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[center [size12 Maddox sat there, suddenly surprised when he felt a damp rag touch his skin from out of nowhere. He stared at it for a brief moment before looking at Alaric then finally smiling slightly at him. It was an odd smile, something that obviously looked like he hadn’t really done before. It was kind of slanted with a bit of force behind it even though he was actually appreciative of it. He took it in his gritty hands and began carefully wiping the blood from his face and hands before placing it back down in his lap, staring at it once more. He honestly did not realize how odd he looked doing this and quickly stopped it, looking at the male in front of him.]]
[center [size12 Maddox was then caught off guard once more. This time it was the sudden gasp and words that left Alaric’s mouth. At first, Maddox believed that he had done something wrong by asking Alaric to come by, but then quickly realized that it was a joke. The thing about Maddox was, he never understood humor and had very dry humor himself. Jokes were so foreign to Maddox that, honestly, he really did not know how to even make a dry joke, let alone catch a joke like what Alaric just said. He felt bad about it, but things did not seem to bother Alaric much, so Maddox had no reason to feel bad about anything. He then felt himself chuckling quietly before nodding.]]
[center [size12 Maddox then stood up, stretching upwards towards the sky which made him appear a bit taller than he actually was. It began raining a bit harder now. He preferred to not get wet, but that was the life of a hitman. Getting used to the nasty elements, like rain and sometimes, when winter came around, lying on a frozen ground and getting covered in snow. Something that Maddox hated though was rain. Something about the water and mud made him less agile when it came to hand to hand combat and it gave him a bit of unnecessary anxiety.]]
[center [size12 [i [#FF0000 “Let’s get going. I hate the rain,”]] he murmured softly as he pulled his hood over his head, pulling the gun case from the ground and putting it over his shoulder. He began walking, no trudging through the rain and mud with such a face of distaste, like he hated every bit of this.]]
[center [size12 Finally clearing the forest, a small town was nearing. It had large gates around the community, for better protection of course. When Maddox got closer, he heard a gun cock and Maddox glanced upwards. [i [#FF0000 “Hi, Nate. Just your friendly neighborhood sniper here with a friend. Let us in please,”]] his voice was pretty bland when he spoke and the gates began opening, just enough for Maddox and Alaric to get in before immediately closing behind them.]]
[center [size12 Once inside, there was a fully functioning community of shops, markets, and even a restaurant. There was a church, as well. There were small shacks around the place, as well. Maddox, thankfully, owned one of them, while the bulk of people shared a large common house where everyone had their own beds, but no privacy. Maddox motioned for Alaric to follow him quickly. [i [#FF0000 “Come on, I don’t want to deal with anyone right now,”]] he murmured softly as he took a swift right which led them up a walk way and straight to Maddox’s home. A two story shack that once you got inside, it was a bit more homey than you would expect, with a dog greeting Maddox when he walked in. [i [#FF0000 “Shiloh, this is Alaric. He’s good,”]] Shiloh was originally in a defensive position, but quickly relaxed when Maddox spoke.]]
[center [size12 Maddox placed his gun case on a table and began pulling off his jacket, which revealed a thin layer of a black muscle shirt. He groaned quietly before walking straight to the fridge, opening it up to get not only himself a beer, but Alaric as well and even a snack for Shiloh. [i [#FF0000 “Make yourself comfortable. Here,”]] Maddox handed off the beer to Alaric as he prepared the small snack for Shiloh, taking small sips from his own beer.]]
[center Alaric was used to what others would call random interactions. Because he traveled so much he came across so many different kinds of people and situations that others would be shocked by, even in this corrupt world. He met gangs who looked so devastatingly cruel but ended up being the sweetest people he had ever met. The only time he was ever surprised was when he met the Stevenson's.
Alaric was just 17, not a boy, but not a man either. He had been traveling for a few years now- it's what you did when you had no ties to anything- and he usually knew how to handle most situations. He had been mugged, he had been tortured, but never anything so odd as the situation he was in now.
