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Captain Rehab
Jul 8, 2005



Mike O'Neill

Mike notices Brandon's tone and recognizes some of what he himself is feeling. gently caress, I'm just talking and talking so I don't have to think about it, and I'm gripping this steering wheel so hard it'll probably snap soon.

He tries to focus on what's being said.

"Good idea," he says to Markson, trying to sound a lot more in control of the situation than he feels, "and I think that's the way we should do it. If you guys are cool with it, I think we should hit the road. I'm not going to drive too fast - there could be wrecks and poo poo in the road, but keep your eyes peeled. We don't need any of those fuckers crawling up our asses when we stop."

Christ, I hope I can keep it together if there's more of them...
-----

Driving, TL8, Automobile 10, if it comes up

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GaistHeidegger
May 20, 2001

"Can you see?"


Blackbird Dreams - Sordid Soliloquy(Chapter 1)

June 21st, 1:29 P.M.

Departing from the rest stop, a sense of emptiness and dread gnaws at you. The morning's meal does not sit well in your stomachs, and as the body of 'Jack' lay there baking in the sun, flies have begun to gather, enticed by the scent--it seems that they, at least, have survived the apocalypse well. One could only figure as such.

It's onward, and out onto the road. Depositing the bulk of your gear in the trunk proves a phenomenal boon on your still-weary bodies, and coupled with the greater discovery--that the Taurus has functional air conditioning--makes even such a cramped ride far more comfortable than one might have previously anticipated. Though the next township is not particularly far away now that you're on wheels, going is far from a fast clip, as the road presents a number of fairly frequent obstacles even in a mere seven mile stretch. For the most part, these present themselves in the form of pot-holes, breaks in the pavement, and at one point a pair of fallen trees.

Pine forest continues to border the road for several miles, before the northern side of the road thins out, gradually revealing rolling hills. A year ago, the view would be scenic under any regard--but now, vast dead zones blotch and pockmark the wilderness, countless acres of brown and withered trees. Rounding another bend, you find full view of the township just two more miles ahead. From this distance, already you can see numerous burnt-out buildings and streets cluttered with trash and debris.

Using your range-finder binoculars you are able to get a far clearer assessment of the place from your present vantage point; 'Welcome to Brady Heights' a half-decomposed wooden sign declares in letters almost entirely worn away. There are several points down the 'main' street where cars have piled up and rusted to near nothing. Storefronts are smashed open, looted in days long passed. As you draw your gaze to the municipal city hall building, a dozen nearly skeletal corpses are hung from the rooftop over the hall's large clock-tower--which, according to a placard, was donated in 1957. A few parking lots and side-streets also contain large sinkholes, like the one you had encountered back in the wilderness near the shelter.

At the far end of town to the east, past a number of small neighborhoods, you can see an especially large rusted husk of what must have been a fire engine--parked in such a fashion that it seems to have been used as a roadblock, as it is wedged to block off the street entirely. Most of the suburban homes are in ruins, either burnt to the ground, smashed and torn apart--or in a few cases, have had vehicles driven directly into them. The state affairs left the township in you judge as a mixture of panicked pandemonium and residual anarchy in the aftermath.

Things seem rather destitute and desolate, with no signs of movement or life--until you catch a brief glimpse in passing over the northern edge of 'downtown' Brady Heights--there is a small two-floor brick building, and you can see a man on top under several large table umbrellas, the sort used in deck furniture. At the base of the building are more than a dozen rotting corpses. The man appears to be talking into a CB Radio, and holding a rifle underarm.

A little over five miles driven.

Zenaida
Nov 13, 2004


Evan Douglas

Seeing the man on the rooftop, Evan sets to work trying to pick up his radio signal on his radio. Not wanting to alert the man to their presence if he hasn't already seen them, Evan keeps his finger off the transmit button.

code:
HP 10/10
Will 13
Per 11 
FP 9/10   

15 - Electronics Operation: Comm IQ/Avg

Mr. Horyd
Jul 17, 2001

REDHEADS WILL BE MY DOWNFALL!

Raymond

Though his pair of binoculars don't have nearly the power of the rangefinders, he can still make out the shattered remains of civilization.

When someone points out what seems to be a survivor one a rooftop, he waits his turn to get a look at well. He's actually quite surprised that there's someone alive out here, alive without being in the same state that Jack was back at the garage.

This means that man has access to food and water. And information.

"I w-w-wonder how he'll r-react to other survivors..."

GaistHeidegger
May 20, 2001

"Can you see?"


