Archive for the ‘Plague of Demons’ Category

people may wake up at their leisure – but basically you’re lying on a cold, damp slab of marble in … a crypt. it really is a crypt, and the marble slabs you are currently on are really full of dead remains.

not that you’d know unless you peek.

you are butt ass naked and it is cold in there.

there are crappy looking terrycloth robes nearby, and towels since your hair seems to still be wet. there are also some flipflops and each one of you has one damn near antique army surplus knife.

Ralla sits up quickly, lifting her hand to grab her head as she does so and squinting her green eyes shut, “.. Lisa.. Water.. Vicodin… And turn the heat on..” She shakes her head when she gets no response, opening her eyes, “Lisa!-..” She blinks, then shakes her head, groaning. her dark hair is damp, curly. She crawls off the slab, stumbling slightly and catching herself on the near the robes.. Things running back into her mind like sludge.. The helicopter.. The briefings.. We’re taking you somewhere safe maam.. Lisa told her. “..a crypt? You gotta be kidding me.” She reaches up and pulls on the robe, starting to shiver now, and wraps the towel around her shouldres.

This isn’t the worst place Das has woken up, but it’s in the top five. She just listens to Ralla rattle around for a few moments before opening her eyes. A long slow look around the room, then she slides off the slab too, running a quick check of limbs and digits and then heading for the stuff. A nod to Ralla. She’s not feeling chatty.

Ralla leans back against the wall, sliding on the flipflops and checking her pockets.. She locates the pocket knife and snorts, “I asked for an entire load out for this.. They give me a shitty robe and a pocket knife. Glad you made it..” She ruffles her hair with the towel and looks around the room.. Where to go now?

a tall man with long blond hair comes down the steps leading into this chamber. He’s wearing what appears to be motor cycle leathers, with plates on several parts, and a light chain veil of some sort. He looks an awful lot like a man Ralla’s pretty sure should be dead – the mission she was on, he was certainly killed. he’s too young, however.

<Lowe> I really have no intention of giving you anything, but one of my men took pity on your companion and gave up his knife. not to be out done, his friend did the same, so you are at least… armed. slightly.

Das looks up from inspecting the robe, etc, at the sound of footsteps and eyes Lowe. After a moment she also shrugs the robe on, not looking terribly enthused about it. The flipflops she would rather throw at someone; they go in a pocket for the moment. She moves up to be between Ralla and Lowe, somewhat offside…they’re talking, she’ll block.

Son of the head of that one lab you did – he should be dead. he’s scarred – but very much alive.  he’s also quite healthy looking, aside from some dark circles under his eyes and an over all demeanor of ‘we’re all doomed’

Ralla looks at him for a long time before saying anything. She nods a little, pushing off the wall. She assumes he works for her. Wasn’t this all part of her protection procedure? She doesn’t immediately place him as the other guy because well.. he should be dead, “Mmm.. Okay. So brief me, what’s the situation up top?”

<Lowe> give you information you could use to survive?”  he grins crookedly – at least partially because the scars twist his smile a bit.

<Lowe> But i will have some pity for your companion. The bioweapon you made out of the cure *my* father made mutated. wildly. It wasn’t ready and i suppose your people didnt’ read the documentation after the part where it said ‘near instantaneous regeneration in some subjects’

Dasira arches a brow and leaves off contemplating how to refit his clothes to her after she debones him from them.

Ralla sighs.. Then blinks a little.. A crypt. No Load Out. This guy.. She isn’t in charge anymore. She glances at Dasira, whom has taken a protective position, atleast she’s still got that going for her, “Yo-..” ooooh. Him. She never knew his name. Just his face, she taps her lip, “I was never informed of any adverse side affects.. HSH just managed the other companies, I never personally operated any of them except S4..”

<Lowe> mm. i got these scars from when you were taking the files and samples, madame. But thanks to you… i dont’ scar anymore.

Privately Dasira thinks that when you wake up naked in a crypt under the power of someone who apparently doesn’t like you, it’s gone beyond lip-service damage control.

<Lowe> Regardless – it got out. Everywhere. It combined with a few other things. So we’re not even sure half the time what we’re treating – or fighting.

<Ralla> “Look. Whatever happened, I or anyone else wouldn’t have done it intentionally. And truthfully, we’re beyond me making public apologies from the sounds of things. You have two people standing infront of you with a very specific set of skills, skills they have honed over a life time of extremely well performed operations. That being said, surely you could use our help.. If not, atleast  let us out of here.”

<Lowe> I’m not done yet. there’s no one to whom to apologize left, really.  infection is estimated at 45% … of the thing you let out. however… it is 92% world wide of the things it bred with or absorbed or simply caused to superevolve to replace it.

Ralla raises a brow, “Gimme a ballpark.. A percentage, how many people are left?” She saw preliminary reports..

<Lowe> that depends on what you call ‘people’

<Ralla> “You’re telling me 8% of the human population remains reasonably human or alive?”

<Lowe> that is the rough estimate. of that 8% however, it is estimated that half are going to die of radiation, exposure or starvation.

Ralla looks momentarilly stunned.. Not because 8% of the population is left, but because she is.. nobody. No company, no yacht, no private army.. Nothing. No power. Just her robe, flip flops and a pocket knife.. She sways slightly, leaning on the table, “Oh..”

<Lowe> that is assuming they are not found and eaten.

<Das> “So. Eaten?”

Good Ol’ Dasira.. Yes.. Get the dirt, get the intel.. and then get us the fuck out of here.. There has to be something. Some bastion of civilization. DC has to be standing. She can go there, talk to the president.. Something.

<Lowe> ah yes. the plague is only about 25% fatal.  it mutated several times so it tends to go by region, but also by your basic DNA

<Ralla> “The rest are horribly mutated I assume..” She chimes in quietly. She saw pictures from the chopper as they flew her to her island sanctuary. She has no idea how she ended up here. She requested Dasira to be packaged with her, but has no idea if she ever was.

<Lowe> not all of us. ::grin:: some of us look completely human.

