|Scene Title||Morals of the Dead|
|Synopsis||Taking a brief respite from their escape after Pei performs open heart surgery, the Matthew, Tavio and Gayle have a discussion with their companions and get ready to head to Ashley's place. On the way they start discuss some moral ramifications of what they're doing…|
Field trips are exciting! Zombies have stopped attacking for the moment, although the sounds of moans and groans fill the night air elsewhere. Grooooaaaannnn. Matthew has opened one of the local apartments currently unoccupied by the simple expedient of kicking the door in. Couch dragged outside for sitting upon and the fridge dragged near the front door to provide a ready access to chilled drinks and even /gasp/ beer. If anyone wants to enforce the drinking age right now they are damn welcome to try. He's currently sprawled out, cold soda in hand while he watches the nearby fenceline to make sure nothing scary is getting too close to it.
Exhausted Gayle is exhausted. She's never had to help perform surgery before, and so she flops onto the couch, having grabbed a metal baseball bat from their supplies that they took fromthe school as zombies wander about. She wrinkles her nose and watches 'them' carefully as all that separates them from zombies are several yards of.. well, front lawn and metal gratings around the apartment complex.
"How are you holding up?" she asks curiously. "I was able to get Alice to sleep. I'm glad we were able to save her father." she whispers softly.
"I don't know" Matthew says looking over and lifting a shoulder, "Once saw my dates head ripped clean off. Someone that mattered to me. These people, their all strangers. I still want to save them you know? But I don't think watching them die is fucking me up quite as bad as that did. How is her dad doing? It looking like he is going to pull through?"
"I don't think we can save everyone." Gayle says softly, pursing her lips as she looks out at the wandering and shambling dead as she clutches onto the baseball bat tightly. "So we just have to try to help those we've made friends with, our new companions. That's what I think. To try to save everyone would just get us exhausted to where we'd be easy pickings for what's here. So we have to protect Ashley, Albert, Nurse Fields, Alex, Jasmine, Alice, her dad, and that Japanese chick as best as we can." she replies cheerily. "That means find their families and try to reunite them."
"Wrong way to think" Matthew says chastisingly, "I mean maybe it's true, but you can't let yourself think that way. "That is what those people all bunkered up were thinking when they stabbed Alice's dad. They were telling themselves.. we can't save everyone. We don't have the resources. We have to help the people that are here, our friends, we have to protect them before anyone else because they are all that matter." He gestures to the fridge, "Milk? And I'm not arguing we have to help their families, we do, but I'm not going to turn my back on those that need help. Not if they are there, not if they need helping."
"You just want my boobs to get bigger." Gayle says trying to add a little brevity to an already tense situation. She scrunches up her nose and takes a deep breath. "We'll help those we can, but like at the school. We couldn't of saved everyone." That's what she's telling herself anyway. She scrunches up her nose once more as she idly runs her fingers through her hair. "When everyone is rested up, we're going to Ashley's first. It's the closest apparently."
"But we didn't walk away from anyone that needed saving" Matthew points out, "We could have left the nurse and the chick with the sword to die. We didn't. We could have just peeled out and left those two others behind, but we made room. We saved everyone in our path, we didn't back down from that in the least, we didn't see anyone in trouble and suffering and make the choice /not/ to help them. And yeah? She so doesn't seem interested. Think maybe I'm not smart enough for her?"
"I think she's worried about her family. Then once she gets to see they're all right, then maybe she'll flirt with you." Gayle says with a wry grin as she nods and leans back in the chair as she scrunches her nose, her voice barely above a whisper. She doesn't want to attract more zombies afterall. "And you're smart enough, and you're right, we have saved everyone in our path. And for that, I'm glad."
"Think?" Matthew asks sounding kind of hopeful, his mind on more than just zombie slaying it seems. He shakes his head, "And I don't know what smart enough is. I couldn't have saved that guys life for all I went and got him. But yeah.. that is my point. It's like the homeless, of course you can't save every single one in the world, even if you spend all day going around and giving them food and money and stuff. But you can't let that make you decide you can't help any more at all, someone is in front of you and you can help.. you help. That is what you've got to keep doing." Him and Gayle are sprawled out on a couch near one of the apartments watching the fence and chatting away.
"I think that's a very refreshing attitude. With all that's happened, I think having someone gallant like you is a good thing. And it's very attractive to girls. I'm sure Ashley will be all over you if we survive this." Gayle says with a bright and cheery smile. She scrunches up her nose as she takes a deep breath as she hrmms for a few moments. "I wonder how the others are faring. You think the teachers made it out okay? Or Zack and the others?"
Matthew lifts a shoulder, "I don't know. I hope our teachers at least had better sense than to listen to the local princpal and that they got themselves somewhere safe and away from all that. I'm not too worried about Zack and the others, they're not as tough as us, but they're a lot more cruel and evil, that is probably better for keeping safe right now than the whole gallant thing you know?"
"I hope the teachers are okay. Pei didn't say anything about Zack though. I bet she's worried." Gayle says with a little frown as she continues to scrunch up her nose before she goes to take a soda out of the cooler, starting to chug it down.
Tavio is feeling a bit more cruel and evil than he is gallant at the moment, but so far he hasn't done anything he regrets yet.
The would-be murderers have been spared, but only after the heavy door to their precious refuge was torn from its hinges and hurled into the zombie-infested street while the lot of them were packed against the walls of their shelter during a scenery-chewing, incomprehensible Spanish-laden rant and the waving of a gore-soaked ghetto machahuitl under their noses ('Smell that? That's your /souls/, motherfuckers!'- he got a little melodramatic).
He's just come back from helping the thoroughly chastised refugees put the door back into place with the caveat that he would somehow know if they pulled 'that shit' again, and would come for them while they slept, worse than any zombie.
Being that angry takes a lot of energy. He looks drained, as exaggerated a face as any he makes. Tavio doesn't do much by halves. He even throws the fridge door open with a particular flourish and pops the cap off a beer bottle with gusto fit to sell the product on television, downing half of it before he flops across and between his friends on the couch, indiscriminate in his invasion of their personal spaces.
"I feel better," he says airily.
"You worthless selfish piece of shit" Matthew says towards Tavio, "Terrifying already scared people. And their children? How about /this/ motherfucker, the next time /you/ pull that shit again we tie your sick sadistic ass up and leave you somewhere where you aren't more of a danger than a help." Oh no. Matthew is not happy with Tavio, not in the least. "Oh I get being angry, but that? Never again. Not unless you want more of a fight than you'd ever expect from those poor defenseless people you just terrorized." A sidelong look to Gayle, "No milk? Damn."
Gayle is not happy. Now they're starting to fall apart as she eases on up and stands between the two boys as she scrunches up her nose. "No fighting. We /cannot/ afford that right now. Tavio, what you did was horrible. I understand why you did what you did, but you've sunk as low asthey have. I'm a bit disappointed in you." she says firmly and resolutely. "And keep it down, the zombies are attracted by sound."
Well, he did feel better.
Tavio rolls off the couch as Matthew begins his tirade, eyes wide with growing rage that has him trembling with the impulse to do violence. He even goes so far as to pick up his discarded, gory weapon from the ground to level it accusingly at the other jock as his skin starts to feel taut from the excess of emotion roiling within. The challenge is the worst of it, turning his expression cold. By the time Gayle's weighed in, his mood is dark beyond salvaging for the moment, and he musters all the restraint he can manage to turn and stalk away, presumably to cool his head somewhere else. Even so, he can't resist the urge to throw his half-empty beer bottle as far as he can, winging it down the street with a sidearm pitch.
Matthew takes a deep breath, looking to visibly cool himself down as well and he says to Gayle rather more quietly, "You're right. We can't. But we can't afford that happening again either, that's exactly the sort of thing we can't let happen." He reaches up to massage at his eyes wearily, "I'd say go talk to him but he probably needs time to chill and think. Hopefully it does some good. I'd like to check on the people bunkered away but I doubt they want anything to do with us at this moment, trying to help would probably just terrify them more."