Alaric's lanky body sat tied in front of a family of five. The parents were in their mid-30's, both blonde with their hair slicked back neatly, not a hair out of place. Their blue eyes that were once so inviting were now beady and dark. Their children all giggled together, their eyes mocking their parents.
One of the youngest boys grinned and stepped forward, his hand grabbing onto Alaric's thigh. [#000080 "Momma, he is too thin, how we gonna eat him-" ]
[b "Shut up, boy. He thin now but he won't be when we are through with him." ]The father cut off the child, not letting the mother of the boys speak. [b "Now get upstairs, we need to feed the fucker." ]
It really sucked for them, as Alaric never gained much weight, even when trying. He was a skinny bitch, forever and always.
The memory was like a flash of images that Alaric had to shake off. Every time he thought of the Stevenson's he got confused. They fed him so much food that they could have eaten themselves, but instead were fixed on eating him. They were twisted, obsessed with the idea of consuming human flesh.
[#228B22 [i Fucking cannibals. ] ]
Alaric reached into his bag once again and retrieved a small cloth. He dosed a little water on it and threw it to his new acquaintance, Maddox. [#228B22 "Probably don't want that blood drying in any unwanted areas."] Al gave out a small chuckle, [#228B22 "However, I think getting blood anywhere is unwanted."] He shrugged.
[#228B22 "I guess you could say I am a trusting fellow,"] Alaric answered, giving another small, subtle wink. In truth, he was just bored, and what better way to cure boredom but by inserting yourself into a dangerous situation?
A small smile spread across his face when Maddox mentioned his home. [#228B22 "Are you inviting another man to your home? How immoral." ]His face then turned serious, his eyebrow cocked slightly. [#228B22 "Kidding, kidding!"] Alaric laughed yet again, before nodding to the man. [#228B22 "Thank you, that would be lovely. I didn't even notice there was a town in this area."]
[center [size12 It was kind of weird for Maddox to be sitting down, in the burnt grass with some stranger, having a normal conversation. Anything that Maddox did wither people was odd to see, so of course, Maddox was on edge during the whole interaction. He had always kept people at arms length, for purposes that most people understood. You could only trust people so much. People were always up to something, rather it was to kill you or rob you or even both. Maddox had been a victim of every one of those, but thankfully made it alive, every time.]]
[center [size12 Maddox chuckled quietly at the man's laughter. He had never had someone laugh at the way he killed people. Maddox always had people fear him, but instead, this guy was laughing and even seemed completely okay with sitting with a blood soaked stranger, who could easily kill him at anytime, but Maddox had no reason to kill this man. He was kind, even offered him food and what appeared to be wine. Maddox hadn't drank in a long time, so this was well deserved.]]
[center [size12 Maddox began eating quietly before glancing up at the male once more. Alaric was his name, right? Maddox had a terrible memory. [i [#FF0000 "It's strange, you know? Most people wouldn't have bothered me if they saw me sniping at people, but you are definitely a strange one for even talking to me, let alone sitting here and having a meal with me,"]] Maddox commented before taking another bite of the bread. He then took a large gulp from the cup that he had been offered. It was decent wine, Maddox was not complaining. It had been awhile since the last time Maddox had gotten drunk.]]
[center [size12 Maddox continued eating in silence before raining began falling once more. He glanced up and grumbled about how much he hated rain and began gathering all of his things up. [i [#FF0000 "If you want, you can come stay at my place? The town I live in is just right over there, through the tree line,"]] Maddox pointed in a random direction before standing up.]]
[center Alaric had a wide grin on his face that never really left. This man was so... Cold? Yes, cold. The man had obviously seen some shit, just like Al. But then again, in this world, everyone has seen something dark or twisted. It was just the way the cookies crumbled. Alaric didn't hate this, in fact, he thought it made things interesting. The world before the said apocalypse didn't interest him like it did others. Then again, not must interest him. But this man in front of him? Now he peeked his interest.
