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Season of Giving 2020

At the end of perhaps our craziest year yet, we choose to celebrate our writing family with that extra touch of gratitude. Tip your fellow authors for a chance to win 10,000 INK, with leaderboards updated daily.

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Touch

America

0 INK

a part of Touch, by comicbooklover.

None

comicbooklover holds sovereignty over America, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

719 readers have been here.

Setting

Default Location for Touch
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America

None

Minimap

America is a part of Touch.

2 Places in America:

8 Characters Here

William Walker [84] "Ello, Mate."
Viola Marius [79] I have deiced that I'm half mental. Probably a good thing.
Rowan "Boston" Alder [32] The road out is never the road home when you've seen what I have.
Charlie Redmond [30] "I thought I was already as outside as it got."
Tech [25] "Savouring the world"
Torex [22] "May I assist you?"
October Sinnet [6] Every pretentious book starts with a quote from another pretentious book.
Maddie Salom [4] Just make sure that you are a few feet away from me.

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Character Portrait: Charlie Redmond Character Portrait: Viola Marius Character Portrait: William Walker
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"How about a deal? We won't rat you out, if you don't rat us out. We got a deal, mate?"

A smile appeared on Torex's face. The girl really hadn't counted the odds. Torex was a rouge robot. Of course he wouldn't risk going to the authorities and getting caught just to see them to justice. Nor would they turn them in, since they were from the outside. It wasn't an honor system. It was just survival.

"Why would you want to come here?" Torex asked, ignoring her question. "No one is allowed in nor are they allowed out. You're pretty much-"

Torex was interrupted by a horrified scream outside. He turned to see a woman run into the glass of the store, staring at them with wild eyes, before being dragged away. Torex cringed, something he was unaware that he could do. "You wanted to be apart of this?" he was quite curious to why anyone would want to be trapped in this horrible Dome. He was here because his creators had sent him here... but now everything was crumbling apart.

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Character Portrait: Viola Marius Character Portrait: Torex Character Portrait: William Walker
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"Because it's safe in here. Or at least, was...I wouldn't mind giving my family a piece of my mind either..."
William scuffed.
While she spoke, she took a step away from the broken glass.
"Viola, you don't mind if I find them...Do you?"
She asked, aware of the fact they may be touched. If they were, she was going to run as fast as she could...

Setting

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Character Portrait: Viola Marius Character Portrait: Torex Character Portrait: William Walker
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"I don't mind. It's one of the big reasons you came here. You might as well," Viola waved her off.
"Just remember to run away from the crazies, if they're infected they'll touch you for sure," Viola smiled as William jumped through the broken window.
Viola sighed.
She wished that her family was alive. She remembered the symptoms, which were the worst. If it was bad enough, their flesh would turn a blackish-yellowish color. They would cough, then cough up blood. Their eyes turned completely red, sometimes if their fever got high enough, they would go insane. She didn't want that to happen to anyone else, and hoped that most of the people would be alright.

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Character Portrait: William Walker
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William jumped out the broken window...
She walked around, with a calm face. To her, that was the key to not being attacked.
William walked until she approached a large house, with a sign. On the sign in golden cursive letters, 'The Walker Household' was written on it. She looked up, and saw an older version of her oldest brother peering out the window.
"Perfect,"
She mumbled, kicking down the door as she walked forward. As soon as the Bang! sounded when she kicked the door, she could hear her mother shout,
"THE CRAZIES!"
William chuckled.
"Welcome to my life, mate..."
As she started up the stairs of which she heard the voice echo.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Rowan "Boston" Alder Character Portrait: Tech
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[[OCC: Sorry for the wait]]

The man’s head lay twisted in horror, I couldn’t help but continue to grin at his expression. "I guess I didn't deserve it”, I quipped, admiring Boston’s handiwork.

"It's not your first encounter with him...was it?" Boston frowned. Looking at the pile of meat.

"No, I had dinner with his family; stocked up", I smirked. Pain flared up and my face mocked the failed agent of vengeance for a moment. Grawrrrr.

"I ought to have left you to him...", Boston threatened, throwing a disgusted look in my direction.

"There's a nice shirt there," I offered, changing the subject. Boston looked down thoughtfully and paused before acquiring a new shirt. He seemed to calm down after that.

"We better roll," Boston announced throwing the shotgun to me as he took the driver’s seat. I started for the failed assassin, but Boston intercepted my plans. "This time I’m the driver, and no... you can't eat him." Boston lead. The engine roared. You’re not shy, I smiled at the new vehicle.

Boston seemed like a virgin, handling the car cautiously, but I wasn’t in any state to take over. My mind drifted as my hands found something metallic, I twitched. The next thing I realise the sun is beaming down onto my face with a spray of what seemed to be… blue glitter? "Wreck!", Boston yelled... I think?

"Sunroof. Accident", I mused, still dazed from the effects and covered in a thin layer of snow like roof. The car lurched forward gaining speed as Boston began to talk to himself, or me, but I wasn’t paying attention, I was climbing up through my new gun hatch. "Floating and fired!", I shouted, the air meeting my will.

We were cruising away from the larger houses now and the older ones started to come into view. I couldn’t see if there were people about so I just imagined they were there. Like shooting ducks on a freeway. The shotgun clicked empty as the previous shots fell behind, I was about to drop it down through the hole but we swerved and it flew out of my hands, it was gone.

