Red Oak Apocalypse

  • Thread starter masteroffabulous
  • Start date
Status
Not open for further replies.

PixelatedLights

Hot Hot Leg
Invitation Status
Posting Speed
  1. 1-3 posts per day
  2. One post per day
  3. 1-3 posts per week
Writing Levels
  1. Intermediate
  2. Adept
  3. Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
  1. No Preferences
Genres
High Fantasy, Dystopian, Apocalyptic,
Sammy blearily blinked his eyes, groaning as he realized how early it was. "Okay, Okay I'm up," Dragging himself up, he slung his backpack over his shoulder and went to splash some cold water onto his face. "Yeah, I have everything," He took one last look at headquarters, "Let's go,"

The air was cool and crisp as they headed out the back door of the HQ forcing Sammy to zip up his thin jacket. The pair headed into the forest surrounding the town where red cedar trees grew tall into the sky and the abundant bushes and undergrove were filled with berries and teeming with life. The soft sounds of the forest nightlife hummed in the background as they made their way along an overgrown dirt path.

"Night? How far have you gone into this forest exactly?" Sammy broke the spell of silence.
 
M

masteroffabulous

Guest
Original poster
Night stopped.
"I-I've been to Monette, once." He held his head down and kept walking; his memories swirling and screaming to be heard again, after so many years. He tamped them down and forced conversation.
"It's about 4:30 now right? We're making great time! We should be at Lakeville by 10 at least! Ha ha." He looked around the forest nervously.
 

PixelatedLights

Hot Hot Leg
Invitation Status
Posting Speed
  1. 1-3 posts per day
  2. One post per day
  3. 1-3 posts per week
Writing Levels
  1. Intermediate
  2. Adept
  3. Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
  1. No Preferences
Genres
High Fantasy, Dystopian, Apocalyptic,
"Monette?" Sammy turned to his friend, "You've never talked to me about Monette," The pair walked on for about another 20 minutes, talking back and forth until the snap of a twig made them both freeze.

"H-hey Night...No way the Shanes could have, up caught up yet right?" He looked to his friend for reassurance. "I mean they shouldn't even know we're gone!" Sammy whirled around staring into the trees around him.

"I-I mean I'm sure it's just some animal... ," Yet he still pulled out his knife and quickened his steps, pushing against Night's shoulder to make him walk faster.
 
M

masteroffabulous

Guest
Original poster
Night nearly pissed himself. He stopped Sammy and held his baseball bat up. He wasn't going with them again, not without a fight.
"Be very quiet." He whispered. He pushed Sammy and the pair got moving.
They came to the bridge 15 minutes later, without a peep from whoever was following them. The bridge was in an open area, completely void of trees. Built before the invasion, it was much stronger than probably anything within miles.
The tension was palpable after that. The pair was caught in another awkward silence; silence wasn't good for bad thoughts.
"Do you really wanna know about Monette?"
 

PixelatedLights

Hot Hot Leg
Invitation Status
Posting Speed
  1. 1-3 posts per day
  2. One post per day
  3. 1-3 posts per week
Writing Levels
  1. Intermediate
  2. Adept
  3. Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
  1. No Preferences
Genres
High Fantasy, Dystopian, Apocalyptic,
"Yeah, can you tell me about it?" Sammy was curious, his friend didn't usually talk about his past. They began walking over the bridge and Sammy peered over the edge at the rushing waters underneath. He was still on edge from what he heard, whether it was a Shane or some animal.
 
M

masteroffabulous

Guest
Original poster
"Yeah," Night started. The tension from the scare was still thick on him, "Monette is a lot farther from Red Oak than Lakeville. It's just over the Rubble Mountains. That's why the Shanes didn't get to 'em." He took a breath. "When I was about sixteen, really tiny kid, and the rebellion was just starting to form, the leader sent me to Monette. It was something about a supply run, which was bullshit, seeing as Danny went scavenging the day before. But I was so fucking eager to prove myself man! So I climbed the mountain. I climbed a metal, garbage mountain."
He went silent. Some time passed, and Night didn't speak a word until they could see the lights of Lakeville.
"They didn't see me for four months. Trust me Sammy, being burned at the stake would be a hot bath after some of the shit they do in Monette."
 

