A Post-Apocalyptic Picnic Party

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Sarre, Oct 5, 2014.

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  1. It was a dark and stormy night.

    As overused as that sentence is, there wasn't any other way Lilly could describe it. She had thought about it.

    It was a dark and windy and rainy night.

    It was a thunderstormy night.

    It was a stormy and dark night.

    See? Nothing.

    In any case, she was taking shelter in the old school building, sitting on a chair in the classroom by the wall opposite the broken windows. Beside her was a bag of various sorts of stuff, all of which was past the due date. Her aunt had taught her about due dates a long time ago, when they had flown across the country to see her (She wished she had written a journal about it - about what it had been like to fly). She remembered the old hag throwing a fit when she had discovered that the bottle of pop (was it sprite? coke?) she had been drinking had been passed is date for a day. Her memory recalled it being thrown across the room, but that must have been a dramatisation, because she had no recollection of any sort of cleanup. Idly, she rummaged through her loot for some food. She didn't eat anything in the packages - it was important to cook that sort of thing first, but she had a small bag in which she had gathered various greens that had been flourishing along the roads. It was mostly dandelion, but she had also found clover flowers and plantain.

    "Hello, miss."

    The voice caught her by surprise. She jerked upright, and peered at its source. A young girl had walked in through the doorway. She was playing with her fingers nervously.

    Daylily wondered which of them was more nervous.

    It wasn't that she didn't like children - in fact, she loved them - but children that happened to be strangers were a different story. Half the time, they were used as lures, either by packs of urban dwellers or even clever bandit families. As if that wasn't enough, children born after The Storm were sometimes... different.

    "Hi," she said to the child. "Where are your parents?"

    "They're not here," she said. "My name is Lizzie. Nice to meet you."

    "Nice to meet you too, I'm Daylily."

    "Hi Daylily."

    Somehow, when the storm subsided and morning dawned, they left together, the little child following behind her like an obedient puppy. There was no ambush (though she took the longer route out, just in case), and the child didn’t set anything on fire, which was nice. She wondered how she would explain her stray to the group. They were waiting for her a short while away, tucked under a bridge by a river.
  2. The bridge could scarcely be called a bridge, but for one whos eyes had never seen the world before it, it did not matter much. There had been shelter under it and that was all that truly mattered. The dark skin of Daylily's companion only helped further in making the shelter a safe and hard to spot one. Aexis meshed well enough with the shadows,her oddly indigo toned skin not reflecting as much as skin as dark as her usually would thanks to its odd tint. She was the oldest one of them could be. She was one of the silent types. She just liked to stare, and getting to know her better only meant that she would ask you questions you might not be so comfortable in answering. She was a skilled survivor though, she supposed thats why anybody ever wanted to band with her. It was always easier in numbers, especially for travelers, such as herself.

    At this time she was alone at the camp, reading a small book while catching some rays of sun, oblivious to the going-ons of one of her comrades and the surprise recruit she had found. As was usual of Aexis, she had gathered her crystals around her, something she had a sort of affinity with since childhood and had amassed a small collection of over the years. Her only elaboration on the subject was that she liked to keep them close.

    Her eyes strayed from the ruined old pages only when Daylily and Lizzie were already close, neither discarding the book, nor doing as much as getting up to greet them. She was surprised to see the child, even stifling a yelp rather uncharacteristic of her usual calm demeanor. Aexis didn't say a word, but she stared on all the same, waiting for them to be the ones to talk first and explain themselves. Her face devout of any emotion, it was rather hard to tell just how much apologies were needed to coax this member of the group into letting Lizzie stay.
  3. The little child nimbly leapt down the rocks more quickly than Day did. She stopped when she saw someone. Daylily managed to slide down just as she was finishing her introduction.

    "Hi, my name is Lizzie. Nice to meet you!"

    Day didn't hear a reply, so she filled the silence. "Well... I couldn't leave her out there alone, now could I?" she said, trying to justify herself. "And here. I got food and medicine."

