Contagion Resistance

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Kaisaan, Jul 19, 2016.

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  1. The city was on fire.

    He could see the flames and billowing black smoke in the distance, but that hardly effected him right now. The fire was there, at least thirty blocks away, but the shooting was happening here, all around him and he was in the thick of it. Gabriel hadn't intended such when he'd ventured from the dwelling he'd taken up hiding in for the night. The abandoned bookstore on an even emptier and desolate street had become a war-zone in a matter of minutes, though, and he'd woken to screaming, gunfire and the sound of powerful engines belonging to vehicles that were extremely rare to come by these days. Whoever was attacking had resources that most didn't and they were using it to reign terror on the city.

    The blond crouched once more behind rubble as more shots rang out from military-grade weapons; automatic guns with high rates of bullet discharge per cartridge. How these people had come across such high-powered guns was another mystery, but it wasn't one he was keen on pondering at the moment.

    No, staying alive was top priority.

    Another explosion, what had caused the raging fires on the other side of the city in the first place, rocked the street. The bomb had been close by this time and Gabriel looked over his shoulder in the direction it had come from. People were running, some screaming, others falling as they were mowed down by the men in the trucks and beyond them was more black smoke, the orange of flames.

    They were trying to destroy the entire city, weren't they?

    The thought was a violent one, but somehow didn't cause his adrenaline to truly spike. In this world, cities fell every day, settlements were slaughtered, groups forced to flee. The world had no mercy anymore and the virus that ravaged it, that had brought it to its knees in the first place, had even less compassion than the animals that called themselves humans who roamed the earth's back. Such things were common now. This massacre, while horrifying, was not uncommon.

    Seeing one of those same trucks wreaking havoc suddenly stop and the people inside rush out to start apprehending those trying to flee, dragging them back to the vehicles and injecting them with something to still their struggling.....well, that was disturbing.

    Gabriel wasn't entirely sure where the blind terror that suddenly gripped him came from, but he did know that what he did next was probably the most incredibly stupid thing he could have done in that moment.

    He bolted.
    #1 Kaisaan, Jul 19, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2016
  2. A deep rumbling sound reverberated through the city.

    In a shock Ailyna sat upright in her bed. Something was happening! She grabbed her glasses and jumped out of her bed. She made her way through her apartment, or rather what was left of her apartment. The glass sliding doors separating the balcony were shattered. Glass pieces were scattered around the now ever-opened door. It had happened a few years ago, back when burglars were still a thing.

    On the balcony, Ailyna narrowed her eyes as she examined the sky. Smoke was filling the air. She could smell fire. Noise could be heard from further away. The awful sound of guns, maybe even tanks? She widened her eyes again. Panicking thoughts filled Ailyna's mind. No! This couldn't be happening! This must be a bad dream! She pinched herself, to figure out that she wasn't dreaming. The city was under attack! Her city!

    Ailyna made her way back inside. She knew that one day this would happen. She knew that one day, they would attack. After hearing numerous rumours from refugees from other cities it was just a matter of time before her city would fall to them. She quickly dressed herself: a simple white tank top, baggy pants with an green-brownish army print, white sporting shoes and her favourite bright-coloured pink vest. From under her bed Ailyna grabbed a black, firm looking backpack. At least the rumours gave her time to prepare. The backpack was filled with some fresh clothes, provisions for a few days and some nifty tools. She had enough to survive for a while and the backpack was always ready for a quick escape. She attached it to her back and finally grabbed her water bottle from the night stand. Finally Ailyna went to her bathroom and quickly put in her lenses and storing her glasses in a special case in her backpack.

    She leaped from the balcony and landed on a carefully placed mattress to break her two-storey-down fall. She quickly picked herself up and started running. So far, all had been part of her escape route, but the mattress was where her escape plan ended. Without a plan, nor a predefined direction she kept running. Left. Right. Right. Left. Her ears where focused on the noise of guns, trying to trace it as accurate as possible. Her eyes were distracted by the smoke circling in the sky. She wanted to get as close as possible to observe and maybe even intervene, but meanwhile she wanted to stay at a safe distance to keep alive.

    She didn't pay attention to the road. Suddenly she bumped into a guy. She immediately took a few steps back as she studied him. Ailyna had seen and remembered a lot of faces of other people living in the city, but he was certainly not one of them. But if he wasn't from around here, what was he doing here? Was he one of them? No, he looked... to 'hairy' for that.

