On the road again...

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On the road again...

Post  Seabay Florentine on Sun Nov 06, 2011 1:32 am

Seabay sighed and leaned against the door, petting Marta's huge head absently in his lap. The large dog whined softly.

They were traveling again, their Ferrarri SUV purring along the damaged roads like a large cat on the hunt. Their last stay had been at a small colony, but things hadn't worked out very well. A few demanded Josh fix everything to a point that the rest of them had to object on his behalf, before he could wear himself into the ground. Some of the younger crowd tended to bully Zack due to his size, and set all of them on edge in his defense. A couple of the men had made some rather unsavory comments to Lia, suggesting that they might not stop with comments alone, so they couldn't split up. And Seabay himself, well, word had leaked that he knew of a few places to find resources, placing his very life in danger and theirs with it... Not even the best leader could hold disgruntled colonists in check for long. They had to leave before all order in the place could break down, or they themselves could be backed into a corner and forced to fight to defend themselves.

So, one day they packed up the SUV again with rations, first-aide, and their gear and personal belongings, and left.

On to the next safe-house.
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Re: On the road again...

Post  Lia on Sun Nov 06, 2011 12:08 pm

"Are we there yet?" the dancer asked wryly. The mood in the car was heavy, dreary, and she couldn't take it anymore. Lia knew they had all hoped that they colony would be their salvation, their chance at an actual home amidst this chaos, and the fact that it hadn't worked out the way they had envisioned was weighing heavily on the group.

"I would kill for some mexican food right now," she grumbled as she patted Martha's rump.
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Re: On the road again...

Post  Garrity on Mon Nov 07, 2011 12:21 am

"There's refried beans and salsa in the blue backpack," Zack told her from his place in the front seat, stifling a yawn. He stretched as well as he could, desperately wishing Josh would agree to stop driving just for a little while. He really needed a break. Somehow, though, he knew he wouldn't. Not while they were still so out in the open.
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Re: On the road again...

Post  Seabay Florentine on Tue Nov 08, 2011 4:15 am

"Wait... those were really beans?" Seabay asked, straightening, his expression dismayed. "I thought that was wet dog food..."

Something passed wind. It was a soft and quiet sound, like a gust through an open window. It came from the furry body next to Lia. Marta sighed happily and wagged her tail.

"Oh God," the blind youth groaned, covering his nose and mouth with one hand and fumbling for the window controls with the other. "Marta!!!"

Marta only wagged her tail harder, quite pleased with herself and very satisfied by the refried beans she had eaten. The SUV was soon filled with the scent of digested beans and dog food, a scent only a dog could love.
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Re: On the road again...

Post  Garrity on Wed Nov 09, 2011 12:28 am

Zack gagged loudly, threatening to lose what little he'd eaten right there on the SUV floorboard, and Josh did the one thing everyone was certain he wouldn't ever do before nightfall.

He pulled over.

The moment he threw the SUV in park, he jumped out, leaned over, and heaved mightily upon the Earth, convinced that there was no scent more rancid than that to which he'd just been exposed.

"Seb... dude..." Zack gasped, "you gotta do something about that. We can't ride who knows how long in a closed up car with her doing that."
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Re: On the road again...

Post  Lia on Wed Nov 09, 2011 12:35 am

"Oh, dear God!" Lia yelped the second the smell began to permeate the inside of the car. She was, after all, the one closest to ground zero, the scene of the crime, the source of the infection.

For once, she actually moved faster than Josh did when he pulled the car over - she was out in a flash, taking large gulps of (comparatively) fresh air.

"Marta, shame on you!" she managed once she had finally stopped coughing. "Ladies are not supposed to do that." She instinctively remained with her sleeved forearm over her nose as she spoke. "Seriously, Seb, next time there's any doubt, make sure you check with one of us as to what it is you're actually giving her."
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Re: On the road again...

Post  Seabay Florentine on Wed Nov 09, 2011 3:27 am

"Sorry... I didn't know it was the wrong can!" the blind teen apologized, coughing.

Seabay had flung open the door and stayed sitting in the car, taking controlled breaths and trying to muffle them in his sleeve.

"Who said anything about staying in a closed car?" he asked, voice impaired by the cloth. "I vote we stay here a few minutes, and air the thing out. Best I can do now, though, is take Marta for a walk and get the rest of it out of her system. Unless someone knows something for gas for dogs? I don't want to risk giving her Gas-X, even if we have it--I don't know what that'd do to her."

Dragging himself to his feet, Seabay gestured for the large German Shepherd to vacate the vehicle, and moved to clip on her guide-harness.