    It was a relief to find the camp nearly deserted. There were fewer eyes boring into her. Though, admitted Aexis could easily account for double the glaring potential, with her whiteless eyes. At the moment, though, they were fixed on Lizzie, who was still staring expectantly.

    She put the bag down, then stirred the logs in the fireplace. The flames were much smaller now. "You didn't watch the fire like you were supposed to," Day nagged softly. "Did the others say when they'd be back? I know Rida and Robin went fishing yesterday, I hope they catch something, but weren't Aaron and Erin (she still found herself giggling over their names) supposed to stick around with you? Where did they go off to?"

    Instead of hearing a reply from Aexis, she heard, "Miss Daylily, the blue one isn't talking to me."
  4. Children were always such a hassle. Aexis regarded her only with an unimpressed gaze and the tiniest nod to signify she had understood this greeting.
    As always, between her long pauses and Day's rushed speech, there was never room for a dialogue,until one of them finally fell silent. At this point Aexis didnt even bother to argument or answer the mostly rhetorical questions, but instead sat ever patient and waited her turn. By the time Daylily was done, Aexis almost looked annoyed. At least her brow was a little knitted and her lips just the tiniest bit more pursed than they were when all this started. The expression hardened even more when she heard the little girl talk before she ever had the chance to reply.

    "There is no need for a large fire. I am saving us firewood." She made sure to answer each question in the same order it was asked, though all the while she stared at Lizzie(well, it was more of a glare by now)sounding just as peeved as she looked, not enjoying Day interfering with her task when she had it perfectly under control. She even made sure to close her book and turn towards the fire, stick in hand to poke and prod the logs as necessary. "Aaron said he is scouting up ahead over the bridge. Erin must have come with him. There are not that many tasks around here for us all." She finally glanced back to Day and then back down at Lizzie.
    "You are not very polite." She stated, rather than apologizing, stating her name or educating the girl on the fact that calling people 'the blue one' was not a good thing to do.
    #4 The Sun, Oct 5, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 5, 2014
  5. "Why not?" Lizzie said, speaking faster than Daylily (that was new). "It's not like I'm lying. If I didn't introduce myself, I wouldn't have minded if you called me, 'girl with the blond hair,' or, 'girl in the orange shirt.' Oh, wait, are you sensitive about your colour? Someone once told me that it was bad to call someone black, even if they were. Is it like that?"

    "We'll be moving on soon," Daylily said quickly, putting a hand on Lizzie's shoulder and pulling her away as she spoke, "and we need the fire to cook. Everyone will want to eat when they get back, and we might have fish to dry too. And these canned things; nobody wants to carry them around, so it's best to eat them as quick as possible." She stacked the cans she had found beside each other. "I've got a lot of beef stew stuff, and some canned fruit. You have any idea what clam tastes like? My family was never big on seafood before The Storm. You think I can put this in the beef? Or will it be disgusting..."

    "Gross," Lizzie said.

    "Alright then," Daylily smiled. "No clam in the beef. Now, help me open these cans?" She cast a glare at Aexis. Lizzie was just a child. There was no need for that tone.
  6. Aexis' eyes widened in surprise. She felt almost dizzy from the onslaught of words. Resisting the urge to just raise a hand and shush this overly talkative child was quite a struggle. The more time went on, the more she felt insulted by this girls words. Lizzie seemed almost suspiciously up-beat and chatty. The kids she had spent her childhood with had never been that way, but maybe she was comparing apples to oranges with this. It had been the hardest right after The Storm. Now there were even villages in some places. Paranoia was not a defining trait of Aexis, but the logic in her still told her she had a right to be as such.
    She sighed as Daylily took over the conversation, but thankfully she addressed the child, instead of her. Aexis never bothered to answer the girls question.

    For a moment she let them chat and go about their business, ignoring Day's glare as she had many others before. She looked to the woods beyond the river, watched the sky as she slowly formed the words she would have to say.

