Odyssey [Sabatron & Fox]

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Fox of Spades, Mar 26, 2016.

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  1. Up north there would be salvation. Amity had heard people say the phrase in passing far too many times for her to count. And while some spoke the words in disbelief, others spoke the words in earnest. Medicine, food, shelter, remnants of the old world and a time before the sickness and the fall, they would find it up north.

    Some people said it was a lie, that the entire world had succumbed to the sickness. And maybe they were right, but Amity liked looking for the light at the end of tunnels. It was nice to believe people were rebuilding and picking up the pieces, and she'd been heading north herself, before she and her friends were ambushed and chased off the road. She'd managed to get away, but she never found the rest of her companions after that. Amity liked to believe they were still on the road, slowly making their way towards the safe haven.

    Thinking about her companions stirred up a sense of loneliness. Her younger brother had been among them and he was all that was left of her family. She pulled out a compass and stared at the rusty thing, willing herself to believe that if she simply kept going, she would find them—that it would be impossible not to find them. Fingers clenched tightly around the cool metal and she finally looked up, at the rows of motivational gift cards and tacky souvenirs, and at the barricaded glass windows and the half open wooded door that read "Tony's Gift shop".

    The sky outside was a darkening orange and the setting sun cast a warm glow over the cluster of make-shift stalls and beat up tents that made up the temporary trading hub. It wasn't exactly a sight to behold, but it was a place for weary travelers to stock up on supplies and rest their weary bones, and it was also one of the safest ways to find people to travel with. Amity had been resting up at the empty gift shop by the trading hub for a total of three days. She'd seen traders come and go, but she'd yet to find anyone who hoped to head north.

    Time was of the essence, the longer she stayed, the more supplies she would lose... and her companions, they probably already thought she was dead. If she couldn't find companions today, she decided she would set out for the northern safe haven by herself in the morning. With a sigh, Amity pulled herself to her feet and exited the gift shop.
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  2. Scott Valentyr. His stall always had customers, as he sold most of everything -- but what he had was something most of the locals needed -- gas masks. He hasn't gone up north, but he managed to raid a pre-collapse government storage facility. It had almost all of the things he had on sale right now, and he was glad he managed to snag a couple of boxes of gas masks, filters, ammunition, canned food -- enough to last him a year, but it was easy to offload this stuff. Loading it onto his pick-up, he even had a storage of gasoline, enough to last him five trips back and forth from the gift shop and up north.

    Though with this haul, he wasn't that confident. What if someone were to beat him up, steal all the loot for themselves? What if someone cheats him on a deal? He was a pessimist, and he never saw anything in a positive light for long. Uneventfully, he reached the gift shop, parking his old pick-up to the main entrance, as he set himself up, immediately plopping out of the car and running the empty stall nearby. Scott put on a smile, and tried to get attention to himself. "Got stuff for the long haul! Gas masks, fuel, ammo, food -- all cheap!" People perked their ears up and immediately went over to his stall. Placing the boxes next to him, he sold a few gas masks, a few filters, some ammunition -- and eventually he was halfway through one of the five boxes of gas masks he had. Seems like the gas masks are in season, as rumors of the 'City on the Hills', 'The Northern Refuge', and 'Safe Haven' reached his ears a while back. What a joke. Even if this place existed, they would probably either be xenophobic, they would worship some crazy cult to get in, or they would just shoot anyone begging for handouts on sight. While people saw him as a pessimist, a killjoy -- he saw himself as a realist.

    The world was dark, cruel, and with this virus annihilating humankind as a whole, the sun set down, it's orange glow and the hazy horizon bathed in a soft, orange light reflected upon how quickly the virus got out of hand. People escaping quarantine zones, only to infect their loved ones and families -- and by the time military were summarily executing infected, it was already too late. The virus had killed millions, and half of the human population became a footnote in what was seen as the largest plague since the medieval times.

    Seeing his parents dying of the sickness, taken away to a quarantine zone -- it hurt to get a call from his father, who told him everything while he was at school. Sent to a government orphanage, he learned how to survive in a society where looting became commonplace, cities became desolate, and by the time they forced the evacuation of the orphanage and the caretakers abandoned the other children, he and a few others were forced to fend on their own. Scott isn't afraid of beating someone to death with a baseball bat, nor is he afraid of stabbing an armed bandit with a rusty kitchen knife.

    He did what he had to do to survive. Eventually, he got enough money to try and take advantage of people. Selling low, and buying in bulk -- he sold at 'cheap' prices at other settlements and made a killing. Trading became his specialty, and he was a master of haggling. If that didn't work, or if someone tried to cheat him, he knew how to intimidate people. Scott wasn't used to traveling with another person, though -- but sometimes he does. Hiring mercenaries when protecting his pick-up alone wouldn't work out if he used a knife. Though, he would never go with anyone he would consider a friend.

