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Escaping Eternia - Chapter 16: Chat with a Serpent
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PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2011 9:48 pm    Post subject: Escaping Eternia - Chapter 16: Chat with a Serpent Reply with quote

The night was cold as I stepped out of the empty apartment that I called my home for the last twenty-four hours. Half a dozen fires scattered throughout the city lit up the night sky as their smoke blanketed out the stars. It’s been a week since the outbreak first began. It all started with a homeless man. That one homeless man had attacked a man with a high position in some skyscraper or another. The homeless man was killed by police after attacking and infecting two more innocent people, the executive went to work and by the end of that day had broken down and infected three others. They went on to infect more and so on and so forth.

Within a week, the city had become complete and utter chaos and I have seemingly found myself completely alone in this hell hole. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve tried to escape on multiple occasions. I really contain no desire to stay behind in this cesspool of murderous cannibalistic monsters but you know how the story goes. Government hears about the zombie outbreak and decides that it’s a much better idea to just contain the situation instead of wasting money on developing some sort of cure for the bloody infection.

As I stepped out of my most recent dwelling, I caught a sight of several of the damnable creatures staggering toward me. With a survivalist instinct, I reached towards the small handgun that I had found on a decomposing officer. Before drawing the pistol I thought carefully . I was down to one clip. A single solitary nine-millimeter clip and considering the fact that I wasn’t in dire straits, I decided leave it, keep my last sixteen shots and just ran ahead of the shufflers. The night air was filled with the various moans and groans of the creatures that now populated Eternia, the city that I once loved. I strolled down the center of the abandoned roads as I made my way toward my destination. Joseph’s Food and Drug, the nearest source of nourishment.

I kept my eyes open as I traveled, narrowly dodging several more of the foul beasts that roamed the city streets. I kept my hand secured on the pistol that was tucked into the waistband of my slacks, never daring to remove it from what would surely become my lifeline.

After three city blocks of walking and evading, I stopped. Something felt off. I gazed around and found two creatures moving toward me. I drew my gun and placed a single shot into the forehead of each. After the rotting things fell, I couldn’t help but gaze around at my surroundings. The air was still. There were no signs of any other shufflers nearby and the only scent of decomposition clung to the duo that I just took out. Something was wrong. I should have at least heard the nearest group but the nearest groans were coming from blocks away. Something was occupying the creature’s time. Something or someone was leading them away from me. Survivors.

That had to be it. There had to be some other incredibly lucky person in the city. Not military. If the military began sweeping through the city, I’d be hearing more gunfire and at the moment, All I heard was the lazy wails of the damned. An amused smile crossed my face as I started back on my trek, the gun still in my hand. My stomach rumbled slightly as I walked, begging for the food, I’ve dealt without for the last twenty-four hours. I ignored the angry sounds my gut was making and pushed forward through the strangely empty city streets. After what must have been a half hour, I stopped again. The smell of decomposition that clung to every bit of the air was making my already disturbed stomach queasy. Resting against a wall, I let out a sigh and listened for any nearby fiends. I didn’t have to listen long until I heard feet dragging along the asphalt. I lifted from the wall and looked around quickly. Five of them. Five bloody creatures coming up through a nearby alley. As soon as I managed to get the nine-millimeter aimed, I heard more. A loud moan came from behind me. I spun and saw another six turning a corner.

“Fuck,” I said as I pivoted between the two groups that were blocking me in. Aiming at the larger group I squeezed off three shots, taking out half of them. As soon as the last one dropped, I dashed forward. I narrowly averted becoming a meal and continued past them. I turned the corner they came from and was greeted by another large horde of them. “Shit shit shit.”

I slid to a halt and barely escaped a pair of decomposing hands belonging to one well dressed zombie. After side-stepping the cretin, I quickly delivered a solid kick to its leg. The leg crack and bent in an unnatural fashion but the attack still went unfazed but the moaning creature. It turned toward me and just as it reached out again, I shoved my gun into its mouth and squeezed the trigger. Thick black blood sprayed onto me before it slumped to the ground. Knowing that standing around was a bad idea, I turned and continued to run away from the horde. I headed forward, quickly dodging several creatures along my way. Managing to actually get through a good number of the group, I ducked into an alley and raced through it. Appearing on the other side, I noticed only two standing just arms length away from me. I took out one with my pistol and was greeted with another face full of a bloody mist. The other one drew closer and was met with a large punch to the jaw causing part of it to fall off.

Without a seconds delay, I turned and continued to run. Once I was sure there was no immediate danger, I leaned against a nearby wall and took a breather. My heart was beating hard enough that it was all I hard as I stood and breathed heavily. As I rested I couldn’t help but eject the clip from my gun and look at it. I followed suit by pulling the slide back and double checking that there was one in the chamber. Once I was impressed, I slid the clip back in and nodded.

“Ok. I started out with fifteen in the clip and one in the chamber,” I said aloud to no one imparticular. There’s nothing like a complete lack of civilization and conversation to make one appreciate their own voice. “I just used…let’s see… two…five…six...seven. Seven shots. Ok. Nine shots left. Fuck.”

I rocked my head back and let it collide with the brick. A slight stinging sensation resounded through my skull as I stood there, beating myself up for allowing the brain-dead bastards to corner me. It was insulting. Those undead cretins ganging up on me. I hit my head on the wall once more before standing up and kicking the nearest trashcan.

