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Lyra Coltman

"Things get worse before they get better...Right?"

0 · 237 views · located in Virginia

a character in “The Walking Dead: Survivor Chronicles”, as played by cheater0611

Description

Image

Name: Lyra Coltman

Age: 18

Personality: Lyra used to be a bubbly person. She was friends with everyone, and never said a mean word. Now, she is not as trusting as she once was. The person she truly trusts is her big brother. While she isn't trusting, she still makes friends easily. As her name implies she likes to lie. She has gotten really good at it. She even believed a lie she told someone. However, she never lies to her brother.

Looks: Lyra stands about 5'4 and she thinks she weighs 150. She knows she is losing weight, it's slow but, the pounds are starting to come off despite Xander's attempts of keeping her fed. Her hair is black and she usually keeps it in a pony tail. Xander had to cut it to prevent walkers and others from grabbing it. It happened once. Her fingernails are all bitten off. Her once beautiful smile is now a ghost of what it once was.

Clothing: She used to fairly picky about her clothes. Now, she takes what she can get. Right now it's a long sleeve shirt with a tank top over it. Her pants are a pair of Levi's that have several holes in them and they are covered in dirt. Her shoes are the most stylish things, she has a pair of sneakers that have several holes in them, luckily none in the soles.

Sexual Orientation: Straight

Weapons: A piece of piping, and a Glock from the police station.

Equipment: A couple of bottles of water, 2 blankets, 3 clips for her gun (One in the gun itself)

Occupation: High School student

Hometown: Danbury Connecticut

History: I feel lazy and don't want to write this right now. I'll do it later. Besides Xander's pretty much covers it.

Family:
Father: Dead
Mother: Dead
Xander(brother): Alive

Other: We are NOT the Walking Dead.

So begins...

Lyra Coltman's Story

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Character Portrait: Lyra Coltman Character Portrait: Xander Coltman
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"Do you think we're safe here, Xander?" Lyra said as she looked out the second floor window. They had arrived in the manor last night. Their group was attacked by walkers. They only survived because they ran away. The door was open and they locked it behind them as they entered.

"I don't know, sis. I don't think anywhere is truly safe." Xander responded as he tried to open a can of fruit. In the back of his mind he was thinking about how they needed to find another group. The last one they had was held together by nothing more than common interest of surviving. They didn't care about each other. They didn't share food, and they sure as hell were not the nicest people on the earth. Xander killed a man in anger for trying to rape his sister. Nobody tried anything ever again.

"We need to find more people don't we?" Lyra walked over to her big brother. She took a seat next to him and laid her head on his shoulders. "I have told you lately that I'm glad your here with me. I wouldn't have made it this far with you."

"I wouldn't be sane right now, if you weren't here. I need you just as much as you need me. We're family, and I will never let anything bad happen to you." Xander finally got the damn can open. He handed the can to his sister and she started eating it.

"We don't have anymore peaches do we? I prefer peaches," She said in between bite of the canned fruit. After she was done, she and her brother sat in silence. After a few moments, Xander got up.

"I'm going to see if I can get to the roof from the attic. I want to make sure there's no walkers around. If you get in trouble fire a shot into the ground and I'll hear you. I won't be long." He made his way to the attic. There wasn't a way to the roof, but there was a bunch of windows in each direction.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mirena Prevex Character Portrait: Katie Halesworth Character Portrait: Lyra Coltman Character Portrait: Xander Coltman
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Katie Halesworth

Moving at a pace more brisk than usual, for fear of the coming night, Katie trotted through the thinning woods, cross bow in hand. The dark may not be too close, but she still had to find some where to stay for the night. She didn't have to glance to her side to acknowledge the fact that Nick, her german shepherd, was right next to her. Along with hearing a pitter patter of his feet hitting the dead foliage, his presence had become something she could sense. As the brush thinned further, Katie slowed to a short-stepped walk, pausing next to a tree, her back against it, she reaching into her pocket and pulled out a map. It was of the Southeast. Tracing a path with her finger, she marked a segment about half a centimeter long, before tucking it back into her pocket, and glancing around. The coast seemed clear. "Good boy, she muttered, petting the top of Nick's head affectionately, before beginning to walk again, though on the edge of the woods, looking for signs of life... or undead life.

She had been on the move since when the outbreak began, walking during the day, hiding out and sleeping at night. So far, she'd only stayed in the same place more than once a few times, but after doing it, she regretted it. Hiding out in one place was so easy, and so comforting. Knowing that you'll see something approaching before it comes, and that you can just stay in place and they can't get you. But that's why she couldn't do it again. Katie didn't want to get used to something so sweet in a world that's so horrible. The only thing that kept her sane and okay had been Nick, but the fact that he was the only thing she could talk to might prove she wasn't sane. What's that? Her reminiscing was interrupted by a building coming into her vision, a large mansion, and though there weren't signs of life on the outside, there were chances there were some on the inside.

Katie couldn't help the excitement that sparked in her mind and eyes, the thought of being in the presence of another human too incredible to consider the wrongs that could happen, and were likely to happen. She started towards it, using the cover of the land to approach it before anyone inside could see her. Just before she was ready to start towards the building, to go to the door, she saw a figure dart forward, and knock on the door. Pulling up her crowbow, and looking through the scope, not planning on shooting the girl, but rather defending her if something bad was inside, slowly walking closer though, because if there were people inside, she would want in too. Pausing behind, but close enough that if the girl at the door turned around she would see her, Katie waited.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mirena Prevex Character Portrait: Katie Halesworth Character Portrait: Lyra Coltman Character Portrait: Xander Coltman
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Xander was heard the comotion in the woods. As he got to the window he saw a girl running towards the manor. "Shit, she's a live one. They don't run." He started running down the stairs trying to catch her. Walkers were attracted by sound, everybody should know that. There were going to be here soon. As he passed his sister she looked at him from the window.

"We're going to help her right?" Lyra said grabbing her gun from waist band. Xander only nodded. He turned to her and motioned her to stay behind him. He heard the last of the knocks and rushed to the door. A million thoughts were running through his mind at once. They were mainly what ifs but, those didn't matter. Being a good person mattered. He opened the door and sternly said, "In the house, NOW." He watched her enter and looked around. He caught a shine in the distance. He gulped and jumped in the door so he wouldn't get hit.

*Meanwhile*

The girl was the first to enter, Lyra raised her gun with her finger on the side of the trigger guard. She hadn't taken a human life yet, and she wouldn't if Xander had anything to say about it. "D-don't move. We don't want any trouble." As she said that Xander entered. He didn't look happy.

