Gender Wars

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by SatyrWarrior, Apr 8, 2013.

  1. [​IMG]

    A pristine azure sky settled over the nearby medium-sized town, flawlessly blending with the powerful sun as it emitted luminous rays of sheer warmth. Today was just like any other summery day by the warn-torn town. And, of course, what better way was there to start the morning than a battle to the death with an over-sized monster that resembled a dark blue warthog? Green irises shifted from left to right just before the twins lunged in opposite directions, evading the hog's charge entirely. Despite the monster's keen range of sight, the twins seemed to have disappeared from the area...or perhaps not. Asch appeared nonchalant as he abruptly came down on the warthog's head from above with his sword, long blood-red lockes streaming behind him. Instinctively, the monster squealed out of simultaneous anger and pain. However, soon after, Luke darted in for a strike. Instead of coming down on the monster, he attacked it from the side.

    Luke proceeded with slashing along the body as he sped forward, forcing the beast to stagger. One more shot, of which Asch chose to take. He delivered the final shot, penetrating through the monster's torso with the edge of his sword. Subsequent to releasing another harsh squeal into the atmosphere, the beast plummeted to the ground with a loud thud. They had merely just converted their predator into prey. An essential skill for survival nowadays. Unless one was to be lucky enough to find unspoiled food in the town. However, there was little stored food left after about half a year of rummaging through it.
    "We did it!" Luke, the bright red-haired twin, said with a smile as he walked up to the fallen beast. He sheathed his swords and scanned the body swiftly. "He's so large though. If he hadn't come after us, we could have chosen something smaller so the rest of it wouldn't go to waste." Luke commented through a faint sigh.

    "With your voracious appetite, I doubt it'd be enough."
    Asch replied in his monotonous voice. "I don't know... If only there were more of our comrades around--we'd be able to share the love huh?" the short-haired twin replied, referring the beast's large potential supply of food. "Shut up and help me skin." Asch grumbled, already proceeding with the task himself. "Fine." Luke knelt down beside his brother, in front of the monster's corpse. Later on that day, a nice breeze had settled into the afternoon. The sun continued to reside with fortitude in the clear skies, and Asch could see this flawlessly even as he laid down on the lower branch of the tree. A small sigh pushed past Asch's lips. With his optics shut, a thoughtful frown appeared to be permanently planted onto his face. Although it had already been about 6 months since the world went downhill, Asch still wasn't quite accustomed to it yet. Then again, who would be ready to become adjusted to extinction?

    Unlike his twin, Luke, he didn't adapt as swiftly. He did fairly well adapting to this physically--to, say, hunting monsters--, but mentally...not so much. He didn't really care for change in general for that matter. Honestly, a person that wasn't very sociable such as himself should not have mind too much about the new lack of people. Well, aside from the fact that the human race was currently threatening to die out. Prior to all of this, he had always kept to himself. It was always relatively easy to do so because his exterior... wasn't exactly ‘inviting’. If he didn't possess a slightly emotionless and disinterested look, he would appear kind of...grumpy or irritable. In conclusion, he never seemed happy. And if he was, he’d barely reveal it. In this case, it was actually somewhat relevant to judge a book by its cover because a portion of his personality reflected within his appearance. Asch was impatient, blunt, easily irritated on occasion, and definitely possessed a bit of a bad attitude and smart-aleck tendencies when provoked. He was only attractive until he opened his mouth. Then again, he wasn't very talkative to begin with. However, now it was a little 'too' much of a cinch to keep to himself with only his sibling around. He wasn't sure whether he was just glad that the war was officially over, --generally preferring peace in spite of his nature--or if he was also down about the whole human extinction concept. Asch shifted his right leg up on the branch he rested upon, creating an arc shape with his knee as the peek. Little did he realize that becoming too unwinded in the tree was an utter mistake.

