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Chase Wooden

Cunning hunter. Benevolent soul.

0 · 82 views · located in North America, Post Apocalypse

a character in “The Bitter End”, as played by finalcatharsis

Description

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Name: Chase Wooden
Possible Alignment/Class: She is a Free Survivor prior to the story. Possible alignment is up in the air, though she could easily be a Firefly or Smuggler.
Age: 22
Height/Weight: 5'3/115
Family: Father (deceased), older brother and sister (status unknown), one niece and one nephew (status unknown)
Birthplace: Chattanooga, TN
Survival Story (Watch out, this is long as hell)

At the Outbreak
Twelve year old Chase was at home alone and in bed, out from school with a cold and a fever. When her cell buzzed on the bedside table she wasn't surprised. Her dad had been texting her all day to make sure she was getting along fine, but this time he was calling. He had promised to call on his lunch break.

“Dad, I told you I'm fine! You don't have to--”
“Chase, get outta bed right now. Make sure all the doors are locked.”
“Why, what's going on?”
“Just do it Chase! No questions!”
“All right, already!”

She sluggishly unfolded the sheets and quilts from around herself, climbed out of bed, and grabbed her glasses from the bedside table. Chase proceeded to do as told. First would be the front door. She held the phone to her ear.

“Chase. Listen to me carefully. I need you to get over night bags ready for yourself, me, your brother, and your sister.”
“Are we going to go see Mamaw and Papaw?!”
“Yes we are, Chase. Do you think you could pack some other stuff too? Mamaw and Papaw gave me a shopping list.”
“Uh sure Daddy. What do they need?”

Any anxiety she felt was squashed by the thought of getting to visit her grandparents in the mountains.
She was locking the back door now, but took a moment to glance out of the small window. They lived in a neighborhood surrounded by trees not too far outside of Chattanooga. She saw several plumes of smoke rising into the sky but didn't think anything of it.

“They need some food. Pack all the canned and packaged stuff we have. Also all our flashlights and batteries. Put everything in the Jeep.”
“Kay.”
“Pack our bottled water too.”
“Kay Dad. Geeze.”
“I'm sorry honey bean. I know you don't feel good, but this is real important. Don't forget it's gonna be real cold up there this time of year. Pack warm stuff for everyone.”

She gave him a long dramatic huff. Chase decided to leave the door to the garage open for easy loading. When she was getting ready to go back upstairs, she was startled by four loud bangs on the front door.

“Chase, what was that?!” He sounded really panicked.
“Nothing. Just someone at the door. I'm gonna see who it is. Hang on.”
“NO, DON'T!”

She had already put down the phone and was looking through the peep hole. It was just their neighbor, Mr. Reilly. He was a tall man in his late thirties, like her father. He had two sons of his own, and Chase was in the same class as his youngest. She didn't hesitate to unlock the door for him.

“Hey Chasey, darlin'! How ya doin'?” He smiled down at her nervously. His hands were clenched in fists and he was sweating.

“Hey Mister Reilly. I'm real busy right now and my Dad's on the phone, can you--” He cut her off.

“Your Dad's on the phone? Lemme talk to 'im.” he noticed the phone on the bannister and got to it before she could.

“Hey Rick, it's Mike. No, no. She's fine.” He smiled down at her again.

She decided not to wait and went on up the stairs to start packing bags. After several camping trips, she was a pro at this, even for a twelve year old. She could still overhear the conversation.

“It hasn't gotten too bad here yet. I've gathered together a few other families and instructed them to pack up and park on the street when they were ready to go. I've already got my shit done. They'll all be ready in an hour. Don't worry about Chase. I'll help her get everything ya'll might need. Bring me my boys safe. I'll see ya soon.” He hung up and put the phone in his pocket.

“Chase! I'm gonna get the food and water and other supplies in the Jeep. You just worry about clothes! And get some blankets too!”

“Yeah, yeah,” she mumbled. Chase wondered 'what the hell' he was talking to her father about. When she thought she had everything together she put on a coat and traded her slippers for tennis shoes. She lugged each bag to the top of the staircase and chucked them all down one by one. Mr. Reilly didn't waste any time. When he saw them come down he grabbed them and carried them off to the Jeep. When she was back down she helped him continue to load everything until they were done. All in all it took them about thirty minutes.

