Finding Paradise

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Artemis, Mar 10, 2016.

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  1. @Voice

    When Blake told her friend Tori she often thought how cool it'd be to experience and survive a post-apocalypse, she should have air quoted the statement. Thought. Not actually do. Looking back on then and comparing it to now? She wanted to think that her curiosity had no impact on the present. Instead of imagining herself in a zombie apocalypse, she was truly in it.

    A year and a half had passed since the outbreak began. How she'd survived thus far? Blake hadn't the slightest clue.

    Sitting in an abandoned house, night had fallen hours ago. Scanning the surrounding streets, the suburb was devoid of life. Only the infected milled about. She didn't count them in the life group.

    Even after seeing the sorry things day in day out, Blake never got used to the fungus that grew out of the former people. She prayed they wouldn't hear or see her. She'd gotten good at barricading, but she wasn't so sure it'd hold against a horde. Actually, She was fairly certain it wouldn't hold. She didn't fancy getting close and personal with the things either. She was low on arrows too. She'd have to make more.

    With only the moonlight to keep away the dark, Blake took out a copy of ‘The Andromeda Strain’ she found at a library and opened it. Even when the whole entire world had gone to shit, she still found time for her own pleasures. It kept her sane. There were many times she wanted to end it all. If not for her desire for normalcy, she probably would have.

    Looking about the second floor bedroom she was in, she couldn't take all the credit for the comfort she experienced now or the total construction of the barricades. She found the place like this when finding shelter for the night. There were supplies present too. Most likely belonged to another survivor. Perhaps survivors. The place was big. Blake hoped they didn't mind forced hospitality. A part of her hoped they were okay too, yet another part they wouldn't come back. Humans were just as dangerous as the infected. In more ways than simply killing and infecting. She'd experienced the deterioration of humanity first hand.

    Tugging at her brown leather jacket, Blake felt the reassuring feel of her climbers axe as she sat facing the door. She took out a half eaten protein bar from her black cargo pants. She figured she earned the other half.

    Continuing her book, Blake shifted her eyes to the door and out the window. Even at night she wasn't safe. Awareness and reaction was the name of the game. Those that had it survived. Those who didn't? They joined the infected or the dead.
  2. Kit
    The world had gone to hell in a handbasket and Katherine Vasquez wasn’t entirely upset about it. Did she miss cold beers and hot cheeseburgers? Yes. Did she miss rich white assholes lording it over the population while running it into the ground? Not particularly.

    “Fore!” She swung the golf club and sent the ball flying. Miraculously, it crunched into the eyesocket of one of the distant dead. Blood and meat sprayed from the impact. One in a million.

    “Hole in one?” She asked herself as she reached behind her for another ball. Her fingers scraped the bottom of the bucket. Damn. “A toast to you, my friends, for succeeding as the superior race. It appears to be time for me to kick the bucket.” She proceeded to drop kick the bucket over the edge of the roof. It clattered against the asphalt. A few of the roamers moved to investigate the noise. Kit watched from her position on the rooftop, and refused to admit that she might be a little buzzed. Or lonely.

    If this had been a year and a half ago, Kit would’ve been escorted from the property long ago. A Latina mutt like herself had no right being in a gated community such as this. Not that the tiny wooden fence had done much when it came down to it.

    Not all of them were bad. She admitted that. Jesse and Howard had taken her in, hadn’t they? She sighed and looked out over the deserted neighborhood. She needed to go back to their house. She needed the supplies for when she got back on the road.

    Kit rotated her arm back and used all of her body’s momentum to hurl the beer bottle as far as she could. It shattered against a mailbox with pieces flying into the overgrown lawns.
    She missed drinking. It wasn’t safe to get drunk anymore. Hell, it was a risk even being a little bit buzzed. She had always been a little bit reckless. Reckless people weren’t supposed to survive in a world like this. Kit still didn’t know why she had.

    A long flat plank rested against the lip of the roof. With a little effort, she managed to set it down to bridge the gap between this house and the next. For upper middle class folks their houses sure were close to one another’s.