PixelatedLights

Hot Hot Leg
Invitation Status
Posting Speed
  1. 1-3 posts per day
  2. One post per day
  3. 1-3 posts per week
Writing Levels
  1. Intermediate
  2. Adept
  3. Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
  1. No Preferences
Genres
High Fantasy, Dystopian, Apocalyptic,
He tensed as he listened to Night's story. He regretted asking his friend immediately but it had shed some light on his abrasiveness towards the old leader. Sammy didn't join the rebellion until later, and he wasn't there when that man was still the leader. Still he grew up hearing stories of his heroism and how brave he was, guess there's always two sides to a coin.

As they approached Lakeville, Sammy paused, "Are we safe here? I mean walking into Lakeville like this..." He trailed off as he heard the sound of footsteps. He dragged Night down, and they crouched behind a fallen tree. It sounded like three or four men walking along the main path. He was glad that they had decided from the beginning to avoid that trail.

"Heh! Them lil-guys barely put up a fight," The rough voice carried far in the silent forest.

"It was a waste of time, They didn't even have anything! Some food, a bit of money and a few dusty old letters," Someone else responded

Sammy froze, they were bandits. It was his worse fear come to life. They would find them, take all of their stuff and then they would cut him up into little pieces and no one would ever know. He clenched his knife until his knuckles turned white. Stop being such a coward, he thought, bandits are nothing compared to the Shane, get yourself together.
 
M

masteroffabulous

Guest
Original poster
Oh fuck, Night thought, oh fuck oh fuck oh fuck. He held his breath for a second before shouting, "Who goes there?" in his most confident voice. He could feel Sammy tense up next to him.
The men didn't respond, but did stop talking. The forest was silent when Night said,
"You are on Shanien territory, and I advise you To turn back now."
One of the men shouted back, "We were just heading into Lakeville for food." He hastily added a "sir."
"Lakeville is a place of godless heathens. Go back to Red Oak where Shane will protect you."

Night and Sammy heard some whispering and then the men started running. It sounded like more than four.

When the footsteps faded away Night helped Sammy up.
They could see the vibrant purples and reds of Lakeville in the distance.
 

Zarko Straadi

Edgenoble
Posting Speed
  1. 1-3 posts per day
Writing Levels
  1. Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Female
Genres
Sci-fi, fantasy, magical, modern, Steampunk
Clairy:

Bugga! Clairy thought to herself when she heard the twig snap under her foot. She froze, thrusting her left hand behind her, palm out, fingers up. Her dogs also froze in place. And she'd been doing so good, too! It wasn't easy to see the two lads in the pre-dawn dark with her brass telescope, but there was enough moonlight to give her silhouettes. They were tense now, one with a baseball bat at the ready, the other with a knife. They were whispering things to each other, but she couldn't make out the words. She thought she heard "Shane" or "Shane'er" once or twice, but that wasn't any help as long as she couldn't tell if the words around it conveyed adoration, fear, or disgust.

When they started to move again, so did she, with careful hand-signals to the dogs. She'd move, then move and stop each dog one at a time, so that if the boys heard anything, it'd sound like one animal rather than a whole pack. It was tough keeping up with 'em this way though...

Then she heard talking--not the boys, the deeper voices of full-grown men. Again she froze. More than she wanted to take on even with the Hunt at her back. If they caught the boys... She loosened her rapier in its scabbard.

"Who goes there?" an authoritative voice called out. Bugga, bugga, BUGGA! Just had to be the bloody Shane'er militia!

"We were just heading into Lakeville for food," another voice replied. "...sir..." Oh, hang on, Clairy thought, swiveling her telescope toward the sound. There were too many trees in the way for her to see the speaker, but one thing was clear: he was well away from the boys. She turned her scope back in time to hear the "militiaman" saying something about Lakewood being full of heathens (as if that was a bad thing), and warning his hearers to go back. Brilliant! she thought, silently congratulating the boy on his cunning.

