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Z3 ROADSTER FOR SALE; in that house the two guys met
Topic Started: Apr 7 2017, 08:38 PM (370 Views)
shotgunkid
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don't take no guff
[ * ]
((Wade Cartwright continued from No More Predation. (Please.)))


Once again, Wade's movements slowed as he left the asylum. But this time, with careful deliberation and intent. He was following a plan of action and paying attention to his surroundings instead of nervously jumping at shadows and moving every few hours. It was invigorating to move dynamically. The fear of death lurked behind it all, but this time it seemed to fuel his advance and sharpen his senses rather than paralyze him. After all, potential death really did lurk behind every corner he didn't check, every piece of furniture he didn't inspect, every room he didn't go into. It was terrifying, but this time... the euphoria and excitement of actually following through, being what he wanted to be, doing what he wanted to do at heart eclipsed it all. Every time he stopped, his situational awareness would kick into gear. Every noise, every shadow, every nook and cranny would fall under his scanning gaze. Then check, carefully, quietly, against cover and with the needle against a vein so he could pop it in fast in case someone tried to assail him.

Sounds and noises would come to him often. But fainter, scarcer, less frequent than before. Once he got outside and started moving there, it was apparent to his eyes and nose why. But within the grim realization that half of his classmates had fallen, there was hope. Even if a selfish hope, for himself.

This was, indeed, how he'd choose to act in those worlds of obscuring long grass next to open sidewalks and prowlers with a license to kill if he could survive long enough to get his mental act together. His shirt reminded him. If he were a carnivore, of course, he already knew that the ethical contradictions and guilt would eventually drive him to madness, despair, anger, and suicide.

Maybe murder-suicide, but not here, not now, not in the place where he only had to take one life. Yes, one. That was all the terrorists asked of him.

Would the 'prey empathy' overtake him when the moment arrived? Perhaps. But it would only be just that once, and then he never had to again -- decidedly unlike the situation of those characters.

Stop, see, move. Stop, see, move. At some point after leaving the asylum, he made up his mind to cross the bridge. That made things go smoothly; he had a clear view of everything.

His conviction to find a herd - no, group - and stay safe with them wasn't forgotten, but... all the figures he saw moving in the distance didn't seem talkative.

Stop, see, move. Stop, see, move. It might have been okay to be prey. He might eventually have come to terms with it there, where the threat was constant and faint, but not here, where it was all thrust in his face instantly in a tidal wave which would - almost certainly, his heart of hearts knew - get him killed. But stay focused.

The compound seemed a decent place to seek shelter. Darkness was equal, and he might even find some instrument to use if he actually got in a fight. As he approached, he saw the radio tower. There were bodies strewn all around it. Well, there were bodies strewn all around the island, but the especially unpleasant state of one of them made him avert his eyes.

There was a commotion inside the garages nearby, and he fled to the quiet warehouse.

Much to his disappointment, the musty and dark space contained mostly household supplies instead of tools. Maybe if he searched harder.

Eventually, the deathstink became potent. He stumbled across a somewhat rigid object.

Another corpse, noticeably bloated and decrepit. Bleaugh. At least it might deter predators from entering, he reassured himself. Might. But he figured he wanted a comfortable place to rest this time around, and none of the spots seemed to fit that bill.

Wait, there were towels all around this place, weren't there? A few dust-laden containers and many desperate attempts to avoid sneezing fits later, he had a few. It was kind of an inappropriate use, but he'd probably never get the opportunity to get wet here. He'd already lost that when he split with the group.

A few of them, carefully bunched up next to a container shelf, made a good impromptu blanket. If he closed his eyes long enough, he could even believe he was back home.

He was slightly nyctophobic himself, but with the calming noise of the waves and knowledge of all-too-real threats out there, his imagination had no potency. The enclosed, dark spaces were safety, as far as he was concerned.

It was uneasy to think he could be murdered in his sleep, but hopefully the would-be murderers' prod to make sure he was alive would rouse him just in time to react. But these bags came with flashlights, right? They did, so no matter. Just make sure he was in a not-obvious spot, like behind this.. alcove? right here, under one of the shelves. Hold breath. Clean the dust. Hunker down for awhile. Put some extra towels over his head to prevent them from seeing him instantly. It would be safe. Relatively.

And all that only to hear noises. In the direction of the area from which he'd entered some time later. (No way to be sure.) Brace your limbs to react, he told himself. Brace them for a fight, as meager as they were.

His fists slowly balled up.
2015: V6 Incident
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shotgunkid
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don't take no guff
[ * ]
The steps drew closer... closer.. closer.

Mind primed fists ready body tense. Fight or flight? Oh, it was as though he'd been born for the former. It didn't matter how meager his own body was. Adrenaline pump almost injected - only to be retracted at the last minute. His body's natural reserves would do just fine.

