Bury The Dead, Honor The Living


ff_ace_icon.gifff_asi_icon.gif ff_glory_icon.gif ff_huruma_icon.gif ff_kendall_icon.gif ff_marlowe_icon.gif

Scene Title Bury The Dead, Honor The Living
Synopsis In the aftermath of the convoy attack, there's decisions needing made about what happens next.
Date July 5, 2021

Broadway Street
Ruins of Toledo

7:13 pm

When Asi returns from around the collapsed overpass she and Monica had gone around only scant few minutes before to bring some supplies for those on the other side of the split convoy, it's at enough of a clip it's clear she fears what slowing down will do to her. She comes up quickly enough along Frizzle's side to start, treating that as a home base to base any future roaming and pacing around. It's likely that she means to put the messenger bag slung across her body back aboard the bus, but she doesn't get that far.

At the end of her first pass along the bus' length, one hand comes to brush by her eyes, and then she looks down at it like it's foreign. Both the tears, and her hand both. The experience frustrates her even further, but does spur her to pull the messenger bag off of her back and set it down by the rear wheels of the driver's side of the bus in a heavy, collapsed thump of fabric.

"Are any of them still alive?" she demands to know of any in earshot, voice carrying. There's an edge to the question, a hard one. "The raiders," Asi clarifies. She only then actually lifts her head to properly take a look at what's going on around the bus and the other convoy vehicles that have been driven closer since the end of the chaos.

An even heavier thump and clatter of metal and equipment answers Asi first before Marlowe appears. Formerly golden eyes now brown again, slightly reddened, stare down at the scavengers' weapons and supplies gathered from the dead. Several pieces are spattered with red, including the large, terrible bat'leth in her hand that sports fresh claret on its curving points. There hasn't been a moment to count their stock, let alone clean it.

Silence wraps around the Syndicate's leader when Marlowe looks towards Asi, staying on the other woman. The moment stretches long, before she finally seems to compose her focus and find her voice. "«Are you hurt?»" asks Marlowe. Her pointed lack of answering the demand for information on survivors is evidence enough that she doesn't know, and hasn't yet asked.

Hearing a shout, a figure partially obscured by the vehicles turns and rides towards the bus. The movement is odd, a feeling of not quite right drawing the eye. When he gets closer, the most not in question turns out to be a dinosaur. For those who watched Jurassic Park the previous night, it's bigger than the velociraptors but similarly designed.

And if that wasn't enough, Kendall is also carrying an AK-47 one handed like some sort of action hero. Additionally, he seems to be covered in blood on the upper half of his body, though he doesn't seem to be injured himself.

He pulls up to a stop near the bus and gestures back to where he came from. "Three." The dinosaur hisses for emphasis. "I'm keeping my dinos around them and they don't look all that interested in escaping." His gaze lights on Lowe's bat'leth and he blinks at it in confused recognition. He didn't know she was a nerd!

Asi looks to the growing pile of salvageable remnants from the attack, afterward up again to Marlowe. "怪我もうない1," she answers initially, tumbling straight into something rougher. "けど治療者お祖母さんは死んで2—" Her throat closes off and she has to take in a deep breath before she can go on, fists tight by her sides and shoulders hunched.

She looks up toward Kendall on his approach and mulls the information over, looking to Marlowe afterward. Her own eyes are glassy and filled with anger. "They should suffer. She is. Bleeding internally, and there's nothing she can do. It only seems fair to return the favor, given they shot first without caring who the fuck they hit."

The sounds of those words bring Spades to a slow as he comes back from down the road the raiders had tried to flee down, warily regarding Kendall on his dinosaur. Clearing his throat, he seems fit to point out, having just walked past a number of raiders made one with the ground, "You know– I think we've more than gotten our pound of flesh back, Aces."

"あんたに聞いてなかった," Asi snaps at him sharply. Spades only flexes the hand on his blood-covered arm with a soft huff and a shake of his head.

Many of the crew of the convoy have flitted in and out of Huruma's range, as she took over getting the Wildcat pulled out of the dregs of its encounter with the raiders; when she disembarks again, it is quieter outside of her, for once in a good while. People are so much noise, and yet now Asi's voice carries with little trouble and draws the Cerberus' second in like a vulture. Waning day hasn't made enough shadow for her to stick to, summer light instead flaring color on clouds as it eases home; instead, Huruma approaches with a silent step.

"He is right." Huruma's frame is a dark dagger against the slouch of sun setting, voice contrasted by its weariness, caused itself by something none of them see. Her eyes settle on Kendall and his weapon, hook-ended arm waving vaguely to his- - mount. "You may put this one away."

