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Perseverance: The Contagion

Maryland, USA


a part of Perseverance: The Contagion, by mariamaeoccheto.

Where the bay laps hungrily at the docks, the hills roll for miles and the town is silent aside from the gurgling groans of the undead.

mariamaeoccheto holds sovereignty over Maryland, USA, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

1,097 readers have been here.

Copyright: The creator of this roleplay has attributed some or all of its content to the following sources:

the zombie survival guide, world war z, the walking dead.


Default Location for Perseverance: The Contagion
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Maryland, USA

Where the bay laps hungrily at the docks, the hills roll for miles and the town is silent aside from the gurgling groans of the undead.


Maryland, USA is a part of Perseverance: The Contagion.

21 Characters Here

Tara Felicity Brown [49] You know, it's a wonder we're still alive, Buster.
Andre Rollins [49] I'm running out of sympathy.
Benny Vega [41] "Things we're just too good I guess."
William Moon [37] We have to look out for each other.
Aaron McCullough [33] Come on Tonto, time to bust some heads.
Micah Kent [33] If they're dead.... do they still count as people?
Adelaide Korbeil [27] "I thought this stuff just happened on TV.."
Daniel Taylor [26] I'm gonna live life while I can
Zaila Korbeil [22] R.I.P.
Levy Carter [22] "We've lost what makes us human, how are we any different from them?"

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Quincy Pickett  ~WIP
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"Damn..." That was all Quincy had to say as he finally gathered up the strength to turn his back to his undead sibling. He threw the gloves back onto the work bench, grabbed his machete and walked to the exit. He knew how dangerous this was and many times, he considered placing a bullet into Swan's skull, but he just couldn't do it. That was his brother, his blood. Dead or alive, he was still family, and Quincy couldn't kill his family. Leaving the creature behind, Quincy ran back up the stairs and sat down on the couch. It never got easy, the loneliness, never was simple to cope with. Having no one to talk to almost drove him insane...he was reduced to talking to himself, but he wasn't crazy...well, maybe a little. Having a zombie in your basement that you take care of, isn't really the entity of stability. So perhaps he was losing it, but he had hope. That sliver of hope that everything would be sorted and a cure would be found and Quentin would come back as the know-it-all asshole that he knew and loved.

Hope. It was the only thing that kept him going. There were times when he thought about placing that pistol into his mouth and pulling the fucking trigger. He thought about ending it all and just giving up, but that inkling of hope always stopped him, always pushed him to last another day...week...month...year. He could hear Quentin's restless moans along with the clangs of his chains. God, he missed his brother. He mourned the dirty jokes, pranks, having each other's backs when it came to fights or women. Those days died along with his twin. In muted distress, Quincy placed his head in his hands, feeling a tightness in his chest. He was lonely, tired, scared, and hurt. He'd lost so much in such as small amount of time that it practically ate at him. He wasn't sure if he even had anything else to lose besides his own life.

It was the painful truth. As Quincy sat there, thinking about all his misfortune...all his grief, his hand absentmindedly inched closer and closer to the pistol on the table. He didn't realize that his fingers were wrapping around the handle. His mind was buzzing with negativity while his right hand raised the chamber of his weapon to his temple. It was as if his hand had a mind of its own. The metal against his skin was cold from its lack of use.

He always thought about ending it. His forefinger touched the trigger.

He always wanted to just stop the tormenting loneliness. The gun pressed against his heated skin.

He always wished for...the gun slipped from his fingers, plopping onto the sofa. He looked at it before rubbing his face in frustration.

Hope. It stopped him from his previous attempts at suicide, and it was stopping him now. Just another week, Quincy... he thought, but he was fully aware that a week could easily turn into years.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Benny Vega Character Portrait: Andre Rollins Character Portrait: Levy Carter Character Portrait: Adelaide Korbeil
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Levy Carter

Levy nodded in compliance with Adelaide, letting her lead ahead. Her stomach had settled thanks to the berries, but Levy was still hungry. Sadly enough though Levy had grown accustomed to the gnawing sensation of hunger, the reason why she was so thin now. Her gun still in hand, she kept pace with Adelaide, jumping over a fallen tree that obstructed the path.

Levy remembered Adelaide mentioning her twin earlier, where was she now? hopefully alive Levy thought to herself when suddenly an arm reach out from a window, gripping Adelaide's hand. Before Levy had the chance to react, Adelaide had already slaughtered the culprit. "You're quick." Levy complimented, tucking a stray dread behind her ear.

Adelaide had been nothing but helpful to Levy, and as she led Levy into the forest, Levy was filled with gratitude that someone was looking out for some one other than the selves. She accepted the sharpened stick from Adelaide, tucking away her gun. It wasnt hard to pick up on each other's noises and be able to distinguish the difference between the sound of each other and the sound of unwanted visitors.

Levy sat on a large boulder near the running water, laying flat on her stomach to stare into the stream. "I just...." She said, waiting a moment before snatching her hand into the water and magically pulling a fish out with her hand, "grab 'em." A smile lit her face. Levy had learned how to fish with her hands from one of her mothers on one of their many camping trips. Throwing the fish onto the dirt, it began to flounder in a desperate attempt to return to the water.

Levy found herself staring at the fish, sympathizing for the poor thing. She could relate to the feeling, being a fish out of water. Struggling just to catch your next breath, feels like the weight of all your problems are pushing on your chest. Putting the fish out of it's misery, Levy staked the fish and watched as it slowly stilled. "I used to be vegetarian." She said absently, returning to the creek to try and collect more fish.

Benny Vega

Andre was dangerous, Benny decided. He was full of potential bad decisions and distractions that could potentially be the end of her, but Benny couldn't bring herself to walk away. "If handling you 24/7 is the closest I get to what life used to be like, I got it." he gathered her into his arms and threw her onto the bed.

Benny had wriggled under his hold, emitting a girlish squeal as she was thrown onto the dusty mattress. Laying onto the bed, a can of olives rolled against her, settling into her blonde tresses that had loosened from the hair tie. It felt nice, relaxing on an actual bed. She couldn't remember the last time she had been able to enjoy sleeping on so much as a cushion. Her body did a little wiggle as Andre loomed over her, saying "You just gotta' ease up with all that smartass shit, shorty, or I'ma finna' smack ya' fresh ass." playfully before lowering himself to pull her into a steamy kiss. He was too good, the perfect play of hot and cold Benny thought.

She smiled against his lips, content with that moment. "Baby boy, you slap me and we gone have a problem." she said dangerously, still smiling at the handsome young man. Andre seemed to have whisked Benny off her feet before she could even register the path she was leading herself down. Partnering with Andre meant the two would spend every moment not only watching their own backs, but each others. Would their hazy boundaries between romance and partnership negatively affect their survival skills? The two already were bickering incessantly, but was that because they wanted to irritate another or because they both found comfort in the silly games of love? Nevertheless, Benny watched Andre carefully from where she lay, seeing him grab the first aid kit then peer out the window.

He said something inaudible to Benny, then brushing off the topic to return to where she lay, bringing up the farm house again. "I don't know...." She whined, sitting up and feeling her hair fall to around her shoulders, having fallen out of its bun. Benny wasn't sure what to do now, there seemed like so many possibilities, but no way to prove the legitimacy of any of them. Truth be told Benny wasn't thinking about any of that, proof enough that already Andre's presence was throwing her off. Running a hand through her hair, Benny tugged at the ends before looking up to Andre. Instinctually she felt the corners of her lips tug up, recognizing the look he was giving her. "It sounds nice," Benny cooed, reaching out to hook one finger around his belt loop and pulling him towards her, "but us on this boat sounds nicer." She implied, teeth gently grazing her dark pink lips.

Unhooking herself from his belt loop, Benny's fingers teased the seam of his shirt as she reached to hook a single finger around one of Andre's fingers, much like she did his belt loop. Evocatively, Benny tugged him towards herself on the bed. Allowing her to over power him, Andre sat next to her, and Benny nodded at his response. Benny wasn't really listening, instead she swung herself on top of the boy, straddling him so that she faced him. "Shhhh." She said simply, gently pressing a finger to his lips.

Who knew when they would have the feeling of safety again? This boat offered more than all the Shelters Benny had taken the last few months. With Andre before her it was hard not to want to take advantage of the situation. She kissed him gently, slowly allowing their bodies to meld into one another's. His body began to recline back, and Benny followed him down, pressing her soft feminine body against his hardened muscular physique. Even though she had only known him this short time, Benny couldn't help but to feel drawn to Andre - like a moth to a flame.

His touch made her feel hot, and his fleshy lips tasted like the salty air, enticing her to bite down with a certain roughness - careful not to hurt him. Before Andre could find a way from her games, but now he had trapped himself between Benny and a mattress. Without the impending doom of a zombie only feet away, Benny could feel the tension lessen across her shoulders, pushing herself against Andre. Perhaps she was acting childish, but Benny was still only 19, a teenager at that. If in her bleak existence she could find joy in something as simple as the intimate moments she stole with Andre, Benny believed she was entitled to such. "You're mine now, papí." She smirked against his lips, running her hand up his torso.