He could’ve been shouting at me but it was hard to hear anything with the wind in my ears. I banged the roof above his head and slid down. “Light on ahead”, I pointed eagerly

“Hold on a minute where’s the shotgun?”, he glared.

“There, light”, I repeated deflecting the question.

He gave up with the shotgun, it was obviously better out of my hands. “What? The museum?”, Boston looked doubtful, yet he slowed down, “What would be in there but skeletons and dust?”. He must have noticed the light then because he started to head for the entrance.

I sprang for the car door but it held firm… for a sec and then I found myself eating pavement. arrgfhfgfhd. I had forgotten about my seared leg and it wouldn’t bend as I kept attempting to stand. Boston casually lifted himself out of the car, turned four steps and lifted me up like I was made of cardboard. “Easy there crispy”, he mocked but his eyes betrayed the light-hearted tone. It seemed I didn’t quite understand my casualty and the pain just another annoying voice fighting for attention.

I hobbled up the steps one step at a time as Boston glided up, he was already scanning more distant windows as I reached the door. “Care to take a crack at the security system”, He asked, “I could easily break in but let’s be nice”. I like it, kill them quietly. I mused for a second then turned towards the keypad. I shook and barely managed to stay standing as my other leg almost buckled, the strain starting to take effect. I griped the wall with one hand and began searching my pouches for tools Quiet leg, I need think.

The door slid open automatically as the frayed panel dangled, exposed. Boston held his palm out and I stood confused. He seemed to think I knew what he wanted as he crept through the lobby and surveyed the area. 21st century perseveration hall. I didn’t recall what century it was, but I guess it was after that. “What are you doing?”, Boston whispered violently, “I told you to wait!”. So that’s what he meant. I decided responding was too much effort and I slumped down to the floor, against the reception desk.

He had that look again, but before I could place it he moved off behind the desk and began rummaging. A green shiny case with a pale glowing cross slid across the floor, open and empty. He huffed with dissapointment and turned around to discover a woman standing across from him on the marble like steps, wielding something bizarre. It appeared silver, but was streaked with neon green and started to make a noise. It’s charging I noted as I drifted off into sweet nothing.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Viola Marius Character Portrait: Torex Character Portrait: William Walker
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Viola sighed as she watched William weave through the crazy touched people. Viola noticed some boxes on the floor. She looked at them then shrugged. She opened one of them up.

The box was filled with paint. She dug through the box, but she just found more paint, mainly for children, but there was some meant for artists. She thought for a second and smiled. She rolled up her sleeve and poured some water onto the paint. "Perfect," She muttered.

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Character Portrait: William Walker
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"Calm down, idiots."
William called out.
A gun greeted her as she finished walking up the stairs. She scowled.
"How did I know I would see this day, mate?"
William smacked the gun out of her face and sees her brother.
"You're alive?"
He gawked.
"Yup, but you're not about to be!''
She kicked him, as she got slammed into the wall.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Rowan "Boston" Alder Character Portrait: Tech
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Crash

Glass dispersed as Boston leapt through a display, and shards sank into each of his crossed forearms. Grounded, he etched up a glance, speeding down a darkened hallway; his heart charging his body. The hall echoed with the thunder of destruction following and he turned his head briefly to see Amelia's worn emeralds staring back; she was keeping pace but her breathing sharpened, No time.

The door was ahead, a faint glow revealed the valve lock and in moments Bostons hands were enveloping the handle and turning. Quicker. Quicker. Amelia pried at the edge of the door with a hands, whilst her shouldered briefcase slapped against the opening. "Get in!" Boston shouted, "Unless you prefer being human toast!"

The passage ways roared as a barrage of heat blasted through the museum, incinerating relics and melting glass cabinets. The overhead lights burst as Boston eyed the pursing furnace and he grimaced, sweat steaming off his clothes. "Rowan!" Amelia shouted. Melting, and all I can think of is "after sun" lotion...

The flames devoured the front side.

[Previously...]

"Tech! I swear if you don't get inside the car I'm driving towards a low bridge!" Boston yelled, but Tech was outstretched enjoying the wind battling his body. The old town had long since been swept behind and a "new" - in terms of exploration - settlement had began to appear. It looked smaller, like a village or a hamlet and Boston slowed so that the buildings looked less like smears at the speed they had been traversing at.

The sun had clearly burnt this area of town and dust kicked up everywhere, buildings look vacant. Safety, Boston's first thought was. "Light..." came a muffled banging from above. Boston arched his head forward again and noticed the grand building ahead. No safety... Boston sighed.

Boston turned back to see Tech had slid back to his position, attempting to lick his wound. "Hold on a... where's the shotgun?" Boston glared.

“There, light”, Tech repeated. It was hard to tell if he was deflecting or completely incoherently distractable. Boston turned away, stupid hick probably threw it out during the drive...

Boston pulled up to the buildings entrance, "What? The museum? Boston scanned, "What would be in there by skeletons and dust?" But he hesitated spotting a small illumination. The car door vaporized and Boston stepped out, wary. Tech had managed to fumble out but with his injury ended up eating concrete. Rescuing him from his disjointed obscenities Boston lifted Tech to his feet, "Easy there crispy," he chuckled but Boston's eye caught a shadow move across the inside of building.

“Care to take a crack at the security system”, Boston asked in a hushed voice, “I could easily break in but let’s be nice." Tech seemed to understand the caution and nodded, turning around to face the keypad. Boston hugged the wall and peered into the building, it looked deserted bar the faint illumination from the left. In his peripherals, Boston could make out Tech stealing through his tool pouch, struggling at his feet. He's going to be a liability...

