Ari Brendlin Chase

"If you like my personality, you haven't met me yet!"

0 · 148 views · located in Post Apocalyptic America (Dallas to Atlanta)

a character in “We Remain”, as played by Willowlae




Full Name: Ari Brendlin Chase
Nicknames: Ari, Bren, Brendlin, Ari Brendlin, Chase
Age: 20
Birthdate: May 14th
Home Town: Atlanta, Georgia
Sexuality: heterosexual

Likes: water || running || laughter || singing || strategic behavioral sociology || drawing ||archery
Dislikes: bad attitudes || screaming || being touched || accusations || dependency
Fears: her brother being dead || thunderstorms || snakes || death || being utterly alone

Ari is known for being the adventurist. She is a firm leader, but appreciates a moment to enjoy life as it is. Most people enjoy her presence, but some may consider her a goof. She is always smiling, laughing, dancing, having fun with the day that has been given to her.

Although she seems all fun and games, Ari is very secluded. Her past, her present, the madness of her reality is completely hidden from everyone around her. Always wearing a smile, she feels as if keeping her feelings buried will keep them from being a burden to the people she cares about.

Ari is brave, although the majority of her skills are mental, she is very good at strategic planning, the psychological motives of a human’s reactions and actions, and has always been fascinated with the outbreak.

Overall, she does very well when it comes to people skills. She strives to keep peace, and know every detail of the surrounding areas. She struggles with connecting to people on a personal level, but at the end of the day is a character to appreciate.

You could consider her guarded, subconsciously I suppose. She is always fiddling around with a small notebook she carries, sketching beautiful and detailed portraits of things around her. If you catch her singing, it is amazing. For the most part, you can catch a soft hum just about where ever she is going.

Physically, she wears a small diamond ring on her right ring finger, She does this in memorial of her mother.

History: She and her brother were born and raised in Atlanta. Her mother and father are both dead and when the outbreak occurred, her and her brother were separated. She made it all the way here on her own at age twelve, and since then has worked the streets healing and treating civilians who have fallen victim to the violence. She is hoping to find her brother along the way, with as little to no casualties as possible.

Anything else? She has a large scar going up her back, crossing over her spine and curling over her right shoulder.

So begins...

Ari Brendlin Chase's Story

Characters Present

Character Portrait: [NPC] Bartender Character Portrait: Dawson Cole Character Portrait: Hunter Clarke Character Portrait: Esme Carrion Character Portrait: Ari Brendlin Chase Character Portrait: Declan Brant Graklo Character Portrait: Eileen Ellis Character Portrait: Marcel Bairse

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#, as written by Kaaaat


The adrenaline began to kick through Dawson's veins. He felt his pulse intensify with each stride as he bolted across the asphalt. Sweat sufficed beneath the inside of his grey, tattered t-shit as he dashed through the crowded streets. His eyes darted from one corner to the next as he searched for his source of refuge. His heart raced rapidly as he advanced forward.

"Cole!" shouted the gruff man chasing after him. His eyes were locked on Dawson's trail as he zoomed through the clots of people hovering along the polluted street. He towered over his two colleagues following close behind, both dressed in military gear. The man possessed a scar that drew over his right eye, and he frightened those who glanced upon him because of his boisterous looks.

Dawson aggressively pushed through survivors and sharply turned the corner in hopes of losing his perpetrators. The streets were crowded today; FEDRA had announced that food rations would be cut short the day before, resulting in swarms of people scrambling for food distributions in the market. Or, rather, what was left of it. Shouts of accusations rang out again as Dawson bolted.

"Get back here, Cole!" exclaimed Dawson's enemy.

Thick pellets of rain began to seep their way onto the streets. Thunder broke out as Dawson's feet shuffled through wet puddles. Quickly, Dawson's sight recognized his surroundings; he was close to Eileen. The starving people began to retreat inside to avoid the rain, allowing Dawson to blend in with them. He looked behind his shoulder to check and see if his followers were close. Doing so, he slowed down and was forcefully shoved into a familiar brick building. It was headquarters. The soaking citizens scrambled into their shelters on the first floor of the old building. Dawson crouched down next to a broken window as he watched his followers run past the building, desperately searching for him. He smirked in success of losing them.