    "Going north? I got the stuff you need. You can go a round trip with the supplies I got." He expressed to one of the customers, who was convinced to buy at least five filters. A single filter lasted around a half-day, and the urban areas of Britain were the most affected by the virus. While this southern countryside gift shop seemed to survive, the countryside folk usually venture too deep into the urban areas without a mask, and they succumb to the virus. Gas masks and filters are deathly expensive, costing around five-hundred pounds for a single gas mask and filter.

    But realizing this, he would note that everyone would try to pack up and leave for the North. While he was selling there, he contemplated going up North as well, just to see if the stories were true.
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  3. "Gas masks, huh?" A burly man in his late thirties asked as he strode towards Scott's stall. He was a tall fellow in a faded bomber jacket, and he would have looked mighty threatening too if not for the twinkle in his eyes and the smile on his hardened face. "Been looking for these things for ages. Have you heard of all the chatter 'bout that save haven? Wife and I and a few friends are finally heading up north to see if it's all true." The man stuck out his thumb and pointed to a small group of five behind him. Three men and two women, all looked just as travel-weary as everyone else, but the slight smiles they gave Scott and those around them made them seem friendlier than most.

    "We'll need gas masks and supplies for the trip," the smile on his face faltered a little as thoughts of the challenges down the road swirled around his head. There was a big possibility not everyone would make it to the north alive, but he didn't want to think about it. "We're looking to take whoever wants to come along with us too. You know," the man shrugged. "Safety in numbers and all that, yeah? So kid, how much you selling these bad boys for? We've got a little money we've pooled together during our travels, it's not much, but we've got around er 300 Euros."

    It wasn't a fortune but it was all they had left. "Money's hard to come by these days. Reckon we can get anything with this?"

    As he waited for Scott's reply, Amity stood by the entrance of the gift shop, the beginnings of a smile creeping up her face. Alone, heading up north would be suicide. She was an optimist, not stupid. But with a small group, her chances of making it and reuniting with her friends had doubled. Without thinking, she jogged over to Scott's stall and threw up a hand like a student raring to answer the teacher's questions.

    "I'm heading up north too!" The girl announced.

    Her sudden appearance, coupled with the bright grin she wore on her face made the man in the bomber jacket laugh. Cheer was hard to come by nowadays. "Hah, now that's enthusiasm. The more the merrier, kid. We've got room for more, if anyone else wants to tag along." The last part was spoken in a louder voice, an open invitation to everyone else within earshot.

    "Great, thanks for having me. I've been trying to find people for ages now." Amity stopped herself from rambling on and dug into her pockets. It wasn't much but the girl figured if she was going with these people, she was going to contribute. "I've got about uh, 64 Euros, sir."

    The gesture made the man in the bomber jacket laugh once more. "Don't 'sir' me, I'm no knight. Name's Carter," he waved a dismissive hand then looked to Scott with the same toothy grin and excited look he'd gotten when he first heard of the gas masks. "So what can this get us?"
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  4. Eyeing the populace with a shifty eye, but with a smile that betrays his true emotions. He didn't trust anyone here one bit -- as he looked over to the burly man in a faded bomber jacket approaching his stall. He looked like the fatherly type, but he thought differently. He didn't expect anything, but he knew that the people behind him needed things to buy, and his stall was the place they'd get it. With his companions and the 'fatherly leader' up front, they did seem like a harmless bunch. Laying off them, they were rather travel-weary, their faces rather different -- a bit more radiant than the others who just looked dreary.

    "I've been there. It's real, though -- you have to pass through a tunnel, and outside that is the epicenter of the outbreak," He says, implying that gasmasks were needed beyond that point. "Looters around the road leading there too. They tried to chase them off, but they just come back, more organized." He relays the information to the man.

    "Gas masks are very expensive, but for the five of you, it would cost all around 300 Euros, that includes the filters. Supplies are a bit cheap but... that's the cheapest I can make the gasmasks for. Bandits and Safe Haven are the only steady sources of 'gasmask and filter' production around here." He expresses that with the Parliament escaping to Canada and leaving Britain in the dust, the place is an anarchist hellhole in the city center.

    Then, Scott noticed a woman suddenly running up -- bubbly and giddy, raising her hand and instantly announcing that she was headed up north. It was odd, because she did look rather unfazed by the virus. The looks of a true schoolgirl -- naivety included, made him sigh. It was people like her that made it hard to think of them being hit by the virus, or being abducted by bandits. He didn't hate cheery people -- he just hated the people who would actually dare harm or kill anyone who didn't do anything to them.

    "I'm going up North too. My truck is full of stuff, but once I offload this to Safe Haven I can go back to using my truck for supply runs. I'll be riding solo, as long as everyone can fit in your vehicle." He says to the man in the bomber jacket, as the new girl and him started conversing. He was more of a 'driver' than a shooter, and he always envisioned himself as Mad Max at times. While this doesn't feel like Mad Max, the insanity that happens in the Downtown districts would make him think otherwise.

