Last of Us: Finding Paradise

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    • Last of Us: Finding Paradise

      Jackson County, Wyoming
      The Dam
      April 11, 2040
      Sam Morgan; Mechanic-Scavenger

      It’d been a few years since Sam found this place. The Dam for the lack of a proper city name. Following her dad as they made their way from Wisconsin. They started out as a big group, but not everyone was so fortunate. The spores, infected, and the bandits whittled them down until they were a ghost of their former selves. Sam lost her mother along the way. Bitten from an infected. Sam did it - put her out of her misery. It was the right thing to do than to let mom roam around as one of them. At first, her dad resented her. Hated her. It was only recently that they were able to talk again. Thankfully. Though her words weren’t as tender like they used to be, she needed him as much as he needed her. They were the last of the Morgans for all she knew.

      Hearing a high pitched whistle coming from somewhere nearby, Sam wiped away at the sweat condensed on her forehead. Carrying out her responsibilities as a mechanic, she was assigned to the water filtration works - a sorry looking building that was connected to the side of the Dam’s central hub area. Ever since she impressed the foreman with her affinity for the trade, she’d been invited to stay on. She accepted. It kept her mind busy.

      “Morgan! What the hell’s that sound?” Sam popped her head out from underneath the catwalk. She was wondering the same exact thing. Albert - another mechanic - studied a gauge. He tapped it with a gloved finger. “That coming from your end? Too much goddamn noise goin’ on around here.”

      Looking around, everything seemed in place. “Nothing here. What about Cory? Did you ask him?” she replied. “Squealing’s not really the best sign, Al.”

      “No shit princess,” Albert replied as he walked towards her. “What? You’re working on the processing unit, right? Yeah, that don’t sound like the trouble. Gotta be comin’ from one of these pipes. Look around and see if you can’t spot it. I’ll check in with Cory. Shit, gotta tell the foreman too.”

      “Better than the whole unit going down.”

      Albert rolled his eyes. “Gotta knack for pointing out the obvious, huh?”

      Sam smiled. “I try my best. Now, I got a pipe to find. So, um, off you go.”

      Dodging a friendly slap on to the head, Sam laughed as she disappeared into the labyrinths of the processing unit. Taking a flashlight out from her utility belt, Sam crawled all about under the catwalk. Traveling in the direction where she thought the noise was coming from, she felt more moisture condense on her skin as her ragged green long sleeve shirt became even more drenched. Why the hell did it have to be so hot in here? Some fans would've been nice.

      Squeezing between a pair of pipes, Sam sighed as she took off her yellow construction helmet before looking up. She tapped against the grate. “Al!” When the man didn’t look her way, she hammered the grate. “Al!”

      Looking down, her coworker blinked in surprise before crouching down. “Anything?”

      Sam shook her head. “Nothing. Everything looks okay. Did Cory say anything?”

      “Yup. Nothin’ useful though. Sonnovabitch.”

      “Wow. Okay. Did you tell the foreman?”

      Albert rose an eyebrow. “What the hell do you think, princess? We’re calling in some extra hands to--”

      “Old man!” Sam looked towards the source of the voice. It was Cory. “Who the fuck is down there? Sam? Get your ass out of there!”

      “Wh--?”

      “Steam pipe! Fuck, I messed up. Sam. Move!”

      Not waiting to be told again, Sam bolted as she scurried from underneath the pipe maze she traversed through. The fear in Cory’s voice told her all that she needed to know. If she didn’t want to get steam boiled alive - a really really shitty way to go - hauling ass was the only way out.

      Yelping in surprise as a bolt came loose, Sam continued to move faster as a warning alarm added to the pulse of the chaos. Terrified. Hysteric. That’s what Sam felt as she crawled towards safety.

      When the way up came into view, Sam clammered towards it as she saw a gloved hand reach down. “Come on, princess! I don’t need someone gettin’ cooked where I work!”

      Reaching for Albert’s hand, Sam barely made it in time as the whole corridor down below filled with white mist. Steam. Harmless looking, but Sam knew better.