“We’re all clear down that street.” Glory calls out, jogging up to the group and pointing with a thumb over her shoulder. “I don’t see anybody anywhere. If they had other friends they either took the fuck off or are up there.” She says, gesturing to the pile of half-entombed corpses that were torn apart by birds on the opposite cross street.

“There’s a… pile of ash and bones up on that roof?” Glory says with a questioning lilt in her voice, motioning to the adjacent rooftop at the corner of the street. “No idea what the fuck happened there.” She holds up another rifle. “Grabbed this, though. Anywhere else I should check?” She asks, glancing toward the collapsed overpass where Erin and Squeaks are ferrying supplies out.

"It sounds like we need to have a talk about what to do with our survivors before anything else," Spades answers Glory, looking to her then back to the growing amoeba of convoy members.

Glory grimacess and holds up her hands, abdicating from that entire mess. “Man, not my call.”

"I know what my vote is," Asi says with a bark of humorless laughter.

"Yes," Spades agrees with terse patience. "You've made that very clear. But unless any of you can commune efficiently with the dead, we still don't even know if it's safe to linger here long. If this was just round one of some wasteland mafia's play for our gasoline, seeing how much of it we have…" He glances back in the Tinderbox's direction before resting his clean hand against his hip and looking back to the others once more. "Or if these mongrels really will know better than to come back for us after what we did to them."

"Oh yeah? And what's to stop them from attacking the next group passing through?" Kendall's words are punctuated by a finger jabbed in the direction of where the prisoners are being watched over by Jonathan. "They had snipers on us! They went after our drivers, trying to cripple us! They probably would've killed a lot more of us if we didn't prove to be more than they could handle."

When Huruma speaks up he shies away from her, and the gun vanishes from sight immediately. Seems like she's more than a little intimidating to the young man, although not enough to make the dino disappear just yet. However, it does lower itself to the ground so he can dismount, but he keeps a hand on the flank in a tiny show of defiance. You're not the boss of me!

Marlowe's brow furrows at Asi's answer, a frown tugging at the tight pressed corner of her mouth. What reply she may have had dies behind those closed lips as an entire dinosaur enters her periphery and she tenses visibly. It's only upon seeing Kendall on it, hearing him answer on the survivors, that she exhales a breath and dismisses the frown for something more neutral. "They did, Asi," Marlowe says quietly, gaze shifting from the Japanese woman in the direction Spades appears from, where she had been moments ago ensuring none of the raiders in the ground would ever again rise from it. The Syndicate leader angles her head to acknowledge the phaser. A silent thanks, for now.

As Glory returns to their midst with recon and resupply, Marlowe considers her answer to the woman but stops short of speaking as the others wax paranoid of a second wave. Her annoyance grows as her eyes close for the space of a breath. It only turns into a growl. "That's enough." Where once she had turned a boisterous, deadly threat upon Spades over an unwitting insult, her words now come quiet, icy, a cold rage.

"This isn't a movie," Marlowe says with a swing of her gaze to Kendall, to the dinosaur, then away to the others. "We have wounded, we have dead. And what we need to do now is make sure whoever needs help gets it. We need people to check in. We need to check the convoy." Her eyes trail up to the dust still hanging over the collapsed overpass. "And if you've got nothing better to do right now but wring your hands, you need to check yourself."

Marlowe takes her own words into account, squaring her shoulders and lifting the bat'leth in hand to examine whether it's been damaged in brief inspection before dropping it back to her side. "They chose this overpass specifically, likely judged it from the size of our party which way we were going to go. They'd have been watching us, but for how long, we don't know yet. And this many of them, if they don't have a way to communicate long distance, then they must've come from nearby. They couldn't have been far if they're on horseback. And they wouldn't have had much time to assemble a larger raiding party, knowing we were on the move." Her eyes narrow again, glancing back to the others. "They didn't seem to have many Specials among them, did they?"

Whatever defiance Kendall seems to have is met by Huruma's more impassive stare, middling between glower and simply tired. Fine. Keep it. She turns her attentions to the other women present, gaze flitting from one speaker to another before finally interjecting herself as well.

"Only the one on this side, I believe… the stone man." Huruma's voice is low, trepidation in the shadow of Marlowe's facts. She can absolutely feel the shift of the convoy's crew, even if she cannot see it. "I cannot speak with the dead, but I can speak truths with the living." The words come out with a slight edge, the harsh gleam of a clean razor.

"Interrogation is nothing I have not done before. However bloodless it will be, that is up to them. Easier to get information out of a healthy mind than it is a battered one…"

Asi pulls back her hatred into silence for the moment, heel rocking back against the ground, fist by her side as she looks away. She mutters in a stagelike sotto voce to Marlowe, "They had at least one, yes," she backs up Huruma. She needs something to help drive her. "Earth like armor caked to one of the bodies missing a head at the rear of the convoy."