    A couple of days ago, Luke's bright-red hair had been lengthier than Asch's own lockes. Currently, it extended just to his shoulders after chopping the majority of it off. Luke felt much better whenever he obtained the opportunity to change something occasionally. Thus, he thought that making the big chop would be a positive alteration...mainly because it would no longer blind him or serve as an obstacle anymore. Unlike his twin, Asch, he was usually quite adaptable. Not to mention that he was, to a greater extent, friendlier than his brother as well. So he actually enjoyed making acquaintances with new people and would enthusiastically seize the chance to be social. Nevertheless, this transition...would be difficult for anyone to adapt to, and Luke was no exception. He missed the other individuals--the former world in general. Before the war. Before the obliteration. At least, of what he could remember of it. This worn-down world--what would soon be the remainder of it? Even with these considerable notions, he was still far more positive than Asch. Personality-wise, the two contrasted as much as they were identical in appearance. Tomorrow would be just like any other day, but Luke had been rather curious about a particular thought for awhile now. Of course, he assumed that they would engage in the same old routine but... Were they really the only survivors left? Possibly, could there have been more survivors? If so, would they ever find the other survivors? More queries of curiosity continued to fill his bustling mind as he absent-mindedly munched away on the roasted meat of the monster. It didn't take very long for him to finish though, so he pulled himself up to his feet and glanced around the small campfire for his sibling.

    "Where'd Asch go?"
    Luke asked himself aloud, trudging past the fire. He could've sworn that his twin had been right beside him a moment ago. Nonchalantly, he proceeded forward and eventually stole a glimpse up at one of the tree's lower branches to see that Asch had decided to perch right up there. "Asch?" Luke called out to him, but to no avail. Evidently, Asch couldn't perceive him at all from where he was located. Luke scaled up the thick tree, using the hidden daggers within the soles of his boots to assist him every now and then. He preferred to perform actions the easier way in contrast to Asch. Luke knew that he probably ascended without using any of his petite, concealed blades. He never truly comprehended why his sibling chose the difficult methods over the effortless ones. "Asch? What are you doing up here?" Luke inquired, crawling up behind him on a nearby branch. He blinked and raised a brow when he noticed that Asch 'still' couldn't hear him. Was he asleep? Luke thought that was the case, so he proceeded with the method of waking up the well-known heavy sleeper. After crouching down beside Asch, Luke abruptly yelled out.

    Asch had been so deep within his wandering notions that he hadn’t even heard his brother climb up from behind him. Obviously, he didn't expect to hear Luke's big mouth directly in his ear either.
    "ASCH!" Luke shouted to him in an unnecessarily booming volume. Since Asch wasn't expecting him to yell so loudly, he jumped with alarm. And, accidentally, he slipped and fell out of the tree. He smacked directly into the ground below, of which was accompanied with an audible thud. It was a good thing that part of the branch was relatively close to the ground, or else Asch would've ended up with a few broken bones. Luke blinked several times as he stared down at his twin twitching angrily, face flat on the earth. He leaped down after him and landed on his feet lightly, compared to Asch’s own landing. "Oooh, that looks like it hurts...." Asch heard Luke state casually as he gradually lifted himself from the ground. "It does...." Asch grumbled prior to abruptly grabbing Luke by the collar of his shirt.

    "How about I make you hurt like hell too?!"
    Asch growled as he shot Luke a glare. He formed his free hand into a fist, cracking his knuckles. This caused Luke to flinch and widen his eyes. Oh, how Luke loved Asch’s violent tendencies towards him. "Hey, I didn't know you were going to just dive off the branch like that! I just came over here to...ask you something anyway." Luke told him quickly and honestly, while Asch hesitantly loosened the grip he had on his collar. The short-haired twin was aware that he had to speak swiftly or else his brother would've striked him, potentially triggering a fist fight between the two. Luke relaxed slightly when he felt Asch releasing his grasp, and he took a step back after being freed “What is it?" Asch questioned, in spite of the uninterested expression on his face. "Well, how do you feel about...the thought of being the only people left in this world?" Luke randomly asked, the stray thought crossing his mind again.

