Surviving is just the Beginning (Kronas17)

Discussion in 'ONE ON ONES IN CHARACTER' started by AmethystWallflower, Oct 11, 2016.

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Do you know how awesome you really are?

Poll closed Oct 16, 2016.
  1. I radiate the stuff every day!

    100.0%
  2. Of freakin' course!

    100.0%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. ooc; This is for @Kronas17 Let me know if I need to make any tweaks or additions. I figured the Stage-Two zombies would take a few posts to be introduced, but woo! It's here lol

    They entered a small town that was all but abandoned, keeping to the edges of the trees just out of sight in the growing shadows. It was just the two of them left, not that they were necessarily part of a group before. They were all they had in what was left of this decaying world and he needed to take care of her. Liam' eyes scanned the streets, analyzing as if it were a potential battlefield. He began forming a path that was safe enough for the two of them to take without being seen by dead eyes. The timing needed to be exactly right if he was going to get them through the open and into a safe place and without being noticed. Ryan's stomach complained from its hiding place behind Liam. He ignored the noise as he continued to survey the area. The dead meandered around aimlessly, forever searching for the next meal. He noticed a few shamble past a small ‘ma and pa’ store front. It was the closest thing to them and it seemed to be somewhat secure from what Liam could gather lurking out in the shadows. They badly needed supplies and food. It had been almost a week since they had eaten anything more than small animals and a few berries, and that was only due to Liam. He took care of the both of them ever since he found her huddled in the bathroom of a home he was searching through.

    Ryan reminded him of his younger sister, Andrea. He wouldn't dare call her weak, but she was timid and shy. She kept to herself most days and only had a select group of friends. Andrea didn't make it when the flu broke out, she was only twelve. She didn't need or even want the vaccine; she hated needles and shots. She was perfectly healthy but he made her go, promising he would go with her and get one, too. He thought he was preventing her from getting sick, keeping her healthy. It took her less than a week to contract what was killing everyone and once she finally passed it took less than ninety seconds for her to come back. But it wasn't Andrea anymore. She growled and made noises he had never heard anyone make. Blackened blood, thick and sticky, oozed out of her nose and mouth and the corner of her eyes. Those big green eyes were still glazed from death and when she lunged on him her skin was still cold, was still a deathly pale with bruise like blotches all over. Still dead. That was Liam' first brush with the end. He had managed to escape the city with a pack of supplies quickly thrown together with a few of his collected knives from home.

    When the path was clear he turned to Ryan, putting his hands gently on her shoulders. "We have to get to that store." He looked in her eyes and could see the fear that was bubbling up to the surface. "You know what we need, but I'll just be a few steps away once we get inside." He reached to her hip and pulled the knife from the hilt and placed it in her hands. She nodded, showing him that she understood. He gave her one last reassuring look before he turned and began to quietly move over the dead leaves and branches, careful not to step on anything that might make any noise.

    The trip to the store was slow but that's how it needed to be. They hid behind every car to make sure the next few feet were clear and out of eyesight. Ryan's breath was beginning to quicken the closer to the store they got. She personally hated the world they lived in now; not implying anyone left was in love with it. She never knew if she was going to die just beyond the next doorway she passed through, or if she would be left alone again. Ryan had gotten lucky when Liam found her, extremely lucky. Even though he was alive, he could have left her there, cowering in a bathroom locked away from the dead downstairs that wondered in search of her. She had been there for days before he found her. He convinced her to leave the small cell, persuaded her he would take care of her and teach her the things she needed to know to survive. When she finally agreed to go with him she remembered the faintest of smiles as he handed her a knife he pulled from his pack. "We need each other," she had remembered him saying.

    It had been several months since Liam found her, and now she was on the constant move. To stay stationary would promise death. Zombies never stopped moving, so neither should the living. That's what Liam always told her when she didn't want to travel anymore, but he was right. He always was.

    Now they were upon the store front and she turned her back to him as he opened the door to take a look inside. The first thing Liam had taught her was that when one's back was turned, the other had to stand watch, and that's exactly what she did. She never knew if she would be useful or not, but she did as she was told anyway. Ryan thought of herself as weak, more of a dependent than anyone that could be useful. Self-confidence was never her highest quality before everything. So why should it be any different now? She thought to herself.

    Before passing through the glass front door of the store Liam took one quick look over his shoulder to see Ryan now standing with her back to him and her knife up in a defensive stance. He couldn't help but be a little proud of the girl. She had only been with him three months but she learned quickly, even if she didn't think so herself. He had soaked up the opportunities when it was clear and they were momentarily safe for him to teach her to fight and defend herself. Not only from the dead, but anyone that thought they needed something form her she could do without; in life or death.

    Placing a hand on the glass, he pushed it open and stepped carefully inside. With a butterfly knife expertly held in his right hand he took notice of the lack of walking dead on the inside. He didn't say a word, barely dared to move but he had to get Ryan. With one swift movement he exited the store, place a hand on Ryan's shoulder and put a finger to his lips, telling her to come inside but to stay quiet and keep her weapon out and ready. When both were safely inside he tapped his blade on the counter, calling the attention of anything that may be lingering inside. When nothing showed itself to them Liam motioned for Ryan to stay put while he went and searched the smaller back room and secure any doors.

    The process only took him minutes before he returned to Ryan with a grin on his face. "It seems like we are all clear for the night
     
  2. [​IMG] To think that death was the end, no it was only the beginning. When the outbreak happened everyone was scared. Mass riots and angry civilians who wanted answers that the government would't give them, couldn't. The big cities were the ones to go first, places like New York, Chicago, and California were the embodiment of the disease and there was nothing but dropping bodies. Their pale lifeless bodies sprawled out on the ground and streets of cities and towns but only they didn't stay dead, no they were something much darker and they were hungry. Hungry for the living. Reyna was only nineteen when the outbreak happened and she watched that sickness take over her mother who butchered her father turning him, she watched her older brother die trying to keep her safe and after a month or so she lost her lover, Quinn. She had nothing, no one to look out for and nobody to look our for her but she soon realized that it was better that way. It was like survival of the fittest....and only the strongest survived.

    Groups formed and disbanded when things started to hit the fan and Reyna saw first hand what people did when there lives were on the line. How quickly people turned on so called friends for some extra food on clothes, thieves who stalked the weak and desperate. There was one point when Reyna joined a group that called themselves the Regalia, it was a small handful of them and she found herself moving through towns and cities with them as their numbers declined. They called themselves a nice team but Reyna was only with them as means to find what she needed with the occasional extra hand. Some were nice hard working people but this new world had no place for " nice people" they were the ones who were let down the most and they were always the ones to fall, always. Reyna had a strict one person rule. Never stick to someone and never get attached but that seemed to roll out the window when by chance she ran into Mekai.

    She had finished a raid on an old abandoned house and managed to scavenge some basic supplies to craft once she got back to her safe spot and heading back she saw two thugs trying to rob someone. Now she had every thought to keep on and mind her own business because meddling in someone else's was a bad mistake. You never knew what you were going to walk into. When she saw that the person they were trying to rob was a kid she took pity on the boy and went to help but she was stunned to see that he really didn't need it. He was quick and put down the first thug in seconds and when other other male grabbed him Reyna found herself clocking him upside the head with a rock she picked up on the corner. The boy thanked her and Reyna didn't speak but simply nodded and went on her way but he followed her. He kept a decent distance and even when she took a dangerous route he was right there. She couldn't shake the kid so she decided it would be okay if he tagged along just this once until they reached the next town. The next town came and the next but Mekai stuck by her and for once, she didn't mind.