The noise of shouting and scrambling had now evaporated. The survivors scurried away, leaving Dawson alone and unattended. After checking his surroundings, he quickly made his way upstairs to the second level of the building past crumbling walls and broken furniture. He ambled to the first door on the left. Before entering, he collected himself and his thoughts and tried to look presentable. Dawson was already late; he didn't want to be pestered for anything else. Opening the door, he eyed Eileen, a stern look on her face, sitting at the head of a table. Next to her sat numerous officials who stared Dawson down, all possessing the same expression as Eileen. Dawson looked away in discomfort.

"Cole," stated Eileen firmly, staring Dawson down, "Sit down." Eileen's red hair matched the fire in her tone. She was a middle-aged woman, probably in her forties, with strict eyes and an alarming demeanor. Dawson had met her a year after entering the quarantine zone. She was draconian when it came to affairs and didn't put up with any form of shit. She believed in the cause so much that it consumed her. Dawson never sensed any signs of weakness from Eileen, and intended he never would.

Dawson pulled out a chair at the end of the table and hastily sat down. The room was darkly lit, and light was shed only above the table so everyone's faces could be seen, although it was still a challenge.

"What is it this time, Dawson?" asked Eileen, "Military trouble?" Her colleagues chuckled.

"No," Dawson stared at Eileen, "Drug transfer went haywire," he responded with haste. Eileen smirked. This was not the first time Dawson had catapulted himself into trouble before meetings.

"Well, I'm glad to see our Fireflies are such role models," she said with sarcasm. Eileen's eyes met Dawson's with disapproval.

"I wouldn't call myself one," Dawson replied, "Honestly I just do all of your dirty work."

The room went silent. Eileen shook her head. Dawson was frozen. He knew Eileen was capable of harming him, yet still, he continued to defy her. Yes, he was involved with the Fireflies, but he wouldn't count himself as one. Dawson provided strategies against the military/FEDRA, but was never convoluted in the benefit of survivors. He didn't believe in "a better society," or "peace in the future." To Dawson, it was simply bullshit propaganda.

"Let's get down to what really matters right now," announced Eileen. She slammed a yellow folder down onto the table from underneath her seat. Out spilled varying papers; some contained records while others contained pictures. Dawson eyed them with intrigue. The images consisted of varying survivors, all caught on security footage. Some young, some older, all different. Dawson contemplated if a Firefly hit list was forming, but the images captured innocent faces— faces very different to those who were chasing him earlier.

"What's all this?" asked a Firefly to the right of Eileen. He held one of the images up to his broken glasses. The picture depicted a young girl entering a building, most likely in her twenties, with long, dirty-blonde hair. Below the image was the name: Hunter. Dawson held a confused expression on his face as he flipped through the images. There were about six or seven different faces.

"This here," said Eileen with pride, "are our protectors." The Fireflies, along with Dawson, looked up from the images, dazed by what she meant.

"Protectors of what?" Dawson asked, his eyes now locked on Eileen. He was already wary of the situation at hand.

"Her," Eileen responded, sliding an image across the table of another girl. She possessed blonde hair, which was very short, and looked in her twenties. She was petite and looked extremely virtuous. The name: Esme was inscribed beneath her picture. In an odd way, she captivated Dawson. He felt completely blindsided. "She was bitten about two weeks ago and came to us about it. She's shown no signs of infection and is completely healthy. She's a wonder to us all," Eileen chuckled as she held up an image of her bite mark, now looking a bit healed.

Everyone sat up in shock, except for Dawson. Usually a survivor had a chance of living at least two days after the infection struck. Esme's case was unheard of since the outbreak. Dawson was on the verge of cracking a smile, but he suppressed it.