    She finally got up from her spot,treading the sandy shore of the river until she reached Daylily and her newest recruit. Now calm and collected, Aexis placed a hand Day's shoulder to rouse her attention from the cans of food.
    "Perhaps Lizzie would like to help me collect more firewood? I can help you with cans. She could cut herself on the tin." She added the last bit triumphantly, though only known to her, considering the usual lack of emotion in Aexis' voice. Even with the couple of can openers they possessed,the cans were still sharp and the possibility of cutting oneself was all too real. Even Aexis had cut her fingers on them once or twice. Now, though she wished nothing more than to talk to Day alone. The child was keeping her too preoccupied. Surely she would see it is important, and would agree to it.
  7. Daylily looked up from Lizzie's fumbling hands when she felt the touch. She'd known Aexis for long enough to understand her quietness, but also to understand when to tell if she wanted her carefully rehearsed words to be heard. Heard clearly.

    Lizzie watched her too, as she spoke, and the young girl seemed eager for this new and easier job. "I can do that," she said, putting down the can, with the opener still attached to it.

    "Alright, but stay in sight. There's some driftwood along the other side of the stream. Take off your shoes and socks so they don't get wet, and watch out for crayfish."

    "Ok" she chirruped. It took only a moment before she wsa playfully bounding over the river pebbles.

    Day watched her, making sure she didn't stray, and spoke to Aexis without turning to look at her. "What is it?" she asked.
  8. Aexis waited for her plans inevitable success, and as she opened her mouth to speak once again, she was following Lizzies actions same as Daylily had before.
    "While I admire your maternal instincts, I beg you to reconsider the circumstances surrounding your precious find." She started slowly, dragging out her words, as if to brace for any possible interruptions and outbursts from a person who may not enjoy being told these things.

    "A child this carefree could not have possibly been all on its own, Lily. She has family... somewhere. I just hope we can sort it out before the rest of our team comes back." As she spoke her gaze turned above Lizzie, over the calm waters and over to what lay beyond, to where Aaron and Erin were supposed to be.
    "This has potential to turn ugly." It was all she added, choosing, as always, not to elaborate much on what she thought or suspected. Even if Lizzie was not a front or a distraction, who was to say her caretakers were even half as friendly as she was?
  9. "You have a point," Daylilly reluctantly admitted, trying not be bothered by Aexis' word choice, "but I didn't get anything out of her on our way here. She just kept shrugging and saying they were gone, and if it were some sort of trap, wouldn't they have sprung by now? It could be they're gone and she simply doesn't understand it yet."

    "Perhaps," she added, "the danger isn't in where she's from, but what she's survived." She shook her head. "In any case, we'll see what Rida thinks."

    That was the way all disputes were handled in their little group, and so far, it had worked. Admittedly, they had the luck of having few disputes, and for the small day to day matters, Rida's judgement was usually sound. Very sound, in fact. As she ran through the dialogues in her head, it seemed more and more likely that Rida's say would be against this poor child.
  10. "Not necessarily. People have more patience than you would know." She chose to ignore her second statement, that Daylily apparently thought there was something dangerous lugging around here. Aexis didnt look the least bit pleased to have the conversation end with the third, and last statement either. As much as they all trusted Rida, Aexis was largely an independent child and as such always wished to settle things as fast as humanly possible and with as little people involved. Rida had a tendency to be gone a lot and as much as Aexis respected the woman, it was still bothering her to know her own judgement was not placed as high a Ridas.
    And so, she held her tongue for a moment, as if gathering her thoughts and the sharpest way to reply, which she eventually did.

    "It would be selfish to burden Rida with this problem, when they will be returning, most likely tired and with a heavy haul." She finally remembered the cans she had volunteered to open as she spoke and took pause to sit down, continuing from where Lizzie had left it off. "We should at least question the girl again, and check our surroundings. Perhaps I could... speak to her. " Aexis offered reluctantly as she examined the messy way the little girl had tried to use the can opener.