Evan is able to pick up on the man's radio mid-sentence after scanning carefully through the frequencies.

"--s what is left of 'em. Not much else left here, so wrap up your poo poo and get ready to roll out. I'll let you know if the boogie man comes out."

"Yeah yeah, just don't you loving ditch me. Listen, Dodson's found what looks like a main shaft; sit tight, we should be out in twenty, just need to confirm."

"Roger."

After a few moments, a pillar of gray dusty smoke rises up from behind one of the civic structures near the center of town.

Zenaida
Nov 13, 2004


Evan Douglas

"What do you think guys? Should we call him?" says Evan, holding up the walkie talkie, "He could be dangerous, judging from the rifle and the..." Evan swallows hard, "...bodies."

code:
HP 10/10
Will 13
Per 11 
FP 9/10

Wutasumi
Apr 25, 2006

AG: 8ut I was such a confused kid! I didn't know anything a8out what killing really means.

Markson

It takes every fibre of John's being to NOT do something like yell out or otherwise identify himself when he sees the man sitting on the roof, but like everyone else, figured that it would be a good idea to wait and see if the man was some other kind of rear end in a top hat. Not all evil comes from extremely strange zombie making viruses.

"I'm going to keep watching the guy for any signs that he's somehow noticed us, or any other kind of activity. Any plans of action? I'm drawing a blank."

Upon hearing Evan's request, he states "let's hold off on that for a bit. I don't think he's going anywhere, and we might discover something useful"


ST 9
DX 11
IQ 14
HT 9

HP 8
Will 11
Per 14
FP 8

R. Skills:
Combat Paralysis

Captain Rehab
Jul 8, 2005



Mike O'Neill

"I think you're right," says Mike to Markson, trying to figure out if he's excited or scared at seeing the first face that wasn't crazy or one of his friends in just over a year.

"Let's try to keep out of sight - I don't think they've seen us - and listen in, see what they're up to."

He pauses, obviously thinking.

"We know there's at least three of them, right? The guy on the roof, the guy on the other end of the radio, and Dodson. Probably more. If they turn out not to be assholes, we could call them on the radio and they won't know where we are if they can't see us. Right?"

Wutasumi
Apr 25, 2006

AG: 8ut I was such a confused kid! I didn't know anything a8out what killing really means.

Markson

"True enough," Markson begins while going prone to make himself a more difficult target; "But they won't begin to look for us if they don't know we're here."

Zenaida
Nov 13, 2004


Evan Douglas

"Sounds reasonable to me. What if we walk into town and try to find out where that smoke's coming from? He said something about a shaft on the radio, what do you think that was about? Are there any mines around here? I'll keep an ear on the radio."

prussian advisor
Jan 15, 2007

The day you see a camera come into our courtroom, its going to roll over my dead body.


Brandon

"I don't think it's a good idea to be wandering around town without them knowing we're in there. I figure there's a good chance of being accidentally shot that way. Let's continue to watch them and monitor the radio traffic.

Probably best not to call them on the radio at all, though. If one or two of us goes out to meet them, we could find out their intentions just by listening to how they respond to each other. I doubt they'll be as honest if they know someone's listening in or if there's more than a couple of us."

Wutasumi
Apr 25, 2006

AG: 8ut I was such a confused kid! I didn't know anything a8out what killing really means.

Markson

"Anyone want to go into town and play lone survivor? We could use a different comm channel to converse between ourselves if necessary, one of us could cover with the rifle, and we could get alot of info about thier motivations."

"Though, it would be dangerious as hell." John adds timidly. "We might not want to do it, considering the fact that we don't get second chances in real life."

GaistHeidegger
May 20, 2001

"Can you see?"


Blackbird Dreams - (Chapter 1)

June 21st, 2:12 P.M.

To avoid attracting unwanted attention, the Taurus is stowed off the road and out of plain sight--between the elevation difference and dried brush, the dusty vehicle does a remarkable job of pulling off 'natural camouflage'. With this done, your fatigues allow you to belly down along the side of the road with a clear vantage using your binoculars.

After that, it's the waiting game. While observing the man on the roof, you take in more details; there some kind of footlocker he's keeping the CB radio on, and the man himself looks to be in his mid to late thirties with short-cropped black hair and a five o'clock shadow. He's wearing what looks like police riot gear under further observation. From the building the man is on, he has a clear vantage point down the entire length of the main street--and though some of your view is obscured by buildings in the way, it also looks like he has line of sight across several parking areas behind structures--over towards where the billowing is coming from.


