Jericho {A Zombie Apocalypse Roleplay}



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OmniChaos

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"So I now seek refuge in a prison," I whisper to myself as the small boat reaches land. "How ironic." I step out onto the rocky surface and looked up at the prison known as Alcatraz. A large fence had been constructed around the facilities, leaving only a few yards of the island unprotected and open. I walked along the fence, various people from the other side eyeing me cautiously, and made my way toward the main docks where the gate stood.

"Cool!" A small child ran to the fence, locking his fingers through the chain links of the fence, and pressed his face against it. "Hey mister, you look sick. Are you going to change into a zombie?" I paused, slightly taken back by the question, then smiled. The boy looked no older than ten, and obviously had no real encounter with the infected, otherwise he wouldn't be so calm and awe-struck about the idea. "No, not yet," I replied in a raspy voice. "I still have something I have to do in this world before I can allow myself to pass from it."

I continued along my way as the boy's mother rushed to the fence and pulled her boy away, all the while her son protesting that 'he wanted to see the zombie some more.' When I reached the front gates, I found them to be strikingly less crowded than I had imagined. Only about a dozen people were gathered out in front of the gates, some who appeared more than capable of handling themselves, while others who made it here by nothing less than a miracle. I joined the group, being careful not to get too close to anyone, and awaited for whatever would come next.

"Welcome to Alcatraz," a man said as he walked toward the gates. "My name is Captain Grant of the United States Army, and I'd like to welcome you to your new homes." Bullshit, I thought. He held himself like a businessman, like someone out to con you, not like a man from the military. His uniform belied him as well, boasting the golden symbols worn by a major, not a captain. These men probably weren't even military, and if not, I wondered what their aim was. Did they think the facade of a military presence gave the people hope or comfort? What then should the infected come? Could they truly defend the island? I decided to keep my mouth shut for the time being.

"Now then," the man said as the gate opened. Two armed men walked to his side, each holding a M4 carbine, standard-issue of the US Army. "If you would please follow me, we can get everyone situated and a place to stay."
 

Max

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"He ain't got jack shit! Way to pick 'em!" I heard one man say to another as I began to open my eyes. The man looked more like a shadowy blob. There were a couple other blobs in the room as well, and I could only assume he was speaking to one of them. I blinked my eyes a few times to try and clear my vision, and the blobs turned into a few rough looking men. The one who had been yelling had scraggly long hair covering his ears and the back of his neck, but the top of his head was like a cue ball. He was holding a machete and wore a sweat-stained wife beater. The man he was looking at with those anger filled eyes was wearing a red flannel shirt and a baseball cap, and he looked pissed too. The last man in the room was a scruffy man wearing a black vest and holding a rifle. He was just standing by the door, watching as the other two argued.

"How was I s'posed to know his bag was empty?! I jus' saw he was carryin' a bag and figured he'd have stuff!" the man in the cap said to the cue ball. He was holding a baseball bat- my baseball bat. I tried to stand up and felt my arms tug behind me. They were tied behind my back to the back of the chair I was sitting in. My back felt sore when I tried to get up... actually, my head was sore too. It hurt really bad honestly. The cue ball took note that I was moving around and made his way to me.

He leaned in and got his face really close to mine. He was an ugly, smelly man, and his hair looked like it could grease a pig.
"Well look who finally decided to wake up. Wanna tell me what kind of a dummy decides to carry around an empty backpack?"

He reached one hand around my head and pulled it back by the hair, and then he placed the cold blade of the machete against my neck. "I found it not long ago, and it was empty then. I haven't found anything worth putting in it yet, but I figured it would be worth it to take it with me just in case." I didn't want to just sit here and answer this bastard's questions, but what was I supposed to do? They had me tied up in some room that was God knows where, they outnumbered me, and they had a machete to my throat. I could only hope that they would let me go.

"This guy is a waste of our Goddamn time Bill!" the man in the cap yelled. Cue ball, or Bill, turned away from me and looked back at the man in the cap. I felt the machete shifting on my neck as he turned, and I hoped that he wouldn't just accidentally kill me.

"I'm gonna take that there baseball bat and shove it up yer skinny little ass if you try to tell me what to do again Pete!" Bill retorted.

"Listen, you guys can have the backpack, and you can have the baseball bat, but I don't have anything else, I swear." Bill started laughing, and almost on queue his friends began laughing with him.


"Ya think we need you to tell us what we can and can't have. I think it's obvious who's in charge around 'ere, and if yer smart then you'll quit sayin' stupid stuff. Now, where are your buddies?

"My buddies?"

"Yeah, yer buddies, yer pals! Ain't no one stupid enough to just wander around by themselves, unless you are that stupid! If you wanna live, then yer gonna tell us where yer buddies and y'alls camp is."

"I'm alone, honestly. I don't have any friends, and I don't have camp, I'm travelling alone right now." I was telling the truth, really.

"Now don't you think you can pull one over on ol' Bill!" He said as he yanked back on my hair again. I cringed, but I didn't scream. I wouldn't, not with the chance that a zombie could be anywhere out there right now. Bill looked me in the eye, and I watched as he gritted his nasty yellow teeth and slowly twisted his face. "Urrrgh... SHIT! I think he's tellin' the truth, he doesn't have a Goddamn thing! Shit Pete!"

"It ain't my fault Bill, I didn't know!" Pete and Bill continued to quarrel while the man by the door still said nothing, and silently watched on. I gave a tug on the rope that kept my hands tied together again to no avail. All of a sudden, all of us averted our eyes over to the door when we heard a gunshot from outside.

"Oh what the hell?!" Bill yelled as he ran for the door. Pete followed him, and then the silent man shot me a look before covering their rear. He shut the door behind them, and then I was left alone in this run down room.

I wasn't sure where I was, but this room was totally empty. All that was in it was a single door ahead of me, and a window to my right. My backpack did lay on the floor against the far wall by the door, but that was it. White paint peeled off of the walls, and the floor was nothing but rotting old boards.

My head was pounding... Those guys jumped me from behind and beat the consciousness out of me. I continued to struggle with the rope around my wrists in hopes that I could get out before those three, or worse, came back for me.
 

