In 2017 the toxoplasmosa gondii parasite evolved. Having already silently infected almost half of the earth's population a global rush for containment began. They were too slow. The parasites rendered their hosts ineffective; causing delirium and panic that made almost half the planet powerless to stop what happened next. A sudden, almost schizophrenic, turn in personality that turned hosts into violent and dangerous hunters. These things were driven by their passenger's darkest desire; to find, infect and reproduce at whatever the cost. Infection occurred with the exchange of bodily fluids and with a head start of almost half the world's population the hunters very nearly wiped out the rest within the first six months of outbreak. It wasn't pretty.
Now it's 2030. Thirteen years since the outbreak. Civilisation has been reduced to a few colonies hiding anywhere they think can hold down. Normally in the heavily fortified secure districts of cities or hiding away in the middle of nowhere. The toxoplasmos gondii has evolved even further. Survivors have adapted to survive it, but it's not easy. Hunters adapt too, after all.
The former United States of America.
Our roleplay starts with the community living behind the reinforced walls of Merlin. A check point during the outbreak built around the grounds of an abandoned football stadium. Now, some ten years later, it's taken the trade name of Merlin. The walls have been built and rebuilt over and over again by a local population estimated at 400 at best. A shack town with little running water or power. There's been no visible government in almost ten years. Law is something you take into your own hands or ask the local sheriff to help with. Trade is straight or quid pro quo unless you have bullets; the new currency of survival. This is where we start, but where we'll go is anywhere's guess.
Now taking into account that bullets are rare, and as valuable a commodity as medicine these days, firearms are hard to come by. Rarer still is having enough ammunition to effectively use them. Portraits shot [b not] be animated and should reflect the theme of the RP.
History: Charlie was only 12 when the outbreak occurred and her family had tried to protect he and keep her safe but the truth of the matter was she was the only one who could have kept her safe. Both of her parents had been subjected to the plague that was bringing the dead back to life and she was the one who had to kill them. Growing up in this life made one hard and fear was something that no longer existed within her. For many years she wondered the streets of this harsh world until she was recruited into the community at the age of 19. This community is now where she now resides.
History: Eric was one of the firs residents of Merlin but tragedy compelled him to stray. Eight years later he returns to Merlin this very day, wary as to how much of what he left behind will be waiting for him.
Name: Oriath Orla.
Brief History: Oriath was 22 when the outbreak started. Her knowledge of medicine has helped her survive these years. And not trusting anyone. However, she still practices medicine to help as many citizens as she can.
The sight of Merlin caused her to stop in her tracks for a moment. She never expected that Merlin would fall so quickly. They had prepared so well for something like this and she honestly thought they had the man power to overcome an attack from the hunters. Their gate was down completely and there was a group of hunters snacking on a body of a resident. The silence was eerie and she was unsure whether that meant they were all dead, or if survivors had managed to get away.
Ethan whispered towards her and she searched her mind for something; anything that Alistair might have mentioned about a back up place. "He only shared that information with those within his personal guard. I have no idea where they would go." She thought for a moment. "I have somewhere that we should go to though. We need time to figure out where they might have gone and regroup our thoughts and think about what we are going to do. There is somewhere we can grab some supplies and shelter for a little while."
Charlie looked over towards Ethan trying to gauge what was going through his mind.
Each step closer to home felt harder than the last. Merlin was only a few streets away and so far he'd seen no sign of Dante or the others who had stayed to face the hunters. When he finally saw it his stomach sank. Merlin's gate, once only torn from it's hinges, was now on the ground. The way into Merlin was wide open and all was silent. Ethan quick stepped across the street, avoiding the lurking hunters that had gathered around a carcass on the ground. Ethan didn't look closer for fear of recognising it.
"Merlin has fallen." He whispered to Charlie. "Did any of you have a plan in case something like this happened? Where would they go?"
Knowing his father, if he were alive, he'd have set up other locations for resupplying while Merlin's defenders went on mission.
Charlie simply nodded and made her way back towards Merlin, using the flares to guide them back and through the hunters. She really had no idea what to expect when they returned to Merlin but whatever it was they would deal with it.
This is what their lives had become; forever adapting to the changing world and the horrors that were just around the corner. She looked over to Ethan for a second before she concentrated on the path before her. She wondered how he seemed to know so much about the Ghosts and why he had decided to live outside of the walls of Merlin for so long, knowing that his father was there.
It was none of her business of course, so it was something that she would never ask him but that didn't stop her from being curious about the situation.
"Yeah, you're right. We still have hunters to deal with." It was as if it had just occurred to him that Merlin was still very much under siege. The last he'd seen on Dante and the others they were packed together with riot shields and preparing to clash with who knew how many hunters.
"Follow the flares." He said, "they'll lead us back."