<Das> “Don’t assume. He says he doesn’t scar.” Nodding to Lowe….yeah

<Das> “All your men infected?”

<Lowe> all of us who fight in the streets are infected. once you get it, you can’t get another version.

<Ralla> “Dasira..” She never got word if Dasira was recovered and brought to the island. She’s probably infected.. Ralla shakes her head. Better not to tell, “You got a fortress? An army? Weapons? I have weapon caches. Some of them are still secure I bet.. How long has it been? Weeks? Months?”

<Lowe> It is august 20th, 2030

Das manages not to jawdrop, but does twitch.

Ralla suddenly looks up at him, 1″Five years?!” 6She shakes her head.. Well.. There still might be a -few- cache left. Saudi.. Maybe Germany or Kansas… She’s quiet another minute, 1″Um.. Did it combine with the flu virus? It is.. airborne?” 6Am -I- infected.

<Lowe> oh, better than that. it *spores*.

<Lowe> it forms into fungus colonies and it spores.

<Das> “How often? What range?”

<Lowe> anywhere dark and moist. but it needs …supplies. We’re already infected so we find it and burn it out whenever we find it.

Ralla frowns, “So it has gone from viral to bacterial.. Yeah. There is no cure for that…. Das.. You’re…” She looks up at her only friend, then and now, “You probably already have it.. From the initial outbreak.. When I reached the Island they estimated exposure at more than half… But they were on the virge of a vaccine.. Said they would wake me and give it to me. I told them to find you and package you with me.” She shrugs, “Is there a test?”

<Lowe> some theorize that the colonies become sentient after awhile – or that they always were. that someone just mutated into that, de-evolved. ah. I hear our ride. ::faint smile, just as crooked as before.:

<Lowe> the vaccine only works on 50% of the population. repeat injections can work – or they can actually give you the diseases they are based upon.

Das looks sidelong…doesn’t actually turn to regard Ralla, just looks away from Lowe for a moment, as if adding potential infection to her calculations…then looks back. Doesn’t seem to preclude retiring on the beach somewhere. Just need to survive.

<Lowe> Ebola and Bubonic plague both kill this.

<Das> “Well that’s good to know.”

<Lowe> some forms of the flu will make you highly resistant. I do want to warn you though. These mutations… they’re … suseptible to subconcious desires and urges. would you like to know why most of our pickups and injections of crew are done within fenced graveyards?

<Das> “No…people walking around coughing spores though? No other infection vectors, just the spore colonies?”

<Ralla> “Great.. Melt your organs in twenty four hours or bleed through your asshole for forty eight.. What ride?” She pulls out her pocket knife and rips off some of her robe, tying it around her mouth and nose, then around her head, like a middle eastern woman.. as if that will actually help. But it makes her feel better.

Das pauses to listen.

<Lowe> no, they can’t cough on you and infect you. the spores have to come from one of the colonies directly and they die shortly after exposure to fresh air.

<Ralla> “Graveyards..”

<Lowe> however… their blood, semen, spit, in more powerful cases, *anything* of them that gets in a wound, up your nose, down your throat, in your eyes – can infect you.

<Das> “Have to kill most of ‘em?”

<Lowe> you see… some of them beleive they are vampires. or demons. and wont’ go on hallowed ground.

<Lowe> and ::shrug:: maybe they’re right. but i have it and i’m not burning or in any discomfort.

<Das> “But they burn or have trouble?”

Ralla makes a face, “Heh.. When science falls superstition and magic replace it.. You know, the semen part is pretty fucking disgusting..” She moves across the room towards Lowe, offering her hand, “You can call me Ralla.”

<Lowe> some are extremely … pliable. ah, don’t touch, lady. You’re not infected. and i *can* infect with a touch.

Dasira really doesn’t like Ralla just passing by her block, and…yeah, will slide in the way when he says that and herd Ralla back where she belongs. Shoo, boss, shoo.

<Lowe> your companion is infected. she can touch me and i her. do not touch my bare skin, ralla. my extreme loathing of you might make it … uncomfortable for us both.

Ralla withdraws her hand, “Ah.. I was thinking of you more of an aids patient..” She smiles weakly behind her mask. Then glances at Dasira.. This is why she never brought her to political functions. No Ralla, you cannot do a photo op, there could be bullets in the camera. She pats Dasira’s shoulder.. Ralla nods a little, “Well.. Atleast we know where we stand.”

Das looks between them, then to Lowe. “You got some gloves I could have th– Boss, don’t touch me.” Robe or no robe.

<Lowe> no. it isnt’ treatable, Ms.Merlon.

<Lowe> you’re not contageous yet, miss.

<Das> “There some sign?”

now both of them can hear a sort of sound like a large vacuum cleaner.

<Ralla> “Dasira.. I’m going to get infected.. One way or another. I mean. I have a supercharged immune system but.. Wouldn’t it be a good idea to get a strain then, from one of you, from someone who is Ok?”

<Lowe> no. I can tell. ::shrugs and taps his forehead.:: not all the mutations are physical.

<Lowe> it isnt’ based on that. Its based on your DNA

<Das> “25% fatality rate anyway, like he said.”

<Lowe> and lord knows what the hell your makers tweaked to make you what you are. certainly, you’d wake up one of the Eaters.

<Das> “Quick rundown, regional variations.”

<Lowe> Zombies – every zone has them. they survived, but not much. as far as we can tell, they just want to eat and/or infect people. they can be controlled by some of the Infected.

Even Lowe can see the look on Ralla’s face.. Her DNA? Her DNA is a cookie cutter of the best of her parents, and some others. A jigsaw puzzle.. Either it’ll be a perfect infection, or it’ll be a mess.. She does now withdraw her hand from Dasira, “I.. My DNA is perfect. I am the perfect human being… I have eleven percent body fat but a full C cup.. My lungs function at twice the average capacity and I am cancer resistant.. You’re telling me that perfect DNA means perfect monster?”

<Lowe> I’m telling you you are a prime candidate to be a *spore colony*

<Das> “Fun times.”

