[A/N - I forgot how to format on this website, lmao. Anyone can join. Just PM me a character outline of what you have to offer. This may take on a fantasy edge later on, but I'm honestly not sure yet. But, keep that in mind. I want to hear your ideas.]
The largest geomagnetic storm ever recorded occurred took place in 2029, causing near irreversible damage to electrical grids due to an extended outage that lasted approximately two years. Mankind, they said, had shifted back to the Stone Ages. Riots, murders, mass theft, and suicides overtook the masses. A lawless wasteland, became the Earth. The human race was left adrift for decades.
In 75 years, communities thrive - some through self-sustainable practices, and others through constant raiding. Overall, if one can find their place in a relatively quiet, naturally defended area, their bloodlines may prosper. And some hope that the children of today will grow to recreate the wonders of the 21st century, as their grandparents knew it, or even something greater. It was all they could ask for: Order. Stability. It was all they wanted.
Zelda leaned back as she listened to the whole commotion around her. When the younger woman stood to her feet, and told the other's it was enough, her mind started racing. It seemed that she was the only one with a working car, and she did have a pretty good supply of gas to use as well. Maybe she should offer up her services to help this small town out. She hadn't been here for very long, and she felt like she should at least do something to help out. When the other's calmed down a little bit, was when she slowly stood to her own feet, and all eyes seemed to turn to her at the same time.
She stood there, biting her lower lip lightly. [b "I know I'm still new around here, and seeing as I'm the only one with a working vehicle, I would be more than happy to offer my services for this scavenging trips. I know it's not much, and I can only fit two people in the cab of my truck, but the bed of the truck can hold quite a bit of supplies. So if needs be I can take one to two other people with me, and we can fill up the back end as much as we can, so that way not a lot of people have to go"] she said lightly.
Maybe this wasn't the best thing on her part, but what other choice did she have? That's when some one spoke up. [i "Yeah? And who the hell are you, and how did you get a working car?"] the sound of a man broke through the crowd. She didn't really see who was talking, and her heart hammered inside of her chest. [b "My name is Zelda Barley, and I just so happened to arrive two nights ago. I ended up getting my father's truck, and I'm glad I did. If you think I took it from someone else, you are mistaken. I can tell you everything about that truck out front"] she seemed to snap back.
She shouldn't have let the male's words get under her skin, but it had. She felt like she was being personally attacked. Her blood seemed to boil a bit, and she shook her head. [b "If you are going to be a total jack ass, and treat me like shit, then forget I even offered to help you ungrateful assholes any help"] she snapped, and then lowered herself back into her seat. She wrapped her arms around herself, and looked down at her feet. It had been a huge mistake to even offer her help. Just because she was a newcomer, didn't mean she wasn't willing to help, when she was.
That man though, made her want to just sink into the floor boards, and just vanish. She sighed lightly, as she sat there listening to the murmuring pick back up around her. She tried to tune it out the best she could, wishing she hadn't said anything at all in the first place. She made herself look bad, and now the whole town might hate her, but she didn't care. She would deal with it, like she has before. Nothing new there. She sighed lightly, as she dug her fingers into her sides, wishing she as anywhere but here right now.
The barely-there voice on the radio fizzled out into static, and eventually, the room fell silent again. Deafening, eerie, silence… It took Raymond about a minute to gather himself, thoughts racing through his head. How was this possible? Cautiously, he stepped forward, taking the radio into trembling hands. His grandfather said there hadn’t been a proper broadcast in over thirty years – right about the time the world fell into proper chaos after having been in a war-torn state for so long. Food and medicine shortages encouraged looting and fighting in some of the largest cities, whose desperate populations began spilling out into the rest of the United States – willing to do whatever it took to feed their families and keep themselves alive. The local police forces were easily overwhelmed. Government officials and those in the upper echelons of society, seeing that their country and their economy would never be the same, found themselves without the luxuries and protections that their money previously afforded them. Few adapted, grandfather recalled. Most perished at the hands of the people that they had failed by being so ill-prepared.
There were few conclusions presenting themselves, but a distant rumble of one of the only functioning cars in town caught his attention. Raymond moved his attention to the old beater on the road, entranced for the briefest of moments as it moved in the direction of the center of town. He moved his eyes to the radio. Town meeting. Speculation would have to wait.
He unceremoniously put the radio in his ragged and worn satchel. Through the kitchen door, and onto the porch, he inhaled deeply and began his trek to the town hall. The worn soles of his shoes made it difficult to concentrate on his dilemma. Worrying would do little good for him, he decided, and made the pilgrimage in silence of mouth and mind, for his own sanity.
[b “Alright, guys. We need these rations sorted so they can go out for delivery.”] A tall woman in a skintight tank top, pants, and beaten combat boots pointed her finger to the right over to the spoils of the recent scavenging trip. Although her gaze was at the piece of paper in her hand, her subordinates wasted no time in waiting for further instruction. [b “B-Team, I need you to sort materials,”] Her stance shifted as she pointed to her left, now, [b “Wood, metal, electronics, etc., nothing new. Get to work.”]
