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Atomic Sunrise 10: Exploration Eastward:Sand, Sea, & Stars-Rated R


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#101 Balthamos

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Posted 19 July 2015 - 04:12 PM

Amet stood by his buggy waiting for everyone to get a little further down the road. He winced as Alexander fell from Mac and watched as they "secured" him. Amet was to wait a short while and follow in his buggy. Not nearly as quiet as the motorbikes it had a bad habit of spooking people and animals. When everybody was out of sight there wasn't too much to focus on except the scouring of the hurricaine. Even among the desolation he could start to see the world coming back to life as the smart or lucky animals emerged from whatever protection they had sought.

#102 RJDiogenes

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Posted 19 July 2015 - 04:48 PM

Nemo explained to Alexander what he wanted to do as Myka led Mac and Somphit towards them..."I want to loop this around you and Mac...like how the saddle blanket is attached, but it will go over your thighs, it'll help keep you in place and you can hold onto it if you feel like you're going to fall"

Clambering back up onto Mac, Alexander let Nemo loop the rope under Mac and around his waist as Somphit sat patiently with her eyes rolled up to the sky.  "Yes, yes,"  he said.  "This seems very secure.  Very good inventive thinking on your part, Nemo."

"Yes," sighed Somphit with a wry twist to her lips.  "That's much easier."

#103 Nikki Peppermint

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Posted 24 July 2015 - 01:51 PM

PART TWO:


As the group approached a wall made from rough wooden planks, old tires, old chain link...at least what was left after the storm...Sophie saw the wood and metal gate dangling from a post. The wall was just higher than head level so the group only had a view of what they could see through the opening and through new breaks in the wall itself. In one direction the damaged wall seemed to run all the way down to the water itself, some distance away...at least until it disappeared out of sight further on into a grove of trees. The cliff was further back than it had seemed from above and the wall ended at the base of the cliff in the other direction.

The road they were on seemed to at one time have gone through the original town but was now a jagged edge leading into dirt and land reclaimed by nature. A smooth dirt path headed toward the village. There was evidence behind them that the town had at one time been larger.

The group was able to approach all the way to the gate itself and stopped for a moment, the two motorcycles in front and those mounted on the animals coming up behind. The sound of the buggy cut off as it rolled up behind them.

* * * * *

An old sign, perhaps from “before” hung sideways now instead of overhead. All that could be read was “...Clellen...”, so Sophie assumed that was the name of the village.

From what she could see the village itself appeared only partially destroyed, but the destruction was enough to have completely disrupted the daily activities of the inhabitants. It appeared to be mostly primitive in ways but with many structural remnants from the original town. This was of interest to Sophie because that meant this place had already been an established town before the war. Inside there was much chaos and disorder, but it was surprising to Sophie than any of the town was standing at all! With the large cliffs in the distance and the now calm sea in front, she would have thought the storm she and Ishmael saw brewing yesterday would have decimated the entire area.

The group looked at each other for a moment, all having their own thoughts...

* * * * *
Clellen horned boy2.jpg

“Stop! Stop! Who are you? What do you want?” a young male voice suddenly called out.

A young teenage boy, much younger than Myka and Nemo, appeared from behind the wall. He had two horns, one each growing out the side of his shaggy brown hair, and held a plain bow with a notched arrow aimed into the air just above their heads. He was dressed in simple cotton clothes and what appeared to be homemade sandals. He turned to his companion, an even younger boy.

“Quickly! Go tell the Grandfathers that there are intruders...I'll hold them off!” the teenager ordered.

The young blonde haired boy shot off across the dirt and grass-covered road toward the partially devastated village.

Sophie raised her eyebrows wondering how the skinny boy thought he was going to “hold” them all off with just a simple bow and arrow. But she smiled and took a chance at dismounting Willow. Leading the horse closer to the motorcycles...and Ishmael...she said:

“Please don't be afraid. We're not here to hurt you. We've come to offer any help we can give you. I promise you we're friends...at least we'd like to be. We survived the storm last night and wanted to see how you all fared...to see if you needed help. I'm Sophie,” she offered. “What's your name?”

* * * * *

Still keeping an eye on everyone as best he could, the boy stood taller. “Lucas,” he answered reluctantly. “But you can't come in...not until the Grandfathers say you can. So just...just stay where you are!”

Lucas brandished his bow and arrow again but paused when his gaze fell upon the lavender colored girl with the horns...the one on the motorcycle. His eyes opened wide. He'd never seen another girl with such horns and light purple skin!

Suddenly a deeper voice bellowed. “LUCAS! Get away from there, boy! Are you crazy? You need to get back and help out!”

Clellen guard2.jpg

A proper adult guard, from the looks of his more suitable clothing and weapon, had come running up along the wall to block the groups' way in...and block Lucas from them.

“Aw, c'mon, Alex...I want to help!” Lucas protested.

“You can help by getting your skinny ass back to helping wherever you're needed,” the bearded man ordered, still holding his rifle alertly.