<Ralla> “You have to be shitting me.. Okay.. So. Has there ever been anyone who -hasn’t- become infected?”

<Lowe> parts of china and korea, parts of india and most of the middle east – gone. radioactive wasteland.  you’ll note its august yet it is quite cold out. nuclear winter. food is scarce though it is … passing. particularly in some areas – we can only theorize that someone has either mastered weather control machinery … or a mental power on that scope

<Lowe> and of course people have not become infected. 8%

<Das> “Mental…power…. It makes people psychic?”

<Lowe> ::that crooked grin again.:: yes. but erratically. some people just die of it – cases of their brains more or less overloading.

Ralla nods a little, “Right.. Right! Okay. I’m going to be fine then..” Not much conviction there.. Maybe she’s resistant. Maybe they gave her the vaccine.

<Das> “Just keep your spore mask on.”

<Ralla> “Mmm.. This robe wont even come close to the particulate filter I’d need for spores.. N95 protective mask might work.. Doubt it.. Let’s just go.”

<Lowe> we have filters. and there aren’t any spore colonies here. too much light. not warm enough.

<Das> “Prep first. We’re not walking out into the world in flipflops.”

<Lowe> better supplies on the harrier. come on.

Lowe starts up the stairs.

Das nods–hadn’t been sure they weren’t just going to leave them with their flipflops and fly off. She’ll follow first.

lowe wanted to. oh, he did so want to. but … dasira was there. and he wouldn’t leave someone *else.* just ralla

Ralla is lucky to have minions. >_>

or lowe might have broken his ‘no eating humans’ rule

Ralla fights back! With a swiss army knife! Rawr! She pads up the stairs towards in tow behind the others..

Das actually puts on the flipflops too, quick-like, though she’s not happy with them.

I know.. They’re not even Coach or Dolce and Gabana..

v_v

a battered aircraft that looks like a helicopter had babies with a dragonfly never quite touches down, though a little ramp comes out like its sticking out a tongue. the rotors fold back and it just hovers in place, making a sound no louder than a vacuum cleaner.

Once they’re outside, Das will shoo Ralla past her and take up rearguard position, after reminding Ralla, “Don’t touch anyone.”

some armed men and women hop out and two more men come from anothe crypt, toting what look like inflated pool loungers – but the two women can see shadows that appear humanoid within.

<Lowe> no one else?

<Woman> Nosir – rest were cracked – an Auger got em.

<Lowe> sun sets in 20 minutes – lets get in the air. onboard, ladies – no one else here is infectious unless you bite them or they bite you.

also, everyone but lowe has on gloves.

Ralla blinks, 1″That’s um.. One hell of an aircraft..” 6She glances around at the guns.. Man.. She wants a gun.. A sword.. A fucking stick. Anything but a pocket knife. She nods to Dasira, leaning close and speaking a hushed tone, 1″You know, Dee, I used to actually do the heavy lifting? This isn’t my first rodeo.” 6She’s been at deals that went bad more than once. She walks onto the bird. Ralla’s comment was cheerful, not condenscending.

Das kind of grunts and follows Ralla in. Boss is boss.

Ralla looks for a chase lounge. But will settle for a jump seat with a seat belt..

this thing is *spare* – metal seats with strapping for cushions, netting for ‘seat belts’

Ralla sits down and reclines like she’s done this a million times.. Though she kind of has.. She glances at Dasira and pats the seat next to her.. First of all. She needs to figure out where they are. Then they need transport. She must have facilities that are still functional and secure.

Das makes sure Ralla is buckled in. wtf woman. Then buckles her damn self in.

they get barely sat in their pews when the thing rises up, stomach droppingly. the pilot, a woman with skin so pale she looks like a wax doll, murmurs. “Cloaking. no voices above normal conversation or i’ll throw you out, and htat includes you, warleader.”

Lowe chuckles faintly and stands. he seems to have no problem with teh lurching or pitching of the aircraft. perhaps, like a sailor, he’s just used to it.

Ralla raises a brow at the buckling, then laughs quietly.. Maybe it is a little like old times, 1″I don’t suppose there is an in flight meal? I feel like I havn’t eaten in… years.”

one of lowe’s men, who has a very … ratlike face, grins, showing very sharp, uneven teeth.

<Ratface> got the two on cold storage – only snacks on board.

<Das> “Pass.”

<Pilot> Stow it or you’re a frisbee. ::glances back at ratface.::

Ralla thins her eyes a bit, then just shakes her head, staying quiet for now, with her hands folded in her lap. War Leader? What kind of stupid rank is that. How about General? Or have they thrown out the terminology that brought them here.

<Dark Haired Woman> Lowe. one of them’s starting to wake.

Ralla glances at the woman.. Lowe. So that’s his name.

<Lowe> keep him under until we land. five minutes.

Das will take what time is available to eye the others, try to pick out what’s infected about them.

you can’t tell on most of them. Ratface is clearly not human. so is the dark haired woman, who seems fine except for the tail poking out from under her coat.

<Pilot> cloaking disengaged.

Ralla is listening.. Just listening. To their voices, locking them away in her mind, watching their movements. Body language will tell her a lot, who will look out for her, who will kill or rape her if they got the chance. Ratface is first on her terrorist watch list. She keeps her eyes on him a lot, cold, green eyes. Whether she is watching him, or just wants him to believe she’s a nasty mean fucking bitch, who’s to say.

he just grins at her and ralla can tell … he thinks she’s food.

like… a banana

Ralla winks. Not the pleasant, hey baby sort.. But the.. Yeah.. I’m gonna get you.

<Lowe> scouts out to find any shadows. Madame, do not flirt with my crew – some of them are just out of the streets and barely weaned off sentient flesh.

Dasira sighs faintly.

Lowe gives ralla a vaguely disgusted look.

<Lowe> get the seal-a-meals to the med level. we wont’ want them waking up around humans without anyone to help them. you two come with me.

Dasira nods, shrugs off the harness, and waits for Ralla to precede.

