Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Blood bloomed on the woman's chest as she fell backwards, gracefully arching back with hair streaming like streaming. Jo moved her gaze from the rear view and back to the road. Wouldn't be long until they reached the settlement and there was no point to paying attention to her pounding heart or the chill in her gut.

Some crows landed on the powerlines and emitted drawn out aaaaarrrs. Waiting for the activity to clear away from the dead.

"Good shot." Jo grinned a skeletal grin and then started to slow down. The settlement was in sight. It was actually decent.

It was an old nursing home kind of thing. Assisted living cottages surrounded it. Generators belched black smoke into the air and unlit outdoor lamps were pointed towards the exterior. There was a ramshackle wall made of tyres and barbed wire. People with guns - looked like jury rigged paint ball guns. 

Jo slowed down and wound down her windows, stuck her hand out to wave hello.

"Maybe a puppy'll find you?"

  • Aww 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Paige took her hands off the rifle, put the safety on, and rested it between her legs and lifted her arms as they approached. She had no desire to get a bullet in the neck for being armed. She looked up at the guards silently. She counted... One.... two.... three..... four..... and there were likely others she could not see. At close range, her gun would not be as effective and she did not want to give it up. She was focused, mentally planned what way they could attack if things went wrong or they tried to attack them. Her eyes were focused, near scowling, and then she heard Jo's comment. The mode was broken. 

She smiled.

"Maybe, you never know," She answered happily. 

Outside an armed guard approached them. Looked in at the pair. He was older, with a blind eye with a gruesome scar down it and weathered skin. It was likely he had a rough life, long before the world turned to death and the dead walked. He smiled, he had a few missing teeth and looked like a fatherly figure. "Allo loves," He said, checked them out again. "Now... this is a peaceful settlement. Fists and guns to yourselves. No thievery or you lose a hand. Pay your dues." He recited. Maybe he was an army Sargent? He leaned in close again, his hand rested on the door of the car. "And stay away from the whore mongers. Don't accept money or promises from anymore." He murmured under his breath. The flat of his hand tapped the car as the rumbling gate opened to let them in. 

Paige had watched and knew he said something to Jo.

"What did he say? Is anything wrong?" 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Trust no one," Jo answered and shot old mate a filthy look for his comment. "Don't take money or promises. You could've told us both that mate." Jo revved the engine as old made backed off, making long suffering shrugs and an eye roll thrown in for good measure.

Her tyres squeaked as she accelerated and Jo blushed. She eased forward more gently and took them past the gates. Curious eyes followed them through. There were other guards with a row of vehicles. One flagged them. Made sense to Jo. Vehicles were important and a settlement that wanted to be a center for bartering needed to be known for it's trustworthiness. To a degree. Turned out objects were more important than people nowadays.

Well, they'd always been more important.

Jo parked and turned off the car, extracted the keys and slid the keyring through her belt loop.

"Well. Here we are. Wanna look around?" Jo slid out of the car.

"Cheers!" She called out to one of the guards. "Got a puppy?"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Paige didn't answer. She was too busy on the lookout for puppies and hearing any barking. It sounded like they had dogs there already. Big, guard dogs that were trained to bark at anyone who was infected and would be dangerous if cornered. Paige didn't want a dog like that, and besides, those dogs would happily rip her face off. She opened the door, hung the strap over her shoulder and secured her hunting rifle. It was too valuable to leave in the car. 

"Hell yeah, my legs are stiff and I need to piss." She whinged. Over time, her Paige's fake snobbery had eased and she had become more of a version closer to herself. She looked around and wondered where the gross as all hell toilets were.  Soon after the fall of humanity, the last time she had to pee in a bottle and combined with a speed bump? That had not gone well. 

"Yes!" She beamed happily. "Do you have any puppies for sale?" 

The Guard, a younger looking man smiled and nodded. "Yep, got a bunch of them. The dad was a police dog and the mum was a roo huntin' dog..... it will probably grow to be pretty big." 

Paige's eyes lit up and clapped her hands, doing a little bounce on the spot at the prospect of having a puppy. 

"We'll take one!" She agreed. "Maybe two?" Paige teased and wondered if now she was pushing her luck. 

It couldn't hurt to ask, right?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Nah. Better not have any," Jo answered. But she winked when she looked at Paige. The hint would land, or it would not. They really shouldn't have a pet, but Jo wasn't the type to turn away an animal in need...

