|Trixie||Morning has come to a very changed Raccoon City. The National Guard has set up headquarters in a once-lovely old church, their camouflage, radio chatter, and weapons a troubling counterpart to the gothic-revival building. The refugees taking shelter here are no less jarring, even if taking sanctuary in the church is a time-honored tradition. The times would certainly cause many to get religion.
Trixie lingers near the perimeter of the camp, peering out into the streets beyond for any sign of survivors, raiders, or zombies. Or worse. Supplies are short, so occasional foraging parties have been sent out to look for resources. Some of them don't come back, which weighs heavily on her mind.
|Rebecca Chambers||Breathing heavily, Rebecca sprints down the perimeter of the camp - waving to the person controlling the entryway. "I'm back, I'm back! There's some after me, I think, but... can you open up for me?" Within a few moments, she was inside - leaning back against one of the brick walls of the church and looking skyward - a canteen pulled out from her side and she takes a swig from the same.
The Church was a collection of strangers, but the S.T.A.R.S. medic was friendly enough to be accepted everywhere she went. Plus, medics were becoming a bit of a premium. Spying Trixie on the perimeter, she gives a wave as she continues to rest, still breathing heavily.
|Isabel||Having only recently gotten out of the house, Isabel is discovering that some things in town have drastically changed, and not just zombies everywhere.
Like this Guard encampment. In daylight, it's a lot more obvious. Approaching from an alleyway, she's just in time to see Rebecca dart inside.
Maybe they'll welcome one more? It's worth a try! She steps up the gate, wary but hopeful. She might be anyone, with her old green Carhart coat and denims, two layers of black legwarmers pulled on over the jeans as a pitiful protective measure against zombie teeth. Even the motorcycle helmet, the full-face kind, isn't much help. "Hello... can I come in?" she asks, lifting the visor and slipping a package from her shoulderbag. "I brought cookies. The fudge-stripe kind."
|Trixie||The perimeter guard recognizes Rebecca and lets her in without a word, waving her past. Isabel he gives a surprised look. "Erm... you don't have to buy your way in. Not that we don't appreciate any donations... just go in, okay?" she says, gesturing over his shouder at the still-open gate.
Trixie jogs to the perimeter proper, her Samurai Edge in hand at the mention of 'There's some after me' from Rebecca. "Which way?" she calls to the medic, pausing only long enough to wave to Rebecca. "Over here!"
|Rebecca Chambers||Indeed - down the alleyway leading to the church - there was the sound of groaning growing louder.
It wasn't a lot of them - four or five. Not enough to truely threaten the gates, but enough to make Rebecca kinda nervous about standing her ground. That, and she wanted to preserve her ammunition for other things.
"Sorry," she says apologetically, handing over a gallon of milk to a supplier. "Grabbed that - it's probably gonna go bad quick, but it was still cold when I grabbed it?" she says. Near the gate as she was, she was close enough to see... "Isabel? Is that you?" after she was let in.
Torn between greeting her friend and meeting her fellow S.T.A.R.S., Rebecca settles for the other option of waving Isabel to follow her as she jogs over towards Trixie. "Trixie - you're alive still!"
|Isabel||"I wasn't trying to buy my way in," Isabel protests, blushing. Okay, so she was, really, but she doesn't have to /say/ so. "But I do feel like donating, so..." She pops the package into a donation bin as she slips past. "Thank youu~!"
She's just inside, pulling off her helmet, when Rebecca's words reach her. "Oh, wow... 'Becca? You're here, too? Glee! I tried to reach you, but my phone went dead. I only got it charged again last night."
Following the other girl, she gives the taller redhead a curious look, mingled with a smile. 'Becca has a friend who's survived; that's always good news. "Hi," she says shyly, as they get closer.
|Trixie||The gate guard shouts to two other guardsmen nearby and hastily unlimbers his slung rifle, taking a bead on the nearest infected person. The other two follow suit. The rifles crack steadily, but only one of the staggering corpses goes down. The others just flinch slightly and keep right on moving.
Trixie hurries to meet Rebecca, hugging the girl as if she hasn't seen her in days. "Ohmigawd, /Becca/... I've been so worried about you..." she whispers, clinging to the medic for a long moment. "It's just been hell... I'm just glad anyone's alive at all right now. I don't know what's happened to the other S.T.A.R.S., but I haven't found their bodies... so there's hope."