“Fuck,” I shouted. As I stood on the curb after my kick, I felt my stomach rumble angrily once more. I sighed and looked around to try and find my bearings to get back on track. Not seeing any signs, I just shrugged and started down the street, in the direction I was sure the store would be in. As I walked, I found more sparse amounts of the undead. They must have all been in that street coming for me or any other survivor. I strolled for another several blocks, moving past very few creatures without notice. It almost seemed too easy.

After a lengthy stroll, when I actually could make out the burnt out sign a few blocks away, another distraction hit. A loud shotgun blast shattered the air, sounding as if it came from the next street over. I shot a gaze around before jogging forward slightly. I stopped suddenly as another gunshot rang through the night. This time it wasn’t a shotgun. It sounded more like some sort of rifle. I took one step forward and paused before looking to my side toward the direction of the gunshots.

Thoughts raced quickly through my mind as my eyes darted from ahead of me to direction of the shots. I could go and quickly get food. Nourishment before I tried to find some way out of this god-forsaken wasteland. Then again a survivor means ammo and assistance. Not to mention conversation that I’ve been missing since this whole city went down the shit-hole. I closed my eyes and tried to think of what to do.

***********

Alright, what does our brave hero do? Does he go running to the survivors? Or does he just run to get his grub on? or perhaps he just runs in the opposite direction? Or maybe something I haven't mention and/or thought of? The choice is yours!


Last edited by misterbiz on Sun Feb 24, 2013 10:22 pm; edited 31 times in total
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PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2011 12:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

*Jumps on first post*

Welcome aboard Mr. B!

And a fine and enjoyable initial contribution it is too. On the crit side only one sentence tripped me up
Quote:
The leg crack and bent in an unnatural fashion but the attack still went unfazed but the moaning creature.
I sense you'll already know what needs fixing there. Smile

'shufflers' - made me smile.

So we're straight into the action. Our hero considers himself incredibly lucky '...there had to be some other incredibly lucky person in the city' seemingly because he's not military and knows how to handle a gun... I'm assuming that the '...lazy wails of the damned' are those who haven't got it within them either physically or mentally to defend themselves.

The fires - only half a dozen of them in an entire city must mean that the number of survivors is very low.

Our hero doesn't seem to be worried about attracting the zombies' attention by making a noise - as he was talking to himself and kicked a trashcan. He's fired shots, so it is probable that the owner of the other guns would have heard him, and might also be facing similar choices.

But... we don't know if this is one person or two, or whether they're fighting together, or fighting against each other.

My instinct would be to get closer, but not so close that I can't run if I need to. We haven't encountered any other survivors face to face for most of, if not all of the week since this infection took over. 'There’s nothing like a complete lack of civilization and conversation to make one appreciate their own voice.'

Hmmm. Let's shout then. If sound doesn't bother the zombies or makes little difference to their onslaught, then making aural contact with the other survivors wouldnt be out of the question.

So that's my suggestion. Shout!
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PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2011 1:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not bad, there are some mistakes but that's normal. However, one thing that jumped out at me was the word imparticular; it doesn't exist. It's actually supposed to be in particular.

As for suggestions, it's only been 24 hours since he has eaten so food isn't really a big deal. Water maybe, but not food. The military would probably be using the big guns, such as machine guns and artillery, so rifles and especially shotguns would not be on their list. I would suggest covertly checking out these gunmen. They already know that you exist, and also that you know that they exist, so might as well see who they are. If they look alright, a posse of zombie killers is always better than a lone gunman.
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PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2011 3:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

~waves at Bizzy~
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PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2011 8:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This time around, I'm gonna suggest we take to a roof to check this group out from afar. Watch for a time. They could be attracting a lot of zombies to them from their fighting gathering attention and we don't want to wander into the middle of it. Plus, not knowing who these newcomers are its hard to know for sure they won't be monsters of the living variety (y'know, humans freaking out aren't the nicest of creatures).

So this gives us a chance to evaluate better before committing to something... rash.

Oh, and LOVE the av btw! Nice pic!
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PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2011 11:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ditto Thunderbird. Caution is a priority. Nice start to your story, and welcome to the city.
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PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2011 11:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zombie world and you and possibly a survivor or more. They could help you get food, either way your doomed doing it alone. Go to the survivors, help them grab something to kill zombies with anything, ammo is needed, but soon if he isn't there on time for the survivors their ammo will go empty leave him there or die a cruel fate.
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PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2011 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zombie Apocalypse...LOVE it. yes...that was FABULOUS. captured my attention instantly and didnt let it go. i'm with Thunder here. let's stay back and observe first. we dont want to risk losing them by taking a food detour, but let's not rush in.
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PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 2:10 am    Post subject: I Think...... Reply with quote

Well, I guess I'll throw in my two bits here.

End of the world zombieness, always a crowd pleaser. Lets see your twist in how you make it yer own, ne? *Giggles* Major ass whoopin' needed here! But, for now, I'll put forward, FOOD! Go feed yerself man! Blow the other blokes, fer all we know, some zombies stepped on a gun or two, or the guns/ammo caught on fire. Who knows. Let's get some eats!

God first chappy, can't wait fer more! go Go GO!
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PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 8:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm having a hard time choosing between what I would do if I were the character, and what I would do to move the story along.

Honestly, I think I would rather try and restock on supplies before trying to find survivors. It sounds like we haven't been in this section of town before. If the streets really are that empty, then it seems like the survivors have everything under control- or as much as you can in a zombie apocalypse. They'll (probably) still be there when I come back.