    " Rey..." A voice rung in Reyna's ear as she made a face and turned over but the voice didn't go away and soon she was shoved causing her to jump up and immediately reach for her knife. Mekai jumped back startled by her sudden movements but he didn't have any fear in his eyes. Smart kid. Fear got you killed. " We should head to your next point, it'll be dark soon". Nodding her head Reyna rotated her stiff shoulders from the wanky bed that she had slept on for a few hours. The sun peaked through the tattered blinds of the small house she and Mekai crashed at for the night. They had run low on food and basic things like bandages so it took them some time to find a clinic that hadn't been ransacked by raiders. Grumbling in response she pulled her mid length wavy brown hair up into a tight ponytail and then grabbed her jacket and nap sack before heading out with Mekai following behind her.

    They moved quietly, only taking out undead when they needed too and conserving energy in case they ran into a hostile group. It was very common once you hit the city. Yeah there were friendly people eager to help but that always came at a price and Reyna had no patience to deal with small favors such as putting her neck out on the line to retrieve a letter from someone's loved ones or bring an item back out of an infested house. Nope if they cared about the item that much they could do that themselves. Mekai followed next to Reyna as she looked at the map and then up at the sky. " How old are you" he suddenly asked and then looked away when he felt her brown eyes narrow at him. There was a long pause before Reyna spoke up. " Well yesterday made me twenty". Mekai looked over at her in shock and then Reyna met his gaze with a sad smile, " Does it really matter kiddo". It really didn't but he was curious since they had been traveling together for quite sometime. " Hey I'm not a kid, I'm fifteen". Reyna looked unamused and smirked, " Oh i'm sorry Mr. fifteen" she air quoted. " Such a man my bad" he flipped her off and she laughed.

    When they reached the shop Reyna cleared the back out of undead while Mekai went upstairs to the second floor and cleared the room out of junk so they could crash for the night. There was canned food that needed to be cooked but there was small bags of chips and a bottle of water and two apple juice boxes. Splitting the water Reyna looked over at Mekai who was watching out the broken window. " Get some rest you're going to need it". She watched as Mekai drifted off to sleep and listened to the sound of undead as they roamed the streets. Just when she was drifting off herself the sound of a door opening and muffled voices made Reyna jump up and reach for her blade. Waking Mekai he wiped the sleep from his eyes and then nodded his head when Reyna told him to be quiet.

    There was a long silence there was another sound and Reyna cursed under her breath. Raiders. She quietly pressed her back against the wall as she moved down the stairs and Mekai used the window to shimmy down and go around back. When she peeked over she saw a man and a young girl who looked to innocent to have survived this long. Stepping out from the shadows she held her knife up and eyed the man. " This place is occupied I suggest you venture onward". Her eyes narrowed at him and she very quickly glanced over to see Mekai standing into the doorway waiting for her move.



    Aaaaaaaaaaand this is Mekai
    [​IMG]



     
  3. With the sudden appearance and a slight gasp, Ryan took a half step behind Liam and tightened her grip around her own weapon. It had been weeks since their last encounter with the living, and it hadn't been very pleasant by the end of it. She could feel Liam's bravery and strength be suddenly pushed forward and did her best to draw her own from it. Not far from the front of her brain was the thought of being proud of herself; before she would have been completely behind him, cowering like a small child. I'm finally acting my age. With her own boost of bravery, Ryan regained her footing, straightened her back and corrected her grip to wield the blade properly. She was fourteen years old now, these days that's close to middle aged.

    If Liam wasn't so cautious of Ryan, he would have dropped the f-bomb outloud. instead his hands flew up to protect his face, one fist clenched until the knuckles burned white and the other had his butterfly knife tucked backwards against his wrist ready to cut an artery with a flick of his wrist. He checked this place, it was clear. Even if it wasn't, he didn't expect this. When his brain finally processed what his eyes where seeing he lowered his guard and weapon a bit. Where did she come from? There had to be an upstairs he wasn't aware of and a well hidden passage to it.

    Eyeing her closely and making sure Ryan was even closer Liam followed her quick glance to the boy in the doorway. Fuck, he had missed two of them! He made a painful mental note to better check a place before bringing Ryan inside. Just by looking at the pair, they didn't seem to be any more dangerous than themselves, but Liam knew that after being out in a world like this, that didn't mean Jack shit. With the store now submerged in total darkness, Liam decided to chance their appearance anyway.

    "It's already dark outside so I'm afraid Ryan and I will be staying here for at least the night." His eyes washed between the knife wielding stranger, her partner and Ryan before continuing. "We will be more than happy to leave in the morning when it's safe. I promise, we will stay put if you do." He tried to show a sign of good faith by lower the butterfly knife to just waist height.

    Ryan involuntarily shifted her weight at the sound of light pounding at the door. A walker had managed to meander its way to the front of the store. After a couple useless slaps at the glass it seemed satisfied at the sudden silence in the store and it bounced off back into the parking lot to join the dozen or so that had collected out there in the dark. Looking back the the older woman Ryan spoke softly, " Please. We can't go back out there tonight."
     
  4. This was one of the things Reyna was afraid of when heading into big cities. People. Of course there were people everywhere but in cities it seemed like half of them were un dead aimlessly wandering around and the other were people fighting for another day and the one thing they both had in common was each of them wanted you dead. Reyna's grip on her blade tightened as she eyed the man and her eyes wavered between him and the frail girl that was behind him. They seemed harmless but looks were deceiving. A couple months back she watched as two teenage girls pretended to be frail and week as three guys came to their aid and they killed all three men and took their gear. In this world now you couldn't trust anyone. They were both hesitant and weighing their options. Both had a kid with them and both of them didn't want any necessary attention to come their way. Mekai eyed the girl and rubbed his free hand against the side of his jeans. Yeah he had killed people but he didn't want to kill her, she had on a brave front but he could tell she was scared too.

    When the guarded man lowered her weapon and pleaded with her to let him stay she sucked in a breath and then finally slowly lowered her weapon and then motioned for Mekai to do the same. " Okay okay fine you can stay for the night" Her tone was hard and then she tapped her thigh with two fingers and Mekai rounded the two strangers and then stood at her side. " There's two rooms upstairs but one of them is boarded up good" He motioned towards the small flight of stairs that was slightly hidden my the shelf that was fallen over. Quietly she lead them upstairs while Mekai watched behind them in case there was any more unwanted surprises. The room was small but it was enough. Reyna and Mekai's bags were laid out and some of the food they had scavenged from the shop. " Well this is it" Reyna sighed slipping the knife back into her holster and she slumped down to the floor still keeping a close eye on the man and the young girl.

    Mekai watched the two closely as well but he relaxed knowing that Reyna wasn't on full guard and the two hadn't tried anything..yet. Digging in his bag he pulled out a granola bar he had scoped up from one of the houses they had checked out before they had reached the city. He was going to save it for tomorrow but since they found some good food today he figured the two could have it and from the looks of it they needed it. " Here" Mekai grumbled as he chucked the granola bar in their direction and Reyna looked over at Mekai but she didn't say anything. She knew he was much nicer then she was and he as young so who was he to tell her what to do with his food. There was a long silence between the four of them and Reyna let her hair down to re-adjust her ponytail. " So how long have you two been running together?".​
     
  5. Liam knew that's how things worked these days. Nothing was ever yours for long. So when you had something, even if it was just for the night before moving on, you had to be careful with who you let in your company. These two were obviously here first, having no doubt searched and picked the place clean before finding the upstairs and making it home. Liam was asking to stay, but at the same time he wasn't. Ryan seemed to add a bit extra charm with her comment because the little warrior woman sent a silent signal to her companion and lowered her knife.

    Ryan looked over to Liam with a weak smile at the tiny victory and took a step to follow the woman upstairs. She was all to eager to get away from the front windows and took the direction as a good sign. He fell instep behind her after scooping their shared back up from the ground at their feet. He did his best to keep an eye on the boy behind them as they rose the stairs, but it seemed like they felt the same way he and Ryan did. He wasn't convinced just yet that they had gotten lucky and these weren't dangerous people, but they hadn't outright attacked them yet.

