Constant Vigilance


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Scene Title Constant Vigilance
Synopsis Freedom Fighter Chess' life is saved by Eve's strange visions.
Date November 30, 2013

Somewhere in Virginia

Freedom fighters sleep — if one can call it that — wherever they can, wherever’s safe when they’re on the move. Tonight’s shelter is a husk of a quonset hut on an abandoned farm. The soot of a fire blackens the aluminum siding; the few windows, high in the domed ceiling, are broken. But the structure is secure and warmer than outdoors. The broken skylights allow for the smoke of a fire to escape — it’s a risk, to light the fire, but it’s cold enough that without it, they might die.

They all know they might die — freezing to death isn’t how they imagine it.

So fire it is. It’s a small thing, and luckily the sky isn’t clear. Visibility’s low so the fire might not be noticed — or maybe only noticed by friendies.

Chess is on watch outside the hut, letting the rest of her squad sleep. She sits cross-legged on top of an abandoned GMC truck, her bow beside her and her quiver on her back. Her dark eyes study the road, watching for signs of danger. She’s tired, too, and cold — her jacket isn’t quite warm enough for the bone-cold night.

There's a rummaging over in the brush nearby, the trees and bushes shake for a moment as muttering can be heard smoke rising out from the leaves, “There you see her.. Sitting there across the way.. She don't got a lot to say.. But there's something about her,” the face of a pale woman peeks out of bush twigs and leaves all in her hair. She looks this way and that way, light gray eyes wide as she seems to be looking for something.

“And you don't know why… But you're dying to try… You wanna kiss girl..” she sings softly, her gaze flicking to the sky before she finds Chess and she jumps a little. “Oh! Hello!” Eve Mas tries to wave but her arm gets caught and then her leg gets caught and she's tumbling through the bush and onto the ground.

Ow. She chuckles as the spliff she holds in her hand falls to the ground next to her. “Woo! I shoulda seen that. I think I did.” The dark haired woman laughs. Snatching her spliff up she takes a puff and waves over at Chess, “Yoo-hoo!” Eve says hi. Bouncing to her feet and dusting her dress off but not her touch her hair at all. She walks over to Chess, her battle dress today a deep crimson to match the blood on her arms and fingers. No blood on the fingers that hold her joint though that would be gross.

She hefts a messenger bag slung over her trench coat. It's pretty cold for her. But she manages. Her weapons are holstered. There's a long knife that peeks out from her boot. “I thought I was going to miss you guys!”

Chess is up in an instant and that rustle, an arrow getting pulled from her quiver and then nocked into place on her bow as she aims it at Eve. She stares down at her like she’s waiting for Eve to dissolve like the hallucination the teenager thinks she probably is.

“Hold up,” she says, before the woman gets too close for her to shoot easily. She has other options, but with her hands full, it would mean dropping the bow for one of her throwing knives or other goodies in the bag at her side. “Hands up,” she adds, noting the boot — and the blood.

“What d’you mean, you guys?” Chess says, glancing from Eve to the door of the metal building, then back.

The seer freezes with her free hand out, the other one pressed to her lips puffing away at the spliff, she keeps blowing the smoke out the corner of her mouth but she ends up coughing for a moment. “Sorry, it's strong. I didn't realize I could find the good green here.” Waving her hand in front of her face she tilts her head at Chess, “Want some?”

Her gaze goes beyond Chess and even the building she's on watch for. “You are so good at being on watch but here's the thing.” The dark haired woman looks over her shoulder quickly and then back at the young woman in front of her. The smoke trails and hangs around her face, head tilts and she nudges her head behind Chess. “These whispers, ahh the dreams they are.. there's a bunch of men coming!” Eve puts a hand on her hip, she is not in the mood to hold her hands up.

The teen’s eyes widen slightly at the woman in front of her when she’s offered the joint. “Sort of on watch, but maybe later,” she says a bit wryly, her head shaking slightly in disbelief. Those eyes narrow again when Eve tells her she’s good, but

“Whispers and dreams?” she echoes. “All right, Paul Revere. Who’s coming and how do you know? And how do I know it’s not a trick?” Chess at least loosens her aim a bit, letting the arrow point downward at Eve’s feet instead of right at her chest. Her fingers are still poised on bowstring and arrow, ready to adjust her aim and let that arrow fly in an instant should she need to.

“Fair fair, see I said you were good while on watch.” Eve smiles widely and dips her head. “Paul Revere!” She cackles and stomps her feet it's like she's completely unaware that she has a arrow being pointed towards her. “Ok ok, I understand as a good soldier you must be weary and on guard. CONSTANT VIGILANCE!” She claps her palms together in front of her, joint hanging from the corner of her mouth.

“We could shout things at each other or you could- oh look! There they are!”

“Jesus Christ, who are you, Mad Eye Moody?” Chess is just full of allusions — but there’s no time for more as Eve is pointing out the imminent threat — an open-sided Jeep with three men inside, coming down the road still some distance away. “Shit.”