When she came back in the house from her last trip to the Jeep she saw him near the front door holding a revolver. He was checking the bullets. He wasn't smiling anymore.

“Chase, where does your dad keep his hunting stuff?”
“Why? Are we going hunting? I told my dad I hate that stuff.”
“Where is it Chase?”
“Out back. In the shed.”
“Ok. Are you ready to go? Grab the Jeep keys, open the garage and get in the car. I'll be there in 10 minutes.”

The gun made her nervous, but she followed his direction. She pressed the button next to the garage door to get it rolling open automatically. As it opened she started to hear a commotion outside. She ducked under it and walked out into the driveway. Chase didn't understand what she was looking at. Everyone was running to and fro in a panic, loading up their cars like she had done just minutes ago. There were six cars parked along the curb near her house. Inside each sat some of her neighbors and their families. She heard several loud pops in the distance. Suddenly, a man ran by her and knocked her to the ground so hard her glasses fell off. She shook it off, got on to all fours and patted around in the grass for them. Just when she got them back on, Mr. Reilly grabbed her upper arm tight and yanked her toward the Jeep.

“I told you to get in the car and stay there!” He yelled while looking down at her angrily.

“Ow! You're hurting me!” She yelled back at him. She continued to look around the neighborhood and was starting to see the beginnings of violence. Some men were beating others. Some were breaking into others homes. She was thoroughly confused. After Mr. Reilly opened the back door, he picked her up and put her in.

“Scoot.” She frowned and moved to the other side. He put in a big duffel bag next to her before he got in and started the car. He pulled out and drove to the front of the line of cars. She took a peek in the bag. She saw all of her fathers hunting gear, his cross bow, pistol, and several knives. She clung to the back of the passengers seat and leaned her head forward.

“Mister Reilly, what's happening? I want my daddy. Where are Nicky and Melly?” She was now officially scared.

“Just stay calm. It's going to be ok. We'll see them soon. Put your seat belt on.” He tried to keep her from panicking. He was glancing back and forth between the rear view and side mirrors. Some of the other cars in the caravan were starting to be attacked. He opened the door to get out and go help when Chase's father pulled up.

He was with Mike's (Mr. Reilly) two sons and her brother and sister. He got out fast and told them where to go. She watched as Mr. Reilly ran over, briefly hugged his sons, and then quickly shuffled them off to the car that his wife was waiting in. Her family ran over to the jeep. Chase moved the heavy duffel to the back to make room for her sister, Melissa, who hopped in the back. Her brother, Nicholas, got in the front soon followed by her dad who got in the drivers seat. She grabbed her sister and embraced her tightly.

“Eh, Chase! Get off me! Sit down and buckle up!” Chase was used to taking orders from her siblings.

Her dad turned around in his seat for a few brief moments. Seeing how scared Chase was, he caressed her cheek and smiled. The others were old enough to know what was going on and he had explained on the ride there.

“Everyone listen up! It's going to be a rough ride to the mountains. Keep your windows up and stay buckled in. Mel, grab my pistol from the duffel and give it to Nick.”

Nick took it from her and stared at it. Before his father continued.

“Nick. Just like practice. You know how to use it. Safety off.” He smiled reassuringly. He had to be strong for them.

With that, he turned back around, buckled up and took off. The caravan followed.

Nine Months Later
Chase and her older sister peaked through a crack in their bedroom door at their father, brother, and Mr. Reilly. Her father and Mr. Reilly were arguing. Her brother just sat silent, listening.

“We've almost gone through all of the food we brought! Hunting helps, but eventually the game is gonna run dry too! We don't have a choice! We have to start scavenging!” Mr. Reilly said while pacing.

“Mike, I hear you, but we still have time! Just wait a little while longer! You know what it's like out there! There's no reason for us to go charging into that yet! We already lost two families just getting up here!”

Mr. Reilly left, slamming the door behind him. Rick walked over to his son and put a hand on his shoulder. He looked toward the bedroom door. The girls, afraid they had been spotted ran to the bed they shared and huddled under the covers. Their dad walked over and opened the door. He watched them 'sleeping' for a few moments before closing it.