"You can go check on those people. I'll talk to Tavio." Gayle says matter of factly as she takes the baseball bat in case they runinto zombie trouble along the way. As such, she dashes off after the fiery Hispanic and tries to put her hand on his shoulder. "Hey… I know this is a stressful time, so, do you wanna talk about it?" she asks curiously.
Tavio doesn't really seem to need to get very far. He is rather boldly situated in the middle of the street facing down the lifeless expanse of buildings, where even the plume of smoke from a nearby hotel seems sedate and lazy as it billows into the sky. The street is empty at the moment, but for the sickly giddy air of potential that seems to build with every moment of stillness that passes. The hot-tempered Scion stands where he can glare at his own shadow stretching out ahead of him.
For an instant it seems as though the gesture might be rebuked. Tavio rolls his shoulder beneath Gayle's touch and muscles already wound like springs bunch even tighter. Then with a dull clatter the studded bat falls to the asphalt as he raises his hands to convey surrender, or at least an absence of hostility. He doesn't turn around, but does raise his head to vent a sigh and roll his neck wearily.
"I got too much to say," he says hoarsely. "Dunno how to keep it all straight."
Matthew looks after Gayle thoughtfully for a moment but finally heeds that advice, heading towards the shelter and delivering a few quick raps on the door. "Hey in there. Don't uh.. panic. It's not him. I'm really sorry for that. I know you've done something you're regretting, the stress got to you, stress got to him too. We've all got to pick it up and move forward though to get through something like this. If anyone got injured when the door went down we've got a nurse out here, and first aid supplies. Same if anyone got injured in the initial attacks." He looks over his shoulder towards the van, "We don't have a lot else, but if you people want to come out of there, get some fresh air and join the larger community, well, you're welcome to do that. No pressure."
The old man clings onto his makeshift spear as Matthew approaches. Whatever last little remnants of trust and faith in the rest of humanity the small group has had, it seems that Tavio scared the beejesus out of them. "J-just s-stay away!" he says, already trying to fix the door to make sure that zombies can't break through. P-please! Just go away!" No one seemshurt, but they're all scared and shivering. It's a small group of seeming frat boys anyway.
Gayle meanwhile sighs as she looks at the wandering dead aroundthem. They're starting to head their way when the bat is dropped. She looks around and grabs a few rocks, throwing it in another direction, to hopefully getthe zombies to move in that direction instead. She tries to tug on the soccer player while nodding. "Then we'll talk where it's safe. Not out here in the street. WE're all tired right now." she says as she tries to get him back into the safety of the apartment complex.
Time spent fighting the zombies off when they first got here may have made Tavio a bit complacent, like someone who routinely swims with sharks. He's cautious, but seems to think he knows their limits and the margins of his own safety. By now he's sure he knows how fast they move and how much a threat they are individually.
"We're cool," he assures Gayle as she starts trying to herd the zombies away, bending to gather up his weapon even as he moves to follow her. He backpedals toward safety to keep an eye out, seeming a little impatient with the precautions.
"I'm starting to get what my dad's all about," he confesses glumly as he accompanies her. "It makes a little more sense now." He turns around to walk beside her once they're in the clear, wiping at his nose with his forearm
Matthew looks at the old man worriedly and past him to the frat boys, right.. "Allright" he says to them. "We've cold beers though if you change your mind, and quite a few girls who are really scared and could really probably use a few kind words from some guys that know the local terrain and so can make them feel a little more secure by filling them in on what is where. Your choice though, we'll be out here if you change your mind." And back away from the door he does, heading back couchwards.
The boys inside nod and shake their heads. "We'll be fine for now." and with that, they close the door.
"Oh? And what is that?" Gayle whispers softly as she hooks her arm with his own, offering a bright smile, a cheery demeanor as she opens the metal grating before they're backin the safety of their little domicile once more. At least the distraction worked as well, since it's a chilly night with snow, the zombies continue to meander about outside.
She looks towards Matthew and motions for Tavio to sit down next to her BFF. She scrunches her nose and looks at the both of them. "Now uh… make up you two. We can't have anything dividing us right now, so if you need to pummel each other to get it out of your system, do so /quietly/" she says firmly and resolutely, not wanting them to get divided. "Us spazzing out and fighting each other is the /worst/ thing that could happen short of one of us getting eaten."
Tavio lowers his voice as Gayle takes his arm, clearly uncomfortable articulating his thoughts. He leans down to answer her, so as to keep what's said between them.
"I just felt like somebody had to, I dunno…punish them. Teach them a lesson. The longer it went without nothing being done the harder it was to put it out of my mind. Like something bigger than this depended on someone doing something. Like maybe if a price was paid this could all be fixed. By the time I started, it was all I could do to keep from…doing something worse." He makes a sour face and shakes his head, breathing out a sigh as he gently reclaims his arm, bends to set his bat down, and walks up to Matthew.
"They deserved some of that. But I'm pretty sure I went too far. I'm not going to budge any farther than that. Someone other than me should've—" he shakes his head, still a bit challenged to find the words. "I did it wrong. I can't unfuck this. That's where we are. Think what you want, I'm not pissed at you." He offers his hand, but keeps a stranglehold on his pride. The wary, defeated look in his eyes doesn't hold out much hope, but he seems prepared to soldier on whether they're cool again or not.
Matthew listens to Tavio's speech in silence for a moment and then offers his hand to give a shake as well, "If you think I wasn't tempted you're wrong. Instead of lifting up that little girl and her daddy I almost kicked that door. People.. they're scared enough though. If they weren't so scared already they wouldn't have done what they did and making them more scared isn't going to fix anything, it's just going to make everything that much more broken. We don't know how far this goes, if it is just this town or if the whole damned world suddenly became zombie bait for some reason. Either way if people are gonna survive it they have to come together, they have to forgive each other their mistakes and work to find the common ground. So uh.. yeah. Let's move on."
There's a soft sigh of relief as she scrunches up her nose and starts to head inside. "I'm going to check on the news to try to find the answer to your question, Matthew." Gayle says, smiling asthe two seemed to have made up. And so she starts channel surfing. Flip. Station dead. Flip. Station dead. Flip…
"This is KPRC News 2 Chippequa. THe Mohegan Lake and Chipequa areas of Westchester County are currently under quarantine. The two cities, only a few miles from each other have been completely blocked off by…When questioned on the ability of the local police to maintain public order, representatives would not comment due to the large numbers of riots throughout the two cities. The local government has been forced to rethink it's emergency policy. THe mayors of the two towns will make a speech directed to those still hiding in their homes. He commented… the local death toll has already surpassed one thousand."
In the background of the reporter, there are dead bodies being loaded onto body bags. Suddenly, there's a scream as the body bags start to rise up."This can't… h-help! What…AAAAAH! Oh, just in!" says the panicky female reporter. The police have made an announcement! They stilldon't know what to make of the current situation…" and suddenly there's static as it all cuts off.
Gayle just stares in silence.
Tavio's trend of not being able to do anything, from scathing rebuke to lechery, at anything less than a full tilt persists as his explanation is accepted and pardon is given. He grips Matthew's wrist tightly and hauls him in for a fierce bro-hug, stepping back with a sharp nod. "Cool," he says simply, having conveyed most of his sentiment more eloquently already.
When Gayle mentions the news, he breaks off to run after her. "Hey, that's right! We still got power an' shit. Does this place have cable? I'm missin' Spongebob." His priorities remain in order, as always. That idea is dropped the very instant she finds a news channel and they're given a chilling revelation about how far-ranging their predicament is.
"Yo, we have gotto find out what's causin' this shit so we can stop it." He looks around the apartment, and then runs into the bathroom down the hall as he fishes around in his pocket. He pulls out a candy skull, of all things, remarkably intact in its ziploc baggie.
"We'll be getting some answers soon enough" Matthew says staring at the screen looking troubled, finally shaking his head. "The locals know more than they're telling. Ashley was surprised when all this broke out, but not freaked. And our sword maiden we snagged along the way knew that supernatural energies are feeding this whatever it is, we want to find out what's happening we need to have a big group meeting. Course, that'll need to wait till Alice's dad is stabilized. He's still not in very good shape so Pei and the nurse need to keep watch."