    She used the board and others stashed on rooftops to make her way back towards the Den. Stupid things weren’t smart enough to climb. Rooftops were one of the safest places to be, nowadays. Certainly the safest way to travel through an infected suburban neighborhood at night.
    As she neared closer to the house a dark feeling settled in her gut.

    It was difficult to see into the dark room, but the binoculars she grabbed from her bag helped a little. She only needed a few moments to confirm what she had suspected.
    There was definitely something in her room.

    As much it was ‘hers’, anyway. After four months of occupation it was beginning to feel like hers. She almost laughed out loud at the irony.
    Kit removed her boots and stashed them along with her pack on the rooftop of the adjacent house. She had to be silent here. Kit refused to think about what she would do if she couldn’t make it back for her things.

    It was easy to sneak up to the window. She knew this landscape. The latch was undone; just as she had left it. Now that she was a little closer Kit could confirm that the figure inside was human. She bit her lip. If only it had been a roamer. They were so much easier to deal with.

    In one swift motion she slid open the window, grabbed the other woman, and pressed a knife against her neck.
    “How many others?” She hissed as she held her steel against the other woman’s throat, all the while praying she wouldn’t have to use it.
  3. As the night carried on without too much excitement, Blake found herself more entrenched in her book and less on observing and maintaining security. Perhaps it was from the cockiness of staying alive so far, her time spent guarding and securing lessened as she figured patterns of most hostile figures. The infected were never quiet and people hardly wandered out at night. Especially in congested zones like these. It'd be suicide.

    Turning a page in her book, Blake thought she heard something from the roof. Her ears strained to listen for further movement. When the initial sound never came back, she looked back down to her book and flipped the page again. It was times like these she wished she went into something more science oriented than that of marketing. Marketing was hardly practical now as opposed to being a virus freak. She could've rolled with the CDC or something. Her degree skills were all but obsolete now.

    About to turn the page, this time the noise she heard wasn't on the roof. It took her less than a second to realize that the window had been opened and someone came through said window. Her reflexes kicked in as she reached for her axe, but the cool peck of something made of steel kissed her neck.

    Pinned against the wall, Blake raised her hands as her heart hammered against her chest. She started counting to three in her head. It was a nervous tick she made a habit out of since high school. It helped calm her down, but not tonight. It didn't do shit.

    Blake nodded towards the door. "Still barricaded. What do you think?" she rolled her eyes more so to herself as she remembered the situation she was in. "It's just me. If that wasn't obvious. Kill me. Or don't. I prefer the don't more so. I needed a place to hunker down for the night. Ending up finding all this. If this was yours first, we need to share. I'm not going out there at night."​
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  4. (Hey, do you think possibly you can tag my name in your posts in the future? So that I get an alert when you respond? That would be awesome)

    Reading people had never been one of Kit’s strong suits. She was much better at breaking things. Skulls. Locks. Barricades. Promises. With that in mind she pressed her other hand against the woman’s head in order to keep her neck trained on the blade, and then awkwardly shuffled into the room. Thank God she had taken her boots off.
    From inside she had a better view of the door. It did indeed appear to be barricaded.

    A knife wasn’t going to cut it for the job she had in mind. Pun intended. She situated herself so the other woman’s back was pressed against her front, the knife at her throat holding them together. With her free hand, Kit reached into her waistband and pulled out a pistol. No silencer. She’d lost it when she lost Jesse and Howard. The loss cut her almost as much as the loss of the people had.

    “Turn around.” She ordered. When the other woman had done so, Kit spoke again. “Hi. My name is Katherine Vasquez. I’m hungry, I’m tired, and I really would rather not be killed in my sleep tonight.” She used both hands to train the loaded gun at her unexpected roommate. “Yes, this is my place. No, nobody else is coming. You can even barricade and latch the window if you want to.

    "But not quite yet.” She resisted the urge to wipe off the spray of blood still on her face. Her tattooed hands were equally blood stained, obscuring the tattoos.