    "After food, of course."
  11. "Well, better make sure the crossbows and the gun is ready," Daylily chuckled. Lizzie, on the other side of the bridge, seemed to be doing remarkably well. She carried a good two massive branches - quite a balancing feat. "Look at her," Day chuckled fondly, "Working so hard already."

    "Don't be silly, Rida is tireless. Like a machine," Daylily said, waving off Aexis. "True, Rida was never the type to burst with energy, but what she had seemed constant. One could wake her in the middle of the night, and she would be calmly up and open.

    "But definitely do talk to her, if you like," she added, patting Aexis on the shoulder and standing to help Lizzie. "It'd be good for you."
  12. Aexis replied to the joke with a sarcastic "Yes," and a couple of dramatically long blinks. " Crossbows would work wonderfully." It seemed she was never truly satisfied with anything that Daylily said, or at least, she was not today. Humour had never been the Indigo Child's strongest suit. Especially not on matters she thought were more serious than what Day was making them out to be. But interruptions and rapid arguments were not a part of Aexis' way of handling things, and so she let Day's words slide without much resistment. Though she personally thought Rida did deserve a break once in a while, too.

    "It would be good for all of our sakes," She added very rather ominously after a while,already watching Day leave toward the child. She had chosen to ignore Day's meaning and instead make her own. There was no breaking her resolve. If Day would not listen to her, then Aexis would do this on her own.

    Though her movement was always a little slow, Aexis wasnt a complete couch-potato as it sometimes may've seemed, considering her favorite pass-times were all ones of little to no physical activity. Just like now, she had decided in favor of action. She turned to leave soon after Day had abandoned their conversation. There was still plenty to do until mealtime and Aexis trusted to be able to leave it in their hands. She had decided to check the path Day and Lizzie had come here once more, just to ensure all their safety. She did not bother to tell Day of her plans, Aexis was sure she would not bother her when she noticed her leaving.
    With a safe grip on the dagger around her belt, she began the climb up from the banks of the river, toward the rocks Lizzie had first appeared on not long ago.

    ((ps. i luv ur new icon. that poor cat tho.it looks a little BROKEN. 2 much coffee for one little cat :'( ))
  13. "Are these good?"

    Daylily smiled. "They're perfect," she said, meeting her by the bank. "Here, let me help."

    With some shuffling over her shoulders, the girl handed her one of the branches, and they put them down next to the diminishig pile of cut wood. They'd need to cut them into manageable pieces later. The sky was beginning to darken. It seemed as if they would need to spend the night, and the rain-chilled air demanded a good fire.

    Aexis had wandered, leaving the pot unattended. Daylily sighed, then took a branch and stirred it. She could feel the roughness where some of the stew had stuck. "Aexis!" she called, looking up in time to see her disappear around the bridge. "Where are you going?"

    (oh thank you, hehe; I just re-lined the old one. Also:
    "she let Day's words slide without much resistment" I don't know if this is accidental or not, but I think it is amazing. Aexis has such a unique narrative voice.)
  14. "Where are you going?"

    It came just a little too late. Aexis faltered, hesitantly looking back, but was already too far out to come back and explain her actions. And as she was not accustomed to shouting, she decided Daylily would just have to deal with the unknown and trust in what fate had in store for her. Her feet resumed moving and each little step brought her farther ahead and closer to her assumed goal. She was by no means an expert tracker, but as they've all had to fend for themselves in this new splintered, chaotic world, the average level of expertise had risen spectacularly and so even Aexis possessed just enough knowledge and skill to follow the still fresh tracks of heavy boots and tiny feet.

    The path lead her away from the bridge, down through a meadow overgrown with tall grass and weeds, large rocks littering it just as the ones down by the river. Aexis moved past each one with great care, her bare feet brushing rock only on occasion. The ground seemed safe otherwise and the various plants grazing her ankles and hands were very much welcomed by the Indigo child. The trail led her to an old dirtroad. From there she could see the first building of a long forgotten city.