      Sucking in gulps of air, Sam willed her thundering heart to slow, but it didn’t. Again finding herself running, she felt the refreshing wind of the outdoors as Albert sat her against the Dam’s walls.

      Malfunctions. If what lay beyond the walls didn’t get her first, she was sure mistakes like these would.

      ---

      Stabbing the cold venison with her spork, Sam couldn’t stop thinking about the incident. What happened was that Cory dropped the ball. Thinking that he could increase the pressure within the pipes to increase the filtration rate, he forgot to take into account that the pipes were old. Really old. While the mechanics and engineers could’ve repaired them, Cory didn’t tell a soul about his change. There wasn’t enough time to accomodate. Now? The whole water filtration unit was down. News pipes had to be made. Maybe a supply run or two. Needless to say, she was glad she wasn’t Cory. The foreman was pissed. Rightfully so.

      Hearing someone fall into the chair opposite of her, Sam looked up. “Hi Al.”

      “Don’t ‘hi Al’ me,” Albert said as he took a drink from his flask. Sam wrinkled her nose. “How you holdin’ up? I shouldn’t have sent you down there.”

      Sam shrugged as she chewed on another piece of venison. She’d be sure to thank the hunters. She loved deer meat. “Didn’t die, so I guess I’m holding up just fine.”

      “Don’t have to act tough Sam.”

      Raising an eyebrow, Sam swore Albert’s blonde hair grew grayer than what it was this morning. “I’m fine. Really,” she said. “You think Cory’s going to be alright?”

      “Hell no!” Albert said. “Good idea, but he gone done fucked up. I gotta run. Foreman wants to talk along with the other heads at the dam. I have to clean up all this shit. Jesus.”

      “You need me to come along?”

      For the first time today, Albert’s perpetual frown disappeared. “You keep on eatin’ Sam. You been through enough, ya hear? Now cool them heels. Got it?”

      Sam smiled. “Got it.”

      Seeing the chair scrap the wooden floor, Sam watched Albert leave as she was once again alone. There were a few folks settled at the surrounding tables, but Sam wasn’t feeling too social.

      Sighing, Sam continued to pick away at her dinner. She wished she’d asked Albert for a sip from his flask.




    Last of Us: Finding Paradise

    Jackson County, Wyoming
    The Dam
    April 11, 2040
    Sam Morgan; Mechanic-Scavenger
    It’d been a few years since Sam found this place. The Dam for the lack of a proper city name. Following her dad as they made their way from Wisconsin. They started out as a big group, but not everyone was so fortunate. The spores, infected, and the bandits whittled them down until they were a ghost of their former selves. Sam lost her mother along the way. Bitten from an infected. Sam did it - put her out of her misery. It was the right thing to do than to let mom roam around as one of them. At first, her dad resented her. Hated her. It was only recently that they were able to talk again. Thankfully. Though her words weren’t as tender like they used to be, she needed him as much as he needed her. They were the last of the Morgans for all she knew.
    Hearing a high pitched whistle coming from somewhere nearby, Sam wiped away at the sweat condensed on her forehead. Carrying out her responsibilities as a mechanic, she was assigned to the water filtration works - a sorry looking building that was connected to the side of the Dam’s central hub area. Ever since she impressed the foreman with her affinity for the trade, she’d been invited to stay on. She accepted. It kept her mind busy.

    “Morgan! What the hell’s that sound?” Sam popped her head out from underneath the catwalk. She was wondering the same exact thing. Albert - another mechanic - studied a gauge. He tapped it with a gloved finger. “That coming from your end? Too much goddamn noise goin’ on around here.”

    Looking around, everything seemed in place. “Nothing here. What about Cory? Did you ask him?” she replied. “Squealing’s not really the best sign, Al.”

    “No shit princess,” Albert replied as he walked towards her. “What? You’re working on the processing unit, right? Yeah, that don’t sound like the trouble. Gotta be comin’ from one of these pipes. Look around and see if you can’t spot it. I’ll check in with Cory. Shit, gotta tell the foreman too.”

