Kill The Loop


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Scene Title Kill The Loop
Synopsis You're One Tribe, or the enemy of One Tribe, choose.
Date June-August

You, you love it how I move you

You love it how I touch you


A brush of wind against Cassandra’s face is the only warning to the thin stick being swept towards her, a switch made of bamboo the young woman armed with one that's identical. Though the strike is meant only to frighten Cassandra into backing up it is swift and fast as the pale woman on the other end of the switch advances on her young charge. Red hair flies in the early morning wind and the material of her long flowing pants trails behind her as she pivots and directs her next strike at Cassandra’s thigh. “You are able to relive the past and that is a gift,” Eve’s rasp calls out softly to the other woman as she steps back in a flurry of motion and comes to stand apart from Cassie once more.

The two stand on the dirt and leaf covered shore of a stream, the rest of camp slowly rising as the early morning dawn sun wakes them. The mouth of large cave looms behind the women with no way to access it except going through water. After a two mile run and light conditioning the Resistance leader led the girl to the stream to put her through her paces, no blades yet.

A week had past since her rescue from starvation and dust storms in Colorado and the group of nomadic fighters led by a mad seer had just gotten into West Virginia on instance from Eve that a detour through one of the last national forests in the country couldn't hurt or delay them too much. Water. A resource they could stock up on, except the dead fish floating in the water made it clear the water was tainted. A couple days of shade was still better than nothing.

“But you must learn to anticipate,” she takes a step towards Cassandra, “And look ahead,” before closing the distance between the two Eve sidesteps to come at Cassandra’s side swishing her bamboo switch from side to side to strike her.

My one, when all is said and done

You'll believe God is a woman

June 22, 2017

Monongahela National Forest

Ohio, USA

Those first few nights on the bus were uncomfortable.

When Cassandra was last on a school bus, it was the bright yellow of the sun on the way to school for the last day of high school, full of promise and anticipation of the future. Now, she finds herself a black and battered all-terrain equipped bus with a future as uncertain as any that could be. She was given one of the vacant seats near the middle of the bus, over a wheel well, and once Cassandra was checked over by what passed for a doctor, she was pretty much left to her own devices as the bus travelled across war-torn America.

One of the things Cassandra scavenged from the remains of the dome was a simple loose-leaf notebook, yellow in color, declaring the love the previous owner had for the Oregon Golden Ducks and a mechanical pencil full of lead. A few pages were already used, scribbled with notes about construction delivery dates, but thankfully the rest was left untouched. This allowed Cassandra to use it as a diary, giving her a way to keep track of days and to act as an info dump, relating what she knew, what she learned, and where she came from, lest she forget. What supplies she had were given up to the bus’s meager stores - the bag of vacuum-sealed coffee was met with a cheer and a promise that it would be used for a celebratory purpose when it was needed. Where they were going wasn’t known - away from conflict, towards something was all that she could hope for, and when they arrived at the remains of this national park there was a concerted sigh of relief as everyone was allowed off the bus to stretch their legs and enjoy what they could of what there was. Water treatment with a cobbled-together distillery was started so they could start filling the auxiliary water tank on the bus and not die of dehydration, which was very much a thing in this war-torn world.

Standing on the shore of the stream, holding a bamboo stick like a misshapen baseball bat, it’s all she can do to dodge the first attack, the second landing right on her thigh and letting out a meaty-sounding thwack when it connects, probably leaving a bruise. “Ow!” she shouts, dancing away in a half circle, the stick swinging out aimlessly in a futile attempt to defend from the next incoming attack. She doesn’t turn her back to Eve, though - she knows that much from that one semester of self defense she took back in New York a million years and a universe away.

As Eve advances, Cassandra turns to face her, holding the stick in both hands now, pointing at the other woman. “Hard to look ahead when all I’ve been doing for the last four years is looking back. My ability doesn’t work like that.” They’ve gone over it a few times - how she can see the past as clear as it’s happening right in front of her and show it to others - with a few of the other passengers asking to see the past to help pass the time. She steps to the left as Eve steps close, crossing her feet just like she’s been told not to in an attempt to defend and even attack back.