* * * * *

As the boy trudged off, Sophie watched the man turn and eye them suspiciously. This wasn't going to go well, she thought with an internal sigh. They'd have had a better chance with the boy. Then the guard turned at the sound of rough wheels on the dirt path. An old man...a really old man by the looks of him...sat in a make-shift chair on smallish wooden wagon being pulled by a tall, strong young man...not nearly as tall as Amet but still large enough to make the job look easy. He didn't appear injured so perhaps the distance had been to far for him to walk unassisted.

And he, too, had small bull-like horns, although his protruded from his forehead. Sophie kept the surprised expression off her face, or so she hoped...Myka was the only horned mutant she'd ever come across, and now here were two.

Clellen Grandfather1 2.jpg

“Grandfather Eugene!” the guard, Alex, called out. “You shouldn't have come. You must stay out of danger!”

“Nonsense,” the old man dismissed the guard. “Now who goes there?” he asked, turning toward the group of strangers. “Who are you all? What do you want?” he ordered as the conveyance came to a stop and the guard helped him down. He moved toward them leaning slightly on his cane.

Sophie felt his gaze bore into her as if seeking her very soul. He bestowed a similar studying of the rest of the group.

“I'm Eugene. One of the leaders of this place. If you've truly come to help, as my grandson yelled when he ran past me, then introduce yourselves,” he insisted.

Sophie sighed but smiled encouragingly. “My name is Sophie Drake. This is Captain Ishmael Vere and our trained doctor Isabella Blackwell. The others are our friends...Nemo, Myka, Enoch, Alexander, Rex, Cassie, Amet, and another healer, Somphit. And yes we've truly come to help if you want it.”

The old man studied them for a moment further. Sophie could see he was torn between accepting their help yet not trusting them. She didn't blame the old man for that. But she hoped that the fact that he introduced himself first was a good sign.

Finally he sighed and beckoned them forward with his cane. “I may regret this,” he grumbled, “but the truth is, we do need help.”

Grandfather Eugene!” Alex exclaimed in disbelief. “You...you're just letting them in? With weapons?”

“Hush, boy!” the old man scowled. “If you're that worried then come with us...keep an eye on them. Shoot them if they threaten us but we need help.”

Sophie raised her eyebrows at the shooting part and vowed silently to do nothing that could be construed as threatening.

He gestured to Sophie. “You...walk next to me. And you,” he stuck out his chin at Ishmael. “Sea captain, huh?”

The group found themselves filing slowly in through the broken gate and following the old man as he walked slowly but steadily next to Sophie. As they headed toward the center of town, Alex kept pace with them to the side, watching everyone suspiciously.



OOC: See PM before posting! :)

Edited by Nikki Peppermint, 24 July 2015 - 02:07 PM.


#104 Nikki Peppermint

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Posted 24 July 2015 - 02:30 PM

Myka gasped as she sat behind Nemo on the motorcycle as the horned boy appeared around the wall. Through the holes in the wall and the broken gate, she'd been listening to and watching the villagers scurrying around. She unconsciously squeezed Nemo's arm at the sight of another mutant like herself. It was a shock that she wasn't the only one around...not that Myka really thought there were no other people with horns but she'd just never seen anyone. At least not with such prominent ones like the boy's. She and the boy stared at each other for a moment.

Things happened quickly and Myka nearly fell off the bike when the old man with horns reached the gate. Knowing she was from the east coast was one thing, but was it possible she'd been born here? In this village? But she shook her head to herself thinking that would be way too much of a coincidence. Besides neither the boy nor the old man had colored skin like she did.

Finally they were allowed entry to the village. Myka walked alongside Nemo as he pushed the motorcycle past the broken gate. They fell into step behind the old man and Sophie and Ishmael. Finally seeing the totality of the damage, she stared around. There were still injured people being carried toward the center of town...while others lay dead closer to the water and docks. She thought the most damaged areas were closest to the docks but it was hard to tell at this point.

That seemed sort of odd to her. Actually the fact that anything of the village still stood was even more strange.

The sounds of animals drifted to her ears, and Myka glanced toward the cliffs where she and Nemo had seen the pastures. Kids and other people were chasing horses, cows, and various other animals around. It wasn't a game...they were trying to get the loose animals out of danger and harm's way, especially the injured ones. But there weren't enough people to do the job.

Sea captain, huh?” Myka heard the old man ask Ishmael.

“That man...Alex,” she whispered to Nemo, stretching up to get closer to his ear. “I keep thinking he's going to shoot us if I sneeze or something.” Myka was making sure to keep her hands away from her guns. In fact she was holding Nemo's hand to appear less threatening.

Edited by Nikki Peppermint, 24 July 2015 - 02:31 PM.