A small bleep activated the door and it gracefully slid open. Boston pushed his hand out, Wait, and entered, lowering himself as he crept. "What are you doing?" Boston whispered aggressively as he saw Tech trudge in, "I told you to wait!" Tech stopped and realization flooded his face as if the penny had finally dropped and slouched down against the reception desk, resigned.

Tap

A nearing step. No doubt lingered in Boston, there was some one else in here and he shifted but a desk halted him. Gah! I'm choosing to be selfish for a cannibal...? He scrapped open the lower drawer and sure enough a first aid kit sat. Opening it Boston revealed it's contents. No! He discarded the box angrily, sliding it across the floor. Bad move, he saw turning and exposed to find a woman standing across the room brandishing what appeared to be a defibrillator... Boston glanced at Tech, his head hung sideways, Either unconscious or playing unconscious, neither helps.

"State your business!" The woman demanded, "We have snipers trained on you." Boston looked about the hall, the stairs were vacant and there hadn't been any noticeable movement else where. The woman looked alarmed but cross.

"Your snipers aren't good if they even do exist, all the major positions are empty," Boston commented, and he could see her defiant stance recoil slightly. "Look, we're not here for trouble, though the one on the floor is a nuisance at the best of times. He's just injured and we're doing our best to survive, that's all." Boston moved closer to her, slowly.

"Stop! You'll leave. Then I won't take action." The woman exclaimed lifting her implement, strands of her long brown hair fluttered at the reaction. Boston slowed his approach further but didn't halt.

"It's important he gets medical attention, I'm sure you can appreciate the condition he's in... Doctor?" Boston guessed. The woman was stunned.

"H-how did you know?" She questioned, lowering the device.

"You have a medical tool and your still wearing a lab coat, it wasn't the greatest leap. Please help." Boston requested now lifting his hands to hers and removing the charged defrib from her grasp. She looked up at him and then shook her head focusing and retracting.

"Bring him into the room adjacent the one after this, I have suitable supplies there," and with that she walked off. Carrying the passed out lump wasn't easy for Boston, he kept twitching and the smell, ugh...

The room was Boston entered was an entire living quarter, in one corner books and a couch with pillows and blankets; in the other a table now brandishing a plastic sheet. Boston lifted Tech on to it. The other corners hosted cans and food supplies and assortments of medical equipment. "Long stay?" Boston quibbed noticing the littered food containers.

"The longest," She retorted, "Now move that cabinet here," she demanded pointing at a white cart. The procedure was fast, a couple of needles and cream, coupled with bandages and the wound looked considerably better. "That'll hold him," she sighed standing back. "I'm sorry for earlier, common courtesies seem so foreign now..." she drifted of slightly.

"Boston. They call me Boston," Boston offered and she looked up inquisitively.

"Boston? That's a place not a name, who are you really?" she demanded. Boston smiled, mind racing. It's been so long...

"Rowan. Rowan Alder I was. Am," Boston corrected.

"Amelia. Dr Amelia Tyler." She responded, leaning on the make-shift operating table. "Would you like a drink?" Amelia shot up. "I have a fridge you see and it runs, complete with batteries I've modified from cars," and without a reply her head had disappeared into a white cabinet.

The lemonade was amazing, "How did you find this?" Boston question, now resting quite comfortably on Amelia's couch. "I had a sprite not long ago, but ended using the majority to slow Tech's burn, oh, that's the unconscious lump..." Boston's last words caught in his throat. "Where is he?" Tech had vanished.

Amelia and Boston both sprang to their feet and moved towards the next room. "No...." Amelia inhaled, "Not the reactor!" She raced ahead and Boston ran to keep pace. Barging through Boston and Amelia found Tech lying next to a huge mechanical device, dazzling the entire room.

"Tech! Stop" Boston yelled but noise of the generator drowned him out.

The computer beside Tech sirened and blared out "CRITICAL ERROR!"

"Grab him!" Amelia yelled, as she rushed to the computer. As she tapped at the keys, Boston picked up the flailing loon and shouldered him back to Amelia's room, dropping Tech onto the table.

"You don't understand!" Tech screeched but his protest was accompanied by a fist as Boston knocked him out. There's no time for this rubbish! Stop trying to kill us all. Boston was furious. Amelia came running back.

"It's too late, we have to get out. This whole place is going!" She panicked, grabbing a briefcase and throwing things in.

"Think, there has to somewhere that shield us?" Boston commanded, opening up the fridge and dashing its shelves and contents out across the floor.

"The safe could work... but it's too far," Amelia protested but Boston was already closing the fridge door, Tech stuffed inside. best I can do... darn it Tech. Grabbing Amelia's hand he pulled and they stumbled forward, the ground starting to shake. No time for questions. Just act.

Boston turned from the front hallway into a display area skidding, time was running out. The next room featured 21st century living, there were many home displays with models, one corner presented a kitchen - vacant a fridge. At the end of the large doming room a large glass wall stood, protecting a weapons display and an access door the other side... The safe will be behind there. "Hold on!" Boston turned, letting go of Amelia's hand and jumped forcefully at the glass.

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Character Portrait: Charlie Redmond
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It was hard for Charlie to admit it although it was as clear as day. He couldn't remember anything beyond the first few days of the Touch and for obvious reasons, he knew he had it. It was dark now and he didn't know when he had been touched. He could die any second now, just collapse onto the floor. But he had other things to worry about.