Her teeth scraped across the skin behind his ear, followed by gentle kisses along his jaw. "I shut it down, Bae." Benny teased his lips with hers before kissing him again, dissolving against him. Her hips rotated against his, a gentle exhale escaping her lips as she pulled her lips from his. Falling onto the bed next to Andre, Benny pushed aside the can of olives to lay out next to the boy, resting her chin on his shoulder to gaze at his profile. "The house on the farm could be nice too, though. Other people could be there - good people. I'm sure they have a good defense system if they've been alive this long." Never did Benny think pillow talk would involve survival tactics. "Who knows, maybe they're planning on going to North Carolina...." Benny slumped against Andre's side, once again remembering her family and their likely deaths.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aaron McCullough Character Portrait: Micah Kent Character Portrait: Tara Felicity Brown
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Micah Keith

Watching his brother place the girl's limp body behind him in the mirror hanging above the dash was a bitter-sweet victory. He hadn't intended to pull a gun on Aaron, he still could barely believe that he actually had, but the situation had gotten ridiculously out of hand before he knew what was happening. The only explanation he could create was that seeing Tara there so unexpectedly had caused him to loose his head. "Yea, that seems about right...," he inwardly consoled himself as his gaze tracked Aaron's movements in the rearview mirror,"I was just thrown off is all.... She was supposed to be dead and there she was.... It wouldn't have happened like that if it hadn't been such a surprise." Despite this reasoning, watching his older brother only made him feel more and more guilty about his previous outburst. Just as he was turning his attention away, he noticed the plastic zip-ties being slipped around the girl's wrists. Micah's eyebrows lowered slightly and his chin jutted out in silent irritation.

The look Micah cast Aaron has he slid into the driver's seat of the stolen vehicle was one full of judgement and questioning. It was quickly answered, "What? At least she's in the cabin..." In response to this grumbled statement, the younger boy turned his head stiffly on his neck to lean against the window so he no longer had to look at his brother. As much as he should have wanted to rail against this harsh treatment, the pragmatic side of him knew that not only was this the best he could hope for it was actually probably for the best. Who if or when Tara would give in to the infection rushing through her veins? However, just because it was a realistic solution, didn't mean he had to like it.

Apparently Tara didn't much care for the treatment or confinement either, Micah mused to himself with a hint of amusement as the prisoner in the backseat slammed a heavy kick into the back of his brother's seat, mumbling some nearly incomprehensible gibberish. When Aaron's face turned into a mask of pure rage and he whirled to glare daggers at the captive, the Micah had to bury his face into the rough fabric encasing his shoulder to hide the grin that threatened to spill over into laughter. Maybe it was the horrible situation they three were stuck in, but the feud between the older boy and the young girl seemed three times as hilarious as usual. Ever since the brunette and her half-breed canine had joined the two of them, Aaron and she had been at each other's throats. It was almost enjoyable to see that even in this dismal moment the two of them couldn't stop their petty fighting. Hey, when it's the end of the world- you gotta get your kicks in somehow.

Aaron McCullough

It seemed that no sooner had he swung the truck around toward the distant line of houses than Aaron felt a sharp stab in the back of his spine which came in conjunction with a mumbled accusation. The driver of the truck slammed on the brakes before turning swiftly in his seat to seethe at the cause of the sudden pain. Gritting his teeth, Aaron ignored the muffled snickering he could hear emanating from the other side of the cabin and hissed angrily, "Goddammnit Xena, I don't have your fucking dog. I couldn't care less what you managed to do with the idiot mongrel. The only thing I do care about at this point is that you keep your fucking legs to yourself so we don't all end up dead, cuz some of us won't reanimate." With that said, he swiveled his upper body back around and settled into the driver's seat once more. "And shut the fuck up Tonto, this is all your fault."

The last sentence that Tara had muttered- which he had judiciously ignored while berating her- brought Aaron to the slow realization that sometime during the sojourn on the beach he'd managed to loose the cigarette he'd had dangling between his lips. So while they were still idling, he reaching into the pocket of his jacket and yanked out another one. After he'd lit it up and placed it between his lips to take a long drag, Aaron once more pressed down slowly on the gas. This time he was careful to keep half his attention on the captive in the back seat as he eased down on the pedal, making sure she didn't kick the back of his chair again while they were moving.

In a matter of moments the large ebony truck was coasting through the edges of the suburbs, evading the numerous potholes and abandoned vehicles littering the roads. This part of town wasn't nearly as difficult to navigate as it was the closer and closer one got to the city center. In his mind's eye Aaron could recall how the more populous area of the town looked in comparison to these empty neighborhoods: the streets were clogged with eternal rush-hour traffic, tables were set for dinners that would never be eaten, grocery-store shelves contained nothing but half-rotted fruits and spoiled dairy products, and shopping malls which had once been so full of life were now home to milling crowds of the undead. These sights weren't unusual in the neighborhoods they coasted through now, but were not nearly as widespread. The people in this area had been more aware of the infection as it had spread. However, occasionally one could spot a house that hadn't been evacuated in time. The bits of daily life scattered haphazardly on the doorstep and in the yard were enough to make even Aaron feel a little bit disgusted at what the world had become. Aaron shook of the sentimental nostalgia, and puffed out a cloud of acrid grey smoke to make himself feel better.

Driving toward their safe house, the truck only came upon one undead carcass as it hauled its heavy, decaying frame from one building to the next. Without thinking, Aaron mowed down the overweight ambler as if it were nothing- the massive vehicle riding over the twitching body as if it were no more than a large bump in the road. Soon they arrived at the compound they had built for themselves. Micah reached up casually- the first movement he'd made in a while- to press a button that remotely swung open the electric gates as Aaron maneuvered the truck onto the gravel drive. "Home sweet home..."


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Levy Carter Character Portrait: Zalt Fox Character Portrait: Adelaide Korbeil Character Portrait: Madison Collins Character Portrait: Zaila Korbeil
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Zaila Korbeil
Zaila was getting impatient, the young girl was not talking and she had to get home. Looking to the guy then to the gun cabinet "I think my dad used to have a pair of bolt cutters in our garage, you wait here and ill go get them. My house is just down the street, not that far away. Ill be back in less then a half hour okay? Just watch her" she motioned to the girl. She then got up and headed upstaira before the guy could protest. She knew he was just trying to look out for them but Maddi was more important then her.

She walked out of the house and headed back to her house, she crossed the street then took a left down her road. It was getting dark, they didn't have much time left in the day to get too much more done. She should of just took Maddi back to her house then dealt with the other things tomorrow but it was too late now. She wondered how Addi was doing and if she got any good fish too cook up.

Zaila wasn't paying attention as she got lost in thought, she was right hear her house when she felt something bite in her leg. She let out a scream, looking down to see that a crawlwr has bitten her. She scrambled to get her axe but it dropped as another set of hands grabbed onto her "!" She yelled but it was no use, the only thing her yelling did was attract more of the zombies. She felt herself falling, she needed Addi, she punched out at one of the Amblers head just as she hit the ground.

Reaching for the walkie from her belt she spoke quickly "Addi, I need help, in front of the house. Im bitten.." She was going to say more but another ambler bit down on her arm. She was being swarmed but the dead and soon she would be one of them, she didn't even know she was yelling. The pain was just too much, she closed her eyes hoping this would all go away. They were scratching and biting at her, taking more of her flesh away. Then everything just faded to black.

Adelaide Korbeil
Adelaide looked over to Levy who was now laying on a boulder near the water, she couldn't help but watch as the older girl reached down and picked out a fish like it was the easiest thing in the world "holy shit, think you could teach me that sometime?". She grinned then looked down at the stream, fish were swimming around her legs and at the right might moment she struck down her sharp stick. When she brough the stick up a good size fish, looking over to Levy she saw the girl stab the fish she caught.

"I used to be a vegetarian" she heard Levy say, it made her think of the things she used to do before everything went to shit "all the things we used to be or do, it all doesn't matter anymore huh? Nothing matters really except having to fight each day to stay alive". Shrugging her shoulders she went back to catching fish.

A half hour later Adelaide caught eight fish, all of them lying on the bank near the stream. She was sweaty and hot, looking up past the trees she saw that it was getting darker out "we should think about heading back soon, won't be good to stay out in the dark" she said looking over to Levy. "I think we have enough fish to last us a few days".

She walked over to to the bank, stepping out of the water she sat down on the ground and put her boots back on "your definately going to have to teach me that catching fish thing, you have very quick hands" she laughed, finishing tying up her boots. As she gathered the fish she heard her walkie go off, she took it out and turned it up just a bite. It was crackly and hard to decipher what was being said but she could understand a few things that was all that was said. "Fuck Zaila".

