A Requiem For Humanity (IC)

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TheTeddyguy
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Re: A Requiem For Humanity (IC)

Postby TheTeddyguy » Sun Aug 21, 2016 8:06 pm

[Sunday, October 13th, 2030 - 9:13 AM]

“Man, Holder’s having a **** of a time with the wall.” Angelo Padilla, a member of Malorie’s designated regiment said as he and the rest of those in training as new members of the 31st Infantry Regiment watched the first wave of fellow trainees break themselves against the harsh graduation course in the pouring rain.
“You’re surprised?” Malorie asked while she watched on with her arms crossed. While it was no walk in the park, her weeks of training at Camp Black Mountain had gone off without much of a hitch. After getting obsessive cleanliness and scheduling drilled into her head in the first couple weeks, Malorie managed to more or less go with the flow at the military camp. She’d even managed to make a few decent friends during her stay, her position as a somewhat decorated combat veteran helping to ensure her popularity with some of those around her. “The guy’s built like a **** rock, but he psyches himself out anytime he’s under pressure.”
“Come on Holder!” Tim Foster, another member of the 31st encouraged. “Just grip that rope and walk right up that wall like it’s a floor! Ain’t nothin’ but a thing!”

While the 31st and other regiments trained new recruits inside of Camp Black Mountain, The War of Easterner Aggression wore on without them. By all accounts, Houston was all but secured by this point with all but a few stragglers remaining in the now ruined city. As with Lubbock, the Easterners unleashed the Red Strangler en masse as they retreated the bulk of their forces Eastward out of the city. Along with that, they torched the refineries on the southern end of Houston, leaving anything useful the city had to hold as a pile of scorched rubble.
Thanks to the Easterners heavy use of chemical weapons, the use of a gas mask had been shoehorned into nearly every aspect of daily military training in Oregon. While they wouldn’t protect their users entirely, they’d at least give them a solid chance at survival in the event of being caught in one of the clouds. Several factories had even been established purely for the construction of mass producible NBC protective equipment to disperse among the civilian populace in the unlikely event of a Red Strangler bomb being unleashed in Oregonian territory.

Despite the encouragement from his fellow trainees, Holder remained paralyzed at the base of the imposing wall until 9:15 rolled around and another shot was fired prompting Malorie and twenty-nine others to put their gas masks on and begin the course themselves. As they entered the course, Holder was pulled off of it by a Drill Sergeant.
With the masks fitted, they took a small sprint before all diving onto their bellies and beginning an army crawl beneath sets of barbed wire. Even though it wasn’t a competition to see who could finish first, Malorie treated it that way in her mind. One elbow in front of the other in the thick mud, she propelled herself past several other trainees, only slowing her pace once she was at the head of the pack.

Emerging first from the barbed wire, Malorie quickly ran to the next obstacle, a four and a half foot brick wall, and leapt up against it. Without much issue at all, Malorie managed to propel herself to the top of it before clambering over onto the other side. The next obstruction in her way was two rows of tires extending out some fifty feet that she would have to run through, with metal bars of various heights hanging overhead at random spots throughout.
Trying to keep a good pace without tripping or smacking her head on one of the bars, Malorie had to constantly shift from looking down at her feet to back up to what was in front of her and ducking the bars as they neared. This wasn’t helped at all by the presence of the gas mask, which obstructed vision enough to be something of an issue.
After a close call with one of the bars, Malorie emerged from the tires to dive directly into the mud again for another barbed wire course. This time however, the wire was much more tangled and malformed, as if it had sat on an active battlefield for weeks. As a result she couldn’t travel in a straight line, this combined with smoke grenades that were tossed out to disperse red smoke and blank machine gun fire that began to erupt turned the second barbed wire course into a painful and confusing maze.
“This is the side, Julock!” one instructor yelled at Malorie as she approached what she thought was the end of the barbed wire. “Turn your **** around and find the right way out!”
Frustrated, Malorie made a quick grimace along with tilting her head a bit for a brief moment before turning around, a small facial tic that she had developed whenever she wanted to say or do something to someone but knew she couldn’t.

With the time eaten up by taking a wrong route and having to turn around while prone, a chunk of the other trainees caught up with her which only complicated this section of the course further. After a few dozen more seconds of traversing the course, Malorie spotted the way forward but was obstructed by one trainee in front of her that had gotten his sleeve tangled in some barbed wire. Unwilling to wait another moment, Malorie crawled forward and directly over his back.
Being elevated on his back for a moment resulted in the wire puncturing her skin in several places and ripping the back of her training uniform a little, but she was entirely undeterred by the superficial damage and continued forward with renewed vigor as she reached the end of the wire.
The next obstacle in line was two several stories tall structures made of connected steel bars some thirty feet apart with a rope at the top that connected the two structures. Rapidly scaling the metal bars, Malorie took a moment to gather her breath under the mask before gripping the rope and allowing herself to hang upside down from it as she began shimmying across inch by inch.
Covered in mud and with the rope soaked from several days of rain, Malorie very nearly lost her grip a couple of times before she made it to the other end where the rope suddenly turned downwards. Once she had about five feet of ground beneath her, Malorie dropped the rest of the way and landed on her feet. Turning and seeing the others were just beginning the obstacle, she took a second to catch her breath, beating as much grime off of her hands before rushing onward.
Up next in her path, Malorie had a net to climb up to the base of the next obstacle which consisted of a single foot wide brick wall that stretched for fifty feet to the other end. Here Malorie slowed considerably, the harsh conditions and thin footing provided by the wall ensuring that a mistake would make for a time consuming and painful setback if she fell into the gravel below. With her arms extended out to either side to help with balance, Malorie tentatively made her way across step by step. As she neared the end her right boot lost traction on the wet brick and caused her to almost fall entirely off of the wall. However she narrowly managed to hook both of her arms over the top of it to break her fall, hurting them a fair bit as they suddenly took on the weight of her entire body.

“Son of a **** ****!” Malorie swore to herself, trying to dig the tips of her boots into one of the tiny gaps between each brick to help herself get back up. She could hear a Drill Sergeant yelling at her to just drop down and go back to the start of the wall again, but she ignored him entirely and kept struggling against the wet bricks until she finally got the bit of footing she needed.
With her left boot finding a bit of grip, she used it for a small leap that was just enough for her to hook her right leg over the wall. Straddling it for a moment she gathered her breath a bit before shakily standing up as more recruits made their way onto the wall as well. Eight steps later she was at the end of the wall, allowing her to step onto a small wooden deck before grabbing a metal pole secured to it and sliding down to the ground.
“Almost there,” she whispered to herself as she approached the second to last obstacle, the three story tall concrete wall. Three worn ropes were draped over its side, and in the final ten or so feet of the wall it angled sharply with a smoothed surface to make gripping it much more difficult. “Just gotta deal with this bullshit, then you’re in the final stretch. You’ve got this Malorie. You’ve got this.”

Grabbing the rope as tightly as she could, Malorie firmly planted one boot against the wall, taking several quick breaths before putting the other on the wall to begin the climb. By this point she was feeling more than a little worn down thanks to her relatively breakneck pace, so she had to muster a large portion of her strength to even keep her hands secured on the rope.
This got more difficult with every step she took as she let go of and grabbed the rope again and again. She stomped against the wall with every step to secure her footing as much as possible, which was quickly doing a number on her tired legs. Every foot she advanced felt like an arduous task as she balanced so many things to avoid slipping up and falling all of the way back down. Still, like always, she refused to even consider the option of failing. No matter how much her body hurt or begged for rest, she maintained a constant pace, taking a step about every five seconds until she reached the final ten feet. Thanks to the sloping and much smoother surface, walking up the rest of it was no longer an option forcing her to now rely entirely on her upper body strength to bring her the rest of the way.

Once she finally reached the peak of the wall, Malorie straddled it for a moment as she looked out over the rest of the course. Seeing that only a handful were just now reaching the base of the wall, she smiled under her mask as a strong sense of accomplishment came over her before she rappelled down the opposite end of the wall on another rope, turning away from the wall to face her final obstacle.
Standing opposite to her was one of the Drill Sergeant’s, clad in thick padding and old football gear while holding a pugil stick in his hands with another on the ground in front of him. Her only remaining task was to knock him onto his back one way or another.
“You’ve made impressive time so far, Julock,” He said as she reached down and grabbed the other pugil stick on both of her hands. “But your pace is gonna cost you here.”
“I’ve dealt with bigger guys in worse situations.” She said defiantly as she readied the pugil stick. As she finished speaking the Drill Sergeant charged head on at her, violently swinging one of the padded ends at her. Malorie ducked the first swing and tried to follow up with one of her own, but before she had the chance the Sergeant brought the other padded end back and struck Malorie in the gut knocking the wind out of her. Before she could recover he then brought the other end back around and struck her hard in the head, sending her gas mask off of her head while spinning her around and sending her face first into the mud.

“Is this how you dealt with them? How’d you live this long?” He taunted, trying to fire her up further. He was successful, as Malorie grunted before punching the mud and getting back to her feet. The Drill Sergeant immediately came at her with the same aggressive rush, except this time Malorie threw a thrust with her pugil stick that caught him directly in the face mask as he attempted to go for her body. The hit threw him off enough that his swing came up short, so Malorie turned the tables and went on the offensive herself.
Landing a sideways blow against his helmet, he then raised the pugil stick to guard against another follow up blow from her. Malorie in turn let go of her pugil stick with one hand for a moment, getting in close and putting it between him and his pugil stick before gripping onto it again. Now locked together, she pushed every ounce of her weight and strength onto him. Twice he shoved forward and bashed her in the head with his stick, but Malorie refused to back off or relent as she continued pushing forward until he finally lost his footing in the mud and they both went tumbling to the ground.
“If there’s any one word to describe you, it’s gotta be relentless,” The Drill Sergeant said to Malorie after he got back up, extending his hand to help her up as she wiped blood from her nose. “Now come on and get up, it’s time for you to take a much earned break before cleaning up for graduation tomorrow.”
"**** it, it's late."-Coins "Change it later."-Teddy
"She had a face like a bulldog licking **** off a nettle."-Jingles
"so he resigned himself to dying in a trash can."

TheTeddyguy
Posts: 14687
Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2011 4:03 am
Location: Writin' or Jeepin'.

Re: A Requiem For Humanity (IC)

Postby TheTeddyguy » Thu Aug 25, 2016 5:31 pm

[Wednesday, October 16th, 2030 - 7:02 PM]

“Sorry everyone for being a couple minutes late, as you’re all aware those roads are far from easily navigable.” An officer Malorie wasn’t familiar with stated as he stepped into the dimly lit grey tent she and the rest of the 31st’s recruits were seated in. Everything was set up like a movie theater, with an overhead projector at the front of the room currently sitting on a blank slide.

“If we were a couple minutes late we’d be scrubbing latrines for a **** week,” Malorie hissed quietly amongst some other chatter as she sat a few rows back. “Must be nice being a CO.”
“I’m happy enough with my position as a grunt, leave the tough choices to them.” Padilla, who was sat next to Malorie, commented.
“You say that until one of them make a dumb choice that gets you killed.”