He knew there was no way to predict the exact moment. Predict where this other person was. Their stance could be reacted t---

ONE OF THE TOWELS WAS PULLED! ROLL, LEAP, FIST! In a few moments, Wade abruptly rolled off the towels, forced himself up and shaking away the last of them, and adopting a fighting stance. This wasn't ideal, but it would cover his vitals and head.

The shocked expression of the other boy threw him completely off, and his conscious kicked in. The adrenaline ride skidded to a halt just as he was about to launch a hit. In time to understand the other boy's potential non-hostility and soften the stance. By small fractions. The words came out clipped and aggressive. Too threatening, maybe, so he tried to drop the fists and soften it as they came out. Try and reassure this other person, even though instinct was screaming that he was letting his guard down at an absolutely critical moment.

"I'm not hostile. You?" Deep breath between that first sentence and the word. Very loud and audible. It would be a good cue for the other to cool it. That was what Wade attempted to practice. Release of energy. Cessation of visual, audible, and perhaps subliminal hostility signals. Well, it was all very sudden and he wasn't doing such a good job of it. It would just have to be enough to make this other male stay and say something.
2015: V6 Incident
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shotgunkid
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don't take no guff
[ * ]
A fearful-looking noncommittal head shake was all Wade got. In itself, that implied a number of things: the boy could be throwing Wade's guard off in a number of ways to prepare for an assault of his own, he genuinely couldn't find anything to say, was mute, was..

Well, it all looked sincere enough, anyways. Relaxing his stance into a more casual posture, he thought fast: the best way to defuse the tension and get the ball rolling would be to start a conversation and what, at this late stage, would someone be interested in talking about? Something of value, preferably. Unlike many of the previous breaths they'd both had to waste.

Wade quietly lifted his own bag and gripped it cautiously.

"Are you short on supplies or anything?" Not curt, but fast.
Edited by shotgunkid, Apr 28 2017, 09:45 PM.
2015: V6 Incident
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shotgunkid
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don't take no guff
[ * ]
Quickly, Wade obliged him. In a subtle manner, of course, he kept his eyes out because of the potential for a surprise attack (that never came, of course). It took just under a few moments to see where the wallet was, snatch it up, and then turn to hand it to Ben.

The opposite hand went in to hover over his bag's zipper.

"And?"
2015: V6 Incident
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shotgunkid
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don't take no guff
[ * ]
Checking his own supply, Wade was surprised to find much more than he expected at first glance. Thinking more deeply, however, it made sense that he hadn't been eating a whole lot. This stuff was largely tasteless, and over the course of the past week or so there had been nothing to stir up his appetite. Quite the opposite, in fact.

There was still an entire loaf of that integral bread stuff left, and he'd only eaten through about half of one of his tins.

Five and a half ration bars left. He distinctly remembered feeling so drained after hearing of the deaths yesterday that he'd stopped midway through chewing. Just exhausted, mentally.

It was a little dismaying, actually. He hadn't had as many opportunities to build up muscle as he could've. Then again, though... what was the rate of gain for a teenager under severe stress?

"I've got quite a bit more than that. What do you go for?"
2015: V6 Incident
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shotgunkid
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don't take no guff
[ * ]
An easy answer. An easy opportunity. And at last, it finally started to feel as though he was getting into that 'groove' of life that more normal people seemed to adopt naturally.

"I'm Wade." Nice to meet you didn't seem appropriate.

In plain truth, there weren't many worse situations to say it. So he just left it like that.



More than an hour later...



Sitting down together on the cold floor, at a location that put them both somewhat at ease, they started talking and talking freely. It gave more of that pleasant feeling. They spoke of the lives they'd had. What they lost, desired, kept. Depressing stuff, but not nearly as hard-hitting as who they'd lost. There were so many regrets and little bunches of self-hatred there. Why didn't we? Should've... if only. It all stung, but not quite to the point that it drove Wade to tears or anything, just a deep pit of melancholy and self-flagellation.

It was best to leave that all behind. There was no point flogging themselves repeatedly for things that were out of their hands or couldn't see coming. Be practical, be real. The only people in the entire world they could help, at that moment, was themselves.

Deep sigh. Head low. "Anyway, I don't feel like heading anywhere right now. Wanna stay or something? I could take a peek later or tomorrow if you really want." Downcast expression softening. And beside, it would give him a useful task that might actually increase their survival odds in total. Fewer than half left, remember. Fewer than half... that gave hope.

A grim strain of it, to be certain, but still hope.



((Wade Cartwright continues elsewhere...))
Edited by shotgunkid, May 1 2017, 07:08 PM.
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