The repetitive thuds of their footfalls pounded through her head as they walked through the bare sunlight. With a shiver she curled her arms close to her chest and rubbed at the goosebumps that crept onto her bare skin. She felt exposed and despite trying to remind herself that she had been actually more exposed before the feeling was too tangible to shake off.
The sight of the police car ahead of them had filled her with a confused tangle of emotions. Police officers had never been her favorite group of public servants. The glove box of the Tempo (short for ‘Temporarily Working’) left behind O’Brians was stuffed with pretty yellow tickets she had been trying to figure out how to pay, not to mention the few run-ins with the fuzz back on the East Side that she liked to forget about. However, right then she could think of several adult video scenes she would be more than happy to replicate in return for the protection of one of Chicago’s finest.
Squinting through the glare she tried to determine if there was anyone alive in the cruiser. Her eyes ticked over the details as they got closer. The door was open. Against the shadows inside she could make out the dark leather seats, the laptop fixed to the consol (now as dark as the face plate on her phone), the curled pigtail of the police radio that lay somewhere in the darker shadows of the floor boards now, but no boy in blue. Her soft soled ballet flats moved of their own accord behind those in front of her as her eyes moved toward the back seat, the door was closed though and the light of the sun was making it hard to see inside. Staring intently at the golden square of the window for any sign of movement she missed the approach of the creature from the alley.
Murph’s voice shattered the world as he screamed, “Make for the cruiser!”
When it shattered a flood of water must have broken through, because everything began to move slowly as if she were at the bottom of a pool. Her head turned from the cruiser towards where the voice had come from, dark ponytail swaying through the thick atmosphere as she did. The thing approaching from the alley was too horrifying to be believed and even with Murph yelling more commands she could do nothing but stand there and stare.
The complex synapses running through her body began to relay messages to her brain but they were not making sense. The water that had had slowed down the progression of the earth was running down her legs in hot thin rivulets until it trickled into her shoes. A sudden flash of light and heat around her triggered her body further. Soon she felt her lungs empty and wondered momentarily if she was drowning, instead of simply screaming as the high octave that her vocal cords warped the expelled air into failed to reach her ears. The thing before them seemed to explode and lights danced before her eyes. Thunder crashed nearby, thoughts of God intervening and striking down their enemy with lightning pulsed through her mind at the same time it registered the weaker clang that clattered from where her damp feet were still (surprisingly) fixed to the earth.
The thing collapsed to the pavement. Several heartbeats passed and no others joined it. The true movement of time began to seep back.
In a rush her lungs filled with air, chocking her with the sudden force. Bending over she grasped her knees coughing and desperately trying to remind her body how to breathe as she stared at the crowbar lying dormant on the ground. The pungent odor of urine stinging her nose with each inhalation and she began to piece together the shattered jigsaw of the last few moments.
I panicked. God.
Dropped the crowbar…
The others had reacted… killed the… thing over there…
No… it isn’t human. I refuse to believe it is human. I’ve seen some of the vile things humans can do to each other… but that is not human.
I can’t believe I panicked…
Get a hold of yourself now Amber. Come on. Everyone is watching. Your skirt is black, they won’t notice the stain… pick up your weapon and get moving…
It took another good shove of her internal voice and even then every tendon and muscle in her body screamed out in protest as she grasped the crowbar off the ground and stood back up. She took a moment to smooth out her hair and clothes before making her way towards the cruiser with the others. All the while she kept her eyes on the blue pinstripe running down the length of the car, refusing to make eye contact with the others.
Around her she was aware of them though. Emily demanding to not be treated as an invalid. Alaster and Murph stepping a few paces away from her before erupting into an argument. Mac keeping to himself.
We aren’t going to make it… we aren’t going to make it… we aren’t going to make it…
The thought chanted through her head over and over as she listened and watched. Weakly she made her way to the trunk of the fuzz mobile and planted her slightly damp rear end on its white surface, leaning against it with her feet spread for support on the ground below. Fingers clenched the crowbar to her chest until her knuckles turned white and she stared at the pavement listening to the chant continue as tears streamed down her cheeks.
((While the cruiser is being looked over she will just lean against it unless someone tries to approach her. She will, however, move out with the group when prompted to do so))
"Hey, I need to talk to you over here," Alaster said, motioning to an area a couple feet away from the Police Cruiser.
Mac, trying his best to hold it together, and at least do what he was charged to do, rolls his eyes in exasperation and shoots a quick glaring look over at Alaster,"Is this really the best time for this, man?"
“Don't worry they can handle themselves with an empty car.”
Mac didn't care if anyone heard him or not,"I don't think we're handling anything, yet. We move together or we don't move!"
Murph rested the gun again, held up a hand motioning for the others to stop… “Hold up, folks, please."
“Man,” he sighed, his eyes sliding back to Alaster, “we’ve all ate, slept, and s*** in the same one room for ten days. Don’t look like we’re gonna be changing that much anytime real soon, either. There ain’t no need for privacy. Talk to me here.”
“You don't have to continue being strong,” Alaster started…
“...I saw the way that whole ordeal shook you up,” the carpenter continued, “and it’s alright to say ‘hold on a minute’ or ask someone to take the lead when you need a breather…We all gotta act on our strengths and we all have a leadership quality about us. So why don’t you let me take the gun? I'll take the lead and you can be close to Emily. I've seen the way you look at her, man,” he almost whispered, “although it may not be a romance you are looking for, there’s something there that’s more than just friendship."
Mac wasn't sure if he heard that last part right, but he winced and thought to himself 'I know he didn't just go there!'