"I took a chance. Now, time to see if it's paid off. Who's in the woods with the scope. Your friends? Were you going kill us and take our stuff?" Xander said angrily. He didn't want his sister getting hurt. Xander drew his gun preparing for the worst. He saw his sister gulp as she clicked off the safety. Her finger was still on the side of the trigger guard. So, she wouldn't fire the gun by mistake.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mirena Prevex Character Portrait: Katie Halesworth Character Portrait: Lyra Coltman Character Portrait: Xander Coltman
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Rena stood at the door, tears still running down her cheeks as she glanced behind her and to each side. She didn't see any walkers, but her gun was still in hand. "Please, somebody...." she whispered as she moved her blue eyes onto the door. As if a God was answering her prayers, the door opened. The man gave her a stern look and commanded her to get inside. She quickly did so and nodded.

Inside the mansion, she stopped only a few steps inside and nearly burst into tears again, how ever she choked them back. She took a deep breath and stared up at the ceiling.
"D-don't move. We don't want any trouble."
She froze all movement except looking at the woman. She looked around the same age as the woman before her, who had the gun on her. "I-" she paused and looked at the ground. "I don't want any trouble. Just a place to stay." She mumbled before slowly setting down her gun, with one hand in the air to show she was surrendering. As she stood back up, with her arms raised in surrender still, she wiped under her eyes with one hand before moving it back. It did nothing but smear even more of her makeup that had started to slightly run from all her tears.

"I took a chance. Now, time to see if it's paid off. Who's in the woods with the scope. Your friends? Were you going kill us and take our stuff?"
Please, she whispered before trying to raise her voice just enough so she thought they could hear. "I came by helicopter from Texas. It was my brother and myself. However...." she choked up and tears slowly rolled down her cheeks. "We were attacked less than a mile from here and he didn't make it. We didn't know anyone was here." She finished in a sorrowful tone. "I don't know anyone else. I didn't know I was being fallowed. Its just me and Coon." She continued, moving her eyes back and forth from the pair. "If anything, let us stay for the night and we can leave in the morning if you wish. We wont take anything and we have food." She concluded before she finally stopped. She felt like she had been rambling. She was doing just that. Her nerves were shot and she needed a cigarette, more than ever. "One night...." she whispered, in almost a sob as her mind kept going back to her brother in the woods.

If on was to look at her, they would see blood on her neck and on her shoulder. It was a black with a simple red tint that hinted at what it was. Her hoodie once white, however now it was tainted with dirt and blood from killing walkers. In the center was a bright pink Hello Kitty head, which too was tainted. Her blue jeans were also dirty from her journey. She looked a mess. Her blue eyes were blood shot, her makeup was smeared, and her clothes were dirty. She looked like she had been through hell, but of coarse, thats because she had. Everyone was going through hell.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mirena Prevex Character Portrait: Katie Halesworth Character Portrait: Lyra Coltman Character Portrait: Xander Coltman
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Katie Halesworth

Tension built up in her muscles as the door opened, a head poking out before the girl was pulled in. Shit she thought, realizing she may have just lost her opportunity by scaring away her only chance of survival. Katie glanced around, and though she saw no walkers she knew that the noise of movement in comparison to the dull buzz that usually filled the world was enough to attract zombies. Nick was looking up at her, his tongue out in a light pant. He was a rather large dog, probably bigger than the average german shep, but that was to her advantage. He made the perfect companion.

Using quick thinking, she tapped her leg to draw his attention, and sprinted to the door, half crouched so her body blended slightly with the land, but still moving fast. Nick was right next to her, the dogs constant devotion to protecting her pushing a small smile onto her face, as she paused at the door, trying the knob, before knocking loud enough for the inside to hear, but trying not to cause attention. Katie stood perpendicularly to the door, keeping a watch for any approaching walkers, and though she saw some movement in the thinning of the woods, she let it be. If it was a concern, it would come to her, but keeping watch was all she could do as she waited what seemed like endless seconds for the door to be opened so she could be moved to more of a safety place.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mirena Prevex Character Portrait: Katie Halesworth Character Portrait: Lyra Coltman Character Portrait: Xander Coltman
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Xander sighed as the girl talked. She just lost her brother, something he didn't want Lyra to go through. His head was screaming that he shouldn't trust her but, his heart was saying let her stay. He could overpower her if it came to it. He nodded his head and Lyra clicked on her safety and lowered her gun. There wasn't going to be any bloodshed if Xander had anything to do about it. "Alright you have your night. You can take one of the rooms upstairs." He sighed and continued, "I'm sorry that you lost your sibling. I don't want that for my sister. Lyra take her upstairs and make sure she's alright."

Lyra nodded, she was glad that he decided not to kick her out, or worse kill her. She never killed a human, Xander was always there to take care of it. "Come on sweetie, lets go get you cleaned up," she picked up the gun and handed it to the girl. Then she put her arm around the girl and started to lead her upstairs. As they left Xander started pacing back and forth. He got a shiver down his spine. Something bad was going to happen. That's when he heard another knock on the door. He groaned, he hasn't met this many new people since the begining of the outbreak. He opened the door with his gun in his hand with the safety off. When he opened it he saw another female and this time instead of a ferret there was a 150 lb German Sheppard.

"I don't suppose you want to sell Girl Scout Cookies, huh? Now, I'm guessing by your crossbow, that your the person I spied who was in the woods. Get in here. I don't want any trouble, Xander's my name." He didn't want to mess with that dog. It could do some serious damage. No, olive branches tend to get you farther than a gun in the face.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mirena Prevex Character Portrait: Katie Halesworth Character Portrait: Lyra Coltman Character Portrait: Xander Coltman
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Katie Halesworth

Her uncomfort grew with each passing second, Nick seeming to have the same thought on his mind. Katie whipped her head around as the door opened, not needing his invite in to enter. She pushed in quickly, her arm holding the cross bow dropping to her side as she patted her leg again, Nick trotting right to her. Smiling slightly at the boy, she kneeled next to the dog. It's not that she trusted him enough not to have her scope trained on hima t all times, but she could hear voices upstairs, and if he wanted to kill her, there was so stopping him. Katie placed her cross bow on the ground, her knee instinctively going to cover it, she pet Nick's head, scratching behind each ear as the dog panted, then stood up, grabbing her cross bow.

