Location: Headland: E. Main Street, D9 (inside Hordebuster)
Skills: Leadership, Mechanic, Engineering, Advanced Driving
Skills: Leadership, Mechanic, Engineering, Advanced Driving
South. Always south, in a roving, roundabout manner. It wasn't like traveling back Before. Hell, if it was, this would have been a day trip rather than a year's worth of heartache and blood. But some good things have come of it, even if they were rationed out in portions just small enough to stave off thoughts of suicide. Headed down the road, the Hordebuster began to roll through a section of once inhabited township that the signage named "Headland". Possible jokes about the name (of the junior high school variety) spun through Ash's head, prompting the smallest laugh. Take them where you could get him. Might as well.
After passing a couple of restaurants, Ash began to slow the forward progress of the 'Buster. There was an open field to one side of them; it looked like it was used for sporting events at one point in time. To the other side of the road were smaller streets breaking away from the main highway, filled with what promised to be a series of single level houses with attached garages and acceptable lines of sight between them. But what made him come to a stop was the sight of a building with prefab sheet steel exterior walls and big red letters reading "City of Headland Fire & Rescue".
Ash ran his hand through his hair. It had gotten a little longer than he preferred it generally, but haircuts were something of a luxury these days. He nodded his head, bobbing it slightly to the side as if contemplating something. Finally, he heaved a big sigh and spoke to the other three survivors in his truck. "Okay." A look resembling determined optimism came over him, "Okay, I like our chances here. Better than the last few places... Alright, we need food and meds. Weapons and ammo wouldn't hurt, either. Best as I can see, here are our options: Neighborhoods across the tracks here and up the road, there. Little ways back there are some restaurants. Probably raided out, but I wouldn't give pass up a #10 can of whole tomatoes if they had it. And right there," he said, pointing out of the window toward the Fire & Rescue building, "could be something. If the Fire Department hasn't been cleaned out, it could contain emergency rations, blankets, medical supplies, even weapons. If there's a tank truck in there, they have to carry potable water by law, and tons of it. IF," he stressed, "it hasn't been scavenged to hell and back."
"Food takes priority. Houses will be the best spots for that. We can split into teams and clear a few of them, wrap things up with the Fire Department. If you think I missed anything, now's the time. Sound good?"
Location: Quincy: E9 (Front Porch)
Skills: Survival, Shield, Scavenging
Thalia remembered the old "Charlie's Angels" TV series. It wasn't really a great show, persay, but it did advance the idea that women could kick ass in a decade where it was largely assumed that they couldn't. So go them. She remembered the movies that came out, too. They were a little better, but let's face it, people weren't really going to see them because of GRRL POWER. Ok, admittedly, she kind of liked the movies. Not that she would tell anyone, but she also liked My Little Pony, so her taste in fine film and television series was questionable.
The point in her mental tangent was that, arguably, she was reminded about Charlie's Angels because of the relationship she had with the other two women on her House Clearing team. If ever a movie script would be written about three badass women doing badass women stuff, it would be about the three of them. They'd embellish certain things, obviously, and they would all have perfectly coiffed hair and clean shaven legs, but Hollywood would just have to be permitted their little flaws for the sake of a good story. With this in mind, Thalia couldn't help but crack a little smile from behind her very Nordic shield.
She had mourned for the previous owner of that shield, and felt that she would have approved its current holder and its current use. But her mind was in the present, and that present was with her new friends. Thalia stood with Beatrice and Thana, ready to take point with her big Viking shield and Ruger pistol. Her little mental foray into television of yesteryear aside, the mixed Latina lady known to a few as Angel braced herself for the initial push into the residence. After this, she intended to cut herself a new spear from the spring saplings; it would do wonders to open her options for these small operations. Just now her knife and pistol would have to suffice. Upon Thana's query as to whether they should "clean house", Thalia responded to the affirmative. "Yah, ready on your signal. You good, Killer Bea?"
Location: Okefenokee: F14 (Outside Truck)
Skills: People Reading
It always seemed to come with stress. Sure, Wayne was a hell of a guy, but he had his own demons. It was exactly the kind of a thing that Hank could relate to; it wasn't that long ago that he had his own descent into mental illness. Seeing dead loved ones. Hearing their voices but never quite catching what they said. It was a form of hell that he had to live through for too long. If there was any one thing that was positive about the world becoming a playground for the shambling dead, it was that seeing actual dead people walking around jolted his brain out of the delusions that ensnared him.
Wayne? Well, his demons weren't remotely as horrifying. Not as horrifying as the real threats out in the world. Permit the man his little idiosyncrasies. That and the fact that he could channel more unchecked aggression into a single gut-punch than any man Hank had ever met. It was art.
The truck refusing to budge another foot was coming. He knew it was coming, and there was no stopping it. The goal was to just get as far as he could on what the broken down shitbox had left. Well, he had just found out what was left, and it still pissed him off. While Wayne expressed his frustrations in the manner of his own choosing (so to speak), Hank instead contemplated the possibility of just sitting there until his biological needs forced him to make the hard decision between moving or soiling himself. Even then, it would likely be a coin toss.
"Wayne, uh... Hey there, bud?" he said tersely, rubbing his temples slowly, "Do you think it's in the realm of possibility to - oh I don't know - give me a minute or two of quiet time while I decide if it's a good idea to slam my goddamned head into the steering wheel until it's naptime, hmm?" He groaned, fully aware of the futility of reasoning with the man in this state unless something of extreme and immediate importance was looming. "Alright. Alright, okay." he whispered to himself, "We're doing this." He moved to open his door, only to be surprised by a wholly different voice coming from a little piece away. Apparently, it was a Roman. The vaguest expression of "What The Fuck" could be read on his face, which slowly twisted into the much, much less vague, becoming true incredulity. He stepped out of the truck and retrieved his shovel. He liked that shovel. He'd used it plenty.
"Whoa now. Hold on there, History Channel." he said bluntly. "My pal here's working some shit out, but while he's doing that, let me ask you a question: Did you dress like that before the world went to shit?" He shifted his shovel behind his neck and rested his arms across it, giving the older man a sort of casual, cruciform stance. "Cause I mean, I've seen plenty of nutbars both before and after, but I've never seen someone actually choose to reinvent themselves into god damn Spartacus." Hank halfway turned his head in Wayne's general direction, "Isn't that right, bud?" He was obviously buying his friend a little time to right himself, and simultaneously attempting to judge the tiny reactions in the newcomer.
Nonetheless, he wasn't stupid, using the brief conversational hiatus to give a listen into the wilderness around them.