If the group of survivors are jerks, they'll demand that I have some sort of use before they let me join them- otherwise, I'm just deadweight. If I don't have ammo or food, they might try and put me into an Omega Runt position in the pack. But if I have ammo and supplies, I can at least assert myself into a semi-high placement in whatever society they have.

And if I'm jumping the gun here, and it's just one person... well, then they'll be happier to see a well-stocked guy than a starving guy drenched in blood.
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PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alright folks...the poll is now up and running...I will leave it running until either Wednesday or Thursday...because I'm ready to keep going so...yeah...get your votes in while you can
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PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 7:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice poll results so far Wink 7 votes on a first chapter? Not bad Bizzy! Not bad at all.
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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 10:22 pm    Post subject: Chapter 2: The Slaughter Sisters Reply with quote

I started down an alley in the direction of the shots but stopped halfway down it. I could simply approach them but that was a mistake. I didn't know whether or not they would be quite tolerating of strangers. I took another couple of steps into the alley and looked around for some possible ways that I could sneak up on them and watch them covertly. Glancing up, I noticed a fire escape attached to a nearby building. For a couple minutes, I stood and stared at it. It zigzagged back and forth up the wall and appeared to make it all the way to the roof. A mental light bulb turned on and I quickly moved from the alley and around the building to its entrance.

The front door sat ajar with help from what was once a young woman. Or rather what I'm sure was once a young woman. I pushed the door open and started to move past it when a sudden realization came to mind. You couldn't be too safe. I turned around and knelt down a bit. I set down my gun and pulled the corpse up slightly. Carefully, I moved it so it was in an opportune position before wrapping my arm around its throat and snapping its neck quickly.

“Rest in piece, ma'am. Or sir,” I said as I rose from the ground grabbing my gun as I stood. The building I was in an apartment building that at one point in time had probably been well maintained. Now, it was no surprise that it was in a state of advanced disarray. Deciding to speed up my pace, I jogged up the stairs until I was on the proper floor. I hustled down the hallway and to the window that sat at the far end. Once I reached it, I stopped and looked around. It was already open. Cautiously I looked around me before I crawled through the window and onto the fire escape. Keeping my eyes and ears open, I carefully climbed up the fire escape. My opinion from the ground was right. The fire escape ended up at the edge of the roof.

Up on the roof, I ducked down and snuck to the edge. I peered down over the edge and watched as a young woman worked on an old black van that had some red lettering on the side that I couldn't decipher. Surveying the scene I could make out what appeared to be a hunting rifle.

“So there's Miss Rifle,” I said. “But where is the shotgun?”

“Behind you smart guy,” a female voice said behind me. “Drop your gun and turn around slow.”

I sat my gun down and stood up with my hands above my head. Slowly, I turned around and was greeted by the view of a young woman holding a double barrel shotgun to my head. My eyes moved up and down, studying her carefully She had long crimson hair that was pulled up into a messy ponytail. She was dressed in a pair of black leather pants, and a black zipped up leather jacket that was covered in various patches. She had on a pair of combat boots that appeared to be quite caked with blood and mud.

“So, beautiful, how'd you manage to sneak up on me?” I asked her as she moved around me and picked up the gun.

She gave me a shove with the gun and pointed. “Roof Access, dumbass,” she said. “Now walk.”

I gave a nod and obeyed. The girl led me downstairs and through the alley to a small intersection of alleys where the black van sat with “Kobra and Krew” written across the side in blood red letters.

“Look, what I found, Kobra” the redhead said. Her comrade moved from in front of the van and looked me over. She was fairly young, though appeared to be a bit older than her friend with the twelve gauge. She had a black crew cut and was dressed exactly the same as Miss Buckshot. She looked me dead in the eyes and crossed her arms in front of her chest.

“What's your name, stranger?” she asked.

“Leon. Leon Silver,” I stated.

“I found this douchenozzle on the roof spying on you,” the redhead said.

“Oh really?”

“Nothing personal,” I added “I heard the shots and was trying to gather some surveillance on you before I approached you. Your the first survivors that I've seen in a good five days or so.”

Kobra nodded and arched an eyebrow. “What do you think we should do with him, Ana?” she asked.

I looked over my shoulder at Ana who simply shrugged. Kobra motioned for her to come near. Ana obeyed and started toward her, turning to give me a threatening look as she moved. Together they moved closer to the front end of the vehicle and started whispering amongst themselves. Every so often as they spoke, they glanced over at me. I chuckled lightly as the sight reminded me of a couple of high school girls. A slight tingle of fear crept down my spine as they spoke. The wheels in my mind suddenly came to life. They could very well be plotting to get rid of me. I probably would have thought the same thing if I were in there shoes, but considering I was the subject of the talk, I was rather worried. My eyes looked around studying my surroundings. I could of course run. After all, I'm sure that I could quickly be out of the alley and down the block before they get a shot off or even into the van, which still appeared to be out of commission.

Then again, there was the rifle that was leaning up against the side of the van. I could try to get and even the playing field. Or I could simply wait. There was no telling what they were truly talking about. I swallowed an looked around once more, wondering just exactly what to do.

***********

Ok...what does he do now? Try to run? Grab the gun and use it to try and escape? Maybe he forces a partnership? Does he wait to see what their plans are? Or should he simply just step forward and propose a partnership? Any other ideas I haven't mentioned?
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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 10:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

again...i love it!!!

does he know anything about vehicles? perhaps he could step up and start looking at the van, suggesting how to fix it? this would show that he was useful. these women obviously dont need protection, so finding an alternate means of getting in with them would be good. they're talented in this area, so i think we'd want them on our side.
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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 10:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Every so often as they spoke, they glanced over at me. I chuckled lightly as the sight reminded me of a couple of high school girls. But then a slight tingle of fear crept down my spine.


