaming ones just sounded the dinner bell, and unless you want to be dinner, you should probably find somewhere to hide before a whole crowd passes us by and sees us.". Zalt looked for a moment and sighed "I'm not planning on being dinner, nor do I plan on hiding." he said. The man walked over to a hiding spot and the girl from before followed. Zalt started hastily looking through the first floor looking for binoculars, but he found was only one side of what used to be binoculars. He walked towards the door and looked around the corner, a crowd of 13 zombies were walking towards a place where the Screamer sounded. The zombies were still far so Zalt ran to the third floor of the house and looked through to see what was going on. All around town Amblers and Crawlers slowly made their way towards one man who was on a roof. Soon enough almost every Ambler in town will be on the guy's ass. He noticed people jumping on roofs. Zalt knew he should help, they would all be doomed, the question is of how to help.

Zalt ran back downstairs and looked around the corner again, the crowd of thirteen still made its way towards the screamer, though they were closer now. One of the Amblers seemed to have a backpack, a long lost scavenger perhaps, but that didn't intrigue him all that much. What intrigued him was the Cop Ambler, he still had a pistol at his side, a baton at the other and keys hanging off. That would be useful, if the Police station was overrun he could use the keys to get important weapons and other materials, it was an opportunity he wouldn't pass. He called out to the guy in the living room. "Hey come here." he said. "Look at that zombie, that's a cop. He has a Glock at his side and armory keys. I would suggest you help me get them, we can split what we find, maybe even use the police station as a hideout" he looked at the man. "Deal?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Zalt Fox Character Portrait: Zaila Korbeil Character Portrait: Noah Winters
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#, as written by Messiah
Not planning on hiding? Jesus, is this guy out of his mind?

Noah watched the man run around the house frantically, watching him silently with a frown on his face. The man grabbed half of a pair of binoculars and went upstairs. A moment later, he called down. Not the best of ideas, considering the danger of the dead moving closer each second.

Slowly, Noah stood up and went to go upstairs. Before reaching the stairs, his gaze lingered on the girl briefly. She had a walkie-talkie out and was speaking into it, though he couldn't understand what she was saying. The girl couldn't have been out of high school, or if she was, she was barely so. A girl her age should be dealing with high school drama. 'Where's the party on Friday?' or 'Want to go to the game?' not 'Am I going to survive the day, or am I going to be torn apart by drooling freaks?' It wasn't right. He didn't say anything, and he quickly averted his gaze before she noticed and walked up the stairs.

The man was looking out a window towards the group approaching the house. He mentioned a cop - or a former cop - being among them, and he made an offer. He wanted to get the gun and the keys and go off running to the police station on the off-chance that it hadn't been looted already. And besides, Noah already had a place to stay that was already guaranteed to be safe. But, he didn't think it was a good idea to say anything about it yet; he didn't know the man.

It was risky. In fact, it all seemed like more of a risk than he was willing to take.

"Are you insane? How do you plan on taking on all of them with just the two of us? You're going to get us both killed."

At the very least, they had to deal with all the amblers around the ex-cop, and then any who might see them there and on the way to the police station. Not only that, but there was no guarantee that the police station was safe, even remotely. It may even be overrun. If that was the case, then they surely wouldn't survive.

Forget about risky, this idea bordered on stupidity as far as Noah was concerned.

All he wanted was to stay out of sight long enough so he could escape and go looking for his daughter, and now this guy had more than likely roped him into a suicide run. He doubted the man could be this easily swayed away from this idea. Letting him go on his own was basically a death sentence, and Noah wasn't sure he could have that on his conscience. Damn his humanity. He shouldn't have gone into the house. It would have been fine if he'd just hidden in the back yard.

Damn it. I just had to go inside, didn't I?

Another thought came to him.

"And what about the girl? You'd just leave her here?"

Damn his humanity.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Zalt Fox Character Portrait: Zaila Korbeil Character Portrait: Noah Winters
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#, as written by Arik223
Zalt didn't know the man's or the girl's name yet, but this was not the time for introductions. The man, who was clearly hasitant, walked behind zalt and arrived in the conclusion that Zalt's insane. Zalt could kill most of those zombies by himself without any difficulty, but he didn't want to risk something that stupid. Some of the zombies even looked fresh. Zalt laughed a bit "Listen man, thirteen zombies aren't hard to take care off, we can survive it easily.". Just as he said that Zalt thought of another idea, one that could potentially mean life or death for the people who were being overrun.

The man mentioned the girl, he asked if Zalt was meaning to leave her. Of-course he wouldn't, Zalt is better then that, he thinks of others when he makes decisions like an ex marine should. "My offer is extended to her and whoever she is with as-well. From the way I see it its better to move as a group." Zalt smiled. He could clearly see the fear the man's eyes, "Look i'm not saying the police station is a sure shot, hell it might not be. Honestly I think its overrun... or was. Most zombies in town are headed towards the screamer, that gives us a good chance of finding shelter. The weapons cache should have lots of things if not already looted, but those things are always locked, and luckily for us we have the keys."