"What does this mean?" asked another Firefly with a puzzling look across her face.

"It means we may have found a cure," Eileen said with a smile, resulting in gasps from a few of the fireflies. Dawson leaned towards the table a bit more as she continued. "By using her, we could easily develop a vaccine with a blood transfusion. All we have to do is deliver her to Atlanta, where the correct medical equipment is located. The others you have just seen in the images will help Dawson get her there—"

"Wait—" Dawson interrupted.

"We've been spying on them for over a week now, Dawson. They're the perfect fit for this mission. And so are you, since you know the land so well—"

"You never gave me a choice, Eileen—"

"You have no other choice, Dawson!" she exclaimed, standing up out of her chair, "You've gotten in enough trouble to be handed over to the authorities. I've gotten you out of enough shit. This is how you'll repay me, and this is what you'll do unless you're ready to be executed by FEDRA," She sat back down, brushing her hands through her hair. "By all means, I'm more than ready to hand you over. Your choice, Cole."

"Eileen—" he continued.

"Dawson, this isn't about you, or me, or even Esme," she cleared her throat, "It's about humanity. If I were able to transport Esme, I would. But we're all too recognized by the military across all borders. You are not, Dawson,"

Dawson looked away from her, a grimace forming across his face. His hands gripped the arm rests of the chair forcefully.

"I've already sent the others a letter. It orders them to meet here tonight. Esme will be present with them. I expect you to be here as well, Dawson. We'll deliver a brief meeting and send you off," Eileen continued as she put a copy of the letter on the table:

Dear _________,

We've been watching over you the past week. Your skills have attracted us to use you, along with selected others, for a mission that could change the outcome of your future. Meet at the brick building on Main Street, second floor, 10:00 PM tonight, and we will be waiting for you. We're counting on you, survivor. Don't let us down, or there may be dire consequences.

Continue to Look for the Light
- The Fireflies

Dawson read over the letter, stood up abruptly, and left.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dawson Cole Character Portrait: Hunter Clarke Character Portrait: Esme Carrion Character Portrait: Ari Brendlin Chase Character Portrait: Declan Brant Graklo Character Portrait: Eileen Ellis Character Portrait: Marcel Bairse

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Ari Brendlin Chase

Ari made her way through the cramped ally way, ducking under the smoke that filled the air. The hood of her sweatshirt protected her hair from the falling rains. Keeping her head low, she shuffled passed the mangled bodies of night women and lonely men.

“Where you going sugar” Ari stopped as she felt a strong hand on her shoulder. She turned around and stared at the man who had grasped her.

“I suggest you let go of me now.” The man grabbed her and pulled her toward him. Ari quickly maneuvered her hand through his grasp on her waist and contorted her way through his arms, twisting them at his elbow.

“First of all, I said don’t touch me. Second of all, if you ever touch me again, I will castrate you with a spoon. Get it?” His elbow locked at its greatest extension, as he fell to his knees. He cried out in pain as she twisted his wrist for a response. “Good.”

Ari released her grip, fixed her hood, and left him in the rain. As she walked by, she saw people staring but made no efforts to look them in the eye. “It isn’t broken!” She shouted behind her, “And if you are looking for love you all you will find is Hepatitis C and aids.” She ducked back onto the main street and out of sight of the night crawlers.

As she made her way forward, she noticed a young man, teenager really, standing with his hood pulled closely to his ears, hiding as far into the corner of a shop as he could. Ari watched from a distance, as another boy approximately the same age hopped over the dilapidated fence and threw the other a bag.

Ari walked past the scene as a soldier turned the corner toward the two boys.

Three, two, one She ducked into the nearest door frame as the boys took off down the street, bag of cash in hand. They should have taken the south route and avoided the swarm of trouble, but instead they had to run main and hit every check point. Dumbasses

Her thoughts carried on as she turned into the next ally and climbed the steps to the apartment complex she had been living in. She pressed the control pannel for b13 and listened to the hollow buzz that she knew would alert her roommate.