Adelaide quickly got the fish in her bag, looking over to Levy "I think my sisters in trouble, I have to go see if I can help her. I understand if you may want to stay behind. Who knows what Ill be walking into but I made a pact with my sister. If one of us were to be bitten or anything we promised to end it for each other. I know I would want to be killed if I was going to be changed into one of those monsters and she agrees. She wouldn't want to harm anyone". She stood up, looking at Levy "but if you do come I would appreciate it, you don't even know".

Whatever answer Levy gave her she supported and headed back towards her house, she ran most of the way hoping she would get there in time but she had a really bad feeling inside her gut that this night wasn't going to go according to plan. As she got closer to her street she was afraid to go around the corner, she could hear the noises of the dead and it made her feal sick to her stomach that Zaila may be in the middle of a horde. But she had to do it, she had to for her twin.

As she went around the corner she saw about seven of the amblers crouched down, feeding. Her eyes went wide at what she saw, she couldn't help the rage she was feeling as she ran towards the dead. She pulled her hitam out, one of the amblers lookwd right at her when she sliced through its neck. She went wild as she continued to slice and dice through the zombies that were feeding off her sister, she didn't even notice that she was crying. It was over for her sister, she no longer had any family left.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aaron McCullough Character Portrait: Micah Kent Character Portrait: Tara Felicity Brown Character Portrait: Adelaide Korbeil Character Portrait: Zaila Korbeil Character Portrait: William Moon
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#, as written by Messiah
Will was ripped from his doze by the harsh sound of an engine of something big. He had no idea how long he'd been sitting there resting. It wasn't his smartest decision, either. But, thankfully, he now had Buster at his side, who had better ears and a better nose than he did. The dog was also up from his formerly rested position and looking to the window they were both facing.

Rifle in hand, Will stood up and walked to the closed window with Buster close behind him. With a harsh tug and a grunt, he forced the window open so he could stick the rifle out the window and look through the scope. The sound of the engine was getting steadily closer. In a matter of seconds, the source of the sound revealed itself.

Just yards from the house, a large black truck passed by. It looked like the same one that was at the scene of the first screamer. Had to be. There weren't many vehicles like that just sitting around. Not here. Not anywhere. Carefully, he spied through the scope towards the vehicle, trying to make out who was inside. The windows blocked his view from it, unfortunately.

From his perch in the window, he could see a lot of the town. This let him follow the path of the truck for maybe another few hundred yards before it disappeared behind a building, never to emerge back into his sight again.

He sighed and lowered the weapon. No good. As he was about to return to his spot on the wall, a scream tore through the air. This one, again, was not the one of a screamer. Instead, this one sounded like a girl in agony. A terrible sound to hear. No matter how many times it molested his ears, he could never get used to it.

Frantically, he searched for the source of the sound, but he couldn't see anything from where he was. He moved to the window at his left facing the town. After another few frantic moments of searching, he found the probable source. Crouched over something were several members of the undead. His finger feathered the trigger of his weapon as he debated his next move. Shoot them and risk giving away his position? Sit and watch while these monsters consumed this poor helpless girl?

The internal debate raged. So much of what he'd done didn't make any difference. Even when he stopped to help, people still died. Nate still died. The woman he wanted to rescue then still died. The man in the woods was still torn up. Tara still got infected. Despite his best efforts to help these people, they still met their end. This was the way the world was now. But, is this how he had to be? Harsh? Cold? Unsympathetic to the lives around him? He had been lucky so far not to meet his end. How long would that last?

Before he could make his decision, another girl had come running in, attacking the feeding corpses with just a knife. There definitely was a passion to her. If he had to guess, he would say that the girl who got attacked was important to this other one. With this marked passion, the girl quickly dispatched the crowd of the dead.

It was then that a greatly pained Will pulled himself away from the window and sat back down against the wall. For a moment he stayed there, tapping the side of the rifle barrel against his head incessantly. Setting the rifle aside, he stood back up, restless. He pressed the heels of his hands into his eyes and paced back and forth.

There was nothing he could have done for her. By the time he had seen her, the dead had already done her in. The only thing that he would have accomplished by firing his weapon was alerting everything in the area where he was. More or less ringing the dinner bell. Over and over, he told himself this, hoping that it would make him feel better. It didn't. He had to occupy his mind with something else now.

First, he took off his jacket, his 'armor', and the shirt he was wearing underneath before he opened his backpack to take out a bottle of water and a piece of unused cloth. He took a healthy drink from the bottle before pouring some onto the piece of cloth, then finally, emptying it over himself. Long hours in three layers in this weather was rough sometimes, but it was a sacrifice he had to make for his own safety.

Will used the damp rag to wipe himself down, especially underneath the arm and over his lower abdomen. His gaze lingered for a while as he washed over his muscled abdomen which was marred by a rather large scar running up the left side of his torso. The memory of this wound was still fresh in his memory, though it was nothing from after the outbreak.

He'd been filming a scene with a motorcycle chase scene for a movie when he lost control of the bike and crashed. The accident had given him a large wound, and the surgeons had told him later that he was lucky to be alive. It was only the quick acting of the on-site medical team and the director that saved his life.

Slowly, he reached into his backpack and pulled out a relatively clean white shirt and put it on. With cloth in hand, he picked up his helmet and wiped off the dried and smeared coagulated blood from the visor. When he'd finished, he set the helmet down and closed the door in which they'd entered from.

This was a good a place as any to stop, at least for awhile...


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aaron McCullough Character Portrait: Micah Kent Character Portrait: Benny Vega Character Portrait: Andre Rollins Character Portrait: Tara Felicity Brown
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Andre Rollins

The only way to properly describe what Andre felt when he was close to Benny was fire. Brain-seizing, heart-pounding fire. His notions ceased as they kissed and he reached a brawny hand into her hair, grabbing it with aggression. Her mane had loosened a little, making it easier for him to grasp the strands with enough force to attain control over her.

Mannerisms she exhibited made him mangle. The feminine noises that escaped her throat, the curve of her upper lip that begged to be kissed, her hips rotating to grind against his - it drove him crazy. When she smirked at him, he looked down at her and laughed a little. From the moment they encountered each other there were sparks flying between them, irregardless of whether or not they acknowledged those fierce glints. Andre was not turning a blind eye to it, he knew perfectly well what was going on internally and externally. He wanted Benny around.

Before he could glance out the discoid window again to note any irregularities beyond the yacht, something was pulling him back towards the bed. Raising a brow, he let her fasten her fingers into his belt loop and tug him towards her. In fact, he enjoyed her initiative and playfulness. She was steering him with her delicate little hands until he was on the bed, where she straddled him in a predatory manner and leaned down to silence his questioning lips.

Her hair fell around her face, some tickling Andre's skin. Licking his lips, a gruff chuckle ricocheted off the walls of his esophagus. It was deep and inviting, perhaps completely intended.

The windows of the ship only allowed stunted shards of filtered light to spill across the bed. Somehow it was faultless in the way it poured over the mattress; a moment that was unparalleled by anything Andre experienced before. The sun graced her tanned skin, enticing him to reach out to her neck line and trace it with his fingers. Benny was wild with lechery, just the way Andre liked them. And when she kissed him, he clenched her hips savagely and pulled her as close to him as he could manage.

Before she could manage an escape route, he would tease her back. Rolling himself up, her settling in his lap, he trailed a single hand up beneath her shirt. His fingers stopped just short of the under wire in her bra while he kissed down along her bone structure, towards the quivering flesh beneath her top. The taste on his tongue from Benny was brackish and nubile. In response to his exploration of her body, she began to sketch his face with soft kisses.

Then, like that, she had collapsed onto the bed beside him. A wicked grin crossed his face as he sat up to adjust his posture and regain control of his thoughts. The ones that would help him stay alive, anyway.

"The house on the farm could be nice too, though. Other people could be there - good people. I'm sure they have a good defense system if they've been alive this long."

He rolled his shoulders and looked over at her. Benny looked content, like a cat that had just brought home a mouse to its owner. She was hazardous and alluring. With a yawn, he flatly replied, "Maybe we should get to the farm then - but I still have to get somethin' else to wear. Sneakers is beat," he looked at his Airmaxes, "Clothes dirty as fuck."

ImageStanding, he pulled Benny up with him to brave the decks of the boat. After observing their surroundings and discerning only a few amblers, he nodded and jumped to the pier with the first aid kit in hand. He hoped that the town would render something more fruitful, but was skeptical as to what it would behold entirely. Suddenly images from the day before flashed in his mind - the pregnant girl and the guys on the roof tops. The last thing Benny and Andre needed was someone else slowing them down. They would surely butt heads enough, and adding components wouldn't make for a pretty picture. Not with how Benny and Andre acted anyway.