It was Murph's turn,
“Strong, huh? You think that’s what this is all about? Me trying to be strong? Show everybody I got a pair?” He lets loose a humorless chuckle. “You got it all wrong, Alaster… I ain’t strong… I ain’t trying to be strong… In fact, I’m scared as friggin’ hell! Right now, I’m just trying to keep breathin’ and make sure the rest of you do the same cuz you were all crazy enough to follow me.........I saw a g**damn girl! A girl who looked enough like her, that it could’ve been her sister for all I know! That’s why I’m upset, you friggin’ moron! That’s why I looked at her the way I did! That’s why I look at all of you the way I do! That’s why…”
Murph was visibly shaking. He looked as though he was about to finish his sentence and dot Alaster's face with a period. Instead he finished with, “Stop tryin’ to get in my head! Shut your mouth and get your a** back in formation…”
Under his breath, Mac muttered,"Forget the freaks, that boy is gonna die of 'Foot in Mouth' disease."
This was getting fustrating, to say the least. The group had enough to fight, without fighting each other. They really needed to get moving, he thought to himself, not stand in the street arguing. All that noise would definitely attract another one of those things.
Then with a bit of smirk, while looking at the cruiser, he says,"Now, if we're done with the heartsy fartsy stuff, can we move on?"
Finally they moved the rest of the way to the cruiser. Amber looked pretty shooken up, as she leaned on the vehichle. Mac walks up to her and puts his hand softly on her shoulder,"Hey, don't let it get to you. With the exception of one of us, I think, none of us are ex-military. We are not soldiers, that's not our mind-set. Just remember that courage is facing your fears to get a job done, that must be done. Now if you don't mind I need you to trade that crow bar for my walking stick for a moment. I wouldn't wanna leave you without a weapon."
((OOC: hoping for a compliant Amber, with the crowbar I intend to break into the trunk))
Then a thought dawned on him,'I wonder how smart these things are?'
"Hey, Murph, when your done securing the front could you come and cover me while I try to get this trunk open?"
With that, Mac safely and patiently waits for backup.
Posted on 2010-08-18 at 18:48:11.
Edited on 2010-08-18 at 22:26:09 by Tiamat5774
t_catt11 Fun is Mandatory RDI Staff Karma: 364/54 6846 Posts
what's with the CPD?
October 26, 2014
Cornelia Avenue, 800 block - 12:15 PM
The girl/creature/thing was dead, and the encounter had caused strong reactions from most of the group of survivors. Emotions battled within them, and a great deal of willpower was engaged just to stay sane. After all, had they committed these acts ten days ago, they would have been on trial for capital murder.
Of course, ten days ago, the nearest police presence would have been much more than a crashed and empty cruiser.
Once everyone had collected their wits and followed Tommy Murphy's suggestion to move on to the police car (leaving the dead body behind in the street), the attention was turned to that very car.
The driver door hung open, with only small fragments of broken glass still clinging to the window frame. The group's caution proved to be unnecessary, as the car was well and truly empty - however, a large, dark, reddish-brown stain covered a large portion of the driver's seat, indicating that someone had lost a great deal of blood there. Further examination revealed a spatter of blood droplets inside the windshield and across the dashboard and steering wheel.
The keys still hung in the ignition, negating Mac's need to use the crowbar on the trunk. Further good news came from inside the car itself; still nestled in the rack sat matte black FN SLP shotgun. A quick examination reveals that it is fully loaded (six shells in the stock, one in the chamber).
Bad news, on the other hand, came from under the hood. It would appear that the radiator was badly cracked from the wreck; since this presumably happened over a week ago, the radiator is certainly empty by now.
A look in the trunk reveals around a half box of twelve guage rounds (twelve more rounds, total of nineteen for the SLP), as well as a police baton (nightstick), and a clipboard. Naturally, there is a spare tire back here, along with a tire iron that could be used as a wepon, if someone wants it.
You now stand right before the corner of Cornelia (your current street) and North Halsted Street (running north and south). There is a huge multicar accident in the middle of the intersection; that may bear some consideration when picking a route.
Posted on 2010-08-18 at 21:27:57.
Edited on 2012-03-26 at 14:01:52 by t_catt11
As they were walking Jake felt strange about the girl-thing. He was sad that she was just as lost and lonely as them and she could have just been confused. He wasn't sure. No matter how he felt though they needed to stay on the path. There was a mch much bigger concern at the moment.
A little while later they came across a wrecked car. They were suspicios of it, although they needn't be. Upon searching the car they found a shotgun and some shells. They also found a nightstick and a tire iron. There was a large bloodstain on the front seat and a splatter on the windshield.
"We should decide who gets what. We'll all need to defend ourselves whenever the need arises." Jake looked at the others. "There's another shotgun,"Jake glanced at Murph,"a nightstick, and a tire iron. Murph already has a gun, who else here knows how to use one? Hopefully none of those things will ever get close enough for us to use the other two."
A hand resting on Amber’s shoulder temporarily stopped the chant ringing between her ears. With a slight gasp she looked up, but found only Mac, and not one of those hideous creatures, looking at her sympathetically.
"Hey, don't let it get to you. With the exception of one of us, I think, none of us are ex-military.”
One of us? ohhh… Tom. Her eyes left Mac for a moment and waivered to the fuming mechanic. He’s right… why didn’t I see that before? All those Killian’s, decent tips, small talk… I only saw a mechanic. Wonder what else I’ve missed…
“We are not soldiers, that's not our mind-set. Just remember that courage is facing your fears to get a job done, that must be done. Now if you don't mind I need you to trade that crow bar for my walking stick for a moment. I wouldn't wanna leave you without a weapon."
Courage? she laughed internally as she stared at him blankly for a moment.
Finally she pulled herself up off the trunk of the squad car which brought her very close to Mac. Without conscious thought she pressed herself closer to him and looked up into his eyes, a move she had learned in another life that usually got whatever she wanted out of a man, and some habits are hard to break. “I know a thing or two about courage Mac. I delivered a child… in a way this is very similar. We don’t have much of a choice now do we? We have to face whatever is around us or put a bullet in our heads. Until I do that I’m keeping it together…” she whispered into the sliver between them. Her eyes were dark and for a moment opened up into her shattered spirit.