    By the time they had entered the room, Ryan and Liam sat against the wall next to eachother in silence. They didn't have anything in their pack worth unloading, so they just sat near each other, Liam's blade had been tucked away in his waistband as a sign of good faith, his hands now behind his head for a bit of cushion against the rough wall. He couldn't help but smile when Mekai tossed the granola bar to Ryan and relaxed a bit more.

    Kicking his legs out in front of him he let Ryan tear into half the granola bar before passing it over to him. "Thank you," He said for her. Slightly embarrassed, Ryan looked up to Mekai and nodded a thanks with a mouth full of granola. "I ran into Ryan almost 4 months ago now. Before that I was alone a majority of the time. What about you Warrior Woman?" His eyes went from her to Mekai. "You don't seem like the type to have a sidekick."

    "Do you happen to have any water?" Her voice was small, just barely above a whisper. "We were hoping to find some here."
     
  6. Reyna shifted the bag against the wall so that her back wouldn't be completely sure tomorrow and she was quite thankful for getting the chance to sleep in a decent bed for a few hours, the both of them. If she had knew what the world was coming to then her complaining that life was too hard would have been an understatement because the world they were forced to live in now was something else. Looking over at the man and how attentive he was to the younger girl and his demeanor told her that he wasn't someone looking to pick a fight or go out of his way to harm someone without reason. His eyes shifted to the girl even so often as a means to reassure her and he could tell just from that he was one of the good ones, a nice guy and Reyna stopped herself from rolling her eyes. Of course she wasn't really judging because in a way she was looking after Mekai the same way that the man was looking after the young girl except Reyna wasn't the one to glance over and check up on him, to her Kai was pretty much a grown man and he had proven countless number of times that he was able to fend for himself.

    At the mans comment Reyna rolled her eyes but there was a small hint of amusement that played on her lips. " Warrior Women? That's a first". She wasn't going to tell her name because it seemed pointless. She didn't plan on sticking around with them and he didn't want to know his name because that meant she care and she didn't. Mekai snickered next to her before focusing his attention out the window to monitor how any nearby undead were around and for sightings of other survivors. " Kai over here isn't my sidekick...more like my partner I guess. I am a loner and I do prefer to go on my own path away from others". Pausing he took a bite out of one of the candy bars she taken a few days back and savored the sweet taste in her mouth. " People tend to hold you back and it hurts even more when they die or get turned so I tend to stay away from people but Mekai here...we have this thing going and it's been pretty good so far so what change it ya know?".

    It was true though. When Reyna first met Mekai she had underestimated him and he had proven himself more than capable in handling his own. She had tried to tell him that he would be better off own his own instead of having someone like her lead him into countless dangerous situations but all the kid did was flash that goofy grin of his and say, " Well lucky for you I like dangerous" and since he didn't take no for an answer here they were a couple months in still kicking and still surviving. There was a faint voice that came from the man's side and Reyna had almost forgotten that the girl was there. One thing Reyna and Kai had was a decent amout of water but it was the food and meds they were looking for. Eyeing the two for a moment she turned and dug into her bag before pulling out a water bottle that was filled halfway and she rolled it over to them. " Try not to dink too much, savor it and make it last".

    Mekai had leaned back and then looked over at Rey before tugging on her shirt sleeve. " If were up bright and early we still might have a chance to make it over to the med station and see if there's anything left to salvage". Reyna nodded her head and then slid further down on her bag. " Well then get some rest because we have a long day ahead of us".

     
  7. Her response matched her outer exterior, but she wasn't coming across as overly threatening. It had obviously worked out for her so far due to her still being alive, so he accepted her explanation without argument. After she dug the water from her bag and rolled it over, Liam had felt she had solidified her place as a friendly rather than an enemy. "Again, thank you." He said as he picked up the bottle from the ground, handing it to Ryan first. When she gave it back to him, he took in just enough liquid to coat the inside of his mouth and throat before setting it down between them. Within moments Ryan smiled sweetly to Mekai and Reyna before curling up on her side next to Liam, her head on her inner arm, eyes forced closed and eventually falling to sleep.

    Liam remained quiet for a long time, leaning against the wall next to the young girl he had come to care for like a younger sibling. She was only fourteen, but she was still so fragile he was surprised she had survived the months before. To be honest, he had no idea how she had made it as far as she did before he found her locked in that upstairs bathroom alone. Ryan never spoke about it. Hell, the girl barely spoke at all. Reaching out, he put a gentle hand on her shoulder, feeling her breathe and remembering his long gone sister, Andrea. With every rise and fall of her back, with every tiny breath of reassurance she was alive, Liam eventually allowed himself to close his eyes and slowly drift to sleep.

    "Ryan! Where the fuck are you! Ryan! Goddamn it.." Liam ran through the trees yelling for the young brunette girl. She had heard something and taken off so fast he hadn't seen what direction she went. Everything he ran pass looked exactly the same as the dead trees he had passed moments before. Sweat was building on his skin due to the humidity and the intense running he felt like he was doing. Soon he had to stop and catch his breath, his hands on his knees while his head whirled around in every direction. He cursed again under his breath. Straightening his back, he yelled out again, "Ryan! Where are you!" "Liam!" She called back to him, but her voice seemed to come from every direction. Panic gripped his chest, squeezing the air from his lungs. She sounded scared, hurt. "Tell me where you are!" She called out to him again, but this time it was slightly different and he was able to grasp onto what he had hoped was a pinpoint sense of direction. Thanks to a second wind, Liam took off at a run. It didn't take him long before the trees thinned to allow a small home to come into view, seemingly undisturbed from the disease that had consumed everything else. As he came upon the front of the home, the grass that filled the front yard was green as if it had just freshly been watered and cut, it was so neatly kept. He had come up on the change of scenery so quickly he had to skid to a stop to avoid clashing into the front steps. "Ryan!" He called out again. Several moments went by before he heard anything in response. He looked around to take in the home he had found. It looked like it had a fresh coat of paint, the porch was recently stained and books rested on an end table beside a pair of rocking chairs. How could this place look so well kept when the world had been dead for so long? A quick glace to the left greeted him with lively roses. As if promising this wasn't real. "Liam, please! I'm inside!" Without a second thought he pushed through the front door and raced up the stairs as if he had been here before. Reaching out and grabbing the handle, Liam pushed open the door to the bathroom to his newly realized nightmare. Andrea crouched over a twitching Ryan, blood coating the front of both of them. There was so much blood that at first Liam couldn't tell who it belonged to. His heart flew up into his throat, his legs cemented themselves to the ground and all he could do was open his mouth as if to call out for them and reach out a hand. Seconds that felt like blood choked hours passed before Andrea noticed him standing in the doorway. In those seconds Liam was able to register everything; Andrea using those delicate little hands to tear and rip into Ryan's chest, passed her ribcage to where her vital organs were laying open for display; that precious eleven year old girl shoveling handfuls of flesh and blood into her mouth as if she were a rabid animal, snarling and growling in-between bites and snaps at her own fingers; Ryan no longer moving with her pale, brown eyes staring directing into his, still pleading to be saved. Tears began to flow down his cheeks when Andrea finally turned to notice him standing there. He was going to have to kill her twice. He remembered having to do it the first time when this entire thing began, before ever meeting Ryan. In the moment he tore his eyes away from Ryan's dead ones to meet Andrea's undead, Liam decided he couldn't kill his little sister again. With a violent shriek, the girl rose to her feet, Liam closed his eyes and she launched herself into his chest..