"Where're the toilets?" Hard to tell if the younger guard was friendlier or just better at being social. 

He pointed the toilets out. They were backed up against the wall and were made of white plastic. Portaloos. The company's logo was peeling off of the plastic and dirt was climbing up the sides. Were there raiders specialising in portaloos? Had they raided event companies and loo companies and stuffed their trucks?

Jo held out her hand to take the gun from Paige. She'd stand guard.

"You can meet the puppies though. It'd be nice to see something, well. Nice."

  • Cats! 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Over here, don't go wild with the toilet paper." He grunted and shrugged. Over time, he had gotten used to the rationing of toilet paper. 

Paige let out a whinge and wrinkled her nose at the sight of the portaloos. Admittedly, she dragged her feet as she walked towards them and could smell them long before she saw them. She handed the rifle over to Jo. She nodded hastily. Think of the puppies.... think of the puppies. Scared to touch the door in case she would be infected with some disease and the smell hit her in the face, like a brick. A thick and heavy brick. She winced and made a, "neeeeugh!!!" sound. But when you had to pee, you had to pee, and it was time to get to business. She stepped in and brought her pants and underwear to her knees, squatting over the toilet. Terrified to look down. She murmured a prayer to every deity known to man as she did her business, wriggled and used a tissue rather than the questionable toilet paper/newspaper. She fixed herself, kicked the door and walked out. 

"Jo, it is Satan's asshole in there." She said, pointed back with her thumb and cleaned her hands with some water. She shuddered. 

"Now, PUPPIES!" She grinned and bounced on the spot. "Oh, do you need to go too?"

  • Aww 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Nah," Jo grinned. She reckoned someone would drain the catchment thing soon, or she'd find somewhere that didn't smell as juicy as rotten vegetables. She held out the gun to Paige.

There had never been any agreement for Paige to be their gunner. It had just happened and it was working so far. No need to change. The old feminist in Jo was pleased with the development anyway. The more femme and excitable of the pair was the better shot.

"Puppies are more important than pissing in Satan's asshole." Their guide pointed in the direction of the puppies and said that they'd hear them soon.

Settlements were often interesting sociologically. Given the chance to create a culture, what did the people create? What did they recreate? What roles were assigned to who and what did it reveal about their values and who they valued? 

This had been an assisted living facility. Hand holds were next to doors and in garages. Where were the old people? She remembered the older guy's warning. Wouldn't say this group was made up of bad people, but also wouldn't want to stay too long.

They did hear the puppies. All whines and cute woofs. Jo slung her arm over Paige's shoulders and joined her in making a beeline towards them. She could smell coffee too. If they could get ground beans and a plunger...

"Aww, look!" Jo pointed to the puppies. They were behind a puppy cage and jumping around quite cheerfully.

  • Aww 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

She took it. Put the strap over her shoulder and patted it. It felt natural, normal, and daresay, almost as though she was made to carry a weapon of some kind. 

As they walked she cringed every so often as she thought about that damned disgusting toilet. There were people around and signs that this was an aged care facility yet there were absolutely none of the elderly people still around. She ignored it. Paige had to push a lot of the worries and changes to the back of her mind. She had to survive.... they had to survive. Her feelings towards Jo were complicated. They had become partners on the road. A team. Kind of like siblings but at the same time she felt something more. It was complicated and awkward. 

When Jo wrapped her arm around Paige's shoulders, she leaned in and grinned up at her. "LOOK AT THEM!" She squeed with glee and wrapped her own arm halfway around Jo's back. 

"Awww look! omg... " She instantly went down onto her knees to get close as the puppies began to lick her fingers. "Aww look at their little faces!"

  • Cats! 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The puppies were fat.

Their round little tummies waggled from side to side from the force of their tails and sweet little woofs and whimpers escaped them. They had floppy ears and noses stained from grass and dirt. Little holes dotted their pen. They were a mix of black and tan and of no discernible breed. At least to Jo, who had never worked out to tell the breeds of mongrels.

"Did you say oh em gee?" Jo teased as she bent down and picked up a random puppy.

"Hullo gorgeous! Hello sweet thing! Aren't you cute? Yes you are!" It was nice to cuddle a well fed and happy creature.

  • Aww 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Hey, I'm bringing it back." She teased back. She was not sure who exactly would take it back up. 