Before he could respond she released the crowbar out of her grip and pushed it against his chest, grabbed his walking stick and brushed past him.
Taking a wide stance a few feet from the car and watched as the others began going through it. She purposefully kept her back to the corpse, and tried not to think of it. Instead she found herself watching as Murph bent over the ruined engine. Stained jeans outlined the lines of his legs and up to a rather shapely back end.
Wonder what that looked like in a dress uniform? Navy whites? Air Force blue? Army tan? Or perhaps the dark blue with that sexy red stripe up the side… Jar heads really had the best uniforms… hmmm… I should ask sometime… maybe he’s still got it in the closet…
God Amber. Snap out of it. How long has it been since you really considered even dating? And now… in the middle of a life or death situation you are imagining how good one of your old customers might look in a uniform. This isn’t the time or the place. That thing that came out of the alley won’t be the only one.
Where are all the people? Focus… or next time it will be blood, not urine, running down your legs.
She shuddered and ripped her eyes from Murph while he toiled on the engine. Her vision refocused on the road. The broken white line running down the middle led her to the intersection ahead of them. Several cars had piled up there. At this time of day the sun blared almost directly above, lighting the crash site in glaring brilliance. Glittering points of sunlight rose from corners of chrome, mirrors that failed to keep the drivers safe and shattered safety glass. Beyond those glittering points though were shadows cast by the metallic corpses.
Titling her head she zeroed in on a red minivan that leaned over a smaller sports car. In the back window a yellow sign hung crookedly ‘Baby on Board’ it read. Swallowing hard she stared at it, watching with terrified fascination as a small blood coated hand reached out of the shadows and pressed against the window. Around the minivan other shadows began to move, dull eyes peered out at her, hands began to open doors and reach out toward her…
She snapped her eyes shut and swallowed the scream that welled in her throat. When she gained the courage to reopen them again the crash site sat still and silent in the glittering sun. The ‘Baby on Board’ sign hung harmlessly in the window with no tiny hands behind it… not yet. But she kept watching and waited for the shadows to begin moving…
Posted on 2010-08-19 at 15:23:48.
Eol Fefalas Keeper of the Kazari RDI Staff Karma: 461/28 8455 Posts
Murph was all too relieved to find that his worries about something hiding in the police cruiser were misplaced… even if he wasn’t sorry for being ‘overly cautious’… he was a little sorry for having just torn into Alaster, though… The kid was just trying to help… he’s a freaked as the rest of us and what with all the alcohol he put away before I dragged these people out into Hell, he’s probably got a little more freak in the freaky…
He grimaced at the bloodstains as he slid into the driver’s seat but otherwise just tried to ignore them; a thing that was a bit easier to do when he saw the FN SLP that hung in the patrol car’s rack and the keys that still dangled from the steering column. The grimace may have even smoothed itself into the semblance of a satisfied grin as he, pulled the weapon free of it’s cradle and turned the ignition over enough to ensure that the vehicle even had a chance of starting… The dash lit up and the gages jumped to life when he did… that was a start. He reached down to wrestle with the hood release which, apparently, had gotten jammed up when the thing crashed…
“…Now if you don't mind I need you to trade that crow bar for my walking stick for a moment,” Mac’s voice drifted from the rear of the car.
Murph heard Amber’s voice say something in reply but her voice was too soft for her words to have made any sense to his ears what with his head buried under the dash. Comprehensible or not, Murph was glad to hear the sound of her voice… outside of the scream she’d let out earlier, the barmaid had been awful quiet… maybe too quiet…
He got the pliers on his multi-tool around the hood release cable and, with a good tug, got the latch to which it was connected to spring loose. “There,” he grunted, sliding out of the car and hauling both shotguns out with him and laying them on the roof of the car before taking the keys from the ignition. Murph’s eyes tracked towards the rear of the vehicle, caught Amber slipping away from Mac, and Mac set to pry the trunk open with the crowbar she had surrendered to him.
“Mac,” Murph called… when the bounty-hunter looked up, Murph said; “Keys” and tossed the key ring to the other man. As he turned to watch Amber move a few steps away, Murph heard the keys get snatched from the air and clatter against the trunk lid as Mac worked the lock… I know that look, he thought, padding towards the front of the car for a look inside the engine compartment, she’s on the brink… let’s see what we can see, here, and then see if we can’t snap her back…
He tore his eyes away from the woman as he lifted the hood and leaned over the cruiser’s engine. It looked pretty decent except for the cracked and empty radiator and, the mechanic figured, it’d be easy enough to get patched and running given tools, time, and enough full bladders or found water to pour in. The rest of the damage was cosmetic for the most part and shouldn’t keep the thing from being drivable… Dunno if it’s worth it at the moment, he sighed internally, wiping his hands on his jeans as he stepped back and eased the hood down, closing it without engaging the latch, especially since I was a dumba$$ and didn’t think to see if my tools were still in my car… He looked up the street and noted the wreck that ate up a good deal of the street on their most direct route to the pharmacy… Might have a hard time getting around that, too… Murph’s gaze drifted back as he abandoned the front of the car and made his way around to see what the others had found in the trunk. His eyes found Amber again – staring off at that same pile up – on that return trip and he couldn’t help but wonder what was going through her mind… he was still wondering when he reached the back of the car and heard Jake’s voice…
“We should decide who gets what,” the soccer player said…
Murph blinked, unlocking his eyes from where they were fixed on Amber, and turned to regard the others gathered around the trunk.
“…There’s another shotgun,” Jake was saying, looking at him, now, “a nightstick, and a tire iron. Murph already has a gun, who else here knows how to use one? Hopefully none of those things will ever get close enough for us to use the other two.”
