Broken (Group Thread)


Farren

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Mar 7, 2010
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#1
The snow had stopped falling for the first time in a while, allowing greater movement and visibility amongst the ruined buildings. It never seemed to lay too thickly, despite it's almost constant presence, only a few inches at worst to be trampled underfoot. The winds were the worst part, they chilled to the bone while the snow was falling, so most would huddle in whatever shelter they had found and hope for the best. On the upside the beasts seemed to dislike the cold as much as anyone else, leading to some safety when travelling when darkness fell.

Food was becoming more problematic though, with most of the obvious stores having been long since depleted. It was perhaps a blessing that so few had survived whatever had ravaged the world, else it was likely that the food stores would have been fully depleted. Hunting was possible at times, though the animals seemed as scarce as the people in the city.

The outskirts of the city were more untouched than the central areas, many choosing the safety of the more sturdy structures of the inner city. That was not to say that finding food or useful supplies was guaranteed, but there was precious little else to do with ones time other than attempt to survive.

While most of the district had been looted, there were a few stores still in one piece, though mostly those of little value. The odd clothing store, a high class accessories store, ones without much value when money was not an object. A smaller supermarket seemed to a particularly good find, still closed up and apparently untouched. While not a common sight, it wasn't beyond reason that whoever had worked on looting the area was scared off before they got to this store, or perhaps they simply had no need for more supplies at the time.

While food and water were the obvious incentives to take a look inside, medical supplies and makeshift weapons would be a boon to anyone in the city.

Olivia had stumbled upon the find during her search and was left with the decision of investigating further or leaving the find for further exploration. It would be about two hours before she would need to seek shelter and she had seen some viable locations close by if she wanted to stay in the area. There wasn't any indication that anyone had been in the area recently, the snow still unspoiled by footprints.
 

GargantuaBlarg

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Sep 23, 2009
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#2
Re: Broken (Group Thread)

Olivia huddled under the little cover she could find, a small alcove in the wall of the ruined building across the street from the seemingly untouched store she had found. She wore a tattered coat that used to be white over dirty clothes... but none of that was visible, as a mass of greenery seemed to wrap around her. The outer layers managed to shield her body from the wind, and kept the air within it warm - relatively - as it circulated her natural body heat. While she was far from comfortable, her insulated bubble of air managed to keep her from freezing to death, despite her relatively light and unencumbering clothing.

She stared at the supermarket a while, wondering how it had remained untouched this entire time. Surely, it was possible it had simply remained undiscovered, and she was the first to see it... but it wasn't very likely. She didn't have much use for the things she might find in there - after all, she could sustain herself simply by being outside. But, on the other hand, there was the fact that she could use whatever she found to trade, if she needed to. And plus, while she didn't need it, the occasional sweet or snack was very welcome.

Another sharp gust fluttered her leaf-like hair. She wasn't sure if it was a good idea... but she wanted to see what was in that store.

She looked to the left and to the right, both up and down the street, when she got to the lip of the sidewalk. She wasn't sure why, but it seemed a natural thing to do...

When she got to the door, she hesitated. She hoped there wouldn't be anything inside waiting to jump her when she got through the door... it had happened several times before that she could recall, and she had never dealt well with those surprises. She put a hand forward, tendrils pulling from the green mat that clothed it, and pushed through the door.


(should I consider myself to have gotten the three hours of sunlight?)
 

Farren

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Mar 7, 2010
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#3
Re: Broken (Group Thread)

(Yes, you're all good on the sunlight department.)

The door offered some resistance to being opened, but soon parted for her tendrils as they pushed at it. It was fairly light inside the store, making it fairly certain that there wasn't anyone inside, or at least not that she could see. It didn't mean a lot unfortunately, as she well knew. The only upside was that the beasts of the night tended to camp outside the city. However that didn't mean there wasn't a danger from other survivors, sane or not.

It seemed as though the store had been gone through at least once, with many items strewn around the floor and a few carts left here and there, though a majority of it still seemed to be in good order. There were no immediate signs of habitation, so it was still possible that whoever had taken things had simply not returned for whatever reason.

Strangely, the fresh food section seemed to be cleaned out entirely, not that any of it would have remained fresh at this point. Everything about the place store seemed to contradict the notion that it hadn't been found, but the dust laying around meant that it seemed to have been a long while since anyone was around either. Still, at least there were supplies and sweets to be had.
 

GargantuaBlarg

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#4
Re: Broken (Group Thread)

Olivia wondered what it was about this place. It had been so long since she'd woken up and known that something was different, and wrong... That her skin and hair felt "funny", and that everything was not as it had been. How could it have stood untouched for so long?

