Eol Fefalas Keeper of the Kazari RDI Staff Karma: 461/28 8455 Posts
What are you doin’, Murph?
Murph was poised and ready to make entry into the Save Rite – figuring that the quick demo he’d given everybody with Joshua’s army men earlier might have stuck a little better and assuming that the others would have automatically known that his plan would have been to go through those doors the way he had been trained to – and he was just a little baffled at the debate that erupted instead of everybody falling in to where he imagined they would…
“I'll check it…”
Murph, a little stupefied by the fact that the kid wasn’t covering the rear of the party, actually blinked when Alaster appeared in the periphery of his vision.
“… If you remember what I did to one of those things after it attacked us.”
What?!? You bludgeon an unconscious thing to a bloody pulp and all the sudden you’re Rambo?!?!
Murph’s mouth might have fallen open, just then… he wasn’t sure, though, as there was a strange numbness spreading over his face and seeping into his brain… and when he blinked again he found himself looking at Mac and Mac looking back at him.
At first, the bounty hunter rolled his eyes and Murph thought that was going to be the end of it – they’d just refresh Alaster on the plan and, bing-bang-boom, in they’d go – but, then Mac turned to look Alaster in the eye and, with a certain degree of exasperation, said; "Well I'm not going to wrestle you down for the privilege, dude, so if you wanna check the door, get to checkin'.” Mac then looked at Emily and offered the girl a smirk and a shrug.
There was no disguising the bewilderment on the mechanic’s face, then… it was more than obvious in his expression when he actually rose out of the semi-crouch he had settled into upon reaching the door, let the barrel of the SLP droop towards the ground, and blinked dumbly from Alaster to Mac and back… then to Jake, Amber and Emily where they now stood, unprotected, behind them… Jesus, Murph! This has got to be a bad dream, doesn’t it? I mean… this can’t be real, can it?
They’re just tryin’ to keep their fire up, he tried to justify it for them as his flabbergasted gaze tore away from Jake, Emily, and Amber, then returned to Alaster and Mac, Bein’ courageous so they can keep goin’…
Courage gets people killed, Sarge!
They don’t know… They’re just… They don’t…
If a mind has a crankshaft, Murph’s stopped turning just then and he couldn’t even continue arguing with himself. Instead of trying to figure out how to snap this situation back into shape, he just shook his head, and stepped back, gesturing at the door as if to say, ‘All right… Knock yourselves out… But if ya get killed, don’t come cryin’ to me…’
He turned then, the barrel of the SLP coming back up to a serviceable posture as his eyes swept the chaos of the Chicago streets behind them. Once he’d verified that nothing had crept up on them, Murph looked seriously at Jake, Emily, and Amber; “You guys just stay put a minute, all right…” It was more statement than question and the grimace that twisted his lips into a grimace that was a strange comingling of frustration, worry, and anger left no doubt as to what Murph was expecting to happen when Alaster went through that door… The worst… In the time it took for him to blink a silent apology to Amber and hear the sound of his own lungs drawing in an expectant breath, the door shoved open and Alaster went through with the Browning leading the way…
Our Father, who art in Heaven…
…Then Mac went it, hand cannon at the ready…
Hallowed be thy name…
Are you serious?...
Murph’s breath shushed across his lips when nothing happened… no shots… no screams… just the sound of footsteps as the two men made a quick sweep of the immediate entry and then signaled ‘all clear’. The look of relief on his features likely wasn’t missed by Amber, as close as she was standing, and probably didn’t go unnoticed by Emily and Jake, either. “All right,” he nodded, flicking a glance towards where Alaster and Mac stood just inside the pharmacy’s doors, then giving a quick sweep of the street before fixing on the others again, “we’re good… Let’s go…” He stepped aside, then, gesturing towards the Save Rite’s entry way and waiting for them all to step passed him before following them in.
The first thing Murph did when he stepped into the pharmacy was stop to make sure the doors were closed behind him and secure the locks that were there. The second thing he did was turn to look at Alaster and Mac again, set to ask them where the hell they’d been at the briefing. He quickly realized that that should have been the third thing, and chastised himself for neglecting what should have come second when he caught movement out of the corner of his eye and realized that the Save Rite hadn’t been altogether empty… The ‘what the f***’ that had been prepped to spill from his mouth turned into; “What the… Hey! Whoa!!!” as Murph reacted and swung the shotgun towards where that flash of movement had been.
Beyond the SLPs barrel, Murph perceived a man shape as it stepped from behind one of the dividers in the back. A quick look revealed that, while neither tall nor imposing, the figure’s build suggested athleticism… buzzed auburn hair… and blue eyes that shifted nervously back and forth….
Eyes that have a soul in them, Murph realized, when the man flinched and looked as if he would take off running, Not one of them, then… Somebody else…
Tommy Murphy lowered the shotgun, then, held up his left hand in a gesture of ‘no harm intended,’ and offered a tentative smile as he eased his posture and said; “Wait… wait… it’s all right, man. We ain’t here to hurt ya… it’s all right…”
God, but that freaked me out!!!
He did his best to assume an unthreatening posture and hoped his smile appeared as genuinely relieved to find even just one more survivor as it felt… “My name’s Murph,” he offered, still not advancing a step, “Murphy… Tommy…” He blinked and knew his smile was a little more genuine when a remembrance of Amber’s voice speaking his name… Tom… played in his mind… “Tom Murphy…”
((OOC:Okay, far enough I suppose… a few liberties and assumptions in the above… if there are any disagreements or whatever, lemme know. ))
Posted on 2010-09-01 at 00:41:44.
Edited on 2010-09-01 at 00:47:26 by Eol Fefalas
Amber followed Murph down the street and to the front of the Save-Rite. At the door the other ‘boys’ were engaging in a competition of ‘whose got the biggest ****.’ It reminded her of Daniel, and not in a good way. However, she had learned over the years not to get in the way of such a pissing contest, you only got peed on.
And we’ve had enough of that today haven’t we? she thought to herself with bitter wryness.
So instead of focusing on the boys she did what she used to in these situations, she turned her attention to something more interesting. Without Tom’s arms around her she found the shadows were creeping back. They hung heavily over the racks that she could make out through the large glass windows.
Why aren’t they broken? They should be broken like every other one on this street…
The fact that they weren’t broken was just as comforting as it was worrisome. The glass provided a barrier between her and the dark ink spots inside of the store. At the same time it caught the glare of the sun and made it hard for her to follow the paths of the inky spots. Something was moving inside, she was certain; something that called those shadows home. No matter how hard she squinted, though, she could not distinguish it completely.
It was yet again Tom who brought her thoughts back into the light, turning with his SLP poised for action. “You guys just stay put a minute, all right…”
Amber realized then that the pissing contest was over and the drug store was about to be breeched. She opened her mouth to speak, but the look of worry and frustration washing over Tom’s features told her she didn’t need to. Even if he hadn’t seen what she had
Was anyone seeing it Amber, or just you?
He at least expected it. A momentarily blink passed an apology over to her before he headed into the shadows after the boys. She watched through the sun-glared window as the three made tenuous steps inside and were at least not immediately mauled to death. Murph turned back then and signaled the all clear.
Amber was the last to go in, pausing a moment at the door and locking her eyes on Tom’s.
I don’t want to go in… please dear God tell me it’s safe. It’s so dark… so dark… Safe as houses baby… I promised I’d take care of you… he seemed to smile back as he touched her shoulder and ushered her inside.
The inside of the store was like a pure nightmare. She could not avoid the shadows and felt their oily touch move over her skin. Swallowing hard she attempted to control the fear that grew so intensely inside of her she was certain it would appear on an x-ray as some vicious tumor. It was not working that well though, and she stood fixed on the white tile of the entrance staring. Eyes peered at her from the cosmetics aisle
Those foundations will never match your rosy complexion though… should have tried the suntan lotion perhaps…
; fingers danced across boxes of candy
Not the kind you are looking for though, Bon-Bon’s won’t help control this will they? But will some Vitamin R help? Or just make this worse?
Amber’s head spun as she watched the shadows move and shift.
“What the… Hey! Whoa!!!” Murph’s voice cried out over her shoulder and she caught a glimpse of real movement as he swung his gun toward the shadows. She followed the aim and every drop of blood in her body seemed to turn to dust.
Oh God… they really did move…
Her grip on the crow bar tightened as a figure seemingly was birthed of the shadows. Under the skin, still slick with the shadows oils, her biceps tensed as they prepared to swing if the shadow creature came within reach.