Ralla chuckles at Lowe, but doesn’t respond. Not like she could defend the action. She unbuckles and stands, following Lowe as directed..

Dasira follows Ralla close, giving the rat guy a brief sidelong glance in passing. No expression.

the Ratguy gives Das a friendly and almost pitying look. more sympathetic than anything else.

lana’s soon to be decanted character is taken off to the med level.

He really hopes there’s beer here.

keep hoping.

Figures. He has that kind of luck.

Dasira and Ralla are taken to a sort of a strange looking lounge – Dasira suspects this used to be part of a subway.

Dasira suspects indeed.

She also hopes it’s been thoroughly cleansed with fire.

looks like it, lol.  this is nto the nice clean star trek future. this is the gritty, ugly, terminator future.

Ralla dusts off the best seat she can find and lounges like a goddess in her thin robe and mid eastern style head gear, green eyes peering out from the white cloth, “Dasira.. We need to figure out where we are..” In a low voice, waving her friend into goddessdom seating with her.

Dasira perches on the edge of the seat and tries to figure out how to turn these flipflops into sandals. Maybe terrycloth strips… “We could ask.”

<Ralla> “Cut a whole in each side. Makes a few feet of cloth and tie it like a gladiator’s sandals..” She offers off handedly, “You could.. Depending on where we are, we might have facilities nearby.. But I don’t want to give up my ace cards to Lowe until we can trust him.. We need weapons… And panties..”

a large, beefy man comes up and peers at them over a clipboard. he’s wearing a somewhat shabby looking grey suit and tie.

Dasira knows instantly that he’s human. 100%.

Dasira looks briefly disconcerted at this.

Ralla waggles her fingers at him. She seated on her side, leaning towards Dasira, one arm propping her up with her legs stretched out to the side. She looks at beefy dude, “What?”

<Das> “Need somethin’?”

High fives D!>>

snicker

<Beefy McBeeferson> Ah, new arrivals… we have quarters for you. are you going to try to get into one of the human cities or are you going to live wild? er… outside the quarentine zones?

Ralla scratches her head, “We’re undecided, and we only need one room.. We’re together..” She added enough conviction to that to make it sound for real.

<Beeferson> Oh, i don’t need to know that. ::blushes an unflattering shade of purple::

Dasira just shakes her head and returns to planning the mangling of flipflops.

<Beeferson> well…. i can’t put you in the quarentine rooms then. but honestly – the non quarentine rooms are better for living space.

<Ralla> “Non quarantine is great. I like it already..” She examines her manicured nails.. And wonders how long that will last.

he will lead them into quarters, a very, very nice suite – parts are prefabbed and stuck together but over all – much nicer than you would have expected from the lounge.

Das is surprised. And thanks the guy politely. Then goes to see if there are shoes.

Ralla shreds the place looking for clothing.. If she finds none, her and Dasira will spend the night making clothing from room stuff.

<Beeferson> I think the internet is currently up, and the telly should work unless the Warleader takes a hair again. Miss, stop tearing the place up or we’ll put you in extreme quarentine.

<Das> “Huh. You’ve got internet?”

Ralla looks up, 1″Ugh.. Sorry. It’s a habit.. Part cat… Don’t worry, I’m litter box trained.. Where do we get access to the internet?”

<Beeferson> … the warleader likes his little jokes. yes. about 25% of the human race is unaffected and is keeping things alive. Infected does not mean contaminated with monsterousness necessarily. most live normal lives. some of the children outgrew it.

<Ralla> “Is there banks?”

<Beeferson> the television is connected – we’ll get you a better room once we’re mroe certain you’r enot going to mutate and spew organs or fetuses all over the walls.

<Das> “…..that happens?”

<Ralla> “Us Currency.. Government?” OMFG did her accounts survive?!

<Beeferson> … thats rather extreme, but yes, it can happen.

<Beeferson> Not a lot of accounts survived, no, miss. paper money and electronic cash isn’t worth much these days.

<Das> “Barter? Gold standard?”

<Beeferson> some in england survived, and switzerland but they’re closed up tight. quarentine

Ralla groans, flopping on the bed like a spoiled brat.

Beeferson blushes again and turns his back.

<Das> “….Thanks for the help. We’ll try not to wreck the place.”

<Beeferson> there are some robes, sweatpants and shirts in the bathroom. if you use the computer and fill in your sizes, we can have more brought up. but i’m afraid most of it is military issue or scavanged.

Ralla sits up and covers her lap again..

a young man peers around the edge of the door and snickers.

<Young man> you know that the ‘extreme quarantine’ rooms are … dog crates. big dog crates. just so you know.

Das gives Ralla a ‘don’t act like a freak’ stare.

Ralla is eccentric! She nods a little, “Yes.. Well. We thought the situation was a little more dire than it. Thank you for the room and the clothing..”

<Das> “Bathrobes and flipflops…” Like a spa apocalypse.

<Beeferson> it wont’ be for long, miss. ^_^

Ralla smiles at Dasira, “It shows off our better features.” She nods to Beeferson, “I’d tip you.. but you know. No money..”

don’t mock the spacalypse! We could have made billions. ))

<Beeferson> we have hot water for about the next three hours, so if you want your baths, now would be the time. oh…::looks dismayed about tips.::

<Youngman> he’s not a bellhop. ::snorfle:: c’mon, they’ll want you to check the newguys.

<Das> “You could give him some sugar, if you really wanted to.” Dry.

Beeferson fleeees. the young man follows on his heels, snickering

Ralla gives Dasira a flat look.. then slides the door shut, “Okay.. Order clothing, we’ll make it look good later, then shower, then.. Figure shit out on the internet.. God I hope google still exists.”

people may wake up at their leisure – but basically you’re lying on a cold, damp slab of marble in … a crypt. it really is a crypt, and the marble slabs you are currently on are really full of dead remains.

not that you’d know unless you peek.

you are butt ass naked and it is cold in there.

there are crappy looking terrycloth robes nearby, and towels since your hair seems to still be wet. there are also some flipflops and each one of you has one damn near antique army surplus knife.

