Alina shook her head. The poor bas.tard. She could have helped him. She broke into a flat sprint and her destination was clear. She had friends in the Rebellion. That's where she was going to go.
"Headed for California." Jack responded. He slung his bow over his shoulder to grip the branch he perched on tighter.
Alina stopped sprinting once she neared civilization—or what was left of it. People got suspicious when you ran. And she didn't need anybody trailing her. She continued walking until she came to an abandoned warehouse. She tapped on the side of the building three times, rattling the metal gate.
"Same here." Cassidy said. "Things are gettin bad back home. Aberdeen and his army got guns, Eastern Union is invading slowly, tryin to assimilate us, and we're gettin caught in the crossfire. The Hatfield clan even joined up with Aberdeen, and they were given high powered rifles." She shook her head. "It's a blood bath." She hoped her family was safe, they kept to themselves in the cave system for the most part since Aberdeen, but it was never a sure thing. She only hoped that by the time she got back, there was still a family to go back to. "Wanna come with me?" She asked him. It would be nice to have some non hostile company.
Desmond decided he couldn't sleep, and after a quick meal he packed up and headed off again. It was fairly difficult to see, but he just took it slow and wasn't bumping into anything so far. He heard voices and paused. One was female, he could gather that much. Thinking the girl from earlier had run into trouble, Desmond reluctantly drew his sword and crept forward. He could see a figure standing under a tree, looking upwards. As he stepped forward cautiously, the figure spun around, drawing a blade on either side.
Cassidy turned as she heard a twig snap. A man with a sword stood about ten feet away. He didn't seem particularly hostile, but he was a stranger all the same. "Back off." She growled.
Jack immediately stood up on his branch, pulling out his bow and an arrow to take aim. He didn't let the arrow go, but he kept it aimed, hidden from the stranger by the tree branches.
Alina stood back as the metal gate slid upwards. She knew better than to go in just yet. A black man with a large gun stood before her. He recognized her, yet he still barked out, "Password?"
"Revolution Zero" she said in a clear, yet low voice. They always tested her loyalties like this. She was Sands' daughter after all. "Come in," Jahovah said. She sniled at him and sauntered inside, the metal gate sliding shut behind her with a BANG.
Desmond paused. This girl seemed a little more unhinged then the last. She was filthy and feral, a murderous look in her eyes. "I don't mean no harm. I thought you were in trouble." He said, lowering his sword slightly.
Cassidy laughed hysterically. "You're insane." She said. "And dam.n stupid. Come any closer and you'll get to see what your insides look like." She knew Jack had an arrow trained on the guy, but she was still defensive. She didn't live this long by letting her guard down.
Desmond studied this girl curiously. She seemed like she would think nothing of attacking him, but he wasn't all that afraid. He could take her. Would he really want to? "I'm just a traveler, off to California." He said. "Saw a girl here earlier and I thought she ran into trouble. You seem fine though, so I guess I'll be on my way."
Jack kept his arrow pointed at the man, the string pulled back tightly. He stayed silent, waiting for a signal from Cassidy to fire, or not fire, something. He pulled the string back further. He was perfectly balanced up high on his perch, with perfect aim.
Inside the warehouse was a rickety table and a couple of chairs. This wasn't a base, it was more like an information spot--a rendezvous of sorts. There was a man sitting in one of the chairs, bald and stern looking. He looked up as Alina walked in and smiled a gap-filled, leery smile. "I've been expecting you, dear." Alina gasped. Something was wrong. She could sense it. She was in danger.
Jack stayed completely still, arm drawn back. His mouth was set in a hard, silent line. He was frozen where he was, as cold as ever. On the inside, he wanted to scream. He wanted to leap down from the tree and interrogate Cassidy. He wanted to demand more about the Feral, about his home. About Rose. But he stayed completely still.
Cassidy continued staring at the stranger, sizing him up. She eyed his sword and work boots curiously. "You a rebel, ain't ya." She said. "Only place to get fancy boots like them is back east. The question is, what the he.ll are you doin out here all alone?" Why would a rebel be hiding out in the Badlands by themselves? There was more to the story, but Cassidy didn't very much care. He wasn't a threat.
"I'm not a rebel." Desmond said. "Not exactly. I need to cross the Rocky Mountains." He continued. "And I'm in dire need of a guide, or a map. I have no clue if I'm even going in the right direction." He sheathed his sword, as the girl didn't seem like she was ready to attack. He understood, you could never be sure what kind of people you would meet.