    “Better than the whole unit going down.”

    Albert rolled his eyes. “Gotta knack for pointing out the obvious, huh?”

    Sam smiled. “I try my best. Now, I got a pipe to find. So, um, off you go.”

    Dodging a friendly slap on to the head, Sam laughed as she disappeared into the labyrinths of the processing unit. Taking a flashlight out from her utility belt, Sam crawled all about under the catwalk. Traveling in the direction where she thought the noise was coming from, she felt more moisture condense on her skin as her ragged green long sleeve shirt became even more drenched. Why the hell did it have to be so hot in here? Some fans would've been nice.

    Squeezing between a pair of pipes, Sam sighed as she took off her yellow construction helmet before looking up. She tapped against the grate. “Al!” When the man didn’t look her way, she hammered the grate. “Al!”

    Looking down, her coworker blinked in surprise before crouching down. “Anything?”

    Sam shook her head. “Nothing. Everything looks okay. Did Cory say anything?”

    “Yup. Nothin’ useful though. Sonnovabitch.”

    “Wow. Okay. Did you tell the foreman?”

    Albert rose an eyebrow. “What the hell do you think, princess? We’re calling in some extra hands to--”

    “Old man!” Sam looked towards the source of the voice. It was Cory. “Who the fuck is down there? Sam? Get your ass out of there!”

    “Wh--?”

    “Steam pipe! Fuck, I messed up. Sam. Move!”

    Not waiting to be told again, Sam bolted as she scurried from underneath the pipe maze she traversed through. The fear in Cory’s voice told her all that she needed to know. If she didn’t want to get steam boiled alive - a really really shitty way to go - hauling ass was the only way out.

    Yelping in surprise as a bolt came loose, Sam continued to move faster as a warning alarm added to the pulse of the chaos. Terrified. Hysteric. That’s what Sam felt as she crawled towards safety.

    When the way up came into view, Sam clammered towards it as she saw a gloved hand reach down. “Come on, princess! I don’t need someone gettin’ cooked where I work!”

    Reaching for Albert’s hand, Sam barely made it in time as the whole corridor down below filled with white mist. Steam. Harmless looking, but Sam knew better.

    Sucking in gulps of air, Sam willed her thundering heart to slow, but it didn’t. Again finding herself running, she felt the refreshing wind of the outdoors as Albert sat her against the Dam’s walls.

    Malfunctions. If what lay beyond the walls didn’t get her first, she was sure mistakes like these would.

    ---

    Stabbing the cold venison with her spork, Sam couldn’t stop thinking about the incident. What happened was that Cory dropped the ball. Thinking that he could increase the pressure within the pipes to increase the filtration rate, he forgot to take into account that the pipes were old. Really old. While the mechanics and engineers could’ve repaired them, Cory didn’t tell a soul about his change. There wasn’t enough time to accomodate. Now? The whole water filtration unit was down. News pipes had to be made. Maybe a supply run or two. Needless to say, she was glad she wasn’t Cory. The foreman was pissed. Rightfully so.

    Hearing someone fall into the chair opposite of her, Sam looked up. “Hi Al.”

    “Don’t ‘hi Al’ me,” Albert said as he took a drink from his flask. Sam wrinkled her nose. “How you holdin’ up? I shouldn’t have sent you down there.”

    Sam shrugged as she chewed on another piece of venison. She’d be sure to thank the hunters. She loved deer meat. “Didn’t die, so I guess I’m holding up just fine.”

    “Don’t have to act tough Sam.”

    Raising an eyebrow, Sam swore Albert’s blonde hair grew grayer than what it was this morning. “I’m fine. Really,” she said. “You think Cory’s going to be alright?”

    “Hell no!” Albert said. “Good idea, but he gone done fucked up. I gotta run. Foreman wants to talk along with the other heads at the dam. I have to clean up all this shit. Jesus.”

    “You need me to come along?”

    For the first time today, Albert’s perpetual frown disappeared. “You keep on eatin’ Sam. You been through enough, ya hear? Now cool them heels. Got it?”