She supposed someone could have looted the place a long time ago, and just hadn't cleaned the place out. But why hadn't whoever it was returned?

It wasn't a damning thought, though... the person could have simply moved on. Either way, it seemed to have remained unravaged anyway, except for the place in the store that she knew that once held fruit vegetables.

Vegetables...

That, too, set off an alarm in her head. She knew she had become distinctly tree-like - if something that preyed on vegetation lived here, it might take an undue interest in here.

Olivia stood in the doorway for several minutes, carefully scanning the store over and over. She made a point of it to look up towards the ceiling, wondering if anything might have hidden itself up there... and finally, she decided - she should go in. Slowly, she made her way to the registers, where she knew she'd be able to find some bags. She stopped after every step, looking around while she admonished herself for being so paranoid.

Eventually finding some bags, she took several, pulling them wide open with her mantle of vines. She stalked through the shelves, piling whatever she could find that still looked edible into them. While her tentacles worked for bulk, she looked through the shelves, snatching up things that looked tasty and lining her pockets with them. She supposed she should have picked up a backpack or something by now... but she never seemed to need it, bags and other containers of many sorts being quite plentiful, and her vines being numerous and having little trouble just carrying them where she went.
 

Farren

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Mar 7, 2010
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#5
Re: Broken (Group Thread)

Olivia ended up with a healthy stock of food, especially for one that had little need of it herself. It was a valuable commodity for others though, so there was little point in not collecting what could be found. All the while, the store remained quiet around her, with nothing but the sound of her own movements being caught by her senses. She couldn't quite shake the feeling that this was all a little strange, though it might simply be strange to have such luck in the otherwise unforgiving city.

It wasn't until she was a good way through her collecting that she heard something else inside the store. The sound of a door creaking open could be clearly heard towards the back of the store, followed by something moving in a haphazard fashion. If whatever it was happened to be walking, it didn't have a stable stride and almost sounded like it was walking on claws or something else sharp. It would be hard to say just what it was or if it was dangerous given how much everyone in the city had changed but for now at least Olivia had the chance to decide what she wanted to do as there were a few good sized shelves between her and the back.

-----

Meanwhile, just entering the same shopping district, Jonus had been doing his best to keep moving. His search had been leading him all over the city, but so far he'd had little in the way of leads to help him on his way. He had however heard that there was an information broker living somewhere in the area surrounding the shopping district. It was a long shot, but any potential lead was a good one at this point. There was little to see in this abandoned part of town and he wasn't sure where best to his search since no one had been sure exactly where the broker lived.

The quiet and the cold were not really conducive to checking all the stores individually and with the night drawing closer it wouldn't be possible to get too far. There was however a single set of tracks in the snow, only remarkable for being the single sign of life he'd seen in the area.
 

Caulder

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Nov 21, 2008
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#6
Re: Broken (Group Thread)

Jonas huddled his right arm against himself, trying to keep warm as he noticed the tracks, kneeling down and looking off in the direction they went. His body shivered slightly from the cold, but he stood and shrugged his hulking left arm, then decided to follow the tracks. He finally had some kind of lead, and he wasn't about to abandon it.
 

GargantuaBlarg

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Sep 23, 2009
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#7
Re: Broken (Group Thread)

Olivia couldn't resist - she took a tiny candy bar labelled "fun-size" and pulled the wrapper open, and popped an end into her mouth. She tried to bite down... but, with the perpetual cold that wrapped the world, it had become more than a little firm. No matter - she was in no rush to finish it.

Then, from the back of the store, a sound. Naltaibur froze, her eyes going wide in alarm. With her candy bar in her mouth, she crouched down in the aisle, listening.

...What kind of footsteps were these? They sounded like a dull clicking as they hit the floor's tiles... and they were strangely uneven. They sounded to her as if whatever made them was stumbling. Could whatever was making the noise be injured? It seemed more likely than a mutant with an odd gait...

Either way, Olivia didn't want to risk a run in with something that might be hostile. After all, she didn't have any kind of weapon, and even if she did, she simply could not keep up with the immediacy combat called for. She doubted she'd be able to sneak out the door unnoticed, let alone shake a pursuer...

Another click brought her back to the present. She at least wanted to know what she was dealing with. Olivia put her palms down on the ground and peered low to the floor, trying to see what had come in under the racks. After she looked, she would try to sneak a look at her visitor... hopefully while going unnoticed herself.
 

Farren

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Mar 7, 2010
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#8
Re: Broken (Group Thread)

The sounds continued down the aisle as Olivia moved to try to get a look at whatever was walking around. Glancing under the shelving units, she couldn't make that much out, but it did look like the creature was limping due to having an odd growth. Though both of it's feet ended in almost birdlike talons, one foot was mostly human aside from the growth of it's claws while the other had grown far larger and unwieldy. The larger foot seemed to be covered in bloodstained bandages too, so perhaps it was possible an injury was also involved.