But things did not go as she had thought they would. Instead of charging the shadow creature seemed to turn as if to run from them. There was no inhuman cry that should have bounced off the aisles and mirrors hanging in the drug store. Instead she heard Murph begin to stumble over words behind her.
“Wait… wait… it’s all right, man. We ain’t here to hurt ya… it’s all right… My name’s Murph. Murphy… Tommy… Tom Murphy…”
Amber let her gaze wander from the shadow creature’s retreat long enough to look at Murph and make sure he was being serious. He seemed to be, with his weapon lowered and a smile cracking over his face.
If he’s serious about talking to it… then…
Quickly she swung her eyes back at the figure and really tried to look at it this time. Murph could be right, it could be just another survivor, like them, not like those things outside.
God… you’re seeing things moving in the shadows that aren’t there… and a moment ago you were ready to swing a crowbar on a fellow human being. So much for keeping yourself together Amber… at this rate a few Vitamin R’s won’t hurt a thing… and a Lude or two? Hell maybe three… to block it all out once the jitters stopped from the R’s?
She shook her head to clear it.
You gave that up for Josh. Don’t fall back down the rabbit hole now, Josh could still need you. And what would Tom think of you popping pills?
Dark eyes refocused on Tom a moment as he tried to reason with the man
Who backed away from them.
She didn’t answer herself. Instead she took a few steps further into the drug store, shivering as the heavy oil seemed to suck her in. At the checkout counter she stopped and leaned over, putting the crowbar on the counter as she rested much of her weight on her hands. A flyer displaying sales on mundane items like toilet paper, soda and lipstick stared back up at her from another dimension.
“Tom’s right… I think you scared us as much as we scared you. We just… needed some medicine and supplies.” Amber added to Murph’s attempt at a speech, but never raised her eyes from the toilet paper ad.
I never used that brand… the quilted kind was better… but that is a really good price for 24 rolls... of course now… now it’s free which is even better… except the toilets don’t flush…
“My name’s Murph,” The man had said, “Murphy… Tommy…"
'What kind of last name is Tommy?' Steve pondered, then realized he should probably do something. Slightly kneeling to set down the items in his hands, he caught a glimpse of his own reflection, clean face, unlike Mr. Tommy.
He slowly stood, still poised to flee, running away from people this time, not the creatures.
“Tom’s right… I think you scared us as much as we scared you. We just… needed some medicine and supplies.”
He refused to look towards the new voice, women were nothing but a distraction to him before the happening, they would only make things more complicated, especially since he had not known the touch of one in a long time.
"I'm uh... N, I am Steve Kramer, No relation to the angry guy." he stammered out of his mouth, his mouth that had not spoken out loud in so long... the words rushing out felt like an uncontrollable gush, like that time he had too much vodka in the alley behind his mother's house.
'They seem friendly enough, and I suppose if I have come this far, running would be dangerous' he thought, his eyes now focused cleaner on the man and his weapon.
He needed something to lighten the tension built up inside, something to keep in from bursting into tears, he managed to squeak out a simple "So, come here often?"
His own voice seemed to echo in the store, causing him to feel even more nervous, to make up for that, he managed a chuckle, trying to seem like it was an ordinary day.
Amber listened as the man, nearly as awkwardly as Tom, introduced himself and then with a nervous laugh asked if they came here often. Ever since Alaster went off on their way here laughter seemed to get under hre skin. But Kramer's laugh was quiet and nervous enough to set her completly on edge. Instead she tore her eyes from the flyer on the counter and brought those large dark pools up to the newcomer, taking him in completly now. She had a way of sizing up men with whom she would be conversing with that was usually pretty useful.
The corner of her mouth lifted in a disarming (and at one point wallet emptying) smile. "Only when the toilet paper is on sale... any of it left back there?"
Her sudden turn into humor stunned Steve, for a moment he stood there, jaw nearly hitting the floor. He was used to being punished for being flippant. He scraped up what was left of his mind and forced out a non-committal
"Yeah, Isle 3, plenty of hemorrhoid cream as well. I apologize, I grabbed most of the magazines, but can spare "American Hunter" if it pleases you, lady."
He points to the aisle, managing a sideways smile and motioning, avoiding eye contact.
Amber stood up a little bit more and nodded. It seemed a little strange to be having a 'normal' conversation, but almost good too. "Well after I had Josh I haven't had much use for Prep-H, and can't say I've ever had much use for 'American Hunter', but thanks. I'm Amber by the way. That there is Emily, Alaster, Mac, Jake... and I think you met Tom Murphy... everyone calls him Murph. Are the pharmacy shelves better stocked than the magazine rack?"
She asked all of this in a soft feminine voice, she hadn't seen any weapons on him but that didn't mean he wasn't carrying and spooking anyone further seemed like a bad idea.
"Pharmacy Shelves?" His head cocked to one side "Yeah, they are good, I took some ibuprofen and some antibiotics But left most everything else. Is someone sick?"
He stepped back, as if hiding from whatever sickness that they may be carrying.
'Of course someone is sick, why else would she ask so quickly about the pharmacy?' He thought, 'Unless they want birth-control and eyeglasses.
"Or are you in a hurry to check your blood-pressure?"
"Blood pressure? No..." She shook her head a little. "I think all of our hearts actually stopped working about three scares ago. Emily's got pneumonia. It's not contagious, but she needs some of those antibiotics you mentioned." She said, noting how he stepped backwards when she mentioned the medicine.
And then there is Jake... but better leave him out of it... and whatever 'candy' is back there of course... no sense bringing that up either though.
"Mind if we check it out? Maybe grab a few other things too? We haven't really been out in over a week..." She explained as she watched him, and the shadows behind him.
Steve pondered for a moment, his mind wondering if they thought this was his store.... 'Why would they ask me?' he struggled to put together the puzzle that was before him, 'No one has ever asked my permission before, not really.'
"Uh, yeah, poke around, but try not to be too loud, while it seems 'They' are less active during the day (at least from my observations) there is no purpose in sending out a dinner call." He paused for a moment, removed his pack and sat down, "Besides, I don't own this store, just stocking up for home bas---- uh, I mean, just grabbing supplies."
'Yeah Steve, let them know about home base, you fool.... next thing you know they'll want to see it, then what? You only have enough food for a few weeks, they have sick and injured.. can I afford the injured?'
He crossed his legs and tried to look casual, like he had not just given out too much info..
"Just try not to let yourself grab too much to carry, I suggest getting what you need and heading out, that is what I was going to do, until I ran into all of you. I probably should get going though, not much daytime left..."
Amber nodded a little and let her smile widen a bit more. "Thank you..."
She wasn't about to ask the man to join, she wasn't really in charge here and she didn't want to add any further sheep for Tom to tend to unless he felt he could take them on.
Mac felt uneasy with the way things went outside. He let his frustration with the whole situation get to him, and what did it accomplish? It left his and Emily’s tail wagging in the wind as his rear cover checks the door!
Well Mac, you’re just not a team player, I reckon.
As the door is found to be unlocked, Alaster opens it and Murph, Mac, Emily, Amber, and then Jake, bringing up the rear to enter this port in a storm (of bull$h**).
Murph locks the door once all were in.
Mac had his pistol at the ready, waiting for the worst. Being cooped up in a small room for over a week, trying to keep your mind off hunger, thirst, the need to relieve yourself, takes its toll on anyone, even him. His mind began to swim, and ideas bombarded his brain. Clothes, and backpacks and soda, Oh my!”
Mac was snatched back from his reverie by…….
“What the… Hey! Whoa!!!” as Murph reacted and swung the shotgun towards where that flash of movement had been. Mac bolted upright and pointed his gun in the same general direction as Murph’s shotgun. There he saw it, a humanoid shadow at the end of a long and dark aisle. Confusion began to set in, there was no signature shriek, no deafening shot gun blast, hell, it didn’t even move. He was speechless. Mac didn’t know what to say or do next.
“My name’s Murph,” Murph spoke up finally, “Murphy… Tommy…"
Silently, the shadow slowly stood, poised to flee, looking to Mac as one born to run.
Tommy Murphy lowered the shotgun, then, held up his left hand in a gesture of ‘no harm intended’. He eased his posture and said; “Wait… wait… it’s all right, man. We ain’t here to hurt ya… it’s all right…”
Mac followed Murph’s lead and holstered his pistol. He was once again startled by a feminine voice, and he jerked his head around to see where the voice was coming from.
Oh, its Amber.
“Tom’s right… I think you scared us as much as we scared you. We just… needed some medicine and supplies.”