Bjorn went into attention, ears pointed up, his sleek nose aimed toward the sound of footsteps that were getting closer...closer...closer...then further away. With the bandit threat past, the boys started moving again, a little faster. She'd start to lose them now if she kept going the way she had been. This is ridiculous. Doesn't do me any bloody good to be all sneaky if they get away, or worse, go an' get themselves caught before I can get to 'em. With that thought, she signaled the Hunt to stay and moved off in pursuit of the boys. She was still aiming for quiet, but moving faster now so she could gain on them.

Thankfully, her luck turned enough for her to get within earshot of them without any new disasters striking. She ducked partially behind a tree, just in case either of them had a gun.

"'Scuse me lads," she said softly in a pronounced Australian accent. "I don't mean you any harm. Can we talk?"
 
M

masteroffabulous

Guest
Original poster
Perhaps the third time in a mission that was supposed to be relatively easy, Night nearly pissed himself. He turned to see a rather imposing woman with blonde hair and steampunk glasses. His thoughts went from not part of the plan to I haven't seen a dog in years. Unfortunately, the winning thought was "Can I pet your dogs?" He cursed himself but didn't take it back, because goddammit I really want to pet a dog.
 
M

masteroffabulous

Guest
Original poster
Quickly coming to his senses (he still wanted to pet a dog, but could control himself. Maybe.) Night asked, "Talk about what? Who are you?"
 

PixelatedLights

Hot Hot Leg
Invitation Status
Posting Speed
  1. 1-3 posts per day
  2. One post per day
  3. 1-3 posts per week
Writing Levels
  1. Intermediate
  2. Adept
  3. Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
  1. No Preferences
Genres
High Fantasy, Dystopian, Apocalyptic,
Sammy froze as he heard a soft voice call out. He turned, heart pounding in his chest, spotting the tall blonde woman half behind the cover of the trees. He jumped, squeaking as glowing blinking eyes emerge from the dense foliage. A pack of dogs. Dogs scared him. Although there wasn't much that didn't scare him, vicious, snarling dogs were pretty high on his list. Sammy spared a glance towards the lights of Lakeville. Even if they ran at breakneck speed, there wasn't a chance that they could make it all the way there without becoming dog chow.

He almost smacked Night when he asked to pet them. Pulling himself together, he grabbed his knife and tried to make his voice sound strong, "W-what do you want?"
 

Zarko Straadi

Edgenoble
Posting Speed
  1. 1-3 posts per day
Writing Levels
  1. Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Female
Genres
Sci-fi, fantasy, magical, modern, Steampunk
Clairy:

Clairy stepped out from behind the tree. She wore a "matching" leather doublet and pants sewn together from pieces in different earth tones and forest greens. Her blouse was similar, but made of fabric. Her hair was something of a confusion, some in braids, some loose, integrated with a brown leather headpiece that included feathers (both real and rusted metal imitations made from pre-Harvest food cans) and small machine parts arranged decoratively in a way that also aimed to break up the silhouette outline of her head. It all worked pretty well as camouflage while still plausibly representing an ordinary salvage aesthetic for when she had to present herself openly.

She'd clearly managed to scare the bejabbers out of the boys. Not what she'd wanted, but it did beat having them scare the bejabbers out of her; say, by whipping out shotguns, or turning out to have a gang of Shaner inquisitors at their back.

"Easy now. Said I don't mean you any 'arm. Name's Clairy," she said. She snapped her fingers, and her four dogs formed up with her, two on each side. "An' yes, you can pet 'em, once we get things settled. I'm..." She didn't quite trust them enough to say 'a spy,' though they'd probably figure that out soon enough. "...I guess you could call me a messenger. Or a smuggler. You've read the note in that tablet you got, aye? I was sent to relay a message from someone called 'Maskman' in that burg o' yours. I sent Journey--one o' my dogs--in while I watched from a safe distance," she said, a hint of sadness coming into her voice. "I was bettin' on it bein' easier for a dog to sneak in an' outta there unmolested than for a girl on her own. Plus, she knew his scent, so she could find him if he wasn't at home.

"Turned out they'd already caught onto him, an' 'ad him barricaded inside his house. I used a bit of misdirection to draw the Shaners off so Journey could get in and get Maskman's attention. She did, but then things started goin' south. He was supposed t' tear off the page, fold it up, an' slip it into a hidden compartment in her collar, but somethin' must have distracted him, probably another group of Shaners breakin' in somehow on the other side of his house. So he gives her the whole tablet, an' she takes it in her teeth an' starts runnin' back t' me.

