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    1. #91
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      Re: Deadlands

      Going from silent to very loud was enough to make Lilly jump startled "oh for goodness sake what the hell set that damn alarm off!?" She turns to look at Robin (she had decided that will be her crazy bow wielding companions name) as he speaks his plan of action, she shivered slightly at his close proximity when he'd whispered to her, nearly missing what he said about decoy killing 'where the heck did that come from? Now's not the time for girly crushing on the crazy guy' she pondered for a moment before shaking it off to address at another time "right I'm on it, I'll be your cover, you just better not get us overrun by either the dead or the living"

      Lilly checks to make sure the shotgun was loaded and ready, she turns to Robin, a nervous laugh escaping before she could hold it "you know....animals I've killed plenty of, however...humans I have not" she sighs and mentally prepares herself 'OK I can do this, just think of them as animals of the hunt, game face time' she locks off her emotions as much as possible, she knows its kill or be killed, the world we knew is gone, little hope of it ever retuning. She looks at Robin, a teasing glint in her eyes "you owe me free bow lessons for this Robin!" She chuckled slightly as she watched him jog away, taking cover following aside his moves, keeping in the shadows, an undead straggler staggered forwards towards her, she whacked it in the side of the head knocking it down, switching quickly to her machete, she drove it slicing down into its partially rotted skull, effectively taking out its brain in a puddly, black blumonge mess 'bloody, stinky thing, ugh' she almost gagged but kept it together in order to follow the plan.
      Thankyou Velveeta for the beautiful artwork, you are truly amazing <3
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      For hearts long lost and full of fright, for those alone in blackest night, accept our ring and join our fight, Love conquers all, with Violet light!

    2. #92
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      Re: Deadlands

      Dean stood with his arms crossed, one index finger impatiently tapping against his elbow as the newcomers made their way through the gates. First a woman on foot, and then a vehicle behind her.

      “Ryan,” he yelled over his shoulder for the boy, who came jogging up to him shortly after, “I need you to do something for me.”

      “Whaddya need?” the kid asked.

      “Go find Weickhardt, fast as you can,” he spoke out of the side of his mouth, keeping his gaze focused on the newbies while he barked instructions, “and tell him I need him here at the gate ASAP. Tell him he’s going to need his gun.”

      Ryan turned to run but then stopped, realizing he might need more clarification. Kyle Weickhardt had a lot of guns.

      “… Which one?”

      “The one that doesn’t go ‘Boom!’” Westin responded and Ryan got the message, turning again to run towards the dorms.

      Finally the massive H3 came through the doors, bringing with it another pair of females. That was 5 women in two days. The infantry side of his brain came on in his head and he had to stifle a moronic smile at the pig-headed jokes that immediately came to mind. He needed to look professional right now.

      From all the time he’d spent working on gate guard duty as a Specialist, the hand motions Dean made for the driver of the vehicle to cut off the engine and have both occupants step out came naturally. They had been designed to be recognized instinctively around the world as well, so he didn’t anticipate any issues having the driver of the civilian Humvee turn off the vehicle and step out. As soon as they did he pointed to a spot on the ground near where the female who’d thrown off her backpack was already standing.

      “Welcome inside,” he started off, not wanting to be too intimidating right from the jump, “we’ve got food, water, showers, and beds if you need them. I only ask that all three of stand over here and allow one of my people to search you before you make any other steps inside.”

      Looking up to the walls of the gates, Dean spotted Amber perched atop with her crossbow. She was supposed to be scanning for any hitch-hikers the noise of the vehicle may have brought with it, but instead her gaze was fixed intently on the three newcomers inside the walls. Snapping his fingers, the former Army Ranger caught her attention and motioned for her to come down. She quickly got to her feet and jogged down the makeshift stairs that had been constructed to allow people to patrol atop the walls.

      “I need you to carefully search these three,” he told her as she got there, “I don’t care if they have weapons, I just want to know about them if they do.”

      Turning back to the three newcomers, he continued his introduction, his arms crossed once again.

      “My name is Dean Westin,” he told them, “I’m the head of security for this group. I’m not going to ask you to disarm yourselves, because anyone walking around without a weapon, in my opinion, is at risk. I am going to ask you to be honest with me, however. You are in my home now, and I will extend all the resources we have to you within reason, provided you respect that you are guests here. I don’t know what your intentions are; whether you’re just passing through or you want to become a permanent member here, but if you’re going to stay with us, you need to pull your weight. After you get done with me, Amber and another of my team will escort you to go meet with Cassie. She makes most of the decisions around here and handles people a lot better than I do. She’ll tell you where you can get the food, water, shower, and rest I mentioned. She’ll probably also talk to you and figure out if you’d be a good fit here or not. Don’t worry. I’ve never seen her turn anybody down. She seems to always be able to find some way anybody can be of help, big or small.

      “That’s my introduction out of the way. Now if you’d be so kind, I’d appreciate knowing your names, what brought you to us, and whether or not I should expect to see your face around campus more often.”
      Regarding Sun Tzu and War:"Then he used his fight money to buy two of every animal on Earth. And then he herded them onto a boat. And then he beat the crap out of every single one of them. And from that day forward any time a bunch of animals are together in one place it's called a zoo!