    "Who are you?" Ailyna yelled with a slightly furious undertone in her voice. Ailyna was never the first one to apologize. There was no way she was going to apologize for bumping into him. Instead she lowered her arms and kept a close eye on him, ready to fight if that would be necessary.
    #2 Yanaike, Jul 20, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2016
  3. The woman had been lucky he'd seen her before she'd seen him - but then, a bright pink vest did stand out amid all the rubble, dirt and browns and blacks most people wore these days to blend in - because if he'd run into her at the speed he was going, they both would have fallen to the ground in a painful tangle of limbs and perhaps even broken bones. As it was, Gabriel had been able to check his speed somewhat, unable to avoid hitting the female entirely, but certainly not hard enough to knock them down, both stumbling back after colliding. He took in her appearance in a moment, just as she was doing him. It was instinct now, to study people, to judge them based on how trustworthy they appeared. From her rather clean blond hair, clear green eyes and the state of her clothes, worn but not thread-bare, not caked in dirt and blood and the filth of this broken world, Gabriel would say she was a resident of the city.....perhaps she'd never left it, had never seen the horrors outside of these stone, towering buildings.

    Or maybe she had and she'd chosen to stay here, where it had been safe.

    Either way, she wasn't a danger to him. It wasn't appearance that told him such, nor her scent so strong in his nose, lingering on his clothes where they'd run into each other. It was a sense he couldn't describe, but knew as well as he understood anything about himself. A sixth sense some might label it, and it told Gabriel that the small woman before him meant him no harm.

    Just as it told him that those behind him did.

    Ears, keener than most, heard the telltale click of a gun, one among hundreds going off around them, but this one sent his hair on end and Gabriel reacted without thought. He lunged forward, grabbing hold of the woman, voice sharp. "Get down!" He yanked her down with him, body instinctively covering part of her own as a bullets whizzed past them, hitting the stone behind them.

    Dark amber eyes looked to green then, wide, dilated and suddenly cat-slit. "We need to run. Can you?" It wasn't safe here and why she'd been coming toward the conflict he couldn't understand, but now that he'd helped her....Gabriel couldn't leave her. He wouldn't.
    #3 Kaisaan, Jul 21, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2016
  4. She followed the young man's eyes as he examined her appearance. The way he studied her reminded her of high school. Back in those days, a judging look like this, might have made Ailyna feel unsure about herself. Why are they looking at me? Do I have stains on my shirt? Do they think I look stupid? Am I fat? Nowadays a sense of wonder had replaced the uncertainty about herself. She tried telling from people's faces - their eyes, their mouth - what they thought about her. But even if they labelled her as a dumb slut, with nothing more than good looks, it didn't affect her self-confidence.

    His dark amber coloured eyes seemed to be focused mainly on her clothes. Yeah, she knew her bright pink coloured vest set her apart from the usual grey and brown dressed people nowadays, but a few nerds didn't stop her from wearing her favourite clothes. Besides, she didn't mind looking a bit different.

    The sound of a gun shot echoed to the streets, immediately followed by an action of the guy, pulling her down. "We need to run. Can you?" he said.

    "Of course" Ailyna responded. "Follow me!", followed by a beckoning wave with her hand. Still partly curled up, Ailyna sneaked away out of plain view. When she reached a side street she got up and started running. She didn't want to look back, afraid that they would shoot her. She didn't know if he was still behind her, the only thing she could do right now was to assume he was still following her.

    Ailyna led him not more than two blocks away to the abandoned entrance of the subway system. The subway system was one of the first public places they closed, way before they started experimenting in the open. The bunched mass of commuters during rush hours was just too great of an opportunity for the virus to spread. Nowadays the subway system was not much different from a stinky smelly sewer system. Parts of the subway tunnels were overgrown by dark lush vegetation which apparently had no trouble with darkness, other parts of the subway tunnels had collapsed or remodelled to accommodate shelter. But there were still parts of the subway tunnel network intact and they proved a perfect way of transportation underneath the city, out of sight for the invaders. Ailyna had lived in this city for so long - both before the virus, as well as after - that she knew perfectly how to navigate the tunnels. She wouldn't need a carriage for that.

    She kept her eyes focused on the entrance of the subway tunnel. "We can sneak up on them and attack them from behind" Ailyna proposed with a grin on her face. She looked behind to see if the guy had followed her.
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  5. Well, at least she wasn't brave and stupid.