"Aww, look at them," She cooed, trying to pat as many as possible and grinned wide. "Awww, I wish we could take them all.... which one do you like?" Paige grinned cheekily. She was determined to get a puppy for them to take care of. There were two of them in particular that caught her eye. 

"Hey! Doesn't that puppy look like Dogmeat from Fallout 3 and that one from Dogmeat in Fallout 4?" She asked. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jo's eyebrow arched, her smile suppressed and she put her puppy down. Instead, her fingers wound around the tiniest, most runtiest puppy of the lot and she felt it up to Paige. The puppy wriggled and grunted, tiny tail waving back and forth and head twisting to try and lick Jo's fingers.

"I think this one is gonna grow up to look like Clifford." She cuddled it against her chest and rubbed it's soft furred back. "Fallout four Dogmeat was a massive pain in the ass. Tripping all the traps and getting in the way. Well alright, all the companions did that. Who was your favourite?" The puppy licked her neck. Jo screwed up her face.

"Eww. Yes I love you too but gross."

  • Aww 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Aww look how little it is!" She cooed, patted the puppy in Jo's hands and thought more about the question.

Their reality was closer to Fallout now except without nuclear radiation (although there was always the chance a mad bastard would try to further destroy the world). Paige wrinkled her lip, tried to think of all their names and said. "I liked how Dogmeat didn't bitch when you picked things up," She laughed, grinned and shrugged. "I guess Hancock. He wasn't an evil bastard but did what he needed to get done. What about you?" 

Paige cringed at the sight of the puppy licking Jo's neck. Disease was a constant threat in the new world. 

"I wonder if he would be cheaper because he is so little," Paige leaned in and whispered. Not wanting to let the vendor hear her not so cunning plan. 

  • Aww 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The world was turned on it's head. Puppies went cheap instead of their not so cute but more useful parents. Jo could imagine that those dogs that were actually trained - not the one's left to simmer with boredom all day and night - would be worth quite a bit in this new society. She wiped her neck, spreading potential puppy germs from her neck to her hand, but what a way to go.

"The robot from the DLC liked it when you picking up junk didn't she? Curie?" Wrong robot, but Jo had forgotten. She bent over and put the puppy back down. It was immediately jumped on by another puppy, causing a fierce battle of tiny teeth and sloppy tongues to ensue. Dirt and bits of grit clung to their fur and was then thrown up in a little impromptu cloud.

"We better get food and all that before we think about getting one of these cuties." Jo added in a low voice. She could see that further along, people had converted their appropriated houses into a house and storefront. Anyone with useful skills from before the end of the world would be raking in coin or whatever the stand in for coin was. Playing netball, studying sociology and drinking her guts out had not prepared Jo for the post-apocalyptic reality. At least she had given up the drink and thrown herself into activity. And at least she had Paige, who was far more useful and stable than her ex-girlfriend.

Jo hoped her ex was ok.

"Cutie for us cuties." Jo winked and nudged Paige's waist. "C'mon. Maybe someone's made jerky or something. We could just wander around, right?" Not leaving each other of course. The guard's warning still reverberated in her head.

  • Beautiful Writing! 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Paige shrugged. She couldn't remember which one it was and wondered whether someone would end up making robots who would be able to do the work that nobody wanted to do. "Yeah, that's probably a good idea," She murmured, patted the puppies and watched as it was placed on the ground. Hopefully no-one would buy it while they walked off to purchase the necessary items. They had talked a little about their respective pasts. Paige missed her family. She heard early on that they had died. Having relied on memory for their face she could barely make them out now. 

Would she even recognise them? Would they recognise her? The chaos of the new world had brought out a resilience in her. Would they miss her? Were they even still alive? 

She giggled and playfully nudged Jo in return. "Well, we are pretty damn cute," Paige answered with a dramatic sigh and pretended to fan herself with her hand. "You and your jerky need to get a room!" Paige stuck her tongue out, she peeked through the laneways of the mini shops of people selling stuff and could not find anything. Food, water, ammo, maybe some bandages. "Alrighties, let's go, I would love to have some coffee.... oooo and chocolate," She moaned at the thought of eating chocolate. Little treats were now like mana from heaven. 

The pair of them walked towards the nearest shop keep and looked at the items. Couple of old books, some ornaments, blankets, and otherwise nothing in particular. In the distance they could hear people yelling and a fight beginning to break out. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...