LatinoHeat90

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Please, don’t. For God’s sake please don’t come near me. My grip on the pistol strengthened, pulling closer to my chest as if it would allow me to remain hidden better. They shouldn’t have been here. They have already cleared this place out of supplies. I could hear one moving closer to me. Shit. Maybe they moved their base around here because of what happened last month. If I make it out alive I have to move all of my stuff to a new area, perhaps get out of the city.

I could hear someone on the other side of the wall. They walked lightly but their weight on the old wood floors gave away their position. Maybe I could slide into the next room and make my way out back…
“ I know someone’s here. Come out, I won’t hurt ya.” My heart stopped. I couldn’t move an inch. “It’s safe to come out.” Like hell it was, I’ve seen what they have done to people. I have seen the people they have caught, tortured, and killed. There is not honesty in his voice, none of their voices, just cruelty and pain.

He stepped into the room. I clutched the gun in my hand even tighter. He slowly moved into the middle of the bedroom. I hid behind the vanity that, for some reason, had been moved to a corner of the room near the bathroom. “What am I say’ in, I’m going to gut you.” I heard his whisper. A could feel the tear roll down my cheek. He moved to the closet, his back to me. I couldn’t help it; I was going to pass out from holding my breath. I stood up, gun drawn.

“Freeze!” I whimpered. He raised his hands, one hand holding a machete. I was relieved to see no gun, but as the man turned around he looked relieved. He saw my eyes. He saw my fear, my cowardice, my soul. He knew he could get out of this and that I would end up dead. “Now, let’s calm down….” I screamed and pulled the trigger.


I shot him in the face; I don’t know where exactly, my tears made my vision blurry. I ran out of the house as fast as possible. The group he was with would be close by. I’m not safe, nobody is safe.

 

Delsan

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I felt like I was in a Silent Hill game.

It was a dark night, and the fog was so thick I couldn’t see in front of me very well. The moaning in the distance only confirmed my fears of being watched by the infected. I couldn’t believe that after five weeks Frisco is still covered with fog. I hadn’t thought it would be this bad. The only good thing about the fog was that I think it was shielding me from the infected. Otherwise, I would’ve seen some by now.
But the street was silent except for the moaning and my footsteps. I had a flashlight in my pack, but unless I wanted to make it easier for the infected to see me, I thought it’d be better to keep it untouched. I knew better from all the zombie media before the real thing actually happened: one sound or sign that alerts the infected will most likely get me killed.

I was on my way to my Aunt’s house. I only visited once before when I was ten, before my family moved to Texas so I hoped the directions crudely written on the piece of paper set me in the right direction. If I was right, I was on the exact same street her house was on.

I retrieved the crumpled up paper that was in my pocket, which listed Auntie Peggy’s address. Five weeks ago, my mom called me before the phone lines went out, telling me the directions to her place. My family was visiting her while I was in college right when the apocalypse started. I was forced to travel on foot to Frisco all the way from Boston. I was surprised myself that I made it this far, and once I turned Auntie Peggy’s doorknob, all my suffering would pay off.

Or so I thought.

Even before I turned the doorknob I was pushed to the ground by a powerful force. In the heat of the moment, it was hard to stop myself from screaming—god knows that it would attract even more of them. But then I noticed something that felt off—the person on top of me wasn’t even as strong as an infected. He wasn’t moaning or trying to bite me. When I looked at his face, I realized that my attacker wasn’t infected at all—but that didn’t mean I wasn’t still in trouble.

“Please,” I managed to say. “Please don’t.”

“Shut the fuck up, you’ll attract more of them!” The guy whispered. Easy for him to say. He wasn’t the one who had the wind knocked out of him.

“What are you doing in my Aunts house?” I said. “Are you with everyone, or…” I couldn’t bear to finish the sentence.

The guy got off of me, and that’s when I noticed what he looked like. He looked like in his mid-30s, and he had hair up to his shoulders and a beard that made him look like Santa Clause. “Did you say your Aunts house?” he asked me.

“Yeah,” I said as I was getting up. “What’s it to you?"

“Well, she asked us to come here and pick up a few stuff for her,” he said, and my mouth stayed open in shock.
 

Delsan

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The questions swimming in my mind was nothing compared to the emotions I was feeling, the combination of every one I had since the outbreak melting away just as he finished those words. But then I came to my senses. Before the guy could move again, I quickly took out the bow and arrow I had initially brought with me as a keepsake and pointed it at his chest. The guy put his hands up. I didn’t think I’d have to tell him where I was going with this. Unlike a gun, a bow and arrow was silent. The second I let go of the string he would be dead before he could blink.

“How do you know my Aunt?” I asked. “Where is the rest of my family?”
“S-safe,” he stuttered. After a pause, he said, “All safe. They’re at Alcatraz island.”

Before I could ask him further questions, a muffed voice called out, “Tom? I thought I heard struggling—are you okay?”

I pointed my bow closer. I didn’t need to say anything when he called out, “Fine, Rachelle! Go back to what you were doing, don’t worry about me!”

“Okay…” I heard hesitation in her voice. I could tell that she wasn’t buying it, but I didn’t hear another word from her.
“Now,” I said. “Where were we?”
“Alcatraz…” Tom said before I was even finished. “You know what it is, right?” I nodded. I don’t remember much about it other than that it was a prison that was turned into a tourist attraction. “It’s the safest place you can be right now. Just put the arrow down and maybe we can get you a spot on the ferry. Take your time,” he added, probably noticing my puzzled expression. But could you blame me? For months I was wandering alone, too scared to even sleep before I finally gave in. Now I was offered to stay on what was probably the safest place I could be? It was too good to be true. But what came out of my mouth came out too fast before I could think about it.

“I’ll go,” I said. Whatever suspicions I had about the place drained away when I thought about seeing my family again. But I still had to be sure. “Still, you have to prove that I’ll see my family there. I can’t take your word for it.”

Tom smiled. “I’m good friends with Peggy. She mentioned you a lot—she was the only one who didn’t give up hope about being able to see you again. Oh, and your name’s Riley. You went to Emmanuel College in Boston after you lived in Texas since you were ten.”