“Alright, quiet down everyone. It’s time to get down to brass tacks,” The officer commented with a slightly raised voice, prompting all conversation to immediately die down. He readied and began placing various slides on the projector as he continued speaking. “Now let’s get the obvious out of the way first. As you all know, the Easterners pulled out en masse several days ago to begin their Eastward retreat. From Eurekan reconnaissance aircraft, we know that a good majority broke for the northeast, utilizing the mostly open territory for a speedy retreat. Already we have multiple divisions bearing down on them, intent on cutting them off before the broken forces make it to firmly held Easterner lines to regroup.
However, the rest of those forces headed straight to the east, and as best we can tell they’ve taken up residence in the southern bayous of Louisiana. Originally, we were going to hunker down a small containment force on the outskirts of the swamp to keep the Easterner forces there from breaking out while the rest simply skirted around north and south to continue pushing onwards. But upon further investigation, we’ve found that the Easterners have systematically destroyed the bridges along the Mississippi for nearly three hundred miles. The water is also absolutely lined with mines and other explosives, both in the Mississippi and in the Shoal’s and Shelf directly off of the coast of New Orleans. As best we can tell, the boobytrapped waters extend all the way to Florida, and as a result Eureka’s not willing to bring any of its navy anywhere near those dangerous areas.
“So that’s where we come in?” a woman in the crowd asked, clearly unhappy about it.
“Correct. First thing in the morning, the 3rd and 4th Infantry Divisions will be getting on the road to Louisiana to forcibly flush every Easterner out by force and allow us to either continue pushing eastward, or to divert to the north in order to flank and eliminate any forces that are still holding on up there by that point. Any questions?”

After several moments passed with no raised hands, the officer dismissed the 31st for the rest of the evening. Stepping out of the tent, Malorie couldn’t help but stare in awe once more at the sheer scale of the destruction around her. They were in south Texas City, in what remained of the once thriving oil refineries where, unbenounced to Malorie, her father had fought almost a decade ago. In their place stood blackened, twisted steel everywhere one turned to. Terrible creaking metal sounds could be heard every now and then as damaged structures struggled to keep themselves standing. Multiple heavy duty military vehicles were being utilized as bulldozers to clear vital streets of the seemingly endless debris.
Despite this, it was the only section of the Houston area that was still even capable of safely holding living things in it. Virtually the entire rest of the city and surrounding area was blanketed in the toxic dust left over by the Red Strangler, leaving all of that land unusable and hardly even traversable for the foreseeable future.

“So, how’s Louisiana?” Padilla asked Malorie as he lit up a cigarette before holding one out to her. He was a fair bit taller than Malorie, at 6’3 and for a trained soldier he was of a rather heavy build, however it leant itself well to his position as an operator of the same type of rifle that dislocated Malorie’s shoulder, the AM20. Still, he was able to keep pace with the general crowd when the need arose, and during training Malorie had grown to respect his surprising strength.
“Haven’t been,” Malorie responded, motioning that she wasn’t interested in the cigarette prompting Padilla to stow it. “I can’t imagine it’s too pleasant though. I asked an old friend of mine about it when our ship was passing by the coast, she said it was just muggy, sticky and sweaty pretty much 24/7. Worse than Texas here.”
“**** Hell,” Padilla moaned, taking a drag off of his cigarette and letting it hang from his lips as he continued speaking. “Well let’s hope we push through those Roaches and get out of there quick.”
“Ya’ll know anything about the Vietnam war?” Foster asked as he approached after overhearing the conversation. He was somewhat old for a recruit, in his mid thirties.
“Can’t say I do.” Padilla replied.
“I know that my grandpa fought in it, I know that it sucked in every sense of the word.” Malorie added.
“That’s putting it mildly. When I was younger my granddad told me all about his time over there. Swamps, miserably hot weather, bugs and animals that are as ready to get you as the enemy, and an enemy that you can’t see. He mentioned that the bayou’s are like the state’s own little Vietnam, minus the jungle aspect. If everything he told me is anything to go by, we’re in a for hell of a slog. It’ll be anything but quick.”
“The roaches will be as miserable as we will, if not more,” Malorie mentioned as the three walked down the tattered remnants of Bay St S, passing a burnt out Bradley IFV husk as they did so. “All of that armor will be a real **** in any humidity worse than what we’re dealing with right now here in Texas. Plus in swamps I doubt those tank destroyers of theirs will be of much use, no matter how compact they’re built.”
“It’s not like it’ll be easy on us either. This plastic like garbage they insist on lining our uniforms with now to protect our skin from the Red Strangler is going to **** suck in that humidity.”
“You wouldn’t be bitching if you’d had it on your skin before.” Malorie responded.
“I guess I’ll take your word for it.”
“Most miserable month of my life. I just hope this **** actually works if we get hit with another one of those **** clouds.”
“I’m sure we’ll find out before long, the Easterners sure love the ****.”

[Thursday, October 17th, 2030 - 11:02 AM]


“Pope has only got one ball! His mother, the dirty ****, cut it off when he was small! She threw it, over into the Atlantic where the fishes got out their dishes and had scallops, and bollocks to eat! Pope has only got one ball, and Fisher has none at all!”

As Malorie and the rest of her squad in the back of their transport truck finished singing the taunting tune, they all erupted in unanimous laughter. Despite impending combat, morale was higher here than it had been at any point during Malorie’s time with the Vanguards. The sense of camaraderie was powerful, even to antisocial types such as Malorie.
Their convoy hammered down both lanes Interstate 10 at speed. Consisting of Companies A and B of the 31st regiment, 42nd Infantry Division, roughly four hundred soldiers were packed among the convoy’s dozens of vehicles. Their mission as the first regulars into Louisiana was to secure a foothold near the entrance to the swamps and await reinforcements. An entire division of Vanguards had been sent to complete the task days prior, but was forced to pull back after suffering substantial losses. With days of artillery and Eurekan bombing of the designated area, the brass hoped that things would go more smoothly for the regulars.

The so far smooth ride was interrupted as they approached some derelict cars just off the side of the road. One exploded in a fiery blast without warning once several trucks including Malorie’s had already passed it by, disabling several caught within its blast radius and injuring a number of Oregonian’s in the exposed beds.
Once the convoy came to a grinding halt, small arms fire began to erupt from an overpass about two hundred yards in front of them. A group of Easterners had formed an effective firing line behind a row of vehicles lining the side of the overpass, giving them efficient cover and great shots on the exposed Oregonians. Return fire began almost immediately, but it was all but useless with the thick cover the Easterners had adding onto their already substantial body armor.
“Everyone but Padilla get off of the road and find some concealment, right side! Padilla I need you setup behind the cab putting shots in with the AM20!” Malorie’s commanding officer, Sergeant Vorce, ordered to her and the other seven soldiers in her squad. Listening to his commands, everyone except for Padilla speedily dismounted the truck bed and readily dove into the chest high grass on the side of the road and began crawling forward while prone.
“Spread out and move up inch by inch, we’ve gotta get within an effective distance for our weapons! Wait for my mark to emerge and open fire!”
Crawling forward just like on the training course, Malorie moved up inch by inch while still prone on her stomach. Already she couldn’t see anyone else as the tall weeds obscured everything but the noise and smell of combat. So she kept up a near constant pace while awaiting for Vorce’s mark, only slowing down after some presumably blind fired rounds from the Easterners screamed through the grass above her head and pelted some of the dirt around her, only for her to immediately pick the pace back up once her position was no longer under direct fire.
She moved up for what must have been another five minutes without interruption before Vorce’s voice came over her radio and gave the order. Immediately getting on one knee, Malorie readied her standard issue M16 and began putting rounds onto the overpass. The scale of gunfire being levied against the Easterners on the overpass was massive. A constant stream of shattered pieces of concrete rained off of it as round after round ricocheted off every inch of its surface.
While focused on her target, Malorie was caught by complete surprise when something grabbed her side and pushed her onto her back. Looking over, she realized it was a skeletal zombie missing its legs that had snuck up in the tall grass. It bit down on her thigh before she could do anything about it, but the plastic like padding lining the inside of her uniform prevented it from breaking her skin. The pressure still hurt nonetheless, so Malorie violently struck it with the butt of her rifle before climbing onto its chest and turning the rest of its skull to mush with the butt of the M16 before immediately returning to firing on the overpass. Before too long Malorie realized the Easterners had given up on returning fire, and shortly after she noticed a large diesel plume fire up into the air, which she recognized from the APC’s the Easterners ducked into before fleeing Lubbock.
“Sergeant Vorce, they’re about to retreat!” Before Vorce could respond the APC came into view as it passed by the line of vehicles along the side of the overpass.
“We’re not letting them pull back to harass us again further down the road! Padilla, is that truck still operational?”
“Should be sir!”
“Then get to driving it, pick up a few soldiers for backup and get after that APC!”

“Wilco!” Padilla responded, quickly getting out of the bed and into the empty drivers seat of the truck. He drove a few dozen yards before reaching both Malorie and Foster who’d sprinted back to the side of the road to meet up with him. Without even reaching a complete stop, Malorie and Foster both dove into the bed of the truck before Padilla took it off the side of the interstate and onto a small residential street to try and catch up with the APC.
“How in the Hell are we supposed to bring this big **** down?!” Malorie asked as it came into view plowing through an overgrown yard and heading straight for the narrow Bayou Teche.
“Well, we’ve got a big **** truck also!” Padilla yelled out over the sound of its roaring engine. “When I honk the horn, you two bail out the back, got it?”
“You’re a crazy ****, Padilla!” Foster yelled.
“Got it!” Malorie answered. As the APC neared the water it turned sideways on, beginning to inch itself into the water, clearly needing a bit of time for its amphibious components to ready. Once they were no more than fifty feet from it, Padilla honked the horn prompting Malorie and Foster to dive off to either side of the truck, both landing somewhat painfully due to the truck travelling at almost thirty miles an hour over the rough ground.
Malorie looked up just in time to see the transport truck T-bone the Eastern APC full force and dead on. While the engine compartment of the truck immediately caved inwards under the force of the impact, the momentum of the heavy duty truck was enough to send the APC violently tumbling into Bayou Teche, rolling several times before coming to a rest upside down in the middle of the waterway.
Malorie and Foster immediately trained their weapons on the APC, followed by Padilla once he recovered from the impact of the crash. After some thirty seconds elapsed, a hatch on the belly of the APC opened up. The moment the soldier inside poked his head out, it caught two bullets that immediately dropped him back into the vehicle. His fate didn’t deter the other occupants of the APC, who frantically tried to escape from it with their only other option being to drown inside of it. At one point a woman with blood leaking from a wound on her head emerged with her hands up, only to be cut down like the rest of her companions.

“I think that’s the last of them.” Malorie said after another minute elapsed with no more signs of life from the APC.
“We dealt with it, Sarge, those guys won’t be bothering us anymore.” Foster stated over his radio.
“We need a new transport truck though.” Padilla added as he looked at the crushed front end of the machine.
“That’s fine. Good job you three, now get back here so we can regroup and get back on the road. Our day ain’t done yet.”
"**** it, it's late."-Coins "Change it later."-Teddy
"She had a face like a bulldog licking **** off a nettle."-Jingles
"so he resigned himself to dying in a trash can."

TheTeddyguy
Posts: 14687
Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2011 4:03 am
Location: Writin' or Jeepin'.

