|Trixie||Near midnight at the National Guard outpost at what used to be a church. The camp looks like a ghost town, with much of the Guard relocated to assist with the evacuation at the park that, unknown to the outpost crew, had gone so horribly wrong. The perimeter is being walked by a pair of sentries, and two more guard the gate. Little to no other movement can be seen past the fence.
Newly-minted /Sergeant/ Trixie Mackenzie, now dressed in an ill-fitting set of ancient, fraying, and somewhat itchy U.S. Army woodland cammos under her S.T.A.R.S. armor and webbing, sits on the steps of the church, studying a written list of names and trying not to scratch too much. The only new items to the apparel are the black beret with its blue flash on her red-crowned head, and the black Sergeant's stripes on her collar, only hours out of the packaging. "Dad was right," she murmurs, sighing and shaking her head. "Never volunteer for anything."
|Leon Kennedy||Night is beginning to fall, painting the church with the crimson rays of the sun's daily death. Through the streets a pair is approaching the church, with its new breastwork and thin spread of patrolling guards. They're both remarkably attractive, if on the bedraggled side, a young man with a stylish haircut and bulletproof vest over casual clothing and a young woman with platinum blonde hair and a smattering of gore.
Stopping short of the sightline of the sentries, Leon murmurs to his companion, "Let me do the talking," and leads the way out into the line of sight. "Ahoy the church!" It's like he's hailing a pirate ship or something.
|Ashley Graham|| Ashley, making up the feminine side of the beauty spectrum in this pair, stays close to Leon and behind a bit. Definitely following the man's lead, here. She's wearing a man's button down, black leggings, and stylish but utilitarian boots. Her red-blondish hair (don't ask) has been pulled back in a frazzled french braid. And yes, there's a smattering of gore about her face and clothes. Otherwise she carries no gear or weapons.
Despite hanging back at Leon's side, the girl doesn't look meek. Her head is high, in fact, and her bright blue eyes sweep to take in the surroundings and the situation. She's letting him lead, but from her confident pose, she's no mouse.
|Trixie||The sentries at the gate snap to alertness, their long semi-vintage M16 rifles aimed out into the darkness, their muzzles trained on the approaching pair. "HOLD IT RIGHT THERE!" one snaps, clearly remembering those lectures on projecting from Basic, or maybe from the high school drama class. "Keep those hands up where I can see 'em! Reach for anything and you're dead!"
Trixie comes to her feet, crumpling the list and stuffing it into her pants pocket before jogging toward the gate, drawing her Samurai Edge in the process. "What've we got, McGee?" she asks the gate guards.
"Two civs, one armed, thinks he's Captain Jack Sparrow or somethin'," he replies tersely. "Don't see anybody trailing 'em."
"Keep your eyes on 'em. Usual drill." Trixie trains her pistol on the pair in general and Leon in particular. "Come into the light! And keep those hands up!" she shouts to them.
|Leon Kennedy||"Alright, hands up!" Leon agrees, lifting his hands into the sky and glancing back over his shoulder to make sure Ashley is doing the same. "We come in peace. My name is Officer Kennedy, RPD." That's right, even if it doesn't really exist anymore. "I'm looking for Major Stadler. He was assisting me on a mission for the White House. We thought we might find him here." There's no mention of who Ashley is.|
|Ashley Graham|| The shouting is enough to make Ashley blink, and look to Leon. Perhaps she's looking for reassurance, or looking for his lead. Either way, in a time of stress, it's he that she looks to. So when he says hands up, she raises her hands as well. They don't stick straight up into the air, but rather she lifts and bends at the elbow 90 degrees so her hands are just barely above her head.
She does as she's told too by the guard, taking a few steps forward to keep her near and beside Leon, but at least more in the light, to be seen. Her face is nervous, but otherwise calm. Every so often she'll glance at Leon, but otherwise she takes in the sights. The guards and where they are. Any moving or shuffling in the dark around them. That sort of thing.
|Trixie||"Sure, pal... far as I'm concerned, you might as well be /Captain/ Jack Sparrow!" retorts McGee. "And who's the poppet, Miss Swann?"
Trixie rolls her eyes at McGee, but lowers her Samurai Edge into a down and scan position. "'Tain't funny, McGeeeeeeee," she says, drawing out the latter syllable of the name. "And I've heard that name." Looking out into the light, she beckons to the pair. "Come closer, Officer Kennedy," she calls, no longer shouting. "And bring your friend. I want a look at you both. And if you've got ID, get it out. Slowly."
|Leon Kennedy||Leon's right hand slowly lowers from its vertical pose, dipping into his front jeans pocket and pulling out his policeman's badge with a little difficulty, holding it back aloft. "There's my badge," he calls, turning it a little so it will glint more clearly in the light. "I can show you ID once we're inside. Miss Swann is with me," he affirms, his voice still raised. "Open the gates. I have intel about one of your convoys you'll want to hear."|
|Ashley Graham|| Well it's a good thing Leon brought a badge. Ashley had a bag, once, back when she first left the college campus. Two days ago? Three? Something like that. Case and point, she certainly doesn't have any now. So when she's asked for some, she glances at Leon again, around her upheld arm.