Fixing an awkward sentence here: doesn't make much sense that he'd be chuckling and at the same time scared, so you gotta make sure you use a conjunction to clarify the transition. "But then" should do the trick. Also, get rid of the 2nd "as they spoke", since it is redundant.

DP: Step up and make a proposal. Somehow, he has to prove he's useful to them. Tell them he has supplies at a hidden location that only he can take them to, or something of that nature. He seems to be a cocky fellow, so I am sure he can pull off the theatrics.
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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, since this IS a zombie survival story, for the sake of interesting character development, I would say try and join them, or better yet get them to join you.

Also, on a more in character level, you need help. Even the most talented zombie-killer has to sleep sometime.

Plus, you know... chicks. If the zombie apocalypse decimates the human race, someone's going to have to repopulate the world. Razz

On a more general notel, the setting you have is not exactly rare, but I like your particular personal slant on many parts. (The fact that she called him a douchenozzle almost made me laugh out loud.) And I enjoy the main character's habit of talking aloud to himself, a trait that some might consider a minus when trying to survive in a zombie-filled city.
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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 10:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep, douchenozzle was a great new word to add to my dictionary of dark vocabulary. To think... I'd never considered the term before. Well done!

As to the rest of the chapter, overall, nicely delivered. You've snuck in an interesting note that Zombies may be dispatched by breaking their necks. You gave us setting in the fact that the dead held open the door for him. You gave us surprise and intrigue in the way these girls outwitted him as a hunter. This sets the tone for who they are (something to which I'm privy to deeper insight having read the farther developed version of this tale.)

But to stay in character, I would think he'd really need to try to take a lead role in this. He wouldn't run from them, or openly betray any potential trust that could be earned yet. But he wouldn't want to take a backseat to their estrogenocracy here either. His biggest fear in taking on companions would certainly be the potential they may bear for making mistakes that could kill them all. That fear would drive him to attempt to work his way into a commanding position. And it would start here by being assertive.

"This is what we need to do..." etc. "If we're going to survive then we need to..." and so on. Ask them how they've gotten along so far and express how he's made it this long on his own - show how that ability makes his cunning superior.

(I know this is unlikely to work but when I think in the mind of a frightened, and perhaps suddenly aroused, guy in his twenties, this is what comes to mind.)
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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 10:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nicely done!

The surprise of being caught out on the roof worked well.

The only niggle I could find was one that D-Lotus picked out already....

Quote:
I chuckled lightly as the sight reminded me of a couple of high school girls. A slight tingle of fear crept down my spine as they spoke. The wheels in my mind suddenly came to life. They could very well be plotting to get rid of me. I probably would have thought the same thing if I were in there shoes, but considering I was the subject of the talk, I was rather worried.
- You take four sentences here to describe it, and as a result you get one feeling after the other. Take the challenge to see whether you can deliver both simultaneously - in less than a dozen words.

A different suggestion maybe, but that's the good thing about collecting crits - the more ideas and opinions you get, the clearer you can see what needs tweaking.

For the DP. A second tough one here... These girls look tough. But - you and they - have one common enemy - the zombies.

The writing on the side of the van suggests that there may be more than just these two in 'the Krew' - but something about the whole set up suggests that they're amateurs. If the van is out of commission, why have they not abandoned it? It seems a stupid place to keep returning to - this part of town seems to be zombie central. I'm assuming the lettering was daubed onto the side of it within the last week - if so, what are they trying to prove? What do they want to gain? One part of me is saying stick around and see how real their threat is, and the other is saying run.

The worst fate imaginable would be for them to leave him incapacitated as an offering to the zombies - which could happen to him either way, them being armed and all.

Still... I'm going to say stick around, and learn more.

Good stuff!
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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 11:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I too liked the surprise of being caught on the roof. I thought it a little odd though that it was Miss Buckshot that came.

Assuming she was covering Miss Rifle from the roof, and just happened to catch him... the short range weapon up top doesn't make sense.

Assuming they purposely went to try and catch him (which I think is what happened)... still, if they guessed wrong and he went up some other building, you'd still have Miss Buckshot stuck way up high, perhaps seeing a Zombie ambush closing in on Miss Rifle with no way to help.

Basically ... Miss Rifle could have captured him just as effectively, whilst maintaining a useful cover on her friend. Wink

Otherwise - despite not being particularly inspired by Zombie killing stories - I'm quite enjoying this.

Killing him would achieve nothing, except perhaps attracting some Zombies - if they hunt by smell. Their discussion is only them settling their fears. Stand your ground and look non-threatening.

Happy Writing Smile
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PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 9:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wicked. I can't say enough for a story of this kind. Wait... yes I can.
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/breaking-news/us-offers-tips-on-zombie-apocalypse/story-e6freonf-1226059511746

This seems to do the trick. If we wonder if this is somehow unlikely...

I'm thinking - breed. Take the rifle and subdue this chick. How hard can it be? I'm not going to stand by and get led around by women when I may be the last man on earth. They will be my harem.
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PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 11:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now Polling...I'll leave the poll up til tuesday
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PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2011 11:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks like I broke a rather divided tie!
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PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2011 4:57 am    Post subject: I Think...... Reply with quote

Voted! And can I say how much fun I'm having? You inspired a character fer me! Which isn't all that easy to do, at least fer people. I get most of my characters from things...Anyway, she just popped up in the Grargoth RP if'n ya wanna check her out!

