A reworking of the old RP ATA. An apocalyptic event casts a cloud of darkness over the world called the Ash, but it's not the only thing that has arrived.
 
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 Dragonfly [open]

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PostSubject: Dragonfly [open]   Sun Mar 01, 2015 5:16 am

There were thirteen of them in total by her last check, likely the last survivors still left in town. Four men, one of them a doctor. Ten girls. One ditz, a couple smokers, at least one whore, one Coyote, an erratic redhead, and a girl with platinum blonde hair that Seren hadn't seen talk once. It was a powder keg ready to blow, and staring out over the city from the lighthouse's catwalk, she wondered if she was the first survivor to go walking back outside since the lights went out.

Murkwell was covered in a blanket of darkness as far as she could see. The supermarket was their only beacon of light, and they were the moths dancing around its life-preserving flame. Even after their entire world had come crashing down twice within just a couple of years, people still couldn't learn to get along. Not that she was complaining. It wasn't like she was one to talk, anyways.

Seren leaned out across the lighthouse railing, breathing in the salty ocean breezes. The air was cool and crisp on her face, and in the distance she could hear the waves crashing down against the beach. Life was so much more peaceful with everyone dead. There were no more Black Masks, no more roving bands of Coyotes, no more prowling groups of Vanguards. The only gang left was the menagerie of crazies down below her in that supermarket, and her only worry left in the world were the Ash monsters that stalked the shadows. Her fellow survivors had taken to calling them "nightcrawlers." It wasn't a bad name at all, and she thought they died easier than people. At least they didn't bleed, or scream, or talk. One flash of light and they froze in their tracks, suddenly scared, like deer in headlights.

All in all, things weren't so bad. That's what she told herself, anyways.

She reached into her bag and pulled out a tiny toy. It was just a thin wooden spindle topped with wooden helicopter wings. Seren had whittled it herself in her spare time during her first hours in the market. Her grandfather had always called them "bamboo dragonflies."

Setting her flashlight down in her pocket, sticking up so its light still shone, she rolled its shaft in her hands and let it fly into the air, off the edge of the lighthouse and into the perpetual night.




OOC: I plan to just do shitty three-liners from here on out, in true ATA tradition. So don't feel obliged to make a gigantic megapost in reply.
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PostSubject: Re: Dragonfly [open]   Sun Mar 01, 2015 11:11 pm

Footsteps became audible and a light visible as Mostyn made his way up the lighthouse stairs with his flashlight. In his other hand was his pistol, kept at the ready should a nightcrawler get brave and try to attack from somewhere that the flashlight failed to illuminate. When Mostyn arrived at the top of the stairs, he paused upon seeing the girl he had helped to restrain the ex-Coyote back at the Mart. Hopefully said Coyote wasn't causing any trouble now that she had been tied up."Oh, I didn't expect to see anyone else here." Mostyn said to the girl as he walked over to the railing, looking out at the water.
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PostSubject: Re: Dragonfly [open]   Mon Mar 02, 2015 1:02 am

Rule One of the Apocalypse: don't let your guard down around anyone. Seren slipped her hand into her pocket at the sound of approaching footsteps, wrapping her fingers around her gun, but otherwise she was still as a statue. She didn't loosen up at the sound of Mostyn's voice, or make any reply as he walked out to stand beside her.

He had his gun out, and that was reason enough to keep her finger on the trigger, even if he couldn't see the pistol concealed inside her threadbare cardigan. It was the end of the world and she had a loot bag full of supplies she'd stripped off Black Mask corpses. Ramen, jerkey, canned vegetables, batteries, more bullets than she could count, shoes, watches, nails, soap, magazines, rings, shirts, a baseball, silver lockets with old faded pictures, a rolled up Akira poster that was sticking out of her bag, and even one of the notorious black masks that the gangsters used to wear... Not even mentioning her own personal supplies, in a separate bag slung across her shoulder, or the sword she carried. That was more than enough reason, in this new world they lived in, for him to try and put a bullet in her brain right there on the spot.

So Seren didn't answer, or nod, or even acknowledge his existence. She just watched him from the corner of her eye, waiting for the slightest movement that would give her an excuse to shoot him and strip his corpse like she'd done to the rest in the lighthouse.
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PostSubject: Re: Dragonfly [open]   Mon Mar 02, 2015 1:54 am

"Er... Is something wrong?" Mostyn asked after a few moments passed in silence. He turned to look at Seren, a slightly confused look on his face. She heard him, right? Either way, she didn't seem to do anything in response to Mostyn's arrival. He stood for a moment, before noticing that having his gun out was hardly necessary. After all, the light from their flashlights was likely to keep any nightcrawlers away, and if it didn't, he could pull his gun back out. So, Mostyn stuck his gun back into his back pocket after turning on the safety, seeing if the act got any reaction from Seren.
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PostSubject: Re: Dragonfly [open]   Mon Mar 02, 2015 2:04 am

What? Did he want her to say something? Seren didn't answer, she just kept where she was, finger on the trigger, her stare vacant and unblinking. Small chance of that. He hadn't asked her a question, so why should she answer?

And was something wrong? Why should she share anything with him?