    “First order of business; please remove your shoes, jacket, shirt, and pants. TSA style. Weapons go in a pile on the floor.”

    The other woman might try to attack. It was possible. But in close quarters like this, it was very likely she’d be shot in the process. Was being shot and attracting the dead’s attention really worth fighting a strip search? She was still alive after a year and a half, so Kit had to assume she possessed some common sense. She really didn’t want to get into another fight tonight.

  5. Enduring the silence, Blake looked at her captor. Then she looked at the knife and the small bulge in the woman's pants. She was careless tonight. Maybe her mortalist attitude and cockiness from surviving wasn't just some after thought any longer. That mindset may have just cost her her life. Looking back at the woman, Blake noticed the specks of blood. It could've been from anything. However, Blake was always good at assuming the worst.

    Turning around, she'd play along with this 'Katherine' for now. She wasn't ready to die yet. When Katherine asked her to remove her clothes, Blake shook her head. "If those things know we're in here, I'm sure as hell not getting far in bare feet. Nor near naked," she said. She nodded to her ax and arrow. "My stuff's already out in the open. You got a gun. I got fists. Do that math logic. You'd probably shoot and kill me. That'd also draw in the infected. I figure that'd be bad for the two of us."

    Turning back and looking at Katherine, Blake arched an eyebrow. "I have no problem disarming. For tonight before I break camp and move on," she said. "I keep my clothes. My book. You get to wave that piece in my face. Not a bad deal compared to the alternative." ​
  6. "I was actually attempting to be hospital..hospi.... Polite, to a guest in my home, but it looks like you're going from guest to intruder." She chewed the inside of her cheek, considering. "I'm not going to sleep with the possibility that you might make sure I never wake up. " she watched the other woman for another few long moments. Kit sighed. She scratched her blood stained forehead with the butt of the gun.

    "Ay, dios Mio." She moved past the still unnamed woman to retrieve a pistol strapped to the underside of the bed.

    Once that was done, she moved to the middle of the room, kicked over a rug, and began to use a knife to pry open the floorboards. A second later she was sitting on the ground with her back to a wall, unwrapping pieces of dried jerky.

    The perfect fucking end to the perfect fucking day. She was going to stay up all night until this asshole decided to clear out. Then Kit could collect the rest of her supplies and be on the road again.
  7. Blake watched Katherine carefully as she retrieved another pistol from underneath her bed. Moving back to the middle of the room, Blake felt her mouth water as she saw the dried jerky. Maybe it was a good thing she hadn't taken anything. Katherine may have been less 'hospitable' than she was now. Blake needed the shelter. For tonight at least. Her tone wasn't helping things either. She always had that problem. How she spoke got her into trouble far too many times.

    She reached over and grabbed her book then scooted away from her weapons. That terrified her. She hated being defenseless. Defending herself against infected and other people was why she was alive. Course, it also contributed to her lacking survival instincts exemplified by her current predicament. She hadn't heard the woman come in through window until it was too late.

    "I don't kill unless I have to." Opening her book back to the page she marked, Blake kept her eyes trained on the Hispanic woman. "Katherine right? I'm Blake. The mistrust is mutual; the ... current state of the world sometimes makes me forget manners. I've been running all day. I'm tired."

    She shrugged. "It'll be a long night if we have a stare off."​
  8. It was difficult to make out the title of the book from her vantage point in the corner of the room. A, M, O, R, D, N, E, D, A? The cover didn't look like a textbook or medical book. Was this lunatic actually reading for fun?

    Then she saw the other woman staring at the jerky in her hand. That look. Kit knew that look. The memory of it made her vaguely nauseous.

    "Stop lookin' at me like that." She grunted. She reached into her stash and tossed the other woman two packets of dried meat.

    "It's Kit. Not Katherine. The last asshole who called me that, he..." She looked down at the floor. "It's just Kit. Por favor, gracias." She wiped the edge of her sleeve across her cheek, but it did nothing to cleanse it of the dried blood.