With the sun setting the flares burned all the more brilliant. Pockets of hunters prowled around them, besotted by the light or the colour. Ethan never did know for sure what it was that made them so irresistible. All he knew was they made it very easy to sneak by undetected.
OOC: Just gonna use small posts for now to get back up to speed.
There seemed to be some kind of agreement between them now. Even if that simply meant that Ethan understood that she was as equally as stubborn as him and she wasn't going to leave him alone out here no matter what he said to her. She watched as he moved past some of the dead without wasting the energy to 'kill' it and she decided that it was a good idea. They were going to fight but it was best to conserve the energy for those who really matter. They were faster and smarter than they were.
No matter what Ethan did, she didn't stop and she looked towards him for the split second that he looked at her, perhaps checking that she wasn't falling too far behind. The sight of hunters falling to the ground before her and the sound of bullets had her diving behind a wall and concealing herself from sight and then she peeked her head around the corner and caught sight of their vehicles.
The sound of Ethan's voice startled her slightly, not expected him to shout so loudly.
"We can't outrun vehicles Ethan. I know you are right, they will be so we need to get back and report to your father and find out exactly what he wants to do. The two of us can't do much now." She looked behind her and checked to identify a clear path back to Merlin.
"We need to get back before they send a search party out her for you, because they will."
They were alone now. Ethan didn't feel any better. He had a deeper sense of regret. One he couldn't even start to explain. But for now it was Charlie and Ethan versus the world. The red glow pooled between the buildings. Giving the shuffling carcasses of the hunters an even more demonic appearance. One twisted and snapped it's lip-less mouth at him before diving at neck. He shoved past it and kept going. Ahead at the near end of the street there were ghosts. Some were fighting on. But a few stopped to look at the flares he had fired. Ethan took aim and fired one over their heads. It landed with a pop and then burned a most brilliant hue of green.
The hunters turned to it and sprinted at the ghosts. One went down with a scream that cut off seconds later as two hunters, fighting for a share, two him in two. Ethan didn't stop to look and kept going. They rounded to another street. This one leading out of the city centre. He called on his childhood. Thought of all the buildings and names he remembered from a different time. Where are they set up? He wondered.
The new light revealed more hunters. They were climbing out of buildings, cars and seemingly out of thin air. But now they were all running away from Merlin. Ethan checked on Charlie then ran harder. The Ghosts doubled their efforts. Their stragglers were torn down. Someone among them must still be in charge because they suddenly shot off path and dived into an alley. The hunters that immediately followed them were suddenly blown away in a hail of bullets from the other end.
Ethan took cover beside it and peeked around the corner. The Ghosts didn't have a base. They had vehicles! Two flat bed trucks, the kind they used to have in the army complete with some sort of marpat camouflage. They were parked facing away from them but in the back he could clearly make out the nose of a gun. A large one, with a large belt of ammo feeding into it's barrel. The remaining Ghosts climbed inside.
"They're getting away!" He shouted in frustration.
One of them banged on the side and the trucks pulled out. The hunters continued to follow them but they were mowed down too. Soon there was hardly any left. Ethan finally came out of hiding and watching them drive off. More trucks joined them and together they drove out of sight.
This was just the tip of it. He knew. Trucks and heavy machine guns were only the beginning. This was just a recon.
"Now that they know what's out here they'll be back." He said to Charlie.
When she noticed the look upon his face once she had said whatever she needed to towards him, she felt slightly guilty about the possibility of making him feel worse than he already did. If she blamed anyone, it was whoever had the gates opened for them. They had let them in and quite frankly, if she knew who they were she wouldn't necessarily be holding back on ripping them a new one right now.
When he seemed to accept they were here to help he told them where to go and watched as he shot the flare into the air and saw that it grabbed the attention of the horde and she allowed herself to smile for a moment before watching him run North towards the direction that the ghosts had moved to. She shook her head and told Dante and the others to go ahead and follow their orders.
"I'm not leaving him alone out there." She said as she ran after him. Charlie didn't surround herself with people, nor did she often find herself caring but this was the son of the man who had saved her life and given her a home and she knew that he would have been disappointed in her if she did nothing to help him.
"Look, I know you don't want help but Alistair would have my head if he knew that we had allowed you to run into the centre of their camp without any help at all. I'm here to cover you, not hinder you but please don't do this alone." Charlie said, running along side him and watching as the dead moved towards them.
As Charlie spoke Ethan felt something pull at him. A feeling stronger than your average guilt. He pushed it down and concentrated. The volunteers arrived and Ethan noted they had dressed for the occasion. Busting out riot shields and heavy batons. Dante too had taken one. They were the vanguard. Merlin's select unit of crazies that openly engaged hunters and other freaks.
"You guys take care of the stragglers that don't follow the horde."
He looked at each of them. Heavy, slow, but a formidable force in their own right.
