A Very Brief Zombie Hunting Expedition


cardinal_icon.gif rocket_icon.gif zuleyka_icon.gif

Scene Title A Very Brief Zombie Hunting Expedition
Synopsis Zuleyka and Rocket find Richard Cardinal instead. Probably a good thing, all things considered
Date March 27, 2009

Staten Island — Coast

The coast of Staten Island is as much of a presence as its inland, with rivers that invade right into its heart as well as cutting off the circulation of transport from the rest of New York City. The coastal regions reflect a lot of this borough's rural nature, with rough shores and plantlife, broken brick, and general abandonment. The harbors are left to the devices of those that freely come and go, a conspicuous lack of official presence - a number of them notably overrun by the developing crime syndicate, but there are still quite a few, particularly on the coasts nearest to Brooklyn and Manhattan, that are accessible to the lawful public.

That monster is still out there. And Zuzu…is not waiting for it to come back. She's out there, the beacon of the Lighthouse behind her, flashlight held high, pistol in her other hand. Her face is set and furious, even as she limps along. Here, zombie, zombie, zombie.

It's either extremely annoying to Zuleyka or useful— maybe both?— that her tagalong is talking incessantly as they go. After all, there is the remote possibility that the Monster would find him acceptable bait, having been cheated of his prize earlier. "This is stupid!" Rocket exclaims for the umpteenth time. His own pistol swings haphazardly in his hand and his normally round, dinnerplate eyes are creased down to irritable slits. "I mean!

"There were lazers and body tackles and knives and shit, how is a few pot shots going to take that thing? We're going to diiiie. Or c-catch hypothermia. Oh, ew, I think I stepped in— hey, wait up." There's an arrhythmic thumping of feet as he follows on the raven-haired girl's heels.

There! Something moving in the darkness, the crunch of gravel on the roadside under a foot. A presence drawing nearer, ominous and silent, perhaps preparing to pounce— to attack! The flashlight cuts over to illuminate the silhouette of a man…

…who brings his hand up to shield his face from the sudden, stark brightness, swearing up a storm. "Jesus fucking Christ," oaths Richard Cardinal, "Get that— light out've—" A flail of his hand as if he could push the beam of light out of his way, eyes squinting even through the sunglasses he's wearing.

Zuleyka flicks the beam down. "There's a monster out here," she says, in all apparent seriousness, jaw set. "Something like a zombie. It just came into the Lighthouse, and we chased it off. It was very fucked up," And then she flicks a contrite glance back at Rocket. "Don't tell the Brians I said that."

The pistol is pointed out at Cardinal in two hands, the boy behind it having returned his face to its usual configuration of big circles. Curly hair, bulging eyes, round face. Circles against and within circles. The shadowmorph is probably left with the distinct sense that he almost got shot. "What?" It takes Rocket a second to lower the weapon, turning his head toward Zuleyka. "Said… what?

"Oh, Brian doesn't like cussing? Wait—" The handgun threatens to twitch upward at Richard again, but Rocket has enough presence of mind not to complete that arc. "Who's this guy?"

It takes a moment before Cardinal's strange eye-structure adjusts to the lack of light once more, regarding the teenager with the gun for a moment with an unamused expression. "…point that at me again and I'll have Zu feed it to you," he grunts then, turning a bit in a half-circle to sweep his gaze over the rural landscape of the coastal area, musing aloud, "A zombie? What the fuck, I've heard weirder shit recently. So, what, shambling, rotting, going for brains?"

"No. Like..the fast zombies in Half Life," she says, as if it were a matter of course that he knew what she meant. "Hungry, yeah. Tough, fast," She bats Rocket's gun down. "Kid, if you don't know how to use that safely, you don't get to use it at all." Like she's an old veteran, but then, she's been around Jake and he rubs off. Not like that.

Scowling, Rocket allows the firearm to be batted away, although he doesn't put the gun back on safety. There are, after all, zombies out here. Like the fast zombies in Half Life. "I know how to use a g-gun," he answers, his irritation giving at least a reasonable appearance of certainty. He rubs the back of his sleeve across his mouth. "It went into the Lighthouse and took a bite out of a girl. Almost gutted somebody with a knife, too. A freaking steak knife," he elaborates perhaps unnecessarily, bending his face into a grimace.

"So who's your boyfriend?" Cardinal brings a hand up, blunt nails scratching under his chin in a rasp against the stubble that shadows his jawline. No zombies immediately sighted, he sweeps his gaze back to the two teenagers, brows raising up over the edge of his shades, "And you didn't get hurt, did you? I'll kick some of Brian's asses if I have to. He's supposed to have security goin' on over there."

"This is Rocket," she says, lifting her chin haughtily. "Rocket, this is Cardinal," she adds, belatedly. "I got bruised up, but I'm okay," she says, before shrugging. "He did,"

Brian's asses. This guy knows Brian. Knows that he's Evolved, too. That reassures Rocket vaguely. "It isn't a nickname," he volunteers, irrelevantly. The boy would have no way of knowing what significance his name bears for the older man, after all; he's far too distracted by the fact that Zuleyka had not corrected his introduction as 'boyfriend.' The whites of his eyes flash in and out of view, glancing badminton-match between the two. "It threw you into a wall," he points out, "twice. And there were lazers. It healed itself or something."

"Rocket?" The name's repeated with a hint of surprise, although perhaps not for the reason that one might expect. It's not the name's strangeness, it's recognition of it. The dark of the evening might hide any tell-tales on Cardinal's face, as well. "Yeah, well, still, the Lighthouse is supposed to be safe…" A frown's flashed up in the direction of it, asking casually, "So if you know a gun so well, kid, where'd you learn it? I know where Zu did."