Going for the opening Eve slides under Cassandra’s stick and sweeps her legs from under her with her own leg, smiling at the younger woman. “You don't need your ability to see what's in front of you. Watch my eyes… my muscles, learn my patterns,” Eve backs away and waits just a moment for Cassie to get her bearings before she is closing in on her again, not leaving room for much error lest the woman wants another smack like the one on her thigh. “Ah! Ye! Ah!” As she strikes each time to Cassandra’s parrying.

Without warning Eve dives at Cassandra for a tackle. Trying to pin her legs beneath her and limit her movements, “CONSTANT VIGILANCE.”

The wild woman's hair hangs in their faces as she stares down into Cassandra’s eyes, “We are one Tribe. One family. One goal.” The smell of the liquor from the night before and marijuana thick on her breath, “Say it.”

Watching for patterns is something she can do, and very well, in fact. The vast majority of her job was finding patterns and using those patterns to find more things to derive more patterns, but this? This adds the headiness of ‘life and death’ on top of it all as a underlying spice that is both exhilarating and horrifying in the same mouthful. The postcog pushes herself to her feet and tries again, fending off Eve’s wild thudding swings with parrying blows of her own, the thicker part of her switch sliding down forcefully toward Eve’s hands with each impact. The problem is, these movements aren’t instinctual yet. She has to think of them instead of just doing them and that makes her slower than the well-trained Eve.

“I can do that.” she says. Not try. Do. An important distinction.

After a bit of back and forth where Cassie takes a few more painful whacks to her thighs, she actually tries to fight back, making an entirely telegraphed swing towards Eve, using the force from the most recent blow to bounce off the other switch, arcing up toward the other woman’s side near the arm holding the weapon in a poor attempt at a strike of her own. ‘This’ll show her I’m trying!’ Cassie thinks to herself the second before Eve yells about constant vigilance. Then, she’s flying airborne, landing on the sandy ground on her butt and getting knocked back a few paces, pinned beneath the wild-haired Eve before she has a chance to roll away.

The question of /where/ Eve actually gets the drugs that keep her in a constant state of inebriation has come up. Cassie thinks that Eve uses her ability to find stashes that weren’t raided or destroyed, but that’s neither here nor there. She’s being screamed at.

“One tribe, one family, one goal.” Cassie repeats quickly, one hand swiping the hair out of her face, her brown eyes wide as the other hand rests in the center of Eve’s chest, pushing her up and away just a little. “W….what is the goal?” A good question that she had never thought to ask until this moment. “What are we doing?”

The older woman allows Cassandra her space and peers across at her, she's learning.. the oracle reasons with herself and nods her head as Cassandra’s words find her ears. One tribe. One Family. That truth cemented in Eve’s head. A mantra that Eve has repeated since she started to whisper in the ears of the Resistance, go there. Bomb that shipment, liberate that camp. The pale woman had learned to trust the voices in her head inexplicably. So had the people that followed her.

And I, I feel it after midnight

A feelin' that you can't fight

My one, it lingers when we're done

Taking a moment to consider the question, not because Eve doesn't know the goal, “Destroy the tyrants that have taken over this country. Liberate the captive.” Eve’s tone passionate as she details the one goal. Rising to her feet she dusts herself off and peers down at Cassandra, all moving parts. More complicated than just one simple act but they all lead to the goal that Eve believes is the most important of them all, “The one goal… unity.” Her gaze grows dark and she tightens her grip on her stick, “You are One Tribe or the enemy of One Tribe,”

The woman’s teeth glint as Eve flashes a dark, feral grin her direction and bends at her waist, “Choose.”

You'll believe God is a woman

And then she's rushing forward to attack Cassandra swinging her stick in a wide arc…

July 2, 2017

Some Back Road

I don't wanna waste no time, yeah

You ain't got a one-track mind, yeah

The scorching hot sun bears down on the two women as they stand a few miles inland off a highway almost to New York. A line of cans and other objects are placed around the immediate area, a machine gun is locked and loaded and given to Cassandra as Eve stands and watches from behind, “Hunters are strong, they are vicious. They aren't dumb.” Tapping her foot lightly as she peers out from the mess of hair and her hood she wears to protect her pale skin from the sun.

