|Season 1, Episode 2|
|Completion Date||1st September 2017|
|Word Count||11,266 Words|
|Reading Time||40 Minutes 58 Seconds|
"Ragtag Group" is the second episode of season one and the second episode of The Dead World overall. It was released on 1st September 2017.
Humanity has fallen. The world as it was known is gone and now the remnants of Humanity face the aftermath of the chaotic World War Three and the virus it brought. A few months after the beginning of the Apocalypse, William struggled to deal with the loss of his wife until he eventually couldn't continue on anymore and went to collecting supplies in order to build a safe-house for any survivors who found it but just as he is about to take his own life, he has to come to the rescue of another survivor, Natasha, who has been in a similar situation to him with being lonely and after the two of them get to know each other a bit more, they pair up in order to head to Charleston in hopes of finding survivors amongst the ruins of the overrun military safe-zone there.
|“||"So, quite the ragtag lot we are, huh?"||”|
Having arrived at Charleston, William and Natasha make their way into the overrun safe-zone but the two of them aren't the only ones who have arrived to the city. Bella and her brother have also found their way to the former safe-zone in their search for supplies but soon find themselves instead forced to band with a group of survivors when they all become forced together, as if it was destiny, with undead monsters all around them.
Episode 2 - "Ragtag Group"Edit
A lone monster was walking across a road as the sun hit down on it hard.
It didn’t really have a goal or any intentions. It was just shambling along to the other side of the road, paying no attention to the wrecked vehicles or rotted bodies. It was just alone.
However, it’s attention was soon caught when the sound of a rather loud vehicle, a motorcycle, could be heard from down the road which caused the monster to hungrily growl at the thought of some fresh food.
Of course, the monster didn’t stand a chance.
“Haha! Should’ve looked both ways before crossing the road motherfucker!” called out the driver as he swung the blood off of his bat and looked back at the now dead monster sprawled out on the road where they had came.
“Tyral, look out!” the woman riding behind him demanded as she pointed in front of them, Tyral turning around in order to swerve the motorcycle to the side and not hit the vehicle in their way just in time before he tilted his head to wink at her.
“Relax Bella, I know how to drive!”
“Not sure about that but I do know you know how to act like a bloody idiot!”
“Your words wound me sis” Tyral teased with a smirk, taking one of hand away from the handlebars in order to clutch at his chest which earned a glare from Bella before she turned her attention back to their surroundings, watching them like a hawk to make sure nothing got the jump on them, Tyral deciding to fill the silence “you know, I think we missed the warehouse a little while ago. I was drunk when I saw it.”
Bella turned around to give him a murdering look but once she saw his own facial expression, she could tell he had only been joking and sighed as she looked back out at their surroundings “you’re always drunk. Can you even think responsibly for just a day? Also, I told you not to call me Bella.”
“It's your name, ain’t it? What am I supposed to call you, Bells?”
“Why not just sis?”
“I mean I could. What about if we meet up with others and get in a little group though? They’ll need something to call you.”
“We won’t be joining up with any groups.”
“Why? ‘Cause you don’t like being called Bella?”
“Yeah, ‘cause I don’t like being called Bella” she answered him sarcastically before she noticed the warehouse they must be looking for and pointed in it’s direction “just get us parked in front of there will you, we’ll want to check it out quick and get home before dark.”
Tyral gave her an understanding nod along with a mock salute before he sped the motorcycle up a bit in order to get them to the warehouse rather quickly before he parked their vehicle just in front of it with both siblings getting off of it now they had reached their destination.
“I am serious though” Tyral started as the pair of them made sure they were both armed and ready as they made their way towards the warehouse, noting that its door was open enough for anything to get through “what if we do meet another group? You really think we’re both going to survive whatever this is alone?”
“You’re never serious Ty and we’re not alone. We have each other.”
“You’re dodging the question” Tyral said bluntly and when he noticed that Bella was trying not to continue this discussion any further, he took hold of her arm and made her face him, ignoring the glare he received as he continued “we’re going to need a group at some point Bells, with all the shit going on, we can’t say for certain that I will be-”
“Enough” Bella told him as she yanked her arm out of his grip “we’re not continuing this discussion any longer. We’re doing fine on our own and we are going to continue doing fine on our own, understood?”
At first Tyral looked like he was going to argue further but he soon closed his mouth and just nodded as he watched Bella push open the warehouse door just a bit more and make her way inside, her machete tight in her grip as she looked around carefully to judge whether anything was inside.
Tyral didn’t follow her straight away, instead he watched her disappear inside before he reached into his pocket and grabbed his pills, opening it up in order to take one before he looked inside the container and sighed. There was only a few left and he was going to need to find some soon.
“Are you coming?” Bella called out back at him which brought him back to the present as he stuffed the pills back in his pocket and then started making his own way inside the warehouse, now noticing how the warehouse appeared to be fully stacked which made Tyral grin just like his sister was as they both looked around.
“Looks like we hit the jackpot” Tyral commented with both of the Walker siblings chuckling until a sudden shriek caught both of their attention and, with surprise, the two siblings watched as two teenagers came falling out of a locker with the female one of the two frantically patting herself down and ranting on about a spider.
Bella and Tyral just stood there, waiting until the teenagers finally calmed down from their incident and realized that they had been caught, the two of them sharing nervous looks before turning back to the siblings with pleading eyes, the male one of the two being the first to speak to them “please, please don’t harm us. We see that you want what's here and we can just go, alright? We have no problems with just leaving, we just don’t want to die!”
“Yeah, yeah! Please just let us live, we’ve done nothing wrong and we don’t want any trouble, we’re just trying to survive, like you two are!” the female one begged as well, Bella sharing a look with her brother as the two of them were thinking the same thing. These two kids weren’t going to last a day if they were kicked out of the warehouse.
“So, what was that about not being in a group?” Tyral eventually asked her with a grin, earning a roll of the eyes from Bella while the two teenagers stopped begging and looked at them with complete confusion.
Natasha couldn’t believe she was here again.
Sure they had the entire walk across the bridge for her to realize where they was going but it didn’t properly set in until she had come to stand in front of the signs the military put up for the civilians that were aiming to pass through the checkpoint and into the safe-zone. She wasn’t sure how long she had been standing there but apparently it had been a few minutes until William caught her attention.