      ... Unless it's a farm!"

    3. #93
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      Re: Deadlands

      Standing there and listening to this guy was almost unbearable to the free-spirit Katie happened to be. This didn't seem like a welcome as much as it did an intake interview. She made a note to talk to the little one and see what she wanted to do, finding it hard to leave her behind if she did decide this place was not worth the communistic attitude. It took a lot to remind herself that in times of trouble people either get crazy, turn to a militaristic state, or both. This was at least one of those things.

      The blonde dropped her backpack, opening it in the process and ripped off her jacket. The hunting knife she carried was in full view on her belt, but it was her only weapon for the moment. Her clothes were tight enough to reveal if anything was under them at least and the items in the bag were just ideal for a single person's survival out in nature.

      "Might as well make it easy for ya, rather not feel like I'm going through TSA," she joked to the tall, scruffy man. She immediately imagined him as a lumberjack and her face lit up with her private joke. No point in being glum, right? She jutted a hand towards him in introduction as she so often did before the dead decided to walk.

      "Katie McDowl, I'd say I'm here because all the living in about a twenty mile radius know this is considered a safe point. If you wanted a literal answer I'd say that did," she gestured to the large vehicle. "It's not really fair to ask if we're staying when we just arrived and you're already pulled out the rule book on us, is it?"

      Her hands found their way to her hips, settling as she shifted and looked him over while waiting to be patted down like some sort of criminal.

      "Sorry, I guess you can put me down for a 'maybe' on that. Not used to all this structured living." She didn't look sorry, she looked amused. Trying to keep things light-hearted would probably make her look like a cocky kid to these soldiers but that didn't matter to her much. She'd been fine so far and was easy to get on with. Someone would enjoy her enough to want her as part of a team even if it wasn't this guy. Though that would be a shame.
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    4. #94
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      Re: Deadlands

      Ehryn waited as the man spoke, listening intently to his words. It seemed fair to her that they be expected to work for their stay; things were hard now and you couldn't exactly just go down to the shops for your next meal. She nodded absently as she listened, taking in everything. A moan of delight and pure need escaped her ruined throat when he mentioned showers and the thought of being able to wear clean clothes and not worry about her scent made her close her eyes in bliss for a moment. She was happy to allow the woman to search her, and kept her hands up***in surrender apart from a brief moment where she pointed towards her backpack and tried to say that all her stuff was in there. The woman seemed to get it and, after a cursory pat down to make sure Ehryn wasn’t concealing anything, moved on to search her backpack.

      Ehryn was relieved that she wasn’t going to lose her gun. She’d nearly died stealing it and again the first time she shot it, she had history with that gun. Her bush knife, too, had saved her life more times than she could count back home and she would have been heartbroken to lose that in particular. She was so caught up in the search and worrying about her stuff that she almost forgot that the man – Dean, he said his name was – had asked them to identify themselves.

      I’m Ehryn,” she croaked, clearing her throat a few times to try and make her voice stronger before repeating it a few times. The woman searching her backpack looked up and gave her a strange look.

      ’They probably think I’m simple,’ Ehryn thought in dismay. If only she’d thought to carry a pen and paper with her, but there was nothing she couldn’t use in her pack. She hadn’t wanted to waste the space or weight with anything that wasn’t immediately going to be useful, and it hadn’t occurred to her for a second that she might lose her voice.

      Shrugging she looked the man dead in the eyes and made a few more attempts at mouthing her name before sighing, rolling her eyes and tapping her throat like Ariel in The Little Mermaid. She wasn’t sure if he got it or not, but at least she hoped he understood there was something wrong with her voice, not her mind. The woman doing the searches pulled all Ehryn’s things out of her backpack and laid them on the ground for the guy – Dean, she reminded herself – to see before tossing them back in. Seeing all her worldly possessions laid out like that was sobering and Ehryn gave a sigh of regret as she thought of all the beautiful things she had left back in her hotel room. It was unlikely she’d ever see those things again, she figured, nor that they would be useful again within her lifetime but it was still a shame to lose them.

      For lack of anything else to do Ehryn decided to scrutinise the other woman from the corner of her eye, whose hostile manner confused the foreigner. What had she expected to find here, Ehryn wondered, this wasn’t exactly utopia but if people were allowed to go off doing whatever they pleased willy nilly then it wouldn’t exactly work. Of course there’d be people in charge, and she had to stop herself shaking her head in disbelief at the girl’s confrontational body language. She was pleased to see the hunting knife on the girl’s belt, though – it may not have been the enormous almost-machete she carried around the bush with her, but it was a damn nice knife. Ehryn entertained herself thinking about whether or not the girl would let her take a look at it later on, if she stayed and they became friends.

      Growing bored, she turned her attention to Dean and decided to have a look at him for a while. He practically reeked Army of some sort, which explained his no-nonsense manner and matter-of-fact speech. She found herself liking him, even though she had never really been one for the Forces, and she respected his candour. It mattered a lot to her that there were still honest people in the world even though it had gone to hell. She found herself smiling at the thought and quickly straightened her face, not wanting to give off the impression she was too frivolous. Hopefully the gun and the massive knife would help them understand she meant business, she laughed inwardly.
       