#105 Raeven

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Posted 25 July 2015 - 09:38 AM

Nemo squeezed Mykas hand.....”just try not to sneeze”...he smiled....”they're just being cautious, we're strangers, they just had their village mostly destroyed”...he looked around and frowned....”it's strange, the damage, destruction...sure it's bad, but...” he saw Alex looking at him and he stopped talking. He let go of Mykas hand and jerked the motorcycle onto the centre stand...”I'm going to leave the bike here, no point wheeling it any further” he glanced back, the others were leading the horses in....he looked up towards the cliffs...” Hey Alex, would it be ok if we took the horses up to the pasture...we could help round up your animals when we get there...it's like Sophie said, we are here to help...I promise....we're good with animals, that's what me and Myka do, we look after animals...I know we're strangers and you have no reason to trust us, but please let us help you”

Isabella looked around, she could see the injured being carried towards the centre of the town....she walked over to Somphit...”we have to help them Somphit, if they'll let us” she caught up with Sophie and Ishmael then turned to the old man....”Eugene, sir, please I'm a doctor, you said you needed help so please let me help tend your wounded” she gestured back to Somphit...”Somphit is a healer too, together we can help...if someone could take us to your healer..or doctor”

A young woman came running towards Eugene, her face streaked with tears.....”Grandfather Eugene....it's Mary, she's ...she's...she won't get up....we took the injured to her like we was told to do, but she's..” she twisted the ends of her hair around her fingers....”I think she got hit on the head in the storm...there's blood and and....she won't get up...what we going to do if she won't get up, who's going to fix everyone?”

Rex put his hand on Cassies shoulder...”anything seem odd to you? I don't know much about storms” he looked out over the sea and then back at the cliffs.....”the village is between the sea and the cliffs...the cliffs would provide a natural wind break....but” he shook his head “Cass...how is any of the village still intact?”

#106 Nikki Peppermint

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Posted 25 July 2015 - 01:47 PM

OOC: Don't panic...I'm not rushing, just trying to respond as you all post so that you can move on when you're ready :).



IC:

"Hey Alex, would it be ok if we took the horses up to the pasture...we could help round up your animals when we get there...it's like Sophie said, we are here to help...I promise....we're good with animals, that's what me and Myka do, we look after animals...I know we're strangers and you have no reason to trust us, but please let us help you.”

Sophie heard Nemo behind her talking to the guard and turned around. Alex was staring at the young pair, his eyes narrowed. She felt Eugene pause as well, turning his attention from Ishmael for a moment.

"Please...," Sophie said to the old, horned man. "I know it's a lot to ask right away, but you need to trust us. You don't seem to have enough people to do what needs to be done. They can help."

Eugene nodded to Alex, who paused a moment then sighed, tipping his hat back off his forehead. He was going to keep his eye on the leader, the redheaded woman, as much as he could. There was something about her that was...strange. The others as well. They seemed...well, too healthy, too well equipped, and as if they hadn't suffered much hardship. The horses and motorcycles...it wasn't "right".

"Yeah, fine..I'll...," he grumbled then glanced around. "Lucas!" he yelled, gesturing with his rifle for the young horned boy with the bow and arrow to come over. When the boy came, breathless, Alex nodded to the ones named Nemo and Myka. "Take them to the pastures...help with the horses. And watch them," he added, intending to stick with the main group.

Myka sneezed suddenly and froze but no one seemed ready to shoot her, so she took the Willow's reins from Sophie as well as Connie's reins from Enoch.

Eugene cleared his throat. "Lucas, you return to helping where you were when you're done," he said, contradicting Alex's orders. "Those two will be fine once you get them up to the pasture."

The Grandfather ignored the annoyed glance of the much younger guard.

* * * * *

Eugene, sir, please I'm a doctor, you said you needed help so please let me help tend your wounded. Somphit is a healer too, together we can help...if someone could take us to your healer..or doctor.”

Eugene turned his attention to the blonde woman who now stood next to Sophie. Before he could answer, one of the young women helping with the wounded ran up to them, nervously twisting her hair in her fingers, with the news about Mary. The Grandfather shook his head in dismay, feeling near defeated. But he hadn't lived this long nor protected Clellen since the world as he'd known it was destroyed by giving up. Something had sent these people to help them...he had to believe that. Audrey...rest her soul...would have wanted that, would have believe that. He owed it to her to take what was offered...and trust.

"Take Dr...." Eugene paused to remember the doctor's last name..."Blackwell and Somphit with you. Whatever the doctor tells you to do, you do it...inform the others as well," he said, putting an arm around the young woman's shoulders. He turned to the doctor. "Please do what you can," he said quietly. "Our supplies and equipment are simple and limited for the most part, the deaths and injuries too many."

Edited by Nikki Peppermint, 25 July 2015 - 02:06 PM.


#107 Nikki Peppermint

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Posted 25 July 2015 - 02:00 PM

Cassie had brought up the rear...with only Amet behind them after leaving his buggy outside the broken gate...with Rex leading Hipp. They'd kept mostly silent but watching. She shook her head at her partner's question.

"I don't know...but it is strange. They...the whole place and all the people...should have been decimated," she declared in a low voice as the village's leader spoke with first Nemo and Myka, then Isabella.