    Liam snapped awake just as Andrea made contact. His hands flew to his chest while he tried to regain his composure. He could feel his heart racing and did his best to take deep breathes to slow it down. Nightmares were unavoidable these days. When you've been through and seen so much it becomes hard to imagine anything good, even in your dreams. Every part of you just becomes stained. Once relaxed Liam looked around to see Ryan sleeping soundly next to him. She hadn't moved since he had gone to sleep himself, making him wonder how long he was really asleep.

    Deciding he needed just a small bit of water, he reached over, quietly unscrewed the cap and took a drink. Just at Liam set the bottle down beneath them he heard glass shatter on the floor below them. Without hesitation he was shaking Ryan awake and retrieving his knives in one swift movement. "Looks like it's time to get up everyone." He said in a loud whisper as he gathered his things. Ryan looked up to him as she rubbed the sleep from her eyes and pushed herself to her feet. "What's going on?" She obviously hadn't heard the glass breaking downstairs. "We have company. We need to go." He quietly urged.
     
  8. Reyna had been in a decent sleep, one that consisted her laying out on the beach soaking up the sun and occasionally swimming about. Ah it would have been nice if that life were real sadly however she was stuck fighting for her life day in and day out. There were times when Reyna wondered how long her parents would have lasted and even her late boyfriend. Her parents were hard working people but they weren't fighters and something like the disease that broke out, she could only imagine that the sickness would have gotten to them sooner or later. Her boyfriend as well was the complete opposite from her and yet somehow they loved each other anyway. She was more blunt, cold, and a bit of an ass and he was always smiling and willing to help people. She would take her chances and say he would have gotten turned trying to save someone else rather than his own ass. That's what happened when you were too nice.

    There were times when Reyna wanted to ask Mekai how he felt about everything that happened but she'd stop herself feeling like she prying into something that she didn't really need to know and she didn't want to go and open up an old wounds. Mekai was strong for his age and she knew that with or without her around he'd be able to take on the undead and survive until someone or something deemed otherwise. When the glass broke downstairs Reyna's eyes popped open and she looked over to the man next to her and the frail little girl who had noticed the sound as well. Mekai was already moving towards his bags and gathering up his things. " Yeah seems like it" Frowning Reyna released a sigh before rotating her neck and then slowly heading out the room to peek downstairs.

    Two of the undead were at the bottom steps just wandering around the store but one of them had knocked something over and Reyna silently made a face because she knew that that exact noise was going to draw all; the nearby walkers to them. Mekai tugged on her arm and then pointed towards the window on the other side where he had climbed out of earlier and she nodded before silently following behind him. The drop wasn't that bad and she watched as Mekai propped himself out the window and checked his surroundings before dropping and Reyna was right behind him with her knife clutched. They waited for the man and the girl to jump down before Reyna motioned foe them to be silent. " They surrounded the front so were going to sneak around through the side street and make our way to the clinic".

    The four of them made their way around the horde without much of a problem. Reyna and Mekai swiftly took out two or three that had wandered near them but other than that they were in the clear for now. Reyna watched up front with the Mekai who occasionally walked next to the girl and she figured it was because he had finally seen someone around his age in such a long time. " I never did catch your name and seeing as how were stuck with each other right now might as well' She shrugged. " I'm Reyna".

     
  9. The next few moments went by incredibly fast for Ryan, but that’s how it usually was. You went from totally peaceful to immense amount of chaos and panic in three seconds flat. Why would tonight be any different? Liam had gotten her up to the sound of breaking glass downstairs, confirming the fact that it wasn’t just a part of the nightmare she was having but a part of the nightmare she was living. In seconds she was off the floor, wide awake and shimmying down the side of a building with Liam right behind her. Soon they were on the ground and moving just as quickly around a horde that had managed to collect not only outside the front of the store, but were now leaking inside of it like sticky, black oil. By this point Ryan had her own weapon gripped tightly in both her hands, the sudden fear propelled her feet forward behind the newly met strangers who were now leading them away from danger. She glanced behind her shoulder to Liam who was taking up the rear not far behind her and was met with a tired yet reassuring grin. He may have been smiling at her, but his darting eyes and white knuckled hands told her something totally different; the same panic she had, just more controlled. From that look alone she knew he was not only jarred awake, but he must have been having a nightmare, too.

    Each time Mekai had fallen in step with Ryan, her own walking speed dropped half a step and she remained silent. Unlike Liam, any social skills the young girl had were completely destroyed with the world. She wasn’t very outgoing before and now that people were even more dangerous than the average middle school bully, hell more dangerous than the average criminal, Ryan clung to Liam like a sad, injured puppy. She held her knife a little closer, watched as the boy walked beside her, but made no attempts at conversation. A yawn escaped her as Reyna spoke her name and asked about theirs. To Ryan’s relief Liam took lead in the conversation.

    “I’m Liam,” he responded before directing the line of conversation to Mekai. “She will ease up eventually. She’s just a bit timid is all,” He added the last comment with a grin. Looking back to Reyna, Liam did a comical little bow with one arm across his stomach, the other behind his back and bending a fraction at the hips. “Nice to meet you both,” he straightened with the cheesy grin still on his face. Without much more verbiage from either side, the group came upon the clinic just a couple blocks from them, illuminated by the moonlight in the vast wasteland of the city. It’s big medical sign hanging slightly askew and windows indicating total darkness inside made the building look overly ominous and immediately gave Liam a bad feeling, but it was a medical building and not only did the two of them need supplies, but so did Reyna and Mekai and strength came in numbers these days. Once you moved past the ‘I won’t kill you and steal your goods if you don’t kill me and steal mine’ introductions, being part of a group was more beneficial than not.

    Ryan pointed to the medical building and stopped just outside of the parking lot. “I think that must be the building we are searching for.” Liam came up to a stop next to the girl and placed a dirty hand on her shoulder. “Not very welcoming,” He said under his breath and looking over to Reyna, “although I’m pretty sure it’s the only one in this town.” Ryan wrinkled her nose and made a unpleasant face as she did her best to see through the blackened windows with not much success.
     
  10. When the man introduced himself as Liam she nodded her head tightly and then kept her eyes forward. " That's Mekai over there" She pointed towards the brown skin boy when just nodded his head over towards Liam and nodded his head once more when he said that Ryan wasn't much of a talker. He understood completely because he wasn't all for talking himself, the only person he did have slight conversation with was Reyna but other than that he'd just hum tunes in his head or daydream about a better life that wasn't this. When Liam bowed his head Reyna was a bit taken back and she made a face of shock and then amusement before shaking her head. " Stupid" he muttered but there was a slight smile that tugged on the corner of her lips but you wouldn't catch it if you didn't look closely. Liam had nice guy written all over him, scratch that he had nice guy spilling out and Reyna glanced over at him wondering if he was always like this. It was probably a nice thing for Ryan since she seemed to be affected by the change the most.

    Mekai ran his hands through his curtly dark brown hair and then readjusted his bag and then moved up so that he was shoulder to shoulder with Reyna. He wouldn't tell her but Mekai was actually glad they they had more people with them, for one it was easier to cover ground that way and also was slightly less lonelier that way. Of course he understood why Reyna liked doing things on her own and he had seen first hand how people turned on each other left and right but Mekai would never do that to Reyna, he respected her to much. Reyna scanned her surroundings before proceeding any further and they all came to a halt once they reached the parking lot of the clinic building. There was no form of light inside and Reyna crouched down and unzipped her bag to pull out a flashlight and Mekai had done the same.

    " Your right it's not inviting but we have numbers here. All we have to do is gone in and try to be as quiet as we can and see what we can find. In and out as quickly as possible and if things get to hot then we leave". As they neared the door Reyna leaned forward slightly to see if she could hear any sounds but it was dead quiet and he hated that. At least if she heard the undead she'd know what places to avoid but since it was quite they all had to be extra careful of their surroundings. " Mekai stick by me" she motioned towards him and he quickly complied and moved closer to her side. Reyna slowly opened the door and thanked the heavens that the creaking noise was at a minimum. Flashing the light around there was a lot of junk on the ground and blood platter. A couple of bodies lie still on the far end of the hall and two undead were stagnant in front of a door, their growling low but audible.

