A Requiem For Humanity (IC)

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Re: A Requiem For Humanity (IC)

Postby TheTeddyguy » Fri Jan 08, 2016 4:17 am

[Thursday, July 4th, 2030 - 4:43 PM]

With the 89th Vanguard Division pushing several brigades consisting of nearly 6000 men and women down the eastern and central routes to the city, the 90th was sent around to the far west in hopes of pushing into a weakened enemy flank. There were currently several dozen companies from other Vanguard Divisions still fighting it out on the very edge of Lubbok’s northern end, but reports suggested they weren’t going to last much longer without significant support.

On their way out of Amarillo, Malorie’s convoy joined up with the rest of B Company, forming a force of almost 200 strong in trucks, APC’s and even three Abrams tanks which were spearheading the speeding convoy. In a straight line, the eighty or so vehicles were going down a crumbling farmers road as quickly as they could manage. Roughly every ten minutes another unrelenting stream of rockets would fly overhead at Amarillo for nearly five minutes straight. If the Easterners weren’t forced back soon, Amarillo would be a pile of rubble and corpses making every second essential.

While initially extremely nervous, the sight of so many war machines and troops alongside the howling rockets overhead turned that nervousness into anxiousness and lust for battle. Her chance came sooner than she or anyone else in B Company expected, as without warning dozens of muzzle flashes appeared from a treeline several miles to their right, alongside dozens more from a massively overgrown field to their left.

A split second after the flashes and smoke were spotted numerous vehicles in the convoy were struck simultaneously. The main targets were the APC’s and tanks, with the tanks all being wiped out in the first volley from multiple shots from either side. To some degree, this made being in the back of a truck good luck for Malorie. But with an immediate follow up of raking machine gun fire, that very quickly changed.

Panicking, many abandoned their vehicles immediately after the first volley. An Abrams in the center of the ambushed convoy suffered an ammunition detonation from one of the hits it received, sending its turret off several feet into the air before crashing back down on the hull. The force of that explosion in turn killed the occupants of the vehicles in front of and behind it.

The APC’s that did survive the first volley split off the road in either direction thanks to the complete roadblock that was now in place. Malorie bailed from the bed of her truck after the initial shock of the violent ambush gave way to her survival instinct. After getting several feet from the road, just trying to escape the burning and exploding vehicles, Malorie ducked into the dirt trying to avoid the thousands of rounds being sprayed by the still unseen Eastern forces.

Almost immediately after diving into the dirt, Malorie witnessed as all of the cannons fired off once more on the convoy, although this time not simultaneously. Huge red rounds screamed at the convoy once more, one streaking right over Malorie before hitting the truck she’d left just moments prior. In front of her, every single APC that had gone forward onto the field was hit. A few crews and their troops managed to escape before any harm came to them, but most were caught on fire and burned alive by fuel if not outright killed by the shell.

Malorie’s ears began to hear nothing but a dull ringing as the sounds of explosions, gunfire and soldiers screaming in agony drowned each other out. Red machine gun bullets flew about seemingly endlessly, like they would keep going until every Vanguard on the road was filled with ten of them each. Then came a third volley, with almost all of the vehicles now entirely out of action the armor piercing rounds they had been using gave way to high explosive. Explosion after explosion rocked the ground, some striking the vehicles a second time for good measure.

This resulted in significant amounts of white hot shrapnel flying around as well, a piece of which hit Malorie in the upper part of her back. With the adrenaline flying through her veins she took little notice of it in that moment as it failed to strike her vitals. But shortly after that the gunfire stopped, leaving the sounds of roaring fires and wailing soldiers to fill Malorie’s ears as her hearing came back to her although somewhat dulled.

Bodies littered the roadside, some on fire, some riddled with bullets and others blasted into bits and pieces. Shellshocked troops, some injured and some not, staggered to their feet once bullets weren’t filling the air. In the distance Malorie and the others could make out over ten vehicles racing towards their position. Nobody recognized the machines, they were far shorter than an Abrams and even some civilian cars and moved with lightning speed.

“I said I need air support right the **** now, the entire convoy’s burning it shouldn’t be hard to find!” Boyce yelled furiously into his personal radio as he emerged from a knocked out APC, dropping the radio as he spied the charging Eastern vehicles.

“They’re closing in to finish us off, are you all just going to stand there and let them?” Boyce yelled to his zombie-like troops, getting the attention of a few including Malorie. “There are anti vehicle weapons in the supply trucks, we need to get them now!”

While some soldiers were so terrified they didn’t listen to or comprehend a word Boyce said, Malorie and twenty or so other surviving Vanguards rushed for the supply trucks that weren’t completely and utterly obliterated. Looking through the wreckage, Malorie found a long wooden crate that had been thrown to the ground by an explosion. Taking her Cutlass to it she pried it open, revealing a weapon she’d never seen before. It was the same steel color as most other things in Oregon’s forces, and by far the tallest rifle Malorie had ever seen. Taking it from its crate she found it to be prohibitively heavy, but she also thought it certainly felt like something that could stop a war machine.

Retrieving a large box magazine from the box as well, Malorie was astounded by the size of the bullets in it. Searching beneath the rifle, she found no place to insert a magazine until she shifted to the side where a slot just right for the magazine sat. As she fiddled with the rifle the Easterners guns opened up once again, having gotten well within the range they wanted to be at only a few hundred yards away from the roadside where they could clearly see their targets.

Malorie flinched as several bullets ripped up pavement directly in front of her, pelting her steel helmet with rocks and bullet fragments when she instinctively hid her face. The machine gun fire seemed to be carelessly aimed as it soon shifted away from her before striking her once. Working under the pressure of gun and cannon fire, Malorie struggled to figure out how to properly operate the massive rifle she had.

Smacking the magazine hard, it finally clicked into place. Turning her attention to the charging handle on the other end of the gun, Malorie fought to pull it back as the injury to her back began to make itself known with crippling pain. Fighting through it out of fear of death through inaction, Malorie pulled the charging bolt all the way back before releasing it, rocking the entire rifle as the heavy spring snapped forward.

Bracing the large butt stock against her shoulder, Malorie looked down its scope which was out of focus. She tried to fiddle with the focus rings for only a brief moment before she saw one of the closer vehicles machine gun fire raking back towards her. Looking beneath the scope and onto the iron sights, Malorie did her best to line up a shot before squeezing the heavy trigger.

The recoil completely shocked her, having not even taken it into consideration with so many other stresses on her mind. The rifle forcibly pushed her back several inches on the pavement despite laying prone behind it, and the pressure it put on her shoulder hurt her entire body. Looking up, a large cloud of dust kicked up by the rifle’s muzzle break blinded her for a brief moment before she saw the vehicle she aimed at spewing smoke, alongside a panicked crew member bailing out.

Realizing the weapon did in fact pack enough punch to go through the machines, Malorie decided to deal with the pain and take another shot. With the first casing already ejected Malorie figured the weapon was semi automatic, so after lining up her second shot Malorie fired again. This time the pain from the recoil was vastly increased, as this time Malorie leaned even further into it resulting in the dislocation of her right arm.
Yelling out in now unignorable pain, Malorie crawled away from the rifle and beneath a truck, putting her back to one of its tires. Several of the vehicles machine guns turned on Malorie after the second shot kicked up even more dust. Before the gunfire ceased Malorie picked up on another strange sound rapidly growing louder, until explosions far mightier than any she’d encountered thus far rocked the earth.

Malorie started to crawl for the next vehicle, thinking cannons were being fired on the truck now. Looking over however she realized the explosions were in the fields and were from aircraft dropping heavy ordnance directly onto the Eastern vehicles, leaving smoldering craters and even more twisted, burning metal flown about the scarred field.

Crawling out from under the vehicles and standing up, Malorie felt an immense sense of relief as she looked out at the now destroyed Eastern vehicles. That was until she noticed fire appearing on the horizon in the form of hundreds of freshly loaded rockets from Lubbok, reminding her as they screamed overhead that the war had only just begun, and this battle had yet to even be won.
"**** 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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Re: A Requiem For Humanity (IC)

Postby TheTeddyguy » Sun Jan 10, 2016 8:42 am

About ten minutes went by before Boyce managed to find Msouti and regroup the remaining survivors of B Company. Of the almost two hundred men and women, forty remained not counting Msouti and Boyce. Of those forty, several were mortally wounded, and almost a dozen more had harsh injuries, Malorie included.

“Any sign of Captain Maldonado?” Boyce asked Msouti as he returned from scouring the convoy for survivors with a few uninjured troops.
“He’s all over the inside of his command humvee, **** hell.” Msouti said, visibly sickened by the carnage unleashed on him and the rest of B Company.
“Damn shame.” Boyce growled, putting his hands on his hips and looking off towards the burning field sneering.
“I already radioed command, C Company’s diverting some forces to scoop us up and carry us the rest of the way to Lubbock.”

“What about our injuries?” Malorie asked, holding her right arm with her left hand. “Almost our entire platoon, company, whatever just got killed, and most of the rest of us need to see a doctor or something. I can’t shoot with just my left hand, not well.”
“Your injuries will be dealt with on the road, if the medics decide it’s too bad you’ll be sent further back, but that’s up to them to decide, Private.” Boyce answered.
“Speaking of the devils,” Msouti said, spotting several Oregonian APC’s emerging the north and skirting around the clogged road. After a quick assessment of the troops, the healthy or lightly injured were loaded onto Stryker’s while the manageable wounded were loaded onto designated medic M113’s that had been outfitted to serve as mobile field hospitals. Those whose injuries were too grave to possibly stand up to further combat were sent back north on the beds of supply trucks.

Malorie and four others were loaded onto one of the M113’s, which got moving the moment it had its rear door shut. Three medics got to treating the patients, getting to work in order of priority based from their initial once over. Luckily for Malorie, her blood loss from her back wound made her among the first to be checked on.
“Alright Private, what have you got for me?” An older medic asked as he approached her seat.
“My arm got fucked up shooting a big **** rifle, and my back got fucked up by a bullet or something. How the hell am I supposed to fight like this?” She complained through gritted teeth.
“You’re not, it’s my job to make sure your condition is much better before we reach Lubbock, so let’s get this ball rolling shall we? How bad is your pain kid?”
“You can call me by my rank, or my name, don’t call me ‘kid’,” Malorie hissed. “And it’s bad, real **** bad.”
“That explains a lot.”
“What, did you expect me to not be **** hurting or something with these wounds?” Malorie asked heatedly.
“That's exactly what I expected. You Vanguards were all supposed to receive your fenethylline-B shots and extra syringes before you were deployed. The Easterners surprise from the sky must have forced you to head out before, that’s unfortunate.”
“The hell is fenethil- whatever the hell you just said?”
“Fenethylline-B, or as it’s often referred to by the troops, ‘the Magic Bullet’,” The medic said, kneeling down and retrieving a case underneath the cot Malorie was sat on. Opening it, there were several dozen rows of syringes filled with a clear liquid. Grabbing one, the medic flicked it several times.
“And what’s this ‘Magic Bullet’ supposed to do for me?”
“First and foremost, it’s gonna take the edge off that pain of yours right quick. On top of that, it oughta make you better at damn near every aspect of your job. You’ll be more alert, focused, quicker reflexes, and you’ll need substantially less sleep. On top of that, it should keep you feeling euphoric for almost its entire duration.”
“Sounds like some pretty strong stuff,” Malorie said, eyeing the syringe nervously. Malorie was aware from the medics description that the Magic Bullet was a very powerful drug, and some of the things he described sounded like descriptions she’d heard Jhonny giving about certain drugs he’d used. She remembered all too well how on his deathbed he warned her and Mary to avoid everything he used to do, drugs included. “Is there anything else I can take just for the pain, without everything else?”
“All of the Vanguards are supposed to have fenethylline-B, if some did and some didn’t then cohesion could be thrown off for the entire unit. Trust me Private, you’re gonna want this in your system before you set foot in Lubbock.”
“Alright, fine… Just give it to me and get me patched up.”
“That’s the spirit soldier, just give me your arm,” The medic said, with Malorie extending her left arm in response. “I’m gonna inject this into one of your veins, make sure to switch the vein you inject into each time you need more. Reuse the same vein too many times in a row and it won’t be pretty.”

With that, the medic plunged the needle into the underneath of Malorie’s forearm and injected the Magic Bullet. Almost instantly, Malorie felt a strong, otherworldly chill run up her arm and through her entire body, her teeth chattering for a moment before other effects began to kick in. First, she felt her pain slip away as if someone took a dial and turned it from eight on down to two. Then the sense of euphoria came over her, utterly wiping out almost every negative in her mind. Her fear, anxiety, anger. Everything replaced in an instant by a feeling of being on top of the world.