    5. #95
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      Re: Deadlands

      Lily attempted to remain still, but it was extremely hard. She wasn’t afraid of the weapons, but was afraid they would kick her and Katie out and they would have to face the horde of zombies alone. Chewing on her bottom lip, she watched the male carefully. Was he really military or someone that was just playing the part because they couldn’t before the incident? Realizing she had been focusing on the concept so much that she missed someone coming down from the wall, the tiny tyke decided it best to pay attention for the time and day-dream later. That of course was hard because her ADHD was taking this very moment to rear its ugly head. Forcing her mind to slow down and pay attention to the people with weapons, Lily attempted to psychoanalyze the man who identified himself as Dean much like her mother would.

      After a minute, she was bored with the endeavor and glanced up at the sky while he continued to talk. The talk about showers immediately intrigued her and Lily couldn’t help but wiggle around in excitement. The grin disappeared quickly when it was mentioned that they would have to be searched and then would have to basically plead their case to someone to see if they would even be able to stay. The only saving grace was the fact that they were able to keep their weapons. Frowning a little, she glanced over at Katie, wondering what the older female was thinking. What if they turned them out? That thought continued to rumble around her mind, and she felt tears forming in her eyes. The seven-year-old sniffed and wiped her tears away with the back of her hand. She kept quiet for the moment as she was searched and just shrugged when she received a questioning look about the knives she had stowed throughout her body and backpack. They were her only weapons, though she really wanted to carry a gun, but she never got the chance to snatch one.

      Katie was the first to introduce herself, and Lily could already tell the girl wasn’t happy with the way things were super structured. Would she want to leave? Did Lily want to leave? No, outside was scary… at least here she would be kept safe and surrounded by people that had extreme means to protect them. That was good, right? She reached up to pat NomNom who had remained quiet thus far. The second girl; the one with the My Little Pony backpack introduced herself and Ehryn and Lily realized she was the last one to day anything. Suddenly shy, she scrunched up her nose and sighed softly.

      “Hi there! I’m Lily Yuy and my kitty’s name is NomNom. He’s a sweet kitty as long as you don’t try ‘n hurt me! I’m seven years old and I don’t have much weight to pull, but I’ll do my best! Maybe you will even let me have a gun because my knives are only good for up close and I don’t wanna be bitten, yenno? Ummm… in case you didn’t figure it out, I think that girl – Ehryn has lost her voice and might need some water or sumfin’, I dunno. She seems to be nice, plus, she has a My Little Pony backpack, which means she rocks in my opinion. Ummm, my parents were killed or turned or something, I dunno. Katie found me in my treehouse and … yeah…” Taking a deep breath, she just paused and blinked back tears, trying her best not to start crying again at the thought of how much she missed her parents.

    6. #96
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      Re: Deadlands

      Katie was always one to put her foot in her mouth, but there was hardly malice behind her words. She hadn't stopped to think about how it would affect this trio she was part of.

      Bending slightly, Katie placed a gentle hand on Lily's upper back. A reassuring touch that would urge the child to be strong.

      "Don't sell yourself short, Lily." The older female said quietly, "Don't let them think you're any less useful than what I'm sure you are, ok?" Her mannerisms were that of a big sister. Katie had always been so kind to children and the added urgency of what relationship they had made her all the more convincing. She never asked if Lily was an only child or not, fearing to bring up more pain. Not that she couldn't take care of herself, she had been so far, but Katie didn't wish that upon her.

      Raising back up, she continued to smile at this commanding officer. Her look, she hoped, would not suggest that she would cause trouble but merely that she should not be underestimated in her skills and mannerisms. She was a farm girl, of course she knew order and hard work. Those things were not strange to her. What didn't sit well was how they were being received. You'd think they would be far more excited to see a living person, especially young ones who were very capable. She was thankful to see so many survivors after all.
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    7. #97
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      Re: Deadlands

      As he spoke to the trio of females, he noticed their reactions. One was a child- couldn’t have been older than 8 or 9- carrying a cat with her. Her eyes and expression showed concern and fear. There was no doubt that she’d be offered refuge here if she wanted it. The girl had come with the blonde one, however, who seemed to respond a little anxiously to Dean’s words. It was as if she didn’t see safety in the walls and the people, but confinement. She acted inconvenienced by the security measures put in place to protect themselves more than she did relieved to have found shelter. Westin cocked his eyebrow at her reaction, trying to hide the rest of his disbelief and doing quite a fine job of stifling his slowly rising irritation. Between the girl he’d discovered in the middle of his camp who had trust issues and this woman’s sense of entitlement, he wasn’t sure he wanted to take on any more outsiders. If she was the girl’s mother and didn’t want to stay, well then Dean wouldn’t stop her, though if only for the child’s sake, he hoped she would.

      When the blonde woman- now known as Katie- reached forward with a hand to establish herself, she didn’t bother to introduce the child as well, which was something Dean would have expected a protective parent to do. Westin met her halfway and quietly grasped her hand in his large, firm grip briefly, then listened as she explained further.