She gently releases Rebecca, looking past her at the young stranger Rebecca had called Isabel. "Hello, and welcome. It's good to see new, living faces around here. Means maybe there's hope of surviving this," she says warmly, smiling. It's a brittle smile, however; she's exhausted and tense, and it shows.
|Rebecca Chambers||Rebecca's eyes were ringed by dark, and the young woman was tired - but the smile that springs to her lips was real enough. Medics, right now, were probably at a premium, and although the army had some help - they had a whole city that was dead and dying. So her going out to a local pharmacy to try to find pills - well... she got the milk instead.
So not a total loss.
"So, Trixie - this is Isabel - she's a friend from college. Isabel, this is Trixie, right, I..."
Hug incoming! Becca brings up a hand to kinda pat the back of the other. "Hey, I'm not gonna die - I'm waaaay too sneaky for that," she says. "And yeah, I think there is - I heard the commander was holed up someplace, I've been trying to find him."
|Isabel||"Trixie... cool to meet you," Isabel says, smiling a little shyly. She looks like she's covered a lot of miles as well, though her eyes are less tired. Maybe she had a chance to rest. "You're looking for S.T.A.R.S. members? I ran into an Officer Buck Rogers last night, uptown. We ducked into the same gym. Last I saw him, he was fine." She shivers at the memory.
She looks around, sparing 'Becca from another hug, though a smile crosses her face at the sight. "Can we get inside, or something? I'm roasting in this gear," she admits sheepishly. The makeshift armor would plainly work better in colder weather.
|Trixie||"I'm glad you /are/ way too sneaky. I've seen some of my neighbors among the dead shot down at the perimeter. This nasty old illness really didn't spare much of anyone, did it?" Trixie asks, swallowing a tremble in her voice. She smiles faintly at the mention of Buck. "We could use him here. Anyone's welcome, but we're running out of /everything/. I don't know how much longer we can stay here."
She gestures Isabel and Rebecca toward the main building. "Grab some floor. I'll be right with you. I think maybe these guys might need a hand." And they might at that. Those four zombies still won't go down, even though one is missing both arms and a few chunks of flesh due to rifle fire. "Remember to shoot them in the /head/!" she yells to the trio. One of them looks at her like she's crazy, but the other two adjust their aim, and within seconds two more go down, shorter by a foot from the neck up. Maybe they watched zombie movies once upon a time, back when they just seemed silly.
|Rebecca Chambers||"Yeah - I mean - if we can get back all together, that would be best..." says Rebecca, the corners of her lips turning down into a frown. "I mean, people like Barry and the Commander - they're highly skilled, and we'd be dumb to leave them out there when they could be helping us here, right?" asks Rebecca, glancing up to Trixie as if for guidance.
"Here, let me show you around - do you need anything? We have plenty of food and water, but they're rationing a lot of it. So if you were the kind that drank gallons a day..." she says to Isabel. Lifting her chin, she gestures towards the main building of the church. "Probably not gonna happen anymore."
|Isabel||"If I see him, I'll pass the word along," Isabel promises. "He seems like a pretty lone wolf, but I'll mention your names when I do. It might bring him here."
She turns to follow Rebecca, smiling gratefully. "Thank you. A /little/ water would be cool. I'm not really hungry. Just someplace inside and a little private would be great, if there /is/ any such place. I mean, there are a lot of people here..."
|Trixie||"Privacy's almost a thing of the past," Trixie says sadly, glancing back at her friend and the young stranger. "We're lucky there's enough room for everyone to sleep. But it's safe, for the most part."
"I'm out!" announces the gate guard as his rifle clicks empty. As he backs up a pace to paw at his ammo pouches, the other two keep firing. The last two are almost at the perimeter when they finally go down, and Trixie sighs softly in relief. "They've done that three times in the last two days," she observes softly. "They tell me that the setup was lots worse."
|Rebecca Chambers||"Officer Chambers," says a soldier - his tone of voice gruff as she looks at the three women. "We need you to report to the medical tent - there's... a problem there," he says.
A pause, and Rebecca purses her lips, nodding her head once. "Hey, Isabel - are you gonna be okay to get a drink on your own? I gotta go with this guy, I guess," she says with a sigh. "Stay safe, all of you!" she says, waving her hand to the others, before trotting along after the soldier.
|Isabel||Isabel winces, hearing the shout from the gate. "Is it this bad all the time?" she asks, looking back that way. "I know there are shamblers everywhere, but I'm surprised they come this close."