"We got this." Dante bashed his shield.
Ethan raised the gun and fired. A brilliant streak of red phosphorus shot into the air where it oxidised and covered the area in a red glow. A lot of hunters had gathered to awe at it. Ethan quickly reloaded and fired one more round north after the ghosts. The horde staggered, shuffled, and started moving north with it.
"Go deal with the ones already fixing for Merlin."
Then he started north. Chasing the ghosts.
Charlie was relieved when he stopped as as he did, she was finally in equal footing with him and then came to a halt herself. Dante and some others who claimed they wanted to help were not too far behind and she watched as he told her she couldn't have come and prepared the flare gun.
"I don't care what you think. Merlin is my home and if I can stop the hunters from taking everyone in that place then I will do whatever I can to prevent that, whether you like that or not. You came to Merlin knowing that they were coming and that they would eventually attack us. Yes, it was sooner rather than later but surely you must have known that when they did you wouldn't be expected to take them out by yourself just because you had knowledge of them. Stop putting all the blame onto yourself. I can see it in your eyes."
Charlie assessed the situation at hand, seeing that horde making their way to Merlin and listening as Ethan relayed his plan to them now that the volunteers where within earshot. "We will do whatever you need us to do." She said after giving Dante a look of disapproval at the level of excitement in his voice right now. Some people living in this world saw this as purely a game yet others, like herself, [b wanted] survive and she wanted to protect the place she had come to know as home over the last few years.
Ethan could hear the blood rushing to his head. His legs were already tired before he had made it to the end of the street. The sun was going down faster than he felt he could run. Charlie was behind him. Followed by Dante and volunteers.
Ethan stopped. He was far enough away now. He broke the flare gun open and popped a round it. It snapped shut with a click and he turned to Charlie.
'You shouldn't have come.' But he had no time to argue. They were standing at a crossroads. To the south was Merlin. To the North was the retreating Ghosts. The East and West avenues were already starting to come to life. Shambled and mutated. The hunters resembled a moving fungus as much as they did a human begin. Some of them were blind. But some of them were moving towards the flares at a canter. The moved as a horde. Clicking and snapping their jaws. Soon they would be on them. Dante, Charlie and the few others who made it arrived.
'We're going to have to lead them north,' he pointed at the backs of the retreating Ghosts, 'Merlin can deal with the stragglers and with any luck we can lead them back to their camp.'
'Yeah man, let's turn the tide on these bastards!' Dante cheered.
Something didn't feel right as she fought through the intruders. Many of them were not putting up much of a fight or even attempting to get past them so they could attack Merlin and as she pulled a knife out f one man's neck she cam to realise that they were merely a distraction for what was to come. A loud explosive noise could be heard and just as that happened she saw their invaders start to retreat at the order of another and she ran in the direction of the gate to see it destroyed.
Their only entrance was now permanently open and she couldn't see how it could ever be repaired. "God damn it!" She shouted as she looked up at the flares that were intended to lead those that were already dead to feed on the living. Charlie moved towards the engineers and where Alistair stood to receive any orders and when Dante relayed that it wasn't likely that the gate would be repairable she cursed once more.
"Why in the hell was the gate open in the first place. There was supposed to be a guard on the wall and should have seen them coming from a mile off. How is this even possible?" Charlie asked, frustrated that someone within Merlin would have been careless enough to simply open the gates and leaving them vulnerable to such an attack. Before she knew it Ethan was suggesting that he was going to draw anything away that might be making their way to them and she could tell by the look in Alistair's eyes that he disapproved but she had seen that look before. One of responsibility and guilt and she knew that no one would talk him out of it. He reached for the flare gun in his rucksack and ran out of the destroyed gates leaving Dante preparing for a group of them to quickly run after them.
"Alistair, we will draw whatever we can away but if we are not successful you need to get everyone to safety. Set up explosives at the gates and if they come you blow them, take out as many as you can at once and get people weapons, anything that they can use to defend themselves." She knew that he would know what to do but no one here was thinking straight and before she knew it she was out of the gates before Dante or anyone else because she carried everything she need on her anyway.
"Ethan, some of us are coming to help you." She shouted to him when she was in a relative distance to him that would allow him to hear her. Her run slowed sightly to a jog now that he was in sight and hoped that he might slow down for a moment so they could discuss a plan of action.
Ethan blitzed through the crushing build up of wardens and ghosts. Kicking and punching. Twisting arms and stamping legs and when everything else failed he straight up head butted one girl so hard he felt her nose crunch. He took a moment to look up and feel like they were going to win. Then an explosion tore through the crowd. Followed by the twisted yawn of tearing metal. Then the gate slowly fell to the ground with a crash.
"The gate is down. Retreat!" Someone ordered.