“Holy ****!” Malorie exclaimed, jumping to her feet as the Magic Bullet rushed through her blood. “You-You were right, I-I feel, I feel like-”
“I feel like you need to sit back down and let me tend to your wounds, Private. If I don’t get that bleeding stopped soon you’re gonna be off your feet regardless of the Bullet.”
“Right, okay, yeah.” Malorie said quickly, sitting back down and showing her back to the medic.
“I’m gonna need you to stay still for this.”
“Still, I can do that.” Malorie said simply, shifting her focus to keeping herself as frozen in place as possible in the moving APC. Over the course of several minutes, he removed the piece of shrapnel while Malorie stared blankly ahead without flinching once, a small grin worn on her face.
“Consider yourself lucky, this bit of steel must have been so hot that it cauterized some of the tissue around it after burying itself into your flesh. Explains why you didn’t lose much blood.” The medic told Malorie before disinfecting the wound and stitching it shut.
“Some further good news, your shoulder doesn’t appear to be broken, simply dislocated.” The medic said before grabbing Malorie’s shoulder, popping it back into place for her.

With Malorie treated, the medic moved on and left her to her own devices. Malorie couldn’t shake the feeling of suddenly being more than she had been minutes before. It was a magic feeling to her, like every hole in her strengths as a person were patched up. Every thought of possibly being killed by the Easterners left her thoughts, like this, she felt as if she could fight off the entire planet.

As she sat there, she quickly began to grow excited for the coming fights she’d experience in Lubbock. She began tapping her feet from left to right rapidly on the floor of the APC while repeatedly tapping the stock of her UMP against the floor between her legs as her anticipation grew.
"**** 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."

Posts: 14689
Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2011 4:03 am
Location: Writin' or Jeepin'.

Re: A Requiem For Humanity (IC)

Postby TheTeddyguy » Sat Jan 16, 2016 1:16 am

[Thursday, July 4th, 2030 - 5:28 PM]

“Alright, here’s your stop Vanguards.” The driver called out before lowering the M113’s door and letting the five of them depart. They were in the center of a decrepit trailer park along with the remnants of B Company and the entirety of C Company, inside of Lubbock’s borders. The sounds of heavy fighting were now clear as day, with the Easterners main stronghold in the city sitting only a couple of blocks away. The neighborhoods behind them were all burned to the ground at some point after the apocalypse luckily for the Vanguards, providing less suitable ground for the Easterners to give resistance from and slow their progress.

A few dozen medics were busily doling out syringes of the Magic Bullet to the Vanguards who had yet to receive their own doses whilst the commanding officers of the two companies discussed a plan of attack near the center of the park. Before too long one of the medics notified the three commanders that every soldier in the two companies was now dosed up and ready to fight.

“Alright Vanguards, listen up!” The Captain of C Company called out via a megaphone. “Our intel tells us we’ve got one major stopping block between here and the Easterners stronghold in Texas Tech, and that’s the Lubbock Methodist Hospital. It’s a sprawling complex and it’s heavily fortified, we can’t risk skirting around it lest we leave our flanks wide open, so we’re going to make a massed push on the center to keep those troops locked down while D Company makes their way around and into the University. D Company will be here sooner rather than later, so we’re making our move now! Let’s go kill some Easterners!”

( https://listenonrepeat.com/?v=kx-v5lGil ... Some_Crows )

A resounding roar issued from the drugged Vanguards as the Captain concluded his speech and C Companies machines roared to life. With very little in the way of organization, the undisciplined but highly motivated Vanguards began their march on the hospital, taking little notice in the fact that their higher ranking officers hung quite far back in several command vehicles.

Full of energy and itching for the coming battle, Malorie kept pace running alongside the other Vanguards heading down 4th Street. Their unanimous complete and utter lack of fear and desire to crush the Easterners was quite the compensation for their lack of training, causing them to move with the single mindedness of a zombie horde but while maintaining the capacity to strategize and fight with what skills they did have as individuals.

Well before they even reached its parking lot the Vanguards began taking fire from the upper floors and roof of the hospital, mainly from sniper fire. Even as comrades were struck down mere feet from them, the Magic Bullet kept even the most cowardly of soldiers in line and advancing on the target. Many of the hopped up troops began returning fire immediately alongside the mounted machine guns on the command vehicles. While they lacked any accuracy to speak of, the sheer volume of fire crashing into the hospital walls seemed to help lower the amount of fire they were receiving in turn. After losing several handfuls of troops the Vanguards came upon the parking lot providing them heavy cover as the parking lot was still filled to the brim with rotten cars from the initial outbreak.

With everyone now moving on their own accord and choosing their own methods to assault the hospital, the Vanguards began to disperse in several directions throughout the northern end of the parking lot as they advanced towards the hospital. The disorganization was an advantage in some ways, forcing the Easterners fire to be broken up as individuals pushed up from every direction.

Malorie was one of the most aggressive pushers, not slowing for a moment if she could avoid it as she pushed towards a small courtyard outside of the hospitals northwestern entrance. A building just to the right of her and the hospital was completely engulfed in flames, the tail of a downed Eurekan aircraft just visible from a massive hole in its wall. Entering the courtyard, Malorie and several fellow soldiers that kept pace with her trampled over countless skeletons that littered the ground outside of the hospital before they began racing up two large flights of concrete stairs.

A taller man overtook Malorie as they climbed the staircase, immediately being gunned down as he reached the top before tumbling back down the stairs. Malorie narrowly avoided being hit by his corpse on her way up, just barely side stepping it and watching as he came to a violent crash at the concrete at the base of them. Her and five other soldiers, including one other woman, exchanged looks with each other before training their weapons back on the top of the staircase and continued moving forward.

The other female Vanguard reached the top next, but instead of blindly running over and into waiting gunfire she laid herself against the staircase and just barely peaked her head and AR over the top of it before opening fire. Following her example, Malorie and the other four men did the same thing all along the wide set of stairs. Once she got a glimpse over the edge, Malorie could see several Easterners behind a makeshift barricade laying down a heavy amount of fire at them, their suppressing fire preventing her from getting a good look at them.

While they had six guns to the Easterners three, the Easterners more advantageous position kept everything locked in a stalemate for several minutes. Eventually one of the men on the stairs ended up catching a bullet from one of the Eastern machine guns, sending him sliding down the stairs only to be immediately replaced as Boyce and four other soldiers caught up. After realizing the predicament they were facing, Boyce tossed a smoke grenade over the edge of the stairs and onto the ground, laying down a thick grey cloud.

“Alright everyone, on me!” He yelled out after waiting several moments for the smoke screen to grow. Without hesitation, Malorie and the others followed him over the edge. While their fire was no longer accurate, the Easterners kept their guns firing into the cloud blindly resulting in three Vanguards being quickly cut down. The Vanguards were able to return fire more efficiently now however, and with the higher volume of fire they managed to force the Easterners to retreat back into the hospital’s interior.

The retreating Easterners didn’t expect the tenacity of the Vanguards, resulting in them being caught off guard as Boyce and the others quickly stormed the hall and laid down a blanket of fire on the three. While all three of the Eastern troops were visibly coated in heavy armor, that mattered little when faced with such an inundation of gunfire, cutting them all down before they could react and give off another shot.

“The northwest courtyard’s cleared Msouti, funnel more in here to back us up!” Boyce called over his radio while Malorie and the others reloaded their weapons. Before he could hear Msouti’s answer, a door to one of the hospital rooms in the hallway cracked open and let an object out before being slammed shut.

“Get dow-” Boyce began to yell before a heavy explosion rocked the hallway and the Vanguards inside of it. For Malorie one second she was on her feet loading her weapon, and the next thing she knew she was on the floor flat on her back with the body of the other female Vanguard now right on top of her. As her vision came back to her, Malorie could see the woman’s face in a state of frozen shock and surprise. Even on the Magic Bullet, Malorie was shocked for a brief moment before blood leaking from the woman’s mouth and onto Malorie’s face spurred her to roll the corpse off of her and sit back up.

As she did so Malorie saw two more Eastern soldiers standing in the hall facing away from her as they executed the still concussed Vanguards. Having lost her UMP in the explosion, Malorie unsheathed her KA-BAR and bolted straight for the closer of the two Easterners. Grabbing the soldier from behind, Malorie hooked one arm around their neck while she grabbed one of the tubes from his or her gas mask as more leverage to control the Easterner by.

The soldier was far stronger than Malorie had predicted, letting out a yell for her comrade as she tried to fight Malorie off. Before the woman could shake Malorie, she managed to drag the edge of the combat knife along the woman’s throat slicing through the layer of rubber like material the bottom layer of the suit was made of and carving into her neck.

“Rizzo!” The other Easterner yelled out in distress once he realized Malorie had just sealed his allies fate. Knowing his partner was now as good as gone, the Easterner let out a burst of fire on her in an attempt to gun Malorie down but Malorie kept her adversaries armored body propped up, absorbing every round that came her way before Boyce put several rounds into the back of the male soldiers helmet, dropping his heavy corpse to the floor with a loud thud prompting Malorie to drop her human shield as well.
"**** 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."

Posts: 14689
Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2011 4:03 am
Location: Writin' or Jeepin'.

Re: A Requiem For Humanity (IC)

Postby TheTeddyguy » Thu Jan 21, 2016 10:53 am

Before Malorie or Boyce could say a word to each other, Msouti stormed the hall with a couple dozen Vanguards at his back. Several were visibly wounded but the Magic Bullet kept them from being severely affected right away thanks to its intense pain suppression.

“I need six of the bunch, the signs say there’s stairwells down the south hall and I plan on clearing one out to make flooding the building and overwhelming the Roaches a bit easier on us.” Boyce explained to Msouti, who nodded before looking back to the troops following him.
“You heard the Lieutenant, you six are with him. Everyone else I want you in teams of five clearing the rooms one by one, no stone unturned, no Easterner left breathing!”
“I want you with me also,” Boyce said to Malorie. “Scoop a weapon up and let’s get moving!”

Malorie gave a nod before grabbing for a weapon. She wanted one of the AR’s carried by the Vanguards as she was moderately familiar with the platform, but the ones readily visible were also clearly damaged by the grenade explosion. With no time to search further, she instead scooped up a submachine gun from one of the Easterners.

Following closely with her six fellow Vanguards and Boyce, Malorie looked the weapon over as they moved trying to familiarize herself somewhat. It reminded her of her mother’s old AUG, with the bullpup design putting the magazine at the rear of the weapon behind the trigger guard. While it felt a bit awkward to her, the design’s pro’s were clear in its relatively small size and weight, making it much more suitable for close quarters like they were in now.
The see-through magazine allowed her to see that it was loaded to the brim with 9mm ammunition, and after finding the safety lever as well she felt confident in giving the new weapon a trial by fire.

With Boyce now directly commanding the smaller squad he made sure they were far more organized than the chaotic initial charge. Putting three Vanguards on either side of the double doors leading into the stairwell, he and Malorie both stood directly in front of either door.

“The girl and I are gonna breach the doors and start laying down some suppressing fire. The six of you funnel in behind us and start heading up, stomping every roach in your way! We go up until we’re positive the entire stairwell is empty, then we’re gonna get to work on handling those snipers on the roof!”
“Can’t wait to stick one of those bastards!” One of the younger Vanguards around Malorie’s age commented.
“What’s your name, Private?” Boyce asked Malorie before they breached the door.
“Malorie Julock, sir.” She answered, not looking away from the doors as the Magic Bullet continued to pinpoint her focus.
“Alright Julock, I want you sticking close to me through this, got it?”
“Yes sir.”
“Good. Alright Vanguards, on three. One, two, three!”

The moment Boyce called out three, he and Malorie both lunged forward and forced their respective doors open with their guns already aimed straight up. Boyce got the first shots off, firing blindly up into the stairwell on semi-automatic as fast as his finger could pull the trigger. Malorie began firing a moment later.

Having never handled the Eastern SMG before, she was caught entirely off guard by the monstrous rate of fire the gun provided. Her initial trigger pull let loose a hail of bullets in a single second, the massive cyclic rate of the weapon making it sound more like a buzzsaw than an actual gun. After the initial surprise from the rate of fire, Malorie began putting the weapon to use in a fully automatic spray up the stairwell. The volume of fire was such that Boyce stopped firing his own weapon after a moment, letting Malorie unload the entire magazine in less than ten seconds.

While the six Vanguards got to racing up the stairs, Malorie looked in mild awe at the gun as smoke poured from its now red hot barrel. With prompting from Boyce, she snapped out of it and dropped the now empty gun to follow her commander up the staircase. As they climbed to the third story, Easterner guns started returning fire from above now that they weren’t pinned down by Malorie and Boyce. One of the guns firing back at them also undoubtedly being another one of the SMG’s Malorie had just discarded.

