Twilight 2025

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Original poster


The past three months had been hell on Earth. The invaders moved from city to city and from country to country devistating everything in their path. Yet no one saw even a glimpse of one besides the machines they had arrived in and their smaller craft. You've been on the move ever since you home was destroyed and the life you knew was shattered. You were one of the lucky ones who avoiding be killed or taken by the aliens. Sometime during the night the stars came out again, the massive ships disapearing as mysterious as they had come.

Your exodus has brought you into the shadow of the Cascade Range. Before now you have run into other people sparingly and usually they have been driven mad. Ahead of you now, along the interstate is a rest stop that looks as if has been turned into a camp. The sounds of people waking and the sight of smoke is even more promising that it is indeed occupied.
Dark, menacing clouds hung low in the sky. If it wasn't enough that Chuck's entire worlds had been destroyed, now it looked like it might rain, but it was hard to tell. Now a days a blackened sky could just mean that there was a fire near by, seemed like something was always burning somewhere. It was a burnt out, raped, and barren earth now. Everything that had previously been taken for granted was now a luxury; even the simplest things like a comb or tooth brush. Chuck, never having been one to complain about day to day annoyances, thought that now, with the world in ruin, might be a good time to start.

Chucks legs felt like Jello. He had been walking for what seemed like weeks, too scared to stop and too determined to quit. He pushed on, avoiding open areas as well as dead ends and blind corners. It was important not to give the Invaders an opportunity to strike. Not that there was much left to loose, but to Chuck even the small slice of life he had now was better than death; he would push on. Rubble and debris was scattered on either side of the road, it reminded Chuck of the dump. It was terrible, everywhere he went seemed to be more ravaged than the last. Really the only thing that kept him going was the thought of food. That was more or less the number one struggle for him now that and Water. Luckily, the night before, he had come across a convenience store on the side of the highway. Inside there was not much left, but he was fortunate enough to find a can of chili as well as a can of condensed split pea soup. When he saw the soup his mind instantly went back to that old movie "THE Exorcist", but that did nothing to stunt his appetite. Now, almost 24 hours later he was tired and ready to stop, even if for just long enough to eat.

In the near distance he spotted something, it was a rest stop. They brought back fond memories of road trips theater he had taken in the past. His spirits jumped a little at the thought of his life before, but where quickly brought down to earth as he looked again to the side of the road. In the ditch was a dead man, his hands curled tightly around a broken bottle. What the hell was so important about that bottle that he clutched it with his dying strength? The seen was very gruesome, the way his face was contorted into a permanent scowl. Dead bodies were another common occurrence now, it was just something else that he would have to get used to seeing.

After about thirty minutes of walking, Chuck finally made it to the rest stop, it looked deserted. There was a drinking fountain, and with any luck, it would have running water, Chuck needed a drink bad. He walked up to the small fountain and pulled back the steel handle, clear water shot from the spout. Thank God, thought Chuck as he put his lips to the stream, taking long, hearty swallows. He found a bench near by and thought he had better sit for a while to give his legs a rest. After a short break, he would eat. The Exorcist soup it is, thought Chuck.
When the invasion started it was chaos. After it was over things weren't much better, confusion and screaming remained. Fighting broke out once people pulled it together enough to realize the state of things and then figured out stuff was up for grabs, and then after that figured out other people would be going after it. Limited time offer, act now or die later. Anthony fought for most of what he had, with a faded black eye and a bunch of snacks to show for it. When Anthony pulled it together after the attack he decided to head home, check on his family. It's been four days since he set out and it was time he needed a rest.

So, he found a rest stop and there he was. From the back of the building he heard some one enter. He didn't like this world, every time you hear a person it sparks some fear inside you because you're not sure if they're crazy or not. Back in the day it used to be you could trust a guy not to be crazy, sort of. Anthony silently went over to his bag and pulled out the empty pistol, it was a standard thing. Peeking around the corner of a doorway, he spotted the guy wiping his mouth after taking a drink. He looked worn out and tired, but so did every one now. Anthony with his back to the wall took a deep breath and released it quietly, stepping from around the corner as the other guy sat down, holding the empty gun in plain view. "Hey man." He had to check this guy out, if he wasn't friendly then he'd have to bluff him out or things would get ugly.
Kylie continued on like she had been since after the invasion in her area passed. Well, I guess I don't have to worry about the girls at school, now do I? Kylie rhetorically asked as she continued wandering, noting the dead bodies. Fortunately, I haven't seen any that look my brother's or mother's, but I wasn't exactly with them when this mess happened, Kylied remembered as she went on, hauling her purse which had served as a very uncomfortable pillow of sorts for the past few weeks. Kylie neared a rest stop where she saw two men who were alive. One seemed to be toting a gun, and another one was drinking water from a fountain that still seemed to work.