Rebecca's sudden departure gets a wave and a quick "Good luck!" from Isabel, along with a long look as the medic hurries away. "I hope she's getting some sleep. Has there been any word about a rescue? By helicopter or anything? I mean, it's the Guard." Surely they have radios. And if not, losing contact on American soil should get /somebody/ worried.
|Tobias Hunter|| Just after the shooting stops somebody near a front window of the church screams, but it isn't the kind of scream people make for zombies. It's an older woman, and it sounds like she just got Christmas and her birthday for all 50 years handed to her at once. A moment later three guys show up at the gates and the middle-aged woman runs over by the barricade, sobbing and laughing and reaching for a twenty-ish man who looks tired enough to fall down on the spot. The scavenging party had been assumed dead since sundown days earlier, and the two survivors of it are let through immediately.
The third man, the one who led them in with a rifle slung across his back and a wood ax in his hands stained with blood halfway down the wooden haft, is held up by the National Guard to tell the story - or at least the part of the story that starts with how he found these two and led them out through his own known safe routes and hiding places to wind up back here. The two younger men back up his story, but the gate guards don't seem to want to let Tobias in anyway.
|Trixie||"She's getting about as much as any of us are getting, honestly. Which could be more. And today's been quiet up until now. I'm hoping it's the beginning of a quiet trend," Trixie replies wearily. "Nobody's talking about rescue or anything right now, and I haven't heard any rumors to that effect. I'm just hoping someone's keeping it close to their chest. Better than the alternative."
She looks up at the commotion at the gate, smiling faintly at that shriek and at the sight of the incoming foraging party. "It's not all sad endings, though. Thank goodness. They've been overdue for almost three days now. Nobody was expecting to see them again." Her smile turns to a frown as the gate guards refuse entry to the third man. "I better check this out. Come with if you want."
With that, she jogs over to the gate. "What's all the hubbub? I thought everyone was welcome here," she says, frowning. "Someone care to explain?"
|Isabel||Isabel, watching the reunion, smiles. It's good to see someone get a happy ending for a change. There are certainly enough of the other kind to go around twice. But it's not so interesting that she doesn't follow Trixie when the other woman mentions it. "This is strange. I mean, they let me in," she says, frowning and looking at the would-be hero quizzically.|
|Tobias Hunter|| The Blackfoot looks past the uniformed National Guardsmen to the uniformed cop and the young woman trailing behind her. Tobias just keeps his mouth shut and looks down at the ax in his hands.
"This asshole thinks he's some kind of cowboy," one of the gate guards answers Trixie's question without taking his eyes off Tobias. "He lives out there, in hell. Comes around here to trade. Never wants anything but forty-four rounds." The guard's lips are curled into something like a sneer and his rifle is pointed right at Tobias' chest even if he's not exactly aiming it that way. "What do you do with 'em, huh? Where do you get the food you trade for 'em? Where's the rest of the men we sent out on that foraging party?"
|Trixie||Trixie shakes her head. "Ohmigawd... three days in hell and suddenly we're reverting to stereotyping?" She plants her hands on her hips and looks the belligerent soldier in the eye, somehow managing not to raise her voice more than slightly. "Stop and take a deep breath, Corporal. If he had anything to do with the loss of even one member of the foraging party, why would he bring /any/ of them back alive? There's a million ways to die out in that town that we /know/ of. Besides, what's wrong with trading for only one caliber? Forty-fours are just fine if that's the only gun you've got. Be glad he's not wanting five-five-sixes or nine-mils. Or have you forgotten that you burned twenty rounds helping drop five deaders /and/ ran dry in the process?"
She looks at Tobias thoughtfully, then back at the Corporal. "If we're gonna make it out of here in one piece, we've got to trust each other at least a little here. Were I him, getting treated like this, I wouldn't want to live here, either. That flag we wear on our shoulders has to keep meaning something, or we're no better than the zombies and the people who made 'em."
|Isabel||Isabel, suddenly finding the stranger's eyes on her, blinks in surprise. It takes her a moment to return his gaze. "Hi," she says shyly, bowing her head respectfully. "Wow, you got them out of /there/? After three days out? I don't know what this guy's problem is, but you seem like a hero to me. I've just been out six hours and I've been scared to death the whole time," she confesses, shivering at the memory.|
|Tobias Hunter|| Tobias Hunter raises his black eyes, surprised, at Trixie's dressing down of the National Guardsman and then casts a glance at Isabel too and gives her a brief nod to acknowledge that he heard what she said. Then he looks back to the soldier and the rifle pointed at him and looks downward again to see how it all shakes out.
