How are we going to get out of this? We have an army of undead all around and god knows where we are! I know that there is little to no chance of us surviving, even if we make it through this challenge, there will just be another waiting for us. And while the enemy grows with each fallen survivor our numbers only grow smaller, and our resources dwindle more and more. What’s the point in fighting, if there’s no hope of victory?

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Haven Chapter 18

Chapter 18

Things were going to be alright, that’s what we told ourselves. I was telling myself that when we were getting ready to meet with the resistance leader, and Nicole was telling herself that when we left for the station. By the time we were there though, she felt far less confident.

“Well, what do we do now?” Daniel asked, after the raiding team were out of site
“Business as usual I guess,” Will chimed in, a little concerned about Nicole’s silence. Everyone had subconsciously agreed that she was the leader in my absence, Will too, but even he turned to Nicole for decisions. Will and Daniel walked off to check on the generator, leaving Jade and Nicole alone. “Are you alright?” Jade asked, placing a hand on her shoulder
“Yeah,” Nicole replied absently, but shook herself out of it, “just a little concerned I guess”
“I know how you feel,” snorted Jade
“I guess this is your first experience at this, watching the raiders drive away, every time you go I get worried you’re not gonna come back”
“Hey we always come back, all of us,” Jade pulled Nicole around, “they may be gone for longer than usual, but this is no different, okay?” Nicole smiled and nodded, and they headed inside, but in her gut Nicole knew she was only agreeing to spare Jade’s feelings.
But as Will said everything was “business as usual” at the ware house. Will and Daniel did calculations about how long the petrol would last and when they’d need more. Andria dutifully reported this back to Nicole, who along with Lauren added what new medical supplies would be useful. Andria then gave this, list to Jade, after adding basic supplies such as food, blankets and building tools, and Jade promised to look for then on the next raid. This process was flawless by now, but without the others, without a new raiding mission to organise, people ran out of things to do quickly.

A few hours after the raiders left Will found Nicole alone in the medical section, everyone else had been rounded up by Chris for shooting practice. “Hey how you doing?” he asked, forcefully chipper
“Bored, to be honest” Nicole laughed back, and Will laughed with her
“It’s weird isn’t it, having nothing to do,” Will’s tone got more serious as he spoke, or at least more introspective, “we spent so much time struggling to survive, then time trying to improve our lives, now that that’s all done what do we do?” Nicole spent a while thinking on that. In the past, before the fall of society, she spent her time reading, or working, or studying, or hanging out with friends. But she couldn’t do that now. She had friends around but ‘hanging out’ just didn’t feel right. What was the point of ‘having fun’ when unspeakable things were happening to so many people outside these walls.
“I know what you’re thinking,” Will’s voice interrupted Nicole’s thoughts and she realised how much time had passed since he’d spoke, “you’re thinking that there’s no point in trying to get back to our ‘hobbies’ or ‘interests’ because in the end they’re just frivolous.” Nicole wondered where Will was going with this, was here trying to agree with her? “But you’re wrong. Do you remember what I was like when we thought Todd, Connor and the others had died at the station, I didn’t even see the point in doing anything, helpful or not. But these past few weeks, working with Connor and Daniel, helping the raiding system work, I realised that if we stop moving we’re going to stagnate”
“What are you talking about Will?” Nicole asked annoyed, she turned away from him, she didn’t want to be cheered up
“The whole reason we started raiding, hell the whole reason we survived the apocalypse is so we could live,” He turned her around and looked in her eyes, “but that doesn’t stop at blankets and a generator, we need to start enjoying ourselves again otherwise one day, we’re going to wish we hadn’t survived.”
The harsh reality of what he was saying struck Nicole, and tears started welling up in her eyes. “God, I’m sorry,” Will apologised stepping back, “I got a bit carried away, I’ll admit to practicing that speech to myself”
“No it’s okay,” Nicole laughed, still crying, “I agree with you but, how? How are we meant to just pick up where we left of and start ‘living life’ again?”
“We don’t ‘pick up where we left off’ we start again, I don’t feel like the same person I was a few months ago, and although what has happened is dreadful, I don’t want to be that... kid… again. I want to start living life in a new world we have to build for our own.” They were both silent for a long time, until Nicole, no longer crying, laughed before speaking, “when did we become the drama queens”
Will laughed too, “I know aren’t we supposed to be leading these guys?”

They went their separate ways after the others returned from their practice. The paintball supplies were running low, but when it came to raids those supplies were not only rare but not a high priority. Jade and Chris were confident with people’s progress however, and were even trying to convince Daniel to join the raiding team. Will, Lauren, and Andria had improved, but were still too afraid of combat to fight, surprisingly Nicole showed skill, but still flat-out refused to use or even carry a gun.

After their talk Nicole and Will felt better about their situation, and found more ways to occupy themselves. They also found new hope for the future. Will began to make, or find, playing cards while Nicole found some paint and tried to make the warehouse feel more like home. That afternoon the six of them sat around a table playing with Will’s cards. “Good job you guys,” Lauren beamed at them, “this place feels much… lighter, than before”
“More like home,” Chris agreed
“Well don’t start planning colour schemes just yet Chris,” Daniel joked
“Well maybe we should name it,” Andria suggested shyly
“What?” Jade laughed at her
“No she’s right,” Will interrupted her, “I mean ‘the Warehouse’ hardly inspires familiarity”
“Well what do you suggest,” Daniel gestured at Andria
“Haven,” Nicole said quietly, but everyone heard, and stared for a while
“Yeah, Haven,” Andria smiled gratefully at her
“Sounds good to me,” Will laughed, and everyone smiled happily

But Lauren noticed something off, “Hey guys…. Where’s Emma?”