    It hadn't been a large city before It hit. More of a town, really. Wide streets with cracked pavement were there to greet you wherever you turned and the houses all looked old, even by pre-Storm standards. Here, it was a little harder to follow than on natural soil, even though nature had had almost twenty years to gather its strengths and overpower these man made roads. Some of the cracks were quite large. Under some there were piles of dirt, anthills and blooming fauna. A few trees had even ripped their way through the pavement so they could spread their branches out towards the sun. She found footprints on occasion, noted their angle,frequency, brought to mind Daylily's habits and general thoughts on looting and gathering. In the end she had deduced the "school" building to be the one place Daylily must have lingered at and come from. So that's where she went. Until now she hadn't noticed a single person nor animal making noise within her range. There was little threat of ambush, though Aexis had felt as much from what she'd seen with the child. It was a danger of a different kind she was searching for. Just clues, really. Maybe Lizzie's old camp, wherever she had come from. Someone who she had belonged to. Like her parents.

    She stood in the center of the town square while looking on to the half-perished school house located just on the edge of it. She had a good look at it from here, and she hoped to maybe see something that would give off the sign of being inhabited in one of the classroom windows. To be honest, she had never liked going into these old houses. She was deathly afraid of them, basement floors and low ceilings especially. She was a tad claustrophobic in these places, and even now, was doing every logical thing possible before having to actually enter the building.
    In a last resort, she turned to watch the surrounding area for one last time, just as an ordinary precaution.
    And thats when she saw her. The short red hair was a dead giveaway. The stocky,small figure in the distance walking down one of the streets facing away from her couldn't have been anybody else but Rida. Saying Aexis was excited to see her wouldnt have been quite right, but she definitely was relieved. Perhaps now they could all finally sort this mess out. With Rida, there wasn't anymore need to check the school. Rida would deal with this. Especially when she heard what Aexis had to say. With a quiet exhale, Aexis made a beeline toward the street Rida had appeared in. Her pace was brisk, but not rushed as she balanced over the bumpy pavement and various bushels and growths between its cracks, across the square.
    She followed Rida for a good while until she came close enough to shout, though she did not. As was in Aexis' nature, she preferred for others to acknowledge her presence and speak first.The thought that Rida may have not noticed her follower was simply too insulting to the older woman's skill to even consider.
  15. Rida ambled along the broken road, carrying two crude fishing rods over her shoulder. Well; she felt as if she was ambling. She would have walked faster if the scrawny boy behind her could. He was carrying a string of seventeen small fish, strung up by their gills.

    She hoped Daylily had had some luck in acquiring food as well. These fish could be filleted and dried into jerky, but they had to eat tonight too. It had been a busy day.

    "Almost there," she said, when she sighted the city. "Come on, Robin. Keep walking."

    A glance backwards told her that he was doing alright. She still resented him for coming with them. In the night of their leaving, he had walked in on them packing their bags, and had demanded that he be allowed to come, or else he would scream. He'd had a reason for that desperation, but Rida had since forgotten what it was. Instead, she pushed him to his limits whenever she could, and his weakness just infuriated her more.

    As they got closer, she found Aexis standing in the middle of the road, waiting for her, it seemed. She wasn't far from the bridge, but she was out of sight of it.

    "What are you doing?" she said to the young child. "You're supposed to be watching the camp, and you're definitely not supposed to be alone."
  16. "We need to talk." Aexis announced without much introduction, ignoring most of the very valid questions Rida had just asked her. She regarded Robin with only a small glance before focusing completely on Rida, finally coming forward to join the little group and walk in pace with them.
    "Lily is at camp. " She explained. Now that the next words from her mouth should be about Lizzie, she found herself faltering and feeling almost a little anxious to start the conversation. Rida may not find this a pleasant one and Aexis couldn't quite gauge Rida's mood at this moment. It may just be too much after a whole day of dealing with Robin. The boy was younger than Aexis only by a year or two, but mentally, the gap was immeasurable. He just wasn't used to this kind of life. but Aexis was. And she was grateful for it. And she didn't want to lose it.
    "...She brought somebody with her, Rida. Perhaps it is only my personal opinion, but I am not in favor of this action of hers." She finally said after a pause seemed long even by Aexis' standards.
    Somewhere behind them you could hear Robin quietly cursing under his breath and complaining about another mouth they'd all have to feed.