    Sam smiled. “Got it.”

    Seeing the chair scrap the wooden floor, Sam watched Albert leave as she was once again alone. There were a few folks settled at the surrounding tables, but Sam wasn’t feeling too social.

    Sighing, Sam continued to pick away at her dinner. She wished she’d asked Albert for a sip from his flask.

     
    #1 Artemis, Sep 7, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2016
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  1. Esther Miller; Sniper - Mother"Okay, listen. All I'm sayin' is he can't keep leaving his shit all over the house. Have you smelled that man's shoes after a day of work? Fuck, it could kill a clicker all on it's own." Ellie adjusted her hunting rifle to a more comfortable position, a wide grin on her mischievous face. Esther threw her head back and laughed at the sky, a joyful sound, one that had become so cherished in the small Miller family. "What, I'm serious!"

    "Oh, I know. It's bad. I keep telling him to leave those things outside, but I think he likes messing with you." Esther took the straw of her lemonade between two fingers and sipped lightly. A fresh drink on a warm spring morning was the perfect medicine for her aching back and sleepless eyes, and as always, talking with Ellie heavily improved her spirits. She set her glass back on the table beside her and leaned back in the lawn chair, looking up at the sun, letting the shade from her sun hat shield her eyes. "As for Joel's messes, I don't know. I like them."

    "You like them?!"

    "Mhm. They remind me that he's still coming home every night."

    Ellie paused. Esther hadn't meant to turn the conversation to a sad place, but her young companion seemed to agree. "I guess you're right. As irritating as he can be, I'd be lost without those damn smelly shoes and the guy who fills 'em."

    "I know." Esther chuckled. She opened her eyes and lifted her head to better look at Ellie. "You should go get some dinner, kiddo. We've been up on this wall for a few hours already."

    "You sure? I don't wanna leave you up here by yourself."

    "Psh. I'll be fine. The sunset's nice, and I could use some time away from your god-awful puns."

    Ellie chortled. "Hey Esther. I was addicted to soap, but I'm clean now."

    "No!" The mother covered her face and groaned as Ellie cackled away. "God, child. Go awaaay."

    "Bye~!" Ellie laughed, hopping down from the dam's high walls and away for her evening meal. Esther watched her go with a silly grin on her face. She loved that girl, no matter how many puns and late-night guitar sessions she would have to live through, and there was no denying the familial bond between them, soon to be shared by another. Esther lay back in the chair and closed her eyes to revel in the sun, her hands folded atop the swell of her belly where the child of nearly five months lay growing within.

    I wonder when Joel gets off-duty, she pondered.

    Ellie Williams; Daughter - CureEllie flicked her wrists here and there, jamming to some serious air-drums as she jogged her way into the cafeteria. She chatted up a few of the nearby residents that she knew, inquiring to their health and well-being and offering some humorous punch lines to make them laugh. The community of Tommy's dam had cherished Ellie since the day of her arrival, and not just for her devotion to the place and her skills in combat. Ellie had a heart, a big one. She was funny and she cared. There weren't many people in the world with as much energy and love in their souls as Ellie, and for that she was loved, by Joel and Esther most of all.

    "Weren't you on wall duty?" Tommy asked as Ellie came dancing over to him.

    "I have been since one," she replied. "Esther's up there. She said for me to take a break and get some food."

    "Should she be up there all by 'erself? That girl needs to take it easy, she's been doin' way to much work 'round here."

    Ellie shrugged. "I mean, she's pregnant, not dying." She adjusted her ponytail and giggled. "You and Joel worry way too much. She's fine. Infected can't get up there, and Joel gets back from the hunting party in like, two seconds. Relax." She patted Tommy on the shoulder and walked away smiling.

    After she accepted her plate of warm venison, Ellie faced the open cafeteria and wondered where to sit. The place was mostly empty, as it was still too early for the typical dinner rush, but in her investigation she noticed the blonde from Mechanics poking at her food with a somber expression. Ellie frowned. She's way too cute to be looking like that, she thought, and without a single shred of hesitation she bounced over to where Sam Morgan was sitting and plopped into a seat across from her.