Three Months Later (One year after the outbreak)
It was starting to get cold again. Chase sat on one of the benches outside observing her surroundings and goings-on in the camp. It wouldn't be too long before her father and brother returned with the rest of the adults.

Everyone was preparing for Winter. There were three cabins total in their community. Each cabin could house two families for an average of six total occupants per. Her family had been lucky that her grandparents owned this vacation cabin and knew the people who owned the others. The day it all went to shit, her grandparents called her father and told him to go and take whoever he could get. They were traveling in Mexico and knew all of the other cabin owners wouldn't be around that time of the year.

In the last year they had fortified the community by making crude walls from sawed down trees. They had built a storage shed for supplies and weapons and created a system for rationing. It was a radical change from how they were living, but they were getting along well.

When she saw the adults getting back she ran to the gate and opened it for them. Her father and brother were the last ones to come through.

“Hey Chase. Look what I got.” Nick was towing a buck he shot behind him. He had a big smile on his face, proud of his accomplishment.

“Ewww. Gross.” Chase scrunched her face.

Her father laughed and reached down to scoop her up. She was thirteen now and was growing up so fast. “You know, Chase, you're going to have to learn to hunt soon. You don't have a choice anymore.” Noticing her glasses were falling down, he pushed them up a bit with his index finger. “I'm taking you and your sister out everyday starting tomorrow for target practice. If ya'll are anything like your brother, you'll be bringing back your own bucks in no time.” He looked back and smiled to his son.

Five Years Later (Six years after the outbreak)
Chase held the cross bow out in front of her as she slowly dropped to her knees, and then her stomach. She had been tracking this buck for the last two hours, and now she had the advantage of higher ground. She was so far away from the camp by now that it'd likely take her most of the day to get back, with the buck slowing her down.

Chase took a deep breath and put her finger over the trigger. This was it. Just as she was about to pull, she heard a gunshot echo through the woods. The buck's neck was blown apart and it dropped to the ground. Her eyes widened in surprise. She had thought she was the only one out here, so she laid in wait to see who from her camp had shot it. Eventually two men came out of the woods and started tying it up. She didn't recognize them. They must have been from another place farther away from her camp. With this, she'd be the first one to see an outsider. Chase continued to keep out of their sight until they turned and left. She had been warned to stay away from people she didn't recognize. When they were out of sight, she got up and started her trek back tot he camp as quick as she could to tell her family what happened.

Chase burst through the door to find her brother and father had already returned. She could tell from the smell her sister was in the kitchen cooking whatever the boys had brought back for her. Mel had never taken to hunting, which was fine because someone needed to stay in the cabin.

“I saw other people!” She exclaimed, somewhat proud of herself. Her brother and father just looked at her with a dumbfounded look on their face before turning to look at each other. Her father then got up, walked quickly over to her and took her by the shoulders.

“How many were there? Did they see you? Show me on the map where you were.” He had a serious tone. She nudged his hands off and walked over to the map that they had pinned on the wall. She placed her index finger near to the spot where she saw them.

“Nick, go tell everyone there's going to be a camp meeting here in an hour.” Rick sounded anxious. Nick nodded and rushed out the door. Chase watched as he left, but was then pulled back into her fathers grip once more. He slumped down and looked at her straight in the eyes. “Listen to me, and listen good. You stay away from there and you NEVER go outside of our established hunting perimeter EVER again.”

She brushed his hands off of her. “I'm not a little girl anymore! I'm eighteen! I can take care of myself!” By now, her sister had come out of the kitchen to listen to the conversation. Chase's face was red with anger. She went to her room and slammed the door behind her.

Rick looked to his eldest daughter who kept quiet. All of his children had grown up. Nick was a twenty-five year old man now, engaged, and well on his way to starting a family of his own. Mel was twenty-three and looked just like her mother at her age. Mike's eldest was courting her. He was proud of how well they had done.

Mel returned to the kitchen and he walked over to the bedroom door. He knocked. “Chase. I'm sorry. Can I come in?”