Ralla sits up quickly, lifting her hand to grab her head as she does so and squinting her green eyes shut, “.. Lisa.. Water.. Vicodin… And turn the heat on..” She shakes her head when she gets no response, opening her eyes, “Lisa!-..” She blinks, then shakes her head, groaning. her dark hair is damp, curly. She crawls off the slab, stumbling slightly and catching herself on the near the robes.. Things running back into her mind like sludge.. The helicopter.. The briefings.. We’re taking you somewhere safe maam.. Lisa told her. “..a crypt? You gotta be kidding me.” She reaches up and pulls on the robe, starting to shiver now, and wraps the towel around her shouldres.

This isn’t the worst place Das has woken up, but it’s in the top five. She just listens to Ralla rattle around for a few moments before opening her eyes. A long slow look around the room, then she slides off the slab too, running a quick check of limbs and digits and then heading for the stuff. A nod to Ralla. She’s not feeling chatty.

Ralla leans back against the wall, sliding on the flipflops and checking her pockets.. She locates the pocket knife and snorts, “I asked for an entire load out for this.. They give me a shitty robe and a pocket knife. Glad you made it..” She ruffles her hair with the towel and looks around the room.. Where to go now?

a tall man with long blond hair comes down the steps leading into this chamber. He’s wearing what appears to be motor cycle leathers, with plates on several parts, and a light chain veil of some sort. He looks an awful lot like a man Ralla’s pretty sure should be dead – the mission she was on, he was certainly killed. he’s too young, however.

<Lowe> I really have no intention of giving you anything, but one of my men took pity on your companion and gave up his knife. not to be out done, his friend did the same, so you are at least… armed. slightly.

Das looks up from inspecting the robe, etc, at the sound of footsteps and eyes Lowe. After a moment she also shrugs the robe on, not looking terribly enthused about it. The flipflops she would rather throw at someone; they go in a pocket for the moment. She moves up to be between Ralla and Lowe, somewhat offside…they’re talking, she’ll block.

Son of the head of that one lab you did – he should be dead. he’s scarred – but very much alive. he’s also quite healthy looking, aside from some dark circles under his eyes and an over all demeanor of ‘we’re all doomed’

Ralla looks at him for a long time before saying anything. She nods a little, pushing off the wall. She assumes he works for her. Wasn’t this all part of her protection procedure? She doesn’t immediately place him as the other guy because well.. he should be dead, “Mmm.. Okay. So brief me, what’s the situation up top?”

<Lowe> give you information you could use to survive?” he grins crookedly – at least partially because the scars twist his smile a bit.

<Lowe> But i will have some pity for your companion. The bioweapon you made out of the cure *my* father made mutated. wildly. It wasn’t ready and i suppose your people didnt’ read the documentation after the part where it said ‘near instantaneous regeneration in some subjects’

Dasira arches a brow and leaves off contemplating how to refit his clothes to her after she debones him from them.

Ralla sighs.. Then blinks a little.. A crypt. No Load Out. This guy.. She isn’t in charge anymore. She glances at Dasira, whom has taken a protective position, atleast she’s still got that going for her, “Yo-..” ooooh. Him. She never knew his name. Just his face, she taps her lip, “I was never informed of any adverse side affects.. HSH just managed the other companies, I never personally operated any of them except S4..”

<Lowe> mm. i got these scars from when you were taking the files and samples, madame. But thanks to you… i dont’ scar anymore.

Privately Dasira thinks that when you wake up naked in a crypt under the power of someone who apparently doesn’t like you, it’s gone beyond lip-service damage control.

<Lowe> Regardless – it got out. Everywhere. It combined with a few other things. So we’re not even sure half the time what we’re treating – or fighting.

<Ralla> “Look. Whatever happened, I or anyone else wouldn’t have done it intentionally. And truthfully, we’re beyond me making public apologies from the sounds of things. You have two people standing infront of you with a very specific set of skills, skills they have honed over a life time of extremely well performed operations. That being said, surely you could use our help.. If not, atleast let us out of here.”

<Lowe> I’m not done yet. there’s no one to whom to apologize left, really. infection is estimated at 45% … of the thing you let out. however… it is 92% world wide of the things it bred with or absorbed or simply caused to superevolve to replace it.

Ralla raises a brow, “Gimme a ballpark.. A percentage, how many people are left?” She saw preliminary reports..

<Lowe> that depends on what you call ‘people’

<Ralla> “You’re telling me 8% of the human population remains reasonably human or alive?”

<Lowe> that is the rough estimate. of that 8% however, it is estimated that half are going to die of radiation, exposure or starvation.

Ralla looks momentarilly stunned.. Not because 8% of the population is left, but because she is.. nobody. No company, no yacht, no private army.. Nothing. No power. Just her robe, flip flops and a pocket knife.. She sways slightly, leaning on the table, “Oh..”

<Lowe> that is assuming they are not found and eaten.

<Das> “So. Eaten?”

Good Ol’ Dasira.. Yes.. Get the dirt, get the intel.. and then get us the fuck out of here.. There has to be something. Some bastion of civilization. DC has to be standing. She can go there, talk to the president.. Something.

<Lowe> ah yes. the plague is only about 25% fatal. it mutated several times so it tends to go by region, but also by your basic DNA

<Ralla> “The rest are horribly mutated I assume..” She chimes in quietly. She saw pictures from the chopper as they flew her to her island sanctuary. She has no idea how she ended up here. She requested Dasira to be packaged with her, but has no idea if she ever was.

<Lowe> not all of us. ::grin:: some of us look completely human.

<Das> “Don’t assume. He says he doesn’t scar.” Nodding to Lowe….yeah

<Das> “All your men infected?”

<Lowe> all of us who fight in the streets are infected. once you get it, you can’t get another version.

<Ralla> “Dasira..” She never got word if Dasira was recovered and brought to the island. She’s probably infected.. Ralla shakes her head. Better not to tell, “You got a fortress? An army? Weapons? I have weapon caches. Some of them are still secure I bet.. How long has it been? Weeks? Months?”