"I'm uh... N, I am Steve Kramer, No relation to the angry guy." he stammered then it seemed he had trouble mustering up the nerve or strength to continue speaking as he said,"So, come here often?"
‘No I normally shop Gay Mart but that block has gone to hell in a handbasket, not to mention the property values. I figured this place looked respectable enough.
Mac chuckled a bit at his own thought, though it may have seemed to be a reaction to Steve. Even in the face of possible danger, his lightning wit seemed to be working overtime, and Steve seemed to have a bit of wit to him too. Mac almost was unable to restrain himself from speaking up, when Amber loosed a zinger of her own.
Smiling sweetly, she said, "Only when the toilet paper is on sale... any of it left back there?"
It would have seemed like a scene from a sitcom, had it not been for the true nature of things, when Steve replied, "Yeah, Isle 3, plenty of hemorrhoid cream as well. I apologize; I grabbed most of the magazines, but can spare "American Hunter" if it pleases you, lady."
“American Hunter”? I used to read that. Had a subscription and everything.
"Well after I had Josh I haven't had much use for Prep-H, and can't say I've ever had much use for 'American Hunter', but thanks. I'm Amber by the way. That there is Emily, Alaster, Mac, Jake... and I think you met Tom Murphy... everyone calls him Murph. Are the pharmacy shelves better stocked than the magazine rack?" Amber asked the newfound survivor.
Mac felt that salvage rules, territorialism, or even the mob mentality ruled in times such as these, whether he agreed with that kind of thing or not. This guy might believe in “finders keepers”. During the conversation, though, it seemed as if Amber was able to ask permission to check out the selection in the store and get what we needed. It was at that point Mac spoke up.
“Hey, Murph, I think everyone should grab a water or sports drink now. All that alcohol, and nine days of limited water, everyone needs to rehydrate, especially Emily. If she’s got pneumonia, she is definitely dehydrated cause the fluid in her lungs came from the rest of her body, plus she most likely has a fever too. Well, I’m gonna grab a backpack for each of us and do some “shopping”.
((OOC: Most of this is back post, showing Mac’s take on the recent events, given his shock induced speechlessness during the store entrance and discovery of Steve.
On Mac’s list is Waters, sports drinks, candy bars, energy bars, a First Aid kit for each pack, and if available, Cigs, lighters and lighter fluid, both zippo and butane to maybe make better hand thrown IEDs with. Also, I go looking for flashlights, batteries, laser pointers, pen lights, and tape, so we can tape them to our guns for better night shot visibility.
I assume Emily is helping Amber with medication selection, given her medical background, so other than first aid kits I won’t be making and medication selections.))
Posted on 2010-09-02 at 05:31:18.
Edited on 2010-09-02 at 12:13:09 by Tiamat5774
Eol Fefalas Keeper of the Kazari RDI Staff Karma: 461/28 8455 Posts
Part the first...
“Murphy… Tommy…Tom Murphy…”
Smooth, Sarge. Real smooth. Shoulda gone into communications instead of twistin’ wrenches, huh?
The man at the end of the aisle looked at him in puzzlement… much the way Murph was now looking back at him… Guy looks awful clean… not like he’s been just runnin’ and hidin’ for the last ten days… wonder where he’s been?… still trying to get his mind around the surprise at having found another survivor and figure out a way to put his words together in a more comprehensible fashion. The words came together in his mind okay but, after that frenetic and bumbling intro, he didn’t trust his tongue not to fumble them. He was aware of Mac standing nearby – caught the skip-tracer out of the corner of his eye, first aiming at the new guy and, then, lowering the .357 when the new guy turned out to be just that and nothing more… He felt Emily and Jake and Alaster behind him… He glimpsed Amber off to his right… Murph was tactically aware enough… maybe that’s why any social graces were difficult to grasp just now… Thankfully, Amber interceded…
“Tom’s right… I think you scared us as much as we scared you. We just… needed some medicine and supplies.”
Murph found it kind of weird, at first, that the guy didn’t so much as glance in Amber’s direction when his mouth opened to reply…
"I'm uh... N…I am Steve Kramer, No relation to the angry guy.”
…but the way he stammered out those first few words eased that back a notch. Just as freaked to see us as we are to see him, Murph told himself, And I guess I’d have a hard time looking at anything else but the guns if I was on his side of the show, too…
“So,” Steve Kramer squeaked nervously after a second. “come here often?”
Yup… And I’d probably have said something corny like that, too… Murph allowed himself a chuckle, then, too, although it didn’t make it past his lips until Amber chimed in with her reply…
“Only when the toilet paper is on sale… any of it left back there?”
…When Murph heard Amber’s voice the way he had grown accustomed to hearing it on a normal night at Patty’s – disarming, playful, sweet and smoky – that repressed chuckle snorted past his lips and nostrils and he could help but turn his gaze in Amber’s direction and smile at her…
There’s public relations in action, right there, baby,
…The smile on Murph’s face was followed by a quick wink at Amber before he let the woman do what she did best and charm this Steve guy into easy banter. He kept his ear on the conversation, of course, but turned his eyes to surveying the little drug store and the rest of the group from O’Brian’s basement. At the moment, most all of them were still blinking in Steve’s direction but those surprise-locked gazes were quickly being broken as Amber took the lead in dealing with the somewhat skittish man. The store looked to have a bit more than just the meds they’d hoped to find, too… some extra (and clean) clothing, bottles of water, basic stuff you’d find in most any small pharmacy like this…
“Hey, Murph,” Mac said, “I think everyone should grab a water or sports drink now. All that alcohol, and nine days of limited water, everyone needs to rehydrate, especially Emily. If she’s got pneumonia, she is definitely dehydrated cause the fluid in her lungs came from the rest of her body, plus she most likely has a fever too…”
“Yeah,” Murph nodded, offering a more relaxed grin to the bounty hunter, now, “I was thinking along those same lines. Good idea… might wanna make sure we grab enough for the road, too… not sure how long it’ll be until we can get hunkered down…
You heard the man, folks,” he said to the others as he moved towards where the Cubs backpacks and t-shirts were displayed, “grab a ruck and load up with only what you need and can carry.”
Murph’s path to where the packs were hanging took him past Emily and, when he got to her, he smiled reassuringly and wrapped an arm around her shoulders, starting to guide her over to the Cubbies display. “How ya holdin’ up, kiddo,” he asked…
((Stopping here for the time being… I think the Murph/Emily collab will work in nicely right about here… more to come once Ali and I have coordinated…. Murph’s definitely got more thoughts on the pieces of conversation he’s picking up between Amber and Steve… ))
Posted on 2010-09-02 at 16:26:58.
Eol Fefalas Keeper of the Kazari RDI Staff Karma: 461/28 8455 Posts
Part the second... and it's a doooozy!!!
Emily shivered with him touching her, and shrugged lightly, barely lifting her shoulders, "I'm holding as good as any of us... Just because I'm sick doesn't mean anything Murph, I thought I made that clear." She looked up at him, the ghost of a smile tugging at her lips.
At least she was starting to try now.
Yeah, Emily, he wanted to tell her, it does kinda mean something… it means a lot really… what happens when you can’t keep up because you’re sick? The very thought of those words, though, made him squirm in his skin. So, instead, Murph simply returned her smile along with a nod. “You are,” he said, letting his arm drop away from her shoulders as they reached the array of Cubs merchandise, “and you did… I’m just kinda thick headed sometimes…”
He slung the shotgun and pulled one of the backpacks from the display, his eyes sweeping the place and checking the situation with the others as he dumped the paper and plastic filler from the pack… He paused the longest on Steve and Amber…
"So what are you thinking about..." She dropped her voice, "Steve? Do you think he's...
He's gonna be trouble for us?"
Even though she seemed suspicious, Emily herself didn't believe the guy was even a threat. Not when they were murderous monsters running around outside and attempting to kill whatever moved. But... still...
Should we trust someone?
“I dunno,” Murph answered in a voice as low as hers, his gaze breaking from Amber and returning to Emily, “not immediate trouble, I don’t think…” He unslung the shotgun and Amber’s purse and set them down next to his newly acquired pack before reaching for a stack of t-shirts.
"I mean, I think we shouldn't just leave him here... But, I just don't trust him."
Murph was stripping off his work shirt, now, and his eyes tracked back to Steve as he dropped the garment onto the Cub’s pack… Something about how clean the guy seems… something in his eyes?... … Chewing over the things that the young woman had just said (things he was thinking himself), he shrugged before pulling a Cub’s t-shirt on and, then, crouching down to stuff another two into the bottom of the backpack.