    Keeping her eyes on the ground incase there were any undead that were " sleep" she slowly made her way around the counter and checked for supplies with Mekai as he kept the slight flashing around them. She picked up two things of gauze and a band-aid but they needed pain killers and other things as well. Looking over towards Liam she whispered, " I think there may be some good stuff behind that door where those two shitheads are".
     
  11. Once inside the building Ryan fell instep behind Liam, her hands barely held stable, her eye wide and alert. It was quiet for the time being and it somewhat put her at ease. No noise meant no people, unless they were sleeping; in which case they would have the upper hand on and surprise the dreaming travelers. Ryan cringed at the thought of possibly killing someone in their sleep, and shook her head just slightly to rid it from her head. No noise also meant no reason for the dead to be here either and if they were they were stagnant. Both situations Liam was fully capable of handling on his own, assuming there was only one or two fo them.

    As they walked the hall together, she covered her mouth with her free hand to keep the smell from entering her nostrils; not that it helped much and soon she gave up. The blood was everywhere, but it also was expected everywhere they went.

    It didn't take long before the four of them made their way around the medical building and met not far from a door guarded by two walkers gently pounding on the door. It took all she had to stand her ground and not immediately step behind Liam and let him play big brother and deal with it. Instead she took an inhale of stale air, corrected her finger placement on the handle of the butterfly knife he had given her and looked around the Reyna when she spoke. Ryan and Liam had been together for at least four months now by her count and it was time she start pulling her weight, or at least attempting to, and even start putting some of the skills he was trying to instill in her to some good use. He was a good fighter, a patient teacher and even light-hearted about it, but she was a slow and stubborn learner; it didn't help that she was just as weak as she looked.

    Liam looked back over at Reyna and nodded his head in agreement. He became lighter on his feet and quietly walked up behind the closest walker of the two, carefully stepping over each bit of trash and debris, sticking to the far end of the wall. In just over two minutes Liam had crossed the distance from the small group to the pair of dead at the door, come up behind one of them and expertly slid the blade up through the base of the skull and into the brain. When the walker went limp, he released the blade from the brain cavity and let the body drop to the floor. The noise of the first walker hitting the floor caught the attention of the second. It swung its head in Liam's direction, the rest of its body swiveling to match the forward direction of it's vision, and came stumbling towards Liam with eager fingers reaching out to grip onto anything they could and draw him in close; teeth snapping through the snarls and groans; it's tongue lashing out of its mouth like a sick serpent in its last spasms of death; one milky, blood-shot eye was totally focused on him while the other, along with the entire lower right side of its face, was missing.

    Liam bat the hands away and used the twisting momentum it caused to spin the walker around and catch it from behind. The pair had obviously been dead quite some time and were slower than a freshly turned one, therefore that much easier to take care of. When the second dropped to the ground, he bent down and wiped the blacked slime from his blade to the dead man's jeans. Better his than his own. When he straightened his back, he waved the group over. "I figured you took care of the ones on the way here, I could do my part." He couldn't help but give a little flex of his arms and flash that cheese-ball grin. Ryan slapped at his arm, but he dropped that comedic act in a small huff and refocused.
     
  12. Reyna kept her eyes peeled and Mekai did the same, clutching the knife at his side he slowly stepped over the dead boy and then continued to search around for anything else that might be helpful to them. On the far corner there was a med kit box and opening it he frowned not finding anything but scraps of used bandages and whatever else someone had taken from from the contents of the box. A small sigh released form his lips and then standing back upright he moved back to Reyna;'s side. Reyna was focused on making sure there weren't any more undead inside the clinic as well as people who were around the area, the undead were dangerous but not as dangerous as people, she had learned that countless of times. Moving her body next to the counter she looked over with slight amusement as she watched Liam take out the two undead that stood in front the door that they needed to get into. His tactics were somewhat skilled but they were still sloppy, she wasn't a stranger when it came ti fighting or military tactics but her past wasn't important right now.

    When Liam flexed his muscles with a grin Reyna rolled her eyes and then hopped over the counter while Mekai slowly wandered around the space picking up things that he thought he could craft together. If things were different and Reyna wasn't so hardened to the world and people she would have actually smiled but instead she just eyed him for a moment and then turned from him to examine the door. It looked like the door had been pulled in shut and tight but there wasn't any type of lock on the door that would make things difficult for them and she didn't feel like straining her eyes while using the last of her picks that she was saving. Flexing her finger muscles for a moment Reyna gripped the door handle and then gave gentle pull to see how much the door had been pulled it. After a moment he tugged hard on the door and gritted her teeth before it slowly came agar and then Mekai flashed the flashlight over her shoulder so that she could get a good look in.

    Inside there were shelves that contained a couple of bottles while some were empty on the floor, bodies of people slumped against the wall but judging from the way they looked they took their own life rather than turn into one of those things with a clean bullet to the head. The stench of dead bodies she was used to and leaning down in front one of the dead bodies Reyna checked his pockets to find a small key and she held it up. " Small key, hopefully it fits into something in here". Mekai strolled over to the shelves and examined the pill bottles before taking two and leaving the ones he wasn't sure were helpful or harmful. Since there weren't any undead around Reyna slipped her blade back into her holster and then crouched down opening small cabinets and then on the far side she caught sight of a small locker that was somewhat blocked by one of the physicians bodies.

    Easily moving him over she closed her eyes and prayed that the key would fit and when it did she let out a sigh of relief before opening it up and there in front her eyes were meds. It was only a handful but it was still better then the left over scraps that people had ran through. Painkillers, bandages, gauze, and some small wipes were laid out and Reyna motioned for them to come her her. " Found the jackpot
     
  13. When the door was forced open a wave of smells and images assaulted Ryan. She had come across people who opted to kill themselves first rather than be turned before but this was the first group-suicide she had seen; it made her stomach flip upside down and her heart flutter with sadness. There had to be at least ten or eleven people slumped on the floor, thin with decomposition. She couldn’t stop herself from scanning over each face and their accompanied name-tag that was pinned to most of the lab coats. These were all the staff members to the clinic, nurses and doctors, not a single patient. They had barricaded themselves in probably the only room in the clinic that stored the heavy drugs and painkillers for whatever reason, only to decide to shoot themselves. There had to be a deeper routed explanation as to why a group of doctors took their own lives in a room full of medicines, but Ryan knew she would never figure out what that reason was and chose to drop the thought and move to help scavenge.


    The air in here was even worse, but given how crowded it was, Liam was somewhat shocked it wasn’t actually worse. On first glance of the horrific scene his first instinct was to look over to Ryan and make sure she was handling it okay before pressing onward. When she didn’t have an obvious negative reaction besides the look of wanting to vomit, he began searching through the empty cabinets with the others. Everything he opened was filled with useless medical junk, expired pills that would probably kill rather than mend and paperwork that would never be filled out again. He was growing frustrated when he heard Reyna proclaim she found the ‘stash’. Both Ryan and Liam maneuvered their way through the maze of fallen doctors and over to where Reyna crouched in front of the goods that might as well have been emitting golden light and softs angel voices.