<Lowe> It is august 20th, 2030

Das manages not to jawdrop, but does twitch.

Ralla suddenly looks up at him, 1″Five years?!” 6She shakes her head.. Well.. There still might be a -few- cache left. Saudi.. Maybe Germany or Kansas… She’s quiet another minute, 1″Um.. Did it combine with the flu virus? It is.. airborne?” 6Am -I- infected.

<Lowe> oh, better than that. it *spores*.

<Lowe> it forms into fungus colonies and it spores.

<Das> “How often? What range?”

<Lowe> anywhere dark and moist. but it needs …supplies. We’re already infected so we find it and burn it out whenever we find it.

Ralla frowns, “So it has gone from viral to bacterial.. Yeah. There is no cure for that…. Das.. You’re…” She looks up at her only friend, then and now, “You probably already have it.. From the initial outbreak.. When I reached the Island they estimated exposure at more than half… But they were on the virge of a vaccine.. Said they would wake me and give it to me. I told them to find you and package you with me.” She shrugs, “Is there a test?”

<Lowe> some theorize that the colonies become sentient after awhile – or that they always were. that someone just mutated into that, de-evolved. ah. I hear our ride. ::faint smile, just as crooked as before.:

<Lowe> the vaccine only works on 50% of the population. repeat injections can work – or they can actually give you the diseases they are based upon.

Das looks sidelong…doesn’t actually turn to regard Ralla, just looks away from Lowe for a moment, as if adding potential infection to her calculations…then looks back. Doesn’t seem to preclude retiring on the beach somewhere. Just need to survive.

<Lowe> Ebola and Bubonic plague both kill this.

<Das> “Well that’s good to know.”

<Lowe> some forms of the flu will make you highly resistant. I do want to warn you though. These mutations… they’re … suseptible to subconcious desires and urges. would you like to know why most of our pickups and injections of crew are done within fenced graveyards?

<Das> “No…people walking around coughing spores though? No other infection vectors, just the spore colonies?”

<Ralla> “Great.. Melt your organs in twenty four hours or bleed through your asshole for forty eight.. What ride?” She pulls out her pocket knife and rips off some of her robe, tying it around her mouth and nose, then around her head, like a middle eastern woman.. as if that will actually help. But it makes her feel better.

Das pauses to listen.

<Lowe> no, they can’t cough on you and infect you. the spores have to come from one of the colonies directly and they die shortly after exposure to fresh air.

<Ralla> “Graveyards..”

<Lowe> however… their blood, semen, spit, in more powerful cases, *anything* of them that gets in a wound, up your nose, down your throat, in your eyes – can infect you.

<Das> “Have to kill most of ‘em?”

<Lowe> you see… some of them beleive they are vampires. or demons. and wont’ go on hallowed ground.

<Lowe> and ::shrug:: maybe they’re right. but i have it and i’m not burning or in any discomfort.

<Das> “But they burn or have trouble?”

Ralla makes a face, “Heh.. When science falls superstition and magic replace it.. You know, the semen part is pretty fucking disgusting..” She moves across the room towards Lowe, offering her hand, “You can call me Ralla.”

<Lowe> some are extremely … pliable. ah, don’t touch, lady. You’re not infected. and i *can* infect with a touch.

Dasira really doesn’t like Ralla just passing by her block, and…yeah, will slide in the way when he says that and herd Ralla back where she belongs. Shoo, boss, shoo.

<Lowe> your companion is infected. she can touch me and i her. do not touch my bare skin, ralla. my extreme loathing of you might make it … uncomfortable for us both.

Ralla withdraws her hand, “Ah.. I was thinking of you more of an aids patient..” She smiles weakly behind her mask. Then glances at Dasira.. This is why she never brought her to political functions. No Ralla, you cannot do a photo op, there could be bullets in the camera. She pats Dasira’s shoulder.. Ralla nods a little, “Well.. Atleast we know where we stand.”

Das looks between them, then to Lowe. “You got some gloves I could have th– Boss, don’t touch me.” Robe or no robe.

<Lowe> no. it isnt’ treatable, Ms.Merlon.

<Lowe> you’re not contageous yet, miss.

<Das> “There some sign?”

now both of them can hear a sort of sound like a large vacuum cleaner.

<Ralla> “Dasira.. I’m going to get infected.. One way or another. I mean. I have a supercharged immune system but.. Wouldn’t it be a good idea to get a strain then, from one of you, from someone who is Ok?”

<Lowe> no. I can tell. ::shrugs and taps his forehead.:: not all the mutations are physical.

<Lowe> it isnt’ based on that. Its based on your DNA

<Das> “25% fatality rate anyway, like he said.”

<Lowe> and lord knows what the hell your makers tweaked to make you what you are. certainly, you’d wake up one of the Eaters.

<Das> “Quick rundown, regional variations.”

<Lowe> Zombies – every zone has them. they survived, but not much. as far as we can tell, they just want to eat and/or infect people. they can be controlled by some of the Infected.

Even Lowe can see the look on Ralla’s face.. Her DNA? Her DNA is a cookie cutter of the best of her parents, and some others. A jigsaw puzzle.. Either it’ll be a perfect infection, or it’ll be a mess.. She does now withdraw her hand from Dasira, “I.. My DNA is perfect. I am the perfect human being… I have eleven percent body fat but a full C cup.. My lungs function at twice the average capacity and I am cancer resistant.. You’re telling me that perfect DNA means perfect monster?”

<Lowe> I’m telling you you are a prime candidate to be a *spore colony*

<Das> “Fun times.”

<Ralla> “You have to be shitting me.. Okay.. So. Has there ever been anyone who -hasn’t- become infected?”

<Lowe> parts of china and korea, parts of india and most of the middle east – gone. radioactive wasteland. you’ll note its august yet it is quite cold out. nuclear winter. food is scarce though it is … passing. particularly in some areas – we can only theorize that someone has either mastered weather control machinery … or a mental power on that scope

<Lowe> and of course people have not become infected. 8%

<Das> “Mental…power…. It makes people psychic?”