Zalt checked his binocular' once more and put it in his knapsack. "I see you have a pistol, we can use those. The noise should hopefully distract zombies going towards the screamer, those zombies will be heading to this direction. So the way I see it, if we go through with this we need to leave now." Zalt didn't want to be irrational. "But listen, if you don't want to do this I wont risk your life, ill go kill them myself with my machete and we will part ways." Zalt started down the stairs. "Its do or die."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aaron McCullough Character Portrait: Micah Kent Character Portrait: Andre Rollins Character Portrait: Daniel Taylor Character Portrait: Zalt Fox Character Portrait: Zaila Korbeil Character Portrait: William Moon Character Portrait: Noah Winters Character Portrait: Hannah Kennedy Character Portrait: Sophia Londen
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#, as written by Messiah
Will Moon

Just outside town, a man in a black motorcycle helmet laid on an embankment, just out of sight. He was out scouting the town to see what it had to offer; prospers and dangers both. It was important to know what you were getting into before you got into it. Some people didn't have that kind of foresight, and a lot of those people were dead. Still, it didn't matter who you were in the life before. The world the way it was now, it changes people. Will adapted quickly, as he's always known how to do. Keep your eyes open, conserve ammunition, stay quiet, and always keep on the move.

But, sometimes the world changes you for the worse. Too often had he seen other people leaving behind the people they were with because they thought whoever was too weak to contribute. Their goal was survival, sure, but at what cost? And the way he saw it, the more people survived, the better the chance for humans as a species to survive. Extinction was on the horizon, and if saving someone helped in any way to bring them back from the brink, then that's what he would do.

As he laid on the ground, he heard a scream from nearby. It wasn't a human scream. Instead it was the scream of one of the dead. They screamed and any dead that heard would turn and go to the sound. He'd had his share of run-ins with them, and barely escaped with his life each time. Things were about to get a lot more dangerous around here, especially for whoever set off the alarm.

Shortly after, a girl ran by, just feet from him, being chased by several of the undead. Apparently, she hadn't noticed him. It was a good thing he wasn't one of them, or anybody else that wanted to take advantage of her; it wouldn't have been difficult from where he was lying. She made her way up the fire escape of a nearby building; they followed. The dead were making their own way closer to her, but before he could do anything, another girl arrived and helped her up onto the roof.

Immediately afterwards, Will sprung into high-gear and ran to a spot nearby where his motorcycle was hidden by shrubbery. Once it was uncovered, he revved the engine and sped to where he'd heard the screamer sound off. Already a large crowd had gathered near a gas station. On top of a nearby roof was a man, possibly the one who had alerted the screamer, and more on other rooftops. He stopped several yards from the gathering crowd and deliberated what to do next. First, he checked around him to see the immediate danger he was in. A few amblers behind him and to the sides, but they weren't close enough to be a major threat yet.

Will revved his engine in an attempt to get the attention of some of the crowd. Nothing happened. He revved it again, this time gaining the attention of a few of them. Three, then four, then five. Soon, a large portion of the crowd had their attention on Will and his black sport bike. As he made a quick turn and sped off in the direction he'd come, the number following after him numbered nearly ten and more were starting to trickle off in his direction.

Not much further down the street, Will braked and turned his bike back around, facing the coming group. As they marched his direction, he drew his pistol and took careful aim. When they were close, he fired off two shots, dropping two. The goal was to draw even more off with the shots. After which, he would lead them on a merry chase away from the man who had been trapped, as well as the others around him.

The ones he'd drawn off drew nearer, just as planned. Before they could get too close, he wheeled back around and sped down the road out of town - the same way he'd come into town. When he was sure he was far enough ahead of the dead, he pulled to the side of the road and got off the bike. His next moves were into the woods, where he intended to follow the road back into town, hidden off from all the ones that had followed him away from the large group.

Noah Winters

Noah sighed and folded his arms over his chest. He knew it. This guy was going to rope him into some suicide mission. But, maybe, just maybe, if he helped this guy, they could get some weapons and maybe he'd help him look for his daughter. He looked like he could hold his own in a fight.

Besides, it was starting to get dark. It wasn't a good thing to be out when it was dark. They snuck up on you much easier than in the day. He'd probably have to push through a crowd of the dead by himself anyway on his way back to where he was staying. Better to have this guy, and maybe the girl.

Reluctantly, he agreed as he made his way back down the stairs, "Alright. Let's do it."

If this guy gets me trapped and I can't get to my daughter because of him--

He scowled as he reached the bottom of the stairs and approached the living room window. At that moment, two shots rang out from the direction of the screamer. Immediately, Noah turned his head to attention.

Shit. It sounds like someone's got themselves in real trouble.

Noah did his best to ignore the thought. If he thought too much about it, it would wreck him. Now was a time to focus on getting himself out of this position and back into one where he could look for his daughter. That's all he cared about now, and if anyone got in the way of that, they'd be in real trouble.

While downstairs, he looked for the girl and called out to her softly, "Hey. We're going out to try to get to the police station. You can come with us if you want." He didn't exactly expect her to come with them, if she was even around or had even heard him. It was still not a great idea in his mind, but he'd already made his decision.