My bow was still pointed at him, but I was starting to lower it. How could he know all that unless he really did get that information from her? I was about to lower it completely before I felt something all too familiar pressed against my head.

“You better lower that thang girl before I splatter you all over the pavement,” said Rachelle menacingly as she held a gun to my head.
 

RawTalent

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"Hello? Mom are you there?" I asked over the phone. "Mom? Mom!" The connection to my mom was lost. I tried to remember where my parents had gone. I believe they told me they went to the mall on Main Street.

Without thinking, I quickly grabbed the things in my reach and hurried downstairs. As I ran down the stairs, the old wooden steps creaked ever so loudly. I remembered when I used to sneak down these steps after midnight and grab a late night snack, now I'm bolting down them. As I reach the ground floor of my house I hear strange banging coming from the outside, given my experience in zombie games I decided to not find out what the noise was. I grabbed my black backpack that was lying on the floor next to the door and quickly threw in what I had taken from upstairs; a pocket knife, a half-empty water bottle and a first-aid kit I received from completing my first-aid course at my previous school. I put on my running shoes and tightened the laces, making a double knot. Before I left the house I quickly grabbed our town's map and charted out the fastest route towards the mall.

About five minutes later, I heard a crash of glass next door. I had already figured out which way I should go and that was the direction I needed. I would have to jump the fence of my house, my neighbour's house directly behind mine and then run from there to Main Street. I strapped my backpack on my back and pulled out my knife, for safety precautions. Before leaving my house I looked out the kitchen windows that had a clear view of both my backyard and my neighbour's yard, where the noise came from. I noticed a head above the fence and went outside to get a better look. To my luck my yard was clear of any infected, I had completely forgotten to check. I made a mental note of making sure to check my surroundings first before those ahead.

As I approached the fence I heard a *BANG*. It sounded like it came from a handgun, like a Colt of some sort. I was both relieved and scared at the same time. Relieved that someone else was still in my neighbourhood after everyone left due to people spreading rumours of what was coming. Some people believed the rumours, our family as well as a couple others did not. I remembered cutting a small peephole in the fence when I was little, to watch the girl that lived behind me sunbathe. I quickly sped walked towards it and crouched just below it. I counted to three and quickly glanced through the hole. To my surprise, I noticed Mr. Price holding a gun shaking after disposing of what looked like... his wife. I took a longer look through the hole and made out Mrs. Price's figure. It was in fact her, she was facing down in a pool of blood so it was safe to assume she was dead.

I think of what to do and choose the option of whispering to my neighbour.
"Mr. Price, it's me Dakota from behind your house. I mean you no harm, I just need to get past your property to save my mom." I look back in the peephole and see Mr. Price looking aimlessly around to try to put a body to the voice. "W-Who's there?!" he shouted. I quickly responded "Not to loud Mr. Price! We don't want to make any more noise than what has already happened." Mr. Price wasn't calming down, he started yelling even louder, believing himself to go mad because he couldn't see anyone. I sat with my back against the wooden fence and thought for a moment. If I show myself he could shoot me on the spot, but on the other hand if I don't show myself he would just keep on yelling. As I was making my mind up I heard constant mumbling from Mr. Price that prolonged my decision making. Before I could think of a solution I heard another *BANG*. I quickly looked back through the peephole to notice that Mr. Price had killed himself.

I opened my mouth to exhale but noticed from the corner of my eye a figure moving towards me. I quickly turned to the figure and noticed it was Ms. Grey, the widow from next door. I was relieved and got up to start a conversation with her until she growled and moaned at me. I knew exactly what she was, a zombie, an actual real life walking infected just like from the video games I play. I didn't have time to make it over the fence so I swiftly took out my pocket knife and switched the blade on. I held it firmly and starred at this creature that was inching its way towards me. I soiled myself as it came into a few meters of me. Then before I could make my move, Ms. Grey lunged towards me with her mouth open. A light must have triggered in my mind because I rolled out of her way and she hit the fence. Stumbling to get up Ms. Grey let out a sharp cry that pierced my ears. I was petrified of this old hag, even before she was always annoying to me but now this was ten times worse. I snapped out of the terrifying screech that was still going and ran at her with my knife. My tunnel vision led me to her unprotected head, as I started vigorously stabbing her in her brain. After a few stabs she fell to the ground lifeless once again, but I didn't stop. No, I kept on stabbing that bitch, I just couldn't stop even though I wanted to my hand kept going until there was a clear view of her brain.

She was dead...again. I had killed her, my hand trembled at the sight of a dead body. I had never seen one before, and I had certainly never killed anyone before. She was already dead though...right? I asked myself. I didn't kill her, I re-killed her... if that made any sense to me. My tunnel vision slowly dissipated as I stood up and took in where I was. I took out the bloody knife from her head and wiped it on the grass. As I put my knife away I heard loud moans from the front of my house and on the street. I swore aloud and told myself that I better get over this fence or I'm dead.

I quickly hopped the fence without looking through the peephole. As I land I quickly look around and notice nothing but two dead bodies of my previous neighbours. I remembered the whole scene before my battle for my life and had seen the gun on the ground next to lifeless Mr. Price. The noises were getting closer and I heard my rusty wooden gate open swiftly and loud as it was ripped off by some unknown force. I didn't want to find out what the force was so I quickly grabbed the gun beside Mr. Price's body. Shit. I forgot to check where he shot himself. As I was getting back up from the ground I looked at the bullet hole in his head. I sighed because he could have come back and bit me, but once again my luck has saved me. Trying to not spend anymore time diddling in the backyard I dash through the gate and bolt towards the mall, never to look back.

 
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Hidden

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Rain

My name is Fan Tingyu, but all my American friends call me "Rain." I'm a graduate student at UC Berkeley... or I was until two weeks ago, when the University of California shut down indefinitely and advised its students to 'return home and remain away until the current health crisis has been resolved.' Two weeks ago? Yeah, Thursday before last. Feels longer.