    Asch glanced over to him with his steely green irises.
    "I haven't thought much about that. Don't care, to be honest." Asch replied, taking a glimpse up at the sky with a straight indication upon his features. Despite the emotionless look, Luke was capable of scanning his sibling flawlessly. They had always thought that maybe being twins generated some type of ESP between each other, allowing them to easily read one another. "Surprisingly, you really don't like the thought us being the only ones left huh?" Luke asked again. Asch didn't respond. He felt that that there was no need to. However, his silence told Luke that he was 100% correct. The extinction of the human race was potentially close and seemingly unavoidable, so Asch was going to deal with that fact without complaining as his nature had compelled him to do. "It'll be alright Asch. I personally don't think we're the only ones left.” Luke reassured as he placed a hand on his sibling’s shoulder. He removed it after Asch proceeded to extinguish the small fire and walked back towards the abandoned town.

    It was still early in the afternoon, but seeing as how they had already eaten and rummaged through the premises for resources today, it was best to head back to their main shelter before dark.
    “Hmm. So what do you think Asch? Do you think that maybe we aren't the only ones left? That there are possibly more survivors out there somewhere...?" "Out of the entire world? It's possible." Asch replied through another shrug, his blood-red hair swaying gently as he trudged along. It streamed a few inches past the center of his back. As mentioned before, Asch was not fond of change so he never bothered with a haircut. The only element he'd changed on himself was his attire. They had been out of their old uniforms long ago after locating new clothing in one of the run-down shops. The only benefit of this whole situation was that they no longer needed to pay for anything in the abandoned shops they would discover. The uniforms were still stored back in the shelter they were currently heading to. Luke had found a simple white short-sleeved T-shirt and black pants while Asch had settled with a long-sleeved black shirt and dark blue, loose jeans. Watching his twin’s longer, dark red hair flow in the warm breeze reminded Luke of the other reason as to why he had decided to clip his hair. With long hair, he looked too much like Asch. Even with the different, but natural shades of red in their lockes. If this world had still been populated with people, he would have done it to allow others to be able to identify them easier. Without having to make double-takes at them. Even now, he just wanted to look a tad different for himself at least.

    "Why are you worrying about that so much for?"
    Asch turned to his twin with one of his eyebrows arched. " I don't know...." Luke responded blankly, stepping into town. Luke was probably merely hoping for the survival of some other human life, besides himself and Asch. “It'd be seriously ironic if there were survivors....but they belonged to the opposing faction in the war." Luke joked in his usual casual manner, a smile coming to his face. Asch merely released a sigh and muttered out in a flat tone of voice, "Tch, I'll give you 20 bucks if that actually happens and we meet these female survivors." Luke grinned brightly at that statement. "Really? Cool!" Luke exclaimed, forgetting that if they were to meet said survivors, it would possibly toss them into a battle. Apparently, he didn't quite catch the hint of sarcasm in Asch's tone either. Nor did he take note of the fact that money was essentially useless in this world's current state. However, Luke's jesting statement left Asch discreetly pondering about such a scenario. Come to think of it, they had never really interacted with females outside of a battle scenario before. It was possible that they had done so prior to the start of the segregation between the sexes, but being as young as they were, they could barely recall. However, little did they know that they were going to obtain a rare encounter on the way into town.
  2. "I told you, I'm not going in there!" The sound of wildlife seemed to quiet for a moment as Rachel shouted her intention -- or lack thereof -- of taking shelter in a small cave. Rowan sighed, exasperated. "Then where do you suppose we sleep tonight? We could make a fire safely in there and not burn down the whole forest," she rebutted. Sure, she didn't want to sleep on the hard stone ground of the natural formation, but she would always prefer it to the forest floor. At least in a cave you could see all of the floor. In the wild, there could be any manner of bugs or snakes hidden in the foliage. "If we would just watch it, it wouldn't get out of hand," Rachel shot back, referencing to when they had almost set a small glen of trees on fire when they had become negligent. "Really, you worry too much. It's a nice day today, and I don't want to be cooped up." Rowan sighed and gave up, silently admitting that it was a nice day and the forest floor was definitely more comfortable, despite its hidden dangers. Seeing her give up, Rachel smirked and took off, back in the direction they came and onto the small road that they had been following all day.