The Loonies who had failed to get into the Dome were now angry and wandering the streets, looking for people to take out their anger on. Charlie was armed with two guns that he didn't know how to use, but how hard could it be, right? Don't you just pull the trigger?

Charlie hurried past a group of Loonies beating each other to bloody pulps. Charlie hardly remembered Loonies, but seeing them now was enough to make him shudder. Keeping his head down, he walked past them quietly. They continued their business, whatever the heck their business was, and Charlie walked by, undetected. But, just to be safe, he kept his finger on the trigger of the pistol in his hand. He hurried on his way, whatever way that might be. His head was pointed down, watching as his feet scraped along the chipped concrete streets.

POP

Charlie looked up to see a blast of fire a few houses away from him. The noise startled him, causing him to pull the trigger, a bullet ringing out from a gun. The building on fire was quite large. Charlie wasn't sure what had happened, so he was curious. He made his way toward the building, heat making him have to cover his mouth with his elbow, sending instant pain through the wound on his arm, which was still bleeding quite heavily. Charlie sat down, figuring the fire would eventually burn itself out and he'd safely investigate. He pulled out the cheesy popcorn from his bag, because of course he couldn't remember the last time he had eaten.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Rowan "Boston" Alder Character Portrait: Tech
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"So what in god's earth was a fuel generator doing in a museum?!" Boston demanded, leaning back against the wall furthest from door, which was now fused shut. "It seems all I ever do is escape from being roasted," Boston gasped away from Amelia.
"It wasn't any generator, Rowan," Amelia sat huddling her legs on the floor, "It was direct power to the dome."

"Direct..." Boston hung on the word, "The dome is miles away!" Boston resolved, now looking down at Amelia. Amelia lifted her head.
"The dome runs on multiple battery generators across the state grid. One goes out, the others pick up the slack." Amelia explained, glancing towards what was once a door, "I thought your friend was sabotaging the machine, but no, if too many generators blow the strain on the remaining would cause a chain explosion..."
"...And so Tech was trying to shut the system down," Boston finished with full realization. That means either the attack on the dome did more damage than was expected or someones been systematically taking out generators. The moments silence was broken by part of the vaults wall giving way, the explosion had not only melted the front but weaken the integrity of the sides. Boston moved towards the edge kicking at the wall half a dozen times. "I don't feel like slow roasting anymore, how about you?" Boston asked as the wall finally caved in enough to crawl through.

The cold air stuck to Bostons saturated skin, it felt Arctic to him now that Hawaii was left behind. Reaching out an arm he pull Amelia up, noticing the same feelings now swept over her; the air had never tasted so sweet. He sighed.
Tech.
Scaling mounds of warm rubble Boston staggered over the building remains roughly where Amelia's quarters once were. Scorched beams and plasterboard were easy enough to lift or drag, the marble wasn't. "He has to be here!" Boston shouted exasperatedly putting his weight into a slab and pushing.
"There's no guarantee he survived the blast, you saw what the explosion did to the vault," Amelia responded sullenly looking at the remains of her life's work. Fire still crept around the remains, but Boston didn't falter, until there it was: a charred black and white fridge, slightly crushed and turned over. "Help me, the doors on the other side." Boston requested urgently, "There won't be copious amounts of air left and we don't know what condition Tech's in."
Together Amelia and Boston lifted the fridge, a little at first, then with more grip underneath, " Wait..." Boston exclaimed and forced the fridge over, "This isn't right." There was a hole in the door and nothing inside. There wasn't time to escape... He wasn't in any condition... Boston dropped to his knees, opening the door fully; there was only black ash.

"Argh!" Boston yelled upward, then fell to all fours. Amelia knelt beside him and curved her arms around.
"I'm sorry," she comforted. A single drop fell from Boston. Soldiers expect the worst. He told himself. I'm just not a solider anymore.
"Blast..." he said dispirited, then stood with the help of Amelia. "We have to leave, there's a lot happening... and we haven't time," Boston resolved shaking his head. "Check the car, it may still be usable," Boston sighed again, "I'll see to Tech.." But Boston dropped off before the end. Amelia hesitated staring at him, then left.

"We weren't meant to be friends you know. It was always going to end this way or similar, still. It doesn't feel time... and you were my friend. The most annoying destructive one I've ever had, but I'll believe you saw me as more than just dinner in the end." Boston blew the ash and it sprayed out of the fridge in a scatter. "I don't think a burial would suit you Tech, you saw them as buried treasure, not final resting places. And you didn't rest, never rested." The particles dropped around as the breeze died and some floated to where the fridge had been, descending into a small hole that a beam was partially sticking out, and into what Boston could only assume was left of the basement.
"Farewell, Tech."

Setting

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Character Portrait: Viola Marius Character Portrait: Torex Character Portrait: William Walker
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Viola smiled as she carefully painted on her wrist and arm. She made the rotting flesh effect first with a mixture of yellow and black paint. She used some red as a scab in the middle, and added some fake bruises for good measure. She added little grey spots all over herself. She looked at some of the clothes on the rack and picked out a pair of jeans and a plain-t-shirt. She made a rip across the stomach for the t-shirt and added some red onto it to simulate blood. It looked pretty real. She ripped the jeans too, and added some fake grass stains. She went into the old bathroom and changed. With her shoes, she took one off and cut the toes off so her feet poked through. She messed up her hair. She walked out.
"Perfect!" Viola grinned and ran out of the bathroom. She looked like she had been infected, that way no one would touch her. Viola smiled and jumped through the glass.
"Are you coming, or are you just going to stay there?"