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Character Portrait: Zalt Fox Character Portrait: Zaila Korbeil Character Portrait: Noah Winters
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#, as written by Arik223
It was getting dark, Zalt didn't like it. It didn't matter, once they had those keys they could go explore the police station at the dead of dawn. "Take out your gun, the sound should lure some Amblers towards us and hopefully away from someone in trouble." Zalt hoped someone would hear the shot and also come, as he saw it, it was pointless to continue on their own. Lets say the police station is overrun, two people would not be able to clear it and live, he needed others, it seemed like the better thing to do. For now the only lives that mattered were his and Noah's, the girl seemed to have a place to stay, and maybe someone to be with. Regardless though, Zalt would come back in the morning to check on her, for now the keys were important. "Cover me!" Zalt yelled as he took out his machete and ran right into the thirteen. A fat ambler ran first, but Zalt cut him down without an issue, two more came from separate directions, Zalt hopped back and slashed both their heads off. With an open hand Zalt pulled out his gun and shot the dead scavenger, and another who was next to him. The cop was the important matter, he hoped Noah would cover him so he ran straight for the Cop, he leaped up and stuck the Machete deep into the Amblers head. The last ambler ran up and Zalt shot him. Zalt got up and turned to see if the others were dead, hopefully they were. Zalt grabbed the keys and inspected the scavenger beg, it only had a flashlight and two bottles of water. Zalt sighed and threw one towards Noah. "Here drink up. We have to get the hell out of here, someone should have heard the shot. You can keep the gun." He wiped his machete with an amblers old shirt, and stuffed the keys in his beg. "I don't spouse you have a place to stay the night? We can go to the police station at sunrise." He went back towards the house and sealed the door, "Ill come back tomorrow to check on her, shes stubborn but ill make her come with us, or atleast escort her to wherever she lives."

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Character Portrait: Tara Felicity Brown Character Portrait: Zalt Fox Character Portrait: Zaila Korbeil Character Portrait: William Moon Character Portrait: Noah Winters
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#, as written by Messiah
Will Moon

Off to the side of the road there was a ditch. This is where Will pulled over and set his bike. To (hopefully) hide it from would-be bandits, he took a few minutes to cover the motorcycle with some underbrush. He then looked around at what was nearby, mentally making a note of all the features, just so he knew where to return to for the bike. Finally, before setting off into the woods, he dug into his backpack and produced a flashlight, and drew his hatchet from its makeshift sheath that was attached to his belt.

Low branches clawed at him as he made his way through the woods. They were quiet. For now. At least they were more quiet than the streets and the town. When he looked towards the street he was only yards from, he could see that his plan had worked; numerous dead had followed the sound of his motorcycle and gunshots. But they hadn't noticed him go into the woods. At least not yet. He intended to keep it that way, thus the use of the hatchet.

Their strength was in the sheer overwhelming amount of them. On their own, they were weak and stupid. This is where Will thrived. When they were singular or in small groups, they ceased to be the predators and became prey. Just as saving someone bettered their chances as a species, so did killing the dead. Obviously.

Will crouched low and listened for movement. At first, all he heard were the groans of the dead on the street - the ones duped by his gambit. Then he heard it, the shuffling of feet through grass. Immediately, he clicked off his flashlight and looked around for the source of the sound.

It took a few moments for his eyes to adjust to the dark, but once they did, he saw the source. Three amblers were on one side of him, opposite the street, several yards away. They had yet to notice him. That was an advantage to wearing a black leather jacket and a black full-face biker helmet. Not exactly planned this way when he bought them, but sometimes things just work out in your favor.

The trio were walking in the same direction he was, which gave him an even greater advantage. He brandished his hatchet and quietly made his way behind them. Wasting no time, he swung his hatchet at the nearest one, embedding it into the back of the monster's skull. It fell and, before he could pull the hatchet out of it, the other two had turned and were after him. Without much hesitation, he planted a strong side kick into the nearest one's chest, sending it toppling to the earth.

Will turned to the third and sent another powerful kick to its left shin, breaking both the tibia and fibula in the leg with a horrible snap, rendering the leg useless and making it near impossible for it to walk. With the two remaining amblers incapacitated for the moment, he had enough time to retrieve the hatchet.

By now, the second one was back up and after him again. It lunged at him, but he stepped to the side, dodging the attack. Before the ambler could recover and turn back around, Will had spun in the opposite direction and buried the hatchet into its temple. The creature collapsed like a bag of bricks, dead - again.

Meanwhile, the ambler with the useless leg had tried several times to stand up, only to collapse each time. It was funny to watch. It was like something out of one of those old slapstick films, where the guy falls over and keeps trying to get up, only to trip over anything and everything.

Will laughed, "Not so tough now, are you?" He planted a kick into its chest and it fell. In a moment, he was on top of it. It struggled against him, but Will was strong - strong enough to pin down living people before all of this went down. With a grunt, he brought the hatchet down into the front portion of the ambler's skull, splattering blood over the visor of his helmet. Oh well, that's why it was there.

Standing up, he wiped at the blood with his sleeve, doing little more than smear it. He'd have to find a stream or something and rinse it off when he got a chance. Will then looked around, his chest rising and falling steadily with his exertion. One good thing about this apocalypse; he kept in shape, fighting, running, and killing these things. Underneath the protection of his helmet, he smiled, but only briefly. He'd seen a lot of death in the six months since the outbreak. By now, it was the little things that kept him going.

As he made his way further through the woods, a strange scent caught his nose, even through his helmet. It was strong, but it wasn't the constantly pervasive smell of death and putrefaction, but... vinegar? That had to mean a person was close by. The dead could smell the living, and it seemed like a good way to throw them off.

But, this person wasn't necessarily friendly. Will decided to forgo his use of the hatchet and drew his pistol in case he had use of it. As he explored further, he came across what looked like a small natural cave. However, caution overtook him and he simply stood to the side of the entrance of the cave. If someone was inside and had heard him, it would have to be their choice to come out and investigate. There was no way he was going inside that small of a space with an unknown in there.