“I never thought signs were so interesting myself” he teased, Natasha giving him a light smile at his attempt to lighten the mood before he bumped her shoulder lightly with his own and gestured for her to follow him as he started heading through the checkpoint, both of them quickly noting how it had been left a mess as Natasha followed him through.
“Too many people died here” Natasha said out loud before even realizing it but William didn’t give her much of a response anyway, simply nodding before he reached down into his pocket and took out a knife, reaching back to hand it to her as she looked at him confused “what is this for?”
“Consider it a gift. It’s not a wise decision to shoot a gun in a city that could be full of those monsters so you’d best use that. At least, until we get you something better” he told her as she gave him as slight nod and left the knife at her belt, beside her revolver, while William continued speaking “It’ll be best if we keep to the outer city for now, know what we’re dealing with before we head deeper in.”
“You got it boss. Although, if you plan for us to search the entire city, we’re going to be here a while.”
“Got somewhere else to be?”
“I mean, that cabin was a pretty nice place.”
“You mean the bed?”
Natasha flushed at that comment but before William could tease her anymore, gunshots from, what sounded like, multiple rifles could be heard from deeper in the city and as soon as he heard it, William picked up his speed and started running towards where the sound was coming from as Natasha chased after him and called out “I thought we weren’t going to go far into the city?!”
“I never did follow the rules!” William yelled back as he got ready for combat as the two of them ran as fast as they could to follow the sounds but they eventually had to come to a stop when they came around a corner and were faced with a huge herd of monsters just as the monsters themselves were heading in their direction anyway.
“I think we should’ve followed your rule” Natasha said rather breathlessly as she stared at all the monsters that were now in front of them but William didn’t share her nervousness and instead just grinned at her before he grabbed her hand and pulled away, quickly moving to get to safety as the monster herd turned their attention on the fresh meat and gave chase.
“Now, where would the fun in that be?”
Bella made sure to be careful with each corner that her group came around, making the two teenagers wait as her and Tyral both peeked around to check before they then moved forward.
“We should’ve just stayed at the warehouse” Tyral muttered as he and his sister took the lead, the two teenagers following closely from behind as they were clearly relying on the siblings to protect them.
“You know that a warehouse wouldn’t be a good position to hold out for the night. Tomorrow, we can look for a truck and then get out of the city” Bella muttered in her response, rolling her eyes as she heard her brother mutter about his motorcycle better not be stolen while she paid her attention to a monster that had appeared from the corner in front of them, the woman easily bringing her machete up and digging it straight into the monster’s forehead, killing it instantly.
Behind her, having watched the kill with nervousness, the female teenager bit her lip a bit before she looked back up to Bella and Tyral “I-I really appreciate you helping us out. We’d only arrived here the other day, we’ve been completely lost until you came along.”
“I wouldn’t thank us yet, Faith. We don’t even know if there will be safety for us in this city” Bella told her before sighing as she turned her attention towards the other teenager “what about you Aiden, how are you feeling?”
“I-I just want to be safe.”
“Heh, you’re never going to truly be safe in a world like this kid. You better get used to it” Tyral told him, earning a light glare from Bella before two more of the monsters appeared from alleyways in front of them, the two siblings giving a silent nod of agreement before they ran forward ahead of the two teenagers in order to dispatch of the monsters.
Once the threats were gone, the two teenagers moved to keep up with their new protectors but before any one of them could say a thing, gunshots started ringing throughout the city which caught their attention, Faith being the first on to question it as she muttered “was that gunfire?”
“Yeah and whoever decided to be a dumbass and fire like that in a city like this is going to get themselves killed” Bella stated bluntly before she gestured for the three others to follow her as she said “come on, it sounds too close and we’ll want to leave the area before it draws in…”
“Unwanted attention…” Aiden finished for her and when the rest of them looked to him, they saw exactly why he had said it. A rather large amount of monsters were starting to come their way and it was clear that some of them had already caught on to the fact there was fresh meat right in front of them.
“Shit, move now!” Tyral commanded as he and Bella started running the opposite way, the two teenagers taking a moment to get over their shock first before they started following the two siblings as best as they could in order to get away from the chasing monsters but once the two siblings had passed an alleyway entrance, several more monsters appeared around the corner, splitting the foursome up into pairs again.
“Find another way, go!” Bella yelled at the two teenagers, watching them share a doubtful and terrified look before they disappeared down another alley, Bella watching them go with a worried look before Tyral grabbed her arm and started pulling her along to get away from the scene, they had no time to worry about the teenagers.
Aiden and Faith themselves had no idea on where to go, they just kept running with Aiden taking the lead as he desperately looked for ways to escape from the growing horde but with each alleyway the two of them went down, there was less ways to escape.
“A-Aiden? What are we going to do?” Faith nervously asked but he didn’t answer, he just took her arm and led her down different paths, hoping to himself he was choosing the right ways until the two of them finally managed to exit from the alleyway and into a main street.
Although while the street appeared safe at first, and the two of them had a moment to gain their breath back, it was soon filling up rather quickly with monsters as they all came from the alleyways, probably drawn by the gunfire that the two of them could still hear.
“Shit...I fucked up” Aiden admitted, both he and his female companion shaking as they hugged close together and backed away, none of them saying another thing as they watched the street become swarmed as one undead stood above the rest, sniffing at the air until its attention was caught on the two scared teenagers.
Once it had them in its sights, it growled hungrily before charging, the two teenagers screaming as they watched the monster run towards them, their life about to be over. That was until a bolt from a crossbow went flying through the air and dug deep into the monster’s skull, killing it instantly and causing the two teenagers to look around for their savior until they saw a man and a woman, William and Natasha, standing on top of a bus.
“Don’t just stand around, get over here!” William ordered, breaking the two of them out of their trance with Faith immediately running over to the bus in order to get help while Aiden first took a moment to retrieve the bolt that William had used to save them before running over to the bus as well.
“Y-you’re going to rescue us?” Faiith asked nervously once she had gotten to the bus, William and Natasha taking a moment to share a look that questioned whether this teenager was being serious or not before Natasha crouched down to lift Faith up on top of the bus with a supporting smile while William done the same with Aiden once he had too gotten to the bus.
