Don't Go


vf_kain2_icon.gif wf_kay_icon.gif

Scene Title Don't Go
Synopsis Kain faces the unexpected in the Wasteland.
Date March 2018 — October 2018

Somewhere in New Jersey

April 9th

5:17 pm

“Well I shot him, obviously.” Kay rolls her eyes with a grin, hauling up a crate of salvage to carry down the concrete steps to the shop floor. They’ve been gathering up odds and ends from the old machine shop for a little over an hour now. Things that can be used as-is, or repurposed for the Resistance. For all that she swears she’s an independent agent, she doesn’t act the part.

The gossip is that her involvement has stepped up since the travelers showed up. Like her heart’s finally in the right place, despite the risk of darting out of the Dome for as long as she does. “Solved that problem. Got chided for wasting ammunition, but trust me, it was worth it.”

“Man.” Kain’s not often speechless. As he sets down a milk crate full of engine parts down on the floor. “Ah’d have paid good money t’see that fucker d’Sarthe get a bullet in the face. Ah’m just glad it was somebody with a solid pair what did him in.”

Scratching a hand through his shaggy hair, Kain grimaces and looks up to the shop windows, to the dingy daylight shining through them, then back to Kay. “Been meanin' t’ask… stories an’ all… whatever happened t’Danny out here? Ah’ figure he turned inside out back where Ah’m from.”

Kain's blue eyes flick over to Kay. “Part of me’s worried he's holed up in some rich asshole doomsday bunker.”

Kay turns to look over her shoulder, blowing an errant strand of her dark hair away from her face. “I’m glad you think so,” she drawls. It’s like the old days. Murder is just another topic of discussion, like the weather or what’s for dinner. Maybe even more common than dinner.

“Trust me. If ol’ Danny boy was still alive, I’d have strong-armed his ass into healing for our people.” There’s an immediate grimace after she says our. Like she’s gotten too close to the cause and it’s finally getting beyond plausible deniability. “He picked the wrong friends and the wrong holes to hide in. All caught up with him in the end, I s’pose.”

Good riddance,” Kain mutters as he looks over his shoulder. There’s a thread of tension in his voice, something like guilt juxtaposed beside its partner shame. When his blue eyes settle back on Kay again, he’s awkwardly quiet and looks around the garage like a lost child looking for a dropped toy.

Clearing his throat, Kain scuffs a shoe on the ground and turns toward the exit. “Ah’m gonna go grab another box out of the truck…” is his way of excusing himself from the conversation.

And from his crimes.

Connecticut Outskirts

April 11th

1:13 pm

A flat-bottomed motorboat skims along the murky waters of the Connecticut river. Trees grow in thick on either side of the riverbanks, swallowing up derelict houses overgrown with a few years of foliage. Smoke twists in plumes in the distance, fires still burning at distant oil refineries to the west where airstrikes broke the back of DoEA resupply chains in the early days of the war before the rise of the dome.

«Some folks are born made to wave the flag»

Sitting in the pilot’s seat of the riverboat, Kaydence Damaris watches the afternoon sun reflected off of the river through the mirrored lenses of her sunglasses. Beside her, Kain has a boombox set in his lap, an old cassette tape blasting Creedence Clearwater Revival for the two swamp folk on the skiff.

«Ooh, they’re red, white, and blue»

They’d come out here to steal boats for the evacuation of the Outer District pending the collapse of the Dome, all a part of Eve’s plan. They hadn’t expected to find something that was more at home in a Louisiana bayou, a boat that would navigate the shallow, debris-laden waters around Staten Island with ease. There’s also a bottle of pear vodka, passed from Kain to Kaydence. Today was a day for celebrating.

«And when the band plays “Hail to the Chief”»

It’s Kain’s birthday, after all.

«Ooh, they point the cannon at you, Lord»

This far out from the commotion and constant tension of the ruins of New York City, Kay is more at ease. If she doesn’t look hard at what’s just past the foliage, it’s almost like being back where she grew up. She tips her head back as she crows along with the boombox. “It ain’t me! It ain’t me! I ain’t no senator’s son, no!”

A look is cast over to her partner with a wide grin. “I know it’s no Orchid Lounge,” she quips, “but I’d say this isn’t half bad s’far as ways t’celebrate go.” Kay takes a drink from the bottle and nods her head along with the beat of the music, in a better mood than anyone’s seen her in… Well, maybe since even before the war.