He tossed the first aid kit onto the seat of the ATV, listening to Benny's feet shuffling in the sand behind him. Suddenly he turned, grabbing her and scooping her up to spin her around. He even contemplated throwing her into the bay, which was after all, his original plan. But instead he set her down, awkwardly mumbling, "I was gonna' throw you in."

Tara Brown

She wasn't so fargone that she couldn't sense the bumpiness of the ride. Despite her ailment, she grumbled and groaned with every rock and pivot the truck made as it braved dips in the route. After she sunk her foot into the back of Aaron's seat, an unsettling uproar occurred in her organs. "Stop," she pleaded with no one particular. Suddenly she became panicked by the lack of clarity in her vision and brought her bound wrists to her face to cover her eyes. Clenching and unclenching, her fingers were vigorously fretting.

Then it came. She wrenched, turning onto her side and expelling blood and vomit. It littered the seat and flooring of the vehicle, modifying the truck into a perilous zone. Her saline-dried hair was wavy and undulated, falling around her face unmethodically.

"Goddamnit Xena, I don't have your fucking dog. I couldn't care less what you managed to do with the idiot mongrel. The only thing I do care about at this point is that you keep your fucking legs to yourself so we don't all end up dead, cuz some of us won't reanimate."

Xena. Somehow she stifled a laugh then cringed. An odd mixture of a groan and a shriek made her body heave as she attempted to attain some sort of balance with her bound hands. "Tanto." She repeated, ignoring Aaron and then letting the force of gravity bring her back further into the cabin where she settled for a moment, then began to cry. "Oh god," she breathed laboredly, pining uneasily in an attempt to get her hair out of her face as if it would make a difference in her sight, "I'm dying, Tanto." It was karma, right? That's what she deserved for leaving them, for letting Lydia and her children die. It was terribly caustic that she'd run into Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum in her last moments, as if she were being forced to face her sins.

Had she been more conscious-minded, she'd probably have sat upright and wrapped her bound wrists around Aaron's neck from behind his driver's seat and given him a real scare. Though she'd have been mostly joking, she would have enjoyed the idea of harming him when he snapped, spewing diabolical bullshit and insulting herself and Buster. Maybe that would make him reconsider ever saying something so callous.

The truck thundered and hopped across something, causing Tara to reach for the driver seat to avoid tumbling around. Incognizant, she muttered something and let her body have its way. Under the exertion of panting rapidly and nausea, she found herself unable to react to compulsions.

Again Aaron's words bounced to and fro in her head. How she made sense of them, she wasn't sure. With a whimper, she curled up and closed her eyes. Becoming still, she let the epidemic have its way with her before she added, "I'd take you with me, you emotionless, lukewarm prick." The lodging the illness had taken up was negligible in hindsight, but from its traits and symptoms, one would never guess. As far as Tara was concerned, the agony was intolerable and she began to welcome the idea of death.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Benny Vega Character Portrait: Andre Rollins Character Portrait: Levy Carter Character Portrait: Adelaide Korbeil
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Levy Carter

The sun was beating down on Levy's tawny shoulders as the girls continued to fish. Keeping one ear out for any unwanted visitors and another ear out for Adelaide, time seemed to pass by fast. "I'm really horrible at teaching people stuff." She mumbled, yet Levy still did explain how to go through the motions, then snatching yet another fish from the water.

After what seemed of hours of idle chit chat and fishing, Levy realized how content she was. Adelaide was good company, a pretty young thing with a vivacious spirit. She had a home to go back to at the end of the night, a luxury that had been taken from her months ago. Once Adelaide seemed to be getting most of the luck when it came to meat, Levy walked a few feet off to gather some tasty berries and leaves, nibbling on sassafras leaves that left her with lemon breath.

Walking back towards Adelaide, Levy plucked a single dandelion, popping the yellow buds into her mouth and chewing on the weed heartily. As a child Levy would always eat flowers and herbs from her garden, something other kids might call weird but at least she never ate the mud pies she used to bake. The little habit of flower consumption carried into her adult hood and now was a main source of nutrition in this post apocalyptic reality.

Storing the berries and plants into a container, then shoving it back into her backpack. "Good catch, I'd say we had a successful day." Levy said with a wink, smiling at her new team mate, but Adelaide's expression showed she was not in a joking mood.

"I think my sisters in trouble, I have to go see if I can help her. I understand if you may want to stay behind. Who knows what Ill be walking into but I made a pact with my sister. If one of us were to be bitten or anything we promised to end it for each other. I know I would want to be killed if I was going to be changed into one of those monsters and she agrees. She wouldn't want to harm anyone.....but if you do come I would appreciate it, you don't even know".

It wasn't even a question to Levy, she wouldn't make Adelaide have to face this alone. Levy had taken a shine to the young girl who reminded her of herself a little when she was that age. If they had met under different circumstances Levy could see the two being friends, but they met in this world and the companionship they had shared had been the best time Levy had in weeks.

"Lead the way, champ." Levy said, adjusting her gun into her boot so that it would not fall out or be hard to access if needed be. When Levy looked up, Adelaide was already far ahead. Grunting, Levy took off into a sprint after Adelaide, pacing her breathing carefully so that she wouldn't be struggling to breathe later on. Before the zombies ran down their world, Levy hadn't been much of an athlete. Nowadays, if you couldn't run long distance, you already died most likely.

Adelaide didn't slow down, motivating Levy to keep pushing. If she were to let Adelaide run to far ahead, where would that leave Levy? Alone and without shelter? There was no was Levy could navigate back to Adelaide's home on her own now. "Wait....up." Levy weakly called after the brunette a block ahead, turning around a corner. It was no use, Adelaide couldn't hear Levy at this distance.

Levy didn't stop running though, and once Adelaide came back into view, slaughtering through a horde of zombies in front of what Levy recognized as Addie's home. Muttering obscene ties, Levy retrieved her gun from her boot, running to the bloody scene. Adelaide had gone into the horde with a rage, blinded by the horror of seeing her sister being fed upon. Mistakenly putting herself within the grasp of an almost fortunate zombie, Levy had to react quickly and fire at the zombie. After that Adelaide killed a few and Levy gunned down the rest, leaving Adelaide's sister whom the young girl was sobbing ever.

Levy's mind flashed back to the moment her mother had been turned, begging Levy to kill her. She asked Levy not to look, but the woman hadn't been able to stop staring into her adoptive mothers eyes as she pulled the trigger. Levy couldn't expect Adelaide to have to relive the same horrid moment over and over. "Go inside, I'll take care of this." Despite the girl's protest, Levy was able to shove Addie inside the house, leaning against the door so that Adelaide couldn't make it back out.

Before she would lose the moment of opportunity, Levy released a bullet into the face of what used to be Adelaide's twin. The bodies littered across the front stoop, with Zalia in the middle of it all. "What a mess." She mumbled, then continuing to drag the bodies around the corner of the house. With Zalia, Levy carried her by the back of the house, settling her down neatly. "We can bury her tomorrow." She said to no one in particular, wiping a hand across her brow, smearing a dark sticky substance that had come out of one if the zombies.

Looking to the sky, it was evident that it was late noon, and soon the night would be ran by hungry corpses'. Using her shirt to wipe down her face, Levy walked back to the front of the house, shooting a crawler she saw twitching a few feet ahead. Her clip was shot, she didn't have many more bullets left. Soon her gun would be a useless prop, unless she found more bullets. Levy made a mental note to ask Adelaide where they could get more bullets...tomorrow. Cautiously Levy entered the home, locking the door as if she were still trying to protect herself from robbers and rapist.

Firstly Levy went to Adelaide, awkwardly rubbing the back of her neck. Although normally Levy excelled at comforting others, there were no words to fill the void of having your twin zombiefied. "We can do a ceremony for her in the morning," it wasn't much but it did offer some closure. Hesitantly, Levy sat next to Adelaide, wrapping an arm around the girls narrow shoulders. "I know dude, it sucks." Was all Levy could come up with, rubbing Adelaide's arm with all the maternal instincts she can muster.

Benny Vega

Andre's fingers were rough against her skin, enticing her further, but Benny couldn't let his charm rule her so easily. Despite her urge to strip her own clothes and indulge in animalistic wild sex from months of sexual urges being suppressed, Benny did have some reservations despite it being the end of the world. So instead Benny just smiled at Andre, enjoying him while he was still being sweet before he turned sour again.

Nodding in agreement, Benny picked at the cloth of Andre's shirt, "For real, dawg, yo clothes is whack." She said in good humor, kissing him playfully. As he gathered what he had found, Benny played with her hair, pursing her lips in thought. You know you can't trust him sharply Benny turned around, it had sounded as if Leah was talking right into her ear, just hovering over her shoulder, but that was impossible because Leah was dead.
ImageShaking the looming weight of Leah from her mind, Benny grabbed her rifle and followed behind Andre, their hands linked momentarily. It was strange, what they shared. They were both too proud to admit they liked one another, yet they both were too attracted to each other to stay away. It was evident that they were slowly growing fond of one another, but Benny wasn't sure if it was because they were compatible or because she was starved for human attention. Whatever it was Benny wasn't going to ruin it now.