Setting

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Character Portrait: October Sinnet Character Portrait: Viola Marius Character Portrait: Torex Character Portrait: William Walker
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Torex watched as Viola began lathering herself in paint and makeup. He was unsure of what she was doing until he realized she was making herself look pretty banged up. Of course people with the touch didn't show signs of being infected until death, but he was sure no one would touch her for good measure. She vanished into a bathroom and Torex took the liberty of his alone time to lift up his sweatshirt enough to see the wires, which were sparking as they seemed to begin to shut down. The skin panels had protected them and without all of his parts, well, Torex figured it wouldn't be very good. He really didn't want to be a pile of nuts and bolts.

After pulling his hoodie back down, he made sure his hood was pulled up over his smooth, bald head. He sighed. If he only looked twenty, why hadn't they gone to the liberty of building him with some hair? He curiously walked to the broken window and looked out. He wondered about the girl he had run into earlier, October, and he hoped she hadn't been infected. For some reason, he pitied her. Viola and William were proof that not all humans wished for the destruction of robots, but he could never be too careful for there were plenty who did.

Torex heard the click of the bathroom door opening and he moved away from the glass. Viola turned the corner and he was pretty impressed. She had succeeded into making herself look like some sort of crazed, homeless person. If Torex had been human, he would be sure to stay away from her. He wondered if he should do the same thing to himself, but he didn't think paint and skin panels would mix well together, so he restrained. He wasn't worried about getting the touch, for he knew he couldn't, but he wasn't to keen on getting any more robotic parts broken. He was sure that next time they'd be more important than GPS chips and skin panels.

"Are you coming, or are you just going to stay there?" Viola asked, awakening him from his thought. She had jumped through the glass while he was out. He nodded, but using the door to exit instead, the little bell ringing as he left. He felt like he had been in the store for ages, because the Dome looked so different. People were trying to get up, but the Dome was quite big. He wondered how William and Viola had done it in the first place. The lights were still out, the only real illumination in the Dome being back of generators, like street lamps. People were going crazy, dead bodies lying on the streets. Torex winced, but turned his attention to Viola.

"Where exactly are we going, again?" he asked, trying to blend in as he walked alongside Viola.

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Character Portrait: October Sinnet Character Portrait: Viola Marius Character Portrait: Torex Character Portrait: William Walker
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"Well, first we're going to find William, then were probably going to hightail it out of here. I know a place where we can go, after all, everyone's going to be in the dome and will forget about the outside for awhile," Viola started.
"Then, we will probably just try to find something for, this wretched disease. How we're going to do it doesn't matter. You'll see when we get to where were going,"

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Character Portrait: Rowan "Boston" Alder
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Boston strolled along the perimeter of the collapsed museum, hands tucked in each pocket. He was contemplating hard on their next move, and it pained him. There's no longer any impromptu about our situation, I'm not a strategist! He exhaled deeply and rubbed his temples.
"We have a problem," Amelia spoke as Boston reached her, "Whilst it's avoided any real cosmetic damage the circuitry's fried and we haven't the parts or skill to repair it."
"We're on foot then," Boston replied without hesitation.
"Where are heading?" Amelia questioned clutching her briefcase and stepping away from the car. Boston lowered himself so that his heels lifted from the floor.
"I don't know," he gazed at the floor, "The only two choices that make sense are either a trek to the dome or an investigation of the next nearest generator...only that would confirm our theory." Boston realized he was staring at rock he'd picked up in his hand whilst outlaying their options and dropped it, regaining his height.
"The next generator I think; it could answer a lot for us." Amelia decided, reaching into her briefcase.
"...Or it could just be a pile of rubble." Boston replied, and it was clear Tech's departure was taking it's toll on him.
"That's where you're wrong," Amelia presented Boston with a file, "These are calculations I've been working on. From the generators final readings I can extrapolate that the extra power didn't sieve through the northern generator, which means..."
"... The place still stands, or had before your terminal blew." Boston finished, realizing that if the building stood or not would give them a clear picture as to the extent of damage the dome and it's power was receiving. " You don't have to trust me but I want it stated that I have stakes in keeping the dome standing," Boston blurted out.
"I know what you are Rowan," Amelia replied, "We should move."
"A lot of ground to cover, you're right." Boston turned and Amelia kept pace. "North you say?"
"Northern. So close." Amelia teased and let drop her lab coat to the dirt. "It'll get ruined in this dusty road anyway; white never stays clean." she commented. She now only wore a green vest along with her black combats, Suitable.

Turning at a junction northerly the buildings soon dissipated until all that was left were the cruel barrens, and harsh sun. Even the road had ceased its campaign. Night was crawling in fast and they hadn't discussed where they were stopping, in fact few words had been exchanged; Boston had been unusually quiet. "Do you think we can shelter soon?" Amelia exclaimed whilst dragging behind. With the silence broken Boston snapped to.
"Oh, right." Boston had completely lost focus and it took him a moment to regain himself and slow his rapid inhalations. He stilled. "There isn't immediate cover here, we could press on..." Boston weighed the options.
"...No! it wouldn't make sense to continue," Amelia interrupted, "There'd be no guarantee shelter would surface." Boston thought on this. Amelia's right. What am I thinking? He sat down and outstretched his legs, Amelia moved closer and sat on her knees.
"Something isn't right." Amelia looked inquisitively at Boston.
"...I didn't prepare the journey properly, I'm sorry, I'm usually better... Boston began apologetically but he was swaying slightly.
"No..." Amelia stopped him, "You're delirious, and..." She leaned forward and felt his forehead. Amelia's skin was cooling. "You have a fever, sunstroke I bet."
"You know I prefer to wait until the second date before I get diagnosed," Boston chuckled before lying back and slowly fading into unconsciousness, the last moments fluttered for him with shrieks of "Rowan" and fragments of the doctor leaning close and pulling at him.