((OOC: Assuming, here, that Alaster pipes up about going hunting with his father and knowing how to shoot a bit or something along those lines. Aaand also, if I understood the PM traffic right, Alaster’s okay with the browning…))
Murph nodded at Alaster’s revelation and then tipped his head to where both shotguns lay on the roof of the car. “Take your pick, kid,” he told the carpenter, “You might be more comfortable with the Browning… probably closer to what you’re used to hunting with… the SLP’s semi-automatic - no need to pump, just pull the trigger. Not quite the power or range of the Browning but you’ll be able to peel off five rounds a second if you need to… not that you should unless you’re just overrun… conserve ammo and all that s***.”
The mechanic stood aside as Alaster debated the choice and, in the end, settled on the more familiar configuration of Patty’s shotgun. Murph nodded when the younger man took the 10 gauge. … “You’re a round short of a full load, right now, he said as he reached into the purse Amber had given him, retrieved the shells and offered them over to Alaster, as well, “keep these handy.”
((Any convo here?))
For his own part, Murph replaced the shells he’d just given Alaster with the half-box that went with the SLP and then, took the black shotgun from the roof, shouldered it, and turned his gaze to Jake; “You might wanna take that nightstick, Hammo,” he suggested, “save that last Molotov for hard times, yeah?”
Murph leaned over to peer into the trunk where the tire iron and other contents still remained. “That iron should be taken along, too,” he said, flicking his eyes towards Emily as he took hold of the clipboard that lay beside it, “probably a little sturdier than that pool cue you’ve got, Em…” His eyes turned to the clipboard, then, and skimmed over what was on it… ((anything of interest?))… before returning it to the trunk.
“I’ve got some possibly good news on this wreck, too,” he said, tipping his head to indicate the cruiser, “depends on what you guys wanna do, though… Lemme go get Amber and I’ll run it down for you.” He walked away from them, then, leaving them to divvy up the rest of the ‘haul’ from the cop car, making sure to make enough noise to alert Amber to his presence as he approached.
“Hey,” he said softly as he got within a step or two and she still hadn’t turned around, “Amber… you all right?”
((Think I’m gonna cut this off here, for now… for some reason I sense the next little bit is going to be best done as a collab between Meri and myself…
The decision we're going to need to make, once Murph and Amber get done with their little chat will be, do we want to try and get the cruiser drivable and, thereby possibly have to take a roundabout route, or do we wanna forget the car and just walk... Something to think about... ))
Posted on 2010-08-19 at 19:14:12.
Edited on 2010-08-19 at 19:16:51 by Eol Fefalas
Emily was already reaching for the tire iron when Murphy mentioned it, so she just nodded curtly and wrapped a hand around it, leaning the pool cue up against the side of the cruiser. She stepped back, out of the others way, and coughed into the back of her arm, thinking.
Suddenly, a thought flared to life: they were going to need clothes. Her jeans looked like they'd been through a war, and she could see the bottoms of her shoes starting to peel away... Besides that, Amber was in a dress, and it wasn't really fit for standing up in a fight. Besides that, when she tried to move her arms, her shirt was stiff from the lack of bathing or changing from her time in the cellar of the pub. Emily sighed and looked at the others.
Slowly, she strolled over to where Mac was, looking at the cruiser. "You know, I was thinking, and I realized that we're gonna need something new to wear..." She gestured down at herself, "We're filthy and Amber's in a dress, and my pants and shoes are a wreck. We won't be able to-" And here she broke off to gag, shaking violently with her arm covering her mouth, until she managed to get ahold of herself, "To function.
"We should be able to find something nearby, right? I mean, we're in the middle of godd*** Chicago..."
Emily finally looked up at Mac, her breath rattling in her chest. She was sure she looked like a wreck, and was confusing everyone with her sudden new resolve, but things were changing quickly. Whatever that... thing had been, it had opened her eyes, and she couldn't keep playing the weak one. If these people were willing to protect her, the least she could do was fight for them, and that couldn't happpen if she couldn't even walk without her legs locking up and going into panic attacks.
Alaster took the Browning whose wooden pump looked worn with age. How many stories did this little guy have? What kind of history was behind it? Alaster had been thinking to himself as Murph had been divvying out the rest of the weaponry.
You can’t hit the broad side of a barn son.
Oh not now.
You know you can’t do this. You couldn’t even protect your family. That stupid gang you thought you could handle when you were 15 and it got your mother killed because you hid from your responsibility.
Leave me alone I don’t need you
You can’t help these people. You’re weak and even that man Murph over there knows it. He sees it in your eyes he knows when the time comes to leave your sorry a** behind.
Alasters’ hands started shaking as he tried placing an extra bullet in the browning trying to block out his fathers tormenting.
Give it up son I tried to teach you the only thing you were good at was getting me my beer and helping me release my stress on your face when I was to drunk.
I’m better than you I can protect them.
No you can’t even Amber knows you are just holding them back maybe you should just leave you cant protect her you can’t protect none of them.
“I WILL PROTECT THEM!” Alaster shouted out as tears started forming in his eyes as he relived the night his mother died. Alaster leaned against the car setting the gun beside it and covering his hands in his face. It was like this everytime he became sober the tormentings the guilt everything that he knew to be true.
You know you aint goin to heaven. People who get they’re families murdered don’t deserve peace in heaven.
Alaster dropped to his knees against the car having a mini panick attack and breathing heavily mutterd “go to hell you abusive son of a b****
And then it was over. All of it the pictures of his mother lieing dead in the kitchen of the treatment his father gave him as a child. Alaster felt a weight lift from him. He looked to the group who had been looking at him as though he were crazy and a couple of concerned looks as well.
“I-“ Alaster had begun to say he was sorry but dried the tears from his face picked up the browning and shoved the last bullet in.