    Their local map had been lost when a wild boar had ravaged their camp in the middle of the night earlier in the week, and so they had decided to just follow the road and see where it led them. That incident had sparked Rowan's fear of the forest, always trying to find a safer cave or abandoned cabin like the one they had stayed in the previous night. Rowan had never been camping or anything of the like before, like Rachel had, which is why she had been so paranoid about their "adventures," as Rachel called them. Really, they hadn't become close friends until a year or two ago, even though they had known each other in passing. But in that year or so, they had quickly become like sisters, despite their differences. Rowan had always been quiet, but under Rachel's influence, had become more outgoing to keep up with Rachel's exuberance. She had always been the more polite and tactful one, choosing her words carefully and always trying to make sense of a situation. Rachel was more of a "go with the flow" kind of person. She was of a mind that if someone didn't like what she said or did, it didn't matter. If it crossed her mind, she would blurt it out and accept the consequences. Rowan liked order and rules, but understood there were gray areas, whereas Rachel tended to see things innocently in black and white. Despite all of her experience with people, Rachel often finds herself unable to understand them, their intentions, or any subtle messages they may try to send. She always tries to be happy and carefree and to make others happy, even if it means she has to hide when she's sad or hurt (which she often does). Rachel was somewhat shorter than Rowan, with long white hair that went to her legs and dark blue eyes. She had ditched her uniform in place of jeans and a t-shirt, and refused to cut her hair, even though it often got in the way. Rowan had black hair, cut unevenly and sticking out in some places, but done so stylishly. Her eyes were amber and her skin was what Rachel liked to call "between a tanned white person and a white black person," despite how odd it sounded.

    Their differences showed themselves just an hour later, as they deviated from the road a little to look for food. They had been walking for about 15 minutes when they came across the carcass of a huge boar monster that had obviously been killed recently. There was even still edible meat on it, it was so huge. They both stopped upon the sight of it, shocked at the massive beast and how it had been ravaged. Rachel broke her shock first, immediately rushing over to its side to inspect the meat. "We can eat this!" she exclaimed. As if in agreement, her stomach rumbled. She took out a knife and started carving away, but she was cut off by Rowan grabbing her hand. "No, look at it!" Confused, Rachel looked at the beast, noticing its wounds for the first time. "It was killed by a human," Rowan said, pointing at the clean slices in the beast's hide. They both were silent for a moment before Rachel could speak. "No. No. No way that was killed by a person. They're all gone or hiding, " Rachel said, shaking her head vehemently. "Come on, Rache. Look at it," Rowan said, shaking her friend slightly. Rachel stood up slowly, suddenly nauseous. Rowan grabbed her hand, pulling her a few away from the carcass. They both just stared at it for a few moments, the wheels turning in their heads.

    Finally, Rachel spoke up. "We need to find them." She started walking around the beast, making ever-widening circles until she saw a trail that had to be human. It was too small to be the monster's and too big to be one of the smaller game in the area. "Over here!" she called, and beckoned for Rowan to follow her. "No," Rowan said, firmly planting her feet. Rachel stopped and stared at her for a second, shocked, before she stuttering, "B-but they're people, Ro! We haven't seen anyone in God knows how long!" She made desperate gesturing motions toward the trail, trying to communicate the importance of their discovery. "They could be anyone! They could be killers, or crazy, or men!" Rowan shot back, anger sharpening her words. Rachel thought for a moment before carefully replying, "Or they could be lost, like us." A silence stretched between them before Rachel broke it. "Well I'm going to find them." With that, she took off, hope filling her heart that these people, whoever they were, would be decent human beings. After a moment, Rowan gave up, afraid to be alone. She quickly caught up with Rachel, and neither spoke a word as they crashed through the underbrush, intent on finding their prey. After a moment, they spotted two people ahead, walking away from them. "Hey!" they both shouted, increasing their speed from a fast walk to a jog to catch up to the strangers. "Hey, stop!" they said, both worried that the people would run away. They quickly caught up to the pair, where they stopped, panting slightly.
  3. Abruptly, Asch came to a halt in his path, approximately twenty feet into the abandoned town. Luke stopped as well, pondering for the reason of Asch's sudden pause. "Asch, what's wrong?" he queried. Asch didn't answer right away. Instead, he surveyed the surrounding locale with the usual frown. "You don't hear that?" he finally said, falling silent again, as if to allow Luke to apprehend the distant noises within hearing capabilities. The vibrations of gaiting occurred, followed by...voices? A quizzical expression emerged onto Luke's features right then and there. "It can't be... People...? Are we finally losing our minds?" he concluded flatly but genuinely, obliging Asch to roll his eyes at him. "No, it sounds like it's coming from..." Trailing off, Asch tilted to look back in the direction they'd just come from. Someone--no, two people were heading towards them. Instantly, Luke widened his optics out of pure astonishment. Surprisingly, Asch looked fairly shocked himself as he remained stiffened to his position. After going for months without spotting even the slightest trace of other human life, there the two people were, striding towards them.