"Or until we find their parents. They do know a lot more but aren't we wasting time trying to have a meeting here when the others are still worried about their parents?" she says with raised brows as she looks back towards Tavio and shakes her head. "No cable. That was a local channel." she whine a little as she purses her lips and nods. "I'm going to take a quick shower. Since we're waiting anyway. I know Ashley and Jasmine already took one. Now it's my turn." Gayle replies as she heads up the stairs for a quick shower and to steal some clothes from the apartment.
Tavio gets partway to the bathroom with his odd trinket when he's reminded of the swordsgirl's warning earlier. No magic, no fancy stuff. It's zombie bait. When Gayle announces her intention to go shower he grins and turns his head to follow her progress. "Holler if you need a hand with that," he teases, before hunkering down in front of the television to try and tune something in.
"This whole place is quarantined 'cos of something they already knew about," he ponders aloud. "That's just fucked up. I wonder what the story is." He looks to the little sugar skull in his hand as though expecting it to whisper the answer, and then stuffs it in his pocket as he shakes his head. It doesn't work that way. Maybe the boob tube will be more forthcoming if he can find a channel that works.
"Damn it!" Matthew protests to Gayle, "They showered and you didn't tell me! You have to come get me for things like that, I could have totally.. I don't know.. done something… somehow.." The thought of what exactly he might have done seems to perplex the jock and he looks away disgruntled, "I don't know. But it is not just some virus or stuff like in movies, if it were the weird powered stuff wouldn't be making it stronger. And uh.. I don't know if it is wasting time to figure out what is going on, but their parents might have an even better idea. We'll find them first, yeah."
"I'll be fine.." Gayle says as she disappears up the stairs.
And in her place comes Ashley, the buxom blonde wearing a new pair of snug fitting jeans and a rather tight black t-shirt that leaves her midriff exposed due to her rather buxom nature. She tooheard the news on the way down as she hrmms for a few moments. "The news isn't showing everything. Makes sense." she says rather cryptically.
"Do somethin' now, hero," Tavio teases Matt sotto voce as he jerks his chin toward the newly arrived Ashley before he turns around and stands up to greet her with a broad grin. That lasts all of a second before her own statement brings him back to the concerns of the moment.
"Yeah?" he asks, his face wearing curiosity and expectation in its usual exaggerated manner. "What ain't they tellin' us then? We were just talking about how y'all didn't seem really surprised when all this happened. Mind letting us in on it?"
Matthew does something! Even if a lot of that something is looking at Ashley, still he motions towards the open seat on the couch beside him and he says, "Settle down and talk with us? We've got beer or soda in the fridge if you'd like something to drink, and I scavenged some snacks from the apartment next door. But yeah, like he says, you didn't seem exactly shocked, neither you or Albert. What's up?"
"Thanks.." Ashley replies as she adjusts the golden rimmed spectacles on the bridge of her nose. She didn't have them before, but she has them now. Contacts out, glasses in. "They aren't showing everything to keep the fear and hysteria down. Fear causes chaos and chaos can destroy order in a society. And if there's no order, who knows how many more lives nwillbe lost?" she says. No wonder she's the class valedictorian as she scrunches up her nose and purses her lips at their question.
"I don't know. But rumors from a long time agosaythat this town is doomed. We've been doomed since the beginning due to an 'innocent sin' that we've commited. But no one knows what it is." she says softly, sighing as she looks up at the ceiling and takes a deep breath.
Rather than crowd the couch, Tavio simply kneels down behind it and crosses his arms over the back, which doesn't place him in between the two, exactly, but does have him situated where he can talk to both Matthew and Ashley.
"Can you be more specific? We can't fight rumors. Is it the land the town's built on or the people in it? If everybody left, would this shit follow them out?" He takes a sullen pull off the beer bottle in his hand and then another notion dawns on him.
"Has this ever happened before? 'cos like, it seems to me a curse or whatever wouldn't wait so long to start actin' up."
Matthew offers Ashley one of the nearby beers, stretching out a little. "Yeah. We've seen quite enough already of what fear can do, why I'm trying to get people all calmed down and part of a community again." He really is! Ashley missed that part of the conversation though, woe the hot girl missing him being all wise and shit. "So what is the history of this town? When was it founded?"
"A long ass time ago." she says in answer to Matthew's question as she refuses the beer. "The town was settled not too long after the immigrants settled here. So I'd say around two hundred years or so?" she guesstimates, not knowing the full history of her small little town once more. "And I have no idea. I just know the town is fated to be destroyed. They've been saying it for years."
Ow, ow, ow. Somewhere in a far corner of Tavio's mind where his self-awareness lives like a mad hermit spewing logic with a dose of rabid froth that goes largely ignored, he imagines this must be what it's like to listen to him sometimes. Closer to the surface, it still doesn't add up, and he massages his brow as he whimpers in intellectual discomfort.
"You mean, everybody /knows/ the town is fated…and they stay here? Is the milk that good?" He steals a discreet glance at Ashley's own dairy facilities and briefly supposes that might be enough. Then the mad hermit far back in his mind manages to bellow loudly enough to snap him out of it.
"I mean, it's one thing if everybody's all 'Oh no, the crazy people were right, we really are all doomed!' but you make it sound like everybody's kinda accepting it like they accept that Tuesdays happen. Why didn't everyone just leave? There's a shitload of people here for a place that's all gonna be destroyed and shit. Y'all don't look too poor to move."
"People know California is all going to fall into the ocean and stuff, eventually" Matthew opines while looking at Ashley and trying to keep his eyes on her eyes, not her milk producing attributes! It's hard. He is often failing. Poor Ashley. "But they don't move away, more people keep moving there. People like their homes, they want to live in and protect their homes even if it is in some weird cursed town or something. Well.. uh.. hopefully your parents or some of the other parents will know more. If not I don't suppose you've got a town history museum or anything?"
"Albert's mom runs the town history museum." Ashley replies matter of factly before she looks back towards Tavio. She can see where he's coming from and she shakes her head. "It's kind of a town secret. It's just rumors, and the majority of the town thought that. I mean who is really going to believe doom and gloom portents. We've supposed to have had the world end in 2000, and numerous times before that. But now, I guess, it's real." she says with a slight shiver of fear. Matthew, make your move!
"First off, that's why I don't live in California. Second off, nobody really knows for sure that's going to happen. That's like how everybody knows Yellowstone's gonna explode and kill us all. This is-" Before Tavio can get good and wound up, and his gesturing with the beer bottle could get beyond swirling its contents around, Ashley speaks up, clarifying things a little.
"Okay, okay. So not everybody saw this coming. Nevermind." He holds up a hand, willing to drop the argument altogether. "But you guys knew, and that explains why." He notes that shiver, and looks as if he's briefly pondering an offer of comfort, but instead he cuts a glance toward Matthew as if to give him first dibs.
Matthew makes his move! He is on the couch after all! An arm moving to slip around Ashley as he slips closer to her and pulls her against his warm muscly chest. He is all manly, and warm, and hopefully comforting. "Don't worry. The world isn't ending, we're not going to let it. Next we're on our way to get see that your parents are safe, and then we'll figure out what is happening and put a stop to it. I'm not going to let anything hurt you, it's all going to be allright."
There's some sniffling. Someone needs to cry. Ashley does in this case and she just sob, sob, sobs against Matthew's muscley chest as she lets her boobies crush against his muscular form. Awwww.
Tavio wisely sees fit to go play with the TV…or something. He'll poke his head out later to see how things are going.
Matthew comforts the sobbing Ashley as best he can. Silly girl, she is supposed to be all sad and want comforting involving wild passionate oomphing in a bedroom, not sobbing on a couch! Girls never act like you expect them to. Silly silly girls. Still he comforts and makes soothing sounds and looks over at the others as he says, "Guess everyone should take a chance to get showered up while they can. We've all got at least a little blood on us. It was that kind of day."
