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 Summer of the Grey Snow

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Mesh'la Runi

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PostSubject: Re: Summer of the Grey Snow   Tue Oct 05, 2010 10:17 pm

"I've got something that should help, but I need to get some of the dirt off your hand before I can use it, okay?"

Malorie pulled out a bandage from her bag, one of a few she'd bought a couple months back when they'd stopped at a trading community located in a former airport. Doing her best to wipe the girl's hand clean without water, Malorie watched Evgeny walk in and sulk off to a corner seat with a frown. She knew this had something to do with the boy back in the other town, but knew nothing about Malawi or much else of his past. It was something the man didn't talk much about. Ever.

Still, she supposed herself privileged in the fact that she knew as much as she did. It was hard enough to get him not to dislike you from the get-go, let alone to have him call you a friend.

Turning back to Jamie, Malorie made an effort to return a smile to her face. "That's Evgeny," she said, speaking quietly. "He might seem a little grumpy at first, but that doesn't mean he doesn't like you. He's always like that to people he doesn't know."

Glancing at the door, she wondered what was taking Connor so long, but assumed he was fine because of the fact that Evgeny was back without a word and the lower floor had gone quiet. Not long after she'd finished applying the bandage, the firefighter returned, looking quite tired.

"Her name's Jamie," Malorie explained, gesturing to the dust as she got to her feet. "You know, you really should get some sleep. You've done plenty for the night. I don't mind keeping watch for a bit. I'm used to trading off with Evgeny anyway."

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Seinn

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PostSubject: Re: Summer of the Grey Snow   Tue Oct 05, 2010 11:19 pm

Jamie smiled at the man tentatively; he seemed a lot nicer than the other one, Evgeny. Even though Malorie had assured her it wasn't anything personal, the girl had trouble understanding a general hostility towards others. She hadn't yet grasped the concept of bitterness, or had enough experience to fully comprehend the weight of a darkened past. She hoped eventually he warmed up to her as well, but for now she was just happy that anyone at all was being nice to her. The man who had just come in must be very brave too, to be able to fight those things off and come back unharmed, which she was also happy about. Real, genuine monster fighters she thought with both amusement and awe at the same time. Janice, her little sister, would have liked them too.

When that thought crossed her mind she bit the inside of her lip. She had been thinking about them far too often lately. It was hard to stop, but she had to. Criers and weak people weren't going to survive in this new world is what she had been told, and so far everything she had seen proved it to be true. The people now around her were all undeniably strong, and she didn't want to be left behind because she was too busy being sad about the past. It was hard, but she was sure if everyone else could do it, she could too.

When Malorie mentioned rest, Jamie couldn't help but frown a bit. Sleeping was always really scary. Laying there as you waited to sleep with nothing but your thoughts and fears of never waking up is an awful lot to handle for a ten year old girl, and doing it alone with no one or no way to talk about those feelings was even worse. She knew it was a necessity if she wanted to keep up her strength, but she hated that utter loneliness that came with sleep. They all did look rather tired though, and understandably. She was too, after a long day of running alone.
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PostSubject: Re: Summer of the Grey Snow   Wed Oct 06, 2010 8:37 pm

"Jamie?" Connor thought the name over for a minute, "Good name, I like it. My name is Connor. It's nice to meet you." He smiled widely at the young girl. Back before the blast he had always been good with kid.s To an extent it came with the job with going to schools and saving families. At first it was only because Connor always drew the short straw but later he just volunteered as long as it wasn't those punk city school teenagers. Honestly it was like talking to a brick wall with bad acne. He doubted any of them had enough skin to have acne now.

He blinked the bad thought out of his mind and looked at Malorie at her idea of sleep, "Sleep I think would be good for all of us, but I need to clean myself up a little first and make sure none of the ash gets in. I bet Jamie needs some sleep though, eh? Positively tired I bet." He messed up her hair but stopped when he noticed her arm, "Oh.. how'd that happen?" Looking at it he wished he knew more about first aid. Usually the medics took care of it and even if he knew any more he didn't have any equipment. As long as it didn't get infection it should be alright he thought. "Well, I see Dr. Malorie helped out quite a bit but keep it clean and I'll find a proper bandage for you just in case."

Standing up he went over to his bag of misfit tools and the like, searching for clean cloth that hadn't been tainted, easier said then done.

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Seinn

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PostSubject: Re: Summer of the Grey Snow   Fri Oct 08, 2010 9:31 pm

Not expecting to be so well taken care of so quickly, Jamie found herself smiling at Connor as she waited for him to try and find a proper bandage as she smoothed out the top of her hair. She didn't really know how a "proper" one was any different from the one she had, but she wasn't going to argue. She did feel bad though that they were using their supplies on her. She had already been taught the importance of rationing and not wasting, turning just about everything she used except air into a guilt trip. Still, she felt it was rude to decline.