With a primal roar the ghosts turned in retreat. Leaving their dead and wounded in the dust. Then came the pops of red and green flares. Trails of smoke zipped into the sky and even in the dwindling light they were clearly visible for miles around.
"They're ringing the damn dinner bells!" Alistair shouted.
Merlin's gate was destroyed. Night was falling. Their ammo was nearly spent and now the Ghost Nation had left them for the Hunters who would no doubt see the flares and had already started towards them. Merlin was defenseless. Standing under the arch where the gate once was. Ethan couldn't help it. The guilt was already spreading over him. Consuming him.
"Ethan get inside." Alistair shouted.
Dante was soon beside him. He was soon joined by a team of engineers. They assessed the gate and promptly came to the conclusion that it was ruined.
"If a horde shows up we're fucked." Dante sagged.
Ethan turned to the chief. Even all after all their years apart Ethan noticed the telling look of defeat in his father's eyes. It had been there the night his mother was killed. Now it was back. And it mourned for all his people.
"Dad, I can save it." Ethan promised everyone.
He had already found his rucksack and tipped it's contents onto the floor. Bullets of all makes scattered across the dirt. Along with the only gun he ever carried; a flare gun. Ethan grabbed it.
"I need to go out. If there is a horde out there I'll draw it away."
"No you damn well won't!" Chief Roberts tried to reach for the gun but Ethan snatched it away.
"I will." And he turned away and ran.
Alistair kicked the dirt. Sending a few rounds flying. Dante moved to follow Ethan.
"I'm going too. Anybody else want to help grab anything you can and hussle the fuck up."
Charlie took note of the way Ethan looked at the gun and handed it back to her but she didn't have time to react. There were still many people who didn't like guns even though there were times when they would come in useful. Guns wouldn't have been her weapon of choice either if she hadn't been asked to guard Merlin but fact of the matter was they came in useful when trying to protect the place from high ground.
Charlie nodded towards him when he told her they were worse and she muttered to herself. "Great." The gate had come to halt and before Alistair shouted anything she could hear the mechanics shut down and before she knew it Ethan was moving into the crowd and fighting the invaders in hand to hand combat. In a normal situation she might have watched in awe for a few moments. It had been a long time since she had seen a newcomer with a useful set of skills and she couldn't help but be impressed, even if it was only for a short few seconds before she joined him in battle but attacked the side opposite in hopes that she would stop anyone from getting further into Merlin.
Charlie reached for the knife hanging at her leg and allowed the strap of the gun fall to the front to place it carefully on her back. Several people fell at her hand within a short space of time but it wasn't all without wounds inflicted up on too. By the time she had unarmed six men her patched up wound on her cheek from the week before had reopened and she found several scraps down her arms and chest. Someone reached for her gun and as they did she took hold of their hands and put all of her strength into getting them into the perfect position for her to flip them over her shoulder and onto the floor before she took her shoe to his face.
"That's my property you are touching there." She said in disdain and started towards her next mission.
For some reason, as she was just going to run back to Merlin, the gate had shut behind her.
She didn't have time to swear, as she just panicked. She stood there terrified for a millisecond, then was taken by surprise as she heard the Ghost Nation charging.
She didn't have time to move, so she just stood there, revealing her weapon.
Not that that could help, but she could at least try.
Anyway, as the Ghost Nation was charging towards her, she ducked, and was trampled on several times, but she seemed fine.
But as she moved, she forgot about a pain in her back.
She limped towards the Ghost Nation, and decided to help the citizens there. Even if there was probably no hope.
The skirmish was harsh on Merlin's already succinct supply of ammunition. A lot of the wardens soon abandoned their rifles and drew on hammers, lances and all manner of crudely fashioned weaponry. Ethan held back by his father. He watched as the first of the attackers squeezed past the gate. Some of the wardens fell on them. Hacking and stabbing at whatever small pieces of exposed body as they could find.
Charlie held out a pistol. An old war model with a full clip of ammunition. He held it like it was diseased before passing it back.
'Are these the ghosts you were talking about?' She clipped.
'Worse,' He trailed off as a bullet slammed against the tables he was using for cover. The invaders had pushed through and dismantled the locking mechanism. With a groan the gate ground to a halt. Trapped ajar with more invaders screaming through.
'God dammit they're sabotaging the gate!' Alistair shouted over the din of battle.
An invaders closed in. Less was the blast of rifles as men and women took up arms in melee. Ethan broke from cover and cut across the path of an approaching attacker and tossed him to the ground before moving onto the next. This time trapping their weapon his arm and thrusting his palm into their throat. They dropped clutching at their windpipe. Cussing as they coughed. Ethan held his weapon in his hands before, like the pistol, he tossed it aside and kicked the invader across the face. They dropped to the floor, moaned, and did not get back up.
Ethan hated guns. A difficult moral to have in today's world. Yet he found a way to survive without them.
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