"I'm Katie." She replied, waving slightly, before glancing down at Nick as a low, nearly silent growl formed in his throat, before he even stood. A smirk formed on her lips, her fingers triggering down at the dog to signal him to stop, and he did, his tongue coming out as he panted again. "I uh need some shelter." She hoped he wouldn't turn her out, and she more hoped that she would find a group she could form up with here, but that seemed out of the picture. Katie's eyes fluttered back down to Nick, then the boys eyes. "That's Nick."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mirena Prevex Character Portrait: Lyra Coltman Character Portrait: Xander Coltman
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Rena sniffed shamefully as she nodded to Xander and thanked him. "Thank you so much." She whispered while taking in a deep breath and trying to calm herself down. "My name is Rena." She added, trying to remember her manners in such an odd predicament. "We could have made it....." She thought, wishing Logan had lived to make it here with them. Her eyes were on the ground until Lyra grabbed Rena's gun and handed it to her. She sniffed and nodded.

As the two made their way up the stairs Rena sniffled. "I'm sorry for the trouble." She mumbled before feeling a slight nuzzling against her cheek. She gave a small smile and glanced to her right to see Coon, her pet ferret. "Its good you have your brother though!" She tried to say cheerfully but it sounded sad. She couldn't erase the memory that was fresh on her mind. Her brother had taught her and helped her so much. If it wasn't for him, there was no way she would have survived this long. And now that he was gone, she worried that she might not survive much longer.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rebecca Clarke Character Portrait: Kieran Adams Character Portrait: Mirena Prevex Character Portrait: Katie Halesworth Character Portrait: Lyra Coltman Character Portrait: Xander Coltman
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Xander put his hand to his face and sighed. He didn't need this many people bothering him. He looked up and said, "You get one night. Take a room up stairs. I don't want any trouble. I have a sister to protect." Xander looked out a window and saw the truck pulling up. "SHIT, what the hell. Are we having a party here? I'll crank some tunes, attract some walkers and make a real shindig. This had better be good." That's when the horn went off. "Somebody has a death wish." He spied on the truck. Xander turned to Katie and said, "Cover me from the window, and If I get hit by a bolt. I will kill you." His face was serious.

*Meanwhile*

"I guess you know my name, but It's Lyra." She smiled at the girl. That's when she saw the ferret, she wanted to pet the creature, but didn't want to upset Rena any further, so she ignored him. Lyra listened to her talk about how lucky she was to still have her brother. She agreed, without Xander, she would have died at the hands of her mothers. "I'm happy I have him. He's saved my life on more than one occasion." She lead her to the bathroom and grabbed a towel. "Now lets get the blood off of you." Lyra smiled and started wiping the blood off of her face. "I think your going to have to reapply your make up, but try to stay away from red. I'm personally sick of the color myself." Lyra tried to make a joke. A loud horn came from outside the house. "More visitors, maybe we can get a group going again..."

Xander opened the door and was greeted by shouting. He raised his gun and said, "Could you quiet down, your going to attract a huge crowd of walkers with your noisy car and your yelling." As a sign of peace he raised his hands and slowly put his gun away. However the safety was off. He slowly walked over there trying not to make the girl in the bed get jumpy. He took a quick look over the girl and said, "No, never saw her a day in my life. How do I know that she really is dehydrated. This could be a distraction to lure me out, but you took the great risk of HONKING the horn to get my attention. Take her in. My sisters on the second floor, tell her that I said it's ok to give her water. Use my name, infact. It's Xander by the way." He turned his back to the group and walked towards the front door stairs. He sat down watching the woods. He pulled out his gun and clicked the safety on. Either it's in his waist band with the safety off or in his hand with the safety on.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rebecca Clarke Character Portrait: Kieran Adams Character Portrait: Mirena Prevex Character Portrait: Tia Kirby Character Portrait: Katie Halesworth Character Portrait: Lyra Coltman Character Portrait: Xander Coltman
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#, as written by KJA
Kieran widened his eyes at the sight of the man’s pistol, flashing Becky a glance he shook his head slightly suggesting against any ideas she may have had with her own firearm. Extending two fingers from the hand he had wrapped around the Tia’s shoulder Kieran tries his best to sound calm ‘Sorry. We don’t mean you any harm.’ Noticing the man’s gaze Kieran tilted Tia slightly to give him a better look, his brow frowning at his response. ‘No distraction, I promise you that. I’m an EMT I can tell you its dehydration, she’s not bitten.’ During their exchange Becky had her rifle aimed up at the scope shimmering in the window, she wanted to take fewer chances.

Nodding at Xander’s invitation inside Kieran offers him a slight smile as he passes through the front door ‘Thank you. My name’s Kieran, my friend Becky. She’s a mechanic.’ By now Becky had lowered her rifle down to her side and raised a peaceful hand to the scope in the window. Placing the rifle into the flat bed Becky started up the truck again and parked over in front of the mansion’s garage, a small offset structure built away from the house itself. Glancing over at Xander Becky offered him a firm nod before entering the garage via its side door. Cam belt first, introductions second that was her priority.

Kieran made an effort to find sugar, salt and a glass before carrying Tia upstairs. Walking through the hallway Kieran kept his gaze between Tia’s unconscious face and through the doorways of any empty rooms, passing the others as he did so ‘Xander said I can use some water, I have my own too. Please excuse the brief introduction, my name is Kieran I’m a Richmond EMT. My friend’s Becky, she’s outside working on the truck. I need to see to Tia first, if anyone is injured come see me.’ Hopefully his British accent served to compliment his intentions. Shortly after Kieran settled on a bedroom and closed the door behind them.

Placing Tia on the bed Kieran set the glass down filling it with water from his backpack. Adding guessed measures of sugar and salt he stirred the mixture with a nearby pen before feeding it very slowly and carefully into Tia’s mouth. After what seemed like fifteen minutes Kieran was content with the amount Tia had in her system, about half the glass, setting it down on the bedside table. Dragging a chair from the wall Kieran sat down beside the bed, holding Tia’s wrist and checking his watch. The results wouldn’t be immediate but there was a difference already. Arching his head back with a tired sigh he pulled out his Glock and placed it on the windowsill the other side of him, rubbing his face deeply in both hands before resting his eyes.

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Character Portrait: Mirena Prevex Character Portrait: Lyra Coltman
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She gave a small smile to the girl. "I'm glad that I found someone nice, even if it wasn't intentional." She said, though she still felt bad that she had come into their 'territory'. As they entered the bathroom, she pushed everything out of her mind. Coon nuzzled her once again but when Lyra started to wipe down Rena's face, he scurried back into her bag. "Oh that is Coon. He is my pet ferret." Rena informed Lyra with a small smile. He was all she had left. When she made the joke about red, Rena managed a small chuckle that wasn't forced. "I agree." She said before moving a little to gently set her bag and weapon on the floor.