      ”How in the world does everyone around us know this is a safe point…?” Dean asked himself as she continued talking, basically skirting around the issue of taking up a permanent residence here, which was understandable. It would be hard to join a group of people you had absolutely no familiarity with, but if she stayed a night and looked around and wanted to join, he was sure Cassie would find a niche for her. She was good at that sort of thing. Dean would have cut several of their group’s numbers early on as dead weight, but Smyrl had been able to discover things they were good at, things that could help the group, and so far everyone had proven to be useful assets.

      The other woman in the group hadn’t spoken yet either. She seemed to pay plenty of attention while Dean was speaking, however. Her back pack lay on the ground in front of her and she had quickly assumed a non-threatening posture. Judging from the look of her, she hadn’t had any of the amenities Dean described in a long, long time, and appeared relatively eager to prove herself not to be a threat.

      “I’m Ehryn,” she finally piped up in a half-whisper, half-croak. She herself seemed slightly surprised at the sound that escaped her lips and coughed, clearing her throat repeatedly before trying again several times, with the same result. Something was clearly wrong with her voice. Dean gave her a concerned look and tried to assess her. The woman had obviously tried to cut her own hair, but without the use of a set of electric clippers. Judging from the size of the knife she kept on her, it was imaginable that the results of her hair care came from it.

      She finally gave up trying to speak and simply pointed to her throat. This loss of speech appeared to be a recent occurrence, and judging from her reaction, not something she had anticipated. If she’d been surviving on her own, without much to drink or people to interact and speak to, it was conceivable, Dean supposed, for her voice to have left her. While it seemed inconvenient, Westin didn’t see any reason to be concerned with it. Hopefully some water and a little bit of social interaction would get her back up to par.

      Then the little one spoke up, and Dean couldn’t help but bust out a rather wide grin. The child seemed to speak as quickly as he brain could keep up, covering every possible subject she thought mentioning as quickly as she could, lest perhaps she forget what she’d meant to say. She introduced both herself and her cat, and had even tried to come to the aid of the poor woman who had apparently developed a form of mutism. She did reveal that Katie was not, in fact, her mother, which was a relief to Dean.

      Katie’s response to Lily’s suggestion that she could pull her own weight broke Dean’s silence finally. After listening to each of them he responded.

      “Alright, well I suppose none of you seem to pose a threat. If you head down the sidewalk that way,” Dean turned around and pointed in the direction of the administrative building, where he’d left Kit and Averil earlier, “you’ll find an office building. There should be another pair of women waiting at the door there, if they haven’t already gone inside. They’re new too and waiting to talk to Cassie Smyrl, which is what you three need to do as well if you want to find out where you can get some sleep, food, and a shower. Lily, don’t worry about anything. If you want to stay here, you’re more than welcome.”

      Stooping down, Westin got into a crouch so he was eye level with the child before answering her questions directly, “Don’t worry Lily, we wouldn’t turn away a child, but Miss Smyrl might find some chores for you to do every day if you want to stay. I don’t think your hands are big enough or your arms quite strong enough for any of the guns we have, but we might try to figure something out for you. I try to teach everyone here how to use some kind of firearm so that they’re at least familiar with the basics.”

      Standing back up, he held out a hand toward the blonde woman who had patted them down. She stood in a flattering black tank top and khaki shorts with her long blonde hair pulled into a pony tail. In one hand she held a composite crossbow that she had set down for the pat-down. Around her waist was a web belt that carried several pouches along with a quiver full of crossbow bolts

      “This is Amber,” he told the group, “If none of you have anything else for me specifically, she’ll escort you up to Cassie’s office. She should also be able to answer any questions you might have on the way there. Amber, give Ehryn some of your water, would you? She sounds parched.” The blonde nodded and reached for the canteen clipped to her belt, handing it to the choppy-haired woman.

      Dean then turned away from the group a little more abruptly than he normally would have. There was a lot going on for this time of day and almost all of it required his attention in some shape or form. With his face no longer trying to mask his irritation, he headed toward the gate to speak to its operator, Bruce. He would have seen and heard everything when Dick and his little crew had taken off in the wee hours of the morning.

      In the middle of the brief series of questions Westin was asking to determine his best course of action, movement from the corner of his eye forced him to glance up in time to see his favorite Air Force sniper running up to the gate with his suppressed rifle in hand and decked out in his tactical gear. Dean waved him over and finished up with Bruce, stepping out on to the main path to meet him.

      “Ryan said you needed me,” Kyle was breathing a little heavier than usual and Dean assumed he’d grabbed his gear and sprinted over as fast as he could.

      “I do,” Dean told him as he launched into an explanation of the situation, pointing out toward the city.

      “Out there, near downtown, early this morning apparently there was a bit of a glow against the black sky. It’s too faint to make out now, and it honestly probably isn’t even there anymore, but Dickhead and a few of his buddies thought it might be a good idea to take our only doc and take off on their own rescue mission to pick up whoever might have started the fire in the middle of the city.”

      “They left to go look into a fire…?”

      “It appears so. I think this is more like Dickface acting out than it is an actual rescue mission. I think our little stunt earlier may have inspired him to be a cowboy and do his own thing. And I get where he’s coming from- ‘If Dean and Kyle can do it, why can’t I?’ but it doesn’t mean you run off half-cocked on your own to lead a group into a death trap. Going into the middle of the city during the day towards a fire that would have already attracted a mob of Zacks is not my idea of a rescue operation.”