Alaric took the water from Maddox and downed it, the feeling of the liquid pouring down his throat leaving him feeling relaxed. He listened to Maddox before letting out a small chuckle. [#228B22 "Please, you probably have women and men lining up to get a lick of that dick,"] He winked at Maddox, the crudeness of his words masked by his pleasant aura.
A small rustle could be heard and before Alaric could even respond, Maddox was up and ready for it. A man with wild eyes appeared before them, and in almost an instant he was on the ground, being pummeled by Maddox's fist. Now, if it was anyone else, they would be frightened by this sight, but not Ric. He had seen so much bullshit in his life that this was, well, normal. The lifelessness in Maddox's eyes reminded him of his own, once upon a time.
Once Maddox was finished with the man, Alaric started to laugh. Not just a small chuckle though, but a large bellowing laugh. [#228B22 "Man," ] Alaric heaved a bit, trying to catch his breath from all this laughter. [#228B22 "That was fuckin' pro, no wonder you do what you." ] He turned himself towards his large backpack and slung it in front of him, before opening it up and retrieving some food.
Alaric handed Maddox a large piece of elk jerky and some bread, before moving back to his backpack to grab a few more things. He retrieved two cups and a flask, and started to pour a dark purple liquid into each cup. He then passed one of the cups to Maddox. [#228B22 "A nice wine I made myself,"] he winked.
[center [size12 Rarely, if ever, did Maddox just sit down next to someone and have a perfectly, civil conversation with them. He was doing just that with this shirtless man named Alaric. He was definitely a character that Maddox was not used to. Most people wouldn't, one, walk around shirtless, and two, being as care free as this guy was. He was a walking target with the bull's eye painted all over his body. Maddox was unsure how safe it would be to hang around him, or even just sit here and have a conversation with him, but yet, Maddox hadn't moved or politely excused himself just yet.]]
[center [size12 Maddox blamed that on his curious nature. That has gotten him hurt way too many times that Maddox couldn't even count anymore. If Alaric hadn't shown up, Maddox would have gone down to that building that would most likely have traps and whatnot within it and get himself blown to bits because he was just curious like that.]]
[center [size12 As if on queue, Maddox's stomach growled at the mere mention of food. Come to thing about it, Maddox hadn't eaten in a few days. He had a strong stomach and could normally make himself last for a few days, but that also gave him the whole grumpy as fuck attitude towards everyone. He just nodded towards Alaric, muttered a quiet thank you as he packed away his rifle back into its case.]]
[center [size12 Maddox eyed Alaric, who was eyeing him and chuckled. He motioned to his face, [i [#FF0000 "it's a tired, ol' mug. I know, it's not too pretty on the eyes."]] Maddox commented quietly as he pulled out a couple of bottles of water. As he was handing one off to Alaric, his ears picked up on a noise. As if on command, Maddox stood straight up. He was like an alerted dog. He glanced around, narrowed eyes as he scanned the area before finding the source of the noise. A raider, who was charging them. Maddox moved slightly out of the way, dodging the armed with a knife man and grabbed the back of what was left of the man's shirt and threw him to the ground with a wet sploosh noise.]]
[center [size12 Without a word, Maddox proceeded to beat the man's face in without a single bit of emotion on his face. His face was blank as he eyes relaxed and eventually, the man was dead and Maddox just tossed him off the edge of the cliff with a soft sigh. He took his seat back in his original spot and looked at Alaric. Maddox didn't realize it, but he was covered in quite a bit of blood. He just cracked opened his bottle of water and began drinking from it.]]