Kylie looked at her knife and unused can of pepper spray in her purse. Not worth it; I already have food'n'stuff so I should just wait for these two crazy people to leave, Kylie remembered how during the invasion, she had to threaten people with her knife to get food. She had a few packs of citrus flavored gum and two cups with dry ramen in them. She lied low under a table, pretending to be dead as she spied on the two from a good 5 meters away, nervously chewing a piece of her gum.

A n n i e Lockhart

Annie was at the rest stop, sitting quietly in a corner, her legs pulled up to her chest. She looked at the people as they came in, observing their behaviors and watching them. In her lap lay the near crinkled picture of her and her smiling little brother, Aaron, whom she missed terribly. She was hoping that someone had taken him with them after he had disappeared from their make-shift home. She hadn't found it him yet, and it had been months, but she was hopeful, ever so hopeful.

The people didn't seem like they would trust each other heartily, but Annie could see that they were all equally scared. Perhaps even more scared than her, considering that she had been taking care of herself for quite some time now. She hadn't run into trouble with any people, yet and she didn't plan to. Annie wasn't the type that got involved into a scuffle by will. She watched the two men and then looked around, seeing the young woman under the table. Annie was intrigued by her behavior the most. Was she half-asleep? Was she eating something in her sleep? Or was she pretending to be asleep? Annie didn't understand the young woman's actions at all.

Taking a deep breath, she finally decided things had settled down a bit. She rose to her feet in a swift, graceful movement and brushed imaginary dust off her dress. She stepped forward towards the two men, who were in some kind of conversation, not that she'd consider it a conversation, but they had their attention on each other anyway. Taking her chances, Annie held up the picture of her brother and pointed one delicate finger at the boy in it. "Excuse either of you happened to come across this little boy?" Annie asked softly. She wasn't used to talking anymore, so it was hard to get voice to come out loud. She was used to whispering softly to herself, and even before that, humming lullabys to Aaron. But now, as she faced these men she realized she'd have to speak up or no one would hear what she was saying.

"He's my little brother. I was hoping to find him soon." She didn't expect sympathy or help; she just wanted to know if they'd seen him. Annie knew these people had suffered more than she had, she could see it on their faces, but Aaron was precious to her, as precious as her own life was. She had to keep trying, even if her efforts were futile.

This isn't gonna end well, Kylie thought as she looked from under the table, watching the girl approach the two. Oh well, I guess I'll just have to wait it out, considering the two men didn't notice me, Kylie concluded as she continued to watch from under the table, lying still. Tick tock, tick tock, Kylie got bored of watching the people and guessed that she could fall asleep and then wake up with them gone. She tried to fall asleep but to no avail, as she wasn't really tired enough to be unaffected by the discomforting ground.
Chuck was trying to get his can of split pea open, not an easy task with only a buck knife, when he heard someone approaching. He looked up and it was a guy with a gun.

"Hey man." he said.

Chuck thought he didn't look like he was about to shoot the place up or anything, so he responded with a simple.

"Hey, hows it going?" Then he thought for a second and said " No need for the gun, I'm normal" Although he understood why the man might be cautious, at the same time it mad him a little uneasy.

It was like Grand central station, what Chuck thought to be a deserted rest stop was tuning into quite a busy place as he noticed a girl laying on a table chewing gum. He thought she would eventually notice that they weren't corrupted and come over. After all, in this lonely world a little company never hurt. Chuck wasn't sure if she say that he had noticed she was there, so decided to just let her do her thing. No sense in bothering her.

Next, another girl wearing a dress walked up with a picture in her hand. She asked if they had seen the little boy and that it was her brother.

Chuck took a long look at the picture, knowing he hadn't seen him, but not wanting to come off like he didn't care.