With bullets and small pieces of concrete flying all through the air as the rounds indiscriminately sprayed the stairs, Boyce began to slow his pace in an attempt to keep himself from being too exposed. Unlike the other Vanguards, he and the commanders weren’t hopped up on the Magic Bullet so that their decision making abilities wouldn’t be impeded in any way. However this of course also resulted in him and the others not gaining the advantages of indomitable bravery, laser focus and intense pain resistance, among other things.

Intent on following her orders, Malorie slowed her pace to Boyce’s as the other Vanguards raced well ahead of them. Moving at a relative crawling pace and temporarily deafened by the sounds of gunfire, both Malorie and Boyce were caught completely unaware by an Eastern soldier that emerged from a door they’d just passed.

The moment the large soldier spotted them he took several shots at Malorie and Boyce from behind with his rifle. While the first two missed, a third struck Boyce on the back of his hand making him howl in shock and pain. With her Walther already drawn, Malorie quickly turned once she realized where they were being fired on from and began squeezing off rounds. Several struck dead on against the Easterners chest, but the 9mm rounds were effortlessly absorbed by his thick layers of armor.

Still, the impact of the rounds still stung enough to throw his accuracy off resulting in several rounds that would have struck Malorie to instead find their way into the stairs at her feet. Malorie didn’t stop firing the Walther until the magazine in it ran dry, and while none of the hits even seemed to break the Easterners skin, one did find its way into his bulky rifle disabling it.

After realizing his weapon had ceased to function, the Easterner tossed it over the railing before unsheathing a quite intimidating curved, almost crescent shaped blade about the length of a machete. Starting up the stairs towards Malorie and Boyce with surprising agility for the bulky armor he was clad in. Stuffing the Walther back into its holster, Malorie grabbed for her cutlass and quickly raised its point to the Easterner.
Undeterred by Malorie’s longer blade, he took a heavy swing straight at her sword the moment it was within his reach as Malorie tried to backpedal to give herself more of a height advantage. She didn’t expect the sheer force of his blow, nearly disarming her and making her misstep falling flat on her back against the stairs. Now within range to strike directly at Malorie, the soldier used his chopping focused weapon to hack straight at her body.

In desperation to prevent injury to herself, Malorie grabbed the blade of her sword with her free hand and held the entire blade out in front of her to absorb the first two hits, the clashing weapons spitting sparks out into the air with each strike. As he came in for a third that was aimed higher to bypass her block and strike her head, Malorie brought one of her legs up and kicked with all of her might against the Easterner.
The hit threw him off balance in turn, sending him tumbling backwards down the staircase until he impacted back first against the wall. Cursing under his gas mask, the Easterner didn’t have a moment to lick his wounds as Malorie descended upon him as quickly as she could. Just barely managing to get to his feet before Malorie got within range, he now found himself on the defensive as Malorie wildly took hacks and slashes at him in a wild frenzy, yelling out as she did so.

The Easterner parried the first several strikes before Malorie got through his defense. However thanks to his armor, that hardly mattered as her slashes simply glanced off from the plates and thick kevlar the outer part of the suit was made up of. Malorie still remained undeterred, going for several more attacks before the soldier grabbed hold of her blades spine with his free hand, easily taking control of it from Malorie with his superior strength once he had a firm grip preventing her from swinging it further.
Realizing this herself, Malorie let go of the sword’s handle and immediately started backpedaling up the stairs again as the Easterner went back on the offensive once more with several more wild swings of his blade.

Landing a slash on her left thigh, Malorie was taken off of her feet by a sudden brief lapse in control of that leg from the impact putting her on her back once more but now with no cutlass to block incoming attacks. As he raised the curved machete for a decisive blow, Malorie instinctively raised her arms to shield her face. For a brief moment, she suddenly found herself feeling like she did in the moment Wade scarred her face for life.
Before the blade could be brought down on her, several shots rang out from above and the Easterner cursed again and began retreating down the stairs. Moving her arms, Malorie could see as rifle bullets made holes all along his armors front end. After taking ten direct hits, the Easterner dropped to a sitting position clutching his chest and gasping for air.

“I’m dry, **** finish him now Julock!” Boyce yelled to Malorie. Looking back at him, she could see him sat on the level above her with his AR balanced on the rail to make up for his grievous hand injury. Turning back to the Easterner, Malorie grabbed for her KA-BAR and raced down after him. Seeing Malorie coming, he staggered to his feet and raised his blade to her again. But his injured state was apparent to her, and she managed to relatively effortlessly bypass his slow defense with the heavy blade and get in close. Not bothering with slashing anymore, Malorie stabbed directly into his side several times before the strong blade pierced what armor he did have there and buried itself in his kidney.
The Easterner yelled out in agony, dropping his curved machete on the floor and reaching to his side for a sheathed dagger. Malorie managed to spot this in time thanks to his sluggish movements. Using her free hand she managed to forcibly pin his against the wall while she repeatedly stabbed into his side. Looking through the lenses of his gas mask, Malorie could see the look of sheer panic on his face as her knife carved his left side to ribbons, life leaving his eyes not long after.
“That was for my mom, you piece of **** ****!” Malorie screamed emotionally at the corpse while holding onto the cuff of his armor. She was still almost completely unaware of the nasty slash in her thigh, only remembering it was there when she looked down and saw her left pant leg stained crimson.

In the heat of the fight, both Malorie and Boyce failed to notice the Vanguards several floors above them being slaughtered by the Easterners until one was sent over the railing above them, his screaming coming to an abrupt end when he met the concrete floor below with a sickening crack. With the gunfire in the stairwell ceased for now, she and Boyce could both make out the sounds of the Easterners reloading their weapons before rushing down in their direction.

“Msouti, Msouti! We need reinforcements in the stairwell now dammit!” Boyce called out over his radio in desperation, fear present in his tone.
“Bring all of Oregon, they can’t save you!” A male Easterner shouted after overhearing Boyce. “The other greycoat couldn’t fly, we’re gonna see if you can next!”
Doing his best to ignore the Easterners threats, Boyce climbed to his feet and rushed down to the level Malorie was still standing on.

“What do we do now?” Malorie asked exasperatedly, even in her high state understanding that she and Boyce couldn’t fight off several more of what she just killed on their own.
“We improvise!” Boyce answered, turning his attention to the slain Easterner. Patting him down, Boyce found on his side what appeared to be a stick grenade, the green canister on the end of the stick holding a marking that read “H10 Grenade.”

“Find a way to prime this **** thing, you’ve still got both of your hands to work with!” Boyce commanded, passing the explosive to Malorie. With the Easterner footsteps getting louder and louder as they neared, Malorie scrambled to figure out how to use the grenade while also trying to not blow herself up in the process. Before long she found a small tab on the top of the explosive, prying it up she heard an audible popping sound before a small amount of smoke began to leak from the top of the grenade.

“Now!” Boyce shouted, prompting Malorie to look up and spot the Easterners now directly across from them just one level higher, their guns training on the two. Without hesitation Malorie chucked the grenade forward as hard as she could, the grenade landing almost dead center in the group of four Easterners. They only had a split second to panic before the explosive went off, rocking the ground and throwing debris and smoke into the air. The concussive force turning the closest Easterner to the detonation into debris himself.
As the dust settled it quickly became apparent that the grenade did its job, with all but one Easterner who was perched stomach first on the railing now silent. Without Boyce needing to mutter a word, Malorie raced up the stairs towards the Easterner. The severely injured man could see Malorie coming, but with numerous shattered bones he could do very little about it as she came up behind him.

“Well you proved that we can’t fly, maybe roaches can!” Malorie jeered to the Easterners dismay before she grabbed his leg with one hand and back with the other, forcing him over the edge with a shriek before plummeting several stories to his death.

“Lieutenant Boyce, are you still alive?” A Vanguard called out moments later from below as a team of them entered the stairwell.
“For now, I sure as hell hope Msouti sent a medic with you!”
"**** 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."

Posts: 14689
Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2011 4:03 am
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Re: A Requiem For Humanity (IC)

Postby TheTeddyguy » Sun Jan 24, 2016 11:39 pm

“Yeah, there’s no way you’re carrying on with this injury Lieutenant. Not unless you want to risk losing all use of this hand.” A female medic explained to Boyce as she applied bandages. He and Malorie were both sat in the stairwell still, both receiving treatment for their injuries.
“**** on that.” He cursed angrily as the sounds of fighting carried on throughout the hospital.
“I’m sorry sir, but this needs surgery as soon as possible. If not, then this might be your last time on the frontlines.”
“Lucky **** Easterner. I hope Msouti can carry the weight on his own,” Boyce growled, turning and looking over to Malorie who was receiving the last of her stitches on her thigh. “I want you heading back with me, Julock.”
“What, why?” She asked, surprised.
“Because you don’t belong in the Vanguards, you can handle yourself. We need soldiers like you in the Steel Army. I don’t want your skills being wasted as some **** canon fodder.”
“I can still fight, I still want to fight,” Malorie protested, standing up in the middle of her bandaging causing her medic to complain and be ignored. “If I’ve already got good skills or whatever, then let me use them here. I’ve got plenty left in me, I can keep going!”
“Even on the Magic Bullet, it’s rare that I’ve seen someone with your tenacity and drive. You’re made of different stuff kid.”
“Don’t call me kid,” Malorie said without thinking, pausing for a moment before adding “Sir.”
“Heh, I guess you’ve earned that much. Alright Julock, you’ve got my permission to carry on fighting if that’s what you really want to do. Just try and keep yourself breathing, and after this battle I’m gonna figure something out for you. Got it?”
“Yes sir!” Malorie said enthusiastically, happy to have gotten her way and receive praise.

As Boyce and the medic tending to him headed down the stairs to evacuate Lubbock and get his hand looked after, Malorie turned to the Easterner she’d slain. After witnessing first hand how efficient their weaponry was, she became intent on claiming anything else that may be useful on his person.

“Be careful with how much of their stuff you decide to wear,” The medic that was still with Malorie warned. “We’ve got uniforms for a reason, last thing you want is friendly fire being what does you in.”
“Trust me, I ain’t wearing all of this bulky ****,” Malorie explained, removing the Easterners helmet before taking his gas mask off. “Just taking some trophies, and anything useful that might be on him.”

Grabbing the gas mask and the small bottle sized canister attached to it, Malorie secured it to her belt via the straps on the back of the mask, wrapping its tube around her waist and stuffing the canister into one of her deep front pockets. She then reached for the dagger he had tried to use against her, unsheathing it to see it held no edge but instead focused on piercing with a fine point and sturdy but thin metal shaft with a finely made leather handle and small spiked pommel. Figuring it would help her with piercing their heavy armor should she wind up in another close quarters fight, Malorie secured the dagger and its sheathe which read ‘Rondel’ to her belt just behind her KA-BAR.

“I still don’t think using their gear is a good idea.” The medic said as she observed Malorie scavenging the Easterner.
“You’re young like me, have you been in Oregon your whole life?”
“Yeah, I have. I don’t see what that has to do with-”
“Out in the world, you learn you need to scavenge to survive. You take anything that might give you an edge over anything that wants to kill you. You adapt. If you don’t, you die, that’s all there is to it.” Malorie explained, grabbing the Easterners curved machete and examining it for a moment finding ‘Harvester’ stamped into the curvature of the weapon. Seeing that its design ensured stabbing attacks were relatively useless, Malorie discarded and retrieved her cutlass instead, sheathing it. Giving his body one more once over, she noticed a chain with a couple of tags hanging from his neck. Seeing them as another trophy, she snatched them from his neck and stuffed them into a back pocket.

Just as Malorie was preparing to head up towards the roof of the hospital, one of the doors a floor above her burst open with Msouti and a few dozen soldiers emerging from it and heading down.
“How’s Lieutenant Boyce holding up?” Msouti inquired to the medic with Malorie as he rushed down the stairs.
“Nothing that’s gonna kill him, but he’s being evacuated to get his hand looked at by some surgeons.” The medic explained.
“Alright,” Msouti said, stopping to take a breath as he reached where Malorie and the medic were stood. “Captain Stalling’s says he and C Company have the hospital under control, I’m taking the rest of B Company and a handful from C and we’re to help reinforce D’s push on the Easterners positions. More specifically Jones Stadium where a majority of the rocket fire has been emerging from.”

With that Malorie and the other Vanguards under Msouti’s command made their way out of the hospital and into the parking lot again, where several various six wheeled military trucks were waiting for them. After climbing into the bed of one, being sure to stay at the back of it so she could quickly dismount in an emergency, Malorie got to reloading her Walther P38.
Before long at all they were back on 4th Street heading towards the stadium, its location plainly visible from where they were as more rockets screamed from its fields towards Amarillo.