Re: A Requiem For Humanity (IC)

Postby TheTeddyguy » Mon Nov 14, 2016 7:12 am

The large military convoy carried on down I-10 as soon as the casualties were gathered and the scattered squads reconvened in their respective vehicles. The mood was far more subdued than it had been prior to the ambush. No more songs were carried on the voices of this small section of the Grey Army for the time being, minds and eyes instead focused intently on all sides for the slightest movement or out of place object. The closer they crept to the swamp the stronger their collective sense of foreboding grew, and within nine more miles they were crossing over its border.
It was a good thing that the convoy’s route on I-10 brought them onto an elevated bridge, as it helped ensure their safety from any roadside ambush. Not that there were any ground level roads in the swamp to travel anymore, with almost all of them entirely overrun by the swamp along with most other man made objects that had been sitting undisturbed for decades in the area.
“The humidity hits you like a **** wall.” Malorie complained, rolling her sleeves up as high as they could go, about halfway up her upper arms, and removing her helmet for a moment while they were in transit. Her scalp had finally recovered fully from its exposure to the Red Strangler, and she once again had a healthy full head of blonde hair growing back in, sitting just past her ears and entirely unkempt. She noticed as she was getting older it’s shade was darkening somewhat, now more bronze than the platinum blonde her mother had naturally all through her life. After a recent growth spurt while in basic training, Malorie now stood at 5’9, and at a glance most would assume she was older than she actually was.
“Well you’re gonna be in the heart of it for at least the next couple weeks, so quit bitching.” Their squads Automatic Rifleman, Specialist Joshua Bateman snapped. He was of an average height and build, but still carried the appearance of a man you wouldn’t want to cross. He was bald and clean shaven with a face like a chiseled stone statue, and with about as much expression. His deep voice, piercing glare and overall demeanor was unsettling to most when directed at them. His skin was reddened from his time in the Texas sun, and the tip of a larger tattoo was visible on the back of his neck. He, Vorce, and Heam, another member of the squad, were the only original members of the unit before Malorie and the other recruits replaced the gaps.
“Wasn’t bitching, sir, just making a statement.” Malorie responded, obviously less than happy to have to talk to Bateman like a superior. If there was anyone Malorie didn’t get along with and like in her small squad, it was definitely Bateman. The man was ready and willing to abuse what little power he did have as the squad’s second in command, and he seemed to have it out for Malorie more than anyone else, although as of yet she couldn’t say why.


The convoy carried on another twelve or so miles from their last stop after the ambush before they came upon both their destination and next obstacle in the form of hundreds of gridlocked vehicles on the highway and its off ramps that led to the Atchafalaya Welcome Center. The road was backed up a few hundred yards before one could even access the ramps, forcing every vehicle in the convoy to crawl to a stop as the Lieutenant-Colonels of the two companies decided what their next course of action would be.
“We’re gonna end up having to unblock this **** eventually, aren’t we?” Padilla asked aloud as he tried his best to see just how far the gridlock carried on down the stretch of highway, semi trucks blocking the view for the most part.
“I didn’t sign up to tow old wrecks off of the road, but someone has to,” Vorce commented with a sigh before putting his hand up to his earpiece so he could hear whatever was being said a bit more clearly. “Alright boys and girls, gear up and dismount. Gotta clear the ground level of any hostiles so we can get busy with this damn mess.”
With that the squad got to work, moving down the northern side of the highway and towards the off ramp alongside the rest of their platoon whilst another platoon made its way down the opposite stretch of highway. The cars were packed so tightly that walking between them was typically impossible, so the troops marched over the roofs and hoods wherever possible.
“While the other squads shore up the flanks we’re gonna make our way into that building at the center,” Vorce said, nodding towards the small structure as it came into view. It was a small, single story brick building that was only just visible over the aggressive vegetative growth all around it and the rest of the welcome center. From their position on the exit ramp Malorie could see dozens of semis and their trailers parked in a circle all around the center, along with several out of place cars and SUV’s that left Malorie slightly nervous as their odd placement made her think they’d been deliberately moved, although she couldn’t think of any reason why and thus kept her mouth shut on the matter. “Take your time and be on your toes, anything could be hiding in all of that grass and bush. We’re in no rush at the moment.”
“At least the dead are mostly gone from rot, especially in ridiculously humid places like this,” Derek Hall, the squad’s medic and youngest member at sixteen, commented. He was rather short at 5’3, skinny, and overall unimposing looking young man, shaved bald and with only the faintest of stubble on his chin. While everyone else had at least a mild tan, his skin was still rather pasty, having been able to spend far more of his time indoors than out as he trained for his position. Even during downtime he typically enjoyed indoor activities, such as reading, writing or playing cards while most others exercised or participated in various sports. In spite of his more solitary nature, most of the squad had quickly taken a bit of a liking to him thanks to his innocent and friendly demeanor, and he was treated almost like their collective little brother, much to his chagrin. “I wouldn’t want to think about how much of a nightmare dodging them in something like this would be.”
“The dead really aren’t a threat in overgrown areas like this one, assuming you’re capable of basic self defense,” Malorie commented, pausing for a moment to check her footing after a windshield caved in slightly as she stepped on it before continuing. “Taiwan was absolutely crawling with the dead, but as soon as you went a few miles into the jungle they were pretty much a non-issue.”
“Our scientists say they’ll be all but extinct everywhere except for the far north within the next ten years.” Hall responded.
“Too bad we can’t just sit back and wait for the Roaches to rot off of the planet too.” Leon Heam, the squad grenadier, added. Heam, at a glance, was the most intimidating member of Malorie’s squad. Towering above the others at six foot ten and carrying as much if not more muscle than Padilla to boot. His skin was a deep black, and his voice was like gravel, commanding attention even at little more than a whisper. A large scar from a blade also ran up the back of his hand and the length of his forearm, although it was anyone’s guess as to where the scar originated from; just like with Malorie’s. A number of Christian based tattoo's also adorned the back of his completely bald head. In spite of his outwardly harsh appearance, at his heart Heam was an agreeable, friendly giant who never spoke an ill word of anyone he knew and preferred to avoid arguments or disagreements whenever possible. However, while she’d had yet to see it, Vorce assured Malorie and the other new recruits that Heam was more than capable of violence when the situation called for it, although Malorie questioned that somewhat the more she interacted with him.


Once they reached the last few feet of the off ramp, Vorce and the rest of his squad vaulted over the concrete divider and into the stomach high grass outside of the circular parking lot. With all talking stopped in an instant for battlefield communications, they quietly crept forward to the pavement while one section of the platoon made their way into the wooded area to the north and another skirted along the south side in their search for threats.
Going right up the center to the welcome center building, Malorie began to feel a little claustrophobic once they were passed the outer ring of semi trucks and now surrounded on all sides by them. They had to step over several vehicles and skirt between some semi trailers before they left pavement for more grass leading to the building. With no gunfire yet, the collective nerves of the squad began to calm slightly.
Quietly, Vorce ordered Heam and Foster to follow him into the building while the others were ordered to keep watch. Just as Malorie was prepared to let her guard down and take a breath, she glanced up and noticed a camera mounted on the ceiling staring at Hall’s back before shifting to face her, the components under the lens visibly shifting as it tried to focus.
Before her voice could leave her throat to sound the alarm that they were being watched, a massive, ear shattering pop rang out, seemingly from all around them. It was louder than any gun she’d ever been around, any explosion she’d been exposed to. It immediately made her hearing go dull, like she’d been dropped into water, before steadily coming back accompanied by a high ringing in her skull. As she, Padilla, Hall and Bateman recovered from the initial shock of the noise, they all noticed the cloud of dust that had been kicked up in a circle all around them, right where the wall of semi’s sat.
“What the hell was that?!” Vorce demanded as he and the others burst out of the same door they’d gone in, his words still only just audible. Before any answers were given, the unmistakable collective groan of a zombie horde bellowed out in unison. Readying their weapons, the squad took up positions.
The first zombies staggered out of the smoke before it cleared, with the squad being thrown for quite a loop when they realized every single one of the zombies was dressed in almost identical uniforms. Black jumpsuits made of some kind of leather covered them from toe to neck, with visible bulges on the torsos of the suits where some kind of vest sat underneath. On their heads was a hideous looking helmet. Black with various red markings on the temples for identification, the oversized chunk of steel resembled a pilot’s helmet if the lens were one solid chunk of steel alongside the rest of the helmet. Two tiny and barely adequate slits were in place for the eyes, so small that all but the sleekest of blades wouldn’t be able to fit through. Two other holes were located at the sides of the head below the markings for hearing, and one large gap at the bottom of it left the bottom and top teeth exposed.


“Don’t just gawk at them, shoot to kill dammit!” Vorce commanded, opening fire as he finished speaking with the others following suit. Almost every single round they fired was accurate and on target, but all they succeeded in doing was sending a flurry of sparks into the air and scraping the black paint off of the front ends of several helmets. During the initial barrage of gunfire, the smoke and dust turned up had dissipated and revealed the dozens of armored zombies pouring forth from each of the semi trailers. By the time they became aware of just how boxed in they were, it was already too late to slip through any gaps in the horde’s line. The intelligent placement of the trailers made it so the unintelligent creatures quickly formed an unbroken line as they advanced and tightened the noose.
As their gunfire ceased either from running dry on the first magazines or simply realizing it was entirely ineffective, Padilla let loose with the AM20 while down on one knee. The first round smacked directly into the forehead of one of the zombies helmets. A sound like two aluminum bats being smashed together rang out as the bullet impacted, snapping the zombies neck back so hard that it undoubtedly snapped it before it crumpled to the ground, a large bullet hole visibly bored into it.
“Ready your frags!” Vorce commanded as Padilla put a second round out and dropped a second corpse.
“The rifle’s working!” Padilla argued as the others got to it.
“And even if you killed three of them with every squeeze of the trigger you’d be out of ammo before they were even manageable! Now ready your **** frags!”
Without further argument, Padilla and the rest of the squad retrieved and primed their fragmentation grenades, including Hall after Heam passed one of his off to him before readying the 40mm grenade launcher mounted beneath his M4. On Vorce’s mark, they all released their pins and lobbed the grenades directly at the cluster that was most directly between them and the off ramp that led back to the rest of their forces and safety.
Heam counted aloud from the moment the grenades were tossed, counting down their fuse before launching his own grenade in time for it to explode almost in unison with the hand grenades. Despite being built for fragmentation, the concussive force of so many concentrated grenades sent a dark red, almost black mist into the air along with a shower of various body parts.
“One more volley for good measure, on my mark,” Vorce called out before the smoke had even cleared. He watched the others retrieve a second grenade from their respective pouches before calling out “Mark!”
Although almost all of the armored zombies were still ‘alive’ after the assault, a large hole in the line was made by the time the smoke cleared and Vorce sought to exploit it, motioning for his squad to follow him as he broke into a sprint to make it through the gap in time. Just as he reached the line of zombies, Malorie and the others were stunned and frozen in place as they watched several of the writhing bodies explode violently, knocking Vorce off of his feet.
“Eric!” Heam yelled out, throwing his rifle to the dirt before running for his fallen friend. Padilla immediately took to utilizing the AM20 once again as the zombies began to close in on Heam and Vorce. One that got within about fifteen feet of the men detonated after Padilla put it down, shrapnel visibly striking and ricocheting off of Heam’s helmet. Ignoring the glancing blow, Heam lifted Vorce off of the ground as easy as one would grab a child, backpedaling to the rest of his squad.
With the noose closing more and more every second, Malorie fired several more ineffective shots from her M4 before swearing under her breath as she began to contemplate that she could be moments from being ripped limb from limb while being helpless to do anything about it.
“Back into the building, reinforce the doors and windows with anything available!” Bateman commanded once Heam made it back to them, immediately picking up the slack left by Vorce’s incapacitation. Without hesitation the squad hurried into the building and began blocking the doors with everything available.
Malorie and Padilla took a large bench and shoved it up against the wood and glass double doors they’d come through before forcibly ripping pieces of several nearby displays from their fixed positions and propping them against the windows and doors. Heam and Foster got straight to work on the opposite end of the building, whilst Hall did his best to stabilize Vorce despite his numerous grievous wounds. Shrapnel had peppered him up and down his body, and blood was leaking from every single one of the holes and a puddle was quickly building around Vorce on the hardwood floor.
Once the horde had reached the doors, the zombies spent a few seconds bashing against them before those at the front detonated as well, obliterating the doors and barricade in a shower of splinters, glass and steel. With dozens more filling the spots of the few who’d detonated, every single member of the squad felt a knot tighten in their guts as a realization that they were all moments from a grizzly death hit them. Malorie and Padilla put several shots out before one of Heam’s launched grenades came sailing over their heads directly between them, smacking into one of the zombies at the front of the crowd to buy a few more seconds.
Two wooden support pillars on the ceiling came crashing down after this explosion, narrowly missing Hall and Vorce in the center of the room. As the smoke cleared and the zombies came into view again, the squad was surprised to see those outside being shredded by heavy fire. The dull, repeated thud of an autocannon coincided with rounds that visibly cleaved one zombie after another into pieces, leaving small craters in the ground after the round had finished burrowing through their targets. Several violent explosions followed, rocking the structure and making the remaining support beams groan. The squad remained hunkered down in the building regardless as the cacophony outside continued, seeming to only grow in the number of participating guns until they final fell silent almost a minute later.