“Thanks for the help man...we were goners otherwise” Aiden said with a nervous chuckle, Faith cuddling up to him from his side as he used his free hand to offer the bolt that he had retrieved back to William “I thought you would want this back.”
William gave an appreciating nod while Natasha smiled to the two teenagers and offered her hand for them to shake “I’m Natasha and that’s William. Who are you two?”
“I’m Faith and he’s Aiden” Faith replied, still feeling shaky against Aiden but able to shake Natasha’s hand which Aiden done as well “thank you for saving us, we’ve had that done a lot today” she said with a soft laugh.
“Yeah, well, we’ll have to do it a third time if we don’t get out of here soon” William said out loud as he looked around them, the other three present now joining him in doing that, and saw the entire herd of monsters closing in on their position and starting to attack the bus which had caused the vehicle to start waving slightly.
“Getting out of here does sound like a good idea” Natasha agreed with a soft smile before she pointed out a ladder that connected the bus to a nearby window so the teenagers would realize its presence “guess we should be fortunate for that, huh?”
The teenagers both nodded in agreement and with that, William led the way for them to climb across the ladder and enter the nearby apartment building through the window, the teenagers taking turns to go in after him while Natasha brought up the rear, William closing the window behind her once she was inside.
The group was safe, for now.
They were not safe. Not even a little bit.
Bella and Tyral just kept running, they could barely tell which way would be the best way to go with the tons of monsters that were surrounding the pair of them but the two siblings weren’t about to give up now. No, they were going to get out of this. Even if they had to fight.
“This ain’t going too well Bells!” Tyral said to her, although despite his concern he was still pretty calm as he swung his bat and smacked one of the undead out of his way, not bothering to waste time to put it down once it was on the ground as the two of them kept moving.
“You got any better ideas?!” Bella demanded as they jogged around another corner but this time they stopped dead in their tracks. In front of them was another huge group of monsters, just like behind them. They were trapped.
“Shit, you think we can fight them all off?”
“Do you really need to ask that?” Bella asked in retort, earning a soft smile from Tyral which made her roll her eyes before she tried to look around and see what other options they had to escape. She could see a ladder near them but they wouldn’t be able to pull it down, it would require someone from the other end to push it down “I guess we’re going to have to try…”
Going back to back, the two siblings raised their weapons as they staired towards the incoming horde. There was no way in hell they were going to make it out of this, they were going to die together today but they would at least go down fighting.
That was until the voice of a stranger’s voice caught their attention.
“You really think that’s going to work?” a stranger from above asked, shaking his head and chuckling “I admire the bravery but that’s suicide. Get yourselves up here instead” he told them before forcefully lowering the ladder down that Bella had spotted, the two siblings quickly moving to climb up with Tyral making his sister go first, using the waiting time he had to tauntingly bat at a few of the monsters before he too climbed up, just in the nick of time before they grabbed his foot and pulled him back down.
“Here I was thinking gentleman only opened doors for ladies, I guess they also lower ladders” Bella said, allowing herself a smile as her and her brother stood beside the stranger while they looked down at the gathered monsters who were hungrily trying to reach up to get them “I’m Bella and this is my brother Tyral. You are?”
“Jeff. I got two others indoors too. Come on, let’s get inside” Jeff told them before he opened a nearby window and ducked in through it, Bella and Tyral sharing a brief hesitation look as they debated whether they should follow or not before deciding that they might as well and took turns in ducking inside of the building.
Once inside, the two siblings could quickly tell they were in what used to be an office. Currently, all of the furniture had been rearranged to make the room defendable and it wasn’t long before Jeff had led the two of them into a room which was occupied by the other two people Jeff had mentioned were. One was a man who was currently sorting through what looked like some medicals while the other was a woman who was holding a shotgun as if she was on guard although it was clear she was uncomfortable in the position.
“Robert, Aleena” Jeff called out to the two of them in order to get their attention before he gestured to the two siblings “this is Bella and Tyral. I saw them just outside, surrounded, so I brought them in.”
Quickly, Robert patted himself down and got up off the floor from checking the medicals in order to walk over to them, offering his hand “It is nice to-” he started but Aleena ended up interrupting him as she remained where she had been standing and watched the pair carefully
“Were you two the ones we were hearing earlier, firing all them guns?” she asked and when both Bella and Tyral shook their heads she turned her head to face away from them and nodded “good. I wouldn’t want someone stupid enough to do that in this city joining our group.”
Normally, Bella would agree but with the amount of people she had been saving and getting saved by today, she was beginning to think her outlook on her and her brother’s survival had been wrong but she decided to not think about that right now and instead looked to the two other men “so what did you three have planned before we got here?”
“Stay put for now” Robert answered with a shrug, having gone back to collect all the medicals, Tyral having been checking them out from a distance this entire time to see what they had, as he offered a smile “we’re not doing too bad right now but if anything draws those monsters to this building, we’ll have to leave somehow. We can’t risk being overrun and overwhelmed.”
“Which is why I asked my question” Aleena muttered from her corner, blowing a bit of her hair out of her face as she had moved to stare out the window which was when she noticed some living moment outside and cursed “fuck. Jeff, we got more living out there. Looks like they are about to be surrounded.”
Everyone else in the group came to the window to have a look, both Bella and Tyral not taking long to recognise too of them while Tyral was the one to speak up “well, I guess we now know where Aiden and Faith got too.”
“You know them?” Jeff asked but as Bella was opening her mouth to explain, her eyes widened when she noticed the adult female in the small group outside raising her revolver. If she fired, they would be screwed but it was too late for her to be warned, the five of them watched as the adult female fired her revolver, alerting all of the monsters in the area to their presence as Robert spoke up.
“We should help them, now.”
Jeff nodded in agreement as he moved away from the window and started gathering up the few belongings that the group must’ve had “get your shit together. We’re leaving” he told them and when he earned a doubtful look from Aleena, he expanded on his command “we’re going to have to leave anyway. That shot will bring those monsters down on us.”