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Character Portrait: Viola Marius Character Portrait: Torex Character Portrait: William Walker Character Portrait: Maddie Salom
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"Madeline, you have to cooperate with us!" THe voice from the other side of the glass yelled. "Why should I? I'm just another freak and no body cares what I think, or if I don't want to be part of this anymore! I'm being treated like a Guinea pig!" Maddie turned her back to the glass and huffed. She heard a small door open and close. IT was the syringe again that she had to poke into herself and take a blood sample. Her face turned sour. She turned around and scowled. "OH no, I'm not doing that just so you can study then ask for more! I'm done with this!" Maddie took a few steps back, then charged into the glass wall. A crack appeared.

"Code 13! Code 13! Everyone evacuate!" One of the doctors screamed. THey all ran out of the lab. Maddie snorted and rammed the wall once again, fully breaking it. She went to where her belongings had be stashed. She looked curiously as her old walkie-talkie crackled to life. She held it to her ear. "Hello?" She asked/ "Maddie! It's me, Viola. I'm going to need some assistance," "Fine with me," Maddie muttered. "Just come to the front of 758 Long Street. Maddie out,"

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Character Portrait: Charlie Redmond Character Portrait: Tech
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Charlie had never liked nose bleeds. Not that he fully remembered, of course, but even without his memory having his blood gush out of his nose made him feel queasy. He ripped off a piece of his white haz-mat suit and stuffed it up his nostrils, even though it didn't seem to be working.

Although he didn't care to examine himself, he could almost feel his infection raging through his body, yet was determined not to let it slow him down. He had basically inhaled half of the cheese flavored popcorn and for once he felt a bit full. The feeling didn't last very long.

Charlie pulled his rabbit's foot necklace out from under his suit and studied it, turning it with his fingers. He remembered the old man had given it to him, saying that one day he would need it, but he didn't understand how it was helping him. He could remember that he had been touched. Luck had abandoned him. What good what it do for him if he would just die in the end?

Dropping the rabbit's foot and stuffing it into his suit, he stood up. He made a grab for his popcorn and stuffed it in his pack. His gun was still tightly gripped in his hand, but he figured waiting would only make him bored and anxious. The fire had died down and it looked safe to explore. How in the world could a building just implode?

Charlie pressed his foot down on the first of the few steps. The ashes seemed to crunch under his weight, but so far it was sturdy enough to hold him. So, he marched into the building and slammed his shoulder into the door. Unfortunately it was unlocked so he tumbled in and crashed into a table with a collection of colorful, dead butterflied in a case. The glass shattered when he landed on it, most of it scattering across his brown hair, but he shook most of it off and stood up. He looked around, finally realizing that the place was some sort of museum. Bones hung on the walls next to artwork. A poisoned tipped sword sat in a case and Charlie debated on breaking it out and using it, but he figured he'd end up hurting himself.

It didn't take long for him to find the staircase. It wasn't too far from the reception desk. The stairs didn't look super sturdy, so he raced up as fast as he could. The wood didn't crumple underneath him- maybe the lucky rabbit foot was finally working right. It still seemed more like rotten luck to Charlie, but he didn't have the heart to throw it away.

The upstairs didn't seem like much of a museum, more like a small, cluttered collection. A few wax figures stood, giving Charlie an evil looking glare, but he put a bullet through both of them, even if they weren't real. You can never be too safe. He figured the museum had been robbed a lot after the touch. Maybe they had been the pinnacle of all history before the apocalypse, but now it looked like a trashy yard sale.

Charlie quickly found bathrooms. He didn't even know if they worked, since the toilets were probably burnt into a pile of ashes, but at least he could... unload... somewhere better than the side of the road. The boy's room wouldn't budge so he used the ladies' restroom. He walked past the mirrors, getting a glimpse of himself. He looked horrible: he was so skinny his small suit seemed like it might fall off any second, his brown locks a wild mess, and he was covered in blood and dirt, a nasty, sticky mixture. Charlie shook it off. He had more important things to do than worry about his looks. So, he took a step toward the stalls, but his rabbit foot must have not been working because he fell straight through the floor, through the one on the first floor too, and landed in the basement.

As he landed, he heard his bones crunch and crack under him, all the air shoved out of him. How he survived the fall, he didn't know. All he knew was that he was in the cold, dark, basement, and was possibly dead. But, on a positive note, he didn't have to use the toilet anymore- he had already taken care of that as he fell down.

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Character Portrait: Viola Marius Character Portrait: Torex Character Portrait: William Walker Character Portrait: Maddie Salom
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Viola ran towards the direction that William had gone in, but then a loud thumping noise could be heard. She looked to see another crack appear in the dome. More people poured in. Some were firing off guns at random. Viola ducked behind a crate as a hail of bullets came down. One landed in her ankle. Viola winced. She grabbed Torex's arm. "Forget it! LEt's go!" She ran with a slight limp out of the dome and searched around before she found a car with the keys in it. She was tall enough to look over the dashboard now, so she got in the driver's seat. Torex got in and Viola stepped on the gas. They drove in utter silence for about an hour before Viola pulled up to a tall, white lab. She got out.