At the sound of the honk, Rena nearly jumped out of her skin and she heard Coon in her bag jump as well. "what was that?" She asked in a panic before looking around and noticing there was a window in which she would be able to see in front of the mansion. Without thinking, she grabbed her gun and rushed to the window, glancing out it before realizing this isn't her territory to protect. "Lyra, I apologize." She whispered before lowering her weapon and moving back towards the girl. "Its just become habit to try and defend territory. I know its only for the night, but as long as I am here, I will help defend you and your brother as well as your home." She told her before forcing a smile at the end, to show some sort of friendship, if it was even possible to make those anymore.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kieran Adams Character Portrait: Mirena Prevex Character Portrait: Katie Halesworth Character Portrait: Lyra Coltman Character Portrait: Minya Polack Character Portrait: Xander Coltman
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Xander noticed that the sun was starting to set. He was glad that this day was almost over, maybe he could get some sleep tonight. He often took night watch. He knew when to sleep. Xander didn't look up when Katie approached him, "No, but she showed severe dehydration symptoms. So I figure what the hell." Xander stood up and dusted himself off he was going to continue but, he was cut off by the gunshots. His eyes when straight upstairs. They sounded like it came from below the house than above the ground floor. He tried to remember if there was a basement. "Check inside the house for a door and I'll swing around back to see if there's an outside entrance." He clicked off the safety and ran around the back. He found the cellar door open with a boy trying to lift a big man. He was not having an easy time with it. He put away his gun and said, "I think a bed is a bit more comfortable than the cellar floor."

*Meanwhile*

Lyra was surprised at the sudden appearance of a man with a girl in his arms. She didn't even had enough time to speak before he disappeared in one of the bed rooms. She turned to Rena and said, "Well, I think the amount of excitement we've had today is more than enough to last us the rest of our lives." She smiled. When the gunshots went off she jumped a little bit. She grabbed her gun and rushed to the nearest window. Below was a boy dragging out a half of a walker. The next thing she knew Xander was on the scene. "I was worried something happened. It's just some boy who killed some walkers. Xander is dealing with him now. I just hope he didn't attract more of them. That's just what we need more of those these monsters." She sat back down and sighed.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kieran Adams Character Portrait: Tia Kirby Character Portrait: Lyra Coltman
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#, as written by KJA
Kieran drifted off to sleep without much trouble; the day’s events coupled with lack of sleep had run him ragged. No-one was sleeping soundly anymore and if they were it was a privilege. Kieran couldn’t seem to shake the nightmares which happened every time he got his head down; Becky had noticed it in his expressionless tired face when she first found him. Before any vivid images manifested into these dreams Kieran was abruptly woken up by Tia’s words.

Almost on cue with Tia’s words Kieran winced his tired eyes open, swallowing dryly he raised a hand as she spoke ‘It’s okay I have your gun, in my backpack. We’re at the house you told me about before you passed out, you’re safe’ he replied. Leaning down Kieran retrieved the weighty revolver, placing it on the bed beside her. ‘You need to drink some water. What I gave you only meant to kick start your hydration levels.’ Sliding the glass from the bedside table he offered it out watching her raise it to her lips he adds ‘It tastes bad but trust me, you’ll get your strength back.’

Going back into his backpack Kieran continued to speak as he did so ‘I’ve got your hatchet and purse too, you must have been out there for days given the state you were in.’ Looking over to Tia Kieran offered her a tired smile ‘Just do me a favour and don’t call me Carrot t-‘ *Thud Thud* the sound of the muffled gunshots snapped Kieran’s eyes wide open, darting his gaze to the door. Snatching his Glock up from the windowsill he kept it low as his side, stepping over to the bedroom door and opening it ajar looking down the hallway.

Listening out intently for what seemed like a long drawn out moment of silence Kieran relaxed as he heard the voice of a young woman, Xander’s sister he assumed, speaking of the gunshots’ source. Pulling the door closed again Kieran walked back over to the chair, placing his Glock back on the window. Looking through the glass he focused on the garage, not seeing Becky outside he assumed she must have been too busy looking for a cam belt to hear the distant gunfire. Rubbing a hand against his forehead Kieran huffed out a tired sigh before looking over at Tia.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mirena Prevex Character Portrait: Lyra Coltman Character Portrait: Xander Coltman
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Rena closed her eyes for a moment, trying to keep her nerves calm as much as one could. Opening her eyes she headed towards the window, which she cracked open about a foot. "I hope you don't mind." She said as she pulled out a pack of Kool cigarettes and a lighter. She lit it up, without thinking and took a deep drag while letting her body slide down the wall right next to the window. She exhaled the drag, out the window and moved her hand which held the cigarette to the window so that the smoke would go out. "It helps my nerves." She mumbled before taking another hard drag off of the smoke and savoring it for a moment.

Her bag, which was still on the floor near Lyra started to move before Coon made his way out of it. He looked around the room for a moment before scurrying over to Rena. He nuzzled her free hand a little before curling up in her lap. She gave a small smile to the creature before petting its head with her free hand.

At the sound of the gunshots, Rena and Coon both jumped, however when Lyra confirmed Xander was already on the scene, she relaxed a little and decided to finish her cigarette.

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mirena Prevex Character Portrait: Tia Kirby Character Portrait: Lyra Coltman
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"Valka? Never heard of them being called that before. Well, I suppose if you want the cellar you can have it. I was planning on going to check it out tomorrow. Thanks for taking care of it. If you want a pillow or blanket we have more than enough upstairs." Xander shrugged. "Name's Xander by the way, if you need anything just ask." He turned and left.

He was about half way around when he looked up and saw a smoke coming out of a window. It wasn't a constant stream, he knew exactly what was causing the smoke. He licked his lips and looked down at his hands, they were shaking. It's been a few weeks since he had the sweet smoke down his lungs. He didn't care if they were menthol, kings, and the cheapest damn cigarettes in the world. He just didn't find them anymore. They were one of the few things that were taking during the looting. Xander had given up hope of seeing them. He was going to trade for a pack later. He sighed and stared to continue on.

"Sorry about not answering. Everything fine, some walkers in the basement. A boy took care of them. He's gonna stay in the cellar. As long as he doesn't cause trouble we should be fine." Xander said sitting on the stairs. "It's quiet, have you noticed it. Almost too quiet. I think the noise we caused has attracted those bastards. We'll talk with everyone about what we'll do in the morning."