    "Hey," she said with a goofy grin. Ellie picked up her spork and waved it like a conductor's baton. "Alright alright, listen--what happened when the peanuts took a walk in the park at night?"

    There was no reply. Ellie looked into the blonde's eyes and leaned in deviously. "...they were a-salted."
     
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  2. Joel Miller; Hunter-Father

    Sometimes Joel always asked himself why he did it. Why did he always stick his nose into dangerous waters without some semblance of hesitation. The old dog didn't have to do too much soul searching. While he grumbled about going beyond the wall, he did it cause he had something important to take care of. When he left Boston, it was a job - something that he owed Tess. Then it was Ellie. The little squirt grew on him though he never admitted it. Now, it was Ellie and Esther. His two girls. Hell, they even had another along the way. Joel hoped to Christ it was a baby boy.

    "Pretty good haul today." Joel looked back. His small party of two were right behind him. One was some new kid while the other was a veteran hunter. Chris. They butt heads here and there, but they got along. "Keep folks fed for a while I reckon."

    "You need a break from dragging? How about you new kid?"

    Joel wasn't about to complain about dragging the two heavy bucks. Deer in general were pretty plentiful in the woodlands. The tough part was finding them. While the infected didn't seem to go for animals, the stupid things were still startled by all their noises. The clicker's clicking and the runner's screeching. Memories back out east made the man shudder. Joel remembered the gut wrenching terror traversing through the infected tunnels. It still astounded the man that he made it through the whole ordeal at all. Luck. He hoped his luck hadn't run out.

    "Rick. My name ain't 'New Kid' old timer."
    Joel grunted as he simply kept on walking. He tightened his grip around his rifle. Though they hadn't seen any hunters around these parts for a while - nor any infected - Joel couldn't relax. Goddamn habits he thought to himself. "I'll keep that in mind, Rick," he said. "I can see the dam."

    "About goddamn time too," Chris said. "I was about to make your old bones shatter from dragging this beast. You have any idea how heavy this ole' boy is?"

    "I haven't the slightest clue."

    "Fucking heavy," Chris said. "That the wall over there? Oh thank God."

    Joel laughed as he spotted a certain someone keeping over watch. His certain someone. Waving his hand, Joel wanted to make sure Esther saw him. The last thing he wanted was to get shot right when he made it home. "Esther! Get the boys to open the gates will you? We gotta big haul coming in," Joel said as the trio came to rest before the door. Joel caught Chris's look. "What?"

    Chris grinned. "You sly, lucky son of a bitch."

    Joel smiled himself. "Lady luck I reckon."

    "Sure sure."

    Sam Morgan; Mechanic-Scavenger
    Picking away at the remnants of her tray, Sam was getting ready to leave. Before she could stand up, she felt someone approach her as the person took a seat across from her. It was Ellie. Before Sam could say hi, Ellie had already beat her to the punch. Listening keenly, Sam rose an eyebrow as she waited for Ellie's answer.

    "...they were a-salted."

    Sam covered her mouth as she laughed. Leave it up to Ellie to make a crappy day okay. "That's terrible," Sam said when she was finally able to rein herself in. "I was having a pretty shitty day. Thanks for making it less so. I don't think we've actually met, right? I know you. I think everyone does. I'm Sam. I work out at mechanics - with the occasional beyond the wall scavenging. I'm not sure how y'all do it. It's ... nerve wrecking."

    Intentionally taking a while to finish her glass of water, Sams temporary elation disappeared. "They'll probably send me back out there soon. To find the parts." When the contents of her glass was gone, Sam refocused on Ellie. "Did you hear about the SNAFU at the filtration center? It took months getting that relic working, and one of our guys wrecked it. Not intentionally, but that doesn't change the fact that we'll need to replace stuff. Shit, sorry. I'm complaining. I doubt you need an earful of a mechanic's lament. I wish my dad were around, but he hasn't bothered showing up. Figures."