Then she watched for a moment as more injured were carried to the center of the village, and others with bandages or even rags on various body parts helped to move debris from fallen buildings, stood on the docks trying to figure out what to do, or help where they could. Cassie glanced over with dismay at sounds from what she thought was a beach...there were animals stranded, sea animals, that the few people working there didn't seem able to help.

"But it's a mystery for a later time," she said to Rex. "It seems they really do need some serious help. Are you going to go with Isabella?" Cassie asked, seeing the doctor gesturing to Somphit. "Looks like she's offering her services and getting an approval." Cassie flexed her cybernetic right arm that was covered with long sleeves and her usual leather glove. "I think my super strength...well disguised, of course...might come in handy cleaning this place up,"

#108 Balthamos

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Posted 26 July 2015 - 03:56 PM

Amet took the keys from the buggy and followed up behind everyone as they were "held off" by the young boy with large horns. When they'd been "approved" for help he looked toward the ocean. "Do you need help gathering food? I fish pretty well." He pointed to the ocean with a giant webbed hand.

#109 RJDiogenes

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Posted 26 July 2015 - 05:33 PM

Isabella looked around, she could see the injured being carried towards the centre of the town....she walked over to Somphit...”we have to help them Somphit, if they'll let us.”

Somphit nodded and swung nimbly off of Mac, suddenly forgetting how afraid she had been of the armed man and boy.   Alexander leaned backward quickly as her right heel passed dangerously close to his nose. The rope that Nemo had looped around him prevented him from toppling backward.  He straightened up and smiled at not having fallen down for a change.

Somphit stood next to Isabella and held out her duffel bag toward Eugene.  "In here I have medicine and supplies," she said.  "You can check if you want before we go in."  But before the old man could answer, a young woman came running up with bad news about the town's healer.

Alexander waved at the man with the rifle.  "Hi, Alex," he said.  "I'm Alex, too. That's my name. Alexander. I guess that gives us something in common."  Alex looked over at the robed man with the pale skin, oversized head, and extra fingers who was secured to the back of a mule in a tangle of rope and said nothing.

#110 Nikki Peppermint

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Posted 26 July 2015 - 06:37 PM

"Do you need help gathering food? I fish pretty well."

Grandfather Eugene's eyes traveled up the massive height of the giant mutant that had so far kept silently to the rear of the group. He hadn't realized the young man's hands were webbed until he pointed toward the water. Eugene could barely make out gills in the giant's neck...Amet, he seemed to recall as the group had been introduced.

"Yes, we do," he answered truthfully. "Many of our beach traps were lost or tangled during the storm...that is before it..." Eugene paused, still unsure of exactly what had happened...why they hadn't all been destroyed. All he knew was that the onslaught of water and wind had at first been violent and destructive but then seemed to veer off.

Still the hurricane had left a great deal of damage in its wake.

"There are also stranded sea animals...as you've probably heard them," Eugene said to Amet. "It's difficult getting them back into the water or untangled from the debris...especially the injured ones."

* * * * *

Impatient to get moving again, Alex continued to stare at the strange mutant on the back of the mule. More of the group were now wanting to split off on their own. But with Grandfather Eugene giving his permission for these strangers to help, there was nothing Alex could do. So he nodded in greeting.

"Do you need help getting that rope off?" Alex asked Alexander. "Your riding partner seems to have deserted you."

Edited by Nikki Peppermint, 26 July 2015 - 08:19 PM.


#111 Ishmael Autolycus

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Posted 26 July 2015 - 11:18 PM

"Sea captain, huh?"

"Aye," Ishmael answered. "League."

Eugene looked sharply at him, then turned away to respond to Nemo's offer, accepting it at Sophie's urging, despite Alex's obvious distrust. Then a young woman from the town came running up, distracting Eugene further with the news about someone named Mary, probably their healer from the sound of it. Isabella and Somphit were quickly on their way, medical supplies in hand.

It was Eugene's reply to Amet that made Ishmael realize what he wasn't seeing as they surveyed the damage. "How many were out?" he asked.

"Two," Eugene answered. "A ketch-rig smack and a yawl-rig lugger. Our entire deep-sea fleet. I keep telling myself they're both stout craft, with good crews but-" he shook his head. "Even if they did make it through, who knows how far they might've had to run." His eyes shifted to where Lucas was escorting Nemo and Myka and the animals to the pasture. "The boy's mother is captaining the lugger," he added softly.

Ishmael nodded. A well-built, well-handled vessel with plenty of sea-room and a modicum of luck had a good chance of surviving even a hurricane like the one they'd just come through. The danger now would be how far the storm had blown them off-course, and how long it would take to make it to a friendly port, hopefully before the vessel's food and water ran out. The fact that the captain would likely have only the vaguest idea of his or her position after the storm merely added to the difficulty. "Do you use sharpies or pirogues in the marshes?" he asked, referring to the tidal salt marsh visible just to the north of the town's beach. A string of barrier islands separated the marshes from the open ocean beyond.