    “Thank Christ... Can we please get out of here now?” Now that they had what they had come here to get Liam was all too eager to get the fuck out of the eerie place and get moving again. “Or at least vacate the room?” He added the last bit just as Ryan began to backwards step out through the door, now noticeably avoiding looking at the truly dead on the floor and didn’t wait for Reyna to respond. Once back out in the hall, away from the two slain walkers on the ground, Ryan stood with a pale face and slightly shaking hands. She was having a bit of a hard time trying to compose herself after such a gruesome scene and bile starting to bubble in the back of her throat, threatening to pass over her lips. She turned away from the door, pushed passed Liam and walked into the waiting room where the air was less thick. Finally, made his way back to her and placed a hand on her upper back with a free hand, between her shoulder blades, just in time for Ryan to empty the contents of her stomach onto the floor. When the acidic substance was free, Liam handed her the bottle of water from earlier and urged her to clear her mouth. While she swished the warm water around her cheeks, the sun began to rise over the town and slowly drench the place in warmth and light.


    In a span of twenty-four hours the two of them had travelled a total of fifteen miles and slept a tiny fraction of that time. Liam rubbed the fatigue from his eyes and mourned another night’s sleep lost to running for his life, just like he was sure to mourn tonight and tomorrow night.
     
  14. When everyone had huddled around her Reyna moved slightly to the side so that they could all see what contents she found inside the box. After wandering around and rummaging through piles of nothing it was a relief to at least find something that would help them in a dire situation. She didn't really get a good look at Ryan's face to notice her discomfort because she was too busy looking in every nook and cranny for something that might be lingering before they leave because once they left they weren't coming back. When Liam spoke up Reyna looked over her shoulder and noticed the discomfort on his face and Mekai who tried to mask his face of disgust from the smell of blood and rotting flesh. " Yeah we can go". Standing up Reyna brushed off her cargo pants and then adjusted her backpack and then signaled for Mekai's attention before heading out the room, and making sure not to step on the bodies that were on the floor.

    Once they were back in the parking lot of the clinic Reyna rotated her stiff neck and shoulders before slowing out a slow breath and then turning toward the three people next to her. Everyone looked worn out and in desperate need of sleep and they needed that soon. She knew how it was when you were deprived of sleep and your decisions were cloudy and people got irritable. Mekai moved back and forth as he looked around for undead and people but his yawns kept rolling in and Reyna felt bad. She didn't mind going a few days without sleep but Mekai was young and he could only take so much. " There's an abandoned hotel a couple blocks down. Now there might be a few undead but if I remember correctly the place had been cleared out by and old group I used to run with awhile back. They most likely moved on by now and that means there shouldn't be much undead to be worried about".

    Mekai nodded his head seeming a little more ecstatic at the idea that they could finally get some sleep in. " Just keep your eyes peeled for people, we can set ourselves up on the first or second floor and barricade it down so no undead can wander in and disturb us, and everybody can finally get some sleep okay?". Mekai gave her a warm smile and stood by her and Reyna ran her hand over his curly dark brown hair. He was always so ready to stick by her side no matter what and she found that admiral. The walk was long and exhausting but Reyna focused on using the backup stored energy. It was that fight or flight method kicking in as she scanned the streets and she, Mekai and Liam took turns clearing a nice path down.

    Standing in front the hotel Reyna shook her head and then slowly walked up the steps and then looked into the window to see bodies of undead and humans alike. " There's some bodies inside, their all dead so check the pockets and bags to see if you find anything useful and keep an eye out. If you hear or see something, Signal one of us because were in hunter territory now". Reyna's voice was cold and her eyes narrowed as she climbed down the steps and peeked around the corner. Mekai looked at Liam and Ryan before slowly opening the front door and then slowly taking cautious steps inside.
     
  15. The idea of a hotel made Ryan’s stomach feel better, but the immediate mention of a group made it sour again. She tried to ignore the idea of them being totally corrupted by the dead world and attempted to convince herself that if the group that had cleared the hotel before with Reyna was indeed still there, they couldn’t be any worse than she was. Swallowing the hard, bile coated lump in her throat she nodded at the idea. She couldn’t argue at the idea of a real bed and she did like to spend the night at hotels, it was like a sleepover when she was smaller. ‘It could be like that,’ Ryan desperately tried to believe the thought. Liam must have been able to read the young girl’s thoughts because he squeezed her shoulder with that signature grin he always gave her and her nerves calmed.

    Then the trip to the building began. It was difficult given the night that they had already been through. More than once she wanted to speak up and ask for just five minutes to sit and rest in the growing morning heat but thought better of it, knowing they needed to get to cover. She even wanted to help clear the way a few times, instead she just kept out of the way of the other three and the walkers. If she couldn’t help by killing one or two, she could help by making sure they didn’t have to overly worry about her. You weren’t allowed to be a carefree child anymore, carefree meant being eaten.

    Finally the hotel stood before them. It was like a dreamed oasis coming to life and inviting them inside. Even though there hadn’t been any power in months, Liam doubted there was a generator here but could almost feel the air conditioning coming from the building. Damn, he needed sleep badly if he was imagining air conditioning; he nearly laughed at himself. He was pulled from his momentary loss of focus at the mention of hunter territory and thrust into fighter mode.

    When the door opened, Liam cracked his neck and fisted the blade up high to his face. He pulled at the last threads of his strength and stamina to help clear out the vast room. With a practiced form Liam took out walker after walker with Ryan trailing closely behind to quickly search the fallen of their treasures and help the best she could at distracting the walker while Liam got at the best angle. After several minutes of this repeated dance of distraction, kill and search the room was cleared and both Liam and Ryan stood with hitches in their breathing. “You’ve been here before, Warrior Woman, so lead the way!” He did a salute with a bloodied hand, earning a giggle from Ryan.
     
  16. Reyna knew the area all to well and she knew that they had to keep their guard up. People were always watching even when you thought you were alone. She only glanced over her shoulder once when Mekai slowly opened the door before refocusing her attention back to scanning the outside of the building for any undead or people lingering around. For the most part the outside of the hotel was cleared off. Barricades to keep the unwanted out were placed around the sides and there was an abandoned fort towards the back entrance. The group she used to run with awhile back had talked about making the hotel their main base as they sent people out to retrieve supplies and whatnot but the area looked empty of any other people besides Reyna and them. Once she was sure that there wasn't any lingering undead on the outskirts, Reyna walked two blocks down to make sure they weren't being followed and finally she entered the hotel along with the rest of the group.

    At Liam's comment Reyna's brown eyes scanned him over from head to toe but she didn't give him any emotion as her eyes starred into his with slight curiosity. He always seemed to keep a smile on his face no matter what the situation at hand and a part of her admired him for that because she couldn't. She scanned the main floor and and went behind the main desk and then shuffled through the drawers before finding key cards to the rooms. She was tankful that the keys were separated by floor and then placing the three key cards into her pocket she hopped over the counter with a light huff and then rotated her shoulders. " Okay we'll stick to the first floor. I have three room keys for room 124 so here". Ryan handed one to Liam and then Mekai. She figured since Ryan was glued to Liam's side she'd be fine without one and also because she couldn't find the fourth one.

    Slowly she walked up the stairs with Mekai right on her tail as she scanned down the hall for any signs of movement and when she was certain that there was no undead lingering down the hall they needed to go to she dragged one rolling cart to block the hall and Mekai paused the other one next to it so if there was any undead they couldn't get through. Her fingers ran along the wall before stopping in front of the room number she got the key cards for. " Let's hope we don't have any unwanted guests". After swiping the card Reyna slowly opened the door and then flicked on the lights which were dim and flickered. The room didn't seem to have any undead inside it just looked like someone had left in a hurry. There was two beds and Reyna placed her bag on the chair before checking the bathroom and them coming back into the room. " All clear, we can finally get some rest". " Thank god" Mekai smiled before diving onto the bed which made Reyna chuckle lightly.

    Mekai was out in a matter of seconds and Reyna gently slipped his backpack off and jacket before placing them on the chair next to her things. She was beyond tired but for some reason she found herself looking out the window on watch just incase there were any raiders nearby or a group. After about an hour her eyes began to feel heavy and Reyna let her wavy brown hair out from the ponytail she kept it in and slowly drifted off to sleep in the chair.