Chase was sitting on her bed writing in her journal. She was still angry, but took a deep breath and tried to calm down. “Yeah. Come on.” She watched her father walk in. He was in his mid forties now and was starting to gray in his beard and hair. He closed the door behind him and sat down opposite her.

“Chasey. I know you think you're all grown up... but I still see you as my little girl.” He looked into her eyes. Unlike her older sister, she favored him more. She had strong features, dark eyes, and dark hair. “So far, our community has been incredibly lucky. The fact that you saw those men means everything we've built here is at risk. I don't want to lose this. I don't want to lose you..”

She just listened to him quietly before responding. “I know dad. Don't worry. You can trust me.”

He smiled at her and caressed her face like he used to when she was a child. She was still young and naïve. She didn't have a full grasp on what it meant that other people were close. It only meant suffering, and in all likelihood, death.

Three Years Later (Nine years after the outbreak)
Chase woke from a deep sleep to the sounds of screaming and gunfire. She jumped out of bed and fell over while pulling her boots on. By now, only her and her father occupied the cabin. Her siblings had moved out and built their own homes for their new families. She put her glasses on and grabbed her hunting knife off the night stand. She tucked her pistol into the back of her pants and and strapped her cross bow over her back.

She checked the house first. Her father wasn't inside. She took the flash light she had set next to the door and flipped it on. She ran out and was immediately stung by the cold and the wind. Winter came early this year. It was snowing and dark.

“Dad! Where are you?!” It was absolute carnage. There were bodies everywhere.

“Chase, get down!” Her father tackled her from behind before shooting at some of the marauders. He rolled off of her.

Chase returned fire as well and took some of them down. “Nick? Mel?” When she was out of bullets, she pulled out her bow.

“I told them to run with their families! I think they got away! You have to run too! There's too many of them!”

“But Dad, we can't just --”

“It's over!” He grabbed her by the upper arm and yanked her to her feet. Before running off into the woods with her, away from the camp.

They ran until the sun started coming up. That's when he collapsed. She dove down to her knees beside him. “What's wrong?” She had been running in front of him the whole time and failed to notice he had been shot twice, once in the shoulder and once in the stomach. This whole time he had been bleeding out. She tried her best to apply pressure to both. Tears began streaming down her face. He wasn't going to make it. “Why didn't you tell me to stop?!”

He coughed. “Chase. Calm down.” He paused. “You need to prepare yourself. You're about to be alone. You might be alone for a long time. Take my map and my weapons. You'll need them. We're pretty close to the roads now. Find them and follow them. Remember that I love you.”

Chase was twenty one, but wasn't ready to be on her own. “Don't leave me!” Her father took his final breathes. She sobbed over him for hours until she fell asleep. A few hours later she woke up in a daze, hoping it had all been a dream. Her fathers body was cold now. She remembered his final words. She took his map, gun, and knife. She unbuttoned his front shirt pocket and pulled out an old picture of the four of them that she knew he always carried with him. Part of it was stained with blood.

Chase stood and got her bearings before continuing on. Her father was right. If she continued this way she'd be at a road in no time.

Now
Chase liked this little town. It was relatively safe and it had a bar. She downed a shot of bourbon before waving the bartender back over. She pulled out the picture of her family from her bag. “Have you seen either of these people?” She pointed to her brother and sister. The bartender shook his head 'no.'

What are you packing? cross bow, 9mm Pistol, taser, 1 large hunting knife, 2 Molotovs; Gas mask, map, flashlight, batteries, lighter, 2 first aid kits, blanket, repair kit, explosive supplies
Strengths/Weaknesses: Chase is a highly skilled hunter, tracker, and scavenger. She relies heavily on stealth and tactics in encounters./Eye sight. Without her glasses she can only see things at a distance. She's small which can be an advantage or disadvantage depending on the situation.
Disposition: Chase has suffered. She is a solitary person and has the know how to survive on her own, but would prefer to find a group of people she could rely on and trust. She desperately wants to find her siblings.

So begins...