    "A long night? Chica, it's been a long year and a half."
  9. Katherine was off limits then. Blake was curious at the woman's aversion to her name, but she knew better than to pry. Already taking the jerky that Kit threw her way, she nibbled on it. She savored every bite. The satisfaction from the meager meat was like Turkey on Thanksgiving day. The jerky wasn't about to be consumed quickly.

    "A year and half? It's been that long?" Blake asked. She knew it'd been a while, but not that long. She stopped counting after the electricity and broadcasts went out. She'd been surviving day to day. In the moment without thinking about the past or future. Until she found shelter that was. She lifted the jerky. "Thanks."

    She tapped the book. "Normalcy has kept me sane. I know. Reading. Stupid," she said. "Look. I'm not going to slit your throat if you fall asleep. Nor do I hope you'll do that to me if I fall asleep. I don't kill people unless they try to do me in. Or worse." Scratching her neck, Blake sighed. "But I don't suppose you'll just take my word for it. Not that I can blame you. It's funny what people do when the 5-0 isn't watching their backs." ​
  10. Kit

    All she offered in response was a shrug. She couldn't say what day it was, or, hell, even what month. She was, however, pretty sure what season it was, and how many had passed since the start. It was autumn now. The nights were starting to get longer. Another hard winter of fighting for scraps was coming their way. She ached for hot cider.

    "Yeah. You're welcome." Kit wasn't going to let another human starve to death while the undead were out there busily consuming the living. Besides, the stash that she had accumulated beneath the floorboards would be good for another three days. Longer, if she rationed. "You're not with a group or anything? Don't have a camp somewhere?" Not that she doubted Blake's ability to survive. It was just that it was damn lonely out here.

    "I didn't read even when it was considered normal. If it was ever considered normal." She shook her head and muttered, "normalcy." She would've killed for some X right about now. Blake's comment about the police literally made Kit laugh out loud. "Holy shit, I'm sorry, but do I honestly look like the kind of person the Fuzz would back up?" Then again, it was dark. Her tattoos were largely covered by her jacket and the blood. Maybe it was hard for Blake to see the copper tone to her skin. "Sorry, I'm not..." she struggled to find the words to express the situation without being too heavy handed. "The world's the same as it always has been, there's just no rules or regulations to hide the shitty parts anymore." She crawled back over to the hole in the floor. There was some clinking as glass containers knocked against each other. A moment later she had a plastic water bottle in one hand. Kit unscrewed the cap, took a drink, then poured it on her face. It hit the floor in a spray. She pulled a shirt out of a dresser drawer and managed to clear most of the muck. It did a little to make her feel more human.

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  11. Blake frowned. "I try to give people the benefit of the doubt. You're giving me reasons to not extend that to you," she snapped back. Not that she was beyond stereotypes, Blake had a colorful repertoire of people she knew. From people who looked suspicious to those who were very professional. Every now and then, she smoked the green. Especially after a hard case in the marketing department. She remembered when a series of all-nighters was Hell. Present events made it seem like child's play. Watching Kit clean herself, Blake stopped her eyes from wandering as she looked back at the book. "... I didn't mean to snap. Even when the whole world was still orderly, I've been told that I can be a 'bitch'. I don't think that an insult. Makes me me."

    Placing her book on the floor, Blake clasped her hands and gave Kit her attention. "I've always been an independent person. Taking on the world by myself. I gave group safety a shoot when the whole world cascaded into shit. Biggest mistake I've ever made," she said. "I was - was - with a group a little while ago. Small settlement. Eric was the leader. It was alright in the beginning. It took me a bit to realize the cult vibe. I got out. Thank goodness. Not without stuff happening. Avoided groups since."