    Rubbing her hands together, Sam was very aware of how awkward she had made their little chat. It was the first time they actually talked, and she was already blundering the whole deal. "So! I hear that the little guy or gal growing in Esther's tummy is five months now, right? I haven't been around to see her. My little beauties - the metal work at the dam - has got me up all night," Sam said. "Anyway, I saved up enough ingredients to bake. I'll whip something up and bring it over to her. Let her know will you? Build up some anticipation and stuff."

    Raising en eyebrow, Sam smirked. "So Ellie. Boy or girl? What do you think?"

     
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  3. Esther Miller; Sniper - MotherThe second Esther heard the call, she was up and alert atop the dam's outer wall with a giddy grin on her face. She loved greeting Joel when he came back from hunts. He was always so loving when he stepped into her arms again, so grateful to be home and alive, to provide for the family he held so dear. She was eager to feel that embrace again.

    While Esther always wanted to help with hunting, her condition made it impossible for anyone to consider letting her leave. She would birth the first baby in the dam's short history, and everyone was excited for the symbol of life continuing and the growth of their little community. No one wanted to risk anything happening to her. Hell, Tommy would be upset with her for simply being atop the wall without supervision, but Esther was too joyful to see her husband on the horizon to give a damn what anyone else thought. She left Ellie's rifle against the rail and descended the steps as best she could. "Open the gates!" she called to the frontman on duty. "Joel and the others are back!"

    The gates of the dam swung open with a heavy creak, not too wide, but just enough to allow the hunting party to enter with their prize. Esther watched the group follow their routine, giving their catch of deer and other game to the kitchen staff for preparation. Words were exchanged and schedules checked, and all the while Esther leaned against the stairwell with a smile on her face, watching her husband work.

    Joel was once a mystery to her. It had taken years for his walls to completely collapse in favor of her love, but they were not years poorly spent, not in Esther's opinion. She loved him with every fiber in her heart. There were no boundaries between the two of them in the time they'd bonded as one. She toyed with the wedding ring on her left ring finger while she waited for him, her other hand gently rubbing the bump protruding from her belly.

    When husband and wife made eye contact, she waggled her finger forward in a "come here" motion, a big smile on her lips. I'm ready for that back-from-the-hunt kiss.

    Ellie Williams; Daughter - CureEllie frowned when Sam shared her struggles. Mechanics was a weird place to be in, let alone work in, at least as far as Ellie observed. So much rested on the shoulders of the people who kept this place running. The happiness of the community was always so elevated when electricity was an option, and all of that tied in to what Sam's job was. Ellie had never considered how stressful it might be.

    "Well, Sam, it's nice to meet you. Sucks to be you, though. Man, I can't imagine having to work with all those electrical things. I'd just mess it all up. The whole dam would explode."

    Ellie had little talent with mechanical work. It had taken her ages to figure out how to work the old DVD player set up in the apartment that she, Joel and Esther shared together. Joel had to show her how it worked. He'd muttered something about teenagers and electronics, laughing to himself, but Ellie still didn't know what was so funny. She couldn't even change the oil in a car or repair a flat tire without messing it up somehow.

    When the subject changed to the baby, however, Ellie's entire demeanor changed. She brightened up at the happy thought of children and her smile was like the sun.

    "I'm definitely rooting for a girl," she explained in a rush. "I mean, I think Joel wants a boy because he's never had a son before, and he's always getting wrapped around mine and Esther's fingers. But I really want to see him with a baby girl. I've even got a few names picked out for her; Cadence, Paige, Hannah. Others too. I keep finding all these little girly onesies when I go out scavenging. I've got a HUGE box under my bed filled with baby stuff, too, like toys and books and shit?" Ellie held out her hands to show Sam just how big the box was. "It's pretty impressive. I'm, like, the best big sister ever."

    And she always would be.
     
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  4. Joel Miller; Hunter-Father

    One of the things he hated was the post hunting logistics. Joel sighed as he heard the others exchange information about who was going out again and when. The dam had a pretty decent system cycling folks in and out. Time away from the danger out there was important. Joel knew that first hand. Hell, everyone here probably did. Volunteers were always welcomed, but not many were willing. Joel sure knew he wasn't. He did his part. Nothing more, nothing less.