"No, I'm afraid I haven't." Said Chuck, being brutally reminded of the one he was searching for as well. It seemed like everyone was in search for something in this rotten world, Chuck sincerely hopped she would find him. Chuck was also in search of a loved one, but wasn't ready at the present time to talk about it.

After a moment of silence, Chuck decided to open up a bit to these people. Partly because he had been alone for days on end as well as the fact he was in dire need of a conversation, any conversation.

" My name is Chuck, i was a carpenter before the disaster. I've been walking for a long time, I came from a little town right near the Pacific ocean. Right now I'm heading east, i don't know where though." He paused, again trying to get that damn can open. "Oh, that fountain over there has clean water in it, if you guys are thirsty." Then he thought about the girl on the bench not 5 meters away. "Either one of you know that girl over there?"
Somewhere, maybe a mile away at maximum, gunfire erupted. The mixture of automatic and semi-automatic fire was broken by pauses every now and then. Where ever it was coming from, someone was not having the best fo days. Then it stopped and the sound of engines could be heard.

The noise of internal combustion was loudest when the vehicles blew by the rest stop, proceeding northbound along the highway. The convoy was small, a few Harlys and a military Hummer. All of the people riding in it looked like they were rejects from a Mad Max film, or at least had decided to take up that mantle since the world had gone down hill. Whoever they were had guns though, ammunition, and probably food and water though it didn't look like they were willing to share much.
Turns out there were more people here than Anthony thought. This first guy, Chuck, seemed like an okay guy. Then there was the chick that had interrupted they're awkward first greetings with a photo. Anthony analyzed the photo and shook his head "Sorry I haven't seen him either. Um, my name is Anthony, I'm coming from a university of technology and I'm looking to see if my family survived." Anthony wasn't yet totally comfortable in the presence of these people enough to put his empty gun away. Chuck drew his attention to the girl under the table. Anthony shrugged "I don't know her." He waved at her though.

"And yeah, I know the fountain works. Uh, just a moment I found some empty bottles that can be filled with water." Anthony walked backward into the back room before turning around to gather up three plastic bottles out of all the ones he had gathered up. Hearing the loud vehicles rush past he trotted back out. "What was that?" he asked while tossing the empty bottles to the people around to fill them up for themselves. A show of good will, or something.
Kylie was about to give up on her act when she suddenly heard gunfire. She instinctively ducked back under the table until it ended as the noise of vehicles went by. Kylie finally got out and waved back to the person that had waved at her. She then looked at the others, not really too surprised to see the two men alive as much as the girl that was probably a few years younger than her.

Grey, one word that would describe Kylie's appearance. Her fair hair had an eerie gray tone to it against the cloudy sky and the grisly scenery. Her eyes were light, but rather dull, and her skin was rather dull as well. She seemed to be dissociating from the current situation as she looked off into space, staring at the vehicles that were becoming smaller and smaller as they went off into the distance. It was just then that a water bottle fell in her lap. She turned in the direction it came from and noticed someone throwing empty bottles to people. Well, that's nice; maybe I'm not stuck with a bunch of crazy people for once, maybe, Kylie thought. Wait, these people probably wanna know who the heck this weird person is that's hiding under the table, Kylie thought to herself as she cleared her throat.

"I'm Kylie Ethelton. I'm not really with anyone, so . . . yeah," Kylie meekly said before returning to staring off into the bleak distance.

A n n i e Lockhart

Annie nodded to Chuck when he said he hadn't seen Aaron. She sighed, listening to him talk. It was nice, to actually see someone in person and hear them talking, to see someone who was alive. She half-smiled, looking over at the other guy curiously. When it seemed like he hadn't seen her brother either, Annie slowly put the picture away, tucking it into some other things inside her bag. The rush of noise outside surprised her. She moved over to the door to look outside to see what was going on.

"I'm Annie Lockhart. I'm not in college or anything. I've been searching for my brother and anyone else...who might be alive." She replied after, glancing over at Kylie's introduction. She blinked and turned around, uncertain where they were going to from here. Would they travel together? Would they go separate ways? Annie couldn't imagine what she would feel if one of these people would separate from her and die somewhere far away without her knowing. Even just knowing them for a couple of seconds made her feel inclined to see that they were safe, to see that they stayed alive. She caught the bottle from Anthony and it hit her. They should stay together and work together, shouldn't they?