    Taking another bite of the jerky, Blake shrugged. "From an apartment to a nomad. I don't have camps. I wander. It feels safer," she said. "If I run into survivors, I trade. Information, supplies, etc. I pick up a bunch of things. If they try to screw me though," Blake pursed her lips deciding on her words with care, "I make the interaction unpleasant." ​
  12. Kit

    “Then you’re more generous than I am.” She didn’t blame Blake for snapping. Kit was a criminal. A petty one, but still. So the apology came as rather unexpected. Kit watched her put the book down. Their eyes met. It took a measure of strength not to look away.

    As Blake explained her situation Kit couldn’t help but think that this scenario would have turned our very differently had either of them been male. Kit looked Blake up and down. She could understand how a predator might be enticed.

    “It would be safer if you had someone to watch your back.” Why did she say that? She resisted the urge to slap her hand to her forehead.

    “Not that I—shit.” Blake had just threatened her. Even a social inept like Kit knew a veiled threat when she saw it. And here she accidentally suggesting they run together.
    “After tonight, end of story. You do you.” She took off the heavy jacket and sweatshirt in one move. They landed in a corner.

    “There’s some stuff stashed in the safe room of this house. Couple guns. Cans. Blankets. Fuel.” She unwrapped the dirty boxers tape from around her wrists. More water from the bottle went to removing the blood and grime on her skin. She made no attempt to hide the colorful tattoos or visceral scars that marred her skin.

    “Was gonna loot it for supplies first thing in the morning. She met Lake’s gaze. “Maybe if I’m feeling generous I’ll leave you a note with the code. You can pick through it after.” Make yourself more valuable alive than dead.

    Kit screwed the lid back onto the bottle. She bunched her coat behind her back and rested it against the dresser. A sigh escaped her lips. If she was going to stay up all night she had to keep herself entertained. She reached into her pocket and pulled out a scuffed up screwdriver and an alarm clock. With the screw driver in hand she began to pry the object apart
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  13. The sudden shift in tone wasn't lost on Blake. Did she say something wrong? She swore Kit was going to say something else, but she changed her words last minute. Blake didn't really understand it at all. And here she thought they were somewhat getting along. Perhaps she presumed too much. Must have been the effects of being alone.

    Rubbing the bridge of her nose, Blake wasn't sure how to respond at all. "Serves me right for trying to play nice," Blake said. "I get that you still think I'm going to slit your throat if you fall asleep, but I have nothing against you Kath- Kit. Was it the 'unpleasant' comment I made? God. So much simpler when all I had to work with was simple marketing campaigns. There's a reason why we had a PR department separate from marketing."

    Sitting back against the wall, Blake leaned her head against it and closed her eyes. Maybe learning how to talk to folks more politely was something she should've picked up. Her mom always harped on her for not being womanly. Wouldn't be able to hold down a guy. The thought made her laugh. If she ever was in a relationship, she was sure she'd be the one on top. Go-getter attitude and all that jazz. Plus, guys didn't do it for her. Too odd looking too her. Was she really thinking about this now?

    Opening her eyes to hear something metal scrap against metal, her eyes focused on the alarm clock Kit held. She supposed it was worth yet another go at trying to break the ice. "Before the outbreak happened, I was never savvy with stuff like that," Blake said pointing at the alarm clock, "but times a changin'. You can make those little alarm things into lures. Draws the infected away. It's probably why I've survived my salvage forays so far."

    Getting to her feet, Blake made her way to her bag. Before opening it, she raised her hands. "Hold up. Nothing nefarious. All my weapons are over there," Blake said pointing to her bow and climbing ax. Reaching into her bag, Blake pulled out a tiny wind up clicker. She brought it over to Kit. "Lots of spare time. I've turned into an inventor. Steal some winders from kid toys and just place a few pieces of metal like so with a metal bar inside, you have your decoy."

    Blake placed it before Kit. "Peace offering. I wouldn't test it out now. Unless you want the infected finding us. That would not be prime." ​
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  14. Kit

    Their sustained conversation was neglecting to follow any sort of familiar pattern. From what Kit could tell, Blake was trying to develop some sort of friendly relationship. And yet had she not just made it very clear that they were two ships passing in the night?

