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Private  Hello Neighbour    Tag: Ares Wheeler
Played by Silhouette    8 Posts Crowley Wilde
It's been a long time since Crowley had seen proper civilization, and since Blue and him had decided to stay in the area and scope it out, it only made sense for the young man to wander off on his own to check out what else lay situated near the massive walls of Stronghold. It was surprising when Crowley found an entire town nearby, rather large in size with winding streets through both residential as well as commercial neighborhoods — or, well, what used to be those areas. Now it just lay deserted and empty, with the occasional growl from an Infected that lurked nearby.

Being an Infected himself, Crowley had learned not long after his transition that it meant he was relatively safe from other Infected. They wouldn't actively hunt him, and there was no reason for them to attack him if he didn't present as a threat. Still, there was a sense of discomfort at knowing they were lurking nearby — considering he had been one of them not long ago. Crowley squeezes his eyes shut and presses the palm of his hand against his forehead, shaking his head a bit to try and get rid of the thoughts that threatened to creep up and overwhelm him. No, no, no, he wasn't going to let himself go there. He didn't want to remember what kind of monster lurked just beneath the surface of his skin.

Letting out a sigh, Crowley continues on walking down the sidewalk of what used to be the main street of the town. He has only a few supplies in the small backpack on his back; he left the rest of his stuff with Blue before he had left. It allows him to travel light and fast, which was a blessing as the sun beat down on him from where it sat high in the sky — unforgiving with its heat. Crowley wipes some sweat from his brow before he decides to dart inside the store closest to him, hoping the shade would help. It was only marginally cooler inside the store.

Grumbling in discontent, Crowley practically melts into the floor as he hopes maybe the dirty linoleum would be cooler, but something catches his eye instead. A fluffy cat plushie sits on one of the store's displays, still in its box. Dirty as it was, he can still see small flecks of glitter on the cat's fur. Oh, maybe Blue would like that? he thinks absentmindedly as he pulls himself to his feet once more and approaches the display. A hand reaches out to pull the plushie off the shelf, and he coughs as dust immediately explodes from the toy. Hacking and coughing, he accidentally squeezes his hand tighter around the toy and—

"PLAY WITH ME! PLAY WITH ME!"

The toy starts screaming at him and moving — how in the hell its batteries still worked he had no idea, but Crowley immediately starts to panic.

"Oh, shi—! Shhh, shhhh! Shut up!" he tries begging the toy at first — because that definitely would work — before he realizes it was futile and, in a desperate attempt to rid himself of the thing that was currently giving away his position, he chucks it full force to the other side of the store. It slams into the wall and slumps to the ground, and the cat plushie gives one last twitch before it falls silent. The young man stares at the toy with wide eyes, hoping he 'killed' it before it aggravated any nearby Infected.

Tag Ares Wheeler
Quote
Posted 07-08-2021, 04:37 PM
Played by Andromeda    30 Posts Ares Wheeler

Normally, the temperature would be bearable up here. Bearable, in the sense that Ares could scavenge with a shirt on his back, the only sweat elicited from physical exertion. However, the heat was evident and persistent today, to the point where, when Ares looked up, visible undulations in the air marred the horizon.

The young man wiped his sweating brow with his forehead and downed half of his canteen in a single gulp. The heat waves had come as a surprise to Ares. Just that dawn, it had promised a cool day, condensation collecting in shimmering dew drops on green grass. Worst than his compromised ability to focus was the fact that the Infected cared naught for the angry white sun above.

Thankfully, the Town was rife with shaded spots to hide. His shirt was tied over his waist and his torso was exposed, the fine, sinewy lines of his shoulders and chest glistening with sweat. He maneuvered himself over a heap of rusted metal, barely identifiable as a car, before his eyes locked with a potential target- a small shop, nestled between two brick buildings.

Ares entered, both hands gripping his pistol. The confines of the two-story building were tight, though remarkably, uninhabited. The youth found a suitable spot on the second floor, sitting against a metal desk and resting his sweat-soaked head back on the desk wall.