“But they have vulnerabilities. A good gun and you can take it down.”

Have it any way you like, yeah

And I can tell that you know I know how I want it

Beginning to pace slowly, “Explosives work.” They might be Eve’s favorite. “But if you find yourself alone,” Eve’s tone grows more serious than before the lightness dropped like a curtain unveiling a vicious surprise on the stage, “You run like hell. Understand?” Her hand rests lightly on the machine hanging on her shoulder. A life sized dummy covered in metal sheets is standing in the distance. “They inspire fear in us all, they are designed to take us out.”

Ain't nobody else can relate

Boy, I like that you ain't afraid

“But we are designed to thrive and come over any obstacle thrown in our way.” Eve’s thoughts of she and Cassandra and everyone one else who is Evolved VS the unnatural creations of the DOEA clear and out there to be read whether you are a telepath or not. The clouds faroff dark and twisted, their almost home.

Baby, lay me down and let's pray

I'm tellin' you the way I like it, how I want it

“Shoot that fucker down.”

Hand to hand combat had become a daily occurrence, with Even putting Cassie through her paces whenever the bus stopped for fuel, to avoid a patrol, a storm, or to scavenge for food at out-of-the-way convenience stores and supermarkets. Eve’s stick - painful as it was - was a good teacher, and Cassie, being a good student, learned by virtue of not wanting to be whacked by a stick. She even managed to get a blow or two in response while avoiding the return strikes. All in all a good day when she didn’t have to nurse a bruise.

Guns had become a necessary part of life for Cassie since she joined the Revolution. As an evolved without any sort of offensive power, she had to rely on the basics of sending lead down range. While she had never fired a machine gun until today, she was instructed to spend her down time becoming intimately familiar with the weapons on board Nancy. She had gotten quite good at how to load and unload, how to replace a bent firing pin or a broken spring, and where the safety was. It was mind numbing to disassemble and reassemble guns in a moving bus, but now, finally, she’s getting to put into practice what she’s learned over the past couple of weeks.

Lifting the battered AR-15 to her shoulder, Cassie aims along the sighs, flicks the safety off with her thumb, turns the fire selector to 3 round, then gently squeezes the trigger while she holds her breath. BANG BANG BANG A three round burst erupts from the muzzle of the gun, one round impacting the ground in front of the target with the other two walking higher. The second round pings off to the left, ricocheting off with a whine of speeding steel, while the third punches right through one of the target plates as if it wasn’t there.

Cassandra’s mentor looks on with a dead look in her eyes, tilting her head she looks at the targets laid out ahead of them before looking off to the side, hiding her disappointment by allowing the sun in the corner of her vision making her blink. Gripping her own machine gun tighter she runs through a mental checklist of the things she needs to send off, people she needs to meet with. Eve’s mind is filled with more than just prophetic warnings of the future now, she had people who depended on her. It’s for this reason that Eve needs Cassandra to rise to the occasion. Eve didn’t want to lose anyone else.

“Again.” A hot breeze whips through the gorge of land rippling Eve’s cowl.

At least this time she’s not getting whacked by a stick, screamed at, or beaten. Taking into account the rise of the shot, Cassandra looks back over her shoulder Eve, squinting through the scavenged Ray Bans resting on her nose, and nods. This time she leans into the shot a little, pulls the stock back into her shoulder, and sends another trio of shots down range. This time, the target is struck three times, the bark of the gun not so scary the second time it happens, since she knows what to listen for and how she stock feels thudding into her shoulder.

She switches targets and fires another burst. Then another. Then a third. Until the clip is dry, moving from target to target and, more often than not, hitting each target at least two out of three times, a shining arc of brass scattering from the ejection port with each burst of fire.

“I got them!” She squeaks, bouncing, looking back over at Eve with a smile.