The front gate unlocked and she made her way inside, up the stairs one flight and turned the corner into the shabby mold smelling hallway. She knocked at the door half-heartedly.

“Blakely, let me in I forgot my key again!” She heard the scratch of latches and levers on the old wood, as Blakely turned the final knob to open the door, only to be caught by a metal ball and chain.

“You need to stop forgetting, I might think you are a sex criminal. Did you bring groceries?” She opened the door and stepped inside, seeing the piles of mail left untouched. There was a small note left on top.

“Aw, that’s what I forgot, I will go in a second. Did you open this?” Ari asked her roommate who just shook her head and retreated to her room. The note was addressed to Ari

“Dear Ari Brendlin Chase,

We've been watching over you the past week. Your skills have attracted us to use you, along with selected others, for a mission that could change the outcome of your future. Meet at the brick building on Main Street, second floor, 10:00 PM tonight, and we will be waiting for you. We're counting on you, survivor. Don't let us down, or there may be dire consequences.

Continue to Look for the Light
The Fireflies”

Ari crumbled up the sheet of paper in her hand, as she left the apartment. Ridiculous they need handouts now to get people to help them? "Hello ma'am do you have a moment for us to tell you about our mission and statement, its the only frat house without hazing." She laughed at herself as she stepped through the door frame.

“I’ll be back, don’t wait up!” She yelled as she closed the door behind her. She waited there until she heard the scuffle of shoes, and the knock of metal of lock hinges. She dipped into the street, and paused.

The corruption- the screaming, the fighting, the diseases, the pain, the mold, the smoke, the suffering of these so called survivors. Was this really her chance to changing it? She unscrambled the sheet of paper, and looked at the note again. If this were for real, she may have the opportunity to significantly affect the lives of these people. She looked up again, to weigh her options. What would be the damage in just checking it out?

One foot after the other, she made her way across town. There she stood, staring at the central building on Main Street. “They are all brick,” she whispered to herself, shaking her head as she stepped into the dim lighting of the building. She walked quickly up the steps, and found herself steps away from her future.

She looked down at her wrist watch; 21:47. She knocked three times, and turned the door knob subconsciously assessing every possible way this occurrence could go wrong.

“Hello, my name is Ari Brendlin Chase.” She stepped forward, noting the anguish in the air.

What have you done now

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Esme Carrion Character Portrait: Ari Brendlin Chase Character Portrait: Eileen Ellis

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Obstacles - Syd Matters *

For the past two weeks Esme had done nothing much but stare transfixed at the bite mark healing slowly in her forearm. When she first realized had been bitten, she was ready to accept her fate. She had dodged death too many times and knew it was now the moment for her to greet it like an old friend. She was too scared of committing suicide, so she decided to lock herself in her room and wait slowly for the infection to take over her senses and drive her mad, hoping that someone would find her and kill her before she did any serious damage. It angered her; so much that she could almost feel her blood boiling. How could she have been so stupid? All she wanted to do was sneak out of the quarantine zone without being spotted, run down to the nearest pharmacy and try to find some disinfectants and bandages to replace the old ones she had. But she ran into a Clicker and panicked. The only weapon she carried to defend herself was a baseball bat and it hadn't been enough.

Esme was able to knock out the infected, but not without a little price. The bite. She remembered the agony of waiting, of slowly going over the things she had done in the past and regretting most of them for not doing enough to help, or not giving it all she had. But days passed, and soon a week had gone by and she wasn't getting any symptoms. Hell, the bite even started to heal like a normal wound. She had only gone one year to medical school but it was enough to know it wasn't normal.

And so Esme decided to go to the only people she - kind of - trusted about that topic in the quarantine zone: The Fireflies. She had only spoken to Eileen, their leader, a couple of times, since some of her patients and people she mended where part of the rebel group. But as soon as she confessed, her life was turned upside down. She became what she hated the most: the center of attention, and people started treating her like a lab rat.