"Way ahead of you, bro," Tavio announces as he passes the doorway. He's got some 'borrowed' clothes and a towel thrown over one shoulder and seems to have discarded his bloodstained outer layers already, down to boxers which mercifully weathered the day's zombie fighting unstained. He hesitates, giving Matthew an odd look and a shake of his head, tilting his chin toward the sobbing girl on the couch as if to say 'What gives?'
He too is under the impression that the difference between crying girls and hot-to-trot girls is a display of panties-moistening sensitivity that gets them all revved up to celebrate life in everyone's favorite fashion.
He offers a sympathetic shrug and then turns to jog upstairs. In a moment he'll be heard knocking on the upstairs bathroom's door for Gayle to hurry up.
"You ain't gotta get your hair did to fight zombies. They don't care what you look like, they just gon' eat your brains!" he calls through the door.
"I just got out, jerkface."
And there's an almost naked Gayle as she scrunches up her nose and is just wrapped up in a towel. She shakes her head while looking towards Tavio as she grumbles something under her breath. Probably something about his own insensitivity to her needs or something like that. Still, she motions towards Tavio as she lets out a soft chuckle under her breath while looking him over, especially at the boxers.
"Hot water's out. But I think you can use the cold shower." ooooh, cruel, ouch.
ashley continues to cry as she doesn't just pull down her panties. That is not what classy girls do! She is a classy girl even though she has double Ds like the rest of the school population here in Chippequa. "Th-thank you.. I needed that." she says, giving Matthew a quick smooch on the cheek. "I should check on the others.." and with that, she gets up away from the couch. Oh noes!
Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo……………………………………………………………………………………………………………. Matthew has put a lot of time into comforting the sobbing Ashley and then she just gets up to leave! His arm gives her a squeeze before she goes, "I can tell you feel you have to be strong. People are looking up to you, but you really did need that. You don't always have to hold it all in, I'm here when you need to let some of it out."
"Clearly," Tavio teases, looking towel-clad Gayle up and down. It's only fair since she's ogling him. They're cool like that. Of course, all the smug appreciation leaves him in a flash, replaced by a pained look and a whimper of protest.
"You did NOT use up the hot water!" he exclaims, as if he could make it so. Now it's his turn to scowl and mutter, quite comically given how over-the-top even this is. He takes in a breath and huffs, raising his chin defiantly as he gestures to himself.
"Cold water touches this," he points, and then splays his hands, "it turns to steam. I'm good." He slips past her, aiming a presumptious swat toward her backside in passing.
Bravado notwithstanding, his miserable yelp gives away the lie at precisely the moment the water hits him, audible through the door and all the way downstairs.
Poor Matthew. Poor poor Matthew. Ashley nods as she smiles warmly towards him. "I do. Just like you all are trying to be strong for us, I can't just leave that burden on you all. It's not fair." she says before departing to check on the others.
"Used it up just for you." she replies as she lets out a squeak as her butt is swatted by the soccer player. Surely, Preston has the urge to kill something again. Poor Preston.
Gayle stretches her armsinto the air as she heads intothe bedroom and grabs a new set of clothes. The blouse fits her just fine since she isn't of hugenormous boobies, and she heads downstairs to look towards Matthew as Ashley leaves. She gives him a sympathetic smile and ruffles his hair before she eases on down.
"Struck out, huh." she says with an impish giggle.
"Yeah" Matthew grumbles, "I don't know what else I can do. I mean she saw me lift heavy stuff! I know she saw me lift heavy stuff. Maybe it's because I was wearing a shirt while lifting stuff? Yeah.. that has to be it. The shirt threw everything off. It totally like.. scrambled things. I should know better than to lift tables and shit while fully dressed but we were in a hurry and it was too hard to find a reason to get half naked. If she comes back I'll have to make sure she catches me coming out of the shower or something, that'll work right?" Aww.. he tries to get girl advice from the BFF.
Not long after Gayle's found a blouse to wear, a miserable litany of complaints in Spanish can be heard over the sound of a hairdryer being generously applied to pretty much everywhere on Tavio's body. One would think (and be incorrect) that he'd never taken a cold shower before. The difference is, this time he can share his suffering, so naturally he amps it up, making sure the architect of his misfortunes is able to HEAR what she's done to him! Lacking an audience, he can weather hardship without batting an eyelash. But where's the fun in that?
Anyway, he jogs downstairs in clothes that clearly belong to someone of substantial girth that fit him quite loosely, but comfortably. They were clean and dry as opposed to his gore-soaked threads (which now hang halfway out of the trash bin in the kitchen) and he's either not worried about making any more first impressions or confident that he looks good in anything. Going by existing trends, the latter is most likely.
He heads outside, giving Gayle a very black look, like a little boy glaring at the thief of his lunch money, and then flops down on the arm of the couch to shove Matthew toward Gayle and mash the three of them into a tight cluster.
"If you need a shoulder to cry on," he informs the jock with a mock-sincerity that, beneath the laughter has the ring of earnest sympathy, "you can use mind, bro." He too ruffles his buddy's hair, and then swats playfully at Gayle's, just because. Personal space? What's that?
"She /likes/ you Matthew. She just doesn't probably think now is the appropriate time to have a boyfriend that's like a three hour drive away." Gayle says as she's squished into the group with a soft chuckle escaping from her lips. She meeps as she catches Tavio's hand and swats it back away before sticking her tongue out at him gleefully.
The nurse watches the trio, smiling brightly. "It's nice that they can still be carefree after this." she muses to the others who watch the group before they all go back to check on Alice's father.
It's then that there's a yawn as the little girl comes down the stairs dressed in the same clothes she has worn. Unlike the others, there are no six year old sized clothes in this apartment as she looks at the group canoodling on the couch. "Ooooh! Group hug!" she smiles cheerily as she runs over to flop on the three older teens.
"I guess it really is a long drive when the roads are filled with zombies" Matthew admits worriedly, "And I don't even know if cell phones are working or anything right now. If they are trying to keep a panic from breaking out I bet they shut down the towers right? So nobody could call out?" Then oof, there is much squishing up against a Gayle and then a little kid is flopping down on him! Ack! He is still kind of bloody! No small part of it blood from carrying her father! Gross. "Uh.. hey there Alice. You manage to get any rest?"
This is all part of the plan. Tavio heard enough of Matthew's lamentation to see where an ill-timed shower could have the jock clean and dressed again before Ashley can see him and swoon! All the logic Gayle's offering gets taken in, but is left to wander the intellectual desert in his skull until it can find fertile ground to take root in. That tends to take a while, at least when it comes to girls.
"That'd help 'em keep up the quarantine," he agrees as Matthew shares his theories. "They probably don't want anyone to know too much about what's going on. That shot of the bodybag on the news must've been a serious pooch-screw…"
When wee Alice comes a'runnin' to flop across their laps he helpfully wrassles her over to him. He's closest to the arm of the sofa, and this way the others can get up if they need to, which he won't for a while.
"Looks like somebody's feelin' better," he observes with a smile.
"You all saved my dad, so thank you!" she chirps merrily as she flops onto Matthew's lap since he was the one who carried her initially. "I'm going to ask Auntie Ashley to bake some cake. Or brownies. I saw boxes of both in that closet in the kitchen." Alice says with a bright smile as she nods. "I figure you'll be hungry, so I'll make the best cake or brownies ever!" she says with an excited fistpump before she rushes to meet with the others. It's baking time.
Gayle just lets out a hearty chuckle at what she witnessed as she gives the other two a hug, even if Matthew is all bloody and groddy from grossness. "Little kids are neat, no? She bounced back like a chirpy little ball of fun." she says with awry grin before she hrmmsand purses her lips for a few moments. "And yeah, we saw the news, they're keeping people in. So what do we do when we find the families? Bunker 'em somewhere safe then find the cause? You know what would be a safe place.. the mall!"