While Heam and Hall rushed Vorce’s now limp body back up the off ramp, Malorie and the others took a moment to gather themselves and take in the scene of carnage. Rubble, body parts, twisted steel and shattered concrete was scattered in every direction. A few bodies were still visibly twitching, although they were in the minority. The vast majority of the horde had been turned to paste by several Bradley IFV’s, three of the bulky tank-like machines were perched on the highway overhead, their cannons peering down. Taking a deep breath, Malorie gave a quick salute to the Bradley’s before following the others to go and check on Vorce.
"**** it, it's late."-Coins "Change it later."-Teddy
"She had a face like a bulldog licking **** off a nettle."-Jingles
"so he resigned himself to dying in a trash can."

TheTeddyguy
Posts: 14687
Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2011 4:03 am
Location: Writin' or Jeepin'.

Re: A Requiem For Humanity (IC)

Postby TheTeddyguy » Mon Jan 02, 2017 11:05 am

The two companies finished up sweeping the area around the welcome center of anything hostile, suffering several more casualties from the undetonated vests of decimated zombies in the process. While the horde unleashed from the semi trailers on the northern side of the welcome center, a second one was released on the southern side from storage containers that had been scattered just at the edge of the treeline. By the time the last zombie and explosive vest was dealt with, almost two dozen Oregonian men and women lay wounded or dead at the cost of nothing but some walking corpses and rudimentary equipment.
While most of the two companies got to work either with setting up the forward operating base or clearing the highway of wreckage, a task further complicated by numerous vehicles now being crushed and compacted by the Bradley’s rushing to handle the horde of weaponized zombies, Malorie and her squad gathered under a small pavilion on the southern side of the welcome center. Here several medics were busily working on the wounded, Vorce among them. The squad stood a few feet away from the pavilion as they watched on, not wanting to get in the way of the hive of medics constantly moving to grab or discard equipment as they fought for the lives of their brothers and sisters in arms.

“Think he’ll make it?” Padilla asked, focusing on Vorce who had Hall and two other medics busily doing their best to stem the flow of his lifeblood and stabilize him.
“That’s a lot of holes.” Foster said grimly, reaching to his back pocket and retrieving a cigarette to smoke.
“Vorce is a tougher guy than you think,” Heam, the most visibly upset of the squad, stated before looking to Foster. “Let me see one of those, please.”
“You got it big guy,” Foster responded sympathetically as he retrieved another for Heam and lit it for him. “You guys been serving together for a while I take it?”
“Three years, give or take,” Heam stated, taking a drag off of the cigarette. Malorie took a deep breath as she watched the men smoke, thinking of Jhonny any time she saw someone with a cigarette in their lips. “He saw us through a lot in Texas, our entire squad would have been wiped out a couple of times if we’d had someone other than him calling the shots in some of the situations we got put into.”
“I’d be a pile of charred bones if Vorce hadn’t gone back to our burning APC and dragged me out of it while under heavy fire,” Bateman added, his voice betraying the hint of emotion that his stone face hid well. “It should have been any one of us other than him.”

By the time Foster and Heam were at the ends of their cigarettes, Hall left the bench that was being used for Vorce’s operating table and approached his squad. His pale hands contrasted oddly against his reddened arms after he removed his gloves, and his facial expression was one of mild shock from the frantic chaos that followed from the moment the trailers opened.
“We...we stopped the bleeding in time, stabilized him as best we could, but…”
“But?” Bateman repeated.
“When those zombies detonated, chunks of gore got shoved into the shrapnel wounds. He’ll survive these injuries, but he’s not going to survive the inevitable infection.”
“How do you know for sure?” Heam asked, wide eyed. “Like, maybe the explosion burned the virus out? I don’t know.”
“Even if the zombie virus didn’t make it, there’s still foreign, necrotic flesh inside of him. Regular systemic infection is all but guaranteed to do him in, even if the zombie virus wasn’t a factor. It’s the same deal with almost all of the other injured. Those that are still conscious are going to be quarantined, until their condition worsens.”
“And those that aren’t?” Malorie asked. “And what happens if and when their condition worsens?”
“Policy 212.” Bateman said, stepping away from the squad and towards the pavilion and Vorce, Heam in tow.
“Policy 212 is the Oregonian Army’s policy on infected troops and civilians. They transport you behind the lines, then provide a bullet, and a burial.” Foster informed grimly.
“Damn,” Malorie muttered as she looked at the now doomed men and women. “Harsh.”
“I feel like we should go and say our goodbyes, he was our commander.” Hall commented.
“But he was their friend,” Malorie responded, nodding her head towards the table where Vorce lay as Heam and Bateman said their farewells. Heam was visibly choked up as he said something to Vorce that the four couldn’t hear. “I don’t think we should intrude on that.”

It wasn’t too much longer before those who were potentially infected were loaded into several transport trucks and shipped back west. Malorie gave a hand where needed when it came to establishing the FOB, but for the most part spent the day trying her best to relax and save energy for the inevitable combat in the coming weeks. Despite her growing bond with her brothers in arms, Malorie was still a much more solitary creature than the majority of those she’d met so far in the Gray Army.
A majority of the tents and equipment were established beneath the highway itself, providing some reasonable cover from any Easterner mortar or artillery fire that might be lobbed their way. They were all solid gray with dark blue splotches, matching the standard color scheme of their uniforms.
“They sure are doing a good job at making me sick of this color,” Malorie reflected inwardly as she approached and stepped into the tent she and her squad had been assigned to share. It was at least reasonably sized, stretching about the length of their transport trucks and standing high enough that Heam could walk around inside of it without issue. “Grey tents, grey trucks, grey guns, grey uniforms, grey boots, grey socks, grey toilet paper and grey food. My skin’s going to turn **** grey before long.”
“Julock.” Bateman stated, not happily, as she walked through the flap. The rest of her squad was in the process of dispersing through the tent after having had some conversation that she was absent for.
“Sir?” She asked, not too thrilled with the tone or look he was giving her.
“Outside. You and I need to have a walk and talk.” Bateman ordered, prompting Malorie to take a breath before stepping back out of the tent with Bateman in tow.
“Is there a problem, sir?” Malorie asked once the two had taken a few steps from the tent. Bateman led her in the direction of the northern end of the truck stop where Vorce had been struck down. Heavy vehicles were making a cacophony of noise on the highway above as they dragged car hulks out of place.
“I’m trying to make sure one doesn’t develop,” Bateman answered, not directly looking at Malorie as they continued. “Understand that with Vorce gone, I’m now the squads acting commander. I have to figure you’re perceptive enough to understand by this point that I’m no fan of you.”
“I-”
“I didn’t give you permission to speak freely,” Bateman growled, prompting Malorie to give the small head tilt and left eye twitch she unknowingly displayed when angry with someone, although Bateman didn’t notice it. “I get it that you were a survivor. I’ve heard enough of your stories from Foster and Padilla already. But you need to understand that doesn’t make you a soldier.”
“Permission to speak freely, sir?” Malorie asked, doing her best to keep level headed.
“Granted.”
“I know it doesn’t,” Malorie said before stopping and pointing to her left shoulder where her rank was displayed. “That does though, along with my training, my combat experience, and my Crimson Tear, Golden Shield and Acclaimed Service medals. You may have been here longer than me, and you may hold a higher rank, but I’m no less of a soldier than you are, sir.”
“Don’t you go flaunting those medals like they’re something for you to be proud of. I read your award citations and heard the ceremony on the radio. You won them because you happened to be one of eight Vanguards who happened to scavenge a Roach’s corpse before they let loose with the Strangler. You didn’t save any lives other than your own, you didn’t do anything exemplary aside from offing a few incompetent Roaches. All you did was survive, and we shouldn’t be giving out awards for not dying.”
Malorie was visibly upset by the belittling of what she saw as great personal achievements. The corner of her mouth formed an angry snarl, her hands curled into tight fists and she avoided looking at or responding to Bateman.
“Settle down there before you get yourself into trouble that you want no part of,” Bateman ordered after seeing her body language, although throwing another command and threat at Malorie did anything but get her to settle down. “I’m not calling you useless, but your uses lie somewhere other than the frontlines. This is no place for a girl, especially one so young that she couldn’t even legally buy a drink in the old world.”
“I fought as hard and as well as anyone else in the squad when those zombies poured out!” Malorie argued, incensed in particular by Bateman’s last comment.
“Yeah, you can fight alright in a single skirmish. But once we’ve gotta march somewhere without a vehicle to carry our ****, or any other situation where endurance is called for, I suspect you’ll find yourself struggling to keep up, needing help to carry your own weight.”
“I suspect that you’re wrong.” Malorie spat back.
“I doubt that very much. You women were built for a lot of things, but carrying half of your bodyweight in gear for twenty miles before getting into an extended firefight isn’t one of them.”
“That’s bullshit! I-”
“If it’s bullshit, then why are women regularly issued lighter equipment loads? When we march out into that swamp, myself, Heam and the others will all have eighty to a hundred pounds worth of gear on us. Not including personal items, you’ll be kitted out with sixty-five pounds, along with any other woman in the Grey Army.” Malorie was surprised by that information, since nobody had told her and she’d never paid enough attention to others in training to see that the men had additional equipment to lug around.
“Then give me more gear until I have at least eighty pounds also. I can handle anything you can handle. My mom, when she was still here, taught me that-” Malorie began before Bateman cut in once again.
“I don’t care what your dead mother taught you, Julock. She clearly didn’t teach you quite enough or you’d have already resigned from-”
“Don’t talk about my mom,” Malorie stated sternly, immediately regretting bringing Ivy up. “I’ll put up with a lot, but not that.”
“You’ll put up with whatever I tell you you’re going to put up with,” Bateman growled as he grabbed Malorie by the collar of her shirt and made her face him, furious with her for her tone and giving him a command. “So long as you’re in this army, you’re property. Not just property of Kane, or the army as a whole, but the property of anyone above you in rank. You’re my property, Julock, and you’d do very well to keep that in mind when that mouth of yours starts feeling a little rebellious. Don’t talk about your mom? Your mother was a worthless, bottom feeding **** who probably couldn’t have named your daddy if she tried.”

The look Malorie gave Bateman was as cold and venomous as any she’d ever given, and one could almost see her mind just barely restricting her body from resorting to violence as every muscle in her limbs clenched up tight as could be. She had no words left for Bateman, knowing full well that if she let a single word escape her lips that she’d quickly get herself into legitimate trouble.
“Shame, for a minute there I thought you were actually going to be dumb enough to make a move. Seems I’ll just need to wait for a Roach to put you down so I can get your **** replaced the old fashioned way. You’re dismissed for now, Julock. You’ve got first watch tonight though, and you’d better not be late or you can rest assured I’ll make sure you regret it.”
"**** it, it's late."-Coins "Change it later."-Teddy
"She had a face like a bulldog licking **** off a nettle."-Jingles
"so he resigned himself to dying in a trash can."

TheTeddyguy
Posts: 14687
Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2011 4:03 am
Location: Writin' or Jeepin'.