Keep the dead'uns comin'!
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PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 2:11 pm    Post subject: Chapter 3 - Vehicle Maintenence Reply with quote

"Excuse me, ladies," I piped up after a couple of minutes. "I've got an idea that may work out to the both of our interests."

The two girls looked at me. Kobra arched an eyebrow and moved toward me a bit. She crossed her arms in front of her chest and stared at me. My gaze met hers and I was careful not to break it. AFter a fairly uncomfortable stare, she gestured for me to continue. I nodded at her and took a couple steps forward as Ana gripped the barrel of the twelve gauge in her hands.

"You appear to be in need of some automative assistance. I know a thing or two about vehicles myself and would be more than willing to assist you if in turn you would be willing to assist me."

Ana let out a laugh and shook her head. "There's always a freaking catch, isn't there? Always a goddamn motherfucking catch."

"Ana," Kobra barked, giving a glance over her shoulder. Ana sighed and gave a nod. Kobra looked back to me and continued to stare directly into my eyes. Her eyes were like a couple muddy pools of disbelief and hatred. Two feelings which I cared nothing about. "What do you want in return?"

"I've been trying like hell this last week to get out of this infernal hell-hole but alas, I'm still here. Yet, I think I've found a way out of here and would like a nice scenic drive through the city. I would of course just go alone but you see, you're friend took my gun."

Kobra looked over to Ana who gave a nod and pulled out my handgun. Kobra gave a nod then looked to her van. She turned back to me, the hatred now even more concentrated. At the first sight of that pure and concentrated loathing hidden in her gaze I knew what her response was.

"Deal," she said. A split second of a grimace washed over her face as if the words were actually physically painful. I smiled wide at her and gave a nod. With a slight strut, I moved to the front of her van and looked inside. The van had clearly been through quite an ordeal, its engine showed the wear and tear of at least a years worth of use and abuse. I poked and prodded at everything, memories of sitting with my father in his garage flooding back to me as he lectured me for the thousandth time about the proper care of a vehicle.

I quickly shook the memories away, sighed and looked back at her. "Ok. Quick couple questions. One, just where did you get this hunk of junk and two, why the hell are you still here with it? I mean, in all honesty, the smartest choice would have been to just run."

"Hunk of junk? This van is a piece of art, ok? A fucking masterpiece," Kobra said, marching toward me. I stood up and stared her dead on, She looked quite furious but I continued to smile at her, showing her that I wasn't intimidated.

"It's shit," I replied. "You've got a torn belt and the radiator is empty. So you need water and something to use as the belt. Luckily, there is a food and drug nearby. We can go, loot it for things to jury-rig the vehicle and be on our way. By the way, you never explained why you didn't just hoof it when you broke down."

"We were waiting for Rat," Ana piped up. "She went to get us some supplies but hasn't come back yet. We thought this area was safe so we sent her out."

I gave a nod and looked to her. "Maybe she'll be here when we get back from looting."

Ana gave a nod and Kobra gestured to the alley exit. I walked along before stopping and turning toward Ana. "My gun," I said. She arched an eyebrow and I sighed. "I won't use it on you. If we run into any shufflers, i'm useless without it."

The girl gave a nodded and handed the handgun which I cautiously stuffed into the waistband of my pants. I walked out of the alley and started down toward the drug store. I heard the footsteps of the two behind me. They were following my closely. One of them almost right on my heels. The next couple blocks were uneventful save for a couple of shufflers that were dropped by the two females accompanying me. The door to Joseph's Food and Drug was already pushed open. Taking a step in, a small sound caught my ears.

"Not alone," I stated. I pulled out my gun and started down the aisles. The others separated from me and proceeded down a couple themselves. Halfway down an aisle, I heard something else. I stopped dead in my tracks and looked to the side. Carefully I moved close to the shelves to listen. The was a loud clatter and is sounded as if someone was climbing up the other side. Sure enough, there was a loud screech and the sound of someone landing behind me. I spun quickly and was met by a young woman holding a bloody scalpel. She pressed the sharp steel to my throat and stared into my eyes. She had bright green eyes and long blonde hair that hung all the way down to her waist. She was dressed in the same leather gear as the others, so I assumed that this had to be the Rat that they mentioned.

"D...D...Don't move, sleazoid," she said. "If you m...m...move, I will cut you. Got your j...j...Juglular. Y...you'll be dead between one and t...t...two minutes."

"Sleazoid?" I asked. "That's quite rude, we've only just met. Besides, Rat, you're friends are with me."

"H...h...h...how do you know m...m...my n...name?" she stuttered as fury flooded her eyes. Glancing deep into them, I could tell that she thought of using her blade.

"Easy now, girlie, I know it because as I said, Ana and Kobra are here with me."

"He's right," Ana said as she walked up behind me.

"Yes. Unfortunately, we need him alive if we're going to get moving."

Rat sighed and lowered the scalpel from my throat, which prompted me to stash the weapon back in my waistband. "What about Scarlet? Viper? Boa?" she asked.

"Dead," Kobra said coldly. "Got caught in a nearby building after you left. There was nothing we could do."

Rat nodded and closed her eyes. A small tear fell from her eye and she gave a nod. Ana moved from around me and wrapped her arms around her comrade, comforting her over the loss of her friends. Kobra walked around them and looked me in the eye.

"What do we need?" she asked.

"Pantyhose," I replied. "It'll make a good belt replacement. It'll at least make it to the other side of town. Get some food, too. I'm sure we could all use a good meal."