“Y’know Ah’ ain't got a lot of fond memories of m’dad, but there's this one time… one time he took me fishin’ when Ah’ was a little squirt.” Kain leans back against the side of the pilot’s seat, reaching up to take the bottle back from Kay. “We went out to the Mississippi, whole damn Sunday. It was the first time Ah’d had a beer…” Kain’s expression softens. “Hated it,” he admits, leaning his head back to look up to Kay from his spot on the deck.

“Ain't much thought about that since then,” Kain says quietly. “Ain't been on too many small boats since then either. So, maybe that's it.” Looking back out to the horizon whipping by, Kain asks an unusually personal question of Kay. “You ever… go fishing before? When you were a kid?”

Kay can’t help the smile that spreads across her face as she tries to imagine Kain as a little squirt with a fishing pole, grimacing at the taste of beer. “My dad took me out in the summers,” she says with a nod. “I used to hate baiting my own hook. First, the worms were too wriggly. Then, I snagged myself on my hook a couple times. But Dad made me keep at it until I got it.”

Her smile fades slightly. “I wonder if he’s had a chance to teach Coley.” There’s a note of uncertainty as she tests the waters, tipping her head down to look at Kain from behind her mirrored lenses. “Maybe the two of us can show her how, after all the fireworks’ve died down.”

“Few years back Ah’d make fun’f you fer suggestin’ we go fishin’,” Kain remarks with a wistful tone, watching the scenery whip by and the guitar notes drift in the air from the radio. “But y’know, it takes losin’ what’cha got, in order t’appreciate everythin’ y’could’ve had.” His eyes drift down to the deck, then to the river behind the boat and where they’d been.

“Ah’d like fishin’,” Kain says with a glance up to Kay. “Ah’d like that a lot.”

The Road to Upstate New York

September 8th


With as tired as she is and dark as the road is between here and their destination, Kay has made the executive decision to stop for the night. The pickup is pulled over at what used to be a full service gas station where she tops off the tank from one of the canisters in the back seat. The bed of the truck is covered with a rusting topper - cherry red to the rest of the vehicle’s teal blue - and inside is a bedroll and blankets.

It’s not quite cold yet, but the temperature dips in the evenings. They’re both used to it, and it wouldn’t be so bad if the wind would just let up. At this time of year, that’s unlikely to happen. Once the vehicle’s been inspected to Kay’s content, she pops the gate so they can both crawl into the back to catch a nap.

They aren’t running supplies. This time, they’re running a special kind of delivery. From under the blankets, Kay procures a small red toolbox. Carefully, she brushes away some of the dirt from its lid before catching the latch and opening it up. Instead of nuts and bolts, screwdrivers and wrenches, there’s lipstick and mascara, eyeshadow and rouge. Her own face isn’t made up - hasn’t been in the time he’s known her, except for the occasional scavenged Chapstick - so it isn’t for her.

“She’s a teenager now. D’ya think teenage girls still like to get made up?”

“Darlin’,” Kain says as he sidles up beside her and lays back, arms folded behind his head, “the only experience Ah’ve got with teenage girls ain't fit for conversation about your girl.” He raises his brows, looking side-long at Kay, and then has a sudden and embarrassed expression that couples with a fawning realization of how that sounded.

“When Ah’ was that age.” Kain awkwardly clarifies. “Ah’m not— with— teenage girls. That's— ” he sharply sighs and looks up, jaw set and brows furrowed in frustration at himself.

Kaydence barks out a laugh that even startles her. With a shake of her head, she assures, “I didn’t think for a moment, sug’.” His gaff is enough to bring on several seconds more of giggles at his expense, which she waves a hand to dismiss. She’s laughing with him, you see. And now she’s a little less worried about giving her daughter a present she won’t like.

“Say,” she says softly as her laughter dies away, shutting the toolbox back up to tuck it away again for the time being, “there’s been something on my mind that I’ve been… meaning to ask ya.” She settles down onto her side on the bed of the truck next to him. “We’ve been kind of dancing around it, but… I wanted to just clear it up and—”

A frustrated sound cuts off her ramble. The preamble is still dancing around, after all. A look of determination on her face says she’s decided the best answer is to just be out with it. “Will you stay here with me? In this world. Help me rebuild once it’s all over. Help me… put my family and my life back together.” Before he can respond, she holds up a hand to indicate that she isn’t finished. “I’ve spent the last bunch’a years filled with regret about stupid, awful shit I’d done and… None of that matters when you’re around. Stay with me, Kain. Please.”