Matthew cases a cautious look towards the kitchen, "Uh.. didn't the zombies kind of like the stuff on fire? You don't think they are going to be drawn to the heat of a cooking oven do you? Not uh.. that I guess it matters too much.. the fence has been holding them out anyways. I'm going to step next door though and have a shower real quick, I bet they have a different hot water heater." Thinking Matthew is thinking! Rising to his feet he says, "Ohh.. the food court! And shops! Looting is ok during a Zombie apocalypse right?"
"These ones seem to be big on sound," Tavio reminds, "and magic. Nobody's said anything about heat. They prob'ly can't even feel it or smell it. We should be good." He blinks his way slowly toward a belated epiphany as Matthew points out the possibility of hot water somewhere else, and then throws back his head to whimper pitifully. The mall thing gets him to sober up though, levering his head back up.
"It worked in the movies. Unless they're already in the mall, but even if that's the case we'll have more room to move around than we did at the school.
"Can't really call it looting no more, anyways. It's survival with style now."
"They were attracted to fire. Maybe it's the heat. It's winter right now so it's probably too cold outside for them to notice our cooking as long as we have the doors closed." Gayle replies. See, she is cooking too! She chuckles as she looks towards Tavio though, ruffling his hair playfully while wrapping an arm around his shoulders. She scrunches up her nose and nods as she purses her lips. "You think they have a Victoria's Secret here?"
Matthew slips off the couch and out the door. Presumably to get all polished and cleaned and changed like the others. With hot water no less! It's a good day to be Matthew, in an end of the world small comforts kind of way.
With someone to point it out, Tavio now remembers that the zombies were congregated around a burning car. That detail had slipped his mind with everything else that was going on. "Well, if they want cake they'll have to kill me to get it," he declares.
Tavio pats Matthew on the back as he gets up, and then hauls Gayle in for a rough hug, leaning against her as he looks skyward to ponder the question.
"There's gotta be one," he decides. "There'd be no justice in this world if there wasn't. Y'think we might could talk the ladies into giving us a fashion show? To, y'know, boost morale an' shit? Once we get settled someplace safe we can relax for a little while.
"I see it this way," he explains, passing his hand across the air in front of him as though to paint an imaginary canvas with imagery. "We find all the guns and the people we can grab, hole up, find out what we need to know to stop this, throw a really big pre-game 'We who are about to die' party, kick a lot of ass, and then throw another party to celebrate. And somewhere along the way those of us who aren't dating Vikings or whatever should be able to get lucky."
He turns toward Gayle with a broad grin and raised brows and shrugs, consulting her opinion. "Genius, right?"
How did she end up friends with people like this. There's a loud smack as she facepalms and she just stares at Tavio for a few moments. "Be very glad Pei is still looking out after her patient." Gayle emphasizes before a coy smirk curls onto her lips as she continues to lean against the soccer player. "They're all STD free so I say you guys can do that if you want." she quips rather happiy before she stretches her arms into the air. "Still, do you think we should meet up with the others if we're going to do those things?"
Matthew did not make such a suggestion! Really he didn't! He's too busy pining for the Valedictorian, she might not have a nice thick neck but she seems a pleasant sort all the same. Eventually he does return from next door looking a bit more scrubbed, his earlier scavenging for food and the like having also gotten him a set of clothes that actually fits pretty well. He briefly checks by the kitchen to see how cake preparation is going, "I think we've just got to keep moving forward. We've got a plan right now, let's stick to it. If we bump into the others we bump into them."
Tavio watches the disgust creep into Gayle's expression until she has to slap herself and just grins all the while. "Oh, like you wouldn't expect us to reciprocate," he teases. "Anyway, Pei's already got herself a man, why should she care?" There's probably a point he's missing, but he doesn't get it now and he likely never will. Gayle's observation about their health earns her a quirked brow, but he nods quietly, impressed that she knows that.
He greets the returning Matthew with a chin-salute. "I agree," he says. "They're Scions. They can survive. Hell, they might even solve this mess before we do." He puts on a very serious face after that, nodding several more times than is necessary. Possibly because he wants to keep from laughing.
He clears his throat and says, "As it is, we've got two groups of us in the trouble spot, which means we're doing a lot more good that way. Plus, we're all Fate yo-yos so sooner or later the string's gonna roll up and we'll all meet when it's the right time."
At the suggestion that the others would solve the mess before they do gets Gayle to laugh. She laughs hard. So hard that she falls onto her back in the couch beforeshesits up and peers towards Tavio, wiping a tear of amusement from her eyes.
"Please tell me you weren't kidding about that statement." she says with a gigglesnort asshe nods and scrunches her nose. "When Pei says it's all right to move Alice's father, we go. I don't want to leave Alice or him here. Our group of companions is getting bigger, but I think we're all resolved to helping as many people as we can. Besides, come on.. a hum vee. That is just badass." she says firmly and resolutely.
"Uh.. dude" Matthew says to Tavio, "Scions does not equal good. Good people are good people. They are bad people, they are bad Scions. I'm pretty sure wherever they are in this mess and whatever they are doing they are doing bad things. It's who and what they are without people more powerful to stop them." Frown there and he shakes his head, "Which could be us, but like I said.. they aren't here and we don't know where they are. Maybe they just hoofed it out of town at first opportunity. And don't give me that fate bullshit, there is no such thing, we make our own fate." Looking to Gayle he asks, "How many does a hum vee sit? We're going to need to take both vehicles aren't we?"
To his credit, Tavio manages to keep a straight face even as his comment provokes fits of laughter from Gayle. He starts to wear a slight pang of guilt in the set of his brow, but shakes his head and sighs bemusedly.
He rolls his head along the back of the couch to look toward Matthew, perplexed for a moment. "Well they have Zack with them. Won't he keep them in line? I'm the new kid, remember? I could just tell I was glad it wasn't me having to wrangle those winners." He uses the term in an ironic and derisive sort of way.
He throws up his hands at the rest, copacetic with Matthew's views on fate and honestly unconcerned with where anyone else is. He's not so good at thinking outside of what's happening right now.
"When I was loading stuff from the van, it can seat eight of us in the back if we squish a little and two in the front. I'll be driving since we'll probably use it to smash zombies in the way, though I really don't want to. It's bad for the suspension and alignment." Gayle says thoughtfully as sheooohs and eases on up as she looks towards the twoboys. "Hey, I'm going to need your help. Remember that one Simpson's episode where Mr. Burns puts a cattle mover on his car to push people but gets stuck on Homer's ass? Yeah, we're putting that on the bumper to push zombies out of the way. I don't want the humvee ruined over zombie bits. Help me find something that we can jury rig on the car?"
Ring a ling! "I'm a survivor (what), I'm not gonna give up (what), I'm not gon' stop (what),I'm gonna work harder (what)…" How apropos that Gayle's ringtone is Destiny's Child Survivor at the moment. She blinks and picks up the phone to see who it is. "It's Zack! Hush.." she says as she picks it up. "Hello?
On the phone, they can hear Zack's voice: "Gayle, thank god. Where the hell are you?" Zack asks, "Is everybody else okay? We're in a lot of trouble here.."
Matthew removes himself from the wall he has been hanging off and he says, "Uh.. I saw a pickup in the parking lot with a snow plow on the front. We could maybe harvest that somehow. Or we could go all A-Team on things.. I think I saw a supply shed out back. We could probably scavenge some sheet metal into some sort of uh.. wedge.. thing. I don't know what would be best for plowing through zombies. Either way, yeah, I can help with the heavy lifting."
"Don't count me out of that," Tavio says, propelled to his feet with a sudden eagerness. "These guns can carry their share." He flexes, even though he must be aware that the baggy sleeves conceal any otherwise flaunted muscle. "So yeah," he claps his hands, rubbing them together, eager to get started. And then the phone rings.
He listens along, leaning toward Matthew, cutting the occasional glance toward his fellow jock, as he appraises the tone of their compadre over the phone. "You called it," he admits grudgingly. "My faith is misplaced."
Gayle looks towards Tavio and Matthew, her eyes beaming with mischief. "Be careful out there. If you could get snow plow without making too much noise, that would be badass. Do whatever you think would be best that wouldn't attract attention to us. Remember, they like heat and noise. So if you're going to make noise, distract them by making even more noise somewhere else, ya know what I mean?" she asks curiously, her brows raise as she peers at the two jocks. "I trust you both."