Emily sighed, shaking her head and pulling away from Murph, coughing into her arm and glancing around warily, looking very much like a scared rabbit. She turned away and ran a hand along one of the shelves, her eyes darkening. "God, this is confusing."
“Yeah, I know,” he said, taking the remaining shells for the SLP from Ambers purse and putting them in one of the packs outer pockets before stuffing the purse and the rest of what it contained into the main compartment, “I’m not sure what to make of him, myself, right now…” He stood up, then, bringing the pack and shotgun along with him… “but, like you said, Em, I wouldn’t feel right about leaving anyone out here alone, I don’t think.”
Murph’s gaze traced along the shelves beyond where Emily was standing and he almost laughed at himself when his heart leapt at the sight of the store’s small dental care section… Thank you… thank you… thank you… My mouth feels like somethin’ died in it!
He touched Emily’s shoulder as he passed by her and reached for a toothbrush and some paste. “Let’s see what kinda read Amber’s able to get from him,” he suggested, tearing the toothbrush from it’s packaging, “and we’ll go from there, I guess… we need to get you into that pharmacy back there, get ourselves squared away, and then get movin’… Whether we take Steve or not…” he squirted a good amount of the Colgate into his mouth then and followed with the toothbrush.
An almost blissful sigh escaped him as he started to scrub his teeth. “That’s better than beer on Friday,” he grinned past foamed lips, still brushing his teeth with enthusiasm, as he moved to stuff a few more items into his pack.
His eyes ticked back to Emily as he stowed a few bottles of water in the pack and opened one to rinse his mouth, now. “So… Doc,” he said, “how long do you think it’ll take for the medicine to make a difference for you?”
Emily shook her head, smiling slightly at the ridiculous dental hygiene. "You do realize you won't be able to do that again in possibly forever?"
“Yeah,” Murph smirked around the toothbrush, realizing that brushing his teeth was probably the last thing he really needed to worry about, “but it feels real good right now… a little normalcy in the madness, right?”
She smirked, then sighed and fiddled with one of the tubes of toothpaste, thinking. "I'll have to take it for a bit... If I follow a high-dosage schedule, in about 7 days. If I can't find meds that strong, two or three weeks. Hopefully."
A week or three, then, he nodded…
This is the part, Sarge, where you tell her that’s not bad and the world’ll be back to normal in that long so maybe it’ll be quicker…
…S*** I don’t even believe that! How’m I gonna tell her… or any of ‘em?
Emily sighed again, ticking off the various types of medication and reminding herself she'd have to take in plenty of fluids and get as much rest as possible. Suddenly, she realized they didn't have a place to stay. She stood still for a few seconds, then glanced at Murph.
"And I'll need to find a 2-story building of some sort so I can get some sleep."
By her logic, a building with stories would be easier to defend and safer than anywhere else she could comprehend. If she could get an apartment, it would be even better, because she'd have as close to a regular 'home' as possible, and be able to sleep on an actual bed and pretend that humanity hadn't crumbled and withered away.
Another nod. “We’ll see what we can do about that,” he promised, not sure that there really was any safe place for any of them to sleep, now, “we need to get what we need here, first, though. No sense in finding a place to hole up when you’re just gonna have to go back out tomorrow…”
“Mind if we check it out,” Murph heard Amber asking Steve, now, “Maybe grab a few other things too? We haven't really been out in over a week...”
“Sounds like that might be your cue, Em,” Murph said around the toothbrush poking from his mouth. The mechanic turned and found Amber before letting his gaze tick towards Steve. Then, hitching the Cub’s pack over one shoulder and cracking a bottle of water to rinse the remainder of the toothpaste from his mouth, he squeezed Emily’s shoulder, said; “Let’s get you back there and see what you can come up with for us, eh, Doc,” and started towards where Amber still stood.
“Uh, yeah, poke around,” Steve said, “but try not to be too loud, while it seems 'They' are less active during the day (at least from my observations) there is no purpose in sending out a dinner call.”
When they reached her, Murph’s eyes flitted between Amber and Steve. He was pondering what the man had just said and wondering, again, about where this Steve Kramer had been spending his days and nights since this whole thing started…
No way he’s still livin’ if he’s just been roamin’ the streets or not barricaded in somewhere… and he is awful clean lookin’ considering what’s been going on…
…so he wasn’t really thinking too awful much about it when he tugged his work shirt from where he had hung it from one strap of the backpack and draped it over Amber’s shoulders. “It’ll be gettin’ colder soon,” he murmured almost absently, his hands caressing her shoulders in the same manner as his mind continued churning over Steve’s words, “Figured this might help until we can find you something better…”
“Besides,” Steve said, bending down to tend to his pack, “I don't own this store, just stocking up for home bas---- uh, I mean, just grabbing supplies.”
Home base, huh? Bingo!
Amber listened to Kramer finish speaking then offered her thanks and a smile. She then slowly turned and offered a smile to Emily who had walked over with Tom. Another stripper trick, acknowledge the 'mark' last.
Makes them wait a moment, which is always good to get their attention and then you can smother them with whatever you've got up your sleeve, or down your blouse, when you finally do turn to them... she faintly heard Roberta 'Vega' tutor her again in the back of her mind.
And so she finally turned her head enough to bring Tom's face into her vision. A sweet genuine smile filled her face and looking up into his eyes as he touched her shoulders almost brought a blush to her cheeks.
Murph’s freshly piqued curiosity about Steve dissolved when Amber turned to look up at him. Something about her smile and the way her eyes sparkled just then (and maybe the fact that his mouth felt better than it had in more than a week after the impromptu toothbrushing) made it very difficult for him to not kiss her… really kiss her. He managed, somehow, but not without blushing a bit, himself, when he realized it.
"Thanks Tom..." she said quietly as she shrugged her arms into the shirt, taking in the masculine odor that went with it.
“Mmhmm,” he nodded, not quite ready to take his eyes off of hers just yet, “no problem…”
"I guess I'm not really appropriately dressed for this huh?”
He shrugged and smiled a bit; “Yeah… well, who knew how the day was gonna go when ya got dressed a week and a half a go, right?”
“I always looked good in blue though.”
Baby, you’d look good in dirt… He nodded, again, and reluctantly let his hands slip from her shoulders as she pulled the shirt over them.
She fingered one of the buttons lazily, "Used to knock them dead in one of these... with a little..."
Quickly her words faded as she remembered Emily (and everyone else) standing around. She flushed a little darker. "Umm... thanks Tom. I guess I should start gathering up some supplies. Kramer is right, it will be dark soon."
One of the mechanic’s brows spiked, then… his smile brightening a little more… and his own color deepening a shade. Again, he managed to bite his tongue, but his imagination ran away with him for a second longer…
Amber turned to Emily then with a slightly awkward smile, "I took a few courses in nursing... so if you want to take the lead doc I'll back you up."
Murph blinked, cleared his throat, tried to will the blush from his cheeks, and, to keep his hands from doing anything they probably shouldn’t have at this point, he took the shotgun in them, once more. “Mac,” he called, forcing his eyes away from Amber and Emily for a moment and sweeping the aisles in search of the bounty hunter, Alaster, and Jake, “The ladies’re headin’ for the back; keep an eye peeled on the front, huh?”
((the above assumes Mac, Alaster, and Jake are still ‘looting’… if not, I’ll edit that last bit out…Also assuming a ‘positive’ reply from Mac, Al, or Jake…))
That’s it, Sarge… set those thoughts to the back and focus…
Murph nodded when Mac answered and then set off behind Emily and Amber, then, trying not to think about the images that the barmaid had sent skipping through his brain and finding it a difficult task. Shoulda thought about that, he chastised, catching himself admiring the way Amber’s legs looked with the tails of his shirt brushing them as she walked, Now you’re gonna have to try and not think about it… One hand let go of the shotgun, retrieved the nearly empty pack of smokes from his back pocket and dumped one of the cigarettes into the corner of his mouth… He paused when the girls strolled past Steve, lit the smoke and returned the pack to his pocket as he watched them slip behind the Pharmacist’s counter, then turned to regard the too-clean, auburn haired man for a moment…
“So, Steve,” he said quietly behind the first drag on the cigarette, his eyes letting go of the man and swinging back to verify the girls’ positions again, “What was that you were sayin’ about a home base?”
Steve froze again, still sitting. 'Do you have any idea how stupid you are?' He thought to himself, 'You just basically gave the people with the guns an invite to your house.'