Noah Winters

Noah watched the girl go down into the basement. He really didn't blame her, of course. Hiding out, especially now that it was getting dark seemed like the best idea, but this guy wasn't having any of it. She was probably safe enough, though. He followed the large man out the door soon after. The night air felt good on his exposed arms, and he sighed wistfully, remembering his times outside at night with Grace.

Every once in a while, the two of them would go outside, climb on top of the roof and just watch the stars and the sea from their house. Nights where it was clear and the moon shone out over the water were the most beautiful. That seemed so long ago. More than just a few years ago, anyway.

The man's voice jarred him back to reality.

Great. This guy wants me to use the gun?

It wasn't that he didn't know how, but there were plenty of other, better shots out there. Regardless, Noah set the bat down and drew out his pistol. With the safety off, he squeezed off six rounds, putting down four of the remaining amblers. Quickly, the safety went back on and he tucked the gun back away and picked the bat back up. He took a running swing at one, striking its head and caving its skull in. The final one was knocked over by a blow to its shoulder. Noah proceeded to bring his bat down onto its head over and over until there was nothing left but a stump and a large red stain on the pavement below where its head had been.

"Whew!" Noah chuckled, "That was therapeutic."

And revenge. These sons-of-bitches killed Grace.

A bottle of water was tossed his way. He almost dropped it, not expecting it, but held on. Then did as was suggested and took the gun off of the policeman. Briefly, he took the time to unload the magazine, then put it and the gun into his backpack before he got ready to move on.

The guy now wanted to know if he had a place to stay. Noah was hesitant. He did, but he didn't really want to reveal it to someone he'd just met. Sooner or later, he'd have to trust someone, though. Right? But, he didn't have a lot of time to make up his mind on whether to tell him or not. Surely, the dead were on their way to them now.

"Uh. Yeah, actually. Follow me."

He prayed silently to whatever God there may or may not have been that this wouldn't come back to bite him in the ass. He led the way, taking care to avoid what confrontations with the dead he could. As they got closer to their destination, the number of walking dead became smaller and smaller until it was virtually none. In a short time, they arrived to the apartment building Noah called home and then up the stairs to his building.

Noah dug through his pocket and found the key to unlock the door. The apartment was dark, but it was almost always like that when he returned to it nearly every night. Everything was always in one place, and he'd memorized the layout in the time since he'd really started to take this thing seriously.

He found a matchbook and lit some candles. Enough to see around the place. It was sparse, save for a considerable haul of food and supplies in the kitchen. Over the months since he'd begun scavenging, he'd found a lot; enough for him to survive for a long time if he ever found himself trapped in the apartment. In fact, if he wanted to, he could just stay inside and not go out again for a while. But, that wasn't smart management of food. Besides, he still had something outside to look for.

There was a bedroom in the apartment, but Noah had taken to sleeping in a sleeping bag not far from a sliding glass door that led to a balcony. It was his emergency exit in case he couldn't get out the front door. Of course, he didn't actually sleep well at all, but he felt safer.

"Well," he sighed, "Home sweet home."

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Character Portrait: Zalt Fox Character Portrait: Zaila Korbeil Character Portrait: Noah Winters
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#, as written by Arik223
Zalt followed Noah to his house. The man seemed to be careful, which was a good trait. Zalt looked around a bit and found a good place to sleep. Noah seemed like an okay guy, and Zalt would need the help. "Home sweet home" Noah said as he situated himself. "Not bad." Zalt said as he placed his things on a mat that was on the floor. "Thanks by the way. Tommorow morning ill wake up and Check on the girl, Ill be back before you're up and we can leave to the Police station... Or find someone to join us." Zalt turned in place and drifted to sleep.

--------------------------


It was probably an army habit, but Zalt woke with the rising sun. Most people will sleep by this time, but not Zalt. He will be up and running. At an instant he awoke, the sun was just starting to come up. Noah was still sleeping and Zalt didn't want to disturb him. He grabbed his machete and quietly left the place. He didn't need anymore, he just wanted to check that the girl is alive, and hopefully find someone. First thing's first, the girl. Zalt left the house he had just slept in and started to walk towards the abondend house where the girl was sleeping. If she isn't dead he would be able to escort her to wherever she takes shelter, regardless though, he felt like it was his duty to make sure she was alive... or dead. The amblers seemed to be idle, it was early, the streets were nearly empty. Zalt turned a few corners and saw no one. Anyone who was alive and functioning would be able to see Zalt, a guy his size walking in an empty street wouldn't be an easy thing to miss. Zalt finally arrived at the house, he took care to check all the corners to see if there were any amblers, luckily enough there weren't. The house was well lit up, the sun was shining and lighting the way. He opened the basement door and made his was down. For a basement, it was fairly lit, he could see almost everything. He sighed in relief, the girl was alive, and sleeping. He let out a sigh, it would be a little while before she awoke so he went back upstairs. He needed something to eat, a fish or maybe a rabbit, but he would deal with that after he knew everyone was safe. He took another quick inspection of the house and proceeded downstairs. The house wasn't defensible at all, actually if a zombie wanted too, it would just have to walk right through any broken wall or the back door. She had to get out of here. He approached carefully and spoke softly not to startle her. "Hey wake up. You have to go."