Ace looks momentarily thoughtful at that. That wasn't his work, so who else here…?

"I didn't see any physical sign of abilities from the front just now. Or maybe we killed them before they could get going," Asi concludes.

Spades turns to look to Huruma with a grateful nod for her volunteering. "We can go where they're circled up then," a look to Kendall to lead the way, "find out for sure what we're dealing with for sure," he proposes. His head juts in a curt acknowledgement to Marlowe, to whom he regards with, "嬢さん," before he starts off in the direction of the prisoners.

Asi looks frustrated beyond words to not be dealing with the prisoners directly, but she keeps it to herself beyond a sneer. Pushing herself to find use, she turns finally to Glory. "I heard motorcycles as they came up. Some kind of roaming 暴走族3, maybe. Might not be much gas between the bikes, but it'd be more for our stores. We've got canisters for it."

Swallowing back emotion, she turns to look at Marlowe before asking indirectly, "For me… I need to find open ground to dig into. The old woman saved my arms, the least I can do is use it to give her a grave." Her eyes swivel over the concrete area immediately surrounding them a bit helplessly. She doesn't want to go far to find a spot, clearly.

Narrowing her eyes at the report of the earth-mimic, Marlowe keeps neutral and nods once. "Perhaps we should have been flying black flags," the Syndicate leader notes with bared teeth in a fierce smile. "I'll consider the notion." Or not. There's no reason to give away the convoy's position or potential firepower.

The woman's smile drops away completely as Asi mentions grave digging. Marlowe reaches out a hand to place against Asi's previously injured forearm. The cold anger from before flares in a strike of hot despair against the heart. Marlowe swallows thickly. "無駄しないで4," she replies evenly, gaze sweeping the asphalt and broken concrete all around them before looking back to the others. "Find a good spot, prep the bodies if you want. I'll take care of the ground."

Turning back to the others, Marlowe lifts a brow in regards. "Listen," she says, head shaking in emphasis, "We've gone through a lot today. We've still got a long way to go. Every one of you is part of this crew, and we're all in it together. We make it to Anchor, and we'll have the damn finest celebration. We'll remember those we've lost, honor those we still have. But we need to make it there first, yeah? And to do that we'll need to put in the work." She scans their faces, then jerks her head in the direction of the overpass. "Circle up and we'll make camp. The overpass will be a fine wall against our backs."

When Asi mentions wanting to bury corpses, Kendall cools off a little. “I brought Walker over there.” he gestures to the small dilapidated diner down the street. The dinosaur finally disappears when he drops his hand, and he glances over to Asi, jerking his head over. “I’ll show you.” he adds, and turns to go lead the way to it. The prisoners are being held past it, so it’s on the way.

“If anyone other than the rock guy had powers back here, they didn’t show anything.” he’s not 100% positive, however, and looks over to where the prisoners are being watched over. “Then again if they did have anything they would’ve tried something by now.” He doesn’t take a step yet though, hesitating as he looks towards Lowe and the others. “We need to go do that, or…?”

Huruma watches Asi with a slightly rising interest, eyes tracking Spades before being drawn home by Marlowe's emotions rather than her words. There is a tentative prickle at the depths of it, drawn back only by the reminder that they do, indeed, have more to do before they have time to worry over what happened.

"Just remember to listen to your own words for the rest of us." This is all that Huruma gives Marlowe in terms of advisement, eyes narrowing, tall frame shifting quietly. Neither of them are at sea, so perhaps this is, in a way, a level playing field when it comes to it. No farewells, however, simply a stare that lingers as Huruma turns away to step after Spades to assist.

What happens next will weigh until it does.

“I’m…” Glory takes a few steps back, brows furrowed. Huruma can feel her discomfort reach a tipping point. “I’m gonna take stock of the gas they had. Figure that out. This?” She makes a circle with her hands. “Way too Lord of the Flies for me.” She offers quietly, hands gently raised before she turns around and lowers her head, hands tucked into her pockets, making a hasty departure.

Asi lets out a long sigh when told to not overdo things tonight. She's not sure she has it in her, but neither is she sure how much longer the adrenaline spike of the attack is going to last her. She only nods to Marlowe, turning her head in the woman's direction to hear her rally. She's left when that's done with the duty assigned then as much as the one she's given to herself, and she heads off to complete it.

Spades' heading off in the direction of the prisoners is paused by Marlowe's words, and he waits to hear them if he doesn't immediately heed them, looking back to Huruma when it's done. He wonders at the tenor of her words but decides very quickly it's nothing he feels like fucking with.

Each had their part to play here, and for his part, he plans to likewise advocate for that sense of unity between them all in whatever ways he can. Only time would tell what the collective bunch of them would ultimately have in mind for the prisoners, though. Time— and maybe an executive decision from those among the convoy's leadership.

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