After that had been taken care of, Jamie found herself getting increasingly exhausted. She covered her mouth to hide a large yawn, and rubbed her eyes in the typical manor of a child ready for sleep. She didn't know how to express the proper words, "Good night" to the two adults however, so instead she waved to them both like she was leaving. It was the only thing she could do. Then she walked over to a corner, and after giving them a small smile she laid down and curled up into herself, using her arm as a cushion. She wasn't really sure if it was okay to sleep, but she assumed that because they mentioned it and they seemed to not mind her being there it would be okay.

Her biggest fear was that when she woke up they will have moved on, left behind yet again. At the same time, she felt safer than she had for a while, her muscles relaxing and her senses calming. She didn't worry, as much, about listening for noises that could very well be deadly. Thus her exhaustion beat out her fear of waking up alone, and she was able to drift off into a decent sleep for the first time in a while.
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PostSubject: Re: Summer of the Grey Snow   Sun Oct 10, 2010 8:46 pm

With the child and Evgeny asleep Malorie and Conor decided between them who would do first watch before eventually retiring to bed. It was not the most comfortable of beds, but it was miles better then nothing.

-------------------------------------------------------------------

Evgeny had taken the last watch of which he'd spent most chain smoking desperately. Everything felt wrong here and the few coffee beans Evgeny had found laying around tasted worse then he'd possibly imagined. Still, at least downstairs he didn't need to be anywhere near that child. Blasted things, swanning all over the place like they owned it. Always wanting more and more attention and those stupid little faces they had that made everyone think they were so cute. Bah, children could go get stuffed as far as Evgeny was concerned.

So it was, without much consideration that he tramped upstairs and rapped on the door loudly. "It is light. Time to move Malorie."

Conor was going to come along wasn't he? Plus the godforsaken child. God damn it he had not agreed to this and he already knew it would happen. Blast Malorie and her ethics.

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PostSubject: Re: Summer of the Grey Snow   Sun Oct 17, 2010 7:41 pm

Connor was up first at the rapping at the door though his reaction was grabbing the axe first hand. Bad experiences and paranoia kept him on edge and the fact he had fallen asleep was cause for kicking himself even though it was a natural thing to do. Still a bit dazed he tried to recall what was going on and who these people were. It quickly dawned on him who everyone was again. He had fallen asleep against the couch on the floor and sadly he found it not to be very comfortable to begin with. Standing up he stretched and snapped joints and got his equipment together. Looking around for his gas mask he found it with the girl and decided to leave it be for now.

He pulled a red scarf from his backpack and pulled it around his mouth and over his nose. Opening the door he nodded to Evgeny and then descended the stairs with his axe to check the door, he returned only seconds later to Evgeny. Gesturing downstairs with a thumb he spoke," Did you hear anything on your watch? The body is gone but so is the door, the couch, and the chair.."

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Mesh'la Runi

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PostSubject: Re: Summer of the Grey Snow   Sun Oct 17, 2010 8:46 pm

Evgeny's muffled voice from behind the door barely stirred Malorie, but the much closer rustling of Connor and his axe was enough to rouse her completely. She'd slept like a rock after her watch and hardly remembered sprawling out on the empty couch once Evgeny had taken her place. Unlike most living in the wastelands of the world, Malorie found little difficulty sleeping, with the exception of a particularly trying night or two.

As she rose, she noticed that Jamie still had Connor's gas mask, though Morgan was half-sitting on it as he lay next to her. "Are you sure it's such a good idea to go out there without a good mask? That scarf might be pretty thick, but I doubt it can keep everything out."

Moving over to the child, Malorie gently shook her shoulder. "Hey sleepy head. Sorry to wake you up but we're heading out. I meant to ask you last night: do you have a mask? I'm sure you didn't get all the way here without one, seeing how you're not sick or anything." She hadn't seen anything resembling a child-sized gas mask in the cellar where they'd found the girl, but perhaps it had been well hidden. Or maybe it had broken and Jamie had abandoned it somewhere. That could be a problem. While it was generous of Connor to offer the little one his own mask, it was unlikely that it would fit her properly, which would probably only be detrimental to them both.

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PostSubject: Re: Summer of the Grey Snow   Sun Oct 17, 2010 10:44 pm

Jamie had two types of dreams: happy ones and scary ones. Neither one of them were enjoyable to her though. The scary ones had her waking up in a cold sweat, shaking with fear and constricting her throat until someone held her close long enough to calm her down. When she had a happy one, she awoke only to remember the reality of what she was living, a reality that immediately made her eyes prick with tears and her chest squeeze up at the memory of being alone.