He tried to lower his voice, to sound mildly gruff but not threatening, "I said nothing about a home base. I may have slipped and meant to say 'Home back in town', but there is no base. There is nothing safe out there."
He hoped he could bluff his way out, 'The less they know' He thought, 'the safer and better things are.'
Murph turned his gaze back to Steve, then, took another drag on the cigarette, and offered a fractional nod at the man’s lie. “My mistake,” he said… there was something about Kramer’s eyes that told Murph this wasn’t the time to push. “Guess I misheard you… blood singin’ in my ears and all…”
"But I will tell you one thing," Steve said standing up and trying to look as serious as he could, "I do not plan on staying in this God-forsaken city long... I don't know if this hit your mind yet, Sir.... but all of these 'things' used to be people... where there are no people, there are no things. That is where I am headed."
“Never was an officer,” Murph grinned a little, his eyes tracking back to Amber and Emily, “you ain’t gotta call me sir… And, yeah… the thought hit my mind… got some things to do before we can make that break, though…” He stopped short of divulging any of those ‘things’ but his eyes locked on Amber and he couldn’t help but wonder about Josh at that moment… Guess I’d better check with her on where her brother’s place is…
With that Steve grabbed his pack and took a sweeping look around, mimicking his eyes with his right hand,
"Almost all food has spoiled, no power and a small group of people that would run through food faster than a high-school football team... "
He then caught a glimpse of the younger of the group, his pupils dilated slightly..
'No, you cannot let other people suffer, it's wrong.' His mind seemed to not be part of him anymore, chastising him 'You gave up wrong when it happened, you are no longer the man that had to do those horrible things... you are Steve Kramer.'
Murph’s eyes let go of Amber again, his ears still keen on Kramer’s words, and returned to observing the other man, again… Despite the oddness in his eyes, the guy made sense…
"Tommy, Mr. Murphy...”
“Murph,” Tom murmured through a plume of smoke, “Mr Murphy was my Dad.”
“…Your group cannot stay here either. I know of a safe place to hold up for a bit, then I am heading out for whatever area had the least people. It's been a long time since I have walked these streets before the whole event hit, and I know for sure that survival isn't likely. If you all want to come I suggest you hurry your friends and we get out of here."
He wanted to run away from his words, to take them back.
There was no reason he should invite them, they would only reduce his survival, slow him down... but whatever bits of him that had survived before his escape had a hold on him.
'What now Mr.Kramer? You just threw it all away'...
Murph nodded at the offer but wondered at the ‘it’s been a long time since I walked these streets’ bit…
That’s a helluva weird thing to say isn’t it? Why not before the event but apparently moving through ‘em with little enough problem afterward?
... “Survival’s a little easier when you’ve got back up, Steve,” Murph offered, “You give us a safe place to hole up for a bit… at least through tonight… and I’ll do my damndest to make sure you live just like the rest of us…” He dropped the cigarette to the floor, crushed it out with th toe of his boot, and then offered a hand to Steve, “Deal?”
You sure about this, Sarge?
No… but he’s people like we’re people, right? Can’t just leave him to fend for himself if we can help it, can we?
Steve looked at the hand and smiled, reaching out to meet it.
"Deal, but on one condition, you do not fight, in an area that had as much population, any noise is a dinner-bell. We run, we run fast and we do not stop. It's the only way I have seen, you are not the first survivors I have seen, just the first that lasted long enough to make contact…”
“Runnin’ works for me,” Murph nodded when the other man spelled out his one condition… he briefly wondered about Emily being able to run full tilt if she had to and a flash of Mac’s walking stick through his recent memory gave him some concern where the bounty-hunter was consider, too… and he firmly shook Steve’s hand to seal that deal.
Whatever it takes, the mechanic told himself, even if you have to stop and play diversion maker… Amber, Emily, Mac and the rest will make it…
“…Oh, and not an officer, so I take it police or military?..”
Murph blinked, releasing Steve’s hand and his hold on those thoughts at the same time. Why’s that important?
“…Either way, no matter, you know what we are looking at…”
“Yeah… I think I do…”
“May I talk to you alone in the back room?”
Steve motioned to the area from where he had appeared earlier, hoping that Murph would follow. He waited a moment and stepped back into the shadows. 'If he knows what is good for him, he'll follow.'
For his part, Murph’s gaze followed Steve into those shadows, first... then after a skeptical second, there, skimmed towards where Amber and Emily were busy perusing the pharmacy shelves… then sought out Mac, Alaster, and Jake before finally returning to the curious, auburn-haired man.
Do you think he's... gonna be trouble for us? Murph heard Emily’s voice ask in his mind… I mean, I think we shouldn't just leave him here... But, I just don't trust him.
Murph glanced at the others again… sucked in a breath and, with both hands on the shotgun once more, followed Steve into the penumbra…
Steve was sitting in a small hallway, before a storage room. The room's door was slightly ajar, he motioned towards the back, "Don't worry, it's clear in there, I came in through a small window. Thank you for trusting me enough to come in."
“Sure,” the mechanic nodded faintly, his eyes skimming the place warily despite the assurances. Trust was a two way street as far as Murph was concerned… If he showed trust to this Kramer guy maybe it’d go a ways to getting Kramer to trust them and the concerns that Emily had voiced would stop having call to echo in his head.
"I need to level with you Mr... I mean Murph.”
Murph’s gaze abandoned the scan of the storeroom and locked onto Kramer’s shadow masked face.
“You have sick and young. They will only slow you down. I am willing to help all of you, but I will not take any responsibility for their safety."
“Not asking you to,” Murph said, “I’ll take care of that… theirs and yours…”
'Nice way to put it Steve,' He thought, kicking himself 'why not call his mother a name while you are at it'
"I don't mean that they are worthless, but only that this is a thing of survival, and they might only ensure that there are even more of those creatures. You never answered if you are military or police. I know they both teach crisis management, and beyond that you know the law of nature. I think that you could get them to safety, but it'd take a lot of stopping overnight in secure spaces, and they'd have to listen to you, without question."
He shrugged his shoulders, muttering "No one deserves to be left behind, no one deserves to die... but if it means losing one weak for the security of the one strong, well... you know."
Murph nodded, again. His hazel eyes still fixed on Kramer as he absorbed the survivalist wisdom imparted by the man. After a moment, his gaze ticked away – peering back out into the front of the store to find the others – before sliding back to Kramer once more.
“I hear what you’re sayin’, Steve,” he said, “and, for the record, I know you’re right. If it was just about survival I… I know what the ‘reasonable and rational’ options would be…”
Kill Jake… Leave Emily behind…Possibly ditch Alaster because if the kid keeps losing his mind we’ll all be dead before we get three more blocks…
“But it’s about more than that for me,” Murph continued. “I made promises to those people out there, Steve. And they followed me out into all of this because of those promises. I can’t worry about my survival when it’s theirs that I owe to them, can I?”
He sighed and his eyes tracked towards the shop front, again. “They’re gettin’ the hang of doin’ what I tell ‘em,” he murmured, trying to convince himself of that but unable to block out the memories of that Molotov going off in his face, the repeated freakouts, and the fiasco at the door of this very place just a short while ago, “They’ll get better.”
Better hope so, Sarge…
His eyes hardened, then, and swung back to Kramer; “Listen; I’m not asking you to take responsibility for anyone’s safety but your own, okay… and if it comes down to it, if one of them screws up, I will personally see to it that whatever happens doesn’t happen to you… But here’s my end of the deal on that… Anything happens to me, you get the rest of them safe before you leave ‘em… Whatever it takes…”
Murph didn’t wait for the man to accept the condition… didn’t want to know whether Kramer would accept… he’d know soon enough when the guy either disappeared or came along.
“How’s the shoppin’ comin’ people,” he called as he clipped back out into the front of the store, “we need to think about wrappin’ this up and gettin’ down the road!”
You just promised that guy you’d die before this bunch did anything to get him killed… you realize that, right?
Yeah… whatever it takes…
His eyes found Jake, then Alaster and Mac, then Amber and Emily before he stopped and began securing his own gear. “Mr Kramer, here, has offered to show us a safe place to hole up for a little while but we’re gonna have to be quick about it.
When we haul outta here, I want Mac shadowing Kramer… Alaster, you and Jake next… Amber and Emily close on their heels… and I’ll cover our a**es. Whatever happens, we keep moving…”
((OOC: And there’s the monster collab from Eöl, Ali, Meri, and Uncle Dog… We’ll end it there with Murph ‘rallying’ everybody and thinking about everything he’s promised… and what it’s gonna cost… maybe…))
Alaster followed Mac down the dark aisles as they sought out what was needed for their survival. In the dimly lit atmosphere the empty pharmacy seemed eerie. The quietness set in on Alaster and he heard the voices.