[center [#FF0000 "You know I could have killed you, right?" ]
Alaric was flat on the wet ground, his entire torso now soaked in mud. A small grin was planted on the man's face, entertained by this whole experience. [#228B22 "A lot of things could have killed me, man, and I'm still kickin'."] This was true, a lot of things COULD have killed him, and in all honesty, Al wouldn't give a flying fuck if it happened. He'd be just another person scattered along the path called life, body full of bullet holes and stinking of decomposing flesh.
[#228B22 "Maddox, eh?" ] Alric wasn't surprised to hear that the man was a hitman, not in the slightest. There was so much fucked up shit in the world, so of course there were people out there getting paid to kick the shit to the curb. [#228B22 "I'm Alaric, I don't do shit." ] He gave out a quiet laugh, unsure if the man had finished his mission. Alaric, of course, did do shit. He did a lot of shit. He was a scavenger, a repair man, and an adventurer. He moved from place-to-place, gathering supplies and creating tools. He would sell these tools for food, along with other items as well.
Alaric pointed towards his large backpack, now thinking of the food he had just traded with a few people for some leathers he had. [#228B22 "You hungry, pal? Killing people must work up an appetite."] Alaric would know, not that he would tell Maddox this.
He stared at Maddox, his eyes looking up and down. This man was handsome, but he looked so god damn tired. Maddox needed to relax.
[center [size12 Maddox was focused in, firing off shoot after shoot until something startled him. A loud voice, loud enough to possibly give away his position. [b Get anything good?] Maddox turned his head, instantly and glared at the man before him. He had his knife ready, but realized that this man was harmless or at least as harmless as one could get when being in this kind of world.]]
[center [size12 Maddox snatched the man by his arm and pulled him down the wet ground. It had been raining earlier in the day. Polluted rain, it smelled foul, but Maddox didn't really have his senses any longer. [i [#FF0000 "Please be quiet,"]] Maddox's voice was low, he peered through his scoop once more. His finger laid on the trigger as he focused back in on the raider out front.]]
[center [size12 [i [#FF0000 "I am doing the local town west of here, a favor. Killing these inbred pieces of shit,"]] Obviously, Maddox did not like raiders, but who did anyway? Most everyone hated them, but the raiders themselves. He picked off the last remaining raiders and placed his rifle on the ground, sitting up. He was sitting like a school child. Indian style and sighed. [i [#FF0000 "You know, I could have killed you, right?"]] Maddox rarely liked to admit to that, but he could have easily done it without feeling much remorse for it since he did what he had to do to protect himself.]]
[center [size12 Now, Maddox could get a better look at the fellow that decided to startle him. A strange man, no shirt, and bright blue eyes. He had a tattoo too. A very big one on his arm. Maddox was highly interested in it, since he had a could himself, on his back and arms, but those were rarely seen since he generally wore a large coat and hood.]]
[center [size12 Once Maddox confirmed that this guy was no threat, he held a hand and extended it into the shirtless man's direction. [i [#FF0000 "My name is Maddox. I am a hit man. I get paid to kill things,"]] what a way to introduce yourself. Maddox was an awkward one, so he said and did weird things all the time.]]
[center Alaric had always been different, especially when it came to human interaction. The world was a dark place, full of terrible things and terrible people. And then there was Alaric, a guy who really didn't give two shits about any of it. He was just a dude out on an adventure, and anything that came his way was okay in his books. People were always bewildered by this and his happy-go-lucky attitude that he wore. He was a confusing guy, to say the least. How could someone, in a world so fucked up, still laugh like he could? Well, for Alaric, it was easy. Once you lived in shit your whole life, you don't really care about the incoming shit hurricane. And that was Alaric's life, one big hurricane of shit.
Alaric dashed through the woods, his large backpack jingling as he ran. There was no real reason Alaric was running beside the fact that he just loved to. Why not go running shirtless in the forest? Well, probably because of the raiders and other assholes mucking about, but Alaric didn't care. Again, he never cared.