It was a couple of minutes of solitude before a shrill, soprano voice split the air.

Play with me, play with me!

The smart thing to do would have been to run, maybe break a window and leap out onto the building beside it. If the person eliciting the noise did not kill him, the Infected nearby surely would have. But Ares was Ares, and curiosity pricked his interest, far more than caution reigned his survival instincts.

Reaction bade him to pick up the pistol resting beside him. Slowly, carefully, he got up to his feet. The second floor was molded tile and dusted carpet, making it easy to muffle his steps, as he descended down to the ground floor. The hallway leading to the main shop space was empty, though the door that divided the two was open, unlike when the looter first entered.

Ares approached, feet moving feline-like, one over the other. He pressed himself against one wall of the hallway before peering into the counterspace and display area.

He figured the source of the noise may have been a lower-level Infected- no Military personnel, drifter or looted would be errant enough to make such a mistake. His eyes drifted to wear the offending toy lay, bathed in sunlight like it were being praised by some mischievous God.

But that was not what drew his eye. No, it was the person standing, with his back at Ares' direction, and staring, frozen in place. A person, because their posture was straight and human Ares breathed out, his immediate reaction relief that it were not one of the Infected. Then, alarm, as the next, eerily silent seconds played out, marred only by the pounding of his heart in his ears.

There was not the telltale sign of an alerted Infected- none of that primal slobbering, inhuman clambering on walls or street. But Ares would not wait until it occurred. Nor would he leave the other here, gazing blankly at the stupid plushie.

"Psst. Pssssst," Ares poked his head out from behind the wall, green gaze on the other, body still poised defensively. "That's a cool toy and all, sir, but we gotta go. 'less you wanna be a sitting snack."

Tag : Crowley Wilde
Quote
Posted 07-11-2021, 01:16 PM This post was last modified: 07-11-2021, 01:17 PM by Ares Wheeler
Played by Silhouette    8 Posts Crowley Wilde
Crowley continues to stand there like a deer in headlights, acutely aware of the beating of his own heart — that stupid thing sure gave him a fright. When it was sitting there, he wasn't exactly expecting it to suddenly spring to life like that. Being so focused on the toy laying on the ground, he didn't even hear another person approach until the man whispered at him to get his attention. Crowley just about jumps at the sudden sound, and it takes him a moment or two to react. It's just long enough for the stranger to warn him that they were sitting ducks where they were, and Crowley finally turns around in the direction the voice came from.

"I don't think that's a prob— Woah!" he spots the gun, first and foremost, and instinctively reacts by putting both of his hands up the air. Probably looked more comical than anything.

Still, it's been a hot minute since he's encountered someone that was brandishing a weapon. Last time was probably when he was still a lowly mutated Infected, and at that point there wasn't such a thing as fear in his body anymore. But now... Crowley swallows as he glances down at the gun, before slowly lifting his blue gaze back towards the man's face — of course noticing the half dressed state of the man on the way up, and oh. Crowley liked to think he was good at reading people and while he didn't sense any ill-intent from the stranger, he still kept himself on alert.

It didn't help that the longer they stood there staring at one another, the more conscious he became of the human's beating heart — of the blood rushing just beneath his skin. Crow swallows nervously, hiding his thoughts by nervously rubbing the back of his neck with a hand, eyes falling away from the stranger — hoping it wasn't a mistake that would earn him a bullet in his chest.

"Er, haha, sorry for my reaction. It's been a while since I've seen someone else—" besides Blue of course, but he wasn't about to give away the fact he was here with someone else until he knew whether or not the stranger was friendly, "so you caught me a little off guard." The words from the other man suddenly caught up with Crowley and he glances around, as if looking to see whether or not any Infected had begun approaching them — it was fake though, considering he had a much better chance of hearing or even smelling them approach.