    It was an odd situation to be in. Neither of them was predator or prey. Instead, they were bound by mutually assured destruction.
    Kit actually winced when Blake nearly slipped on her name. Why had she introduced herself as Katherine? They were living in a zombie apocalypse. Nobody was going to check her ID to be sure she wasn’t lying. She might as well have named herself Billy Joel.

    “Uh.” Ah, yes. Quaint. What an elegant way to express your thoughts, Kit. Very el-eloq—established. Internally she kicked herself. She tried again. “You don’t like to be threatened. You’ll fuck me up if I try to do anything against you.” She shrugged and looked back down at the alarm clock. She had removed the back so that all the internal workings were open to manipulation. If only people were as easy.

    “They’re pretty useful.” She conceded. “Batteries in this one are dead, though.” Didn’t mean she couldn’t strip it for parts, however. Or save it for later.
    Her pistol was off of the floor and in her hands almost before she knew what was happening. Kit watched Blake move; her gaze was unwavering. The Latina woman said nothing, and relaxed her grip on the pistol only a few long moments after Blake had returned to the bed. She had said she wanted to give people the benefit of the doubt. That was a courtesy Kit was too skittish to extend.
    She had to admit that the toy piqued her interest. With the gun back on the floor, she reached over and examined the wind-up carefully. It wasn’t a bad design. Fit together like lego pieces so there was no need for adhesive. Engrossed in the discovery, she grabbed her screwdriver and gently pried the gears apart. She leaned forward on her elbows and lined up the miniscule parts on the wooden floor in front of her. Even in the gloom she was acutely aware of each ones purpose. The tension of the spiral spring was a little too soft, but it would work in a pinch. Designs began to form in her minds eye. Ways to amplify the sound. Parts that she might need. How to hook wheels onto the already existing parts to make it move. Abruptly, she forced herself to stop. It wasn’t a good time to tune out.

    “So. Marketing, huh?” She asked. “I didn’t know that they taught apocalypse survival skills to squares like you.” She glanced up from her project and flashed Blake a brief smile, hoping that the joke would be taken for what it was. “What kinda stuff did you, uh, ‘market’?”

  15. Cherishing the lessening tension, Blake looked on with interest as Kit played around with her little contraption. It wasn't perfect. It wasn't suppose to be. The clicker was meant to raise hell and make noise. For how long? Blake never really cared to count. She made them, and they drew the infected away from locations she needed to raid. "I've been looking for ways to innovate them. Make them more efficient. That spring in the middle? Those are hard to come by. If I can, I go back and retrieve the suckers." Blake motioned to her bag. "I have a flashlight I placed a filter over. Low light, but it picks up the shine from the metal without acting like a goddamn lighthouse. Attracts the wrong crowd. Typically."

    Matching Kit's gaze, Blake blinked before returning a smile of her own. She hadn't done one of those in a while. Trust wasn't the right word to use. Human interaction perhaps?

    "Marketing." Blake nodded still keeping the smile on her face. "That's where my hobbies come in. You don't think I do marketing 24/7? That'd be the fastest way to the bottle and pills. I marketed for an outdoors company. So camping stuff, climbing, the works. I got the perks too. Took advantage of those. When I wasn't sitting behind a computer screen, I went ... out. I'd either go solo or with a group. Didn't matter too much to me."

    Blake laughed. "Maybe I should've lied and said I marketed human organs or something. As my folks tell me 'your job is all play and no class.' Jerks," she said. "What did you do before the shit hit the fan?"​
  16. Kit

    The spring pushed back with moderate force as Kit used the winder to pull it tensed. She was careful to separate the gears so that when the tension was released no noise would be made.
    “Might be able to make some of these spiral springs given the right materials. ‘S a bit small, but if you attached a battery, some LEDS, it’ll emit its own light. Bit too much work to add a switch for something so small; probably just easier to tape the circuit closed and then throw it…” Kit was only half speaking to Blake as her brain began to wind down the rabbit hole again. No, no, don’t hyperfocus. Bad.