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Character Portrait: Tara Felicity Brown Character Portrait: Zalt Fox Character Portrait: William Moon Character Portrait: Noah Winters
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#, as written by Messiah
Noah Winters

Noah set his bat and his gun down where they'd been when he left earlier that day and tossed off his backpack, letting it sit next to his sleeping bag. He unzipped the bag and searched through it to find his journal and his pen. Returning to the page he was last at, he began to write of the events of the days before.

Went back to the old house again today. Killed a crawler that was outside the house, but it wasn't Grace or Emily. When I went inside and saw all the clothes thrown around, I realized that Grace hadn't packed her things. Grace is dead, and she's been dead for a long time. But, Emily might still be alive. I have to find her at any cost.

I also found two people. Alive. A man and a girl. The girl stayed where she was, but the man came with me. I don't know if it was the right choice. I don't know if I can trust him. He wants to go to the police station. I'm not sure I can do that. I have to look for my daughter. Going to the police station may get me killed. I don't know if I can take the risk. What do I do?


Once he'd finished, he put the journal and the pen back into his bag, then rolled over onto his side, but he didn't fall asleep. At least not right away. He still didn't know if he could trust the man he'd let into his house. After a while, he came to the conclusion that he was probably going to be okay and allowed himself to fall into a slumber.

In his dreams, he was alone, walking through the woods. Up ahead, he saw a small person wearing a pink backpack just like Emily's. The figure wasn't moving.

He smiled and began running to the figure. When he got closer, he called to her, "Emily! Thank God!" But, when she turned, he realized the mistake he'd made. The girl who Noah used to call his daughter snarled. Her eyes were sunken, bloodshot, and cataracted. The skin on her face was pale and rotting, and there was blood in her mouth.

Noah woke up with a start.

It was just a dream. She could still be alive. Maybe she found someone that can look out for her.

From then on, he couldn't get back to sleep, no matter how he tried. Shortly after, he heard movement come from the other man, and he snapped his eyes shut, pretending to be asleep. Once the man had gone, Noah clambered out of his sleeping bag and raced around his apartment, gathering what he can, in preparation to leave before the man came back.

What am I doing? I can't just leave. Can I?

He began pacing back and forth restlessly. What was he going to do? If he stayed and waited for the man, he was going to get pulled into something that had a high chance of death. If he left, he was condemning the man. Sure, he could handle himself, but if the police station was overrun, then he could be getting the man killed.

Finally, he decided to stay where he was until the man returned. It would be then that he was going to tell him that he couldn't go along with him. He'd given the man shelter for the night. His conscience was clear.

That was that.

Will Moon

Will pushed himself out of the cave and into the cool morning air and surveyed the area. A sigh escaped him as he rolled his neck and stretched. The human body wasn't meant to sleep sitting up in a cave. Thankfully, his regular stretching kept him loose enough to keep it from being much of a problem.

The immediate area was empty for the moment, though he didn't think Tara would be gone much longer. Sure enough, not moments after the thought crossed his mind, Tara returned with her dog close by. At the time of her return, Will was sitting on the ground, one leg extended outwards, and he was reaching with his arm, extended past the toes of shoes.

He looked up and offered a smile, "Keeps you loose. The last thing you want when running from these things is to pull a muscle." Then, he switched legs and reached again. In his brief glance over, he noted her features more carefully. It was easier in the morning light.

Not bad.

She was pretty, that was obvious, and a little bit younger than he was, like he'd guessed. She reminded him of one of the actresses he'd worked with on an earlier movie. Idly, he wondered where she was now, or if she was even alive. It was unlikely he'd ever find out, one way or another.

He stood up and surveyed the surrounding area once again. Never could be too cautious with the dead roaming around, hungry for your flesh. When he was sure things were safe for the moment, he turned back towards Tara.

"Are you from around here originally?" He was curious about her. Maybe more curious than he ought to be, considering, as far as he knew, they were still planning on parting ways soon. It sounded as if she might have had problems with other people before, so he wasn't going to count on her having a sudden change of heart now. Of course, if she did, he probably wouldn't object. She was the first person he'd really talked to in a long time. Her dog probably wouldn't be too happy about that. Inwardly, he chuckled at the thought, but showed nothing of it outwardly except a faint twitch at the corner of his lips.

Will thought about asking for his weapons back, but refrained. There wasn't a need. Not yet. But, of course, that could change at any moment.

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Character Portrait: Tara Felicity Brown Character Portrait: William Moon Character Portrait: Noah Winters
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#, as written by Messiah
Noah Winters

Impatiently, Noah paced back and forth, waiting for the man to return. He felt like he was losing his mind; the wait was killing him, and he wasn't sure how much longer he was willing to wait.

How long has he been gone? I can't just keep waiting here like this.

It was there he decided that he had to go, and he had to go now. The man would just have to go to the police station on his own if he really wanted to. Every second he waited now was a second longer his daughter was out there, alone and scared, God knows where.

Noah stopped his pacing and began rushing through the apartment, packing up what he could into his backpack. Food. Supplies. He didn't intend to come back, at least not until he found his daughter safe. If he found his daughter safe.

Where is it? I know it's here somewhere...

He began searching frantically through the apartment, tossing things to the side. Why had he put it somewhere so difficult to get to. It should have just been right there, out in the open. Finally, he managed to find what he was looking for. Spray paint. Now, he was going to go through every house he could, check them for his daughter first and foremost, and then supplies. The spray paint would be used to mark the houses he'd already checked.