C'mon get some more of that juice you crave boy. I wont leave you alone until then. Go away I am not going through this again. Alaster had thought as he scanned the aisles for any neccesary items needed for the trip.
Hey they might have wild turkey. I know how you enjoy that stuff. Hell they might even have grey goose somewhere. You know you want to boy. Listen to your father and trust him on this one.
"No" Alaster had spoken. Mac grimaced a bit and tried to look over the shelves at Alaster, “You OK over there, Dude?”
"Umm, no we dont really need toothpaste. Sorry talking to myself there, Although Amber might want some. Not sure how she feels about her dirty teeth do you think i should get some."
"Yeah, you might wanna a least grab a tube or two, a toothbrush each, and while your over there grab some Listerine too, or equivalent.”, Mac said. Then his wit started acting up again, “And don’t worry about talking to yourself, it’s when you answer yourself when you need to start worrying.”
Alaster chuckled quietly to himself and thought, 'Wow I think I am starting to go insane. And I need to stop talking to myself.' Alaster continued to walk quietly when he came upon bottled water. The nice 24 packs of water you see at the stores when you are going camping.
"Should we fill one with water and such and leave the rest for other things?", Alaster called out.
“No, you don’t need to do that, really. I already filled one up with water and sports drinks from the cooler up front. Murph’s got that bag. We don’t want to weigh anyone down more than any of us can handle. By the way, did you ever get yourself a water or sports drink? When the going gets tough out there, I don’t want anyone falling out, due to dehydration”, said Mac.
"Well I started to drink a bottle but I think my bodies still undergoing a hangover. Heh never thought I'd say this but d*** I need to stop drinking."
No you don't boy. The juice helps you think remember?
Alaster lit a cigarette as the apparition of his father annoyed his senses. "Dang, only three left. Hey wheres the next place we can stop for cigs man?"
Mac said, “Well not here obviously. My guess would be at the Treasure Island Food store.”
“Mac,” Murph called, forcing his eyes away from Amber and Emily for a moment and sweeping the aisles in search of the bounty hunter, Alaster, and Jake, “The ladies’re headin’ for the back; keep an eye peeled on the front, huh?”
Heading to the front to meet up with Jake, Mac says, “Kinda got my hands full but I’ll do my best, Murph." Then Mac called out to Jake, who last Mac saw was still at the front of the store. "Jake, Alaster and I got supply detail, could you cover the front door a little more completely while we finish up?” With that he pulls his pistol opens the revolver and hands it to Jake, “five rounds left. Try not to spend them all in one place.”
As Mac leaves to continue the gathering of supplies, he turns back and says with a smile, “Don’t get too used to it. I’m gonna want it back before we leave here.”
As Mac continued down the bandage and ointment aisles, he picked up some A&D antibacterial ointment, with Jake’s neck wound in mind. One of the main things he was having trouble finding though was First Aid Kits.
“Hey Murph, Alaster, should we wait to see if the other stores have First Aid Kits or should I grab another bag and make one here? This place is either fresh out or it never carried them.”, Mac asked.
A masculine voice speaks from another aisle, "I'd say fill up here. We can bulk up on the essentials. Lord knows we wont be needing a million of those small circular band-aids." Alaster tried keeping his mind on the things at hand. His father pestering him could not effect what was going on at the time. He promised to protect her.
Mac wasn’t one to fool around with nit-picky stuff, so into each of the bags he put a bottle of rubbing alcohol, a bottle of peroxide, and one box or package of each kind of band aid, tape, and gauze, making for an immediately effective first aid kit for the bags he presently carried (3 bags).
_____________________________________ Well, Mac, you've learned something today. You can look after others without a gun in your hands. Feels pretty good, doesn't it?
Mac always felt like a big man either risking life and limb in the stunt man circuit, or with a gun under his trench coat.
The trench coat! The way I felt when I was able to provide even just a little bit of comfort for Emily.
All Mac ever wanted was to feel like what he did mattered, that it made a difference. He didn't need to be the best shot in this world gone mad (though it would help some). He just needed to help Murph keep the group alive and well. It seemed that if Mac knew the feeling helping others would bring earlier on in life, he might have been a better person, and not so selfish and self centered. It's no wonder he had been single all of this time. Right then and there, he swore to himself and whatever Greater Powers there may be, that if he and the group got through this alive, that he would begin, today, to turn his loner lifestyle around.
There's no longer any room for lone wolves in this world. If we are to make it, it's gonna have to be together. Are we the baddest Mo-Fos in this valley?
Alaster looked back at Emily as she followed Amber to the back of the Pharmacy. I have to protect her.
And what if you have to run? Let me guess you just leaver her like you did your mother? Well then I drop the gun and pick her up if she needed it. I don't know what the future holds but. Right now I need to protect her. Because of her smile. Because of her eyes. Because of the caring look she gives. We need to have the caring she provides in the new world when this is all over. And because......
No, son. If you say that, it all changes.
"Heh, you are right on one thing dad."
“How’s the shoppin’ comin’ people,” he called as he clipped back out into the front of the store, “we need to think about wrappin’ this up and gettin’ down the road!”
Mac spoke up for both Alaster and himself, “Wrapping it up now, Murph. Come on Alaster, I think we have enough to get us though another couple days.”
Murph's eyes found Jake, then Alaster and Mac, then Amber and Emily before he stopped and began securing his own gear. As he did, he spoke to the group, “Mr Kramer, here, has offered to show us a safe place to hole up for a little while but we’re gonna have to be quick about it. When we haul outta here, I want Mac shadowing Kramer… Alaster, you and Jake next… Amber and Emily close on their heels… and I’ll cover our a**es. Whatever happens, we keep moving…”
When Mac heard this last piece of news, his heart sank a bit. Murph is going to actually trust this guy? Well, so much for weapon hunting at Ace Hardware, or getting a good meal out a can at Treasure Island foods.
Mac walks up to Jake and holds out his hand for his pistol, “Thanks for taking care of it for me, and for the cover.” With that, Mac drops two of the filled backpacks, he holsters his gun, and slings a pack on his back.
“Each one of these packs has some quick snack food, a few waters and sports drinks and a make-shift First aid kit.”
((well I guess enough is enough.))
Posted on 2010-09-06 at 06:22:48.
t_catt11 Fun is Mandatory RDI Staff Karma: 364/54 6846 Posts
October 26, 2014
Ace Hardware - 1:20 PM
As the rest of the survivors went through the motions of gathering medical supplies, Jake fumed. He was angry at himself for allowing that thing to bite him... and angry at the others for letting it. He'd stepped up to protect Mac, and what had it gotten him? Possible death? Becoming one of the howling monsters?
A favorite statement of his father's echoed in Jake's mind. No good deed goes unpunsihed, boy. Jake had never really understood that before, but now, it seemed crystal clear.
Mac, apprently feeling guilty, handed Jake his revolver and asked the young man to keep an eye on the front of the store while the rest of them scavenged. Jake shivered as he accepted the gun... it was freezing in this store! Why did they keep drug stores so cold, anyway? For a brief instant, he considered placing a round into the back of Mac's head; if he was going to die, it was only fair the the bounty hunter die, too.
Nervously, Jake turned away to keep an eye on the front door, then wiped the sweat from his brow. For the love of God, it was hot in here! He couldn't believe how stuffy the store had gotten, since it wasn't even hot outside...
The rest of the party grabbed medical supplies, beverages, and the odd hygene items. Emily found the Augmentin she was looking for, added a little bottled water, and injected herself intravenously with a grimace. At least she wouldn't die of pneumonia.
With everyone ready to move, the survivors re-entered the street and slid down a couple of doors tothe Ace Hardware. Like the Save Rite, the front door was unlocked; a quick sweep indicates that there are no other occupants in the store.
Also much like the Save Rite, this store appears almost untouched, with few signs of serious looting. Interestingly, the cash register has been pryed open - as if paper money will be particularly useful in a time like this.
Jake mumbles something about finding a better weapon, something to keep those #*#$ers farther away from him next time, and strides away from the rest of the group.
Posted on 2010-09-07 at 16:00:30.
Edited on 2010-09-07 at 16:01:38 by t_catt11
Lizzie didn't do it... but if she did this would have been one sweet weapon...