Being careful to remain quiet, Olivia started to move around behind where the creatures was moving, peering out from behind the racks to get a better look. Whatever it was, it didn't look much better from behind. It was human, at least originally, one of it's arms had grown into a large wing covered in purple feathers tinted with blood. There was a clear growth starting on the other arm but so far it had only enveloped the upper arm. Perhaps most interestingly, the wing seemed to be leaving a trail of dust behind, masking the mutants trail.

It had short hair and was wearing the tattered remains of a dress, so it was potentially female. It was hard to tell for sure from behind. Either way it didn't seem to be too large without the awkward leg, looking to be maybe four and a half feet tall.

The creature came to a stop as it reached the end of the aisle, taking a step back and looking down at the floor. It took another step back and leaned forward to peer around the units on either side of it. It struck Olivia that it must have noticed her trail through the dust, and now it seemed to be worried.

-----

Jonus made good time following the tracks, soon coming upon the entrance to a store. Nothing really stood out about it besides the lack of obvious looting. Considering how dead the area seemed to be though, it was possible it had simply remained untouched. Either way, that's where the trail seemed to go cold, whatever he had been following was likely inside.

The chill winds started to pick up again, biting through his clothing and kicking up the freshly laid snow. More alarmingly, he was sure he heard a horrid howl in the distance, one of the first signs that it was better to be off the streets than on them.
 

Caulder

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Nov 21, 2008
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#9
Re: Broken (Group Thread)

Jonas shivered in the cold, and decided he could use the store as a place to rest, if nothing else. He made his way inside, his heavy boots thumping on the floor from the weight of his appendage as he walked in, not knowing what might be inside.
 

GargantuaBlarg

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#10
Re: Broken (Group Thread)

Crap. It looks like she's spotted me...

Whoever it was, her original human form looked to have been replaced with some kind of hybridized one... though, the genetic oddities that ran through everyone were practically universal. This one - she - looked to be a combination of bird and man. Strange.

Perhaps more importantly, she could see a wrapping of bloodied bandages around one of it's limbs, and it seemed to startle when it saw the footprints she'd left (damned dust). So, it was likely she wasn't completely gone, and her mind retained some notion of semblance.

Olivia didn't want her to try to attack her... so from her hiding place a few shelves over, she called out to her - gently, a tone of voice she aided with a smile. "Relax, I don't want any trouble, and I hope you don't either. ...You want a candy bar?" As she spoke, though, the sound of loud footsteps came from the doorway in, and her grin faded. She crouched, worried whatever that was might see her. Two surprises in the same day... dammit, had something heard her talking? She didn't think she was that loud...
 

Farren

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Mar 7, 2010
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#11
Re: Broken (Group Thread)

The sound of another made the girl jump, her larger foot awkwardly dragging along the floor as she backed up against the closet rack of shelves. She spotted Olivia without much of a problem, watching her closely for a few moments as she processed what had actually been said. She seemed about ready to reply, getting as far as opening her mouth before she heard the other footsteps too, shrinking back more in response. She cast her eyes over Olivia before watching near the source of the new noise. It looked as though she was fairly timid, not really a trait that was seen in the less human among the mutated. Of note perhaps was that her wing seemed to be shaking, dropping a more noticeable amount of the dust it was producing.

Jonas heard a voice further back in the store as he entered, followed by the sound of something scraping along the floor. Aside from the continuing footprints of whatever he had trailed into the building, he couldn't see anything else straight away. It looked like a fairly normal abandoned shop, except for the fact the shelves actually contained supplies for once.
 

Caulder

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Nov 21, 2008
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#12
Re: Broken (Group Thread)

Jonas looked at the supplies on the shelves, scanning over them, and grasping a box from one of the shelves with his right hand, staring at it. It was a box of cereal, and the name seemed to strike a chord in him before he lost the thread of memory, setting the box back down on the shelf. "Hello? Is anyone here? Don't be afraid, I'm not here to hurt you." he calls out deeper into the store, his voice sounding slightly raspy from the mutation going on through his body. He was determined to figure out who had come in here, and damn if they were getting away without his usual barrage of questions. He cradled his left arm against his body, trying to make it seem smaller than it actually was so as to not scare whoever was in the store with him.
 

GargantuaBlarg

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#13
Re: Broken (Group Thread)

"You say that, but do you mean it?" Olivia called back from her place behind the shelves. At the same time she waved a hand at her new acquaintance, and motioned for her to get behind something - if she wanted her trust, it would be best to step up and draw this new person's attention, in case it was hostile. It was easy to tell the birdgirl was injured... unless the spattering of blood on her was caused by some kind of mutation, but the former was more likely. If that were the case, she could handle this, and hopefully make a companion out of the encounter. Two, if this newcomer wasn't lying.