Re: A Requiem For Humanity (IC)

Postby TheTeddyguy » Mon Jan 09, 2017 6:53 am

[Tuesday, October 22nd, 2030 - 5:21 PM]

“Christ, another one of these **** things,” Bateman growled as the squad made their way through some brush and encountered another effigy. “That makes, what, six of them we’ve seen today?”
“We’re getting close to the witch.” Hall muttered, clearly unsettled at this point as he glanced back and forth between the effigy and their darkening surroundings. The effigy itself consisted of a particularly large male Easterners torso impaled on a thick stake with his armor still on, a woman’s head planted upside down above his neck with the point of the stake driving through the top of her skull, a Grey Army helmet resting on her neck. Two Easterner Rondels had been used to hammer the Oregonian woman’s arms to where the Easterners should have been. Blood coated the foliage within a five foot radius of the effigy a darkening red.
“Good,” Foster stated. “It’s ‘bout time someone puts this sick **** down.”
“Shut it with that ****,” Bateman snapped. “There’s no **** witch roaming these woods, it’s the Roaches just trying to get into your heads. One person didn’t go and set these up, this is what, the seventh we’ve found this week? Keep these little totems in mind next time we have a run in with any of the Easterners, might help you fight a bit harder knowing your corpse will end up with Julock’s head stuffed into the chest cavity or something if you don’t. Foster, get the map updated and let’s get moving. We’ve got one more sector to scout out before we can get out of here, and I have no intention of being caught out here when darkness hits.”

As Foster retrieved his map to update the last few discoveries along their route, Malorie took the brief opportunity for respite to sit herself up against a large tree and unburden her back and shoulders. After her confrontation with Bateman the day they arrived in the swamps, Malorie had insisted on carrying an equal load in her pack to that of her male peers, going as far as to put several useless chunks of concrete and brick into the pack when their wasn’t enough equipment to bring her weight up to par.
While she didn’t complain, and never once even considered lessening the load, it was undeniably taking its toll on her. They’d scouted some twenty miles of swamp in the days since establishing their forward operating base, and despite most of it going by without much incident, the hostile environment proved a constant foe whenever the Easterners seemed to be absent.

Emptying the last few gulps from her water canteen, Malorie wiped her face with a dirty rag she kept hanging from the side of her pack before closing her eyes and taking a deep breath. Her face was peppered with acne thanks to the constant sheen of sweat and grease on her skin combined with the stresses that navigating such a hostile, enemy filled environment brought.
Once the brief respite was at an end and everyone began to move out again, Malorie attempted to peel herself off of the ground. She slid twice, cursing under her breath before Heam grabbed her wrist to help her up. She would have denied the help, but he didn’t give her the chance to do so as he lifted her straight to her feet with hardly any effort at all. Malorie gave a curt thanks before getting back to trudging behind the others as they finished up with scouting around Bayou Chene.

Before too long Malorie found herself truly struggling to keep up as they ran into a particularly muddy section of ground. The muck sucked at Malorie’s boots with every step she took, almost bringing her to a complete stop until the weight on her back suddenly lifted off of her shoulders entirely. Confused, she glanced back to see Heam grinning as he held her pack a few inches above her shoulders like it were a bag of groceries instead of a backpack with a little over a hundred pounds weighing it down.
“I don’t need any help.” Malorie bucked stubbornly, panting as if she’d just finished a hard sprint thanks to the effort of walking through the mud.
“If you were sucking for air any harder I’d think you were a fish outta water,” Heam said with a chuckle, his tone friendly. “I ain’t gonna give you **** over having a hard time.”
“Bateman will.” Malorie hissed, glancing back down their widening column towards Bateman, who hadn’t noticed her and Heam had stopped yet.
“He’s more likely to notice you being stopped in your tracks than he is to notice me lifting your pack up a bit, now quit being stubborn as a zombie and get going.”

Begrudgingly, Malorie returned to marching ahead while Heam lessened her burden for the next hundred yards or so until they were clear of the deep muck, and all without Bateman noticing much to Malorie’s relief. They finished rounding off Cow Island before doubling back towards a fork in the bayou where they’d left their swamp boat. Her legs and back were screaming in agony, but knowing they were so close to being able to head back for the night kept her moving at pace with the others.
Conversation between the squad stopped altogether as the sun lowered itself against the horizon, casting a red glow and long, twisted shadows across the landscape.Whether it was looming night, the near completion of their mission, or just an uncanny feeling none of them could say, but the entire squad certainly felt something was off.

It wasn’t until the moment that Malorie glanced down at her watch that their unspoken suspicions were confirmed. She hadn’t fully read the time when a barrage of gunfire shattered the eerie noises of the swamps waking nightlife, sending her and the others scrambling to get to cover and return fire on their as of yet unseen assailants.
“Back to the boat,” Bateman commanded once he realized they were under fire from multiple angles. A flurry of sprinting and gunfire followed that Malorie could hardly make sense of as the adrenaline propelled her and the others towards their only fast route back to base. Every time a muzzle flash would appear in the shadows Malorie and the others would spray in its direction, but it was anyone’s guess as to if their rounds were finding anything other than vegetation.

“I think they’re behind us now.” Heam huffed as they came out of their mad sprint. The sound of approaching footsteps and magazines being reloaded behind them confirmed that they were still far from clear.
“Julock, Padilla, you two are to hold here and keep them at bay while we get the airboat going!” Bateman commanded. Malorie was entirely unsurprised, as Bateman was always quick to ensure she was on the worst end of their most dangerous tasks. Exchanging a glance and a nod with Padilla, the two readied their weapons and settled into the best cover they could find, a chest high stump for Padilla and a tangle of vines that obscured her visually but allowed her to still aim and shoot through the gaps without much issue.

Malorie had just released the charging handle on her M16 to chamber the first round of her fresh magazine when the Easterner assailants came into view for the first time. Unlike in the cities and open country, the Easterners here seemed to be sporting lighter armor. Sizeable plates and pads covered vital areas still, but through the protection plain clothing or bare skin was visible. It was a relieving sight to Malorie, who was far from fond of going up against complete walking tanks.
“Nunca Vacile!” Malorie yelled out as she and Padilla began to let loose with their own ambush. One Easterner was cut down and a second visibly wounded before they could double back to their own cover and begin locking down into a firefight. With almost all fire being directed at Padilla thanks to him being more visible of a target, Malorie got several free shots off on the pinned down Easterners before one she hadn’t seen saw her. She let out a panicked yelp as machine gun fire suddenly raked back and forth across the vines. She watched as splinters of vegetation and puffs of smoke from the impacts filled the air above her as she lay flat on her back.

“It’s ready, fall back to the airboat now!” Bateman called out into her and Padilla’s earpieces. As the machine gun fire aimed at her died off, Malorie struggled to get to her feet. She put far more effort into getting up to just one knee than she had anticipated needing, seeing Padilla already disappearing into the foliage behind her by the time she’d gotten to her knee. Another burst of gunfire caught her off guard again before she could find her balance, forcing her back to the ground on her side.
Fighting her way free of the straps on her pack, Malorie jumped to her feet once more and began retreating while firing wildly in the direction of the Easterners. Almost everyone in her squad was at the edge of the airboat shouting for her to hurry once she emerged from the foliage at the edge of the bayou. By the time she leapt aboard, the airboat was already getting into motion, her landing rocking it enough to throw off the covering fire the others were attempting to give. The boat made it a dozen or so feet into the water when one of the Easterners tossed a stick grenade that landed nearby in the water, detonating a moment later with a hollow thud that sent a gout of water jetting into the air and knocked a still off-balance Malorie straight into the murky depths below.

Allowing her M16 to sink into the depths, Malorie raced back to the water’s surface and broke it choking and coughing for a moment before her vision came back to her. Malorie’s heart dropped as she eyed the airboat speeding into the distance without any sign of slowing down, but she got no time to dwell on what she was seeing as rounds began to rip up the water around her. With a quick breath Malorie bolted back beneath the surface, disappearing into the thick brown water as the Easterners sprayed for her.
While she couldn’t see anything, Malorie could hear and feel the water being parted as bullets zipped by and broke apart around her. Two more underwater explosions completely threw Malorie’s sense of direction off as the torrents they generated beneath the water swept Malorie about randomly. By the time she was back in control of her own movements her small reserve of air was spent and she found herself gasping for breath while clawing helplessly at the darkness around her, everything in her mind beginning to grow hazy.
As she sucked in more and more water, Malorie clawed forward one more time, this time getting a fist full of mud. Grabbing with her other hand, she desperately crawled forward along the floor of the river until she found herself emerging from the water at the end of one of the banks. The gasping breaths she took after emerging were as exhausted and pathetic sounding as she looked at the moment. Malorie was thoroughly prepared to pass out then and there, but a faint shouting in her ears told her to move, surely saving her life as the Easterners who were calling out her position took aim and began to fire again.

Thanks to her sluggish movements, Malorie didn’t manage to scurry fast enough to avoid a rifle round taking a hunk of flesh off of the outside of her right thigh, although for the time being her head was too bogged down to even register the flesh wound. She staggered a few hundred feet away from the bayou’s edge before finally allowing herself to collapse against a tree and gather herself.
Once she could breathe properly, Malorie tried her radio equipment only to find a round aimed at her had severed a cable rendering the headset useless. Tossing it aside, Malorie cursed her luck and began struggling to remember their last position on Foster’s map so she could plan some sort of travel route, but her thoughts were interrupted by the sounds of the Easterners crossing the water after her.
Getting back to her feet, Malorie led them on a chase for the better part of a half an hour before the darkness and terrain caught up with her as her foot snagged a root and sent her crashing to the ground. By the time she was ready to move again the Easterners flashlights were visible and their voices audible, so she instead tucked herself up against a thick tree trunk and hoped for them to pass by.

“The Oregonner couldn’t have gone much farther, the tracks trail off around here,” A male Easterner commented. “The trail stops around here, split up and try to find him.”
“We’re already on the wrong side of the Atchafalaya, we’re risking a lot more than we should by keeping up the chase.” A woman argued.
“And you’re on the wrong side of my temper. Koch and Annzig were both brought down by one of these fucks, I’m not going to sleep tonight knowing we didn’t bring one of the fuckers down also. Now move.”

As the Men at Arms spread out, Malorie brought herself back into motion as well, with her KA-BAR in one hand. Keeping low and trying to maintain a constant knowledge of each of their whereabouts, she took any opportunity she found to crawl a bit further from the center of their searching area.
“Anything?” the lead soldier asked aloud. After a moment, he ordered his men to continue searching, indicating they had failed to find her. Sometime later, the lead soldier once again asked for a sit rep.
“Damn it. What about you Garland? Pvt. Garland, can you read me?” The man stopped in his place, clearly confused and irritated by the lack of a response from one of his men.“Sperle, where the hell is Garland?”
After waiting a few moments, and apparently no one responding to him, the man cursed aloud and began searching the area with vigor. The man soon began advancing towards where Malorie was hiding, forcing her to stay in place or risk being spotted. All she could do now was wait and hope she could be fast enough with her knife to kill the man.
“Where are you!?” she could hear him yell. “I know you’re here. Just give up!” Against her better judgement, Malorie peaked out from behind her cover to get a final measurement of how far away the man was from her. He was about a meter away, but facing the other way. She thought about how lucky that was and considered trying to move or maybe even sprint at him, but before she could decide, a shadowy form came down from the trees, landing on top of the soldier and laying him out with a grunt.
“What the ****!” he yelled out, unable to react to whoever had ambushed him. “I’ll **** gut you, you Oregon shitstain!” There was silence for what seemed like a long time. Then an icy, but clearly feminine voice could be heard clearly emanating from the darkness.
“Any last words?”
“You’re **** de-” the man began, before his words were lost to the sound of gurgling, a sound Malorie recognized as signalling the end of that man’s life. Though shocked, Malorie realized this was an opportunity and firmly decided it was time to leave. She carefully got up, and made for the area behind her, but was quickly stopped by someone grabbing her from behind. She fought against her assailant, but her wounded leg and inability to see made her counters ineffective. Something was then placed on her mouth and nose and she quickly became drowsy before completely blacking out.
"**** it, it's late."-Coins "Change it later."-Teddy
"She had a face like a bulldog licking **** off a nettle."-Jingles
"so he resigned himself to dying in a trash can."