      “… It’s fucking suicide.” Kyle concluded.

      “Right,” Westin continued as he began walking with Kyle back toward his room, “so I’m really, really, reeeeally tempted to just leave them on their own, but I don’t think that’s such a good idea. I’d talk to Cassie and get guidance from her, but I have no idea where she’s at right now; as a matter of fact…”

      Dean broke off from his train of thought as an idea struck him and he stopped walking, turning back toward the gate.

      “Ryan! C’mere real quick!”

      The poor boy had already been running around campus all morning, but he still sprinted out towards Westin as soon as he heard his name.

      “Need somethin, Cap?” the boy asked between breaths.

      “Yeah, see if you can find Miss Smyrl,” Dean told him, “She’s got a handful of newbies waiting for her at her office in addition to this debacle with Dick and his trove of troglodytes taking Jim out on a suicide mission with them. Tell her I’m taking Kyle out with me to set up an extraction for them and that we’ll be very careful. If she wants to get a hold of us, we’ll have our radios. I don’t think she’ll have any objections, but if she does, find her fast so she can voice them before we leave the wire.”

      “Got it,” Ryan nodded before turning to take off in the direction of Cassie’s room, “Good luck!”

      With that out of the way, Dean continued heading towards his room to grab his equipment with Kyle in tow.

      “Sorry for making you come all the way out here with stuff only to have to wait on me to go grab my own gear and come back.”

      “If you want I can just sit up at the gate here," Kyle suggested, "It looks like with Ryan gone, there isn’t anyone left watching the wall except Bruce.”

      “Right, right, that sounds like a good plan,” Dean admitted, his brain trying to catch up with practical solutions, “I’ll radio you when I’m back at my room, shouldn’t take me more than ten minutes and I’ll be back out here with you.”

      “Roger that,” Kyle acknowledged and then turned to jog up the stairs to the top of the wall. He was outfitted with all of his urban sniper equipment, including his suppressed .300 Blackout rifle with a high-power scope and a dozen spare magazines, binoculars, range finder, suppressed sidearm with its own spare magazines, and a shotgun scabbard slung across his back carrying what Dean knew was his custom Remington VersaMax semiautomatic shotgun. Shotguns were loud and drew a lot of attention, but in an emergency, in tight quarters, nothing was more devastating against a horde of undead.

      Dean set off on a dead sprint for his room, his thoughts on the six lives that might have already been turned into zombie food in the heart of the city. Once at his quarters, he hastily radioed Kyle before picking up his own weaponry and equipment. He similarly armed himself with plenty of spare ammunition and a suppressed rifle along with a Camelbak full of water. He wouldn’t need the night-vision this time, but he did make sure to bring his tactical sword and tomahawk, both gifts from his wife from years ago. These would be his solution to a close-quarters emergency situation, and were significantly less likely to blow out his eardrums in an enclosed space than Weickhardt’s rapid-fire boom stick.

      Less than eight minutes was all it took for him to run from the gate to his room and arm himself before sprinting back out again. He ran as hard as he could on the way back, but the weight of the equipment slowed him down significantly. Once he got to the gate, he looked around, but there was no sign of Ryan. Either he hadn’t found Cassie yet- which was likely, as she hadn’t tried to reach them on the radio- or something else had side-tracked him.

      “Bruce,” Dean turned to address the gatekeeper, “you think you got this on your own?”

      “I’m due to be relieved in a few hours,” the old man replied, “And I’m sure the kid or that hot little thing’ll be back to help keep watch in just a bit.”

      Dean couldn’t help but crack a smile at the dirty old man’s reference to Amber, and then thought of the advance she’d made on him the other day. If he came back from this, depending on how many he was able to bring back with him, he might need to pay her a visit when it was all said and done.

      “Alright, Big Daddy,” Dean said through the radio, referring to his partner, “Ready to rock and roll?”

      “Rrrrranger that, Sex Panther,” Kyle shared a moronic grin with Dean as the doors opened up, “let’s go shoot some Zekes in the face.”

      And with all of that out of the way, the duo strode out into the danger of the city once again, weapons hot and at the ready.
      Last edited by Deadsea; 10-25-2013 at 06:29 PM.
      Regarding Sun Tzu and War:"Then he used his fight money to buy two of every animal on Earth. And then he herded them onto a boat. And then he beat the crap out of every single one of them. And from that day forward any time a bunch of animals are together in one place it's called a zoo!

      ... Unless it's a farm!"

    8. #98
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      Re: Deadlands

      It was tempting to stop Westin and barrage him with questions but she knew that would be less than welcome. He tried to hide it, but it was obvious to her that she was not going to become a favorite here. Though the walls were built up and the place guarded, there was something that didn't feel right to her. Instinctively she felt like this was all a big mistake since she saw a trace of doubt when she mentioned people knew. How the hell did he think they didn't?! And how long did he expect to keep water and electricity on? With no one running the substations (she'd been there) it was bound to stop soon and backups only go so far when more people are using them.