"Both," Eugene answered. "We've half a dozen pirogues and a pair of sharpies. Or had." He gestured at the tangle of wreckage down at what had been the town docks.

Ishmael's lips thinned. Fishing villages without the means to fish didn't last too long. Amet's efforts might help stave off the inevitable for a time, but without at least the shallow-draft sharpies and pirogues to gather crabs and oysters and other food from the marshes, the town was doomed. "Enoch," he snapped. "Here's your chance to prove how good of a boat builder you are." Ishmael turned back to Eugene. "We'll try to salvage as much as we can."

Eugene nodded. "Our builder was killed; his chief apprentice is pretty badly hurt. She might not make it. We need all the help we can get."

"One more question. I take it the marshes, and the islands, used to reach farther south than they do now?"

Eugene gave Ishmael a wry smile. "I see the reputation of League captains isn't exaggerated. But yes, the old maps show the town in the middle of the marsh, instead of on the edge like it is now."

Ishmael nodded again. "Amet!", he called. "See where the waves are breaking out away from the beach?" he continued once the giant had joined them. "Those are sandbars, islands that have eroded until they're below the surface. You may need to help some of the larger animals over them if they can't find their own way out to the open ocean. And one more thing, if you find a dolphin- smooth gray skin, about six to twelve feet long- come find me immediately."

"We know dolphins around here, Captain," Eugene snapped. "There's a pod that drives fish into our nets on a regular basis. The last thing anyone around here wants to do is lose that help."

Ishmael bowed slightly. "My apologies. I did not mean to infer anything untoward." He turned back to Enoch. "Let's go."

#112 Raeven

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Posted 27 July 2015 - 08:39 AM

Nemo took the reins for Hipp, Gabe and Mac, while Myka had Willow and Connie and followed Lucas up to the pasture.

He nudged Myka as they walked…”he has horns too, other than you, I have never seen anyone else with horns, though his are different, yours are cuter”

Once they reached the pasture, they let the horses and Mac loose…”Mac behave, stay with the others…no wandering off, no harassing anyone, no stealing food, aggravating the other animals…..” Mac snorted, lowered his head and began to graze.

He looked around, the animals were scattered across the pasture…”Lucas….I think we should concentrate on the injured animals” he could see a dilapidated lean-to at the edge of the pasture, nestled at the base of the cliffs…”we’ll round them up and take them over there…..the ones that are too far gone…well I’ll leave that up to your people, but I can help if they need me to”  


Isabella and Somphit walked alongside the young woman who had informed Eugene of their healers passing, she was short and skinny, her long brown hair was plaited loosely and hung down her back, the cotton dress she wore was torn and hung from her body…Isaballa put a hand on her arm…”my name is Isabella and this is Somphit…we really are here to help..I am sorry about Mary…was she your only healer?”

Ygritte nodded…”she was, some of us used to help her, we learned a little, but not enough, there’s too many injured, the storm was bad…Mary would have fixed ‘em….we’re doing our best, but it’s not enough….you gotta help us” she looked at the bags the two women were carrying…”you got equipment, herbs, salves in there” when Isabella and Somphit nodded she drew in a deep breath…”maybe there’s hope then”

When they reached the centre of the town Ygritte pointed at a small building ….”that’s where we’re taking the injured……the ones that didn’t make it, they’re down by the docks.....last time I counted there were 20 or so, there’s probably more now” she swallowed and wiped the tears from her eyes..”come on, I’ll introduce you to the others, tell ‘em Grandfather Eugene says you’re to help..I’m Ygritte by the way” she pushed open the thick wooden door and led them inside….there were people everywhere, some lying on blankets on the floor, others sitting on simple wooden stools, the air was thick with the smell of blood and sweat…Isabella glanced back at Somphit…..”there’s so many…we’re going to have prioritise, set up a triage station….and we’re going to need assistance”


Rex watched Isabella and Somphit as they walked away …. Are you going to go with Isabella?" he looked back at Cass….”if she needs me, she’ll find me….I think for now it’s best I stick with you and help clean up” he looked over at the town….”where shall we start?”

#113 RJDiogenes

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Posted 27 July 2015 - 06:47 PM

Impatient to get moving again, Alex continued to stare at the strange mutant on the back of the mule. More of the group were now wanting to split off on their own. But with Grandfather Eugene giving his permission for these strangers to help, there was nothing Alex could do. So he nodded in greeting.

"Do you need help getting that rope off?" Alex asked Alexander. "Your riding partner seems to have deserted you."

"That would be much appreciated," Alexander replied, as the loops of rope seemed to become more and more tangled around his arms and legs the more he tried to get out of them.  "I was never very good with knots.  Especially Gordian ones."

#114 Nikki Peppermint

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Posted 27 July 2015 - 10:52 PM

As Ishmael headed to the docks with Enoch, Sophie wheeled the motorcycle next to Nemo's where she unobtrusively locked them down. Not that she thought anyone here would steal them...the people had more to worry about than that...but it wouldn't do for others to discover that the bikes were more than they seemed. She watched for a moment as the rest of the group scattered in different directions. She and Alexander continued on walking.