The trucks followed 4th Street onto an overpass that led directly to the stadium. As it came into view they could see the Easterners already had their hands somewhat full, not from Vanguards but from a zombie horde that was pouring off of the highway and into the parking lot drawn by the sound and sight of the rockets.
As the Easterners in the main entrance to the stadium took notice of the Vanguard trucks, their fire immediately shifted to them as they recognized the zombies would be more of a hindrance for the attackers than they would be for them.
The heavy machine gun and rifle fire from the several stories tall stadium entrance had little issue in causing major problems for the poorly protected trucks. The first truck in line had its driver struck dead by several rounds. With his foot still on the accelerator the large vehicle smashed into the concrete wall along the edge of the overpass as it curved, violently jarring all of the Vanguards in the back before its powerful engine and high clearance allowed it to crawl over the edge and plummet into the teeming horde beneath.
Fortunately the other four trucks managed to escape the overpass and careen into the parking lot amidst the heavy fire, splitting off in several directions to try and divide the fire and zombies. Several Vanguards in the back of Malorie’s truck began opening fire on the horde and stadium entrance as the truck plowed through dozens of undead. Malorie saved her bullets, currently having no primary weapon that was remotely efficient at firing on the move.

After getting about halfway through the parking lot, the driver of Malorie’s truck lost control of the vehicle after plowing into a particularly dense grouping of zombies, sending the truck head on into the husk of a car disabling its engine from the impact. Malorie didn’t waste any time in departing from the truck, kicking the metal tailgate open, smacking it into a zombie’s head and killing it before she jumped down with her cutlass in hand. The feverish Vanguards readily laid down heavy fire on the other zombies near the back of the truck, giving Malorie and one other Vanguard following her ample space to move up towards the stadium, with the horde thinning out significantly closer to the entrance.
Without missing a beat Malorie ran forward, slashing at any zombies that were too close to her path as she moved. As she and the other Vanguard neared the lawn directly out front of the entrance a heavy machine gun in one of the higher stories turned its attention on them. The rounds while inaccurate were numerous, kicking up debris from the ground and butchering several zombies as it tried to find its mark.

Diving forward into the chest high grass, Malorie began crawling through it hoping it would help conceal her. Her plan seemed to work, as all fire shifted to the slower Vanguard that had been following her cutting him to ribbons as she crawled forward. Malorie Crawled forward for about another minute before jumping to her feet and sprinting the rest of the distance until she was up against the wall of the main entrance.
Not wanting to enter and face off against multiple Easterners on her own, Malorie waited several minutes as other Vanguards gradually made their way forward, including Msouti. Once he and the other Vanguards reloaded their weapons, Msouti gave the order to storm the entrance. Stepping through the broken doorframes that had been smashed down by zombies early into the outbreak, they quickly came under fire from a single machine gun nest situated behind a ticket booth. Taking a grazing wound to the side of her neck, Malorie narrowly made it behind a concrete support pillar in the lobby while several fellow Vanguards were slaughtered by the rapid firing MG.
Msouti and two other Vanguards ended up stacking up behind the pillar as well, making it a very tight fit as they all tried to avoid taking any more bullets.

“I need one of you to move up and flush the Roaches out!” Msouti yelled over the thunderous gunfire, retrieving a round grenade from a pouch hanging from his side and holding it out. “Who’s gonna take the honors?”
“I’ve got it!” A male Vanguard yelled, taking the grenade from Msouti’s hand.
“Squeeze the metal spoon and pull the pin when you’re close enough, then throw it and make damn sure you don’t miss!”
The Vanguard nodded to Msouti, taking several deep breaths before breaking from cover and running forward, only to be cut down within several steps and dropped face first against the cracked tiles lining the floor sliding a few feet from his momentum.
“Son of a ****!” Msouti shouted as the Vanguard fell and the machine gun began ripping away at their cover once more.
“I’ll get the damn grenade,” Malorie exclaimed. “Just try and give some actual covering fire unlike you did for him!”
“Watch yourself Private!” Msouti responded, not happy with how Malorie was speaking to him.
“Do you want that gun and the **** behind it knocked out, or do you want to sit here until there’s no more concrete between us and their bullets?”
“You run on three!” Msouti barked, readying his AR. “One, Two, Three!”

As Msouti called out three, Malorie burst from cover with her Walther in hand, firing on the move while Msouti and the other Vanguard also began unloading with their AR’s. Dropping to her knees as she neared the fallen Vanguard’s body, Malorie scooped his grenade off of the floor as she slid in his blood before staggering back to her feet and running a few dozen more feet to the next support pillar nearer to the ticket booth.
As she made her move, more Vanguards from outside began to funnel in through the main entrance, taking the heavy machine gun fire off of her entirely as it focused on the easier targets. This allowed Malorie to burst from her cover again, running right up to the ticket booth from the side before tossing the grenade into it.

“Grenade!” One of the Easterners could be heard yelling as the machine gun fire stopped. Several seconds later the explosive detonated, shattering any glass that was still in place around the booth. Malorie was sat next to a door leading into the booth when a shellshocked Easterner emerged from it, his helmet taken off by the blast and blood leaking from a wound on top of his shaved head. Completely ignorant of his surroundings in his current state, Malorie easily came up behind him and forced her Rondel into the back of his neck before kicking him forward.

“Alright ladies, we don’t stop here! Head out onto the field, take different entrances so they can’t focus fire on us!” Msouti ordered, dividing up the remaining twelve Vanguards under his command into pairs of three. Malorie followed a bit behind the other two she was with, not wanting to be the first spotted as they came out onto the field in case even more heavy weapons were aimed on them. After the other two weren’t immediately cut down, Malorie sprinted out behind them with her Walther readied.
Much to their surprise however the Easterners on the field were in the process of loading themselves and some equipment into heavy APC’s to evacuate the area. Malorie and the others began opening fire regardless, the artillery operators not having any of the heavy armor that frontline Easterners were adorned in. As they cut down a few handfuls of the Easterners, the APC’s returned fire through machine gun ports built into their sides. Despite being behind a metal stadium seat for cover, one of the rounds ripped through it and found its way into Malorie’s lower abdomen. While she didn’t notice the pain right away, her sudden loss of breath caused her to look down and see the significant amount of blood now seeping from the critical wound.
Despite this, the APC’s were still on the retreat and once the last of their troops were aboard they made their escape through a path out of the field that led directly onto 6th Street.

“This is Lieutenant Msouti to command, repeat Lieutenant Msouti to command,” Msouti said to his radio as the APC’s vanished from sight. “Jones Stadium is secure, there won’t be anymore rocket fire coming from it. Requesting extraction for-”

As Msouti spoke confidently, feeling victory had been achieved, he and everyone else was caught off guard as artillery rounds screamed overhead and smacked into the ground around the stadium and the rest of the University area in Lubbock. The accurate and precalculated fire hit in astounding numbers in a short amount of time, but even more surprising was the lack of explosive force carried by any of them. Instead of rocking the ground with detonations, they exploded into a red mist as they impacted against the ground. Within moments the red mist began engulfing the entire area, quickly reaching Msouti and his men.
Unsure of what to make of it at first, Malorie and the others grew silent for a moment until the smoke began invading their lungs. All around the same time, Malorie and the other Vanguards suddenly felt their nose and mouth begin to burn as if they’d inhaled some extreme spices of some sort, followed quickly by drooling and a struggle to breathe.
Realizing that the red mist was poisonous, Malorie scrambled for the gas mask she’d secured from the Eastern soldier back in the hospital. Trying to hold her breath, Malorie frantically undid her belt to take the mask off of her waistline and put it on. Equipping it and securing it to her face, Malorie gasped for breath once it was on, finding breathing possible again.

The other Vanguards of course weren’t as lucky, and Malorie could only watch as the mist took its toll on them. By this point all of them were down on the ground, heaving a retching as they vomited while making sounds of agony Malorie had never even heard before. The Vanguard closest to her, seeing Malorie surviving thanks to her gas mask, grabbed her leg and dragged himself towards her in desperation trying to take the mask for himself. The sight of him was nothing short of horrifying, as blood leaked from his eyes, ears, nose and mouth. Not willing to sacrifice her life for his, Malorie kicked at the man several times as he screamed in agony before taking her Rondel and plunging it into his throat.

“I’m sorry!” She yelled from beneath her mask, not fond of being forced to kill a friendly soldier. She then climbed to her feet, still clutching tightly onto her stomach in an attempt to slow the bleeding as she staggered out of the stadium and away from the dying Vanguards.
"**** 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."

Posts: 14689
Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2011 4:03 am
Location: Writin' or Jeepin'.

Re: A Requiem For Humanity (IC)

Postby TheTeddyguy » Tue Jan 26, 2016 4:36 am

[Thursday, July 4th, 2030 - 6:44 PM]

( https://listenonrepeat.com/?v=-4SzK7rm6 ... ats_of_Goo )

Walking back into the entrance hall of the stadium, Malorie struggled to see more than twenty yards in front of her clearly thanks to the red mist only growing thicker as the seconds ticked by and the artillery shells dispersed more and more into the air. While it appeared as a red cloud it also seemed to carry a dust like attribute to it, coating the ground and everything around it in the toxic substance. On top of this the sun was steadily setting on the horizon, causing the ambient light it provided to vanish bit by bit as the minutes ticked by. This would be bad in a normal situation, but in this scenario it would almost certainly prove lethal if Malorie couldn’t escape the toxic cloud before nightfall.

As she made her way towards the entrance Malorie began to spot zombies the closer she got to the doors. Their moaning was particularly raspy as the chemical affected their vocal cords, still failing to kill them as oxygen and other vitals that the chemical attacked weren’t required for them to carry on existing. Still clutching her stomach, Malorie unsheathed her cutlass in her right hand before continuing on towards the horde. Nearing one Malorie hacked at its skull from behind, failing to go all the way through with the first hit. Taking several steps back to ready her next swing and avoid the zombies reaction, she watched as it spun around and swung its arms in the direction from which it had been struck before lunging forward in the same direction and falling to the floor when it found nothing.
While zombies had never been known for their gracefulness, Malorie quickly started to realize this zombie and those around it weren’t moving around like those she’d encountered in the past.

“Hey assholes!” Malorie called out shakily on a hunch, quickly stepping aside as the zombies she could see all turned their heads in unison before lurching forward. As she predicted, the shambling mass of undead went in the direction of where they’d heard her voice without deviating at all as she stepped out of their path. She stood mere yards from the entire horde without a single one noticing, giving her some mild relief.
“They’re blind,” She thought to herself, taking a deep breath as she watched them head deeper into the entrance hall. “They must not be able to smell in all of this either, because lacking eyes hasn’t stopped them before. At least there’s that.”

Now aware of the handicap put on the zombies by the cloud, Malorie began to make her way past them not with speed but by moving slowly and methodically to avoid bumping into the hundreds strong horde.Wandering out onto the parking lot, she could see the sun just barely piercing the thick cloud which seemed content to linger in the air for longer than she had expected. Continuing her methodical pace Malorie intended on sneaking out of the city and back to Oregon lines like this. But as she continued walking forward the pain in her stomach began to make itself known despite the Magic Bullet, her warm blood still leaking onto her hand and the floor behind her as she moved.

“If I don’t find a faster way out of here, I’m gonna drop dead before I get out of the city limits.” She thought to herself, struggling to formulate a plan of some sort before remembering the trucks that they’d ridden to the stadium. Hoping at least one was still functional, Malorie picked up her pace as the horde thinned out and began searching for one of them. Despite their hulking size this proved to be quite challenging with such limited visibility from the cloud combined with her gasmask which was fogging up with settling red dust that she had to wipe away every minute or so.

Finally however she did spot the silhouette of a truck, quickly running to it Malorie threw open the driver's door before climbing inside and slamming the door shut behind her. The interior of the truck was mostly free of the chemical, but after watching first hand what it did to the other Vanguards and even zombies she had no intentions of removing her mask until she was well clear of the city.
“Come on you piece of **** ****!” She cursed after trying the keys several times with the truck failing to start. Beginning to feel lightheaded from what she thought was blood loss, Malorie shifted her focus to trying to stem the bleeding somehow while she still wasn’t under direct duress from the zombies. Reaching over to the trucks seatbelt, Malorie utilized her KA-BAR to cut away a large section of it before lifting her shirt and taking a closer look at the wound. It had hit just to the left of her belly button, and the round had certainly not gone in clean thanks to hitting the stadium seat first leaving a very nasty looking entrance wound almost the size of her thumb.
Taking the seatbelt, Malorie made sure it covered up the wound before wrapping it around her torso and tying it tightly behind her. Observing it for several seconds, she could see some blood begin to leak out from under it but not nearly as much as when she was using just her hand. Lowering her shirt again, Malorie tried the keys once again, with the engine still failing to start she pounded her fist on the wheel in frustration.