Jumping back onto the deck, Benny shoved Andre playfully, "What happened to ladies first?" Before he could respond, Benny shot back, "I guess you weren't too far off then." Sticking out her tongue childishly, Benny jogged ahead, unaware that Andre was just behind her - readying to scoop her into his arms.

Squealing a little too loudly, Benny dropped her rifle as he swung her around, her hands gripping around his neck to assure she wouldn't be dropped. Nearing the water, Benny clung tighter to Andre, "Nooooo, let me down!" She whined, although she wanted to go swimming Benny didn't want to get her sneakers wet. Thankfully Andre set her on the sand, mumbling "I was gonna' throw you in." enticing Benny to roll her eyes.

"Good thing you didn't...." She said in a sing song voice, picking her rifle back up and glancing back to Andre, "because if you did, I'd have to bust a cap in your ass." She said toyingly, returning to the ATV and reassuming her position in passenger seat. Extending a single hand out the side, Benny snapped her fingers. "Oh chauffeur, I'm waiting!" She said in a snobbish tone, awaiting Andre to take them elsewhere.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aaron McCullough Character Portrait: Micah Kent Character Portrait: Tara Felicity Brown
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Aaron McCullough

As the weighty truck bumped its way across the make-shift cattle-grate his younger brother had dug before the hastily erected fence, the sound of retching reached Aaron's ears followed swiftly by mumbled words obviously addressed to his counterpart. Half way in and half way out of the gate, he once more stomped on the break to whirl around to the backseat captive. What he saw made him cringe away in horror, of all the things he'd seen today this was by far the worst; the boxes lining the floorboards of the backseat were covered in bits of half-digested food and bile, but worse than that was the vomit spewed across the leather of the seats both before and aft. "Fuckin' fuck," he enthused vehemently as he surveyed the damage the convulsing girl had enacted upon the inside of the vehicle. The smell of it made him wrinkle his nose in disgust, however he had no words for the cause of the desecration.

Instead, he turned his dark blue eyes on the young man slouching in the passenger seat. Ignoring the look of emotional pain scrawled across his brother's features, Aaron jabbed an angry finger at Micah as the opposite hand gesticulated broadly, "Look! Just look at what it did!!! You. You're cleaning this shit up until it smells like fuckin' I dunno Christmas in here, okay?" A nod of acknowledgment was the only answer he got as the boy beside him turned his pale eyes from the disaster scene in the back seat to the garage yards ahead of them. "O. K.," Aaron growled as he leaned in.

"Okay, I'll clean it. Inside and out," Micah sighed- pain evident in the strain of his voice. "Just... just.... don't shoot her," he pleaded lightly as he turned the full weight of his gaze onto his sibling. The only response this received was another grumbled explicative as the driver shuffled back to face the front, his foot pressing down on the gas once more as he maneuvered the over-sized truck into the garage. Normally the begrudging acceptance hidden in the form of a four-letter word would have made a smile appear on Micah's face- Aaron had even checked for the usual expression in a quick side-long glance- but the current predicament was so dire not even this could loosen the frightful look on the boy's face. No matter how much Aaron wanted to plug a lead bullet between the girl's perfectly arched eyebrows, his brother's vehement protection of her kept his gun in its holster. "For now," Aaron mused silently as he kicked open the driver's side door to leap to the cement floor.

Micah Keith

As the truck trundled to the safety of the garage, Micah reached up to press the button installed before the rearview-mirror once more. With a sizzle and a creak, the current in the fence lept to life once more as the gate swung itself closed behind them. Despite this, the young man's attention was not on the safety measures. Eyes the color of the sea gazed across the armrest between them, locked upon his brother's stoney expression. Nothing could distract him from the plight Tara, trussed up like a calf in the backseat of the cabin. The protectiveness he'd felt toward her the moment he'd fished her from the ocean had warped into an overpowering sense of empathy and guilt as she called out "his name" in the throws of what she believed to be her death. Therefore, his intense gaze only relented when his brother begrudgingly accepted his request.

With Aaron gone from the driver's seat and the truck parked beneath the overhang, the passenger turned quickly to give Tara what he hoped was a reassuring look. Micah ignored the bile splattered across the seat as he leaned as best he could between the gap to brush a few strands of her from the girl's face. "Don't worry," he whispered to her as he gaze flickered to the window to make sure Aaron was nowhere in sight, "I won't let you die..." Of course what he really meant was that he wouldn't let the man lurking somewhere outside of the safety of the cabin put a bullet in her brain, not before she was wholly lost to them anyway, but he couldn't bring himself to say that. Even after all he'd seen and done these past six months, he just couldn't dash someone's hopes in any way. To cover the obvious lie in his voice he added in a false-peppy voice, "Besides, you can't die while you and Aaron are fighting. I've told you a million times that you two have to learn to get along. I won't let you go until that happens."

The sound of the driver's side backdoor opening sent him fumbling quickly away from the girl he'd been trying to calm- there was no use inciting Aaron's ire against her to be more than it already was, and surely seeing him show kindness to the infected would enrage his elder brother. Micah dragged his hand back between the seats, but didn't turn to exit as he saw what the older man carried in his arms. "What's....," he gaped in his strong Southern drawl, only to be stopped before he had begun. The roll of fabric in his brother's arms may have confused him for a moment, but became quickly and easily recognizable.

"Now don't you say a goddamn word Carly," Aaron growled preemptively as he held up the tarp as if in warning. "I ain't gunna shoot her," he mimicked, "but that doesn't mean I'm not going to take precautions." After he'd given his brother a warning glare, the older sibling threw the heavy canvas across the girl's body. Micah sighed heavily as he watched Aaron cover the girl and then wrap the thick fabric tight around her before dragging her bodily from the back of the car. Only then did he exit from the truck to stand beside the front bumper. Blue eyes focused on the broad back of his brother as he trod toward the bunker installed beneath the one story house, Micah chewed his lip. Once his brother had promised something he knew he wouldn't go back, but that didn't mean he wouldn't find other ways around their agreement to dispose of the girl in the canvas tarp. Micah would just have trust the man descending below ground with the body over his shoulder to at least keep her alive until he was finished with the vomit in the backseat and the corpse dangling from the tailgate.


Characters Present

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.


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.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Levy Carter Character Portrait: Adelaide Korbeil Character Portrait: William Moon
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Adelaide Korbeil
Blood sprayed against her face as she just kept flinging her knife around at the amblers and crawlers "Zaila hold im here" she kept saying over and over agaun. A gun was shot and Addi looked to see one of the amblers beside her fall to the ground, looking behind her for a second she saw Levy there with her gun pointed. She was glad the girl followed, that means she won't be totally alone.

As all the zombies finally were completepy dead on the ground Addi sunk to her knees beside Zaila, her hands trembling as she pushed her twins bloody hair out of her face "ohh Zaila, Im the one suppose to get caught innstick situations, not you". She looked at her sisters body, she pulled the bloody pack and belt off her sister knowing they stuff her sister carried maybe would be helpful in the future. Tears welled in her eyes, she held her hitam up ready to make sure that her sister wouldn't come back alive. Looking at her sisters face she wasn't sure if she could do this but she promised.

Hands touched her, pulling her up "Go inside, i'll take care of this" she heard Levy tell her. Shaking her head Adelaide looked down at her sister "I promised.." she chocked back a sob "I promised I would do this...I have to do it" Addi kept mumbling but Levy refused. The older girl pushed her into her house and shut the door, Addi banged on the door for a few minutes until she heard the gunshot. Slipping to the ground she leaned against the wall taking in a deep breath, Zaila was gone...she was never going to see her twin again. Never have the daily arguments, her sister was the one to help keep her on the straight path, helped her give up the drugs. How how she wished she had a blunt right now. "Why why why" she muttered under her breath.

The front door was opened and Levy came in, shutting and locking the door behind her. Addi didn't look up, she just sat there in sort of a daze We can do a ceremony for her in the morning," Levy said to Addie before coming to sit beside her. An arm was put around her and Adelaide couldn't help but lean into Levy "I know dude, it sucks". The tears started flowing again and this time she didn't try to hold them back "that should have been me, not her. She was the smart one Levy, while I was the one always getting into trouble. I just can't believe she is gone, thankfully you are here though. Thank you for everything".

Just then there was a knock on the door and a muffled voice of a man was heard "You've got dead on their way here. I can help." Addi looked to Levi and then around the house, the windows were all boarded up and nailed, keeping any unwanted visitors out. "Guess we should let him in..." she wasn't exactly wanting to but she couldn't just leave the guy out there with the zombies coming. "If he tries anything, shoot him" she whispered in Levy's ear before standing up and unlocking the door. She peaked out the door and saw a man standing there with also a very familiar dog "why is Buster with you wheres Tara" was the first thing that came out of her mouth before she ushered the guy into the house with Buster.