      Katie bit her lip as he stepped away and looked to Lily, "Well, that worked out pretty good. Looks like he has a soft spot for kids." With that, she joined to follow the group to meet this Cassie character. Katie had no doubt she could be useful. She could hunt, knew loads about plants and animals, she was obviously very fit and way more clever than given credit. Being out at the farm taught her a lot about living with modern amenities since they often lost power and faced harsh elements. She made a mental note to tell Cassie these things. Katie McDowl was no soldier but she was decent enough.

      She walked with the others, making sure Lily and her kitty remained close just in case. It did feel like a prison to her, better in than out though. Like a chicken coop really, where you kept animals for their own good. They weren't forced to be here but the options were not varied. If only she had gone back to the farm and stayed there. You could see the dead coming in the distance with no problem. It would be easy to hide too. If a horde swarmed this place it would be a firefight like none she'd seen. The soldiers would find no issue with that she supposed. They were made for this sort of thing. She saw the dead like a stupid but deadly animal. They were the bulls, not the foxes. Thankfully, she could handle that.
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    9. #99
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      Re: Deadlands

      It was strange to suddenly begin missing her parents so much considering they were barely in her life for the previous six years, but here she was, in near tears and wishing her mother would scoop her up in her arms and cuddle her close. Her chest felt tight and even when Katie told her not to sell herself short and to keep from letting them think she was more useless than she truly was, Lily wasn’t sure if she believed the words. In her eyes she was useless because she couldn’t save her parents. Frowning as Katie stood back up, the seven-year-old tried to stand up straight, but it was kind of a failure. The silence was extremely uncomfortable and she couldn’t help but twitch a little, which forced NomNom to get a better position on her head. Finally, after what seemed to be an eon, Dean finally opened his mouth. Though, she had noticed the grin on his face while she was talking, which she supposed was good because it meant he wasn’t someone that lacked any compassion.

      Glancing towards where he was pointing, she memorized his instructions, wondering if this Cassie was a nice person or if she was going to be a hard one to deal with. It appeared that they weren’t the only new people in the college, which made her feel a little better. They weren’t just throwing people out, right? Well, they still could be thrown out since they were waiting to talk to Ms. Smyrl. It wasn’t worth worrying about and she decided to resign herself to whatever fate had in store for her and her kitty. She couldn’t wait to get a shower and some sleep without having to worry about being attacked by a horde of icky things. When he pointedly spoke to her to ensure that she knew she was more than welcome to stay, she couldn’t help but smile widely. Wrinkling up her nose when he crouched down to her level, Lily grinned even wider when he indicated that they might try to find her a gun that fit her hands. She didn’t even care about having to do chores because her parents made her do practically everything anyways.

      “Sir, yes, sir!”

      Lily saluted Dean with a huge grin before following behind the girl with the spiffy crossbow, also called, Amber. She was already feeling a lot better and that was probably because she felt safe for the first time in quite a while. Watching Dean walk away to take care of some other situation, she wondered if there were any other children around. She hadn’t seen any yet, but that didn’t mean they weren’t somewhere with their parents or something, right? Just nodding towards Katie when it was mentioned that Dean seemed to have a soft spot for kids, Lily shifted her attention towards him before realizing the others had started to walk away. Squeaking, she scurried forward and quickly caught up to the group. As they walked, she glanced around, trying to memorize everything. Scooting forward, she poked at Amber and peered up at the woman.

      “Hey, so, Amber…? Are there other kids here?” Lily noted the look that briefly crossed the older woman’s face before she just shook her head, not really responding either way.

      That’s not a good sign…

    10. #100
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      Re: Deadlands

      Ehryn listened closely to what Dean had to say, his words not exactly friendly but not unwelcoming either as far as she could tell. His kind words to the little girl, Lily, clinched it for Ehryn. She felt a surge of warmth for both Katie and Dean at their compassionate care for the child; as much as the tourist loved kids she wasn’t sure she would have had the physical and emotional strength to rescue a child had she been in Katie’s place. The girl went up several notches in Ehryn’s estimation and she stifled a happy smile at finding people who still had empathy in this harsh new world. ***

      She took the water Amber offered her at Dean’s instruction, sipping it tentatively until the taller woman gave her a smile and an encouraging nod then swigging more greedily at the delicious beverage. She’d been rationing herself flat pop for so long that the sweet, unflavoured water was like nectar to the parched and malnourished girl. Stopping short of guzzling the whole bottle, she wiped her hand across her mouth with an embarrassed grimace at her gluttony and then offered the canteen back.

      “You keep it,” Amber chuckled, “looks like you need it more than me.”

      Retrieving her backpack and allowing the others to lead on, Ehryn sipped slowly from the bottle – her immediate thirst slaked – and observed what was going on around her. Turning and walking backwards for a few seconds she noticed a man running towards Dean with what she guessed was some kind of rifle in his hand –at least she could be sure it wasn’t a handgun- and she frowned, wondering what that was all about. She shrugged, knowing it wasn’t going to be anything she’d be likely to find out about, her curiosity pushed away as part of her newfound survival instinct, so she turned back to the rest of the group of women and skipped a few steps to catch up with them. She caught up just in time to hear Lily’s plaintive query to Amber and the head shake she got in reply. Ehryn raised her hand to comfort the girl, but then thought better of it – she could exactly talk properly right now, and she didn’t fancy risking the claws of the kitty cat riding on the girl’s head, cute though it may be. Instead she ran her fingers through her straggly hair, scattering dust and dirt everywhere.