June 21st, 2:28 P.M.
Silence and inactivity are pierced by the distant crackling of sudden sporadic gunfire. The man on the rooftop quickly puts the top back on a canteen then returns to the CB. "Talk to me."

"Dodson was right. We've got some pitons down, but we're going to need the rig, because we are not loving climbing down there for shits. Ted's dead."

"No time. We've got activity coming in from the north, and gently caress if I want to get stuck on another roof."

Wutasumi
Apr 25, 2006

AG: 8ut I was such a confused kid! I didn't know anything a8out what killing really means.

Markson

"Damnit! It looks like it's now or never if we want to talk to these people. They havn't done anything insanely agressive, and I'm going to talk to them and hope I don't get a bullet for my trouble. Who's with me?"

Mr. Horyd
Jul 17, 2001

REDHEADS WILL BE MY DOWNFALL!

Raymond

"I th-th-think most of this guy's hostility w-w-would be based on activity much like...l-l-like that we saw at the garage. It s-s-sounds like they're in n-need of manpower, and f-firepower. I s-say we call them."

Wutasumi
Apr 25, 2006

AG: 8ut I was such a confused kid! I didn't know anything a8out what killing really means.

Markson

"Exactly! For all we know they're U.S. Government forces attempting to get supplies for the one town of hopeful survivors left, and we could bolster thier forces and protect them from the evil supermutant threat coming from the sou...

I need to get some new books. Oh lord I need to get some new books, I'm starting to come up with my own, and it's going to drive me insane, I just know it."

Tindjin
Aug 4, 2006

Do not seek death.
Death will find you.
But seek the road
which makes death a fulfillment.

Jacob

Jacob's mood doesn't get better through the day. Mearly reacting to other people's commands or questions his thoughts are elsewhere. In the car he scrunches up to allow others as much room as possible just staring out the window. He doesn't even really register the talking on the radio until they pull the car over and everyone starts getting out. "How can we be sure these people are alright? That loving thing that hurt Reggie was able to talk some also. Talk to them if you must but everyone stay outa sight until we know more." Jacob leaves the bow in the car taking the .357 with him newly reloaded.

Wutasumi
Apr 25, 2006

AG: 8ut I was such a confused kid! I didn't know anything a8out what killing really means.

Markson

Taking a look through his binoculars before replying, Markson states

"Mostly because I don't see any signs of this guy in particular being infected, and he's obviously getting along with the others pretty well. I dunno, I'll hand these to Brandon, but from what he told me about the victims I don't see any of the signs.

Captain Rehab
Jul 8, 2005



Mike O'Neill

"I say get them on the radio. If they seem OK, Markson and I can walk out and wave, let them know where we are. If they don't shoot at us, I'd say they're fine in my book. We'd better do it quick, though."

Wutasumi
Apr 25, 2006

AG: 8ut I was such a confused kid! I didn't know anything a8out what killing really means.

Markson

"I'm perfectly happy with that plan." Markson begins while starting to stand up again. "Just make sure to radio first so that they know we arn't C-Zombies."

Markson then proceeds to call the survivors in the town over the radio.

"Hello? Hello? Can you hear me? Please respond, over."

Wutasumi fucked around with this message at Jul 10, 2007 around 02:37

GaistHeidegger
May 20, 2001

"Can you see?"


Through the binoculars you see the man on the building look at his CB and then fish out a pair of large binoculars, scanning around the city. There is radio silence for a few moments, before a third voice responds.

"Copy I hear you sir, please identify yourself."

There is a rumble, and a fresh billow of dusty smoke belches out from the building. The man on the building picks up his CB, but you do not hear him.

Wutasumi
Apr 25, 2006

AG: 8ut I was such a confused kid! I didn't know anything a8out what killing really means.

Markson

"Copy that, this is Markson, repeat Markson. I'm not sure what the hell is going on. Over."

Keeping the radio mute from his end, Markson tells everyone who dosn't want to be initially found to hide somewhere before he gives them a position.

Captain Rehab
Jul 8, 2005



Mike O'Neill

Mike moves next to Markson, tense, and hands obviously clear of any weapons, even though the man is some distance away.

Tindjin
Aug 4, 2006

Do not seek death.
Death will find you.
But seek the road
which makes death a fulfillment.

Jacob

"Give me the rifle. I'll keep him sighted incase something goes wrong." Jacob takes the rifle and ducks behind some rubble or trash or whatever he can find and sights up the guy standing on the roof.