I shift my feet and glance out the corner of my eye at the other refugees. I'm still not used to being around other people--two weeks of solitary confinement in my dorm room have made me skittish. I'm not the only one--most people are keeping a wary distance from each other. You don't know who's sick.

I've got on a facemask, not one of the surgical ones that all disappeared in the first days of the infection, but a cloth one brought from home. Even so, I can smell the stench rising off of the sweating bodies around me, even though it's a cool day. Kao, these laowai stink. Lifting my mask by only a few centimeters, I bring my head to my shoulder and wrinkle my nose. Kao, I stink. I guess showering hasn't been too high on anyone's list of priorities this last month.

Still, the men in military uniforms look relatively clean-shaven and groomed. Maybe things really are better in there. "Welcome to Alcatraz," the man in charge is saying. "If you would please follow me, we can get everyone situated and a place to stay." I take one last look back towards the mainland, but I can't see anything. A heavy fog has covered the city. The island is mysteriously clear of it, but everything around us is blank white space.

I turn around to find myself face-to-barrel with one of the ridiculously large guns the ridiculously large guards are carrying. It's not pointed at me, but I've never been this close to one before.

"Are you an American?" the guard asks down at me, squinting his eyes. I stare back, dumbfounded. I don't have a single piece of paper to prove who I am or why I'm allowed to be here. I hadn't even thought of it.

I stammer stupidly, "I... I'm a student, I..."
 
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Delsan

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"Rachelle!" Tom yelled. "She was about to--"
"Kill you!" Rachelle finished. "God damn you Tom, trusting every single person we meet. For all we know she could've shot us with those arrows of hers the second our back was turned!"

As much as I hated the situation I was in, I had to admit that she was right. They knew me as much as I knew them. The silent bow that could kill them in a second wasn't helping much, either. So I dropped it, and kicked it towards Tom. "There," I said. "Take it." If it means coming to this supposed safe haven, I'll do whatever I can to get there.

"She was just about to lower it before you pointed that at her head." Tom said, picking up the only weapon that was keeping me alive for weeks.
"Now I'm public enemy number one?" Rachelle said angrily. "If we trusted every single person we met on the streets, we would've been dead a long time ago!"
"Keep it down!" Tom advised, looking both ways like he was about to cross the street. "Look, she's Peggy's niece. Harry and Leanne's daughter. You know, the one they had to leave behind?"
"You serious?" Rachelle said, obviously dumbfounded. "Shit, that would've sucked if I killed you then."
"You think?" I said. "Now can you keep that thing away from my head?"

Rachelle sighed. Even though she had a reason not to keep that pointed at me, she hesitated before pushing me with both her hands, so hard that I almost tripped on the front steps. When I regained my balance, I finally got a look at Rachelle. She was a dark-skinned, plump woman, probably in her late thirties. The first thing I noticed about her was her frizzy hair, making the style look like a generic Cabbage Patch Kids'. She smiled a gap-toothed grin, lending out her hand.

"Sorry," she said. If she thought that I was going to forgive her after she almost killed me, I was a zombie. But I shook her hand anyway to relieve the tension, her tight grip crushing mine. But that didn't mean I wasn't going to be keeping an eye on her--I could tell she still couldn't trust me.

Tom finally broke the silence. "Now then--we got what we came for, I think."
I frowned. "I thought you needed to pick something up?"
Tom shook his head. "What she really wanted was you. She knows that a citizen of Alcatraz can't ask for personal favors like that--if we surveyed the area for every missing family member, the island would be too full. This isn't the first time she sent us here, either--always gathering stuff that she couldn't take with her. She didn't tell me personally, but I think I knew at the back of my head that she didn't care about any of those stuff. She just wanted you back."
Rachelle snorted. "I knew she was sending us on a wild goose chase. Whatever. Let's get the diddly out of here, if none of you mind, of course."

Tom and I shook our heads, and the three of us disappeared into the fog.
 

LatinoHeat90

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I bobbed and weaved through the houses and buildings. Every now and again seeing lights in the distance, changing my direction in order to stay clear of them. It was getting tough to move around, it was dark and even though I knew this place memory could only get me so far. I stopped to tighten the straps on my pack. It was a hiking backpack, filled to the brim, and the items in it kept moving around as I ran, making too much noise. It would be more safe to leave it and try to find it in the morning, but I didn't want to lose all the stuff I collected. I checked the gun in my hip holster, making sure it was fastened tight. I tried to not think about the man I shot but it was hard not too. I didn't get a good look at what I did to him but I could imagine, perhaps I was imagination was exaggerating the gore but I couldn't stop it. I had to keep moving...

I stopped to catch my breath. I stared at the stars, panting, wishing everything would just stop. I ducked down, holding my head as if I was trying to crush my skull. It was all shit, I am losing everything. Before I could continue my loathing I looked up to see a lighted window. I began to panic. Have I stumbled in there base? They could be in there! I began to jog off when it hit me: it might not be one of them, it could be someone else. They are monsters, monsters that take lives in the worst way possible. I can't let someone die like that, not the way they do it. I reluctantly moved toward shed.

The window was low enough that I could peek through. A man with short brown hair was tied to a chair. Damn it. I was hoping nobody was in there, I just want to go home. I walked to the door and turned the door nob, to my surprise it opened. They must have thought nobody would be stupid enough to wander around here. I moved through the door, my pistol drawn. The man quickly looked at up at me. I pointed the gun at him and rushed to him. I don't want him to talk, I just want to get him out and to safety, I don't even know if I can trust him.

"My name is Fredrick and please don't do anything." Just as it sounds, it was more of a plea than a demand. I could never be forceful, it usually comes off as desperation. I kept the gun pointed at him with one hand and the other was in the side pocket of my backpack. I pulled out a knife and moved behind him, cutting the rope. "I just want to help you, I'm not going to hurt you." Again, I sounded scared. In a way I hope he heard it, I wanted him to pity me, perhaps then he wouldn't hurt me when he was free.

The ropes fell to the ground. Before, he could get situated I moved back to the door. "Follow me." I ran out of the shed, hoping he would follow. I plan to take him to my hideout, I just hope we can make it there.
 