Amber followed Emily (Little Miss Goody Two Shoes) to the back, she tried to make small talk about the girl’s medical training as she went.
“Harvard Medical eh? Must have made your parents proud…” etc…
Mostly just to try and get over the creeping fear of the shadows that leered at her in the pharmacy’s aisles of candy. When they got there and began to stock up she paused before one of the bottles she recognized from her days with Daniel. It looked much like the others around it, however she knew it was something special. Something that before all of this went down would go for a decent price in the right parking lot.
When she had played around with these things she had stuck mainly to the drugs that came in perfect little pill forms, with numbers, letters and lines imprinted on them. Knowing they were designed by scientists and put together in laboratories approved by the FDA made her more comfortable than the mysterious powders put together by some stoned out kid in his parent’s basement.
Making sure Emily was looking the other direction she had reached out and grabbed the bottle, quickly shoving it into her bag.
What would the future doctor have to say about that? What would she have to say about you in general come to think about it? Sure I’ve cleaned up a lot… (if you ignored the bottle you just secreted in your bag) but some people still can’t look past what you were… although does it matter much now anyway? She continued to think along these lines as she passed down the aisle, tipping two or three other bottles that she thought might be nice for personal use as she went.
Up front she could hear the men talking again, discussing their supplies. Hurriedly she took the book bag with her stash and gathered up a few other items she thought would be useful before joining everyone up front.
As she slung the bag over her shoulder she happened to catch a flicker of ‘Murphy’ written on the patch over her heart. Almost guiltily she raised her gaze through her dark lashes and found him standing amongst the others, directing them out of the store.
And more importantly what will he think? Will he want to stick around when he finds out you spent a year taking your clothes off for other men? Will he want to carry you around when you get yourself doped up?
You’re a mess dear.
She took a deep breath, passed Murph a weary smile and then stepped out into the sunlight again. It felt good to be back in the light to be where she could see everything. The feeling would not last long, for soon their little band wound their way into the shadows of the hardware store.
A quick survey of the building brought on one level of disappointment. No pants. The tiny little black skirt would have to continue to suffice for now. However there was a shining hatchet hanging off a peg in one aisle. Gathering it into her hands she went back to the front of the store, waiting for the men to figure out the more complicated weapons.
She sat down on the floor a decent distance from any windows and the darkest of shadows and began to better arrange her pack while she waited, including strapping the crowbar to the back of her bag with a roll of duct tape she had swiped from the checkout counter. Now and then she glanced up to look out the window or down the rows of tools at her companions.
Posted on 2010-09-07 at 17:58:16.
Eol Fefalas Keeper of the Kazari RDI Staff Karma: 461/28 8455 Posts
Second stop: Machetes, Tools, various incindiaries!
There were smatterings of dubious glances when Murph announced that the group would be following Kramer to a safe place to hole up but no outright challenges to the decision. He understood the uncertainty, of course. In a situation like this it was to be expected, both from within the group as well as from Kramer, himself... Hell, the man’s apparently managed just fine on his own since this whole thing got started and, to him, we’re likely little more than a drag on his progress… But, despite whatever reservations he or the others might have had, Murph was glad that the addition of the curious auburn-haired man hadn’t devolved into an all out debate and just as glad that Kramer hadn’t decided to strike out on his own again following their discussion. All things considered, the time they’d spent in the Save Rite had proved to be well spent.
“Okay, people,” he said once everyone had mustered in the front of the store again, “looks like we’re done here…” His gaze flitted from face to face, trying to gauge the mindset and readiness of each…
Mac and Alaster looked ready enough, and had done a decent job of stocking up.
Emily wasn’t looking any better physically but, at least, there was a bit more fire in her eyes than there had been a couple of hours ago and after her quick mix and stick with the augmentin, Murph was hopeful that the physical improvements wouldn’t be too far off.
Amber looked… well, never mind how Amber looked… she seemed like she was ready to go, even if, somewhere in her mind she wasn’t entirely certain that going was going to get them anywhere better. She flashed him a somewhat weary smile that he answered with an encouraging grin of his own when she filed past.
Kramer, given the way the man moved and the way his eyes seemed to be in constant motion, still looked like he’d be liable to run from them in a heartbeat but, mannerisms and wild eyes aside, seemed committed to hanging with them (at least for now).
And then there was Jake… Jake wasn’t looking so good from where Murph was standing… kind of like the kid was trying to fight off the flu or something, maybe… and, was that a flash of anger in the soccer pro’s eyes?
Prob’ly pi**ed about gettin’ jumped… I guess I would be, too… Jesus, don’t let it have anything to do with that bite… that’d just make all of this…
What, Sarge? As crazy as it looks?
…Yeah… somethin’ like that.
With the modest haul of supplies loaded into backpacks and pockets and a new companion in the ranks, the rag-tag troupe left the pharmacy behind and made a quick and quiet skip down the street to the hardware store. Like the Save Rite, the little neighborhood Ace seemed as if it had just ‘stopped’ in the middle of the business day… doors unlocked, place more or less untouched (minus the obviously jimmied register which almost gave Murph a chuckle), no one inside… the more he thought about it, the more it creeped him out almost as much as the ‘broken wide open’ Treasure Island across the street did. So, he tried not to think about it. Instead, once they had gotten inside and secured the place, Murph just made a gesture towards the aisles and racks and said; “You know what you’re lookin’ for. Let’s grab it and go… Daylight, people… We’re burnin’ through it.”
The group dispersed with scarcely a word save for Jake’s somewhat edgy muttering about finding a better weapon before disappearing amongst the rows. For his part, Murph was quick about locating the things he was looking for… a smallish set of socket or box wrenches (there were plenty of vehicles that, at some point, might serve to make for quicker and more defensible modes of transportation as long as he had the tools to manage a fix here and there), a machete (always best to have a backup to the shotgun in case things got close), an acetylene or propane “plumber’s torch” and a couple of backup cylinders of fuel, a roll of duct tape, and a fifty foot length of braided nylon rope.. he had hoped that, like some stores of it’s type, the place would have at least a small stock of Carhart coveralls or jackets or some such to help fend off the cold of the autumn (and possibly winter) nights, but, wasn’t surprised to find that such items weren’t stocked in a store of this size.
Having found most of the items he was looking for, Murph made his way back to the front of the store and, hunkering down next to Amber, set about stowing his new acquisitions away or lashing them into readily accessible locations on his pack. “How ya doin’, Amber,” he asked, his eyes lifting to skim the aisles in search of the others as he zipped the Cubs pack closed… He hadn’t failed to notice that she had grabbed a hatchet for herself and he smiled at the thought that, despite her earlier-professed reluctance to kill, that the petite woman had given some thought to the fact that she might have to do just that and had selected an implement that might help her when and if it came time… After a quick sweep, his gaze skittered over to where the dark-haired, dark-eyed beauty huddled with her pack and the faint smile that played on his lips widened a bit as he saw her wrapped in his shirt… “Gettin’ closer, baby,” he murmured softly as he tugged on the sheathe of the machete he’d just lashed to the pack and ensuring it would hold without a problem, “We’ll get us a few more supplies, get hunkered down in this place that Steve’s talkin’ about, and then we’ll go get Josh. You just hang with me…”
He flicked her a wink, then, but, otherwise, didn’t wait for her to reply. Instead, he let his gaze tick into the depths of the store in search of the others again. “C’mon, folks,” he urged, “if we’re hopin’ to do any grocery shoppin’ before we find us a hotel, we need to wrap this up!”
((OOC: Just a bit more to keep moving… If there’s any dispute about the grocery idea or anything else, just holler… ))
Posted on 2010-09-08 at 01:52:39.
Edited on 2010-09-08 at 01:58:35 by Eol Fefalas
Murph hunkered down beside her on the floor, and sometimes she was amazed how well his proximity seemed to soothe her, “How ya doin’, Amber?”
"I'm still here..." she said quietly.
Haven't slit my wrists or drowned in the candy I picked up...
“Gettin’ closer, baby,” he murmured softly as he tugged on the sheathe of the machete he’d just lashed to the pack and ensuring it would hold without a problem, “We’ll get us a few more supplies, get hunkered down in this place that Steve’s talkin’ about, and then we’ll go get Josh. You just hang with me…” He flicked her a wink, then, but, otherwise, didn’t wait for her to reply.
She was glad he had not spared her another look, but had instead looked back into the shadowed bowels of the store, because suddenly she waivered again.
Getting close to what exactly?
We aren't getting anywhere Tom. And every moment I spend sitting here taping things to my bag I could be out looking for Josh.