This time, she woke up from a happy one.

The girl rubbed her eyes as Malorie's gentle voice stirred her from her sleep. It was nice to hear an adult female voice in the morning, especially after being surrounded by gruff, adult men for as long as she had been. It made the realization more bearable when she remembered that the reason for that was the destruction of the world, and that she wasn't going to skip to school that day as she had in her dream. She didn't cry, only tried to process the questions she was being asked while at the same time trying to process her feelings.

It took her a minute to get her brain up to speed. She bit her lip as she tried to recall where it had ended up. Then she did, and suddenly felt and looked very, very guilty.

She looked up at Malorie with a sad expression and simply shook her head. The truth was, she had lost it. She had taken it off to sleep and when she had woken up, it had vanished. She had searched that cellar over and over again, and hadn't been able to locate it. She didn't want Connor to get sick though, not on her account, and so she gently took the mask and offered it to Malorie to give back to him.
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PostSubject: Re: Summer of the Grey Snow   Tue Oct 19, 2010 2:14 pm

Evgeny glanced down the stairs and frowned. "Impossible....just impossible....I did not hear a thing......"

Shaking his head he moved back into the room to see what was taking Malorie so long. It was there he saw the child holding the gasmask, trying to pass it back to Malorie seemingly without her own. Evgeny sighed irritably, "We will find a trader post and gasmask. It not take long. Now come on!"


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PostSubject: Re: Summer of the Grey Snow   Thu Nov 11, 2010 1:36 pm

Whatever ants had gotten into Evgeny's pants were starting to bug Malorie too. What was he in such a rush about?

"It's okay, Jamie. You need the mask right now and I know Connor won't take it back until we can get you another one. Here, I'll help you put it on," she said, turning back to the girl and lifting the mask to her face. After tightening the straps to seal the oversized mask as much as possible, Malorie grabbed her things with one hand and took Jamie's hand in the other.

Leading the child out of the room to where Connor and Evgeny were waiting, Malorie made sure that Morgan was following before they all descended the stairs.

The ground floor was a mess, with scuff marks crossing paths through the dust that had settled overnight. Only some of them were made by human shoes. There was also a disturbing lack of furniture from the night before, which put Malorie a little on edge. At least it was light outside.

"It's safer in daylight, it's safer in daylight..." ran through her head.

That wasn't always true.

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PostSubject: Re: Summer of the Grey Snow   Sun Nov 14, 2010 4:49 pm

Evgeny opened the door slightly, a small crack allowing him to check the street outside. Through the smallest glimpse of daylight he could see no threats to Jamie so he pushed the door open that bit more and ducked his head out. Of course he couldn't predict what might be hiding behind the windows of buildings but when there was no crack of a rifle or howl of some animal he felt himself feel slightly more confident. Tense none the less he led the group along, hugging the walls of buildings like a long lost relative. You never knew what lay around the next corner....

The pace was slow but Evgeny was not willing to move any quicker. He was responsible for a child, a god damned child, amongst other things not to mention he still wasn't sure how much he could trust Conor. The need for a spare gas mask was pressing heavy on Evgeny's mind when he wasn't moving but the moment he took a step forward his brain was immersed in the dynamics of making sure he was minimising the risk, keeping himself aware and noting where the danger was most likely to emerge from. Evgeny had done this for years and in many ways he was happiest in this situation. He was definitely less happy when he saw the outpost from some way down the street.

It, on the front of it, looked okay. There were some quite well armed guards outside and Evgeny was in no doubt that there would be a great many more hidden around. All sorts entered and left the building giving it a air of authentic neutrality but Evgeny did not trust appearences. The place was probably a trade stronghold, useful in a dangerous city like this, but there was no way of telling what they would want. Evgeny was adamant that he wasn't going to take a child in there.....

But if he didn't get Jamie a gas mask from there then what? Conor wouldn't last long if he kept using a scarf and Evgeny wasn't certain just how good a job a adult sized gas mask would do on a child. If they didn't get it from here he might as well be putting two more to death. This was why he found himself frustrated at Malorie as he told her in no kind words to stay put with Jamie and Conor as he approached the outpost himself.

Security was heavy as Evgeny expected but the whole atmosphere was one of measured tension. Evgeny was a man alone, well armed and with a funny accent-he did not seem a trustworthy figure. Despite this he was treated fairly and without too many threats. When he asked about alcohol one trader was even willing to point the way to a bar downstairs....

It didn't take long for Evgeny to leave and get back to the group. "That outpost is good. We get new mask there."

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