    “I have this one design that uses parts of an air horn and flashing lights that I can set on a timer. I’ve just got the one right now but I’m working on a second. I have a few of the parts in my bag—which… I left outside.” Her excited ramble fizzled out when she remembered she had left her bag on a nearby rooftop.

    Kit decided that Blake had a nice smile.

    Having proper camping equipment in an environment like this one had to be invaluable. Most of Kit’s gear was made up of, well, junk.
    “Sounds like a fun job. Did you get to try out tents and stuff?” She asked while she turned the clickers components around in her hands.

    A short bark of a laugh burst from Kit’s throat at the human organs comment.
    “I did pretty much the same thing I do now.” She shrugged nonchalantly and pulled and pushed the parts back together in her hands. She looked down at the gears.
    “My official job title was mechanic.” Kit took some of the LEDs from the alarm clock and wrapped them along the outside of the clicker’s plastic casing. “I put stuff back together. I broke it apart. I repurposed it. One time I made a microwave out of parts of a meth lab.”

    A heavy thudding sound downstairs caused Kit to jump to her feet. Hand on her pistol, she cast a wary glance Blake’s way. Beneath the floorboards she heard the buzz of human conversation. Their voices were low. By the sounds of their boots there had to be at least two or three. Maybe more. Men, most likely.

    The Latina woman pressed her ear against the wall just beside the door. Noisy motherfuckers. They were coming up the stairs.

    “Are you sure it’s this house, Don?”

    “No I’m not, why the hell do you think we’re checking the rooms?”

    “We shouldn’ be doin’ this at this time’a night.” The other complained.

    “If we go back empty handed again Cello will kill us.” A third voice chimed in. Kit heard the creaking of one bedroom door being opened.

    “Somebody’s bin livin in here. Pretty recent, too.”

    “Then why don’t you shut the hell up and look for them?

    Kit didn’t trust any of the occupants in the house. But of the four or five currently present, there was one she felt safer with than the others.

    “Three or more guys, at least. Checking rooms.” She whispered after she crossed the room to where Blake was. “I think they mighta seen me climb in through the window.” She scowled, her brow wrinkling in concern. Her finger rested on the trigger guard of her pistol, but the weapon was pointed down.

    “What do you want to do?”
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  17. “Sounds like a fun job. Did you get to try out tents and stuff?”

    Blake shrugged. "Even if I didn't have the job, I'd still totally check them out. The company I worked for had the raddest deals. I think that's what drew the crowd."

    Joining in the brief laugh, Blake looked at the clicker Kat manipulated in her hands. Unlike her crude innovations, Kat seemed familiar with the things. Blake rose an eyebrow at the microwave comment. "Microwave to meth lab? Well, that's certainly more productive," she said. "Well you certainly fit my mental image of a mechanic. Plus, you're good with those," she pointed to the clicker, "first time I tried making one, I broke it. Waste of salvage ever."

    Wishing their conversation would continue for a while yet, Blake nearly jumped as she heard something from downstairs. The voices from downstairs filtered up as her eyes looked at Kat's gun. She raised her hand and shook her head. She didn't know who was down there. She was alone. It was God's honest truth. When Kat looked away and listened to the ground, Blake shifted over to her weapons as quietly as possible. Grabbing her bow, Blake placed arrow on the string and held the end to the bowstring. She began to listen.

    Having a decent idea of how many - two or three voices - Kat crossed over to her. Blake bit her lip as Kat told her how the looters probably found them. It was silly to think that Kat was the only human near her. Humans could be worse than the infected. A chill rushed through her spine. Why the hell was Kat asking what to do? She didn't know. Blake still believed her survival was comprised of nothing more than luck.

    "Pack as many things as you can. We're leaving," she said. Creeping over to her bag, Blake took out a can and a piece of string. Metal pieces moved around. The combination was anything but safe. Quickly threading the string into a white packet just under the lid of the can, she gave ample length to light it a safe distance away. Creeping over to the side of the door, Blake placed the can down and moved back towards the window. Shouldering her things, she took out one clicker. The voices were getting closer.