His body still shaking slightly Alaster turned to Murph. “S-sorry about th-that.” Alaster sighed heavily trying to regain his strength. How could he protect them he was just a drunk in a bar who was ready for death. “What do you need me to do?”
((hoping murph gives him something to do so Alaster doesn’t have another episode))
Amber took the Aluminum rod and pushed the crowbar into the chest of the bounty hunter, then brushed past him. "Uh....thanks." She began to walk off, and Mac spoke up after her,"Hey, don't go too far off, we need to stick together, ok?" With that Mac turned his attention to the work at hand.
Mac was just about to begin jimmying the trunk open when he heard....
“Mac,” Murph called. Mac popped his head up and around the rear window of the car to regard the man addressing him. Murph said; “Keys."
Murph tossed the keys and they slid across the trunk lid and into Mac's hands. "Thanks!" With very little trouble, he got the trunk open and revealed its contents.
Murph was looking under the hood trying to see if the engine was fixable. Whether is was or not, Mac wasn't sure but it didn't look good when Murph let the hood down. Just then Jake speaks up.
“We should decide who gets what,” the soccer player said.
Murph blinked, and turned to regard the others gathered around the trunk.
Jake continued,“There’s another shotgun,” Jake was saying, looking at Murph, now, “a nightstick, and a tire iron. Murph already has a gun, who else here knows how to use one? Hopefully none of those things will ever get close enough for us to use the other two.”
Murph looks to Alaster. “Take your pick, kid,” he told the carpenter, “You might be more comfortable with the Browning… probably closer to what you’re used to hunting with… the SLP’s semi-automatic - no need to pump, just pull the trigger. Not quite the power or range of the Browning but you’ll be able to peel off five rounds a second if you need to… not that you should unless you’re just overrun… conserve ammo and all that s***.”
Alaster debated the choice and, in the end, chose the Browning. Murph nodded when the younger man took the 10 gauge. … “You’re a round short of a full load, right now..."
Mac chimed in, still a little peeved with the earlier conversation,"and a shot short of a 5th of JD", Mac said with a smirk. A slight pause and then,"oh, you were talking about the Browning."
Murph reached into the purse Amber had given him, retrieved the shells and offered them over to Alaster, as well, “keep these handy.”
Murph then turned his gaze to Jake; “You might wanna take that nightstick, Hammo,” he suggested, “save that last Molotov for hard times, yeah?”
Murph leaned over to peer into the trunk where the tire iron and other contents still remained. “That iron should be taken along, too,” he said, flicking his eyes towards Emily as he took hold of the clipboard that lay beside it, “probably a little sturdier than that pool cue you’ve got, Em…”
Emily laid the pool stick up against the car and picked up the tire iron, then she turned to Mac and said,"You know, I was thinking, and I realized that we're gonna need something new to wear..." She gestured down at herself, "We're filthy and Amber's in a dress, and my pants and shoes are a wreck. We won't be able to-" And here she broke off to gag, shaking violently with her arm covering her mouth, until she managed to get ahold of herself, "To function. We should be able to find something nearby, right? I mean, we're in the middle of godd*** Chicago..."
Mac scratched his head,"Well, I don't rightly know. Sometimes pharmacies sell shirts,shorts, and flip flops. It's better than nothing I suppose. Hardware stores sometimes sell coveralls and work boots. I'm just not sure, though. I'm not actually a local here. I travel in my line of work."
Murph then got everyone's attention, save Amber, for she was still staring at the car pile-up, but who knows she might have been listening. Murph said,“I’ve got some possibly good news on this wreck, too,” he said, tipping his head to indicate the cruiser, “depends on what you guys wanna do, though… Lemme go get Amber and I’ll run it down for you.” He walked away from them, then, leaving them to divvy up the rest of the ‘haul’ from the cop car.
Mac eyes brighten with an idea as Murph walked off to check on Amber.
"Hey, Jake", Mac started,"I think Murph may want to get this car started. Your Malotovs and this car give me an idea, though. Do you know how to make homemade Napalm? Laundry powder and gasoline. I makes a gel that sticks to things. Fire that sticks! And with that game at Wrigleys, there should be no shortage of beer bottles."
Pausing long enough to let this sink in Mac continues,"We don't necessarily have to use the gas from this car, but if that pile up down the road is any indication, there should be plenty of fuel. We're heading to a pharmacy anyway. We can get the detergent there. So what do ya, think?"
Mac's attention at the moment was on Jake, so he wasn't expecting......
“I WILL PROTECT THEM!”
Mac spun around to face the car and Alaster. "What the hell?!", Mac exclaimed.
At that time, Alaster leaned against the car setting the gun beside it and covering his hands in his face and broke down as great sobs wracked his body. He dropped to his knees against the car having a mini panick attack and breathing heavily muttered “go to hell, you abusive son of a b****!"
Mac rushed over to the man, not sure what he should do.
"Hey man, I didn't mean anything by what I said earlier. I just thought a joke would lift some of the tension." He then looked up to see where Murph was and said,"Hey Murph, I think something is up with Alaster!"
Alaster calmed down it seemed almost as fast as he exploded into unexpected emotion.
“I-“ He dried the tears from his face picked up the browning and shoved the missing shell in.
“S-sorry about th-that.” Alaster sighed heavily,“What do you need me to do?”
Yeah, what did we need him to do? What did any of us need to do?.....Stay Alive.
Posted on 2010-08-20 at 06:41:38.
Edited on 2010-08-20 at 14:15:17 by Eol Fefalas
Eol Fefalas Keeper of the Kazari RDI Staff Karma: 461/28 8455 Posts
Sgt Murphy and the basement brigade! LOL
Amber kept staring at the pile of cars ahead of them. He could easily tell by the quick rising and falling of 'World Series Games' written over her chest that she was breathing hard and likely her heart was pounding along with it. When she finally spoke it was a small hushed whisper that escaped from her lips.