“This is how you deserve to die.” A low, distorted voice said next to Malorie, severely startling her and causing her to draw her pistol as she looked to her right, only to see nobody there. Malorie was unsure of what to make of what she’d just heard nor how to react to it, getting no more time to think about it as a zombie’s hand smacking the truck hood snapped her back into the situation. Panicking, Malorie attempted to open the door only to have it hit another zombie outside that she couldn’t see thanks to the red dust coating the windows.
Quickly slamming it shut again as more and more dull thuds began ringing out on the truck, Malorie realized she was being surrounded by the undead as they zeroed in on the sounds made by the truck's engine trying to start.

“No, she deserves worse.” A distinctly female distorted voice now said from behind her, causing Malorie to turn around despite nothing being behind her other than the seat she was sat on. Beginning to shake as fear overrode the Magic Bullet for the first time since taking it, Malorie reached forward and tried the keys once more, holding them forward for several seconds until the diesel engine finally roared to life.
Not wasting a moment, Malorie put the truck in reverse and started backing up as quickly as possible to escape the zombies despite being completely blind to the outside thanks to the red dust. She went backwards until the truck smashed into a light pole, bringing it to a sudden and violent stop and causing her head to smack into the steering wheel cracking the left lens on her gasmask.

“You aren’t getting out of here, Malorie,” Another voice called out from seemingly all around her, this one sounding like a combination of multiple people's voices. A moment later the entire truck was rocked as the light pole she’d hit came smashing down onto the roof of the truck, denting it in over the passenger seat and shattering the windows.
“Leave me alone!” Malorie screamed out, now completely panicking before putting the truck in drive and lurching forward, the zombie hordes silhouettes illuminated ever so slightly by the one working headlight. The truck had some trouble moving at first, but after turning it and causing the pole to fall off of its roof it picked up its pace a bit more and Malorie was able to pull it out onto the road. Despite the terror she was beginning to feel, Malorie moved the truck at a methodical pace now so as not to hit something else and possibly wreck her only escape vehicle. With the truck in motion she was now finding herself being forced to wipe down her masks lenses even more often, thanks to the dust flying into the cab like snow as she drove forward.
After making her way slowly onto 4th street once again heading North, Malorie went to wipe her lenses once more as visibility left her again. This time as she finished cleaning the lens and moved her hand away she was shocked by the sight of Jordan clinging to her hood, looking straight at her. His face was as she last saw it, chunks of flesh missing from his cheek and forehead and his nose almost completely gone from a zombie bite.

“What happened to me is nothing compared to what will happen to you!” He yelled at her, making Malorie panic and slam on the brakes to the truck before drawing her Walther again and looking back up with it aimed at the hood only to find him no longer there.
“You won’t escape what you’ve done to me and my boy. You’ll get what’s coming to you.” A female voice said next to Malorie a moment later, causing her to turn with her Walther aimed, spotting the woman she’d cannibalized years ago covered in blood with her arm hacked off. Screaming out at the top of her lungs Malorie closed her eyes and unloaded the Walther on her, keeping them shut for several moments as tears began pouring from her eyes and she started borderline hyperventilating beneath her gasmask. Opening them again she could see the woman was gone, with eight fresh bullet holes in the side of the door.

“Leave me alone, you’re dead, you’re all dead!” Malorie shouted while rapidly looking back and forth for any signs of who she’d just seen.
“I wouldn’t be if not for you.” A voice Malorie instantly recognized whispered in her ear.
“M...Mommy?” She called out quietly and tearfully.
“If you didn’t do what you did, I’d be alive in Sydney. Everything would have been alright if you just didn’t make it back from Melbourne.”
“I...I just wanted to stand up for Mary, I didn’t w-want you to die, I love you mom!” Malorie cried, opening the door to the truck and staggering out of it, looking all around herself as she wandered down the street trying to spot Ivy.
“Don’t lie to me!” Ivy’s voice yelled out, echoing loudly in Malorie’s head and causing her to drop to her knees in the middle of an intersection while holding her ears, trying to block out the sound of her mother’s voice scolding her but to no avail. “You just wanted to hurt someone, it’s all you’ve ever wanted, it’s all you’ve ever been good for is hurting others! You’ve never cared for anyone other than yourself!”
“No, no that’s not true, it’s not true! I loved you and daddy, I loved Mary, and Michelle and so many other people! Please...Please believe me!”
"Michelle's dead because she tried to save you, your father's dead because he tried to save you, I'm dead because I tried to save you. It's all on you Malorie, and for what? For you to become a killer for the very people we were running from? You wasted the chances given to you again, and again, and again. Your chances will be out soon enough."
"I never wanted anyone to die for me, I never wanted this! I-I-I Just took the one option I had, and that was Oregon! I'm sorry, I'm so sorry!" As Malorie finished speaking she fell over onto her side, laying in the intersection sobbing uncontrollably as the mist finally began to settle around her and the rest of the city, just leaving the red dust covering everything.

(I'd stop the music here)

She laid there like that for some time, oblivious to the mass of zombies staggering towards the sounds of the earlier gunshots and her continued sobbing. She remained oblivious to the zombies until she physically felt one grab onto her. In her highly unstable state, Malorie reacted violently the moment she felt the zombies grip. Quickly throwing an elbow that struck the side of its head before immediately going on the assault against it and smashing its skull in repeatedly with a hunk of asphalt she grabbed off of the ground, channeling her overwhelming emotions into a fury she’d never felt before. After bludgeoning that zombie’s skull to a pulp she looked up to see another a few feet away while the rest congregated around the sound of the still running truck engine.
Throwing the chunk of asphalt she caused severe damage to the zombies already well disfigured face, quickly following up by running towards and tackling the zombie to the ground. Landing on top of the almost skeletal creature, Malorie held its head down against the pavement with her hands as the zombie began gripping at her gas mask. Lifting the zombies head up off of the ground she slammed it down violently twice before beginning to bury her thumbs into its eye sockets, forcing them further and further in until her thumbs found their way into the front of the brain. She then smashed the zombies head against the concrete several more times, shattering the back of its skull.

She continued this primal assault until both she and the zombies around her truck noticed the sound of engines and tracks on pavement approaching from behind. Standing up and looking behind her, Malorie could see a convoy of Oregonian vehicles approaching. In her current state, Malorie didn’t recognize them as anything other than something to run from, so she began to do just that. However she only made it to the sidewalk out front of a gas station before suddenly collapsing, falling hard against the ground kicking up a small cloud of the red dust that coated everything in sight by this point.
She laid there for several minutes with her eyes wide open but not managing to muster the strength to stand. The sounds around her became significantly dulled as she lay there, the gunshots shredding the group of zombies around her truck sounding like they would if she was underwater as they went off.

“Jesus Christ, is that one of ours?” She heard faintly as a squad of Oregonian regulars approached her, dressed in specially made hazmat suits thanks to word reaching command of the chemical attack. Malorie could then feel someone grabbing her from behind, lifting her up off of the ground and holding her up before another soldier grabbed her gasmas and removed it.
“Holy **** she’s still alive! We need medics, now!” He exclaimed to the other soldiers before looking back to Malorie who was clearly in a state of shock.

Several medics rushed over before long, loading Malorie onto a stretcher before rushing her back to an M113 ambulance. By this point Malorie was completely slipping in and out of consciousness, from a combination of exhaustion, blood loss and poisoning she had received from her exposure to the Easterners chemical attack. That changed some ten minutes into her ride in the M113 as the medics and surgeons in the field ambulance removed her shirt and began opening her stomach up in order to operate on her. The amount of pain she received to bring her back to alertness was unlike anything she could have ever even fathomed, causing her to let out a horrific shriek as she lifted her head up to look at her stomach. Watching her stomach being split open and seeing her own entrails, Malorie immediately tried to raise her arms to fight off those around her only to find both her wrists and ankles were strapped down to the operating table she was laid out on.

“Get something stuffed in her mouth now, or the girls gonna end up biting her own tongue off!” One of the medics ordered, with another one following the order and attempting to force a folded towel into her mouth. Malorie managed to maneuver her head somewhat to avoid it at first before lunging forward and biting onto the medics hand causing him to yell in agony as he shook his hand free and stepped back.
“Damn it, I’ll do it myself!” The first medic growled, grabbing the towel off of the floor and forcibly stuffing it into Malorie’s mouth despite her resistance.
From there Malorie still remained wide awake and in unimaginable pain, keeping her head lifted and gazing upon her open stomach in sheer horror as the medics got to work on removing the bullet fragments inside of her. Her suffering would carry on for nearly twenty minutes longer before she finally passed out entirely as the Magic Bullet's effects on her system began to subside.
"**** 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."

Posts: 14689
Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2011 4:03 am
Location: Writin' or Jeepin'.

Re: A Requiem For Humanity (IC)

Postby TheTeddyguy » Mon Feb 22, 2016 8:27 am

[Monday, July 8th, 2030 - 2:02 PM]

Malorie’s eyes shot open at the roar of a particularly loud bit of thunder, immediately feeling a sense of panic come over her as her first instinct was to think it was from gunfire. Taking in her surroundings, she could see she was in some dimly lit hospital room. A large glass wall with a sliding door sat opposite to her bed, a curtain obscuring most of it. Now aware that she wasn’t under immediate threat, Malorie turned her attention to the burning sensation she was feeling over a large portion of her body.

Peeling away the blanket covering her, Malorie was alarmed to see the condition her skin was in. Both of her arms were covered in scarlet red splotches accompanied by nasty looking blisters and boils of varying sizes. Malorie’s heart rate could be heard quickening on the machine she was hooked to while she continued to examine her body, finding the same rash and blisters on her torso and legs. Putting her hands on the top of her head, she was further unnerved to find her head had been shaved clean.

In her confused and somewhat frightened state, Malorie’s instincts took little time to kick in and put her in motion. With her shaking hands, she forcibly ripped wires and tubes hooked up to various parts of her body off, causing the monitor next to her to flat-line. Climbing to her feet Malorie found it quite difficult to maintain her balance, a mixed feeling of weakness and lightheadedness making even standing still a task.

After taking a few breaths Malorie scanned the room for something to defend herself with, finding a pen attached to a string hanging from a clipboard on the wall. Staggering over to it, Malorie took the pen in her hand before approaching the room's entrance. She only made it a few more steps across the relatively spacious hospital room before losing her balance completely and collapsing on the ground with a hard thud, only adding to her pain.

While struggling to get back on her feet, the sliding glass door opened up and the curtains slid aside to reveal two people sporting some kind of mild hazmat suits. Their appearance did little to relax a still very confused Malorie, who raised the pen at them as they approached. Her eyes were wild with fear and anger as she looked into their visors.

“Settle down there friend,” the man closest to Malorie said calmly. “I promise you we’ve only got your best interests at heart right now. Please, drop the pen and let us help you back into your bed.”
“How do I know I can trust you?” She asked, her voice gravelly and eyes darting back and forth between the two of them.
“You aren’t exactly at full strength, we know that just as well as you do. If we wanted to hurt you, that pen wouldn’t stop us, we’re just trying to be nice and do this the easy way. You don’t need anymore stress right now after what you went through in Lubbock.”
“H-How do you know what happened there?” Malorie demanded. “Where am I now, what’s all of this f-fucking **** on my skin?”
“Let us help you back to your bed and get the monitors and IV’s hooked back up, then we’ll be happy to answer whatever questions you have. Deal?”

Malorie didn’t answer vocally, simply dropping the pen after a brief moment of consideration and allowing the two hazmat clad doctors to help her back to the bed.