    ((derp.sorry this took so long and is so short ;________; my only excuse is my own laziness and cold))
  17. "Does this somebody pull their weight? Do they do things like wander away from camp unsupervised without explanation?" Rida replied. She didn't send daggers Aexis' way when she said this, nor did she so much as scowl. The only expression was a darkened frown.

    "And Robin, as it stands right now you're the extra mouth. Remember that before you start blaming other people for things they haven't done yet."

    ((don't worry; length does not matter. Short posts are perfect in dialogues.))
  18. Though Aexis liked to act and talk in neutral, emotionless ways, when the same actions were thrown back at her, she, just like a child, felt it like a personal attack. It hurt her pride, and she found herself thinking of excuses and arguments to spit back at Rida before even realizing it. Something of a glare had even formed before she could wipe it off and stand tall and proud against these obvious accusations of Aexis' own unfaithfulness to the tasks she had been dealt.
    " Does it not concern you that a complete stranger is in you camp? Draining your supplies at right this moment." She paused, her voice still with a tinge of anger and energy despite how much she tried to control it. She took a deep breath and sighed, coughing as if the problem had been in her throat, and not herself. She then resumed, now a lot calmer.
    "It's a little girl. About five or six. Lily is acting strange around her... I simply wished to warn you. Consider the facts and tell me it is not strange?"

    Meanwhile, Robin muttered something about going ahead with a small 'eep' at the two extremely serious women and not wanting to be a part of their tense conversation. They could only watch on as he gathered his last strength and sprinted ahead,just to be out of range and out of their sight as soon as possible.
  19. Rida stopped, letting Robin dash ahead, and turned to look at Aexis. When they had first met, the blue-skinned child had reminded her of herself, but she had realised quickly that Aexis' deductions could be sharper than her own. Her weakness lay in politics.

    "Whoever it is could be a trap, dead weight, or an asset," Rida said. "Knowing Daylily, she is probably fawning over her, simply because she is a little child and Daylily is Daylily. She's smart, but more emotional than either of us, so if you want to leave that child alone in a dangerous city, you'll have to give her a good reason why. 'It's strange' might be true, and it might be valid, but it won't convince her and you know that. Otherwise you wouldn't have left camp to look for me."

    She lifted an eyebrow after she spoke, challenging Aexis. They did this frequently; making small games of intelligence with each other. There could be times when either of them would think long and speak carefully, only to be shot down by the other. They kept each other sharp.
  20. Aexis allowed herself a small nod of agreement to to the several challenges she would have to face in changing Daylily's mind. She had already realized this, but it was embarrassing to know she was not sure just what she was suggesting they do with this child. That was the one thing she had hoped Rida would take care of. Honestly, Rida was like a mother to her, she both hated and loved her all at the same time. She liked to argue with her, she liked challenging the unofficial leader of their small group, but it was always difficult facing a loss. Or how none of the other members of their party ever took Aexis' flawless advice without first consulting Rida. This time, wanting to admit it or not, she was in need of it, too.
    "I... came for evidence. " The reply came quicker this time. Aexis simply didn't have any other answer to give. She turned to look back to the school building and gestured towards it. " It did not seem like the girl really was alone, or, even if she truly is, I wished to know where she had come from."

    "The city isn't dangerous. It's deserted." Aexis stated flatly as she turned back her face to look at Rida again, sure that this argument would make Rida a little more wary of the situation Daylily had pulled them all into. She extended a hand to Rida. "If you wish, I may help you carry the inventory back to camp and you may see for yourself, and judge accordingly...Or. We may investigate as I had intended to." The last suggestion was tacked on a little unsure, but Aexis knew, despite her dislike of buildings and any claustrophobic tendencies she had, it was still something she thought was important to do and as such could not just ignore and forget.
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