"I'm sorry about Lucas' mother," Sophie said to Eugene as they headed along the dirt path that shortly gave way to a side "street" with wooden planks and flat rocks where the sidewalks used to be. "I hope her ship will be found to be safe."

Eugene nodded. "Thank you. There's been too much loss...at least my younger son, Lucas's father, is safe. He's around somewhere," the old man said, looking around at the devastation, "helping out. Captain Vere...he is a true sea captain."

It was more a statement than a question, so Sophie merely nodded with a smile. "That he is."

Eugene noticed the Sophie's tone of voice. He glanced sideways at her. "He is your...?" he asked.

"Nothing formal but we're together," Sophie answered. "And Isa...Dr. Blackwell, she's been my best friend since we were born and trained by a brilliant doctor from the old world. The others...they're all friends, family really. We travel together and...well, help where we can."

Sophie noticed the old man became quiet. "What about the rest of your family?" she ventured to ask.

With a sigh, Eugene continued on, leaning on his cane and wiping sweat off his forehead with his sleeve. The hot afternoon sun shone down on the village, sparkling off the ocean. He gestured slightly for Sophie to turn into the yard of a large faded blue house.

"My oldest son is injured but working. My wife...Audrey...was killed in the storm. She...she was a leader of the village as well."

Sophie lay a hand on the old man's arm as the front door to the old mansion creaked opened. "I'm sorry," she said. "So much loss here."

An older woman with pure white skin, almond-shaped purple eyes, and stark white, thinning hair opened the door. Sophie judged her to be in her 50s, but that was purely a guess. Their eyes met and Sophie was studied hard, the woman's eyes confused.

Clellen Grandfather3a.JPG

Sophie and the others had learned from Department 7 that because of the extreme radiation the east coast had suffered during the great war, there were more severe and greater amounts of mutations here than anywhere else...including in those people who had been born before the destruction of the world. Eugene had been a grown man already by the time of the bombs, but this woman must have been only a small child. Still, both of them were clearly mutants.

"Eugene!" the woman said worriedly, her voice slightly high-pitched and trembling. "What is this? I thought you were going to the gate to see what the strangers wanted."

Placing a gnarled hand on the woman's shoulders, Eugene said, "I did. And they wanted to help. Sophie Drake, Alexander, this is Grandfather Amiko. Amiko, we need them so don't argue."

The white skinned woman pulled Eugene into the dimness of the house, whispering frantically. Sophie felt awkward about the tension her group was causing. She hadn't realized that Eugene did not lead alone. She noticed Alex standing several feel away, his rifle tipped back over his shoulder. But he was watching her and Alexander.

Turning to Alexander she asked, "Do you want to stay here with me or walk around to see if you can help?"

Edited by Nikki Peppermint, 27 July 2015 - 11:35 PM.


#115 Nikki Peppermint

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Posted 27 July 2015 - 11:32 PM

”He has horns too, other than you, I have never seen anyone else with horns, though his are different, yours are cuter.”

Myka blushed slightly and nudged Nemo with her shoulder as they led the animals to the pasture to let loose their horses and Mac. As Nemo spoke to Lucas, Myka stared around sadly at the animals that were laying dead on the ground and the others that were injured or just scared. Some of the crude fencing was broken in places but she noticed that their horses and Mac had taken up grazing near the gaps. One of the village's horses tried to run toward Hipp but was turned away by the loud whinnying of the larger horse. But the boy chasing the horse nearly got trampled when the animal turned around.

"Nice job Hipp," Myka murmured to herself.

Lucas wanted nothing more than to stay and help with the animals but he'd had his orders. He shook his head at Nemo while digging the toe of his sandal into the grass in frustration.

"I can't stay. Grandfather Eugene said to go back to what I was doing. And I promised Grandfather Amiko that I would visit Grandfather Leland to see how he was doing...he was injured."

Myka furrowed her brow and asked. "How many grandfathers do you have? I thought Eugene was your grandfather."

Nodding Lucas slung his bow over his shoulder. "Just one...and he is. But the Grandfathers are the leaders. They're mostly always old people." He shrugged, then added. "It's just what we call them since...well, forever I guess. My...my grandma was one of them, too, but she...she died."

"Oh...oh, sorry about that," Myka said somberly.

Lucas nodded and turned before the other two could see his tears. With his mom missing on her ship and his grandma dead, he was mostly trying to just keep busy. "Just do what you want to help out. It's mostly kids up here, but they all saw you with Grandfather Eugene. See you later," he called out as he ran off.

Myka turned to Nemo. "Well, that was all weird and stuff...who calls a woman "grandfather" anyway." She shrugged. "I guess it's up to us. I think your idea of dealing with the injured animals first and using the lean-to for them is a good idea. If we gather them up that at least gets them in once place and out of harm's way. I...I don't think I can deal with the ones that are dead," she admitted.

