The Boston Quarantine Zone
This. This is what remains of our homes, our lives. What remains of who we are. We are about as lucky in here as we were on the outside. There is little food, our rations are getting smaller, thank's to the government. The children litter the streets, palms upward at any passerby in a silent prayer, a prayer for food to fill their nearly empty stomachs, to fill their brother's or sisters with nourishment, or to simply beg to join those above. Those in a better place. Wasn't this supposed to be a better place?
In the Boston QZ, many take their lives, and the others.... The others kill to preserve theirs. The government claims that they can put an end to this. They've claimed that for a good fourteen years now, and still have done nothing. The people around us, they've joined groups now.. They say we're survivors, we're the lucky ones. For what good is luck, when you have nothing, not a single person in this world to share it with?
This new world has caused millions to lose their brothers, sisters, daughters, and mothers, whole goddamn families have died. It's caused tensions to rise to the point of which a blade could slice through it with little effort. The few that have come to call themselves survivors struggle each day, and night. These "soldiers" that are said to 'protect' us...All they do is point guns at our heads, laugh at us, and kill any that dare try to convince others of how bad our life truly is. Those that have stood against our government, have banded together as not one, but two separate groups. One, call themselves the Fireflies, they say that a cure can be found, that all the damage can be reversed, that we can once more live without fear of this disease. They tell us, that even in the darkest of times, we can still look for the light. Whereas the other, the Hunter's, they see this world as it is, a desolate wasteland. They believe that not even a cure could reverse this damage, they say that only the best will survive. To them, the only way to survive in this world is to do whatever it takes, no matter what the cost may be.
The civilians that are here to stay have set up shops for the rest of us, and themselves. Barter is the only way we can receive anything from anyone, money means nothing anymore, and whatever is left of the United States, no one knows. Many are too afraid to know, too afraid to learn the truth. These people hide behind a smile and false pretenses, as do most others. Those who recognize the truth, and aren't afraid, they have painted their truth in blood; one of the only messages nowadays. Our electricity is nearly gone, we just have enough light to support the miniature campsites, and even then, that light comes from the burning embers within the nearby trash can. Whenever a man, woman, or child falls prey to the hands of death, we must witness it. There are only a spare few of doctors, and even they have limited supplies. If a child were to get sick, they would be shot on sight. Their bodies remain until a few weeks later, by then they are unrecognizable.
We hear them every night. Their screams of rage and confusion lull us into an uncomfortable sleep. To know that they are right outside, pounding their sticky red flesh against the walls we have been pinned so close to, it has become a horrifying reality. They are the ones that we once laughed alongside, watched TV with, and told our deepest, darkest secrets to. They are the infected now. Empty shells of the people we once knew, we once called "friend" or "lover"
They cry out, then fall silent, as if thinking about what they once were, and if this...instinct in them is right. Then, they pound again, resounding the cries of pain and confusion.
This is what remains for us. We, are the lucky ones...
We are the survivors. The last of us.
Pre- Mission / Boston, Quarantine Zone.
"What happened to us?" The question lingered heavily in the crisp air, hanging there for a long while before the deep voice spoke once more. "I wish we could go back to when this didn't exist, redo anything that we'd done wrong..To apologize to mom and dad.." The young man shut his watering brown eye's, causing a small tear to roll down his cheek. The thought of never being able to see your family was hard enough, but knowing that the relation was left on bad terms, that was horrible. "I..I just wanted to..to do what was best for them- for us" His voice became deeper and muffled as the pain swam through him, coursing through his very being. As more tears began to stream across the man's cheek, a rough tongue lapped them up tenderly.
Christopher opened his eyes slowly, like a rabbit would emerge from it's den, the dark brown peeked from behind his heavily lidded eyes. A soft whine filled his ears, causing the man to wrap his arms around his partner. "I'm sorry, I'm so sorry Ruka..." The man hastily wiped at his tear streaked face, easing his grip on Ruka all the same. The black and white husky wriggled it's way out of the warm embrace, nudging it's nose against his master's hand. A weary laugh escaped from Chris' lip's, his hand gently stroking the soft and warm head of his best friend. Letting a long and ragged breath out, Chris stood up from the cracked and destroyed road, brushing off the dirt that stuck to his pants. "C'mon Ruka, lets get going. We shouldn't keep the cavalry waiting, huh?" He asked with dry humor, his hand clasped around the right strap on his leather backpack, swinging it over his shoulder with ease. Without looking back at the tent he had emerged from, he walked towards the Quarantine Zone center, listening to the faint pitter-patter his dogs footsteps carried against the hard ground. The moonlight shone down on the street, creating a faint, almost peaceful glow as he walked. Almost.
