The forest remained dead after centuries, the radiation from the Great War had caused all but the most resilient of plants to wither, and even the plants that were emerging from the ground had it rough. The trees were black and gnarled, the grass yellow. As Kaede walked, she could hear the ground crumpling under her boots. It was nothing more than dry dirt. Overhead, the sky was a bright blue and showed no signs of change. No signs of rain, no clouds, nothing. The heat bearing down on her was enough to make her regret wearing thick armor. Not that she had a choice, considering the danger such a simple act as walking to the city proved. She would rather wear thick armor than no armor, but she would rather wear thick armor than metal armor- thinking of how hot that would be was enough to make her sweat out of pity. After some time, she found a large enough rock to sit down on and did so with a great heave, slipping her thirty pound backpack off her tired shoulders. She'd been walking since dawn. It was time to take a break. A canteen of water hanging from the pack called to her, and she savagely pulled it off, not wanting to waste the seconds it would take to untie the strings. The water was bitter. Almost disgusting. Still, it was no more disgusting than the things she had been forced to eat on this journey. If nothing else it was required for survival, and cooled her parched throat on the way down. Closing the canteen and hooking it back on, she coughed slightly and ran her fingers through her brown hair, examining the woods around her. Nothing unusual as of yet, but one can never be too cautious. Washington DC was still miles away. Or, that's what she guessed since she couldn't see much of anything except more destroyed forest in every direction. Kaede was almost bored. She almost longed for someone or something to fight. But her struggles with her urges had cost her a lot through the years, and if she had any hope of salvation she had to learn how to be civilized. The longing for battle had to stop. From what she heard through the traders, The Brotherhood of Steel offered the chance for battle, but it also offered a solitary life of learning and protecting secrets. They were just the people she needed to see.