"Word of advice. Don't touch anything," Viola walked up to a keypad and punched in eight numbers. A voice crackled from a speaker. "Come in," Viola opened the door. The two were greeted by a young woman. "Maddie!" Viola smiled. "Viola, there you are! I would hug you, but well, y'know," She trailed off. "How's your arm doing?" Maddie rolled up her left sleeve to reveal her arm was riddled with black and yellow dots of decay. "Terrible," She motioned for them to follow her.

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Character Portrait: Rowan "Boston" Alder
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Light blinded Boston as he sat up gasping, his garments were soaked through and he coughed. "Take it easy soldier, your fever's just broke," a familiar voice assured, "Lay. Be still." The voice asserted as Boston tried to protest. Vision came back hazy at first, blurred shapes; the figure stumbled around bending over and from what Boston could interpret from the clinking noises, the figure was moving items around. There definitely was a fire, he could feel it not to far off. "People forget, you know," the voice conversed, moving towards Boston, "... That there are still diseases and illnesses out there," the figure moved closer and Boston felt a hand wrap around the back of his and motion it upwards. Ceramic pressed against his palm and his other hand was motioned the similarly but to metal, A bowl and spoon.

"To the general populace it's as if a slight feign of unwell is automatically THE epidemic," the voice continued, assisting Boston ladle a mouthful of soup it'd just handed him, "... It's ridiculous, it's as if the whole state see's things through black and white spectacles. You'd be long chucked out of the dome by now, or worse and for what? A mild fever." Boston's head pulsed pain through his body and the blurred vision remained obscurity. "You were talking, in your sleep. Did you know that?" The voice asked.

"No, I..." Boston began but was interjected.
"Something about Eliza..." The voice began, Boston snapped up to the name - soup and bowl dashed beside him. "Hey! That took time and resources we don't have to spare!" The voice berated.
"My sister. That's why I was here. Here in the first place." It took Boston a few breaths but he managed the sentence eventually and then looked directly at the blurr. "I need to go." Boston explained lifting himself up.
"I hate to break it to you, but you're not going anywhere," The voice asserted, "You don't seem to realise the condition you're in, a fever isn't what it used to be. You have residual side effects which may take days even weeks to fade!" Boston knew he knew the voice he just couldn't place it, or see it. The voice and blurr moved closer holding both his shoulders with blurry hands. "You can hear and thats a good sign, you're healing fast," the voice softened, "But considering you haven't said my name nor looked me in the eye once I can tell your vision and memory are imparied, you're vulnerable and useless. For all we know you've seen your sister already and we have a mission."

Boston thought for moment. Whoever it is, makes a compelling argument. "Your foot." Boston responded.
"What about it?" The voice questioned?
"It's damaged." Boston replied, "Left foot. Heel and side."
"Not as blind as you let on huh?" the voice spoke impressed.
"Perhaps not." Boston lied If you didn't stumble and bob about so much perhaps I wouldn't have noticed. "Can you walk?" Boston asked.
"Well enough," the voice responded though Boston felt a tremble in the voice. "Give me a moment to get everything together, put out the fire if you will." The voice requested. Boston turned towards the heat, which now paled in temperature. He kicked dirt towards the embers and hoped that would suffice, the turth was Boston's vision felt as if it was getting worse not better.
"So this way right?" Boston exclaimed, point a direction.
"Yes, so it's all coming back then? You really are a fast healer!" The voice exclaimed. If a guess counts, sure. Boston moved on, failing to notice the woman trailing behind, struggling to keep pace.

"So tell me about this mission..." Boston began.

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Character Portrait: Viola Marius Character Portrait: Torex Character Portrait: William Walker Character Portrait: Maddie Salom
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Torex wasn't left much time to admire the chaos of the city after Viola hung up- when it starts raining bullets, things like that happen.

The day had already been bad enough: being on the run, the crack in the dome, and now utter chaos, death, and destruction. All the things to come were just ridiculous. Viola ducked behind a crate as the madmen fired at anything and everything they could visualize, but Torex, being a broken robot, was not as fast as her. By the time he made his way behind the crate, he had three bullets stuck in his skin panels. It shouldn't have hurt, but as he quietly pulled them out, he winced in pain.

"Forget it! Let's go!"

Viola's voice was barely recognizable among all of the screams, but he got the message just as she grabbed him by his broken arm and pulled him along. He was actually a bit scared she might accidentally pull it off. Luckily, she didn't disassemble him before they found a car with keys in the ignition. Viola took drivers seat, so Torex climbed into shotgun as they drove off.

The next hour was incredibly awkward, Torex unsure if he should try sparking a conversation. He figured he should leave it alone. Viola had her share of problems. William was who knows were and now everyone was going crazy, trying to kill each other. Finally, Viola pulled the car over in front of some kind of medical facility. Viola quickly warned him not to touch anything, but because he couldn't even carry the virus, he felt much safer about the situation.

Once Viola broke them in, they quickly met a girl. Torex almost panicked, but Viola seemed to know her as they exchanged a quick conversation before the girl, Maddie, gestured for them to follow her.

As they started walking through the halls, Torex suddenly felt wrong. He doubled over in pain, but it quickly ceased after a few sparks flew from his mechanical body.

Hey, data chip, he thought, what's wrong with me?