     
  17. The room was barely big enough to fit the four of them, but neither Liam nor Ryan was about to complain. The last time they were about to lay their heads down to rest it was on the dirty floor of a tiny, abandoned store. Here he was looking at two lush beds, if they were really lucky water ran through the pipes still; they might as well have found a temporary paradise. Ryan had wasted absolutely no time stripping off her dirty shoes, dropping her pack on the ground next to the bed, and crashing into the second bed face first like she had been dropped from directly above it. Liam was sure the child was asleep before her face even hit the fabric of the pillow. Within minutes her heavy breathing created a chorus of soft noise when it added to Mekai’s and eventually Reyna’s.

    Once Liam was sure Ryan was down for the count he let the brotherly grin drop from his face like a brick. True, he was naturally cheery and full of grins and jokes, but these days it was more acting for the sake of Ryan than it was genuine. How could he really be full of happiness in a place like this? He strode over to the window, feet not making a sound against the lightly dust covered carpet and careful not to wake Reyna, to gaze out the glass to the wasteland below them. He saw the daily act as not just that, but a tool to teach the girl. Not only did the wasteland rob the child of learning any sort of skills she would have gotten from her peers and just being overall social, the fact that she was an introvert made it worse; he had to try and be outgoing enough for both of them to teach her that just because the world and the people in it were dead, it didn’t mean you had to deteriorate with it. It was a slow process that always left his cheeks sore from the cheesy grin that always made her smile and his head hurt from trying to make jokes from nothing. It was starting to work, he could tell when Reyna and Mekai stumbled on them; even if she really wasn’t talking to either one of them, she wasn’t shaking in fear and constantly hiding behind him like a scared puppy.

    Crossing his arms over his chest and narrowing his eyes, he carefully took in every detail in his view, looking for something but not exactly for sure what. Maybe his brain just wasn’t ready to accept that they were totally safe and insisted on making him search a perimeter that had already been cleared. His muscles in every part of him were screaming for rest, burning with exhaustion from days without any real gratifying sleep, and yet he stood in the silence of the sun filled hotel room ignoring his body’s pleas for sleep. It didn’t take long before even his eyes began their begging and even started to grow heavy enough to droop. With a sigh of admittance he closed the blinds against the sun and silently retreated back to lay himself next to Ryan, who had curled into a small ball of a girl.

    With the curtains drawn against the sun and encasing the room in black, Ryan had no idea how long they had slept for. Rising from her position on the bed, she groggily looked over to where the others slept, rubbing sleep from her eyes. Her eyes drifted to the closed curtains and their fingers of light that had now begun to recede back out the window through the spaces the curtain couldn’t cover against the floor. They had slept through the entire day and were now being cradled back into the night. A yawn escaped her lips as she slid off the edge, her feet carrying her to the restroom where she tried the handles controlling the sink water. Instead of a tiny stream of steady flowing water, she was met with a sputter of dirty water and then nothing. Ryan sighed at the expected disappointment but continued to the toilet anyway where she relieved herself before returning to where Liam drooled, one arm dangling off the edge. Just as her hand was about to touch the fabric of his shirt against his back, a loud gurgle erupted from the girl’s stomach and instead her hands clamped down on her lower belly and wide eyes flew to Liam’s face. Ture, she was about to wake him up anyway, but she would have liked to do it with a gentle touch rather than the sounds of ravenous hunger.

    A single eye lifted open and Liam’s mouth closed as he stared at the shock on Ryan’s face. “What are you doing Little Peanut?” He pushed himself up and wiped the spit from the side of his face. “I was hoping you’d come with me to find something to eat.” She kept her voice low as to not wake the other two, but wasn’t exactly sure how good of a job she was doing if she already woke Liam up unintentionally. He could only nod as his stomach complied with her request despite itself, and then rose to relieve himself in the bathroom. “No running water?” His question was met with a negative head shake just before he walked inside. When he was finished and returned to Ryan, she was sitting at the edge of their shared bed and laced up the sneakers tightly around her feet. “I thought if we could, we could bring back food for them.” Liam smiled, stepped forward and did an elaborate stretch, “You’re too good for this world, Peanut.”

    It didn’t take long before the two had quietly departed from the hotel room and made their way through the entire floor. Liam found himself wishing it took longer than it had, that would have meant that there were things to find, things of use, but instead they just came upon empty mini-fridge after empty mini-fridge and every seventh room or so they found something of value. When they returned to the hotel room Ryan’s pink backpack had two bottles of water, four different candy bars, three lunch-sized bags of chips and enough salted peanuts to choke a cat.
     
  18. As sleep consumed Reyna she found herself thinking about her parents and her older brother. How she would always be in a rush to leave her house and wander about, ignoring her parents warning about the risks of being out so late. She remembered how hard she made it for them when she entered high school. Smoking pot, detention, and the "bad boys" that she brought home. Her brother was the " golden boy" in the family, star athlete with good grades and an amazing personality and Reyna was the complete opposite. Her grades could have been better and although he was in sports like basketball, track, and volleyball she had to quite because of her grades. She remembered how her parents begged her not to join the army but college wasn't necessarily an option her for, she wasn't dumb but she was never applied herself and therefore her grades were just average at best. Sure she could have gotten into a decent college but she hated high school and enlisted as soon as she turned eighteen. Reyna remembered meeting Quinn a few months before she was supposed to be sent out overseas and how persistent he was about getting her number. He was too nice for her, she didn't deserve him.

    The parts of her dreams came about in waves as flashes of her childhood, her parents, Quinn, and her brother filled her thoughts until they became consumed with death of soldiers and then her parents. Reyna woke up in a sweat and her knuckles white from clutching her shirt so tight. Brown eyes darting around the room she eyed Mekai who was still in a peaceful sleep but she noticed that Liam and Ryan had been up for some time and then her eyes dropped down to the table to see small contents off food sprawled out. They had went out and gotten food. There was a small smile on her lips that quickly wiped away as she put her wavy brown hair back into a ponytail and then got out the chair and winced. She really should have moved Mekai over and knocked out on the bed but she had been so focused on keeping watch incase of other people that she didn't have the energy to move from the chair to the bed.

    " I see you two went out looking for food, nice". At the sound of her voice Mekai shifted in his sleep and then he lifted his head and rubbed his eyes. Reyna thought he looked so much younger than he actually was, innocent for the most part. " What going on? Rey do we need to go?". Reyna shook her head and then as she passed the bed her hand ruffled his curly dark brown hair, " Nope but Liam and Ryan brought back some food". At the mention of food Mekai jumped out of bed with a small smile and the looked between Liam and Ryan. " Dope, awesome guys". Reyna kept starring out the window for some reason, there was an uneasy feeling that she couldn't quite shake. She was almost positive that when she had been watching the window, there was three undead bodies laid out on the floor and now there was one.

    She wasn't going to speak up because she didn't want to alarm anyone, especially since they had just got some rest. Sitting down in one of the chair Reyna took a candy bar and broke it in half tossing one to Mekai who finished it in a few bites and Reyna did the same and finished the bottle of water that she still had between her and Mekai so that the new ones Liam and Ryan found would last. " I'm going to check the perimeter again, I have an feeling that were not the only ones here". Mekai grabbed his knife from the side of the bed, " I thought it was empty". Reyna rubbed the back of her neck and then slowly opened the door. " It was but now I'm not so sure". Motioning for Mekai to be quiet he nodded and then followed her lead towards the front desk and just like she thought. Raiders. Three burly men dressed in light gear and masks the were rested on their heads moved around scanning the bodies that they had already checked.