“There are more... in there... but they keep hiding in the shadows. Maybe even a child... I don't think I can kill a child Tom.”
More? A child? What?
Murph watched her for a minute, trying to make sense of what she’d said, then, when he managed to stop looking at her and forced his gaze to track hers towards the pile of cars, the apparent randomness of what she’d said made a little bit more sense. ‘Baby On Board’ the sign in the back of the mini van read… it wasn’t necessarily the totality of the multicar wreck that had captured her attention and fear as much as it was that one tiny piece of it. It kind of made his heart ache, too, seeing that one tiny detail taunting them from the chaos of broken plastic, glass and twisted metal… He sighed softly, then, and, forcing his own eyes to let go of that sign, moved a little closer to her.
“Oh,” he said, not really sure what to do but tentatively reaching out an arm to wrap around her shoulders… he felt the tremble in her then that he hadn’t actually seen when he’d first looked at her. “Listen, sweety,” he continued softly, pulling her to him with a gentle squeeze…He worked his other arm through the SLP’s sling and hitched it up onto his shoulder, freeing his hand to cup her chin and guide her eyes away from the sign and shadows that tormented her… when he got her gaze pinned down with his own, he said; “you don’t have to kill anything, okay?
You let me and Mac and Alaster worry about anything like that… All you need to do is stay close, stay calm, and don’t wander too far off…” He tried a reassuring smile, then, but wasn’t sure what it might have looked like to her; “I’m not gonna let anything happen to you, Amber… Hell, I haven’t even gotten to ask you out yet… wanna stick with me until I get that chance?”
“I...” She tried to respond but lost her voice the first time and started again.
“I'm flattered... I... but... I'm a single mother... I work two jobs... I really... don't...” she blinked a little as she realized what she was saying and then offered an awkward smile to him before finishing in a voice that threatened to either break into laughter or hysterical sobs.
“"I really don't have time... to date... Time for another man in my life except Joshua... it was very sweet of you though...
God... I just gave you The Speech...” and her voice broke into that laugh although it was so light and airy that a light breeze could rip it to shreds and spatter it across the landscape.
Murph laughed along with her – He wasn’t about to admit it to her now, of course, but fear of ‘the Speech’ (and maybe fear of the same thing happening with her as had happened with Jenny all those years ago) was what had kept him from asking Amber out before the world ended – and gave her another reassuring squeeze. “I figured you’d say no,” he chuckled, “but I figured, hey, the two jobs are probably done with and I kinda like kids, so why not give it a shot, right?”
You gotta back away, Murph, he told himself, then, you got her eyes off that wreck and her mind off those thoughts… you can let her go now…
He told himself that… but didn’t listen… something about the closeness, just now, made him want to stand there a bit longer, and something about the way her lithe frame continued to tremble against him, told him that she needed it, too. “You cold?” It wasn’t what he wanted to say next but, for some dumb reason, it was the only thing that came to his mind as he looked into those dark, glistening eyes…
Amber shook her head. "I... I don't think so. I'm just scared." she admitted with a whisper and then closed her eyes as her head lowered in the scant space between them.
"I've never seen... been through..." Her head shook, she didn't need to explain what they were seeing or going through, "I panicked... that girl is sick and proud... and we keep fighting with each other... and there are those things out there. Tom they're out there... just waiting in the shadows. They're out there... they're out there and... they're going to kill us... they're out there..."
At his name her whisper rose toward a shriek and she let go of her weapon, letting it fall to her side as she grabbed his shirt and buried her face against his chest sobbing and screaming about the creatures in the shadows.
Oh, Jesus! Murph’s eyes went wide and nervously scanned the area even as his arms wrapped even tighter around the panic-stricken woman and pulled her closer to him in hopes of muffling her hysterics. If she was right… and Murph had the sick feeling that she was… there were more of those things out there and his first thought was that her screaming could possibly alert any number of them as to where the group from O’Brian’s were waiting.
With Amber clutched tightly to his chest and her wailing muted a bit as she sobbed against him, Murph’s second thought was that this breakdown wasn’t something the rest of the party should see, so he turned and interposed his back between her and the line of sight from the cruiser. She’d been right about the ‘fighting among ourselves’ bit, too, he realized… he and Alaster had gone at each other more than once, already… and in front of everybody else, too…
Reeeealll good motivation for the troops, there, Sarge. No wonder she’s convinced we’re not gonna make it; she figures we’ll kill each other first…
… “No, no, no, baby,” he heard himself whispering as he pressed his lips to the top of her head and rocked her a bit, “Shh-shh-shh… that’s not gonna happen… none of it’s gonna happen…”
It irked him some that those had been the same words he’d used on Jenny when he got deployed and she freaked out about how he was going to get killed over there and leave her a widow and Mickey an orphan. It irked him a bit more that, even then, with Jenny, he knew that there was no guarantee that it wasn’t going to happen just because he said so… It made him feel like a liar... Like the whispering and the holding and the rocking, though, the lying helped in cases like these, it seemed… After a minute, Amber’s hysteria eased… the screaming and sobbing down-shifted to the occasional whimper and sniffle and it didn’t feel like he had to hold her as tightly as he was to keep her from exploding. He had to hold her, now, because if he let go she’d probably have collapsed from what her fit must have taken out of her…
“Shhhh,” Murph whispered into Amber’s hair, again, as he brushed a few strands from her tear streaked cheek, “It’s gonna be okay…”
C’mon! You gotta do better than that! That crap wouldn’t motivate me to wipe my a**! Tell her… tell them what they need to hear to get them as far through this as you can get ‘em… then, even if you feel like you’re lyin’, you do your damndest to live up to those lies and you get ‘em as far as you friggin’ can! And when you can’t get ‘em any farther because you’re dead, you make good and damn sure that each and every one of them is as motivated enough to get themselves the rest of the way!!!