Once again, Leon comes through. He's like a personal Leatherman or whatever -- whatever you need, he has it or can do it. So she takes another deep, slow breath and looks forward again. Swann it is.
|Trixie||McGee studies the badge for a moment without comment, as does his partner. Trixie studies it for a longer moment. Then she studies Leon. And finally Ashley.
"Let them in," she says at last. "They're both familiar to me." Raising her voice, she calls, "You can come in! Just keep your hands up until you're through the gate!"
Lemons, the other guard, moves to unchain and open the gate for the pair. "Hope you know what you're doin', Sarge," he observes softly.
"Me, too," she murmurs. "But I've got a good feeling."
|Leon Kennedy||That seems to do the trick, and Leon relaxes slightly, his elbows dropping a little lower, but he keeps his hands up while stepping a little more lively towards the gates. "Come on," he mutters back to Ashley, then keeping his eyes forward to watch the guards for any sign of take-backsies. "Leave your last name out for now," is a further murmured instruction. It's hard to know what the state of morale is like in here and who might think what is a good idea for trying to bargain their way out of this mess.|
|Ashley Graham||"Alright," Ashley says in agreement, her own steps meeting Leon's pace, though she has to three step for everyone of his two in order to keep up with the larger man's stride. She keeps her eyes lifted toward the sentries now as they approach. After all, these people are the biggest danger in this exact moment.
Which, for the civilian female, is a weird feeling. These are the good guys, so things should be good. And yet she's not so naive as to think that's the case anymore.
|Trixie||Trixie reholsters her pistol, moving to lead the pair inside the gate. At this distance, the S.T.A.R.S. markings on her armor are clearly visible. "Good work, you two," she says to the two sentries. "Carry on."
Only once the gate is chained behind them and they are out of earshot of the guards does she speak again, turning to face them. "Good to see some of the RPD are still alive and kicking. Likewise for you, Miss Ashley," she says softly, her voice bearing the calm of a thousand-mile stare. "You two look like you've had one rough day or three. But you were saying something about a convoy."
|Leon Kennedy||"Still alive, yes," Leon agrees, nodding as he steps inside and pockets his badge. "Only kicking if you get too cheeky." A small grin grows on his face, a charismatic thing that just makes him look even more likeable on top of the good hair, honest eyes, and two-day stubble. "It's been a hell of a ride."
The rookie cop glances back towards Ashley, making sure she's okay, his eyes running over her face for signs of alarm before turning back to Trixie. "Major Stadler was trying to extract us from the city. The convoy got hit. We lost him in the pandemonium. It seemed like he was in charge here, so I thought you'd want to know."
|Ashley Graham||"Trixie?" Ashley asks, somewhat incredulously, once they've been brought in. She sighs, letting out quite a bit of tension in her shoulders. "Jesus," she swears in a soft whisper. But she doesn't say anything else -- she just looks to Leon and meets his eyes when he looks to her. She nods a little, some small gesture to try and tell him something. That it's alright? That it's okay? That it's safe? That she just likes to look at him?
She listens to him repeat their little story, adding nothing for now.
|Trixie||"He is... he field-promoted me to Sergeant maybe two hours ago. Should say something about our losses," Trixie replies softly, involuntarily bowing her head. "He's been back here for a few hours. Probably asleep by now. He looked like he needed it."
She gives Ashley a small, sad smile. "It's me, sweetie. Don't let the uniform fool you," she murmurs, a ghost of her former sweetness and warmth. "Looks like your original evacuation plans didn't work out. But I'd say Officer Kennedy's been taking good care of you. Even if you both need a bath." The ghost of a wry smile comes to her lips.
"Thank you, Officer Kennedy, from the bottom of my heart," she adds to Leon. "It probably sounds silly, but one of the things that kept me going was the knowledge that Miss Ashley was safely out of this mess. Bad as things have gotten, I'm glad someone has been protecting her."
|Leon Kennedy||The way Trixie says 'Miss Ashley' kind of implies that she knows who Ashley really is, but that doesn't mean Leon is compelled to broadcast it to the world just yet either. "You're welcome," he tells the woman, whose S.T.A.R.S. armor is familiar if her face isn't. "She's been handling herself alright on her own, too," which might be a bit of a fib, but morale boosts are nice to slip in when you can, and there's a genuine smile over to Ashley. "I'm glad to hear the Major made it back safely."|
|Ashley Graham||Ashley and Leon both obey the general orders, so long as it keeps them together and armed. They move into the camp for now, taking temporary refuge, before trying to figure out what the hell to do next.|
|Trixie||Trixie watches the pair move deeper into the encampment, a faint smile on her face. "At least one thing went right today," she murmurs, turning to walk back toward the steps of the church and taking the list from her pocket once more, smoothing it awkwardly on a column.
"So this is what it's like to be a platoon sergeant. Gawd, I need a hug..."