<Lowe> ::that crooked grin again.:: yes. but erratically. some people just die of it – cases of their brains more or less overloading.

Ralla nods a little, “Right.. Right! Okay. I’m going to be fine then..” Not much conviction there.. Maybe she’s resistant. Maybe they gave her the vaccine.

<Das> “Just keep your spore mask on.”

<Ralla> “Mmm.. This robe wont even come close to the particulate filter I’d need for spores.. N95 protective mask might work.. Doubt it.. Let’s just go.”

<Lowe> we have filters. and there aren’t any spore colonies here. too much light. not warm enough.

<Das> “Prep first. We’re not walking out into the world in flipflops.”

<Lowe> better supplies on the harrier. come on.

Lowe starts up the stairs.

Das nods–hadn’t been sure they weren’t just going to leave them with their flipflops and fly off. She’ll follow first.

lowe wanted to. oh, he did so want to. but … dasira was there. and he wouldn’t leave someone *else.* just ralla

Ralla is lucky to have minions. >_>

or lowe might have broken his ‘no eating humans’ rule

Ralla fights back! With a swiss army knife! Rawr! She pads up the stairs towards in tow behind the others..

Das actually puts on the flipflops too, quick-like, though she’s not happy with them.

I know.. They’re not even Coach or Dolce and Gabana..

v_v

a battered aircraft that looks like a helicopter had babies with a dragonfly never quite touches down, though a little ramp comes out like its sticking out a tongue. the rotors fold back and it just hovers in place, making a sound no louder than a vacuum cleaner.

Once they’re outside, Das will shoo Ralla past her and take up rearguard position, after reminding Ralla, “Don’t touch anyone.”

some armed men and women hop out and two more men come from anothe crypt, toting what look like inflated pool loungers – but the two women can see shadows that appear humanoid within.

<Lowe> no one else?

<Woman> Nosir – rest were cracked – an Auger got em.

<Lowe> sun sets in 20 minutes – lets get in the air. onboard, ladies – no one else here is infectious unless you bite them or they bite you.

also, everyone but lowe has on gloves.

Ralla blinks, 1″That’s um.. One hell of an aircraft..” 6She glances around at the guns.. Man.. She wants a gun.. A sword.. A fucking stick. Anything but a pocket knife. She nods to Dasira, leaning close and speaking a hushed tone, 1″You know, Dee, I used to actually do the heavy lifting? This isn’t my first rodeo.” 6She’s been at deals that went bad more than once. She walks onto the bird. Ralla’s comment was cheerful, not condenscending.

Das kind of grunts and follows Ralla in. Boss is boss.

Ralla looks for a chase lounge. But will settle for a jump seat with a seat belt..

this thing is *spare* – metal seats with strapping for cushions, netting for ‘seat belts’

Ralla sits down and reclines like she’s done this a million times.. Though she kind of has.. She glances at Dasira and pats the seat next to her.. First of all. She needs to figure out where they are. Then they need transport. She must have facilities that are still functional and secure.

Das makes sure Ralla is buckled in. wtf woman. Then buckles her damn self in.

they get barely sat in their pews when the thing rises up, stomach droppingly. the pilot, a woman with skin so pale she looks like a wax doll, murmurs. “Cloaking. no voices above normal conversation or i’ll throw you out, and htat includes you, warleader.”

Lowe chuckles faintly and stands. he seems to have no problem with teh lurching or pitching of the aircraft. perhaps, like a sailor, he’s just used to it.

Ralla raises a brow at the buckling, then laughs quietly.. Maybe it is a little like old times, 1″I don’t suppose there is an in flight meal? I feel like I havn’t eaten in… years.”

one of lowe’s men, who has a very … ratlike face, grins, showing very sharp, uneven teeth.

<Ratface> got the two on cold storage – only snacks on board.

<Das> “Pass.”

<Pilot> Stow it or you’re a frisbee. ::glances back at ratface.::

Ralla thins her eyes a bit, then just shakes her head, staying quiet for now, with her hands folded in her lap. War Leader? What kind of stupid rank is that. How about General? Or have they thrown out the terminology that brought them here.

<Dark Haired Woman> Lowe. one of them’s starting to wake.

Ralla glances at the woman.. Lowe. So that’s his name.

<Lowe> keep him under until we land. five minutes.

Das will take what time is available to eye the others, try to pick out what’s infected about them.

you can’t tell on most of them. Ratface is clearly not human. so is the dark haired woman, who seems fine except for the tail poking out from under her coat.

<Pilot> cloaking disengaged.

Ralla is listening.. Just listening. To their voices, locking them away in her mind, watching their movements. Body language will tell her a lot, who will look out for her, who will kill or rape her if they got the chance. Ratface is first on her terrorist watch list. She keeps her eyes on him a lot, cold, green eyes. Whether she is watching him, or just wants him to believe she’s a nasty mean fucking bitch, who’s to say.

he just grins at her and ralla can tell … he thinks she’s food.

like… a banana

Ralla winks. Not the pleasant, hey baby sort.. But the.. Yeah.. I’m gonna get you.

<Lowe> scouts out to find any shadows. Madame, do not flirt with my crew – some of them are just out of the streets and barely weaned off sentient flesh.

Dasira sighs faintly.

Lowe gives ralla a vaguely disgusted look.

<Lowe> get the seal-a-meals to the med level. we wont’ want them waking up around humans without anyone to help them. you two come with me.

Dasira nods, shrugs off the harness, and waits for Ralla to precede.

Ralla chuckles at Lowe, but doesn’t respond. Not like she could defend the action. She unbuckles and stands, following Lowe as directed..

Dasira follows Ralla close, giving the rat guy a brief sidelong glance in passing. No expression.

the Ratguy gives Das a friendly and almost pitying look. more sympathetic than anything else.

lana’s soon to be decanted character is taken off to the med level.