Once everyone was inside she shut and locked the door, then walked to the living room grabbing a hammer and a few nails that were on a book shelf. Walking back to the door she took a board the was by the door and started hammering against the door, more reinforcement if anything tried to get in. She did that with two other boards before she stopped and looked to the man "who are you?"


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aaron McCullough Character Portrait: Micah Kent Character Portrait: Benny Vega Character Portrait: Andre Rollins Character Portrait: Tara Felicity Brown Character Portrait: William Moon
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Andre Rollins

Never a patron of soft play, Andre had stolen a kiss from Benny before setting her down softly in the pallid sand. Prior to breaking the kiss completely, he laid his mouth into hers, his teeth tugging at her lip. Clement, slow bullshit never was his gag. Invigorated completely by the interaction, he couldn't help but want more. It had been months since he'd so much as touched a female let alone spoken to one who requited his humor and edge. Benny was a godsend in a faithless world.


He had to admit to himself there was something inapposite about Benny. Under the tawny skin, the cocky smile, the swaying of her hips and her sharp tongue - there was something fearsome yet majestic. Andre noted it in the way she would pause, staring into the distance as if someone were calling to her but it was always in the midst of stillness. In those fawn eyes lived something terrible that she hadn't yet disclosed. This came as no surprise to Andre, though; he was sure she witnessed her fair share of horrors. Not to say it didn't bother him a little bit, but he was by no means going to pursue figuring out just what was going on inside of that head of hers.

The way she shrieked and threw her head back to laugh elucidated everything Andre missed about his conventional past and the 'old world'. Had it been back to normal and the way things were, the shoreline would be packed with eager kids and fine ass girls just short of graduating high school, flaunting their new swimsuits and trawling a crowd of salivating young men. Engine noise from town would be vinegary and calming despite the ruckus. Hell, at this point, Andre would welcome the sounds of civilization that were otherwise irritating just seven months ago. His hazel eyes threw a glance along the bayfront that was littered with asymmetrical reanimated remains. The structure of his jaw bone wavered as he grimaced slightly, a small expression of his longingness for what used to be - what was and never would be again.

"Good thing you didn't…" Benny's playful tone disintegrated Andre's agonizing sentimentality. "Because if you did, I'd have to bust a cap in your ass." She replied hotly but with pleasant jokingness, holding her rifle. Somehow Andre couldn't doubt that she'd blow him away if he made one, just one bad decision on her watch.

Veiling his uncertainty about the Cuban girl, he grinned and jogged back to the ATV with mock enthusiasm about being her footman, "I'd smack you upside that pretty ass face before you ever raised that shit to me." He sat heavily onto the fourwheeler, elbowing the nose of the rifle carelessly. Venturesome and inexplicable, Andre wasn't the type to expose his vulnerability knowingly. He'd continue toying with Benny to sidestep what was brewing in the hind quarters of his mind. He was positive that Benny used the same method to keep her thoughts preoccupied.

"Oh chauffeur, I'm waiting!"

Her words ricocheted in his head. Gassing up the quad, it lurched forward unexpectedly. Benny's body, forced by gravity, pummeled against his back. Smirking over his shoulder, he replied, "You gonna' fall off or something?"

He let a small chuckle make its way past his bobbing Adam's apple as he pulled the fourwheeler away from the shore and onto the grassier terrain for less opposition. Treading through the sod was a lot smoother than the dunes but somehow more treacherous as he couldn't make out what lay beyond the turf as clearly. He was relieved once the recreational vehicle rolled past the outer limits of the town but that consolation, shortly thereafter, was punctually shattered.

"Shit," he mumbled at the sight. It wasn't like Andre was shocked to see the bayside village besieged by undead slobs, but it didn't get any easier to face. Sure he had the pistol - but he wasn't keen on using it no matter the swift expedience of it. Killing the engine in the backside of an alley, he surveyed their surroundings. To his left was a rickety pull-down ladder, straight ahead was Main Street, and to his right were the back doors of what could have easily been a kitchen or a laundromat(both of which were more than likely a squatting area for amblers, screamers and crawlers alike). Either way, he wasn't too excited about gambling. Nudging Benny, he pointed towards the ladder.

A rough hand grabbed at it, attempting to pull it down quietly. The tackle of the contraption squealed and gave way. Andre didn't even need to look down the alley to know more than a few hungry savage's whipped their head in the direction of the noise. Ladies always came first but… There wasn't much time.

Tara Brown

Somehow her mind filed Aaron's reaction to her wrenching under utter disgust, which in all honesty wouldn't take a brain surgeon. However, in Tara's condition, she was finding it beyond hellish just to make out the blurred notions of what was going on. Pale blue eyes, one duly clouded, began to lethargically open and close to the rhythm of her decreasing reaction speed.

"…Just don't shoot her."

This emitted a guttural groan from the seemingly moribund teen. With bound wrists she reached towards the driver seat as if to pull herself up, but to no avail. Her regular weight, generally no issue, felt like a thousand pounds. There was no leverage to be had, there was no way she could hold herself up. Instead she sunk back into the hind quarters of the vehicle, flickering masses shrouding her vision. "Sorry." She managed to sputter through pants and puffs, the apology only directed towards Micah. How she was tarrying in the living world and even remotely able to form words, she wasn't sure. Harrowing pain wreaked havoc on her soma and the procession of thoughts was more than she could likely bear. I just want to give up. Had she been more compos mentis, she may have even cried.

Finger tips, cool against the throbbing hot skin of her face, brushed some hair away from view as she looked up. The familiar mug that her right eye was focusing in on made her crack a grin, "Tanto." There was more she wanted to say, to speak up into those sapphire eyes that looked down at her with unbelievable compassion, but beyond troubled was her encephalon as it was blitzed by malady; it simply couldn't manage. It shut down her consciousness and let her pass into blackout, her eyes shutting. She was completely lost to responsiveness and even sensation as she was hauled away in pliant material.

When movement ceased, she rolled over and gasped. Torment seized her bones; her ribs felt like they were closing in on her organs. Without a moment of hesitation, she shrieked in pain, triggering recognition in her brain from the noise. She sounded like one of them. That alone quickly silenced her.

"Oh God," she rasped, "I wouldn't have rushed. It was the screamer, you know? Usually I wouldn't…" The girl tensed and relaxed, a train of unusual gesticulation, "Mr. Andrews is a fucking mess. Do you think - the whole town? Well Aaron can bum me a cigarette later." Her lungs crepitated and wheezed as she tried to maintain oxygen flow in between scattered pieces of verbalized recollections, "It changes everything. You know; Will, you're not so bad. You can stick around."

Her mind was thrown into oblivion, strewn with 'this' and 'that's, the uproar of trauma and suffering and more. Nostalgia claimed segments of her while affliction asserted ownership to the rest. Painful coughs suppurated from her frail windpipe, spattering the tarp with blood. If she could preside over all of the torment, she'd explain exactly how she felt in graphic detail. Every bit of her biological structure seemed to be failing and crumbling. With her eyes still closed, she sighed like a student bored with history class.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Benny Vega Character Portrait: Andre Rollins Character Portrait: Levy Carter Character Portrait: Adelaide Korbeil Character Portrait: William Moon
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Levy Carter

Not many situations made Levy's eyes water, but seeing Adelaide torn about being ripped apart from the one she had been able to rely on since their days in the womb Levy couldn't stop her eyes from moistening. Using her wrists as napkins, Levy roughly wiped away the tears that threatened to fall. It was heartbreaking, which was why Levy was grateful she hadn't let the young girl kill her own twin.

As Adelaide sobbed out a thank you, voice wet with tears, Levy gathered the dark haired weeping woman into her arms, rocking her gently as she cooed comfortingly. "I am not going to leave you on your own." She managed to get in before a thundering knock on the door made Levy jump as if she had been electrocuted.

A mans voice shouted through the door, warning them of dead down the way. It was all she could do to suppress laughter. Everywhere she went the dead was following her, same shit just a different house. Nodding more out of exhaustion than anything else, Levy grabbed her gun with the gusto of an eighty year old withering man. All of the extra precautions and zombie fighting got old quick. It was insane that this was now their lifestyle, savage like mentalities with modern weaponry.

Levy allowed Adelaide to ask all the questions, they seemed to be her forte. Curiously peering at the dog hybrid, Levy then looked at who she assumed as the owner. In his hand he bore a hatchet Levy immediately noticed. Instinctually she pointed the barrel of her gun at him, her free hound out as an indication. "Sorry dude, you came up into here I think you know the drill about new faces."

There was a slight edge of humor in her words, a smirk threatening to surface. What a sick world where she was killing a newfound friends' twin one moment and pointing a gun at a new comer for stepping into their territory armed. "I don't think they'll be able to get into here, definitely not strong enough. I'm sure the scent isn't strong enough right now for them to stick around long, about ten dead bodies littered around the house."