Quickly, he tossed on a baseball hat and a jacket, as he prepared to leave the house. As he was headed out the door, he thought about leaving something for the guy.

I don't know the guy. I don't even know his name. Why do I owe him an explanation? No. I'm not a monster. I have to tell him.

He looked through his apartment again and found a piece of paper, then dug his pen out of his backpack and composed a note in less-than-neat handwriting.

I'm sorry. I know I agreed to go with you to the police station, but I can't. I can't. My daughter is out there and I can't risk my life on this venture. I need to know what happened to her and this jeopardizes my chances. If you're still planning on going, good luck. I still think it's a bad idea, but you're probably going through with it anyway. Good luck.

Noah then folded up the note, closed and locked the door, then stuck the note in the crack between the door and doorway, just above the doorknob so the man would see it if he came back.

What am I doing? He'll die. But, if I go, I could die. Emily needs me.

With his inner conflicts still tugging at his mind, Noah walked down the steps and onto the streets on his own...

Will Moon

Will turned and grinned in her direction. It was moot, though. His motorcycle helmet concealed his face. Instead, he chuckled lightly, "Thanks. I try." Then he looked down and gave each of the amblers an extra swing of his hatchet to be sure. He straightened back up and stepped to a nearby tree, wiping off the blood that was left on the weapon. Immediately afterwards, his attention drew back to the surrounding area, "I have a feeling that things are going to get considerably more exciting in the next several minutes." Idly, he shrugged, "Probably a good thing we got up when we did."

For the moment, it seemed like the two of them would be working together to get out alive. The night before, Tara had told him that the woods were crawling with the dead, but of course, he didn't know for sure, being as he hadn't actually seen the number she seemed to be talking about. Of course, he wasn't assuming she was lying, and she didn't really have a reason to lie. If she wanted to get rid of him, she would have said the opposite, or nothing at all.

Regardless, he had to err on the side of caution. Even if the woods weren't crawling with them, he had to assume that they were. In these times, to believe that you were safe anywhere was a mistake and sure to eventually get you into a difficult situation, if not an impossible one. This was how you survived in the world now. Survival didn't mean abandoning other people, nor did it mean fighting each other. The only way the race was going to survive was to stick together.

He looked to Tara once more, lowering his hatchet, but keeping it in his hand, "What do you think? I think we should probably stick together for now. If the woods are crawling with these things like you say they are, then that's probably our best shot at surviving." Will cast a glance at the surrounding area once more, "You can go first, and I can watch your back or I can go and scout ahead instead with you watching my back, if you'll feel better that way." There was a brief pause from him as he shrugged, "Up to you."

This was something of a test. He wanted to see how much she was willing to trust him. She'd already given him his weapons back, which was something, but trusting him to watch her back was something different. In all honesty, he expected her to want him to go first. Not that he could blame her. Chances are, he would do the same thing.

Briefly, he looked to her dog. He'd had some experience with them; enough to know that he shouldn't force anything. He was going to be over-protective of her until he was sure that someone could be trusted. Which, now, she may never develop any relationship enough for it. Either way, he decided that his best choice was to just go about things as if they were completely normal. Well, normal for the times, anyway. If he could help it, he would do what he could not to provoke her companion.

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Character Portrait: Tara Felicity Brown Character Portrait: William Moon Character Portrait: Noah Winters
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Will Moon

Will stood motionless for several moments, watching Tara walk away from him and her dog. He looked down at his right hand where he held his gun. Briefly, the thought crossed his mind, but as much as he was willing to use it on her had she wanted it before, he couldn't do it now, even though he knew that it would be a better death than the one she was walking into. Her mind was made up now, and it wasn't his place to make that decision.

As she walked away, he felt a great sense of loss, even though he'd hardly known her. It wasn't the first time he'd had a similar feeling after witnessing the doom of someone he was with, but this was different than the ones before. If he had to guess, he would assume that he felt somewhat responsible for what happened. Glancing down to his left hand where he held his hatchet, still red with the blood of both the dead and the living.

Her words burned into his mind like a brand: "The fuck it is. It's my fault."

Maybe she was right. Maybe she was wrong. If he'd taken the half-second needed to tuck away his weapon after returning to the cave... Well, maybe it would still be the pair of them with the dog, instead of just one and Buster. One thing he learned over his life was that in bad situations like this, it was rare for the fault to rest solely on the shoulders of one of the party. Regardless of what she said, he still felt like he shared some of the blame.

After all, less than a day after he shows up looking for shelter, she finds herself infected after surviving for months, mostly with just her dog as company, it seemed. He could've kept moving; he would've found a place to stay overnight without jeopardizing her like he did.

A nearby snarl of an ambler pulled him back to reality and he whipped around to face one of the dead stumbling towards him from where his left had been. It was missing its left arm up to its elbow. Was it the same one that had caught him earlier? Well, it didn't really matter.

He waited. At his feet, Buster growled and set himself into a defensive stance, more for himself, Will guessed, than the lone man who now accompanied him. Will stood his ground until the ambler was closer. Then, with a grunt of exertion, Will stepped forward and planted his sharp weapon into the skull of the monster. It fell, but Will wasn't done with it. Harshly, he dropped a heel into the skull of the thing, sending blood and brain matter out like its head was the end of a tube of toothpaste.

"Die, you piece of shit!"