When he arrived in the square, tiny droplets of rain had started their assault, pounding against him relentlessly. Cover's were going up over the stalls, and shop owners were hurrying up to finish their sales. Focusing his gaze away from the children, the dead, and the starving, Chris gingerly walked over to the mission board within the QZ. He had been running out of supplies for some time now, and he had two mouths to feed. That, and he had to work unless he wanted to get kicked out of the Quarantine Zone... Narrowing his eyes, and carefully shielding his face with his right hand to block the rain, he tried to make out the two available job's. The papers had been covered in glass, making it harder to see, and the glare from a nearby flashlight only made it harder. After staring intently at the board for a longer time than intended, he could finally determine the missions from one another. It didn't take long to decide which one he wanted either, he was going for the scoundrel one. If anything, he could trust his knowledge of direction, and how to find his way through what remains of the outside because of his country background. The only thing he was unsure of, or afraid of, was the possibility of running into trouble, which he undoubtedly knew could happen. He absent-mindedly ran his fingers across the length of his friends watch, it still had the crack on it's lens, and the empty battery slot had yet to be filled. Even after all of these years. After casting his eye's downward, Chris headed to the gates. What awaited him past the gates, he had no clue. However, he did know that if he were to die out there, he would embrace it. His eye's locked upon the black and white fur of Ruka, his friend. If he were to die, he wouldn't let Toby be alone in this cruel world. If it came to it, Chris would spare his friend. Quickly turning his attention back to the gates, Chris lifted his permission papers and hoped for the best as the soldiers approached, checking over them for certification.
After what seemed to be the longest five minutes of his life, the soldier's looked to each other and gave an affirmative nod, one yelled out "Clear!" as Chris passed, moving onto the next station. As thick as the procedure was said to be, Chris noticed that the rumors of hundreds of guards were absolutely false. In fact, there were only about thirty-five or so, even then most were on break. Nevertheless, they were still as intimidating as ever. With Ruka right at his heels, the young man strode over to the now opening doors, rain and wind came pouring through in the process. A guard who had opened the gate approached just after ordering another to take his place in holding it open.
"You can leave anything here at the compound that you don't want to lose, or take with you. Do you have anything you'd like to keep here?" The guards eyes flashed down to Ruka briefly, as if recommending he be left. The action was so quick it could have been missed, though Chris noticed it immediately.
"I'm going to keep my ration cards here, sir.." He paused, thinking over whether to leave his partner out on this. "...Though, I'd like to keep everything else with me"
The soldier raised a brow, but nodded all the same, he motioned over to the compound, "Your number is 217, don't forget it." With that, the guard tossed a small key for Chris to catch midair.
"What's this for?" He asked, his deep voice filled with confusion, looking down at it only to notice the 217 etched across the top. Before he could get an answer, the soldier walked off muttering to himself.
'All right then, I'll just find this on my own then, and head out into the unknown afterwords. Thank you so very much for the help...' He thought dryly, shuffling off towards the compound.
When he had put all of his ration cards into the locker given to him, it must have been at least fifteen minutes later, ten to find the stupid locker room, three to find his space, and two to open the goddamn thing. Chris took a deep breath as he shut his locker door, stuffing the key into his backpacks hidden flap. Glancing back at Toby, Chris offered a small smile, dropping his hands to his sides. "C'mon boy, let's head out. We have work to do"
At the sound of his master's voice, Ruka tilted his head, tail wagging a mile a minute. Ruka was a smart dog, but he had yet to adjust to this life, even after three years he still barked before his bite. This life was trying for the pair, but he knew that elsewhere, millions were suffering. If there were that many people left anymore. Chris swallowed another lungful of air before stepping out of the compound, looking around at the damp darkness that surrounded him. He knew that he should appreciate this place, but it was hard to do so, especially since hundreds died of starvation within the walls each day. Chris was pulled out of his thoughts as a rather large droplet of water smacked across his forehead, reminding him of reality once again. He had a job to do, he'd better get on with it.
Chris walked over to the gates, motioning to the guard that had opened the previous one to do the same with the final. Instead, the soldier approached and stood in front of him, looking over Chris and his dog carefully. "Look. It's dangerous out there, I ju-"
Chris waved the man off impatiently, interjecting him soon after "I know it's dangerous, as does everyone else here. But I have t-"
"You can leave now I suppose, but keep in mind, it's dark. When it's dark those things come out-' The soldier gave a steel cold glare at Chris when he noticed his mouth starting to form a retort, causing him to bite down on his tongue and silence it. "You've been warned boy" The soldier's silver-grey mustache twitched as he held back a snarl at the young man's obvious defiance. "You best be going then, if you think you handle it then." The man's voice was hard, and edged with years of use. Yet, it held a softness within it that Chris couldn't identify, it was something so foreign to him it couldn't be placed.
Chris raised his brow slightly, wondering why this old soldier was offering his advice, though the only thing he could place it a was a threat. He had no experience with anyone treating him in kind, or other such in so long, he had forgotten what it was truly like. Anything on the border of nice and just plain helpful was immediately pushed over to authoritative, cold, or just flat out maliciously intended. With his mouth pressed into a thin line and his arms folded across his chest, Chris brushed past the old man, leaving him behind in his wake of confusion and blinded rage. He hated them. The soldiers. They took his family from him, and murdered them, burning their corpses with no ash left in their wake. He was alone, besides Ruka, yet as good as a listener as Ruka was, he had yet to grasp the fundamentals of a conversation, let alone how to communicate. After waving the guards into opening the gates, Chris stepped through and into the rainy night, the wind whipped at his thick shirt and dry skin. Without looking back, he pressed onward, walking into the misty night, his movements were neat and precise, avoiding any weeds that would get in the way and any stray rocks propping up from time to time. For his job, he had been told to meet up with a scouting patrol just up the road, they would have what he needed...hopefully.