Piercing blue eyes glanced over the town hall, now beginning to fill with what seemed like fewer citizens each time they grouped together. The elderly were dying swiftly, others were falling ill – expiring when there was no medicine to be found to help them. A small child, she had heard, had just been snatched from her family by a pack of coyotes. By the time her father retrieved a weapon, she’d been carted off. Her mangled remains were found days later, buried, being saved for later by a nursing female, who was none too fond of the idea of her food being taken. Alice shut her eyes and sighed, removing her waist length jet black hair from its high ponytail, [b “Son of a bitch…”] She muttered, exhausted. Although not out of her prime, by any stretch of the imagination, the strain of scavenging was beginning to take its toll on her body. Joint and back pain, eye strain, fatigue – a woman in her mid-thirties should not be dealing with the plight of those twice and three times her age. It seemed as though someone younger may have to take her place, this month.
A hand on her shoulder removed her from her thoughts, the gentle gaze of her own mother soothing her weary soul. “You’re getting old, my dear.” Layla cupped her daughter’s face in her hands and shook her head. She motioned her daughter over to a chair in the front row, to which Alice found herself obliging without protest. Very unlike her usual self. Eyes matching her daughter’s piercing blue, Layla’s smile soon faded. Something must have happened out on the road.
With Layla at the front of the room, those that were not working diligently to sort the expedition’s quieted down and took their seats. And, with perfect timing, Raymond opened the door. Opting to stand at the back so as not to draw too much attention to his arrival. Finally, out of the beating sun and with a chance to rest his feet, his eyes glossed over as he retreated to his thoughts.
“Well… Let’s get started,” Layla began, pushing a lock of greying hair behind her ear. “After reviewing our usual stomping grounds with Alice, it’s been tentatively decided that we may need to start expanding our scavenging radius.” The murmuring in the crowd started almost immediately. It was amazing how not fifty people could make such noise.
“While the news is, I’m sure…unsettling… we’re exhausting our current area. We are coming into contact with others too frequently, and we’re often finding ourselves frozen out of certain areas. As is painfully obvious, we are a small community… We cannot afford to lose more people, but we require more resources… As a result, scavenging trips will be extended—” This time, the murmuring was louder. Even some of those sorting turned to glance at Layla’s back.
“We’re already gone for nearly two weeks at a time!” One man shouted, “Now you want us to leave for longer!? The old will starve!!”
“We’ll [i all] starve!” Another corrected him.
“What about the sick…?” A timid woman raised her hand, “What if we or our children get sick? Will we die waiting?”
“Are you going to send out more scavengers?”
[b “Enough!!”] Alice took to her feet, stunning the crowd into silence. Finally, Raymond’s attention was focused. “I hear a lot of complaints, but not many suggestions… So? Anyone?”
[center [i [b Three Weeks Ago.]]]
It's been three weeks since the woman was dropped off. She was dropped off in a dirty, back alley. She only had the clothes on her back, and a small pendant she wore around her neck. Something she hoped would help her along her path of life. She never dreamed of something like this happening before. She felt somewhat lost, alone, and even scared. That's when she came across an older woman. A woman who took her under her wing, and helped the woman heal in more ways than one. That's when she had found out that she had two younger sisters.
She never dreamed she would ever meet them in her life time. She had known about them, but didn't think they would ever want to be apart of her life. The moment that Justine took her in, was when she met Amber and Angelica. The two of the most gentle beings she could ever dream of meeting. There was something different about them. It was like they weren't even her sisters. They acted like her, they thought like her, and they surely had her attitude. Something she didn't think would possibly love in a person. As they got to know one another, things slowly started to click into place.
She finally had a home. She had sister's that needed her, and she would do anything for them. She just wished she could figure out why, all of a sudden she was here. In this small town. She knew it wouldn't happen, but she wanted to see where her new life would lead. She had a family now, and she wasn't about to let them go either. Knowing that she was with the people who really matter, she could take on the world. She looked towards the two sleeping bodies beside her, and she knew that she had made the right choice in staying. She wasn't about to make Amber and Angelica feel abandoned ever again.
[center [i [b Present Day.]]]
It's been three weeks since Zelda's been with her sisters, and Justine. She was slowly learning how to live among other people, and slowly learning how to trust them. She didn't have all of her memories, and wondered if she would ever get them all back. She did have little snippets here and there, but nothing too huge. She sighed lightly when Amber opened the door, and poked her head around the corner. [i "Oh good, you are up. Justine was wondering if you wanted something to eat, before the town meeting"] she asked lightly.
Zelda looked up and smiled a bit. [b "Sure, I'll be down in a couple minutes, and I'll make sure to eat before I go"] she promised. Amber broke out into a smile, pulled her head back out, and shut the door behind her, leaving the older girl alone. Zelda sighed lightly as she leaned back in bed. She reached up and started fiddling with the pendant around her neck. She felt like something was still missing, and she couldn't really figure it out yet.