Eyes closed, nodding slowly, Kain hadn’t considered Kaydence’s request to be one that would be reality. Somehow, he’d assumed all of this would just evaporate when it was time to leave. He’d assumed he’d have fucked this up by now, and yet… here he is. Here they are. It leaves him speechless for long enough to be worrying, were it not for the long and thoughtful look that he had in his eyes, unblinking from hers.

“Ya’ll are gonna’ have t’clean up this shithole,” Kain says with a laugh, his eyes slightly reddened around the edges. “‘Cause Ah’m a man of certain tastes, an’ this whole world ya’ll got ain’t quite up to standards.” His smile trembles, nervous and boyish. “Suppose— Ah’ could be compelled t’lend a hand, what with the tidying up an’ all that shootin’ that’s gotta come first.”

The silence stretches on and Kaydence can feel her heart sink in her chest, rib by rib on its way to the pit of her stomach. But when he finally laughs, she feels like she could fly. Her face lights up slowly, a great big smile spreading across. “Ya mean it?”

Her hands come up to either side of his face just before she leans in to plant a lingering kiss on that smile of his. Nervous laughter follows sealing the deal, her eyes on his as though she’s searching for some sign that this might have been a joke and that he’ll really leave after all, because this world really is a goddamn mess.

When no punchline is forthcoming, she presses in another kiss and leaves her forehead resting against his. “Just try an’ keep up with me, yeah?”

“Baby,” Kain smiles against her lips, his fingers wound in her hair, “Ah’ was born t’run.”

Goethals Bridge

New Jersey Side

October 22nd

6:12 pm

Move, move!

Artillery fire explodes in the air as multiple DoEA Harvesters are struck by the orange flash of tracer rounds. The cartwheeling vehicles spin through the air, trailing black plumes of smoke before they crash into the river and explode. From atop the high concrete wall of the Outer District, machine gun fire rains down on the pockmarked Goethals Bridge, spanning the river between Jersey and Staten Island.

Three dozen Resistance fighters are running across the bridge through the gunfire, behind an armor-plated military troop transport sparking with ricocheting gunfire. Further down the bridge, more troops are waiting, and from behind a rusted car, one pops out with an RPG launcher. “Fire in the hole!” A plume of white smoke and flames erupts out the back, and the rocket traces a weaving path through the air to the DoEA soldiers atop the wall, ending in an explosion of concrete debris and screams.

Behind that line, four armored personnel carriers are parked, tailgates down, ready to receive passengers from the Outer District as soon as the dome drops. But for now, it still shimmers, flickering softly when debris strikes against its supernatural curve. Inside one of those armored personnel carriers, Kain Zarek sits with a rifle in his lap, slapping a banana clip inside and chambering the first round.

“This ain’t as romantic as Ah’ ‘magined,” Kain says with a reluctant smile, given the severity of the situation. “Y’got that diamond yet? ‘Cause like mah’ lady Beyonce says, if you like it ya’ll shoulda put— ”

“Th’only ringin’ goin’ on right now is the ringin’ in my ears,” Kay responds with a wide grin. It doesn’t quite reach her eyes, because this is a war zone and shit is exploding. “Once we bring that dome down, I’ll find you all the shiny fuckin’ rocks your heart desires,” she promises.

Checking the contents of the bag at her feet for about the eightieth time, she hefts it up onto one shoulder, leaving the zipper partially open so she can reach in and grab what supplies she needs on the fly. Kaydence plants a kiss on Kain’s cheek and follows it up with a sharp pat of her hand. “Cover me, sugar. I’m gonna set off the fireworks.”

She doesn’t wait for him to agree. She simply heaves herself from her seat and out of the vehicle, keeping low as she races up to the first road blockade that provides her cover from the fight. A bullet whizzes past her head, turning the concrete to powder and causing her to dip lower. From his vantage point, Kain can see her nervous laughter and her mouth form around the word shit.

From her pack, she retrieves the present given to her by Eve. It makes things go boom, which is the best kind of present. Taking a deep breath, Kay gives it her best wind up and lobs the grenade over the barrier as hard as she can.

The explosion rumbles in the asphalt beneath them, but the bridge holds. In its wake, the gunfire has stopped.