Eve dips into her pocket and pulls a pair of dark sunglasses to fit on her face, watching as Cassandra unleashes hell and lead on the targets that Eve laid out there. As she more or less begins to hit them with increasingly better accuracy the woman’s eyebrows dip and the side of her mouth twitches before she dips her head and takes a step forward in Cassandra’s direction, eventually passing her she walks by the targets righting them, putting them back in place, fetching some that flew a distance all while Cassandra waits, the seer doesn’t say a word.

And I can be all the things you told me not to be

When you try to come for me, I keep on flourishing

Once all the targets are placed back where they originally were the tall woman stops just behind Cassandra a few feet. The smile she wears unseen by the young woman facing forward.

And he see the universe when I'm the company, It's all in me


August 11, 2017

Middle of Nowhere

You, you love it how I move you

You love it how I touch you, my one

When all is said and done

You'll believe God is a woman

The crackle of the fire fills the silence between the pre and post cog gathered around it. Eve rips the meat of a rabbit off the bone with a juicy crunch staring into the orange flames, crouched and not sitting fully on the ground the older woman looks tense, throwing the picked clean bone into the flames, she finally settles back on a boulder behind her, crossing her legs at her ankles and staring across from the traveler from another timeline. It took them a day to ride a buggy and then hike the way out here, a wide open desert, just sand in every direction. Mountains sometimes, rocks or large boulders but that is all.

In the morning, “The Test” begins, loaded with two canteens and enough rations to last her the length of time it took to get to this spot. Cassandra would prove if she could survive alone. Which might be something she proved when she first crossed over but Eve isn't really one to not repeat things so.

And I, I feel it after midnight

A feelin' that you can't fight, my one

It lingers when we're done

You'll believe God is a woman

A flask is tossed to Cassandra, Eve raising her own, “You've done well, growing.. learning.. seeing.” A smile flashes on her face, “One Tribe.” She salutes the air and takes a deep pull looking at Cassandra and making a motion for the retrocog to join her. The mood shifts again behind Eve’s eyes, they soften as she stares into the flames now. “My best friend Gilly. She was the best of us, the nicest. Smart… beautiful.. I could go on. I stan— stanned for her.” Eve amends and her lips twist into a snarl before flattening out again.

I tell you all the things you should know

So baby, take my hands, save your soul

“She was taken from me. From Peter.” Her shoulders shake as she looks up to Cassandra with a wave of sorrow descending over her face, “I failed her. I didn't see it or it was lost in fucking translation,” a hand thrown up, for all the good her ability can do it often has her running circles and burning rubber, by the end of it all Eve felt like she was surrounded by smoke. Lost in the wind.

We can make it last, take it slow, hmm

And I can tell that you know I know how I want it, yeah

“I won't fail you or the others,” a promise Eve makes as she bites her lower lip and takes another deep gulp from her flask. “How do you feel?” A question Cassandra hasn't been asked much by the seer.

How does she feel? Over the past month and a half since her arrival, it’s been a trial by fire for Cassandra. The softness of a comfortable life had been pared away, her edges sharpened until the woman that arrived here through a blazing triangle had changed - for the better in some ways. Her clothing had slowly mutated to mirror the realities of this world. Bright colors and light cloth was replaced by heavier canvas and khaki in muted greens, browns, and grays for ease in blending in. A strange melange of military, denim, and leather combined into a rather striking outfit. Accessories like iPhones and scarves were replaced by dust masks, hoods and goggles that wouldn’t look out of place at an early 90’s rave. Holsters for firearms and pouches, too, were hung on a scavenged web belt, giving Cassandra access to things quickly. Anything else was carried in the backpack commonly slung over her shoulders. All of this stuff was common now, necessary for health and survival in this newly dessicated world. On her travels with Eve and the Tribe on Nancy, they had skirted still smoking battlegrounds, stopping to scavenge from the fallen and destroyed machines, Eve’s precognition telling them where to look, where was safe, where they could be without attracting attention.

Even Cassandra’s ability helped the Resistance, from time to time. Supply dumps were traced back from broken down vehicles or discarded garbage, and one time, a found map was discovered to be a trap. A small push revealed the planning stages and the planting of the map to be found by scavengers, displayed for the leaders of the Bus to view in real time. All this was done quietly, the postcog sitting her spot by the fire, her eyes covered by a strip of an old American flag, the stars and stripes still striking even in the poor condition it was discovered in.