Leading the man into the living room, Levy sat on the couch and indicated for him to do the same. Briefly Levy wondered how sleeping arrangements would work out, once again she was getting distracted by details. By the time Levy snapped herself to present time, Adelaide had returned asking the same burning question she had.

Who was this guy?

Benny Vega

When Benny looked at Andre, she felt homesick. Not El Paso homesick, more like pre-apocalyptic homesick. The way he made her feel, the way he spoke, how they acted felt almost as if they were numb to their surroundings in those rare seconds of normalcy they stole when they weren't under attack. It was intoxicating being around him, and therefore Benny knew something couldn't be right. Things always got better before they got worse.

"I'd smack you upside that pretty ass face before you ever raised that shit to me."

It took her a moment to process his response, already have forgotten what she said. As his elbow slammed back to hit the barrel of the rifle, Benny had meant to lean forward to speak into his ear. Instead her face ran into the metal of the gun, hitting her nose the wrong way. "Ow - what the hell!" As if to make matters worse, pumping on the accelarator Andre managed to cause Benny's slight frame to slam against the back of his seat causing him to chuckle and make a sly remark.

Although Benny considered herself fierce, Andre's mild jest that she might fall off the ATV, instead Benny saw it as him calling her out as weak. Indeed Benny was petite and in some ways prissy, but she could handle her own. However she felt a little too proud to admit that Andre had hurt her nose - as much as she wanted to slap him for it.

Instead Benny gingerly touched the bridge of her nose, unaware of the Quarter sized bruised around the Nickle sized lump that had taken shape through the course of the ride into town along the left side of her nose where the barrel had hit her. Verbally lashing at Andre mentally, Benny reached into a compartment under the seat next to her pulling out a bag of jerky. Devouring two strips, instead of offering one to Andre, Benny put away the jerky and instead grabbed a handful of dried berries.

The ride went along mostly in silence, Benny pretending to be playing the sniper role in the back and Andre keeping his eyes on the road. As they began to slow, Benny grabbed her backpack, dumping out a few things before grabbing a gallon jug of water from the floor and refilling her bottle and loading things like bullets and some knives into the bag in the chance they might be needed. As the ATV came to a halt and the engine stalled, Benny followed suit as Andre.

Adjusting her bag appropriately, tying on her rifle in a practiced manner so it was easily accessed and still strapped, Benny scanned her surroundings for potential threats and routes.

Nudging her, Andre pointed to a ladder, then walking forward and roughly bringing it to a level where they could swing themselves up. The rickety contraption squealed in protest, giving away their location. Before she could distract herself by what lurked in the shadows, Benny pulled herself up, climbing the rusted ladder up until she reached the platform, looking back at Andre. A crawler was about fifteen feet away, behind a dumpster.

"You got one on the ground about five yards away." She warned, although Andre had pulled himself onto the ladder before the crawler managed to get even another foot closer. As he came onto the platform next to her, Benny was overwhelmed with the urge to pull him close, pushing her petite frame against his.

It felt so nice, she fit perfectly against him. Just two days ago she had nothing to lose, now she had someone that finally made her feel like she wasn't going crazy and they had to face hordes of zombies just to get by. Her affection was much more tender then the kisses they would sneak in throughout their day. Looking up to Andre, his eyes dark under the bill of his SnapBack.

Pushing up his hat before standing to her tiptoes, brushing her lips against his. "Be careful." She said, as if he were leaving to drive to the store in a blizzard and not about to willingly expose himself to potential threats. Benny's hands gripped the cloth of his shirt, kissing him full on the mouth as if she were to never see him again. After all there was no telling how they'd end up.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Levy Carter Character Portrait: Adelaide Korbeil Character Portrait: William Moon
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#, as written by Messiah
Will knew how it looked. A man in a black jacket with his face hidden by a motorcycle helmet, carrying a hatchet, two guns, and two backpacks. It wasn't the most inviting of sights. The rising of the dead was a grace in this case. If it had been any other time, it would have been a case to call the police or to defend yourself.

The younger of the two he'd seen through the scope opened the door. She asked about Buster and Tara. Great. He just had to run into someone who knew her and the dog. Just his luck. He ignored the question, instead turning around briefly to check the area behind him. Thankfully, she didn't press it. At least not before she opened the door to let him and the dog in.

The older one was standing inside waiting with a gun pointed in his direction. Will didn't give it much attention. Maybe he'd gone numb to it, or maybe he was just numb to everything right now. He couldn't rightly tell. Slowly, he tucked away the hatchet and allowed both backpacks and the rifle slide off of his shoulders onto the floor near the couch. Buster stayed close, suspicious of the other two, though seeming less so of the younger one.

Words were spoken and he'd barely paid any attention to them, but some of them resonated in his brain.

"...don't think they'll be able to get into here..."

Of course not. Subconsciously, he knew that, but he didn't want to take any chances. On the other hand, maybe he was just that desperate for human contact. Not once since Nate had he spent more than a few minutes with anyone. Not until Tara. Now she was gone, and all he had to remind him of her was the hatchet that caused her to turn and a dog that only trusted him because his only other choice in the matter was to run off and fend for himself.

Sitting down first, the older girl indicated for him to sit down on the couch. Which, after a moment's hesitation, he did - forlornly. Silence overwhelmed him. It was deafening, as the saying goes. Before speaking, Will lifted his helmet off of his head, assuming that they might be less inclined to assume he was hostile if they could see his face. It was a ridiculous assumption, but it wouldn't hurt.

Finally, words came to him.

"I'm Will. I ran into Tara last night. We-- I came across where she was staying and she let me stay there too. We ran into a screamer and... she got infected. Last I saw her, I was in the woods with him..." He motioned to Buster, "...and she was headed off to the water. I don't know where she is now, or if she's even alive. If she is..." He paused for a few long moments, "If she is, then it won't be long before she... isn't."

Conveniently, he neglected to share how she got infected. It wasn't something he really felt like sharing, and he hoped they wouldn't ask.

Part of him told him to stop there, but he continued.

"I was in a house at the edge of town when I heard a scream. Human. By the time I found out where it had come from, I was too late. I'm sorry. If I could have done something, I would have. I'm sorry." He looked at the two girls. It was true, even if he felt guilty about it. When she screamed, it was too late. He knew that. The scream meant that she'd been bitten and nothing could have been done, except to remove what was bitten. And fast.

"You fired a lot of shots. I wanted to warn you and see if I could help, or maybe..." Will trailed off. He didn't particularly feel like telling them that he might have been desperate for human attention. Not to complete strangers. Slowly, he stood up and looked at the two once again, and then to what he'd dropped by the couch.

"I don't want any trouble. I can go somewhere out of the way, or I can go, if you're sure you'll be okay." He really didn't want to impose on anybody else, especially after what ended up happening after the last time he found himself staying with someone. Certainly, he didn't want another person he came across getting infected after coming across him. He was fully prepared to leave right now if that's what they wanted. Even with the dead out there on their way, he was confident that he could make it if he left now.

Regardless of what they decided, he bent over to pick up the backpacks and the rifle he had been carrying and walked towards a room away from the two, where he slid down onto the floor. Buster padded along behind him and sat down again next to him, his head on his paws and his eyes on the room where the other two were. There, they waited for a decision to be made.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aaron McCullough Character Portrait: Micah Kent Character Portrait: Tara Felicity Brown
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Aaron McCullough

With the heavy burden of the tarp-encased girl balanced easily on one broad shoulder, Aaron left his brother to the cleaning as he headed toward the back of the garage. One hand holding the tarp closed near Tara's feet he used the other to pry open a heavy bar that kept the industrial-grade lid in place. A heavy sigh escaped him as he worked to open what served as the front door to their real living quarters, a small, subterranean bunker built beneath the house by his father many years before. After a bit of maneuvering- during which the girl nearly slipped from his shoulder- the iron cap finally gave way, a loud gush of wind announcing the opening of the airlock. As the air rushed up around his feet and he rebalanced the weight on his shoulder, Aaron let his posture sag a little bit- the tension that radiated from his body every moment he was away from this tiny bit of sanctuary flowing away as the familiar smell of stale air swept up to into his lungs. Not even the infected body on his shoulder could keep him from relaxing as his heavy boots hit the iron rungs of the ladder that led down into complete darkness.

Usually Aaron would have skinned down the ladder, his hands caressing the metal rails as the reinforced toes of his leather boots wrapped around the metal sides as he shot down into the darkness; however, with Tara laid precariously across his back and the tight space of the tunnel closed around them he couldn't afford to take any risks and end up with her falling on top of him at the bottom. So he kept the soles of his shoes and his calloused hands on the groved surface of the ladder as he descended. "10....11....12.....13...," he mumbled into the stolid darkness as he climbed downward, impatient to reach the bottom as the girl across his shoulder grew heavier and heavier.