GaistHeidegger
May 20, 2001

"Can you see?"


June 21st, 2:38 P.M.

With the position revealed, not long after you see the man on the rooftop turn his binoculars in your direction, before talking into his CB again. A few moments later, the radio crackles once more with the third voice.

"How many are with you, Markson?"

The other voices have cut out of active conversation it seems. You hear another loud rumble from the east side of town; pulling out down the street is a large semi truck cab, with a winch setup not unlike a tow-truck's--though it looks rather large, and like it can manage a lot of torque. Rumbling a deep bass down the street, it pulls in near the plume of smoky vapors, before you're unable to see it due to the building blocking the way again.

Wutasumi
Apr 25, 2006

AG: 8ut I was such a confused kid! I didn't know anything a8out what killing really means.

Markson

Markson mills over this one for a second, not sure if to lie to gain an avantage in the case that these people are complete psychopaths just wanting to make sure they've got everyone in thier sights, or if lying would get caught and thus make them untrustworthy. Markson considers talking to Mike, but decides doing that would look highly suspicious and finally states:

"I've got five people not including myself. How about you guys?"

Markson looks over to Mike,

"Sorry if that's not what you would have done, but I think we needed a fast decision. I've seen it go in every possible way in books, but honesty being the best pol...

I sure hope I didn't just kill us all over reading too much fiction..."

Wutasumi fucked around with this message at Jul 10, 2007 around 03:42

prussian advisor
Jan 15, 2007

The day you see a camera come into our courtroom, its going to roll over my dead body.


Brandon

Brandon's stomach leaps into his throat as Markson casually gives the unknown military types in the township accurate information about their group. He gives him a severe look, but otherwise remains silent, waiting intently for the response on the radio as his mind races.

Captain Rehab
Jul 8, 2005



Mike O'Neill

"No problem, no problem," Mike says quickly, trying to stay calm.

"Everybody, get ready to get back in the car and haul rear end, just in case."

He says to Markson:

"Tell them to identify themselves. Don't ask. Let's hope they're the good guys."

GaistHeidegger
May 20, 2001

"Can you see?"


Jacob watches the man on the roof starting to scan the area around John with his binoculars, clearly searching out the remaining five indicated over the radio. There is another rumble from the vicinity of the smoke pillar, and it blackens considerably before your eyes.

"What's your location, Markson?" the third voice chimes in over the radio. Jacob can still see the man on the rooftop looking in your direction.

"And where you from?"

Tindjin
Aug 4, 2006

Do not seek death.
Death will find you.
But seek the road
which makes death a fulfillment.

Jacob

Jacob sorta yells over to Markson, "Don't let on that we just missed the last year and have no clue what is going on. Just setup a meeting."

Wutasumi
Apr 25, 2006

AG: 8ut I was such a confused kid! I didn't know anything a8out what killing really means.

Markson

"I'm standing in a area about two miles out, umm hold on..."

Markson takes his compass out, holds it and figures out which way north is, then states

"South... south... west? of your location. At least judging from the guy sitting on the roof of Bridget's Books."

Knowing that will probably spook the guy up there a bit, Markson feels a bit more confident about this whole mess. He CAN get a meeting set up, they WILL end up working together, or at least parting favourably with more information or something.

"We should meet in person. Speaking over radio is so impersonal and cold. How about I come over representing my party. You don't even have to move, we'll meet in the store you're currently sunbathing on."

Markson gives a thumbs up to Jacob. Making sure the radio is off, he sorta yells back, "Of course I'm not going to do that. Not until we unanimously trust them."

Then he looks straight ahead, does an arm pump, excidedly wispering "Yes! Bookstore! Score!"

Wutasumi fucked around with this message at Jul 10, 2007 around 04:03

GaistHeidegger
May 20, 2001

"Can you see?"


"Come into town, you'll be a lot safer, Markson. Will meet you there."

The man on the rooftop takes another drink from his canteen, then disappears behind the umbrellas. You briefly catch glimpse of the top edge of the roof's door opening, then closing. Another rumble issues from the smoking building--but a different rumble reverberates off to the west, where the sky has darkened in the distant horizon.

Wutasumi
Apr 25, 2006

AG: 8ut I was such a confused kid! I didn't know anything a8out what killing really means.

Markson

"Well, they're not shooting at us. That means it's not going too badly I guess.

We should come up with an action plan of some sort. The rifle's going to be nearly uesless in building quarters, so someone out here can keep it for now. I'd like it if somebody came in with me, but it's totally understandable if nobody feels up to the call."