Alaric stopped dead in his tracks, his sapphire eyes darting to a black dot that was now visible to him. He moved closer, wiping the sweat from his brow as he walked. Soon enough, the black dot turned into a figure, which turned into a man. When Alaric finally got close enough he could see the man had a gun, and was currently shooting at something. A large grin soon appeared on his face. [#228B22 [i A hunter, perhaps? ] ]
Cocking his eyebrow and showcasing his award-winning smile, Alaric spoke, probably startling the man enough to miss his next shot. [#228B22 "Get anything good?" ] He scratched the top of his head, curious about the situation in front of him.
[center [size12 When Maddox was a young boy, he didn't go by Maddox or Mad dog. He went by Max. Max wasn't born before the bombs. He was born in a tiny underground shelter with a bunch of people as onlookers as his mother gave birth to a small, baby boy, as if this world needed another person. Another person to die at this world's hands. It was stupid, but Max was born. When he was around 14 years old, that was when everyone decided to leave the shelter and brave the world that was now a desolate wasteland, full of mutated creatures and radiation in the air. Soon, everyone learned that it wasn't safe to be at sea level. The mountains were the safest place to be and that was where they were headed.]]
[center [size12 All died, but one and that was Max, or soon to be called Maddox. Max was picked up by an older man by the name of Rufus Mayweather. Rufus was a very smart man and immediately began teaching Max what he needed to know in order to survive and that was how to shot a gun. A sniper rifle to be exact. You don't want to face raiders and bandits up closer. Safest to pick them off at a distance. One of the most valuable things to know.]]
[center [size12 Maddox "Maddog" Johnson became a notorious hit man of sorts. He lived in a man made town that was just recently built by people, who were trying to get some sort of quality of life back after the Great War, which happened nearly 50 years ago, but the Earth was just not able to be lived on once more. The radiation was strong after the bombs fell and it took decades for things to even become livable again, but that doesn't mean things were safe all the time. There was some heavily radiated places that were marked off or signs were in place, if someone had died or someone caught it and posted a sign, but other than that, you walk at your own risk in the city of Denver, Colorado. Colorado's high mountains kept people safe since the radiation was a more centered thing in towns, so the town that Maddox had his own little home in was on one of the many mountains and he soon made a life for himself.]]
[center [size12 Maddox was feared among many and loved by all. He was a tired looking, crazy mother fucker with twisted morals and kept to himself, but because he kept people safe, people still loved him. All he needed was his sniper and he was ready to go.]]
[center [size12 Maddox wasn't so much tall, he was all beef. He stood at a short five foot eight and weighed nearly 200 pounds, but that was muscles. He was short and board. Under his coat, he was buff. He lugged his sniper rifle on his shoulder, though it appeared to look heavy.]]
[center [size15 [b ~~~]]]
[center [size12 Maddox was heading out of the town, waving his goodbyes to a couple of people. He was holding a piece of paper in one hand and a rifle case in the other. The paper had a name and location written on it. The name was of a leader of a raiding group that had been causing people some trouble and the location was where their hide out was. He was being paid a pretty penny to deal with not just one, but about 10 people. It was going to be enough money to last him for a good time, but that doesn't mean he would stop doing the only thing that he knew how to do. Shooting people.]]
[center [size12 Hoping on his little motor cycle that he had got working after it had been sitting for years unused, he headed in the direction that he needed to go in. Once there, he set up. Cutting the motorcycle off, Maddox perched himself on an over hang that looked out on the building that the raiders were hanging out in. He opened the case and there was the most beautiful rifle that anyone could get their hands on. Maddox killed someone for this and was not ashamed of it at all.]]
[center [size12 Laying down on his stomach, looking through the scoop, he could see a single person. A raider. Biting his lower lip, Maddox took aim and fired. Thankfully, his rifle was silenced. No one would know where he came from. He waited patiently for the next one to come into view. Snipers were patient people that knew how to wait for their prey to poke their heads out, just enough for Maddox to take it clear off their shoulders.]]
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