Meanwhile...

"I don't mind that you smoke. My brother used to smoke before... Well you know when I'm talking about," Lyra said smiling at her. She had fond memories of her brother that happened while he was smoking. "He used to smoke Red Marlboro 100's. I remember when he would get back from his day shift and sit at the table and talk to me about my day while he smoked his cigarette. He tried not to blow it in my face, but it didn't always happen." Lyra didn't know why she talked about it, maybe it was because she felt missed home and her normal schedule. She figured talking about the old times made her feel better.

"I'm sorry, for sharing that. I didn't mean to get so personal so quickly. It's just, I miss those day's so much. I really hope things get better, but everyday I lose a little bit of that hope." Lyra's smile started to fade. She felt a tear fall down her cheek. She wiped it away and looked up with her smile renewed. It was getting tougher to fake smiles. She used to be so good at it, she was almost as good as Xander.

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Character Portrait: Kieran Adams Character Portrait: Mirena Prevex Character Portrait: Katie Halesworth Character Portrait: Lyra Coltman Character Portrait: Minya Polack Character Portrait: Xander Coltman
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'Watch your ass, Kay,' Tia called out as the Englishman shut the door. His footsteps were muffled on the stairs, and she heard him call out 'Xander?'

He was right, she thought. She had been out in the wild for days, longer even. The flight from the hunters had worn her down as much as running from the freaks ever had. More possibly. It was the first time humans had been the enemy, instead of just dangers because of their reckless actions. And yet another human had apparently picked her up off the side of the road and brought her to safety, when she could just as easily have made a convenient meal for a passing freak. It seemed trusting humans could get you killed in this new world, but at the same time, they were the only thing that was going to keep you alive. She glanced at her useless gun, and smiled at the thought of Kay placing it by her side. For all the good it would do her. Poor Kay, exhausted but still on the move, still checking on people's safety.


She sniffed. A faint smell had crept into the room when Kay had opened the door, a smell she hadn't experienced since before the outbreak. It took her a moment to identify it, and then she swung her legs off her bed and gingerly sat up. He hadn't even taken her shoes off. 'Always ready to go, girl,' she thought. Her vision swam as she stood, and suddenly the distance to the door, which Kay had covered in a few strides, looked like miles. Closing one eye, she wobbled towards the door, her knees weak. Surprisingly out of breath and her head thumping, she grappled with the door handle. The door to the next room stood open, and inside sat two girls, around her own age or slightly older, she guessed. One had long, dark hair, the other, whose eyes looked red from crying, had a slash of red in her hair, and was just stubbing out a cigarette. A long, slender animal lay curled up in her lap.

'Hey,' said Tia abruptly from the doorway. 'What's that thing?' nodding to the animal.

"He's a ferret. His name is Coon," the girl replied in a tired slur. Tia eyed the ferret nervously. It was calm now, but it looked like it could move like lightning. 'You friends of Kieran?' Tia asked.

'Kieran?' asked the second girl. 'The English guy,' Tia said. 'The doctor guy. Just went downstairs.' Met with blank stares, Tia forged on. 'This your house?'

'I just got here,' the girl with the ferret said, looking up at her roommate. 'I... I was with my brother... but...he didn't make it.' She tailed off. The second girl filled the awkward silence that followed. 'I came here this morning, with my big brother, Xander. My name is Lyra, and this is Rena,' she said, putting a comforting hand on the other girl's shoulder. 'Who are you?'

'Tia,' she said, having to swallow to wet her dry throat so she could speak. 'You got a drink? I really...' Her vision blurred again, and she lurched to one side, clinging onto the doorpost. She could see Lyra step towards her, and reached out her hand to the dark-haired girl as she slid down to her knees, mumbling: 'I don't feel so good.'

Rena nudged Coon, making him jump from her lap, and quickly moved over to brace Tia. She placed one hand on her shoulder, ready to try and grab hold of her if Lyra gave her any indication.

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Character Portrait: Rebecca Clarke Character Portrait: Mirena Prevex Character Portrait: Tia Kirby Character Portrait: Lyra Coltman Character Portrait: Xander Coltman
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"A genny..." Xander was confused until she mentioned the fact that power was on in the garage, "Oh, a generator. No, we didn't turn one on. Too much noise couldn't risk it. I didn't find one either. However I didn't a good chance to look around yet. Hence the fact there was a bunch of walkers in the basement that I had no idea about." He was clueless about why the power was on. "There could have been a back up that's still running, but I highly doubt it." He still needed to figure out watch. He would take the first shift, maybe let Katie have second, "You can have the third and final shift. That way you can have ample time to work on your truck and the jeep. I'll help you push your truck in the garage when I get back from checking on my sister." He rubbed his eyes and headed back to the main part of the house. He wanted to check up on his sister and to see how the two girls were doing. Xander started up the stairs.

Meanwhile...

Lyra shot up and headed towards to where their stuff was. She dug through her bag and pulled out a water bottle. She tossed it up in the air and caught it with a little smile on her face. She went back to where the others were and unscrewed the bottle and handed it to the girl, "Here drink this very slowly. In fact, take a sip and swish around in your mouth. Then swallow." She heard footsteps coming up the stairs. "Rena, stay here with Tia. I'll be back," She left the room and closed the door behind her. She looked down the stairs and saw her brother's face. He flashed her a quick smile and was soon reached the top of the stairs.

"How's our patients?" Xander asked leaning up against the wall. He tried to keep his voice low so that they wouldn't hear him.

"Honestly, Tia doesn't look great. She's still severely dehydrated. Rena on the other hand is just shaken up." Lyra said leaning on the same wall and put her head on his side.

"So, I'm guessing Rena was the one smoking, Tia doesn't look the type." Xander said as his fingers was rapping on the wall.

"Yeah, I didn't see what type they were. All I know is they aren't your brand." Lyra sighed. When he ran out of cigarettes, for the first week he had gotten snappy and often flipped out on the others in their group.

"So, what do you think about joining up with these people? I know it's a bit of a stretch but, I think you will be safer in a group than with just me." Xander sighed, he really wanted to keep her safe. Even if he died tonight, he could die happy knowing that she was safe for the time being.

"I wouldn't be opposed to it, but even it was just you and me it would be just fine too." Lyra looked up and smiled at her big brother.