"If someone wants to get all the doors open, maybe a bit of a breeze will clear it while I'm walking her," he suggested, making a face at the residual scent he could still smell.
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Re: On the road again...

Post  Garrity on Wed Nov 16, 2011 1:47 am

Josh knelt weakly beside the front tire, waving at them to do whatever they needed to do as he breathed deeply. So much for the MRE he'd had for lunch...

Zack quickly opened the doors, holding his breath as he did so. "I swear," he said when he'd finished the task. "It's lingering in there. I think it's like... soaked into the upholstery or something."
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Re: On the road again...

Post  Lia on Wed Nov 16, 2011 2:23 am

Lia watched with a scowl as Josh and Zack both upended the contents of their stomachs. "Seriously, boys are such babies," she muttered, before she turned to look at her surroundings.

"Where the heck /are/ we?" she asked. They seemed to be in some sort of town. Farmville, America, really. She didn't think they had travelled that far, but this was certainly no longer the city which they had just left.

"Think there's anything useful in these houses?" she asked, turning back to her gang.
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Re: On the road again...

Post  Garrity on Wed Nov 16, 2011 2:42 am

"After those feet, you probably don't have a sense of smell left," Zack told her, sticking his tongue out. Seriously, he added, "Josh's senses are a little weird. He's got this... hyperacuity?" He was pretty sure that was the right word. "Sometimes that works in our favor. Guess when you're closed up with dog farts, though... yeah... not so much..."

Josh rose to his feet, looking at the houses Lia indicated. He shrugged, drawing his gun from his waistband and gesturing for them to wait. Guess it wouldn't hurt to look...
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Re: On the road again...

Post  Seabay Florentine on Thu Nov 17, 2011 4:51 am

Seabay made a face, and shook his head as he took a good grip on Marta's guide-harness. "Well, I don't know about the rest of you, but I better get Marta moving. We'll be back soon... Well, maybe not that soon," he mused, blindly glancing down at the dog as further gas escaped her.

"Marta... check," the teen commanded firmly. At least going for a look around the immediate area, and letting her sniff for danger during this style of reconnaisance walk would let her walk some of that out of her systems. The more he walked her right now, the better. That always helped with gastrointestinal issues when you needed to get guts going more. On the other hand, anything in the area likely smelled them by now.

The large German Shepard led the way with a businesslike demeanor, weaving and zig-zagging in search of scents of nearby life. Seabay didn't often walk reconnaisance with her for this very reason--the sudden movements and turns were a bit disorienting for him, and yanked on his arm to throw him somewhat off balance as they went. It was more taxing on him than regular walking.

The blind teen paused when Marta stopped to sniff at something a bit more, a bit glad of the delay, trusting her to determine if it was a sign of danger or not... When she turned to move on, though, it was reassuring, as that was a sign it was probably harmless. And not a corpse.
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Re: On the road again...

Post  Lia on Thu Nov 17, 2011 10:56 pm

Lia rolled her eyes at Zack. "My feet were fine, Pip. You were just being babies, like I said. You're proving my point."

Seabay, it seemed was planning to go off on his own, something she was surprised Josh wasn't protesting. Then again, he seemed preoccupied by the houses she had pointed out. "Seriously? What /is/ it with men?" she sighed, pulling out her own gun. "Well, I'm going with one of you. Which'll it be?" she asked, looking back and forth between the two who seemed determine to go their own ways. "You take one I take the other?" she then suggested to Zack.
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Re: On the road again...

Post  Garrity on Thu Nov 17, 2011 11:48 pm

"Josh told us to go with Seabay," Zack answered as if she should have known that, forgetting that not everyone could 'hear' his brother the way he could.
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Re: On the road again...

Post  Lia on Sat Nov 19, 2011 12:23 am

Lia arched a brow at Zack. "Okay. You get Seabay. I'll go after Josh," she said, and was off without waiting for an answer (or protest) from the boy.

She stepped as quietly as she could, following Josh toward the house. Her own gun, with only a few precious bullets left, was pulled, though it was obvious she had little training in how to actually use it, despite Josh's best efforts. She could aim and fire, but her form was far from pretty. Well, at least it was something.

The building itself was almost like a sleeping giant, a ruin left standing as a monument to times of old. A family must have lived here, once, perhaps one that even thought this would be the home in which they would grow old and die. Perhaps they had been half right.

"Depressing," she muttered under her breath. "Although they look like the type of folk who'd have some canned goods up in there, don't you think?"
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Re: On the road again...