He really hopes there’s beer here.

keep hoping.

Figures. He has that kind of luck.

Dasira and Ralla are taken to a sort of a strange looking lounge – Dasira suspects this used to be part of a subway.

Dasira suspects indeed.

She also hopes it’s been thoroughly cleansed with fire.

looks like it, lol. this is nto the nice clean star trek future. this is the gritty, ugly, terminator future.

Ralla dusts off the best seat she can find and lounges like a goddess in her thin robe and mid eastern style head gear, green eyes peering out from the white cloth, “Dasira.. We need to figure out where we are..” In a low voice, waving her friend into goddessdom seating with her.

Dasira perches on the edge of the seat and tries to figure out how to turn these flipflops into sandals. Maybe terrycloth strips… “We could ask.”

<Ralla> “Cut a whole in each side. Makes a few feet of cloth and tie it like a gladiator’s sandals..” She offers off handedly, “You could.. Depending on where we are, we might have facilities nearby.. But I don’t want to give up my ace cards to Lowe until we can trust him.. We need weapons… And panties..”

a large, beefy man comes up and peers at them over a clipboard. he’s wearing a somewhat shabby looking grey suit and tie.

Dasira knows instantly that he’s human. 100%.

Dasira looks briefly disconcerted at this.

Ralla waggles her fingers at him. She seated on her side, leaning towards Dasira, one arm propping her up with her legs stretched out to the side. She looks at beefy dude, “What?”

<Das> “Need somethin’?”

High fives D!>>

snicker

<Beefy McBeeferson> Ah, new arrivals… we have quarters for you. are you going to try to get into one of the human cities or are you going to live wild? er… outside the quarentine zones?

Ralla scratches her head, “We’re undecided, and we only need one room.. We’re together..” She added enough conviction to that to make it sound for real.

<Beeferson> Oh, i don’t need to know that. ::blushes an unflattering shade of purple::

Dasira just shakes her head and returns to planning the mangling of flipflops.

<Beeferson> well…. i can’t put you in the quarentine rooms then. but honestly – the non quarentine rooms are better for living space.

<Ralla> “Non quarantine is great. I like it already..” She examines her manicured nails.. And wonders how long that will last.

he will lead them into quarters, a very, very nice suite – parts are prefabbed and stuck together but over all – much nicer than you would have expected from the lounge.

Das is surprised. And thanks the guy politely. Then goes to see if there are shoes.

Ralla shreds the place looking for clothing.. If she finds none, her and Dasira will spend the night making clothing from room stuff.

<Beeferson> I think the internet is currently up, and the telly should work unless the Warleader takes a hair again. Miss, stop tearing the place up or we’ll put you in extreme quarentine.

<Das> “Huh. You’ve got internet?”

Ralla looks up, 1″Ugh.. Sorry. It’s a habit.. Part cat… Don’t worry, I’m litter box trained.. Where do we get access to the internet?”

<Beeferson> … the warleader likes his little jokes. yes. about 25% of the human race is unaffected and is keeping things alive. Infected does not mean contaminated with monsterousness necessarily. most live normal lives. some of the children outgrew it.

<Ralla> “Is there banks?”

<Beeferson> the television is connected – we’ll get you a better room once we’re mroe certain you’r enot going to mutate and spew organs or fetuses all over the walls.

<Das> “…..that happens?”

<Ralla> “Us Currency.. Government?” OMFG did her accounts survive?!

<Beeferson> … thats rather extreme, but yes, it can happen.

<Beeferson> Not a lot of accounts survived, no, miss. paper money and electronic cash isn’t worth much these days.

<Das> “Barter? Gold standard?”

<Beeferson> some in england survived, and switzerland but they’re closed up tight. quarentine

Ralla groans, flopping on the bed like a spoiled brat.

Beeferson blushes again and turns his back.

<Das> “….Thanks for the help. We’ll try not to wreck the place.”

<Beeferson> there are some robes, sweatpants and shirts in the bathroom. if you use the computer and fill in your sizes, we can have more brought up. but i’m afraid most of it is military issue or scavanged.

Ralla sits up and covers her lap again..

a young man peers around the edge of the door and snickers.

<Young man> you know that the ‘extreme quarantine’ rooms are … dog crates. big dog crates. just so you know.

Das gives Ralla a ‘don’t act like a freak’ stare.

Ralla is eccentric! She nods a little, “Yes.. Well. We thought the situation was a little more dire than it. Thank you for the room and the clothing..”

<Das> “Bathrobes and flipflops…” Like a spa apocalypse.

<Beeferson> it wont’ be for long, miss. ^_^

Ralla smiles at Dasira, “It shows off our better features.” She nods to Beeferson, “I’d tip you.. but you know. No money..”

don’t mock the spacalypse! We could have made billions. ))

<Beeferson> we have hot water for about the next three hours, so if you want your baths, now would be the time. oh…::looks dismayed about tips.::

<Youngman> he’s not a bellhop. ::snorfle:: c’mon, they’ll want you to check the newguys.

<Das> “You could give him some sugar, if you really wanted to.” Dry.

Beeferson fleeees. the young man follows on his heels, snickering

Ralla gives Dasira a flat look.. then slides the door shut, “Okay.. Order clothing, we’ll make it look good later, then shower, then.. Figure shit out on the internet.. God I hope google still exists.”

the year was 2025.

Something went horribly wrong within  a DNA testing center’s prize research – a bioweaponry oriented espionage group broke in and attempted to make off with a wealth of information.

What they were working on were cures for several diseases and a particularly nasty retrovirus that was starting to pop up in a remote part of africa.

It made a great bioweapon if you didn’t mind the fact that the infected, themselves, became bioweapons in turn.

Your various characters will have been tagged and bagged for one reason or another.  Infected or not, your choice.  the Mutations can be horrible.  you may *ask* for certain mutations, but their real natures will always be up to me.

There is a vaccine and you may stay human if you’ve had it.

Please note in your character write up if that is so or not.  And …

it isn’t 100% effective.