Quickly, he turned back around in search of any other wandering idiots who wanted to be on the wrong end of his anger and frustration. When he saw there were none, he simply stood, his chest rising and falling steadily with the combination of his effort and his anger. Gradually, he allowed himself to calm down, taking slow, deep breaths. Minutes after telling himself that he couldn't let his emotions get the better of him, he nearly allowed them to.

He knelt down next to Tara's dog - Well, Buster was probably his dog now, right? Will wasn't sure how comfortable he was with it, especially since they'd barely spent any time with each other. But, it was better than to have him with Tara, as much as he hated to admit it. There was a very real possibility of her turning and attacking her dog. She didn't want that, he could tell, and he couldn't really blame her.

"Look, I know we don't know each other very well, and you don't trust me much. In fact, under the circumstances, you have every right to hate me. Hours after I show up, Tara gets infected." Will blew out a breath in a sigh before continuing, "But, we have to look out for each other. I'm going to do whatever I can to keep you alive and unharmed. I hope you'll afford me the same courtesy." Buster hadn't run off yet, which wasn't a discouraging sign, but he didn't seem very happy with the situation. Of course he didn't. His best friend was likely God-only-knows how long from becoming one of the living dead.

Will brought himself back into a fully standing position and looked back in the direction Tara had gone. He could no longer see where she was. With a wave of his hand and a low call of "Come on." the two survivors made their way through the woods in the general direction Will knew his motorcycle to be.

Noah Winters

Noah made his way through the streets slowly and quietly. His number one concern was not speed. Certainly, he had to have a certain amount of urgency, since his daughter could still be out there, but the most important thing was to get to her alive. Assuming she was still alive.

The first house he checked was a dark blue house with a white door and white trim. It was a single story, or maybe two. There could have been another story below ground. Inside was nearly as dark as the outside of the house was. Not surprising with no more electricity. The first thing he did was look through the house for any valuable supplies. All he managed to find were a few Band-Aids and a few batteries.

His next stop in the house, after checking the kitchen, the bedrooms, and the bathroom, was to check what was downstairs, if there was even a downstairs. Eventually, after about a minute of searching, he found a door that likely led down into a basement. However, before opening the door, he rummaged through his now nearly over-stuffed backpack to find his flashlight, which he clicked on.

Slowly, he made his way down the dark steps. As he neared the bottom of the stairs, he could hear quiet snarling sounds. There was one of the living dead down there, which caused him to stop dead in his tracks and search around with his flashlight.

Where are you, you bastard?

He carefully made his way down the stairs. Suddenly, the quiet snarls ceased and Noah stopped again.

It noticed me. Stupid. Stupid! Too loud.

Either he had to wait where he was for it to inevitably come up the stairs, or he could go down into the basement where he didn't know where it was, but he also had more room to maneuver. He decided to continue down the stairs, all the while, swinging his flashlight around in search for his predator in the pitch black.

Suddenly, he felt something on his left shoulder. With a startled yelp, he leapt forward and looked to what had caused it. It was a hanging female electrical cord. Slowly, he lowered his flashlight and shook his head and let out a sigh.

Just an electrical cord. Get your shit together, Noah.

Then he heard the same snarling again, but closer. Much closer. Once again, he wheeled around to search for the maker of the noise, only to find it much closer than he'd thought. His momentum, as he turned around, caused him to lose his flashlight as his arm struck what he assumed to be the shoulder of the monster. At the same time, there was a shuffling of feet that suggested to him that he'd at least caused it to stumble.

Noah backed away, holding his bat with both hands. There was no way he could know if it was safe to go for the flashlight. Not until the dead fellow in the room was dealt with. But, that obviously presented the problem of not being able to see it.

Where are you?

"Where are you?!?" He shouted to the darkness, as he swung wildly, hoping to catch it with his frantic swings. Eventually, after a moment or two, he struck something heavy, eliciting a growl from the beast. He approached where he thought it had fallen and began beating into it with his bat, hoping to hit its head.

The first few strikes landed into something soft and thick. That was probably somewhere on its torso or its legs, so he aimed further up. CLANK! His bat struck concrete, which made him grunt as the vibrations of the metal object went through the heavy end and down to the grips and into his hands.

Ow! Fuck.

Another swing and he struck something that felt, and sounded like, a melon. Or, at least, that's what he imagined it felt like to hit a melon with a bat. He'd never done it. That was probably its head, so he kept swinging until he was sure the monster was no longer moving.

When the tension had died down and he had caught his breath, he called out again to the darkness, "Emily? Sweetie? It's daddy." Cautiously, he moved towards where he'd dropped his flashlight and picked it back up. Once he had it again, he began looking through the darkness, slowly this time, sure not to miss anything.

After several minutes of searching and calling for his daughter, he concluded she wasn't here. His heart sank slightly as he backed his way upstairs once again.

Emily...

He then exited the house and took out one of the cans of spraypaint, shook it and sprayed a big red X onto the front door, just to make sure he knew where he'd looked and where he hadn't. It was only one house, but it was still a little discouraging. No matter. He had no choice but to continue the search for his daughter, so he moved onwards to the next house...

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Character Portrait: Levy Carter Character Portrait: Adelaide Korbeil Character Portrait: William Moon Character Portrait: Noah Winters
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#, as written by Messiah
Will Moon

At the sound of gunshots, Will stood back up, picked up the rifle and looked through the scope. The shots had sounded as if they'd come from where the girl had been attacked. Sure enough, when he looked to the same place as before, he saw another girl fighting off the dead with the first. Two of them now.