The Guardsman pointing his rifle at Tobias and catching an earful from Trixie falters, even lowers the barrel an inch until it's pointed at the Blackfoot's belly instead of his chest. The other gate guard, who hadn't participated in hassling the outsider but hadn't done anything to prevent it either, chimes in, "He isn't one of /us/ ma'am," with a darting glance from Tobias to Trixie to Isabel to the group of huddled survivors inside. "And I don't mean the color of his skin, so back the fuck off my post with that politically correct bullshit. What the sentry is referring to about the fourty-fours is that this guy," he jerks his head casually at Tobias, "doesn't trade for anything but /ammo./ Got that? /Ammo./ Nobody gives a fuck if it's RPG at this point, it's /ammo./ This guy comes and this guy goes. He's never fired a shot in our defense and he never will. He doesn't ask for blankets and he doesn't ask for food and you know what? That's who the National fuckin' Guard is here for - people who need food, blankets, and protection and are willing to give the same back if needed." He pauses, looks back at Tobias and that bloody ax, then looks back at Trixie. "Fuck 'im. He's got nothing to trade today and I doubt there's anything he wants left here anyway. You want to take responsibility for him while he's here, I'll allow it. That means if anything turns up missing after he leaves, you pay for it."
|Trixie||Trixie meets the man's gaze without flinching, leaning forward slightly. "Deal. And I could pick that argument apart and leave it to bake in the sun with those deaders, but I'm not wasting the time, 'cause you're not listening anyway. Maybe you should listen to that lady in there who got her loved one back if you want to see just who he's fired shots in defense of. Or have you forgotten just who came in with him? In the meantime, might want to pass the Corporal a magazine, so he can continue to man his post. I'm afraid I don't have one on me for his duty weapon."
She turns her back on the two belligerents. "Come on in," she says to Tobias, the sharpness fading from her tone. "You're spoken for."
|Isabel||Isabel, not having rank or even the right outfit, can't really make a defense, though she can glare at the angry guard's back. She does cast a puzzled glance at Tobias, wondering how he's surviving out there when he's not trading for food. After all, the wildlife was where this whole thing started, and who knows whether or not anything's still edible on the hoof out there.
Still, he's done what's left of the patrol a square, and that's good enough for her. She steps respectfully back, to give the man room to come inside. "I should check on that water Rebecca mentioned. I'll be back," she promises. With a nod to Trixie and Tobias, she slips away to do just that.
|Tobias Hunter||Once the rifle isn't pointed at him anymore, Tobias moves fast to get past the gate and inside the Church. Trixie and Isabel receive a quiet, "Thank you," as he passes by and stops just inside. Just as quietly, barely loud enough to be heard inches away but loud enough to be heard clearly right where Trixie is he asks, "Is there still running water?"|
|Trixie||"It's nothing. I just don't like ingratitude for that kind of services rendered. This camp is supposed to be open to /everyone/, and we need every living, breathing survivor we can get, and every scrap of help we can get. A few rounds of ammo we don't use anyway isn't a big loss," Trixie replies, nodding to Isabel as she moves to leave. "And we still have running water /here/, but it's being heavily filtered, just in case. I'm amazed the water treatment plant is still working."|
|Tobias Hunter||Tobias flashes a quick, almost devilish smile at Trixie as he lowers his bloody ax and reaches to his back pocket to produce a little plastic vial of yellow pills and he offers it out to Trixie in his outstretched palm. "Boil your water for at least twenty minutes and let it cool in open air. Two capsules per quart, shake well for at least two minutes, wait thirty minutes before drinking. I can't believe you thought I was going to drink the tap water... I just need to wash up."|
|Trixie||Trixie blinks at the sight of the pills, then smirks. "Haven't seen /those/ in a long time. I'll have to see if I can find some myself, given how fast things are going to hell around here. Thanks for reminding me," she says, the smirk fading into a smile. "Looks like we may have a lot to talk about."|