Sitting around the fire, alone, with Eve, this evening, Cassandra can only shrug, lifting her battered flask in her right hand before taking a sip of the wine contained within. “One tribe.” she repeats, her voice soft, the crackling of the fire, the wind outside their makeshift campsite stirring through scrub and cactus, pushing dust and tumbleweed to its will.

Gillian's story gets a quiet nod, the flask of wine tucked away into one of the pouches, the can of tuna she had been eating scraped and tossed into the mesquite fire, the wrapper burning away, leaving only bright metal behind. “Being here, listening to the stories….everyone here lost almost everything. The thing is, those deaths, that loss, isn’t the worst is what dies inside while you’re still alive because of that. Watching you and all the girls on the bus, you never surrender. Even after Gillian.”

Cassie shifts to sit next to Eve, her arm going around the other woman’s shoulders, giving her a light squeeze. She’s the one about to go on a life or death journey across wilderness, alone, and she’s the one giving comfort to Eve. It seems like she’s the one that needs it most now, though. “My ability has the advantage of looking back, crystal clear, at what happened. You have the important distinction about seeing what could. You have infinite possibilities to look at, and I just have the one. Missing the signs wasn’t your fault. It was the fault of the people who took her from you.” Eve gets another squeeze before Cassie takes another sip from her flask. “I know you won’t fail me or anyone else. You wouldn’t have been so hard on me otherwise, right.” Despite the weather, despite the fear of the unknown ahead, despite everything, Cassandra smiles.

“C’mon. Let’s get some sleep. I’m going to need it more than you, I think.”

Hearing the young woman salute to One Tribe with Eve makes the seer smile and she dips her head in recognition of that. Cassandra had proven useful with her ability, she was catching up nicely with the weapons training and the firearms. There was but one more more test but really who ever knew with Eve?

Their travels had been the same as usual, Cassandra’s help in stopping an ambush was also noted with the leader of the group. She was trustworthy, she was.. loyal.

Talking more of Gillian and hearing Cassandra talk have Eve smiling weakly, “It's difficult to stay optimistic in this.. hell. Losing as many as we’ve lost.. still are losing. Picked off like ants with a magnifying glass.” Not standing a chance in a lot of instances. “But you are right, some things cannot be helped. We press on, we fight on.” The seer leans into the hug from Cassandra, “I'm very happy you trust me,” Her rasps softly emits.

And that's when the dizziness sets in for Cassandra.

The combination of the wine and tiredness would have been enough to keep Cassandra out cold until the morning light, but the addition of whatever Eve put into the wine found Cassandra waking up well after sunrise with the ashes of a cold fire next to her, in the shade of a tarp hung from a few rickety tree branches - the campsite that Eve chose for them to stop for the evening, leading up to the morning.

Waking with a start, Cassandra pushes herself up from a prone position, the throbbing of a hangover plus something /else/ behind her eyes, causing her to wince from the light blazing in until she pulls her sunglasses out and on, filtering out some of the harsh light. A look around finds her utterly alone in the middle of a desert. Her goal as stated last night by Eve? Find her way back from where she was dropped off or die trying.

She’d prefer to not attempt that second part.

First thing’s first - Cassie makes an inventory. Clothes and boots. Canteens and water, enough food for a day or two of walking, give or take, her pack, her guns, her knife. A few items like a dlength of nylon rope, a folded canvas tarp, duct tape, and zip ties are tucked into various pockets of her backpack. This is not a tenable position for very long - she can survive for a little while, but finding a source of food and water are important for continued survival, the bus even moreso.

Getting to her feet, she looks out into the distance from whence they came - to the east, into the rising sun. The tracks from the dune buggy that she and Eve took to get out here are fading, but those are probably the best choice to follow for now. Swallowing a mouthful of water and a few bites of the dried meat and hard tack that was used as rations, Cassandra started off into the desert, following the tracks left by Eve’s little dune buggy and using the knowledge of where the bus /was/ as well as what she saw on the way out to start working her way back there.