“Whatever” Aleena muttered as she grabbed a handbag before moving to exit from the room, raising her shotgun in order to search the hallways to make sure they were clear while Bella and Tyral shared a look.
This was a wild day so far and it was only getting worse.
“Fuck, of course our luck would be that we tried to take shelter in a building that was overrun with the monsters!” Natasha complained as she, as well as the rest of her companions, ran down the streets of the city, once again being chased by a huge amount of the monsters and this time there wasn’t a bus for them to climb on top of “and yes I realize the entire city is overrun at this point, we shouldn’t have come here!”
“Aww, you're not having fun?!”
“No!” all three of William’s companions yelled at the same time in retort to William’s teasing, the man himself chuckling as he gestured for them to turn around the next corner with him, skilfully taking aim and throwing his knife into the skull of the lone monster in front of them and retrieving it as they ran past the corpse, the two teenagers unable to stop themselves by being excitedly impressed by what they witnessed.
“We just need to get to safety” William told them, receiving doubting looks from them all which turned out to be exactly what was deserved when, yet again, the four of them ran out into the open and came to face another swarm of monsters “fuck, why did everyone have to die and become a nuisance!”
Natasha wanted to roll her eyes at his comment but she was far too worried for their situation and instead stood beside him as she gripped the revolver in her hands tight “what are we going to do Will, we need a plan. We’ve just been running in circles.”
This time, William didn’t have anything cocky to say. Instead he just let out a sigh as he looked around for an escape option and there wasn’t many and most that did exist were quickly made unsafe when the monsters flooded them. Eventually he only saw one possible one and even that was going to be terrible.
“You see that fire escape over there?” William asked, pointing the three of them to the one he meant that was behind a generally large crowd of monsters “we’re going to have to get up to that roof” he told them, earning doubtful looks from all three but he knew there was no option so he reached down to grab his knife, fiddling around with it in his fingers for a moment as he debated the best way for them to do this before he slung his crossbow over his shoulders and readied.
“Will...this is crazy” Natasha told him softly as her hands gripped onto her revolver harder, biting her lip as she looked around at all the monsters in fear, something that their two teenage companions were also doing, but she could also see watch as more monsters flooded into the street from behind them, effectively trapping them in the middle of the herd.
“It’s our only option” was the last thing William told them before he bravely moved forwards to their escape route, raising his knife and bringing it down on the first monster, easily digging it into the monster’s skull before pulling it out and moving forward “just try not to get too much attention. If you look around us, you’ll see not all of the monsters have noticed us.”
Being told this, Natasha did look around and indeed saw that many of the monsters weren’t even paying attention to them as they slowly made their way forward, William taking down any monsters that got too close and could’ve given away their position, maybe this idea wasn’t as crazy as she thought it was.
While a bit in thought, Natasha had lagged behind while the two teenagers had managed to keep up with William but when she regained her sense and moved to catch back up, she realized she was separated, none of the other three had noticed as multiple monsters were now coming towards her, having caught onto her somehow.
She knew she shouldn’t have made any noise but she couldn’t help it, her body had acted on impulse and before she could stop herself, she had raised her revolver and fired at the closest one, putting it down with one shot to the skull but also alerting every other monster within the area.
It was now that William realized that his friend had fallen behind and when he took note of the situation, he couldn’t help but curse. He and the teenagers had been close to the fire escape before that shot went off but rather than just give up entirely, he shoved the crowbar into Aiden’s hands and told both teenagers to get to the roof before running back to help Natasha.
He hoped they would be able to do it. There was only a short distance left between where they were and the escape. They just had to be quick and smart. William on the other hand, had to be deadly and stupid.
He reached to his side in order to grab his knife while he pushed the majority of the monsters out of the way from behind, both hearing and seeing that Natasha was still firing until she eventually couldn’t fire anymore.
“Nat, come on!” William demanded of her, reaching to grab her arm which caused her to freak out for a moment until she had realized who grabbed her, although she didn’t really get to move as William instead just turned back around and dragged her along, able to notice in the distance as both Aiden and Faith managed to climb to safety without notice from the monsters.
Good, William thought to himself. At least the kids would make it.
However, it didn’t look good for the two of them. Soon, William had to let go of her arm so he could get his ready for combat, Natasha shakily grabbing onto the knife he had given her as they went back to back but there would be no way for them to knife their way through this herd.
Natasha wanted to apologize. Apologize for falling behind and getting the two of them into this mess and she also wanted to complain at him for bringing them into a death trap in the first place but she couldn’t do either one. She was too scared to make any sound and, even as she watched as the first monster of the surrounding crowd charged forward, she couldn’t scream.
Fortunately she didn’t even have to. The monster only got a few steps closer before its head was completely blown off, both William and Natasha turning to see as a woman holding a shotgun, Aleena, stood there in the aftermath of having killed it before starting to move to the same escape that they had, shooting away at the monsters that got closest to them while the rest of Aleena’s group appeared, Jeff speaking up with a smirk “looks like you could do with a hand.”
William allowed himself to smirk as well “you did come just in the nick of time but now both of our groups are in the same position.”
“Eh, nothing too it. Just gotta keep moving” Tryal said as he took a moment to enjoy smacking at some of the monsters before he nodded to everyone present “we just need to keep close together and move to that fire escape.”
That was a plan that everyone agreed upon and together they forced their way past the monsters, whether they fired their guns or stabbing their way through they were quickly making process, they just had to stay alert and smart. Make sure to watch each other’s backs as they got closer and closer to the fire escape.
It was risky, way too risky but eventually the group was able to reach the ladder and quickly they took their turns to climb up the ladder while the ones that remained on the ground help back the monsters long enough. It was going to be a close call but with the help of Aiden and Faith who lifted up any weapons or bags for the person climbing up at the time as well as their team work, they would be able to do it.
Naturally, William was prepared to be the last one to climb up but when it was only him and Jeff left down below, he could tell he would have to go next and didn’t waste any time in climbing up as Jeff had to keep his back to the wall in order to keep away from the monsters that wanted to eat him long enough for William to climb up.
It had been way too close. Jeff was able to reach the ladder and start climbing but if it hadn’t been for the one shot Aleena had left and her pinpoint accuracy, he would’ve been dragged back down and to his death. It had been thought and now the group of them were clustered together on the fire escape, looking down as the monsters tried to reach their meal.