"Alright, that's two votes to joining a group. We'll talk about it in the morning with the others, right now I need a cigarette. Go back to Tia and Rena, and I'll be in shortly." Xander said getting away from the wall. He headed to the same room that Lyra got the water bottle and grabbed his entire pack. He followed his sister back into the room. "Rena, I really would like a pack of cigarettes, I'll trade you for one. Take anything you want from my backpack," He said as he dropped his pack on the ground. He turned to Tia, "You get to bed as soon as possible. You need your rest. That's not a request that's an order, and don't try to fight me on this one." He didn't care if he sounded harsh it was how the world worked. If you weren't up to snuff, then you aren't going to make it.

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Character Portrait: Mirena Prevex Character Portrait: Tia Kirby Character Portrait: Lyra Coltman Character Portrait: Xander Coltman
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Tia shifted from the doorway, lent her head against the wall and took the bottle Lyra offered with two hands. A little water dribbled over her chin as she took a mouthful, swallowed, and drank again. This one she swished around in her mouth as Lyra had instructed, then swallowed again. Then she patted the hand Rena had laid on her shoulder and offered her the bottle of water. 'Thanks, Rena. Hey, what a mess.' She looked up under the girl's bangs into her red-rimmed blue eyes. 'Sorry 'bout your brother, Rena. They got my little sister too.' Tia shuddered, recalling the blood squirting from Emeli's neck, and closed her eyes, forcing that awful memory back down. 'Nobody didn't lose no-one, I 'spose.' Her voice tailed off to a near-whisper as she looked back at Rena. 'I shot my own Grammy...'

She heard footsteps, most likely a man's, coming up the stairs, then a male voice low in discussion with Lyra. 'My brother's still out there though,' she said. 'Nothing's gonna stop DeShaun. He's at the university near here.' The last time Tia had shared her hope to be reunited with her giant brother had been with the hunters, before their attack. Green Bandana had stifled a grin; his scepticism about DeShaun's prospects had chilled her to the bone. There was no such look in Rena's eyes.

The door swung open and Tia scooted her legs up as a heavy-duty pair of boots stomped in. She glanced upwards into the harassed-looking face of a man who bore a passing resemblance to Lyra. He abruptly bargained with Rena over cigarettes, then barked down at Tia: 'Get to bed as soon as possible. You need your rest. That's not a request, that's an order, and don't try to fight me on this one.'

She slid back from him along the wall, and dragged herself upright by leaning on the bed for support. She locked her knees to stop them wobbling and threw her hood over her head. 'Hey, fuck you, man,' she yelled. 'You can't tell me what to do, the doc said I'm fine.' Her vision blurred again, and she sat down on the bed. 'Just cos this is your house, no-one made you the boss. I got a million cigarettes, and I ain't givin' you none of them!'

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Character Portrait: Mirena Prevex Character Portrait: Tia Kirby Character Portrait: Lyra Coltman Character Portrait: Xander Coltman
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Rena's blue eyes focused on Lyra as she tossed the bottle of water in the air. She gave a small smile as she caught the bottle then looked to Tia. She wanted to ask if she was ok, but she decided not to. She watched Lyra hand Tia the bottle and give her instructions. She nodded, taking in the instructions she gave Tia.

As Lyra went out the door, Rena nodded and stood. She was in a daze and she could barely even function. She was so tired that everything was starting to spin. She moved back to her spot by the window and looked at her pack of smokes that laid on the ground. Coon was sitting next to them, gazing at her. "You hungry baby?" She asked, her words a slur. Coon ran over to her bag, which was still across the room closer to Tia, and climbed inside. Everyone could hear the rustling in the bag of Coon munching on his snacks.

As she sat there, she listened to Tia talking. She never replied, however she listened to every word. When Tia spoke of her own brother, Rena gave a small smile. Silently she prayed to whichever god would listen that DeShuan was alright. She had never met him, and she doubted she ever would. However, she knew the pain all to well of losing a sibling.

A loud grumble echoed from Rena's stomach right as Xander walked in. She gazed up at him and watched as he plopped his bag in front of her. She nodded and gave a small whistle, which took a few times to get it right. Coon stuck his head out of her bag and she showed him her pack of smokes. The little creature moved back into the bag for a second before pushing a pack out of the bag, climbing out himself, and sliding the pack of smokes over to her, using his nose. "Good boy." She said then handed the back of smokes to Xander. "You got any food?" She asked hopefully. "Nothing big, just a sandwich or something?" She asked doubtfully. Whenever Tia replied to Xander, Rena shook her head and laughed a little. "I'm sure he means no harm." She mumbled, hoping she heard her.

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Character Portrait: Rebecca Clarke Character Portrait: Mirena Prevex Character Portrait: Tia Kirby Character Portrait: Lyra Coltman Character Portrait: Xander Coltman
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Xander kept a neutral face while Tia snapped at him. The only thing gave away how angry he was, was his right hand curled itself into a fist. Lyra was a bit taken back. She hadn't figured that she would react like that. However, she used to do the same thing when she was younger. Now, she did what her brother told her to do. "Objection noted. I'm the boss here because, I know what it takes to survive in this hell. Now, Lyra will give you something to eat, finish that water bottle and off to bed. I'm done hearing about this." His voice was level the entire time, he then took a deep breath and turned to Rena. His fist released and his attitude changed.

"No sandwich, sorry. Got a can of bread if you want that, if not. Just go through my pack and look for something. You want it, it's yours. Now, I'm going to leave my bag here and take that pack," as he finished talking he lightly grabbed the pack of cigarettes and headed out. He slammed the pack against his hand and opened it. He stuffed the trash in his pocket and grabbed a smoke. He checked his pocket for his lighter and sighed. It died last week. He hadn't gotten the chance to find another one. He decided to search the kitchen. He opened a drawer and found a book of matches. He opened it and saw that there was only 3 left, "Guess, if she has cigarettes then I could bum a light every now and again." He light a match and light his cigarette. As he inhaled the smoke he felt his nerves to calm down. He headed out to the garage.

"Hey Becky. I'm here to help you push that truck. I said I would." Xander said after letting a breath of smoke out.

Meanwhile...

After Xander left Lyra turned to Tia, "I'm sorry about that. He's under a lot of stress, everybody is a lot of stress I guess." Lyra didn't know what to say. She was used to being told what to do. Xander usually knew best. That doesn't mean she didn't have an opinion about the things he choose to do. He didn't have to bark orders, but that's how the world works. Lyra sighed and said, "Alright, we have some of everything here, peaches, pineapples, pears, beans, and bread." Lyra said taking the cans out of Xanders' pack.