"Bloody Shaner bastards shot her. Didn't notice or care about the tablet. All she was to them was free meat," she said, her voice cracking. "You found the tablet before I could find a way t' get to it unseen. So now here we are. I'm hoping, by the fact that you're headed for Lakeville, that you mean t' deliver the message. That'd put us on the same side."
 
M

masteroffabulous

Guest
Original poster
More comfortable, though still incredibly intimidated by the giant...Irish woman? Night wasn't sure they were anywhere near Ireland. He spoke steadily:
"Yes...we are heading to Lakeville, but we'd prefer delivering the message ourselves, seeing as we've almost died trying to do that." He might have been exaggerating a bit. So far, they'd only been in danger twice, and one of those was Clairy herself. He caught Sammy glaring at him, so he added, "You can join us, if you want." Sam elbowed him. "Since it was probably meant to be delivered by you anyway."
 

PixelatedLights

Hot Hot Leg
Invitation Status
Posting Speed
  1. 1-3 posts per day
  2. One post per day
  3. 1-3 posts per week
Writing Levels
  1. Intermediate
  2. Adept
  3. Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
  1. No Preferences
Genres
High Fantasy, Dystopian, Apocalyptic,
"Night," He whispered, "Do you think we can actually trust her?

Sammy wanted to trust this woman, honestly, he really did! However past experiences where he got fooled, still lingered at the top of his mind. He did not want to get beaten up, stolen from and then dropped off in the middle of nowhere to fend for himself...again. Clairy and her dogs looked dangerous, even if she did claim that they were on the same side.

He gestured for her to walk ahead of them, "Why don't you lead the way for now, since Night already invited you along," No way was he going to let that woman and her dogs bite at his heels. Although considering the amount of trouble she went through to find them, that message must be important enough for her not to try anything risky, like ambushing them from behind. Still, in his mind it was always better to be safe then sorry. And if his theory was correct, and Clairy didn't end up stabbing them in the back, she could be a useful acquaintance to have, especially in his business of information gathering.

"So, Clairy right? I'm Sammy and this is Night," He jabbed his thumb towards his friend who currently looked transfixed at her dogs. He paused, nervously rubbing the back of his head, "Umm, sorry about your dog Journey by the way," Sammy looked down. He hated it when people got hurt and it was the same for animals, even if it was a vicious dog.

Quickly wanting to change the subject, he asked,"Do you have any idea where in Lakeville the girl we're suppose to deliver this to lives?"
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: masteroffabulous
M

masteroffabulous

Guest
Original poster
Taking Clairy's continued silence as a yes, Night pulled Sammy into a step behind her.
"Alright, lead the way!" There wasn't much of a way to lead. The colors and lights of the town and been visible for an hour already-usually in the form of a flag on a lamppost, or a particularly nice house. Houses were spattered out in the woods, though it was dangerous.
"The woods are a lawless place." Night said. He had been trying to break the silence, maybe, but no one paid him any mind. So they walked. They all walked, and kept walking, for many minutes after that. They walked for so long that the sound of a broken trumpet startled Night out of sleep.
Lakeville was there, in all its rainbow glory. Truthfully, it was less of a town and more of a tent-city, but it was still beautiful.
 
  • Like
Reactions: PixelatedLights

Zarko Straadi

Edgenoble
Posting Speed
  1. 1-3 posts per day
Writing Levels
  1. Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Female
Genres
Sci-fi, fantasy, magical, modern, Steampunk
Clairy:

Clairy wasn't exactly delighted with the idea of "leading the way" and having the guys at her back, but she decided not to object and start a conflict over walking order. The Wild Hunt would probably be enough to make them keep their distance and prevent any sneak attacks. Unless one of them had a gun...

Right, so how do I get the tablet off 'em without pickin' a fight? Don't think I want to just go an' lead 'em right to Charlotte. Even though they seemed to be as adverse to Shaners as she was, there was still the oldest lesson of spycraft: two people can keep a secret, if one of 'em is dead. She was so preoccupied with her thoughts, that she lost track of time until they arrived at Lakeville.