OmniChaos

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"She's my daughter," I say calmly, placing my hand on her shoulder. "She gets her looks from her mother--God rest her soul--but her smarts from me. We came in from a small, secluded community up in Montana--you know, somewhere nice and quiet--but the zombies eventually made their way there, and we were forced to leave. I had sent her on ahead here, and am just arriving now. Sorry for any inconveniences that may have caused."

The guard scoffs softly and waves us on by. We fall in with the others being escorted into the camps. The man at the line's head continues talking meaningless nonsense, mentioning that the outer camps that we were passing held the newest arrivals who had made it not but one or two days ago. I walk silently for a few minutes, taking in my surroundings. The conditions here were beyond poor, with many inhabitants appearing sick or dying. Worse yet, I notice several people among these fresh arrivals with distinct bite marks on them, and the odds that they were all immune was incredibly low.

"Listen to me very carefully, and do not say a word," I whisper into the girl's ear. "My name is Peyton Richardson, and I am a friend, whether you believe me yet or not." I scan quickly between the armed men escorting us, making sure none were paying any attention to me. "This place is not safe.

"These men here aren't military. I spent three years in Nam, and know damn well that the man there, that so-called 'Captain Grant', is wearing a major's rank, and no major I ever knew would call himself anything less than 'major.' Further, none of these men hold themselves like military. They're sloppy and lazy with their guard, and have a mentality closer to a bulldog than a soldier. I do not know their intent, whether if they really want to try to help people or if there's something else, but I would not advise trusting them."

The group comes to a stop for a moment, Grant talking about something or other, not that anything that comes out of his mouth interests me in the slightest. "But it gets worse." I point to several of the people sitting outside their camps, cooking, talking with one another, or just enjoying what little they can. "Look real close at these fresh arrivals, and count just how many have teeth marks on them. The incubation of the virus is shown to be on average three days. Meaning, any number of these people could change at any moment and this 'safe haven' would quickly revert into a prison, or rather, a buffet."

I pause, looking at the girl for a few moments. My God, she reminds me so much of my daughter, from the way she carries herself, to--I clear my voice, choking down any memories trying to dredge up. "Alcatraz. I had thought it would be Jericho, but it seems I was mistaken. There is nothing here but doom and death. Once I stock up on supplies, I'm leaving, and if you wish to live, I would suggest you do the same."
 

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I continued tugging at the rope around my wrists that was keeping me confined to my chair. I could feel my wrists becoming raw, but I knew if I could just work at the rope enough then maybe I could wriggle my way out. I had to do something before those guys came back. If I was still here when they returned, they'd probably tear me to shreds.

My shoulders began to ache from my struggle to get free, and I stopped just for a second to catch my breath. Just as I was ready to get back to work again, I felt fear strike in my heart when the door started to creak open. The daylight hurt my eyes as it slowly blanketed my face. I squinted through the light to see a man with a huge backpack pointing a gun at me. He wasn't one of the one's from before, leaving me to wonder about my fate. He made sure not to keep me wondering too long.

"My name is Fredrick and please don't do anything." He said as he kept his gun on me.

"I don't think I have much choice..." I muttered. "Think there's any way you can cut me loose?" I could tell my voice sounded groggy; I sounded weak. Who knows how long it had been since I had eaten anything.

Fredrick shuffled one hand around in his backpack until he pulled out a knife and quickly made his way behind me. He started cutting the rope, just like that. "I just want to help you, I'm not going to hurt you." Fredrick said in a shaken voice. I could tell he was desperate for a person he could trust; a person who could watch his back. I needed that too right now. I didn't know this guy whatsoever, yet in these past few minutes he risked everything setting me free. For all he knew I could bash his head in and take his gigantic backpack with everything in it. For all I knew he came from a group of cannibals and he really just didn't want to carry my body to their cannibal camp, so he was leading me there.

As soon as the ropes were removed from my wrists, Fredrick wasted no time making his way back to the door. "Follow me." He ran on outside, and I knew I couldn't waste a second, if I was going then I had to get on it. I rubbed my wrists as I headed to the door, and I grabbed my empty backpack that those guys left leaning against the wall. With that I head on outside to follow Fredrick.

The light seemed so bright at first, but after a second I realized it was actually pretty cloudy, and it seemed like a fog was almost upon us. I turned around to take a look at the shed that had become my prison, and then I ran towards the sound of Fredrick's footsteps before I chanced losing him.

We moved swiftly and quietly. He seemed to know this area pretty well, unlike myself. Either that or we were really just cutting through random alleyways in whichever direction he felt like turning. Every now and then I heard the clanking of his backpack, and I was left wondering when that one little noise would kill him someday.

After a while I heard some foreign footsteps nearby, and Fredrick turned and grabbed my sleeve and yanked me into a building. I peeked out the window to see my three friends from earlier all heading in the direction of the shed. Fredrick then motioned for me to follow him upstairs, so I listened.

Has this been where he intended to go the whole time? We were in a big office building, and it seemed mostly abandoned. On the third floor, Fredrick fiddled with a couple of locks on some double wooden doors, and as I followed in the room after him I was met with heaven on Earth. Fredrick locked the door behind us, a look of relief now covering his face, and I gazed at the piles of canned food he had built up in the far corner of the room.

"You care if we grab a bite before we really introduce ourselves?" I anxiously asked him with a gulp.
 
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Delsan

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The three of us stayed very, very close as we made our way to the boat that was going to take us to Alcatraz. I still had more questions about my family, but I thought it was best to save them for later when I actually saw them. That way, our first conversation after weeks of hell would be long and meaningful. But few questions that had been nagging me since the start found their way out of my thoughts.

"You mentioned my mother, father, and Aunt," I said after the blue, breaking the silence since we left my Aunt's house. Is—Is that all who made it?" I looked at Tom's expression, which pretty much meant yes. I borrowed the same look.
"They didn't tell us what happened," said Tom finally. "All we know is that they were with a larger group of people that were mostly family members." I waited to hear more, but I realized that was all he was going to say.

My thoughts turned into mourning for the rest of my family members, including my brother, who were still out there or dead. The picture I have of my family rests in my pack, but I'm too distraught to take it out and look at it.