She sighed lightly, as she pulled herself out of bed, got dressed, slid her shoes onto her feet and then grabbed her back pack. She would head into work after the meeting was over. She made her way to the kitchen, and smiled at the sounds of her sisters, and Justine talking and laughing. Something she loved more than anything right now. She walked into the room, and was handed a plate, and she took it to the table. She sat down, and started to eat, letting their voices wash over her.
She looked up and cocked her head to the side. [b "So does anyone know what this meeting is all about?"] she asked. Justine looked up and shook her head. [b [i "No sweetheart I don't. Hopefully it'll be good though"]] she said. Zelda sighed, wishing she could get a better answer, but knew it wouldn't happen. She finished eating and then stood, carrying her plate to the sink. [b "I'll see you all in the morning when I get home"] she said with a warm smile. The other three told her good luck, and that they all loved her. Her heart about melted inside of her chest, she loved those three more than anything.
She made her way out, and went to her beat up car. The only car she could afford for now. She unlocked it, slid in behind the wheel, and started it up. She threw her back pack into the passenger seat, pulled away from the curb, and headed into town. She had a couple minutes to spare, so she decided she might as well get to the meeting, and find a good seat. She pulled into the parking lot, found a spot, and parked. She shut the car off, and climbed out.
She made her way inside, found a chair in the back, and sat down. She crossed her legs, as she listened to the voices around her. She crossed her arms, and waited for the meeting to start, the sooner it got over, the sooner she could get to work.
[Disclaimer - I'm a shit writer and this post is only half finished. I like to try for 1k words a post.]
It is hard to say what drove his grandfather to settle here. It may have been the rural location - surrounded by plenty of wildlife to sustain a growing family, yet with land and deserted housing spacious enough to discourage crowding. A single, well fortified home was much easier to defend with capable hands. Though some of those hands were small, trembling, and unprepared. The young man shook his head, blonde wisps of hair fluttering in his eyes. The memories were pointless distractions, and yet, he succumbed to them regardless.
Raymond glanced out the simple, pane-less window of his home. A single-story home of moderate size, in shambles, in ruin. Sunlight glittered from the broken glass in the street. A silence lilted through the air, carrying only the sounds of wind through the drafty abode. "So boring..." His mutters can hardly be discerned as he rests his lower jaw comfortably into his right arm, helplessly slumped over the tattered table, eyes fixated on the sky which encapsulated that dreadful sun. 'The Reaper,' his grandfather often called it... The fickle, unforgiving son of Mother Nature who cast his scythe with reckless abandon upon humanity so long ago. Science, or so Raymond had been told, always knew the phenomenon which sealed the fate was always possible within a century, and yet, they simply weren't prepared for it.
It was unimaginable. Unthinkable.
[b "This street was bustling with cars, men, women, children... On holidays we'd have firework shows, and great food! Gather with our family, friends, and talk about anything and everything. It was all in the palm of your hand."] The ramblings of an old man that brought a shine to his eyes in his youth, brought a smile to his face as an adult. Grandpa was always so animated when he spoke about the past. Oh, the things he'd wished Raymond could see, experience, take part in. Instead, he'd relayed them to him in the shattered remnants of humanity's past.
How, Raymond thought, could human beings have immediate access to all that was current in their world, and simply... be unprepared? How could they analyze, speculate, and never take action? How could they hold all at once in the palm of their hands, and still know nothing at all?
As a young boy, it used to stun him. As a young man, it merely provoked his developing mind. For a soul of not yet twenty-five, such ideas excited him, greatly. What he wouldn't give for knowledge of that magnitude.
What he wouldn't give.
It was about time for the community meeting. To inventory their supplies, receive rations, and choose the next search party. Regardless of whether the last one had returned, Raymond was sure. His left hand drifted, uncaring, towards the antique contraption his grandfather had gifted him, just before his passing. A "battery-operated" radio, as it was called, in poor condition.
Vivid memories of his grandfather traveling often in search of the source of the device's power overtook him. His lids shut slowly over blue eyes. [i "There must still be some out there,"] he often said, searching as far and as often as he could, until he was too feeble of mind and body to seek them himself.
[i Ka-chink.] [i Ka-chunk.]
It only ever made an irritating sound - like gravel or sand across a smooth surface. "Static" his grandfather called it. But, supposedly, it used to transmit--
[i ...bzzt... bzz-lp...]
"...What the fuck...?" Raymond jumped to his feet, his seat clattering loudly behind him, echoing through the empty kitchen. His eyes widened, his breathing quickened, his hands began to shake and sweat. He gasped, taking the radio in his hands, waiting for another sound. Static. Static. More static.
Was he dreaming? Hallucinating? No. What else could that have possibly been?
[center [i ...he-zzt...zzt-lp...]]
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