Zuleyka hasn't safed her gun, either. Blue eyes gleam pale in a distant glint from the Lighthouse. "I don't know what it was. Some sort of freakish Evolved?" she suggests, voice low.

There's a bob of Rocket's head, sharp with conviction. "Gotta be. There aren't really monsters, and if they were, I bet they wouldn't have two hands and ten fingers and two eyes and be Caucasian and junk." He turns his head to follow Zuleyka's line of sight back to the Lighthouse, before swivelling back to look at Cardinal. His skull spins faster than his eyes, annoyingly; it takes him a moment to right himself out in the sharp contrast of flashlight and permeating night.

"I've lived here my whole life," he replies, frowning a touch defensively. The curiosity in and of itself doesn't seem too strange on a man, given the man apparently makes respectful friends with Zuleyka — who's at least physically about his age — but there seems to be a ghost of a snide insinuation in there.

"Maybe some low-level regenerator that caught leprosy or something, who th'fuck knows," Cardinal randomly tosses out a hypothesis, adding as he looks back to the pair, "So long as it doesn't come back, who th'fuck cares, either. Did he talk or anything?" The masculine of the pair gets a glance, that subtle thread in his tone bringing an eyebrow upwards just a touch over his shades' edge.

Zuleyka shakes her head. "Not that I heard," she says, still scanning. Looking out towards the dimness of the sea, the city in all its ruined glory beyond the water.

The girl's answer is echoed in a shake of Rocket's head too. "Nope. Zu's idea is he'll die if we shoot him in the head, though," he adds, quick to add some form of reassurance, that the two teenagers had not gone into this completely unprepared, without a plan, et cetera, et— yeah, that's believable enough, isn't it?

"Just about anything you shoot does," notes Cardinal dryly, before looking back to the pair and suggesting, "I'm pretty sure you'd have found it by now if it was still out here, though." A pause, "And it might've eaten your head. Seriously. You've been hangin' out with lead-head too much, Zu, you're not invulnerable."

Zuleyka looks as if she'd like to argue….but changes her mind. "You're right," she concdes, after a moment. "On both counts. We should go back in."

Oh, great. Rocket brightens instantly, a close-lipped grin carving a capitalized 'C' across the smooth shape of his face. Still, he doesn't put his gun back on safety. "I wouldn't let anything happen to either of us," he notes, even as he takes his first eager step back toward the Lighthouse.

"I'm pretty sure," Cardinal observes without missing a beat as he moves to drop along into step with them, back towards the sweeping beacon of the Lighthouse, "That she'd be the one protecting you, kid. So you live there too?"

Zuleyka is glad to have Cardinal at her back - her gaze is still roaming, just in case that …thing should show itself. She doesn't comment, but a tiny smile curls her lips.

Despite a momentary crease of denial on Rocket's forehead, he merely shrugs amicably enough when the conversation moves beyond his capacity to fend off zombies. The glance he spares Zuleyka from over his shoulder is quick, if not exactly furtive. "Sometimes. I sleep there, mostly.

"They have free food, no cops and normally no zombies." A beat's pause. "I got to its knife before it killed a dude with it, y'know." Just to get that out there. Y'know. The beanpole of a boy marches along the cold dirt.

"It had a knife, eh? Well, then it was definately a person," notes the shadowmorph with a slow shake of his head— keeping an eye on their surroundings, as bright to him as the noon-day to them, hands tucked into the pockets of his sturdy jacket, "Maybe some poor fuck who barely survived the bomb, or something."

Zuleyka trots along, expression intent. "I don't know. I don't know why there, unless it smelled like fresh and delicious children, or something. It did seem to want to eat us," She shudders.

The corner of Rocket's mouth extrudes toward his ear grimly. "Yeah. He took a big bite out of one of the girls. I think he was gonna eat me, too. Right after Colette hit him with the lazers. He was crazy." Either that, or his regeneration is somehow linked to consumption, but that's a deductive leap that Rocket is not currently equipped to make. "He jumped out the upstairs window and ran off fast. It was crazy. Some guys with guns with him too."

At the description of things, Cardinal shakes his head slowly from one side to the other. "Christ," he mutters under his breath, "What was Brian doing durin' all of this? Or was it just, like, you kids alone against—" He stops dead, then, brow furrowing as he looks to Rocket, "—there were guys with guns with the zombie?"

"Brian came in and shot the guy with the gun," Zu corrects, as she makes her way up the steps.

Rocket had shuffled aside a bit to let the lady up first, her friend with her. He fetches one final glance over his shoulder at the stretch of black shoreline before swinging his foot high to the fourth step up, digging his heel in and pulling himself with a grasshopper-like stretching of effort. "Bunch of people died. Brian and the skinny British girl were both there and some old guy with weird eyes. Guns everywhere: us kids were the only ones who didn't have 'em."

"I'll have to go ask Brian what th'fuck happened— weird eyes?" The last is said contemplatively, Cardinal's scuffed boots carrying him along the upward path towards the Lighthouse, keeping his pace matched with the pair. "Hm. Deckard, maybe."

Zuleyka nods to that, quietly. "that's him. I've seen him around," she says, as she pushes open the door with a tentative hand.

Hopping up onto the landing, Rocket lifts himself up onto his toes to peer over the roof of Zuleyka's head and into the recesses of the Lighthouse's ground floor. "Yeah, he saved my life, man. Probably Miranda's too. And he like chopped a dude in half with a door, how badass was that? Pretty badass," he says with an air of One Who Would Know. "How do you guys know each other anyway?"

"He's in my weekly poker game," Cardinal replies with just a lift of one shoulder, causing the jacket he's wearing to rustle lightly. The tall tale gets a bemused look from the man, though, "…with a door? Seriously? …Deckard. Glowing eyes? Kinda old and lanky?"

"Yeah," Zu confirms, as she holds the door open.

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