TheTeddyguy
Posts: 14687
Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2011 4:03 am
Location: Writin' or Jeepin'.

Re: A Requiem For Humanity (IC)

Postby TheTeddyguy » Mon Jan 09, 2017 8:46 pm

Malorie awoke with a horrible headache, a sensation that almost felt like a hive of bees was angrily buzzing around the inside of her skull. Immediately she tried to move, quickly realizing that wouldn’t be happening as her arms were tightly tied to either arm of the chair, while her ankles were bound to the front legs of it. As her blurred vision began to clear up, she could see she was inside of some small wooden shack with a single lantern sat near the shut door illuminating its spartan interior.
Looking down and seeing dried blood pooled in her seat and on the floor did little to calm her nerves, still entirely unaware of who had taken her prisoner. All that was certain is she was still in the swamp, which was alive with the sounds of animals and bugs, alongside the near constant drone of distant gunfire. It seemed like she was alone, until she noticed the silhouette of a man leaning against the wall across from her.
“You’re not a Roach,” Malorie commented with a groan, vaguely recalling seeing her pursuers cut down before she lost consciousness. “And you’re definitely not Gray Army. You’re the one who’s been putting up those effigies?”
“Close, but no cigar.” the man said as he stepped forward into the lantern light, giving Malorie an opportunity to look at him properly. “How far out do those things go?”
“We’ve found them all around these bayous, almost ten of them. It wasn’t my job to watch the map, so I couldn’t really tell you,” Malorie pulled against her restraints and sighed. “Even if I wanted to. Who are you, and why am I still breathing?”
“I’m someone I guess you’ve forgotten, and you’re still alive because you’re someone I haven’t forgotten. At least, I thought you were.”
Malorie leaned forward as far as she could in the chair, taking a long and hard look at the man’s face, but coming up empty as to an idea of who he was.

“You’re definitely not someone I met in Sydney. I don’t remember you from the time I spent in Eureka, and I know I’d remember you if you were on the Atlas.”
“You’re not Ivy, then are you?” the man said with a look of contemplation. “You look so similar, though.”
“What?” Malorie asked, taken aback and almost angered by the mention of her mother’s name from this stranger’s lips, but after a moment she took a deep breath and settled herself some before speaking. “She was my mother. How did you know her?”
“You may not remember me, but I was on the Atlas. Sydney, Panama, Europe. Wherever the fleet went, I was there too.”
“I...I’m sorry, I should recognize you if you were a part of the fleet. I can still remember every single face and name that was there when the Atlas crashed, unless you left the fleet when I was young or not born yet. What’s your name?”
“It’s not important. I don’t blame you for not knowing. I’m rather forgettable anyway.” the man rested quietly against the workbench for moment before speaking again. “It’s a shame to hear the Atlas crashed. It was a tough ship and outlived more than a few of its crew.”
“It was my home, in a way it still is, I dream about it so often,” Malorie said in a soft tone, her brashness mostly gone in the presence of someone she now thought of as being a friend, even if she didn’t know the man’s name. “Can you untie me, whatever your name is? You’ve got my word I won’t hurt you or make a break for it or anything. If you knew my mother and father, then you have nothing to fear from me.”
“Just one more question, if you don’t mind. Where is your father? It’s been some time since we last spoke.”
“It’ll be some time until you do again, I’m sorry to say,” Malorie answered, frowning. “He was bitten in Melbourne trying to save me, I shot him before he could turn. I wish I could say he was buried there, but there were too many zombies around for that.”
“I see. At least you were the one to do it. You made the choice. Not everyone gets that option.”
“Yeah, you’d think that’d make me feel a little better. I had to end my mother also, those are images I wish weren’t stuck in my head, that’s for sure.”
“Don’t worry, it’ll all be over soon.” a second voice interrupted. Malorie had heard that voice in the swamp and it chilled her. She looked over and saw a brunette in black standing at the doorway.
“Colin, we have some company. A few of those armored things are stumbling about. Could you take care of them?” Colin looked over at Malorie and simply shook his head.
“I’m sorry.”
“Colin...Colin,” Malorie muttered to herself, playing with the name for a brief moment before speaking prior to Colin making his exit. “I remember you now, not personally, I was too young. But I’ve heard a few stories about you from a few different people, my parents, Michelle, Oshiro. Those stories wouldn’t make me think that you’d leave me to end up on one of those effigies.”
“You won’t. Think of it this way, Malorie; you’ll be with your parents soon.” Colin said before exiting the shack. Only Malorie and the woman were left.
“You must mean something to him for him to say that.” the woman said. The wide brim of her hat cast a shadow across her face but her irises, bright and green, shown through.
“Not enough.” Malorie thought to herself before responding “So the witch is real? Wish I could see the look on Bateman’s face to hear that. You weren’t on the Atlas, I take it.”
“Atlas? Like the man with the world on his back?”
“It was a ship, a safe zone. I was born there, Colin was there from the day it set sail if I recall the stories right, but I suppose that doesn’t matter much to you, witch.”
“Colin doesn’t talk about his past much. You know more about him than I do, soldier.”
Malorie was amused by the last comment, managing a small smirk that quickly vanished as she continued. “Does that make you jealous, is that the reason you’re going to kill me?”
“I’m not going to kill you because I’m jealous. There’s nothing to be jealous about. You’re going to die because like all the others you don’t belong here. First it was those stupid men in black, and now you’ve all come looking for them. It never ends, does it?”
“No, it doesn’t,” Malorie said, leaning towards the woman. “And you won’t change that. Every body you add to your total, every person that you butcher and put on stakes, you’re ensuring yourself a worse and worse death when you’re caught. The Gray Army won’t stop its march east until it hits the ocean, and it’s going to run over every single obstacle in its way. If Kane gets her hands on you while you’re alive, you will live to regret all of this. You don’t belong here anymore either.”
“Death has always been assured. Even before I ever took the life on one of your people. Even before I spilled any blood, death was always chasing me. No matter how much I tried to stay out of the way or bother anyone, it came to me anyway. I welcome all of you to come kill me, but know that I will fight as bitterly as you.” The woman answered. “I’ll be back. Try not to tire yourself too much.”
“Untie me when you come back and we’ll see which of can fight more bitterly for our lives. Or are you incapable of killing what isn’t bound or off guard?” Malorie challenged before she stepped out with a laugh, closing the door behind her. She listened hard, trying to isolate the sounds of the witches movements from the endless noises of the swamp life. Eventually she could hear Colin and the Witch trying to coordinate with each other on taking down the ER armored zombies.

“**** it,” Malorie cursed under her breath. “Now or never, I guess.” Malorie began to really struggle against her bindings, now that she wasn’t being monitored by either of her captors. While the rope was so tight that she knew her skin would give before it would, Malorie’s fingers could feel that the wood on the arm of the chair-and presumably the rest of it was rotting, having spent far too many years in the incredibly humid and damp swamp air.
With the noise outside intensifying as the two fought off the dead, Malorie began to rock forwards and backwards in her chair. Each rocking motion brought her closer and closer to falling over, and she had to be extremely careful not to fall forwards or tumble backwards before she’d built up enough momentum. Finally, teetering forward and using the tips of her boots and all of her weight, she shot herself backwards with as much force as possible. The impact was painful, smacking her head on the wooden floor and hurting her back against the chair itself, however it was enough to damage the left arm of the chair once it and she rolled over and came to a rest on the left side. She violently yanked at the splintered wood with her left arm several times before it finally came loose.
With the arm of the chair still bound to her forearm, Malorie barely managed to reach to her right hand in order to undo the bindings properly before she reached down and freed her ankles as well, allowing her to finally stand. She raced to remove the rest of her bindings while Colin and the witch were distracted. As the last of the rope fell away to the floor, her stomach sank as the fighting became relatively silent and she picked up on the sounds of approaching foot steps.
Bracing herself, Malorie stood just a couple feet away from the door as she listened to the steps get closer and closer until they reached a wooden ramp leading to the door. The moment it began to open inwards, Malorie grabbed hold of the handle from the inside with both hands and violently yanked it towards her with all of her might. This caught the witch off guard, pulling her into the shed towards Malorie while staggering somewhat.
Utilizing this, Malorie tried to sprint past her and out the door, but the witch managed to grip onto her uniform’s collar before she got far, choking Malorie and sending them both to the wooden floor with a crash. Malorie turned her head in time to see the witch attempting to bring a blade down on her, which Malorie narrowly blocked by holding the woman’s forearm back with her own. They struggled for a moment before Malorie shot her head back, smashing her skull against the witches face. This loosened her grip enough for Malorie to break free. Clambering to her feet, Malorie delivered a parting, backwards kick at the witch while she was still grounded before sprinting out into the swamp.
With her blood pumping and visibility limited, Malorie simply took off in a random direction at full sprint. While running into Eastern lines was a severe risk, she had no way to properly orient herself without giving Colin and the witch time to catch back up with her. Instead Malorie put all of her focus and effort into watching the swamp floor for any obstructions to avoid as she ran. While she ran, she occasionally looked back, hearing the sounds of tree branches and leaves shaking behind her. She caught a glimpse of someone quickly hustling through the trees, screening her attempt to escape. She had heard stories and rumors of the witch in the forest and had always discounted it as nothing less than pure horseshit, to put it in her words. But to actually have this specter of a woman bearing down on her in the darkness was something else. Terrifying was too weak of a word.
Still, Malorie ran as hard as she could, knowing she was dead if she slowed her pace even a little. She could just about feel the woman somewhere above and right behind her when she raced into a clearing and heard the distinct sound of a tree branch snapping. She thought about running further, but her curiosity overwhelmed her and she stopped and turned to see what had happened. She was surprised to see the woman on the forest floor, sitting seiza style with her face obscured by her long hair and the fact that her face was turned down towards the floor. Despite what seemed like a harsh fall, the woman managed to land with some grace, though she looked stunned. Her blade was on the ground, just within reach, but Malorie figured this was a good opportunity to deal with the witch once and for all.
She took a step forward into the clearing, but instinctively flinched back as she heard a few gunshots impacting trees near her. She looked past the witch and found the source of the shots. Coming out into the clearing on the other side was Colin, who had a revolver pointed right at Malorie. His stance and look gave Malorie the impression that he had missed his first shots on purpose, as his aim was unwavering now that he and Malorie had locked eyes. Yet he didn’t fire. Instead, very subtly, he seemed to be indicating that Malorie should leave the area.

“Get out of the swamps while you can, Colin.” Malorie said after a few tense moments. Her tone was sincere and nonthreatening, and after a moment she turned and ran from the clearing and deeper into the swamp.
"**** it, it's late."-Coins "Change it later."-Teddy
"She had a face like a bulldog licking **** off a nettle."-Jingles
"so he resigned himself to dying in a trash can."

TheTeddyguy
Posts: 14687
Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2011 4:03 am
Location: Writin' or Jeepin'.

Re: A Requiem For Humanity (IC)

Postby TheTeddyguy » Thu Feb 16, 2017 3:19 pm

[Tuesday, October 22nd, 2030 - 8:21 PM]


“Son of a...Agh!” Malorie growled in a low tone as the pain in her right thigh finally forced her to stop for a moment. Taking a seat on a dead tree that was half rotted into the ground, Malorie did her best to examine the wound in the fractured moonlight. It had been hastily stitched up, presumably by Colin, but her sprint had broken them wide open. While her clothing hadn’t visibly stained from the blood thanks to the tarp-like lining in it, she could feel warm blood running down her leg and into her boot.
Completely stripped of any gear or equipment outside of the clothes on her back, Malorie took a section of her left sleeve and began trying to shred it for bandages. This proved more than a little difficult thanks to the layers of resilient material. Malorie bit and ground with her teeth to no avail before looking for a spot on the dead tree to snag her sleeve. After finding one she succeeded in ripping off her left sleeve from the cuff to the elbow before tying it up into a tourniquet around the wound. It still burned like all hell, but at the very least now she wouldn’t suffer from further blood loss.