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Character Portrait: Mirena Prevex Character Portrait: Tia Kirby Character Portrait: Lyra Coltman Character Portrait: Xander Coltman
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Her Grandaddy used to curl his fist and speak levelly like that too, Tia recalled. Usually it was when DeShaun, as a youngster, had had a brush with the law, committed some petty crime or other. His reasoning, DeShaun had explained to Tia not long before he left for university, was that, at their lowly station in life, any misstep could spell disaster - jail, drug addiction, even crippling injury or death. The stakes were the same now, Tia realised, and this man was fighting for his family's life as hard, harder even, than her Grandaddy had fought for her, DeShaun and Emeli. She pulled down her hood as she lowered her gaze from his. 'Sorry,' she mumbled as he turned away, and sat meekly until he stomped downstairs again.

She supped at the water bottle as Lyra made excuses for her brother. She sounded hesitant, surprised by the outburst, and busied herself with his pack. Tia glanced up at Rena for her reaction to the shouting match. 'Guess I shoulda kept it shut up,' Tia ventured. 'I didn't mean to upset anyone. Thanks for taking me in.' But as Lyra listed the cans in her brother's pack, Tia felt a spark of rebellion rise from deep within. 'Still, I made it here on my own. He ain't the only one still living.'

However, her weakness returned with a vengance as she tried to open a can of peaches. Her shaking hands could barely grasp the ring pull, and it spun from her grasp half open, the jagged metal cutting her index finger deeply. Tia cried out as blood quickly welled up in the cut and spilled down her wrist. The half-opened can lay on the bed next to her, spilling its juice.

Tia felt the tears prick the back of her eyes, and slapped her hands to her face to hide them. She'd already fallen twice and been shouted down in front of Rena and Lyra; she didn't want to humiliate herself further. She took a deep breath to calm herself again, and scooped up the can, drinking off the rest of the juice and swallowing loudly. She licked the last drops from her lips, and tasted the sharp rich salt of her own blood where her finger had bled on her cheek. She rolled her eyes at Lyra. 'Oh my days, what kind of a mess am I?'

She undid the bandana from round her neck, poured the last drops of the water onto it, and wrapped it round her cut finger. Pulling open the can, she tentatively got to her feet and walked slowly back to the room Kieran had put her in first. She climbed into bed, fished one of the slippery pieces of fruit out of the can, and promptly fell asleep.

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Character Portrait: Mirena Prevex Character Portrait: Tia Kirby Character Portrait: Lyra Coltman Character Portrait: Xander Coltman
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The girls eyes went a little wide at Tia's outburst, however she quickly gave a nutrual face. She didn't want to seem suprised, even though she was. Then again, she could understand it. She used to hate when she was given orders. When it was all over and Xander turned to her she gave a small smile. "Alright, thank you." She said and bowed her head a little. When he walked out, she gazed at the bag and shrugged. "Can't be too picky in times like these." She mumbled with a small laugh at the end, which was to hopefully ease a little of the tention. "I guess I'll take some of the bread." She said then mused the idea of bread in a can. She had never heard of it, but was willing to try anything edible at this moment.
She got up and got the can from Lyra and gave her thanks. After opening it she couldn't help but to give a very small snicker, the thought still amusing her in her tired state. When Tia started talking, she flashed her a small smile of understanding. "I wouldn't worry. We are all stressed here and he should know that." She looked to Lyra, who she figured could word things better, since she indeed knew him better than anyone else there.
She gazed back to Coon, who was curled up in her lap once again. She smiled at him but her attention swiftly moved to Tia when she cried out. Her eyes got wide and she attempted to jump up, however fell back onto her but where she was. "Shit..." She mummbled before trying it again, making it to her feet this time. However, Tia had already pulled off her bandanna and wrapped her finger. "Wow, today just isn't your day." Rena mummbled as she watched her. "You alright?" She asked but wasn't sure Tia heard her. When Tia jumped up and walked out of the room, Rena shook her head, hoping that she was alright.
As she sat there, sleep started to consume her more and more, until her head leaned against the wall. "I should get up..." She mumbled to herself but decided to not fight it. After all, she was only given the one night, she might as well make the best of it while she could. As her head leaned against the wall she slowly let herself drifted off.

"Hey, keep up." Logan told her as she started to fall behind as they walked. "Sorry" She said as she jogged a little to catch up with him. Her eyes started to water as she gazed at her brother. "Logan..." She whispered but he didn't seem to hear. They continued to walk a little more before coming upon a few walkers. His gun was raised and he motioned for her to come closer to him. "Alright, you pop off the first shot. I want to see how your aim is." Rena nodded, raising her gun and aiming at the first walker who still hadn't noticed them. Suddenly, the creature turned and gave a odd growling. Rena panicked and pulled the trigger. "Good" Logan praised her with a small chuckle before popping the other two with his gun. Rena gave a small smile before hearing growling behind her. Quickly she turned but was suddenly pulled back. "Logan!" She screamed as a horde of walkers charged them. She shot as many as she could before having to reload. She tried her best to cover Logan but the walkers seemed to multiply. "Damnit, Logan lets go!" She screamed, shooting a few more of the monsters. "RUN!" Logan commanded as a walker latched onto his arm and took a chunk out of his shoulder. "LOGAN!" Rena screamed as her body ran, though she tried to stop herself.

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Character Portrait: Rebecca Clarke Character Portrait: Kieran Adams Character Portrait: Mirena Prevex Character Portrait: Tia Kirby Character Portrait: Katie Halesworth Character Portrait: Lyra Coltman Character Portrait: Minya Polack Character Portrait: Xander Coltman
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Xander stepped outside and looked towards the moon. It wasn't even halfway overhead and it rose a bit after the sun went down. If he had to guess, "It's roughly 7. That's what I can tell. I used to be able to tell the time of day from looking at the sun. I got really good at it." He took a look at the things she said could be used as weapons. Not much, the wrenches could be useful. However, they had certain flaws to them. "If you think they could be good, you can take them. As for watch, keep an ear open for walkers or bandits. So, keep doing what your doing but, be vigilant."