And what if it's too late?
What if I waited too long?
What if he ends up like that kid in that movie about the pets? Cute little kid... running up and down the halls with that syringe... just wanting to play. And he did, with a nice lethal injection into his mother.
Or that other one... up in Alaska... that little girl hiding in the shadows just waiting for a meal.
No more playing patty-cake for those children.
Or worse yet... what if he was just gone? Laying out in the yard like those bodies were laying in the car wreck... rotting slowly in the elements?
Or if the shadows simply ate him... ate him like they would eat the rest of them one by one...
The world began to spin around her, and even though her stomach was empty she felt she might vomit. Shadows that dipped between the aisles stretched out blood encrusted tentacles toward her like some Lovecraft novel come to life.
Her fingers reached out toward her bag, knowing almost instinctively that the means to stop all of this for awhile, or permamently if she choose, were buried inside of it. But before they dissapeared into the bag a shred of sanity came flittering back. Roughly she grabbed the zipper pull to the bag and yanked it closed.
Still needing something to do they then reached for the tails of Tom's blue work shirt and tied them into a knot at her belly, pulling the shirt closer to her and further wrapping herself up in him and his scent.
Hold on to that Amber... and know that Phillip will do everything he can to protect Joshua... that you'll go find him safe and sound as soon as it is reasonable to.
As she stood up though, slinging the bag over her shoulder and letting the hatchet hang at her side she could still hear that little boy's voice in her head from the movie, 'Want to play?'
“C’mon, folks,” Tom urged, “if we’re hopin’ to do any grocery shoppin’ before we find us a hotel, we need to wrap this up!”
Emily followed Jake with her eyes and sighed, the hairs on her arms and neck standing up. He'd distanced himself even more than usual lately, and with the latest developments, Emily had a nagging in the back of her skull that pushed foreword each time he acted strangely.
He's turning into one of those things. Don't be stupid! You don't even know for sure if what... they have is infectious. For all you know, he could just be worried and in pain and trying to pull a toguh guy act... Then why am I not convinced?
After deliberating for several moments in a silent conversation with herself, Emily turned her back to the direction Jake had gone and looked around the store. She stopped and stared at the broken-into cash register for a few moments more than neccesary, pondering with 'genius' would need money when the world was ending. She shook her head and continued, looking at the shelves dis-interestedly.
I wonder if a nail gun would be useful against them?
Before she even went searching, Emily dismissed that idea, figuring she didn't want to lug around boxes of nails anyways. She paused and leaned her forehead against the cold metal of a nearby shelf/stand, closing her eyes and thinking about the options for a possible new weapon she had here.
In seconds, she'd made up her mind, and set off with a quest. Emily approached Muprh hurriedly, ignoring the others, and stopped in front of him, hands on hips.
Murph just made a gesture towards the aisles and racks and said; “You know what you’re lookin’ for. Let’s grab it and go… Daylight, people… We’re burnin’ through it.”
And with that said, Mac set off to make his ideas become reality. First he headed down the aisle with the flash lights and grabbed six LED flash lights knowing they don't suck batteries dry. Batteries! Almost forgot. Mac checks the battery compartment to see what kind of batteries it takes (AA) and grabbed six 10 packs of AA batteries. Looked in the same area for Laser pointers but could find none. So he checked up by the check out counter and found three. There were six in the party now and he wanted six. He went in search for 3 laser levels, a laser's a laser, after all.
While at the counter he noticed some nifty Leatherman pocket knife tools, "This should come in handy at some time", Mac said to himself and grabbed one of those as well.
Next item on his list was black electrical tape. While looking for this he passed the area where Murph had once been and noticed the machetes. He held in front of him the aluminum walking stick. " This won't work as a weapon. Let go 'Jason Vorhies' with this", with that he grabbed himself a blade. He finally found the electrical tape. He grabbed 4 rolls of it.
On the way back up front he passed Alaster, "sup man? Finding everything you need, besides smokes?" he said with a smirk and kept walking, and almost ran into Jake.
"Oops, sorry man. Hey, gloomy face, got a problem?" ,Mac asked Jake, but before any conversation could start Murph spoke up his voice carrying throughout the store,“C’mon, folks,” he urged, “if we’re hopin’ to do any grocery shoppin’ before we find us a hotel, we need to wrap this up!”
Mac smiled though the other man wouldn't, "Well that's our cue." Mac headed up front to wait for the others. As he waited he loaded batteries into each LED flash light and handed Murph some tape and a flash light. "you might want to tape this on your gun, it'll leave your hands free to handle the gun." Mac passed out the flash lights keeping one for himself then after testing the Lasers, keeping one of the 3 pointers for himself, he handed out the other two and then the 3 laser levels feeling the need to explain, "these are primarily for a time, that God forbid, we have to split up for any reason,for signaling or pointing out objectives without being too obvious with the flashlights."
Before heading out, Mac stashed his Light, Laser pointer, and extra tape in a side pack pocket. He then walked up to Mac and asked if he could "cut a rope "belt" from the nylon rope" Murph had.
((assuming positive response....))
Mac cuts a roughly 35 inch piece and runs it through the loops of his pants. He then threads the rope through the sheath belt loops on the sheaths for the leather man and his machete.
"Well, Im ready when you are Murph" , and then whispered in ear of the man, "Keep an eye on Jake, he's got death in his eyes. I've seen that look before."
Posted on 2010-09-09 at 02:07:51.
Edited on 2010-09-09 at 04:06:31 by Tiamat5774
Alaster walked along the aisles trying to find some easily combustable liquid of some sort.
"Ah there we go." Alaster picked up the lamp oil he had found. "This should do nicely. Now to find the dowels."
"Hey man you finding everything you need?" Alaster heard from in front of him as Mac pulled by holding flashlights and laser pointers in his hands. "Besides smokes that is." Mac gave him a joking wink at that.
"Haha. I tell you what if i dont get more nicotine in my system soon I'm going to end up blowing crap up."
"Well then you may want to get away from the aisle with all the s*** that can easily be caught on fire now shouldn't you." Mac had said before almost running into Jake.
"Oh yeah the police will have a hayday with me. But hey most of them are zombified freaks now aren't they." Alaster had said before Mac walked off to the front of the store.
Alaster walked the aisles a little sluggish from the little hours of sleep and the full day of walking he had done.
Tired son? Maybe you should go to sleep they don't really need you anyways.
Yeah I'm a drunkard but Murph seems to like me well enough.
Alaster had begun to get used to the slight annoyances he heard in his mind and end up joking with them.
"Heh. Might be going insane a little bit." Alaster said to himself.
"Ah the dowels there we go."
Alaster walked up to the front and grabbed out his hammer.
"Alright i need some either really small nails or really big nails for this to work. Maybe I can make it into a weapon if I used big ones."
Alaster pulled out his hammer and some gigantor nails.
"Hmm... I guess I'll go with small. Not sure how many times i could whack on of them with this anyways."
"C'mon guys we need to get goin if we're gonna go shopping!" Alaster heard Murph call out.
"I need about five more minutes and some duct tape if you got it!" Alaster called out. Then set to work taking an extra shirt he had grabbed and wrapping it around the dowel then taking the small nails and hammering them in one either side and each one down a little from another to ensure it staying there... He did the same with the other dowel.
Alright. Now i need to get some duct tape."
((Alaster is going to make some sorta cool holder on the back of the backpack. Lord knows you can make anything with duct tape. If that is fine with you of course if not edit next part out and just change it to me strapping them to the backpack with duct tape))
Alaster found the duct tape an aisle over and fashioned a makeshift holder out of them on the back of his backpack then put the rest inside it incase he needed it.
Alaster dropped the bat on the ground. "Jeez I hate this thing so much. I wish i had something a little lighter that i cud strap onto my belt. Hmm maybe they have a machete somewhere around here." Alaster took off to look for one before deciding that there was something a little more sentimental about beating a zombies brains in with a bat and walked back to the front.
"Hey I'm ready to go." He told Murph then sat down against the counter. "You don't suppose that the next place we stop could ACTUALLY have cigs do you?"
Alaster followed with his eyes Emily walk up to Murph. "I want a gun." She had told him with quite some authority.
"Heh. I'd give you mine but I'm not ready to feel safe without it." Alaster called across the distance and in a slightly playful tone. Ever since their small encounter Alaster had been in a better mood. Not insane, not angry, but content with what was going on. Like he had finally accepted the path he was forced down and now finding that small glimmer of hope in the sea of darkness. Her.