Eileen had talked to her and convinced her that taking her to Atlanta would be the best option they had. She claimed there where scientists and medics there that could look further into Esme's condition, and that could bring them one step closer to developing a cure for the infection. Of course, Esme knew those where just fancy words for "You will soon become our own little lab rat and we'll stab you with needles just so we can, maybe, probably, find something that could, maybe, probably, lead to a cure, or to nothing. No pressure."

It was around 9:45 PM, and all Esme had done that day was pace restlessly around her small apartment, chew on a pencil and try to distract her mind by doing things like dusting the couch or re-doing the dishes. She had received a letter from The Fireflies asking for her presence on the brick building (that she had grown to know oh-so-well in the past week) at 10:00 PM. Eileen had gone over her little trip's details with her before but insisted that Esme come to the meeting so she could meet her new "protectors".

After pacing around for a couple more minutes, she decided enough was enough and grabbed the messenger bag she usually carried around with some useless stuff like a pocket-sized medical encyclopedia, an old pepper spray and a small first aid kit. She took a deep breath, and left her apartment, since there where more important things at hand, like saving humanity, as Eileen liked to constantly repeat to her.

Esme's outfit wasn't anything really special; she wore a grey hoodie over a pale pink tank top, washed jeans and her signature black chucks. She put the hood over her head to protect herself from the drizzle and walked down the slightly empty streets of what was once Dallas, ignoring the cat calls and insults thrown her way, until she finally found herself standing in front of the dreaded brick building.

"Well, here goes nothing," Esme said to herself, as she dragged her feet across the street and into the building, shaking off the drops of rain from her hoodie and her hair. She soon found herself standing in front of Eileen and a couple more Fireflies she had seen before, along with another young brunette girl, and sighed, knowing she probably looked a little miserable and weak compared to the soldiers in the room. So much for being the cure, she thought. There was definitely no going back now.

* I love writing while I listen to music, so most of the posts I do will include a link to a song I listened to while writing the post. Feel free to click on it and listen to it while reading (:

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dawson Cole Character Portrait: Hunter Clarke Character Portrait: Esme Carrion Character Portrait: Ari Brendlin Chase Character Portrait: Declan Brant Graklo Character Portrait: Eileen Ellis Character Portrait: Marcel Bairse

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The nightmare is always the same...

Replaying those first few hours of the outbreak over and over again in his head. Sometimes subtle differences would allow him to realize he's dreaming, simple changes such as Delilah speaking to him while laying dead. Surrounded by her own blood, yet her mouth would move to form words. But no matter the amount of times he says 'Its going to be okay,' and 'I love you' she never makes a sound. Just as she stops moving the dream shifts, now allowing him to stare down at Calley. His hands covered in her blood and the rage inside of him builds to a boiling point. He hears the sound of his son crying, but its warped and overtaken by the buzzing in his head. His final thoughts turn to Eric, and the flashing red light coming from a scanner being pointed at the back of his head, and just before the dream ends he finds himself looking through his sons eyes and feeling the cold metal of a gun being pressed to his head.

He wakes up to the sound of a gunshot and the taste of blood in his mouth. His bottom lip is cracked and split, he must have bitten it in his sleep. Marcel pushes aside the pile of ragged blankets, shifting to sit and rest his head in his hands. A splitting headache forms almost instantly. He takes a swig of water from a chipped mug thats been sitting by his bed for the past few days. Washing away the leftover taste of blood.

Theres no reason to concern himself over the gunshot, whether it was in his head or in the streets doesn't matter much in that moment. Instead of worrying over something thats out of his control he stands and gets dressed in something a little more suitable. His usual outfit consisting of some pretty ragged jeans and a shirt thats barely more than a scrap of fabric. He layers on another less torn up gray t-shirt and a tan anorak jacket over that. After a moments debate he tucks a knife into one of the inner pockets of the jacket. He stands, boots squeaking against the dirty tiles on the floor in an annoying way up until the point he hits carpet. He pauses just beside a broken window and looks out, glancing up at the dreary sky.