“Well...that was fun” Tyral said with a grin, earning a smack from his sister and groans of disagreement from the rest of them.
Finally, the group had been given their moment to rest. They were all sprawled out across the rooftop of the building they had sought safety on and taking it easy. Gaining their breath back and enjoying the moment, however brief, of safety.
Although, it wasn’t all that good. The longer they took a moment to have a break, the longer the realization settled in that they didn’t actually know each other. That they were completely strangers and could’ve been anything, from bandits to murderers.
Sure, they had exchanged names but, that didn’t really help matters.
“So” Tyral finally spoke up, breaking their silence yet again with a grin “quite the ragtag lot we are, huh?”
“Yeah, well…” Robert started as he took his glasses off and wiped them down a bit before placing them back on his face “the question is, what are we going to do about it. We’re kinda stuck here right now.”
“Exactly, we are stuck here so we might as well make the best of it. We’ll just have to wait here together until the monsters down there pass on” Jeff tried to ease the tension but Aleena just rolled her eyes as she toyed with her shotgun before giving them her own opinion.
“We all know the monsters aren’t going to move on. They’re going to stay until something else comes along and that’s not bound to happen.”
“You never know” Faith spoke up quietly “we could get lucky” she tried saying but with a scoff, Aleena shut her down with another rude comment which led to more and more people getting involved into the conversation until they were all arguing on what to do, both William and Natasha keeping out of it, the latter watched as the former randomly started walking to the edge, going over to join him.
“What’s on your mind, Will?”
“The monsters are expecting us on this building” he said to her as he looked down upon the monsters trying to claw their way up the building to no success at all “if I could get across to the building next to us, I could get a way for us all to go across.”
“Oh? How will you do that?” Natasha asked curiously but he didn’t answer with words, instead he simply pulled the bolt out of his crossbow and then reached to his belt to “wait that isn’t a belt” Natasha muttered as she watched William unwrap the rope from around his waist, it having been there as if it was a belt, and started tying it to his bolt.
“No it is not. You should pay more attention” he teased to her before he took aim with the crossbow and fired, the bolt flying across the gap of the two buildings and digging into a sign on the other side before he handed the rope to Natasha and called back to the others, who were still arguing about their situation “hey geniuses, give us a hand will yah?”
That caught their attention and soon enough they all flocked over to the other side of the roof to see what was going on while Bella was the one to speak out for their curiosity “what are you planning?”
“Some of you guys are going to hold the rope on this end, keep it steady as I climb across, then I’ll find a way to get all of you across” William told them as he placed the crossbow down before noticing their doubtful looks and sighing “it should hold and it’s too big of a gap to just jump. Now, I need some of you to gain the attention of those monsters down there so they don't see.”
“Pardon me sir but wouldn’t it be best for someone a bit lighter to go across?” Aiden suggested, Faith taking his hand and holding it for encouragement as he looked around at them all “I used to be excellent with things like this in college.”
William thought about it for a moment before he looked Aiden in the eyes “are you sure?”
“Yes sir” Aiden replied with a light salute, the group doing their best not to eye roll in respect of what he was about to do for them.
After that, everyone silently came to an agreement and got to work. The strongest members of the group prepared to support Aiden’s weight while the less strongest used whatever the loudest equipment they had was in order to get the attention of the monsters, slowly and awkwardly sheeping the monster crowd from one side of the building to the other.
“Well, wish me luck” Aiden said to William, Bella, Jeff and Tyral with a nervous smile before he took a deep breath and began to climb across the rope, grateful the weather was great for this kind of activity as he quickly but carefully made his way across. He could tell that William’s bolt was loosening as he went across. If it had been a heavier person, it would have come loose.
But he wasn’t a heavier person and soon enough, he had reached the other side and taken the bolt out so William could pull back the rope while the rest of the group had some quiet celebrations in order to not disturb the monsters beneath them. Once the grateful moment had passed, the group silently watched as Aiden walked around the rooftop to try and find anything to use to get the others across.
Eventually he came back from a corner, carrying over a ladder towards the gap and setting it down across the gap, sending the group a thumbs up which Faith returned for him as Jeff started issuing orders “alright, one at a time, share the carrying of the bags between us, it doesn’t matter who carries what.”
Faith had volunteered to go first but once she was halfway across, her anxiety was starting to get to her.
“It’s okay Faith, you can do it” Aiden tried to support her but despite the nods he received, they could all tell that she wasn’t confident in herself at all and her hands were starting to shake, people on both ends taking hold of the ladder in order to keep it steady while Natasha decided to sneak up softly.
“What did you do before all this, Faith?”
“I-I was going to college. Trying to study in all different things really which was quite hard when I also worked part time babysitter, you know, to pay for things.”
“Did you enjoy babysitting?” Robert asked, speaking up as well, the group slowly catching on to what they were doing while a smile appeared to Faith’s face as she thought about it.
“I loved it. Every new kid was like a new adventure, They told stories, I told stories. It was nice to just let my hair down and have fun instead of worrying about my studies” Faith ranted on as she made it to the other side of the building where Aiden helped her off of the ladder and she finally came to the realization “wait, I made it? I made it!”
Smiles appeared on everyone’s faces as Faith enveloped Aiden into a tight hug which practically took all of the air out of his lungs but he clearly didn’t mind as he hugged her back. Despite the terrible situation they were all in, it was a nice moment. These random strangers had a joyous moment through all the hell of running around they had gone through today.
It made a nice change.
“We should do a group vote” Robert suggested once they had all crossed the roof with all of their supplies “whether we are going to stay up on the roof for now or go down and check to see if this building is clear…”
“I don’t know about you all” Bella said before anyone could say anything else, grabbing her machete and swinging it a bit “but I ain’t staying on this rooftop for the rest of the day and night, I’m going to clear it out” she said before opening the roof access door and quickly heading down the stairs, her brother quickly chasing after her while the rest of the group shared glances.
“Everyone else stay up here and prepare for the worse. I’ll go keep them out of trouble” William told them, sharing a look and understanding nod with Jeff before he grabbed his crossbow, noticing a nervous look from Natasha but he just offered her a supporting smile before he too disappeared down the stairs.