"Are we going to stick together now?" Before she could think, she'd already said it out loud.

Chuck was glad that he was not the only thinking about how to contain the water, before he knew it, Anthony had filled several empty bottles and passed them out. A very nice gesture. The girl that had been under the table introduced herself as Kylie, She seemed nice enough although a little timid. In a way in brought out the protective side in Chuck, the side he had not let out since.......

His thoughts were interrupted by a brilliant idea from Annie. Sticking together seemed like a fantastic idea, not only could they watch out for each other (4 sets of eyes were always better than one), But now sleeping was a possibility. Before, Chuck had to literally sleep with one eye open, now they could sleep in shifts....or something like that.

Just then a barrage of gunfire erupted, splitting the air like an axe through wood. Chuck whipped his neck in the direction of the shots just in time to see a band of what were obviously rouge survivors speeding off down the highway. The gunshots made chuck think of two things; One, they were not safe here and two, they needed some form of protection. Guns.

Chuck turned to the others.

"I think thats a great idea, sticking together as well as working together might be the smartest thing we could do" He paused for a moment looking to each of the others, determined to make these strangers his friends. Friends, that was sure a warming word. After all the time Chuck had been alone he now felt like things could be coming together.

"I, for one, think it would be best if we loaded up on supplies." He cast a glance in the direction that the rouge band of "Mad Max" looking individuals had gone. "As well as guns, or at least some form of protection. I saw a Surplus/hunting store not far from here, it was in the same direction those guys just went, but it may be the only one around here."

He began to get ready to go, finishing his soup...wishing he had some to offer to the others.
The thought of company excited Anthony, he grew up around a bunch of kids and as much as he wanted to be alone sometimes and he's go to his room, he could still feel their presence and hear their noise from around the house. At the dorms there were people around also, kids older than his siblings but the noise was similar and he felt content. But on the road he was truly alone and it was like a gap in his heart that spanned as far as he could see. Being in a group would help him think less about his family up until he found them. Even so, he'd keep his guard mostly up just in case he misjudged these people. "Yeah, being in a group would be nice. And that gun shop sounds like a good place to check out, this" he pulled out the gun with a smile"is empty."

He went back into the room with his backpack, gathering up all the canned food he found and bottles. He found a can opener and a large roll of duct tape which he stowed in his bag. Bringing the large backpack out near the drinking fountain he filled up the bottles and stashed most of them into the depths of his bag, hidden from sunlight. After putting his last bottle in the bag, Anthony straightened up. "We should keep an eye out for a library while we're out and about, lots of good info in there if it isn't burned to the ground when we find one."

A n n i e Lockhart

Annie looked from Anthony to Chuck and then at Kylie. She liked the idea of travelling together because she would have some kind of company with these people. And they seemed nice enough; she felt a kind of security in their presence. She straightened the strap of her messenger bag and carefully placed the water bottle she'd been given into it. She looked over at the others and nodded eagerly.

"I think we should look for supplies, too. And the library is good idea, too." She was agreeing with both of them without question, but it was just that she suddenly felt a burst of quiet excitement. Even in their situation, something like this, something like teaming up together represented a great deal of hope for her. Hope that they would all survive.

"Shall we get going? We should get supplies, first, right?"

Hmm, people to protect me? I'm in, but I've got nothin' to contribute, Kylie thought, not letting the dismal sigh she wished to let free be heard. She noticed how excited the other girl was, and was not too sure why. Suspicion and doubt danced around in her mind, keeping her questioning thoughts silenced from those in front of her. I just wish I could be on my own . . . without dying, Kylie moodily thought as she listened to the others' suggestions on what to do. Kylie nodded to each of the suggestions, not really caring which place they went to first. After some thought, she decided that it would probably be best to get supplies first, and nodded yes in response to Annie before standing up, waiting for the others.
Having finished his soup and filled a couple bottles with water, chuck was ready to move. One thing he had learned in this brutal world; It was not very wise to stay in any one place for too long. This burnt out world was no joke! If you turned your back on it for even a second it could be your last. Even if it was a struggle finding places to stop and rest, it was better than falling victim to the many horrors that plagued this new burnt out planet. However now, at least for Chuck, things were finally looking up a little. He had the company of three others much like himself; Seemingly good natured individuals who wanted more than anything else to survive.