“I’ve gotta find some way to orient myself,” Malorie thought inwardly as she swatted at swarming mosquitos and looked around at the shadowy depths of the bayous. “I’ve gotta find my way back to Oregonian lines, and not stumble into Easterner lines while I’m at it, but how? We spent well over an hour on that boat, I’ve gotta be at least twenty miles out from base. And of course the chill’s starting to settle into the air now that I ripped half of my sleeve off. Guess I should get moving while I think then and keep my blood flowing.”
Grunting as she put weight on her right leg, Malorie rose to her feet and began walking with a slight limp as her mind raced for solutions and her eyes darted from one dark corner to another for any threats. Despite the pride she took in her bravery, Malorie couldn’t deny the sense of dread and foreboding that the swamp bread in the dark. The twisted and mossy trees, odd animal noises and occasional sounds of distant human screams combined with the mass of darkness and shadows to fill her head with an undeniable fear and sense that eyes she couldn’t see were tracking her every movement. Still, her common sense was keeping her irrational fears from overwhelming her for the moment.
Every moment Malorie spent in the cool nighttime air, the more chill set into her bones thanks to her still damp clothing. She rapidly rubbed her hands up and down her arms trying to generate as much warmth as possible as she moved. She briefly considered starting a fire to dry off, quickly discarding the idea when she thought about her lack of resources to start one in the first place along with the risks open flame would bring her.

“Find the Atchafalaya and head north along it, that’s my best bet,” Malorie reasoned, thinking out loud in a hushed tone. “A patrol boat ought to find me within hours of daybreak, just gotta avoid the Easterners at the same time. I’ll find a clearing and try to spot where the moon’s at so I have a sense of direction, then work east towards the river. Assuming I don’t get hypothermia first, if I stumble on a dry corpse I might have to steal its **** clothes so I don’t freeze to death...whatever, I’ve done worse.”
Malorie trudged for another hundred yards or so before reaching enough of a clearing that she could see the sky above. After finding the crescent moon and determining roughly where it had arrisen, Malorie began to follow it in hopes that the night was still young and the moon was still rising from the east rather than setting to the west. Every minute she spent walking added to her miserable conditions. The swarms of mosquitos harassed her with the incessancy of a zombie horde, pricking her skin anywhere they could get at it, which resulted in her smacking part of her neck, head or arm with nearly every other step in a vain attempt to keep the bugs at bay.
“Taiwan wasn’t even this bad,” she reflected with a growl as her frustration grew. “I’d literally beat someone to death for a can of bug spray right now.”

Malorie could feel that her progress was agonizingly slow. If it wasn’t one thing impeding her it was another; from her boots getting stuck in a particularly muddy area to her constantly looking over her shoulder at every noise whether it be a distant gunshot or an owl hooting in a nearby tree. Alone and unarmed in this still foreign environment, Malorie found her nerves growing frayed as her senses kicked into overdrive on trying to identify potential threats.
After what must have been an hour and a half of following the moon, the glint of the Atchafalaya River became visible through the brush. Malorie came to the edge of the treeline to give it a good look over to be sure it wasn’t just some random, isolated stream, but judging by its width she concluded it was the Atchafalaya. Before she made her next move, Malorie spotted another glint in the moonlight through the trees not far from her along the coast.

“Looks like my luck’s changing for the better for once.” Malorie said to herself, grinning a little as she stumbled upon what had been a small line of houses built up along the bank of the river. Most of the structures were in ruins from neglect and the elements, but one single story house was still standing against the odds. Thinking of nothing but settling in and getting warm before waiting on daybreak, Malorie strolled right up to the front door, which was slightly ajar.
She yanked it the rest of the way open before tapping the metal siding with her hand several times. After hearing nothing stir inside of the building, Malorie went to take her first step in the doorway but stopped just shy of placing her boot on the ground once she noticed a twinkle of light where she was stepping just out the corner of her eye. Slowly lifting her foot, she could see a fishing line that was stretched across the bottom of the doorway flex upwards as she took the pressure off of it. Now assuming there was some kind of booby trap inside, Malorie took a deep breath as she brought her foot the rest of the way back out of the building and took several steps away.
Seeking to test if she could still use the building or not, Malorie retrieved an old beer bottle she spotted on the ground amongst the debris of the other buildings. Standing some ten feet from the building, Malorie rolled the beer bottle across the ground towards the doorway. She could hear an audible click once she saw it disappear into the darkness of the building's interior, and a moment later the entire front of the structure blasted open in a violent explosion.
The concussive force of the explosion was enough to put Malorie flat on her back and leave her ears ringing. She had to blink several times before her vision returned to her entirely, just in time to see an orange fireball rise above the trees before growing black and vanishing, followed by orange sparks. Sitting up a little, Malorie could see almost the entire building had been leveled in the detonation, and what remained of it was ablaze thanks to some kind of accelerant that had been used in whatever bomb she triggered.

“I have to get out of here.” Malorie realized with a sudden rush of panic, knowing every Easterner within a mile had to have seen and heard what happened. Still dazed from the blast, Malorie was slower to get up than she liked, moving as if she were drunk until the shock of the explosion wore off enough. By the time she’d gotten up she could already hear a distinct sound over the normal cacophony of swamp life as some sort of motor became audible from the water, with a searchlight beginning to pierce the trees not long after.
Cursing, Malorie darted her eyes around for somewhere to hide, settling on a nearby pile of rubble. Kicking some of the splintered wood and twisted metal aside, Malorie made as much space for herself as she could in the brief window of time before laying down amidst the debris and dragging a large piece of sheet metal over herself and resting it on her body.
Moments later a black patrol boat rolled up along the bank of the river, with Malorie having just enough visibility from her hiding spot to see the bottom of the boat and the boots of the men and women who departed it, five pairs that she could see.

“Rivera, Perez, I want you two to try and find the remains of whatever triggered the bomb. I don’t want to spend a second longer on this side of the river than I need to if some damn critter set it off.”
“Yes sir.”
“Everyone else fan out, watch the perimeter. The grays could have seen that just as easily as we did.”

Reaching around beneath her hiding spot, Malorie found a length of steel bar and pulled it close to her, determined that if she were to be found that she would go down with some kind of fight, and hopefully not be captured. Before long one of the Easterners made his way near her pile of rubble and seemed to linger. Malorie was now doing everything she could to keep quiet, breathing as little as possible while nervous sweat ran down her body.
A moment later the Easterner stepped forward onto the rubble, climbing over some of it before stepping down directly onto the piece of metal covering Malorie. She found it almost impossible draw breath as the soldier unknowingly stood on her for what felt like an eternity. She could hear him sigh before casually walking off of her and the pile of debris, starting back towards the river.

Sucking in one deep breath once she could do so, Malorie panicked once the soldier who stood on her turned back at the sound. Without warning and resisting the pain in her thigh, she sprung up from beneath the sheet metal while taking the steel bar in both hands. Swinging it with all of her might as she rose, she didn’t give the surprised Easterner a chance to raise his weapon or call out.
The hunk of steel first smashed hard against the forehead of the Easterners helmet, staggering him from the force before Malorie followed up again, this time catching him flush in the side of the neck with a hit so hard that it sent the metal bar flying from her sweaty palms. The hit was enough however, toppling the man to one knee as he struggled to breathe. Reaching down, Malorie stole one of the Easterners stick grenades before he could do anything about it, priming it and throwing it towards the booby trapped building where several Easterners were nearby.
By the time the explosion went off Malorie was already inside of their unguarded PT boat. furiously fighting with the controls, managing to kick it into gear just as rounds began to come her way. One blew up the searchlight in a flurry of sparks and shattered glass, while another close round ripped through one of the gauges on the boats control panel. Before more damage could be done however, Malorie and the sleek PT boat escaped around a bend and out of the Easterners line of fire.
"**** it, it's late."-Coins "Change it later."-Teddy
"She had a face like a bulldog licking **** off a nettle."-Jingles
"so he resigned himself to dying in a trash can."

TheTeddyguy
Posts: 14687
Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2011 4:03 am
Location: Writin' or Jeepin'.

Re: A Requiem For Humanity (IC)

Postby TheTeddyguy » Fri Mar 10, 2017 7:18 am

“****, I think I went onto a smaller tributary,” Malorie thought to herself as she slowed the patrol boats breakneck speed and took in her surroundings, quickly realizing the river wasn’t as wide as she recalled. “**** it, I’ll just keep following this river, eventually I’ll find my way back. Either that or I’ll stumble out into the ocean, not much choice right now but to keep going and hope for the best.”
With the boat’s speed dropped to a calm cruising speed of about fifteen knots, Malorie carried onward for at least a dozen more miles. She remained on edge every moment of the ride, knowing just how exposed she was out on the river. Her eyes worked constantly to both keep the boat from hitting some debris in the dark and attempt to spot any signs of life on the banks of the narrowing river. Every glimmer of light that caught her eyes caused her to grow nervous, and every distant gunshot gave her pause as the boat’s engine made it difficult to discern just how far out the sound had come from.
After rounding another bend in the river, Malorie was overwhelmed with relief when she recognized the lights setup along the edge of Butte La Rose, a small town just south of the main forward operating base that served as a buffer against any Easterner push from the river. It didn’t take long for the sentries to spot the vessel heading towards them, with several spotlights lighting up and almost blinding Malorie. Turning the boat to the side and bringing it to a stop, Malorie raised her hands high in the air.

“Don’t shoot!” She called out, well aware that she was driving an Easterner craft. “Private First Class Malorie Kasun, 42nd Infantry Division, 31st Regiment, B company!”
Malorie waited for several tense moments before someone on a loudspeaker signalled for her to bring the boat in slowly. She did as ordered, bringing it to a stop at the end of a small dock before being suddenly and forcefully removed from the boat by two men.

“What in God’s name are you doing with an Easterner boat?” A Colonel demanded as Malorie was held by either shoulder by the two men who yanked her from the boat. “You’d have damn sure been painted all up and down this stretch of river if you hadn’t identified yourself so quickly.”
“I got separated from my team,” Malorie said in a frustrated tone as she shook free from the grip of the two men holding her shoulders. “We were scouting about a dozen miles south of here, an Eastern squad found us and sent us running. I got knocked from the boat by an explosion and my team had no intention of sticking around to pull me out of the water, so I had to find my own way home, sir.”
“Right. Sorry about the rough handling, it’s not every night one of ours come wandering up here in an enemy vehicle. I’m sure we’ll find some good use for this thing though. Franklin here will get you on a truck up to the FOB so you can let your commander know you’re still kicking and get debriefed.”
True to his word, the Colonel set Malorie up with a ride back to the base and before long she found herself approaching her squads tent beneath the highway. She got several odd looks as she made her way there, no doubt thanks to the ramshackle condition her uniform was in. After all of the mud and blood it’d been dragged through it looked closer to brown than gray, not to mention her missing helmet and pack.