    When Luke perceived their calls, he was quick to wave back to become more apparent for the two, as well as to let them know that they had acknowledged the arriving party. He would have ran up to them as well, if Asch had not stopped him. "Luke, wait." Asch, who was constantly on the alert, placed an extended arm out in front of Luke to temporarily block him. Although they were other survivors, they did not know who they were or what their intentions were. Thus, Asch had kept his brother from running over due to relatively appropriate prudence. "Asch, there are other people here that are actually alive! Can you believe it?" However, before Asch could speak, the individuals had moved within close enough proximity for the twins to effectively identify them. Perhaps Asch's guard was not so irrelevant in the matter. Ironically, the two other survivors that had walked up to them pertained to the alternate division of the former war. Could this really be? They were definitely women. There was no way to pry around that obvious fact. One was a tad shorter than the other and possessed long white hair along with dark blue irises. The somewhat taller one had shorter, black hair and distinct amber eyes that seemed to blend well with her tanned skin-tone.

    Primarily, when they had recognized the two individuals to be women, they thought that their eyes were deceiving them. That maybe they just happened to look like females, but no, they were most certainly female. A mixture of clashing emotions began to stir within the two of them, heart rates hastening from the impetuous rush of adrenaline. It was a defense mechanism, just in case. One of the feelings consisted of assurance, seeing that they were not the only survivors left while the other emotion was one of tension to the potential point that they could be viewed as enemies by the two females. With that notion in mind, the mere sight of the two triggered instinctual reactions from the twins. Simultaneously, they both leaped backwards directly into back-flips for the purpose of composing a safer distance. Luke's back-flip possessed additional airborne quality than Asch's own, who had allowed a hand to moderately brush against the floor during the flip in that split second. Their palms immediately landed upon the thick hilts of their sturdy swords after planting themselves back onto the ground, preparing to unsheathe if need be. However, if one was to examine their fighting stances, they would recognize that it was far more defensive than offensive. They did not shift into these stances to fall straight into battle, but merely to defend themselves if necessary. They didn't know what to expect, especially with the females that stood before them. Whether they belonged to the opposite faction or not, they were genuinely just ecstatic to know that they weren't the only ones left. But...that feeling of hope had quickly been drowned with caution.

    "Wait... I was actually right about something?!" Luke exclaimed suddenly, surprise etching over his former expression of alarm. "I'm just as surprised as you are..." Asch muttered out in response, stealing a glance from his brother. "You owe me $20 Asch!" Luke recalled, frowning. Asch was mentally awed by his brother's perfect timing, along with the fact that of all things to remember, he had chosen such an insignificant piece of information. "Now is not the time Luke." Asch hissed out lowly, flashing his brother a glare. Luke turned back to the newcomers, eyes dilating faintly. "We're not going to fight them, are we?" Luke kept his keen optics on the ones opposite their position as he asked this in a hushed tone. "If they are hostile, yes. We'll need to defend ourselves." Asch said in his trademark monotonous voice. On the contrary, now that the young males were obtaining a decent view of them, they didn't seem so...threatening in appearance. They'd been taught to never allow looks to deceive nonetheless, specifically when dealing with the opposite gender.