      “You’ll be after a shower, I guess,” Amber said pointedly, clearly unimpressed with Ehryn’s filthy state. Unashamed of her survival techniques Ehryn grinned and gave their guide a thumbs up, not certain she could have vocalised how much she was looking forward to being clean even if she hadn’t lost her voice. Amber smiled back, shaking her head in what Ehryn assumed was disbelief. Chuckling, she lifted the canteen to her lips once more, only to find the whole thing completely empty. She handed it back to Amber sadly, knowing she probably shouldn’t have guzzled it so quickly anyway.

      Ehryn craned her neck around, trying vainly to take in as much of the place as she could while she was freely walking around. She guessed she’d be given tasks to do by this Cassie lady and she wanted to have at least a rudimentary knowledge of how the place was laid out, if she could, before starting on them. Even though she knew the architecture back home was strongly inspired by American architects she also knew there would be differences where local builders and designers tried to put their own unique spin on the favoured design of the decade. She smiled to herself as she thought about how you could walk down a street that looked like the most modern in all the world, turn a corner and then be in the Wild West then another turn could lead you to Ancient Greece. It was an eclectic mix, but she wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. Her own college had been not dissimilar to this one, it seemed, and she assumed she’d be able to use that information to help her guess where to go until she learned the layout and for the first time she could recall in her lifetime she was suddenly glad of the strong American influences across Australia.

      Finally they reached what Ehryn assumed was Ms Smyrl’s office and found two other women waiting patiently there. She smiled and gave a little wave to the newcomers – although she supposed strictly speaking they were the newcomers – and, since the lady was clearly not in residence, looked to Amber for direction.
       

    11. #101
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      Re: Deadlands

      The car alarm was working, the zombies were running for the car clinching to it and hitting it till the band-aid ran out and the fuel in the car ignited. The explosion dismembered a huge chunk of the horde and put the rest on fire and the combination of fire and noise served to attract them to the spot but it wouldn't be long till they dissipated and went back to the two figures. James looked back to the reason for this whole skirmish, the two people on the roof, only to find that one of them was no longer there and the other had her shotgun out.

      "Can they not see us??" Whispered James, he has been waving them over for a while but this was getting ridiculous; at this time James was thinking about the merits of staying here longer and risking the lives of these guys or going back to the university. It was then that Richard got back to the group "Well that worked is the zombie pisser??" The smile on his face was that of a child who just learned how to take a piss in the toilet instead of his diaper.

      "Still waiting on them...we might have to bail on them Richard it's too dangerous to expose ourselves anymore than this and I don't think they can..." Richard pushed James out of the way "Bullshit we came all the way out here for a reason and I am not going back empty handed, can you imagine the smug look on Westine's face if we did??" James shook his head, sure he was no longer the biggest fan of Dean but he wasn't about to risk the lives of these men over a pissing contest "Fine, we wait." James would wait, but the escape route was already secured in his head and if things went south he wasn't about to wait around for an dead thing to enjoy his lunch, he would put as many cadavers between himself and the things and take off without even looking back.
      "I am like the 7/11 im not always doing business but im always open for customers"





      JOIN THE KAZE-HOOD:SALVATION THROUGH DAMNATION

    12. #102
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      Re: Deadlands

      Once outside the gates, Dean and Kyle moved in a modified bounding pattern, constantly looking behind them every five-to-ten seconds while they moved between defensible positions; alleys, buildings, large vehicles, etc. Though the zombies weren’t going to be shooting at them, neither warrior sought refuge behind anything that would not have provided suitable cover against small arms. It was simply their training taking over, and both of them decided that such perishable skills were best left as habits.

      They moved silently together through the city, skirting around pockets of the city that were known to attract and maintain a high population density of the undead. Chicago was said to hold over 2-and-a-half million people. How many of them managed to get out of the city before the panic took over and the streets were choked with vehicles was hard to estimate. And then there were survivors. Very few, but they did exist, even more than Dean thought as he realized in the last few days. Their numbers were growing, but there were still probably at least a million zombies scattered across the urban wasteland that was once the Windy City.

      Going up against that many, it was only a matter of time until their walls would be overwhelmed by a horde of undead cannibals. Missions like this, risking men and resources and wasting precious time going out to pick up an overgrown child and those stupid enough to go with him only set them back. Westin wanted to start focusing on moving, finding a new stronghold further away from the city and clearing the roads enough to make a path they could get through without getting stuck and left for Zekebait.

      It would be a three hour trip to the heart of the city where Dick and his moronic bedfellows were setting themselves up to be eaten. Dean cursed under his breath as he thought about it before blocking out the images of six corpses running towards him, decked out in the gear he had helped provide. If they were only going to find a bunch of bodies, it would at least be nice to bring back some of the equipment they took with them.

      Both Dean and Kyle constantly scanned their surroundings, making sure to look far ahead just as much as they did behind. Glancing down every now and then, they were able to make sure their steps didn’t give them away with the odd soda can or beer bottle strewn about the street. Neither of them, however, could have anticipated what came next.