Since it's the only other weapon he can use, Markson's going to look for a bit to find something he can use as a staff.


ST 9
DX 11
IQ 14
HT 9

HP 8
Will 11
Per 14
FP 8

prussian advisor
Jan 15, 2007

The day you see a camera come into our courtroom, its going to roll over my dead body.


Brandon

"I'll hold on to it." Brandon takes the proferred rifle, and looks at Markson with some apprehension. "Keep in touch with us." He turns on one of the walkie talkies and sets it to the same frequency as Markson's.

Captain Rehab
Jul 8, 2005



Mike O'Neill

"I'll come in with you," Mike says to Markson after a little thought.

"I'm bringing my shotgun though. You guys have your walkie talkies on and we'll let you know if you have to get the gently caress out of here or if they're OK."

He tosses the car keys to Jacob.

"I guess we'll go in on foot. If they're cool, drive in. If not, just get the gently caress out quickly."

Captain Rehab fucked around with this message at Jul 10, 2007 around 04:26

Tindjin
Aug 4, 2006

Do not seek death.
Death will find you.
But seek the road
which makes death a fulfillment.

Jacob

Jacob grabs the keys. "Just be safe guys. Who knows what these guys might be upto with that big truck and what the hell is going on with all the smoke?" Jacob grabs the staff/broom handle from the car and gives it to Markson. "Looking for this?"

Wutasumi
Apr 25, 2006

AG: 8ut I was such a confused kid! I didn't know anything a8out what killing really means.

Markson

"If poo poo goes down, and we have to run, there's an off chance one of us will make it out alive. In that event, please wait at the gas station for a day or two so we have a chance of not dying in the wasteland."

Markson takes the 'training staff' and gives out a thanks. He might need the drat thing, and just holding it makes him feel better.

"Well, if there's no objections, we should head off as soon as possible. I'll keep you posted."

GaistHeidegger
May 20, 2001

"Can you see?"


June 21st, 3:15 P.M.

The two mile walk the rest of the way into town will take a bit of doing and time, but luckily it's downhill at the very least. You'll pass, for the most part, more potholes and roadside debris, and a lot more dead vegetation. Seeing Brady Heights from a more level standpoint offers far less of a notion of precisely what is where.

Once to the edge of town, main street boasts several pileups of rusted out car frames and a particularly large sink hole. Some three blocks down, to the north, you can make out the building the man had been standing on--'Bridget's Books'. You can barely make out the column of smoke over the buildings to the east of you--it's still a pretty solid distance away from you however.

Brady Heights, up close and personal, is the very image of a placid little community with a population under a thousand sent spiraling out of control. One would be hard pressed to identify an unbroken storefront window along the main street, and you note now periodic sight of skeletal corpses--some trapped by debris, some piled into the back corner of a trashed alleyway, huddled together.

Passing the front steps of the municipal city hall, the building's quaint architecture seems lost with the presence of a broken and scattered barricade behind entryway doors torn from their hinges or shattered hollow. There are scorch marks--and indeed, many of the buildings and vehicles alike look to have been burned out at some point.

Those who remain uphill see little additional change from their vantage point. The man does not return to the roof again, though his CB radio remains on the footlocker there, unattended. Nor has anyone exited the front of Bridget's Books since he went inside.

As Mike and John pass an intersecting street, they get a glimpse down the road to the building the semi had pulled up to earlier. In the middle of the road is a body in a very poor state, a woman whose features are rather similar to 'Jack's at the station--most pointedly, her lack of eyes. A caw is heard, and a crow lands to perch on the corner of the book store's roof, peering down at you with beady eyes.

Clarification: The woman's corpse is on the side street, about a block away, in the direction the semi had been spotted earlier.

GaistHeidegger fucked around with this message at Jul 10, 2007 around 04:44

Wutasumi
Apr 25, 2006

AG: 8ut I was such a confused kid! I didn't know anything a8out what killing really means.

Markson

Markson looks down wearily at the woman lying on the side street, and clutches his staff tighter, hoping it'll make himself calmer and feel better.

Whispering to Mike, he states "Let's just hope that isn't a sign of things to come. Let's go a bit faster. I think we're almost there."

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Captain Rehab
Jul 8, 2005



Mike O'Neill

Mike nods his assent to Markson.

He speaks into the walkie talkie as softly as he can while still being heard, "Guys, nobody's come out to meet us. Let me know if you see anyone moving around."

As he continues walking he makes sure the shotgun is fully loaded.

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