Her face remained a mask, still and unchanging, as it always was. What did he want from her?
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PostSubject: Re: Dragonfly [open]   Mon Mar 02, 2015 2:12 am

Well, that didn't work. Mostyn frowned slightly while Serena remained as still as a statue. Again, he thought to himself for a few moments, trying to think of a way he could at least get some response from the girl. "Do you want me to leave?" Mostyn proceeded to ask half-jokingly, in the hopes it would get something from Seren.
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PostSubject: Re: Dragonfly [open]   Mon Mar 02, 2015 3:11 am

Even after that, she didn't move a muscle. At least, not at first. But after a few moments of awkward tension straining into stiff silence, Seren spoke. Her voice was a natural whisper, hardly heard above the soft ocean breezes. There was no change on her face.

"Yes."
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PostSubject: Re: Dragonfly [open]   Mon Mar 02, 2015 3:23 am

Mostyn frowned at her answer. "Damn, okay. I'll be going, then." he said as he began towards the stairs that led back into the lighthouse. However, he paused as his flashlight went out. Sighing, Mostyn began to feel around in his pockets for replacement batteries so that his descent into the lighthouse house would not be fatal. To his horror, he discovered that the rest of the batteries he possessed where left behind at the Mart, as Mostyn expected to find more during his trip to the lighthouse. "Shit..."
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PostSubject: Re: Dragonfly [open]   Mon Mar 02, 2015 4:16 am

Seren didn't bother to watch him go, but her head perked up at the sound of his cursing. When she glanced back over her shoulder, his lights were off and he was struggling with his flashlight, patting his pockets... After so many years of this, she knew a dead man when she saw one.

Idiot. She turned around fully, pulling her gun out of her pocket and shining her light over him. He didn't even have enough batteries to get him back across the street? That was a death sentence in this world, and it wasn't just dangerous for him... Light was the only thing that kept you alive, the only thing that scared the Ash, and when you ran out of batteries, it was like It smelled blood.

Already, she could hear the soft scampering of clawed feet against metal. Seren stepped away from the railing, gun raised, and swept her flashlight over the catwalk. Any second now, they'd pounce.

"...Coming."
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PostSubject: Re: Dragonfly [open]   Mon Mar 02, 2015 9:25 pm

Mostyn gave up on trying to find batteries in his pocket, having given up hope that he had any. Hearing the sound of nightcrawlers ready to take advantage, Mostyn took his gun back out. He glanced over at Seren when he noticed her light from the corner of his eye, letting out a sigh of relief. "Thanks." Thanks to her, he wouldn't end up being torn to shreds in the dark because of his stupid mistake. At least, so long as they could still deal with the nightcrawlers that were almost certain to attack...
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PostSubject: Re: Dragonfly [open]   Mon Mar 02, 2015 9:49 pm

If she was smart, she would've just booked it down the stairs and left him alone in the dark. If he died, he died, and it wasn't any concern of hers. That was one less person to share food with, one less liability, and one less survivor to be concerned about. It was his own fault. Seren wasn't a shepherd, or a baby sitter. Helpless lambs got left to the wolves, and if anybody tried to protect them, then they'd just get dragged down too.

If she was smart. Instead, Seren stood her ground and fired as a dark shape came pouncing out of the shadows. BANG. The nightcrawler disappeared in an cloud of ash and black smoke. More came rounding the corner on both sides, and instinctively, she pressed her back against Mostyn's, firing in rapid succession with grit teeth. Three more went down the same way as the first, but she missed one, and it came at her with a great slash of its long black claws...

She dodged aside, rolling and throwing her gun to the ground. It went spinning across the metal somewhere in the darkness, but she didn't watch to see where it went. In one fluid motion, Seren drew her sword from its sheath, and with a whisper of steel the nightcrawler's head separated from its body.

Seren turned her head. She hadn't seen how Mostyn was holding up.
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PostSubject: Re: Dragonfly [open]   Mon Mar 02, 2015 10:16 pm

Meanwhile, Mostyn was firing at nightcrawlers coming from the other side. One, two, three, four. A fifth, however, was missed by the bullet fired at it, and it wasted no time jumping onto Mostyn, bringing him to the ground. Grunting, he kicked it off of him before shooting it and causing it to meet the same end as the rest. Mostyn was quick to get to his feet, knowing that staying down was a death sentence. He glanced over at Seren, hoping she hadn't been harmed too badly or worse, killed. Relief at her safety lasted only a moment, as he knew that they were far from being safe.

"Run!"
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PostSubject: Re: Dragonfly [open]   Tue Mar 03, 2015 12:45 am

So he was alive. Seren didn't need to be told twice. She ran forward, sheathing her sword, and scooped her gun off the floor as she charged down the spiral stairs, flashlight shaking with every step down.

A nightcrawler was lying in wait halfway, but one look at the light and it froze in place. BANG. Seren was past it before the smoke and ash had even cleared. She never looked back to check if Mostyn was following, and soon she was on the ground level, leaping over abandoned Black Mask corpses in her rush toward the door.

She flung it open with a well-placed kick and ran through onto the pier. The Murky Mart glowed ahead of her so close by, a beacon of safety and light, but all around her she could see nightcrawlers stirring in the shadows, just outside of the life-preserving shine.
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PostSubject: Re: Dragonfly [open]   Tue Mar 03, 2015 1:02 am

Mostyn was right on her heels, half a dozen nightcrawlers chasing after the two. He followed after Seren quickly but carefully, knowing both that slowing down or making a single mistake was likely to be fatal. As he took notice of all of the nightcrawlers that had been alerted and were likely to attack, Mostyn began firing into the darkness wherever he thought he saw movement. If only they could just reach the Mart and its protective light...
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