"You get the hose," Kobra said. "We'll work on food. C'mon, you two. Time to move. You have plenty of time to weep about it later."

I watched as she turned to go into another aisle. I gave the girls a small nod and left myself to find what I needed. "Cold-hearted bitch," I murmured as I searched for the pantyhose. She was right, of course? This was not the time to be crying. There was no real point in it anyway. Not to me, anyway. With the current state of the city, death was inevitable. The real test was seeing how long you could keep death at baby before finally falling. With each passing day, the light at the end of the tunnel was growing even dimmer.

I found the pantyhose and grabbed it. I quickly marched to the door and waited until I saw Rat, Ana and Kobra arrive with bags of food. I turned on my heel and without a word, waled from the store and back up the street to the van. I immediately set to work fixing the engine with the makeshift belt. Once everything was finished, I closed the hood and looked to the others.

"Everyone ready to go?" I asked. Kobra nodded and moved to the driver's seat.

"You sure this will work?" Ana asked as she slid open the side door.

"Yeah. I'm a master of improvisation," I replied. She gave me a nod and crawled into the back, quickly followed by Rat. I got in behind them. The back was mostly empty, save for a few weapons strapped to the walls. There was no type of carpet or flooring to the back of it. It was nothing but cold, steel. There was a small wall between the back and the driver's area of the van, giving the distinct impression it had been used for some sort of hard-working occupation. It wasn't my preferred type of transportation nor was it even close but I already made a deal and was quite behind on my city escape plan as it was so I didn't have much of a choice.

I slid the door shut and Kobra started up the vehicle. I heard her sigh before feeling the man get moving. The travel was a bit rough but we were still making good time. We traveled, in silence, as none of us had anything of particular interest to say. Especially since it was clear that none of the trio really trusted me. After several long minutes, a loud gunshot echoed from outside.

"What you see, Kobra?" Ana asked.

"Nothing, yet. Wait, I think I see some..." Kobra was interrupted by a quick succession of three shots, each followed by the sound of shots coming through the windshield. Two of the shots slammed against the partition but the third was followed by the sound of a grunt from the front. The van immediately swerved to the side. I felt the vehicle turn a bit before I realized that we were in trouble. The vehicle tipped onto its side and started to roll, tossing the three of us around like clothes in a dryer. After a couple rolls, I was thrown hard into the side where I was quickly greeted by the darkness of unconsciousness.

Sometime later, I opened my eyes, pushed myself to all fours and looked around. Several weapons had been knocked from the sides and it appeared as if the van was on its roof. The back of the van was open and I could hear gunfire outside. Laying right next to the open back door of the van, I saw the knocked out form of Rat. I groaned and clutched my ribs with one arm and started toward the back.

***********

What next? Should he grab a gun and join in the hell outside? Check first? Should he make sure that Rat's alright first? Get out and run for cover? Something I didn't mention?
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PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I say earn yourself some brownie points and check on Rat first. Then, head outside to join the fray (making sure to close the door behind you, of course, don't want the random zombie walking in)

Because honestly, i would not want to be stuck in a van surrounded by zombies. Better to get out there as soon as possible, when there are other people alive outside. If there are too many zombies around, you can always just hoof it.
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PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 4:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i agree...iiiiima say check on Rat. Wink

loved this!! adding the sensitive one is a nice touch. =)
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PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 9:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Start stocking up on weaponry immediately - grab a satchel and stuff it full. Rat's either dead or alive but right now, our survival is more important to making sure if she is alive, she stays that way.

Listen for activity as you do and then drag Rat outside without wasting time with a lifesigns check... we don't know if/how much we're in danger here.

couple niggles on an otherwise great new chapter:
Quote:
The girl gave a nodded and handed the handgun (repetitious 'hand' - not critical but could be slightly improved with new wording) which I cautiously stuffed into the waistband of my pants. I walked out of the alley and started down toward the drug store. I heard the footsteps of the two behind me. They were following my (my what? or was that supposed to be 'me'?) closely.


Looks like some of these were caused by some later editing that overlooked the ramifications of the adjustments. I'm sure we've all done that numerous times.

You did well maintaining the essence of the setting here. The banter with Kobra was some great dialogue too.
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PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 11:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The dialogue's pretty good, and the description of the people being knocked about the rolling van like clothes in a dryer stuck with me. It's all about creating clear impressions like that.

Oh btw, your title is spelled wrong. It should be "Vehicle Maintenance".

The DP: I seriously doubt that the zombies have guns and are shooting at us. I bet it's some people who have an issue with these girls. We owe no allegiance to these girls, and we'd be compromising our own position by helping them. Better to wait it out and find out who's shooting, and whether we can offer our services to them in exchange for our life. Mercenary all the way!
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PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 9:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dani has it right - highly unlikely to be the zombies. 'Shufflers' don't strike me as the gun-wielding type.

Good chapter, it's moving ahead a pace. I agree, the banter was well done. The ladies do seem rather oddly hostile, alone amidst a load of zombies you'd think any thinking-body would be welcome. There's something they're not telling, and it seems, as Dani suspects, it's to do with those shooting us.

Grab a gun, conceal it, get out, and find cover.

Happy Writing Smile
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PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 9:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The gunfire might, however, be the girls repelling shamblers. Scrambling out of the van with a bag full of weapons while the girls are repelling an attack might be taken badly by people who already are suspicious of him. And have guns.
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PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 9:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, but the van overturned after a gunshots from outside. It seems very much that one of the three shots that entered the van got Kobra, as we heard a grunt from the front and then the van swerved and overturned.