There was an open metal shed nearby that appeared to be full of rope and horse tack. At least what looked like tack...some of it appeared pieced together from different parts.

"That horse near Hipp is limping. That kid will never catch him running after him like that. I'll get a rope and try to help catch him."

Edited by Nikki Peppermint, 27 July 2015 - 11:43 PM.


#116 Nikki Peppermint

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Posted 28 July 2015 - 12:44 AM

"We should start...," Cassie began as she scanned the village with Rex next to her.

Although it was probably rude that she'd been recording everything...visual and audio...onto the nanocomputer in her brain, Cassie had started the moment they'd pulled up to the broken gate. As Department 7 Agents, she and Rex were obligated to collect information...so that was what she was doing. And no one else had to know, least of all the inhabitants of the village.

"...moving the dead," she finished with a grimace. "As morbid as it is, I'd rather not walk around having to look at them, you know? There...that guy...dragging that body. It's too heavy for him."

Cassie pointed to a man with nearly pure white skin, heavy features, and nearly shaved pale orange hair. His eyebrows, pulled down into a scowl, were nearly blond enough to disappear into his skin. Cassie strode over to the slim built man dressed in a simple pullover shirt and old, torn jeans. He glanced up in surprise at first, which at least gave him a less fierce expression as his eyebrows went up instead of down. He dropped the dead body and backed away.

"Here, let us do that," she said. "Two will make it easier than...," she began. But the man gave a gasp of surprise before he pivoted and fled away.

Cassie turned to Rex with a slight attitude. "Seriously? See what happens when I'm nice?" she asked leaning down to scoop her hands under the dead man's arms while Rex took the legs.

#117 Raeven

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Posted 28 July 2015 - 04:41 AM

Ygritte grabbed Isabellas arm and dragged her forward….”You’re a doctor, she’s ..” she pointed at Somphit ..”A healer..that means you’re more skilled than her?”

Isabella frowned…”I wouldn’t say more skilled,  we have different skills, I am a Doctor and a surgeon, Somphit prefers natural methods for healing, we both have our strengths….”

Ygritte looked between the two women….”Isabella you must come with me, Somphit you stay here and check over these people…”

Isabella held up her hand..” wait a minute, shouldn’t we decide what we do, I know this is your home, but Eugene, Grandfather Eugene sent me over here to help heal the wounded and that’s what I am going to do…I can start here”

Ygritte shook her head..”no. NO you must come with me, you must heal the Grandfathers first, that is how it must be, without them….please come with me…please Isabella”

Isabella nodded…”just give me a moment, then I’ll come” she went over to Somphit…..”do what you can, if you need me just come and find me….you should have enough supplies to treat the minor injuries….and Somphit, if you start to feel it’s too much for you, or you need to take a break, or you need Alexander to assist you…” she smiled and shook her head “just do what you need to do”

She followed Ygritte into a room at the rear of the building….the air was fresher…she breathed in..” I can smell the sea”…Ygritte looked puzzled..”course you can….it’s out there, just beyond the door….there’s a path from here to the dock…plus this side of the building has windows, proper windows, ones that open and close…that’s why we put the Grandfathers  in here..come on, I’ll show you who you gotta help”

There were four cots in the room, three were occupied…..Ygritte stopped by one of the beds and pulled down the blanket covering the body…..”This is…was Grandfather Audrey, Eugene’s wife..she didn’t make it….we’re keeping her safe until we can bury her proper” Isabella looked down…Audrey had been old, very old by the look of it and had no mutations, at least none that she could see, there were no horns or other protrusions…..Ygritte moved on to the next cot ....”this here is Grandfather Leland, he’s injured, but…”

Leland coughed and waved his hands about,….”I can speak for myself Ygritte, I ain’t dead yet” he stared at Isabella…”who’s this…she’s not one of ours….how did she get here…how did you get here young woman?”  Isabella smiled…..”I am a doctor, a trained doctor, my friends and I offered to help you and the town, Eugene let us in….your healer, Mary..” Leland lowered his head…”I know, she didn’t make it”

Isabella went over to the cot….Leyland had blue skin with white hair and beard, he looked to be in his late 50s, early 60s….”Leyland….I can help you, I want to help you…can you tell me where it hurts?”

Before he could reply the occupant of the third bed began thrashing around and moaning…”best go and see to Cyrus, he’s in worse shape than me..I’ll live….I just need some rest, need to get my breath back, I’ll be good as new…you’ll see”

Isabella rushed over to the cot…”Ygritte….what happened to this man? What injuries does he have?”

Ygritte shrugged…”I don’t know, I’m not a healer, all I know is he was brought in from near the pasture, he was unconscious….hasn’t made a sound ‘til now…I think he broke his leg….but …”

Isabella took her backpack off her shoulders and set it down next to the cot..”Cyrus? Cyrus can you hear me..I’m a doctor”

#118 RJDiogenes

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Posted 28 July 2015 - 06:40 PM

Turning to Alexander, Sophie asked, "Do you want to stay here with me or walk around to see if you can help?"