Its going to start pouring any moment now.

"Sleep well?" Pete asks, looking up at Marcel as he passes by the wooden table he has set up in the middle of what should have been a living room. Pete is situated on a dangerously rickety looking chair, made from pieces of scrap wood. His mud-caked feet are propped up on the table. Marcel doesn't bother saying anything, opting for smacking the young man on the back of the head as he passes. Pete scowls but removes his feet.

The kid is a nuisance; a former friend of Erics and the only one to have survived their final adventure beyond the Zone walls. After watching his friends get slaughtered by the Soldiers he had nowhere else to go, and against Marcels better judgment he offered a place to stay just until the kid could find something more suitable. Unfortunately the kid took that as a 'stay here for as long as you want' instead of what it was meant to be. Marcel can't say he minds too much and despite his face being a constant reminder of Eric, he tolerates the kids presence. In the least he knows how to clean up after himself and doesn't bother Marcel all that much.

"I'll take that as a no," He says. Petes eyes following Marcel for a short few seconds, then drifting back to a magazine in his lap once he gets the hint that Marcel isn't in the mood to be talking. On his return to the table he takes a seat across from Pete, noticing an envelope has been placed directly in the middle of the table. "Oh yeah, found that earlier." Pete says, "Its addressed to you."

Marcel can clearly see that- his name clearly written in looping letters across the front. He almost doesn't want to open in, wondering if its a summons for outside work duty. That would be just his luck, and a clearly horrible way to start off an already horrible day. Running a hand through the scruff on his face he looks up at Pete expectantly.

"Look man I didn't read it," Pete answers, as if Marcel had asked the question already. His hands up in a mock defensive way. Marcel scoffs, clearly in disbelief. "You expect me to think you didn't read it? I know you better than that Peter." Pete winces at the use of his full name, but relents with a small sigh.

"Sorry man, just read it." He urges.

Marcel makes an annoyed noise, but quickly opens the letter and scans it over quickly. It isn't exactly what he was expected, but somehow its no less worse.

Dear Marcel Bairse,

We've been watching over you the past week. Your skills have attracted us to use you, along with selected others, for a mission that could change the outcome of your future. Meet at the brick building on Main Street, second floor, 10:00 PM tonight, and we will be waiting for you. We're counting on you, survivor. Don't let us down, or there may be dire consequences.

Continue to Look for the Light
- The Fireflies

Who do these pricks think they are? His face must show that hes angry, because Pete makes a small waving motion and leaves the room before Marcel can even do anything. He isn't angry in a dangerous way, no, his anger is directed more towards the fact that instead of approaching Marcel they sent a damned letter - and they were apparently spying on him for an entire week. He can't believe he didn't notice them, and thats what really sets him off. Paranoia worming its way to the forefront of his mind, he crumples the letter and tosses it into a nearby waste basket. He clenches his fist and attempts to reign in some control. An entire week, an entire f***ing week.

Eventually though his curiosity outweighs his anger and he thinks over the proposition. For some strange reason the Fireflies saw something in Marcel that made them choose him, for what he didn't know but it was no less pleasing to think that his skills were enough to get their attention. After a moment of contemplation his stands and picks the crumpled paper out of the basket and unfolds it, scanning over the time and place again. He decides in that moment that if anything he would at least show up and see what all the fuss is about.

"So are you going?" Pete asks, peering at him from the doorway leading into the room he sleeps in. Marcels grin is mirthless, eyebrows raised "Thought you didn't read it?" He asks, tossing the note back in the basket and turning to face the front door. He doesn't bother answering Petes question, not wanting to give him any reason to beg to come along with him. He pauses to pick up his beat up backpack, though its empty he knows its better to keep it with him just in case.

Then he leaves, a lingering question in his mind: 'Why do they need me?'

After killing a few hours he makes his way to Main Street, the rain having begun quite a while before. His eyes roam over the buildings, searching for the correct one. Once he finds it he quells the racing thoughts in his head. Taking the steps two at a time until hes standing at the door. Unsure if hes supposed to knock or not, he chooses to simply open it and step in. He roams the building for a couple of minutes until finding a room on the second level that seems to be occupied by quite a few people.