"The zombies have been quiet," Rachelle said, probably to break the tension. I realized she had a point. I haven't spent this long without seeing or hearing a zombie before. Come to think of it, I hadn't seen one zombie since I arrived in this part of San Francisco. Did the thick fog really explain why there haven't been any so far? I doubted it.
"Come to think of it, it is real strange," Tom said. "I almost forgot they existed for a second there."
I shook my head. "I still feel like I'm being watched. I bet we'll see them soon enough."
"It's like you want to see a zombie," Rachelle pointed out. "Am I the only one here that wants to have a peaceful walk for once?"
"Those are hard to come by," I said.
"It'll be nice," Tom admitted, "but you can't expect a peaceful walk in this world anymore."

I haven't used the word 'peaceful' in a long time. Like civilization, that word is long forgotten. I've spent many days wishing for this to be over, that they found a cure and my family was back together again. But honestly, I have a bad feeling that it’ll stay like this for the long term.

“Whatever,” Rachelle sighed. “It’ll be nice while it—“ Rachelle was broken off by gunshots. The three of us instantly reacted, about to fight back when the shooter—scratch that—shooters appeared out of nowhere, and we were all forced to surrender without a fight.

“Who are they?” I whispered to Rachelle as they surrounded us. She didn’t respond. Instead, she looked at the men awestruck and said, “Guys, it’s us!”

One of the soldiers moved closer than the rest. Like the others, he was wearing riot gear head to toe, so I couldn’t see their faces. “State your names and present your ID,” the soldier said blankly. Tom and Rachelle held up theirs in a heartbeat, and the soldier took a breath. “Sorry; Rachelle, Tom. You know the protocol.”

“You better be,” Rachelle said sternly. “I thought I was gonna die for a second there.”
I gave her an angry look. “Welcome to the club.”

She was about to say something when the soldier broke her off—I could tell that made her more furious. “Who’s this?” he asked.

“She saved us from a hoard,” Tom said before I could respond. “I’d thought the least we could do is bring her to Alcatraz.” I didn't know why he was lying for me (or why it was necessary) but I continued to stay still and keep quiet.
The soldier frowned. “That’s not your decision to make.”
“You should have seen her out there, with that bow of hers. She’s a fighter.”

The soldier pondered at the thought. Then he asked, “Are you immune to both strains of the virus?” I looked to the right and pulled down my collar, revealing a still-healing bite mark from ages ago.

The soldier sighed. “Stay close.”
 

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My mysterious benefactor--my "father"--falls in line behind me, and together we pass through the first set of gates. The camp is... not what I expected, and even further from what I'd hoped. People here look sick, or worse, and there isn't any evidence of medical facilities or even running water on this part of the island. I look up to where the water tower is perched, high above our heads. I wonder how long it's been since it was replenished.

Still, there are small cooking fires, and people talking, and a sense of security, and all of these are so foreign and precious to me that I'm willing to give up everything else to get them back. If this is the price for even a little bit of safety, I'm willing to pay it. So the next words the man speaks to me are like the whisper of the headsman's axe.

"Listen to me very carefully, and do not say a word. My name is Peyton Richardson, and I am a friend, whether you believe me yet or not." He pauses as a guard passes by us. "This place is not safe."

The axe falls. Almost involuntarily, I turn my head to look at him. He claimed me as his daughter, but he looks old enough to be my grandfather--I would guess he's at least in his sixties, though I can't read laowai's ages well. It doesn't help that he's as filthy as the rest of them, maybe even worse, dirt and sweat mingled in his hair and on his face. His eyes shine a clear cold blue, however, and a small cut below the right one draws my attention.

"Look real close at these fresh arrivals," he's saying, pointing to a band off to our right, "and count just how many have teeth marks on them. The incubation of the virus is shown to be on average three days. Meaning, any number of these people could change at any moment and this 'safe haven' would quickly revert into a prison, or rather, a buffet." Instinctively I recoil.

"I...is that really how the disease is spread?" I ask him at last, keeping my voice low like his. "I h-heard some people can get it just by breathing in the air from others who are sick." I tug on the cloth mask that covers my nose and mouth as I say this. When I had first bought it, the little skull-and-bones decal on the front made me feel tough, but suddenly it doesn't feel like nearly enough protection.

"And... and what about the water? And food? How can we really tell if others are sick? If we're sick?" I'm babbling now, but I can't help it. The last few terror-filled days since I abandoned my dorm room are catching up to me. I haven't eaten anything since the last of my mother's medicines ran out, and I only drank what water I could boil and bring with me in plastic bottles. If I hadn't found that group of soldiers on the bay, herding people onto the ferry, if they hadn't let me on... I don't know where I'd be. Though I hadn't been consciously looking for it, I've already decided this prison island is my last hope. And now this man--this stranger--is telling me it isn't safe.

"...Once I stock up on supplies, I'm leaving, and if you wish to live, I would suggest you do the same."

I look at him a second time, this time only out of the corners of my eyes. What do I really know about this man? Why did he help me back at the gate? And why is he telling me this now? My mother has always told me I'm too trusting, that I'll just follow anybody in good faith. This is not the time for that weakness.

"My name is Rain," I admit, as much to bring my runaway mouth under control as to introduce myself. "Rain Fan. Thanks for helping me out back there."
 
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LatinoHeat90

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"Sure..." I rustled in my bag to find a can opener. I handed it to him as he made his way to the food. He looked desperately hungry. I wasn't going to deny him another minute without food. But, I also made sure to give him the safety can opener, the kind that creates no sharp edges, nothing that could hurt me. I made my way to the opposite corner of the room, walking over old magazines and books. I would have cleaned up a little if I had known I was going to have a guest, but I had thought I would never have a guest. I sat in the corner and observed him as he ate. There was another reason I chose this corner to sit in. I had multiple weapons resting here; a bat, knives, an axe, and some fuel and ammo. I only had one gun though, and it was still in my holster.