"In my judgment," Alexander replied, rubbing his chin, "based on books I've read that described similar situations, it's always best to split up and cover more ground.  I will go through the town and give aid to those in need and put everybody's mind at ease."  Nodding his farewell and with a smile to Grandfather Amiko, he set off into the little town, looking for someone to give aid to or ease their mind. It was not as easy as he had imagined it would be.  There were many people moving quickly back and forth through the sandy streets, but nobody came to him for help; in fact, they seemed to be avoiding him. And they all looked at him funny.  He shook his head sadly.  The tense reception at the gate had indicated that these people were leery of strangers.

Then, when he had reached the far end of town, he was passing by a half-collapsed shack when he heard crying from inside.  He quickly but cautiously approached the ruined building and tried to peer through a large gap in one wall, but it was too dark too see anything inside.  "Hello?"  he said.  "Hello in the shack. My name is Alexander. Is there anything I can do for you?"

The crying abated and there was silence. "No," said a raspy voice. "Go away. It's all over."

"What's all over?" asked Alexander.

"Everything," said the voice. "I couldn't save her.  My wife is dead."

Alexander's heart sank and he frowned.  "Mine, too," he said.

***

Isabella nodded…”just give me a moment, then I’ll come” she went over to Somphit…..”do what you can, if you need me just come and find me….you should have enough supplies to treat the minor injuries….and Somphit, if you start to feel it’s too much for you, or you need to take a break, or you need Alexander to assist you…” she smiled and shook her head “just do what you need to do”

"I think I will be fine," Somphit said with a reassuring smile.  She knew Isabella was referring to the panic attacks that came when she was under duress, but those feelings were far away at this moment.  There were people all around who were sick and injured and afraid and they needed help.  Giving that help pushed everything else to the side. Somphit felt as free from anxiety right now as she had under the influence of Isabella's medicine, but without the desire to run naked through a hurricane and laugh at the thunder and lightning.  She wasn't sure if that was a good thing or a bad thing, but she didn't have time to be philosophical at the moment.

#119 Raeven

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Posted 29 July 2015 - 04:31 AM

Rex watched the man run away then picked up the dead man’s legs….”I’m guessing they don’t get many, if any, strangers coming this way..but even so, his reaction was a little over the top….you were being really nice, for you, I thought you were polite, you didn’t snarl or shout at him” he winked “Come on then partner let’s get this guy down to the docks with the other deceased and try not to scare anyone else, ok?”

As they walked towards the docks he looked around, studying the layout of the town, the building materials used, the destruction caused by the storm, the people….he worked for the Department and part of his remit was to gather information… he knew Cass would be recording everything, he didn’t have the benefit of a computer in his head, but he did have near perfect recall.

They lay the man down alongside the other deceased …he did a quick headcount….”28 bodies….probably a few more to come, I estimate  a town this size, the animals, docks….got to be around 150 people living here at any one time…so that’s less than a quarter dead….which is impressive considering the severity of the storm and the lack of obvious shelter”

He smiled to himself….If Isabella had heard him she would have said he sounded callous and uncaring, but he wasn’t, he was stating the facts as he saw them, that’s what Agents did, he had no ties to this town, knew none of the inhabitants, they were simply numbers and statistics.

#120 Balthamos

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Posted 30 July 2015 - 02:52 PM

"See where the waves are breaking out away from the beach?" he continued once the giant had joined them. "Those are sandbars, islands that have eroded until they're below the surface. You may need to help some of the larger animals over them if they can't find their own way out to the open ocean. And one more thing, if you find a dolphin- smooth gray skin, about six to twelve feet long- come find me immediately."

"That sounds like a big fish and clever too." Amet paused for a second, "are they dangerous?" he enquired. After Ishmael answered he wondered what over giant fish they had around here. For the first time since he could remember he was a little nervous about going swimming. As he started walking towards the beach he caught the familiar stares of some of the townspeople. Everyone's eyes quickly snapped back to the task at hand but he could tell that these people were wary of strangers and everybody was wary of a giant. Two young women, sisters by their looks, were trying to push a boat out to sea. Their brown eyes widened as Amet approached, he hunkered down to diminish his height, "Hi I'm Amet, your grandfather Eugene said I could help fish and sort out your nets and catch some fish. If you help me find your nets and traps I'll get the fish for you." The women looked at each other in silence for a moment silent communication passing between them. The giant didn't appear to have caught sight of their harpoon in the boat. The eldest nodded to her sister, "we'll show you if the grandfathers said to help." They looked a little nervous at the prospect, "We're Katherine and Victoria." They added.

Amet used his bulk to push the little boat in to the sea. He wadded in up to his waste before pulling his goggles on and diving under. Suddenly his head shot back up. He looked at Katherine and Victoria who stared back at him. "Your water tastes funnny. Why does it have so much salt in it?" he questioned.


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