      Dean had just begun jogging up to meet Kyle’s forward position when the ground shifted under his foot. Caught completely off-balance, the operator tried to twist as he fell, one arm reaching out to break his fall and the other clutching the weapon slung around his shoulder, holding it tight to his body as he tumbled to the ground. He landed hard on his shoulder and slide almost a foot through a puddle of rain water filling in a pothole in the street. With his hair, shirt, and bear soaked and his shoulder screaming at him, it took all he could to keep from yelling out in pain and surprise.

      Looking back at where his foot had slipped, he saw a manhole cover being propped up and pushed to the side. Thinking the worst, he withdrew his pistol with his good arm and pointed the suppressed handgun at the form pulling itself up. His gaze met with the wide-eyed stare of a terrified, muscular woman. She winced at the sudden intrusion of light from the morning sun even as she scurried to the surface. As soon as she was clear of the sewer entrance, immediately behind her came the snarl and desperate growl of the undead. Transitioning his point of aim from the woman to the zombie clambering after her, Dean pulled the trigger once, immediately dropping the body with a headshot, letting it fall back into the sewer with a splash.

      “Big Daddy,” Dean called over the radio quietly as he sat up and rocked himself forward, slowly climbing to his feet. He held his weapon at the low-ready while his eyes stayed glued to the veritable She-Hulk crouching on the ground in front of him, “we have a situation.”

      @MintyZombie
      Regarding Sun Tzu and War:"Then he used his fight money to buy two of every animal on Earth. And then he herded them onto a boat. And then he beat the crap out of every single one of them. And from that day forward any time a bunch of animals are together in one place it's called a zoo!

      ... Unless it's a farm!"

    13. #103
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      Re: Deadlands

      Scrambling up the sewer ladder wasn't easy as Danni clambered up, nearly slipping as her wet hands nearly gave out upon the metal bars. She could hear the creatures coming closer and soon she'd be out of time. Pushing at the manhole cover, she felt a little resistance before it finally slid off and she could smell freedom and using what little energy she had climbed the rest of the way up and exited the manhole. Gasping she covered her face as the sun blinded her. She heard the creatures climbing, but then came a shot causing her to looking up as she was in a half crawl. A man, well a wet man if you can call it that had his gun half raised so it must have been him who shot the creature. Stunned at seeing a real human, and not a zombie for the first time in weeks since her companions deaths she was stunned for words.

      Then she was hit with dizziness as the light between her eyes started to fade and she could only say.

      "Thanks." before passing out.





    14. #104
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      Re: Deadlands

      It looked like the office was deserted which confused Kit a little as she stepped back towards Averil, before her gaze was drawn to the others walking toward them. Instinctively she moved closer to the other woman, as her fears began to creep up on her once more, "Looks like Dean found more people." she managed as she swallowed thickly doing her best to wave at the newcomers whilst not appearing to panicked by there appearance.

      Sticking with Dean had not been an easy decision, it had been made more so out of the opportunity of staying with Averil but now the number of people was growing and her fears were growing along with them; this couldn't end well for the teenager.
      There are some things you gotta save no matter what, even if it means losing everything - Bleach, Fade to Black.
      You think you can be forgiven - Lightning FXIII

      If you look for the light, you can often find it. If you look for the dark, it is all you will ever see. - Legend of Korra
      When we reach our lowest point, we are open to the greatest change. - Avatar Aang - Legend of Korra
      Where you go, I go. - Nicole Haught- Wynonna Earp
      What would you do, if you weren't afraid?
      Hope is the light that lifts us out of darkness

    15. #105
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      Re: Deadlands

      Kyle came trotting over to Dean's location and spotted the woman passed out on the pavement.

      "What happened to her?"

      "No idea," Dean said, pointing the suppressed pistol he'd used to kill the Zeke coming up from the sewer at the open manhole she'd climbed out of, "but she climbed up from under there. Lifted the damn manhole cover off with me on top of it. Must have been the adrenaline from being chased by those things through the pitch black."

      Noise from inside the sewer caught their attention and Kyle leaned over to peer down the hole just long enough to fire to well-aimed rounds from his suppressed rifle, the subsonic ammo finding a home in the skull of the second zombie that had been pursuing her.

      "Better put that cover back," Kyle said as he grabbed the metal lid and propped it up on its edge, rolling it the short distance back to its origin and carefully replacing it as quietly as possible.

      Meanwhile, Dean loomed over the athletic woman he'd just rescued. This would be two women in two outings with just he and Kyle. It was becoming an alarming trend, and Dean was suddenly curious if their group could handle all the estrogen, but realized he was putting the cart ahead of the horse; The girl might not even be looking for help.

      Nudging her with his boot, Westin attempted to rouse her.

      "Hey," he nudged her again, "Hey, lady. If you don't get up, I'm just going to leave you lie here. I don't have time for this. Can you hear me? If you need help, we have a group and a safe place to rest, but I'm in the middle of something right now. You okay?"
      Regarding Sun Tzu and War:"Then he used his fight money to buy two of every animal on Earth. And then he herded them onto a boat. And then he beat the crap out of every single one of them. And from that day forward any time a bunch of animals are together in one place it's called a zoo!

      ... Unless it's a farm!"

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