"I'm no mechanic" Matthew says rolling his shoulders and looking over towards Tavio to see if he is, "But we'll see what we can manage. Come on I guess." And out the door he goes leading the way to a snow plow parked in one of the parking spaces to an apartment unit. Fingers curling around the padlock holding the toolbox in back open and a bit of straining and he finally cracks it in half, pulling the pieces apart to start to search within. Tools being set aside. "Have a look at how the plow is mounted? See what we'll need to get it off?"
"I can hotwire 'em, but fixing them's….kind of another story. Still, we're men, and this is a truck. This shit's genetic, yo." Tavio doesn't see any immediate difficulty in sorting this mess out. He hasn't seen the project firsthand yet, of course, tailing along behind Matthew. He starts toward the lock, but then shakes his head and holds up his hands as his buddy just crushes it. "Right," he says, hunkering down next to the plow assembly to try and sort out how it's mounted.
A collection of tools is finally scavenged, all manual instead of the noisier power driven variety and he is making his way to Tavio to set them down on the ground near him as he lowers himself into a crouch and braces part of the plow assembly. Right! He intends to keep it from falling to the ground, it seems, leaving the mechanics to the other. Hopefully it really is in the blood!
Tavio looks over the tools, and studies the plow assembly, squatting there for a minute or so before he looks up to Matthew. "You good?" He decides he is, and then proceeds to reach in with his tools and get to work. It's not the neatest job ever done, but he starts to make some progress as evidenced by the way the weight of the plow becomes more apparent in Matthew's hands. Tavio murmurs to himself, concentrating intently (and more sedately than normal-apparently he's too busy and working too hard to find a way to make this dramatic) as he starts to gradually disassemble the thing. He has to stop a few times to stare really hard at something that, while he could work loose, he has to try hard not to break. After a while though, the entire thing comes loose, and he climbs to his feet to stretch and wipes his hands on his borrowed trousers.
"Aight, we gots us a plow. 'course, hookin' it up tot he hummer's another thing entirely, but I guess it'd be more practical than using this truck." He has no problems with that thinking.
The plow is made out of some fairly heavy steel, Matthew looks like he actually is feeling the weight of it a bit but he says, "Yeah. Yeah. I'm good. Looks like you got the mounts and everything too. Let's get to the hum vee and hopefully you can transfer it all over." Carefully he makes his way towards the vehicle they will be soon be taking and dropping into a crouch with one thigh supporting much of the weight while he holds the thing in place. "If you remember where all the pieces went. You do remember where all the pieces went don't you?"
Once the plow is in transit, Tavio takes up a corner of it while carrying the odds and ends they'll need to affix it to anything in one of the shirts he was wearing, mindful to support it from beneath so all the heavy sharp bits don't shred the cloth. Between the two of them, it's an easy carry, so the only real burden for Matthew will be holding it in place.
"You wanna take a breather first?" Tavio offers, although he proceeds as if the answer were an unequivocal no. This isn't the most sensitive of operations; they could walk away from it if need be, and come back after a break. He wastes no time, mindful of the other jock's finite (if still epic) endurance, rambling all the while.
"Well, I left out a few pieces because they looked too complicated, but I figure I'll just pinch the bits into place. It only has to get us to the mall, right?" He's joking of course, and though he doesn't say as much the sarcasm in his tone and the grin he flashes up at Matthew convey the message.
He has all the pieces, but reassembly takes longer, predictably, than dismantling did.
Okay, so the phone call did not happen anymore! It must've been a hallucination. Gayle is weird sometimes. "Huh, I thought that was Zack.." she muses under her breath before she steps outside to look at theothers carrying the snow shovel. It's got to at least be a ton, but atleast, she's brought out various tools to put it all back together again if they need help.
"So uh, how do you put this back together again?" she asks curiously and expectantly while looking at the two boys.
Matthew remains kneeling, he remains supporting the thing. His muscles are actually straining, a ton is difficult for him! Not impossible but he's feeling the weight. This is totally how Matthew strength trains now. "I don't have a clue how it even came apart! I'm kind of hoping he does" he says to Gayle, "And thanks. We scavenged some tools from the lock box but more can't hurt."
"I'm telling you," Tavio assures everyone, "this stuff's genetic. Matthew and I are born knowing this stuff. 'cos we're men." As if he needed to reiterate that fact. "Hey, Matthew, we should totally get Ashley to stop by while you're doing this. Want me to hold that thing while you take your shirt off?" He still doesn't stop working, which is good because despite his bravado he is in fact a novice, learning this particular exercise as he goes.
Finally he pats the ground beside him and can't find any more parts. He looks over the assembly, tugs here, tightens there, lifts on that over yonder, and then stands up with a groan to stretch.
"Okay, Matthew, let 'er go. If it stays up, we've done it."
The moment Matthew is no longer supporting the plow's weight, Tavio sees gravity greedily clasping for his lovingly handcrafted kitbash and manages to save them all from a disastrous clamor only by the timely intervention of his foot, which is itself only saved by his desperate grab for the thing as he cries out in alarm-possibly at a volume that would be competetive with the clamor he narrowly avoided.
There's a crunch, then a whimper. Then a pleading look to Matthew as he bites his lip, nodding toward the plow. He's not so good at words for the moment. It's okay to laugh. He can heal.
Matthew does indeed let it go, it was time! He was also thinking about being shirtless or Ashley, or maybe he was thinking about Ashley being shirtless for him. Hrm. After a ton of weight crushes Tavio's foot though he is quickly reaching out to lift the plow back to where it was. Oof. "Uh.. check. Lesson learned. Tavio doesn't know how to screw. Gayle! Why don't you give it a go?"
Unfortunately for Tavio, this is exactly the moment that Pei-Pei chooses to arrive. The Yellow Princess stands off to one side, inexplicably dressed in clean and blood-free clothing that looks exactly like the clothing she was wearing before. For performing hours of intricate surgery and tending to a man with a critical knife wound, she looks positively spot free.
Pei-Pei does, however, look utterly put upon as Tavio tries to man-up about the plow on his foot. She wanders forward while Tavio tries to get Matt to heft the thing off and casually places a hand on his shoulder. A playful smirk creeps across her face as she leans in close and stage whispers to him.
"I bet you wish the end of the gene pool you and Matt came from came with instruction manuals with pretty pictures, huh?"
"Oh shit, oh shit!" she squeaks as Tavio's foot is crushed and she blinks for a few moment. "You can heal right? I know Inhave that girl from Heroes' power. That Hayden Planeteer girl. You can regenerate right?Right?" she says, wincing as she scrunches up her nose, feeling bad for him before she looks towards Pei.
"As long as you can figure it out, we'll be good to go. There's tools here, the boys just need to lift, then we can make our way to Ashley's house since it's closest. I heard from Albert she's megarich." she tells the others. "Maybe we'll get a reward for saving her life!"
Honestly, Tavio's pride has gone around back to take a smoke break, leaving him mercifully free to suffer with style and panache as only he can. That means looking comically pitiful and biting his lip so hard it's starting to turn white. He takes in a shaky breath, nods to Gayle, and then lets out a moan as crunchy bones un-crunch.
"And connect-the-dots," he replies to Pei-Pei, giving her a helpless look. "I fuckin' love connect-the-dots."
He clears his throat and gathers what remains of his dignity, and then helps Matthew hold the plow up. To his credit, he got it mostly looking the way it did on the pickup they removed it from. There's just a few of those glaringly obvious errors that have 'failure' written all over them too obviously for him to have seen. Funny how that works sometimes.
"She's rich?" Matthew says brightly focusing on that, then sounding a bit woebegone, "But I'm rich now too. That doesn't make her being rich nearly as cool. Although I guess megarich is still better than just rich, right? How many levels of rich are there?"