He knew Natasha was nervous about being left alone with strangers without him, these could be the worst kind of people in existence but he had a feeling they would be fine with them and if he was right on that, they needed to show that they could trust each other which included splitting up from their pairs, unlike how Bella and Tyral had done.
“You worried we’re going to lock you out?” Bella asked as she noted William coming up from behind her with his crossbow aimed, a light smirk on her face as she checked to make sure the next room was clear “no need to. This place is a nightclub by the looks of these rooms. No worth in locking you all out, especially when the supplies are up there.”
“Actually, I came down to watch your back. We’re stuck together, for now.”
“How sweet of you.”
“Just being a good citizen. Where’s your brother?”
“Right here” Tyral announced himself, pushing his way through one of the bathroom doors with a grin on his face “ain’t gone a piss privately like that for a while. This place even has running water still so I could wash my hands” he said, waving said hands around as if trying to prove it.
“Yeah, I’m sure the military devised some system to keep everything running, mostly” William told them as he was the first to come around the next corner, over cautious with his crossbow raised which made Bella roll her eyes as he continued “even if the place got overrun. My bet is, there are a group of soldiers somewhere keeping it running with an intention to take the city back.”
“Listen man, I was just happy to wash my hands, no need to tell me a story” he said, earning a chuckle from William while Bella walked ahead to open the next door, Tyral just strolling through it casually as he gave a playful bow “thank you m’lady” which earned another eye roll from Bella before she stepped into the room last after the two men, the three of them finding themselves looking upon the main room of the nightclub and, unexpectedly, completely clean. As if it was ready for another night of popular business.
“Welcome strangers…” suddenly said a stranger which caused all three of them to immediately turn around and point their weapons towards the source as the stranger himself stepped from the shadows with a grin on his face and a bottle in his hands “to the crystal amethyst! I haven’t got much entertainment for you all, without any staff or unable to play my music considering the guests outside but you are welcome to enjoy our drinks!”
The three of them shared wary looks before William and Tyral went to the sides in order to check whether or not there were any other strangers in the shadows while Bella continued to talk to the stranger, watching him as he sat down on one of the big couches and took a swig from his drink “are you alone here?”
“No. You three are here now. If you mean, do I have a group, then no. I did, mostly made out of my staff and the dancers but over time it broke apart. Some died, others left to find their families and loved ones” the stranger answered, pausing for a moment as he took another swig he before he added an after statement “and probably died too.”
Bella squinted her eyes at him. She had a great bullshit detector and nothing about him was setting off alarms, not really anyway. At the most she was just getting the idea that with how he was acting, it was strange how he had survived so long but some people can get lucky.
“The name’s Josh and…” he trailed off and when the three of them turned around to look where they had came from, they saw why as the rest of their makeshift group had started to arrive, looking around rather impressed at the state the club was still in before looking at Josh as he finished “as I was telling these three. You’re welcome to enjoy what little entertainment we have here.”
“We’d appreciate it. We could do with some rest, spent this entire morning running away from those monsters” Jeff said as the group started putting their bags down on the ground, Josh giving a chuckle at that as he took one more swig from his bottle before standing up from the couch and dangling some keys with his free hand “then I believe celebrations of being alive still are in order!”
That was something they all agreed on as they started spreading out throughout the room in order to get comfy and have some proper rest, Natasha instead making her way over to William who was looking through the window out into the streets, surprising him with a kiss on the cheek and causing him to turn and look at her with a confused look “what was that for?”
“For coming back to save me back there. As well as generally being helpful.”
“I think everyone around here has been helpful at some point in the last hour, are you going to kiss everyone?”
“Nah, I already gave everyone up on the roof a strip dance” she teased with a smirk “those two siblings will just have to go without.”
“They get a strip dance and I get a kiss on the cheek?”
“Well, you weren’t interested before.”
“Still aren’t” he teased in retort, looking out the window one more time before he turned to look at her fully with a smirk “I’m just offended I didn’t get an option.”
“Aww, poor Willy Will.”
“When you’re done flirting” Bella suddenly said from beside them, interrupting their moment as she looked between the two of them with a blank face before pointing to William “I need to take him for a moment.”
Giving the two of them a playful look, Natasha made it clear she would be watching them for anything naughty with a motion before she left to join the rest of the group as they gathered around for drinks, William able to hear Josh checking multiple times that Aiden and Faith were legal and not lying to him before he focused his attention entirely on Bella “what can I do for you?”
“I’m going to keep this short” Bella said as she lowered her voice so the others wouldn’t hear “I can tell you’re about the only person in here that I can discuss our situation with without getting a “oh we gotta just have faith” speech.”
“Our situation?” William asked curiously, matching her low voice with his own.
“If this group is going to stick together, we’re going to have a supply problem. I took quick note of the supplies when we got onto the rooftop and we’d last like two days at the most and I doubt this place will have much more, the guy looks like he hasn’t seen the sun in a while. I know of one place but even that might not last long.”
“What are you saying?”
“I’m just giving you a warning. If we end up needing to cut people lose, we can have some problems.”
“Well lets hope it doesn’t come to that.”
“Hope doesn’t do shit” Bella told him, looking him over curiously before she sighed “I’m telling you this because I can tell you're smart. I’m still not happy with the idea of me and my brother being a group but if we are, I want people who are smart and I can trust.”
William thought about what she was saying for a moment as his eyes trailed to look over to the group as drinks were being poured and jokes were being made until he eventually decided on what to say “we’ll discuss it when it needs to be discussed, now if you’ll excuse me, I’d like a drink.”
“Sure” she told him, watching as he walked around her in order to go join the group before she turned her head to look out the window herself, looking at all the monsters that had gathered around the other building before she let out a sigh.
She wished her and her brother hadn’t come to Charleston in the first place.
It had been a couple of hours since William had finished that discussion with Bella and the group overall, save for Bella herself, were having some fun while trying to be as quiet as possible.
They had moved some of the couches together so they could all sit around together and they’d gone from enjoying the silence as they drank away their worries, telling amazing to terrible jokes for the rest to laugh at but as Bella sat alone and away from the rest of them, she had noted that they still hadn’t discussed one thing and now that was about to change.