    " Dammit Neil I thought there was going to be some shit here" The fat one spoke as he kicked the lifeless body and then Reyna watched as the one with the scar on his face grunted and then moved around as he rubbed the end of his piston to his dome. " Shut up Crash we'll look around". Reyna eyed the man with the scar, he seemed to be the leader and so far there was no one else holding a gun. A gun was a quick kill but it also caused way too much noise and would attract undead from blocks out. Reaching into her boot she pulled out a small blade that she kept just incase she was without her blade and slowly moved around the men while Mekai stayed back with his knife ready. Her footsteps were loght as a feather as she hid behind the counter and then when the scar dude neared where Mekai was hiding, Reyna flicked her small blade that landed right in fat boy's jugular.

    " His blood filled gurgles gathered his partners attention who rushed over to him and tried to stop the bleeding before immediately guarding up. " Who the FUCK!" The scar dude bellowed and Reyna sucked in a breath as she clutched her blade and quickly peeked over to see the two men looking around. " Diesel check first floor on the left, I'll take right".



     
  19. Ryan looked up at Mekai as he made his way over and smiled meekly, holding out one of the bags of chips to him. She had already eaten her portion of what they had brought back so she had no problem pushing peanuts into his hands. Honestly, if she never saw the damned things again it would be all too soon. She hated peanuts before, even more so now that they had become the day’s only real source of energy. She had forced herself to eat two packets of the salted little nuts before she came close to gagging them back up. “You’re welcome,” her voice was just above a whisper, still obviously shy to be around anyone other than Liam.

    When Reyna voiced her concerns about not being alone, something inside Liam shifted. He shot a sideways glance to the girl next to him to search her features for any sign of immediate distress. Unable to detect anything other than the usual withdrawn nature of the child, he focused his attention to the pair making their way out the door. He still sat on the knowledge of his past career, not yet fully convinced that this would be the time to allow the other two in on his secret. Thankfully, Ryan had kept her mouth closed on his ability to fight and allowed him to keep the card up his sleeve. ‘In a world like this Ryan, you have to know how to not only defend yourself physically, but in all other forms as well,’ she recalled the little lecture during one of the few training sessions he was able to squeeze in between running and surviving, ‘if you have a skill worth anything out here, it’s best not to put that skill on the table right away. Keep it only yours for as long as you can; only use it when you absolutely have to and use it to protect yourself.’

    Only taking his eyes off the door for a moment Liam silently rose to his feet and gestured Ryan to do the same. “Pack up the food, weapons and anything else that looks useful in here, and go hide.” His voice was soft and gentle but there was an obvious urgency behind it. “I’m going to make sure they don’t find anyone. If they do..” Ryan nodded and quickly got to work loading both her backpack and his with the food, weapons and even tried stuffing a fleece blanket into one of them. Backing away from her as she scurried noiselessly throughout the room, Liam closed the door behind him and slipped into the hallway. It didn’t take him long to find Mekai watching something unfold from his hidden perch and when Liam caught up to him, he made it just in time to see Reyna take out the one approaching the dark skinned boy. He admitted to himself that he was impressed at her throw, but it was short lived when the order to search the rest of the floor echoed through the vastness of the room.

    Liam placed a hand on Mekai’s shoulder, hoping not to startle him too much and moved to get a better angle, intentions on squaring up with the man called Diesel. Scanning the area around the two raiders he wasn’t able to locate Reyna and for a moment feared the girl had been harmed or even killed, but when she poked her head out from behind the counter again, a breath of relief blew passed his lips. When the pair of burley men separated and took to searching each end of the floor, Liam pressed himself against a wall away from the line of sight of Diesel and tried to still the racing of his heart. He was a fighter, born to the style of Jiu-Jitsu to follow after his father and was brought up kicking banana trees until either his legs could no longer carry his weight or the tree caved against the constant thrashing of the serrated tibias. When the man was close enough Liam began to quietly bounce on the balls of his heels and relax his tensed muscles. Before Diesel knew what had happened, Liam’s leg swept out in front of him and collided with Diesel’s sternum with a sickening crack. The force of the kick had been amplified when Liam turned his hips into the thrusting motion, and he was on the man before he even had a chance to catch his breath and get up. The rest came as if it were muscle memory. Liam was a flurry of fists, a single flashing blade and a series of maneuvers that made it look as if he were simply wrapping his body around the bulk of the man and squeezing the life from him like a python. Diesel’s fist had collided with Liam’s jaw and his left ribs more than once before Liam was finally able to end the man’s struggles with a violent thrust of the butterfly knife into the man’s jaw, straight up into his brain cavity. His breathing was now labored after the brawl, he could feel the spot on his jaw swell where the man’s fist had made contact twice, a rib was definitely bruised.
     
  20. Reyna kept her breathing low as she quickly peered back up to see Diesel lingering around looking at the body of his fallen friend and then the anger that filled his eyes as he grumbled something and then spat and looked around. She could take him that she knew but she wanted to make sure that the man with the gun wouldn't be any trouble. To her surprise she caught a quick glimpse of Liam and then her mouth parted slightly when she saw how fast he had taken down Diesel and with skill and precision. His movements were beyond fast but not only that but the power in his blows as they landed on Neil.The guy barley had a chance before Liam was all over him. Diesel had began to rush over to help his comrade but Reyna quickly flicked her leg out and then tripped up Diesel who stumbled forward and then before he could turn around Reyna jumped on his back and wrapped an arm around his neck, using her body to pull him down she quickly slid the blade into his side.

    Her arm kept a tight grip as the chubby man groaned out in pain and then tried his best to swing her off of him but she held on and then heard his grunts of struggling to take in air. The man dropped completely down to his knees before Reyna gave him the final blow, her blade into his chest before twisting and pulling out quickly as she hopped of and then watched as his body slowly laid out on the floor and fresh blood poured out of his body. Reyna's adrenaline was pumping and Mekai had come over to see if she was hurt and when he noticed that she wasn't he walked back over to Liam and eyed the bodies that were sprawled out on the floor. Reyna was sure that if she had needed help Mekai would have been over in an instant but the man was dumb and was too focused on Liam to even see her pressed against the counter.

    " Well fuck" Reyna breathed out as she pulled a strand of stay hair our of her face and tucked it behind her ear as she made her way over to Mekai and Liam. " Kai check and see if they had anything on them". Mekai nodded his head and then brushed past her to check the body that she had just taken down and then the one near the door. Reyna eyed Liam and then looked over at the lifeless Neil, his face contorted in shock and pain. " That footwork was amazing, nice fighting style" Reyna mused as she crouched down and dug in the guys pockets and then took his blade and gun. Eyeing it she placed it on the counter and then crouched back down taking his light chest armor off and handing it to Mekai who had came back with one of the dead guys bags. " He had some food on here and bandages, The other guy only had a cool machete which I took".

    Reyna looked out the window and then walked over tot he chubby man and removed his light armor as well and then the guys from the far side. " We might need these so let's take them just in case but right now lets head back to the room". Making sure not to leave the gun Reyna grabbed it off the counter and then unloaded the clip and putting it into her bag before they headed back to the room. Once inside Reyna made her way over to her backpack and then took out the small cleaning wipe and walked over to Liam. " Sit". Reyna leaned in slightly and gently took a hold of his chin lifting it up slightly and turning it so that she could see the bruise that formed on his cheek before softly apply pressure to it with the sterile wipe. " At least the other guy looks a lot worse" she smirked slightly before gently dabbing the area slightly and then leaning back she scanned him over, " Are you good or did you get messed up anywhere else?".

    Mekai had plopped down in one one of the chairs and fooled around with the machete that he had taken off one of the bodies. " So are we going to stay around this area for another night Rey or keep moving?". Reyna took her eyes off of Liam and then bit down on her bottom lip in thought. " We can stay here for another night. I don't think anyone else will come venturing through especially after seeing those fresh new bodies as a welcoming". Mekai nodded his head and then poured out the contents of the bag he took from the guy who died earlier on the bed.