    "Come on Kat. We need to go...!" ​
  18. Kit
    All caution that Kit had previously felt about Blake was thrown to the wind. So when the other woman moved to grab her bow she made no move to stop her.

    Kit straightened and looked over at Blake. She almost spoke up in protest, but the words caught in her throat. It wasn’t worth arguing over. A low growl of frustration rumbled in her throat.

    “Hold up.” She grabbed the back of Blake’s backpack and forced it open. Personal space be damned. She grabbed an armful of the dry food supplies hidden under the floorboards and forced as much of it into the pack as she could manage. While she worked she spoke in a raspy whisper.

    “Open the window. Go around to the right side of the house. Use the plank to cross over to the adjacent rooftop. I’ll be right behind you.” The hair at the back of Blake’s neck fluttered underneath Kit’s hot breath.

    The Latina woman could hear footsteps in the hall outside of the room.
    She finished tying the backpack closed once more.
    “Go.” She hissed, urging Blake forward with a gentle push.

    Behind her the doorknob turned. It was nearly silent. Kit threw on her jacket and turned to follow after Blake.

    The doorknob began to rattle with greater intensity. The man on the other side was attempting to open the door, but Blake’s barricade was holding.

    “Fuck,” the man on the other side swore. “DON!” He yelled. “DON, HERE!” A moment later the sharp sound of wood splitting cut through the night. Kit dared to glance back. Oh, hell. The asshats had a fire ax.

  19. She heard Kit say go, but Blake didn't. Still standing by the window, she wanted to tell the woman to hurry and get her butt away from the door. It could've been so easy to leave Kit behind. Blake had been doing so with everyone for the longest time. Not getting attached was the surest way to survive. But she couldn't this time. The damn woman reminded her how pleasant good company could be.

    Before she could tell Kit to stop mucking about and follow her out, Blake saw the head of an axe slam against the barricaded door. Looking down, she caught the eyes of several infected as they stared right back at her. Her stomach lurched as she put the clicker away. Taking out a match, she made ready to light it.

    "Kit! We're leaving now!"

    Trusting the woman could make it to her in time, Blake lit the match and started the fuse alight. It traveled relatively quickly. "Come on!"

    Waiting at the window, her eyes followed the string. That'd slow the looters and infected down. Maybe give them a good chance of getting away. She wasn't going to die here. Screw that. ​
  20. Kit

    The spark of light in Blake’s hands made Kit’s eyes go wide. That was more than enough warning for her, thank you very much. There wasn’t much grace involved in the way that she scrambled out of the window. She knocked her knees against the frame and bumped her head on the way out. The pain was forgotten almost before she felt it; there were bigger things to worry about.

    “Go, go, go,” she hissed under her breath as she pushed gently at Blake.

    (assuming Blake follows the directions that Kit gave her a moment ago)

    Kit was nearly across the plank when Blake’s home made explosive finally went off. She might have felt cool about the way it flung her the last few feet onto the adjacent rooftop if she hadn’t also landed face first on rough shingles. She grunted and quickly pushed herself onto her feet. She winced and put a hand to her chin. It came away bloody. Her palms were scraped, too.

    “C’mon.” She murmured to Blake. Her bag was tucked next to the chimney. The holes that had been worn through the bottom were haphazardly patched together with duct tape. She threw it over her shoulders and buckled it around her hips. One of the buckles was tied to a strap with a shoe string. Her boots were in better shape. The paint had started to chip off of the steel on the toes and there was a bandage tied around the top of one, but at least the seams still held the leather together.

    “Fuck me.” She muttered, running a hand over her hair. “Okay. I know somewhere not too far from here we can stay.” Without asking whether or not Blake even wanted to come, she struck out across the rooftops. There were screams coming from Jesse and Howard’s house. Good. She didn’t look back.

    #20 Voice, May 18, 2016
    Last edited: May 20, 2016
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