    Brave he could understand, but throwing yourself into a danger you couldn't possibly beat? That was just plain idiocy and if the pink-vested female had been inclined to get herself killed, Gabriel wouldn't have followed her. She appeared to have a smart head on her shoulders, though, and as she crept away and started to run, he raced after her without hesitation, desperate to be away from this place. The fear was...a new kind of feeling rising up within him, threatening to choke the breath from his lungs like nothing before it ever had. He couldn't pinpoint why such a thing was, what about these people caused shivers and dread to flare down his spine, but he trusted the instinct that screamed at him to get away. THAT he would listen to.

    Gunfire rang out once more behind them and the blond stumbled, but regained his feet in the same breath, continuing to run until the female took them both into the abandoned subway system. The light immediately cut off, leaving spots floating before his vision as his eyes attempted to adjust to the dimness. It didn't take long, his sight in the dark far more advanced than it had been six years ago. He had the virus to thank for that - if anyone could truly thank the contagion for anything. As his dark amber eyes became aware of their surroundings, his ears started to filter in the dripping of water from the ceiling and the pitter-patter of animal feet scurrying around the vegetation that had grown so abundantly in the absence of technology. His sense of smell was something Gabriel would have liked to be less intense right now, but he couldn't control that anymore than he could calm the rapid thudding of his own heart against his chest. Only time would slow it and only leaving this new sewer system would rid him of the toxic stench in his nostrils.

    When would the pain in his side leave?

    Gabriel had mistaken the sharp ache for a cramp, not even really thinking about it before dismissing the discomfort as unimportant, but now it was tugging at him. The pain was growing, becoming insistently harder to ignore and the blond put his hand to his side, hoping to ease the unhappy tension in his muscles. He hand drew back not a moment later at the sensation of something wet and he hissed at the flare of agony that had awoken at his own touch. Amber eyes flickered down to his palm and even in the dim atmosphere of the subway tunnel, only the light from the entrance above providing illumination, he could see the glistening red of blood across his skin.

    He'd been shot.

    The female's words registered then as if from a distance and Gabriel blinked, looking up at her and then toward the light of the above world. He managed a short, slightly breathless chuckle. "I don't think that's a good idea." Gabriel winced then and pressed his hand back to his side, this time prepared for the pain and knowing he had to put pressure on the wound anyway. The last thing he needed was to bleed out....and there was a lot of blood already.
    #5 Kaisaan, Jul 26, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2016
  6. Ailyna felt a bit annoyed by the young man's response. His words expressed some kind of ignorance to the situation. The city was under attack and there were many things Ailyna could do, but hiding at a safe distance, just to watch how they would slowly invade her city was certainly not one of them. This was her city and she was ready to fight for it! Of course she didn't think she could actually defeat the invaders but the least she could do was to somehow turn the knowledge of her homegrounds to her advantage and deal major damage to them. Or she could go into the city, trying to save as many others as possible.

    The one important thing was that the invaders couldn't take her alive. No matter what, she didn't want to spend another lifetime in their research facilities. It had been so horrible there that even the thought of going back made her feel sick. No! In the end of the battle Ailyna would have to accept her loss and she had to flee eventually. ...Or she had to die. The thought of the latter echoed in her mind as Ailyna bit her lip. She didn't really want to die, but if it would came to it she would sacrifice her own life for the greater good. As long as the invaders would not take her alive.

    "I don't really care about your opinion" Her voice was cold and direct. "You can stay here," she raised her voice, full of courage, "but I'm gonna fight!"

    She channelled her energy towards her right arm. A spark appeared, followed by a small fireball appearing in the palm of her hand, just bright enough to navigate through the tunnels. She waved the fire around in front of her, as a way to allow the guy a final consideration.

    Then she spotted blood on his skin.

    "Oh my gosh" she exclaimed, a slightly panicking undertone appeared in her voice. "You're wounded!" She concluded it must have been happened before they sneaked away in the direction of the subway system.

    Preferably Ailyna wanted to carry on with her plan, but she also realised she couldn't just leave a blooding man behind. Then again, she had no experience with medical treatments whatsoever. With the light in the palm of her hand she inspected his side. She wished he would have been here. He would have known exactly what to do, and he would always have a few tricks up his sleeve for a quick heal. "Do you think you're still able to walk?" Ailyna asked, quite nervously.
  7. If you didn't care about my opinion, why announce your plans to me?