    Of course, the siblings would have preferred peace over conflict if they had a visible choice in the matter. But they did not know what to expect, or how the young women would react once they were to discern that they belonged to the opposite gender. Hence, it was preferable to be safe than sorry. Even if it externally seemed that they didn't possess weaponry, they could still potentially have concealed ones just as they did. "Who are you two? State your business." Asch spoke aloud clearly to them, burrowing his brows behind his solemn exterior. As he spoke, Luke scanned the girls swiftly, wanting to ensure that neither of them were harmed or in need of some sort of immediate medical attention. Just because they were considered to be enemies did not mean the twins wanted to lose a life due to conflicting factions. Upon acknowledging Asch's questions, Luke arched a brow and shook his head at his 'never-let-your-guard-down' brother. He decided that, perchance, it'd be best to reword what Asch had uttered in friendlier terms?

    "What my bro here is trying to say is we don't want to fight you two--we're honestly just ecstatic to see that someone else is alive--, but we just want to make sure that you two don't want to fight with us either." Luke said to the young women, essentially rephrasing Asch's own statement. Asch, in the intervening time, took a moment to glower at his brother. He looked just about ready to fight with him, but of course, he did have restraint and chose to save the smacking around for later. After all, as much as he truly didn't want to admit it, Luke once again read him like a book. What Luke had just announced was basically the direct translation of his own brief sentence. Though, what a coincidence this had been. Seems that Rowan's prediction of possibilities had become reality. These people that had killed the giant warthog were indeed 'killers', having hunted numerous monsters for food thus far. They were possibly crazy if one considered 'crazy' to be deliberately allowing their predators to come after them, attempting to convert them to prey when they fell for the bait. And to top it off, they were apparently men. Asch calmly stood his ground as he waited alongside Luke, who relaxed faintly, for a response from the other duo.
  4. It took a moment for the situation to fully register in their minds. Survivors, yes! Oh dear sweet everything that is holy, yes! But their ecstatic smiles quickly faded as they realized their discovery was of the male gender, made especially apparent at their quick defensive stances. The girls replied in turn, not even thinking about their actions, but letting instinct and habit guide them. They leaped back, further increasing the distance between the pairs. Rachel put her hand on her sword and slid it out of the sheathe an inch, ready to act quickly. Rowan drew her bow and fit an arrow to string, but aimed it at the ground in front of her. Their stances were defensive, and although they noticed that the men's were the same, they didn't relax. Years of fighting had trained them not to trust the other gender, and now look at what happened! The first survivors of the war they meet and they're men. Hope still beat painfully within the girls, but they dared not let it grow. They didn't yet know if these men would attack them. In the back of her mind, Rowan felt a bit of grim acknowledgement at her prediction coming true, at least in part, even though it was one she didn't necessarily want to have been true. "What do we do?" Rachel asked, her voice low and her lips barely moving so as to not let the "enemy" know her words. "We be careful," Rowan replied, stressing the last word. These were surely the men that had killed the monster of a boar they had come across, and that meant they were strong, and therefore dangerous.

    Their conjecture was interrupted by one of the men's exclamation. The girls glanced at each other with puzzled looks, not sure how to take that short exchange between the obviously related men. What was $20 worth any more? They didn't have long to think about it before one of the men, the more serious one apparently, spoke to them. Hearing his voice brought them back to the seriousness of the situation. These men were dangerous, and the girls had to face it, they weren't exactly the top of their class in the fighting arts. They knew they would be easily overpowered, and so silently agreed, with the power of meaningful glances, to run if they were confronted. It was a grave situation, but would likely be what it would be. They shifted their stances slightly to make escape easier, but didn't run just yet. Despite the possible danger they were in, they were faced with fellow survivors. It was a wonderful rarity and neither wanted to let go of the moment. Then the second one spoke, obviously trying to be more amiable than his relative. Still, they didn't dare relax too much.