As a distant black smoke rose from some unseen fire, everyone was ready to move. Chuck began walking , knowing that his new companions were doing the same. The pavement along the highway was rough and broken in some places. Large chunks of the street had been blown away, honestly, it looked more like a war zone than a street, and in a sense it was. After a little ways, the plaza where the surplus store was located came into view. Chuck realized that there was also a Library, a music store, and a gas station. Jackpot! Chuck was filled with a moment of excitement, soon they would have everything they needed to least for a while longer.

"Alright there it is" Said Chuck looking to his new friends " Lets take this exit and see what we can find." And with that, Chuck Turned off on exit 245, from there it was only about a half mile to the stores.
Well look at that, a library. And a couple other stores, music and a gas station. "I'm going to take a look at that library, I won't be too long." Anthony hiked up his pack and trotted across and down the street to the library. When he got inside he wasn't surprised at what he saw. Most of the big books had been burned for fuel. Even though it was necessary, Anthony was disapointed at books having to be burned. Anthony kneeled down, poking at an old thick tome that was half burned away. What a shame. With a sigh he stood and walked down past a couple aisles. He approached one book shelf and pulled out a book. "Home Made Explosives And You." After thumbing through it he put it into his bag and continued on to another shelf.

Ah another book. One about plants, neat. He put that in his bag. Next he found a book about knots. As he was thumbing through the knot book he heard a shuffle from somewhere behind him, and then a growl. Anthony quickly turned around and saw a feral dog. What the hell was a dog doing in a library? He watched the dog, reaching back and putting the book in his bag and then reaching to his belt. He pulled out his boomerang, made of dark hardwood. The dog continued to growl, it wasn't very big but still, it was dangerous, sick and crazy. Anthony edged to the side and backed toward the door. Anthony watched the dog carefully. The dog tensed and leaped. Anthony dove back and threw the curved piece of wood. The boomerang cut through the air curved and hit the dog in the throat. It knocked the dog out of the air,stunned. Anthony gave it no time to recover and jumped at the dog, pulling out his second boomerang and used it to bash the dogs head until it stopped moving. Anthony was breathing hard, after his heart slowed down he wiped the blood from his wooden weapon on the carpet of the library. He recovered his other boomerang, put them both back in his belt, and walked out of the library to rejoin the others, he didn't notice the blood speckeling his front.
Silently, she followed the three along the distorted road. The order that such a structure had helped to maintain had now left the barren Earth. Yet another grisly reminder of the cataclysm that had recently occurred, Kylie looked up only to see the grey sky. Relief from strife's aftermath came in the form of a library, a gas station, a music store, and a plaza that was contained in the center of it all. She knew that there would not be much left, but it was a sign that at least some things survived. Before Kylie could observe the area, Anthony had gone off into the library.

After a period of pointless observation of the dreary setting, Anthony came back out with red stains on his clothes. What happened in there? Kylie asked as she instinctually backed away from him, nervously trying to figure out what could have possibly happened in the library. Kylie gave Anthony a questioning look, one of her hands in her purse digging around for pepper spray for safety.
Anthony was making his way back to the main plaza area and he saw Kylie. He started walking toward her. When he got close he saw her look at him and back away. He was confused for a moment and took another step close. She reached around in her purse quickly. Even though Anthony didn't know her for very long they were in a group and it hurt him to see her acting fearful of him. After a minute he looked down at himself and saw the blood on his clothes. "Oh, jeez." He looked back up at Kylie. "There was a crazy dog in the library, I'm not sure why it was there. But I had to kill it..." before it killed me. Anthony watched Kylie, wondering if she would spray him or taze him anyway but hoping she would just understand.
Kylie got nervous as Effort tried to walk closer to her. Her hand was furiously digging through her purse. Eventually, she felt the cool metal of the can and wrapped her hand around it. However, he began to speak. Pausing for a moment, she tried to calm herself down. Well, I don't really see anything on him that could harm me, so . . ., Kylie relaxed her hand, raising it out of her purse without the pepper spray.

"If you say so," Kylie quietly responded, her normal, mopy look returning to her features.