Post  Garrity on Sat Nov 19, 2011 1:15 am

Josh nodded, gesturing toward the cupboards as if to say, "Go check it out." He continued further into the house, following a sound she didn't seem to hear. He would rather she was there gathering cans than risking her running into something that could hurt her. He could hear the movement of something or someone upstairs. It wasn't lurching or heavy as mutants usually were, but that didn't necessarily mean it was less dangerous.

He moved into what seemed to be a small office, spying a child size table and chairs. Upon each chair sat a doll or stuffed bear. On the table before each of them, a teacup. He glanced up, noting a hole in the roof, the sounds were coming from there...
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Re: On the road again...

Post  Lia on Tue Nov 22, 2011 11:10 pm

"Yeah, whatever, go off into the gloom of the house where mutants might be laying in wait," Lia sighed as Josh proceeded without her, obviously intending she stay behind. As though she would simply leave him alone to check the rest of the place out. She followed a few paces behind Josh, managing to be relatively quiet as she did so. He seemed to be more absorbed by where he was headed than by her presence. She wasn't sure if that was a good thing or not.

When he reached the room with the kid's tea party, Lia sidled up to Josh. "What the hell is that sound?" she whispered, peering into the void above.
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Re: On the road again...

Post  Garrity on Wed Nov 23, 2011 2:17 am

Lia wrote:Lia arched a brow at Zack. "Okay. You get Seabay. I'll go after Josh," she said, and was off without waiting for an answer (or protest) from the boy.

"Wait, no!" Zack called out after her. "He said for us both to stay with..." Realizing she wasn't listening, he left the rest of the sentence unsaid. Instead, he hurried after Seabay.

Seabay Florentine wrote:The blind teen paused when Marta stopped to sniff at something a bit more, a bit glad of the delay, trusting her to determine if it was a sign of danger or not... When she turned to move on, though, it was reassuring, as that was a sign it was probably harmless. And not a corpse.

"You want to wait up?" Zack grumbled as he caught up to Seb and Marta. "You don't want to get caught out here unprotected, right? Never know what you could run into out here!"

Lia wrote:"Yeah, whatever, go off into the gloom of the house where mutants might be laying in wait," Lia sighed as Josh proceeded without her, obviously intending she stay behind. As though she would simply leave him alone to check the rest of the place out. She followed a few paces behind Josh, managing to be relatively quiet as she did so. He seemed to be more absorbed by where he was headed than by her presence. She wasn't sure if that was a good thing or not.

When he reached the room with the kid's tea party, Lia sidled up to Josh. "What the hell is that sound?" she whispered, peering into the void above.

Josh waved her back. He wasn't sure yet, but whatever it was, he'd rather it didn't get too clear a shot of her before he could react. He was fast, but he was still human, with all the frailties and limitations that implied. He wasn't willing to risk her getting hurt because he failed to protect her.

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Re: On the road again...

Post  Henrietta (Hattie) Smith on Wed Nov 23, 2011 5:57 am

A shadow passed over the hole in the ceiling; first going one direction, then the other, then shrinking slightly as the figure it belonged to approached…

CRASH!

A blur of fiery red and dingy, dirty pink came flying down from the opening into the upstairs room, landing thunderously on the floor beside the child’s table, causing the tea things to clatter and one of the fuzzy guests to fall sideways out of his seat.

The little figure paused in a crouching position, unmoving for a moment before rising purposefully to a standing position and… chattering nonsensically to its self.

"Now, really! Mr. Bearrington, is that any way to act after I’ve gone through all this trouble to get us some nice tea to drink?" she asked her fallen companion, her sleepy green eyes full of reproach as she stooped to pick him up, careful not to spill the contents of a little white teapot she clutched to her chest.

Settling him back into his spot, she began to pour a dark, murky liquid into each of the little plastic cups. "Mother wouldn’t let you behave like that, would she? She’d scold you very harshly and you’d be sent to your room without ANYTHING nice to drink at all. Wouldn’t that be terrible? - Oh, of course Ms. Perriwinkle, you may have some more. – Now don’t pout, Mr. Bearrington, it’s not appropriate for a teddy of your age to pout."

The boards creaked beneath her bare little feet as she moved around the table, filling each plastic cup until she came to the one before the only open seat.. presumably her own… and filled it as well before sitting down. She raised the little cup to her lips, taking a small sip before setting it down.

"What’s that Mrs. Whiskers?… Guests?... Who?"

She paused, listening once more before turning an unblinking gaze slowly on a man and woman who were presumably in the room. They did appear to be there… but appearances could be deceiving.