    Rachel nodded, acknowledging Luke's words, and spoke. "We don't want to hurt you. We're the same." She pushed her sword back into the sheathe and straightened, but was obviously still defensive and ready to react. Rowan followed suit, albeit more hesitantly, putting her bow and arrows back into their places. "Who are you?" Rachel asked. "And what are you doing out here?" Rowan added, shooting a warning glance at her companion. She didn't want Rachel to get too comfortable, like she knew she was going to do.
  5. The desire to ease their evident defenses swarmed forth strongly as the ivory-haired woman stated that they were the same and didn't want to harm them either, but of course, instincts prevailed ahead of consciously stepping out of their comfort zones. Perchance, it did more so for Asch. Previous constant training and quarrels had compelled him to be adequately cautious at all instances. Despite that they apparently did not want to battle, he preserved his guard even after gradually shifting his hand away from the hilt of his sword. Luke, on the other hand, seemed to recline his defenses just a tad more. It was just that in the current situation, the war virtually no longer ceased to exist in his view and as money was now rendered pointless to possess, resuming the conflicts due to various sketchy causes appeared to be as well. And if this 'new' world meant that other humans were so rare to spot nowadays that they should even be happy to see individuals that were former enemies, then he didn't mind releasing all of those past experiences with endless fights and preparations. He was far more 'flexible', so to speak, but neither of them wanted to continue aforesaid conflicts. Differences needed to be set aside in order to promote the world to recover from what it had been through, as well as any remaining survivors.

    Nevertheless, Luke wasn't as naive as Asch tended to believe he was. He would obviously still be attentive with the newcomers, given the circumstances. It would be slightly out of one's mind to let their guard down completely right now anyway, unknowing of the potential actions of the women or how skilled they truly were in combat. While they were rather adept in the art of combat, it did not mean they could not be defeated. They were thankful that they did not have arrogance to blind them of that actuality. Preventing a fight would be ideal, and noticeably it must have been so for the young women. Once all four of them had visibly lowered their weaponry, the one that had spoken beforehand asked who they were. "Well...I'm Luke and that's Asch." Luke replied, almost uncertain of how to respond. Something peculiarly told him that names weren't very significant now, but it was the only response that had 'popped' into his head. It was probably already obvious that they were former soldiers, just as they were, so he did not mention that part. "And we're just out here trying to get by, you know? This town may be run-down, but a couple of the buildings are still sturdy enough to stay in." he explained briefly. Asch had removed his frown moments ago, glancing around their location to the quickly darkening sky in his silence. He'd almost forgotten they were in the petite abandoned town, shielded from the outside by the surrounding concrete walls--of which was not very tall, but did the trick with leaving them undetected from nightfall's threats. Everything was dismissed from his mind when he caught sight of the women across from them. Everything except for all elements related to combat and defense. Speaking of which, that was another reason as to why they'd chosen to reside in the town at night.

    Thus far, it protected them from creatures that preferred to emerge after dark while they slept. Preliminary alertness would always remain even as they retired, but if they were too busy keeping their eyes peeled for the various monsters due to sleeping out in the open in this particular area, they would eventually suffer from sleep deprivation. And that was never a desired quality when attempting to hunt for food during daylight. "But...where did you guys come from exactly? All we've discovered so far is nothing but forest. Were you staying there in a cave or something?" Luke queried, curiosity peaking. Asch turned to him with a frown, as if mentally urging him not to relax too much. When Luke grew curious, he occasionally allowed his defense to decrease further. "I know trust isn't the strongest thing between us right now, but it gets pretty crappy around this area at night. You're welcome to stay here if you want. It would be safer." Luke suggested, much to Asch's mild surprise. Okay, so maybe Asch knew his brother well enough, but...he wasn't expecting Luke to invite them in so...immediately. Though, Luke was probably just thinking about their safety. Above all, he was surely holding onto hope. Hope that these women didn't have any underhanded intentions. Asch didn't dare to let his own former hope to dwell, however. He really pondered about his brother sometimes. They had just met these other survivors and he was already asking them to join into the area they resided in, unaware of any possibly deceitful motives they may have possessed.

    Upon feeling the swift, but harsh nudge that Asch had delivered to him, Luke turned with a questionable expression. "Don't get too comfortable Luke." Asch murmured almost out of the corner of his mouth as he was barely moved his lips, not wanting the two to pick up on the warning that was meant for Luke solely. "I know that already. Relax." Luke responded, with a slight frown. "Besides, we can't just push them away. It's dangerous out there, especially at night. And they might be lost too." Luke added. Asch didn't speak any further, and proceeded with rolling his eyes. Well, maybe Luke didn't have the most common sense in the world in spite of the immensely declined population, but he did bring up valid points quite often. And as much as Asch failed to show it, he too was discreetly concerned about the well-being of others.