She climbs from hood to the top of the truck again, holding that arrow between her fingers and concentrating for a second, before she lets it fly. It whistles through the air, faster than it should, father than it should, before it strikes the front of the vehicle with a flash of bright light. She reaches back as soon as it’s left the bow to slot another into place, letting that one follow the leader, erupting in a twin explosion.

It’s more distracting than it is dangerous, small as each arrow is, but it might buy Chess and Eve time. And eventually one of the arrows might hit something more than the metal or glass of the jeep.

“No but sometimes a girl wishes.” Who wouldn't want an eyeball that could see through walls and clothes. That made Eve remember she needed to check on Flint. As the Jeep comes down the road the older woman’s eyebrows raise and she nods. “Yes them.” As Chess shoots two arrows into the front Eve grins and nods her head. “Boomer Doomer reporting for duty, eh?”

A blood stained hand reaches for her desert eagle at her side and she unholsters it and runs to the side away from the structure that houses Chess’ comrades. A wild look enters the woman’s eyes as Eve takes the safety off and holds the hand cannon up turns the vehicle firing off three shots before ducking behind nearby cover.

“I might have.. taken out the other patrol Jeep! They were not happy about that at all.” That might explain why her long range rifle is missing.

“Holy shit, you’re nuts,” says Chess over her shoulder, nocking another arrow into place — but Eve’s shooting seems to have hit someone rather than something, as the Jeep veers off course and plows into a tractor at the side of the road.

At the sound of the commotion, the door to the quonset hut opens and out come a few other fighters in varying stages of dressing — one’s pulling on boots, another his coat. “Who’s this?” asks a lanky teenager, looking far less alarmed than Chess had — apparently as long as she’s shooting with Chess rather than at her, he counts her as a friend.

“Crazy bitch but she just saved our asses,” is Chess’ terse answer, glancing at Eve. “We need to go check that wreck. Miles and 5150 here and I can go, you stay and guard our shit,” she adds to one of the other young men in the unit.

It’s a bit of a rag tag team — there’s no sirs or ma’ams or sergeants or the like.

As she begins to move toward the road, arrow up and cautious, she looks at Eve. “You’re a precog? Can you see if they’re alive or dead?”

There’s no movement from the jeep, but they might just be playing possum.

5150 hums to herself as Chess confers with her comrade, her eyes take in the destruction that the crash has caused and she tilts her head. “Hey. I heard that,” She says absently as she studies the wreckage taking off before Chess even delegates that she is to join her and Miles.

She does stop a few feet ahead so that Chess can catch up. “Ah the echoes show things, sometimes full on sometimes BAM BOOM POW.” Eve smacks her fist into the side of her head and makes an explosion sound with her mouth, tongue lolling out and eyes rolling back simulating being dead.

“But!” She stands up straight again holding a finger up in her air with a impish grin. “Lucky for you, there's only two.” Left that is, and the seer is motioning for the teens to follow her. “Maybe two and a half,” she motions towards the torn open space that is the side of the Jeep.

Chess gives Eve another wide-eyed look, but Miles seems to take it more in stride. “This one’s always bam boom pow, so the two of you should hit it off just fine,” he says, blue eyes sparkling a bit. “Thanks for coming by to help.” He offers a hand to Eve to shake, apparently leaving the Jeep to Chess to take care of, though he does carry a rifle.

“Miss Congeniality over here is Chess,” he says with a nod to the young woman at his side.

Miss Congeniality has thrown the bow back over her shoulder and is preoccupied in rummaging through her bag and keeping an eye on the Jeep at the same time. Finally she comes up with a baseball, one that’s been scarred and dented from being chewed on by a dog. This she rolls in her hand. “Don’t want to blow it up if we don’t have to — we could use their weapons and any supplies they have.”

“Friends?” Eve grins and spreads her hands wide, “Friends help friends.” Her gaze locks into Chess and she tilts her head. “Chess! Boomer, you can shake the clouds!” That apparently is a good thing because the woman cackles and claps her hands, her rasp echoing. “Two new friends, I have to tell Gilly I've got more.You would love her. You could really shake the skies then!” Another crack of laughter.

As Eve watches Chess dig into her bag and pull out the dented ball her gray eyes squint. No more boom, for now. She holsters her firearm and bends to pull the jagged, curved knife out of her boot.

Making her way closer to the wreckage with the teens,

“I hope they have a Snickers.”

Miles laughs at the new nickname for Chess, who rolls her eyes, her dark eyes focused on the Jeep and the danger still present there. “Shh,” she tells both of them.

The new trio keeps close to the treeline as they move closer to the road. The two of the two-and-a-half-men make themselves known through gunfire; Chess and Miles both take shelter behind trees before, in near synchronicity, the pop out, one to the left and one to the right, to take fire themselves.