“Thank you for not making our jobs harder than it needs to be. I’m Doctor Morris, I wish our introduction could be a little more formal, but this suit’s a requirement for us to interact with you in here. We’re still learning about the effects of the Easterners new chemical weapon and until we know more about it we have to take every precaution.”
“It’s fine,” Malorie said as she watched the doctor and nurse hook her back up to the various machines. “So this is all from that red **** they put in the air?”
“Yes. Not many of ours fighting in Lubbock escaped that damnable toxin. I know you probably don’t feel too lucky in your current condition, but you really should. You’re one of eight that was inside of the city when the Easterners played their trump card that still managed to escape with your life. The other seven are just like you are right now.”
“Are… Are we going to recover from this? Do you have any idea how long it will take?”
“Well you’ve been here unconscious for the past three days, and luckily for you what seems to be the worst of it passed you by while you were still out. These red splotches have steadily been getting smaller, and the blisters have been slowly but surely receding as well. We opted to shave your head as your hair was falling out in large clumps, but it’s already beginning to grow back bit by bit. The same goes for the other seven survivors. At the current rate, we’re estimating it’ll no longer be debilitating within a week or two, and it should be completely gone by the end of the month. It might take a little longer, like I said this isn’t something we’ve dealt with before. It’s on the order of World War One era mustard gas, but it’s definitely got its own unique features that make it a nightmare all its own.”
“So do I go back to fighting when it’s all gone?”
“Some of the others might, but you’re definitely not among them. This rash isn’t anything compared to the damage done by a gunshot wound you took to your stomach. Took a few hours of surgery to both pick the fragments of bullet and some other foreign metal out, and clean the toxic particles of the weapon that made it into the wound. You’re definitely going to be down for two months at the bare minimum for recovery, possibly a little longer.”
“Okay… And what about my things, my weapons and everything else I had on me?” Malorie asked after realizing all of her gear was nowhere to be found. “A lot of that stuff had sentimental value to me.”
“A Lieutenant, his name escapes me…”
“Boyce.” The nurse chimed in.
“Right, Lieutenant Boyce. He’s been by a few times to check on you and the other Vanguards, but mainly you, said he was your commanding officer. He’s hanging onto your personal items for you. Normally we’d give them to next of kin for the time being, but since you don’t have any in Oregon as far as we’re aware he offered to keep them at his home for you until you’re well enough to leave the hospital.”
“And since you’re probably wondering where you are right now, you’re back in Portland in the Oregon National Hospital.” The nurse added.
“Best healthcare in the country,” Doctor Morris boasted as he finished getting everything reattached to Malorie’s body. “Now, I ask that you keep yourself firmly seated in this bed for the time being. Your body needs rest, rest and a little more rest after that. Especially since your gut is still far from fully healed. If you need anything, just buzz the desk with that red button on the table next to you. I’ve got to see to my other patients for now. I’ll be back to check in on you periodically. Rest well.”

After the doctor and nurse exited the room, Malorie spent some time staring at the ceiling, trying to recall the details of the battle. Unlike every other gunfight she’d been in during her life, this one seemed to be a blurred, hazy memory that she struggled to recall clearly. She could remember the first engagement outside of Lubbock relatively well, but everything past that point she had a hard time discerning what had actually occurred.

Eventually she gave up on trying to remember the battle, rolling over onto her side and gazing out the window as heavy rain pelted it. Her mind quickly wandered all over the place as boredom started to set in.

“I wonder what Nick’s doing right now.” She whispered to herself as lightning flashed outside. She hadn’t had too much time to stress herself over distant things and people ever since boarding Erickson’s ship to Oregon, but that was completely different now that she was hospitalized. She quickly found herself missing him, Mary, Church and especially Ivy. To some degree, she still put blame on herself for her mother's brutal demise. Any time that she thought about that night, she found herself wondering what she could have done differently.

“What if I slept in the hotel with her instead of trying to have a good time with Nick? What if I caught up with the Badlanders faster? What if I tried to save her despite how injured she was? What if it was me who ended up in her shoes? What if she was still here now with me?”
These and many other scenarios ran rampant through her mind, alongside numerous other thoughts until she was snapped from them hours later by the door opening up again.

“Hey there Julock.” Boyce said as he entered the room, wearing only a breathing mask rather than a full hazmat suit.
“L-Lieutenant Boyce.” Malorie said as she looked over at him.
“It’s good to see you’re up and aware now, definitely makes for a better visit I’d say,” Boyce said as he approached the foot of the bed. “How are you hanging in there soldier?”
“This is the worst I’ve physically felt in my entire life,” Malorie said, managing a small grin as she continued. “But hey, at least I’m still here, right?”
“Damn right. I’d certainly be cross with you if you went and died after saving my **** back there and refusing to come back with me. I owe you a few, Julock.”
“I… I don’t remember much. I remember shooting a tank or something with a big **** gun. Then after that, it’s just like a big blur of fighting and chaos that I just can’t make sense of in my head.”
“Yeah, that’s one of the drawbacks of using the Magic Bullet. You were given that after the ambush outside of the city by our medics. After we stormed the city we got to work on a Roach infested hospital. The bastards caught us off guard with a grenade, killing most of the Vanguards I was with other than you and a few others. The Roaches were about to put one in my skull until you started cutting one’s throat.”
“Now that you’re talking about it, some of it’s coming back to me,” Malorie said, trying to focus on the faint memories. “We were going up a bunch of stairs next, right?”
“You’re right. We ran into a big, mean son of a **** as we did so, he gave me this,” Boyce explained, raising his bandaged hand. “And again, you saved my **** in that fight, then blasted three other Roaches with one of their own grenades just for good measure. If every Vanguard we have fought half as hard and tenaciously as you do, this war would be over by the end of the month.”
“All in a day’s work, right?” Malorie asked.
“All in a day’s work she says!” Boyce exclaimed, amused by Malorie’s nonchalant demeanor about her exploits. “Well if that’s an average day’s work for you, then your chest is going to be heavy with medals by the end of the war. I’ve put in recommendations for two as it is, and you’re already guaranteed for a Crimson Tear medal thanks to your injuries sustained in combat.”
“Really? You mean medals like Bronze Star?” Malorie asked, genuinely surprised at the news.
“You mean the old US Army medal? Yeah, along those lines. The Crimson Tear is our equivalent to the old Purple Heart. I put in for you to get a Golden Shield Medal and an Acclaimed Service Medal. The Golden Shield is for outstanding service in the Vanguards, above and beyond what is expected of those forces. The Acclaimed Service Medal is for any actions that are deemed to reflect positively on Oregon’s armed forces as a whole.”
“Wow,” Malorie said, taken aback by the idea of receiving honors on par with what her great grandfather earned many decades ago. “I don’t know what to say Lieutenant Boyce. It means a whole lot to me, more than you know. Thank you.”
“No, thank you, Julock. The medals are my thanks for saving my hide back there, and regardless of that you more than earned them. You also earned your promotion, Private First Class. And you’re no longer a Vanguard either. I saw to it that you’re now a full fledged Oregonian citizen and by extension, a soldier in the Oregon Army. I might be wrong, but I’m fairly certain you’re the first outsider to earn this place this quickly, so that’s certainly something to be proud of.”
“I am, there’s no doubt about that. I needed all of this good news.”
“Well I’m happy to deliver it,” Boyce said, taking a breath before adding “I’ve gotta get going though, I only stopped by here before my physical therapy session on my hand the next floor up. But one more thing, I’ve got all of your personal belongings back at my home. And since you aren’t likely to be assigned one anytime soon here in Portland, you’re welcome to stay at mine once you get out of here until you’re deployed again.”
“Alright, thanks again Lieutenant Boyce.”
“I’m not your CO anymore, so we can discard the formalities in private. Just call me Quin or Boyce, whichever you prefer.”

After Boyce left the room, Malorie returned to laying on her side, only this time she was wearing a small smile while she rested.

“I hope you’d be proud of me too, mom and dad.” She whispered as her eyes closed.
"**** 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."

Posts: 14689
Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2011 4:03 am
Location: Writin' or Jeepin'.

Re: A Requiem For Humanity (IC)

Postby TheTeddyguy » Fri Feb 26, 2016 6:53 pm

[Tuesday, July 30th, 2030 - 11:56 PM]

“I don’t think words exist to describe how **** happy I am to be out of that building.” Malorie said gleefully, taking in a deep breath of fresh air as she and Boyce stepped out of the hospital and onto the street. She was dressed in a pair of jeans and a grey t-shirt Boyce had picked up for her since she didn’t have anything other than her ruined uniform.
The weather was fair and the skies clear, a rather mild breeze carried on the night time air. Her skin had finally fully healed from the chemical damage done to it, and her stomach injury was progressing well. Her hair had also begun to make a comeback, although it was still shorter than she personally liked.

“I can imagine, hospitals are great for keeping you alive, not so much at keeping you entertained.” Boyce replied as he got to walking, with Malorie following beside him.
“If they tried keeping me in there for another day they were going to have to strap me to my bed,” Malorie commented, glancing back at the hospital as they walked away from it before looking back to Boyce. “So, what exactly is there to do for entertainment around here while we’re still on leave?”
“This late? Bars, strip clubs, gambling halls and dens.”
“Drug dens. Most recreational drugs are legal in them, I’d rather avoid those personally.”
“Trust me, I don’t plan on doing any drugs. I don’t think gambling would be my thing either, and I didn’t want dirty strippers in my face in Sydney, I sure as hell don’t want them here either. I could go for a few drinks though, if you’re paying.”
“I’ve got you covered, just don’t go asking for the top dollar drinks. I’m just about out of this month’s pay and I’ve gotta survive until the third on what’s in my wallet.”
“No problem, just let me know if I’m pushing my luck because I have no idea how money works in Oregon yet.”
“If a citizen has a government based job, such as soldiers like us or factory workers, they get a monthly check based on occupation and position,” Boyce explained as he scanned the traffic for taxis. “Most vital services in Oregon are free of charge, food, water, shelter. Except for in some dire times, the government always meets the bare necessities for everyone. The pay we get is basic living money for non-vital things like these drinks we’re going to be getting as soon as I manage to find a damn taxi. Most people use a bit for excess food also, since you only get the bare necessities from what the government provides.”
“What about people who don’t work directly for the government?”
“Those are almost exclusively business owners and their employees. Instead of government money, they rely on those of us that go and buy their products or services. They’re a minority though, since starting up a business costs a bloody fortune and it’s definitely not guaranteed to succeed. Almost all private business is corralled into the South East Corridor, since it’s just about the only section of the city that wasn’t knocked down and built over.”

Finally Boyce spotted a cab, which stood out from the other road vehicles like a sore thumb with a rather ugly green and orange striped paint job and ‘Calvin’s Cabs’ painted onto the sides.

“Slow Bar for us, guy.” Boyce said to the driver, handing him a coin after he and Malorie scooted into the back seat of the car. The bar wasn’t too far, but they still spent another fifteen minutes on the road thanks to the increasingly strict checkpoints throughout the city.
As they entered the south east corridor, the mood completely shifted from what Malorie had come to expect from Portland. The sidewalks were extra crowded, far more than she’d ever seen this late at night in Sydney. People stood on street corners with signs advertising various merchandise they were trying to sell, most of it old odds and ends looted from the wasteland. Loud music could be heard as they passed by some streets, while others were relatively silent but with the stench of various drugs permeating the air.

“Some of this almost reminds me of Eureka,” Malorie said without really thinking about it. After seeing the look Boyce gave her she elaborated. “I was there when I was younger, before my family and I went to Australia. Only for a month or two.”
“Before things got sour between us and them, this area of town used to be nicknamed ‘Little Eureka’ so I can see why you might think that. There were pushes to level this section of Portland and remake it like everywhere else that you’ve seen, but the Council ultimately voted in favor of keeping it standing for the morale of everyone here. A good move I’d say, people need some way to unwind and enjoy life.”
“Yeah. I didn’t think this place would be so crowded though,” Malorie said as they pulled up on the bar. “I don’t see myself mixing well with dozens of drunks.”
“Don’t worry, the owner’s a good friend of mine, and he’s good about getting rowdy idiots out of the place before they start anything.” Boyce explained before stepping out of the cab, with Malorie following suit.

A few small groups were gathered on the outside of the bar on some benches, chatting and drinking away. Inside, a few dozen people were spread around at tables and the bar, with everyone appearing to be having a good time with their drinks and meals. Various random nicknacks adorned the ceiling and walls of the bar, ranging from vintage signs to random collectors items like an old white racing helmet suspended from the ceiling.

“Alright fellas, I think you two have had more than enough for one night.” The bartender started explaining to a couple of patrons after he saw Boyce enter with Malorie at his side.
“That’s bullshit and you know it, Joe.” One of the men said angrily.
“Maybe, but I’m asking you to leave anyways,” Joe explained, quickly pouring two more shots of some dark liquor for the men and passing it to them. “Those are on the house for your troubles, now would you kindly free up those seats?”

The frustrated men both knocked down the drinks before angrily stepping away from the bar, one intentionally barging into Malorie as he walked by, eliciting a threatening glare from her before Boyce pulled her over towards the bar with him.