"You're right of course, that sound probably caught someone's attention! We should go... You won't shoot me, right?" he asks hesitantly with a nervous laugh, trying to keep the situation light.

Tag Ares Wheeler
Quote
Posted 07-13-2021, 02:59 PM
Played by Andromeda    30 Posts Ares Wheeler

The other was jumpy. Jumpy enough to make any trained soldier or veteran scavenger notice. But Ares was, subsequently, Ares and his eyes followed the stranger's gaze until it landed on the pistol, still wrapped in both his hands. They widened, as if he had just noticed he was wielding a gun.

"Oh, uh, sorry about that! Just wasn't sure if you were, y'know-" Ares lowered the gun and crooked the fingers of his other, raised hand. A grimace stretched across his lips, crinkled his eyes, his teeth flashing in the store's dusky light as he made a drawn out grrrrr sound, badly mimicking one of the Infected.

The raider returned the light-hearted mood, already feeling deceptively at-ease with the other, and the corner of his mouth perked in an involuntary smirk. "Not unless you pick up that toy again. I-"

A bang rang out in the dusty confines of the store. Ares' arms jerked up instinctively, gun held out in the same position as before, raised and poised ahead (though not aimed at the stranger this time), moss green eyes darting from one wall of the store to the other, to the windows broken in jagged, triangular edges.

"We should secure the perimeter," Ares said, a hint of authority in his voice, if only because that was a phrase Ettiene commanded constantly. "Check to see if that shitty kitty has drawn any of the Infected."

Ares looked back at the stranger, canting his chin forward as he asked, "Do you have a weapon?
Tag : Crowley Wilde
Quote
Posted 07-15-2021, 04:43 PM
Played by Silhouette    8 Posts Crowley Wilde
The young drifter laughs nervously when the stranger imitates an Infected, commenting about how he only had the gun on him in case Crowley was one of them. While he appreciates the other man lowering his gun away from him, there's a stab of guilt that he feels deep in his soul — probably because he is one of those grrrr creatures that the other man was so concerned about. But at least that's not a topic that they linger on for very long, the mood lightening as the stranger tries to throw a joke in his direction — only to suddenly go on edge once again as a bang rings out in the deserted store.

Crowley flinches — although it isn't immediately obvious if it was from the sound or seeing that gun aim upwards once more — and he finally moves from where he was standing like a deer in headlights. He approaches the other man with a worried glance thrown over his shoulder. He's not worried about any Infected that might be lingering nearby, even if he knows that he should pretend to be. His blue eyes turn back towards the other as he talks about securing the perimeter and checking for Infected, and for a moment the young drifter feels his heart pick up in panic.

The gun, the way he spoke and reacted—

Shit, Crowley just ran into a Military officer, didn't he? Then again, he didn't see any Military garb on the other man, and he was certain they loved to make themselves known to others. His attention snaps back up to the stranger's face as he suddenly questions whether or not Crowley had a gun and he simply... Blinks.

Oh, right. That was a thing people had, wasn't it? He remembered getting shot at often as an Infected, and it only made sense that people that had to live on their own would carry firearms to protect themselves. It was something Blue and him had neglected to look for considering there... Wasn't much out here that could actually threaten them. He realizes now what a big mistake that was for them.

"Uh..." he rubs the back of his neck hesitantly, a goofy grin on his face as he tilts his head slightly, "no?" It's not a question, even if he phrases it at one. "I mean, I do, I just left it back at my camp. Haha, yup, I definitely have one, just not on me." He's backpedaling now, trying not to seem too suspicious. Unfortunately for Crowley, it's not like he was exactly used to lying anymore. He spent most of his time with his best friend, and they didn't have any reason to lie to one another.

"We should maybe just go? I don't think there's any Infected nearby, but no reason to hang around long enough to find out," he urges, trying to shift the conversation away from the fact he didn't have a gun.

Tag Ares Wheeler
Quote
Posted 07-21-2021, 03:45 PM