Ever since I had established this place as my hideout I have thrown very little away. There was no need for empty packages of food and other junk but I believe their could be a use for the other stuff. I had Christmas ornaments hanging around, random posters of movies, CD's, electronic devices, even jewelry and money. Most people would think there was no use for these things but I did, it kept me sane. It reminded me of of the past, and for a moment I would forget the future. As the man continued to eat I checked my bag. I pulled out a random assortment of goodies from my little foraging trip. The last item was a snow globe which had the Golden Gate bridge in the globe. As I held it up and shook the globe I noticed the dog collar I kept on my wrist. Perhaps it wasn't always good to think of the past.

"My name is Frederick Benedict" I told the man. I wanted to think about something else and this man was my only distraction. "I..I don't care if you call me Fred or Freddy. It doesn't bother me." I was looking down the whole time. Somewhat afraid to meet his gaze. I had to look up though. What if I could see something in his eyes that could show me that he is a friend, or an enemy.
 

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The man handed me a can opener upon my request and I practically ran over to the cans of food. The first can I picked up was a can of baked beans. No thanks, that was the definition of an apocalyptic canned good. I shuffled through some more cans until I settled on ravioli, there we go.

I plopped down on the floor and started trying to work the can opener on the can. This can opener was weird, it seemed pretty junky. After playing with it long enough, I finally managed to get the can open, and I put it up to my mouth like a cup. I shook a couple pieces of ravioli in my mouth and began to chew. My God, it felt like it had been forever since I had eaten any food. It didn't matter that the ravioli was cold, everything tasted great. I licked the sauce off of my lips before shaking more of the delicious food into my mouth.

After a moment, I realized how quiet my host had been. I turned to look at him, and then I noticed what a mess of a room this was. So many useless trinkets were laying around, things that would probably never work again. Was this how he'd found the place? When my eyes made my way over to him, he was holding a snow globe and staring at a dog collar on his wrist.

"My name is Frederick Benedict. I..I don't care if you call me Fred or Freddy. It doesn't bother me." He actually spoke up. He had a kind of sadness in his voice as he stared down at the ground. This outbreak had taken a toll on all of us, but it was people like Frederick that really showed how bad this world had gotten. He finally made eye contact with me, and his eyes gave me even further proof that this man was filled with nothing but deep sadness. It was a surprise that he had even made it this long.

I wiped my mouth off before responding to him. "I'm Dean," I said as I made my way over to him and held out my hand to shake his. "Thanks a lot for the help today, I really appreciate it." I looked down at his wrist that he had been staring at earlier. "So, is there a story behind the dog collar?"
 

LatinoHeat90

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Dean. I would have thought he was more of a Sam. Just what I thought when I saw him. My mind quickly went back to the analyzes of his actions and words. Sure, he didn't say much but I had to work with what I got. First, he didn't seem threatening, that was great. Second, he thanked me, don't here the word thanks often, especially know. I thought about the fact that I haven't been around anyone for weeks, well at least he said thanks. Third, he didn't sound like any other those hick assholes that were around. He seemed like an honest man that was just trying to make it, just like myself. I noticed he was looking at me. Oh, he had asked me about the collar! He must have seen me staring at it. Should I tell him? I was trying to avoid thinking about it. But, I have to establish trust if this is going to work out. It started to sound like I was going to marry this man or something. I do want someone to have my back though.

"Nice to meet you Sa... I mean Dean. Sorry. Uh... yeah, it was my dog's collar, Percy. He was a pug I had, before the outbreak." I felt myself smile as some good memories resurfaced. "He was my little buddy. The only friend I had. See, I love to read, that was why I used to be a librarian. Every night Percy and I would sit in bed an read, keep each other company. Well, I would read and he would just lay there, usually pass out." The memories kept coming, There was too much to tell. Percy was one of the only good things in my life, then he was taken away. The good memories went away, and the worst memory was front and center.

"They just came out of nowhere. No warning. I was just walking him, like I do every morning. I saw one of them tackle a jogger. I was so startled. Should I help that guy? What should I do?Too many questions. I decide to run. I lifted Percy up and ran with him in my arms. He kept barking. I told him to hush, but that was Percy for you, just kept barking..." I was staring directly ahead, almost catatonic. "I was almost home when one came around the corner. Before I had time to think he lunged at me. I fell to the ground. It slipped right off of me. I stood up and ran but.... then realized why I got away. I turned to see Percy being ripped apart by it." Tears began to roll down my face. "I couldn't do anything. Seeing Percy like that I had to get away. I ran home. Locked the door. I hid in the basement, sobbing. It wasn't until I was dehydrated that I realized I was clutching his collar the whole time." I looked at the collar tears now falling on it. " I could have saved him, I bet I could have. He was worth saving. But, I was too afraid."
 

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I stared at Frederick in awe at his story. He was crying, he was really crying about his dog... Percy. It's one thing to be sad about losing a dog, sure, but I lost my whole damn family because of this outbreak and I was sitting here listening to this sap cry about a pug? Maybe I was being insensitive. I continued to shovel food in my mouth hoping he'd just take it that I was too busy eating to respond.

Come on, say something. He's crying now, so hopefully he just hadn't noticed the awkward silence yet. "Um, Frederick? I'm sorry about your dog... I lost something important to me too." I walked up and placed my hand on his shoulder. At least this guy was civil, he was a decent person, so what if he was hung up on a dog. Better him than one of those assholes from before. Maybe he'd never really had any friends...

"Listen, I've heard of this place, Alcatraz Island. They're saying it may be a safe haven. I was heading towards the coast to find a boat, and I reckon it's not too far from here. If you have my back, I'll have yours. What do you say? Want to pack up whatever junk may be useful here and head there together?"

Please God, don't let me get this poor man killed.
 
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LatinoHeat90

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I looked around my safe house at my "junk." I didn't think of it that way. All of this stuff was my distraction, my shield, perhaps I thought it was my salvation. It was the place that wouldn't change except for the things I added to it. I would be safe here and live my life. But, as I thought about this I knew the truth. I would die here soon. If not from the bastards outside I certainly would take my own life. In my loneliness I had contemplated it multiple times. A quick end.