“My buddy just helped us out, let’s not thank him by kicking someone’s **** in his bar, yeah?”
“Alright, I just don’t have much of a tolerance for assholes.”
“Then you came to the right bar kid.” Joe said happily as Malorie and Boyce took their seats, extending his hand to Malorie. “Name’s Joe Gabel, any friend of Quin is a friend of mine.”
“Malorie Julock,” Malorie said, shaking his hand firmly for a moment. “And don’t call me kid again.”
“Oh boy, you’re a venomous one ain’t ya?” Joe asked jokingly.
“She’s the one I told you about, the one under my command that made it out of Lubbock.” Boyce explained.
“No ****? Well this round’s on the house for you then Mal, what’ll it be?”
“Stop with the nicknames, please. Just call me Malorie,” She said before taking an untouched french fry off of the plate left by one of the patrons Joe kicked out, chewing it as she continued “Just surprise me with something good.”
“Alright, Malorie,” Joe said, stepping back towards the the collection of bottles behind him. “Are you looking for a good tasting drink, or are you looking for a ‘get you fucked up’ kinda good?”
“The second.”
“I’m beginning to see how you put up with this one, Quin.” Joe said, chuckling as he mixed up something for Malorie.
“Like I told you before, I’d be dead twice over if it wasn’t for this girl. She’s more than earned my patience.”
“I was just doing my job.”
“Eh quit being so damn humble. I personally watched you bring down five Easterner Men at Arms, and as a Vanguard no less!”

“Bullshit!” A man sat to Boyce’s right chimed in.
“Try and call it BS all you want, I saw it personally. And there isn’t any BS’ing that she was also one of the eight Vanguards to make it out of Lubbock alive.”
“Wait, really?”
“Really.” Malorie answered once her drink had been passed to her. She was looking into it and about to take her shot when the stranger who dipped into their conversation stood up and clanged a fork against his drinking glass loudly, getting the attention of everyone in the bar.
“Hey everyone, we’ve got ourselves a genuine hero right here, one of the eight Lubbock survivors! How’s about a little appreciation from the people she's fighting for?”
“Nunca Vacile!” The crowd erupted in unison, raising their drinks into the air in a toast to Malorie. She was entirely unsure of how to react, looking around awkwardly at all of the cheerful faces looking back at her for a moment before raising her drink and repeating “Nunca Vacile.”
After she repeated the phrase, everyone began knocking back their drinks in unison, prompting Malorie to join them by taking the shot of liquor she’d been handed.

“Well, I didn’t expect that.” Malorie commented after everyone got back to their individual conversations. She slid her shot glass towards Joe’s end of the bar, signaling she was already prepared for another shot.
“Yeah, in Oregon we celebrate anyone that can be perceived as a hero in kind of the same way that Old America celebrated its brainless celebrities. Guess I should have given you a bit of a heads up about something like this possibly happening.”
“Honestly, I kinda liked the surprise.” Malorie said, grinning a little.
“That’s the spirit.” Joe said as he poured Malorie another shot.
“What did those words mean by the way?” Malorie asked Boyce as he took a swig of his beer.
“Nunca Vacile, Never Falter. It’s the slogan of the Oregon Army.” Boyce explained after wiping beer foam from the moustache he’d grown out while on leave.

[Wednesday, July 31st, 2030 - 3:16 AM]

With almost the entire bar cleared out by this point, only Malorie, Boyce, Joe and one patron who was sat at a table remained in the bar. By this point Malorie was plenty drunk, kind of in her own little world as Joe and Boyce delved into their own conversation. She blocked out what they were saying entirely as she paid attention to the TV which was finally audible thanks to the other patrons having cleared out. There was a news program on, which had been covering the war almost non-stop since she started paying attention to it.

“I want to reiterate, we’re advancing at the pace we need to advance at. Not any slower, and not any faster. Could we penetrate Easterner lines and push towards Houston faster? Absolutely. But that runs severe risks that I am quite simply not willing to take at the moment. Overextending our forces is welcoming the Easterners to cut them off and surround them, and I’m not willing to let that occur.” A gruff looking general stood at a podium explained to a small crowd.

“I understand feelings of frustration with our seemingly tedious progress in terms of captured land. But our pace is a deliberate one. The Easterners have yet to cost us an inch of land ever since Lubbock, all they’ve done so far is lose ground and lose troops. Meanwhile our pace has ensured a steady stream of reinforcements and supplies continues to easily reach the frontlines, keeping our fighting men and women at their very best. All while Eurekan and Oregonian joint airstrikes continue to pound Easterner supply lines in Louisiana, which I have no doubt will make Houston a far softer target once we’re at it’s doorstep.”

“These statements come from Lieutenant General McBride earlier today in response to some voices of discontent over the pace at which Easterner ground has been taken,” A news woman sat behind a large desk explained to the camera. “We’re now cutting back to footage from early yesterday, where the historic meeting between Premier Sandra Kane and President Karter Fisher took place at an undisclosed location in the Klamath Mountains.”

On queue, the TV cut to footage of a small private jet descending upon a tiny airstrip with two fighter jets escorting it doing a low flyby of the area before climbing into the clouds. Already on the ground was a sizable contingent of soldiers in uniforms with elaborate camouflage schemes and sporting high end weaponry. Sticking out from the crowd of soldiers was a tall, skinny white woman in her mid to late 30’s with long, straight black hair. She was dressed in a very expensive looking dark grey suit, with a pair of high end sunglasses obscuring her eyes. She was flanked on either side by men who were both at least seven feet tall dressed in their own suits with submachine guns visibly hanging off of their backs.

“Here you can see Premier Kane and her private security forces awaiting President Fisher, who just arrived via his personal aircraft.” The news anchor narrated over the footage.

Even through the television screen, one could feel the overwhelming tension in the air. Before too long, Fisher and his own escort of soldiers appeared on the camera as they approached. Fisher had an entirely different air about him than Kane. While Kane simply at a glance gave off an aura of no-nonsense pragmatism, Fisher appeared as a hardworking average man at a glance. Even for this meeting, the man sported rather casual clothing, something he was well known for in Eureka. A pair of black jeans with a matching black dress shirt alongside his wire-rimmed glasses.

As he neared, Kane removed her sunglasses and made a small gesture to her large bodyguards before stepping forward without them. Seeing this, Fisher ordered his escorts to stop as well before meeting with Kane in the middle. Both escorting parties were silent as a corpse while they watched their respective leaders approach each other. Everything was so quiet that every foot step could be heard on the camera until the two met, shaking hands tensely.

“We meet at last.” Fisher said as he shook Kane’s hand. Both smiled at each other, although it was anyone’s guess as to how real those smiles were.
“It’s been a long time coming,” Kane responded, letting go of the handshake and motioning to a pair of chairs sat out for the both of them. “Let’s sit and discuss our mutual enemies, shall we?”
“Ladies first.” Fisher said. As they neared their seats, the audio suddenly cut out from the footage and the news anchor began narrating over it once more.

“For security reasons, the rest of the audio has been removed from the publicly released footage. However while the rest of the meeting is played, we will cut to a statement made by Premier Kane after the meeting with Fisher.”

“Men and women of our great nation, I come to you today with good news from the groundbreaking meeting between myself and Eureka’s President Fisher. I won’t lie and say this meeting has made us and the Eurekans friends, everyone in both of our countries know full well it’ll take a great deal more to bridge the gap between our two societies. With that being said, we have reaffirmed our positions as allies against the greatest threat on our continent, the Eastern Republic.
Before today, a great many things were unclear. From the extent of Eurekan involvement to the terms on which we’re willing to end this war. Well, I’m happy to say that those details and others are now cleared up. In exchange for our overall handling of ground operations against the Republic, President Fisher has vowed to dramatically step up both airstrikes and naval action against the Easterners effective immediately. In addition, they’re allowing volunteer soldiers and medical professionals from Eureka to join us on the ground, further bolstering our already significant numbers advantage against the Easterners.
Lastly, after much discussion on the topic, President Fisher and I have come to the conclusion that this war will only have one outcome. And that outcome is unconditional surrender from the Eastern Republic. We both agree, any other option would only result in us being forced to face an even more powerful Eastern Republic years down the line. Meaning this war will only reach a conclusion once the ASF has formally surrendered, stepped down from power and turned themselves in to face justice. This will happen, whether they like it or not. The only question now is just how many of their people the ASF is willing to waste to prolong their inevitable downfall.”

“Can’t wait to do some vacationing in Charleston once it’s rightfully under our banner.” Boyce said, having turned his attention to the TV along with Joe.
“I bet the ASF are shaking in their **** boots after today,” Joe chimed in. “Sure as hell makes me happy to know I’m gonna see their end in my lifetime.”
“Sure as hell makes me happy that I get to be a part of their end.” Malorie added, her speech slurred.
"**** 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."

Posts: 14689
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Location: Writin' or Jeepin'.

Re: A Requiem For Humanity (IC)

Postby TheTeddyguy » Thu Apr 21, 2016 3:13 pm

[Sunday, August 4th, 2030 - 6:58 PM]

“Man, that sounds like a **** ton of people.” Malorie said nervously to Boyce as she stood backstage at the Kane Auditorium near the heart of downtown Portland. She was dressed in the steel colored Oregon military dress uniform that had recently been fitted for her in preparation for the award ceremony.
“Yeah, just remember every one of those people are here to treat you like the hero that you are.” Boyce encouraged as he helped Malorie make some last minute adjustments to her tie. Along with them, the seven other survivors from Lubbock and their close associates were also stood in the backstage area.
“I’m a lot better at shooting at people than I am at giving **** speeches. That was my dad's strong suit, not mine.”
“Quit worrying yourself Julock, I know damn well you’re gonna be alright out there. O’leyar’s gonna read off your exploits, give the crowd even more reason to love you. Then once he’s done you give your little speech that we went over a dozen times, it’s solid. Just go out there, get your medals on your chest and tell the people what they wanna hear. Then after we’ll go celebrate.”

“Without any further adieu, let’s give the Lubbock Eight the heroes thank you that they’ve earned!” A voice on stage could be heard followed by an eruption of clapping and cheering from the crowd.
“There’s your cue, knock ‘em dead.” Boyce said, smiling and patting Malorie on the back before she walked out onto the stage alongside the other seven.

The instant she walked on stage Malorie was overwhelmed by the sight and sound of hundreds of Oregonians looking back at her and the other seven while cheering, whistling and clapping. The grandiose appearance of the auditorium was unlike anything she had seen in Oregon up to this point. Rather than drab and utilitarian, it instead held a grand and sophisticated layout and appearance. Every support column doubled as a sculpture, every few feet of wall held a detailed, military themed painting. Directly above the stage was two massive crossed M1911’s made of highly polished steel, with Oregon’s motto directly beneath it just like on their flag.
While she shared the stage, she felt as if every ounce of attention was directly on her. While some of the other survivors seemed to be reveling in the moment, smiling and waving back at the crowd, she maintained a very stiff and almost robotic demeanor as she moved to her designated spot on the stage to await her next cue.

“As you all are well aware, these young men and women have gone through extraordinary trials and tribulations as our great nation’s first line of defense against outside aggression, all for each and every one of you standing here tonight,” Oregon’s propaganda minister, Walt O’leyar said once the survivors were lined up in place behind him and the crowd settled down. He had a deep, booming voice and was clearly a gifted speaker. “In the face of an unexpected, cowardly and criminal attack by the Easterners that they had no preparation for, these eight showed the grit of true Oregonians and persevered. It is with great honor that I present these eight not only with medals to commemorate their brave actions and service, but also with a true welcome to their new nation worthy of soldiers such as themselves.”

With his introduction out of the way, O’leyar called the first of the eight up to receive his commendations and deliver his personal speech. As he and the others in front of her went, Malorie’s mind failed to register a word of what was being said. Her focus was entirely on the crowd in front of her and the words she would have to say herself once she came to the podium. Repeatedly she wiped sweat from her brow as a special kind of stress and anxiety wracked her in a way she hadn’t felt before as far as she could remember.

“Malorie Julock.” O’leyar’s voice finally rang out over the speakers surrounding the stage and auditorium, snapping Malorie back into the moment. Approaching his side, Malorie appeared stoic as he read off her exploits according to the letters of recommendation written up by Boyce. Although in reality she was more like a deer caught in headlights with all of the faces looking back at her.