On and on Cassandra walks, the sun high though her sunglasses save her from the intensity allowing her to see the landscape before her. Sand, sand and sand. Rocky structures rise into the air in some spots offering shade when she needs it, the tracks from the dune buggy fading off into the distance, the wind dragging new sand to cover them but there are still some that are visible.

A confusing sight meets Cassandra as she spots another pair of tracks, now faded as well who telling when they were originally made. Whatever vehicle it is.. it's following right where Eve’s tracks are heading.

In the dirt where the tracks intersect there lies a smooth jet black stone and a piece of metal which upon study seems to be an old fashioned lighter, both hot to the touch from the sun.

The problem with summer in a dusty climate is the heat. It sets its teeth in and won’t let go until long past the setting of the sun. Exposed skin, left untreated, will quickly burn and in some cases blister, and that does not make a happy hiker. Add in the lack of medical care and a bad sunburn moves from discomfort to something far, far more dangerous. Thankfully, Cassie’s outfit consists of long sleeves, long pants, a hood, and a wide-brimmed hat with a cloak over it all. No, she doesn’t look like a denizen of the Road Warrior universe and no, this isn’t the most cooling of outfits, but her choices of clothing are perfectly chosen to keeping the sun off of skin in harsh climates. Nancy’s Passengers take care of their own.

She follows the tracks for as long as she can, pausing in the shady oases that occasionally appear, shielding her from the wind for enough time to take a few sips of water and to catch her breath. She can’t wait long - the tracks are slowly disappearing thanks to the inexorable push of the wind. It’s only when Eve’s tracks are crossed by another vehicles and the discarded stone and lighter are found that Cassie pauses to make a decision.

The stone is lifted and examined, the woman squinting through her sunglasses at the dull black object, running her thumb over it lightly before it’s placed down. The lighter is lifted and held up to the light to see if any butane is left inside and flicked to see if the sparker still works. Having a source of ready sparks for fire is something that’s pretty good to have, even in the middle of a wasteland. And then, kneeling on the tracks, Cassie’s power takes hold on the lighter, looking back to see who dropped this and what their intentions are for Eve, if any….

A spark flashes and a flame lights and flickers as Cassandra stares into it. The roar of engines assault Cassandra’s ears, sand blowing in the early morning twilight, the sun slowly rising. A group of three men on dirt bikes ride through the desert, their faces covered by rags and bodies covered as well. Guns and blades adorn the men’s bodies and the leader skids to a stop, dark hair billowing in the wind that is generated by the ride. Slowly the man slides off the bike and he surveys the area, looking in the distance that Eve’s tracks are headed. “Looks like we’ve got a trail, prey.” His gruff voice carries to the two men who pulled up behind him, they remain silent. Eyes focused and watching their lead.

The dark haired leader draws out the lighter and flicks the thing to ignite before leaning forward with a cigarette, the coarse smoke wafting around his fingers and face. “Let's ride.” He says as he swings his left leg back over his bike and revs up the engine, he slips the lighter back into his breast pocket but misses and it falls to the desert but he doesn't notice. “Fucking leg.” He comments as he rubs his right one, something must be wrong with it.

There's prey on the run.

The vision comes and goes, slamming reality back into Cassie’s vision, causing her to gasp. This was done without the benefit of her blindfold, dark tears staining the skin around her eyes, like a mask. The dark stone is lifted and tucked away, too - it may have something to do with the group that is currently pursuing Eve. Her initial thought is that it’s the Eli swarm to give her a challenge, but these aren’t Eli. These men are after Eve, after her vehicle, and intend to cause the woman harm. A quick check of her weapons follow, the rifle unslung, the magazine checked and the bolt worked to make sure a round is in the chamber, ready, before they’re put back into their spots.

“Game on.” she says to herself, breaking into a slow jog, following the tracks, scanning the horizon for any sign of Eve or trouble - smoke in general. Even with the dust, that should be visible.

On Cassie travels racing against the current of wind that blows against her, racing against time to help her fellow seer. The seconds mingle into minutes and then hours with the sun having reached its highest height and no sight of Eve or the scavengers. Before Cassandra can become too frustrated (if she's not already) a few shapes can be seen in the distance, there's no Nancy though or Eli. No Eve was leading Cassandra here and then they’d get to the bus.