After what seemed like an eternity in complete blackness- not that the lack of light would have bothered him normally, but the slowly moving bundle reminded him every moment of what lay within- he finally reached the bottom. The second the resulting echo of boot meeting cement flooring resounded, a series of halogen lights flickered on. Aaron blinked in the dim lighting as the bulbs strung across the low ceiling slowly came to life to illuminate the rows of crudely constructed shelves lined with non-perishables and other essentials which reached back nearly fifty feet. "Home sweet home," he sighed into the stale air as he lugged Tara up once more and headed back through the aisles, following the blinking lights.

When the shelves ended Aaron found himself in the living space he and his brother had inhabited for the last six months of their lives, and boy did it looked lived in. Standing before him were six military-style trundle beds, four of them stood empty and unmade with their plain white sheets folded at the foot of the cot; the latter two, however, were obviously in constant use. One of the pair was rumpled and clearly slept in, plaid blankets lying more on the floor than on the bed, a stack of magazines littering the area beneath, and a pile of dirty clothes creeping its way up the leg of the cot. The other displayed military precision, the blankets tucked in expertly around the corners and not a wrinkle in the dark sheets. Aaron sniffed at the former, kicking a pair of dirty boxers out of his way as he parted the curtain that separated his sleeping space from his brother's to head even further into the bunker.

Aaron passed through the area that would serve as a restroom were they ever forced to stay completely below ground- he shivered at the thought- and headed into the final area of his father's workspace. A series of heavily chained fences led him to a tiny area just big enough for him to drop off his load. Once the girl and her wrap was strewn across the cold cement floor Aaron hurried to locate the chains he'd placed there months before when he'd been experimenting on a crawler his brother had accidentally tracked into the compound. As he searched for the heavy irons he listened to the inane babble of the girl lying atop the tarp she'd been wrapped in. Despite himself the comment about him made a smirk cross his face; with the chains finally in hand he turned to address her about the possibility of a cigarette being an impossibility when he heard another name pass her lips. "Will," he questioned as he leaned down to wrap the heavy handcuffs around her slender wrists. "Don't know who that is, but it'd be best if you didn't mention him around Tanto...," he added conversationally as he locked the chains to the wall. "You know how jealous he gets," he whispered as he leaned in to whisper into her ear before stepping out through the series of fences.

Clicking the chains closed Aaron rattled them to make sure they were secure before adding a final parting remark, "Though I don't think it'll matter much longer. Cuz I get to pop a cap in your ass the minute you go corpse on me."


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aaron McCullough Character Portrait: Benny Vega Character Portrait: Andre Rollins Character Portrait: Tara Felicity Brown
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Andre Rollins
The hottest point in the afternoon was upon them, the sun slowly dilating like the lone, cardinal orange pupil of the sky. Its rays extended in every direction to make everything subjected to its heat swelter. The luminosity struck and streaked reanimated corpses along the beach and even in their deteriorated state, the knowledge of humidity wasn't lost upon them. Under such temperatures some of them even ceased to fidget, dazed or fatigued by the mugginess. But the ones that dwelled under the shade of shop roofs and alleyways weren't so easily daunted by the atmospheric conditions.

Andre fought the urge to cough, clear his throat and try to produce saliva. A chronic case of cotton mouth beleaguered his gums. Beads of sweat leaked from beneath his hat, down the sides of his face. Irritably he wiped them away as he watched Benny shimmy up the ramshackle ladder that he didn't entirely trust.

"You got one on the ground about five yards away."

He was in the middle of dragging a tarnished sleeve across his forehead, beneath the brim of his hat when he heard her say it. Though they were closing in, he must have forgotten in the midst of the heat. Was he getting heat exhaustion? Damn, they days were just getting worse and worse. He never wavered under the sun before, though. For a minute he stood stupefied, absentmindedly plucking at a button on the wrist of his shirt. It wasn't until he heard another hissing warning from Benny, her sepia eyes staring at him expectantly, that he hoisted himself up towards her and folded up the ladder at breakneck speed.

It shuffled away from the ground, leaving three amblers snatching at thin air and doddering back and forth, gazing soullessly at what they hoped would be lunch. In their halfwitted staggering, they stepped on the crawler who was now more than discouraged and burnt of energy. What was left of the woman, one mangled leg and what appeared to be skinned fingers, came to a halt. Her mouth still agape with dried blood around the lips, stopped twitching as she settled into the gravel and accepted her role as a makeshift doormat.

Andre gathered Benny into his arms unconsciously. With one arm hugging her closely, he reached to his hat with his free hand to remove it for a second and put it back on backward. His verdurous, washed out eyes peered down at Benny who at that moment was easily the ideal image of a faultless child. The way she huddled into him as a means of security made Andre feel constrained to protect her. It took all of her balance on the very crest of her toes for her lips just barely to brush his. But it was nothing short of paradise in their hopeless world when she kissed him.

Savoring the tang of Benny's mouth, Andre wrapped her up in his arms again and pulled her in. Quietly, he muttered into her hair, "I want you to lay flat on this roof until I come back. Don't let them see you." Daringly he stole a peek over the edge of the roof then back up to the scorching sun. It was beginning to get unbearable and there was no telling how long Andre would be. Gathering his hat into his hands again, he swept it back and forth across his pant leg before handing it to Benny.

"Don't want you burnin' up."

Hunkering down, Andre paced towards a trap opening and after some exertion, pried the door open. The entrance was no more than 4x4, and even that estimation was generous. Fuck. Being jammed into a ventilation channel when his body temperature was seemingly breaching two hundred degrees was not at the top of his desires. He looked back at Benny, cocking a half-certain smile before disappearing into the oblong opening.

He didn't drop down very far. The soles of his Airmaxes met the metallic lining of the airway with a 'clank'! Just short of entering a crawling position, the tier gave way and relinquished Andre. He opened his mouth to shout some obscenity but, too shocked by the plummet, remained silent as he sailed through the ceiling and landed directly on his back in the middle of a shop.

His lungs put the screws on a spate of vicious coughs as Andre fought to regain his oxygen flow and rolled onto his side. Hazel eyes burst open to meet another pair just inches from his face, cataracted and vacuous. An agape, dislocated jaw spewed flies in his direction.

"Fuck!" He murmured as he tried to scrabble backward. In his withdrawal, he neglected to observe that the corpse lying beside him had an entry wound to its skull and its eyes did not move to follow him. After his panic subsided and he was safely feet away, he realized his oversight and sighed with relief. But he didn't count himself as safe just yet.

Getting to his feet was an exploit and a half and, when upright, he was sure he fractured something in his back. His posture contorted as he cautiously limped in between racks of clothing and carelessly snatched things.

Tara Brown
The sound of boots thudding back and forth quaked Tara from immobility and unconsciousness. She blinked slowly, pallid lambency flickering in her distorted line of vision. And due to the tarp, she couldn't see much beyond her smited sight anyway. However, there was one thing…

A sickly, wan arm snaked out of the plastic to softly brush its fingers against a cot. The sheets were a welcomed sensation to her clammy skin. A forefinger and thumb tugged a little bit at a corner just before it was out of reach again. "Hospital folds," she soughed, "Mom was batshit about those. She learned it from her dad. He was a marine." The vision of an oversized bed, complete with decorative pillows flashed in her head. Then the god damned, hospital corners her mother was diehard about.

"Come to think of it…" Her discontinued thought was curbed as she was met with a frigid surface. No longer slung across Aaron's shoulder like a sack, she rolled onto her back and gazed impassively at the ceiling and its lighting or, lack thereof. Her soft hair, gone zigzag and rippled with sweat and bay water, bloomed outward around her head as it spread onto the tarp. She still didn't regret not cutting it. And she was sure when all this was over, or close to it, she wouldn't be tying it in a pony tail for anything.

"What the fuck are you babbling about?" She groaned at Aaron's rambling, one of her bijou hands meeting his forehead and shoving him away as he tried to swish some unavailing information in her ear.

"… I get to pop a cap in your ass the minute you go corpse on me."

Tara shuddered, her wrists again bound and silence soon engulfing her as Aaron left. Heaving herself upward, she tried to get her knees beneath her. There was an unnatural jerking in her veins. A crackling wheeze was heard as she hung her head back, the arch in her spine startling for any whom might see. Her common carriage was destroyed with the onset of disease as she groused. At the speed of light, more vital fluid and leftovers traveled up her throat.

Its escape route wasn't as aseptic as Tara would have hoped, if she was stable enough to identify her predicament completely, anyway. Wine colored bile splattered the tarp and the floor.

Her weight was bore on her legs, tucked neatly beneath her where she sat. I really, really need a cigarette. After the wrenching subsided, the hushed tenor subjugating once again, Tara closed her eyes. Her mind was failing to assemble and the only thing that made sense and truly existed was the pain and isolation.