He finished his smoke and tossed it on the ground. He grounded it and headed inside the house. He saw Kieran on the couch and smirked. He headed up the stairs and checked one of the hall closets. He found a pile of blankets. He grabbed them and put a few of them on the ground in front of the room where his sister was. He knocked on the door like he used to when he left her dinner infront of the door. It was the old 'Shave and a Haircut,' knock. He left before Lyra could open the door. He took the rest and headed downstairs. He was going to check to see if that guy in the basement wanted a blanket. It couldn't hurt to ask. As he made his way to the basement he decided to put a blanket on the sleeping EMT. Xander took a quick look at the designs of the blankets and decided to drape the pink floral one on the man. He needed a good laugh. Xander wanted to take a picture. He chuckled as he headed down stairs, "I'm coming down, It's just me." He said as he started down the stairs. He was surprised about how dark it was.

"I brought some blankets. Man, how can you see down here? It's really dark." Xander said as his eyes adjusted to the almost dark. He look around and didn't see the boy. He shrugged and put a blanket on a work bench. He went back up the stairs and decided to look for the boy. He searched the house finding the boy talking to Katie. "I found some extra blankets, I put one in the basement for you. I'm curious on why you have animal bones... Well everywhere?"

Elsewhere...

Lyra grabbed a can of pineapples. She looked at the can and sighed, it was her and her brother's favorite fruit. He would have told her to eat it. Her plan was to give it to him for his dinner. She decided to do what her brother would have told her to do. It was for the best. "Xander... hasn't had the easiest life in the world. I know, by the looks of it... None of us has had an easy life. His life has been harder than mine by a long shot." Lyra said. She started to open the can when Tia cut her finger. She started up but, Lyra realized that she had it under control. "Don't worry sweetie I've seen worse. You just need sleep." Lyra was happy to see her go to her room. She shut the door behind Tia. She finished off her pineapple.

She leaned against the wall and started dozing. She came to her senses when she saw Rena start to get up. She chuckled as she saw her fail. A bit after Rena fell asleep she heard the knock on the door. Lyra smiled as she remembered the times before. She got up and opened the door. There was a stack of three blankets on the floor. She picked one up and threw one over the girl. Lyra thought about the times when Xander would through the holiest of blankets on her when she fell asleep on the couch. She smiled at the memory. She wanted more of the good ones. She took the rest with her as she went to Tia's room. She threw one blanket on the ground and draped the other one around the sleeping girl. She smiled and watched Tia for a few minutes. Lyra turned and left. She was getting tired. It had been a long day. She decided to go back to Rena's room. She laid down and used Xander's pack as a pillow. She got under the blanket and fell asleep.

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Character Portrait: Katie Halesworth Character Portrait: Lyra Coltman Character Portrait: Minya Polack Character Portrait: Xander Coltman
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Xander nodded as the boy went back down to the basement. He told Katie to head up to the attic. It was a great look out point for them right now. Xander found himself a bed and laid down. His exhaustion was his worst enemy, he tried fighting the sleep as long as possible, then he slipped away to a light slumber that he had gotten used to.

"Lyra, we're gonna make it... I swear." Xander looked over and saw a group of walkers coming right for him and his sister. He tried to help his sister up. However, her leg was battered up. She wasn't going to stand anytime soon. He swore and pulled out his gun and stared firing in the group of walkers. When the clip was emptied, there was a good 4 walkers left. He picked up his bat on the ground and started swinging. He killed them all, but he had gotten bit in the process. Then a scream let out behind him. A walker was on top of Lyra. Xander didn't have enough time to kill it. What was supposed to be a scream came out as...

"Lyra!" Xander whispered as he shot up in the air. He looked around and saw that he was still in the mansion. He and his sister were still safe for now. He rubbed his eyes and sat up. He wasn't going to let that happen to her. He decided to take over the watch, as he wasn't going to go back to sleep. He headed up to the attic and relieved Katie of guard duty. He watched and waited for the sunrise...

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Character Portrait: Kieran Adams Character Portrait: Tia Kirby Character Portrait: Lyra Coltman
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Tia was woken by the throbbing in her finger, then gasped drily at how thirsty she was. There was a dull ache between her temples. It was only once her physical discomforts had registered with her that she realised she was lying in a bed, for the first time since she'd fled Baltimore. She stretched out her arms and legs, waving them like she was making a snow angel. Damn, it was a big bed too, not like the narrow camper in the room she'd shared with her sister in her grandparents' cramped home. She rolled over, just because she'd never been able to roll over in a bed before without falling out, then rolled back again. Her eyes fell on an open can of peaches on the bedside locker. Tia grabbed it and drank down the juice, the segments of fruit falling against her nose as she upended the can for every last drop of sweet, sticky refreshment. Satisfied, she nestled back into the bed - she didn't even remember getting into it last night - and nibbled on a couple of pieces of peach. Though she was ravenous, she was used to conserving food - she hadn't felt full for weeks - and besides, who knew if her stay in this house would last any longer than her night's sleep.

Putting the three-quarters full can to one side, Tia dared a peek at her finger. The cut wasn't deep, and had scabbed during the night, but it was in an awkward spot; every time she made a fist or fully opened her hand, the cut threatened to open again. Kieran, she recalled with a start. Kay, the medic. He might have a bandage, if he was still in the house, that was. And who else was in the house? Tia could hear voices elsewhere in the house, and recalled exhausted and upset Rena, angry Xander and his push-over sister Lyra. Had Kay been with someone too? Tia couldn't remember much between finally escaping Green Bandana and Craig, snatches of conversation with Kay and her confrontation with Xander.

She helped herself to another slice of peach - You gonna get fat, girl, she joked to herself - then rolled herself out of bed. Damn, she hadn't even got undressed last night. She hadn't even taken off her sneakers. The sheets she'd lain in were grimy and her bandana, sticking out from under her pillow, was bloodied. Tia held a hand up to her head, checking for other injuries, then stuffed the bandana in her pocket, shrugging. She grabbed her hatchet, but left her revolver on the locker.

On her way to the stairs, Tia peeked in the door next to hers. Lyra lay on the floor next to Xander's back. Tia remembered where her can of peaches came from, and snuck into the room and dragged a blanket back over the girl's sleeping form. Rena's stuff was still in the room; the fresh smell of cigarette smoke told Tia Rena had risen already.

Still making only the faintest of sounds, Tia crept down the wide staircase. She thought she smelled coffee brewing from somewhere and was about to go find the kitchen, when she saw through an open door beside her a familiar red head sticking out from under a pink blanket on a couch. She slipped in and sat on the floor opposite the sleeping Kay. His face, though still lined with worry, looked far less worn than it had as he sat by her bed yesterday. A line of sun lanced through a crack in the curtains. In a couple of minutes, Tia guessed, it would traverse Kay's face. She settled down to wait.