The kooky seer in question is on her knees in the dirt, rope keeps her hands together at the wrists. Oddly enough the seer stays still and silent, perhaps she had cried as much as she would have already. A black bruise has begun to blossom on her cheek, Eli would be upset but there she kneels, the three men stand off to the side talking amongst themselves their backs turned from the direction Cassandra is approaching. Almost too nonchalantly, Eve raises her eyebrows and rolls her neck to the side indicating the men.

Go on, lay waste. Claim your prize.

She would say if she wouldn't be giving the young woman’s position away but Eve seems to be depending on facial cues to give Cassandra the go ahead. Quickly, quickly.

Through the wasted Cassie goes, following behind the track, staying quiet and low although the weather is currently acting as her ally, blowing wind toward her and kicking up just enough dust to keep her concealed while she travels. One canteen is emptied on the walk, her road-devouring pace and the dehydrating properties of the air requiring her to keep hydrated. Hopefully Eve got away, because at this rate, th setting sun will make following impossible.

The setting sun at her back, Cassie pauses when she sees pinpricks of movement on the horizon. As she moves closer, the figures come into view; three men, dirty and disheveled, festooned with knives and riding leathers that wouldn't look out of place on a Hollywood movie set. One even managed to find a set of football shoulder pads, painted red, to complete his outfit. The flowing cloak camouflages Cassie against easy detection, the woman sinking down to a crouch when she sees the men discussing what to do with their prize, shimmying over to hide behind a fallen tree, leaves long dead and blown away, bark stripped away to bare wood. A quick glance over the side shows the men about fifty feet away - possible to make a shot from here, but better safe than sorry. Unslinging her submachine gun and checking to make sure its loaded, Cassie flicks off the safety and slowly starts towards the three men, maintaining line of sight and cover as Eve taught her.

When she's within 30 feet, masked by the sound of the wind, Cassie pulls the butt of her gun to her shoulder, takes aim on the far left guy and works through her shot before squeezing the trigger. Her gun barks as 2 shots are fired in quick succession at one target, then two more at the second, and a final 2 at the third. Aiming for center mass or exposed areas, like the neck or the area between shoulder blades. Center mass. Those that don't fall are aimed at, ready to be shot again.

Shots fired - 6.
Shots remaining - 19.

The training that Cassandra has endured pays off as one of the men takes a bullet directly in the throat, clutching as he goes down on his back, kicking and flailing before the pool of blood is evidence that his life is over. The second man gets clipped in the shoulder and spins to the ground going for his pistol as he screams in rage and levels a shot that goes wide, his breathing heavy and eyes bulging out of her sockets damn near. “You bitch!!” He roars and fires two more shots in her direction but still can’t seem to get his aim right.

The third man rolls out of the way as a bullet grazes his arm wincing but the man clearly known as the leader raises his rifle and fires a shot towards Cassandra, the bullet whizzes past the woman.

Almost at the same time as this is happening, Eve begins rolling and rolling and rolling in the dirt, a mad look in her eyes as she eventually comes to a stop behind one of the men’s bikes. Her dune buggy sits not far off, whatever they were waiting for they hadn’t gotten a chance to completely go through it.

While the second man fires wildly and continues to miss as he shrieks at Cassandra, the third comes rushing towards her maybe hopping his size will make her falter. Suddenly Cassandra remembers from her vision that he had a problem with his right leg. Her ability giving her the chance to anticipate. It’s not seeing forward but Eve would say same sentiment.

Cassie chose her firing point well. A low berm and a fallen tree provide cover, and the sun at her back makes it hard to see where the fire is coming from other than ‘over there.’ The stray bullets impact the tree far to her left with a thunk, Cassie involuntarily scrunching down until the sound of fire stops, popping up again to send four rounds at the man coming her way, aiming specifically at his legs and feet to take them out from under him or make him jump and injure that leg more.

Shooty McGunguy gets a few more well-placed shots sent his way, Cassie ducking down and repositioning herself, listening for movement before popping back up. She's not letting herself get pinned down, but she's also being careful to not let any bullets go anywhere near Eve.