Even Kain’s stopped shooting in the wake of the grenade blast, though he can hear the pop and snap of distant gunfire from further down the bridge. He hustles from his spot beside the personnel carrier across open ground toward Kay, dropping into a slide across the rough, dusty ground to wind up beside her, rifle clutched to his chest. “Hot damn this is stupid,” he says with a wide smile. “Ain’t never been one fer this G.I. Joe bullshit, but end’f the fuckin’ world’s a good time!”

Kain peers over the concrete barricade, then ducks back down, nodding once. “I think them Gene-Nazis’r regroupin’. Ya’ll ready t’join the boys at the front, sugar?”

This is hardly the time for it, but Kay grabs his face and plants a kiss on his mouth. Adrenaline has her heart soaring. She’s still terrified under all of this, but she’s with the person she wants to be with most in the world — the world they’re going to save. Together.

Fishing another grenade out of her bag, she holds it tight in her hand and peeks up and over the barrier once before she nods. Everything looks clear, for the moment. Her chin tips up, indicating an old transit van that’ll make for great cover. Next stop. Staying low, she goes darting from behind their hiding spot and to the next. Gunfire explodes again and a rolling dive sees her landing safely behind the bulk of the vehicle.

Holding up a hand, she motions for him to wait. She pulls the pin, steps out and lobs the grenade in the direction of the gunfire again. An agonized scream tells her she’s found her mark.

Kay waves her partner over, dropping back into a crouch to retrieve something from the ground. “I lied!” she cries and holds up the little circle of metal attached to the pin of the grenade. She gets to her feet and waves it in the air in his direction.

“Marry me, asshole! I got your ring right he—”

The look of triumph is wiped right off her face as the passenger side window of the van explodes. Two pops of gunfire. Kay’s body jerks twice and she drops to the ground, motionless.

Kay grabs Kain's arm, whirls him around, and lands a slap on his cheek. "Whatever's going on here," she slurs in a harsh whisper, "is between you an' Ah. You keep mah family out of this. If you don't wanna fuck me, tha's yer pro'lem. Don't use mah kid as no excuse!" The more she's around him, the more she sounds like him. "You selfish sunuvah bitch, Zarek. You don't even have a damned clue. Yer too g'damn busy focused on yerself to realise that you aren't the only one with problems." Tears glint in the woman's eyes. It's like being rejected twice on Christmas Eve. Even if her husband didn't mean to.

Kain stares vacantly ahead, brows furrowing and unfurrowing. He doesn’t register what happened.

The grab to Kain's arm naturally causes him to turn — directly into the slap, which sends him back the other direction, leaving a small cut on his cheek from one of her nails. Working his jaw from side to side, Kain places a hand on the cut portion of his cheek, even as his skin begins to redden in the shape of Kaydence's palm. His blue eyes upturn to her, at first glowering in the manner a wild animal would when injured, but all of that heat and fury fades slowly as he listens to her, and sees her reaction.


"S'right." He mumbles, looking away from her, "Ah'm a selfish sunuvah bitch." His jaw tenses, looking away to hide the fact that his eyes have misted up. "Ah wasn't usin' yer kid against you." He growls out the words through his teeth, yanking open the front door with a gust of cool air from the street, "Ah meant it. Call yer kid." She can see it in his face, in the reflection from the glass portion of the door, that dour look of sadness where anger should be. But he refuses to commiserate, to share in that sadness and let it part from both of them.

“No— No, no— no!” Kain doesn’t realize he’s dropped his rifle, scrambling wildly across the bridge toward where Kay fell. His feet slip on the grit and asphalt, he ducks under the whizzing passage of anti-personnel rounds.

He can't.

No!” Kain screams, strangled. He slams his shoulder up against the van, drops to his knees and places his hands on the bloodied spots at Kay’s chest, pressing down against soft flesh, dark blood near oil-black welling up between his fingers. “Kay, Kay no. No Come on, no— no stick— stay— no— No, no.”

When he slams the door to the house as hard as that arm she grabbed will let him, he's slamming it not only on the moment, but on the future too.

Kain is sobbing as he tries to keep the blood inside of her, hands trembling, snot hanging in a thin cord from his bottom lip as he bawls loudly, reaching under her to try and cradle her lifeless body to his. The noises he makes are more a wounded animal’s now, faced with the cold and simple fact of the moment.

One he doesn't feel he can ever be a part of.

She’s dead.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License