Murph swallowed hard and clamped his own eyes shut for a moment… digging deep down and far back to find that kind of motivation for himself… He drew in a long, calming breath before he opened them again, and blew it out just as slowly before he mustered the most confident and reassuring smile he could and, once again, slipped a finger under Amber’s chin and brought her eyes to his. “Listen to me, Amber,” Murph said, making sure he sounded like he believed every word of what he was about to utter before he let it get to his lips. “We’re going to get out of this mess and we’re going to get out of it alive… We’re going to find Joshua,” he promised, adding Mickey’s name after Joshua’s in his mind, “we’re going to get some place safe, where everything is normal.
Then I’m taking all of you to Chuck E. Cheese,” he offered along with a smile that was even more sincere than he knew he could manage right then, “the kids can play video games and crap, and you and me can drink that piss they call beer until we’re so drunk they’ll make us stay the night for the safety of the little ankle-biters. Whaddya say?”
She blinked at him and smiled a little, even though it was obvious she really didn’t want to…
“Huh,” he prompted, grinning like a doofus in hopes of encouraging the smile some more, “C’mon! Say yes! Everybody else says no!”
…that got a little chuckle… followed by a sniffle, a couple of tears, and a wiping of her nose on his shirt as she buried her face against his chest in case she started sobbing again…
“We’re all scared, Amber,” Murph said honestly, keeping one arm wrapped around her while the other cradled her head, “and we all panicked… Jesus! I about s*** myself when that friggin’ Molotov went off in my face…”
Yeah, good thinkin’… don’t mention the zombie…
Don’t call it a zombie… that’s just in the movies!
The mechanic’s chest hitched when a memory struck him out of the blue and forced him to chuckle a little. He fixed that confident and reassuring grin to his lips, again, and said; “Y’know, when we were over in the sandbox, me and my guys had a little bible verse we used to recite whenever one of us got freaked. As long as I live, even if I get so addled I can’t remember the Lord’s Prayer, I’ll never forget that verse… It’s gotten me through worse than this…”
He felt her face come away from his chest and looked down into the damp, reddened, and curious eyes that blinked up at him.
“Wanna hear it?”
There was a flicker of uncertainty in Amber’s expression at first, but it was quickly swept aside by a faint nod.
“Okay. I don’t remember chapter and verse or anything but it goes something like this… And, yea, though I walk through the Valley of Death,” he said this somewhat somberly, but broke into a grin when her face skewed up in what must have been confusion; “I shall fear no evil; For I am the baddest mother****** in this damn valley!!!”
She blinked at him… more than once… and with every blink, Amber still opened her eyes to see Murph’s face with that goofy but assertive grin stretched across his whisker stubbled face… and she laughed…
The laugh was still shaky but it was another laugh and this time the smile did seem a bit more genuine.
"Yeah... baddest Mother******... I'll remember that. And Chuck E. Cheese, too. I'll whoop your a** at skee ball..."
“I’m looking forward to that,” Murph nodded, his smile as genuine as hers, glad that she was coming around… that she had brought him around… made him remember where he needed to be and what he needed to do…
Her fingers began to loosen on his shirt and she looked at the darker splotch of blue running down the middle of it. Gently she touched it with the tips of her fingers.
"I keep crying on your shirt too. Sorry about that. I'll take it to a great dry cleaner before we go out.”
Murph shrugged behind a wink; “Old shirt, anyway.”
“I'm going to try Tom. I am... I'm trying to hold on. And if you get me through this I'll say yes..." her eyes looked back up at him and she smiled again, the sanity finally beginning to actually return to them slightly.
“That’s all I need to hear, Amber,” he said, starting to believe the words, himself, now, “You hold on and we’ll make it out of here just fine… We all hold on,” he grinned, hugging the woman to comfort himself as much as her, “and we’ll be eating horrible pizza and drinking weak beer in the company of giant mice before you know it.
So, whaddya say we quit standin’ here slobbering on each other and get this show on the road?” He relinquished his grip on her, then, and waited for her to let go, too, before turning and looking towards where the others still huddled around the cop car…
“Hey, Murph,” Mac’s voice reached his ears just after Alaster’s bellowing, “I think something is up with Alaster!”
The mechanic’s shoulders slumped just a little, then… Of course something’s up with Alaster, he grumbled internally, something’s wrong with all of us!… he flicked a sidelong glance at Amber, shrugged, and said; “C’mon… Time to get all this crap squared away…” and double-timed the remaining distance to the others.
Whatever the problem had been, it seemed to have blown over by the time Murph and Amber’s footsteps stopped amidst the group. Murph’s gaze swept over them one by one… Jake, with the nightstick clutched in one hand, was nervously scanning the area… Emily, with the tire iron at the ready, was still looking sickly but more determined than she had been in spite of her health… Mac looked a little taken aback by whatever had just happened and was looking expectantly from face-to face like Murph was… and Alaster, drying tears from his face, was pulling himself together as he plugged a shell into the Browning and got some stability in his legs…
“S-sorry about th-that.” Alaster sighed heavily, looking at him, now, “What do you need me to do?”
God, I don’t have time for individual pep talks…
Murph rubbed a hand over his chin and looked over the rag-tag troupe, again, before he fixed his hazel eyes on the young carpenter. “I need to you to tell me you’re good,” he told the kid, finally, “and if you’re not, I need you to go ahead and go right back to loosing your mind until it’s out of your system…
…All of you,” he added, looking meaningfully into each and every face, “If you need to freak out, break down, or whatever, do it now and get it behind you before we go another step. If we’re going to make it through this, people, we’re going to need to be clear and focused, you hear me?