Chase Wooden's Story

Characters Present

Character Portrait: [NPC] Bartender Character Portrait: Chase Wooden

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Chase awoke to the smell of smoke and the faint feeling of warmth from a small campfire that was slowly dying out. She was laying on her side, her neck arched in such an awkward way that the top right side of her head rested upon the earth. She lifted it slowly to look around and a pain bounced off of the inner walls, rippling from a nasty bump just above her right brow. Her vision was out of focus, which meant she'd lost her glasses somewhere down the line.. and just what had happened on the line anyway?

Then there was a sound of a snapping twig. The hunter knew that sound well. And then one she hadn't heard in a long time. A snore. A snore that started off quiet but grew and grew. Chase saw him now, a large, dark mound on the opposite side of the waning light from her. Then two more too, both adjacent to either end of his body, all trying to soak up the dying heat, though this deep in the south and this time of year meant it couldn't have been below seventy. Still, there was a chilly breeze.

Her head hurt the more she pushed herself to remember what happened. At the very least, Chase knew she wanted to get away from these men. She had no friends and hadn't seen anyone in days, which meant these had to be the ones responsible for her headache and the dull aches and pains throughout her torso and limbs. She tried to move her arms and legs simultaneously, but something was stopping her. It was rough and wiry, and itchy against her skin. Rope. They'd tied her up, hands behind her back. Her heart rate quickened and soon her breath followed suit.

My gear... where is it? Chase started to wriggle around trying out whatever movement might get her going. She settled on an inchworm-like motion which was made all the more clumsy since she was on her side. Chase remained as silent as she was able, and eventually her cheek came to rest upon something cold as she was behind one of the men closest to her. My knife! She couldn't keep a grin from forming across her lips. She inched up a bit more until it was inline with her hands, then rolled over. Her fingers grasped desperately at the dirt for a few moments before she finally got hold of it and pinched it out of its sheath with her thumb and index. With some effort, Chase finally got the sharp side of the blade on the rope and from there she made tiny sawing motions until the rope was weak enough for her to break. She pulled her wrists apart and then rolled onto her back to massage them. She'd worked up quite a sweat at this point.

Chase looked around to all of the men before sitting up. They were still sound asleep. She cut away the bindings from her ankles then attempted to stand, but her legs were still a tad numb. With her knife gripped tightly in her fist she got on all fours and started crawling around, searching for her back pack. She found it a few feet behind the largest man, her glasses sticking out of the front pocket, and her bow propped up on the tree right beside it.

Once the glasses were safely back on her face, she began searching through the bag to make sure it contained all of its previous contents. It was all there except for one thing – her pistol. She returned the sheath and knife to its resting place on her belt and made a final, successful attempt at standing. Chase wanted to go now, but she couldn't leave without her gun. She looked around and saw that one of them, the smallest, had it tucked into his waistband on his back. She left her things where they were and creeped over to him. She took a deep breath, grabbed the hilt and started to pull it out, centimeter by centimeter. Every time he stirred, she'd pause until she had it out. Another smile. She could finally leave. Chase turned to pick up her things and go, but felt something hard shoved into her chest. She looked down before she looked up and saw that it was the barrel of a shotgun.

“Drop the fucking gun.” The larger one was facing her now. “Boys! Wake up!” She must not have been as quiet as she thought. She slowly put the gun out to the side and began to squat down to place it on the ground, but instead it was grabbed at from behind by the man who she had just released it from moments earlier. Hesitant still to let it go, he began to struggle with her a bit, which caused an accidental fire. The shot echoed through the woods. The man won the struggle, afterward whipping the but of the gun across the back of her head. She winced and dropped to her knees.

“Carson, you fuckin idiot.” The large man spoke again. It seemed he was the leader of the three. “Wasted a round.”

“It wasn't my fault, Dylan! He made me do it!” Carson kicked her between the shoulder blades, which sent her to all fours. “Little piece of shit.”

“God damn it! I told you to be nice! I don't want him roughed up too bad! Now, put the gun in the backpack. You don't deserve to have it.”

“But Dyl!”