"Who are you? What do you want?"
 

Caulder

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#14
Re: Broken (Group Thread)

Jonas hears the response from deeper in the store, then raises his right eyebrow. "My name is Jonas. I'm looking for someone." he says, looking over the tops of shelves as he thumps through the store, holding his right hand out and running it along the shelves to check for dust. "Though if you don't know anything, I'll leave you in peace if you wish." he says, reaching up and grabbing his hood, then pulling it further down over his face to hide the mutation on his face,
 

GargantuaBlarg

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#15
Re: Broken (Group Thread)

Olivia hesitated. She couldn't get a look at him, but he sounded like a man. She didn't hear a lie in his voice... but then again, she'd been alone for a long time.

She decided to take a chance - she didn't want him to notice the other girl unless the avian wanted him to. But, still wary, Olivia decided to err on the side of caution, and try to intimidate him, in case he wasn't as harmless as he said he was. She moved the tentacles that wrapped around her further out, trying to puff herself up to look bigger than she really was. While she was quite strong, her outward appearance was quite thin, if tall, and but without a weapon, she looked quite fragile.

"Okay, Jonas. Who are you looking for?" she called out from behind her hiding place, before emerging and drawing herself to her full height. She almost jumped, seeing this "Jonas"' massively overgrown arm - but she caught herself, keeping her composure.
 

Caulder

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#16
Re: Broken (Group Thread)

Jonas looks at the woman and almost recoils himself, shocked by her appearance, but he catches himself and reaches his right hand into his hoodie, pulling out a set of Dog Tags, and holding them out. "I'm looking for whoever these belong to. He goes by the name of Samuel Finster." he says, his left arm sagging slightly as he loses the strength to hold it up against his body, dropping it down and almost hitting the ground with it. "Do you know anything about him? Where he might be? Where he was when whatever the hell made us what we are now happened?"
 

GargantuaBlarg

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#17
Re: Broken (Group Thread)

Samuel Finster...

Olivia took a moment to think back. Had she met anyone by that name...? She tried to remember back, but she'd always been a sluggish thinker. Maybe if she took a closer look at the tags...?

"Let me..." she mumbled, preoccupied with her thoughts, while she reached an arm out towards Jonas. It couldn't cover the whole distance between them, but it didn't need to - a few tiny green vines reached out the extra few feet, to wrap around the chain and bring it back to her.

At the same time, her other hand reached seemingly into her belly... though in reality, it was diving into a pocket in the labcoat she wore under her outer shell of writhing, ivy-like tentacles. When it re-emerged into the stale air of the abandoned store, there was a small, red case in it. She flipped it open with one hand while her tentacles cradled it, and pulled out a tiny pair of reading glasses, which she promptly put on and began examining the dogtags now hanging in front of her, suspended from the tentacles that had taken it.

It was a little bizarre - a relatively normal looking human face, crossed with a look of concentration, emerging from a man-shaped mass of writhing tentacles...

"No... I can't say I've heard of him before, Jonas. Can you tell me anything more about him...? Why're you looking for him?"
 

Caulder

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Nov 21, 2008
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#18
Re: Broken (Group Thread)

Jonas watches the strange display, wondering how her specific mutation came about being the way it was. "I honestly don't know much about him. What he looks like, or even his relation to me. All I know is, those dog tags are his, and he's got some relation to me." he says, reaching up and pulling his hood back, revealing the mutation covering the left side of his face, and his dark skin from his African descent. "He might bear some resemblance to me, but as you can see, I've not really the best looking person in the world right now."
 

GargantuaBlarg

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#19
Re: Broken (Group Thread)

It takes a few moments for Olivia to turn and look Jonas' way after he finished speaking, stuck as she was trying to gather some kind of information from the dog tags she held. When she did, it took her a further moment to reply.

"Oh, you don't look that bad, for a man that survived the end of the world," she said, rather mildly.

She then approached him, dogtags hanging from her right hand, the tentacles enveloping it rapidly withdrawing, baring her pale gray skin to the cold air.

"Here, take 'em. I don't know anything about this man."
 

Caulder

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Nov 21, 2008
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#20
Re: Broken (Group Thread)

Jonas takes the tags back and puts them around his neck once more, then pulls his hood back up over his head. "Thanks anyway. Guess I'll have to keep looking. Though this would make a good place to spend the night." he says, then rolls his left shoulder as he looks over at Olivia. "Hope you don't mind."
 

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