There’s nothing wrong with being scared. I’m scared… which is why, Alaster, I tore into you the way I did, alright? I know what you were trying to do… I reacted poorly… out of fear… and I’m sorry… This is some crazy crap we’ve stepped into and, if you’re not scared, you’re stupid! Fear is a lot like fire, though, people… You can let it do what it wants and it’ll burn you alive or you can make that fire do what you want it to do and it’ll keep you warm, light your way, and keep the enemy at bay when you’ve got nothing else!
We’ve got something else, though, don’t we? Something more than fear and fire… We’ve got weapons, we’ve got each other, and we’ve got an objective that’s less than a block and a half away! We’re three steps ahead of the game from where I’m seeing it…”
((Picturing a Sgt Murphy motivational speech here but, since this post is already several miles long, let’s just say it’s something along the same kind of ‘speech’ that he gave Amber… Including ‘the verse’… and hope it works for the rest like it did for her ))
“One other thing we’ve got,” Murph finished, that determined grin playing on his lips now that the group from O’Brian’s had mustered their own grit, “is a decision to make. I can get this car running and it’ll get us where we need to go, I think. I’ll just need a little time and a lot of full bladders or whatever water we can scrounge from nearby. If we take the car, though, I seriously doubt we’ll get it around that,” his finger jabbed in the direction of the pile up, “and we’ll have to find another way around. That said, our objective is pretty much right on the other side of that mess and we could probably hump straight to it in the amount of time it’d take me to get this running… You folks decide what you want to do and we’ll go from there.”
((Aaand done… *whew*… Like I said, up to the general consensus where our options are concerned… If we go ‘fix the car’ then that’s the drill; Murph works on the car, the rest stand guard and/or find fluid of whatever kind for the radiator… If we go “forget the car” then Murph lays out the new marching order (using the army men from Amber’s purse as a visual aid to show them how he’d like them to form up and move) – himself in the lead, Amber, Emily, Jake, and Mac in the middle (moving Mac here due to limited ammo and keeping his rounds pinned for ‘as necessary’ moments only), and Alaster now trusted with bringing up the rear… then we move out straight on towards and hopefully past the pile up… Room for whatever throughout, of course… I can always edit. ))
…All of you,” he added, looking meaningfully into each and every face, “If you need to freak out, break down, or whatever, do it now and get it behind you before we go another step. If we’re going to make it through this, people, we’re going to need to be clear and focused, you hear me?
'Exactly what I was thinking,' Jake thought,'I hope Alaster is ok.' He looked down at Alaster slumped down against the side of the wrecked car, head in his hands. But Murph was right. We have to set our emotions aside and focus right now or we'll never survive.
"I don't think we should stay here for too long. We need to make a decision. Either through there or fixing the car. We could do both but we'd have to split up, and that might not be a good idea. I don't know..."Jake trailed off and looked towards the car, then to the stadium, then at the ground.
Emily looked quite shocked from watching all of them break down, and her eyes flickered between their faces, then at her hands. She was gripping the iron so tight her knuckles were white, but right now, she couldn't feel the pain.
"I agree, we need to move or we're gonna be chow..." She sighed, wishing she'd never started talking at all, "And like I said to Mac, we're gonna need new clothes... protection, ya know, and it'll be cooling down soon..."
If we're even still alive.
She hung her head slightly, shoulders hunched, feeling the depression and anxiety settle on her again. "B-but I don't really know anything, I'm just trying to help out..." Emily flushed and looked up at Murph, her eyes apologetic. "Your our leader... So....
"I'm up for whatever you say, because as far as I'm concerned, you guys are the last real people I'm ever gonna see and I'm glad I ended up with people like you. Most others would have left me when they figured out I was sick, but you guys have stuck by me and all of us are a team...
Murph, I loved your speech, so I'm sorry if I'm stealing your thunder here... I just..." She sniffed slightly, and a tear ran down her cheek, "I just want to thank you for not giving up on me. And that I'll be beside all of you, no matter what happens."
She smiled sadly, feeling a bit wishy-washy, and coughed to try and ease some of her embarassment as well as clear her throat. "But, I do think we should leave."
"Murph, Emily is sick, and if those damn things hide in the shadows, their eyes will be sensitive to the sunlight. So, my vote is, we walk to the nearest pharmacy. In the time it takes you to fix the car, we can get there on foot. Besides, you might be able to fix one of the vehichles on the OTHER side of that pile up. We need to get done what we need to during the daylight. By dusk it will be much cooler and we won't have the advantage the sun gives us. As Emily has pointed out, we need to see about getting some warmer clothes too. With her coughing, the cold won't do her any favors."
With that he walked over to Amber, and with a smile, he held out the crowbar and said,"Trade backsies?"
To the others he asked in a slightly raised voice,"Are we the baddest Mo-Fos in this valley of Death?!!
With that, he smiles and winks at Murph.
Posted on 2010-08-21 at 01:11:46.
Edited on 2010-08-21 at 01:13:24 by Tiamat5774
Look at them. Even in the wake of impending death they all seem to atleast look as though they are holding themselves together. Even that sickly girl over there can stand and look strong. Why cant you hold it together? Screw your family and your past none of that matters now. They need you as much as you need them so shut up and stop being a baby about it all.
“I’m good. And I-I’m sorry just a moment of insanity. But hey this whole world’s insane right now so you should be used to it.” Alaster had chuckled nervously hoping to stop everyones “you’re crazy” looks.
“Umm alright, you want me to take up the rear Murph? Im just waiting for your orders to get me going now, and uhh if you want to get this car fixed up I don’t care either way but; we need liquid and my over drinking has just the blatter for it if you need it. Other than that, that sun over there seems to be dimming and I would at least like to be in an area slightly deffensable if it’s not to much to ask.”
Alaster stuck his “Zombie basher” (bat) in his tool belt loop, and lifted the browning on his shoulder. “I’m ready when you are guys.”