“I think…” Josh began to suggest as he drunkenly poured himself some more of his drink before clapping his hands and continuing “it is story time!” he declared as the rest of their group rolled their eyes or chuckled, earning a laugh from Josh himself as he pointed to them all “seriously, we have all been thrown together as strangers today so let’s tell things about each other! I volunteer to go first as you are my guests!”
“Wait…” Natasha drunkenly started “doesn’t that mean we should go first? Like, aren’t the guests supposed to go first?” she asked but he just waved his finger around as if trying to shh her but not being completely sure who had spoken which caused her to giggle before they all settled down to listen to him.
“Well, my name is Josh Lewis and no, I’m not related to that company in England” he joked with a grin that led to everyone around him chuckling before he continued “I was born here and even if it can be a shitty place sometimes, it’s my home and always will be. That’s why I decided to create this bar, give somewhere for people to either relax or go wild. Never really thought it would work out but, hey, here I am.”
After Josh had told his story, the group decided to to clockwise which left Robert to be next.
“Well, my name is Robert Polge. Not quite sure what there is to tell about me really, I’m a dentist. That’s it...really” Robert said but Josh just shook his head and patted the dentist’s back in encouragement which made Robert sigh “I’m serious, that’s it. I’m not the person with much to tell. I became a dentist in order to help people get over their fear I guess and now my knowledge of medicine proves useful...I guess.”
Once the group decided to just let Robert pass as he wasn’t able to decide on what to say, their attention turned to Faith who nervously gulped down her alcohol and waved them along to Aiden who was next in line “Oh, I’ve already told you my story, Aiden can go!”
Aiden gave his friend a light glare before awkwardly coughing with all the attention on him now “I mean, there isn’t much for me to say either. I was going to college like Faith and we spent a lot of our time studying. I wasn’t really going out to do jobs in order to pay for things though, my parents were rich so they handled it all.”
“Oh come on! You had to do something other than studying all the time” Tyral declared which the rest of the group agreed upon and caused Aiden to sigh as he continued, nervously rubbing his hands together as he didn’t want to look bad.
“I was always on my computer. Video games.”
They all let out “ahs” and nods of understanding at that before they moved on, freeing Aiden of his embarrassment as it was now Aleena’s turn to tell her story.
“Heh, alright. I was in the military. My rank was Corporal, never really did like the idea of being of settling down and getting an easy job like the rest of my friends did so I thought to myself, fuck it, let’s go rambo” she said with a drunken laugh which led to everyone else chuckling before she continued “weren’t too bad. Got to see some interesting places, met the cool guys and girls of the military. Didn’t quite dig the haircut I gave myself but meh, I-”
“Were you on duty when it all went down?” William asked before he could stop himself, making things slightly awkward for a moment as he had interrupted the turns but Aleena didn’t mind as she shook her head and leaned back in her seat.
“Nah. I was given leave after an...incident.” Aleena’s voice got lower now as she looked down at her hands “Heh, I was ordered to stay put, not to endanger the mission but a family was in danger and I didn’t stay put” she admitted as her hands started tapping on her bottle “I was supposed to go back on duty when it all went to shit...so what about you, story interrupter?” she asked finally, turning to look at William at her side and interrupting his thoughts.
“Oh, you probably could’ve easily guessed I was in the military too, after interrupting you, sorry about that. I was a Gunnery Sergeant. Although, I did have something back home for myself, a pregnant wife. She was a reporter, a damn good one too” William paused as he debated on where to go with his story as he knew he couldn’t tell them about his problems, it wouldn’t be good for them so instead he just let out a sigh “my wife was getting close to her birth when it was all going down so I was allowed leave.”
“Gunnery Sergeant, huh? Wait a go to make me feel small about myself” Aleena attempted to joke in order to lighten the mood a little, William allowing himself a chuckle at that as he gave his retort.
“Damn straight. You better start falling in line.”
“Good luck with that, Chief” Aleena teased before turning her attention to Natasha who, while everyone else had been genuinely interested in the conversations of the military going on, had drunken herself into a mess and even let out a hiccup when addressed “what about you, girl with the revolver?”
“I…” Natasha begun but she suddenly put down her drink and put her hand over her mouth, quickly mumbling something near unhearable about feeling sick before she got up and rushed out of the room, past Bella who rolled her eyes but allowed herself to smirk, to the toilet stalls.
“I’ll go help her” Faith said with a smile as she also stood up from the group, giving Aiden a pat on the shoulder to stay put before she walked out of the room, leaving the rest of them to lightly chuckle as Tyral continue the conversation.
“And here I was thinking it would’ve been one of the kids who couldn’t handle their drinks first.”
“We haven’t really drunk all that much.”
“We still have all day” Tyral pointed out to Aiden with a grin, taking a swig of his own drink before he leaned back in his chair and grinned “well, guess it's my turn. Although I’m not as flashy as you lot. I was all over the place. Took whatever job would have me. I done drugs and drunk a lot so, you know, it weren’t many places. Completely failed in school too but literally everyone I got schooled with were damn terrible people so, wouldn’t learn much anyway. At least not in school, I learned a lot by myself actually. Things that have kept me alive throughout all this.”
“Yeah, well you're still a mess” Bella couldn’t resist commenting from over in her corner, she had slightly moved to be looking down at a map on her lap, a pencil in her hand as she drew lines through some things while marking down points of interest “and before anyone asks, I was adopted into his family and worked as a mechanic, that’s all there is to my story.”
“She was a damn good mechanic though” Tyral said in order to bring the attention back to him and off of his sister “that’s going to be useful for us all I tell you that” he said, earning nods of agreements from everyone else gathered before he turned his attention to Jeff “which leaves you my man. The last story, until doll in the stalls recovers from her drinking at least.”
"Oh, well, my name is Jeff, just Jeff. Never knew of my family. Nothing much to tell about me either really, I’ve always prefered living just a quiet life, find a family and all that. Luckily, I didn’t find anyone for myself before all this went down. Sure, had a lot of friends but I’d hate to have been in the position of losing someone special...sorry” he added after a moment when he remembered William’s position but the man himself just waved it off and muttered that it was fine.