    When the little powwow finally broke, Joel watched the deer they'd taken in getting dragged away. The cooks better make it last. A single piece of game was hardly enough to keep everyone fed here. Whatever the case, that wasn't what was on his mind right now. His eyes met Esther's as he smiled wearily. Not needing the gesture to come over to her, a light spring was added to his steps as he quickly closed the distance between them.

    "How's my girl doing?" Joel asked as he wrapped his arms around Esther and gave her a lingering kiss. Reluctantly separating his lips from hers, he looked down. "How's my boy doing? Don't matter what Ellie goes on about. I bet that little fella's going to go on doin' better things than his old man."

    Meeting Esther for the first time, it took a lot of coaxing from the woman - Ellie played a huge part in it - before Joel let someone in on a personal level. The events leading up to the outbreak still haunted him. Sarah. The military. Survival. His time as a hunter. Everything. Everything always found a way to rear back and come crashing back down on him. Then there was Tess. While they had a strong professional relationship, they were also on more than friendlier terms as well. When smuggling Ellie out cost Tess her life? Well, Joel couldn't bear to form an attachment like that again. However, that perspective changed as he traveled with Ellie. When he finally settled within the dam and found Esther. Everything was finally starting to look right.

    Keeping an arm lightly wrapped around his wife, Joel looked about. "How much longer are you on the wall? You know how ... opposed I am to it," he said. "You're providing for two. Safety and nutrients. Hungry? I'll see if I can't find a replacement for you? Where's Ellie? Figured she'd be keepin' an eye on you."



    Sam Morgan; Mechanic-Scavenger

    Sam grinned and nodded in agreement. "It's sure hard to see Joel getting reined in. I didn't mean anything by that! He just seems really ... intimidating you know? I'm sure there are reasons. But, hey, I think a baby girl would be super swell too! I've only seen a baby once, and that was super long ago. They're so cute! So, so cute. Good names too! I'm sure you'll be a great older sis," Sam said as she leaned forward a bit. "You make sure you don't spoil the little gremlin, right? My friend did that to her sister, and now the little sis has her wrapped around her finger. They're precious. It gets me all the time."

    Tapping her fingers against the table, Sam continued to stare at Ellie. The mechanic realized this had been the longest conversation they'd ever had. The first one in fact. "Since this is the first birth we'll have at the dam, I think I've got something pretty nifty saved away. I figure it'd make a great baby shower present. You think Esther will have one of those? I heard some of the older folks talk about it. It's like a birthday for the baby. But a preemptive one. If that makes sense?" Trying to recall the conversation she overheard, Sam reckoned she already recounted the important bits. "Whatever the case, I'll try to keep the electricity running so when the baby does come, we can use some of the stuff looted from the hospital. Weather gets cold here around this time."

    It'd been a long time since Sam had a friendly chat that had absolutely nothing to do with mechanics. The occupation was essentially her life. She'd wake up, go work on the machines, argue with the foreman and her group, go eat, and then go back home and sleep. It beat the excursion groups for sure. Going out there with those things creeped her out. She survived long enough on the road, but she didn't do it alone.

    Clearing her throat, Sam suddenly felt somewhat awkward. Metal works, pipes, salvage. That was her conversation starters. With Ellie? She didn't want to bore the woman with the mundane things. Well, Sam thought they were interesting. Realizing the silent had gone on a bit too long, Sam struggled to find something 'fun' to talk about. "Um, so Ellie. Do y-. Shit, Spend too much time in the metal works, you kind of forget how to talk about non-tech things," Sam admitted reluctantly. "Lets see ... any talents? I mean, other than your terrible puns, can you do anything else?" Feeling her face warm ever so slightly, Sam felt compelled to share one of her own. An embarrassing talent in her opinion. "Other than being a tech savant - that was a joke - folks say I can sing. Never really did too much with that though. It's kind of ... embarrassing. Too much attention."
     
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