His eyes are at first drawn to Eileen, though he doesn't know her theres no possible way he could have mistaken her for anyone else. Not with her face plastered on wanted signs on walls all over the Zone. Next his gaze lands on a dark haired woman who seems just about as out of place here as he does. Lastly he catches sight of a petite blond, her young features taking him by surprise.

"Whats this all about?" He asks, eyes turning back to Eileen. His tone conveying mild annoyance and trace amount of anger from earlier.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dawson Cole Character Portrait: Hunter Clarke Character Portrait: Esme Carrion Character Portrait: Ari Brendlin Chase Character Portrait: Declan Brant Graklo Character Portrait: Eileen Ellis Character Portrait: Marcel Bairse

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Declan Brant GrakloImage

"I need to get more shampoo."

He poured the remnants of the container into his hand and massaged it into his scalp. After foam started bouncing from his fingers, he dropped his hands, rinsed them, and put his hands over his eyes.

"Close your eyes, no peeking!" He heard Kena's voice through the shower glass.

"Who do you think you are?" He teased. He could hear the opening of the shower curtain, and the warmth of another presence.

"Open your eyes"

Declan opened his eyes to the sting of shampoo and such a real memory of what he used to enjoy so much. He washed the shampoo out of his hair and stepped out of the shower, pulling the curtain behind him and wrapping himself in a towel. After he dried off, he threw on a green t-shirt and camouflage shorts.

The bathroom had fogged up, the mirror was completely steamed over. He used the corner of his towel to smear away a circles worth, and it instantly began re-fogging.

Staring at himself in the small section of the mirror, he noticed his baggy eyes and stubble. He looked down at his hands, amazed to see so much dirt still caked under his nails. "I look like shit" He thought as he sat on the edge of the tub and scraped at the caked dirt with a pocket knife from inside his shorts pocket. He stood up, went to the sink, shaved his scruff, and left the bathroom.

He walked through the hallway, admiring the pictures on the walls. He stopped at a light pink door and put his hand on the door. He pushed open the door, staring at the empty nursery. Without letting himself cry, he turned himself around and headed into his bedroom, where he acquired his pistol, mk47, and ruck sack. He sat on the bed, pistol in his hand. He looked out the window and listened to the bitter silence, only interrupted by the air conditioner under foot.

"Soon, my love." He put the muzzle into his mouth, closed his eyes, and hovered his finger over the trigger. He put his finger on the trigger, painfully ready to pull it. A thunk in the other room made him jump, throw the gun to the floor and stand up. He grabbed it quickly and quietly, then made his way to the front door slyly.

He opened the door to find the newspaper, the paperboy dinged his bell and biked away. He picked it up hastily, noticing a folded up paper lodged inside of the rubber band.

Dear Declan Graklo,

We've been watching over you the past week. Your skills have attracted us to use you, along with selected others, for a mission that could change the outcome of your future. Meet at the brick building on Main Street, second floor, 10:00 PM tonight, and we will be waiting for you. We're counting on you, survivor. Don't let us down, or there may be dire consequences.

Continue to Look for the Light
- The Fireflies

Continue to look for the light the words rattled in Declan's mind, as he checked his phone to find that it was 9:30. He looked up to the sky and laughed.

"Not ready to see me yet are you?" He shook his head and went back inside. He grabbed a black jacket, his mk47, and through his ruck sack over his shoulders. Here we go, he started off toward main street.

When he arrived, he saw lights on upstairs. He checked both ways before crossing the street, and stepped inside, and took the elevator up a floor. the building was old, the elevator made him nervous. When the doors opened, he stepped out. He heard noises from a room on his left and paused before entering. He counted to three and pushed the door ajar.

"Declan Brant Graklo, reporting for du-service." He stood at ease, and offered his hand to shake that of his closest peers.