"Right, here we are," she said. "If you boys wanna come into Lakeville, I can vouch for you so you can go on an' get settled while I get the tablet to Charlotte. That alright with you?"
 
  • Like
Reactions: PixelatedLights

PixelatedLights

Hot Hot Leg
Invitation Status
Posting Speed
  1. 1-3 posts per day
  2. One post per day
  3. 1-3 posts per week
Writing Levels
  1. Intermediate
  2. Adept
  3. Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
  1. No Preferences
Genres
High Fantasy, Dystopian, Apocalyptic,
"I...appreciate that you would vouch for us, b-but i think it's best that we stick together," Sammy looked over nervously to Night. "W-we have a policy, our group that is. And w-we not separating," He gestured between the two of them, "And that tablet is not leaving our sights."

So he fiddled with his thumbs and mumbled under his breath, "So I guess we're all going, or you're not getting that tablet." He may be spineless and a coward but Sammy definitely wasn't stupid. Although Clairy had painted them a convincing picture , he had seen the Shaners do the same. He wasn't handing that tablet, especially with how important it seemed to Night, over to Clairy without some solid proof she was on their side.

This whole journey was their first lead in months about secret Shaner projects and now the burnings. Boss would kill both of them if they let this opportunity go to waste. And the fact that they were technically in charge (well Night was), of Base 34 (the shittiest base in his opinion) wouldn't help their cause. Their people were few and widespread, and almost everyone could say they had commanded a base before, even if it was just for a few days. However that also meant that everyone knew each other even if just by name, and he had never even heard of Clairy before. So either she was a Shaner trying to worm her way in, or she was a part of something entirely new. Either way, if she tried to take that tablet by force-the thought of her attacking dogs made him want to hurl- Sammy knew that they weren't going down without a fight. He wouldn't disappoint Night and the Boss, not again.
 

Zarko Straadi

Edgenoble
Posting Speed
  1. 1-3 posts per day
Writing Levels
  1. Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Female
Genres
Sci-fi, fantasy, magical, modern, Steampunk
Clairy:

Bugger, I was afraid something like this would happen. They local Resistance then? "Right. I understand you don't trust me. We all gotta worry that anybody we meet that we don't know is a Shaner, an' that those we do know have been turned. Paranoia's a survival trait in our line o' work.

"But here's the thing: you just found that tablet. I'm grateful you did, an' kept it out of Shaner hands, but ultimately, deliverin' it isn't your group's mission, it's mine. If you got a chance to look at it in good light, you might have noticed the rows of indentations on the cover, and water stains on the paper on one side, from bein' 'eld in a dog's mouth. You're countin' on me t' know where Charlotte is, an' I do. But if I bring you there, that triples the number of people who know, which triples the chances the Shaners will find out. I'm not sayin' I think you're Shaners, or that you're not good at what you do. It's just cold, hard Bayesian probability math. The more people that know a secret, the higher the odds are of it gettin' found out.

"You're askin' me to put Charlotte's life, my life, and the lives of a lot of good people in your hands--and into the hands of anybody else you might trust enough to talk to. All I'm askin' is that you let me complete my mission as planned. I'm not adverse to workin' together, on future missions where your group is part of the plan. In the long run, the more the merrier. But bringing in more people on this mission when numbers aren't necessary, is bad spycraft. May I please have the tablet?"


OOC: I'm going to be away from the 'net for about two weeks starting Monday. I'll try to write a way for my absence not to hold you two up.
 
M

masteroffabulous

Guest
Original poster
Night contemplated this for a moment. He knew Clairy was a force to be reckoned with, but at the same time, he knew that he and Sammy couldn't go back to base; the Shane-ers had surely swarmed their home in Red Oak, even though they'd only been gone a short while. Their home was gone, all for this tablet, and Night wasn't gonna let it out of his sight.
"I-um, I'm sorry Cla-Miss Clairy?" Show less fear. "We need to come with you. I'm sure Charlotte will understand. Besides, we did rescue the paper, so that gives us some kind of privilege, right?"
 
Status
Not open for further replies.