Shooty yells into the slowly darkening sky as a bullet rips through his chest and another through his arm, dropping his gun he lays useless. It’s just a matter of time until he is bled out and dead. The third and largest of them goes tumbling to the ground with a crack as Cassandra’s bullets hit his weak spot essentially, he doesn’t cry out like the other man whose now flailing about trying to grab his gun as the life drains out of him, no the leader lays there and looks over at Cassandra with dead eyes, “You’re gonna have to come and do it, I ain’t making it easy on you. Finish the job.” He looks old once studied more closely, the guy already dead and the other one younger. “My boys were the stupidest pieces of shit I had ever known. But, they were mine.” He looks over at the spot where the boys lay, his boys. “If they’re gone..” he doesn’t feel like he needs to say the rest.

All the while Eve can be seen laying in the dirt behind the bike, movement seen but not exactly clear what kind of movements, a feverish whispering can be heard over the dying wails of Shooty. “Settle down boy!” To his credit he doesn’t cry, “We’re about to go see ya momma.” Who wants to have to survive in a Wasteland.

Slowly, Cassandra emerges from behind her cover, her empty magazine swapped out for a fresh one, making her way slowly across the sand toward the fallen men. “I’m sorry this had to happen, but you kidnapped my sister. Family is family, after all.” She says this softly as she approaches, making sure she's not being aimed at by a pistol that's out of sight or something. Shooty’s cries have softened, the man falling unconscious from loss of blood. Cassandra watches, nausea causing her stomach to twist as she watches a man die in front of her. With her eyes closed, she turns to the last of the trio, moving so he can see her. “Just so you know, if it means anything, I'll make it quick. And I'll make sure you're put to rest properly.” It's more than they'd do for her, but she's still human where it counts. “What're your names?”

Putting names to the faceless marauders. What is this world coming to?

“Tha— They were.. Murphy and John.. I’m Lars.” The man says with a closing of his eyes but then he reopens them to stare directly into Cassandra’s eyes.

“If you'd like to pray, now’s the time.” She moves to where he's looking away, her body shadowing his face from the sun as he says whatever it is he has to say before she lifts her gun and fires, sending two shots into his chest. A killing blow.

It's amazing she could even do it - her eyes were closed and she was looking away the whole time.

Once it's done, Cassie is flying high on adrenaline, about to crash as the realization of what she just did starts to hit her. She stumbles over to eve, leaning against the bike she was hiding behind, offering her a hand up after slicing her bonds with one of he many knives scattered around. “Y…y…you o…o…okay?

He stares into her eyes as the echo of Cassandra’s shot rings throughout the area, the life drains from his eyes but he still stares at her, the look would haunt her.

As Cassandra rushes over and goes to cut Eve free she notices that the seer has already freed herself. Red hair clings to her mouth and she spits it out as she takes Cassandra’s hand and rises to her feet. The seer just looks at Cassandra as the ropes drop to the ground and she smiles slowly, a wild looking expression overtaking all of her face.

You, you love it how I move you

You love it how I touch you, my one

When all is said and done

You'll believe God is a woman

She knew.

And I, I feel it after midnight

A feelin' that you can't fight, my one

“You’ve passed.” Eve says with a gruff tone, yanking Cassandra’s weakened body to her to embrace her in a tight hug, “One Tribe. One Family. One Goal.” Eve whispers in her ear. As the sun sinks further the pair relieve the corpses of their possessions. All the while the seer mutters that mantra, as if it wasn’t solidified in her and Cassandra’s heads. “The crows will feast.” As the engine of the dune buggy is reved up and the seer allows Cassandra one last look at the reality of this Wasteland. The younger woman's protest at leaving the bodies unburied causes Eve to give pause and she stops from driving off and looks in the back of the buggy to a bunch of things that were covered until now, with a sigh and roll of her eyes she throws back the tarp to reveal a shovel. "In case you wanted then," Eve plans for the possibilities. Fights for them even.

"Hurry up."

It lingers when we're done

You'll believe God is a woman

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