“Rise and shine.” Malorie said dully after entering the tent and finding everyone fast asleep.
“The Hell, Kasun, is that you?” Padilla asked, rubbing his eyes before flicking on the lamp on his makeshift nightstand. “Holy ****, we thought you were a gonner!”
“Well, I’d hope you wouldn’t have driven off thinking I was still just fine.” Malorie replied with a hint of disdain as the others came to.
“What happened, how’d you make it back here?” Heam asked.
“A lot happened, and I stole an Easterner boat and drove it here.” Malorie answered as she plopped down on her cot and began peeling her boots off.
“You look like the swamp chewed you up and spat you back out,” Foster commented. “But I should have known not to count you of all people out early. Sarge, you’re gonna have to let the army know she ain’t dead.”
“Sorry to disappoint.” Malorie said sarcastically after seeing the plainly annoyed look on Bateman’s face.
“Are you alright?” Hall asked, spotting the blood staining one of Malorie’s socks and the makeshift tourniquet around her thigh.
“Shouldn’t need anything more than a quick cleaning and a few stitches,” Malorie said, looking down at the wound and back up to Hall. “If you don’t mind.”
“Nah, I’ve gotcha.” Hall said before moving to gather some of his supplies.
“What exactly happened out there after we lost you?” Bateman asked plainly, as a formality rather than out of actual curiosity.
“Well, I ran into the Witch.”
“Real funny, Kasun. Give me another smartass answer and I’ll-”

“It’s not smartass, it’s the truth,” Malorie stated sternly, looking around at the mix of expressions on her squad’s faces, ranging from disbelief to surprised. “I fell out of that boat, I came out of the river on the other end and took that hit to the thigh. Must have gone inland a mile or two before the Easterners started gaining on me. But then, someone started picking them off and killing them one by one. I tried to get up and run again, but the next thing I knew I was tied up in a chair.”
“Are you being serious?” Padilla asked, growing wide eyed.
“Have I ever been one to lie, or even embellish a little? I knew damn well you’d all give me **** over this story, but dammit it’s what happened!”
“Let her keep going man, she’s got me intrigued.” Heam said to Padilla.
“Thanks, Heam,” Malorie said, giving the man a small grin before continuing. “The Witch isn’t, wasn’t working on her own. When I came to there was some guy, he…” Malorie paused for a moment, knowing that nobody would believe her when she said the man had known her mother.
“He?” Bateman asked impatiently.
“He thought I was someone he used to know, that’s why he didn’t kill me right off the bat. We talked a little, he realized I wasn’t that person. Then he left me for a moment, I could hear him and the Witch talking. I broke out of the shitty chair they had me tied to before she came in to finish the job and ran my **** out of there. She gave chase, but I think she hurt herself in the process. I turned to try and finish her, but that guy sent me running with a few shots.”
“Well, now I know she’s telling the truth.” Padilla said.
“How’s that?” Bateman asked with a raised eyebrow.
“Because I can’t name many folks with half as much pride as Kasun here, and if she admits to something making her flee then I damn sure believe her.”
“Trust me, I wanted to bring her down. But I didn’t have anything but the clothes on my back, and I wanted to not end up with my head impaled on a spike somewhere more than I wanted hers to bring back as a trophy. I know roughly where they are though. It’d take a bit of time to narrow it down because I was admittedly running my **** off, but we can find it if we make a day of it.”
“You want us to go on a literal witch hunt?” Bateman asked, incredulous.
“We’ve gotta do more scouting in that general area anyways, right?” Foster asked. “It couldn’t hurt to look over the area she’s got in mind. If she is telling the truth and we find and kill the Witch, it’ll go a long way for morale. I’m sure the brass would praise you up and down for it also, being the leader of the team to bring her down.”
“We’ll take some time to check it out,” Bateman relented after a moment. “But Kasun, if we get ambushed by some Easterners or something else happens that costs any lives on this, it’s on your head.”
“All the blame for me if we fail, all the glory for you if we succeed.” Malorie thought to herself, although she wasn’t quite foolish enough to say it aloud. “Sir yes sir.”
As Hall got to work on her thigh, Malorie recounted the rest of her story to fill the others in on how she acquired the boat and made it back to them. By the time she finished and Hall was wrapping up on her stitches, the others were working on getting back to sleep.
“A few more inches to the side and this bullet would have had you on your way back to Portland.” Hall said to Malorie as the others settled back in and he finished stitching her thigh closed.
“A few more inches to the side and I’d be lying dead in the swamp.” Malorie corrected.
“Fair enough. Those stitches should hold, just try not to do anything over the top these next couple days.”
“I’ll try, but don’t hold it against me if you’re sewing my leg back up by the end of tomorrow’s scouting mission.”
“No worries, sewing all of you back into one piece is what I’m here for eh?” Hall asked playfully before suddenly remembering something and getting up. He returned to Malorie with a sealed envelope and held it out to her. “Mail call came a bit after we got back from scouting, and this was there for you.”
“And you grabbed it?” Malorie asked, taking the envelope.
“The army destroys unclaimed mail, I was going to return it to the sender and let them know what happened to you, but now I guess I don’t have to do that.”
“That’s sweet of you, Hall,” Malorie said softly, smiling. “Thank you.”

Hall gave a nod and returned to his cot, leaving Malorie to examine the envelope. Her heart skipped a beat when she read the address on the outside of it and saw it was from Sydney. Clumsily ripping open the top of the sealed envelope, Malorie unravelled the letter inside and got to reading away, a happiness she hadn’t experienced in some time coming over her as she read her sisters writing.


“Dear Malorie,

Well, let me put your fears to rest. Church and I are doing just fine all things considered, and so are Nicholas and Laura, who did get here safe and sound. Nick told me everything that happened from his perspective. You don’t have to apologize to me for mom, what happened to her is no more your fault than what happened to dad as far as I’m concerned. Mom wouldn’t have let you leave Sydney on your own even if we physically tried to tie her down and stop her. I wish things were different, but all that matters is that you’re still here. It’s all that would matter to her or dad, so it’s all that matters to me.
Nicholas and Laura are both adjusting pretty well I think. Church has taken Laura entirely under her wing as if she were her own kid, her and Nick showing up at our doorstep was something of a gift for her I think. She’s seemed a lot happier, more like the Church from the Atlas. You helped more than those two by sending them to us, that’s for sure.

We were all excited when the letter you sent me got here, it’s relieving to know you’re still out there. I’m definitely surprised to hear that you’re in the military, especially Oregon’s. I wish you were wrapped up in something safer, but I know safe just isn’t you, huh? We’ve gotten bits and pieces of information about the war going on over there right now. I hope you know just how proud our parents would be, of you fighting the Eastern Republic. I know I am. I know you’ll make them sorry for every person they’ve wronged, including mom.
I miss you too, Malorie. You and I were always two different sides of the same coin, and we sure as hell never saw eye to eye on much of anything, but by God do I miss having you in my day to day life. Everything is a little bit more dull without you around, I’ve gotta admit. But I suppose I shouldn’t complain much about dull with what you’ve got going on, huh?

I passed on your message to Nick, he just wants me to tell you he thinks about you just as often, and that he hopes you’re doing alright and stay safe.
Well, this letter’s getting a bit long and this paper’s getting a bit short. I guess I’ll end by thanking you. I might not have realized it at first, and I sure as hell wish you’d have handled things differently, but you sort of saved me by putting that abrupt stop on any communication between Todd and I. He was dragging me far, far down and I would have kept letting him do that until he was done with me. I get now that what you did was from just how much you love and care about me. You’re a good person at heart, Malorie. You’re violent because the world forced you to be, you have your own way of doing things and you know full well I don’t usually agree with them, but I understand now that you’ve always had nothing but the best of intentions for the people you love.
You stay safe out there, sister, and you write me something ASAP, alright? I’m gonna be checking the mailbox religiously until I hear from you again. And I’d better hear from you again, okay?

Love, your other half, Mary.”


By the third time Malorie finished scanning the letter, several tears had fallen onto the paper and smudged some of the ink from Mary’s handwriting. Neatly folding the paper and setting it aside in an empty ammo can under her cot, Malorie crept around her tent until she found and retrieved a pen and piece of paper.


“To Nick,

This paper is for your eyes only. Not Mary’s, Laura’s or Church’s, just you. I’m glad you two made it to Sydney safe and sound, I was really worried about something happening along the way, or Church not believing you and sending you two packing. But you’re safe now, that’s what’s important.
Going by Mary’s letter, you and Laura didn’t tell her everything. Thank you, thank you so much for that. I’m enough of a monster in my sister’s eyes as it is, I have a feeling she wouldn’t have written me back if she really knew every detail of what happened. You had every right to demonize me and you didn’t, I owe you for that.

I’m so sorry again about everything. It still weighs on me, the fact that my mom and I turned your whole world upside down. You were all just as scared as we were. Even Laura’s dad, he wasn’t doing anything my own dad wouldn’t have done if he felt his family was in danger. I’m sorry about Leonard and even Megan. Things shouldn’t have played out the way they did, and if I could turn back time and avoid running into you guys I would.
But ultimately I am glad to have met you, although I’m sure you don’t feel the same way about me. I hadn’t felt true affection from a boy ever since before I got my scar, what we had went a long way towards making me feel a little bit human again. We didn’t get to spend as long as I’d have liked together, but I still cherish every second of every memory. If I didn’t have you after my mom died, I probably would have laid down there and died with her. You and Laura, but mainly you, was all that was keeping me going until I signed up with Oregon.
I know I’ve caused more harm and damage in your life than I had any right to. I understand if you hate my guts and everything I stand for. I guess I just want you to know and understand that I really did, do, care about you. You mean something to me, what we had meant something to me. You’re a good guy, through and through, I hope I didn’t spoil that any. I hope you have nothing but success and happiness from here on out, you deserve it just as much as my sister does.

I’m gonna cut this short, before my tears destroy this paper and I have to rewrite all of this. You stay safe, Nick.

Love, Malorie.”


Folding that paper up, Malorie took a deep breath before she began writing on the second.


“To Mary,

You have no idea how much some of that letter means to me. I thought you’d hate my guts when you found out we’d lost mom. Anytime I thought about what happened with Todd I gave myself **** for how I lost control on him and the **** he was with. Knowing that you understand my reasons and are better off for it now is a massive weight off of my shoulders.
I didn’t think about sending them there being a good thing for Church also, but it puts a smile on my face to know things worked out that way. Laura’s a good kid as I’m sure you’ve figured out, her and Church deserve each other to fill the holes left by Cora and Laura’s mom Megan as much as possible.

As for the war, we’re making the Easterners pay that’s definitely true. They’re making us bleed for every inch though. I myself have already had my shoulder dislocated, got hit with shrapnel, took a bullet to the stomach, got gassed, and most recently had a bullet take a bit of meat off of my right thigh. Not trying to worry you, just being honest with what’s going on. For every injury they’ve given me I’ve killed one of them, and I’ve even gotten a couple of medals just like great grandpa’s bronze star. It’s nice to feel like I’m part of something greater than myself, like I’m fighting for something more than my next meal or the next roof over my head. I wake up in the morning and I feel a true sense of pride as I lace up my boots to start the day. Just like with your doctoring, I think I’ve found my real calling in life. I feel like I was built for this, for war. I never feel more alive than when I’ve got bullets coming my way and I’m sending some someone else’s way. I’m sure mom would prefer your job preference to mine, but it’s like you said. We’re two different sides of the same coin. You were built to save lives, I guess I was built for the opposite.

On an unrelated note, I ran into someone from the Atlas today. He thought I was mom at first, his name is Colin. Ask Church about him if you would, I’m curious to know more and didn’t get a chance to ask him myself.

Now, I’m dead tired. By all rights I should be dead period after everything that happened today, but as it stands I’m not so I need to get some shuteye before we head out tomorrow. Hopefully we can find some way to talk on a phone sometime in the near future, I miss your voice. But until then, this is enough. The connection to home these letters give is more valuable to me than I ever could have imagined. It’s one more thing to keep me sane, and lord knows I need whatever I can get towards keeping me sane.
You stay safe Mary, I’ll try and do the same.

Your other half, Malorie.”
"**** it, it's late."-Coins "Change it later."-Teddy
"She had a face like a bulldog licking **** off a nettle."-Jingles
"so he resigned himself to dying in a trash can."


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