“Give it to Zeke!” Carson reluctantly handed it over to the third man who still hadn't spoken yet. Chase had made it back onto her knees, observing the three. Zeke took it back to her backpack, unlatched it and placed it inside. “Now, everyone just chill out and sit the fuck down. Lil fella, get over here! Sit by me.” All three sat where they had been sleeping. Chase watched as they did so, but didn't move. “I said get over here!” Chase was still within his reach. He grabbed her by the upper arm and pulled her over close to sit next to him. She lost her balance and fell into him. The two others stared daggers at her.

“Now...” Dylan pushed her back a bit, but kept her close. “There's no need for ill will here. We've been looking for an extra guy for a while now.” He put his arm around her shoulders and pulled her up against him. “We can be friends, right?” He smiled down at her. The other two looked at one another. “I mean, do you really want to keep going on alone, or would you rather have some allies?” Chase rubbed the back of her head where she was pistol whipped. Yet another knot had started to form. “What do you say? We can protect you, you know? You're just so.. little..” Dylan put a hand on her thigh. She looked down at it and heard the others chuckle. He leaned in to whisper in her ear “You don't talk much, do you?” The memories suddenly came flooding back. The day before she'd stopped to rest against a tree, exhausted after escaping an encounter with some infected. She dozed off. She woke up with a hand over her mouth. She'd struggled until something hard was brought down over her head. Everything went black.

“Get.. the fuck... away from me.” They hadn't taken her knife. She went for it, but she wasn't quite quick enough and he was just too close. It was knocked to the ground a few feet away. She dove to retrieve it, but was tackled down by one of the smaller men just when it was within her reach. He straddled her and forced her face into the ground. She writhed beneath him trying to free herself. The larger man picked up the knife then sat down on her back in front of the other. His weight forced the air from her lungs. She felt as if she might suffocate beneath him. Then the smaller one got off and he scooted back. She fought to catch her breath as he turned her over.

“You know, you didn't have to make this so difficult. We were going to protect you after. Let you stay with us. All you had to do was play nice... be still... but you struggled instead. This could have been pleasurable... for both of us. But now it's going to get painful. We have to teach you a lesson.”

“Cut him up Dylan!” Carson handed him her hunting knife.

“Now, now boys. Be patient. This is going to take some time. Now.. where should I begin?” He grabbed the neckline of her shirt and cut it down about an inch until he could trip it several more and expose her chest and shoulders. He ran his fingertips over her flesh and then poked at the spongy area where her collar bone met her shoulder. “How about here?” Fear over took her. She thrashed violently until the others came to hold her arms and legs down. The finger was replaced with the tip of the knife. He pressed it into her skin just enough to draw a few drops of blood, and then deeper, bit by bit, until it was an inch in and then two. She screamed in pain. When he pulled it out it was even more painful. Chase started to have a panic attack. She couldn’t breath. Next, he lifted up her shirt to expose her stomach. “God, you're sexy... just like a woman...” He made a thin slice across her stomach from one side to the other, enough to draw blood, but not near as deep as the one to her shoulder. “I don't think I can hold back any longer...” By now, she was still. He reached back with one hand and placed it between her legs. He got a confused look on his face when he felt something he hadn't expected. “Holy shit... you are a woman. But you shave your head to look like a man? Fuckin' clever, that.” He threw his head back in laughter and the others joined until they were interrupted by a very distinct sound. They all froze.

Clicking and croaking. Several foot steps in the woods around them. Chase sat up when he got off of her. The accidental shot earlier. It must have drawn them. A minute later the infected swarmed the three men. Between the screams and gunfire, Chase scrambled to her bag and bow, grabbed them and took off. Each group had the other distracted. It was luck.

Chase ran until her legs gave out beneath her, which was well past sunrise. She'd suffered a good amount of blood loss, but the adrenaline had kept her going. She had doubled back to the road she'd taken the day before and stopped alongside it to tend to her wounds and take a rest. She took off her shirt, wincing in pain. For now, she only bandaged each before dressing. Two days earlier she'd been at a small township and it was her goal to make it back there for further medical aid, someone who could sew up her shoulder.

When she finally reached the town she stumbled straight back to the watering hole where she'd asked the bartender about her family. She sat in the nearest chair to the door, huffing. He approached her with a look of horror at her blood stained shirt. “I need a doctor. There one around here?”