    The reply never really passed his lips, a bit too snapped to be smart and Gabriel knew such. No, he was far more focused on the blood escaping his body, looking down at the wound in the dimness that surrounded them, but when light suddenly appeared, amber eyes looked up to find the source. Seeing the fire in the woman's hand startled him - not because she was holding it, but for the simple reason that he disliked the flames - and the blond flinched back, eliciting a hiss as the wound in his side sent a flare of pain through him. The female took that moment to notice he was injured and Gabriel focused on breathing, his attempts a bit ragged as his body protested everything he did. The adrenaline had kept him from noticing before, but now it was fading away and the lightheadedness of losing blood and the discomfort of being shot were catching up to him.

    Could he move?

    "I...yeah, I think so."

    His hand was pressed back to the hole, trying to put as much pressure as he could manage without passing out to slow the bloodflow. It wasn't going to work for long, though, and dark amber eyes rose to green, his own dilated with pain, but still able to comprehend what was going on around him and who she was - though, he didn't actually know. They hadn't gotten around to exchanging names....and perhaps now it didn't matter. If he died he could just be one face among many for her instead of a name.

    Sometimes, in this world where so much death occurred everyday, that could be a blessing. To just not know.

    "If...if you can get me" He reached out with the hand not holding his side, finding the tunnel wall as he grew dizzy. To his credit, Gabriel didn't fall or lose consciousness, taking a careful breath before he continued. He was made of far stronger stuff than most. "I need a knife, clean...and bandages....though, fire might be g-good. Burn it sh-shut..." It was a thought rather than a request and he grimaced at the thought but tried not to focus on it, not yet as he looked back to the woman and offered a smile that was far too strained.

    "Or you c-could leave....if you want. G-go fight." If she did, she wouldn't win, just like the other people of this city wouldn't win, but it was her choice and he wouldn't tell her to stay or go. Every person deserved to be able to make those decisions for themselves.
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  8. His sudden movements when Ailyna lighted the fire in her hand struck Ailyna. Was it fear? Was he afraid of her flames? A large muscular looking guy, being afraid of a little fire? She could do a lot more than the little fireball in the palm of her hand. A small grin appeared on her face. If he wouldn't have been in such a bad shape, she would have teasingly turned the flame closer to him. It felt good, not only because she could prove herself to be more than just good looking, but it was always nice to knew another man's weakness, she could use it as a way to exert power over him.

    Help him or leave him to go fighting?

    It didn't really seem like a fair choice to her. She rather wanted to be on the front line, fighting for her city, but she couldn't just leave him like this.

    "Why does this always happen to me?" she grumbled. "Why do I always have to play the nurse?" Somehow the men close to her always took huge risks to save her, assuming she wouldn't be able to save herself. They would then end up with a deadly wound and Ailyna would be required to take care of them. This was the third time something like this had happened, the third time she had to threat someone else's wound, which wouldn't have been necessary. She wasn't sure if she would have survived the gunfire without him. But then again, if he wouldn't have been there, she wouldn't have bumped into him in the first place.

    Ailyna kneeled down next to him, took off her backpack and placed it on the ground. One might get confused by the content of her backpack. On the one hand it contained stereotypical female stuff: mainly clothes though, lots and lots of clean, fresh, clothes, more than most people would be carrying around nowadays. On the other hand it contained some more less stereotypical items, which might make one wonder what kind of female they were dealing with. Ailyna grabbed one of those items: a large sharp machete.

    "Here is the bloody knife you asked for" she continued in the same grumbling voice as she threw the machete on the ground in front of his feet. She couldn't really see how he would use it, especially with no bandages around.

    His second part of the treatment sounded kind of weird. Burn his wound shut? She'd used her powers before to weld two pieces of metal together, but doing this for human flesh was a whole different story. She couldn't see how it would ease the pain, or how it would heal the wound, but maybe it could at least stop the bleeding?

    "Are you sure?" she asked, but she didn't give him a chance to reconsider. She was way to enthusiastic: she got to play with fire around someone who previously feared it, what more was there to wish for. She moved the ball of fire from her right to her left hand and summoned a little flame in the top of the fore finger of her right hand. The flame was much hotter than the flame she controlled in her left hand and had a more blue-ish colour, much like the old gas burners.

    "This is probably going to hurt" she said as she moved her finger towards his wound and started scorching the wound.
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