Pei-Pei gently squeezes Tavio's shoulder once the plow is off of his foot and while he's self-healing the horrific mess that his foot probably had become. She grins some more and smooches him on the cheek - presumably for being a good sport about her teasing him. With all that out of the way and the boys holding the plow in place, she grabs some tools and gets down on the floor, sliding neatly under the plow blade.
"There's a lot of scientific debate on that matter, Matthew. Some people say there's divisions every $10 to $20 million dollars you have in the bank, some people claim it's every $100 million dollars. Personally, I think it depends on how many times over you can buy your favorite institution with what you've got in the bank. How many times do you think she can buy a dairy farm?"
Oh god. Pei-Pei's in a good mood. RUN FOR THE BUNKERS BEFORE THE SAN DAMAGE STARTS!
If this were a TV sitcom, that's when the audience would go OOOOOOH scandalously. But this isn't, so in place of said sitcom, Gayle gets to have that honor of teasing her BFF with an OOOOOH at the smooch on the cheek. She chuckles once more and waits for Pei to start doing her thing. She scrunches up her nose as she ponders and looks towards her BFF. "What's the prefix after mega? Was it pico? Wait, no that's small. Nano? Wait, that's smaller. Uber? Google! That's it!" she says, feeling smart at her own mathematical ineptitude before she looks towards the group. "I'll get the others so we can get going.."
And with that said, she dashes off to gather the rest of their companions.
"Ten to twenty million!" Matthew protests, "I only have one million! I have so far to go then to be rich! I thought I was already there. Damn it. Being rich is hard." With the plow finally properly attached he lets go and this time does not crush Tavio as a result. Alas. He clambers into the vehicle and out the hatch in the roof to take his place atop the thing once more. Limbering up as he spaces his feet properly for the ride.
Tavio milks his predicament for all it's worth, as much to assure everyone that he's fine and dandy as anything, pouting at Pei-Pei when she squeezes his shoulder. Look, I has booboo! He just chuckles good-naturedly at the smooch, cheered even further. No one laughed at him. Not that they needed to with his antics bordering on self-parody. He leans over to watch the work take place, and then quietly scoffs at Matthew's 'only' one million. "Only," he snickers under his breath. "Hey, if you don' want it…" he starts to tease, before gathering up his spiky bat and following richboy up onto the roof.
"Are we not the baddest motherfuckers ever?" he asks, intending it to be rhetorical because, well, duh, they are. "Car-surfing through zombie territory on a fuckin' humvee. All this needs is dinosaurs and we're set." He looks about warily, just in case karma decides to throw a T-Rex at them.
Rawr, a zombie t-rex. Just kidding.
Under the plow, Pei-Pei works dutifully and sets about getting it properly hooked up to the front of the hummer. She sighs quietly once it is secured into place sufficiently that it should stay. Pei-Pei promptly slides back out from underneath and wipes herself off, though she also slips some of the tools into her pockets.
"We don't need dinosaurs. We're in a zombie movie. Zombie movies don't need dinosaurs."
At the mere suggestion, Pei-Pei shoots a look at Tavio. It says 'never invite dinosaurs' - does she have something against dinosaurs? Pei-Pei finishes dusting herself off and shoves at the plow and the hood of the humvee a few times before looking fully satisfied with it. Even then, she doesn't look as satisfied as could be possible.
"Did you see anything else I can use to fortify the van?"
And the first to pop out is Alice, the little girl whose father Pei had saved. She runs out and hugs the Chinese girl enthusiastically. "I never got to thank you earlier since I was crying too much." she says, smiling cheesily before she offers a tray of brownies. "Auntie Ashley and Unca 'Bert helped me make 'em. Don't fight zombies on an empty stomach." she says chastizingly before letting out a tee-hee as she decides tobe the protector of the brownies. "You protect us, I'll protect the brownies and cake!" ^_^
With that, Zeke, her little puppy runs out and barks happily before hopping into the humvee through the opendoors. Soon, the others come along and gather in the back, with Alice's father thanking Pei-Pei too. "Thank you so much.." he says, giving the girl a warm hug before going inside.
And then it's Gayle who has a cake with her. They did a lot of baking earlier! "Chocolate!" she squeals happily before bringingit to the back for people to consume. "And cheetohs!" she says, having grabbed two bags before getting in thedriver's seat.
"Let's do this! Off to Ashley's house!" she says enthusiastically before waiting for the group to get situated before driving off.
Ack! The brownies finally came and they are not on top of the Humvee! Fate is cruel, so very very cruel to Matthew. Still what can he do, a stomach full of tasty confections might throw the balance off anyways. Foot taps while he waits, "We're good up here, move out whenever you're ready" he calls down below to Gayle below the drivers seat. A puck is slipped from the bag at his side, throwing implement at the ready should zombies need a pummeling.
It's only after that Look, whose meaning Tavio wisely interprets, that the very notion of dinosaurs is discarded from his mind lest it tempt fate, which may be a do-it-yourself project but does count Murphy's Law as one of the ingredients in the recipe. He nods quickly to Pei-Pei, putting a finger to his lips.
"Man, I hope they save us sum," Tavio mutters regarding the brownies. He settles in to wait out the ride, with his crude 'ghettohuitl' brandished in preparation to fend off any zombies that try to mob theiir ride and get past Matthew's artillery.
"Ooh! Brownies! Thank you, Alice."
Pei-Pei pops a brownie in her mouth and chews appreciatively without really pausing to consider whether or not the milk in the brownies is local or not. She chews thoughtfully as she trots off to reclaim her backpack and laser pistols. You can't go anywhere in ZombieLand without your pew-pew, you know.
When she returns, Pei-Pei climbs into the front passenger seat of the humvee and sighs, perhaps wistfully, in the direction of the van. Poor van, it is so unloved now that the party has grown substantially. She waves bye-bye to it as discretely as possible before peering up at the humvee's ceiling. A moment later, the moon roof slides open between Tavio and Matthew's persons.
"Would someone pass the boys some brownies? We wouldn't want them fainting of starvation or anything melodramatic like that."
And as they drive, the lights go on, and the loud sound of the humvee starts attracting the zombie horde. Still, Gayle is a dang good driver. Well, she's better than your average teen as she starts going through the horde that try to reach and make grabby grabby at those on top. That's whe she speeds up and she trusts that those on top can hang on for dear life. There's splattering body parts as the window becomes tinted scarlet from 'their blood' as she winces for a few moments inside.
Gayle has a moment of doubt as she looks towards her BFF. "Pei, do you think, I mean I know the whole shovel thing and why it's a good idea. But they… were people once. Are we being callous by just slaughtering them and running them over like they were… I dunno, trash on the road?" she asks curiously. Wah. She has the worst time to have these moral compass issues. This is a bad time as she starts swerving to avoid hitting groups of zombies now untilthey make it to clear county roads.
On the way, they see a convenience store.Inside there'sa man watching the television. He's balding slightly, as he drinks his Guiness and his cricket bat is on the counter.
Just outside the convenience store, are three people. There's two more teenagers, and an older man. The older man is a rough and gruff biker who seems to have the young busty female in his grasp. Matthew and Tavio can see that he has a knife held to her throat as he chuckles while staring at the teen.
"Mmm, this bitch is probably a good lay, don't you think Now back off or I'll make her squeal like a pig, then gut her like one. There's no order anymore. I can do whatever the fuck I want. Give me your bike too.."
Said bike would be a motorcycle. The young male teen starts revving it up, attracting the zombies on over in their direction. He continues revving as soon, there are a good dozen or so approaching before he takes a knife they had and stabs the gang banger before grabbing his girlfriend as he looks back at the now freaking out biker.
"Now we'll see who squeals like a pig.." he says as they start driving off.
The biker freaks out as they leave. He has no weapon. There are a dozen zombies. He's about to get eaten, but then again he threatened to rape a young woman. What will the characters do? "Help me! Oh for the love of God, help me! Please!"
And at the suggestion, Alice beams brightly as she nods and smiles cheerily towards Pei-Pei. She takes the tray and picks out two large pieces before letting her hands slip through the hatch to hand each boy a ginormous piece. "There you go!" Fortunately for her, she didn't see or hear the sight before the group. Will Gayle be told to stop the car?