We don't know how long we've been unconscious for. There's no time to check on Rat or Kobra. Just get out there with a couple of weapons and be ready.

If Ana isn't dead she'll be out there somewhere, defending herself against shufflers. We made a deal with her, so we should be loyal to her for now.
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PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

O.o Woah I need to stop reading so fast. Missed that part completely. Okay, things are rather more urgent than I thought. Skip checking on Rat and try and find out what's happening, preferably without getting shot (after getting some weapons, of course)
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PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now polling...gonna leave it up until Tuesday...trying to get a bit done before my disappearance in June...so Vote! Vote! Vote!
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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 10:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Uhmmm... where's the poll? I'm sure I voted in it... Confused
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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 11:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The poll is gone...i said i would leave it up until today...the new chapter shall be up sometime later this evening and yes...you voted in it
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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 11:01 pm    Post subject: Chapter 4 - The Arrival of Silver Senior Reply with quote

On my way out of the van I stopped and looked around. Outside the van, I could hear the sound of automatic rifles firing in the direction of the van. Stepping outside the van could end up being quite dangerous. Glancing back around the van, I decided that it would probably be in my best interest to stock up on weaponry. I turned and moved back into the van and looked around. I found a small satchel still clinging to the wall and grabbed it. Glancing inside I noticed a couple boxes of ammo still tucked inside. I smiled at the find and proceeded to load it full of handguns. I grabbed a couple of .45 revolvers, four nine millimeters and a snub nosed .38 revolver that was laying a couple inches away from Rat. Once I had my bag of goodies, I moved toward Rat. A quick succession of shots from right outside the van brought my attention to the exit.

"Damn," I sighed, glancing back toward the unconscious girl. "Can't leave you lying in here now, can I?"

Carefully, I grabbed Rat by the arms and dragged her out the back of the van. Outside the van, I propped her against one of the open doors and looked around. On the opposite side of the van, Ana was crouched down against the other door, an Uzi held firmly in one hand and a .45 in the other.

“It's about damn time you woke up,” Ana shouted before leaning off to the side and letting off a couple of magnum rounds at our attackers.

“Yeah. Look, we need to get Rat to safety,” I replied.

“There's a church nearby,” she said. "Just a yard or so up. We should be able to make it. I would have gone for it earlier but these assholes moved up quick. I wouldn't have been able to get you guys there alone."

"Well, I'm up now. Let's move.”

“What about Kobra?”

“Can't help her. She's finished. We gotta move. Keep them busy while I get a headstart and then follow," I told her as I knelt down. I put on the satchel and scooped Rat into my arms. It wasn't exactly easy as my arms felt as solid as jelly and my shoulders felt as if they were nothing but giant bruises. I let out a loud groan and looked at Ana who nodded and set down her .45. She reloaded the Uzi with a clip from her pocket. She gave me another nod before rising and leaning off to the side, letting out a good stream of shots. As she fired at the unseen gunmen, I hurried around the side and up the street.

The church wasn't hard to notice due to its size. I rushed toward it. I glance in the direction of the shooters but couldn't see much. All I could make out was there seemed to be about four or five of them all taking cover behind a row of motorbikes. All except for one individual who stood off away from them. He was too far away for me to see but something about the way he stood reminded me of someone. I shook the thought away and concentrated on the church. The front doors to the holy structure were wide open so I charged in and quickly laid Rat down in one of the pews. Gazing toward the doors, I saw Ana hauling ass toward them.

“Shit, shit, shit,” she said as the attacks stood and started to fire at the building. I dashed at the doors as she jumped inside and slammed them. Ana thought fast and rose from the ground. She moved to one of the pews and started sliding it across the ground. I helped her out out and together we managed to shove it up against the door. After I was certain that we were safe, I collapsed to the ground and sighed. After a couple minutes I leaned back against the pew and looked up at Ana.

“Too fucking close,” I said. “I wonder what the fuck those guys problem was? You take a piss in their cheerios or something?” I asked.

Ana sighed and sat down in the pew. “No. Met them a couple days ago while we were doing some looting. Bunch of bikers. Their leader tried to get us to, as he put it, procreate with them. He was a total sleazoid. Asked me if I wanted to see his dragon. We refused and took their shit. So now, they've been dogging us and trying to take us out.”

“Bikers, eh?” Suddenly a thought erupted in my mind like a mental Mount Vesuvius . I shot off the ground and stared at Ana. “This leader. Was he a big guy? Bald head?”

“Um, yeah. I think the others called him Senior,” she answered, giving me a nod.

“Fuck,” I said. “Fuck. Fuck,” I shouted, kicking the leg of the pew. I tore the satchel from my shoulders and threw it across the room. “Goddamn it. He should have been fucking trapped. He should be dead. Not walking around. Jesus Christ.”

“Woah, dude. What's your problem?”

“I know that little cocksucker out there,” I told her. I moved quickly to the back of weapons and pulled out the two revolvers that I had grabbed. I checked their ammo and started toward the door. “I'll settle this.”

“You can't go out there,” Ana said standing up. Watching as I started to slide the pew away from the door. “They'll waste you.”

“No they won't,” I said as I managed to get the pew away from the door enough for it to open. “Trust me.”

“How can you be so sure?”

“Trust me,” I told her before opening the door and stepping out. “Check the church for shufflers and make sure Rat is ok. I'll be back.”