"I can't help you there, I'm a traveler myself." Cassidy said, surprised. What was there over the Rockies other then the California Confederation. The stranger suddenly became more interesting, Cassidy glanced up in the tree. "What do ya say, Jack? We let this one live?"
The man stood in one lithe movement and two knives appeared in each hand. Yet the grin stayed on his face all the while, and Alina sensed she was in a particular sort of trouble from this one. She knew the kind--some of her father's "guards" tried to mess with her sometimes. They always paid dearly for it, but always after the crime had been done. She took two step back and her own knives were gripped tightly. "Jajovah!" she cried. "Help me!" But there was no answer, and in the back of her she knew that he had turned sides. So where were the others? The man tisked. "Now, now. There's nothing I won't do if you just tell me where to find Zi. That is what you call him, right?" Alina spit on the ground and glared at him. "No chance in he.ll I'll tell you anything. Why don't you just fight like a man, and we can end this thing now." He chuckled. "Not so hasty. I intend to enjoy this particular victory.... Alina, dear."
"Only if you think so, Cassidy." Jack said hoarsely. He reluctantly lowered his bow, sliding the arrow back into his quiver. He stayed high up in the tree where he was, standing on the branch as effortlessly as though it was solid ground.
Desmond jumped as a second voice came from the trees. He hadn't seen the other one. The two people had barely reached adult hood, and they were clearly not rebels or settlers. He wondered what they were doing out in the Badlands, but it was none of his business. "Nice to meet you." He said, a little sarcastically as he turned around.
Cassidy watched the stranger's retreating back and glanced up at Jack. "So what do ya say? Off to California?" A gunshot echoed through the trees and both Cassidy and Desmond froze.
Desmond swore angrily and looked in the direction he thought the shot had come from. It was fairly distant, no one was shooting at them. He started to run towards it, at worst, that girl from earlier had run into trouble, at best someone was hunting and could lead him in the right direction.
Alina went still. "How do you know my name?" Se whispered. The man laughed. "I know a lot about you," the man said. "I know why you're here. But most importantly, I know where you're going." Realization dawned on her and Alina gasped, "You're one of my father's men." How had he tracked her here, of all places? The man stepped forward and grinned. "I am my own man," he said. She didn't like the look on his face. He took a gun out and fired it, making her flinch. He laughed, as he had just wanted to scare her. In seconds he was in front of her. He lifted a hand to stroke her cheek, and she but his hand. "I like them feisty," the man said in reply.
((*bit* his hand))
When the gunshot sounded, Jack started to climb up higher in the tree. He scrambled quickly and skillfully up it's height, gripping branches and shimmying up the trunk.
Her father's goodie was done playing nice. He lunged forward to grab Alina's arm and she brought one blade up to cut that hand. He stared at it in disbelief, and then laughed. "You can't run from me." He grabbed her chin and brought her forward, planting a rough kiss on her mouth. Thoroughly repulsed, Alina twisted in his grasp, though it hurt, and cut his bicep with her knife. "Help!" She screamed, though her pride was wounded doing so. "Someone help me!"
((Ughhhhhh, *goonie* I seriously need to start using the computer instead of an iPad))
"That was a hand gun." Cassidy said as the stranger ran away. It was rare to find anything other then a hunting rifle, or a shotgun in the Badlands. All the fire arms came from the east, and the only ones that managed to trickle out this far west were for hunting purposes. "I'm gonna check it out." She said, following after the stranger silently.
Desmond ran as fast as he could, for reasons unknown to him. He doubted he would be much help if someone actually was in trouble, and he hadn't lived this long by being impulsive and stupid. He soon came across an abandoned warehouse from before the collapse and scurried through a hole in the fence. He heard a girl scream. "Help! Someone help me!" Desmond cursed, that was definitely the girl from earlier. He peered into a lower window and saw a man attacking her, she was slashing at him with a knife but didn't seem to be getting very far.
"Need any help?" Cassidy asked the stranger when she caught up to him. She felt a strange kin ship with the girl. It was tough out there being small and female. People were always trying to harm her wherever she turned.
Desmond glanced at the Feral and back at the girl inside. "Distraction?"
"I'm on it." Cassidy said, drawing her machetes. She bashed the window in and hopped up.