Matthew is kind of distracted to be eating brownies! First there is Gayle's madcap drive through the streets, something that has him struggling to remain atop the humvee with his powerful leg muscles straining to keep him in place upon this particular wild wild ride. At least he gets to save his bag of pucks, that snow plow is working like wonders and making people go splatter all over the place. Icky. Then there is another tiny human drama underway and Matthew is grimacing as he says to Tavio as if to make sure they are on the same wavelength, "We aren't leaving anyone to get eaten. We don't do that." He calls down into the Humvee, "You're going to want to open the door in a minute. We're taking on a passenger. He'll be out cold. Find something to tie him up." Then he is jumping off the roof to the pavement below, the first puck already leaving his hand to smash into the skull of the zombie nearest the biker, "This way!" he calls out to the man.
They do appear to be on the same wavelength. Tavio clearly has concerns, and starts talking before Matthew can finish-which doesn't stop Matthew from saying what he needs to down into the hummer.
"Yo, we gonna tie him to the bumper or somethin'? We can't let him near-" Yeah, okay. He quiets down immediately. Those terms are acceptable. It's one thing to threaten a bunch of people for being dicks to someone in need and quite another to be that dick. "I'll go gentle on 'im," he promises. Down he goes, swatting aside zombies and covering Matthew's six. "If I get to 'im before you do."
Pei-Pei squints at Gayle for a few moments. It's an interesting philosophical quandry - of that, Pei-Pei has no doubt - yet it doesn't seem to entirely jive with the situation. She shrugs a little bit at her BFF, "They're not human any longer, not really. I don't think it's so much running them over like trash on the road so much as setting the dead to rest."
The Yellow Princess doesn't seem entirely pleased with that answer, but her attention is momentarily caught by teenagers outfoxing an older biker gang member. Somehow that strikes her as being abnormal, but in ZombieLand, abnormal is the rule, not the exception. Kind of like that last sentence with all of its grammatically necessary commas. Pei-Pei watches in a mixture of horror and confusion, frowning as Matthew suggests stopping.
With a sigh, Pei-Pei starts rummaging through her stuff to find some medical supplies and something else. Finally the Yellow Princess pulls out a huge bag of zipties, something no computer geek should be without! Not only are they useful for cable management, but they also help mount snowplows to the grills and bumpers of humvees when proper mounting equipment is missing or broken, and they do a pretty good job of restraining criminals.
"Man. What is with people and stabbing today?"
"We're saving him?!?!"
Her own philosophical musings are completely interrupted as the other two jump off the top ofthe humvee. She stops the car of course as she scrunches up her nose and just glares at the two as they thrash through the dozen zombies rather easily. Mark another one for the Scions.
She looks at the back where the other passengers are. There's room, and she starts counting outloud. "One, two, three… there's six girls. One of them a five year old. And we're taking on a violent man who just said there's no rules and tried to rape a girl, or rather make her squeal like a pig before gutting her. What. The…" and she looks towards Alice, changing her last choice word. "FUDGE." she grumbles. Clearly, she is not happy about this, but she makes a dismissive motion for the others to open the door when need be.
Not that Matthew is being all that /nice/ about saving the biker. Finally making it over to him while Tavio covers his six and the disturbing number of zombies there the football player simply cocks back his fist and delivers a powerful uppercut to the bikers jaw. Fortunately he is not quite so deadly punching as throwing and so the epic power blow only serves to render the biker unconscious, Matthew slinging him over a shoulder and running back to the Humvee to toss him inside to Pei Pei for securing before clambering back onto the roof. "Yeah. We're saving him" he says down into the sun roof, "Let's hit the road as soon as Tavio is back on road. That much noise will be drawing even more of a crowd."
It'd've been different if this was some kind of mission of mercy. Tavio would greatly love to tap into some very ugly parts of himself and let them work the would-be rapist over, but leaving him for the dead to claim as one of their own just seems wrong somehow. Matthew's right. They don't do that. That's the whole point. As he clobbers his way through masses of the dead, a thing whose novelty he has long since become inured to, he waxes pragmatic-evident in the quiet and efficient way he does the deed, lacking his usual flair. Thoughtful Tavio is thoughtful. Whatever the case, he wastes no time in climbing back on top of the humvee, beating on the roof as if to spur them back into motion while their latest passenger is suitably dealt with.
"Gag him, too. That sumbitch has nothing to say worth hearing."
"Oh yes. Silly me, I didn't think to pull out my handy-dandy ball gag, I just hope it's the right size for him."
Sarcastic Pei-Pei is painfully sarcastic. The Yellow Princess, once the latest 'guest' is on board, makes sure that he's still alive and then binds his arms behind his back through clever use of zip ties. Pei-Pei promptly tends to the knife wound, which is presumably less serious than that of Alice's father since the biker did not just fall to the ground almost dead.
Once all that is out of the way, Pei-Pei roots around in her bag and finally comes up with a sock. She wads it up and stuffs it into the biker's mouth. Maybe, if he's lucky, it's not a used gym sock.
And drive they go. If Matthew was hoping to score with Ashley, that just lost him points. The girls definitely are uncomfortable with the prospect of a rapist on board, and the older man carefully guards his daughter now while they all watch him. Except for Gayle. She's driving.
And drive, drive, drive, she does. Oddly enough, there's no zombies for quite some time.at least in the outskirts of the city where they originally were. Still, as she gets directions from Ashley as to where the house is, there's a thicker and thicker group of zombies. There's at least fifty up ahead allgoing to the same place.And gasp, it's towards Ashley's neighborhood.
"Uh… this is not good.." she says, looking up the hatch. "HANG ON!" she yells as she pushes down on the acceleration and starts slamming down on the pedal as she plows through the zombies, trying to minimize the number they actually have to deal with. Until she sees the wires. There are WIRES. Barbed wires that have been set up and she comes screeching to a half as she swerves, almost breaking through the barbed wire. Those caught between barbed wire and the slamming humvee have the squish sounds of flesh being ripped asunder by the barbed wire and the humvee crushing themagainst it. That took out about nine or so zombies in the way and Alice's eyes are closed at that point. Matthew and Tavio, being on top of the car may need another shower soon from all the squicky gore that just happened.
"Who the heck puts up barbed wire in the middle of the road?!?!?" she whines though she then realizes what it's for. "That means that there are people inside, which is good. Your parents might be safe!" she chirps to Ashley.
"My dad runs the local militia.." Ashley admits ruefully, her cheeks flushed a bright tinge of red.
"OOOOOOH." It seems Gayle along with theother NPCs understand the barbed wire now.
"MAtthew, I can't break through this unless we're letting in these zombies into yet another smorgasboard.."
Matthew just is not having any luck whatsoever scoring with the elusive Ashley. Poor Matthew. Poor poor Matthew. Maybe he'll win points later, the man can certainly hope. He leaps off the roof to the ground once more, punching a zombie out of the way and he calls into the drivers seat, "I can't lift the Humvee which means I'm going to have to life the fence. That's.. probably going to hurt like hell but I don't see where we have a choice. Soon as I give you clearance, gun it through the hole. I'll drop it back afterwards." Upwards he looks to Tavio, "Uh.. you'll want to be off the roof man. And someone will need to keep the horde from rushing right after. Then we both go through and let it drop."
Tavio's been on the 'not being on the roof near barbed wire' program for a while now, since the vehicle came to a stop. He peeks around from the back of the humvee and fires off a quick salute with a cheeky grin thrown in for good measure, and then brains a dehydrated-looking housewife in a housecoat and bunny slippers before stomping on a persistent upper torso with a bloodstained nametag that says 'Hi, My Name Is Jimmy' to scrape it off the back bumper. He's getting back into the swing of this, pun intended, tossing his bat from hand to hand to taunt the shambling masses.
Pei-Pei squeals as she's jostled around inside of the humvee for so many reasons. When everything comes to a stop, she mumbles prayers to her ancestors as she tries to secure herself into her seat much more thoroughly. Once again, zipties for the win.