I stood up, wiping the tears from my eyes. "Thank you for the offer, I think I will go with you. I won't last long if I stay here. Fill a backpack up with all the supplies that we might need. Uh.... pick out a weapon. If you don't mind I prefer to keep this pistol." I motioned to the gun at my hip. He agreed.

Luckily, I had a map of the area. We slipped out of the safe house and the town undetected. I knew that town well but I was scared. Dean seemed more confident. I knew he was a stronger person than myself just by the way he composed himself.

The trip was awkward. It was a days hike and Dean and I barely spoke. We were still feeling each other out, learning how to act in each others presence. Small talk, I never used to enjoy it but after spending so much time alone I welcomed it. Sure, there was no substance in the conversation but the social interaction helps keep one sane.

Surprisingly, we made it to San Fransisco without colliding with a horde or any raiders. It was a relief. Now we had the task of getting to the coast, finding a boat, and crossing the water to Alcatraz. Seems easy enough.
 

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Frederick tossed me a backpack that had been hanging on a hook in the room after agreeing that we should travel together. He informed me that he carried a pistol as I packed my bag. I couldn't object. And why should I? At least he told me he had a gun, it wasn't just some surprise down the line. And if the biters got him, well... I'd know to head back to his corpse to grab something before I got out of Dodge.

I mainly packed some food, not much else. I grabbed an old wooden baseball bat he had as well. Those guys from earlier took my bat, and I was beginning to get comfortable with how to hit a biter just right to get them out of my face in no time flat.

Once we left the safe house, Frederick whipped out a map and started swiftly moving through the town. He knew the area well, and it showed. He wanted to hop a couple odd fences here and there, and I never questioned him, even when I thought his monster backpack wouldn't make it. We escaped the city by night fall.

Here and there, one of us would mention that it was too humid for this crap, or that we should be getting close. Never anything important, we traveled mostly in silence until we reached San Francisco

"That trip was too good to us..." I muttered to Frederick as we entered the city. We treaded lightly, glancing around corners as we walked through the streets. We could hear the sound of groans coming from one main road, and we avoided it completely, taking the long way around. A few buildings we passed had loud and heavy banging coming from the inside. We quickly moved past those buildings as well.

I was beginning to wonder if we'd ever reach the water when I heard a gunshot. "Frederick, stay low!" I loudly whispered as I crouched and moved in that direction. As I got closer I could see the beach, with a biter walking along groaning. All of a sudden, BANG! A shot went right through it's skull. I turned to look where the shot came from and I saw a little roped off dock, where people were loading onto a small boat. I saw a man in uniform holding a gun slowly approaching the head he just popped.

"Frederick, I think they're military..."

"We are military, and who are you?!" I caught glimpse of a gun right beside my face. I didn't even hear the guy creep up beside me. I glanced at Frederick to see his hands raised high, and I slowly raised mine.

"My name's Dean, this is Frederick. We aren't bit, we came looking for refuge in Alcatraz. Is what they say true?"

The military man gave us a quick look over and then radioed somebody, making mention of "two more." He pushed us along toward the dock with his gun, a few people from the boat glancing at us, and then two more men in uniforms approached us and led us down to our knees. They were checking us out for bites, I knew that all too well. They dug through our bags, and when they finished with mine they handed it back to me, with my bat. Wouldn't the military seize our weapons? I looked over to Frederick, unsure of if they grabbed his gun. Before we had a chance to speak, the man who found us approached me from the front.

"If you're boarding, hurry up. We're leaving."

We hustled onto the boat, and they weren't kidding, almost immediately it took off. I looked around the boat in wonder. What if someone on board was bit, and we didn't know? These guys didn't seem very thorough. I looked around at my fellow shipmates. I noticed a few children, a couple groups that looked like families, more military... There was an old man whose face was covered in stubble with a cut on his cheek, a lonesome looking Asian woman, and my new companion Frederick. There was a very diverse group of people on board, and I could only wonder who was already on the island.

It felt like a half hour, maybe an hour passed, and before I knew it I could see the island. So much has happened so fast, I was a bit overwhelmed. Please finally be our answer, let us wake up from this nightmare in this supposed safe haven...

The ship docked, and we unloaded one by one.
 

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"Rain? What a lovely name. My name is—"

A bloodcurdling scream cut my introduction short, sounding only but a few yards away. I turn in its direction and set my eyes upon a horrid sight: a woman, happily hanging clothes while chatting with her neighbor just but a minute ago, now had her face deep into his chest, tearing and ripping him to shreds. As another woman let out a scream, the infected woman drew her blood-soaked face from the man's chest, her eyes glazed over, and released a terrible shriek. In but a moment, the infected woman sunk her teeth deep into the woman's arm and tore flesh from her bone. As men wrestled the infected woman—others quickly ran to get their weapons—the second woman contorted in painful, spastic ways until her eyes glazed over and she too became infected.

"By God, it's already too late," I whisper to myself. I stood there, watching, as the armed men ran into action to kill the infected. The sound of an explosion from the prison returned me to my senses, and I turned to the young girl. "Quickly! To the docks! We have to get out of here!"

I grab the girl, Rain, as she had introduced herself, by the hand and began running from whence we had came. Cries of terror began springing up from across the island as more people began turning and, in turn, infecting non-immune people, who, in turn, infecting another. There was no stopping it at this point; Alcatraz was doomed.

"Quickly," I said, stopping for a moment amidst the chaos. I scanned my surroundings, looking for any infected in the nearby area. Only a couple were in view, but were currently occupied with the disemboweling of a man. "Grab what you can, but be quick about it. We don't know when we'll have such supplies available again, so we cannot pass up this opportunity. Take no more than a minute and meet me back here."

I run inside one of the tents, scanning through for anything I can find. My eyes set upon a picture of a smiling family, their arms wrapped around each other while standing before a beach-set sunset. Such happier times were those, time we humans shamefully took for granted. We squabbled over trivialities, focusing on differences rather than similarities. And now, we no longer had that world we so feverishly fought over. The thought passed with the moment, and I returned to my mission, grabbing a few backpacks filled with food and unopened, bottled water. I slung the packs over my shoulder and exited the tent, looking to see where the girl was.
 
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