Simple. You are a rouge robot. The government would prefer to shut you down themselves, but in the chaos, they need you dead ASAP. They're attempting to shut you down from afar, but I doubt it will work.

Lovely.

"I'm fine," he said, straightening up. "Just a bit of a glitch." He casually smiled.

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Character Portrait: Viola Marius Character Portrait: Torex Character Portrait: William Walker Character Portrait: Maddie Salom
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Viola turned around. "Hm?" A yell came from the other side of the hallway. "Are you coming or not?" Maddie called out. "Yeah! Coming!" Viola jogged towards Maddie. Maddie picked up a small keychain from the ground and slid a card into the door. It clicked. She opened the door to reveal a room full of lab supplies. "So, where is it?" Maddie pointed to a small black fridge. Viola leaned back cautiously as she opened the door. There were small dishes with lids filled with blood. You could see that over time, that there was basically an algae or fungus growing on top.

"Wow," "Yeah, I never knew my body could hold that much blood," Maddie groaned as she rubbed her arm, showing the place where she had pricked herself many times. She turned around and narrowed her eyes as she observed that Torex was sparking. "Uhhh..... never mind, I've seen weirder,"

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Character Portrait: Rowan "Boston" Alder
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"Where are you going now?" A soft voice called from behind and Boston paused, craning his head to and fro, struggling to pinpoint it's exact source.
"I would be lying if said I knew the complete direction." Boston partially confessed
But you swore blind knew the trail before, the voice began catching up. That's the problem. I swore blind.
"Is your vision or memory not yet a hundred percent?" Bostons companion questioned.
"That's not it," Boston lied, though in truth neither his vision nor memory had even trickled back to him. Before his return to America, nothing.
"Whatever is up then, fix it; the generator should be inside THAT building ahead," the voice exclaimed upon reaching him, "To think, just how far we've traveled."
"Yeah, let's not do that again."
"No promises!" The voice cheekily replied and began to move off. Boston could only notice a slight shade move and shuffled behind. Outstretching a hand as Boston moved adjacent he hooked his hand with his companions and the recipient stopped momentarily, then continued without a word, though now the grip returned was as strong as Bostons.

Footsteps began to clank against metal ground and around Boston could make out the whistling of pipes and machinery, Both Boston and his companion walked single file though Boston still held onto a hand. "You're a lot less chipper than usual, you know?" the voice commented idly whilst leading.
"Lower your voice,"Boston advised in a hushed tone, "We don't know who or what may be out there and we're not exactly armed and combat ready." Boston listened out but the machinery made it difficult to distinguish anything properly.
"You're right, sorry." They both descended down and onto a small causeway, the sound of water flowing helped Boston identify this.
"At the end here I see a right and left, both will lead around to the generator, I think we should split up." the voice ahead deliberated. Just what we don't need.
"Unless you don't think it best?" Boston hesitated, a sound to his left changed his response.
"Go right, I'll meet you around." Was all he gave, then slide past his companion, Should I feel bad I don't know her name? Boston thought creep against what he could only assume was some sort of metal wall. huh... Took me a while to figure her gender out, what IS my problem? Caressing the side Boston kept hunched, feeling with his hands pressed outwards against the metal, the sounds became distinct, Footsteps. But who they belonged eluded Boston, though it wasn't a difficult feat with Boston's visual impairment.

Wait for the footsteps to move away, then navigate behind. Boston planned waiting for the sentry's position to be given away. Boston heard a boot click, One... And another heel step away, Two, Thr... A shriek filled the air from far behind Boston and he turned, still pressed, his thoughts raced to, to... He didn't know who, but she was important and his mind raced to her none the less.
The sentry snapped past Boston without noticing him, speeding off towards the commotion however Boston picked up on the blur moving and stepped to move in sync before grabbing the sentry's arms, kicking the back of his knees so that he fell to them, then Boston extended his leg forcibly into the sentry's back whilst pulling on his arms, the sentry collapsed fully. Dead. Boston sifted through the dead mans pockets acquiring a switchblade,"That'll do," Boston clasped, moving forward and right, passing the causeway.

"Didn't I specifically tell you NOT to scream!?" A voice raged and Boston could hear a harsh physical altercation."Now," The voice began as he shuffled something between his hands, "Who are you? And why are you here? Simple questions." The voice grew impatient, "I tire of this, guards! Wait!" The voice paused bending down, "What have we here?" He began finding a briefcase discarded to her side.
"It's just my research, please." the woman begged.
"It is, is it? Miss... Tyler," Amelia. "...Dr Amelia Tyler, how quaint. Burn it. " He commanded, tossing the briefcase and the notes stuff crudely back in to another person.
"No!" Amelia pleaded and cried, shouting fruitlessly as two men held her still.
One guard knocked her head with a rifle butt; Amelia fell silent.

Boston had encountered a ladder and was firmly planted on what seemed to be the roof of flimsy metal building. Most of the figures had moved or been dragged inside. The remaining one moved towards a searing light emanating from a barrel. Boston stepped couching to the buildings edge but failed to find a ladder or step to descend down, laying out Boston began to lower himself but this left him hanging. Darn.
"Oi!"A voice shouted and Boston could hear a gun being cocked. He let go.
Landing quite forcefully on concrete Boston yelped and rolled up against what Boston assumed was cover."It's a grate mate, you're done." A voice mocked, radioing in that everything was under control outside; unfortunately for the guard, that was all Boston needed and the guard slumped down, a switchblade embedded deeply in the left side of his forehead.

Amelia. I'm coming.