"But," she muttered quietly to herself, clearly thinking seriously on the subject without removing her gaze from them, "why would apparitions come to tea?"
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Re: On the road again...

Post  Garrity on Thu Nov 24, 2011 10:30 pm

Josh glanced back at Lia, his eyes filled with sadness at what he saw and heard. He put away the gun quickly, so as to avoid frightening the girl, though in truth she hardly seemed to notice it. "I doubt they would," he answered the child's question quietly.
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Re: On the road again...

Post  Lia on Thu Nov 24, 2011 11:52 pm

Lia's jaw hung open at the sight before her. If she didn't know any better, she'd say this child was, for all intents and purposes, mad. But could someone so young truly be insane?

The thought brought her short.

Given these days, these times, yes, a child this young could be insane. It was a wonder not more of those she'd encountered were, including herself, given the things she had seen and lived through. Given the way her mother had died...

She shook her head, willing that door to remain shut tight as she focused her attention on what was happening in front of her instead. Under different circumstances, she would have ribbed Josh a little for the fact that he was actually using his voice to communicate.

"May I join you?" she asked the girl, stepping slowly toward the table.
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Re: On the road again...

Post  Seabay Florentine on Fri Nov 25, 2011 12:59 am

Seabay started as Zack caught up with himself and Marta, and the dog paused to go sniff the boy, talk wagging happily. But the respite was brief--Marta was off and exploring again in an instant after her greeting, weaving and sniffing side to side.

Tugged along a bit roughly, Seabay just focused on keeping his feet on the rough terrain. At times he had to lean on Marta's harness to help regain his balance a bit. "Marta'd warn me," he told Zack confidently, though he sounded a bit distracted. "Her nose can pick up trouble in time for us to run, or me to get my gun or knife out. I'd rather run, to be honest, but if she's busy defending me, I'd be almost more of a problem by trying and falling and running into things by myself."

They walked on a bit, the dog weaving industriously as she took them in a wide circle around where the car was.

"So you're my guard, too?" Seabay asked wryly. "Is that by choice or default with smelly here?"
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Re: On the road again...

Post  Garrity on Fri Nov 25, 2011 1:04 am

Zack grinned. "Both?" he suggested. "Josh wanted me and Lia both to stay with you, but you know Gumby. She don't ever just do what he says, right?"

He reached out to lend a hand so Seb woudln't fall. "Would it be better for me to hold onto her? Or maybe to just give her her head and you hold onto me? I keep thinking you're gonna fall with her all back and forth like that."
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Re: On the road again...

Post  Henrietta (Hattie) Smith on Tue Nov 29, 2011 9:20 pm

The tiny little girl looked back and forth between the two, her head tilted to one side as though silent questions passed back and forth between her ears. Then, after a moment which seemed almost too silent after her chatter of a moment before, she smiled. It started small, a little twitch at the corners of her mouth, and then spread across her face, infecting her eyes with brightness and warming the tone of her cheeks.

She then walked around the table, scooping up two of her plush guests, usurping their places for the newcomers.

"You know," she started happily, walking forward and a hand in each of hers, leading them toward their seats, "apparitions or not, it's not polite to come late for tea. You see? My other guests had to give up their places! They're happy to do it, of course. They're very well mannered, and they like company."

She pulled out the tiny chairs for them, setting cups full of dirty, foul smelling water before them on the table's surface. Then she drew a little tray with tiny rocks in it close, preparing to reach her tiny, unwashed hands into the container. "Would you like one lump, or two?"
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Re: On the road again...

Post  Garrity on Wed Nov 30, 2011 12:03 am

Josh frowned a bit at the idea of folding his 6'5" frame into that tiny chair, but he couldn't bring himself to argue.

Until she served the tea.

The stench was worse the Marta farts. He closed his eyes, fighting hard not to gag. "What kind of... tea... is this?" he made himself ask after he got his gag reflex under control.
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Re: On the road again...

Post  Lia on Wed Nov 30, 2011 9:53 pm

Lia allowed the girl to lead her to the table, still unable to shake her pity. Even her makeshift tea party was rather pathetic.

Josh, apparently, who had spoken more to this girl than she'd heard him say in about two days, couldn't even humor the poor thing by playing along.

She glared at him as he gagged audibly, suppressing the urge to kick him under the table, if only just barely.

"Two, please," she answered the girl. "And don't mind him. What he means is," she said, eyeing him pointedly for a few more seconds, "it looks delicious. Is this... all you've had to eat lately? We brought some hostess gifts that are simply scrumptious, but we forgot them in our car downstairs. We can go get them, if you like."
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