    "Now you can have a week's supplies with that. It's a steep price but... you'd need 500 if you would buy this anywhere else." It's true, around the rural areas the people jacked up the prices because they're too scared to go into the Inner City. He's a fast and agile runner, plus his truck is pretty decent, a 1968 Toyota Hilux painted in a dark rusty red. While it was a piece of shit at times, it always did him some good. "I can show you the route, but the tunnel's the only way to go. Cars piling up on the highways and the urban roads means our vehicles would be useless."
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  5. The epicenter of the outbreak, Carter frowned, wondering if the ends would justify the means. These were people he'd grown to care about after all, and if going north meant losing people, he wasn't sure he wanted to stick to this path. He eyed the others warily, noting that most of them were trying to look casual, unfazed by the piece of information Scott had given them. They didn't really have a choice, cities nearby were mostly out of loot and with the outbreak growing worse by the day, the safe haven up north seemed like the only reprieve they'd be able to get.

    "It'll be okay, Carter. There's plenty of us to go around." A lanky man draped an arm around his friend, but the look on his face was subdued. "We'll take those gas masks for 300 Euros then." Pausing, he turned to Aimee. "Pleasure ta meet ya, my friends call me Shawn."

    "Aimee," the young woman responded as she pressed her share of Euro's into Scott's hand.

    Carter followed soon after, he had a far-away look on his face as if he were still contemplating on Scott's words. The epicenter of the outbreak and bandits. None of it sounded good, but no one else had protested yet, so he guessed they were really going to do this.

    "Now you can have a week's supplies with that."

    "Thanks, kiddo." Carter once again found it in him to grin. "And hey, safety in numbers, we'll take you up on that offer and we can head north together. You'll be able to show us the way, and our numbers will make sure bandits don't try to run you off the road for a quick buck."

    The two women and the man behind Carter didn't seem to have any problems with the offer either and how agreeable everyone was being made Aimee smile a little. It'd been awhile since she'd seen people who weren't entirely pessimistic or cynical, it was quite the breath of fresh air.

    "So, Mr. Carter and..." she paused, as if asking for Scott's name. "When are you two planning to set out on the road."

    Carter brought up his fingers and counted before Martha interrupted him. "We're planning to leave by morning tomorrow, at first light."

    "That's right, but if our pal here," he motioned to Scott. "Wants to sell his wares, I reckon we won't mind waiting too much. We'll make more progress with directions towards that tunnel and heck, survivors gotta help other survivors out, yeah?"
  6. Scott was clearly one of the people who didn't normally trust any of them. He never really was one to trust someone so willingly, let alone join up with them. He had to for the sake of his transport -- tons of goods. It could turn a pretty penny on the Northern Safe Haven. He didn't want anyone to know, but they were in dire need of supplies and he was the man to give it to them. Of course, he didn't do it for free, but since they were survivors of the Old World, they had the same Old World money on them.

    Scott didn't speak, as he was only there to sell these things to the group and to make sure that they pay him the right amount. While selling these gained him some income, selling these at lower than the market price meant that he would run out of supply sooner or later and either have to sell these higher, or get more. Whatever the case, he had to get out of here and find greener pastures.

    While his humble truck seemed like it was only filled with essential supplies, a mysterious massive object draped at the back of his truck. He smiled as they made the exchange, and as he gave them two crates of 'emergency supplies' sent during the beginning of the outbreak, with emergency medical kits, extra gas masks and filters, and canned goods that both gave around a week or two of supplies, as he unveiled the object at the back of his truck, which was welded down nicely.

    A mounted DShK heavy machine gun mounted on a sturdy tripod, with boxes of ammunition by the side -- equally intimidating to those who would appreciate firearms, and to those who would see this on the back of any pickup truck. "Unfortunately this shit ain't for sale. If we're going to head North, we're going to need this bad boy. I've seen bandits with rocket launchers, so I need someone to volunteer as the machine gunner." He knew that whoever was going to be using this thing was going to be in it for the long run, and he would eventually be the first one to die, but he waited for Carter, Aimee and Shawn to finish speaking before looking over to Aimee.

    "Scott." Seeing the group all talk, and then Carter bringing him up, he shook his head. "I'm ready to head out tomorrow. I need to deliver this stuff to the Safe Haven anyway." He says, smiling. Well, at least that machine gun would be to good news, and that Carter barely brought up how bad the outbreak is means that these guys are mostly going in blind.

    He couldn't help but feel bad for Aimee though. Such a nice, yet innocent girl. He tried not to think about his family, but Aimee reminded him of someone, someone dear to him that he lost long ago...
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