Miles uses his rifle; Chess throws a fastball, made all the faster by her power, before it strikes one of the two men, throwing him back against the jeep. His rifle falls at his side as he clutches the new wound in his gut. The other man dodges Miles’ bullets, taking better shelter behind the far side of the Jeep.

As Miles and Chess go to the sides. Eve goes under.

Diving to the ground she shimmies under the Jeep as Miles and Chess make their moves on either side of the Jeep. Holding her knife out in front of her she gets to the back of the Jeep and grins that devilish grin as she pulls herself just to the edge of the Jeep before she can meet open air.

As the bang of gunfire and Chess’ ability fill the air Eve snickers to herself, “They both boom.” Before hustling forward on her stomach, there wasn't much time to act.

The soldiers feet are positioned right there as he crouches. Eve thrusts her knife forward to cut at his heels, hard.

Eve’s tactic makes the soldier scramble away, hobbling, and shooting a little wildly at the ground under the truck, though his angle makes it difficult to connect with his assailant, who no doubt has the foresight to roll one way or the other out of harm’s way.

Miles takes advantage of the diversion to dart from tree to Jeep and then around the side, firing at the hobbled soldier and putting him out of his misery. “Well played, Ankle Biter,” he tosses toward Eve, moving closer to the half man contingent of the two-and-a-half men, ensuring that he is indeed out for the count. He then moves to put out a hand to help Eve up from where she was hugging the ground.

Chess moves in to relieve the dying soldier she took out of his weapon, throwing it over her shoulder, as she begins to root around in the Jeep for anything useful. The jeep itself, damaged, is still driveable.

“Not a bad score. Some ammo, some weapons, the truck, a few rations and first aid supplies,” she says over her shoulder to the other two. “Thanks for the heads up. So you, like, get dreams or voices telling you to go help random strangers? How’s that work?” she asks, as she pulls a screwdriver out of her bag and sets about un-installing the GPS tracker from the vehicle. No need to alert the enemy as to their presence, once they realize this Jeep’s fallen into the wrong hands.

“Do you need the Jeep?” Eve scratches her head with the butt end of her knife with a perplexed expression on her face eyeing the vehicle. She seems to have missed the talking of the other two but then she's shaking her head to snap out of it. “Ah! Lovely,” She says to Miles about the nickname, “They call me the Murder Imp. I'm not small but.” She cackles at the thought.

“Dreams! The echos though. Whispers of what I dream always in my ear.” Motioning with her hand, talk talk talk talk. “I just listen. Sometimes,” she has her own mind. When she ignores her visions her brain hurts and that's no good.

“You are young. Not much younger than Chicken.” She peers over at Chess with eyebrows raised. “We all have to fight,” it's a sad look given to Miles as well. “Where do you come from Boomer?”

Eve knows where you're going, not where you've been.

Chess mouths the words ‘murder imp’ to Miles, dark, almond eyes widening a little, though it’s mostly with amusement. She shrugs at the words that they’re young. “It’s our future, too,” she says, perhaps a little defensively, despite the rueful tone and look that accompanies Eve’s words. No doubt Chess has been told she’s ‘too young’ or a little girl by some of their compatriots.

Miles puts a hand on Chess’ shoulder, which seems to ease some of her tension. “We could use the Jeep, unless you need it to go rescue someone else before they get ambushed. Seems like a good use for it, if you need it. We can keep on going on foot,” he says, before moving to the fallen soldiers to pat them down for anything useful.

“Denver. You?” Chess asks, a little more amiably as she climbs out of the Jeep and hands Eve not a Snickers but a Three Musketeers.

“It really really is. Too many of us old farts want to rule the world for generations.” Eve doesn't wanna rule the world. She wants to lead the next generation to the throne. “When you get old, know when to stop influencing the masses or you’ll end up like that nutso Edward. Alone. No friends, no pretty lady or pretty lad to get naked with you. Boy does he miss the mark.” Eve scratches the back of her head as she continues

“No no, you take the Jeep. I have a date!” Really? Who knows what type of date Eve is trying to go too. “New York born and raised, pizza and sewers. All sorts of fun.” Except lately, lately it was not that fun. Eve guesses that depends on what you define as fun.

“Ooh thank you. Gilly never lets me go into battle hungry. Says I might eat someone again,” there's a pause, “It only happened once. Extreme circumstances.” A wave of her hand, “He wasn't real!”

She's been arguing this point for years now. The odd woman tears into the the candy bar in earnest.

At the mention of Edward, Chess glances at Miles for clarification, but the tall young man just shakes his head; he grins, though, not at all bothered by the non sequiturs Eve tosses about like so much piñata candy.

"We're pretty anti-cannibal around here. Something to keep in mind. If you stay to rest a bit before your date,"

Chess says wryly, climbing back up into the Jeep, this time behind the wheel. "C'mon. Let's drive back to the farm up there, see if this thing holds together. The others will be waiting for us."

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