I strolled down the churches lawn toward the group of bikers, keeping the guns beside me as I moved. Their leader stood in front of them now, in perfect view. I eyed him and sure enough I knew exactly who it was. He was quite large and was dressed in a leather vest and a pair of jeans that were covered by a pair of riding chaps. A large tattoo sat on his forearm of a snake fighting with a dragon.

“It's been a long time, Junior,” he said. I stopped a few feet from him and glared at him.

“Yeah, dad. It has been a while. How was prison?”

“You know. The food sucked and the guards were pricks. Other than that, it was a regular vacation,” he said crossing his arms in front of his chest.

“Oh, I'm sorry to hear that.”

“Yeah, I'm sure you are, you cheeky little motherfucker. How have you been since you put that knife in my back, anyway? How's your sister?”

“Fuck you,” I shouted. “Just shut the fuck up, get on your bike and ride away. These girls are under my protection now. You come near them again and I will end you, old man.”

The biker laughed and ran a hand over his bald scalp. “Taking up strays again, boy? How well did that work for you last time?”

“Fuck off, pops. Now just go,” I told him angrily as I brought the .45s up, aiming them at his skull. I heard a rustle of motion a bit in the distance as his men readied their weapons. “Go.”

He let out another burst of evil laughter and wiped tears away from his spinach green eyes. “Alright, boy. I'll let you and your pets go for now. For old times sake. Though you best abandon them now because next time I see them, they are done. And I will not hesitate to kill you if you get in our way.”

“We'll see, pops. We will see.”

Senior chuckled and walked back to the others. He hopped on a bike and made a motion for them to do the same. They obeyed, put their weapons away and gave a look back at me before following my father as he rode off. I stood there for a moment, just staring down the street and listening to the air as the sound of their engines flooded the air. Once the sound was gone, I walked back to the church and pounded on the door.

“Open up,” I said. The sound of the pew being moved came from inside for a minute before the door opened. I stepped in and looked over at Rat who was now sitting up and clutching her skull. “We need to move and fast.”

“Wait,” Ana said. “Why? What's going on? I heard the bikes. Aren't they gone?”

“Yeah but not for long. I know Senior and he'll be back. He's dead-set on wiping you away and I'm going to make sure that that doesn't happen.”

“W...w...why?” Rat asked.

“Because he's my father and a cold-hearted monster at that. If he wants something, I feel it my personal responsibility to make sure he doesn't get it.”

They both looked at me for a moment. After an uncomfortable silence, I looked to Ana who was now studying me carefully. A moment later she nodded.

“Ok. Where to?”

“Well, there has to be a pawn shop or something nearby so we can stock up on goods,” I said.

“The v...v...van,” Rat said. “Is it g...g...”

“Yeah,” Ana said. “Totaled. We could try to find another vehicle. It would make traversing the city a hell of a lot easier. Make outrunning them a whole lot easier.”

“R...r...rest. It's s...safe here. Just for a b...b...bit,” Rat coughed up. Ana looked to here and then to me and nodded.

“She's right. After that wreck, we could rest while it's safe. There aren't any shufflers here.”

I nodded and looked around. They were right. It did appear as if we were safe, though I couldn't help but notice the fact that the church was empty. With this tragedy, one would expect the churches to be flooded with them. Ana had brought up a good point as well. A vehicle would come in mighty handy in case the bastard supreme returned. I closed my eyes and sighed as I clutched the bridge of my nose with my index finger and thumb, trying to think of what to do.

***********

Well. What should our brave hero and his companions do? Head to the pawn shop and stock up? Try to find a new vehicle? Stay and rest? Check more thoroughly for shufflers? Something I didn't mention?
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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 11:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LOVE this! again! i'd say rest for a little while. Wink it's not often we'll get such an opportunity. then secure a vehicle.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Secure a vehicle first.

Piss in their cheerios Laughing
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Location: Rising from the ashes

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 7:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some improved plot weaving in this version that stems from the last methinks Wink I like how Father was introduced earlier this time - makes him more central. It also makes me feel you've got some other ideas up your sleeve for later that you passed up this time - this is such fun!

BTW, that was some of the best edited work I've seen from you yet Biz! Really stepping up to the plate on that accord here. And with this chapter, you're seriously showing such growth as an author and knocking the scene work out of the park.

Was a little sad that we'd be seeing less of Kobra this time - got a clear vision of her last time through and liked that character - perhaps we'll see her again though - although I dread to think of what she'll be then Wink

Ok, so, for the DP, I'm thinking we should search this place thoroughly if we're to use it for a r&r spot for the night - which does seem to be a priority since we have a nice supply of weaponry this time around. Ah, hindsight does tend to lead to better decision making, doesn't it? Laughing
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CHAPTER 25: Near-Light Speed (NEW CHAPTER! (12/4/2011))
Zephyrrr! And...
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Tainted Biohazard
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Joined: 20 May 2011
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Location: The Absu

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 11:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rest? Safe? Here? I doubt it. Bad idea. I suggest they seek transportation, but not a car, or a van, or anything large and heavy. Find light and maneuverable. Find motorcycles. The problem THEN becomes fuel. Find fuel cans and siphon off whatever vehicles can be reached - this is where things are dangerous because we are on foot in the open and potentially attracting attention from shufflers from the motion or even the rumble of engines as we make our way around to fill our gas cans. But we must do it, and with some speed and stealth. If we must, we may need to raid an auto store or something to find a tube for the process - one for each of us would be the best option.

I have a question. If we seek escape from Eternia, where do we hope to go? Perhaps a discussion on long term planning may be in order right now.
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