They all fell into silent then. They had told their stories, now what? Their situation hadn’t changed and they had drunk quite a bit already. It remained like this until finally Josh spoke up to break it with a chuckle as he looked around at them all “jeez, we’re a boring lot, ain’t we? Where’s the criminal with a soft heart or psychopathic survivalist?”
“Hey! We at least have usefulness!” Robert protested over the chuckles “we have soldiers, a hunter, a mechanic, me with my medical experience, Aiden over here even has technology experience.”
“All true” Bella suddenly spoke up again as she finally left her corner and walked over to the group in order to put the put her map down on the table in the middle of them all before continuing “and if you are done? We need to discuss how we’re going to remain being useful.”
“What’s with all the scribbles?” Aleena asked as she squinted her eyes to look down at the map, earning an eye roll from Bella as she explained.
“We heard gunfire earlier. Gunfire that we know was none of us present which means we might have others that are in this city and they sounded like they were damn heavily armed. I marked down places where a group like that, if alive, would likely go so we could avoid. Call me paranoid but that sounded like people I don’t want to be dealing with.”
“You’re right” William told her, earning a smirk from the woman herself, as he placed down his drink and looked over the map, checking all the places she had circled “although, anyone smart enough, is going to be checking out these places too so, if we’re intending to get supplies from this place, we’re going to want to do it soon.”
“Yeah, well, we could’ve done it now if you lot hadn’t got drunk.”
“We’ll just wait a bit longer then, get some rest and see who is available to go out in a couple more hours. Sound like a good plan?” Jeff asked and when they all nodded, he stood and smiled at them “alright then, let’s find some rooms to bunk up in, that clear with you, Josh?” he asked, the drunk club owner just waving them off with a laugh, likely giving them the all clear to do whatever they wanted with him in a complete state of drunkenness.
“I don’t think he’s going to be any use to us later” Aleena whispered jokingly to the rest of them as they walked out of the room, earning chuckles from the group as they left Josh alone to have whatever fun he wished to have.
Closing the door behind him, William walked into the room that he and Natasha had been assigned to, chuckling to himself as his eyes fell upon Natasha herself, sprawled out across the bed while being wary of her head, William being unable to help himself from tease her “you know, a shame you’re so drunk. You would’ve enjoyed these beds a lot more than the one I provided.”
“You know, for someone who doesn’t want to fuck me, you sure as hell flirt with me a lot” she commented to tease in return, William just letting out another chuckle as he went to his own assigned bed and laid down, Natasha taking a moment before she carefully turned on her side in order to look over to him “so, I assume we’re not telling them about your safe-house yet, right?”
“Not yet. They seem to be decent enough people but I don’t want to make them aware of a safe-house just yet. We’re going to have to start working together for supplies soon so I want to see how that goes first. Anyone can have a fun time getting drunk, we need to see if they can still cooperate when we’re handling supplies together and the idea of a safe-house that would be perfect for two to three people living together could make some of them think selfishly.”
“You’re the boss” Natasha muttered as she gave a sleepy salute before her arm fell down, the action causing William to realize she was probably too tired to have even taken in half of the things that he said which made him grin as he laid back onto his bed and stared up to the ceiling.
“Just get yourself some good rest, Nat.”
Outside the door, Tyral made sure their conversation was finished as he closely listened in before he walked away from the door and headed down the hallway to where Bella was leaning against the wall just outside of their own room “what did you hear from Will?”
“Apparently they’ve got a safe-house somewhere that they’re keeping secret because they’re worried people might get selfish and take it. Apparently its enough for two to three people to last a while.”
“Hear anything from the others?”
There was a pause after that, Tyral looking back at all the rooms before he sighed and turned back to look at his sister “why are we doing this Bella? These seem like good people and we need a group, I told you this.”
“I’m being weary. Excuse me for not jumping to trust random strangers” she told him before putting up a hand in order to signal for him to not argue any further “I’m going to go have a cigarette” she told him as she pushed herself off the wall and started heading back towards the roof access “have fun with your friends.”
Watching his sister leave until she disappeared past the door, Tyral let out another sigh as he reached into his pocket and took out his pills, looking into the container to again count how many he had. It was more than when he looked earlier, he had managed to steal some under Robert’s nose, but it still wouldn’t be enough for a while.
Meanwhile, on the other side of Charleston, a mercenary, dressed more like a bandit save for his armor, was walking through a group of similar dressed mercenaries but he paid no attention to any of them as he made his way through, hearing their conversations or playful fighting as he walked past until he eventually came to be standing at the military checkpoint where another mercenary was standing, an axe hanging by his side.
“We still haven’t got any word from the recon team since they went quiet. Are we going in now boss?” the mercenary reported to his superior as he kept a distance from him, although the boss didn’t answer until he had spent at least a minute longer of examining the ruined military checkpoint in front of him.
“No. We’re going back to camp.”
“...But Sir? We still haven’t got the supplies that were requested and the men are itching to spill some blood…”
“I gave you my command, Leon. Follow it.”
With that, Leon turned around and walked away from his superior in order to give the orders while the boss himself just stood there, nothing on his mind before he looked down to his axe, the words “property of Riley Vega” written along the side which caused him to grin before he swung it over his shoulder and started heading back to his mercenary group himself as they started to get ready to leave Charleston.
Significant Events SummaryEdit
- Multiple survivors band together in order to survive the overrun streets of Charleston and end up deciding to stay together as a group after finding shelter in the nightclub, the crystal amethyst.
- A Mercenary group were also in Charleston but their boss decides for them to leave Charleston after one of their recon teams didn't return.
- Numerous Counts Of Monsters
- The "episode representing image" for this episode would be the group together on the rooftops as they are helping Faith get across the ladder.
- This episode is the remixed version of Issue 7 - Issue 9 of the original version.
- After Aiden had crossed to the other roof, the writer was originally intending for Aiden to pretend to die in order to jokingly mess with the rest of the group but he decided that it wouldn't be in Aiden's character to do such a thing despite the temptation.
|Episode 1||Episode 2||Episode 3||Episode 4||Episode 5|
|Episode 6||Episode 7||Episode 8||Episode 9||Episode 10|