“Private First Class Malorie Julock, as I understand her story, like many Vanguards came to Oregon looking for many things. A new home, a new nation, a new start and life. A purpose greater than herself. Undoubtedly she has found a number of those things already since arriving here, but she also found much more as the Eastern Republic initiated war with Oregon before she even got a chance to set foot on our soil. Within an hour of reaching her new home for the very first time, she was flown hundreds of miles away from it to Amarillo as part of the second wave of Vanguards to be put up against the Republic.
Not wasting a single moment, she and her Company were deployed to Lubbock in an effort to push the Easterners back before they could lay waste to our long time ally, Amarillo. Before reaching Lubbock, her convoy came under ambush from a group of Easterner tank destroyers concealed off the side of the road. Having received no prior official combat training, Malorie didn’t allow the confusion, chaos and terror to overtake her as so many of her fellow Vanguards did. Without hesitation, she retrieved an AM20 rifle and utilized it in the elimination of at least one of the advancing Easterner TD’s. Once she and what remained of her company repelled the ambush, she was treated for a dislocated shoulder on the road before reaching Lubbock proper.
It was here that she truly got a chance to shine. Moving on an old derelict hospital flooded with Easterner Men at Arms, she fearlessly and ferociously pushed forward until she was among the first to enter the halls of the hospital. Accompanied by Lieutenant Boyce and a full squad of fellow Vanguards, they were caught by surprise when an Easterner grenade went off in one of the halls, killing and maiming a large portion of her squad.
With the Easterners now executing the downed Vanguards one by one, Private Julock once again refused to lie down and die. Opting instead to take a knife to one of the heavily armored Men at Arms, she saved Lieutenant Boyce in the process, allowing him time to retrieve his own weapon and dispatch the remaining Easterner.
But their job was still far from over, and stopping for a break wasn’t on this brave young woman’s agenda. Rushing up a narrow staircase, they were once again attacked by an Easterner Man at Arms. After Lieutenant Boyce received a grievous injury to his hand, Private Julock unloaded every round in her sidearm before once again fearlessly resorting to melee combat, and coming out on top. With Eastern reinforcements rapidly closing on them, she then proceeded to eliminate several of their troops utilizing one of their own grenades. While being treated for some injuries sustained in the fight, Lieutenant Boyce ordered her to leave the battlefield with him. However, given her lack of training and obvious drive, Private Julock refused, as the job still wasn’t yet done.
Her story from there mostly mirrors the stories you’ve already heard several times over. Once the Easterners deployed their cowardly weapon, she still refused to give in. Fighting every possible odd, she survived long enough to be extracted from Lubbock and returned here to Portland. And I’m sure you’ll all agree, we’re just as lucky that she made it back here as she is.”

As O’leyar recounted the events, Malorie could feel herself tensing up more and more. Every detail forced her to remember what little her mind could make sense of from that entire battle, which did absolutely no good for her already anxiety ridden state from simply standing on stage.

“It’s with great honor that I bestow these well earned honors upon you, Private First Class Julock. The Crimson Tear for your injuries sustained in the line of duty, the Golden Shield with Crossed Swords for your service above and beyond what is expected of the Vanguards, and lastly the Acclaimed Service Medal for your heroic actions that reflect greatly upon Oregon and her forces.”

As the medals were removed from their respective cases and pinned upon Malorie’s chest, she finally began to feel something other than stress and anxiety on the stage. Looking down at her new awards, she felt pride in herself that she really hadn’t felt for as long as she could remember. With the pinning of the third medal, the crowd erupted in applause once more, and this time instead of churning knots in her stomach, it put a wide smile on her face. When she came to Oregon, despite what O’leyar said she had come for one reason alone, and that was to survive. But now, looking at all of the Oregonian people clapping for her, for her actions, she finally felt as if she were truly a part of the nation. Instead of some outsider fighting under their banner, she now truly felt that she was one of them, and that she belonged.
Shaking O’leyar’s hand, she then approached the podium. Instead of unfolding the prepared speech she had in her pocket, Malorie’s sudden surge of confidence caused her to instead speak freely.

(Play for her speech https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=THYbNAmlwP0 )

“Thank you, everyone,” She said warmly into the mic, causing the audience to quiet down and listen as she continued. “It’s probably no shocker to any of you that I’ve been through a lot in my life so far, one look at my face probably gives you an idea of the kind of things I’ve been through. From the moment I was born up until very recently, every trial I went through and every drop of blood and sweat I shed was for either my family, or myself. Nothing else mattered to me, being born after the outbreak all I ever had was them.
That changed a few months ago, when my mother died and I found myself without any of that family I’d relied on so much for so long. It was like my entire world ended with her in that moment, all that was keeping me moving was this primal need to stay alive. If I hadn’t had the luck to run into Oregon’s forces stationed in Australia, I would either be dead, or wandering the Badlands like a wild animal without any purpose other than to survive from day to day.
But I did run into Oregon’s forces, and I was given a second chance at a life worth living. I didn’t recognize that at first, I was just kind of going with the motions, still in a daze from everything that happened. But I’m happy to say that changed tonight, thanks to all of you. I’ve never been a sappy person by any means, but the appreciation you’re showing for me, for all of us up here...it means more to me than you could ever possibly know, it means more to me than I ever thought it could. I’m proud to consider you all my new family, and I’ll be proud every moment that I’m wearing Oregon’s colors into battle against the Republic, and anyone else who stands against our country. I promise you all, I’ll do everything I can to continue keeping my new family safe, and making you all proud. Thank you for giving me the chance to do so. Thank you.”

With that Malorie stepped away from the podium, with the crowd erupting into applause and cheering that further filled Malorie with glee. After the final medals were handed out to the Lubbock Eight, Malorie returned backstage to Boyce who hugged her tightly and picked her right up off of her feet.

“What did I tell you Julock? They **** loved you out there!”
“Yeah, guess they did.” Malorie groaned, prompting Boyce to let up on the tight hug and set her back down.
“Sorry, got a little carried away there. The crowd wasn’t the only one that was in love with the speech. The fact that you winged it instead of using what we prepared makes me even happier. You must be more like your old man when it comes to speeches than you thought.”
“Heh, yeah, maybe.” Malorie said, smiling and looking off to the side as she thought about it.
“I’m sure he’d be proud of you as all hell, I know I am. Wear those medals proudly, I know they’ll be the first of many. Now come on, we’ve got some celebrating to do before you head off to basic next week.”
"**** 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."

Posts: 14689
Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2011 4:03 am
Location: Writin' or Jeepin'.

Re: A Requiem For Humanity (IC)

Postby TheTeddyguy » Tue Jun 14, 2016 2:43 am

[Sunday, August 11th, 2030 - 6:55 AM]

Malorie opened her eyes as her alarm clock rang out once again, having had its sleep button pressed several times by her already. Seeing the time, Malorie rolled over onto her back and stretched her limbs, popping her knees and elbows while letting out a yawn. Sitting up, she turned off the alarm clock and cracked her back by twisting to the side before rubbing the sleep out of her eyes.

Looking back down at the coffee table that had been doubling as her night stand ever since she began staying with Boyce, Malorie grabbed her old watch off of it and examined it for a moment. Every small bit of the watch that wasn’t gold or glass was stained a brownish red courtesy of the ER’s chemical weapon, which had been dubbed the Red Strangler by Oregonian officials. The glass on the watch face was also cracked, although it was still functioning and easy enough to read that she didn’t see reason to buy a replacement.

As she strapped it onto her wrist, Malorie’s eyes drifted down to the fresh tattoo on her left inner forearm. “Nunca Vacile”, the slogan of Oregon’s army, was displayed prominently in bold and black cursive lettering stretched from the crook of her arm down to her wrist. The night of her speech, Malorie got the idea to get ink of her own after seeing some that a fellow patron at the Slow Bar had. Given the newfound pride she felt after the award ceremony, Malorie’s decision on what the tattoo should be took her no time at all.

“I really wish you didn’t abuse the sleep button so much,” Boyce said, walking out of his room and rubbing his face. “I don’t have to get up this early for another week.”
“Sorry,” Malorie replied. “I’m not exactly used to waking up at the **** crack of dawn.”
“You’ll be used to it by the end of basic, I promise you that.”
“I’ll take your word for it,” Malorie mumbled as she approached and opened the fridge. Inside were various perishables, with Malorie retrieving leftover steak from a dinner several nights prior before returning to the couch alongside Boyce. Both plopped down onto the seat next to each other, with Boyce turning on his small tube television as Malorie unwrapped the tin foil around her steak and began taking chunks out of it one bite at a time as if it were a sandwich.
“No offense, but you must be the most unladylike lady I’ve ever known.” Boyce chuckled as he watched Malorie eat.
“If you want ladylike, go to Sydney and hang out with my twin.” Malorie replied with a mouthful of steak, grabbing the remote from him and turning up the volume on the news program.

“...attle for Houston is continuing to rage into its second week,” The young and attractive female news anchor stated, continuing as the camera cut to multiple different images, including an Oregonian convoy moving towards the smoking city, an explosion erupting from somewhere in Houston and one of multiple Easterners still clad in their armor, hanging from a highway overpass with Oregonian soldiers posing beneath them, stood on the black and red ER flag.
“The fighting has been fierce, and a number of young and brave Oregonian’s have made the ultimate sacrifice, including Corporal Jerome Cohen, who selflessly dove beneath an ER fighting vehicle with explosives in his hand before detonating them himself, destroying the vehicle and sparing his exposed and exhausted squad mates, who are now resting safely behind Oregon lines getting the rest they need and time to mourn their fallen comrade.”
“These sacrifices haven’t been in vain however,” The male anchor sharing the desk added. “As of today, General McBride made the welcome announcement that the Easterner forces in Houston had been cut off from outside support, with Oregonian soldiers securing Houston’s borders from La Marque to Baytown. With the Eurekan Navy off of the coast of Houston and patrolling Trinity Bay, it’s only a matter of time before the remaining defenders in the city are starved and beaten into surrender.”

“Trapped like the **** rats they are,” Malorie said with a slight grin at the news. “Couldn’t be happening to nicer people.”
“Yeah, their days are numbered,” Boyce commented, pausing for a moment before changing subjects. “You haven’t mentioned your family much. Are you close with your sister at all?”
“I was,” Malorie mumbled, obviously uncomfortable with the question. “What’s it matter? I won’t be seeing her again, unless she makes a sudden trip to Oregon, which I don’t see happening.”
“That doesn’t mean you can’t speak with her again,” Boyce explained, immediately snagging Malorie’s full attention from the TV. “We’ve got boats and planes going to and from Melbourne every day, and we do a bit of trading with Sydney also. Erickson, the hardass who you rode over here with, she’s a good friend of mine and I write her regularly. It costs a bit, but it might be good for your psyche to be in contact with someone you’ve known longer than a couple months.”
“Really?” Malorie asked, wide eyed and taken aback. The idea of being able to communicate with Mary and Church, and hopefully by extension Nicholas, was a shocking but very welcome bit of news for Malorie. “I-I don’t even know what I’d say to her, or to...find me a pen and paper while I get my things ready, I’ll write something on my way to the bus stop. You can make sure it’s sent to her, right?”
“Right.” Boyce answered, getting up to retrieve the items.

[Sunday, August 11th, 2030 - 7:49 AM]

Sitting at one of several benches around the military bus stop, Malorie finally finished her hurried letter to Mary. Having spent extra time to try and ensure every word of her sloppy handwriting was eligible, Malorie took a moment to read over it once more.

“To Mary,

Hey there, assuming this actually goes my way and this letter reaches you half way across the world. I don’t even know where to start, I’m writing this as fast as I can without sounding like a blabbering idiot, a bus is gonna be here in some twenty minutes to take me to my basic training. I’m hoping Nicholas and Laura managed to reach you, if so then you already know about what happened, if not...well, mom’s gone. We were separated for just a few hours, and in those few hours Badlanders got her. I tracked them down and found her, but...

I wish I could have done more for her...I wish I hadn’t dragged her out of Sydney along with me. I understand if you’re angry with me about it, I know I still am. Now me and you are all that’s left of our family, which is terrifying to me if I’m being honest. I’m just glad that at the very least you’re safe, just please keep it that way. Stay smart, stay out of trouble and all that.

I just hope everything is going good for you, Church and the others if they made it. If they didn’t, the short story is they were friends of me and mom, I promised her I’d keep them safe and I thought the best way to do that would be to send them to you. If they are there, you let Nick know I still think about him every single day, for whatever that’s worth to him. You let Church know I miss and love her also.

I’ll admit, I miss you more than I ever thought that I would. I thought you being alive would make being separated from you easier than when someone dies, but it was just the opposite for me. Anytime I thought about you I couldn’t help but wonder how you were doing, what you were doing, if you were okay or not. I hope you get this and write back, I need to get rid of that uncertainty and I need to get back in touch with my other half. I didn’t share a womb and my childhood with you to go the rest of my life without hearing from you again.

It’s just about time to go, and I probably won’t have much free time during my training, but the second I get your letter I’ll find time to get another one back to you. I hope I hear from you soon.
Your other half, Malorie.”

“That oughta do it,” Malorie sighed, folding the piece of paper and passing it over to Boyce who slipped it into his pants pocket. “Thank you again for this, you have no idea how much this means to me.”
“Don’t mention it Malorie,” Boyce said, nodding to the bus as it approached from several streets away. “Looks like your date’s here. Remember, do as you’re told, answer with ‘yes sir’ and ‘no sir’, and make damn sure you don’t stand out from the crowd one way or another, and definitely don’t ****.”
“Last time I saw someone **** in training, Captain Erickson kicked their ****,” Malorie chuckled, standing up with her bag. “I’ll be alright, thanks. You stay safe in Texas.”
"**** 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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