For a while, he watched the girls through the scope. One of them, the one who looked to be the elder of the two, shoved the younger into the house and fired another final shot. He assumed it was a mercy killing of the girl that had been attacked. After some time, the second girl went inside the house and did not emerge again.

Will shook his head. She'd fired too many shots. It was sure to attract any number of the things. Sure enough, as he turned to survey the area, he saw numerous members of the undead shambling in the general direction of the gunfire.

Now he had to decide. Were they his problem? Surely, they could be in serious danger, considering that there was no way of knowing how many the gunshot would attract. If he stayed where he was, he would probably be safe; a few stragglers might find their way into his killing zone, but for the most part, he would be okay. But that would bear a weight on him - a weight he couldn't be sure he could live with. Sometimes, that was the cost of survival. Then again, sometimes the cost of survival was too much to pay.

Again, he shook his head, setting his rifle down before gathering his other things. He put on his armor and his jacket, followed by his helmet. The pistol was placed in the waistband of his pants. Finally, carrying the weight of both backpacks, he picked the rifle back up. Quietly, he called for Buster, "Come on." He motioned with his hand to the dog and the two of them descended the stairs together.

The house wasn't too far. If he was careful, he could make it there without much incident, despite the potential opposition he faced. He decided he needed to forgo the use of his guns, so he slung the rifle over his shoulder and drew his hatchet. The weapon that had put him into his current situation. For a moment, he felt like throwing the weapon away to be never seen by his eyes again. But, he knew that he needed it. Weapons like these were more valuable than gold these days.

Up ahead, an ambler was shuffling in the same direction they were headed. Will held out a hand to stop Buster from moving or making a sound. He obeyed, but kept himself on guard from anything else around them. With a raised hand holding the hatchet, he swung, burying the weapon into the back of its head. Once again, he called for Buster to follow him before continuing on.

Only twice more did the two of them encounter the dead, and they handled them without incident. After some time, the house came into view. Slowly, Will approached it and knocked on the door. At first, there was no response. He knocked again and spoke.

"You've got dead on their way here. I can help."

Noah Winters

Noah had checked four more houses since the first with no luck or sign of his daughter. With each house, he grew more and more discouraged and frustrated. Sometimes he even went out of his way to find the dead and kill them. It was dangerous. He knew that, but he was no longer in a complete state of mind. Not anymore.

At one time, someone even ran past him, screaming for help. She was being chased by a rather large group of the dead. While Noah remained hidden, he could have easily helped her, but when he thought of helping her, he froze. Going out there or sticking his neck out for someone was risky and could get him killed.

The woman was swarmed and he just watched. It barely even registered that there had been a person at all. His mind possessed only a singular thought.

Emily. I have to find Emily.

The words resonated in his brain over and over. Nothing else mattered now. He soon came across a sixth house and began his routine of looking through the house for supplies first. Some beans, some tape, some pins and thread. No food or water.

This house had a basement too. Most of them in town did. As he progressed down the stairs slowly, there was a creak below his right foot and, before he could react, followed shortly by a SNAP! He now found himself stuck in the stairs leading down to the basement.

With a window that opened up just above ground, this basement was more well-lit than the first house. With natural sunlight filtering into the room, he could tell that Emily wasn't here, nor was she likely to have ever been. But, he could also see that his right leg was bleeding. A piece of wood had embedded itself into his upper calf. Despite the wound, he could barely feel the it. Aside from a faint throbbing in his leg, there was nothing.

Noah turned and grunted, using the next step up to pull himself out of his predicament and crawl back up to the main floor with some effort. When he reached the top, he lied on the floor to catch his breath. After a moment or two, he looked down at his leg. It didn't look too bad from where he was. The piece of wood was about the size of a fifty-cent piece, and it hadn't gone too deep.

Still...

Take it out or leave it in?

He took off his backpack and began to rummage through it, finally coming out with some clean cloth that he could use to wrap the wound. Then, he began the process of removing the chunk of wood from his leg. As it began to come out, it began to hurt, certainly more than it had going in. But, he stayed quiet. It was nowhere near the worst pain he'd experienced.

Gently, he lifted up his pant leg and wrapped his bare right leg in the cloth before ripping off a piece of tape and using it to hold the makeshift bandage in place. After another moment or two on the floor, he finally stood up, not putting any weight on his right leg not yet.

Gingerly, he took a step. And, while it hurt, the pain wasn't so bad that he couldn't keep going. He had to keep going for his daughter's sake. As he exited the house, he retrieved the can of spray-paint once more in order to remind himself what houses he'd already checked.

Another big red X went up on the front door of the house.

As he turned around, he found himself facing a single ambler. It was a face that he'd seen just hours before; the woman that had been crying for help, which Noah refused. The sound of the spraying had muted the sounds of her approach. The dead woman lunged at him, baring her teeth. With as much strength as he could muster, he pushed it off, followed quickly by a swing towards her with his bat, splattering blood and brains everywhere.

It wasn't until the adrenaline of the situation had worn off that he noticed that his left arm now felt like it had been dipped in hot liquid metal. He searched his arm for the source, until he came upon a blood stain on his left shoulder. Carefully, he lifted the fabric up and looked for the cause.

He'd been bitten.